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Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year Everyone! Have a SAFE and fun night tonight. We have booked a florist, and our flights for the honeymoon so lots of exciting posts coming up for early 2011!

Have you made your Top 10 of '10 List yet? Link up here!

My 2010 Slideshow!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top 10 of '10!

I don't wanna brag...or draw attention to myself...or gloat...buuuuttt...

TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY!
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My birthday tends to get lost in the shuffle between Christmas and New Years, which is why I'm feeling ok with this shameless birthday endorsement. Plus, this time last year I was busy packing up my entire life in Astoria, Queens, moving to Chris' house to UN-pack it, and spent the week sleeping on an air mattress in my bare apartment watching Chelsea Lately until far to early in the morning. My life was quite hectic at that time, so my birthday sadly came and went before I even knew it.

But now, here I am...26 years young, and 2011 has finally arrived! Usually I enter a new year/age with wonderment and anticipation of what the upcoming year has in store for me. But this year, I'm entering into it with a pretty clear-cut view of what I'll remember most about 2011. Obviously, life throws you a wrench every once in awhile, and I'm sure this year will throw me lots of curve-balls. But THIS is the year we've been waiting for. THIS is the year that back in 2009 seemed like so far away. When I think about the fact that our wedding is less than 5 months away I initially think "Holy cow! There is lots to do, a very short amount of time to do it, and that makes me anxious." But mostly, my general feeling is "Ok, I'm ready for this to happen now." I've loved the planning so far, but I'm now at the point that I'm ready to settle into a comfortable married life and not constantly feel like I should be planning, researching, booking, etc.

My friends and I used to get together over winter breaks throughout college and make a list of the top ten things we loved about our past year, and the top 10 things we hated about our past year. Then we'd go around and share our lists with each other. It actually was awesome, and we'd sit there for hours just talking, reflecting, and sharing. So I invite you to join in this year and do the same thing! Only, let's focus on the good stuff!

Top 10 of '10
1. All the weddings! Chris and I watched so many of our closest friends get married this year. Starting with Mandy and Billy in May where we had an amazing weekend in Philadelphia. We both had so much fun being a part of their wedding. Then in the Fall, we celebrated with Christina and Kenny in New Jersey, and then Ashley and Jeff's wedding near Philadelphia. Finally, we rounded it out in October with Christina and Adrian's wedding on Long Island.

2. Diva Half Marathon on Long Island with Mandy and Kate. I am so proud of Mandy and Kate who both did awesome in their very first half marathon. I got an ever better time than I was expecting, and I really hope this race can become a tradition! In addition, I ran a total of 662 miles for 2010!!

3. I Got a new job!!! (Extra points for liking it!) Without elaborating too much, it's amazing how much your work can affect your entire life. After all, it's where you spend 40 hours of your week. I was pretty miserable last year at my old job, and unfortunately that unhappiness manifested itself into many aspects of my life.  Now, really settling into my new job as a personal assistant, I can feel how much calmer and happier I am this year, and I'm very grateful for that.

4. Cape Cod and 3rd Annual Ski trip weekends: These were both short weekend trips but it was with 4 people we love very much and have a really great time with. Chris and I didn't take a vacation this year, so these little weekend trips were priceless to us.

5. TWO engagement parties! (Party 1, Party 2). Both sets of parents did STELLAR jobs putting together engagement parties for us. These parties got us super excited and charged for our wedding, and it was just another reminder of what fabulous families and friends we have.

6. I moved in with Chris and we're still in love! Haha, I never honestly thought that this would be a make-it or break-it situation, but I had heard a lot of stories about couples who move in together and have a hard time adjusting. I think we were just so excited to finally live together after 2 years of living apart after college, that we were able to settle into living together pretty quickly and easily.

7. I went to my first Rodeo ever with Sister! This is random I know, but I had so much fun going to a rodeo with Melissa and her friend Karen in Pennsylvania. It was QUITE the country experience, but I'm surprised that I had never been to one before. I definitely want to take Chris to one at some point this summer!



8. Bachelorette parties and Bridal Showers, oh my! Lots of fun..but what happens in Atlantic city, stays in Atlantic City.  ;)


9. Kerry asked me to be in her wedding! I love this girl and I love this couple: 'nough said!
And a last minute addition: Recently engaged Molly asked me to be in her wedding summer 2012!

10. I got my Web-Design Certification! Ok, so I'm certified in Web-Design and I have yet to create a full web-site on my own. I'm on information overload, and have a LOT to sort out and learn. BUT, at least I have the basic tools I need to go out and experiment with how to create a web-site. In general, the things I learned in my class were extremely beneficial in making me a better blogger, and understanding how the whole blogosphere works. I have a LOT more to learn, but the good news is...that excites me!


Want to make your own  Top 10 of '10 List for your blog? I want to see it! Post to your blog and then link up here!
Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list...



One Entry so far: 
        1. Saying "I Do"

Saturday, December 25, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Merry Christmas from Laura and Chris!
Wishing you and your family the very merriest of Holidays!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More Ornaments

I participated in two holiday ornament swaps this year. The first swap was with Elisse as I shared in this post. Elisse recently posted about what I sent to her and I'm loving how cute the ornaments look on her tree! See what I sent her here.

The second exchange I did was with Barb at This Life of Ours. Barb does the neatest crafts and sewing projects of her blog so I have to admit, I was slightly intimidated because I just KNEW she was going to send me an adorable hand-made ornament. And I was right! Barb made this tree out of little fabric circles and it's such a cute idea:
I can't wait to show this to my mom because she has a ton of these little button covers she made lying around her sewing room. This would be a great use for them!

Barb also sent me the cutest reindeer ornament from Starbucks. This reindeer reminds me so much of some toys that I had growing up with the movable arms and legs like this:
I was a bad blogger and just sent my ornaments to her last week. I just hope that she gets them in time for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The First iPhone 4 Wedding

HAPPY WINTER YA'LL!

(Quick explanation on the "ya'll": I've been watching Friday Night Lights, which is officially the best show EVER, and have decided I want to be exactly like Tammy Taylor when I "grow up". I just love everything about her, especially the way she says "ya'll" so chipper and cheerful all the time. So, as part of my training/transformation I'm saying it now, too!)

Did you hear about this? Videographer Rainer Flor and wedding photographer Brian Adams (not to be confused with Bryan Adams) shot an ENTIRE Wedding through the use of a few iphones...and wow...it looks good! While they used a few added elements, (lighting assistants, change of lenses, etc.) they said the major advantage was that they were very unobtrusive since the cameras are so much smaller than the professional ones they usually use.

Check out their Iphoneshooters.com website where they post their personal challenge with this project, followed by the outcome (video below). My guess is this may be the first wedding to be done this way....but definitely won't be the last. Look for more iPhone weddings in the future!



Read the full Huffington Post Article here!

What do you think of the video? Would you hire someone to shoot your wedding using only iphones?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Congratulations Molly and Mark!

My dear friend, former roommate, and bridesmaid, Molly, got engaged on Saturday to her boyfriend...excuse me, fiancé Mark!! (Molly: Still sounds surreal, right?!)

Mark romantically proposed while they were on a walk at a nature preserve near Molly's house in Pennsylvania. After taking a picture of her near a very meaningful tree (it had been planted after her Nana's passing a few years ago), he got one on knee to take another picture "at a different angle". However, once the camera went down, Molly quickly started to realize what was happening. Molly asked him if he was serious, and was this really happening?? (Which was my same reaction when Chris proposed to me, haha!) But she of course happily said "YES" once it all sunk in!

Here's the happy girl right after he proposed...how cute and happy is she?!?!
After the proposal, they went back to Molly's parent's house where not only was her family waiting for them, but also Mark's family who had driven in from Staten Island to celebrate the occasion! Oh, and in case you're wondering (I know you all are) the ring is seriously gorgeous. Kudos to you Mark, on a fantastic proposal, ring, and not to mention...choice of your future wife!

Congratulations you two! I'm soooo happy and excited to be a part of the wedding, which sounds like it might be happening THIS coming summer!! The 2011 weddings are just piling up (4 now!) and I could NOT be more excited!
<3

Friday, December 17, 2010

Amazing Proposal Video

Just when I think I've seen the cutest, most creative proposal video, another one comes along that blows my mind with its creativity. My friend Kate sent me this one yesterday and holy cow is it adorable. The description on Jezebel.com reads:
 "To propose to Sara, his girlfriend of ten years, Sid made this video and aired it during the trailers at a local movie theater. Now in addition to a viral video, all proposals must include childhood nostalgia and custom-made muppets."
Read the article where Kate found this Here on Jezebel.


Happy Friday Everyone!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Martha Stewart Show

Yesterday, Mandy and I went to a taping of The Martha Stewart Show! We arrived at Chelsea Television Studios at 8:30am in the brisk, BRISK cold. I didn't take a picture of the outside, so here's a pic I stole from the internet:
Luckily, we didn't have to wait outside too long. They ushered us in where we were able to check our coats, fill out some paperwork, grab a bottle of water, take a bathroom break, and chill out before we needed to go to the set for the 10am live show. I was a doofus and forgot my camera, so blackberry pictures it is!
Mandy with her ticket!
 Before we headed up to the set this guy, Joe, warmed the audience up. He made us laugh, and got us pumped for the show to start.
Waaayy too much energy for 9 in the morning!
We were then lead upstairs to the set, which was BEAUTIFULLY decorated, and very Christmas-y! We were each handed a carnation boutonniere because they were doing a segment on carnation flower arrangements. I gave them my name and we were taken to the very first row literally ON the set!! 3 of the 6 segments were filmed directly in front of us! This was my view when I sat down.
 
This isn't zoomed!

To the right- I kind of want to make those pomanders in
green or purple for my wedding!
To the left:
 Martha was wearing a very pretty, sparkly top. The show started and right off the bat she told us that the whole audience was going home with an Everlon Bracelet from Macy's!
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Wahoo!! I can't wait to wear this! The episode was called "Project Decorate" and was all about crafts and decorating. They made some really cute things!

Traditional and Modern Decorating with Kevin Sharkey and Rebecca Robertson
Customized Picture Frame
Handmade Decorative Tray
Carnation Arrangements
Embossed-Velvet Stocking

During one of the commercial breaks I got Jessica Seinfeld's new cookbook called Double Delicious, which has some FABULOUS healthy recipes in it that I'm definitely going to be trying out. I got this for being an enthused audience member. Chris laughed when I told him and said "Of course you did...why am I not surprised?"
If there was ever a moment where I said "Oh geez..I've become my mother, it was yesterday as I was waving my hands wildly and screaming at the top of my lungs to try and "win" a book from Joe the audience guy. I was suddenly reminded of our family trip to Disney World when my mom, all 4 foot 11 inches of her, did the same thing to get noticed in an audience of hundreds, and was picked to be part of the Indiana Jones stunt show at the MGM Park. I was obviously "sooooooo embarassed, moooommmmm", but deep down was secretly jealous that she got to be part of the show and thought it was cool! Sorry..random story. Bottom line: I'm becoming my mother!

After the Show, Martha took some pictures
 
Then took some questions from the audience:
The only drawback to our fabulous seats was that we were among the cameras and teleprompters, so the cameras didn't pan over us at all and I definitely wasn't seen on TV :(. So much for my big debut, Haha. I hadn't been to a show taping since my freshman year of college when we went to see The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet (Yea, I had never heard of it either...it didn't last very long)

It was such a fun morning and I'm so glad that both of us were able to go! I've always been a Martha Stewart fan, but I think I'm actually even more of a fan now. She seemed so...cool and down-to-earth. Mandy has some more pictures of the two of us at our seats, but I have to wait patiently to get them from her. I'll post those next week.

Workouts this week: 
Today: Did abs and legs after a 3 mile intense interval run. Warmed up for one mile at 6-6.3 mph. Then for the next 20 minutes (or two miles), I alternated between running 8-8.5mph for one minute and walking at 3.8-4.1 for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. I know interval training is the best way to burn fat fast so I'm trying to really focus on interval running right now while I'm at the gym. I did the same 3 mile run on Tuesday as well, which rounds me out with 9 miles this week, mixed with weights, abs, and legs.

Total Miles Run for 2010: 660

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Martha Stewart Show!

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Look for Mandy and me in the audience of The Martha Stewart Show tomorrow morning (Wednesday) at 10:00am on the Hallmark channel! I signed up to see her show about a year ago, and finally got asked!!

More later this week, for now: Enjoy this beautiful video:

Ahang & Peje - Official Trailer (All Canon DSLR Shoot) from Ray Roman on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thanks!

First of all, I want to thank everyone for their words of encouragement after my last post. Hearing from other brides who either successfully went through the same thing (Jacin @ She Said Yes, Heather @ Bicoastal Bride) or who are going through the same thing (Anne, Winkingannie, & Lexi) has been both inspirational and encouraging. Anne, who shares the same wedding day as me, actually signed back up for Weight Watchers after reading my goals!! Even friends from high school messaged me on facebook sharing their weight watchers secrets and it seriously has been very encouraging...thank you all for being a fabulous support group!

Unfortunately, I do not have much wedding planning news for you right now. My life has been overtaken by the holidays, this cold I'm fighting, and work. However, we HAVE picked a florist. I just can't write about it because I still have to leave our deposit and get the contract. I have a thing against posting about a decision until I have the contract signed and in hand, so that will have to wait for tomorrow or Monday.

As far as my dieting and exercising plan:
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I've had a good week of eating and working out so far. Monday I ran 3.2 miles (or a 5K) in 30 minutes, then did 1/2 an hour of free weights working both my arms and legs. My small group trainer, Jeff, stopped over as I was working out and offered me twice a week sessions for the next 4 weeks at no extra cost! He said that he's been getting a lot more clients as others are seeing him do these sessions so he wants to make sure he has someone each morning to generate more of a buzz. I don't mind being used to help him out, especially if it helps me out, too! I'll have twice a week sessions to get me through the holiday season, which is exactly what I need right now. I also walked 2 miles on the treadmill over my lunch break on Monday.

I had a total body conditioning session on Tuesday and again today. My arms are really feeling it! I didn't work out on Wednesday...which I am bummed about, but I'm really trying to fight off the cold that Chris has apparently given me, so I do think I should be taking it easy right now. Just doing any cardio this morning was extra difficult with my nose running and constant coughing! On Tuesday I ran a mile after my session and today I walked a mile after my session.
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As far as my Weight Watchers points: I fell off the wagon a little bit on Sunday and didn't keep track of my points but I was good Friday, Saturday, and easily got back on track Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Many people may have heard that Weight Watchers recently revamped their entire point system. Now, fruits and veggies are mostly all zero points, but everything else has gone up in points a little bit...including, total points per day! The reasoning behind this is that things like a hundred calorie pack and an apple were both 1 point each, but obviously, it's much healthier to eat the apple. This takes many other factors into account, and is trying to keep its members eating whole, natural foods instead of processed. This is certainly an idea I can get behind! However, because I'm keeping track of points on my own and haven't officially signed up for weight watchers, I'm keeping with the old system. Most resources online still have the old point values and that's all I have to go by for now. Over time as I get a better grasp on the new system, and hear/see positive results from weight watcher users using the new system, I'll switch over to that.
Source: Courtesy of Dining Detour

I made the dough for two different kinds of Holiday cookies last night and am baking them either tonight or tomorrow. This is for a holiday party I'm going to on Saturday and I'm just praying I don't eat too many as I'm baking them. I mean, I have to test them out right??

Friday, December 3, 2010

Watching my weight

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As many of you know, I have another blog called Running to Nowhere where I kept track of my running as I trained for 2 half-marathons this past year. This blog was really for me to log my miles and keep track of my progress: so far this year I've run 647 miles! I was hoping to get to 700 by the end of the year, but I've been enjoying getting back into other forms of working out plus, it's too cold to run outside! I am very proud for even reaching 647 and will see if I can get even more miles for 2011!
Diva Half Marathon: October 2010
I really have gained a love for running over the past few years that I never EVER thought I would gain. I was the girl in elementary school who walked the mile run because running was for crazy people. I came in last every year clocking in more than 12.5 minutes for one mile. Yea, I was that girl. Unfortunately, despite running more this year than I ever have in my life, I have still been slowly gaining weight over the course of the year. What's up with that?? Running is great, but it's not everything. I lost some muscle mass in my arms and abs that I'm trying to get back now. Yes, maybe I gained some pounds from leg muscle I developed from running but sadly I look at myself, and I see that I'm gaining weight. My jeans don't fit as well, and I'm slowly losing confidence in myself. It's my own fault because I often tell myself "You ran 5 miles today...you can eat this chocolate cake!" While that may have worked for me in the past, it's clearly not working for me anymore in my old age..hehe. I don't want to be someone who works out SO I can eat whatever I want. I want to be someone who actually looks like I go to the gym 5 days a week AND watches what she eats. I had a bit of a revelation about this 2 weeks ago when my trainer at the gym announced incredulously "You know..you actually are really fit!" He meant it as a compliment, and I was flattered, but what hit me was his surprise...I am fit and I work hard....but you wouldn't know it to look at me.
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Tweet What You Eat
A few weeks ago, I signed up for tweetwhatyoueat.com. This was really cool because all you had to do was send a direct tweet to your tweetwhatyoueat homepage and it would log all the food you ate plus calories for the day. It was super easy and I was obsessed with it at first, but I quickly got tired trying to figure out the calories of everything I was eating. I also couldn't decide on a set number of calories I wanted to consume in a day. How many do I get if I work out? Is it different if I did mostly cardio as opposed to weight training, or the same? I would do great all day, then go home to make dinner and have no clue how many calories my meal was, so I just wouldn't log it. I needed a different method.

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Weight Watchers After gaining 10 pounds my freshman year of college, I started working out for the first time in my life and doing Weight Watchers on my own that summer. Over 3 months I lost about 10 pounds...and then lost another 10 throughout my sophomore year of college. I maintained that weight pretty steadily throughout college. It actually was pretty easy because I literally was obsessed with Wagner's amazing salad bar and mainly stuck to that or a chicken sandwich every day. (Chris marvels how I can eat the same thing every day and not get tired of it). But I am now 8 pounds heavier today than I was when I graduated, and it's time to get back on track. I want to stress, I am only interested in losing 8-10 pounds. This is about stopping a weight gain trend before it becomes unmanageable, as much as it is about feeling good on my wedding day. 

So starting this past week, I have been keeping daily logs of my Weight Watchers points. Keeping track of these points is so much easier now than it was 6 years ago because it's so easy to find the point values through a google search! If you're wondering how many points something is, chances are someone else wondered at one point too, and chances are, they posted it to their website or blog. There are online weight watchers point calculators, and so much packaging even has the point values printed right on them. I get 20 points a day and have not felt like it's been hard to stick to that at all. This is only my 4th day of doing it...but for some reason, this feels different and I feel extra motivated this time. With the Holidays and my dress fitting approaching....it's time. No, it's past time.  The real test will be keeping track of points over the weekend because that's always when I go off track.
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Working Out
In addition to keeping track of my points, I have recently really stepped up my work-out regime. I have been working out 5-6 days a week. I was doing this before with my running schedule...but like I said, I'm doing more of a combination of things now. I go to the gym before work Mon-Thurs, and lately I've been doing a workout DVD at home on the weekends or I'll go to the gym by my house if I feel up to it. I signed up for a small group total body conditioning session at the gym every Thursday before work. I am 1 of 3 people in the group, and we go through a total body conditioning routine over the course of an hour with a trainer. It's just like one on one...but cheaper! It's really great, and I'm learning some new ways to work out. Since I've gotten back into my weight training about 4 or 5 weeks ago, I'm finally starting to see some results and I feel great about it.

So why am I talking about all this? I will be writing more about my work-outs and Weight Watchers journey on this blog. I won't obsess over it, and I won't make it the core subject of Saying "I do". But since the wedding is my main motivating factor right now, it's important to include my progress- not to mention, hold me accountable. If you're lucky, and I feel good enough about my progress, I'll post some before and after pictures. But, the "before" pictures are hitting a little too close to home right now to post!

If you've got some great weight watchers, or work out secrets to help me jump start reaching my goal...please let me know about it!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Hellllo Folks! I'm back!! Sorry for that more than a week long hiatus and I don't really have an explanation. I'm not in a wedding planning slump, but I did really need this week to get back to some hardcore research (mainly on flowers and invitations) and was devoting most of my time to looking into that and making some phone calls, rather than working on posts. Add that to all the extra stuff to think about now that the Holidays are here and it's hard not to get caught up in a ton of things all at once!

I had the most relaxing weekend at home in Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving. Chris and I did Thanksgiving separately with our families (we aren't figuring out how to split up holidays until we're married) but he then joined us on Friday evening for the weekend. We helped my parents decorate for Christmas Friday night while we watched A Christmas Story.

And I made a Christmas wreath! I made this from all things I found in my mom's sewing room. My mom has an endless amount of sewing materials in our basement and trust me when I say, I'm not exaggerating. She has boxes and boxes and closets and shelves and drawers just filled to the brim with stuff. I snooped around and made this from materials I collected. First, I wrapped and glued some candy cane fabric around a styrofoam ring I got at A.C. Moore. Then I glued the green ribbon around it, tied the silver ribbon into a bow and attached that. Lastly, I made the green flower at the top with some fabric and sturdy string I found. I'll explain how I made that at a later date, but it was really easy and I made a ton of them this weekend. This was very fun to make and I really want to put it on our door, but we don't have anything to hang it up with! So, right now it's just on a random hook in our bedroom. I also painted a wooden box that says "JOY" on it, but I'm finishing that up this weekend, and I'll post about it next week.

And finally, to get me even more in the Christmas Spirit, I participated in 2 Blogger ornament swaps this year! The first one was with the lovely Elisse at furelisse.com. She sent me these gorgeous angel ornaments as well as two cookie cutters to start my cookie cutter collection! Chris and I are planning to get our tree this weekend and I can't wait to decorate with these beautiful ornaments. I'm also definitely going to be making and decorating sugar cookies this season and I can't wait to use my new cookie cutters. Thanks so much Elisse, and be sure to check out her blog at furelisse.com


Finally, for a wedding update: I have TWO appointments on Saturday with florists on Long Island, and should hopefully have flowers decided and booked by the end of next week. Once it's all set, I will update you on why this part has been a bit stressful for me.
 
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