Friday, May 30, 2014

Five on Friday

Happy Friday! I don't know about you, but I feel like work weeks following long weekends are just TOTALLY.EXHAUSTING. Trying to squeeze five days of work into four just wears this girl out. Anyway, enough complaining...per the Friday usual, I am linking-up with April {A.Liz Adventures}, Christina {North Carolina Charm}, Darci {The Good Life} and Natasha {Hello! Happiness} to share five things I'm currently loving!

5 on Friday, Blog Link-up


One: Martin Manifesto has a Facebook Page

I finally got around to setting up a Facebook page for this little bloggety blog...and I'd love for you to "like" it! Just click this cute little blue button to check it out!



Come to think of it, I'd love for you to also check out {and follow} all of the other social media F.U.N I've got going on...
  
https://twitter.com/LeslieJMartinhttp://www.pinterest.com/leslie_lukens/ 


 

Two: "Drunk on a Plane," by Dierks Bentley

I can't get enough of this song...it just never gets old! Cracks me up every time I hear it.  And the video...well, Dierks Bentley is pretty easy on the eyes!



 

 

Three: These Sandals

I know I mentioned these sandals a couple of weeks ago {here}, but mine finally arrived this week...and they're even better than I expected! The perfect neutral wedge...cute as can be and amazingly comfortable!


If you're in the market for a great pair of sandals that will go with EVERY.OUTFIT.YOU.OWN, these Michael Kors 'Damita" Wedges are your answer! Trust me on this one!



Four: Skinny Girl Nutrition Bars

 


I was frantically running through Target a couple of weeks ago when one of the sales ladies handed me a Skinny Girl Banana Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Nutrition Bar. It just so happened that I was starving {and wasn't going to have time to get lunch before I had to be wherever I was going}, so I opened the package and ate it while I finished shopping. That lil nutrition bar turned out to be a pretty tasty meal-on-the-run...so of course I went back to where the sales lady had caught me and picked up a box to take home. {Note: you can find these in the pharmacy/health section at Target.} I really have no clue of the actual nutritional value of these nutrition bars, but I can tell you that they taste pretty good {and that's coming from a typically picky eater who doesn't really like dark chocolate...in fact, I didn't even know it was dark chocolate until I looked at the box to write about it just now} and they're filling. 



Five: A Tribute to Maya Angelou

Check out this article for exceptional advice and powerful words to live by: 12 Powerful Quotes from Maya Angelou that Speak to Our Generation.

 

TGIF! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Gift Registry

Creating a wedding registry is fun…but it’s also a bit awkward! You can’t help but feel selfish making this mile-long list of “stuff” you’d love for someone else to buy for you…but, from a guest’s perspective {hey… I’ve been a guest at least a million more times than I’ve been a bride}, it’s a huge relief to have a variety of options to choose from when shopping for a wedding gift.  In fact, one of the ladies who helped us through the registry process suggested the minimum registry should include twice as many items as the number of guests you’re inviting. All of the traditional wedding registry stores provide you with a checklist and tips for creating a registry, so I’m not going to get into all that.  I’ll just share with you some of the advice we received and the lessons we learned regarding the ultimate wishlist {i.e. the wedding registry}.


Gift Registry


Consider your guests.  Create your registries at stores that are easily accessible for your guests.  This is especially important if you’re from a small town that doesn’t have a Bed Bath & Beyond/Crate & Barrel/Pottery Barn/etc.  I know it’s hard to wrap your head around this, but not all of your guests shop online, so make sure to register at a local gift or hardware store to accommodate your guests who like to pick out gifts in person.
    
     Think long-term.  Imagine the things you’ll need later down the road {you know, when you’re actually a grown up} and include those items on your registry. For example: household goods you’ll need when you move to a bigger house, serving pieces and utensils for hosting a holiday meal, linens for guest bedrooms/bathrooms, etc.

Include items for HIM. Some guests from the groom’s side, especially those who have not yet met the bride, will want to give a gift geared more towards him. Think grilling items, outdoor gear or power tools.

Register for items at all price points. Duh…this doesn’t really even need an explanation, but I guarantee you will be shocked at the generosity of your guests. Don’t be afraid to register for expensive items…several guests might pool together to get that pricey item for you. Also remember to include several items on the lower end of the price scale, especially if you’re having a shower or other pre-wedding festivities where guests may bring a gift.
         
Actively monitor your registry. I’ve got to thank my fabulous wedding planner {HeidiBeth from The Wedding Connection} for this advice. I had decided that I wasn’t going to look at our registries because I didn’t want to know in advance which gifts our guests had purchased. {Who am I kidding? That was never going to work for me…I hate surprises and need to know everything in advance!} Anyway, HeidiBeth suggested that we pay attention to our registries and add items as necessary to make sure that items are available at all price points.  She explained that a guest planning to spend $50 will opt for a $30 gift rather than a $70 gift if there are no $50 gifts remaining on your registry.  This kind of goes back to the whole awkward/selfish feeling, but just remember…you want to give your guests lots of options!

Send "Thank You" notes. This might not technically be part of the registry process, but it is incredibly important. Take a few minutes to sit down and write a note to let your guests know just how much you appreciate their generosity. Be sincere...and make it personal. Tell them why you love their gift or how you plan to use it. Try to send the thank you note relatively soon after you receive the gift. This will also benefit you in the end...because it's much easier to write a few thank you notes at a time as you receive the gifts rather than having to write them all at once when you return from your honeymoon.

And there you have it...my two cents on this 
 "Wedding Wednesday!" 
What did I miss? What else is important regarding wedding registries?
I'd love to hear from you!



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

{Memorial} Weekend Recap

It was a busy weekend...as I've come to realize nearly all of my weekends are these days...but it was a fabulously busy weekend!

The weekend started off with an event at Ryan's "office" on Friday evening.

The husband...just doing his thing.
The husband's "office"...
Sure beats my view of spreadsheets that go on for days and days!


I got up early on Saturday morning and once again headed north to Kansas...this time for Miss Lindsay's bridal shower!

Maid of Honor {Blair Donovan} and Bride-to-Be {Lindsay Donovan}
Lindsay {the bride-to-be}, Leslie and Blair
Rhonda, Blair, Lindsay, Leslie and Vickie
A photo opp with our moms...


I seriously can't believe how much this precious lil punkin' had changed in JUST.ONE.WEEK...{Sorry for the photo quality...iPhone pics are great and all, but babies move fast!}

Is he not the sweetest little jailbird you've ever seen?!!?

My mom captured these adorable pics of Nais and Lily just before Nais decided he wanted to hold on tight to Lily's ear while she tried to get away.  Needless to say, the little diva dog is now a little apprehensive of hanging out with Baby Nais. She'll get over it though, and they'll be best buddies...until he starts running/chasing her! Haha.... 
boy and his dog, best friends

And that's all I've got in the form of pictures. We made the rounds to place fresh flowers on the graves of the loved ones we've lost. It's always so bittersweet...the sadness of no longer having those special people around, but the joy of all the wonderful memories from the past. I'm very grateful I was able to spend Memorial Weekend with my family in Kansas...a fabulous beginning to Summer 2014!







Friday, May 23, 2014

Summer Shindig

It's the final day of our Summer Kick Off blog series, and I hope you are as excited as I am to get this summer started right this Memorial Day Weekend! As a rather perfect conclusion to this blog series, Jenn from What You Make It has some fabulous thoughts and ideas for how to throw a backyard dinner party. 



Before you head over to What You Make It for the "How To" guide, here's a little summer insight from Jenn:

Find more details about this delish strawberry shortcake here

Do you prefer the beach or pool?  

I just love the sound and smell of the ocean...and how beautiful it is.

Which beauty/hair product is your skin’s/hair's best friend during the summer heat?  

Sunscreen! And I'm loving argan oil to calm my frizzy hair.

Name one piece of clothing you think every girl should own to properly dress for the long, hot days of summer.  

Stretchy pencil skirt - you can dress it up or down, and it's comfy but stylish.

Favorite summertime anthem?

"Turn Down for What" - and those who know me are like, "Seriously?" I can't get enough!


Recommendations for summer reads?

My favorite author is Kate Morton - if you like Downtown Abbey, you'll love The House at Riverton. Historical fiction, mystery, romance...all in beautiful, absorbing writing.

................

Get your pretty little self over to What You Make It so you can find out how to throw the perfect backyard party THIS.WEEKEND!




Thanks so much for trekking along with us this week! It's been a lot of fun getting to know and collaborating with these fabulous ladies! In case you're late to the party, you can still get geared up for summer by checking out:

I hope you've enjoyed our Summer Kick Off series and gotten some great ideas for Summer 2014.

Have a fabulous {and safe

Memorial Weekend!



Thursday, May 22, 2014

Summer 2014 Preview

My Facebook and Instagram {you can follow me here} feeds are full of pics of my friends' kids posing on their last day of school. They're so freakin' excited that they can barely stand still long enough for mom to capture the photo! I really feel like everyone should get a summer break. I mean, I'm not demanding the full three months or anything...but I definitely wouldn't turn down a week or two of required vacay...a little time for the whole world to just take a break and catch up on R&R. I can't think of anyone that would oppose this...so who do I talk to in order to get this implemented into the business world???

Even though my J.O.B. doesn't come with a summer break, I still get excited for the fabulous warm hot-weather season! Here are a few things I'm looking forward to this summer...

George Strait {and friends} at Cowboys Stadium



This is going to be bittersweet! I'm literally counting down the days until this show {16!!!}, but I'm also kind of dreading it because it will be King George's LAST.SHOW.EVER! I've lost count of how many times I've seen GS in concert, but I'm willing to bet this will be his best show yet! I'm fully prepared to shed a few tears...


Donovan-Miller Wedding in Steamboat Springs, CO


Lindsay is a lifelong friend of mine, and I'm so excited to celebrate her marriage to Brandon over the 4th of July weekend.

Long-Weekend Getaway to...???


It's kind of hard for Ryan to get away during the spring/summer months, so we've decided we're just going to take a long-weekend trip this summer. Problem is...we can't decide where we want to go! We've narrowed it down to three options... We'll definitely get around to all three destinations within the next year or so...but  we're just having a hard time deciding WHEN to go WHERE! Please feel free to offer any recommendations/advice/insight!

..........................


I'm sure there will be several more exciting events as the summer progresses, but these are the B.I.G. events that I've got marked on my calendar with *stars*/highlighter/underlining/etc.! Well, I guess they're not all technically on my calendar given we haven't decided on dates for our undecided-destination vacay....but you get the point! Here's to a fabulous Summer 2014!

What are YOU looking forward to this summer?







Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Summer in a Cup

Welcome back to Day 3 of our Summer Kick Off blog series! I still can't believe that Memorial Day is just a few days away...but, let me tell you, this girl is beyond ready for a three-day weekend! A three-day weekend that marks the beginning of summer...my ultimate favorite season! OK, enough from me...

Meet Susan from 2 Cats and Chloe



Let's talk a little bit about Suz. The girl has some serious creative skills {she owns her own wedding and party coordination business...AND also has a job in marketing!}. She's a newlywed {her wedding was one week after mine!} who loves to travel and thrives on adventure! And she's got a fabulous recipe for the perfect summer concoction...Summer in a Cup! Before you head over to 2 Cats and Chloe to get the details on this refreshing summer cocktail, get to know Susan a little better through her responses to my awesomely interesting questions...


Do you prefer the beach or pool?

I prefer the river!! {And after you stop by my blog for a visit on the river today, I'm sure you will agree!}

Which beauty product is your skin’s best friend during the summer heat?

I will be the first to admit that my skin regimen {or lack thereof} would probably terrify each and every one of you!  Yet somehow my skin stays clear and fresh - thank goodness!  That being said, I will not use makeup that does not have some sort of SPF in it.  I'm a huge fan of pur minerals powder and concealer during the summer.  With the humidity and mugginess in my part of the country, this makeup feels light weight and handles well in the summer elements.  

Name one piece of clothing you think every girl should own to properly dress for the long, hot days of summer.

Does a hat count?  I'm a sucker for summer hats.  I feel like they can really dress up normal, plain-jane outfits.  Match a fun hat with a simple tank and you're set to go out on the town, to an afternoon ballgame or even the beach!  



Favorite summertime anthem? 

You're going to think I'm such a redneck based on my answer {I promise I'm not!}, but one of my favorite summer songs is "Redneck Neck Yacht Club."  In the middle of winter, this song will take me straight to summer memories of tying our pontoon boat, fishing boat, and jet skis together in the middle of the river... half of us drinking and grilling out on the pontoon while the other half is reeling in the catch of the day off the back of the fishing boat.  Good times!


Recommendations for summer reads?

One of my favorite summer reads is No Touch Monkeyby Ayun Halliday.  I am addicted to traveling and sarcasm, which both encompass this book.  Her witty travel adventures will definitely have you laughing out loud!

A little message from Susan...

And now that I've talked so much about the river - I want to personally invite y'all to all join me for a festive summery beverage on the dock at my family's cottage today! Unfortunately, I cannot afford to fly each and every one of Leslie's awesome readers to Carolina - so we will just have to have this little shindig virtually!  Grab your sunglasses and cute summer hats, then get your booties over to 2 Cats & Chloe  to kick off summer with me on the Perquimans River!


In case you're late to the game {where have you been all week???}, here's what you've missed:
  • Monday: J's thoughts on summer fashion {here}.
  • Tuesday: a few of my summer "must haves" {here}.
I hope you'll come back tomorrow to get some summer insight from Lesley {The Dream Tree}.


Monday, May 19, 2014

A Few Summertime Necessities

It's Day 2 of our Summer Kick Off blog series, and it's MY turn to talk type a little bit about my ultimate favorite season! I decided to take the "Leslie Loves..." post approach to share with you a few things I deem to be "Summer Essentials!"

First up...what to pack in a beach/pool bag:

Summer Kick Off Blog Series
  1. J.Crew Market Tote, $49.50
  2. Striped Beach Towel, $19.99
  3. Michael Kors 58mm Polarized Aviator Sunglasses, $119 {My husband says non-polarized sunglasses are pointless. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure my LASIK surgeon told me the same thing...so make sure your sunnies give you polarized protection from those bright rays!}
  4. EOS Lip Balm, $2.99
  5. Havaianas 'Slim' Flip Flop, $26
  6. Sunscreen {for your body}, $16
  7. Sunscreen {for your face}, $19.50
  8. Chelsea Handler's Uganda Be Kidding Me, $27 {In my humble opinion, the pool/beach is no place for challenging/intellectual reads that require intense thinking. Thus, I picked this HA-LAR-ious book, which essentially requires ZERO brain power.}
  9. Insulated Water Bottle, $20
  10. No-crease Hair Ties, $9 for set of 8


What about all those items that can't be exposed to water but you HAVE.TO.HAVE with you? Oh, don't you worry your pretty little self...I've got the perfect solution: convert an empty Crystal Light container into a waterproof storage bin and throw it in your bag!


An empty Crystal Light container is the perfect waterproof storage bin...plenty of room for your iPhone, car and/or house keys, ID, credit card, cash and more!

What about a poolside snack?  Frozen grapes!

Poolside Snack

On a hot summer day, frozen grapes are fabulously refreshing...and healthy too! Simply wash your grapes, put them in a Ziploc freezer bag and toss them in the freezer for at least an hour. Although I've never tried this, I've been told you can soak the grapes in 7-Up or Sprite {I'm thinking champagne sounds like a better idea!} for about an hour before you freeze them to enhance the flavor! I definitely plan on trying this soon!

And there you have it...a few of my "must haves" for a F.U.N. summer season! What are your summer favorites?


In case you missed Day 1 of our Summer Kick Off blog series, click here to see J's thoughts on summer fashion! And I hope you'll check back with us tomorrow to find out what summer means to Susan {from 2 Cats and Chloe}!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

It's Almost Summer!

I'm so excited for this week in blogland! With the official start of summer just around the corner {Memorial Weekend...duh!}, I've teamed up with four fabulous ladies to share some summer fun with you ALL.WEEK.LONG! Each day this week, one of us will be sharing some summer-related thoughts/tips/favorites to help you prepare to kick off summer with a bang!   So, without further delay...

Meet J from Bless Her Heart Y'all




Is she not the cutest thing ever? And, let me tell you, the girl can bargain shop like no other! Before you venture over to Bless Her Heart Y'all, here's a little summer insight from J {Q&A style}:

Do you prefer the beach or pool?  

Beach, hands down.  I love pools, but there is something about the sand and those waves that just instantly relaxes me.

Which beauty product is your skin’s best friend during the summer heat?  

My Urban Decay Oil-Control De-Slick Makeup Setting Spray.  I have a very greasy face {yuck, that's gross}, and this setting spray keeps my makeup from sliding off my face during the day and also gives me a "no shine" appearance for hours.  It's the one and only product that seems to help me with my "shine."

Name one piece of clothing you think every girl should own to properly dress for the long, hot days of summer.  

A long floppy hat!  Protect that face from the sun and keep yourself cool at the same time. 

Favorite summertime anthem?

Oh gosh!  Anything Bob Marley gets me in the summertime mood. Bob.Never.Gets.Old.

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Sooo...what are you waiting for? Get yourself over to Bless Her Heart Y'all to see what J has to say about summer fashion!




I hope you'll come back tomorrow to hear from me...a "Leslie Loves..."-type post of summer necessities! 



Friday, May 16, 2014

Leslie Loves...{1.14}

Two of my favorite things about this whole blogging game: sharing my "loves" and linking up for the "Five on Friday" posts. Well, it just so happens that I have five fabulous "loves" to share with you today, so I'm killing two birds with one stone combining this "Leslie Loves..." post with the "Five on Friday" link-up hosted by April {A.Liz Adventures}, Christina {North Carolina Charm}, Darci {The Good Life} and Natasha {Hello! Happiness}!



One: Sara Happ Lip Scrub

As ick-tastic as it is to admit, sometimes my lips are a dry, flaky, cracked mess. {Perhaps it's due to my obsession with long-wear lip color that "supposedly" dries out your lips, but whatever...} Anyway, let me introduce you to what will likely become your lips' BFF...



Simply stated, this is a tiny little jar of A-MAZingness! You just apply a minuscule amount to your lips and wipe it off with a cloth or tissue...and wahlah {however you spell that word that indicates "magical"}, the dead skin is gone and your lips have never felt softer! AND...you won't even believe how smooth your lipstick/gloss goes on and how long the color lasts after you've used the Sara Happ Lip Scrub. The price {$24} might seem a bit excessive, but this small jar will last for-ev-er...I'm telling you, it's WORTH.EVERY.PENNY! 

I've only tried the vanilla bean {which smells and tastes like dessert straight out of my grandma's kitchen!}, but it also comes in Sparkling Pink Grapefruit, Sparkling Peach, Red Velvet, Blood OrangeBrown Sugar, Crème Brûlée, and Green Apple.
This is one of the bags I raved about in my "Leslie Loves..." post about spring/summer handbags {here}...and now it's 30% off here

Dillards



Three: Michael Kors 'Damita' Wedge Sandal




I've been on the lookout for these super cute wedges since Easter...when I nearly stole them off Kelli's {my sister-in-law} feet! I've been needing a new pair of neutral wedges, and these totally fit the bill! They're perfect to wear with dresses, shorts, pants...pretty much any outfit! These wedges are not in my possession yet {currently en route!}, so I can't speak to comfort/fit...but Kelli {and all the reviewers} claims they are very comfortable! All of the Michael Kors shoes I've had in the past have fit true to size.


Four: Kendra Scott 'Elle' Earrings



These beauties can {and will} make an outfit! And they come in SO.MANY.COLORS! Every girl needs at least one pair of Kendra Scott 'Elle' Earrings.



Five: Marilyn Teasing Brush


Ulta

I've proclaimed more than once how much I love BIG.TEXAS.HAIR...and this, my friends, is the tool I use to get it.  This 100% boar bristle brush with a raised center row adds the perfect amount of texture and volume to your hair. It's currently on sale here.  


Happy Friday!

What do you think of my "loves"? 
What are some of your "loves"?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

MKGlam {Mary Kay} VoxBox Review

Let's talk a little bit about the MKGlam VoxBox {a box full of complimentary Mary Kay products to try and review} I recently received from Influenster.




***Important Disclaimer {because transparency is my middle name}: This was a complimentary package I received from Influenster. I am not a paid affiliate of Influenster or Mary Kay {i.e. I received no $$ for this post}. The opinions below are solely mine...because well, this is my blog!***

Influenster, MKGlam

Sooo...which products were included in the MKGlam VoxBox...and what did I think of these products?

Influenster

Influenster, MKGlam
The MKGlam products in action...a subtle look for summer.

Influenster, MKGlam
The MKGlam products combined with my usual foundation {Make Up For Ever}

And that's it...no more awkward selfies! I'd say the MKGlam VoxBox was a success...several great products that I probably never would have tried on my own {especially the eyeliner!}. Honestly, I was surprised at how affordable the Mary Kay products are. Everything included in the MKGlam VoxBox is $18 or less! Thanks, Influenster, for sending me these pretties!


Influenster, MKGlam