Almost as great as a Tax Refund!

It's Messy Dirty Hair's Birthday and I always like a reason to celebrate!  Check out Kelly's massive giveaway and get to know some of the bloggers that love her.  


It's Official...

... my quarter life crisis is over!  Truth be told, it's probably been over for a solid six months, but I just wasn't ready to believe it.  I just kept thinking that those feelings of overwhelming inadequacy would continue to resurface.  The ending of my QLC was further confirmed by this article in Self Magazine!  In the middle of your own QLC or gotton through one?  Read it!
Speaking of Self Magazine, I am totally obsessed with their new look and feel.  So obsessed that I Instagramed about it and to my complete shock, the magazine commented!  I squealed with joy and of course had to tell everyone I know. 

That brings me to my own makeover! I know what you are thinking, didn't OWIOWI just get a new look not too long ago? Yes, it did, but I need a full overhaul.

I started Oh Wells Instead Of What Ifs when my life was in dire need of inspiration. However recently I have been inspired to make some major changes.  That said, content is going to be a little light while I revamp and reboot over the next week or so!  

Thanks so much to everyone who has been a part of this blogging experience so far!  Make sure you are following me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook where I will be doing some sneak peaks and giveaways just for my followers!  

I can't wait to see you all on the other side of this makeover!


Twenty-Seven in 27: An Update

Today is my half Birthday and I thought it was only fitting I do a little update on my 27 things I wanted to accomplish in my 27th year.  Let's just say the next 6 months are going to be very busy...

1. Move to a new state- this one is super easy seeing as I'm already here.  I like to start off with things I know I can accomplish so I can get the momentum going!  Boom- accomplished

2.  Lose 50 pounds.  I have a hard time with committing to weight loss, but I am thinking that in addition to my location change I will try some lifestyle changes as well.  And let's be honest, I plan on spending a lot of time on the beach and I would prefer to do that with a little less fat.  If part of my routine could include dance classes, that would be great!  Working on it.  I've lost about 10 pounds so far.

3.  Run a 1/2 marathon.  I was not born a runner.  I have yet to mold myself into a runner.  I am going to do it though.  Even if I hate it.  I keep putting this one off... 

4.  Learn how to paddle board.  I have a lot of anxiety about being in water that I can't see the bottom of.  I feel pretty good about being on top of it though.  Since I am moving to the beach, it seems like a good time to give it a try.  Plus I hear it's a great workout.  I haven't gone yet, but I'm planning to, I'd even like to try Yoga on a paddle board.

5.  Again since I will be near the beach, I think it is time I actually learn how to ride a bike.  Then I will have a reason to get a really cute yellow beach cruiser!  So far its a fail.  No attempt made.

6.  I really want to do an urban race or one of those obstacle course races.  Who's in?  Meh.

7. Make something old new again.  And by that I mean some kind of Pinterest project to redo an old piece of furniture.  Considering I sold off all of my furniture, this seems like a very likely necessary item to check off the list soon. Meh

8.  Go to LA to the new Sprinkles Ice Cream shop. (and explore.  I haven't been to LA since I was 13.)  Trying to lose 50 pounds has held this trip off.

9.  Go to Vegas for Meagan's bachelorette party.  I. Can't. Wait.  Boom- killed it!

10.  Get comfortable in my new job.  I expect that to take a solid 6-12 months.  It's a big step, but a step that feels right. (It's one of the things that actually makes me feel 27.) Done and done.  Love my job!

11.  Go see the Bethenny Show live.  I would settle for Ellen too.  Hmmm, no progress.

12. Spend a day at Disneyland with a kid- specifically my little brother.  Don't read this Colton, you'll spoil your birthday/Christmas present! Summa Summa Summa Time!!!

13. Reach 500 followers on my blog.  I love interacting with all of you.  Holy Guacamole, I made it in under 6 months. I love my blog family so much.  It is truly humbling that any of you give a damn about what I write!

14.  Give up soda.  Seriously this time.  Good thing I have a year to do it.  Yeah... No progress.  Absolutely none!

15. Join a team.  A kickball team, softball team- whatever.  I love playing on a team. Oh yeah, I kinda forgot this was on the list!

16. Pay off  a good majority of debt and cut up all but one of my store credit cards.  If you are wondering, the lucky card that won't get the ax is my Macy's card.  Solidify and stick to a budget so that someday I will be able to buy a home, go on vacations and eventually retire.  Workin on it.

Man coming up with 27 things is kind of hard.  

17.  Visit a state I haven't been to.  Is it cheating if I already did that when I went to Virginia last week? Totally counts!

18. Take a vacation with the boyfriend.  We've always visited people.  I'd like us to do something together, just us!  No boyfriend... err things just got awkward.

19.  Buy a DSLR camera.  Savings plan in action!  Hoping for a miracle...

20.  Go on a cruise with all my girlfriends.  Who doesn't want to do that every year! Ummm, maybe in the fall?

21.  Make a definitive decision about Grad school.  Should I even get my masters? What program should I do?  When should I start?  What do I want to be when I grow up?  Nope.  Not going. Decision made.

22.  Start working on a book.  I have some awesome ideas, it's really more about setting aside the time to get it going.  Six more months to figure this one out.

23.  Find a permanent place to live, preferably near the beach.  I'd say less than 2 miles isn't bad.

24.  Embrace being comfortable with who I am.  I have made a major dent on this one.  

25.  This might sound weird, but increase my water intake.  I think that will happen naturally when I stop drinking soda.  I'm constantly dehydrated.  Well I have been working out a lot more, so it kind of happened naturally.  

26.  Get organized.  I have a tendency to be a little messy if everything doesn't have a home.  When I take the time to give things a home, things never get messy.  Lets just call this "in progress".

27.  Really appreciate and enjoy this next year.  It's definitely starting a new chapter and I don't want to miss a single opportunity.  Totally on track with this one!

Whew, that was way harder than it looks!  What are you going to do this year?  Have you made progress on your list?  Give me the deets!


7 Style Etiquette Rules For Female Wedding Guests

I am so excited to introduce you all to Bethann of Bethanimalprint.  I met Bethann almost a decade ago during our first week of college.  Not only is BA hilarious, but she is style savvy too! When she started her own style and lifestyle blog, I knew I had to have her share with you all!  Go follow her and read all about her fabulous style, adorable little girl, healthy living and fantastic career!  (She just got back from NY Fashion week, go ahead, be jealous!)
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Planning a wedding is no easy task. For the better part of a year, brides obsessively tend to menial tasks like booking travel for third cousins, picking out in-season organically grown flowers and silently weeping over seating arrangements.

While she puts too much thought into wondering if it is too soon to sit old flames on the same side of the room, you need to start thinking about what you will wear. Your outfit can pay your respects or silently communicate that you are a selfish heathen that should never leave her cage. If you prefer pay tribute like a lady use these helpful rules on wedding guest style etiquette:

1. Do review the wedding invitation for guidelines as to how formal the affair is. While it is obvious you should never attend a wedding in a crop top, you wouldn't want to be at a black tie affair in a sundress. Ask someone close to the bride if there are is no indication of dress code in the invitation.

2. Do not be too trendy. The couple is likely to keep these pictures forever. You don't want to be tortured by your past anymore than you are already going to be because of the denim skirt era you had in college.
3. Do not show guests how loose your morals are with your clingy clothing. Single men at weddings are going to pay attention to you even if your toned abs are not glaringly obvious from 25 yards away. A better way to get his attention is to offer to get him a drink. 
4. Do not wear white. Every time you see a white dress you like, buy it. Wear that thing to YOUR engagement party, engagement photo shoot, bachelorette party, bridal shower. Yes, these are all cliches and I am not actually recommending you participate. Luckily, the light spectrum invented colors like emerald and blue that look good on every tramp out there. Double lucky, merchandise in these hues will slap you in the face (in a good way) before you can even park at the mall.
5. Do wear lipstick. Lipstick allows you to distinguish which glass of wine is yours, can make your teeth look whiter if selected properly and you to get away with less eye makeup. 
6. Do not pile on the eye makeup. You will cry and then look like an idiot with mascara running down your face.
7. If you not masochistic enough to dance for hours in high-heels, do bring a sophisticated pair of flats to change into. NOT Flip-flops which are kind of gross and will definitely make your well-planned ensemble look cheap. Black ballet flats are a great staple to have.

Wow, you made it to the end! Thank you for the hospitality Oh Wells Instead readers! You can find more of me, my personal style, recipes and tips on my blog, bethanimalprint.


Surviving Wedding Season

Welp, I'm off to AZ again, but this time I am having a whirlwind wedding weekend!  Remember these two and their story?
Well the wedding is finally here and I couldn't be more excited!  I'll see you all on the other side of this holiday weekend!  In the meantime, my girl Chrissy is here to entertain you! Leave her some love!
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Hello Oh Wells Instead readers! I'm Chrissy and I hang out over at Let me see you Sparkle. Where we don't believe that cupcakes have calories and we say please and thank you.

 I am tickled to be here and when Miss Ashley called out for a guest poster on twitter I jumped all over that. She is adorable dontcha think?!

Anywhoo she is off having a blast blast at a wedding and it got me thinking, I have 5 weddings on the books this year! 5 of my friends have decided to tie to knot making me have to buy new outfits, wedding gifts, force my Mr. to dress up, and sit thru 5 uhh...touching? declarations of love. So as we embark on wedding season I would like to take the liberty of sharing some tips for surviving wedding season!

Dress to impress!
Go out and get yourself a hot little number to wear! Please do not get trashtastic and look a mess at the wedding but glam yourself up a bit! After all, don't all girls like to get dressed up?
Here are a few suggestions from my "Carrie Bradshaw Status" board on Pinterest
pretty and feminineReady for some sun-shinepretty dress

Give killer presents!
If you are happy about what you are giving you will be more happy to do it.. Who wants to give a blender. That's boring. Choose something you would love to have off of their registry or get a little nontraditional and give something unique that the Mr. & Mrs. will use. Like Pre-planned ; pre-paid date nights or a little housewarming gift basket!

Make sure your +1 rocks your socks! 
If your date is boring you will not have a good time. Period. One of the best weddings I have ever been to was with one of my besties.

Bust out some killer dance moves! 

On second thought... Save the ones pictured above for the club and just sit and eat cake instead.

I hope this helps for those of you that will be tackling wedding season with me! Thanks again to Ashley for having me and I hope you all stop by and say hi!
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Valentines Day- A History

I revived this post from the early days of my blogging- a year ago, when I wasn't really committed to this baby.  I think this is an oldie but goodie about good ole V-day!
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Alright, it’s Valentines Day and you either love it or hate it. I find very few people are indifferent to it. For a self-proclaimed lover of love, I have traditionally fallen into the “hate it” category. As I have gotten older, I have grown to appreciate the history, but still dislike the way the holiday has been commercialized as a day that allows you to apologize for what a jerk you have been the rest of the year. I thought on this day of love, or lack of it, I would give you a brief history.

Valentine’s Day is a mish-mash of traditions and beliefs. Lets start with the date. It falls on February 14th every year because that is the day that Saint Valentine was executed for performing marriages. Strange that a priest got in trouble for doing one of his normal deeds, right? The story goes a little deeper.

In 2nd Century A.D. when Christians were persecuted by the Roman government, Christian marriages and other ceremonies were a big no-no. During that time Claudius II was building a Roman army. He thought that married men would make for distracted soldiers, with their minds back at home with their families and wives. Thus, he forbid young men to marry. Interesting logic right? Sounds like a recipe for rebellion to me! Death was the punishment for any priest that performed the rite of marriage.

This didn’t sit well with Valentine. He believed that to be in love and to be married was to be closer to God. He was a martyr for love! He was caught performing a marriage ceremony and after going to prison he was beheaded. Talk about a rough punishment! This story reminds me a little of the struggle for love and marriage we see today. I won’t go into my political beliefs about marriage rights, but lets just say I think if you want to devote your life and love to another person, I applaud you and believe you have as much right as I to do so.

A few more Valentines Day traditions tie into Saint Valentine. It is said he would give children flowers from his garden. He also signed a message just prior to his execution, “from your Valentine”. I also hear the hearts come from his heart being displayed on the town square or something… Gross? Centuries later, the 1600's ushered in the tradition of giving gifts to your love on Valentine’s Day. Most people gave flowers, but the wealthy surprised their loves with jewelry. Apparently giving a young woman a pair of gloves on Valentines was equal to a marriage proposal…those better be some nice gloves.

As literacy became more common, written Valentines cards and notes became popular and in the 1700's card makers started the commercialization of the holiday with mass-produced Valentines cards. Hello Hallmark!

So today, we woman expect (even if we say we don’t want anything) flowers, chocolates, jewelry or all of the above to celebrate the execution of a lover of love. For years I pretended like I hated Valentines Day, when really what I hated was the missed expectations. Today I try to give myself, and the man in my life, a break. Valentines Day and I have spent too many years on bad terms. This year, I’m going to appreciate the history, the sentiment and the love. Ladies, give your guys a break. Gentleman, don’t let us down. Good Luck!

Happy Valentines Day!


What? You ate a whole wheel of cheese? I'm not even mad!

If you really knew me, you'd know I think talking animals are ridiculously funny.  Like crying I'm laughing so hard funny.

Imagine my delight when a friend sent these little gems my way!  The last two are my favorite!
Bahahaha!  If animals could talk, I bet this is exactly what they would say!

You're welcome!


I. Am. Enough.

Have you ever happened upon a blogger that is so perfect both in blog and real life that it makes you question your own existence? Okay, maybe I am being a bit dramatic, but lately I've caught myself doing a lot of comparisons and feeling inadequate(in blog and in life).
"My hair doesn't do that?"
"Their love story is so great! Why doesn't someone love me like that?"
"I could never keep my house that clean!"
"Look at her skin. Ugh, mine sucks!"
"I'll never be that fit."
I'm not. I'm not. I'm not.

Then I happened upon this post from Little Miss Mama and decided I should whip up one of my own, if only for the sake of my wilting self esteem.

I'm not gonna lie, I feel a lot better!

Don't forget how great you are.  Sometimes it is easy to be overwhelmed by your perceived shortcomings.  But the thing is, there is probably someone out there wishing they could do what you do.  Revel in your individuality.  And stop comparing yourself to everyone else.  (Self, did you hear me?)

I'd love to read more of these!  Leave your "I am enough" statements in the comments or do your own post and leave me a link, pretty please!


Biggest Loser: Blogger Edition- this week I lost

Alright ya'll, I have no good news on the biggest loser front.  You see when I get worried I distract myself with food.  When I don't feel good, I eat.  This last week I have been worried about why I haven't felt great. The good news is everything is fine now... but that would have been good to know five days, a cheese burger, several pasta dishes and a lot of potato products ago.  So this week, I'm just hoping to get myself back on track!  I hope you all did better than me this week!  Link up and let me know!
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Hello lovelies! It's time for week two of The Biggest Loser: Blogger Edition, brought to you by Ashley, Chelsea and Jenn!

Our version of The Biggest Loser is a little different than the one you see on TV! In Blogger Edition, no one gets kicked off, and we aren't just trying to lose weight. Instead we are creating a place to go when you need a little motivation, when you need to voice your frustration, when you are looking for a healthy recipe, when you are looking for a new workout to try. This is the healthiest link-up on the net!

So grab a button, link up and enjoy! 


Delightfully Delectable: Bacon Mac & Cheese Bites

I got invited to a Super Bowl pot luck yesterday and I wanted to bring something easy to make, that everyone would enjoy.  In years past, I have made bacon wrapped shrimp, but the problem is you have to cook them on location and I usually set off a fire alarm from broiling the the little suckers.  That's always been okay at a boyfriends house or my best friends' but this year I didn't know my party planners as well.

This year I wanted something that could be served warm or cold, went well with the other Super Bowl food groups (chips, dips, things made in a crock pot, things made on a grill, beer), and was considered a comfort food.  I found a recipe for Mac and Cheese Bites and made some of my own additions!
Serves 12
  • 6 Strips of Bacon (or 8 if you like to eat a couple pieces while you cook like me.
  • 2 Cups Elbow Macaroni (although you could probably get creative and choose your favorite pasta)
  • 1/2 Cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 1/2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • One Egg (whipped)
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (Fahrenheit) 
  2. Cook your bacon.  When it's to your desired level of crispiness, set it aside.
  3. Grease your cupcake tins.
  4. Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Sprinkle in some salt.  Add macaroni and let boil for 8 minutes.  It should be a little less soft then if you were ready to serve it.  Drain noodles and place back into pot.
  5. Add butter and egg to the pot and allow butter to melt while coating noodles.  Do a solid amount of mixing here.  Add milk and mix thoroughly. 
  6. Add bacon and both cheeses and mix while cheese melts.  A lot of cheese gets stuck to the spoon, don't let it just hang out there!  Mix it in with the rest!
  7. Spoon mixture into cupcake tins.  I had some extra, so i put it in a glass dish and stuck it in the oven too... Hello lunch!
  8. Mix together breadcrumbs, salt and olive oil.  Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over top. 
  9. Put those little babies in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the tops become a lovely golden brown.
  10. Let them set for 5-10 minutes before taking them out the tins.  This allows the cheese to really set and hold the bites together.  I found that using a fork was the easiest way to pop them out.  
  11. Enjoy!

Into the tins. Add your breadcrumbs. Ta-Da!

MMM MMM MMM MMM MMM!!!!  These bites were a BIG hit!

I always think things like this look really impressive, even if they are easy to make!  Try them out as an appetizer or a side dish!


Words That Inspired Words

Today I found a notebook that has been dancing in and out of my life since the summer of 2007 when I bought it in an over priced paperie in London.  You see, I had to have it.  I needed a beautiful book with crisp pages to write down everything that was happening to me during my three month stay across the pond.  Turns out, I used about 8 pages in jolly ole' London.  Since then, it has steadily collected my words on an irregular basis.  

Today I picked up that notebook again, this time to make some notes about design and sketch out a few ideas, but I got easily sidetracked.  It was as if I had stumbled upon a hidden chest of treasures. Only where a pirate would find gold coins, I found words. 

Those pages about London at the front. Behind those, notes about my wedding plans; venue comparisons thoughts about colors, etc.  Then a history lesson for a novel I had planned to write.  Page after page of American history dated and mapped out.  The beginning pages of that novel, with words that inspired me to write this post.  Then, a journal entry about going through my divorce.  A budget sheet with ideas of how to pay off my debt faster.  A list of New Year's resolutions. A gym schedule.Quite the fascinating road map to where I am today.  

Isn't it funny how looking back makes you look forward?  It reminds you of dreams and redevelops passions.  Reading through the different pieces that make up a notebook that has haphazardly followed my adult life, I couldn't help but smile.  No matter the troubles, there has always been triumph.  No matter the pain, there has always been growth and strength.  

So today I thought I would share a little excerpt from the novel I had hardly started.  The words that have inspired me to take another stab at writing something worthy of a hardcover.  I hope you like it!


This Is The New Year

Alright kids, it's February first, and most likely you have forgotten about those resolutions.  I just wanted to remind everyone that every day is a new beginning and a chance to start over again.  The point of a resolution is to make a change and sometimes, change takes practice and time.  Don't give up or give in!

Remember my resolution?  I don't mind if you steal this for yourself.  2013 can be the best year of your life if you let it!

And because I love happy songs, Glee and YouTube, here's a little nugget I've been obsessed with!

Have a great weekend loves!