Happy Happy Turkey Day!

Thursday, November 28, 2013
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. There is nothing like a day full of family and great food. We lounge around all day, watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, watch a lot of Football (of course!), have a delicious dinner and end the evening with a Christmas movie. But, before I go all in on Thanksgiving, I need to update on where in the world Ellie has been. 

Ellie the Elf Day #17: 
Our family LOVES popcorn and I love Diet Coke. The popcorn is something we all fight over. Obviously, it's one of Ellie's favorites too.

Ellie the Elf Day #18:
Ellie showing her Christmas spirit.

And last but certainly not least, Day #19:
This was one of the most exciting ones to do because Regan loves involving Ellie whenever she can. Plus, her Barbie house had everything for this idea so it worked out perfectly!
With today being Thanksgiving, Ellie is having a turkey feast of her own.

Once Regan saw this she asked if Ellie could sit with us for dinner tonight. 
Of course we couldn't say no.

From our table to yours, 

Ellie & Wedding Planning

Monday, November 25, 2013
Ellie has had Regan searching all over the house this week!

Ellie the Elf Day #15:

Regan and Jordan love playing Wii together. In fact, most days, the first thing Regan does when she gets home for school is yell for Jordan and they go play Wii. I think she's secretly trying to steal him from me and she just might succeed! Just the other day she told me that he was her's for the day, not mine. Uhhhmm. No Miss Regan. No. ;) So because of their weird love for each other, I thought Regan would love if Ellie joined in on the Wii fun.

But no seriously, Jordan and Regan are BFF's. Just the other night, I walked out of my parents bedroom and Regan had a bed on the floor made with cushions and her and Jordan were laying on it watching Good Luck Charlie. Um. I'm starting to feel like the third wheel?! Ha. I'm just so happy they are that close. :)

Ellie the Elf Day #16:

Regan LOVES American Girl dolls and just happens to have a lot of American Girl accessories and stuff. For example, this fun bed! So today Ellie took a nice longggg nap in Ray's American Girl bed. When I came downstairs, Ray turned to me and said "Look Kiki, if I get tired today, I can take a nap with Ellie." Yes ma'am, you are correct!

Not only has Ellie been fun, we got A LOT of wedding stuff checked off the list today! We found and bought Jordan's band and got our Save the Dates printed out (only $60! WOO HOO!) stuffed in envelopes, addressed, licked shut, and stamped! All that's left is to actually mail them out. Whew!

 Of course to do this, I recruited the family. Dad did a good job supervising and my brother, Cameron, picked the perfect day to be out with friends. ;)

It's off to bed for me now! Goodnight everyone and have a happy happy Tuesday!

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Last night we knocked two things off my Knock Off list! Let's just say I was one happy girl by the end of the night. We started it out by heading to the Lights of the Ozarks lighting. If you live in or around Fayetteville and haven't gone to enjoy all 450,000 lights, you're missing out! 

Jordan and I have gone to see the lights almost every year when we used to come down for weekends, but this year we got to actually see them all turn on AND we got to see my sister while she was working her little butt off. :)

The camera on my phone is terrible, but I did happen to catch our favorite tree out there. This picture doesn't give anything in this picture justice, but it sure was beautiful. 

After the lights we headed out to eat to grab a beer and grab me some BBQ. Then enjoyed our hot coffee and went on a little drive to enjoy a little Arkansas scenery. It ended up being a pretty fun date night!

1. Watch the lighting on the Square
2. Pick out the best smelling Christmas Tree and decorate it
3. Bake Christmas cookies to hand out to the neighborhood
4. Go on a drive to look at Christmas lights hot chocolate in hand
5. Watch LOTS of Christmas movies
6. Have a day full of Christmas shopping
7. Read Christmas books with the family

So far so good! Hope you all have a great weekend as well! :)

Chasing Ellie the Elf!

Friday, November 22, 2013
I've slacked the last two days in keeping you up to date on where Ellie has been but I'm here to change that! Although, I'm struggling because I have so many cute ideas but I really want to hold off on them for closer to Christmas so Ellie has been pretty calm lately. 

Ellie the Elf Day #11:

Thursday she showed off with her favorite Christmas movie. Elf of course! "The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear!" Yes, yes and yes! But Ellie wasn't quite singing, more like just "hanging out" with the box. Regan still got a good kick out it. 

Ellie the Elf Day #12:

Yesterday Ellie hung out in the plant in the living room. This was me in a hurry to get to bed! Whoops! :( 

Ellie the Elf Day #13:

Regans toys got a little feisty this time. I thought after doing that that Ray might throw a fit because "they" taped Ellie up on the mirror but she found it funny instead. Whew!

Ellie the Elf day #14:

Regan had a sleepover with a friend so of course I had to put in a little shout out to her friend. Ellie left a note saying that the two of them wore her out so she wanted to spend her Saturday relaxing. What better way to spend a day doing nothing but on the couch? Therefore, you can find Ellie on the couch in Regans Barbie house watching TV.

To top off this great Friday, Regan and her friend drew pictures for Jordan and I. They are the cutest pictures ever!!! They even got Jordan's beard in there! HA! So funny!

Happy Weekend!!! :)

10 Wedding Budget Tips

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
When sharing my wedding details with others, I've been asked this same question multiple times. "How in the world are you keeping to your budget?" The answer didn't come easy to me at first but after thinking about it, I have a lot to say!

I'm the kind of person that does a lot of research before I buy something that is expensive and weddings are EXPENSIVE. I also don't think I need a $20,000 wedding. As long as I'm married to Jordan by the end of the day, I will be a happy bride! But to help any way I can, I came up with a few tips.

1. Choose an off day for the wedding!

What I mean by this is don't think that you HAVE to get married on a Saturday. If you have your hearts set on a wedding venue, like we did, choose an off day. It's a lot cheaper. For a Saturday, our venue is $4,500. A Friday is $1,000 cheaper, Sunday is $800 cheaper and Monday through Thursday is $3,200 cheaper. We saved $3,200 just by having it on an off day. This worked our great for us. Our wedding is in the summer and most of our guests are driving from out of state so they are using it as a mini vacation. So a Monday wedding really doesn't matter to most of them. Thank goodness!

2. Design and Create your own Save the Dates and Invites or choose a Printable Save the Date/Invitation design from amazing sellers on Etsy!

Searching for Save the Dates and Invitations online didn't go well for me. Every design I liked cost around $2-$3 for one invitation! That's crazy! So really, after just purchasing 200 invitations to mail to guests, I would be spending between $400-$600 on pieces of paper that would be thrown away in a few short months. No thank you! So to save some money, I designed our Save the Date on Word (only cost $60 to get printed!). I know that sounds ridiculous but I don't think they turned out half bad. 

If you don't want to design them yourself, look into Etsy for Printable ones. This is how it works. Search "Printable Save the Dates" or "Printable Wedding Invitations" into an Etsy search bar. Once you find the one you want, you purchase it or personally work with the Etsy shop owner to get exactly what you are looking for. Most of the Save the Dates I saw were around $30 and the Invitations around $40-$50. From there, they design it, send you a PDF file of it and you print it. It will save you SO much money in the end. Besides, the only people keeping these are parents, grandparents and the Bride and Groom. The rest of your guests will have them on their fridge for a few short months and then throw them away.

3. Borrow anything and everything!

My cousin got married last September and still has her centerpieces. They were BEAUTIFUL and just happen to be my colors as well so when she asked if I would like to use them of course I said YES! I may purchase peach flowers from Hobby Lobby for half off to add a more personal touch. Either way, that alone just saved me hundreds of dollars!

4. Make what you can!

From programs to decorations, recruit your bridal party and family members to help you make them. Make a day out of it. Not only will it be fun but it will be a nice memory to look back on.

5. Bargain shop every chance you get!
To be honest, I don't think I have bought anything full price for this wedding yet. We have gone to many flea markets, antique stores and garage sales to find what we can use for this wedding. Also, Hobby Lobby has 50% off sales ALL the time. Take advantage of those! If what you want isn't half off, give it two weeks and look again. 

For example, this summer we found these fun hanging lanterns that happened to be solar but the lights were broken in them. They sold in stores for $60 each (we know because the tag was still on them) but we got 7 for $35. Next we made them work by buying what we needed to be able to place a light bulb in them. After a full day of doing this, we hung them up just to see what they looked like and they were AMAZING! We were so happy with them and only spent $60 after buying them and buying the stuff we needed to make them work. (Ignore the fact that we literally rigged them up to see them quick! Haha!)

6. Buy what you will use again!
The lanterns come into play here again. We will definitely use these lanterns in our future backyard. Also, I bought a few pillows for 75% off that I can use again as well. I guess what I'm trying to say is stick to buying stuff that you can use again. Not only will it save you money but you won't have to deal with trying to get rid of them or selling them once the big day is over.

7. Don't buy a HUGE cake!
Jordan and I decided that a good way to save money would be with the deserts. Our wedding cake ended up costing us $72 and will feed us, our wedding party and our parents and grandparents. We will serve different flavors of cupcakes (that we will make ourselves or pay a friend to make) and cheesecake bites for our guests. These cheesecake bites are DELICIOUS and you can buy them at Sam's Club. It comes in a pack of 60 for $15.00. How awesome is that?

8. No need to serve a 3 course meal!

First of all, the picky guests won't eat half of the food on it so make it easy on yourself and make it cheap. Have a buffet! Jordan and I decided on BBQ. First of all, our wedding is slightly more casual so BBQ is perfect for that. Second of all, it's my favorite thing ever and one of Jordan's as well. Also, this is the South! You have to have BBQ. I had us budgeted at spending $2000 for dinner but by having a buffet of casual food, we are saving a good $500-$800 there! Yippee! On top of that, your guests will thank you for letting them get to choose what goes on their plate and who doesn't love some good Southern BBQ?

9. Ignore designer labels!

Your bank account and your bridesmaids will thank you (if they are buying their own dresses). I wanted floral dresses so bad but couldn't find any floral that I liked. FINALLY, I found the PERFECT dresses. Let me say that again.... PERFECT dresses! They were originally $175 but I got them for $50! Yes! You read that right. When I informed my bridesmaids, they were ecstatic. Yay me!

10. Try to use what you already have!

Picture frames are a great example for this! I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a picture frame that I loved and wanted to use to display an engagement picture by our guest book (Yes - it was 50% off!) but I realized after I did that, that I should just use what I already have. I have many, many picture frames and instead of going out and buying more, I'm going to use the ones I already have. They work with our decor and colors so there is no reason not to! Plus, I have a feeling that even if I went out and looked some more, I would buy stuff similar to what I already own. No need for that.


This isn't a budget tip but I think it's something VERY important that every Bride needs to hear. Enjoy wedding planning and being engaged! Besides the money questions, I've also been asked by A LOT of people how stressed I've been and my answer every time is, "Not at all!" Every one of them seems so surprised by that. There is absolutely no need to stress about something so exciting. If you are stressed, STOP! I'm the Bride that simply doesn't care about anything other than marrying that man of mine. If it rains, who cares! If my cake falls, who cares! My favorite part about not caring is that anything that goes wrong will make for great stories in the future! So a few tips to help are as followed:

- Make life easy on your bridesmaids and your bridesmaids will make life easy on you.
I chose 6 of the best people to stand by my side on my wedding day and have helped me with anything and everything. However, I also told myself that I am not going to care about little things. I trust them 100% and know that they will do whatever they can to help me with this wedding. So, avoid nagging or being bridezilla. Make this experience enjoyable for them as well. This also goes for the groomsmen!

- Make life easy for your Groom and your Groom will make life easy for you.
Seriously! Jordan has it made. I have taken care of everything and because of that, he jumps up any time I want to go to an antique shop or flea market. Thank the Lord for giving me a laid back man because I will admit that I have some control issues! Ignore those and make it enjoyable all around.

- Don't stress about the little things.
Rain? Worry about it closer to the date. Cake falling? Really? What would you be able to do even if that did happen? Laugh things off. There is no need to worry about the smallest things that probably won't happen. 

- Be a little selfish.
This is your time. Not theirs. Do what you want, where you want, when you want, etc. but this doesn't mean to boss your wedding helpers around. Like I said before, you'll be the one looking back and regretting not doing something you wanted to do or even doing something you didn't want to do. It's nice to have advice but too many birds chirping at once is hard to handle. Be open to advice but in the end, make your own decisions. My motto for this wedding is be polite, stay calm, but do what you want! :)

I hope this helps! 
Hopefully as we get closer and closer to the wedding date I will have more tips and tricks up my sleeve.

Ellie the Elf Day #10

Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Ok, seriously...I haven't been this busy is quite awhile and I'm so thankful and excited about it! Although, I have to say I am pretty happy about Thursday because I don't have anywhere to be or anything that NEEDS to get done on Friday so I am going to take that day to hopefully get a bunch of things checked off my Wedding To Do list.

First up, SAVE THE DATES! I decided to design them myself to save money and I really don't think I did half bad. So those need to be printed, stuffed in envelopes, addressed, stamped and sent out the door. I'm really hoping to get all that done by the end of this month since most of our guests will be road tripping to our wedding, I want to be sure they have the information they need so they can literally save the date! This way, they get an extra month to plan.

On top of that, I also need to do a bunch of little things for myself like open a new bank account here in Fayetteville, get a new drivers license, and all the rest of the fun stuff that comes along with moving to a new state. I could've done it earlier but there was a chance Jordan and I would have been moving again. I think it's safe to say we will be here for awhile now. Fingers crossed!

However, because I've been so busy, Ellie is getting less and less creative. Don't worry! I still have some VERY creative ideas up my sleeve but I want to save those for when it gets closer to Christmas so it's more special. Last night Ellie sat on Regans night stand so that when Ray woke up, Ellie was saying "Good Morning" to her. Ray told me today that waking up to Ellie next to her put a big smile on her face. Then she stopped herself and said that she actually saw Ellie last night because she woke up in the middle of the night to get a glass of water and saw her sitting there and that made her "feel happy" and "sleep better."  Her words, not mine! Ha!

I'm just glad that Ray didn't wake up when I snuck into her room to place Ellie there. As Jordan says, it was a risky move! So glad it worked out.

Have a great hump day!!!

Ellie Day #9 and The Definition of CHAOS!

Sunday, November 17, 2013
This blog was the perfect name for our life today! Our morning started out crazy enough. Jordan woke up, went out to make himself a cup of coffee but it wouldn't work. Came in (Yes - I was still sleeping. More like half awake) and tries to turn the T.V. on. No luck. Next thing I know he is pulling the string to turn the nightstand lamp on over and over again. Finally I turned to him and said, "Bubba, I think it's safe to say the power is out!" Finally he gave up and let out a big sigh and said "I need my coffee." 

Next thing you know we are getting in the car, still in our pajamas, no shoes and running to Starbucks to grab my parents, Jordan and I some coffee. Oh, that's not all! It gets better....

Eleven o'clock rolls around and my Dad gets a call from a friend saying that he was driving on the highway near our neighborhood and there were 4-6 cop cars that have pulled a car over, no driver, and the cops are running into the woods. As he is on the phone, we see cops driving through the neighborhood. Now, a Case woman is snoopy. We can't help it. Next thing you know my Mom is outside talking to a cop and he informs us that there is a man on the lose that ran towards our neighborhood and he is very dangerous. He was wanted for attempted murder! Then the cop throws in a nice "he is wearing a white t-shirt and you won't miss him because he has blood all over him." Ummmm.....

Mom and I run inside to update the guys and they pop up faster then you can say "HOT POTATO" and go off to grab their guns. I have to say, I felt more safe in that moment than I have in a long time! After that "lovely" information, we thought it would be a good idea to just leave for the day and pray that by the time we get back he is in custody. Thankfully, he was found and arrested. Whew! BIG sigh of relief.

The 10 o'clock news did cover the story and let the public know that the woman he stabbed multiple times is in critical condition so please pray that she makes a full recovery! She is most definitely in my thoughts and prayers tonight.

So to say I'm exhausted is an understatement, and because of that Ellie wasn't too creative tonight. We have wine holders on the wall that Ellie fit perfectly in. So here she is...hanging out!

Besides the commotion that went on today, I got a lot of wedding organizing done tonight. Have I mentioned how much I love Pinterest? I think I'll add Pinterest to one of the things I'm thankful for over Thanksgiving dinner this year.

Tonight my focus was ceremony decor and I'm struggling to pick between these two beautiful ideas!
Decisions, decisions! 

Hope you all had a more relaxing day than we did today. 
Count your blessings and say your prayers tonight! 
You never know what tomorrow will bring.

Ellie Day #8

Ok - if you don't have a Pinterest account get one ASAP! It's probably the best thing to happen...EVER. I'm on it way more than I should be but I can't help it. It's addicting. Anyways, today's Ellie the Elf idea was a Pinterest idea. I saw it and knew I had to do it and we just happened to finish our box of Rice Krispies today! Um, can you say meant to be? Snap, Crackle, Pop!

On that note, hope you all are having a great day!

Ellie the Elf Day #7

Saturday, November 16, 2013
We had a busy Saturday. I'm beginning to use that word a lot lately! The day started out with sleeping in. Woo hoo! By far my favorite thing to do on a Saturday. Then we had a few amazing athletes and people over for lunch. Regan stood guard of Ellie to make sure none of the college boys touched her as they walked by to get their food. I'm happy to report Ellie is untouched and still magical! ;)

Oh, Christmas tree. Oh, Christmas tree. 
It took a bit of arguing and begging Jordan to help me get the tree and decorations out of storage but in the end I always win won. ;) 
Last night we went to a get together that my Mom and two of her friends put on to support a married couple from Conway, Arkansas who paints amazing pieces of art together. Their paintings were beautiful and a lot of guests walked out with a piece of their own, including my parents! After a glass of wine, some cheese and a lot of mingling; Jordan, Regan and I came back to the house, jumped in out PJ's, ate some pizza and watched Elf for the first of many times this holiday season. 

Ellie the Elf Day #4, #5, & #6!

Friday, November 15, 2013
I know, I know! I'm so behind with posting the whereabouts of our elf Ellie but I have a perfectly good explanation! I've been BUSY! 


As for Ellie....
Day #4:

Regan woke up to Ellie roasting marshmallows over Mom's mercury glass candles in the dining room. Although, when she got home from school, Ellie had fallen over. You would have thought the world ended! She takes this whole Elf thing VERY seriously. 

Day #5:

The day before, Regan kept telling Ellie that she would think it's funny if Ellie would sit on one of the reindeer we have on the front entry room table. So of course, Ellie listened! 


Day #6:

Today Ray woke up and said she spotted Ellie right away up high on a window sill. When I asked Ray how she got up there she looked at me like I was crazy and said "You told me she could fly so I would guess she flew up there! Duh Kiki!" Duh.

Every day we play the whole "Where's Ellie game" which usually goes a little something like this: Mom and Dad wake up with Regan before school and they find Ellie. Then Jordan, Cameron and I don't see Ray until she gets off school and the first thing she says to us every time is "DID YOU SEE WHERE ELLIE WAS TODAY!?" And of course we all say "No! Where was she?!" and then she takes our hand and shows us and we act surprised and usually throw in a "She is so funny!" or "Crazy Elf" and that seems to put a big smile on Rays face. I mean, that's what this is all about, isn't it? That smile and excitement makes this worth it.

Now Jordan, Ray and I are enjoying our Friday night in our pj's and watching Elf. Happy Friday!!

Ellie the Elf Day #3!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Ok - I got in way over my head starting this so early! It's the big thing Regan looks forward to right when she wakes up. I just hope I don't run out of ideas by Christmas, but then again, that's what Pinterest is for. Ha!

Yesterday Regan wrote Ellie a note asking her to never leave her. Then she drew a picture of herself crying. Seriously Regan? You're killing me!!! I had to push that sad note aside and keep on going.

Today, Ray woke up to Ellie showing her Razorback spirit! Yes - we have a few Christmas decorations up. Don't judge us! It's was part crazy and part to see how long it would take for my Dad to notice! ;) Like every morning, Regan woke up to a clue from Ellie and it led her to this small nook we have in the dining room.

We're huge Arkansas fans in this family. Mainly track and field, but hog fans none the less! So I thought it would be completely appropriate to incorporate our Razorbacks in this mess of chaos!

Regan wrote Ellie a note telling her that she is "supper funny" and that she's excited that Ellie likes the hogs too! Ha! Ohhh, the little things in life!

Hope you all had a great Tuesday and WOO PIG SOOIE!

Ellie the Elf Day #2!

Monday, November 11, 2013
Ellie showed up again this morning, drinking a big thing of maple syrup! Although, I need to back up a second. Yesterday, Regan wrote Ellie a note asking her why she couldn't talk to her and to write back again soon. Regan also told Ellie she loved her "sooooo much" and even gave her a little friendship  friend "sip" bracelet. How cute is that?! To be honest, I didn't think she would take the whole Elf thing this seriously but it's SO entertaining.

When Regan woke up this morning, she got her letter from Ellie and a clue as to where she was. If anyone knows my family well enough, you know our love for the movie Elf so of course I thought it would be appropriate to include Elf in anything and everything we do with Ellie. 

Then she found her in the pantry downing our maple syrup! Sugar crazy Elf!

If you haven't watched Elf, shame on you! Besides Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story, it's a Christmas movie MUST see! 

Don't be a cotton-headed ninny-muggins and have a happy Monday!

Ellie the Elf Day #1!

Sunday, November 10, 2013
Regan now has an Elf watching her until Christmas time and her name is Ellie. Of course, she couldn't wait until December so we have Ellie keeping her eye on Ray now. If you don't have this adorable Elf - get one! It's not only fun for kids but I'm having a blast coming up with how to set Ellie up for Regan to see day after day.

Yesterday was our first day with Ellie the Elf. Regan and I read the book and the second we got to the page that says "I can't speak to you, so says Santa Claus. All of us elves have to follow his laws." Regan said, "but it doesn't say anything about writing letters!" which just meant that gave me one more job to do. Now Regan expects letters from Ellie every now and then. Good grief! Ha!

So to begin this new tradition, we watched a movie and the second Ray passed out we were setting Ellie up! Ellie wasn't too creative for her first night since she was so tired from her long trek from the North Pole ;) but when Ray woke up this morning she had a letter from Ellie and then of course had to find her...HANGING FROM THE CEILING FAN! Silly Elf! ;) HA!

Now, funny part about this is that Regan NEVER turns fans on. We have never seen her turn a fan on without us telling her to do so. But something in her made her want to turn on the family room fan this morning, where Ellie of course was hanging. How in the world does that happen? Ha.

Let's just say, this will be a fun next couple weeks. I have a few tricks and fun things for Ellie to do up my sleeve! :)

Politics & Funny Business!

Saturday, November 2, 2013
Last night, I got the pleasure to spend my evening with a house full of amazing people! My family helped host a get together to support Tom Cotton for US Senate. Along with meeting Tom, I also had the pleasure to have a conversation with Steve Womack. The two men were so fun to talk to and I'm so glad I got the opportunity to do so.

From left to right: My brother, Cameron, my Dad, Tom Cotton, my Mom and little ole me!

Besides being surrounded my extremely smart and fun individuals, I got to spend time with close family friends as well (Don't worry, you are included in that category of extremely smart and fun! ;) Haha!). I'm so excited that I get to see them more often now!

My Mom, Nicole and I

Travis and I

Ok, now seriously...the house that this event was hosted at is absolutely beautiful. None of us wanted to leave the backyard patio. Eventually, we had to go home otherwise we might have been kicked out but all in all it was a beautiful evening. I'm so happy I could be a part of it. 

Now I'm off to get ready for tailgating at the track and the big game today against Auburn. Win or loose it's what you do with your dancing shoes football shoes? 

Back to Top