Decisions, Decisions

Happy Labor Day Weekend Friends!

Beautiful Happy Labor Day Weekend Pictures

We’re looking forward to some holiday weekend festivities: wine tasting, biking, art festival, bbq, etc… BUT first, we need to make wedding decisions, since ya know, its happening in about a month!!!

I don’t know if it’s just me but I feel as though we’ve had a wedding planning lull for the last few months and now all of the sudden a million decisions need to be made, like yesterday! God bless my mother and sister! Since I am all the way across the country these two (with the help of some of my aunts and the bridesmaids – THANK YOU LADIES!) have taken the reigns and are tackling so many of the important details! Even with the amazingly generous help from my family, there is still a lot Phil and I need to decide on – favors, welcome bag items, readings, hymns, uplighting colors, linen choices, etc… the list goes on!! There are a few things I am excited about deciding and those are the gifts we’re giving to people involved in the wedding – any fun ideas are welcome..please leave suggestions in the comments! The Wedding-Couple-Angr-Woman-man-300x200one thing we’ve decided for certain is that from here on out we’re not going to let anything about the wedding stress us out or take away from the importance of the day. With all the superficial things, like uplighting, linens, etc… that can go into a wedding, it’s easy to forget the day is about Phil and I creating our own family unit and beginning our life as husband and wife! Whether the flowers are right, or the music is on point, or the bakery delivers the cake on time, we still get to spend the rest of our lives together!

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂


Never a dull moment

Well it’s back to reality after a weekend back home in Philadelphia. It was such a wonderful but crazy weekend, I don’t even know where to start. Sadly we didn’t really sleep on the flight but regardless of rest we hit the ground running with a meeting at our venue, Union Trust. Phil, my mother, and I sat down with our planner and finalized all the details for the menu and I felt like a complete zombie…I just hope we like what we picked on the day of the wedding, hahah! Thankfully we were able to squeeze in a little nap before the rehearsal dinner which was awesome but SOOOO long! photo 1(1)Saturday is when the real fun began! Phil left at like 6am to go golfing (basically in the rain) and I got a call from my mom that basically said there was a mishap with my rent the runway dress and I don’t have a dress for the wedding this afternoon……PANIC!!!!! God bless my mother – she was helpful, patient, and resourceful – she pulled an old prom dress out of the closet and told me to see if it fit. photo 2(2)I would NEVER had thought to try but sure enough, it fit! I got a ton of compliments and while the run around was stressful, it all worked out in the end. The wedding was beautiful and I am so excited to be officially expanding my family when Phil and I tie the knot in a few short months!

’til next time, keep smiling!!!

Birthday Celebrations and Weekend Rides

Its official folks, diving season is over!! Whew! While I love my divers, the stress of coaching two sports in addition to my full time just was really starting to get to me! All I have to focus on now is my swimmers and their big meet coming up in a few weekends!

Even though I spent most of my weekend on a pool deck, I did manage to sneak in a long ride late afternoon Sunday! The weather was in the 50s and sunny – I was in heaven!philly

However, with all the snow melting, it wasn’t exactly the cleanest ride I have ever been on!bikebuttI also managed to squeeze in a fun girls night for my cousins Birthday! It wasn’t quite as tropical as our celebration for her 40th last year, but we had an amazing dinner at Pennsylvania6 in center city Philadelphia!Jam We were all a bit hungry when we sat down, so the delicious oysters and white bean dip we had for appetizers were devoured before I could snap a photo! This bi-level, dimly lit hot spot focuses on creative smaller plates while still keeping a casual/homey feel to many of their dishes! I had yellowfin tar-tar and baby beet salad as my dinner and it was divine – if you’re ever in Philadelphia, its a must try!! penn6-2penn6

Even though life gets busy, its always important to make time for self care! Whether it be a bike ride, a bite with friends or just some quiet time to decompress, its always important to do things for YOU!

Happy Monday!

Hump Day Reminder

Image I have been struggling to do the things I enjoy: blogging, reading, daily workouts, experimenting in the kitchen, etc.. but I will not let that get me down!

Life throws us challenges but as long as we smile through them, we will always overcome!

This is your hump day reminder to smile through it – no matter what!

Snow day wishes and paradise dreams

While we are getting pelted with snow here in Philadelphia….Image

I am daydreaming of somewhere more like this…Image

While I do wish the weather outside was a bit less frosty, it is nice to admire the beauty of snow. There is something very peaceful and pure about the evening after a good snow fall: The city is quiet and covered in a blanket of white sprinkled with sparkles from the city lights. I absolutely love evening strolls when the weather is like this…I just have to remember to bundle up!

That being said, there is nothing like looking forward to a good tropical vacation. I am in the throws of craziness with work, coaching and school but the moitvation of a potential getaway is keeping me going. While there are no official plans on the books, my brother and his girlfriend just returned from a costa rican vacation and its given me the itch.

I have been browsing potential long weekend getaways on a budget and today’s weather has inspired the planning process more than ever! While I bundle up and brainstorm, I would love some suggestions!

Happy Snow Day!

Short Bursts to Success

Happy Hump Day!

A migraine completely took me out of the game yesterday but I am back and feeling great! I don’t know if anyone else suffers from intense migraines but they’re quite a pain (no pun intended) and I just can’t seem to shake them! I know things like gluten, soy, dairy, sugar etc.. can all effect headaches; so, I spent several weeks on an elimination diet to see if my migraines were related to what I eat…no such luck! I am thinking they’re due to lack of sleep, stress and hormones – I am not sure there is too much I can do about those (even though I’m trying!)migraineBUT aNyWaY, I have been having a hard time getting in the quality workouts I would like with my busy schedule! I have always been a big fan of cardio in the morning and yoga in the evening but lately with work, my evenings have been late and my mornings reserved for an extra hour or so of precious sleep! SO, since I have been having a hard time, I am trying something new. Studies have shown that short bursts of cardio (2 minutes) or so, a few times a day, can help keep your metabolism moving along and burn fat throughout the day. exceriseThe idea is that your heart rate spikes and your body continues to burn calories after you’ve stopped exercising….the ‘afterburn.’ Every time I get up from my desk to use the bathroom I do 10 push ups, 30 mountain climbers, 10 squats and 10 dips. It helps that I can close my office door and people don’t actually see me doing this…but I definitely feel like its worth it! Not only do these ‘mini work-outs’ keep my metabolism going, they keep me working efficiently by increasing blood flow to the brain, releasing adrenaline/endorphins, improving mood, and focus!

Here’s to finding ways to stay fit…no matter what!


Ear to Ear

Ever notice how you feel after someone sends a smile your way? It could be a stranger simply smiling as they pass or a friend greeting you with a big grin, but the feeling it creates is usually the same – you smile right back!

Its true, smiling is contagious and can cause feelings of wide-spread joy and happiness! Believe it or not, there is scientific research to support the theory that smiling helps improve your mood, lower stress and promotes positive well-being.

Ever hear that old expression “grin and bear it?!?!” Well, it seems its not too far off. When you’re stressed or feeling frustrated, try to take a deep breath and wear a smile. Not only is smiling an expression of our happiness or pleasure but it can also help evoke those feelings.

Whether smiling to improve your own mood, or that of those around you, smile from ear to ear!

Moment of Zen

Who has a spare ten minutes everyday? With all of life’s commitments and activities, the prospect of taking between five and fifteen minutes to meditate seems daunting and dare I say unproductive….”you mean you want me to sit there and do nothing but breathe?!!? I have things to do!”

While I agree it doesn’t seem very productive, the damage you’re UNDOING through meditation is arguably the most proactive thing you can do for your health. Stress can literally kill you if you’re not careful but in the short term it can combat all the positive things you might be trying to do through diet and exercise.

Stress causes cortisol levels to spike and your immune system to depress leading to all sorts of fun things like a slower metabolism, inflammation, weight gain, lack of energy, etc..

Taking a moment to meditate daily has been proven to counter and improve the negative effects of stress. Meditation practitioners have higher energy levels, faster metabolic rates and stronger immune systems than their non-practicing counterparts.

Still not convinced? Give yourself a moment of zen once a day for a week and see if you’re better able to manage stress!

Monkey Around

monkeyEven when work, school, life, etc.. get stressful, you should always make time for a little Monkeying around…

Laughter and keeping things light is the best way to unwind a little in the middle of the day!

I have a monkey on my fridge, a rubberband gun in my drawer and a barrel of monkeys in the corner…just in case!

Don’t let the day’s stress keep you from monkeying around..


Breathe Deeper

How many of us have been told to take a deep breath when we’ve been sad, angry, stressed or anxious? Does it work? I don’t know about right away but for me, focusing on taking a deep, full breath works wonders to calm me down.

To be perfectly honest, I really never tapped into the power of my breathing before I got into my yoga practice. One of the big elements of practice is breathing fully and deeply – allowing your breath guide and give you strength throughout your practice. Sounds silly to some but skeptics beware, there is definitely some truth here.

Deep breathing – slower, fuller, more intentional inhales and exhales – allows your body to release toxins, floods your brain with oxygen to provide clarity, calms your muscles easing temporary pain or discomfort and a whole host of other healthy benefits.

Don’t knock it ’til you try it!

Breathe deeper to get more out of yourself and your day!