A Really Tough Day

One not-so-great aspect of wedding planning that can crop up without warning is getting so consumed with details, appointments, and negotiating that you completely forget what this whole process is all about.

My fiance is such a wonderful man. He’s smart, outgoing, successful, hilarious, and just generally a fun person to be around. The fact that I get to spend my days with him just living our regular lives, is a gift I feel really lucky to have.

Having him by my side through the good times and bad is really irreplaceable. Today was an example of the bad times. My childhood dog, Sasha, was put to sleep this morning. Her quality of life had expired and she was diagnosed with an incurable sickness that resulted in extreme pain.

Without a moment’s hesitation, Bradley suggested we wake up early this morning and go visit her one last time to say goodbye. Knowing he was willing to be there for that was very comforting.

Sasha was a member of our family since she was 6 weeks old and she lived a life full of love and care for the last 13 years.

snoosh

snoosh 7

My mom loved to dress her up in outfits. This one is particularly fitting for this blog:

snoosh 2 snoosh 3 She was not a fan of Roland’s energy.

snoosh 4 But she was willing to share her family with him.

snoosh 5I love you sister! I know you are resting peacefully now.

snoosh 6

Dress Shopping or Why I Still Need to Learn to Ignore the Numbers

For many girls, the first thing they do once they get engaged is head to the bridal shops and start trying on dresses.

Best-Wedding-Dresses

Image via Intimate Weddings

That wasn’t the case for me. In fact, I got engaged on October 9th and hadn’t stepped foot into a bridal salon until almost a full three months after getting engaged. There were a couple of reasons.

First, I didn’t want to shop too early. I figured I might change my mind if I got my dress too far in advance and didn’t want to have dress regret. Secondly, I knew that bridal sizing was really different than street clothes sizing and I wasn’t ready to try on dresses in sizes way bigger than I’m used to. It had a lot to do with my on-going struggles with disordered feelings about eating and exercise. I knew it would be a big hit to my ego, so I’ve spent the last few months trying to prepare myself and remind myself that bridal gown sizing is different, but it is nothing to worry about. It is just an obscure number…much like that number on the scale.

On a whim, my mom and I decided to try to see a couple of bridal stores one Sunday. Sharing the moment with my mom was a great experience and it was fun to see myself in bridal gowns for the first time. But the sizes of the dresses hit me like a ton of bricks. I know it shouldn’t matter, but it honestly really almost totally ruined the experience for me.

It is both really frustrating and fascinating the kinds of things that turn out to be emotional triggers for me. A few weeks ago it was the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show (but that was a pretty obvious trigger). This time it was a number on the tag of an absolutely stunning bridal gown, that I lost complete interest in due in part to the size on the tag. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it was the truth for me. 

The journey out of disordered eating is a long one. So far in 2011 I’ve taken many positive steps, including agreeing to even dress shop in the first place. It took a lot of mental effort on my part to even agree to start trying. It didn’t turn out exactly like I hoped to, but I have to remember what a blessing it is to be able to share moments like this with my mom, who just a few short years ago was sick with cancer. She’s healthy and happy and supportive. I have a fiancé who thinks I’m beautiful and can’t wait to see me walk down the aisle in whatever dress I chose. I can’t ask for much more than those two things.

Did anyone else have a less-than-perfect experience looking for wedding dresses?

November Recap

Hello all! It is December already. Yay! It is also the first night of Hanukkah tonight, so to all my fellow Tribe members out there reading, Happy Hanukkah! I’m planning on cooking some traditional potato pancakes tonight and having a quiet evening at home with The Fiance. I’ll be lighting the Menorah and we’ll eat at the dining room table (not the usual tv-tray-in-front-of-the-big-screen).

[Source]

November Goals Recap

1. Blog 5x a week at least

Verdict: Went strong the first two weeks, and then got sidelined a bit. Thanksgiving turned out to be a lot bigger of a project than I anticipated and then some nightmare billing problems with my cable provider sucked up my lunch time for several days since I was on the phone the whole time trying to get it all straightened out. It still isn’t by the way. (Want some advice? Never ever sign up for automatic bill pay or let an institution have access to your money. Ever.)

2. Budget $50 for healthy groceries

Verdict: Success! I just checked my spending report and I spent $198 dollars this month on groceries which works out to about $50 a week. However, those numbers are a little deceiving because I don’t feel like we were adequately stocked with healthy, wholesome foods this month. So, spending is in check, now we need to work on the details of what it is being bought.

3. Plan Thanksgiving

Verdict: Done and done. It wound up being WAY more of a production than I anticipated. I ran a race that morning and then barely had time to shower and eat breakfast before I was in hostess mood for the next 9 hours – prepping the meal, refilling drinks, reorganizing everything in my kitchen 15 times so everything could get done in the small space, whew. I felt miserable, to be honest. My aunt came through for me in a huge way and I couldn’t have done it without her help. Next time there will be a much larger gap between the race and the Thanksgiving start time if I am to host again.

4. Save up and get new running shoes (and run two awesome races)

Verdict: I picked out a fabulous new pair of kicks and have been enjoying breaking them in. It feels good to be in a proper pair of shoes…for the first time in my life! As an early holiday present, The Fiance offered to split the cost of the shoes with me, so I ended up being able to buy them earlier than anticipated. I only ran one race (the Turkey Trot – recap coming soon!) since the other race I was planning on was too expensive for me at the time.

Did you have a strong month? Are you ready to finish up the year in a big way?

The Weekend’s Here!

Well, almost! Happy Friday.

A storm yesterday evening killed my plans for a run outdoors, so I went to Target. I need a set of matching glassware for Thanksgiving and wanted to check our their office supplies to see if I could find the ever-elusive wedding organizer I’ve been attempting to make. As for drinking glasses, Target only sold glasses in sets of 12, and I need a total of 16. I don’t have space for 24 glass drinking glasses.

Target’s office supply section had a lot of potential. I found a ton of different pieces that almost worked, but I couldn’t come up with the right combination of binger/legal pad/planner/divider in exactly what I wanted. But, if I don’t find anything elsewhere, I’ll go back to Target and make it work.

So the quest continues on both fronts.

Tonight I am meeting up with some girlfriends for happy hour! I haven’t seen one of them in over a year since she’s been working abroad and then settled down in Houston a few months ago. I’m so excited to see her and my other two good friends. We’re going here, and I can not wait. Good friends, good food, good drinks? Sold.

The rest of the weekend is socially sparse and I am glad to have a chance to get caught up on a few odds and ends here and there. We are taking the kitty for a check-up at the vet on Saturday, since he’s overdue for some shots and a general once-over. Then the pup is on the docket next for a check-up sometime in the next few weeks/months.

Speaking of pets, we took the puppy over to my parents on Wednesday when we had dinner together, and they have an old-as-dirt dachshund named Sasha. Ordinarily she is the sweetest, tiniest little thing. But once my big bumbling puppy baby comes roaring into their home acting a foo’, she gets a little flustered and upset. I happened to snap a hilarious picture of her trying to defend her territory. She’s so elderly and most of her teeth are gone, so she grows and bears her teeth, but so many are gone that it doesn’t look remotely terrifying. She’s trying though, so I’ll give her props.

Roland LOVES my dad. He snuggles with him every chance he gets. This is from Labor Day weekend:

Other than that, there’s not much for the way of plans this weekend. Nearly every weekend from now until 2011 is jammed, so I better enjoy the rest and relaxation while I can get it.

Is your social calendar revving up for the holiday season already? What do you have planned?

Guess What Happened in Las Vegas?

Look what my co-worker did to my office while I was gone. So sweet! LOTS more details to come, of course.

Whirleyball and Other Weekend Plans

What a week!

Work has been crazy, my social calendar has been packed, and my budget is undergoing a complete overhaul. It has been nutso all around. I’m ready to do some serious unwinding this weekend in the form of going to the movies tonight, playing whirleyball on Saturday, and spending time with my boyfriend and family. I’m also running a 5k on Saturday morning. Just for fun. No pressure. I’m sure it will go fine.

Oh wait, what’s whirleyball, you ask? It’s fun, that’s what. It can also be described as bumper cars-meets-lacrosse-meets basketball. Yeah, roll that up and smoke it. (or “Run and tell that” if you are Antoine Dotston).

Whirley ball is a hodge podge of fun. For New Year’s Eve I organized a group of us to go play Whirleyball. (No one felt like getting dressed up and blowing a ton of money on a hotel, dinner, and booze like we had done the year before)

I don’t know these people, but there’s a pic I snapped so you have a good idea of what we are working with here. My new friend Kellye is turning 24 (25?) this weekend, and among other things that day, that is one of the planned activities. Yeah!!

Other plans include an obligatory trip to the dog park so my sweet pup can stretch his legs, and a little fall cooking/baking sesh. Stay tuned. I also need to show off my fall decorating creations around the apartment. I am so proud of this project!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! Sorry for the not-so-often posting this week. I haven’t felt very inspired.

Summary (to be included on all “Local” posts)

Event: Whirleyball for a friend’s birthday

Place: WhirlyBall & LaserWhirld Plano
3115 West Parker Road
Plano, TX 75023

Date: Saturday, September 18th, 9:45 PM

Frequency: Open Daily

Who can attend: Ages 9 and up and over 4 feet tall

Cost: $25 for two people as part of group on Saturday night. We both played an hour of Whirley ball, and he did one game of lasertag while I napped on the floor (I had a long day and it was nearly midnight by this point, okay?! :))

Whirlyball for 10 or more people Price
1 Hour / 1 Court – For 10 or more people. $149.50
1/2 Hour/ 1 Court – For 10 or more people. $74.75
Whirlyball for 6 to 9 people
A minimum of 6 is need to play the game
 
1 person per 1 hour $14.95
1 person per 1/2 hour $7.48
1 person / 1 game (15 minutes) $4.62

Recap Extravaganza

First off, yesterday was the Jewish new year holiday, Rosh Hashanah, so I was away from the computer and didn’t blog because of it. I wasn’t able to attend temple on this holiday last year so I am so glad I was able to this year.

That Wife Meetup

Remember when I went to my first blogger meetup? The wonderful Jenna from That Wife blogged about it not too long ago. She snapped some WONDERFUL pictures (well, duh, she’s a photographer for a living!) but I thought I would share some anyway. All of the following photos in this section are courtesy of her and her skills.

Me and T1! Ehh how exciting. I’m a super blogger nerd, officially. :)

Jenna, me, and Amy!

Be sure to check The Soda Gallery out if you are ever in the area. What a super cool place.

Summary (to be included on all “Local” posts)

Event: The Soda Gallery

Place: 408 North Bishop Avenue #101
Dallas, TX 75208
(214) 946-7632

Date: Tuesday, August 17th at 6:30 PM

Frequency: I went once for the meetup but here are their hours:
Tuesday – Saturday 11:00am – 9:00pm
Sunday 11:00am – 4:00pm

Who can attend: Anyone. But this meetup was for readers of Jenna’s blog, and Jenna.

Cost: $10 for a pack of four sodas. But weren’t pressured at ALL to buy anything, but I wanted to get a few to sample. You can mix and match your own 4+ pack, or just buy one individually.

3 Year Anniversary Celebration

Normally, we aren’t big into huge grandiose celebrations, but this two-day festival of all things Bradley and Rachel love was an exceptional time. And three years is a big deal people! At least it was to us. We wanted to do something special.

My first gift was a couples massage in Frisco. We went to Siena Massage and was greeted by their friendly staff and offered our choice of beverage. I had a bellini (cranberry juice and champagne) and he had a glass of chardonnay. Then we went to get out massages. Pure bliss I tell you. If you’ve never gotten a massage I highly recommend it. This place was very affordable, and I actually got the inspiration via my favorite e-mail coupon site, Groupon. Everyday they e-mail you the daily deal and they ROCK. This deal was two hour-long massages for $70. That is a STEAL in this area. I tipped big so I could quit feeling like I robbed the poor place! :) Even without the coupon, they offer really great deals. I already want to go back.

After the massage we picked up some wine and beer and went home to cook ourselves a fancy dinner. I rarely drink, but this was a special occasion and called for it. It also called for the Bellini I drank earlier. Yes, yes it did.

So, let’s check out the eats.

So, we have the star of the evening, honey-soy glazed salmon, fettucine alfredo, green beans with soy sauce, and a couple of salads. And some baclava for dessert. Mmmmh! The Boyfriend always makes a delicious mayo/sirracha sauce when we eat fish, so you see that on the table as well. (It was probably one of our first meals eaten at our dining room table just the two of us. I know. I’m embarrassed even saying it. We always ALWAYS eat on the couch in front of the tv.)

I also gave him his gift. I got him a glass business card holder for his office that I got engraved with his name and position at his company.

[Source]

Next up? Thursday.

We went to dinner at Jorge’s Tex-Mex in the downtown art’s district. Thursday nights the art museum(s) stay open until 9 PM so the plan was to get some eats, and then check out the museums. Jorge’s was delicious! I had the veggie enchiladas and we split a margarita. Woo I’m just realizing how much alcohol I’ve had in the last few days. It is very rare, so I’m not too worried about it.

The outdoor sculpture museum had locked doors when we arrived at around 7 PM even though they were supposed to be open until 9 PM. We don’t know what happened there. Luckily the huge Dallas Museum of Art was open. One of the temporary exhibits was a cozy living room where you could make postcards (!!!) and create shadow puppets (!!!). See me hard at work drawing below.

After dinner we walked past some of the theatres and found this really cool pond that is actually shallow.

The Dallas Museum of Art is an extensive collection. By the time we left I felt like I had seen art from every corner of the globe. And we didn’t even see the whole place! Our feet got tired before we had a chance to see every part of the museum. It was pretty quiet in a majority of the areas of the museum which made for a super romantic date. Three cheers for The Boyfriend’s wonderful plans.

He also surprised me when we arrived with a whole loot of fall decorations for the apartment. Home decor? The man knows me too well.

Well this post is sufficiently 10 miles long, and I gotta scoot! Happy weekend!

Summary (to be included on all “Local” posts)

Event: 3 Year Anniversary Celebration

Place:
1. Siena Massage in Frisco, Texas
2. Jorge’s Tex Mex Restaurant
3. Downtown Arts District

Date: Wednesday September 8 – Thursday September 9

Frequency: Once for anniversary, but would like to go to all three places again.

Who can attend: It was just us two for our anniversary

Cost: $90 for couple’s massage ($70 plus $20 tip), ~$40 for dinner ingredients on Wednesday, ~$30 for dinner on Thursday, $20 for two tickets to Dallas Museum of Art, plus more for gifts (~$60+). This was definitely a splurge.

How to be a Good Hostess

Since The Boyfriend and I have planned a birthday party for my 23rd birthday this weekend, I thought I’d share some tips about being a good hostess. Planning and hosting parties is something that brings me a TON of joy. I absolutely love doing it!!

Here are some tips for your next party with examples of how we are encorporating these tips for our party on Saturday:

1. Prepare as much as you can in advance. You are there to host, but the guests are there to spend time with you! If you are stuck in the kitchen the whole time, it will be hard to keep them entertained and keep their drinks filled. It always helps to have a co-host (i.e. The Boyfriend/Grill Master) who can help entertain guests or help with the food.

The boyfriend and I are doing all of the grocery shopping for the party tonight. We are going to start marinating the meat that we plan on grilling (for the meat eaters), and I’m putting together this pasta salad so it will be ready to go tomorrow.

2. Spruce up your place! I believe a clean home makes people more comfortable. Put away stacks of paper, vaccuum/mop, dust, wipe down counters. Light a candle or two. Set out extra chairs and move any furniture around to make for easier socializing.

I did most of the set up for the party last night since I have a busy schedule until right up until the party. I added a leaf into our dining room table and pushed it up against the wall so we can serve our menu buffet style. I also hung up a bunch of cowboy rustic posters and other decorations because our party is a Hoedown theme. I also put tied paisley blue bandanas around the chairs and laid them on top of the back of the couches for some more decoration. After watering the plants on my balcony(it is looking like a jungle out there! I’ll have to do a post on that soon), I went ahead and trimmed off all the dead leaves and swept the balcony so it looked neat. I’ll share what decorations I bought at the end of this post. Additionally, I sprinkle the carpet with odor deoderizer before vaccuming to pick up any pet odor that has remained. After potty-training a puppy, our carpets have definitely seen better days. Now, he is 99% trained. Thank the good man upstairs!

3. Provide a variety of beverages. I like to have a few different kinds of soda, juice, bottled water, tea, beer, wine, mixer (or margarita mix) and maybe one or two types of liquor. That keeps your options open. Plastic cups and straws make for easy clean-up, less mess, and no chance of broken glassware. Depending on the formality of your party (ours are almost always very casual) you can opt for real glasses, too. We also make sure to keep on hand a lot of koozies for the beer drinkers.

We’ll be picking up drinks tonight. I plan to get a Crystal Light mix-in to make a quick lemonade and am serving it in a floral ceramic pitcher that seems cowboy-rustic to me. I got it at an estate sale for $3. Total score!

4. Set the mood with some music. Make bathrooms easy to locate and clean. I like to leave out a neat stack of clean hand towels for people to use.

The boyfriend’s i-pod is arguably the perfect party mix. A specific playlist isn’t necessary. He likes music that is fun to listen to, and something you would always recognize from movies, pop culture, or tv. We always get compliments on our music choices when we throw parties. We use an i-pod dock that he picked up at an electronic’s store for aroud $50. We also have music channels On Demand through our television provider. When we want specific themed music (like during Christmas) we will use one of those channels instead of the i-pod.

5. Have fun!

Don’t have to tell us twice!

Happy Birthday Hoedown

Yes, I am planning a cowboy themed party for my 23rd birthday. I had accepted the fact that it was going to be corny and that was 100% okay. However, as I started decorating last night, it started to pull together really nicely and while the cowboy hoedown theme is there, it sort of came out Cowboy-chic. Is that possible? I like to think so. The boyfriend came home from the office with a huge stack of professional photography posters (that were otherwise going in the trash) this week and we have been using them in all kinds of ways. We cut some up and replaced some of the frames we have hanging up. Also, a few of them fit perfectly into our cowboy theme (think artsy-edgy prints of a herd of sheep for example) so I went ahead and put a few of those up around the apartment on the doors. I think it looks really nice; decorative yet tasteful.

As for the other decorations, I turned to my favorite party supply website, Shindigz. They have everything. The prices are great, the shipping is quick, and the products are great quality. Here’s some of the things I picked up.

A Red Gingham Round Table Cloth

Western Sign Cutouts (I wish it was 8 one-sided cutouts instead of 4 two sided)

Cactus and Boots Electric String Lights (these are going to go on the dining room table around the chip bowls)

Wild West Confetti (hopefully these won’t leave a huge mess everywhere)

A Package of 12 Blue Paisley Bandanas

Party on, Wayne! Party on, Garth!

Do you like to plan and host parties? What was the best themed party you ever went to?

On Yard Work

I mowed a yard for the first time this weekend. It was deeply satisfying. The patterns in the grass, the hum of the mower, the breeze. Oh man. I felt like I had just taken a yoga class!! It was so relaxing.

I also used a weed eater and got rid of some weeds before the party on Saturday. Yard work is great for burning calories! Except when you use a riding lawnmower. But oh well.

The weekend at The Boyfriend’s parents was fabulous except I am now COVERED in mosquito bites. Gross!

Roland bonded with his brother.

And he hung out on the patio with me

And a ton of food was cooked, as per usual.

AND now I’m hungry.

Healthy BBQ

I can’t belive it is almost the weekend already! Four day work weeks are the BEST.

This weekend looks to be another wonderful one. We are headed out to The Boyfriend’s hometown again (with the pup in tow)! One of his good friends is turning 24. Happy Birthday Brittney! We are having a big BBQ at The Boyfriend’s parents house. There are lots of healthy food that spring up at BBQ’s! Like corn on the cob, chicken and vegetable skewers (or just veggie kabobs if you are a vegetarian like me), baked beans, and grilled asparagus (my favorite).

I’m thinking about preparing a healthy dish or two for the party if we end up going to the store to pick up supplies this weekend.

Easy Peasy Grilled Asparagus
This is hands down one of the most delicious things I’ve ever consumed, and one of the easiest to prepare.

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh asparagus, washed and ends trimmed (take one and bend the end until it pops off, that is the length you should cut the rest of the stalks to match)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Generous sprinkling of sea salt

Directions:

1. Place asparagus in square pan
2. Cover with olive oil and salt
3. Toss
4. Let marinade for an hour or cook immediately
5. Place on grill (leave it in the pan or put it directly on the grill)
6. Cook 10 minutes
7. CONSUME.

[Source]

Click here for a TON more vegetarian BBQ recipes!

What are you up to this weekend? Do you like BBQs?

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 39 other followers