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    60 Day Bootcamp

    To Date: 5 weeks down, 5.2 lbs lost

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Peach Season

I can’t believe that I’ve been gobbling down my 1/2 bushel of peaches and barely blogging about the experience. Who AM I??  Honestly, it’s probably because I’ve just been enjoying them one or two at a time and not doing a whole lot of fancy stuff with them. I’ll slice a few up to pack for lunch at work, or grab one when I need a quick snack.068

 

The one exception is that I gave mom a ton of them and asked her to make me a peach pie. Then I went over and had a slice with the rest of the family. To die for!!

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When I was a young girl growing up, the peach guy would come up to northern WI just once a year and the lines would be really long with people scrambling to get a box before they were sold out. Mom made all kinds of awesome stuff with the peaches – peach jam, peach cobbler, peach crisp – but my favorite was her warm peach pie. How can anyone not like a slice hot from the oven with melty vanilla bean ice cream on top?!

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Sometimes I wonder how Ben and I ever ended up together when the guy doesn’t like peaches. Oh well – more for me!!!

We’ve been taunted with rain in the forecast for weeks now – but it’s the time of the year where the grass is crisping up and turning brown. Every night I’ll look at the sky and see the thick, dark storm clouds rolling in and decide not to water my garden…

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Only to wake up and discover it never rained and I have to go and water anyway.

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Every… day… I told Ben I should just hang laundry on the line because then it definitely WOULD rain. Ha ha!!!

The eye of the non-existent storm:

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I did Body Pump yesterday and eased up a bit on the squat weights but took everything a lot lower. I can feel it this morning! I also squeaked up a teensy tiny bit on the chest set and added some more weight. Working on pumping up the guns!!

Today I’m picking up Matt and we’re going to make a day of it. Can’t wait!!! Then tonight we’re meeting with our DJ to start going over the music details. :)

 

 

Goliath

Hey there – Happy Monday! I’m in vacation mode (i.e. lazy) and it’s wonderful! Ben’s not off until Thursday so I have a few days to bum around the house doing my own thing. We have a surprisingly busy week planned and I’m not sure exactly how that happened. This week was supposed to be leisurely and full of long days of nothing. But we have friends coming for dinner tonight, I have my brother Matt over tomorrow for a day of fun, Tues night we meet with our DJ, Wed night we meet with our wedding pastor, Thursday we’re heading to Door County, and Friday I have my 2nd dress fitting and am getting more peaches. How’s THAT for a leisurely week?? :)

Over the weekend we decided to pick Goliath, our larger-than-life bell pepper. I was going to wait until he turned yellow but we wanted to grill him up. Honestly – the biggest pepper I’ve ever seen!

 

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We’re in a good part of the year for garden produce. I’ve got lots of green beans, the peppers are coming along nicely, and the yellow squash is starting to be ready as well. It won’t be too much longer before we get some zucchini and tomatoes too!

Last night’s dinner haul was exciting – I love pulling things out of the garden that we’ve grown. I need to start an official 2014 veggie tally so we’ll be able to see how much produce we grew this year. It’s always fun to look at savings after a full season of goods.

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One of the shower gifts we received was a veggie grilling pan and we’ve already put it to use a couple times. Ben loves it. In fact, Ben has been really excited about all our shower gifts. He’s been ripping open boxes and getting things set up. It’s kinda cute. We had a friend give us wine glasses at the shower that were being mailed to our house and Ben was thrilled when they came. He ripped open the box, got them washed and hanging in the bar, and said “aren’t we fancy adults now?”. Ha – if that were all it took honey. :) <3

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But getting back to the grilling of vegetables, it works pretty well. We just toss the veggies in a bit of oil with a few seasonings and then set them on the grill to do their thing.

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Ben’s pouring them into the grill pan with another shower gift – our batter bowl. OK, maybe we are fancy now. ;)

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We were serving the veggies alongside some chicken sausages for a lower carb dinner. While it’s not realistic all the time, I am noticing I do a better job keeping my weight even when I watch carbs a little bit more. Plus, we still have that wedding dress we need to fit into!

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Ben – the master griller!

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I’m not good for much on grilling nights – except for keeping Ben company and taking pictures of my feet:

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The final result is a beautiful pan of dinner deliciousness. I like it when Ben chars a couple of the pieces for me – I steal all of those. I love everything about the non-winter months so much. I wish we had a winter that really was only 3 months long so we’d have more time to enjoy being outside, grilling, and messing around in the fresh air. Summer is wonderful – and it’s been cooler overall so not ridiculously hot and humid. Hip hip hurray!!!

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Ok, I have just enough time to grab some breakfast and then head to the gym for BodyPump. Gotta keep up with all that strength I gained during boot camp!

The Bridal Shower

It’s shower time folks! The pictures have been trickling back to me and even though I don’t have all of them yet, I figured I’ve kept you waiting long enough.

Green Bay has lots of little towns surrounding it and one of those towns had a brand new town hall. We rented out the meeting room which was absolutely perfect for the shower. There was a nice sized kitchen just off the room and sparkling bathrooms. Plus, it was just a gorgeous day.

We had a lot of professional work done too – and it showed! Everything was just beautiful. My Mom came by to pick me up 30 minutes before the shower was set to begin and I got to say hi to the planners and take a few “before” pictures. One of Ben’s aunts used to have her own catering business. She volunteered to handle all of the food – doesn’t it all look so fancy?

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There was an incredible chicken salad which several people said was the best they’d ever tasted. I asked for the recipe and she told me it was from Costco with a few additions. Hahahaha!! Love it

My maid of honor’s father owns a bakery and made me three little bridal cakes. We had strawberry swirl, amaretto, and butter cheese. The butter cheese was so addictive I could have eaten the entire cake myself!!

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And finally, one of my friends works in a floral shop and made me these gorgeous centerpieces which we gave out as prizes. I love flowers – and they were in all my wedding colors too. :) She’s doing the centerpieces for my wedding too and I know they’ll be beautiful as well.

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I’ll readily admit I was a complete bundle of nerves before I got there. It’s definitely outside of my comfort zone to be the center of attention – plus you feel a certain pressure to live up to people’s expectations (whatever they may be) and, of course, represent Ben well to his family.

All of which can be difficult as you try to quickly and thoughtfully navigate through a mountain of presents. At first I thought there must have been some wedding wrapping paper sale at Walmart until people told me that Bed, Bath, and Beyond provides a wrapping station for people. hand, don’t you think? I never know about these things. :)

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We ate our food and my mother led everyone in a few cute bridal games. I didn’t want anything where people would have to run around and do crazy things, so she did a cute multiple choice game about wedding traditions in other cultures and then a fun take on the “Newlywed Game”. Mom had asked ben 30 questions and I had to match his answers. I actually was super confident I was going to knock this out of the park (I know Ben really well) but… I only got 13 out of the 30 right!! Re-count, re-count!!! :)

Me and my MoH:

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As people finished their cake, I got started unwrapping gifts. It felt like Christmas – in July. I ended up, oddly enough, with a few duplicate gifts off my registry. No problem though – I have tons of stuff left on there that we really want so we’ll swap out for anything we end up not getting.

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We had bridal bingo for the guests where they crossed off items that I unwrapped. We had three almost immediate winners… and found out they used their smart phones to sneak a peek at my registry. Girls!!!

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With 15 minutes or so left, the man of the hour showed up to a round of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. One of the trivia questions asked was my favorite Christmas song and I explained how Ben hates it when I bellow carols in the car – in October. So we thought we’d freak him out with a Christmas tune. It worked. :)

He was all smiles though when he discovered one of the gifts had HIS name on it and not mine!

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We made quick work of taking things down after the shower and Ben helped me load the goods into the car so we could drop them off before heading to my bachelorette party.

I won’t lie, it’s awkward because I’m not that great at this sort of thing but boy does it make you feel special that so many people show up to wish you well and be there to help you celebrate. :) I had several friends able to attend as well and that made it even more wonderful. So I’m hoping now that I survived this with a cracked smile on my face that I can survive the wedding too.

I just keep telling myself that with Ben there, no one will focus on me at all – they’ll all be staring at him… right? right

100 Miles Done

Yesterday I submitted my final week of steps for the 100 mile, 28 day challenge. I logged a little over 60,000 steps last week bringing my grand step total to 254,175 or roughly 127 miles. I remember when I did the challenge two years ago and hit 200 miles, everything hurt all over my body and I didn’t lose any weight. This time around I haven’t been sore much at all, but I’m exhausted. Seriously, the second my head hits the pillow I am out cold – and remain oblivious to everything until morning. Bottom line, if you’re looking to sleep better: exercise.

Last night Ben got home a little early so we would have time to get ready for 5pm Body Pump. We’d basically thrown the last 3 months of our gym memberships out the window while we were at boot camp, but it was so worth it. It was funny, as we were setting up our bar bells for class, I caught Ben’s eye and we both grimaced a little bit. We miss boot camp already! Pump is fun but it’s very monotonous and that was what we liked so much about our hiatus – each workout was different from the last one.

We did Pump workout #90 – which was lots of 4-series exercises (4 low squats followed by 4 high squats, 4 low lunges followed by 4 high lunges, etc…). Our favorite teacher was there, which helped a lot too. What was amusing was how quickly the climate changes. I think I only recognized one person in the entire class! Usually I’ll recognize at least 3/4 of the group. Summer vacations maybe?

When we got home, it was time to make some dinner. I had Ben get started on hamburger patties while I went to harvest another crop of green beans.

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I had one random potato lying around so I peeled and diced him and cooked the potato and beans together. A quick drain and then I added chopped garlic onions and cilantro from the garden.

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I tossed it all with a little shredded cheese and ended up with this awesome cheesy potato side.

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I could definitely see making it again – it was surprisingly good and the onions and cilantro thrown in at the end really added something interesting and exciting to it.

I whipped through another 10 thank-yous last night and only have 4 more to go! I’m cruising. A big wind front pushed through around 9pm and swept away all that nasty 90 degree weather. Today the high is a Ali-approved 75 degrees. Sounded like someone will be taking a long walk tonight and whipping through her final thank-yous. Perfect evening. I can’t wait. :)

Have a great day!

Checking it Off the List

Now that I have the bachelorette party and shower behind me (which I still need to recap), it’s time to buckle down and get working on knocking more things off the wedding to-do list. I have resorted to using theknot’s checklist because I have no idea what I’m supposed to do. Ok, I know a lot of what I’m supposed to do, but it’s nice to have a double-check.

Ben has had the task of researching possible honeymoon locations. We discussed budget and then I let him take care of it all… so I was amused when the travel agent proposed all these super-pricey locations. I guess Ben doubled our budget just to “see what was out there”. He got back down to realistic business and we’re officially booked for a lovely week in Punta Cana. I’d always assumed we’d be in Jamaica or Mexico but a resort popped up that was even a bit below budget (when does that happen?) so we went for it. I don’t usually like to leave in the early Fall because it’s my favorite time of year, but we also didn’t want to wait until Jan/Feb to take our honeymoon.

I have a good chunk of my shower thank-yous done and sitting in a pile on the kitchen table. Last night I found out that the place I wanted to order my wedding programs from is having a 50% off sale that ends TODAY – so I’ll be switching gears tonight to see if I can get the programs finished and ordered. Back to thank-yous tomorrow!

We’re on the 2nd day of a 2-day heat wave. It’s been in the high 80s with plenty of humidity. I think the plants are enjoying the sunshine (but maybe not the lack of overall water – there’s only so much water lugging a girl can do).

Goliath is still looking big and beautiful. I’m hoping he’ll turn yellow and then I’ll pick him.

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My cilantro has gotten so high it’s now flowering…

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I also learned my lesson about planting lots of spinach and butter lettuce. We just don’t eat it quickly enough. Now I have ridiculously far-gone plants that need to be ripped out. Maybe I’ll re-plant 1/4 of the area with new stuff. Maybe.

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(My toes are in there for perspective)

The whole garden is looking jam-packed with greenery but not a lot of food production. I’m really hoping for a lot of pepper growth – I planted a lot more this year in the hopes of getting enough for a good freezer bag full.

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Back in the world of wedding prep, my RSVP count is up to 70 people. There’s a little over a month before they are due back and I have a feeling we’ll be getting a bunch more in a few weeks. Still budgeting for around 150 people. Now I’m left pondering odd questions: do I go for a round of teeth whitening? do I fake-bake for a bit of a tan or just try and get outside a little more? Do I buy all the wedding favors at once or just little packs as people RSVP?

So still plenty to do but things are getting done too, which is awesome. I think the next couple of weeks will feel a bit like a transition as Ben and I work out a new exercise schedule too. Tonight we’re heading back to Body Pump. I already miss boot camp, but we knew it was too pricey for something we’d consider long-term. Plus now we have lots of workout ideas to do at home.

Well, time to head out into the heat. Hopefully that colder front pushes through tonight and cools things down!

Bachelorette Partying

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Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Was it total craziness like mine??

I spent ALL day Friday hunting through stores looking for something suitable to wear to my bridal shower. I temporarily gave up, went to get a pedicure so I’d at least have cute toes, and went home to wait for Ben. Sensing I could use a little support, Ben volunteered to come along with me so we could find something together. It was a lot more fun having him along but in the end I went home completely empty-handed. How does that happen!

Feeling a little defeated, I went to show Ben my cute new nails only to find out that the polish had smudged when it was still a little wet – so then I had a crazy looking toe too. Oh well! Sometimes, that’s how it goes. :)

Boot camp

We got up early on Saturday for our FINAL boot camp class. I think I miss it already just typing that. There were three stations with 3 exercises per station. You had 5 minutes at a station and then a minute of transition with two rounds. The tricky part was that at the top of each minute you had to stop wherever you were and start over from the top. So the incentive was to go quickly through your exercises so that you’d have a bit of a rest before starting it over again.

The stations:

  • 5 burpees, 10 skull crushers, 15 jumps (jumping as far across the room as you can)
  • 5 tuck jumps, 10 ring rows, 15 banded upright rows
  • 5 weighted sit-ups, 10 spiderman planks, 15 squat jumps

The skull crushers definitely get me. I’m still feeling those today! Now that we’re done with boot camp, the trick will be to find a schedule for our old gym and then get into a new pattern of exercise so we can keep up with the progress we’ve made.

We went home, watered the garden and took showers. Then it was time for my shower! I’m waiting to get some pictures back from friends/family so I’ll recap that later. After the shower I went home to unload the goods and change, and then we went over to my MoH’s house for the bachelorette party.

There was quite the array of party items – from the amusing to the NSFB (not safe for blog).

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Every person got a new name for the night!

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It’s such a weird dichotomy for all of this shower/party/wedding stuff. I’m not used to being the center of attention or for people really doing things like this for me – so it’s semi uncomfortable but at the same time so wonderfully sweet to have people who are excited for me and want to celebrate. :)

So, you go with it and just have a good time, right?

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That is me, so stylish!!

We invited the men-folk so it would be more casual and laid-back. We all mingled and got our first round of drinks and then the boys headed downstairs for Rock Band while the girls hung out upstairs chatting and listening to music.

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Even the downstairs was decorated!

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Of course – everyone loves Ben, especially animals. Our friends’ dog absolutely adores Ben and loves to get attention whenever Ben comes over. I thought this was the sweetest picture…

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We did a LOT of karaoke and there were some pretty drunk people by the end of the night. I’ve never been big into excessive drinking and from the time we arrived (4pm) to the time we left (1:30am), I had just 3 drinks. I was surprised I managed to stay awake that long too – it was a very long day with the emotional build-up before the shower. I don’t know how people are not somewhat nervous for stuff like that, but in the end it all turned out just fine. :)

And now there’s just about 8 weeks left to go before the big day! I’m starting to wonder what I’ll do with myself once it’s all over with. lol

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53 days to go!!

 

Raise Your Hand – TGIF?

I don’t know about all of you, but I am so thrilled it’s Friday. I woke up 2 hours before my alarm went off, couldn’t really fall back to sleep, and then ended up groggily waking up after Ben started poking my lifeless body wondering why I wasn’t already downstairs working on packing lunches. :) Maybe I need a nap?

My beautiful lily has bit the bunny dust…

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It had been so gorgeous before the rabbit damage – but I’m fortunate I got to enjoy it for a while this year. I hope one day it can grow and spread so I’ll have a nice cluster.

Before:

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Last night we went and tried out a new restaurant/winery. It was “interesting”. I forgot to upload the pictures so except an amusing recap later. I also didn’t have luck finding a dress or skirt to wear to the shower tomorrow – so I’ll be back out today hunting something down.

Oh yeah, and Mom is making me a peach pie. I may face-plant into my slice and fall asleep amid the delight of  homemade double crust, fresh peaches, and whipped cream. Mmmm

Meanwhile – I’m running late so need to scurry off to work! Shower tomorrow – eeeek!! :) :)

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