Search This Blog

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gifting For the One You LOVE

By: Danie

So I have been having a hard time getting inspired lately {I need to stop neglecting my Pinterest account :P}. So there is a little time left to get out there and get something for your hunny. Here are a few ideas for him!

In my search for unique gifts for him I found this awesome website called, I am not sure why I suddenly started receiving emails from them but I found these keepsake tie and collar stays. The tie comes with a heart that can be personalized with your name and it also has a cute saying, the pocket on the back is for leaving love notes... ooo lala. The collar stays have cute little messages well the PG version is cute there is an xrated version also! Whoa. lol

If you haven't checked out snapfish I suggest that you do it now! This website has helped me create some amazing gifts for family and friends. This year I was thinking of making my fiance a photo book with old photos and of course new ones of our little mini us :)

You all MUST be wondering what in the world is the picture of a half naked lady for? Well, I had heard people talk about boudoir photo shoots and it looks like it would be a ton of fun and it would most definately knock your hunnys socks off. Boudoir photos are tasteful photos of you in elegant yet provocative poses. This isn't on my list of things to do this year, I am going the cute route but I would love to do this at some point just to shock him because he would be soooo shocked! If you would like to find a place near you enter boudoir photo shoots and the name of your city in any search engine and options should pop up.

Just a few ideas to get the gears going!!
Happy Wednesday

Tuesday Shoesday: Bye Bye Winter Blues!

By: Danie

By now you all should know that I love wedges! I am also loving this beautiful 70 degree weather we are having here. Maybe it's the weather that is getting me in the mood for Spring and Summer shoe shopping? These Nine West 'Linger' Wedges are really just too cute, particularly the multi colored ones. They have awesome colors that you can sport for spring and summer.

More or less this is what I envisioned for these shoes: a fun skirt, chunky earthy jewelry, light cardigan and lots of color!! I am ready to embrace color again this winter has been a boring black and brown winter (for me at least).

Happy Tuesday Shoesday!

Bye Bye Winter Blues!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Fruit Smoothies

by: Ashley

I know I mentioned smoothies a couple weeks ago (briefly) but I wanted to talk more in depth about it.  Fruit smoothies are great for breakfast, mid-day snack, or even dessert.  My honey complains about how expensive it is to eat healthy but I added up the cost per smoothie and it comes out to less than $2.

I get my bags of fruit ready on Sunday nights and put them in the freezer to use through out the week.

- 2 boxes of strawberries: $8
- 1 box of blueberries: $2
- 1 pineapple: $4
- 5 apples: $4
- 2 bananas: $0.50

So the total price is about $18.50 for 12 bags, plus the price of milk or juice if you add that as your liquid base. At that price you can't use money as an excuse to not eat healthy!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Those Silly Last Ten Pounds!!!

By: Danie

Friday is shaping up to be an interesting one!!! Florence & The Machine tickets went on sale this morning and what kind of crazy stalker fan would I be if I didn't go?? I love Flo and her Machine!

This week has been exhausting... I can't imagine doing more than lounging in my PJs all weekend, unfortunately that is not going to happen :( I need to get my running in for the rest of the week.

Booo.... I mean, YAY losing weight is awesome!

Anyway, I am nowhere near the point of my last ten pounds.... I've got a couple more than ten I need to take care of. However, if you are on your last ten maybe some of these tips will help you!

1. Decrease the pesticides in your system, they are endocrine disrupters and can affect the hormonal balance in your body. See my post from Monday to know when to buy Organic.

2. Reduce BPAs and phthalates in your system, these synthetic chemicals mimic estrogen in your system. The presence of estrogen tricks your body into storing fat. So how do we fix this??
  • Stop heating your food up in plastic containers (I have really put a stop to this over the past few months, I still carry my food in plastic but I bring paper plates to heat up the food. At home we use glass pyrex)
  • Fatty foods leach the chemicals from the PVC plastic wrap in the grocery store so decrease your intake of fatty meats wrapped in plastic (Maybe see if there is a local butcher where you can get your meats... wrapped in good ol' fashion wax paper!)
  • Cans also have BPA in them :( Sad day some of my favorite quick meals include cans...
3. Use filtered water, I had mentioned endocrine disrupter's before and the pollutants in our tap water can expose us to these. That is why it is important to use filtered water for drinking and cooking!

4. Reduce your stress level. I know that is next to impossible for some with demanding jobs and families but it does take a toll on your body. Cortisol hormone increases as your stress increases which is a bummer because cortisol also affects the amount of fat in your midsection. Taking up a stress free yoga class once a week might be the ticket!!

Cheers to a Happy Friday!! 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Confessions of a Shopaholic

by: Ashley

Maybe the title is a little misleading - I am by no means a shopaholic.  But I have a confession! I LOVE deal sites.  And I'm not talking just about Groupon and Living Social.  So I thought I should share some of these sites with you (even though I'd rather keep all the good sales to myself!).

Rue La La: I consider this mostly a fashion site, although they have other categories (travel, living, local, etc).  I got a really nice skirt for work from here a few years ago.

Gilt: Categories include women, men, kids, home, taste, city and jetsetter.  Some of the jetsetter vacations look AH-MAZING! And they provide you advice about what to do.  In general, items on Gilt tend to me a little more expensive, but I did find a high quality peacoat for my honey last year.

Hautelook: Sales for women, beauty, home, kids, men and getaways. My favorite buy from here has to by my Crown Brush set of makeup brushes! Crown Brush is a regular on Hautelook every few months and totally worth every penny.

My Habit: I'm not totally sold on this one yet, but I figured I should throw it in.  Categories include women, men, children and home.

One Kings Lane: This site is for stuff for the home like furniture and decorations.  I haven't bought anything from here yet.  The furniture and vintage items can be on the high end (and way out of my budget).  But I love looking - and hopefully I'll snag a good deal one of these days.

The Foundary: This is another home site for furniture and decorations.  But this week they also have Reebok Fitness (exercise balls, DVDs, resistance bands).  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday DIY - Candle Holder Makeover

by: Ashley

I could not for the life of me think of a DIY to write about today!! I know I should have been more prepared but I got my wisdom teeth out last week and the medicines made it hard to focus. 

But it finally came to me, and as a result I avoided sending this boring candle holder to the dump:

Remember the post I did during the 25 days of Christmas for the DIY Pearl Ornament - well I happened to have a few pearls left.   I thought it would be pretty awesome to have pearls be a part of my everyday decor! 

This was so easy and only took about an hour.  All you need is a glass candle holder, a hot glue gun and a couple glue sticks.  

So when I was done with the pearls, I thought it looked a little... blah.  I went into my unofficial craft room to see if I had anything to dress it up a little.  I found some gold ribbon (left over from Christmas) and a skeleton key charm from Michaels.  It gave it a more finished look, don't you agree?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Converse All Star High Tops: The Mini Edition

By: Danie

Tuesday shoesday is here! My inspiration for this Tuesday is my son, it just so happens that he is starting to stand on his own and we all know that leads to some walking. I meant to go to the store this weekend to get him some shoes but I took a nap instead - My first one in 8 months! My {future} sister in law told me that I needed to get him a good pair of shoes for when he is learning- she had always purchased the white ones with the ankle support and grippy's on the bottom of the shoe for her kids.

Fast forward to Monday {BLAH} ... I come home and we are getting ready to go for a run when I see there is a package AND it has my name on it {OMG OMG OMG..} yeah, I like getting stuff in the mail! After ripping the poor package to shreds, there is another box with ribbons- I proceed to open it. Well look what I found inside........
 There was of course a super cute outfit with it but I digress. How often does it happen that you need something and it shoes up in the mail!?! How amazing is my telepathic Aunt!! These shoes are sooo cute- Mikey has ankle support, they have grippies on the bottom... they are the trendy version to the old school white booties.

He sure looks cute in those mini converse high tops!
The best part is that I have them in my size also :)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Dirty Dozen: When to Buy Organic

By: Danie

It's hard enough to worry about what you are cooking for your family and if it's "healthy" without the added stress of worrying about pesticides and chemically treated vegetables and fruit. Buying all organic is way too expense for the average American but the more we learn the more it seems necessary to make the leap and go organic.

My general rule of thumb is if we are going to eat the skin then I try to buy organic, milk always organic, meat is usually all natural/no hormones and if its for the little man its always organic. The bulk of my purchases are on the outer perimeter of the store (I can't buy all organic so I invest in a great veggie wash).

Someone decided to make our lives easier and make a list of fruits and veggies with high rates of pesticide residue, "The Dirty Dozen." By buying these organic you can cut out up to 80% of the pesticide residue in your diet....

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Strawberries (Wash berries in 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water when you bring them home this will extend the self life in the fridge, I love it!!)
  4. Peaches
  5. Spinach
  6. Nectarines (Imported)
  7. Grapes (Raisins also :(...)
  8. Sweet Bell Peppers
  9. Potatoes
  10. Blueberries
  11. Carrots
  12. Lettuce/Kale/Collard Greens (Alternatives include Cabbage, Broccoli, Asparagus and Dandelion Greens)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fitness Friday - Making the Cut

by: Ashley

So I'm sure you all have seen or at least seen commercials for The Biggest Loser - and you have to know that trainer Jillian Michaels is the type to be in your face to get you to work your butt off. Or rather to get you to work off those pounds off your butt!!!  

If you loved her on the show as much as I did, or you just want those awesome results, please please please check out her book "Making the Cut".  Dani and I followed these workouts religiously and I could not have imagined better results.  I don't remember the last time I was so toned. 

I must sound like a commercial for her book right now! But I really believe that you can obtain AMAZING results with her workouts.  

You should do the workout at a gym where you have access to both free weights and cable machines.  And review the workout before you go so you don't have to spend a lot of time reading each exercise description.  Some of the exercises were too advance for me, so I just modified it to work for my fitness level.  

I hope you guys check out her book.  And let me know if you have any other fitness or workout books that you like to use.  I'd love other resources - I have just over 4 months to be in Wedding Day shape!!! 

Happy Fitness Friday :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Postcrossing: Postcard Exchange

By: Danie

Everyone loves receiving mail especially when it is something fun! That may be the reason why I singed up for Postcrossing and the fact that I had a small stockpile of awesome postcards.


I didn't think that it would be so addictive but sure enough as the post cards rolled in I kept shoving more out. For each postcard you send you will receive one. Lately I haven't been as diligent with adjusting to having a baby and working out again but I am getting back into it! I have received some of the coolest post cards, my favorites are black and white and vintage-esque {I have actually gotten one from the 70s}.


It is a neat activity. I think that it would be cool if you had your kids write some of them out if they are old enough or it would be fun if you are a teacher to have it as a classroom activity of some sort {or just decorate your classroom with them!}.


This is by far one of my favorite activities, it is something that I do just for me. It gives me time to relax in the evenings and write about my day. I suppose in a way it is therapeutic to send your bad days to the other side of the world.

 Connecting with people you don't know is exciting, so you should get to sending those post cards!!! :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Latch Hook Rug

By: Danie

Rugs are so expensive! I really didn't realize that they were such a hot commodity. When looking for a little rug for my little dude's room, I literally almost had a heart attack. My son will do a number of things on this carpet spit up, spill snacks..... the possibilities are endless he is an energetic little boy! So I had gotten the ingenious idea to make my rug. I did research on the web and found a rough guide to making a latch hook rug. You will need to following.....
  1. Latch Hook Canvas (Joanns 36 x 60)
  2. Latch Hook Tool (Get a couple so friends and family can help)
  3. Fabric (11-15 yards for a large canvas or you could use a bunch of old t-shirts)
  4. Dye (if you want to match a specific color- but I am telling you from experience just buy the color you want)
  5. Rug Binding
First you will need to dye your fabric if you wanted to go that route! It was such a pain but a little tip... use the tulip brand from Walmart it gives you great color.

Then it is going to take you a hot minute to cut up all the fabric into litte pieces but if you get a rotary tool and a mat you will be in good shape. I cut mine into 1/2 inch by 4 inch strips.

Then comes the fun part! Pulling the strips through the canvas with the latch hook tool (there is a picture of the tool on the fabric above). I pulled the fabric through each row and left an inch border around the edge. Don't know how to use a latch hook tool?? Click Here!


I still have some work to do but it's getting there. There is no doubt that this is not an easy quick solution. However, I don't think you could put a price on something like this (Your child will have it forever and it will be a keepsake). I have seen people make little mats for the bathroom and kitchen so you could do that instead you would just have to get a smaller canvas or cut down a big canvas, that will take a quarter of the time. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday Shoesday - Corral Boots

by: Ashley
Hello gorgeous readers :)

Tuesdays always make me happy (done with Monday and get to talk about shoes).  And here we are, from Texas, yet we haven't once featured Cowboy boots!! Craaaazzzzy right?!

Here are three Corral boots that I LOVE!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Equipment and Accessories to Keep you Healthy

by: Ashley

Last Friday Danielle provided a lot of great tips and resources for getting into a running routine, so I'd thought it be great to follow up on that topic a little more.  I've ran two half marathons before, and plan on running my third this March.  I wanted to share with you some products that I've found that help me stay healthy.

This is absolutely a must-have for getting those fruits into your diet. My favorite recipe right now consists of 1/2 banana, about 4 or 5 large strawberries, and a few chunks of pineapple.  I keep these frozen in ziplock bags and just pull them out (then I don't need any ice).  I add about 8 oz of OJ or apple juice and then just mix it up in the blender.  If you've just worked out, try adding a vanilla protein.  When I was taking fitness classes, most of the instructors would always tell us that you should take in protein within 45 minutes of your workout for you to get the most out of it.  No matter what, if you are working out make sure to give your body the nutrition it needs to actually get something out of it.  Your muscles need to rebuild after every workout. 
When I was taking fitness classes, most of the instructors would always tell us that you should take in protein within 45 minutes of your workout for you to get the most out of it.  No matter what, if you are working out make sure to give your body the nutrition it needs to actually get something out of it.  Your muscles need to rebuild after every workout. 

Foam Roller
If you plan on running long distances you should definitely invest in a foam roller.  I roll before and after my runs and my muscles feel great so far.  Rolling before loosens them up and that will prevent injuries.  Also, it gets the oxygen flowing which will keep your legs from feeling the fatigue during the run. Rolling after is just as important. The following video gives an overview of the foam roller.  Oh and you can usually find a foam roller at Target or Walmart.  I got mine at Run On for $25 (same price as the ones at Target).  I've heard that TJ Maxx also carries them at times if you want to find a good deal on them.  

Heart Monitor
I know Danielle mentioned this one in her last post, but I am a HUGE fan of the heart monitor.  It's the only true way you can really see what's going on in your body.  You don't always want to push your body to the max.  It all depends on what your goal is, but if you want to lose weight, you need to find your fat burning zone.  If you want to increase your endurance and your recovery time, you need to spend some time in the anaerobic (cardio) zone.  The heart monitor helps you train smarter so you'll get the most out of your time at the gym. 

Polar is a great brand and most machines at the gym connect to your polar heart monitor chest band, so your heart rate shows up on the screen of the machine.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Run Danie Run: A Beginners Guide to Running

By: Danie

Running in theory is simple...

Step 1. Put running shoes on.
Step 2. Step Outside.
Step 3. Run.....

So easy it is mind boggling why it has taken me 7 months to even attempt it lol. My excuse was that I was 9 months pregnant 7 months ago, it was awesome. Now it is time to get down to business! My son is jogging stroller age appropriate (you have to be 6 months or older for those, who knew?!), I purchased new running shoes (my feet are a little bigger than they were pre pregnancy :( ) and well, I don't have an excuse any more.

Yes, I have done my fair share of running so I am not a complete "noob" BUT it's been so long I am going to pretend I have no clue what I am doing (lol pretend! Who am I kidding?). The schedule below seems like it would work universally for anyone in O.K. shape, however slow and steady wins the race if you have to start out doing 15 minute runs that works just fine also (alternate training plan at From Couch to 5K). As long as you get out there and do it you're doing well. Consistency is key with running!


Since I am genuinely treating this as a new experience I am going to focus on my "form." A lot of emphasis has been put on how you run over the past few years, i.e. are you a heel striker (land with your heel first) or midfoot striker (also called the Pose Method). I KNOW that I am a heel striker and I think that is why I don;t enjoy running as much as I could. Using the Pose Method is supposed to help you run more efficiently and decrease possibility of injury. I truly believe that a good foundation is also going to be key in making running enjoyable!

Keep a Training Log!!!!
It doesn't have to be anything extravagant it can be a simple note book to keep track of how you are doing with your training plan. Or you can get high tech and log your running online at Runners World or Active Trainer

As you progress you can log your miles and over time notice improvements! You can also ensure that you are truely pacing yourself. Once you have made it to the big time, you can use the log to to work on your time. Logging would be more of a motivational tool for me but I think that is important to be able to see and track your progress (maybe even track weight loss??).

You have to admit the best part about running (other than weight loss and sense of personal acheivement).... ok the third best part about running is all the cool stuff! I just put a few things there is so much more hydration belts, shoes, camel baks... above are just a few things that I thought were cool!

  • Polar heart rate monitor because it is always important to track your heart rate and know if you are working at your potential. It is a really great way to pinpoint if you are burning fat or working on cardio. Print your own chart for reference! 
  • No that is not a tennis skirt, that is a running skirt! It is all the fad and to be honest I used to run in my tennis skirts all the time it was way more comfortable because you have the tights under so your thighs don't rub and your shorts dont bunch.
  • Nike+iPod Sensor is marketed like your own personal trainer but I just think its a great way to log without having to physically do it. You just get home sync your computer and BAM done :) You can also manage your running music. Check out for FREE running mixes!
  • Compression socks, you see a lot of people wearing them but you arent wuite sure why?? Well I was curious (even more so when I saw these cute ones).... I will give you the "compressed" version of my research. It helps with blood flow (decreses blood pooling in the legs) and decreses the muscle vibration (i.e. less soreness).
Looks like its time for me to RUN DANIE RUN!!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


by: Ashley

Lately it seems like you don't really have to go searching for inspiration, it just sorta comes to you. With sites like Pinterest, ideas are all around us.  But I'd thought I'd share with you some of my recent discoveries that would help inspire you with color.

- The Perfect Palette
Although it's a wedding inspiration site, you can use it to choose colors for your house.  You can search by color and it will bring up all the different color palettes that contain the color you chose.  For example, I chose teal and check out this beautiful nostalgic board that came up.

-Design Seeds
This site has multiple ways to search for palettes. You can search by color or by theme.  This gorgeous board was listed in their Winter themes:

With wedding and party planning on my mind these color inspiration boards have been a big help!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Let there be Light - A DIY to Hanging a Chandelier

by: Ashley

I've never truly had my own place before. Yes I've had an apartment. But you can't paint the walls, or change out the fixtures or update the flooring or the appliances. So living in a house is a whole new experience for me.  If I'm not happy with something, I can just change it.. well of course there's always a budget issue... but that's not important right now!

Exhibit A:
Brass chandeliers that seem to be "builder-grade" for all homes built circa 2000

Well this is definitely not my style! So I decided to change them out... only I actually had no clue how to go about that.  But my honey came to the rescue! And I found out that it actually isn't hard at all.
1. Remove the old chandelier. Use a flat head to "release" the plate from the ceiling (check for any knobs or screws that might be holding it up).
2. Make sure the power switch is off.  Pull the cables out from the outlet box in the ceiling and remove the clamps holding the wires from the chandelier to the wires from the house.
3. Follow the instructions from your new chandelier so you know what order the hardware should be in. But basically, you just have to wrap the wires around the wires to the house (it's all color coded) and place the clamp on them to keep them together.

And in less than an hour you have an updated light fixture!! Well two fixtures in my case. I'm sure there are more informative sites that explain the process (and use the correct words for all the steps) but I just wanted to let you guys know how easy it really is. 

This simple change totally updated the look of the room.  If you're interested, the above chandeliers are from the Hampton Bay Caffe Patina collection at The Home Depot

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday Shoesday: Hunter Wellington Boots

By: Danie

Tuesday Shoesday, how I have missed you and I REALLY REALLY mean it! It has been what feels like forever but the holidays are a sweet memory and we can get back to shoes. :) I have been on a shoe binge for the past three weeks, at least one new pair a week! There is a possibility that I might need some help but what is life without awesome shoes?!?

One of my purchases included a pair of Hunter Wellies i.e. Rubber Boots or Rain Boots. They have a very long history dating back to 1856, the original green wellington was manufactured for hunting. These are shoes that I have wanted for the longest time and since spring is right around the corner I decided that singing in the rain would be more fun with these.....
Something that sets Hunter apart are the selections of welly socks to customize your boots and add a little style! I chose the fleece cable knit in a cream color... the possibilities are endless.

Hope you all enjoy your Tuesday Shoesday!

Monday, January 9, 2012

To Fabuloso or Not to Fabuloso ... Should You Switch to Natural Cleaning Products?

By: Danie

To say the least this has been a manic Monday! You know how it is, you were in denial about Sunday being the prelude to Monday and then you wake up at 7am... you can't find anything to wear, your hair is a mess and where heck is your purse?!? Welllst obviously, I'm not the only one but I just wanted to vent a little :)

On to more interesting things like cleaning supplies!

Since my son was born living a healthy lifestyle and setting a good example has been in the forefront of my mind. My mindset was just geared at eating healthy and working out, I didn't think about the cleaning supplies under my sink and exposing my family to potentially harmful chemicals and now that my son is moving about and able to get into things it is really a concern for me.

I love fabuloso, the smell is amazing and I use it to clean everything. I decided to look up what was in my favorite cleaning supply and Glycol Ethers {if you click the link, it will take you the the material safety data sheet} seemed to pop up often. This lead me to the EPA's website to get the low down and basically it says
  • short term exposure to high levels of glycol ethers results in narcosis, pulmonary edema and severe liver and kidney damage
  • long term exposure may result in neurological and blood effects including fatigue, nausea, tremor and anemia.
They didn't have any information on the effect on human's reproductive, developmental or carcinogenic effects but in animal studies there are reproductive and developmental effects. The more I looked into it the sicker I got.... This product is something that I use on my floor where my baby crawls, occasionally on my counter tops and stove. It is a really scary thing when you think of all the health issues that we don't have medical answers for {Autism pops into my mind right about now}. I apologize if I just opened a rabbit hole for everyone! It's one of those things that most of us are aware of but we don't know the details, here is a little article that I found that might expand a little for some of you.

All Natural Options

Well you can do what I did, purchase the largest bottle of white vinegar, peroxide and baking soda and head to the dollar store and buy a bunch of spray bottles. Vinegar is now our go to for cleaning counter tops, it smells strong at first but it goes away very quickly. If you prefer ready made cleaning supplies check out these all natural solutions!

  • Earth Friendly Plus
  • Mrs Meyer's Clean Day
  • Seventh Generation
  • Eco Store
{Also try going to your local Whole Foods, Sprouts or any natural food store- they will have a ton of options}

I'll be honest it is going to take a lot for me to stop using bleach occasionally, I'll just not be using it as often and my cleaning supplies are not staying under the kitchen sink any more. The transition can be difficult especially when you are using the stuff your mother used! Knowing about the potential effects of the things we use on a daily basis is half the battle in being able to protect ourselves, spouses, kids and animals.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Flirting with Fitness

by: Ashley

Finally, it's Friday!!  It was hard going back to work after two weeks of working from home with some vacation days off to spend with the family.  But I'm excited to get back to a fitness post!

It's old news that when you work out with a buddy you stick to your fitness goals better. It's a lot harder to skip the gym when someone else is depending on you to be there.  But last year, I found out that working out with your honey is also really good for your relationship.

A friend of mine convinced me to sign up for the full (26.2!! miles) marathon.  My honey and I had just started dating and were in that phase of getting to know each other.  I asked him a couple times if he wanted to run with me to which he basically said no way in H-E-Double Hockey Sticks!! But he realized that if I was out training that meant we weren't spending time together.  So it didn't take long to get him on board too.

As our training progressed from early summer running about 3 or 4 miles to mid-fall running up to 16 miles, our relationship also grew.  There was nothing to distract us while we ran (besides the occasional side cramp) so we just talked about everything... childhood, life, likes, dislikes, pet peeves, goals and ambitions.  Well, we never made it to running the full marathon (I injured myself on that last 16 mile run) - but it doesn't matter, because we both cherish those months that we spent running together.

This spring I plan on running a half marathon.  And even though my honey doesn't want to run it with me this time around, he is so supportive!! For Christmas he bought me running shoes and some accessories.

So grab your honey, a friend or even a neighbor you've been wanted to get to know.  You can motivate each other to get in shape and you never know what type of relationship will blossom!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Picture Perfect Start to the New Year!

By: Danie

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a fun New Year!

Well, I had a fantastic Christmas this year because my love got me something I have wanted for a very very long time! Behold the greatness that is my new camera....

In high school I took photography and you really learn a lot in that class! However that was many moons ago so my sweet fiance also got me a certificate for Chimpsy. For those of you who aren't in the know {don't worry, I had no idea either :P} this is an online community that caters to photographers, they have  tips and tricks online, videos, online classes and in person classes. The service is available in multiple cities, not just Dallas. It isn't just for learning to use digital SLR cameras you can also learn how to take amazing photos with your point and shoot!

It's amazing how your picture taking increases when you have a kid! You want to document every smile and cry.... the good, the bad, the ugly. I think I need more technical assistance to get the most out of my machine {choosing settings and navigating the options}. 

If you are in the market for a camera I am happy to share this little bit of advice {I have done hours of research} Nikon vs. Canon, one is not better than the other. They are so comparable it is rare that you will read a review that will blatantly say one is better than the other, just go to the store and see which one feels better in your hands. Also, my other reason for choosing the Nikon was because my brother has a Nikon DSLR so we can share lenses and other gadgets.

Here are a couple of photos I took in New York of with my camera!

9/11 Memorial

Baby Michael

Well I just had to tell everyone about my new camera and Chimpsy!! I feel like I have been so lazy lately no blogging, crafting or sewing. In my defense we went on two trips in December and I am currently at death's door, "I've got the black lung pop."
 {I'm not a drama queen...well, maybe a little ;)}

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Playing Catch Up + A Little DIY

by: Ashley

I am going to warn you right now that this will probably be one of my longest posts ever because 1) I spent an entire week away from the blog (it felt like eternity!); 2) I'm super excited about a little DIY project I've been working on; and 3) I get to talk about my wedding :)

So first, let's play catch up.  I was reminded by a very close friend of mine that I promised I would reveal my engagement party dress.  (Remember this post about finding a dress?)  So here it is:

I loved it!! And I received so many compliments on it too!! Apparently sequins are in style, because my blogging partner in crime also wore a sequin dress - and no, we did not consult ahead of time.  Actually my honey picked out this dress for me to try on. Oh - and did you notice in the picture his sequin tie?  My cousin was so nice to let him borrow it for the night ;)

I recommend that all engaged couples have an engagement party. It doesn't have to be fancy, it can just be a little get together.  But it was the first time that my honey and I got to get the people we love together and celebrate this journey that we are on right now. 

Since we are already talking about being engaged, it is a perfect time to introduce my little DIY project.  This has consumed much of my time lately.  My very own doing-it-myself Save the Dates!!! I know that not all our readers are engaged - some are in relationships, married, or happily single.  But you could use this project for anything... christmas cards, family photos, invitations, etc.

Here is what you need:
Photo paper 
(or have the photos printed somewhere like CVS, Target, etc.)
Magnet Sheet (from Blick)
Adobe Illustrator (other softwares will work too)
Tape Runner (Elmer's)
Envelopes (if you are going to send them out)

This is the picture that I used:

Gorgeous background right! And before you ask - I got those shoes several years ago from Saks Off 5th Avenue.  And that "vintage" dress I'm wearing - it IS really vintage.  It's the dress my mom wore on her wedding day.  :)  All I did was add a silver ribbon and flower to accent the waist.  

The pictures were taken by my friends Andrea and Devin (a mother and daughter team).  Check out their other work here. By the way they have all of our engagement photos up on their website!!! You really should go check it out.... like now! 

Ok back to the DIY stuff....
After you pick the picture you just need to add some text - this is where Adobe Illustrator came in handy.  I'm new with Illustrator so I didn't add anything too fancy but I love the way it came out.  Then I printed the pictures, used the tape runner to tape the pictures to the magnet sheet and then cut them out. Take note: use a very sharp pair of scissors on the magnet sheet or your edges will come out jagged. I can't wait to send these pretty little babies off!!

Not everyone has access to Adobe Illustrator or a photo printer.  In that case, I would recommend Minted to have your Save the Dates or invitations printed.  The prices are reasonable and they have lots of cute designs. 

So two days I ago I got hit by the reality train. My wedding is only 5 months away!!! 5 months ago when I was newly engaged that seemed like FOREVER but right now I know it will go by so quickly.  Still so much to do... ahhhh!!!! But right now as I sit next to my honey (he's engrossed in a game of Words with Friends) I feel totally relaxed and at peace because I'm that much closer to marrying the love of my life.  And the day of my wedding, all that matters is making that commitment to each other in front of our family and closest friends. 

And speaking of marriage, I just read an article today that said 25 just might be the magical age to get married at.  Ok so maybe it was a Cosmo article which discounts the credibility - but I'm gonna go with it! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I'm a believer! Tuesday Shoesday

By: Ashley

OMG! We took a longer break than expected from the blog! But after 25 days of straight posting, a small refresher was in order.

My Christmas and New Years were amazing!!! But I'll get to more about that later. Right now I just want to tell you I have been converted. I am now a faithful believer in ... TOMS shoes! My sister got me a pair for Christmas and I couldn't love them more. They are so comfortable!! (and they support a good cause!). Can I please have them in every color and style?

I have the classic style - but they have a wedding collection and wedges!! And they will have ballet flats soon :) and who doesn't love a little sparkle?!