Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Honeymoon Advice?

Tim and I haven't decided on our honeymoon locale yet, and it's in fact one of the things we're having the hardest time deciding. We've got the venue, caterer, photographer, dj, florist, and we're close to settling on a baker. But the honeymoon! We can't figure it out.

I need tips.

Here are our thoughts...

One of my girlfriends told me that people have been recommending all-inclusive to her because the honeymoon is the last place you want to restrict spending or limit drinks or nice food because of cost.

So the all-inclusive I've had my eye on?

Sandals La Toc in St. Lucia. Anyone gone? Know people who have? Thoughts?

What other all-inclusive spots have you been to or heard about that would be good for a honeymoon?

Another option that isn't all-inclusive is to do something smaller like go to NYC and eat at nice restaurants and see some shows and then take a major trip next spring once the sticker shock of the wedding has worn off.

Thoughts on that idea? If you did it or like it, what are some other places besides NYC?

And the last option that I've been toying with? Going ahead all out right now and heading to Italy...although I don't think this is going to happen.

What would you say are the advantages and disadvantages to this? Did you go big?

I would really want to go to Greece, but most people laugh and scowl because of their economic state right now...so I guess that one can wait until the world settles down.

What do you think? I'm honestly asking for your help here, because I definitely trust your opinion! What I would like the very very most is some more all-inclusive non-Carribean or Mexican ideas. Do those exist?

Where did you go on your honeymoon, or where would you like to go?

And a quick peek at where we're going for flowers (or where I hope we're going)...

And get your goal posts ready for Friday!! The "Go For The Goal" linkup is coming back! Click on the button below to find out all the details. And copy and paste the code on the sidebar to the left into your blog to share about the linkup!

I can tell you early on that February hasn't been great for me...

Monday, February 27, 2012

What a Weekend!

This weekend was super productive in that I got a lot of necessary stuff done, but unfortunately a lot of that necessary stuff also cost a bit of money...

Before sharing my weekend recap, I have to share two super exciting things that bookended the weekend for me!


To start off Friday I went into my closet with very few clean options and decided to try on this one certain dress. This one certain dress has been alluding me for at least 6-8 months in that I bought it on super sale, it didn't fit when I bought it, and I told myself I would be able to wear it one day. Well, that hadn't happened, and I actually almost gave in and donated it a few weeks ago. 

But, with few options I decided to put it on and see what it looked like. And, believe it or not...it fit! I hadn't tried it in a month or two, but it wasn't tight at all and was perfect! Such a thrill for me... 

And to end the weekend, on Sunday night I was accepted as a FitFluential Ambassador!

I am so thrilled about the opportunity! FitFluential is a community of likeminded people who live healthy lifestyles and promote fitness and smart choices with others. FitFluential offers free workouts and fitness tips, and it provides opportunities for Ambassadors to partner with brands to review and giveaway products related to the greater mission. You can learn more about it on the FitFluential website or on their facebook page! You'll of course be hearing more about it here too as I also learn more about this opportunity.

So, that was the fun beginning and end...now the middle!

On Friday I got the BaubleBar buried bauble email and picked up two pairs of these pretties.
One in coral and one in purple. Can't wait for them to come.

On Saturday morning I headed to the gym for BodyCombat and BodyPump, two classes at the gym I've been doing for about a month and a half and love. Anyone else do either of these? They're Les Mills, so I know they're done around the country at different gyms.
After a shower, I headed down to South Tampa to use my Groupon at Feet First to buy some new running shoes. I'm pretty sure my old ones have 500+ miles on them and were starting to cause me some calf and shin pain.

Here are my new ones, and not that I'm supposed to care what running shoes look like, but I really like the colors of these so much better. I got Saucony ProGrid Omni 10's.
I also picked up new cross training shoes, because using my super old Nike frees just wasn't cutting it anymore. They're fun old school looking pink and green pumas.
And then the not so fun money spending...I went to just get an oil change, and I ended up having to get a bunch of other stuff done to my car. It was so expensive, and it was so sad to say goodbye to that money. Cars are so expensive! Why does it never fail to surprise me?

Saturday night was so relaxing, and I just lounged with Tim and caught up on some blogging. I also watched Crazy Stupid Love when Tim had to go do his MBA work, and my goodness did I love love that movie!! Have you seen it? Did you predict any of the things that happened? I totally didn't and felt so silly.
Sunday morning I got up and did 8 miles, even though I really didn't want to. But like they say...

After I was out and going I felt pretty good aside from my super sore calves and shins. I've sufficiently worn out my legs and am ready to taper for the Challenge I'm doing next weekend! Can't wait/hope I don't fall over sideways.

Afterwards I made a major list of all of life's necessities at the moment and headed to my favorite one stop shoppe--Tarjay. 

I don't clothes shop there enough. 
I picked up two new shirts and a skirt with some coupons they had on the website.
And I found the first bathing suit I'm going to pick up for this spring/summer. I tried it on in navy but want it in this color:

I had so much fun!
Sunday night was laundry, making dinner, froyo, and Oscars.

How was your weekend?!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Just a Little Crazy

After my last half marathon, I didn't have a single race that I was registered for. This hasn't happened since last May, when I first registered for my first race, and it immediately put me in a panic. I worried that if I didn't have something to be training for that I wouldn't keep running or gyming. 

So I hopped to it, bit the bullet, and registered last week for Gasparilla!
It's really far off (and by that I mean next weekend), so I was going to be conservative. They have a 5k, a 15k, a half marathon, and an 8k. 

I spoke with someone at work and we're going to run the 15k together. I thought that would be a good step back since it wasn't too long ago I ran a half marathon. But then I wanted to also see what my 5k time looks like, and then I saw this beauty...
And I mean, because I'm fairly obsessed with race bling (and I may or may not view them as a reason to run), I couldn't turn up a medal that is a skull and cross bones.

So I registered for the 15k, 5k, and the half marathon. 

The 15k and 5k are on Saturday, and the half marathon is on Sunday. The bling is pretty sweet for the 15k and 5k too, and that means two race tech shirts; plus doing all of them means I get another medal for the Beck's Light Challenge and a finisher's jacket for doing all of them. How could I turn this all down!?

You may think I'm crazy...but I promise I'm not. Here's my plan if you will (created by me)...
You can hire me to be your personal plan maker if you're looking for something as awesome as the above. Or you can tell I made it off the cuff with what fits in my schedule? Oh. Another day.

And at the expo I'm planning on making some decisions about more race plans. 

I absolutely know I'll be registering for runDisney's Tower of Terror 10-miler September 29th.
I love love Disney races and will take any chance I can not to pay extra online fees.

Then I'm thinking about the Clearwater IronGirl April 22nd. 
I just feel like it will be so hot by then...and I want to find more to fill in the massive month and a half void from March 4th to April 22nd.

And all the while I'll be waiting with baited breath to hear if I get into the NYC Marathon. I'm crossing my fingers for not only myself but also Meghan to get in so we can do it together.

Oh...and somewhere in there I'm getting married. ;)

Any big goals coming up for you? What's in your plans?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Colorblock Shop Giveaway

I've got another awesome jewelry giveaway for you today (and the S&D winner is at the bottom)!

I found Pam's Colorblock Shop from The Vault Files giveaway a few weeks ago, and she agreed to also host a giveaway here for you all! I'm super excited about her shop because of all the neon, which is so big right now for jewelry.

The giveaway is for screamin' neon earrings.

But...you've got to see some of Pam's other pieces. Here's a glimpse:

You should check out her shop for more! There are several pieces I've added to my "accessories" and "things I want" board on Pinterest.

Enter below using the rafflecopter, and congrats to Lauren Alyse for winning the Stella & Dot Giveaway! Email me and I'll get your info sent to Alex!

I hope many of you are enjoying your extra day off! I know I am. I'm finally back in blogging mode and can't wait to catch up with all of your blogs today and get back to regular posting this week. Thanks for hanging with me through all the wedding planning and busy days. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Rock N Roll St. Petersburg Race Recap

Before I start my race recap, I just have to say that I loved this race. Although it wasn't Disney-fied like the Wine and Dine or the Marathon Relay, there were so many things about it that I loved.

I posted yesterday about what a great expo it was.
It was inside Tropicana Field, and it was super painless. Even though people had been griping about $15 expo parking, my mom and I found free parking a stone's throw from the stadium, so I can't complain. 

Inside, I picked up my bib and shirt, and we went to check out the gear. Rock N Roll events are sponsored by Brooks, and the gear was really cute. If it had been a tad cheaper I would have bought one of the pink running jackets (but I also live in Florida...so when do I usually need a running jacket). I also got three pairs of socks from a ridiculous price, got my GU and shot blocks, and wandered the other booths. 

Nothing caught my eye as far as discount registrations were concerned. I almost registered for this race for next year, but I decided to wait and see how my schedule pans out. 

On Saturday morning the temperature read 38*. I'm sorry, but that's not supposed to happen, much less on a day where I'm supposed to be up and out of the house by 5:30...I layered up in a long sleeve tech shirt, a short sleeve tech shirt, a long sleeve cotton shirt, a hoodie, and gloves. I ended up getting rid of the hoodie and cotton shirt along the route, but I kept the gloves the whole time.

When we got to the race, Tim and my mom dropped me off at Ferg's. It's a bar near the starting line that was open for runners. I don't think many people knew about it, because it was empty, they had water for us, and the bathroom lines were short. It enabled me to go three times, as I am so neurotic about using the bathroom before a race. 

After my last bathroom run I headed out to corral five with a goal in the very back of my mind of running under two hours. My previous best was 2:06 at the Wine and Dine, but with my head cold and the frigid temps, I didn't know if this would be in the realm of possibility. I didn't have to wait long at the start before they started the different corrals. They were so organized with the wave start, and we didn't have to dodge people at all in the beginning. This was new to me since I'm so used to pushing and shoving at the beginning of the Disney races.
The first few miles of the race were a bit boring in mainly residential areas of St. Pete. They went by quickly enough before we made the turn and could start to see the downtown area. I dropped my hoodie around mile two on an incline. It seemed to be when others started shedding early layers too. For those non-runners who may be reading, when you drop your clothes along the route they're picked up and donated to nearby facilities.

Also for these miles I was holding in the low 9 minute miles making sure that I didn't pour it all out and hit a wall later. I felt good, and I knew this would be a good race for me. Around mile 6 I stared picking it up a little bit to run under 9 minute miles.

It was at the halfway mark where I knew I was going to run under 2 hours. I felt fantastic and wasn't exerting myself keeping under my goal pace. 

But around mile 8 I started seeing people that had started with the 2 hour pace group (they had pink signs on their backs) and I asked if they were running with the group. They said "No! We lost them a while ago!" and it made me panic. I started wondering if I was wrong and needed to actually be running faster than a 9:10 pace to run under two hours. I picked it up to 8:30 pace for a mile or two to make sure that I was going to hit this time. Then I relaxed and remembered that I had done my research and there was a chance that the pacer had started in an earlier corral.
And I was right. He had started in corral 4, so he had a minute one me. 

Mile 8.5-9.5 was so so windy on the pier, but it was pretty views to attempt to enjoy in the blistering wind. The wind didn't really subside once we got off the pier either, so I guess it was just getting us used to it.

Along the way I had wanted to get some cute pictures, and one idea I had was to jump for the camera I saw on the pier. I unfortunately was caught at a bad moment on the landing and wanted to share. I promise it's the most embarrassing picture I'll ever post of myself...but hopefully you'll get a laugh. Otherwise I got some cute ones I'll post.
For some reason around mile 11 I thought we were turning around, but the turn around didn't come for a very long time, and I got really frustrated with my wrong ideas and started to just want to be finished. There was a super steep bridge with a photographer at the top, and I thought that was just a bit rude (ha!). By mile 12 I was just so excited to see that finish line. 
And see the finish line I did, around mile 12.75. It was an illusion, and it seemed so much closer. I started running sub 8 minute miles way too soon, but I held on and ended up crossing the finish line in 1:57.44. I got my medal (which is part of my enjoyment of running...let's be honest), picked up my snacks, and met up with mom and Tim to celebrate! 
What a great race!

Overall I would applaud Rock N Roll on a great event, a well planned course, and a great expo. There were spectators along the way, including mom and Tim that I got to see at 8.5, 9.5, and the finish! I will absolutely be doing this race again! I'm even going to look into other Rock N Roll events around the country. 
Now I'm just deciding what's up next for me...I'll definitely be running Gasparilla, but I haven't decided which of the four offerings I'll partake in yet. 

And thanks again to my mom and Tim for freezing their butts off to come support me! I loved having you there along the route. 
Any races coming up for you girls? 
Which ones?

Don't forget about my Stella & Dot giveaway!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Running and Wedding Planning Weekend!

I had an absolutely amazing weekend; it was so productive (in a way that might actually be enjoyable to recap and read)!

My mom came in town on Friday, and after school we headed down to St. Petersburg to go to the Rock N Roll expo for packet pickup. It was pretty awesome, because it was inside Tropicana Field (our baseball field is a dome).
I'll talk more about the expo when I do my recap post tomorrow, but to spoil the surprise I beat that time in the picture above where I'm making my most beautiful face.

On Saturday morning we got into full wedding mode and headed out for everything possible wedding related. Oh you just wait...

We started at Brides by Demetrios, where I did pick a bridesmaids dress. I love it, and the best part was that the lady that helped me totally put one of the dresses on and stood next to me in the other dress. Although we at first thought she was just offering out of consideration, a few other girls in the store said she only works on Saturday and loves wearing the dresses. One of them even said, "it isn't a Saturday unless she's in a dress!" So funny!

I won't ruin the surprise (I know you're waiting with baited breath), but it's a Bill Levkov in Plum...and it looks similar to (but better than) these two:

But that girl on the right is creeping me out...so focus not on her.

We then quickly headed to the museum to show my mom where we're getting married and having the reception. She loved it...just like we did...and how could you not?

from the museum's website

We headed to a florist...whom we loved and are definitely booking. His eye was flawless, his shop was small but filled to the brim, and there was literally not one thing in everything that I saw that I wouldn't be thrilled to have on my wedding day. I'll talk more about wedding flowers once we meet with him again.

Afterwards we went to a cake tasting...and had an terrible experience. We're fairly certain we aren't going to go with him. Aside from not really dealing with us until 45 minutes after our appointment to seeing him finishing up a cake 30 minutes after someone had come to pick it up, there were so many reasons we were disappointed. We didn't finish there until an hour and a half after we had walked in, and we were only with him for maybe 15 minutes. It was terrible.

It was such a long day and I had a cold and a half marathon to run the next morning that I didn't end up going to a birthday party we were supposed to attend. Tim went, but mom and I just ate dinner and laid around...I went to bed early for a 4:45 am alarm.

And with that 4:45 alarm came the biting reality of a 38* morning in Tampa. I didn't know it was possible, and I'm sure not thankful that it also happened to be the day I chose to run a race at 7:30 in the morning in St. Petersburg (45 minutes away).

But it's alright. It was all worth it. I'm going to write a whole recap and post it tomorrow, but for now I'll just tell you it was absolutely the cap to a great weekend! I PR'ed by 9 minutes or so, and I broke 2 hours. 

I ran my third half marathon in 1:57:44!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Did I miss anything this week? Will you fill me in?

Don't forget to enter my Stella & Dot Giveaway! It ends Friday.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

checking in


I didn't post Monday or Tuesday. For some reason I can only juggle three balls, and I have really ramped up the wedding planning. We're talking coordinator meeting this past Friday, florist appointments made, cake appointments made, and other decisions in the works. With that and my next half marathon on Sunday (and my mom coming in town) and work being particularly busy, I dropped the blogging ball for a day or two. I'll be back tomorrow with a more thought provoking post, and will you forgive me for not commenting on your blogs in the last few days? That will resume as well.

For now:

Today will be amazing. Just because. 

And a random question...also just because. If you could be anywhere in the world right now with one person, where would it be and who would it be with?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Stella & Dot Giveaway

Today I've got such a great giveaway for you! Do you know Stella & Dot? Don't you love it?

The spring line came out a few weeks ago, and it's so beautiful. I've borrowed a few looks from the Stella & Dot Style Blog to give you a peek at some of the pieces.

Isn't it fantastic?

My former upline (I was a stylist with the company for a while) Alex Woolverton has offered to host a giveaway on my blog, and I'm so excited!

She wanted to give something that many people would love, so together we chose the Tribute Bracelet.

It's a nice touch to any outfit with the rose gold and hematite, but it's also great for stacking. Isn't it gorgeous? It's their all time best seller.
And aside from being pretty, it's also neat because Stella & Dot created it in Rose Gold as a Breast Cancer Awareness Bracelet. In fact, in the month of October alone, they raised over $130k that they donated to breast cancer research from the sale of the bracelet. 

There are a few ways to enter, so check out the Rafflecopter below to enter!

Friday's Fancies: Spring Fever

The theme for today's Friday's Fancies is spring fever, and the neon and brights bug has bitten me big time. I was so in love with the two items I posted about on Tuesday that I just had to include them in this week's post. Since it's never really felt like winter down here in Florida, I could go ahead and bag up this outfit for wear in the next week or two.spring
spring by lttlegrlbigwrld featuring j crew short
I'm so frustrated I've twice missed this BaubleBar necklace. It came back in stock yesterday, I got the emailed and waited around, and now it's sold out again. I guess it wasn't meant to be (until it comes back in stock and I grab it as soon as I see it!). Do you wait around on purchases before biting the bullet like I do?

The rest of this look is a combination of J.Crew and Tory Burch; somehow when I'm looking to throw together a cute look for Friday's Fancies, those are the first two places I look. I truly and honestly want each piece I've shown here so much. I've had my eyes on those Tory Burch wedges for ages, and with gift cards I think this may be the season they become mine. We will have to wait and see; they don't currently fit into my budget.

Since I tend to turn to TB and JCrew before heading elsewhere, I'm wondering, where do you click over to first when putting together a virtual look?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thankful Things Thursday

Two of my absolute favorite runner-girl blogs are Ali @ Ali on the Run and Emily @ Sweat Once a Day (who actually sweats more than once a day). They're real women, and if you like workout motivation or are a runner, check them out. On Thursdays, they post Thankful Things Thursday, and since I've got a lot of stuff to be thankful for I thought I'd join them.

I'm thankful that today is/has been a really productive day.
I have literally not stopped doing something for any minute of today, and it feels great to get so many things checked off my list. A lot of it was work related, so I won't bore you with it, but I feel fantastic.

I'm thankful for traffic lights that work with you when you need to be somewhere on time.
This morning I was cutting it close for a meeting, but the stars aligned and all the lights that are normally long waited worked with me. I made it with plenty of time to spare.

I'm thankful for my wonderful fiance.
He's so hard-working, and when he comes home from work at sometimes 8 or 8:30 he has started running and then goes to to graduate school work for his MBA. He's amazing, and I don't really give him enough credit sometimes.

I'm thankful for all of the miles and gym time I've put in this week. It feels good.
I ran 12 miles on Sunday, ellipticalled for 23 minutes and went to an RPM class on Tuesday, ran 4.5 miles and did a bodypump class on Wednesday, and tonight plan on either doing a spin class or BodyCombat class depending on how I feel when I get to the gym. I'll decide on the rest of the week as it comes.

I'm thankful that my hip is gaining strength and I'm getting less dumb with my running habits.
When I hurt my hip in November, I had increased speed and distance at the same time, and I think it led to some of my problems (along with doing absolutely no cross training). Now I'm spending less time pounding pavement and more time cross training and running smarter. We'll see how it pays off February 12th at my next half marathon.

I'm thankful that what I thought was a wedding planner downfall has led to more excitement.
Our original event coordinator quit at the museum we're getting married at and sent us an email last Thursday. I got worried about it, but when the lady that took over our event called, we scheduled an appointment and I'm actually going to get the ball rolling sooner on designing the event, cake, flowers, etc. It's actually the jumpstart that I needed. We're meeting with her tomorrow at 4!

I'm thankful I got good numbers for SuperBowl Squares at work.
Now I just hope one of them pays off! It's a lot of money to be won! 

I'm thankful that I get to share this video and a "This I Believe" speech tomorrow at school.
I'm not a lover of public speaking, but this video is great; plus I can't wait to talk about setting goals and working to achieve them!

I'm thankful it's Thursday!
Because that means tomorrow is Friday!

What are you thankful for this Thursday? 

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012


It always seems that when I look at Pinterest, the inspirational and motivational quotes can lift my mood and make me want to get up and do something that make a positive change to myself, my life, or those around me. Today I thought I would share a simple post of inspiration Pinterest has bestowed upon me in the last few weeks. Hopefully one or two will also inspire you.
(Spacing was being a problem with embedding. If you click each image it will take you to the pin.)
Do you have a quote or inspiration that is currently motivating you? What do you want to accomplish?
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