• Health
  • Getting Clear Skin on your Wedding Day

    Let’s start out by saying, if you are one of those people who have impeccable, baby-smooth, blemish free skin, this post is not for you. And… we can’t be friends. Only kidding. :)

    I know that I wasn’t the only Bride out there struggling with acne. Acne is no new thang for me. I have fought a losing battle with acne for many years. I even joke to Mr. Knight that I don’t know how he ever fell in love with my crater face (over 8 years ago!). He always tells me that it’s what was on the inside that counts for him… and that he liked my booty. MEN!

    So what did I do to get my skin looking like this?

    photo by Starks Photography

    It’s been a long, tearful journey my friends.

    Throughout high school I was constantly plagued with painful, red pimples and all over (relatively minor, considering others) acne. My Junior year of high school I was prescribed tetracycline (relatively inexpensive, even without insurance) which seemed to help CONSIDERABLY. Having clearer skin gave me a new found confidence I didn’t have before. Eventually, I had to stop taking tetracycline (as it’s an antibiotic) due to it’s interference with BC.

    I was bummed. I tried a few different BC’s that were FDA approved to treat acne. Every half-year I would change to a different brand (wrecking havoc on my system), trying to find the perfect combination of over the counter products, Rx products, and BC brand for my skin. 6 years later, I think I’ve finally figured it out.

    Now, I don’t contend to be a professional at acne prevention, but I thought maybe sharing my regimen  (and the regimen of others), and what I did to prepare my skin for our Wedding, may help y’all. As always, please consult your Doctor/Dermatologist before beginning any treatment plan.

    Here’s a few other tips (that worked for me!) in preparing your skin for your Wedding day:

    • Drink TONS of water. Seriously people, water is the KEY. Instead of reaching for that soda or coffee, reach for some water. It totally cleanses your system and your skin.
    • DON’T TOUCH your face. Restrict all need to touch your face. Don’t rest your chin on your palm, don’t rub your face, just don’t touch it at all. Trust me.
    • Wear little to no make-up leading up to your Wedding. I went several weeks sans make-up leading up to our Wedding. There was no way I was going to let something clog up my pours and cause a crazy breakout on our Wedding day!
    • Break a sweat, if you can. Working out and sweating is another way to pull all that junk out of your pours. Just make sure to follow up with a mild cleanser afterwards.
    • Alter your cycle*. I altered my monthly cycle (via BC) so that our Wedding fell during the time of the month when I had the least amount of breakouts.
    • Don’t pick at your face! If you have a pimple, resist the urge to pick at it. Picking at pimples and acne will only make the problem worse and can lead to an infection and scarring. Leave it alone and let your body do the magic, before you know it the pimple will be gone.

    *I am not a Doctor. This is just what I did in preparing for our Wedding day. As always, PLEASE consult a Physician.

    Products I currently use:

    • Estrostep BC (Pretty much DOES the job of protecting you against unplanned pregnancy and acne. For me, the brand runs around $90, and the generic around $35. I know, it’s expensive, but it’s been my little miracle and I’m going to pay for it as long as I can!)
    • Differin Gel (Can be very expensive without insurance, as I discovered. But, many dermatologists will give you a discount card to use on your first few tubes of gel. This often brought it down to a more reasonable price. Once I had a better control of my acne, I only needed about 1 tube a year)
    • St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub (2-3 times a week. All the other days I use a mild cleanser like Clean and Clear’s Morning Burst)

    Now that I’ve regained control of my skin, I am looking into reducing the amount of products I use. Which got me thinking, what does everyone else use? So I posed the question to my Twitter posse on what they’ve found works best for them to control acne and break outs.

    Twitter Posse responses:

    ShelikesRuffles“Proactiv. Used it since age 13! Love. I also moisturize with oil of olay lotion. Awesome”

    LandlockedBride – “I don’t have one set thing – but I tend to use organic and natural products. My skin responds really well to them.”

    obxwife – “Just started Proactiv a few months ago and love it. I used to use Aveeno a lot and it worked great.”

    Laurenetc – “Murad products are fantastic and anything with sulfur. Benzoyl peroxide causes scarring. I use a retinol cream at night and it has worked wonders to fade old acne scars.”

    dianalapoint – “Anything from BeFine. Especially their brown sugar face scrub.”

    jesstagirl – “For me, the only way my skin stays clear is by NOT washing it daily. True story. Only once, every other day in the shower.” Mr. Knight swears by this too, and he hardly EVER has break-outs. I think he just has good skin genes, but him and Jesstagirl could be on to something. Maybe we poke at our skin too much with products which causes it to freak the F out. Who knows.

    OMGmomBLOG – “Drink lots of water and use a thick oil free night creme. That’s what I’ve done and now I don’t even wear makeup anymore. Aveline night creme. $$ but worth it! Spent 15 years with bad product of every $ range and this is best for me.”

    If you have more than just a breakout here and there, and want to make SURE your skin is at it’s best on your Wedding day… consult a Dermatologist. But don’t wait too long. Make sure to do so 6 month+ leading up to your Wedding as many products and suggestions they give you take a little while to kick in (often up to 3 months, but give yourself a little wiggle room with 6 months).

    My Dermatologist also said that if I did have a terrible, hard, painful pimple leading up to our Wedding, that I could come into the office for an injection (which would cause the pimple to go down, considerably, overnight). Have any of y’all tried that?

    Don’t think you can afford to go to a Dermatologist? Call around and see what kind of prices for consultations Dermatologists are charging in your area. Mine was about $30-40 for visit (and I didn’t have the best insurance at the time).

    Not ready to take the plunge with a Dermatologist? There are plenty of great over-the-counter products to try (listed above via Twitter Posse). Make sure to give yourself a few months of using the product before moving on to another product. Acne doesn’t clear up overnight and it often takes a few months of a strict regimen to regain control.

    As for me, I’m thinking of trying OMGMomBLOG‘s Aveline Night Cream. In the past I have used RA Cream (equivalent to Retin A), and my skin was super glow-y. Not hyperactive glow-y, just the “I have super fabulous skin” glow-y. Laurenetc also loves RA Cream. I’ll be sure to update ya’ll in a few months with my results and how I feel about the product. Plus, it’s a cream that helps combat the effects of aging on your skin, SCORE! I know I’m only 24, but as Seminole Bridesmaid always says “It’s never too early.”

    Today, I’m so thankful for my skin. I have worked hard to get it where it is today. I know y’all probably want to see a “before” picture. When I have the balls to post it, I will. I’m not there yet.

    Sure, I have my moments where I feel a pimple beneath the surface and I don’t want to leave the house, but in the end I know that it could be a lot worse.

    How do y’all deal with breakouts? What products do you swear by? And for those struggling with bad acne, hang in there! You’ll eventually find the regimen that works for you!

  • Uncategorized
  • What’s My Name?

    Oh na na. What’s my name?
    Oh na na. What’s my name?

    Having an identity crisis in Maui.
    Unflattering camera angle by Mr. Knight. Thanks hubs!

    Today I was driving to work and heard Rihanna’s song, What’s My Name?, and it got me thinking about the whole name change game newly married women must endure (if they choose to take their husband’s last name). On a side note, I totally believe all newly minted husbands should have to change their name too, so they have to go through the struggles at the DMV (located in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE in Gainesville) and the Social Security office. I still don’t think Mr. Knight quite understands my plight.


    When Mr. Knight and I were married 8 months ago, I became a Knight, but I didn’t completely drop my maiden name, Gator. Can you follow my “Knight/Gator” code for our real last names?

    I wasn’t always a Gator. I became a Gator on my 11th birthday. I will never forget that day (mostly because I was really sick). The local judge who ‘officially’ changed my name even had the same first name as me!

    I was so excited to became a Gator that I used to practice writing my new name the whole year leading up to the name change. My 5th grade teacher was pretty cool with me signing my homework with my new last name. She’s awesome. Clearly.

    For me, Gator is who I am. In college, my professors often called me by my last name. So, you can imagine I’ve been going through quite the identity crisis these past few months with the new last name of Knight.

    I feel like I waited so long to become a Gator (and was so proud to finally be one), that I couldn’t just drop the name completely when I married Mr. Knight. Instead, I chose to drop my middle name and replace it with my maiden name. Doing this makes it easy for past employers, colleagues, and friends to still find me via Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. and I still get to hold on to the Gator name that means so much to me.

    That’s not to say that I don’t love being a Knight. I love that we have a family name and I can now order a wreath hanger with our last name on it (I know, lame… but I’ve always wanted one of those!), among many other reasons. I love it when Mr. Knight follows me around the house calling me Mrs. Knight. He’s too funny.

    What I don’t love… completely? Learning how to write my new name. I often catch myself ending e-mails with my old last name, signing my maiden name when I sign receipts. Even introducing myself, it is hard to say Knight, since I’ve said Gator for so many years. Others have had difficulty adjusting to my new name.

    So, even almost 9 months later after the name change, I’m still having some difficulty with the acceptance of my new name. I now prefer to be called by my full name (middle name and all), which confuses people like crazy when they introduce me to someone, and my super long e-mail address makes Mr. Knight crazy, too. But, I’m cool with it. I think 10 years down the road it will be weird to have never not been Mrs. Knight (double negative… yeah, I didn’t learn anything in English class).

    If you decided to change your last name, did you have a bit of an identity crisis during the transition? Did you choose to keep a remnant of your maiden name? If you didn’t change your last name, did you still run into problems?

  • Recaps
  • Just Mauied :: Gettin’ Our Hair Did

    Where did we leave off? Oh right…

    It is the day of our wedding and I’m slightly hungover.

    Me at our wedding. You think I would have learned my lesson the night before?
    photo by Gator Dad’s BFF, Sam Dobrow Photography, crap-o crop job by me

    I hate using that term, because I NEVER drink (I can count on 1 hand the amount of drinks I’ve had this year – minus the rehearsal dinner). But, I had this grand idea the night before our wedding to have one too many Malibu Bay Breezes at our Rehearsal Dinner. Go me. Chose the PERFECT night to drink alcohol. The night before our wedding I spent staying up with Seminole Bridesmaid (who couldn’t sleep because she was waiting for her hubby to get into town) and Sunny MOH. I think I got a total of 4-5 hours of sleep in-between the tummy aches, head ache and the nausea. Looking back, I’m really not sure if it was the Mailbu Bay Breezes or my nervous-ness that the day we had been planning for 2 YEARS was finally upon us. Still not sure…

    After Gator Dad made an emergency run to our Bridal condo the morning of our wedding to bring me Pepto and Asprin, we were off to the gorgeous Veranda Pampering Salon to get our hair did. By the way, I LOVE saying “gettin’ our hair did.” Makes me feel all gangsta.

    Seminole Bridesmaid and Happy Bridesmaid posing with our food spread from PAN PAN (my nickname for Panera). Carbs never looked so good. What happened to the whole ‘dieting before the wedding/being in the best shape of my life’ thing? Yeah… that didn’t happen.

    Don’t I look fabulous on my wedding day (sarcasm)? Yeah… I was a total hot mess. I even messed up my pedicure from the day before and had to drop by the nail salon to have it fixed. I was frazzled to say the least, but what Bride isn’t? If you weren’t frazzled and a complete train wreck the morning of your wedding, I can’t talk to you.

    The pampering salon is in a little old house, so all the rooms are super small but have so much charactor. Absolutely love this place. We had a good time taking over EVERY square inch of this place with all our bags, food, and chatting.
    Gator Bridesmaid chatting it up with Gator Momma’s Sister while Happy Bridesmaid looks on.

    Eating my ‘last meal’ as a single gal with Mr. Knight’s sister, Sweet Bridesmaid. Activia Yogurt and a Coke is the perfect last meal. One is to keep me ‘regular’ (very important, even on your wedding day, y’all know what I’m talkin’ about) and the second is for energy.

    With all that downtime (explained later) Sunny MOH had time to ice her knee. Our rehearsal wasn’t without a few mishaps, between me drinking too much and Sunny MOH taking a fall at our reception site. We were certainly a pair!

    Lady Gaga (Seminole Bridesmaid’s nickname) doing my makeup. She is AMAZING with makeup. I strive one day to be just like her. I’ll buy a pair of shoes and be like ‘these are my Seminole Bridesmaid shoes’, or ‘this is my Seminole Bridesmaid purse.’ Yes, I’m a stalker, it’s okay, she knows.

    Even sweet little Flower girls need some pampering. KK getting her nails painted by her Momma. Her little dress even had daisies on it… how appropriate!

    The whole morning I was having weird ‘out of body’ experiences. I think during our whole wedding I kept saying “it is so weird, it is like I’m not even here and I’m watching it all happen in front of me.” Planning a wedding so long can do this to you, I believe. I tried my best multiple times throughout the day to take a moment and say “This is our wedding day” over and over again till I was ‘back in my body.’ I just couldn’t believe that the day we had been dreaming about for 7.5 years was FINALLY here. It was just unreal. That is the only word I have to explain it.

    Thanks to my good planning (yes I like to praise myself; weird, I know) we had plenty of time to get our hair done, eat lunch and lounge around till the wedding started. I think we had a total of 2 hours downtime. Which was WONDERFUL. I just hung out with my ladies, ate food, watched TV, chatted, snuck a peek at our ceremony site, bossed people around, tell them I love them afterwards, text my groom, get phone calls from a florist who doesn’t know where to deliver their shiz, receive frantic phone calls from my groom over not knowing which boutonniere is his, facebook, twitter… all sorts of fun and relaxing things. It was THE BEST. I highly recommend having some ‘downtime’ worked into your schedule.

    And because I love y’all so much, click here to download our wedding schedule. I think the key factor in all of this was our hair stylists. They finished 6 Bridesmaids, 1 Bride and 2 Momma’s within 2.5-3 hours. They were AMAZING.

    When our videographer and photographer called, that is really when the shiz hit the fan. I went into full on BRIDE MODE and started freaking out. It was here. I was getting married!

    Up next? Time to put on that little white dress, and take some pictures with the family and friends (my awesome support team). Here’s a little sneak peek, captured by Knight Mom.

    I remember being super annoyed when Knight Mom took this picture. It was HOT (May in Florida… need I say more?), I had just taken a bazillion pictures with my maids, family, and future hubby (yes we did the ‘First Look’, you know you love it) and hungry. Don’t come between a Bride and food on her wedding day. Looking back I’m so glad Momma Knight captured this moment. My face says it all. :-)

    Okay… so serious update on our photography and videographer situation (which has been the reason for my absence, miss y’all!):

    1. Supposed to receive our pro pics this week. They were sent to us but then returned because of an ‘insufficient address’. I don’t appreciate the mail man coming between me and my pictures!!! So…. must wait EVEN LONGER. Is 2 months not enough??
    2. Met with our videographer last weekend (she is amaze-balls, affordable and I can’t wait to tell you ALL about her) and saw our ‘highlights’ reel. It was beyond amazing. Epic is the only word I had to describe it. Just EPIC. Sometime next week I will have it posted (I hope). I can’t wait! :-)

    So the whole  ‘no pro pics/video’ has been killin’ be these past few weeks. I have started about a bazillion blog posts but find myself not being able to finish them for lack of the appropriate picture. I’m been waiting so long to rip our florist a new one, but with no pictures, how am I to show his unprofessionalism and bad handy work? Bummers I know. Even my MOH agreed that our florist was ‘the suck.’

    I’ve missed y’all so much and can’t wait to say ‘I’m back.’ Should be soon. :-)

    {heart} y’all like WOAH
    Mrs Gator

  • DIY
  • Just Mauied :: Ladies Who Lunch

    The day before Mr. Knight and I’s wedding, I threw a small little lunch for my awesome bridesmaids, Gator Mom and Knight Mom. I set up the luncheon at a local place in Ormond Beach, Frappes North.

    Okay, before I start the story of how fabulous our lunch was (and finally reveal my gifts for my beautiful bridesmaids and mothers), I have to say something about the restaurant we lunched at. Okay so, number 1: I hadn’t had lunch/dinner/whatever there in YEARS, but I remembered it being a nice classy establishment way back when, so I thought it would be a safe bet for lunch. WRONG. Although, the food was nice, the place left little to be desired. I was actually sort of embarrassed when I went inside with my ladies. From the weird ‘old’ smell, to the smallness of the place, and the fact that they sat us RIGHT NEXT TO the doors to the kitchen, made me a little upset/embarrassed/couldn’t believe I took my sweet ladies here.

    But, alas, we were already there and my OCD Bride-ness had to just GET OVER IT. Cause we were having lunch here whether I liked it or not. Note to self: For Mr. Knight and I’s next wedding, I’ll remember to have it locally so that I won’t have to book things ‘sight unseen.’

    So moving on…

    I put this lunch together so that I could have a moment with my ladies, and thank them all for being such amazing people and taking such special roles in Kyle and I’s lives. I mean, how awesome is it to have your best friends, your future sister, your mother, and mother-in-law in the same room? Some other Bride’s nightmare, my dream!

    After we ordered lunch, it was time for gifts! My favorite part! I LOVED putting together these gifts for my bridesmaids, and Mr. Knight’s tight budget he gave me made it even more fun! I know… this is about the point where you are probably thinking I’m crazy. It’s okay. I get that a lot. :-)

    Sweet Bridesmaid showing off her goodies, while Sporty Bridesmaid searches for the rest of hers.

    Gator Bridesmaid studying my pocket schedule intensely while Happy Bridesmaid laughs at my silly OCD-ness. :-)

    All this unwrapping, and I know y’all just want to know… what did they get?!? Once again, since I’m crazy, I put together a little photoshoppin’ to show you all their goodies. Holla!

    Earrings on Etsy, $6; Custom Hair Flowers on Etsy, $14; Ikea Vase for each, $2.99; Liberty of London Gift bag (w/tissue), $2.99; Pocket Schedules $My blood, sweat, and tears; Frames from Target, $4; Personal message to each in the frame, Priceless.

    So my grand total on my ladies? $29.98 a piece, and I would have spent more, if Mr. Knight wasn’t holding the purse strings. But, looking back, I think this was just the perfect amount, and I managed to get my ladies everything I wanted to get them (minus those dang heart sunglasses I couldn’t find ANYWHERE… oh well). Happy bridesmaids make for a happy bride.

    The Mom’s were certainly not left out. Not only did they receive cute little turquoise silk tissue packs (via Etsy), they also received a ‘wedding day survival kit’ complete with Advil, a sewing kit, breath mints, safety pins (which came in handy keeping my dress up), bandaids, bobby pins, and so many other ‘must have’ goodies for the big day. Oh… and we also included this little note in their gift bags:

    Wedding albums for our Mommas!!!

    I wish I had more pictures to show y’all from the lunch. Maybe a picture of me in my cute little J Crew dress I bought for the event? Well, all the pictures I need are in places I can’t get to. :-( And I thought it was about time I got on and finally STARTED our recaps. It’s only been a month and a half, right?

    Stay tuned for our Rehearsal Dinner recap, complete with awesome bbq food, great company, Mr. Knight running around with his fisheye lens and a fabulous video by Little Knight (♥ him and his video making mad skillz).

    I will leave you with this picture of Mr. Knight, in a shirt gifted to him by one of this groomsmen:

    Mr. Knight thinks he’s funny. I’m not amused, well actually, I was pretty darn amused! He wore this shirt the day we got back from our honeymoon.

    Mrs Gator

    P.S.- Our photographers said we would most likely be getting our professional pictures sometime this week. SCORE! I can’t wait to unleash those babies all over this blog. Be prepared! :-)

  • Uncategorized
  • Randomness of a Bride about to become a Mrs.

    As we are approaching Mr. Knight and I’s Wedding, things are getting quite hectic. I apologize in advance if I don’t blog much this week or next. We are 1 week out and I’m freaking!!!!

    Umm… Hello super scary countdown on our blog that is FREAKING ME OUT. I can no longer visit our blog, because it freaks me out too much. Not freak me out in a way that I don’t want to get married, but freak me out in a way that I can’t believe the time is almost here. 8 years of dating and here we are, 8 days from our Wedding day. CRAZY. but… crazy happy, for sure. :-)

    I can’t believe this little 6 hour party we have been planning for 2 years and 3 months is finally 1 week away. Mr. Knight and I have been checking off our to-do list, packing for the honeymoon, and preparing for next weekend’s festivities.

    I walk around the house like a chicken with my head cut off most of the time. I’ll walk one direction, then remember something I need to do/pack/pick up something, and start walking another direction to go do it. I’ve actually lost about 3-5 pounds putting me around the 127-128lb mark. Um.. yeah, the last time I weighed in the 120s was late middle school, early high school. And yes, I just revealed my weight to the whole wide world. Isn’t that a cardinal sin for women, or what?

    Mr. Knight has been trying to fatten me up, by taking me to Chick-fil-A (our photographer’s FAV) and making spagetti for dinner. He’s so funny. Fatten me up? I actually enjoy getting on the scale and seeing my weight. I think the change that I made to drop those few pounds was drinking mostly water. I’ve been on a water diet for a few weeks now. Water Water Water. I drink TONS of it. So there. That is my little secret weapon.

    Will I forget to write the infamous ‘day of the Wedding’ blog post, that so many bride’s write? Probably. My mind is so scatterbrained right now. I have crazy lists of things to-do all over my desk. But, I will do my best to be a good little blogger bride. :-)

    This is a T-shirt I should probably be wearing this week. For sure.

    Mr. Knight and I have finished up the rest of our Dance practices and lesson. We videotaped our progress on the way, so look out for some funny videos of us practicing in the next few months. Hopefully we don’t mess it up on our Wedding day… keeping our fingers crossed!

    Okay, this is where I need y’alls advice, and Bride expertise… how did y’all relax before your Wedding day? How did you get rid of the nervous jitters, and the “I think I’m going to throw up because so many people are looking at me” fears?