Foodie Finds

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Food.  
I'm obsessed.

I also suffer from Pinterest addiction where I constantly look up new recipes...

Baked Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

Creamy Enchilada Pasta Casserole

chili frito casserole

baked pesto chicken--3 ingredients


And these are just a few of the recipes that I want to try...

yum.......


Calling All Purse Fanatics!

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Do you love purses, shoes, jewelry?  Then you need to check me out over on the Mississippi Women Blogger website today.  I'm showing you how to find just what you're looking for- cheaper!



Don't wait.. Run over there now.  And if you are a Mississippi woman who blogs, then join us!  We would love to have you aboard!  Also, if you know of someone who blogs from Mississippi, send her our way too! 

Everyone have a beautiful day! 


P.S.- While you're out reading blogs, check out my future sister-in-law's newest post.  She shares her career situation! :) Great job, Bethany!


A baby work-out!

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I can't believe we are on the verge of celebrating Jenna's third birthday.





Where does the time go?


The Girl Behind the Blog. [Vlog]

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Well, I can't believe I'm doing this again, BUT, I vlogged.

I'm linked up with Ashley from Written on Her Heart for The Girl Behind the Blog: Encouragement.


I should have worn make-up... and dried my hair.
Are we still friends?



WOHH


Protect Yourself

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A couple weeks ago I was contacted by a spa called Skana in Upstate NY.  They were on a mission to reach out to some bloggers and spread some skin care knowledge. 

 One of the most recent discussions has been the dangerous effects the sun has on our skin. Most people understand that the sun can cause damage, but aren't aware of the chemicals in sunscreen's that might be harming your skin too.
The ladies at the Skana Spa have came up with an all-natural sunscreen that I'd love to pass on to you ladies. 

 Make Your Own Zinc Oxide-Free Sunscreen

EWG.org reports that oxybenzone is the most harmful chemical in U.S. sunscreen. The substance is found in 80 percent of sunblock products, and the website suggests that buyers avoid sunscreens that contain oxybenzone. The chemical gets into the skin's pores, which can cause an allergic reaction and interrupt hormone levels and production. (Calafat 2008, Rodriguez 2006, Krause 2012).
 

The Organic Authority website also reports that natural oils can provide protection from the sun without the harsh chemicals found in most store-bought sunscreens. Oils that can shield you from the sun's damaging rays include red raspberry seed oil, which has an SPF between 28 and 50, carrot seed oil, with an SPF of 38-40, wheat germ oil, which provides your skin with SPF 20 sun protection, soybean oil, which naturally has SPF 10, naturally occurring SPF 6 in macadamia oil and jojoba oil, with an SPF of 4. Oils like coconut, olive, sesame and hempseed, along with shea butter, also offer low SPF protection, but they are ideal ingredients for homemade sunscreen, since they moisturize the skin and have a pleasant scent.

Here's an all-natural recipe for sunscreen from the experts at Skana spa of the New York resort Turning Stone. It will give your skin a healthy glow while providing you with safe sun protection.

 
Here's what you'll need

1 ounce of red raspberry seed oil
1 ounce of coconut oil

1 ounce of beeswax
5 to 10 drops of your favorite essential oil (this step is optional)

 

Put all the contents in a glass bowl that has been positioned atop a pan of boiling water. Add essential oils like lavender, which also serves as a natural and fragrant insect repellant if you prefer a floral scent, or make the sunscreen with drops of bergamot or lemon oil for a fresh, summery fragrance. Allow all the ingredients to melt together. Let the mixture cool, then store it in the fridge or in a cool, dry place to keep it from melting.

This all-natural recipe doesn't have any harmful chemicals in it, and if you make a batch of the sunscreen without essential oil, it's safe to use on babies or children with sensitive skin. The sunscreen is also waterproof, so it's perfect for a day at the beach. Try it to today for completely safe and effective protection from the sun.

Sources:
http://www.ewg.org/2013sunscreen/the-trouble-with-sunscreen-chemicals

http://www.organicauthority.com/delicious-beauty/diy-homemade-natural-and-safe-sunscreen.html

In today's times, we all have to be extra careful about how we take care of our skin.  I hope this helps someone!  Please let me know!  And thank you to the ladies at Skana for the hard work!

80..

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80 days from today...

I will wake up with butterflies in my stomach...

I will giggle with my best friends...

I will watch my mom dry tears in her eyes...

I will take lots of pictures to last a lifetime..

I will send my last love note to my Brian as his fiance...

I will admire all the hard work that has been put into the day's events..

I will see loved ones that I don't normally get to spend time with...

I will wear a beautiful gown..

I will look my best....

I will watch as Brian's reaction when he sees me for the first time...

I will walk down the isle on my precious daddy's arm...

I will be given away to the man of my dreams...

I will become his wife...

And all my dreams will have just came true.

80 Days Until I'm Mrs. White. :)


This Weekend I....

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I had such a fabulous weekend!  I didn't really "DO" anything, but for me those are the best kind of weekends.  
Friday night after work, I went home and relaxed with Brian until we had a visitor.  Lindsey stopped by our house and brought some early wedding gifts with her.  She really is the sweetest and I'm so thankful for her in my life.  She has been such a blessing during my wedding planning.  She has shown me what being a true friend is and I will forever be grateful for all the moments she has screamed with excitement with me or allowed me to cry or vent over things.  Thank you will never be enough.  Thank you, Lindsey.  You're my little sister and I will always cherish you!
Anyway, Lindsey stayed at the house awhile and we hung out and then had dinner.  It was a blast!  We missed you Ben! :)
Saturday, I did something I hardly ever do- I slept in.. like late.  Like 11:00 almost.  I know, I feel lazy even typing this, ha!  But after waking up, I got my things together and went to Wal-mart to get some groceries and other various household things.  
Later on, I cooked Salisbury steak from scratch.  They turned out good to me! :)  I might show the recipe I used if anyone is interested.
Saturday night, Brian and I took our usual weekend date to Lowe's.  I picked up some spray paint for a wedding project and we went home and crashed.  
Sunday was a big craft day for me.  It all started with a door hanger for my mom's house. 
I was pretty excited how it turned out, and mom was thrilled to see it all done! 
After that, Brian and I picked up this cutie...
...and went to eat, then to Nana's for some pool time, and then out to dinner again!  
Oh, and I also worked on a wedding craft, but I'll be showing that to ya'll on Friday, so come back! :) I'm very excited for how it came out! :)
All in all, it was a fun weekend.  I love having lazy times and getting some crafts done.  And seeing my family, friends, and Brian just makes my heart melt.  I love my life.  God blesses me more each and every day. :)
What did you do this weekend?

PuppyDay!

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This little cutie turned six today...


I'm so glad he feels better than he did a month ago.  Mama's boy is better than ever!


Sunday Social

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Sunday Social
1. What was your favorite TV show as a kid?
Saved By The Bell, Hey Dude!, and Unsolved Mysteries (even though it terrified me!)  Yes, I was a strange kid.  I didn't watch cartoons at all. :)

2. What is your current favorite TV show?
Pretty Little Liars, Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, and I'm starting to come around to most of B's guy shows.. :)
Also, I'm big on NCIS, Law & Order, and Criminal Minds. :)

3. Which reality show would you NEVER do?
Any of them.  I love to guilty pleasure watch, but would never do it myself.

4. Which reality show would you LOVE to do?
Nada. haha.

5. What is the TV personality/character that you feel is most like you?
I don't think I watch anything that's "like me"....hmmm.

6. Which TV character would you want to date?
Well since my fave is PLL... and they are all WAY younger than me.. I"m going to skip hahahhaa.




Minted. {Review}

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If you are like myself and planning a wedding, then I'm sure you have ran across the name Minted. The company has options for everyone.  They offer products from occasions such as parties, weddings, holidays, and baby showers.

Since I am in the process of planning my upcoming wedding, I've been very interested in their assortment of wedding paper goods.  They have a super cute collection of wedding invitations.

A few of my favorites:
  Hand Delivered Wedding Invitations
Botanical Wreath Wedding Invitations
Watercolor Love Wedding Invitation Minibook™ Cards

Also, a great feature of Minted is that they offer a place to create your own inspiration boards.

Every bride-to-be can agree on one things- weddings can be very stressful and overwhelming.  By allowing Minted to take some of that stress off of you, is wonderful.  Take a few moments and look around.   I know you are sure to find a style that fits you for your big day!




Psoriasis

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Today I'm opening up and letting you in on my battle.  I have psoriasis.  No, that's not a BAD disease.  It's an auto-immune disease that occurs on the skin.  In other words, the skin reproduces itself too quickly. A recent study shows that 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis.

There are five different types of psoriasis, but the most common type is plaque psoriasis.  This is characterized with red bumps.  It can be very itchy and is most commonly found on the scalp, knees, elbows, and lower back.

Personally, mine is on both elbows, and in the back of my scalp.  When I was younger I used to wonder what was "wrong" with me and why my scalp was always so itchy.  Once my parents' took me to the doctor, we found out exactly what the problem was with me.

I'm 29 and I still deal with this in my life.  I had to learn to not be so "self-conscious" about it and go on with my life.  It really boils down to the fact that people who do not understand psoriasis, really are the ones ones "freaked out."

Yes, I do tend to get a little more nervous about my elbows in the summertime when my sleeves are short and the elbows are exposed, but at the same time the weather naturally makes the summer a better time for me.  It is worst when the season changes and the air gets cold.

I've went through several tries to "get rid of it" but unfortunately psoriasis doesn't have a cure. However, there are several shampoos, creams, etc. you can try to help your situation.

I think it is different for every person, and I'm certainly not the worst case there is out there.  I just felt like I wanted to touch base and spread a little word out there about psoriasis.   For anyone interested, here is a link to a website that I keep up to date on often.  

Reaching Out..

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If you've followed Keeping Up With Kayla for any length of time, then you know I recently jumped on board the wagon of getting Mississippi Women Bloggers Network up and going.   I wrote a post promoting it back a few months ago, but today I want to give another shout-out to all my fellow Mississippi women.

We want YOU involved.  If you live in Mississippi and blog then please come on over to our website and join.  It's Free!!! We have had a great turn-out so far, but want to be sure that we reach out to as many Mississippi women bloggers as we can.  If you know someone who hasn't heard of this webite yet, but would be a fit, please send them our way. 


Mississippi Women Bloggers

Currently we work off this schedule:
Sunday: Sunday Dose of Hospitality link-up
Monday- Blogger of the Month guest posts.
Tuesday- Tech Tuesday
Wednesday- Wordless Wednesday
Thursday- Guest Post Submissions
Friday- Foodie Friday

These are fun, interactive, posts that can lead you some new blogs to read and find new friends.  We are having a great time with MSWB so far and are looking forward to the next level of things to come.  Starting in August, there will be some additional fun things coming your way so be sure and stay tuned for that. 

Please, come on over to Mississippi Women Bloggers and check us out!  We would love to hear from you!  All suggestions are welcome! 



Cheesy Ranch Burgers

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Today I'm going to change things up a bit and show off one of my favorite recipes to make!  I am definitely an "All-American" girl and cheeseburgers have always been a must on my list.  This past Spring, Brian and I were discussing how we could make our hamburgers have that extra punch of flavor.  I blame it on us watching too much Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives! :) 

After we made this burger the first time, we knew it was a hit with us.  I even passed along the information to my parents' and before long they too were making our burgers.  So today I want to pass along the simple, but amazing, Cheesy Ranch Burger recipe.  

INGREDIENTS:
-Ground beef.  You can use as much as needed, based on however many people you are feeding, but keep in mind that once mixed with the other ingredients, you will not "need" as much as you think.
-1 packet of dry ranch dressing mix.
-1 3oz. bag of bacon bits (or you can really go all out and fry your own and crumble!)
-shredded cheese, to taste.  We love cheese, so therefore we use a lot.
-Italian bread crumbs.
-Dale's seasoning
-Velveeta cheese slices
-Hamburger buns

Optional ingredients: Whatever you like to top your burger! :)

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Remove ground beef and place in a large bowl, breaking apart the meat so you can mix it well. 
2. Mix in the dry ranch dressing mix, the shredded cheese, bacon bits, and Italian breadcrumbs.  I seriously never measure when I cook, so just use your own judgement! :) 
This is my bowl, with all the ingredients thrown in! 

3. Mix the entire bowl together and pat out hamburger patties as big, or small, as you like!
4. Once you have the patties made, I then lightly dusted the patties with another handful of Italian breadcrumbs.
5.Pour Dale's all over your patties and let them sit and soak for a few minutes.  I wouldn't leave them in the Dale's too long though.  By doing so, the patties can begin to fall apart easier and be a mess when grilling.
6. While patties are soaking, take this time to toast your buns.  I simply melt butter, brush on the buns, and toast on both sides.  This truly makes a huge difference in the taste of your burger I believe. 

7.  Set aside buns.  Place patties on grill (or griddle!) and cook throughout. 
8.  Just as the patties are almost done, I laid a slice of cheese on each to let the ooey gooey goodness melt in just right!
9. Enjoy!

Now, if we just figure out how to make a pretzel bun...


Let me know if you try this, or have another great burger recipe you love! 

Wedding Paper Divas [Review]

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Thank you to everyone who has commented on how much you like our Save the Dates.

But the real credit needs to be given to Wedding Paper Divas and their wonderful team that works for them.  I was contacted back a few months about about working with the company to help promote their website for any other brides to be out there.  I was more than willing to take part in anything they wanted to do.

The employee I spoke with allowed me to make a virtual Save the Date and show off my handsome man to you ladies, and whoever else may run across this blog of mine.

The hardest part of doing this was picking which design I wanted to use for our announcement.

Wedding Paper Divas has so many wonderful options to choose from that there is literally something out there for everyone!

Some of favorite designs on the website included:
Save the Date Magnets We the Wed - Front : White

Save the Date Magnets Fairytale Seal - Front : Dark Gray

Save the Date Magnets Chalkboard Special - Front : Slate
But I ultimately decided on ours, obviously.  I love the simple look of it, and adore the monogram combination at the top.  It really was my favorite from the beginning of "picking" through the website.
Wedding Paper Divas is not only just Save the Dates though.  They also have a wonderful selection of other wedding-related paper goods such as wedding invitations, various bridal shower invitations, and thank you cards. Wedding Paper Divas really is a one-stop shop for your wedding needs.  They have many more things on their website you really should check out!  I promise you will not be disappointed. 
And just for us blog-lovers, there is also a blog that Wedding Paper Divas showcases some of their fabulous inspiration boards and themes.  As a bride-to-be, this has been very helpful for me in "seeing" my theme in others weddings.  
Wedding Paper Divas is a hit.  Don't miss out on what might be the best "wedding stop" of your engagement!

To Do Before I Do.

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Well, as I mentioned in an earlier post, my wedding is in now under the 100 day mark.  With that being said, I have had to kick my butt in high gear getting ready to walk down that isle at the wedding of my dreams.  Unfortunately, these things cannot be just threw together overnight.  Weddings take LOTS of planning, and more often than not, come with a nice side dish of stress.

This is where I'm at right now and I feel like I will be until it's all over.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I love my future husband, and I love my wedding theme/plans/etc., but I'm really looking forward to being an old married woman who helps the next bride-to-be. :)

So, what's been up with the wedding lately?  Well, I'm glad you asked!  This week I have got some things crossed off my list that I had hoped to do.
1. Ordered invitations!
2. Bought supplies for my favors!
3. Bought server set.
4. Ordered bridesmaid jewelry.
5. Started thank-you notes for the gifts we have already received!

I am getting so pumped to start really crossing things off that I've had on "the list" for months.  This coming weekend I think I'll go shopping for some supplies that I'm going to need for a few wedding crafts.  And then the next weekend I'm hoping to get some of those in the works with the help of one of the bridesmaids who offered her services, haha.  :)

I know I said this stuff is stressful, but it's fun too.  I'm making memories during this process and on my wedding day I can stand a little taller knowing I did this myself!  A little pat on my back! :)

Stay tuned for more wedding details coming Friday!

&& just to keep myself on the right track,  I'm going to post my updated to do list.  However, this is constantly changing because I keep adding things to it.  HA!

Wedding Checklist:

1.   Set a date
2.   Booked a venueRehearsalCeremonyReception
3.   Honeymoon
4.   Wedding gownshoes, jewelry, garter
5.   Create wedding website ((You can find it here))
6.   Book photographer
7.   Book officiant (B's dad!)
8.   Ask Wedding Party- Bridesmaids/Groomsmen
9.   Book make-up & hair.
10. Cakes- Bride & Groom
11. Wedding bands- Bride & Groom
12. Burlap banner (Tutorial can be found here!)
13. Book videographer
14. Wedding favors
15. Book DJ
16. Guest Book
17. Something old, blueborrowed, new
18. Wedding coordinator
19. Exit outfit.
20. Caterer
21. Music- Pre-ceremony, Ceremony, Reception
22. Engagement pictures (May 7!)
23. Guest List
24. Order Invitations.
25. Florist
26. Wedding Party gifts- Bridesmaid/Groomsmen/Flower Girl/Ring Bearers/Ushers
27. Thank-you notes
28. Cake/knife server
29. Cake stand (Tree stump)
30. Bible (with new name!)
31. Chalkboard signs
32. "Day of" kit
33. Rehearsal Dress/Shoes/Jewelry
34. Wedding Map (for out of town guests)
35. Order personalized dress hanger
36. Marriage license/Blood test
37. Groom wedding gift
38. Day of agenda/contact list
39. Server list
40. Programs
41. Order of bridal party
42. Engagement announcement in newspaper
43. Belmont Hotel?
44. Bridesmaids dress(order by June 1)/shoes/jewelry
45. Groomsmen- tuxedo/shoes(Order by Aug. 1)
46. Flower Girl dress/shoes/hair accesory
47. Ring Bearers outfits/shoes
48. Ushers
49. Paint mailbox
50. Order napkins
51. Create Door wreaths






The Salt Life

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This year's White Family Vacation was a success!  But instead of me typing out boring words, I'm just going to overload you with pictures.  Everyone loves pictures. :)