29 March 2011

menu tuesday

i meant to post this yesterday, but we took a mini office excursion to target to get some baby gifts for a colleague and by the time i got back to the office, i was buried in e-mails and voicemails.  the past two weeks we haven't been very good about sticking to my menu plans.  to some extent, that's totally ok.  sometimes life just gets in the way and you need to go out for mexican food and margaritas when the power goes out at your house!  but after friday's small victory, i realized the importance of being prepared with yummy healthy meals so that we're not tempted to go the greasy quesadilla route too often.  so we are back on board this week with the following menu:

monday: gina's chicken and mushrooms with garlic white wine sauce and salad with mache, tomatoes, and carrots + yogurt-mustard dill sauce. i served this will some whole grain pumpernickel rolls.  this was soooo delicious, we were both members of the clean plate club last night!

tuesday:  the beau is out of town for work tonight, so i'm eating the rest of some yummy tomato basil soup from our favorite italian restaurant we had for lunch on sunday.

wednesday:  the pioneer woman's pasta with roasted red pepper sauce and broccoli. this meal is an old standby for us. gourmet enough for me and since the beau will eat anything that includes pasta, it works.  i use low-fat half and half to make it a little more figure friendly, but otherwise it's perfect the way it is.

thursday: i'm having dinner with my boss and someone we're interviewing, so the beau is on his own.  this likely means tuna salad sandwiches, his single guy meal go-to.

friday: spicy black bean burgers and sweet potato fries.  this is lazy cooking at its best.  i add avocado, tomato, sprouts, and a little pepper jack cheese to the burgers and serve them on whole wheat hamburger buns. i never feel like cooking on friday night and this is a better solution than the wendy's drive-thru.

saturday: kelly's beef enchiladas and southwestern rice.  i realize this is a bit of a splurge meal, but hear me out: 1. this is basketball-watching night in our house.  if i wasn't cooking dinner, we would be going to a bar, eating wings and fries, drinking lots of beer, and spending lots of money.  this way, at least we're saving money and eating homemade. 2. i plan to lighten this up a bit by using lean beef {and only 3/4 pound}, low fat/low sodium cream of mushroom soup, corn tortillas, and reduced fat cheese.

sunday: spicy lemon trout with green beans and rosemary roasted potatoes.  i found this recipe via barefoot in the park, one of my favorite blogs.

bon appetit!

25 March 2011

fit train friday: small victories

this morning did not start off well.  the beau is {thankfully} on a renewed kick of wanting to get healthy and in shape, not just for our wedding, but for life.  so last night he decided that one of the steps required is getting himself on a regular sleeping pattern: in bed by 11pm, out of bed by 7am.  since he has a bad habit of turning off his alarm clock iphone and rolling over for another hour, he also set our actual alarm clock to go off a few minutes after his phone as a back-up.  well, at 7am when his phone starts going off, he stumbles out of bed, over to our actual alarm clock, and starts yelling at it that he doesn't know how to turn it off.  nice. day one wake up FAIL.

he had also decided that another one of the steps was to get his work-outs done in the morning.  with his current work schedule, that's really the only time he has and he says he always feels better for the rest of the day.  even after the epic wake up fail, he manages to make it out the door with a healthy breakfast {whole grain bagel + organic, no-sugar added PB + a banana} in time to get to the gym.  20 minutes later i hear him walk back in the door.  he has a flat tire.  not a happy camper. 

by the time we've finished dealing with all of this, i have approximately 30 minutes to pack our lunches, take the dog out and feed him, and get ready for work.  i don't like being rushed, so now i was not a happy camper.  until...

i grabbed the first pair of jeans i saw.  starting to put them on, i realize they are the jeans that i haven't really been able to wear since i put on the love weight.  as in, i can get them on, but it ain't pretty and it ain't comfortable.  so i've just avoided them.  this morning, i put them on. and they fit. not to tight, nothing spilling over the top, and nothing riding up where it's not supposed to. hallelujah!

as i did a little dance of joy in my closet, i also realized that i am starting to form some truly healthy habits and overcome some of my bad ones.  in the past, when running late like this morning, i would have hit up the mcdonald's drive thru for my go-to breakfast of an egg mcmuffin and a large diet coke {maybe white trash, but soooo delicious!}.  today, i packed a little kashi go lean! crunch {honey almond flax, yum}, some organic 1% milk, and some english breakfast tea to take with me to the office.  healthier, cheaper, and still satisfying.  go me.

it's so nice to start finally seeing some results {even small ones} from the changes i've been making in my life. running at the gym or run/walking outside with the pup, making nutritious meal choices throughout the day, and even adding some light weight lifting {in the spirit of full disclosure, i lift my weight while i watch barefoot contessa}.  i feel better, i look better {i think}, and my jeans fit. not a bad way to start the weekend!

24 March 2011

a place for everything...

...and everything in its place.

i will confess that i am not a very organized person.  i want to be, badly, but like the true fire sign/procrastinator that i am, i always seem to find myself distracted by something else.  well, sweet readers, that ends today.

i don't know if it's the approximately 400 get organized! e-mails i've gotten from the container store this month, or all of the spring cleaning posts i'm seeing from fellow bloggers, or my recent discovery of deliciously organized {why hello, new blog crush!}via lavender & lilies, or just the fact that i am being swallowed alive by clutter, but something snapped in the past week and i am determined to get my life and belongings, quite literally, in order. 

i at least have enough self-awareness to diagnose my problem as one of, in the opposite of this title, NOT having a place for everything.  thus, everything is ALL OVER the place, instead of in its place.  but i feel totally overwhelmed knowing where to start!  here are the two things i know we need to tackle:

1. paring down our possesions.  big time.  i have several pairs of shoes and items of clothing that i just do not wear.  ditto for the beau.  not to mention, i think there are probably several assorted household items and brick-a-brack that aren't adding anything positive to our lives and are taking up space that could go to.  time for a trip to the goodwill! {the trick is leaving without some little treasure i'm just convinced would make e + j proud}.

2. filing! now that we are merging our lives, this also means a merging of important paperwork.  unromantic, but true.  we have SO much paper clutter that consists of documents we need to keep but have no place for.  i'm thinking our big house purchase for next month is going to be this beauty:

file cabinets can be functional AND chic. white laquer finish!

here are some pics that are inspiring me:

i've been finding some great tips in the blogosphere and on the nest, but i'd love to hear from you! what are your best get organized tips? stay organized tips? where on earth do i start and how?! your help is desperately needed.

23 March 2011

THE {other} dress

as it turns out, finding the perfect bridesmaids' dress poses a much bigger challenge than finding the perfect wedding dress, or at least that's the case for me.  i've been back and forth with my amazing attendants for over a month now and still nothing.  originally, we had pretty much decided on the silk taffeta blakely dress from j.crew in dark pacific.  they sent me a color swatch {it was perfect!}, it met my comfortable and non-strapless requirement {looks so feminine!}, and everyone seemed to like it.  plus, jamie on the j.crew bridal hotline was over-the-top helpful and sweet. i couldn't wait to do business with them.

and then i saw a picture of it on "real" bridesmaids in the southern living wedding magazine and it looked awful.  universally unflattering, to the point where i couldn't tell whether or not several girls were pregnant. yikes.  no way i'm asking my ladies to shell out $250+ for a dress that may or may not even look good.

so i looked again.  my requirements are:
1.) navy blue
2.) NOT strapless
3.) $200 or less

here are my current top three:

via, in midnight

i also sent the following dresses to the ladies.  {in hindsight, i realize this is an overwhelming number of choices!}

via, in midnight

via, in ink

as you can see, i am drowing here! please help me and let me know which ones get your thumbs up/thumbs down.

on a positive note, the groomsmen's ties arrived today and they are SO perfect! i'm searching for a picture of them and will post soon. MCW, you're going to love them :)

22 March 2011


making a mental note to buy myself a new camera so to cease and desist with crappy bb photos

not only did new york give me food poisoning, but it also gave me dry eye syndrome.  what the what, nyc?!? several hundred dollars later, i am the proud owner of quite the brigade of eye drops, all prescribed by my doctor.  lovely.

back tomorrow talking about the beastly task of picking out a bridesmaids' dress!

16 March 2011

back in action

yikes, i can't believe it's been over a week since i last posted!  i was in nyc for work last week and between preparing to the trip and then the disaster that was the trip {i got food poisoning, had to walk 25 blocks carrying my luggage in a monsoon, the beau's team lost their game, AND i never got my beloved crack pie or a compost cookie}, i was all over the place.  and then i spent most of friday trying to get in touch with friends in japan to make sure they were ok.  fortunately, all are safe and sound, although understandably traumatized. 

this week, i've been busy filling out my bracket.  the beau and i have a bracket going and the trash talking is really heating up.  if when i win, he has to take me out to dinner at the nicest restaurant in town with no complaints about portion sizes or prices.  on the off chance that he wins, i have to cook him a homemade meal of his choice with no complaints about how unhealthy it is.  right now, i've got ohio st. winning it all, but i'm really waffling about that choice.

i haven't done a menu monday in two weeks {!}, mainly because neither the beau or i have been home to eat any homecooked meals.  the only meals on the menu this week are brown soda bread and shepherd's pie {the beau's request} in honor of st. patrick's day, FINALLY making the sullivan's island shrimp bog that's been on my must-make list for at least four weeks now, and gina's arroz congri, one of my favorite healthy meals that just screams sunshine to me.

on the wedding front, our sweet stationer ashley {please send her some sparkly thoughts, she just lost her grandmother} found the most perfect font {see number ten} and she is hard at work on our save-the-dates.  they go in the mail in a month and a half, which is blowing my mind!

and just for pretty's sake, i picked up a new top at h&m over the weekend and am loving it with my j.crew black pixies and my orange tory romys!

04 March 2011

childhood fashion flashback

i've had a piperlime gift card burning a hole in my pocket for a few months.  i was browsing around and saw these flats and immediately had a flashback to my first shoe obsession: sam and libby ballet flats!

do any of y'all remember these? oh, how i adored these as a child! my babysitters were high school girls whom i worshipped and i can vividly remember all the high school girls wearing these pink, preppy shoes and wanting some SO badly.  fortunately, they came in kids' sizes and i went through so many pairs.  i can remember begging my mother to wear my sam and libby's every single day.  in my mind, pink shoes with bows went with every outfit.  it looks like you can still find some pairs out there on ebay and etsy.  i'm going to be keeping my eyes peeled as i would love to have a pair of these back in my life!

bon weekend, sweet readers!

03 March 2011

my favorite color

orange, the color of hermes and one of my alma mater's colors, is my absolute favorite color.  it can be bright or dark, depending on what you pair it with.  it can be sophisticated or playful.  and it ALWAYS makes me happy.  lucky for me, orange is everywhere for spring!  here are some of my favesies:

i already got a pair of orange tory romys for christmas.  is a second pair of orange flats redundant? i think not...

i am a bit of a sunglasses junkie and at only 20 bucks, i am seeing these in my future

not just for clothes! i need a new, grown-up address book to keep track of all of our wedding gift givers.  i'm thinking this orange one with my new monogram is just the thing.

sadly this won't be in my summer arsenal {avoiding anything with straps so as to not have tan lines in my wedding dress} but i'm still seriously considering purchasing as my inaugural jamaican honeymoon bikini

love a dress that could be dressed up {with a gold belt, tons of gold bangles, and a great tan} or down {comfy leather sandals and you're good to go}. it's totally on trend and i love the pretty pattern.

the perfect summer color for mani/pedis

le sigh.  on my eternal wish list.

what are your favorite orange items for spring?

02 March 2011

wedding wednesday

y'all, i am TRES excited about this post because i am TRES excited about our fabulous wedding photographer!  cramer photo was the very first vendor we booked, and honestly, was a major factor in picking our date, since sarah was booked solid for the original dates we had in mind.  i have been a fan of her work for ages and what sold me on it was when she shot one of my dear friends' weddings this past june.

beautiful work comes at a price and using sarah is by far the biggest splurge in the budget.  but i narrowed it down to two photographers and without saying anything about them, sent both links to the beau.  i think he nailed it when he said, sarah's pictures just look happy.  i can't wait for our engagement shoot this spring {which reminds me...i really need to get around to scheduling that!} and to see how she captures our wedding day.  here are some examples of her amazeballs work:

all photos courtesy of cramer photo

you can also check out this post of her year in review: http://www.cramerphoto.com/2010/charlottesville-child-photography/looking-back-at-2010/. so. fantastic.

and brides-to-be, she travels! so if you're in need of a photographer, get in touch.

happy wednesday!

01 March 2011

in like a lion...

...out like a lamb {fingers crossed}!

rabbit rabbit, everyone!  the month that brings spring is finally here!  i am sooooo excited for spring, it's my second favorite season {after fall}.  here are some of things i am looking forward to:

tulip trees. they're actually called saucer magnolias, but i've always called them tulip trees.  there are some lovely ones here in small town, va and i can't wait to see them in bloom. photo courtesy of mayfly.

lacrosse season and the arrival of this darling preppy princess collar i just bought for the pup.

cadbury mini eggs, my own personal version of crack.

sundresses, like this gorgeous madewell frock.

running outside.

our engagement photo shoot! more on our fabulous photographer tomorrow...

what do you love most about spring?