Friday, May 30, 2014

Short Weeks are the Best


Don't you just LOVE short weeks? Well if you don't, there is no chance we will ever be friends. Because I think they are the best thing ever. Moving on....

// We got our engagement photos back and I am completely in love with them and have made about 15 different Save the Date options. I know, I am a little crazy. But it's really hard to decide and of course Tony doesn't really care either way. I am just happy that we look great and I think I am officially done talking about those photos now. 

// I found out yesterday that freaking O-town has gotten back together. My 12-year-old self is jumping up and down in complete and utter joy. Too bad Ashley Angel decided to be a party pooper and act like he's too good to reunite. I take back the kiss on the cheek I gave him when we met that fateful day in September when I got to go backstage. Seriously, I was a huge fan. 


// I feel like I need to apologize to anyone who was in my presence Wednesday & Thursday. Due to my uterus hating me, I was a total bitch not a very nice person. When you start picking fights over what time you eat dinner, that's when you know it's your fault. But I am really stubborn and hardly every apologize and will just find ridiculous reasons for why I was right in getting mad.

// It's been really hard to go to bed at a reasonable time when Tony is on night shift. To the point where I am finding things to do just to stay up. Example: designed 2 different wedding guestbook options. Why? Because I am a little bit of an idiot sometimes. 

// I'm finally getting paid today since starting my new job, and thank the Lord, because I'M GOING WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING THIS WEEKEND. Even though I am not paying for the dress, I feel like having a little extra moolah in the bank is a good thing to be armed with when you are looking at designer dresses. Plus, dress shopping always means brunch, which means mimosas, and duh, tomorrow is going to be amazing.




 

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG


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Thursday, May 29, 2014

December 26, 2013


So I have decided that the time to share our engagement story has come. Since the wedding one year away, I thought this would be the perfect time :) And I know, I did a wedding-related post yesterday. Sue me.

Before I tell give the details of the actual day, let me back up and give you some context. I FELT LIKE I WAITED FOREVER. Really, it was only 7 years and 4 months (not that I was counting, duh.) We met in high school at the young age of 16. After being friends for almost a year, we started dating. Our relationship did have its “rocky” times (i.e. breaking up for a summer), but we managed to keep things strong through senior year of high school, my four years at college, and finally live together for a year and a half without killing each other. 

2006 - one week into dating :)

2006 - Our first Homecoming dance together
What’s important to know about Tony and me is that we are opposite and alike at the same time. I am outgoing, he would rather not be around a lot of people. I trust people too easily, and he is more reserved. On the other hand, though, we do think alike and agree on basic subjects like religion and politics.

Fast forward to December 26, 2013. I had a feeling that something was up. Tony had been planning for us to take a mini trip to Hershey the day after Christmas since the summer. Oh, that reminds me of another difference – I am a planner, he is not. Which is why I knew this trip was going to be something special. 

After we checked into our room at the Hershey Lodge, the plan was to grab a bite to eat and wait for the park to open. Btw, if you’ve never been to Christmas in Hershey you need to go. It’s amazing and it really is the sweetest place on Earth. Anyways, we ate dinner then ventured into the park. 

2013 - Riding the train together in the park
We hit up all the usual spots – the reindeer pen, hot chocolate stand, old-fashion train, gift shop. Our last stop was the Kissing Tower. I had this little inkling that maybe, just maybe, the proposal could happen here. But, it was closed. It was at this point that Tony started to act funny and on edge.

Since we had done everything we had wanted to do, we went back to Chocolate world for some dessert and more hot chocolate. Then we decided that we were just going to go back to the Lodge and drink (see, it’s not just me who likes to drink ;)). We went outside and found the spot where the shuttle that had dropped us off at the park said it would be to pick people up to go back. That’s when it happened.

*Standing in front of the ‘Welcome to Candylane’ sign*

T: We were supposed to get on the Kissing Tower
A: Aw, I know. Oh well, maybe it will be open tomorrow
T: Well, I didn’t want to do this here, but I am going to….
Bended knee. Sparkly ring. “Will you marry me?” “YES! YES!” And we’re engaged. Even though it wasn’t his plan to propose at the entrance of the park, I loved everything about it. Especially the part when two strangers walked by and shared in our excitement by taking a photo of us newly engaged lovebirds. 

2013 - Moments after getting engaged!
And of course, the sparkler :) He did an amazing job!!

Everything about it was perfect to me, even if Tony's plan did get a tad bit messed up. After we got back to our room, made calls to our parents and best friends, we decided to treat ourselves to many drinks at the bar - and of course talk about a wedding! It really was the perfect night.

And there you have it. Now only 12 more months until we say ‘I do.’

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Perfect Engagement Photo Shoot


I know you guys are just as excited as I am about seeing our engagement photos, right?! Okay, well at least I know I am excited to share them with you :) 

Let me just preface this by telling you that Tony hates pictures. I guess he is just self-conscious for some reason or something, but I think he always looks great, so I am glad I convinced him to do these photos!

We live near Gettysburg, so that's where we decided would be a beautiful location to shoot. We started out at Sach's Covered Bridge and just jumped right in.




It was really fun doing different poses and Tony had started to warm up after the first few initial pictures. 

After the bridge we moved onto Little Round Top. I love this area because it has really cool rocks that overlook such gorgeous scenery. You really can't ask for a more perfect spot if you are going for the "country" look. 





Oh, and the sun was perfect. Seriously perfect. 





We ended by doing some shots in a field that is a little past Little Round Top. Again, the sun gave us gorgeous lighting and I was beyond thrilled with how everything was going.

It was a really fun shoot, and I am overjoyed with the way the photos came out! Now we just have to go through them all and decide which one is the best for our Save the Date's. :)

All photos are courtesy of Lauren Myers Photography - and you can see more of her work here.  



Wedding Wednesday
Love Always Nancy J


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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

So Many Drinks


I am feeling super lazy this morning, but luckily I am linking up (Dateless in Dallas and Showered With Design) - so that makes blogging a liiiiiittle bit easier :)

Can we just talk about how tired I am today? So tired that I'm not sure this post will be much more than me rambling about my weekend activities. Sooooo, I'm sorry. But this weekend was pretty great. And I am so sad that it's over. 

Let's just go day by day shall we? Friday I was lucky enough to get out of work a little bit early which gave me time to work out. And by that I mean I was able to "earn" enough calories to drink two Redd's Apple Ales. This is why I will never be thin. I work out to eat/drink. But anyways, Tony brought home crabs and we sat outside like a cute little couple and ate our crabs and drank our drinks. It was pretty great.

Saturday was baseball day! We went downtown with another couple to see the O's play. Too bad they lost - badly. We still had fun and I may have drank six a few mango-ritas. In fact, this weekend was basically a drinking fest. And my liver is not thanking me right now.


Then came Sunday. Oh, Sunday. Sunday meant it was time for our girl's night wine pairing. And by wine pairing, that meant lots of food and about 20 different bottles of wine. It was amazing and I am just going to show you pictures from it because it's Tuesday morning and I am not feeling very descriptive.





Monday was basically just a relaxing day that gave me some time to recover and get ready for the week. I am so happy about this short work week! Annnd I apologize for such a boring blog post, but that happens sometimes, right? I promise I'll step it up for the rest of the week. 

Dateless in Dallas

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Amazeballs.


TGIFFFFF. And thank God it's a Friday before a holiday weekend! So, here are my 5...

// I really enjoy having my nails all pretty and manicured. Plus, the no-chip stuff is great because it stays on forever and makes me not bite my nails. Win-win.


// Yesterday for work me and three co-workers helped out with an event that was downtown. We just decided to eat lunch while we were down there at a little sandwich place. I am trying REALLY hard not to eat like crap (at least during the week), and wouldn’t you know they gave us all a FREE cookie. You can’t say no to a free cookie.  It’s actually against the law. So there went that whole eating thing…

// I finally watched the Grey’s Anatomy finale this week and balled my eyes out like the emotional girl I can be 85% of the time. I always feel SO weird crying over a show, especially if Tony is sitting there, and he had just come in from outside and looked at me like I was crazy. Sorry I have a heart and Meredith’s best friend is leaving for good and they will never dance it out again!


// I had my blog redesign done by Erin and I LOVE it. So take a look around and enjoy all of the prettiness. And don’t forget to follow me if you like what you see (and read), or don’t. But that would make me realllll sad.

// This holiday weekend has the potential to be completely amazeballs. Instead of boring you by listing everything I have planned, let me just sum it up in a few words: Maryland Crabs, Wine Pairing, Baseball game, TONS of food. Yup I seriously can’t wait. 




THE GOOD LIFE BLOG



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Thursday, May 22, 2014

My Anti-Bucket List


This past weekend I came up with a 25 Before 25 list, and that got me thinking about some things that I hope I never have to experience. So, I present to you my anti-bucket list. 

// I hope I never have to touch a snake
// I hope I never have to fly for more than 8 straight hours, because this is totally me when flying..


// I hope I never have to move to another state
// I hope I never jump out of a plane voluntarily or involuntarily (you sky divers are way braver than me!)
// I hope I never lose touch with my high school friends who are still there for me
// I hope I never total another car
// I hope I never get another heart-dropping phone call
// I hope I never stay in a hospital overnight – with the exception of having a baby
// I hope I never have to start dating again
// I hope I never make another horrible baked mac n’ cheese recipe


// I hope I never spend any Holiday alone
// I hope I never break a bone
// I hope I never lose my love for wine (hahahaha, who are we kidding?)
// I hope I never get too skinny people don’t recognize me


We all know those last two are a complete safe bet not to happen, but a girl can dream (at least about the last one). It was definitely harder to come up with a list of things I don’t want to experience, so maybe that makes me a positive person? Eh, probably just too lazy to think of more.

What’s your anti-bucket list?


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Champagne Dreams on a Beer Budget


When Tony and I got engaged I had all kinds of amazing wedding dreams. Things like photobooths, designer dresses, filet mignon AND lobster..... But some of those dreams were put into a clearer reality once the wedding was actually happening, and not just a fictitious event in my head.

I obviously knew that weddings were expensive. I just didn't know how unbelivably expensive  they actually are. So since I know that I am not the only person who is on a realistic budget, I thought I would be completely transparent and share with you all what we are spending on this lovely affair. 



Our budget: $15,000 

So I wanted to start off by talking about the biggest expense of our wedding: the venue. I already have this amazing place in mind of where we would get married before we even got engaged.. surprise, surprise. This place had it all – an outdoor space for the ceremony, gorgeous wooden beams in the reception area, outside patio for cocktail hour, picturesque landscapes. The list could go on and on. So of course this is the first place I contacted after we got engaged. I was so happy when I saw an email pop up within an hour from their event planner with an attachment of menus and pricing.

And that’s when it happened. That was the moment all of my wedding dreams were put into a harsh reality. “We cannot afford this!” Here is the breakdown for what this venue wanted, price-wise:

Rental fee: $4,000
Ceremony fee: $1,300
Food for 85 people: $6,375 (not including tax + gratuity)
Open Bar for 85 people: $2,975 (not including tax + gratuity)

For those of you keeping track, that would leave us with a whopping $350 to spend on flowers, decorations, a DJ, transportation, etc. etc. Nope, not happening.

After I got over the fact that this wasn’t where we would be saying ‘I do’, I started looking into a million (might be exaggerated) other places. A lot were in the same range as the first venue, some didn’t have a ceremony space, and some were just plain ugly and not going to work for us.

After spending a good week stressing out about the budget and thinking we would never find a good venue, I finally took the advice my Mom had given me about looking into a Martin’s venue (these are a chain of event rental spaces owned and operated by a family in the MD area.) The newest one is located in Cockeysville, Maryland, and is gorgeous!! 





The best part, too, is that they offer SO much on-site, such as: Ceremony space, reception space, DJ, food, alcohol, cake (if we wanted it through them), event planning service, centerpieces, linens, and ceremony music. So we said YES to this venue and then picked a date – which is a story for another Wedding Wednesday. 

The breakdown for our venue is a little hard to show since they kind of roll everything into one cost per person. Basically, it comes down to being about $120 per person (for everything!), which equals $10,200. Much better, and now we are left with close to $5K to spend on flowers, transportation, photography & everything else I am not thinking of at the moment.

Budget: $15,000
Venue: $10,200
$$ Left: $4,800

Oh, annnnd here is a little preview photo from our engagement shoot the other night. I'll post more next week :)

Courtesy of Lauren Myers Photography



Wedding Wednesday
Love Always Nancy J