birthday month

my birthday month is winding down to the end. i am sooo thankful!!! i really appreciate all the friends and family that made time to celebrate with me this year!! i always grow anxious at this turning point and give myself an “annual review”… how much did i accomplish? what goals did i meet? have i grown wiser? learned from mistakes, experiences, or other people? have i helped others? made a difference in my life or someone else’s? 34 was definitely an eventful and active year and 35 is already looking finer! seeing new places and trying new things for my first time in just a few short weeks has kicked off this next chapter in a great way… cheers to more memories, more laughter and more love!

renovation reality

they rarely show you all the trash and debris that piles up during a remodel job on TV. so here i am, reminding myself of the behind the scenes of our renovation reality… living over a month with this in our driveway was not fun. i’m sure we weren’t the favorite neighbors on the block.


wedding planning

if there wasn’t already enough on our plate… we’re now planning a wedding! pray for me.  i was never that girl who had every detail of her wedding planned out in high school. in fact, i’ve never really given any thought to weddings and getting married and such. honestly, i’ve always thought they were a waste of time and effort. after mike proposed, i initially wanted to elope. however, the more i research weddings and its purpose, i’m starting to understand how wonderful it would be to share our day with close friends and family who we love and have supported us all these years!

so where do you start?? well, i started by attending a bridal expo, two actually. they both were small expos, but incredibly overwhelming. vendors left and right. people coming up to you asking all sorts of questions…

have you picked a venue? flowers? who’s your dj? photographer? here’s my card… why don’t you step over here so i can show you what we’re about.

it’s a madhouse! after attending the first expo coming out alive but with zero useful information, i reassessed my plan of attack for the next expo. day 2 was much more successful. i went to only the vendors i needed and only selected the venues that fit my location/idea for a ceremony and reception. we left with way more knowledge and confidence in planning.

my observations: there’s an vast amount of options from venues to florists. i’ve learned you have to find the vendor that  A) fits your style/theme/personality B) you can mesh well with on a personal level and  C) will work within your budget. thankfully, we have talented friends who have offered their services, which easily helped check off several vendors from our list… and we found a reception venue that totally fits our personality! all that remains is cake, flowers, dress, tuxes/suits, hotel, and transportation. easy peasy!… i think.

home gym

since we replaced the carpet in our master bedroom with hardwood floors, this finally gave us the chance to set up a proper home gym. excluding the exercise equipment, we spent around $80 putting this area together in our master bedroom. and i’m proud to say we’ve already broken it in!

mirrors – Ikea: i’ve held on to these for years… i don’t even think they sell them anymore. they’ve been sitting in the garage for 8 years now. surprisingly, it’s condition has held up, but we lost the clips and had to buy new ones from Home Depot for ~$2 per pack per mirror (4 clips come in one pack).

floor mats – harbor freight: we purchased 3 packs at ~$8 each. they feel just like the floor mats at the gym, perhaps a lil softer. they work great and they’re water resistant too.

wall cabinet – target: we needed something with hooks and small compartments to store our gloves, HRM, and anything else fitness related. the cabinet also has hooks to hang resistance bands, towel, etc. and there’s a shelf above the basket cubby holes that’s big enough to place an ipod deck or water bottles.

larget basket – target: i added a basket to house smaller lightweight items so the space is more organized. currently inside are yoga blocks, footlog, massage roller stick, and balance disc.

some of our equipment includes…
kettlebells – wal-mart: we added these about a year ago for $79 (for the set) with free shipping to the store for pick-up. they’re 20, 25, and 30 lbs. we recently added a 10lbs kettlebell (for me) for one-arm kettlebell exercises.

barbells – sears: we added 2 barbells a year ago. they were on clearance at a sears store nearby. the black barbell weighs 45lbs (i think) and the silver/chrome barbell weighs 15 or 20lbs.

dumbbells: mike purchased these yeeeeears ago. up until we moved to the new house, they made great door stops.

resistance bands – target: this came as a set with 3 resistance bands of various levels and an ankle cuff. i don’t use them as often as i used, but i remember they were a great beginners exercise tool when i was just starting over again.

exercise ball – target: i’m pretty sure we got this from target (or was it wal-mart?) and it came with one of those exercise dvds, which is still probably in its same wrapper b’coz i’m not big on exercise dvds. possible white elephant gag gift?

foam roller – target: we looooove our foam roller. i invested in a foam roller after having major pain in my calves and feet when i first started taking Turbo Kick classes. a trainer showed me how to use it on my calves to loosen my muscles before and after workouts. it came with a DVD which had several videos on other uses for it. it’s truly heaven sent.


i’m currently in the market for a weight rack to get the kettlebells and dumbbells off the floor as well as a barbell rack, or maybe a squat rack and bench? if anyone has something they’d like to barter or sell or if you know where i can get something at a reasonable price, please lemme know! thanks!


family room | fireplace

so, mike convinced me to tack on another expense while our contractor is here working on the kitchen. he asked how much extra it would cost us to demolish the fireplace and tile, the price he gave us was reasonable. mike’s point was valid… let’s get it done while we already have someone here to do it and not fret about another remodel down the line (which also includes breaking down furniture, packing, and losing use of that room in addition to the dust and mess that goes on during a remodel. ugh!!). so, we did it…

the tile we picked out for the fireplace is from Lowe’s Hardware. i hope it looks good. we kind of just winged it and went with our first choice b’coz we didn’t want anyone waiting around for us to choose the materials. as you can see, gray and white is my current fav and is being carried over into the family room from the kitchen.

Carrara Pinwheel Marble Natural Stone Mosaic Style Selections Galvano Charcoal Glazed Porcelain Floor Tile

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