Wednesday, October 31, 2012

halloWEAN


It's October 31st.
Halloween.

I won't lie and tell you that I haven't celebrated this holiday before.
In fact, last year I dressed up as a dead person and was horribly "sick" the next day.
And that's all I need to say about that.

This year, I'm doing it differently.
No dressing up.
No handing out candy.
No pumpkin carving.
No spooky home decor.

Sure, I'm dressed in all black today, but not creepy all black.
I'm listening to "Halloween Party" on Pandora.
I'm volunteering at a Christian harvest carnival this evening.
But I'm not celebrating Halloween.

It's amazing the twists and turns my life has taken since last year.
As I told you, in 2011, I went as a dead person... a DEAD PERSON!
This year, I'm so alive.

If you'd like an interesting perspective on the topic of Halloween, read this post.
For another perspective, read this post.

Now—I would never judge anyone for celebrating Halloween, for dressing up, or for having fun tonight.
But I'll be having a different kind of fun.
An "in the world, but not of the world" kind of fun.
And boy, it feels so good.

Happy Hallowean!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Double Dutch Braid


After my entire last year of being conservative with my hair, it was no surprise to my impulsive self that I got bangs the moment my 365-day challenge finished. Now, while I love styling my new bangs and coming up with fun hairstyles, there are still days when I just want them out of my face.

Enter—braids. The double Dutch braid, to be exact. This one is really easy and holds my bangs back if I spritz it with a shot of hairspray.

Steps:
  1. Create a deep side part for your hair.
  2. Section off two large pieces of hair to make your braids. Pin one section aside.
  3. Making a French braid that goes under instead of over (thus a Dutch braid), plait the hair to the side.
  4. I pulled in about 3 pieces of hair as I made the Dutch braid, before creating just a regular plait and not pulling any more hair in.
  5. Keep braiding until the plait reaches behind your ear and secure with a bobby pin. You can keep pin it over the hair for added texture if you want. I prefer to hide my pins under the hair.
  6. Plait back the second Dutch braid and pin next to the first.
Easy! My fine hair always stays right in place so I don't have to worry about tying off the braids with clear elastic bands. But if you have thicker hair, you may want to consider that.

Not only can this style help keep your bangs out of your face (if you have them), but it adds a pop to any simple outfit. My favorite accessory is always a creative hairstyle. See more here!

Monday, October 29, 2012

In a Fog.


Boise greeted us with a cloud of fog this morning.
It was a little eerie, but definitely made it feel like the end of October.
It was the kind of weather that made me want to curl up on the couch with a cup of cocoa—
not trudge my way through traffic to the office.

But oh well. It must be done.

That's kind of how I've been feeling a lot lately.
It must be done.
I wouldn't say I'm stressed, but maybe a little overwhelmed with wedding plans.
I'm embarrassed to tell you that.
I want to seem so on-top-of-it. So carefree. So "this is easy."
Actually, it is easy. I just wish I were a little more carefree.
Or maybe that's just it, maybe I'm too carefree.
Because to me—it's not about the frilly decor or what we're wearing or how we have our hair.
It's about us.
Either way, I have to say, the help I've received so far has saved me.
The cake (thank you, Meghann), the flowers (Ashley, you're precious), the time.
I'm so thankful.

See, I am not an event person. I don't like planning them... at all.
It's not my thing.
So planning my own wedding is just torture.

BUT—I'm doing it. And honestly? It's rather fun.
Checking things off day after day.
Counting down the days until we say "I do."
It's all really exciting.

But most of all, more than the dress, the cake, the centerpieces, the honeymoon—
I'm just excited to finally be Mr. and Mrs. Rowe.
No more "fog."

Just to be us.
Officially.
Forever.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fall Style

Glasses: c/o Firmoo (use code 44378b2c8d for 15% off any order) // Hairclip: c/o Lilla Rose //  Boots & Leg Warmers: Runway Fashion Exchange // Leggings: Steve Madden // Earrings: Premier Design // Necklace: Thrifted // Top: Romy // Hairstyle: Here // Photos: Taylor Love Studios

FALL.
Flowing river.
 Pumpkin spice latte.

Burgundy.
Leaves falling.
Over-sized glasses.

Saffron.
 Chilly air.
Leather riding boots.

Maple.
Rocky beach.

Amber.
Evening light.
Boise river style.

An original poem - 10.26.2012
______________________________________________

These were part 2 from yesterday's part 1.
Only 36-days 'til we say "I do."
Only 13-days until Daniel comes home.
It's a beautiful season. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Accessor-eyes

Glasses: c/o Firmoo (use code 44378b2c8d for 15% off any order) // Photos: Taylor Love Studios // Earrings: Premier Design // Necklace: Thrifted // Top: Romy // Hairstyle: Here

I met my friend & photographer Taylor the other day to talk about a video project,
and with the river being only a couple blocks away, 
we couldn't help but wander down to snap some photos.
It was one of October's first crisp evenings, and it couldn't have been better weather.

To be honest, he captured too many good photos.
Don't worry. There's more glasses/halo braid/autumn style tomorrow.
But... let me tell you something about this kid.
We go to the same church. He's 19. Not professionally trained.
And he has pure, raw talent.
Just wait 'til you see the video he helped me shoot for the
Yes to Carrots contest.
Amazing.
_________________________________________________________________________________________

OK—now I know you want details on the glasses.
So fun, huh?
Glasses are my new favorite accessory.
I never ever thought I'd be the type of girl who could pull off big-framed glasses.
Well, they say you learn something new every day...
and this time I learned: yep, I do thick-framed glasses just fine.

Remember those glasses I wore back in August?
Same company. Firmoo.
They are this model,
but of course the tortoise color is sold out.
Though I know a certain someone who ordered some before they sold out,
so now we get to be matchy-matchy.

I now own 5 pairs of Firmoo glasses.
FIVE PAIRS.
Black & white, gold jeweled, yellow, coral, and tortoise.
And while it is clear that Firmoo loves them some Aunie,
I wouldn't own the yellow or coral ones if it wasn't for their first-time buyers program.
First-time customers get your first pair free.
You just pay shipping. No strings attached.
When I found out about that, I ordered the coral ones, got them free, and then added the yellow ones for $20—just for kicks.
*for a breakdown of how to get your glasses free, read the numbered tutorial on this post*

I'm not kidding about these guys.
They're awesome.
Use the number-filled code 44378b2c8d to get 15% off any order.
My next purchase?
These oversized babies
Oh—and just so you know, they sell out of hot styles(like my tortoise ones) really fast
so if you like a certain pair, don't wait!
That's also code for don't steal the ones I just linked to 3-lines up.
Or do. And then you'll be rockin' some sweet frames.
________________________________________________________________________________________

Now, go get some work done. Or relax—either one.
But then come back tomorrow for part 2 of today's fall-inspired photos!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Europe vs. Idaho

Purse: Francesca's // Photos: Taylor Love Studios

Europe.
Read: Europa.
Exquisite, regal, a destination that awaits me.
I went to Norway once, when I was nine, but I don't remember much other than the fjords, the naked statues in Oslo, and the farmland where I stayed.

Were I to catch a plane overseas tomorrow,
I'd probably find myself so out-of-touch with Europe's high fashion standards
that I wouldn't know where to start.

So, I guess I'd begin with the basics.
I'd furnish an outfit that was simple.
Black & white—plain—with a little touch of Europe's own,
a silk scarf from Vienna, Austria and a pair of over-sized sunglasses from Paris.

Though I've never been to Paris or Italy,
I am blessed to have a world-class traveling sister who brings me home little presents with each visit.

Over top of this otherwise summery compilation,
I'd add a casual military jacket that I picked up from a local thrift shop, a pair of riding boots, and maybe some fingerless gloves.
Just for the Europe occasion.

But for now, for me, and for Idaho,
I suppose my Target skinnies & Steve Madden sandals will have to do.
And that's just fine by my book because this outfit says one thing when I look at it:
me.
And that's just the way I like it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's not just words on a page.

Photo: Taylor Love Studios ←Go "like" him & say hi from AS (brownie points if you do!)

I don't know what it is about this blogging community or
about the amazing people who come and read by blog everyday,
or about all of you who I don't consider "readers," but instead friends...
but let me just say thank you.

 I was blown away by your sincere, sweet, and heartfelt comments on yesterday's post.
On those days were I put out those posts that aren't always sunshine and rainbows,
and I really open myself up to the good and bad that may come,
without fail—you're there to support me.

I love blogging—it's an outlet. 
Like a journal.
But it's also a place for fellowship.
A place to minister, to listen, to share.
The love I felt yesterday is a feeling like no other.
Thank you for making my heart full.


 And now before I actually get teary,
how about a little something that will give you a little adventure this morning:
Bonnie.
She's a high-school grammar teacher, and while we both love to write,
she's actually the epitome of a "saucy" girl.
She writes what she thinks—no filter.
And I really appreciate her for that.
So please, take a moment to relax and enjoy the Bonnie Sauce.
__________________________________________________________________________________

Why hello there.

The name is Bonnie Blackburn Larsen and writing nonsense is my game.  Sometimes I get in trouble for what I write, but that's just the way the cookie crumbles.  The husband's name is Greg and I've been told I would be a fool for letting the internet Gods know my husband's name because now they can steal our identities and invade our home, GASP!  Therefore, to protect us from cyber devils and because it seems somehow hip I have named him Hubs.  I pride myself on originality.


This is me in my very sexiest form.  I look like this about 0.0021% of my life.  Maybe less.
 

This is me in my ugliest form- dressed up as Voldemort for midnight Harry Potter premieres. 
I just felt like from the get go you needed to know me in my best and worst forms.  Just know that usually I am somewhere in the middle of those two extremities, but creeping over more into the Voldemort side, no doubt.

If you are still interested in me, (oh this sounds so romantic!) you have a couple of options from here.

Option #1: Continue reading this post on Aunie's blog where I will talk about risky writing and how somehow we have to write the stuff that is hard to write even though people might hate us for it, we must write it, dang it! 
Option #2: Visit my blog where you may read all my rambling to your heart's content.  You might wanna check out this post which will give you a very personal, loving tour of the blog and a guide to the greatest posts- the romantic ones about my Hub-a-dubs, the ones about teaching high school to bratty teenagers, and even the scandalous ones.
Option #3:  While at my blog, enter yesterday's giveaway- the absolutely biggest giveaway I have ever done in the blog's history!
Option #4:  All of the above

(Pick #4!  Pick #4)

Let's dive right in, shall we?


Lately I've been thinking a little about writing and the act of writing and what we write about and writing what scares us even though we are scared.

You with me?

These thoughts have been spurred on by this post that my blog buddy, Taylor wrote about the recent elections.

Now, I could have warned Taylor not to even touch politics on her blog.  I could have shouted from the hilltops that writing about politics or religion is pretty much asking to get run over by a bus full of mean blog commenters, but I didn't.  I let old Taylor find out by herself.

And did she ever!  Bloggers were a commenting, people were a ranting, and chicks were full on pulling out their pistols over the whole Romney/Obama debacle.

(VOCABULARY:  Debacle:  A complete collapse or failure.  Also one of my favorite words.  Try to use it in your regular speech and watch your life change before your very eyes.)

I was proud of Taylor when I read this.  I liked her post, and I liked the conversation that she had sparked.  Good writing should always spark conversation.

Taylor, however, seemed a bit alarmed.  People were demanding Taylor's head. To win her readers back over, Taylor dedicated  her next post to her "softer" side- trying desperately to convince internet meanies that she's not the crazy, sarcastic b%&#* that she pretends to be.

First off, I think people who post mean comments on blog are just straight up not good people.  What's the point?  If I don't like a book I don't take the time to write the author and tell him his book sucks.  I just don't read anything else he has written.  So why do blog commenters see it as their personal duty to notify any blogger the second they read something they don't like?

Secondly, I wanted to somehow sit down with Taylor in a coffee shop and tell her that what she was doing was spot on.  Of course I couldn't because I live in Utah and Taylor lives in Chicago and I don't drink coffee, but that's a whole different discussion, isn't it?  But what I wish I could somehow relate to her was that it was good if people disagreed and people said mean things.  Heck, it was even good if she lost followers over it. 

My theory is this:  You have to be willing to lose followers in order to really produce original, thought provoking writing.  You can't be afraid of the internet trolls, the mean commenters, the people who are going to disagree with everything you say.  You just have to realize that those people aren't who you're writing for and let them go find a nice blog where weekend recaps and Oh, so Pinteresting posts abound.

In May I sponsored a blogger who politey asked me three times to rewrite my post. My posts were too "controversial", "polarizing", and "inappropriate" for her blog. I had links to a post on birth control, a post about my students' threats to Justin Beiber, and of course, my favorite post describing my high school student who confused whores with horse.  The blogger stated that she didn't want her blog to be a place where these "kinds of things are hashed out." While I, of course, respected that blogger's wishes, I was also surprised and a bit saddened that she didn't want anything on her blog that could spark the least bit of controversy. Where was the fun? Where was the spark? Where was the risk?

In June I cried over a blog post. I had written a post admitting that I had parked in a handicapped stall to run in to the grocery store for five minutes.  I thought it would spark conversation, get some people to comment.   

Oh, I got that alright.  And a little bit more.  My readers tore into me.  They were merciless.  Wanted me dead.  The comments were fast and furious.  Some were posted anonymously, calling me a liar, classless, and rude.  One commenter even compared me to "bean paste." The post had only been up an hour, and already I couldn't take the heat.

I moseyed on in to the bedroom, where Hubs was dinking around on facebook, and with tears in my eyes I said to him, "You need to read the comments on the post I just put up. I think I went too far." We clicked on over to my blog and read through the comments together.

Hubs said nothing.

"I'm going to take it down," I said with a hint of panic in my voice. "People are crucifying me!"

Hubs kept reading in silence. Then he said, "I don't think you should take this down."

"Why not?" I was scared. And vulnerable. And was literally on the verge of tears. People hated what I had written.

"I think it's good. I mean, I don't think it's good that you parked handicapped. But I think this reaction is good. People who are going to stop reading your blog over this would stop reading within time anyway. You can't be afraid to post stuff like this. You can't be afraid of your readers."

And so, I kept it up. Not because I wanted to, but because I wanted to make Hubs proud and convince him that I was a strong girl even though heavens knows I'm not.

The next day I put on a brave face and lectured my readers via blog post: BE KIND, PEOPLE! IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY, DON'T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL.

And more people responded.

I had more hits to my blog in that two day period than any other time during the summer. I lost a few followers, but I gained many more.  And I had emails up the ying yang of people asking if they could sponsor me.

That wasn't the only time I was scared to post something I had written.

I was scared when I wrote about birth control laws in Utah.

I was scared when I wrote about farts. (Mostly scared of my mom, I admit.)

I was scared when I wrote about my religion. (Terrified is a better term.)

I was scared when I wrote about about gay marriage.

I was scared when I wrote about our culture's attitude toward breast feeding.

But guess what? ALL of these posts are in my top ten viewed posts of all time. They might have caused some readers to go, but they caused even more to come and stay.

Good writing does not succeed or fail based on its ability to please. Good writing succeeds or fails based on its ability to engage. And if I've got 66 people yelling at me for parking handicapped, well, by golly, I guess I engaged them.

Now come over to my blog and add your two cents!  Do you think bloggers should write about things that scare them or keep it to sweet, non-controversial posts?  Do you take risks with your writing?  What are your favorite type of blog posts?

Monday, October 22, 2012

the trich post.


I haven't posted about my trichotillomania in quite some time.
In fact, the last time was in May when I mentioned I had just gone through a bad episode of pulling.
I was struggling with the pulling of my eyelashes and eyebrows.

I was embarrassed, and I was determined to make a change.

If you've ever seen my old pictures
you've seen...
I had no eyelashes or eyebrows.
There have been times when I have had absolutely none at all.
For a person who used to get most compliments about my eyes,
hurting myself by ruining my best feature really tore me apart.
I didn't know what to do, I didn't know how to stop, and I lost touch with myself.
This is something I've been dealing with since I was 16,
and this last May—something broke free within me.

Since that last post in May, not only have things changed, but life is different.
In every way.
I wouldn't say I'm completely "cured" from my trich.
Not my any means.
But it doesn't haunt me the way it used to.

I get emails on a daily basis that ask,
"What is your treatment? How do you do it?"
My answer has one response.
Prayer.

See, I've tried every remedy in the book.
Counseling. Meds. Psychiatry. Hypnosis. Acupuncture. Exercise. Wearing gloves at night so I don't pull.
Nothing seemed to do it.
So I turned to the one place where I wasn't in charge.
I began to pray.

In September, though I still dealt minimally with the pulling,
I had a life-changing experience at our church's Encounter.
There was a period of anointing, and a healing tunnel.
I went through that tunnel of outstretched hands.
I sobbed.
I lifted my own hands and cried out, asking for forgiveness, healing, and peace.
I let everything out that was bottled up inside of me,
and gave myself over to Him.

It's amazing what can happen when you let go.

I still have the occasional urge to pull, but it's not anything like it used to be.
I don't sit in front of the mirror for hours every night, analyzing each remaining hair.
I don't watch TV with my hands glued to my face, tugging and ripping apart my eyebrows.
To be honest, I don't even really think about it anymore.

And this isn't something that I did.
I could not have done this alone.

I've been putting off writing this post,
in fear that some of you would turn your backs on me.
In fact, almost every time I write a faith-based post,
followers scatter. Criticism rises. I become a target.
But then I realized, why am I scared to tell you the truth?
I am not embarrassed. I am free. 
And for those of you who are my brothers and sisters in Him, you will always stand beside me,
and I thank you so much for that.

No matter what your disorder, insecurity or faults may be,
know this—you are always loved.
And you know what else?
You can make a change.
Life is too short to suffer.
Embrace your mess. Say a prayer. Set yourself free... make that change  

Mark 5:34 "He said to her, 'Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.'"

Friday, October 19, 2012

...And now this one is for THE guy.


Remember that typical "date night" ensemble I told you about on Wednesday?
This would be it.
V-neck tee, jeans, Chucks, a simple necklace, a throwback Disneyworld bracelet, and a ponytail.
Easy.

I love the feel of the sun warming my back as the encroaching season brings a chill to the air.
It won't be long here before t-shirts and hole-spotted jeans will be swapped for sweaters and scarves.
And as much as I didn't think I was looking forward to fall,
the warm cup of tea and color-changing leaves yesterday just about changed my mind.

To be honest, as long as this new season brings Daniel back home—
the quicker it comes, the better.

Happy Friday. ♥

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Breathe. Relax. Reflect.

Necklace: c/o Bama+Ry (coupon code: AunieSauce for 20% off) // Jacket: Runway Fashion Exchange // Photos: Taylor Love Studios

Once in a while,
I have a lot to say.

Those posts usually end up nestling in the "On My Heart" category.
They're usually real, raw, and me unfiltered.
And sure—they're filed under "On My Heart,"
but they're more like little glimpses into my deepest thoughts...
a place where I like to breathe, relax and reflect.
That's where I came up with that little tagline for my posts like that—
—like this.

Actually, the tagline was born at the end of this post back in August.
One of my favorite's of all time.
In fact, during that time—not yet engaged, unsure about Daniel's new job, just waiting for things—
it was all I could do to write that post and say a little prayer to calm myself.
And you know what?
It helped.

It wasn't long after that when I was approached by Jasmine,
the owner, founder and mastermind behind Bama+Ry,
to see if I would wear one of her custom copper pieces.
I knew immediately which one was the most "me," and what I wanted mine to say.
Breathe. Relax. Reflect.

A custom piece. Just for me.
So special.

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately (nothing new there),
and boy... right now, little things like this,
prayers from others and for others, the thoughtful comments you guys leave,
the hugs, the "likes," the Skype-screen kisses with Daniel,
all of it—it is keeping my little battery full.  

So thank you.
It means so much.

Aunie Sauce

PS> Use code AunieSauce for 20% off (by 10/25) so you can match me, or create something custom of your own ♥

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

This One's For The Girls


Some things we do for the guys.
Some things we do for the girls.

The above ensemble?
Double Dutch braid, neon purse, funky 80's necklace... that's for the girls.
I believe we ladies like to call that fashion.
And I know firsthand—I'm not always the go-to when it comes to fashion-y things.
I haven't caught on to the peplum, bright red lip, or huge platform shoes trends this year.
Nor will I ever. It's just not me.
In fact, when I shop, I tend to go for the classics.
Tee's, casual sweaters and sweatshirts, easy-going jeans, sneakers or comfy flats.

I tend to be one to dress for the guys (well, just ONE guy, but you get my point).
And honestly, it's easy, because what he loves—I love.

I've seen lots of posts lately centering around a popular topic:
The Go-To Outfit for a Date-Night
or something along those lines.
Want to know my go-to date-night outfit?
Now, granted, I live in Boise, but still...
V-neck tee, jeans, Chucks and a ponytail.
No big earrings. No statement necklace. No bright red pouty lips.
Just me. Just casual. Just the way he likes it.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Now... skip all that "guy talk," because THIS is for the ladies.
This October, I have the most generous group of sponsors... and they are hooking you up.
Giftcards, ad space, blog design elements, makeup kits—you name it.
I want it. All of it.
This month there will be 8 WINNERS.

Your only mandatory entry is to tell me what you want to win, so choose wisely!
{Enter via Rafflecopter below}




 blog // facebook // twitter


 blog //  bloglovin




Email me if you have questions about how to enter.
Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

It's a Euphemism.


Though I'm back at work this morning,
out of bed for longer than 3-minutes at a time,
wearing mascara for the first time in 3-days
(I always wear mascara),
and I actually took a shower and got dressed,
I have to say—
I feel about as awesome as an over-steamed bag of broccoli
—pale, wilted and rather sad to look at.

But, no matter.
I'm drinking plenty of water,
have some toast for lunch,
and a church activity this evening, which I will be well enough to go to.

Thank you for all your lovin' yesterday.
Your comments were like chicken soup for the soul,
the real kind... not the book kind.

OH—and thank you guys so much for voting for me in the the Yes to Stylista contest!
I got into the Top 10, so now I get to make a video to compete for the top prize.
EEK—putting my sauciness into a video. Terrifying!
Cross your fingers for me, it's due October 26! ♥

AddThis