Life, love, work, guilty pleasures and keeping it real.

Friday, April 23, 2010

School's Out for SUMmer... or it's just Friday at 6 p.m.

In my 25th year of life and a year + into my career, the five-day workweek is getting longer and weekends are getting much shorter. Sometimes it scares me that for the rest of my life I will be working 5 days a week with only 2 days off! Two days for R&R, time with the husband, family and friends, cleaning, laundry, etc... It's exhausting just thinking of it.

How good does the end of the work day on Friday feel though? SO good! You get to go home and finally chill, or do something that keeps you up late (not that) and not have to pay for it the next morning because it's Saturday and you can sleep in!

My point, and thought of the moment being: I will never again feel that excitement, relief or rush of the last day of school when you get to enjoy months off. Not to mention signing yearbooks and basically socializing the last couple of days. But, I DO cherish my weekends! The grown-up break.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Freshman 15 VS. Newlywed 15

Everyone talks about the good ol' freshman 15... the coined term used to describe the 15 pounds of weight gained by (apparently) a number of freshmen college students. Urban Dictionary defines this as: When a first year college student (usually a female) eats a ton, and precedes to sit on her ass and gain 15 lbs. Did you see Suzy back at Christmas? Talk about freshman 15. LOL

What was I doing freshman year? I think I was at an all-time skinny. Working almost full-time, taking a full-load of classes and doing decent and well, partying a ton. Fast food, drinks, all-nighters studying with coffee, red bull and junk food. And, if I do say so myself- my body was at it's prime. I exercised every once and awhile, but not religiously.

I did not deal with the weight gain as a freshmen.

I remember clearly, I was going on a Vegas trip about 3 years ago and I begin to gain some weight... my Bebe, army green (darling) button down dress was getting tight on my hips, my denim shorts were fitting my ass a bit too tight and it did not feel good. WTF? I was not doing one thing different... eating what I wanted and rarely working out. I considered 9 hours in 3.5" heels a workout (mall job). Ah... if only I had that same fat problem now, that super cute green dress won't even fit around one thigh now-a-days.

Blah blah blah, long story short... I have been married for about 8 months now and I am facing a dreadful "Freshman 15" scenario. UH! I am determined to lose 15 pounds by July ya'll. I have been working my butt off (trying to get it off) at the gym multiple times each week, without any noticeable difference thus far, yet remain determined to get back my old "fat body"... why I did not realize what I had? I do not know.

So- in an attempt to hold myself accountable, I will update my efforts mid-May and let you know if I have had any success.

We are going to Mesquite in one week and I currently plan to wear an Ugly Betty poncho at the pool, with coordinating accessories of course.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The meaning of a true friend

Thank you for being a friend,
Traveled down the road and back again.
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a confident.

And if you threw a party,
Invited everyone you knew,
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say,
Thank you for being a friend.

Thanks for thee beautiful lyrics Blanche, Rose, Sophia and Dorothy.

I recently received this email from {Jaima} ... one of those emails about how much you love your friends, pass it on, yada yada. I really loved this one though. I think we all know who our true friends are and who we are sincerely true friends to. True friends are hard to come by, as girls have the tendency to be caddy, competitive and well, bitchy. I am grateful to have some of the same girlfriends since 5th grade... and I am grateful for the wonderful friendships I have built with other women along the way too.
We all get busy with life: work, activities, boyfriends, spouses and maybe even children. It is however important to remember those true friends...
I adore all of my friends, and I am (I think) pretty good about staying in touch, getting together and just being a true and thoughtful friend! I am now going to make a {for sure} effort to be a true friend, and make sure my true friends know that I am grateful for them.
Thought I would share this email, it's really cute and I just love it, it is so true!

A simple friend, when visiting, acts like a guest.
A real friend opens your refrigerator and helps herself and doesn't even feel the least bit weird shutting your 'Pepsi drawer' with her foot!
A simple friend has never seen you cry.
A real friend shoulder is soggy from your tears.
A simple friend doesn't know your parents' first names.
A real friend has their phone numbers in her address book.
A simple friend brings a bottle of wine to your party.
A real friend comes early to help you cook and stays late to help you clean.
A simple friend hates it when you call after they've gone to bed.
A real friend asks you why you took so long to call.
A simple friend seeks to talk with you about your problems.
A real friend seeks to help you with your problems.
A simple friend wonders about your romantic history.
A real friend could blackmail you with it!
A simple friend thinks the friendship is over when you have an argument.
A real friend calls you after you had a fight.
A simple friend expects you to always be there for them.
A real friend expects to always be there for you!

I love you Girlfriends

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My version of a Greek dinner

Mikey and I are both huge fans of BBQ'ing chicken kabobs. We normally marinate the chicken in Yoshida's teriyaki sauce, the longer the better, and build kabobs with chicken, red, green and yellow peppers, mushrooms and zucchini. I serve this with rice and it is so yummy. Refreshing and not too bad for you, great summer evening dinner.

After discovering this Greek seasoning in the aisle of seasonings... I created our new favorite dinner. I made it for my Mom and even SHE was impressed and has made it twice on her own as well! So- we know it's good now, right? Machel's Greek Fiesta:

I marinate my chicken and pepper in a big bowl with olive oil a a generous amount of this seasoning. I built my kabobs and the rest (the BBQ'ing) is all Mikey.

I serve the kabob with lemon rice... I brown regular white long grain rice in olive oil, add juice from one lemon, add some of this yummo seasoning and add in the appropriate amount of water.

Pitas: I just get these from the bakery section of the store, Dan's and Harmon's seem to have the best pick! I brush both sides of the pita with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt.

THE money maker: my proud tzatziki sauce. I was inspired by a co-worker, Britni, to try this sauce out. This is what makes this GREEK {ish} meal SO amazing. I take a big container of Greek yogurt... add in one shredded cucumber that has been de-seeded, drained and shredded, about a tablespoon of olive oil, about a tablespoon a half of red wine vinegar, a ton of fresh minced garlic( (like 5 big cloves) lemon juice to taste and dill to taste... AMAZing.

I suggest you try this immediately. The tzatziki recipe makes a ton and is an incredible leftover!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Baby Shower, Part II: Thee Event

Alicia's Baby Shower has finally arrived! This was my first time (co) hosting a baby shower and it was a huge success! From the invites to the food and decor- it turned out just perfect! Seriously, I really just want to be an event planner. Posh baby showers, elegant bridal showers, beautiful and extravagant birthday parties- this is all (well, not really) I want in life!

In order to get the invitations out in time, I had to order them before we knew the sex of the baby. This meant I had to find a darling gender-neutral design. Well, I found one! Two days before I mailed them out we found out Alicia was having a GIRL and I created an "It's a Girl" insert to include in the invitations. I used a pink powder/glitter with a stamp and special "stamp glue" to create the It's a Girl message on a thick textured white paper... I attached this to a cute pink paper with pink glitter polk-a-dots. I topped this off with a pink gross-grain ribbon with a rhinestone center. What made the invites even cuter? These super cute matching envelopes!

Now, on to the menu. Thus far in Alicia's pregnancy she has been craving Mexican food. {I crave Mexican food daily; what's my excuse?} To satisfy her craving and to surely please the crowd we went with a Cafe Rio taco platter buffet! Tons of tortillas, chicken and pork, beans, rice, chips and salsa and all of the toppings were DELICious! We also got key lime pie and tres leches from Cafe Rio for dessert. Patti handmade these adorable and tasty cupcakes too, adorned with little pink flowers cut from fondant. We served a YUMMy champagne punch too (the same one we enjoyed at my Bridal Shower... )

Decor: Over we were thinking PINK! We stared with all pink eating utensils in two shades of pink. Look how cute I wrapped the fork and knife... I tied the rolled utensils with pink ribbon and attached a safety pin charm. We scattered "It's a Girl" confetti all over the table and drink station. We had three bouquets of pink baby tulips around the party. Baby wash cloths hung from the lighting fixture above the buffet, tied off with different colors and patterns of ribbon. The onesy clothesline is my favorite feature! 15 onesies hung from two shades of pink satin ribbon, attached by a wooden clothes pin. As both Linda, Patti and I got our own onesies, I attached tags with mini pink clothespins so Alicia knew who each onesy was from! I created an Ariana banner... embellishing each letter of her name with glitter, ribbons, buttons and stickers and attaching them with mini clothes pins to a pink gross-grain ribbon. Three pink pillar candles surrounded by pink marbles sat above the name banner and smelled springy-fresh!

Patti had a fabulous idea for the favors... Ariana is due in August. The birth flower of August is the gladiola. Patti packaged a gladiola bulb tied off in a clear wrapping topped with hot pink ribbon and these darling clip-on bright butterflies! Useful, thoughtful and SO cute!

One of my favorite things about this event was my gift! I was determined to learn to make those cute flowers (made of fabric). I made an array of flowers (each taking approximately ONE hour) and hot-glued an alligator clip on the back that they can be interchangeably on the crocheted headbands... there is a matching headband/flower for each outfit I got!

I cannot wait to meet baby Ariana August 14, 2010. Until the next baby shower...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

THEME & Location Location Location.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

2:00 Ceremony at St. Thomas More Catholic Church
6:00 Dinner and Dancing Reception at Willow Creek Country Club

Like a lot of Brides out there (I assume) with an unlimited budget you could really go big: venue, food, attire, florals, decor, etc. Also like a lot of Brides out there (I assume) my 'parentals' gave me a budget and I was more than appreciative with what I had to work with, and I did a great job! Our Wedding Day was perfect, and with 18 months to plan I certainly did my due diligence on all vendors and options.

I have a fairly conservative style but I like to take edgier (so to speak) risks from time-to-time; I am not afraid to wear ANYthing, unless I am just too fat for it. I love trendy pieces in my life- be fashion, home decor or hairstyles but for "major" things I most often opt for classic style.

Classic. Timeless. Elegant.
Black. Ivory. Hot Pink.

Do a number of Brides choose these three colors? Sure.
Do a lot Brides put it together as well as me? Hell to the no.

For me, it all started with venue selection.

St. Thomas More.
Modern design with clean lines and gorgeous bright-colored stained glass windows coupled with the slew of windows down each side of the church. The natural light is oh so bright and incredible. Most importantly, I could picture myself walking down this aisle. In addition, it is close to our little home, making it just perfect.

Willow Country Country Club.

Minutes away from the church as well just a good central location. Considering the weather in August I knew I wanted something both inside and outside. At WC I was able to take advantage of the two inside rooms (buffet room, dining room and bar) and the outside patio which was AMAzing. Beautiful day, bright blue skies, green golf course and lush colorful flowers... just what I was dreaming of.

4.8.10 marks 8 months since 8.8.09

Happy EIGHT Month Anniversary to my more-than-fabulous husband and I!

Eight months already? Wow... time really does fly when you are having fun. I still sit and think sometimes, "Am I really married? Do I really have a husband (who is fly as hell like Mikey)?" I love it, I love him and I love being married to my BFF.

Eventually, I get sick of talking about the same thing over and over and over... our Wedding Day, now that's another story. I am, and will never be sick of sharing the story and details of this most magical day.

This 8 month anniversary of ours has prompted me to begin divulging on the details of
OUR Wedding Day. . .

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

#4: Pass the Hempz Please

You heard me pass the HEMPZ... A higher state of hair care.

I have tried a slew of hairsprays in my {25} years of life. Attractive bottles, names and scents all suck me in. Beyond my "judging a book by its cover" approach to finding the perfect hairspray, I require a spray that provides hold while still allowing for movement and does not coat my hair in a way that makes my dark color look dull, all while smelling delightful. With dark hair especially, you must be aware of the products that make your hair look dry and cause build-up, seriously unattractive and unavoidable with crappy products.
For the last few years (4+ years) I have been using Hempz Firm Hold Shaping Spray. I love love love the fresh fragrance, not overpowering but does indeed smell fresh. I use this whether I keep my hair straight, curl it or securing a pony, etc. It provides a perfect hold for me and my hair style and does not prevent my hair from having movement. My rich, dark color maintains it shine and luster without being dulled from product build up or a layer of white 'ish spray that some hairsprays give off.

The product description... Hold and protect your style. Ultra-fine mist allows styling flexibility and long-lasting hold. Hemp seed oil and extract combined with proteins and silicones protect hair from humidity and environmental stress, while powerful UV-protection helps prevent color fading.

I have tried a number of their products and have great things to say about all of them though this and their body moisturizer are my two favorites. Another fab feature: price! $18

Get your Bob Marley on and enjoy the awesome products the Hempz line has to offer!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Baby Shower, Part I

My Sister-in-Law Alicia is due with her first baby (girl) on August 14th! I do have two nephews, Ayden and Brandon, and this new addition will be my first "born while I knew ya" child. Obviously, I am super excited. Alicia lives in Wilder, Kentucky- so pretty damn far away. We are lucky that she travels here about twice a year so we get to her often (not often enough) and Mikey and I have been out there once and plan to visit again once the baby is born. While they are not certain on the spelling, I believe they are leaning toward Ariana. Darling!
Okay, all of this background leads up to my excitement, and joy in life lately... Alicia is here in Utah now (for Easter). Patti, Linda and I are throwing her an early baby shower while she is in town this coming Saturday, April 10. Falling under my "things I am neurotic about" button happens to be a new activity: hosting a baby shower! OMG- I am so into it. I mean, yes, I frequent Michael's on a regular basis irregardless of party planning. I do not even really know what I get there... debit card statement has me hittin' up Michael's at least once every other week. I look for any excuse to go too: I have an extra $20, John is our new neighbor, it's someone's bday and they need a card, etc.
Back to the point: Can I please be a professional baby shower planner? Soon-to-be Moms are much more pleasant than most brides too, equaling a better and more positive experience for all of those involved.
I cannot wait to post pics and details about the shower in just a few days. I am just SO excited for this event that I had to share my pre-excitement. I cannot even imagine what I could do with a fat budget... the possibilities.
Not only have I gone mad with decor and details of the event, I have become a creator/crafter of a new project that I love. Cannot wait to unveil this as well.

Phew- got this off my chest. Now, back to the Martha Stewart site and posh baby sites that I adore so much!