Monday, March 24, 2014

Fastest 5K in 1 year!

If you've been reading my blog, you know I had a back injury last April after running 9 miles, 2 weeks before running my first half marathon.  An MRI showed a minor slipped disc/herniation.  Minor felt like major.  The pain was horrible.
Anyway, since then, I pretty much avoided running (after somehow managing to make it through the 13.1 miles).  I started Couch to 5K a few months ago but as the miles increased, I started to feel the pinch in my back again.  So, being stubborn and determined, I started Focus T25 10 weeks ago.  I've pretty much followed the schedule to a "T" minus about 3-4 days.
Yesterday I just had the itch to go for a run.  Although it was cold and windy, I was going to go for 2 miles.  After that, I looked at my phone and was shocked at my time - 20:26.  I didn't even feel like I was going fast (to me, 10 min/mile is fast).  I've done a 9 min/mile but never quicker than that.
I was still about a mile from home so I decided to go for the 3.1.  I finished in 33:17.  As I logged it into Map my run, I noticed that it was my fastest time for 3.1 in exactly one year!
I don't plan on training for another half marathon.  I definitely think physical therapy and cross training/T25 has helped strengthen my core.  I am sore today - legs and abs because I haven't ran that in a while.
I do plan on signing up for the GWB American Cancer Society in June.  It'll be the 3rd year in a row.
I start the Beta phase of Focus T25 today - yikes.
Have a good day!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thrifty Thursday

Happy Thursday and first day of Spring!  Hallalujah!  Finally!  I felt like his was the longest winter ever.  I do love a good snow storm but after about 4 in a row, it got old quick.
On to Thrifty Thursday with Mean Ang!
I have two baby showers coming up.  One is this weekend for my sister in law and one in 2 weeks for my cousin.  I got them some stuff off of their registries but I figured since diapers are expensive, I'd buy some for each of them - all different sizes.  Babies grow quick ;)
This definitely isn't my best couponing deal but to me, it's not bad for 160 diapers!
I shopped at CVS for:
5 Jumbo Pamper packs (32 in each) $8.99 on sale from $12.49
If you spent $30 on these products, you got $10 ECB.  So, I purchased 4 packs, got the $10 ECB and bought another pack.
1st Transaction:
4 jumbo Pampers - $8.99 x 4 = $35.96
I used (2) $1.50 off manufacturer coupons
Total: $32.96
$10 ECB issued
2nd transaction:
1 jumbo Pampers $8.99
1 pack of gum $1.57 (when did GUM get so expensive by the way?!)
Total: $10.57
I used the $10 ECB so I paid $0.57
So, $33.53 for 160 diapers ($0.21 each) and 1 pack of gum.  I saved $30.50.
I was going to go to Buy Buy Baby and use their store coupons plus the manufacturer coupons but I quickly learned they do not take their store coupons for diapers.  Fail.
For the Moms out there - was this a pretty good deal?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wedding Wednesday!

The invitations went out on Saturday!
My Mom's friend has been in the printing/invitation business for 30 years so we went to her. 
We chose very simple invitations, RSVP cards and accommodation cards.  I typed up direction cards myself.
Not the best picture.  It's hard to see, but there's gray cardstock behind the actual invitations.

My Mom also works in printing so we chose to have them engraved on thick card stock.

We chose to have the names and addresses printed on the outer and inner envelopes.  It came out really nice!

Here's the ensemble:


One of my shower gifts was a Crate & Barrel gift card so I used that to buy our champagne flutes for the reception.  I recycled the burlap from the bridal shower favor and leftover Scrabble letters to do this:

We also applied for the marriage license on Monday and I had the programs designed on Etsy for just $18!  I know I will have to pay to get them printed though, too.

I go for my 2nd dress fitting tonight.

46 days to go - so close!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Fashion Tuesday

Happy Tuesday!
Fashion.  I'm not really into it - mainly because I don't follow what's "in" and what's not.  I like to look nice and on occasion, get dressed up.  Before I started my current job, I spent a decent amount of money on new clothes.  We are expected to dress up every day.  After a while, it gets annoying (and expensive!).  I end up wearing the same 3-4 pants, 4-5 shirts and couple of skirts or dresses every week.  Bleh.
I did love my dress that I picked out for my bridal shower though!  I can definitely wear it to work with a cardigan over it.  That was a rare find at Macy's for around $30 on sale and after a coupon (Duh).
I found this dress on Modcloth (2% back from Ebates) yesterday (shopping for my bachelorette party) and fell in love with it right away.  I told Saro about it but that I wasn't sure because of the price. 
Well, he bought it for me!  What a nice fella.  I can't wait to try it on! :)
I wanted something white-ish for the party but not all white.  I think this is exactly what I had in mind.
I'm not going to shop for a rehearsal dinner dress.  Or rather, lunch, since that's what we're doing.  During the day, it'll be more casual and I know I have a couple of dresses at home for that!
Have you ever shopped on Modcloth?  I love it!  Their prices are pretty reasonable.
Come back tomorrow for Wedding Wednesday:  The Invitations!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Five on Friday: The Next 5 Weekends

Happy Friday!
Besides our wedding, we have a LOT going on, especially the next 5 weekends in a row!
Tonight, my bridesmaids are coming over to help me with the invitations.  They need to go out ASAP - like, tomorrow morning.
1.)  Weekend of 3/14:  Tomorrow I'm heading to Atlantic City, NJ with about 12 good friends to celebrate my friend's bachelorette party.  It will definitely be a fun time.  Hmm, I still need to find something to wear.
*Monday we will probably go out for St. Patrick's Day - at least for a little bit.  It seems wrong not to.*
2.) Weekend of 3/22:  My sister-in-law's baby shower!  I was in charge of the invitations and cake.  Then hopefully going out to celebrate my good friend's 30th birthday.
3.)  Weekend of 3/28:  My friend from #1's WEDDING weekend in Sussex County, NJ.  Spending the night there.  Also, my Mom's birthday is 3/30.
4.)  Weekend of 4/5:  My cousin/matron of honor's baby shower!  Babies, babies everywhere!  I was also in charge of the invitations and cake for this shower.
5.)  Weekend of 4/12:  My bachelorette party!  I do not know what they have planned yet :)
Phew....then 2 weekends of "rest" before the wedding!  Plus Easter.  Yikes - a lot of things but all good, happy and fun things.
Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: My Bridal Shower!

This past Sunday was my bridal shower!  It was a GREAT day!
I knew the date but none of the details.  I felt very anxious all morning.  I can't pinpoint why I get that way but I guess I have an anxiety problem.  I was also really excited too so it was a weird feeling.
Around 12:15, Saro blind folded me and we were on our way. 
Here are pictures in no particular order:
Dress made out of my favorite Italian cookies from my bridesmaid and her Grandma aka Nonna
The great gift for both of us from the bridal party - personalized bags filled with stuff for our honeymoon!
My MIL, SIL and Saro's daughters
Saro and I with our coworkers from when we first started dating.

My Matron/cousin Heather, Gram and I
Soon-to-be Husband!
Pictures from my bridesmaids weddings and one empty frame for our wedding picture :)
From my bridesmaid Nahira.
My mom, me, Gram, cousins and Aunt
Me with my "bouquet"
Dessert table - Italian cookies, Scrabble cake made by my bridesmaid, and Mediterranean pastries.
My bridal party!
Super cute soap favors!
Wishing well!


Each person filled out a recipe card :)

 There are many more great pictures.  It was truly one of the best days ever.  My bridal party, Mom, Saro's Mom & Sis all did a great job with everything.  Everything was very "me" and I just loved it!!!!  I'm very thankful for great friends and family.
Only 53 more days to go! 


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Things I Could Never Quit Link Up

Happy Tuesday!
Today I'm linking up with a fellow bride blogger, Morgan at Believe In The Sparks - to list the things I could never quit.
So here goes.
I could never quit...
1.)  Talking to my "puppy boy" Murphy like he's an actual baby.  I just can't.  His face and mannerism's kill me.
2.)  A job without finding a new one.  This has nothing to do with my current job but I just thought of that.  It's hard to find a job nowadays!
3.)  Coffee with Half and half.  I've tried almond milk, skim milk, Skim Plus half and half, just black - GROSS.  I don't think 2 tbsp. per day will kill me.
4.)  Looking for coupon codes before shopping online or printable coupons before I go to a store.  Once you start couponing, you never go back!  I would literally never go to Bed Bath & Beyond without a 20% off coupon.  Sorry not sorry.
5.)  Calling Saro "Seero."  It's been 7 years now and I just don't see that changing.  Lol I honsetly don't even remember how it started.
Come back tomorrow for Wedding Wednesday: My Bridal Shower!!!  Here's a sneak peak.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Frugal Friday

I went to Target last night to stock up on some household items.  They're having a deal until tomorrow, 3/8.  It's $20 off of $50 - select household items.
You can check out the weekly ad on their website to see what's included.
Here's what I went with:
Clorox toilet wand on sale for $7.49 (from $8.59)
Two 170 oz ALL laundry detergents for $11.99 each so $23.98
One 24 pack Scott TP for $15.99 (from $18.49)
I had a $2 off coupon for 2 All's plus the $20 off $50.

Total: $31.05
Savings: $26.60
You can also look at it as if I got one All and the Clorox wand for free.
There are a lot of other items/brands included but these are the ones we use the most.

Have a great weekend! 


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Couponing & Wedding Wednesday: 60 Days To Go!

I've posted a few couponing deals on the blog before and I wanted to share last night's Shoprite deal.  A friend had a little couponing get together on Sunday night.  I've learned most couponing how-to's from Mean Ang.
It definitely takes some time but it's definitely worth it.  I look forward to grabbing the newspaper Sunday mornings and clipping coupons in my PJ's.
Anyway, here it is:

4 Vidal Sassoon shampoo/conditioner $2.49 - on sale for $1.99 and I had (4) $2 off of EACH one so they were free!
1 large sized Olay body wash - $5.99 - on sale for $5.49 and I had a 75 cent coupon which doubled to $1.50 off so $3.99
3 Colgate Optic White toothpaste - $3.49 - on Sale for $2.49 and I had (2) $1.50 off coupons so $4.47 for 3
I also got a $3 Catalina coupon for my next purchase so roughly $6.40 for the above 8 items!
Do you coupon?
I can't believe it's less than 2 months away.  We still have to do the following: 
Mail Invitations
Make the favors
Mail rehearsal invitations
Meet with the officiant to discuss the ceremony (Orthodox/Catholic versus Catholic - the first option is longer and we have to supply our own crowns.  A lot of the pieces are repeated 3 times.  To discuss with parents first..)
Meet with the DJ to pick out music and first dance songs
Finalize dress alterations
Get marriage license
Seating chart
Final payments
That's pretty much it!   Eeek!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

We'll Travel

I'm already anticipating the time when people start asking me if/when we will have kids.  I understand it's conversation and it is one of the main reasons people get married - to start a family.  My family and most of my friends know that I can't but it's more the coworkers and acquaintances that don't.  I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable or make them feel bad.  I've known for 14 years that I can't so it's not exactly devastating.
Recently Saro and I talked about it and we would really like to fill our time with traveling.  Saro is more of a homebody than I am but I know once he's out there, he will thoroughly enjoy seeing the world.  I know a lot of people say they want to travel the world and see so many different places.  I also know it's harder to do once a family is started.  Impossible?  No, but just less likely from what I've seen/heard.
Right now I get 2 weeks vacation at work.  After 3 years, it's 3 weeks - which is great!  Plus ample personal time.  At my last job, it was after 6 or 7 years, you only got an additional ONE DAY vacation, so 11 days versus 15.  I'm very thankful for my job and the great benefits.
There are so many places I'd like to see - Italy, Ireland, the French Polynesia, Alaska, Glacier National Park, and more.
On another note, Happy Mardis Gras AKA Fat Tuesday!  Coincidence that the cupcake place in town has Two for Tuesday today?  I think not.  My coworkers go each week and I've said NO.  Every.   Single.  Time.  Today I might treat myself :)