Tuesday, November 30, 2010

So Not a Fasionista

I've come to realize that I'm probably never going to be that girl...you know, the fashionista. I can't imagine spending so much money on labels and so much time picking out the "perfect" look. Sure, I want to look nice, but the truth is that I don't really see myself putting in all of that effort. I'm the girl who spills things on myself while eating, loves flip flops and hates shoes, and would rather be comfy than stylish. I just can't see myself ever being that girl who can pull certain clothes off and take risks with what I wear.

I realized all of this as I walked out of my house today wearing a tank top, zip-up hoodie, Phil's work-out shorts, and ugg boots. And, yes, I really did that and I'm comfy.

Monday, November 29, 2010

How Much Is Too Much?

Every year Phil and I really make sure to do Christmas "right." We get each other great gifts and really put a lot of time and effort into picking gifts for our friends and family. Usually, we have a loose budget when it comes to giving gifts around the holiday season (mainly because I just have to get everyone the.perfect.gift), but this year we are sticking to a budget.

I must admit that it makes me happy to not go "overboard" this year with gifts. I love Phil and I don't really feel the need to buy him something extravagant. I would, honestly, rather give him a couple of small gifts and focus on spending time with him. After all, this will be our only Christmas being engaged :)

As for friends, I think a smaller budget than what we usually do will work out well too. It's more about the company and friendship anyways, so why should we insist on spending more than necessary? You can be just as thoughtful getting something small that means a lot to that person.

I guess what it comes down to isn't about just finances. It's about showing people other ways that you care. Sure, Phil still wants us to have a Christmas tree at the new apartment and I still want to put up our decorations there when I move in, but I'm not going to go all out buying new things every season.

This year, I would like to focus on the company of friends and family instead of seeing how much it will cost us to make them "happy."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

One Week to Go

In just one week, I will be moving! Things are coming along nicely and I can attribute that to lots of help from my friend, Amanda, Phil, and Phil's mom. In fact, my room is filled with boxes at the moment and I'm ok with that. Knowing that I have lots of love and support means the world to me and it makes the whole process less overwhelming.

I still have things to do, but it's looking like it's finally coming together.

Friday, November 26, 2010

In the Spirit of Giving...50 Free Christmas Photo Cards!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I can now, officially say that with Thanksgiving behind us. What I love about Christmas is the spirit of giving. Who doesn’t like the joy they get from giving something to someone and seeing how happy it makes them? Well, this year Shutterfly is offering 50 free photo Christmas cards to every blogger! How cool is that? I mean, I love free things and the fact that this is happening so close to a major spending time (you know, Christmas, moving, the wedding…) that I am so thankful to have this opportunity.

Here are a few of the photo cards I love…

I love the fact that they have so many different cards to choose from. I literally searched through pages and pages of cards…the options are endless! I’m looking forward to sending out Christmas cards this year with one of our engagement pictures on it. I think it will be a nice way for everyone to be able to share in this special time for me and Phil.

Shutterfly also has a lot of other great things that can be personalized. They have wall calendars, thank you cards (great for after Christmas), and birthday cards. To check these out you can click on the bold words :)

If you would like 50 free Christmas cards, it’s easy! All you have to do is click here: http://bit.ly/sfly2010 and follow the directions. Go…like, now and do it!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Next Year...

This time next year...
  • I will be married.
  • My apartment will be unpacked and it will be "our home" together
  • I will have visited two countries outside of the US.
  • I will be even more thankful for family and friends.
  • I will be able to call Phil my husband :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Stressed. Overwhelmed.

That is exactly how I feel. There's too much going on and everyone expects so much from me right now. I can't handle it. I feel like I'm drowning and there's no way out.

Phil has been super supportive and I thank God for him. I couldn't do this without him.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

I have around 6 personal training sessions left and three months until the wedding. My first thought was to buy more to get me through the wedding, but then what happens after the wedding? Personal training is expensive and I know that we won't be able to afford me to have a trainer for the rest of my life. I mean, I love the idea of having a trainer to motivate me and tell me what to do and talk to me the whole time to keep my mind off of working out, but seriously?

It's been no secret that I haven't been thrilled with my current gym. I've looked into other gyms in the past and decided that with the move, I should continue to look closer to my new place. So, I looked and you know what I realized? Unless I have someone holding my hand (aka a trainer), I probably won't go on a regular basis, so why pay for it? We don't really need to spend all of that money on a trainer or a gym membership, so why not just cancel it and figure something else out?

I've been thinking about this for weeks now and I finally have my conclusion. If I'm not going to go, then we shouldn't waste our money. Phil's parents have a perfectly good treadmill at home, they also have an exercise ball and Phil has some adjustable weights that I can use while being there and the new apartment has a fitness center I can use.

I've come to the realization that I can't have someone "holding my hand" through the weight-loss process. I need to take responsibility for myself and make it happen. I've had trainers before and I know what to do...now, it is up to me to make it happen. We have the equipment, so, let's use it!

I'm working with Phil on a goal for me to attain. We've been talking about our budget and establishing weekly allowances for all of the little "extras" we spend on. I was thinking that maybe, in the beginning, I could earn my allowance by working out. Each day would be a set dollar amount and we would set limitations. I'm also looking into a "workout planner/scheduler" where I can write down what I did each day or check off all of the days I've worked out.

Basically, I'm trying to figure a way to motivate myself to do what I need to. No one can make me do this, it has to be my decision. I'm tired of paying for people to tell me to do what I already know how to just because I don't want to do it by myself. It's time for me to get motivated and stop wasting money!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

Let me be honest, I've been completely overwhelmed lately, so it's probably a good thing that it's Thankful Thursday. Hopefully, this will help remind me of all the good things in my life.

I am thankful for...
  • My fiance who is supportive of my at all times and lets me cry on his shoulder (or over the phone).
  • Netflix. I can now stream videos and have them delivered to my door and I don't have to drive to the store to get them.
  • This is the last day before Thanksgiving break! Tomorrow is conference day and we are going to an ACSI Convention for a couple of days, but it's still freedom!
  • Time to try to play catch up on my days off.
  • A new apartment that I will be moving into.
  • Phil's official confirmation that his job came through! It only took a few months, but it is here.
  • Family and friends.
  • Having a future Mother-in-Law who will help with getting addresses and field questions from family members about the wedding.
  • A new candle. Glade "Sugarplum Fantasies"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wedding Wednesdays--Funny Story

This past Sunday, Phil and I went with his parents to sign the lease on the new apartment! It was nice to have his parents there to make sure that everything in the lease was "standard" and there would be no red flags. We were reading the lease and got to the Animal Addendum which states that we are not bringing any pets. It also has breed restrictions for certain dogs. I was joking around and said that, because of the breed restrictions, he wasn't allowed in the apartment. Well, this prompted this conversation...

Dad R.: "Well, Philip, I didn't know you were an animal!"
Phil: "I guess you're just going to have to ask Kathleen about that after we get back from the honeymoon!"

Yes, my ultra-conservative fiance just said that to his even more ultra-conservative parents. My response...
"Well, at least then we'd be married!"

It was just the thing we needed to break up the boringness of reading the lease.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spoiled Much?

Last night, Phil came over to help me because I was incredibly overwhelmed with the move. My back has really been acting up lately, so I have to watch what I do and make sure to not over-do anything. This, of course, puts a huge damper on the situation.

Because he was coming over after work, he asked me to make dinner. I had been cleaning on and off all afternoon and had no meat thawed, so I decided to make spaghetti. Easy and simple. Phil likes spaghetti and I thought it would be the easiest thing to make at the moment.

After dinner, Phil cleans up the kitchen and is basically awesome...seriously. When he went to leave, I asked him what he thought about dinner and his response? "It was ok." What?! Ok, in my mind is not a good thing. It basically means...eh, whatever.  When I asked him why it was just ok, he told me that it's because he's used to me "Spicing things up," and giving things more flavor!

This, my friends, means I have spoiled him. I can no longer just make spaghetti with Ragu or something, I will always have to "add more spices and flavor." What have I done?

Monday, November 15, 2010

What I have to do...

I have a short list and a long list.

  1. Buy packaging tape.
  2. Get gas in my car.
  3. Buy a wreath hanger.
  4. Fill out the Compassion card to sponsor a child.
  5. Clean the kitchen.
  6. Clean the bathroom.
  7. Make dinner.
  8. Start packing.
The Long List
  1. Clean and pack the bedroom.
  2. Pack up the living room.
  3. Pack the kitchen.
  4. Go through the closet and donate "unwanted" items.
  5. Pack the closet.
  6. Call Comcast and get them to move our service to the new apartment.
  7. Switch over BGE.
  8. Switch renter's insurance to new address.
  9. Put in an address change form.
  10. Pack the bathroom.
  11. Talk to the gym, switch trainers, and buy more sessions.
  12. Actually go to the gym to work out.
  13. Go shopping for new clothes.
I'm sure that I have so much more to do, but that's all I can think of for now. I will be gone for an ACSI convention for school Sunday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon so that gives me even less time to get everything done.

And, I got an email from my landlord saying that she will let me know when/if she needs to show the apartment before I move out. How on earth am I supposed to keep the place looking ready to show when I will have boxes packed up all over the apartment?

Somebody help me.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Weekend Recap

This weekend was a nice mix between relaxing and getting things done.

Saturday morning, Phil and I lounged around until almost noon! That is almost unheard of because I feel the need to get moving and get things done. It was great to be able to relax and know that this is what we needed to do at that time. After lunch, Phil and I headed out to Ikea to try to find a bed frame and just look around. Have you been to Ikea? It's awesome...just saying. We found out that the bed frame we liked wouldn't work with our mattress and box spring, but we did end up leaving with a mirror for the entryway and these...
These are the hangers we bought for the coat closet in the new apartment.

Once we left Ikea, we went to one of my other favorite stores--Homegoods! I absolutely love walking around there. It is kind of like Ross or TJMaxx for home decorating. I was able to find two canvas bins to put up in my bedroom closet.

Phil managed to run next door to Staples and got a wireless router for my apartment! Now, we can hook up the Wii to the internet to stream Netflix videos and have more than one laptop connected to the internet!

After shopping, we went to dinner with some friends at...

and had a blast!

Today started off much like any other Sunday with church. I found out this morning that my uncle passed away in the middle of the night. My mom is pretty upset because it was her brother. He lived out-of-state most of my life so I didn't really know him well, so I'm doing well. It's just difficult hearing my mom so upset and knowing that there's not much I can do.

After church, Phil and I ate lunch at my apartment and headed over to the new apartment complex where his parents met us and we signed the lease! We were there for about two hours reading it over and asking a bunch of questions. It went well and we now have an official move-in date of December 4th!

Because of the extra space in the new apartment, I have been thinking of inexpensive ways to make sure that when everything is unpacked, it has a place and will look picked-up. This is a huge problem at my current place mainly due to the fact that there just isn't enough space for all of my things. So, we headed out to the "big" Target by the new apartments and bought some fabric storage bins to put on the top shelves of the closet.

As you can see, we did a lot this weekend! I feel so productive when we are able to get things done and Phil loves it when we take time to "slow down", so, this weekend was definitely a good compromise.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Deal Breakers

When looking for a new place to live, we all have our deal-breakers. Some things are smaller than others, but for me some bigger things are:
  • Not having enough space to live. I know this seems simple or petty, but if there isn't enough space for my furniture and belongings, what am I supposed to do?
  • Bedbugs. I haven't experienced them, but I have heard they are horrific.
  • Pesky neighbors. You may not be able to control this, but since I've had "crazy neighbors" before, I would like some decent ones.
  • Bad maintenance. My current place has no maintenance team and things are always done sub-par.
  • Unsafe environment. I don't want to be worried about being robbed on the way to/from my car.
  • Outrageous rent prices. I'm not willing to give up my future children in order to live there.
These are just a few of my deal-breakers. What are some of yours?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

Today I am most thankful for...
  • Our application for the new apartment being approved!
  • Future in-laws who will go with us to look at apartments and support our decisions.
  • That Phil's dad approved of the apartments and was able to get out all of his questions without it being too intense...lol.
  • Phil. He is so incredible, I don't know what I ever did without him.
  • Only 3 months and two weeks until the wedding!
  • Friends who will help with all of the crafty things for the wedding.
  • Friends who let me talk and obsess about the wedding, moving, and everything under the sun!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wedding Wednesdays...Kind of

It's official...we've put in our application for a new apartment! We find out tomorrow if we are approved. It's kind of nerve-wrecking because all we're able to do is wait and we all know how good at that I am...not!

Assuming everything goes through, we sign the lease tomorrow and we will move me in to the new place December 4th. Phil won't move in until after we're married, of course, but it will still be nice to be able to have a place that we can call "ours" soon enough.

The wedding is just over three months away at this point and luckily, November is going by much more quickly than the previous months. I tell you, October was pure torture! I think the holidays give me something else to focus on and it's a nice change of pace.

There's really not a lot left to do except finish the favors, centerpieces, and bridal party gifts. A good friend of mine is coming over tonight to work on part of the bridesmaids' gifts so I'm super excited!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Apartment Searching

I have lived at my current apartment for almost two years and I can honestly say that I am ready for a better place. My apartment is only one of eighteen and is owned by a couple, not a property management team. This can be both good and bad. Good because the rent is better than other places, but bad for so many other reasons. The apartment I live in does not have a maintenance team so that means that our landlord will try to do "DIY" projects to fix things. Sometimes it works, but sometimes it seems like more of a "cover-up" for the problem

With the wedding only a few months away, Phil and I have been looking into apartments that I can move into now and he could join me after we're married. That's the plan, but there seems to be one, big problem. Apartments where we live are expensive and small. Seriously, for 660 sq. feet you have to pay $745-$860 and that depends on what "upgrades" you do or don't want! I just can't believe how expensive it is with this economy.

 Phil and I are pretty set on wanting to move. We are both unhappy with my current place and, although we could live with it, we would really rather not. We can afford it and really want to start our lives together in a place where we can feel like we are at home.

For now, we'll have to see if we can find something that we'll be happy with.

Monday, November 8, 2010

McFatty Monday

It's Monday again, time to look at the scale and re-evaluate last week's weight loss efforts. In my case, they were pretty much non-existent. A week ago, I played four softball games in a two day period. My legs hurt, my stomach was sore, and my back was bad. I don't normally have too many back issues, but when it decides to hurt, it really does something to me and there is no sitting, standing, walking, or laying without some kind of pain. The pain was so intense that it was shooting down my leg and radiating from my lower back. It sucked.

Last week, the heating pad, painkillers, and a hot bath were my bff's. It was torture. So, I think it's safe to assume that the gym was not happening and the fact that I needed to go grocery shopping, but was physically unable to, meant that my diet consisted of a lot of take-out/fast food. Not so great.

The good news is that I only managed to gain one pound! I tried really hard to make sure to portion my fatty food-intake and tried to drink more water. Also, Phil and I went grocery shopping today so I have good food to eat at home and I will not be eating out this week!

My back is still very tempermental, but at least I can seem to sit and lay down without too much pain. Standing is still not-so-great, but as long as I make sure to limit my time, I'm fine. My goal for this week is to do some "light cardio" a few times this week and to start small....even if it's only for 10 minutes, that's something. I really just want to check on my back and see how it does with the cardio. I have a training session on Wednesday and will gauge how I feel at that point.

Overall, I'm happy with where the numbers came in this week and with better food and a better back, this week will definitely be better than last week!

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Moving has always been hard for me. As a child, I moved back and forth between my parents' houses a lot. It was my choice each time, but it was still hard. As a young adult, I moved 17 times in 2 years. It was rough and unstable and it sucked. Then, in 2007, I moved across the country and lived in Virginia for a year and a half before moving to Maryland in January of 2009. To say that I've moved a lot is an understatement.

Moving brings all sorts of emotions. Happy, sad, scared, anxious, excited...pretty much anything goes when I think about moving.

I mention this because the other day Phil mentioned that we might move this next year into a better apartment. We had discussed this many times and I really never thought it was an option...until yesterday. I was talking with another teacher from my school and she mentioned that her apartment complex is pretty decently priced for what you get. I immediately, looked on their website to view prices/floor plans and called Phil to tell him. He said we should book an appointment to view the apartments available and should look into it.

We were able to make an appointment for today and went with his mom to see the apartments. I must admit, they were much nicer than what I currently have. They also have great amenities (like a pool, fitness center, volleyball court, tennis court, etc.) and are priced at a really decent rate.

The thought of moving really excites me, because I seriously dislike my current apartment, but I still get nervous thinking about it. Moving is a whole lot of work and I would be living there without Phil for a month or two before we are married.

On the plus side, he would gain anywhere from a half an hour to forty-five minutes each day because the apartment is closer to his metro stop. That also means that I would have a half an hour commute each way (which is so not a big deal). Seeing as his commute is about two hours each way, I feel that if it is worth it to him to have a little bit of extra time each day, then I'm all for it....that's love right there!

The next step in the process is to have his dad go and look at the apartments with us to determine if there are any issues with the apartment itself (you have no idea how many things he has had to "fix" where I am now to make them work) and fill out an application. We also have to choose between a one or two bedroom apartment. Since there is only a $25 difference, his mom suggested the two bedroom "just in case" we have a baby while we are living there and still can't afford a house.

As you can see, we have a lot of decisions to make. We would like to have everything figured out (and moved if necessary) before the wedding so that is one less thing we have to worry about when we get back.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Halloween Recap

I know it's a bit late, but I was finally able to upload the pictures from Halloween.

Bridezilla and my Groom-to-Be

The angel and Bridezilla
The Professor, Groom-to-Be, Angel, and Death
This one was just for fun...lol

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

There are so many things to be thankful for every.single.day, but today I am most thankful for...
  • Phil's job! He just got an email that they are behind in the processing of his extension, but they are working on it and he was extended!
  • Home phone, Internet, and cable. I went without it at my apartment for almost two years and we finally got it installed a couple of days ago.
  • My future in-laws. They are so amazing, kind, and caring. 
  • Time spent with Phil. We don't get enough time during the week, so the weekends are great.
  • Weekends. Enough said.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wedding Wednesdays

A couple of weeks ago I shared what one of our favors were. If you missed it, you can check out this post to see the awesome coffee favors we chose.

Well, today I got a phone call from my future mother-in-law saying that the rest of our favors came in and that she would drop them off at my apartment! Have I ever mentioned how blessed I am to be marrying into this family?! So, she came by with the box and I immediately had to open it. She was able to stay with me just long enough to see what it was going to look like. Of course, I was thrilled with how cute they were and she agreed.

These favors are different than the other favors in that they will have minor "assembly" necessary to make them "work". Basically, the cookie cutters come separate from the card and you have to do something to make the cookie cutter stay in the cut-out part of the card. Luckily, I remembered how they did it in one of the pictures so I tried it out and this is what the end result looks like...

Thanks for sharing the magic of our special day...Kathleen and Philip...February 26, 2011

I am thinking that I might want to tie the ribbon off to the side more so that the guests can see the whole phrase, but I kind of like it the way it is. Plus, it will be difficult to get it to stay in the cut-out part of the card.

The inside has a sugar cookie recipe that translates all of the ingredients to ingredients of a good marriage (i.e. patience, hugs, kisses, etc.). It's super cute and something that I hope people will be able to use.

The goal is to make sure we incorporate both of us into the wedding, so what's better than cookies and coffee?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I can not believe I'm saying this, but I'm actually blogging at home...like, in my apartment...on my couch.

For most people this wouldn't be a big deal, but the fact of the matter is that I have not had internet, tv, or a home phone since moving to Maryland in January of 2009. Crazy, right? I managed to get by without it by having internet/cable access at work and over at Phil's house, but once I started teaching and my cell phone became less and less reliable we decided to go ahead and get me "connected." I must admit, I'm thrilled. It will be so nice to be able to look up a recipe at home for dinner and to be able to check my email, post blogs, watch tv, and just surf the web from the comfort of my own home.

 It is nice to sit here and have something to do and not dread being home because the only thing to do is to watch the same movies I've seen a bazillion times or to play Wii. It will be such a blessing to be able to sit and watch a show with Phil on the weekends and not have to run to the nearest RedBox to get something to watch. It is nice to have a "local" phone number so that I will get less strange looks when I say my Virginia cell phone number.

All in all I feel super blessed right now. Words can not describe the great feeling of being able to listen to the radio (via cable service), watch any kind of tv, and check my email after working hours at home. I am hoping that I will be much more comfortable here and so will my guests who come over.

Monday, November 1, 2010

McFatty Monday

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to not care about what others think? I struggle with this almost on a daily basis. Sure, there are things that I really don't care what others think, but there are a few that really get to me. My weight is one of them.

I get it, I know that I'm heavy and quite frankly, it's hard to lose weight! There. I said it. Ok, now, let's just be supportive and not comment on every little thing that I eat that might not be the "best choice." I've lost 4 pounds since August and I worked my butt off last week compared to the past few months. I worked out for an hour with my new trainer and played four softball games where I was actually trying to run the bases. Seriously, I was on base so much that by the end of the first night, my butt was sore.

I've been really trying to watch my portions, not overeat, and choose better foods as an overall thing. I don't want to start a "diet" that I can't stick with for the rest of my life. I strongly believe that it's ok for me to have a piece of pie, or a cookie, or some ice cream without ruining my weight loss, it just has to be in moderation.

I struggle so much with the comments that other people say to me. The reality is that my self-worth does not come from what they think, but from the Lord. I no longer need to feel like I'm not good enough or that if I eat something or don't go to the gym that I'm worthless. The weight loss is happening and I need to focus on the positives so it will continue.

I've lost 4 pounds since August and I think that's fantastic! I have an appointment with my trainer this week and I'm going to work my butt off while I'm there even though my shins are sore and my legs still hurt. I will make good decisions and will start thinking positively of myself. And you know what, I'm happy with that!