Holiday Updo from Annelise of ByeByeBeehive!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Hi everyone!
Just wanted to drop in and say that I'm so excited to have Annelise here today. She is a gorgeous person in and out and quite the talent! If you haven't visited her blog yet, definitely be sure to do so-- it's filled with fabulous tips & fun hairstyle ideas!
This is a great style for a night out for New Year's Eve! :) Thanks for being here, Annelise! xo


Hello lovely readers of Finding Beauty in the Ordinary! I am seriously blessed to have the opportunity to guest post for you today. Heather, thanks for letting me share my awkward randomness with your readers!

OK-- so a tiny introduction-- I'm Annelise (aka Aunie) and I blog about hair. Whoopee, right? I'm on a 365-day journey which involves no hairspray, teasing, dyeing or frying of my hair. Oh yeah... and absolutely NO hair products. I'm trying to achieve long, beautiful hair and this is my year-long attempt to get it!

Today I'd like to show you one of my newest, and favorite styles. I introduced this one to my readers a little while ago and they loved it. I called it my Holiday Updo. It's so easy, chic, and simple to do!
A couple weeks ago, I received an email from a dear little lady named Emily. She sent me a YouTube video with the most adorable style from HeyKayli.

Needless to say, I loved, loved loved it. And when readers send me email requests for hairstyles, you just have to know that I'm going to try them.

All you do is place a simple elastic headband on your head, twist a couple pieces of your hair around it, and you're good to go! I modified the version from HeyKayli a little bit. She pulled the headband down over her forehead, and I'm not such a huge fan of that style, so I left the band on the top of my head. Also, I decided to sweep mine to the side in a low ponytail to make it more of an updo look. I also think this would look fab with a messy side bun. OOH... now I want to try it. I plan on wearing a one-shoulder dress for New Year's Eve, and this would be such a fun style to rock along with it.

Do you think you'll be trying this messy-but-chic style these holidays? I hope you enjoy this hairstyle, and feel free to check out all of my hairstyles over at my little blog. In case you're not super into hair, but you want to see my other fun happenings, please also venture on over to Simply Aunie. My blog all about my little self in this big old world.


Thursday, December 29, 2011


I wasn't planning on taking a break from this whole blogging thing this week, but I just kind of did... And it's been great. I'm already feeling refreshed, inspired, and excited about 2012!
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and have a fabulous New Year!
See you next year, my friends!! :) xo

Christmas Past & Christmas Now

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Last Christmas Eve, I flew to Albuquerque, NM, to meet my wonderful husband for Christmas. He was in the state of NM for 6 months of work training. It was the longest 6 months of my life, but also the most strengthening for our marriage. We've never been stronger. Albuquerque was drizzled in snow. I spent the time waiting for his arrival in our posh hotel suite drinking red wine and watching chick flicks :) There is nothing like seeing your man after weeks on end of not seeing him. We spent Christmas Day taking the tram up to the top of the ski lift in the beautiful Albuquerque mountains, had breakfast for lunch at Denny's, and ended the night with a tasty dinner at Bucca di Beppo's. The next day, we had to say goodbye. But it was awesome to spend our 4th married Christmas (and first "White Christmas") together.

This year, we're in a new city and again, we're celebrating Christmas away from our families. It's so bittersweet because we've had so many new highs this year, but along with it comes the longing for home. This time of year doesn't make it any easier.

If you're like me, Christmas is one of the many holidays that your husband has to work. That's the price we'll have to pay for the next couple of years until my man has enough seniority to take it off. Sad face!!

So if you are out today, at the post office or at the mall, don't forget to thank a person that has to work over the holidays and be away from their families-- whether that's a friend in the military, a grocery clerk, or one of Obama's little elves :)

I'm so thankful that even though Joshua has to work tomorrow, I have a special friend, Nicole, who's in the same boat. We'll be waking up, making cinnamon rolls together and watching Christmas movies together and lounging around all day until our hot men come home from work. And then, together, we will carve a turkey, sit around the fire, kiss our husbands under the mistletoe and talk about our wonderful families that are out-of-town. Oh, and I'll rub Nicole's pregnant belly a lot :)

Merry Christmas Eve! Meet Jen of The Arizona Russums

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!

If you haven't met the lovely Jen Russum of
The Arizona Russums, well then you're in for a treat :) Jen's blog was one of the very first blogs I stumbled upon this past July when I was a blog newbie.
Imagine my excitement when I discovered that she lives just a little over an hour away from me! We got to meet in October (along with fabulous Erin of Captivated by Grace) and Jen is everything you'd think she'd be from her blog: adorable, hysterical, full of energy, and super smart! Love this girl! Thanks for being here, Jen! I am blessed to call you my friend.

How would you describe your blog? 

My blog is a place where research meets real life. The Arizona Russums started as a way to keep in touch with friends and family after my husband and I moved from Seattle to Phoenix, but it has become a place where I research the ways women are writing online {for grad school}. Honestly though, it's also my outlet where I can read and write for fun when I'm tired of reading for my classes :) 

What is your favorite aspect of blogging?

I had no idea that I would meet so many amazing ladies in this online world! I love being able to write about my faith and to encourage women to live passionately for Christ.

It's almost Christmas. What does Christmas mean to you ?

Christmas means celebrating a God who would come to earth as a tiny baby to be near to his people. The God, who created the Universe, wrapped himself in flesh and bound himself by time in order to live the perfect life and die for our sins, so that we could live in fellowship with God forever. Christmas means celebrating "God with Us." {And it also means a break from school, which I appreciate very much!}

Any special plans for the holiday?

This will be the first Christmas in my life that I haven't been in Seattle. This year my family is coming to us in sunny Phoenix. It doesn't feel too winter-y outside this December, but I am thankful to spend Christmas with my family no matter what the weather.

Top 3 things on your wish list :)

A sewing machine, to get into a new program I am applying to at school, and for Christ to be made known to my non-Christian friends and family this season {I'm sneaking in a fourth... for Heather to come visit me over Christmas break! Pleeease!}

Meet Amanda of Royal Daughter Designs

Friday, December 23, 2011

 I don't really know how to completely relay how much I admire this woman below. She has an incredible heart. She's written me emails over the past couple of months that have made me cry. Her heart is beautiful. She touches me over and over again when she reminds me that she's praying for me :) Be sure to check out both of her fabulous blogs! Thanks for being here today, Amanda, and for supporting such a great cause!

Check her out here & here!

How would you describe your blog?

You know how you have those dreams in the back of your mind that you're afraid to verbalize - mainly because of fear? Royal Daughter Designs is just such a dream. I dreamed of working from the comfort and convenience of my home; I dreamed of meeting and interacting with women in the blogosphere to help make their blogs not only pretty, but also a representation of who they are. In September that dream came true. It was quite serendipitous, really. And I believe, quite providential. I believe that God ordained the timing to fit perfectly with His plan, not mine. (I blog about my personal life and my faith at DAES of Our Lives.)

What is your favorite aspect about blogging?

Let's be honest, we all love sharing our story right? Deep within us there's a desire to have our voice heard, to make an impact in the lives of others. And while I love that I am able to do that through blogging, what I love the most is the friendships I've made. Sure, we can have a a couple hundred (or a couple thousand!) followers, and that's great for the ego, eh? But honestly, I wouldn't trade the two or three close friendships I've made for all the blog followers in the world.

It's almost Christmas. What does Christmas mean to you?

Last year I wrote about how in awe I am of the incarnation of Christ. Icannot. get. over. it.
The God whose name no one knows but Himself...
the God who is alive forever...
the God whose eyes burn like fire...
the God whose face no one can see...
the God whose voice is thunderous...
the God who is is so holy...

interrupted humanity in the form of a baby. That's what Christmas means to me. I hope I never get over it.

Any special plans for the holidays?

In September my husband and I became first time "parents" to three boys whom we've known for about seven years. They are 10, 11, and 15 and they are still very close to their family. So this year we will be celebrating at least four Christmases. We'll take them to see both sides of their family before Christmas, and on Christmas Day we'll celebrate with my mom and dad. Then after Christmas we'll pile the five of us in our (little) SUV and drive for 12 hours to go see my  husband's family. There will be lots of ho ho ho-ing!

Top 3 things on your wish list?

Canon rebel 
Wisemen or angels to complete my Willow Tree Nativity

Sponsor Love - December

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Because of the lovely women who have sponsored my blog in the past 2 months, we raised...


All proceeds go towards my friends Josh & Laura's trip to Cambodia with "Hope for the Silent Voices"!!


Thank you, beautiful ladies!!


Describe your blog in 3 words: Living out faith.

It's almost Christmas. What does Christmas mean to you?

Over the past year, my faith in Christ has really grown, helping me to realize the magnitude of this day and the cause of its celebration. So this Christmas, and for all the Christmases to come, I am focusing on the amazing gift of Jesus and will choose to make this day about Him!

Any special plans for the holiday?

This Christmas, I will be praising Jesus, spending time with loved ones, and kissing my man under the mistletoe!

Top 3 things on your wish list :)

All I really want this Christmas is a Canon Rebel. I want to take a photography class too!


Describe your shop in 3 words:
unique. vintage. eclectic.

It's almost Christmas. What does Christmas mean to you?
To me Christmas is a time to step back and celebrate what is most, giving and remembering the true meaning of Christmas.

Any special plans for the holiday?
Our special plans for the holidays are spending time with family, keeping family traditions, crafting and baking, and soaking up the magic I see in my kids while they are still little...I love seeing the excitement through them:)

Top 3 things on your wish list :) ...oh and some new boots;)


Describe your blog in 3 words: Simple, elegant & original

It's almost Christmas. What does Christmas mean to you?

Christmas to me the celebration of God of family.  It's a chance to take a break from the stresses of life of focus on what truely matters.

Any special plans for the holiday?

We wil be spending Christmas at home with our fur babies.  Just laid back and quiet.

Top 3 things on your wish list :)

Top 3 things on my wish list: Gussy Sews Bag, boots & a new car ;)


Describe your blog in 3 words:Police & Mommy Life

It's almost Christmas. What does Christmas mean to you? 
Christmas is first and foremost the celebration of the birth of our Savior. For me this means spending time with family, eating my mother-in=laws Chicken and Dumplings snuggling together, talking late into the night over warm hot chocolate and spiced cider, and worshiping Him together.

Any special plans for the holiday?
This year we are going with my husbands WHOLE extended family to a group of cabins in the mountains in Georgia to celebrate Christmas like we do every other year. I am excited because this year not only will my beautiful daughter be there but MY family will be there to share in the celebrations as well!

Top 3 things on your wish list :)
1. A camera strap for my new camera the hubby worked OT to buy. 2. For 5ohBaby to miraculously be an angel on the 5hr plane rides to Georgia and back. 3. For our family to have a wonderful and stress free (after the year we've had!) Christmas all together.


Describe your blog in three words:
upbeat, witty, honest

What does Christmas mean to you?
Christmas, to me, means focusing on the joy of Jesus, our Savior, being born. It means spending time with family and friends and reminding them how much you love them.

Any special plans for the holiday?
We always spend Christmas Eve at my Grandparent's house with my mom's side after church. We also spend Christmas Day at one of my Aunt/Uncle's house with my dad's side.

Top 3 things on your wishlist:
A nice pair of winter boots to trek through the crazy Wisconsin weather to class, Photoshop, && free college tuition (hehe).


Describe your blog in three words:
Life. Laughter. Love.

What does Christmas mean to you?

Christmas for me is a time to celebrate the Birth of my Savior; a time to reflect in the unending love that caused God to send his son for me, a mere sinner (more about my thoughts on Christmas here). It is a time to sit back and relax with my husband, friends and family, to enjoy their company and catch up, despite the craziness of the season.

Any special plans for the holiday?

It is our year with D’s family, so we are heading to Rockford, IL for Christmas. None of his siblings (and their fam’s) will make it so it will be a low key Christmas with just his parents. I am sad they won’t be there but am still looking forward to having a more relaxed Christmas this year.

Top 3 things on your wishlist:

1.       Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens
2.       Keurig Machine and K cups
3.       Leather Camera Bag (Like This one)


Describe your blog in 3 words:
love, community, design

It's almost Christmas. What does Christmas mean to you?
Christmas means family time, love & high spirits. Besides summer, it's my favorite time of year because, even through all the crazy, people usually come together around the holidays. Plus, I love baking (and Elf/Christmas movies)!

Any special plans for the holiday?
Christmas is pretty quiet at my house because all my extended family lives in Europe, so it's usually just my siblings, their loved ones & my parents. We usually look at Christmas lights in the neighborhood, eat lots of food & play board games.

Top 3 things on your wish list :)
Ohhh mannn, so hard!! Okay: 1. Donations/funds for my little start up company, my Remedy. 2. These booties: they feel like total confidence boosters. 3. job training for women via World Vision - I've been given the gift of education from my parents & everyone deserves that gift, too.

 shop // style blog // twitter // facebook // my Remedy blog // pinterest

Describe your blog in 3 words:
Charming, Delightful, Cheery.

It's almost Christmas. What does Christmas mean to you?

For me, Christmas is, first and foremost, a time to celebrate and reflect on God's love for the world. When I think about the birth of Jesus I frequently find myself reflecting on the role Mary played and how she must have felt. Aside from that, Christmas means family, friends, food, and FUDGE! 

Any special plans for the holiday?

My holiday plans are pretty simple:  Hang out with my fam and recuperate from Finals! I would really love to go sledding over break so hopefully there will be a massive snowstorm.

Top 3 things on your wish list :)

On my wishlist are things like: an unlimited supply of Mod Podge, a snazzy camera, and a blow dryer.


January Sponsoring

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I would LOVE to have you!! :)
Email me at heather.findingbeauty [at] gmail [dot] com


Pecan Groves

Peacoat: Old Navy
Jeans: F21
Boots: Nine West
Headband: c/o one of my favorite shops-- Pink Lemonade

The pecan trees by our house have all lost their leaves. I guess that really means that winter is here.
Our nearby mountains are covered in snow and it's 30 degrees on my morning walk.

Oh, Arizona, how you have surprised me!

Get to Know... Rushelle of "Digging Deeper Into Design, Mommyhood, and… Everything Else"

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

This girl has a heart of gold. A few weeks ago, I arrived home to a package from her in my mailbox. Inside was a beautiful handmade bracelet from her shop and a giftcard to one of my favorite stores in the world (who does that?!) and a note sharing her thankfulness to have met me in the blog world. I was speechless. I love her heart and she is truly beautiful in and out. Make sure you hop on over to her fabulous blog today and show her some love! Thanks, Rushelle, for being here today!! :) 

Rushelle, how would you describe your blog? 

 There is nothing I can write in this space that you will not learn by reading my blog. In a nutshell I have decided that I am going to make my living writing stories, designing and as a working photographer, so I'm going to. For those of you that have not been reading from the start I am a wife to my polar opposite, a mother to the Super Awesome, Bruiser, and the King of Mayhem himself, Monster. :) My blog is my journal through this whole messy process we call life.
What is your favorite aspect of blogging?

I've spent my entire life feeling odd and out of place, trying desperately to fit in. Recently, through blogging, it has dawned on me that it's time to grow up. To be the person that I was born to be. It's time to stop worrying about what people will say, or how they will react to what I say, but just to say it, and know in my heart that it's true and it's real and it's me.

It's almost Christmas. What does Christmas mean to you?

Christmas is a time for giving and helping. It's a time to remember what's really important and cherish the moments and the memories that are being created.

Any special plans for the holiday?

Lots of Hot Chocolate, Christmas TV Specials, Slumber Parties with the boys, and long lazy days in our PJs.

Top 3 things on your wish list :)

New DSLR Camera, Ugg Boots, and a new sewing machine.

Find Rushelle here!

The Night We Decorated for Christmas

Monday, December 19, 2011

This year, we actually started decorating for Christmas way ahead of usual. As in, back in the 3rd week of November. When we arrived home from our anniversary getaway, we decided what would be better than getting ready for Christmas, opening our anniversary champagne, giving Hartley a new bone, and just getting in the holiday spirit? So yes, our tree has been up for a long time already, and word on the street is that we might keep it up until Valentine's Day. Just sayin'.

1 // My stud husband gathering all of our Christmas decorations out from our storage closet 2 // Bath & Body Works Evergreen candle-- makes our house smell like a Christmas tree farm 3// Hartley's new bone

4 // Hartley had an itch 5 // Joshua fixing our tree. Can I just say that there is nothing sexier than a man with a tool in hand? Gah!

6 // My loves 7 // My little Starbucks trees 8 // Celebrating with champagne 9 // Our "1st Married Christmas" ornament from 2006

And yes, we have a fake tree. We're kind of hippies like that. It's 11 feet tall of gorgeousness. And fakeness. We're trying to save the trees, ya'll. Don't judge.

Holiday Dessert

Saturday, December 17, 2011

This recipe comes courtesy of my mama.
She made this when I was back home a few weeks ago and it is so unique, tasty, and refreshing--
and yet the cinnamon gives it a little sweet factor!

2 red plums, sliced
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blackberries
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted, chipped pistachios
3 mint leaves, coarsely torn

A Little Photo Shoot

Friday, December 16, 2011

Joshua and I recently met our friends Dusty and Leslie at the lake with their adorable baby Brayden. Leslie is a sweetheart and both of our husband's work together. Brayden is the cutest and such a happy, healthy little boy (almost broke my arm off he was so heavy! Haha!). Both Joshua and I love to take photos together. It's something we've done over the years for our friends and it never gets old.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

I love beauty.
I love looking at pretty things.
My eye gravitates towards it.

My mom would always say that I would be a great hair stylist or florist.
I've always just had a natural knack for pulling something together and making it look nice.

I think sometimes it's been easy for me to discount my love for beauty because it seemed shallow. Materialistic. Non-eternal.

There are times I've felt guilty for loving beautiful things because in some weird way it seemed sinful, unGodly.

But the act of loving beauty isn't sinful. It's a heart issue. It's what we do with it.

Just like there's a time to talk about deep issues and a time to just talk about the mundane. It doesn't make one things better than the other. It's just simply the right thing at the right time.
There's a fine line between appreciating beauty and obsessing about it.

I think our Creator wants us to love and cherish beautiful things. And to find Him in it.

After all, He created it, right?

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful,
for beauty is God's handwriting.”

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson