What is So Wrong With Being a Lady?

Very morning when I wake up, I get a cup of coffee and get on Facebook and Instagram. I keep seeing girls posting pictures with duck faces and using gang symbols. It breaks my heart to see a generation not respecting themselves. It’s sad. A girl doesn’t have to wear yards of pink or 6in heels everyday. It’s good to have many different personalities of ladies. My issue is respecting yourself. In a media driven culture you get bullied for not doing what everyone else is doing. I want to encourage girls to be yourself. Stop taking pictures that make you look “cool” in our culture. It is time to stand up for feminism. There is nothing wrong with being feminine and going hunting. There is nothing wrong with being feminine and wearing gym shorts. You don’t have to wear makeup and jewelry. Treating yourself as a lady and demanding others (especially guys!) treat you as a lady. That is being feminine. We are being robbed of it, because it’s not cool.

I have two “me’s” ( if you will ). I love doing my hair and makeup, picking out my outfits. Doing my nails. At church I wear heels. If you saw me on the street or just walking into church you would never know that I have a whole other side to me. The other side of me loves being out in the woods, bonfires, jeans and listening to country music. I love smores and throwing my hair up in a messy bun.

I don’t always wear makeup. I love animals, being with my friends and family. There is nothing wrong with not having any makeup on and having your hair done. At the end of the day as long as you love the person God has created you to be. Why should it matter what everybody else thinks? Why do we allow ourselves to be swayed by social media, and what is in. There is nothing lady like about twerking, taking selfies with almost no clothing. There is nothing wrong with being confident and I hope you are. But when you think about your self worth, don’t cheapen it!

 There is nothing wrong with being a career woman, a stay at home mom. There is nothing wrong with wearing jeans or a dress, pearls or a small cross necklace. Your favorite color doesn’t have to be pink, it can be any color. Being lady is an attitude. It is being respected for who you are and not accepting anything less then so.
So here’s to being ladies!
~ Brandy

My Wedding Day: June 1,2013

I love weddings, I rejoice with those who get engaged and pray for every girl to have their wedding dreams come true. I want to blog about my wedding. (7 months almost 8 months after) I am going to share what I felt was worth the cost and ways that I saved money. As well as something things that I did that I feel made my day special. Our venue was at Deer Creek Overlook.

                                                            Decorations:

I did some major DIY. I did all the flowers, and between me and my mom we purchased some a little here and a little there. I had a theme, southern garden.

Here are a couple of Instagram pictures of what I did on my own as well as pictures from the wedding.

My mom bought the cake stand from HomeGoods. I bought the ribbon and the button from Walmart. Then I weaved the ribbon through and put the button on it.

Photo by Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
The small chalkboards I got from Etsy ( I don’t remember the vendor) I bought the liquid chalk from Michaels in the wedding section.
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
I was having an outdoor wedding, and there was no way I was going to wear heels. Not only that but I wanted shoes that I could easily kick off and dance. I got the shoes from Walmart, and the decals from Michaels.
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Instead of programs we did a poster board. We made it look like a chalkboard. One side had the bridal party and on the other side order of ceremony.

Our favors were S’mores. S’mores is a huge part of our love story. It only made sense that a piece of how we met was a favor for our wedding.

Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Our center pieces were a framed table number, a lantern, a flower in a glass, and a thick piece of scrapbook paper underneath. Then have the s’mores around it. I love lanterns and used lanterns for the aisle as well.
I did the flowers myself. I got the flowers from Walmart and Michaels.
Photo by: Shannon McFerren by Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
 Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
For my throwing bouquet, I made a small bouquet that broke apart and more then one girl got a flower.
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
I did not do a seating chart. I bought a sign from Etsy and it is universal that I can use it in my home as well.
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography

Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography

We had some loved ones that have passed that we wanted a way to honor them. I made a table to display photos and have a candle lite.

 

Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
My mom made this marker so that people could find the venue.
Photo by Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Instead of doing the ring pillow, we made a sign. I painted the sign itself and my mom did the lettering.
Photo by Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
The ceremony we kept it simple at the beginning of the aisle and at the end, we put a lantern on each side and a small pot of flowers.
Photo by Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
We did a sand ceremony as a nod to my love of the beach. I got saved on the beach and it only seemed fitting to use sand to symbolize our unity together in Christ using sand. The sand and the sand heart shaped holder is from Michaels. The flowers were something that was at our house. even though our colors were pink and navy, I did not want pink sand, but chose the natural color and blue.
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
I had two cousins serving overseas at the time of my wedding. They both wanted to be there. So as a way of showing thanks for serving our country and knowing they were their in heart, we had a table in honor of them.
I made small cards for significant others of some of our bridal party, inviting them to sit with their loved one. I didn’t get a picture of them but I was thanked for the gesture. 🙂
It was worth it:
There were some things that I bought and things I decided to invest in that really, looking back I would do it all over again.
1. Having a wedding coordinator.
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
I am so happy I had wedding coordinators at my wedding! It was so nice to know that there were people who helped to make my day run without a hitch. They did such an excellent job with my wedding that I highly recommend them, and if I ever have a party and need planners I will go back to using them. Courtney and Rebecca were amazing!
I used: Moore & Co. Event Stylists http://mooreandcoevents.com/#/home/  
2. My Wedding Dress and Veil.
Photo by Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
The first time I saw this dress I knew it was the one. The dress was what I was excited about. I love this dress and it fit perfectly with my theme, and the venue.  Here are some of my favorite dress shots.
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
My Veil was another love at first sight.. It was long and beautiful. I pray that my daughters will love it and use it. The beauty of this veil is that I plan to have it as an heirloom. Here are some of my favorite shots of my veil.
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
I got my dress and veil at :K&B Bridals http://www.kandbbridals.com/
3. Hair and Makeup
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
I got my hair and makeup done at Salon 23
Special Moments:
Then you have all the wonderful memories that you make.
1. First Looks.
Colin
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
My dad
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
2. First Kiss
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
4. Happy Birthday Aunt Diane
(Our wedding day was the same day of my Great Aunt Diane’s birthday and we say Happy Birthday and presented her with flowers)
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
3. First Dance
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
4. Parent Dances
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
5. Cake Cutting
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Music:
I love music and I love dancing. Here is a list of some of the songs that were played.
1. Ceremony
From This Moment by Shania Twain ( instrumental)
Making the Movies Jealous by Kristen McNamara
A Thousand Years by Christina Perri (Instrumental) * I walked down the aisle to this song*
Stuck on You by Elvis Presley
The songs above were played off of my iPhone by our friend Shawn Cappron
We had our friends Aubrey and Amanda Roach sing In Christ Alone
Photo by Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
2. Reception
The Way You Smile by Newsong ( first dance)
I Loved Her First by Heartland (father/daughter dance)
Handprints on the Wall by Kenny Rodgers (mother/son dance)
I See the Light from the movie Tangled (cake cutting)
  and of course dance music!!
our DJ was Bill Braun

Photo by Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography

Photo by: Shannon McFerren of  Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography

Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Our videographer was my Uncle Ozzie
Our Photographer was Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography http://www.shannonmcferrenphotography.com/
We were so blessed to have Mrs. Shannon do our wedding. She did such a fantastic job. She did our engagement photos as well. Here are some of my favorite shots.
All photos below were photographed by Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
I know this was a long one! I hope you enjoy this post and I hope you have a blessed day!
~ Brandy

Valentines Day

There is one day out of the year that women either love or dread. Valentines day.  Now, I am going to be honest. Valentines Day is not a holiday that I really care about. Sure, I may give Colin something to express my love for him. But seriously? It’s not a holiday that I love or dread. Sure you can get a box of chocolates and a sweet card. Watch romantic movies and listen to all the love songs you want. However, we need to be showing that kind of love on a daily basis. Why? Because Jesus didn’t reserve just one day to show how you how much He loves us. If the Bible commands me to love my husband, respect my husband and submit to my husband, that wasn’t a one day out of the year command. I want to reach out to singles in this post. In particular single ladies. I was once a single lady 7 months ago. I stopped caring about Valentines Day around 7th grade. I wasn’t given any carnations at school like everybody else. It was humiliating to walk around the halls and having people ask me if I got any. I wasn’t saved at the time, and this moment was one of the things that got me to search for Jesus on a different level. I didn’t want to be alone. I HATED to be alone. I didn’t understand why kids hated me, why I was left out. I went home and cried myself to sleep because I felt so unloved. When I got saved, and Valentines Day rolled around, I decided that the perfect Valentines Date, was me accepting that for a season, I was meant to be single. It wasn’t easy because I desired to be married and have a family of my own. When I had my first real boyfriend, well he wasn’t the one, and something happened in that relationship that left me hurt and realized the importance of not awakening love until it was right. Then I met Colin. Even though I am married, I still see this holiday as one that, as much as I love my husband, and he loves me, it is no where near how much Jesus loves us.

Dear Gorgeous,
Do you know how gorgeous you are? How desirable you will be for the one who captures your heart? If your looking for the perfect man, the right one to make all your dreams come true, there is no such thing. The man you marry, will make mistakes, will make you mad, will annoy you when he plays that video game again right before dinner. There will be moments you wonder how you can love someone so much and want to slug him at the same time. However, if his heart is for Jesus, you will be blessed. He will love you the way Jesus loves His bride the Church. He will treat you like the gift from God you are. He will think your beautiful on the days you don’t feel it, and love you when your unlovable. He will hold your hand in the car, allow you to turn your music up a little louder. He will dance with you even when he doesn’t know how. Will buy you flowers just because. A love like that, they say is hard to find. But as believers this is suppose to be the norm. Don’t treat your season as a curse, God has a plan for each of us. It is a gift to draw closer to the One who longs to be close to you. God is only going to allow the right gift into the garden of your heart. Cultivate your garden. each season comes with it’s struggles and it’s burdens. The next chapter always looks better then the one your in. You are one of a kind, there is no one else like you. You are unique. Don’t allow anyone to tell you different. You are a beautiful work of art, a song with a melody, a book still being written, a rare treasure. In Christ, you are all this and so much more. Don’t settle with anybody who doesn’t see you for who you are in Christ. Beauty on the outside fades, but the beauty of a heart following Christ, is an eternal beauty that grows over time. You are loved, even when you don’t feel it.

Love, Someone who has been there.

~ Brandy

A Snow Day: Product Thursdays

Happy Snow Day! If your like me, you are probably so sick and tired of hearing the word snow, seeing snow fall, just looking at pictures of snow makes me want to pack up and move where the snow won’t find me. Summer can not come fast enough. Mainly because I have made some plans for this summer. 🙂 Well I figured that sense I am snowed into my house, it would be good chance to blog about some products that I like to use year round, as well as in the winter months.

In the winter, I am prone to having dry skin. In the summer, I tend to swell. Which are two different extremes. So finding product that are great for all year round. Not only to save money, but I like to feel good about myself all year round. Whether I am dry or swelling up around my knuckles.

1. Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil Light by Josie Maran:

I discovered this gem on YouTube. All the beauty gurus on YouTube were talking about this product. I only discovered one person on Facebook who used this product and raved about it as well. So I went to my local Sephora and purchased the small bottle. When I started using this product, I instantly saw an improvement in my skin. I love this product. I took it on vacation with me, and it is a product that travels with me when I go away for an extended trip. I love how my skin soaks it in and adding it to my skin care routine made a difference. Even spending hours in the sun, I didn’t even deal with peeling skin because my skin was hydrated and using it beneath my sunscreen gave me the added summer glow that everybody wants. The only thing about this product is the price. However, I believe it is worth it. This little guy is almost out, so I am going to have to go grab another one!

I think that when you hear the word oil, it scares people. However, beauty oils, is something that everyone needs to get into. Oil is needed in our skin. I think that we all freak out about the word oil and not even realize that we tend to stripe of skins of it. In other words, oil isn’t a bad word. Here is a link about the product above for some more information.  http://youtu.be/iQAhnD17ZSE

2. Purity one-step facial cleanser by Philosophy:

I have tried so many different facial cleansers, and was not satisfied. This is another YouTube find. I saw Jaclyn Hill talk about this product ( she has also talked about Josie Maran products, including the one mentioned above!) Once I tried this product, it has become my favorite facial cleanser and I am not going back. For starters pairing this with the Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil makes for the makings of a great skin care routine. I love feeling like my skin is clean. After wiping off my makeup and going in and cleaning my face with this product, I feel like it is deep cleaning my skin. Now to go find a fantastic mask to go with it and I will be set! 😉

So I posted about two products today, and next week I am going to post about lotions that I am currently in love with as well.

Now on my wish-list, Lush products. It seems like everybody has been on YouTube talking about Lush, and people are blogging about it. I want to know what the big deal is. I am making a list of products that I want to try. If you have any products that you would like my opinion on leave me a comment below. I will try and get to each product, ( if I haven’t already tried it).

If you are snowed in like I am, stay warm!! If you are in a state blessed without snow, have a wonderful evening!! Till tomorrow Gorgeous!

~ Brandy

Planning and Shopping??

So I am back in planner mode. I am in the mood to read informative books, fill my head with ideas and knowledge. Does anybody else do this? get these urges to open up a big book and learn. One of the topics that has been floating in my head at the moment is health care. Right now, my husband’s job would cover him and would be to expensive for me. Maybe it’s just me, but I saw us being on the same health insurance, so that we are all covered and when kids come along, then add them on. I never thought that I would need to find a completely different health insurance for me and our future babies. Well I filled out a job application and I am praying that I get this job, because it will offer health benefits.

When I was looking into health care and asked advice on the subject. I never even thought about future pregnancies. Making sure that I get the right doctor, or if I want to use a midwife. Picking out hospitals.. It may seem premature to think about this. But it really isn’t. I have no clue what I want. Now I am not talking about having a birth plan. I am talking about prenatal care in general. I have done research on how many chemicals are in diapers, breast feeding, baby led feeding. But let’s be honest for a second, prenatal care is about making sure I am healthy and the baby is healthy. Way ‘m not saying that is more important then what type of diaper to use. I mean, it’s not like I have to decide now. But it is something to think about.

I am in the mood to go shopping. I don’t get bit by the shopping bug all the time, but when I do….Well let’s just say that it’s intense. In particular, I want to got to Sephora. Any body who knows me, knows how much I love Sephora. The people are nice, fantastic  skin care products, pigmented eye shadow pallets and lipsticks. I have made a list of products that I want to try, and some that I have already tried and loved. I am hoping to get around to sharing my reviews soon! I am also 1 point away from getting my first reward with my Beauty Insider card! Excitement!

~ Brandy

Finding My Todd, and My Hapily Ever After

When I became a Christian at the age of 15, all I wanted to do was please God with my life. I changed everything, from my attitude, to my thoughts on modesty, to what I chose to read. I love to read. I love to curl up with a good book and just get lost in it’s pages. This was when I discovered the Christy Miller Series. These book came at the time where I needed friends. From the moment I started reading, I felt like I was friends with the characters. In a sense, I grew in my spiritual walk right along side Christy. I could relate to Christy, mainly because we had the same personality. So for my Sweet 16, I got the four volumes.

The Christy Miller books also set the standards for guys. The Godly example of what I should be looking for. Todd Spencer. Any girl who has read the and loved these books knows what I am talking about. Todd loved God first and foremost. He loved Christy the way the Jesus loves the Church. Reading I made up my mind to find a “Todd”. Well I can say that I have found my Todd.

Colin and Todd has similarites. They both play guitar, are easy going, have a heart for ministry. They both have a heart for God and encourage others. Those characteristics were what I wanted in a husband. Colin and I didn’t have a long courtship. Our engagement was longer due to the planning process. When I said “I Do” and became Mrs. Colin Strong. A whole new chapter opened up.

Now that I am at that point in my life, where my friends are getting married and having babies. It is so surreal. Colin and I have talked about having kids. One of the things we talked about godparents, we have talked about when we would like to start trying. All these different topics and I can’t help but laugh. If you can only see my Pinterest!! How did we get here? How in the world did I get from dreaming about marriage and kids to being married and talking about kids. This year is going to be interesting, and it’s the last day of January.. Already.

I can not wait to see what God has in store!

~Brandy