Finding My Way

Happiness

When I was given the opportunity to blog here, I was excited to share ideas, passions, recipes, crafts, stories…all the things that define what a “Lifestyle Blog” is. What I did not expect, was to become so honest & real. For those of you, or any of you, that actually read these posts & follow us, Thank You! Life has been throwing us some “curve balls” lately & I wanted to share a little…

So, “curve balls”…….sometimes life throws them and no matter how many times you’ve practice your swing, you strike out. Other times, it’s balls that are thrown and for some god forsaken reason that you don’t know, you swing…..HELLO…the ball’s like two feet above your head, no where near the strike zone…BUT you still swung??

I’ve been swinging at one too many “balls” lately and it’s wearing me down. We’re all placed on earth for reasons we won’t ever entirely know, but we try so hard to find our place. Swinging at one too many balls, trying to find a place where I “belong”, my life has seemed pretty meaningless….Where do I belong? What am I supposed to do? What is my calling life? Am I the only one that feels this way? I feel so alone.

These are all thoughts that have been crossing my mind lately. Life has seemed so pointless. Sure it’s great, I don’t have a care in the world but I’m bored………I’m ready for the next step in life! I’m ready to be where I’m supposed to be! I’m ready to find my calling! I’m ready to hit my home run!

Regardless of the swings & strikeouts, I’ve learned to keep PUSHING ON! Yes I feel like life has somewhat “plateaued”, I’ve been stuck in the dug out, no where near making it to first base, not too mention home plate. I’ve been B-E-N-C-H-E-D, I’m the team’s official benchwarmer. HA!

It sucks more than I care to admit but no matter how “meaningless” or “boring” life seems, I know it’s not true. If you’re going through anything remotely close, don’t give up! Hang in there and keep practicing your swing!

Sure, it sometimes feels like I’ll never be thrown that pitch, swing, and hit that home run….but I know it’s coming.

Right now, I’m just finding my way.

KD

Stop & Smell the Roses

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It has come to my attention, that life has been a bit crazy. Here at With Grace & Style we have been go, go, go, GO!, because life happens! People get married, people have babies, graduations come, promotions come…life happens…….QUICKLY. We’re here a second and gone the next.

Sometimes I feel like I graduated from high school just yesterday then realize…..that was three years ago….THREE YEARS AGO??!! It came and went in a f-l-a-s-h. Like, I blinked and it was over….

It’s so true what parents say, “Enjoy it now, because it will only last for a minute..” I look back and laugh at my sixteen year old self. I wanted SO BADLY to be out of high school, out in the real world working a 9 to 5 office job, and on my own. HAHA!! I was so naive!!

Now a days, I found myself giving every high schooler I know the whole “enjoy it while you can, cuz the real world sucks” lecture. How ironic…..I bet the Big Man upstairs probably gets a good laugh out of me now & then.

So what’s my point?

The last couple of weeks I have had to make some grown up decisions, making me feel more like a grown up……making “The Real World”more (I can think of no better word) sucky.

Who knew health insurance costs more than my rent?? Who knew that a 401k meant that you were investing in something…all the sudden I’m an investor? The government takes HOW MUCH of my money?? AND who knew that tires could cost SO FREAKING MUCH.

And this is what I work my butt off for? I spent thousands of dollars in school just to work at a job that will take up more than half if my life. In my book, everyone is considered as a “workaholic” because it’s the way society says we should be. We should be enslaved to our jobs. I did the math…and as they say, “numbers don’t lie”…

We are given 168 hours a week. On average, we may spend 40-41 hours physically at work but once your mind is off the subject (far worse for business owners) you end up spending between 50-60 hours consumed with your work life. That’s an average of 12 hours a day cognitively thinking about work.

So then you get home and have a few (at most 5) hours then are off to sleep. This takes away another 7-8 hours of your day. So I like a good 8 hours. That adds another 56 hours, subtracted from your week. We’re now down to 52 hours for yourself. That’s only 30% of your times….think about it. Out of the 168 hours given in a week you only get 30% of that time to just….BE….

So here’s my point:

Life is short. Life is spent working hard to spend only a small percentage of it to do what ever it is that makes you happy. No matter how hard we work, you’ll always be paying an arm & leg just to fill up your gas tank and paying WAY too much for paper towels (I appreciate paper towels a whole lot more now a days)…..

SO STOP & SMELL THE ROSES MY FRIENDS! Take time to sit and slow down. Enjoy every moment that life brings because it’s the little things like smelling the roses, that matter. We’re here & then gone the next.

So cheers, to smelling as many darn roses as possible!

xoxo

KD

Why Not…Try a New Do

Once a year, ironically around the same time every year (that time being now) I go through a crisis of sorts. It’s a crisis of the “Blehs”. My job seems “bleh’, my social life seems “bleh”, my exercise routine is “bleh”……..everything just seems “bleh”. Life becomes, for lack of a better word, B-O-R-I-N-G. I get fidgety and get the impulse to add some sort of “meaning to my life”.

BUT through much trial and error I have learned that instead of reenrolling in school and taking Organic Chemistry & Anatomy/Physiology because I’m “inspired” to become a Physicians Assistant (AKA: my idea of what “doing something with my life” looks like) it’s time for a new Hair Do.

Yes, I know…I have come to some pretty crazy conclusions, just to realize that all I needed was a new hair style. I will admit that my rationale and judgement is not always the clearest….I just need a little change from time to time. Don’t worry though, I’m catching on……I’m still young 馃槈

So the time has come. The whole “past the shoulder/covering my boobs” hair length/natural color is boring me…..and usually ends up in a bun.聽Now don’t get me wrong, I love my long hair and the fact that I can just “throw it up in a pony”, whenever it gets in the way. So maybe this time around i just need a new color? Some bangs? Maybe layers?

Two years ago (I didn’t do anything with my hair last year……wow I’m overdue) I chopped off ten inches and I loved it! It was cute, short, sassy…..I was a confident and independent woman! But, I missed being able to throw it up in a bun and calling it a day. SO we’re keeping the length. That leaves, color, bangs, and layers as options…..ok let’s cut out layers. I am just not feeling them this time around and the idea of having “loosey goosey”pieces flying out of my pony, isn’t exactly thrilling me. So that leaves bangs and a new color.

So here’s some of my ideas/brainstorming! After rocking an ombre a couple years ago, I am thinking of giving it another go around. They are a lot of upkeep but SO FUN! I am not 100% sure on the whole bangs idea but I am thinking about. Let me know what you all think!

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These are a few ideas that I have been thinking of trying out/are the change I am in need of!

Let us know what you ladies are looking forward to try as we swing into the spring & summer season! Don’t be scared to take a risk this year……remember that if it doesn’t work out, it’ll eventually grow out 馃槈

Cheers to change & new hairstyle!

KD

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com路mu路ni路ca路tion . noun ./k蓹藢myo蜑on蓹藞k膩SH蓹n/ : the act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feeling, etc., to someone else聽(merriam-webster dictionary)

I will be the first to admit that I am one who struggles a little with this topic. In situations that require a fight or flight response, especially in a moment of being vulnerable and hurt….I definitely choose flight. Immature? Yes, definitely and something that I need to work on e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y, especially in my marriage.

You’re probably wondering, what’s my point in all this serious talk? It’s Wedding Wednesday and we’re supposed to talk about flowers, and dresses, and table settings….hair and make up….all things fabulous and magical. Right? Well yes, technically we should but 聽today I’m not. Today I’m ditching the sparkling white dresses & spring flower bouquets to talk about a very REAL LIFE topic when it comes marriage.

I’ll be completely honest with you. I had a crappy night last night due to my lack of communication skills. My husband and I made a decision on a subject, only to later realize that only one of us agreed with the actual decision. It sucked, there were tears, hurtful things were said, and it was all due to fact that I can’t communicate with “grown up” words…..yes I still may be a little bitter. But regardless, it was a whole situation that could have been completely avoided, had we communicated!!

So now let me show where you fall into this scenario….You found your Perfect Guy, you guys dated, your first kiss was the kiss of all kisses, you fell in love (maybe at first sight….because I believe it 馃槈 ), he proposed, and now you’re eagerly planning for your wedding! I am more than excited for you….seriously! These are some on the best times of your life and ones that you will never forget.

As this whole process begins, there comes somewhat of a blissful viel that falls over the bride’s and groom’s eyes. Yes you may enoucter some tiffs regarding the guest list, seating arrangements, and then the last minutes stress jitters….but for the most part it’s a blissful ride down to the altar. I mean COME ON…you’re marrying the man of your dreams and living your version of “Happily Ever After”!!!聽

But have you guys really had to communicate? Yes you guys have worked through your possible disputes of where to live, breaking old selfish habits (like staying up late reading a book and then going to bed early the next night leaving no room for quality time), deciding whether or not you’ll have a dog…etc.聽But have you guys talked about when you really want to have kids? Did just breeze on the subject and decided to figure it out when the time came? How many kids do you want to have? How will you raise your kids? Have you communicated on how involved you want your relatives to be in your kid’s lives? How much time is appropriate to spend with family? How are you going to separate time evenly spent with both sides of the family? How much time is too much? Not enough? What roles will the wife play in the house? What roles will the husband play? Who will take out the trash? Who will do the dishes?

Have you thought about any of these things? It may just be me and my lack of life lived, but I never did. As little and simplistic as some of these things seem, it can turn into a monumental obstacle in your marriage. Everyone has their own opinion and just because you two are soul mates, doesn’t mean you may agree on every single thing. Are you able to communicate to each other and work to a solution?

Communication. Ladies, we’ve got to learn to COMMUNICATE. Guys can’t read our emotions like we read each others….they are sometimes (I say this lovingly) utterly clueless and need to be told. And if you are feeling something deep down inside, JUST SPEAK IT! Learn to find you voice and speak your opinion because running the opposite directions just pauses problem momentarily. It’s time to learn how to use your “grown up” words 馃槈

In light of sharing from my personal life and struggles I want to set the record straight. I love my husband more than anything in the entire universe and marrying him was the BEST decision I ever made. The day that we got married was the day I felt like I was finally living my life. I wouldn’t trade a single day with him, for all of the riches in the world because he is my everything.

Cheers to using “grown up” words and many martinis in the process 馃槈

xoxo

KD

“Ring by Spring”

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In small private colleges, or any college for that matter, there is a popular saying that many young ladies OBSESS over, during their first semester of school. It describes young ladies that attend colleges to get their “MRS” degree…….What? We can’t help it..some of us women were just made to get married. It’s what our “dream” is……it fulfills us. Plus, who says you can’t go to school and be married…it’s a free country right? (PLUS colleges are prone to giving more financial aide to young married couples, just an FYI 馃槈 )

After attending a year at BIOLA, a small and private college, the saying “Ring by Spring” was one that I became all too familiar with. Given, I was not dating anyone at the time, therefore making the concept foreign, but I understood the gist of it. Girl goes to college, meets the guy she has been waiting her entire life for, girl and guy date, fall in Love, & come spring time (or preferably before) guy proposes to girl.

For some it’s a concept they don’t want to think about until after graduating. For others it’s a dream come true. Being that I am quite the Romantic type, I believe in the later…..in fact I encourage it! Many of my own friends were the true definition of the “Ring by Spring” theory and they have never been happier in their life.

Here as the G&S Family we love, LOVE! Especially, Young Love! We could be partial because one of us married younger in life but Love is Love and it’s what we believe in!

So with this belief we want to introduce our “Ring by Spring” Campaign! We know that getting engaged and married young comes with a lot of big responsibilities and many MANY new & big finances (yes we are saying this from experience). With this being said we want to give away one Mini Engagement shoot & styling to a young and deserving couple! For the rest of you “Young Love Birds” out there, we will be having promotional pricing for mini engagement shoots, as well.

Now I know you’re probably asking yourself, “What do I have to do?” First, log on to your instagram and follow us @withgraceandstyle. Second, repost our “Ring by Spring” post and tag us, as well of any of your friends who you think would be interested! Lastly, leave us a comment here on how you and your Soul Mate met and why guys need this Engagement session giveaway.

We are so excited to hear all of your love stories and look forward to working with one very special couple! Happy Wedding Wednesday!

xoxo

KD

Why Not…. Paint the Town Red

They happen way too often. Those days when all you want to do is lounge in comfy yoga pants and and not worry about looking in a mirror. In my case, it’s sporting the messy hair bun….. sometimes I just can’t bring myself to pull out the blow dryer, curling iron and styling products so throwing my hair up in a bun is usually the answer. Some call it messy, I prefer to see it as “effortless styles”…. so there.

But every so often we need a little spice in our lives and something to make us feel good. So with that in mind let’s try tackling those lounge-y days with a color that speaks for itself.

Red is such a vibrant look at me聽shade that even the slightest bit commands attention. So this week I encourage you to choose one signature piece in your wardrobe and paint it with the color of love, passion and fierceness. And obviously rock it like Beyonce 馃槈

1. Red Manicure聽

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2. Red Lipstick

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3. Red Shoes聽

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4. Red Dress聽

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5. Red Handbag聽

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Remember that it’s the little things that make life fabulous…. and wonderful fashion helps 馃槈

Happy Tuesday!

-Crystal

Photo Credit:Photo 1 聽| 聽Photo 2 聽| 聽Photo 3 聽| 聽Photo 4 聽| 聽Photo 5聽

 

Monday Inspiration…

Dior, Prada, Valentino, Gucci, Armani…these are the names that RULED the Red Carpet last night at the 2014 Academy Awards. GLAMOROUS is the only word that I think of. I may not ever get a chance to wear any of these couture gown (because it cost more then a years worth of my rent) I can still gawk and drool over them…and keep praying that I one day will 馃槈

聽With all of the show stopping looks, I (and I really mean us at the With Grace & Style office) couldn’t help but think of our brides. The dresses, the shoes, the makeup, the hair….we were inspired and wanted to share some of our favorite Red Carpet looks that are totally Bridal Worthy!

So lets start with the ladies!

Olivia, Olivia, Olivia. I don’t 聽know if it’s the fact that she is preggers that makes her GLOW but Olivia Wilde simply is a vision. Her cat-eye and romantic up-do are a Romatic bride’s dream.

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We love Amy Adam’s sleek and elegant up do for our Classical Bride. Her natural lip and eye makeup fit the look just perfectly.

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If there’s anyone that can make a “grungy” bed head, chic…it’s Miss Watson. We love this du for our Untraditional and Rocking Bride. Did we mention those fab Red lips of hers?

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Kate Hudson & Versace….need I say more? For our Brides who are sexy and know it! Get it girl!

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A fresh face on the Red Carpet wearing Prada, Lupita聽Nyong鈥檕 was a goddess! She looked absolutely stunning pairing that plunging neckline with a full bodied skirt that l-i-t-e-r-a-l-l-y flowed. For any of our Brides that want to feel like a grecian goddess!

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We obviously had to have Jennifer Lawrence in the mix! She’s the girl everyone wants to be best friends with and she’s never looked more stunning in a red gown then now! She knows she loves Dior and Dior loves her…..no matter how many times she may fall 馃槈 We love you Jennifer!!! For our Modern Bride!

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And now the men….because they have to look good too!

Bradley…..oh how you make us swoon!! Facial hair never looked so sexy paired with a coat and bow tie. For any of our Formal Grooms, who want to rock the facial hair 馃檪

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White seemed to be the hot color for men this year. Throw out your vision of a waiter and think of Ryan Seacrest & Jared Leto looking f-i-n-e! We love this idea for any groom who wants to stand out with his bride. (I also may have to figure out what kind of conditioner Jared uses)

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And what better way to end then with Leo? Classic, timeless….he’s a dream. For the Classical and Formal Groom.

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Happy Monday & Happy Wedding Planning to all of you brides out there!

xoxo

KD