Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Push Harder, I Must

Welp, I had some issues with my alarm again this morning - the issue being that I turned them off in a semi-sleep state, and then proceeded to go back to sleep for far too long. Thus resulting in missing another regularly scheduled day of running before work. Sooo, I'll attempt to do today's run tonight after work, and hopefully I don't pass out from the heat. But let's get to the reason we're all here today - it's weigh-in Wednesday!

Highest starting weight = 227
January starting weight = 217
Last week, July 24 = 181.4
Today, July 31 = 181.6

I think we're just gonna act like this week is a 'maintain' week, because I mean the 'gain' is only 2 ounces, and that's really nothing at all. So this week is basically the same as last week. Womp, womp. I'd rather it be the same than a couple of pounds gained though, so I'm not complaining. I am however a little upset, because I really wanted to officially hit 180 by the end of July, and that didn't quite happen.

Why did I want to hit 180 by the end of the month, you ask? This time last year was when I first set my first goal weight of 180, when I made my 25 Before 25 list last July. At the time, I was doing OK with losing weight and was probably around 197 or so. But then I stopped caring for a few months, and by December I had hit 217. So I was determined to make that 180 mark by this July, to round out the year. And I came so stinking close! But I still missed it by just around a pound and a half. Dumb. 

That also means I didn't meet my goal to lose four more pounds this month. I should have made it to 179 in order to meet that goal, but still, I was just a couple pounds off from that. (My original goal was set at the beginning of June, to lose four pounds a month, for the next four months, in order to reach my wedding day goal of 170.) I lost four in June, and just two in July. I'm ready to keep going though, and get back on track and lose four more in August. 

Even though I've missed my morning runs both Monday and today, I'm still officially training for my 5K. I ran yesterday morning to make up for Monday, and I'll run tonight to make up for this morning. Then Friday morning I'll get back to my regular running schedule. I've also started doing stuff before bed every night, to work out my arms, shoulders and back. I have little 5-pound hand weights, and I go through a circuit of about five different moves to target those areas, then I do some push-ups as well. (Oh, and some squats are mixed in there in combination with some arm stuff.) 

Google made all my silly selfies into a GIF! Awesome.
I think starting tomorrow, I'm going to attempt two full weeks of being as carb-free as possible. This is always such a huge challenge for me, considering how much I like things such as bread, pasta, potatoes and just carbs in general. But I think it'll be a great way to kick-start the month of August, and get my eating habits back on track a bit more. I've gotten pretty lax with it lately, so I really need to reign it in a bit, in order to make the most out of all the exercise I'm putting in, rather than wasting it by eating so unhealthy. 

So here's to a new month, new goals, and another four pounds off this body. In order to do that, I must push myself harder. I just need to find a new way to motivate myself a little more, in order to light a new fire of determination and focus. What are some of y'all's little tips and tricks for staying motivated? Do you make yourself some sort of reminder? Do you spend hours looking at 'fitspiration' quotes? Do you have certain music that gets you in the mood to workout? Please tell me! I love hearing new suggestions and ideas, and I could really use some right now. So help me keep myself on track with some fresh motivation!

Much Love,

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pulling Myself Out of This Funk

Today is a day to just tell you how I feel..........

I feel really disconnected from this blog lately, and from blogging in general. I think mainly, it's because I have just been sooo legitimately busy the past few weeks. I started a new job back in the beginning of the month, and since then, I really have zero time to read other blogs. I can't even tell you the last time I just sat down and read a bunch of blogs for the fun of it! And I miss that.

I've also been very busy with all sorts of wedding planning. We're now only 67 days away from the big day, and there's still just a TON of stuff that still needs to be accomplished. Like whoa. I'm doing my best, but it's just hard to stay on top of it all. And planning a wedding is definitely fun - don't get me wrong - but I'll also just be glad once we get past it, and I feel like I can breathe again.

The boys (Jeff's 7-year-old twins) have been here a lot this summer, and that's been great. I really do love them so much and I'm so excited for us to officially become a little family in October. I'm so thankful for the time we have with them during the summer months, since they usually live 9 hours away from us - but it's hard having no time to ourselves for so long. (I really hope that didn't sound like the most horrible, selfish thing to say...please know that's not how I meant it.)

Workouts now happen at least five times a week, with three of those occurring before the sun is even fully in the sky. I wake up early and go to bed late, and I never quite get enough rest. And even though I'm working out so much and running my booty off, I continue to not eat as healthy as I should, so I'm just barely maintaining my weight, rather than losing anything. And of course that's frustrating, but I know it's no one's fault but my own. I just need to get it together...

Basically, I'm just ready for a break. I'm ready for a vacation. I'm ready for some me time. And the great news is that I'm going to be able to get that come October 6th! I'm so excited to marry this man whom I love so much, and who loves me even more in return. But I'm also just really excited to go on a vacation with him once it's all over :)

Today just feels like it's off to a rough start (I had some serious issues on my run this morning that seem to have set the tone for the day), but I'm working on Pulling Myself Out of This Funk, and I'll be Positive Patty once again in a few hours. For now though, I just wanted to write it all out and kinda get it off my chest a little bit. Thanks, blog friends, for lending a listening ear, and always offering encouragement and kind words. That's one of my favorite things about this blogging community we're in!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Putt-Putt On A Friday Night

This Monday morning is kinda off to a rough start (I mean, I just misspelled/mistyped 'Monday' about 5 times...). I was just so dang sleepy this morning! I overslept my early alarms, and by the time I woke up, it was too late for my early morning 5k training run. I felt bad I skipped it, but it might be good I got an extra hour of sleep today. I wish I could have gotten another hour actually! But I think it's all just due to a great weekend spent with my fiance, the twins and some great friends!

Took the boys to Fun Station for some arcade games, pizza and putt-putt! We found a good deal, used some coupons and found some leftover arcade money from a couple of months ago, and so the four of us had a great little family night out, and did it pretty inexpensively. Score! Afterwards, we even treated ourselves to some delicious frozen yogurt, with coupons of course ;) After some cuddling and snuggling before the boys went to sleep, I then went home and stayed up watching a movie until 2:30 am! I was living on the edge that night...

Did a bit of cleaning and laundry around the house (cleaned out under my sink, so I get to cross that off from my summer bucket list), then went over to Jeff's house. We all cuddled up together and watched 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame,' and the boys were just being so sweet and loving, and it was just nice to cuddle and rest a bit more. Then once the sun had come out, we went to the pool for a few hours with some friends. Later that afternoon, we went to a belated wedding shower in honor of Jeff's younger brother, who got married in Texas in the beginning of June. Back at home that night, we had a late dinner and then all cuddled up to watch a movie before the boys went to sleep. Then I stayed up kinda late again at my house watching a movie!

After church, we had lunch with Jeff's family, then quickly got read to head back to the pool again. But first, we made a pit stop to look at a little house we're interested in renting. It's currently getting some work done (painting the guest bathroom, put new laminate wood floors in the bedrooms, new faucets & outlets...), but overall, we really liked it a lot! We're still thinking about it, but it's got some potential. Then we went to the pool to meet friends again, and we enjoyed a great afternoon of sunshine - finally!! We then went over to Josh and Lacey's house, and the boys grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and pork loin, while Lacey and I made the rest of dinner in the kitchen!

We're looking at the left side of this little duplex/townhouse, the purple one! :)
This was Jeff's plate - I tried to eat a little less than this as to not ruin all my hard work. 
We seriously had a great weekend over the past few days. I just felt so lucky and in love and my heart was so very full getting to spend so much quality time with Jeff and the boys. I am so in love with this man, and with his precious children, and I can't wait to get married (in less than 70 days now!), and become a little family. I'm so thankful for this blessing in my life!

I'm already looking forward to another fun weekend, and I can't wait to spend more time with these sweet little boys, and of course Jeff too! Just have to get through five days of work first, unfortunately... So let's just get to it and get it over with!

And here's my weekly mani, that I created to be sunny and summery, in order to add some sun in my life last week while the rains were just steady pouring down. And I think it worked, because we had a beautiful weekend finally of blue skies and bright sunshine!

Hope y'all's Monday mornings are off to a better start than mine. And hopefully I can pull myself together and get this Monday on the right track! Tonight my Mama and I are going to our wedding site to have a meeting with the florist, so I'm pretty excited for that. I'm still not entirely sure what I want, flower-wise, so I'm really hoping she can give lots of good advice and ideas, and help steer me in a more specific direction. Can't wait to see what she might come up with!

Much Love,

*Linking up with Glitter & Gloss, Sami's Shenanigans and Synfully Delicious*

Friday, July 26, 2013

Promo's, Proposals & Letters

Dear Weekend: It's so nice to see you. Think you can work out a special deal with Mr. Sun for us here in Florida? It's now rained 21 out of the last 24 days, and that's wayyyy more than enough. Move on. So let's have a nice, bright, warm, blue-skied weekend for once this summer? How does that sound, hmmm?!?

Dear Nike Running: Looks like your GPS was pretty accurate this morning - finally. And I like the overall feel and use of the app so far. So I'll test you out with a few more runs and see how everything is. If all goes well, looks like I'll have my new running app! (Oh, and week 3 of 5K training is now done!) The problem will be when I get back to bike rides though, because then I'll need a new app for that. Any cyclists out there with a great app recommendation to track bike rides?

Dear Mama: I hope you find a mother-of-the-bride dress this weekend on your trip to Atlanta! I'll be keeping my fingers crossed, and sending lots of good vibes up your way :)

Dear Shutterfly: Thanks for awesome, random promo codes that allow me to make an awesome photo book for 50% off. Now we will have a super cute photo book to use as our wedding guest book, and I can't wait to see how it turns out! Send me that bright orange package quick, because I'm so excited to see it!

Dear Lacey & Josh: I'm so excited for you guys - and I'm so glad I was able to be there to witness the proposal! Happy to have friends like y'all to share special times with!

Dear Angie, Jenni & Lacey: We need to come up with a team name for The Color Run! I want something cute or awesome or funny, or just something really cool - but I have no idea yet what that will be. Y'all have any ideas? Anyone else have any ideas? As soon as we come up with a team name, then we need to get ourselves registered before it get's full, so let's get moving on this!

Dear Work Day: Let's scoot through this as fast as possible, if you don't mind. It's nothing personal, I'd just really like to be done with you sooner rather than later. So don't just linger on and on for no reason. Feel free to just fly on by faster than a fancy car on the Autobahn. Thanks so much for your cooperation.

Dear Readers: I love y'all and wish you the best Friday, and an even more best weekend. Happy smiles and internet hugs to all of you! :)

Much Love,

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Prints, Twins, Paychecks & Jeans

Here comes another random blog post of some of my ramblings and musings on this pretty Thursday morning... :)

I get to wear jeans to work today for special "disaster relief" recognition, and that makes me happy. Here's the thing though - I'm down to one pair of jeans that "fit" and actually they don't really fit at all, because their to BIG! I need to go grab a new pair in a smaller size that will look a whole lot less baggy and saggy and droopy. Not a bad problem to have, huh?

Tonight at midnight my paycheck will be direct deposited into my account. And that's normal. The exciting part is, this will be my first paycheck of my new position! So it should be a niiiiiice little upgrade from that old crappy position :) Yay for a new big girl job and new big girl paycheck to go with it!

Yesterday, Jeff's twins Ryan and Gabe, turned seven years old! Their Nana (Jeff's mom) always let's them pick their own presents from Toys-R-Us, so we went there first, then Chick-fil-A (where they were given huge ice cream cones instead of the kid-sized ones since they told the worker girl it was their birthday), and then we even had some cake at the house! Love these cute little guys :)

Yesterday I got an email from Shutterfly for 50% of any of their products - the catch was that it expired last night at midnight... So when we got back to Jeff's house last, I planted my bootay at the kitchen table with my laptop, and I made it happen! I made a super cute photo book of all of our favorite pictures of Jeff and I from our whole relationship, and we're going to use it as our guest book for our wedding! I'm sooo excited to see it in real life, so I hope it ships super fast!

Also last night, we were talking about our wedding invitations, and blah, blah, blah... Well my blog-friend turned real-life-friend Angie (who has a degree in graphic design) has so so so graciously offered to design our invites for us, for free! We will just have to get them printed ourselves. So we started talking about VistaPrint, and that I've occasionally seen deals for them online, so we checked, and lo and behold we found a LivingSocial deal for pay $10 and get to spend $50! There was only 5 hours left on the deal before it expired, so we each bought one. It won't cover the entire cost of printing them, but it will certainly help out quite a bit. Thank goodness for that - budget bride over here!

I realized I never shared our save-the-date card or our engagement pictures last week like I said I would - oopise! Well, here's our save-the-date card, and I still plan on sharing all the rest of the pictures, but I'll save that for it's own post, since there are so many photos I love and want to include!

Let me just brag on my future husband for a bit here really quick too... When we originally picked our wedding date, it was October 12th. So we made a cute little banner in our wedding colors to take pictures with, with the intention of using it on our save-the-dates. Well then we had to change our date to the 5th, but our banner and picture still said the 12th. I didn't want to not use it, so my dear fiance came up with a great plan - we just painted a new square with the 5 on it, took a picture, and then he used his fancy computer skills and PhotoShopped that baby in there! And you can't even tell! I watched him do it and I was just amazing at how efficient he was with it, and how easy he made it look! And I'm 100% happy with the final project and how it turned out. Thanks honey :)

Florida is still basically experiencing monsoon season, and my tan is practically non-existent anymore at this point. My powder is almost too dark for my face (seeing as how I'm using my "summer color" now), and that is unacceptable. The plan is to head to the beach on Saturday with the boys for a little while, but if it ends up raining and spoiling our plans, I'm going to be one sad girl over here. I need sunshine in my life!! Get it together Florida.

Well, I think I've rambled on and on for long enough now. (Is it ever really long enough for me though considering how much I just love to talk? I don't think so...) But anyways, I'll just go ahead and wrap up now, before I overstay my welcome. Hope y'all have a great day, and I'll "see" you again tomorrow!

Much Love,

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Plan for Success

No beating around the bush today, because I'm kinda in a hurry here before work starts. Plus y'all know what Wednesday's are all about around this part of the internets...

Highest starting weight = 227
January starting weight = 217
Last week, July 17 = 182.2
Today, July 24 = 181.4

And that puts me at a loss of .8 for the past week. Small, but still gladly welcomed. Total, that means I'm still sitting around a 45-pound loss total, and hello? That's obviously nothing to be upset about. Now some more exciting news for the week, I found a 4th girl to run The Color Run with myself, Jenni and Lacey, so we can make a 4-person team! (And get a bit of a discount on registration fees!) My blog-friend turned real-life-friend Angie agreed this weekend to join us, so now we just get to come up with a fun team name, then make something cute we can all wear to the race! I'm so pumped to have these awesome girls run my first 5K with me! Training for the 5K is still going good, and as of this morning, I just completed week 3, day 2. I ran 2.14 miles in 25:11 minutes, or there about... 

It seems I'll forever be obsessed with the Fast & Furious franchise. But this song is pretty awesome y'all!
I say that because I seem to be having serious issues with the GPS in my phone, because my running apps can't seem to get it quite right. I've historically always used RunKeeper for biking, running and hiking (and I've always loved it!), but then it's been messing up every run for the last four times in a row. So I downloaded MapMyRun and NikeRunning to test out. This morning I used MapMyRun, and things were still a bit off - not as bad as with RunKeeper, but the map still needed to be edited from the computer once I was done. So I guess next I'll try NikeRunning and see how it does, and hopefully it will be more accurate that the first two. What apps do y'all use to track your runs? Are there better ones out there? Or is it just issues with my Verizone iPhone 4 and it's GPS signals...?

Anyways, my workouts are going good, and since I've started running in the morning, I'm now consistently working out five days a week. And I'm feeling great!

Thursday: 1/2-mile run, and an hour of zumba (700 calories)
Friday: 1.66-mile run (281 calories)
Monday: 1.84-mile run before work, and 40-minutes walking the stairs at lunch with my aunt (634 calories)
Tuesday: .39-mile test run (of MapMyRun) and an hour of zumba (641 calories)
Wednesday: 2.14-mile run (318 calories)

And that's about all I've got to share with y'all today! I'm still doing my ViSalus shakes for breakfast and lunch, and lately my snacks have been a small red apple around 10 am, and a reduced-fat string cheese around 3:30 pm. I know I've been eating too many carbs though for dinner time, so I'm going to start focusing on that again more closely for a while. And then I might want to try something a bit extreme again, food-wise, for a little while, in order to kick my weight loss up a notch as we get closer and closer to wedding day! Maybe I should go carb-free again? Or do something similar to the Daniel Fast where I basically ate vegan? I don't know - I'll have to plan and think about all that for a bit before I rush into any decisions.

My plan is still to reach 170 by the wedding, which means I have about 11 pounds to lose in 73 days. Seems like quite a challenge, but I'm still up for it. I just need to make myself a more concrete Plan for Success, and I know I can succeed.

For now though, I'll just keep doing what I can, and keep on trucking. I'm slowly, oh-so-slowly, starting to reach my goals, and I'm honestly so proud of myself. So #SorryImNotSorry for posting my updates and workouts on Instagram all the time...I've come a long way, and honestly I just want to brag on myself sometimes. And plus, I know that it can help motivate others as well, and I love hearing from other girls that I've helped inspire them! Such a huge inspiration for me actually to hear that, so please feel free to share that with me anytime ;)

Happy Hump Day!
Much Love,

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Projects for the Wedding

As of yesterday, we're exactly two months and two weeks away from our wedding day! Holy crap. I just about had a little panic attack there - because we still have soooo much left to do! For serious. I'm trying to stay on the ball with things, but it's just a lot. Right now, we're focusing on figuring out the flowers. I'm going to use the same florist my sister did for her wedding (so that part was easy), but I just don't know exactly what I want! We're setting up a meeting with her one day next week for me and my Mama to go talk with her, and hopefully we can get that settled and move on from there. Here's just one of the many options I think would make a great bouquet:

Purple Wedding Flowers from
Found via Pinterest
And we have a few craft project ideas in the works, but we really haven't started on any of them. Some are small and can be completed rather quickly (like the mason jars wrapped in book pages I showed yesterday), but others are a bit more time consuming and tricky, and will definitely take much more work. One of those kinds of projects will be to make a good amount of these pom-pom tissue paper puffs. I've made them before, but it's been a few years, and now I don't exactly remember how. The picture I have pinned to my wedding board is a false link and doesn't lead to any instructions, so I just need to do some Google-ing to find how to do this:

Found via Pinterest
And I don't want to give away all of our little craft ideas and projects yet, but here's a quick list of a few other things we still want to do:

-- Decorate boxes for favors
-- Make flags for straws
-- Find/create chalkboards
-- Pictures lining the walkway
-- Book page crafts
-- Fix up my old bicycle
-- Create boxes for our ring-bearers
-- Make groom & groomsmen's boutonnieres

See? Quite a few craft projects to tackle all with about two months left. And like I said, some will be quick and easy, but others are definitely going to be a bit tedious. Looks like we need to get ourselves moving, big time huh?! In addition to these craft projects, there are still plenty of other very important wedding planning items that need to get done as well...

-- Begin our pre-marital counseling
-- Talk with venue about food
-- Get invitations created, printed and sent out (ASAP!)
-- Find my shoes and accessories
-- Finalize groom and groomsmen outfits
-- Figure out plan for ceremony
-- Make honeymoon reservations
-- Buy Jeff's wedding band
-- Get alterations done on my dress

All-in-all, I don't feel tooo stressed about everything yet, but I know I will if I don't start making some serious headway on both of those lists up there. The boys are here again until August 10th, but this time, I'm not taking the whole three weeks off from wedding planning - otherwise, that would be some serious time wasted! I'm hoping to be able to at least cross off a few of those wedding-planning items in the next few weeks, and maybe one of the minor craft projects as well. Here's hoping I can keep myself determined and focused on all my tasks!

And I am still planning on sharing our amazing engagement photos, but I think those will come on Thursday. For now though, I'll share just one for the road to hopefully pique your interest to come check them all out in a couple days! :)

Taken by Phil Pullen Photography
Much Love,

Monday, July 22, 2013

People Watching & Weekend Happenings

This Monday morning seems to be going a little rough so far... nothing specific has really happened, but it just seems like one of those morning's that are a little bit off, a little bit blah. And so I just feel kinda out of it right now. And I'm also kinda in a hurry today to get this blog post out, so we're going with the ever-so-popular, picture-heavy, light-on-words kind of post today to recap the weekend.

Dinner with parents, sister and brother-in-law at the new Texas Roadhouse that just opened here
Dessert with all of them at Big Easy Snowballs, and people watching at Lake Ella
Movie rest time with my parents at home, and fell asleep in the living room around 10:45 like an old lady...

I know it's blurry, but I just wanna include it anyways, so oh well....

Picked up MY wedding dress!!! And it looks gorgeous, and I love it soooo much. Only minor alterations needed and it will be absolutely perfect!
Lunch at the mall with my Mama, and then shopping for a few hours
Did some Pinterest research and Google-ing for wedding stuff
We tried out a craft project for the wedding, and got an idea of how to do it, but it will need some improvements still
Once Jeff and the boys got home, we had pizza at their house, then went and hung out at Lacey's for a bit for the kids to play together

For the wedding, we'll use book pages instead of sheet music, to fit with our theme...
Helped Jeff teach Sunday school at his church, and hung out during their Children's Church hour
Helped get lunch with with Jeff's mama, then we had spaghetti for Sunday family lunch
Took the boys to the pool to meet Lacey & Josh, but by the time we got there it was cloudy and gray
Hung out there anyways, but eventually went back to Lacey's to grill hamburgers and just hang out for a bit

I love coloring pages and crayons
I'm feeling really tired and kinda icky this morning, and would so much rather still be in bed. But alas, that can't happen and instead I'll be at work in training all day instead. I did still get up and run 2 miles this morning, and honestly I'm surprised that I made it through the whole run! Hopefully I start feeling better soon, or else this is going to be a long, rough day.

Hope y'all had a good weekend, and that your Monday is off to a better start than mine is!
Much Love,

Friday, July 19, 2013

Plants, Lotions, Chipotle & Letters

Dear Friday: It's so, so, so good to see you again this week. I've been waiting for you since Monday. (So what if I stole that off a someEcard?) And just for good measure, here's another one. Sadly, I couldn't find the one I was actually talking about, but this one is good too...

Dear Wedding Dress: I'm coming to pick you up TOMORROW!!!! And obviously I'm beyond excited about that. I mean, we just ordered it June 6, and it came in on Monday already. Super speedy. I can't wait to try it on (in my actual size) and see just how much I love it! Holy crap I'm so excited I might burst...

Dear Co-Workers: I still love the plant you gave me as a going-away-present last week. I had to do a bit of Google research on how to take care of it, but I think I can handle it. Luckily for me, a Guzmania doesn't seem to be a super fickle kind of plant, so hopefully I don't kill this little lady. (I'm pretty positive it's a girl...)

Dear Chipotle: Thanks for making salads be so delicious. Yesterday I visited your store here in Tally for lunch, and loved my salad. Lettuce, the fajita stuff, black beans, mild salsa, tiny bit of corn salsa, and a bit of cheese - no dressing was even necessary because it was just so good on it's own. I need to look up the calorie count, but I'm pretty sure it's not too bad. And now I'm craving it again just thinking about it!

Dear Outlook & Yahoo mail: why are you making this so dadgum difficult for us to just email our save-the-dates?! Apparently Yahoo is blocking them? Or putting them straight into spam folders? Not cool. We have tons of people who haven't gotten them yet, and it's going to be such a hassle to go through and re-send only the ones to Yahoo. (It took us a while to even figure out that's what was going on...) But I guess we'll have to, but I'm so not looking forward to doing that over the weekend.

Dear Sunrise: It may not always be fun getting up super early in the morning just to run, but when you look as beautiful as you did this morning, it definitely makes me appreciate that time of the day. Thanks for being so gorgeous today to start my day off in a good mood. (And now I've completed week 2 of my 5K training!)

Dear Fiance: I know you're super excited to see the boys, but I need you to focus and drive safe tonight and tomorrow on your trip to pick up the twins again. Stay safe and alert, and get yourselves back home as soon as you can tomorrow, so we can all play together tomorrow night! Love you :)

Dear Bath & Body Works: I love it when you put your yummy smells on sale! I'm kinda obsessed with lotion and not having my skin feel dry and scaly, so when it's $5 for a big bottle instead of $11, I'm totally down with that. Love stocking up on a couple of bottles for less than half price!

Dear Bloggers: Lately I've been really super busy at work, and so I haven't had any time to actually read many blogs. Like hardly at all really, and if I do, I don't have time to comment much. And I feel so disconnected from y'all! I really appreciate that y'all are still reading my blog, and I promise to catch up with y'all eventually.

Dear Weekend: Let's have a great time, shall we? The sun is supposed to be shining a bit, so I'd love to spend some time enjoying that. And maybe doing a tiny bit of wedding planning would be good too. But most importantly - I hope my wedding dress fits me good! I can't wait!!!!

Happy Friday, my dears :) Hope everyone has a great, sunny, quick day today, and a fun weekend as well!

Much love,

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Piano Guys, Pentatonix & Other Cool Stuffs

Well my fiance has always loved watching all sorts of random videos on YouTube, but I've just never really been quite as into it as he is. He has watched probably thousands and thousands of videos over the last five or so years, where I've probably only watched a couple hundred, max. But there definitely are some videos that are just way too awesome not to share.

So today, I'm doing Things I love Thursday, with a special theme of really cool musical stuffs. There are only six videos below, so I say if you have time, you should definitely watch every single one of them. It's for me to even pick a favorite, because they're just all so awesome!

And if this last video by Kina Grannis is one of the ones you watched, you should also checking out the making of this video as  well, because it's very impressive. I mean, that's a lot of jelly beans people.

Do y'all like just sitting around watching YouTube videos? That's what we did last night for about an hour or so, and it was actually really fun. We hopped and skipped around to all sorts of stuff, just having a good time and singing along to lots of videos. And we found some cool new stuff, so it was a fun time!

What are some of your favorite YouTube videos you think are worth me checking out? I'm already craving another video-watching-session, so that might be happening again by tonight, so let me know some good ones!

Much Love,

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Peanut Butter Cup Shake: Weigh-In Day

Good morning friends and bloggers! Again, I'm immediately drawn back to remembering that silly commercial with the camel who's so dang excited it's hump day - and I guess I'm pretty excited myself actually! We've gotten two days down so far this week, and by lunch time today, we'll be on the downhill slide towards the weekend. And who doesn't love the weekend?! And since it's hump day, that means let's talk about my lady lumps... that was too weird, wasn't it...?

Highest starting weight = 227
January starting weight = 217
Last week, July 10 = 184.2
Today, July 17 = 182.2

Hooray! I'm very happy to report that I was not only able to shed all my weight gain from last week (the result of too much food and fun over a long holiday weekend...), but I am just slightly below where I was from two weeks ago, at 182.8. I was able to lose all my holiday weight, plus a tiny bit more, and now I'm honestly feeling really good about myself :)

I've been killin' my workouts the past couple of weeks, and I think I can actually feel my endurance increasing as I run more and more. As of this morning, I've now completed week 2, day 2 of my 5K training plan.(Although I didn't run quite enough this morning because I slept in too late, so I cut my run a bit short.) Last week, I worked out five days in a row, Monday-Friday. That's probably the first time I've ever done that. And most of those days, I burned an insane amount of calories because I was playing games with kids all night while leading games and rec for VBS with Jeff's church. So let's start with where we left off last week...

Wednesday: 1.52-mile run early in the morning before work (262 calories) 
Thursday: 1-mile run, 1 hour of zumba & lots of VBS games (1224 calories)
Friday: 1.53-mile run in the morning, & 1.16-mile run after work, & lots of VBS games (1018 calories)
Monday: 1.94-mile run in the morning, & 40-minute lunchtime walk with my aunt (665 calories)
Tuesday: .5-mile run & 1 hour of zumba (837 calories)
Wednesday: 1.05-mile run (204 calories)

See? I've bee killin' the workouts this past week! Hallelujer. And I've been eating pretty healthy too. Doing my ViSalus shakes for breakfast and lunch, eating apples and reduced-fat cheese sticks for my snacks, and making healthy choices for dinner. Go me! I'm pumped with my progress these past few weeks, and I feel like I'm in a very good place to keep up the hard work. Before I end this though today, I want to share my measurements again, because it's been quite a while since I've done that.

Peanut-Butter-Cup ViSalus shake. Soooo yummy, and only like 255 calories!

January                             April 24                       July 17
Shoulders - 43.5                 Shoulders - 39.5            Shoulders - 39
Chest (Boobs) - 45           Chest (Boobs) - 42.5     Chest (Boobs) - 42
Upper Arm - 16.5          Upper Arm - 15          Upper Arm - 14
Hips - 52                         Hips - 46.5                    Hips - 45
Upper Waist/Ribs - 40       Upper Waist/Ribs - 36      Upper Waist/Ribs - 35.5
Upper Thigh - 28               Upper Thigh - 24.5          Upper Thigh - 24.25
Neck - 15                          Neck - 14                     Neck - 14
Calf - 17.5                     Calf - 17.5                     Calf - 17.5
Around Chin/Head - 25      Around Chin/Head - 22.5     Around Chin/Head - 22.5

So, I don't have time right now to do all the math and see how many inches I've lost, but you can obviously tell that there are some huge differences in some of those areas! Like hello?! Hips, 7 inches! Ribs, 5 inches! Thighs, almost 4 inches! I mean I know I'm not yet where I'm supposed to be, or where I want to be - but I'm CERTAINLY making huge progress, even if it's taking me forever to get there. I'm just focusing on One Pound at a Time!

Much love to y'all,

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Planning For Our Save-the-Dates

Literally just popping in really quick to say wedding planning is sometimes lots of fun, and sometimes lots of work. I mean, I guess some parts can definitely be both, but last night we dealt with some serious work and stress. We set up an email account with the other day specifically for use concerning wedding stuff. Last night we spent hourrrrrrrsssss adding in all of our contacts and stuff from our guest list, and that was not an easy task.

It's basically all set up and ready now, which is a huge relief, and now we can get on to the fun part tonight hopefully! Because we're sending out our save-the-dates through emails! So I'm excited to get those sent out and start spreading the word. Once all of our save-the-dates get sent out to our guests, I'll share that, and some more of our engagement pictures that I've been hoarding for like three months! So look out for those sometime in the near future :)

Also, can I just point out that there's no "appropriate" way to abbreviate or shorten save-the-dates.... I mean, the abbreviation for it is STD's. Uh-uh. That one's not gonna work as the file name for our picture! And then trying to shorten it, all I could come up with was "saves" or "savesies," and neither of those really make any sense anyways. Soooo, let me know if y'all come up with something clever, that's easier than writing or spelling it out every time. I'd appreciate that.

Hope y'all have a great Tuesday!

Much Love,

Monday, July 15, 2013

Pitaria Weekend Happenings

Good morning Monday, and blog, and bloggy friends. Have a good weekend? I did. Although, let's talk about how going from a four-day weekend, back to just a two-day weekend, is a little rough and I wasn't a huge fan of that. When can we work out another super long holiday weekend? Anyone with me on that?

Well anyways, despite it's seemingly short length, it was still pretty great, and it of course deserves the usual weekend recap, I mean am I right?! So let's back it up...

Well, first of all (before it was officially the weekend), I spent the entire day in training with my new supervisor (who is extremely nice and I like her a lot), and started learning my new position. And it was a loooooot to learn, and we barely even scratched the surface. Still so much more to learn before I get it all down, but I'm on my way at least. I also got to spend just a few quick minutes in my new office, and I can't wait to set up and decorate in here! It's so bare right now and just begging for cutesy little things to brighten up the drab space.

Friday right after work, I went on a short 1.16-mile run for my second run of the day - go me! Then Friday night was the last night of leading games and rec at VBS for Jeff's church, so we took the kids outside and played water games. The kids loved getting soaked just as much as we loved spraying them with squirt guns and water hoses! :) Afterwards, we got cleaned up a bit and went to hang out with a couple friends for a while before finally calling it a night.

Went with my parents to pick up some furniture that my mom's boss was giving away to her for free. We got a big comfy chair with an ottoman, and a huge coffee table. Mom wants to keep the chair (even though I tried to convince her to let me have it), but she said Jeff and I could have the coffee table. It's not exactly our style though, so we'll definitely want to try to DIY something for ourselves. Anyone know what we could do to get that marble out? We're thinking about maybe using some mosaic-type tile, or some Spanish-style stuff, but first, that marble stuff needs to go!

Then we had lunch and ran a few more errands around town, and eventually Jeff came and met us at Marshall's. I bought some cute new things for my office, some cards to use as shower/gift 'Thank-You's', and my Mama bought me a few office things too! Then Jeff and I just hung out at his house for a bit searching on Craigslist for random things, and found a nice comfy chair to buy, almost identical to the one my mom claimed earlier in the day, for only $30! Score. Then we went with his family to see "The Lone Ranger," and we all thought it was a pretty great movie. Definitely entertaining, and I enjoyed it.

Went to church and Sunday school with my parents, and then a group of us did a pot-luck style lunch all together, and that was a great time. Mom and I then spent about an hour going over the guest list and doing a few wedding planning things, and then I went to meet Jeff for more wedding planning. We went and hung out at a local coffee shop down close to FSU's campus, Atomic Coffee, and we sat there for about two-ish hours with laptops and sketch pads and to-do list's, and I think we got a good couple of things accomplished, and at least got the ball rolling on some other things. Then we walked to the Greek restaurant that was right next door, Pitaria, and had a yummy gyro for dinner. It was probably the best one I've ever had. So yummy, and so huge and filling! I was real full from just the gyro, and brought the whole salad home for another day. Definitely going to visit there again.

After dinner, we drove around for a bit checking out a few places we found online to rent, but none of them ended up being good. They were either kinda crappy looking (not like their online picture of course), or one was in an extreeeeemeeeelyyy ghetto part of town. Like whoa. So they all got ruled out tonight. But then we went back to his house, and both pulled out our laptops to continue more wedding planning and research! And guess what, we have even more wedding planning stuff on the schedule for tomorrow, and Tuesday, and Wednesday, and get the picture.

So see? Pretty great weekend, if I do say so myself! Good food, time with lots of family and friends, and Jeff too of course, some shopping and lots of wedding planning. Sadly, the only thing I would have wished to add is some good ole' Florida sunshine! It only barely peeked it's head out for a couple minutes at a time, for a total of like 15 minutes the whole weekend, so it was still practically non-existent here in "The Sunshine State." Psh! Yeah right. Here's what I have to say to that though, "Rain, rain go away! We can't take another day!"

But ending on a happy-ish note - I'm back in training again today, and looking forward to learning more. And maybe I'll get a few minutes to start setting up the cute new things in my office! Tonight after work we're going to pick up that chair we found online, check out some potential groomsmen wear, and then get some save-the-dates sent out! Hooray! Hope y'all had a good weekend as well, and that of course your Monday is off to a good start also :)

Much Love,

Friday, July 12, 2013

Promotions, Peaches & Things That Make Me Happy

Sooo, it's Friday! Duh. Us bloggers always like to point that out though don't we? Now, for those of you that have seen this appear in the form of a guest post lately, so sorry about brain needed a little break, and that break came in the form of just editing a saved draft post I already had :)

But anyways.... I love trying to take the time to recognize and appreciate some of the small things that make me happy. Of course it changes all the time, sometimes almost daily it feels like, but today I just want to share with you five quick things that are currently making me super happy!

1. Summer time. I love the sunshine and the beach and swimming and working on my tan. Seriously - it's one of my favorite things about living in Florida. (Well, Florida's kinda sucking it up in the sunshine department these last two weeks, but still...) I'd permanently set up my beach chair in the waves right there in the picture below and read endless books and get a gorgeous golden tan, if that was an acceptable life choice.

2. Wedding planning! We're at a pretty fun part of the process, and I definitely have what a fellow blogger-friend of mine described as "bride brain." It's all I can think about sometimes!

3. That my co-workers bought me a pretty plant to take with me to my new office. They also all signed a really cute card and we all ate cake together yesterday. I definitely felt the love and support from my old section for my promotion, as they bid me farewell and into my new section!

4. Watching the whole series of FRIENDS again. I've seen the whole thing multiple times (probably three or four, and then of course random episodes all the time), but my fiance hasn't ever watched them all the way through. We just started season one last week, and I'm loving it. It's definitely my favorite show!

5. Fresh fruits! Mangoes, peaches, strawberries, cherries (the fresh kind, not those nasty jar ones), green apples, bananas and watermelon - seriously y'all, summer time is great for fresh, yummy fruit, and I'm definitely trying to take advantage of that! And and even more than just the fruit, is putting fresh fruit on my fro-yo, because I'm definitely loving some fro-yo lately!

Simple list, but each of these things brings me so much enjoyment and happiness. I think y'all should also try to list at just five little things that make you happy. I think it makes us stop and appreciate those things so much more when we take time to actually recognize them! So think about it, and then make sure you take advantage of those things.

If it's a person - tell them.
If it's a place - go for a quick visit.
If it's an activity - get out and do it!
If it's food - definitely eat it.

Whatever it is, just make sure you take time to enjoy whatever it is that makes YOU happy!

I hope y'all have a great Friday today, and of course the most bestest weekend too! Come back again on Monday, and I'll have some 'fresh content' for ya from my weekend happenings and hoopla's. Tootles ladies!

Much love,

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Position With Benefits

GUYS!!!! Anyone know what happens tomorrow? Well, probably not because I haven't actually mentioned it yet here on the bloggy-blog, buuuuttt....I START MY NEW POSITION TOMORROW! And obviously I'm quite a bit excited about it. Can't you tell? At least a little bit?

Anyways, I currently work for the State of Florida, doing assistant/clerical kind of work, which I've been doing for two years and seven months. My old position is OPS (Other Personnel Services), which means that I am still paid by an hourly wage, I don't get benefits or any retirement options, paid vacations or any holiday/sick time. So basically it kinda sucks, as far as all that goes. Well, about a month ago, I interviewed (and had to do a test!) for a new position in my Department, in another section, and after waiting around for literally four weeks, I just found out last Monday that I was selected for the position!

This entire week, I've been training a girl who will be taking my place, and that's been interesting.... I'm having to try to teach her everything I've learned in almost three years, in just three days. And y'all, that's a TON of information to try to tell somebody! Luckily for me, she seems to be a pretty smart cookie, and the training hasn't been too difficult. I've just been running my mouth nonstop trying to go over every possible little thing, in hopes that I'm making some sense to her!

So today is my last day of training her about my old position, and then tomorrow I will report to my new supervisor to begin training with her. Then I'll be learning and training with her for at least a week, maybe two depending on how quickly I can catch on, and then finally I'll move on and start all my new duties on my own.

But y'all wanna know the best part of this deal? Well actually, there's lots of perks with this new position. The first one is that I'll move from OPS into Career Service, which means I now have a salary (like a big girl!), and I'll get paid vacation days like Labor Day and Veteran's Day and Christmas and all those fun kinds of days. I'll also start accruing annual and sick leave hours that I'll get paid for if I need to use those to be out of work. I'll also get my own benefits and insurance now.

But now let's actually get to the best part - I will have my very own office! It has four walls and a door...and a WINDOW! This is the real deal y'all, not just some desk out in the open where everyone passes by me 4,271 times a day. This will be my very own office! And I'm stoked. (Once I get some cute stuff set up in there, I'll share some pictures of the new space.) Yes, my new position is definitely going to be much harder, and I'll actually have to put more effort into work each day, but I'm OK with that. I got too settled into a mediocre job before for too long, and it led to basically nowhere. It's definitely time to invest a little bit more, and work at being a real grown up.

So here's the deal though, I ummmm, used to blog from work (please don't tattle on me for that one), but that's definitely not going to be an option anymore, or at least not for quite some time. So my plan right now is to blog at night and schedule them for the next morning, but who knows how that will work out. Some weeks you might get five posts, some weeks you might get two. So just bare with me for a while, and I'll do my best! Because I love blogging too much, and I love y'all too much, to just give it up all together, so I'm not going anywhere.

Well actually, I'm moving up five floors to my new office, but don't worry, I'll still be here in my same little corner of the internets, blogging about my little ole life :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Packed It On During the Holiday Weekend

Ladies, you know what really stinks? Having to learn a lesson the hard way - multiple times. I've learned this particular one many times in this weight loss journey, but for some stupid reason, it's the one I struggle the most with. FOOD MATTERS. I've preached before about not eating back all the calories you exercise away, and not eating the stuff that you know is super bad for you - and yet, I just keep doing it myself, all too often. Let's see the damage from this past holiday weekend....

Highest starting weight = 227
January starting weight = 217
Last week, July 3 = 182.8
Today, July 10 = 184.2

So today, I have the 'fun' of reporting a gain of 1.5 pounds. It seems that unfortunately, I Packed It On During the Holiday Weekend. Oh, and I took my measurements last night, and I actually have gained back another inch as well. Gross. I knew this was coming though - I weighed myself on Sunday morning, and it wasn't pretty. In fact, it was a bit higher than today even. So for the past three days I've been much more careful than I was from last Wednesday - Sunday, and luckily, I've been able to see the scale go down a bit even in just the last couple of days. The goal for now is to be back down to 182 by next Wednesday, so I'll be pushing myself pretty hard to get there...

However, even though the scale went up, I've been doing pretty good this week with exercising, because I officially started my 5K training this week! On Monday morning, I got up super early and ran 1.5 miles before work. And let me tell you, it really wasn't bad! The weather was pretty nice, and it felt good to get that done first thing in the morning. And as a great bonus, I got to see a beautiful sunrise while I ran too.

 I'm using Hal Higdon's novice 5K plan, so I'll be gradually working my way to more and more miles each week. Then hopefully I'll be ready to run my first 5K in September, and be able to complete The Color Run!! I'm super excited about it, and I think it'll be tons of fun, especially since two of my closest girl friends and bridesmaids will be running it with me! Hooray!

At lunch time on Monday, I also walked for about 40 minutes with my aunt, and burned another 320 calories. Then last night I ran a mile, went to zumba, then played tag with kids while leading games at VBS, and burned a whopping total of 1,411 calories total!!

I got up again this morning and ran the 1.5 miles for today, and I am going to see if I can squeeze in just one more mile right before VBS tonight too. I'm trying to just do as much as possible, so I can keep improving my stamina, pace and endurance. Oh, and of course I want to get rid of this jiggle I got goin' on too. #OperationNoMoreJiggle is definitely still taking place and I'm more fired up about it now after a bit of a holiday binge as well. So come join me on this journey too! 

You can follow along with me and all my updates through Instagram, MyFitnessPal, and RunKeeper.

I'm trying to eat as healthy as possible for the next week so that I can lose this extra pound and a half I packed on during all the July 4th festivities. And I'm also trying to work out 5-6 days this week as well. So far I'm 3 for 3, with plans to go to zumba tomorrow, and run before work again on Friday. So as if I can make myself get up and do something on Saturday, that will be day six! So here's to healthy eating and six workouts in a week. I won't let this little gain get the best of me, but instead I'll use it to push myself harder again. Let's do this!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Peppers & Tacos: 2-for-1 Recipe

Good morning lovely blog friends! Hopefully we've all recovered by now from our long weekends. I know yesterday was still kinda rough for me, being that it was a Monday, and the first day back from a long holiday. But I feel a little better today and I'm ready to get this thing going! Yesterday, I shared a picture of the stuffed peppers we made last week, and today I'm sharing the simple and yummy recipe! Well actually, this is a double-feature recipe post, so make sure you see the super simple twist for using the leftovers as well the next day :)

4 green or red bell peppers
1 pound lean ground turkey
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 cloves of garlic, diced pretty small (or minced if you want)
1/2 medium sized onion, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can whole kernel corn, rinsed and drained
diced tomatoes (quantity depends on how much you like them!)
generous shakes of taco seasoning (sorry folks, I didn't actually measure this, but maybe 1 or 2 tbsp.)
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper
Cheese and sour cream for later...

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat, add turkey, garlic, onion, cumin, taco seasoning and salt and pepper - cook until the meat is all brown with no pink. Turkey is usually not greasy, so you should not need to drain it. (It's OK if there is a little bit of liquid, because it will be absorbed later.) Once it's completely cooked, add in corn and black beans, and let simmer for about five minutes, then add diced tomatoes and simmer a few more minutes.

Since there were two of us cooking, I did this next part while Jeff was cooking the meat, but you can do it whenever you can fit it in, or before or after you've made the meat mixture. Cut the tops off of the peppers, and scrape out the stem and seeds. Then cut each pepper in half, to create two equal sides. Line them all in a baking dish, open sides facing up. Scoop as much of the mixture into each half pepper as you can fit. Put a tiny bit of water in the bottom of the dish, so that they're juuuust barely sitting in water. Cover the whole thing with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes, or until peppers are soft.

Remove the foil, sprinkle cheese on top of each one, and bake for an additional 5 minutes uncovered to melt the cheese. We used the mixed shredded colby and jack cheese, and it was delish. Serve with a dollop of fat free sour cream on top, and some Spanish rice on the side, and you're all ready to go!

These were sooo super yummy, and we both liked them a lot. Jeff was actually a little skeptical of the idea of stuffed peppers at first, but even he loved them! This made a lot of the meat mixture, so we had tons leftover, even after us both eating a little scoop of just the mix as well. So the next day, we heated it back up in the skillet (add in a tiny bit of water and some more seasoning to re-flavor and keep from drying up too much), and then scooped the mixture onto lettuce leaves, to make Santa Fe Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps. Soooo good as well. Again, add cheese and sour cream on top, and I added more fresh tomato on mine. Yum! Then just roll the lettuce up like a taco.

Both ways, this meat mixture is really good - in both the baked peppers, and wrapped up like healthy tacos. If you like spicy food, feel free to add in some jalapeno peppers or a little bit of red pepper flakes into the meat mixture while it's simmering, and that would be really good too. (Jeff can't handle super spicy stuff, or else I would have spiced ours up a bit because we both love the taste of spicy stuff - it's just too hard on his stomach sometimes.) I definitely recommend you try this out though, and let me know how it turns out for you!

Much Love,