Thursday, May 31, 2012

My New Buddy Zach

First off, I wanted to say thank you for all the sweet comments and birthday wishes yesterday.  You ladies made my day even better!  I am so blessed to have each of you in my life!  I had an amazing birthday filled with family and friends.  Did I mention that I got a tad bit toasted in the sun? 

Dress: Gap Outlet | Shoes:Target | Earrings:Target | Bracelets: Forever 21

The charming fellow above is Zachary.  As Ross was snapping these pictures, Mr. Zach (we are on shortened name basis, he calls me Shan), confidently walked over and asked if he could take a picture with me.  Of course, I was smittened and honored. I introduced him to Ross and my girls.  He was so polite and was eager to tell us all about his boating excursion on Lake Austin.  He was with a large sized group and when he walked back over to them they gave him high fives. What's even better?  As soon as he was through with us, he walked up to a group of girls and started chatting them up.  I think Zach is definitely a ladies man.  He sure melted this girl's heart! 

And before I run, make sure you go over to Erica's blog, A Pocket Full of Chuckles.  I am guest posting for her while she is off on vacation and sharing a few of my most coveted cosmetics products!

Today is the LAST day to enter my bracelet and earring giveaway!
Make sure you enter (HERE) and spread the word!! 

Cheers to Zach's sparkling personality!

Monday, May 28, 2012

What I have been up to...

I hope everyone enjoyed their long Memorial Day weekend.  We were super busy with our first summer vacation and neighborhood block party.  

Today's post consists of a few of my Instagram photos from the past week.  You can find me @becauseshannasaidso. 

Loving my Bauble Bar giveaway win from Jessica at Here and Now.  I am not going to lie.  I have been a giveaway winning fool!  Maybe I should play the lottery. 

Okay, so this one is slightly blurry.  This is a belly dancer at Phara's Mediterranean Cuisine in Austin.  If you live in the area, I highly suggest this place.  You can bring in your own wine or beer and enjoy belly dancing  on Wednesdays! We had our monthly girls' night here and had too much fun!  The food was mediocre, but they have a fabulous outdoor atmosphere. And who can beat a BYOB?!?

All I have to say is this is my new cocktail of choice. Dee-lish!! Get your skinny on!! 

Another place to go if you live in Texas, Sushi Zushi.  Ross and I just can't get enough.  May I suggest the Cosimo and Domain rolls?  Simply heavenly!

Logan and I fed the stingrays at Sea World.  This was seriously one of the coolest feelings ever.  You hold a dead fish between your fingers and they swim up to you like flies on sh*t and suck the fish right out of your fingers.  It's like a vacuum.  We were a little nervous at first, but were pros by the end of the day.  I really could have stood there all day.  Maybe my true calling was to be a marine biologist.  Okay, maybe not. 

I finished the last book of Fifty Shades. I just don't know what to do with myself now. Christian Grey came into my life and then left so suddenly.  I know the writing isn't the best we have ever read, but the story, the love, the passion, the intensity, it always left me wanting more.  Now, what do I have to look forward to when everyone has gone to bed...Nothing but a sad, sad face.  I hope we will see a fourth one in the near future.

And these my friends, are my sweet, precious angels on Memorial Day.  They even picked their own swimsuits in honor of the day.  How lucky and blessed am I to have such beautiful and healthy little girls?  God Bless America!

I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend. Did you do anything exciting?  

Cheers to the best app in the entire world...Instagram!


Friday, May 25, 2012

Goodie Gum Drops Friday

I am not gonna lie, yesterday was a CRAPtastic day. It was full of uncertainty and nonsense, which I am over now. Isn't funny how God knows when you are going to be confronted with a road block and he just sends happiness your way?

He (with the help of Taylor, Morgan, Emma and Paige) sent over a couple of goodie-nesses (no, that is not a word) that literally made my day! So, last week I gave away a custom baseball wine glass and guess what? I got a surprise one in the mail, my very own Texas Rangers wine glass from my sweet Taylor.  This was not part of the giveaway deal. She sent this to me out of the kindness of her heart!  Not only did I get a wine glass, but I was gifted with an autographed baseball card and program from her Texas Ranger pitcher hubby, Jake Brigham! Stoked!!

Again, this is why I love the blog world.  You ladies know how to pick me up!!!  How freakin' sweet is she?  PLEASE, PLEASE, go visit her Esty shop and get yourself a baseball wine glass NOW...Because Shanna Said So!!!

Then, I opened package #2!!!  Whoo-hoo!  I won these ahhh-mazing earrings from Morgan at The Jem Boutique.  I can't wait to wear these bad boys with everything I own!!  Love them!!  Excuse the white-heads on my face!  Wow, this pic is a close-up....just focus on the earrings!!

Then, adding to my crappy day night, I get these sweet tweets from Emma, whom I adore and want to secretly be a bridesmaid in her wedding.  Oh, how I love my bloggy friends....

Isn't she the cutest...along with Brittany who snuck in some love too!  Love my girls!!

Next on the list is the video. I was keeping my fingers crossed to share this from my friend, KK's wedding.  Well, the matron of honor agreed to it!  Heck yeah! You know the one, where she made her own words to "Baby Got Back"! If you don't have time to watch the entire show, start at 2:16 on the video. It is fan-tab-u-lous!  Best toast, speech, song, rap ever!  Gotta give props to Paige!! 

So, there you have it!  I pocket full of Goodie Gum Drops on Friday!

Happy Memorial Day weekend to you all!  See you Tuesday!  I am taking Monday off!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cuff and Earring Giveway Plus A Winner

I am feeling very generous these days!  So, I present to you another fabulous giveaway.  

I came across sweet Stacy Lynn  from the Pleated Poppy and fell head over heels in love with all of her handmade amazing-ness!!! She makes one-of-a-kind goodies that you too, will fall in love with.  I wish I had her talent...just an ounce of it! Her Etsy shop offers bags, scarves, dresses, skirts, cuffs, pins, name it.  All made with love and recycled materials. Thank you, Stacy, for your generosity. She even sent me a couple of extras to keep for myself!  Don't be jealous!!

So, here is your chance to win not ONE, but TWO of her super-stellar designs, a red leather cuff bracelet and black leather frayed earrings.  I already have these bad boys in my hands and I swear, you WANT to add these babies to your collection!!

All you have to do is enter by Rafflecopter below.  If you don't see the link, please click "READ MORE".  Good luck! I will announce the lucky girl (or guy) on Friday, June 1st!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And the winner of the custom, baseball wine glass giveaway is my sweet, blogger BFF, Angela with Head to Toe Chic!   So excited that she won!!  Angela, email me and tell me what team you want for your glass!!

Cheers to another fabulous giveaway!!  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Big Sister Advice

WARNING!  It's another long one, but hopefully worth your time!

The last time I was at my parents my mom gave me a huge stack of old photos from when I was younger.  For some reason, I can't stop looking at them.  I seriously have pulled them out almost every day since she passed them onto me. I am not sure if it's because I have recently been in nostalgic mode or if it's something that goes deeper. 

My birthday is coming up on May 30th and I am turning 34 years old.  I have not mentioned my age on my blog since I started.  I am not sure why.  It's not because I am ashamed of my age or don't want people to know how old I am.  Maybe I am trying to avoid the inevitable of getting older.  I just can't wrap my brain around the fact that in one more year I am going to be closer to 40 than 30.  Maybe deep down it sort of scares me.  Each year seems to go by faster than the previous one. Just like this year, can you believe we are almost half way though 2012? Where does the time go?

As I add another year to my life, it jogs my memory of what I have accomplished, what I wish I would have done, what I wish I could take back and what I want to achieve moving forward.  I try and not dwell on the past, but sometimes, I just can't help it.  It's who I am.  I am the type of person who seems to get stuck in the..."would have, could have, should have" way of thinking.

I have come to realize, in my "wiser" years, that although we cannot change our past, we can take what we have learned and move forward.  In fact, it not only helps us move forward, but our pasts help mold us into who we are in the present.  It teaches us life lessons for our future...lessons that are both elementary and doctorate level. 

I want to share with you what I have learned along the way because I know the majority of my blog buddies are still in their twenties. So, take this as advice from a big sister...or possibly an educated little sister!

Big (or Little) Sister Top 10 List

1. Don't be jealous of your girlfriends.  Embrace their successes and milestones.  Being catty should end by the time you turn 21. Remember, true friendship is about quality, not quantity. 

2. Get out of the tanning beds and wear sunscreen.  I know this one sounds superficial, but save you skin and health.  You should see the wrinkles I have on my legs, chest and other creases....not attractive!

3. I wish I would have lived on my own for just one roommate(s) husband....just me.  I have not lived alone in all my years.

4. Be who you are...for YOU...not anyone else.  If you are not happy with yourself, there is no way on God's Green Earth that you can make anyone else in your life happy.  Simple fact.

5. Who gives a sh*t what other people think of you.  DO NOT live your life trying to please everyone around you. I am not saying that you should do what you darn well please and not take others into consideration.  I am just stating that you CANNOT live your life being a people pleaser and worrying about what others think of you...I have tried it...and failed miserably. 

6. Eat. Pretty simple. Don't freakin' starve yourself to try to uphold an image of something that doesn't even exist in "real" life...90% of the internet, magazines, movies and television are airbrushed and Photoshopped.  Don't stress about your weight...focus on being healthy!

7. Travel. Travel. Travel.  This is one major regret that I have.  I wish I would have ventured off to more cities, states and countries before I had kids.   I am not saying that once you have children the traveling ceases, it just makes things more difficult in the financial and coordinating sense.

8. Don't revolve your life around you career.  Yes, being successful in what you do is 100% important, but strive for balance. Your paycheck, small or large, doesn't define who you. And if you aren't fulfilled with what you are currently doing, start looking for something  Don't put it off until tomorrow.  There will always be excuses.  A fresh start in a new position will not fall into your lap.  You have to do the leg work.  Don't get in a rut and settle for being complacent. 

9. Express and verbalize to others about how you feel.  Don't make them guess or assume.  Don't play mind games.  If you love someone, tell them.  If you don't, let them go.  Move onto to someone who completes you.  This goes back to #4 & #5 on the list!

10. Life is NOT a walk in the park, quite honestly, it can REALLY suck sometimes.  Most of us think that other people have it so much better because we see their Facebook posts, Instagram photos or amazing trip on their blog, but what we are really seeing are just the highlights of their lives.  People don't typically like sharing the crappy moments.  So, when you feel like you are alone...remember that you're not!  Just lean on the people that you trust and remind yourself that we all travel over bumps and hurdles.

Whew!  I think this might be my longest post to date!  If you stayed with me, thanks! I hope that it resonated on some level for each and every one of you!

Cheers to making my last year of being in my early thirties an unforgettable one!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Groom's Words

Dress:Dress Go International | Shoes: | Earrings:Forever 21 | Ring and Bracelet:Charlotte Russe

Does this dress remind you of anything?  Nope, me neither.  I see it as simple black dress, one I wore to a rehearsal dinner. 

The groom of the wedding I was a bridesmaid for this past weekend was a little more creative with his dress thoughts. 

One of my very best friends tied the knot on Saturday, so we were practicing our slow walks down the aisle at the rehearsal Friday night. Right before I made my turn toward the alter, the groom looked at me and said in a rather loud chuckle, "You look like a nun." 

A nun? Really? That's a first! So, I decided I was going to play it up a bit. I told him I planned the "nun look" since they were getting married in a Catholic church and that I was so glad he took notice of my meticulously thought out attire.  I think he actually believed me and I never mentioned anything else otherwise. So, now I am wondering if he thinks I am really weird or really cool. Just to make myself feel better, I am going to go with being really cool!

And in case you were wondering, the wedding and entire weekend were filled with magic, memories, laughter, tears, hangovers, best friends and of course raw and true love.  The Matron of Honor did her own rendition of "Baby Got Back".  She rewrote the words for the bride and groom and did a rap on stage at the reception.  I have it on video and want to show it to you, but I need her permission first.  Keep your fingers crossed that she agrees because you will die when you see it!  Best toast/rap/speech ever!! 

Karolyn, I love you and wish you a lifetime a love and happiness.  You deserve it!  You, Brian and your families threw one heck of a celebration! 

Cheers to a weekend that I can't stop smiling about.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wedding Weekend

Happy Friday!  I am in Dallas for the weekend.  I am celebrating and a bridesmaid for one of my best friend's BIG DAY!!!  Yep, it's a wedding kind of weekend!

I couldn't be happier for my friend Karolyn (aka KK)!  I just know her wedding day is going to be magical and just how she imagined it!  I love her with all my heart and soul and don't know where I would be without her!  As our Delta Zeta song went...."Friends through thick and then....Friends until the very end!"

Congratulations to Karolyn and Brian!

Oh, how I love weddings. I am such a romantic and cry every single time.

'Tis the season!

Here are a few pics of the bride-to-be.  Oh, the memories we have made through the years!  I wish I could show you the dirty ones!  ;) Maybe for another day!

Cheers to a forever-ness of bliss and happiness!! I am blessed to be part of it!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Giveaway - It Invloves Wine!

So, who likes baseball?  Even better, who likes wine?  Even better, better, who likes fun wine glasses for their wine?  

Well, you have come to the right place.  Baseball season is in full swing and it's time to get your game face on!

Mrs. Taylor Brigham contacted me about giving away one of her custom made wine glasses showcasing your favorite baseball team.  I have fallen in love with Taylor and her etsy shop.  She is precious and her glasses are made with absolute love and passion.  She just moved to Texas (even more reason to LOVE her) because her hubby is now one of the pitchers for the Texas Rangers!  Pretty fabulous, eh?!?  I think so! 

Maybe she will send me an autographed ball or even better, an autographed wine glass! 

So, who wants to be taken out to the ballgame in style? 

Look how cute the base of the glasses are!!  She can design one for any National or American League team.  These also make great gifts for any baseball fan. This is a guaranteed home run! So, check out her shop and make sure to enter the giveaway! 

I will announce the lucky winner on Thursday, May 24th.

Good luck...let the game begin!

 If you don't see the Rafflecopter gadget, please click on..."READ MORE"

Cheers to buying me some peanuts and cracker jacks...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Forever Friend

Top:Lauren Conrad @ Kohl's | Skirt:Forever 21 | Shoes:Lucky Brand | Jewelry:Forever 21
If you have been reading my blog, you know it's no secret or surprise that I have a slight addiction to Forever 21. Many of you have commented that you don't ever have any luck shopping there.  I am not sure if it's because the one close to you doesn't carry a large selection or if it's because yours is too big and you don't know where to start.  I also think people tend to shy away because there is a perception that Forever 21 is geared toward teens, women in their early twenties, for the super slender and is not well made...for lack of a better term, cheap.

I am here to defend my shopping mecca.  I have numerous pieces that I have purchased from there that still look brand new.  In fact, no lie, I have a khaki pencil shirt that I purchased there nearly five years ago. Yes, my friends, Forever 21 actually carries timeless, classic pieces. 

I receive more compliments on a $29.00 dress I get from there than an $100.00 one from Banana Republic.  It never fails and people always seemed shocked at the fact that it came from Forever 21.

And their accessories, I almost refuse to shop for jewelry anywhere else.  I am not going to say that I have never had a necklace break or a ring discolor my finger slightly, but for the most part their jewelry is pretty durable and you just can't beat the prices.

I can't stress enough that with all their different lines, there is something for every lady, no matter your size or shape. The best part, being the budget shopper that I am, is I can walk out of there with a bag full of goodies for $100 or less.  

If you don't have a Forever 21 close buy; their online store is pretty fabulous.  I have found the accessory section to be much larger online than in stores.  Take a peek, you just might be surprised at what you find!

I will hold this store dear to my heart.  We have a very strong bond...somewhat of a monogamous relationship. Well, I say that until the day (hopefully in the VERY near future) that H&M finally opens in Austin. Then, I will have to seriously rethink my relationships.

What store could you be a spokesperson for?  

Zapping the Zit Scars

I haven't done a product review in awhile, because frankly, there hasn't been one that I have fallen completely head-over-heels in love with.  I feel as though, if I am going to post about a product on the www, it MUST be one that I 100% believe in.  I don't want anyone to ever doubt my reviews, as I trust the ones I read from you ladies!!

So, the lucky winner today is the Clinque Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Remover.

I have dealt with sensitive skin and acne all of my life.  As crazy as it sounds, the worst of it has been in my adulthood.  I would get the typical teenage breakouts, but when I entered into my mid twenties, I started getting serious cystic acne.  Not fun and a complete self-esteem blow.  Some of them stuck around for so long, that I named them...let me correct friends named them.  A few of my facial friends foes, had the names Zelda and Zenith.  It was that BAD.  I would spend hundreds of dollars and shed few many tears going to the dermatologist for Cortisone shots.  Yes, I would get needles planted right into my face.  It was the ONLY thing that would get rid of the mound of pressure and nastiness.  And because I can't seem to leave the pimped out pimples alone {insert pick, squeeze, push and poke} I have been left with battle wounds. 

I decided that there had to be something out there that would somewhat help with the acne scarring.  I did my online research and came across Clinque's Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Remover.  It was a little more than I wanted to spend, but after all the money I have forked over to my Dermo, I told myself that it was worth a shot.

I could not be happier with the results thus far.  It is like rubbing pure silk onto your skin.  I have been using it twice a day, morning and night, for the last 4 weeks.  It has not only resulted in fading my scars, but I feel like it has really helped clear my skin.  

And it's not just for acne scarring.  It is a serum that reduces dark spots, age spots and hyperpigmentation as well. Using the serum twice a day, Clinique claims that results can be visible within as little as 4 weeks, with dramatic results after using it for a full 12 weeks. The serum is not meant to lighten your skin (i.e., make you paler); it targets the areas of skin that have more pigmentation to create an even skin tone.

The price for the small bottle is $50 and the large bottle is $70.  It sounds like a lot, but I promise, it's worth every penny.   I only wish that I would have started using this years ago.

As I continue my use, my fingers are crossed for further results.  I highly recommend giving it a try.  And again, I only post reviews of products I stand behind 100%. 

I am sorry that I don't have any before/after pictures to share, you will just have to take my word for it.  Have I ever let you down before?

And as always, I would love to hear if you have any products that you love, especially ones that improve skin tone.  Next battle to conquer, the crows feet that have decided to land at the corners of my eyes!!

Cheers to zapping the wounds from Zelda and Zenith!