THE EARLY BIRD: 3 STEPS TO A MORE INTENTIONAL MORNING

I've never been a morning person. I am the person that presses snooze about 8 times. The person that plans to take a shower in the morning, and then gets out of bed with 15 minutes til go time. Most mornings I feel like I have to scrape myself out of bed. It's just so cozy in there.

These past few mornings, I have tried to be more intentional about how I start my day. It is much easier to wake up when Corey is getting ready for work, than when he is still snoozing. I also have some great friends that send me motivating messages in the morning.

I start off by making a mug of hot lemon water. Then I go back into the bedroom and do about 15 minutes of yoga to stretch, shake away the sleepies, and get ready for a long day of sitting at my desk. I don't do anything too strenuous in the morning, I usually do a variation of this little bunny yoga. (by Brian Russo)

If it's a morning that I'm showering, I will oil pull with coconut oil for my whole shower, and through most of the getting ready times.

It's amazing to me how just 3 mornings of this routine have made me feel so much better throughout the day. When I get to work, I feel like I can just jump right in, because I've already done the "prep-work." This whole routine takes less than 25 minutes, and I find that my body doesn't notice that I didn't spend that time under the covers. 

Here are 3 ways to help you be more intentional with your mornings:

PREPARE THE NIGHT BEFORE

If you're planning on going to the gym or going for a run, it is so much easier to get out the door when your shoes and socks are right by the bed, and you don't have to dig through the pile of clean laundry to find your shorts and sports bra.
It's so much easier to eat a nutritious breakfast if you set out the ingredients the night before. Or even prepared it the night before.
For a lot of us, the night time comes a little easier, so do more for your morning by doing more in the evening.

HAVE ACCOUNTABILITY

I mentioned that I have great friends that send me a message every morning asking if I'm doing yoga. It's much harder to skip if I have someone checking up on me.
Tell a friend that you are going to the gym in the morning, and you will feel like you must. Don't let your friends down! And make sure to let them know that you finished.

DON'T LOOK AT SOCIAL MEDIA

I find that if I read all the tweets that came through in the night, I end up clicking on a link and reading an article or two or three. Then I need to check Instagram. After all of this I've wasted at least 15 minutes that I could have put into my morning routine. Also after all that news and information, my mind starts buzzing and it's hard to quiet down.
Don't let social media take over your morning, save it for a reward for finishing!

Do you have a morning routine? If not what would you like to add? Tell me everything!


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OUR WEDDING: GETTING READY + THE WEDDING PARTY

We are finally getting to the good stuff!
Last time I shared our wedding invitations. Today, I am starting with the beginning of the actual day! We woke up around 8, and started getting ready. All seven of the bridesmaids and one extra were staying at our house. It was soo full and soo great to be with everyone.
The rule for the day was no stressing. Everything is going to work out.

THE LADIES

Brittani- my sister
Jaclyn- my best friend since 4th grade
Jaime, Sommer, and Brandy- besties from college
Kimberlyn- we met in high school, and worked together at Starbucks when we moved back from college
Becca- we worked together at Starbucks and hit it off after discovering our mutual love for vintage :)

Hair and Makeup

For the most part, each of the girls did their own hair and makeup. I didn't tell them any specific way to wear it, just whatever made them feel best. Most of the girls chose to put their hair up, since it was an outdoor wedding in Houston in June.
I did my makeup pretty regular, just taking extra care. My mom did my eyebrows and eye shadow. My friend Chelsey did my hair and put in the ribbon. She also came with us to pictures and did some upkeep.
Corey had already moved most of his stuff into our house, so I commandeered one of his shirts to wear while I was getting ready.

The Girls Dresses

I really didn't want any thing to matchy. Earlier in the year, we had a little bridesmaid get together, and I gave them each a little booklet of the colors and patterns we were using, and told them to chose whatever they wanted that went with it. I wanted them to buy something that they would actually put back into their closet and wear. They did a GREAT job. I love all the colors and patterns together!

My Dress & Accessories

I didn't want a traditional wedding dress. And I just happened upon a beautiful, white lacy dress at Urban Outfitters, while I was shopping. I tried it on, and LOVED it. So I bought it. A few weeks later, I was at the mall with my mom and sister. Banana Republic had just come out with their MadMen collection, and I was just walking by to see what was in the window. When I found THIS DRESS! I went to mom and Brittani, and said I just found the dress! So I tried it on, and it was the one. Luckily I had kept the receipt for the first one :)
I knew I wanted turquoise shoes from the beginning. I found these at Urban. Also I knew I wanted a red bow. I just made this one with ribbon, hot glue, and a comb. Fancy, I know...
I wanted a veil, but I didn't want to wear it the whole day, so my darling Aunt April, who I tasked with making it happen, made my veil on a separate comb, and we added it later. She also made the "bride" hanger that my dress is hanging on in the pictures.
I wore simple, gold, tear drop earrings from target, and a simple cold chain bracelet. 

THE FELLAS

Steven- Corey's brother
Ted, Aaron, Micah- Corey's best friends from growing up
The 2 Davids- Corey's buddies from college
Corey's friend Austin was supposed to be in the wedding, but couldn't make it, because he was working overseas.

Clothes & Things

I didn't want to make the guys go out and buy anything, so we kept it simple. I just told them: white button up, dark jeans, and brown shoes. Easy Peasy.

Hair & Makeup

 I didn't tell them any specific way to wear it, just whatever made them feel beautiful.
JK guys.

And here we all are together!

The wedding wasn't for SEVERAL more hours, so with pictures out of the way we all went to Chic-fil-a for lunch! I love that we had the time to do this kind of thing. No big deal, just a bunch of matching people eating chicken...
Then we just went back to our house and relaxed until game time.

Between these two sets of pictures we had our first look. I'll share that next time!


All the photos in the post are by the beautiful and talented Vanessa Tellez.
Visit her website here. And read her interview here.

WEEKEND UPDATE: PATIO MAGIC + UKE OBSESSION + ALL THE GREENS

Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Friday we kicked it off, by going out to dinner with Steven (Corey's brother). When we got back back to our apartment, it was getting sleepy, so we went out on the patio. I have a theory that our patio, well probably any patio, has some sort of magic. We always have the best conversations and we are always able to stay up later than humanly possible. (Jake, we listened to Springsteen in memory of you. Can't wait til you're back in Texas for more patio fun :)

Remember a couple months ago when I started playing the ukulele? Well, I put it to the side for a little bit, but I'm baaaack. I've played nearly every day for about 2 weeks, and I'm getting better. I know a lot of chords, I just gotta get strum patterns down. It's hard to strum and sing at the same time.
And you know me and my goals... My goal is by the end of the year, I am going to play at an open mic night. Eep! That's so scary to say aloud.
Before I do that though, I will need to buy a better uke. I already have the one I want picked out!
I'm sure I'll keep you updated on my progress...

I have this really bad habit: I buy all kinds of fruits and veggies to juice, and there are lots left over at the end of the week. So this weekend instead of just letting them go bad, I made a couple batches of juice. This one I call "No Greens Left Behind." It has about 4 cucumbers, 4 green apples, a bunch of kale, a bunch of parsley, quite a bit of celery, and 3 lemons.

Also I started doing yoga. I did a 45 minute "beginner" sequence yesterday. The word beginner is in quotes because it was HARD. But I did it. And this morning I woke up a little extra early and did a shorter morning sequence.
So hooray for being intentional about healthy choices!
We won't talk about the slice of cake I had this weekend...

I hope your Monday is as beautiful as you are. (That's a lot!)


Random note: Have you tried using Ebates.com? It's pretty neat. By using that website when you shop online, they pay you a set percentage back. If you shop online often, you should check it out. Each retailer offers a different percentage. And to be fair, if you follow this link, I get a tiny kick back :) I've been a member for about 6 months, and I've gotten back about $20. Not bad for free money. Let me know if you try it.

A SURPRISING NEW SNACK I CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF

Is this weird or what?

I heard someone say recently that she loves eating raw okra, and I thought she was crazy. But I was intrigued, so I bought a small carton at the store the other day. On Monday, dinner was taking a little too long to cook and I was getting hungry, so I washed a piece, and took the plunge.
It crispy and fresh and just really good.

And here are some benefits of eating OKRA. 

  • Preventing diabetes
  • Promoting colon health and preventing colon cancer
  • Boosting digestive health
  • Weight management
  • Promoting a healthy pregnancy
  • Maintaining healthy skin
  • Protecting against free radical damage
  • Relief from respiratory issues like asthma, cough, or trouble breathing
  • Promoting eye health
  • Boosting mood
  • Relief from constipation

We could all use a little of that, right?

Have you ever tried raw okra? I've only ever had the slimy version and the fried kind.
Do you think you would try it? What have you been snacking on lately? Tell me everything!