Top Knots and Curly Locks

Thursday, March 31, 2016

March Book Review

If that's not true love, then I don't know what is.  Here's a look at the books I read this month.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
I read this book several years ago but it was the assigned book for my book club this month so I read it again.  The first time around, I thought it was just okay, but enjoyed it more this time around.  After reading the book and seeing previews for the movie, I'm excited for it to be released in June.  

Where You'll Find Me by Natasha Friend
This is another one of those books I picked up from work and it was just okay.  The story follows a middle school girl who is forced to live with her dad and stepmom after her mom is diagnosed as bi-polar.  To top it all off, her BFF has just dumped her and her stepmom is only 10 years older than she is.  I wish the relationships would have been developed more than what they were.

I Said Yes by Emily Maynard Johnson
If you guys know anything about me by now, you know I LOVE The Bachelor franchise.  As soon as Emily's book was released, I had to get my hands on it.  She is a WV girl, you know! ;)  The book was an easy read but nowhere near as juicy as I would have liked.  I wanted more details than what she shared.  I liked learning about her life before the show, but the portions about the show and the failed relationships were just kind of blah.  Then when she got to present day, I felt her relationship with her husband was rushed in writing and just kind of thrown in there.  Also, I wish there would have been pictures in the book, I want to see behind the scenes pictures from the show!  Maybe it was just my e-reader edition?

What books have you read this month?  I'm always up for suggestions!  Be sure to follow me on Goodreads to keep up with all my reads!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What I Wore Wednesday

I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy today for What I Wore Wednesday. My mom and I went to Lord & Taylor last week and did some serious damage. Everything was on sale, everything. One of my favorite tops is from this shopping spree. I just got it but have already worn it approximately 54864 times. #sorryimnotsorry It's perfect for this weather and I'm obsessed with it. 

what I wore wednesday, lord & taylor, design lab, LC Lauren Conrad, kohls, booties

Here's a picture of the back. I mean how adorable is this?

My shoes are from last year and almost sold out, so I found this option for you, too.
toms black lace up wedge bootie

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Show and Tell Tuesdays: The Mixtape of My Life

It's Tuesday so that means I'm linking up with Andrea today for Show and Tell Tuesdays and today is all about the mixtape to different stages of our life! Ohhhh, this is a hard one.  I love music and am always singing a song of some sort so to narrow it down is going to be tough.  Just go ahead and assume that if I could, I would list every Taylor Swift song, but I'll try to limit myself.

My earliest memory of music is this song:

Ironic by Alanis Morisette
I must have been about 5 and my dad and I would drive around Miami to "get gas" (meaning we drove for 45 minutes to an hour listening to this CD, sipping Dr. Pepper and finally stopping for gas).  This is one of my earliest memories of music and I loved that time spent with just my dad listening to Ironic. Along with Alanis, he would also throw in a little bit of this

Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison
because I'm his brown-eyed girl.

Elementary school brought lots of Hanson, 98 Degrees (my first concert!), NSYNC, Britney Spears, Spice Girls, Christina Aguilera and my introduction Broadway.

I knew every word to every song of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" before I ever saw the show.

Then 5th grade hit and so did 9/11 and Black Eyed Peas released the most perfect song to put into words what we were feeling

Where is the Love? by Black Eyed Peas
I'd be lying if I said I don't remember every word to this song, especially the rapping.

Middle school brought around feeling left out by my friends and this song

Welcome to My Life by Simple Plan
What pre-teen or teen didn't relate to this song at one time or another?

Then, in high school, my world changed.  I still loved pop and Broadway music, but I was introduced to country music by way of Taylor Swift.

Teardrops On My Guitar by Taylor Swift
This song was on repeat probably all of high school and is still one of my favorite songs of hers to this day.

Don't Stop Believin' by Journey
My sophomore year of high school, I was in the show CATS and we played this song nonstop: before shows, after shows, during intermission, whenever!  I still can't help but smile with this song comes on because CATS was a really important time in my life when I made so many new friendships and deepened others.

In Better Hands by Natalie Grant
Tragedy struck my small down several times during high school and this song helped me through.  A car accident claimed the lives of two school members my sophomore year and then my senior year, a friend's mom and sister died in a car accident.  I remember hearing this song and just crying thinking of the lives lost and knowing they were in better hands.

Then came college.  I had never been away from home before so moving 4 hours away was a change for me.  While the transition was fairly easy, I did have a rough month or so and this song really helped me get through that time.

Sweet Silver Lining by Kate Voegele

And speaking of being away from home, I can't forget these songs
Country Roads by John Denver

Home is Where the Heart Is by Lady Antebellum
I love listening to these songs when I miss West Virginia because they both give us a shout out!

Valerie by Amy Winehouse
Performing at an open mic was something on my bucket list and this was the first song my brother and I performed together in public.

Play it Again by Luke Bryan
Because who doesn't love some Luke Bryan and I definitely play this song again and again and again.

Welcome to New York by Taylor Swift
This past October I packed up my life and moved to right outside of New York.  This song was on repeat my whole drive and still makes me smile!

Touch the Sky by Hillsong United
I discovered this song during the fall and immediately fell in love with it.  I'm talking crying my eyes out in the middle of church when I heard it for the first time kind of love.  It's such a beautiful song and a great reminder of what prayer can do.

But if I had to pick one song to be the soundtrack to my life, it would be this:
This is Me by Rachel Reinert
Rachel is a member of the group Gloriana, but she put this song out by herself.  This song describes me to a T and I love it.

I can't wait to see everyone else's mixtapes and be introduced to some new music!  Happy Tuesday! :)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, everyone!  Today, I'm linking up with NarciAndrea and Erika to share this week's Friday Favorites!

I know I'm a little late to the party, but I'm obsessed with Friends.  I just binge watched it for the first time and can't believe it took me this long.  My life feels so empty now that I can't end my day with an episode (or four) to relax.  I have a feeling this show will be on repeat when I need a break from watching dramas.

For Christmas this year, I got a Kitchenaid Immersion Blender and was a little puzzled at first.  What was I going to do with it?  Sure, I love to cook, but I'd gone 25 years without one so why now?  Let me tell you, 25 years without one was too long!  No wonder this was our go-to wedding present for everyone last year, I love it!  I use it for everything: to make smoothies, to make muffins, to make mousse, even to make oat flour!  Sorry, Santa, for questioning your judgement when it came to this gift. ;)

Can I just say how excited I am that JoJo is the new bachelorette?  I was totally Team JoJo during Ben's season and was heartbroken he didn't pick her.  Chris Harrison really had me going during the announcement and when he finally said it was JoJo, I may or may not have screamed in my hotel room!  Also, did you see this picture that ABC Exec Robert Mills tweeted?
LOVE that JoJo's mom is drinking from the bottle again!  Also, I love JoJo's dress.  

If you have an extra $450 laying around, you can pick up the Alexander Wang dress for yourself here.

I posted this on Instagram earlier this week and couldn't help sharing it again.  Ain't that the truth though? #ihearttarget

Have you guys had the Tastefully Simple Garlic Garlic Seasoning?  If not, you need to.  I'm obsessed with garlic and make a dip out of it and it's seriously the best thing ever.  I made it on a Sunday evening and it was gone by Thursday.  Sadly, I live by myself so I have no one else to blame for the disappearance of the dip. #iheartgarlic #gottakeepthevampiresaway #maybethisiswhyimsingle

Have a great weekend! xo

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Copycat Recipe: Chili's Skillet Queso

If you're anything like me, you live for Chili's Skillet Queso...and I mean live for it.  As in you'll sometimes order it and eat it as your meal.  Does anyone else do this?  No?  Just me?  Ok.  #sorryimnotsorry.  Anyway, I was really craving it the other day, but didn't want to put pants on and leave my couch head out so I decided to make it myself and guess what?  It's super easy to make!  All I need now is the personal sized skillet and I'm good to go!

16 oz block of Velvet cheese, cubed
1 can Hormel chili with beans
1/2 cup to 1 cup of milk (depending on desired thickness)
4 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. paprika

Combine all the ingredients on the stove over medium heat, stirring frequently until cheese is melted

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Rose Recap: The Bachelor Episode 9

We've heard time and time again that this week is the most pivotal week because it's fantasy suites and the bachelor and the ladies get time off camera to "talk."
We start off with Ben walking through his hotel room in Jamaica and he tests the bed by pressing down on it.  Anyone else catch that?
Ben opens up about Caila and how loves her smile, but he's worried she can't express herself and he's not sure that she can love someone.
Next up, Ben reflects on Lauren and how seeing her was the closest thing to love at first sight but he wonders if this is too good to be true.  He's already saying he can't picture his life without her.
And last but not least, Ben talks about JoJo and how he's more himself than ever around her but her hometown date is still in the back of his mind.
It's date time and Caila is up first, Ben says he feels that their relationship is the deepest one.
The two go rafting on something that looks like it's a little more than logs taped together.
As they travel down the river, conversation isn't flowing easily -- there's a lot of silence.
Caila is too worried about disrupting the mood of the date to ask the tough questions she has.
Caila opens up to Ben and says she was off today because it finally hit her that there are two other women in the running.
Then she drops the bomb that she's in love with him and she "can feel in his breath that he feels the same."
Now that Ben knows Caila loves him, it's time to give her the key to the fantasy suite and of course she accepts.

Fresh off his overnight with Caila, Ben has his date with Lauren.  Question: Does he go from one overnight date straight to the next or does he get a day in between?
The two take off in a boat and go to a private beach where they will help release a nest of sea turtles.
I've seen sea turtles hatch and go to the ocean and it's the sweetest, funniest thing ever.
During their conversation, they both agree that the other one is too good for them.
Lauren wants to tell Ben she loves him, but, like Caila, she's letting the other relationships get to her.
Did these girls not know what they signed up for?  Of course there are other relationships!  That's the whole gist of the show.
Lauren tells Ben he is the man of her dreams which prompts Ben to invite her to the fantasy suite -- which she accepts.
Once they get to the room, Lauren is all, "There's something I've been meaning to tell you" and she says she's in love with him and has wanted to tell him that for a while.
Instead of the usual awkward thank you, Ben responds by telling Lauren he's known that he's in love with her for a while as well.
And he tells her this not once, not twice, but FOUR times on camera.
I'm pretty sure that's breaking the rules.  You're gonna be in trouble, mister!

After dropping the L-bomb on Lauren, it's time to go have a date with JoJo.
Thank you, JoJo!  It's about time we got one of these run and jump hugs!
It's been a while since we've had a helicopter date so that's what these two do: take a helicopter to a waterfall.  Isn't that what everyone does on a date?
Also, Ben totally needs to pull his trunks up...or not! ;)
JoJo doesn't wait until dinner, she tells Ben at the waterfall that she loves him and he responds with another I love you!  What a rule breaker!
Ben says how incredible it is to get to spend the night with the woman he loves...ummmm, didn't he just do that last night?
And if things weren't awkward enough after telling two girl in 24 hours that he loves them, JoJo and Ben talk about her hometown date.  JoJo says they were protective and nervous and they will love him once they seem them in real life.  I doubt they'll love him anywhere near as much as they love her.
Now it's time for Ben to offer JoJo the fantasy suite key which she happily accepts.
Ben and JoJo are so adorable the next morning telling one another how cute they are. 
I mean is this not the cutest? How precious is Ben with his backpack getting ready to leave?
So let's recap the on-camera I love you's: Lauren and JoJo are at 4 while poor Caila is at 0.

The producers A little birdie told Caila she needs to remind Ben she's still there so she heads off to his hotel room to find him.
If you're dating 3 people, how awkward must this be because you legit have no idea which of your 3 girlfriends it is.
Instead of spending the afternoon together like Caila had planned, Ben takes this as his opportunity to send her home.
After Ben puts Caila in the car, she jumps out and wants answers to questions, mainly if he knew before this week and he said no.
Sidenote: I'm very proud of Caila for putting on a seatbelt in the car...even if she didn't put it on correctly. #canyoutellimadoctorskid?
She also said she feels like her purpose in life is to love people, but hasn't she been saying the whole season she isn't sure she can love him?  I'm confused.

It's time for the rose ceremony and let me tell ya, it's a real nail biter.
And then we are left with this totally awkward group hug.

At this point, I'm Team JoJo.  What about you guys?