Tag Archives: friends

Going to the Chapel…

Happy Tuesday!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July and that you are staying cool during this tremendous heat wave!

I, for one, had a fantastic weekend!  Larry and I drove to VA Beach for our friends Beau and Gen’s wedding, which was a spectacular soirée. 

On our way to the beach we sat in just a little bit of holiday traffic,

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but we simply could not complain about this view!

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Or the weather!  It was a truly beautiful weekend!

My camera broke right before the ceremony, so I don’t have pictures of the actual wedding. 😦

However, I do have pictures of the rehearsal!  The wedding was held at a country club on a very green golf course with rolling hills. :)  The site was absolutely breathtaking!DSC03553

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Right before my camera broke I was able to grab a couple of shots of the reception decor. 

Gen is a very artistic and amazingly creative gal!  She handmade these glass paper weights using sand from the beaches of both Virginia and Florida.

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She also named each table after something beach-y.  Larry and I sat at the Nags Head table 🙂

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Weddings are so much fun.  Not only is it an honor to share in the bride and groom’s special day, but it is also a great way to catch up with friends you may not get to see as often as you would like. 

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We are so happy for the beautiful couple!  Congratulations, Beau and Gen!!!  :) 

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~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Sweat, Soccer and Nostalgia

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This was me yesterday. 😉

Well,  not really, but sort of.  I took a LesMills BodyCombat class at the gym and it kicked my butt!

The whole class lasted 53 minutes and the entire time my lungs were screaming, my muscles were burning, and I had such a good time!

My heart rate monitor said I burned 946 calories, which I think is an over estimation, but only by about 100-200 calories.  The instructor said that she burned 750 calories, and she was an itty bitty thing.  It wouldn’t surprise me if I actually burned close to 800 calories! 

Last summer I took 2 BodyCombat classes a week and it helped me to get in amazing shape.  Once school started, it became more difficult to attend the scheduled times, so I kind of gave up going.  I’m thinking that after the endorphin high of yesterday’s class I will once again try and go at least once or twice a week for a  high energy, high paced class.

After BodyCombat I watched the USA –vs- Ghana World Cup game.

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It made me miss soccer terribly.  I haven’t played since I broke my sesamoid in a game last spring.  My foot really hasn’t been the same since.  I am able to run and take kickboxing classes and the like, but I think actually kicking a ball would be rather difficult.  Not only would it be a little painful, but I think I would be a little afraid every time I went for the ball!

However, the desire is so strong I may have to buy a ball and try kicking it around to see how it goes.  Who knows, maybe I could play Fall Ball with a little practice.

After the horribly disappointing game, Larry came home from bringing home the bacon, and we headed to West Point, VA for a couples shower in honor of our friends Beau and Gen who are getting married next weekend!

It was a summer soirée complete with a crab feast

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and a meticulously crafted sea turtle cake.

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Isn’t this cake amazing!!!!  The party host humbly made this cake the night before in the comfort of her kitchen!!!   

No one wanted to cut into this masterpiece, but eventually someone couldn’t resist the temptation of a delicious dessert and grabbed a piece.

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The crab feast portion of this party was the biggest temptation for me since giving up meat.

Growing up, my Pop-Pop would hold crab feasts at his house a few times each summer.  He would go into DC to get a few bushels.  Then my brothers and I would watch with our mouths watering as he pulled each crab out, threw them into a pot of boiling water, and cooked them to perfection.

We would spend hours picking crabs and running around the yard in our bare feet with Patsy Cline and Hank Sr. records playing in the background.

As much as I wanted to sit down and start crab picking last night, I just couldn’t do it.  It was an incredibly nostalgic moment for me, but I stuck with the meat free fare instead and I am rather proud of myself for it! 🙂

Today will be a pretty laid back Sunday.  Larry and I are planning on going to the gym for a quick lift followed by a little pool time.  I can’t wait to spend a few hours reading my new book.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!  Stay cool!!!

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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My Best Friend

Little Miss MIA is back… again!

Have you ever had a time in your life when it was go-go-go constantly, and when you finally did get to sit down and rest it was time for bed???  Well, that is how the last two weeks have been for me. 

I’m thinking that since school is finally out for the summer, Beth’s wedding was pulled off without a hitch, and Larry is back from Costa Rica, life will be much calmer and somewhat back to normal 😉

In fact, yesterday was a wonderfully, blissful and relaxing day, which is good because it was our second wedding anniversary!  🙂

It’s still hard for me to believe that two full years ago I married my best friend.  It feels like just yesterday we were deciding to be an official couple!

In fact, the story of our relationship has a rather complex beginning.  We dated for a little while our sophomore year of college, but being 19 and in college we decided to just stay friends.  We both dated other people, but were somehow always drawn back together.

It wasn’t until the day of my graduation from college, three years later, that we decided to be more than just friends.  Larry told me in those beginning days that we would be together forever.  To be completely honest, I thought he was just sweet talking me! 😉

On June 21, 2008, I realized he was pretty serious 😉

It was the most beautiful day of my life.  We were married in rural Virginia at Clover Forest Plantation surrounded by our closest friends and family.

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During our first two years of marriage, we have survived lay-offs, grad school, a recession, family illnesses, and so much more.  It truly is a wonderful feeling to know that your best friend is always by your side through thick and thin, sickness and health, the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

Who knows what the next two years will bring.  What I do know is that no matter what life may throw our way, we will pull through, stay strong, and stay true to those sacred vows we spoke only two short years ago. 

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Books and BBQ

Oh, boy!  Am I tired! 

Last night I went to my first ever book club.  Yes, I am a certified reading specialist and have  never been book club member.  It’s a shame, I know.

I must say it was the most fun I have had in a while.  I met some really awesome ladies, ate some incredible food, and had wonderful and somewhat unexpected conversations. ;) 

We discussed The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I love reading southern books with strong female heroines.  If you have not read this, I highly recommend adding it to your summer to read list.

Because this story takes place in the south, the girls decided to do a southern themed dinner.  There are a few vegetarians in the group, so I decided to make a dish I saw several months ago on Peas and Thank You for BBQ tofu.

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I really didn’t know how this dish was going to go, and I know it’s a bad idea to try out a new recipe for strangers, but I just couldn’t resist.  I chopped a red pepper, half a Vidalia onion, and two blocks of extra firm tofu.  I pulled out the slow cooker and combined all of the ingredients with half a bottle of Annie’s All Natural Organic BBQ sauce.  I then set the cooker to low and went to work.

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I couldn’t wait to get home from work yesterday to see how the BBQ turned out.  The first thing I did when I walked in the door was tear off the lid, grab a spoon, and taste a little bite sized piece of tofu.  The first bite was a little bland, so I added more BBQ sauce and a little sea salt.  I also drained some of the fluid that had collected in the bottom of the slow cooker.  I think the key to this recipe is to press all of the water out of the tofu before cooking it. 

It didn’t turn out too, too bad, but I may make some adjustments next time.  I’ll definitely press the tofu longer, and I’m thinking I’ll probably use Trader Joe’s BBQ sauce instead.  I just enjoy the taste of TJ’s a lot more than Annie’s.

I got home pretty late and fell asleep quickly.  However, around 3:30 AM I woke up and could not go back to sleep.  It was the worst!  My mind just wouldn’t shut down!!!

Tomorrow is the last day of school, so my to-do list is pretty long.  My best friend is also getting married Saturday.  The rehearsal dinner is tomorrow night out in the mountains, so I have a LOT to get done by tomorrow afternoon. 

Hopefully tonight my exhaustion will overpower my overactive brain, and I’ll get a full night’s sleep.  I’m even hoping to fall asleep extra early, so I can get up and do a quick run before the day begins.

I hope you are all having a fantastic week!  Happy almost Friday!!!

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Weekend Warrior

Helloooo everyone!  I hope you had an amazing weekend, and that your Monday wasn’t too, too bad 😉

I have only 9 more school days left before summer vacation begins!  Woo hooo!  This summer I am not working summer school or taking classes, so I will have lots of time to read, write, workout, and relax.  I can’t wait!

This past weekend gave me a nice little taste of what is to come.  Friday’s Longwood adventure was only the beginning. 

Saturday I went on a wine tour near Wintergreen, Va for Beth’s bachelorette party. 

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We went to Wintergreen, Hill Top Berry, and Cardinal Point wineries.  It was a such a blast!

The bride-to-be was beautiful… as she always is!

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The scenery was (almost) as beautiful as the bride 😉

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The wine was terrific.

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And the company was top notch 😉

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It’s always to get back to the grind after such a wonderful weekend, but we must press on!!! 

Have a wonderful evening and an even better week! 🙂

What is your favorite winery to visit or wine to drink???

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A Lazy Sunday

Remember those old college Sundays, when after a weekend full of parties and fun, you lounged around in your PJs all day watching chick flicks, eating Pizza Hut single pan pizzas, and guzzling any non-alcoholic beverages you could get your hands on for hydration???

Well, those lazy Sundays have long been a thing of the past for me.  That is until today minus the personal pan pizza 🙂

Today I have lounged around watching Time Traveler’s Wife, working out, and reading.  It has been so wonderful.  I really needed a day to just rest and relax without any outings or long to-do lists.  It’s been way too long

Here’s a great post about the importance of giving yourself one day of rest

Larry and I woke up pretty early considering we had a late night last night.  And by late, I mean just a little past midnight.  We’re getting old 😉

I don’t have many pictures from last night, because I forgot to take some!!!!  I got the camera out and then laid it down and never picked it back up :(  I did get some pics of the food table and some cheesy Dollar Tree decorations.

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Did you spot the Gone in 60 Seconds Punch in the background????

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I did not even manage to get a picture of the bride and groom :(  Guess I’ll just have to throw them another party, so I can take some pictures!

Today I skipped breakfast (oops!) and ate an early lunch…  party leftovers.

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Reheated vegetarian baked beans, a MorningStar Spicy Black Bean Burger topped with tomato and avocado slices, and some pasta salad. 

I then did 3 circuits of the Yvonne Strahovski workout from Shape Magazine.  It took me exactly an hour to do the strength moves with five minutes of cardio between.  For cardio, I did 1 minute of running in place, 1 minute of jumping jacks, 1 minute of high knees, 1 minute of jab, cross, hook, uppercuts, and 1 minute of front and side kicks.  I really love this workout.  It works your whole body and you work up a sweat without having to run in place on a treadmill.  Oh, and you can watch TV while you do it, so time really flies!!!  🙂

Tonight for dinner, Larry and I are making a Martin’s run to the salad bar.  We both feel that we may have overindulged a little too much last night 🙂

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and that you feel rested and rejuvenated for the week ahead. 

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Go-Go A Go-Go!

Happy Hump Day!  I hope you had a good one!

Yesterday was super busy, as I anticipated, but I think I handled it gracefully and did not allow myself to get overly stressed.  After work, I tutored for an hour then came home to finish up preparations for Sarah and Sam’s welcome home from the hospital dinner. 

I felt super rushed, so I hope the dinner tasted OK.

I got to see little baby Samantha Grace, who is just as precious and as perfect as can be.

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This is one proud papa! 

Here’s a picture text I received from the new momma who claims to be a member of the clean plate club.  Guess dinner was somewhat edible! 😉

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After making dinner for Larry, Brian and myself, I crashed.  Yesterday was GO, GO, GO.

Today after work I rushed to the library to see if my books that have been on hold for 3 days were still being held.  Three days is the limit they will keep them.  I was lucky to catch the girl as she was clearing the shelf.    She was so nice and gave them to me off the cleared cart!  Whew!  I’ve been waiting on these two to come in for a while.

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eat, drink & be vegan by Dreena Burton and The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone. 

I have seen pictures of meals from eat, drink & be vegan on other blogs and have been extremely curious to try them!  I’ve also been wanting to read The Kind Diet ever since I saw Alicia on Oprah a few months ago. 

So far I’ve read a few chapters of The Kind Diet and the two things that have really stood out to me are:

1) When you eat meat or dairy products, you are consuming and absorbing all of the toxins, chemicals, antibiotics, and pathogens that were in the animals.  Some scientists even believe that the high levels of adrenaline and stress hormones released through an animal’s body before being slaughtered may also be passed onto the dinner plate.  Something to consider, I guess. 

2) Going vegan can clear the skin, help you lose weight, give you more energy, and smooth your digestion. 

Although I do not think I can go entirely vegan, I am willing to reduce the amount of dairy that I consume.  These claims seem too good to pass up.  I just love cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese, ice cream, and chocolate way too much to swear off it forever. 

Tomorrow will be another busy day, but it ends with a hair appointment at my favorite salon 🙂

Ta-Ta for now!  Have a wonderful evening!!!!

Would you pass up on your favorite foods if you knew doing so would alleviate skin problems, low energy levels, digestion problems or other health concerns???  Why or why not?

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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