Five for Friday ~ 3/30/12

1. You ask to look at my ring all the time.

2. You're excited about visiting venues.

3. You want to help DIY wedding stuff.

4. You're pushing me to workout even though there's never any time.

5. You texted me after the first time you called me your fiance.

 February 2012



I don't really have anything important to write a whole post about so I thought I'd just throw some random thoughts together for you all.

1.  I know I was just complaining about my calendar last week but now I've added visits to wedding venues and it's out of control!  We're going to see 8 different venues in the next few weeks and trying to find times that work for Joe's schedule, my schedule and the coordinator's in laughable.  I'm hoping to find a great one quickly so I can cross this off my list and get some free time back.  My workouts are definitely taking a backseat until we find a venue so I'm going to need to really be on top of my eating.

2.  Speaking of workouts, I went to boot camp at the gym for the first time yesterday.  I've been wanting to take this class for a while now but I work 9-5 so I couldn't get over there in time.  Well I bit the bullet and asked my boss if I could change shifts, now I'm allowed to work 8:30-4:30 or 9-5 depending on what I have going on after work!  That class kicked my butt and I loved every minute of it!  The instructor introduced himself at the beginning and giving him my name was a bad idea.  All I heard for the next hour was "slowing down a little huh Lauren," "ever done anything like this before Lauren," "how's it going over there Lauren?"  But I don't mind too much, it kept me motivated to do everything correctly.  I've now added boot camp to my calendar for Tuesday & Friday through the end of the year.  If that doesn't get my back & arms wedding dress ready, nothing will.

3.  I'm down another fitbit.  Last night I pushed the button to see how many steps I had and nothing came up on the screen.  I plugged it in to make sure the battery wasn't dead, the symbol lit up as 3/4 full so I took it off the charger and pushed the button again, still nothing.  Then I put it back on the charger and no battery symbol.  I tried resetting it, uninstalling the software from the computer & reinstalling but when I tried to set it up again it's says my tracker isn't responding to requests which I'm taking as, it's dead.  I already ordered another one (on sale at Amazon.com) but I can't decide what to do if something happens again.  Should I try another device?  Any suggestions on something better?


brunch & dress shopping

One of the first things Shana said to me on our first after engagement phone call was, "can we got dress shopping tomorrow?"  I told her I was busy on Saturday with Jack during the day and a Thirty-One party at night but maybe on Sunday after the Favorite Things Brunch.  Well, while all of our friends were over on Friday night the ladies also wanted to know when I was dress shopping.  I told them about about Sunday, they all wanted in and told me to make an appointment.  I had no idea what I wanted in a dress other then that it be fun since we're planning on getting married on NYE so I figured it would be good to go to David's Bridal first and try on a bunch of different shapes in my size before heading to the other salons.  The appointment was made for 2pm.

But first there was brunch!  I got up around 8am and headed to the grocery store for a few items.  While I prepped the Broccoli & Cheese Mini Egg Omletes and Veggie Frittata Joe ran to get bagels.  He was off to work a little while later and soon my friends were arriving!  I was blown away by what they showed up with!  Obviously I had organized this brunch before Joe & I got engaged but somehow my friends managed to make personalized champagne flutes and adorable cupcakes with less then 2 days notice!
I was so touched!  They are just so happy and excited for us!
We took some time to stuff our faces and managed to drink 3 bottles of champagne!  Once we were sufficiently full it was time to talk about our favorite things.  The premise is that each person brings 5 of their favorite thing that costs no more then $6 each.  One at a time you present your favorite thing to the group then pull 5 names from a hat so that each attendee gets 5 items.  I put together little bags with all of the ingredients for Dump Cake, Kat brought Mrs Meyers & Method cleaning supplies, Tammy brought Nivea skin firming lotion, Nicole brought Bath & Body Works Mentha lip gloss, Stephanie brought Skinny Cow Chocolate Peanut Butter bars, my mom brought Pilot v5 pens and my sister contributed tiny bottles of Tequila!
Soon it was time to head to David's Bridal.  Joe and I haven't talked about how much he's going to know about my wedding day look yet so I'm not posting pictures of my dress until we figure it all out.  Yes, that's right, my dress, I already bought a dress...  I know it's totally crazy that I have a dress when we don't have a venue yet but my friends made a good argument.  We're getting married on NYE so it's not like I'll be switching from ballroom to garden or anything, plus they assured me my dress could work in a multitude of different venues.  So, without further ado, the dresses I'm not getting married in.
This is the Strapless Organza Ball Gown with Ruffle Detail.  It was definitely top 3 for the day but I didn't love the waistline on it.  I tended to lean towards dresses with a more dropped waist that extenuated my curves.
This dress was also top 3, it's the Lace Fit and Flare Gown with Floral Details.  When I first came out everyone was sort of on the fence but the more we looked at it the more we liked it.  In the end it just wasn't modern enough for me.
 No one really liked this one for me, it was a pretty dress and the fit was flattering but it wasn't right for the event I have in mind.  It would be beautiful in a church!  In case you're curious it's the One Shoulder Tulle Ball Gown with Lace Appliques.
My entire entourage loved this one but I wasn't sold.  It's very cute, there are little polka dots all over the tulle.  Again, I just didn't love the higher waistline...it's the Strapless Dot Tulle Ball Gown with Ruffle Skirt.
The Beaded Lace Gown with Feathery Tulle Skirt was so much fun!  The tulle was cut very jagged so it looked like feathers, it was totally in line with what I had been thinking except that the top had sequin flowers all over it which didn't make any sense with the "feathers."  Also, the consultant had zero fashion sense and kept sticking these ridiculous veils and headpieces on me that looked so silly.
The Taffeta Ball Gown with Floral Appliques on Skirt weighed a ton and just wasn't anything special.
For some reason no one liked the Organza Ball Gown with Ruffled Skirt and Beading except for me.  They all said the lace peaking out from between the tulle was weird.  

It's funny, I didn't really dislike any of the dresses I tried on.  I expected it to be like Say Yes to the Dress where I'm just repulsed by the look of them but it wasn't the case.  I went in with a really open mind and no plans to purchase anything but walked out with a gown on order.  I didn't cry and neither did my mother or sister, my mom put it best in everyone's favorite line of the day "we don't come from a sappy lineage."  I just sort of knew, it was the first one I put on and none of the others felt as good.  As my mother put the only way I was getting a Vera was from David's Bridal, now you just have to figure out which of the 27 gowns it is :-)

how he did it

I totally dropped a bomb on you guys and then disappeared for a week...sorry!  It's been crazy!  I figured I'd start recapping the weekend by explaining how Joe proposed.

It all began on Thursday afternoon...around 3pm I received a text message asking if I'd want to see The Hunger Games at midnight.  I told him it would be fun & I appreciated the gesture but I'd be miserable at work on Friday if I only got 3 hours sleep.  He suggested I take a personal day.  I talked to my boss and she explained that because it was so late in the day it would be considered unexcused but that she didn't have a problem with my taking it off and as long as I didn't make it a habit it wouldn't matter in the long run.  I talked to Joe about it and decided to be reckless just this once and put up my out of office message before leaving for the day.

I beat Joe home from work but just by a little and we were both starving.  We decided to walk over to Gregory's for Taco Thursday
We enjoyed a uneventful dinner at the bar and walked back home a few hours later. There was still a couple of hours before we had to leave for the movie so we watched some TV upstairs and I dozed until it was time to leave.
The movie was really good!  The only part that was changed and really bothered me was the origin of the Mockingjay pin.  But I suppose having only one issue with the adaptation is a win.  I can't even think about My Sister's Keeper without getting angry...  Anyway, we got home around 3am and I was so ready for some sleep!  But first I had to take a picture of the kitty feet hanging out from under the bed.
We got up around 9am on Friday morning and lounged around for a while before deciding to go out for breakfast.  As usual Joe was ready before me and headed downstairs to wait.  When I came down a few minutes later he called me in the kitchen saying something about wanting to show me the movie trailer that they hadn't shown at the theater the night before.  I had no recollection of him mentioning anything about a movie trailer the night before but figured I must have just zoned out or something.  When I walked into the kitchen the iPad was standing on the island.  He pushed play and this is what played...
As soon as I saw the first few seconds of the movie I knew what was happening and got really giddy but I kept myself together and watched until the end.  When it finished I turned to him and he took my hand, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.  I know he said some really sweet things but I don't remember any of the exact words!  I pretty much bounced around the room for a minute or two before calming down and asking if he still wanted to go to breakfast, lol.  He laughed and said he could wait while I "alerted the media."  We went outside to take a good ring picture which I then forwarded to most of the people I've ever met before heading to breakfast.  I wanted to change our Facebook status' immediately but Joe made a good point that we should let our loved ones have some time to get the messages first.
We went to Towne & Country for breakfast and I actually had to turn the sound off on my phone because it was beeping so often!  After we ate we stopped home & hopped on the computer to update Facebook and that's when things really got crazy.  I finally just stopped checking all of the congratulatory messages until later in the day because I just couldn't keep up!  

Everyone wanted to know what we were doing to celebrate.  We didn't have anything planned for the rest of the day so we decided to have an open house so that anyone could stop in and have a celebratory drink.  People started arriving around 5pm and the last person didn't leave until after midnight!  It was awesome to feel all the love and well wishes from our friends!  Joe was blown away by how many people dropped everything and came over.


Where did the time go?!?

Seriously, there are just not enough hours in the day!  I have really been stressing out this week.  Between work, spending time with Joe, training runs, bootcamp, Thirty-One, social obligations and sleep I have NO time left.  Next week doesn't look much better, I mean, my DVR is 80% full, that is unacceptable!
I've been weighing all the options and trying to figure out what I can cut out but it's not easy.  Obviously workouts are the easiest things to cut.  I always schedule 6 per week so one normally gets dropped but that's such a bad habit.  And I know what happens when I cut workouts, I gain weight.  This is the time of year to be getting rid of those extra winter pounds, not adding more.  I would love to workout before work but I already get up at 6am, to hit the gym first I'd have to be up at 5am and then get ready in the locker room which really isn't appealing to me.  Not to mention some nights Joe isn't home until almost 10pm so I wouldn't see him at night or in the morning...blah...all my first world problems...
Any suggestions for how I can add a few more hours to my day?


1st annual St Pat's bar crawl

After the 10 mile run and breakfast at Shea's I was on to my 3rd shop of the day, a bar crawl in Atlantic City.  They started the crawl at Ri Ra (irish pub at Tropicana) at 2pm then they stopped at Firewaters but I didn't meet up with them until about 4:30 at Hooter's.
We ordered a couple pitchers of beer and a platter of chicken wings.  Turns out the wings really are good there, all those boyfriends & husbands aren't just there to ogle the waitresses!
We went from Hooters at Tropicana to Trump Plaza then to Caesars.  I know I'm making it all sound very quick but we were at each stop for close to an hour.  I was exhausted and tried to take it easy, I never had more then one drink per stop.
A few of the girls were hoping to head over to Somers Point by 8pm because there is an irish band that roams from bar to bar all night playing the bagpipes.  Hanging out closer to home sounded like a good plan to me.  We were at the Anchorage by 8:30 and soon Joe was finished at work and on his way to meet us.
Although it was probably the longest day I've ever experienced it was also really fun.  I got to spend time with Lorie!  We've been friends for more then 10 years but rarely get to see each other anymore what with family and work and everything else in our lives.  Plus Joe & I got to spend some time together out "partying."  We were talking about it the next day, we so rarely just go out to a bar and hang out anymore, it was nice to spend that time together.  But boy was I ready for bed when I walked in the door just after midnight!

St Pat's 10 miler

So, I ran 10 miles on Saturday.  Well, actually I ran 9.70 miles because I took three .1 mile walk breaks to suck back GU packets.  But let's start at the beginning.  I left my house around 8:45am on that super foggy morning, it wasn't cold but it was definitely dreary.  I wanted to be there early enough to insure I got a decent parking space.  The race was starting in Margate, a town with notoriously bad parking in the summer, and while it's not summer yet there were still going to be a lot of people in the area and I didn't want to risk a long walk to the car after the run.  As I was walking up to check in I got a text from Shana asking me to check her in as well.  The line moved quickly and they didn't give me any issues for getting Shana's number and t-shirt.  Since I didn't know any one else there I headed back to the car and hung out there listening to music and playing on my phone until Bill wandered up and knocked on the window.  Turns out he had left Shana at check-in then went to park.  I grabbed my running gear and went to meet her.   There were a lot of people milling around the pavilion but it didn't look like many of them were doing the 10 miler.  A lot of people were wearing goofy outfits and costumes for St Patty's Day, some better athletes then myself may be able to pull that off but there's no way I could run that distance unless I'm dressed appropriately.  Also, I didn't see anyone with water belts or spi belts.  I know not everyone runs with gear but normally there are at least a few people.  I was getting nervous, I wasn't trying to break any records or anything but I also didn't want to come in last and the fewer people running the bigger possibility of my being the last one across the finish line...

Once Kat arrived we headed down to the start line.  The run would take us through a couple of blocks in Margate before turning onto the boardwalk in Ventnor, from there it was a straight shot to the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City and back.  Not the most interesting course I'd ever done...  

They sounded the horn and off we went.  I kept up with Kat & Shana for the first mile or so but soon they pulled ahead.  Then I noticed my friend Yani running only a few people in front of me so I caught up to her and we chit chatted about all our upcoming races until we got to the 5K turnaround and she, well, turned around.  In fact, most of the people turned around, I'd say there was less then 200 people continuing on to the 10 miler.  I trucked on until the 3 mile mark where I pulled out my GU packet and my iPhone to listen to some music.  The GU always makes me feel better, I don't know if it's subconsciously or not but I swear I run better for a mile or so after each packet.  

I chatted with a girl doing her first long distance run for miles 4-5 but she pulled away when I stopped for GU at mile 6.  Around mile 7 I met up with a couple running together, the guy was so funny that I almost didn't want to get ahead of them for fear of boredom.  But they fell behind me at the next to last water station where I met up with a new couple.  The guy was wearing those bare foot shoes and the girl was excited to run along to my music while telling me all about her triathlon training.  Running with them made me feel better about being behind my friends because they appeared athletic enough, just not very fast, lol.  At the last water station they got ahead of me because I almost choked while trying to drink from the plastic cup, I really should have brought my water belt.  Not only were there no water stations from miles 3-7 but it's so much easier to drink from those bottles.

I was so grateful that my hip hadn't acted up at all but the race wasn't without any aches or pains.  Twice during my last mile my right calf spasmed, it was enough to throw me but wasn't constant enough to stop me.  I finally crossed the finish line at 1:55:14, about 7 minutes slower then last year's Broad St 10 miler.  I wasn't particularly thrilled with my time but at least it was under 2 hours and I wasn't last, plus I didn't put in anywhere near the amount of training I had the year before.  I'm taking it in stride that this was a good training run for Broad St in May.
I spent some time on the phone with my sister last night talking about running.  Apparently she & Kat think that I can go much faster then I do and that I psych myself out with breaks to walk.  I tried to explain that it's not about the walking it's about eating & drinking but she's convinced I can do those things without breaking stride.  I haven't decided if I agree with her or not.  I mean I know I can go faster, I was running faster last year before I was sidelined with my foot injury and that damn rash (which is trying to come back btw).  I've got 2 weeks until the 11K so that one is probably a lost cause; except that Joe is running with me so I can try to keep up with him more.  Then Broad St isn't for another 7+ weeks...I could really improve by then...

Does anyone have any tips on increasing speed?


Yummy in my tummy!

I promise I'm going to write about my 10 mile "race" over the weekend but until I get up the moxy to recount the longest day of my entire life I've decided to show you all the delicious food I've been eating in the last few days.

On Thursday night Joe and I went out to dinner with Carol & Chris.  We went to our very favorite sushi place, Tokyo Madarin in Marmora, seriously it has the best sushi.  Anyway, we met them around 7:30 on Thursday night after we'd finished working in the yard and had what we've deemed the best order ever.  There were 6 different rolls split between Joe, Chris & myself and they were phenomenal.

I would love to recount for you what they all were but I can't remember.  I know the names but that probably won't help with what was in them.  We had a Snow White Maki, a Butterfly Lover roll, an Angry Lobster roll, a Mango Lobster Maki, a Dynamite roll and that one on top was a heart something...
On Friday night I wanted pasta in preparation for my big run the next morning.  I was perusing my food board on Pinterest while Joe & I wandered the grocery store and came across this recipe for pasta with roasted brussel sprouts and red onion.  We actually had all of the items needed at home!  We finished up our shopping trip and headed home to cook.  It was super easy to prepare and very tasty!  Joe was raving about how good it was and even said he wouldn't mind having it once a week.
After the "race" on Saturday I went out to eat with my mother, sister & brother-in-law at Shea's in Galloway.  I so badly wish this place was closer to my house.  Not only is the food out of control good but the owner is super nice and friendly.  He makes it so you don't even mind that you've waited for your table.  Anyway, if there's ever a time to eat cinnamon swirl pancakes with reckless abandon it's after running 10 miles.  I shared a single cinnamon swirl pancake with my mom and had 2 scrambled eggs and a side of pork roll to help battle all the sugar.
My next meal was at 10:30pm Saturday night.  I spent the afternoon on a bar crawl with some friends and by the time Joe met up with me after work I was starving.  I may not have made the healthiest choice but I burned 1000+ calories that morning!  (thankfully I only have that excuse a couple of times a year)  I had a BLT on rye with a side of fries.

Last but not least, Sunday.  I'm not sure what came over me but I was like Suzy Homemaker yesterday.  I ran some errands in the morning and then cleaned the house and cooked all afternoon, totally out of character for me.  In honor on the holiday weekend I made corned beed and cabbage in the crock pot for dinner.  It was ok, although it was fully cooked when we decided to eat it, it wasn't falling apart.  I prefer my crock pot meats to fall apart when I touch them.
For dessert I made a dump cake.  I grew up with dump cake and I really don't remember liking it.  When I found the above recipe on Pinterest one night I decided to make it for old times sake.  Well, it is now my absolute favorite!  And really it's not that bad, the potion pictured WITH the scoop of ice cream was only 195 calories. 


Five for Friday ~ 3/16/12

1.  You walk with me.

2. You're Jack's best friend.

3. You were my savior when my hip "broke."

4. You're doing your best to help me eat right & exercise.

5. You spend your days off working around the house.
March 2012