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??