Archives for January 2017

Casual Date Night Outfit X 3 Encouragements For Introverts

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Let’s talk being an introvert. As a longtime classic introvert, let me just say, we are an underestimated branch of personalty. We may be quiet, and unassuming, but, we are powerhouses. We’re like sodas – all of that hidden potential is right there waiting to burst forth.. you just have to give us a little shake.

Bad analogy? I’m rolling with it!

Being introverted doesn’t mean that we are boring, that we are disinterested, or that we’re aloof. We’re just quiet, and acquire energy from alone time. Extroverted introversion is a real thing too, ya’ll. You can be a classic introvert in your general disposition, but be more extroverted when you’re with those you are comfortable with. Especially in small numbers.

Read on for some tidbits of advice from one introvert to another! Plus a little style inspiration for your next date night.

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There is a misconception that introverts are not good at socializing with others and that they don’t like people. That could not be further from the truth. Unlike extroverts, who thrive on interactions with people, we introverts don’t derive our energy from others. We find our inspiration and energy from within ourselves, and some much needed time alone.

Embrace The Exhaustion //
Listen, people drain the life right out you if you’re an introvert. It’s not a matter of not caring about people, or disliking them – we just get our energy from being alone. We’re like a rechargeable battery. We simply need to be alone in a quiet space to recharge ourselves.

Don’t fight who you are to please other people or to live up to pressures that you put on yourself. Embrace the exhaustion and take the time you need for yourself. There is no shame in it! Don’t push yourself to be more energetic or lively, or to keep going when you start to feel burned out. Be quiet when need to be, bow out gracefully when you’ve had your fill of fun with friends, flop on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and ignore the world for an hour. Do whatever recharges your introverted battery!

And don’t let those extroverts shame you either. We love them [ I’m marrying one! ] but they just don’t get it. Go recharge yourself girl!

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Do Try Something New //
Since we introverts tend to be homebodies [ remember that socializing is exhausting thing? ] we sometimes forget to take the opportunity to try something new. Stepping out of our comfort zone is contrary to our disposition! Trying something new is a wonderful thing for introverts. It helps us break the habit of willingly being in a rut. We see and hear so much as introverts, being listeners by nature. Finding new ways to foster our minds and creativity keeps our internal battery charged and can even bring out some extroverted moments.

The most important thing: Do something that brings you joy. Try watercolor painting or play around in the kitchen with a recipe you’ve been dying to try. Knit a sweater! Hey, I didn’t say you had to leave your house.. just try something new 😉

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Laughter Is Good For The Soul //
Melancholy is the hallmark of introverts. It’s not that we’re unhappy, we’re just.. brooding. This isn’t a fault! Some of our best creative moments come from our wistful melancholia. It is important though to take time to open a window in that melancholia and find release in laughter.

Our brooding nature isn’t a bad thing, but, there are pros and cons to any aspect of a personalty. It is the cons that force us to grow in life, and in that they are a good thing! Growth is never negative. Since we are melancholy we can find ourselves feeling downright depressed sometimes. Laughter is a beautiful counter balance to this, and though it is good for everyone to laugh with abandon, it is most especially a treasure for introverts.

So laugh often! Laugh with your love, laugh with a good friend, laugh alone dancing around in your kitchen to your favorite song!

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Outfit Details //
Jumper: T.J. Maxx
Jacket: BB Dakota
Heels: Cynthia Rowley
Necklace: Local Boutique
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Remember, my sweet introverted friends, you are created so beautifully and uniquely by God. It is no mistake that you are introverted! Embrace yourself – exactly the way that you are. Love your strengths. Grow through your weaknesses. Never be ashamed of the person that God created you to be.



What is your biggest struggle as an introvert? How do you recharge your introvert battery? What is your favorite way to relax and laugh?

With love,

How To Dress A Man – 4 Ways To Help Your Guy Dress Better

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Guys are notorious for dressing more casually than we would like. Granted, there are times when Saturday afternoon casual is totally fine. We get yoga pants, they get sweats. Sometimes guys need a little encouragement to step up their fashion game. So today I am sharing 4 Ways To Help Your Guy Dress Better.

When I first met Austin his style was.. painfully atrocious. I love you honey. In the three years that we have known each other his style has grown leaps and bounds! I happily admit that I’ve had a hand in his wardrobe improvements. Helping your husband or boyfriend dress better is easier than you think. With a little support and encouragement you can help your guy reach his full style potential! Read on for four easy ways to help your guy dress better + a spectacular giveaway to get his wardrobe headed in the right direction!

By the way – Say hello to Mr. A. This stud of a man is making his first official appearance on the blog today. I have to say, his modeling skills aren’t half bad 😉

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Words Of Encouragement Will Get You Far //
Guys love it when we think they look good, and they love it when we tell them so. Give your guy a little ego boost and compliment him when he looks dapper. Encouraging an attractive and positive outfit choice is always a better path to take than complaining about the shirt, jeans, or jacket that we don’t like.
Boost his ego. He’ll naturally gravitate more toward the articles of clothing that illicit a positive reaction from you.
Understand What Makes Him Comfortable //
A sharp button down and a pair of slacks is a swoon worthy ensemble – Every girl’s crazy about a sharp dressed man. Your guy can’t walk around like that all of the time though. Guys want to be comfortable. Period. End of story. Ask your guy why those jeans are his favorite. Why that shirt is his go-to. Seek to understand what makes him comfortable and encourage him to wear more refined peices that fit the comfort bill.
Austin has rather large arms and shoulders, so he doesn’t feel comfortable wearing more slim fitted shirts like polos. That doesn’t mean that he has to wear a ratty, stretched out t-shirt. Finding a happy medium with a comfort fit knit tee, sweater, or button down that gives him room to move, but also looks zipped up, is the perfect solution!
Remember, you’re not out to change your guy.. just nudge him in a more mutually satisfying, stylish direction. Understand what makes him comfortable and help him find pieces that make the cut.
 
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Surprise Him With Stylish Staples //
Look, guys hate shopping. It’s downright painful for them. Surprise him with a staple piece – casual button down, a trendy jacket, a classic mens watch. Picking up a staple piece like a unique watch or a snazzy belt as a gift will help build up his debonair wardrobe. He’ll appreciate what you give him because it’s a gift and he’ll love that you think he looks like a stud in his new duds.

Austin is wearing a really unique zebrawood watch that I picked up for him as a staple accessory. He loves it. I love it. We both win! I got this watch from Jord and he thinks it’s really cool. It’s easy for him to wear with a casual outfit or dress up for a date night with me – like you see here. Start with a piece like this then ease him into tees, jeans, and jackets!

Out With The Old, Replace with The New //
As you bring in new clothing pieces for your guy remove the more worn, dated, or downright unflattering pieces. You’re not just purging his closest of the things that you hate – You’re bringing in newer, fresher replacements!

A word of caution: don’t do this under his nose. Show him the new piece that you picked up for him to wear and tell him what it replaces. Be excited about it! Chances are he’ll be excited too. Remember, he wants to know that you think he looks good! If you replace an old piece with a new gifted piece he’ll feel thought of and be eager to look dashing for you.

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Now we all know that this doesn’t work for every guy, and we know that some guys are masters of fashion, but, for all of those in-between men these are four surefire ways to encourage them to dress better!

Okay girls [ and guys ], I have teamed up with Jord to bring you this awesome exclusive giveaway! Nothing spammy, I promise. Jord is a company that I personally love. I have a couple of their women’s watches which are so pretty! There are two prizes up for grabs in this giveaway. Follow the link below to enter for a chance to win $100 or $25 toward your own Jord Watch or a men’s watch for your guy! It only takes a minute to enter.

>>  ENTER GIVEAWAY <<

How do you help your guy dress better? What is your favorite style to see on your boyfriend or husband? Do you ever surprise your guy with stylish staples? What is your biggest style pet peeve that your guy is guilty of?

With love,

Luxury Wooden Watch

Casual Weekender Outfit X Life Update

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Just casually lookin’ like a bumble bee in this comfy weekender outfit. Austin and I love wandering around downtown on the weekends – popping into shops to browse around, and sipping on tea floats from a local market. It is our time to just be together and forget about the work week. Don’t you love those days!?

Tea floats are outrageously good by the way. If you ever have the opportunity to try one.. DO IT. They are made by combining sweet tea with frozen sorbet of varying flavors – lemon is my favorite. The sorbet is dropped in just like ice cream in a ice cream float. It’s like sippin’ on heaven.

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I have to admit, this past weekend was a dream. Austin and I went over to “our” new condo. Technically, I won’t live there for another year – when we’re married. That won’t stop me from decorating the mess out of that place! We measured the space for living room furniture and tossed around some decor ideas. Or maybe I just bombarded Austin with pinterest inspiration. I can’t really say 😉
I honestly still can’t believe that we’re engaged. I haven’t shared much about it, but, I am becoming increasingly excited as the weeks tick by. I keep thinking “I get to marry this man!!”.
I think that with double exclamation point level excitement..
 
Being able to spend these days with my guy is an absolute treasure. I have walked thorough the forrest of singleness, wandering sometimes in fear and tears, and often in loneliness. Though my God was never far from me. And now He has placed this man in my path for the rest of my life. I get to spend my days sipping tea floats and growing in love with a precious man. These days are sweet, friends. So sweet.
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Outfit Details //
Dress: Loft
Scarf: Gift
Boots: Fergie
Bag: Local Boutique
Keychain: Kendra Beshk
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If you are still walking through the forrest of singleness, take heart! It is a painful journey at times, and so often a lonely one. Our hearts are meant to pair up. Seek God in your singleness and live fully! Do the things that bring you joy, take a risk, cry when it hurts, and prepare. Prepare your heart for the day when that man walks across your path by finding contentment where you are right now and pursuing the life that God knit you so uniquely for. You are whole without your future husband. Life will just be all the sweeter with him.

Have you tried a tea float? Any exciting new happenings in your life? Are you still weathering the journey of singleness? Share, share, share in the comments! 

With so much love,

[ Gluten Free ] Espresso Infused Dark Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

These dipped Espresso Infused Dark Chocolate Dipped Pretzels are the perfect snack for those times when you need a treat that is not too sweet, and a little salty. The rich dark chocolate and warm espresso come together with the salty pretzels in one decadent crispy bite. You won’t be able to resist!
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I am back at it with the sweets you guys. I absolutely love dark chocolate [ in case you didn’t notice from every chocolate recipe on TNL ]. I eat at least a square of true dark chocolate a day. I like to believe that the antioxidants outweigh the fact that it’s not a vegetable. Eat all the antioxidant rich chocolate!
[ Gluten Free ] Espresso Infused Dark Chocolate Dipped Pretzels
Prep Time: 5 min.  |  Dip Time: 10 min.  |  Set Time: 15 -20 min.  | Yields: 40 pretzels
Ingredients //
1 bag Glutino Gluten Free Pretzels Twists or pretzels of choice
2 tsp. instant espresso powder
1 bag Ghirardelli 60% Dark Chocolate baking chips [ 10 oz ]
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Instructions //
Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
Step 1. In a double boiler, warm chocolate until melted – about 5 minutes. Add in instant espresso powder, stirring until fully infused into chocolate.
Tip: To make your own double boiler, place a metal or heat proof glass bowl over a small pot filled with one inch of simmering water. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl.
Step 2. Dip pretzels completely into melted chocolate – working in batches. Using a fork, or skewer, remove pretzels one at a time – shaking off excess chocolate – and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
Step 3. Allow pretzels to set at room temperature for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!
Tip: Sprinkle pretzels with sea salt or a touch of espresso powder – before the chocolate sets – to punch the flavor up more!
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Dive into the rich, indulgence of these salty Espresso Infused Dark Chocolate Dipped Pretzels and munch your cares away. Worst fitness advice ever. This recipe is perhaps too easy. The easier the recipe the more likely I am to make it and then eat it all!

These pretzels are outrageously yummy! Every bite delivers full, rich flavor and salty sweetness. And with only three ingredients they are a snap to whip up!


Are you a milk chocolate or dark chocolate lover? Have you tried espresso infused chocolate dipped pretzels? What is your favorite salty & sweet snack?


With love,

My Instagram Game Is Strong

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