Behind the scenes

9.30.2013

If you're a seasoned reader around these parts you would know earlier this year I was posting GOBS of wedding pictures and giving you the behind the scenes play by play as to the thoughts and emotions behind our big day.

Like...when I just knew I wouldn't fit into the dress, 30 minutes prior to walking down the aisle
or why I would encourage any bride to ask their photographer to capture a "first look".

Since Joe and I are approaching out 11th month of marriage (thats just CRAZY) and I have recently become "re-infatuated" with our wedding pictures I thought I would share with you another tip that I would recommend to any bride. Have an outfit change! Why?

  • 1. It's the Pinterest/Cool thing to do...can't believe I just said that
  • 2. Your wedding dress WILL weigh 34093485608 pounds and you will be thanking me when you are sweating and it's 110 degrees under all that tule. I promise you this will happen...even if it's snowing and your guests are decked in their most pretentious parkas. Just trust me...
I love, love, loved my "reception dress" it was cute, sassy, and cool (as in temperature). And I got to show off my rocking blue heels like I said, win win. 




And as always all Pictures were taken by the fabulous Stephanie Rose Photography




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DIY Pallet Shelf

9.27.2013

Crafty McCraferton over here, sharing with you my most favorite DIY yet!

Meet the Pallet Shelf DIY!
Want to know the real reason it is my favorite DIY?
I did hardly any work to this rugged little gem and thats what makes it so lovable. I didn't need a hammer, saw or even goggles! We were even able to do this project on our apartment balcony. Sshhh don't tell management.


Meet the star of the show. Want to know how to find great pallets? Well you could steal, indefinitely borrow from your local Fresh Market like my fellow Texan friend did, or you can scout out "Free Pallets" on the ever so sketchy Craig's List...it worked well for me. 

Word to the wise...make sure and do a little research on which pallets you may be plucking before putting them in your home. Check out this info to help you make the perfect pallet selection.



Step 1: Sand that puppy down! Although we love the rugged look of pallets, splinters are no one's friend! Sand paper used for wood did the trick. You don't need it baby bottom smooth so just do a once over. **Use gloves to ensure you don't ruin any manicures or delicate skin**


Step 2: Wipe off excess dust from sanding. You won't want all the dust hanging out on your stain paint brush. 


Step 3: Using disposable paint brushes, apply one coat of stain per jar's instructions. We didn't wipe off too much of the stain because we liked the darker color we achieved from leaving the stain on.
The Stain Joe and I used was Min Wax "Red Mahogany 225" Make that two small jars we used since we were not conservative with stain usage/wiping.
Then let pallet dry overnight


Step 4: Using Mix Wax "Fast Drying Polyurethane"and disposable foam brushes,  give pallet clear coat to make it a little classier. Don't mind my wardrobe.
Again, let dry overnight. But don't bring inside to dry...you will wake up with a few less brain cells and a killer headache...so I've been told.


Step 5: Attach "French Cleat" to back of pallet per directions.
This invention is brilliant! We were able to hang this incredibly heavy pallet in only the drywall. Believe me I was super skeptical at first, but after some research a "French Cleat" is the way to go!


Step 6: Cover pallet in little knick-nacks then stand back and admire your creativity!

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Digital Detox

9.25.2013



Starting last week Joe and I decided to have a little "Digital Detox". Turn off the phones, computers, iPad, TV, video game etc. All too often we are caught just sitting on the couch so absorbed in technology that we can go without speaking a few words...talk about horrifying.

The Good:
Let's face it, if we didn't have technology you wouldn't be reading this right now. There have been more advances in technology than in any other form of improvement. Think about it...I am still in awe of the technology we take for granted on a daily basis. Case and point:

I have not visited my bank in the past year because of online banking. I can manage my accounts online and on each pay day, I rely on the BofA "ap", take a cute little picture of my check and bam...the money is ready to spend...I still have yet to really digest this phenomenon.

Or how about when I'm running, I can listen to free Music from Pandora and then receive a phone call from Joe and switch to the phone call with the swipe of a finger on a touch screen...NUTS.

The Bad:
Do you remember the days without technology...yes reeeeeach way back in that brain of yours. I remember (thankfully) when I was younger we were thrown outside to play until dark and we weren't allowed to come inside unless we were bleeding or puking. Bathroom and meals were acceptable, but you get the picture. We didn't sit inside with all of the video game and electronics and I certainly didn't have a phone until I was 16. Seems crazy right?

The Ugly:
Technology has become almost and additional appendage. You may be able to relate, but my phone is on me constantly...even at night right beside the bed. For what reason? I have no idea. I guess in case of emergency? Technology has almost become another member of the family, an inanimate object that takes up far too much of our time. Yes, I see that I'm calling the kettle black but I 100% fess up that I'm addicted to my phone/social media/technology. So much that I decided to take a stand against it.


Our first night was a little odd at first. We didn't really know what exactly to do with our time. But it was amazing to unplug, relax and actually have a night of conversation rather than silence as we each sat on either end of the couch "surfing" away on the web. Super unhealthy habit that I'm glad we are attempting to step away from.

What do you do to "unplug" from technology?

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My First Blind "Blate"

9.23.2013

This weekend was a blast! We signed up for the Color Me Rad race not quite remembering that I had run a half marathon a mere 6 days prior...wait how could I "forget"? I know, I know, I'm not sure where my mind was except Color Me Rad which if you don't know what it is...check out this sweet video of EXACTLY what we got to do Saturday afternoon.

What was even 2409486 more exciting was that I got to meet the LOVELY Adriana from "Dog Hair is an Accessory".
This is also an explanation for this post's title.
"Blate"= blogger date
See, I have known this awesome chick since I have started blogging and we finally decided to become real life friends "RLF".
Pretty awesome if you ask me...and zero creepy at all.
I think we could have just sat and stared at each other and we still would have had a blast. This girl rocks and I'm so glad she's only 1.5 hours from Albany

Before 

After 

I swear these pictures don't quite do the amount of colored cornstarch justice.
Let's just say there was color in places I didn't even know existed, and we all seem to still be a faint tinge of avatar blue today.
But SO worth it, and love love love this gal more than I already did! Can't wait to catch up with her and her Boo next time.

Speaking of blog friends, my blog "BFF" Laura got a group of wonderful ladies together to share a Fall giveaway with YOU!





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13.1 Recap

9.19.2013


First off I want to thank each and every one of you for the outpouring of love and support I received throughout my 13.1 training journey.

Yesterday was the first day I was able to go without around the clock doses of Advil and walking around hunched over and clenching my hip and quads...pretty cute huh?

I first want to give you another reader's insight to long distance running. The funny gal over at The Lady Okie explains 10 reasons why running a marathon is like having a baby. You MUST read her post...definitely spot on to the things I felt this Sunday.



At the beginning of this running journey the farthest I had ever continuously run was maaaaaaybe 3 miles, which is a stretch. Within 20 weeks I had slowly reached a continuous 10 mile run. I enjoyed training because each day I was able to push myself farther than I had EVER run before. It was a great feeling.

Want an even better feeling? Running across the finish line after 13.1 intense miles!

Sunday morning we woke up at 5:00 to 43 degree weather and a large pit of butterflies in my stomach. I was thankful to have family in town this weekend to help cheer me on. My Aunt acytially completed her very first 5K this weekend! So awesome!
Once we got to Saratoga I joined the other 1,500 runners at the starting line.

  • Miles 1-4 were a breeze (minus a couple of up hill climbs) through Skidmore College and the mansions surrounding the college. We then passed back through the starting line where the crowds were still gathered which seemed to give everyone a pep in their step around mile 4.
  • Miles 5-9 were through Saratoga Spa State Park and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Mile 8 was where I hit a mental brick wall. At this point, my hip was starting to burn and my right knee had already been on fire for the past 4 miles, for the first time ever may I add...irritating.I was cursing myself for attempting such thing and there was NO WAY I would be able to make it 5 more miles.
  • Miles 10-11 eased up a little bit. I began to take multiple walking breaks at the water stations. I'm telling you, grape gatorade never tasted so delicious! This was the part where we ran around the horse stables of the race track which was really neat to see. The volunteers were great and helped to keep us motivated.
  • Mile 12 I was determined to run the entire way. It was more like a waddle. I cannot explain to you the joy I felt when I turned the corner and saw the time clock. I had made it...somehow, someway I made it and did it for Wheels. He was the true reason I was able to cross that finish line.
Overall my goal was to complete the race in under 3 hours, even if it meant crawling across the finish line. Although I wasn't one of the fastest I am sill incredibly proud of my time, and the fact that I even finished. 2:34 was my final time and I'll have to admit, I'm still in awe and wonder how the heck I did it!




            
**Those are DEFINITELY Texas flag shorts I was sporting this weekend!**

Although I don't think I will be attempting another in the near future, I can't wait to get back into more races. It's such an exciting atmosphere...and quite addicting I might add.

Again, thank you for your support and love during this entire process. Can't wait to start the next running adventure.

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Pumking Cinnamon Beer Recipe

9.18.2013

Hello lovely readers,
I apologize for my absence so far this week...I have just been icing my achey breaky knees, hips, and quads!
I'm here to tell you that I indeed finished survived my 13.1 this past Sunday and I can't wait to share it with you tomorrow!
Yes, I'm keeping you in the dark a little longer.

For now I want to let you in on the greatest Fall secret I discovered this weekend. My Aunt and I were on a mission to find a great pumpkin beer...as in tastes more like pumpkin spiced pie rather than beer. It took us a few pints and multiple phone calls around the capital region to find it, but we were finally successful, and it was delicious if I might add.



Meet "Pumking" beer, native to the grand 'ol Empire State. As described on the bottle this awesome beer includes the most amazing fall flavors such as: caramel, almond, vanilla, cinnamon, pureed pumpkin...are you drooling yet?

We decided to serve our ghoolish brew in a cinnamon and sugar honey dipped rim. To say it was magical would be an understatement. I would highly recommend this clever cocktail recipe to any Fall connoisseurs
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Why I'm running 13.1 miles

9.10.2013

I have had many people ask why I am running this half-marathon (5 days people!!)
Besides a genuine "I just wanted to see if I could", theres one huge motivator in my life.
It's a motivator that makes up for the sore knees and hips, blisters, calloused heels and sheer exhaustion.

That motivator is my Dad.

As many of you may know, I'm an oncology nurse, which was an absolute God thing because of what my family was going through at the time. Want more details? Check out "Why I do what I do".

March of 2011, my dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 Follicular Lymphoma. A diagnosis that was explained to my family as "slow growing cancer, incurable, but manageable at times".
WHAM...you're invincible, you're family is invincible until you hear the "C word".


Did you know September happens to be Leukemia and Lymphoma awareness month?
Coincidence? I think not.

Did you know that an average of 1000 people are diagnosed with lymphoma every day?
It doesn't really resonate until your family becomes a statistic.

All lymphomas are represented by the color lime green.
This weekend I am wearing lime green in honor of my Dad and my patients.





I'm running 13.1 miles because:

  • My Dad would do it for me in a heartbeat.
  • There are so many patients of mine who wish they could, but will never have the opportunity to.
  • I want to bring awareness to the incurable disease my Dad battles daily.
  • I want to fight for my Dad.
  • I would rather have sore legs, hips etc. than having to run a day without my Dad.
Little history lesson:
Back in middle school and high school I was a competitive sprinter, nick named "Gazelle", a girl after my Daddy's heart. 
Dad was also a competitive sprinter back in high school and college and just happened to also have a nick name, "Wheels". 
To this day, I have never beat my dad in a sprint...EVER. 
But I want to continue to share that special bond with him, until we are both old and gray with grandchildren (his great-grandchildren).

Wheels is the one who will keep me running this weekend. This one's for you Dad!




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T-minus 140 hours

9.09.2013

It's RACE WEEK!
If you're new here, check out this post explaining why I currently have sweaty palms, heart palpitations and butterflies in my stomach.


We are t-minus 140 hours 6 days until the big half-marathon, but who's really counting...

I have participated in 5K "walks" before, but never a legitimate race including race bibs, registration packets, and pit stops.
To say I will be a deer in the headlights may be an ounce of an understatement.
But heck, I'll cut the pessimism and tell you what I'm most excited about!

I am so excited that my Aunt and Uncle will be in town this Friday and will be cheering me on at the race.
My Aunt is running the 5K race so we are excited to "carb load" and have a good reason for it, for once.

I'm excited to share with you the reason why I'm running in tomorrow's post...hope you'll stop by!

I'm excited that the race weather is predicted to be mid 50's on Sunday morning. Brrr, but secretly excited about it.

I'm excited that I will get to be part of the "13.1 club", and be one of those runners who puts the sticker on the back of my car...yep get ready for it folks!

Thanks in advance for the good vibes I'll need sent my way this upcoming Sunday.
Thank you to everyone for your support through this journey so far. Can't wait to show you and myself that I've got this!
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DIY Mason Jar Terrarium

9.05.2013

Yesterday was a sweet, sweet day. I was cancelled from work! Those little surprises in life sure do a crafty soul well.
I was able to vomit decorate everything fall. I know, I know, it's becoming an obsession.

I was also able to do a little crafting that I'm excited to share with you today.
Get excited, this was one easy with a capital "E".

This is the tutorial for a DIY Mason Jar Open Terrarium.
I emphasize open because we will be using succulents.



Step 1:
Collect your supplies//
1 wide mouth mason jar
Small rocks/pebbles 
Cactus & Citrus soil. (This is super important!)
Succulent/plant of choice. I chose a Zebra Cactus which is part of the succulent family

** The reason that it's important to use cactus soil is because it is fast draining, unlike regular potting soil which locks in moisture. Succulents are naturally in a dry environment with lots of sunshine and sparse water resources. We are trying to mimic this climate as much as possible.**
Step 2:
Layer rocks on bottom of mason jar about 1/4 of the way full. Placing rocks at the bottom of the mason jar helps to facilitate irrigation. **Remember succulents don't like to remain drenched.**

Step 3:
Fill jar 1/4 full of cactus soil and separate roots on succulent to promote continuing growth. 
Manhandle that plant, it's ok, they are resilient.
Step 4:
Place plant in top of mason jar so that most of the plant remains outside of jar. 
Pack additional cactus soil around plant to fill jar. 

Ta-Da! Now that was easy with a capital "E" right?
Now get on with your bad self, and don't to forget to Pin this tutorial!


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Coffee Date

9.03.2013

Hiya, how's it going? Happy Tuesday! I would love to sit and share a cup of coffee with you...won't you join?



If we were having coffee, I'd tell you I am a nervous wreck about my upcoming half marathon. The longest run I have completed to date is 9 miles. I'm pretty sure I could make another 4.1...but that's still a looooong way. Prayers appreciated friends!

If we were having coffee, I'd want to know if you're as excited about fall as I am. I went decor hunting the other day and struck gold. New fall placemats, pumpkins and home simmer potpourri. Yes, it's only September 3rd, but I'm soaking it all in this year.

If we were having coffee, I'd let you know that today, the hubby and I are celebrating 10 months of wedded bliss. We have been chatting about our plans for next years big anniversary trip. We basically both decided that a beach is the only must have at this point.

If we were having coffee, I'd ask you what type of coffee is your favorite...such things can say a lot about a person.
Oh my favorite coffee you ask? Dunkin iced caramel coffee with cream please.

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you I miss home, and I'm anxious about celebrating the holidays by ourselves this year. I'm praying and praying and praying that we will get to make it home the early part of December for a short visit home.

If we were having coffee, I'd love to hear more about you and your happenings in life...what would you share with me?

Idea used from Sunny with a Chance of Sprinkles

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My definition of "Labor Day"

9.02.2013

Today was one of the rare days/holidays that I get to spend away from work.
Being a nurse involves a 24 hour a day, 365 days a year commitment.
Holiday pay is included, but it's nice to have some of the normal perks at times.

So what did we do this Labor Day? Absolutely NOTHING. And it was beyond glorious!
We took it as a mission to be as lazy as possible. And you know what?
I think we did one heck of a job at it...you be the judge.



Yeah? Yeah? Anyone else find this solution to lazy brilliant? We were pretty tickled with ourselves!

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