Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Christmas in July WINNER!

Posted By: Leah

Congratulations to Alena! You are the winner of my Christmas in July giveaway!
Alena, I've e-mailed you but not heard back yet. I need your address so I'll know where to send all this awesomeness.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To everyone else, thank you so much for entering!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Visit me elsewhere

Posted By: Leah
Hi! I have a couple guest posts that I wrote for you to check out. It's funny, because sometimes I like what I write for others more than what I write for you guys here. I gotta change that, I know!

Anyway, if you want to take a look at what I consider awesomeness that I wrote, visit me over on the following:

1) The Day I stopped Making Cents where I posted Rock your Awk YUP... I'm pretty much the most awkward ever. Fortuinately its catching on in the media. Adorableness is awkward. So why not amp up your awkward and embrace it?

2) Before the I Do's where I posted Letting your inner foxy lady out You guys, it happens somewhere after you get married, sometimes even after you have your first kid. You trade in your cute clothes for yoga pants and tshirts. And lets forget about wearing makeup. You feel like you're just surviving, not really taking 'me' time you desperately need. Here's how you take control and get your hotness back!

3) Mom Fitting it All in where I posted about Staying Motivated in Your Diet/Fitness when Life gets in the way. Sometimes no matter how hard you try to do well with dieting and working out you just can't. Sometimes it's being lazy but sometimes life can just SUCK making being motivated impossible. I brought the motivation back in this post.

and 4) Natalie Blair where I posted about the Art of Guest Posting! Yup, there are some 'rules' on  guest posting/guest blogging. I personally really love to guest post, but have only had very few and far between guest posts back. I'm going on vacation in a couple weeks... who wants to pimp yourself out on my blog? It's a win win. Seriously. Check out this guest post I did for why.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bra Shopping - Flashbacks to Middle School Me

Posted By: Leah

Bra shopping.  A big pile of suck, if you ask me.

Do you remember when you were young, maybe in the 3rd or 5th grade or when it was ‘almost’ time to buy your first bra, but not quite? You would walk past the lingerie section in the department store and it would seem so… scandalous? Bras of every color, long silky nightgowns with robes, little lace teddies and… thongs! It was all so exciting and mysterious. Up until the day it is time to go get (gasp) measured for your first bra.

Oh the humiliation! I’m not sure what makes a department store employee an official ‘bra measurer’ but it’s always the littlest old lady they have. And then somehow your mom always gets final ‘say’ in which bras you get to take home. Nothing too sheer, lacy, with underwire, or colorful. Your first real bra is almost always a plain white set of triangles with some hooks and straps. Not very sexy.

And it’s fine. That first bra hardly has anything to fill it and you are constantly having to pull it DOWN. Remember those days? When your bra would sneak up over your boobs? Your next bra is always the one you buy at the mall with your girlfriends. You somehow get enough cash for your birthday or at Christmas and can afford to go to the flagship of bra stores… Victoria’s Secret. It’s a beautiful rainbow of colors, lace and textures. Forget that cotton PINK business, you’re going for the push-up sexy stuff. In a 32A of course.
From there, everyone’s bra story is a little different. I was convinced at any time I would land myself in a situation where a cute boy would be seeing my bra. I had some very specific requirements for my bra, just so the imaginary boy would not see it and go running away. I knew the straps had to be thin. Not those weird wide ones like my mom had. And there couldn’t be too many hooks. One set was ideal, two was okay but there was NO WAY I would ever get a bra that had three clasps.

And the padding. I was blessed in high school by the boob fairy, so I went from an A to a C in a matter of months. The #1 most important thing was that no one EVER NEVER EVER would ‘know I was cold’ if you catch what I’m saying. My bras HAD to be padded. Not push-up, but padded so I could hang out in a walk-in freezer and no one would be the wiser of my internal body temperature.

Somehow these ‘bra rules’ have stuck with me through the years. The only thing to really have changed was my color requirements. I used to have all sorts of coordinating bras to match my outfits. Then I realized that if you wear beige you can wear anything else. White shirt, black shirt, sheer shirt, whatever! So unfortunately for whatever guy was in my life, my bras went from fun and colorful, to beige and boring. Remember the facebook status thing a few years back where all the girls updated their status to their bra color? Yeah… I of course had on beige that day. But I called it ‘taupe’ or something equally J.Crew-ishly sophisticated.

If you’ve had a child, or know anything about anatomy at all, you know that after kids your boobs get… well… weird. What they say about deflated balloons is real… and I didn’t even breastfeed. I can only imagine what they would be like if my child had taken to the boob. Regardless, bra shopping changes. I didn’t know if I needed to go up a cupsize, up a band size, down a cupsize, etc. When Gav was about two and I was having an ‘extra skinny’ year, I took him with me to good old Victoria’s Secret to be measured. Again. I had gone from my comfortable 36C to a 34D. Not a bad thing, I thought.

But as time passes, as it always seems to do, those bras wore out and it's time for new ones. When I first started dating my boyfriend last year (we are all adults here, yes I’m 32 and yes he’s seen me in a bra). He requested I get some new ‘fun color’ bras. Vicky’s was having their semi-annual sale so I scored quite a few in what I thought was my size in all sorts of wild metallic animal prints, etc. unfortunately none of them worked out. I wore one of the new ones when meeting his family for the first time (with a shirt over it of course!) And BF pulled me aside to say my boobs were muffin-topping over my bra and it was noticeable. I blamed him and his ‘forcing me’ to get Victoria’s secret bras, because clearly I was beyond that store size-wise.

My mom had invested a ton of money at Soma (it’s Chico’s lingerie store or something). None of them worked out for her, but they fit me great. She also had gotten some ‘uplifting’ bras at a Woman’s Show and passed them on to me too. These have lasted me… that is… until now.

Wearing the same 4 bras on repeat (and lets be serious, I only really wear the ONE beige one), it has gotten pretty gross. The elastic in the straps is shot, there is weird fuzz on the cups from going through the washer a million times. And I think my boyfriend just tries to ignore the whole gross bra situation. He knows he’ll be stuck with muffin-boob-top girl again that’s worse than a fuzzy old bra. 

So today, while Gavin was at his dad’s, I took myself bra shopping. I knew I would have to try on quite a few to get what I wanted… but I had no idea how many. Six. Not six bras, six trips to the fitting room with between 5 and 10 bras each trip. And none of them were working. I tried on every size, brand, and style. I did not want to deal with a sales woman. I am an adult, I can figure out what size I need… you’d think.
Oh, and don’t think my ‘rules’ you know, my middle and high school self rules didn’t apply. I would only try on bras with 2 or less hooks, thin straps and with padded cups. And yes, beige ones took priority.

I tried on bras, and tried and tried and tried. Finally, I discovered Vanity Fair (isn’t that a magazine?) size 38C is what is working for me. There’s no spillage, no boobs looking too big and hiding under my arms, no weird back rolls. Oh and only a certain style of Vanity Fair 38C. It’s called the ‘Softest Bra Ever.’ I mean it’s as soft as any other bra… but all I knew is it fit.

SO here’s the point in the post where you guys are thinking I’m going to post a photo of myself in a well-fitting bra. Sorry you guys, it’s not going to happen. But what I can show you is the bras that I did pick out. I got a kind-of fun black animal print and a basic ivory color.
And there was no beige in my size in site L

Wearing a bra that fits your body is an amazing thing. You look leaner, more put together, and it’s a good feeling! I will have to go back for a beige bra soon. I’m not sure I will survive without one. But I know what I need to do. Toss the old fuzzy one in the trash. BF will thank me and my boobs will thank me. 

Dream Vacation 'My Happy Place' Paradise

Posted By: Leah

Today's Random Thursdays' subject is 'what is your dream vacation.' Today I'm going to share with you where I go when I close my eyes and go to my 'happy place' through visualization.

The first time I did this was in college. I remember being in a recreational therapy course. The professor turned off the lights, had us close our eyes and it was dark. REALLY, REALLY DARK. And looking back yes, this seems a little weird. But at the time, in my medatative state I found for the very first time, my 'happy place.' This of course also translates into my dream vacation because I can 'see' the surroundings and it's a place I feel like one day I will vacation to.
I'm not sure if this is me being vain, or superficial, but the first thing I 'see' in my 'happy place' is how I look. It's me looking down at myself. I look very different. I'm in a bright pink bikini and I look very tanned and toned.
I have dark brown wavy hair falling all the way down to my elbows. I see it all so clearly that I feel like one day this really will be me. I'll be on this exact dream vacation and it'll feel like deja vu.

I'm on a beach, I can feel the warm sun beating down on me and the sand between my toes.
I'm alone on the beach but I'm not lonely. I am there with someone else and I feel very complete. 

I'm not worried about anyone or anything while I'm on that beach. The air is still. I feel very calm. My mind is free for all stress, anxiety, and worry. Everything in my life is taken care of and I'm truly in my Happy Place. And to me, this is my Dream Vacation, or my

And without me being overly cheesy (I know, too late). Clearly you can guess what comes next (just ignore the overly lame youtube video. Hit play, but Don't even watch it. Seriously.)

All photos used in this post are from weheartit.com

Here are some more from photos of my Dream Vacation 'Happy Place' Paradise....

I'm not 100% sure, but I feel like I'm in Jamaica. I've never been there, but for some reason think this is what I'm 'seeing' in my mind. I'm guessing everyone else's Dream Vacations will be very similar to mine. What is it about the sand and the sea that is so perfect, peaceful and relaxing?

 I remember a couple times when I HAD to go to my 'happy place.' Once was when I was giving birth to Gav. I was in the operating room getting my emergency c-section and I was cold. It may have been the morphine, but I was shivering uncontrollably. The anestesisiologist was standing over me and telling me to 'think warm thoughts.' I was so scared to shiver, worried the doctors would cut me incorrectly. So I closed my eyes and went to the 'happy place' you see in the above photos.

More recently, when I was getting my anchor tattoo on my ribs, I honestly thought I would pass out from the pain. I tried counting, I tried breathing with the pain, but it was so unberrable that I had no choice but to imagine the 'happy place' and somehow I made it through (and if you are new to my blog- this was my 5th tattoo, technically my 9th because I had the 4 others each retouched. Nothing has ever hurt to the extent this one on my ribs did. Nope, still not ready to share my 'tattoo story.' Because almost 2 weeks later it's still too soon to relive any part of that experience).

 Link up with Random Thursdays and share your Dream Vacation.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Christmas in July 2012! Our Elf on the Shelf Returned & GIVEAWAY

Posted By: Leah
Good Morning! 
Happy July 25th to you, also known as Christmas in July!

Guess who flew in to celebrate? Our Elf on the Shelf, Elfie!
And look what he already got into...

Fishing in Gav's bathroom's sink.

Gav was absolutely shocked and excited! He said,
"Thank you Elfie! I knew I've been good!"
Soooo cute :) 

Yes, I think he looks creepy too. 

 Be sure to enter my Christmas in July Giveaway and celebrate with us! (if you don't celebrate Christmas, don't worry! This giveaway is open to EVERYONE and there are no red/green specific items in the $30+ of my favorites that the winner will receive)  
a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more information about the Lovely Life of Leah Household celebrating Christmas in July, or for ideas and inspiration to celebrate today, click HERE.

AND... a little Christmas Cannon for you :)

Curious as to what types of items are in this surprise Christmas in July giveaway? Here's Elfie holding some of his favorites that the winner will receive...

AND.... Remember my 200th follower $50+ of my favorite things giveaway last week? The winner was Sara! Check out her POST on what it's like receiving a package from winning a Lovely Life of Leah Giveaway, first hand!
Above photos from Sara's package I sent for winning the 200th follower giveaway last week!

Happy Christmas in July!

Sorry in advance if the code appears broken...
I have tried and tried and for whatever reason it doesn't want to work :(
Feel free to copy, paste, and link the above photo back for your entry below!

Be sure to link up your Christmas in July post BELOW, in the comments section and grab my button to celebrate on your blog today!

So What! It's Ok! Maybe not today, but it will be.

Posted By: Leah

So What! Rarely a day goes by that I don't hear that yet another girl I know is pregnant. I think I know at least 15 girls 'with child' right now. Oh, and Yup, Gav is going to be a big brother.
It's OK! that  HELLL NO I AM NOT PREGNANT. Gav's dad's GF is. It's Ok! I am happy for them. Not at all jealous of her or any of the other prego girls I know. When I tell the news about Gav's dad aka my ex husband, so many people have asked if I feel jealous. UM no. Been there. Done that under the BEST possible circumstances (married, house, white picket fence). We all see how that turned out for me. No bueno.

So What! I am jealous of someone else though, I am jealous of Emily on the Bachelorette. I didn't think I would care who won, but I identify a lot with her. You know, the single mom thing, the charlotte thing, etc. Emily wanted a family and not to be lonely anymore. Now she isn't. Not that I sit around lonely, but I am happy for her and wish I had excitement in my life too. It's ok! that I am a sucker for all that sweet stuff Jef (1f) said to her throughout this season. He's a good guy, and I'm sure she'll be the next one getting knocked up.

So What! You know how everybody campaigns for a 'dislike' button on FB? I think there needs to be a 'save it for Twitter' button. Seriously! I've noticed more and more people posting their most random thoughts on FB. It's Ok! That FB has turned into a place for people's parents to reconnect. Most people under 40 yrs old are over the 'book and have moved on to IG, Twitter, Blogger or nothing at all.

So What! I JUST was away from Gav for the past week and he's gone from me again! I never realized how co-dependant I am on him. I think it'll be a while until we have both recovered from being apart for that long. It's Ok! I'm going to San Diego in a little over a month for a week. But Gav will be back in school, so I think he will be on a little more of a schedule and routine and it'll be easier on both of us. Crossin my fingers!

So What! I am so obsessed with those mail order subscription boxes like Birchbox and Julep. It's ok! I did a whole post on them HERE and am tempted to sign up for more. But am resisting.

So What! I have so much awesomeness in my life thanks to other bloggers. I mentioned a while back I won two giveaways recently. It's OK! I'm bragging on the items I ordered, so so excited:

SwimSpot Giveaway 
Next Zen Waters

Shabby Apple Giveaway

So What! Speaking of shopping, have you seen the new TOMS Desert Wedges? OMGGG. Must.Have.Now! I can imagine these with skinny jeans, dresses, tights, shorts, everything! I'm thinking black, but if they come out with a dark chocolate brown I might need those more! It's Ok! I legit am about to buy these. I think they will be perfect for work, going out, running errands, just everything. love.
So What! I do a lot of guest blogging. Like probably 1 or 2 a week. And I never ever remember to link them to my blog. It's Ok! that I will probably be asking for guest bloggers for when I'm in San Diego. ACTUALLY.... Would you like to guest post on Lovely Life of Leah? I want to open it up to EVERYONE Right now! I'll of course guest post for you back. AND maybe send you a little thank you from my trip. Just sayin' :)

So What! I'm keeping this super short. I'm super busy, you guys. It's Ok! I don't have to justify it. But you know, I like to anyway.

Link Up!

Its Ok Thursdays

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Happy Christmas in July Eve!

Posted By: Leah
Tomorrow is July 25, also known as Christmas in July. It's the day that Elfie, our beloved Elf on the Shelf will make a rare mid-year appearance.

In honor of Elfie flying in to deliver us a surprise at the Lovely Life of Leah Household, I'm hosting a Christmas in July link-up and giveaway with surprises for you too!

(and if this is looking a little familiar, it's because this is a repost! I have a few updates as we go along. Are you guys excited? I am! I LOVE the Christmas holidays, especially celebrating with our elf on the shelf)

Just a small hint of what will be included in the giveaway winner's prize pack of my favorites.
Elfie zoomed in and posed with his favorite item in the giveaway for .005 seconds so I could  quickly grab this shot.

Elfie has to fly back to the North Pole, so an Elf on the Shelf doll will not be included for the winner. But the winner will receive all of my favorite beauty products ($30+ value), and LOTS of fun extras thrown in. Hello Kitty + Cupcakes of course!

You may enter now through next Sunday the 29th (to allow enough time to put together an awesome recap post of everything Christmas in July themed that you did to celebrate). The winner will be announced on Monday, July 30.

As you see below, there are quite a few ways to participate! AND... if celebrating Christmas in July is NOT your thing, but you still want to get in on the giveaway, that's cool too! Just know the entries are HEAVILY weighted towards those who go all out, link-up and participate. But I didn't want to leave anyone without the opportunity to enter :) 

ALSO- If you don't celebrate Christmas, I know a lot of my friends don't, you can still enter the giveaway! There will be nothing actually Christmas-themed in the package that the winner will receive.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Christmas in July is a non-official holiday. With the heat-wave this year, I'm excited to add a dash of holiday joy into our lives right now.  All you will need to do to enter the link up portion of this giveaway are 3 simple steps.

1- Add my 'Christmas in July Giveaway & Link-Up' button (below) to your post about Christmas in July.
2- From there, you will link up your Christmas in July post to my Wednesday, July 25th Post. And by 'link up' i mean include a link in the comments. I am to cheap to actually pay once my 30 day link-up trial ran out)
3-Don't forget to also add the link to your postthe rafflecopter giveaway! (above, it will also be in my July 25 post).

Sorry in advance if the code appears broken...
I have tried and tried and for whatever reason it doesn't want to work :(
Feel free to copy, paste, and link the above photo back for your entry below!

Need inspiration?
Have a holiday-themed breakfast with red and green foods and accessories.

maybe serve winter-themed pancakes?

how about a little holiday toast & jam (with frosting designs)

throw some peppermint on... anything!

You can make a Christmas in July gift...

Or just get weird and theme it out crazy like this girl!

I'll be linking up with Elfie, our Elf on the Shelf. Feel free to invite your Elf out of  the attic  the North Pole for some fun in the summertime sun too!

Here are some photos of places Elfie landed last year:

Need more inspiration? Check out the zillions of ideas for Elf on the Shelf on Pinterest HERE.

Oh and yes, Gav looks a little like Elfie. He's my own Elf on the Shelf year round LOL!

If you were wondering...

Who or What is Elf on the Shelf?
As the story goes, this elf normally ' flies in' around Thanksgiving from the North Pole and lands in your house(probably on a shelf because he can't really stand anywhere). You must name him Gav went with Elfie, works for me. And YOU MUST NEVER EVER TOUCH HIM OR HE LOSES HIS MAGIC AND CAN'T FLY TO TELL SANTA IF YOU WERE GOOD OR BAD. SANTA, THEN WILL NOT KNOW YOU EVEN EXIST, LET ALONE GIVE YOU ANY GIFTS ON CHRISTMAS.
What kind of crap is that? Scaring poor kids by telling them that this creepy, shifty-eyed little doll can cancel christmas for your whole family? That's a freakin' heap of pressure for the kid.

.... but guess what.... IT WORKS!!!!!!!! Gav had some discipline problems last fall... I know, what!? my sweet angel child was extra talkative and distracted at school. Elfie came in and WOOSH overnight the child was 'cured.' Seriously, he was attentive, his grades improved, I think Elfie is truly a magic elf!

Gav is so so sweet. Elfie is not always used as a discipline tool (even though he's a very effective one!) Elfie will be making an appearance to bring Gav a small gift and leave a note just to let him know that Santa has his eye on him until he comes back at Christmas. I think it'll be a little mid-year motivation. 
I am really excited about Elfie coming back, even if it's just for one day. 

Mark your calendars and get ready for this exciting Christmas in July link-up and giveaway! I can't wait to see what you all have planned for the 25th.
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