Category Archives: Hipster/Beauty Queen Ramblings

20170225_mader_bridalshower-85Being engaged is such a joyful time – I have been blown away by how much love the people in my life have shown by coming together and helping, celebrating, and loving on us as we prepare for marriage.

For the longest, when I would think about getting married, my thoughts mostly revolved around the groom – who would he be? What would our life look like? How would we choose to get married?, etc. – not the parties leading up to the wedding and because of that I had never really thought much about having a shower.

This is when good friends stepped in. When my friend Leigh initially offered to throw me a shower, I was kind of like “no you don’t have to do that, that’s ok!” and several more of my best girlfriends essentially vetoed that. As I sit here reliving this past weekend, I couldn’t possibly be more thankful that they knew better than I did and at how much they went out of their way for me. I cannot imagine a more special and personal event and I wanted to share some of the details here
a.) to document one of the most special days I’ve ever had and
b.) to share some of their ideas – they literally blew me away with everything they did and if you’re ever throwing a party for someone and want to make them feel special, employ some of their thoughtful ideas and I promise it will do the trick!

I can't thank these 4 enough for all they've done for me over many years of friendship (50 years all combined?! haha) and in putting together the many details of this amazing party!

I can’t thank these 4 enough for all they’ve done for me over many years of friendship (50 years all combined?! haha) and in putting together the many details of this amazing party! (Taryn, Leigh, Lauren, and Kara)

Decor: When I walked into my friend Kelly’s gorgeous house where the shower was thrown I almost immediately burst into tears. They had created such a beautiful space to celebrate. There were framed photos of Tim and I, flowers on flowers on flowers all arranged by Taryn (a gift from a special lady who I think of as a second mom! Thanks so much Kathleen Foshee!), balloons, a sign that lit up and displayed our wedding hashtag, all types of gold accents ranging from flatware to repurposed vases from my friend Lauren’s recent wedding that I was just a bridesmaid in. Insane.

Seeing the decor for the first time

Seeing the decor for the first time

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Food: My shower hostesses came up with a menu that truly spoke to everything I love. Beverages included matcha, coffee with the exact add ins I love (coconut milk creamer and stevia, very specific haha), and mimosas. Brunch food was served including the most luxe yogurt parfait station I could ever dream of with 3 different types of yogurt, all types of fruit, granola, nut butters, cocoa nibs, coconut flakes, etc., quiche, macaroons made by a good friend of mine, hashbrown casserole, and multiple types of chocolate and cookies.20170225_mader_bridalshower-17 20170225_mader_bridalshower-19 20170225_mader_bridalshower-20 20170225_mader_bridalshower-21

Activity: This was such a fun part of the shower – my friend Kara somehow created an exact replica of Jeopardy – down to the logo, exact sounds, and music, split the group into 3 teams, and everyone competed answering questions about me, Tim, us as a couple, and famous wedding gowns, etc. for a prize. It was hilarious to see everyone competing and throwing out answers like “WHAT IS BLACKBERRY FARM!!!,” and “I’LL TAKE ALL ABOUT TIME FOR $500!!” I laughed until my sides hurt. I might be biased, but I think this is the best shower game I’ve ever seen. Kara should sell the format she made for this game, because it was amazingggg.

Team 2 crushed it.

Team 2 crushed it.

Personal touches: Seeing everything the girls had planned in advance was incredible. One of my favorite things they did was have everyone invited submit a photo of them with me and some type of special memory or marital advice for me. They clipped each photo and memory to the bottom of a balloon which added to the decor! So clever and something so special that I will always have. I couldn’t even look at it without tearing up for the first 30 minutes of the shower. haha20170225_mader_bridalshower-4

The hostesses also had everyone submit a recipe and then Lauren HAND WROTE each recipe into the cutest Kate Spade recipe book you’ve ever seen in your entire life. Kara is also a professional photographer and she captured every special moment from the day, which is something I totally recommend doing if you can. I’ve probably looked at these shower photos 100 times already and I know I’ll always love being able to remember the day with those. (For those who live in Nashville, contact her here!) I also loved that Taryn arranged all of the flowers herself (and they were insane!) and that she had brought in macaroons from my friend Sarah Darling’s business Sweet Darling.20170225_mader_bridalshower-6 20170225_mader_bridalshower-61

I can’t thank everyone who came (and even those who couldn’t make it who wished me well or sent a gift! Special shout out to my mom and sister who travelled from Texas, and to my friends Jessica and Alison who traveled from Chicago and New York to be there!) enough for being there to celebrate with me in such a time of joy! It was one of the best days I’ve ever had and my heart is so full. What a perfect day that I’ll never forget!

Outfit details here!

Outfit details here!

And… if you’re still reading, a few more photos!

Opening a special gift from Taryn

Opening a special gift from Taryn

Dying over my first ever piece of Annie Glass!! Thanks Leigh, Taryn, and Vic!!!!

Dying over my first ever piece of Annie Glass!! Thanks Leigh, Taryn, and Vic!!!!

Not letting anyone near my Le Crueset... lol

Not letting anyone near my Le Crueset… lol

Fav pic ever!? haha

Fav pic ever!? haha

Sweet Leigh also created our wedding hashtag #MaderAPerkins - so clever!

Sweet Leigh also created our wedding hashtag #MaderAPerkins – so clever!

Best people ever

Best people ever

Rich in friends!

Best friends a girl could have!


When this photo was taken I had no idea how much my life was going to change within the 365 days that made up 2016.

When this photo was taken I had no idea how much my life was going to change within the 365 days that made up 2016.

As 2016 comes to a close, as I often do, I’ve been thinking back on this year – all that has changed, all that has remained the same, where I’ve been, where I want to go, etc. This year though, has been more life altering than most and as I think back I get a little teary because 2016 has been a fairytale year for me that can never be duplicated.

2016 wasn’t messing around – it showed me its colors right off the bat on day 1.

Literally starting on January 1st. I was on a New Year’s trip to Seaside, Florida with two of my best girlfriends, Marcia and Taryn. It was rainy almost the entire trip which was fine with us because we hardly left our respective perches in front of the fireplace at the cozy cottage we were staying in. We relaxed, read, slept, journaled, made vision boards, ate our weight in guacamole, and talked about all of our goals for 2016. (I know, I know, very Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and we wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.)

When your NYE vacay house looks like this, you know you're setting yourself up for a good year!

When your NYE vacay house looks like this, you know you’re setting yourself up for a good year!

I can take you to the exact page in my journal where I wrote that I wanted to: a.) go on a mission trip this year and b.) spend a month living abroad which Taryn ingeniously titled an “adult internship.” All 3 of us were single at the time (FYI two of us are engaged now… there might be something to those vision boards!) so we also spent some time talking about the types of qualities we would be looking for if we were going to date someone. One of my must-haves was someone I could adventure with. Both Marcia and Taryn made a point of telling me that the next guy I dated needed to be a “grown ass man” aka mature and able to take care of himself – and maybe even take care of me sometimes. Fast forward to that very night at dinner at The Pearl in Rosemary Beach when a handsome acquaintance I hadn’t seen in 3 years called the restaurant from 600 miles away to pay for our dinner. Continue reading

As I mentioned in Friday’s post, I attended the Miss Tennessee USA pageant this past Saturday for the first time as a has-been and had such a great time being at a pageant with no nervousness what-so-ever! There were some phenomenal contestants in both the Miss and Teen competitions, and the winners are absolutely beautiful, intelligent, charismatic, and deserving. I wanted to share a little scrapbook of photos that I took over the weekend – being at the pageant was like a mini-reunion with so many people that feel like family to me after a year of intense work alongside many of them.  Continue reading

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of being a guest on the Moll Anderson show. I’ve been a fan of Moll since I first moved to Nashville 7 years ago and she had a column in Nashville Lifestyles Magazine. Moll is girl-crush worthy – an all around power woman who is an Emmy Award winning tv/radio host, famed interior designer, author, and life-stylist. She asked me about some of my favorite topics – fitness and nutrition, pageants, body image, confidence, dating, and OBVIOUSLY Wanderlust and Glitter Dust! If you missed me live, you can check it out here!

All hail this hot #girlboss


Ode To My Mom

A powerful force of beauty and strength

Mom: A powerful force of beauty and strength

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there. Real moms. Second Moms. Pet Moms. Expectant Moms. Adopted Moms, etc. I’m extra thankful today for having a mom who loves me enough to encourage me, push me, be honest with me, and who never lets me settle. My mom is a tough, hard working woman who has endured a lot, has been blessed with a lot, and who strives to never stop teaching my sister and I. Today I want to honor her by recognizing the top 5 things I’ve learned by watching her for the past 27 years.

A mother's day card I made my mom when I was younger. Okay, I wasn't that young, it was like 3 years ago. The inside said, thanks for all you do. ;) If it's wrong to think your own jokes are hilarious, then I don't wanna be right.

A mother’s day card I made my mom when I was younger. Okay, I wasn’t that young, it was like 3 years ago. The inside said, thanks for all you do. 😉 If it’s wrong to think your own jokes are hilarious, then I don’t wanna be right.

1. To Encourage – My mother is possibly the best encourager out there and always has been. I can remember specific moments of self doubt throughout my life ranging from junior high basketball tryouts to the Miss USA pageant – she has always made me feel like I am capable of achieving anything.
I’ve learned through her that empowering others is one of the most beautiful gifts you can give someone.
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2. To Give – My mom loves to give. Throughout my life I’ve watched her bake and deliver homemade bread on a weekly basis to friends, people in the hospital or nursing home, at church, new neighbors, etc. I’ve also seen her give money, open up her home, and share her knowledge of business and success.
I’ve learned through her that there is great joy in giving to others.

Without them giving so much to me, I would have never been able to achieve some of my biggest dreams.

Without them giving so much to me, I would have never been able to achieve some of my biggest dreams. Also, check out the buttons they’re wearing with my face on them. haha

3. To Work Hard – I’m not the only one to notice this trait in my mom, people comment all the time that my mother works like man. She called me a couple of years ago so excited that my dad had purchased her a bulldozer… um… you probably won’t see me getting too excited about that one, but it’s made a mark on me to see her impeccable work ethic – from being the first woman to work on a drilling and blasting team at a coal mine to becoming a successful entrepreneur and real estate developer. No job is too big or too small for my mom, and she does every job thoroughly.
I’ve learned through her that anything worth having requires hard work.

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From an article in my hometown paper recognizing my mom for being such a progressive woman who has never let the cultural definitions of gender define what she does.

4. To Have Enthusiasm – Although her enthusiasm embarrasses me from time to time, I love that my mom isn’t afraid to show her emotions. She has always been there to cheer my sister, dad, and I on in anything that we do. Loudly. She is also enthusiastic about the beauty in every day. My sister and I teased her recently because she loves to observe and talk (literally every single day haha) about the birds that reside around her house, but I love that she has that much joy in small things.
I’ve learned through her that life is more colorful when you allow yourself to see and feel it.

Typical. :)

Typical. 🙂

5. Live for something greater than yourself – a big part of my own faith has come from watching both my mom and dad live it. Not preach it – live it. Throughout life I’ve seen the strong convictions my parents hold. Those convictions have made a life long impact on me. I have observed many times when they could have been dishonest or swayed a situation for their own gain and no one would have known, but they never compromised their faith or character. Why? Because the foundation of who they are and every decision they make is based on a solid faith in a God who overcame the entire world by fulfilling every promise He ever made with great love.
I’ve learned through them: if you want to lead others, you must live beyond the momentary temptations and troubles of this world and that your actions will scream in comparison your words.

Lucky lucky lucky to have them.

Lucky lucky lucky to have them.

Happy Mother’s Day Debbie Mader, you’re a gem of a lady – I hope your Mother’s Day is filled with lots of colorful birds and is a fantastic hair day! 😉