Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Matron of Honor Duties

As the Matron of Honor for my sister's wedding, I had the honor to co-host her bridal shower with her soon to be mother-in-law near Baltimore, MD this past weekend. I think she had a fantastic time thank goodness but I'm not going to lie, I think I stressed more about this party than I did my own wedding. Is that crazy?! I know, I'm a little psycho, but it really is more stressful throwing a party for someone else's tastes rather than your own. Amiright? 

Anywho, despite the minor (hah, riiight) stressing I did, it was fun to get back into the planning mode after having put it all in the back of my mind after our wedding last September. My sister and her fiance's wedding colors are navy blue, grey, and pops of orange so I focused on Blue Ombre as the general theme. 

Of course being me I wanted to DIY as much as I could. I started by creating a blue ombre fabric garland with fabric quarters I got from Joann's and then created a "Bride-to-Be" banner out of pre-cut chipboard triangles and silver Sharpies. You really can decorate for a bridal shower on a budget and still make it personal and meaningful! 

I puffy painted a plate (from the dollar store, shhh don't tell Lindsay ;) ) that served as a guest book as well as something that Lindsay could take home to remember all of the ladies that traveled near and far for her shower! 

On the same table, I had a Ball jar that I had painted "L <3 N" on that was a Date Night Idea Jar. I wrote in chalk some basic instructions for the jar to encourage guests to think of specific and creative date night ideas to fill the jar. We filled about half at the shower itself and then one of the bridesmaids who also traveled from afar like myself for the shower (Thanks Sarah!) brainstormed with some wine after the shower to complete the rest of the Popsicle sticks with cutesy date ideas. 

Some of the festive food and drinks we had included a spiked drink called "Brunchy Punch"  that was so yummy, fruit kabobs with heart shaped watermelons on the top that I made thanks to a bridesmaid's awesome suggestion, and cupcakes in the shape of a wedding dress made by the groom's mother. They all turned out so delicious and cute at the same time!

 The favors were one of my favorite parts for sure! One of the bridesmaids (Thanks Amie!) handmade the cucumber sugar scrub as well as many of the foods we enjoyed and I made the tags for the jars. Funny story: my sister and her fiance met on Halloween three years ago while she was dressed as Puss in Boots and he was dressed as Batman so to this day her nickname from him is "Boots," hence the Boots' Cucumber Sugar Scrub, hehe. 

Of course what's a party without a DIY Photo Booth like the one I put together for our wedding?! I packed up my trusty tripod & camera, picked up a cute grey, polka dot fabric from Joann's for 50% off (what, what?!) and created some pretty funny cardboard cutouts of my sister and her fiance from the night they met to add some pizzazz to the pictures. Honestly, my first idea was to try and find a way to make lifesize cardboard cutouts of their costumes but in an effort to not be too creepy and without a human size printer I didn't get a chance to.

Here's a taste of our photo reel: 

Lindsay looked gorgeous as always but it was definitely the best feeling to see her smile as big as she did when she walked in the door of the venue to see twenty of the ladies that love her in her life. Cheers to the soon to be Mrs. Jarosinski! She's going to make a beautiful bride! I love you big sissy! 

Et Cetera
Lindsay's Thanksgiving Proposal
Lindsay's Engagement Photos by Moi


Friday, July 11, 2014

My Fitbit Review

It is no secret I am a sucker for a bandwagon to jump on, as long as it is a good one, of course. Perhaps, the Fitbit was one of those bandwagons, but I am seriously so glad that I did! If you have been around me AT ALL in the last three weeks or so, you know that the Fitbit has me hooked... bad

What's so good about the Fitbit? 
The Fitbit is a device you can get in a wristband form, like the one I have called the Fitbit Flex, or in a clip form (which one of my friends has and loves as well). It measures your steps, distance, active minutes, calories burned, and sleep pattern throughout the night (this feature is pretty interesting!). There are also options to track your calories eaten and water intake (but I haven't done these yet). You can track all of these items on their free Fitbit App which I check (somewhat obsessively) throughout the day. However, you can set one of them as your particular "GOAL" for the day. For me, I keep my goal at 10,000 steps for each day but you can increase or decrease this as you choose. You can track your progress for your daily goal by tapping your Fitbit twice which shows a small bead of light for each 20% of your goal you have reached (five lights total). When you achieve your daily goal all five of the lights dance on your Fitbit and it sends a small vibration to your wrist celebrating your accomplishment. The idea is quite simple I must say, but the intensity in which I have tried to achieve this goal daily is awesome and a little embarrassing I might add. 

The night I got my Fitbit!
Why Now? 
Just over three weeks ago, I was feeling slightly more curvaceous than my usual self, lethargic, and in a negative mood more often than usual. For someone who likes to be active but was not currently as active as I would like, I knew something had to give. After reading a few reviews on the Fitbit, I hoped that this might be a tool to get me back on track and motivate me to get more active again. ..And it has! 

Since I started using my Fitbit, I have lost about a pound (just by increasing my activity level) and have felt noticeably more energized and in a much better mood. 

Is it hard to reach your goal? 
What I've found is that it really isn't hard to get my goal of 10,000 steps each day if I set my mind to it. If I'm consciously parking just a little farther away, walking just a few more steps around the grocery store, taking a quick moment at work to get out of the car and walk a few laps around my patrol area, I can easily hit my goal. When it gets to be 10pm and I only have 5,000 steps, I have found that I am much more motivated to do a quick little workout or get the leash out and walk Rhiley around our neighborhood to get my steps in.  

I started using the Fitbit when I was switching to night shift which has made me much more aware of my much lower activity level on these work days. On those days in particular, I really have to consciously decide to get up and MOVE, get out of my car and WALK, or try to get a RUN in before work.

Perhaps the most exciting thing is when you achieve a new goal! While visiting my friends in Washington, DC for the Fourth of July, we walked over 15 miles one day and reached my highest steps ever, 37,000. Pushing yourself to these new limits is what I think the whole purpose of the Fitbit is, motivation to just be more active.

Anything you should know before getting one yourself??
I have found that although the wristband states it is waterproof (it is) I personally do not wear mine in the shower because the water does need to be dried out afterwards which is somewhat of a pain. FYI, it also needs to be dried after sweating a lot on a run. That being said, I have found that because of this water/ sweat issue, the band can start to smell after a little so you may want to wash it every once in a while. 

The band itself is pretty secure with the clip it comes with, however, if it gets caught on something it can come off. This has happened to me a few times at work when I pick up a large bag and set it down and don't realize it popped off without my knowledge. That being said I have never had it come off on it's own otherwise. Not a huge deal, just something to be aware of. 

I wouldn't rely solely on the distance traveled when going on a run because it is counting the average steps in a mile, not quite distance actually traveled. Although, I do believe they have added a feature under the exercise tab where you can track your run by GPS, similar to the Nike + app so that may be a better tool to use with the Fitbit that I have yet to use.

Who would I recommend a Fitbit to? 
I would personally recommend a Fitbit to anyone wanting to be more active, whether you are already or would like to be. If you are a Type A personality like myself, the drive to achieve your daily goal is motivation enough (just set your goal so it is attainable!). If you are already fit and active, the Fitbit is even better because it will push you to push yourself just a little bit more. 

I think it goes without much more saying that I am a pretty happy camper with my Fitbit. What has been your experience with it?? I'd love to hear!


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