One Year Celebration {My Favorite Things Giveaway}

Sweet mother of pearl.
Today marks 1 whole year of this blogging shaz.
One Whole Year.
I can hardly believe it.
Blog, you've done me well my friend.
This little blog has transformed from a dream-to a hobby-to a passion.
Anyhow, enough about how I am estatic that I actually stuck with something for more than three weeks
{discipline, I guess I do have a little bit of you in me...}

Today, I am celebrating YOU.
The readers who make writing this blog so darn fun.
When I tell you I love you, I mean...
That goes for all of you--
The readers who have been around since Day One..
and the readers who are brand spankin' new
{Whuddup Daybook & Much Love Illy readers..Welcome ;)..}

So, in celebration of your awesomeness..I figured I should do something fun.
I present to you:
"My Favorite Things Giveaway"
Similar to how Oprah and Ellen do..
only bigger and better.

I don't think you know the amount of excitement in my body about this.
The fact that ONE of you gets to take home ALL 14 ITEMS.
{Valued at over $325}
Friends, say hello to my favorite items and get your hot cross buns in the drawing.
You can't win if you don't enter ;)
Here goes nothin'...

**Discount Code: NEWYEAR12 for 30% off all Ipad Snuggies**

**Discount Code: LIY25 for a 25% discount!**

**Discount Code: Yellow20 for 20% off**

**Discount Code: yellow20 for 20% off**

**Discount Code: Shine10 for 10% off Necklaces**

**Discount Code: YELLOW15 for 15% off**

**Discount Code: YELLOW for 15% off!**

To Enter:
{Leave a comment for each and every thing you do}

Follow Living In Yellow via GFC or Bloglovin'
(1 Entry)

Additional Entries:
-"Like" on Facebook:
(14 Possible Entries)

-Follow Blog:
(12 Possible Entries)

-Visit shop and tell me which item you would buy:
(14 Possible Entries)

-Sign up for Erin Condrens Newsletter
(1 Entry)

-Follow Living In Yellow on Facebook
(1 Entry)

-Follow Living In Yellow on Twitter
(1 Entry)

-Blog/Tweet/Facebook about this giveaway
(1 Entry)

Umm, yes that means you can each have up to 45 entries.
Sounds like you better get movin'...

**Winner will be selected and announced on Wednesday, February 8th**

Last, but not least--I couldn't say it better myself:

**Thank you also to all of the generous/fantastic owners of the shops above**
There is a reason why they are my favorite.
Check em' out.



Baby Talk {Why Adoption?}

**Before you begin reading**
Be aware that this post is full of a lot of text and very few pictures.
 I didn’t find it necessary to add pictures of women giving birth just to make this post aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Moving on now.

So you may recall here when I gave our “baby plan”
I said two things.
Two years.
And adoption.

The funny thing is—sometimes I write things and tend to forget that people are actually reading this blog.
The thing that I forget even more is that if they read something I write, they may question why I wrote it.
Weird how things happen isn’t it?

I’ve started getting a few questions from people I’ve met through blogging, and then people I actually know.
You know, like my parents, siblings, and in-laws.
And to be honest with you—I’ve been struggling when the question is asked
“Why do you want to adopt?”
In fact, I almost cringe inside and wish they didn’t ask.
And then I want to blurt out “Oh, I don’t know—why did you decide to get pregnant naturally?”
But then I realize that is dumb and they are just asking a normal question.
Let me explain.

All too often I think when we as people make “big” decisions, we think we need to have some big
“earthly reason” why we are choosing what we are.
It’s like we believe basing our decision off our feelings alone isn’t good enough.
We need to have a “reason”.
Say for instance—in the case of adoption.

Adoption in a lot of people’s minds are for people who either:
1.    Can’t have children on their own
2.    Already have children of their own.

Shawn and I fall under neither of these categories.
Do I know if we can’t have children?
We’ve never “tried” to have children.
I may be Fertile Myrtle.
Or I may be Sterile Merile.
Only the Lord knows that one.

So why are we choosing to adopt?

-Because as long as I can remember it has been a desire of my heart to adopt a child who needs a family to love them more than they can ever imagine.

-Because when my husband said the words to me “I am totally fine with adopting.." followed right up with
"Think of all the children who don't have any, or don't have good quality homes to grow up in?
At least we could offer them more than what they would have otherwise.”
I was engulfed with an overwhelming sense of peace.

-Because when I talk to you {or write these words} my eyes swell up with tears thinking about our unborn child who may not have loving parents if we don’t bring him/her into our lives.

-Because I know without a shadow of a doubt that my husband and I have the ability to love the heck out of a child whether it’s “ours” or somebody else’s. 

-And because it just feels right.

And sometimes, all of those reasons are hard for me to say in person.
So instead, I respond with “It is just something we want to do”
Which is true.
But it is because of the reasons I spelled out above that makes it “something we just want to do”.

With all this being said—
Have we started the adoption process?
Do we know when we will start the process?
Do I realize that there is a high probability that it will be a long, emotionally draining, experience that can
{and will most likely be} filled with highs and lows?
But do I realize that God has already hand selected our child and that no matter what happens,
He is in control.

Does this mean that Shawn and I will ever conceive our own child?
Again, only the Lord knows.
Time will tell.
Although—I wouldn’t mind creating a little one.
After all, we were pretty cute as little bits.
I mean how precious was he?
Okay, so maybe just one of us was cute.

PS. I know this will bring up another question
 “Are you adopting internationally or local?”
Of course, any form of adoption is great, but this is the choice that we feel best for us.
Oh, and as far as the sex of the baby goes…
We each have differing opinions on which gender we would like.
Pink hair bows and tutus belong in my house.
That’s all I’m sayin’.

PPS. If you have gone through this process and have any advice/tips etc please do tell.
I would love to hear from you.
Email me at livinginyellow@gmail.com if your little heart desires.

Thank you for taking a solid amount of time out of your day to read all of this.
I don’t think you truly know the special place each one of you readers holds in my heart.
Love you all.

…Speaking of loving you all—
come back tomorrow to celebrate this blog’s one year anniversary.
I may or may not be giving away 14 of my Favorite Things.
It’s gonna be huge.
We’re talkin’ gigantic.
And awesome.
Be prepared.



When Blogging Gets Awkward...

I don't think I have ever started out a blog post with that string before, but today I mean it.
This post is hilarious.
Especially hilarious if you blog.
Because it is so true.
Like beyond true.
Us bloggers are awkward.
Read more to find out why....
Hey guys! My name’s Bridian.
It’s okay if you can’t pronounce it.
You’re not alone.
If if helps, it sounds like Floridian, obsidian, and meridian.
I love the beach, the salty water, the sunshine, the colors coral and teal, and all things coast-related.
I was born and raised in Florida,
which is where I get both my infatuation for the ocean and my false sense of thug-ness, yo.
[I wasn’t drunk or high in this photo, contrary to popular belief…]

I really, really love music. And all of my blog posts are titled with lyrics to a song.
Because remember when it was cool to make your Facebook status song lyrics?
Well I would update my status like 983745987435 times a day and my friends told me it was getting annoying.

I like to cook…and consequently I love to eat. I do it several times a day.
{this is me…with my mouth full of food. keepin’ it classy}

My life is an exciting, crazy adventure, which is why I blog.
So that I can remember it all when I get old and loopy.
Which doesn’t seem so far away some days. 18351_404142535620_886405620_10664312_4052468_n

However…blogging isn’t easy when you’re writing about your life.
 Sometimes it can actually be really hard to find a balance between pouring out your heart and embarrassing yourself.
Today I’m here to talk about:
[I apologize in advance if this post makes you feel awkward or if it makes you reconsider the way you look at blogs in general]

A few weeks ago I transferred to a new school. In a new state. Which means that I don’t know anybody—not my roommates, not my classmates, and I most certainly don’t have a ton of friends {yet}.
 This is normal.
But it presents a huge problem when I blog.
Because my blog is about my life, and these new people are now a part of my life.
Yet I can’t be all “hey, I know we just met but uh…I write a blog and I want to just take a quick picture of you so that I can write about you…is that cool?”
 Because I know from firsthand experience that behaving in this manner won’t win you any friends.
And lets face it…I need friends.
One way for me to get around this problem is to draw pictures. Usually they’re just in my notebook but sometimes they make it to my blog. For example…Here’s who I hung out with on New Year’s Eve:

Now if I post this on my blog, so many potential problems arise.
Number one.
What if the people I draw actually see it?
 I don’t want homegirl to think her pixie cut (which looks super hot in real life) looks like that shabby mess I drew.
Because it doesn’t.
I don’t want homeboy thinking that his hair is that red.
Because it’s not.
And I don’t want the girl that I actually knew to think her hair looks like stringy spaghetti. Because was actually quite lovely. And then in my blog I’d probably be more detailed, saying things like “homegirl reminded me of one of those vampires from Twilight” {compliment, believe it or not} or “I think homegirl’s husband had a lisp” {because what if he didn’t?!}.
PLUS what if all the other people read it?
Because there were like a bajillion other people at that house that night. So…ummm…here ya go?

It’s really a no win situation. But no one wants to read a blog that has no pictures, only words.
 [And by that I mean I wouldn’t want to, and obviously everyone feels the same way that I do].

One of the absolute best weeks of my life was when I went to Canada to live with strangers
 [there is a back story to that…I promise].
That was an awkward blogging experience.
I wanted to take pictures of every little exciting, novel thing.
But I felt so weird trying to snap pictures of everything that they thought was normal and commonplace.
 Also I only had my blackberry to take pictures with and I swear, the makers of blackberry don’t know discreet.
 That stupid camera always makes the shutter sound no matter what you do.
And the most awkward experience of LIFE is when you’re trying to take pictures of people/things without anyone noticing and then THEY NOTICE.
 and you’re all "oh hey…just um…trying to remember…what is happening right now…sorry?”
Just thinking about it makes my stomach feel all flip floppy with anxiety.
My biggest fear is posting stuff about people and then having them read it and be mad/embarrassed/insulted/never want to be my friend again.
 Because no one wants to be the weird blogger girl.
And ladies and gentleman, I am a weird blogger girl.

And I know that I could just ask their permission, but sometimes that feels even weirder to me.
 Like “haaaay, I like…write a blog…and like…can I write about you? ‘cuz like…you do things reallll weird and stuff and like…I just want all my friends to secretly laugh at you behind your back because you do stuff so weird…and like…stuff…”
{I do NOT talk like this, but I think it’s how I sound when I feel uncomfortable}.

Pretty much what I’m saying is if you write a blog about cooking/crafting/fashion where you only take pictures of yourself…be grateful that your life is missing such an awkward component.

And if you want to read more awkward and (hopefully) non-awkward posts, come check out my blog!

And since I usually end with either pictures of sunsets or of my feet…
Okay so I am still laughing.
If your like me, you will fall in love.
Because yes, I fall in love with girls.
Was that weird?

....Make sure to come back tomorrow {as in Tuesday}.
I'm talking about babies.



If I Ran For President...

I'd have my own set of "BS" that I would promise you all.
Except mine wouldn't be BS at all because all of my ideas as BA.
{Children-don't ask your parents what the above abbreviations stand for. You will someday understand}
If I were running for president...

-I would make it a law that anybody over the age of 21 must get a massage at least once a month.
At the Governments expense.

-Nap time at 2:00 pm across the US.
No matter what.

-The Government would support the Girl Scouts like you've never seen before.
At least 3 packages of cookies would be sent to every household in America.

-If you are under 18?
No Facebook for you.

-Under 16?
No cell phones either.

...Oh look at that.
We just ended bullying and sexting all in one swoop.
Moving on...

-Teachers would be allowed to both pray over their students AND smack their booties with a paddle.
Raise Hell now children and see what happens.
God AND paddles are looking over you.

-Aspartame? Outlawed.

-Every “group” of people must dance before starting their day.
Schools, Work Places, Nursing Homes.
Cupid Shuffle/Cha Cha Slide/Party Rock Anthem, you decide.

-Overtime would be considered illegal.
No more than 40 hours a week, and at least 4 weeks vacation.

-Happy Hour would be legalized and implemented in every state.
2 for 1 anyone?

-All High School Seniors would have to take a class on the importance of saving money
 and the damages of debt.

-Anything with more than 3 ingredients in a package—
not allowed in grocery stores.

-Every person who is at or above reading level 3 would have to read Ellen’s book
“Seriously..I'm Kidding”
volunteer somewhere for at least an hour a week.
Depression/stress levels would decrease by at least 70% making Health Care Costs
 not such a big deal after all.  

-Speaking of lowering depression and stress--every household would be sent a
"Tickle Machine"
Yes, you would have to use it daily.
Try being stressed when you are bustin' a gut folks.

-Skinny jeans would be considered illegal on males.
If this doesn't stop immediately, the world population will significantly decrease.
You know those jeans gotta be cuttin' somethin' off down there.

 -Oh, and of course the major thing I would strive for..
World Peace

What BS laws would you pass through if you were President?
Tell the world, yo.

{If you link up—please use this button on your hot bliggity blog and link it back here!}

...Now if only Politicians read blogs...
What a better place this world would be.



A Real Take On Stress And Anxiety.

I am rather excited about today's post.
As you know, I am all for funny, awkward, and awesome posts.
However, I LOVE real, raw, intimate posts even more.
Honesty in blogging is a beautiful thing.
When I read this post--I could totally relate.
I've been there.
I've dealt with this thing called anxiety.
And continue to still deal with it on occasion.
I remember in the "thick" of my trials--I was grasping for others who were dealing with the same "issues".
My prayer is that today, this post relates to one of you precious readers.
And that for a brief second, you won't feel so alone.
Because you aren't.
You aren't one little bit....
Oh Lord. 
My brain is completely blank on what I should tell you guys about myself. 

I could go on about the basics of my life but it would sound like I am at an interview. 

I could tell you about what makes me happy on daily basis but you can read that on my blog

So I guess I will step out of my comfort zone and share a secret.
I am a LOVER of Jenny Lawson from The Bloggess.
She is open about her condition of taking anti-depressants and other medications.
I always keep thinking, "How brave".
There shouldn't be a shame toward getting better mentally.
 Because when you are embarrassed that you need help from time to time, you aren't going to be fully whole.  
So {big gulp}... I take Prozac
There. No Shame. Here I am. 

So, basically it all started while I was in college. 
I was eating poorly.
Downing caffeine. 
Barely exercising.
Stressed about every single thing. Bills, classes, work.
 It took a toll on my body.

My stomach was always upset.
Every time I ate, I felt sick.
And I ashamed to say that this went on for years before I finally realized that something wasn't right. 

 After seeing a tummy doctor he immediately thought my stomach lining was bad.
That I had too much acid and that was making me sick.
So for a year he stuck me on medicine to remedy the problem. 

I was frustrated.
I wasn't getting any better.
I was closing myself off from friends and family. 
I started becoming a homebody.
I always wanted to be close to home because I always felt sick after eating. 
I was tired of always feeling bad. 

Finally, I HAD ENOUGH. 
This was not how I wanted to live my life and I wanted to be back to old Lauren.
 I went to see the best tummy doctor there is in Orange County. 
I just KNEW this man would know what is happening after a year of meds and nothing was getting better. 

He took ONE look at me and said.
"You are stressed."
He said he gets patients like me all the time, girls in their 20s, in college, juggling school, life, work, relationships.
Wrecking their body and ignoring the signs. 

The stress in my life had completely shut my body down. He suggested that I started talking to a therapist.
I never thought that  therapist would help me with something as trivial as anxiety and stress. 
I was at a breaking point in my mid-twenties. 
I needed help.
Mind blown. 
It was life changing. 

After seeing my therapist I began taking Prozac while taking the steps on breaking out of my shell.
That is the most important part. I didn't stick a band-aid on the situation.
 I forced myself to be in situations that would normally stress me out and bring out my anxiety.
Slowly but surely, I was becoming Lauren again. 

I wanted to go out and see friends again.
 I wanted to travel again.
 It felt great to be able to do those things. 

Now with the help of Prozac I feel free.

 The best part?
My mom cried when she saw me after a couple of months of being on the medicine. 
I was ME again.

So the moral of this story, and I hope you don't judge me, is
Please, if you are struggling with daily life.
Feeling anxious about going to work, going to school, your relationships?
 Talk to someone.
Therapists are there to help.
And they do.
If you can't get to a therapist, talk to a trusted friend or family member.
I wish I didn't ignore the signs my body was trying to tell me.
I wish I never got so far as this, but I am here to tell you...never be ashamed about asking for help. 

So that's my secret. 

I love you all and I am glad I was able to share that with you. 
Please visit Pink on the Cheek to see about daily life of Lauren and say HI!!

Comments have been turned off for the day folks.
This means you can head directly over to Lauren's blog so you can thank her for her bravery and honesty.
Happy Weekend Beauties.
I am off to eat entirely waaaaaaay too many Girl Scout cookies and whatever else tickles my fancy.
Diet what?


Three Reasons Why I Don't Have Children

Whats up little bits.
I was going to write some awesome post for today.
And then I remembered I already did so over here.
Yes, this means you have to go over there to read it.
And then that means you must stay awhile on her blog because it's one of my favs.
You will get to learn about how I would convince Bill Gates that my blog is worthy of  receiving "mega cash” and other equally important items.

Speaking of important—I babysat the other night and learned a few lessons.

1.    It is not wise to give a one year old a plate full of rice and no serving utensils.
Without a bib on.
That stuff sticks to places you didn’t even know existed.

2.    If you find the three year old in the bathroom with her arm in the toilet,
don’t freak out.
That’s what hand soap was created for.

3.    Just so happens that diapers made for one year olds are not intended for three year olds.
When the three year old starts complaining that the diaper is hurting them and you see massive red marks on their sides, take it off.
And then let the 3 yr old run around completely naked with just a tutu covering their privates.
 It will make for a happier child.

….And this my friends is why I don’t have children.

They’d be rice infested/toilet drinking/naked maniacs.

I’m doomed.
At least I have the whole "human jungle gym" thing down.
That's gotta be good for somethin'.



Lets Talk Eye Makeup...

Oh, sweet sweet eye makeup.
What used to be my worst enemy...
{think back to this}
{I'm still questioning if I had eye balls all of my Middle and High School days.}

Is now something that I sparingly get complimented on.
Teenage girls:
Hold Out.
There is Hope.
Just start listening to those around you.

Recently both Ashley & C Mae asked me how I do my eye make-up.
And while I had to laugh at the question, I figured I would answer it.
In a step by step tutorial.
Which means I had to start from the beginning.
With absolutely no eye make-up on, wet hair, and dressed in a robe.
I cringe just typing the words.

Anyhow--let's get down to business.
Before I get down to the nitty gritty, I have to preface something.
I know there are many a men out there who say they prepare their girl "Au natural"
I'm gonna call their bluff on this one.
Who honestly prefers their woman to walk around looking like a haggard tired zombie?
Oh right, those who actually have women that possess "natural beauty"
Well guess what men.
Not all of us have that natural crap down.
Which is why God invented eye make-up.
Moving on...

You must first start with all the essentials.
Oh and real quick--this is not a paid post by Mary Kay.
I really do just use a lot of their products.
It may have something to do with the fact that I spent entirely way too much money buying "inventory"
when I sold their products, but that is another story for another day.
And honestly, I don't have enough bottles of wine in my house to discuss that at this time.

Step One:
Eye Primer
Use this ladies.
I don't care what kind--just buy some.
And put it on your eyelids before you put on anything else.
It really will keep your eye shadow in place all day.

Step Two:
Apply a "highlighter" to the entire lid--
especially along the brow

Step Three:
Apply a "neutral" color along your eyelid bone
So I am not really sure if purple is "neutral" but let's play pretend that it is.

Step Four:
Apply a dark color to the corners/crease of your lid

Step Five:
Make your eyes come alive with Eye Liner
I only line my bottom..if I do the top, I suddenly have no eyeballs at all.
I always start from the outside corner and work my way inwards

Step Six:
"Set" your eyeliner with Eye Shadow
..I use the "Coal" over the eye shadow-
and then the highlighter {Crystalline} on the inside corners of my eye to make them "pop".

Step Seven:
Curl those bad boys

Step Eight:
The best for last-Mascara
I usually stick with Maybelline "Classic Lash" in Black--but sometimes if I'm feeling rather frisky,
I'll break out the Mac Haute & Naughty.
I load the mascara up on every lash possible--tops/bottoms/outside/inside.

Step Nine:
Show off those eyeballs :)

One last thing--
Treat your eyes nice ladies.
They are the only pair you have.
Eye Cream & Eye Makeup Remover.
Make them your best friends.