2015 Fashion Recap

12.30.2015

Last year I loved looking back through outfits and putting together an outfit recap for the year. This year was a little harder than last because I really didn't post as many outfits! Last year, in Arizona, I had two awesome photographer friends that helped me out a ton with taking outfit photos. This year, in Idaho, I am still looking for some photographer help - and so I snag my husband, my mom, and my friends when I can. I have one friend that does an AWESOME job - but I always feel bad bugging her to take my photos because she has a business and a whole family to take care of. So like I said - not as many outfits. But I have enough to put together this recap post, so that is all that matters... right? Right. Here are my top outfits for each season based on readers and followers love and comments - some got more love on the blog and some got more love on Facebook and Instagram. But all the love is appreciated because your support is why I keep doing this.

S P R I N G

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Sweater: Routine Baseball
Jeans: NoVae
Shoes: Converse
This Queen of Diamonds top is without a doubt my favorite lightweight sweatshirt of all time. I decided to share this outfit specifically because I feel like a lot of times all bloggers share are full on outfits with the bags, the makeup, the hair, etc. I wanted to show that you can still be styled in a casual outfit. It doesn't have to be about the heels and the flair. And I honestly love this outfit more than most because of it's comfort level. Boyfriend jeans, sneaks, and a sweatshirt. It is only in the last year I have decided that my comfort is what makes me confident - not the fancy and stylish clothing.

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Hat: Aro & Company
Top: Eleventh Avenue
Leggings: Target
Flats: Payless
This black and white top became my go to for travel the first half of the year. No matter how long my flight or roadtrip was - I wore this because it was comfy and stylish all with a pretty lace. My coworker called it the pilgrim top, but I don't see it. I am in love with it. This outfit translated really well for whatever the weather was too. I can wear it as pictured when it is warmer, but if it cools off I just add a cardigan and boots. This one is a classic I will be wearing for awhile.

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Hat: Downeast Basics
Top: Aro & Company c/o
Sweater: Pink Blush c/o
Jeans: Gap
Shoes: Forever Young Shoes
This was the perfect spring outfit because of the hat. In Spring you never know what kind of weather is coming so you have to be one step ahead of it. Originally when I put this outfit on it wasn't raining, but the clouds were hovering so I thought it might be smart to toss on the floppy to get ready for whatever might be coming our way. And what would you know? Rain. Right as I headed out to take photos for the outfit.
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Tee: Routine Baseball
Skirt: Agnes and Dora
Plaid: Target
Shoes: Converse Outlet
This outfit is part of a new series I started with some ladies called Styled by 5. All of us style the exact same item and share it on the same day. For this outfit the item was the skirt, but I loved seeing all the outfits come together. We had a little of everything from peplums  and high waist with belts to heels and converse. It is always so interesting to see how different women style the same item based on style and preference at the time. I went a little different than the rest with my outfit - which is why I think it ended up getting lots of TLC.

S U M M E R 

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Earrings: Nickel and Suede
Dress: Eshakti
Shoes: Cousin Couture
This was one of my outfits for a trip to Florida for Miss America's Outstanding Teen. Every night we had to dress up and so I decided to go an all black and accents route. At first when I was putting the outfit on it seemed like a lot of everything - but once it was all pieced together with the red lips I was sold. Bows, leather, lace, red, gold. All of it. And I will wear it again and again when I need to dress up. So many options for conversation starters in one outfit.
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Dress: Shabby Apple (similar)
Shoes: Cousin Couture
Necklace: Bluebird Bride
Hair Extensions: Laced Hair Extensions
Lip Color: Stila in Amore
And a second outfit for my nights of dress up at Miss America's Outstanding Teen. This one was also part of the Styled by 5 series. This dress is perfect for it's simplicity. A soft taffeta with a rich jewel tone. It was the perfect thing to wear for a long night of show, awards, and dancing. This outfit seemed to be a favorite for my hair just as much as for the outfit. Which I have to agree. I don't know how I did it, but I think this is the best my hair has EVER looked.
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Baseball Tee: NoVae Clothing
Jeans: NoVae Clothing
Sandals: Target
This baseball tee outfit came from a photoshoot I did for NoVae - but I loved it all so much I ended up getting the jeans and the top - I did swap the blue for maroon though. I especially love this outfit because there is a classic, feminine twist on the baseball tee classic. I love that it does all the pattern mixing for me. And I feel like I am in some baseball attire without being in baseball attire.
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Top: Routine Baseball
Jeans: Old Navy
Belt: Lands’ End
Shoes: TJMaxx
It looks like there is a baseball trend going on with my outfits. This one takes a pun on my favorite sport and a teen favorite word. When I saw the teeshirt I knew I needed it. Baesball. Sums it ALL up, right? I am married to a baseball player and now I am married to a baseball life – which makes baseball become baesball and I could not be happier. When I saw this top at Routine Baseball– they have a ton of awesome baseball gear – I was in love. A lot of my followers loved the tee too - which is why I felt it needed to be included on the recap.

F A L L

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Top: White Plum c/o
Pants: Gap
Shoes: Shoelovin’
Earrings: Lucy&Lyla c/o
Clutch: Aro & Company c/o
This outfit was from a series I did about date night outfits. The style of this top made it all feel a little more dressy than your basic casual outfit, so I felt like it needed something more than jeans.  I paired it with my skinnys and a pair of heels to glam up the whole look. When you go from jeans to pants and flat to heels you get the perfect outfit for a fancier sit down restaurant, a concert, or a show. It is relaxed enough that you can go from one event to another without feeling out of place at either.
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Hat: Downeast Basics
Top: The Sewing Post
Undershirt: Downeast Basics
Skirt: SexyModest
Watch: Arvo
Shoes: Ross
Purse: Lily Jade
I love to join in on the How We Wore It series that a lot of bloggers are doing these days. And this outfit is another variety of those. I took it to the neutral extremes. Browns, tans, and creams only. I love doing outfits that are all similar tones - but none of them matching because it adds a ton of dimension to outfits without a lot of different and loud colors. The bag is without a doubt my favorite part of this outfit. Lily Jade is heaven.
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Cardigan: Novae Clothing
Top: SexyModest Boutique
Leggings: Gap
Booties: Francescas
Hat: Aro & Company
This rainbow cardigan outfit was a scramble of an outfit that turned out perfectly. I went home for the weekend and had plans to meet up with a girl from my hometown to do photos. Originally this outfit was supposed to be black on black on black - but when I was pulling out what Adam had packed he grabbed a black cardigan that wouldn't cover my leggings bum so I panicked and searched my Mother's closet. Only to find this amazing sweater. And I think I like this outfit a lot more!
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Dress: Agnes & Dora
Hat: Aro & Co
Sandals: Target
This floral maxi outfit was my way to stick it to the fashion world with florals in the fall. Because HELLO, FLORALS! I will wear florals all year. And to prove it. I started with this floral maxi. Adam isn't a huge fan of the pattern but he can appreciate how comfortable it looks. And let me tell you - this dress is amazing. I need one in every color and I will wear them every day. And I think you all would agree because this outfit got a lot of love - and tons of questions as to here it came from!

W I N T E R

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Scarf: NoVae
Cardigan: Old Navy
Dress: Downeast Basics (similar)
Tights: Costco (similar)
Booties: Nordstrom Rack
Purse: Lily Jade
This outfit seemed to be one of the most popular on Instagram and Facebook. I think the cozy feel the blanket scarf added combined with the rocking booties made it a fan favorite. Plus, I shared it with my followers just as the weather was starting to get cold. Overall - I would have to agree with the readers and followers. This is one of my favorite outfits I have shared this year!
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Scarf: Luxe and Lace c/o
Top: Luxe and Lace c/o
Jacket: Forever 21
Leggings: Gap
Shoes: Forever Young
Not only did you all love this one - but so did Adam. He has it on his phone's background. I would love to take all the credit for this outfit but it really needs to go to Jalynn from Red Closet Diaries. She styled something similar to it and I was in love. I instantly started hunting for a similar top and scarf so I could throw together an outfit like hers for the chilly weather. This is what I came up with, and I am SO happy with how it turned out.
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Top: Le Motto c/o
Sweater: Lucy & Lyla c/o
Leggings: Gap
Boots: Nordstrom
I love this outfit for it's winter simplicity. Perfect for a wet day of running errands. Plus a tee shirt with a message never hurt anyone. I was actually surprised at how much attention this specific outfit got. I was just putting it together to show something more simple but everyone seemed to really like it. I am crediting all of that to the Le Motto tee.
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Top: Aro & Co c/o
Leggings: Gap (similar)
Booties: Francescas (similar/similar/similar)
Earrings: Aro & Co
Necklace: Mac & Mia
And last but not least - my most recent outfit made the cut because of it's social media love. The top is perfection and is going with me on holiday travels because it is so so comfortable. To make the outfit something that could go with any activity I paired it with my simple black leggings and a pair of black booties that can be used for dressing up or dressing down. That is my favorite part about the all black leggings and booties – they translate to whatever activity you are doing.
So there you have it! A quick 2015 style recap with the most popular outfits with my readers. As I flipped through outfits there were actually a lot more than I realized. I wish I could have shared a few more every month, but I felt like that be a little too much for you all. I feel so lucky to have supportive readers and a supportive blogging community to get me through my ups and downs of style blogging. I have loved trying out new outfits and creating new looks, so I appreciate your support more than you know! Are any of them ones that you loved from this last year? Do you have any trends you would love to see on the blog next year?

The Bachelor Season 20: Meet the Bachelorettes

12.29.2015

A new year means a new season of the Bachelor. Which I am SUPER pumped about. The girls tend to bring the drama and that is my favorite part. Bad, right? Nope. Great. A few weeks ago ABC released the cast for Season 20 - and let me tell ya, the women that will be vying for Ben's love are a good bunch. A good variety of everything plus I am sure a few crazies sneaked in there. I've gone through them all and put together my first impressions and my predictions of how far they will go in the competition for your reading pleasure and to get you just as pumped about Season 20 as I am. Let's do this.
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Amanda
Age: 25
Occupation: Esthetician
Hometown: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Impression: She seems like a good balance of chill and put together. Loves to be outdoors, cares about her appearance, has her act together. One thing that might be not as appealing about her is that she has two daughters. Not that having kids going into this is a deal breaker, but sometimes just one is hard to wrap the head around and she has two. Not sure where Ben stands on that though.
Prediction: I think she will go decently far because she seems to have the outdoors and travel bug like Ben. I predict she will go at least five or six episodes.
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Amber
Age: 30
Occupation: Bartender
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Height: 5'3"
Impression: You might remember this teddy bear loving lady from Chris Soules' season. If you don't, I would like to point out that I called she would show up with her teddy bear for intros. There isn't a ton to say impressions about because I feel like I know Amber from Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise.
Prediction: I don't really see Amber and Ben being a fit, but I do think she will make it through the first couple episodes due to sheer rating and familiarity - people love to see people they know.
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Becca
Age: 26
Occupation: Chiropractic Assistant
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Height: 5'5"
Impression: Basically all my impressions are going to be 100% biased because I loved Becca in Chris' season and really wanted her to win the whole dang thing. And when she didn't I was so bummed. And so I feel like she is perfect. I sound super creepy when I say that, I know. Lots of people thought she was dull - but I didn't think that. And her bio shows more personality, so I think that helped. Her biggest fear is clogging a toilet like in Dumb and Dumber. Which, I agree. And she has some great embarrassing moments.
Prediction: I think she is pretty enough, low maintenance enough, and adventurous enough to make it pretty far in this competition. I am saying top 5 for Becca. but I also wouldn't be surprised if she went a little further. I think it also helps that she has a moveable career.
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Breanne
Age: 30
Occupation: Nutritional Therapist
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Height: 5’7”
Impression: I like her. Independent. No crap. She seems like a woman that has a plan and knows what she wants. With that being said she talks about her favorite book - saying, "It’s all about valuing yourself and letting the man pursue you." I don't think that will fare well on this show. Because in order to make it you need to not only be pursued but pursue or you end up blending in.
Prediction: She might make it to the second episode, but I wouldn't be surprised if that is where her journey for love ends.
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Caila
Age: 24
Occupation: Software Sales Rep.
Hometown: Hudson, OH
Height: 5’4”
Impression: Software and Software. Ben's occupational match made in heaven. I really love that she talks about fate and always being present in her bio. It is rare to find people these days that don't focus on making things happen, but letting them happen. For that alone she scores high in my book. She seems very realistic and down to earth through the whole bio as well. She likes to try new things, wants to share traditions, and wants to have 3 kids because they fit perfectly in a 5 seater. So reasonable, Caila.
Prediction: I see her in the top 5. Mostly because she just seems like a genuinely normal human.
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Emily and Haley
Age: 22
Occupation: Twins
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
Height: 5’4”
Impression: I know.. it looked like missed a bio. But I didn't because these two are twins. And since they list that as their occupation and they appear to come out of the limo together - I am lumping them into one thing. Sorry twins. Okay - they seem cool. Normal. They dance and they cheer. They love hot weather based on where they grew up. They talk about being classy. And I think they have that going for them.
Prediction: So I feel like Ben wouldn't keep one twin and not the other - unless he has a super awesome, unbelievable connection with one. But I have a feeling he will lump them just like me and send them both home within the first two episodes. You know the White Christmas saying. "Lord bless the mister who comes between me and my sister." I am interested to see how this one pans out on cable TV.
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Isabel "Izzy"
Age: 24
Occupation: Graphic Designer
Hometown: Branford, CT
Height: 5’6”
Impression: She seems like a girl that can't really make up her mind. Her music faves range from Indy to Country to Pop. And when asked if she likes hot or cold weather she basically answered both. With that being said, I think she will be able to mold what she likes to match Sir Ben for the first few episodes. And then we will find out a few secrets here and there.
Prediction: I think she will get by talking to Ben for about the first three or four episodes and then get the boot.
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Jackie
Age: 23
Occupation: Gerontologist
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Height: 5’9"
Impression: She seems like a girl up for adventure and excitement. Paragliding, parachuting, and travelling the world. All that plus she is clearly smart and thoughtful. So basically I give her a yes. And she is really darling. And tall.
Prediction: I give her to the top 6.
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Jami
Age: 23
Occupation: Bartender
Hometown: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Height: 5'5"
Impression: All Canada. All the time. She seems detail orientated. Especially because she took the time to describe why she likes each of her favorite artists. But she also seems to not read directions because it asks for her favorite music and she lists artists... but maybe that works and I am over analyzing? She is probably the new Virgin Ashley because she said she is an inexperienced lover. Way to be honest.
Prediction: She is cute enough. And seems normal enough. And sweet also - so I give her to the top 6 or so.
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Jennifer
Age: 25
Occupation: Small Business Owner
Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Height: 5’7”
Impression: A direction reader! She listed her favorite music and then artists to boot. I approve. I want to know what business she owns though. Small businesses are tough. And they, for the most part, are relocatable - which means that she could be a perfect Ben match.
Prediction: I think she will be in the top 2/3 of the ladies. But I don't know if she will go much further. We shall see. She could surprise me.
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Jessica
Age: 23
Occupation: Accountant
Hometown: Boca Raton, FL
Height: 5’4”
Impression: Accountants are generally boring. With that being said, she wants a man that pursues her... Someone else said that too. Do these girls know how this show works?
Prediction: I think she will be gone within the first couple episodes.
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Joelle "JoJo"
Age: 24
Occupation: Real Estate Developer
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Height: 5’4”
Impression: When I saw the name JoJo I was really hoping it was my favorite tween popstar all grown up. You know the one, "Get out. Right now. It's the end of you and me!" But alas... we have a Real Estate Developer - which could still be the tween star in disguise. My fingers are crossed. Either way - I think this is a good one. She wants to have pizza with Ellen, her passed away grandfather, and Jesus. And she can make quesadillas. And if she could be anyone it would be Taylor Swift. It's like we are twins. She sounds like someone that would probably be my friend.
Prediction: I say top 10 for this lady.
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Jubilee
Age: 24
Occupation: War Veteran
Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Height: 5’4”
Impression: Pretty girl. But sadly I cannot get past her name and her occupation. I have a friend that was very offended by her occupation of War Veteran - which I am sure isn't what she listed but what ABC selected to put there based on her history... but I have to point it out because what my friend wrote really stuck with me. She said it was offensive to those that truly are War Veterans from the past. I honestly don't know proper etiquette on all this - but I got stuck at her occupation. Thoughts?
Prediction: I think she will make it to episode 5. From there we shall see.
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Lace
Age: 25
Occupation: Real Estate Agent
Hometown: Denver, CO
Height: 5'10"
Impression: She is so tall. That is my first impression. Which could either totally work in her favor or totally send her home. Because some men are just scared of tall women. I am interested to see how this one plays out. Her most embarrassing moment has to do with her pooping before someone coming over and them seeing it... which leads me to a lot of questions - why did he see it? Why doesn't she flush? Or is she one of those weird people that doesn't poop in a toilet to save water? Weird. I honestly cannot get past this story to give you any further impressions.
Prediction: Based on age and location - both similar to Ben's - I think she will stay for a bit. Usually the most boring bios seem to go a little further, and her's was pretty quick and short. I say top 7.
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Laura
Age: 24
Occupation: Account Executive
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Height: 5’4"
Impression: She seems like someone who personality-wise would match Ben perfectly based on her bio. But looks wise I don't think she matches the type of lady he would like. I do like that she talks about the ideal mate as someone with a kind face and sweet eyes. I also appreciate that she says she wants someone probably taller than her - which means she isn't one of those short girls that dates all the tall guys leaving the tall girls with only shorties. Thank you, Laura. Thank you.
Prediction: I give her one or two rose ceremonies before her name is not called.
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Lauren "LB"
Age: 23
Occupation: Fashion Buyer
Hometown: Stillwater, OK
Height: 5’5"
Impression: My obvious first impression is that she is trying to become the new LC from the OC. You remember LC, right? Here we have her long lost twin - LC the Fashion Buyer that wasn't blonde so she was shipped to OOOOOklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plain... Jokes. But sort of serious. I actually have a good feel about Miss LC here. She has one of those short bios, which means they are saving the good stuff for when she makes it to the finals.
Prediction: I think she will be heading to the top 3. Mark. My. Words.
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Lauren B.
Age: 25
Occupation: Flight Attendant
Hometown: Marina Del Rey, CA
Height: 5’7"
Impression: Her guilty pleasure is brunch with mimosas - so I fell like she would get along with my baseball girls really well. We were all about the brunch. Except I always got just orange juice since I don't drink. She loves love. Marriage means the world to her. And she wants to shadow the first lady. Sounds like a girl that is all about her man. I think she will do well for herself as a wife someday.
Prediction: I am saying top 3 for Miss Lauren B.
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Lauren H.
Age: 25
Occupation: Kindergarten Teacher
Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI
Height: 5'5"
Impression: Lauren H. is all around very normal. I bet she is a fabulous Kindergarten teacher and the kids love her. She is all about those 90's tunes - which hello.... N*Sync and Spice Girls? Yeah. She is also someone that seems like they have a personality - she jokes on her application about a few things, not just trying to be the show offy one.
Prediction: I feel like Lauren R. could easily make it to the top 12 assuming Ben likes smart and funny girls.
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Lauren R.
Age: 26
Occupation: Math Teacher
Hometown: Houston, TX
Height: 5'5"
Impression: Basically I really like Lauren R. because she reminds me of myself and one of my girlfriends combined into one. She loves Harry Potter which is an obvious win. If someone doesn't like HP I don't really know how to trust them. She seems pretty quirky - so I overall think she could be a fun wildcard sort of like Kaitlyn was. However she is a cat person....
Prediction: Hopefully having two Laurens go far isn't an issue - because I think Lauren R. could make it to top 5. They shouldn't have picked so many girls with similar names.
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Leah
Age: 25
Occupation: Event Planner
Hometown: Denver, CO
Height: 5’5 3/4"
Impression: Very exact height. This is usually what short girls do to sound taller. I am sorry. You are just short. Ain't no thing wrong with that! Overall - this girl I like. Event planner - my profession - and wants to be a mermaid. She sounds pretty awesome to me! I am glad she made it on the show because when she was asked how she meets guys her answer was, "I don't!" So good for you Glen Coco, you go Glen Coco! Welcome to the opportunity to meet a man. Also - bucket list? Greece, meet the man of her dreams, fly on a helicopter. The Bachelor is the right place for those three items. Kill all the birds with one stone.
Prediction: I think she will go into the top 6. I like her. She seems very normal. And once again, the hometown location does her a favor.
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Maegan
Age: 30
Occupation: Cowgirl
Hometown: Weatherford, TX
Height: 5'4 3/4"
Impression: Very exact height, again. Two in a row! She seems a little much for our sweet Benny boy. She talks about chopping off snake's heads, grabbing the behinds of men she wants to meet, and trying to watch her mouth around someone she is interested in. I picture her being the wild card Kaitlyn of this season. Cowgirl with a cause. Ride on, sister!
Prediction: If Ben loved Kaitlyn - she might do real awesome. But my heart is telling me her's will be broken pretty early on in the season.
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Mandi
Age: 28
Occupation: Dentist
Hometown: Portland, OR
Height: 5’8”
Impression: She will be the blurred out buns of this season solely based on her response of what type of whether she prefers. She said, "Hot. I love being in a swimsuit." So if you ever want to find Mandi, she will be at the pool. Assuming she makes it that far into the season...
Prediction: Two episodes for this one, three max.
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Olivia
Age: 23
Occupation: News Anchor
Hometown: Austin, TX
Height: 5’8"
Impression: Pretty girl. Very detailed responses on her bio. I think she has her ish together - but I think the fact that she is a news anchor in a pretty decent market would make the relocation thing hard. I only say this because I have a friend in the news and she works way hard for her positions, and I think it would be hard for her to just pass up and relocate after she has gotten to where she is. Who knows, maybe Olivia isn't as into her job as she comes across.
Prediction: I say top 5.
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Rachel
Age: 23
Occupation: Unemployed
Hometown: Little Rock, AR
Height: 5’5”
Impression: Since when is unemployed an occupation? Super confused on that one. Overall Rachel is really cute and super not ambitious to me... She likes whatever is trending in music, if she could be any animal she would be Cookie Monster - note, a puppet... not an animal - because she loves cookies, and cute guys make her nervous. I am iffy on this one. But she is cute, so hey! She might be charming too.
Prediction: I think she is gone the first night.
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Samantha
Age: 26
Occupation: Attorney
Hometown: New Smyrna Beach, FL
Height: 5’4"
Impression: Based on looks along I wouldn't have guessed she is an attorney. But I also wouldn't have guessed Ali had a kickbutt job either. Samantha must be a smart woman - she graduated top 20% of her law school class. Which is super impressive in a large class, not so much in a small one... let's hope her book smarts translate to street smarts and personality. Otherwise it could be a long ride for this one.
Prediction: I am giving her until the 3rd or 4th episode.
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Shushanna
Age: 27
Occupation: Mathematician
Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah
Height: 5'2"
Impression: First things first - her name makes me think of Mulan for some reason. Anyone else? Just me? Okay... well one of my most favorite humans is a math wiz - that plus the fact that she lives in Utah, I like her. I don't know why I still cheer so much for Utah everything. Must be the Mormon in me. She says she is a country girl and can cook. Basically she seems very smart and normal. I don't know if Ben is smart? That is the only thing that makes me think there will not be a connection. Other than that she is normal enough to make it. She is also one of those on the show to believe in love people. So I commend her for that.
Prediction: I think she will make it at least to the top half.
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Tiara
Age: 26
Occupation: Chicken Enthusiast
Hometown: Redmond, WA
Height: 5'8"
Impression: She's all 'bout that chicken, 'bout that chicken. But seriously... Chicken enthusiast is her job. Which I didn't know that was a job? I can only imagine how many leftover eggs she has - assuming she raises chickens. My coworker has 12 chickens and has eggs coming out her ears. Also. She said chickens are her guiltiest pleasure. And also she can't live without her chickens. Chicken are cool, I get that. And they provide. But I never knew someone could love chickens so much?
Prediction: I think she is interesting, being all about chickens and all, and she is cute - so combine cute, with interesting, with a uniqueness that no one else has. I put her in the top ten for sure. Just as long as she can talk about more than chickens.
 So there you have it - my review of the ladies. After writing my thoughts and feels about all of them my brain is a little fried, which makes seeing how close my prediction were even a little bit more exciting. Do you have any favorites from the bunch? Who do you think will take home the man prize? Let's all get excited for ABC's The Bachelor which starts January 4th. Who are you cheering for?
All photos and bios compliments of ABC.com.

A Savior is Born

12.25.2015

On this Christmas Day. If you remember nothing else from the day, remember the feeling you felt when you thanked Jesus Christ for all He did. For me, for you, for all of us. Presents, gifts, treats, and all of the material things that come from Christmas set aside. Take time to thank Jesus Christ and remember why did is today. And why we celebrate. Unto all of us a Savior is born.



Happy Holidays

This year I had fun creating our Christmas card. We only sent out a handful and most of them went to family - especially since Adam has a HUGE family, they usually take up our card allotment. But I wanted to share it with all of you as well. A Christmas card and a 2014 Year in Review info graphic. My parents always included a little letter with their card telling everyone about our family and the year we had. An easy way to catch it all for anything not caught on social media. So I decided to put my own spin on it this year!
 
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Miller Family Christmas Card

Why We Need a Savior

12.24.2015

Every year The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does a Christmas campaign. This year the whole focus was around "A Savior is Born". Sometimes there is so much focus around the gifts and the goodies of the season, but there is so much more than that. Christmas is about our Savior and all He did for us. And sometimes that is easy to forget - with all the shine and sparkle around us. It is easy to forget Him and forget all He did for us. So this year, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints decided to remind us all - believers and non believers - as to why we need a Savior.


I know, with my whole heart, that He lived. That He lived and died for me and for you and for all of us. He paid the ultimate price so that we, as brother and sisters, could live again with our Father in heaven. And I am forever grateful for what our Savior did. That I can get through the pain, that I can push past my trails, and there is so much hope on the other side of every mountain I have to climb. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. And like I said, sometimes it is easy to forget... but as we are entering Christmas week we cannot forget. Let us try to emulate Him and all He did for us. Let us be charitable. Let us be giving. Let us be compassionate. And let us praise our Savior. Merry Christmas. And thank you to a loving brother, Jesus Christ.

Happy Holidays

12.23.2015

The other night as I was opening a few Christmas cards and addressing a few of our final ones to send out I was overcome with happiness. Christmas is not only a very special holiday to celebrate the birth of Christ, but it is a very special holiday to connect with loved ones and old friends. Christmas cards have become one of my favorite traditions of Christmas. I love sending them out to all our friends but I love receiving them even more. I love opening the letters to see cute faces looking back at me with family updates. In a time of technology and constant updates, people use Christmas cards to share the highlights of their year. And they share it with those that are important to them. At our house we hang them all on a wire rack next to the front entry closet and leave them there all year - adding birthday cards, graduations and wedding announcements, and whatever else shows up in our mailbox from friends and family. And ever since we received our first card this year, I have loved adding each new card as it shows up in our mailbox. So I just want to say HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and yours and share our Christmas card with you.





Enjoy a little digital version of our cards because I am the worst at collecting addresses and getting cards out in a timely manner. I hope you all are having the best holiday break and enjoying time with your loved ones. Lots of love and appreciation from our little home to you. While the merry bells keep bringing Happy Holidays to you!

Keeping Your New Year's Resolution

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2015 is creeping up faster than you could have imagined. And what is one thing we all do with the new year? Make resolutions. Admit it! You make resolutions. Sometimes you declare them and something you make them in your mind. But either way, we all look at a new year as a new start. We all say things like "this year I am going to...." and then we fill in the blank with whatever we hope for our new year. But are you keeping your New Year's Resolution? Are you evening remember your New Year's Resolution? There is a key to keeping those resolutions. And it isn't the quality of the goal - it is how we keep it on our mind and how we keep it relevant. Here are a few guidelines I have come up with to keep my resolution.

Plan Ahead. We all know the things we have been wanting all year. When making a resolution, start planning based on the feelings throughout the year. If you don't spend time thinking about it, you goal will be based off of the last few days. Which usually results in a weight goal since you probably ate your weight in Christmas treats. Am I right? Take time to make sure it is a goal you will still want in 6 months and not just until the sugar coma wears off.

Make it something you really want. Speaking of something you want... make sure it isn't just something you want but you wanted. What sort of life changes have been on your mind? Weight? Career? Relationship? Make sure it is not only something you will want in 6 months, but something you have wanted in previous months. Otherwise the novelty of it all wears off.

Limit your list. Think about what you already have on your plate. Are you swamped at work? Do you volunteer more than a normal human? Or are you just enjoying life day by day? Your resolution should never feel like a burden. Make sure you only add as many resolutions as you know you can control. I usually stick to one or two. That way my year is focused around that.

Make a plan. Once you have an idea of what you want to do, sit down and make a plan. A feasible, attainable plan. Think about how you will accomplish your goal.

Write it down. Write it all down. Write down the resolution, the killer plan you just made, and any specific dates, numbers, and anything else you will want to be able to track. Once it is written, it is in the forefront of your mind. It doesn't got lost in the background like, "Oh yeah... that was my resolution."

Display it somewhere. Don't hide it! If you take the time to plan it and write it, you might as well leave it out as a constant reminder. I am a firm believer in out of sight, out of mind. So leave it in sight, and in your mind.

Talk About It. Tell someone. Your spouse, your bestie, your hair stylist, your mom. Tell anyone that can ask you about it later and follow up with you. If they know that is your goal and you bring it to them, they wont be afraid to check in. And don't be afraid to talk about it on the day to day. The more you mention the more confidence you will have in your ability to accomplish.

Track Your Progress. Make sure you know how you are doing. This all comes back to being specific in your goal - which if you haven't heard of a SMART goal, you might want to check it out. If you are specific with things you want to change in your life, you can track it closer. Want to limit time on social media? How many minutes are you going to cut out? Want to stop being so snacky? What days are you going to eliminate the treats? Then track those numbers.

Stick to It. You didn't just come up with your resolution on a whim, you came up with it because it is something you truly want to accomplish! That is saying something. Don't give up just because of some persuading or downfalls. Stick to the plan. It takes time! Studies show most habits take 21 days to stick.

Keep Trying. Even if you stick to it, you are going to have your down days. You are changing habits here, people! Don't be hard on yourself when you mess up. Get up, dust it off, try again. If it is important to you, make it important! Don't just say "someday". Keep trying. Keep chugging. You got this!

So let's do this! What are your resolutions for 2015? Think about it. Plan it out. And let's make 2015 our year. Accomplish it all!

Deal Alert: Aro & Co Ruffle Top

12.16.2015

I am always ready to tell you about a good deal. Especially when it is on an item that I am absolutely loving. And today's deal is not only a top I love, but a deal site I love, combined with a boutique I love. So a triple love and one dang good deal. My girlfriend's boutique Aro & Co - you might remember her shop name from the bow top I wore last year - can be caught on the deal sites every once and awhile, more often than not on Eleventh Avenue and today their Ryan Ruffle Tops are list at 59% off! I was lucky enough to snag one from her shop to get you all pumped for the Eleventh Avenue deal. So without further ado - my favorite ruffle top.

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ruffle top

Top: Aro & Co c/o
Leggings: Gap (similar)
Booties: Francescas (similar/similar/similar)
Earrings: Aro & Co
Necklace: Mac & Mia

Karissa knew I would love this ruffle top when she originally went buying for new clothing. She sent me over a few options to share with my readers and I, of course, picked this ruffle top. Her response to me, "I thought you would pick that one." She clearly gets my style - which made me feel awesome, because that means I have a very clear wardrobe niche that I share with my readers. So let's talk about this outfit. The ruffle top is perfect for an all day outfit - and a packed day. I wore this on Saturday and once they day started, it didn't stop. Started with a conference call for work, straight into a news interview, then out to the front of our house to take the lovely photos you see above in the rain - whoops, after that I ran a few errands with my girlfriend Dani, then straight home to drop things off and go into work for an event, from there it was off to Miss Meridian to drop off a keyboard. After that it was dinner, then back out to Miss Meridian for the program where I was not only watching and taking notes, but running the music, and after all that it was out for a late night date with Adam. And all of that was done in this outfit.

To make the outfit something that could go with any activity I paired it with my simple black leggings and a pair of black booties that can be used for dressing up or dressing down. That is my favorite part about the all black leggings and booties - they translate to whatever activity you are doing. I threw on my classic gold necklace that has been worn everyday since I picked it up at the Queen Bee Market. To take my outfit from morning to night I just upped my makeup game. In the morning it was regular makeup and a colored gloss. In the evening I added lipstick, false eyelashes, and a little more attention to my hair to polish it off for the evening. And there you have it - the outfit and the top that can get you everywhere. What do you think of the Ryan Ruffle Top? What events would you wear it to?
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