90 Days to Go!

12 Aug

My wedding is just 90 days away! The invitations are in the mail and now it really feels real. The entire process of designing the invitations has been incredibly symbolic for me. I had such a clear vision in my head of exactly what I wanted. I’ve drawn inspiration from other examples but never saw one that made me say “this is it.” But since I’m not very creative it was difficult for me to describe what I wanted. But our awesome designer, Sarah of Fuzzynk Designs created a beautiful custom invitation suite that came out better than I could have ever imagined.

The Suite: invite, insert, rsvp card, pocketfold, outer envelope, tag & twine

What’s so important about this is that seeing the final product finally gave me the confidence that my vision for this wedding can actually be a reality.

But of course, the process was not easy or without just a little bit f drama. We went through several design drafts and I really struggled with the wording. The biggest challenge was infusing the destination wedding theme without being cheesy or using one of the go to destination wedding symbols like a palm tree, star fish or airplane.

Instead we included some wording in Spanish with English translations. We also tied on a “luggage tag” to the pocketfold. Finally, it was important to emphasize the formality of our wedding. It’s not a casual beach affair, this event is black tie optional!

fit to be tied!

Something else that was really important for me was getting the envelopes addressed with outgoing and return labels. Because my handwriting isn’t great and to save time. Unfortunately, using a calligrapher was cost prohibitive for us but Sarah offered a pretty alternative based on something she saw on Martha Stewart Weddings. This wrap around label seemed like a nice and economical solution. However, the post office would not accept them because it was possible the scanner would read the return address as the outgoing address. Really? So my timeline was blown and we had to come up with another solution. We had to cover the return address label on the back with our monogram and affix a return address label in the traditional spot. It definitely changed the look but I didn’t want to take any chances on them not being delivered. But thank you anyway, Martha, for the inspiration.

envelope label solution via marthastewartweddings.com

Motivated.

3 Aug

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale happened to coincide with my 2 week bootcamp anniversary. Naturally, a celebration was in order. I snagged these.

As much as I enjoy fashion, workout clothing is something that I’ve never really been in to. Before I spend $45 on some running shorts, I’d rather get some real shorts that I can wear out. But I have to admit, within a few weeks I succumbed to the fitness fashion peer pressure and invested in a few essentials. I’m still partial to the Hanes A-line tanks (better known as wife-beaters) but at least I can now pair them with some actual running shorts or dri-fit leggings (instead of my pajama bottoms and target capri length leggings).

I’m even more ashamed to admit what finally pushed me over the edge. I usually attend the 6:00am class. It’s full of regular people (like me). But I slept in a few days and attended the 8:30 or 9:30 class. It’s full of models and trophy wives. Gorgeous Chanel bags. Perfectly coordinated LuLu Lemon gear. Styled hair. Flawless make up. All of it ridiculous but these women look good. So I caved. I will absolutely not be putting anything more than Chapstick on and pulling my hair up but I can avoid looking like such a rag-a-muffin with my clothes. I must also admit, real workout clothes are actually functional. The shorts don’t ride up and who knew that dri-fit technology serves a legitimate purpose!

30 Days Strong!

2 Aug

Today marks 30 days of bootcamp! It’s been incredibly intense but a lot of fun. I’m already seeing results. I feel stronger and faster already. These classes consist of 30 minutes on the treadmill and 30 minutes of floor/weights. But the time increments very – we may switch between the treadmill and floor every 5 minutes, 15 minutes (my favorite) or 30 minutes (the most brutal). The treadmill workouts include incline, sprint intervals, running backwards, etc. On the floor we use light and heavy dumbbell set, a band, a mat and a step (like for step aerobics).

When I started on July 2 my intensity level was this:

  • walking when the instructor said jog at a 5.0
  • jogging at a 4.0 when the instructor said get into a run at 6.0 or 7.0
  • “sprinting” at a 6.0 or 6.5 at best
  • using 5lb light weights and 8lb heavy weights

Now some of this was out of laziness but I was also truly out of shape. 30 days later:

  • I consistently jog at a 6.0
  • I’m sprinting at a 8.0 or 8.5
  • I can take the hills (incline at 10 or 15) without holding on
  • using 8lb light weights and 10lb heavy weights

I still have a very long way to go towards achieving my fitness goals but this is a great start! Most importantly, my eating habits have really changed. This has never been about loosing weight but you can still be thin and unhealthy.

This is out….. I have a slight obsession with Sprinkles cupcakes. This summer they opened an ice cream shop with irresistible sundaes.

chocolate chip cookie sandwich sundae – beyond. amazing.

This is in…. I knew things had changed for the better when at brunch with my girls I passed on a mimosa and my usual pancake/bacon combo and ordered this delicious protein salad!

warm spinach, egg whites, tomatoes, grilled veggies and shrimp. sooo good!

 

Off the registry.

23 Jul

I’m that guest. I rarely purchase shower or wedding gifts off of the couples’/parents’ registry. I always like to find something more unique and personal. This is especially true when I know the person/couple well.

Baby and wedding season are in full swing. I have several friends that have recently had babies or are expecting. Not to mention a few upcoming weddings and showers. So not only am I on the hunt for unique gifts but I’m also trying to find some cost-effective options as well.

Since I go off the registry, I feel added pressure to make the gifts really special (to justify my defiance). When it comes to babies, you just can’t go wrong the personalized/keepsake items. When I had Myles I had all sorts of grandiose plans about how I would memorialize and commemorate his birth and subsequent milestones. Not surprisingly, none of it got done. So now I like to give something to new parents that has the key birth stats.

Recently, I’ve come across some great finds on Etsy. The customization options are endless and I think this is the type of gift “that keeps on giving.” These prints can be used for years. In fact, I ordered some for Myles as well!

I love just about everything at Etsy Shop, Mateo & Tobias.

But I settled on these two adorable prints.

Personalized Alphabet ABC Wall Art via Mateo & Tobias

Each print is $16 (frame not included). I will explore custom framing options but worse case I should be able to find something at Michael’s or even Ikea.

Opaque Name Modern Birth Announcement via Mateo & Tobias

Another cute birth announcement type gift is this pillow. These run about $50 each. Not terribly expensive but I have no less than 5 shower/baby gifts to buy and I just don’t have $250+ to spend.

The colors are so vibrant and the backside can be made with a fun print like, Chevron!

Birth Announcement Pillow from ThreelilStitches

I’m also loving these customizable onsies. I think all moms are obsessed with clothing that has their baby’s name on it (or is that just me). These simple white onsies have a great pop of color and would be perfect for pictures! And how cute would it be framed?

Personalized Onesie via SundayRookery

For bridal showers I really like to get something personal for the bride. This is my new favorite and as I bride-to-be I certainly wouldn’t mind getting one of these for myself!

available at Nordstrom and katespade.com for $78

Not only do I stray from the registry but I’m notoriously bad at getting wedding presents prior to the wedding, although etiquette says you have up to 6 months after the wedding to send the gift. But after the wedding the registry is usually  slim pickings so I’m forced to go rogue. I have a few tried and true items from Crate & Barrel but new to my arsenal are these Mr. & Mrs. pillows.

$49 from Pillows4Fun on Etsy

There is nothing like having your first child or getting married to bring out your most sentimental side. My hope is that these gifts add something to those sentiments.

It is HOT.

20 Jul

While most of the country was experiencing a crazy heat wave in June and early July, temps here were pretty mild. Now we’re officially baking. Despite spending most the day snoozing comfortably in the air-conditioned house, Venus continues to struggle with the heat. This dog must have a night gig that we don’t know about. What is she so exhausted from?

Drama.

Aside

Happy 2nd Birthday Baby!

18 Jul

Dear Myles,

Love is not a strong enough word to describe how I feel about you. You are the best thing I’ve ever done. Every single cliché about a mother’s love is 110% true. You amaze me on a daily basis. I laugh when you laugh, I cry when you cry (when there is actually something wrong) and I believe that my life is infinitely better with you in it. You are everything I never knew I wanted.

I don’t think anyone could possibly love you as much as I do but you father and grandparents will tell you different.  You have brought so much joy and love to all of our lives. It has been so fun to watch Grammy and Grandpoppy with you (because they were never like this with me). But the 8am Tootsie Rolls need to stop. Period.

You are such a special child. And I’m not just saying this as your mother. There is something so different about you from other kids. You’re so observant and intense. Everyone says you have an old soul. You are so smart and so full of personality. You talk all the time and the things that come out of your mouth are the funniest, most random and sometimes very poignant.

Here are some of your favorite things (that change almost daily):

Favorite foods: tomatoes, cucumbers, spaghetti and chicken meatballs, blueberries, mango, waffles

Favorite toy: anything that isn’t actually a toy like our shoes, the remote, our phones. But you also love your little suitcase and a Radio Flyer scooter that you call your skateboard.

Your favorite tv shows: Yo Gabba Gabba and the Fresh Beat Band. Elmo is coming in at a close third.

Your favorite person: Daddy (your very best friend)

Your favorite place to go: anywhere you can run around freely and you’re quite the people watcher

Your favorite book: Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother Too and Llama Llama Red Pajama

You also love to sing, dance and play your guitar or “rock out” as you call it.

These past two years have been a joy. It’s also been exhausting, hard work and an enormous challenge trying to balance being the best mom I can with working and keeping some semblance of being my own person. But you are so worth it all.

We probably have thousands of pictures but here are just a few of my favorites from the past 2 years.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY PRECIOUS PUNKIN’! I LOVE YOU IMMENSELY. THANK YOU FOR THE BEST 2 YEARS OF MY LIFE.

only a few hours old and already “looking at people sideways”

one week later….

7 months

one year

two years!

Save or Splurge: kids’ table & chairs

15 Jul

The time has come to reclaim our family room and create a designated space for Myles to play and keep all of his toys. Part of my vision for his “play corner” is a table/chair set where he can eat, color, play, etc. While it needs to be toddler friendly, I want it to function well in the space and not scream “kiddie table.”

I regularly peruse the Buy Modern Baby blog for inspiration. She posted some very cute options but at this time I’m looking for pieces that are a little more budget friendly. But I absolutely love these oversized number tables. They would be a cute addition to any playroom. These Tambino tables retail for $185. The oversize number 2 is my favorite!

via Tambino.com

 

I found these adorable table & chairs at the Land of Nod. The table is $149 and the chairs are $69 each. I love the bright, fun colors of the chairs paired with a white table. Great contrast!

White Here, White There, Anywhere Table @ Land of Nod

 

White Parker Play Chair @ Land of Nod

 

I found a nearly identical set at IKEA. The SUNDVIK table and chairs are $39.99 and $19,99, respectively. Unfortunately, this set does not have has many bright color options. It comes in white, espresso and grey/brown. However, any toddler chair could be paired with this table to add color and I’m sure the chairs could even be painted.

SUNDVIK children’s table

SUNDVIK children’s chair

Watch for the play corner reveal to see if I decided to save or splurge!