31 January 2011

menu monday

monday: i'm headed out for sushi {yum!} with some colleagues, so the beau is on his own with leftovers.

tuesday: i've got a junior league committee meeting, so night deux of the beau on his own.  i have a feeling this means a chicken philly sub for him.

wednesday: chicken, shiitake, and wild rice soup.  i've been dying to try one of gina's skinny recipes, and this looks like straight-up cold weather comfort in a bowl.

thursday: broccoli quinoa with sundried tomatoes and goat cheese. inspired by my sweet bloggy friend, miss sweet tea. our veggie meal for the week.

friday: we're headed to the beau's hometown along with my parents for dinner with his parents because the next day...
saturday: our first engagement party! we'll be eating all of the yummy food his mom is making.

sunday: super bowl! as the beau is a diehard ravens fan {which, to the uninitiated, means he loathes the steelers more than words can describe}, we may be watching this at home just the two of us.  which means i may have to come up with a healthy, quick version of super bowl food at a moment's notice.  or just splurge on chinese take-out.  we'll have to wait and see. go packers!

making monday a little bit brighter

if you haven't checked out the new home goods sample site, joss & main, here's your chance!  click on my link to join: http://www.jossandmain.com/store/myinvite/4lz

today features le creuset, trina turk residential, and the most darling mi cocina kitchen towels.  i may be scooping up a few "because it's monday" gifts for myself today.

happy shopping!

28 January 2011

fit train friday

this week has absolutely CRAWLED by and i am so excited that it is the weekend in less than 3 hours!  although the beau is working all weekend {i'm a coaching widow until may}, i'm looking forward to some nesting and birthday preparations for him.  his is quickly approaching! at his request, i'm making p-dub's lasagna for his birthday dinner, so i'm planning on using tomorrow to make it and put it in the freezer to make things a little easier on myself {his birthday is on a weeknight}.  i'm also planning on doing a little present shopping.  i'm putting together a big gift basket for him, so i'm hoping to pick up a few items.  can't wait to show y'all the finished product!

i haven't posted on fit train friday in awhile, so i thought i'd update you on where i stand.  i'm following this 6-month workout plan i found on the knot.  i'm just finishing up week 3 and i've also been following the couch 2 5k plan.  i'm starting week 5 today.  i'm also starting a spin class on monday night.  i've taken them before and loved them, but they were never offered at a time that worked for me.  a friend of mine is teaching a class this semester on monday and wednesday nights in an ideal time slot.  i'm not looking forward to the achey legs and butt the first week or two, but i'm definitely looking forward to the 700 calories burned per class!  i've signed up to run a 10-miler at the end of march, so that's my motivation to keep going.  if i use the wedding as a motivation, i start to think that it's so far away from now that i can slack and it will be fine.  not good.  i'm still not happy with my weight or shape right now, but i'm trying not to get so wrapped up in numbers and focus more on getting healthy, toned, and comfortably back in my jeans!

hope y'all have a fabulous weekend and stay warm, east-coasters!

27 January 2011

the wedding party

i have to admit, one of the things that is stressing me out the most about the wedding planning process is picking the perfect dress{es} for my bridesmaids.  they are all dear friends, one sister, and one sister-to-be and i don't want them to shell out a bunch of moolah for a dress they're not going to wear again.  i'm really going back and forth between the whole i pick the color and fabric and they pick the dress schtick that j.crew has made so popular and my love for the nice, uniform, clean look of all the gals in one dress and color.  {i'm not ballsy enough to do it, but how much are you loving this pic of bridesmaids in various shades of blue amsale dresses?!?! so gorgeous and chic}.

until i make up my mind, i'm collecting images of dresses that i would love to wear in hopes that they would too.  and i am LOVING this ann taylor dress in classic navy. reasonably priced and chic? yes, please!

26 January 2011

wedding wednesday

i want to start introducing some of the AMAZING vendors i'll be working with to make my our wedding vision come to life. 

the first vendor i'll "showcase" is sweet ashley over at lemon and lavender.  i've been a follower of ashley's lovely blog for quite awhile and i love the touch of understated whimsy in all her work, so she was an easy choice to be our stationer.

i had looked and looked and looked online to try and find exactly what i wanted, not just for our invitations but for our "look".  i really want to brand our wedding, so it was important to me that the save-the-dates, inviations, and all the other little stationery at the ceremony and reception have the same logo, font, and "feel".  i couldn't find anything that even remotely came close to what i wanted, so going custom was the only option.

ashley has been fabulous to deal with so far, and i am so excited to see what she creates for our wedding.  look at some of the gorgeous items from her portfolio:

her style is so elegant, and she has the most GORGEOUS little family! hop on over to her blog and check her out.

25 January 2011

let's get this party started

today we booked the next-to-last "big" item on our wedding list: the reception music/entertainment!  we've known from the get-go that we wanted our reception to be one big dance party for everyone, all the way up to the grandparents, so this was a very important part of the decision-making process for us.  fortunately, it was also very easy.

i've found that people feel very strongly one way or another about a band versus a DJ.  we both felt strongly about what we wanted and fortunately we both wanted the same thing, which is why it was an easy decision.  once we knew what we were looking for, it was just a matter of checking reviews, references, and pricing and we were all set.  before i reveal what our choice is, i'm curious...

are you a band fan?

or a DJ devotee?

do tell! i can't wait to hear your answers...

24 January 2011

throwing my {chef's} hat into the ring

it was quite the domestic weekend here at la maison de belle et beau.  on saturday we crossed the mountain to head to the nearest "city" {i use that term lightly} to catch a matinee {we saw 'the king's speech' and LOVED it!} and start our registry at target.  the beau had a blast with the scan gun.  i have a feeling he added in some extra items when i wasn't looking.  when we got home, i made a recipe i have been dying to try since i saw it on the cover of the november martha stewart living: apple crostata with cheddar crust. so, so yummy.  i am a cheese freak and like any true southerner, i love a little melted cheese on top of my apple pie.  this just makes things a bit more haute cuisine.  i didn't have any granny smith apples, so i just used 4 red delicious apples and cut back the granulated sugar to 1/4 cup.  i only made half the pie dough recipe and i replaced 1/4 cup of the flour with a 1/4 cup of yellow cornmeal.  other than those adjustments, i followed everything to the letter.  i have no hesitation in saying this will be my new go-to apple pie recipe.  the free form crostata is so much simpler than a crimped pie crust.  the cheddar pie dough made the flakiest crust i've ever had and it also cut out some of the cloying sweetness that i usually don't like in apple pies.  it also got the man stamp of approval.

yesterday the beau had to work all day, so i took care of a few little projects around the house and ran errands.  i also got started on what many other bloggers are already doing...menu monday!  i already try to cook for us most nights of the week, but i don't do a great job of planning those meals in advance, so we end up either eating out somewhere not very healthy or spending too much money running to the grocery store to throw something together.  now that we're getting into the beau's busy season and we're both trying to be mindful of money and calories, i think menu planning is going to be great for us. we will be having at least one vegetarian meal each week and the goal is that each meal will be healthy.  there are a few "splurge" meals thrown in for good measure. we started last night, so you get a bonus day this week!

sunday: tomato and sausage risotto.  this will now be added to our permanent "splurge" rotation. it was SO yummy and the beau absolutely loved it.

monday: slow-cooker green chile tacos with frozen southwestern corn {i'm adding some additional chopped red pepper}.  i've been wanting to try this recipe for ages!

tuesday: cider-glazed chicken browned butter-pecan rice and sauteed spinach

wednesday: seared salmon with lemon kale salad. healthy, healthy, healthy!

thursday: butternut squash and apple soup with french bread.  this recipe is an old favorite.  i use chicken stock instead of water and reduce the curry to one tablespoon.  it makes a TON of soup, so we're having friends over.

friday: date night.  the beau is in charge, so we'll either eat out or he'll cook. 

saturday: we're going to an engagement party for some friends of ours

sunday: leftovers!

and an indication that this is going to be a GREAT week, i started the day with my favorite oh-so-european breakfast: a soft-boiled egg and wheat toast.  comforting, delicious, and healthy.

happy monday, mes amours!

20 January 2011

pretty things

well, i found a lot of lovely dresses that are definitely not THE dress.  and i learned a lot about my style and what i want and don't want.  but i didn't find THE dress.  which is slightly depressing, but i have another appointment with my mama and one of my bridesmaids in two weeks in another city, so maybe the third time salon will be the charm {especially since the salon is in charm city}!

while i didn't find my wedding dress yesterday, i have picked some other very pretty and important things: my china and silver patterns!  i knew i wanted two china patterns: one for everyday and one for formal use.  surprisingly, it was easy to pick both.  being a total francophile, i gravitated towards french products and the end result is pillivuyt basketweave for our everyday and bernardaud constance for our formal.  i think it's safe to say that i'm a little bit in love with both patterns.  even the beau has taken a shining to our formal china {which is a good thing because he hasn't seen the price tag yet}.

picking our silver pattern was easy peasy, at it's my mother and maternal grandmother's silver pattern, towle rambler rose.  it's the pattern i grew up with at christmas and easter dinners, polishing it to earn extra pocket money, and helping my mother carefully store.  i absolutely love it.  it's no longer in production, but i'll be inheriting quite a collection and in the meantime, you can find pieces on replacement websites and in silver shops.  you can also have pieces made to order, but i doubt i'll be going that route.

this has been one of my favorite parts of the wedding planning process, so tell me, what are your patterns?

19 January 2011

THE dress

well, i'm off with my mama to shop for a wedding dress today!  can i make a confession? i am TERRIFIED.  i have this fear that i'm not going to find THE dress.  or that i will and it is totally out of my budget.  everyone reassures me that i'll be just fine and the bridal salon ladies know what they're doing, but still...yikes!

while i'm tickling champagne and twirling around in lacey confections, here are some droolworth dresses to keep you occupied:

valentino for pronovias

monique lhuillier

jim hjelm

tara keely

18 January 2011

yup. still here.

yikes! i cannot believe how long it's been since my last post!  between being a man down at work {one of my colleagues resigned and moved to the big city the week after christmas} and the nonstop whirlwind that is wedding planning, my little blog has been collecting dust and cobwebs.

i've been trying to figure out a way to give my blog a little bit more direction.  i've been blogging for two years now {which seems impossible!} and right now i feel like it's not really adding anything to my life.  i love READING all the wonderful blogs out there, but my own actual posts aren't contributing anything positive {or really anything at all} to my life.  since my dream job is to be a wedding planner and right now the big theme in my life is planning my own wedding, that is the direction i'll be taking the ole blog-er-roo in over the next couple of months.

not to worry, it's not going to be all wedding, all the time.  i'm still going to keep up the personal, day-in-the life posts {i started this blog to be a journal of sorts, after all}, but i also want this to become a creative outlet and maybe, just maybe, the foundations for a foray in the world of wedding planning sometime in the future.  so in the coming weeks, be on the lookout for a major blog makeover and some breathtaking imagery.

to get things started, i thought i'd share the inspiration board i put together for our autumn virginia wedding.  i hope y'all love it!