Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tea on Tuesday Blog Hop!

  The Tea on Tuesday Social Hop is hosted by Jessica at Boys Oh Boys and Haley at Team Ibrahim, with this week's returing co-host Brani Laine from That's Just Lovely. The Tea on Tuesday Social Hop, is a multiple social link-up for everyone to meet new people, make new friends, and grow your audience! There are 4 social link-ups for you to join, including: Your Blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!
There are just a few simple rules:
1. Follow the hosts, Jessica via Networked Blogs and Haley via GFC (if you can) or RSS, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Jessica: Blog - Facebook - Twitter
Haley: Blog - Facebook - Twitter
Brani: Blog - Facebook - Twitter
2. For every social link-up you enter, visit at least 3 others from that link-up and follow them.
(*Note: When liking on Facebook, you MUST do this from your personal page. It does not count as a "like" if you like from you blog Facebook page.)
Interested in Co-hosting the Tea on Tuesday? Contact Haley at haleyibrahim {at} gmail {dot} com. Ready to hop?
Link Your Blog

Link Your Facebook

Link Your Twitter

Link Your Pinterest

Thanks for hopping with us!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Weekend Recap!

This weekend was AWESOME,
and I've got the pictures to proove it!
(and a mini-story, of course)
Dinner date with my lover before seeing my best friend who is in town from NYC!

This is obviously why we get along so well. We're both weird as ****.

My best friend in the entire world, who is too glam for her own good. I could never even try to outdue her.

The three of us have seriously been amazing friends since high school. So long ago! We still love each other.
And the best/funniest part about our friendship is that we're all so completely different.
Obviously...just look at us.
Brandon and I hit up this amazing restaurant called Mossfire Grill. Seriously the most delish place ever. We were waiting for Amanda to get done with her hair appointment. That's right...my best friend is so weird that she comes in town from NYC to get her hair done in FL. Don't ask me...I don't get her logic anymore than you do, but I must say her bangs are looking fierce! She reminds me of a much prettier version of Lady Gaga. She's got this fierceness about her. I could never explain it; you'd just have to meet her, and well, that's never going to happen.
Then we hit up her favorite bar and met up with a bunch of other friends and Amanda (also known as "my bee-face") finally got to meet Brandon! They hit it off really well, which made me happy. He actually hit it off with pretty much everyone there really well. It's hard not to get along with him. You'd have to be seriously trying super hard to say to yourself, "I'm going to attempt to NOT get along with that dude." No one does that; at least, not that I know.
Last night I caught up on Season 2 of The Walking Dead. I bought B all 3 seasons for Christmas (so Season 3 will arrive once it's done airing) since it is his favorite show. I also secretly wanted to start watching it myself, though, so I could join him every Sunday night and not have to ask a million questions about what's going on, why this, why that. Gotta be annoying. Nashville is back on this Wednesday! Oooooh, this week is GONNA BE GOOD!
I hope y'all had weekends that were just as great! I updated the "Button Swap" page. Check it out if you're interested in swapping. It's freeeee--I don't charge...yet! Have an awesome week, as well! I wanna hear all about it on your blogs...which reminds me, if you read my blog and you still haven't left me your blog address, what are you waiting for?! I love finding new blogs to read! So hurry! Get to it! xo

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I thought it was only normal...

I told my mom, "I miss Brandon. Being with him just makes me feel better." To which she responded, "Aww! That's sweet. Really?" Really? I thought that was normal. To feel your best when you're around the one you love. Physically & mentally.
It's no secret that I have health issues if you're a reader of my blog.
Some days are better than others, some days are just extremely crappy, and some days are great. I don't want anyone to pity me. No way! I could have it far worse, and I know that. I don't have any terminal illness. I just have issues. Being with B, as sappy as this sounds, just makes me feel better. I haven't seen him in a couple of nights. I've been staying at my mom's for...mostly medical reasons. I just really love that I have this blog to write in, vent in, brag in (just kiddin'. I'm not bragging. It's okay to be in love, right?), etc.
Thanks for all of the support, whether it be comments or emails. I love my readers, and I will keep you updated with stuff as I find out!
Here are some of the other photos that were taken for our photoshoot for Heart Health Month (aka this month! Be kind to your heart.) We did a running shoot. It was sooo fun. Here they are. I hope you like them:
This was a candid. I love how it turned out!
Just posing. I really like this one, too.
Bahaha. We badass. The colors are cool, in my opinion.
Look at my big ol' butt! Haha. This is B's Facebook profile pic. Aweeesome!
I added this to my last post, but whatever. It's the coolest picture from the photoshoot. Love your heart, people!
Exercise. Eat healthy. Drink lots of water. Love.
We have our first Alpha class at church tonight. I honestly cannot WAIT to go! I know it will also help me to feel better. My Mom and hopefully my Grandpa are going, just sitting at a different table than us. I wish I had more cool stuff to tell you, but I don't.
Oh, I need to talk about sponsoring. This is kinda important.
If you look over at my sidebar, you will see that I have A LOT of sponsors. Some of them are from when I fiiiirst started my blog, and they don't even read it anymore, or respond to my emails. I am looking for sponsors that are as into my blog as they can afford to be (I realize time is precious and you must spend it only as you can allow yourself to), as I will be into your blog. Sooo, with that being said: If you haven't responded to any emails I've sent, or comments I've posted, please don't be upset if I take your button down. I just want to make room for some new sponsors whose blogs I adore, and I have been having to turn people down for too long now because of having way too many. I'll be clearing them out this week, with the exception of people I still keep in contact with or new ones.
So, if you are interested in sponsoring me, YEAH! I'm up for it now. Time to update that sponsor page. Thanks for reading! You know I always appreciate it! xo

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sneak Peek!

Two Lovebirds on Valentine's Day... ;)
(He got me that awesome picture that I hung in our living room. So creative, that guy! I got him that heart-shaped balloon that is literally the BIGGEST balloon I have ever seen in my life. I also got him a bottle of champagne [we downed it that night] and a box of chocolates. Girl on a budget...what can I say? He knows I love him.)
In case you didn't know, it's Heart Health Month. Be good to your body. We did a photoshoot, and B is working on the pics now. Here's a pic I snapped for the wrap with my cell camera...not so amazing, but whatevz.
(At this point, I was getting tired and sweaty. Ew. Expect the good pics coming really soon! He's almost done editing them.) One more, okay?

and...I usually don't share my AMAZING make-up looks with people, because I want to keep them all to myself. But this one--I figured, ehh...why not? Let them try and copy this look. Hehehe. I even did a sexy face for y'all. ;P
(That's right. Wash, Brush, Floss, Flush. I hope you do those things.)
I look like the Wicked Witch of the West. And I'm diggin' it.
Here's a close-up of the picture Brandon made me:
(I feel so blessed to have him. Does anyone that reads my blog on a regular basis recognize that pose he drew? It's from a pic from one of our photoshoots. Talented and creative don't even begin to describe him...okay, I'm getting WAY too mushy gushy. Let's end that right now.)
(And I cannot wait to share with you all my TRUE new favorite looks! Prepare yourselves!)
Have an amazing rest of your weekend! I'll get all this stuff I'm promising you up asap. Oh yeah, and if you haven't gotten around to reading my post below, please do. It's from the heart; extremely personal. It's rare to see that side of me and for me to be so...what's the word? Open, I guess. I had great feedback from it, which I honestly appreciate. I was scared y'all would be like, "That girl is nuts!", and run. Your comments meant the world to me. Thanks for being so freakin' awesome! xo

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Let's talk about our problems...

(Never have I posted a blog post this long, but I believe it's worth it. Read? xo)
Hi ladies! I'm not going to post about Valentine's Day, because I already did that early. You can read that post here. It seemed to be a hit, so I highly recommend you read it. All I will say is this: to all my single lady friends, think of ALL the money you will be saving tomorrow. ;) And then read that post. Then come back to this one because it is truly from my heart. And I have a big heart.
I'm going to share something with you. I have many secrets in my life that perhaps someday will be shared on this blog...some darker than others. I know we all do. But here's one that's not so dark, but personally eating away at me. Physically and mentally, I have many problems. I have insomnia. I have suffered with it since I was a little girl and I hate to stay awake until the wee hours of the morning. I also have severe anxiety. The two do not mix well together. I have read of a couple other bloggers that suffer from anxiety, and my heart goes out to you. It is the worst feeling--one that I cannot even describe. I was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder, which means it is constant (every single day, all day long) and doesn't just come and go. I am on medication for it. I also suffer from depression. Is my life awful? NO! There's nothing wrong with people that are wired a little differently (aka suffering with anxiety or depression), but sometimes you just want to throw in the towel and ask God, "Why?! Why can't I be normal?"
I have endometriosis. If you don't know what that is, there is a good explanation here. I had a laparoscopy last October to get rid of most of it, but it could not all be taken away. A lot of it was too close to my vital organs, and the doctor performing my surgery was nervous to get close to them. Needless to say, I suffer great physical pain often. I know of at least one blogger who also has this disease, and I'd like to give a shout-out to my new friend Kel. I know she understands what I'm going through. I am suffering pains from two major car accidents that will probably never go away. But ya know what? I'm lucky to be here. To be typing this.
I have other physical problems, but let's not get into those now. Here is my point: I have lots of problems, some that I won't mention until another day. I often compare myself to other women. I want to be as pretty as them, as funny and smart as them, as great of a catch as them. Why do we compare ourselves to other women? We can always say that we are okay with who we are, but I know even the most confident of women have questioned themselves at one point in time. My point, my point...what was I getting at with all of this? No matter all of our problems, our insecurities, we are all so beautiful in our own ways and should never compare ourselves to someone we wish we could be for a day, an hour, 15 minutes. My very good friend Jenna just broke up with her boyfriend (tonight, the night before Valentine's Day) and I wanted to tell you why. Because she knows she deserves better. We should all know when we deserve better. :) I love you, Jenna.
We are so great, beautiful, and strong being the women that we are.
So instead of a Valentine's Day post, I wanted to tell you what I often have to remind myself. Always, always, always love you. Be kind to you. Know how awesome you are. And NEVER settle. I'm sorry for such a long post, but I didn't know how to write my feelings in a paragraph and have you all understand. I love you. You love you. And don't stop!
Dear Brani, you are pretty. You are talented. You are smart. You are funny. You have a huge heart. You are loved. Don't believe me? Let me show you proof below.
Okay, now that I feel pretty enough (and silly enough) to press publish, I am going to end this saying something super simple! Two of my very good blogger friends are having giveaways! Go pay them a visit and enter! Lauren from Fashion, Love & Lauren (formerly The How-To Blog) and Sue from Chevron and Lace. Lauren is my best blogging buddy, so you have to go check her out! And Sue is just as cool...and way creative! One more favor. My new friend, Missy, has a fairly new blog & I know she'd love it if you checked it out. She's very talented, so she's got some cool stuff up. I love blogging so much because I get to make the most amazing friends. :) Have a wonderful Valentine's Day, my lovely readers. I am grateful that you read my blog! I honestly adore you for it. xo

Monday, February 11, 2013

To blog or vlog? That is the question.

I am so excited! Wanna know why? Of course ya do! I am getting a huge beauty product review ready for y'all. I have just ONE question for you. Would you like the review as a blog (written format with pictures)...or a VLOG (video format)?! Let me know in the comments! I'd greatly appreciate it & I can't wait to share with you my thoughts on some awesome...and some not so awesome products!

Friday, February 8, 2013

I introduce to you, my sister, Arden!

Hi there! Arden here, Brani's big sis. I want to thank my sister for letting me be a guest blogger on That's Just Lovely. I am a blog follower, but never been a blog writer, so here it goes...
I am SO EXCITED to share my latest adventure with you, I don't know where to start! I felt like Brani Laine's blog would be a great place to SCREAM from the mountain tops my latest love affair with my skin care regimen since That's Just Lovely is all about Beauty, Fashion and Lovin' Life!
I guess I should start by telling you a little about myself and my story. I am a wife to an amazing husband David, and mother to the most precious children ever: Preston and Elyse. I am lucky enough to stay at home with them full time and we keep ourselves pretty busy. Like all moms, I put my children first, their needs before mine and then leave very little time for "me" time. By the end of the day I am so exhausted, I just want to collapse on the couch and watch some shows with my hubby. I go through spurts of working out, so I am fairly in shape, I eat healthy (most of the time), but 6 months ago I had been noticing myself aging quicker and quicker. I know it comes with life, age and HAVING KIDS, but it was making me feel ****. I would look in the mirror and just felt GROSS! One day I was just having one of those pity party days and happened to see a friend post on Facebook about Rodan+Fields. I think she had written that post with me in mind because it read like it was specifically targeting me and my "woe is me day" (Thanks Haley). I called her up and said, "Please tell me everything about Rodan+Fields, it sounds like just what I need!" I went ahead and ordered the largest package possible from Rodan+Fields from Haley, and that is where my OBSESSION began.
(Sidenote from Brani: Don't I have a pretty sister, and the most adorable niece & nephew? Let's not leave Dave out. He's one hadsome brother-in-law!)

My skin has never felt this soft and silky. It hasn't looked this good since I was in my early 20's. The lines on my forehead are fading. Lines around my eyes are gone.  It is tighter, smoother, cleaner looking. Sun spots from years and years of baking in the sun have faded. It really has lived up to the name Reverse by turning back time for all the hell I put my skin through! I love the extra care I am giving to my face and neck. On days when I don't make it to the gym or eat like crap, I know I at least took care of the skin that I am going to have for the rest of my wonderful life!

So now you might be wondering...what is this Rodan+Fields she speaks of? Well, it is the new skin care line by the same doctors that created Proactiv, targeting Anti-Aging and Sun Damage. They basically have something for every skin type. I guess I should give you a little of their story, too. Rodan+Fields started in retail sales in Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Lord and Taylor, all those amazing department stores we love. It was the #1 selling brand of skin care in these stores. Their marketing analytics showed that it was actually word of mouth that was selling their products over their sales people. Rodan+Fields customers were sending their friends in, telling them they had to go buy it! They decided to pull them from under the counter and put them into direct sales, reward the people who were truly responsible for the product sales: their customers. After getting into direct sales, R+F was making monthly in sales what they used to be making yearly!
Fast forward 7 months and I am still completely in LOVE with the products, so much so that I decided to become a Consultant for Rodan+Fields! It has almost been a month and I am seriously LOVING EVERY SECOND of it! I never thought it was possible to have a job (a very part-time, make my own hours, easy peasy job) that would be so much fun, rewarding and would bring me the extra income we needed! It sounded too good to be true, but now I am living it and so glad I took this leap. I get to talk about this unbelievably amazing line of products, catch up with old friends on the phone, play with all the goodies, make myself look cuter and younger, all while getting paid! Ummmm, AWESOME! (Note from your sister: Sounds pretty awesome to me!)
So, my reason for wanting to share all of this with you FABULOUS readers is that I would love to hook you up with some MAGICAL products OR talk to you about starting your own part-time fabulous biz with me! Our team is growing crazy fast and with a new product coming out in one week that is going to take the BEAUTY WORLD by storm, now is the time to get on this ship!
Just some examples of what these products can do:

Feel free to contact me with any questions.
And as Arden's sister, I'm excited to try some products, too. So, if you're interested, don't be afraid to at least contact her. What harm can it do? You could be missing out on some life changing products! I'm already in talks with my sis about what products I want/need to try! Good luck! Remember...a confident face makes for a confident woman!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

On Love, Single Ladies, and Everything In-Between.

Before you single ladies say to yourselves, "Agh! I hate you relationship people!" and skip over this, I promise you will want to keep reading. Do you know how I know that my boyfriend not only truly loves me, but also knows me extremely well? I have two pictures to prove it. Here is photo of proof #1:

I know there are quite a few of you out there thinking to yourselves, "Well...don't the Mt. Dew and the ZzzQuil sorta cancel eachother out?" If you want to get all serious about it, the answer is yes. However, that's not the point! I drink my favorite soda (which--yeah, total bad habit. Gotta start drinking more water!) throughout the day, and the ZzzQuil kicks in right before bed (on a good night, where it decides to be kind and work with me) and has me drooling after about 30-45 minutes. Thank you, boyfriend.
Okay...now let's say we have a fight. I know what you're thinking right now. "You and Brandon cannot have fights. You're just way too cute of a couple, and I can't fathom in my mind the two of you arguing over anything." That's sweet of you, and yeah, I'd like to think we're pretty darn cute together. However--just like EVERY NORMAL COUPLE, we have stupid fights occassionally. So, the other night, I come home to these lovelies sitting on the counter, just waiting for me to start crying over:
Did I cry? Yes. Because I may not have ever told you, but I'm an emotional person. So, not only do I cry over sad/bad things, but I cry at happy times just as much. Of course I ran to him and gave him a big hug and squeezed him almost a little too much. "Let's never fight like that again," I exclaimed, as if that's possible at all when you're in a relationship and actually care about each other.
May 23rd will be two years since we've been together. Did I ever in a million years think I'd find someone who treated me so well and loved me in such a big way that I really felt like I was their everything? NO WAY! I honestly thought, especially after all the crappy boyfriends I've have (and let me be clear on that: I've had several super ****head boyfriends who didn't deserve not one bit of me) I'd be single forever. Which brings me to one of my main points. We all know Valentine's Day is coming up. It's never been a holiday I waited for, especially when I was single. Because when you're single, you of course feel like V-Day is a Hallmark holiday made just to point out that you're single, and makes you hate everyone in a relationship...especially the good relationships. Don't let that happen, my single lady friends. Mr. Right is just around the corner, and just like everyone has ever told you, he will come around when you least expect it. I wasn't looking for Brandon and BOOM! There he was. I believe in love; real, honest to God, I would die for that person because I care about them that much, love. To all my readers out there who are in happy relationships, I'm so happy for you! To all my readers who aren't, I'm still so happy for you! Because I know you will be, but only if you stop looking so hard and let love do its thing.
I wanted to post about love BEFORE Valentine's Day, because I like being different. I also like to give my readers hope, especially when they feel all alone on something. Please know you're not. Also know that it's completely, 100% okay to go on match.com or one of those websites. It's okay to be sad when you're single and struggle on that stupid holiday when you feel like you're the only girl in the world without a lover. Hold tight to your friends on February 14th, and most important of all, hold on to FAITH! Also remember, I love you very much for reading, and I hope that counts for something. ;) I always like to remind people never to settle for less than you deserve! It is, and never will be, worth it. On that note, I'm off to go get my fix of Arizona Rx Stress tea. Get ready for a beauty post from my lovely big sister either tomorrow or Monday. I'm excited, and you should be, too!