Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wedding Wednesday

About a year ago, on Memorial Day Weekend, I had the most amazing weekend with friends and family as I had my bachelorette party in Chicago and another bridal shower, hosted by two of my aunts, in the same city as our family lake house, where I've spent a very significant part of my life.

The trip to Chicago started off rocky, and getting bumped off our flight meant that the Cubs tickets that J got us went to waste (so sad that I still haven't made it to Wrigley).  When we finally got there, things started looking up!  We ate a lot, we drank some :) and we went all around the city.  We even took some time to get an education on our weekend of fun by going to the Museum of Science and Industry.

The Bride-to-Be has to be dressed up

Waiting to get into Garret's to get some popcorn

Science & Industry Museum

Howl at the Moon
After a fun couple of nights, we took the train from Chicago to South Bend and then rented a car to take us to my bridal shower.  My only Aunt on my dad's side, Sandi and my Godmother/Aunt on my mom's side, Debbie put the shower on for me.  Aunt Sandi makes me taco salad every year for my Birthday so when she offered to do the same for my shower, I could not pass it up!  We had the shower in her church and it was lots of fun!  We played games and ate GREAT food and had a great time!

Cake Table

Great decorations

The whole group

Best Flower Girl ever!!
What a great weekend... I can't believe that was a year ago!!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My favorite recipe blogs

OK, so my three month subscription/membership to Weight Watchers expired last Friday.  I fully intend on doing a post on my experience... probably by the end of this week, but despite the fact that I'm technically not "on" Weight Watchers anymore does not mean that I will go back to my old ways of eating.

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know that I found two AMAZING blogs that were absolute life savers to me as I was adjusting to the new way of eating.

Why do I love these two ladies and their blogs so much?  Well, it's because they have amazing, flavorful and exciting recipes and they have already figured the Weight Watchers Points out for you, which is even more enticing to me now that I don't have the Recipe Builder on the Weight Watchers website anymore!!!  If you haven't already checked them out you absolutely should... even if you aren't on Weight Watchers.

We tried this one last night, and it was great!  I think next time I'll add some more spices, or possibly some garlic, and I'll probably leave the grated cheese off the top, but I always try recipes "as is" the first time around. It was especially great with the Chardonnay we had open from the night before  :)

Lighter Baked Macaroni and Cheese (

Here is my list of recipes from their websites that I intend to try next... I have the ingredients for all of them... I just have to pick a night, and for a couple of them, pick a main dish to go with them!

Skinny Chicken Enchiladas (

Zucchini Pancakes (

Cauliflower Fritters (

Happy Tuesday!!!  What's on your menu this week??

Monday, May 28, 2012

Weekend Recap

Happy Memorial Day!!!  I'm working today, but I hope you are all enjoying an extra day off!

We had a busy, and very productive weekend!!  It was wonderful and I wish every weekend could be such a good mix of relaxing and working.

We got up on Saturday and made breakfast and relaxed until a little after noon.  Then we started our shopping mission.  I had a lot of stuff on my list, but we got in and out of most of the stores pretty quickly.

We started at Hobby Lobby because I wanted to go look for some stuff to fill up those shelves in the bathroom.  Although it felt like our basket was full of stuff, it turned out to be more of a good start than a finished product.  The best part, though, is that we didn't spend more than $4 on any item thanks to the 50%-60% sales at Hobby Lobby.  Here's what we've got so far... what do you think?

We went to Target and a couple other craft stores so I could get the stuff I needed for the baby shower gift I was making for my cousin.  We also went to a few different stores looking for the yellow sandals I need to wear with a dress to the wedding we are going to next weekend.  That was unsuccessful, BUT we were at Kohl's and I found myself a new bag for work!

I'm seriously the pickiest person ever when it comes to work bags.  They have to have a zipper, they have to have flat straps, they have to have pockets on the inside and they have to be $40 or less.  I am really rough on my work bags and they get  beat up pretty quickly so I don't like to spend a lot on them.  I have been looking for a new bag for over a year now, and I am so excited about this one!!!

We made one more stop at Lowe's and bought some flowers to replace the dead ones in my tilted flower pots.  I also wanted to plant some hydrangeas in a random little circle plant bed that we have in the back, so we grabbed those while we were there.

We had some people over on Saturday night to help us drink the beer we had left from the Cinco de Drinko party, so we spent the evening on the back deck and around the fire pit.

We got up on Sunday and I had to run a few more errands and then we went outside and started working.  I put the new flowers in the tilted pots while J got the circle in the back ready to put new stuff in.  When I was done with the pots in the front, we got the hydrangeas planted and made sure everything got a drink...

I don't know what kind of flowers these are, but they're pretty!

This is really ground cover, so it may look small now, but it will spread out.
Our new hydrangea bed... now they just have to grow!

Once we were done with the flowers, we went and washed our cars and that added up to more than enough time in the heat, so we went home and showered and it was craft time for me!  We also watched the Indy 500 at 7 pm, which is when people who live within 100 miles of Indy finally get to see it.  It's seriously the only major sporting event that still blacks out to the local market.

Thanks to J's help on the paper cutter, I got the invitations to my cousin's bridal shower done... they made their way to the post office tonight so they will go out tomorrow! 

Once I got those done, I will still in craft mode so I started on the baby gift.  I totally planned on taking pictures and making a "how to" on this project, but I got in the zone and before I knew it, it was done!

I'll see if I can figure out how to take some pieces out without taking it apart, so I can do a quick tutorial on it sometime this week.

Overall, I had a pretty productive weekend!  I'm working today, but taking Friday off so we can go down to Texas for a wedding so I'll still have a short week/long weekend.

How did you spend your long weekend?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Filling the Bathroom Shelves

In my Weekend Recap on Monday, I mentioned the fact that we have these shelves in our half bathroom that are in DESPERATE need of some "stuff" on them...

You may also remember the antique mirror that I painted and serves as the "theme" setter in the bathroom... 

Ultimately, I'm calling the theme of the bathroom "old".  I want stuff that looks old... which doesn't necessary mean it's antique because it doesn't have to BE old as much as it has to LOOK old, and when I've Googled "vintage" for decorations, it doesn't seem to be old enough.

So, as I've been Googling stuff tonight, here are some ideas I've come up with...

Globe, Clock, Key, Jacks, Tricycle, Bottles
I'll probably go ahead and throw in a candle here or there, just to soften things up, but overall I think I now have my inspiration!!!  Now I just have to find stuff...

Any other ideas for me??  I'm still taking suggestions and once I get the house decorated, I can start showing you what we've done so far... hopefully that will create a little extra motivation to voice your opinion  :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wedding Wednesday

There are definitely some things we would have done differently with our wedding if we would have had all the money in the world.  Don't get me wrong... I loved my wedding... with every element I added, I could picture how it would look and when it all came together, it was exactly how I pictured it, but if I would have had an unlimited budget, this is what my wedding would have looked like.

so enchanting
It would have been a HUGE tent for all of our guests, but how amazing is this picture?  I especially love the fact that the chairs are clear acrylic so they don't get in the way of seeing the beautiful tables.

You can check out all of my Wedding Wednesday pins on my Wedding Wednesday Pinterest Board!

Happy Hump Day!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekend Recap

I'm feeling extra lazy to start the week, which is pretty ridiculous because I didn't do a whole lot this weekend.

I had to get some more yarn for a baby blanket that I'm crocheting, but we went to Hobby Lobby (which is closer than Michael's and Joann's) and they didn't have the right yarn.  We did explore the store for a good amount of time and look at some of their decorative "stuff".

We have these shelves in our half bathroom, and J is tired of them being empty.

I'd like to put something on them, too... I just can't commit to anything because I don't know where to start!

One of the semi-DIYs in our house is the mirror that is in that same half bath.  It was my Grandma's and it was GOLD.  I decided I wanted it and when I got it, I painted it a burnt orange-ish color.  The accents in the bathroom (light fixture that you can't see and the towel ring that you can see in this pic) are obviously a dark metal, and if/when we do an update in this bathroom, we'll put in a pedestal sink with the dark metal faucet.  So I feel like the "theme" of the bathroom is "vintage" if I had to label it.


So, we walked around Hobby Lobby and didn't buy anything, despite some really cool stuff being 66% off. Then we walked next door to Kroger and looked at their flowers.  Some of the stuff we planted is not doing well, so we are going to need to replace it... it makes me sad every time I see it.

We decided we'd wait until next weekend when there will probably be Memorial Day sales.

Saturday night we went out for a friend's Birthday.  It was so fun and we went to fun places in Bloomington that I'd never been... martini anyone??

Sunday brought a lot of sleeping in (I have no idea when the last time was that I was out so late), a lot of time on the couch and a lot of Harry Potter on ABC Family.  It was a good Sunday for my level of energy, but it pretty much felt like we wasted the weekend.

Maybe that means next weekend will be more productive!!!

Have a great week!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wedding Wednesday

Although this picture has a really vintage feel, I think this is a great photo idea for anyone having an outdoor wedding.  One of those things that should be on EVERY bride's wedding day checklist is PRETTY HANGERS.  It could make or break your dress pictures... I know this because I forgot mine  : (

Amazing bridesmaids' dress picture!
You can check out all of my Wedding Wednesday pins on my Wedding Wednesday Pinterest Board!

Happy Hump Day!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day DIY

Happy Tuesday everyone!

I hope your week has started well and that you all had a great weekend!

J and I went up to visit my parents this past weekend and celebrate J's Birthday.  We took Friday off and spent the morning just bumming around the house before we got up and went to lunch and then my mom and I went to the hotel that I was considering for my cousin's shower in late June.

I absolutely loved the room at the hotel and went ahead and signed the agreement while I was there... we have a place and a time... now I just have to finish up the invitations and get them out!

On Friday night, we went to a Tin Caps (minor league) baseball game with some friends and family and it was a great night to be at the ballpark!  So great that I forgot to take picture  :(

J got up early the next day to go run a race and then we all went to watch my cousin play baseball.  He's a sophomore and some of my favorite summer memories have come from evenings watching him play baseball... I can't believe how old he's getting!!!

So after the baseball game, my mom and I went shopping... New York & Co. was having a 50% off sale and we don't have one here in Bloomington, so I had to take advantage.  Then we went to dinner to celebrate J's Birthday/Mother's Day with my Aunt and Uncle.  J picked the restaurant because it's got the best cheesecake ever  :-D

Sunday was another day to just be around the house.  My mom had a whole bunch of flowers left at her house from my wedding (we used silk) and I told her a while back that we were going to make wreaths with them, so we finally did!  I was inspired by the lastingwreaths shop on Etsy...

Hydrangea Wreath
Here's the step by step so you can make your own...

Here's what you need

  • A grapevine wreath
  • Silk flowers - I used two different colors/kinds hydrangeas
  • A wooden letter (first letter of your last name, probably) painted to compliment the flowers
  • Skinny floral wire (any color)
  • Thicker floral wire that looks like grapevine
  • Hot glue gun with glue sticks
  • Wire cutters
Get with your wreath

Your flowers, which I actually just pulled off the stems, but that you should cut to leave about 1"-1.5" of stem below the flower you do not have the option to pull them off the top.

And your letter, already painted.

Start by setting your "anchoring" flowers... the ones that mark the top and bottom of your flower sections.  From there, I also marked my center flower so that I knew how I would divide my other flowers.

As you are putting the flowers in, really push them in to the wreath... the wreath and the flowers are pretty tough so it should not mess anything up.  You'll also want to set the location of your letter at this time.

Once you have the anchoring flowers in place, you can fill in with your other flowers

Once you have your wreath how you want it, you can start attaching.  I started with my letter...

I crisscrossed the skinny floral wire around the letter and the wreath and attached it at the back. 

Because I only had green floral ribbon, I also painted it to match my letter.

Then I moved on to my flowers.  I got going with my glue gun and completely forgot to take pictures of the glue on the flowers, but basically you want to put a pretty good amount of glue right about where the red arrow is.  If you have flowers that go all the way through to the back of the wreath (where you can see them when the wreath is flipped over) you can also fill in some glue on the back to both hold the flower in, and to protect your door from being scratched by the wire/stem of the flower.

Once I had all of my flowers attached, I made a loop that I could hang it from and attached

Here's the finished product!!

I love how the flowers pop on the door... I'm excited to leave this one up throughout the summer!

Have a great week... I'll be at a conference up in Michigan for the next few days.

Wedding Wednesday tomorrow!

Friday, May 11, 2012


Happy Birthday to my bestest friend... my husband!

Mexico, 2009 (my fav picture of J)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Last Night's Dinner


So, last night, J and I had Chicken Rollatini Stuffed with Zucchini and Mozzarella from

If you are looking for a healthy dinner with AMAZING flavor, I would definitely check this out!!! It's not the easiest meal to make, but the little bit of extra work and effort is WELL worth it.  I found the recipe a little confusing, but in the end, the meal tasted great so ultimately I don't think we messed anything up  :-D

I absolutely love every one of Gina's recipes I've had so far, and this website has been a lifesaver throughout my (nearly) 3 months on Weight Watchers because she has everything categorized and all the points counted for you!!  This has instantly become one of my most favorite recipes and I will definitely make it again!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Wedding Wednesday

Although my initial thought is that this look would be PERFECT for a winter bride who wants to stay FAR away from the "Christmas Wedding" look, I feel like something as beautiful as a peacock should be shared all the time.    I love the rich colors that come with a peacock and I feel like it's something that you can make dramatic without overdoing it.  If you're someone who wants your bridesmaids in different colors, there are so many options in a peacock feather, that could all be brought together with some great accessories like these.  I also love them on the lapel of the groomsmen for a less traditional boutineer.

peacock is awesome!
You can check out all of my Wedding Wednesday pins on my Wedding Wednesday Pinterest Board!

Happy Hump Day!!!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Menu Monday

After a week of carbo loading (and upset stomachs) last week, I'm back on Weight Watchers for that remainder of May.  We got a grill last month and the weather has been great so it's great to be able to throw some stuff on the grill for dinner!!  Work is also settling down a little this week (I only have to really work late once this week) so I'm looking forward to getting back in the kitchen and cooking.

Monday - Turkey Spinach Salad

Spinach, Red Onion, Avacado, Turkey (lunch meat), cherry tomatoes, and a little bit of dressing... great salad!

Tuesday - Steak, Sweet Potato, Corn on the grill

Wednesday - Chicken Rollatini with Zucchini and Mozzarella from

Thursday - ???

We are heading up to my parents' house on Thursday after work so we'll find something

Friday - Ball Park Food 
At the Fort Wayne Tin Caps game for J's Birthday

What's on your menu this week??

Sunday, May 06, 2012

My First Half Marathon

Well, it's Sunday and I'm laying on the couch because my legs scream at me when I tell them to move.  Most people would think that sounds like a horrible thing, but to me, it means that I completed a goal... it means that I was successful... it means that I ran my first half marathon.

We left work early on Friday and went up to Indianapolis.  We went and got lunch at a cute little sushi place and then went to the hotel.  J opened up the curtains and his reaction was "WHOA!"... we were at the Sheraton City Center Hotel and this was our view

Monument Circle
I took a nap while we waiting for J's friends to arrive from Minnesota and then when they got there, we headed out to pick up our race packets and get some dinner.

Entrance to the Expo

My race number... yikes!!

J and his friends with an Indy car

See YOU at the start line  :)
We ended up going back to the hotel room for a little while and then headed to Bella Vita Restaurant in Circle Center Mall for dinner.  It was really great and we were so hungry that I forgot to take a picture of dinner before we ate, but I do have this...

When we got back to the hotel, it was kind of warm in our room, even though we had turned the temp WAY down between check in and dinner.  J called down to the front desk and they said they'd have the engineer come and check it out.  The phone rang again a little while later and J talked to someone who said that the whole hotel was having issues and they had run out of fans.  They offered to bring us some ice cream and some cold water, which we did not really need since we had plenty of water in our room, and then they told us that they would be comping our room and our parking.

YEP, you heard (read?) me right... we did not pay for our room.  Talk about customer service.  We didn't even have to ask for it... they just did it for us.  I will absolutely be staying a Sheraton Hotels whenever I can from now on... they certainly left an impression on us!  One more picture before bed...

I woke up about a billion times on Friday night/Saturday morning... it felt like I would sleep for about 10 minutes and then wake up again.  NOT a good night sleep before race day.  6:00 am felt really early, but J and I went down and grabbed some breakfast and got ready and it was time to go.

Quick picture before we left.

J and his friends were a few corrals ahead of me, so they dropped me and went up closer to the start line where the fast people start  :)

The race started and I felt pretty good.  I knew that it was going to get hot so I made sure and got water all along the way.  My miles started a little slow, but nothing that was making me frustrated, and still a pace that would get me in well below my goal of finishing below 2:30:00.

Here's the course we ran...

Indy Motor Speedway was BY FAR my favorite part of the course.  I felt great on the track and I think that's where I ran my fastest miles.  As we exited the track, I started to get tired.  I had a couple gels so I had those at around the 15K mark (9.3 miles) and from there to 11 was when the sun started to come out and it got hot.  I thought about taking a break and walking for a little while, but I knew that if I stopped, I'd never get started again, so I just pressed on and kept running.  

I started to get nervous between miles 11 and 12, probably because that's the furthest I'd ever run before, and it was getting REALLY hot at that point.  I tried to eat my other gel, but I just wasn't feeling it so I only had about half of it.  I got to the last pit stop at mile 12 and knew the last mile was going to be rough.  I grabbed 2 cups of water, drank one and dumped one on my head.  I turned a corner, got to the top of the hill on the bridge over the White River and there it was... the finish line.

What a deception!!!  I was running, but the finish line was not getting any closer.  I tried to get to the outside of the road where there was some shade and I just kept running.  I saw the 13 mile marker and I was less than one minute away from finishing my first half marathon!  I crossed the finish line and started to walk and it was miserable  :)

I grabbed a bottle of water, a banana, a fruit snack, and a cookie and tried to get away from the crowd.  I finally got to the guys and I was exhausted, but felt great all at the same time!

Post race photo - minus one who was finished way before me

2 hours, 18 minutes and 18 seconds after I started, I was done... and now I have this

And after showers and packing, we headed back to B-Town where we went to Nick's (a local fav) where we celebrated with breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches and a toast...

Happy Mini Marathon/Cinco de Mayo!!!