St Patricks Day 2016

Hey Guys!

I wanted to pop in with a fun weekend recap because this past weekend was a BLAST! About a month ago Brent had the idea to rent an Air B&B in Chicago for St Patricks Day weekend and invite a bunch of friends. Well out idea became reality and we met up with a bunch of our friends for a weekend of festivities!

Friday night we all made our way to the city to meet up at the condo. Brent, my friend Katie from college & her boyfriend all drove in together while I took the metro after work. As I waited for the train I got a text from Katie with this picture…

St Patricks Day 2016

Brent & PJ fixing the flat!

And the caption “totally got a flat” thankfully Brent & PJ were able to change the flat safely and not get hit by any of the cars flying by. Not too long after the text from Katie the train pulled up to the station and I made my way to get on…

Well after trying 4 cars, yanking on the doors with none of them opening, the train pulled away leaving me there in awe of what just happened… Thankfully my friend Megan, who drove me to the station after work, hadn’t left yet and was able to drive me to a different station to get the next train. I had to wait about an hour but I was able to get the next train to the city and met up with the group at dinner before they even ordered!

View from the condo we rented

View from the condo we rented

We made our way back to the condo after a very late dinner and the 8 of us hung out had a few drinks and talked about everything and nothing before hitting the hay. Since Saturday morning we were planning on getting up bright and early.

St Patricks Day 2016

Gorgeous sun rise!!

Saturday started with this BEAUTIFUL view from the condo before we all got dressed and had a St Patty’s toast before heading to Bull & Bear.

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We had bought tickets for the Bull & Bear Top Of The Mornin St Patricks day party which started at 8. I cannot tell you the last time I went out drinking starting at 8am, and can tell you that the next time I do won’t be for a veryyyyyy long time 😉 Our tickets to Bull & Bear included drinks & brunch food so we found a spot near the bar and congregated there for the next 4 hours! We danced, sang to the songs and drank our little hearts out #balance 😉

St Patricks Day 2016 Kaley & I St Patricks Day 2016

At noon we headed outside and met up with 4 of our friends who opted out of Bull & Bear and grabbed lunch at Lou Malnati’s. After lunch we all went back to the condo to recoup a bit from our 4hour drinking escapades with some Cards Against Humanity! Once we recovered we headed down to the river front to see the green river and take some pictures, because well thats the point right! We said goodbye to a couple friends who had to head back home and then went back to relax some more before grabbing dinner.

St Patricks Day 2016

Chris, Kristina, Me, Brent, Kaley & Ryan at the river!

I forgot how hard it is to go H.A.M first thing in the morning and then continue to party the rest of the day, we all were pretty much done at 2pm so relaxing, hydrating and napping sounded wonderful! We definitely aren’t 21 any more 😛

St Patricks Day 2016 St Patricks Day 2016

After a while we decided to get dinner and made reservations at a sushi place down the road. Brent & PJ opted out of going as they both were exhausted and not feeling the best, so Ryan, Kaley, Katie & I headed out together for the BEST sushi experience of our lives.

If you are ever in the Fulton River District of Chicago you should definitely check out Tanoshii Sushi and splurge on Omakase tasting menu. You will not be disappointed and it is definitely worth the cost. We were treated to a multi-course meal and honestly each course was better than the one before. Since none of us really knew what was being put down in front of us, they told you but quickly, we made Ryan taste everything first and tell us what it was like before Katie, Kaley or I would try it. After a while we were laughing because Ryan would say “Thats the BEST one yet!” to almost everything he tried, and he wasn’t wrong!

St Patricks Day 2016St Patricks Day 2016

After dinner the 4 of us walked back to the condo in a sushi euphoria and settled in for a night of watching My Strange Addiction and seriously relaxing! It was the perfect ending to a fun day.

Most of the Gang!

Most of the Gang!

I am so glad that we have great friends who are up to coming and celebrating with us. It was so much fun to all get together and spend a weekend pretending that we were 21 again!

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Weekending XIV

Hello Monday…

I hope you all were able to enjoy your long holiday weekend with friends, family and outdoors. It was a gorgeous weekend here in Chicagoland and a 3 day weekend could not have come at a better time. Last week was a bit hectic and stressful with work so having 3 days to relax, enjoy & unwind was exactly what I needed.

MIMM

So lets get right into this weeks weekending extravaganza! Linking up with Katie today & every Monday.

Friday Brent & I got up and headed straight to the DMV. After a successful trip at the social security office on Thursday I was equipped to head to the DMV to get a new ID, change the information on my title & registration. We waited for 20-30minutes before getting called up to get my license changed. After filing through that line we headed to a second line where I could change my title & registration. All parts were pretty easy, a little waiting but overall we were prepared with my whole life in documents so it didn’t take too long. When we went to pay for the title/registration I gave her my credit card, she asked for my ID so I gave her my new ID and she told me she couldnt accept my payment because my name was different on both documents. WHAT!!! I just changed my name that was the whole reason for us coming to the DMV!!! I freaked out for a minute but then said “I have my marriage license??” which she took and processed my payment with.

the line at the social security office on Thursday

the line at the social security office on Thursday

Brent & I joked that I need to carry a copy of my marriage license in my wallet until all my credit cards change. That’s the next big bridge to cross!

After the DMV we headed to the gym for a quick chest lifting session. I have been doing barbell lifts with Brent then doing some different lifts when he goes to dumbbells as I was feeling pretty stagnant in my lifting routine. After doing incline & flat bench I did dumbbell presses & flyes on a stability ball to engage my core then some push up variations. It was a good burn workout and definitely felt good to start the day with a workout.

boat, beer, sun & friends... the perfect combination!

boat, beer, sun & friends… the perfect combination!

We then headed up to Wisconsin for a day with our friends Brian & Gina on the lake. Brian’s parents own a condo on the lake and have a pontoon boat so we cruised around the lake, chatted & enjoyed way to many delicious snacks along with a few drinks before stopping and jumping in for a quick swim. The boys braved the water first and after about an hour they got warm again and talked Gina & I in the lake. I was not super excited about the 74deg water temperature but once I got in the water really did feel good and super refreshing! After a while we headed back to the cottage and grilled up some dinner. It was the perfect day to relax and enjoy friends on the lake. Pure-perfection!

Saturday we got up and hit the gym for a Fourth of July back burn out workout. I love back days, its one of my favorite days in the gym and Saturday did not disappoint! After our sweat session we hit the showers and got ready for a fun Fourth of July day with some of rents friends from High School. Once showered we hit the road towards Brent’s home town.

AND a belated happy birthday to my girl Kasey!

AND a belated happy birthday to my girl Kasey!

Once we got to Chris’s house we relaxed a bit & chatted before Ryan & Kaley along with their 1year old Tinley made it to the house. We all chatted and caught up, it was nice to see the 3 of them again as they were all at our wedding! Brent & I had not met the babe so it was also great to get some baby time and play with their sweet girl. We then headed to Chris’s families 4th party where we relaxed, ate BBQ and played a few games of Cornhole.

picnic food at its finest!

picnic food at its finest!

Before long the sun had set and Chris’s family started to load up the trucks for their “famous” firework show. Chris, his dad & uncle all set off a pretty impressive display of fireworks in the back property of their country house. It was awesome to have watched such a personal firework show and while probably not as many fireworks as downtown Chicago it was an impressive display and nice to be right under them!

Have you guys tried this stuff? It tastes just like root beer. A fun twist during a hot summer day!

Have you guys tried this stuff? It tastes just like root beer. A fun twist during a hot summer day!

Sunday was a pretty typical recovery day… we drove back & hit the grocery store and grabbed lunch before doing our shopping. When we got home it was nap time then food prep, laundry & getting started on our wedding thank you cards. We had quite the loot of leftover beer from the weekend so Brent went to work on reorganizing the fridge to fit all the beer, organized by type, for easy access. I’m pretty sure we have enough beer for the rest of the summer so if anyone wants to come over and have a few the beer is on me!

Organization perfection!

Organization perfection!

Phew!! This week I am meeting up with a friend from college who is coming to the city for a conference and then we are heading to Michigan for the weekend & are doing a fun run with my family on Saturday.

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Treat Yourself Tuesday

HiYo!

Happy Tuesday everyone! We are on the downswing towards wedding weekend and I have been living up some local relaxation & treats. So what better way to share than today with my girl Becky.

EEEK its June!!!

EEEK its June!!!

This weekend was a great treat. I felt like we had most of our wedding stuff done so we got to enjoy some extra time around Arlington Heights without too much on the schedule. I did fit in some final wedding crafting so now it is all, basically, done!

Treat Yourself Tuesday

Friday night we opened the mailbox and found our first Mr & Mrs envelope! It was pretty exciting for both Brent & I. Its the little things in life guys!

treat yourself tuesday

Saturday was filled with some running around, we had a few things on the docket which included a couple trips to return some duplicate gifts & Brent treated himself to a Cubs Jersey & hat for the game next Wednesday.

Sunday I was treated by a girlfriend to a small Chicago Shower. It was so nice to meet for brunch and get to hang out with a few of my friends. We enjoyed strawberry mimosas, quiche, bacon & some delicious salads. It was a beautiful spread & so delicious! We hung out and chatted for a long time before all heading our separate ways.

#blessed

#blessed

Monday I treated myself to a few new spring vegetables. We have been eating the SAME thing on repeat for the past 4 weeks, and as much as I love zucchini & chicken I needed a change. So I headed to the store with my eyes open to new vegetables that didn’t scare me. I decided to pick up some Artichokes, however due to the price I didn’t get a ton so still ended up with my zucchini & summer squash staple.

Before heading to the gym last night I cooked up the veggies, and grilled up the artichokes. Let me tell you, the artichokes are not too hard to make and they are delicious!!!! I am excited to have a fun vegetable to add to my typical lunch this week.

Treat yourself tuesday

And Today I am treating myself to a lazy morning & maybe a trip to Target to get some of the last minute things I need for the wedding before going into work a bit later than typically!

Have a great day!

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Weekending XI

Good Morning Beautiful Friends,

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and got to spend some time doing what you like best!

Since moving to Arlington Heights Brent & I have belonged to a “global” gym that I have hated from day 1. It wasn’t a big deal as we were CrossFitting a few days a week so I never really went to the global gym unless absolutely necessary. Once we tapered off of CrossFit, mostly due to timing of the classes and in an effort to save $$$ for the wedding, I started to lift more with Brent at this black-hole of a gym we were lifting at. Neither of us loved it but it did the job… until I entered a different “global” gym and possibly fell in-love… with the LOBBY.

Yeah I walked in the door and liked the place just from the looks of the entrance, first impressions definitely matter! So Brent did some researching and we went for a “visit” to check the gym out on Friday. Thursday night I looked at Brent and said “SO what happens when you walk in and fall in love and want to get a membership right then??” and his response was “we will practice self-control and wait!!! we don’t need this right now…” famous last words! 

Weekending XI

Friday night we had a super fun date night to check out the gym, we walked around saw all the sights then were let loose to lift on our own. Brent & I looked at each other as we were lifting and said “ahhh peaceful” it was seriously like lifting in a spa compared to where we were working out before. It was a beautiful change of pace! After our workout we were sitting and chatting and Brent goes “I want it!!!!!!! Should we go sign up right now???” So for  ONCE I was the one who practiced self-control and made him wait and sleep on it.

Saturday I had a work event to go to in the morning, so I was up and out of the house by 8. My event was a bit of a bust so I was able to sit and chat it up with one of my coworkers and super sweet friend. We talked about everything and complained about drama, because thats what girlfriends do right?! While we both were super bummed that our event was a flop it was really nice to hang out on Saturday morning and get a jump start on my day.

Lately I have been loving this egg scramble of spinach, tomatoes and eggs. Delicious!

Lately I have been loving this egg scramble of spinach, tomatoes and eggs. Delicious!

When I got home I took Brent up on his shopping trip that he promised me a couple weeks ago so we headed out to the mall. BUT first he told me that the gym called to “sweeten the deal” so we decided that we would pack our gym bags and head there after we shopped. I didn’t find anything at the mall that I could 1. Afford 2. liked. UGH I hate that!!! Nothing worse than going shopping for something you want/need and finding nothing. But I did talk Brent into buying a new pair of tennis shoes which he desperately needed!

After our shopping trip, bust, we headed to the gym and signed up for the gorgeous place that I can now call home. I am so happy to have somewhere that won’t stress me out when I enter it and that has everything I am looking for in terms of equipment, classes and quality. PLUS it is CLEAN looks & feels clean. SWEET!!!

Saturday night we headed to my friends house for a little Beer & Basketball. It was super nice to chill with some friends, play with her sweet pup and enjoy an OBERON!!!! I can’t control my excitement for this beautiful beer returning to my summer life.

Weekending XI

This morning we slept in and had a lazy morning. I should say Brent slept and I caught up on this little blog. We did the usual Sunday stuff including church, groceries, food prep and gym. Nothing exciting on a Sunday and I couldn’t be happier!

So thats a wrap on this little weekend over here. A super relaxed a chill one but next weekend we have a lot in store so it was nice to have one more weekend of chill before life gets a little cray again!

Hope you enjoy the start to your week!

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MIMM – Chicago Style

A marvelous weekend indeed!
Going old school with a Marvelous in My Monday post!

As Always Thank You Katie for hosting

As Always Thank You Katie for hosting

Marvelous Is… having dinner with two of my favorite friends from undergrad! Both Kelsey and Heather were in the area for two different reasons and the 4 of us met up for dinner Friday night in Naperville. It was really nice to get to catch up with both of them and explore Naperville a little bit. I had only been to Naperville once before (the weekend prior) but did not get to explore the town at all so it was fun to see the river walk, friday night life and the super cute downtown area. We ate at Q BBQ which was a good barbecue place, Brent and I shared a huge plate of 3 meats and two sides, we both liked it but I think I prefer Rudy’s in Texas.

Heather & I at the Bean

Heather & I at the Bean

Marvelous Is… exploring Chicago with Heather who had never been downtown before. We had our eyes set on going up the Sears/Willis tower as both Brent and Heather had never been.

But first a mandatory stop at Millennium Park to see “the bean” was made.

MIMM Bean MIMM - Bean MIMM Bean

We got to Willis tower and to the ticket booth when the card reader machine broke and the manager-man sent Brent and I through “on him”… I honestly think I stood there and said “excuse me?!” and he had to repeat himself and show us to move on before I really understood that we got two free tickets to the SkyDeck!!! #winning

MIMM Willis Tower I had been up to the 103rd floor of Sears tower before but it had been lots of years so it was nice to see the city from such magnificent heights again. I forgot how scary it was to step onto the glass top!

MIMM Sky Deck MIMM Sky Deck

Marvelous is… accidentally stumbling upon the ITU World Triathlon when trying to go to Buckingham Fountain & getting caught in a short shower. I have never seen the Buckingham fountain and thought it would be a fun way to end our few hours in the city, but when we turned the corner we were greeted but a lot of barricades and bikes flying by. It was pretty amazing to watch the women race!

MIMM UTI Tri

Marvelous is going to celebrate with Brent’s friends as they revealed the gender for their second child. It was exciting to see Shane & Kayla so excited to find out the gender of their second child and even more exciting to see Kayla’s reaction to having a little girl. Congratulations Guys!

MIMM Gender Reveal Marvelous is spending some time with Brent saturday night down at the docks. We went to Brent’s new favorite brewery and shared a giant pretzel and sandwich. We ended up taking the sandwich to go because the restaurant was super loud. Instead we headed town toward the river and sat on the dock while we finished our meal. It was a great ending to a very long day!

MIMM Dock Life MIMM Rkfd Brewing Comp

Marvelous is getting to finally sleep in!! I was most looking forward to Sunday to be able to sleep in and relax, the past few weekends have been very busy and haven’t included much extra sleep. I slept until 6:30, ugh, then turned over and slept until 8 #adultproblems. I then lounged and relaxed until 10 and really didn’t start the day until almost noon #lazygirl.

Random but this made Brent and I crack up for a good 10 minutes when driving home Saturday

Random but this made Brent and I crack up for a good 10 minutes when driving home Saturday

Marvelous is sitting by the pool and listening to Gabrielle Bernstein! I usually get really distracted at the pool and it was really nice to spend the time listening to positive life lessons and her 2009 Lecture. Added bonus getting some sun, this white girl needs a bit of a tan.

Green Tea Popsicle

Green Tea Popsicle

Then cooling down with a refreshing green tea popsicle!

Marvelous is spending sunday night relaxing and blogging. What better way to end the weekend?

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Have you been up Willis Tower?
What do you do to keep occupied at the pool?

Meal Plan 4/6-4/12

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend. I spent most of yesterday being extremely lazy and catching up on some much needed sleep then going out with some of the people we’ve met at the gym. It is nice to finally start meeting people here, I feel like it has taken a million years.

I don’t know why but it seems to be extra challenging making friends with people when you don’t spend 4-8hours a day in class together. I mean I guess college was good for something! 🙂

In Food News… I have noticed my body getting rather angry at me because my food intake is not high in animal protein due to my lenten fast. After a week of feeling a bit “off” & seriously feeling like I was eating everything in sight without any decreased hunger I took a step back and analyzed a little of what might be going on.

I have always been a big veggie eater and in the past year my meat consumption has decreased. I would eat meat regularly but maybe just once a day or every other day and I felt great, energized and effective. However if I did not have meat for a prolonged period of time I would have a huge meat craving and eat some.

Since lent started I have only had meat on sundays and have been fueling up with hearty veggies, eggs and protein rich plant-based fuel sources. But like I said lately I have been feeling a bit off. So last week I bumped up some protein sources eating shrimp with my salad each day and trying to have more eggs at night with dinner. This seemed to help but I can tell my GI system is still a bit outta whack.

Meal Plan

My plan for this week is to prep protein rich foods and make sure that I am eating enough fuel sources that are not strictly plant-based. I only have a couple weeks of lent left and have definitely learned that a meat free diet is not one that works with my digestive system, I need some chicken and the occasional burger or beef thrown in there.

Heres what I plan to make and eat this week:
Lindsay’s Sweet Potato Bites with applesauce instead of bananas (yuck! if you didn’t know I hate bananas)
Davida’s Greek Quinoa Burgers & Vegan Pesto Pasta with Tempeh (I’ve had some Tempeh in my fridge but didn’t know what to do with it, so I’m excited to give this a try!)
TexMex Salad in a Jar – recipe testing at its best!
Baked Dill Salmon – I made this the other week really quick and it was great! I will have to measure so I can give you guys the recipe!

Off for a run and then to the grocery store! Hope you have a wonderful Sunday!

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What are you cooking this week?
Any Plant-based diet tips? Katie!

Happy St. Patricks Day

This Monday is especially nice as it is St. Patricks Day!

I don’t know about you but I love a good holiday especially one which involves a good party and good food. Growing up it was a huge treat to get Corned Beef & Cabbage but it did not come just on St. Patricks day.

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Happy St. Patricks Day!

The weekend started out with some M&M goodness. I was at Target and spotted  mint M&M’s and could.not.pass.it.up. They were amazing btw.

As Always Thank You Katie.

St. Patricks Celebrations are definitely MARVELOUS. Thank you Katie for the weekly link love!

This year Brent & I made the short trip to Chicago to spend the weekend with our friend Marshall and fully indulge ourselves in the spirit of the weekend. Our goals for the weekend included 1. See the River turn Green & 2. Have a good time. I think Marshall had a third but I forgot it 😉

Timer Mode #Selfie Success!

Timer Mode #Selfie Success!

We definitely saw the river turn green… well after standing and waiting for what seemed like forever

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we took a little walk down the river and saw the bright green river! I was kind of expecting a more magical experience but I think we were too far down river to see the transformation. It was still really cool!

Green River

After grabbing a bite to eat we made our way to the “Parade” or what we thought would be the parade. We ended up being in the middle of a HUGE “frat” party. It was crazy stupid and I was scared for my pretty life rings life! (I turned my engagement ring to the inside of my palm because I was scared it would fall off from the cold & masses… *paranoid*). After a quick detour through the masses we turned around and made our way to a bar. I definitely needed a drink after that craziness.

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We toured a few bars before making our way back to Lincoln park for a quick nap and phone recharging.

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Marshall wore these sweeeett green sneakers and I joked that they would be our “Ruby Slippers” and bring us good luck if he did the heel click leprechaun leap. It was a photojournalist success. However I had multiple photographer #fails.

Click your Heels

Brent however was a photo genius… did you know on iPhones you can do rapid shooting? well I didn’t (obviously!) He also was by far the BEST heel clicker, but like I said #photographerfail

we are the THREEEE best friends!!

we are the THREEEE best friends!!

To end the night we met up with my friend Meganne for a couple more drinks, laughs & some dancing. I love meeting up with friends I haven’t seen in a while and it was SO good to see this girl.

We made our way home (IN THE SNOW…) and finally found our beds.

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Sunday we woke up had brunch and made the drive back to Rockford. When we got home we took a nap and then went into Brent’s office to get some work done. Our internet has been out at our house for almost a week, which would be why I blogged twice last week. SORRY!

Brunch

Brunch

Since I gave up meat for lent I was excited to go out and get some Corned Beef for dinner. Sundays are not included in the lenten fast so it is a “free” day, but I am trying to limit my “cheating” for 1 meal per Sunday.
 

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So Jason’s Deli it was for a seriously HUGE Reuben! I got 1/2 of the sandwich & a cup of tomato soup. It was delicious & I was 5000% stuffed…
As good as my sandwich was it still was not as good as homemade. Thats on my todo list 🙂

It was a long but fun Chi-rish Weekend and I am SO glad we went!

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How do you celebrate St. Patricks Day?
Are you an expert Heel Clicker?

Wedding Wednesday – Bridal Party

Happy Wednesday!!!

I have been waiting to write this post for weeks but just finally got around to it, and couldn’t be more excited!

Remember when I shared this preview picture?

bridesmaid boxes

Well those boxes had my invitations/proposals to the girls who I wanted to be in my wedding.

I knew when we first got engaged that I wanted to do something special for the girls who were going to be by my side and especially after seeing all the Pinterest inspiring pictures/ideas I got to work.

I took a trip to Hob-Lob one night after work and after spending 30 minutes in the scrapbook paper aisle I figured out my wedding colors. Yep! I picked my colors based on scrapbook paper. OK, so I knew what color theme/palette I wanted so it was more a matter of just picking out which ones worked best.

Wedding Palette

I then found these FRAMES which I think were painted with me in mind. Basically my color palette on a frame, SCORE!!! From there I found some gem letters and knew what I was going to do. Well mostly…

Bridesmaid Proposal

I cut the dresses out by hand and made the little flowers then just carefully wrote out the words and made the “Proposal” card. I am pretty sure this was the MOST successful Super Bowl sunday ever!

Then off they went to the postoffice with lots of fingers crossed for happy responses and safe travels to Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas & California.

Proposal Card

The first to respond was my Maid Of Honor in New York! I was so excited to see her happy response and to get some IG lovin’!

christmas & wine whats better?

christmas & wine whats better?

My Maid Of Honor will be Catherine, my sister. Catherine is currently finishing grad school at Cornell and will definitely be the person I go to for style advice. Catherine and I are known to hit up the Coach outlet mall or go shopping together when we are at home and always rock some awesome christmas gifts! I am so excited that she will be a part of our big day! 

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Next up was my Matron Of Honor in Michigan. I was really surprised that Stephannie did not get her package first but she swears it could’ve been on the porch for a day or two.

wine country weekend love

wine country sisters weekend throwback

Stephannie is my oldest sister. She has definitely been by my side through the biggest of life’s ups and downs. We always seem to find something to laugh, cry or argue about when we are together and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We couldn’t be more different but those differences make us the perfect pair of sisters. I was honored to be Stephannie’s Maid Of Honor in 2010 and I cannot wait to have her partying with us.

Third was my college roommate in Pennsylvania.

fish-face & stunna shade wedding musts!

fish-face & stunna shade wedding musts!

Heather and I became fast friends freshman year of college and were basically inseparable for a year plus when we were roommates. Between the two of us we have covered a lot of miles and oceans in the 4 years since graduating college, but we have stayed incredibly close. I was honored to be in her wedding last summer and spend a week in Miami celebrating. I am so happy she said she would be a part of our big day!

IG Lovin'

IG Lovin’

The fourth phone call came just a couple hours after Heathers and was from my High School girlfriend Amalia.

das' boot for her bachelorette party

das’ boot for her bachelorette party

Mal’s and I were an unlikely pair of volleyball partners, as she was always the shortest and I was the tallest girl on the team. We spent many bus trips and hours together in high school but it wasn’t until she moved to California for college that we became extremely close. The two of us would meet each time we were home for holidays and became closer than ever. Amalia got married last summer as well and I was blessed to be her Maid Of Honor. Her wedding was seriously breathtaking and every time Brent & I talk about wedding plans we compare to her big day!

Last but not least was my girl Kori from Grad school.

rocking the doctor caps!

rocking the doctor caps!

While Kori and I haven’t been friends as long as the above 4 girls we have a friendship on a different level. Kori and I spent many long hours studying together, she helped me find fitness, and went through many awful first dates together. This girl helped me find red wine and learn that cowboy boots go with every outfit. I am so honored that Kori will be making the trip up to Michigan to celebrate, especially since we will be getting married on her birthday. (I promised free wine/beer, a free meal & a good party… she said she was down!)

So there they are… the girls who will be standing up in my wedding. I feel like now I can rest and let the rest just fall into place. Although that doesn’t seem to be happening…

Ok next step is finding a photographer… any advice for Ann Arbor Photographers?

Have a happy and healthy Wednesday!

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Know any good Photographers?
When did you start getting a lot done on your wedding?

Easy Peasy Homemade Deodorant

Happy Tuesday Friends!

I told you last week that I have had this post in my “to do” file for quite a while, and today is the day I am sharing it with you!!

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Last April my good friend Katie told me she made her own deodorant because she hated the idea of all the chemicals found in store bought deodorant. I was intrigued and probably asked 100 questions about the process, effectiveness and use. She let me try it out and I was almost sold. I seriously went home and was SHOCKED with how well this stuff worked.

Not to be overly graphic but y’all I am a sweaty betty and it’s not a cute look. I was skeptical that using a homemade product with so few ingredients would work for me but I decided it was worth the try, so I trekked to the store and bought the necessary ingredients.

I used the first batch for probably 3 months prior to using it all up. I did still use my store bought stuff when I was traveling, or after the gym, and just used my homemade stuff when I was at home.

GUESS WHAT… I found out that when I used the store bought stuff I would stink more. I could smell that nervous sweat or the after gym stank, that is definitely associated with a hard Applied Fitness Solutions class. I also found that when I wore my homemade deodorant I had less stink and stank associated with my daily life. I still sweat, this does not clog your pores and eliminate excretion, but I did not have the extra stinky or excessively perspiring underarms (gross but true!)

So after that first batch of deodorant I was 100% sold. I have not bought any store bought deodorant since last April and do not have any plans to buy it anytime soon.

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I tell so many people, wether at work or in the community, that I make my own deodorant and they all are SHOCKED just like I was. I’ve told beauticians, friends, gym goers, family members, and patients about my deodorant making and passed the recipe on to everyone whose interested.

Here’s the “Recipe” if you want to call it that!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4cup Corn Starch
  • 1/4cup Baking Soda
  • 5-6tbsp Coconut Oil (soft but not liquid)
  • 6-10drops favorite Essential Oil
  • glass container with tight fitting lid

Method:

  • Combine corn stack, baking soda and coconut oil in a small to medium bowl
  • Mix until well combined, I use a rubber spatula if my oil is soft enough or my hands if its rather firm…
almost there… keep mixing

almost there… keep mixing

  • Substance will begin to like deodorant, make sure all parts are completely distributed.
  • Add in essential oil & mix until combined. I like Lavender and Sweet Orange. Make sure your oil is a PURE essential oil not an abstract, remember this is going on your skin!
BEWARE mixing can be messy!

BEWARE mixing can be messy!

  • Place deodorant mixture into glass container and store on your counter top

I usually make a big one in a small pyrex dish for my bathroom and a mini one in a small tupperware container for my gym bag.

Counter top and mini-gym bag deodorant ready to go!

Counter top and mini-gym bag deodorant ready to go!

One batch of this last me over a month. I apply it by taking my first two fingers and getting a small amount of the deodorant on my fingers and then rub it into my skin. Since coconut oil is a solid at room temperature but melts at 78degrees (less than body temp) it starts to liquify as soon as it touches your fingers and rubs easily into your skin. ALSO this means if you keep it in your gym bag in the summer it will melt & leak All.Over.Everything & will freeze in the winter (this is easier to remedy as it melts quickly with a shot of hot air from a blow dryer)!

Not only do I LOVE that I know exactly what is in my deodorant and can pronounce each ingredient but I also love that I am saving money each month.

Lets compare!

Degree Twin Pack from Target

SOURCE

SOURCE

Cost = $6.99… Lasts approximately 2 months (estimating 1mo/stick)

Homemade Easy Peasy Deodorant

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Cost = $2.42… last approximately 2 months

Thats almost ONE-THIRD the cost of the store bought chemically ridden stuff & definitely a #WIN to my bank account!

**note: I made this photographed batch of deodorant the week of Jan 13th and barely have a dent in it. I would say one batch of this deodorant lasts me 2-3months… I also am unsure how long the average bear takes to use a single stick of deodorant but I am sure it is less time than this above stated range. Please take this estimate of cost as just that an estimate, savings may vary based on the individual**

Thanks again KBruce!

Thanks again KBruce!

So theres my not-so-secret deodorant recipe that I was given from my dear friend Katie. Like I said I swear by this stuff and do not see myself going back to the store bought junk any time soon!

Hope you have a wonderful Tuesday!

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  • Have you ever used homemade deodorant?
  • Whats your favorite underarm sent? – I hated lavender store-bought deodorant but switch between lavender and sweet orange when I make my batches!
  • Please let me know if you use this recipe to make your own too!

Elf 4 Health Blog Swap

Hey Friends,

I am stopping in to share with you my very first guest blog post. I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday & I’ll be back tomorrow with an awesome Christmas Sweater idea!

As you know I am participating in #elf4health and we decided to do a massive blog swap today to the challenge of sharing our expertise. I am really excited to have Katie guest posting here with some great advice for being the best YOU, you can be!

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Well, hey there! My name is Katie and I blog over at Peace, Love & Oats! I am a 20-something recent law school graduate on the job hunt and enjoying my life in Chicago! One thing that I have worked a lot on over the past few years, and consequently write about often, is self-confidence and learning to love and appreciate who you are. On that note, I thought I’d share some thoughts with all of you on that subject!

Growing up, I was taught that appearances are important. I’m not just talking about what you wear and looking appropriate, but how you act and come across as well. Obviously manners were important, but so was making and sticking to commitments, succeeding and trying hard in any activity that you joined, making a good first impression, doing well in school, having a good application or resume; the list goes on and on. I’m not saying these aren’t important aspects to life or good values to learn, but they were all very important to me. Appearing “perfect” became very important to me.

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Recognizing that aspect of myself was necessary, but the most critical thing is learning how to place a lower value on my appearance to others. A piece of advice I was given once was to check in with myself throughout the day, ask myself why I’m doing the things that I’m doing. Am I doing this because of what someone else would think of me?

Why am I wearing this? Why am I so anxious to talk to that guy? Why am I avoiding this subject with someone? Why am I going out when I don’t feel well and just want to go home? Why am I not speaking up if I have something to say?

I realize this sounds like a lot of questions, but stopping and asking myself just a couple of these questions each day, has already made me relax a bit and let my guard down. The point behind this exercise, and of this post really, is to learn how to just be your “true and honest self.”

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The reason we all try to keep up appearances is to avoid rejection, but if you love yourself and are confident in yourself, then being rejected won’t shake you up or upset you as much. Why is that? Because this “true and honest self” is the person you really are. This is the person you want people to love and appreciate. If they can’t love and appreciate you the way you really are, then they aren’t the right people for you.

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Having that confidence in yourself and believing in yourself is how you put yourself in situations that make you happy and surround yourself with people that make you happy. If you have to “keep up appearances” for someone to like you, is that person really right for you? I don’t think so.

So do you. Be you. Love you. Everything else will fall into place. And if you’re someone who struggles with self-love and acceptance, then here are a few tips that you can add into your daily life that might help:

1. Tell yourself how great you are. Every time you catch your reflection in the mirror, give yourself a compliment. You are gorgeous! You’re pretty amazing. Great hair today! Whatever it is, make it a habit.

2. Dance. Dance freely, like no one is watching. Dance to your favorite song from middle school, dance to a holiday song, dance to hip hop or classical. Whatever you’re feeling! Just moving to music without worrying about how you look always makes you feel better!

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3. Smile. Having a bad day? Getting frustrated by work, a workout, standing in line at the grocery store? Take a deep breath and smile. Trust me, it really does improve your mood!

4. Say yes. When you get out of your comfort zone and get out there and socialize, you tend to forget about all the things you’re worrying about. And remember, if you’re self conscious about something, I can almost guarantee that no one else notices or cares as much as you do. Taking a risk and going out on a limb is always better than doing nothing.

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5. Be nice. Helping other people, or even just complimenting them, not only improves their day, but it improves yours and your own self-image. Make giving back to others a part of your routine, whether it’s volunteering or just holding the door open for someone, and soon you’ll see more value in yourself.

6. Surround yourself with uplifting people. Last but not least, you have to love yourself but if the people around you are bringing you down then it’s just not helping. Be sure that the people who you keep close, whose opinions you value, are the kind of people who love and support you no matter what.

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I hope you all enjoyed these tips, and if you ever have any questions or just want to chat, feel free to email me at peaceloveandoats@gmail.com!

Do you worry too much about what others think of you?

What self-love advice would you give? 

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Thanks again for all the great advice Katie. Make sure to check out my guest post on Katie’s blog along with all the other Elf’s posts you can find the link party over on Elle’s blog.