Friday, November 30, 2012

Beautiful Life.


We are getting married tomorrow!  I can't even explain all of the emotions swimming through my head (and heart), but I know that all brides-to-be have been in my shoes before. To sum it all up, I couldn't pick one word... but a few would be wonderful, blessed, happy, and so so in love and overflowing with joy at this very moment. It's an amazing feeling.

This morning we're setting up at the church, then heading to the mall for our annual Santa Christmas family photo... and then all sorts of miscellaneous errands and to-do's in between. Then the rehearsal in the evening, Daniel's Mom's Christmas program, and afterward Daniel and I are treating our family & bridal party to a rehearsal dessert!

I've mentioned it before, but Daniel and I will be honeymooning right after the wedding, and I didn't schedule any posts (OK--just one) for you while I was gone. We plan on getting cozy up in the Idaho mountains. So that means we'll see you in a week! When I return, I'll be Mrs. Rowe!

It's a beautiful life. Thanks for being along for the ride.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Bridal Shower


A couple weeks ago, my lovely friends threw me a bridal shower. It was a day of memories, funny lingerie jokes, laughter and joy. My friends packed the house. The love I felt was out of this world.

My beautiful friend, Emma of EMZ Photography, took all the photos. The cake was made by another wonderful friend named Meghann, who is also making our wedding cake. The big, big smiles are care of yours truly.

Say Yes to the Dress>> which is your pick? My #1 was on the right!
Insert inappropriate jokes here. I had jokes all day long.
Jokes about baby-making. Yep.

>> 2-days to go!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wedding Hair Ideas

With our wedding just three days away (oh my—three days), I have been asked questions about my hair almost more than anything. "How are you going to wear your hair?" seems to come up every time the wedding does.

And guess what? I have no idea how I'm going to do my hair on the wedding day. NO IDEA*.

Recently, I had my hair curled for my bridal shower, and afterward, I went home to play around with some styles. I took some photos to help make a note about what I liked and didn't like. I have a little archive of wedding hair ideas on Bye Bye Beehive, so I adapted some of those styles to make new ones.

Here are a couple of my ideas for wedding hair styles.


THE TWISTED HALF-UP STYLE. This one is so easy. It's the base hairstyle for most of the other ones featured here. It's really similar to this style, but instead of just pinning it back, I twisted the hair as I pulled it back & before I pinned it, creating a pretty and soft design in the back. It would be great to add a little pearl or flower hair clip to hide the bobby pins or gap between the twists.


THE PINNED UPDO. I took the Twisted Half-Up pictured above and simply pinned my bottom half all up to make this easy updo. It took about 10-15 extra bobby pins. I would just grab a strand of hair, twist it and then pin it into place, creating a little "poof" (best word I could come up with) of hair with each pin. In the end, I had about 10 poofs that came together to create the definition in this updo. I pulled and tugged at each one to make this style look nice and full.


THE TWISTED PONYTAIL. You've seen this one before. This time, I didn't pin the last couple pieces up so high, so instead of creating a waterfall look, they simply cascaded down the ponytail. To create this look, all you do is just twist & pin (going under the curls to hide the pins). It's so simple and stays in place all day if you add a little hairspray.


THE TWISTED LOW CHIGNON. I started again with the Twisted Half-Up style, and instead of pinning smaller pieces of hair all over the place and higher up like the Pinned Updo, I took a couple large sections of hair, pinned them in a low bun, and then tugged on them to make the chignon just a bit bigger. I think this style would be really pretty with a couple loose curly strands falling down from the bun.


THE SIMPLE TWIST & PIN. As the name implies, this one is simple. You tease the hair at the crown of your head, twist back the front pieces & pin them under your hair, and you're set. This style is perfect for the easy-going-hair-all-down kind of bride.

And there are 5-easy wedding hair styles. Each of these took me less than 10-minutes, with some of them taking much, much less.

*FYI: in case you're wondering, I will not be wearing a veil, and my dress is not strapless.

Which is your favorite?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Infinity

Scarf: c/o Kintage // T-shirt: Gap // Pants: TJ Maxx // Shoes: Rocket Dog

I love scarves. Love love love.
But I have never ever owned an infinity scarf.
Until now.
That means that all the scarves you've seen here before are normal scarves, but they are secretly tied to look like infinity scarves. 
Annelise a.k.a. scarf sleuth... or not.

I'm in love with this navy blue & polka dot number from Kintage.
The textured dots, the feel of the fabric (not too light, not too heavy)—it's just perfect.
I'll tell you right now: you'll be seeing a lot of this scarf in the future.
I officially want it in every color, especially this one.
Christmas Wish List item #1? I think so.

PS> 4-days 'til the wedding! The countdown is on!

Monday, November 26, 2012

And THE busy week begins

Photos: Taylor Love Studios // Coat: Macy's

It's going to be a busy week! And that just may be the understatement of the day. I won't bore you with my to-do list, but I will say that I'm excited, I'm ready, and everything has really come together. There's just the little bits & pieces here and there that still need to be done. And when it's all said and done (or not), I'll be walking down the aisle Saturday to join my best friend and love of my life in marriage.

This week I've got a couple style posts, some wedding hair ideas, and photos from my bridal shower. I can't wait to share it all. Happy Monday!

Friday, November 23, 2012

My Take

Photos: Taylor Love Studios // Glasses: c/o Firmoo // Earrings: c/o Christine Marie Studio

One of my favorite parts about blogging is figuring out blogging. What works. What doesn't. What is fun to promote. What isn't. What bloggers I like. Who I don't need to read everyday. What designs work for me. Which don't. Who I am as a blogger... and who I'm not.

I've been blogging for a little over a year now (on this blog, anyway). I began my very first blog in 2010, but as most of us grow to learn, sometimes it takes 1-2 blogs before we figure out who we are and how we want to represent ourselves. I started that first blog, LastLash, about beauty topics, mascara reviews, and my trichotillomania struggles, which launched in November of 2010. I began No Naked Nails, a nail polish & art blog, less than a month later. I had a lot of fun with those two specific topic blogs, but less than a year later in October of 2011, I wanted something different. So I started yet another specific-topic blog—a hair blog, Bye Bye Beehive. Again, less than a month after that, and just a little less than a year after launching LastLash, this blog, Aunie Sauce (originally Simply Aunie), was created on November 10, 2011. I wanted a place for all the things that I liked. A place that was representative of me as a whole. And a place where I could just write to get away.

I have to say, I've learned so much from then until now. I hope it gets to a place where I never stop learning. Where I never stop writing. Where I never stop believing that I can do it. I also wanted to share a couple of my thoughts lately on this thing we call blogging. When I tell people about it, I don't say, "I'm a blogger." I say that I own and manage a website.

I shared my last blogging thoughts post in August. I figured it was time for another one. Here are some of my other thoughts...
  • Pinterest. In my last blogging review post in August, I mentioned these exact words, "And I'm not even on Pinterest. Not. Going. To. Happen." Well... I now have a Pinterest account. And to be honest? I only got it because I'm a contributor to the Yes To Stylista board that Yes To Carrots put together for me. So, if you're following me on Pinterest, or want to, that's amazing and thank you! But if I don't update content on there regularly, please understand—it's just not my thing!
  • Answering Emails. I know I'm not the only person who sees the emails building up in my account and frantically exits out of my browser in an "out of sight, out of mind" fashion. In fact, life lately has been so crazy that I have sometimes had to go several days before addressing unread emails in my inbox. BUT—one of my goals, and something I strive so hard for, is to respond to each and every one with sincerity. I even check my spam folder for stray emails just to make sure I'm not missing anyone. Thank you for each and every email. Even if I take 5 days to respond, I always do, I promise! And, if you think I need a virtual assistant, let's now transition to the next bullet point, and know this—you're probably right.
  • Virtual assistants. I get quite a few emails about generous girls offering their virtual assistant services. While I am so thankful for their consideration, this just isn't something I'm going to take them up on... despite how much I may need an assistant some days. Number one, I can't pay anyone right now (or trade services). I barely make enough money at my job to pay for the wedding expenses that we just incurred. Number two, I know that when (and if) you send me an email, you're looking for an organic response from me, not someone you don't know. I really want to keep that as something special... and private. Whether it's an email from a reader who usually comments anonymously, an email asking about advertising rates, or just an email to say hi... I want to be the only person to read and respond to those. I know I could set up different accounts, etc., but I don't want to. Everything that I do on my blog, I can do. I like to do. I want to do. And no matter how long it takes, I know that you appreciate that it comes from me, and not an assistant. I don't mean that to sound harsh, I just want to be honest. I know a lot of bloggers use virtual assistants, and I think they're smart! So if you use one, or are one, trust me, I value you and the work you do. This is just my true and honest opinion and how I operate at the moment. In the future, this all may change.
  • Product reviews. While I love (and completely appreciate) being sent free things, I have found that product reviews are not something that I care too much to write. I will not write a post from someone who "requires" me to include a certain amount of links back to their site. Product reviews, while I write them truthfully, can sometimes come off as persuasive, and I know that. Though, everything I have ever written is something and a product that I stand behind. So, in the future, I plan on doing more photo features in style & lifestyle posts, but I will probably not be writing much (or anything) about that product.
  • Sponsor calls. I love when people think well enough of me that they are willing to pay for a little ad space on my blog. That is one of the biggest compliments that another blogger could give me. They trust me to promote them. I really appreciate that. That being said—you will never see one of the kinds of posts on my blog where I ask for advertisements. Yes, I do shout out advertising specials & when I'm taking new ads on my Facebook and Twitter... but I won't ever dedicate an entire post to my rates or tell you that I'm looking for ads for the next month. One tiny sentence in a post? Maybe. But trust this, when you visit my blog, you can know that you'll get a real post every day. If you're interested in advertising on my page, I think you know well enough that you can click my little "advertise" page to find out that information for yourself.
  • Blogging for me. While I love so much that people come to this page and read my blog every day, I don't blog for you. I blog for me. If those priorities ever change, that's when I would take a step back from my blog. When you read my "on my heart" posts and when I truly write a post where I open up and just let loose, that is why I blog. THIS is my place to be me. To express everything. From my little style posts (that don't have much writing), to hairstyle ideas, to little bits and pieces of my life with Daniel... this is my place where it is 100% my own.
I don't ever intend for these "blogging" posts to be so long. But for some reason, I find myself rambling. So if you made it to the end of this, congratulations. Maybe you learned something, or maybe I sparked an idea in your mind. Either way, my ideas & thoughts on these topics are always evolving, so you can most certainly expect another one of these blogging reviews in the future.

But for now, that's my take. End scene.

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

    Thanksgiving

    Photos: Taylor Love Studios // Scarf: Burlington Coat Factory // Jacket: Macy's // Flats: Target

    I'm thankful for:
    • Hot chocolate.
    • Turkey Bowl football this morning with family & church friends.
    • Getting married in 9-days.
    • Unexpected surprises. The sweetest girl ever, Cat, who lives in Australia sent Daniel and I a wedding present after seeing our names listed on a registry when she was looking for a gift for a friend. When it arrived, I wasn't sure who it was from, because it said Catherine in Australia. Then I thought about it and remembered my reader/blog friend Cat and emailed her, just to see. Her response? "You've given me so much joy with your posts, that I would give you a little back." Thank you, Cat! I totally cried.
    • All the people volunteering to help on our wedding day.
    • Bridesmaids & best friends (even the one who can't make it—love you, Ash!).
    • Christmas music.
    • Good care for my grandpa, Far Far, who is in the hospital in Seattle.
    • The health of my friends & loved ones.
    • Family—all under one big roof.
    • New opportunities (thanks Yes To Carrots team!).
    • Happiness.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

    Good Enough.


    It's no secret we all doubt ourselves sometimes.
    Whether it's taking a test, trying out for a sport, or giving a presentation at the office.

    I'm about to take—in my opinion—one of the biggest tests of all.
    Marriage.
    I think everyone knows that I'm pretty darn excited to get married.
    In fact, that's quite the understatement, but I don't have the words to tell you just how excited I am, you'd have to see it in the way I look at Daniel. There just aren't words.

    But that doesn't mean I don't doubt myself.

    I don't doubt the love I feel,
    the fact that we're best friends,
    that I want to spend the rest of my life with him,
    that someday I want to be the best mom ever to our children,
    and that he is the one for me.

    But sometimes I worry... am I good enough?
    I don't have any of the ingredients of a soon-to-be wife.
    I don't cook. We know that.
    I don't sew, or clean (though I'm really good at it), craft, decorate, or do anything that even closely resembles any of these good qualities.
    In addition to all of those aspects, I don't always stack up in other areas, either.
    I'm cranky. I'm critical. I am quick to get defensive. I try to pick fights. I get sad and cry on bad days.
    Who would want that?

    I know most of those things come with time. The cooking, the decorating, the learning it all...
    ... but right now... I keep going back to those words, "good enough."

    And then, as I type this, I am reading back over my words and think about how ridiculous I'm being.
    I am good enough. Not only that... but I am more than good enough.
    So, why do I do this to myself? This circular thinking? Back & forth, back & forth.
    Because I'm me. And I worry. And stew. And lament. And fret.
    Ugh.

    The moral of this written thought pattern,
    which finally just became clear (literally as I'm writing this right now),
    is don't worry about being good enough.
    You are more than good enough.
    Be you. The rest will follow.

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

    Straight Straight Hair

    Photos: Taylor Love Studios // Top: Romy // Bracelets: c/o Threads // Hair: c/o Hana Elite Flat Iron

    Over the last year, my hair has transformed more than I ever thought possible. It has grown over 6-inches. Since I haven't colored my hair since May of 2011, I've found that my natural color is apparently a light brown (it looks lighter in the photos)... I've always thought I was a blonde. Imagine realizing that fact about yourself—that you've been wrong about your natural hair color for 26-years. Oops. It also isn't as "stick straight" as I always thought. In fact, it's actually quite straight in the front, but the back tends to take on a little awkward beach wave if I just leave it alone. Some days, that's OK. Other days? I want it to look nice.

    And I'll tell you what—in the time that you've been reading this blog (some of you a little over a year), you have never seen my hair as straight as it is today. I promise you that. Since I wasn't able to use a straightener for the entire last year due to my Bye Bye Beehive project, I didn't even remember what my hair looked like after being straightened. And let me just say—I love it.

    So yes, today's post is about hair. Straight hair. And as I sit here writing this to you, I promise you, this is a product I stand behind.
    __________________________________________________________________________________

    This past July, I was contacted by a representative from Misikko about reviewing a blow dryer. Clearly, since I was in the middle of my 365-day no-hair-styling project, I had to tell them I couldn't do it. I was bummed, too, because I would have loved a new blow dryer. But then, a week after finishing Bye Bye Beehive, I sent Misikko a reply, letting them know that my project was finished and I'd like to review that dryer for them. They instead asked if I would like to review a Hana Salon flat iron. I was thrilled, to say the least, since I haven't owned a flat iron in years. I asked them, "How did you know?!" They were so sweet and the shipped off the flat iron that next day.


    To say that I was impressed with the packaging would be an understatement. I was expecting just a flat iron. I got an entire box full of goodies. A flat iron, an iron case, an iron mat, a brush, lip gloss, eyelash curler, an ornament and even rose petals. You guys... rose petals. I emailed them right away to see if this was a mistake—all of it for me? My rep reassured me, this is how each Misikko product is packaged. Their guarantee of "OOOOOOHS and AHHHHHHS" is right.

    Now, it's one thing to ship your product in the most eye-appealing package ever, but the real question is—does the product work?

    I put it to the test. I showered the evening before I used it and went to bed with wet, un-brushed hair. When I woke up, my hair was pretty wavy—much more wavy than it normally air-dries. I busted out my straightener, heated it up (which only took a couple seconds), and got to work. Less than 3-minutes later, I had stick straight hair. Straight straight hair.


    Now, I know I don't have the curliest or waviest hair you've ever seen, but for me? This is the best hair straightener. Let's just say, my hair stayed straight all day. I am in love.

    I think the only disadvantage of this beauty is the price tag. To be honest, my jaw dropped a little when I saw that the price for this was over $200. Maybe it's just me, and the fact that I haven't owned a straightener in years, but if I were shopping around, that's just not something I would go for, especially since I could get about 10+ new tops at TJ Maxx for that same price.

    But—for those who live and breathe by their straighteners (and I know some of you do), when it comes to flat irons, you've got to see it as an investment. And this flat iron is an incredibly made, high quality hair styling tool. It has 100% ceramic plates, adjustable heat settings (I used mine on a lower setting since my hair straightens easily), it doesn't smell when it heats up, and it didn't make my hair smell like it had been burned, which so many flat irons out there are notorious for.

    I have to say, I'm a fan. Misikko, you won me over. Do any of you have this flat iron? How long does it take to straighten your hair? Do you prefer straight or wavy? Let's talk hair!

    Monday, November 19, 2012

    Let's Do Tea


    Good morning.
    It's Monday.
    Let's do tea, shall we?

    I'll be sipping a cup of hot green or brewed chai tea. 2 Splenda.

    If you asked me how things were going, I'd smile and say, "Wonderful. 12-days to go."
    I'd tell you about my dress, the flowers, the cake, and I might tell you a little bit about our music.
    I'd tell you that most of it is finished, except that I still have appointments every single day after work.
    I'd tell you about all of the generous friends who are pitching in to help.
    I'd tell you that I had a meeting Saturday that took so much of the pressure off my shoulders, and that my outlook is so sunny and bright now.
    I'd also tell you about the people who I haven't seen in years who are making the trek out to see us.
    What a blessing that is.

    I'd tell you how Daniel's family (his brothers and one brother's fiancè) moved home this weekend.
    We'd laugh about the fun times we had yesterday in our packed house with 7 adults and 5 dogs.
    I'd also tell you about the delicious homemade meal his mom made for us last night. Mac and cheese, rolls, and green beans. 
    I'd then also express just a tiny bit of relief that one brother is moving out today, and the other brother and his fiancè will be in their new apartment in a little over a week.
    Because even though I love them, I also love the peace and quite of our house as well.

    Of course, I'd ask about you. About life. About plans. About your job, your blog, your dreams.
    I'd probably want to ask about you a lot more than I'd want to talk about me.
    All the while, we'd laugh, we'd sip our hot drinks, and enjoy the atmosphere of a cozy Boise coffee shop.
    And then, when the stories were told and the drinks were empty, I'd make you promise we can do it again soon.

    Until next time...

    Friday, November 16, 2012

    Dirt & Rocks.

    Photos: Taylor Love Studios // Scarf: Burlington Coat Factory // Top: Marshall's // Jeans: Express // Purse: Thrifted // Flats: Target // Earrings: c/o Christine Marie Studio

    Dirt & rocks.
    Clouded sunsets.
    Deserted land.
    Crisp breezes.

    I love Idaho.
    Come for a visit?

    TGIF ♥

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