Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Food Finds

For my 2nd installment of Friday Food Finds, I will actually be blogging about 2 foods (ok, one is not a food). First up...Apple Chips!

Yes, this is probably not exactly the most healthy "food" to blog about, but I was eating some yesterday and thinking about how much I love them. Apple Chips are basically like dried apple pieces, that resemble a thick potato chip. I buy mine in the produce section of the grocery store and this is the kind I get:

Seneca Brand...they come in like 6 flavors, but I have to admit I like the original flavor the best. They also sell the organic version of these at Whole Foods. Now, I'm not calling these a health food or even saying you should eat them by the bagful...but they are definitely better for you than potato chips. I couldn't find the nutritional info on their website, but they do come in a smaller size that's only 100 calories, as well as a larger bag. They are cholesterol free and low in fat. They do have quite a bit of sugar, like most dried fruits.

I tried apple chips for the first time a few years ago, when I was looking for an alternative for nuts as a crunchy topping for my salads. Since I'm allergic to nuts, I'm always on the lookout for things I can add to my salad for some crunch and texture, besides like bacon bits or croutons. I break up some of the chips and they make an excellent addition to a salad, that you don't have to feel too guilty about. Here's my favorite salad to add the apple chips to:

Baby Spinach
Dried Cranberries or Craisins
Crumbled Goat Cheese
Apple Chips
Topped with balsalmic vinegrette dressing.

YUM! It's sweet and tangy all at the same time...I could seriously eat this salad 7 days a week!

The 2nd "food" I'm blogging about today is actually a vitamin...Vitamin E!

I started taking Vitamin E in December when my hair stylist recommeded it to help grow my hair out for the wedding. My hair is in a chin length angled bob and I really want to grow it as long as I can in the next 8 months for the wedding. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that aids in skin and tissue protection, and since hair is part of that body system, it's also been found to help grow and strenthen hair. In the past 2 months, I have seriously noticed a difference in my's definitely much stronger, not as much damage (I also switched conditioners, so I have factored that in as well) and I'm hoping I can get my hair below shoulder length by September.

Vitamin E is found in a lot of beauty products, like skin creams, because it's also been found to help with wrinkles and skin evenness. It's also been found to help with high cholesterol and a healthy circulation system/red cell production. Vitamin E is found in the following foods:

- Apples
- Avocado
- Bananas
- Blackberries
- Egg yolk
- Kiwi
- Nuts
- Peanut butter
- Vegetable oil and margarine
- Whole Grain Products

So anyone who is trying to grow their hair, or just make it stronger, I recommend Vitamin E! I plan on having rapunzel type hair by the wedding! haha!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My favorite part of wedding planning!

Registering!!! Now, that's not supposed to come off as a greedy, gift obessed thing...I'm honestly just excited for the "process" of know, running around and scanning my (umm I mean, our) favorite things! The other part of me is excited to finally get to replace all of our old housewares with all new stuff! Everything that Jake and I have been using is all super cheap stuff we've bought or major hand-me-downs from our parents. We are literally using the silverware set that my PARENTS got for their wedding in 1976!! Let me tell's seen better days! Our plates are a set of crappy stuff from Ikea and most of our other stuff came from like TJ Maxx so nothing matches.

We are going to register at Crate and Barrel and Macy's. I think that they both have a good range of prices and tons of options. We're actually going to a registering event at Crate and Barrel in a few weeks...has anyone ever been to one? They let you in the store early, before anyone else, and you are able to register and tour the store with about 15 other couples. I'm excited because I really have no idea what I'm I will need a lot of help!!

Here's a few things I've had my eye on (you know, doing some preliminary research before we actually register!)

I love this bedding, but probably in a lighter ivory or white.
Amazing Ralph Lauren Towels. I'm totally obsessed with white towels, I think they are so classic. Perhaps with our new fabulous monogram in navy??
So I don't bake. Perhaps if I had this beauty, I would be inspired to bake!! However, I would want it in stainless, not white.
Martha Stewart "Kensington" collection for our every day china. Maybe I'm boring, but again, I love the look of plain white, classic dishes. They will never go out of style and go with everything!
Given my favorite things to do during my free time (vacumm...seriously!), I really think this is a necessity. Dyson Animal. It will be like Spencer doesn't even more dog hair!!

Crate and Barrel:

Ok, so maybe I am a little bit TOO obsessed with white, but these baking dishes are amazing and I love that they have lids!I can use this to display all the cookies I'll bake with my Kitchen Aid Mixer!!!

I love this cutting board because it's flexible, so you can bend it to put your veggies or meat right into the pan to cook them! So practical!

I have literally been obsessed with this pitcher for a couple of years now. I just love the shape and design!
But I'm sure I will change my mind and find a million other things I will want to register for! Does anyone have any good registering advice? Any things that we definitely should be registering for? We really are starting from scratch, so we really need everything!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Love it!

The lovely Pink Julep (who is also planning her fabulous wedding!) and Carolina Prep both left me an award! Thanks ladies! I love both of your blogs! I have to list 10 random things about myself. Here goes...

1. I am obsessed with making my bed. I do it the first thing in the morning and I can't leave the house if it's not made. IF for some strange reason I do go all day without making it, I will have to make it right before I go to bed, then get in it. I can't sleep in a bed that has sat all day unmade.

2. My first car was a Volvo 760 Sedan and I still miss that car. It was a 1989 and I drove it until senior year of college. It was my baby and I was so sad when it died. It had turbo, so it was super speedy and had good pick up. In fact, I loved the turbo so much that I actually burned up 3 turbos while I had the car...not the cheapest things to replace, as my dad would tell you. oooops.

3. I went through a phase in my life (7th grade) where I was definitely NOT preppy. Not sure what was up with me, but I was quite a little "skater". I wore baggy shirts, ripped jeans and I even dyed my hair red. YUCK! Luckily, by 8th grade, I was over that phase in my life and back to my cute polo shirts and skirts.

4. I'm an only child and I have to say, I love it. It was not fun when I was younger, but my parents were really good about putting me in lots of activities and making sure I was always with my friends. I always got to bring a friend or 2 when we would go to the Outer Banks every summer. I do have a large extended family with lots of cousins and I am very close to them. Jake also has a very large extended family and I'm so happy about that...I love huge family holidays!

5. I knew that I was going to marry Jake after about a month and a half of dating. I came home and told my roommates that I could tell he was the one! Jake says he knew around the same time I did...and he can even remember the exact moment and what I was wearing and doing. Pretty romantic boy huh?

7. Jake's parents and my parents are eerily similar. My mom has 4 sisters. Jake's mom also has 4 sisters. Our dad's even worked for the same company back in the 1970's at the same time (in separate divisions, so they never met). Our parents also got married in the same year and my dad grew up about 10 minutes from Jake's dad. The weirdest one...our dads SERIOUSLY look very alike! It's sort of freaky!

8. When I am stressed out, I have to clean in order to relax and feel better. I always sweep all the floors and then wipe down the entire kitchen and vacuum the living room rug. Yes, I probably do need medication.

9. I have scoliosis, which got diagnosed when I was 11. It's not bad (about a 14% curvature), but it's noticeable when I bend over and my hips are two different heights. Both of my parents are extremely tall (my mom is 5'11" and my dad is 6'1"), but I'm really short (5'4"). The doctor said it's probably from my scoliosis and if I didn't have it, I would have probably been very tall too. Darn it!

10. Even though I've lived in Maryland pretty much all my life, my early years we moved around alot because my dad was a doctor for the Air Force. We lived in Panama City, FL and Charleston, SC before moving up here. We were about to get stationed in Turkey when my dad decided it was time for him to retire. I think I'm glad we didn't move to Turkey!!

I tag....anyone who is bored and wants to do it!

Um Wow.

So I was off work Monday and Tuesday. I planned on relaxing all day Monday and then running a whole bunch of errands on Tuesday. Well imagine my lovely surpise when I woke up Tuesday morning to find it snowing...and that wonderful snow continued all day, leaving about 3 inches by the end of the day. Then around 6pm, it started with the freezing rain. GRRRR. Have I mentioned that I absolutely HATE snow?? Not just from this snow storm, I just hate snow all together in my life. My errand running was cancelled and I spent a 2nd day lounging/relaxing/cleaning. Major case of cabin fever, let me just say...I was not exactly pleasant when Jake got home from work Tuesday...oops! Anyways, my real story here is this...

Since I was being such a lazy bum, I decided that I needed to actually start my New Years resolution of working out, since I had been putting it off for the last 27 days. And I picked the snowiest day of the year to do it. But luckily, I'm a big fan of our On Demand Cable Exercise TV, which has like 500 different work out videos for free through our cable. I was browsing through and I found this:

Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. You know, the crazy trainer from the Biggest Loser. I had heard good things about the video and how hard it was, and I was in the mood for a good work out to combat all my laziness, so I decided to give it a try.

UMM HOLY HELL!!!! First, let me just say...I KNOW I'm out of shape. I haven't really worked out (walking Spencer doesn't count I guess) in months and I'm super weak, especially in my upper body. But I literally felt like I might die during this video. Maybe the fact that I can barely do 1 push-up should have been my first sign that this video was going to kick my butt. I was almost crying it was so hard. I have a feeling it wouldn't be SO hard for people who were actually in shape, but it's seriously intense. Basically you warm up and then spend 20 minutes doing extremely fast paced and intense strength, cardio and abs. She doesn't let you rest and moves from each exercise immediately, to keep your heart rate up and give you results. And Jillian is MEAN...really mean! I guess it is good motivation to keep going...having her yell at you to work harder.

But I managed to survive the 20 minutes, do the cool down and I was actually really proud of myself for finishing it. I chugged about 5 glasses of water and took the longest shower of my life...I was really sweaty, even after only 20 minutes! I was happy with myself to working out though and I definitely felt good.

And then I woke up today....and could barely move! Even weird muscles in my legs are throbbing. It is a good sort of pain definitely shows me that it was a hard work out and I will probably see results if I keep doing it. So I decided I will keep doing it...I think she recommends doing it every other day for 30 days to see results. There's different levels (1-3) to move up in difficulty. I will personally be staying on level 1 for a while.

Has anyone else tried this video? I don't really have any weight to lose, but I'm hoping that I will have more muscle definition and tone if I do finish the 30 days. Yay for getting buff!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

221 Days

That is crazy to me! 221 days until the wedding...what??? The rest of this winter/early spring will be super wedding planning mode. Once the spring and summer starts, I'm so busy at work with other weddings, I won't be able to think about my own, so I really want to get a bunch of stuff done in the next few months. Here's what we have confirmed so far:

Venue - Check! I'm in love with our venue and I know it will be perfect! Cross your fingers for no rain!

Caterer - Check! And we have our tasting on February 23rd! so excited! We're doing a plated dinner with chicken and crab cake (on one plate - no choices) with an amazing tomato, mozzarella and basil salad. YUM! We've also already picked out all of our linens, chairs, china, etc.

Photographer - Check! I am totally obsessed with my photographer and I want to be best friends with her. Her pictures are just incredible.

Dress - Check! It will be here in 4 months. AHHH!!

BM Dresses and Attire - Check! My last bridesmaid will try on her dress in February when I'm down in FLA visiting her. We have all the belts for the dresses and I'm pretty sure I found the perfect silver flip flops for them to wear!

Flowers - Check! We still need to tweak it a little bit, but I love my florist! We're doing a mix of dahlias, garden roses, hydrangea and orchids...all in yellow, cream and greens.

Cake - Check! We still have to do the cake tasting, but I have the idea for the cake in my head (and a picture) and I can't wait. I'm a chocoholic, so I'm pretty sure I want to do the WHOLE cake in delicious chocolate.

DJ - Check! I'm using one of my favorite DJ's who is a vendor from work, as he offered to do my wedding for free! I was blown away and so excited! I want tons of 80's music and super fun oldies.

Hair/Make Up - Check! I can't wait for this...I love both my hair and make up people!

Ok, so really, I have a lot done. Here's what I don't have:

Officiant - Umm yeah, this is really important and it's not confirmed yet. We are going up to Baltimore to meet with Jake's families pastor in a few weeks, so hopefully that will work out!

Ceremony Music
- we really want a steel drum player for the ceremony/cocktail hour and dinner. I think it goes well with our wedding...being on the water, outside in late summer with lots of bright colors.

Invitations - I have no idea what I want for this! Hmm I still have a little while to figure it out. I LOVE paper products and I definitely want something fun, bright and preppy!

Transportation - We want to shuttle people to and from the wedding since it's a holiday weekend and we don't want anyone drinking and driving. I'm thinking a few larger shuttle buses or trolleys.

Decor - I have about 10374623 ideas for decor and I really need to sit down and organize my millions of ideas! I'm thinking I want wheatgrass in huge barrels for the place cards, tall vases of lemons and limes around the cocktail hour and yellow and green paper lanterns hanging over the bar area.

I think that's everything! AHHHHH!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Back in Action!

I'm back! It feels like forever since I blogged...5 days, I guess that is forever in blog world. Things were INSANE at work last week, but now it's calmed down so I will be back to blogging this week!! Lots of wedding updates!! Woo Hoo!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009


Yesterday, Jake and I went out to lunch and then I dragged him in TJ Maxx because it was right near the restaurant. I hadn't been in a while (ok, like a week) so I wanted to see if they had anything good. I found a few things and we headed to the register. We walk up to the open cashier and here's the conversation that ensued:

Cashier: Oh, hey girl!!
Me: oh, um, Hi. (trying to be nonchalant)
Cashier: How are you? Geez, you haven't been in here in a while...what has it been, like a week?
Me: Yeah, um, I guess
Cashier: And you brought your man!! (to Jake) You know, your girl is in here ALL time time...she's like one of our regular best customers. She's always buying tons of stuff.
Jake: oh, really? I had no idea...she must put away all the stuff she gets...
Me: (nervous laughter) I wouldn't say I buy a TON.
Cashier: Well I feel like I see you like every other day with carts full.
Me: silence

We finish and head out of the store. As we are getting in the car:

Jake: So are you on a first name basis with the employees at TJ Maxx? Do you need a 12 step program to cure your addiction?

Damn...totally busted. I guess after we get married and share bank accounts, I REALLY won't be able to hide it anymore!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Spencer!!

I didn't get to post about this yesterday, but it was Spencer's 1st birthday on Saturday! I can't believe she's already 1 and officially not a "puppy" anymore. We actually don't know her exact birthday because we adopted her, but we got her from the shelter on April 17th and the vet estimated that she was 4 months, so we decided her birthday would be January 17th. It's been a crazy 8 months, but now I can't imagine my life without her! She really is such a sweetheart and I love her! So I decided I would do a tribute to Spencer, in celebration of her birthday!!

After 2.5 years of begging, Jake finally relented and said we could get a puppy. I scoured Petfinder and one day, came across this picture, which pretty much sealed the deal...I was in love at first sight!This is her "glamour shot" from the rescue group that we got her from. We met Spencer, REALLY fell in love and 3 days later, we were heading to DC to pick her up from her foster home. She was so tiny...mainly from being a rescue...she only weighed 14 pounds. The rescue we got her from found her on the side of the road when she was about 2 months out, so not much is known about her at all. She was way underweight and you could see all her ribs. And her legs were SO long and gangly, she was constantly tripping and falling. She had the biggest paws ever, so we had no idea what to expect for her size. They told us she was a beagle/pointer mix, but we've since learned that she's a foxhound mix.

The first weeks we had her were SO hard. She had some trouble adjusting and trusting us and we seriously questioned if we were going to be able to do this. She would cry all night and bark all day. But every day got easier, and we got so attached (especially Jake, which I think is hilarious since he didn't even WANT a dog to begin with). In true puppy form, in the beginning, all she did was sleep:The summer went on and she got into her crazy, hyper puppy phase, once she started trusting and loving us. She wasn't always good...she destroyed 4 pairs of my fave shoes. Then we had to get her spayed. OMG...worst day ever. She chewed all of her stitches out and had to get emergency staples and wear a cone for almost a month while she healed:She has extreme hatred towards the cone...if she even sees it now, she runs away and hides. Once she was cone-free, it was back to the crazy, hyper puppy. She absolutely LOVES grass:She would roll around in the grass in front of our pld apartment for was hilarious to watch. She got to spend a weekend with my BFF K when we went out of town and now K may be her most favorite person ever, due to the fact that she got like 50 treats a day while she was staying there. K took this picture during her stay and it's my absolute favorite picture of Spencer ever...Spencer went on her first "vacation" when we took her down to Jake's families river house in VA...she may not like the car, but she LOVES the river! She spent all her time on the screen porch staring out the window. We moved into the house we live now and life got so much easier with a big fenced in back yard. It's almost impossible to get her to come inside now. She runs, digs, stares out the fence into the neighborhood. We've even gotten her to play fetch...which took some time to teach her (she's definitely not a retriever!!) She is one happy dog!She made a best friend, our friends puppy Wallace, who is the same exact age. We had a few puppy play dates, which were basically just hours of them wrestling and chasing. The day after a play date, she would sleep all day. Here's the two of them on a wrestling time-out:She had her first Halloween (dressed as a chicken, which lasted about 15 seconds):We got engaged and she was so excited for us!!!
Her first Christmas, she got totally spoiled and got a ton of presents, but mainly seemed more interested in eating the wrapping paper. (It took us about 10 tries and half a bag of treats to get this shot!!)

So Happy 1st Birthday Spencer! We can't wait to see what the next year brings...we love our sweet puppy!!Her typical Sunday afternoon - lounging in the sun!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Do you think the fact that it's supposed to be 3 degrees in MD tonight was the reason that I just hit "confirm order" on to purchase 5 new sweaters? Coupled with the extra 20% off, it seems like a no brainer.

Stay warm tonight ladies. We have an extra blanket (or 3) on our bed and I just put on my super glamorous flannel pj's to cozy up. Brrrrr.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Food Find

I haven't really blogged about this yet, but after the New Year, Jake and I started one of our New Years resolutions - eating healthier and eating smaller portions. We decided we would start eating about 60% organic and cut out about 80% of the processed foods we had been eating. So we got rid of all the boxed mac and cheese, frozen meals, chips/cookies, etc. We still have some stuff around - canned soups, cereal, etc. We are also trying to eat at least 7 servings of fruits/veggies a day.

We are also trying to cook more and experiment with foods we haven't tried before. I started reading some "healthy food blogs" a while back and got inspired seeing all the cool healthy (and delicious) food that's out there. Eating "whole foods" really seems to help with weight and health because it's natural things that you are putting into your body and not some weird chemicals.

So I will be doing a new series on the blog - Friday Food Finds, where I will post a new receipe that we tried or created, featuring a cool food that may be unknown or uncommon to alot of people. First up...Quinoa!!
Quinoa (pronouced KEEN-WAH) is techinically a seed, but it reminds me of sort of like rice or cous cous. Some people mistake it for a grain, but it is actually a relative of a leafy green vegetable, as it grows on a plant. Quinoa has tons of health benefits and nutrients, it's biggest being that it's a really good source of protein and amino acids. It is also high in magnesium, iron, and B12. It's been show to help aid in migraine management and high blood pressure.

Nutritional facts for Quinoa (1/2 Cup uncooked):
160 calories
2.5 grams of fat
Total Carbs - 20 grams
Fiber - 3 grams
Protein - 6 grams

To cook quinoa, you boil it, just like you would rice or cous cous. It takes about 15 minutes. After it's cooked, it becomes sort of translucent in color. It's slightly chewy and has a little bit of a nutty taste. You can use quinoa to replace rice or pasta in soups, salads, casseroles, etc. I found some quinoa at Trader Joes, but I believe they even sell it at a regular grocery store in the health food aisle.

Wednesday night, we decided to open our box of quinoa and make a salad to use as a base in a whole wheat wrap.

Quinoa Salad

1 Cup of cooked Quinoa
2 Thin Sliced Chicken Breasts, grilled. (if using regular chicken, probably just 1 breast)
1 Can of Navy Beans, drained (white beans)
1 Can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 small zucchini, diced
1 small carrot, peeled and diced
1/4 Cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (less if you don't like things spicy)
a few dashes of tabasco (again, leave this out or use less if you don't like spicy)
a dash of cumin
Salt and Pepper

Instructions-- Boil the quinoa for 15 minutes, until it's tender and translucent (basically follow the directions on the box). Place it in a large bowl and add all the other ingredients (could it get any easier???). Chill for at least 1 hour before eating.

We ate our salad wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla with some baby spinach leaves. Really, you could throw in whatever you like or had on hand and then season it with anything. It was super filling (I'm sure the chicken and beans helped with the protein factor), but it didn't leave me filling super full or bloated/fat. And this recipe made a TON of salad, so we have been eating it all week.
So we will definitely be incorporating more qunioa in our diets and I recommend at least trying it! YUM!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Colors and a dress update

So I know I said I wasn't going to be able to blog for a while, but...oh well!

First, I changed my blog background colors! I decided to make it the wedding colors, so I could keep looking at them to get inspiration. The more I look at it, the more I love it!! After the wedding, I will go back to being pink and green.

Second, I decided I was just too excited about my dress to wait to post about the "dress update". My mom and I went Monday to the bridal salon to order my dress. We had been talking about the dress all weekend and my mom suggested that we see if the store had a sparkly, beaded sash I could try on with it, just to see if I liked that better than the ribbon sash. They actually pulled 3 different beaded sashes off of other dresses to see how I liked them. Well the 3rd one I put on, I fell in love with!! Who knew I would actually like beading? Just a tiny bit, right at my waist. The belt is pretty thin, it's sheer organza (so you can see through it) and it's covered in "bling" (as my mom was calling it). I think because the dress is SO plain, the tiny bit of sparkliness looks so good! Here's the pic we took:

If you click on the pic, you can see the full size version and if you look in the mirror reflection, you can see how it looks full length from the front. I just think it looks so clean and sleek!!

We are making 1 change...they are actually going to cut the sash and take off all the extra (the bow part in the back basically) and attach it directly to the dress, to make it just a sparkly belt all the way around, so it won't tie in the back like the picture. I didn't want to lose all the beautiful buttons going down the back (my fave part) with a huge poofy organza bow right on my butt. So just imagine that bow not being there and it just being beading all the way around!! YAY!!

So now I just have to wait 5 months for my dress to get here!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


The Preppy Polka Dot tagged me! I'm really excited because she's a cute new blogger and it's a really fun tag!! Definitely check out her fabulous website!

Anyways, here are the rules:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open to page 56.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 2 to 5 sentences, along with these rules.
5. Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual book. Pick the CLOSEST!
6. Tag five other people to do the same!

The closet book was on the bookcase behind my desk and it happened to be this, one of my favorite books!
I recently started reading this book again, for probably about the 50th time! I love it! Here's the paragraph:

"So he got a new girl, and he got to be noble. I tried to be angry, but how can you be mad at someone for not wanting to be with you? Instead I just sulked around, gained a few pounds and swore off men."

I tag...anyone who wants to do it!!

I'm SUPER busy at work with a huge event next weekend, so posting will probably be very limited until it's over. But I have lots of fun stuff going on too (planning my BFF's shower and bachelorette parties!!, some awesome dress updates!) so I'll be back soon!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

I heart Shoes

So as soon as I found "THE dress", I started searching for the perfect shoes. Well I think I may have already found them! I work quickly, what can I say! I started looking online and actually found quite a few that I really like.

Here's the favorite:

The are "Grace" brand, Evita is the style. I LOVE the bow and the open toe. I'm also a big fan of the fact that it has an ankle strap, so I don't have to worry about them slipping off during the wedding. I just think they are so perfect...preppy, girly, exactly what I want!! However, they have a 3.5" heel...not sure if I can rock that all night for my own comfort sake.

So I will most likely be wearing those for pictures and the ceremony and then changing into something lower and more comfortable for the reception. I found these on Zappos and really like them:

Much lower heel, little bit more bling for the party! I love the little twisted strap, like a knot. They just look very comfortable!

Here's my it a huge problem if the heel heights are about an inch different? I was also thinking that I could just get white platform flip flops from Jcrew as my reception shoes...for the ultimate comfort! I just worry that they will hem the dress for my taller shoes and then when I change for the reception, I will have my dress dragging on the ground with the lower shoes. Or should I get the dress hemmed to my lower shoes and deal with my dress being weird during the reception when I have on the taller heels?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

THE dress!!!

OMG!!! I can't believe that I found my dress already!! TODAY! In the 2nd store we went to, and it was the 2nd dress I tried on there!!! I was off work yesterday and today, so we used that time to start my dress shopping. My mom and I figured it would take a while...I'm pretty picky but I thought I knew exactly what I wanted. The dress that I picked IS exactly what I pictured, only WAY better than I could even imagine!!

Before we went shopping, my mom and I were sort of in a disagreement about what the dress should look like. She wanted me to have some (or alot) of beading, a full skirt and long train. I wanted the most plain plain plain dress you could get. Hardly any train, slim skirt, no embellishment. But I agreed to try on beaded dresses, just to humor her and get her to realize that I'm just a super plain, simple (classic) type of style. I didn't find any dresses that I liked on Monday, the first store we went to. They were all just too beaded. I think at that store my mom started realizing that beading was not me.

So we went again today, to a store where I know the owners through work. I pulled about 5 dresses and the owner pulled a few for me as well. Well I put that 2nd dress on and I KNEW it was the one! I came out of the dressing room and my mom KNEW it was the one! We both started tearing up. It's EXACTLY what i pictured in my head. Then the owner brought out the best part...a wonderful ribbon sash which she wrapped around my waist several times, and then tied in a bow in the front, off to the side. I just about lost it then!!! The sash adds just the right amount of "style". I didn't want to take it off! I pranced around the dressing room and jumped up and down.

The dress has a slight sweetheart neckline (which I LOVE), it's fitted through the body and then it's a trumpet skirt that flares out right around my knees. My favorite part - buttons ALL THE WAY DOWN THE BACK!!! ahhhhh! It has sort of a long train, which I was surprised that I liked. It has the most beautiful low v back...ahh, I'm so obsessed!! And while I originally thought I didn't want a veil, once they put one on me...I was sold! So I will probably just get a very plain fingertip length veil.

Ok, are you dying for pictures yet??

DISCLAIMER -- please ignore the super weird look on my face. My mom is not a very good photographer...she didn't tell me she was taking the picture and I look gross. But just focus on the dress!!!The only change is that the sash won't be in that coffee will be in the same color as the dress (ivory). I LOVE it!!! It's absolutely perfect and exactly what I always imagined myself wearing on my wedding!!! Now to find the perfect shoes!!

Monday, January 5, 2009


I have to admit, I think I'm more excited for our honeymoon than our actual wedding. Jake and I have never been on a real vacation together. Jake is a big fan of "trips"...meaning, we go away for a long weekend somewhere, but we've never taken a week long vacation together. So I really can't wait for the honeymoon!!

With our wedding being in September, we got a little scared of the hurricane season in the Caribbean, so we basically crossed that off the list right away. We knew we wanted to go somewhere neither one of us had been before. We also knew we wanted a relaxing trip...we didn't want to be touring Europe or sightseeing a ton. I basically would be happy laying on a beach for 7 days with a fruity drink and a personal butler. Jake is more outdoorsy, so he will want to go hiking, fishing, etc. which I don't mind doing, but just not every day.

After throwing around about a million options, we started considering Costa Rica at the suggestion of one of Jake's groomsmen.

It seems to have the best of what we both want - relaxation and beaches for me, and tons of activities for Jake.

Without giving away too much, let's just say that I work for an international hotel chain and I get a FANTASTIC discount on hotel rooms all around the world. It's a pretty sweet perk, but unfortunately, I haven't gotten to take advantage of it much, seeing as I hardly ever get to take a vacation. Well I decided to just check and see which hotels we could stay at in Costa Rica and how much it would be with my discount. Well we hit the JACKPOT!! There is a BRAND new hotel in Costa Rica (literally, it opened on December 1st), right on the Pacific coast (in Tamarindo), beach front with a huge pool, and we can stay there for $89.00/night with my discount!!! Needless to say, we booked it immediately. We figured we can always cancel the reservation if it doesn't work out, but we wanted to ensure we would get that rate. The hotel is a 5 diamond hotel, and it's one of the most luxurious hotels in Latin America. AHHH!! We then looked into flights and realized we could fly from Baltimore to Costa Rica for $300/each!

Since we were sort of jumping the gun on everything, we started actually doing more research into Costa Rica and realized why everything was so cheap in's the rainiest month all year. Hmmm. That sort of bummed us out...we definitely don't want to have bad weather. But from everything we've read, the rainy season in Costa Rica is sort of like the's sunny and nice and then it rains for about 2 hours every afternoon. Not too bad.

The major drawback for Costa Rica is that we would fly into San Jose (which is in the center of the country) and then have to rent a car and drive to the Pacific Coast...5.5 hours!! To fly into the other airport in Costa Rica (which is MUCH closer to the resort 1.5 hours), Liberia, raises our airfare to $600/person (doubles it). Jake is really worried that the drive will be a challenge, with the roads in Costa Rica probably not being very good, plus it being really rainy.

Has anyone ever been to Costa Rica and can offer any suggestions? Is the rainy season bad? Thoughts on the road conditions to drive all that way? Would it be better for us to just fly into the closer airport and spend extra? We hope to just figure it all out and make our final plans soon! Then I can start the important part of the honeymoon...finding cute outfits to take!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009


Happy 2009!! That is so crazy to me...last year flew by! 2008 was one of the best years for me, so I'm really excited to see what 2009 will bring. Obviously I have ALOT to be excited about and look forward to!! Jake and I were talking about our New Years resolutions yesterday morning...

1. Get in better shape. I don't necessary need to lose any weight, but I REALLY need to tone up and get healthier. I need to overhaul my diet, cut out the crap and eat smaller portions. I need to join a gym and go at least 5 days a week and get in a good hard workout. I want buff arms for my wedding day and a flat stomach for my honeymoon!

2. Spend more time training Spencer. We've realized that while she is a good dog and she does behave most of the time, we do let her get away with too much bad stuff. We want to hire a trainer to come to the house and tell us what we are doing wrong and how to fix it. We need to be more consistant and really correct her mistakes. We need to look past her cute puppy eyes and actually say "no!" and mean it!!

3. Start going to church regularly. We're starting this Sunday and I want to try and make it at least 3 Sundays a month. This is selfish, but it goes along with the church thing - find a pastor to marry us!!

4. Learn to relax more, not freak out about so much stuff and calm down with my cleaning regimen. I've had a few crazy moments this year in regards to cleanliness with the house and I really need to take a deep breath and realize that it just does not matter if the house isn't spotless. I typically spend at least an hour each day cleaning (sweeping, vaccuming, wiping down counters, etc) and I want to try to cut back on that. I really don't need to spend so much of my life cleaning. I also need to let Jake help me more around the house, instead of wanting to do everything myself.

So those are my resolutions and I really hope I can stick to them!! What are your resolutions? Do you usually keep them throughout the year?

Also - with it now being 2009, I'm now in super wedding mode!! Expect a lot of wedding posts in the near future!!
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