Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: A Year in Review part 2

… and it's officially NYE! I don't know about you, but I do not have ANY big plans and I am completely okay with that! Though I wouldn't mind getting out and wearing something sparkly, a cozy outfit and my little family sounds equally amazing!

On to the remainder of 2015!

We went on a 6 day ride.. literally…. on the motorcycle. From Nebraska to Colorado and back. We celebrated Clay's grandparents 60th anniversary and spent quality time with family. I frantically tried to plan half the wedding in the week between our engagement and our trip!


August is a big deal for us (Clay :) ) because it's Fair Week! And admittedly, I love it too. In August we spent 5 straight days eating hamburgers from the Methodist Church stand. Because they are the best. I even experienced my first demo derby. It was 9 million degrees  And we love the fair! August is also Clay's birthday month, but he doesn't like to make a big deal out of his birthday, so we won't here either! :)


In September we took our engagement pictures with the amazing Leekers Photography. I had my first bridal shower given by two wonderful friends, and wedding planning and preparation was in full swing! Also noteworthy, I saw Shania Twain in concert. And she really is still amazing!


We made time for the big trip to Vala's Pumpkin patch (only the greatest pumpkin patch in the world) and indulged in turkey legs and kettle corn. My cousins hosted yet another wonderful bridal shower for me at the beautiful Junto winery.


November of 2015 will be a month I NEVER forget. On November 6th, I married my favorite person in the world- and it was everything I could have ever hoped for. After the wedding we did a little R&R for the weekend in Estes Park at the Stanley Hotel. It was lovely!


We traveled to Kentucky for our nieces FIRST birthday! Triplet life is crazy.... as noted in the picture. Brick turned 1. Side note, he burned half of his whiskers off with the candle. We probably won't be doing that again. The rest of the month was spent having various Christmas celebrations with our families and enjoying each other's company.


2015 was more than I could have ever imagined or asked for! I feel incredibly thankful and unworthy of the many blessings that came from this year.

With that being said, looking forward to 2016!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015: Year in Review

Hey guys!
With another year winding down, I figured it only made sense to do a quick rundown of 2015. Before I started this, it really didn't occur to me how much happened this year! But... here we are - at the end- and turns out it's been a VERY eventful year!
2015 Year in Review: Part I


  • Sweet baby Brick stumbled into a joint custody situation. At the time, I was living in an apartment about 9  miles away from Clay's house. Since we work totally different hours, Brick stayed home in the morning with Clay, and then I drove to his house after work and picked Brick up. He would then stay at my apartment until bedtime when Clay got off work. I'm sure it was a very confusing time for him. But... for the love... I still can't believe how cute he was.

  • On a more serious note, we lost my aunt Gayle on January 1st. She was one of the sweetest, kind, warm and caring individuals I know. She is greatly missed by my family. Everyday.

  • Severe temps awarded me with a few "cold" days at work. Clay and I turned these days into arts and craft days and this resulted!

  • Clay and I hosted a Chili Cook-off at our house. I didn't take any pictures of the chili (fail).
  • Clay grew this mustache.

  • Clay and I boarded our first flight together to visit his sister, her husband, and their TRIPLET baby girls. This was our first time meeting our precious nieces. Of course we fell in love immediately!
  • We celebrated Easter together for the first time as a family! ;) Even Brick wanted to dress up!
  • May was a popular wedding month for us. Two of my cousins tied the knot and Clay and I were able to attend both events together!
  • My  sweet friend Roxanne gave birth to a precious baby boy, Knox!
  • And Brick crammed for finals.

  • I moved into a new apartment and WE GOT ENGAGED!!!!!! Yes, literally on the same day.

Admittedly, this was one of my favorite moments of the year. Excuse my appearance, like I mentioned, we had just hauled all of my belongings into yet another apartment. However, nothing could change how happy and excited I was in that moment!
Woo! The first half of 2015 was amazing. But not quite as wonderful as the second half. Join me again tomorrow to rehash part 2 of 2015!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

How To: Host a Sleepover (in 1999)

Hey ladies!

I know everyone is sad that Christmas is over... as am I... but unfortunately we do have to move on. I have been reflecting lately on why Christmas doesn't seem as magical as it did when I was a kid... and the only logical answer I can come up with is that adults work. Aside from all of our wonderful teachers (bless their hearts), I don't know anyone who is getting 2+ weeks off to  play with new toys and stuff their faces with Christmas desserts. (At least that's what I remember doing over Christmas break). But also... is there a more perfect time for a sleepover?

Seriously. I remember elementary and junior high Christmas break as being prime time for sleepovers. Stay up until 6:00 AM on a Monday night? No problem... no school. The most taxing thing I will have to do on Tuesday is write my name in bubble letters with my new glitter gel pens. I think I can handle it.

I have been to some pretty fantastic sleepovers in my day, but the best sleepovers... the most memorable sleepovers... had a few staples.

1. Rock Tumbler
- and/or extensive polished rock collection. I mean, if you have a rock tumbler, obviously I have extra interest in your slumber party. I will be there with bells on. And by bells, I mean a pillow case full of rocks that I need polished up.

2. Cheesy Teen Dramas
You really can't invite a bunch of creepy 12 year old girls over without having a romantic chick flick on deck. 10 Things I Hate About You, Now and Then, She's All That? Check, check, check! Seriously, we would go nuts for Freddie P. And is anyone else still dying to know how Christina Ricci duct taped her boobs down every morning and then peeled it off at night? Sounds awfully painful. But I wouldn't know. At 12, I was just happy to have graduated out of my Minnie Mouse training bra.

3. Spice anything
I highly doubt it was just my friend group who had a major crush on the Spice family. Five was the magical number when it came to deciding who to have over for a sleepover. And no, it wasn't because there were limited sleeping bags. Ginger, Sporty, Scary, Baby and Posh did not do doubles.
And yes, I desperately wanted to be Baby.
*Bonus- owning Spice World or Spice Girls cassette/CD to dance to while in respective roles.

Gangs all here!

4. Recipe for at home spa treatment from Seventeen
Get together with the ladies and not have a spa day? That would be ludicrous. My very favorite memory is blending up cucumbers and bananas with some sort of oil. Smashing the concoction into my scalp, and then wrapping my head in saran wrap and baking in the hot Summer sun. My hair smelled like rotten cucumbers for a whole week. We may  have done it wrong.


5. Phone Book
Close your eyes, point, else would you randomly select a number to prank call!? Of course, the selection was limited to a few pages of our small town. Busted on a long distance prank call? I think not.

This came later, of course, but it was nothing short of revolutionary. Game changer: simultaneously talking to all of your crushes. And maybe even under the alias of a friend's profile!? Junior high girls: the original Catfishers.

**Addendum- if the host of the sleepover happened to have an older sibling, time was carved out to:
1. Sneak into his/her bedroom and dig through their belongings.
2. If they happened to be present in the home (and..bonus..had friends over) eavesdrop on their conversations. 

And yes, in case anyone is wondering... I am back to work today and dreaming of having a 90s sleepover. Granted, life is pretty wonderful right now- but who wouldn't go back for one night?!

Especially when you can end up looking like this.



Saturday, December 26, 2015

Vacation On My Mind…

It's always hard to believe how Christmas comes… and then goes.  Time flies by so quickly, and it seems to just be going faster and faster with each year. Either way, it's always enjoyable to see family and friends- and luckily for me, I am still not done celebrating! We will be going out to my parents tomorrow for our final Christmas celebration. Woo!

That being said, we decided back during wedding planning that we would be taking a delayed honeymoon. And that delay is suddenly behind us… we will be heading to Ocho Rios in Jamaica in TWO short weeks. So, as much as I am still basking in the glow of my Christmas lights, I have beaches and bikinis on my mind.

I don't want to go nuts with purchases, but this is my first all inclusive vacation and I just have to know… what are the MUST brings?

Of course I'll bring multiple swimsuits and cover ups. And dresses. In addition, I ordered a few things from Von Maur that arrived today… and have me SUPER excited!

Cover: D & Y Watercolor Kimono
Glasses: Fantas-Eyes Bolero glasses
Sunhat: D & Y Packable floppy ribbon hat

 Now… if only my passport shows up in the next week I will feel much better!

Tell me your must haves for a beach vacation!


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

(the perfect) Sugar Cookie

It's the Countdown to Christmas! And it's not Christmas without sugar cookies! Today I am sharing my absolute favorite sugar cookie recipe. This is a family recipe (of Clay's grandma!) that was passed on to me and it is THE PERFECT sugar cookie if I do say so myself.

1 cup butter (2 sticks, softened)
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla (or more! I like more!)
2 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tarter
1/4 tsp salt
Cream the butter ( I like to throw it in the kitchen aid and turn it on high and walk away for a few minutes!) Then add powdered sugar (slowly!! I stress this as it tends to fly everywhere), egg, vanilla. Sift the flour, baking soda, salt and cream of tarter in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Refrigerate overnight.
Place on floured surface (I always sprinkle flour on the dough as I am rolling it out as well)
Roll out (depending on how thick you like the cookies). Cut out the cookies. If you don't have a cookie cutter, the top of a glass works great!
Place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes. Depending on your oven... I like to bake 6 minutes and then as soon as the cookies start to become golden on the edges, I remove from oven and let them bake on the pan for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. This gives you the SOFTEST sugar cookies in the world!

After the cookies are cooled- frost away!

I have a few different recipes for frosting but any buttercream recipe will work. My favorite is to just pour powdered sugar into a bowl, add heavy whipping cream until I get to the desired consistency, and then a splash of vanilla. SO easy!

Head over to Katie Elizabeth to check out other fun holiday traditions!

Merry Christmas (& enjoy)!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Review: Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer

Happy Monday & MERRY CHRISTMAS week!

I am so excited for a short work week, and Christmas of course! There are 4 shopping days left... am I the only one who isn't done Christmas shopping? I have procrastinated like crazy this year and suddenly it is here. So... I know what I'll be doing this week!

Anyways, it has finally cooled off in Nebraska and overnight my skin has turned into a mess. A serious, flaky, scaly, mess. For whatever reason, I am terrible about putting lotion on. I mean, it shouldn't be that hard, but it seems like such a chore. Am I the only one?

So while on a standard Target beauty-section-drive-by  I grabbed a bottle of Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer and I have been using it for a couple weeks now. I have to say... I am obsessed.

Just a few things:
  • It is seriously so much more convenient to do a quick body spray when you get out of the shower. All over spray, a quick once over to rub it in, and DONE!
  • This is NOT greasy. At all. Not even a little. It absorbs quickly- even to the point that I can spray it on my back and barely rub it in, and be good to go  minutes later.
  • It really moisturizes. My skin is noticeably smoother ( of course it probably helps that I am using a lotion at all).
  • I bought the cocoa version, and I think it smells delicious. It is a really light, sweet scent. Not at all overwhelming (as in you can still wear perfume, etc.) but just a little more fragrant than your standard moisturizer.
  • Priced to please! Depending on where you purchase, it is about $6-8 dollars for a bottle. For the convenience and results..absolutely worth it!
So, being that Christmas is upon us, this would be a great last minute stocking stuffer! I don't know about you all, but I love getting gifts that I NEED sometimes! And who doesn't love to try a new product every now and then?

PS- You should probably buy a bottle for yourself as well.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Wishing you....

A simply swell Christmas.

We had just a tad bit of fun for our first Christmas as a married couple.
A big thanks to Clay's grandpa... not only for taking the photo, but also for not updating their basement since the 1950s. Yes... that is all legit. And amazing I might add!
Have a wonderful weekend... one week until Christmas!
** I started scrolling through the "photo shoot" and I had to share more of these! Side note: bless his heart, but Clay's grandpa is not proficient with technology. I have over 300 shots of his finger, so it's a wonder we have these photos at all! Enjoy!**



Thursday, December 17, 2015


The other day I was updating some profile information (story of my life, lately... hello name change!) and I realized that my first blog post was 3 years ago this month. To be specific, it was today!

When I browse through my entries, it almost feels like a diary. I can read what I was writing, but I can also recall what was happening in the background, how I was feeling, or what inspired certain events! For that reason, I am thankful to have this little piece of blog-land. It is always fun to see where you have come in the last 3 years.

I desperately wanted to start a blog for over a year before I actually did. For some reason the idea of it seemed scary- plus- my support system at the time wasn't super great. When I finally did, I felt like I was doing something for myself, and it felt amazing.

Fast forward over the last three years and so many things have happened. A few highlights being:

-Getting my "dream" job
-Moving to a new city
-Meeting AND marrying the best guy in the world

I would say it's been a fantastic past three years and I cannot wait to look back in another three!

My goal is to keep the blog a little more up to date- but sometimes life happens and I will always prioritize people and situations over keeping up. However, meeting a happy medium would be a fantastic goal! (Read: no more 3 month respites!)

I would like to leave you with this photo. Here's to hoping my makeup gets better with the coming years!

Thank you to my readers!!


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Movie Review: Room

You guys, seriously, this movie is a MUST see. I had never heard of it, or even seen a preview for it, until Clay mentioned we should go see it. (Shout out to the Alamo Drafthouse in Omaha for being so close to our home and making our movie-outings frequent!) I watched the trailer and immediately agreed to attend. 

I always feel like movie reviews are hard, and I am glad that I do not do this for a living. How much do I tell? I certainly don't want to give anything away. So here goes. Room is a drama-thriller based on the novel (which I have not read) by Emma Donaghue. The premise of the story is that a mother and her son are captives to a creepy man who has been holding them in his garden shed. 

Hear me when I say that my very brief summary of the film cannot possibly touch on the range of emotions you will feel while watching it. I have been waiting for a movie to come out that would completely wreck me, and this was absolutely it. I honestly spent half of the movie trying not to sob hysterically,  simply because the extent to which you are able to feel every emotion that the film invites you into (which is literally every emotion from terror to elation) is non stop, start to finish. That is not to say that you will not smile.. or even laugh a few times. This movie is heartwarming, but it is also heartbreaking. Room is absolutely captivating. Ma (Brie Larson) and Jack (Jacob Tremblay) are fantastic in their respective roles. 

The movie also delves into the aftermath of trauma, abuse and PTSD associated with this kind of experience. Which I found to be very real and interesting. 

Conclusion… you must see this movie. If you see ANY movie before the end of the year, make it this one. And if you can walk out of the theater without shedding a tear, hats off to you, because I don't think you stand a chance. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Review: Blitzz

So… Sweet & Modern typically does not wander into uncharted territories, however, today I just want to share about a little experience I had.

Though I do not typically talk about it on Sweet & Modern, fitness is an important aspect of my day to day routine, (Jazzercise junkie here) and I do attempt to eat healthy. I say attempt because I really love sweets, and apparently that is frowned upon. 

Anyways, that being said, my super cute husband is pretty into his fitness routine. And, for most guys, that includes some sort of supplements. I like to call them "his drugs." Though he actually doesn't take anything other than protein and creatine, he usually shops at places like Complete Nutrition. Those people apparently REALLY like you to try their products because he will frequently bring home samples of "drugs" and our junk drawer is full of them. Anyways, I saw a sample of this…..

after his most recently trip. Apparently I am a sucker for marketing because I snatched it out of his hand when I saw it was pink and exciting looking. And Dragonfruit flavored. It sounded delicious. 

So, fast forward, and after a long day of work and no time for food breaks,  I thought today was the day for Blitzz to enter my life. I mixed the sample with the recommended 6-10 oz of water and drank it on the short drive to my Jazzercise class. Initial thoughts… dragonfruit flavor tastes like dirty water. That's really all I have to say about that. 

Before the class even started (less than 15 minutes later, mind you) my heart was racing, my thoughts were flying around in my head like a lunatic, and I kind of felt like I was breathing creepishly hard. 

I also began to notice that my hands were itching like crazy. Half of the class I was wishing I could rub my palms again a tree trunk just to relieve myself. Then, halfway through, my stomach started itching! At this point, I was a mess. 

So let's back up. Here is the information provided from Blitzz on their product:

HydroMax®- Increases the concentration of fluid in the blood tissue which increases
muscle fullness and exercise capacity.*
Carb10™- Provides healthy sustained energy during the workout. Carb10™ has the same benefits of a carbohydrate supplement without increasing insulin or bloating.*
Creapure®- Creatine will increase maximum power and performance. Creatine will also increase the athlete’s power output while allowing them to recover faster. These benefits promote increased lean body mass through muscular development.*
Carnosyn®- Beta-Alanine will increase workout capacity by increasing the ability of the muscle to fight fatigue.*
Nitrosigine®- Nearly doubles maximum blood flow compared to Arginine HCL with 5x greater vessel relaxation. Arginine and silicon will be significantly raised, both are important for cardiovascular performance. Effects are noticed in as little as 30 minutes and benefits last for up to 3 hours.*
Take 1 scoop of Blitzz™ with 6-10 oz. of cold water 30 minutes before workout. For best results take Blitzz™ on an empty stomach. To avoid sleeplessness do not take within 4 hours of bedtime. To be used as part of a physical conditioning program.
Do not use if pregnant, nursing, or under the age of 18. Use only as directed. Consult with a doctor before taking this or any other dietary supplement, especially if you have or suspect you may have a medical condition, or are taking any medications, over-the-counter products, or other dietary supplements. This product contains approximately 200 mg of caffeine per serving, and may not be appropriate for stimulant-sensitive individuals who may experience rapid heartbeat and nervousness. Do not consume with any other stimulants, including caffeine. May cause dehydration, nausea and/or dizziness with inadequate water intake. This product contains beta-alanine, which could result in a temporary tingling sensation. Immediately discontinue use and consult your doctor if any adverse reactions occur. Do not use if tamper-resistant seal is broken.

During the class I started to think maybe it was a huge mistake to take it on an empty stomach, but…come to find out, that is the recommended way to take it. Okay.. so that wasn't an issue.  Maybe there wasn't an issue.. in their defense, I have never taken a pre workout supplement like this and maybe that is how people get pumped up before a workout. No idea. 
But, here's my overall take:
  • Makes you very chatty
  • Makes you feel like you want to climb 
  • Gives you an extra punch of energy to push through a workout (nothing super noticeable though… I usually get a burst of energy from working out anyways..or music)
  • Makes you dizzy
  • Makes your (mine) hands and stomach itch uncontrollably
  • Makes you unable to form a complete thought
  • Makes you a crazy person
  • Makes your hands shake for approximately 2 hours post workout 
  • Makes you unable to consume food due to shaking hands and overall inability to calm down (could be a weight loss trick, not sure)
So that is my very uneducated, inexperienced-with-preworkouts- review on Blitzz. And my only conclusion is that I must be a "stimulant-sensitive individual" as their warning notes. However, if you are interested in any of the above pros (or cons) I would run out and buy a bottle of Blitzz (and don't forget the extra Z!) 

Later gals! (and guys) 


Monday, December 14, 2015

Review: bareMinerals marvelous Moxie

I love bareMinerals. If I have said anything more repeatedly on this blog, it has to be that!
I was recently gifted a lovely little travel set of bareMinerals gear and in that set was…
The marvelous Moxie lip gloss! And ladies, it really is marvelous. I have the shade "Rebel" which is described as a pink mauve. It is a beautiful, sheer color with a lot of shine.

And I would be doing you a disservice if I didn't talk about the two things that make this gloss incredible:

1. The smell. Whoa. It is so good I sometimes feel inclined to lick it off my lips (Lip Smacker style). Heads up.. it doesn't taste quite as good.

2. The sensation. I don't know about you, but I love to feel my products working. This gloss gives you the most delightful tingly sensation. It is very refreshing… and not at all numbing (as some can be!)

The full sized gloss will run you around $18 dollars… pricey for a gloss, but trust me.. so worth it. Or- if it's not worth it to you- gift it to a friend! I promise you they will LOVE it.