28 July 2011

A Week in the Web

Phew, back home at last! I spent the last week up in New York visiting my mama (and dropping off Gypsy to stay with her a bit— we'll be a one-dog family for awhile now), then in New Jersey for Felice's bachelorette party & bridal shower! I'll be sharing photos soon-ish.

So although I haven't had much time to write (work & business to attend to since I've been home), I have been keeping up with my blog reading, and these are my top picks of interesting/cool/touching/fun blog posts I've read recently. Thought you might enjoy while I spend the day unpacking (and sick in bed, sniffle sniffle).

+ New website with beauty tips & tutorials from Lauren Conrad & Co!
+ A really, really creative & thoughtful video a girl made for her deployed Marine.
+ An awesome post about self-image and loving the body you're in.
+ Cool ideas to help emotional organization & being healthy sans the gym.
+ A military spouse's biggest fear... two weeks before her husband was supposed to return.
+ My newest favoritest blog from a twenty-something on blogging like a pro.
+ Fashion find! What to wear to fairs & festivals.
+ An awesome tip on travel photography that I will be trying on my next trip!
+ Borders is going out of business: I picked up this book last week I can't wait to read!

20 July 2011

Missed Moments

Completely un-wedding related, here are some "missed moments" from the past few months that I want to share to illustrate just how fun/crazy/busy/stressful/lovely my life really is. It's times like these that keep me from blogging... but I think that's a good thing, because otherwise life would be pretty boring!

Mini vaycay to Emerald Isle with Felice for my 26th (eek!) birthday
Hello, wifey!

Matching mother-daughter Vera purses as a birthday gift from my Mama
Mine is red, obviously!

Boat shoe shopping— now all we need is the boat ;-)

Car crash— and a month without my car pre-wedding
So stupid

Dinner & fresh flowers at home
Nom nom nom

Potluck dinners with new friends in our new state

My "little" brother's college graduation
2 years younger, 6+ inches taller?

Deciding to send Gypsy to live with my Mama for a bit
Sniff, sniff :-(

Hosting lots of barbecues and parties as a couple

VIP passes to the Memorial Day concert in Washington DC
We was on the TV!

Finding an awesome new Mexican restaurant
And Sue visiting us from Boston

Receiving (& using!) my pink KitchenAid mixer for our bridal shower

Weekend away together in Norfolk

New outfits for our puppy fashionistas
Studded skulls & crossbones, anyone?

Getting "upgraded"... an early wedding gift from amazing Husband

Road trippin' to and from New York with the girls

Another of my designs finally making it to the supermarket

Framing/hanging art we've been meaning to frame since January 
Procrastination, much? :-)

Having a Scentsy party and getting over $100 of product for only $34!
I {heart} a good smelling apartment

Starting next week, I'm going to start doing my "Wedding Wednesday" posts again (yay!) to recap our wedding and share all the ideas and details with you that I couldn't share before so I wouldn't ruin the surprise for our guests.

Note to self: Next time, let's try to share more moments closer to when they happen, shall we?

18 July 2011

A Note on Following

I've been making some techie changes around my blog lately, so I just wanted to say that if you saw today that you have me as your newest blog follower... rest assured I've been following you all along! I switched my email address and Google accounts to my new last name (!!), and I took my blog with it. So there has been a bit of transition switching over the blogs I read/follow. I also changed my blog address to hardcorpslove.com, which is why my blog was out of commission for awhile during that change.

How do you all manage the blogs you read? I love Google Reader. All of the blogs I follow here also transfer over to Google Reader, but I also add blogs specifically to Reader so they don't clutter up my Blogger dashboard.

My favorite thing about Reader is that I can organize how I read my blogs by category. This makes it sooo much easier, because I have a million blogs I follow, but obviously I can't spend all day or week reading them all. So I made a category of my 5-10 "Favorites" that I read daily, and then the rest are broken up by content.

This way, if one day I'm in the mood to catch up on Home Decor blogs, I can just check those out. Wedding blogs another day? Easy peasy. Time to coupon? I click my Couponing category. Makes life simple. :-)

More ch- ch- ch- changes coming soon. I'm still figuring out what the heck to do as far as keeping a personal/professional blog... but either way, I'll definitely be tweaking the design in the next few weeks.

14 July 2011

Planning Ahead

I am getting so excited to get all our our wedding photos back from the photographer. I've been waiting to design/send thank you cards, because I want to use his photos. He said we'd get them back in about a month, so... that would be July 18th. Cross your fingers!

I made a collage of photos for my planner last night that got me more excited about getting the photos back and making our thank you cards. I think I want to do something similar to this, collage like... I received a thank you card like this once and I absolutely loved it, it was my favorite thank you I've received to date. So I'm planning to do something similar for ours.

Those of you who know me or who have been reading my blog for awhile know that I'm a little bit obsessed with keeping a day planner. Honestly, I just have a horrible memory, and keeping a planner helps me keep it all straight— home life, work assignments, goals, appointments, birthdays, etc.

I get a new planner every 1-2 years, depending on how used/beat up it gets. I just got this one a month or so ago at Target. I think it looks like a little clutch, which is why I love it! And I don't have much yellow in my life, so... yellow it was!

So yes. Those of you who attended our wedding, and/or sent one of the lovely wedding gifts we received... you may be receiving a thank you note similar to the above collage. That is, after I revise/edit it a hundred times, ask Husband his opinion a dozen times, and then finally print and mail them. ;-)

P.S. I love saying Husband!

11 July 2011

Love Like Cake

For our rehearsal dinner, I wanted to surprise Joshua with a grooms cake. I called up my friend Sandy, who I worked with on a big bakery design project up in New York at my previous job. She's super talented, and I knew she'd be able to come up with any theme I asked for.

After lots and lots of brainstorming (patriotic themed cake? Marine Corps themed cake? running themed cake?), I decided to ask Sandy if she could do a tattoo inspired cake, since Joshua has (and loves) tattoos. I figured it wouldn't be too over-the-top with our already military-themed wedding, but would be unique to Joshua and something he enjoys.

WELL. Sandy is just brilliant, because after sending her some examples I liked and directing her to my blog, which currently has the tattoo theme... she took the idea and ran with it, even asking me to send photos of Joshua's tattoos and company info so she could incorporate it into the cake design!

You guys, I seriously cried when she delivered the cake to us. Not even kidding. It was so special, so personal, and so beautiful that I just couldn't help it. The swallows, the roses, Joshua's old & new unit info, the big sparkly silver dog tag, the little red heart good luck charm... it came out absolutely amazing. She included both of us in the cake design, and it was so much more than I expected.

Not to mention delicious! Joshua isn't a fan of chocolate, so when I listed off a few of his favorite flavors (cheesecake, key lime, vanilla, etc.) to my delight, Sandy made a key lime flavored cake with cream cheese flavored frosting. It was outta this world delicious!

The grooms cake was a special part of our rehearsal dinner, and I'm so happy so many photos were taken of it. Thanks to Val for the bottom left photo and Megan for the first and last photos. Even bigger thanks to Sandy for such a lovely cake, if you ever read this! Everyone at the dinner loved it just as much as we did. :-)

07 July 2011

4th of July & Post-Wedding Rush

How was everyone's 4th of July weekend? Joshua & I had a splendid time, because for the first time in 3 1/2 years of being together, we did not have to TRAVEL in the holiday weekend traffic! I know traffic is bad for many holidays throughout the year, but in my opinion— 4th of July traffic is the worst of it all. So we were very happy to stay local in Virginia and have fun with friends!

I was feeling a bit under the weather both Friday and Saturday of last week— I think it was from all the company we've had and the post-wedding rush. Let me fill you in on the events we've had since our wedding.

Our wedding was the weekend of June 18th. Well, we came back to Virginia late Monday evening, had two days to ourselves (with Joshua back at work), then our friends Felice and Christian came to visit from Thursday to Friday evening. During that time, it was work-work-work as I made the wedding invitations for their August wedding! We then had two more days to ourselves to run errands, get my car fixed (broken AC, no fun at all!), etc. Then Monday evening I had a few of my new Quantico girlfriends over for Bachelorette night (we're a little obsessed), then on Tuesday my maid-of-honor Sue visited from Boston. She stayed until Friday and cooked for us (yum!), we visited friends in DC, went to the movies, and had a grand ol' time. Our friend Ashley came to stay the last night Sue was here, which was also the day I hosted my first ever Scentsy party with all the local girls. I don't sell Scentsy— I just buy it. :-) I'm receiving over $100 worth of product for only $34, just for having a party! Lovely.

So that led to me being "under the weather" for the first two days of the holiday weekend. But it wasn't long before I was up and at 'em with Joshua and our friends Erika & John for a day of fun at Kings Dominion! Military got in free, and spouses got discounted tickets. Thank you, Kings Dominion! We rode all the roller coasters, went to the water park, and nearly made it home in time to miss the gigantic lightning storm that took over Virginia that evening. :-)

For the actual 4th of July, we had a barbecue at our friends Alison & Ben's house. There were a lot of people, and Alison asked us to bring a dessert. I was so excited to use the new trifle bowl we got for our bridal shower! I've wanted this trifle bowl ever since I saw it, even though I had no idea what to use it for or make in it.

Thanks to the Google Gods, I found this recipe: Patriotic Trifle, and I made it and brought it over for the holiday. Of course, my camera died AT the party, so Erika took the above photo for me with her phone. Luckily for Joshua and I, there were leftover ingredients at my house. So on Tuesday, I made four mini trifles in the mini trifle bowls we also got for our shower! (I asked for a total of 8 of these, and I received them... I daydreamed about serving cute little trifles for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners with our family and house guests. Lol.)

It was perfect, because we had company for dinner on Tuesday night, and there was just enough.

I'm also obsessed with patriotic recipes. Love love love. Last year for Memorial Day, I made patriotic cupcakes. Nom nom nom. :-) Any patriotic recipes to share? Please do!

02 July 2011

And Away They Go

It's crazy how quickly one can lose blog followers... if you don't keep up with it, your readers go "buh-bye!" I'm still debating what to do with my blog. Trying to find the right path for me, without making life too complicated. We shall see where that goes.

I have dozens upon dozens of wedding photos from friends & family that I'm sorting through and hoping to share here soon! I also get the photographer's photos back in a month. CANNOT WAIT for that! Whoo hoo!

In the meantime, I'll leave you with today's favorite photo:

Have a happy holiday weekend!