Monday, October 31, 2011

Wedding Recap: Getting Ready

Hello friends!

Happy Halloween! Do you have any fun plans for a costume party or trick or treating? I'm headed over to my friend Amy's place this evening for a harvest party with a group of my favorite girls! It'll be fun to catch up, snack on treats, and make caramel corn together.

If you're just catching up from the weekend, my blog was back in full-swing since my wedding/honeymoon hiatus.
Getting Ready
As promised, here is a recap of the morning of our wedding.

I jumped out of bed as soon as my alarm went off that morning to hit the shower before heading out the door. I quickly dried my hair, sipped a smoothie, and grabbed my duffel bag of cosmetics, shoes, and toiletries that I had packed the night before. I was a little tired but the excitement outweighed it.

I was dropped off at the salon at 8:30am and found Krystine, my personal attendant waiting for me with a Starbucks' double tall soy latte in hand. Oh yes--a great way to start the day! Heidi, the hair stylist that I've been a client of for the past 3 years, joined us soon after. I actually found out about Heidi through Allie, who also is a client of hers.

Kaaren arrived soon after as she had a hair appointment as well. Her undo turned out so cute! All curly and such!

My hair stylist, Heidi, always has Dove dark chocolates at her station in the salon. So delicious!

Please note the hair horn on the left side of the picture. Awesome. 

I knew that I wanted my hair up for my wedding so that it would not get tangled or in my face throughout the course of events. Heidi and I went over the style earlier in the week and discussed options for the style and what to bring to the appointment.

I found it interesting that she had me wash my hair that morning. I've always heard that slightly dirty hair styles better and holds curls much longer; however, I'm glad that she had me come with fresh hair since my hair is very thick yet fine--so it gets dirty very fast, especially when I apply product to it.

It's all starting to come together now--I love all of the twists she added!

What is that sharp object being pointed at my scalp?!

Tucking in the bangs

At first, I was going to have my bangs down, but after discussing it with Heidi, we decided to pull them up so that they wouldn't be in my way throughout the day for pictures and everything. Plus it was a little windy out and we planned to take photos outside later on that afternoon both before and after the ceremony.

Spray it down!

Andrea arrived about 45 minutes into my appointment so that she could do my makeup before Krystine drove me up to the chapel to change into my dress.

Checking it out--I was impressed!

When I went in for my consultation appointment the week before, she had mentioned that I might want to get a flower to pin in my hair for a cute detail. She pointed to another stylist in the salon and said "a flower like hers would be perfect--let's go ask her where she got that one." 

Well, long story short, the other stylist ordered hers online for a wedding as well, and when she heard that my wedding was just a few days away, she pulled her clip from her hair and handed it to me. 

"Here, this can be your something borrowed--just return it to Heidi after the wedding and she'll give it back to me."

Wow! I was so taken back by this kind gesture! I was so happy to have found a flower so quickly--without even any searching on my part! 

We tried pinning in the veil that my mom had made, but it just didn't feel right, so we all made the mutual decision to do without it. I was kind of relieved because I didn't really want to wear a veil in the first place but gave it a try since it is a nice tradition.

Ah, she is so great! It was such a relief to have a stylist that I know and trust do my hair for me on my wedding day.

We headed into the bathroom to primp. Lots of giggles ensued as 4 nervous girls were in a tiny bathroom and people kept knocking on the door.

It was so nice having my makeup taken care of by someone else so that I didn't have to worry about getting it perfect. Andrea does such a nice job!

After she finished my makeup, I quickly brushed on some mascara before we scooted out the door! Krystine, Kaaren, and I hit up Bruegger's for some bagels before heading to the chapel to get changed and ready; which I'll save that story for another day.

Have a great Halloween! Eat lots of candy!

Do you have a stylist that you always go to or do you request whoever is available?
Favorite Halloween candy? I think mine is candy corn but I pretty much love all candy...
Dove chocolates: do you prefer the dark or milk variety? Dark all the way for me!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Wedding Recap: Gift Opening


I was so surprised when I rolled over this morning and saw that the clock said 9am! I'm not sure if I'm still jet-lagged or what, but my sleeping schedule has been so off for the past week or so. Normally I'm up by 6am each day so waking up mid-morning feels a bit foreign to me.

Yesterday morning began with some pumpkin spice pancakes courtesy of Allie's recipe. You can check out how to make them over on her blog! Not a bad way to start a Saturday!

Back on the Healthy Train

The gym at the resort

Oh well, I guess my body needed the rest! Yesterday I headed to the gym to get back into my healthy-life routine and boy, did it feel good! I worked out a little bit on our honeymoon: hiking, swimming, using the resort's fitness center, etc. but nothing compares to a nice strength-training session followed by a spin on the cardio machines in your usual gym.

Yesterday's setup

I enjoy using other gyms but nothing really compares to have a "home gym" that you frequent most. I like visiting other locations of my gym for variety, but when I want a really good workout, I rely on the one that is most familiar to me so I know where everything is and what days/times it is busy.

The machines at the resort's fitness center were pretty nifty--you could plug your iPod right into the machine and browse your music on the large display screen rather than on your device. This made switching songs while running a breeze!

Speaking of running, it was hot in there! I swear I was sweating within the first 3 minutes into my run and the machine was a mess afterwards--ew!

Gift Opening

Last night, Andy and I headed over to my parent's house for dinner. We were celebrating my brother-in-law Andrew's birthday and opening our wedding gifts that my parents had stashed at their house while we were on our trip.

The resort that we stayed at for the week!

It was fun to see everyone and show them pictures of our honeymoon while reminiscing of stories.

I loved this bag!

One of my favorite gifts--Mr. and Mrs. coffee mugs

Another favorite--a personalized apron!

After all of the gifts were opened, we headed down to the kitchen for some delicious homemade apple crisp topped with ice cream while we opened all of the cards we received. I opened one card and as I opened it, a baby-themed Target gift card slipped out. I stared at it in disbelief trying to figure out if someone bought the wrong gift card when I suddenly realized it was a joke. Two of Andy's groomsmen went in on a baby-themed gift card together as a joke. Hahaha, made my night.

Andrew's 21st

My dad gave my brother in law a 6 pack since he is turning 21 on Halloween! I saw this and started cracking up--they're so young! My sister's birthday is in March, so her 21st is right around the corner, too.

Off to go tackle organizing all of our gifts and finding places for them! My next post will be the "getting ready" part of my wedding day--hair, makeup, etc. so keep your eyes peeled! 

Have a great day! 

What kinds of gifts do you usually give for weddings? I usually go the "game" route--either a board game or a lawn game.
Do you like visiting a gym regularly or do you like to switch things up?
Favorite flavor of pancakes? I like blueberry--my grandpa makes the best blueberry waffles!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gingerbread Creamer, Lofty Office, & American Girl Dolls

Good morning!

Happy Saturday to you! Last night I had so much fun catching up over coffee with my friend Bre before heading downtown to Krystine's birthday bash. We discussed hanging out more often because since college, we really don't see each other much since I live in the opposite direction as her.

In college, I met Bre through a mutual friend and we instantly hit it off. We've sure had our share of fun over the years and hopefully we can keep hanging out on a regular basis.

Saturday Plans
I woke up this morning excited knowing that it is Saturday! It's our first weekend together in our new place and on the agenda for today is getting back into my gym routine, attempting to make this girl's pumpkin spice pancake recipe, and then heading to my parents this evening to open all of our wedding gifts that they've been storing at their house since the big day! I believe Andrea and Andrew are going to join us for dinner as well--it will be fun to see everyone and tell them about our trip.

I also just brewed some coffee and added a new creamer that I picked up at the grocery store earlier this week. Sure, it's full of hydrogenated things, but wow is it ever delicious! It tastes like a piece of gingerbread in a mug! So festive and fun!

New Office
Last night when I was out with my friends, I came home to find that Andy had set up my desk in my new "office" for me. I was so surprised and excited to come home to this!

The cords under the desk will be tackled today!

His office is in our spare bedroom, so we decided to set my office up in the loft that is at the top of our staircase. I love having my own area but also enjoy that fact that if I scoot back in my chair, I can see him in the room next to me! Perfect.

Speaking of offices, the other day my boss and I were randomly chatting about American Girl dolls and how we always wanted one but never received one since they are so expensive. On Thursday morning, I arrived at work and found the most current magazine on my desk. She said her daughter was done looking at it and she thought I'd get a kick out of it.

I always wanted a doll that looked like me!

You'd better believe Krystine and I drooled over the pages during our lunch break! This totally makes me miss being 8 years old...

A couple years ago, Andy and I wandered through the American Girl Store in the Mall of America (You may read about a past visit of mine to MOA here) and it is even a million times better than the magazine! All of the dolls and accessories are set up on display for you to see and they have a restaurant with mini high chairs for your doll to eat with you! They even have a salon for your doll to get a new 'do--so cute!

I'm off to catch up on some blogs and then tackle some organization projects before hitting the gym for a sweat session. Wedding recaps are still in the works--hang tight!

Did you ever have an American Girl Doll?
Which American Girl was your favorite? I loved Samantha and Molly!
Favorite flavor of coffee creamer? Normally I'm a milk or half and half type of person, but the seasonal creamers get me every time!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wedding Recap: The Days Before it All

Good morning!

After a much-needed vacation with my new husband (it's still weird saying that!), I am happy to be back in Minneapolis as we start this next chapter of our life.

Thanks to my Aunt Lori for taking some pictures during the ceremony! 

Our wedding turned out so well and as fun as it was, I am glad it is over! Planning a wedding is a lot more time and money than you expect! We are anxious to get back into our hobbies and have more free time to spend with each other rather than working on wedding to-do's. Everything went really smoothly though and just like they say, your own wedding always flies by much faster! I felt like the whole day was only 3 hours long!

The last few days have been kind of chaotic--we're still pretty jet lagged and it has been tricky getting back into a routine since we spent the last 8 days laying on the beach.

However, our honeymoon was so worth it. Andy surprised me by planning an 8-day trip to Maui! He had me guess where we were going while we were driving from the ceremony site to our reception so that I could tell our guests of our travel plans. Hawaii was absolutely gorgeous--complete with ocean views, tropical plants and flowers, amazing sunsets, and stunning mountains all around.

I'll recap getting ready, the wedding, and honeymoon in separate posts, so stay tuned!

The Days Before It All
Wednesday during wedding week was my last day at the office before taking the following two weeks off. My coworkers actually threw me a surprise wedding celebration before I left--complete with cake and gifts! What a fun surprise!

It was so nice to have Thursday and Friday off to run around and get last-minute things accomplished before the wedding. On Thursday afternoon, I drove down to my sister's place to do a wedding day makeup trial run.

My sister definitely got the girly gene and does an excellent job at makeup. She expertly applied my makeup for a fresh look on my wedding day. Since she works second shift and had to head into work, I headed out after the makeup application and ran a few errands before meeting up with my friend Kaaren for coffee.

During the last few weeks before the wedding, I didn't get a chance to spend time with friends and I was starting to really miss them. It was so great to catch up with her and hear pre-wedding advice from her since she's been married for a few years already.

Friday morning was spent grabbing a hot cup of coffee at Starbucks--it was freezing out! After picking up a warm drink, I spent the remainder of the morning being pampered by getting a shellac manicure and pedicure--a gift from one of my good friends, Kara Lynn as a bachelorette party gift!

This was my first time having a pedicure and oh my goodness--it was amazing. They had a huge tv, massage chairs, and hundreds of colors of nail polish to choose from. I ended up choosing "Strawberry Margarita" for my toes and a shellac French manicure on my hands. The lady at the salon added a quick sparkly top coat on my fingers before I headed out the door--what a fun touch!

Don't worry, Andy didn't get his toes done...

After the salon visit, I ran a few other errands before stopping home to change and get ready to head to the rehearsal. The rehearsal was great since it was laid back and we all got to chat with family and friends. It was great to connect with those close to us before the big day. The only freak-out moment happened when our wedding coordinator informed me that the flower girls could not use real flower petals on the hardwood floors of the chapel. Ahh! Luckily my amazing personal attendant, Krystine, stepped up to the challenge of running to the store to find fake rose petals!

After running through the ceremony order twice, we headed over to the restaurant for a delicious dinner. Before I knew it, we were headed home to try to get some sleep. Despite my excitement, I actually fell asleep pretty quickly!

I'll continue where I left off in my next post; it's time to scoot out the door to work. This week is flying by since it's been a short week for me--thankfully! After work, I'm headed out to grab coffee with my friend Bre before joining some friends for Krystine's birthday party later this evening. I'm looking forward to catching up with them!

Have a great Friday!

Where did you go for your honeymoon? If you aren't married, where would you like to go?
Mani's/Pedi's--love them or no?
Do you get jet lag after returning home from a far-away trip?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Flying into Freezing

Good morning!

Andy and I flew into Minneapolis last night and are working on getting back into our routines! We had a fabulous wedding and honeymoon and I can't wait to blog about it!

Any guesses as to where we went on our trip? I'll give you a hint: it was way warmer than it is here! We turned on the heat as soon as we got home and rumor has it that we could see snowflakes tomorrow!

How are you?
What have you been up to?
Is it freezing where you live?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wedding Week Begins!

Wedding week begins today!

And also on that note, seriously who gets sick the week of their wedding?

I think all of this running around like crazy has done a number on my immune system because the sore throat, headache, and runny nose bug has hit me. Hopefully I can fight this off before Saturday!

And for a heads up: my blog will most likely be on hiatus until after we're back from our honeymoon! 

Have a great week, everyone!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Prep, Pumpkin Muffins, & Instant Iced Coffee

Good morning! 

I've been MIA the last week due to tons of wedding prep. One week from today, I will be a Mrs! 
It seems as though each day has been packed to the brim with working, errands, appointments, and making lists.

However, it is all coming together and the last "big" thing that we need to do is print out programs today! I keep peeking outside to see if the sun is going to come out so I can get a run or bike ride in before we leave...hopefully the weather flips around!

Last week I headed to the salon for a wedding undo consultation with my hair stylist. Since I arrived a little early, I stopped by the bakery right by the salon for a sample. Pumpkin swirl bread? Yes please!

My name is written on the tub of hummus since sometimes I leave it at work during the week so I don't have to bring it with me each day!

My sister-in-law, Casey, gave me the great idea of taking a bunch of notecards and writing wedding tasks on them before handing them out to those involved in the wedding. This has helped keep me organized and calm knowing that everything will be taken care of.

I sat down last weekend and made a stack of them--including a list of things that need to be purchased, packed for our trip, and brought to the wedding ceremony.

I got my sister hooked on this show, too! She's way ahead of me in seasons though! I watch an episode each night before bed and it's nice because I feel like right now that's the only time to myself each day. ha, ha.

Wedding Preparations

We went wedding cake tasting at a bakery last weekend to design our own wedding cake. This proved to be a fun experience--looking at all of the cake designs and then building our own based on what we saw. We ended up choosing an almond cake with buttercream frosting. So tasty!

Andy suggested we choose some treats to go before we left the bakery--of course I was all over that! Normally vanilla cupcakes are my favorite, but when I spotted this cupcake with fluffy pink glittery frosting, I couldn't resist!

See the glitter? Awesome!

Andy chose a coconut flavored cupcake. It looked like a little snowball!

These were so good!

We enjoyed our cupcakes after a lunch of homemade chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese--perfect for a crisp day.

After our cake tasting experience, Andy and I went to Target to print some photos for the reception tables. 40 photos, an X-acto knife, and a million little frames later, part of the table decorations were complete!

All ready to go! We'll also have flowers and a little pumpkin on each of the tables as well.

A couple weeks ago Krystine and I had another "Coffee Friday" break since the weather was chilly and we needed to get out of the office for awhile. It always does wonders to leave during our lunch break rather than stay inside--I always seem to come back more refreshed when my eyes get a little break from the glossy iMac screen.

Instant Iced Coffee

I recently tried Starbucks Via Ready Brew Iced Coffee. I wasn't sure if I was going to like this or not--since instant coffee can be kind of iffy. Plus, whenever I think of instant coffee, Folgers comes to mind and that stuff tastes like dirt.

The coffee is microground and comes in little single-serve packs that you mix with cold water before adding a splash of milk or cream.

After taking my first sip, I was pleasantly surprised! This tasted a lot like the real iced coffee that I'm obsessed with from Starbucks! 

The flavor was rich and spot-on, not burnt and acidic, like a lot of instant coffees. My only request would be that they make an unsweetened version since I don't usually add sweeteners to my coffee; however, it was nice for a change!

Cute little packets are perfect for stashing in your desk drawer, purse, or backpack for instant iced coffee on the go!

Photo Challenge Day 10: Something I made

Homemade pumpkin muffins! I made these last weekend on a whim and they turned out okay--next time I think I'll make a few tweaks and then share the recipe with you guys!

Do you like Starbucks Via Coffee?
Favorite flavor of muffin? Mine would be lemon poppyseed or pumpkin for sure!
Vanilla or chocolate cupcakes?
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