Wednesday, July 29, 2015

For Leslie

On Monday, Leslie Sisti of A Blonde Ambition blog passed away. I know many of my readers, like me, follow Leslie's blog. I was absolutely stunned when I heard the news and completely heartbroken.

A Blonde Ambition was the first blog I started reading years ago. Leslie has been my go-to gal for southern style, humor, and an optimistic look on life. We've chatted through emails, instagram, and twitter.

Leslie had recently been undergoing treatment for a heart defect, and passed away early this week. She leaves behind an adoring husband, Stephan, and two baby girls: Caroline and Ainsley. Both under two. My heart just breaks for that family and those baby girls, who will grow up without sweet Leslie in their life.

Through my limited interactions with her, I know she was an incredible person, full of grace and kindness. She loved being a mom more than anything, and watching her struggle to be away from those girls over the last few months has been tragic.  A Go Fund Me account has been set up for the girls HERE, if you would like to donate to their college funds and future weddings.

When I heard the news, I reflected on the impact Leslie's blog has had on me. While I treat my blog as a hobby, I guess we never know how others might feel. I felt like I knew Leslie, even though we never spoke in person. This blogging world has the amazing ability to make connections like that, for for that I am grateful.

As Leslie would say, Be Blessed Lovelies. Hug somebody extra tight tonight. And send a prayer out for the Sisti family.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Countdown to the Wedding: July Goals

Checking in with my June Goals and sharing plans for July!

June Goals:
  • Schedule venue walkthrough with the planner and the florist
  • Attend marriage preparation session with our pastor
  • Plan farewell brunch for Saturday after the wedding
  • Take invitations to calligrapher for envelope addresses 
  • Mail invitations
  • Order the cake(s)
  • Choose AR's tux 
  • Schedule dress fittings with alterations
  • Finalize reservations for our mini-moon 
  • Finalize hair & make-up and schedule trial run 
  • Have an amazing time in Miami with my girls! 
  • Pick out my wedding shoes to take with me to alterations 
  • Send out checks for 60-days before wedding payments 
  • Check with hotel on reservations and remind guests to book their rooms!
  • Pick out wedding bands for AR and I! 
  • Plan signage with the calligrapher and planner 
  • Continue working out 6-days a week and eat healthy. Limit sweets to weekends only.

Okay, I was feeling super unprepared until I looked at this list. We are on our way!! This month was so busy with decisions and it was high-stress. I honestly don't know how AR puts up with me sometimes! 

For July:
  • Complete walk-thru with planner, caterer, florist, venue coordinator, and decorator. Done! This was so much fun! 
  • Finalize menu - we want to change one item
  • Order Rehearsal dinner dress
  • Attend dress fittings
  • Finalize morning-after brunch
  • Call people who have not RSVP'd
  • Make welcome bags for the hotel rooms
  • Order bridesmaid/groomsmen gifts
  • Order jewelry for bridesmaids
  • Pin hair ideas
  • Schedule hair and make-up trial run
  • Confirm cake design
  • Finish weekend time-line with the planner
  • Make nail/tan appointments
  • De-stress :)
  • Continue healthy eating and workouts: no more sweets or white carbs, with plans to cut dairy three weeks out (cutting dairy always brightens my skin!)
  • Planning call with photographer to go over must-have shots and our vision for our big day
  • Select songs for ceremony and reception
  • Start seating chart

Other Months:

And that is it for now! What is one thing you forgot to do until right before your wedding?


Monday, July 13, 2015

Weekending {713}

Oh Monday, you strike again!

I came home to the sweetest package from our wedding photographer on Friday. I cannot believe our wedding is less than 5 weeks away. Jennifer did an amazing job capturing our time in Savannah and I cannot wait to work with her at the wedding.

On Friday night, we went to dinner with friends at a new restaurant in town - The Luminary down on Krog Street. The food was actually wonderful: we had a walnut lentil "pate", mushroom stuffed chicken, and salad. Oh, and a glass of rose because obviously.

We slept in and made breakfast at home on Saturday morning. I made whole wheat biscuits and cut them out with a champagne flute, which made them the perfect mini size.

We went to the gym and ran errands in the afternoon. I had a new protein shake from the mix sent to me by Nutrition 53. I really love the shakes - they almost taste like a milkshake, but have 20 grams of protein and less than 9 grams of sugar.

Saturday night we went to a work event, and woke up early for a HOT Sunday morning run. I only did 6 miles, but I was ready to die. Summer running is not my best thing.

We met friends for brunch and went to pick up my wedding shoes [eeeek!], and then on to Whole Foods. This week's dinner plans?
- baked cod with fresh corn and okra & tomatoes
- asian veggie stir-fry and brown rice
- crock-pot white beans with turkey bacon and broccoli
- greek turkey burgers in mini pita pockets, with feta and cucumber.

This weekend, I blogged over at Shutterfly's website - check it out and let me know what you think!

What are you eating this week?
Do you plan out your meal's each week, or wing it?


Thank you for hosting the Weekending link-up, Biana and Meghan!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday Confessionals {7/10}

Good morning and happy Friday! I'm linking up with Leslie this morning to share some confessionals - just in time for the weekend.

1. I confess... that I am eating plain toast for breakfast right now. Because I was just uninspired by breakfast and my refrigerator is empty. I am also drinking heavy cream in my coffee because I am out of almond milk. I count that as a win. 

2. I confess... I have watched 3 episodes of the RHONY in the last 7 days. I am fully caught up and I am obsessed. Bethenny makes the show and cracks me up. Anyone watch this Tuesday's episode

3. I confess... I may be making these Maple-Cinnamon Biscuits again this weekend because they are so good. 

4. I confess... I gave up sugar (minus the sugar found in fruits) for July and caved yesterday. I ate a Luna bar with chocolate chips in it because I wanted something sweet so so badly. Oops. I'm back on the band wagon today. 

5. I confess... our wedding is in 5 weeks and I haven't bought shoes yet. Because I can't make up my mind. But I've selected which nail polish shades the bridesmaids can wear!

What are your plans for the weekend? 

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Recipe: Maple-Cinnamon Biscuits

Hey all! Popping in on a Tuesday to share this recipe. My mom gave me this recipe a while ago, but I never tried it myself until Sunday. I happened to remember it while I was making coffee, and thankfully had all the ingredients on hand. AR said they were his new favorite!

Aaron's Sunday plate of biscuits and turkey bacon. 

Maple Cinnamon Biscuits
Makes 5-6 biscuits 

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 T. baking powder
2 T sugar
1 T and 2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/4 c. butter (my mom uses vegetable shortening. She is a real southern cook)
1/4 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. maple syrup
1 T. milk

Heat oven to 400*. Whisk flour thru salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Stir in buttermilk and maple syrup until just moist (dough will be soft). Turn dough onto floured surface. Pat dough into 1-inch thickness, and cut into biscuits using a cookie cutter or a drinking glass.
Transfer biscuits to parchment lined baking sheet and brush tops with milk. Bake at 400* for 12-15 minutes.
Remove from oven and transfer to rack. Serve warm.

Hope your week is off to a great start!

Does your family pass down recipes? 
Who taught you how to cook?


Monday, July 6, 2015

Weekending - Fourth of July Style!

Ahhh, Fourth of July!!! Seriously, one of my favorite holidays. We celebrated this weekend with friends, food, and a race. 

AR and I both had off, so we ran lots of errands and hung around home. We picked up our packets for the Peachtree Road Race and explored the race expo, which was amazing. I cannot believe how much Atlanta does for this race. It is incredible. 

Expo shot. We have one of these for every race we do, haha. 

We also ran by Nordstrom Rack, where I purchased my first pair of Jack Rogers. I already love them. 

The race. 
Oh my gosh, the weather was terrible. It rained all night, so when we got up for the race, we were less than excited. Our neighbor snapped this photo of us heading out at 6am. Notice my stylish garbage bag. 

The course starts up in northern Atlanta, and then runs 6 miles towards midtown, ending at Piedmont Park. We walked to the train station and road to the start line. We were optimistic because it wasn't raining much. 

The race started and it was great, despite the yucky weather. There were tons of people watching and over 60,000 runners. Right about mile 3, it started pouring. At mile 4, I watched them change the race alerts from yellow to red, which was clearly a bad sign. 

By the end of mile 4, it was lightning and thundering like crazy, and just pouring. They were changing the alerts to black for "extreme weather' and I was nervous that they would pull us off the course. 

They let us finish the race, but delayed other start groups because of the storms. They also did not let us hang out after the race - they wanted people to leave the park right away because of weather. Overall, an awesome race, but lets hope the weather is better next year. This was not a PR for me, but considering I had not trained at all, I was happy. 

We walked home in the rain, where I reached 18,000 steps before 9:30am (love my FitBit!). I made a shake with my new protein powders that Nutrition 53 sent me (thank you) and it was yummy. 

In the afternoon, we went shopping for Aaron, and made food for that evening. Of course, the weather cleared up and it was gorgeous. Check out my banana pudding, recipe curtesy of my great great Aunt Opal :) 

We watched fire works and hung out with friends in the evening. It was a happy Fourth. 

Such a relaxing day. I made cinnamon biscuits (sharing the recipe tomorrow), which AR said were his new favorite. He made turkey bacon. We worked on wedding planning for a million hours and I prepped for our walk-thru this week. We are less than 6 weeks out at this point! Eeek!

We ended the day with a long walk, a home cooked dinner, and a movie on the couch. 

Happy Fourth of July Everyone!

What do you like to make or eat on the Fourth of July? 


Thanks for hosting "Weekending", Biana and Meghan!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Friday Confessional {7/4}

Happy Fourth of July {almost}!

Today I am linking up with Ms. Leslie over at A Blonde Ambition - her blog has been one of my absolute favs for over a year now.

I confess that I am running a 10k tomorrow and have not trained at all. Like at all. I went from running 50+ miles a week to running like 5 miles a week. I got really into barre classes and spin class after joining class pass. So this is gonna be fun. Oh, and it is supposed to storm the entire time. Pouring rain.

I confess that my future Mister had a bday this week. And I think 33 looks pretty good on him.

I confess that I bought my first pair of Jack Rogers this week. I feel so southern :) I snagged this pair at Nordstrom Rack and I love them!

I confess that getting phone calls about our wedding invitations this week was the BEST! I love hearing that our friends and family are coming to celebrate with us next month.

Have a great fourth!