Wednesday, April 18, 2018

My Target Shopping Spree

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my Instastories a few weeks back where I shared my shopping spree at Target and Ulta. Maybe I shouldn't call it a shopping spree... I had gift cards that I had been saving up and boy did I use them (and then some lol whoops)! I wanted to share some of my favorite finds from Target and I'll share my Ulta purchases in another post.

Let's get one thing straight - I am not an avid shopper. My mom, on the other hand, is the queen of finding a good deal, anticipating trends, and wearing things before they are cool. A real trendsetter, I tell ya! We used to go shopping together all the time - ALL THE TIME! Our shopping trips are some of my most cherished memories! I always imagined I would inherit her good shopping skills but when I moved out on my own a few things happened...

1. I didn't have any spending money.
2. I could not form my own opinions about what kind of clothes I liked. I literally couldn't go shopping on my own because I didn't have my mom to consult with.
3. I felt really weird about spending someone else's money when I got married even though it was my spouse that was earning that money. It was a strange transition for me.

Because of these 3 points and also due to the fact that we are poor students, I've come to really appreciate gift cards. I feel like gift cards get such a bad rap (or is it rep?) because they "aren't thoughtful." But let me just make a case for gift cards and say that they are awesome! You're essentially giving the gift of shopping guilt free and the recipient gets to buy whatever they choose - something you know they will like!

Anyway, let's get to my purchases, shall we? First, this skirt (not available online unfortunately). I am very into ruffles of all kinds so when I found a skirt that fits well, is the cutest fabric, has ruffles, is long enough, aaaand makes my butt look good I knew I had to get it in all the colors. I also got it in another fabric but I haven't found the perfect top to go with it yet so you just get to see photos of one. I've linked to the other one here, too, though so you can check it out!

Thanks to Brittany Lowry Photography for taking these photos for me! She da best!

Shoes: Old Navy but they're old. These are probably my most asked about item I've ever shared so I feel super bad that they are unavailable. However, Roolee Boutique has some that are similar. They're kind of expensive so I don't love recommending them due to the price but they're the most similar I've seen. I'm hopeful that Old Navy will somehow see the response that these shoes get on my posts so they'll know that people want them! Maybe they'll bring them back!

Top: Old. Similar here!

Skirt: Target. I cannot find this particular style online but here's the other one in the floral fabric!

I also bought these capris and I've worn them at least twice a week since I bought them. They're high waisted and stretchy which makes them oh so comfy.

Target is nailing it right now in the women's clothing department. Here are some other things I'm loving...

Aaaaaaand Target is having a deal right now where you buy $40 worth of clothing, shoes, and/or accessories get a $10 gift card in return (offer ends 4/21/18). Woot woot! Shop the items above by just clicking on the photo and it'll take you directly to the product page. You'll have that $10 gift card in no time! You can also click here to sign up for Ebates and get cash back in addition to that $10 gift card. If you use my Ebates link and spend at least $25 you'll get $10 from Ebates, too. So spend $40 at Target and get $20 back. Happy Shopping! 

xoxo, Chelan

Monday, April 16, 2018

First Sunshiney Weekend of 2018

There was a bit of a buzz in the air last week at the dance studio in anticipation of the nice weather that was supposedly coming. I overheard several conversations about it but I tried not to get my hopes up because the weather seems to change on a dime no matter what the forecast says. Everyone, regardless of where you live, will say, "Well, that's ____ weather for you!" and they'll fill in that black with wherever it is that they live. It's the same in Alberta, Utah, and Ohio. The weather is just unpredictable and I think everyone thinks that their own state/area is unique for having crazy weather... but it's not. The weather can change quickly any place you live. Anyway, there was a lot of talk about the upcoming forecast and you could feel it starting to warm up a bit. Come Thursday I was all smiles because the air was actually warm. I went outside and didn't shiver. The wind was even warm so I wasn't even mad that it was windy (which if you know me, you know I loathe the wind SO MUCH). Parker had a test on Friday morning so he was done with everything for the entire weekend by 11 am. Queue the party!

We took the missionaries out for lunch, and then Parker and I found a fishing spot nearby. I stopped at the library to get myself a book to read while Parker fished and I could not stop smiling. I really think I suffer a bit from Seasonal Affective Disorder....aka S.A.D. So fitting. But I am truly happiest when the sun is shining. So I read for a bit and Parker fished and I soaked up the sun. I even had some pop with me so, you know, I was in heaven. After fishing, we refilled our pop supply and headed to the driving range. 

Sidenote: If you know me from childhood, you know that my family is very athletic. The McMurrays are a very sporty bunch - my extended family included - and I am one of the few that didn't follow the sports path... From a young age, I was forced to decide between Champs (a basketball clinic my dad puts on twice a year for elementary school kids) and tap class because there was a scheduling conflict and that wasn't a hard decision for me to make at all. I was the one who would skip down the court while twirling her pigtails so you can imagine my parents' surprise when I chose dance ;). My dad and brother and cousins are all golf enthusiasts and I've never really shown any interest in golfing but I decided that I'm going to learn how to golf this year and impress them all with my skills someday lol. 

Anyway, after the driving range, we went to see The Quiet Place (which I didn't like... I know I'm the minority here) to finish off our Friday! It was such a good day! I even got a bit of a farmers tan from being out in the sun, woohoo!

Saturday morning I taught dance first thing and then Parker and I continued our adventure filled weekend with tennis (I won) and some more fishing/reading before the rain came. We found our 'summer spot' that I am hopeful we will visit often this summer. There is a lake with a beach area, picnic tables, and grills, grassy areas, and a spot for fishing. It also looks like they have a concession that'll be open in the summer so if I run out of pop, I can get some more ;). I'm excited! 

I hope everyone else had a great weekend, too! Hopefully, we'll all see more of that nice weather soon! It's supposed to snow here tomorrow so it was only fitting that I write about our sun-filled weekend to offset the nasty weather heading our way.

Thanks for stopping by!
xoxo, Chelan

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Our Love Story: Part 14

"Here's the thing about this love story of ours. It's long. And drawn out. And mushy-gushy. And even a bit cheesy. But it's true. And I've decided to take my time writing it, capturing all the special details of those moments I never want to forget. So if mushy-gushy, cheesy love stories aren't your thing, I totally get that. Just know that I'm writing this as a gift - to my family, and my children, and their future children - and also, for [Parker] and me - so that on those days when the kids are screaming, the laundry is overflowing and the bills are rolling in...on those days when it all just seems so hard, we'll have this to remind us of those first moments when we fell in love. And if sappy, detail ridden love stories are your thing, well then you've come to the right place." -Ashley Stock

To read the beginning of Our Love Story, click here.
So Parker left to serve his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for two years. He started out at the Provo Missionary Training Center and I ended up going to visit family in Provo while he was there. I remember feeling super weird about being in the same place but not being able to see each other. We drove by the MTC a couple of times and I had high hopes that I would catch a glimpse of him on his way to the Temple or something but I never did. At the beginning of Parker's mission, he was only allowed to email family so we did snail mail up until we were allowed to email. Then it was a mix of emails every week (I only missed a couple of times but those times made me feel sick to my stomach at having forgotten) and then snail mail and packages. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

How We Wore It | Denim on Denim

I was a little bit nervous about trying to do denim on denim this month. I'd seen it done but never tried it myself for fear of not doing it 'right' but I realized that there are a lot of different ways to wear denim on denim and you know what? If an outfit makes you feel beautiful and stylish, then it is 'right'. You do you, girl! Wear whatever you want and makes you feel good and don't worry about what anyone else thinks! At least that's what I tell myself ;).

I will admit that I consulted my sister on this and she gave me some great insight. At first, I was thinking that the only way you can wear denim on denim is when the types of denim are significantly different colors like one really dark wash piece with a lighter color. However, apparently, it's in style right now wear two pieces of denim that almost match? I had no idea!

Next, I went to my trusted friend, Pinterest, and found a bunch of options that I really liked but this one stood out to me as being something I would actually wear so I recreated the look with clothes from my own closet.

Here's my version of this adorable denim on denim outfit! 

Thank you sooooooooo much to Brittany Lowry who took these photos and made me feel like a million bucks in this outfit <3. 

I love this casual denim look and you can bet your bottom dollar I'll be recreating this outfit over and over from here on out. I AM an outfit repeater and I'm not ashamed of it. 

Be sure to check out my amazing friends' posts of how they wore denim on denim!

Jeans: American Eagle (on sale right now!)
Top: Old. Similar here.
Denim Jacket: Forever 21
Hat: Old. Love this, this, and this!
Shoes: Old. Love these, these, these, and THESE! Can you really tell I love runners (for my Canadians)/tennis shoes (for my Americans)? Cuz I really do love them so much. Nike's are my favorite!

Here are some other denim pieces that I'm currently loving!

How are YOU wearing denim on denim? We want to see! Post a pic and use the tag #hwwidenimondenim so we can check it out!

xoxo, Chelan

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Have a Positive Mind

What to write, what to write... sometimes I'm really in the mood to write a blog post but I just do not know what to write. It's usually when I'm in a bad mood but I don't love sharing negative posts because who wants to read a blog post from a Debbie Downer? Not me. So that usually has me writing a sentence or two or even a full paragraph and then hitting delete until I have a blank page again. And I've started to write this post over and over but nothing is really feeling right. Today has been a really crappy day for no particular reason at all. It just kind of started out bad and continued on to be bad and honestly a lot of it had to do with my bad attitude right from when I woke up lol. I also feel like things on the internet and in the news are always pretty depressing so I'm feeling the need to write a bit of a happy post, just sharing a bunch of happy things that have happened in the last little while and that are coming up to hopefully boost my mood and maybe brighten someone else's day in the process!

Image via Pinterest

+ The last three days have been good. My mood has been just good. Ya know those days where you just feel happy and good the whole day? Ya, 3 days of that in a row! Woot woot!

+ I cooked dinner 6 out of 7 days last week. I'm quite proud of that.

+ We have another How We Wore It post coming soon. I'm pumped!

+ I listened to this podcast episode about social media this week and I felt so inspired by it! Give it a listen. You won't regret it! It's a business podcast and I'm no businesswoman but I still find the podcast so interesting! This episode is a lot about how we control what we see on social media and what images we subject ourselves to and how those images can affect us. So interesting!

+ I got a new nail color from Ulta recently and every time I look at my bright pink nails it makes me smile.

+ This pin of mine is getting a lot of traction on Pinterest and it makes me excited. I try not to pay that much attention to stats but sometimes I can't help but peak to see what's working and what's not.

+ Parker is coming close to finishing his third year of medical school and we will find out what our 4th-year plans are soon! YAY!

+ It's supposed to be 23 degrees Celcius (70 degrees for my American friends) on Friday and you can bet your bottom dollar I will be spending some time outside. IT. IS. TIME.

+ I have PiYo class tonight (Pilates and Yoga combined) and it's always a highlight of my week. If you've never tried PiYo before, you should! Every week, without fail, I am sore in all the right places the next day. It kicks my butt and I feel so dang good afterward.

Image via Pinterest.

Ok. I'm feeling better now so that's all I have for you today. Have a great day and think positive thoughts! Share something happy with me in the comments! Let's be happy together and spread happy things :).

xoxo, Chelan

Saturday, April 7, 2018

11 questions asked, 11 questions answered!

My fabulous friends over at Wandering Wombmates nominated me for the Liebster award! "The Liebster Award is an award nomination that is given to bloggers by bloggers. It’s a way to show recognition for one another and to build more of a sense of community by helping expand our reach. It’s also a great way to connect with other like-minded bloggers and be offered a structured way to share our experiences."

I'm always looking for ideas and inspiration for blog content and I loved that this was a specific set of questions I could answer in a post to share more about myself. They basically wrote the post for me - easiest blog post ever! But if you haven't heard of the Wandering Wombmates, you're missing out. I actually know them because we grew up in the same hometown but I love that they've joined the blogging world to share about all of their amazing adventures! Be sure to check them out and don't forget to enter their giveaway that they have going on right this second!

And here's a picture of some pretty flowers because this post needed some color!
Photo via Pinterest.

Without further ado, here are the questions the twins asked me along with my answers:

If you had to eat one cuisine for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Can I choose potatoes? lol Potatoes and Diet Pepsi. Does that mean I like American food?

How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I started this here blog my first semester of college. January of 2011. Isn't that nuts? Back then I think I called it Land of Chan and my header had a bunch of stick figure dancers that were really pixel-y LOL. I drew them myself.

How do you focus on getting traffic to your blog?
PinterestInstagram, and Facebook are my biggest traffic sources according to my stats from Blogger. I'm pretty active on all three of those platforms and love them all.

What is the best book you have read recently and why?
Ohh man. I loved the book I shared in this post! It's the book I've read most recently and it was such a good story!

Where are you planning on traveling to next?
Florida - HP WORLD HERE WE COME! I cannot wait to go back! To see our first adventure in Harry Potter world, click here!

Favourite part about blogging? Least favourite part about blogging?
My least favorite part about blogging is that I get really caught up in the stats sometimes and lose sight of my 'why' - which is what I love most about blogging - I love to write and I feel called to document my life and share it with others.

What’s something you wish you knew before you began blogging?
This is such a good question. I wish I had known how big blogging would become. I feel like I was 'in the blogging game' really early and had I known that it could have been a revenue source for us earlier maybe I could have made something of it? It's really hard to make something of your blog these days because everyone is blogging and everyone is an influencer! I have an internal battle with myself on like a weekly basis where I'm like 'Yeah, I'm going to put more time and effort into this thing and try to earn some money from it' and then the next week I'll think 'I'll just do this for me as a journal instead.' It's always changing.

Best lesson you’ve learned as a blogger?
My dream for this space is for it to be something like Love, Taza blog. A total lifestyle blog with travel, fashion, food, hair, beauty, religion, and family. Lots of family. But something I've learned is that I can't force people to be interested in my life, nor do I want to lol. Isn't that such a weird thing to learn? So I'm just going to keep focusing on making this a happy, uplifting place where I share my life and if people want to follow along, great! If they don't, that's ok, too!

Favourite inspirational quote?
Photo via Pinterest

What’s something on your bucket list?
Go to Hawaii. I'm a sunshine and beach vacation girl. It's just plain stupid that I haven't been to Hawaii yet.

What your next big goal for your blog?
I would love to do some sort of sponsored post with one of my favorite clothing companies like Lululemon or Old Navy or something like that. Wouldn't that be so freaking fun?

My nominees for the Liebster award:

Jordan @ Jordan Cidelle

Hannah @ Twinnerpated 

Brittany @ Brittany Lowry

Andrea & Angie @ Andrea & Angie

Cassie @ Cassie & Co

Anyone else that wants to do this, feel free! It's always fun to fill out questionnaires for blog posts so please join in!

I loved the blogging questions that I was asked so I'm stealing some of those for you ladies to answer, too! Your questions: 

How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
Is your 'why' for blogging different now than it was when you started?
How do you focus on getting traffic to your blog?
Favourite part about blogging? 
Least favourite part about blogging?
Best lesson you’ve learned as a blogger?
What’s something you wish you knew before you began blogging?
Who is your favorite blogger and why?
What your next big goal for your blog?
What is your ultimate, end game goal or dream for your blog? 
And just for kicks and giggles, if you could wear one outfit for the rest of your life on repeat, what would it be? Like imagine a childhood cartoon where they open their closet and they have the same outfit hung up on several hangers, ya know? 

Thanks for sharing part of your weekend with me! 
xoxo, Chelan

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Currently Reading: Road to Rosewood by Ashtyn Newbold

Y'all know I love a good romance novel. And I am a complete sucker for stories about childhood friends realizing that they are meant for each other and growing up to fall madly in love. Queue Taylor Swift's Mary's Song (Oh My My) . Sigh. I find it so incredibly romantic so I was really excited that that was part of the plot in Ashtyn Newbold's latest book Road to Rosewood. I've read each of her novels as they've come out and I've loved them all - this last one in particular because the heroines from the other books were included in the story which was such a fun surprise! I loved revisiting some of my favorite characters and seeing what they were up to!

Here's the synopsis from Goodreads:

Lucy Abbot longs to return to the country estate where she spent the best days of her childhood with her cousins and their charming neighbor Nicholas. Her protective parents, however, have other plans for her. When she finally dares to escape, her carriage is besieged by highwaymen with a familiar man leading them. Could this mysterious outlaw be exactly the person Lucy has been searching for?
You'll just have to read it to find out how good it is for yourself! I loved the characters, I loved the story, I loved the adventure, I loved the secrets and mystery that kept me intrigued until the very end, I loved the flashbacks to when they were children, and I loved the love. I also love the alliteration for all of her book titles. Is that weird? haha, It just makes me happy! I received this ebook for free in exchange for my honest review.

What have you been reading lately? Anything you think I should try? 

xoxo, Chelan