Saturday, December 31, 2011

Fourth Quarter Update: 101 Things in 1001 Days

Well it's that time again.... 

For the original post, you can go here. For the last quarterly update, you can go here.

Current List: 

Starting Date: Friday January 1st, 2010 Ending Date: Friday September 28th, 2012

1) Spend a rainy day watching films in my PJ's
2) Try two new cookie recipes this Christmas
3) Attend the midnight premiere of a movie
4) Get married (10-9-11!! Here is the recap!)
5) Go skydiving
6) Learn to knit
7) Organize my closet
8) lose 15 pounds
9) Go on a cruise
10) Go whitewater rafting
11) buy a house
12) See a Broadway show
13) spend a day at the spa 
14) Lose 5 pounds
15) Own an iPhone
16) Try a new (and possibly frightening) food 
17) Watch two movies at a cinema in the same day.
18) Influence a person to make a day zero list
19) go fly a kite
20) Pay off at least one credit card
21) Have a housewarming party
22) Floss every night for a month
23) Tie a note to a balloon and let it go
24) Go sledding
25) Lose 10 Pounds
26) start a family - This is a work in progress ;-) !!!
27) help a stranger
28) Have a sleepover party (I rented a hotel suite the weekend of my wedding, we gals had SO much fun!)
29) Have a friend choose a complete outfit for me 
30) Play a new board game
31) Travel by train (Did the Conway Scenic Railway Trip, but I'd like to do another)
32) Make homemade bread
33) Go to a casino
34) Take at least 5 photos a day for a month
35) Eliminate non-fitting clothing from my wardrobe
36) Save $5000
37) Read 100 books (36/100)
38) Compose a new list of 101 things to do in 1001 days
39) For every task I do not complete, donate $1 to charity
40) Put aside $5 for every completed task
41) Go to a Patriots game
42) Drink nothing but water for 2 weeks
43) Watch the sunrise at the beach
44) Host a giveaway on my blog
45) Organize photos and get and stay caught up with my scrapbooking
46) Climb Mount Washington
47) Attend a hot yoga class
48) Do 100 situps for a month (0/30)
49) Ask for someone else's advice and take it
50) Give a stranger a compliment
51) Write down something positive about myself for 30 days straight
52) Have “date night” one night of the week for 1 month (4/4)
53) Work out faithfully 3x a week for 2 months
54) Take a trip to Las Vegas
55) No swearing for a day x12 (0/12)
56) Play a game of 18-hole golf 
57) Put change in someone’s expired parking meter - I was so happy to be able to do this since the change meters are going away! Being replaced with those paper ticket systems.
58) Take the Cat ferry to Canada
59) Have a weekend getaway for SO and I
60) Start our own Christmas tradition - I didn't even realize it, but we have a tradition where we go and tag our tree and then cut it down. Ben insists on a live tree for the house. And I look forward to spending time with him while we are on the hunt!
61) Get my HAM radio license
62) Participate in a 5K (run/walk)
63) Make my own candles
64) Climb Cadillac Mountain
65) Learn at least 50 ASL signs
66) Go one weekend "Unplugged" no phone/Internet
67) Send/Give 100 cards “just because.” (35/100)
68) Leave SO a love note/note of encouragement/surprise email 1x a week for 2 months
69) Complete 3 – 1500 piece or more jigsaw puzzles (0/3)
70) Visit 5 new states not previously in (driving through doesn't count) (2/5) - NJ, HI
71) Participate in a 10K (run/walk)
72) help a friend in need
73) take a class (work related)
74) Have one day off per week for 1 month
75) Make SO breakfast in bed - I got off on a technicality, I had made him breakfast, but he got up, just as I was finishing. Also I realized, we don't own a breakfast tray table...*face palm*
76) Bring coffee in for the boys at work
77) hang pictures/art on walls
78) Buy flowers/edible arraignments for someone.
79) Be able to buy clothing in the regular women's section
80) Invest my money better
81) borrow books from the library; instead of buying them 
82) get a makeover to include makeup!
83) Try a new recipe once a week for 1 month
84) Call one cousin per week until all Bridle Cousins have been spoken to
85) Host a girls night at my house 
86) Host a couple's night
87) Prepare my will
88) Take a pole dancing class
89) Travel to Nantucket / Martha's Vineyard
90) Visit my grandmother at least once a month for a year (12/12)
91) plan a couples camping trip - I love our Memorial Day Weekend camping tradition with friends!
92) Play Bingo with friends
93) Host a transit party
94) See an old friend once per month for one year (11/12) - Coming up, hopefully catching up with one of my old co-workers, Ms. Holly!!
95) See Rocky Horror at midnight showing
96) Go and shoot a gun at a firing range
97) To get a physical each year
98) To see a UNH/UMaine Hockey Game
99) To kiss the Cat at UNH
100) To go to a Red Sox / Yankees game
101) To complete this list in less than 1001 days

Wow, 9 tasks this quarter, I didn't think I did that much! The two Christmas ones I had to rush! Since this is the last Christmas holiday that is covered with this challenge! That's another $45 dollars into my Day Zero account. A total of 41 items have been accomplished, that still leaves a large majority open and only till September to complete them! I guess I've got my work cut out for me.

And I've come to the realization that I may not complete everything on this list, that some items conflict with one another, like starting a family and going sky diving... it's just not going to work out. But I don't consider it a failure, since it's still something that I want to do. Just means I may have to delay certain plans for other things that I find more fulfilling. (If that makes any sense!)

Wrapping up 2011 & looking ahead

I have so much to be thankful for in 2011, and in the same breath so much to look forward to in 2012. Did I achieve all of my goals in 2011? No, but that's what my day zero list is for.

I still had my version of a perfect wedding. I didn't go Bridezilla on anyone, but I made my point, that the day was about Ben and I, no one else.

Because of the wedding, I got to see my brother and my sister in law a lot as well as my cousin. I could grow to see more of them. And hope that someday soon, they all will call New Hampshire home.

I wasn't a fit bride, but I can honestly say, that I am more acutely aware of my overall health and what I need to do in order to change it. I've got a lot of big plans for 2012, and a looming blood work date from my doctor.

2011 saw less blog posts than 2010, but if you've been an avid reader, you saw my departure from all of the blog giveaways. I still manage to find one or two I like, but I no longer dedicate any significant time to the venture. I decided to get back to my roots and blog more about my day to day life, and largely about my upcoming wedding.

2012 will start off with a facebook hiatus. Not sure for how long, at least a week, but we shall see. I was telling Ben tonight that I still will play Bejeweled Blitz and Words with Friends, but from my phone only. I need some vices in life.

I made a lot of new friends in 2011, I listen to the Cosmo channel on Sirius/XM. And although I didn't make it to CosmoCon, I still was able to meet up with a few of the gals in November for Lo's birthday party. Team Awesome was forged, Steve and Kerri have been two amazing people in my life, we grew so much closer in 2011, though I hope in 2012, I will get to meet them in person. Also I had a blog redesign done, much thanks to Erin from Samantha's Day, and in the end her and I became fast friends through our emails.

My work life has been crazy. I don't have the exact numbers yet, but I must have made more than I did last year or at least matched it. These last two weeks of 2011 have been insanely busy. With the summer season being especially busy call volume wise. I am looking forward to a slow down after the first of the year.

I went on a kick butt honeymoon to Hawaii, I spent an amazing 10 days in paradise, with a promise to someday return. It was probably one of the best vacations I have ever taken and I was so thrilled at the chance to get to go. It was also my longest vacation on record.

Post wedding, I cut my long hair and donated to Locks of Love, I was more than happy to be able to donate. In return I got a great haircut, my hair was the shortest it had been in a long time!

Most importantly I married a man in 2011. The man of my dreams. Because of social media we met by chance, and fell in love. We had our perfect day with our friends and family and pledged all of ourselves to one another. He loves me as me, but also supports me in making myself a better version of me. He challenges me to be my best, and is there to support me if I fail. We can laugh at one another, but also be serious when we need to be. He is my rock and I love being the reason he smiles. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for us.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Twitter Update

My pending facebook hiatus naturally has me gravitating to twitter more. I position has always been that facebook is for my real life and twitter has been my fake/blog life. More and more the two are blending and my real life friends know me on twitter and I am friends with my fake life or blog friends on facebook. I guess it's natural to have some cross over. I've even been cross posting more. Although I dislike when people's twitter feeds is just their updates from facebook, or visa-versa. I'd like to see some new content! 

Anywho, here has been some of my stellar tweets from the past few weeks.

Yeah, I said it. What is she going to do, sue me? I did cross post this to my facebook page, I mean it was sweet enough to share with everyone. If you are getting a divorce after 72 days of marriage because you had a difference of opinions about where your life/marriage was going, you shouldn't have gotten married in the first place. These are questions you ask one another before you get married... ugh

With all of the hours I've been working I haven't been to the gym at all. I tweeted to Steve the other day, inquiring as to how he was doing with our challenge.

Truth of the matter, is I haven't been committed to this challenge. I knew going into this challenge, that December was going to be a challenge itself, between work and the holidays, it's tough just to keep up! So I tried to get some mileage in early on in the month and for the most part, it worked, but I know I am still behind where I should be and I've got some work to do in order to make it up.

And lastly, this tweet on Christmas:

I have been so blessed to continue to get to know and meet some fantastic people using social media.

I can imagine after the first of the year and my facebook hiatus begins, that you'll see some more twitter updates coming from me.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Wrap up

Merry Christmas! Oh it's been a nice holiday. Busy. But nice.

First off, I had been working for days on end. Christmas day was my first full day off in a week, and my next full day off will be January 1. So out of 14 days, I will have only 2 full days off. Ugh. It's a lot of work, but I've scheduled some me time for the first day or two of the new year. And I plan on not doing anything that I don't want to do.

Secondly, my holiday was amazing. It's the first time in several years that I had Christmas off! My work schedule is an 8 day rotating schedule, and it just happened to work out that I was scheduled to work most holidays. But I've finally come into the party of my schedule cycle where I get some of the holidays off. And it's been nice to enjoy the time with my family.

Holidays make me miss my brother and my sister-in-law. I got to talk to Nick on Christmas when he called to say hi, but it's not the same without them here. I look forward to the day when they can move back to NH and we can all be a close family again. They of course enjoyed their gifts that Ben and I had sent them. It was great to hear that they arrived and were still in good condition. I always get nervous about shipping stuff, especially with videos/stories like this one!

I worked Christmas Eve day, so after I had gotten out of work, I went home, changed and then Ben and I went to my mother's for our Christmas with her. We also brought all the professional wedding pictures so that her and Darla could see them. It was a fun night.

Christmas morning we got up and headed to my parents (Dad and my stepmom) for Christmas brunch and presents with them. My aunts and grandmother had come over as well, it was a morning full of laughs as that is typical for our family.

Christmas evening we went to Ben's mom's for dinner and presents with her. Again, it was great to see all of our families. And Ben and I were both happy that we were able to work it out. It's not easy to coordinate all those visits! Especially with my schedule.

We got home Christmas night and had our own Christmas. Very low key, as we both were just so tired from the days events and all of the traveling.

For those of you who may not know, I live in New Hampshire, that's in New England. We get snow. But this year, has been VERY mild, and such is the case, we didn't have snow on the ground for Christmas. There were hit or miss snow flurries, but nothing that stuck. When we went to Ben's mom's she had snow on the ground! Plus one for Maine! It definitely made us both feel a bit more "Christmassy" now that there was snow on the ground, as we were getting ready to leave it had started lightly snowing again. It was so lovely. Made my Christmas!

It was an exhausting day of travel, and I was so tired from all of the events. It was nice to have Monday day off so I could take it easy. We had breakfast with my cousin and his wife, I haven't seen them in years, so it was great to see them. But then it was back to home and napping before work that night.

It was great to see all of our families, but I do wish that we had more down time. I don't care to always be on the go. I am hopeful that next year we can combine some trips and condense it down. I still want the holidays to be enjoyable for me too!

My presents ranged from practical to very thoughtful and personal. They were all perfect to me, even though I didn't ask for much. All of our parents helped us out with the wedding so we weren't expecting anything really. 

Of note, this is the first holiday season where I didn't get sick. I chalk that up largely to me not being as active in the Toy Bank program that I ran for several years. In years past, I was doing so much work that I would get run down and ultimately get sick from not taking care of myself. So after a lot of thought I stepped down from managing the town's toy bank, but in the same breath I guess you could say I got a promotion of sorts. I went from managing the town's toy bank to the Seacoast wide toy bank. Which mainly I do a lot of the public relations, website and facebook stuff for. I coordinate a lot of the seacoast wide efforts and stay away from the individual towns. I enjoy the work, it gives me a wonderful sense of fulfillment and it's the truly a reason for the season for me. To take care of your fellow man.

And if you were wondering what I got Ben... tools. It's what he wanted and something I know he'll be able to put to good use. Hopefully soon one day.

I am so bummed, I forgot my camera, so I don't have any pictures from Christmas. It would have been so nice to share with you all, but I'm sorry.  I am a bad blogger.

So that is my Christmas wrap up! hopefully Santa brought you everything you had hoped for. And that you were able to spend time with your family and loved ones.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hair no more!

So as I've been talking about for the last few weeks, but last night I finally pulled the trigger and did it. The post wedding chop! I've been growing out my hair since last July/August. Almost a year and a half of growing resulted in this:

All of the hair... like for realz
And after some talk about what kind of style I wanted, which I pretty much gave my stylist the green light to do what she wanted. My rule was simple, it needed to be easy to style, low maintenace. We got down to chopping it off

And we ended up with over 12 inches

That is a 12 inch comb next to my braids! I had no idea that my hair was really that long!

After the chop was done Rachelle, my stylist got down to business of giving me a proper hair cut and afterwards, she ended up looking like this

Bad day to wear a sweater to work...
It was worth growing my hair out for the wedding, my hair on my wedding day was beautiful and stunning, I even got asked if I was wearing hair extensions!

I will say towards the end, I was getting frequent headaches from the weight of the hair and from pulling it back. I couldn't really do anything with my hair it was just too long. It took way too long to maintain it. In the end, my long straight hair, became high maintenance!

I am so happy and pleased that my donated hair is going to help someone else.

So now that I've made you wait here is the after shot

All of the bags under my eyes! So tired!
My thoughts, my hair is SUPER short... shorter than I usually care for, but I know it won't be long before it grows out to a length that I am happy with. And I know that it was for a great cause. I love how much movement my hair has!

So there you have it!

The Salon was really awesome about it, they are going to mail my hair for me to Locks of Love, and all of the staff was really great. 

Side Note: I stepped on the scale this morning and was legit 2 pounds lighter. I know it's not probably all hair, but still, I am sure it's some of it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hi, my name is Cassie, and I have a facebook problem

I am feeling like after the first of the year, I'll be taking a facebook hiatus. I feel as though I am a little addicted to facebook.

So I am going to start with taking a week off from facebook.(phew there I said it...)

I just feel like I've stalled out on my list of 101 things in a 1001 days, and that a lot of my time is eaten up by just killing time on facebook.Even my daily routine is sculpted around being on and checking facebook.

It's going to be difficult, I have a lot of open tasks going on in my life, that facebook is associated with. I am the admin for 3 groups related to my job/professional organizations. On top of that, I've got messages I've been going back and forth with on facebook for things going on in my personal life. Facebook truly is a social network, but I think every now and again we all need to step back and reevaluate the priorities in life.

Of course, I'll still be on twitter and I'll have my email. I'll have to put some sort of status up, letting people know about my hiatus and to please don't expect a timely response from me, if that's their method of contact.

PS - today is my hair appointment and my donation to Locks of Love! I am excited to see what my new hair cut will be and I hope that I love it! Stay tuned for pictures and a post of that experience!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Still Roughing It

Still very much in a funk, and not really putting myself first. There has been a lot going on this holiday season, and a lot of overtime at work. I am getting some miles in, but not nearly what I should be doing. I am going to have to step it up BIG time in January and February to make a come back!

I also am going to be working on another update for my 101 things in a 1001 days challenge. Crazy to think that it's going into the final year of that challenge.

I am still here though, lurking in the shadows.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Rough Start

So in my last post I talked about my new challenge with Steve, and since then I've only walked once and it was for 3 miles.  So that means I have 452 miles to go.

I need to make this a priority for me. No one else will benefit from this, but there is such a great potential for me to reap some pretty amazing benefits.

Truth. I am back up to my highest weight, 321 pounds and I am not happy. Something has got to change. Those 3 miles I did, it wasn't pretty, I've basically lost all my stamina from before.

But I will get back there. I know I can do it.

In other, semi related news, my name change is final. So I went to the DMV and got my new temporary license, with my corrected weight.

My 30th birthday is in 6 months and I'll have to renew my license again. My goal is to be lighter than I am now. So I can update my weight on my license as well!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The bird is the word

I've been a bad blogger! I haven't blogged in over a week! Happy belated Thanksgiving! As I posted before, Ben and I opted to have Thanksgiving on our own. It was great that it was just the two of us. We got to do everything we wanted to do and it was great to spend a day together. We also cooked a full Thanksgiving meal. I was nervous about the timing, I wanted to make sure it came together at just the right time. And you know what, I rule! It was perfectly timed. I was so happy. Ben did an excellent job prepping the turkey. It came out beautiful.

Personal Photo

Isn't she beautiful? Very tasty and moist too! We of course had plenty of leftovers. Originally, Ben and I decided on a 6-8 pound bird, but when I went shopping, there was either barely 5 pound birds or 11 pound birds, so we went with the 11 pound bird.

We managed to go for a nice walk while the bird was cooking, it was great to get out and stretch our legs. I felt better about eating after getting some activity in.

Which speaking of activity, leads me into my next challenge. I am friends with Steve, we are both weight loss bloggers struggling with the weight loss aspect (and the blogging aspect). But we've quickly become fast friends.

Well we've issued a challenge to one another. It's 455 miles from my house to his house. And so we decided that we would complete that distance in 3 months. This challenge is going to start on December 1st. And I'll be tweeting about it. I am hoping to be able to plot my progress on a map and share with you. We can walk it, run it, bike it... anything, so long as we get the activity in and log the distance.

This is going to be tough, as I am already fighting my inner laziness, but on top of that, the fact that I have the holidays to get through is going to be tough for me.

Screen shot from google maps
Maybe one of these days, I'll actually get to meet Steve in person!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Yesterday's meatloaf is today's sloppy joes

Not sure if you read the news with any frequency, but I saw a story that really upset me. Talking about how Congress had blocked legislation that would have improved the standards for our children. This would have been the first update to the school nutrition guidelines in 15 years! A lot has changed about nutrition and what we know about food since then! Heck, they even changed the food pyramid to a plate.

My stepmom is a lunch lady and often her and I talk about the craziness that is trying to find something that the kids will want to eat, yet fit into the guidelines. And what is actually considered a serving of fruit or vegetable. I don't envy her job, it's not always so easy. 

Kudos to the USDA for trying to do what's right by our children and try to help the growing epidemic that is childhood obesity. 

Congress, go ahead and keep allowing the tomato paste on pizza to continue to be counted as a vegetable serving.

Really? Does anyone else see a problem with that?

And the government wants to run healthcare.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Oh Hi!

Do we remember this? I did... for a long time I had forgotten about it. But I've dusted it off and I am back to rocking it!

I've also starting logging in to My Fitness Pal again, I'm slowly warming up to tracking my food again.

Who knows, I may even wind up back in the gym again! I haven't been since before the wedding (truth). I've really been slacking.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Our First Thanksgiving

Ben and I are planning our first Thanksgiving as a married couple. We just wanted it to be us. Since it's our first time cooking a Thanksgiving meal, we thought it would be best if it was just the 2 of us. That way, if it's terrible, we can just order Chinese food or something else!

But we were both talking about what we wanted to incorporate from our individual families, into our new family. As far as traditions for the day. We planned out our menu, now hopefully we'll be able to execute it.

Part of our pre-martial counseling was talking about holidays and traditions, I think those conversations laid the foundation for Ben and I to talk openly about our wants for our family. Originally, I was planning on going down to North Carolina to have Thanksgiving with my parents, my brother and sister in law. But for Ben, it's important to celebrate the holidays on the actual holiday. Now with my job, he knows that will not always be able to happen, but on the times that I am off, he wants to be with me. And him getting time off this time of year isn't possible, especially after all the time he took off for the wedding & honeymoon.

It's great to be with someone who can talk to me, and who wants me around ;-) I am looking forward to our first Thanksgiving together and sharing in all the fun of the day, which I am sure is bound to happen, given the two of us.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Pill

Warning, this post may be a bit TMI for some of my readers.. my apologies!

It's really no secret that Ben and I wanted to start a family, shortly after getting married. We are getting older and still wanted to have children and be able to enjoy them.

After talking with my doctor and talking to Ben, we decided that I would go off my birth control pill right after the wedding, and then we would wait 3 cycles before starting to try.

A little history, I've been on the pill since I was 18. That's 11 years of trying to prevent pregnancy. That's also a long time to be on hormones. There were some issues through the years, first I was just on your normal everyday, ortho tri-cyclen.... but then my insurance company wanted to switch me to a generic, and the formula wasn't the same. It did funky things to me, gave me some terrible mood swings. I could have stayed on the name brand, but it was just so expensive and me being a broke college student I went back to the doctors to try something else.

After 6 months of trying different pills, she finally found one that worked for me, not sure of the name brand but mine was called necon. It was the same level of hormone in every active pill.

You see, in your normal pill pack, you have different colored pills, those differentiate the level of hormone in that pill, which science tries to correspond with your cycle. So your pill pack will give you the right amount of hormone when you need it.

The pill pack I was on, was the same level of hormone for all the active pills. This allowed my moods to stabilize and there for I became "normal" again, I was finally starting to feel like my self again.

11 years on the pill, does a real number to your cycle. My period was very predictable, I could predict when it would come and how long it would stay.

Being off the pill, my period has now taken on a mind of it's own. I can't predict anything about it. I still have my cravings for salty and fried foods. But the one thing I did not anticipate on making a comeback was my headaches.

Honestly I forgot I had them, I had been on the pill so long it made most of my symptoms subside. However that all changed when I went off the pill, my bloating came back, my period is more unpredictable and my headaches...

I remember being a teenager and just having these mind crippling headaches, I am so not looking forward to that time again. I am hoping that they don't continue when I am pregnant. But since they seem to be associated with my period, I don't think that will likely be the case.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Swagbucks Pays For Your Holidays

Wouldn't life by easier if we could get someone to pay for our holiday shopping? Even better if our friends and family already had a wish list that we could just pick from?

Well SwagBucks is running a promotion that if you create a wishlist on swagbucks, and you may just be the one lucky winner who wins a $2500 Amazon gift card. It's completely free to participate. The winner will be chosen on Cyber Monday (11/28)!

This contest is open to all of the countries SwagBucks serve (US, UK, CA and Australia). The full details of the promotion can be found here, but here are the ways you can earn entries to win the grand prize:

- Complete your Wishlist (1 Entry) - Wishlist can be found here.
- Share your Wishlist on either Facebook or Twitter using our Share buttons (1 entry per day you share).
- Have a new user register for Swagbucks through your Wishlist share (1 entry)
- Have that user complete and share their own Wishlist (4 additional entries)

In addition to the grand prize, they're giving away prizes every week day on their Facebook wall, Twitter account, and in their Blog.

If you are a new user to SwagBucks, they've also released a new code to get you started "SBPAYSFORME" - remove the quotes. The code is active from right now until 9:00am PT on Friday, November 18th, and is worth a bonus 80 Swag Bucks ONLY when applied during the registration process - this means a new user will start with 110 Swag Bucks instead of the customary 30.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Locks of Love

I've always been described as a giving person, someone who is always giving of their time and energy. Why should post wedding be any different.

I spent 13 months growing out my hair for my wedding, and it paid off. I had so many lovely compliments about my hair at the wedding. To the point of people were asking me if I had extensions put in! I was happy to tell them that nope, it's all mine.

But it definitely a lot of hair. And it's becoming difficult to manage, or just do anything with it. It takes forever to dry, so most times I just throw it up into a bun or pony tail.

I knew that after the wedding I was going in to have it cut. Then it donned on me, could I be a candidate for donation? After checking out multiple agencies, I found that yes, I could donate. Although only one company would be able to accept my donation. Since my hair was highlighted (read: altered) only Locks of Love would be able to accept it for use. My donation has to be at least 8 inches. Which my stylist informed me, would still give her enough hair leftover to work with.

So, I made the appointment, in a little over a month I will be getting my first real hair cut... I've always had long hair, the most I ever did was add layers and bangs, so my stylist is very excited to be giving me a new do. And I am letting her decide what will look best for me.

I am a little nervous, because I've always had long-ish hair. Never to the the length it's at right now, but still always long. It would almost be like I am losing part of my identity, but I am going to try to look past that and focus on the fact that not only would I be getting a new post-wedding look, but in the process, helping others.

Of course, I will document the whole experience to share with you all here... it should be interesting. My husband isn't sold on the idea of me with a shorter do (he loves my long hair) but thinks that it's really cool that I'll be donating it to help others.

Besides it's only hair... it'll grow back eventually!

New Look!

Hey everyone! How are you doing?

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my new look! Do you like? I figured it was time for my first real blog makeover!

Erin from Samantha's Day Graphic Design hooked me up with a sweet new look. And it's completely personalized. I was super nervous about this, I had no idea what I was doing or what exactly I wanted, remember the blog post about my next step? Well I decided to jump in with both feet, and to kick it off, I partnered with Erin to do a redesign. First off, I had no idea what a favicon is. However I will say that Erin is wonderful to work with and she creates everything on her own. You aren't going to find another blog like mine!

So I'm going to continue to blog about my life in general, who knows where tomorrow will take us. Hope you can come along for the ride!

What do you think about my new look?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Randomness on a Thursday

Oh my gosh... I laughed so hard at this. Trust me it's worth a look. If you didn't know, I like to dabble in some celebrity gossip. One of the shows I listen to on Sirius/XM Radio is Cosmo Radio. Specifically Wake Up with Taylor. One of their segments, is the 7 Things You Need To Know Before You Go. This story had popped up a few days ago.

Trust me, go look at the first link, it's hilarious. Although it's probably not appropriate for work...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wedding Recap: DIY

Some a lot of the little touches I did throughout the wedding, I did myself, or had some help executing my vision.

Originally when we first starting planning, we wanted a fall theme. Ben was great with helping to secure the big things, venue, food, rentals, etc. But the finer details, the colors, the centerpieces, flowers, etc., he largely left up to me. Which I really appreciated. He went with the flow with a lot. And he put up with my excitement of the little things.

One of the ideas that I wanted but it really came together in the last few weeks was a sign. My parents made fun of me about it at first. But everyone that saw it thought it was the cutest thing ever. We had it placed at the foot of the bridge, just before everyone walked over the bridge to the ceremony site.

And when the morning came and dad placed it, he thought that the pumpkins were a good finishing touch. I would agree with him. I thought this just really simple and nice.

Inside we opted to do a mix of tall and short centerpieces. My amazingly talented friend helped with all of my flowers. She also lent me some of her candles. Which went really well with the mason jar candles I had done up.
These short centerpieces where mums that were in a birched wrapped container with some ribbon and a sugar pumpkin. You can see in front of this short centerpiece my mason jar candle. And her smaller tea light candles on the right hand side of the pic. She did all of the tablescapes for me which included some rose petals and acorns scattered on the tables. 

And here is the tall centerpiece in a tall cylinder vase, I love the curly willow branches coming out of the top. The wide ribbon near the top is just a perfect color.

The guestbook was something that I really toiled on. I didn't want the traditional guest book. I just didn't want something that would sit on a shelve and go unnoticed for years. While cruising on some wedding boards, I saw the idea of doing a fingerprint tree, I fell in love with it. I wanted to modify it slightly since we couldn't get the ink to wash off easily off of people's fingers. So we got leave stamps and used those. I ordered the poster from a seller off of Etsy and really fell in love with the idea.

Lastly, we opted not to do a seating chart. At first I really wanted to do one, but as the planning went on, I realized that there was just too many loose ends and I really didn't want to deal with the drama. So we opted to just have open seating. I wanted to at least have a sign for that.

Ordered that one off of vistaprint with like a week to go! Thankfully, it came in time.

So that is just some of the DIY and details from the wedding. I really think that everything tied into my theme and our day perfectly.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Doctor's Appointment & October Nor'Easter

First of all, if you didn't know, I live in New Hampshire, the Northeast and if you live under a rock, you wouldn't have known that we had a Nor'Easter on Saturday. We still had leaves on the trees, people... which is probably what caused the biggest problem.... power outages.

The heavy wet snow weighed down the trees, and in doing so made contact with the lines causing them to short, in other cases, the trees broke or fell completely taking out lines.

Ben and I had gone over to our friends house for dinner that night, we haven't seen much of the barn gals in the weeks leading up to the wedding and since we came back from the honeymoon so it was great to spend a nice evening with them. It had already been raining earlier in the day, and was just starting to snow, the heavy wet snow. The power was flickering all night at the farm, we stayed until they lost power at about 10pm. We drove home to find that we too had also lost power.

Sunday we were supposed to go Christmas tree hunting but with all the snow and left over wind, and no power, we didn't go. All in all we got about 4-5 inches at our house. meh, almost nothing by New Hampshire standards, but combined with the fact that it was heavy wet snow and the leaves still were on the trees, the power loss did more destruction.

We got power back sometime between 2-4:30 am on Monday. But even today as I write this post, my friends at the farm still do not have power. Along with several other of my friends. And the power company is saying that it's still going to be several days before power is fully restored.

Ugh, I just feel so bad, it's never easy when you lose power. We realize how dependent we are on power once we loose it.

Yesterday, Halloween, I had my yearly physical and who-ha check. If you need to know what a Who-ha is, go ask your mother, or sister, or girlfriend...

Well the only concern on the part of my doctor is my weight, which I knew going into my appointment. Just 2 years ago I was 288! and now here I am 314... which was my highest weight when I started Weight Watchers.

I want to have a healthy pregnancy, my doctor warned me that even if I do get pregnant that I need to not take the mentality that I am eating for two. And I said frankly, because I already have been eating for two! Which we both chuckled a little, not that it excuses it, but it is nice to know that her and I are on the same page.

She also gave me a lab slip with a date of 6 months from now, to have lab work done to check my cholesterol in the hopes that I would be either a) pregnant or b) that would be enough motivation to lose the weight.

Now that the wedding is over, I can re-focus on my weight loss. I am still in a weight loss challenge that ends in a little over a month from now. So who knows, I may be able to win that. I am still going through the name changing process (what a pain!) and also Ben and I want to start the process of looking for and buying a house. So life is moving pretty quick, but I want to make sure that I remain focused on losing the excess weight and living a healthy lifestyle. 

Across New Hampshire, many trick or treat nights have been cancelled or rescheduled to this coming weekend. But our town still had trick or treat last night. Ben loves that holiday, so he sat outside with a bowl of candy and waited for the kids to come around. He passed out candy for a solid 2 hours in the frigid cold. I joined him for awhile. But I made sure I bundled up! We had some out of towners who were trick or treating, their town had cancelled and they still wanted to go, so mom found which town was still doing it and drove them to our town!

All in all, it's been a pretty wild weekend.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Wedding Recap: The big day (with pictures)

Our wedding day was amazing, if you asked me 13 months ago when we started planning if we imagined it would be sunny and 83 degrees on October 9th, in New Hampshire, I would have laughed openly at you. I was thinking I was going to need a shrug or something! Oh man was I wrong! However, I will say that I would rather the warm weather over rain ANY day. It allowed us to go forward with our plans of having an outdoor ceremony and it was everything I wanted and more.

I woke up ate some breakfast, Kelli and Amy both had instructions from Weezie, my step mom, to make sure that I had a good breakfast. So Kelli made me a waffle, it was delicious! After we finished up with breakfast we packed up Kelli's car and headed to the Salon. We got there just a few minutes before 9am. It was funny to have the salon to ourselves. Every other time I have been in there it's always busy and everyone is running about. It was weird to see it so quiet (It opens at 10am on Sundays). However at the same time, it was so nice to have the quiet, it gave me time to think about everything that was going on, and also gave me some more time with Kelli, Amy and my hair stylist, Rachelle. 

As Rachelle got to work on my hair, the gals and I just chatted about things, we went over our timeline to make sure we weren't forgetting anything. Everything was coming together. Shortly before the salon opened, some of the other stylists showed up. All of the people who work at the salon have been nothing short of amazing to me, and so helpful. So it was great that I got to see them as I was getting ready. Then Amy and Kelli were whisked away to start their hair and makeup.

Before we got to the salon we stopped to get iced coffee, and I only ended up drinking about a third of it. My stomach had so many butterflies, I was just too excited as the time got closer and closer!

When the hair was finished it was off to makeup! I opted to do the airbrush makeup and I am SO glad I did, it held all day long even when I was sweating while dancing. It felt very light as if I wasn't wearing anything at all, which was really nice, since I don't usually wear makeup and I don't very much care for the feeling of wearing makeup.

And after some finishing touches we were off to Hampton! We actually had padded the schedule to make sure we had enough time and we were able to get to Hampton at about 11:45am. A quick call to Ben to make sure he wouldn't see me and we ducked into the bridal suite. And pretty much the whirlwind started, and about 45 minutes later it was time to get into the dress...

Being that I was already hot, and I was getting into a dress with multiple layers, it took a moment to get into the dress, and then another moment (or two) to lace it all up. It was so hot we pulled out Kelli's fan and Weezie held it up so that it would blow in my face, it was the best feeling in the world!

I love that fan..., Focus Studios, LLC
Dad came in at some point to say that the minister was running late, but would hopefully be there in time. Honestly, I didn't care, I was so happy to be where I was and (eventually) marrying the man of my dreams, I didn't care if we delayed. Once everyone was dressed we had about 5-10 minutes to kill while the minister arrived and got into his place, so we were able to take a few pictures. That actually calmed me down, the last hour had flew by and it was nice to have that moment to take a few pics and to settle.

Amy, Dad and me. Excuse my weird smile.. still a bit nervous

And then it was go time! I remember walking over the bridge with my dad and I was worrying about how slippery his shoes were and I didn't want him to fall! My dad had his hip replaced about 6 years ago and has had some complications with it, mostly that he cannot feel his foot. Thankfully no one fell and we started down the aisle.

Dad... don't fall
I couldn't look at my friends, because some had warned me that they would probably cry, and I didn't want to cry with them, I couldn't look at Ben... so I looked at the minister. I was just so happy. When I got to the end of the aisle, Ben just looked at me and said, you look amazing.

Everyone complimented dad on his hat choice
The ceremony was just what I envisioned, personalized and quick. But still meaningful. Ben is an atheist, so we wanted our ceremony to be more about us and our love rather than about making a commitment to God. Thankfully, our minister, Peter was more than happy to accommodate this. That's why I love being an Episcopalian, we don't judge! (Not to say that there is anything wrong with other religions, I just like mine)

As we read the vows we wrote for each other, I went first. I started off cracking... and stopped for a moment to regain myself, and then continued on. So all you people out there who had bets on whether I'd be a blubbering mess, you lost! WIN! I got some laughs from my vows, which is totally what I wanted. And then it was time for Ben to read his. For me, it was the most amazing thing I've ever heard him read because it was something he wrote for me. And now looking back, I cannot remember a single word he said, but the meaning is still there.

Then after some more wedding stuff and legal requirements... boom! married!

We then walked back up the aisle and then hid, so we could take pictures while all of our guests headed inside for the cocktail hour. I love my photographer, she's a friend of Ben's friend, and we've quickly grown closer having now worked with her. Her newly minted husband is her assistant and he's amazing too! I gave them a list of all the family pics I wanted (Ben neglected to do his...) and we just got straight to work.

One of the professional shots, Focus Studios, LLC
After we finished with the family and group shots it was time for Ben and I to have some personal pictures

By far one of the cutest pics, Focus Studios, LLC
We headed in, because we heard the crowd was getting restless at the cocktail hour. I ducked back into the bridal suite to get my dress bustled and to get my second hair style. I wanted to keep my hair off my neck for the reception so I could dance and not sweat even more so than I already was.

Second hair style, best decision EVER

We got into the hall and took our seats, we decided to start off with the toasts and we ended with my brother, who I knew was going to roast me, but he actually roasted Ben a little as well, which I think is perfect. Nick also ended on a high note with a lovely compliment. I love my dear little brother.

Then we got our eating on and then the dancing! What I was looking forward to the most! (well aside from the whole marriage part...) People were complimenting on my dress and makeup and hair. People were actually asking if I had hair extensions put in. Nope, that's all real! Over a year of growing it out.

We cut some cake, we promised each other no smushing! and we didn't, I may have made Ben work a little bit for his cake, but I didn't smush! We danced, our first dance was to Jason Marz with Colbie Caillat, Lucky. Ben and I sang it to one another as we were dancing. We liked it because it was upbeat and meaningful to us. Then I danced with Dad and Ben danced with his mom. And then more dancing!

We slipped out of the party for a few moments to get some pictures in. And we started off with this one

I love this pic, it's just so much fun! Focus Studios, LLC
Our photographer really wanted to get some pictures with a fire truck. I work for the fire department and so it was an easy request to fill, just had to promise the boys some food and wedding cake, and they were golden! The end result was some shots like these:

If you look closely you can see my photographer in the chrome of the mirror casing! Focus Studios, LLC

Focus Studios, LLC
Not going to lie, Ben and I were impartial with the fire truck, but having seem some of these shots, I am glad we did it. It was a lot of fun!

While we were outside with the fire truck, our guests were inside and apparently THIS happened....

We went back inside and we had about an hour left of dancing. And danced did we! Then in a flash it was over, and we were packing up and getting out of dodge.

As every bride says, the day just goes by so quickly, and it's incredible to me to think of putting 13 months of planning into one day and then to have that be the best day ever was all worth it. I couldn't stop smiling, I was just so happy.

I am so excited I found the man to spend the rest of my life with, and that I have such a wonderful and supportive family and group of friends, I consider myself truly blessed. 


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