My New Favorite Accessory: A Unique Watch by JORD

Y’all know that accessories are having a moment this spring, so when JORD reached out and asked me if I’d like to try one of their gorgeous timepieces, I did not even hesitate! I am always searching for those staple pieces to incorporate into my daily looks, and these watches are the perfect base.

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While JORD (pronounced “yode”) is mostly known for their wooden watches, they also have the stunning “Sier” collection which features a larger face and interchangeable leather + metal mesh bands. I chose this style for its simple yet chic marble face and the ability to change the bands based on the other arm candy I’m rocking that day! Let me tell you, this watch is so beautiful that my girlfriends literally tried to steal it during a night out!


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Full disclosure: my watch knowledge is dismal, but I can definitely see and feel the quality in this piece when I wear it. I have found myself wearing the metal mesh band more often than the leather and I love how comfortable it is. I was worried that the mesh would pinch my skin (like my FitBit band does), but I have experienced no discomfort!

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Now, I know that I normally only share items under $100, but I do see this as an investment that will last you for years to come-I can totally see mine as something I would pass along to a future daughter-in-law or even future grandkids. I vividly remember my grandma’s watches and can see these pieces fitting into memories as well.

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For a chance to win $100 off a JORD watch of your own, enter my contest here! Everyone who enters will receive a discount just for trying. Good luck!


xo,
Carrie


My Nighttime Skin Routine!

If you read my previous entry about skincare, you know I’m a bit of a newb when it comes to products and routines. I was the worst when it came to taking care of my skin, and it wasn’t until about a year ago that I started consistently using products and nailed down a pretty religious routine. Noticing the fine lines + wrinkles appearing on my face may have nudged me a bit as well, but let’s not go there. Read on for a beginner’s guide (trust me, I’m no expert) to affordable + effective skincare!

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First up is my Bliss Makeup Melt Cleanser. I needed something to easily take off my makeup each night, and I love that this one doubles as a cleanser. All you do is pump a bit of the cleanser onto a cotton pad, wipe off your makeup, and rinse. You can also just use this as a cleanser by wetting your face beforehand. This takes off all my makeup, and leaves my skin feeling squeaky clean! I will usually then tone with my Pixi Glow Tonic (not pictured) which gently exfoliates and removes any excess dirt and makeup!

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Now, we treat! I have recently admitted to myself that I’ll need to splurge a bit more on my serums, and I have been loving Lancôme’s Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Serum. I used to work for Lancôme, and I have seen the following that this product has firsthand! I have noticed a change in my skin’s texture as well as diminished fine lines -WOOHOO! Every 2-3 nights, I will use my microneedling roller that I picked up at TJ Maxx, but I found this one on Prime and it comes highly rated! The teeny tiny needles help to encourage collagen production by a “controlled skin injury.” But don’t worry, you’re not a bloody mess when you’re done and it doesn’t hurt at all! I read an article from Allure that broke it all down for me. Just make sure you’re sanitizing your tool! On the days I don’t microneedle, I’ll do some sort of mask. I love me a good sheet mask, and will give myself a little extra pampering with my rose quartz roller. Pop this in the fridge a few minutes before you’re ready to hit the hay, and enjoy the coolness on your skin. It’s amazing on those nights when your skin is tight, tired, or just plain hot! The rose quartz is supposed to help detox your skin and also helps recenter your heart chakra. It’s supposed to be great for anxiety too, and I’m willing to try anything to help combat that!

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Once or twice a week, instead of moisturizing, I will slater on my Bliss What A Melon De-Stressing Overnight Mask and crash. This helps to refresh and de-stress my skin, so it’s perfect for Sunday nights! It smells super duper yummy, too! Simply apply, sleep, and rinse in the morning! When I’m not using the overnight mask, I swear by my Amara Beauty Retinol Cream. This one got amazing reviews and it’s Prime, so you can try it almost instantly. This helps to improve fine lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation. After that, I apply some of my Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream which just adds some much-needed moisture to the delicate skin around my eyes and helps to diminish the appearance of fine lines + wrinkles!

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  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Dani from Thyme is Honey wrote an amazing blog post about increasing your water intake. This will help your skin from in the inside out! I keep a water bottle next to my bed and try to drink about 30 oz. before falling asleep (more if I’m watching tv or haven’t had enough H2O that day).

  • A satin pillowcase will help retain moisture in your skin, where cotton will absorb oils + moisture. If you have trouble with dryness, try switching to satin. Bonus: you’ll feel instantly sexier, I can speak from experience!

  • Get yourself an essential oil diffuser! I don’t know how I ever lived without mine, and love filling our room with a gentle, relaxing scent. We mostly use “sleepy” scents to help us fall and stay asleep, and Nature’s Truth Sleep Aromatherapy Essential Oils have really helped! I’m obsessed with the smell, too.

And there you have it! It may have taken me awhile to take better care of my skin, but now that I have created a habit, I can’t imagine not going through my nightly routine! I wake up with clearer, cleaner, and more refreshed skin, so it is totally worth the extra couple of minutes before turning in for the night! What are your tried and true favorite products? I want to know, so drop some suggestions in the comments!

xo,
Carrie

Just Me & the Gals!

"What is Galentine's Day? Only the best day of the year!!! Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and boyfriends at home and just come kick it breakfast style. Ladies celebrating ladies." -Leslie Knope 

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Any day that I can gather with my gal pals and have a couple cocktails + cupcakes is a great day for me! It doesn't hurt that I'm a massive Parks and Rec fan either! We were lucky enough to be able to use the gorgeous space at Anahata Collaborative which is the most perfect mix of industrial + feminine. I loved all the natural light and how you were really able to make the space “yours” and have it fit your aesthetic. Lara, the owner, was so gracious to allow us to use all her beautiful decor (and her own personal artwork!) and did such an incredible job bringing our vision to life! If you’re looking for a space to hold an intimate event, yoga sesh, or anything in between, be sure to check out this space! And then go next door to The Egg and I. ;)

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The world of blogging can be a tough one to navigate, but I am so thankful for the community that I have found here in Minneapolis. It’s so refreshing to gather with a group of like-minded women and be able to have open and honest conversations about the businesses we are all running. Sometimes you just need to talk to someone who gets it, and all these ladies all get it! Bree, of Bree Pair did such an amazing job with all the goodies + girly touches. Her #1 tip for throwing a party? Add fresh flowers! I completely agree with this and love any chance to have some flowers throughout my house! Be sure to check out Bree’s post for more details!

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I know that making friends as an adult is a weird world to navigate, but I promise y’all, find a hobby and the friends will come! I met Meg of My Monochromatic Life and Heather of Heart of Heather at my very first Minneapolis Bloggers event exactly a year ago! I was SO nervous going and and worried no one would talk to me because I’m always the weird, awkward girl who talks too much. But in these two, I found genuine and kind friends! I met Marla from Just Marla Jean as we were planning this event and realized she’s basically my neighbor! She is such a sweetheart and I’m so thankful that this biz brought us all together!

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Primp has also managed to open up a network and bloggers to me! I met Dua of Hey Dua last November when she walked in the fashion show we put on. She is absolutely stunning and always has the best makeup! I also wish I was cool enough to rock her green hair! I technically met Jenn from Jenn Patrice at a blogger event, but she’s also a regular at my store and I love when she pops in to shop! Speaking of Primp, I need to give a shoutout to another Primp regular, Maddie, who was generous enough to give us some delicious pre-mixed cocktails from Cutwater Spirits! Whenever boating season comes back around, these’ll be your go-to (I’m personally a huge fan of the gin and tonic)!

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Now, let’s get to the goods! We each styled two looks-one casual and one dressy, and you’ll have to check out my Instagram tomorrow for the dressy one, but here are all the deets on my casual outfit! If you’re a last minute shopper like me and need a cute lil’ somethin’ for date night tomorrow, I made sure to pick pieces that can easily be found in stores!

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This sweater from Old Navy was an easy choice for me! Red is totally my power color, so I knew I wanted something that was comfortable and WARM (because we got about a foot of snow this day)! It’s a little shorter, but I was still able to tuck it in the front. I am also a huge fan of Old Navy’s jeans as they seem to be one of the few brands that actually fit my body (small waist and big hips). They’re stretchy yet durable and come in a million different washes and styles. These are the Rockstar style and soo flattering. I’m also completely obsessed with light wash jeans now! Ugh. Love.

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My Gucci dupe belt is probably the most asked-for item from you guys! I wear this all the time and get so many compliments on it! It even comes with your own hole puncher so you can adjust the sizing if it’s too big! It’s also under $30, which is a freakin’ steal, y’all! Lastly, my adorable leopard slides that are allll over my Instagram are from Primp (duh!) and also available in a gorgeous off-white color (need)!

Lastly, I can’t end this post without thanking Katzie of Katzie & Ben Photography for offering to take all these gorgeous photos for us. She is so talented and also a fellow Leslie Knope fan, so she made the day even better by throwing out random Leslie-isms! If you’re local and in need of a photographer, be sure to check her out!

I hope you all have a fabulous Galentine’s Day; you poetic and noble land mermaids!

XO,
Carrie

My Haircare Journey with Formulate!

If there is one thing I have always been confident about, it’s my hair. I will never forget the first time I flat-ironed my [newly colored brown] hair and saw how different it made me look and feel, I was hooked on making sure my hair always looked picture perfect. My hair has been just about every shade of blonde, brown, and even almost black; and I have tried what seems like every product under the sun to obtain glossy, healthy hair. My husband can attest to the myriad of hair products currently clogging up our shower! Needless to say, I was pumped when Formulate came along and offered to help me customize my haircare routine! While I love trying new products, I am also all about efficiency, and having a shampoo and conditioner created exclusively for me + my hairs’ needs is pretty amazing (and, I won’t lie, makes me feel like some sort of celebrity)

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You guys, this was the easiest thing to do! They sent me a link to take my quiz and it took me less than five minutes to fill out. They first asked me about the color, texture, and thickness of my hair as well as the level of moisture and my scalp-sensitivity! They then asked me how concerned I waws about things like glossiness, volume, hydration, and thermal protection. One of my biggest concerns was deep conditioning and hydration, so I made sure we really cranked those up in my formula! I even got to pick which scent I wanted and how strong I wanted it to be! Oh, and the best part? They give you insights to your ingredients and why they’re in your formula while still being sulfate, paraben, dye, preservative, and cruelty-free. WHEW!

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Now, not gonna lie, I was using a $2 bottle of Suave before I switched to Formulate, so my hair took a little getting used to this new goodness I was putting into it. I had a little trouble with the first formula, and they were super quick to get me a new bottle that worked better for my hair. I tell ya, after trying out the new formula, my hair was super bouncy and shiny! I was hooked. One little trick I learned was to only apply the conditioner at the middle of your hair shaft and move down to the ends. I was applying it like a shampoo and wondering why it felt like I had some product build-up! Again, the people at Formulate were so knowledgeable and helped me figure out how to wash my hair the right way! I swear, sometimes I wonder how I manage to keep another human alive, LOL!

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Because I love my new products so much, I want to share them with you! Formulate has so graciously offered to give away one set of a fully-customized shampoo and conditioner to one of my followers! All you have to do is click the link below to enter! You will receive your very own shampoo, conditioner, and all the instructions to bring your hair back to life. Click here to enter —> https://www.formulate.co/u/blushingbubbly

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Cheers to happier, healthier, and bouncier hair!
XO,
Carrie

Our Trip to Minocqua!

When you have kids, your vacations can start to look drastically different from the ones you took pre-children. Gone are the days of beer bongs on the beach (I’m looking at you, PCB) and lounging by the pool while a cabana boy brings you endless gin and tonics. Every outing now has to be meticulously planned around nap times and there’s no more flying by the seat of your pants when it comes to where and when you’ll eat. While we are able to now get a little bit of that freedom back having an older child, we still have to be conscious about things to do and keeping a little(ish) one entertained!

When my cousin suggested a trip to Minocqua, Wisconsin, I was instantly like, “Yep, count us in!” I honestly don’t ever really care where we go as long as we are going somewhere. Bonus points if it’s got a hottub and a comfortable bed. Seriously, it’s the little things people-I’m pretty easy to please. Minocqua is pretty smack dab in the middle of Northern Wisconsin and was an easy 3 1/2 hour car ride from the Twin Cities area. While it’s not a huge town, and most places were closed for the winter, there was still enough to do to keep us occupied during a long weekend.

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Be sure to check out their adorable downtown area. Jason and I spent an hour or so exploring the shops and just being touristy. We spent awhile perusing the trinkets at Gaslight Antiques in the cutest indoor mall area. My favorite stall was the one with all the old records; I so badly wanted to find some of my old favorites and buy them to frame in our house. But J isn’t much of a browser, so I took a quick peek then continued on. There were a few other cute gift shops in this mall area, and you could easily spend an hour or two just browsing. For dinner that night, we loaded up all five of the kiddos and their respective parents + grandparents and headed to Alexander’s Pizza. There is a small arcade area to keep the kids busy and cheap beer on tap! The pizza was good, and it was an affordable meal for all!

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I’m a huge fan of checking out local breweries + distilleries, but I was unfortunately unable to convince Jason to check out the Northern Waters Distillery. I was so ready to taste some local spirits! We did, however, check out Minocqua Brewing Company and enjoyed lunch with a [snow covered] view! The brewery is right on the water and is probably the perfect destination on warm summer days, but we opted to eat inside. They have eight of their own craft brews and Jason tried the Largemouth Blonde. I went for a Minocqua Mule and it was freakin’ delicious. It’s made with their house-infused cranberry vodka which was sooo good. We also had to test out their cheese curds and I’m happy to report they did not disappoint! You can check out their menus and get more info here.

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Ok, onto the resort! While this is no Kalahari or Great Wolf Lodge, I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the hotel and pool area-especially for the price! The rooms were pretty big and featured a wet bar and a couch/small dining area. We paid around $149/night and that included our admission to the water park, arcade, and a pretty decent continental breakfast! Oh, and they also serve Starbucks coffee so I was able to get myself a caramel macchiato each morning! The waterpark featured an indoor/outdoor swimming area with two basketball hoops. There was no deep end, so our 8-year old was able to touch throughout the whole pool (which put my mama mind at ease). There are two body slides that moved a little too quickly for my guy (and for my swimsuit bottoms), but we were plenty entertained by the pool & hottub (which was also indoor/outdoor)! There was also a kiddie pool area for the littlest littles which had slides and water features. If you’re into winter fun, the resort is also pretty snowmobile-friendly, as there were tons of sleds parked outside!

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All in all, we had a great time and the staff and resort itself were all wonderful and very accommodating! I think this is definitely more of a summer destination (unless you prefer your lakes and toes frozen) and I’m sure there is plenty more to see and do once the weather gets a little warmer! Jason mentioned wanting to bring his jet ski on the lake this summer, so who knows, we just may be back! If you’re interested in checking out The Waters of Minocqua, you can browse their website here!

I can’t wait to share more local-ish travel guides with you! Next up is our trip to Wisconsin Dells in May-it cannot get here soon enough! As always, thanks for following along!

xx,
Carrie

Word of the Year...

How in the HECK did we get to 2019?! This year will have been FIFTEEN years since I graduated high school, TEN years since we got married, and NINE years since we welcomed L into the world. I just cannot believe how quickly time has passed and how much I have learned along the way. I hope y’all had a wonderful holiday season and that all you parents out there survived winter break! Onto Valentine’s Day and Spring Break!

In years past, I have always set a couple resolutions/manifestations, but I wanted to try something different this year. I want to make things a little more simplistic for myself (read: my anxiety) and think of a word that I wanted my 2019 to embody. For the past few weeks, I have been feeling so overwhelmed with work and life, so I settled on the word, plan.

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Staying organized has never been one of my strong suits, but I am determined to change that this year. I hope that by planning and organizing my life a little more, I’ll be less stressed and less overwhelmed. I also think that planning will help me be more successful in reaching other goals I have set for myself! Read on…

  1. Lead a healthier lifestyle: If I plan our meals ahead of time and stick to a grocery list, we will get back on track with eating healthier. If I plan for the gym in my schedule, I won’t have to find time at the last minute to go.

  2. Grow my blog: If I plan my posts + outfits, then I won’t be rushing at the last minute to figure out what I want to write about, what outfits I want to share, etc. By also planning on attending events, I will have already carved out the time in my schedule and won’t have to worry about getting a hundred other things done in order to go. By planning time in my day to engage on my social media platforms, I will avoid tension with Jason by being on my phone during family time (yep, totally guilty of that)!

  3. Grow within my company: This goes back to basics; by planning out all my necessary tasks ahead of time, I won’t forget to get things done and can run a store more smoothly! I’m really excited for this one as I have big hopes for my future at PRIMP!

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So there you have it! I wish there was a way to get a temporary, year-long tattoo that I could get on my wrist to remember my word when I’m feeling lazy. I guess I could settle for a bracelet, though! I’m really excited to see what 2019 has in store for me and my family, and I truly cannot wait to share that with all of you!

And just for fun, these are my “silly” goals that I want to accomplish this year!
- Wear cuter underwear (no clue why I’m sharing that or why I think you’d all like to know it, but there it is)
- Read at least two books per month (should probably finish the three I’ve already started and are sitting on my nightstand)
- Collaborate with a hotel
- Try more new restaurants
- 5k followers on Instagram
- Book a vacation (and not just to the Dells-I’m talkin’ an airplane vacation)

Do you have a word of the year or any goals/manifestations? I’d love to hear them!

I’ll be linking my planner + some of my favorite organizational tools on my LikeToKnow.It page-be sure to check it out and remember you can shop your screenshots right from Instagram!

Here’s to health + happiness and a solid PLAN in 2019!
Cheers,
C

My Skincare Routine

I honestly never thought I’d write a post about skincare because it wasn’t something I was super passionate about—until now! I have finally found some products that I absolutely love and that have changed my skin for the better! I am lucky that I rarely have breakouts, but I deal with super dry, patchy, and uneven skin. It’s even worse in the wintertime, so I am always on the hunt for products that will offer immense hydration (while treating these wrinkles + fine lines that have somehow popped up in the last couple years)!

As with everything, I am conscious of price when shopping. I am sure that the La Mer creams + Sunday Riley lines are incredible, but I am just not in a place financially where I can afford those (although I am dying to try Sunday Riley’s stuff)! Naturally, my first stop was Target, where I was able to grab some travel sized goodies to try out. Check out what I snagged below, and what has become my everyday (and night!) routine!

1. Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser
This is one of the most popular cleansers out there and one that always ranks at the top of beauty editors/magazines lists. It’s such a basic cleanser, but I love how squeaky clean my face feels after using. The smell is light and powdery, and the formula is not heavy nor does it leave any residue behind after rinsing! I use the formula for normal to oily skin!

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2. Neutrogena Microdermabrasion Pads
These can also be purchased with the microdermabrasion system which includes a brush to attach the pads to, but I prefer to just use them alone. These little guys are an amazing exfoliator and do a fantastic job of getting all the dead skin off my face. I try to limit use of these to one day a week, as they can be a tad bit harsh on your skin!

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3. Pixi Glow Tonic
This is my new can’t-live-without product! Oh my gosh, I am so obsessed.This exfoliating toner helps to purify and hydrate your skin without any harshness. My skin looks more radiant after only using it for a week. It has also helped me cut down on needing to use the microdermabrasion pads. I swear, my skin not only looks healthier, but it feels healthier, too! If you want to try it out, get yourself a little 15mL bottle for only $4! Or just go ahead and buy the full-size bottle because I know you’ll love it. They also have Glow Tonic To-Go pads that you can take with you without having to worry about spills!

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4. Yes to Tomatoes Charcoal Micellar Water
A quick shake activates the detoxifying charcoal to help wash away all the impurities of the day! I use this at night to take off my makeup (before cleansing) and again in the morning to get off any gunk that has accumulated while I slept. This is also a great product to keep next to your bed on those nights that you’re too lazy to turn off Netflix and wash your face (we’ve all been there, don’t worry)! It’s not a replacement for a cleanser, but when you’re just too cozy in bed, it’s the next best thing! I also love the convenience of the pump-so easy to apply on my makeup pads!

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5. Pacifica Dreamy Youth Day and Night Cream
LOOOOVE this moisturizer! I am all about convenience, so I love having a product that works both day and night. It’s super lightweight and doesn’t feel heavy on my skin like a lot of nighttime creams tend to do. I does feel a little tingly when applied, but to me, that’s super refreshing! It also helps to restore that “youthful glow”, and I am alllll about that! There is also a Dreamy Youth Rose and Peptides body lotion that’ll be added to my cart ASAP!

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I am still on the hunt for a good serum that’ll help to fill in all these brand new fine lines and wrinkles that I swear have just appeared over the past few years. Oh, the joys that your 30’s bring! I am currently using the Neutrogena Rapid Repair Retinol Serum, but am honestly not sure if I love it or if I’m seeing results. I do love the way it smells though, so I’ll keep using it until it’s gone and report back! As always, I am open to suggestions (but FYI, I do already have a Beautycounter, Younique, and R&F rep, so please be respectful of that)!

One last thing…
I just discovered that you can try out some of Mario Badescu’s products for FREE (just pay $2.95 for shipping) by taking a skin analysis quiz on their website! They will send some sample sized products catered just for you and your individual skin needs! How cool is that?! I have a ton of their products on my Amazon wishlist, but am excited to be able to try them first before deciding exactly what I want!

Know any other amazing skincare deals? I’m all ears!

Now, go wash your face!
XO,
Carrie

This is Us

In honor of our upcoming ten year dating anniversary, and because everyone is always surprised/enthused by the way we met, I thought this would be the perfect way to encapsulate our love story.

So let’s take it back to the beginning. The verrrrrry beginning. I’m 19 years old and in college. J is 24 and on his first deployment to Iraq. All the kids are on MySpace, a digital camera was a part of your squad, and I lived in jean skirts + Hollister t-shirts.

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See what I mean about the digital camera?

One night, I’m on this amazing website called HotOrNot. It’s basically like Tinder for 2005 except you rate people on a scale of 1-10 and if you match, you can send messages. Naturally, I see J and give him a “10” right away and he must have done the same for me (or at least, he better have!) because we were soon messaging one another. I may or may not also have told him I loved him in the first message.

Fast forward to two years later and we are still randomly commenting on one another’s MySpace photos (because that’s what you did back then—there was no sliding into DM’s or “Netflix and Chill”), I’m dating losers, and he’s deployed again.

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He is going to KILL ME if he ever sees that I shared that photo.

As time passed, random comments turned to random messages and random messages turned to page long, daily messages. We started chatting nightly on Yahoo Messenger (because, again, that’s how we rolled back then) and feelings started to develop. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I knew there was something about him and I needed to be in his life in some way.

That’s crazy though, right?! How can you be in love with someone you’ve never met? I didn’t tell a soul that I had fallen in love with this guy who was halfway across the world (and mind you, this was before the influx of catfishing and scams, so I had a pretty good idea that he was who he said he was)! We talked about everything and I don’t think I had ever been as open with any of my exes as I was with him. He was so easy to talk to. And funny. And cute. And…dreamy. LOL.

I will never forget the night I [unintentionally] told him that I loved him. I had just finished watching “P.S. I Love You” and was feeling all mushy and weird. We were on Yahoo and were talking about love/relationships/dating. I don’t remember the exact conversation, only that but it ended with him saying, “Wait…are you trying to tell me that you love me?” I FREAKED out. I thought for sure he would think I was crazy, but before I could respond, he said, “Because I love you too.”

Cue the heart palpitations.

We decided that he would come visit on his block leave (he was still deployed but set to get home at the end of the next month).

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Our first photo together

He flew in over Thanksgiving weekend of 2008 and we have been inseparable since.

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We spent the next couple months flying & driving back and forth from Minnesota to Tennessee and Tennessee to Minnesota. I got a phone call from him a few months into our relationship telling me he got orders to Germany and wanted me to come with him. My mind spun.

But wait, wouldn’t we have to get married for that to happen?

Now, we had talked about marriage before and knew that it was in our future, but this was SO SOON. He told me to think about it and I told him that if this was his way of proposing, the answer was “no”.

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Well, he clearly proposed in a better way because we were married less than 6 months later in Eggbert T. Garth’s office in downtown Newport News, Virginia. I was scared out of my mind and not quite sure what our future was going to look like. But we were finally together, and that’s all that mattered.

I won’t bore you with the rest of our history, but I love sharing the story of us. We have survived two more combat tours to Afghanistan, a 14-month unaccompanied assignment to Honduras, and everything that life threw at us in between. Would I change it for all the money in the world? Abso-friggen-lutely not.

Beverly Hills, 90210

I’m a sucker for a good graphic tee, and when I found this 90210 tee from Urban Outfitters, it immediately went into my cart. I’m tellin’ ya, Urban has the best graphic tees; always on trend, a little cheeky, and the perfect piece to throw on with jeans or a skirt.

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As much as I wish I were a Kelly Taylor, I’m probably way more of a Donna Martin or a Brenda Walsh (minus the superwealthy parents of course)

I paired my tee with my Aeropostale high-waisted denim (seriously, these are a few years old and still a favorite pair of mine-I don’t know what I’ll do when they rip or I can’t fit into them anymore)! The thing I love about a tee like this is that is is so versatile and can be paired with just about anything; I am loving it with a plaid skirt this season! So on trend.

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I also feel the need to touch on these Adidas that I found at TJ Maxx for like $30. I have now bought two pairs of Adidas from there for under $30! That’s insane to me. I love that these have a bit more of a vintage/casual vibe to them, so they look perfect with this dressed-down look!

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It looks like my specific tee is sold out, but I’ll link up some of my other favorites below for you to shop from! Where’s your favorite place to find tees? I think a visit to Goodwill is in order to see what types of tops I can snag!

P.S. Totally have that *NYSNC one and am ordering that Friends one ASAP.

Happy shopping!

XO,
Carrie

Mad Over Plaid!

The 90's are back in a BIG way and I am 1000000000% here. for. it. I am loving the revival of plaid prints, corduroy, and Tommy Hilfiger. I lived through the 90's in elementary school and went big with smiley face, yin-yang, and peace sign EVERYTHING, so I'm a little excited to be able to relive these trends with a more adult spin. 

Let's take a moment to appreciate Rachel Green's effortless style.

Let's take a moment to appreciate Rachel Green's effortless style.

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I snagged this plaid blazer from Charlotte Russe for only $20! I love that it's a bit more fitted as I tend to easily lose my shape in boyfriend styles. I stuck with a neutral shade (black/grey), but love the pink and yellow styles for a fun spin on this trend (very Clueless-esque)! 

 

See my picks below for the best under $100 blazers! 

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A simple white tee looks super chic under a blazer, but I'm also a big fan of pairing it over a bodysuit. You can also snag my Gucci dupe belt here. Check out a few of my fave bodysuits...

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What other 90's fashion trends are you most excited to see? Check back in a few days for another  90's throwback!

xo,
Carrie

Quickie: Uncommon James Dupe!

I am a huge fan of Kristin Cavallari and absolutely LOVE her style. And while her jewelry collection is stunning and fairly affordable, her most popular styles are always sold out! I also cannot spend more than $20 on jewelry because I just don't wear pieces (other than my wedding ring) on a daily basis! Buuuuut, if you love her stuff, know that it is super affordable! Everything is under $100 and totally wearable. Just in case you can't wait for this gorgeous crescent necklace to come back in stock, I gotchu. I found a dupe at Forever21 (of course) for UNDER FIVE BUCKS. There are also some other similar styles that are equally as delicate and adorable. 

UNCOMMON JAMES VERSION

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Out of stock, but you can find it here

FOREVER 21 VERSION

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Check out some other dupes below! I love this layered with other delicate pieces or worn on its own! Happy shopping, y'all!

F21 ||  Lulu's  ||  Stella & Dot  ||  Gorjana  ||  Etsy 

XO,
Carrie

Nine.

We had such an amazing time celebrating our anniversary last weekend! We headed out to Betty Danger's Country Club  for dinner and a couple drinks (try their infamous "Pink Drink") and, of course, delicious food! You'd never expect it from the decor, which is a mix of kitschy randomness, and 1950's hunting club, but Betty Danger's is a Tex-Mex restaurant! The food is fresh, the drinks are cold, but the experience is what makes Betty Danger's a North Loop destination! If you're looking for a fun night out, I highly recommend this quirky restaurant and bar!

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I chose a black crop, high-waisted mustard trousers, and my strappy black Steve Maddens (that go with everything). With so much going on, keep the pants the main focus of the outfit and accessories muted. I wore a fringe-y black pair from PRIMP (but will link similar below)! 

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Can we talk about this baby blue + mustard combo too for a sec? Wowza, I loooooooove

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Crop Top || High Waisted Trousers (similar) || Fringe Earrings || Steve Madden STECY Heels || Clutch (similar)

Now, for some real life. The next morning, we were headed to pick up L and got into a huge fight. I swear, we have our biggest fights in the car! We also seem to talk things through the best in the car-maybe because neither of us can get frustrated and walk away! After we talked things through, I got an idea to share some things that we have learned these past nine years of marriage and almost ten years of dating (yep, it was a quick engagement)! Read on and feel free to share your tips in the comments!

1. Learn each other's love languages: I am a "Receiving Gifts" and "Words of Affirmation" girl while he is more of a "Physical Touch" and "Acts of Service" guy. Since I respond well to gifts and loving words, that's how I show love, but he feels loved when we kiss or I do something practical that helps him. I have learned that by helping him with household tasks (like the dreaded yardwork), he feels appreciated and loved. You can take your quiz here to find out your love language! 

2. Be vulnerable with each other: Maybe it's because we spent the majority of our marriage with J in the military and had to have those difficult conversations, but I feel that it really helped us to be open with one another regarding our hopes and fears. And also our plans if something should ever happen. 

3. Take time for yourselves: Let each other have your own hobbies and friends. Yes, J is my best friend, but I also make time for my girlfriends (who are also my best friends) and time alone. He goes to the range alone, rides his jet ski, and spends bro-time doing who-knows-what. When we are able to happily spend time apart, we enjoy our time together that much more.

4. Don't make dinner reservations past 8 pm: This may be specifically for J, but we learned this last weekend. I'm too old to be eating that late. 

5. Fight fair: I read a quote that says, "When you fight, remember it's not you against him. It's you and him against the problem." This struck a chord with me and has forced me to view our disagreements as a problem we need to solve together versus one that he needs to solve for me or vice versa.

6. DATE YOUR SPOUSE: This is a big one. Even if we can't get out of the house on a weekly basis, we try to cook dinner together a few nights a week. Throw on some music, throw out the recipe, and see what you can come up with! If we're really feeling romantic, we'll light some candles and have a "fancy dinner" right at home!

7. Pick your battles: J has this horrendous t-shirt that he's owned for probably 20 years. It has pigs (yes, pigs) on it and a hole in the belly button. I'll never understand why he continues to wear it, and I used to hate it so much, but quickly realized that there was some sentimental value behind it, so I will continue to lovingly wash, fold, and put it away in his drawer (just kidding, he does the laundry).

8. Say "I Love You" too much: I can't count how many times a day we say "I Love You" to one another, but I don't think there's such thing as saying it too much. 

9. Remember why you fell in love: Self-explanatory, but super important to remember when they're annoying the crap out of you. 

We are not experts on marriage by any means, but we have survived 3 deployments, 5 different houses (and twice as many cross-country moves), three dogs, a cat, and an 8-year old who just shaved off half his eyebrow last week. It's been a crazy nine years, but there's no one else I'd rather go through life with. He's my ride or die.

XO,
Carrie

Hello!

Well, here we are! It has taken me a good three or so years to get here, but I am so excited to finally jump into blogging (mostly so I don't have to keep saying, "I'm a blogger but don't have a blog--yet")! I spent way too much time trying to figure out what to write about for my first post, and then realized that an introduction would be the most natural way to dive in! Instead of rambling on about me (which is on my intro page), I thought I'd answer some questions about myself so you can get to know me!

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Full name:
Caroline Leaders (but I go by Carrie)

Zodiac sign:
Cancer, which means I'm highly intuitive, loyal, sensitive, and can be perceived as cold or distant at first but I promise I'm not! 

Meaning behind my blog title:
I used to work in bridal, so that's where the "blushing" part comes (ya know, "blushing bride") and "bubbly" comes from my love of champagne! Even though I'm no longer in bridal, the name stuck and I love it!

3 fears:
1. Spiders
2. Can I say spiders again? Just kidding--open water
3. My pups getting hit by a car

3 things I love:
1. Cheese. So much cheese.
2. My pups
3. HomeGoods and nowhere to be

5 random songs shuffled on my iTunes:
1. Get Low by Zedd & Liam Payne
2. Make You Feel My Love by Glee Cast
3. Sexy Daddy by Destiny's Child (wow, throwin' it waaay back)
4. Rainbow by Kesha
5. Good Life by Rachel Platten

Favorite movies:
The Sound of Music, Top Gun, and Midnight in Paris

Favorite holiday:
It's a tie between Halloween and 4th of July.

Who I'd want my celebrity BFF to be:
I am obsessed with Kaitlyn Bristowe from The Bachelorette, Olivia Munn, and Erika Jayne from RHOB. Mostly because I want her glam squad.

Favorite perfume:
See by Chloe, but I wear Coach's signature scent now.

Starbucks order:
I usually go to Caribou instead, and it depends on the season. Cold weather, Caramel High Rise and in the summer it's either an iced version of that or a sparkling green tea lemonade with 1/2 shot of raspberry.

What I wanted to be when I grew up:
I always wanted to work in fashion and wanted to be a designer when I was younger. Now I want to work more on the business side of things and either be a buyer or work in visuals.

Speaking of jobs, my current job:
I manage an amazing boutique in St. Paul called PRIMP. I love it.

How I'd describe my personal style:
I'm a little bit of everything, to be honest. I tend to be a bit more contemporary, but also love super feminine pieces. I love neutrals but am trying to incorporate more color into my wardrobe!

Bad habits:
I'm terrible at remembering to take off my makeup at night! I am also a terrible procrastinator!

One talent I wish I had:
I wish I could sing! I am horribly tone deaf though and it breaks my heart!

Favorite quote:
"You don't have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt, you have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you're holding." -Cheryl Strayed

Book that changed my life:
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I sobbed at the end of that one!

There are a million other questions I could answer, but we'll save the rest of those for later! I'm sincerely grateful that you took the time to read through this and hope you continue to come back each week! 

xo,
Carrie