Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Royal Wedding!

Totally not ashamed to admit I woke up much earlier than usual at 5:30 yesterday morning to catch part of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Royal Wedding.  I mostly just wanted to see what Kate would wear but it was also nice to watch the beginning of the ceremony and see them share their vows. 

Kate was absolutely gorgeous, like she always is, but she looked so elegant and very regal in her dress.  I loved the lace on her gown the most.  I always wanted to wear a dress with lace but never found one that was flattering when I was shopping.  She wore her hair half down, which I thought was a smart choice – not biased or anything since that’s how I wore my hair on my day :)  But everything was perfect: her sparkly drop earrings, her borrowed tiara from the Queen, and her sheer veil…the details were spot-on.  And supposedly she did her own make-up – major props for that!


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My favorite part was when Kate and Will were coming out of Buckingham Palace onto the balcony to wave hello to the public.  As Kate walked out and saw the huge crowds waiting for her, she said “Oh, wow…”  - it was adorable and proved how genuine she seems.  I can’t imagine how overwhelming that must be to have millions of people watching your every move; I was scared to walk down the aisle with 130 people watching me!  And they “kissed” twice while on the balcony– they were more like little pecks but at least they did it.

I wonder how many details Kate really got to choose for the ceremony and her look or if she was forced to go along with a lot of the Royal traditions.  I hope she was happy with how everything turned out and maybe she was able to at least influence the reception vision.  They better release more photos of the reception as I’m very curious to see how everything looked!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Maine Wedding: We Rehearse

I’m being dreading doing a post on our rehearsal as I don’t like to remember it…let’s just say the inn keepers at the bed and breakfast (the venue for our wedding) were EXTREMELY laid-back.  I realize it’s the way of life in Maine but still – they were just not as organized as I was hoping.  We first experienced this a few weeks before the wedding when some details were not shared with us until last minute and they were not getting back to our emails in a reasonable amount of time  It was strange, because they were awesome throughout the entire planning process until just shortly before our wedding day. 

Anyways, the rehearsal was meant to relax me, to  make me feel better about how things were going to run the next day and it did not whatsoever as the inn keepers totally forgot about our rehearsal and were no help once they showed up, which made me very close to crying.  Luckily our officiant, who’s a good friend of ours, took control and got everything running smoothly.  We went through the ceremony a couple times, but it still made me really nervous for the following day, though.  Oh well, let’s get to the pictures:


Me trying not to freak out – I would say that’s a fake smile


Hubby with Bridesmaid A and our officiant


Hubby with his parents


Me with my mom and sister MOH


I love this pic…pretty girls


The guys


Our officiant taking charge :)


My parents walking me down the aisle


And we rehearse! Ignore the decorations, those were for a wedding earlier that day


My one major regret was that I did not hire a day-of coordinator.  I think an actual coordinator really would have smoothed things over for our rehearsal and for the day of, and I would just have felt more confident about everything overall.  Everything did turn out fine and we had very few hiccups, but I’m just a planner at heart and like to know exactly what to expect.  But let’s face it – that just can’t happen with weddings! 

Next up in re-caps…the rehearsal dinner!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

First Month – Losing It!

Last Christmas Day, I weighed myself after dinner and I remember being completely disgusted at the number on the scale.  (Don’t ask why I decided to weigh myself on Christmas).  I haven’t been that heavy since high school.  I know I gained some serious weight as I couldn’t fit into my favorite jeans since the fall and most of my button-down shirts were extremely tight, but I didn’t realize how many pounds I actually packed on.  It was that day I decided to stop being lazy and get back to a reasonable weight that would work for me. 

Right before New Year’s Eve I started to watch what I was eating a bit more, but I wasn’t seeing much progress after a few weeks.  I lost maybe a pound or two and was feeling pretty discouraged, especially after I started working out a few times a week.  I considered joining Weight Watchers online but I really didn’t want to pay the money each month, and I’ve also heard negative reviews about their new points system. 

Luckily, about a month ago, I found a website called through the message boards at  A few girls said it’s worked for them as it tracked what they were eating, and the best part is it’s free to use.  I signed up to start a weight loss plan right away.  The basic idea is that you add in exactly what you eat throughout the day into their site and it will keep track of your calories.   When you first sign up, it calculates a calorie budget for you based on your age, current weight, height, and how much weight you wish to lose.  You can do a plan to lose 1 pound, 1.5 pounds or 2 pounds each week.   Several foods and their calorie contents are already in their database, but you always have the option to create custom foods if you need to.  You also add in the work-outs/exercise you do throughout the week, so the more you burn, the more calories you get to eat for the day.

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My plan is to lose 2 pounds per week and to lose 30 pounds overall.  If I do lose 2 a week, I would be on track to lose 30 by mid-July.  I started on 3/27 and have lost 9.8 pounds in a month (going by today, 4/27), so on average I am losing 2 pounds each week.  It’s really helped me keep track of what I’m eating and has me thinking more about appropriate portion and serving sizes.  The biggest changes I’ve had this past month:

  • I am eating less snacks, and when I do snack, I’m counting the exact number of crackers or chips in a serving size so I only eat one serving.
  • My portion size for dinner has been cut in half – I was eating a lot of unnecessary calories and probably tripling the amount of food I should have been eating. 
  • I am full after eating just a little dinner and I don’t try to clean my entire plate now – if I’m full, I stop eating.
  • I’m drinking more seltzer and less juice.
  • I’m working out at least twice a week on the treadmill.  I’m actually able to jog for a few minutes without stopping which is a big improvement.
  • I try to look up restaurant nutrition facts if I know we are going out somewhere so I know exactly how many calories are in a dish I’m considering.  If I know it’s going to make a big dent on my budget for the day, I eat a very small breakfast and lunch.

For this next month, I need to work on:

  • Exercising a minimum of 4 times a week
  • Drink at least 3 cups of water or seltzer throughout the day at work
  • When we go out to a restaurant, only eat half of my meal – this should help me stop going over my calorie budget on weekends. 
  • Eat more fruits and veggies instead of eating just crackers and cheese for snacks (I do highly recommend Laughing Cow cheese wedges, though – they’re amazing and only 35 calories for a wedge, which is the perfect amount of cheese for a serving of Wheat Thins!)

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I already feel better – not as sluggish and I have more energy at work throughout the day.  I’m able to walk faster and longer on the treadmill without getting tired and omg I actually enjoy jogging now – never thought that would happen!  I have a feeling I will probably hit a plateau soon but hopefully these goals can keep me going for the next month.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday Musings

“And so I'm sailing through the sea
To an island where we'll meet
You'll hear the music fill the air
I'll put a flower in your hair
Though the breezes through trees
Move so pretty you're all I see
As the world keeps spinning round
You hold me right here, right now”

- Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat - “Lucky”

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Weekly Menu 4/25/11-5/1/11


Monday 4/25 -  Hawaiian Pizza on English Muffins

Tuesday 4/26 - Turkey & Black Bean Enchiladas (trying recipe from – never got to make this last week!

Wednesday 4/27 - Strawberry Shortcakes

Thursday 4/28 - Pasta e Fagioli (trying recipe from Budget Bytes)

Friday 4/29 – Drop Biscuit Chicken Pot Pie (adapting from Rachael Ray’s recipe)

Saturday 4/30 - Turkey Burgers with Cranberry Mayo & Stuffing (trying burger recipe and stuffing recipe from

Sunday 5/1 - Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Chicken (trying recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe)


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Happy Easter!

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Recipe Review – Chicken Parmigiana Lettuce Wraps

A couple weeks ago I made these awesome chicken parmigiana wraps from a recipe I found at Itsy Bitsy Foodies.  While the original idea was to just put the chicken mixture on romaine hearts to make lettuce wraps, I decided to put everything into a low carb tortilla to make more of a substantial dinner.  I was filled up after eating one of these, but hubby had a little extra chicken after finishing his wrap.


Very easy to make and we both loved how the chicken tasted.  It was lightly breaded, which I enjoyed, because chicken parm tends to upset my stomach if it’s loaded in cheese and  and a greasy coating.   The only thing I added to the ingredients list besides the tortilla wrap was a pizza sauce seasoning.  If you haven’t heard of Wildtree, I highly recommend you check them out- their spices, rubs, etc are great and very flavorful.

We will definitely be making these wraps again – 9 out of 10!


Friday, April 22, 2011

It’s Friday…let’s have a drink!

Let’s just say thank God this week went by fast.  I mean, it helped I had Monday off, but still…it was a long one.

I’m sharing one of our favorite drink concoctions from Ruby Tuesday’s today.  This is pretty easy - order one of their freshly made lemonades and ask for a shot of vodka to be added.  So yummy!  And last time we were there, the drink was only $5.  Not bad for a mixed drink these days!

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And if you’re not feeling the alcohol, trust me, you still need to order the lemonade.  I’m particularly fond of their Strawberry mix, but I’ve also tried the Blackberry and Pomegranate flavors and those are great, as well.  They use actual bits of fruit and real fruit juice so everything tastes very natural.

Happy Friday!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Maine Wedding: The Bachelorette Party

April of last year, me and my closest girl friends headed down to Mohegan Sun to celebrate my last fling before the ring :)  We had a great time – it was nice to just spend some time with the girls and go out for the night.  We started out by pre-gamming a little in the hotel room.  And of course they had plenty of flair I needed to wear to show everyone I was a bachelorette…veil, sash, pins, etc :)


And they gave me a fabulous cup to drink out of…


And a cute balloon that I didn’t throw away until about 6 months after the wedding…


That same day was also Hubby’s Bachelor Party.  He left early that AM before I even left to drive down to CT, and he ended up going to his old roommate’s house as they were going to have a house party all day.  We received texts from some of the boys later around 6pm that one of them ended up puking all over the porch and had to be driven home.   Apparently hubby ended up getting sick, too.  And so they were finishing partying while we were just getting ready to go out.  Boys, boys, boys…

Anyways, we took a few pictures before heading out to the casino:


Bridesmaid J, me and MOH Sista!


Me and 3/4 of my bridal party


This was Norm our shuttle bus driver – he was a riot.  “That’s amoreeeeeeeeeeeee”


Won $50 playing a “Shore Thing” – how fitting :)


Girls at Mohegan

I think my bachelorette party was proof that you don’t need to get ridiculously drunk and crazy to have a good time.  We shopped, gambled a little, had some tasty margaritas at Margaritaville and then called it a night around 12:30ish.  Though I wasn’t hungover the next day, I was still exhausted…it had been awhile since I stayed out past midnight :)  I highly recommend having a bachelorette party, even if it’s only with a girlfriend or two.  It was relaxing and a nice change of pace to have fun for a weekend instead of focusing on last-minute wedding details.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Maine Wedding: Beach-Themed Bridal Shower

Before I start the actual wedding re-caps, I did want to do a couple posts on the pre-wedding events.  Last March, my bridesmaids hosted a beautiful and intimate well-planned shower for me.  It was a beach theme, which was very fitting, since everyone knows I love anything blue, tropical and involving flip-flops :)  About 30 women attended my shower and I was so glad they could all make it.  The party wasn’t too large so I was able to spend time with everyone.


The girls bought invitations at AC Moore and then switched out the ribbon in the packages for a navy blue ribbon.   There was a beach quote on the top with some clip-art starfish.




Amazing candy buffet!  They did such a great job putting it together.  I had hinted to my sister that I always wanted some sort of candy or dessert bar and they totally delivered.  Everything was in tones of blue and white and had a beach-theme.  Some of the candy included jellybeans, chocolate covered pretzels, lollipops, blue licorice, and chocolate seashell and flip-flop molds.  They also included favor bags on the table so everyone could take some home.  And there’s a sneak peek of my cake on the right!


The favors on all the tables were white chocolate lollipops in the shape of a flip-flop.


On a few of the tables there were  beautiful hydrangea centerpieces in cute little ceramic pails they found at Kohl’s.  They also found a lot of other beach-themed serving ware at Kohl’s and I got to take all of it home after the shower.


They made an adorable guestbook using a pair of flip-flops, lots of scrapbook paper and wedding-themed stickers.  This is such a unique idea and it’s proudly sitting in my craft room now.


Another view of the guestbook.  Right above it is my box of recipes – they asked each guest to bring their favorite recipe so I could start my own cookbook.


Awesome spread of food – seriously, there was so much!  Lots of sandwiches, finger foods, and overall goodness :)


My amazing cake!  Two huge flip flops covered in fondant on top of a brown sugar “sand” base.  On the right sandal, there is a little band that says “Sole Mates”.  LOVE! 


The dress I wore was purchased from Ann Taylor last spring.


My bridal shower was such a good day.  I look back at these photos and admire the cake and candy buffet all over again.  I felt so much love from the people closest to me, and I really appreciated all the gifts they gave.  Everyone could tell how much work and time my girls spent on planning the shower and putting together all the little details – I could not have asked for more! 


All photos courtesy of Bridesmaid J