Friday, July 25, 2014

BRIDE DAY FRIDAY: REMEMBERING WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT

Happy Friday everyone!

I for one had a very stressful week and am so glad that the weekend is here. Yay yay yaaaaaaay! 

I say it was stressful because it was. But it was also very productive. And I only lost my mind once. Ok wait, twice. Maybe that's how you know we are less than two months until the wedding date! hahaha. My mom handled my stressball episodes twice this week, my dad is in town got one, KJ as always is good at keeping me calm and now she gets me even more because she's engaged. Charlotte and Celia helped with crafts and hair which was much appreciated and poor Josh, well he's hangin in there!

Honestly, I've been thinking a lot this week about the wedding. The wedding is stressing me out y'all. But you know what, the marriage is not. Right?! Isn't that amazing? I am so excited to marry the man I love. So why am I freaking out about the wedding... the party will handle itself. Well, mostly. :) I still have lists and spreadsheets keeping me organized. 

It's true though, when I think about what is really important to me about my wedding, it helps me remember why we're doing this in the first place and actually reduces my stress. 

To me, here's what it's really all about:


1. Marrying Josh
Brides. Listen up! I know you are out there and I know you are feeling stressed. But the good news is that no matter what your reception is like or the weather or your colors or whatever, you get to marry your fiancé. That in itself is a gift. A huge one!

I remember always wondering if I would be able to open my heart completely enough to trust and love someone else so completely. When I first started to feel that, I remember being scared even. But God brought Josh into my life because he knew that was what I needed. And what Josh needed too. This Wednesday when I was driving home from my company kickball game (why the heck did I sign up for that?!?) and on the verge of tears I asked myself why I was even doing this anyway? Why am I planning this wedding?

The answer is Josh. I am going to enter into the sacrament of marriage. And that is a freakin wonderful thing. 


2. Being Surrounded by Friends and Family
This may not be important to everyone, but I get teary on a regular basis thinking about how much I love my family and close friends and how much they mean to me in my life. I was visiting Grandpa last night and he was making fun of some picture of my hair that I was showing him and I just started laughing (with tears at the same time!) and felt this wave of emotion. I love this man so much. He helped raise me and he will be with me on my wedding day because he loves me right back. That is a gift. 

My mom helping me through all of my stressy times. Again, I get full of this warmth just thinking of it. That is love. 

My dad walking me down the aisle. We will both cry, let's be honest. 

My Aunt Celeste and Patti and my friend Rachel throwing me showers. None of them  had to do this. They are just kind and full of love. And you know what, throwing a party for all of them to be there with me and Josh is worth it. Very very worth it. 


3. Starting a New Chapter of My Life
This is a time for me to stop thinking of me and start thinking of us. Once we are married, Josh and I will be one unit. What a beautiful reason to stop thinking selfishly and start always thinking of someone else first. I think this part is hard while you're engaged because the bridal industry (notice I didn't say groomal) is all focused on the bride. What I wear, how I look, and what I weigh are all pressures that I feel. I don't think I've ever felt this self-centered or vain. I mean you know it's bad when I'm thinking to myself, "Wait. Maureen. Stop looking in the mirror, no one cares about your hair this much. You don't even care about your hair this much."

I am so excited to start my life together with Josh. I know it will have challenges and we will both have to sacrifice and compromise. But the good news is that in return, we get each other's love. Forever. Without question. Josh loves my hair no matter what it looks like. So maybe I should just let that go. Yeah, that sounds like a great idea. It's not all about me anymore. What a joyful relief!


So to my fellow brides out there or really anyone going through a time of stress, ask yourself what it is really all about? Why are you doing this? The answer will give you relief and renew your sense of purpose. Because you are smart and brave and you didn't make this decision lightly. So go, enjoy the love that brought you here!



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Tell me what you think..

  • What stresses you out?
  • How do you calm down?

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Getting you and your closet in shape! 
Sweat every day for 31 days.
Don't repeat an item of clothing for 31 days. 
Donate the items you haven't worn after a month or rediscover treasured pieces you forgot you had!
Things will probably fit a bit better too. ;)

I owe you two days...
Yesterday's workout: I missed it. True confessions. I didn't go. Sorry team. I'll have to pull a twice a day coming up. Or maybe, I'll just have to let go of trying to be perfect.

Yesterday's outfit: Black lace skirt with grey transparent top. A little dressy for work!



Share your daily look on instagram or twitter #31DayClosetChallenge

Thursday, July 24, 2014

AVERY'S BAPTISM

Little babies warm my heart. Josh and I were delighted to celebrate baby Avery Michelle's baptism last week. Avery is the daughter of our dear friends Peter and Stephanie. Peter is one of Josh's Best Men and Josh is little Miss Avery's Godfather. 



Her baptism was downtown DC in Woodley Park and it was a delightful spring day. We had a delightful time welcoming Avery into the Catholic faith. She is pure joy when you look at her. Honestly, I've never seen a baby smile so much. And she never cries. Not even when she wakes up from a nap. Truly, she is a gift from heaven and we are so glad she is in our lives. 








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Tell me what you think..
  • What are your favorite traditions with new babies?
  • Been to any fun family events lately?

--


Getting you and your closet in shape! 
Sweat every day for 31 days.
Don't repeat an item of clothing for 31 days. 
Donate the items you haven't worn after a month or rediscover treasured pieces you forgot you had!
Things will probably fit a bit better too. ;)

I owe you two days...
Yesterday's workout: 15 minutes on the stair master + Body Pump Express class (30 minutes)
Tuesday's workout: 25 minutes elliptical


Yesterday's outfit: Blue dress and a top knot
Tuesday's outfit: Comfy casual because I can wear jeans to work!


Share your daily look on instagram or twitter #31DayClosetChallenge



Be well everyone!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

CLOTHES AND CONCERTS

Things have been crazy around here lately. So crazy in fact that when I sat down to write a post I was so overwhelmed that I decided to just look at my recent pictures and pick a post from there. And I'm glad I did!

Guys I have two things that I love to talk about: clothes and concerts



First of all in the clothes department, I'm working my way through my closet and for 31 days I will not be repeating any clothing (well, maybe bras but you know what I mean. :) ). This way at the end of the month I will have all of these things that I didn't even touch! And maybe I will donate them as part of Throw Away 13 Things or maybe I will sell them here and make some money. 

Seriously, Twice is the easiest way to exfoliate clothes that you don't wear. And you let someone else wear them. And you make some money - actual money. And you can buy other great pieces now that you donated / sold some. 

Did you know that I got this bridal shower dress from Twice? I did. For $3.48. I'm not joking. I had a new member 50% off deal and a $10 credit. It was magical. 

I also bought two other things. They didn't work out. So I returned them for a FULL REFUND. Heaven I tell you. 

This time, I went through my closet and sent in 19 clothing items from their accepted brands to sell. It was so easy.

Sell your clothes via Twice!
  • Request a free bag here
  • Fill up bag with my clothes
  • Put it near my mailbox because it's already paid for


Winning. If you want to request a bag or buy something just click here. This sounds like an ad but it's not. I just had a good experience and like them. You're welcome!



Now onto concerts. Josh and I love Sara Bareilles. We drove to her concert in Philly right before we started dating and it will always be one of my favorite memories with Josh. 

So when he asked if I wanted to go to her concert at Wolf Trap last week, my answer was, "Heck, yes!"





We were sitting on the lawn and even though it had stormed about an hour before we got there, it didn't rain on us one bit. In fact, it was packed. And with so many friends. We sat with our friends Evie and Emily. I ran into two friends from college and got to catch up with Jamie and Justin. And we saw Traci taking pictures. She is such a freaking rockstar and we were so lucky to have her shoot our engagement.

She's amazing. Listen to her. Right now. :) It might just give you that lift in your day that you need. 




--

Tell me what you think..
  • What are some of your favorite concerts you've been to?
  • Have you ever seen Sara live?
--


Getting you and your closet in shape! 
Sweat every day for 31 days.
Don't repeat an item of clothing for 31 days. 
Donate the items you haven't worn after a month or rediscover treasured pieces you forgot you had!
Things will probably fit a bit better too. ;)

I owe you two days...
Yesterday's workout: 30 minutes on the elliptical
Sunday's workout: 45 minutes ont he elliptical
Looks like I need to switch it up!

Yesterday's outfit: Khaki and pink for work
Sunday's outfit: Totally casual tee and shorts for lounging at home and pool time!

Share your daily look on instagram or twitter #31DayClosetChallenge




Be well everyone!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

FRESH PEACH GREEK YOGURT POPSICLES


I have the absolute easiest dessert recipe for you: Peach Greeksicles

Cut up about 3 or 4 ripe peaches (skins removed).

Alternating pouring some greek yogurt and some peach pieces into a popsicle mold. (I used Chobani strawberry, blueberry and peach because I had them in the fridge. Each little cup made two popsicles.)

Freeze them. 

BAM! Summer dessert. That's healthy. And yummy.



I had a bunch of my peaches left over from my From the Farmer basket so that's how this started. And then I found these amazing popsicle molds at Whole Foods. Seriously, I had been whining to Josh about how I wanted to make these and then all of a sudden I was standing next to them. They were on an end aisle display and I love them. Ten bucks and they are sturdy, removable so you can make one at a time if you want, and washable to reuse again. Nailed it!

You can find similar ones here.


For this round, they all have fresh peaches in them, but two are strawberry, two are blueberry and two are peach. I'm so excited to make more!


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Tell me what you think..
  • Have you ever made your own popsicles?
  • What are your favorite healthy desserts?
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Getting you and your closet in shape! 
Sweat every day for 31 days.
Don't repeat an item of clothing for 31 days. 
Donate the items you haven't worn after a month or rediscover treasured pieces you forgot you had!
Things will probably fit a bit better too. ;)


Yesterday's workout: 40 minutes on the elliptical in my building with Lucas and Nathan. 

Yesterday's outfit: Orange shorts, and Revelry Manifesto T-shirt.

Share your daily look on instagram or twitter #31DayClosetChallenge

Saturday, July 19, 2014

NO-NEED-TO-PLAN DATE NIGHT

Every once in a while, life gets super busy. Wait a minute?! Every once in a while? Ok, all the time. So I try to carve out some time for myself and also some time for just me and Josh. Lately with the wedding planning we don't often have nights that are just for us to hang out. So last week I invited Josh over for some 'us' time. 

This date night needs no advanced planning. You can just stop at the grocery store on the way home. :) Easy peasy!

To make it a little special, I sent Josh an evite the night before. It took me 5 minutes to set up, but it let me formally invite him to a date night and made him feel special!

On the docket for the evening was a few things that were easy but I knew would make Josh happy:

1. Summer Beer Tasting

2. Home Cooked Meal

3. Tickets to a Movie (That Josh wanted to see!)



To start off the evening I used my From the Farmer farm share from work and picked up a few extra ingredients at the store on my way home from work.

Date Night Dinner for Two:
  • Roasted potatoes (sweet and normal)
  • Summer tomato + mozzarella + fresh basil + vinaigrette
  • Grilled salmon with olive oil and salt
  • Summer peaches with a spoonful of vanilla greek yogurt, another spoonful of vanilla greek frozen yogurt and some honey


On the way home from work I also stopped at Total Wine and picked up a make-your-own sixpack of summer beers. I set up a little tasting session and Josh and I tasted and ranked each one!




We had some disagreeing tastes but it worked out because then we each got to drink our favorite!

After dessert, I surprised Josh with tickets to the movie theatre up the street to see 22 Jump Street. He had really wanted to see it and as a night owl he didn't mind a 10:30 showing. I even made us popcorn and m&ms for the movie. 

All in all, it took going to the grocery store and buying movie tickets and we had a totally special night. :)





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Tell me what you think..
  • Are you big on date nights?
  • What is your favorite way to surprise your significant other?
--

Getting you and your closet in shape! 
Sweat every day for 31 days.
Don't repeat an item of clothing for 31 days. 
Donate the items you haven't worn after a month or rediscover treasured pieces you forgot you had!
Things will probably fit a bit better too. ;)

Share your outfits and workouts with me #31DayClosetChallenge

Yesterday's workout: HITT training. 3 rounds of...
15 Squats with arms overhead
15 each side quick back and forth side steps over bosu ball
15 side arm raises from plank position (each side)
15 up-downs
15 lunch back, step up, knee up (each side)
15 pull downs at 50 lbs
15 leg tucks while supporting yourself with your shoulders

Yesterday's outfit: Grey jeans and pink blouse. And then I spilled chicken on myself and we were going to a movie in the park. So I put on an equally pink shirt. :)

Share your daily look on instagram or twitter #31DayClosetChallenge








Friday, July 18, 2014

NOW IT'S YOUR TURN!

Do you want to read about how I'm planning my own wedding and what tips and tricks I have to share? Or about my famous pumpkin muffin recipe from a real pumpkin?

I sincerely appreciate all of you who stop by my little corner of the internet and I want to give you more of what you want to read!


Take this short (and anonymous!) survey and tell me what you want to see around here!

I can't wait to hear from you. :)


BRIDE DAY FRIDAY: MY FIRST FITTING @ BLUSH BRIDAL

First of all, don't worry, there are no pictures of my wedding dress in this post. Josh and I have decided that we don't want to see each other before the wedding so it has to stay a surprise! Eeee!


I purchased my dress at Blush Bridal Boutique in Haymarket, VA in February with my mommy. And only recently did the actual dress finally come in! We got a call from Rachel (my favorite person at Blush and the one who helped me find my dress!) saying that my actual dress was here and we could come in for the first fitting. 

I was so nervous. Mom thought I was crazy but I was! I didn't know what it was going to look like or if it would be as I remembered or if it would fit... the good news is, it's still awesome.


When you walk into Blush, you pretty much feel like royalty right away. There are white, fluffy, lacey dresses everywhere and the walls are pink. Perfection. 



At this appointment, I met with Rachel, our dress consultant, and Katherine, the seamstress extraordinaire and got to try my actual dress and veil on. It was so fun!

Mom is also very good at calming me down. I tend to get nervous as I mentioned about the dress stuff. It's silly but it's so important to me, I want it to be perfect! Katherine assured me that when I come for my next fitting in August it'll be great. And if we need to make more tucks we can. Phew!



We were disappointed that our favorite cupcake shop below Blush wasn't open when we went on a Sunday, but don't you worry. The next fitting is on a Saturday. ;) 

Until next time Blush!!!!

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Tell me what you think..
  • What was your wedding dress shopping experience like?
  • Did you cry?
  • If you're not engaged, have you even thought about your dress some day? Or is it a million miles away in your mind?
--

The 31 Day Closet Challenge
Getting you and your closet in shape! 
Sweat every day for 31 days.
Don't repeat an item of clothing for 31 days. 
Donate the items you haven't worn after a month or rediscover treasured pieces you forgot you had!
Things will probably fit a bit better too. ;)

Share your outfits and workouts with me #31DayClosetChallenge

Yesterday's workout: 35 minutes on the elliptical watching One Tree Hill and sweating like crazy. Kick it up to a high resistance to get a great leg workout. 

Yesterday's outfit: Patterned dress and white sweater.

Who's excited for 31 days of hilarious selfies?


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