My Bridal Shower!

What a wonderful day!

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My sister (who is also my maid of honor) and my mom have been working for months to plan this special day for me. I’ve seen the two of them whispering and I’ve been shunned out of various rooms in my parents house the past few times I visited my family in St. Pete, so it was wonderful to see all of their hard work and planning come to fruition!

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They planned my bridal shower at the Tuscawilla Country Club, located in Winter Springs.

FL_winter_springs_tuscawilla

Ryan’s mom and I headed over to the country club together just before 11 a.m.

After hugging my mom and sister hello, I immediately noticed these delicious lookin’ little beauties.

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My mom made these devil’s food cupcakes with whipped pink frosting which were light and delicious!

My sister was quite crafty when planning the event and clearly spent a lot of time on the cute little details.

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Her little table markers were oh-so-Martha Stewart! 😀

My mom and sister also handmade the favors for all of the shower attendees.

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Not only were their cookies adorable, but they were also very tasty!

They even made a special bridal one for me which I absolutely loved.

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Aside from my sister, Laurel was my only bridesmaid who was able to make it to the shower (everyone else lives in Chicago, Texas or Iowa) and she showed her true bridesmaid prowess when it came the the “How Well Do You Know the Bride” trivia game.

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Laurel and I lived together our sophomore through senior year in college, so it was no shocker she had nearly every answer down pat!

The trivia game was one of four games my sister planned for the shower. We also had a great time with a purse scavenger hunt, name that famous duo challenge and a trivia game involving questions she asked Ryan ahead of time that I had to guess the answers to.

Of course a portion of the shower was dedicated to present opening.

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If you can believe it, that was the gift table before my friends arrived! Clearly my mom, Ryan’s mom, Ryan’s grandma and my aunts took this shower seriously. 😀

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I received some seriously amazing gifts (Hello, KitchenAid Mixer!!!). Everyone was so unbelievably thoughtful and kind to bring something for me and Ryan before our wedding and I felt very blessed.

We had quite a time loading everything into my car!

The funniest gift was saved for last…

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What in the world???

Well, it’s Jezebel, of course!

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Isn’t she awesome?

Jezebel was made completely of handy household and kitchen items including an ironing board, mop, spatulas, sponges, a colander, apron, dish towels and more!

In the midst of all the game-playing, chit-chatting and gift giving, we also enjoyed a delicious lunch.

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I had a turkey and hummus wrap with fresh fruit which I inhaled! Apparently my morning run with Sadie sparked my appetite!

I also sipped on a mimosa before lunch which was fantastic.

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Mimosas should be an evening staple if you ask me! They’re too good to only enjoy in the morning.

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I was sad to say goodbye at the end of the brunch, but I was so thankful for the love I felt from my friends and family all afternoon.

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(Thanks, Minda, for driving all the way from Jacksonville!)

Once everyone was gone, Ryan’s mom and I drove back to our apartment to say hello to Ryan and his mom’s boyfriend. I had to head out pretty quickly because my mom, sister and I had an appointment at the bridal boutique where I brought my dress to pick up my sister’s bridesmaid dress!

I absolutely love my bridesmaid dresses!

My sister tried hers on and it looks amazing. I don’t even think she’ll need any alterations made! Sch-weet!

I’m finally back at our apartment and it feels amazing to be chillin’ on the couch. I have a feeling that’s exactly what the rest of the night will entail. Present unpacking can wait… 😉

See ya bright ‘n’ early in the morning!

A Craft Store Threw Up in My House

It’s official.

Wedding crafts took over the day!

I don’t want to reveal our crafty projects on the blog before the big day, but here’s a little preview:

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Intrigued? 😉

For the better part of the day, it looked like a craft store threw up all over our house. Fabric, stamps, paper, scissors and picture frames were everywhere!

My mom is seriously an angel and has done an amazing job with many of the projects. It’s like she has a little peep-hole right into my brain and can help me bring my ideas to fruition. Muchas gracias, Mama! 😀

It seems that crafting makes me very snacky, so I snacked through the day and never really sat down to a big lunch. I really hate it when that happens because I end up eating more than I would if I sat down to a real meal and the foods I consume are never as nutritious… think pre-packaged sugary, white-flour laden goodies… and a bowl or two of ice cream.

Dinner

Around 6 p.m., my dad suggested we head out for dinner, so we headed to The Clubhouse for sandwiches and soup.

I ordered a marinated veggie sandwich served on Ciabatta bread with feta and Provolone cheese, along with a cup of Navy bean soup.

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My dad also let me have a few bites of his fish and chips.

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The chips were clearly homemade and were so delicious! They were kettle-cooked, crunchy and perfectly salted.

For dessert, my mom and I shared a big slice of banana chocolate cake, encrusted with macadamia nuts on the outside edge.

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The cake was served with caramel and sweet cream condensed milk for dipping.

Yum!

Now it’s time for b-e-d.

I’m planning on waking up extra early to sneak in a workout before I pay a visit to the dentist.

Off to brush my teeth and floss (maybe)! 😀

Our First Registering Experience

It’s amazing how three days away from the gym can feel like so long! 

My body was seriously craving a work out this morning. 

If you just aren’t feelin’ the gym these days, try taking a few days off (more than one!). It may be just the thing you need to get your mojo back. 😉 

Ryan and I hit up the gym for a good workout a little before 9 a.m. I did a total-body workout, similar to the weights routine I did last Monday. I had a yummy breakfast bagelwich before my workout to help me power through. 

Breakfast Bagelwich

To make my bagelwich, I toasted a sweet wheat Alternative Bagel and topped it with a wedge of Laughing Cow light original Swiss cheese, MorningStar Farms veggie bacon and an egg white. 

I actually cooked the egg white in a mug in the microwave, which worked really well. I just sprayed a mug with cooking spray, added the egg white and cooked it on high for around 40 seconds, or until I heard a little “pop.”    

Egg + Bacon + Cheese

Fast food breakfast sandwiches ain’t got nothin’ on me! 😀 

Registering at Williams-Sonoma 

After taking Sadie for a walk around the lake near our apartment, eating another snack (hummus & cheese wrap for me) and showering, Ryan and I headed to Williams-Sonoma to register for our wedding!    

What a Lovely Sight

 My hubby-to-be in front of Williams-Sonoma??? I may have just died and gone to heaven. Would it be weird if I framed this picture? 😉    

A Glimpse into Heaven

Registering at Williams-Sonoma was a breeze.    

Ryan and I both thought the employees struck the perfect balance between helpful and aloof. Neither of us like someone breathing down our back, but whenever we looked especially confused, someone seemed to magically appear. 

Guess who was quite a big fan of the registering gun?   

Man and Machine

We agreed going into the experience that we would both have to like anything we scanned, but that we could each get one “freebie” item that the other person didn’t really care for. Neither of us ended up using our “freebie” item and we seemed to see eye-to-eye on almost everything! Maybe we’ll use our “freebies” when we register at Bed Bath and Beyond next weekend.     

Post-Registering Smiles

Ryan and I listened to the advice of former brides and those of you who commented on my blog before about creating a wedding registry, and registered for a couple of “big ticket” items like a set of Caphalon pans and a Wüsthof Classic 12-Piece Knife Block Set. I can’t quite imagine anyone going all out like that for our wedding, but a girl can dream! 

Wedding Band Selection   

Once we were done registering at Williams-Sonoma, Ryan and I headed down the street and picked up a grande chai tea Frappuccino from Starbucks. 

Chai Frapp

We then walked down to a nearby jeweler to check out wedding bands. 

I think we pretty much selected Ryan’s band today! 

He loved a thick platinum band with light etching on the top and bottom of the band. I’ll definitely post a picture when it comes in and we fully commit. 

I really liked a band with several princess-cut diamonds on it. I am not sure how many diamonds or what size diamonds I prefer, so the woman we were working with is going to shop around and give me a call when she gets some possibilities in the store. I’ll keep you guys posted!   

Lunch 

We swung by the grocery store on our way home from the jeweler and picked up food for lunch and for the rest of the week.   

When we arrived home, I got to work in the kitchen making a childhood favorite for lunch. 

English Muffin Pizzas

Pizza, Pizza

English muffin pizzas are the jam! 

To keep the “crust” crispy, I toasted the English muffins before topping them with tomato sauce and cheese and broiling them until the cheese melted.   

Oh-so-good! 

Now I’m off to unpack and CLEAN! Please try not to be too jealous.   

My goal is to clean, take Sadie for another short walk and make a homemade dinner before the Bachelorette tonight. 

Aaaand I’m off!

Winning Equation

No vodka + Adequate hydration = Successful run

6-Mile Run Thumbs Up!

Stats

After learning that happy hour coupled with not drinking enough water the day before a long run is a recipe for disaster, I made sure to hydrate properly yesterday and – wouldn’t you know – it made a huge difference!

This morning Sadie and I tackled the 6 mile run we were supposed to complete on Saturday as part of my half marathon training plan. Today’s run was five bazillion times better than Saturday’s cramp-fest.

I felt strong and gave myself a little pep talk as I was running.

Truth be told, I signed up for the Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon (which takes place on August 1) with some of my friends because it seemed like a neat way to conclude my bachelorette party.

Unlike my last half, I signed up for this race on a whim. Last time, I really thought about it and committed myself to training. Plus, I was curious to see whether or not I physically could complete a half marathon. Each long run was like a mini-milestone.

Now that I know that I can run 13.1 miles, I don’t have the same drive to run and follow a training plan like I did before. I’ve been having a bit of a mental struggle because I don’t like feeling like I have to run. I prefer working out for fun and doing whatever form of exercise calls to me on a particular day.

This morning, my pep talk with myself addressed this issue.

I am determined to re-commit myself to this training. It’s only two months of training with runs scheduled three times a week. No big deal! I feel so blessed to be able to run.

When I think back on the time that I injured my hip and couldn’t run for months, I feel grateful for the opportunity to run in this upcoming half marathon.

My mini-pep talk was filled with tough love and served as the kick-in-the-butt that I needed. Half marathon here I come! 😀

Post Run

One of the great things about running at 5:30 in the morning is being done before 6:30 a.m.!

I had some extra time on my hands this morning and I put it  to good use by doing some dishes, vacuuming and straightening up our apartment.

Dishes = Done (I know our cabinets are heinous. We're renting. Don't judge.)

Clean Apartment

During my quick clean, I placed six of Sadie’s toys back in her toy bin.

Sadie's Playmates

Last night Ryan and I were talking about how ridiculous it is that Sadie has so many toys. We’d throw some away, but she honestly plays with every single one. She’s an equal-opportunity player. 😉

After my super-fast clean, my tummy started to get angry at me.

“Feed me, you little jerk,” it said.

I’m never hungry immediately following a run, but 25 minutes later my stomach wants some food!

Breakfast

Breakfast this morning featured my favorite little grain.

Caress the Barley

Barley was the highlight of my yogurt bowl, which also included freshly sliced strawberries.

Berries + Barley

Breakfast Bowl

Stirred Up

So good!

Barley breakfast bowls are one of my all-time favorite breakfasts (French toast still holds the number one spot).

Bridesmaid Dress Update

Check out the text message I received from Ryan this morning:

This Just In...

You know what that means!!! Full speed ahead with the bridesmaid dress orders!!!

I’m glad Ryan seems to have changed his mind about the champagne/cashmere color of the bridesmaid dress.

We really haven’t discussed it too much since looking at the dresses on Sunday, but I did show him some pictures of other weddings where the bridesmaids wore champagne dresses which I think helped him see how elegant and classy they can look. We’ll discuss it a little more tonight, but I’m hoping to place an order soon! 😀

If you are married, what colors did you feature in your wedding? If you’re not married, what colors do you see yourself selecting for your big day?

Chocolate Citrus Strawberries & Wedding Registries

Leftovers for lunch!

I used last night’s BBQ meatloaf in a yummy sandwich today.

Da Loaf

Meatloaf may be one of those meals that’s better the second time around. So flavorful!

Meatloaf Sandwich

Along with the meatloaf sandwich, which I enjoyed on a whole wheat Arnold sandwich thin with light Miracle Whip and spinach, I snacked on freshly sliced green pepper.

Peppa

To me, raw peppers taste like summer! They’re good eatin’.

Dessert

Dessert was ah-maze-ing, thanks to Foodie Friday!

One of my coworkers prepared white chocolate covered strawberries with citrus sugar.

Dessert

  1. I love strawberries
  2. I love chocolate
  3. I love citrus
  4. I love sugar

Clearly I was a happy camper!

Lovin’ the Enthusiasm

I’m so glad you guys are so enthusiastic about the Monterey Pasta Company giveaway I blogged about this morning.

Naturally I want PBF readers to be excited about any giveaway, but this one made me particularly happy because I think there are so many people out there who avoid pasta or are scared of eating it because it is high in carbohydrates.

Food is your friend! Pasta and other carb-heavy whole grain foods can be a delicious and nutritious part of a healthy diet. Don’t fear the noodle! 😀

This Weekend

I am loving the lack of major plans this weekend. A relatively clear agenda makes me happy!

Friday:

  • Happy hour after work

Saturday:

  • 6 mile run (First “long run” of my half-marathon training plan!)
  • Mail out remaining save the dates
  • Visit bridal boutique to finalize bridesmaid dress selection
  • Date night with Ryan

Sunday:

  • Church
  • Lay out by the pool with Laurel
  • Farmer’s Market

We’re also thinking about registering for our wedding this weekend!!!

If you are married, where did you register? (Please share good/bad experiences!)

If you’re not married, where would you want to register?

Salad and Save the Date

I finally got some long lost vegetables into my belly at lunch today.

Lots o' Veggie Salad

I enjoyed a big salad with a variety of nutritious toppings.

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Beets
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Feta cheese
  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms

I topped the salad with Annie’s Naturals light raspberry vinaigrette.

Annie's Naturals

Monday's Lunch

It feels good to have some good-for-you-foods in my body again.

Save the Date Question

I have a question for all of you wedding experts out there.

How far in advance are you supposed to send out save the dates to wedding guests?

We’re getting married at the end of October, but most of our guests will have to travel to St. Pete for the wedding. I read that sending out save the dates six to nine months in advance is ideal, and I figured we should probably send them out closer to the nine-month end of that estimate since the majority of people will have to travel to attend. If that’s the case, we gotta get on those bad boys! 😀

It’s a Nice Day for a (Black and) White Wedding

Remember that song by Billy Idol? 😀 Well it was a nice day for a wedding, but it was a cold day!

Ashley and Matthew’s wedding last night was a black and white affair. They requested that the guests wear all black, so Ryan and I obliged, though my dress was covered by a not-so-cute back cardigan most of the night because it was so stinkin’ cold!

Me and My Date

The wedding was at the City Arts Factory in downtown Orlando and was the definition of a beautiful winter wedding.

When we arrived we walked up a decorated staircase into a large loft for the ceremony.

Black and White Entrance

We chatted with some of the people I used to work with at the Orlando Museum of Art for about 10 minutes before the ceremony began.

The Ceremony

Matthew’s face when Ashley walked down the aisle was wonderful to watch. Matt’s the lead singer/guitarist for the heavy metal band Trivium, so seeing him moved by the ceremony and his future wife was especially romantic. Later in the evening he said that when he saw Ashley walking down the aisle, that was the moment when all his nerves went away and he knew everything was right. So sweet!

Ashley Walking Down the Aisle

Ashley looked stunning and definitely added her own personal touch to the wedding. She wore an amazing handmade hat throughout the evening which suited her perfectly.

The Bride and Groom

After the ceremony we went downstairs for a cocktail hour when the ceremony site was flipped into the reception room.

I enjoyed several glasses of Reisling (gotta love wine that tastes like juice!) and a bunch of appetizers. Appetizer favorites were the spinach artichoke dip and the shrimp skewers wrapped in sugar snap peas that were passed around.

Appetizer Table

Enjoying Cocktail Hour

We were then ushered back upstairs for the reception. A delicious buffet of yummy smelling food awaited us.

We hit up the bar one more time and took photos with friends in a photo booth (so fun!) to wait for the food line to die down before filling our dinner plates.

My Plate

I filled my plate with lots of veggies, a small taste of the chicken dish and several thin slices of top round beef. I ate every last bite!

Ryan and I enjoyed dinner time and had fun catching up with our friends Ryan and Ken.

Ken and Ryan

Ryan and Me

As favors for the guests, Ashley and Matt had a neat candy bar set up where guests could fill up a mini to-go container with candies. Ryan and I filled our up and ate it all before we even left! I was addicted to the snow caps and Twizzlers. All the candy was black, white and red which looked really neat.

I really want to do a cookie bar at our wedding. Ryan and I both have a big sweet tooth and love homemade cookies. I think it would be really neat to use family recipes and have little tags on the cookie bins noting that these cookies are “Mimi’s homemade sugar cookies” to add a personal touch.

Here’s a picture (courtsey of Miss Martha) of what I’m thinking:

Cookie Bar

As if our sugar high from the candy bar wasn’t enough, Ryan and I made sure to indulge in wedding cake.

The cake was so elegant.

The Cake

Top Tier

Ashley and Matt were so cute during the cake cutting. No cake was smooshed into anyone’s face. 🙂

If you are married, did you smash cake into your spouse’s face at your wedding?

Cake Cutting

The main wedding cake was chocolate mocha which was delicious! They also had mini cakes on many of the reception tables with chocolate, vanilla and carrot cake flavors.

I ate a thick piece of carrot cake and sampled the others. The carrot cake was my favorite, followed by the chocolate mocha.

Carrot Cake

I love wedding cake! In the future I think I should skip dinner at weddings and eat seven pieces of wedding cake. That’s all I really want anyway.

Maybe we’ll do that at our wedding… no dinner… only dessert. Sounds good to me! 😉

Can you imagine this wedding menu:

Appetizer

Small brownie bites

Salad

A bed of chocolate chip cookie cake served with crumbled cookies pieces and a hot fudge sauce dressing

Entrée

Ice cream sundae, topped with whipped cream, chocolate and caramel sauce, garnished with candied pecans and a cherry

Dessert

Funfetti wedding cake

If I ever saw this menu at a wedding I would think I had just died and gone to heaven!

Today

I don’t have too many things on my to do list today which feels great! I want to clean up the apartment, run a couple errands and plan out some yummy dinners for this week.

I am taking the day off from the gym because I know a day of rest is important…however, I feel pretty energetic so I may attend a yoga class to release some energy. I hate stretching  and always feel so antsy in yoga classes, but I want to improve. We’ll see!

Time for breakfast!