Five for Friday - 4/29/11

1. When I asked if you wanted to go to dinner at The Library on Sunday after the race you said "it's your day, we'll do whatever you'd like."

2. You wrote "I <3 Lady" on one of our easter eggs.

3. You kissed me in your parent's kitchen (in full view of other people).

4. You tried to cook a turkey (something I haven't done).

5. You didn't change to channel too many times while I was getting ready/watching the royal wedding coverage.

Gutter Guys Xmas Party 12/2004

Outfits of the Week - 4/25-29

Before I launch into what I wore all week I just want to celebrate a minute because I have officially lost 40 pounds!  When people ask how much weight I've lost I usually say "about 40 pounds" even though it was actually 37 or 39 or whatever but as of my weigh in this morning I am no longer a liar when I say 40!  Only 10 more to go until I hit my goal! 
 Monday - not a great shot, for some reason my camera just wasn't working well for me that morning.  green button down shirt - The Limited, silver necklace - Premier, grey/black patterned pants - Banana Republic outlet (size 8! this is huge because before I couldn't fit into their largest sized pants) & black peep toe sling backs - Naturalizer (you'll see a lot of these, they're my go to for spring/summer)
 Tuesday - I put this together quickly & luckily Joe was home to take my picture.  navy blue short sleeve sweater - Old Navy, grey pants - The Limited, navy blue peep toe heels - Naturalizer
 Wednesday - I was supposed to attend an event at work so I wanted to look nice (but it got canceled).  pink ruffled shirt - The Limited, black pencil skirt - The Limited, black peep toe heels - Aerosoles
 Thursday - I put this together without much thought and I loved it, felt like I was wearing pajamas.  black cardigan sweater - Banana Republic outlet (size small!), flowy patterend tank - New York & Company, tan pants - The Limited, black peep toe heels with silver & gold design - Piperlime.
Friday - I'm in a great mood because it's the end of the week & I'm off Monday!  blue button down shirt - New York & Company (via Angela), black multi strand necklace - Premier - black skinny jeans - Express, black ballet flats - The Gap


4 days til Broad St

There's no turning back now; well I guess I could still bail.  But with 4+ months of training, $100+ sneakers,  a $200+ gps watch and a few friends counting on me for moral support it would be super lame to bow out now.  I completed my final training run before the race with Joe last night.  That's right, since January I have run 167 miles in preparation for Sunday's race.  I obviously don't have any pictures since this is my first time running the 10 mile course through the center of Philadelphia so I googled it.  I am now a little afraid of being trampled.
In case you're interested, here are gps screen shots from the last few runs I've completed.
3 miles with Amanda
4 miles with Amanda
5 miles with Angela
3 miles with Joe

I've been trying to figure out the best way to handle these final 4 days before the race. I've talked with a few seasoned distance runners and everyone says to taper off and take it easy so that's the plan.  Although it's not easy for me because I handle my weight loss with a calories in/calories out system.  It makes eating what I want difficult if I don't work out.  My plan is to take kick boxing at the gym tonight then take Friday & Saturday off from "real" workouts.  Friday will be tough because I have dinner plans with my friend Lorie, maybe I can convince her to eat at Applebee's so that I can get something on the under 550 calorie menuI'm hoping to get plenty of steps walking around the run's expo on Saturday plus it's Bayfest so I'm hoping to convince some friends to walk down there with me from my house (about 2.5 miles).  I'm pretty excited to eat some pasta for dinner on Saturday night too, I very rarely indulge in a large portion of pasta with delicious sauce!  We'll need to leave the house around 6am to get up to Philly with ample time for parking and figuring out where I need to be.  I'm hoping to be in constant contact with Amanda & Angela so we'll be able to find each other; keep your fingers crossed for me.  The race starts at 8am but I've heard the back corrals (where I am) will wait upwards of a 1/2 hour to actually make it across the start line.  I'm hoping to complete the 10 miles in under 2 hours which shouldn't be too hard to accomplish since my last 9 mile run took 1 hour 42 minutes.  I've heard there's quite the party at the ship yard afterward so I don't think I'll make it back down to south Jersey before mid afternoon.  Angela & I were tossing around the idea of going to The Library for dinner to have $15.95 prime rib that evening and Joe said "it's my day" so I guess that's the plan for now.  I took Monday off from work on the advice of a distance running friend and I'm pretty happy to have a random week day to do what I want.  It won't be all fun & games though, I need to take my gala dress & my bridesmaid dress in for alterations and I'm thinking about getting a manicure and heading to the tanning salon.  Wow, sounds like a pretty busy weekend...wish me luck!


Day 2 - A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest.

Ok, one more.  I couldn't do all this writing about my best girls and leave out my sister.  I mean "a sister is a forever friend" after all.  I almost talked about her in day 10's post about my closest friend but then I decided that this description was more appropriate since I've known her since the minute she was born.  We're almost exactly 3 years apart in age, Shana was due on my birthday but came 2 weeks early which is a good thing because I am not a good sharer when it comes to my birthday...  We are great friends and there's no one else I'd rather spend an afternoon with, in fact we were excited to realize during out shopping trip last weekend that we're almost the same size now and will be able to share more then just shoes soon.  We're usually on the same wavelength and can understand the others thoughts/feelings with a simple look.  But I'm not going to pretend it's always been sunshine and roses, we're like any other siblings, we used to fight and wrestle when we were kids and even now that we're older sometimes we bicker but we definitely love each other.  Even on the day this picture was taken, her wedding day, she snapped at me and gave me attitude but I let it roll off my back and smiled sweetly because who else can you take your frustrations out on but your sister.

Day 10 - A picture of your closest friend.

Here's another post for today since I took yesterday off. 
I figured that while I'm waxing poetic about my friends I'd use this topic to talk about Nicole.  If you read this blog with any regularity you know that Nicole is married to Lou, the mom of Jack and they're our neighbors.  I have only known Nicole for a little over 2 years; we met the day I closed on my house 11/14/08 and that day I knew we'd be great friends.  In fact, my mom was there and said "dear god, they're like the same person!"  I can tell her absolutely anything and even if we don't agree (which rarely happens) she takes my point into consideration before engaging in an open & honest discussion about whatever the topic may be.  She's also incredibly selfless and super helpful.  I asked her to HELP me with a couple of things for a friend's shower and before I knew it she had done the whole project on her own.  I can scream & cry and totally be myself without judgment, I've even stopped prefacing comments with "I don't mean this the way it sounds but."  I really could go on for a long time about what a fantastic human being she is.  But I'll stop now because she's probably totally embarrassed and remind her we still need to catch up on Dexter & make some ice cream...

Day 21 – A picture of the person you do the craziest things with.

This is Sarah; we have known each other since Pee Wee cheerleading, which is roughly 22 years.  While our crazy times of late are more about drinking too much wine while watching ridiculous reality tv shows we used to get into a little trouble.  Now mind you we were never Thelma & Louise or anything but she is definitely the person I share the wildest stories with.  Like in middle school when we traded boyfriends from month to month; sometimes Jason was mine and sometimes he has hers, and there was always Bob or Jay in the background in case we wanted variety (btw this was long before 7th graders were sexually active).  Or the time I had a small get together and she spent the evening in the back of her (parked) station wagon with her boyfriend (that same Jason, lol) and a handle of vodka only communicating with the outside world through a cracked window.  The majority of my senior year when we'd wander the condo complex with a video camera acting like Charlie's angels (there's not a lot to do in south Jersey if you're under 21).  There are hundreds more but those are the first few that came to mind, oh, and the time I went to the kitchen in the middle of the night and slipped in a laundry basket, we laughed for hours and still do whenever it comes up... 


Weekend Highlights

Happy Monday!  I packed a lot into this past weekend so I figured I would put together one post with all the most exciting parts!  On Saturday morning I went shopping at The Walk in Atlantic City with my sister & Kat.  The weather was cool and dreary when I left the house and the weathermen were forecasting rain and high winds for the afternoon but that wasn't going to stop us.  I pulled out the new raincoat that Nicole got me for my birthday and went to pick up the ladies.
We got some great deals at Banana Republic and BCBG.  I looked at a few pairs of capri pants and shorts but decided against buying them because my size changes pretty regularly and I figured by the time I needed to wear them I might need a smaller size (remember this a little later in the story).  But my most exciting purchase was at Coach.  A few of my friends suggested I get myself a (non-food related) present for reaching the "no longer overweight" goal; so I did.  Here is my new spring Coach bag, it was only $70 after a 50% & 30% discount!
Saturday evening Joe & I dyed easter eggs.  It's a tradition we've kept up even after leaving our parent's homes.  We don't hide them or anything like that, it's just fun writing each other messages on them.  Plus I love making multi colored egg salad with them the next day.
We even made one for Jack since he went to bed before we got started.
On Sunday morning we woke up to beautiful weather, the forecast was 75 and sunny. We went to breakfast with Joe's friend Sean at Towne & Country.  I wasn't thinking and ordered my usual ham & cheese omelet then remembered we'd be having ham at Joe's parent's house that night for dinner, doh!  After breakfast Nicole brought Jack by and we had a little photo shoot.
The boys headed to Strathmere for some fishing shortly thereafter, I had been hoping to get in one last long run before the race next weekend but Amanda, Angela & my holiday schedules didn't allow for a enough time.  So with a few hours of alone time on my hands I decided to tackle some things around the house.  First I went into the attic and brought down 3 boxes of summer shoes and 1 box of summer clothes.  I unloaded all the lovely open toed shoes & refilled 1 of the boxes with all my suede shoes & fur lined boots then I moved on to clothes.  I tried on everything in the box and found that only 4 of the tops still fit and none of the pants.  I decided while I was on a roll I should go through some of my other drawers and shelves, here's a shot of everything I can't wear.
All this weight loss is a totally fantastic thing and it feels awesome when people tell me how great I look but I'm really getting tired of having to buy new clothes.  Plus I'm concerned that if I have a yard sale with 90% clothing people aren't going to buy much and I'll have to donate it all.  This probably sounds terrible but I spent good money on this stuff and I hate giving it away so that the Salvation Army can resell it, I'd rather give it to my friends who I know will put it to good use.  I was complaining to Brittany about this and she suggested I take everything to Plato's Closet.  It's basically a consignment store, she said her sisters take stuff there pretty regularly; they go in with a laundry basket full of clothes and accessories then come out about $100 richer.  I'm hoping to try it out this weekend!  My plan is to pack up one box of my best stuff and stop on the way back from the Broad St Run expo.  If it goes well I'll try to get up there as often as I can but I think I might look crazy if I show up with all like 12 boxes I have in the attic at one time though.

So once I finished throwing a temper tantrum about not having any shorts or capri pants I continued downstairs to clean the kitchen and make easter egg salad.  It's super easy to make and we used like 20 eggs so I'll be eating it all week, lol.
Joe came home with just enough time to take a quick shower and head to his parent's for dinner.  I have to admit I ate pretty poorly the entire weekend and didn't workout at all.  I burned calories shopping & cleaning but didn't push myself in any way.  I really need to get my butt back in gear.  I take great care of myself all week and then the weekends are a disaster, I'm hoping the nicer weather will help motivate me to get outside and move around some more.
We had a nice time visiting with Joe's family and there was lots of talk about his sister's upcoming wedding.  It started to thunderstorm as we were driving home and we were surprised to find that the power was out at the house.  No worries we just hung out in the yard with the rest of the neighborhood until the sun went down and then lit some candles and listened to music on satellite radio until it came back on.


Five for Friday - 4/22/11

1. You did a phenomenal job planning my birthday party.

2. I'm pretty sure you're paying more attention to my blog then I think you are.

3. You had Bill's birthday gift shipped to "Dr" William Kuchinsky.


5. You called me on my shit.

Mexican Vacation 11/10

Outfits of the Week ~ 4/18-22

The first full work week of my 30s is over and I think I looked pretty darn good :-)
sweater from The Limited, cami from New York & Company, pants from The Limited & shoes from Aerosoles.
sweater & skirt from The Limited, shoes from Aerosoles
shirt from The Limited, necklace from Premier, pants from The Gap & shoes from Naturalizer
shirt from The Limited, cami from New York & Company, pants from Ann Taylor Loft & shoes from Naturalizer
shirt from New York & company, pants from Boscov's and shoes from The Gap

Definitely used a lot of my new Limited purchases this week!


I am officially in my ideal weight range!  Apparently I can go as low as 104 before I go underweight...like that will ever happen.  My happy weight is 118.  The original goal was to hit 130 by the end of the year and I think may stick with that, another 23 pounds seems close to impossible.


I'm a Quitter

My parents always made sure my sister and I didn't quit anything.  When I signed up for softball I had to finish the season even though I hated it.  I didn't have to try out again the next year but I couldn't walk away from this one.  I've always considered myself someone who follows through so it is with a heavy heart that I officially quit my April goals.  They're just not working out for me, I have no desire to complete them and haven't filled in my spreadsheet in over a week.  I think I need to switch back goals that are easily checked off each day, these broader more abstract ideas don't offer the same sense of accomplishment.  I'll try again in May...


Day 23 - A picture of your favorite book.

I wasn't sure what to post when it came to my favorite book.  I am an avid reader especially in the summer time; I'll easily go through a few books a month on the beach.  I'm not a huge fan of serious, heavy books though; I much prefer "chick lit" and "beach reads."  I actually almost chose the Twilight series because I could not put those books down.  I would stay up until 3am reading them because I needed to know what would happen next.  I'm pretty sure I knocked out the whole series (4 books) in 3 weeks while working two jobs.  But I realized that even though I really enjoyed reading that series I don't have any desire to read it again.  I've never been one to reread books, I have a crazy good memory for things I've read and can usually spout off information even if it's something I read years ago.  So I started trying to remember if I ever read something more then once and the only book I that came to mind was Judy Blume's "Forever."  It's a quick and easy read that just spoke to me when I was about the same age as the main character.  Hmmm, maybe I'll download it to my kindle and read it again...

Birthday Blowout - Sunday

It took me a few days to put this post together because I'm having a hard time coming up with just the right words to describe just how loved I felt on my birthday.  What I'm about to say is totally cliche but also the truth.  I read these wedding blogs where the women say they felt overwhelmingly loved at their bridal showers and I usually scoff at them, I mean really it's a party, what makes it so much better then any other day with friends?  Well, I can honestly say, I felt overwhelmingly loved on my birthday.  Not just from Joe or my family but from each and every person that shared the day with me.  I don't know how to describe it or how to thank everyone for the way they made me feel.  I'm pretty sure Joe thinks I'm a total wacko because I teared up telling him how much I appreciated everything and that it was my best birthday ever but that's just what this whole event has done to me, and now, the highlights...

We woke up at a respectable 8am, Joe got out of bed and went downstairs to take care of some last minute party preparations and left me to lounge around.  I did just that, I watched some tv on the DVR & started reading through the 60+ happy birthday messages on Facebook.  We were planning to head over to the resort around 10:30 so I finally pried my butt out of bed around 9 and hopped in the shower.  I didn't have to put any thought into getting dressed, Amanda & Tammy had picked everything out for me the week before.  We were greeted by sunshine on the way out the door.  The weather was supposed to be windy but sunny and in the mid 60s which is a miracle; it has rained on my birthday probably 80% of my life.
We arrived a the resort at about ten minutes to eleven.  We were so early they hadn't even set up the tables yet so Joe wandered around looking at all the recently completed renovations and I hung out in the lobby chatting with Sarah & fielding incoming text messages.
Guests started to arrive shortly thereafter.  The first of which was my sister & Bill, a total shock because they are rarely on time for anything, in fact I think the only reason they were early was because they misread the invitation.
By 11:30 the tables were set and everyone was starting to arrive.  There were hugs all around and lots of "do you feel older?"  Nicole was definitely Joe's helper throughout the whole process.  I'm not sure what they were talking about but I know there were plenty of secret text messages in the days leading up to my birthday.  I'm also extremely grateful that she also stepped in as photographer whenever Joe was busy coordinating & hosting.
Our parents and sisters came out to celebrate as well.  It was nice to have everyone in one place and with very little drama.
Over the last eight years our friends have melded into one big group.  It's no longer, Joe's friends and their wives/girlfriends or my friends and their husbands/boyfriends, we're all just one big happy family.  I was so happy to continually hear "my husband really like talking with so and so's husband."  I love seeing all the new friends requests on facebook the day after a get together!
There were a few people that asked me to open their gifts immediately.  One of which was my mother, she got me this salt crystal candle holder and the big joke of the day was asking people to lick it.  I can't even imagine how much saliva is on that thing.
Towards the end of brunch the staff brought out a piece of cake with a candle & happy birthday written in chocolate, the piano player played happy birthday and everyone sang.  I'm not going to lie, I totally loved the attention :-)  Before I could even try a bite of cake the server wrapped it up and told me there were much better desserts on the buffet to try, lol.
We even managed to get a picture of all my girls before too many people started to leave.  I'm really excited to have a shot of all of us together.
Before I knew it we were packing up and heading back to the house.  We invited everyone (and their kids) over to enjoy Joe's fancy renovated back yard and of course for cake and more drinks.
After an hour or so of visiting with everyone I was called to the living room to open gifts.  Everyone was very generous!  We'll be having a lot of meals out in the near future!  Amanda got me the kitchen aid ice cream attachment and a Ben & Jerry's cookbook, well definitely be having a girl's night ice cream social sometime soon!
Unfortunately, Joe forgot about the purse shaped pinata he had gotten until after most of the guests had left.  It was still fun to whack it with a broom though and Jack enjoyed running around picking up all the candy.
We almost missed getting a picture of Joe & me!  Out of close to 200 shots taken there wasn't one of the two of us.  Luckily Nicole was on top of her game and remembered to snap a few at the end of the afternoon.  I know Joe doesn't read this blog very often but just in case he does I really want him to know that it was my best birthday yet and he thought of absolutely everything I could have wanted.  I really just don't know how to put it all into words...