Monday, July 17, 2017

Planning the Perfect Proposal [5 Tips & Our Engagement Story]

If you guys follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you know back in May, my longtime (and I mean 5 years-LONGtime) boyfriend proposed while we were in New York City for our yearly anniversary/ birthday trip!
Before Thomas ever proposed, I knew he would far surpass all the "cute proposal ideas" I had saved to Pinterest over the years, and would make the proposal of my dreams look silly compared to the one he was going to give me. It's just his thing. He's meticulous, and regimented, and more than anything, incredibly detail oriented. This is the guy who looked at my Pinterest when we were first dating to get good gift ideas for me- he is what dreams are made of y'all! That being said, long before we ever got engaged, I knew I wanted to share his ideas on how to create the perfect proposal. 
Here are Thomas' 5 tips for a perfect proposal:
1. Do it when it feels right to you, and only you, to make it as special as it can be.
People are going to ask. They're going to ask you ALL. THE. TIME. Don't do it just because people are pressuring you. Wait until the time is not only right for you, but for both of you, and until you're able to give her the ring she really wants. You want it to be special.
2. Pick a place that sums up your relationship. 

I choose Central Park in New York City because we are a traveling couple and it is our travels that makes us feel the most happy. I think the best spot to do it for each couple is somewhere that you guys both love, or a theme that really fits your relationship. 
3. Tell your families at the latest moment possible to avoid spoiling it. 

I told both of our moms, and of course they promised not to tell anyone, but of course, everyone knew (including Tiff's nail lady, hah!). If you want to keep it secret, tell the least amount of people and wait until the very end to tell those few people. It will help keep it from getting out to her. If you're wanting a proposal where you are involving friends or family, obviously this would be even harder! Just keep it on a need to know basis. 
4. Say what you are feeling in the moment, instead of coming up with a rehearsed speech. 

I believe this is the best advice I can give someone who is looking for the perfect proposal. Trying to remember a speech will make you way way more nervous. Once you get down on that knee your heart will be pounding and you just say what you're feeling. It'll make it easier and more genuine if you speak from the heart in that moment.
5. Get it on camera to have the memory forever in print. 
If at all possible this is a BIGGEST one for the perfect proposal, especially in a girls eyes. If you can get it on camera or video she will be so thrilled! It will only add to how great the proposal can be.  Whether you set up your own GoPro, have a friend hiding in the bushes, or hire a photographer, just do it, SHE WILL THANK YOU! I'm so glad we were able to get a picture of our proposal to have for the rest of our lives to show our kids, their kids and whoever else. 

Using these five tips when you are proposing is sure to help you have the most perfect proposal!

If you aren't feeling any sappy love stories, you can stop reading now. But if you are in the mood for a couple of sappy love stories, here is our engagement story, written from both perspectives!

Her Story:
I should probably preface this by saying 1- it was SO hot when we got to New York, and 2- I get so cranky when I am hot and hungry. So..... Our flight finally landed in New York, we had been up since 3 AM and I was exhausted! Honestly all I wanted to do was get our bags and take a little 30 minute power nap and grab some lunch so we could explore the city on a full tank of energy! Thomas was rushing me to get our bags, and rushing me to get in line for the taxis! I knew the taxi ride was going to be rough, hello, I get car sickness from sitting in the backseat for five minutes! I knew our ride into the city was going to be brutal! And the heat! Oh my goodness, the heat! It was hotter there, then it was at home, in Texas! 
We finally got a taxi, and finally made it to our apartment in East Village, and I was nauseous, exhausted, and hungry! After a few minutes of getting our things settled, and switching from my purse to a backpack, we were ready to go. But before we left, I realized I needed to put something else on the backpack, but Thomas wouldn't let me even attempt to open it (HASHTAG OBLIVIOUS) which I totally attributed to all of his rushing. Nonetheless, we rushed out the door, with the promise that we would get food somewhere close to Central Park! 
It took what felt like forever to get our subway passes but we finally got on the subway and rode it two stops further than needed (first timers, duh), and seeing as how our first try didn't go so well, and I was even more nauseous at this point, we both decided it was best to get off the subway and walk in to the park! The first thing we saw when we got off of the Subway was The MET! I was completely enamored, but Thomas was having nothing of it, and rushed us past it.
We had both been in sandals for most of the day, thankfully we switched to tennis shoes to go into the park, but my feet were still killing me! AND if you haven't noticed, Thomas is almost a full foot taller than me, which means his legs are much longer than mine, and he walks 10 times as fast as I do. 
So we continued walking practically running to the park, just to get to "some dumb bridge!" We stood around taking pictures for a minute, and finally found someone to take our picture, so we didn't just have a bunch of selfies of us! The lady went on and on about how she hated when people took pictures from far away, so she wanted to stay up close. Which I was totally fine with! Thomas handed her my phone, and pulls the backpack off my back and starts to rummage through it as if he needed something out of there (STILL OBLIVIOUS). As we were standing there taking the pictures, and my head was on Thomas' chest (our normal pic stance) I literally felt his heart beating out of his chest! 
Two thoughts ran through my mind, either this boy is about to have a seizure (he was epileptic as a little boy and the thought of a seizure often floats in to my mind), or he knew something I didn't know....
The lady handed us back my phone, and asked if the pictures are OK, and of course I told her they were fine without even really looking at them. But Thomas immediately looked up at her and asked her if she could take a few farther back. I hand her back the phone, and attempted to step back into my place where we had just been standing, but as I turned to see were Thomas had gone, I turned right in to him, down on one knee! At that moment, I felt like MY heart was going to jump out of MY chest! I was shaking so hard, I couldn't even focus on what Thomas was saying, I just knew this was the part I was supposed to say "yes!" And I did!
His Story:
Flight had just landed in New York City and I was nervous as hell! Not that she would say no, but that she would notice the ring before we got to Central Park, or we wouldn't make it in time to do it and FaceTime our moms. 
We got our bags pretty quick and walked to get a taxi. After about 10 minutes in the taxi line we finally got one. An hour and 15 minutes later we made it to our Airbnb in East Village. In the few minutes she was in the bathroom, I was trying to figure out how to get the ring box and ring from my backpack to hers without her noticing. I was trying to put it in anything that would keep it discreet, like my sunglasses case, her makeup bag, etc and finally I just tucked it in the bottom of the bag. 
I was so nervous but totally under control. I was trying to get us outta there without being noticeable that I was rushing us to get to Central Park by a certain time. 
We made it to the subway station and after a few tries we finally bought our 7 day subway passes and were on the subway, moving on the 4 train headed uptown. Our first subway ride and all I could think about was what was about to happen when we got there. Without noticing, we accidentally got off the subway at 86th St. but we needed 77th St so then came the walking in the 95 degree heat. We were headed back south on 5th toward the MET and she was SO excited about the MET and I'm kept telling her "no we gotta go we gotta get to the park soon"! 
By now it was about 2:45 and I was getting worried because both of our moms took a long lunch together in Dallas so they could be waiting for us to FaceTime them, together, after our engagement. We finally got in the park, passed the Loeb Boathouse, saw the rowboats, and were in love with Central Park already! 
I was trying to get us to the Bow Bridge, and we could see it but I didn't think we were going to make it all the way over there, so we got to the Bethesda Fountain, and I decided that was the best spot. I was thinking about all the movies this Fountain was in, and how amazing it was. I told her I needed to get something out of her bag, so I quickly got it out and shoved the box down, in to my pocket and was holding it for dear life. 
I kept telling her we needed to get someone to take our picture and for about 5 minutes we had no luck because no on around us seemed to speak English. Finally we saw two ladies walking through the area and we asked them to take our picture. They said of course, and we began to pose. The ladies are taking some photos and they were talking about how they preferred people taking photos up close versus far away, so they were taking them pretty close. 
My heart was about to explode at this point and I was sweating so much from the heat and the nervousness and the death grip I had on the ring box. The ladies were about to hand the phone back to us and I was telling myself "don't blow the chance" so I asked the ladies if they could take a couple more photos from further back, even though I knew they had just talked about close up photos being better... 
I stepped back, behind Tiff and the two ladies gasp as they saw me pull out the box, and oh my God, all of these other people ran up and started taking pictures and Tiff turns around I am on a knee with the ring out (I had the box turned around, the wrong direction, true to my fashion, so I just left it there) and I just said "I love you with all my heart and I want to spend the rest of my life with you, will you marry me?" 
Tiff was then shaking out of control at the shock of it all! She said yes, and I put the ring on! Everyone around us was looking at the ring and we had a mini celebration with complete strangers around the Bethesda Fountain admiring the ring and how everything played out. Tiff was still shaking and could not stop smiling! I was so excited and still trying to grasp how perfect it was! We FaceTimed our moms and they were just excited as us and we could not wait to celebrate with them when we got back! I kept thinking to myself "what a start to the trip! I just made the best decision of my life and now the trip for sure is going to be the best trip we could ever imagined!" A trip of a lifetime and a trip that will always be on my mind and in my heart!

Did you have a perfect engagement story too? I wanna hear about it! Leave me a comment with your engagement story!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Cheap Double Date Night Ideas

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #ServeWithACoke #CollectiveBias 
As a young 20 something enjoying fun, easy, and cheap date nights at home are so important! When my bestie told me she was moving 10 miles from me (versus the 55 she lived before) I knew we were going to soon be implementing a whole lot of movie/hang out nights together! 
We've been best friends since we were 12, so nights like these were all to easy when we were younger and lived a mile apart. Now that we are older, we both value our friendship (and our men) so having chill date nights with our guys, is one of the easiest things to do. 
When all four of us have crazy busy schedules and planning date nights out aren't always possible, turning to a date night in with Coca-Cola™ and Tombstone pizza from Dollar General!


It's not easy to make a group of four (or more) happy for under $5 but with the digital coupon for $1 off a Tombstone pizza and 1.25L Coca-Cola, it's oh SO easy! Here's a few of my favorite date night ideas for a small group that all involve a little Coca Cola and a delicious Tombstone pizza!
When planning date nights in (or out) it's so nice to be able to pull together a meal for under $5!
1. Doing a home project together while sharing a super easy meal
Bestie just get a new house that has a few at home projects that need to be done? Maybe one of you guys just moved and you need a night in to help the other unpack, or tackle a DIY project! This one is almost too perfect because you can bond, make lasting memories and enjoy some delicious drinks and bites!
2. Movies & Chill with a super easy dinner
Having movie night is one of my most favorite things to do. After a long day, or week, or month, being able to just hang out with friends and enjoy a movie in is fabulous. Alternating who brings the movie and who brings the food is always a good idea, variety is the spice of life!
3. Grabbing a coupon for a Local Adventure or other discount pass and eating pizza at home before going on the adventure
Hello! $5 dinners are the bomb. The only thing better is grabbing a discount pass for an adventurous night out for super cheap as well! After enjoying a Coke and Tombstone pizza from Dollar General, enjoying a fun escape room or other cheap outing with Groupon makes for an awesome date night.
4. Host a game night in with Coca-Cola and Tombstone
Who doesnt love a night of friendly competition, drinks, and pizza? Enough said!
5. A couples picnic with pizza, drinks and games in a fun park.
Are there actually people in this world who don't enjoy picnics? Just curious. Because I am so not one of those people. I always opt for the non-traditional picnic meal options, and try to find the craziest park possible! Especially during warmer months, there are so many fun festivals or concerts in the park. Consider packing your pizza up in cute tupperware, pouring a nice cold glass of Coke in your tumbler and heading to listen to some live music. Sometimes, getting out of the house can totally change the mood!
The next time you're in the mood for a cheap and quick meal, be sure to stop in at Dollar General and grab a delicious Tombstone pizza and Coca-Cola! You can use THIS COUPON for $1 off! 

What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy a cheap date night in?


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Monday, May 15, 2017

10 Best Beauty Products Worth Traveling With

I'm such a minimalist when it comes to traveling... I want to take as few things with me as I can. Not only because when we fly, I always check my bag and can't stand all the over-weight charges, but I also hate having to find a place for all of my stuff once we get to our destination. Now, by this, I definitely don't mean I only bring one pair of underwear and two outfits for a week long stay, but I try (my hardest) not to bring anything that I don't consider an essential for traveling.
Before you read my list, please understand I am a skeptic. I will try any product at least once, but I am always skeptical of how it will work, or if it will even work for me. If I am recommending you a product, it's because I have used it for a long time and know it's worth recommending!

1. Rodan+Fields Enhancements Lash Boost You guys. This stuff is straight from heaven. It is magic, witchcraft, something from the gods! I had never heard of this stuff this time last year, and now I can't live without it! I use it every night, and I might lose my mind if I forgot it while traveling.
I started using this little tube of magic in January and my eyelashes have had SIGNIFICANT growth and I get so many compliments on them now. I know I boast that I love being frugal, but this product is MORE than worth the money. It is amazing! And I've been using the same tube since January and I don't see it running out anytime soon.... So, even if it only lasts six months it's less than $1 per day, and I'd say that's a damn good deal!
2. Primer! I swear by the E.L.F. Color Correcting Primer! We take so many photos while traveling and I hate being able to see my pores or blemishes in photos! The E.L.F. Primer is so cheap and works SO well, I couldn't and wouldn't travel without it! I also love the POREfessional Primer from Benefit Cosmetics, but it's a little more pricey than the ELF primer!
3. Your favorite moisturizer! When traveling I always grab my Neutrogena Healthy Defense Moisturizer. I have such sensitive skin, the thought of getting too dry (or too oily) terrifies me. I never have any problems with this moisturizer and it always travels well!
4. Vaseline / 100% Petroleum Jelly I may or may not be a little crazy by recommending this, but you guys, you can't beat the basics when traveling. I take the little travel size of vaseline with me every time I travel. To me, vaseline is a classic product that can pretty much help with everything! Swipe a little on your lashes as a conditioner right before bed, put some on your lips, rub a little on your dry cuticles, the possibilities are endless!
5. Clarisonic Mia Have you caught on that I have problem skin? Well even if you don't have problem skin, this little tool is amazing! Traveling can be stressful and getting blemishes during travel is NOT something I enjoy. Being in different climates and environments is also one of the biggest things that clogs my pores, so having my Clarisonic with me is super important! The adorable carrying case makes packing it very easy!
6. Rodan + Fields Multi-Function Eye Cream Traveling = tons of photos, and no one likes seeing under eye bags in those photos! But sensitive skin = even more sensitive eye skin! I have tried a BILLION eye creams. And I've found one that doesn't make my eyes burn and actually helps with the under eye bags AND keeping the wrinkles at bay!
7. Eyebrow/ Face Razor I know what you're thinking... This girl is shaving her face... Not quite. I hate waxing, shaving and tweezing while traveling (and all the time). I've been using these little face razors for a while now, and they are totally amazing. When traveling, I'd SO MUCH rather spend my days exploring instead of shaving or tweezing, and these razors have allowed me to do that. I was skeptical at first, but the hair certainly grows back slower, thinner, and lighter- mind blown!
8. Travel Size Fragrance. Everyone enjoys smelling nice, and having a travel size of your favorite scent is always a good idea. I love the Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue for women travel size, and literally never go anywhere without it!
9. Self Tanning Wipes During the summer months, I love having a little extra color. These wipes are so easy to use and are compact and lightweight, so perfect for traveling! I also really like the Tan Towels Brand Self Tanning Wipes, they are just a little pricier than the L'Oreal wipes. Whenever one of those two fail me, or get a little streaky, OR if I have time to let dry, I reach for my Rodan+Fields Sunless tanner! This tanner has seriously saved me when I got a streaky spray tan and needed a little patching!
10. OGX Argan Oil Dry Oil Spray If you are anything like me, you like having pretty and healthy hair (who doesn't?). I 100% credit this spray for keeping my hair looking healthy between cuts! I give it a few sprays in the morning and a few at night, and it has my hair looking AND feeling heavenly. It always finds its way in to my toiletries bag!

    

What are some of your favorite beauty products that you just have to have when traveling?
This post contains affiliate links and links to third party products. To read about Savvy Southern Belle's affiliates please click here. As always, thank you for supporting the brands that support Savvy Southern Belle.
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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Unique AirBnBs in Texas

I've made my little love affair with AirBnB very clear on here, but I rarely share about some of the AWESOME AirBnB's I come across! With spring break and summer quickly approaching, I thought it would be fun to share some of the coolest and most unique AirBnb's that I've found while browsing the site (doesn't everyone put in random dates/times/locations when feeling a little wanderlust?)
I'm so not the kinda girl who likes to stay in the places that everyone knows about. I love finding the craziest, most unique little spots, and calling them mine! That is exactly what this list is! Tons of unique spots across The Great State of Texas that you've probably never heard of, but you're going to be dying to stay at after you do!
If you've never used or signed up for AirBnB, be sure to click the image below and get $40 off your first stay!

Austin, TX
Unique AirBnBs in Texas
Yurt Glamping
I am so in love with this little Yurt! Just east of Austin, behind a gorgeous barn is this little yurt. Don't let the simplicity of the yurt fool you, this place is full on GLAM! Perfect for escaping Austin for a few nights to enjoy the country.
Unique AirBnBs in Texas
Quaint Backhouse
Farm house sink. Enough said y'all. The Kitchen is what drew me to this spot, who doesn't love a pristine, clean, white kitchen? And at under $200 a night in Fredricksburg, who can beat that?
Unique AirBnBs in Texas
Modern Treehouse in Zilker 
Wanna stay in a tree house, minus all the bugs? This little humble abode in Zilker Park would be perfect! Walking distance to Zilker Park, Barton Springs Pool, Barton Creek Greenbelt, Ladybird Lake Hike and Bike Trail, restaurants, food trailers, coffee shops, juice bars, shopping and only a mile from downtown
Unique AirBnBs in Texas
Big family? Large group? Y'all this is THE spot! Just south of Austin is this adorable Victorian cabin that is perfect for lots and lots of people! Cheaper and way prettier than a hotel, who wouldn't want to stay here when traveling with the whole fam?
Unique AirBnBs in Texas
Howdy Haven Tipi
Want a tipi right in your back yard? For a party? Just for fun? Howdy Haven Tipi is a an "on demand" tipi that Jinny will bring out to whatever location you would like, set it up, and call it yours $150/ night! Where was this when I was 12 and wanted a "tribal" birthday party!?
Unique AirBnBs in Texas
Sunrise Tipi
Located just outside of Austin, in Marble Falls, TX, is Sunrise Tipi. The view alone of this spot has me wishing I was waking up there every morning. This Tipi is perfect for a couple looking for a little getaway or just some R&R!


San Antonio, TX
Unique AirBnBs in Texas
The Parker Broadway
If you enjoy the finer prettier things in life, The Parker Broadway is for you. This adorable little spot in San Antonio is perfect for a huge family, or a couple who enjoys the life of luxury!
Unique AirBnBs in Texas
The Texas Bell Glamping
Just north of San Antonio is The Texas Bell. A giant, air conditioned tent, perfect for a weekend of relaxing and enjoying nature! I follow this little gem on Instagram (@TheTexasBellGlamping) and the owners seem like the absolute sweetest couple in the world!
Unique AirBnBs in Texas
Cabins on Lost Lane
What really drew me to this spot was the GIANT tree running right through the middle of the house! That, paired with the incredible serenity surrounding this adorable little spot, I'm not sure how anyone could turn it down!

West Texas
Unique AirBnBs in Texas
Terlingua Mining Ruin
If straight up camping isn't exactly your thing (it's not ours either!) then you HAVE to check out this little gem outside of Big Bend National Park! While there is no AC, and everything is open, you have all the luxuries of being in a house, without the actual house.
Unique AirBnBs in Texas
Terelingua Fancy
Located in Terelingua, TX, just outside of Big Bend National Park is the Terelingua Fancy. It has a queen memory foam mattress and everything else you might think "glamping"would entail!
Unique AirBnBs in Texas
Tin Valley Blue Lizard Tipi
I'm all about the views, y'all! And having a nice, comfy place to sleep after spending the day hiking around a national park... Which means Tin Valley Blue Lizard AirBnB is pretty much my dream. Check out some of the other awesome rental options from Tin Vally here!

So what do you think? Do any of these have you dying for a little Texas getaway?
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