Friday, September 20, 2013

One month to go!

Okay, you  see that? 1 month to go. 30 days. 4 weeks. Oh. My. Goodness.

I cannot believe I will be marrying my best friend next month!!! I can't wait. My doctor prescribed me Xanax to help me sleep (I suffer from insomnia, anxiety, panic, etc.) which has been significantly worse as the wedding approaches. It is not working...hence why I am away right now at 7:30 am. (I think it is actually making me even more energized and hyper than usual. Xanax fail!)

I have an appointment for my first dress fitting at 11:00am today. I am both nervous and excited. It's been a couple of months since I've tried on the dress, and I am *hoping* it has to be taken in (meaning I've lost weight)...but we shall see. I am so glad I was able to book my appointments with the most highly recommended bridal seamstress in the area. Her name is Olga and she is booked literally a year in advance (if not more). I booked my appointments with her before I even got my dress. I will also be going to the dentist to work on my pearly whites. I've been whitening for the past 2-3 weeks, and will finally be able to fix the bonding on one of my teeth. Hopefully it will make a huge difference in my smile!

I also have a top secret appointment with David tonight (one of five). Excited for that too.

Okay, I'm going go try to rest for a bit before my appointment with Olga.

the Bride

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Building a bangin' bridal bod ;)

Disclaimer: Excuse the title of this post. I had a little too much fun with alliteration. :)

I was inspired to start working out again this summer, and I have been hitting the gym 3-5 times a week since August. It's been about a month and a half, and I am really feeling good and starting to see some results. I've also lost between 5-7 lb. and hope to continue toning up before the big day. I thought I'd share a few lifestyle/workout tips for any of you brides who are also trying to "tone up" before the big day.

  1. Join My Fitness Pal. I joined MFP a year and a half ago and it has become a staple in my life. It really helps you keep track of calories in and calories out, and it also helps you keep track of your progress (strength training, weight loss, etc.). It's also a fun way to encourage (and be encouraged) by your friends.
  2. Do More Cardio. I dated a personal trainer in college and the most important thing I took from that relationship is how to work out. It's true that any amount of cardiovascular activity is better than no cardiovascular activity, but if you are trying to lose weight, you need to be doing at least 45-60 min. of cardio 5-6 days a week. The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association recommend about 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity on most days of the week. (30 minutes will help you maintain weight.)
  3. Hit the Weights. Muscle mass naturally diminishes with age. According to the Mayo Clinic, strength training helps develop strong bones, control your weight (by allowing your body to burn calories more efficiently), boost your stamina, and manage chronic health conditions (including back pain, arthritis, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes). I usually follow my cardio workouts with 30-45 minutes of strength training. 
  4. Be Consistent. Sometimes life intervenes and you have to take a couple days off from the gym. Just try not to take more than a week off. My ex from college (the personal trainer) used to tell me that you start losing aerobic fitness after 1 week, and muscle mass after 2 weeks. This will vary per person/athlete, but here is some further reading if you're curious: QDTSelfCathe.
  5. Change it Up. If you are doing the same exercise everyday, you may be maintaining your heart health, but if you want to lose weight, repeating the same workout mode, intensity, or duration day after day will not work. Your body adjusts to the daily workload and you will eventually hit a plateau...not to mention become unmotivated and bored. Try changing your activity: run outside instead of on the treadmill, take a group fitness class, go biking/canoeing/rock climbing. If you have limited options (equipment, injuries, etc.) try to change your workout mode, intensity, incline, etc. so that your body does not get used to any same workout. You should also switch up your strength training routine. Switch between machines and free weights. (Free weights allow you to make use of your stabilizer muscles.) Do different activities that target the same muscle groups instead of doing the same exercise each time.
  6. Stay Hydrated. Drink enough water before, during, and after your workout. Not only does it keep you hydrated during the workout, water also acts as a lubricant for your muscles, joints, and vital organs. It acts as the transporter of oxygen and glucose throughout your body. I've never been a sports drink fan; I've always preferred water when working out (which also helps avoid unnecessary sugar and calories)...but if you are worried about the loss of sodium and potassium from profuse sweating, you can look into sports drinks or electrolyte beverages. (I like SmartWater.)
  7. Be More Active. According to a report released by the Physical Activity Council, one million more American adults have slipped into a sedentary lifestyle in 2011--a trend that is fueling the obesity epidemic. Think of ways to incorporate more "activity" into your daily life: take the stairs, park farther away, walk the dog, stand instead of sitting (at your desk), bring your grocery cart back to the store after unloading your groceries, stretch or do calisthenics during TV commercials, take a walk on your lunch break, clean the house, walk to a coworker's desk instead of e-mailing/calling them. There are many ways to add just a little more activity into your everyday life.
  8. Indulge (a Little). If there's one thing I've learned, it's that sometimes you have to indulge a little. If I restrict myself too much, I end up failing in the end. It is easier for me to avoid snacking unhealthily by not keeping junk food in the house, avoiding fast food places and bypassing the unhealthy aisles at the grocery store...but if I slip up one day, or have a bite or two of my fiance's dessert, it's nothing to beat myself up over. If I feel like I "overindulged," then I just step it up at the gym later. If I'm making healthy choices the rest of the time, then all in all I think I'm doing okay. :)
The most important thing isn't to lose weight, but to feel and be healthy. Your day is about you, and you should feel good about yourself! Feel free to comment with any of your own tips and advice!

the Bride

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Our "sweet" invitation suite

I am so excited to share our wedding invitation suite! Creating the perfect wedding invitation was a very long process that involved a lot of research, planning, designing, and hard work, but I cannot be more pleased with how it turned out.

The wisteria, birdcage, and flowers are elements that will be incorporated into the ceremony. Artwork by Dan Nelson.

I adore how the map turned out! It provides directions from the ceremony to the reception, and also includes Village of Pinehurst landmarks and accommodation information. I love the little details including the small bride and groom in the Pergola Garden, the race track, and the note about "where David & Dorothy will live." Artwork by Dan Nelson. Concept by Dorothy from Luv, the Bride.

A very special thank you to David's wonderful dad, Dan Nelson, who not only designed the gorgeous artwork on the invitation, but also the whimsical map/directions card, and the RSVP card. He also kindly (and tirelessly) did the calligraphy for the envelopes, and I want to point out that the invitation text is also done by him! (Many people thought this was a computer-generated font, but it is Dan Nelson all the way!) David's father is a well-known artist both locally and nationally...and I'll let you in on a (not-so-little) secret: not only is he an artist, but he is also a pastor, and a very talented musician. He truly is a modern-day renaissance man. Please check out his website and YouTube page. Prepare to be amazed!

I also want to give a shout-out to Postmaster Geri at the Bridal Veil United States Post Office! She hand-canceled each of our invitations for us with an adorable "Marriage Station" stamp. I was more than willing to go through the process of having our invitations hand-canceled (instead of risking having them bent and dirtied through the automated process). It was also fun and unique to have such a special postmark. You can find out more about having your invitations hand-canceled with the Bridal Veil postmark here

Rick at Joseph C. Woodard Printing Company was a pleasure to work with throughout the printing process, and I was pleased with the quality, look, feel, and price of the envelopes from LCI Paper. Last but not least, I have to mention my own little touch: the wax seal. I knew I wanted a wax seal to go with the traditional look of our invitation suite, but I couldn't find the perfect I designed my own. I thought a pine cone was the perfect touch, since our wedding will be in the Village of Pinehurst. I had the stamp made by Back to Zero.

David was a wonderful fiancĂ© and helped me stuff all the envelopes. We had our own little two-man assembly line going on. During the design process, David joked about the amount of time, energy, and detail that was going into everything. Now the running joke between David, his dad, and me is that upon receiving and opening the invitations, our guests would "cry" after realizing the pine cone connection.

As much as I enjoy some of the cute and trendy designs offered through companies such as Wedding Paper Divas and Minted, I just didn't find exactly what I wanted. When David's dad came up with the idea of the unique vertically-folded card, I knew I couldn't just have them printed anywhere. In the end, the custom-designed artwork and local printing process was the way to go. Everything ended up being cheaper and more beautiful than any mass-produced invitation I found.

Hope you enjoyed the story behind the creation of our "sweet" little invitation suite.

the Bride

Vendors: Dan NelsonJoseph C. Woodard Printing CompanyBridal Veil United States Post OfficeLCI Paper, Back to Zero and Dorothy from Luv, the Bride

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Make tea, not war.

I am so excited to finally post some highlights from my August 10th Bridal Shower! It was held at David's Aunt Judy's home in Greenville. I can't thank my Matron of Honor, Tammy, enough, as well as her mom Brenda, Aunt Judy, David's mom, and my bridesmaid, Brittany! These women thought of details I never would have dreamt of, and it was absolutely lovely. I was so glad my mom was able to come down to spend the day with me too.

Here is the post where I shared the adorable invitations that Tammy sent out, as well as the thank you cards I made.

Fantastic vintage finds were implemented into the decor including an antique silver tea service. Tammy handmade the paper flowers and pennant banner hung over the fireplace mantle. The lace-accented tables featured fresh flowers and a delicious spread including: finger sandwiches, cheese and crackers, fruit tarts, scones, cupcakes, cookies, sweet tea, lemonade, and of course, a Nelson family tradition: Red Rose Tea! Brittany labeled the hors d'oeuvres with petite ornate frames. David's mom brought dozens of Kentucky Derby style hats, and even brought a coat hanger and mirror so the guests could try them on with ease!

Guests wore their hats and enjoyed tea and crumpets using lovely mismatched china and rose-colored glassware. Tammy even hand-painted a plate in honor of our "love bug" engagement shoot that served as a keepsake guestbook. Brittany made the most adorable favors with raspberry and peach tea, demitasse spoons, and honey sticks. 

The best way to describe the shower is that "Pinterest exploded." The time and effort that these ladies put into planning such a special and memorable day in my honor means the world to me. All the little details are things I never would have thought of, and I am completely humbled by all the love I experienced and felt that day! Another adorable vintage find: Tammy found this glass "genie" teapot that acted as a centerpiece and housed handwritten well-wishes from all the guests!

It meant so much to spend the day with my wonderful, sweet friends and family, including David's Grandmama and my mother. I will never forget this special day. :)

the Bride