29 July 2011

moving day!

today's the big day.  the movers are scheduled to show up early this morning and then we'll be on our way.  the owner of the aforementioned condo came down on the pet deposit, so we signed the lease on tuesday.  it's been a hectic couple of days and will continue to be so until we're all settled in, so keep your fingers crossed for us!

what are you lovelies up to this weekend? i'd love to hear your plans!

25 July 2011


as it turns out, trying to coordinate a move on less than two weeks notice in a suffocating heat wave with a 60-pound dog is rather difficult.  we thought we had found the perfect condo for us. two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, walk-in closet, fireplace, private deck, hardwood floors.  we loved it and the price was right, so we submitted our application.  now, keep in mind that in my initial e-mail to the owner, i told her that we had a dog who was NOT small, but that he had lived his entire life in rented buildings and that we had never had any issues or complaints from landlords.  she didn't mention that being an issue in her response and promptly put me in touch with her realtor.  when the realtor called to check our references, BOTH my current and immediate past landlords gave us glowing reviews and said that they had zero concerns about our dog.  so we get a call from the realtor on saturday letting us know that we've been approved for the condo with the teeny tiny stipulation that the owner wants an additional $400 pet deposit.

ridiculous.  we were fully prepared and expecting a pet deposit in the $200 range.  we are moving to a city with a significantly LOWER cost of living than where we currently live, and i've never paid more than $200 in current city.  $400 is highway robbery, especially considering that two different landlords have given us and our dog nothing but positive recommendations.  we are currently in negotiations to bring it down to $200, but it's not looking good.  so we're back to square one.

meanwhile, the new tenant for the house we're currently renting moves in a week from today.  which means we have to have the entire house packed up, cleaned, and vacated by 11:59pm this saturday.  did i mention that the beau is conveniently out of town for work all week?  so by "we" have to be moved out, i basically mean "i" have to be moved out.  and i HATE moving.  have you ever tried to hire a mover to do the job the week of?  not easy.

we did manage to take 6 bags of items to the goodwill last night and another two bags of the beau's gear from the current job back to his office.  and as part of her unofficial MOH duties, my little sister has offered to come and help us me pack over the next two days.  but still, the whole process is daunting.

whew, ok, needed that vent! on the plus side, i had a serendipitous encounter last week and now have a job interview in event planning in the city we're moving to this week.  i am nervous and excited.  wish me luck!

happy monday!

22 July 2011

fit train friday

it's been awhile since i've done an update on my workouts.  yesterday marked 100 days {!!} until our wedding, so inspired by mcw, i've set a goal for myself of working out at least 70 times/days out of those 100 days.  if i lose a half a pound a week between now and the wedding, i will officially be back at the weight i was when the beau and i first met.  those seem like reasonable goals, no?

now of course i kicked off the 100 days by going home after work and passing out on the couch for an afternoon cat nap.  exercise FAIL.  and we're leaving right after work today to head to the homestead for the weekend! my generous in-laws are celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary there for the next couple of days, and since it's just over the mountain from where the beau and i live, they invited us to join them for tonight and tomorrow.  as fabulous as that is, it means i'll also miss today's workout.  so my plan to make up for being a total slacker the first two days is to hit the treadmill tomorrow morning to get in a good run and then we're planning on exploring the hiking trails on the property tomorrow afternoon.  so that's two workouts in one day, right? i'm counting it.

my current exercise plan is basically to not allow myself to get bored, which happens easily when it comes to exercise.  right now i run on mondays and fridays, do pilates on tuesdays and thursdays, and do a sports circuit class on wednesdays.  saturdays and sundays are off days, with the exception of taking the pupster for a walk.  for those days when i just cannot make my butt go to the gym, i'm thinking i might try out the 30-20-10 circuit that iowa girl eats just posted.  anything you're doing right now that's really working for you?  my main concern is getting my arms, back, and booty in shape, since those are the areas either exposed or, ahem, accented by my wedding dress.  any suggestions?

and now, because i'm just so excited, let's look at some pretty pictures of the homestead, shall we?

all pictures courtesy of the homestead

can't wait!!

21 July 2011

what's cooking...thursday

with less than two weeks to vacate our current house, we have embarked on the journey known as getting rid of everything in our refrigerator/pantry/freezer.  this is not a fun journey, but it does encourage a certain amount of creativity in the kitchen.  i took advantage of the beau being out of town on tuesday night and whipped up my own quinoa salad.  it was wonderfully delicious, if i do say so myself.  here's the "recipe":

1/2 cup of quinoa
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup of chicken stock
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
1 tsp. dijon mustard
extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
grape tomatoes
steamed broccoli
red grapes
parmesan cheese

bring the chicken stock to a boil.  melt the butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan.  toast the quinoa in the butter for several minutes, until a dark, golden brown.  add the chicken stock to the quinoa, return to a boil, and cook to package directions. 

meanwhile, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, and mustard in a small bowl.  whisk in olive oil until mixture is emulsified and makes a viniagrette. season with salt and pepper to taste. set aside.

halve the grape tomatoes and grapes and put into a large mixing bowl.  chop the broccoli into bite-size piece and add to the bowl.  add the cooked quinoa and the viniagrette and toss.  sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.  enjoy!

18 July 2011

movin' on up

well, it's official now...

...we're moving!

last week, the beau accepted a head coaching position at a school about two hours away from where we are now.  he starts ASAP, so we'll be headed to our new hometown {small city, va} this weekend to look at apartments.  i'll be sticking around small town, va for another two months to wrap up all my loose ends at work and will join the beau about a month before our wedding.  not looking forward to two months of long distance dating, but it will be so worth it.

we are over-the-moon excited about this opportunity.  there is some aprehension, but seriously, my heart is just overflowing with pride for him right now. 

for me, i'm hoping this will be an opportunity to persue a career in the event planning field.  this is something i have wanted to do for quite some time, long before the beau ever came into the picture.  planning our wedding just confirmed it.  sooo....if you know of any wedding planners in the northern VA/DC/MD area who need a helper, send them my way!

14 July 2011


Source: google.com via Sarah on Pinterest

these are my mottos this week

y'all.  what. a. week.  and it's not even friday yet!  after three long weeks on the road, the beau returned home on monday.  i made him a welcome home dinner of fried green tomato blts and the tortellini salad from the most recent southern living.  i introduced him to tomato sandwiches last summer and they became something of an obsession.  i don't think fried green tomatoes ranked quite as high, but he ate two sandwiches and 4 more leftover tomatoes the next day, so they were still a hit :)

we've had a lot of major personal decisions to make this week and it has not been easy.  we finalized everything last night and i can't wait to share our news with you soon. it's also been a week with LOTS of wedding decisions.  am i the only person who actually enjoys finalizing orders for table linens and custom glassine bags? just me?  making big decisions is exhausting!

tonight we are off to my hometown for more life-decisions and dinner with my parents.  then the beau's sister and her beau get into town late tonight for a weekend visit.  they have never come to small town, va to see us, so we are super excited to have them.  not so super excited about the amount of cleaning and laundry that needs to be done before their midnight arrival.  but i am going to test drive these browned butter banana muffins {recipes here and here} and i am PSYCHED. 

i'll be back tomorrow with a long overdue fit train friday update!


08 July 2011

wedding hair!

i had my first hair trial for the wedding last night.  i'm trying to decide between two different hairstyles, so i wanted to start the trials relatively early so i could have time to make a final decision.  here are the two style groups i'm trying to decide between:


can't remember where i found this, but any help identifying would be great!

so mainly, i'm trying to decide between all hair swept away from my face or some bangs/tendrils around the face.  my veil is very simple.  just one layer cathedral length ivory tulle without any embellishment.  i'm only planning on wearing the veil for the ceremony and then ditching it for the reception.  my big concern with the bangs in the face {which is the look i prefer} is that i plan on tearing up the dance floor at our reception.  i have naturally wavy/curly hair and i sweat glisten like a farmhand, so i'm afraid that what looks sleek and gorgeous at the church is going to be a literal hot, frizzy mess at the reception. not pretty.

i tried out kind of a combo of the two looks last night.  here are the results:

we're going to move the bun part down a little bit {to be more like picture #2 of the bangs/tendrils picture} and smooth it out some, but overall, i really like it. i slept in it last night and it was still going strong this morning, so i have faith in its ability to make it through the long haul on the dance floor. the final look i think is going to be a combination of the last swept away picture and the last bangs/tendrils pictures.  we're not 100% there yet, but i was very pleased for the first trial.

what do you think?

07 July 2011

paradise found

thank y'all a million times for all the honeymoon advice! i now have a list of fabulous tropical destinations to fall back on for future vacays.  after much hemming and hawing, we booked our honeymoon redux to st. lucia.  we will be spending 7 glorious days and nights at the east winds inn!

east winds combines the things the beau and i most wanted out of a trip.  for the beau, that meant all-inclusive and a swim-up pool bar.  he's easy to please.  for me, it meant a small, luxurious location that a} was NOT a sandals and b} had stellar reviews on tripadvisor.  for both of us, it's somewhere neither of us has been, it's warm, it has a beach, and there's not much to do other than tan, sip cocktails, and dorothy parker.

i've already spoken with the reservations manager and she was beyond sweet.  the food is supposedly divine.  and i'm hoping the clientele will discourage the beau from his insistance upon a honeymoon beach velcro-paddleball tournament where we are the only two players. we'll see. 

can't wait!

06 July 2011

fabulous 4th: part two

once we arrived in downtown newport, we took our time browsing through all of the darling shops on thames st. and on the various wharfs.  it started to rain, so we popped into a shop called island pursuits to wait it out.  and lo and behold, i found my own holy grail: the gold glitter toms! i have been searching for these babies for the past 3 months.  they're sold out everywhere online, i got zero response from the company when i asked about restocking, and found out from a fellow blogger that they're considered limited edition and won't be coming back.  i had completely given up.  these shoes alone were worth the trip! the beau bought them for me when he saw how excited i was {literally did a dance in the middle of the store. shoes do that to me.}. what a keeper...the beau, i mean.  the shoes, obvi.

we had gelato at cold fusion {lemon custard for me, salted caramel chunk for him} and i picked up a christmas ornament {our travel tradition} and then we hopped on our sunset sail around the harbor.  it ended up being not much of a sunset because it was so overcast and foggy, but the drinks were cheap and flowing and we got to see hammersmith farm {site of jackie kennedy's childhood and of jack + jackie's wedding reception}.  the ship's crew were all super friendly and knowledgeable and it was so much fun to check out all of the ginourmous yachts in the harbor.  the beau enjoyed all of the trivia he learned.

we had a nice, quiet dinner at benjamin's.  we had great seats for people watching busy thames st. below.  we had clam chowder {shocking}, lobster bisque, a lobster roll, and lobster stuffed flounder. are you sensing a pattern here? the food was good.  not anything haute cuisine, but we were starving and it hit the spot.  like total old folks, we were back at the hotel asleep by 10:30.  we had breakfast at the blue plate diner on the way out of town and after several hours in both dulles and the providence airport, i finally made it back to my parents' in time for fireworks and homemade strawberry ice cream.

all in all, i LOVED rhode island.  the beau and i are already making plans to return to newport at a less-crowded time of year and for longer so we can visit the mansions and have brunch at castle hill.  can't wait! 

05 July 2011

fabulous 4th: part one

i'm back from a perfect weekend in new england with the beau.  outside of the fact that i spent almost all of the actual 4th stuck in airports on the east coast, it was a fabulous holiday.

i landed in providence bright and early on saturday and headed straight to the hotel.  {color me impressed! for a very reasonable price, we got a big, comfy bed, a spacious room, and a gorgeous bathroom.  bonus points for incredibly friendly hotel staff.} after i got settled in, the beau picked me up and we had lunch at bravo brasserie.  color me impressed again.  we went halvsies on the croque madame and lobster club.  both were delish, but i preferred the lobster club.  the beau voted for the croque madame.  he had a cup o' chowda {a recurring theme over the weekend} and i had a glass of bubbly.  we sat at one of the outdoor seats and people watched.  all in all, an ideal way to start the weekend. 

chowda + bubbly = tres bien

the beau dropped me off at the mall next to the hotel and i picked up some hostess gifts for my upcoming showers and napped while he worked.  i didn't make it to the RISD museum {sad face}, but i got to wonder around brown's campus and thayer street for awhile.  we grabbed dinner at shark {really good steamed shumai} and then headed out for a late night of drinking with the beau's colleagues at the english cellar alehouse.  i couldn't help but get a bit nostalgic.  five years ago this weekend i started my oxford study abroad, and the bar reminded be of the pubs we used to frequent there.  le sigh.

i slept in sunday morning and watched wimbledon {i was so excited for djokovic!} while the beau worked.  then it was off to newport! i fell madly in love with the darling towns we passed through on the way.  barrington and bristol were both decked out for the fourth and every house featured the most GORGEOUS hydrangea bushes.  i was squealing the entire drive.  bristol has the country's oldest continuing 4th of july celebration.  they even paint the traffic lines red, white, and blue!

traffic was a cruel mistress, so by the time we arrived and checked in, we were starving.  we stopped at the first shack we saw, longwharf seafood, and had some amazing freshly prepared fried clam strips, fries, coleslaw, and, yep, clam chowder.

back tomorrow with a recap of our time in newport, complete with sailboats, kennedy overload, and glitter!