It's been awhile! Things have been busy! And will continue to get busier!

My bridal shower in on Sunday at my house in Pennsylvania! I'm so excited!!

We've had friends mailing us gifts since the shower is in PA and we live in Florida. All of my gifts I put on my health blog because most of them are kitchen items! Our kitchen now has a new blender, slow cooker, spice rack and bread maker! Sooo exciting! It's like Christmas every day!

I'm also packing up to go to a friend's wedding next weekend! I'll share the bridesmaid dress a little later but I'm very excited to go and be a part of their big day!

We're also meeting with the photographer, priest, music, reception site,florist having a dress fitting, and picking out tuxes...all in a week. Be impressed with my wedding planning craziness. I'll be sure to give you more updates then because we really haven't done anything recently in anticipation for our week of wedding planning craziness.

I saw this picture and loved it! Not sure it's right for our venue, but definitely would fit great with our decor ideas!


To Love Their Husband Tuesday

Another week of love for the fiance :) Even though it was a bit of a struggle this week. Especially because of some work related things for him. He does everything for me though. The other night I work up dying of thirst, woke up Tom and being a total brat asked him to go get me water. Which he did, without complaining one bit or being a brat back like I probably would have been if he had done the same thing to me. I told him the next morning I was sorry, didn't even mean to do that, I was just in a sleepy haze and was so incredibly thirsty for some reason. But he was totally fine with it and didn't mind at all :) he's sweet.

In wedding planning I've gotten really frustrated with him at times over his lack of caring. His lack of energy to fix the cd burner, but then spend 2 hours trying to fix the weed wacker. I let it go this week though. I didn't bug him about it. I knew he has a lot going on with traveling for work so I just let him be and didn't force him to spend his last night at home discussing wedding plans with me. And, because I love him and really do appreciate all he does for me, while he showered and packed, I cooked him a delicious dinner without once asking him to help me or to do anything. He could just do his things and know dinner would be on the table shortly :) We usually tag team dinner...I'll cook the rice, he'll roast up some veggies. There have been times I've gotten home from work late and had dinner on the table without even asking. He always seems to be thinking of ways to help me and I wanted him to know I was thinking of him and how I can help him too.

To see the delicious dinner you can check out my healthy lifestyle blog!

And head over to Lauren's blog to see what everyone else is doing for their husands or fiances! :)


Head Table chaos

So I had this discussion with a fellow wedding planning friend about the questions of a head table or no head table, what she wants to do, what we're doing, etc.

Here's what The Knot says about a head table:

Head Up the Head Table

A traditional head table is not round, but long and straight, and it is generally set up along a wall, on risers, facing all the other reception tables. It may even have two tiers if your wedding party is large. Usually the bride and groom sit smack-dab in the middle (where everyone can see them), with the maid of honor next to the groom, the best man next to the bride, and then boy/girl out from there. Flower girls or ring bearers usually sit at the tables where their parents are seating, much to the relief of the bridesmaids and groomsmen. Decide to seat this way, or plan a sweetheart table for a little one-on-one time.
My friend wants to do a head table, which I think is a great idea for a few reasons.
  • The entire bridal party knows each other. All the girls, all the guys, we've all known each other since high school, so there will be no awkwardness...except for the girls who have dated the guys...oh wait...that's me. Anyway...
  • Most of the bridal party is single or has significant others who are cool by themselves. My fiance will have my brothers and family there, so he'll be more than entertained, one of the guy's wife is another high school friend, so she'll know plenty of people. No need for the head table to eat, then jet, because they have no one to get back to.
We've decided to do the sweetheart table for almost the exact same reasons my friend wants to do a head table:
  • My bridesmaids are all from different groups in my life. A few of them know each other, but mostly they're all from different times in my life. 1 is my sophomore year roommate, 1 is my bff from freshman year of college on, another is my sorority friend, 1 is my Penn State bff and then Tom's sister. All the guys know each other, but none of them have met the girls.
  • Almost the entire bridal party is married or engaged. They'll all want to hang out with their significant others and we're stealing them for the entire day pre-reception, so we might as well let them hang out at the reception together right? I've seen head tables where the dates also sit up with the bridal party, but that's getting a little much which goes on to my next point...
  • With my brothers as ushers, an uneven number of girls/guys, a junior bridesmaid...well it'd just get complicated and take up a lot of space. It's probably save some time and space to just let them sit elsewhere.
  • How long do you really sit at the table? To eat really quick, but then the bride and groom are up and about! So no need to force everyone to be at our table, we'll come to you!
Everyone has different bridal parties, different size reception sites, different ideas of what they want. I wouldn't be concerned with a head table being "passe". It's your day. Do what you want! But there are some ideas and reasons for both the head table and a sweetheart table!


Just another day in paradise

It's another hot and humid day in Florida! A little too hot for my taste, but I'm adjusting. a

And 5pm tonight starts another weekend! Thank goodness!

We don't have another list this weekend. Tom and I just plan on spending some QT together. It's been a long work week so I doubt we'll do much of anything productive. But sometimes you need weekends like that. We still have laundry to do, a house to be cleaned, some plants and herbs to tend to, so we won't be complete bumps on logs, but we're making the priority this weekend just to relax and spend lots of time together. :) My favorite!

So for your weekend eye candy...the reason why I really wanted an outdoor wedding...

Too bad my mom is too much of a nervous freak to let me have one :(

In other news...I'm trying something new...head over to For Sweets Sake to see what!


Summer Summer Summer Summer Time

You know what song I heard on the radio the other day?

I like girls that wear Abercrombie and Fitch,
I'd take her if I had one wish,
But she's been gone since that summer..
Since that summer

Helloooo flash backs to 8th grade! But I think music in the summer is so fun! Makes me want to lay by the pool all day sipping margaritas and head to a Kenny Chesney concert at night.

Oh hey Kenny Chesney 2006 summer tour! We drove from PA-to Raleigh-to Outer Banks in one day, caught the KC concert on the way, and spent an evening at the ER....memories<3 I later went to Virginia Tech, then back to PA, all in that week. Simply titled: the most ridiculous road trip ever. But so fun!

Which has NOTHING to do with wedding planning except that the season after summer is fall and THIS fall is the wedding. It seems like just yesterday the wedding was over a year away. How time flies! I actually can hardly believe it's almost JULY! Things need to slow down! Especially since we hit a technical snag with favors last night. The elecitrical engineer (Tom) is on it! We'll see if we can get it fixed soon! :-P


Being productive DURING the week

Who'd have thought that was possible lately? Not I! Work work work is all I do. Granted, it's all banking towards time off later (much much later when this project is, in Tom's limited French vocab, "FINI!"), but it must get done, it must get down now, and 8 hours is simply not enough time to get it all done in. Sigh!
If you know me, you know cows are my favorite animal (oh dairy princess days) so I kinda love this picture :)

But last night I had energy. Crazy thought! I cranked out a short run with the dog (who was going slower than me, for once! haha), chugged a healthy spinach/fruit smoothie, grilled up some fish and veggies, messed around with work stuff for a little while, AND then, as 9pm rolled around, I managed to find some time and energy to do a quick wedding project! Tom was less than enthused (he had PT at 6:30am and then did P90X after work...he was a little tired, sore and a bit of a groucho), but I went on without him. Who needs a fiance for wedding planning? Not I!

Side note: Tom really does help. I swear. Limited help, he's more for the busy work than planning, but yesterday he mailed my wedding dress to my house. It was in Florida, but then I decided I was going to find time in PA to get alterations done, so back it went. Fingers crossed it gets there in one piece! But he's better at those types of projects than creative ones. He makes some decisions. And what decisions he's made, since they are so few and far between, we're going with because if he cared enough about it to decide and tell me exactly what he wanted, I wasn't going to argue with that! He's also mailed the invitations to my house for my mother to address, AND last night, he heard a song on tv, declared that he liked it and wanted it played at our wedding (it was a fun arrangement of Canon in D). What a funny boy he is sometimes :)

So it took some convincing, I had to do all the set up and figure things out, he only had to say 7 words, but laying in bed, he managed to do it and we got our super secret favor project done! yay us! Check one more thing off of that list! We're getting there. Slowly but surely!

Next fun project involves this picture...

Guess you'll have to come to the wedding to find out my plan! ;)


It's just another manic monday

I really do wish it was Sunday. Even though the weekend was pretty lame because I had a cold. I was trying so hard to not get worse because it's going to be a long week at work. So lots of relaxing, we went to see Get Him To the Greek on Saturday night. So funny. I still have a sore throat, but I'm hanging in there.

And almost like magic, it's Monday morning already. My clock keeps switching ahead an hour so I keep thinking time is flying by...but no. It is still just 9:47am and many hours of work left to go. What a tease.

As far as this weekend's list of things to do, it was pretty much a fail.

This weekend's list:
Finalize details of wedding favor design
Record super secret project ;)
Start putting together favors
Find ribbon
Pick out bridesmaid jewelry (I'm only done with 23/6 girls accessories)
Make sure everything that needs to be ordered is ordered
Check on apple orchard and centerpiece apples
Talk to DJ and set up a time to chit chat in the next month or 2
Find cheap apothecary jars

Ok, so not an all together failure but not exactly a success. And I might still change my mind over the favor design. Helloooo indecisiveness! How I've missed you all these months! And I was doing so good at making decisions! My bridesmaids are very different people. Honestly, where do I find these friends? haha so I wanted to get them individual jewelry to fit their personalities. And because I know some of them would love some big chunky bling, others would never wear anything too flashy or large. It's been a bit of a challenge, especially since I am not a jewelry wearer. At all. Unless it's for a big fancy event, the only jewelry I have on is my ring. So I've just been jewelry browsing for a few months now and when I see something that screams a certain bridesmaid, I'll buy it. Halfway done! and hopefully they all like what I'm finding them! :)

Hope everyone has a great Monday! School finished here last Friday so today is the first official no-school day of summer! Hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful summer time!

Picture from the lovely Elizabeth Messina of Kiss the Groom.


Weekend Goals

I don't think I've ever been so happy to see Friday in my life. Some weeks are just plain exhausting. So this weekend I will relax, hang out, and have a good old time. It's also been goodbye time around town. Lots of people are moving in the spring and summer moving cycles. We had a friend go last week, another going next week. It's exciting that they get to start their next assignment, see somewhere new or start a new job. I'm kind of jealous, but I'm sure during our move I will be so stressed out and forget about this day when I say moving to a new place is exciting! 

On to wedding planning...I've decided I need a to-do list in order to accomplish anything. It was the only way I was productive in college, so I'm reverting back to my old, overly organized ways.

This weekend's list:
Finalize details of wedding favor design
Record super secret project ;)
Start putting together favors
Find ribbon
Pick out bridesmaid jewelry (I'm only done with 2/6 girls accessories)
Make sure everything that needs to be ordered is ordered
Check on apple orchard and centerpiece apples
Talk to DJ and set up a time to chit chat in the next month or 2
Find cheap apothecary jars

I feel like I'm forget some big details and I'm going to stress the last month or so trying to figure out these details. But that's all I can remember for now. It's an ambitious list. I'm going to go with just getting 3 of those items done...it was a hard week. But hopefully I can cross off most of the list within the week!

Can't wait for wedding day to finally be here!


Summer wedding prettiness

I saw this picture today and it made me think of yesterday's post and the beautiful spot. Wouldn't these tables look great under the big Oak tree at Eden Gardens? I think so!

Wedding planning has been tough lately with my work schedule. I want to do more, but I feel like I'm spending all of my free time busy with work, just like earlier in the year when all of my free time was consumed with class. It's made it very hard. I'm starting to feel a little pressure when I just yesterday got some bridesmaid gift things that I had ordered in February. If something I order now takes that long, it would be cutting it close! Any one have no time but so much to do? Or is it just me? We're going to have to cut back on things this weekend and really set aside time to start work on a few projects and make sure everything is atleast ordered so hopefully it'll just be putting things together left to do!

Atleast the oil will not make me sad I'm missing out on a beach day to stay inside and do wedding things :-P


If I were having a Florida wedding

Which I'm not. Mostly because other than Tom and my grandparents, there isn't really anyone in Florida. And I'm very glad we're having the wedding at my elementary school church and the reception in the Pennsylvania mountains but if I had wanted to have a Florida wedding this is where it would be....

Eden Gardens is actually where we had our engagement pictures taken, and as soon as I saw it, I was in love. It's soo beauitful. Why I'm talking about it again is because we stopped by there on the way home from Rosemary Beach on Sunday. As soon as my mom saw the place she commented on how it'd be a really nice place for a wedding. My thoughts exactly! Northwest Florida brides out there...if you don't know about this place, it's definitely worth looking into! 

Downfalls: It'd have to all be outside or in their little pavilion area. It's Florida so weather would definietly have to be considered. I don't think I could handle a July or August wedding but you true Floridians may think differently. It's also pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Rosemary Beach is about 20 minutes away. Sandestin is about 20 minutes the other direction. The nearest airport is probably closer to an hour away. So maybe not a great destination wedding site, but if you live in Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Freeport, Panama City, it'd probably be a doable location.  There are probably a few random hotels nearby, but the big hotels and resorts are all a bit of a drive. I'm not sure about caterers who'd be willing to drive out there either, but I'm sure they have preferred vendors they work with you could talk to the park about.

But still..gorgeous spot. You'd have great pictures, plenty of room for tons of guests, it's a very private and secluded area (it's a state park afterall), so it'd be a great spot! We love it!


I've got a case of the Mondays

Happy Monday everyone! I am soooo not feeling this Monday. Normally, I can muggle through work on a Monday. Skipping last Monday was beyond delightful though and it has made this Monday all the more awful.
So on to something pretty for everyones Mondays...

So I found this picture and I was right here this weekend and thinking what a fun spot for a getaway wedding it would be so I thought I would share!

I found this picture at The Knot for beach weddings. But since clearly you cannot see the beach in this picture, just the beautiful little park, this picture gives you an even better idea of how beautiful this spot is...
Picture from Feel Good Style

Seriously, Rosemary Beach is beautiful! It's a cute little town with shopping, lots of cute cafes and lots of cottages and little apartments or houses for guests to stay. I guess it is a fairly new vacation spot (it was just built around 1995), but definitely a place to look into for people wanting a destination wedding but wanting to keep it in the country. It's not far from Panama City so it's easy to get to as well!

I love finding new fun places here in Northwest Florida. We weren't there for weddings, just to see somewhere new and explore a bit. We actually rented bikes and road about 7 miles West. There are all kinds of vacation towns and beautiful houses along the way. You can just cruise along a bike path. I guess it goes on for about 18 miles but we needed to grab some food and head back before the Florida summer heat killed us. Up tomorrow: another place we went this weekend, that we've already been, and another great location for a wedding in Northwest Florida if you're interested!


A beautiful day for a swim....

No, not in Northwest Florida. There's too much oil in the water for swimming :( But I saw this video this morning and about died....

Even funnier because this could have very easily happened to me in my friend's wedding a few years ago...

Luckily Kelly's family knows how to make a good sturdy dock! :)


Sweet Like Candy To My Soul

I love dessert tables! This one is especially pretty :)

Ok I admit it...I just love sweets and desserts.


There's a foodie in me

I'm becoming a healthy foodie and taking Tom down with me. He even turned down a hamburger and hot dog at a promotion party today saying "he didn't eat that stuff anymore." Look at him! After our weekend of fried food, we were in desperate need of some greens and healthy food. So last night, after doing insanity (my body aches), I made a ridiculous protein/fruit smoothie. I blame the food blogs I read for these ideas. But when we first tried amazing grass's berry green superfood, we almost threw up. Warning to all: while it's health benefits are plentiful, the taste is less than desirable, especially after a crazy workout. So we thought if we made our normal spinach smoothies that we know taste good, it might "drown out" the bad flavor of the superfood. Fail. Big Fail. It almost tasted worse? Is that even possible? But it was so good for you we couldn't NOT drink it! So plug nose, open mouth and chug! Anyone ever try this and know of some good ways to make it taste better? We have to use it all up before we try something else!

I also made Breakfast Cookies last night for this morning. They turned out ok. I have issues with oatmeal. I want to like it. I've always tried it and tried different ways of eating it, but I take 2 or 3 bites and I'm just done. That much actually fills me up for an hour or 2 so it's not usually a waste, but I just can't manage to eat oatmeal very often. I thought maybe the breakfast cookie would be a different way to help make oatmeal more desirable. But alas, it was another fail. I ate 2 bites and was just done. I forced myself to eat a few more bites so I wouldn't be starving half way though my day by eating about 3 blueberries per small bite of breakfast cookie.

So the diet thing...we're working on it. We tried a few good recipes last week, this week hasn't been quite as successful though. I wish we took pictures of our messes of healthy meals, but the smoothie looked pretty good and fruity...until you smelled it. And the cookie looked delic with goji berries adding some color...but just not up my alley I guess.

My goal is to be high school skinny again...but it's very clear my metabolism is not what it used to be at 16. So I need to watch my diet a little more, work out a little more, and maybe someday I'll be skinny again. Probably not before the wedding since I'm kind of just starting now, but hopefully someday soon!
Italy 2003 with my mom. I don't think 1 leg would fit into that skirt today. Booo :(


To Love Their Husbands

A "friend" through blogs (and Tom) does this on her blog and I think it's so cute. I look forward to every Tuesday reading her blog to see what she does to show her husband she loves him. So sweet. Tom and her husband, John, went to VMI together. He's friends with them and clicked on her blog one day and I've been hooked ever since. I check daily for updates on their Ethiopian adoption, words of wisdom, or just cute stories about what's going on with life.

So since Tom and I have moved in together (living in sin as Erica calls it), the days can become pretty mundane. At first we were soo excited to be together all the time, every day we did something new, were constantly learning something about each other, and while a lot of the time it is still like that, it's very easy to get sucked into the day to day of work and stress and lose sight of what's really important. So even when work is busy, Tom is TDY a lot, or life is just hectic, I try to make time to show him how much I love him.

This week was a pretty easy way of showing my love for Tom. We've been talking about going to New Orleans for over a year now. We talked about going when I moved down, going before Mardi Gras, going for Mardi Gras...time kept going and we didn't go. So Tom was TDY for 2 weeks at the end of April and I told him when he came back (he was supposed to come back the end of May, but ended up coming hom early!) we were going to New Orleans, no excuses. Because of him coming home early, and possibly having to leave again, I wasn't sure we would be able to go until last week, but I'm so excited my planning worked out and we were able to go to New Orleans! He was very excited, very happy I had made sure we actually went. I booked the hotel, did all the touristy online searching, figured out what we should do and see, AND because I know he hates driving, I drove all the way there and back.

Secret: I love driving. I'll drive all day, all night, where ever to see new things or visit friends. To go to a friend's bridal shower in Virginia I left my house at 5am, drove 5 hours to the shower, stayed there til early evening, and drove all the 5 hours home...and I didn't mind it one bit :)

 On the way back from New Orleans I just drove off the highway on a random road leading East. We had already seen the highway, I wanted to see real Louisiana and Mississippi. Which we did. Which turns out to be not that exciting at all. After not seeing people/houses/gas station for about 30 minutes, I routed the GPS to get us back on track for fear of running out of gas before we found civilization again. But it was a fun little excursion. My logic was as long as we were going East, we'd eventually end up in Florida again, right? Now that I've gotten completely sidetracked...back on to Tom...

We had a great weekend, it was really nice to get away. We spent lots of time together, Tom got to eat lots of the cajun food he loves, and I think he really appreciated me taking the time to plan the trip. :) Check out Lauren's blog to see what other people are doing for their husbands (or fiance's!) this week :)

Feels like a Monday, but it's really Tuesday!

It was rough waking up today. The day after a long weekend is always brutal. Especially a long weekend vacationing :) I spent Friday night until yesterday afternoon computerless...gasp! It was nice getting a break from computers since I sit at one all day for work sometimes. We hardly even watched tv! Mostly because we spent our long weekend in New Orleans! Neither of us had ever been so we were excited to go. Our weekend pretty much revolved around food :) Which is NOT good for my dieting. I think all my hard work was wasted when our breakfasts consisted of this.

I think we ate every beignet in the city. Ok, I exaggerate. But we did enjoy a morning at Cafe Du Monde and yesterday morning we feasted at Cafe Beignet. Cafe Beignet is in an adorable courtyard on Bourbon Street. We had beignets and cafe au lait while listening to jazz music, sitting outside on a beautiful New Orleans morning. I don't think life gets much better than that :)

We saw a few weddings on Saturday and beautiful brides lucky enough to get married here..

St. Louis is a beautiful church in the heart of the French Quarter. And with beautiful Jackson Square right in front of it, it's a gorgeous spot to get married! I wonder where the receptions were at. The French Quarter has some really nice restuarants and cute spots. I secretly wanted to be a wedding crasher just to see what a New Orleans wedding was like, but I tried to keep my stalking to a minimum and just stood awkwardly across the street with Tom watching all the family and friends getting ready for the ceremony.

We're getting back on track with the diet this week. My body is in desperate need of some vegetables. There will be many a green smoothie. It was worth it to try some new things, see new places and enjoy a wonderful memorial day with my main squeeze ;)

My mom is coming this weekend so this week will also consist of lots of cleaning and preparing wedding stuff to make her think we've been working on it all along...whoops! We're back on track though now! I promise! We're rested up and ready to clean, eat good, and get ready for the big day! Only 123 days to go!!


Operation White Dress Skinny

"Operation White Dress Skinny" is in full effect and I think Tom and I are doing really good...except for that Milky Way bar I had last night. But we were watching Dear John, I was crying, Tom brings me chocolate...what's a girl to do? :)

Other than that, we've been working out every night, whether that be running, biking, or doing insanity (ouchh! my aching legs!) My healthy blog obsession has provided us some good recipes. We've had green protein smoothies after our workouts...spinach, bananas, frozen strawberries, greek yogurt, a little protein and skim milk...yumm! Tom made a mango smoothie the other night with some fresh mangos we needed to eat up. He sure does know how to make a girl happy :) We made protein wheat pancakes, avacado salads, and last night was pesto, feta and asparagus pizza! double yum! So hopefully we'll start to see some results.

I fear all of our hard work will go to waste though during the long weekend. I'm going to TRY my hardest to be super good! But I can hear beignets calling my name...can you guess what we're doing? You'll hear more about that later!

But I am determined, with 4 months to go, to get a few pounds off! That's the last big thing that needs to happen before the wedding. Everything else is pretty much planned, all the major purchases are bought, just waiting for the time to come to start putting it all together in the weeks before the wedding and wedding day! But I will be terribly upset if my biggest regret in all this planning craziness is that I coudln't lose a few pounds. So let's see if I can make it work.

And because it's Friday, and everything on the Friday before a long holiday weekend should be happy...here's some eye candy ;)

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Go thank a soldier, remember a friend or family member who made the ultimate sacrafice for our country, and spend time with families. I'll be celebrating with my airman, having a special weekend and appreciating having him home with me :)


Words of Wisdom for newly engaged

I just thought it'd be fun to go back, look at the wedding planning experience and see if I can offer some words of wisdom for newly engaged. I have lots of friends in this boat so maybe these words of wisdom will be helpful!

Things I'm glad I did:

 We're glad we picked a season right away. Tom and I knew we wanted to get married in the fall for several reasons. Cooler temps, warm colors, and not as busy as spring time with graduations, proms, and spring is just a popular wedding time in general. A lot of our teacher friends picked summer because they had lots of time for last minute details and a honeymoon. With our schedules, no one time of year is best, and we liked the fall so easy decision.

Something to think about, maybe should have thought of more:

Seasons can play a big part in cost, as well as day and time. Thursday, Friday and Sunday weddings are becoming more and more popular becase of cost. August is too hot for most people so a lot of sites offer discounts to fill up their August schedule. Because we wanted fall, we didn't look into these options as much, and since it's during the school year, Saturday seemed like the best option, so we didn't take advantage of all the discounts. We did book early though and we got discounts for that at the hotel and reception site. We also had no problems with dates because we booked a year and a half in advance so if you're not in a rush, and have a day and location set, planning ahead can still help you get some bargains. Tom made fun of me for starting planning practically minutes after we got engaged, but I just wanted to get the big things nailed down in order to avoid the stress, cost, and having to settle for something because it was all that was available.

More things I'm glad we did:

I'm glad we booked all the vendors right away. Some of them were no questions...the church (where I went to elementary school at), the florist (a family friend). But the reception site took a little looking, thinking, debating. Being such a small town some things were harder to find. But we had lots of time to look and figure out and once it was done, most of the big decisions were made and we could relax. We finished all that over a year a head of time, so it wasn't very stressful at all. I haven't had much stress at all during the planning and I think a lot of it was just giving us time to shop around and figure things out. I picked my colors right away too and it was easy to make everything go from there. Picking a fairly neurtal base color made things easy because we didn't have to find just the right perfect shade of pink to go with the bridesmaids dresses. Black is black and as long as you're not the kind of person to stress about mild shades of black, it's an easy match.

Lessons learned:

Look at lots and lots of wedding pictures from lots of books, blogs, magazines, and websites. I would probably change my colors a bit if I had looked around more. I went with simple and easy, which is fine, and I like it a lot, but maybe I gained more confidence as planning went a long because looking online now, I would have picked colors and items a little differently than I did.

I also learned more about Ebay and Etsy. I didn't use either before the wedding, but since then I've become an ebay auction junkie. Etsy has a million trillion crafty and creative people there and I just learned about it in January? What world was I living in? It has so many great ideas and so many people on there who are willing to help! You say you like their yellow flower, they can make pink and blue and green if you talk to them! A lot are willing to help and use their talents to fit your style. So great. I'm in love. I wish I had known about it earlier though!

Also, don't be afraid to ask something random of the vendors. We spent a few weeks discussing sashes for the chairs at the reception site. We knew the reception place didn't have them but did we think to ask them if they knew of some way to get them. We asked friends, googled for days, and 1 email was all it took and we found them for next to nothing.

The dollar store DOES have some good things. We've found random finds there to help with various decorations or set ups. Even if it's as small as clothes pins or picture frames. Don't be afraid to shop everywhere and look into anything.

What we plan on doing: (I'll let you know how it works out)

I am using some items hand-me-down to save money and make my mother's nostalgic side happy. We're using my parents champagne glasses, my mom made me a garter out of part of her dress. We also plan on selling some things on ebay after we use them if they're in good shape, especially the chair sashes. This way, if we get some money back for them, they'll be even cheaper than we originally thought. Because I'm not quite the sentimental type, we'll probably sell some of our other handmade or random purchases, or at the very least give them to a church or goodwill. No matter how great our wedding is, I don't think I want to be lugging around picture frames or decoration pieces we use across the country every 4 years. Renting is also a great option out there for a lot of these items, if your wedding is in a more metropolitan area I'm sure there are more options than we had. It's kind of the country, so renting items is pretty much impossible. We're renting items from the florist and using things the reception site has, so we tried to rent when we could. But I think we've found some great cost effective ways to make the wedding really great! :) We'll see how it turns out in a little more than 4 months!


If I were a rich girl...

My dress would be Priscilla of Boston Vineyard Collection. I usually atleast like 80% of the dresses in the Vineyard collection every season that I like and each season, there is atleast 1 I would pick as MY dress. I also love Melissa Sweet. If I had a ton of money and could somehow rationalize spending half of my yearly salary on a wedding dress I wear once, that's where I'd shop.

Loveeeee this dress.  I think this one is my favorite lately.
Love this one too.
and really really love this one too.

Luckily, I have my dress.  And it cost about 5% of what these dresses cost. But I can still look right?


Wedding Cakes!

I'm obsessed with looking at wedding cakes lately. Maybe because that is one detail we don't have figured out yet. Tom's mom is making our cake. A handmade mess? Hardly... Tom's mom is a pastry chef extraordinaire. No joke. She even teaches people how to be an amazing pastry chef too. Lucky for us, that saves some stress. So we just need to figure out some details with her as to the cake, but in the mean time...I'm loving looking.

I totally stole this picture from my friend's facebook. Sorry Christina! :) It's from a wedding in Disney and I think it's great! mostly because...

1. bows? helllooo and

 2. summer 2008 was the summer me and Tom "fell in love" so to speak. I also texted him through the entire movie Wall-E when I went to see it with my roomie. I loved the movie and insisted he go see it. For Christmas that year Tom really wanted to get me the movie, but I'm not known for being patient and I bought it myself a few weeks earlier (I didn't know he was getting it for me for Christmas or I might have waited...maybe). So he had to settle for a Wall-E toy that talked, you could hook it up to your ipod and it danced. It made many appearances at the Department of the Navy HRSC-NE and any of them reading this are probably thinking "Ohhh...that annoying toy!". You all know you loved it deep deep down. :) It now resides on our movie toy shelf in the living room next to a Gone With The Wind (my favorite movie of all time) music box figurine that Tom got me for my birthday one year and a huge transformer toy that Tom's family got him. So we have quite the random collection.

Anyway, love it, had to share. Christina gets all the photo credits for this cake :)


Happy Sunday

Sunday funday! I'm spending the day relaxing, cleaning and cooking! Hope everyone has a great day.
Image from Fryd+design


Someday I will be a blogger...

Someday I'll get good at this blogging thing. ha. All it takes is staying at work for 12 hours to throw off my entire week. But we have a quiet weekend at home. All we had was a first birthday party for the adorable Miss Teagan today. Other than that, our weekend looks open. We're hoping to fill it up with cooking (Tom really enjoys when I make a weeks worth of random food for his lunches and a dessert...boys haha), cleaning and maybe even some beach time! It's HOT though already and it's only May! I'm curious to see how it gets in June and July. Hopefully this will mean nice tan in October for wedding time! haha we shall see!

While Tom has a new obsession with barefoot running and determined to get his swagger back in a 100 mile race next May I have gained a new obsession with healthy blogs in order to get in shape for the wedding and find some way to take off all the weight I've gained since my broken knee cap incident. I can't work out as intensely as I used to, so naturally, I'm not burning as many calories. And assuming I could eat the same way I used to when I ran several miles a day=massive fail. So I'm hoping a new healthy spin on life will help take away a few of my bad habits. And finding ways to eat healthy and natural and making it taste good will (fingers crossed) make weight loss a little easier. Let's hope! I know I need to lose the weight, not just for the wedding, but for life in general, but it's been a struggle and it seems like a few pounds a year has added up to ridiculousness.

And have I mentioned how I LOVE ribbons and bows? Seriously, it's an obsession.
LOVE this cake

Ok it's time for some Insanity. Let's hope I survive.


Crazy Day

Sorry this is late...to report on the pie, it was delicious. Maybe a little too much sugar in the meringue but now I know better for next time :)

We also are going to EHR at my office (which means nothing to anyone who is not in the medical field) and I'm part of the "core group" that is stuck in training for the next few days to learn how to set-up our new system. Pretty much...lots of work, there will probably be mass confusion for a few months, but hopefully things will settle down and the office will be a million times more efficient. Fingers crossed! Either way, I was stuck sitting in a room for 9 hours today. Useful information, just I hate being stuck sitting in the same chair for 9 hours and not being able to leave. It's just torture knowing I can't leave. Painful!

Wedding thought of the day is about hair! I know what I want to do with my hair, I even found a headband this weekend! (because I am more of a headband than tiara kind of girl, despite my dairy princess days...go ahead, laugh it out) But since I'm growing my hair out, and I have THICK hair, it has gotten to the point that I am dying to chop it all off! 4 1/2 months left, then it will definitely be chopped. But I have to survive a Florida summer with an extra foot of thick, curly hair that I'd much rather be without. This only came up today because it was incredibly humid. I could feel my hair going from wavy to massive mounds of curls in an instant as I walked out my front door this morning, it was just that bad. So we'll see how I tolerate the craziness! It's gotten to about this length, maybe even a little longer, but all one color since I haven't had any moments of boredom lately where I just dye my hair for no reason at all. It gets so much wavier in Florida too, I would actually consider it legit curls these days. So we'll see if I can make it without cutting off atleast a few inches before the wedding day!

Ok, sorry I have nothing more interesting to talk about. Busy busy day! But I'll plan out my day a little better tomorrow to have time to share fun pictures and events!


Key Lime Pie

I made this for Tom and I's one year engaged anniversary since we had Key Lime pie when we got engaged :)
ok so the crust was store bought but I made the meringue from scratch and the key lime filling almost from scratch if you don't consider key lime juice cheating.

Can't wait to enjoy some after dinner because the licks of the key lime and meringue I took were delicious! 

Creativity is NOT my strong point

I've always wanted to be creative. I think I have an ok eye for what looks good and what doesn't. I have a huge disconnect between my brain and my abilities however, because even if I can picture in my head what I want something to look like, I can never get it onto paper, labels, or some sort of finished product.

So we got the CD for the label making software to work. Turns out, using the free online templates is actually easier. I thought maybe using the design software would make this a very smooth process, but I got home with the CD after returning the first one, this one finally worked, I downloaded the software, clicked on it, and was immediately stumped as to what to do next. Good job, Emily. Way to be.

Now because the CD hadn't worked, I had looked up the website and there were free templates and designs. Comparing that to the software, we're going with the free online templates. Done deal. But now, we have everything, ready to go, and my lack of creativity had completely haulted the project. You would think I could plan all this out before hand right? Not so much.

So really, we can't make the favors, because I don't know what I want. Tom, in his oh-so-patient ways, has just sat there smiling. He knows having an opinion on the matter will cause a fight, he's a smart boy like that. I'm really not a perfectionist but somehow, appealing to the many people who will be at our wedding has forced me to become a perfectionist.  I think it's just a desire to have everyone love our wedding as much as we will love it. And that's hard! So while most people would probably just say do what you want, who cares what other people think, I can't do that. So...we'll see how making the favors turns out. So far, not so good. At some point I'll just have to make a decision and stick with it, but we have time...right?

1 Year Ago Today...

1 year ago today my boyfriend thought it would be a good idea to do this...

I had never been to the Florida Keys so I agreed to tag along. Now he only did the 50 mile version but still...go drive 50 miles. Pay attention to the drive. Then think about doing that on foot. When we drove from Key Largo to Marathon (the starting town of the 50 mile race) it was almost exactly 50 miles. We got there that evening and all I said was, "you have GOT to be kidding me!" Bright and early the next morning Tom started his long journey from Marathon to Key West. And what did I do while he did that? There were some times of boredom....

and a few moments when I was beyond exhausted from walking nearly 50 miles. Between my walk/jog times with Tom, I would drive a few miles up the road and park the car. At times it was a little frantic, between the car battery dying, driving from gas station to gas station in search of quick food, blinking lights, batteries, losing my wallet in one of the gas stations, going back to that same gas station because I couldn't get the back of the light off to put the battery in, going back one more time because I lost my wallet again and thought I'd left it in there (the gas station guy and I became best of friends that day, and the wallet the 2nd time was in the car under a mile high pile of empty gaterade and water bottles.) It was a long day. Luckily it was a nice day, but still. Very very very long. Tom eventually finished.
Thank goodness. And he carried an engagement ring with him the entire time...but I didn't know that.

The next day...all I wanted to do was sight see. All Tom wanted to do was sit. But he managed to muster up some strength to see the southern most point of the US, some shops in old Key West, hang out at Sloppy Joe's, and have some Key Lime pie with me. My final request before we left the next morning was go to the beach. We went at sunset, Tom desperately wanted to sit so we sat on some rocks (he didn't really do good with standing and walking for about a week after that).

We sat on the rocks to the right of the picture. Tom was not so graceful, and not one to give sentimental little speeches. So obviously, I think anyone could have figured out what he was going to do. He couldn't even get down on his knees without some of my help and holding on to my legs for dear life (his version is probably a lot more smooth and graceful than it really was haha). But it was perfect all the same. And it was that moment when Tom asked me to marry him that is the whole reason this blog even exists! And now, we're 4 1/2 months from the wedding day, and oh so happy we had over a year to plan a wedding! The entire process has been incredibly stress free so far. A few minor snags. I may have cried once or twice. But from stories I hear from other people, I feel like it's been a breeze so far. I know I'll probably start to feel more pressure soon, but for now, it's been a great experience planning the wedding. Glad we gave time for me to move and get settled and weren't rushing the wedding because I would have definitely freaked out. And what's a few more months in the grand scheme of forever, right? ;)

So happy one year of engagement to my Thomas<3 Love you babe :)


Hold up! Favor making delays! oh no!

Don't you hate it when you buy something, you're all excited to get going on a project, you come home and it doesn't work? Maybe it's just me. We had such a productive day yesterday. We played basketball at the gym for the first time in forever (which I obviously loved). Then we went to about 15 stores...I exaggerate. It was probably only like 6 but it felt like we spent endless hours driving around going from store to store. We even had to stop at Tropical Smoothie to refuel and get some more energy to keep going.

Well we found what we needed. After comparing prices from store to store, I think we got some good deals. We finally made it home many hours later and I was so excited to get started. But the CD to make the labels didn't work! Ughh! seriously?

Today we have to go, return the label making stuff, and start again :( Kind of sad. Needless to say, we got very little wedding things done. But we now have 90% of what we need to make the favors. And we have over 4 months...plenty of time! right? We'll see. But we're a little closer than we were yesterday! I'll keep you posted on the label making debacle and


Pretty Friday :)

I admit it...I'm a sucker for ribbons, bows and oversized flowers.
Cake from Sweet and Saucy Shop. Check out their website for even more gorgeous cakes!

Happy Friday everyone :)


The heat is on...

This weekend's mission: start wedding favors! dun dun dun dun! It's going to be ALOT of work unless I can find some pre-made things, but I might try to add some DIY touches (aka lots and lots and lots of work/time). So we'll see but AC Moore, Walmart, Target, Joann's...they're all on our list this weekend to hopefully get some good prices and start making some awesome wedding favors for everyone! I'll maybe share some sneak peaks along the way as I get things going. I'm really starting to get some projects done now that we're getting so close to the big day!

I'm also looking into decoration ideas. I think this is a super cute way to add some pictures...because honestly who doesn't love pictures?
Photography: Viera Photographics

We'll see what I can come up with in the next few months to make the day super special! I'm also looking for vintage handkerchiefs if anyone knows someone I can get them cheap ;)


Almost 1 year of being engaged!

1 year ago on Monday, Tom asked me to marry him :) I'm trying to think of something special we can do! We don't really celebrate anniversaries, mostly because we didn't really have one. There wasn't 1 day we finally decided we were a couple. We went from friends, to better friends, and one day it was love. We used to say September 1st, 2008 was our anniversary but by then we were on the "I love you" stage already.

The beginning of our relationship was a little complicated and untraditional. In February 2006 is when we met, but he had a serious girlfriend at the time and I was just the friend of the girlfriend who he talked to to be nice and keep up with happenings at Virginia Tech. We were supposed to meet up in Ohio in 2007 but I totally blew him off for another guy, even though that was the first time in quite a few months we were in the same place at the same time. That winter though we finally reconnected a bit more than we had in a long time. I'd like to say it was over happier events, but I found out he had bone cancer and talked with him and opened his eyes to Lance Armstrong ;) Sharing a love of cycling, hockey playoffs, and Tom having to go TDY a lot for work and being bored in airports is what finally got us talking. I remember about 2 years ago, he was working on a test. He had very long hours and one night I didn't get a text from him after work. I texted him that night and told him I missed him and I hoped everything was ok. Honestly, the first thing on my mind was he probably was out on a date with another girl and what I thought was becoming something was just him killing time. He later told me about the test and how he was working all day and night. Which made me a little excited that there wasn't another girl ;) And then, a year later, 1 year ago, he asked me to marry him and I said yes!

The moral of the story...we didn't get anniversary dates out of all that. We don't even remember the exact date we met. We're not really the sentimental types so it didn't bother us. There is even more complications in all of that, but I'm giving you the cliffnotes of anniversary chaos. But this is 1 day that something big happened, we know the date and it was very uncomplicated! So we need to celebrate. But due to my lack of anniversary celebrations, I'm not sure what we can do! At first, Tom was supposed to be TDY so I didn't plan out anything ahead of time, but now he will definitely be here so I need to come up with a plan and quick! $20 says he's not even thinking about this and I know he doesn't read this very often so he will have no idea. That's how great we are at anniversaries haha but anyone have any great ideas? We got engaged in key west so I'm thinking Key Lime pie is a must ;) but that's as far as I got! We'll work on this anniversary thing haha ;)



Our invitations were delivered and we picked them at at the store on Saturday! yay!! Since our last trip to Sassafras Stationary, we made a lot of changes of our original idea for the invitations. We sat down, looked at books and books and more books of invitations. Every invitation was "I like this but not this..." and was kind of frustrating to find just the right one!

On a side note, this was the reason we decided to go to a stationary store as opposed to ordering online, dealing with someone completely through e-mail, or ordering from a book at a bridal store. Everything was close, and nice, but not EXACTLY what we were looking for.

On another note, the lady at the bridal store told me I was a dream and a nightmare all in one because I know exactly what I want. On the plus side, I know what I want, there's no wishy washiness but since I know exactly what I want, it's hard to find it. Or atleast find it in something that is pre-made. So needless to say, invitations were becoming a bit of a nightmare.

Well you know what they offered to do for us? Mesh together 3 invitation designs, all by the same designer, to make it just how we wanted it! To get the ribbon just the right size and in the right place, the paper just the right color, to change the design and eventually come up with the perfect invitation! It sounds a lot more complicated than it was haha It took 2 proofs but the final product came out perfect!

I wish I could tell you more details because I love how they came out! and so does Tom in his manly liking them, but doesn't want to like them too much for fear of seeming too much like a girl. I don't want to ruin the surprise and excitement for everyone when we mail them out! :)

We also got our 3rd wedding invitation for 2010 weddings. It's exciting seeing everyone else's invitations and how much it really does say about a couple. You think it doesn't really matter but every time I see each of the invitations, I think how well that style fits them :) I think that's what makes our invitations perfect too is that it just fits us well. Hopefully the final product of this whole wedding will fit us too and everyone will be able to see how much of us and our style is part of the wedding day :) Can't wait to go back to Sassafras to get programs and menus and other details from them because it was a great experience getting our invitations there!


Table Numbers

I don't know why this is so difficult, but I don't know what to do about putting table numbers on the tables at the reception. I'm really getting down to details now! Exciting...but this is alot harder than even picking out a dress! Some frames I've seen are too big, or too small, or have hearts and roses all over them (not really my style). I saw these on Style Me Pretty today and thought they were a cute idea...but again...too big with the rest of the centerpiece we have!

I've been looking in craft and dollar stores but just can't seem to find something simple enough, yet pretty and matching...anyone else have cute pictures or ideas?


Back in action

I've been so busy lately! I took an anatomy class this spring, I don't know what I was thinking! I just took the final on Saturday and thank goodness it's over! On top of that, there's a big project at work that is also keeping my occupied all day/lunches/evenings. So free time is pretty nonexistant :-P But the work stuff is getting under control, class is over and I'm probably not taking another one until next spring (because of wedding, traveling, application into a degree program, etc) so maybe I can blog again!

For a cute wedding welcome back present...how adorable is this video??


What a Great Guy!

So I have a lot of friends who say how do you know you want to spend the rest of your life with someone? Or how do you know it's right? I think everyone has those types of insecurities...especially if you aren't dating the right person. When you are dating the right person...it's just right. Simple as that. It's not one reason I know for sure I want to marry Tom...it's the hundred of little things he does every day.

The other day I was rushing out the door. Tom was right behind me and was helping me pour my coffee in my travel mug, find my keys...sometimes I'm a mess in the morning. I walk out the door finally, get in the car and drive away...about 10 minutes later than I wanted to be out of the house. I got down the road and go to reach for my coffee and notice...I forgot the coffee that Tom had poured, put the lid on and placed right on the counter in my direct pathway out the door. I was so disapointed, not only because I'm a coffee addict, but Tom had done so much to help me get ready faster and I still messed it up. So I called Tom and told him I was an idiot, forgot my coffee, wah wah pity party for me. haha Ok it wasn't that bad but still. But another day, another dollar so I got to work, ran about my errands and was heading out of the office to take my morning drive to our storage unit down the street when I see a guy in uniform practically sprinting across the parking lot...holding a coffee mug in his hand. Tom had left the house by the time I called him, but when I called, he had turned around, got the coffee, and drove the whole way to my office (which is not on the way to his work at all) just to bring me my coffee because he didn't want me to have a bad day :)

I'm not sure if there is a more perfect definition for "guy of my dreams" than that. He does 1000 little things everyday that make me smile, laugh, get butterflies and just jump for joy. So today..I just wanted to say thank you to that wonderful guy, that I'm so lucky to get to spend the rest of my life with :)