The Perfect Gift for the Bride-to-Be {+ a Giveaway with The Ring Boxes!}

 The Bride-to-Be…hey, that’s me!!!
So I have NOT been in engaged mode lately – once we picked our date and venue last fall, I pretty much paused on doing anything else. The end of last year was consumed with baby, work & blogging and then the beginning of this year was all about our move and figuring out where we would be living. Now that we are semi-settled in our new place in Cincinnati, it’s officially go-time on wedding planning! I just found my wedding dress (!!!) and our engagement pictures are next month.
Holy shit, it’s starting to feel real.


Thankfully, I have discovered THE coolest and most adorable subscription box around from The Ring Boxes to officially make me feel like a true bride-to-be.
Each box is filled with hand-picked items such as apparel, drinkware, paperware, countdowns, coozies, planning tools, toppers, soaps, etc!
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^the above is an example of an assortment you could recieve and not reflective of the March box I recieved^
My favorite things about this subscription service:
The boxes come in monthly, 3 month, 6 month, etc. discounted subscriptions – can freeze at any time and be shipped worldwide
All items are purchased from and to support small businesses
Perfect gift to yourself or a friend that has been recently engaged
You can build a selection of adorable items in time for your shower, bachelorette party or wedding day!

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The March box I received contains 2 recipe cards, an adorable tank from Perf Shirts, a BRIDE champagne glass from Custom for Less Boutique , a pad for putting together a seating chart from Future Mrs Planner, an all-natural bar of lemony soap from Lizush, and 2 cake diamond cake toppers from Paper Mail Party…seriously love all of these items!
Watch my unboxing video below to see me poppin’ bottles and checking out my new items up close and personal 🙂
Like I said in the video, I’m so excited to be giving one of YOU an April Box! I just announced the giveaway on my instagram here so head on over to enter. It’s super easy – just like the photo, follow me @runningwithstrollers and @theringboxes, and tag 2 friends who would want to win the box either for themselves or to gift to a friend! Let’s be honest, we ALL have friends that are engaged (or will be soon!)
I hope you love this service as much as I do! Stay tuned for more wedding planning updates. Do you have any “8 months out” advice for this mama?

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Engagement Photos + A Mini Wedding Update

Hi, Friends! Happy Thursday! This one is going to be short & sweet because yesterday’s post was info overload!
We are off to Cincinnati today and have a FIVE day weekend ahead 🙂
We have started to plan the wedding in terms of securing a date and venue, but that’s it for now. We are getting married at The Transcept in Cincinnati on 11.10.17- exactly one year from today! I would say planning is not #1 priority at the moment as my little sister is getting married this weekend and we’ve been focusing so much on work & little Cal of course. Hoping to steal as many wedding tips from her as I can, LOL. I’m the first sister with a baby and the last sister married – keepin’ it classy like that! But for real, I think that the REAL reason people get married before having kids is because there’s not much free time to plan a wedding once you have a child.
I was never the girl who always dreamed of her fantasy wedding, but I am a perfectionist in certain ways and go from 0 to 100 (real quick) when I commit to things. Sooo TBD on if i’ll be chill bride or psycho bride… From here, I am planning on building our wedding timeline with budget & payment details attached.
Married friends:
What should I be doing next?
What would you change about your wedding planning process?
What would you spend more/less money on?
What else should be done at 1 year out?
Here are the photos from our mini engagement session with my photographer Henrietta – she is the bomb and we love how these turned out! Excuse our summer attire – they were taken back in Aug/Sept and I’m just now sharing!

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Our Engagement Story + My Fave Vacation Photos

Hi Friends! It has been a CRAZY week back from vacation and so much has happened since I posted previously about the 4th of July. I got those pictures taken of our family for both the blog and just to have some quality images of the 3 of us – little did I know that this holiday would take on such a larger meaning for our family. We got engaged on July 4th, 2016, in Corolla, North Carolina. We were on a family reunion type trip with 18 of my family members staying in one large beach house, so they were all there watching!
I know it may sound dumb or that you’re thinking, “yeah right”, when I say I was shocked. We do have a child together and already function as a true family, but I had NO IDEA it was happening at this time, let alone this year. We had talked so much about re-focusing our priorities to Calvin, our careers, figuring out where we’d be long term, and eventually buying a house, that I thought engagement was the LAST thing on our roster for this year. Also, Craig can hardly ever surprise me, so I thought I’d know for sure before it happened, and that I’d have to fake being surprised so he didn’t know I knew …lol! Well he got me good.
I has previously told Craig when we do get engaged, I better have my nails, hair & makeup done for picture purposes. #princessstatus So, the day before (July 3rd) it was pouring all day and my sisters tried to take me to get my nails done. I didn’t have time to go before we left & what else do you do on a beach vacation when it’s raining? When we got to the place they couldn’t take us because of availability and I said “oh well, I don’t even care about my nails.” There was no more convincing me that we should try elsewhere. Fail #1.
On the 4th, before dinner, we took showers and Craig was trying so hard to get me to dry my hair and “get ready” but I wasn’t having it because we were staying in for dinner to grill out. God knows I won’t get ready if I don’t have to…especially on vacation. 😂 So I threw my wet hair into a clip and bolted up to dinner. Fail #2.
These two things show right away that I had absolutely NO IDEA I was about to get engaged, as I was always sure I needed to look my very best during one of the biggest moments of my life.
Earlier in the day, Craig had told me that he wanted to give a toast before dinner just to thank my family for having him and say how cool it is that we all got together. I said, “ARE YOU SURE?” I thought he maybe just had too many beers at the pool…however, others had said prayers or toasts before previous meals, so I suppose it wouldn’t be that weird.
Craig telling me ahead of time he was doing this was so so smart – when everyone had gotten their food and he stood up, I was expecting the “toast.” When he started talking, I took a hugeeeee bite of my cheeseburger because I did not think I was about to get engaged. #hangrymama
As he began to get more serious and look a bit nervous, my chewing slowed immediately and my hands covered my face to hide my tears. I don’t even cry that often. I couldn’t believe it was happening. After every thing we’ve been through in the 3 years we’ve been together – a move across country, 3 apartments, stressful days at new jobs, A BABY – it was just so bittersweet and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room. He did so good. He’d been planning so long for this moment.

It’s funny, you set all of these ground rules or requirements in your mind for when you get engaged and how you want it to happen. Then, when the moment came, I wasn’t thinking about anything except the fact that it’s finally official – I’m going to marry the most selfless, caring, sweet man and Dad that I know!  No fancy location, fancy outfit, perfectly polished nails, or expensive dinner could have topped this moment. I feel so lucky every day and I can’t wait to finally share a last name with my two guys.

Here are a few other of my fave photos from our trip:

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We didn’t take as many pictures on vacation as I would have liked because Craig’s phone got wet and we usually use his camera. Honestly, I was also trying to just enjoy each moment on our trip & not think as much about perfectly capturing every second. We also haven’t bothered lately with using another camera because well, that’s one extra thing to worry about. I do, however, want and NEED to invest in a DLSR. Does anyone have any recommendations for one that is easy to use and won’t break the bank? Please shoot me a message – would love your opinions!
Now, onto planning a wedding (scary!) We have a really busy summer with my work trips, my best friend’s bachelorette & wedding, etc, so we will probably focus more on planning come fall. For now, we are not in a HUGE rush, but I’m sure I will be capturing a lot of the planning journey here on the blog once it begins.
Huge thanks to everyone for your continued support and sweet notes on our engagement. Love you all!

❤ Kayla