Saturday, August 24, 2013

Finally Back.

Hello, HELLO!! I'm finally back!

I can't believe it has taken me so long to get back into the swing of things, but I'm finally here and I'm ready to get back into everything. AND, I'm back a married lady :) I will break everything down over the course of the next few weeks, but until then, here is a fabulous photo montage from my new "aunt-in-law", Allison Schmidt, who does photography down in Houston. 
If you are looking for a talented photographer (engagement, family, baby, animal pictures), then she is your lady! Go check out her amazing work here!

My sweet blogging friend, Laura, snapped me back into blogging with these great questions based on her post..here goes:


1. Is this how you imagined your life to be?
No. My life is better than I imagined. Happily married (for a whole whopping month), employed doing a job that I love, and surrounded by great family and friends.
 Doesn't get better than that.

2. Favorite evening out drink?
My favorite drink is only found in Norman, OK at a bar called O'Connells. It's raspberry, fruity amazingness and yet I never remember what's in it to have it made somewhere else.

3. What is your guilty pleasure?
Anything on the Bravo network. I'm obsessed with the Real Housewives series. I am unashamed to say, if someone called me tomorrow saying you have a job at Bravo, I wouldn't blink for a second. 

4. What is a current dream you hope to achieve?
Someday, I hope to start the charity of my dreams. I will wait to reveal the details until a later date/time, but it is very connected to my past and I feel so passionate about it. 

5. Why do you blog and what do you find most rewarding about it?
I started this blog as a way to measure my journey as a speech-pathologist, but have let it morph into an everyday blog. I enjoy writing and getting my thoughts "on paper" (or on a screen). The most rewarding part would be the friendships that I have made- it was such an unexpected component that has kept me tied to the blogging community. 

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Monday, July 8, 2013

The Mary-Kay Look: Glamour Voxbox


Thanks to my amazing blogging big sis, Jennifer from Busy Being Jennifer, I got hooked into Influenster..and I got hooked HARD!

I lucked out on my first voxbox- MARY KAY! Mary Kay products have been around for as long as I can remember makeup (and the cute little pink cadillacs); however, somehow I have never used their products. This is for a combined few reasons- I think I used to think Mary Kay was for moms (NOT TRUE) and that Mary Kay was too expensive. This Voxbox has shown me that it's NOT true. Many of these products were less than what I spend now. I think I might be a new fan?
Here's a breakdown of the amazing products:

1. Mary Kay Lash Primer- $15: I have never used primer before and I am a new believer. It really helped my mascara stay on and separated/prepared my lashes for the mascara. I always feel like my mascara clumps together on my eyelashes and then I keep putting more and more on to break up my lashes (cough- unproductive).

2. Mary Kay Lash Love Lengthening (I <3 Black) -$15: I really liked the shape of their mascara and how I NEVER had any clumps (this is both with and WITHOUT using the primer as an experiment). The only thing I felt was missing was the heavy volume that I get with my mascara, but I traded out the nasty mascara clumps. I have no doubts that I could find a thicker mascara from MaryKay that would provide the look I'm wanting.

3. Mary Kay True Dimensions Lipstick (Pink Cherie)- $18 : I'm typically not a lipstick kind of girl. I just don't necessarily love the way lipstick looks on ME, but out of the lipsticks I have tried, I like it the best? It went on really smoothly, felt like lipgloss when I rubbed my lips together and the color was GORGEOUS. Realistically, I see myself wearing this color as a lipgloss. But, if you like lipstick, I would recommend it. The lipstick case was super cute and I felt like it wouldn't melt or smush in my purse.

4.Mary Kay Cream Eye Color/Concealer Brush- $10: I loved the eye color/concealer brush. I personally liked it for applying the eye color. The color went on smooth and evenly thanks to this brush!

5. Mary Kay Cream Eye Color (Violet Storm) -$22: Did Mary Kay know that purple is one of my wedding colors? This was such a cute shimmery purple color. It was different in that the color was not a powdery eye-color, but rather more creamy; however, I felt like it stayed on longer because of this!


Overall opinion? Affordable. Cute.

If you are interested in trying out these products, contact Samantha from Hooah & Hiccups at samanthacurtis@marykay.com! Luckily for all of us, she's both a fabulous blogger & a Mary Kay representative. She would be perfect for you to easily order through!

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Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes; however, all the opinions are my own!

Monday, July 1, 2013

It's July, Y'all!

Hello! Remember me? I'm the girl who used to write on this blog ;) Just kidding. Needless to say, the past few weeks have been NUTSO. I have been assembling and making all the decorations for the wedding and wish I could show you all what I have been spending my time doing; however, those will have to wait until after the wedding!

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that Dustin & I went to get our marriage license (thanks State of Texas) and we got our honeymoon packet in the mail! Checkin' off that list!

I'm sorry to be so M.I.A., but realistically I'm not going to get any less busy between now and July 20. I wanted to drop in and tell you all how much I appreciate your sweet tweets, texts, and emails. I'm so excited that the wedding month is HERE and that in no time I will be Mrs. Lauren Hultman!

Come August, I will return to the blog full-force (and it will stop being a wedding vortex). This week, I will get to share with you my AMAZING Mary-Kay voxbox and then I will be going on a mini-blog hiatus.


The date is almost here!!

P.S- With Google Reader going away, stick around and follow me on BlogLovin? It'll be worth your while :)

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Giddy Countdown



6.20.13 as in one more month until 7.20.13. 

I can't believe that we are only 30 days until "I do" and today was a perfect day to get me excited for the big day. I started out with an exciting email from Marquis over at Simply Clarke saying I won her Birthday Giveaway. For starters, I love this girl to begin with. She is the one who designed my blog and she was so wonderful to work with start to finish. To this day, she continues to encourage me, help me with blog questions...she truly is one of my all-time favorite bloggers. I already was lucky enough to know Ashley from It is What You Make It and Samantha from Hooah & Hiccups and I'm starting to get to know a whole crew of new wonderful blogs (thank you ladies)! I realize I have shouted this from all the social media rooftops...sorry. I'm just excited.


The next amazing part was the SURPRISE delivery of flowers at work. One of my coworkers told me I had a flower delivery in the therapy office and I looked at her like she was crazy. I thought she mixed me up with one of the other speech therapists there...nope, beautiful flowers from my sister, Leslie. It had a super sweet note with it reminding me that today was the ONE month countdown. Could you get any luckier than that? 

This whole engagement/wedding process has been so wonderful for me- Dustin & I are so blessed to have such amazing people to go through this journey together. My other sister, Megan, has been so sweet to give monthly countdown surprises as well! Each month has been different, ranging from Brides magazine, ring holder, cute bachelorette purse...each has just made my day! 


So lucky to have such thoughtful & sweet people to share in this excitement with, including each of you. 

P.S. I promise this space won't always be so wedding-centered. That is what is currently dominating my life right now :)


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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Father's Day Edition

I know what you might be thinking: how could Wedding Wednesday and Father's Day go together? The answer is that my Dad played a huge role in shaping what I looked for in a future husband. I didn't get the chance to write a Father's Day post about how awesome my Dad is, but let me take this opportunity to say that my Dad is single-handedly one of the most inspiring people in my life. 

To describe my Dad in a few words: charismatic, hilarious, caring, compassionate, loyal, selfless. 

Growing up, my Dad lived out the portion of the vows "in sickness & in health". My Mom was sadly diagnosed with cancer twice during their marriage and my Dad stood relentlessly by her side the entire way through. He was not only her emotional rock, but our entire families'. Being an adult now, I can't imagine the weight/pressure of all that he did. He was a best friend/cheerleader for my Mom during her various chemo treatments, a role model/guidance counselor to his children all while maintaining a stressful job in corporate America. Can you say RELENTLESS PERSEVERANCE & LOVE? All the while, I never heard him complain once.
So what this taught me is that (heaven forbid) should anything happen to me is that I wanted a husband who would stand by me if times got tough...a man who would raise my children with compassion and undying love...a man who wouldn't care if I lost my hair and wouldn't think I was less beautiful if I was sick. I realize these are obviously extreme circumstances, but to me, they feel like very real possibilities. Having lost a parent at a young age, your outlook at the risks of life can be a bit distorted. 

The moral of the story: Dustin is that man of great character. He is the man who loves me in my worst hours and cherishes me in the best of days. I am beyond blessed to have found a man like my Dad, one who knows what's important in life and leaves the rest behind.

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Friday, June 14, 2013

L.A.Z.Y.

I don't know what it is lately, but I have noticed that I have picked up some bad, LAZY habits that it's time to break. Maybe if I'm honest with myself (and you all), I will force myself to kick 'em outta my life. What do people say? It takes 30 days to kick a habit?

1. I am so slow at responding to people lately- SORRY EVERYONE! I will read the text/email or hear the voicemail and think to myself "I will respond after I do x,y,z" and then I completely forget to respond. I end up feeling like a forgetful jerk.

2. Packing lunch. What is it about not wanting to pack a lunch the night before that has me taking a pathetic serving of yogurt, granola, & apple everyday instead of a truly hearty lunch? I don't know, but I gotta start planning ahead so I can actually eat better! Imagine that.
Like this little gem my friend sent to me. Hilarious.

3. Blogging. I am sorry blog, but you have just taken such a backseat lately. I feel like my blog had started to become the red-headed stepchild to my life (sorry Dustin- I always use that phrase..hah!). I need to return to doing the things I enjoy, which includes reading all my favorite blogs & being inspired to write more.

4. Uploading pictures. I take all these super-cute pictures of friends/family and what do I do with them? NOTHING! I need to start uploading them and printing them out. In 50 years from now, I need something tangible and not have to try to explain to my grandkids about this thing called Facebook and how all my pictures are stuck in internet past. 
5. I have started waking up alarmingly close to the time I should be LEAVING for work. This means I'm starting to look pretty SPECIAL (read: bare minimum makeup, very frizzy hair. read: straight up mess) for my day. Is it wrong that I'm thankful some old people can't see me very well? Ummm.. yes, it is wrong. I'm the worst. 

By the way, thank you all so much for the great wedding advice! I am definitely going to take it to heart and enjoy all the special moments I have coming up! 

Go check out my sweet blogging friend, Karla's blog (Forever Newly Wedded), where I was a guest today! I got to blab all about honeymoons and how Dustin & I are going to COSTA RICA!
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Calling Former Brides!

On this Wedding Wednesday, I'm keeping things SHORT & SWEET.

I'm calling all ladies who have walked the bridal path before me...give me all the advice you have!

Obviously you adore your wedding day, but if there was ONE piece of advice you wish you had known before your wedding day, what would it be?

I know things will never be "perfect" in some of the tiny details, but that I am going to love the day no matter what. I will take ANY & ALL tips on either how to make the day run smoothly, how to feel calm & relaxed, or things to remember!

P.S- I am almost to the MONTH countdown and I have reached a new level of stress/panic (hence the lack of posting on here). Looks like I need to go back & read my old post about chilling out :) 


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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: #brockbach

What is #brockbach? It stands for Brockman Bachelorette party...a.k.a. the best bachelorette party EVER! I have to tell you, I truly have the best family & friends. There were multiple times throughout the day and night where I just looked around and thought to myself "I am so blessed. I love my friends. I love my family. I love my life." Does it get better than that?

Okay, here was the #brockbach breakdown. 

1. Painting with a Twist: Everyone started out painting this super cute painting with help from the sweet instructor and, of course, a little wine. 


2. Next was the big surprise: LIMO!!!! So much fun to all get to ride everywhere together and not worry about driving. My sisters completed the amazingness with cute glasses, big light-up rings, and tea cups for some champagne!!! 

3. Dinner at La Hacienda. Great to catch up with friends, plus we were joined by my Mom and my future Mother-in-law. My mom moved heaven and earth to fly in early from her trip to Colorado and it meant so much to me!!!! 

4. Pete's Dueling Piano Bar. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the name almost says it all. There are two people who play songs back and forth, every kind of music you can imagine. It's like a massive karaoke bar and it's a blast. And I got called up on stage to dance with some other bachelorettes! 

5. Sleepover!! Everyone stayed the night, got to wake up the next morning and whack the tar outta the Beibs for some "panty piñata" fun. 

My sisters put so much effort into every little detail and I'm so appreciative of them and all my wonderful friends who traveled from near and far to celebrate with me. 


#brockbach #success 

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Just Because...

Last week, I was touched by a moment I had with a patient of mine, and felt that it was important to share. Nowadays, in the land of Instagram-every-second and FB-your-every-thought, there is not much that people keep to themselves (note: I am completely guilty of this...addicted to all my social medias). So often you see people posting their flowers, sweet notes, and kind gestures from their husband/fiance/boyfriend AND THAT'S FINE (again, I AM GUILTY of this).

But, I working with a patient in her apartment and saw these notes from her deceased husband strewn throughout each room. They were gingerly taped to whatever place would hold the little scraps of paper...and it became one of those moments I had to bite my tongue to keep the tears away.


...."I love you for all the little things you do for me...."
..."You are perfect in every way"...
..."I appreciate all your hard work around our home and love knowing that I get to come home to my loving, beautiful wife..."

Her husband had posted these little notes JUST BECAUSE. They weren't for show...they weren't for other people to see. They were notes of love & appreciation for his wife whom he adored JUST BECAUSE.

Last weekend, my sister went to buy my cookie cake for my bachelorette party & her card wouldn't work. Because she lives in Nashville, the bank flagged her card as stolen for all the Texas purchases she was making. While she was on the phone with the bank, a stranger paid for the entire cake... but didn't want Megan to know until the person had left. A genuinely kind act...JUST BECAUSE.

Every now & then, take a moment and do something sweet for someone JUST BECAUSE. 


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P.S- Stay tuned for Wednesday's Wedding Bachelorette RECAP :) 

Monday, June 3, 2013

MIA

I have been completely MIA and I hate to play the "blame game", but I'm looking at you wedding. 

Since last time I wrote, I have had one of the best weekends of all time. My bachelorette party was the best party I've ever been to :) I realize I am biased, but my sisters and friends know me so well and planned the most perfect party. 

I promise to give more details at a later time, but until then...a picture says a thousand words. 


And yes, that is a Justin Beiber "panty piñata"....and yes, it was a blast hitting him in the face (sorry Beibs). 



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Staying Sane

Planning a wedding means one thing: you better be organized.

There are SO many minute details that can easily overwhelm you if you let them. So this Wedding Wednesday, I'm devoting a post to STAYING SANE. Whether you are currently a bride-to-be or have already gotten married, you know that being ahead of the curve in planning is the best way to stay calm. Here are some of the things that are helping me:

1. Get as much done before you have to. Dustin & I have devoted Memorial Day Weekend to a whole slew of wedding "To-Do's" in order to prevent July from being a massive, chaotic mess. Gather together your wedding party gifts months in advance, do your thank you notes as you get gifts, research your options before you have to get it done (hotel blocking, florist, decorations, etc.)

2. Use visual aids. I am such a visual person. Writing down lists, using little sticky notes to try out different table seating arrangements (check out The Knotty Bride where I found that idea). Mark out your To-Do list as you go to make you feel better about your progress. Check & Check!
3. Accept Help. This one can be tough for me. I always feel bad whenever someone offers to help because I'm scared of wasting their time. The thing I have to remind myself is that people wouldn't offer if they didn't mean it, PLUS these are people who love me & are trying to help take some of the load off. I am trying to get better at this one...key word, TRYING.

4. Let your Groom take on responsibility. I know some girls want to do it all themselves & that is fine. I, on the other hand, can easily get overwhelmed. The process of having Dustin help & be a big part of the planning, assembling, and decision-making has greatly reduced my stress. Next weekend, he will be helping spray paint centerpieces & paint wooden direction signs. I have also divided up some of the tasks & given him a "Honey-Do list" to take some off my plate. The best part is that he never complains & wants to be involved. 
5. STOP & Smell the Roses. This is something that I am genuinely trying to do (even though I'm not always the best at it). You only have one wedding...this process is supposed to be enjoyable & exciting. Try not to get caught up in the minutia of details & sit back/remind yourself:
"You are about to have one of the best days of your life. 
You get to marry your best friend."


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Monday, May 20, 2013

Hopeful, Not Helpless

Undoubtedly, unless you live in a cave, you have heard about the devastating tornados in Moore, Oklahoma. As many of you know, I'm a graduate from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK...Norman is a neighboring town to Moore. For those of you who don't know, the geography is from North to South on I-35, Oklahoma City, then Moore, then Norman.

Having been through Moore so many times with friends who live there or nearby, my heart immediately sunk when my boss told me the news of the tornado. Thankfully all my loved ones and friends are accounted for, but their lives have undoubtedly been turned upside down.

Times like this make your heart ache (especially when you look at the damage and recognize the area & what it used to be).
Times like this can make you feel helpless. Even though I'm not there to physically help with clean up, there are things that I can do...& you can too.

1. If you can give something financially, donate to a reputable organization. From $5 to $100, whatever you can give will help. Here are some options:
  • The Red Cross has multiple ways to donate, where you can specifically chose to donate to disaster relief or text REDCROSS to 90999.
  • Salvation Army (you can choose to donate right to Oklahoma Tornado Relief fund) or text STORM to 80888 to contribute $10 to the Salvation Army’s relief efforts or make a donation via phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
  • Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief is another organization to directly donate funds where they can specifically designate the money depending on the needs. 
  • Feeding America, a group that works with food bands, offers lists of local food banks & contact information, allows you to search for food banks (if you have had a tornado near you that you'd like to donate to, go here).
((**make sure to give to a REPUTABLE organization. Unfortunately, people with bad intentions become opportunists during times like this to take advantage of good people. If it is a group you have never heard of, DO SOME RESEARCH**))

2. If you have a church group or work group, collectively gather items that these families will need in the wake of such devastation. People typically think of donating food & clothes, but other items that could be used include: work gloves, shovels, wheelbarrows, toiletries, toilet paper, towels, and garbage bags. 

3. Donate blood. Even though we are not physically there, times like this remind us all of the hospital needs of blood supply in case of events like this. Your hour of time spent giving blood can bring life to THREE people

4. Pray. These families will need all the prayers, love & support they can get.




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Summer "Must-Do's"

My Summer "Must-Do's":

1. Take more pictures...with a real camera. Ever since I got my iPhone, I have stopped utilizing my camera. This means the quality of my pictures aren't as good, plus I am missing out on some serious memories that I know I will want to look back on.

2. Go to Drive-in movie. Can you tell I'm really itching to do that?

3. Be adventurous for the day. I'm such a planned person & everyday I have some kind of schedule/plan. I want to wake up on a Saturday & do something unplanned/unexpected with Dustin. 

4. Spend time with my Dad. I feel like things have been so busy that I have barely gotten to spend some good 1-on-1 time with him. It's time to set up a Father/Daughter date & go ride on his motorcycle. Love that guy

5. Set up my first blogging link-up. Time to get out of the box & get creative. I already have some ideas brewing. 

6. Go to a Rangers Game. Try not to get sun-burnt.

7. Have my first "green" shake full of spinach lettuce & fruit. Trying to find a good/tasty recipe. I feel so skeptical about this. 

8. Get out that flute & play some duets with my sweet friend, Kim (read: be a band nerd).

9. Clean out old clothes & donate. If I haven't worn it in a year, then it needs to find a home that needs it more. 

10. GET MARRIED.



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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Truck Hunting

WHAT. A. WEEK!!! If this week is any indication of how nuts the month of the wedding is, then I could be in trouble! From just going to work each day plus premarital counseling, after hour work events, going out of town, family in town, etc., it has felt like the week has just flown by with no respite. 

The Highlights: Since I've been gone, Dustin & I went to a family wedding in Oklahoma at the horse racing track (so much fun!). First of all, I'm a sucker for a wedding :) Plus, it was neat because it was at a pretty horse racing track, so there was lots to look at all the time! For some reason, going to that wedding made me realize "HELLO, your wedding is in almost 2 months. Get busy!" More on that later.
The biggest thing that has happened this week? WE BOUGHT A TRUCK! It's official! 
Buying a truck came with a flurry of emotions: excitement, nervous, frustration, skepticism, happineness....you get the idea. 

In the end, we found just what Dustin what looking for! While I'm NO expert on car buying, I think my biggest tip of advice for anyone would be to SLOW DOWN. While I was there, I felt that on occasion, they would ask a really huge question and just expect an answer (obviously we felt like to pressure us into a quick yes/no). On MULTIPLE occasions, I asked "for a minute" so that Dustin & I could discuss. For once, I didn't feel "sorry" for taking up so much of their time or "bad" for asking so many questions. Buying a car is a huge commitment and Dustin & I took our sweet time making that decision. 
Other piece of advice from a non-expert? RESEARCH HEAVILY beforehand. Luckily, Dustin has been obsessed with buying a truck, so he had done every in & out of research. Because we probably had "first-time car buyers" written on our faces (& credit history), we felt they probably thought they hit the jackpot. Dustin was ready when the first HIGH offer (plus lots of stuff on what a great price they're giving us for being first time car buyers) came back with his rebuttal of research...the salesman looked incredibly shocked & I accidentally smiled really big. 
 Thank goodness our SIX hours at the dealership are done.

What's next for us now? Time for that drive-in movie....and "to haul stuff."


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