Friendsgiving . .. this is how family is made

So last Sunday, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, we did our friendsigiving, which I know for many people takes many different forms, this could be a party after the family thanksgiving, an excuse to get drunk really at any time. But for us, it involves the 6 of us getting together and having a true thanksgiving meal and then having our annual ginger bread house competition. Which you are welcome to vote in. . . FullSizeRender

In order not to sway your opinion I will not tell you which one was ours. .. but needless to say we won.

In a way Friendsgiving is all I have ever had, my thanksgiving is not a large family gathering, my family does not gather in that way, my mom and I are the only members of our family for over 1000 miles and no one really puts in the effort to come see us, given we have stopped putting in the effort to go see them as well. But thanksgiving has always been a hodge podge of about 4 families my mom became friends with in her early 20’s as these friends, got married, had children and at this point, as their children are having children the gathering as grown from about 6 to over 20.

And has become my favorite day of the year. I long for the loud political discussions, where no one agrees. The potluck style meal in which we have all been bringing the same pieces of the glorious meal for as long as I can remember. And since my mom hates to cook this means we bring olives and pickles to eat before the meal. But this is what I look forward to, none of the awkward forced family relationships, well at least minimally. We all want to be there. And when asked about my family, these are the people I discuss. When writing family narratives in college these were the people that filled so many pages. And in August when I get married, one of these men will be the man to walk me down the aisle and give me away. Maybe more traditionally since my father is not in the picture this would have been done by an Uncle. but this man is as close to a father as I have ever had and if that isn’t family then I am not sure what is.

On Sunday, I began wondering if this is what their first thanksgiving’s together were like, a gathering to share in friendship and give thanks for the people we choose to have in our lives, that God has placed there so that we can make our own family. And I hope they were I hope that the beautiful gathering I hold so dear grew from something this simple. Because then I can imagine in 20 years, when we all have growing children we can still be gathered around a table, in a family home and not an cramped 1 bedroom apartment like we are now. But as we sip wine and watch the children make the gingerbread houses we can think back on the simplicity of how this day began. And remember the days over the years, where Friendsgiving became a day we cherish, where Friendsgiving became a day for family. . .

❤ Kelsi Rae

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No, your grandma cannot come to my wedding!

So I am getting married next August in the most beautiful chapel that I have ever seen. It has been my dream to get married there for a few years since I learned the history of the chapel. Give me a good history and I will fall in love with most things, and this one has a great history.IMG_0062

It was build in the late 1800’s and as a result it is the size of an 1800’s chapel that means that it sits about 85 people and we are going to push it to 90 for our wedding. This means that my ceremony guest list is very exclusive :). But apparently people think they can invite anyone they want, including themselves and grandparents. So due to this limited size we are not allowing plus ones at the ceremony.

Since becoming engaged I have discovered there are two types of people when they hear the news, (these people exclude your close friends and family that display a normal level of excitement)the people who are like oh congratulations but give you the side eye like they are not super happy for you, thats fine I don’t need their happiness. I prefer those people to the second type of people, the second type of people,  these are the people that maybe you used to be really close with, or you were coworkers a few years back. The people that haven’t talked to you in about a year, these people become overly excited and begin asking for all the wedding details, the location, the date, the colors, what is your dress going to look like, way more information than you were wanting to start announcing when you updated your “life event” on facebook.

They do these large show of excitement of feigning friendship in order to be able to end the conversation with the epic statement, ” I will be looking for the invitation.”

Well that is awfully forward of you. . lady that I have not seen or heard from since you moved in with your boyfriend despite the numerous attempts I have made to hang out. Oh you will be expecting the invitation, to the couple that cannot make the 45 minute trip for anything even birthdays are you sure you will be able to do that for a wedding.  What, no you may not bring oyur Grandmother that lives in Arizona that I have met once to my wedding. T

hank you for assuming that I need to use my limited seats on you and spending money to feed you and not inviting someone that has probably seen my in the last 6 months. Maybe someone that even knew I was going to get engaged. I have discovered that this is the most annoying aspect of  the wedding planning so far. I hope these people don’t become to upset when over the next 9 months that they continue to not speak to me that they don’t receive a wedding invite.

I am assuming that the level of friendship will not change before the wedding, and will not change after the wedding, so really what am I hurting by not inviting them. My great aunt that my mom wanted me to invite, that I will concede to, Great Aunt, here is your seat at my wedding. However to the “I will be waiting on the invitation” friends I am sorry, you will be waiting a long time for that invite.

#isthisevenmywedding?

#becomingaHarris

– One in a million Budget Brides,

❤ Kelsi Rae

30 day challenges . . . for that Little black( or white in this case) dress

So this month I am doing the LBD 30 day challenge

.IMG_0038This is the first of a set of 30 day challenges I plan to do over the next few months.You can find this challenge and many more at 30 day fitness challenge.com, http://30dayfitnesschallenges.com/,   They get me up and moving early in the morning and just give me a boost of energy and make sure I am exercising on the days I am not getting to the gym. Since entering grad school in June I have gained 20 pounds and am currently at my heaviest I have ever been. Now since I am getting married in 9 months, that just ain’t gonna work for me. So I have become more dedicated again to attending my boxing classes, which I absolutely love so that is a bonus all around.

The 30 day challenges are just in addition to this and doing some cardio training. I have started working on the nutrition side of things, which is always the hardest for me, I might love boxing but I equally love cake. So far using the Lose It app, https://www.loseit.com/, to keep track of my exercise and calorie intake. ( This is a free app that is user friendly and even tracks your steps through your phone)

I have lost 2 pounds in the last 2 weeks and for me that is a success, I have set my goal to lose 20 pounds by February, that way I will be at the weight I hope to be for my dress fittings. Then I hope to maintain my nutrition changes and working out level through grad school. The boxing is an excellent work out as well as stress relief. I would suggest it for anyone!

I am on day 21 of the challenge and I am consistently sore each new week, the challenge is set up for 4 days of work out and then 1 rest day. I have enjoyed this challenge more than say a squat or ab challenge, the work outs in this challenge range from tricep dips, to burpees and about 6 other exercise I believe that this gives you a more rounded challenge for your body.

My crochet braid have held up well through the new routine with the added sweat and work outs I am going to try my first crochet braids wash day tonight. I will let you know how that goes.

I will check back at the end and see what my next challenge will be.

Have a wonderful day

Love your do and grow that fro

❤ Kelsi Rae

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again . . . my new favorite style is . . .

IMG_0090 Still crochet braids. . . just with a new curl pattern.

I lasted 3 weeks with the marley hair, but the hair was becoming to matted and just couldnt last any longer.

The final straw was when my boyfriend turned to look at me and instead of his normal “you are beautiful you know that” he said, ” your hair is getting really dread like, like right here is a big clump.” So well up went my hair and off I went to the beauty supply the next day.

While at the beauty supply I just stood in the aisle for probably 20 minutes just staring at the different curl patterns trying to decide do I want stick to what I know, do I want them to be straight or curly or should I go back to twists. After deliberate thought process for about 20 minutes I grabbed one I hadn’t even really considered, Bobbi Boss Deep Pony curl pattern hair in a number 4. And off I went. I got home and installed the hair, it took about 3 hours to remove wash, and re do my hair so overall I would say that is pretty good. Once I was finished I was so happy I went with the rash decision. I love this hair.

It is light and bouncy, I only used about 1 and half packs of hair and it seems to be working great. I love the part line it appears less drastic than with the marley hair and this hair blends with my hair much better.

IMG_0085 While you can still see a few of the knots where I did the crochet pattern in the right direction overall I am super pleased with it.

We will see how long this lasts. . .

This is definetly on the list for my #engagmentphotos though. I am hoping this feeling will last until December 6th.

More updates later.

Tata for now

Love your do and Grow that fro

❤ Kelsi Rae

Revitalize and Refresh . . . Oh and take care of those nasty tangles!

So I have had my crochet braids in for about two weeks now, and for the most part I have been loving them. I still haven’t changed my routine of wearing my hair in a low bun everyday but, when I wake up I can shake my hair and go. And it has maintained the straight look since I blow dried it so over all I am happy with the hair. However it definitely gets some pretty bad tangles. So yesterday I took the time to comb it out. So I applied some detangler and she butter moisturizer and started by finger combing the tangles and even just snipping some out with my good ole scissors. I was pretty liberal with the scissors because really  I have TOO much hair on my head right now! I did not realize how much volume this hair would have when I first installed it. So I finger combed, snipped and then took my wide tooth comb and started at the bottom and worked up! In the end I applied more moisturizer and put my hair into 6 two strand twists, twisted them up and put those six in two buns. IMG_0052 IMG_0053

I then went to boxing class like this and went and watched the walking dead with friends, before I went to sleep I made the two buns into one and was ready to go. Then in the morning all I did was take this twists down and my hair was ready to go. It had a slight curl but still maintained the blow out look I wanted. It didn’t gain all of the volume back which is good for me since I was not rocking that volume while I was teaching. I even liked it so much I left my hair down for the day.

IMG_0056 I was worried the tangles would cause me to take this style down before I want to. I hope to keep this style for about 4 weeks at least. So at 2 weeks I think I can do it.

If you have any tips for maintaining this crochet braids style let me know!

I hope you are having a wonderful week

Love your do and Grow that Fro

❤ Kelsi Rae