Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What I'm Loving Tuesday

....that I took a Blast 900 class during lunch today and made it through the entire class without having to stop!! I kept my speeds up the entire time and felt so strong. I am so proud of myself! Whoo hoo! The difference? I ate a large apple about an hour before class. It's crazy that it made such a difference..just an apple.

...this Lilly dress. L.O.V.E. This dress WILL be mine..it will...someday.

...girls' night out this past Friday night downtown. Dinner at Basil. Yum. Followed by some bar hopping around King St that somehow ended at Trio (not a fan, but when already buzzzzzzzzed, it's ok).

How do strippers spin on a stripper pole AND look sexy?
I could barely hold on and every time I spinned around I would
spin right to the floor, lol. And look at the pain on my face!? :) "Arggg!"

...Willow's 'spa day' at PetCo. He came home smelling oh so clean, feeling like a new puppy and sporting an adorable Valentine's Day bandanna.

...our upcoming girls' dinner at Bambu in Mt. P this Thursday...i.e. sushi and wine! And Thursday nights at Bambu is ladies night - food specials and $3 glasses of wine ALL night... whoo hoo!

...some recent Pins on my Fashion Inspiration board on Pinterest. This first look has inspired me to pair grey and coral/orange with jeans and flats for our Super Bowl party this Sunday - cute, casual, comfortable.

I'm also excited leopard print is in...I want some leopard flats so bad. I love this leopard top paired with pink.

And speaking of pink, I just got these pink Rockstar Jeggings from Old Navy in the mail (my go-to jeggings are from Old Navy - affordable and they work for me)... I love them. Yes, a little 80's, but I think they will be so cute in the Spring...hell...it feels like Spring, so I'm sure I could rock them now. But here's my dilemna....what do I wear them with?? Navy? Grey? White? Help!

Hope you're having a good week so far! Cheers!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Winter Wedding: The guys

We originally wanted to do charcoal grey suits for the guys -- but finding affordable charcoal grey suits that guys who live all over the country could rent proved to be impossible. So we settled for a classic black tux.

We opted for navy silk ties for the groomsmen and a green, navy and ivory silk tie for Bradley.

Yes, that would be one of our groomsmen wearing the Clemson
flag as a cape. This was towards the end of the night.
Bradley and his "Best Dudes"
All of the guys wore black converse sneakers (this was fun) and Bradley went on the Converse website and created his own custom converse sneakers - in blue and green with his last name on the back. Lol. They were a big hit. And the shoes made for awesome photos.

Bradley also wore his grandfather's cuff links and tie clip.

Sorry I don't have a better photo, but Bradley's boutonniere was a single white rose with fraser fur and babies breath. The groomsmen wore babies breath with fraser fur.

We also had Bradley's 7 year old nephew as our ringbearer and his 2 year old nephew as our honorary ringbearer. They wore matching navy and green stripe ties and converse shoes. They were so cute!
Bradley's 2 yr. old nephew breakin' it down at the reception.
I am so anxious to see the rest of my photographer's photos - how long did you have to wait to see all of your wedding photos?

Read the rest of my blog posts about my Winter Wedding in Birmingham, AL on 12.10.11.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Weekly Workout Schedule & Eating Healthy Confessions

I feel like if I put this out there I will be forced to stick to it.... :)

Monday: Ballet class at DanceFX

Tuesday: Blast 900 in Mt. P
If you live in Charleston, you MUST try this new workout out - it's 5 min treadmill intervals and 5 min weights/strength training back and forth for an hour... it's the hardest workout I've ever done, but the most bang for your buck. You can burn up to 900 calories in a class...I haven't made it through a class yet without having to stop once or twice... it's so intense, but I love the challenge! Before this class I never ran faster than 6.5 on the treadmill -- now I run up to 9 in the class and I find myself running at 7 or higher on my own in the gym....ok, this might not be that high for some of you fit bloggers, but for me that's super fast! :) The Blast class is different each time, so you won't get bored with it, and your first class is FREE -- so go try it out!! Tell them Christy Season (well now Christy Punch, but...I think I'm registered with my maiden name) sent you... I think I get a free class if you do!

Wednesday: 30 min. training session w/ my ESAC trainer; 20-30 min cardio session
The personal training experience has been painful on my wallet, but the best investment I've made in the past couple of months. I started with a trainer to lose weight/firm up before my wedding and I love how it's made me stronger and changed my body. It's worth the cost to me. I know I can do most of the stuff on my own, but each session is different and she pushes/challenges me when I know I wouldn't otherwise. I'm so clueless when it comes to weight training too and knowing how heavy to lift, etc., so it's nice not having to figure all of that out. She is petite with ballet background, so she knows just how to work me out..she's awesome. I can't believe how much of an intense workout you can have in just 30 minutes. If you are active and love to exercise, but find yourself in a rut, consider a personal trainer - trial sessions are typically free. I actually have some free passes to do a trial 30 min workout and consultation with my trainer - and you don't have to be a member of ESAC. Message me if you're interested!

After training, I'm going to try out this interval treadmill exercise I found on Pinterest. I love intervals on the treadmill -- I hate running the same speed for a long time, I get bored, tired, blah... so changing it up every few minutes keeps me going and makes the workout go much faster (I'm not a fan of running... it's a necessary evil.)

Thursday: Self imposed workout at gym or at home - probably some sort of cardio/stretching

Friday: 30 min. training session w/ my ESAC trainer; 20-30 min cardio session

Saturday: Day of rest/finally trying out my Just Dance 3 game on the Kinect

Sunday: Blast 900 or Contemporary Ballet at DanceFX (game time decision, will see how I feel)


Eating Healthy (sort of)
Before my wedding, I realized that after having weighed the same amount for the past 3 years even after being a very active person, the only way I would lose weight is by changing my diet. So I actively changed my diet and made a conscious effort to eat healthier.

I tried tracking my calories with My Fitness Pal -- and it helped at first. But once I got on an eating regimen, I didn't need it as much. And really with my busy schedule (especially before the wedding) it was more of a nuisance to log on and log food.

I met with a nutritionist for a few sessions - she was super helpful.  She analyzed my eating habits and gave me a wealth of info. We also did a 'shopping lesson' at Whole Foods where we shopped for groceries and she taught me how to read labels, what to buy, etc. This was not as expensive as I expected, and I really learned a lot from her -- there is soooo much information on the internet about what to eat, etc. But I really appreciated having someone teach me nutrition targeted towards my body type, my schedule, my lifestyle, foods I like/don't like, etc.

My biggest change was adding more green/veges to my diet. I wasn't eating horrible, but I wasn't getting enough of the good foods to help my exercising do its job. So I made small changes...
  • I started eating MORE for breakfast. I was eating a breakfast bar and a small fiber one yogurt every morning for breakfast which come to find out is a big no no (sugars galore!). Now I make a killer smoothie (1 cup frozen mixed berries, half a banana, 1 to 1.5 cup Unsweetened Silk Almond Milk, half a scoop of Organic Whey Vanilla Protein Powder, and a handful of spinach - blend until smooth...you can substitute protein power with plain greek yogurt). If I have time I'll have an Ezekial english muffin with egg white, spinach and a tablespoon of oragnic salsa (so good and very filling!).
  • Snacks -- I never snacked at work before, but you're supposed to keep eating to keep your metabolism up of course...so I started bringing fruit to snack on mid morning (grapefruit kicks up your metabolism) OR a Publix mozzarella string cheese stick. For afternoon, broccoli or celery dipped in a Sabra hummus single OR salted, shelled pistachios. If you get the shelled, you eat less because you spend time opening them. Another snack my nutritionist approved of was cheerios - the basic, unsweetened, plain kind. It was sometimes easy for me to put a cup of cheerios in a ziplock bag heading out the door to work than preparing something else.
  • For lunch I try to eat grilled chicken sandwiches on Arnold's whole grain w/ flax sandwich thins with spinach, tomatoes and pickles (and no cheese)... or... having a big green salad with broccoli and fat free vinaigrette dressing....or vegetable soup with a vegetable side of some sort. 
  • Dinners were (and still are) my biggest challenge... but I made an effort to eat more chicken/fish and vegetables (like asparagus, yum!). I like finding healthy recipes on Pinterest and giving them a try... but I don't always have a lot of time at night to cook, so dinners weren't always that healthy...
  • Recipe I tried that was delicious!

I've lost about four pounds since I started all of this back in September -- this isn't a big number to most people, but to me it's BIG. I've weighed the same for three years, so to actually lose weight is a great feeling. But really, I've got lots of muscle, so the big results for me was losing inches. What was supposed to be my last dress fitting before my wedding turned into scheduling another appointment because they had to take my dress in at the top.

Plus it's encouraging because I haven't been super strict about my diet... I still enjoy going out to dinner now and then (Italian!) or  having a glass of wine (or three) when I want. If I was super strict and stuck to a consistent uber healthy diet, I think I'd see more pounds drop...but I don't think I'd stick with it as well if I did that drastic of a change in my eating habits.

I want to keep at it now that the wedding is over, and some of my diet changes have stayed because it's now just routine. But there have been several new challenges since the wedding that are threatening my new healthiness...
  • The Holidays -- it was so nice to just not think about what to eat/what not to eat and just INDULGE over the holidays...I definitely noticed a difference after taking about a two week break from eating well and exercising after the wedding and through Christmas.
  • Budget -- Spending a lot of money on healthy foods, trainer, etc. made sense for wedding preparation, but now with a new house and new bills, it's hard to justify a lot of this stuff. I'm reevaluating and trying to figure out what I love most vs. what is having the greatest impacts vs. costs, etc.
  • New house - having put off unpacking and house projects until after the wedding, we are in full swing now...and sometimes when you've been stuck in the laundry room painting all day, your husband's "Should I just pick up Canes chicken finger meals on the way home from Lowes for dinner?" is hard to turn down...
  • And speaking of husband, I'm living with a human garbage disposal - now that I am not the only one who's eating dinner at my house, I'm having to shop and cook for two. Bradley can eat and eat and eat and never gain a pound. We cook dinners and eat healthy, but we eat too much...he eats such large portions of everything, so I'm trying to learn how to still eat small portions while he's eating everything in sight.
  • And in addition to his and I's portion distortions, we both have a major sweet tooth -- which can be controlled when we aren't together...but now under the same roof... it's bad. "Let's just make some cookies tonight..." or "Wanna go get ice cream?" happens a lot more frequently than before. 
  • And lately I have two major snack weaknesses.... Pretzel Chips and Welch's Fruit Snacks...which somehow made their way into our cart (guilty!) during our last Costco trip... and as you know, Costco = large portions. Why are fruit snacks so deceptively 'healthy' when in fact they are horrible for you....but oh so good! :(
So, my healthy eating has fallen to the wayside some post wedding, but some changes have 'stuck' and I think it's made (and still is?) a difference. I just need to be aware of my current potential challenges and try to overcome them... especially since bathing suit season is right around the corner.

Any suggestions on how to overcome portion distortion as a newlywed? 

Are fruit snacks really that awful for you? On second thought...don't answer that one. :)

How do you stay motivated to eating healthy? Any easy, healthy recipes you've found on Pinterest you'd like to share??

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Winter Wedding: Bridesmaid Dresses

I was going to wait until I had more of my professional pictures to write about the bridesmaid dresses, but my photographer is very 'artistic' and he takes a long time... which is a good thing because the photos will be phenomenal, but I can't wait until then to share with you these gorgeous bridesmaid dresses!

I knew I wanted navy blue, but I originally wanted short dresses...in winter... I know... but when one of my girls tried on this midnight colored Vera Wang long gown, we were sold.

You may remember this post from last year when we went to David's Bridal the day the Vera Wang bridesmaid dresses went on sale -- I had my heart set on the short pouffy dress that ended up looking like cupcakes... yikes!

But here is THE dress - this photo is of my bmaid when she tried it on that day last year. It doesn't come with a broach, but the sales lady suggested adding it and we loved that. It helped that this bridesmaid totally rocked this dress... we were both like "Wow! This is the one!".

I ended up buying each girl a different broach to wear on her dress - I tried to find a different design for each girl that matched her personality. It was part of their gifts along with a monogrammed tervis tumbler and lid, a grey/silver pashmina, a pearl/emerald/rhinestone bracelet, and silver flip flops to wear at the reception.

And here are several random photos of my other girls wearing the dress.... these dresses were flattering on every body type. All the girls looked tall and lean... they had pleats in the right places and were just beautiful! For shoes, I just asked the girls to pick a pair of silver shoes they were comfortable in... you couldn't see the shoes anyways, so I wanted them to go more for comfort.

Ha ha..not sure what I'm doing in this photo...
My sister, me, my mom.
The flowers! The dark navy of the dresses looked amazing with the white rose and babies breath bouquets!

The flowers waiting on us - mine are bottom left.
Bridesmaids & Jr. Bridesmaids carried babies breath with white
roses around the bottom, wrapped in green satin ribbon with pear & rhinestones.
I always said that I would never be the bride who says, "You can wear it again!". But... I really think you can wear these again... in fact, my best friend is the same size as me, so I want to borrow hers sometime. Some of the girls even talked about having them shortened into cocktail dresses.

Can you believe these dresses came from David's Bridal!?! And...they were less than $200. I was really impressed with the quality for the price. David's Bridal! Who would have thought??

Two of Bradley's nieces were my Jr. Bridesmaids. I wanted them to feel special, so we decided their dresses would be Christmas green. They are 10 and 12, so we also wanted age appropriate and the Bridesmaid gowns were a little mature. David's Bridal (again!) had the perfect Holly green color and the girls picked out a beautiful long dress. It was strapless, but Bradley's mom added rhinestone straps to the dresses, so they complimented the rhinestone broaches on the Bridesmaid dresses.

Finally, Bradley's six year old niece was my flower girl, and my 8 month old niece was an honorary flower girl. Bradley's mom made their dresses out of beautiful ivory satin and a green satin. The skirts were made out of a really nice detailed ivory satin fabric that was overlayed on the green satin. Then of course they had green sashes and pearl buttons on the back. They looked so cute, especially with their babies breath halos.

It was really neat to see it all come together - the colors were perfect together and with our white bouquets, it was just perfect!

Read the rest of my blog posts about my Winter Wedding in Birmingham, AL on 12.10.11.