Colton “The Virgin Bachelor”

Sigh, this season of The Bachelor is really going to be a drag. The ironic part this time around, though, is that despite Colton being a virgin, the biggest theme is going to be sex. How much do I care about Colton’s sex life? Not. At. All. I don’t care what he does or doesn’t do, and I certainly don’t need to be hearing about it over and over again. Something that bothers me about some of the conversation around Colton is that people are relieved to find that Colton isn’t weird — he just hasn’t found the “right person” yet. Some girls went into the season wondering what was wrong with him, and about a quarter of the introductions revolved around sex.

One point I am going to drill home in this, and a few upcoming blog posts, is that sex is a verb. It’s not an adjective you use to describe someone, and its presence or lack of is not going to drastically change someone’s personality. Sex is an action. It shouldn’t be a word that is used to completely define someone. ABC clearly disagrees, though. They’ve promoted him as “the first virgin bachelor” and have been hyping this entire season around the fact that Colton has yet to sleep with a woman. In the months leading up to the show they have made an ad based off of The 40-Year-Old Virgin, sent him on interviews where he has to explain over and over again why he hasn’t had sex yet, and have been using phrases like, “what does he have to lose?” constantly referring to his v-card.  It honestly feels like The Bachelor franchise has just completely been exploiting Colton for his [lack of] sexuality. He poses in next to nothing, then is filmed showering and rubbing himself all over while the camera slowly and awkwardly pans from his face to his waist. He excitedly says that yes, he might lose his virginity to one of these girls, and that he had been ready to give it to Becca Kufrin, but his time just hasn’t come yet.

colton.png
Photo Credit: ABC

It bothers me that Colton has been completely playing up the virgin thing with the network and is still going along with it as his primary storyline. At some point wouldn’t you get fed up with the narrative and just scream at the producers, “Yes, I am a virgin, but let’s move on from that! I also love dogs, football, The Chargers, and hiking.” There are six billion other things they could be talking about, yet every other scene involves yet another crack at Colton or Chris Harrison asking if he feels like “less of a man” for being a virgin. Like, what the hell?! Imagine if he asked one of the bachelorettes that. We would all be up in arms saying that her sex life does not define her worth as a human being. Rude, Harrison.

I’m predicting that this is going to be one of the lowest-rated seasons of The Bachelor. I really really hope I’m wrong, because I don’t want to be wasting every Monday night for the next 13 weeks, but unless they can find another topic to discuss, they’ve lost me entirely. I already can’t take it anymore and we’ve only had one episode. If this season goes as I think it will, ABC will need to reevaluate how they choose a lead next season if they want to gain a larger fanbase. Instead of choosing someone based on one thing, they will need to find people who are dynamic and have depth, then bring that out on camera. We love watching people with big personalities find love, and I’m not really for this whole cheering for a man to lose his virginity narrative. It feels incredibly creepy, invasive, and frankly, just downright boring. Here’s to hopefully learning more about Colton’s personality next week, and in the meantime enjoying some of the drama that is bound to ensue with twenty women living in the same house, dating the same guy.

Life Is All About The Little Things

Robert doesn’t know it (Until now; thanks for being my #1 reader!), but this weekend was one of the best I’ve had. Not for any reason in particular, other than the fact that we got to spend it together. Something I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is that the very most valuable and wonderful thing I have in my life is time. I honestly could be doing nothing special at home, but as long as I’m with loved ones I am happy. I’ve learned that “simple” doesn’t equate to “boring,” and that contentment is just as great as joy because it can really last for the long haul.

This weekend we just hung around the house and played games, ordered takeout, and took the dogs out for a few walks, but it was really great getting to catch up some after what has been a tiring couple of weeks. I loved getting to chat instead of watching a ton of mindless television, and we even went on a few mini adventures around town — my favorite being our outing to the restaurant where we celebrated our anniversary back in October. No matter how long we are together I always want to have regular date nights, because I think they’re so great for the heart.

Clover.png
I found 9 four leaf clovers outside my soon-to-be-home with Robert. I’d say this was a good luck charm for our 100 day countdown!

At this point I’m really excited for our wedding still, but I am much more stoked for the entire lifetime of memories and love that is going to come after. Despite getting sick with POTS and having pain be a regular guest in my body, I am overall even more joyful now than I was before I got sick. I think this has to do greatly with recognizing all of the love and amazing people I have surrounding me. I feel so blessed that the everyday beauty in my life does not go unnoticed, and that my heart is content with all of the love that fuels it. All the adventures we have ahead of us are going to be a blast (I am particularly excited for our honeymoon!), but I am also so excited for the countless game nights and dinner dates we have in store for us. I feel so darn lucky to have this life, and I am working to appreciate every gift — big and small — that God has given me.

 

Something New Bridal Box Review

You guys know I love subscription boxes. Since gift giving is one of my favorite love languages, it’s super fun giving myself a little present every month. Something New Bridal Box recently sent me one of their boxes to review and oh my gosh, they’ve got me hooked. This is the only subscription box that I’ve ever received and decided to keep every single thing for myself because I’m actually going to use it all.

This is what the box looks like when you receive it:

prebox.png

SNBB.png
It came with a gift for 25 free prints from the Parabo Press App.

First, I unwrapped the travel mug that says, “Miss Mrs.” on the front. I’ve been drinking a lot of coffee and tea lately, so this is going to be a really nice addition to my wedding planning supplies. I love how bright and girly it is, and despite having a kind of rubbery lid, it doesn’t spill when you use it.

mug.png

The next thing that caught my eye was a little white goody bag with a silk ribbon around it. I was excited to find a compact mirror by Pink Confetti Boutique that said, “bride” on the front. I’m a huge fan of the watercolor pattern that’s been making its way around the bridal circuit lately, and I am going to pack this in my little touch up bag for the day of the wedding. The boutique also included a 25% off coupon code, so I checked out their site and there are a lot of fun things for both bridesmaids and brides.

mirror.png

Third, I found a delicate sterling silver “Mrs” necklace in the box. It’s funny, but this is the first time I’ve really thought of myself as being a “Mrs.” I have thought about the last name change and everything, but I haven’t spent very much time thinking about the title change away from “Miss.” This little necklace made me feel giddy, and I am waiting to wear it until I have officially become a “Mrs” this fall.

mrs

Last, but certainly not least, I felt something thick and heavy wrapped in pink tissue paper underneath all my other goodies. I was so excited to find a “fiancée” sweatshirt at the bottom! It’s thicker than a shirt, but thinner than a normal sweatshirt, so I’m super excited to wear it throughout the summer. The only downside is that it’s a little big on me (It’s a size medium), however when you sign up for a subscription you can actually put in whatever size you are so it will be accurate when you receive your box. Since this was a sponsored post, I didn’t give my size, but I’d rather have this be a little on the bigger side anyway. I can’t wait to wear this over to the fiancée’s house later today to see what he thinks!

Screen Shot 2018-04-11 at 10.57.37 PM.png

Overall, I highly recommend Something New Bridal Box. They have incredible customer service and replied to my emailed questions within the hour, and the shipping was faster than I expected. I loved every single product, and feel like it is a decent price for everything they included in the box ($44.95, but if you use my coupon code you can get 10% off that, and the price goes down more the more boxes you commit to when you subscribe!). I highly recommend purchasing a subscription for yourself or an engaged friend. It would make a wonderful gift at an engagement party as the packaging is beautiful so it’s already wrapped, and the gifts inside are high quality and super-fun for any girl who is getting excited for her wedding.

receipt.png
Here is the little price sheet they include to show how much you would have paid for all the items purchased individually.

Want to try SNBB for yourself or to give to a friend? Use the code KRISTALAUREN10 to get 10% off your first purchase.

I Said “Yes!”

Well, I have officially found my wedding dress!

I have a million cute stories about the process, but some of these will have to wait until after Robert and I get married. I am being super careful about not sharing too much because I love surprises and want him to be completely surprised the day of the wedding. We aren’t going to do a first look because we’re both pretty traditional and want to see each other for the first time at the ceremony. I’m really excited about a lot of moments, but our first time seeing each other is one  of two moments I am most excited about.

mom_dress.png

Dress shopping was such a fun experience and a small part of me is sad that it’s over, but I’m so thrilled with how the entire process went. I tried on every single style dress imaginable, and the one I chose was the only one that made my mom cry. That was the moment she and I both knew I had found the perfect dress.

I can’t wait to share more with you all, but I am so happy that I can give little peeks into our journey on here. I have a lot of fun photos in wedding dresses I’ll share after we get married, but I don’t want Robert seeing me in any of the gowns until this fall (And he’s an avid reader of my blog — right, babe? 😉 ).

Next on my list: Find and message the rest of the vendors I need, choose some beautiful bridesmaid dresses, and GO CAKE TASTING!! I think before I met Robert the most exciting part about planning a wedding always seemed like it would be the many opportunities for cake tasting. I will most definitely be writing a lot about this, as dessert is one of my biggest passions in life.

From Girlfriend To Fiancée

Wow, the past few months have been crazy in the best way.

Robert and I got engaged in November and I had plenty of time to breathe and enjoy our new titles as “fiancée” and “fiancé” (Side note: did you know that the word differs in spelling for a man and a woman? Two “e’s” mean the word is for a female, and just one makes it male). Now that I’m in month five of being engaged I want to tell you all how everything has been and what kind of advice I have for people when they first get engaged too.

First, one thing I did that I would absolutely do over and over again is that I kept the engagement off social media for a little over a week. It was so special having this little secret with Robert and all my loved ones, and it made that time so memorable and easier to live in the moment. Rather than getting hundreds of calls, texts, and well wishes online, we were able to hold hands and be quietly excited at the thought of getting to marry each other one day in the near future. It felt a lot more intimate and all of the new changes had time to sink in before announcing our new status to the world.

Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 12.19.34 PM.png

Second, I recommend actually searching for venues after taking a few weeks to let everything sink in. My initial response to the dozens of “Have you set a date?!” question was, “I am just taking some time to enjoy being engaged.” While that is all fine and dandy, I knew I wanted to get married in the fall. We got engaged in the winter, and wanted a fall wedding. Had I started right away I would have had about a year to plan, whereas I knocked off about a third of that to just sit back and relax. Luckily, everything on that front has worked itself out and I’m really happy with the way our plans are materializing, but the Washington DC area is super competitive, even in the wedding industry. If you want to get married on a certain date or time of year, you should keep that in mind while figuring out how long you are going to be engaged and when to start planning.

Third, there is no right or wrong timeline. Some engagements are short, others are long, and there are a million in between. Figure out what you think is right, then just go for it! Planning such a big event is definitely a new and unique challenge, but it’s also a lot of fun once you stop dipping your toes in the water and just jump into planning. Luckily, all of the research I’ve done in college and assignments I had at Seventeen are really paying off, because it takes a lot of work to find the right vendors to create a big event like this.

Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 12.51.46 PM.png

Finally, enjoy second of being engaged and make sure to still go on date nights and do things outside of planning your wedding. Time goes by so fast, and before you know it you’ll be a husband or wife instead of just a fiancé(e)!

The Most Dramatic Bachelor Finale Of All Time

Okay, so Chris Harrison gets a lot of flack every year for hyping The Bachelor(ette) finale by saying, “This is going to be the most dramatic ending of all time.” I didn’t roll my eyes as hard when he said that this year, though, because I decided on day 1 that I needed to change things up a little and read the Reality Steve spoiler before the season even began. I knew that Arie was going to pull a Jason Mesnick and choose one person, only to later change his mind, and I knew that Lauren would be the real final choice.

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 3.40.03 PM.png
Becca K, left, Lauren B, right.

I didn’t know, however, that the ending would be this bad. I’ll be honest in saying that Arie has never been my favorite Bachelor. I didn’t feel like he was particularly emotional, and I felt like he wasn’t sympathetic enough to the girls when he was letting them go. I hated how he picked up roses and held them close to the contestants only to say, “You are such a fun girl, but I can’t give this rose to you today.” He didn’t seem particularly aware of the feelings around him, and I didn’t feel like many of his words were thoughtful and genuine. It just felt like he was reading off a script of things he thought were appropriate for the lead of The Bachelor to say.

Part of the fun of watching The Bachelor is seeing people have real feelings and get invested in one another. Throughout the entire season I just didn’t see it with any of the girls. Maybe, just maybe, Bekah M had a real connection with Arie, and he seemed to like Becca K enough throughout the season. I just didn’t see him connect emotionally with any of the contestants on the show.

Even though I knew that Arie would go back on his proposal and choose someone different than the finalist he proposed to, I didn’t really imagine it being a complete disaster. I figured they maybe just didn’t get along in the real world after filming ended, and that Arie would quietly end the engagement and ask his ex, Lauren, for a second chance. Needless to say, I was absolutely disgusted with the outcome of the show yesterday.

Something I don’t understand at all is how Arie could be okay with dumping Becca like that. He clearly had to talk to the producers and agree with breaking up with her in a very public manner, and trick her into going to a filming location so that she could be dumped on camera. First off, this is a terrible idea because breakups are emotional and tough enough without having an entire production crew on site. If he cared about her heart in the least he would have seen why this was a bad idea. Second, I don’t understand how he thought this was a good idea for his own image. Like, jumping at the chance to break up with your fiancée on national television doesn’t scream “Hero” to me, plus it shows that you just want to be on TV at any chance you get if you’re willing to share such a personal moment with millions of viewers. Third, how do you think Lauren is going to feel when she watches you completely blindsight one of the girls on her season, just to “have a shot” at winning her back? Sorry to be harsh, but Arie had absolutely no class when he thought about this decision and chose to hurt a girl he loved on national television. This could have easily been done in private, and I still wonder what the heck his motivation to do all of this on camera was. There wasn’t a chance that he’d come out of it looking good, and then the way he disrespected Becca and refused to leave after she asked him to several times really made him look bad.

I’m curious to see what Lauren has to say about all of this tonight, and whether or not she is dating Arie now, but I am happy to announce that Becca is a true winner of The Bachelor this season. She doesn’t have to marry someone who will only keep wanting what he can’t have and can’t make a decision if his life depended on it, and she now has the world at her fingertips to find a kind, thoughtful, and compassionate human being to spend her life with. I really do hope Arie found/finds whatever he is looking for, and I wish him the best. I would imagine the next several weeks will be really tough for him on the Internet, so hopefully he’ll be able to get past all of this and return to a normal life soon enough.

An English Major’s Love Language

Who else was excited that Ed Sheeran got engaged this weekend?! I was super excited for a few reasons. First, I absolutely love love. I want every single person in this world to be happy, and falling in love is something I think can really add a different element of brightness to your life. Second, I am stoked to hear all the new music he comes out with now. One of my favorite things about listening to artists I really enjoy is knowing who songs can be about. Taylor’s breakup music is fun, but the tracks about being in love and spilling her heart out in words is incomparably beautiful. I am excited to learn more about Ed’s fiancée, Cherry. Lastly, I like having a face to put to his song Perfect. The lyrics are some of the sweetest I’ve heard, and I absolutely love that he wrote such an amazing song for the girl he wants to spend forever with. That is just the “cherry” on top of the most wonderful words that have been put together.

Oh my gosh, this really gets the waterworks going. As if I needed any other reasons to love this song, knowing that each and every word written is real and raw makes me so, so happy. Something I enjoy most is knowing that the feelings in Perfect are real and raw. Being a fellow writer — though far less eloquent — I know exactly what it’s like to feel like your heart is about to burst and overflow with all the love it’s trying to contain. I also know very well that the only outlet for us to really express a deep love is putting pen to paper. Even though I don’t really know Sheeran, I feel like I’ve gotten a peek into his heart, and he’s been able to bring up my own feelings and experiences, despite being really descriptive about his own, too.

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-22 at 10.44.59 AM.png
Me interviewing Sheeran at the Jingle Ball in 2012. If you click the first link in this article you’ll see a picture of Cherry wearing this sweatshirt. I guess when it comes down to it we all love stealing our guy’s clothes.

I know that there’s significance behind “dancing in the dark,” and that they’re not just meant to be carefully crafted lyrics.  I know that there was a night where he whispered, “darling you look perfect tonight,” and I can picture him blushing happily while dancing with his sweet new fiancée.

These memories bring up my own. I think about dancing to Sheeran at a friend’s wedding with my own significant other. I think about how perfect that moment was, and going home to write this in my journal:

“Our first dance together was magical. We smiled at the newly wed couple happily, and our eyes danced as they met one another. We knew we were thinking the exact same thing; we are similar in so many ways, and we both feel touched deeply by true love — though Robert might not as openly admit that.

We swayed back and forth and I got lost in the twinkle in his eyes. For a moment I felt a little self-conscious that we were having such a moment in front of other people, but my nerves were quickly put at ease when I realized how comfortable Robert was. The way he was looking at me I knew he was peering deep down into my soul, and our two moving bodies became one. My heart hadn’t ever felt so warm, loved, and bright as it did in that very moment. It was as if all the love that had ever been in our relationship was piled into this one dance, and I didn’t want it to end.

‘I guess our first dance is to Ed Sheeran,’ Robert observed. His eyes were still smiling at me, and the twinkling lights in the barn around us were just background noise; he was the star of my show. ‘I don’t hate it.’

We continued to sway to the sweet lyrics until the song ended. I didn’t want it to come to end, but I also knew in a way it wouldn’t. I would have this in my heart forever, and that dance will be one of my favorite memories of us for the rest of my life.”

I remember having a feeling of pure bliss because of how innocent and special sharing a slow dance with the love of your life is. I think further back to being pulled close in the kitchen and listening to his heart beat while we swayed back and forth to silence. I wonder if he remembers this too, or if these moments are only preserved in my own heart and journals from before the deployment.

Screen Shot 2018-01-22 at 10.46.57 AM.png

Writing, to me, is the most beautiful love language. Words of Affirmation aren’t listed as my #1 love language, but they are the most special to me in so many ways. They can make my heart sink or soar, and I use them to share my deepest thoughts and feelings with others. I have screenshotted text messages from years ago that made me so happy that I couldn’t imagine just letting them disappear into thin air. I save every note someone who is special in my life sends to me, and I treasure certain words that are said in my heart forever.

I want to collect thousands of “I love you’s,” and hearing about what I mean to someone is the best gift that could be given in this world. I look at words as being sacred pieces of the heart, and despite using the “L” word freely, it also means very different things to each person in my life. When it comes to romantic love, there is only one person in the world who hears “I love you” in the giddy way that will always signify true love, and for me, that person is Robert.

Congratulations to Ed and Cherry; they’re definitely going to be people I ‘ship while wedding planning and thinking about how beautifully special two people coming together to create a life with one another is. I can’t wait for the next sweet single to come out, and in the meantime I’ll continue gently taking words from my own heart to keep writing about the things I love in this life.

2018, Fearless

Fear is a great motivator. It stifles our light and often keeps us from doing really meaningful work merely because of the off-chance that something bad may happen. When we look at someone else’s fears we don’t always see the validity of them and wonder how in the world they are letting something so hypothetical stop them from living their lives; however, our own fears feel very real and valid because they are scenarios that could really hurt us.

I have a small arsenal of writing that I have done but kept to myself because I’m afraid to share it for one reason or another. In 2017 the word I chose for the year was, “strong,” and I feel like despite some tricky circumstances, I have been able to live up to what this word means. Going into 2018 I want my word of the year to be Fearless. The dictionary defines this word as,

Fearless: adj, “without fear; bold or brave; intrepid,”

but I think when you break it down the word simply means, “fear less.”

lights.png

Fear in life is inevitable. It can be a healthy feeling, as it keeps us from doing stupid things, however it can also keep us from reaching our full potential. Think of how much you could accomplish in life if you didn’t base so many decisions on fear. The times I have moved forward with actions despite being afraid of the outcome I think my writing has been much more dynamic, raw, and real than when I am merely trying to come up with content.

This is the opposite of what I want to do right now. I’ve had a few things happen that make me want to crawl back into my shell and hide, and the last thing I want to do is continue creating posts that reach deep down into my heart to spill words on these pages for anyone in the world to read. This year I’ve learned that people don’t always want what’s best for you, and their intentions can be malicious and manipulative. I’ve learned that not all women want what’s best for other women, and my heart has hurt because of it. Something else I’ve learned, though, is that it’s really easy to look at the bad in situations. For some reason it seems to be human nature to hone in on the negative. Knowledge is power, and after taking my first step of realizing this, I have learned that the majority of the people who read this blog are kind, caring, and genuine. They want what is best for me, and they don’t have any ulterior motives from reading the diary I keep online. One person in over a thousand should not dictate the way I share my life, and most of us are here to cheer each other on and make every journey easier by being there for each other. This is a time for celebration, and I am so, so excited about my future with Robert, and with writing all about my life and the content of my heart.

So here’s to diving in head and heart first, fearless.

Enjoying Engagement & Wedding Planning

I should start this by saying no, we don’t have a date yet, and no, we haven’t done any concrete planning. It was hilariously overwhelming when Robert and I announced we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together how quickly the questions about specifics came. It’s kind of nice that we got engaged over Thanksgiving because instead of doing a ton of planning right off the bat, we are just enjoying the holidays together and being excited at the thought of everything. There are a few things we know we want to do for sure, but those are sweet little details that I will save until after the big day.

In the meantime I have a few really neat surprises up my sleeve that I’m excited to eventually reveal to Robert. I’ve thought about getting engaged to him before and what I wanted to do to make this time — and the big day — special for him, and I am really stoked to start making some of these daydreams a reality. He hates surprises and this is going to be the first he’ll be hearing of this, but trust me babe, these are going to make you really, really happy. Nothing too crazy, but a few special details that I know you’re going to love. Surprises are kind of my jam, so he knows that marrying me means that even if he’s not totally into getting little surprise presents or going on spontaneous dates, he’ll be marrying that part of me, too.

Anyway, I got my fitted ring in yesterday and I absolutely love it. Robert did an amazing job picking out something for me, but more than that I think it’s so sweet and romantic that it makes me think of him every time I look at it. I never realized just how much you look at your hands throughout the course of the day, but I’m super sentimental, so jewelry has always felt special because of the thought you know someone puts behind getting it. I’ve always worn something that he’s given me, whether it’s the beautiful bracelet he got for my birthday our first year dating or his dog tags under a cozy oversized sweater. Now I have something I get to wear every single day, no matter what, and it’s a really neat feeling.

Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 11.23.32 PM.png

Other than all of that, I don’t have a lot of major updates, but I do have a lot of new posts coming up! I know I’ve been a bit MIA, but it’s been the perfect storm of busy between getting engaged, having the holidays upon us, celebrating my birthday, and having a few winter weddings to attend. I am so excited to share more of my life and feelings with y’all, and thank you to everyone who’s been so excited, supportive, and wonderful during this exciting time. I’m right here cheering all of you on, whether it’s with blossoming relationships, new jobs, exotic travels, or serving others with little acts of kindness every day. I love you all so much and am so blessed to be able to write about things that make hearts happy.

Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 11.23.41 PM.png
I took this picture about five minutes before Robert proposed, and it’s one of my favorite things now. I can’t wait to go back to New York with him and continue to celebrate life together. 

WE ARE ENGAGED!!!!!

Hi Single in The Suburbs family!

You might have noticed that I’ve been gone for a little over a week now… Well that’s because I’ve just been busy getting engaged! Robert asked me to marry him last week in New York City, and I have been so excited since. I wanted to share the news with some of my close friends before announcing it to the world, but now that everyone knows I can’t wait to share some of the story with y’all.

propose.png
Two Christmases ago I would’ve never guessed that I would be spending the end of 2017 engaged. Actually, I kind of take that back, because two years ago was the first time Robert and I said we loved each other. All my friends knew from the start that my relationship with Robert was different than anything I’ve had before. Our hearts combined are a once in a lifetime love, and I’m so excited to have him by my side for forever.

This weekend is a little crazy because it’s my mom’s birthday and then mine, but I’ll be doing a lot of writing next week to give you guys the scoop. ❤