Bridesmaid Dress Unsuccess

After visiting two different bridal boutiques with my friend Laurel, we came up a little short on the bridesmaid dress front.

Pretty Dresses

The first boutique carried a bunch of Vera Wang dresses that were gorgeous (Hello $13,000 price tag!). Since I already have a dress and didn’t feel like selling my car to buy a different one, we bypassed the bridal gowns and headed toward the bridesmaid dresses. 

We specifically went to the first store to see the Liz Fields dresses I loved online (and posted about here).

Unfortunately they didn’t have two of the three dresses I wanted to see, but they did have the halter dress and Laurel slipped into it within 15 minutes of our arrival.

Halter Dress

Note: This print is AWFUL and I would never put my bridesmaids in Hawaiian print dresses. As I said before, they will all be wearing champagne dresses on the big day.

Terrible print aside, this dress just didn’t cut it. Laurel was a great model, but the dress itself felt really cheap. The material was very thin and it honestly seemed like a dress you could buy at Forever 21 for $19.99. Needless to say, this dress is no longer in the running. 🙂

We hopped in my car and headed to our second boutique where we had much better luck.

I really loved a one-shoulder dress, but think it’s a bit over the price range I’m hoping to stay within for my bridesmaids.

Cute Dress

I think Laurel’s boyfriend needs to plan a hot date so she can wear this dress out because it looked great on her!

Pretty!

After dress shopping, I dropped Laurel off at her apartment and swung by Starbucks for a cappuccino before heading home to take Sadie out so our landlord could show our apartment to potential tenants.

Cappuccino

(I ❤ Starbucks gift cards! Thank you to my Aunt Laurie for this lil’ treat!)

First Timer

About an hour later I headed out to Marshall’s for some shopping that I definitely didn’t need to do, but wanted to do anyway. 🙂

You should all know that I succumbed to a trend today: the running skirt.

Pink Nike Running Skirt

White Nike Running Skirt

I ended up buying the white Nike running skirt because the pink one was a little big and I didn’t want it fallin’ down and my hiney hangin’ out as I run. Good reason, no?

I also purchased a banana bread Larabar at Marshall’s for $.70 which I promptly devoured in the car on my way home. Sch-weet!

Banana Bread Larabar

I think I’m the only one not on the whole “I love Larabars” kick because I haven’t found a flavor that I thought was suuuuper delicious yet. This one was definitely the best flavor I’ve tried so far though and I would buy it again if I found it on sale for $.70. 😉

One Last Thing

I totally forgot to post this picture last night, but it made me smile reeeeal big.

My mom is the cutest and for our dinner party with Ryan’s family she had place settings out for everyone with name tags. She even had one set for Sadie which I thought was hysterical and so adorable. 🙂

Sadie's Place Setting

The Beast

Hope you’re all enjoying the last of the weekend.

I’m off to the grocery store with Ryan to battle the Sunday crowd. Watch out!

AMA Round Five

I’m off to go for a quick run with Sadie before meeting up with my friend Laurel to look at bridesmaid dresses today, but I wanted to do a quick post to answer some of your Ask Me Anything questions.

I love all of your questions and am doing my very best to address them as quickly as possible! Thank you for caring enough to submit questions… It warms my heart! 🙂

I will probably end the Ask Me Anything question thing relatively soon, but you may still click here to submit an anonymous question. 🙂

AMA Round 5

Do you plan to try to lose any more weight or do anything before your wedding, or are you happy where you are now?

I do not have plans to lose a dramatic amount of weight before my wedding. I feel like I am at a healthy weight for my body right now. I will definitely keep up with my regular workouts and will likely try to limit weekend indulgences as the wedding day draws nearer because I do want to look and feel my very best on that day.

Do people ever comment on your healthy eating habits? For example, I find that since I eat healthy, co-workers always have to make a comment such as “Wow, you’re eating again!” since I eat many snacks.  It’s annoying to me!

Yes, people do make comments and it can be irritating, but I genuinely like eating a lot of mini meals and I love the food I eat, so I try not to let it bother me. I get the most irritated with “food pushers” who keep trying to make you eat more cake or dessert or something like that when you’ve already enjoyed a piece or have politely declined.

How many minutes/hours of exercise to you average per day?

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I typically take a 50-minute BodyPump (total-body weights) class and follow it up with 25 minutes of light cardio. On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday or Sunday I will do 50 minutes of some kind of cardio. I usually take one day a week off from the gym.

About how much money do you spend per week on groceries? You seem to buy a lot online and brand-name foods, and aren’t they expensive?

My grocery bill is almost always less than $45 every week. I do buy food online and I will typically do that once every two months or so, and those foods typically add up to around $40.

I love your blog! I love finding people who are just as passionate about healthy living as I am. For exercise, I usually bike, swim or my absolute favorite shopping 😀 I’ve been meaning to try running but I’m scared I’m going to get seriously hurt! Could you ive me a couple tips? I wouldn’t want to get injured over a silly rookie mistake. thank you so much!

My best advice is to start slow! I do not have a natural running ability and had to work and slowly build my mileage to feel comfortable tackling five miles at the drop of a hat. Also, investing in a great pair of running shoes made a huge difference for me. I went to a local store in Orlando called Track Shack where they watched me run and recommended specific shoes for my stride.

I love your blog! It is the only blog I check on a daily basis. I was wondering, what blogs do you check on a regular basis and how much time do you spend reading blogs each day?

Thank you! This made me smile! 🙂 I love reading other blogs. My absolute favorite blog is Carrots ‘n’ Cake. I also love Food, Fitness, Fashion, Healthy Tipping Point, How Sweet It Is and Skinny Runner. The time I spend checking other blogs really varies from day to day depending on how busy I am. Over the weekend I’m a bad blog checker and have a hard enough time creating my own posts! 😀

Do you go to church?

I do not regularly go to church but do feel like I have a relationship with God.

Do you ever struggle with PMS cravings? How do you resist the urge to give in and binge when that time of the month comes?

Yes. I cope by eating a pint of ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 🙂 Seriously though, the best way for me to handle cravings is to get out of the house and distract myself with other activities… like shopping. 😉

What is your favorite type of peanut butter?  Peanut Butter and Co.’s Mighty Maple is my new addiction!

The brand I buy the most often is Skippy natural peanut butter because it tastes just like the peanut butter I loved growing up. I loooove practically any kind of peanut butter… especially the honey roasted peanut butter you can grind yourself at Whole Foods.

How many children will you try to have?

Right now Ryan and I are both thinking we would like to have two children.

Do you think that blogging about everything you eat is eating disordered?

No, I don’t. If anything it has helped me feel more in control of what I eat and evaluate my meals to make sure I’m eating enough of the “good stuff” like fresh fruits and vegetables.

What do you think of others who take pictures of all their food?

We’re a weird bunch, I know. 😉 Buuut I love food and fitness blogs and respect anyone who puts time and effort into something that they feel so passionate about. I know my blog means so much to me and those of you who take the time to read and comment daily have no idea how grateful I feel for your support and loving words.

Do you think you will do this for the rest of your life?

I have no idea. I love blogging. The release it gives me to write about food and fitness and my every day life is something I truly enjoy. Only time will tell! 😉

I am a HUGE fan of amusement parks! How often do you go to Disney World and Universal Studios?

I love ’em too! Aren’t they so much fun? Surprisingly though I think I probably go to one of the big parks one or two times a year. Even though they’re so close, they’re still pretty pricey! I actually used to be an intern at SeaWorld when I was in college and got free tickets for a while. It was awesome!

What is your makeup routine like and what brand of makeup do you wear? It looks so natural!

Thank you! I am considering doing an entire post on this because I received this question a couple of times… stay tuned!

What would you eat if it was the last meal you’d ever eat?

An ice cream sundae with whipped cream, hot fudge sauce and candied pecans.

Do you color your hair or is it natural? It’s gorgeous!

Thank you… you make me blush. 😉 It is natural. I have never colored my hair and I get it cut at Great Clips when I get their $5.99 coupon in the mail.

Are you and Ryan both only children?

Ryan is an only child. I have a younger sister who is pretty much the best thing goin’. She’s in college at the University of Florida and will be my maid of honor in our wedding. I’ll be seeing her next weekend in St. Pete, so you’ll see her pretty lil’ face pop up on the blog soon.

Go, Go, Go

Today was a go, go, go kinda day!

Ryan and I knew going into this weekend that we’d be busy, and we have been! It’s been wonderful to spend quality time with our families.

When we got back from breakfast it was cold and rainy outside, which ruined any plans for outdoor fun. Instead we decided to keep warm and play a game of Scrabble… Great rainy day fun!

Scrabble Fun

This was not my best game of Scrabble. At one point I had three Ns, two Rs and X and a T. Please try to create a word with those letters. (NRXTRNN is not a word, just FYI.) Needless to say, I lost. 😦

Luckily there was lots of peppermint bark on hand to ease my sorrow.

Peppermint Bark

So Delicious

Before we sat down to play Scrabble, Ryan’s mom and Ryan began making potato leek soup (using a Sandra Lee recipe) which smelled fantastic by the time our game was over.

Leeks

Cook One

Cook Two

The soup tasted like it was straight out of a gourmet restaurant. They did a great job!

Potato Leek Soup

It was a stick-to-your-ribs kinda soup that tasted creamy and delicious.

Fortunately by the time lunch was over, the weather cleared up a bit and Ryan and I headed out to the driving range to “drive some balls,” as I said. (Apparently the proper terminology is “hit some balls,” in case you’re interested.)

Ball Boy

This was my first experience at a driving range but I had a lot of fun! Ryan gave me lots of pointers and tips, but I think it’s safe to say I’ll be giving Tiger a run for his money should he ever return to golf. 😉

"Hello, Ball. I will dominate you."

"So long, suckerrrr!"

It didn't go quite as far as I anticipated...

He Taught Tiger Everything He Knows (Except the lying and cheating stuff)

Golf was fun but by hands hurt my the end of our time at the driving range! Apparently I need to do some serious hand curls at the gym on Monday. We’re talking at least 2.5 pound weights.

Dinner

After drivin’ the balls, we headed back to Ryan’s family’s house to change before heading to my parents’ house in St. Pete for dinner.

I also had to call the ticket office in Tampa to see if we could arrange to pick up new tickets to see Wicked tonight since we forgot the actual tickets in Orlando on our bulletin board (You know, the place you put things so you’re sure you won’t forget them?).

Sooo, We Forgot Our Tickets...

Ryan and I made it to St. Pete by 4:30 p.m. and Ryan’s family arrived right around five.

We enjoyed hanging out and talking over appetizers before moving into the living room for a yummy dinner of French country chicken, red potatoes, onions, green beans with almonds, fresh rolls and fruit salad.

Dinner Line

My Plate

Smile!

For dessert, Ryan’s mom brought delicious apple pie, which was served with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. Unfortunately I gobbled that up too quickly to snap a pic! Oops!

Dinner was a lot of fun and we really enjoyed hanging out with both of our families. As a bride-to-be, it’s wonderful to be in a room with two fantastic families who are so genuinely excited about what the future holds for me and Ryan. It means the world to feel such wonderful love and support from the people who mean the most.

Ryan and I had to leave the dinner party a little early to make it to Tampa to see Wicked!

Though it was my second time seeing the musical, I loved it just as much! Ryan really liked it as well and I cannot stop singing… not the best thing since I really gotta get to bed soon! I have a feeling I’ll be singing myself to sleep… 🙂

See ya in the morning with some more Ask Me Anything Q & As! 🙂

Shrimp in Sarasota

Right after work yesterday Ryan, Sadie and I headed south to Sarasota to spend the night with Ryan’s family.

When we arrived, the house smelled fantastic and we sat down to a home cooked dinner within 30 minutes.

Shrimpies

 We enjoyed a delicious dinner of shrimp, baked potatoes, salad, corn on the cob and garlic bread.

Yummy Shrimp

Salad

Ryan's Mom: Salad Chef!

Potato + Corn

We all commented on how deliciously sweet the corn on the cob tasted. It was wonderful!

Despite such a filling dinner, Ryan and I still had room for a Sarasota classic: SweetBerries!

Sweetberries

SweetBerries has the most amazing frozen custard.

Ryan and I ordered a large butterscotch custard to share.

Ryan + Custard

(Side note: I love Ryan with a lil’ scruff!)

I also snacked on one too many pieces of peppermint bark when we got home. Sugar overload!

Today

This morning Ryan and I woke up about and hour before his family and took Sadie on a long walk to a nearby park.

The park had really cool playground equipment and Ryan and I spent a good 20 minutes playing around. Lemme just say they’ve made upgrades to playground equipment since I was a kid!

When we got back, his family was awake and ready for breakfast. We changed and headed out for a hot meal at the Broken Egg.

Hungry People

Broken Egg Interior

We waited about 10 minutes to be seated and drooled over the baked goods, danishes and monkey bread they had on display. (Thank you to Ryan’s mom for buying monkey bread for us to take home for breakfast tomorrow!)

We placed our orders and our food was brought out in no time at all.

I ordered Pete’s breakfast, which was scrambled egg whites with Swiss cheese and vegetables, fruit salad and a buttered English muffin.

Cheesy!

My Plate

Ryan’s mom ordered three cheese blintzes that looked and tasted wonderful.

Ryan's Mom's Blintzes

Our breakfasts were good, but Ryan’s stole the show.

He ordered French toast stuffed with bananas and walnuts. I enjoyed many bites and it was unbelievable. A winner fo’ sho’!

Banana Walnut Stuffed French Toast

Breakfast at the Broken Egg was tasty!

Ask Me Anything

Thank you for continuing to submit questions! Apparently the submission form I was using met its quota last night, so if you tried to submit a question and it was rejected, I apologize. Fortunately I got it back up and working and you may click here to submit an anonymous Ask Me Anything question. I’ll be sure to answer some more soon! 🙂

Happy Saturday!!!

AMA Round Four

Good morning! Quick fly by post to answers more Ask Me Anything questions…

I’ll be back soon for a recap from last night. Ryan and I are off to breakfast with his family!

(You may still click here to submit an anonymous question.)

AMA Round Four

How do you balance your eating habits with your fiancés? Boys/men tend to eat more than females and require more energy/calories in a typical day as well, but I sometimes struggle with the fact that I eat as much as my live-in boyfriend frequently and (probably due to social perceptions) feel that I shouldn’t be that way.

Ooooh I can relate to this!!! I think there’s a reason why statistically women gain weight after marriage – blame the men! 😉 Seriously though, it can be challenging to live with a guy that eats all the time. Ryan eats constantly, but fortunately is very open to trying healthy recipes. When we cook, we typically cook recipes for three people and Ryan will eat two portions while I will eat one. It takes some adjusting to recipe measurements but makes it easier to control portion size when the meal is ready and I know he gets two thirds of the meal while I get one.

Where I struggle most is dessert. If Ryan wants ice cream or something sweet, I have a very hard time saying no and will typically indulge right along with him. As long as I don’t down a pint of ice cream every day, I try not to worry about it too much.

How often do you go grocery shopping? What foods do you always keep on stock in your fridge and pantry?

I go grocery shopping once a week (sometimes twice) and typically buy the following foods if I’m currently out of them at home:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Cheese (string cheese, shredded cheese, deli cheese, feta/goat cheese)
  • Whole wheat sandwich thins
  • Cottage cheese
  • Fruit (whatever is on sale… apples, strawberries, raspberries)
  • Vegetables (whatever is on sale… broccoli, squash, zucchini, onions, mushrooms, spinach)
  • Sugar-free gum (I’m addicted)
  • Lean protein for dinner (chicken breasts, lean ground beef)
  • Ravioli
  • Pasta sauce
  • Sugar-free Jello
  • Eggs
  • Oatmeal

 If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you want? (Other than peanut butter. 🙂 )

Assuming necessities like water aren’t allowed, I’d want Ryan, Sadie and a ridiculously long but very entertaining book. If I could have an unlimited supply of three foods on the island I’d pick ice cream, chocolate and Cheez-its.

I’m thinking about transferring to UCF. I’m a marketing major. Did you enjoy your time at UCF? If you had to do it all over again would you pick the same school?

I really, really loved my time at UCF and am very grateful for such a fantastic college experience. I want to be 100 percent honest with you though and tell you that I didn’t feel overly challenged in my classes at UCF. I’m not sure if it was my major (advertising and public relations… which I loved), but I didn’t feel like I was ever overwhelmed with studying obligations and I think I possibly could have been better challenged elsewhere. That said, the teachers and students really are wonderful people and I really would highly recommend UCF to anyone. 🙂 Feel free to email me (pbfingers@gmail.com) if you have any additional questions because I was a marketing minor and have some experience in marketing classes there as well. Good luck in your decisions!!! If you select UCF I have no doubt you will love it!

Hi Julie! Have you ever noticed that when you open your page the peanut butter on the spoon has a smiley face? It’s only on the top, once you scroll down it stays there and the spoon moves down. Is this supposed to be there? I love it and I’m sure it was planned, however if it was not planned it would be super cool as well. Can you tell I’m very observant and pay attention to detail? HEHE

I love that you brought this up!!! This was actually not planned and, believe it or not, doesn’t show up on everyone’s computers! It doesn’t show up on my lap top at home, but it shows up on Ryan’s and my family’s computer. Odd, huh? I kinda like the little smiley guy. He’s like my little blog guardian. 😉

I was wondering how many hours of sleep do you get each night? You seem to do so much in one day. When do you go to bed and wakeup? I wake up at 6 and most days I’m exausted after work and don’t feel like doing anything but coming home fixing dinner and going to sleep. Where do you get all of your energy?

I typically wake up at 5:30 a.m. on weekdays and am in bed by 9:30 p.m. That’s a full eight hours of sleep baby! 😀 Sleep is SO important to me and after a full day of work, working out, walking or playing with Sadie, hanging out with Ryan, making dinner and blogging, my body is ready for bed at 9:30 p.m. every night. My body is really used to this schedule now and I don’t feel tired most days until be time. I work out first thing in the morning and eat constantly throughout the day (six mini-meals) which I think really helps keep me feeling energetic throughout the day.

One question: How do you keep your stomach so flat?

First of all, thank you! 🙂 Secondly, I naturally gain weight in my lower half first (hips, butt, legs). However, if I do notice that my stomach is getting a little softer, I’ll up cardio and try to incorporate more intense cardio sessions (like interval training) into my routine which my body seems to respond tto best. Also, I cannot stress the importance of healthy eating when it comes to carrying weight in my stomach. I will literally be walking around with a food baby belly if I have a weekend full of ice cream, cookies and other indulgent foods. 🙂

How often do you and Ryan drink alcohol?

We drank Relax (the best Riesling wine ever!) last night! 🙂

Ryan and I both are not really all that into alcohol. I really don’t like it all that much, with the exception of wine that tastes like juice. 😉 If we’re hanging out with friends or the alcohol-drinkin’ mood strikes us we’ll definitely have a few drinks! I just haaate feeling like caca (yes, I just said caca) the next day. Cheers!

I know I didn’t get to all of your questions, but I’m pluggin’ away!!! Stay tuned for more AMA Q&As! 😀