4.30.2014

I Can't Believe...

I'm so happy to have a prompt for this post so I can blast this out on my study break!  Without further ado...

I can't believe...how much I need to take a new picture for these posts.  Blurry and orange...so sorry!

I can't believe... I am 2 finals away from summer! This semester has given me a run for my money and I cannot wait for it to end.  Thursday at 5 you better believe a cocktail will be in my hand. ;)

I can't believe...what I real sandwich wrap tastes like.  We haven't have actual groceries in weeks (okay, maybe 2.5 weeks) and I've been eating down all the cheese in the house until Dom finally had a free hour to go grab some essentials last night!  Real food never tasted so good.

I can't believe...the number I saw on the scale yesterday.  It was not pretty.  Thankfully, I chucked my useless doctor to the curb and my dad talked to my old GI doc from when I lived in Syracuse.  He actually listened (imagine that!) and overnighted me some new meds.  I'm really hoping this will work and I can start to actually metabolize the food I eat.

I can't believe...that new med I'm going to go on?  I'll be taking it for a month and I'm supposed to stay out of the sun. I go to Puerto Rico in 2 weeks and move to Florida in 3 and a half! Haha! Oh well, getting healthy is more important and I can still drink so it's all good. ;)

I can't believe...my availability at work is now only 3 days a week since I have school.  So naturally, finals week they have me scheduled full time +.  Including two 3-11 shifts with no breaks.  So happy this is my last week!  I really love the people there, but these scheduling surprises are no fun!

I can't believe...how happy I'm going to be on Sunday. Finished with work and school for a month.  I feel like the day will never come but I just can't wait!

I can't believe...after Sunday I will (hopefully) never have to wear head to toe black again!  I need to bring color back into my life and I can't wait to actually wear real clothes that fit my style.

I can't believe...it's time to go back to studying!  Have a great day, all :)

4.28.2014

Monday Must Haves: Birthday Edition

Birthday Wishlist

Birthday Wishlist by robinace featuring print scarves

1. Lilly Pulitzer Scarf // 2. Nautica Beach Tote // 3. Lilly Pulitzer Deanna Maxi // 4. Classic Black Pumps // 5. Dior Blooming Blossom // 6. Missy Mint Jo Tote Camera Bag // 7. Kate Spade Lemon Iphone Case // 8. Stila Cosmetics // 9. Ray Ban Cat Eye Sunglasses

A few weeks ago my mom asked me my favorite question ever..."what do you want for your birthday?"  My initial thought was rent money...but I decided to look for something a little more fun instead!  Above are a few things that would make turning 25 a little less painful, and a lot more colorful. ;)


4.25.2014

Five Favorites.

ONE.  
The light at the end of the tunnel!  In one week I will be finished with finals (!!) and in one month I will be arriving in Florida.  Having the end be so near is intoxicating! 

TWO. 
Google actually answering emails.  I almost don't believe it.  I've been having problems forwarding my old domain to my new one, and after hours of playing with HTML and calling go daddy I got super desperate and emailed google for support.  And then they answered.  And it worked. BOOM. I am now forwarding! 

THREE.
Dom and I get to play model this weekend!  Our friend Brittany wants to build her portfolio for her photography business, so Dom and I get to have another engagement session this weekend!  I'm so excited, her photos are so gorgeous.  Keep your fingers crossed for good weather. :)

FOUR.
Now, I can't be sure.  But my birthday is in about 3 weeks and a mysterious package from Jo Totes arrived the other day!  I'm not letting myself open it until I'm finished with finals...but I'm really hoping this gorgeous mint camera bag/purse is inside!

FIVE.
You all.  
I know my blog has been really lacking over the past year, which I think is a direct reflection on my life.  Besides the fun and excitement around wedding planning, this year has been a bummer.  Lots of being sad about where I'm living, or feeling lonely in a new city.  Even though I have made some amazing people here, I really haven't felt like myself since I've been here.  It's hard to blog about a life I'm not enjoying!  I read that if your life is boring, so is your blog.  I think I have become the perfect example!  So I appreciate you all for sticking around during the not-so-thrilling life stages, and I can't wait to go back to my bright, fun, beach self in just a few weeks! 

4.24.2014

32 Things That Make Me Happy!

Better late than never, right?  I totally missed the link-up, but I couldn't think of a better study break than thinking of things that make me happy!  

So here goes:

1. Dom! 

2. Good mail days. Actually, any mail days that don't involve bills

3. Bright sundresses

4. Puggle puppies.  Okay, all puppies. 

5. Criminal minds.

6. Falling asleep when it's pouring out.  

7. Waking up to sunshine and birds chirping. :)

8. A freshly made bed

9. Getting into said bed after a long day 

10.  Finding long lost bobby pins

11. Fresh cut flowers.  See also: fake flowers since I'm so allergic

12.  Leaving work when it's still light out

13. Sangria.  On a patio.  With live music.

14. Big statement necklaces...and Rachel Zoe

15. My ring! 

16.  Checking IG 18 times an hour

17. Palm Beach.  Miami.  Sarasota.  South Florida in general.

18. Pre-church selfies

19. New jeans that actually fit. :)

20.  Using every cup in the house <--- Dom added that one

21. Marley Lilly Flash Sales. 

22.  A fresh pedicure.  Notice, I didn't say getting the pedicure.  That's pure torture!

23.  Seeing myself on The Breakers Palm Beach's Instagram. 

24. Slamming on the breaks <---Regretting asking Dom for help now!

25.  Not washing my hair. (Oops)

26. Sitting and reading a magazine from beginning to end. 

27. Preppiness

28. Marinas, boats, yachts...etc.

29. Monograms!

30. Deciding what to register for!  Except that Dom refuses to let me register for a working toaster because he insists our toaster is fine and it's his best friend. 

31. Planning our wedding!

32.  Thinking of our wedding day and how nice it will be to no longer be planning it. ;) 

4.23.2014

Wedding Wednesday: Destination Engagement

Ever since we got engaged the one question Dom and I get asked the most is "Are you doing a destination wedding?"  Knowing how much we both love to travel, everyone we know seems to think that would be a given!  As much as we adore traveling, we knew a destination wedding just wasn't the right fit for us.  We both had way too many people we wanted to invite, and it would be too sad to cut down the guest list.

So, what does a couple that loves to travel do instead?  A destination engagement! Unbeknownst to me, Dom had been planning this since the summer before!

 Once Dom heard we were planning on vacationing at Maria's he knew he would propose there.  I've mentioned before on the blog that Maria's Beach in Rincon, Puerto Rico is named after my great grandmother, and my family just recently opened a rental property that we built there.  After many years of building, it would be the first time Dom or I saw the place in person.  Family is so important in Puerto Rico, and both Dom and my family knew how special it would be to get engaged there with the family all around.

It doesn't hurt that this is the view from one of the master balconies. ;)

I love that along with being my great-grandmother's beach and my family's place, it will always have a place in my heart as the spot where Dom asked me to spend forever with him.  If we could casually knock 100 people off our guest list we would totally get married here too!  Some of the pictures of the destination weddings held there are seriously stunning...


All photos from Vanessa Vargas Photography


The flowers...the sunset...the water.  I'm starting to think maybe destination isn't such a bad idea!
The real question now is...can I have two weddings? ;)

Love Always Nancy J

Have you ever done/attended a destination engagement or destination wedding?

4.22.2014

How To Survive Finals!


The white sand...the hot sun...cold drink...cute cabana boy.  So close, but yet... so far. The only thing standing between you and this dream are your finals.

After 12 semesters (remind me again why I'm getting a second degree?) I have my finals week survival plan down pat.  Here are 5 tips to make it through the week alive!

1. Start early.  In hindsight, those all nighters I spent with my sorority sisters in the library with gallons of coffee and pounds of snacks were fun, but at the time they were awful.  Do not wait until the last minute!  During the semester I read the textbook and highlighted the important parts that were explained in the lectures.  Then, I take my lecture slides and notes along with my textbook and write out study guides on printer paper.  I made sure every chapter can fit on the front and back of one sheet (even if it means writing really tiny)!  I use these to study for exams during the semester, and come finals time I already have the study guides made!  Just the act of reading through your notes and highlights to make the guide really gets it into your head, so reading them seems like a review.  It makes tackling a comprehensive final way easier!

2. Know if you're a night owl or an early bird.  This might seem obvious, but it isn't always.  For me, I do better at night.  I had some friends that would wake up at 5am before and 11am exam and get 6 solid hours of studying in right before the exam.  That seemed like such a good idea!  Who wouldn't want to take a test after immediately reviewing the material?  But for me?  I got up, dragged myself to the library and gazed half asleep at my computer until I fully woke up around 9.  Not very productive.  Instead, I'd rather stay up until 3 if necessary (which it shouldn't be if I didn't wait until the last minute) and then sleep until 9, and be refreshed for the exam.  Just because all your friends are up early studying (or up late studying) doesn't mean you should be too!

3. Eat well!  Soda and sugary candy seems like all you want when you're crunching for an exam, but I promise your stomach, brain, and grades will thank you for sticking to less sugary options.  Think nuts, sweet bell peppers, fruit, and cheese.  However, I think it's scientifically proven that after an exam wine is very encouraged. :)

4.  Take breaks!  Don't let the stress overwhelm you!  Set a timer for 30 minutes and walk around, check instagram or watch a TV show.  You will focus way better afterwards.  I've found that even scrolling through Pinterest for a few minutes puts me at ease, since I get so look at a bunch of pretty pictures of things that inspire me.

5.  The self control app.  Seriously. Life changing!  Through this site you can enter certain websites (think Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Blogger) and set the time.  For whatever amount of time you set your browser will not let you on those sites.  It's great for limiting procrastination!


Once you're done?  Sleep, go for a run, go for drinks, or head to the beach and find that cabana boy! ;)

4.21.2014

Preppy Easter Outfits



For us, Easter was simple: Church in the morning, followed by cooking dinner and sitting out on the porch with friends.  However, yesterday was another holiday besides Easter (and Erin's birthday!)

It was the start of Lilly, seersucker, white pants and pastel season!  Down south we wear those all year 'round (except white pants...I'm a firm follower of that rule) but up here Dom and I have kept our preppy colorful wardrobes mostly under wraps.  Yesterday they came out of hiding and we let our prep flags fly!   Of course, that warranted a mini photoshoot when we got home.  Dom needs material for his new instagram (@dmarino17) after all!

Hope you all had a very Hoppy Easter!

4.17.2014

What's Your Number?

I've seen this post floating around and I had to join!

1-  Number of hard ciders I had before writing this post (I am writing this the night before...just in case you think I'm drinking cider for breakfast).

478- Days until we say "I do!"

5- Number of finals I have standing between me and Florida

13- Number of countries I've visited

6- Number of months I spent in Australia

6- Number of cities I've lived in during the last 4 years

17- My lucky number.  Actually, April 17th is my lucky day :)

21- Number of years I've known 1 of my Maids of Honor!

1,467,802- My brother's lucky number.  I'm not joking at all.

715- Number of pictures I've posted on my Instagram 

3- Number of times I had braces.

14- Years I studied ballet

7- Number of women I'll have standing by my side on my wedding day!

4- Number of times I listened to "All of Me" yesterday.  Usually I think romantic ballads are boring by oh my it's so beautiful.  I need to have it in my wedding somehow!


1-
 love of my life. :)



4.16.2014

I Can't Believe...

...how relieved I am now that my workshop is over!  The little kiddos were great and one little girl even told me she was going to eat a banana for a snack when she got home! I have 5 final exams, but this workshop was the biggest thing having over my head.  I feel like it's smooth sailing to Florida now!

...Nordstrom's denim sale!  If you need new jeans run, don't walk, to your nearest Nordstrom (or go online like me).  I have a confession.  I have only 1 pair of blue denim jeans...and they're so old I need to shrink them before wearing them every single time.  I have known I need new jeans for awhile, but have been resisting since good jeans are pricey and I'd rather buy fun things.  Or pay my bills.   Well wham bam thank you ma'am I bought 4 pair last night!  I'm talking all around $30. Oh, how I love Nordstrom.

...It snowed yesterday.  That's all I have to say about that.

... I put in my 3 weeks at my job this weekend, and now my move seems real!  At least, I tried to give my notice.  my 2 managers refused to take it twice, so I left a note for my GM who has been out for a few days.  They threatened to throw it away, but I hope they didn't!  As much as I appreciate the love, I don't think my GM will be happy if I leave and he hasn't realized I gave notice. ;)

...I'll be in Puerto Rico celebrating my 25th birthday in less than a month!

...ummm.  I can't believe I'm about to turn 25. Whoa there.

...how strong my cravings can be.  Alexa and I were chatting yesterday and she introduced me to the idea of spreading the chocolate coconut peanut butter we both adore onto a waffle and then topping with bananas and strawberries for breakfast.  Is it breakfast?  Is it dessert?  Is it heaven?  I think it's all 3!

...One of the videographers my photographer recommended charges from $7,000-10,000.  But don't worry, he will do a 5 minute highlight for only $6,000!  My heart literally stopped.  However, his work is literally incredible.  Definitely not in our budget...but it could probably win an Oscar.

...I have Saturday and Sunday off this week!  This is the second weekend in a row I've gotten off without requesting it.  I'm not asking any questions...just enjoying. :)


What can't you believe?

4.15.2014

3 Things That Will NOT Help Your Baby Fever

Dom and I are still 480 days away from getting married, but my baby fever is on overdrive.  I have pretty much had baby fever my entire life so this is no surprise...but I think this big sparkler on my finger makes it worse!  Unfortunately, this week I discovered 3 things that have not helped my baby fever whatsoever.

1.

Today I'm teaching a nutrition workshop to a group of pre-schoolers!  I'm actually kind of nervous, since I've never dealt with 10 little munchkins at once, but I have a feeling once I see those little squishy faces I'll want to steal one (I promise I won't)

2.
Pinterest. 
 The home of everything wonderful and wildly depressing.
Why are there so many adorable onsies, baby girl dresses, and little boy hats?  Just a 2 minute scroll through Pinterest makes me want to reproduce STAT.
Then I remember the amount of medical school debt we will have and suddenly a plant is just fine.

3. 

This delicious Scentsy Scent, Newborn Nursery.  
Kim sent me this deliciously fresh scent to try and it smells just like a little newborn baby.
(The good parts of a newborn baby, that is.)
We had it on in the window the other night with all our windows open and it was so clean and fresh.  Dom even commented that it smelled like a fresh load of laundry.  
If you aren't into really intense floral or fruity scents, this one is perfect.  
You can grab this scent and other Scentsy products on Kim's Scentsy Consultant site
Now I just want to have a baby so I can burn this in the nursery. ;)
* Although I was sent the Scentsy and scent to review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

4.14.2014

A Hint of Florida

I know everyone and their mother is going to be posting about the gorgeous weather we all had this weekend, but I just can't contain my excitement!
We had the windows open all weekend and the fresh air was so heavenly.  
On Saturday we sat on our little back porch for a little bit and took in as much Vitamin D as possible. I swear my skin didn't remember what that big ball of fire was. ;)

After we went back inside and had an extremely rare lazy day.  Dom ran through flashcards while watching the Masters and I flipped between Cosmo and one of my new blogging books.
What really struck me was how much less stressed and happy both Dom and I were all weekend.
Having the sunshine and fresh air was such a reminder of life in Florida, and it made us even more excited to get there.  The hard ciders and red wine my parents brought helped with the relaxation too!


You know that feeling of that first really warm day of Spring?  That's the kind of excitement we had everyday living down south.  It's so happy, warm, and relaxing, and really compliments both of our personalities.
I know I harp on it a lot, but it's just so nice to finally know where you belong, and it's hard to think about anything other than the countdown to our move!

How did you enjoy the nice weather??

4.11.2014

5 Friday Happies + JACK ROGERS & MARLEY LILLY GIVEAWAY

1.
You know if I'm posting a selfie that I mean business.  Well I was seriously way too excited about the fact that the sun was actually shining and the weather hit 50 degrees!  My Florida resident self is ashamed that now 50+ degrees feels like Spring...but here in PA we'll take what we can get!

2.
Someone left this on my windshield last night at work!  I got out around 10:30 feeling depressed that due to some poor planning I was going to have to work a 10 hour shift today instead of 6 (while my parents are in town for only a few days) and found this!  I don't know who it's from but it had me smiling the whole way home. :)

3.
Do y'all follow Sarah from Classy Girls Wear Pearls and Kiel James Patrick (@kjp) on Instagram?  If you aren't you are seriously missing out.  Their feeds are pure preppy perfection and I almost made Dom drive off the road when I saw this picture.  They epitomise living colorfully and are both Dom and my style inspiration.  I literally can't decide which to do first...buy that dress or buy Dom that blazer?  Tough choices here. ;)

 4.
Yay!  There's nothing quite like sitting in bed scrolling through Pinterest with your fiancĂ© looking for recipes and seeing your name!  That happened last night when I discovered I won a contest from Petal Boutique.  I recently discovered this shop and bought my 25th birthday dress from them!  Their dresses and other clothes are so cute, and now I love them even more! :)

5.
Saving the absolute best for last...
Jack Rogers contacted me earlier this week for help spreading the word about a giveaway they're hosting with Marley Lilly.  Together they are giving away a pair of monogrammed Jacks (to die for) and a Marley Lilly monogrammed hat and tote!  I'm a huge fan of both brands and know this is a giveaway you don't want to miss!
Click here to enter!

Happy Friday!  

4.10.2014

Currently Coveting


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I had to end with my favorite Lilly print, You Gotta Regatta! :)
With the weather finally getting warmer my need to break out the bright colors is darn near killing me.  I'm still holding off on the white until Easter, but you all know I want to be as bright as possible the rest of the year!  These looks have all caught my eye the past few weeks and have me yearning for the sunshine and the beach.  I move to Sarasota in exactly 45 days and you bet I'm leaving all my dark clothes behind.  There's only one way to live down there...and that's colorfully. ;)


What are you coveting most this spring?



4.09.2014

{Recipe} 2 Minute Mug Cake!


WARNING:  There is nothing healthy about this mug cake.  I do have some recipes for healthy options...but I keep eating them before I take a good picture, so you'll have to wait for those! ;)

This is the perfect dessert if you need to curb your sweet tooth (or you're craving cake and don't want to make a whole one)!

It's quick, easy, and soooo delicious.  I think I might just go make one now!

Chocolate Mug Cake
Ingredients:
1/4 c flour
5 T sugar
2 t unsweetened cocoa powder
1 egg
3 T milk
3 T vegetable oil
Dash of vanilla extract and pinch of salt

Directions
Mix ingredients in a large mug until blended.  Microwave for 2 minutes. 


4.07.2014

Bloom Where You Are Planted: Pittsburgh Adventure Day

I am not good at this.  I want to bloom in South Florida between the palm trees and the beach.  I do not want to bloom in Southwestern PA.

However, life had other plans for us and planted us right  here in Hunker: Population 289 (they updated the consensus...sad day).  Blooming has not been my strong suit these past few months, but knowing that our days here are numbered has made us see things a little differently.


PA is home to some of the most amazing people who have become great friends since we moved here last summer.  It is also home to a baby gorilla (!!!) and a pretty gorgeous ballpark.  This past weekend Dom and I both had a weekend off (I know, I pinched myself too!) and we spent it having a Pittsburgh Adventure day and explored the city we are lucky enough to live near.

On Friday we went over to a friend's house to play cards, drink some beer and eat some pizza...college style. ;)  I discovered a newfound talent in Black Jack (I dominated) and we laughed our frozen buns off playing Cards Against Humanity.

Can I just pause for a moment and comment on how deeply disturbed the people who right those cards must be?  They were so hilarious and utterly disturbing that my sweet innocent self was scarred!  In the best way of course.  I want to play every day.  End side note. 

On Saturday Dom and I relaxed together and then bundled up to head to the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium!  I have mentioned a few times here how I used to work with the gorillas and orang utans at the Smithsonian in college, so I was wayyyy too excited to see the gorillas!  I seriously ran through the whole zoo until I found them and was surprised when I came face to face with a BABY!  Sorry, but baby gorillas beat baby humans.  I just wanted to squeeze it! :)


Afterwards we headed downtown to eat before the Pirates game!  We popped into Jerome Bettis's Grille 36 so Dom and Nick could experience the bathroom.  Yes, I meant that.  In this restaurant the men's bathroom has a one way mirror so while you're doing your thang you're looking out into the lobby!  I had fun waving at them (you only see a mirror from the outside) and freaking them out by taking pictures of the mirror. Ha!

It was only 37 degrees, but we huddled with a row of friends for the Pirates game.  The stadium is seriously stunning, and our nosebleed seats gave us the best view of Pittsburgh!  I really love the city, and truly think Dom and I would like PA infinitely more if we lived closer to it.  After the game was an incredible fireworks display.  It was probably one of the best ones I've ever seen!



We finished the night by meeting one of Dom's classmates and his wife for a few drinks and lots and lots of laughs.  It's really hard being engaged in medical school since it really consumes Dom's life.  That leads to me feeling lonely and not doing well making the most of our new city.  This weekend was perfect for us to remember what it's like to just have fun with each other, be silly, and not stress over the next exam.  I am so eager for the day when this can happen more often! :)

As if we didn't have a great enough weekend, it will end with my other 2 main squeezes Blake and Luke sweet talking to be during the ACMs! Wine and cheese will be consumed, and it will be glorious.

4.01.2014

April Showers aren't always a bad thing! {Giveaway}

It's APRIL...and you know what they always say....
"April Showers....Bring May Flowers"
but what are we supposed to do to get us through the rainy month of April? Sit inside and watch the world fill up with water around us, or..... Fashionably play in puddles and kiss our prince charming in the rain?!? Why the second option of course!
I am super excited, along with 5 of my favorite blogger loves to bring you the "April Showers Giveaway" and your chance to win....
How adorable would you look in the colorful Joules Rain boots of your choice, along with a perfect  Kate Spade umbrella! With a pair like this, you'll be asking for it to rain EVERYDAY!
Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Winner will be chosen next Tuesday, April 8th.
Open to US residents only
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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