Weighing What’s Important

Wedding thoughts in un momento

First, breakfast!

Today I had another yogurt and barley breakfast bowl (yes, I’m in love), but instead of using thawed frozen strawberries in the bowl like I did yesterday, I stirred in thawed frozen raspberries. I’m so adventurous, I know.

Raspberries + Yogurt

Raspberry Barley Breakfast Bowl

If you’ve never enjoyed barley in a sweet dish and have only had it in soups or savory meals, please give this a try. It’s chewy, slightly nutty and so delicious!


My workout today was sweat-tastic! I did 35 minutes on the treadmill, followed by 15 minutes on the elliptical with OK! magazine. I love my celebrity gossip!

My 35 minute treadmill workout looked like this:

  • Min. 1 – 15: 1.0 incline, 6.5 pace
  • Min. 15: 1.0 incline, 7.5 pace
  • Min. 16: 1.0 incline, 6.5 pace
  • Min. 17: 1.0 incline, 7.5 pace
  • Min. 18: 1.0 incline, 6.5 pace
  • Min. 19: 1.0 incline, 8.0 pace
  • Min. 20 – 25: 1.0 incline, 6.5 pace
  • Min. 25 – 35: 7.5 incline, 4.2 pace

I broke it up into three segments: steady state cardio followed by intervals, and back to steady state cardio again. It kept me entertained and made the workout go by quickly.

Wedding Planning: Weighing What’s Important

Throughout the wedding planning process, we’ve been adjusting our budget in certain areas to make room for additions in other areas.

I’ve received many different words of advice ranging from “Don’t waste money on a dress… you wear it once,” to “Definitely budget for your dress… it’s the one thing you’ll remember forever.” Clearly, different aspects of a wedding are important to different people.

Aside from food and drinks, what aspect of a wedding do you think is worthy of the most money?

To me, it is our photographer. It was so important for me to find someone we felt comfortable around and whose style was more candid than “pose-y.” I love pictures that capture moments and emotions and was determined to find a photographer whose photographs weren’t staged and someone who captured and love and emotion felt throughout the wedding day. I think (and hope!) we found a good one.

I think the area in which I’m most willing to cut costs is the flowers. I love flowers and think they’re beautiful, but they can be really expensive and other areas are much more important to me.

In fact, I’ve adjusted our flower budget to make room for something many people probably think is silly: chairs. I am obsessed with chiavari chairs!

Beloved Chairs

To me, they add an element of sophistication and such a nice, clean look to a reception room.


Pretty, huh?

My dad is so funny about the chairs… naturally he (like many) doesn’t understand why I love these chairs so much. Buuut, last night I got this sweet email from him:

Julie, I am at a black tie affair tonight in DC and the chairs, I think, are the safari (sp) you like. They are nice but I would have never noticed them if it wasn’t for you. Just fyi.  Love you, Daddy

I think he’s coming around. 😀 I love how he called them safari chairs! Truth be told, that’s what I thought they were called for months, too!

Though I do love these chairs, if something else comes up of more importance, I’m more than willing to forgo my beloved chairs. However, if I can cut expenses in other areas and the chairs can fit into our budget, bring ’em in! 😀

Steak, Champagne & Chocolate

Sounds like the makings of a good Valentine’s Day, no?

Our date at The Capital Grille was wonderful. That place really knows how to make Valentine’s Day extra special.

Ryan and I decided to get dressed up for our special date since we don’t frequent fancy places like this all too often.

Me & My Valentine

All Dressed Up

The service at The Capital Grille was amazing. Our waiter, Kenton, was knowledgable, attentive and had great recommendations.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we were both given a complimentary glass of champagne to enjoy right when we sat down.


Ryan made a beautiful toast. I can’t believe that next year on Valentine’s Day will be a married couple. Wow-zaa!

To start, we split a bowl of the lobster bisque. It was amazingly creamy and had generous lumps of lobster meat throughout. Between the bisque, champagne and freshly baked bread, our meal was off to a great start!

We both took Kenton’s recommendations to heart when ordering our main course. I ordered the filet mignon with cippolini onions and wild mushrooms while Ryan opted for the Delmonico steak.

My Filet

Ryan and His 22 oz. Steak

Both were very good, though Ryan’s was better. 🙂

The real show stopper??? The lobster macaroni and cheese. Thank you to those of you who recommended we order this. It was beyooooond amazing.

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

We also enjoyed steamed asparagus, but it didn’t hold a candle to the lobster mac.


When our check was delivered, our waiter brought me a gorgeous long-stemmed red rose and a box of chocolate truffles for each of us to enjoy.

Rose and Truffle Boxes

Our Valentine’s Day date was perfect. My date was the best and the restaurant he selected impressed both of us. I have never been to a restaurant that pulled out all the stops like The Capital Grille did for Valentine’s Day. It was quite a memorable experience!

Lucky for Sadie, we didn’t forget about our puppers and asked our waiter to box up our steak scraps for our girl.

Ryan’s car smelled divine on the way home because of our yummy bag of leftovers!

Drivin' Home

Though Ryan and I love getting dressed up for a fun date, after putting on our pajamas, we both agreed that loungin’ around in comfy clothes, cuddlin’ with Sadie is the real us. Throw an ice cream Snickers bar into the mix, and you’ve got the perfect conclusion to a wonderful Valentine’s Day! 😀

Valentine’s Day Mission Gifts

In case you were curious as to what $15 (more or less) allowed me and Ryan to buy for each other on our Valentine’s day mission, here are the goods:

Ryan’s Gifts (aka Foodie Fun Bag):

  • 2 Clif Bars (Carrot Cake & Banana Nut Bread)
  • Farmgirl Apple Cinnamon Pancake Mix
  • Yogi Green Tea Triple Echinacea
  • Whole Foods Gourmet Spiced Olives
  • Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

I made sure to fill Ryan’s goodie bag with foods I know he loves but doesn’t buy very often. The Jelly Belly jelly beans were extra fun. They were like the Bertie Bott’s Every Flavored Beans from Harry Potter… You didn’t know if you were going to eat a  good flavor or a disgusting one (like a caramel corn jelly bean or a rotten egg jelly bean). We had fun with that until we both tried a moldy cheese jelly bean. Yuk!

My Gifts (aka Girly Fun):

  • My Best Friend’s Wedding & The Wedding Planner duo movie DVD
  • Yankee Candle (Apple Spice)

I loved my gifts! My Best Friend’s Wedding is one of my all-time favorite movies. My best friend/college roommate Laurel and I used to watch it on repeat in our room. “From the moment I wake up…” 😀

I also opened a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift from my parents: Gap Body red pajamas with teeny white polka dots and fuzzy red slipper socks. I love ’em! Thank you!!!

V-Day Gift from the 'Rents

My mom always did a great job of making Valentine’s Day extra special and emphasizing the importance of showing friends and family how much you love them today as well.

On that note, I gotta tell you guys how much I love you and appreciate your comments and constant support of this blog that means so much to me. ❤