Saturday, October 31, 2009

Kristin Vining Photography

My best friend is getting married next summer! She just had her engagement pictures taken and I just had to share my favorite shot.
Image via Kristin Vining

They decided to do themed engagement pictures (Grease, Halloween, & 80's) and I think that they are so fun! You can see the rest of their sneak peek here.

Their photographer, Kristin Vining, is so talented and I love every wedding and engagement session she has posted on her blog. BFF says that she is fantastic to work with too. I wish I had found Kristin before my wedding, especially after the debacle we are continuing to go through with our wedding photographer, a year and a half later. I would have booked Kristin in a second!

Kristin Vining Photography is based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, so if you are looking for a photographer in the area I would definitely check her out!

ETA: Shortly after posting this, I found out their pictures were featured on Style Me Pretty! Yay!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Random Tidbits

Life. Is. Crazy.

Luckily it is mostly in a good way! I seriously feel like I haven't sat down and relaxed all week though. I am looking forward to this weekend so I can veg. So since the last time I posted, here is what's been going on...
  • AJ had a moot court competition all day Saturday. He did really well and advanced to the next round and made the moot court board! He will be competing again this coming Saturday. This means I have the afternoon to myself to do girly things like paint my nails and watch chick flicks. Score!
  • I was asked to help coach the cheer and dance teams at my school. We are planning on having 3 teams.... 3rd - 5th cheer, 3rd - 5th dance, and 6th - 7th cheer/dance. It is a lot of fun working with the girls, but is also quite the experience (as it always is working in this district!). We have had an after school clinic every day this week and today are the official tryouts. During the clinic I worked some muscles that I haven't since college, and needless to say I was SUPER sore.
  • I officially work from dark to dark now. It is pitch black when I leave the house at 6:53 AM and now that I am staying late to help with cheer & dance, it is dark by the time I get home. I am pretty sure DST ending (Thanks MS) isn't going to help much in the mornings either because it will still be dark when I get up. Boo.
  • I had a book club meeting Tuesday night and only had wine for dinner. Oops.
  • Two of my friends that I worked with for 3 summers at autism camp (they met at camp and got married in 2006) revealed that they are pregnant. I am SO happy for them, but I still can't stop thinking about how I wish I were pregnant too.
  • I started Christmas shopping this week. I have picked up a few gifts here and there over the past year (if I see something for someone I will order it and put it away for Christmas), but the official shopping has just begun. I even started a spreadsheet! The UPS man is going to be my new best friend.
  • I decided to take a Twitter break last Tuesday. It has been over a week since I last posted or visited the website and I do not miss it as much as I thought I would. Sure, I still have moments when I think oh, that thought is a good tweet, but really....it is just a distraction I don't need or want right now. I may decide to come back and post things sporadically, but for now...I am still on a break.
  • I have been using the phone a lot more lately. I am usally not a phone talker, but I have been doing a lot of catching up with family and friends and it is really nice getting back in touch with people.
  • I am not a big Halloween person and do not plan on dressing up or going to any parties. I know AJ will be drained after his competition, so we will likely just open a bottle of wine, answer the door for trick or treaters, and watch the Yankees game. Lame? Maybe. But this is my life now and I love it.
  • As you may have noticed by the time stamp on this post, I am posting during my lunch break at school. My blog is blocked by our network (as P*rn!) because of my BC post, but I figured out a way to go through blogger and publish posts. Yay!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'm Crafty!

I have been so crafty lately! Here is what I have been up to...

I decided not to add anything to my fall wreath and instead hung it on the door as is. I just couldn't find a way to make all the stuff work, so I opted to keep it simple. I watched this YouTube video to learn the basics of how to make the bow.

I'm looking forward to starting my Christmas wreath...let's hope I can be a little more creative!

As for the leftover leaves and flowers...I am thinking of bending a hanger into a circle and making a centerpiece and/or jar candle adornment. A part of me feels like that is a little knick-knacky though, so I might need a different plan. Hmm...

I completed my most recent project the other night and am planning to wear it tomorrow!

I first heard about this ruffle/corsage shirt from Miss Mindless, which she found here. The original directions can be found here. I bought two shirts from TJ Maxx on clearance for 5 dollars each. It took me about an hour to cut out all the hearts and another hour to sew them on. I did it over two nights and it was super easy once I figured out how to bunch the hearts. I wasn't planning to make my corsage so tight, but I really like how it turned out. I am going to make another one with a looser corsage as soon as I find more shirts.


I also have some of the cut-up shirt leftover and plan to make something out of that. Maybe some rosette pins? Not sure yet.

My last project is more artsy than crafty and will be a continual work in progress. I heard about Frame The Date via a Facebook friend and Ashley at just about the some moment (it was actually kind of freaky) a couple weeks ago. I love, love, love, this idea, but refuse to pay 75 dollars for a frame and a few pictures of numbers. Since I have my trusty Canon Rebel, I plan to shoot all the numbers I need and make my own Frame The Dates. I shot my first number today...the day of my husband's birthday!

There are also a few jewelry projects I want to start before the holidays so there will be more crafty posts in the near future!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Caffeine

More body purification news! I know, I know...what is happening to me?

Last week I decided to give up caffeine.

I was never a big coffee drinker, but this school year has really messed with my energy levels (waking at 6 and being at work at 7:15 is hard!!) and I picked up a coffee habit pretty quickly. I was getting headaches like clockwork when the caffeine wore off, and I was not about to start drinking coffee during the day too.

Instead I decided to just cut it out.

I rarely drink soda, so it shouldn't be an issue giving that up as well. The one thing I do drink on a pretty regular basis is iced tea. Unsweetened, of course. I haven't had any since my anti-caffeine moment, but I am pretty sure I will start drinking it again once I am completely headache free. So I guess the more accurate description of this new lifestyle is limited caffeine intake.

I will get my warm drink fix in the morning with hot chocolate and herbal tea and perhaps a decaf Pumpkin Spice Latte every now and then. They make them decaf, right?

Speaking of Starbucks....

Jenn at Jeans Friday is giving away five Starbucks prize packs! Head over to her blog to enter. Tell her I sent you!

http://jeansfriday.blogspot.com/2009/10/starbucks-giveaway.html

You can enter the giveaway by answering Jenn's super easy question (or follow, blog, tweet, etc.). This not only gives you an entry, but also helps her to win her own prize pack, including Bose headphones. If you read Jenn's blog you know that she travels all the time for work and the headphones would be a welcome addition to her carry-on bag. So go help her win and maybe get a prize pack too!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Changed

AJ and I went on an impromptu date at Matchbox the other night. We ordered a pizza to share, and before I ate my first slice, I sprinkled a little Parmesan cheese on top.

Why is this significant? Before I met AJ, I never ever ever ever did this. As I was sprinkling away, AJ asked if I had told my dad that I now like Parmesan cheese and I replied that I hadn't.

We then began talking about how both of us hide certain things from our family, for fear that they will be upset that we have both changed as a result of our relationship. Does that make sense?

One of the simple things that my dad and I have always bonded over is our dislike of grated Parmesan cheese. One example....One night I was eating at my favorite Italian restaurant with my family. The man sitting at the table next to us was putting Parmesan on his pasta for almost 2 straight minutes. He literally would not stop putting cheese on his food. The smell was so strong and my dad and I were laughing so hard at how this guy was being ridiculous. It is our thing.

And now, I feel bad telling him that AJ has introduced me to the wonderfulness that is Parmesan cheese. A part of me realizes this is silly, but still...I can't help but feel a little guilty that I am not the same daughter I was a few years ago. This is obviously a really trivial example, but it got me thinking about marriage and how you change as a result.

Have you experienced this?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Good Times & Bad

Wow. I can't believe my post about going off the pill got so much attention! I think it received more comments than any other post I have written in the year and a half I've had this blog. Crazy!

I want to thank everyone for all the supportive and informative comments and emails. I was so nervous to post about my decision, but I am glad I did. I love that blogging opens up communication about various topics. Many people were not familiar with NFP and/or FAM, but are now interested in learning more. A lot of people also mentioned that they would like to know how my experience goes. I will definitely keep you all updated when I have more to report! I imagine I will have a lot to say in a month or so. If in the meantime anyone has any questions, feel free to email me.

Moving on....

Today was not good. The morning started out fine, but around 9 o'clock I got a message from AJ alerting me that his locker at school had been broken into and every single one of his law books was stolen. He was so upset. I hated that I was at work and couldn't be there for him. So far there is no word from the school or the police, but the bookstores in the area are on the lookout for anyone that tries to sell them back. The police will also be checking the surveillance cameras they have throughout the law school, so perhaps they will get a lead from there. I can't believe someone would steal his books, but they are so expensive that someone probably wants to make a quick buck. SO UPSETTING. Not only is there an obvious monetary loss, but AJ took a ton of notes in the book margins and those are all gone too.

In an effort to make him feel better (because the walk/run/walk we took wasn't cutting it), I whipped up some pumpkin cheesecake while dinner (chicken and biscuits...perfect for this fall weather) was baking in the oven. I posted about this super easy recipe last year, but it is so short and simple that I will post it again.

Mix one tub Philadelphia Ready to Eat Cheesecake filling with a 12oz. can of 100% pure pumpkin, two teaspoons of ground cinnamon, and a half teaspoon of ground nutmeg. Pour into graham cracker crust and top with cinnamon sugar. Refrigerate for an hour. Viola!

I'm also letting him control the remote tonight. I know, I'm the best wife ever ;)

Here's hoping tomorrow is a better day!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bye Bye Birth Control

I have always been weird about taking medicine. I don't know why I'm like this...but I am. I take my birth control pill every day, but I don't like to. So, this Sunday, I am going to stop.

Now don't freak (I'm looking at you, Sweet Bea). This does not mean I am going to have a baby right away. I just want to see what my body is like when it is not full of hormones. I have been on the pill for such a long time that I am kind of freaked out that everything is not working properly. I am hoping this will help me to become more aware of my body and how it works, and also to understand more about myself in general.

I put out a Natural Family Planning information request on Twitter and I immediately got a lot of responses. I did some research based on the info people sent me and am planning to start Natural Family Planning/Fertility Awareness Method tomorrow. I say both because I am not 100% on board with the religious part of NFP, but I'm trying to work towards it. So we'll see. I just like the idea of not being on the pill, so they both are applicable at this point.

For now, we are planning to use NFP/FAM to avoid pregnancy. I am hoping that I can spend the next year or two getting in shape so that when we are ready to start trying I am healthy.

So that is where I am right now. And I like it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Review Websites: Yay or Nay?

What are your thoughts on review websites?

Our medical, dental, and vision insurance just kicked in, so I have been searching for providers like a crazy woman the last few days. I asked my friends, colleagues, and Twitter to get some recommendations, but I still have been searching the review websites to see what other strangers are saying about a potential provider.

I am a little overwhelmed to say the least. Here is the cycle.....someone will recommend a provider, I will Google them, find a review on Yelp or RateMD, undoubtedly find at least one bad review, and subsequently be scared that they will be a terrible doctor/dentist/optometrist.

I had a similar experience when looking at RateMyApartment (I think that is what the website was called) when we were planning our move to DC. Every single apartment complex had at least one horrid review. Whether it was the management, the bugs, the noise, the leaks, or whatever....there was always something that made one person's living experience a nightmare. This was one of the major reasons we decided to rent from a random guy that listed his condo on craigslist. There were no bad reviews to look at since the place was part of a row house. Plus, we felt more comfortable dealing with one guy instead of a big company.

To be honest, we never really had any issues at our old place, minus the one mean guy that hated Kona. But even if there was a website that allowed me to rate our last apartment, I probably wouldn't.

I know a lot of people use Yelp to review restaurants too. Do you read them before you choose a place? Does it influence your decision? AJ will sometimes check them, but I usually dismiss them because I am a picky eater (although I am getting better) and I don't think my experience will be the same as some random person that likely has different tastes than I do. Why can't I be this blasé when it comes to providers and apartments?!?

Do you think people usually only submit a review if they have an exceptionally good experience or an exceptionally bad experience? Are the websites really that useful then? I can't say for sure, but I guess I will find out soon....

I decided to call a few places to set up appointments. I figure if the person and/or office is terrible we can just look for a new provider next time. AJ has a dentist appointment tomorrow and I have an eye appointment Thursday, so I will know sooner rather than later if I made good choices.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall Wreath

Making a fall wreath isn't as easy as I expected it to be.

Here is what I have so far:


And here is what I have left to use:


I don't know how to go about incorporating the leaves and flowers in with the bow. Help?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

All Grown Up

Despite getting married over a year ago, having a big girl job, being in my mid-twenties*, etc. I have never really felt like an adult. Granted, I never really thought about it, but still...I think the fact that I never thought about it means I didn't identify with that role.

Does that make sense?

As I sit here thinking about this weekend, I feel old. Not in a bad way, but in a grown up way. Nothing really significant happened, but I just feel like I'm there (kind of like those State Farm commercials).
  • I payed three different bills on Friday. Enough said.
  • This morning I went to church because I wanted to, not because my parents told me to (which used to be the case when I was younger). I am even thinking about joining a church. I was raised Catholic and although I wasn't practicing for a long time, I feel like I am ready again. We'll see how this pans out...
  • This afternoon I went to a home show party. Not only did I attend, but I wanted everything in the catalog. Now that we live in a real house, I want to decorate and organize like a crazy person. I bought a bunch of super cute (and functional) items and can't wait until they are delivered. It will be like Christmas morning!
  • On my way home from the party I stopped by Michaels and bought supplies to make a fall wreath and a holiday wreath. I used to do crafty stuff with my mom and aunts when I was younger, but when I moved away I stopped. Miss Mindless likes to craft, so she has motivated me to get back into it. I am so excited to do all the projects I have swirling through my head.
  • This evening I used one of those headset things to call my grandma while I was chopping vegetables for chicken soup. Multitasking at its finest! You know, because adults multitask.
I know some or maybe all of these things may not seem adult-like to others, and I can't really explain why each of them resonates with me, but they do. I'm not sure if the feeling will last, but for now....I feel like a grown up.

What things make you feel like a grown up?

* BTW, when did this happen? I still get nervous when ordering/buying alcohol and the person asks to see my ID.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fashion Editor

Have you played Fashion Editor on Polyvore yet? Click the link, create a set using one or more of fall's trendiest items, and if Rachel Zoe likes your set, you win a $250 gift card!

It is difficult only using items from Piperlime.com, but I think I found some items that work with the ruffle shirt. I know the boyfriend jeans trend is hit or miss for a lot of people, but I think the femininity of the shirt tones them down a bit. What do you think? Also, I love wearing neutrals and adding a pop of color with a bag or shoes. I would have some jewelry (maybe a triple strand of long pearls?), but there doesn't seem to be any jewelry on Piperlime. So alas, here is my submission!

Find me on Polyvore