June 28, 2012

Thankful.

Today wraps up the week for me... I'm taking a week of vacation (starting tomorrow) and couldn't be more excited! I never do this! I stayed up late last night and woke up with a huge smile on my face. Today is my Friday.

On my way to work I just feel so excited and joyful. My goodness, I have so much to be thankful for today (and everyday)!






{ Thankful. }

+ Very excited and honored that Adam's amazing sister, Meredith, invited me to a very special event tonight... her first wedding dress fitting! She is going to look like a beautiful angel, I just know it! Mani/pedi date with her and her mama may be a prerequisite - love it!

+ It's date night! After Adam spending last week in Canada on business, and a crazy work week for both of us, it will be so good to catch up on life. Looking forward to hanging with my studly man. :)

+ Could I be more blessed to hve such wonderful blog friends? Seriously, you guys, you make my heart so happy! Love your comments. Love your encouragement. Love your faithful participation and visiting. And my sponsors - whew! Those gals are FABULOUS!

+ Puppy kisses. Woke up with a cold fluffy puppy nose almost touching mine. That's right, Bella Beast and I were sharing a pillow and practically spooning... she cracks me up!

+ Looking forward to a weekend with friends and family at the cabin. Good food. Yard games. Good conversations. And the boys almost blowing up the house with the firework display... haha. Boys.

+ Little sis is driving back to KC with me on Sunday for a week-long sister extravaganza. There may or may not be Magic Mike viewing, pool sun time, lat enight chats, or ridiculous sillyness involved...


.:::.:::.:::.:::.:::.



What makes your heart happy today?





{pic}

June 27, 2012

There Goes a Fighter...

As I was driving to work this morning, I was thinking of my brave Aunt Debra. This woman is tough. She is fighting her second battle with cancer after tumors reappeared recently. She's hanging in there through the yucky chemo side effects and hair loss, but she's been on my heart and constantly in my prayers.

As many of you know, I am the daughter of two very strong cancer survivors. They are my herat. I lost my uncle to pancreatic cancer when I was 19, and my brother's best friend died of a brain tumor when I was in 4th grade. We've had countless family friends go through battles in between. To say cancer has touched my life in many tough ways would be quite the understatement.

These tough life happenings helped mold. Changed my outlook on life. Made me want to give back in a big way. 3 years ago, I landed my dream job working with cancer patients, survivors and physicians every single day. I love offering hope and help to broken people, and I could not be more thankful for my journey here.

All of this being said, you can imagine my excitement when "The Fighter" by Gym Class Heroes came on the radio this morning at the same time I was thinking about my aunt. Now THAT is the cancer fighting mantra to have... so I sent it to my Aunt this YouTube video to my aunt this afternoon...




"Give em hell, turn their heads
Gonna live life 'til we're dead.
Give me scars, give me pain.
Then they'll say to me, say to me, say to me...
There goes the fighter, there goes the fighter."


My aunt Debra is very good at sending e-mails to update us on how treatment is going. Her e-mail from today said she was driving to her first new round of chemotherapy feeling deeply saddened and blue, when all of a sudden she drove past a billboard reading:


 
ONWARD BRAVELY.


In that moment after reading the sign, she said she threw out all negative thoughts for the beauty that optimism has to offer. She swapped out the crummy day for sunshine, and by golly... there goes a fighter. Onward bravely.

.:::.:::.:::.:::.:::.



Offer courage and spread some hope to those fighting battles all around you.


Go be love, my friends...




June 25, 2012

Mingle Monday Weekly Blog Hop!

Welcome back to big girl world, lovelies!
Those Monday mornings sure like to sneak up on us don't they? Well, don't you worry, I know it's going to be a great week and breeze right by!

My weekend was jam-packed with fun! I had a fondue night on Friday, pool time Saturday, Theater in the Park (Legally Blonde was amazing!) that night, and Sunday Funday pool time and relaxing with friends after church yesterday.

One of the best parts about this weekend? Last night! Adam finally got back from a week long business trip to Canada. Unfortunately, we couldn't call/text/e-mail since he was in a rural international area, so we definitely missed each other. He stopped by to visit me on his way home late last night, which was extra sweet.

I am so flattered and blessed by some super sweet new blog friends/followers! If this is your first Mingle Monday... welcome! So very humbled that you stopped by to say hi today!

Please introduce yourself - I'd love to personally say hello! :)

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{ Time to Mingle! }
 
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Pretty Pretty Please...

Could you find it in your heart to spread the word? Jump on Twitter! Add it to your blog post! Smoke signals? Okay, okay... we're getting carried away, but PLEASE spread the word!
 
The more people = more potential followers/visitors for you, especially if everyone did it!

In all seriousness, I truly appreciate each one of you who take a minute minute to go the extra mile each week! I cannot thank you for your sweet generosity enough! Let's add to this party!

{ Many thanks! }






LIFE OF MEG




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How To Mingle:


1) Must be a [Life of Meg] follower to participate.

2) Scroll down to the bottom of this post and click on the link to enter your blog.

3) Go visit other blogs saying hello from Mingle Monday!

4) Answer the weekly question...

** What's your go to appetizer recipe(s)?  **


(Can you tell I have a dinner party tonight and no appetizer idea! :)
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Looking forward to jumping over to your blog to see what's going on!!

Since many of you requested this... I am now offering extremely affordable sponsorship opportunities - starting at $10!

If you are interested in advertising your blog, Etsy shop, or small business at a really great low price, please check out my sponsor page! I have some spots left for July - so let's get you some exposure!

 
Have an awesome work week, dolls!

 









PS - Are you on Twitter? Follow me on the go!! :)

June 22, 2012

Confessional Friday

Who is ready for some weekend??
Good Lord Almighty, I am ready for a chill weekend, lots of plans with girlfriends, and some pool/tan/beach reads time!! What are you all up to this weekend?!

Well, once again I'm linking up with Leslie's weekly Confessional Friday: Link-Up over at A Blonde Ambition... you know you need to confess too! ;)



1) I confess that... I I had to go two whole days without a full shower. Yes, two... doctor's orders - yuck!! On Tuesday, I had two suspicious looking spots on my skin, so they did a biopsy. Due to the biopsy locations being on my chest/leg, I wasn't able to get my bandages wet for two days. Let's just say I was thankful for my beloved Tresemme Dry Shampoo and creative showering... haha.



Wow, didn't know I would start off with such a TMI punch, eh?


2) I confess that... I am missing my other half an insane amount while he is on a business trip in Canada. For the last 3 years, the only time I haven't talked to him every single day was when he was in Europe for a week, so this whole not being able to text/e-mail/call is driving me bananas.

BUT... sometimes it's a good thing to really miss each other. It makes the coming home so fantastic. Come on, Monday!!

 



3) I confess that... I am slightly overindulgent on my dance TV shows. Like WAY overindulgent. My must watch list includes So You Think You Can Dance, Breaking Point, and Dance Moms... yowza. Is anyone obsessed with any of these shows? SYTYCD is by far my fave.

Watch this incredible dance from last season... I'm in love.




PS- I watched this amazing dance doumentary last night. A Must See.


4) I confess that... I am insanely sore from last night's Zumba sweat sesh. In fact, when I woke up this morning I think my moans and groans scared Bella Beast, my poor puppy!

That was the first workout I've had in well over a week (my doctor put me on couch arrest to recover from Bursitis in my hip/knee). I love being back to good workouts. Any fellow Zumba lovers out there?!


5) I confess that... I am over-the-top excited for a fondue party tonight with my girlfriends at my friend's new casa. And we're not talking just the delicious chocolate, this is the full blown dinner extravaganza.

Homemade specialty martinis may or may not be included...




6) I confess that... I am a total teeny bopper. Yesterday, while at Tar-jay, I purchased the last installment of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. I began reading the books in high school (and love the movie!), and find myself identifying with Bridgette - care-free, independent poster child! I was so excited to read Sisterhood Everlasting, I stayed up way too lat last night. Must. Have. Coffee.




7) I confess that... tomorrow I am totally having a "me" day, and I don't feel bad one bit. I am going to do everything I love that makes me feel good. Zumba workout. Pool time. Girly movie... and perhaps some shopping before meeting up with friends for Theater in the Park KC...

Legally Blonde the Musical!
I heart Elle.



.:::.:::.:::.:::.:::.


So glad I got those confessions off my chest... phew!

And one more thing... a HUGE thank you for just being you. All of my wonderful blog friends/readers mean so much to me, and just the fact that you would stop by or leave a comment completely makes my day. And I LOVE chatting it up with you on Twitter - so fun! I am so blessed, y'all.

Hope your weekend is beyond stellar! Catch ya Monday for some blog hop action right here!


Now, go show that weekend who's boss!


 

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PS - Want to gain new followers?! Need some blog exposure?

Click HERE to visit my weekly Mingle Monday blog hop! Open all week long! :)

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PPS - Need extremely budget-friendly advertising options for your blog or small business?

Get some exposure and traffic by becoming a Life of Meg sponsor! Sponsorships start at $10... not too shabby! Check it out - it only takes a minute to get your spot!

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June 21, 2012

Summer + Weekend = Happiness

Yesterday was the first official day of summer... {ahhhh!!}
...and I couldn't be more excited [obviously]!! Summer is one of my favorite seasons (right behind fall) and their are so many reasons why!

Time to break out the straw fedoras, breezy racerback tanks, strapless sundresses, and cute sandals! I have SO many yummy things that I want to make just waiting for me to try them out on my Pinterest boards! I am craving tons of refreshing fruit, grilled lean meat, and in season veggies.

It's so much easier to eat clean and stay healthy in the summertime, don't you think?! With all of the in season foods and outdoorsy activities? My goodness, I love summer.





.:: Looking Forward To ::.

lounging by the pool + sunshine + tasty smoothie recipes + sunset at 9:30
homemade ice cream + going on bike rides  + snow cone runs
sporting games + jean shorts +amazing summer movies 
 4th of July wknd + dog park + early morning walks
picnic date nights + barbecues with friends
iced coffee + tan lines + our madison trip
cute sunglasses + star gazing
country music

.:::.:::.:::.:::.


Well, I'm looking forward to the upcoming weekend at home. Even though I will be missing my favorite buddy while he's in Canada on a business trip, I have lots of fun summery things planned. Friday night fondue and martini party with the girls to start the weekend off right!

Saturday morning Zumba, lounging by the pool while reading my new book, theater in the park with friends (Legally Blonde the musical!), church on Sunday, probably more pool time, and then catching up on some baking and DVR time! And perhaps I may finally take myself to see this incredible documnetary?!


What is your summery weekend outlook, loves?
{Want to come pool it up with me?!}





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PS - Want to gain new followers?! Need some blog exposure?

Click HERE to visit my weekly Mingle Monday blog hop! Open all week long! :)

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June 19, 2012

Just a Little Tuesday Pick-Me-Up...

Today I can't escape the fact that many people seem down. Twitter tweets, blog posts, facebook, and just in general. But you know what? When I woke up today, I knew it was going to be a beautiful day to be happy and enjoy.

So whatever is getting you down today, brush that little devil off and make a pact with yourself.

Please join the happiness movement and repeat after me:
"Today, I choose joy and I'm not going to let anything get me down. Today is a good day to have a good day."



And just in case today has already given you some lemons, let me give you something fun to smile about...

Don't miss out on the super fun Soak Up the Sun blog gift swap! Sign-up closes tomorrow at noon, so don't miss out!! I promise this will lift your spirits! :)

Just remember... you are beautiful, you are worthy, and life is too short to let anything get you down!


Hugs friends!




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PS - Want to gain new followers?! Need some blog exposure?

Click HERE to visit my weekly Mingle Monday blog hop! Open all week long! :)

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June 18, 2012

Mingle Monday Weekly Blog Hop!

H eeeellllllooooooo Monday morning lovers!!!
Haha, jk. Who on earth actually loves Mondays? I'd like to meet such a person, because apparently I have a lot to learn from them! ;)

So tell me about your weekend - how was it? Did anyone get to celebrate with or honor their dads? I had a blast with my Mom and Dad in Kansas City this weekend!

Yesterday, I made Dad this spectacular Blackened Chicken w/ Cilantro Lime Quinoa recipe (which they RAVED about - try it ASAP!), as well as this Rustic Peach Pie (uh-mazing!) topped with vanilla bean ice cream.

I'm a little cooking machine, and subsequently my Dad's favorite child (eh, Linds and Kelly?!).

Anywho, if you are new to my humble little blog, I want to warmly welcome you from the bottom of my heart. Every single comment you leave me truly warms my heart! I hope you enjoy the week-long Mingle Monday blog hop and will be back again soon!

Please introduce yourself - I'd love to personally say hello! :)

_________________________________________________


{ Time to Mingle! }
 
.::::...::::...::::...::::..::::.


Pretty Pretty Please...

If you could find it in your big heart to pass the Mingle word along... I will love you forever and ever and ever... and ever. Twitter. Blog post. You name it, I love it.

In all seriousness, I truly appreciate each one of you who take an extra minute to go the extra mile each week! I cannot thank you for your sweet generosity enough! Let's add to this party!

{ Many thanks! }





LIFE OF MEG




_________________________________________________


How To Mingle:


1) Must be a [Life of Meg] follower to participate.

2) Scroll down to the bottom of this post and click on the link to enter your blog.

3) Go visit other blogs saying hello from Mingle Monday!

4) Answer the weekly question...

** Any summer reading recommendations? Puh-puh-please! **

_________________________________________________




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Can't wait to visit your blog!! Please remember that the blog hop is open all week long, so spread the word!!

Don't miss out on the super fun Soak Up the Sun blog gift swap! Sign-up closes THIS WEDNESDAY at noon, so don't miss out!! And for all of your wonderful blog friends who have signed up, thank you! This is going to be a blast - can't wait to see who my swap partner is this time! :)

Also... I am now offering extremely affordable sponsorship opportunities - $10-22! If you are interested in advertising your blog, Etsy shop, or small business at a really great low price, please check out my sponsor page! Let's get your some exposure!


Wishing you a week full of glitter and puppy dogs!
(...or whatever floats your little boat!)











PS - Are you on Twitter? Follow me on the go!! :)

June 15, 2012

Confessional Friday

Hey there gal pals! Happy Friday to you!
For the first time in a long time, the week sure flew by for me. And with my fabulous parentals driving up to Kansas City for a visit, I couldn't be more excited that the weekend!

Today I'm linking up with Leslie's weekly Confessional Friday: Link-Up over at A Blonde Ambition... please join the fun with me!



1) I confess that... I am ridiculously excited to announce that I am now offering extremely affordable blog sponsorships to all! Yes, that means your Etsy shop, small business, or blog! I've received several e-mails lately asking about budget friendly opportunities, so here they are!



Monthly sponsorship price ranges from only $10-22!! Click HERE to see how easy it is to get your own ad - it only takes a minute! :)



2) I confess that... lately, I am embarrassingly obsessed with Grab the Gold bars. BF got me hooked when he mentioned they were a protein laden healthier version of a no bake cookie. I know they don't look that tasty from that photo, but Oh. My. Word. They taste EXACTLY like a no bake cookies, but with tons of protein and fiber, and minimal added sugar!

This is not good that I know how to purchase these!



3) I confess that... I have not washed my face before bed this entire week. Now before you get totally grossed out, know that I am completely obsessed with the Neutrogena Deep Clean Face Wipes. Although I shouldn't avoid washing my face every single night, it's nice to have a back-up when I am tired (aka: ridiculously lazy).

4) I confess that... I am secretly loving my doctor putting me on couch arrest. I've been increasing mileage on my daily runs and have now developed hip and knee bursitis in my IT band. Don't worry, I know it sounds no fun (and it is kind of ouchy!), but nothing good ol' ice packs, rest, pain meds, and my overflowing DVR can't fix! ;)


5) I confess that... I can't wait to visit the farmer's market with my mom on Saturday morning, buy lots of peaches, and make my dad these rustic mini peach pies for Father's Day. Best child award? I think so.




6) I confess that... I am beyond pumped to see all of you who signed up for the Soak Up the Sun - Blog Gift Swap! Are you signed up? Entries close next Wednesday. Don't miss out - hurry, hurry, hurry!




7) I confess that... I secretly want to know more after hearing about 50 Shades of Gray. Tons of friends are raving... maybe I'll finally cave? Have you read it?!

.:::.:::.:::.:::.:::.


Alrighty, ladies... I'm off to finish up my Friday, hit up a few Relay for Life events for work, and then let me weekend begin! I'll be taking photos and have plenty of tasty recipes, weekend stories, and inspiration to share... stay tuned!

Also! Don't forget to stop by on Monday for my week-long Mingle Monday blog hop! Grab new followers and great exposure!

Have a beyond lovely weekend, dolls!


 

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PS - Want to gain new followers?! Need some blog exposure?

Click HERE to visit my weekly Mingle Monday blog hop! Open all week long! :)


PPS - Don't forget to sign-up for the Soak Up the Sun blog gift swap! Entries close early next week!
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June 14, 2012

Getaway Weekend In Photos

Well it's been almost a week since my little getaway weekend... it's about time I get my act together and share our little adventure with you!

For those who missed last week's post, Adam and I went on a little roadtrip down to the cabin his family owns and met up with some of our favorite in-town friends! Unfortunately... after looking at the photos, I realized I didn't get any of Matt and Ashley (sorry friends!), so we look a little self-absorbed...

Oh. And I also forgot to take a photo of the actual cabin (it's gorgeous!), but don't you worry your pretty little head... we're headed back down with Adam's family and our friends for the 4th. I will get photos then! Deal?


{ The Trip }


So we left pretty late after work on Friday night and it takes quite some time to get there. Needless to say we got in super late and crashed. BUT here are some before photos...

Doesn't Bella Beast look excited for cabin weekend?




Naturally, I woke up freakishly early (for a weekend) because I was so excited to venture into town! We decided on visiting Carolyn's Essenhaus for breakfast in Arlington. Arlington is a small town that has a decently sized Amish Mennonite population, and they make everything from scratch!

I enjoyed a tasty plate of biscuits and gravy, and then we ordered one of Carolyn's famous homemade pies to go. Why, oh why, did I not get a picture?! 4th of July weekend... there will be more pie!

Anywho... we drove about 15 minutes into Hutchison where we stopped by two of my favorite stores. We never make a cabin trip without stopping at Apron Strings (adorable kitchen store) and Smith's Market (known for quirky toys, tons of candy, fresh produce, and tasty trail mixes).




Now remember when I mentioned the candy section?

Well this picture doesn't do it justice! They have every flavor of licorice, type of candy from your childhood, and yummy homemade candies too! YUM!




...I found these and thought they were hilarious. I mean there is a pig shaped gummy?!

I probably laughed for 10 minutes, while Adam quickly walked to another section and pretended he didn't know the crazy lady cackling over the farm animal gummies.



After these few pit stops, the four of us went to a tasty local Mexican restaurant that had incredible enchiladas... my love language. El Patrillo must have really loved me, because I demolished my entire plate. Such a fun double date!

Lunch wrapped up, so we grabbed some groceries to cook dinner first, and then drove back to the cabin. It was the perfect day to sit on the dock, dangle your feet in the pond, get some quality vitamin D, and sip adult bevvies.

Since it was well into the 90s, we didn't last terribly long. Don't worry, the fun continued by way of naps and board games. Such great company!! Later that night, we enjoyed a tasty dinner and the Disney movie Cars. :) Yup, you read that right.

That next morning, we thought it would be super fun to cook up a late brunch and sit on the screened in patio before heading back to KC. What a nice little date just sipping coffee and just being us. Doesn't the spread look delish?






Yup, so there you have it! It was a great weekend with my favorite buddy! We had a blast spending time with our dear friends and loved being outside at the cabin!

Countdown 'til 4th of July weekend... t-minus 2 weeks!




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PS - Want to gain new followers?! Need some blog exposure?

Click HERE to visit my weekly Mingle Monday blog hop! Open all week long! :)


PPS - Don't forget to sign-up for the Soak Up the Sun blog gift swap! Entries close early next week!
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June 13, 2012

Ummm... Ouch!

You could call this an I-need-massive-amounts-of-sympathy post...
and you'd probably be right. I'm in so much pain today! Most of you know my story about living with Fibromyalgia, so I just assumed my recent outer hip pain these last few weeks was just a combo of FM symptoms plus over doing it on my workouts...

...until I almost died this morning.

Slightly over dramatic? Okay, okay, you're right.

Adam arrived at my house at 6:15 a.m. for another morning run before work. My hip has felt strained and achy for over two weeks now, but I thought stretching and resting would do it's trick.

Well, I could barely finish 2 miles (which we typically run without a hitch)... I was in so much pain! I am waddling around everywhere with a very scary grimacing expression, it hurts to even lightly touch, and boy howdy do I just want to soak in a hot tub or something.




I've since come to the conclusion that I should probably rest my injury by purchasing and riding around on a shiny new yellow vespa scooter...

...or at least head to the doctor this afternoon for some xrays/MRI/cortisone shot in the hip. Boo! Praying for good guidance from my trusty doc and minimal pain!

Meanwhile, if anyone would like to make me feel better...

I think the pain would immensely subside if you sign-up for my Soak Up the Sun - Blog Gift Swap! Perhaps that would only make me smile, but if you wanted to send me a cute band-aid cupcake like the one above... I wouldn't hate it! ;)


Cheers to my new vespa!
*ahem* I mean, feeling better soon!






_______________________________________________________

PS - Want to gain new followers?! Need some blog exposure?

Click HERE to visit my weekly Mingle Monday blog hop! Open all week long! :)

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June 12, 2012

Soak Up the Sun - Blog Gift Swap!

Get ready for some fun, my summer-loving friends!
After hosting several blog gift swaps throughout the year, I've decided it's time for a fresh summer-themed extravaganza! Did I grab your attention yet?

I have really enjoyed all of your feedback about how much you loved getting adorable little gifts in the mail from you swap partner, so we're going to keep this little tradition rolling! I mean, who doesn't LOVE getting real mail, not to mention a whole package!


{ I knew you would be excited!! }





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.:: Soak Up the Sun - Blog Gift Swap ::.
 
Sign-up, get matched w/ a buddy, shop for your favorite summer must-haves, and swap via mail!
 


1) Interested? Must be a [Life of Meg] follower to be elligible.


2) Leave a comment below that includes your first name and e-mail address.


3) Also in your comment leave at least 5-10 "favorites" of yours.
 
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Example: Meg's Summer Faves
 

- Treats:
Crystal Light, fruit leather, pistachios, healthy snacks

- Colors:
Yellow, yellow, and yellow! 
Coral, turquoise, and orange are amazing too!

- Accessories:
Scarves, fedoras, beach hats, running socks, running visor, chunky earrings, truquoise jewelry, coral jewelry, simple stud earrings, sunglasses.

- Home Luxuries:
Fruity/Beachy/Vanilla scented candles, Scentsy bars, modern/simple frames, Crate and Barrel type decor.

- Fun faves:
Oklahoma State anything, cute cupcake liners, starbucks giftcards, bright dish towels, thank you cards, stationary, magazines - People, US, Martha Stewart, Real Simple.

- Girly things:
Nail polish (summer colors!), soft pink or peach lip gloss, shimmery neutral palette eye shadow, lip balm, face masks, bubble bath, cute bobby pins, coconut scented body lotion, self tanner.

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4) I will send your buddy's e-mail address to you via your provided e-mail address. You then can exchange mailing address information once you're in contact.


5) Shop for your summer goodies {price max: $20} and send your buddy's gift by Monday, June 25th.
 
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.:: Pretty Please ::.


Spread the word about the [Life of Meg] Soak Up the Sun blog gift swap! We want as many people as possible to join us in spreading the fun!
 
The picture above or the button below is for your use in a post or on your sidebar. Please add a link directly to this blog post so that your friends can easily join us in the fun!







** Sign-up closes on Wednesday, June 20th @ Noon (CST)! **

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So, who's totally excited?!

I know I am! I already have a vision of the adorable/fun/girly summer must-haves that I want to buy/send to the buddy I get matched up with!

I hope you will help me spread the summertime cheer! It's one of my absolute favorite seasons to eat fresh, be active, enjoy outdoors, and strut my warm weather fashions, so let's kick it off right!



Happy Summer!!




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PS - Want to gain new followers?! Need some blog exposure?

Click HERE to visit my weekly Mingle Monday blog hop! Open all week long! :)

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