A Fairytale Garden Wedding

11.11.2016

Photography: Nicole Berrett Photography

Venue: Avalon Legacy Ranch

Wedding Planner: Weddings by Isabel Villacorta

Flowers: Everly Alaine Florals

Hair/Makeup: Zinc Beauty (Peggy Segundo, Cheryll Smith and Mary Guevara)

Calligraphy: Design Roots

Catering: Hard Eight BBQ

Stationery: Olive Juice Stationery

Cake: Frosted Art Bakery

Decor: Anthropologie

Vintage Wedding Cake & Forks: Jessica N. Designs

Flower Confetti: Flowerfetti

Flower Girl Dresses: Angelika's Boutique

Wedding Wands: Crafty Ribbon

Garter: La Gartier

Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier for Julian Gold - Corpus Christi

Linen Rentals: Big D Party Rentals

I Came, I Saw, I Contoured

Today I am talking about make-up. While I absolutely love the “no make-up” look {and I aim to rock that look a few days out of each week and on weekends}, I also love a glamorous, contoured and well-highlighted face. Wearing makeup is fun. It gives people the ability to express themselves and be creative. I do believe there is a right age to start wearing makeup, but my blog isn’t for those opinions. I am just here to share the products and techniques that I use. Remember, I am not a professional! I do hope you enjoy this tutorial. Feel free to ask me any questions you may have in the comment section below!

1. I always start with a clean face. If you have read my previous posts, I have used Purpose Face Cleanser and Moisturizer since high school. I still stand by it! A few months ago, I decided to switch up my skincare routine, and I am loving it already. I have been using Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel and their Konjac Cleansing Sponge. I have very sensitive skin, and this line is really great! I then apply Boscia Oil-Free Daily Hydration with SPF 15. If I am feeling oily, Boscia’s Pink Peppermint Blotting Linens are perfect for oily areas (chin, t-zone, forehead, etc.), plus they’re refreshing!

2. I know this is a little different, but I always start with my eyebrows. I fill them in {just a hint} to get a basic shape before I work on my face. I visit them again later on. The Anastasia Brow Wiz in Soft Brown and/or taupe is my favorite and great for shaping without going overboard!

3. I don’t always use a primer, but when I am taking photos for Live Love Gameday or Landry Kate, a primer really helps my makeup stay smooth and stay on all day. I use Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Primer {the green one}. I apply just the right amount with a stippling brush. This primer has such a smooth finish to it. Totally obsessed!

4. Since Jay and I just got back from our honeymoon, my face is pretty tan, so my foundation color is more on the golden side. I do have the same foundation in a lighter shade as well. I'll mix it in, if necessary, when my skin tone is on the lighter side. First, I apply Too Faced Born this Way Concealer in Medium {underneath my foundation} to cover up any imperfections/blemishes/under-eye circles. This concealer comes back later on in this tutorial but in a lighter shade. I blend all of that in with a beauty blender. Side note, I love this concealer because it is infused with coconut water and hyaluronic acid which minimizes lines/circles, replenishes moisture levels and creates a smooth and youthful look. 

5. Next, I use Too Faced Born this Way Foundation in the color Golden. There are other great shades, and I have tried them. Sand is very pretty along with Warm Beige. I do like to feel “golden & glowing” so this is the color I typically wear. I use the same stippling brush as above to apply my foundation. You will love how this foundation glides right over the primer!

6. Time to highlight and conceal! I use Born this Way Concealer {again, but this time} in Light under both eyes, down the bridge of my nose, a few dots on each eyelid, a little in between the brows and a few dots on my chin. I also dab on a little bit of L'Oreal True Match LUMI Illuminator in “Ice” underneath my eyes {on top of the light concealer} before blending it all in with my beauty blender. I then dust a shimmery white highlight over everything {over my cheek bones and down the bridge of my nose}. I currently love MAC’s Nutcracker Peach Palette, but there are so many great ones out there. Feel free to ask me below and I will share!

On to eyes!

7. I am in love with my Too Faced Chocolate Bar eye palette. It makes me hungry and the colors are so pretty! I start with white chocolate underneath my brow bone and in the corner of my eyes. Next, I add semi-sweet into the crease. I prefer a matte finish in the crease, but if you like a little sparkle you can always mix in haute chocolate or black forest truffle. I also dust a little semi-sweet under the lower lash line. Next, I apply a little bit of shimmery hazelnut on my eyelids. You can also use creme brûlée if you want a brighter look or in the summertime. I add a little bit of hazelnut to my lower lash line, mixed with the semi-sweet. People always ask how to make brown eyes pop. I have figured out {for my eyes at least; everyone is different}, that a pop of red, berry, maroon, etc. really helps. I mix a little cherry cordial into my crease as well as on my lower lash line. Last but not least, from the chocolate bar, I use champagne truffle on my inner corners and under my brow bone. I also go back over my inner corners with the same face highlighter I used above for an extra touch of shimmer.

8. I line my upper and lower waterlines with a black pencil. My favorite is TIGI Cosmetics Perfect Eyeliner in Black. I have used this eyeliner since my rookie season as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader {in 2008}. TIGI was our sponsor. I fell in love with their products and have used them ever since! I also use TIGI’s liquid black eyeliner pen to lightly line my top lash line. I finish off my eyes with Loreal's original black mascara. I know some people create gorgeous makeup looks with layers and layers of mascara, and it honestly looks beautiful! I wish I could. I unfortunately don’t like mascara as much. It bothers my eyes, and I start pulling on my eyelashes. I just add a little bit of mascara to the tips of my top lashes and a good amount to my bottom lashes to accentuate the eyes.

9. I finish up shaping and filling in my brows with Anastasia Brow Wiz in Soft Brown and a little bit of clear brow gel. Their clear brow gel is seriously the best! I have tried others, and most people will say "Oh, any clear brow gel will work." But there is something about this one that I just love.

10. Back to the face. It is time to contour. Just a little bit! I don’t have any fancy techniques…yet, haha. I dust L'Oreal True Match powder in N4 all over my face lightly. My friend, Alyssa Torres, introduced me to this powder. Great price and not too heavy! I then use the Anastasia Powder Contour Kit in Light/Medium. The bottom three colors I mix together for under my cheekbones, top of forehead and under my jaw. The top three light colors I mix for underneath my eyes and down my nose. I dust Makeup Forever Pro Bronze Fusion in 20M all over my face. I have a new bronzer I really really want to try {totally asked the hubby for it for Valentine’s Day. Do people do that? Well I did!}, but the Makeup Forever bronzer is fabulous. 

11. For blush I mix a little Benefit Dandelion with Milani Dolce Pink. I top all of that off with the same face highlighter from above. You can never have enough shimmer on the cheekbones!

12. For lips, I start with Burt’s Bees Original with peppermint oil. I line my lips with MAC Whirl {I have used this liner for years}, and I fill them in a little bit as well over the balm, not all the way. Usually I just do lip balm, lipliner and gloss, but since I was taking photos today, I did a combo of Too Faced Melted Lipstick in Chihuahua, topped with Anastasia Pure Hollywood and Buxom Lip Polish in Sugar. 

That’s all!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me below! Occasionally I change things up, depending on if I want a brighter lip, a more shimmery eye or a deeper blush, but this is my typical routine and the look I wore for today’s Live Love Gameday shoot.

Remember, there are always people who will comment on how you live your life—how you dress, how much make-up you wear {or don’t wear}, what your hair looks like, what restaurants you eat at; every little thing. Don’t worry about it. Be you. Learn from others and get ideas from others, but don’t compare yourself to others. Nobody else could be you, even if they tried. Play with makeup, play dress up, and have fun. Just always be true to who you are because you are perfect, and you are beautiful! 

Xoxo,

Syd

The Best Kinda Jersey

I often cheer my Dallas Cowboys on {especially during the fall/winter} in a cozy sweater, with my favorite players' number(s) on the front and back, and the best colors in football all woven together with love. Everyone always asks where I get these comfy jerseys. Well, guess what? I am so so excited to announce...

Live Love Gameday has teamed up with the our favorite jersey sweaters. Not only are they the coolest sweaters around, but they are also unisex! Click the "SHOP" button below to shop and enter LLG20 at checkout for $20 OFF your purchase. They have other numbers and other colors, as well as some pretty cool hockey jerseys. Love y'all!

Xoxo,

Syd

Monday Kisses & Five Goals

Too much Monday. Not enough coffee (or kisses)!

Hey everyone! I hope this post finds you all happy, well and in great spirits. I know I haven't posted in awhile, but Live Love Gameday has been keeping me very busy. After the wedding, Jay and I spent a few weeks with family and friends who came into town, then we were off on our honeymoon. Once we were back in Dallas, we celebrated Christmas and rang in the new year. I still owe y'all a Turks & Caicos post, so stay tuned, as well as an update on my makeup/skincare regimen a few of y'all have been asking for. Anyways, while filling orders today and talking to friends, I was rushed and overwhelmed and feeling a little bit crazy...and then I thought...I just love this. 

When I started Live Love Gameday, I was inspired by everyone’s love of the game. Sports truly bring people together. Whether it is football, basketball, baseball, hockey, or another sport, fans are passionate, dedicated, supportive and enthusiastic. I love that. Family and friends gather to watch their favorite teams. Yes, sometimes friendly arguments can arise between fans/friends, but in general there is healthy competitive nature encompassed by a sense of camaraderie. LLG began with “Home Is Where the Field Is™”. As a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader for 7 wonderful seasons, the field was truly my home away from home. The field was much more than just a 57,600 square foot patch of green. The field, in my eyes, was family—an organization that takes part in community service and USO tours for our troops, is filled with smiles, happiness, joy, cheer, passion, hard work, wins, losses and much more. I love that. Over the next year, Live Love Gameday grew with designs such as “Jesus & Sundays & Family & Football ,” “Wanna Football Sunday With Me?”, “Saturdays, Tailgates & College Football,” “Dear Football, I Love You A Brunch,” My Daddy Taught Me About Jesus & Pass Interference” and more. We became collegiately licensed and kicked off that incredible partnership with Texas Tech, Baylor, SMU, Houston, Mississippi State, UNT, and Rice. Just as former MLB player {Los Angeles Dodgers manager and member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame}, Tommy Lasorda, once said, "In baseball and in business, there are three types of people. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happened." As the owner of Live Love Gameday, I have five goals that I work hard towards each day in order to “make it happen.”

1. To always be giving. Whether it is time, money, energy, or product, I think it is important to be a giving person/company. Seeing customers and people happy means the world. To some, a certain design may be “just a t-shirt,” but to others the words have a deeper meaning. This past October, we released our "Jesus, Family, Football" jersey tee in bright pink and the proceeds went to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Last year, I started using the hashtag #LLGStyle to share our customers’ photos. I love doing this because seeing customers' photos in our tees at the game, on campus, with their loved ones, on vacation, after a proposal, on the beach…is more “real” and incredibly special. 

Side note, "Can I borrow a kiss? I promise I'll give it back." Most all of our customers, love sports, but something else they love...is love. So, we took the LOVE in Live Love Gameday and released our new "Smooch" muscle tee {also available in a tank}. I am pretty excited about this one, and since it is getting closer to Valentine's Day, this tee/tank has really been popular, so I just wanted to share it!

2. To be inspiring. God gave us sports and {some others} the ability to play sports, and we are to enjoy it. We can glorify and enjoy Him through the game, whether we are watching or playing. Not long ago, I met a special friend named Michelle Myers, author of Famous In Heaven & At Home. She inspired me to incorporate Jesus into our game day tees to spread His word and cheer on our favorite sports’ teams all at the same time. What a blessing that was! Our “Jesus & Sundays & Family & Football” and “My Daddy Taught Me About Jesus & Pass Interference” tees became two of our most-popular designs. This week, we will be releasing “My Daddy Taught Me About Jesus, home runs, & RBIs.” It is so much fun releasing tees/designs that truly relate to our customers. {Yes, we know some of you want us to say “My Momma Taught Me,” and we are working on it, haha}.

Since baseball season is right around the corner, here are two new baseball tees we just released. The fun "blinged out" caps are also available on our website, but sell out pretty quickly. We will be re-stocking them this week, so stay tuned for our Instagram post (@LiveLoveGameday) or on Facebook!

3. To be challenged. In life, it is important to step outside your comfort zone and be challenged. We don’t grow when things are easy.

4. To listen. Our customers truly inspire and motivate us. If I sat back and focused only on the designs/styles I want, Live Love Gameday would not grow. Instead, as a business owner, my goal is to listen to the ideas, wants and needs of our customers so that LLG can identify with them and provide. I hear things all of the time: “Can you make this design for toddlers?” or “Can you change it to say soccer?” While these things don’t necessarily happen overnight, I love taking everyone's suggestions and ideas and turning them into something fabulous that our customers will love. If you have any suggestions for me, I would love to read them in the comment section below!

5. To be personable. I love personally talking to LLG customers any chance I get. I think it is fun to smile, laugh and have fun with our customers. Even the most routine questions can be viewed with value when they are answered/solved in a personable way and in a great mood!

These are five goals that I focus on each day - giving back, inspiring others, challenging myself/being challenged, listening and being personable. What are a few goals you focus on each day? I wold love to know! 

Clothing - Live Love Gameday

Face Makeup - Born This Way

Eyebrows - Anastasia Brow Wiz in Soft Brown

Lips - MAC Lip Liner in Whirl, Anastasia Liquid Lipstick in Pure Hollywood & Buxom Lip Polish in Sugar

Watch - Apple

Leopard Beanie - Live Love Gameday

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Today's Devotional

"Your praise will ever be on my lips."

Bethel Music

Usually I choose a bible verse, but today I chose these lovely lyrics from the song "Ever Be" by Bethel Music. Two great friends of mine, Amber & Andrew, sang this song at our wedding ceremony, so it often gets stuck in my head, and I love it so much! This song is a beautiful reminder that His praise should always be on our lips, no matter what. Amen to that!

You can listen to it here: Ever Be

Xoxo,
Syd

Pink Starburst

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I am excited today. Live Love Gameday just released 3 new tees {the Fantasy Football one is my favorite}, I spent all day yesterday catching up with my best friend, Jenna Jackson, and I ended the night with a sweet bible study led by our friend, Erica Wilkins. I couldn't be happier waking up this morning with gratitude, knowing that good things are going to happen!

Lately, I am loving bright colors. I usually stick to a comfy and cozy fall palette (shades of grey, rust, plaid, etc.), but I wanted to share with you a fun and bright piece that is perfect for a girls night out or a special event. This dress is from Lemon Bee, one of my absolute favorite boutiques for unique dresses and boho-chic styles. The dress I am wearing below is called the Pink Starburst. Pair it with a simple pair of neutral or pink earrings and cute heels. Grab this dress online, and enter SYD10 at checkout for 10% off your next purchase! Also, follow Lemon Bee on Instagram to view new styles arriving daily. Happy Monday, everyone. Have a lovely week!

Xoxo,
Syd

Tie-Dye

If you want to be as comfy as possible but still make a statement, I suggest this look. Nothing beats a tie-dye dress that is bright, fun and heavenly soft (like your favorite pair of pajamas)! A style like this is just so easy to wear, especially during the summertime. It is also very versatile. You can pair it with fun heels and gorgeous jewelry for a fun summer wedding, throw it over a swimsuit for the perfect poolside/beach cover-up or layer it with a print kimono for a stylish look. You can even throw on a sparkly headband that coordinates with your dress for a more contemporary, cool look. Casual, summer dresses like the one I am wearing below are the easiest thing to grab out of your closet and throw on for any occasion. Pink Coconut Boutique always has the cutest dresses in stock! I fell in love with this style as soon as I saw it on their website, and I loved it even more when it arrived. It is an Andree by Unit dress, which is such a great brand. All of their pieces are comfortable and have a great fit.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week. Remember, if you're shopping online with Pink Coconut Boutique, use SYD10 at checkout for 10% off your purchase! I have one more style that I am absolutely in love with and can't wait to share with y'all tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Dress - Pink Coconut Boutique's Reckless Behavior Dress

Photography - Fitz Crittle

Shoes - Chinese Laundry

Face Makeup/Blush - The Perfect Face (I wear Y8 as foundation and P2 as concealer/highlight!)

Eyeshadow - Morphe 350

Eyebrows - Wunderbrow in Blonde

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Today's Devotional

"I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

Psalm 139:14

Tie-dye is unique. No piece of tie-dyed fabric is the same. Just like us! No two people have the same fingerprint. You are beautiful, bright, fun and unique in your own special way. With each passing day, we should gain a new appreciation for how He has blessed us. Instead of waking up, looking in the mirror and thinking "I'm fine" or "not bad," think "Wow! I am fearfully and wonderfully made! Today is going to be a great day!" You are truly one of a kind.

Xoxo,

Syd

Embroidery & Lace

So...there are two things that I absolutely love right now: lightweight flowy dresses and embroidery! Today I am talking about both of those things. I have teamed up with Pink Coconut Boutique to show you one of my favorite little dresses they have in stock! This particular dress is by Flying Tomatoa vintage-inspired bohemian clothing line out of Los Angeles. My closet is filled with this line! The colors and patterns they design with always grab my attention. The dress I am wearing below combines a simple print with a hint of ivory lace and detailed embroidery. What I love about this dress is that you can keep it casual with a flat pair of sandals or dress it up with a fun pair of heels/wedges. I love the fit of this dress too. It is so comfortable and lightweight!

Check out Pink Coconut Boutique online, and follow them on Instagram (@PinkCoconutBoutique)! I hope y'all find a style or two that you absolutely love. Use SYD10 at checkout for 10% off your purchase! Stay tuned for another favorite of mine on the blog this week!

Dress - Pink Coconut Boutique's Reminded of Flowers Dress

Photography - Fitz Crittle

Earrings - Francesca's

Shoes - Chinese Laundry

Face Makeup/Blush - The Perfect Face

Eyeshadow - Morphe 350

Eyebrows - Wunderbrow in Blonde

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Today's Devotional

"Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves."

—Romans 12:10

I love this verse! It is so simple yet so profound...and a great daily reminder to care for others. Life can get pretty busy. That's a fact! Between our families, careers, friends and everything else in between, there never seems to be a shortage of things that we could (or should) be doing. Today was a hectic day for menon-stop yet fulfilling. I'm sure y'all can relate to busy days. We all have them! In the midst of all the craziness, a friend texted me: "Hey love! How's your man doing?" Such a simple text meant the world to me; I couldn't help but smile. If you didn't know, my fiance is recovering from major foot surgery, You can read more about it here. I could feel my friend's sweet care, concern and encouragement through six little words. Caring for others doesn't require much time or energy. Love and compassion can be expressed through a variety of simple gestures. In the busyness of our everyday lives, let us not forget to care for the people we love. Is there someone you can text right now that will smile from ear to ear if they hear from you? Do it! 

Xoxo,

Syd

Cross Training Couture

A friend of mine owns Cross Training Couturea fitness clothing company for fashion-loving females who love Jesus first and of course, health and fitness. The owner, Michelle Myers, is seriously adorable. I love how she started the company. She was reading through racks of tanks and tees that said things like: "So I can look better than you." The messages were catchy, but didn't represent why she worked out. Instead, she began designing fabulous and inspirational tanks and tees which eventually became known as Cross Training Couture. You can read more about her company here!

She has plenty of cute designs to choose from, but two of my favorites are below.

1. Because My Body Is A Temple

"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?"

—1 Corinthians 6:19

2. Jesus Is My Rock - Shimmery

I hope you enjoy this post. Check out her tees, and use SAVE15 for 15% off your first order!

Xoxo,

Sydney

Pokey O's

You're never too old for freshly baked cookies and ice cream! Have you ever been to Pokey O's? If not, you're missing out! Their signature dessert is called the Pokey O: a sandwich made from two soft-baked cookies with a huge scoop of your favorite Blue Bell ice cream squished in between. You design your own dessert! Sounds pretty amazing, right? Ice cream sandwiches will never be the same once you try one of these.

Yesterday was a hot summer day in Dallas, and a Pokey O sounded like the perfect summer treat! I went with butter pecan ice cream stuffed in between two super soft snickerdoodle cookies. A friend of mine had old-fashioned vanilla ice cream in between a white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookie and a chocolate chip brownie cookie. Crazy combo!

As usual, our sandwiches were amazing! If you are in Dallas, I would definitely check out Pokey O's when you are craving something sweet! Happy Sunday to all of you. I hope everyone had a lovely and relaxing weekend. Love y'all!

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Today's Devotional

"Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body."

—Proverbs 16:24

Since this blog post was sweet, I figured I would leave y'all with an even sweeter verse! The Bible teaches us that kind words are sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. Our words have the power to build up and heal our friends, loved ones and strangers. Our words also have the power to do the complete opposite. In giving us the gift of human speech, God also gave us a serious responsibility. Wendy Mass once said, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about." Make a point to share hope, encouragement and positive words with everyone you meet. Speak kindness. Gracious words can cheer you up and make you feel strong (and that goes for both the speaker and the hearer). Proverbs 12:18 reminds us, "Reckless speech is like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Who in your life needs a gracious word from you today?

Xoxo,

Syd

Jesus & Football

Today is a great day! My clothing company, Live Love Gameday, teamed up with Michelle Myers, author of "Famous in Heaven & At Home" and founder of She Works His Way, to design new tees for Live Love Gameday that both of our customers could relate to. Four new tees launched today, and this is just a glimpse into our 2016 football line. There are more to come!

I am so excited about these new arrivals, and I hope you find one (or two or three) that you love as well!

Jesus & Sundays & Family & Football

I love Sundays, especially in September when summer is over and football season has begun. I go to church, spend time with family and friends, and of course...watch my favorite team play. Go Cowboys! This design is available on a flowy dark gray tank (S-XL) with metallic silver letters that really pop and sparkle in the sunlight. It is also available in vintage white on a black acid-washed v-neck tee (S-XXL); definitely our best-seller right now (and my personal favorite)!

My Daddy Taught Me About Jesus & Pass Interference

Our next design comes from something Michelle Myer's father said to her husband at their rehearsal dinner. My daddy taught me about Jesus & pass interference! This design is currently available in white on a textured gray muscle tank (S-L). It will be released on a comfy tee as well...in a few weeks!

I Vow To Always Love You, Even During Football Season

Last but not least, our staple design is back in stock! I vow to always love you, even during football season. Available on a textured white muscle tank (S-L) with vintage black letters. So soft and comfy, you won't want to take it off!

You can view all of Live Love Gameday's football tees and tanks here!

Enter SYDNEYBLAINE at checkout for 15% off your purchase!

Do you have any ideas for new Live Love Gameday tees? I would love to hear them! Send your comments and suggestions to hello@livelovegameday.com. Love y'all!

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Today's Devotional

"Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established."

—Proverbs 16:3

How much happier we would be if we would just commit our ways to the Lord! I love this verse because it is a great reminder that we can't do it all on our own. Do not rely solely on yourself for everything. Instead, trust Him with your efforts and plans. Work hard. He isn't going to let you down. 

Xoxo,

Syd

The Fab Five

My skin is very sensitive. If you've read my blog post on skincare, you know that Purpose Face Wash and Moisturizer along with Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Bisque are just about the only products I can use on my skin without it freaking out on me. I also take a combination of lactoferrin (milk protein) + probiotics (friendly bacteria) to boost my immune system, fight acne causing bacteria and keep me healthy overall. On a daily basis (to work and for running errands), I usually keep my makeup routine simple - tinted moisturizer with SPF, concealer, lip balm and mascara. You can read more about that look here. When I take photos or attend an event, I add a few products into my routine for a more glamorous look. I am always on the lookout for new products that create a flawless look without being overly heavy. Below are a few of my current favorites:

1. Wet N Wild Highlighting & Concealing Pen in Posing Nude

This concealer is amazing! It is $4.99 at most drugstores, yet it feels much more expensive on your skin. It instantly brightens and conceals. On top of having great coverage and illuminating all of the right areas, it also has Vitamin E and chamomile which moisturize and condition. I am obsessed with this lightweight cover-up! Setting it with a light powder will keep it from creasing throughout the day. See what I set it with below.

2. Wet N Wild Contouring Palette in Caramel Toffee

I discovered this product when I was picking up the above concealer, and I instantly fell in love. I have not used the deeper shade yet since I prefer to bronze with Benefit Hoola; however, the lighter color highlights as well as sets under eye concealer just perfectly.  It reminds me of Ben Nye's Banana Powder. I bought Ben Nye's powder once. I wasn't a huge fan (it was a little too heavy for my liking), so I gave it to my friend Ashley. She is obsessed with it. I love surprising my girls! Back to Wet N Wild's palette. I absolutely love it. At $4.99, I would say it is a must-have!

3. Wet N Wild Blush in Rosé Champagne

I know I'm just listing Wet N Wild products, but I love these three. This blush color is perfect. It is $2.99 at most drugstores. Not only is the color lightweight/sheer (with a hint of subtle shimmer), it is long-lasting as well. 

4. Rimmel Lip Liner in Tiramisu

My friend, Alex, introduced me to this lip liner a few years ago on a DCC appearance. Her lip color looked amazing. I have worn and continued to purchase this lip liner ever since that day. I love this shade because you can wear it alone with lip balm for a natural look or layer it with your favorite lip color. My go-to lip color is Revlon Lacquer Balm in Demure. People always ask me what lip color I am wearing. I do like to switch it up, but most of the time, I have Demure on (either mixed in with everything else or alone). My mom bought it for me awhile back, and I love it. I keep one in my makeup bag at home and one in my purse!

5. NYX Skinny Mascara

Last but not least, NYX released a skinny mascara that is literally unbelievable. It is perfect for coating those hard to reach lashes, especially the bottom lash line. I always feel that even if you aren't wearing any makeup, lashes really make the eyes pop and instantly make you look more awake. So happy I found this gem!

These are five of my favorite products at the moment. Everyone's skin tone is different - some have pink tones and others have olive/yellow. I mentioned the colors I wear above, but you may need to try a different shade that better matches your skin tone. If you have any questions for me, I would love to answer them below!

Photos by Fitz Crittle

Hair Color by LG & Company

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Today's Devotional

"The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

—1 Samuel 16:7

This does not mean it is wrong to take care of your skin, curl your hair or wear nice clothes or jewelry. If you enjoy finding and trying new beauty products, then you should do it. You don't need to spend hours primping in the mirror. Apply a little bit of this, apply a little bit of that, and guess what? You're beautiful! Just remember, God enjoys seeing us work on becoming beautiful on the inside as well—the kind of beauty that lasts forever. Have a wonderful day!

Xoxo,

Syd

Flower Power

I love flowers. Ever since I was a little girl, I always "stopped to smell the roses." I'm sure you've heard that expression many times before. While this phrase may mean to live your life with a deeper appreciation of the world around you, slow down and enjoy the little things that make life worthwhile; I have always literally stopped to enjoy the delightful scent of roses and fresh flowers as well.

Smelling flowers has been linked to uplifting moods, soothing anxiety or stress, creating a sense of happiness and harmony along with many other positive benefits. I feel that filling your home with beautiful flower arrangements is also very beneficial for many of the same reasons. I instantly feel happier and more energetic when I walk downstairs in the morning and see flowers in the kitchen and living room. Oh, and flowers aren't just for girls. Guys, you can reap the benefits as well! 

The other day I stopped by Trader Joe's on Greenville in Dallas. I went to pick up a few grocery needs, but their flower section was just smiling at me as I walked by. I had to stop! I picked up a bouquet of tulips, some eucalyptus, and stock. Although I am not a pro-florist or anything, I used a turquoise vase I had as well as my Juliska's Isabella Pitcher for the flowers, and I couldn't be happier!

Do flowers brighten your mood? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Today's Devotional

"Listen to this, Job; stop and consider the wondrous works of God."

—Job 37:14

Flowers are one of God's many beautiful creations; along with the mountains, the pastures, the beaches, the rocks, the moon, the stars...the list goes on. Author, Paul Hawkins, once said, "If the stars only came out once every thousand years, no one would sleep that night. The world would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night, and we watch television." Of course, this does not mean that you have to stargaze 24-7; just remember He calls to our hearts through the wonder of His creations. When we take a moment to consider all He has done and all He can do, our hearts are drawn to Him. Just as filling your home with fresh flowers boosts your mood and relieves stress, so does stopping to "smell the roses" and appreciating the world's beauty around you. 

Xoxo,

Syd

 

Magnolias Sous Le Pont

My mom and I were out and about in Dallas yesterday when we discovered a charming little coffee shop in the Harwood District, Magnolias - Sous Le Pont. If you know me, you know my favorite color is turquoise, and my favorite flower is the magnolia (along with many others - I am obsessed with flowers). As we were driving along Harwood Street, we noticed a turquoise building hidden in between huge magnolia trees. It had an adorable patio and fresh flowers in the windows. I could hear it calling my name!

We walked inside, and I instantly fell in love. Magnolias offers artisanal coffees, pastries, sandwiches, salads, as well as unique gifts and quirky cards. I picked up the sweetest card that said "Happily Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever After" written in a beautiful font on a simple wedding cake. I love surprising Jay with romantic cards every now and then, simply to remind him of how much I love him. It's the little things in life that mean the most!

I ordered an iced french vanilla latte, and my mom ordered an iced coffee. It is hot in Dallas. Ice in our drinks is a must! We weren't hungry at the time, but Magnolias offers breakfast tacos, muffins, croissants and more from the kitchen of Marie Gabrielle Restaurant & Garden (another one of my favorite spots in Dallas). Our coffees were soooo delicious!

Sous Le Pont translates to "under the bridge" in French, and Magnolias is actually nestled at the bottom of a bridge in the Harwood District. I would definitely say this is a must-try for coffee lovers if you are in the Dallas area or just passing through. It is one of my new favorite coffee shops in town!

Wishing everyone a lovely week!

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Today's Devotional

"Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God."

—1 Corinthians 10:31

I was reading Michelle Myer's book, "Famous in Heaven and at Home" today, and she was talking about the verse above. I loved that she said, "From the big moments of life, to the small seemingly insignificant ones, we should have God's glory on our minds." We should prioritize in personal integrity. She goes on to give examples — don't participate in gossip, apologize when we lose our tempers, admit when we are wrong. She also explains that a huge piece of integrity is authenticity, which includes who we are on social media. This does not mean we need to air our dirty laundry on social media so people know exactly what we are struggling with. Instead think, "What can I share that will inspire others?" I love this devotional book! You can read more about it here. I highly suggest it if you are in need of a little inspiration! 

Xoxo,

Syd

8 Years

I never imagined I would become an NFL cheerleader or an NBA dancer. I never imagined I would live in Dallas. Everything happens for a reason, and I can honestly say I am very happy with the opportunities and experiences I have had in my life so far.

I grew up in the Rio Grande Valley. My days were busy - school, ballet, sleep, repeat. My last year of high school I took all core classes, that were also dual credit, in order to graduate early. I graduated from Sharyland High School (Go Rattlers!) in 2007 and began my college career at the University of Texas Pan American.

See McAllen, Texas? That is where I was born and raised! My home was less than 10 miles from the border of Mexico and just a short drive away from South Padre Island. 

Since the age of three, I studied classical ballet and other forms of dance, but I truly fell in love with ballet and performing when I was 10-years-old at Deborah Case Dance Academy. Miss Deborah taught me everything I needed to know about teamwork, confidence, poise, performance, hard work and so much more. I especially loved our production of "The Nutcracker" each holiday season. I knew that in order to be chosen for main roles, I had to work hard and rehearse long hours each day. I had the opportunity to perform as "Clara," the "Sugar Plum Fairy," the "Snow Queen," and the "Harlequin Doll." These experiences were magical to me and moments I will never forget.

In my hometown, I was also Miss Rio Grande Valley Teen USA 2007. I loved everything about this title because my schedule was often filled with wonderful opportunities that involved giving back to my community. That year, while studying at UTPA, I decided to branch out and try new forms of dance. I began taking hip-hop and modern classes with a competitive team at Danzforce Academy. In March of 2008, I went to the ADTS Nationals in Dallas, Texas with my team. Actually, it was in Denton, but this was my first time in the DFW area! While performing a solo routine, I was approached by a woman. I remember her asking my name and telling me my olive skin tone was pretty. She asked if it was natural, and I said it was. At the time, I had never tanned in a bed or heard of spray tanning! A few hours later, after the competition, I received a phone call from my Danzforce director. I honestly thought I was in trouble! Instead he had an envelope for me that contained a "bye" to the semi-final round of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders auditions. I was 17 at the time; my hair was slicked back into a bun. I barely had any makeup on, just a little bit of red lipstick. I remember laughing and thinking, "Me? Little me? A Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader? Those women are beautiful. There's no way!" I'll never forget sitting with my team in the airport on our way home. I looked around and said, "Guys, I'm going to do it!" A few weeks later, I turned 18, and I packed my bags for Dallas.

DCC auditions were like nothing I had ever experienced before! I had my hair in a pony tail, don't worry I took it down. Everyone was beautiful. I had zebra print luggage with everything I needed inside (didn't have a push-up bra yet), and I had a Juicy Couture sweatsuit on.  Oh yeah, I was really cool, haha! I went in and gave it everything I had. Each year, things are a little bit different, but that year we auditioned at Texas Stadium and once they announced the finalists, we had two weeks in between to fly home and get our stuff together before meeting up with the veterans. After finals, the 2008 training camp candidates were announced, and my life changed at that moment.

Training camp, as a rookie, was honestly the most challenging experience. I showed up to Valley Ranch around 4:30 p.m. every day, practiced with my fellow rookies and left each night after midnight. I enjoyed everything, but I was mentally and physically exhausted. I cried a lot! Everyone does. I also ate a lot of golden Oreos. Terrible, I know; but I was stressed and they made me happy! I was often told I was too "calm" and "boring." I was "too much of a ballet dancer" and I needed to "lose my technique." I learned to watch the veterans in front of me, and slowly but surely I picked up their DCC style. Everything happens for a reason, and three months later it was official. I was a 2008-2009 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader!

I could go on and on with stories. I have so many good ones! From a late night interview in Texas Stadium during a snow storm that left us stranded with the lights off unable to find the exit, to signing autographs for fans hours after the game while we walked to our cars. From my first time stepping onto the field at Cowboys Stadium (AT&T Stadium), to the many USO tours overseas in many different amazing countries. I could tell stories for days, but you all would probably fall asleep! I'll save them for another time. 

One year wasn't enough. Neither was two...or three...or four. Seven seasons later, I turned in my boots and pom poms. I am so unbelievably thankful for my time as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader (2008-2015). I am thankful for every experience, every memory, every friendship, every radio show (s/o to my Talkin' Cowboys crew), every embarrassing moment, and every life lesson I learned.

Next adventure? Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk! After turning in my DCC boots and poms, I flew to Atlanta where I met up with Ang Lee and his incredible team. I was hired as the movie's cheerleader consultant and choreographer as well as a cheerleader in the movie. The cast and crew instantly became my family. I have never felt so special and loved by a group of people I had just met. A few months later, when our filming was over, I didn't want to leave. Ang hugged me goodbye, and tears rolled down my cheeks. Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk will hit theaters on 11/11/2016. You can watch the first trailer here! Once again, I turned in my boots and poms for a second time. 

Back in Dallas, I continued to take adult ballet classes each week in order to fuel my passion for dance. I knew I still had one more year of performing in me, and decided to audition for the Dallas Mavs Dancers. I had always dreamed of dancing on the court. I went straight from high school to the field, so a new experience and a new sport was right up my alley. In July of 2015, I became a Dallas Mavericks Dancer. 

It was exciting learning how to set formations and dance on a court. I was used to huge (visible) hash marks as an NFL cheerleader. As an NBA dancer, we mark our spots using little cracks on the floor. One of my teammates still laughs at me today because although I always ended up in "the right spot" at games, I never actually could see my mark on the ground. Halfway through the season, we were rehearsing at the American Airlines Center when I discovered my spot on the court for the first time. I looked up at her and said, "Oh my gosh! These are the cracks in the ground! I can see them!" She just looked at me and started cracking up laughing. 

I am unbelievably thankful for my time as a DMD. I performed at over 40 home games, had a million different uniform changes, made friends who are now my bridesmaids and so much more. I want to thank my director, Mallory Mills, for always keeping her door open and being happy and motivating, both on and off the court as well as my amazing teammates whose friendships I will forever cherish. I have been beyond blessed to perform seven seasons for America's Team, the best team in the NFL, our Dallas Cowboys; and one season with the best dance team in the NBA. I have experienced more in these eight years than some people do in a lifetime, and I will forever cherish every memory.

Good luck to all of the girls auditioning today for the Dallas Mavs Dancers and good luck to all of the girls currently in training camp for the DCC. You are about to embark on a journey of a lifetime, and I suggest you enjoy every minute of it, no matter what!

I apologize if this post was a little lengthy, but it is not easy condensing 8 years of memories into a few paragraphs. I could go on and on with stories! If anyone has any memories they would like to share, fans and friends, I would love to hear them. If anyone has any questions, I would be happy to answer them below!

Surgery Day

My handsome fiancé, Jay, suffered a major foot injury last week while playing basketball. At first we thought (and we were hoping) it was just a sprain or a dislocated toe; however after two opinions, we were told the injury was much worse than we were expecting, and immediate surgery was required. He had surgery this past Wednesday (July 6), and although it was pretty intense, it was very successful thanks to Dr. Carr Vineyard and his team at North Central Surgical Center (Carrell Clinic). I'm not a doctor, but here is the surgery in my words.

We have two sesamoid bones in each big toe. Looking at Jay's MRI, one of his sesamoid bones broke into two pieces, so Dr. Vineyard removed the broken piece. He placed two small metal screws with sutures attached to them into the sesamoid bones, one in each bone. The stitches that are connected to the screws then attach to the plantar plate ligaments that were torn to pull everything back into normal alignment (complete plantar plate tear). Right underneath the inner sesamoid bone, there was scuffing and damage to the metatarsal cartilage. You get one layer of this cartilage for your whole life, and if it gets damaged it can cause issues. Dr. Vineyard cleaned up the damage and drilled little holes in the bone which allows scar tissue to form. This will hopefully help Jay avoid any problems in the future.

Minimum heal time is about 3-4 months before he can return to normal, light activity. Jay is pretty tough and very athletic, so it breaks my heart that he won't be able to hit the gym for the next few months or play football/basketball with his guys.

The first few days have been okay. He is a little restless, however the anesthesiologist inserted an ambIT Infusion Pump into his right leg which basically pumps numbing medication through a catheter directly into the surgical area. This controls the pain during the surgery and for a few days following. I watched the big needle go into his leg before the surgery. It was pretty intense, but I wanted to see it! I've never heard of this form of pain management, so it was interesting to learn a little bit about what was going on. Today, the numbing medicine ran out, and guess who pulled the little tube out of his leg...ME! It wasn't as bad as I thought, but Jay now can feel his leg/foot, and let's just say it doesn't feel great.

As many of you know, if you follow me on Instagram, our wedding date was August 6, 2016 - 4 weeks away. At this point, we don't know if he will even be able to put any weight on his right foot (in the boot); he will still be using crutches and/or a medical knee scooter. It all depends on how his foot is healing. He's pretty tough though, so I'm not too worried! We do not want to risk him not being able to walk down the aisle in 4 weeks, enjoy our first dance together or party the night away with family and friends. Most of all, we don't want to risk him injuring his foot again by trying to do too much too soon. Our new wedding date is November 11, 2016. We may have been thrown a curve ball, but we said a prayer and made a wish. The date 11/11 appeared, and we couldn't be happier and more excited for this wonderful and special day! Thank you to our friends and family for all of the kind texts, sweet messages and uplifting words. Let the healing process begin! 

LWD

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Happy 4th of July! The other day I posted this little white dress on my Instagram. I found it on Lemon Bee Boutique's website, and I instantly knew I had to have it! What I love about this dress is that you can either dress it up with a fun pair of nude/white heels or keep it casual with comfy wedges or sparkly flat sandals. My closet is filled with white - little white dresses, white lace rompers, cute white tank tops and white denim jeans/shorts. I am clearly obsessed, especially when the dresses I find have unique features such as a notch front, an a-line silhouette, and a mesh trim. This dress was a must-have for me, no question about it! You can order one for yourself from Lemon Bee, simply enter SYD10 at checkout for 10% off any purchase (does not have to be this dress). Also, follow them on Instagram (@Lemon_Bee_Boutique) for more fun styles and daily new arrivals! Happy Monday, everyone! Have a great week. Love y'all!

Dress - Dreamy Love by Lemon Bee Boutique

Earrings - MeccaFox 

Famous in Heaven

I recently started reading Famous in Heaven & At Home by Michelle Myers – a 31-day character study of the Proverbs 31 woman. I must say, it has already been unbelievably inspiring, and I am only a few days in. The author, Michelle Myers, is real; I love this about her. She even begins the book by saying, “Please know my heart. Know that this is not an attempt to pretend like I have this mastered or have it all together.” She is honest and humble yet straight-forward and encouraging. Each daily devotional contains a character goal embodied in the P31 woman, exact wording from Scripture, encouragement from the author, a prayer, and a challenge to put the day’s devotion into motion (haha…that sort of rhymes).

Day one immediately begins with Proverbs 31:10-31, and I love that she says, “I’d like to meet the woman who reads this chapter and thinks to herself, ‘Nailed it. Next assignment, God!’” She goes on to explain that life brings change; but despite circumstances, good character can remain consistent.

If you are looking for a new inspirational read, I highly recommend this devotional. There is always room for improvement. Thank you Michelle Myers for writing such a wonderful book full of challenge, wisdom and beauty!

Don’t have time to pick Famous in Heaven & At Home up at the store or order online, iBooks has it on your Mac or iOS device as well as iTunes on your computer. You can purchase it digitally here for just $5.99!

Slow Cookin'

A few months ago, at my bridal shower, my maid of honor and her sweet momma surprised me with the 6-quart Crock-Pot that was on our registry. Sorry I'm not sorry, but I wasn't able to wait until after the wedding to use this bad boy! I am not a cook. I mean, I enjoy cooking, but I wouldn't call myself an expert or anything. Maybe it's cheating, but I just throw a few things into my slow cooker in the morning, and when I get home from work...the most delicious, most tender, and most flavorful dinner is ready. 

This morning I kept it simple. Carrots on the bottom, a few whole new potatoes, roasted garlic, course ground black pepper, corn on the cob (cut in halves), three lean boneless pork chops seasoned with Zoës Kitchen Spice of Life and two slices of delicious hickory smoked bacon. Sometimes I switch it up and put the meat on bottom and veggies on top, depending on how long I keep it cooking on low; but today I went with meat on top for 6 hours on low, and the result was delicious (see photo below).

One thing I love about using a Crock-Pot is walking in the door after a long day to a house filled with that "home-cooked meal" aroma. It's like I have a personal chef...every day! I usually prepare everything in the morning, right before I walk out the door, but if you know you will be rushed, simply chop up your veggies and assemble everything you need the night before. The next day, toss it in and set it on low for 6-8 hours. If you end up running a little late, the timer should go off automatically and it will set to warm (not all crock-pots do this, double check yours first). I also love that you can create your own recipes. I do own a few cookbooks - Date Night In and The Newlywed Cookbook - but when it comes to using my Crock-Pot, almost anything goes! Just adding a new ingredient or changing up the spices keeps things interesting and different.

A few other simple recipes I enjoy include:

1.  Toss in a pork tenderloin seasoned with Williams-Sonoma Chile Garlic Herb Rub (my favorite) and carrots, potatoes, and fresh green beans (or any of your favorite veggies) piled on top. Slow cook it 6-8 hours on low. The tenderloin will literally fall off your fork...and into your heart!

2. Place a few boneless, skinless chicken breasts along the bottom with 2-3 sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into chunks) on top. In a separate bowl, stir together brown sugar, a dash of salt/pepper and melted butter. Poor the mixture over the chicken and sweet potatoes. Cook on low for about 6-8 hours. You can even add a few jumbo marshmallows and walnuts to your sweet potatoes. Leave your crock-pot on warm for a few minutes, and the marshmallows will begin to melt just perfectly. A little sweet, but definitely worth it!

3. Last but not least, I love chicken and veggies that are seasoned with a little salt, pepper and lemon. This combo will create a nice and light dinner for those days you are craving something on the healthier side. I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts (but chicken thighs are also very flavorful and a little juicer) seasoned with a lemon-pepper. I like to pat in the spices so the chicken is extra flavorful. Place the chicken in the Crock-Pot, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, slice up a lemon and place the slices over the chicken, top everything with your favorite veggies (I usually use corn on the cob, carrots and fresh green beans), add a little more olive oil and sprinkle with lemon-pepper. Cook on low for 6-7 hours. This recipe is so easy and so delicious!

What are your favorite Crock-Pot recipes? I would love to try them out and add them to my collection!

Hope everyone is having a fabulous (and healthy) week. Love y'all!

A Pop of Pink

It's Monday! I'm alive, I'm breathin', I'm livin', I'm blessed. Life is good. I hope you all had a great weekend. Today's post features a little pop of pink. I have been in love with this blush color for awhile now, and I am so excited to share this dress with you! As you can see, I am sporting a light pink flowy dress with jagged edging, a little bit of stretch and texture, an open back and a crochet neckline. It pairs perfectly with neutral earrings (mine always have a little bit of sparkle) and a nude heel. While this look could work for a variety of occasions, I wore this dress to a friend's wedding last weekend. I love wearing pink! Something about it makes me feel fancy and girly, yet still classy and chic. What are your favorite pink pieces to wear? I would love to hear your feedback. I am always on the lookout for new pink looks.

Have a great Monday, everyone. Love y'all!

Dress - Zouk: 

Shoes - G by Guess

Makeup - Alayza Casey

Hair - LG & Company

Photography - Fitz Crittle

Jet Set

In this post, I am wearing a line of jewelry that is very special to me...Jet Set Candy. The necklace I am wearing in the photos below is Jet Set Candy's gold DFW Dallas Ft. Worth Luggage Tag on one of their gold-dipped cable chains. This tag means a lot to me because after eight fabulous years, I love calling Dallas my home. Dallas is where I first stepped foot on Texas Stadium turf as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. Dallas is where I met my best friend and future husband. Dallas is where I performed as a Dallas Mavericks Dancer this season...for the best fans in the NBA. Dallas is where Jay McArthur and I will be tying the knot in 50 days! This necklace represents my home and many memories I hold dear to my heart.

Jet Set Candy is a modern yet nostalgic line of travel souvenirs designed to capture the spirit of our favorite and most memorable global adventures - wearable keepsakes for travel lovers. Everything is so detailed and adorable! Their cable chains come with a tiny jet plane charm, their packaging has hidden travel quotes and coordinate details, and a personalized message can be engraved on the back of each charm. 

My first and favorite piece from JSC (I have blogged about it before) is my gold FCO Rome Luggage Tag that has "Jay & Syd" along with the date Jay proposed (8-24-2015) engraved on the back. While this one will always be the most special to me because that magical, romantic day in Italy is one I will never forget...I received an exciting box of charms in the mail today that I just had to share with you all! I am so excited to add JSC's DFW Dallas Luggage Tag, their SYD Sydney Luggage Tag (I've got the name down, so now I just need to visit), and their adorable champagne charm to my collection. The owner of JSC, Nicole Parker King, even surprised me with the sweetest "Future Mrs. McArthur" postcard. She knows how much I love her brand!

My collection is growing! Currently I have their cable chain, but I may have to order their signature "Take Flight" charm bracelet soon, along with a "where Jay and I decided to go on our honeymoon" charm. 

Thanks Jet Set Candy and I hope everyone had a wonderful Thursday. It's almost the weekend!

Love y'all!

Necklace - Jet Set Candy

Earrings - MeccaFox

Dress - California MoonRise