Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: Our First Anniversary!


Hi everyone! 
I'm joining Macy & Meg's Wedding Wednesday linkup for the first time!

Not gonna lie, this is a very long post.
I'm going to recap a bunch with a ton of photos (including collages I made for previous posts) and then I offer a few words of "wisdom" to future brides.
You were warned!!

I know, I know, if you're a regular reader then I am aware of how sick you are of my wedding posts.

However, a couple of my girlfriends told me they actually miss my wedding posts and suggested that I write one last one to commemorate the Big Day on our anniversary. Well, Sunday was our first anniversary so here we are! Any excuse for me to share the details of the best day of my life, amIright?

April 26, 2014:

April 26, 2015:

So where do I start?
With Andrew's incredible proposal and surprise engagement party on November 9, 2012?

With the special dress shopping weekend in Chicago with 9 of my nearest and dearest in tow?
What about some of the details, like how I wore Andrew's family's veil or our baseball guest book or our music choices?

Maybe the Ladies Luncheon or the Rehearsal Dinner?

Oh you just want to hear about the Day?
Sure, I can do that, too. Happy to oblige.

Let's start with the gals getting ready. We had such a great time sipping mimosas and getting pretty.

Moving on to the ceremony, at my childhood church in my hometown. It was the week after Easter so we were lucky to have the entire altar covered in flowers. It was perfect!

The day itself was beautiful. The weather was so lovely! After the ceremony we went around my hometown of Lancaster, Ohio to some of my favorite locations to snap some photos.

More of the family veil, too:

Then we took photos around our reception venue at The Athletic Club of Columbus. We even sneaked a few photos in the gorgeous windows while the guests cocktailed and mingled.

Our entrances were pretty fantastic and our first dance was darling, if I do say so myself.

The speeches were so touching and funny. Top that with delicious food and cake and we were in Heaven!

The dance with my dad was incredible. We waltzed until I gave up pretending I knew what I was doing. Then I just hugged him. Makes me tear up thinking about it.

The reception hit its crescendo with a flash mob! Not even kidding, my sister and sister-in-law orchestrated a flash mob for me! Read the story HERE. This was the reason we hired a videographer last minute! I'm so so so thankful! I have the video cued up on my phone and I watch it whenever I need a little pick-me-up. One of my happiest memories for sure!

To wrap it all up, my Mother-in-Law coordinated a send-off, with glow sticks and a pedicab ride around Columbus!

Here is a quick glimpse of our day (except the flash mob isn't in it! Want to see that video? Click here!)

Andrew and Mary April 26, 2014 from Eye on the World Productions on Vimeo.

The next day we partied with my side of the family and then Andrew and I were off to Costa Rica for our honeymoon!

Take us back! Please take us back!!!

OK, for all of the future brides...if you're still reading (sorry this is super long!), I have some words of "wisdom" to keep in mind as you prepare for your day:
1) You're going to stress at some point. Just roll with it. It will all work out. Example: I didn't lose as much weight as I wanted, but guess what? I looked pretty darn good and I know when I'm old I'll be thankful.
2) Something may not work out the way as planned, but it will be fine. Example: the bridesmaid bouquets were, in a word, heinous. They were honestly nothing like what I wanted. Thankfully the colors worked well, my bouquet was stunning and the reception flowers were great. Can't win 'em all!
3) Family is awesome. I can't even express the gratitude I continue to feel for the outpouring of love. 
4) My parents were always right. I guess those are not words of wisdom, but if you're weighing decisions, just go with your mom's choice. It will be perfect.
5) Make sure you take a chance to step back and take it all in. There were moments leading up to the day and the day itself where I stopped what I was doing, prayed and flashed happy memories in my mind. It helps with perspective. Example: Andrew and I snuck away from the dance floor for about ten minutes to enjoy our delicious cake. It was quieter and we sat down. It was awesome. 
6) At the end of the day you'll be married, with the one who completes you. I love Andrew. He really is the best. I try to avoid getting mushy on my blog, but I will say this: every day is better than the last because Andrew is part of it.

Well this was super fun! I hope anything I wrote helps the future brides even just a little bit!
Would you like to read more of my Wedding Wednesday posts? 
Here are the big ones:

Photos from Starling Studio: website | Facebook
Video by Curt Good/Eye on the World Productions: Facebook

Thanks for reading!
Have a good one! 

Also joining Meg's linkup!
Mingle 240

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Work it Out Wednesday: Week 26

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Hi gang!

How's everyone doing this week?

I started the 21 Day Fix two weeks ago and while I'm not very good at following it religiously, I am seeing a lot of benefits from it. I'll do a recap if you're interested!

Even though I snacked a little and ate a sandwich last week, I have steered clear from alcohol, pop and desserts for more than two weeks. Also, and this is a big one, I did not participate in the endless free beer and pizza on Friday with my co-workers. It was such a beautiful day and we ate on the patio of a fun restaurant, but I had salad and soda water. That's it. I am still patting myself on the back for that one.

This morning on 21 Day Fix was leg day. I love leg day. Then I remembered that I didn't do a workout for the blog this week so I found some arm exercises. Check this out, gang! It's a doozy!

Weekly disclaimer:
Remember what I said about my lack of qualifications? Please keep in mind that I am aware that I am chubby and have no fitness/nutrition authority. I'm just trying to spread some wellness love as I fight the battle to live well myself.

Weekly Workout:


How I made it harder: Considering I already did my official workout of the day, I didn't add anything to this. My neck and shoulders started to really hurt during this so I only did one round (I have neck/shoulder issues, so it's just me. It's an awesome workout).
Overall impression: Difficult after another workout. Arm day was yesterday, too, so I was a little sore.
Sweat factor (on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is when I look like I just got out of the shower): Only about a 3, which isn't saying much considering I did a leg workout before this.
How I felt when it was over: So exhausted!
Would I do it again? Absolutely! I will definitely plan better next time, though.

Weekly recipes:
I have three for you this week! All tried and true!


This Mustard Herb Crusted Chicken was delicious!


These are pretty good! I wish I had a food processor, though. The blender and immersion blender couldn't quite cut the dates and nuts. Oh well. Worth a shot!

This is THE BEST, no guilt smoothie of all time!

Is your mouth watering yet??

Weekly Motivation: 

I personally need to remember this, so I made a cute image:

Even though I don't eat perfectly healthy 100% of the time, and even though I'm not melting away the pounds like many people with more discipline can, I am making progress. I'd say I've made great strides toward a healthier lifestyle so far in 2015, so I need to consistently remind myself that I am not a fat failure!

Weekly workout sass:


Have a good one!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Little Bit of Class Tuesday

I'm in the mood for some classy inspiration and thought I'd share my latest finds. 








And finally, a little quote I adapted:

Have a good one!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Lot of Lilly Love: A Tale of Two Targets

 Well I sure am a dedicated fan, that's for sure.

Gang, I'm tired. I don't know how anyone does Black Friday every year. It's simply not for me. I feel so ridiculous for being part of this experience, but here I am to tell the tale.

Let me paint a picture.
A colorful picture, mind you, but I wouldn't call it art.

When the Lilly Pulitzer for Target line was announced I was SO excited. I don't own anything from the beautiful, beachy line. It's simply too expensive for me to justify and the dresses I want (and there are many) very rarely, if ever, go on sale. The chance for me to obtain these pastel prints were in sight.

Little did I know the fight I would encounter first.

I did my research and was prepared. I was stoked on Saturday night waiting for midnight CST for the line to go live. Then I got on Twitter and the #LillyForTarget for the fun conversations I was sure to encounter.

Strangely, I saw links to products on the Target mobile site from influential bloggers. One after the other. Nothing was live on the site and people kept tweeting what they bought.

It was absolute mayhem and I was so stressed.

I downloaded the Target app, I went on the mobile site, I Googled the products to have them cued up for when it went live. At this point I was certain I wouldn't get anything. All of my planning came down to this?!?! I was more than annoyed. Soon the site crashed and everyone, even Kristen Davis, had issues. Target's President tweeted and said everything would go live at 2 am CST. I appreciated that he let us know, but still. I was so miffed that a select few people got products before the rest of us.

I wrestled with staying awake. I smacked myself for getting caught up in this frenzy of materialism. But I also put in this much effort, I might as well give it another go.

And so I waited.

Over the course of the next 90 minutes I flipped between my book and the Twitter feed. Ten minutes before it was supposed to go live on the site it started to go live on the app and on the mobile site.

The race was on.

I added things to my cart. It was deleted.

I added again. Spinning wheel of death.

I added on the app. Froze my phone.

Finally, the site flood gates opened, and I jumped on my quick opportunity to score some items. I was lucky to get three that were online-only items: the gold espadrilles, the one-piece suit and its matching scarf. Was I excited? Sure! Was I satisfied. Nope. I had my eye on dresses and I had to give it a shot at the store.

I was so jazzed that I couldn't fall asleep until 3am.

The Target a couple blocks from me (I know, so dangerous) opened at 8am. I woke up around 6:45. Woof.

I met my co-worker, who arrived before me. The line wasn't too long at this point, but the area went SILENT as I went to say hello. It was awkward. I wonder what would have happened had I actually cut in line, but I didn't take that chance. I assured everyone I'd get in my place at the end of the line. I hustled to it because the crowd was growing.

Luckily everyone was friendly (especially after I didn't cut in line). I was impressed by the store: they had security, they only opened one door, they described where all of the products were on the floor, they only allowed us to use the escalator single-file up to the store and they said that if anyone ran they would be asked to leave. They knew what they were doing. Bravo, West Loop Target. You kept the peace. Ridiculous that you had to, but still. Bravo.

Before I knew it, 8am was upon us and the race was on again.

My co-worker grabbed stuff for me, we met up and walked rather swiftly to the home goods. She kept going and I paused to get a couple dresses for my niece. Within five minutes virtually everything was gone. We assessed our loot and instead of replacing the items we announced to anyone walking by that we didn't want a couple of things. Women nearby instantly took them.

We were finished and out the door by 8:10 am.

I'm happy that what I bought for myself fit and I'm pumped for my shipment to arrive. I'm hoping the two dresses will fit my niece, too. I've seen so many things on eBay already and it's pretty nuts. So many people got worked up about it and I am ashamed to say I was one of them! It's so easy to get caught up in the hype.

Oh I should probably show you what I bought, huh? ;)

Shift Dress
Toddler Maxi
One-piece swimsuit
Gold espadrilles
Toddler Romper
Needless to say, I won't be shopping for myself anytime soon and I certainly won't be a Black Friday regular in the future. This was a little bit much for me, but I can't wait to sport these colorful, preppy prints on sunny days this spring and summer.

Accompanied with curls and pearls, too.

What about you? Did you buy into the hype? What did you get?

Have a good one!

Joining Meg's link-up!
Mingle 240

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Work it Out Wednesday: Week 25

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Hi gang!

How's everyone doing this week?

I started the 21 Day Fix last Monday and so far it's going really well! Honestly it's been tough to say "no" to the free delicious food at my office as well as the treats I encountered at a shower on Saturday, but I'm happy to say I did it! Small victories, right?

(I say that as I caved and ate some pretzels during writing this Monday night. Ugh. I'm weak!)

I did a quick little workout in addition to my 21 Day Fix workouts for you Monday night (pre-pretzels). I strangely had extra energy after work on Monday (miracles DO happen, folks!) so I did the 10-minute ab 21 Day Fix workout followed by a HIIT addition to the workout I did in the morning. Whew!

Weekly disclaimer:
Remember what I said about my lack of qualifications? Please keep in mind that I am aware that I am chubby and have no fitness/nutrition authority. I'm just trying to spread some wellness love as I fight the battle to live well myself.

Weekly Workout:


How I made it harder: Considering I already did my official workout of the day, I didn't add anything to this.
Overall impression: It was over before I knew it, which is always a plus. However, those mountain climbers were brutal...but when aren't they??
Sweat factor (on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is when I look like I just got out of the shower): Only about a 3, which isn't saying much considering I did an ab workout before this.
How I felt when it was over: Proud I did this in addition to my daily workout.
Would I do it again? Absolutely! It's perfect for traveling or for a quick pick-me-up!

Weekly recipe:


Super excited to make this General Tso's Chicken recipe from the beachbody site. Hard to believe this is healthy, isn't it?

Weekly Motivation: 
Please watch!!


I relate to this new Better For It campaign so much! I love it!

Also, here's one from my page from my Motivational Monday post:

Weekly workout sass (the newest in my collection of Teddy adaptations):

Have a good one!