Monday, April 30, 2012

Misc. Monday

Happy Monday ladies! Its been ages since I've linked up for Misc. Monday but I thought I'd give it a whirl this week. How was everyone's weekend? Mine was the perfect combination of restful and fun - which is exactly what I needed.

I don't know if I mentioned that standardized testing is going on right now. My school is K-8 so it will be going on for the next three weeks as well. This really wore me down last week because I lost all my preps (including my lunch on two days.) This has been especially hard this year because my school is extended day and it just makes the day so long (for me and the kids.) At least by the time it is all finished, there will only be a month left of school! This year has really flown by - I can't believe it is almost over!

On Thursday I organized a happy hour meetup for alumni of my sorority (Kappa Kappa Gamma, if you were curious) in Hoboken. I'm a member of the NYC alumni association but I was hoping to find some Kappas living in Hoboken as well. It was a great time - nine girls came and we had so much fun. Several of them have just moved to the area as well so this was a great opportunity for us to meet some new girlfriends.

Corey sent me flowers just because on Friday. They are absolutely gorgeous and really got my weekend off to a good start. I was in a sour mood on Friday because the valet in our building backed my car into a wall and I'd been steaming about their "we assume no responsibility to damaged bumpers" policy all day. This surprise was such a mood lifter - especially because I thought it was the Grimaldi's pizza delivery person at the door when I went to answer it.

I took a vinyasa yoga class yesterday morning. I used to take yoga twice a week and have gotten out of it recently because the evening classes are at 7:30 and I prefer to work out immediately when I get home from work. Well...I will definitely be making this part of my weekly routine. I felt so much better afterwards.

Has anyone tried the barre or Vbarre classes? My gym is offering Vbarre demos this week and I am super excited. I managed to squeeze my way into one of the 6pm classes and am excited to see what they are all about. Vbarre is a combo of ballet and pilates with its main focus being to tone and define the body, which is exactly what I need to do for the wedding. I'm still being tortured by the personal trainer but it never hurts to add something new into the mix.

I got a haircut on Saturday. I'd been going to one of Elle magazine's top 100 salons and had been very happy with my haircuts. However, the salon closed for renovations in January, which I didn't know until February when I called to confirm my pre-scheduled appointment and got their machine. I waited super patiently for two months even though I like to be on a strict every eight weeks schedule. Finally, I gave up and tried a new salon over the weekend and it was marvelous. They give great scalp massages, make coffee or an alcoholic bevie for you, then rub your neck and back while you drink it before getting down to the haircut. My stylist was super knowledgeable and I'm loving the cut. I took off about two inches and my hair feels so much healthier. I think we're going to have a very long, happy relationship as long as I'm in Hoboken. If you're in the area and looking for a stylist, make sure to go to Mad One Jacks.

Last Sunday I got a French mani/pedi and the mani just started chipping on Friday. Can you believe it? I have never had a french mani last so long.  Even though it is still cold here and I'm still wearing a jacket every.single.day, I switched my polish to Essie's Cute as a Button yesterday. Maybe this springy, warm weather color will bring about some springy, warm weather?

Hope everyone's week is getting off to a fabulous start! Happy Monday, lovelies!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Product Must Have: Macadamia Natural Oil

I have super baby-fine hair. What that can sometimes equate too is a lot of breakage and damaged ends, especially now that my hair is getting so long. About six months ago, I was introduced to Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque. Now, it is one of my favorite products ever!

I use a dab about the size of a quarter twice a week. As soon as I get in the shower, I shampoo then condition with my regular products. Then, I apply a small amount of Macadamia Natural Oil and comb it through with my fingers. I let it sit for 5-7 minutes while I shave my legs and finish my shower routine. Then, I rinse it out with cool but not cold water. Did you know that ending a shower with a few seconds of cool water helps close the hair follicles and in turn helps prevent damage? The same is true for a quick shot of cold air from your dryer after you blow dry or straighten your hair.

This product has made such a difference in my hair. It feels extra soft for days after I use it and I have noticed a huge difference in my hair health. A jar is priced at around $30 but will last you forever. Ulta also sells a sample size that has enough product to use 2-3 times so you can try it out! It is absolutely a must-have for healthy hair!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bridal Talk Tuesday - Menu

Life with Elizabeth
Happy Bridal Talk Tuesday girls!

109 days to go! Wow! Today for BTT we will be discussing the menu. I mentioned a couple weeks ago that Corey, my mom, Cortenay (our wedding planner), and I visited the Ballantyne Hotel in Charlotte for our menu tasting.

Originally, Corey and I thought we wanted to have a buffet dinner to keep the meal more casual and allow our friends to mingle. We also considered stations. But then something just didn't seem right when thinking about the tone of our wedding - everything else felt much more formal, which was just the way I wanted it. The thick champagne table linens, the lush floral centerpieces, the floor length bridesmaids dresses. My taste. ;) So when it came time to choose a package from our venue and then choose menu items to sample at our tasting, Corey and I chose to go with a plated dinner option. And I am so excited! I think it was absolutely the right choice for us and our wedding.
Corey and I sampled eight hors d'oeuvres and we have chosen five of them to be served during our cocktail hour. The hors d'oeuvres we sampled were:

  • fresh fruit brochettes
  • pear and brie in a phyllo purse
  • bruschetta
  • sesame crossini wrapped with kobe beef carpaccio shooter with dipping sauce
  • vegetables crudites shooter with ranch
  • mini crab cakes
  • roasted potato medallions
  • steak au poivre and mushroom brochettes

Of course, I can't tell you which ones we chose. TBA August 2012 ;)

We also sampled three entrees.



And several starch (potatoes au gratin, olive oil smashed potato cake, herb whipped potato) sand vegetable accompaniments (broccolini with roasted Roma tomatoes, ratatouille stuffed tomato, and julienned vegetables).

Yum, yum, yum! I left the tasting super full and I know our guests will love the dinner we have chosen.

Link up any wedding planning related post and then link back to Life with Elizabeth to join in on the bridal talk!

Friday, April 20, 2012

TGIF!!

I am so happy that today is Friday! I'm sure most of you are in agreement. That case of the "Monday's" I talked about earlier in the week continued on all week.

I've been in a funk all week this week. I'm thinking maybe it's because our routine has been off. We didn't do the errands that we normally get done on weekends. I always make sure the apartment is sparkling clean, my clothes are washed and put away, and we both make a big run to the grocery store together to plan out meals for the week. This week, I only surface cleaned the apartment, I've been pulling my clothes out of the dryer all week (where they've been since Sunday), and Corey made a quick run to the grocery store on our block just to get the essentials. I really feel like not getting my usual chores done this week has caused a chain reaction where I've felt frazzled and exhausted all week long! Do any of you ever feel that way?

Last night, Corey had a golf lesson so I stopped by my favorite boutique where my friend now works, then picked up fro-yo ob the way home. This is my absolute favorite treat - I love the tart original with fresh fruit and honey and sometimes a scoop of fruity pebbles. Yum! Then I had wine and sushi for dinner and caught up on some of the shows I've DVR'd. (Grey's, Revenge, and GCB in case you were wondering.)

Tonight after work, I'm headed to the gym then Corey and I are going to dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Its BYOB so we'll be bringing a bottle of Skinnygirl with us, which is sure to be a mood lifter. ;)

Happy Friday girls!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bridal Talk Tuesday - Favors

Life with Elizabeth

Happy Bridal Talk Tuesday ladies. Today's edition of BTT will be short basically just because I'm super exhausted. We finally have warm weather here in New Jersey which is good because I feel like I'm more at home and can finally change out my closet. Unfortunately, though, my school does not have air conditioning. And chasing eighteen Kindergarteners around for eight hours in an 85 degree classroom is just plain exhausting. Whew.

On our April to-do list from our wedding planner, Corey and I are supposed to make a decision about favors. We have had a really hard time deciding what we want to do with these. Our wedding planner said that only about 30% of guests will take the favors so this has caused us to think twice about how we want to spend the money allotted for them in the budget. We've thought about a couple things.

1. Stemless wine glasses that say "Eat, Drink, and be Married" with our names and the date. I like these because they are something that guests can keep and for most of our friends - pretty practical. ;)


2. We've talked about making a donation to the American Cancer Society in the name of our guests and then just providing a small favor - like a small box filled with chocolates or m&m's or a personalized cookie.



3. We've also talked about skipping the traditional favors in favor of a dessert buffet or late night milk and cookies snack.


This is something we just can't decide on. Thoughts?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday, Monday

I'm having a case of the Mondays today. Basically, the only thing that got me out the door to work was that it was finally warm enough to wear my Jacks to work, which lifted my spirits but also saved me from having to search for gray socks.

I have a new personal trainer to help me get ready for the wedding. He reminds me a lot of the trainer I had when I was competing in pageants in that he's not satisfied until I'm nauseous. That's how I like my trainers though - I need them to push me. And push me he did - my abs and butt and arms and legs have been sore for a week and a half.

Corey and I went to Dylan Prime, one of our favorite steakhouses, in TriBeCa on Friday. It was delicious as usual. Corey had their French onion soup which is the best I've ever had and I started with the house salad which has a delicious creamy vinegarette dressing. With our steaks, we had parmesan and pancetta broccoli rabe and truffle lobster macaroni and cheese. Oh my goodness, the macaroni and cheese was out of this world amazing. Yum!
Saturday, I was tortured by the personal trainer and then we headed to the meatpacking district to the Standard Biergarten, which was super fun. We had dinner back in Hoboken and ate outside by the waterfront (I love that!) and saw The Hunger Games. Wow - what a powerful movie! I haven't read the book yet but will definitely be checking it out.

I wore short sleeves (top by Anthropologie) which it's been too cold to do at night and I was having a really good hair poof day (see below.)

Yesterday, I was once again tortured by the personal trainer and then by Corey when he made me walk to the mall instead of taking the train. I painted my nails last night, A Crewed Interest by Essie, and am loving the cute peach color.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bridal Talk Tuesday - The Cake Dilemma

Life with Elizabeth
Happy Bridal Talk Tuesday ladies! I'm writing this Monday night as I usually do with my posts - I always draft them the night before because I can't bring myself to log onto my computer at 5:00 am when I'm getting ready for work. So it is actually Monday, April 9. This is super significant for Bridal Talk Tuesday because exactly one year ago at about 11:45 pm...

This sweet man

put this perfect ring

on my finger and asked me the question I'd been dreaming about since I was a little girl. And I said, "Yes, of course!" And we've been living happily ever after since then - while planning the wedding of the year, of course. If you weren't a follower way back then, you can click right here to check out our engagement story.

Its hard to believe we've been engaged a whole year. It doesn't seem possible that it has been that long but of course we were very busy - Corey with his new job, me with my master's, both of us with the move to the new apartment, then me with my new job. Only four more months to go! Wow!

We accomplished so much during our wedding planning trip last week and I feel so much better to have crossed six or seven items off the to-do list. The one thing that is still giving me enormous anxiety is the cake. Cake Lady Jill of Charlotte is doing our cake and she is so talented and sweet as can be. The cakes we tasted were amazing and her design portfolio is stunning. I'm 100% confident with the flavors we chose for our layers. What I'm not confident about is the design. I can't decide what I want!
{via Google images}

I thought I wanted this cake for a long time. I've had it saved in my wedding folder on my computer for ages - even before I ever had Pinterest! What I love about it is how classic and timeless it is. But at the same time that is the draw back. I love wedding cakes and I don't know that it is unique enough.


Then I saw this cake on Pinterest. Oh my goodness - I love how elegant it is. I love the pearls. We could do this cake in a couple different ways. We could do a blush shimmer buttercream with ivory pearls and natural flowers (I don't like gumpaste, personally) or we could do ivory buttercream with ivory shimmer pearls (like as pictured) with natural flowers more in the style of the first cake.

It is such a hard decision. Our wedding is "classic elegant" but in terms of the cake - do we go with the classic or the elegant?



Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Weekend Happenings

Happy Monday girls! I hope everyone had a fabulous Easter weekend. Riley and I flew back to New Jersey bright and early Thursday morning after five full days of wedding planning and catching up with my family.

While I was at home, I made strawberry shortcake for dessert for my family. It was so good - and I used zested lemon when I was making the whip cream and it was fantastic. Yum!

Corey and I went to dinner with his parents Thursday evening. On Friday, we cleaned the apartment and I did some crafting. We enjoyed a relaxing night at home together. Then, on Saturday we met up with one of our couple friends for a fun dinner out with multiple bottles of wine. I wore this outfit....and boy am I glad that the weather is finally starting to get warm and I can put away the black outfits and pull out my bright colors. 

Sunday, Corey and I woke up bright and early and went on a walk around Hoboken. We took advantage of the only time there ever hasn't been a line at Carlo's and picked up a crumb cake to take with us to Corey's parents' house. We headed over to celebrate Easter with them and enjoy a delicious lunch. I wore my new Lilly Adeline dress. 

Corey's mom gave me the prettiest spring tulips in an Easter basket. I'm loving the pop of spring color in our apartment. The weather was perfect yesterday and I am so happy that spring is almost here in Hoboken. Finally!!!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bridal Talk Tuesday- Florists, decor, and tastings, oh my!

Life with Elizabeth
Happy Bridal Talk Tuesday! On Saturday, Corey, Riley, and I flew home-home to see my parents and get some wedding planning done. We have been super busy the entire time, starting from the minute our flight landed.

Saturday, we grabbed a quick lunch then headed to pick out our wedding bands. I thought this was going to be super easy but it actually took two glasses of wine and about an hour. Ha! Then, we headed to South Park mall to look for a Mother of the Bride dress for my mom. She has been a little worried about this but we were successful and found a pretty mauve/lavender chiffon dress with a beaded bodice and jacket. Perfect Mother of the Bride! We headed home and enjoyed a nice dinner out to celebrate.

Sunday after church, we headed for another quick lunch then went right back for our first of two premarital counseling sessions. I thought this was going to be a little stressful but it went super smoothly and now we are halfway finished with our sessions. We took a long walk afterwards then had a Southern barbecue dinner. Yum!

Our day Monday was completely full. We met up with our wedding planner, Cortenay, and started at 8:15 am at The Tuxedo Lady in uptown Charlotte where we picked out tuxes for Corey, the groomsmen, and our ring bearer. Then, we headed straight to Ballantyne Resort where we had a meeting about decor. We chose table linens, discussed chargers and room set up, and talked about centerpieces. From the meeting, we headed straight to our dinner and cake tasting down the hall. This was by far my favorite part!
Yummy menu for our tasting! We'll discuss this more another day!




Sneak peek at our entree choices and the options for accompaniments! We made a final decision but everything was so good that it was tough!

We met with Cake Lady Jill of Charlotte to discuss the design for our cake and taste flavors. More to come on the cake next week! Everything was delicious!

Today, I'm off to meet with a potential florist, then to my hair and make up trial, then straight to check out a rehearsal dinner venue.

Tomorrow, unfortunately, isn't nearly as fun. I have to go to the gynechologists and finish up my taxes with our accountant. Not the most exciting end to my trip! Ha!

Happy Tuesday ladies!



Sunday, April 1, 2012

Home in Carolina!

Corey, Riley and I are at home-home in South Carolina. We got in early yesterday morning and have been super busy crossing off items on our wedding to-do list and catching up with my parents and family. We are loving the warm, sunny weather (I pulled out my shorts and Jacks before leaving Hoboken) and Riley has been enjoying playing in the grass.

We've enjoyed some of our favorite Southern foods - pimento cheeseburgers, shrimp and grits, and I'm looking forward to some barbecue with my family tonight. I used to take these things for granted - now I mention pimento cheese and people just stare at me with a blank expression - ha!

This is the start of my spring break for work and I'm so happy to be spending half of it at home-home. I felt pretty sad for my kids on Friday when they were wearing puffer coats to hunt Easter eggs.

I'm excited to update y'all on all that we've accomplished for Bridal Talk Tuesday. I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend and don't forget that I have an awesome My Memories giveaway going on and the winner will receive this super fun and super easy software for free! It ends tomorrow at midnight so click on the button on the sidebar to enter right now!

xo.