Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Pretty in Pink Bride! and a Few Engagement Pictures!

Happy (Wedding) Wednesday everyone!
As you all know, the colors of my wedding are fuchsia and champagne gold.
I knew from the start I wanted pink accessories to go with my wedding gown, and this past weekend I made my first pink purchase for my wedding day!
I ordered these gorgeous shoes! I got them on Zappos and I saw them and just fell in love. They have a low enough heel for me to be comfortable dancing the night away, and I love the detail in the front! I can't wait for them to get here tomorrow so I can wear them around the apartment.

I've also been in the process of deciding which fuchsia hairpiece and sash I want to go with my gown. I've been corresponding with Eren from Bridal Shoppe on Etsy and she has been wonderful with helping me figure out what kind of styles I like!
Since I don't want to give away every little detail until the big day, I will show y'all something similar to what I like! I love the three flower design of the above hairpiece, but without the feathers.
I LOVE this bridal sash, again without the feathers.
Check out Bridal Shoppe on Etsy to see more gorgeous sashes!

I have no clue what to do about jewelry. I want to wear fuchsia but I also like the classic pearl necklace for a bride. Any ideas?

Here are a few of our engagement pictures from our session at MSU with Matt Dorroh. He was an awesome photographer and we had a great time spending our afternoon with him a couple of weeks ago. Highly recommended!
In Davis Wade Stadium
With our sweet Zoe
In the stadium
On the field!
In front of the Swalm School of Chemical Engineering - where we met!

I LOVE how our pictures turned out. I can't wait to do it again in a few weeks in Charleston!
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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chobani Winner!

Happy Tuesday everyone!
I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was very relaxing and I did tons of wedding research online, had lunch with Emily and Eric, and played Scrabble with Zach's mom who came up with Zach's little brother Jonathon on Sunday. They were going to a Junior Day at MSU and came to stay with us for the night!

I've already contacted the winner, but I just wanted to publicly announce that the winner of the Chobani giveaway is:
Dee from Dee Stephen's Adventures!

Thanks so much for entering!! I'll be back tomorrow with a Wedding Wednesday post!
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Defense: Check

I had my defense yesterday at 9:45 am. These past few weeks have been extremely nerve-wracking and sleep deprived, and I was happy and terrified to finally see the big day come.

After a fairly sleepless Tuesday night, I headed to campus early to set up and run through my slides one last time.
Most students bring a few goodies for the people who come to watch their defense presentation. I made these chemistry cookies on Tuesday night! Chocolate cookies in the shapes of beakers, test tubes, and Erlenmeyer flasks!
I also made blueberry and apple cinnamon muffins since I had a morning defense. The pink cheetah muffin wrappers fit in perfectly with my pink-and-gray-jungle theme I had going on.
You can see from my slides that I had pink and gray colors and used gray and white zebra to spice up the title slide, as well as section dividing/transition slides and the "Questions" slide.

I gave my presentation, which last about an hour, then took questions from anyone who came to watch my presentation that wasn't on my graduate committee. I had several professors and other grad students come to see my defense. Luckily the questions weren't terrible!
After their questions, I was left to answer questions from just my committee. They did ask one question about one of my models that was challenging to explain since the modeling is done using a computer program, but I was able to get my method across to them. I was expecting a question on that since it's hard to convey on a presentation slide, so I was prepared to answer that question. After all questions were answered, I had to leave the room while my committee conferred. Then my advisor called me back into the room and congratulated me. I passed my defense! Talk about a relief!!

I ate lunch on campus with Zach after my defense, went to physical therapy, then went HOME! I definitely laid in my bed for a fantastic relaxing hour with my furry girl Zoe, then I did have to go back to campus to watch another grad student's presentation.
Zach and I went to dinner last night to celebrate. Sorry for the fuzzy picture but the dim restaurant wasn't conducive for good picture-taking!

From here, I have a few minor edits to make to my thesis based on feedback from my committee (and my own Type-A self) and then it's off to the library for format review!
The hardest part is over though! The defense is the most stressful part of graduate school!

For the remainder of the semester I'll be putting the finishing touches on my thesis, writing two journal manuscripts for publication (not too bad since my thesis is written and they will be based off that), and continuing my work on a few projects until graduation day!

Don't forget to enter my Chobani giveaway! It closes tomorrow at 5 PM!
Also, I posted about my wedding venue selection but for some reason it says the post date was last week. Strange!
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

St. Patrick’s Day and a Chobani Giveaway!

Happy Tuesday everyone! I know, I know…I’ve been MIA again. I’m defending tomorrow (AHH-TERRIFIED) so I promise my disappearing acts are almost over!

I was able to enjoy a St. Patrick’s Day parade this weekend in Jackson! Zach, Zoe and I headed down Friday after work and had a great Saturday afternoon watching the parade.

I know…I don’t have any green shirts at the moment, but I tried!

This was my favorite float: A football-themed float called “Religion of the South”!

After the parade, we hung out at Zach’s grandparents’ house with his family before going out to dinner. Everyone else had more fun than I did though, because I was stuck inside working on my defense presentation instead of chatting on the porch enjoying the weather.

At least Zoe and Zach’s brother Jonathon kept me company!

Speaking of Zoe, she was quite her festive self this weekend.

She LOVES holidays!

I’ll be updating y’all on our wedding venue and my defense later this week! I also have an awesome healthified blueberry pie recipe to share!

Now for the fun part: A giveaway!!

Chobani Greek Yogurt sent me a package of their three newest flavors to try: Apple Cinnamon, Passion Fruit, and Blood Orange. I had been DYING to try them so I was so so excited!

My favorite of the three was Apple Cinnamon. It tasted like Apple Pie yogurt and was delicious with cinnamon graham crackers mixed in!

The blood orange was also delicious! I loved that it was a little tangy and it was a really different flavor of yogurt compared to the typical strawberry or vanilla flavors I tend to eat. I’m thinking I need to eat my last container of this with some mini chocolate chips mixed in!

Lastly, was the passion fruit. I loved the flavor of this yogurt because I love almost all passion fruit flavored things I try! I was not expecting the passion fruit seeds at the bottom, but I have to say I actually liked them. The crunch made the yogurt have a different dimension of texture than regular yogurt. I think this yogurt would be yummy with some pecans or walnuts (and chocolate!) mixed in!

Chobani has so kindly offered to give a case of these three yogurt flavors to one of you! How exciting! Please enter in the comments with your favorite Chobani yogurt flavor and please leave your email as well!

This giveaway will end on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 5 PM EST Pin It

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: 359 Days!

The location Zach and I will be getting married is:

The Pavilion at Patriot's Point in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina!

We are getting married on Saturday, March 16, 2013!

This venue is absolutely beautiful!
It's just over the Ravenel Bridge from downtown Charleston, and has waterfront views of the city and Fort Sumter.

We loved the outdoor kitchen where the chefs will cook all of our food, literally ten steps from where they will be serving it to our guests. This venue also comes with a event planner, who was so sweet, very informative and organized, and very receptive to all of our ideas.
The parking is fantastic (which became a huge factor once we saw the limited or no parking at other venues), and the ceremony site, reception area, and bathrooms are all handicapped accessible with plenty of room for maneuvering with wheelchairs, which was important to us since some of our family members are handicapped.
I really just love how planning and hosting an event here will be easy and turn out to be a beautiful wedding and reception, especially since Zach and I will be planning from a distance, at least for a few more months!
The ceremony site has an ocean view backdrop, and I loved that we are able to hang lanterns and pink paper lanterns in the trees! I had seen this idea elsewhere and I really wanted to be able to do it for my own wedding!
Gorgeous pink flower aisle runner!
What a view!!
The ceremony location has so many options for customization, and has tons of space as well!
I'm definitely using this outdoor fire pit for s'mores!

I'm so excited to be planning my wedding at such a great location!
The details that play out in making our big day will be enhanced by this beautiful venue!

All pictures from the Pavilion at Patriot's Point Facebook Page

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

MIA: Grad School and Wedding Planning

I have been majorly MIA the past week! Last week, I was editing my thesis so it could be sent to my committee, making and having a practice defense presentation, trying to get in laundry/eating/Zoe/getting ready for Charleston...blogging was a lost cause last week :( I basically worked from 6:30/7 am-2-3 am every day. Zach was such a trooper and not only helped me with laundry, cooking, and engineering things, he also stayed up with me and helped or worked on his own stuff and kept me company.

An exhausted me and Zach headed to Charleston Friday about lunch time. We had eight different appointments this weekend: 7 venues and our photographer!

I LOVE Charleston!
We arrived at Caitlin and Dan's house about 10:30 on Friday night, so we got to hang out and chat a bit before heading to bed (I wound up working Friday night until about 1 am) and getting up Saturday morning to head to our first appointment at 10:30 am at the Renaissance Hotel downtown. This was with a hotel that we wound up not liking for our wedding. The hotel was beautiful and definitely a place we would love to stay, but with a small ballroom with red carpet (clashing with pink!) and limited patio space, we knew it wasn't what we were looking for.

Our next appointment wasn't until 1 pm, so Zach and I enjoyed downtown with some exploration and lunch!

Charleston has so many beautiful churches! No wonder it's called the Holy City!
We came upon this one by deciding to explore a path through a set of iron gates and wound up at this church through a graveyard garden path.
This Catholic church is enormous with stunning architecture!
Isn't downtown Charleston just awesome!

We had a delicious lunch at Toast of Charleston before heading across the Ravenel Bridge to Mount Pleasant for our second appointment at the Pavilion at Patriot's Point, which went much better than the first! We LOVED this venue!!

After the two wedding appointments of Saturday, we stopped by Palmetto Moon to pick up something for Zach's groomsmen (more details on that later!) and headed back to the house to spend time with Caitlin and Dan. We had a fun dinner at a Greek restaurant and hung out at the house with the pups for the rest of the night. It was relaxing and perfect!

Sunday Caitlin and I hit up the outlets to do some shopping! I had a great time and picked up a dress that I think I'm going to wear for our Charleston engagement pictures next month, as well as a top for the second engagement pictures outfit, and some dress pants and top for my defense next week (AHHH).
I loved having some girl time shopping and catching up with Caitlin!

Sunday early evening Zach and I headed downtown to meet with our fabulous photographer, Jen from Carolina Photosmith. We met at Kaminsky's Baking Company and it was fantastic! I had a chocolate chip cookie sundae, Zach had bourbon pecan pie, and Jen had cheesecake. Each dessert looked so good it was hard to choose!

Afterwards Zach and I met Caitlin for dinner at a great seafood restaurant. By the end of dinner I was stuffed with delicious food!

Monday was a marathon wedding venue day. We had a bright and early appointment at 8 am in Mount Pleasant at the Creek Club at I'on, which involved getting up at 6 am to make sure we were out the door by 7 to beat rush hour! We LOVED this venue as well!

We had a little while before the second appointment at 10, so we crossed back over the bridge and walked around Waterfront Park (my favorite FAVORITE part of Charleston!) before making our way to our second appointment at the Wickliffe House.
This house was gorgeous and wonderful to see, but we also decided this wasn't the place for us. The parking situation wasn't great, and we were hoping for a bigger lawn. We headed back downtown and enjoyed some strolling and shopping before a yummy lunch at the South End Brewery.

Afterwards we headed to the Charleston Place Hotel for our 12:45 appointment. This hotel was amazing! It was so huge and had shops and everything right in the hotel! The courtyard was to die for! We were still hoping for more of an outdoor feel so this wasn't the place for us.

We enjoyed the beautiful weather and walked around the Charleston Market for a bit.
I love Charleston's beautiful churches!
Palm trees and waterfront views, what could be better?

Our next appointment was at the Rice Mill Building, which was a fantastic venue! This waterfront venue was brick and historical with fantastic views and tons of room. There were also two great decks for outdoor space. We were really interested in this venue when we were narrowing it down later, but wound up deciding against it because while it was beautiful, the rentals we would have had to get to make it what we are picturing would have made this venue out of our price range.

Our last and final (whew!) appointment was the beautiful Thomas Bennett House. I would have booked this place in a heartbeat if it wasn't for the rental fee that was wayyyy out of our price range (in fact, I don't understand why anyone would pay that astronomical fee). Gorgeous and spacious gardens with an amazing wide porch and great facilities for the bridal party, groomsmen, and guest bathrooms were amazing. I was really sad we wouldn't be able to swing this place.

We headed for a treat to discuss the options and do some number crunching. After an hour of discussion, we narrowed it down to two be continued tomorrow for Wedding Wednesday!

I also need y'alls opinions!

Which picture do you like better? I want to enter a contest for Yoga Journal.
I like the lighting in this picture. However, I don't like how I didn't lunge deeper into the pose.
I like the pose in this picture, but I wish the lighting was better!
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Friday, March 2, 2012

Winners of the BIC Bands Giveaway! (And a Shameless Plug)

Happy Friday everyone! Thanks so much for entering my giveaway for BIC Bands! I'm a huge fan of them and I know you will be too!!
The winners are:

#4: Janna, who won the split decision band!

#32: Happy Fit Mama, who won the sparkles band!

#43: Heather, who won the chocolate bubblegum band!

I'm e-mailing you ladies so be on the lookout!

I also have a huge favor to ask of y'all! I've been nominated for a Fitterati Blogger Award from Fitness magazine!!

I'm in the category of Best Running Blog!

I am so excited just to be nominated and your votes would be SO appreciated!

Thank y'all so much and have a great Friday!
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Thursday, March 1, 2012

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb?

This March will definitely have a whole new meaning of March Madness for me! If you couldn't tell by my sporadic posting (which I'm working on, I promise!), the past couple of weeks have been crazy. My defense is less than three weeks away and I've been working day and night editing my thesis for submission next week. Please bear with me! :)

I'm so excited for this month for lots of reasons. First of course, is the culmination of all of my graduate research with my thesis submission and defense presentation. This will be a HUGE weight off my shoulders so I can't wait to have it all done!
Get me outta this lab!!!

In the middle of all this defense craziness, Zach and I are headed back to Charleston next weekend to finally visit all of the venues! I can't wait to pick a location and of course a wedding date!

I will definitely be filling y'all in on our visit and which venue we pick! I'm excited to be able to see the place where all of my ideas will come to life and I will marry Zach :) I'm also looking forward to seeing Caitlin and Dan again! I love visiting them.
We are also heading down to Jackson for the St. Patrick's Day for a festive 5k and the parade. The 5k is dog-friendly so I'm especially excited for my favorite furry running partner to join me in this race. She'll be dressed in green of course!
So as y'all can see, March is definitely starting full force ahead but (hopefully) will be ending in a much calmer state!

What plans do you have for the month of March? Do you like to celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

Don't forget to enter my BIC Bands giveaway! It is open for entries until tomorrow at 12:00 PM Eastern time!

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