Thursday, May 31, 2012

May... Via Instagram

I'm pretty sure May 2012 can go down in history as one of the biggest months of my life.... I got married, lost my job and started a new path in life. Here it is... May via Instagram:
The Book Club May book; Picnicking in the park; Super prepared for the monster spider attack; 1960s hair do.
I put a ring on it; My favorite dress and necklace; We can legitimately get married; My favorite couple came to town.
Trying to move two people into 300 sq. ft.; Bachelorette party time (its a mocktail, PROMISE!); Marital bliss; Formal night on the honeymoon cruise.
Want to follow along? Click here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sunshine Award

Little miss Carlee, over at All Things Average Girl, nominated me for the Sunshine award. Thanks so much girl!!

The rules are as follows:
1. List 10 things that make you happy.
2. Nominate 5 other bloggers for the award.
3. Let those bloggers know!

So, 10 things that make me happy:
1. My husband, the King.
2. Blogging.
3. Pita chips and hummus.
4. My family.
5. Homemade ice cream.
6. Anything cute or whimsy.
7. Weddings.
8. Dreaming of my traveling plans.
9. Snail mail.
10. Dancing in the shower.

I nominate:
1. Mary Kate, From the Guest Room
2. Laura, Wander Lust
3. Sarah, Simply Dove
4. Tanya, Squirrelly Minds

Thanks again Carlee for nominating me!! It was such a great surprise!

Oops, It's Wednesday. What Happened to Monday and Tuesday?

Well hello there you long lost lovely people! It's Kaylee. Remember me? The writer of this here blog?
I sure hope you remember me... I promise I haven't been neglecting you. I really have just been honeymooning and adjusting to married life over the past week or so.

Speaking of, here are a couple of pictures to hold you over wedding wise:

Okay, so that wasn't really a "couple" of wedding pictures, but I just had to share! Our wedding was amazing! SO many wonderful friends and family showed up and helped so much that it really was a magical day for the King and I.  Aren't those pictures fantastic? They aren't even our photographer's pictures (I cannot wait to get those and share). Those pictures were taken by so many friends. We really feel blessed.

I'll post some pictures from our honeymoon tomorrow. We had a blast in the Bahamas and were only approached for drug deals three times!

In other news, I lost my job yesterday (sad I know), but honestly it was a blessing. I took that job as a way to get out of my old one. I wasn't happy there at all. In fact, and I'll put this as nicely as I can, this new job was a nightmare. I as verbally abused daily and it was the most unprofessional office I worked in. So, now, I get to take some time to figure out what I need to do. I can figure out if I even want to continue on the path of law. We shall see.
So, if you're feeling sorry for me, why don't you sponsor me!!! Taking ad swaps for June people! Come and join in on the fun we have around here. I try to make it an amazing time for my sponsors and I would love to have Y-O-U be apart of it all! Click over here to find out more (hint hint people, it's free!!!).
Ready for The Book Club's June pick?!
It is none other than Ms. Mindy Kaling's
"Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?"
Grab a copy of it here, here and here.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Book Club - May, "Bloom"

I cannot tell you all how excited I am for today. Not only am I probably pulling into port from our 4 night cruise to the Bahamas, but we are also doing the first ever The Book CLub link-up!!!! I am so so happy.
CUrrently I am writing this on the day before I get married, so I'm kind of writing it a week early. I know I won't be able to post while we're honeymooning, so I wanted to get it done now.

Just so you know, and I'm going to be completely honest with you, as always, I didn't finish the book. Last night was my bachelorette party (remember, I'm writing this a week early) and I got to back to the hotel (at like 2 am) and went to the bathtub to read. I really wanted to finish the book because I had 70 pages to finish. Since I don't drink, I thought for sure all of the straight Red Bull shots would continue to give me the energy needed to stay up all morning and finish. THey didn't. Don't worry, I'm going to speak with Red Bull about their false avertising. ANYHOOO..... back to why we are all here today...


Let me start off by saying how much I love Kelle. I have never met her and I have never interacted with her outside of this book reading experience, but she was honest. BRUTALLY honest. So honest that I had to put the book down at times and then pick it back up because, hey, this woman is being honest with us. That is rare. VERY rare. We needed to support her as she shed her soul and darkest time with us. Even when we couldn't even get what she was going through. It may sound horrible to us, but I can only imagine living through her experince. She handled it with far more grace than I ever could.

Not being a mother, this book was more about learning to take what life, and God, throws at you. Rolling with it and owning it as your own.

Here is one of my favorite parts about confidence:

"Confidence doesn't always come in surges. Sometime - lots of times- it brews unbeknownst to us, building during the times we feel the least confident - through the tears, the questioning, the self-doubt, the begging God to make it better. Confidence, like contentment, is earned, paved stone by stone until you finally turn back and realize it ll has been pieced together to make it strong. Confidence is a process."

This, I can completely relate to. I like to consider myself a confident person. This is from all of my trials. We all have trials. Kelle had her fair share for sure. Her book exudes her confidence. But her entire book paves her transition from a dark moment to realizing how bright it really was. This experience gave her her confidence to be a most excellent mother.

Not only is her book beautiful because of her honesty, but it is just plain beautiful. The pictures, the quoting, the jacket, the actual book cover. Kelle definitely threw her artistic self into the creating her book. I can totally appreciate a picture book as an adult. Not only do you read about her love for Nella and Laney, but you see it In LARGE amounts.

Bloom really changed my life book-wise. It opened up an entirely new genre of books to read. I am always scared to read someone's personal accounts, but after this, I can tell that they are life changing for the reader. They give you hope and make you appreciate all that you have been given.

Kelle, you and your family are beautiful. Thank you have having the courage and confidence to share you honest story. Thank you for giving me hope that I too can ride the steady current and enjoy the satisfaction f having reach a milestone in this river called life.
Be sure to write your post and link-up or just leave a comment about what you thought! Can't wait!!!
Oh and please vote for the book for June The Book Club book.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Guest Post: And Here's to You, Mrs. Robinson

While I am cruising away with the King on our honeymoon, I have some fantastic, amazing and down right hilarious gals guest posting for me (so sweet huh?!). Please show them some love as they are sharing their love stories and advice in honor of my wedding!

Hello Bright and Beautiful readers!!
I'm so happy to be filling in for Kaylee today while she is off being a NEWLYWED!!!
So happy for her and The King!


Most of you probably don't know me so I should introduce myself!
My name is Megan and I blog over at And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson. I love to have a place where I can go to express my thoughts, share my stories, and hopefully inspire and uplift other women. I like to talk about womanhood, motherhood, marriage and everything in between! I believe that through blogging we can create a strong, community of women that can support one another through the good and the bad. I have loved getting to know so many bloggers already and would love to get to know you!

For the last year, I also had the privilege of writing for the Stronger Marriage blog. It was an amazing opportunity and I loved every minute of it! Since I was constantly researching and reading articles and books on marriage, it is a topic that is on my mind a lot. So if you guys don't mind, I would love to talk a little bit about marriage today!

And maybe it's a good little lesson to pass on to the new King and Queen as well :)

A little while ago my husband was sitting on in our arm chair and all of a sudden he said, "This chair smells!" Then he moved over to the couch and said, "Ugh!! This smells bad too! Why does everything smell?"
{By the way, we have a 2 year old so this statement wasn't that big of a are smelly!} 

Then he stopped, thought for a moment, and said, "I think it's my shirt. I think my shirt is the thing that stinks. Smell my shirt." He leaned over, I sniffed it, and I agreed, "Yep it smells like poop!"

He kind of laughed a little but mainly he looked taken aback that I just told him he smelled like poo. So he got up and walked back to the bedroom without saying much.

Later when I went in to get ready for bed, I asked him what was wrong. He told me he was a little mad that I told him his shirt smelled like poop.

So naturally, I started laughing uncontrollably!
I laughed so hard I had tears streaming down my face.
Then he started laughing.
And then we were both just sitting in bed laughing for a good 10 minutes at how ridiculous the night's conversation had been.

Before this whole ridiculous interaction happened between us, I had been really upset and annoyed with my husband for stupid and petty issues.
And everything he did just kind of fueled my fire.
I was too prideful and stubborn to give up my fight and also too stupid to really see that I was the one making myself miserable, not him.

After we got done laughing and joking about my husband's shirt smelling, I realized how important it was to just laugh.

Laugh with each other.
Have fun with each other!

I've noticed that the days when my husband and I just have fun,
when we joke more, play more, relax more,
are the days that I find my love for him growing stronger than I thought it could be.

There is a lot to be said about couples that can work hard together and get through the most difficult times still holding hands.
But I think there's just as much to be said about couples that can face those difficult times with smiles on their faces, laughter in their voices, and joy in their hearts.

I would like to encourage all couples to have a little more fun together! Go get ice cream cones, watch a dumb reality show, build a fort, go ice skating, play at the local arcade, tell childhood stories, play video games, make up a new recipe for brownies...
DO SOMETHING that may be a little more relaxed and out of the ordinary.
Remember back to when you first started dating,
and watch your love blossom!

Thank you so much, Kaylee for letting me post on your blog today!!
I am so incredibly happy for you!!

p.s. I just read my husband the post and he started laughing really hard and couldn't believe I was sharing this story. I'm a bad wife for airing all our dirty laundry.... literally {poop smelling shirts.}

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Guest Post: The Kinch Life

While I am cruising away with the King on our honeymoon, I have some fantastic, amazing and down right hilarious gals guest posting for me (so sweet huh?!). Please show them some love as they are sharing their love stories and advice in honor of my wedding!

Do you ever just completely lose it? Like tears streaming down your face, body shaking, snot running kind of losing it?

I don't know what it is but there are times when life seems so heavy and burden after burden get piling up that whenever that moment hits me and I need to break down-- it's monumental. It's a huge ordeal and everyone happens to notice and I don't ever seem to have enough tissues or eye drops to get through it. Hence mascara and snot ending up eveywhere on the surface of my face, hands and pants.

It's not pretty.

This last week of life has gotten even more difficult to navigate than the prior weeks that I was so barely keeping my head above water. Andrew transferred to a new store with Discount Tire which was loooong overdue as he was at the prior one for 3+ years; we were so excited for his transfer, yes it was a farther drive but it's a new change of pace that he was SO needing.

Wednesday was his first day and I was patiently awaiting his text at lunch telling me about his morning, his initial thoughts and how he was persevering through the day.... it never came. I get off work, run some errands and did grocery shopping when FINALLY I get a call from him.

"I just found out we have a meeting after work tonight so I won't make dinner."
Oh, okay.

8pm rolls around.
9pm rolls around.
9:15pm he calls saying he's leaving work.

He left for work at 6:15am. Holy geez. That's a long first day at a new store! He gets home, he's shot and has nothing left to even make out 4 sentences before he's asleep.
Well, good talk! Hopefully we can do this again tomorrow....NOT.

Thursday night-- he get's home at 7:45pm.
Friday night, 7:40pm.

This is the point I start to become resentful. This is the moment I get angry.
I work hard to keep things in order around the house, to keep the schedule with getting Drake, to have dinner ready on the table, fresh laundry, clothes set out, lunches made.... all I want in return is a little bit of time to relax and wind down with my husband and by the looks of things, I'm becoming the wife who will have everything done, looking forward to a night with my husband and receiveing a snoring man in 20 minutes upon his arrival.

So today it hit me. I'm taking my frustrations out on a man who has zero control over them. I'm setting myself up with expectations that can no longer be met because my husband is working hard to provide for ME. He's busting his chops to keep a shelter over our head, food in our fridge, warm water for our showers...

I sit here tears streaming as I write. This is a hard adjustment. This is something we never realized how blessed we were before when he had a "slow" store. We are learning how to navigate these times and learning how to still connect in our marriage with little time throughout the week to spend together.

Sunday is here-- a day to sleep in with my man, a day to worship our Lord and a day to spend building relationships with the youth TOGETHER.

I pray that God can work in my heart, mind and soul giving me strength to overcome these new challenges in our life TOGETHER.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Guest Post: Pink on the Cheek

While I am cruising away with the King on our honeymoon, I have some fantastic, amazing and down right hilarious gals guest posting for me (so sweet huh?!). Please show them some love as they are sharing their love stories and advice in honor of my wedding!

Hey Lovely Readers, I am Lauren from Pink on the Cheek. I started POTC last October because I need a creative outlet. It started with a little side business of crafting. Then blogging about the crafting and then I remembered how much I loved writing and now it's mostly about the blogging!  
I still love to craft so every now and then you will see some of my art and paintings on my site. 

In my free time outside of work, I love exploring Orange County. 
I moved down here from San Francisco with my boyfriend when he got into law school. 
Since 2007 we have been having fun around the OC, going to dog beach with our pup Mochi, finding new places to eat  (like Umami Burger in Costa Mesa), 
and just making our ordinary life a little less ordinary!

I love to hear back from all readers, so don't be shy about giving a girl a shout!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Guest Post - Jess is More: "Going the Distance"

While I am cruising away with the King on our honeymoon, I have some fantastic, amazing and down right hilarious gals guest posting for me (so sweet huh?!). Please show them some love as they are sharing their love stories and advice in honor of my wedding!
Hi There! I am Jess and I blog over at Jess Is More. It’s my little corner of the world where I get to share my mission to get the most out of life {after my morning coffee} 
   The beautiful and radiant Kaylee is off cruising the high seas in the Bahamas, and she has graciously asked me to share a little bit about my experience with l.o.v.e. My wonderful fiancĂ© and I met online in April 2005. I was very young and just about to start college. He was the older man {by 4 years}. I was a Florida girl, and he was from Minnesota – I do admit I had to look it up on the map after we met. 
Holy cow, we were so young {and thin} back in 2005! 
We dated long distance for two and a half years – and we have lived together for 4. He is my best friend. If anyone has ever been in a long distance relationship, you know it is gut-wrenching. I’m here to tell you that it works – but it isn’t easy. Everything they say is true. You will cry. You will lose sleep. You will feel like quitting… but isn’t that the case with any love story? Our story is just getting started. We are getting married at a Florida resort on September 29, 2012. I am so incredibly excited to marry the love of my life!
I thought I’d pass along some tips that helped us make it. We have found that these are just as important when you live in the same city – and even the same house, because the foundation of a healthy relationship is the same either way, regardless of geography:

(1) Talk to each other. Like, really talk. When you are face-to-face, it’s easy to go through the motions of a real conversation. You can zone out {everyone has done it}. When your only form of conversation is by telephone {a lost art-form}, you are forced to engage in actual conversation. Sit down and talk at the end of each day. A text/email here and there during the day is always a good idea, too.

(2) Go on dates. You’re probably thinking ‘Um, yeah Jess, how do you go on a date from a different state?!’ Well, we did. We both rented the same movie, or looked up something that was on TV, and we watched it together. We would even try to order the same kind of food. If you live close – make time to go on dates. Even if you’re just going to your dining room table with takeout – make an effort. Do not eat in front of the TV!

(3) Treasure the time you have together. This is a big one that we learned by dating long distance. Each visit was so precious; we didn’t waste it by fretting the small stuff. Don’t stay mad for the sake of being mad. It is so easy to take this for granted when you live with someone. Absence does make the heart grow fonder. But we must treasure the ones we love today. Life is short.

(4) Send snail mail OR leave notes/little presents. We’d always exchange cards through the mail when we dated long distance. It was so exciting to check the mail in anticipation each day. These days, we’ll leave little notes in our lunchboxes or buy the other’s favorite candy every so often. It’s the little things.

(5) Don’t lose that lovin’ feelin’. I don’t have to go into detail, right? There is no rule of what is healthy or not for couples. It’s all about what works for you. But it is important.

Every relationship is different, and these won’t work for everyone. We’ve had 7 years of ups and downs, and there will surely be more. Love is hard work. But we try to remember these 5 things and do them often. 

If you made it this far, thanks for staying! You are seriously awesome. I promise {Mrs.} Kaylee will be back soon sharing her amazing wedding and honeymoon stories with us!

Friday, May 18, 2012


So this was my first giveaway and I can say picking a random number is a lot harder than you would think. Here are the results lovely ones:
That would be this lucky gal:

Bri, email me at:

BrightandBeautifulBlog {at} gmail {dot} com

I'm so EXCITED FOR YOU!!!! I probably won't be able to get the book out in enough time before the wedding, but I promise that I will send it out the second we get back from sailing the high seas. Make sure you send me your address and you should have it by the end of the month!!!

Thanks for everyone who entered. Please make sure to join us NEXT FRIDAY, the 25th for the Bloom link up party. So exciting!!! Also, don't forget to vote for the June Book Club Book in the side bar. Can't wait.

Here is a quick preview from my bachelorette party:
Church street will never be the same.

Guest Post: From the Guest Room

While I am cruising away with the King on our honeymoon, I have some fantastic, amazing and down right hilarious gals guest posting for me (so sweet huh?!). Please show them some love as they are sharing their love stories and advice in honor of my wedding!

When I was a teenager living at home with my family, I deeply admired my sister, Amanda, and her beautiful approach to people. She would often write letters, journal or create incredibly thoughtful gestures that always made people feel loved. One day I discovered a letter, mind you, that I probably shouldn't have been looking at, that was a handwritten prayer for her future husband. 
 I must give my sister partial credit for what I decided to do that day. I went out to the local craft store, bought a cute little scrapbook journal, gathered my stickers and papers and began a book that I could one day give to my future husband. I started the book with a note that read to my man, who ever he would be, and left it blank after "Mr.". You'll notice I also left my last name blank! ;) 

 I decided that from then on until the day I got married, I would continue to fill up this book with sealed letters of hopes, dreams, prayers and struggles that I faced on my journey to him. It was a lot of fun. I loved taking moments of time and telling him what I was going through, even when I didn't know him yet. I thought he would like the book, you know when I eventually met, married and then gifted this time capsule of a book to him, but, I didn't realize just how special it would become. 
Dustin, my now husband of 2 and a half years, still to this day has not opened every single letter! He keeps it at his desk and is storing away a few of the letters to read later on in life. And I love that he has that sentimental bone to him that he would decide to do that. I imagine in 30 years, when we are nearing our 60's, he'll get to open a piece of my young love and revisit the anticipation I felt in getting to meet him one day. Though at the time I didn't realize how special this little DIY project would become, I now love to tell other women about it so that they can do the same. Even if you are already married, secretly store away memories, photos, poems, song lyrics and more that you can some day reveal to your Mr.! Maybe even, someday when you may be going through a tough season of life together, it will help rejuvenate your bond and allow you to take a time machine back to the feelings you possessed in your young love! I love a good romantic story, and how much more personal is giving the gift of your own love story from the perspective of your younger years! 

 Have fun! And to my dear new friend Kaylee, all my congratulations and blessings go out to you and your dear Mr.! Marriage will be so much fun, teach you things you never knew you needed to learn, and bless you like you've never been blessed before! I wish the best for you two in all your years together!! Thanks for letting me share my little marriage project! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Its Wedding Week and Other Stuff

Whoa. I forgot to was too busy to write on Friday and Monday. Will you please forgive me?
I swear I have a good reason.
You see I'm getting married this week. That means I am super stressed out!!
Friday was a pretty big day in the life of the soon-to-be Mrs. Queen Benjamin Gwyn.
We got our marriage license (so we can legit get hitched now), I got an iPhone, went through the temple and got to spend the weekend with my long lost Katie Love. Oh, and mothers day. Let's not forget mothers day.BIG day/weekend indeed.
Here are a few pictures:
We can legally get hitched.
Wedding lights in the tree.
A day of slaving like a child in a sweat shop.
The Dixons, as cute as ever.
The "almost" Gwyns, as random as ever.
Riding in the car on Mother's Day.
I CANNOT wait for the wedding to be here and for Ben and I to be sailing the high seas on our way to the Bahamas. It's going to be legit. 
ALSO!!! We're giving away a copy of Bloom today in honor of The Book Club.
All you have to do is:
Be a GCF follower of All Things Bright and Beautiful.
Be a GCF follower of From the Guest Room
Be a GCF follower of  The Kinch Life
Like All Things Bright and Beautiful on Facebook
Like From the Guest Room on Facebook
Follow All Things Bright and Beautiful on Twitter
Follow From the Guest Room on Twitter
Follow The Kinch Life on Twitter
Comment on what you liked most about Bloom.
*Each comment is an entry so you can have up to 9 entries!*
Voting for the June book for The Book Club opens tomorrow. Make sure to email me your last minute suggestions:
BrightandBeautifulBlog {at} gmail {dot} com

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Coffee Date

If we were having a coffee date right now....
I would probably offer you some water, since that really is the only thing I drink. Or maybe some chai tea.

I would tell you how excited I am that I get to marry the King in 9 days. I've been waiting for this for a while and I cannot believe that it is here already.

I would tell you that I'm really nervous about the actual ring ceremony and reception. I just have so much to get done for it and I have no clue how I am going to be able to get it all done.

I would also tell you that the King and I have yet to get him a wedding band and our marriage license. Oops. Kind of NEED those things.

I would tell you that I am so excited for our honeymoon to the Bahamas and that it what I am most excited about; getting to spend uninterrupted relaxing time with the King.

I would tell you that I am at a cross-roads right now and am possibly rethinking what I want to do with my life.

I would tell you that I have the WORSE migraine in the world right now, so maybe I should take a sip of some caffeine... that IS supposed to help.... right?

I would tell you that I have been listening to Edith Piaf non-stop for the past week and I am in love.
I would ask you what you hopes and fears are.

I would ask you about what you are most excited about.

I would ask you why you choose to continue to come back and read what I have to say (because I feel like I never say anything particularly important, newsworthy or funny).

I would let you know how much I love and appreciate you, even if we have never really met.

I would let you know that I cannot wait until our next little coffee date.
Don't forget to let me know what you want to read in June for The Book Club. We will be posting up polls Monday! Also, check back Monday for a sweet giveaway and some reading questions for Bloom.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I Love Big Books and I Cannot Lie

I have had the most stressful week at work. Yes, it is only Tuesday. No, I am not being dramatic. It really has been. So what did I do? Other than want to die, I went and binged... on books. I walked myself into Barnes and Noble and book looked  (and bought... but we won't tell the King that). I used the excuse of "I'm doing this for The Book Club. We need new book options for June," but really, I wanted to do it for my own sanity.

I walked around the entire store, grabbing this, grabbing that, ending up with a pile of books taller than me. This is not a lie. I sat down and read through their book descriptions and decided I needed them all. Then I got realistic and decided I only needed half of them. Then the King and Dave Ramsey spoke to me from the loud speaker and said, "you want a house and a car, not to mention that you are about to get married. Put those back." So, like the good girl and almost wife I am, I only bought one. 

That did not stop me from taking pictures of the ones I wanted to get.

*Sorry, but without GIMP and Picnik, I'm lost on making collages.... well at least right this moment*
What book do you want to read and discuss in June? I am so excited for this Book Club y'all. Seriously, it is my only sanity.

Please feel free to email my your book choices for June to: BrightandBeautifulBlog {at} gmail {dot} com
Next week, I'll be posting reader questions for May's The Book Club book, Bloom.
Oh, and check back on Monday for a schweet give away!
I'm totally getting married in 10 days. TEN DAYS!!!!! To this guy:
Melts my heart every time.


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