Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Bridal Meltdown

Corey will attest to the fact that I've been a pretty calm bride. I've kept bridezilla at bay through the entire planning process, aside from when my sorority sister planned her wedding for the same weekend and when the box containing our flower girl's dress was stolen from the mailroom.

However, I had a complete Bridal Meltdown yesterday. I'm using caps because it was epic. I had had a pretty productive morning. I'd finalized the menu for my bridesmaids luncheon with my mom and with our venue and printed the place cards. I'd started packing for the honeymoon and gathering my outfits for wedding week. THEN, I decided to try on my rehearsal dinner dress to decide between 2 pairs of shoes. I purchased my dress in January in the size I've always worn in Lilly. I tried it on for the last time in May and it fit perfectly. Then I tried it on yesterday and it did not.

I ran downstairs to the alterations shop in our building. I use them frequently as I have to get every single pair of pants I own hemmed and he is great about doing things for me last minute and doing a great job. After pinning the dress and studying it, he didn't feel confident he could do it in time because the dress would have to be taken completely apart and he was worried about maintaining it's structure. So I changed back into my regular clothes and then as I left proceded to have the Bridal Meltdown. Ugly crying with mascara running. I called Corey who tried to console me by offering to take me shopping after work for an even better dress. Which just upset me more because I couldn't imagine wearing another dress and betraying the dress Lilly Pulitzer clearly made just for me featuring my wedding colors.

Then, I called my dad who suggested I take the next week off the gym and order a cheeseburger for lunch. Which he clearly meant as comic relief but caused me to tearfully babble about how my wedding dress fit my body now so I couldn't do that.

Then, I called my mom, who is an amazing seamstress and actually made her own wedding dress. Of course she said she would look at the dress when I get home on Monday and see what she could do. She also said she'd call our alterations lady who did all of my pageant dresses and out her on emergency standby. This made me feel a little better but will I actually get to wear the perfect Lilly dress in our wedding colors?? I don't know - I guess we'll see next week.

Bridal Talk Tuesday - Fling before the ring!

Life with Elizabeth
Happy Bridal Talk Tuesday ladies! Next week is officially "wedding week" so it seems appropriate that we discuss my bachelorette weekend in Charleston this week. I had absolutely the best time.  I had all of my besties all in one place (except Bethany who got a new job and had to move and get settled to start work immediately.) I loved spending a weekend in the South and Charleston has always been one of my favorite places. I was amazed by how inexpensive the drinks were compared to New York. $4 vodkas?!?! And it was great to get some pimento cheese, macaroni and cheese, and Southern Hospitality. 

Corey's sister, Kate, and I flew in from LaGuardia (now known as my least favorite airport) on Thursday. We arrived late afternoon, stocked up on a few supplies/Skinnygirl, and enjoyed catching up with Anna and Elizabeth. Then, we went to dinner at Magnolia's. If you're ever in Charleston, I highly recommend this restaurant. Upscale Southern cuisine and so delicious!


Then, we headed out to the bars. I used my Kindergarten teacher skills to win a game of "drunk musical chairs" and win six free shots. Then, thanks to my future sister-in-law, I was called onto the bar for some bachelorette games. I requested that Elizabeth join me. 

Starting Friday, we had a full schedule of fun, each day with a theme.

On Friday, we headed to breakfast then headed to get a group mani/pedi. I got Essie's Splash of Grenadine, which I've been wanting to try. Love!

We did a little window shopping on King Street then headed to Hyman's Seafood for a delicious lunch. Then we checked out the market and headed back to the hotel for a power nap and a happy hour. My cousin and maid of honor, Anna, made some awesome favor boxes for everyone. 


Friday night, we headed to dinner at Wild Wings, a college favorite of mine and my sorority sisters. 
Elizabeth was super excited about her $5 pitcher special.
Elizabeth love! 
 
My little, Molly, joined us. Then, my maid of honor, Elizabeth, met up with us for dinner after her after-work drive from Atlanta. Then, we headed out to another fun night on the town.

Saturday morning we headed to Folly beach to soak up a little sun.  
We were armed with our super cute "bachlorette" cups. Minor misspelling there but still adorable. 


Saturday evening, Elizabeth, my maid of honor, hosted a lingerie shower back at the hotel. 
I had a glowstick wand to indicate that I was the guest of honor. 

There were petit fors. 
And champagne.

 And games. Pin the kiss on the hunk. 
Which I failed at. :(
But not Elizabeth. 

There were gifts, which are for Corey's eyes only. Well..except for this fun gag gift. 
Which I had to try on and model immediately, over my dress of course.

 Then, the girls and I went to Social Wine Bar for a late dinner and drinks. I love tapas restaurants!

We headed out on the town again afterwards to complete a scavenger hunt. Thank you Molly for keeping up with the heart. 
 

Elizabeths

All my ladies. 

Thank you Anna and Elizabeth for hosting this fabulous weekend for me. And a big thank you to all my lovelies who traveled to celebrate with me! I had SO MUCH FUN! 




Friday, July 27, 2012

Pre-Wedding Exercise and Nutrition

Happy Friday girls! Today, we're going to discuss exercise and fitness. I've gotten a lot of comments in the past couple months asking how I've lost weight and toned up to get ready for the wedding. First, I do want to point out that I am not a nutritionist or a personal trainer or a doctor. This is just what has worked for me

Until recently, I've never had trouble staying it shape. I'm not one of those people with a fabulous metabolism and a lot of my family members have a history of struggling with their weight. I've just always been really active and have stayed pretty fit because of that. I feel like I've always been on the go - with regular workouts during college and yoga classes and of course lots of walking. About a year and a half ago, I started to gain some weight. It happened when I was traveling really frequently to visit Corey and eating lots of airport meals. I was also working in Charlotte but finishing my master's degree in Greenville, South Carolina. This meant 18 hour days and 15 hours a week in the car commuting, which made it really easy for me to make poor choices regarding my diet and also made me really tired which didn't exactly motivate me to go to the gym. 

When we got engaged, I knew I wanted things to change. I'm only planning to do this once and I want to look my very best in our wedding photos. And when I saw this picture of my butt from our engagement pictures, I knew it was time to get off my butt and back into the gym. Ha!
I read somewhere that it takes 30 days to form a habit and I definitely think this must be true. It took about a month of going to the gym every day before I got excited about working out again and it took a month of eating better before the wraps at our local health food restaurant started to taste good.  

One thing I highly recommend when trying to lose weight is hiring a personal trainer to work with you weekly for at least the first month. Personal trainers are super expensive but if you can make it work financially, it is an investment that will pay off. I think its necessary to meet with them at least once a week to monitor your progress and they really help motivate you because they generally push you harder than you're willing to push yourself. And you learn new exercises you can later do on your own!

Here's a look at what my summer workout routine looks like. Keep in mind that I've been able to step it up a little because I am off work and because it is crunch time before the wedding. 
My workout routine is very cardio heavy. Weight training and exercises like lunges and crunches are necessary for overall strength and for toning your body but cardio is really the only way to knock off the pounds. I like to take classes because they are fun and motivating and there are some really great ones that combine exercises to tone your body with intense cardio. vBarre, zumba, and Power Yoga are great examples.

I also like to add a little choice to my workout so that if one day I don't really feel like doing Zumba, then I can just go on a long walk with Riley instead. Its important to give yourself rest days. I don't schedule "off" days into my workout routine but I don't feel guilty if something comes up either. For example, if a faculty meeting runs over at work and I get home late then I think its ok to take a day off from the gym. Or if we're traveling or have something planned with friends that takes the whole day. 

I wish it weren't the case as I'm a lover of food (its my Southern heritage) but weight is not lost in the gym alone. Making a significant change in my weight also meant making a significant change in my diet. I have to say I feel so much healthier now that I've been eating better for the past several months. That doesn't mean that I instantly loved grilled chicken and spinach wraps. It took some getting used to - remember it takes 30 days to form a habit?

I think the number one consideration in diet and nutrition is portion control. I was raised not to be wasteful so I've always struggled with not finishing what was on my plate. Its taken practice to realize that its ok to take my leftovers home from a restaurant or even to let them be thrown out. 

I recently watched something on tv that shared the calorie content in popular restaurant salads, which was insane. Anything you make at home will be more healthy than what you eat out so I always try to look for healthy recipes from Cooking Light and on blogs. One of my favorites is Eat Yourself Skinny, which is great because she shares the calorie content of each recipe. 

I don't think its necessary to go on a crazy restrictive diet to lose weight. I think its just necessary to make choices that are slightly more healthy without denying yourself all the things you love. Here are some of my favorites for meals and snacks:
I eat breakfast around 7:00, a small snack around 10:00 if I'm hungry, lunch around noon, another snack at 3:00, and we usually eat dinner between 7:30 and 8:00. Weekends are always fair game for us because Corey and I both love to go out to eat and try new restaurants in the city.  My one guilty pleasure that I can't deny:

Frozen yogurt. The original tart flavor with fresh fruit, fruity pebbles, and a little honey.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lately!

Lately, time has just been flying by as we prepare all the last minute items for the wedding. I find myself super busy everyday getting things finished but I am so excited. Just 16 days away! Despite all the work we've been putting in lately, we've had time for some fun, too. 
Corey sent me these pretty flowers on July 11 to celebrate that in exactly one month we would be married. I got to use the gorgeous Waterford vase we received as a shower gift. I have one sweet fiance!
We went out to a delicious surf and turf dinner on the Upper East Side and I wore this dress from a boutique in Greenville, SC. I can't believe I'm posting this picture because our room was so messy!

On the way back, I saw this sign. Its a McDonalds that delivers. Only in New York! 

I ordered my first Erin Condren planner! I am obsessed with it. It seriously is the best planner ever. I can't believe I never ordered one before. Bonus...it has my new last name on it!

A new bar opened in Hoboken. It is on a pier in uptown Hoboken. It is so neat and such a relaxed atmosphere. Corey and I checked it out right after it opened and its one of our favorites now. Check out that view!
I was walking home from the grocery store earlier this week and stopped in to check out a cute little Italian festival in our neighborhood. Not the best picture because my arms were loaded down with groceries! This is one of the things I love best about the metro NYC area - street festivals all the time! 

My sweet fiance helped me finish spray painting the frames last night. I mentioned these in yesterday's post - they'll hold pictures of us from our childhood and will be hanging from every other pew. Speaking of pictures of us as children...

Have a great day lovelies! xo


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bridal Talk Tuesday - Crafting and Loose Ends

Life with Elizabeth
Happy Bridal Talk Tuesday ladies! We have just two more before the wedding! The girls and I had a great bachelorette weekend this weekend. I am exhausted and we'll be recapping all the fun we had next week once I have time to gather pictures from everyone because I didn't end up with very many on my camera.

On a side note, I was walking down the street with the girls on the way to our mani/pedi appointment on Friday when I was stopped on the street by Melissa, a sweet reader of the blog. It was SO NEAT to meet a reader in real life! Happy anniversary to Melissa and her husband!

I got home super late on Sunday night and hit the ground running to get started on some wedding crafting and tying up loose ends yesterday. The big project was the seating chart. My mom and I conference called about the seating charts then Corey's mom came over to help finish them last night. Seating charts are like a puzzle - this was one of the most challenging projects thus far!
I'm so glad we used this method for our seating chart. I bought a poster board and the mini sticky notes. Then, I labeled the number of tables we would have and how many people each table could hold. Then, we printed out the guest list and started assigning people to tables. It is super easy in the beginning when I was assigning family and sorority friends to sit with each other but it can get really messy after the easy ones are out of the way. Dinner is an hour and a half so of course we want everyone to sit with people they'll have a great time with. Using the sticky notes let us pick up the guests and rearrange them to make changes without scratching through or erasing. Then, I just look at the diagram of the room set up and assign each group to the table where I want them to sit. Then, their escort cards will be printed.

One of the other projects I have been working on was making these frames for the church. I scanned pictures of Corey and I from our childhood to order prints from Shutterfly for this project:
We will have pictures of Corey and I growing up along the pews. Not only have I been busy gathering the pictures to get printed, I'm also spray painting and glazing the frames today or tomorrow. Unfortunately, reasonably priced ivory frames in bulk are not readily available.

We've also been making the table numbers, which will be inside gold frames. I had myself, my mom, and my cousin hunting down the perfect frames on sale in three different states until we had enough for all the tables.


I'm busy putting together the card box, which was inspired by these Pinterest finds



My mom is finishing up the wreathes for the church doors, which will use True Touch florals from Hobby Lobby. They are artificial flowers but are made of rubber instead of silk so they look and feel really natural. Major bonus is we'll get to keep the wreathes to use at future bridal or baby showers instead of just throwing them away as we would if we had used natural flowers. The wreathes started out like this:
Mom and I wrapped a $2 wicker wreath in green moss, then added flowers. Now, they look similar to this:


Those are just a few of the last minute projects I have going on right now. Of course, I'm also finishing up the packages with everyone's gifts, making final preparations for our trip to Hawaii, and trying to relax with my future hubby without getting too caught up with the stress of everything.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Celebrating Southern: Fashion

Hi there pretty girls!!

Today, I'm linking up with Leslie for another Celebrating Southern post. Today, the topic is Southern fashion, which I just couldn't miss out on. Now that I live in the fashion capitol of the United States, I have access to pretty much anything I want to wear (at least budget-friendly things I want to wear) but I still make the hour trek to the Upper East Side to the closet Lilly store, because in my opinion Southern girls do fashion best.

One thing I love about Southern fashion is that we tend to err on the conservative side, which I totally love. Southern ladies strive to look feminine, with lots of pastel colors and high heels, and they have perfected the art of looking polished without ever seeming over or under dressed.


In our opinion, pearls go with everything and every southern girl owns a pair. We wear them with sundresses, formal dresses, blouses, and t-shirts. On a regular day, you might find us wearing either pearl or diamond stud earrings. We usually save larger, fun pairs for weekend outings.


In the eyes of a Southern girl, Lilly Pulitzer can do no wrong. You'll find us wearing Lilly to lunch, to church, and to tailgate and watch our favorite college football team on gameday. Double points if the dress is seersucker.

For more casual looks, we love J. Crew chino shorts or Lilly callahans paired with a cute tee. We love to be comfortable, especially on scorching 100 degree days, but still take care when choosing our outfits.


For more formal occasions, we'll spend all day getting ready and our look will be flawless. Its a Southern girls' goal to look perfect and polished - without looking over or under done.


Southern girls can transition from cute sandals like Jack Rogers or Lilly McKims to four inch heels in the blink of an eye. While sandals might be our shoes of choice most days, especially as we love to spend time outside, Southern girls love our high heels. We wear them to dinner and to church and of course for more formal occasions.


You'll see Southern gents sporting khakis, Loggerhead or Southern Tide polo shirts, sperry boat shoes, and of course the bow tie. Bow ties are one of my absolute favorite things about the South. So precious!

For gamedays, we take our football very seriously. Because of this, college football games and tailgates are a huge social affair. We pull out or Lilly or another sundress we've spent hours searching for in just the right team color. Mine in the picture above is an orange seersucker Judith March dress, which I wear to Clemson games. Boys will wear polos or button downs and yes, you will see the occasional bow tie at a football game.

There you have it, a taste of Southern fashion. What are the trends where you live?