Saturday, March 5, 2011

We Took the Plunge...

...and adopted two kittens!!

So for the past couple weeks Stephen and I have been seriously considering/looking for a new addition to our family unit. We spent several hours in Feeder's Supply and a general store in the next county over looking at kittens/cats. Stephen's the cat person, I'm the dog person and we would both love to have both but right now a dog just isn't feasible. So.....

We decided to compromise and got two cats!! They are two male cats 10 months-1 year that had been found on the side of the road and had been taken in by a local shelter. They were brothers and have been together since the beginning and we just couldn't separate them, so we decided to go ahead and get both.02.78]\ Speaking of the devils, one of them, just walked all over the

Here is Oso (Spanish for "bear" and also Stephen's nickname given to him by his cousins and also the name of a dog we met while we were in Guatemala. Stephen and I have both had an affinity for this name and I think it fits this cat.)

And this is Marley. We didn't really have a reason for this name, no story behind it, just one that both of us liked and agreed upon.

We've had a good time so far, they're very playful and love being held and patted. We're excited about our new additions!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"A New Way to Save the Date" and Other Wedding Inspiration!

Right now it's almost 7 o'clock.... in the morning..... on a Saturday. (ugh, I should be sleeping). But when I can't sleep I like to peruse my fellow blogger's posts. This browsing has determined the subject matter of this post! And I can't think of anything being more fitting than.... you guessed it: Wedding!

So I found this amazing STD (save the date) video on the blog Southern Bells. I think it's super cute and really neat but I'm not sure if Stephen and I are cool enough for something like this (ha!) and I also think there are a lot of older relatives on our guest list that don't work a computer on a regular basis! Anyway, enjoy...

Lex & Loren - Engagement/Save the date! from Brinton Films on Vimeo.

In the past week, Stephen and I have actually made some head-way in the planning process of our own wedding.

1. One of my bridesmaid dresses came in (yea, just one, go figure). I'm in love with it! We ended up selecting these beauties from David's Bridal and we were actually surprised by this. The girls also tried on some designer dresses but ultimately found the construction and quality were lacking when compared to David's. So we went with these:
2. Stephen, my mother and I all met with a potential wedding coordinator this past Saturday to discuss literally EVERYTHING regarding the ceremony and reception decor, linens, flowers, etc... Below are some images that I have found online that coincide with that image of the wedding that I have in my head!
  • I'm in L-O-V-E with kissing balls and plan to incorporate them throughout the ceremony and reception.
I love how these are lining the isle, exactly what I picture for my own wedding but probably in blue hydrangeas.
 I'm also in love with this image and how the balls frame and drape the altar. I love this as inspiration because Stephen and my dad are planning to build an altar for our wedding. Of course the colors would be in the greens, blues and whites, but I still love this one.
  • I'm loving the rustic, vintage, natural simple elegant decor options like mason jars, vintage china, blue hydrangeas, etc...
3. One idea that I'm playing with is using a patterned, fabric runner. I saw it used in a magazine with a gray and yellow color scheme and thought it was beautiful. I'm still toying with this idea, fabric by the yard can get pretty expensive! I think something with a lighter print would be gorgeous as it would not take away from the ceremony but would be something different. I found this print online, (I have yet to actually scour fabric stores for actual possibilities).

4. We also met with a potential caterer this past Wednesday. I think he's the one seeing as how he and Stephen's dad spent a large part of the night reminiscing about their old home-town New York and everything New York! It doesn't hurt that the food was delicious either!

5. Finally, we've spoken with two separate photobooth companies. I'm still toying with this idea also, but everyone who has had one or has been to a wedding that has one has said that everyone loved it.

So that's about it on this early Saturday morning! If anyone has any suggestions or tips about any of the ideas I've talked about I'd love to hear 'em!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Wedding Catch-up

It's so hard to believe that Chicken Butt and I still have 8 more months until our wedding. I feel like we've been engaged forever and that it's gonna be forever before October gets here. I guess that's what I get for A) wanting a fall wedding, B) wanting to wait until I graduated grad school and C) wanting to wait until I had been working for a while...

Anyway, since it seems like we still have FOREVER, we've been taking the planning slowly. I thought I would catch you up on what we've done/perused recently.

 I guess the biggest thing is...I said YES TO MY DRESS! My mom and I went out shopping, once I could finally wrap my head around shopping for a wedding dress. It was a great experience but I did regret not being able to include my MOH and BM since they were both out of town for grad school. Anyway I can't wait to wear it and take pics to show everyone, just 8 more months (still seems like forever).

There were some things that surprised me about my choice and it really wasn't what I had in mind at all, but it was beautiful and looked amazing and ultimately I think it fits the image I'm dreaming of. Initially I had thought of something like this:

But I ultimately when with a fuller skirt with an ivory material. I tried on a couple dresses like the one above but it didn't really feel formal enough to be a wedding dress. I wanted something elegant, romantic, timeless, and I loved the lace and femininity in this dress. I think I ended up with all that and more in the one I actually chose though, so I'm happy.

Secondly, I've been perusing wedding invitations. I've pretty much just been looking at because basically, I don't really know of any other reputable sites (anyone have any suggestions?) These are some of my favorites (today at least).

It's all coming together slowly but surely (more slowly than surely really haha). Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

True Confession Thursday (on a Wednesday): I'm an impulse buyer!

The truth is I'm the type of person that will buy something I like on an impulse (TJ Maxx and Target being my greatest downfalls) or I'll dwell on something and talk myself out of it...and then go buy it the next day when I've regained me senses and talked myself back into buying it! I truly overanalyze everything.

Well, my most recent impulse buy has been the Scentsy flameless fragrant system. I recently had only first heard about these products from my aunt and cousin on Christmas Eve. It sounded interesting but really, aren't all candle warmers the same?

I now know different! While we were staying in Alamogordo, NM with some of Stephen's family, I noticed, for several days in fact, a fragrance that permeated throughout the entire house. I was so confused because the scent was so strong for the entire day. I literally thought someone was spraying cologne continuously because the fragrance was that strong.

Then at dinner one night I noticed it. Sitting on the kitchen counter, looking rather inconspicuous but intriguing. There it was...a full size warmer. I immediately thought I had made the connection. So I asked the woman of the house if it was in deed what I had decided it to be. Alas, I was correct (hell, I should be a detective). Anyway she said yep it was Scentsy and her oldest daughter had outfitted her with the warmer and a dozen or so blocks of the scent. She pulled the bag down full of the scent bricks and I was immediately smitten. The bright colors and the creative names of the fragrances had me immediately thinking, "I need a computer with internet to order this stuff." So there's my first impulsive behavior, I literally would have purchased this stuff that night had a computer been available to me.

Then, she whipped out (drum roll please....) the catalog. I perused that catalog several times, dreaming about what warmer I would buy and what scents I would purchase.

All this went down probably last Wednesday or Thursday. We left Alamogordo on Sunday morning and when we arrived at our hotel in Albuquerque on Sunday afternoon, guess what... We got the wireless from the hotel and I got online and got my own Scentsy collection before we had even finished unpacking!

Here are my buys:

The warmer: Scentsy has a fabulous collection of warmers, surely something for everyone. Initially, Stephen and I decided we wanted this beauty:
 But when I found this one, name Socorro, I decided it had to be fate and I was sold. You see Socorro is a small town somewhere between Albuquerque and Alamogordo where we stopped for lunch on our way down to Alamogordo. I had to get it as a reminder of this trip!

Essentially, the "warmer" is a base with a dish on top. Within the base houses a light bulb. You can see the glow from the bulb somewhat in the image above. Anyway there is a cord on the back of the warmer that attaches to an outlet and ultimately powers the lightbulb. You place the scentsy bars/bricks in the dish. The heat from the lightbulb melts the bars and the scent fills up the space. It's pure pleasure!

Now to possibly the hardest part... deciding on the scents.

Scentsy has several money-saving combination packs. Generally the warmers are $30 and each scent block is $5. Well I purchased a combination pack that gave you one warmer and 3 scent blocks, which added up to a $5 dollar savings. Sign me up!

So I had to pick out 3 scents. This truly is difficult as they have (I'm not exaggerating) dozens of scents. They try to make the decision easier by grouping the scents into categories:
  • Newborn Nursery Collection
  • Bakery Collection (includes all the yummy cakes and cookies and pies)
  • Fall and Winter Collection (always a favorite of mine)
  • Romance Collection
  • Scentsy Cafe Collection
  • Scentsy Man Collection (smells like your husband's favorite cologne)
  • Spa Collection
  • Tropical Collection
I couldn't decide on just three so I bought another combination pack (buy 3 blocks for $14 a savings of $1)
Here's what I ultimately decided on:

1.) Vanilla Oak: Simple and classic blend of smooth French vanilla and woody oak
 2. Flirtatious: Fruity and vibrant, a combination of green apple, grapefruit, and white amber.
 3. Echo: Sophisticated, metropolitan fragrance of manly spice notes, Mediterranean citrus and herbs, and bitter orange.
 4. White Sands: Night-blooming jasmine softened by coconut milk and rice, enveloped in the gentlest breeze. This purchase was another homage to our current trip as we visited the White Sands National Park! I couldn't pass it up: White Sands fragrance in a Socorro warmer....what a great method for commemorating our trip.
 5. Cranberry Mango: A mélange of tropical mango, cozy cranberry and spicy pineapple

Sadly, I can't remember the 6th scent! I've been perusing their site and everything looks delicious and I just can't remember which I would have chosen.

Anyway, all of the scent names and descriptions come straight from their website here.

I ordered my system on Sunday and my mom called to tell me yesterday (Tuesday) that it had arrived! Talk about fast turn-around. I'm super excited to get home and give it a try!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What you don't know....

 ....just gives you an excuse to learn more!

I've learned a lot about New Mexico while on our little trip. I thought I'd share some of the state's oddities (or at least what I found to be odd) with you on this cold Tuesday evening.

1. New Mexico has some pretty freaking awesome geography!
  • There are mountains literally everywhere. They really frame out the landscape and make long drives across the state no so boring.
  • There are "lava fields" in the middle of the southern part of the state. When you're driving you can see the ground is darker for miles and it's lava that has cooled (obviously) thousands of years ago but still remains in the area.
You can see the lava formation in this pic just to (you're) left of the pavilion.

The darkness in the image to the right is the black cooled lava.
  • The white sands I mentioned in the last post. It's just crazy, I really need to figure out why and how they are there, it's just too crazy. Miles upon miles of clear white sand in the middle of the desert at the base of the mountains. It all just makes me only imagine what New Mexico's natural history must have been like.

2.  There are "trading posts" everywhere. These places are basically just hole-in-the-wall joints that sell various antique and new turquoise and sterling silver jewelry. Turquoise is big here. And I couldn't resist. I have to admit I did pick up a turquoise ring and a pair of earrings I'm proud of! I was told the earrings were Zuni (a local Native American tribe). I'm just going to go on and believe that I was told the truth about the jewelry! Honestly though, the jewelry is amazing, I just hope that I can integrate these pieces into my mid-east wardrobe.
This was a popular style I saw throughout the various shops.


The ring I bought was similar (and I say that VERY loosely) as it had a single large turquoise stone with some ridging around the edges. The ridging on mine isn't as pronounced. I loved the visual impact and the size of the stone.

3. There are random picnic tables on the side of the road, all over. These tables are hilarious and just pop out of the shoulder of the road all over. I don't know who would want to pull over in the middle of the desert for a picnic, but I guess if the moment's there.

4. It gets cold! And I mean like, grab a coat, get a scarf, brrrr it's cold! Granted it's January but it's also the Southwest and when I think Southwest I think hot, adobe buildings and the burning sun and the desert. Not jackets and chilling winds. And so far, everyday we've been in Albuquerque (which is further north) there have been school closings for snow fall! I was floored!

Well, that's all I got right now. I hope you have enjoyed reading about our southwest adventures as much as we've had.

Monday, January 10, 2011

So.....We went West!

Mr. Chicken Butt and I are enjoying our time here in the Southwest. I thought I would update you with some of the pics we've been taking (mostly on the road, and all are with his Blackberry as I didn't bring a connecting cable for my camera). The scenery out here is gorgeous and really differs from what we're used to back in the mid-eastern part of the country. I hope you enjoy!

These first pics are pictures we took road-tripping from Albuquerque to Alamogordo (or vice-versa) as we randomly stopped on the side of the road.

While in Alamogordo we visited the White Sands Missile Range. There's literally miles upon miles of gorgeous white sands at the base of the mountains and sand dunes 20 ft + tall! It really looks like snow once you get deep into the range and away from the vegetation!

 Isn't it beautiful?

 The Visitor's Center at the Entry of the Park

While in New Mexico we stayed with some of Stephen's family. They lived right at the base of some mountains and were just a short walk from a great public walking path. I walked the path one afternoon and thought it was beautiful and convinced Stephen to walk with me the next morning!

 This is a view of Alamogordo (and part of the walking path) from right at the base of the mountain range. You can barely see the mountains on the other side of the city. Alamogordo is actually in a basin, surrounded by mountains.

One day we took a drive up into the mountains and visited the quaint little town of Cloudcroft. The next couple pics were taken at a scenic point overlooking all of the Tularosa Basin. Alamogordo is just out of sight to the left of the mountains in the pic.

We've had a great time thus far. I'll keep you posted as we've begun our adventure in Albuquerque.

Friday, December 31, 2010

December in Photos

Ok, it's true that when the Holidays roll around, the time between Thanksgiving and NYE is choc full of family get togethers, friend reunions and memorable moments all worthy of capturing with a photo. It's also true that I've yet to upload and print those photos (eeek), which is surprising because I absolutely love taking, picking out and printing all those photos and finding places to put them!

So here we go, December in Photos....

Engagement Photos:
To be honest, these photos were actually taken in October but we got the disc and finally printed them in December, so needless to say we've spent several hours combing through them and picking out our favorites. Below are some of my favorites (really I could've added a dozen or so more). We were very pleased with All Angles Photography, enjoy!

On December 15th I finally graduated with my Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree! It's been a rough five and a half years but totally worth it. Currently I'm in the midst of job hunting.

 My immediate family just after the ceremony.

 Stephen and I just after the ceremony.

After the ceremony we went to a local restaurant in the Highlands area near my school. It was fabulous having all my family and future in-laws at the restaurant celebrating the occasion.

Graduation Party
On the Friday after I graduated, Stephen graciously hosted a party with all our family and friends to celebrate my graduation. we had a blast.

My two best gals, at the party!

The graduation festivities continued with my new colleagues (former classmates) at a local entertainment area.

Once again, my two best gals!

 My MOH and I about to enjoy a celebratory toast!

On the Monday before we graduated, the officers of my class put together a class dinner, or opportunity for everyone to get together in a social setting one last time before walking the stage.

A great group shot of all my favorite PT (physical therapy) girls.

On Tuesday, we had graduation practice. Following practice we all made our way to the lobby of the gym for a champagne reception.

  Once again, some of my favorite girls.

Christmas Eve Morning
In light of trying to figure out the logistics of Christmas day with both our family dinners, Stephen and I decided to have our "Christmas Morning" the morning of Christmas Eve.

 Before the opening of presents commenced! Unfortunately we failed to get a pic of the two of us in front of the tree. Seeing as how I am the shutterbug of the relationship, we tend to end up with a lot of pictures of Stephen.
Stephen got me several games for my new Wii (a graduation present)

One of Stephen's favorite presents :)

On Sunday after Christmas, Stephen and I hosted a game party with all of my oldest friends. We've been friends literally, since middle school and a get-together at Christmas time when everyone is back in town has become a beloved tradition.

Our pretty sweet spread!

We also got to use the Wine Brique Stephen's mom gave us to keep wine chilled throughout a party.

It was great catching up with everyone and letting our competitive streaks come out during game play!

After the party my MOH and BM and I decided we better do some wedding planning seeing as how both of them would be a minimum of 5 hours away. So the next day we decided to go dress shopping for them. We had a blast.
They tried on probably a dozen or so dresses. We unanimously decided that this style in a navy blue would be perfect for the wedding! It even got me excited about the prospect of wedding gown shopping!

There we go, officially caught up, whew! The end of 2010 has certainly been amazing. I hope everyone's New Years is fabulous!