Friday, June 29, 2012

Wedding on my mind

Fridays are always so much sweeter in the summer, I tell ya. My company does summer hours, which means  my weekends begin at 11:00am on Fridays - pretty sweet deal!

In just a few short hours, Ally and I will be heading to my bridal shop to pick up the bridesmaid dresses that just came in for the girls, and it's also time for my second dress fitting...kind of crazy that there's only 2 more months to go! I've been in super wedding planning mode lately, which is why I haven't been updating this here blog as often as I'd like. Any free time I have on the computer tends to get absorbed by everything wedding. It's kind of an addiction actually.

But seriously, I've gotten a TON done this week on the wedding front. Envelopes are at the calligrapher and should be ready today, which means invitations will be in the mail tomorrow! We've had them assembled and ready to go for months now, so it'll be nice to have that huge box emptied. I finally finished putting together all the favors, which was ridiculously tedious, but they look SO pretty...totally worth the effort. I finished designing my guest book, decorating program baskets, designing rehearsal dinner invites and menus, along with putting the final touches on the programs...oh, and my table numbers. Holy wow, my table numbers. My sister is one of the most crafty, artistic people I know, and she took on this DIY project herself to design and create my table numbers for me. I just HAVE to share with you some of the work she did:



 And this is for the head table...J&B M. She'll be filling this with sand to go with the beach theme.


Pretty amazing huh? I thought so.

I'm actually SUPER excited about my plans for tonight. A group of us ladies are checking out The Paint Bar in Newtonville. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it to you guys yet, but I love painting. Oh, and I love wine. And gossip. So painting while drinking and gossiping is pretty much my ideal night out. We'll be painting the Zakim Bridge at Night  - I can just see it hanging from my guest room wall now...

Tomorrow, I'll be taking Brent out for his birthday. We're heading to the Waterfront of Boston with my mom and Ally, having dinner at Legal Test Kitchen down in the Seaport area, then outdoor bar hopping. It's looking like it's going to be a scorch-ah, so I will surely be wearing one of my new maxi dresses to keep cool!

Sunday morning, we'll be meeting with our photographer, Tracy Sheehan, to finalize the plan for our wedding - ahh! I've been SO looking forward to this! Her work is absolutely stunning, so I can't wait to see what she has up her sleeve for us! Then we'll be making a pit stop at the Christmas Tree Shop for welcome basket shopping. Brent is like WICKED excited about this, I can't even begin to tell you...NOT. But he's a good husband-to-be, so he agreed to come. I'm such a lucky gal :-)

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Monday, June 18, 2012

I am no longer 21

Why, hello there. It's been a little while. This girl's been pretty busy lately with work (and play, of course), so it's been tough to carve out time to post. But here I am!

I was at a conference down in NJ for the better half of last week, and this weekend totally owned me - I was reminded of the fact I am no longer that invincible 21-year-old with the power to stay up past 2am multiple times in one week then wake up at 8:00am to rally the next day. I fell asleep at 9:30pm last night and am pretty sure I didn't wake up even once until my alarm went off at 6:00 this morning. Pathetic? Yeah, I know. Don't remind me.

I've been taking advantage of this post-half marathon time to revive some other parts of my life, such as spending quality time with my pups and Brent, sleeping in on a Sunday instead of running 10 miles, wedding planning, reading, catching up with my family, and sunbathing. I acquired some pretty nasty sports bra tan lines during training, so I've been in a frenzy to fix that before I have to wear a strapless bridesmaid dress this weekend for Lauren's wedding! It's a tough life to HAVE to sit outside by a pool for 2 hours on a Saturday, I tell ya!

Don't worry, I've also still kept up with running. I'm definitely not averaging 25-30 miles per week like I was a month ago, but I've managed to sneak in about 15-20 miles a week since the half ended. I've been able to get back into more kickboxing and yoga in the meantime, which has been really great. There's something about throwing punches for 40 minutes that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. No?

I also wanted to share these pictures Brent managed to capture of my love bug, Max, when I got back from Lauren's bachelorette party a few weekends ago. I dare say he missed me - like way more than a dog should after 24 hours...



That is all. Happy Monday!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Culinary findings ala Brent

Brent has been in control of the kitchen and utilizing all of our new gadgets that we got at our shower. He's been super awesome with trying out new recipes this week, and I feel like I need to share some with you. I apologize, I was horrible at taking pictures of meals this week and instead, dove right in before realizing halfway through "CRAP! I should've gotten a picture first!" But who wants to see a picture of a half-eaten piece of fish?

The first one I want to share is this Heavenly Halibut recipe he found on All Recipes. He made it using haddock instead of halibut (any light white fish will do), and oh em gee, guys. This was amazing. And at only 235 calories per serving, it's a very waist-friendly, high protein meal! We served it alongside this amazing Roasted Kale, and it truly was heavenly!

Another really great meal he conquered was Chicken Roulades from The Silver Spoon cookbook (amazing, if you don't have it, go buy it. Now). Roulade is just basically French for "roll up". Brent made ours with pancetta and sage, but there are so many different spins on chicken roulades; the possibilities are endless. Just pound down your chicken breasts to ~1/4" thick, lay out your thin-sliced meat (pancetta, ham, or prosciutto), then fill it with some nice leafy greens (kale, spinach, sage, basil). Roll that sucker up, pin it together with a tooth pick, and cook it in a little oil. It's really that easy, and it's DELICIOUS. Oh, and it's pretty lean, too! We served it alongside a mixed green salad topped with some blue cheese crumbles. YUM!

Image via

Tonight, my sister is staying overnight for some quality gal time (and she will likely be dragged into helping me with wedding craft shtuff). So to coax her, I will cook for her. I mean, that would work for me - food is totally the way to my heart. Thank GOD Brent can cook! I'm thinking of trying this out. I hardly ever eat pasta anymore, but it's Friday. A girl needs her carb overload every now and then.

We're going to a fake wedding on Saturday. Yes, you heard me right. Long story (not really, but it's kind of neat)...so I'll make sure to post about it next week.

In the meantime, enjoy your weekend! It's supposed to be pretty nice here in MA this weekend - PSYCHED!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

At least I'm not the only one...

I just stumbled across a great forum on Runner's World, and when I saw this particular question, I found myself nodding uncontrollably saying "YES, YES, THIS IS SO ME!"

So I thought I'd share. Enjoy!

National Running Day

Mother Nature must have found out it's National Running Day today and decided to gift us with some sun for the first time in days over on the east coast! Isn't that just sweet of her?

So if you're planning on working out after school/work/meetings today, make running your cardio. Whether it's on a treadmill or outside, fast or slow, down the block or a 5 mile loop - have FUN with it! Running is one of the simplest, most inexpensive sports out there, and I can tell you first hand, it can become quite addictive. 

What I have learned about running is that it gives back what you put into it - really, that might be one of my favorite things about it. The more miles you run, the more endurance it gives back to you. The faster your pace, the higher the speed it allows you to travel next time. The more frequent you run, the more physical benefits it gives you: strong heart and lungs, increase in bone density, higher stamina, fat loss, muscle gain, faster metabolism. 

I always joke and say running is my form of mental therapy, but it truly is. It is one of the greatest forms of stress-relief out there. Ever heard of runner's high? It's that wondering feeling of clear-mindedness, euphoria, and calmness once you've completed a run. It makes you more energetic: like you could take on the world. 

Research has also shown those who regularly run are generally happier people than those who do not. And who doesn't like to be happy?

I have had a lot of people tell me "I can't run." I find that phrase wildly inaccurate and quite frankly, silly. If you can walk, you can run. Everyone has to start somewhere though. Even the best of marathon runners began with  running just 100 meters. Like any other sport or activity, you have to allow your body to grow into the movement. You can't go into it thinking you're going to be able to run 2 miles in the ease that you can walk 2 miles. Running is difficult, but it is not impossible. 

So for the sake of National Running Day...try it! 

AND if you find you like it, then go register for the SUPER FABULOUS Tavern to Tavern 5K on August 19th! I did this last year, and it was seriously one of the most fun races I've done. Plus, there's a great after-party at the Tavern in Porter with beers, burgers, and a plethora of sweaty runners. Like Ally and I, for example:

This may or may not be at 10 o'clock in the morning...
You never know...maybe next year at this time, you may be participating in YOUR very first half marathon!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pathetic

It appears I have gone MIA a bit, so I just wanted to check in and say HI I'M STILL ALIIIIVE!

I've been pretty busy over the last week, and for once, it has not been due to my running schedule. I was away for the weekend at a best friend's bridal shower and bachelorette party, and my God, did we have fun! You seriously would have never known it was down-pouring all day. Her family totally blew the shower out of the water, and then a bunch of us girls headed into Boston for the night for bachelorette shenanigans.

By the way, if you like sushi and fun exotic drinks, you MUST try The Red Lantern - amazing.  If you're a fan of delicious martinis, like me, then go with the Geisha - it will not disappoint. And my goodness, they've got some fun decor going on in there. I think I might have to drag Brent back here for a date night this summer...

(Image via)
When I got back on Sunday, I was thoroughly exhausted. I wish I could say I did something exciting or made progress on my high priority to-do list. But to be completely honest,

I sat. And read. Which leads me to my confession...

This stupid, addicting, crack-containing series (50 Shades, people, 50 Shades) has completely consumed my life lately. I started book one last Wednesday and am proud mildly embarrassed to admit I will likely be finished with book three tonight by the time I go to bed tonight. Pathetic.

Well, I'm glad I got that off my chest. Believe me, I could probably go on talking about this book for the remainder of the day (aren't you glad you don't live with me - Brent, shhhh), but it's almost lunch time. Which means I must hurry this post and go read another chapter.