I Said “Yes”!

Lifestyle

On August 23rd 2019, I met the absolute man of my dreams. I knew the night I met him that he was someone special, but little did I know that a year later he would ask me to be his wife. This past Christmas, my boyfriend (now fiancé) Clay gave me a letter that said “Open on August 23rd 2020”. For 8 months, I spent everyday wondering what it could be and even though I could hardly contain my excitement, I never even tried to peek to see what was in the letter.

The week of August 23rd finally came, and Clay had asked if I wanted to take pictures for our anniversary. I of course was all for the idea and didn’t think anything else about it. The day came and we had planned to take pictures that evening in town. He told me he wanted me to wait and open the letter when he gave it to me later on that day, so I did (even though I was DYING to know what it said). We spent the day together, got ready and went in town to take pictures. A family member of his had offered to take them for us, so she came along as well.

A little bit into taking pictures, he pulls the letter out of his pocket and says he wants to get my reaction on camera to reading it. I began reading the letter, and it hit me what was about to happen. I was filled with love, happiness and shock! I immediately began to cry as I looked up and saw him get down on one knee and ask me to marry him! One of the best parts is, as he was doing that, I saw our family come out from behind a corner, he had arranged for them to be there to see the whole thing!

It was one of the best days of my life, and I will cherish it forever. I can not even begin to describe how blessed I feel. I am so excited to be marrying the sweetest, most kind hearted, loving man I have ever met. He is my absolute best friend and I am ready to see where our future takes us as husband and wife.

#GoingGarris 5/22/2021

-Taylor J

Fun Date Ideas # 2: Homemade Pizzas

Lifestyle

So far, this series has been one of my favorite things I have started on my blog! As I mentioned in my first one, I love finding fun and inexpensive date night ideas! This past Saturday, my boyfriend and I were craving pizza (per usual). Most of the time when we order pizza for takeout, it can get a little pricy (we really love it and always eat a lot lol). We decided that making our own pizzas would not only be a cheaper alternative, but a lot funner then just driving to get take out.

We sat down and came up with what kind of pizzas we wanted to make, and wrote down the ingredients we needed. We also decided that we wanted to make our own dough so we picked up this kit, along with the other ingredients at Walmart!

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We had so much fun making the dough! Once you get it all mixed up, it does have to sit for at least 45 minutes, but this gives you plenty of time to sit and watch Netflix or dance around the kitchen while you wait! After we let the dough rise, we formed it and started making our pizzas! We made 3 pizzas (and the ones Clay made were of course way prettier than mine).

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The whole experience was so much fun. While we were putting the pizzas together, I put on some of my favorite records and took in every bit of the moment.

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We may have set off a few smoke alarms in the process, but the pizzas turned out great! If you have never done a homemade pizza date, I 10/10 recommend. My heart (and my belly) were so full after this night!

Make sure to give a follow and stay tuned for more date night ideas to come!

-Taylor J

 

Fun Date Ideas #1: Picnic Date

Lifestyle

I wanted to start a new series on my blog for date ideas! When we think of going on dates what usually comes to mind is the classic going out to dinner or dinner and a movie. While those dates are still fun, I also enjoy finding date ideas that switch things up a little bit! My boyfriend came up with the idea to go on a picnic date and it was so much fun!

Often times when I have seen pictures of “picnic dates” there is a huge elaborate meal and setup, and I am here to tell you that you can still have the perfect picnic without all the fancy stuff! My first tip would be to plan out a dinner or snacks you would both like to have. My boyfriend and I chose to make homemade crunch wraps to take with us (shopping for the supplies and making the food is a fun part of the date as well)! Next, pick your location. Picnic dates are great due to the fact that they can literally be anywhere. If it rains on the day you had your picnic planned, you can even have one in your living room!

Once you have your location set, gather things like blankets, your food of choice, and some drinks and head out! We chose a location where we live called “The Overlook”. It is absolutely beautiful and gives you a great look at the town and the mountains. We picked a spot in the grass, ate, talked and enjoyed the view. It was so nice to destress and enjoy each others company.

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I know life can get crazy and busy, but try to squeeze in a date night here and there when you can! It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or expensive. We had the best time just taking a blanket outside and having a simple little picnic. Dates like these give you the chance to talk with your partner and spend quality time with them that you may not get as much of during the weekdays. Quality time together is so important!

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I am always looking for fun/interesting date ideas, so this is definitely a series I plan to keep up with on this blog! If you have any fun date ideas you would like to share, leave a comment and I would be happy to hear them!

-Taylor J

 

My Favorite Hair Care Products

Beauty/Fashion

Over the past few years I have been able to slowly but surely transform my hair into it’s healthiest state. I get many questions on how I have grown my hair out and the products that I use, so I wanted to share some of my favorites! Keep in mind that I do have coarse, color treated hair, so what works for me, may not work for everyone. It is important to find a routine and products that you love, these are just my suggestions!

In Shower Care

As far as washing my hair goes, something that as actually helped me grow it out is not washing it as often. I only wash my hair about once or twice a week, and I know it may seem gross to some, but trust me it works wonders, especially if you have problems with a dry scalp! However, when I do wash my hair these are some of my favorite products:

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For shampoo and conditioner, I love the Tresemme Keratin Smooth Color line. It smells amazing, makes my hair feel softer and stronger, and is color safe! Since I do have color treated blonde hair, I use purple shampoo about every other week as well. I have been loving the equate beauty blonde & silver shampoo! It’s a great price and helps keep my blonde hair from looking brassy.

After Shower/Everyday Care

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These are some of my favorite products for after the shower or everyday care in general. After washing my hair, I always use a leave in conditioner and Not Your Mothers Way To Grow is my absolute favorite! On days when I use heat on my hair, I make sure to use a heat protectant spray and Tresemme’s Heat Tamer has been my go to since 8th grade. To add more volume/texture to my hair, especially on days when I don’t wash it I love to use  the Tresemme Between Washes Volumizing Dry Shampoo and the Not Your Mothers Beach Babe Texturizing Spray! I love these products because they work wonders for your hair, but also won’t break the bank!

I go into a little more detail about my haircare routine in my latest YouTube video if you are interested in watching and I am also doing a giveaway on my channel so feel free to enter!

Those are all my hair care favorites! Like I said, these products have worked great for me, but may not work for everyone. A tip I have is to research your hair type and different products that may be best! Once you find the products and routine you love, your hair will start growing in no time!

-Taylor J

Had to share these Amazon finds from my beautiful mommas recent blog post! We are both Amazon obsessed and she is the queen of finding great home and beauty items for affordable prices. Take some time to check these out!

I love to shop. Like most ladies, I love to go to the store and, if time allows, browse through the latest items in fashion, makeup and home decor. Picking up the different products and imagining what that outfit will look like on you, or how cute would this picture look on the wall, and […]

via Great Amazon Finds — Blessings In Pink

Great Amazon Finds — Blessings In Pink

Lifestyle

Promise Keeper

Devotionals

The past week has been a tough one for me, and has left me feeling down. There are many times in my life where I wonder why certain situations turned out the way they did. I try to find peace in knowing that God has a reason and a purpose for everything and in times where I question what that reason is, I always turn to His word for comfort. Last night as I was reading, I came across the verse “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:41 

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Reading this verse brought me instant peace. I’ll be the first to admit that in the past few months I have not been as diligent about reading my bible or furthering my relationship with God, when that is exactly what my soul was craving. My anxiety, worry, and hurt calmed down in that moment and I knew that everything was going to be okay.

Life isn’t always going to be easy. All of us will go through many storms and days where it seems like the world is against us. However, we have to find peace in knowing that even when it feels like the world is against us…God is for us and He has made promises that he does not intend on breaking. In times of trouble and strife it can be hard to trust in these promises, trust me I understand, but He has a plan for all of us.

I always have to remind myself that God is a promise keeper and His plans for me are bigger than any I could ever imagine for myself. In times of heartache and trouble I need to always remember to look to Him and find comfort in His plans and purpose for my life. It makes me so happy to know that I can always count on Him, no matter the situation at hand.

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I know that time heals, and in the meantime I will keep my focus on God and the promises He has made all of us and find peace in that. Here is my prayer for the day, “God I pray for healing and I pray for peace. I thank you for the promises you have made me, for I know you will keep them. Help me to lean not on my own understanding, but to lean on you Lord and know that you have a reason and purpose for everything. Amen.”

-Taylor Johns

Body Confidence

Health & Fitness

With the end of May approaching, I have been thinking a lot about things I have done to better my mental health this month. May is mental health awareness month, and while I think we should bring awareness to it everyday, I love that there is a month dedicated to it. One of my goals for this year has been to be more confident in my skin. With May being the start of summer, I decided to really focus on how I was treating my mind and my body, because I was so tired of spending countless summers hating the way I looked. I want to share some things that have helped me in the past couple months, and while I am still not where I want to be in my “body confidence” journey, I am making huge progress and I am so happy.

The first thing I learned, was that you have to learn to love your body at the state it is in now. This was hard for me, because I am always looking for things I want to change about myself. It is good to have goals for yourself and your body as far as health goes, but if you learn to love it how it is first, you can grow the love even more from that. Remember, you were made so beautiful and so unique! 

Second, I had to decide what my goals were. It is okay to want to change our bodies, but make sure you are doing it for you and what is going to make you feel the best and the happiest! For me, my goals were to gain muscle, strength, and confidence. My boyfriend is extremely talented in the field of fitness and nutrition (its what his college degree is in) and was happy to help. He helped me with meal planning and wrote me up a fitness program that was specifically tailored to my goals. (side note: If you are interested in starting a healthy lifestyle and need help obtaining your goals he is the best and would love to help! Feel free to comment for more info). 

Third, you have to stop comparing yourself to others! (something I am still definitely learning) These days with social media, it is so easy to compare ourselves to how others look. While I have gotten better at it, I still find myself guilty of it every now and then. Instead of comparing, we need to focus on our own goals and the progress we are making in our own lives and trust me, it makes your mindset so much better.

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Lastly, remember that slow progress is still progress! If you are starting a journey to a more healthy lifestyle and body confidence, patience is a huge part of that journey. I used to get so aggravated when I didn’t see progress or results right away. However, I learned that you will see it overtime and the feeling of seeing your hard work pay off is so amazing!

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I have struggled a lot with body confidence over the years, but I am slowly but surely learning to love my body and be confident in the skin I am in day by day. Never forget how beautiful and unique each and everyone of you truly are. If there’s something about your body you are unhappy with, its okay to make goals to change it, but be kind to yourself in the process.

-Taylor

Just Jeepin’

travel

This past weekend here in Kentucky was absolutely beautiful. With as much rain and cold weather that we have been having I was thrilled to see the forecast say sunny and 80 degrees. My family, my boyfriend, and I decided this would be a perfect time to take a road trip. We packed up the jeeps with food, drinks, and pups and headed off to Shepard’s Trail. If you live in KY or anywhere close, I highly recommend taking a drive on this trail. It’s full of twists and turns and it takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery. It also takes you through a state park, if you go a certain way!

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We rolled the windows down, turned up the music and had a blast. It was much needed after everything that has been going on in the world lately. I was so happy being surrounded by those I love and getting to take in some fresh air.

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While this trail was absolutely beautiful to drive through, it also had places where you can camp, picnic, or just stop to take in the scenery. About half way through the trail, we parked and walked to an overlook spot. The view was stunning. We drove the rest of the trail, and even took the long way home just to enjoy the drive even more. It was so much fun and I encourage you to find new places to road trip to during this time. It allows you the chance to destress, be with loved ones, and leave your worries behind.

This year, my jeep will be 5 years old and I am always looking for new spots to take her on adventures. If anyone has any suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments!

I know this was a shorter post, but I hope you still enjoyed and check out Shepard’s Trail if you get the chance! Thank you so much for reading about our little weekend adventure. I pray everyone is staying safe and healthy!

-Taylor

First Time Bread Baker

Lifestyle

Well y’all, a couple days ago I finally decided to learn how to make my own bread. I blame this endeavor on my new addiction to “The Great British Baking Show” on Netflix (If you haven’t watched it check it out, I promise you won’t regret it). Since being in quarantine, I have tried to find new things to do and learn every week. This week I decided to tackle bread making. I was terrified to say the least. I have always loved to bake and the idea of baking my own warm homemade bread to share with my family made my heart so happy.

I found a simple recipe on Pinterest and gave it my best shot. This is the recipe I used, and if you are considering making bread I 10/10 recommend you try out this one!I used a dutch oven to make my bread in, but you can also cook it in a deeper pot as well. I started my bread making journey around 10 am in the morning and finished around 4pm in the day. It was definitely a labor of love, but I was so happy with how it turned out. My boyfriend and my family loved it, so I think it is for sure a keeper.

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We are living in some scary and uncertain times right now, and a way that I keep sane through all of it is just finding fun things to keep me busy each day. I love learning new things, so learning how to make bread was such a great experience. I encourage you to take time during quarantine and learn something new. It doesn’t have to be bread baking (even though it is super fun) it can be anything you have always wanted to learn!

There are many negatives to the situation we are in, but I am trying everyday to focus on the positives. We have more time than ever now to learn new things, find a new passion, and work on ourselves.

“A beautiful day begins with a beautiful mindset.” 

I am so excited that I started my adventures in bread making and I can’t wait to try out more recipes. This coming weekend/next week start your own bread making adventure or try out something else you really love. I am praying for everyones health, safety, and well being during this time.

-Taylor

What Is Our Purpose?

Devotionals

Last night, my family decided to start a bible study. It was my mom’s idea, and even after the first night, I am so thankful that she got us all on board. We all sat around the living room, opened up our bibles and dove into the word. The lesson was about Jesus traveling all around to help others and preach about the kingdom of God. It also touched on how His purpose on Earth was to save us from our sins. We had a sheet that followed up the verses with questions. It asked not only what Jesus’ purpose was, but what we thought our purpose here on this Earth was. I loved this question, because it is not something we think about often.

I have always believed that each person has a special and unique purpose on this Earth. Some were meant to be great doctors, lawyers, teachers etc. However, let’s think about purpose in a spiritual sense. As Christians, we were all made in the image of Christ. This being said, it means our purpose is a lot like His. We were created to spread the good news of the kingdom and to serve others. We each also have been blessed with spiritual gifts that we can use to spread the news of God’s kingdom. There are many articles online where you can read more on spiritual gifts, and even take tests to find out what yours may be. 

In the lesson last night, we learned the importance of being selfless just as Jesus was. He was constantly finding ways he could serve others, and He did it truly out of the kindness of His heart. He showed that serving others does not always mean going to extremes, it can be as simple as showing someone kindness when others do not. My mom touched on the importance of kindness in her new blog post this week, and I would love for you all to read it.

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“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail”.-Proverbs 19:21

I find so much comfort in the fact that we were all made for a purpose, and finding ways to live out that purpose every day is something we all should think about.

As a family, we came up with three ways that we can better serve out our purpose.

  1. Find ways to serve others.
  2. Be kind always 
  3. Appreciate things more 

Take some time and write on a piece of paper, or type in the notes on your phone three ways that you can serve out your purpose. Look back on these things each week, and even add to the list as more come to mind! Just know friend, you are unique and special and you have a purpose here on this Earth.

-Taylor