The weekend of the Groupon…

Happy Sunday!  I hope everyone is enjoying the Sunday football game.  Ben and I are sitting watching the Bears/Packers game.  I think I’m rooting for the Packers, cause then at least my Eagles lost to the team that went on to the Super Bowl.

On Thursday, Ben and I realized that we had two LivingSocial coupons for The Madhatter that expired in early February.  We decided to use one Thursday night.  We ordered some of their happy hour specials (I stuck with Bud Light, whereas Ben enjoyed some Bud Light and some Jack and Diets).  We also ordered a TON of food:

  • goat cheese pizzette
  • fried calamari
  • Madhatter Classic – burger with applewood-smoked bacon and cheddar (me)
  • Ribeye Steak Sandwich- Caramelized onion, melted provolone, pesto aioli,
    and horseradish mayo (Ben)

The calamari was only so-so.  It came out kinda cold and a bit tough.  I’ve had it there before, and it was fantastic, so I’m going to just chalk it up on one bad dish.  My burger was really good, and Ben enjoyed his sandwich as well.

On Friday, Ben’s mom flew into town.  We had dinner at Kora – a great restaurant in Crystal City.  We each got a flight of wine (Riesling, Merlot and Chardonnay) and we all split the prosciutto and shrimp pizza and the BBQ short-ribs pizza.  Two VERY different flavors, but both were fantastic.

Saturday, we woke up and used a Groupon to go to the Newseum.  I’ve been before, but Ben and his mom had never been.  Being in PR, I’m really fascinated in how they show (1) how the media has changed through the years and (2) how media has portrayed various events in history.  I think they have a really well done video about media and 9-11.

Piece of the Berlin Wall from Newseum DCBerlin Wall at the Newseum


US Capitol from Newseum DC

U.S. Capitol from the Newseum deck

We then hopped in a cab and headed BACK to the Madhatter to use LivingSocial deal number two.  We watched the Duke game while enjoying dinner.  Again, we got the fried calamari (much better this time).  I got the same burger again – very good. We had the same waiter from Thursday, which was nice.  I wish I knew his name so I could give him a shout out, because he was great.

After dinner, Mrs. B and I walked from Dupont to Georgetown to use yet ANOTHER Groupon.  Last year, Ben bought his mom and I a massage from M3.  The Groupon was for a Swedish or a Sports massage.  We both went with the Swedish.  I would definitely recommend M3 to anyone looking for an affordable massage in D.C.

The spa is on the second and third level of a townhouse right on M street.  You go one flight of stairs and check in at a very calming, clean-looking lobby.  They offer water and tea to customers, and have lots of space to sit and wait.  They also sell some skincare products.  It wasn’t a brand I recognized.  My masseuse came and picked me up from the waiting area and took me to a small room on the third floor.  He brought out a Tupperware container that I could keep my clothes in, which I liked.  Overall, he did a great job with the massage.  At points, I thought he could have used a bit more lotion, but  think that’s just because I like to drown my skin in lotion.  When I asked for more pressure, he adjusted appropriately and went out of his way to make sure I was relaxed and enjoying my experience.

M3 Massage roomphoto credit

In case you’re curious, M3 generally charges $80 for an hour massage.  I think that’s a pretty good price, especially here in D.C.  I usually think an hour massage will be at least $100.

This morning, we woke up, had breakfast, and sat and chatted for a bit about wedding stuff.  The three of us then headed to the gym.  Today’s run wasn’t terrible when you look at time and distance.  However, it felt really tough.  Its crazy how much of running in mental.  When I’m having a great day, my runs tend to feel better than days when I’m frustrated.

But all in all, two and a half miles in 25 minutes isn’t bad (and that includes a two-minute warm-up and a two-minute cool down).  I then did 5-10 minutes of yoga and one set of arm weights.  We came back, showered, and sent Mrs. B on her way back to South Carolina.

So we had quite a busy weekend.  But when as was said and done, we used six Groupons/LivingSocial deals.  We were actually supposed to use a 7th today for lunch, but we ran out of time.

YAY for Groupons!

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Arnold oatnut bread!

 Happy hump day, yall!

Well today was particularly productive.  After getting home from work at 6:45, I decided I was too hungry to go for a run right away.  I needed something to give me energy, but not weigh me down.  I looked in the fridge/freezer and what did I find…

arnold oatnut bread

I totally forgot that a few weeks ago Harris Teeter was having a great sale on Arnold bread, and we stocked with a ton of loaves in our freezer.  It’s Ben and my favorite bread brand, although we generally only buy it when its on sale.  Of all the styles, the oatnut is absolutely my favorite.  But our store always seems to be out of the oatnut. I decided that some oatnut bread with peanutbutter and bananas would be the perfect pre-run snack. 

When I arrived at the gym, every single treadmill was in use and the only elliptical was the really old crappy one.  Forgetting how terrible it is, I hoped on for 10 minutes before calling it quits  I did a bit of strength training and was about to call it a failed workout, when I looked up and pretty much all the treadmills were open.  So i hopped on with no real goals in mind.  2.5 miles later, I would call today’s workout a definite success. 

In wedding planning news….

Ben and I selected our invites!  It’s funny, we actually chose our invites probably about 3 months ago.  But we were afraid to pull the trigger because “what if something better came along.”  Well, now that we are at our deadline that we need to actually order the invites, we went back to our old favorite.  Although, I think the colors we are thinking for the font has changed, but not dramatically. YAY for wedding progress.  We are also finally got closure on the bar.  We had a bit of a hiccup, but everything is back on smooth sailing.  And once both our parents look at another propsal, we will able to check another box on our list.

Five goals for 2011

2011.  Its a big year.  I’ll be a quarter century years old.  I’ll change last names.  And as expected, I’m working on a list of goals for 2011.  Here is what I have so far. 

 

1. Maintain a workout regimen: get at least 2.5 hours of exercise per week.  Since most of my exercise tends to be on the active opposed to moderate style, that puts me above what the government recommends for a healthy lifestyle
 
2. Cook more: Cook at least one new meal per week, and to have a dinner that does not focus around pasta at least 2 other days of the week. I can not eat pasta forever.  Ok, I probably can, but it wouldn’t be a good idea.  Maybe I’ll find a cook book to cook my way through (a la Julie and Julia!)

3.  Get married with as little stress as possible:  I try and make my goals measurable and concrete.  Not sure stress level is really measurable.  But I think this is an important one. I will do as much planning and organizing up to the wedding as possible to make things move smoothly during the weekend’s festivities.  Any idea how I can make this goal more measurble?

4. Blog Blog Blog: Keep on blogging.  Every day isn’t realistic right now for me.  But I will find a schedule that works for me and stick to it. 

5. Excel at work: Again, I don’t get too specific about work things on here, so lets just leave this here and ya’ll can trust me that I have a plan.  Cool?

Are you developing a list of goals for 2011?  What goals have you set for yourself?  Any ideas how I can make my stress free wedding goal measurable?

Top 5 stories of 2010

As its the end of the year, it’s time to recap 2010. 

1. The Engagement
Sure, the actual engagement happened in 2009.  But waking up engagement on January 1st and having my family coming into town was pretty exciting.  Plus, planning this wedding was one of the biggest topics of 2010, and it all began with the engagement. 

2. Ben and I move in together
Shortly after the engagement, Ben and I moved in to our apartment just outside of D.C.  Living together has been exciting and we’ve learned so much more about each other during the past year.  I absolutely adore our apartment, and we were both devistated when we thought we were going to have to move this January (don’t worry, we aren’t moving). 

3. Securing a wedding location
After tons and tons of research, we finally narrowed our wedding location to three places.  Each different but awesome in their own way.  But when another couple wanted one of our location, we were given less than 24 hours to stake our claim.  After lots of analysis, talking and tears, we decided to take Hibernian Hall.

4. Haddis’ passing
 The death of Haddis was both shocking and sad.  Ben lost his best friend and a groomsman in our wedding.  I’ll never forget when Ben recieved that phone call.  Some days, it doesn’t seem real. 

5. Running a 10K
When we all decided to run a 10K, I wasn’t sure we were actually going to follow through with the plan.  But somehow, we did.  Despite getting lost, running a mile warmup, and being 10 minutes late, it was an amazing experience.  It has inspired me to keep on running.  Bring on Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon 2012!

December Goals!

Let’s hope that I do better with December’s goals than I did with November’s
December Goals:
Get a real Christmas tree and decorate it and the apartment for the holiday season!

  Make at least one batch of Christmas cookies!
Run at least 20 miles throughout the month (including this short week, that’s just 4 miles a week)
Do at least one hour of yoga each week.  Whether its once a week for an hour or six 10-minute sessions, it doesn’t matter.
Pack a real lunch at least 3 days per week (throwing a granola bar in my purse and calling that and a bag of chips “lunch” doesn’t count)
Create a training plan for the upcoming March 8K
Confirm all the loose ends on wedding planning
Plan the honeymoon
Schedule engagement photos

Here’s to December!

Wedding Planning

Sorry for the delay in updates.  It’s been a very busy week or so.  Here is my best attempt at a recap (without it being too long)

Charleston Vaca

 Ben and I just got back today from a 4 day semi-vaca to Charleston.  I say semi-vaca because the point of the trip was to make progress on wedding planning. 

  • Rehearsal Dinner – FMIL, FFIL, Ben and I headed out to Middleton Place for a tasting.  We planned out the evening, tasted a variety of food items and planned out the menu for the rehearsal meal.  
  • Reception Dinner – Again, the four of us went to taste a variety of menu items for the reception.  Let me say, I am VERY happy with our catering decision.  The food was fantastic.  I don’t want to give too much away, but lets just say there will definitely be something for everyone.  
  • Other Wedding Planning – We also met with a florist and a florist/design expert to discuss decorations and flowers for the wedding.  I was really impresses that both were able to get our vision for the evening very quickly and give us some great suggestions. 

Weekend

If I were to sum up this weekend, I would use one word: sleep. 

I thought I was fighting off being sick all week.  Apparently I was right.  Because I slept till like 11 both Saturday and Sunday.  And I look a two hour nap yesterday.  So basically, I got A LOT of sleep. 

But yet I still managed to be a bit productive. 

  • Yesterday, Ben and I headed over to Macy*s to check out crystal stemware for our registry.  We narrowed it down to 4 patters. 
  • Today, I headed over to Williams-Sanoma and went to town with the registry gun.  I just love that store.  And everything in it.  Put a ton of stuff on the registry.  I’ll have to go back and look at it once I’m off the shopping high to finalize things. 

On a different – I’m watching the Sox game right now.  As you know, I absolutely LOVE Varitek.  He just had his last at bat, to a standing ovation.  The Sox set him out in gear for the 9th, and then pulled him before it started so he could have his final good bye to the fans.  So moving. 

Now I’m making a broccoli, chicken cheddar casserole and waiting for Ben to get back so we can turn on the Skins-Eagles came.  

Expiration Date

Like Jess, I’ve also always been a compulsive expiration date checker.  I would always eat/drink things up until their date.  And then you couldn’t convince me to touch it with a 10 foot pole.  It was like on the magical day stamped on the bottom of the carton, a “make food bad” fairy zapped the food and made it no longer edible.

Every late summer/early fall, I find myself checking expiration dates more and more often.  Not to see if they have gone bad, but to see if they expire on my birthday.  Don’t ask me why I care what goes bad on the most celebrated day on my calendar.

Today, I was debating making cupcakes.  I walked over to the fridge to see if we had all the necessary ingredients.  Butter, check.  Brown sugar, check.  Eggs, check.  Milk, hmm.  what’s this I see?

Happy Birthday to Me

I guess I’ll have to start looking for things that expire on my wedding date soon!

Long Week

Sorry for the lack of blogging.  Last week was really really long week.It started last Sunday, when we got an email from our building saying the power would be out hour an hour. 12 hours later, at 4 in the morning, we finally got our power back.  Needless to say, I didn’t sleep at all that night. 

Now for some life updates:

Wedding
  • Save the Dates: I was finally was able to pull together addresses so we can send the save-the-dates.  Benjamin should have his addresses soon as well.  Yay for checking this lingering thing off our plate!
  • Alcohol:  While our caterer does provide bar services, we aren’t required to use them.  Considering their bar pricing was outrageous, we have been looking for better options.  This weekend, we found our bar service.  Basically, we just need to check and make sure they aren’t gonna overcharge us for glassware and then we can send in the check!  
  • Invitations: We’ve narrowed it down to two invites.  Who knows which one we will pick.  You’ll find out when it appears in your inbox. 
Life in General
  • 10K Training:  This is still going on.  I’m not running quite as much as I would like, but I’m getting there.  This weekend Ben and I went for quite a long run.  It sucks, but was awesome at the same time. 
  • Baking:  Last week I attempted the blueberry maple cupcakes that Val suggested.  They were fantastic!  I frosted 1/2 with the maple frosting, and 1/2 with cream cheese frosting.  Ben preferred the maple frosting; I liked the cream cheese.  I want to play with the recipe a little bit.  I think the batter needs more sugar and definitely needed more blueberries.  Next up: chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes

Labor Day!

To celebrate Labor Day, Ben and I traveled home for the long weekend.  We left Friday night (got in about midnight) and got back this evening.

Saturday we woke up and went for a run on the boardwalk.  Ok, so mine was more of a walk/run than a solid run.  But whatever.  We went from my house to Albany ave, and then ran interval sprints back.  It was just under 4 miles.  So at the end of the day, it was still a good work out.

We spent the night having a fabulous mommy-cooked dinner, playing cards and picking out wedding invitations.  Maybe.  We still have some samples coming in the mail, and the ones we picked were a little pricier than what we originally wanted, but they are really nice.  We have a few details to work out first, but if we got the ones we picked out Saturday night, I would be a very happy bride.

Sunday, Ben and I got up and went to the beach for a bit.  Then we headed over to my Aunt and Uncle’s house for a wonderful celebration – it was my niece Shannon’s birthday (she’s FOUR!!!) and my cousin was home from California with her newborn, Delia.  Delia is such an adorable, well -behaved baby.  I’m so glad I got to meet the  baby!

Me and the birthday girl!!

Today, we woke up and headed to the outlets in Atlantic City.  I got some great tops and a skirt that I can wear to work.  Ben got some clothes too.  Very successful shopping trip on all fronts. 

How was your Labor Day?