June 20, 2014

365 Days To Go


When we got engaged last June, we decided on a 2-year engagement. Mostly because we thought it would be a good idea to live in the same state when we were married and also because we wanted a long time to plan. Here are a few of the things we have crossed off our planning list so far:

Set the Date: Mark your calendars for June 20, 2015! We knew we wanted a summer wedding and we went with the month of June. We also knew that we wanted a Saturday wedding. Justin had one request: that we not get married on the 13th on the off chance our anniversary would fall on Friday, the 13th some year (weirdo).

Find a Venue: Justin and I (Ok, it was mostly me) had a pretty specific set of criteria when we were searching for venues. We ended up finding the PERFECT place. We’re getting married at the Muhammad Ali Center in downtown Louisville. We’ll mostly hang out on the top floor (which has floor to ceiling windows and a gorgeous view of the river), but our guests will also have access to the entire museum during our cocktail hour. We’re having the ceremony & reception in one place. It’s so much easier for us and our guests. There are a bazillion places to take pictures and it is walking distance from multiple hotels.

Wedding Party: This was seriously the hardest task ever. There are so many special people in our lives and we wanted to include everyone! Justin made a few phone calls and I searched Pinterest for the most awesome way to ask my friends to be in the wedding party. I’ll introduce everyone to you on here eventually and on the wedding website…if I ever get one made!

Photographer: An awesome photographer was high on my list of wedding priorities. You all might be eating mediocre food, but I will definitely have tons of pictures to remember our wedding day! We met with a bunch of photographers. They all had great portfolios, but we ultimately decided we wanted to work with Jason Holzworth. We loved his work and he's a pretty cool guy to hang out with. We had our engagement photos taken last weekend had a blast! Stay tuned for a complete recap :)

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I got around to making a wedding binder last month. I feel a little bit like Monica Geller, but it’s really convenient having everything in one place!

 Next on the wedding list: officiant, DJ, and dress shopping!
 Married/Engaged people: What was the best & worst part of wedding planning?

June 11, 2014

Runners are the Best Kind of People

Last Wednesday was National Running Day...so of course it is natural for me to post about it a week later! National Running Day is a day that runners coast-to-coast celebrate their passion for running. Justin and I celebrated with a rainy 5 mile run in downtown Pittsburgh. 

Since Justin is only here one week a month, I usually run by myself. This means I have 3-5 miles worth of time to think about things. My brain usually bounces all over the place when I’m running…from what I’m eating for dinner to how I would spend my money if I won the lottery. Sometimes I write speeches and sometimes I come up with witty comebacks that would have worked in a conversation I had 3 days ago.

A few weeks back, I started thinking about WHY I RUN and the answer I put on the banner at the KY Derby Runner’s Expo. I had one answer at the Expo but by the time I finished my run that day, I had quite a few reasons why I run.

I asked my Facebook & Twitter friends why they ran. Here are some of their answers:

The reason for running has changed throughout the years, from wanting to compete for my school, fitness and weight management, competing as an individual, etc - but I always come back to the sense of accomplishment...although now I love doing it to get some quiet time away from home!! – Kari C.

Because my wife, Kari C, makes me. - Phil C.

So I’m not a fat ass. – Jess L.

I like pain A LOT. I also like it because it's the only place where it's socially acceptable to "farmer blow" your nose and no one thinks anything of it! – Matt O.

To have some me time…to challenge myself…to enjoy my ice cream more. – Abby V.

Because who knows. Something may be chasing you one day. And it would be nice to be fast in that moment. – Brian B.

I started running right after college because I was depressed. I wasn't in college anymore and bored out of my mind. I also wanted to see if I could be more naturally competitive if I competed against myself, since I never really was when I played team sports in HS. – Karen E.

Because I wasn't good at any other sport! - Nathan S.

I run because it's the only thing left to do after the swim and bike!  But seriously, I run because I want to (not because it's on my training schedule), I think I do it because running ignites ALL of the senses. – Justin R.

So tell me: Why do YOU run? 
Did you participate in National Running Day?

June 9, 2014

Summertime = Sunscreen Time

Summer is FINALLY in full swing here in Pittsburgh and it is as good a time as ever to talk about safe sun practices. Sunscreen is one of my best product friends. I’m a redhead and have the fairest of fair skin. I wear sunscreen on my face every day, year round. In the summer, I have to pay careful attention to the rest of my body since I tend to wear as little clothing as acceptable [read: I spend every spare minute soaking up the sun].

Did you know that skin cancer is the most common of all cancers? Well, it is. Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, will account for more than 76,000 cases of skin cancer in 2014. Unprotected/excessive exposure to UV rays (aka sunlight) is putting you at risk for skin cancer. There are a few ways you can protect yourself from UV rays and one of them is SUNSCREEN!

When the folks at BzzAgent offered me free samples of Coppertone ClearlySheer sunscreen, there was no way I was turning them down. I’m not a brand loyal sunscreen user (hello sale prices!), and I love trying new products. There are two types of ClearlySheer products: For Sunny Days and For Beach & Pool. I’ve been testing them out over the last couple of weeks and really like the products. I didn’t apply the product on my face (although you definitely can) because I am really picky about the products I use on my face.

  • This product is a lotion and it applies really thin and doesn't leave any residue.
  • It’s fast absorbing and you don’t feel sticky at all (unlike when you use certain sunscreens…I’m talking to you Banana Boat!).
  • On the website, they say there is a citrusy smell to the product. I wouldn’t go that far, but it definitely has less of a sunscreen smell than other products I’ve tried.
  • I wore this product on a really hot, sunny day. We spent pretty much the entire afternoon walking in the sun and I didn’t get burnt (minus my nose…I guess I should have used this on my face too!)
  • Unfortunately, I have not been to a beach or a pool yet this summer (sad face), but I did spray this sunscreen on myself and Justin when we toured Bernheim Forest over Memorial Day weekend. It was very sunny and we hadn’t planned on walking as much as we did.
  • I personally prefer the lotion application, but the spray sunscreen is my best friend for sneak attacking The Boy. He NEVER remembers to put on sunscreen and his neck gets burnt ALL THE TIME. With the spray, I can coat his neck, arms, and legs in seconds. It’s perfect practice for when I have to chase my kids around…
  • This product goes on quick and it works! It also applies thin and doesn’t feel sticky.
  • It also has a scent that is not sunscreen like (although I wouldn’t go as far as the tropical fruit and flower scent the website describes!)
Both of these products are formulated not to clog pores or cause breakouts. They are both water resistant (up to 80 minutes) and they will both protect you from those pesky UV rays.  All very important attributes when selecting a sunscreen. I don’t know if I would have picked this product up off the shelf before, but I would definitely purchase it now. When you’re stocking up on sunscreen for the summer, you should check this product out!

Oh, and to learn more about Safe Sun Practices, check out the American Cancer Society Website.

What is your go-to brand of sunscreen?
Anybody traveling to/live near a beach this summer?

I was not compensated for this post but did receive the products (and coupons for my friends) for free. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

June 3, 2014

Location Scouting & Kissy-Faces

Even though our wedding is over a year away, we’ve started the planning process. We’re going to need longer than usual since we basically have one week a month for the next 12 months to get everything accomplished! While we were home in May, we scheduled our engagement photos, got our outfits together, and scouted a few locations.

We knew we wanted our pictures done in the summer so we had limited weekends to choose from since we only get back to the area once a month. Once we confirmed the date with our photographer, we I started planning our outfits for the day. We have two hours so I wanted three outfits, one formal and two casual. My entire wardrobe came from Dress and Dwell. If I ever win the lottery, more than 50% of my winnings will be spent at that store. We stopped at the outlet malls on our way back to Pittsburgh this weekend and found The Boy some new shirts so that he will look all spiffy for the pictures. 

Justin suggested Bernheim Forest for our photo location. He worked there while he was in High School so he knew all of the cool places. I’ve only been there once or twice and couldn’t for the life of me remember what anything looked like. While we were in town for Memorial Day we went down and did some scouting. We found some cool spots and took some high quality iPhone pictures so that we could remember all of the places we stopped in.

Prepare yourself...we are super photogenic people :)

Justin's best kissy-face
We're weird like that...

Engaged/Married People: Do you have any tips or tricks we should keep in mind during our photo session?

Do you live near a state park?
I really want to go back and run some of the trails we saw while we were at Bernheim!