Thursday, August 15, 2013

Pinstagram Summer

I took the last couple of days off from blogging, but I'm still alive and kickin'. It was weird not coming here and writing a post, and still weird throughout the day with no comments to read and emails to respond to, or check on my stats too many times....but it was also good to just breathe a little bit. I'm not here with any sort of writing that would win any prizes, I just want to share a few of my Pinstagram Summer moments from my life recently. It just seems like so many more things Instagram-worth happen during the lovely summer months, and I've certainly been sharing my share of photos lately....

1 / Beautiful sunrise on an early morning run
2 / Super cute trinkets and sweet note from my friend Megan in Tennessee
3 / Big Easy Snowballs with my family
4 / Wedding invitations ready to be taken to the post office!
5 / Gorgeous, random hibiscus flower in the middle of our azalea bushes at home
6 / Finally got to play Cards Against Humanity, and had a blast
7 / Free chocolate ice cream cones at Bullritos, somewhere in Georgia
8 / My wedding shoes are in that box!!
9 / Chipotle salads are really freaking delicious, and don't even need the dressing

1 / Putt-putt night with Jeff and the twins
2 / Beautiful blue skies and corn fields in the middle-of-nowhere-Georgia 
3 / Movie night with my man 
4 / Love my amazing photo guest book I made using Shutterfly!
5 / Drink break during a long day of running errands and shopping
6 / Sweet Bath & Body Works haul from their semi-annual sale
7 / Pretty flower/plant-thing from my coworkers, before moving to my new job
8 / Love summer days spent at the pool
9 / Matchy-matchy family for the twins' Superman-themed 7th birthday party!

And for you bloggers who stopped using Vine the minute Instagram got video, you've been missing out on (barely any) videos made by yours truly. But when I do remember to make a video on Vine, they're kinda cute :) Or at least I think they are...

So that's all I've got to share with y'all today. I may not be back to every-day-blogging status again for a while as wedding planning gets crazier and crazier, but I will still be here when I can be. And then hopefully I'll be able to resume my regular blogging schedule again in just a couple more months! Thanks for sticking around here with me though! Bloggy friends are such good friends :)

Much Love,

Monday, August 12, 2013

Planes, Grains & Automobiles

Monday morning - we meet again.... and this is a seriously exhausted Monday morning at that. This weekend was so crazy busy, I got very little sleep, and I could have definitely used an extra day just to recover from it. So let's just head straight into our normal recap, shall we?

Jeff's parents took us and the boys to see the new Disney movie, "Planes," and it was really, really cute. Good job Disney for making another heartwarming movie that brings a tear or two to my eyes... But really, it's a great little movie and we all enjoyed it :) After the movie, we got the rest of the boys' stuff packed in the car and ready to go for the next morning.

Got up bright and early for our drive up to north Georgia to meet their mom. We grabbed breakfast from Chick-fil-A, and then hit the road. A couple potty stops and five hours later, we ate lunch, and said our goodbyes to those super sweet little boys. We are so thankful we got to spend six full weeks with them this summer, and we just had so much fun with them!

We then made our way over to Atlanta, to visit Jeff's best friend/best man. We went to a cookout at one of his friends' house, and had lots of fun. All of his friends were really nice and welcoming, and didn't make it awkward for us even though we knew no one! After a delicious dinner (grilled chicken and sausage made by an awesome guy from Australia) and some homemade ice cream, we all played Cards Against Humanity. It was my first time playing, and I loved it! I want it for myself now of course. There were 12 or 13 of us playing, and I actually won with five black cards! Holla!

Woke up bright and early again to head home from Atlanta. We splurged again and got Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, and it was oh so yummy. We took a different route home from ATL than we normally do, and we loved it! It was so gorgeous. We saw so many fields of crops and things, and it was actually really interesting. (We ended up Googling how corn and peanuts are harvested, and we learned something new while we drove...)

A couple of potty stops, some gorgeous back roads of Georgia and about four and a half hours later, we made it to my Grandparents house for a big family lunch! We celebrated my Aunt and my Papa who both have August birthdays. I later worked on addressing the envelopes for our wedding invitations, then we had our first pre-marital counseling session. We stopped by Publix to grab a bit of groceries and pick up a Redbox (since we had a code for a free night!), and then spent some time just resting at Jeff's house...while I addressed some more envelopes.

Super busy, and super fun. We had a great weekend, but we are definitely both exhausted. I skipped my run this morning so that I could sleep until 7 am, rather than 6 am, and just that one hour wasn't quite enough. I'll run tomorrow morning though, so I can start week 6 of 5K training! Tonight and tomorrow we will be busy working to get our invitations stuffed and ready to go, so that we can get them sent out by no later than Friday! Ahhh, so exciting! They turned out great, and I can't wait to show them to you in a couple of weeks, once they've been sent and seen :)

Hope you lovely ladies are having a good Monday so far. I'm looking forward to working on wedding stuff tonight, and making what Jeff has named "Adult Bagel Bites" for dinner! I'll try to make them kind of healthy-ish, and count the calories, but they're just gonna be so yummy!

Much Love,

Friday, August 9, 2013

Planning, Dresses & Purple Pens: Some Favorites

I got up this morning (even when I really super didn't want to), and did my early morning run of 2.5 miles. And it felt rough. But at the end, I felt good because I have now completed week 5 of my 5K training, and we're just under a month away from race day! Holy crap that's crazy! But I'm excited and ready and I can't wait to have a blast actually running a race...weird!

Today, in honor of completing week 5, I'm sharing five of my current favorite things for "5 Fave Friday."

ONE - Cute, snuggly little boys. Every night for the past two weeks, I've been reading a book to them out loud, and every night they come and snuggle up next to me, and sometimes fight about who's turn it is to sit closer to me. And it's just so stinking sweet. It kinda makes my heart almost burst it's just so sweet. I really do love them, and I'm incredibly blessed to be able to inherit these these precious boys as my step-sons!

TWO - Gems with Friends. It's one of those Zynga games for your phone (like Words with Friends and all those others), but this one is definitely my favorite of all of those. And I'm more than a little obsessed. The problem is, almost no one I know actually plays it, so all of the 'friends' I play with, are just anonymous opponents. So some of you lovelies should get it and then we can play together :) My username is Halez88...

THREE - Buying new dresses, in smaller sizes. It seems like almost all of my clothes are now at a point where they're just getting too big to still be worn. And hello - obviously that's exciting! But my favorite is buying new dresses for work at Target, and instead of buying an XXL (I have a couple of those from a few  years ago), I'm now buying just an L. Definitely a favorite.

FOUR - Wedding planning. Duh. I was going to try not to talk about wedding planning on this list since I talk about it in just about every other post it seems like...but I've got serious "Bride Brain" right now. Soooo #SorryImNotSorry, but planning my wedding is definitely a favorite.

FIVE - Writing in cursive. I know that's a really weird one, but I'm just trying to share 'the real me' with you guys, as nerdy as that real me might be sometimes...But seriously. I started doing it a couple of months ago, in order to practice my cursive handwriting, so that it would look pretty when I hand address our wedding invites. Well now, I just do it all the time! And I really have gotten better, so at least I accomplished my goal of improving. I'll be addressing the envelopes next week, so hopefully I make each one look so pretty!

This awesome purple pen is also my favorite....
And that wraps up five of my most random favorite things right now! Hope you guys liked this little glimpse into some of my weirdness ;) Sometimes I try to keep the weird stuff to myself, but sometimes I just gotta let it out and share it. Today was obviously one of the sharing days. Don't hold it against me though, mmkay?

Tomorrow we take the boys back to their mom, and we won't see them again until our wedding. (Whoa that sounded weird and crazy.) It's been a great six weeks with them this summer, and we've had so much fun together! We have to wake up super early in the morning to hit the road, then drive five hours to North Georgia. Then Jeff and I will head over to Atlanta, to spend one night at his best friend/best man Adam's house. Tomorrow is also our two-year anniversary! But we're putting the celebration on hold for a few days, and we'll go out one night next week. Sunday my whole family will get together for lunch to celebrate our two August birthdays, and then I'm hoping to get some wedding planing or wedding crafting done in the afternoon/evening.

Definitely going to be a busy weekend, but I'm still of course looking forward to it! Hope y'all have good Friday's, and fun weekends as well!

Much Love,

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Plane Tickets for the Honeymoon Have Been Purchased

So for a very abbreviated story real quick - I was cut off BIG TIME in traffic this morning on my way to work, and it infuriated me. I was yelling and laying on my horn like crazy, and my heart was racing. My mama (who was directly in front of me in her car), saw it happen and she said was so livid she wanted to get his tag number and call the police to report his aggressive driving. Suffice it to say, that wasn't the loveliest way to start off my day.....

But in much more pleasant and exciting news, I really just wanted to stop in here for a bit and say how freaking EXCITED I am, because Jeff and I got our honeymoon booked last night!!!!! Thanks to his very generous parents and their time-share-owner-points-stuff through Sheraton hotels, we will be spending seven nights at the Westin Lagunamar Resort in Cancun, Mexico!!!!

We also got a jump on it and booked our plane tickets last night, and found a pretty awesome deal through Thanks for negotiating those prices for us, Mr. Priceline Dude. We appreciate that! So now, Plane Tickets for the Honeymoon Have Been Purchased, and the reservations at the resort have been made! And clearly I'm pretty pumped about that! Just to make you drool a little bit, here's some photos from their website of where we'll be staying :)

You guys, I'm so excited about this I can hardly even stand it! We're only 58 days away from wedding day, but that feels like so long in respect to boarding that plane to Cancun! Holy crap, we're going on our honeymoon to Cancun! Seriously, I might explode with excitement and happiness. Be prepared to clean up bits of confetti and glitter and sunshine rays, because I'm sure that's all that's inside me right now with all this excitement :)

Much Love,

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Preparing to Run a 5K

Despite how exhausted I'm feeling right now (a 2.5-mile early morning run will do that to ya...), I'm still so freaking excited this morning! Why you ask? Well......I'm excited because I finally broke 180, and I'm now into a new weight decade!

Highest starting weight = 227
January starting weight = 217
Last week, July 31 = 181.6
Today, August 7 = 179.4

Sheesh. It feels like it took close to forever to finally break out of the 180's, but honestly, I don't even care right now because I'm just so happy to have done it. Of course it wasn't near as quickly as I would have liked (considering my goal was 180 by my sister's wedding on May 18th....), but I didn't give up and I finally made it. It really feels quite strange actually, to know that my weight is in the 170's. Anyone know what I mean by that?  I mean, to be well over 200 for so long, and now to say I weigh 170-something -- it's just a bit of a strange feeling! But don't you get me wrong, it's definitely a good kind of strange, if that makes any sense!

Anyways, workouts are going great still, even though I wasn't able to make it to zumba at all last week. I was still able to exercise at least a tiny bit almost every day during the week, and I typically rest both weekend days, although I'm trying to change that...

Wednesday: lunch-time ab class & a quick 1/2-mile run before it started storming like crazy (524 cals)
Friday: 2.27-mile run before work (392 calories)
Monday: 2.5-mile run before work and 40-minute lunch-time walk with my aunt (602 calories)
Tuesday: 1.2-mile run and an hour of zumba (898 calories)
Wednesday: 2.5-mile run before work (352 calories) and I'm going back to the ab class again at lunch

Rocking my mismatched socks. Life's too short to waste time trying to match socks, am I right?!

So here's a running update for y'all now, and a bit of a non-scale victory. I first started this running journey back in mid-February. When I began, I felt like I could barely run one lap on the track without hyperventilating and having to take a quick walk break. I eventually pushed until I could run half a mile without walking, and then got my mile time down from 16:30ish to right at 12 minutes, with some walking still. Well now, I can somewhat easily run right around 1.25 miles without walking at all, and I do it in about 11:30. Hello improvement!

My 5K training is going great, and I really do feel like each week I can feel myself getting stronger and becoming a better runner. This week, I'm at 2.5 miles, three days a week, and it feels pretty good. I'm doing it right around 30 minutes, which I think is pretty good for me. And speaking of 5K training, my friends and I finally all decided on a cute name for our team for The Color Run - the Painted Pixies! So cute right!? And it fits my P-theme perfectly for my blog :) We are exactly one month away from race day, and I am just so stinking excited about it!!

I officially registered, created our team, and paid my fee last night, so there's no turning back now! I'll be running in my very first 5K race in just 31 days. I think my goal will be to finish the whole thing in 40ish minutes, but if it takes longer, I'm not going to beat myself up about it too much, because we'll be having so much fun going through each of the color stations! Here's the map of where we'll be running here in town. It's down on FSU's campus, so it will at least be a fun route through the gorgeous campus!

All-in-all, things are going great on the weight loss front, and on the running front. I'm Preparing to Run a 5K, and I'm feeling really anxious and excited for it. I'm glad the first one I do is going to be the Color Run, because I just think it will be so much fun - especially with awesome girlfriends running with me! Who knew that I would one day be excited about running? I sure never would have guessed that. But I'm honestly so proud of myself for doing it, and sticking to it even when I don't feel like it. Becoming a runner is a weird thing for me, but it's been a good journey so far!

Thanks for all y'all's love and support on this journey with me! It truly does mean so much and make me so happy and give me warm fuzzy feelings inside this little heart of mine :)

Much Love,

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Projects for the Wedding Update

Two weeks ago, I posted a list of all the projects that need to be done for the wedding. This morning, I opened up that post hoping I was able to cross a thing or two off the list, and kinda had a freak out when I realized that not one of those things had been done yet. Yikes! Now, that doesn't mean I haven't done anything, but it does mean I haven't done any actual projects.

But that's because the twins are still here, and it's not like a have a ton of free time when there are twin seven-year-old boys running around. So next week, my life is becoming wedding project central. For serious. And I'm super excited about it actually! There are so many fun projects and crafts that I want to do, and I can't wait to finally get started on them.

First up on the agenda though, will be getting our invitations out. As of yesterday, we're exactly two months away from the big day, and so those babies gotta go out in the mail pretty ASAP here! I ordered envelopes last night from an awesome site called I got 200 envelopes for just $40.50, including the shipping! And they should be here before Friday. Awesome. Once they're here, I will immediately start addressing them, even though the invites themselves won't be in quite yet.

And speaking of the invitations, I am so stinking psyched about them!! My blog-friend-turned-real-life-friend Angie did an amazing job designing them for us, and I just love them so so much! We're sending them to print through VistaPrint, and I can't wait to see how they turn out in-real-printed-life.

Some things I have actually accomplished are:
- Met with florist and went over flowers and set up and all that jazz
- Ordered invitation envelopes
- Researched my bridal jewelry, and where I can find it for a decent price
- Ordered wedding day shoes!
- Bought some stuff at Hobby Lobby for our cake topper craft
- Ordered the bicycle basket to use for cards on our gift table (gonna cute it up a bit too)
- Figured out our wedding favors
- I feel like there was at least one or two other things for this list, but now I can't remember them....

So things are happening, but obviously (based on the post from a couple weeks ago), there's still a whole lot more to do. But I'm not feeling crazy or overwhelmed with it all, I'm just excited to finally get started. This summer has been super busy having the boys here for six full weeks, and it's made wedding planning during that time very tricky. Now I should have plenty more time to get down to business, and really get moving on some things! I can't wait actually, I'm just so excited to get moving on plans and projects!

Wish me luck as I go into crazy-wedding-planning-mode over the next two months, and feel free to offer up more of you helpful tips and tricks and suggestions and all that, because I'm open to anything!

Much Love,

Monday, August 5, 2013

Party, Pool, Pictionary, Pizza & Putt-Putt

Whoa that's a lot of things in one weekend that start with a "P!" Makes naming this post pretty easy :) So, I'm feeling a bit tired today, but (as weird as this sounds) it's a good kind of tired, because I started off my day and my week with a 2.5-mile run this morning! My legs are now tired and sore, but I'm feeling good about it, and definitely glad I got up and did it! Week 5 of 5K training is underway. And now of course, let's rewind the past few days and do a bit of weekend recapping. Well, the weekend plus a Thursday recap as well...

Pizza and putt-putt with the fiance, the twins, Lacey, Josh and Danielle at Fun Station! Their awesome Thursday-night deal is: buy a large pizza for $3.99, and get four games of putt-putt for free! Holy crap that's just too good to pass up, am I right?

Tried out a new pizza place here in town, Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint, and it was so freaking delicious! I had a Portobello Pesto Pizza, and I loved it. Sooo yummy. And there were so many other options I wanted to try, so I can't wait to go back and get something different. Then we did some shopping at Walmart to get ready for the twins' birthday party the next day, and even found us all matching shirts to go with the party theme - get ready for pictures of those from Saturday :)

Birthday party day for the twins! It was actually about a week and a half ago, but we waited until we could work it out the best, and it ended up being a great day for a party at the park! We had a Superman theme, so there was red and blue everywhere, and the four of us all wore matching Superman tshirts we found at Walmart!

After the party, we spent quite a few hours enjoying the beautiful sunshine at the pool, then cooked dinner at Josh & Lacey's house. Then while the kids all watched a movie, we played a couple rounds of our favorite game - Pictionary! One round of couple vs couple, and one round of boys vs girls. Always lots and lots of fun when we play Pictionary!
Picture of ALL the kids at the pool ;)
The usual morning of hurch and lunch with my parents, then my Mama and I went wedding shoe shopping for me at DSW. Unfortunately, we didn't find anything, so I'm still on the hunt for shoes. Turning my search online now to see what I can find! Then Jeff and the boys and I enjoyed movie rest time for a bit, before the boys finally got restless and forced us back into action. We made a trip to Target (I bought a new dress, in a smaller size!!), then grabbed food from a new-ish place called Zacadoo's - where thanks to a coupon and kids meals being cheaper past 4 pm, all four of us ate dinner for a mere $8.94, and it was really good too! Score!

I then went to Kohl's while Jeff bathed the boys and got them ready for bed. I found a new dress for one of my upcoming wedding showers, and a potential leaving-the-wedding-dress. I just want to try it one with the proper undergarments (*ahem* my Spanks slip....) and see how it looks. I also got two cute, soft v-neck t-shirts, and since I had a coupon, and a couple gift cards, I only paid $4 for two dresses and two shirts. I love when stuff like that happens!

Now it's Monday morning, and I've got two full days ahead of me at work. I've been in training for the last three weeks, just sitting in my supervisor's office learning and watching. Today and tomorrow however, she's out of the office so I finally get to do some work on my own! It's a big responsibility, but I'm ready for it, and I'm ready to just do some hands-on training of my own. So wish me luck as I work on my own the next two days! Happy Monday morning, and happy start to a new week!

Oh, and here's my current mani, which I kinda love! This is the first time I've tried the free-hand painted clouds, but I think I did a decent job, and I will definitely be trying again sometime. Jeff also likes them, and says they remind him of the clouds from Mario (the video game), and I think he's right!

A bit chipped, because this is four days after I first painted them last Thursday...
Much Love,

*P.S. - This week I'm linking up with Glitter & Gloss, Sami's Shenanigans and Synfully Delicious.*

Friday, August 2, 2013

Picking A Team Name & Friday's Letters

Dear Friday: Always nice to see you.

Dear Fiance: I just want you to know how freaking excited I am to marry you! We are just over two months away, and I'm more than ready :) I mean, the wedding-planning-part is fun and all, but I think the actual being-married-part is going to be wayyy more awesome. Can hardly wait!

Dear 5K Training: I'm now officially halfway done, and I'm feeling great. This morning's run was scheduled for 2.25, and the first mile ended up being my fastest one yet, at 10:40. That's such a crazy huge improvement y'all! Remember when I first started running in February, my mile was around 15 minutes? So I've now been able to shave off 5 minutes from when I first began - that's crazy!

Dear Color Run Team: Seriously, we have got to pick ourselves a name so we can get registered for the race! I don't want us to miss the early registration discount, and I certainly don't want it to get full before we sign-up. So let's get a move on here, shall we?!

Dear Angie: The wedding invitations are looking sooo good so far! You really have grasped our ideas and vision so well, and you're doing an awesome job. Every time you text me to say you've emailed updates or another draft, I just about pee my pants trying to check my email fast enough. I can't wait to see how they turn out once you're all done in a few more days! Eeeek!

Dear Shutterfly: You rock. I ordered my book last Wednesday night, around 11 pm, and then got an email on Friday saying it was shipped. Well then I got it already this Wednesday - and it's perfect! I love it so so very much, and it's going to make the perfect guest book for our wedding. (Below is the front cover, which came out so amazing.)

Dear Twins: I'm excited for y'all's birthday party tomorrow morning! I just really super hope it doesn't rain and ruin the whole thing, since we're planning on having it outdoors at the park! So weather? I'm gonna need you to cooperate with us again this weekend, mmmkay? Thanks.

Dear Blog Friends & Real-Life Friends: Thank you all so so much for so many kind words of encouragement on Tuesday during my little pity-party/whiny day. Seriously, it wasn't even that big of a deal, but you guys were all so sweet and it made me feel so much better! I'm back to feeling more like myself again now, and things are feeling great :)

Looking forward to another fun, summer weekend with family and friends, and Jeff and the twins! (I honestly love it when I kinda rhyme on accident.) And hopefully we can get some more wedding planning and/or wedding shopping done, so I can cross some more things off my list! Happy Friday y'all, and happy weekend!

Much Love,

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Posing for Engagement Pictures

So now that our save-the-dates have officially gone out to (almost) everyone - we're still having issues with the account we created - I can finally share our amazing engagement photos! We only ended up using two of the photos for our cards, but I still didn't want to let the cat out of the bag too early, then have none of our family and friends be excited or surprised if they had seen them already on the ole' bloggy-blog. But now the time has finally come!!

We took these way back in April, in St. Augustine, Florida. We were oh-so-very blessed and fortunate, because Jeff's Uncle Phil is actually a professional photographer! So he very happily agreed to shoot our engagement session for us in St. Augustine, especially since he lives in Jacksonville! Even though it rained on our entire shoot, basically the whole day, Phil did such an excellent job capturing so many beautiful pictures!

Get ready for pictures galore - "This is the event you've all been waiting for......and away we go!" That last part is a movie quote, and if anyone can guess it, I'll send you some Julep fingernail polish ;) Anyone?

This is one from our save-the-date, that Jeff Photoshopped the "5" in, since our original date was the 12th.

This one is definitely my favorite! There's just so many things about it I love.
This is the second one we used on our save-the-dates.  And this is my Mama's favorite one :)
We chose to do the photos in St. Augustine for a couple of reasons:
  1. It was close and convenient to Phil and Tammy, without making them drive three hours to Tally. 
  2. I went to school there, at Flagler College, so the small town was my home for four years during college, and I loved it so very much. 
  3. It was the very first trip Jeff and I ever went on together, way back in 2011, to attend his Grandpa's funeral (in Jacksonville actually, but we also spent time in St. Augustine that weekend as well.)
  4. We've gone back together multiple times since then to visit all my old friends who still live there, and Jeff has come to love the city too!
And for all those reasons, St. Augustine is a special place not only for me, but for us as a couple. And it really meant a lot to be able to have our engagement photos taken there as well, in this gorgeous little town that we both now love so much! All of these were taken in the following locations: historic downtown, the Castillo de San Marcos fort, the Spanish Mission, and Flagler College.

I am so so happy and pleased with the way the pictures turned out. I mean, you can't even tell that we were being rained on during the majority of these. For real - we were standing in the rain for at least half of the pictures above, and they still look amazing! Huge props to Uncle Phil (and his lovely assistant/wife/Aunt Tammy) for all they did for us that day, and the beautiful photos they created for us! If you're in the Jax area, check him out here.

Glad I'm finally getting around to sharing these with y'all, and thanks for being patient and waiting for the past three months! I promise not to take so long sharing our wedding pictures in a couple of months! :)

Much Love,