Friday, February 28, 2014

Happy Five

Happy Friday, Everyone!!  Today I'm sharing 5 things that make me so happy!

This concept is not a new discovery, but time spent truly focused on God's Word is the best way for me to start the day.  Lately, I have been reading Scripture on my phone, but there is something about getting out the Book and turning the pages that slows me down and helps me focus more on what the Word says.  I've also had a renewed focus on prayer this week and how soul cleansing it can be to come before the Father with our praises and our cares.  Oh how He loves us!  I'm so thankful for a God who loves each of us so deeply and longs to have relationship with us.

2.  This Guy

This man makes me so happy.  I am constantly amazed that God gave him to me and can't believe this is my life.  For so long I wondered if God's plan for me included marriage and I am so thankful it did!  Totally worth the wait!!

3.  Rain

This photo was taken from inside our garage last summer, but we got a little rain storm this week and it just reminded me of how much I love listening to the rain.  I found myself getting giddy when I heard some thunder!  There is something just so peaceful to me when I hear the rain fall and know that it is bringing life to the world around us.

4.  Sweet Surprises

My mister knows I love flowers and surprises, so what a treat to find flowers on my bedside table this week when I came home from work.  They just make me smile every time I see them.  And he knows I love pink!

5.  Coffee

After a fun, but busy weekend, a little cup of java gave me just what I needed this Monday morning and I'm happy to welcome this fantastic bevy back into my rotation.  I bought some Texas Pecan K cups at the store last night and was so happy to take one to work.  It didn't hurt that there was a coupon for free chocolate chip cookies with the coffee purchase!  Bonus!!

I hope y'all enjoy a fabulous weekend!  Thanks to NatashaDarciApril, and Christina for hosting all the Friday fun!!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Spring Manicure Colors

For today's Glam Series, we are focusing on nails.  With Spring on the horizon, I was automatically drawn to think of some happy nail colors I would like to try.  The top row above houses four of my favorite spring/summer colors:  Essie's Fiji, Essie's Peach Daiquiri, OPI's My Chihuahua Bites, and OPI's Cajun Shrimp.  On the bottom row are some new colors that I'd like to add to the lineup!  What are your favorite colors?

I actually experienced the joy of a manicure on Saturday and tried out "My Chihuahua Bites" with an accent nail in gold (I can't remember the polish color).  It was a little out of my comfort zone, but has been a fun look to try.

What cracks me up the most about any time I try to paint my own nails is that when I am very deliberate and allow plenty of dry time between coats, they always seem to mess up, but when I'm in a rush, they seem to turn out better!  Ha!!  I still prefer a professional manicure any day of the week to my feeble attempts. :)  My favorite is the gel manicure because it is near impossible to mess up -- that's the kind of manicure I need!!

Thanks for hosting us, Jordan!

Love Always Nancy J

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuesday Tulle Twirls

Happy Tuesday, Everyone!  Is anyone loving this tulle skirt craze like me?  If I had my druthers, I would wear a skirt like this to work almost every day.  I just love their whimsy and airiness. And with these different ways of styling the skirts, it looks like you could wear them year round!
Tulle twirls

Tulle skirt / Tulle skirt (original source here) / The Feminine Skirt All The Bloggers Are Wearing WhoWhatWear (original source here)

Today, I'm linking up with some sweet gals (Khala, Samantha, Renee, and Jenni) for their brand new Tuesday Tea get together where we are discussing whatever is on our mind today.  Thanks for hosting us!!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Kenra and Kate

Love Always Nancy J

Today's Glam Series focuses on hair.  I will say that I struggled with fixing my hair for a long time, but I can point back to a few things that turned into absolute GAME CHANGERS!!


My sweet friend and stylist Ashley

Having a stylist you trust completely is essential.  It means the absolute world to me that I can bring Pinterest ideas of styles I love and she is able to create them to perfection.  Not only is she incredibly skilled in her craft, she is also able to easily communicate the steps I'll need to take each day to recreate the look.  She always makes sure the styles will work with my hair and gives me great recommendations for fantastic products.  She saw me through each step of the way when I was figuring out what kind of style I wanted for my wedding and it means the world to know that my hair is one thing I am never worried about when I am in Ashley's capable hands!  Also, you can tell she loves what she does and I think that makes a huge difference, too!



Once Ashley introduced me to these products, I found I was able to style my hair with the volume and look I had always hoped for!  
from l to r:
Kenra Root Lifting Spray:  I spray this amazing product at the roots of my hair after I've towel dried it.  It makes a huge difference in the volume department when I style my hair the next day!
Blow Dry Spray:  Due to some fantastic genetics, I have grayed early and choose to color my hair. :)  While changing up my look with color and highlights is so fun, it does cause my hair to be a little more fragile and this blow dry spray protects my hair from the heat of the dryer and helps it to dry faster, so I don't have to use the dryer as long!
Dry Shampoo:  This product is so great in a pinch if I don't have quite enough time to shampoo my hair, but need to freshen my look.  I'm so thankful for whoever invented this product!  It also helps give good volume.
Volume Spray 25:  This spray offers fantastic hold to your style without it feeling stiff.  I always love using it.

Another necessary product for me is this one.  Of all of these, this one provides the greatest volume at the time I am styling my hair.  You just put a little of this powder at the roots and tease away!!  It holds up great throughout the day and gives my style the oomph it needs, especially on humid days!!

I use a flat iron most days and Ashley referred me to a great spray that protects your hair when using hot tools either flat irons or curling irons.  I can't remember the one she told me about, (it might be this one) but I feel a little better using all the heated tools when I use this spray. :)


Kate from The Small Things Blog is my other invaluable resource.  Her hair tutorials have taught me so much about hair techniques and products that I can honestly say they have changed the way I do my hair!!  If you have not seen her website, please go immediately!  She has an amazing stock of hair video tutorials of all different styles.  From curling to teasing to updos and everything in between, she offers amazing tips that have definitely helped me so much!

This tutorial was the first one I saw through a Pinterest link and I use these tips all the time.
Just looking back through her hair tutorial list makes me want to try some new ideas and retry my favorites!  I never thought I could do a cute updo before I started watching these tutorials and sometimes I am amazed at the styles I can actually accomplish!


I always keep a running list of other hair products to try and this foam and these shampoos and conditioners are on my list.  

Thanks for hosting us, Jordan!

What are your favorite hair tips?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Favorite Things

Today I'm linking up with Erika ( and Andrea ( for their Favorite Things party where we share our current favorite thing under $10.  My first thought was a fun bottle of Essie nail polish or popping in to my favorite nail salon for a $5 nail polish, but then I thought of the latest treat I've purchased -- the $4 bunches of flowers at the grocery store!!

Picking up a bunch or 2 of these flowers just brightens my day and I love having fresh flowers around my house or office.  

Thanks for hosting this fun party, Erika and Andrea!  I can't wait to see what everyone's favorites are!!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

We Won!!

Y'all, I cannot even believe it!!  We won the photo contest thanks to you!  Thanks so much for voting for my bridal portrait on my wedding photographer's blog.  Now we get to enjoy another photo session with the amazing Kelly Hosch in 2014!  I am just tickled!!  Thanks again!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Favorite Scriptures on Love

Today, I'm linking up with some of my favorites (NatashaDarciApril, and Christina) for their "Five for Friday" linkup and today's is a very special one because we are all bringing support to #TeamTeddy and awareness to Menkes syndrome.  You can also visit his FB page here.  Natasha wrote a great post earlier this week talking about this precious little one and his courageous fight.  Hopefully all of this support will help work toward a cure to this disease.

With all the difficulties in the world and today being Valentine's Day, I thought I would focus on some of my favorite Scriptures that focus on love.  No matter what we face, good or bad, we can rely on God's presence to guide us each step of the way.


This passage has sustained me through many desert times in my life.  The hope and assurance that nothing can seperate us from God's love is such a powerful truth that I feel such peace wash over me each time I read it.


The love chapter in 1 Corinthians is such a beautiful definition of what love truly is.  What a challenge!  Love is so much more than a fleeting feeling, but a sincere and active expression.  Reading these verse both convicts and encourages me in the way I love others.  I think more than anything, this verse provides a written representation to draw us into a closer understanding of what God's love is like.


Love is central to our two greatest commandments from God: love God and love neighbor.  No wonder Paul writes that "the greatest of these is love."


"Love one another".  I still remember memorizing this verse as a child.  How simple it's message appears at first glance, but oh the depth of challenge when you begin to apply it.  Just reading these over again has brought a new challenge with the idea of Valentine's Day and how essential it is for us to love everyone around us.  I love the quote from Plato "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle".  This statement is as true today as it was in ancient Greece and seems to accent God's commandment to love each other.  God created us for community and how strong and beneficial that community would be when we can truly "love one another".


And I end this collection with one of the first verses I ever memorized, which becomes more powerful each time I read it.  This verse captures the good news, the gospel story of God's love for his people that God loved us enough to give his only Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sin.  This love gives us our eternal hope.

May you experience the fullness of God's love on this Valentine's Day and every day!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Warby Parker Help!!

I just got this amazingly fun little box in the mail that I sent away for a few days ago!  I'm in desperate need of some new spectacles and had heard of the free in-home try on that Warby Parker offers.  I made my way to their space on the interwebs and chose 5 options that I thought would work.  :)  Now to decide which option to choose!!  Can you help me?

Obviously I'm a little partial to the tortoise shell!  Which one should I choose?  I have a few options that I like, but I'd love different opinions.  Thanks to Mr. G for taking all these pics!  I asked him to take them because my vision is so terrible that even if tried to look at myself in front of a mirror, I'd have to lean too close to really see what they look like!  Ha!  I am so thankful for glasses and contacts that help me see the world. :)  In fact, that is another amazing reason why I'm a fan of the Warby Parker company.  For each pair of glasses you purchase, Warby Parker gives a pair to someone in need!  I know what a difference glasses make in my life and I'm so excited that this company will give a pair to someone else who needs them, too.

Seriously, let me know your favorite look!!  And because I looked back at the website again last night and saw these, I'm adding them to the mix, too!  Thanks for your help!! :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wedding Wednesday!

Taking my bridal portraits was a very special day for me.  I wrote a little bit more about them here.  I mean after all, the time you actually get to spend in that beautiful gown is so limited that I loved the idea of being able to wear it for an extended time on a day other than my wedding day.

One of the reasons this day was so special was because my mom and mother-in-law were with me and I will always cherish our time together.

Another reason was where the photos were taken.  Ever since I attended my first Homecoming at the age of 5, I have known I wanted to go to Baylor.  Being able to take the photos in the Armstrong Browning Library on Baylor's campus was a dream.  Not only was it special because it was Baylor, but also the Armstrong Browning Library was named one of the 5 most beautiful college libraries by the BBC!  Be sure to stop by if you are driving through Waco. :)

The third reason taking my bridal portraits was so special was because my photographer was amazing!!  She is hosting a 2013 photo of the year contest and one of my bridal portraits has made it to round 2!  It would just thrill me to pieces if you would take a second and vote for photo #9. :)  Here is the link to the contest:

The contest runs through Saturday, February 15th, at midnight and you can vote each day!  Thanks so much for your help. :)

I'm linking up today with Jordan and Meredith for Wedding Wednesday.  Thanks for hosting us!!
Love Always, Nancy J

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Texas Valentine Blogiday!

Saturday I got to attend my first ever blogger meetup and it was so fun!!  Stephanie, Casey and Adrian hosted all the festivities and they thought of each and every detail from the adorable Paperless Post invitations to the delicious restaurant selection to all the fun shopping at one of my favorite places!  I also got to meet Jessica, Rachel, Jamie, Sarah, Amber, Laurie, Tiffany, and Nancy!!  What a treat!  Now on to the recap!

As we arrived on Saturday morning, we found so many happy treats at our place, including a fantastic confetti popper completely personalized with our name from The Confetti Bar!  The adorable Valentine's day boxes were filled with treats as well!!

We had so much fun meeting each other and chatting that soon it was time to order brunch!  Now, I have wanted to try the stuffed french toast at this restaurant for a long time, so I thought this meetup was the perfect time to try it and it did not disappoint!!  Saturday's stuffed french toast was filled with apple pie and it was so good. :)
 Of course the sweet treats didn't end there -- we also were treated to the Olive Branch's delicious cupcakes!  I chose chocolate and it was fantastic, but I also heard the fresh strawberry cupcakes with vanilla buttercream were pretty phenomenal, too!

After brunch and several fun photo ops, we headed upstairs to do some shopping at Spice Village!  I love shopping here because there are so many unique boutiques under one roof.

Grae Apparel was one of the boutiques we visited and they had a fantastic selection of clothes and accessories!!  I saw the most fabulous sequined skirt and wished so desperately that sequins were consistently in my work dress code.  I think I could wear sequins every day and be so happy!

Grae also had such creative decor as photobombed by the fabulous Rachel!  This huge heart art was created by arranging different styles of envelopes.  I'm sure they contained love notes!  

 Grae was also so kind to gift us with some fantastic goodies!!
From the top right, clockwise:

contact card//anemone hand lotion (I can't wait to try it!)//beautiful turquoise necklace//
anemone perfume roller in a fresh scent//tote to carry it all with us//
fantastic black and white chevron infinity scarf
**all opinions are my own

Of course with all the cuteness surrounding me, I couldn't leave without making a purchase!
This yellow and white chevron infinity scarf is lightweight and perfect for warmer temps!  I'm already looking forward to wearing it to Baylor sporting events this spring. :)

After all the shopping and fun, I was sad to say goodbye and hope we have another meetup sometime soon!  Until then, it has been so fun keeping up with these new friends through social media. :)

I thought I'd also show you a closer peek into our Valentine's treat boxes from our hostesses:

 Clockwise from top left:
adorable pink lip glass//elf lip gloss in Goddess with spf! (can't wait to try it because this winter weather has totally dried out my lips!)//classic conversation hearts//festive red heart tea towel//
yummy Russell Stover chocolates!

I'm also so excited to try my confetti popper!!  Here is a peek at the instructions. :)

And I'll leave you with the beautiful phrase on the perfume I received from Grae:

Hope you are having a great week!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Weekend Recap

This weekend was so fun!!

It started off with a trip to my hair guru Ashley and once again she worked her magic on my locks!!  She chopped 3 inches from my mane and added some fun highlights, too!

I'm just loving my new style and how she was able to give me some beachy waves with her magical curling iron!  The best part is that in the two days since, I've been able to style it on my own and that is what I call haircut success. :)

After the hair salon, my task was to do the grocery shopping while my sweet hubs cleaned the casa.  It was so nice to get all our chores finished on Friday, so we could enjoy the rest of the weekend.  As we were putting the groceries away, I inadvertantly spilled almost an entire container of blueberries.  Those small dark blue spheres spilled all over the floor -- ugh!!  Needless to say the next morning, I returned to the store for more blueberries. :)
On the left is the container with the few blueberries that survived my clumsiness and on the right, the full container purchased later.  That moment was so comical to me, I just had to write it down to remember!

Saturday morning, I got to attend a blogger meetup for brunch and shopping!!  It was my first blogger meetup ever and it was so fun!  I'm planning a full post later this week recounting all the details. :)  I loved getting to meet so many new friends and enjoy lots of fun treats. :)  Major thanks to Stephanie, Casey and Adrian for hosting such a fabulous event!  Here's a sneak peak at some of our fun:

After the meet-up, I headed home to put my apron on and start preparing a dinner to celebrate G's parents' anniversary!  I think one of my favorite things is sharing a meal with people I love and it was so much fun to put together a menu of some of my favorite foods!!  We enjoyed a lemon pepper pork tenderloin, green bean bundles, my great-aunt's "fabulous potatoes" and for dessert, a chocolate chip poundcake.  It was so nice to enjoy a leisurely dinner together and then sit in the living room and visit with a warm fire crackling in the background.  I am so thankful for my precious in-laws!

Happy Anniversary!!

Sunday was filled with church, relaxing, and a little more cooking. :)  My goal on Sunday is to make a meal that will feed us for several days and with the cooler temps in the forecast for the beginning of the week, I made another pot of my mom's potato soup.
I also made some whole wheat blueberry muffins for G to take for breakfast this week.  

I might have to sneak some for my breakfast this week, too! :)

It is the best feeling having some meal planning taken care of before the busyness of the work week begins!  What was your favorite thing from the weekend?  Happy Monday!!