New toys

Today I’m pretty sure we used every new wedding gadget we’ve gotten.  Tim made delicious waffles in the waffle iron for breakfast, and I used the bread machine, crockpot and food processor with great success today. 

Meet Super Delicious Salsa Slow Cooker Chicken.

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Ugly, yes.  Delicious, yes.

I basically cobbled this together from various recipes I’d found online.  I dumped the following into the crockpot:

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small bag frozen corn
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 brick reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 c. salsa (We used Pace Mild salsa, blended smooth in the Magic Bullet with a small container of Chipotle hot salsa—our favorite!  We are anti chunk.)

Then…you just let it peace out in the crockpot on low for about six hours, and serve over some brown rice.

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Southpaw was stalking Tim’s plate.  Super good and filling, and there’s enough leftovers for dinner tomorrow!

I also made this beauty today:

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We’ll call this…honey mixed nut butter.  Unless anyone else has a more creative idea.  Again, an easy recipe. 

Into the food processor went:

  • 1/4 c. salted peanuts
  • 1/4 c. macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 c. almonds
  • 1/4 c. pecans
  • 1/4 c. hazelnuts
  • 1 T. honey

Blend until smooth.  Easy peasy and delicious.

The nut butter will go on this:

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The loaf of honey wheat bread in the bread machine.  This will probably go in with Tim to work.  But I’m considering keeping it.  Hee.

Also today:  I did about 10 loads of laundry, vacuumed the entire house, cleaned the bathroom, and got the guest bedroom in a state where I WOULDN’T be embarrassed for people to see it.  Our house is finally starting to look like normal again.  I love it so.

And Tim did this!

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Wall mount wine rack!  (He also took my car for an oil change and returned a duplicate gift.  God bless him.)

I am currently decompressing with this.

0516 005 A glass of Gamay Rouge. 

Operation Break In Orthotics has not gone as well as I’d planned.  Mainly because it’s been POURING here.  I’ve tried.  I’m going to do my best to drag my lazy butt to the gym tomorrow after work and hopefully break them in with some run-walk intervals for awhile. 

Four days until we leave for the honeymoon!  I can’t wait!

Wife chop

Just when I thought I was done with all 40 or so thank you notes…

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Two more gifts arrived.

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Not complaining, because lord knows we need more storage stuff to neaten up our kitchen, but….ack.  I will get these done.  We mailed a huge batch today, and we just have a few more to do that are kind of impossible to do right now for various reasons.

The best thing about being married so far?

Before:0515 003

And after!

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LOVE IT.  (Note: it got flattened by the rain a bit.)

I feel so much more like MYSELF now.  Long hair is NOT for me.  I feel hot, and hairy, and gross, and awkward, and immature in it.  I grinned like an idiot the entire haircut.

(It is not really the best part of being married, though.  But pretty great.  We’ve also made it through our first week as husband and wife!  Go us.)

The rest of the day was spent shopping!  We completed the bulk of our Crate & Barrel and Macy’s registries.

Glasses:

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MAGNETIC measuring cups and spoons.  They stick together so the set is nice and neat!

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Assorted gadgets, and a random coffee mug lid that got thrown in there. 0515 011

Butter dish!

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Gravy boat and olive oil mister!

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Wine rack!  (That will be mounted to the wall eventually.  Right, Tim?)

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A teeny pot that matches the rest of our set:

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And our new guest bathroom setup: 0515 015Unpictured: shit tons of towels.  Big, fluffy towels, that haven’t faded and match one another.  Heaven.

I also did a bit of personal shopping after my haircut, mostly for our honeymoon cruise next week.

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Cute green sundress, black knit skirt, two tank tops, and a white knit shrug (which is more of a wear-to-work piece to go over my sleeveless dresses to make them a bit more appropriate.)  I’m not a big fan of Old Navy’s winter clothes, but I LOVE their summer stuff.  Super cheap, too!

Less cheap, but also awesome?  I found a lucy store! 0515 017 

I finally broke down and bought a pair of running shorts.  I love that these are cute and high quality, but come to just above the knee.  With the way my body is built, I don’t think I’ll ever wear booty shorts for running.  Love these, though!

In other news?  I LOVE HUMMUS.  I’d tried hummus once, a long time ago, and I didn’t like it.  It was freezing cold and, well, not good.  But tonight we went out to dinner and got a hummus and pita appetizer and it was to die for.  The hummus was warm and garlicky and had chili oil on it and I think I love it now.  Hooray!

What’s something you didn’t like until you gave it a second chance?

Adjusting to married life

Phew.  The last few days have been nuts.  Not only did we drive 9 hours on Monday, but we had to pick up our animals from being boarded, unpack our suitcases and gifts and carload of wedding paraphernalia.  Last night was spent grocery shopping—we literally had nothing in the house.

Generally…our relationship doesn’t feel any different.  We’ve been living together for over a year already, and had joint finances and stuff, so nothing has really changed, except my name and calling each other “wife” and “husband.”  The name change is REALLY throwing me for a loop—I keep introducing myself as Brie Oldlastname at work, and my secretary keeps yelling “BRIE NEWLASTNAME!” at me every time I do it.  It will take time, but my new name is a definite upgrade.  I love it! 

I’ve also been busy with these.

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Thank you notes.  I’m determined to get them all out before our one-week anniversary hits!  I hate having them hang over my head, and I think people appreciate getting them quickly.

In other news, we’ve been enjoying all our new stuff.    

Matching plates, bowls, and glasses that didn’t come from a Red Lobster that was going out of business!

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Pretty new bedding (that does not hide cat hair at all, unfortunately):

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The first gadget I used?  The food processor.  To make homemade peanut butter.  Heaven.

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(I bought macadamias, pecans, almonds and cashews last night and I’m dying to make a mixed-nut butter.  Mmmm.)

Our new Keurig that actually brews a full cup of coffee…

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Oh, and all the wine I bought back in Napa finally made it back to Kansas City!

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I think we are planning on bringing two bottles on our cruise with us—Carnival allows one bottle a person, so why not splurge a little?  (We got a Gamay Rouge, a Cabernet, a Semillon and a Moscato.)

But of course, I forgot to thaw anything for dinner.  Wife fail.  (Kidding.)

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Chipotle to the rescue!  I’ve recently discovered my love for black beans.

On the exercise front: I’ve been really tired and frankly, de-motivated since the wedding.  I want to get the house and my life back in some kind of order before we leave for the honeymoon next Friday.  And lunch break workouts are not a possibility anymore, because my office goes down to a 4-days-a-week schedule so I’m working over lunch to try to make up some hours.

So, I’ve decided that I’m giving myself permission to take it easy until we get back from the honeymoon.  What I’m planning on doing?  Breaking in my orthotics very carefully.  I plan to take Milhouse out walking for a long time every night, and not running in them until I’ve done that at least 4 or 5 times, per the orthotist.  I don’t want to do too much too soon.

Frankly, I’m a person who thrives on goals and schedules, and not training for something is making me a little lazy.  And that’s okay!  Because come June 5th, I’ll be in hardcore marathon training mode, and it will be nice to start that coming off a bit of a break.  I’m not going to wither away and die, and I may still exercise here and there aside from walking.  Balance, friends.  Sometimes I will be training really hard, like I was in March and I will be in June-October.  But for now, it’s time to relax a little bit, and be married.  (Don’t worry, I’ll still be blogging!)

In more exciting news, our fantastic photographer will be posting some more teasers on her blog tomorrow from our first look, along with my strong recommendation to do one.  Hooray!  I can’t wait to see them.

And now, I’m off to cuddle my husband.  WHOA.

5 days to go!

And it was a doozy.

I don’t want to go into specific details on the blog, but this morning, I had a full blown panic attack by 6:45 am.  Hyperventilating, crying, wanting to puke, the whole nine yards.  Went to work, was fine, began completely panicking again around 10:30.  Control sobs in office.  Boss walks in, catches me crying, is totally awesome and understanding.  I take an early lunch and go to the gym.

Basically, what it boils down to is that weddings are really, really emotionally charged.  My emotions are at DEFCON-5 right about now.  I cried listening to the song “Forever” by Chris Brown last week in the car, for Pete’s sake.  My family’s are as well.  It’s not pretty.  There is some definite tension going on.  I am trying very hard to remember that feelings are just that—feelings—not the truth of the situation.  I just hope to God everyone can calm the fuck down (myself included) by Saturday, because I don’t want our wedding to be brought down by a bunch of drama llamas.

Anyway.  The workout.  Since I’d been bawling my eyes out, it wasn’t exactly the most intense gym session ever.  Jogged slowly to the gym, did some heavy squats and shoulder presses, felt like that was too taxing, chilled on the elliptical for 20 minutes, walked back.  It’s better than nothing.  It was seriously restorative, though, and just going through the motions of the gym felt incredible.  Sometimes I work out for reasons other than burning calories, and today was one of those days.

Tim’s out picking up his new spectacles tonight (hooray!) so I’m flying solo.  I’m decompressing with the following.  A healthy, HEALTHY glass of:

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And a giant quesadilla with cheese and leftover chicken from last night.

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We also got some of our flatware as a wedding gift in the mail!

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Our registries are pretty well pillaged lately. Good times.

And fuckyouverymuch, 10 day forecast.

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In happier news, I’ve been coffee/Diet Coke/red wine free for a week and a half-ish now.  Not dead yet!

My eyes are burning.  I’m going to go curl up with a beagle and a disagreeable tabby cat.

Don’t forget to enter to win some totally awesome Cascadian Farms goodies!

What’s your favorite kind of wine?  I’m usually a cabernet girl, but I can appreciate a good Riesling or Moscato too!

8 days to go!

I am blogging after my third glass of chardonnay.  God help me, but…I’m feeling more relaxed than I’ve felt in WEEKS.

For lunch, I resurrected the egg puff!

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With cheddar cheese, a yogurt mess, and a multigrain bagel.

I took cookie Friday to heart.

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I don’t remember the last time I’ve had a plain old cookie out of a store-bought box.  Crazy! 

I skipped the gym today.  It was pouring.  I’m sore from lifting yesterday, and I’m not sure what cardio I’d do because my shin is still twinging. 

Came home and immediately poured this times three:

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Cheap chardonnay.  Not good, but it got the job done.

Dinner was take n’ bake pizza.  It’s all about balance, friends, and today tipped towards the “unhealthy” side, and I don’t so much care. 0430 004

Tim helped me open a fun package!

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A whole bunch of Cascadian Farms goodies from the good folks at My Blog Spark!  Cereal, granola, and granola bars.  I can’t wait to try these.  (Note: they sent these to me for free.)

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I’ll be reviewing these after the wedding most likely, but we dipped into the Cinnamon Crunch cereal while waiting for the pizza to bake and mmmm…it was seriously addictive!  I can’t wait to try everything else!

Also, Tim’s very sweet co-workers gave us a wedding gift!

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A bread maker!

There is a long and tragic story of bread makers in the Fit Bride household, but this is not the time or place.

Tonight, I will sober up and make some escort cards.  Good times.

Also, 10-day forecast, you suck.

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What foods do you indulge in on not-so-healthy days?

9 Days to Go!

The ten-day forecast says….

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In other words…perfect.  Let’s hope it stays that way!  I specifically wanted to get married in May because it’s not hot, but not chilly either, and really, I can’t ask for more than mid-sixties. 

So, also, I bought this dress in Napa and I think it’s super cute.  So I took a picture.

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It has some cute pleating on the shoulders.  V-neck wrap dresses are my absolute favorite clothing item ever—I’m pretty sure they flatter EVERYONE, and they’re so comfortable.

Anyway, work was kind of crazy today.  I had to be at an event from 12-1 (my normal lunchtime) BUT I still wanted to go to the gym at lunch.  So, in the morning, I had some Chobani with strawberries and GoLean Crunch before I left.  Then, I went to the gym and did some lifting.  I WANTED to run today, but, strangely, I woke up this morning with shin splints (mostly in my left leg).  Uhh…okay.  After a rest day?  That makes sense.  So, weights it was.  In no particular order…

  • Squats: 3 X 12 @ 115 lbs.
  • Overhead shoulder press: 3 X 12 @ 30 lbs. 
  • Deadlifts: 3 X 12 @ 70 lbs.
  • Upright row: 3 X 12 @ 40 lbs.  (an increase!)
  • Underhand grip pulldowns: 3 X 12 @ 48 lbs.
  • Wide grip lat pulldowns: 3 X 12 @ 48 lbs.
  • Chest press: 3 X 12 @ 50 lbs.

This was kind of a quickie because I was short on time—I had to rush off to a 2 o’clock meeting! 

Luckily, it was a phone meeting.  So had some delicious, delicious spinach with this:

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I really love Newman’s Own salad dressings!  They are super yummy and the ingredients aren’t scary.  I have to say, I think this one is my favorite.  I also had a multigrain bagel with the salad.  (And yes, I keep a whole bottle in the work fridge now.  It’s easier.)

And, for an afternoon snack, name that bar:

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Came home to some fun wedding presents!

A roasting pan!  I predict many, many chickens going in this one.

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And the ice cream maker attachment for our KitchenAid Mixer.  Oh yes.  With summer coming, I will make my own ice cream at least once SO HELP ME GOD before it gets cold again.

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No box is safe in our house, though.

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We’re down to the last two delinquent RSVPers and Tim is going to call them tonight.  It’s been a nice, calm day wedding wise, thank goodness.  I’m really excited to see everyone coming into town for it!  I made mani/pedi appointments (and I’m REALLY nervous about getting a pedicure, what with my black nail and the like), and that’s about it.  We’re getting close, folks!

What’s your favorite salad dressing?

Lunchtime Warrior

11 days to go!  We’re almost in 10-day forecast territory, dudes.

I thought about photographing my lunch, but it was the same as yesterdays: pineapple pre-workout, spinach + balsamic, Chobani + strawberries + Kashi GoLean, and a multigrain bagel. 

Once again, over the lunch hour, I hit the gym.  0.4 mile run there, 3.5 mile run on the treadmill, 0.4 mile run back.  Whee! 

My iPod was dead today, so I did some thinking while I ran.  I am certain these shoes (the Brooks Defyance 2s) are not THE shoes for me.  Aside from the blister issues, I’ve had various knee/shin/ankle pain, and today, my hips were complaining too!  Ugh.  My orthotics are in (but I keep forgetting to make an appointment to pick them up—it’s a little hectic right now), and I think I’ll head back to the ol’ running store to get a new pair.

Here’s my dream shoe wishlist:

  • A wide toe box.  I think the blistering on my forefoot is because these shoes are just too narrow thanks to my awesome bunions.
  • I also like the idea of a wide width shoe—I tried one for a few weeks earlier this year, but it was a stability shoe, and didn’t have enough cushioning, so I got shin splints.  I’m curious about what could happen in a wide neutral shoe with plenty of cushioning.
  • A larger size.  I’m pretty sure my feet swell when I run.  A lot.  I’d ideally like to be measured, run on the store treadmill for awhile, and then be re-measured, but they probably don’t want me jeopardizing it all day. 

Anyway.  Moving on.  There was a birthday celebration at work this afternoon, so I was planning on having cake as an afternoon snack.  (Yup.)  Buuut, I went, and it was white cake with white frosting—booooring, and not worth the sugar binge.   I went back to my office and opted for a Luna Bar instead.

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I’m not a white chocolate fan AT ALL, but I really like these.  Huh.

Came home.  We got a wedding gift!  Hello, new salad bowl.  May I fill you with spinach?

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I also got a very fancy candle as an early wedding gift from a co-worker today!  Totally sweet.

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I looove candles (and so does Tim) and this one smells awesome.  It’s orange/vanilla scent, so think grown-up creamsicle.

And for fun, Tim and I get 8904543 mailings a week from the Missouri Bar Association.  We got one today that we both laughed at:

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We’re down to four RSVP stragglers.  Come on, guys!

What’s something that made you laugh today?

Bridal shower the second

First things first—I do NOT feel like death today!  I’m surprised at how good I feel, actually.  I am sore in a few odd places (like my shoulders and triceps) and a few more normal places (hips, calves, and quads), but I don’t feel like anything is injured (yay!) or abnormally sensitive.  I was worried about how transitioning from treadmill to outdoors would be, but it was really seamless for me.  (If only that dang fast mile 5 hadn’t killed me…but oh well.)

All in all I really liked the half marathon distance!  I think it’s long enough to be challenging mentally and physically, but I didn’t feel like I had to go full speed all the time like in a 5K, which can be stressful.  There’s another HUGE half in KC that’s supposed to be awesome on June 5th…but I’ll be out of town for work.  Guess I’ll just have to hold out until August!  I’m excited already!

Last night we went out to dinner and ice cream and I did a bit of shopping.  I rewarded myself with a few good reads for my plane trips these weeks!  (And a really super soft Gap t-shirt.  Gap t-shirts are the best t-shirts in the whole wide world and you’ll never convince me otherwise!)

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I totally love reading, but I can’t really get into the book I was working on now, so I thought this would be a nice little splurge.  (Anyone read these two?  Are they great?)

Anyway, Tim and I slept in this morning.  I was hangry, so we agreed that he would make pancakes while I walked the dog.  Milhouse and I went for a nice long stroll in the sunshine.  I could feel my joints and muscles loosening.   Ahh, the benefits of having a dog!

Finally, we headed over to his Aunt Emily’s house for my bridal shower.  Tim decided he’d like to come, so he invited himself.  We didn’t kick him out!

Look at how pretty the table was!

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We had all kinds of pretty girly food—a nice salad with artichokes, crackers and Brie (in my honor!), chicken salad croissants, and petit fours.  Yum!

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The guests (minus Tim):

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Series of gift opening photos, taken by Tim:

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Tim, of course, photographed his favorite gift—a new ice cream scoop!

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All in all we had a lovely time chatting and catching up and we got lots of great gifts.  Behold! 

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The wedding room has reached new levels of insanity.  That’s not even all our wedding gifts—we have a ton at my mom’s house in Chicago.  Plus, all the wedding junk we’re going to have to take to Chicago!

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As a comparison, that room literally had nothing but a bed and bookshelf in it before the wedding took over.  It’s a great problem to have, but it’ll be nice to clean it out and set up our new things after the wedding! 

This blog post is late because of the following:

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I am paranoid about thank you notes.  For both my showers, I’ve had them in the mail the day after the event.  It’s a personal pet peeve of mine when I send a gift to someone and I get a thank you note six months later…or not at all.  They take five minutes to write, and really, it’s the least I can do to thank these people for being so generous.  (And, frankly, I don’t want to give anyone anything to cattily gossip about.)

So they will all be mailed tomorrow.

Anyway, tomorrow morning I go to get fitted for custom stinkin’ orthotics.  I’m excited!  I just want to be able to keep my legs in tip-top shape for my future running plans and I’m really interested to see how the whole process works.  Whee!

What’s your pet peeve?

Higher!

First of all.  Thank you all for your incredible outpouring of support re: my slightly dramatic post last night.  I can, and will do this.  I’ve been playing Dr. Google all day, and I feel kind of certain that what is wrong with my knees and lower legs can be solved by rest and ice.  I am super anxious to get to the podiatrist tomorrow.  For now, I am just planning on resting the shit out of my legs until the half, but we’ll see what he says tomorrow.

I started today out still in a funk.  There are assorted wedding stressors going on that I don’t want to talk too much about, but are, well, stressful. 

Lunch.  The aerial view.  Exactly the same as yesterday.

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Lately, for lunch, I’ve felt more like munching than solid meals.  I’ll eat the cantaloupe around 11:30, then the pretzel roll around noon, then the yogurt around 12:30.  Works well for me!

I ate a bigger snack around 4 o’clock—a PowerBar Harvest bar—because I knew I wouldn’t be home until later because my dress fitting was at 6 about 45 minutes from home.  These things are good—chocolatey and coconutty and very big and filling.  Good for a light meal replacement or large snack!

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Then…second dress fitting!

It was so liberating to finally try on my dress without a foot of extra material on the bottom.  I could finally walk around in it!  And sit!  Whee! 

Also, when the seamstress zipped me up, I got a “did you lose weight?” that totally made my day.

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And the bustle!0331 005 We’re still not done yet—we decided to take in the top a teeny tiny bit just so my boobs are firmly locked in place.  It’s a little loose up there right now and I don’t want to be hiking them up!  I’m picking the dress up April 28th.

I came home to find a bunch of RSVPs—7 nos, 2 yes—and two packages, topped with a cat.

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The creme de la creme of wedding presents!

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Again, with cat interference.

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Hello, lover.

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For now, she is in the wedding room, but I have grand plans (biscotti!  frosting!) for post-wedding.

We also got a super cute cupcake carrier to go with it.  Wedding presents are fun!

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Tim and Milhouse modeled the second package.

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My uncle loves to cook and when I saw him this weekend, he was shocked he’d never gotten me this cookbook before and had it Amazoned to me immediately..  It’s actually a super fancy cooking textbook!  I can’t wait to take a closer look. 

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All in all, today started out pretty bad, but got better.  If I have to sit on my ass for two weeks to run this damn half marathon, I will. 

Back tomorrow with a podiatrist report!  Cross your fingers!

My favorite shower gift

I was instructed at my shower that there was one box I had to open before all the others.  So, of course, I did, and I opened it to find this beautiful recipe box.

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(Gorgeous, no?)

My aunt asked my cousin, Jason, to make one for me, thinking he’d slap one together with plywood or similar, but he took the job really seriously and went out and bought some beautiful (and very expensive!) maple and cherry to make it.  It’s absolutely stunningly beautiful and well made.  I’ll have it forever.

The reason I had to open it first was because everyone had put a recipe on their package as a tag.  The first one was from Maddie the flower girl.

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I died.  SO FREAKING CUTE.

By the end of the day, I had quite the collection.

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Including some super vintage ones—my great-grandmother’s recipe for Baked Stuffed Tufoli, and my grandma’s aunt’s recipe for (super delicious) Raisin-Oatmeal Cookies.

My great-grandma’s recipe must be good, because it was in the newspaper.  They quoted her as saying, “Secret of a good sauce is to make it the day before.  And make plenty of it.”  Sounds like my kind of lady, even though I never met her!

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My mom also contributed several, though she’s much more of a baker than a cook.  (As you can probably tell by the recipe on top.)

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I need more to fill it with, but this is a great start!

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All in all, I got recipes for the following, many of which are my FAVORITES from my family members.  (If anyone wants any of them, leave a comment letting me know which ones you want to see!)

  • Great-grandma’s Baked Stuffed Tufoli
  • Fresh Apple Cake
  • Cookie Dough Brownies
  • Aunt Vi’s Raisin-Oatmeal Cookies
  • Strawberry Crepes
  • Cheesy Potato Soup
  • Chicken Vesuvio
  • Fettucine Alfredo (including 1 stick of butter and a pint of heavy cream!)
  • Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Buster Bar Dessert
  • Baked Potato Salad
  • Pretzel Jello
  • Red Jello
  • Fruit Dip
  • Whipped Frosting
  • Christmas Rice
  • Chipmunk Pie
  • Caramel Corn
  • Banana Egg Rolls
  • Penne with Spicy Vodka Cream Sauce
  • Strawberry Pizza
  • Caramel Apple Pie
  • “Pat’s Crack” (a maple-flavored sweet snack mix)
  • Make-your-own Cleaning Wipes
  • Chocolate Eclair Cake
  • Hot Sausage Dip
  • Vanilla Raspberry Pudding Shots
  • Campbell Corn Bread (from Tim’s mom!)
  • Girl Scout Chicken (also from Tim’s mom!)
  • Buffalo Chicken Dip
  • Taco Lasagna

Disclaimer: none of these recipes are healthy.  But they are all yummy and special to me!

Anyway, I love, love, love this and will definitely do this at any showers I host in the future.

What’s your favorite family recipe?