Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Song of the Day

Sundy Best: Until I Met You

This past Sunday morning I woke up to the following text from my incredibly-thoughtful husband:
Song of the Day: Sundy Best, 'Until I Met You.' Thank you for bringing out the best in me. I am truly in a great place right now. I have you to thank for everything. I love you to the moon and back.
Ummm...seriously? How sweet is that? I read it at least three times and just laid there with tears in my eyes {remember...I'm super emotional/sentimental like that...don't judge!} I pulled myself together and responded to his text to let him know he'd totally made my day. I hadn't even listened to the song yet...but it was the thought that counted. It could have been the worst song on the planet, but I still would have loved it just because of the sweet message that came along with it.

Turns out, it's a really great song. {Just a forewarning: the song is better than the video, so if you get tired of watching, just listen!}

Although it took everything in me, I was able to overlook the University of Kentucky plug at the end of the video {the UK emblem on the street number}...everyone has their faults! :)

Sundy Best {a duo from Lexington, Kentucky} has a few videos on CMT, and satellite radio {SiriusXM Channel 59, The Highway} has recently started playing "Until I Met You." I love love love when I {Ryan} find{s} a fabulous song that's not overly-played on the radio {yet}, and I thought you might like this one too! Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Jayhawk Basketball: {More Than} A Decade of Dominance

Last night, with a win over the Oklahoma Sooners, my beloved Kansas Jayhawks clinched {at least} a share of the Big 12 regular season men's basketball conference title for the TENTH.YEAR.IN.A.ROW

Take a moment to wrap your head around that: a true decade of dominance!

10 Straight Big 12 Championships, KU, Jayhawk Basketball

In my unbiased opinion, "Decade of Dominance" might be the understatement of the century. Kansas has been amongst the top-tier dominating programs in college basketball since...well, pretty much FOR-EV-ER. These statistics1 {as of February 25, 2014} are proof:
  • All-time win-loss record is 2,123-818 (W-L%: 0.722)
    • Kansas is 2nd (behind Kentucky) for # of all-time wins.
  • 57 Conference Titles
    • Kansas leads all Division I schools for # of regular season conference titles.
  • 42 Tournament Appearances
    • Kansas is 4th (behind Kentucky, UCLA and North Carolina) for # of NCAA tournament appearances.
  • 14 Final Fours
    • Kansas is 5th (behind UCLA, North Carolina, Kentucky and Duke) for # of Final Four appearances.
  • 3 National Championships {excludes Helms National Championships won in 1921-22 & 1922-23 seasons}
    • Kansas is 6th (behind UCLA, Kentucky, North Carolina, Indiana and Duke) for # of National Championships.

Sidenote: I had all the above data in a neat little table, but I was afraid you might realize think I’m a total number-crunching nerd if I included it. My calculations are legit, I promise...and the data source is noted at the bottom of this post in case you don’t trust me. {I told you transparency is my middle name!}

Anyway, since I’ve clarified that I believe Jayhawk Basketball is actually better/stronger/more than this “Decade of Dominance” phrase indicates, we can now get back to the topic at hand:

Kansas Jayhawk Basketball, Rock Chalk

Below are a few of the tweets and quotes from news articles that I came across after last night’s win:
  • “Three of KU's ten straight Big 12 titles were won without a single returning starter from the prior year. Wow.” Tweet from ESPN's Jay Bilas
  • “Only five teams in history have won ten straight league titles. UCLA, UConn, UNLV, and now, Kansas. Amazing accomplishment.” Tweet from ESPN's Jay Bilas
  • “Since the Big 12 has existed (1997 season), KU has won (shared or outright) 14 of the 18 possible regular season men’s basketball titles.” Tweet from
  • “The streak is long enough that Mario Chalmers wasn't here for the beginning of it, but now has his jersey hanging from the rafters.” The Kansas City Star
  • “Bill Self has more conference titles than losses in Allen Fieldhouse.” The Kansas City Star

Let’s talk about Bill Self for a moment. You can’t have a conversation with my brother about Coach Self without the phrase “Class Act” being said. He represents the University of Kansas well, there’s no question about that. And it just so happens that he’s accomplished quite a lot during his tenure in Lawrence:
  • John Wooden was only in Westwood for the first nine of the Bruin championships, which means Bill Self is the first coach from a major conference to win its regular season title for an entire decade.
  • Big 12 Coach of the Year {four times}
  • Sporting News National Coach of the Year {two times @ KU, once before}
  • Naismith National Coach of the Year
  • Adolph Rupp National Coach of the Year
  • AP National Coach of the Year
  • National Coach of the Year
  • 17 players from Self’s recruiting classes have played in the NBA {15 drafted + Russell Robinson and Sherron Collins}

And he’s just a good guy {a real 'Class Act'}:

The main point of this post was to congratulate the Kansas Jayhawk men’s basketball team for TEN.CONSECUTIVE.YEARS of regular season conference titles. {Sorry for straying off on my statistical tangent!} It sure does make it easy to be a Jayhawk fan! ROCK CHALK!

Back to Back to Back to Back to Back, 10 Straight Big 12 Championships

1 Data source:

Monday, February 24, 2014

I'm the Kinda Girl Who...

This is my first time to participate in a link-up {don't screw this up, Leslie}! I'm a little late to the party {the link-up started last week and closes on Wednesday}...but better late than never, right?!!? I'm thinking this link-up is a perfect place to start because it's a list...and we all know I.LOVE.LISTS!

I have no idea how I stumbled across Holly's blog {the fabulous hostess of this fun little link-up}, but I am glad I did! 


A couple of my previous posts tie into this topic, but since I probably shouldn't be repetitive within my first 60 days of blogging, I'll refrain from including those incredibly interesting bullet points about myself! If you're dying to know more about me {or trying to kill a little time at the office}, you can see those lists here and here.

I'm the kinda girl who...

  • ...drinks Diet Dr. Pepper for breakfast every morning.
  • ...will drive around the block just to make sure she closed the garage door.
  • ...bleeds crimson and blue. ROCK CHALK!
  • ...has a lead foot {diagnosis based on driving record}.
  • ...believes the aforementioned lead foot disorder is genetic. {Thanks a lot, Mom/Granddad!}
  • a perfectionist, sometimes to the point it becomes a flaw.
  • ...goes golfing with her husband and never leaves the cart.
  • ...has a hard time saying "no!" but is quick to complain about never having enough time.
  • a bit of a control-freak!
Unlimited Power
  • extremely left-brained {according to this quiz}, but striving to become more creative/crafty!
  • ...talks to her mom
  • best under a tight deadline. {i.e. procrastination is motivation!}
  • ...lives by her Outlook calendar. {If it's not on there, it ain't happenin'!}
  • ...lets her 4-pound dog rule the house. {All hail Princess Lily!}
  • ...worries about something {anything!} all.the.time...including the concern of having misspelled words/improper grammar  in this blog.
  • still learning the ropes of the blogging world. {Advice and/or constructive criticism long as you're nice about it!}
  • ...feels accomplished for participating in a link-up!
Be sure to check out Hey, Hollywood to find links to all the other fabulous bloggers participating in this link-up.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Leslie Loves...{1.07}

Be sure to read all the way to the bottom because there's an opportunity to win a gift card to one of my new favorite boutiques!

Michael Kors Leg Shine

This is one of the products that encouraged the birth of this little blog. The Michael Kors Leg Shine was a B.I.G. hit amongst my bridesmaids. I've been saving this "love" for awhile now, just waiting for the sun to shine and the weather to warm up a bit. Although I'm hearing it may turn cold again next week {vomit!}, I'll celebrate the current warm stint by sharing this product that your soon-t0-be bare legs will love!
product review
Michael Kors Leg Shine is a bronzing shimmer stick that gives your skin a subtle hint of color and a slight glow...and it smells heavenly {like the signature Michael Kors fragrance, my go-to perfume}. It definitely isn't a self-tanner, as it's only intended to leave a sun-kissed glow. Shaped like a deodorant stick, the Michael Kors Leg Shine is super easy to apply...and it goes on very smooth {no clumps or streaks} and doesn't feel sticky. I also use it on my arms and shoulders if I'm wearing a tank or strapless dress. You can order the full-size version here for $32 or the small, travel-size version here for $10.

Spring Sweaters {links are in photos}

While I'm complaining about the weather, let me go ahead and whine about how much I'm dreading the "What am I going to wear?!!?" battle that I'll have with myself every.single.morning from about mid-March through early-May {wait...I have this battle every day of the year. I guess it's just more intense during transitional-weather months}. When it's chilly in the mornings but down-right hot by afternoon, it becomes quite the challenge to find "weather appropriate" attire. I discovered {what I refer to as} "spring sweaters" last year, and these light-weight but still-a-little-cozy tops made the 30-40 degree temperature fluctuations a little more tolerable.

I'm slightly obsessed with ombre! I already own the first two sweaters shown below if that tells you anything.  {They're both from the cutest little boutique I found on Facebook a few weeks ago, The Mint Julep.} You can see me in the orange one here {although Baby Nais is the best part of that photo}, and I just happen to be wearing the black/beige one today.  When it's frigid outside, I just layer the sweaters over a long-sleeved t-shirt {Victoria's Secret Essential Tees are my favorite, available here, and on sale 2 for $40}...and then when it's warmer, I will pair it with a cami or tank.  

Mint Julep Boutique
Ombre Tunic Sweater, Orange
$44.00 at The Mint Julep Boutique

The Mint Julep Boutique
Fade Away Sweater, Blk/Beige
$58.00 at The Mint Julep Boutique

Told you I'm wearing the Fade Away Sweater today!
The ombre fade in mine is a bit different than the listing...
I guess every sweater is unique! I kinda LOVE that!
{Lily thinks I'm crazy for taking selfies over my lunch hour!}

The following "spring sweaters" have not yet taken residence in my closet, but I expect that may change {sooner rather than later!}...

Halogen Three-Quarter Sleeve Sweater
$59.00 at Nordstrom
Available in 15 colors

Trouve Side Slit Tunic Sweater
$68.00 at Nordstrom
Available in 8 colors

Spring Sweater
Gap Luxlight Sweater
$39.95 {30% off with code EARLY--ends today!}
Available in 10 colors

"Spring sweaters" can be worn throughout the summer too {is anyone else's office freeeeeeezing cold in the middle of July?!!?}. 

And now for the {really} fun stuff...

When I emailed The Mint Julep to tell them I was including a couple of their sweaters in my "Leslie Loves..." blog post, they responded with an offer to give one of my readers a $15 gift card!  SO.MANY.CUTE.THINGS {maxi dress anyone???} All you have to do to enter to win the gift card is leave a comment on this blog post.  Make sure I have access to your email address {either through a link in your name or by including it in the comment} because that is how I'll notify the winner.  The winner will be randomly selected {hmm...guess I better figure out how to do that randomizer thing} on Tuesday morning, February 25.  What are you waiting for? Get to commenting NOW...who wouldn't want $15 to put toward something bright and fun from The Mint Julep

And now for the kinda boring stuff that probably only matters to me...

It's important to me that you know the items I include in my "Leslie Loves..." posts are things I genuinely L.O.V.E.  I have not been paid or given any free products to include in these posts. That's not to say that I wouldn't jump up and down like a kid on Christmas morning if I was offered free "stuff" to review on this little blog, but if that should happen {let's all say a little prayer that it does!}, I promise I'll disclose that information. {Hey, I work in finance...disclosure is pretty much my middle addition to the multiple middle names I already legally have!And I double-promise that I'll always give my 100% honest opinion. If I don't absolutely love a product, it obviously won't show up in a "Leslie Loves..." post. {Maybe I'll have to figure out titles for "Leslie kinda likes..." or "Leslie suggests avoiding..." products.} Anyway, I just wanted to make sure that you understand that I really do take pride in sharing my "loves" with you. Please know that I'll never make you question whether I really do love a product or if I got paid/received the product for free so I'd give it a good review. "Leslie loves..." is legit. Too legit to quit.


...and that fabulous product that I mentioned at the end of last week's post?  Yeah, it's STILL sold out! I've been checking on it daily...but I have high hopes that it will be available in time for next week's "Leslie Loves..." post. And as I noted last week, it really is worth the wait!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Non-Traditional Wedding Ideas...Part II

Welcome back to the continuation of "Non-Traditional Wedding Ideas." Click here to see Part I. I hope you haven't lost interest {seriously, I expect you to tell me if my blog posts are getting boring...not kidding.} Without further delay, here are a few {more} unique aspects we included in The.Best.Day...

Once again, all photo credit goes to McGowan Images, truly fabulous photographers. {all files compressed so it won't take four days for the page to're welcome!}

Wedding Party

Just in case having a "Man of Honor" {see Part I} didn't already classify our wedding party as unique, we decided we didn't need the same number of bridesmaids as groomsmen, etc. We had six bridal attendants {4 Bridesmaids, 1 Matron of Honor, 1 Man of Honor}, four groomsmen {1 Best Man, 3 Groomsmen}, three girls in the house party, two ushers and two readers. Strange as it may have been, it ended up looking great in the photos!

Leslie and Ryan, wedding party, McGowan Images, bridesmaids, groomsmen, house party, ushers, readers

Ryan and Leslie, wedding party, McGowan Images

Ryan and Leslie, Bridal Party

 Ryan and Leslie, McGowan Images, Texas Ranch Wedding, Groomsmen, Ushers, Ring Bearer

Ryan and Leslie, Bridal Party in Boots, McGowan Images

Ryan and Leslie, Groomsmen

Unity Cross 

Having a unity candle was ruled out early on in the planning process {ummm...pretty sure it would be some type of bad omen if the wind blew out our unity candle...wasn't about to chance that!} and we didn't feel like unity sand "fit" well with our setting, but we wanted to do something to represent two becoming one. Enter the Unity Cross {or what my friends refer to as the "jigsaw puzzle" we put together during the ceremony}.

Ryan and Leslie, Unity Cross, McGowan Images, Texas Ranch Wedding
The outer cross represents the Groom
Ryan and Leslie, Unity Cross, McGowan Images, Texas Ranch Wedding
The inner cross represents the Bride
Ryan and Leslie, Unity Cross, McGowan Images, Texas Ranch Wedding
Inserting the three pegs that hold the Unity Cross together...
Representing the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Ryan and Leslie, Texas Ranch Wedding, Unity Cross, McGowan Images
Love that we can display this in our home as a
reminder of the promises we made on The.Best.Day.

Writing Our Own Vows

We did the traditional vows where we repeated after the pastor, but we also wrote our own. You can hear {most of} our vows on our wedding highlight video.

Ryan and Leslie, Vows, McGowan Images, Texas Ranch Wedding
Ryan's vows were handwritten on a paper plate...
You better believe this is one of my favorite keepsakes from The.Best.Day!
Ryan and Leslie, Vows, McGowan Images, Texas Ranch Wedding

Ryan and Leslie, Vows, McGowan Images, Texas Ranch Wedding, Groom

Ryan and Leslie, Vows, McGowan Images, Texas Ranch Wedding, Groom,

Ryan and Leslie, Vows, McGowan Images, Texas Ranch Wedding


Although we didn't get married in either of our hometowns, we brought a little bit of "home" to Texas...

We asked the pastor from my hometown church to marry us. Pastor Tom incorporated stories into the ceremony about my love for shopping and Ryan's love for golf.

Hometown pastor, Bride and Groom, Texas Ranch Wedding, McGowan Images
Pastor Tom Walters from the First Christian Church in Medicine Lodge, Kansas.

And we included wheat {and some milo} in the flowers and decor to represent Kansas.

Wheat wedding decor, Fall Wedding Decor, Rustic Chic Wedding Decor, Ryan and Leslie, McGowan Images

Wheat Wedding Decor, Orange Wedding Decor, Fall Wedding Decor, Ranch Wedding Decor, Rustic Chic Wedding, McGowan Images

wheat wedding decor, orange wedding decor, fall wedding decor, rustic chic wedding decor, McGowan Images

wheat wedding decor, orange wedding decor, fall wedding decor, rustic chic wedding decor, McGowan Images

Wheat Wedding Decor, Orange Wedding Decor, Fall Wedding Decor, Ranch Wedding Decor, Rustic Chic Wedding, McGowan Images

We used my grandma Mills' Bible in place of the Ring Bearer's pillow

Family Bible as Ring Bearer's Pillow, McGowan Images, Ryan and Leslie

...And finally, the continuation of

Meaningful {to us} Music - Reception

First Dance: "Hey Pretty Girl" by Kip Moore

Ryan and Leslie, First Dance, McGowan Images, Texas Ranch Wedding
First dance as Mr. and Mrs. Martin!

Father/Daughter Dance: "Daddy's Angel" by T Carter Music

{Sidenote: our fabulous DJ, Rod Baker of DFWParties, edited the beginning of the song to extend the intro and included a pre-recorded message from me to my dad before the words to the song meant the world to my dad!

Ryan and Leslie, Father Daughter Dance, Daddy's Angel, McGowan Images

Ryan and Leslie, Father Daughter Dance, Daddy's Angel, McGowan Images
The one request I had of my dad for my wedding day: to wear his white hat

Mother/Son Dance: "The Baby" by Blake Shelton

Ryan and Leslie, Mother Son Dance, The Baby, McGowan Images

Special Request Song: "Brotherly Love" by Keith Whitley

Ryan and Leslie, Reception, Dance, McGowan Images, Texas Ranch Wedding
Siblings and best friends
Ryan and Leslie, Reception, Dance, Texas Ranch Wedding
Ryan dancing with his sister, Maggie
Ryan and Leslie, Texas Ranch Wedding, McGowan Images, Reception
He danced with each sister for half the song,
but I guess we didn't get a photo of him dancing with Lacey. :(
Lacey, Maggie and Ryan

Sweetheart Dance: "Give it All We Got Tonight" by George Strait

The last dance of the night, just the two of us...of course it had to be to George Strait!

Ryan and Leslie, Final Dance, McGowan Images, Texas Ranch Wedding

Ryan and Leslie, Last Dance, Sweetheart Dance, McGowan Images

Thank you for letting me gush about details of our wedding for the past two days. There are still a few things I want to share from The.Best.Day {getting ready with the girls, our ultimate favorite photos, details/decor, lessons learned during the planning process, etc.}, but I'll give you a break from the wedding posts for a bit. I don't want to be an annoying, over-sharing recent bride, but I just love reflecting on that special day when I became Mrs. Martin!

November 2, 2013...The.Best.Day