{our wedding} the food


It's been an eternity since we really talked about the wedding. I'm pretty sure I've only written one other post about the subject. It's weird because I don't want to give away all the details on such a public forum but at the same time, planning a wedding is a GREAT blogging topic and I do want to share our experience.

Anyway, let's chat about food. C and I outlined our priorities for the wedding early on.

  1. Great venue 
  2. Super awesome live band
  3. Amazing, delicious food 
We knocked out #1 and #2 pretty quickly. We were lucky to find a stunning garden house that was SUPER cheap and fit our style perfectly. The band, which I thought would be tricky, ended up being pretty simple. We watched a few videos of them play and were sold. 

The food, however, proved to be a challenge. It's arguably the most expensive part of throwing a wedding. I contacted several caterers who gave us quotes that were all over the board. They mostly wanted us to serve typical apps, a boring salad, meat/fish and veg/starch. Snore-fest. C and I wanted to serve food that not only tasted amazing, but fit our style. We tried to explain our vision of Texas meets East Coast, read brisket tacos and crab cakes. But I just didn't feel like anyone was getting it. I was also getting defeated because I felt like our budget was only going to get us some chicken and lettuce leaves. 

I was finally able to hash out a rough menu with two great caterers. Each offered a slightly different "ambiance" and yet the menus came out almost identical. I arranged tastings for when we were in CT and hoped for the best. 

We were blown away. The food was perfect and just what we were looking for. After discussing the pros/cons of each offering, we finally made a decision and sent in the largest deposit yet. 

A few tips for getting what you want out of catering: 

1. Everything is negotiable. If you get a menu and price from a caterer at $97/person and that happens to be beyond your budget, don't hesitate to ask if your caterer can work with you on the price. We had a caterer come down almost $15/person to try to win our business. Also, don't feel like you need to settle for a "standard" menu. The same chef that can to make chicken roulade can probably also make steak au poive...if you ask (nicely) and even if it's not offered on their list of options. 

2. Stick to a theme. Are you and your fiance a meet & potatoes kind of couple? Do you want to serve mac & cheese and fried chicken? Have you always envisioned having a 7 course, five star meal? Is it a must to serve your mom's meatloaf recipe? What ever it is, make sure to express those ideas. Remember, you (or your family) are the ones footing the bill. You should be able to get exactly what you want. 

3. Think outside the box. Just because you were served steak, asparagus and mashed potatoes at the last seven weddings you went to, doesn't mean you're limited to that. If you're obsessed with sweets, have a dessert reception where you serve coffee drinks (maybe spiked?), cakes, cookies, brownies, and sea salt caramels. If you're on a strict budget, consider having an afternoon wedding and serving heavy appetizers. Did you have cotton candy on your first date? Rent a machine for your wedding. The possibilities are endless so don't let the "wedding norm" rule your plans. Your guests will appreciate it too!

What are some things you learned when hiring a caterer for your wedding?

under construction.


After much deliberation, I'm starting the daunting process of switching from Tumblr back to Blogger. Fellow Bloggers, why do we do this to ourselves? Please be patient with me as I attempt to run two blogs at once. The address (as you might have noticed) will remain the same. I'm trying to find an easy way to transfer posts from Tumblr to this platform. Yikes. At least I get to revisit all my old posts!

HPUMC Youth Mission Trip to Costa Rica

monday musings.

monday musings.


{Disclaimer: This is a long one...playing catch up.}

1. Yesterday was my 25th birthday. Woot! I can now rent a car without being charged a million dollars more.

2. My amazing bridesmaid threw me the most perfect bridal shower straight out of Pinterest. It might even have been better than Pinterest. It was so beautiful and thoughtful. We had a blast and I'm so incredibly thankful for each of them.

3. My sister is/was here this weekend! I think my sister and I have a love hard, fight hard relationship. Luckily, this weekend was perfect and we had such a good time. I'm glad she got to spend time with me and C and I'll miss her when she leaves (tonight). My DG {little} sis also made it to Dallas this weekend. I'm one lucky big sister all around!

4. I feel like there are a million other things I'm supposed to catch y'all up on....

5. I'll get around to writing a whole post on this but as far as the {wedding update} goes we saw our venue and church (love it), we picked a caterer, found an amazing cake place, tried on (and picked!) bridesmaid dresses, found ADORABLE invitations, tried on the sample of my dress again (just to be sure), saw our band play (and loved them!), booked our honeymoon, scoped out rehearsal dinner locations and mailed save-the-dates. It's been a whirlwind! 138 days to do.

6. The Trades Joe's in Plano is amazing. We're obsessed with it, it's so cheap and we plan on going every weekend.

7. There has been a COMPLETE lack of training happening and there are exactly 26 days until the Rock 'n Roll half. Such a mess...

8. But we're getting back on track this week. We don't have any busy weekends coming up so hopefully we'll be able to eat a little better and get back on a normal workout schedule. Fingers crossed.

10. At the risk of making C sound lame, I'm just going to tell you that we're loving our marriage class. The Reverend who is marrying us teaches the class with another great Pastor. Their husbands sometimes help out too. It's just a really fun class and so far, the topics have been helpful and thoughtful.

11. Downton Abbey. You're killing me.
a survivor story.

a survivor story.


When I started training for my first triathlon with a "beginner" group, I met this great woman, Nicole. She was hilarious, spunky, and incredibly friendly. She has the spirit and energy of someone half her age (and looks it!).

About 6 months or so into our training, I found out that Nicole was a breast cancer survivor! Excuse me, what? This chick was running circles around me at track workouts and swimming speedy laps like Michael Phelps. I never would have guessed that she had battled such an awful disease.

My team recently partnered with Susan G. Komen for the Cure - specifically the Dallas Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon. I signed up for the race with my team knowing that this race would be more than just another half marathon for me. This race is a chance to support Nicole and other women like her.

Nicole recently share her story with me to use on the blog. She is incredibly open and inspiring. I hope her story inspires you to get involved!

How and when did you find out you had breast cancer? 

It was on September 11, 2006 that I found a lump on my left breast when I simply crossing my arms while talking to a work colleague. The lump was near my armpit right where the underwire of my bra was. Because I had played several games of soccer that previous weekend, I thought I had been elbowed there and just did not realize it. So over the course of the week, I kept an eye on it looking for swelling, bruising or change in size. By that weekend, I decided to go to my family physician who did a clinical exam and for precautionary measures order for me to get a mammogram the next week. At the young age of 34, I was going to be doing my first mammogram.

Because the mammogram confirmed a lump on my breast, they decided to do further testing that day; I had an ultrasound done immediately but had to return back to get a biopsy done since they were obviously seeing something in my tests. The biopsy was the test that confirmed my diagnosis of breast cancer. I received the call the next day, September 21, 2006, I had Breast Cancer.

{race report} Dallas Hot Chocolate 15K

{race report} Dallas Hot Chocolate 15K


As I admitted in earlier posts, I really slacked on training for this race. I figured I'd end up walking a lot and just trying to have fun. 

The alarm went off at 5:20am and it was 45 degrees outside. Brrrrr! I took a waffle with almond butter to the face and we were headed out to Fair Park. 

Traffic and parking (free!) was a breeze, shockingly. We arrived at the race at 6:35am. The 15k didn't go off until 8:10am but the race advised to arrive plenty early because the 5k had a large turnout. 

We waited inside one of the Fair Park buildings until they herded us out to load the corrals. I took a chocolate CLIF gel and said good bye to C as we headed to our corrals. 


It was still pretty chilly at this point but I knew I'd warm up very quickly once we started moving. The start was easy and well organized, albeit lonely for me. I started the half with my friend Jessie and she stuck with me for about 6 miles! Starting this race alone and not running with ANYONE made the first few miles feel very boring. Also, I think the cold weather made everyone a little quieter. There was very limited chatter. The course also had about 7 spectators. Very different than the Dallas Half. 

The mile by mile play by play isn't really relevant here. I stuck to my coach's plan - run a mile, walk 1 min. Seems to work really well for me and my speedy heart rate. I also did not take any gels other than at the start of this race. I just brought a handheld water bottle and filled it with water/gatorade at the aid stations. I think my stomach liked this strategy better. 


At the start of the race, I made a mental note that my goal time would be 1:45. I've never run a 15k before and my only other long race was the half in Dec. I like to keep the goals attainable...and small. 

I was THRILLED to cross the finish line feeling good and making my goal time (finished in 1:44 - about 11/min miles). I even managed to find a little extra energy and shave 30 sec on my last mile split! 

I never made it to the tent with the chocolate fondue and finisher's mugs. It was cold and I was now sweaty which doesn't mix well with chilly wind. I headed straight inside to meet up with C and our friends. I was really glad that my stomach felt great (miserable at the half) and that I didn't feel too drained. All in all, it was a fun race! I managed to get through it and had a good time. Win-win!


Downton Abbey does NYC

taking the "off-season" a little too literally.

taking the "off-season" a little too literally.


In November, there was the excitement of getting engaged. However, December 9th was looming and I had a half marathon to run. As much as I wanted to sit on the couch and stare at my new bling, I forced myself to finish the training. Then I raced. 


It was all downhill after that. I couldn't move for about a week. I had every reason to take a recovery week and I loved it. Then it was almost Christmas and there were holiday parties, more engagement parties and not a whole lot of working out. Plus, I didn't have a race on the calendar. So that was that. Off-season. Which we interpreted to mean, you no longer need to complete workouts. Ugh. 

Now, here I am, one day before this 15k I signed up for a few weeks ago. Even with that race on the calendar, my motivation to train was very low. It's been kinda cold, and dark and we've had a million and one other things to do besides work out.


But I'll run it and I'll probably hate myself at points. I'll question my sanity. 
This is what I need. This is my our wake-up call. No more excuses.

Lent starts February 13th. Lent has lots of different meanings but the most widely recognized would be "giving something up" or in this case "taking something on". 

Our "Lent" Challenge: 
  1. Eat healthier. Plan meals. Make time to make a healthy meal. Shop for healthier food. Choose healthier options when we're out to eat. 
  2. Stop making excuses to skip workouts. 
  3. Get into yoga. 
It's so easy for C and I to let each other miss a workout. It's also easy for us to let eat other choose the indulgent meal when we go out for dinner. But in the end, we just feel disgusting. Then we're in a bad mood. Then we take it out on each other. Then I tell him things like "I feel smushy..." That's just not cute. Are you seeing a cycle here?

We have access to delicious, healthy food. We have a budget that allows us to purchase healthy groceries. We like to cook. No excuses. 

We have a coach who sends us weekly workout schedules. We don't even have to THINK! No excuses.

Online yoga classes are available for $8/month. You can dial them up on the TV whenever you want. No pressure of taking a class. No excuses.

Bonus: For every month that I don't miss a workout on my schedule, I get to treat myself to a Lululemon purchase. Let's be honest, having a cute new pair of leggings or great new top always boosts motivation. Am I right?

You heard it here first. To my readers, I have a challenge for you. Check in on us. Follow up. Ask about our progress. Keep us accountable! 

monday musings.

monday musings.


1. This was a BUSY weekend. We had a glimpse into what life with a 1 and a half year old is like. Bottom line: we're not ready for it yet. Whew. 


2. Serious celebrations were in order last night after the big Ravens win. C is a serious fan (Raven snuggie and all) and our Baltimore friends were in town as well so there was some serious football watching time last night. 

image image

3. Meanwhile, I was in the kitchen slaving away.

image  image 

4. I also distracted myself making our Save The Dates! Maria's engagement pictures turned out amazing and I had a really hard time choosing just ONE for the postcard.

5. We managed to pack in the best of what Dallas has to offer while our guests were in town:

 image image image
  • Klyde Warren Park (and Trailercakes!)
  • Company Cafe
  • Fireside Pies
  • The Perot Museum
  • White Rock Lake
  • Blue Goose
  • Oddfellows
  • Dallas Zoo

6. I treated myself to a blowout from The Dry Bar and make-up from Blushington to prep for the engagement pictures. What was supposed to be two 30 minute appointments turned into over 2 hours of anxiety. I'm willing to try it again but only if they stay on schedule! Talk about stress. What will wedding day be like???

7. We're having dinner with some of our FAVORITE people on Thursday. Already so excited! 

8. Running the Dallas Hot Chocolate 15k on Saturday. About that...

9. We have our first marriage class on Sunday!
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