Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Visitors & R+F Giveaway!

What a morning!  It's only 11:00 and I'm already exhausted.  I've been up since 6:30 rushing around before work and straightening up for my Dad's arrival this morning.  I wish I had more time to take off from work but I'm already using 9 of my 10 vacation days for the wedding. 
Saro is picking them up at the airport as we speak.
They're coming from New Orleans.  My aunt is already here from Seattle.  Our friends arrive tomorrow from Iowa and we're meeting up with them for Cuban food!  My cousin arrives from San Francisco on Friday.  Saro's cousins arrive from Los Angeles and Boston this weekend.  My aunt and uncle arrive from Oakland, CA this week.  My other cousin (their daughter) is coming from London with her boyfriend and my other cousin (her brother) is coming with his wife from San Francisco!  Phew.  We can't wait to see everybody and we are so thankful they're making the trip for us! =)
Don't forget to enter the Rodan + Fields giveaway I posted yesterday!  It ends tonight at midnight!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Rodan + Fields Giveaway!!!!!

My first giveaway on the blog!

I'm teaming up with my friend Cara who is an independent consultant for Rodan + Fields.   Their products are amazing.  So far, I've tried their REDEFINE line (click here to see before & after's) and I LOVE the daily facial mask.  It leaves your skin feeling amazingly smooth.  It's like an at home spa treatment!

Here is her website if you'd like to check it out or contact her for more information about the business!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Five on Friday: Favorite Vacations

Good Lorddddddd - TGIF!  I feel like I got hit by a bus and as I was getting ready, I was sneezing non stop.  Oh and have a sore throat!  The trees are blooming so I hope that's all it is.
Plus, I'm mentally checked out of work but still have to get through today and 3 + 1/2 days next week.  Oof.  I don't think I've ever been off for 2 weeks in a row so this is going to be AMAZING.

Today for Five on Friday, I wanted to share my favorite vacations.  I've been lucky to have traveled to a lot of different places so far and I'm sure I have more than 5 but my top ones would be:
1.)  Hawaii.  I've been 3 times.  Twice with my Dad and Grandma and once with my aunt, uncle and cousin.  Quite a far trip from New Jersey but well worth it.  One thing I still think about from there?  Of course it's food.  It was chicken salad in a papaya at the hotel we were staying at.  I had that every day for lunch.  Amazing.
2.)  London.  My Mom took me when I was 15.  We saw Lion King on broadway and of course did all of the touristy stuff.  The weather was mostly dreary but that's normal for England from what I know.  Speaking of London, my cousin from San Francisco now lives there and she's flying out to NY next week for the wedding!

3.)  Ocho Rios, Jamaica.  Saro and I went in 2009 and loved it.  It was our first trip together and his first all inclusive tropical vacation.  I would definitely go back.  We stayed at the Riu and it was HUGE - very nice though.  I will always remember how the clothes in my suitcase literally smelled like the beach/sunscreen for weeks after we got home.  It was the best smell ever.  But I'm also weird and love the smell of SPF.

View from our room at the Riu!
4.)  Lake Winnipesaukee, NH.  This was a girls road trip.  Have you ever seen the movie "What About Bob?"  If not, I'm sorry but we can't be friends.  Just kidding but it's our favorite movie and we wanted to do a girls trip, so why not the lake where the movie was filmed?  Ha.  We stayed at the CUTEST cottage.  I actually just searched for it on Google the other day to see if the family still rents it but couldn't find it :(  Anyway, 5 girls from Jersey definitely stood out like sore thumbs among the country folk.  LOL we had a great time.

Weis Beach, NH - Lake Winnipesaukee

Ha. Hahahaha.
5.)  San Francisco, CA/Napa/Sonoma - Saro and I went in 2010.  My Dad used to live in Berkeley so I know SF pretty well.  I think I've been to Alcatraz at least 8 times, ha.  We stayed right near Fisherman's Wharf which was convenient for touristy things.  We found THE most amazing cafe and had breakfast outside each morning.  We took a wine bus tour to Napa & Sonoma and loved that.  It's GORGEOUS there.  Even if you don't drink wine, I suggest you check it out.  I've heard people say they hated San Francisco.  I just don't understand that at all!  If you're ever there and if you like love garlic, you need to have dinner at The Stinking Rose.


Us at the bottom of Lombard St.
What are some of your favorite vacations?
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wedding Wednesday (a day late): Office Bridal Shower!

Eeeeeeeeek.  It's coming down to the wire now!
10 more days!  I can't believe it.
Only a few more to-do's!
Saro is finishing up some centerpiece decor and place card holders by Monday. 
Pick up my dress
Pickup marriage license
Print out a couple more escort cards
Drop welcome bags at the hotel
Have the rehearsal & lunch
On Tuesday my coworkers threw me a surprise bridal shower!!!  I got a meeting invitation from my boss last week and it seemed normal as we generally have meetings 2x a month.  I noticed a few girls went in 5 minutes early (I sit right in front of the conference room door but didn't see them setting anything up - sneaks! ;)) and I thought it was strange.  Normally my boss makes an announcement over the intercom to come in for the meeting and she hadn't yet.
It was so nice and of course I was embarrassed and turned red (one of the things I don't like about myself but can't help).  We had snacks & cake and I opened their very generous gifts!
I'm lucky to work with great, caring people. 
We went out for happy hour last night for administrative professional's day and my one friend joked that it was my work bachelorette party - LOL.  So we had a bunch of laughs over martinis (ONE from this place and you're basically on your a**).
My coworker is having a problem sending me the shower pictures but I will add them here later once I get them! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Some Things About Moi

Happy Monday folks.  Definitely not feeling the workflow after 3 great days off but hey - only another 7 & 1/2 days of work and then I'm off for 14 - can't complain!
I'm copying this post idea from Angela and Desiree ;)
A - Age: 30
B - Birthday: 12/21
C - Chore you hate:  LAUNDRY.  Every week we have atleast 4 loads of laundry between 2 of us!  It was 6 this week but that's because I washed some clothes I need for our trip that were wrinkled.  I avoid ironing!
D - Drink:  Coffee, water, wine, pomegranate Vintage seltzer
E - Eyes: Blue
F - Favorite color:  Green
G - Gent:  Fiance Saro!
H - Hobby:  Running/exercising, baking, couponing
I - Indulgence:  Real ice cream.  Homemade ice cream from a place near my house, Ben & Jerry's or Haagen Dazs.
J - Job:   Glad to say I only work 1 job now.  40 hours/week.  For 3 years I did 2 jobs/60 hours/week.  I now work 3 miles from home and love it.
K - Kids:  No and we don't plan on it.  Plus I'm not fertile.  Sorry if TMI but I know people are going to start asking me about it soon.
L - Love:  Sunny, warm weather like we've been having the last couple of days.  This winter really bothered me for some reason.  I don't recall the snow/frigid weather bothering me this much in past years. 
M - Music:   Everything from DMB & Fleetwood Mac to Busta Rhymes LOL.
N - Nickname:  Ray, Rach, Pinky 
O - One Wish:  Pay off debt and student loans ASAP!
P - Pet peeve:  When Saro shaves and makes a mess on the sink & mirror and then doesn't wipe it dry.  Oof.
Q - Quote: Enjoy your own life without comparing it with that of another.
R - Residence: Northern NJ.  And what Ang said - I've never heard any of us call it New Joisey.
S - Siblings: I have 1 half brother who lives in Texas.
T - Time you wake up: 7:15 M-F and usually 8AM on the weekends or whenever Murphy starts crying.
U - University:  Montclair State University
V - Vegetables you dislike:  Scallions - ick. 
W - Worst Habit:   Leaving shoes for people (Saro) to trip over.  Oops.
X - X-rays:  Plenty - teeth @ the dentist just 2 weeks ago, my foot when I broke it (not once, but twice), my back.
Y - Yuck:
Z - Zoo (favorite animal): Tiger
I hope you all have a good week.  My Aunt from Seattle arrives this Thursday, Dad & his wife from NOLA & my cousin from CA next week!  Woohoooo!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: My Bachelorette Party!


This past weekend was my bachelorette party.  I did not know what my bridal had planned until we got IN the shuttle bus haha.  I was fine with this.  We ended up doing a winery tour in upstate NY.  It was soooo fun and I enjoy wine so it was perfect.  The weather was PERFECT also.  It was about 70-75 and sunny.  I even got a little tan!
We went to 3 different wineries and tried 20382958 different wines ;)
We got back to Angela's house around 7 and played a couple games.  By 8:30 I was already hungover and ready for bed - Ha!
Without further adieu, the pictures:



I'm very lucky and blessed to have such great friends and my cousin Heather!  I would definietly like to do this again, especially since the wineries are pretty close to home.
I typed, printed and cut all of the place cards last night.  I would be lying if I said it didn't give me a headache.  Oof. 
Only 18 more days!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Potato Pancake Recipe

8 small creamer potatoes
1/3 cup shredded Cabot marble cheese
(or any cheese you prefer,
or you can omit cheese)
3 tbsp flour
2 eggs, whisked
Coconut oil
*You can also add shredded onion or parsley for more flavor
Boil potatoes until soft
Mash potatoes
Add egg, flour & cheese.  Mix.
Heat coconut oil on a pan
Form a handful of the potato mixture into patties
Fry about 5 minutes on each side
Serve with applesauce or sour cream (I tried Breakstone's new Greek Sour Cream)
Not exactly low carb/low cal.  We had it with skirt steak and grilled asparagus.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thrifty Thursday: CVS Deals

Happy Friday Eve!  I'm looking forward to this weekend.  My bachelorette party is on Saturday.  What we are doing is a surprise so I will find out Saturday morning!
Today I'm sharing two CVS deals I got yesterday.
If you go to CVS a lot, you know to scan your discount card at their coupon machine.  So, I did that yesterday and $4.50 Extrabucks came out.  Score!
I went in the first place to get an already good deal - a Venus razor.  I had a $4 off manufacturer coupon and with the purchase of one razor, $5 Extrabucks are issued.  I tried to use the $4.50 but with the tax, I couldn't.  I wanted to buy the Jergens glow lotion so I waited for the 2nd transaction.
So I paid $5 for the razor and got $5 ECB.  Technically "free" but I still shelled out $5.
The coupon machine also printed a $4 off $20 moisturizer coupon.  Jergens was having a deal - spend $20, get $5 ECB.  I grabbed a face lotion, body lotion and two travel size Aveeno (to meet the $20)
So, I used the $4 off $20, $4.50 ECB and $5 ECB.  My total was $8.26 and now I have $5 ECB :)

Here's my "thing" about couponing - while I paid $5 for the razor and got $5 ECB, it's not really free.  It's $5 to use towards my next purchase, which is what I did and spent the $8.26.  So, I guess $13.26 for a razor, two Jergens and two mini Aveenos.  The razor is normally $8.49 and the lotions are normally $11.99 each so this was still a pretty good deal!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Dr. Seuss Themed Baby Shower

This weekend I hosted my cousin's baby shower.  My Aunt, my cousin's sisters-in-law and a couple of her friends also helped out.  I was in charge of the invitations, cake, diaper cake, and RSVPs.
Her sister in law decided to go with a Dr. Seuss theme.  Everything came out really cute and the shower was fun.  She purchased the printables from Etsy and printed them herself.
Vera Bradley luggage tags with Dr. Seuss poem

Table numbers, place card and favor
Oh! The Places You'll Go!

Dr. Seuss poster

Diaper cake made by your truly

Gift tables

The cake matched the invitation (she wanted a book theme)

Have a good week!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: The Music!

Three hours.  That's how long it took to pick out the songs for our wedding last night.  That doesn't include ANY of the songs people will be dancing to during the reception.   We did give him a list of songs we don't want and a few songs we definitely do want.  The key is to get as many people dancing as possible and we trust they'll do just that.
I'll share some of the names of the songs but not all ;)
We chose:
*Our song
*Mother son song
*Father daughter song (Landslide, Fleetwood Mac)
*Mother daughter song (Forever Young, Rod Stewart - acoustic version)
 *Cocktail hour music (a mix of our favorites - DMB, Depeche Mode, Van Morrison, Frank Sinatra, etc.)
 *Ceremony prelude
*Ceremony bridal party processional
*Ceremony bridal music
*Ceremony recessional song
*Parent entrance song into reception
*Bridal party song into reception (The Best Day of My Life, American Authors)
*Our song into reception (My favorite of ALL!! It's a secret.)
*Cake cutting/feeding songs (A Love That Will Last, Renee & 1979, Smashing Pumpkins)
It was a lot of fun and we have some pretty unique tunes.
I can't wait - 32 more days!!!!!!! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

All the Random Things

*Despite the fine weather we're finally having in NJ, I'm feeling blah.  I haven't done T25 since last Thursday and it's annoying me.  We had a friend's wedding Friday night which was a lot of fun, Saturday I felt hungover and we did a bunch of errands when we got home.  Sunday, I got things done around the house in the morning, then we went to a family get together and lastly, took my Mom out for her birthday.  Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment followed by my last dress fitting and then food shopping!!  I got home at 8:00 and then we cooked dinner.  By then it was 9:30.
I am pretty sure it won't get done today either because I work until 5, we're taking Murphy to the vet at 6 and our emcee is coming over at 8:00 for our "creative session" for the wedding.  I am sure that will last about two hours.  Excuses, ugh.  I could get up at 6:15 but I'd really rather not.  Tomorrow through Sunday, there will be no excuses.  I do have to host my cousin's baby shower on Saturday and we're leaving at 9:00, so I'll get up at my normal time of 7:15 and get it done.
*I've been feeling very tired lately, especially come 3:00 p.m., despite sleeping from 10:30-7:15 almost daily.  I saw my endocrinologist yesterday and he said I need to give him a lead as to why I'm tired.  Um, I have no idea.  After talking with him for a good 45 minutes, he said it's probably stress.  I can't argue that.
*Today I started another 30 day green smoothie challenge.  I blended 1/4 cup almonds (soaked overnight), 1 cup almond milk, strawberries and blueberries, half of a banana, cinnamon and spinach.  It was good!
*33 days until we're married! 

*I just ordered 200 succulents today for the wedding. Hmm, what to do with all of those after.  Ha!  I'll think of something.
Have a good day!