Friday, February 26, 2010

Little Gifts Galore

Want to know why I feel SUPER special today???
Because these two little goodies arrived on my desk :

The Beautiful Garmin Forerunner 205
{I am now poor because of this baby, but I'm already smitten in love--sorry Jeff}
And for those that helped me with their comments and suggestions on the perfect watch for me, THANK YOU!! I ended up with the 205 instead of the 305 because for right now I don't necessarily need the monitor, and it was a little cheaper, too--haha!!
And a sweet HANDWRITTEN thank-you card and gift certificate to Mimi's Cafe from my friend Jennifer's mom Linda. I always decorate and paintpen Jennifer's little girl's personalized items {wood stool, apron, sand bucket, dry erase board, etc} so she sent me a sweet note and a goody to enjoy brunch on her =)

Never, never, never underestimate the power of a handwritten note!! They come few and far between nowadays, but I assure you, people don't forget when you take the time rather than sending a quick email =)

A Fun New Award and Fashionable Friday: Wedges

Sweet Ashley over at  The Ramirez Family gave me the neatest award yesterday... it's called "The Best Part of Waking Up" {yes, the infamous longtime Folger's tagline} and it's given to  the 5 bloggers that you're most excited to see have posted when you log into your dashboard/google reader/etc--OK so I feel pretty important =). If you're always checking someone's blog to see if they've posted, they deserve this award!

Now I have definitely increased the number of blogs I read on a daily basis, but if I can only choose 5 ladies that I just have to know about, this award goes to the following:
Caroline at Simply Smithwick
Elizabeth at A Wedding Story
Taylor at The Undomestic Momma {formerly Jimmy Choose & a Baby Too}

And just because last weekend we got a little taste of spring, I thought this week's Fashionable Friday post should be dedicated to my favorite shoe in the ENTIRE world... wedges/espadrilles! If you're petite like me {5'4"}, they really help give you height but don't kill your legs by wearing the platform heels, for which I am notorious for owning. There are so many great choices for this year--which happen to be budget friendly as well--and for that I am even more thankful! Here are some of my absolute favorites:

Steve Madden Ven Rosette Platform Wedge at DSW {$39.95}
**My sweet Mom bought these for me in black and they are freaking adorable!!
and FYI- free shipping when you spend $35, too =)
GB Rock Band via Dillards {$79}
Michael Antonio Harriety Style via Piperlime {$55}
Breger Slingback Wedge via Aldo {$75}
Seychelles Kip Up Your Heels Wedge Via Nordstrom {$90}
Colin Stuart Patent Wedge via VS {$55}
Colin Stuart Cork Slingback Sandal via VS {$39}
Nine West Getby Sandal via Endless {$69}

Hope you all have a FANTABULOUS weekend--I'll be slaving away at the new house drowning in all things paint, with a bit of a break on Sunday for church and the Bridal Brunch, but I wouldn't have it any other way =)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Operation Organization

I have had mutiple people email me/ask me/tell me how organized I seem to be with all of my wedding planning... now trust me, we all know I have already had one meltdown and I am sure others are on the horizon, but this is what is keeping me sane:
1) My handy-dandy wedding planning notebook--I looked EVERYWHERE for something to keep me efficient, from Russell + Hazel to Barnes & Noble and tons of places in between, but still couldn't find "the one" {nor was I going to spend $75 on a binder} so I created my own and I couldn't be happier with the end product:

Some of the tabs I created for each important wedding component
{trust me, there are like 10 more}
2) You'll also notice my daily planner--my moleskine! If you don't have one of these, seriously you're missing out! This keeps me on track with my workouts, important dates, and everything in between and I love it--small enough to carry with you, too!

3) My extreme Type-A personality: though sometimes I like to make decisions on a whim {yeah right!!}, I do find it necessary to  have my life mapped out at all times... I can double check my lists and cross off my to-do items one at a time--having 16 months to plan your wedding is also an added bonus
So there you have it: it may not be the right way, but it's my way and The Knot and Wedding Wire dont' have anything on my wedding planning abilities- haha! Do I see another hobby in my future? ;)

Now if I could only be so direct in my purchase on a couch from Pottery Barn...I'm stuck between these two gorgeous couches below, but with all these fabrics and options, my visiting guests will have to sit on the floor for months while I ponder because of how many choices they have--yikes!!
The Tyler Sofa
The Buchanan Couch
And just SOME of the colors I can choose from
Have any of you ordered a custom couch from PB before? How long does it take, did you love it in person, etc? Any advice and guidance is welcome!! Have a great Thursday friends

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - The Photog

Yes, the photographer...can you believe I still have a whopping 472 days until my last name changes {oh how I will miss my lovely name}, and we have already managed to:
Secure My Dream Church--Scarritt Bennett
Reserve a Fun Downtown Building for the Reception--aVenue
Hire a Fantabulous Wedding Planner--Mary Alice at A Delightful Day
Book a Swanky Southern Restaurant for our Rehearsal Dinner--Mere Bulles
and...
Hire our Dynamic Duo Photography Team!
{yes, this is true}

I've been anxiously waiting to post this for more than a week now, but sat in anticipation until we sealed the deal and signed the contract just to be 100% sure they would be ours on June 11, 2011!!
A little background if you will: I knew the next big to-do on my growing list would be to choose a photographer... I had half of the other BIG 4 complete {ceremony and reception; dress to come this summer} and I knew I needed to dive-in heads first and tackle some of Nashville's amazing selection of photographers. Lucky for me--one of my great friends is a professional photographer, Leslie Walker in Charleston, SC, so I enlisted her to help me narrow down some of my favorites: **{for those wondering, she will not be capturing our wedding because she will be a guest at our wedding!} we discussed things that were important to Jeff and I and what we knew we wanted--an album, ownership of the digital proofs, lifestyle sessions, an online gallery, etc. and after meeting with some fantastic talent, we went out and booked the two people we both knew we had to have:

**This is them on their wedding day--aren't they adorable???
**all images courtesy of Chris and Adrienne Scott Photography

From the moment we met them, we knew we wanted them to be our photographers! They are absolutely amazing and their works speaks for itself... Jeff felt completely comfortable with them and that was something that was a necessity for us so he will be able to relax and take some fun and candid shots. Chris and Adrienne match our personalities to a "T" and I know they are going to capture every intricate detail of our wedding!! This next year we'll get to spend some quality time with them discussing our needs and our "vision" and developing a fun relationship with them since photography is one of the MOST important investments for our wedding... I am one happy girl!!
You can see more of their work on their blog

Wishful Wednesday... Novel

She's back =)... yes Kelsey is finally back from all of her traveling adventures, which means another installment of our favorite 'Wishful Wednesday'. I had to think long and hard about this week's topic:
'I wish' .... I could play a character's role in a book and
it would definitely be Mary Poppins!


You can call me a nerd, but growing up I watched this movie over and over again--sorry Mom! I even dressed up like her one year for Halloween... how can you not love a nanny that pulls anything and EVERYTHING out of her magic carpet bag and takes you on trips to far-away lands where you ride ponies, have lunch with penguins, and sing the most fun song ever--Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious {I think I spelled it right}. She is practically perfect in every way, gives you cough medicine that tastes like strawberries to make you feel better, dances on rooftops, and gets to fly! Now wouldn't that be the life???
And yes, even now, I sing the clean-up song whenever I have to tidy up because it makes the task far less horrible... "in every job that has to be done, there is an element of fun... you find the fun and SNAP! the job's a game"

There's No Place Like Home

Today is the BIG day!! I can't believe it's finally here... 6 weeks ago, we made an offer on our dream home and tonight we sign the papers {and our lives away}, though I couldn't be any happier! This marks the next big adventure in our life together and Jeff and I are so thankful for the support from all of our friends and family-- we couldn't have done it without all their advice, opinions, and love and I hope that we will have many great years in our first home together!!
Let the fun decorating and designing begin...

{and yes, I promise there will be LOADS and LOADS of before and after pictures for me to post once we get painting this weekend!!}

For new followers, you can see pictures of our home on my post here

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wedding Blogs 101

I knew it would happen sooner or later... I started coming down with the fever shortly after I got engaged and now it's a full blown disease of the dreaded "bridal blog stalking". I couldn't help myself and now it takes up a good amount of my day--either at work or at home {thank the Lord I can multitask effortlessly}.
I assume most of you have had this happen at some point...either when you planned your own wedding, were in a friend's wedding helping them with ideas, or for the to-be-bride who can't help but dream about what she'll do when she has her day. I've got TONS of links on my desktop and I can't wait to peruse each site for daily wedding inspiration--isn't it crazy how happy that makes me??? But on the other hand...
My stalking has come full circle and something positive has come from it. If you live in or around Nashville, you've surely heard about Ms. Ashley from Ashley's Bride Guide. Somehow, we have recently become great email buddies, and even better, she decided to feature my blog on her website!!! {yes, I am ecstatic and crazy excited about this}

Well she recently revamped her website to include everything to-be-brides need in planning their event... DIY Ideas, an Inspiration Gallery for 100's of ideas {seen below}, Wedding Vendors spotlight to secure anyone and everyone you need to orchestrate your nuptials celebration, local events to attend, and the Wedding Blogs, which I am a part off...
Here is my cute little blog picture badge, too!

You must go visit now/today/tomorrow/soon, although I warn you because it's HIGHLY addictive... Enjoy! =)

Training Day - Week 9

9 weeks in and I don't think my body has ever felt better... it could be that I am on a high from all the adrenaline, but who cares--I am actually to the point where I feel like a "real runner" and my legs can kick it into gear when I need them to.
this week, i am trying to get the majority of my cardio in early since we're closing on the house wednesday and i know this weekend will be devoted to all things painting {in a way to think positively, at least i'll get some additional arm workout in!}. here is my schedule for 2/22 -2/28:
Monday: I ran 3 miles @ 9:40 pace--completed arm, ab, and leg workout
Tuesday: rest day
Wednesday: 4 miles @ 10:00 pace
Thursday: rest day
Friday: 5 miles @ 9:30 pace
Saturday: rest day
Sunday: rest day

The past few weeks have been tips and information devoted to workout wear, running outside, other types of cardio, and stretching, but this week I'm venturing to unknown territory: the nutrition. We all need this to keep going during race day, and I have been doing my own research at local stores around town, but this article from Runner's World is a necessity to know the ins and outs of keeping our body on the track for success.

The Pack Rules: Eating and Drinking by Yishane Lee
1. Eat Before: contrary to popular belief, you need something in your stomach before a run... you need to eat at least 30 minutes prior and a good rule of thumb is a 3-to-1 carbs to protein ratio--carbs provide energy and protein with just a little fat will help it last. Popular snacks also include: peanut butter, honey on toast, oatmeal, bananas, granola, and energy bars.
2. Or Sip Something: I never knew this, but drinking coffee before running in the early morning hours can be beneficial--caffeine has been shown to boost performance during exercise. You can always do water or a gatorade, but just having something to wet your palette can really help your mentality.
3. Carry Candy: 3. If you run longer than 75 minutes, you need to refuel your body at some point. A popular new snack is jelly beans--no not the normal root beer flavored Jelly Bellys, but energy beans--I tried some this past week and the orange flavor is surprisingly tasty and nice because they're small and can fit in your short pockets. Other popular varieties include GUs, gels, shot blocks, and energy bars.
4. Drink While You're Out: For runs less than 45 minutes, water is enough. If you run longer {10K, 1/2 Marathon, or Full Marathon}, electrolytes, sports drinks, and carbs are needed to keep your body pumped. You can sip small amounts every 15 to 20 minutes. It's important to do this during your training so your body gets used to it... you can use a bottle belt to stash your drinks while you run, or map the course to know exactly where the drink stations will be.
5. Run to the Fridge: You should be eating 30 to 60 minutes after your workout. This is when you've depleted all nutrients from your body and you need to stock up again. A good mix of protein and carbs will do the trick and some good options includefruit smoothies, half of a tuna salad sandwich, etc.
6. Carb Up: The night before a race day, you should stock up on complex carbs--think pizza or pasta. You'll notice a difference the day of and your body will thank you for it... Hmmm I'm thinking I'll make Jeff treat me to a night at my favorite Italian eatery--hahahah!!! Payoff for all those long hours of sacrifice, right?? =)
7. Be Wary: The article suggests that too much meat, dairy, high-fat foods, and fiber eaten too close to your race may cause you to find the local porta-potties during your run. Note to self-- I will heed this warning and will pay attention... I do not want to look like some of those freaks who decide to forego the bathroom and just "let it rip"
8. Be Boring: Stick with what you know and don't throw any new items into your diet right before a big race. You want to avoid cramps at all costs and want to give your body what you know it needs. If you try something new, just make sure it's healthy.
9. Have Fun: Reward yourself after a big run... oh this is what I've been waiting to hear!! This will mean lots of adult beverages {yes, my race is after Lent} and desserts aplenty. Ice cream will most definitely be on my agenda, too!!!

Hope these help!!! Let me know what your favorite food/training snacks are-- happy training this week friends =)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Butterfinger Cake

If you gave up sweets for Lent, you may want to skip this post as this cake is tasty and highly addictive... luckily for me, I did not sacrifice something so critical to my diet this year and am allowed to indulge in this amazing treat!! This lovely recipe is brought to you by Kelly's Recipes:
Ingredients
1 box of yellow cake mix {I prefer Betty Crocker}
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 jar caramel topping
3 to 4 Butterfinger candy bars
1 tub of cool whip {use reduced fat-haha}

Directions
Bake the cake mix according to the package
While still hot, poke holes all over the cake
Mix the sweet milk and caramel together and pour over cake
Crush up the butterfingers and spread on top
Allow to cool and refrigerate
Once completely cool, top with cool whip and serve
**image borrowed from Kelly as someone forgot to capture the finished product =)
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