What Will Be, Will Be [Wedding Wednesday]

Hi there! I hope you all are having a fun and exciting Wednesday, which means we’re one step closer to the weekend! I wish I could join in with the hump day festivities, but as I type this, I am hooked up to some brain activity monitors in a friendly-looking hospital. I’ve seen these walls before, so it is nothing new, but it is never fun to have some health troubles. I’ve had the diagnosis of epilepsy for about three and a half years now, and since then, I have ad no troubles. Until Tuesday morning at around 1 a.m., that is. In the past 30+ hours, I’ve been in the ER, had one rough night of sleep, saw my neurologist, got some confusing explanations (or, really, a lack of an explanation), and then at 10:30 this morning, I was admitted to the hospital for a bit of observation. While many would see this as a nice break off, I really would give anything to be in my classes and sitting in my chilly office at work. But, it is what it is; che sera, sera. So, for this short and sweet Wedding Wednesday, I leave you with our sneak peek engagement pictures! All of these photos were taken by the amazingly talented Lisa Hammond Photography.

10257529_1005812069444545_7575014589380632102_o 10293805_1005811949444557_6754892870289935547_o 10450027_1005811976111221_3345982712991609771_o 10468233_1005811979444554_4422248662685484928_o 10659113_1005811969444555_5613399455838869045_o 10700569_1005812036111215_6529672988134632953_o 10710368_1005812026111216_8629060213096888494_oThanks for stopping by, and let’s all hope I can escape this hospital soon!

Linking up – like always!

Wedding Wednesday


Feel free to explore all of the previous Wedding Wednesday posts!

The Engagement

Starting a Budget

Venue Hunt-Venue Number One

Venue Hunt-Venues Number Two and Three

Venue Hunt-Venue Number Four

Engagement Photo Ideas

Where We’re At

Choosing The Venue

 Wedding Timeline

May Goals

Well, here we are again! It’s May. Let me repeat that…it’s May. Already. April is gone, my classes are over, and summer is upon us. What happened to the past four months?! I think I must have lost them. I guess it’s time to just move on; and let me tell you, I am moving fast! I took my first and final exam yesterday morning, and I have been free ever since. With the exception of work. But who actually gets out of that? It’s OK though – in t-minus 6 days, this chick will be grabbing some sun in Florida! Cannot wait. But before I can get ahead of myself and run into this busy weekend (and busy summer), I need to get some goals set up for this month. I’m so excited to have some time to not worry about assignments and deadlines this summer, but without that rigor of school, I need to get myself into a (loose) rhythm. Let’s take a look at last month’s goals.

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April Goals:

Focus on my health, not the hiccups

Cut out all chocolate until April 20th

Cut out all soda (Considering I’m sipping a Pepsi right now, this one is a no. Womp womp!)

Figure out where the budget needs to be, and stay motivated (Womp womp part deux.)

Write those four letters! (What did I do this month?!)

Keep working on the camera (more about this mid-May)

Don’t skip any classes!

Do four things to commemorate the end of your undergraduate years (still have four days to finish this. go time!)

Be inspired, be motivated, be happy.

Now, with these goals in mind, I’ve been thinking about where I want to be after returning from Florida. Here’s what I see in my future…

May Goals:

Cut out all soda starting May 17th

Figure out where the budget needs to be, and stay motivated

Write those four letters. Seriously!

Bring camera to Florida and snap away

Get back into a healthy routine starting May 19th

Read four books

Do one Pinterest DIY (I loved the DIY planner, so I think it’s time for project number 2)

Begin (or finish) 3 items from 101 in 1001

I think that’s a pretty good place to start this new chapter in my life! Keep an eye out later this week; I’ll be getting all sappy and sentimental with a trip down memory lane as Saturday and Commencement rapidly approach. Have a great Tuesday!

Keeping Promises

I’ve told you all many a time about my plans for fitness and budgeting, and I’ve also told you all how well that has gone. And by well, you should know by now I mean my reality has fallen shorter than short when it comes to my goals. I have failed, and the only person I can hold responsible is myself. Time and time again I have set some very easily accessible goals for my savings account and my health, but time and time again I find myself gravitating towards the couch or that cute tunic at J. Crew. How can you hold your promises to yourself as well as you can with a friend or a sister?

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I wish there was an answer easy enough for me to just spit it out, understand, and enact, but it just doesn’t seem to be happening in that manner. I have seen the results from my diet change, but I know that without any shred of fitness, I will stop seeing these results and I will be perpetually stuck with a soft body and health issues. I see how great it feels to watch my savings account fill up, reaching numbers I have never seen before, but then I find a pair of shoes I love more than any shoes I own. How do I get myself past these hang ups? How do I depend on myself to say “no” to these guilty pleasures?

I think that it’s time for me to take a new approach, check in on myself mentally, gain some healthy motivation and inspiration, and to take this fight to a personal level. This isn’t about showing you all how I do at keeping the billfold closed, and it’s not about showing you all how I look in a bikini – or naked! This is all for ME. This is all a set of selfish indulgences, but they are the healthy indulgences I need to take on. I need to save that money – not to prove that I can to my readers, but so that I can start to pay off my loans when they come around in the very near future. It’s so that I can plan a well-budgeted and fun wedding in the also somewhat-near future. It’s so that I can feel comfortable buying the things I need – food, gas, tuition, car repairs – without feeling afraid of having no cushion to fall back on in case of a bigger problem. I want to be fit so that I can love seeing my body without covering it in layers; I want to get healthy so that I can bear children someday without the health risks or complications. I want to workout so that I can be a great example to my future children and so that I can live to see THEIR future children. I need to be healthy because that’s what it takes to live life to the extent to which I want to live it.

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It’s time for me to take my promises seriously, not as a passing fad or a part-time position. I need to save now, I need to work now, I need to relax NOW. I’m at the perfect place in my life to make these changes, and the only person I need to be responsible to is myself. I will keep these goals in my monthly goals, but that is all that you will hear from me on the topics of working out and saving money. I may bring up health and wellness from time to time, or I may share a trick I’ve learned that helps me save grocery money, but aside from that, I won’t be bringing anything personal to this blog unless it is something I won’t be guilting myself over. This blog is for fun, for opinion, for life, and for adventure, and I plan to live that adventurous life while fulfilling my promises.

Wednesday Talk

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Artfully looking into the distance…I’m in love with a weirdo.

[one] LAST WEEK WAS AWESOME. Can I just repeat it again? Yes? Ok. Thank you, time travel.

[two] I have revisited my health goals and am TRYING to approach them in a way that I can find more positive and influential. I really do need (and want!) to get my health in order. Not that it is a dire need, but I feel it’s better to start before anything major were to pop up. Healthy meals, more sleep, and some regular exercise coming up!

[three] This brings me to the two confessions I can’t seem to stop confessing; I have screwed over my budget AND diet this month. Again. Time to make a new plan for both! (I see card spending limits being set in the near future…).

[four] I went home after work and a stressful trip to the grocery yesterday, ate my pizza (not healthy, I know), and plopped back into my bed. Where I stayed until 8 this morning when my alarm went off. While I wish I could have slept even longer, it was just what my body (and soul…and mind) needed after a rough start back in the real world.

[five] 45 days until I graduate. 42 days until I have completed this mess of a semester. I have never before in my life thought about how much I am wasting to go to college until this semester. I just want to finish my courses, pass them all, and never look back. 45 days…

[six] My grandma comes to town tomorrow! I am so, so excited to see her. I was just visiting with her right before spring break (for her birthday), and it was just great to grab brunch and spend time with her. She went through a huge bout of illness last fall, so it is FANTASTIC to see her healthy and in high spirits!

[seven] 47 days until I’m in Florida with some awesome people. AND AND AND. MY BEST FRIEND ASKED ME TO TAKE SOME ENGAGEMENT PICTURES OF HER AND HER BOYFRAAAAN. I’m so excited! I know I’m not a professional, and who even knows what my sun-filled beach shots will turn out like (better than I’m giving myself credit for, I’m sure), but I am just so happy to get to spend time with them during the special time in their lives.

[eight] There are two things you should all look into: eBates and eMeals. The internet is taking over my life and I kind of love it! eBates is amazing, saves me a TON of money, AND I earn money back on each purchase. eMeals is not so free, but for $10 dollars a month, I get a full seven days of dinners to make, complete with ingredient list, instructions for cooking, AND a shopping list for the entire week. Best part? They cater to special diets! Gluten free, paleo, clean eating, classic dining; whatever you are looking for, they have it. Check out both sites and sign up if it sings to your soul.

[nine] It snowed again yesterday, and I feel as though a small part of my soul died. My hands are dry, my lips chapped, and my scalp has become flaky. Spring is just around the corner, right? Right?!

[ten] Following my two doctor visits over break, all reports are coming back with nothing but good news! This is all fine and dandy, and really, it’s a relief to know I’m in good, normal, healthy shape, but the big one has yet to come. The dentist and I have a rendezvous in two weeks. Will I make it out alive without cavities? My guess is no…but a girl can hope!

Keep an eye out tomorrow for the first of many interesting topics that I have been dying to talk about, but kept losing the time to do so. It’s a topic that is close to my heart…and you may be seriously surprised to hear what it is!

Five on Friday

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TGIF! I am so excited that in t minus 2 hours, I will be heading home for two relaxing days. Spring break starts next Wednesday, too, so there is extra excitement after having gotten this long week over with! Today, I am linking up with the wonderful women at The Good Life, A. Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm, and Hello! Happiness for another round of Five on Friday! This week has had me revolving around the thought of health and overall wellness, and after reading this post from Katie at Katie Elizabeth, I’ve gotten some inspiration and found five ways to improve my health this week!

[one] making regular appointments – and keeping them!

if you are anything like me, you have either been avoiding the dentist for a few years (yes, I brush my teeth, but the dentist and I have never been friends), or you didn’t realize that annual checkups should keep happening after you turn 13. For some reason, I didn’t know that, but after having a nice talk with my mom and being scolded for NOT seeing my primary in years (sorry, Dr. Blues), I’ve scheduled an appointment. I have a specialist who I see twice a year thanks to epilepsy, but other than those appointments, I have avoided doctors! Since I’ve grown in age and maturity, I’ve come to realize that doctors are your friends, and you should see them as often as possible. So, this week alone, I have made appointments with: my dentist, my primary, my women’s health physician, and yet another specialist (Gastroenterology. Look it up. Maybe I’ll post about it in the future, if it’s not too much of a scarring experience). Having made these appointments already has me feeling healthy and health-conscious, two aspects that my body will thank me for!

[two] skin care routines

I have already posted about my skin care routine here, but after writing that post, I made the decision to update my routine, and my makeup supply! Did you know that makeup can go bad? It seems like everyone but me already knew this, but late is better than never. With my new knowledge, I tossed over half (!) of my makeup supply, and brought it almost back to stock with some help from Ulta. I also decided to try some new skin care products, thus ridding myself of my St. Ives face scrub. I’ve added a nightly skin care routine that has honestly improved my skin SO MUCH. Ask me how many breakouts I’ve had in the past month and a half. That answer? None. Absolutely none! I love it, and I can’t wait to share it. There are some more products that I want to add to the routine, but those will have to wait until after the March spending hiatus.

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[three] wardrobe update

So the whole idea behind working out and eating healthy is to lose weight and get fit, right? One big issue with that is that my jeans no longer fit; a blessing and a curse, I tell you. Although I can’t buy anything this month, I have began to make a list of quality clothing that I can use to replace my too-big shirts and pants. Plus, with grad school coming around the bend, I figure some professional items should make their way home to me. I won’t be buying anything in the too-near future, mostly because I want to be sure my size is staying put, but I’ll start to post some outfit ideas here to get some feedback!

[four] mental health breaks

Magazines and leisurely reading have honestly gotten me through this week; midterms started this week and end next Wednesday, so my workout schedule has sucked, in all honesty. I took a break in order to stick to working on projects, papers, and exams, so in my spare time I gave myself a break and took on some light reading. I plan on picking back up next week, and making it a permanent fixture in my schedule, but it has also been nice to just watch my eating habits, and to not shame myself for taking it easy. Stressing over your breaks only makes you feel worse; accept the breaks, enjoy them, but then push right back into the routine when the time comes.

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Holy middle school, Batman.

[five] friendships

I FINALLY get to see two of my best friends next Wednesday, as we are going to Cleveland for a concert. Getting to reunite with the two people who I grew up alongside and know better than most is going to be the most amazing way to begin a long week of relaxation. There really is nothing like a great friend.

March Goals (and the Honesty Circle)

Alright, y’all, it’s time for two big truths that I have been avoiding all month.

I have completely failed my fitness goal for the month…and my budget goal for the month, too.

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If you’ve been following the past two months, you know just how important these two goals have been in my life. Being 2 months away from graduation and getting into my mid-20s, these two goals are high on my list of priorities; I’m going to be paying a lot of bills/loans on my own soon, as well as needing to save (SAVE, SAVE, SAVE) so I can build up my fallback. I also really need to get my body as healthy as it can be and keep it that way. This is the point in my life where I can get to my goal without the complications that may come along in the next ten years. I really need to hold myself accountable for these two goals, but I really find myself falling short every day. I have Zach around to guilt me into my workouts every once in a while, but I know how to get him to hold off on the nagging if I don’t want to do anything one evening. That shouldn’t be my primary source of encouragement – I should be! Because of these fallbacks in my goal-setting for the month, I’ve set the same goal, and a few rules to go along with them in order to say “no” to the bad and “yes” to the good. So, first off, here is the stance of my…

February Goals:

Write at least 4 letters this month. [womp, womp]

Read one leisure book (SOON) [SUPER womp, womp. Maybe over Spring break]

Cook two dinners a week for the family. Mom deserves a break! not done every week due to schedules, but I’m keeping it up!]

Compile a 101 in 1001 list! Long-term goals for the win. [You’ve seen this. If not, check out the top of the page!]

Continue budget and exercise goals. [womp, womp, wooooomp]

Find a hobby and get really good at it (pick up that camera!) [started but stopped. not quite where I want it to go]

Do some research into wedding/event planning for future goals (talk to recently married couples) [This is ongoing]

Treat Zach to a Valentine’s Day surprise. It’s not just a day for me! [Beer and music. I’m awesome!]

Call a friend or family member 3 times a week (parents do not count!) [womp, womp]

Buy my web domain! [womp, womp]

And here comes the new set of goals, as well as a few disclaimers. As much as I want to take all of my unfinished goals and plop them into March’s slot, some of my ideas won’t fit into this month. I will pick them back up after the end of March (pending success in certain other areas), and then hopefully I will be back on track and where I want to be! So, without further ado, here come the…

March Goals:

Workout AT LEAST 4 times a week for one hour

Cut out all chocolate

Cut out all soda

Stay on track for the budget (check yourself twice a week)

Do not spend money on anything outside of the budget. Absolutely nothing. No exceptions.

Write at least 4 letters this month

Read two leisure books over spring break

Call a family member or friend 3 times a week

Continue to work on the camera (do some research!)

There it is! Hopefully I can find some new, exciting ways to keep myself on my toes and in touch with my goals; these are desires I have for myself for only the best reasons. I know that I shouldn’t beat myself up, but at some point you have to cave in and show yourself some tough love (hence giving chocolate and soda the boot. I’ll miss you, Dove chocolates!). I really need to crack down and teach myself these good habits ASAP, before I take my bad habits into the future and make a mess of what could start out as a much easier financial situation and a much healthier lifestyle. Wish me luck!

What are some ways in which you motivate yourself to take on the tough stuff? How do you find a way to say no to the bad and push for the good?

Gettin’ Fit!

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Today has been, well…a day. I was going to go into detail about how miserable this week has been, how cold it is, how I almost became a Rachael sandwich today, blah, blah, blah.  But NO! I am going to jump into something that actually lifts my spirits. I’m sure that if I wasn’t taking the week away from exercise, my day would have been, at the very least, a good day, but I think for now talking to you all about it is what will make it a better day.

Starting this year out like millions of others out there, with a…resolution…was, well, pretty much normal. I had always thought of the New Year as a new start like so many others out there. What I was doing really was making an excuse to not start my life changes the day I knew it had to happen. So, although it took some serious procrastination, January 1st 2nd was the beginning of a new chapter. I call it my new chapter, just like I would graduation, a new relationship, a birth, because it is a change, and it’s a change that I plan on keeping for the rest of my life. Working out is a personal decision, but getting healthy is a necessary one. I want to live a long, happy life, and in order to do so, fitness is key. This whole month, I’ve been eating healthier, working out at least 5 days a week, and finding different ways to motivate myself to keep it up.

My motivation for this month was a new outfit! I chose to make it a workout-friendly outfit because I found myself actually enjoying exercise this past month, and it’s one great feeling! I thought I would struggle with the exercise part, but it has actually been easiest. As I’ve already mentioned in an earlier post, the hardest part of this month has been the cravings. I have had some great diet days, but I’ve also had some seriously bad chocolate-fueled days. And I really need to work on that particular aspect of it all. Your diet plays a huge part in weight loss and muscle gain, and this month, that is my biggest mantra.

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This book is one of the many resources I’ve been using to help get acquainted with what is truly healthy and how to fuel my body. It’s the Women’s Health Perfect Body Diet by Cassandra Forsythe. Honestly, I came by this book by chance. It was in a Half Price Books here in Lexington (my mecca), and it caught my eye more than anything. It looked more fun than the typical health-wise novel, and I had the fitness challenge on my mind! It has a lot of information on what is healthy for every person’s body, frame, and so on, and it gave me a great estimate of what and how much I should be eating during the week. My diet is hard to control due to a hectic schedule and college-kid money status (aka POOR), so I’ve been doing what I can; however, this unfortunately means I can’t make a meal prep-plan (boo-hoo). Hopefully this can change in the next few months, but until then, I’ll just work on the curbing the cravings!

Diet aside, my exercise schedule can be made, because I’ve got an entire hour set aside each day, and a great array of equipment/videos to use! With an elliptical and stationary bike, plus every Bob Harper video I could ever dream of (thanks, Mom!), I have had a great jump into getting fit! Since I have already lost a bit of weight earlier last year (17 down, 13 to go!), it wasn’t too hard to get to a comfort level, so I’ve already been pushing myself harder each day. As much as I love the videos I do have, I want to start a program of sorts where my weight training can be expanded. If I fall short in any fitness category, it would be the weights. I don’t know how to do most of it, or where to start even, so video assistance is nice! So, with my next month down, I feel I will be ready to get into a more rigorous routine, and I’ve already chosen the program! Everyone raves about P90X, and I’d love to start there, but it seems a bit intimidating to be honest. After a few hours of research (at work…), I found Power 90 Master Series. Turns out, Tony Horton has a whole set of P90s that lead up to the X’s (most recently P90X3), and I think the step below extreme is right for me. Also on the list? Brazil Buttlift…well, a 20-minute extra workout. I like my butt, people, live with it!

Well, this lasted longer than I was expecting. But it really has brought my spirits up a bit! Later in the next week or so I’ll share my month’s exercise schedule. Scheduling everything is easier than just going in blind, at least for me, and if I’m not wanting to do my weight training one day, it’s not impossible to sub in an hour on the elliptical! I’m really excited to see what month two has in store for my body, and I’ll be even more excited to see how building my muscle back is going to help kick-start my metabolism and rev that energy!

Have you had any success with at-home exercise programs? If so, which ones? Did you find any outside resources helpful? I’d love to hear all about it below!