Friday, May 22, 2015

5 on Friday {5/22}

Popping in quickly to share some weekend love! Thanks for hosting the link-up party, ladies!

1. Meals this week. 
I loved our week of meals! With so much travel this summer, I enjoyed this week of cooking every meal at home. We enjoyed crock pot lasagna, homemade biscuits, blueberry banana pancakes, asian marinaded salmon... so many good things :)

2. Weekend Travel
We are heading out to Savannah today. Savannah is one of my most favorite places to visit, so I am thrilled to visit the city with AR for a few days. Follow along with our trip on instagram (username: hrw1126). 

3. Chicago Trip
I am heading to Chicago for work on Monday, so I checked their weather and saw 40*!!!! That is right, FORTY DEGREES. This Atlanta girl has been enjoying the 80's this week. I am not so sure about heading up to the cold. 

4. Wedding Invitations
... have finally been ordered. The calligrapher and I chatted on the phone yesterday and I feel like we made the right choice. Now I just can't wait to see them in person! 84 days and counting <3 

5. HGTV's Fixer Upper
I know I have obsessed over this show before. I found the new episode of the Bachelorette kind of "meh", so I am back to watching people redecorate homes. Chip and Joanna Gaines are obviously my fav. Check out this adorable list of facts about them

What are you doing for Memorial Day weekend?


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Blueberry Banana Pancakes

Oh Thursday. I am sitting at my dining room table and sunlight is pouring in from the windows and I couldn't be happier. These last two weeks off after finals have been so relaxing. 

I woke up incredibly sore after some intense workouts this week, so I plan to rest this morning and head to yoga this afternoon. Hopefully it will stretch me out a bit. 

This morning, I made pancakes for breakfast - something I never do. This is going to sound strange, but I am kind of sick of oatmeal. I know, me, of all people. I haven't had a bowl in months, so I have been trying to come up with new breakfast ideas. 

These babies can be made vegan and/or gluten free, depending on your preference.*

Blueberry Banana Pancakes
inspired by this recipe from Deliciously Ella
Makes 8 pancakes

1 cup oats
2/3 cup almond meal/flour
2 bananas 
1 egg
1/2 cup almond milk 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
2 tablespoons maple syup
dash of salt 
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
olive oil, coconut oil, or butter 

Pulse oats in the food processor or blender a few times until ground into a dusty flour. Add the almond meal, bananas, egg, milk, cinnamon, maple syrup, and salt. Blend until smooth, adding a touch more milk if necessary. It should be a pretty thick batter. 

Pour batter into a small bowl and add blueberries. Stir gently to combine. 

Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to prevent sticky. Spoon out batter in half cup portions into skillet. Cook over medium heat until lightly brown, then flip, cooking other side. As pancakes finish, place on parchment lined baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. 

Top with maple syrup, more bananas, butter, or honey! 
* You may substitute gluten free oats or a flax egg in place of the real egg!

These were so filling. I ate about two and a half pancakes, topped with a little extra syrup. I plugged in all my ingredients into My Fitness Pal to get a rough estimate on the nutrition info. According to that site, each pancake has 151 calories, 6 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein, and 9 grams of sugar. AR and I agreed that they were extremely filling!

what is your go-to breakfast?



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

WIAW: Crock Pot Lasagna {5/20}

Happy Hump Day!!! I am sore as can be this morning and trying to get the energy together to head to Pure Barre. I can tell it is going to be a painful class.

I am excited to share one of my favorite recipes with y'all... crock pot lasagna. This is frequently on repeat in my kitchen and I think it turns out way better than regular lasagna. And you don't have to precook the noodles, which is excellent (I always burn my fingers and break all the noodles).

I started my Monday morning with a bowl of Kashi Heart to Heart cereal with a sliced banana and unsweetened almond milk.

After breakfast I walked to my workout class: Blast fitness. Let me tell you, this was an awesome workout! It was similar to Orange Theory, in that the entire class is based on interval training. We alternated between the treadmill for sprints and the floor for strength work, doing 5 minutes of each.

During the sprints, the instructor would call out inclines and speeds, adjusting for walkers, joggers, and runners. I started with the jogger pace because I wasn't sure how intense the class would be, and then moved to the runner pace for the second set. The inclines were no joke - their treadmills went up to 30. I think the incline on the treadmill at my gym goes to 12.

After class, I walked home and cleaned up. I grabbed a bottle of Arden's Garden HotShot juice (unpictured) for some rehydration. This juice has lemon, ginger, and cranberry in it, so it is great for flushing the system.

Lunch was a snack-y affair. Leftover sesame rice with mushrooms, carrots, and cabbage. Kale chips. Siggi's yogurt.

I ran errands in the afternoon and then came home to make lasagna in the crockpot. Here is what I used:

1 package of whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 24-oz jar of marinara sauce OR homemade tomato sauce (recipe here)
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 12-oz container of part-skim ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon each of dried parsley, oregano, and basil
4 cups of chopped vegetable (squash, zucchini, brocoli, spinach, kale, etc. Here I used fresh zucchini, frozen broccoli, fresh mushrooms, and some olives)

In a large saucepan, sauté the vegetables in olive oil until tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. In a medium bowl, mix 10 ounces of the ricotta, the shredded mozzarella, one egg, and the dried spices.

To assemble the lasagna: Spread about one third of a cup of sauce in the bottom of the crock pot. Layer uncooked lasagna noodles over the bottom, breaking as necessary to fit the pieces. (Note: it took me a few tries to learn how to fit the noodles into my oval crockpot). Spread more sauce over the noodles, then top with large spoonfuls of the cheese mixture, using about 1/4-1/3 of the cheese. Sprinkle cooked veggies on top, using about 1/3. Cover with more noodles and repeat the layers. For the very top, spread sauce over the noodles, then top with cheese.

Place lid on crock pot and cook on high for 3 hours OR low for 5 hours. Turn off and let stand 20 minutes before eating. Enjoy!

What is your favorite thing to make in the crockpot? 
Are you a fan of interval training? 

Hope y'all have an awesome Wednesday!

Thanks for hosting What I Ate Wednesday, Jenn and Arman!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Building a Wedding Registry

Building a wedding registry is surprisingly overwhelming. AR and I showed up for our first visit and were so overwhelmed. After some careful planning, we went back and finished it up in an afternoon.

During our planning, I spoke to friends and family, and did some of my own research. Gift giving for a wedding can be stressful for guests and it can be stressful for the bride and groom. Here are some of my tips on making it simpler.

First of all, you need to register. And do it early. People will want to buy you gifts and selecting gifts without a suggestion is stressful. AR and I went for our first registry round about 5 months out. When we went back this weekend (3 months out), some of the items were already purchased. If you are having parties and showers, you may need to reregister closer to your wedding.


Select store thoughtfully. At first, I was in love with Crate & Barrel, until I realized there were not any in the state of Louisiana, where many of our friends and AR's family live. It didn't make sense to do the bulk of our registry there. While online ordering is an option, many people prefer to go into the store. Chose stores that have broad geographical availability.

We selected three stores: Macy's Pottery Barn, and Target. Bride's Magazine says to do no more than five stores and Emily Post says to do no more than three. It is absolutely okay to do something non-traditional, but do a traditional registry as well. Consider completion discounts and return policies with you are selecting your stores - this can make a huge difference, especially if you get 8 out of 12 wine glasses.

Register for a variety of gifts. Traditionally, the thought it one gift per person. Emily Post, etiquette expert, recommends giving your guests options so that they can select something they want to give you. Select a variety of price ranges so that your guests have options for their budget. Pick items that you will love and use - things that you actually want.

If you register at a department store, like Macy's or Nordstrom's, they will supply a list of suggested registry items. The woman who assisted us at Macy's was fantastic. She gave us tips about selecting things, and she had many ideas for things we never even knew we needed. The Knot also has a sample registry checklist here

Break some rules. Who says you need fine china and every day dishes? If you already have a set that you like, don't register for a new one! I decided to skip the fine china and chose an every day set from Pottery Barn. While I love beautiful dishes, I don't have space for two full sets in an apartment. And to be honest, I don't do formal entertaining. So the traditional white Pottery Barn dishes will be just perfect for our needs.

Finally, your wedding is not about the gifts. It is about celebrating your love with others. Some people won't send a gift, other people will be extravagant. Don't let that determine relationships and friendships.

Where did you register?
As a guest, what do you like to see on a wedding registry? 


Monday, May 18, 2015

Weekending {5/18}

First off, let me just say I died when I wrote 5/18. The month of May is just flying by way too fast and I can barely keep up. This can be seen by how little photos I took this weekend. Oops.

Saturday, we were on a mission. We slept in, walked to the gym, made breakfast, and headed out to finish our wedding registry.

Creating a wedding registry is surprisingly overwhelming and difficult. I can't imagine doing it if you were moving out on your own for the first time. Luckily, we have both lived by ourselves for several years, so we have a lot of our basis covered.

I settled on dishes at Pottery Barn (Great White Traditional) and we finished up at Macy's. It felt so good to cross that off our list.


We came home late afternoon and finalized wedding invitations (hallelujah), so now I just need to get them to the calligrapher in the next week or so. Someone was asking me about why we hadn't sent them yet. My planner had said 6-8 weeks is tradition... what do you think? I am still 11-12 weeks out, so I wasn't worried yet. When did you send yours?

On Sunday, we got introduced at church as new members, which was exciting. I really love getting to know the other new members at our church.

Sunday afternoon was filled with book shopping, naps, and lots of frozen yogurt. Happy Monday, y'all

dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and vanilla. topped
with blueberries, oreo crumbs, and peanut butter cups.

Any good book suggestions for summer reading??


Linking up with BLovedBoston and Champagne & Suburbs for some Monday fun!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Five on Friday {5/15}

Hey friends! Happy Friday!

I am munching on toast and getting ready to head to barre class (read about my recent barre love here). Here are some Friday thoughts:

1. Missing New Orleans 
We had such an amazing trip last weekend. It was the perfected to the semester. I walked way too much, had too much champagne, and enjoyed way too many beignets. And I wouldn't change a thing about it.

2. Pitch Perfect 2
... came out today in theaters. Obviously, I am going to see it today. This isn't really a movie AR wants to see in theaters, so my girlfriend (and bridesmaid!) and I are heading to the theater at noon to go watch it. A movie at noon on a Friday? It must be vacation :)

3. Engagement photos
AR and I take ours next weekend, so give me your tips! What should I be sure to bring/wear/do/etc? What did you love about yours? What did you with you haas done differently?

4. Junior League of Atlanta
This week I attended the end of the year wrap-up party for the Junior League. This party recognized provisional members who completed the requirements to become active members - aka, me!!! I am beyond excited to be an active member this year and start working in my placement in the fall.

The provisional year is a massive time commitment, with lots of mandatory meetings, trainings, classes, and volunteer hours, but is was also a great time. I loved meeting so many diverse women and learning more about the city of Atlanta.

5. Thursday night in
Last night was my first evening home alone with no studying to do since December. I walked to yoga class, ate dinner on the couch in my pjs and caught up on the RHONY. Can we talk about that for a second? I love Bethany and bless her heart, she keeps trying to help Sonja and it is a no-go. I die.

Then I decided to watch Sex & the City 2 (thanks Jacki for sending me all the moves!). Talk about a serious girl night.


Thanks for hosting 5 on Friday, Liz!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Workouts: Barre Love

I've been obsessed with ClassPass every since I joined. I've taken 9 classes in 2 and a half weeks, which is amazing.

I've taken a variety of classes, but a lot of barre. Are you a fan?

Barre classes use a ballet barre and focus on core strengthening moves. I like that the moves are small and controlled, rather than super complicated. The moves include yoga, pilates, and dance. Often, weights are incorporated for a full body workout. 

Here are the classes I've tried:

Pure Barre (inman park location): Pure barre is done on a carpet, which was different to me. I am used to a wooden floor. I felt the choreography was a little confusing, but my instructor, Roxanne, was great about correcting people. I did not feel as sore from this workout, but it could be because I didn't understand the choreography.

Pink Barre (buckhead location): This class BURNED my outer thighs and butt. It was amazing. This was a small class and everyone was so friendly. I really appreciated how welcoming the class was and how small. The instructor cam ever to help me a few times and was so encouraging. This was done on a wood floor and required sticky socks.

Forme Barre Fusion (virginia highlands): This class is barre without the barre. Seriously, there is no barre. As a result, my core got an incredible workout because I had to do so much balancing. Some times this was tricky for me, but I loved how sore my sides were the next day - a sure sign that my muscles were working. I've done this class twice now and will absolutely be back.

Core Fusion Barre (exhale): Oh my gosh. This was the most challenging barre class I took. The class was backed (over 30 people) and we worked for 60 minutes. Each part of the workout was killer for me, but I loved it. I have already signed up to go again next week.

Barre 3 (south buckhead): I did not take this on class pass. This was my first barre experience several months ago and I have been maybe 5 times. I liked the workout, but sometimes the studio was a little crammed.

If you are considering your first barre class:

  • Tell the instructor that you are new, so that she can assist you in getting into the poses. 
  • Wear leggings and a loose shirt. You want to be able to move freely, but you also don't want to flash the class when you put your legs in the air. Leggings are a safe bet
  • Consider sticky socks - many studios require them! I've been wearing my sticky socks that Kushy Foot sent me and I love them. Several women have asked where I received them. They are very inexpensive and have held up well through my many classes. I absolutely recommend them!
  • Prepare to be sore! The moves may seem small, but the impact is significant. 
  • Have fun! Unlike a zumba class, or other dance class, the moves are not choreographed to go with music. So find your rhythm and don't worry if it takes you a while to catch on. No one can tell :)

Do you do barre? What is your studio of choice? 


image via 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

NOLA weekend

AR and I got back from New Orleans late Sunday night after a fantastic trip. This was probably our fifth or sixth trip to the city together and we always enjoy it. 

This trip was extra special because we were there to celebrate the wedding of our dear friends from Houston. We met them in Houston and stayed with them last year for Mardi Gras. It was fun to celebrate their special day and see friends from Texas. I can't wait to have them all in Atlanta in August for our wedding!

flying into the city on Friday evening

loved our hotel... why don't more hotels have wooden floors? they are so much nicer than carpet!

this. is. disgusting. don't take your shoes off on Bourbon Street, friends. 
On Friday evening, we had dinner at one of our favorite places in New Orleans - EAT. It is BYOB and the food is simple and fantastic. We had fried green tomatoes, crab cakes, crawfish balls, vegetable soup, white beans & shrimp, and lots of red wine.

On Saturday morning, we headed out for breakfast at Stanley's in Jackson square, before exploring the French Quarter.

Saturday morning walk to Cafe Du Monde

Of course, a few hours after breakfast, I needed a Beignet from Cafe Du Monde (always a must!).

On Saturday, I logged over 30,000 steps with all of our walking! We ended up heading back for a quick nap and shower before the wedding that night.

outside the church
The reception was held in the French Quarter at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. It was so gorgeous and the food was fantastic. 

Around 11, we headed out for the second line down Bourbon. The bride and groom lead the way and we all followed with lights and noise makers for a walk through the quarters. It was so much fun. 

We headed back to the hotel for dancing and cake until way too late :)

We spent Sunday morning antiquing on Magazine Street. We took a ride on the Street Car, which I LOVED and found tons of adorable spots to explore. By the time we landed in Atlanta at 10pm, I was so ready to crawl into bed. 


Friday, May 8, 2015

5 on Friday {5/8}

1. This Weekend
AR and I are heading to NOLA this weekend for our friends' wedding. I am so excited: I love NOLA and I love weddings :) I've been in training all week, so this feels like the real end of the school year and I can't wait to celebrate. 

2. Workout Classes. 
I took a spin class at FlyWheel, a barre fusion class at Forme Studios, and a barre class at Pure barre this week. I love the new classes as a way to supplement my running. As summer approaches, I enjoy outside running less, so I think ClassPass is going to be a great addition to my workouts. My goal is 3 classes a week, which I've maintained the last two weeks. So much fun to try new workouts!

3. Wedding Details.
I shared some of my May wedding goals yesterday, along with the things I accomplished in April. I am starting two weeks off this weekend and I plan to knock out a bunch more details over these weeks. Every time I open up Southern Weddings, I find a million more details to add to my list. #neverending

4. Gel Manicures
So I love a good gel mani... but I read this article this week and it made me rethink it. In fact, I decided to skip my mani for the wedding this weekend and go with regular polish. It is true that my nails are awful after they take the polish off. And sitting under those UV lights is not a good plan. What are your thoughts? Do you get them regularly?

5. New Bag
My Kate Spade tote is on its last limb. I want a new tote and am deciding between the Madewell tote and the JCrew tote. Any thoughts?

Madewell Tote:
JCrew Tote

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Countdown to the Wedding: May Goals

Yesterday, we hit the 100 day mark!!! I cannot believe it!

Checking in on all of my wedding planning for the month and sharing goals for May. Let's see how I did.

(You can read about my March and April goals here)

So I am going to be honest... I didn't do so hot. With finals looming, I didn't cross off everything on my list. Here is what I planned to do:

April Goals
  •  Finalize the DJ for the reception
  •  Order invitations - still working on this. I've narrowed to 3 options and just need to pick one.
  •  Book the calligrapher - nope
  •  Start planning outfits for our engagement shoot --> Cannot WAIT to tell y'all more about this!
  •  Survive finals at the end of the month. 
  •  Maintain workouts with said finals. Not trying to up mileage in light of exam time, just trying to maintain 5 workouts a week and about 25 miles/week. My running mileage was a little lower, but I maintained 5-6 workouts a week. I joined ClassPass and have loved the challenge of new classes. 
  •  Start cutting sugar. My skin looks better with less sugar, so I am limiting sweets to the weekends. This is hard for me, y'all. I love sweets. Doing okay on this. Still room for improvement :) 
  •  Finalize bachelorette party plans! Heading to Miami in July with all my ladies. Still need to buy tickets. 

I plan to catch up over May. I have two solid weeks off before I start working for the summer, and I plan to stay busy on wedding fun those weeks. I want to start thinking about some of the small details for the weekend reception and ceremony.

May Goals
  • Book the rehearsal dinner location - done! We are heading to a favorite local spot :)
  • Schedule venue walkthrough with the planner and florist.
  • Take engagement photos in Savannah - ahh!
  • Buy tickets for Miami bachelorette.
  • Attend first marriage preparation session with our pastor. 
  • Plan farewell brunch for the Saturday after the wedding. 
  • Continue 5-6 workouts a week with 3 strength training and 3 cardio sessions a week.
  • Amp up skincare routine, including deep cleanses and exfoliating. 
  • Book mini-moon hotel.
  • Finish our wedding registry. 


Friday, May 1, 2015

5 on Friday {5/1}

1. date night
Last night AR and I enjoyed a date night in the park. We went to our favorite place, Alon's Bakery, and grabbed some dinner treats, then ran home for a blanket and wine glasses. We walked to the park and had the best time chatting and watching the sunset. On the menu? sandwiches made with roasted vegetables, pesto, and fresh mozzarella; olive tapenade and crackers; homemade chocolate chip cookies; and white wine. 
(also, we instituted a new date night rule: no cell phones allowed. We left both of ours at home and it was such a good choice!)

2. shopping finds
I went shopping for a few hours yesterday and scored the cutest Lilly dress and and a new top for work this summer. My project today is to clean out my closet and unpack all my summer clothing. A friend is having a clothing swap on Sunday evening, so I want to pull as many pieces as possible. 

this is similar to the dress I found!
Speaking of clothing swaps... I recently read several articles about the capsule wardrobe. Any thoughts on this? I am super inspired by these women with only a few amazing pieces, but I just don't invasion myself ever cutting my closet to 25 items. I just don't think I could do it...

3. engagement photos
I need some clothing inspiration for AR and I's engagement photos. We are having them taken in Savannah in 3 weeks and I have no idea what to wear. I wanted to do maybe a white dress for one? and then a maxi for another? I don't know.

4. new workout gear
With all the new workout classes I have been trying, I have had to up my workout wear game. KushyFoot kindly sent me some goodies this week and I love them! I was especially thrilled to receive a pair of sticky socks to wear to barre and yoga. I tried them out at yoga this week and loved them. Next week I am trying them at barre class :) 

5. friday night plans
I'm staying in tonight with new wedding magazines, nail polish, a bubble bath, and wedding invitation samples. And I can't wait :)

Happy Friday!

Thanks for hosting, ladies!