Wedding Tips

Things I was glad I spent money on and things I wish I hadn't or at least had worried less about...

1. Photographer: Hands down my favorite thing I spent money on was the photographer. Weddings are busy and stressful and after the fact, it's hard to remember all of the little moments, but the photos can last forever. My photographers sent me edited photos that help me to remember how great a day it was and to forget about all of the little things that went wrong. 

 Glass Jar Photography

2. Food: Another item that I was glad I spent money on was the food. However, this item does not need to be big budget to be great. I opted for fancier fare and a sit-down dinner, but I have been to some pretty amazing weddings that had a Mexican restaurant cater a buffet with tacos. I went to another wedding where dinner was a BBQ buffet, also a huge hit and everyone loved it. People are drinking and hungry at weddings so food is a must, plus everyone likes a good meal. One of the saddest things I saw at a wedding was where a bride and groom tried to cut costs by just serving heavy hors d'oeuvres. The wedding was super fun but everyone left early because people were starving and they left to grab dinner at nearby restaurants. 

3. Flowers: This is one place I wish I had spent less and worried less. Of course, this can depend greatly on the venue and personal preference, but simple arrangements are beautiful. I am also a fan of tablescapes that just use small vases with a single flower scattered around the table. Also, tea lights are a beautiful inexpensive way to decorate a table. They add ambiance and are so beautiful in their simplicity but cost very little for a lot. You can purchase them on either Amazon with simple clear votive or at your local Ikea. 

4. The Dress: Again this one it totally dependent on the bride, but at the end of the day you are only wearing this dress once and even if you have dreams of passing it down, it is most likely going to get damaged, either from jewelry snags, spills, or someone stepping on your hem. I understand that every bride wants to be beautiful on her big day, so go ahead and spend some money, but going over the top might not add to your wedding day enjoyment as much as you think. Spend the money on hair and makeup and a pre-wedding massage to help you relax. 

5. The Details: With Pinterest and DIY it's hard not to overcommit ourselves or place too much expectation on our wedding decor abilities. Go ahead and do all of those super cute wedding details that you see on Pinterest, just remember this wedding is supposed to be about you and your husband and it's more important that you are having a fun wedding day, and enjoyable time planning it. Don't overcommit yourself, and go head ask your bridesmaids for help. That is what they are there for. 

foryourparty.com is a great resource for getting custom napkins, matchbooks etc. printed. 

Homemade Larabars

I was inspired by a friends mother who recently came over and brought with her some homemade Larabars. They were so delicious I decided to give it a try myself. What had I been waiting for?! They are so easy, so delicious and keep in a fridge for a couple of weeks. 

larabars.jpg

Recipe:  1 Cup raw almonds | 1 Cup dried cherries | 5 large raw pitted dates | chia seeds optional

  1. Blend almonds in food processor
  2. Add to the food processor dates and dried cherries. I also added some chia seeds. 
  3. Blend until they are all sticky and mixed together. this step took a few minutes. 
  4. Once everything was blended I put them into a glass container with parchment paper to form them into a large rectangle. Then I cut them into strips and wrapped each one in its own piece of parchment paper. 

My Favorite Recipes Right Now

I have been trying to eat really healthy recently. I always used to, but while I was pregnant my healthy diet became a lot of toast and pasta so I have been trying to get back on the bandwagon. My goal is to get back into as good a shape as I can before pregnancy #2. Here are a few of my favorite recipes right now...

 

Farro Salad

Farro Salad on a bed of lettuce with cottage cheese, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nutritional yeast and goddess dressing.

Farro Salad on a bed of lettuce with cottage cheese, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nutritional yeast and goddess dressing.

Cook the Farro like pasta, except that instead of 12 minutes it takes 30. Mix it with diced olives, red bell pepper, cucumber, and feta. I love how nutritious, easy and delicious this salad is! I put scoops of it on lettuce and add cottage cheese for additional protein.

 

Chocoholic Protein Smoothie

Nom, Nom, Nom!!!!

Nom, Nom, Nom!!!!

Combine 1 tbsp honey roasted peanut butter (or sub any nut butter here), 1 scoop protein powder, 1/8 cup oats, 2 frozen bananas, 2 tsp cocoa powder, a few ice cubes, and about a cup or less of almond milk. Blend up and enjoy the deliciousness!

 

 

Postpartum Weight Loss II

Ok, more about loosing the baby weight...

I mentioned in the previous post about walking off the 43 pounds I gained during my pregnancy. About 20 came off within the first week of having the baby, but that still left me with 23 to loose. No small feat especially since I am pretty petite. I started walking about two weeks after having the baby. This was fast, but I started off slow. The first walk was around the block and after that went ok I started walking about a mile, sometimes two. On every walk I was also babywearing since my daughter hated being in her stroller. At about five weeks postpartum I ordered the Fitbit Alta which I love, to help me record my distances as well as the calories I was putting into my body. My goal at that point was the recommended 10,000 steps every day which seamed to put me at about 4 miles of walking a day. With a combination of very healthy eating and walking 4 miles per day I managed to walk off 16 pounds. Between meals when I was hungry I reached for apples, yogurt or had whole grain toast (I love toast). If I was hungry I always ate, but I also kept it healthy. No soda, no junk food, no sweets. 

At almost 4 months postpartum I decided to up my workouts and started incorporating runs with the stroller as well as some workout videos I found online. Since I don't have a home gym I needed videos that were short (ie manageable for me) and that required no equipment.  

Here are my absolute favorites that I found online. 

1. The Body Coach - This guy is great. The videos are challenging, but manageable which I loved. Plus I like that he is also struggling during the workouts. It makes me feel like less of a wuss. 

2. Popsugar Barre Workouts - I like some of these more than others. These videos are my attempt to get my butt back in its original position. 

3. Popsugar Workout with Andrea Orbeck - I did this one pre-baby and always loved it when I couldn't make it to the gym or go on a run.