The Most Simple Shelf EVER

So since we’re outgrowing our home I had to get creative with how to arrange the living room. This also meant putting holes in the wall so we could get our TV off of the floor and mount it, this was not something I have wanted to do at all.

I had a small TV stand in the corner the TV sat one along with 3 crates stacked on the floor to serve as decoration space. Well I decided to add to those crates and create an entire shelving area that I could put decorations on under the TV. It’s also nice because since it is situated in a corner we can put stuff behind it and you don’t see it 🙂

I had the same stain that I used on the first 3 crates which just so happen to be the 3 on the bottom of the shelf. So we stained the other 5 crates to match and then just screwed them all together so it could be moved as one unit.

The entire project probably only took about an hour if you don’t include stain drying time. I picked up the additional crates at JoAnn Fabric who was running sale of 50% off of crates. I think I got each crate for like $8 or $9 and I got the first 3 at Michaels with my 40% coupon.

Stupid easy I promise or I wouldn’t have even thought or attempted to do it! Hurry get to the stores to get your crates and stain and make the same project! Let me know how yours turns out.

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem —
Laci Jane

My Journey After Pregnancy – – Dealing with Diastasis Recti

I haven’t written for awhile and there is a perfectly good reason. First of all I started taking two classes at the same time for my MBA which has consumed so much of my time I have barely had a social life. Secondly, I found out I would be losing my full time job next year because they were closing the facility. Needless to say it has been pretty stressful around here. So there is a brief summary of why I have been doing.

This is going to be a relatively long post, but I assure you that if you bear with me you will have a better understanding of what I have been dealing with post-pregnancy and maybe even be able to diagnose yourself with it and get help!

To make somewhat of a long story short I will let you watch my explanation of the condition in a video I posted to my YouTube channel. Essentially I have Diastasis Recti which is a separation of the abdominal walls. I noticed it during pregnancy long about 20 weeks and researched the topic so much that by the time I had Roman I knew I was going to have to fight it. I read that I had actually made my condition worse during my pregnancy particularly during the first trimester while I was working out (if you are a mom to be make SURE you read about how you can make it worse). In August of 2014 I finally realized I couldn’t do it by myself, researching the internet. I enlisted the help of a local Physiotherapist who specializes in women’s health she changed my entire concept of what was actually going on in there.

Basically what happens with Diastasis is that the transverse abs weaken during pregnancy and pull apart, post pregnancy they are very weak and usually don’t go back to normal without some intense rehab. About 90% of women actually suffer from this but don’t even realize it. You can test for it, there are numerous resources out there so that you can learn the proper way to see if you have it. If you have a lot of belly fat you should still be able to tell if you have it. Because I’m very lean mine is very very obvious when I show people what I’m talking about.


Here is a picture of Diastasis from the MutuSystem website. It shows you how it works. My Physiotherapist explained that the reason my pooch was so pronounced by lunch was because the rectus and transverse act as a corset and my transverse weren’t doing their part, allowing my innards, for lack of a better word, kind of come spilling out between the open space around my belly button.

By strengthening the transverse walls you can close this gap but it does not guarantee you won’t still see a pooch. I’m proud to say that I have closed my gap A LOT but I do still have a little pooch. My husband says I am crazy but I have been very passionate about this topic and trying my hardest to to do all that I can, therefore I will have no regrets.

I looked at it like this, I have done the best I can to heal my Diastasis and as long as my body is healing I feel confident about my progress whether I have a pooch or not! Roman is worth every inch of extra bulge!

So here is some more good news, not only have I reduced my gap but I have also lost 8lbs since I had Roman. I am actually BACK TO MY HIGH SCHOOL weight?!! I haven’t weighed 125lbs since my senior year. I have been hovering around 133 since college. I have done 2 rounds of Chalene Extreme and I am absolutely loving the strength gains that I have received. The first round I added Turbofire with it, the second round I added T25. Please see my before and after post HERE. I have a lot to say about before and after photos. I have included them here explaining the areas I want you to look at. The one on the left is my before taken in May would which have been give or take a couple months after pregnancy. The one on the right was taken about a week ago give or take 8 1/2 months after pregnancy. Notice the difference in the area around my belly button. I have lost a lot of my pooch and my stomach is much more taut, but some still remains when I am not flexed.

In this picture I am testing my gap, it is kind of difficult to see what I’m talking about but in the area near the arrows you can see how deep my belly button is settled in the first one. You can also see how the rectus abs start to come back together again in the second picture. It doesn’t appear to be a very noticeable difference I’m sure, but there is one trust me! The gap used to be close to three fingers wide and now it’s half of that about one and half and some days just one! That’s probably about as good as I will get it. But you can bet your ass I will keep trying.

If you are a new mom like I am it is very important to get your Diastasis healed or at least reduced because after baby number two and so forth it will get harder and harder to fix.

In the videos below I have included some of the exercises that my therapist worked with me on. I will never be able to do supine ab work ever again but there are ways around that.

https://youtube.googleapis.com/v/NoW9YGe-H0w&source=uds

That’s really all I have. It is my story thus far dealing with something that most people didn’t even realize existed. I share my story to help others and to make people more aware of this issue. I ask you to share this post with other moms so that they can look into whether or not they have it or for moms to be so that they can be aware of how to keep Diastasis from getting worse. 
I’m always available if you have questions, but the important thing is to research it. The information is out there!! Pleas let me know if you need anything. 
Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem —
Laci Jane

The Truth about Before and After Photos

So I was inspired by a post called Transformation Tuesday I’m Calling Bullshit from Snack Therapy, Her post was spot on (go read it…after mine of course). There is a lot of false advertising with before and after photos. I see it a lot as a Beachbody coach. Of course, I see a ton more that are true, motivating, inspiring, and are the result of pure determination and hard work. The problem is, how do you tell the difference? With filters, photoshop, and editing apps, changes in lighting, etc. someone who is already fit can really make themselves look like they experienced astonishing results. I really don’t post a lot of before and afters on my FB page and I try to be completely transparent when I have. When you choose to try and be a motivating force in the health and fitness industry, whether you are a speck of dust like me or if you are all over TV like Jillian Michaels or Sean T, you have a duty to tell people the truth and not try and falsely promote yourself just to make a couple bucks.

I’ve never understood how someone can justify posting a picture of themselves when there have literally been almost zero changes, nothing so overwhelming that you need to post a before and after photo. I wanted to share Casey’s post with you and acknowledge that my before and after photos from my 2 rounds of Chalene Extreme are NOT anything mouth dropping. In fact, some of you may look at them and not notice any changes. The only reason I’m sharing them is to tout my own success (which I’m so proud of) of closing my Diastasis Recti. You can read that post here. I also happened to lose 8lbs and come down to a weight I haven’t been since I was a senior in high school. All of this while I made incredible strength gains.

The point of this is to not just look at a before and after picture and assume “all results are typical” or that the individual did nothing else during the program than THAT program, there may have been additional time spent in a gym or doubling up of workouts along with supplements, etc.

There are SO many true stories and I have many customers and friends that have gotten great results with Beachbody, but do your research and don’t believe everything you see just because someone tells you it’s true.

Here are the photos I mentioned:

These pictures were taken after pregnancy and I worked out my entire pregnancy. My body of course is not my “normal” in photo on the left. My “normal” is on the right and I am so happy I’m back.

One of the left is my before back in May about 2 months after I had my son and the one on the right was taken just a couple days ago. I tried to use similar lighting even though that was hard bc the lighting in our house SUCKSSSS and it was spring on the left and winter on the right. I came pretty close. I’m about a day tanner (my husband spray tans me) on my right. The primary differences in this picture is in the area around my belly button. I was able so lose belly fat and close my Diastasis so that I don’t have a noticeable pooch. I am flexed just like I am in the right picture. I have a ton more definition in my arms and I feel like I lost a bit of extra from my face. Of course that could also be attributed to mommy hormones (good GOD those are bad). I’m actually super surprised I don’t see more of a difference in my legs since I started squatting heavy over the summer but ehhh I’ve never liked my legs lol.

Here is the photo from the back. I realized I wasn’t super flexed when I took these photos back in May. My back has always been pretty ripped out. I attribute a lot of that from being a swimmer for like 10 years, I never really lost that mass. HOWEVER, because I couldn’t really squat much during my pregnancy in the third trimester at all and then having an additional 6-8 weeks where I took it easy when doing lower body my bootay took a hit. All of those squats paid off tho!! Loving my lifted bootay on the right!! Hells yes. There is also some extra definition that I know I didn’t have in May in my shoulders that I have now, that of course is from all the lifting with Chalene Extreme. I have really strengthened my shoulders over these last few months. They have been weak for awhile after experiencing a shoulder injury two years ago. 
I wanted to make sure I explained my photos because at first glance you may have just assumed WOW look at all that new definition in her back. I could have slipped that one past the average Jane. Nope my back looked a lot like it does now back in May.  
Now that you’re done with my post go back up and read the one I mentioned she makes so many great points! If you want to hear more about Chalene Extreme or Diastasis Recti contact me! 
Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem–
Laci Jane

I had a baby 6 months ago, MIND BLOWN

I can’t believe I’m sitting here watching my 6 month old son try and figure out how to crawl while my husband chants, “you can do it Romie!” About 6 months ago he was still in my stomach and we were anxiously awaiting his arrival. The things my husband and I have learned! The things we look back at and laugh about already. The things we would change if we could go back and a few things that we wouldn’t. The love that has consumed us for our son, it’s all mind blowing and I know the moms and dads who read this totally understand what I’m saying.

One of the things that I wanted to share but kind of forgot about until recently when I downloaded some photos on to my computer was about 3 items that were lifesavers for me in the hospital. I saw a picture that I took of one of them and it reminded me I had never posted this information on my blog!

So here are 3 things that may be out there on other lists but I didn’t have them on my own when I prepared my hospital bag. I was in the hospital for a total of 4 nights and 5 days. Roman did not have anything really wrong with him but he had a feeding issue which he still struggles with even now! Doesn’t slow him down at all but it kept us in the hospital a little longer than other babies.

ANYWAYS here are my 3 useful items that I think women should know about because they were lifesavers for me. Men…..ehhh you could be grossed out so you may want to go back to your regularly scheduled internet surfing.

1) Underwear- yeah I know what you’re probably thinking, no brainer right. Just listen to me. So most of those lists you hear women talking about these ugly weird mesh panties that the nurses give you to wear and that you end up with ice packs in your underwear to keep swelling down, etc. Most women suggest not even taking underwear bc of course they’re just going to get bloody and gross. Well here is how I used mine. I had Roman on a Wednesday night and Thursday when I got up I thought damn, these mesh underwear have no support and I feel like I have a weight between my legs bc of this ice pack which is hanging down between my legs and not even on the area it is supposed to be on to reduce swelling.

One difference for me was that Roman was in the nursery the entire time so I was not confined to my bedroom I was up walking around allllll day with visitors and going back and forth from the nursery to my room so lots of walking/waddling.

By lunch time I thought I bet if I put on a pair of my underwear OVER my mesh undies and this icepack pad it will keep it up and in place better. VOILA! It worked! All of the granny panties I had bought to have and wear around post pregnancy were black and navy blue and they had a little bit of spandex in them. Seriously they were so helpful so I had Grant go back home and get the rest of them so I had plenty on hand at the hospital during my stay.

2) These are kind of a no brainer with little explanation needed as to why they were amazing but I didn’t see them on any Pinterest or blog lists. Always feminine wipes!!! OMG so refreshing didn’t have to worry about using that weird bottle thing to squirt myself with, they were cool, and most importantly they helped me feel clean. I used them so much post pregnancy as I was healing, wonderful.

3) A FAN!!! Obviously if you don’t sleep with a fan at home this may not be on your list. But I sleep with a fan at home and the hospital was so incredibly noisy at night and they come in at weird times to poke and prod on you. I had Grant bring mine for the last 2 nights I was there and it made a world of a difference. This is the one we take with us when we travel places so I just put it on a table right next to my head while I slept and it drowned out the hospital sounds and allowed me to rest.
Okay, those are my tips for things you could add to your hospital bag. Let me know what kind of things you thought were life saving that maybe you didn’t see on any lists anywhere. I get a lot of messages from new mommas so help each other out!

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem–
Laci Jane

Laying In Dark Rooms With Babies

It’s been 30 minutes since I laid my son down and I’m still sitting here with goosebumps trying to figure out at at what point God decided I should and would be a mother. Like, had he known all a long that he had created me for this, to be Roman’s mom or was this sort of a spur of the moment….”oh let’s just see what she’s got” decision.

I’m in awe every day of my son. I literally wake up each day knowing that if nothing else in my world goes right there is one constant, Roman. He lights me up in a way that nothing else ever has. There is no doubt about it, I have found my purpose in life and that is being his momma. 

Recently he’s become somewhat bored with his “younger” toys and decided we need to step up our playtime routine, well that’s how I see it anyway. Therefore, I took to Pinterest for ideas on what I could do to engage him. Tonight we laid in my room on my bed together, our attention on the ceiling as I made shapes with a small flashlight. His little cherub face lit up as I changed the shapes, moved it around, and turned it on and off. I found myself in such an intimate moment with my son, his tiny little fingers interlaced with mine (something he discovered last night how to do) and I knew I would remember this moment for the rest of my life. I wish I could have pushed a button in his tiny mind so that he could hold on to it to, but I’ve looked before and can’t find it, so for now I will just stow them away to share with him later. 
Wondering why I chose to write about such a special moment between my son and I? Well I assume part of it is the fear that I would end up like Paige in the Vow at some point and not be able to remember part of my life. Another part of me just wanted to document a day in my life of learning to be a mom to such an amazing little human being. There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t feel like the luckiest woman alive. 

Losing Weight isn’t Rocket Science!

Diet + Exercise = weight loss

Simple right? It should be. but everyone wants to drink protein shakes, reduce their calories, eat gluten free, paleo anyone? See here’s the problem with these, you don’t necessarily teach yourself how to eat in a way that you can maintain long term. I’m not saying that any of the methods I mentioned are wrong but the reality is they are hard to stick with. A diet is a diet, is a diet, you see? Diets are easy to quit, they’re easy to fall off of when you go out of town.

Well we don’t want to diet. Who the hell wants to “diet”. Don’t we all want to eat the foods that we love in portions that can be maintained? YES!

I’m not going to claim to be an expert on nutrition and “diet”. I’m just here to tell you that if you can teach yourself how to eat, what to eat, and when to eat you’re going to be on the fast track to losing weight as long as you are adding exercise in there along with it.

Once I lost my baby weight I started pushing to see if I could lose any more. Lo and behold 3 weeks later I lost an additional 5lbs (my progression pictures are on the left)!! I haven’t been this weight since 2011. I didn’t starve myself or follow some crazy diet. I still had a cheat meal once a week and I ate the foods I enjoy along with my Shakeology. I just planned when I would eat my foods during the day.

The Shakeology is the one easy thing that I do. It took me several months to even try it and I didn’t drink it until they came out with a flavor and formula I enjoyed. I couldn’t imagine drinking my meal but for someone who is on the go ALL the time I need to make sure that I am not only getting in all of my meals but that I am getting the vitamins and minerals my body needs to function at maximum  performance. No, it’s not a protein shake. Shakeology is incredibly nutritious and has all of it’s daily servings of fruits and veggies. The two reasons I drink it,

1) It takes the guesswork out of one meal a day, it’s done, it’s wonderful for me and I don’t have to plan that meal

2) It keeps me regular. Let’s talk about poop BAY-BE. I have always pooped like 3-4 times a day, YES that  much. I had this friend growing up all of my life that would poop like once a week?! Whaaaaat? I had no idea what that was like. Since I started drinking shakeology I have one bowel movement a day. Finally no more long spells sitting on the toilet coming up with my next great idea. This is the primary reason I drink it.

Shakeology is only a piece of my puzzle, it’s not a diet scam.  It’s basically my daily dose of nutrition and it keeps me from popping some vitamin that I will probably poop out sometime during one of the 3 or 4 poops I might have if I wasn’t drinking it. Enough about Shakeology.

Here’s what I’m offering, if you will let me, I will help you rearrange the foods you are eating so that you can teach yourself to eat the right way. Let’s get this straight I will not write out a plan for you and tell you exactly what to eat. You will give me an idea of what you want to eat and I will help you fit it in to your plan even if it involves a cheeseburger and french fries (disclaimer: you will only get to do that once a week :).

Send me an email at fitness.fashionista.blogspot@gmail.com to get started. Friend me on Facebook and message me there! Anyone who finds and shares my blog post on Facebook or Pinterest will be entered to win the new Piyo program from Beachbody.

Piyo was created by trainer Chalene Johnson, the mastermind behind Turbo Jam and TurboFire. She has written books, does seminars, and video training and has appeared on numerous television shows. She is one of my idols and helped me get into the best shape of my life. You can read more about that here.

The Piyo program is a blend of Pilates and Yoga. You will use your body weight to perform low-impact, high-intensity movements and in the process every single muscle will be stabilized, stretched, and strengthened. There are no jumps, no weights and it is designed for anyone from beginner to fitness professional.

You can watch a video about Piyo here to see if you’re interested!

So be on your way, go SHARE this blogpost and if you want to ensure 100% that I find your share email me and let me know you shared it!

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem–
Laci Jane

Fourth of July Fashion

Ohhh Independence Day! It means fireworks, BBQ, beer, swimming, all the things that give us the warm fuzzing feeling of being thankful that we live in such an incredible country, the United State of America. It seems that the red, white, and blue, stars and stripes have been “in” since May! I saw this scarf at Charming Charlies and knew I had to have it! It was such a cute alternative to wearing a typical patriotic top. I received a lot of compliments so I decided I would show everyone how I learned to do it.

Please share the video so that your friends can learn how to do it to! Think of all of your scarves that you have buried away bc it seems too hot to wear during the summer. You get a one of a kind look this way. If I wasn’t a new momma I would have totally have just worn this top with a bandeau style bra top underneath to show my back off some BUT I am a momma and that comes with some rules about what we show and what we dont ;).

Check out Pinterest for a lot of other ways to wear your scarves!
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhQ9yaqOHfE]

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem-
Laci Jane

Our Wedding in Kauai

Aloha! So for a little over two years I had planned on writing reviews about the places we stayed and the services we used during our trip to Hawaii. Unfortunately it did take this long. But I feel I have the perfect outlet to share my experience with other travelers and those interested in taking the plunge in Hawaii, so here I go:

Planning a wedding is hard enough already, add in trying to do a destination wedding in a state that doesn’t do all inclusive anything, a specific idea of what you want, and trying to keep costs in check. The one thing that we knew we didn’t want was a bunch of people at our wedding. End up with pictures with or of people in ten years that we haven’t talked to SINCE our wedding? Ya you know who I’m talking about. I didn’t want a bunch of bridesmaids causing drama, hating their dresses, having to get up early for pictures, blah. My husband and I knew from the beginning we wanted to the four most important people in our lives, the ones who have always been there and will always be there for us, our parents. We wanted our siblings to come but it just wasn’t in the cards. I have placed titles above the different topics I will discuss so if you’re just interested in reading a review about a particular place to stay or a service you can scroll down to that topic.

 
 
The island of Kauai

I have to admit, when we first landed and got in our rental care I thought I’d landed in the middle of a twilight zone. Chickens on the roads, shabby looking homes, it was overcast to which didn’t help, and the traffic on the ONE road was terrible.

You definitely want to visit Kauai if you enjoying hiking, being outdoors, taking in breathtakingly beautiful views, and you sort of like the “country”. It’s a quiet island where the islanders are very friendly and the hustle and bustle that other islands possess doesn’t exist here. Once we got used to the island we didn’t want to leave and when we arrived in Oahu I cried because I wanted to go back. It grows on you that’s for sure.

Bed and Breakfast in Kekaha – Hale Puka Ana

I looked at several places to stay and there was something about the reviews that resonated with me about this little house. Not only was their view from the Lanai incredible, but there was a quaintness about it that was unparalleled, and they owned a boxer. That in itself is a story for another time.

When we arrived at the Hale Puka Ana and were greeted by Patrick, Jules, Koa (the dog), and Pico their baby girl. We were incredibly impressed with their friendless from the beginning. The breakfasts were OUTSTANDING, I am still addicted to pineapple from being in Hawaii. Like I said their view upstairs is great. There is one road that runs in front of the home and it isn’t really noisy, we didn’t notice it. There were 3 rooms so we occupied the entire downstairs area between the 3 of us, we each had our own bathroom.

 

We got in on a Tuesday and our wedding was on a Thursday. The evening of our wedding we came home to our room covered in Christmas lights, and fresh flowers all over the floors, and I believe like a sparkling juice or cider. We thought it was a nice touch considering you never know a guests preference on alcohol. I cried, it was so thoughtful.

 
 

Our parents left the morning after our wedding on Friday and we continued our stay through Sunday afternoon. Jules and Patrick surprised us by upgrading our room the following 2 nights so we got to stay in the little bit bigger room since no one else was going to stay there.

The only complaint we had was that the window unit for air conditioning caused the windows to be open slightly so in the mornings when they were up to water plants we woke up also. We were trying to recover from a serious case of jet lag while we were there, especially the first 3 days so that just made it a little more difficult for us to sleep. I would recommend earplugs just in case you feel this could be a problem for you. But you should know this going in, I mean it is a bed and breakfast and they do have a family.

You really can’t go wrong with your stay here, just know what to expect. We are so glad we decided to stay at the Hale Puka Ana and that we stayed on the west side of the island instead of the “busier” side. It’s only about a 45 minute drive to get to that side! 
 
 
Wedding Officiant – Julie D. Wirtz

My husband and I neither one wanted to be married by an individual of religious background. I did a lot of researching and found Julie D. Wirtz. I reviewed her website, spoke with her on the phone and knew instantly she was the one. I felt her cost was appropriate and she was going to take care of everything for us. When we met her our 2nd day on the island she graciously helped us decide on the location and sat with us for about 45 minutes outside a little wine shop to get to know us better. The day of our wedding she had NAILED our vows. I actually had them printed on canvas and they hang in our living room now.

We wanted to get married in God’s temple, not the brick and mortar buildings others choose to get married in. God created Kauai with a special intent and we wanted to enjoy it’s majesty entirely. She captured that in our entire ceremony. I can’t begin to describe to you how absolutely appropriate it was, she was wonderful. You can watch and hear here in our video below.
 

Photographer – James Rubio

Ohhh I can’t even believe I have to write a bad review about our photographer, James Rubio. When we decided Hawaii would be the location for our wedding he was one of the first people I spotted, I HAD to have him take my photos. It was not even negotiable. Our parents were already helping so much so I decided I would put the money away to pay for him to capture our wedding day. He was easy to work with via the internet, he was also friendly on the phone, and when we met him in person he was just as sweet. Maybe a little timid but I won’t judge his personality. A few weeks after he photographed the wedding we received the images and I kept clicking through them hoping to see the magic I had seen on his website and Facebook page from other clients. I didn’t see it…… I had to click back through them again to get a good luck at some of the images and I bit my tongue a little because there were some great shots but I didn’t feel the magic that I did when looking through his portfolio. We did have a discussion about this and he did make some alterations to a few photos. We also look back at our pictures and find that we were looking at each other a lot or kissing during the photos. I wish he would have given us a bit more direction in terms of poses or to ask us to look at camera more. another reason I decided to have some additional photos taken later on. We wanted some where we were looking at camera.

My biggest complaint was that a few months later I tried to enlarge his photos (I had signed permission from him). I couldn’t enlarge anything over 8.5×11!!!!!! I was absolutely furious. He had not taken the images in HD or something. So there I was stuck with photos I had paid big money for and I couldn’t even enlarge them. We ended up having a smaller session back home with a friend, the images were just as good and we could blow them up for a large print in our bedroom. You can view some of those images here.

Overall very disappointed but we do have some very pretty images from our day.

 

Videographer – Techy 3 Studios

Now our videographers gave us an entirely different experience. We felt like we were in a reality television series and I’m not gonna lie it was awesome J. We met them the day before our wedding as we scoped out our ceremony location and they started filming me at the salon I got my hair done at the next day. Then, they followed us back to Hale Puka Ana, filmed my husband getting ready in one room and I in another. They captured the excitement of our families perfectly, especially as we were facetiming with our sisters back in Illinois. There were 4 videographers all who had very different but fun personalities. It was so much fun! We felt like they were old friends at the end of the night. I do in fact, still keep in touch with them. I guess you could say they were the groomsmen we didn’t have ;).

They also shortened our wait time to get our highlight video. They worked around the clock to ensure we would have it for our wedding reception back in Illinois just 3 weeks later. The day I received it I cried, everyone who has seen it since has cried. That magic I talked about earlier, this highlight reel oooooozed with it. It was even more special since our siblings, grandparents, and close friends weren’t there to witness our wedding ceremony. I was more than impressed with their professionalism and they made my disappointment from the photographer just about disappear. If there is one thing you need to drop money for it must be a video from Techy 3. You can watch our video HERE.

The one thing I was absolutely petrified about was my hair. How would I determine a salon to place my trust in on such an important day? I couldn’t have a practice updo done because, well I was in Illinois. I was going to have to bite the bullet and do my best to just research and trust my gut. Again, instinct kicked in and I knew I had found the right place just from one picture. Kristy’s salon had a sparkly chandelier, and like a bug to a bug zapper I knew this was the place. It also looked immaculate.

I met her briefly the day before my wedding. I showed her my idea, she assured me it was nor problem, played with my hair some and I was out the door. I was still incredibly scared it would be horrible but she did such a wonderful job. She was very pregnant and not overly happy by the amount of photographers and videographers in her salon but she dealt with it like a champ and kept me calm ensuring me my hair would turn out perfect, and it did. You can see my hair and some of the salon in the video above.

Oahu

I don’t want to discuss this island, I cried our first night there, I was miserable. There were SO many people, our hotel was like it’s own island it was huge. There were stores everywhere, buses, it was dirty, EW. Not the Hawaiian I had just come from over in Kauai and definitely not the Hawaii I’d seen in movies. I don’t think I could stay there again and if I did I would do a lot more research.

Oahu Hotel- Hilton Hawaiian Village

If you like huge hotels this is for you, the place is ginormous. The line to check in took forever and it was easy to get disoriented. There were a lot of children with their families which is fine if that’s the kind of environment you want but we were a couple on our honeymoon. Our travel agent said it came highly recommended and we went with it. If I could have a do over I would have tried to find a hotel myself that was more adult friendly.


If you’re trying to plan a wedding in Kauai please let me know I am always available to talk more in detail about some of the places I looked into before choosing the places and people above. Good luck and Mahalo!



 
Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem —
Laci Jane
 


Just Your Every Day Girl

So the other day I just got ready for work like any other day except my hair hadn’t been washed in a day or so and I was rushed so I just threw on some minimalist jewelry, a cute dress, my big clunky belt, and some wedges and ran out the door. Of course on the day I do almost nothing to myself I would get several compliments on my appearance! I guess it just proves that sometimes just keeping it simple is good enough! Dress- Body Central (which closed in our town which really sucks), Shoes- Not Rated, I THINK I ordered them off of like cutesyshoes.com like 3 or 4 years ago, Belt- also Body Central, and to me the best part about my outfit is the necklace. That was my Christmas gift from my husband, something to remind me about each member of my family, and the title of the song that was playing for our first dance.

That’s all I have for you today!

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem ~
Laci-Jane

A Fashionable Diaper Bag that’s Helping a Community

I searched high and low for the PERFECT diaper bag and much to my dismay I wasn’t finding anything that I felt “fit” me. I wanted something that I could carry as a purse and as a diaper bag. Something that wasn’t bulky and that I could wear and feel comfortable carrying.

One evening as I was scouring Pinterest I ran across the Better Life Bags. The Emily bag was perfect! The concept is similar to Thirty One but who wants a bag that looks like everyone elses? NOT ME! They allowed me to customize my own bag and get it exactly the way I wanted it. 

But you see,  none of this is the reason that I decided to purchase my diaper bag from them. I was actually more impressed with their mission. “We hire women, who otherwise could not work, to work for us. We pay them a living wage and watch them gain dignity, honor, and respect. Watch our video here. We also give 10% of our monthly GROSS income to low income entrepreneurs in developing countries through Kiva.org” (Rebecca, Better Life Bags).

When I received my bag there was even a little note from Rebecca and a signature of the individual charged with crafting my beloved little bag. Did this woman even know how excited I was about this bag? No, she has no idea how much I love it and appreciate her work, her art.

I have been using the bag for 3 months now and it has been wonderful. It holds everything I need, has 2 side pockets that I use to put my keys and cell phone in and a back pocket that I will throw my wallet in. No need to even lug a purse around, I’ve got everything I need and the best part is that no one knows it could quite possibly be holding a pair of poop stained pants, a stinky diaper, or half chewed on snacks!

So thank you Rebecca at Better Life Bags for all that you do for your community. I LOVE my bag.

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem–
Laci Jane