Saturday, September 21, 2013

Race Recap: Isabella Santos 5k

Happy Saturday lovely blog readers! My morning started out with a 5k run for charity and I couldn't wait to blog about it because it was so much better than I expected! I had never heard of the Isabella Santos 5k before and so I didn't really know what to expect. As a blogger, they offered me and my fiancĂ© a free race entry and the ability to give a free race entry to another couple to help promote the race. Of course, I jumped on the opportunity but assumed it was probably pretty small if they were asking for my help. I am pretty sure the 10 people who read my blog weren't going to help their numbers too much. : )

When Dwayne and I got there this morning, the number of people in purple shirts was overwhelming. It was one of the most organized races we had ever done and I have to be honest and tell you that it was some of the best swag I have ever received for a race.

We got cinch bags which anyone in the exercising world will tell you, are the most awesome things every invented. Inside there were coupons, chapstick, granola, snacks and the best racing tshirt I have ever gotten. It wasn't your typical $4 cotton tshirt. It was an actual  Running T!

You can see Kat sporting it here. Dwayne and I chose to go with the "I look like I am going to rob you" motif.
For those of you who want to see what the back of the shirt looks like. Here is a kid that finished the race with his dad...just barely.

The race was in an area of Charlotte called Ballentyne so it was on asphalt and it was pretty consistently small inclines and declines. Some of those inclines gave me a run for my money.

The starting line was filled with people ...

One little person caught my eye in particular.
This little girl was hardcore and I will be honest and tell you that she was in front of me the ENTIRE race. This little girl kicked my butt, I will admit it.

In the first mile I kept up with Dwayne and his 7:15 mile pace. Then I started slowing down to more of my average racing pace which is closer to 8:15.



When we finished the race, there were volunteers handing us reusable ice packs which I thought was the coolest thing! It cooled me down immediately and I wondered why every race doesn't do this?

I finished the race at a solid 25:43 and was 5th in my age range and 119 overall. When I saw the finishers board, I realized that there were 1,000 people running with us for this fight against cancer. How awesome!

We waited at the finish line for Kat and John to come through and started screaming when we saw them. They did a great job!

Although John needed a recovery minute
I was so happy that they joined us for this race and I hope that they can for several more!

Congrats to all who ran today for this amazing cause. Great job all!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Best Save the Date Photos and "How is Wedding Planning Going?"

Hi everyone,

Today I wanted to blog a little bit more about wedding related things because I realized in the past few weeks that the question I am hearing the most from everyone I run into is "So, how is the wedding planning going?" People stop in my door, ask on the phone, facebook, practically everywhere and I feel really honored that so many people care to ask! I know that is just making conversation but it's a really exciting time in our lives and so I enjoy talking about it. I know that there are some people who are in my inner circle that are probably sick of hearing about it and to those people I apologize. : ) The wedding is around 7 months away and with Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, I have a feeling that a solid 3 months of that will go by VERY quickly and it will be here before you know it!

I can certainly understand why people get stressed out over planning a wedding. There are a lot of little things to take care of and if you are like me, you get nervous handing things over to other people to do like your vendors. I would honestly be more comfortable doing everything myself but alas, I can't bake a cake or feed 150 people sooo...I don't have much of a choice.

So here are some updates about how the wedding planning is going!

The Venue:

Initially, we had seen not so great reviews from our venue regarding responsiveness of the event planner online which made me very nervous because if we are planning this from 5 states away, I cannot have the stress of the most important coordinator not answering me. Luckily, we haven't had any problems and she has actually been wonderful so I am hoping it stays that way. The next step is the food tasting, but we are trying to figure out how we can do it without having to take a trip to Pittsburgh especially for it. There really isn't a good time to go until Christmas : / However, we have the Venue and Rehearsal Dinner locked down!

I am working on my vows, the welcome packages and the programs. There's a lot to write but they are coming along!


I found lovely sites for buying linens at wholesale prices called and some ideas for making my own centerpieces. Mi madre even offered to help when she comes down over Turkey Day to find the pieces I need and put them together for me. So far, I have gotten a few pieces purchased for this.

I also have some great photos of couples throughout history that I want to use on the tables as inspiration. Here is a sneak peak of some of the ones I have found.

Spreading the News:

The Save The Dates went out last month and I asked my friends and family to send me photos of them with the mailing so that I can create something awesome for the reception thanking everyone for supporting us. These are some of the best ones I have seen so far.

Thank you Casey Hall

Hilariously, people thought this was me and not my friend twin Elena!

She is so happy to be my flower girl!

The award winner for best use of props - Allison Muscaro
 Invitations are being created as we speak by my amazingly talented friend, Kim Smith who is designing everything for us. I loved her design of the Save the Dates so I can't wait to see what she does with our invitations! Keep your eyes pealed! They will be sent out about 3 months before and will have all the information for hotels, directions, locations, etc.


My dress is finished and hanging in the closet waiting for bridal portraits over Christmas with the beautiful Rachel Tokarski. (click the link to see the work she did on our engagement photos) I recently got my hair piece from Etsy and I am in love with it. It was hand made from ivory clay and pearls (not real because I am not rich but still beautiful!!)

Also, Dwayne got his tuxedos all ordered and ready to go and I think that the bridesmaids are all set on their dresses!

I also found a site that I really like to buy silk flowers for everyone called The Brides Again, because I don't want to have to coordinate another vendor from a distance for the flowers, we are going silk. Neither Dwayne not I cared much about having real or silk flowers and so we decided that we would save ourselves the stress.

This is not the exact one that I am getting, can't give all my secrets away!
Health and Wellbeing

I am trying to do small little things to help myself early to get ready for my bridal portraits coming up in 3 months. I have a really bad habit of not taking care of my skin the way that I should. Aside from drinking a ton of water everyday, I rarely take the time to moisterize or anything that you should do everyday -oops. This is especially bad because I know I exercise when I still have makeup on most days from work and sweating all the time is great for your muscles but not for your skin. So! I have started a nighttime regimine (that I do most nights) with moisturizing, flossing, and  making sure I take all my makeup off before bed. I am hoping this will alleviate any major skin problems creeping up around these photos!

The only thing that is on my mind at the moment is that there are so many things that I would like to do but I can't until I know how many people will be coming, which you don't know until you get all your RSVP's. Things like buying linens, printing programs, table numbers, number of centerpieces, etc.

I truly appreciate everyone who is taking an interest in our special day and are humoring me with all the fun stuff we want to do.

Thank you all!

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Post All About Children - Obesity, Obama's Drink Up Campaign and a New Addition!

Hello all,

Today's post has some updates on the LMWL challenge with Sarah Jenks and some really good news from Reuters!

Last week, because of my trip to San Antonio was a bit rough to do the Live More, Weigh Less challenges but I did what I could while on the road. For example, on Wednesday the goal was to tell your body you love it. I made sure to do so especially thinking positively about my legs because as short as they may be, they are the reason I can hike, run, walk the dog - everything and I am so happy that I have them.

Saturday's goal was cook a nice dinner and I was happy to have a nice night grilling out with friends
which was delicious! Two of the days had goals to watch videos that were sent to us and I have to say that the videos are a little too long for my liking. The first one was over 30 minutes and honestly, my interest is lost after about 5, I got the gist of what was trying to come across and didn't need to hear more but other than that I am liking it so far.

This week focuses on the emotional aspect of eating so it has goals such as "paying attention while you are eating" and "find something to do while you are bored instead of eating." All valid points to pay attention to.

Now for two pieces of big news!

First, I was so happy to read this article this morning from Reuters Health that discusses a study suggesting that kids and teenagers over the last decade have started getting more exercise and reduced their television consumption! For example, the average hours a day that kids are watching tv has dropped from 3.1 hours to 2.4. While these statistics weren't drastic enough to start a reversal of obesity in children, it has started to level them off which is a good first step.

I also saw that Michelle Obama has started a new campaign called "Drink Up" which encourages children to drink one more glass of water a day instead of a sugary drink. The campaign received criticism from some conservative groups because ..ummm.. I don't really understand why? I can't even begin to fathom why someone would have a problem with encouraging children to drink water and stay hydrated instead of soda or sugary juice but then again, I don't understand a lot of things people get outraged about. It all seems a little ridiculous.

Also, the biggest news is that last night we welcomed a new family member into my family! My cousin Jen gave birth to a bouncing baby boy a month early, Joseph Muscaro-Kozar! I can't wait to share pictures! Congratulations!