Thursday, July 5, 2018

Farmhouse Decor ft. Amazon


Hi friends! Happy Thursday. I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July. I'm currently in an RV headed to Michigan with my family for the weekend. Traveling in this home on wheels is a first for me and let me say, it's quite the experience. LOL But I am excited to enjoy some R&R on the lake with my family. I haven't been back since 2014 so I'm so excited to see everyone and soak up some vitamin D.

I'm so excited about this post because as I start my life of full-on adulting, I am realizing how much I love decorating. It's not just the basic concept of decorating though, it's finding the best bang for my buck, transforming things, and doing it for a very affordable price. That may mean doing some digging, grabbing from people's trash piles on the street (yes, I did that quite a few times 😂), or painting a piece to make it fit the aesthetic of my house.
I'm having the best time making something out of nothing. That's been my motto and so with that being said, I wanted to share some great farmhouse pieces from Amazon that are in my house. They are all over the board in price which makes them great for everyone! I don't own every piece but about 75% of the items above are either hung or decorated in our home. Let me know which piece you love the most! 

Thanks for reading friend! Have a wonderful weekend! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Our Wedding Day + Advice for the Bride-to-be

Today is a super fun day on the blog, you're getting to see my favorite photos from our wedding day. I'm so excited to share these with you and cannot wait to hear what you think! Let me start off by saying, God has a funny sense of humor. I always seem to say that but it's so true. 😂 
I hate the cold and vowed I would never get married in the winter time or right after I graduated. Well, both those things happened and not only was it cold but it was actually the coldest day of the year in Texas. It was fifteen degrees and snowing the morning of our wedding. For some Brides, the reality of the weather and the miserable wind chill would have been enough to set them over the edge but let me encourage you with this, the day is what you make it to be. If you're stressed, it will be stressful (easier said than done, I get that), if you're anxious about details, that's all you'll focus on, but if you do your absolute best to remember the purpose of the day, everything else should fade to the background. We as women dream of the day of our wedding since before we can remember, we have a picture and it's perfect in our minds but the reality is, we live in an unperfect world and so things will happen, it's just a matter of what and when. How you handle the situation on the day of your wedding is truly what matters. Prepare for something to go wrong and prepare for how you'll respond. It's such a big day, I get that completely but trust me when I say, you will be so sad if you look back on your wedding day and remember freaking out about something that really wasn't a big deal. 
From one perfectionist to another, I planned my wedding from September-December, graduated two weeks before our wedding day, got married on the coldest day of the year and sent my husband off eight days later. I don't say that to have you feel bad or pity me but to tell you, my situation was far from ideal or perfect but it was still amazing and beautiful. Choose to rise above whatever is happening around you on the day, look at your spouse and remember it's about the love that you share and the people that are closest to you witnessing your union. 

Things to remember as a Bride-to-be:
  1. Remember the purpose of the day and that things will go wrong, but it's how you respond to it that will impact the outcome.
  2. Let people help you. As a type A I wanted to control everything but after a certain point, you need to let it go. Everything will fall into place.
  3. Don't look at everything that needs to get done but one task at a time. If you look at the forest of trees you'll never be able to focus on which one needs to be cut down first. 
  4. Engagement can be emotional. It's a lot physically, spiritually and mentally, but keep a healthy fresh perspective of everything that's going on and don't wish for the process to be over. You only get to be engaged once. You'll wish it away and miss out on the moments and memories in that season. 
  5. Work hard to prepare for life after the wedding. When all the excitement is over it's easy to feel a bit blue. There is a let down after all the planning is over. That's normal and totally natural to feel. Let yourself grieve the day being over and then move forward looking to the future and all that you and your spouse have to look forward to. 

My Meltdown Moment:

Pictures were THE most important part of the day for me, I wanted to have glimpses of the day to look back on and remember. Well, Zach and I could only bare about 15 minutes outside in the cold, my hands started freezing to my bouquet and we were turning pink. In the moment, I was internally having a meltdown (and may have even let a few tears fall because of how cold I was), BUT in the end, the day was amazing and Zach and I have some super sweet photos of him and I. They aren't what I pictured in my head but they are perfect for us and a part of our story. I've learned so much about expectations and envisioning things. As a perfectionist, my tendency is to envision things as perfect all the time, 24/7. Life isn't perfect and neither was my wedding day but it was beautiful and perfect for US. 

So all that to say, take your crazy wedding moment or meltdown moment and wear it proudly. If you're married will you share one crazy part about your big day in the comments!


Venue: Rosemary Barn

DJ: Your DJ (Gus was amazing!)

Hair: TC Makeup

Dress: VIP Bridal (College Station, TX)

Thanks so much for reading friends! 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Where have I been?

Well, hello friends! Clearly, it's been a while... I don't even know where to begin but I know this, my time away from the blog has allowed me to grow and develop more and more each day. My time off wasn't necessarily on purpose but absolutely necessary. I've got to get my thoughts organized and convey to you what I'm thinking and feeling. I think giving you an update in each area is going to be best for reading this and really sharing what's on my heart.

An update on My Heart:
When I say, heart, I mean spirit, soul, body, mind, and will. All of me. Let me start off by being vulnerable and honest about the reason I haven't been blogging or sharing. My heart felt like it was ripped from my chest and throw on the floor when Zach left. Yes, that may sound rather dramatic and make you roll your eyes a bit but let me explain my feelings behind my situation. I was angry. I was hurt. I was frustrated and I was confused. My thoughts were this, "God, I've been with this man for SIX years and I waited to marry him and be with him and the minute I do, you take him away eight days later? I get to watch all my friends marry their best friend in the next 6 months and start normal lives and be happy and joyful and I'm stuck here by myself with a husband who is serving. How did I end up with this end of the bargain?" Let me tell you two things that were wrong with everything that I felt. My feelings were absolutely valid and I believe 100% necessary to heal BUT I was a victim and I had lost perspective. One, I'm not a victim and never will be. Two, perspective is everything and the enemy completely robbed me of that the minute that Zach left and I began comparing my life to everyone else. I've always wanted to fit the mold and be like everyone else but you see, I know for a fact, especially after this season God has not called me to a life of fitting the mold. How can I be a witness and encouragement to others without having walked through very difficult seasons?
 I attended a retreat two weeks ago through my church and if Zach left for any reason it was so I could attend and receive some miraculous healing and time away with God. If we had been in Abilene right after we had gotten married I never would have gone. I needed to go but when I went, I had to be in the most vulnerable and hurting place in order to receive the healing that I needed and to be free. It was incredible, amazing and life-changing. 
So where am I now and how is my heart? A little backstory but, I had three jobs when Zach left and I ran myself absolutely ragged doing it. I was working like 50-60 hours a week and just trying to survive. Blogging about fashion and sharing my heart was the last thing on my mind and I didn't really care to share my experience until after when it didn't feel as hard and I felt more "normal." It was far too hard and I knew people wouldn't understand. The truth is, you may not understand and be able to relate to everything I'm saying but my hope is that something from the words on this page and my struggles encourage you and remind you that you aren't alone and you are loved. (Okay, sorry, just had to say that.) Back to life...I recently just let a position go and as hard as that was for me to do it was so necessary. I'm planning to spend the next 10 weeks enjoying my life, the season that I'm in, and preparing for Zach to be home. Prior to my retreat, I was getting by and just trying to survive but that's not the way I am called to live. I am called to live presently and fully. I'll be blogging, working on weddings, and celebrating my sweet friends and their upcoming weddings, oh and moving (more on that below!).

An update on Zach and our life:
Zach has about 2 months left and he'll be home! Thank you, Lord! He is tired and so ready to be back so if you think of him or us, will you pray for his heart and that the time would fly by?
Wise of marriage, I've learned a lot in the time that he's been gone. 1) Communication takes so much work and you have to make the choice to make the most of your time and words. Zach and I do get to talk every day which is such a blessing but our time is limited. When he was first deployed, I cried a lot, then I would be frustrated or grumpy because I was so annoyed that this was our situation and then I realized, I have to choose to be fun and flirtatious and embrace this. If I have a bad attitude then our short amount of time will suck and we definitely won't be closer emotionally. 2) It's okay to struggle in your marriage (whether you've only been married for a few months or a few years). I have been hard on myself for not feeling rainbows and butterflies while he has been gone but the reality is marriage is hard work and yes I knew that but you don't realize how hard it is until your spouse is seven thousand miles away and has crappy internet. Marriage has been refining, revealed a lot about myself and shown me where I need to improve. It's a lot of compromising and apologizing (even though I hate doing that 😉). I know this next season of actually being together will have its challenges but we are thrilled to embrace this chapter and all God has to offer us in the great city of Abilene. Which leads me to some exciting news, as of today, Zach and I officially accepted a house in Abilene and we are over the moon. We can move-in in the beginning of June and I cannot wait to share it with each of you and how I plan to decorate. Stay tuned for the Nowlin home! 

An update on blogging
As I shared above, talking about fashion and my feelings during this rollercoaster season was not the first thing on my list of to-dos. Which leads me to my plan to shift things a little. I love fashion and beauty and makeup BUT I also want to share my home with you, my marriage, how I'm growing individually, and what I'm doing in my life. So I plan to keep fashion and beauty in my content but it won't be as strong in that area. I know I may lose some followers over that but I LOVE decorating so I plan to share my entire house with you. I also have really started to work on self-development and becoming the best version of myself (which is what the mission of my blog has been from the beginning). I plan to share the podcasts I'm listening to, books I'm reading and some very cool tools that were shared with me on learning about who I am and the way I was designed. Lastly, I plan to share military life with you. I've been a military brat for years but I'm now in the co-pilot seat and so I'll hopefully have a fresh perspective for those that aren't familiar with the military and encouragement for those fellow spouses. I hope you're excited because I'm excited! There is so much ahead dear friend and I cannot wait to share my journey with you along the way. 

If you made it to the end of the post, thank you for reading. The support and encouragement throughout this season have meant the world. Cheers to new beginnings and embracing life! 

For those that are interested, here is the sign-up link to attend the retreat that I did: The Well.

Until next time, 
(which shouldn't be too long from now) 😘

Friday, February 2, 2018

My guide to long healthy hair

It's been a long time coming to get my hair back to this length. It hasn't been this long since I moved to TX in 2014. I did the classic "college is hard" chop in January of 2015 and kept it short for about 2.5 years. My last chop was in April of last year and then I started growing it out for the wedding. To be honest, I am loving it long right now and Zach does too so I guess I'll keep it this way for a little while. 😉  

 Maintaining healthy long hair can be hard. The last thing anyone wants is nappy dead hair that clearly looks like it needs a chop. My secret to getting it long fast consisted of three things, prenatal vitamins (and NO don't get any ideas), a hair mask, and a trim about every six weeks. 

Vitamins: The prenatal vitamins have keratin in them and really help your hair to grow, but the key is to take them irregularly so your body doesn't get used to them. How I would take them is like at night for 2 days then take a break then take them at night or evening in the morning a few days later, basically no set schedule. My hair responded very positively to it. Other than the fact that hair grows faster everywhere (aka your legs). LOL 

Mask: The mask keeps your hair soft and conditioned and helps keep it healthy in the midst of heat. When I was really good about using it, I would use it once a week to every other week. It has to sit on your hair for 5 minutes and then be washed out well so it does take a little bit of time in the shower, but it's so worth it. I noticed a soft and silkiness to my hair that definitely wasn't present before. 

Trim: The trim is definitely crucial. As annoying as it is to-go every 6 weeks, it helps cut any split ends off so your hair can keep growing. The longer you go without trimming the more that has to come off the next time you go back. 

As simple as those tricks are, they make all the difference! I hope this post was helpful. If you start using these tricks or have in the past, send me a message and let me know what you think! 

If you want to know what curling iron I use, you can purchase it here. Yes, it's a little bit of an investment but I use it almost daily and my curls are exactly how I want them. 

Shop the mask and vitamins here:

Thanks so much for reading! 

PC: Sarah Winsted

Thursday, January 25, 2018

My thoughts on being a military wife.

From my 3 weeks experience of being a wife and a military spouse I have learned quite a bit...
Being a military wife is like being on a never ending roller coaster ride. Some days you feel fantastic and on top of the world, you feel like you can conquer it all, and others you're falling so fast down the drop you can't stop yourself. You're terrified, worried, and unsure of how to feel...

God has taught me a lot in two weeks of being without Zach and almost three weeks of being married. Let me start off by being honest and saying, yesterday was one of my worst days. I was angry, frustrated, confused, doubtful and afraid. The reality of my situation (although it's temporary) was hitting me like a ton of bricks. So please don't think for one instance that I look to be handling it beautifully. I don't have it all together and I have bad days. Yesterday was case and point. Today, was much better and I feel like myself and that "I Can Do This!" So hear I am, sharing my heart with you. 

In the intense moments of mental and spiritual attach yesterday, my head was swirling with so many different lies, fears, and worries. Can anyone else agree that the attack on the mind is by far one of the worst things? 🙋
Thoughts like, "You just graduated from Texas A & M and you're home with your parents while your husband is away, wow, that's super impressive." (LIE) "Are you sure you can handle this military path and want to pursue it with Zach?" (LIE) "Are you cut out to be a military wife? You're pretty much failing at it." (LIE) Those are a few of the lies that swirled in my head yesterday as I went through my day and the more they popped in my head, the more angry I became. The more I questioned myself and the path that God has put me on. I began to doubt the plans that the Lord has declared and proclaimed over me and my life.  "Is this normal, am I supposed to feel this way? This is so hard and it sucks and I want it to be over." I kept thinking that I've done long distance for four years, why now am I crumbling and unable to move on in life? The truth is, I can't change my feelings. They are there and need to be recognized. One thing I can change though is how I respond to them...
Zach is gone and that won't be changing anytime soon. You see, the reality of my life is that, I need to accept my circumstances and move forward so I can begin to do the work that God has called me to.  Accepting your circumstances can be hard though, whether you are a military spouse, a college student, a mom or a young professional. We all face hard things and circumstance we wish we could just skip. We all go through seasons in life where we don't want to accept where God has put us but you see friend, that's where God does the most work. When we are uncomfortable, sad, struggling and unsure of how we'll get through the day. When we are weak, HE is strong. 

Being a military wife means being okay with moving all around. It means being okay with being left for extended periods and being independent. It means being strong in the face of adversity. It means not letting the negative comments of "Why did you get married so young and right before he left?" affect you. It means supporting your husband from afar and affirming him in all his successes. It means blowing a virtual kiss through Face Time when all you want is a real one. It means trusting God in all circumstances and believing that He will carry on to completion every good work He has started. Lastly, it means not being a victim to your circumstances. 

These words I hope regardless of your season or where you are, point you to Jesus. I hope through my struggles and heartache you see God's bright light. I hope through me you see the peace of God and I hope that you're encouraged and inspired by my words. Not because their my own but because God is working in my heart and life. 

So what do I hope you'll take away from this? 
1. That being a military spouse isn't easy but gosh does it grow and strengthen you as a person. 
2. That during the hard times it's okay to feel things and experience emotions, it means you're human. (I need to tell myself this daily)
3. That God is faithful in every season. 

I hope this shed some light on my heart and encouraged you. It's been a really hard two weeks. I won't sugar coat my reality and say it hasn't, to be honest, Zach left two weeks ago but it feels like a lifetime. But this I know for sure that that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

I CAN do this and I WILL do this. 

Thanks for reading dear friends! 

If you enjoyed this post and hearing my heart on this new chapter will you let me know? I'll write more if it's something you all will read. 😊

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