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Monday, July 28, 2014

20 Things Husbands of Bloggers Need to Know!

Happy Monday Y'all!  I am so excited to be teaming up with the lovely Samantha from It's All In The Details today!  Since I just got married, and she is tying the knot really soon {I'm pretty positive I will be crashing her wedding... I mean, she doesn't know it but I've already got my name down on the waiting list!} we figured we should give the hubbies a crash course on they can expect as the husband of a blogger.  

Oh, and where are my manners?!  Welcome to all of Samantha's readers!  It's so wonderful to have you here today!  You can learn a little more about me here, here and here.  Even if you have already seen this post over on her blog - may I recommend you scroll down to the very bottom because I have a little awesome giveaway happening!  {How does some new makeup and a consult with a professional makeup artist sound to you?  Yeah... I thought so!  So scroll on down and get yourself entered!}

And now, without further ado...


20 Things Husbands of Bloggers Need to Know


My answers are the first ten. 

1  //  Yes, we do have to snap a picture of everything we eat, in all the phases of prepping, cooking, and eating.  You never know when it will be mentioned in a post.

2  //  Don't think we are crazy when we ask you to go click on our sponsored post to get your own free sample of pads.  A girls gotta get her clicks in.

3  //  Yes, we can be best friends with people across the country that we never talk to on the phone, never mind hang out with in person.  Don't think I'm off my rocker.  They do exist.

4  //  It's okay to refer to them (see no. 3) as my "Blog-friends" at home.  But in public, please refer to them as their real names. 

5  //  Bloglovin is my equivalent of your Car Club Forum.  Get in the know.

The Husband Behind the Blog

6  //  When we ask you to take 27 pictures of us in the same outfit with slightly different poses, don't question us.  Just do it.  And please avoid the angles that give me a double chin. 

7  //  Sometimes we just have to do fun things together because I don't have anything cool to blog about at that moment.  Is that a problem?

8  //  You're a pretty big part of my life.  No, I cannot not mention you on the blog.   

9  //  Yes, both of our moms read my blog.  No, I cannot block them.    

10  //  We appreciate your support.  Blogging may be the weirdest thing to you but it's something we love.  Your kind words and compliments about a post we wrote is worth more than 42 comments from blog-friends and strangers.  


And now Samantha's 10. 


11  //  Your food might be cold by the time you eat it because we have to take 97 different pictures of it for our blog. That's why we have a microwave.

12  //  Your bank account might see an extra dip in it every so often when we just have to have that dress/planner/wine tumbler we saw in a blogger's post today.

13  //  You're going to be blog famous. Just pretend that excites you.

14  //  We might ask you if it's ok to invite blog friends to our wedding. Say yes.

15  //  We're going to start speaking in a language you definitely won't understand - i.e. blate, link-ups, guest posts.


Bloggers Husbands Need to know...

16  //  We will speak about people we've never met like we've known them a lifetime. Learn their names.

17  //  You might be asked to take 36 pictures of us in the same dress more than once. Just smile and do it.

18  //  Yes. We do NEED that pretty & expensive new blog design.

19  //  Your vacations will likely be planned around recommendations from complete strangers. Make sure to get your request in early.

20  //  No, you cannot tell us to exclude you from blog posts. That's part of the wedding vows.


So what did we miss?  What else does my hubbie and Samantha's hubbie-to-be need to know?   

Again, thank you so much to Samantha's readers for stopping by today!  Our giveaway started on Friday but you have until August 1 to enter!  If you want all the giveaway deats I recommend you click here.  If you don't care and you just want to win, you know the drill:




Friday, July 25, 2014

Oh hey, Friday! Makeup and a Giveaway!

I will be the first to tell you that my skin care and makeup knowledge is the worst.  I'm pretty positive that there are 5 year old girls who know more and do more to prevent wrinkles than I do.  Getting married and getting old has made me really start pondering things though.  Things like: Does being 30 mean I should look like I know how to wear makeup?  What the heck are crows feet and is this something I should be worried about?  When do I start wearing lip color, for the first time ever?  
 
When I got married, I partnered up with one of my favorite wedding vendors, Best Face Forward, located here in Virginia - and had the pleasure of meeting and working with one of their lead makeup artists Susanne!  Despite the fact that I have bucked the system and I still only wash my face on a whim {lies Susanne... all lies...} she taught me what I was doing right, doing wrong, and how I can embrace "30, flirty and thriving" with clear skin and non-80's-prom style makeup.  
 
 
Today we are linking up with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife for Oh hey, Friday!  I am pumped and ready to share a few awesome things that I've learned and now use from Susanne - AND - stick around because you're really gonna like NUMBER FIVE.  Wink wink.


Gals - the lipgloss.  It has a flashlight on it!  Need I say more!?  If Jack Bauer wore lip gloss he would be carrying this handy tool with him all the time.  And yes - I do need to say more... I never ever wear lip color of any sort because my lips ALWAYS dry out from them.  Not with this stuff though!  There aren't many products that I will 100% swear by, but this stuff I will!  By the way, there's something in it for the men too... this lip gloss has a wonderful minty kick to it that the husband appreciates also! ;)  




{You could be rocking light up lip gloss too - keep going down to number 5!}


Once a week there is a very enjoyable shower on my calendar.  Wait - that sounds weird.  Don't go there.  Because what I'm talking about is my once a week Microdermabrasion Scrub.  

It is Ah - wait for it - Mazing!  I use this once a week.  I hop in the shower, do my thing, and scrub my face.  When I hop out - my skin looks so radiant it like I have makeup on!  It's clean and clear and fresh.  I have never had the professional stuff done - but who needs to pay the big bucks when I promise you will love the results for this.  And seriously - the product lasts forever.   



During part of my initial consult with Susanne she told me how my skin clarity was okay, she stuck me into some machine that showed the sun spots on my face {totally freaking me out!} and she told me that I drink too much wine {i.e. I don't drink enough water.}  My skin is really dry.  She set me up with a Hydrating Foundation.  Honestly, I didn't use it for about 6 months after she gave it to me.  I was a-okay with the stuff I had been using.  But then my stuff ran out and I was too poor at the moment to buy it's replacement.  So I gave Susanne's product a go... and now there's no turning back.

Because my skin is so dry, the fact that this foundation not only conceals things I want hidden but it hydrates my skin AND it has SPF 20 built in - it's an across the board win.  {This could be yours - keep going down to number 5!}



 Now, I can't believe I am about to put this out here like this... but I really struggle with luggage under my eyes.  Not just bags... I have luggage.  You know, that you-always-look-so-tired darkness underneath your eyes?  Yup.  Even if I have slept for 4 days straight, I will still have dark bags under my eyes.

So Susanne asked if I would be a guinea pig for her.  Apparently not many folks are willing to try a product out for 3 weeks, but only on one side of their face.  {I'm probably crazy} but of course I said yes.

I have only been using a tiny sample of the Youth Xtend Enriching Eye Cream for the past 10 days underneath my right eye.  My plan is to try it out for 3 solid weeks, just underneath the one eye.  Here is a picture of my 7 day mark {with no makeup on, of course} :



Can you see the difference? Because I sure as heck can!  By the time I've made it to week three, I have this crazy feeling it will look like I was punched in my left eye.  {You could win a sample of this stuff too... read number 5!}

Okay okay - so you made is all the way down here to good ole number five.  It's giveaway time friends!  Susanne is in the process of building her business just like most of us are building our blogs.  I asked her if there was anyway for us to collaborate and she was extremely excited to have the chance to share some of her products with you!  First of all, ALL 2 CATS & CHLOE READERS can get a LIFETIME 10% DISCOUNT in her store if you FOLLOW HER ON INSTAGRAM and tag me {@2catsandchloe} in one of her posts.  How incredibly easy is that?!  And you don't have to buy from her today!  You can save your pennies because it's 10% off for a LIFETIME!  
 
And for one lucky reader - You know there drill!  There are several ways below that you can get yourself entered to win!  But what is it that you are actually winning?  One lucky person {located in the USA} will be winning:

1  //  One Artistry Light up Lip Gloss {color to be determined by winner}
 
2 //  One Artistry Liquid Foundation {either Balancing or Hydrating Formula depending on winner's skin type}
 
3 //  A one week's supply of the Artistry Youth Xtend Skin Care {which includes the eye creme I have been using}
 
4  //  A ONE HOUR Consult with Susanne {a professional makeup artist!} where you will discuss skin care, makeup use, and even a virtual makeover!  
 


Winner must be in the USA.  You don't have to be a blogger to win.  There will only be one winner.  But you're all winners in my book.

Holler at me if you have any Q's because I may have some A's.  Happy Friday y'all!  And don't forget to get your lifetime 10% off!


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All of the thoughts above are 100% my own.  I was not gifted anything for this post.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Who actually sleeps in hotels?

So I spent my last couple of days in Nova {Northern Virginia for those of y'all that aren't familiar with our stellar state slang.}  The corporate office for my marketing job is based up there, so once a month I make the 3 hour commute to work.  Now, I am pumped to be working from home most of the time.  But every now and then it is great to put on something other than yoga pants, actually sport some makeup, and submerge myself in the corporate world.  It rejuvenates me and I honestly enjoy co-workers that don't hop on my desk, put my pen in their mouths, and run away with it.  


Cat with Pen on Desk


But when your trainee is fired 2 hours into the 2 day training session you created for him, and drama ensues, being in the office had me speeding home early today, reminded why I like working from home, on my own little island so much.   First thing I did when I got home: I hung up {read: threw on the floor} my business clothes and immediately put on my sports bra before getting back to work - while Ladies of London bickered in the background, of course.

As I briefly mentioned in yesterday's post about Aunt Flo, I ended up almost hotel-less on Tuesday.  I had reservations before I arrived.  Reservations as in gut reservations.  As in, I should've gone with my gut and called ahead.  I did have real hotel reservations too.  But apparently the hotel didn't have my reservation.  Have I used the word reservation enough yet?  No?  At least I wasn't staying on an Indian Reservation.  There.  Now I've used it enough.

So I got to the hotel.  I did what good wives do when they are checking into strange hotels without their spouses, I called the hubs to tell him I made it safe and sound.  I even said "gosh I hope they still have my room, this parking lot is really full."  I shlepped all my belongings into the hotel lobby, and smiled pleasantly as I spell my new last name for them 4 times.  And then I heard the dreaded "we're so sorry but..." At which point I tuned out.  {Seriously - what's up with my reservations about reservations these days?}

Unlucky for me, there was something wild and crazy going on in Chantilly, Virginia on Tuesday night.  I kid you not, every single room, in every single hotel was booked.  And it's not like we are in Mayberry!  Friends, we are just outside of Washington DC.  There are hundreds of hotels.  {Apparently hundreds of overbooked hotels.}  Due to the fact that THEY lost my reservation - THEY had to find me a new room.  After about 35 minutes they found one, 2 cities over.  So I was sent on my not-so-merry-way, 30 minutes {without traffic} from my office, to a strange hotel, in an area I was not familiar with.

 
Things you shouldn't think about when trying to sleep...

 
Last night, when I was hunkering down in my 2-ish star hotel my brain started going a mile a minute.  Do you know how many things you really shouldn't think about if you want a good night's sleep in a hotel?!  So so many.  Buckets and buckets of haunting things.

What do bloggers do when they can't sleep?  They think about blogging.  So at 12:23AM I started compiling a list of things that you shouldn't be thinking about if you want to successfully sleep in a hotel.  I feel like it would be doing you a disservice if I didn't share this sleepily written list with you.  So let me do the honors and present the official Don't-think-about-this-if-you-want-to-sleep-in-a-strange-hotel List:
  

Things you shouldn't think about when trying to sleep in a hotel...

 
1  //  I wonder who has slept in this bed before me...

2  //  I wonder who has touched this tv remote before.  Wait where did that remote end up? Ew it's in the sheets!

3  //  Bugs bugs bugs!  Maybe I should look under the headboard to make sure they aren't hiding there. 

4  //  Did I wear shoes when I walked across the hotel room?  Wait - should I be wearing my shoes when I shower here?

5  //  Holy crap!  Did I accidentally move the $9 handful of skittles or the $19 bottle of water in the pay-per-move mini fridge?

6  //  I wonder if anyone famous has ever slept in this room before...

7  //  Did I deactivate my room key when it touched my cell phone?  What if there's a fire alarm?  What if the power goes out?  What if someone knocks on my door and says "Houseeee Keepinggg" but they really aren't the house keeper?

8  //  What's that noise?  I bet it was a bug...

9  //  I wonder how often they wash this top blanket?  Do they even wash this top blanket?  Okay, the top Booger Blanket is going on the floor.  OMG it's freezing in here!  

10  //  I'm hungry.  How much were those 15 skittles again?

Hopefully, when you are laying in your next hotel room, you can reference this list and NOT think about all of the above.  I'm just here to serve!  {But you know what happens when someone tells you not to think about something...}  Wink Wink. 

What am I missing?  What drives you crazy when you aren't sleeping in your own bed? 

Until next time... Sleep tight friends! 


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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Aunt Flo Wasn't Invited (Plus a Free Sample!)

Happy Wednesday Girls!  I am on the road for work this week but wanted to stop in for a little Wedding Wednesday action!  But there's a catch.  Since I'm not at home {and was almost hotel-less last night! A story I will share another day...} I decided I would do a Wildcard Wedding Wednesday post rather than just simply dragging you down good ole memory lane, recollecting my day full of love and glitter.
   
So today, I'm letting you in on a little secret:  
   
Me, the crazy, OCD wedding planner that I am... I was even concerned with *GASP* my undies (!!) on my wedding day!  
   
But seriously?!  Who isn't!? 
   
Of all days in your life... you may really want to put some thought into your wedding undies.
   
I know, I know.  TMI right?  But let's be real.  There's a lot of planning that goes into your wedding day... And we can't forget what to wear, under there!  I was super thankful that my bachelorette gals threw me a mini lingerie bash.  I stocked up and I didn't even have to go shopping!  {Because bra and underwear shopping is almost as bad as spending the day at the DMV.  Am I right?}
   
Target Bridal Underwear
Cute and Comfy, via Target. 
  
Bride Boxers from Target
Getting ready, Lounge Worthy.  Via Target.
  
Wedding Underwear from Target
Or something lacy and sexy?  Again, via Target.
  
The whole point {other than saying our i do's and marrying the man we love, of course} is that we want to look our finest, feel the prettiest we can possibly feel, and spend our wedding day on cloud nine as a confident, married lady, who is ready to party!  That doesn't just happen with the gown.  It includes the earrings, the veil, the garter, and the undies.  
  

 Kotex


Kotex Save the Undies 3D Capture

   
I would like to introduce you to the new U by Kotex® Ultra Thin Pads with 3D Capture Core. What does all that mean?!  It means that these pads have a one-of-a-kind center that locks away wetness to help stop leaks. They are perfect for protecting your wedding white undies, not to mention your wedding gown!  They allow you to spend your day having fun and tying the knot without worrying about your crazy ole Aunt Flo crashing the reception.


   Kotex in Bridal Bag
   
U by Kotex® would like to help you SAVE YOUR {wedding} UNDIES!  So how about a free sample to toss into your bridal bag?  Just click over here: Free Sample of U by Kotex Pads
   

New Kotex Pads #Savetheundies


And as a social media junkie, I can't wrap up this blog post without mentioning that I'm pretty obsessed with their witty hashtag:  #savetheundies
  
So gals, answer me this - what did you, or what will you be wearing {under there} on your wedding day?  
{Or do I not want to know?!}
  
I promise I will be back next Wednesday with some of my favorite reception photos for you!  If you want to catch up on some of the past, glitter filled, Wedding Wednesday Posts you can see them here.
  
As always, I'm linking up with these lovely gals:
Wedding Wednesday
NC Belle In Boots
  
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Many thanks to U by Kotex for sponsoring today's post.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Whole30 Approved Taco Seasoning (and Salad!)

As the #2catsWhole30 Train pushes through Day 2, I really wanted to try to get some of my favorite recipes out here for y'all.  I can't wait to show everyone how GOOD clean eating really can be.  

Mexican-American food {i.e. TexMex} is unfortunately an extreme comfort food of mine.  Give me some chips, salsa and guacamole and I'm a happy girl.  97% of our date nights revolve around Chipotle.  And when it comes to spicy food, the hotter the better.

Now, just because you've jumped head first into the paleo world with the Whole30 doesn't mean you have to give up your Mexican food.  {Well, those chips, tortillas, and queso sauces - yes. But give me this one recipe to convince you that you can still enjoy a good Taco Salad (minus the chips) and eat clean at the same time!}

2 Cats & Chloe:  Whole30, Paleo Taco Salad

Whole30 Approved Taco Seasoning


Ingredients:

For the Seasoning:

1 teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon of Onion Powder
1 Teaspoon of Cumin
3/4 Teaspoon of Sea Salt
1 Teaspoon of Smoked Paprika
1 Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper

1 pound of Grass-Fed Ground Beef (you could always do ground turkey or chicken also)
1/2 Cup of Water

For the Salad Fixings I use:

Sliced Cherry Tomatoes
Lettuce (Iceberg or Romaine are the best for a Taco Salad, but I just use whatever we have in the fridge)
Peppers and Onions (I use frozen ones from Trader Joes)
Salsa (no added sugar)

Feel free to add any other taco salad essentials that you love - but to keep it whole30 and paleo, stay away from the chips, cheese, and salsa with added sugar.


Paleo and Whole30 Taco Salad Seasoning



This is going to be one of the easiest paleo meals you will ever make.  Basically you need to collect the necessary seasonings and brown the meat.  Once the meat is browned, you are going to pour the seasoning blend onto the meat.  Add the 1/2 cup of water.  Mix everything up really well so that the seasoning is blended throughout.  Put the seasoned taco meat on low and let the water simmer out.  Continue to check in on it though, stirring and mixing it every couple of minutes.


Paleo Taco Salad Peppers and Onions


At the same time, in a different skillet, it's time to start cooking the peppers and onions!  Like I said - this is a go-to easy meal for me.  To help keep it simple, I use the frozen Trader Joe's Fire Roasted Peppers and Onions.  Toss them in the pan and let them cook right up.  Again, flip them around every now and then until they are not frozen and appear soft.  (You could definitely use fresh peppers and onions as well!  This bag of tricks is much quicker and less expensive than fresh peppers are right now though.)


Taco Salad that is Whole30 Approved


I like to put my lettuce on the bottom of the plate.  For Taco Salad, I prefer iceberg or romaine lettuce.  But we had neither.  So I used whatever was in the fridge.  On top of the lettuce went my peppers and onions.  On top of that the beef and any other "taco toppings of choice."  


Homemade Paleo Whole30 Taco Salad


I always wonder if pro-foodie bloggers' kitchens end up as messy as mine does... Don't let the pretty food pictures fool you.  My kitchen is a hot mess!


Taco Seasoning that is Whole30 approved!


To me, the salsa and guacamole are the cherry on top of this taco sundae.  Pop a few spoonfuls of each on top of your taco salad creation and then dig in!

Whole30 and Paleo Approved Taco Salad and Seasoning

Give it a shot and let me know what you think!  What taco toppings do you love? 

Happy clean-eating!



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