Photo Booths are Fun

3 different weddings, 3 different photo booths, 3 times the fun!

That’s all 🙂

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How to: Bachelorette Party

Bachelorette parties are fun.  Period.

Between this summer and last I will have attended 4 of them.  And in my life I have planned four for close friends and family.

Planning a bachelorette party is like picking out the perfect Christmas present for someone. Since the bachelorette party is a celebration of the bride, the party should reflect her style and her personality. When I have the perfect combination of activities, games, eats, and attendees I get that warm and fuzzy feeling inside knowing that the party is 100% specific to the bride, and it takes some serious will power to keep everything a secret until the party! I am horrible with surprises 😉

I would venture to say that planning is actually almost as fun as attending the party itself (I like to be in control of the details 🙂 ). So if you find yourself planning a bacheloretteI thought I’d offer some tips to help you out

1) Find the Perfect Venue

Every bride is different. They don’t all enjoy laying on the beach for a weekend, nor does every bride enjoy being the center of attention at a comedy show. When deciding where the party will be and what you will be doing keep in mind that it is a party for her and select a venue that compliments her personality. If you can’t picture the bride doing something on a Friday night, or at someone else’s bachelorette, she probably won’t like to do it for hers!

Ideas from experience:

  • Fondue dinner and a fun show
  • Improv Theater
  • Beach get-away with the girls
  • Weekend in the woods of NH (find a place to stay on Vacation Rentals)
  • Night out on the town
  • Pole dancing lesson
  • Some type of “male encounter” show

Remember, not every single second of the party needs to be painstakingly planned for. Just having one “big event” planned for the day/weekend is enough! The rest of the fun will just happen.

2) Pick your “Pre-game”

Whether you are going out on the town or going away for the weekend, picking a pre-game is a great way to get the party started. I always like to start with a theme and then center my food, drinks, decorations, and music on that theme.

Food:
If you are going to dinner, appetizers and pickies are perfect for people to munch on while mingling and getting ready. If you are hanging in for dinner you can hit up a wholesale club like Costco for your cooking needs or order catering from a restaurant (Spinelli’s has always been my go-to caterer).

I tend to over-buy and over-order food but the leftovers always serve as a great “post-game” sustinance.

Drinks:
You do not need to supply alcohol for every person for the entire night, but thinking of a signature bahcelorette drink is a great way to incorporate any theme.

Going Italian? Think sangria or peach bellinis. Mexican? Margaritas. Luau? Mai Tais or Pina Coladas. FYI: Beer fits well with any theme!

Decorations:
No need to go overboard here, especially if you are in a space to kill time before going out. Pick a few choice decorations or even a color scheme for the paper goods and you can call it a day. HINT: pink and black are never a bad decision.

3) Make the guest list and send an Evite

Some brides will prefer smaller, more intimate affaris with close friends and/or relatives (think in-laws and moms). Others may have want to invite every person they have come in contact with for the past two years. My point? Ask the bride who she would like to attend the shin-dig and gather a list of email addresses (or stalk them on Facebook, I have done it both ways!).

Knowing who the bride wants in attendance may also alter your venue/pre-game so keep that in mind. Unless, of course, her mom and aunts don’t mind wearing penis neclaces and pole dancing.

When you have the venue and the guest list, put together an evite that specifies:

  • The place, date and time
  • RSVP date (and if you don’t hear “yes” or “no” resort to the Facebook stalking as mentioned above)
  • The cost and date payment is due by (REMEMBER: the bride should not have to pay her way!)
  • Any special instructions (“wear black”, “bring the bride a new pair of undies”, “shhhh, its a surprise”)

4) Make the Bride stand out.

With all the planning, reservation-making, decorating, ordering, and RSVP-ing, you may find yourself focusing on the party itself, and not on the bride. It’s ok, let’s get back on track: the party is about her and you want her to feel special and unique.

Whether you are going out on the town in a big city (where there will be a million other bachelorettes) or to a hole-in-the-wall pub (where she will be the only one), be sure your bride stands out and looks/feels more special than anyone else!



Ideas from experience:

  • Get t-shirts/tank tops made with a fun graphic and saying. Include the brides name and wedding date. (Boston locals I get my shirts printed here)
  • Pick colors. Have each guest wear black and the bride wear white (or everyone wear black and she wears pink, you get it right?)
  • Buy her a blinking tiara, sash, feather boa, or all three. make her wear it all night!
  • Plan a “Bachelorette Checklist” of things for the bride to do
  • Suprise her with a special gift (something she wouldn’t normally recieve at ehr shower) like: skimpy lingerie, Victoria’s Secret gidft card, authentic Hawaiian lei.

Have you ever planned or been a part of a truly unique, perfect-for-the-bride-to-be bachelorette? Or had a group of friends who nailed it on the head for your own bachelorette party? What did they do? What ideas/advice do you have to give on planning a bachelorette?

PS I am off to bachelorette it up for the third weekend in a row.  Wish me luck! 😉

~L

Ho it Up, Ladies

Good evening! Boy this weekend flew by. I was happy to see the sun for the first time in three days so this afternoon I got my butt to the beach in hopes of catching some rays. The sun had a different idea.  It thought it should play hide and seek behind clouds.  The beach got cold, so I packed up and headed home.  Better luck next time?!

Anyway….

Yesterday I woke up and headed to bootcamp. I had thinking about skipping, but I would’ve had to super late cancel and I had no real good reason not to go, so I got up and changed and headed to Avalon Crossfit.  It had been raining earlier in the morning, and though the ground was still wet, it stopped and we headed outside to the track. It was cool out so that made for great workout weather.

Warm Up

  • 20 alternating lunges
  • 20 jumping jacks
  • 10 air squats

Since it was my fourth Crossfit class of the week, and the third day in a row, my legs were super sore.  I really felt the burn in the lunges and squats.  My hamstrings are super tight today.  I think I need to spend some time with my foam roller tonight 🙂

  • 50 ab mat sit ups
  • 400m run
  • 225 jump rope singles
  • 400m run
  • 100 push ups
  • 400m run
  • 125 squats
  • 400m run

The workout was awesome even though I was skeptical at first.  It seemed like a lot to do! I had to push myself, especially through the push ups (which I modified on my knees) and with the squats (I felt these a million fold!).  I finished in 23:30 and headed straight home to meet Amy for a very special date 😉

I quickly showered and got to eating some breakfast, which Amy so graciously picked up. A bagel with cream cheese…

and a mimosa.

At 1:30 we met my friend Andrea and the rest of her lovely bridal party to get some bachelorette festivities going. First stop: Gypsy Rose for some pole dancing fun.

Lexi, our pole dance teacher, met us in the office area and promptly brought us into the changing room filled with sky high boots, bootie shorts, and told us to find something fun to wear before class. I would’ve thought I’d be a bit more self-conscious while trying to pick out a costume that would make me look like a “ho” (Lexi told us to “Ho it up”) but it was a lot of fun! I wore knee-high black boots, black bootie shorts, and a pink, diner-waitress dress that was SUPER short.

We walked in and went over some ground rules and then Lexi gave us a little dance. The room had three poles in it and was dimly lit with strips of white light ropes. There were several sayings posted on the wall as well: “The pole is your friend” and “sexy is a state of mind” were my favorites.

We started out class with a group strut from on end of the room to the other. We were given a few pointers and then Lexi put on “Free your mind” by En Vogue and we were off.

We then learned a little floor dance that started with the go-to exotic dance move: the booty circle. It kind of is like doing the hula-hoop, but sexier of course! After that it was our signature dance move for the night. I am sure everyone who came in contact with us after that was super impressed by our group’s booty circle skills.

Next up: the pole. We learned three different pole spins during class and they were way easier than I expected them to be. I was kind of a natural 😉 We were told to “trust the pole and trust your body”. 3 girls lined up at the poles and Lexi gave us all individual instruction and pointers as needed. I flung myself around those poles until I was dizzy and got all three spins by the end of the class. Woop Woop! It was so much fun!

The icing on the cake was our final lesson of the class: the art of picking up a $20 bill with your butt. Yes folks, that is now a skill I have actually acquired. The key was to do booty circles on your way to sitting on the chair.

As you can see, I look more like I am going to the bathroom than exotic dancing my way to picking up a $20 with my butt cheeks, but I was successful!

We were given about 5 minutes to mess around on the pole while Lexi got changed and then we took one last group photo before changing up and heading out. Andrea was given a special certificate declaring her and exotic dancer!

Pole dancing was such a blast. At first I thought I would feel uncomfortable or look dumb and make a fool of myself but it wasn’t like that at all. Lexi had such a good way of making us feel comfortable right from the start. I would definitely do it again 😉

After dancing we headed to the one-bedroom suite on the 27th floor of the Sheraton near the Prudential. THe views of the city were ah-mazing. We had Regina’s pizza (duh!), mixed some drinks, played some games, and got ready to head out for a night on the town.

It was a really fun night and I was happy I got the chance to celebrate her upcoming wedding with her. If last night was any sign of things to come, that wedding is going to be a blast! The rest of our festivities, my friends, will remain a special memory for Andrea and her girls!


Have you ever gone pole dancing? What did you think? What was a memorable bachelorette party you’ve attended?

Beat dat Beat: a no fail way to make a great playlist

They always say not to try anything new on race day, and while I know they are talking about wearing a new pair of sneakers or eating a new food, I am going to extend that into trying out a brand new playlist.  Now, I know what you are thinking: massive, bloody blisters and pooping your pants are pretty severe consequences compared to simply not liking a song- and I totally agree.  But if music motivates you to run, keeps you going, and pumps you up the way it does me then having a carefully built playlist will make any run seem more enjoyable and add to your racing experience.

Here are my tips to making a killer race-day playlist:

1) Consider why you are running.

  • I think it is most important to think about what you are running for.  My playlists on a “regular” run vary from slower paced music like John Mayer to music with a faster pace like anything Black-Eyed Peas.  If I want to run slow I listen to slower music, if I want to pick it up I listen to faster music.  I usually am not running to beat/create a PR or to win so I let my playlist take on the natural progression of a run: start off slow, build up power, then cool down.  The website JogTunes is an awesome resource to find the BPM (beats per minute) of songs.  You can use it to taylor a playlist to whatever you want your pace to be.

2) Scope out some new music on the radio.

  • When I listen to the radio I usually am listening for new (or new to me) songs that could be potential candidates.  Often times I find that hip-hop and rock songs have a great beat to them and I can imagine my feet moving with it.  Usually I end up You-Tubing the entire song and deciding if it is worth putting on a playlist.
3) Ask for suggestions.
  • Asking other runners for playlist music is a great idea.  One thing you may find, however is that their taste in running music doesn’t suit yours.  I always accept song suggestions or CD playlists and give them a try.  My friend Amy had once given me a playlist that included The Kings of Leon who I don’t really care for, but they ended up being a great running band!
4) Put the songs in an order that build up your pace gradually and carries you through the end of your run.
  • When racing you need to hold yourself back from going all out at the beginning.  Slow and steady wins the race!  Choosing music that will keep you moving at a slower pace is one way to help prevent you from the starting-sprint.  You spend a lot of your time at the beginning of races (especially longer races) weaving in and out of crowds and taking in the environment so pick music that will help make this part of the race less frantic.
  1. Dave Matthews “Two Step” (super long)
  2. Kings of Leon “Closer”
  3. The Killers “Human”, “Read My Mind”, and “All These Things I Have Done”
  4. Timbaland ft. Katy Perry “If we Ever Meet Again”
  5. Mike Posner “Cooler Than Me”
  • When you get about halfway through the race, and you start picking up your pace, make sure that your playlist does the same.  I like music that I can listen too, and possibly sing to, but haven’t heard over and over.  I try to stay away from “ear worms” that will never get out of my head as well.  No one wants to be singing
  1.  Akon “Beautiful”
  2.  Katy Perry ft. Kanye West “E.T”
  3. MGMT “Time to Pretend”
  4. Ke$ha “Blow”
  5. Craig David “Insomnia”
  • And don’t forget to add in those Power Songs.  You know the ones that make you feel invincible?  Putting these towards the end of a playlist, when I am more likely to need a boost, and turing them up LOUD really gets my feet pumping.  Finish line here I come!
  1. Eminem “Till I Collapse”
  2. Lady Gaga “Born This Way”
  3. J Lo ft. Pit Bull “On the Floor”
  4. Jay-Z and Alicia Keys “Empire State of Mind”
(I had to keep my suggestion to 5 per section because I would be writing this post forever!)
5) Try it out!
  • Once you have carefully selected and placed songs on they playlist take it out on a training run with you.  I mean, you wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive right?! 😉  Sometimes songs just don’t fit the playlist, don’t hold your interest, or aren’t good “running songs”.  Many songs I have put on playlists during races immediately bring up racing memories (mostly good, some bad) after and sometimes they even get me motivated to go for a spontaneous run!
I am writing this post because I am currently beginning to piece together my playlist for this week’s race: Boston’s Run to Remember.  This playlist is going to have to be pretty hefty because I imagine the 13.1 miles to take me about 2 1/2 hours!  I need suggestions folks!

Question:

What are your beginning of the run songs? Pump you up songs?  Power songs?  

My April Vacation..in as few words as possible

Wedding

P.s. Photobooths at a wedding are NEVER a bad idea….

Marathon Monday

Good times….

Little bit of painting…

Then into Boston to the Girls on the Run meet and greet.

Tried out Max Brenner’s new restaurant on a whim…it was heavenly!


South End Athletic Company for new sneakers (even though I didn’t do much exercising this week).

Now I am spending the rest of my Friday preparing to get my bake on for Easter Sunday.

For the record I did not go to Regina’s ONCE during this week.  One would think with this much time off I would’ve glued myself in a booth for the week.  Actually, I guess the week isn’t over yet…

What did you do this week?

~L

Sam Summer, Aquarium, and Doyle’s, Oh My!

I had a pretty amazing weekend.  Hung out with friends and family, enjoyed many tasty beverages, ran 5 miles, got an awesome sunglass tan.  Sunglass tans rock 🙂  Unfortunately it doesn’t photograph too well, I still look winter-pale, so I’ll spare you a picture!

Friday I headed to the mall to find a dress for a wedding next weekend.  I got a black dress from White House Black Market and a pair of kick-ass purple heels from Charlotte Russe.  I feel like these shoes paired with that dress create a pretty bold statement, and even though my right foot barely fits in the shoe, I am going with it!  I will also be sure to pack a pair of Old Navy flippies 🙂

Friday night I met Amy for dinner at Max and Dylan’s.  It was pretty crowded with a random assortment of after workers and post-opening day-ers.  Many of them were already drunk and rowdy.  We situated ourselves at the bar and I had two glasses of Sauvignon Blanc.

Dinner was buffalo chicken mac-and-cheese.  It was amazing, though slightly on the spicier side than usual.  I ate most of the pasta and a couple of pieces of the chicken.

After dinner we headed to the Warren Tavern where we met up with Ali.  We all hit it off and chatted most of the night away.  It is amazing how easily the conversation flowed considering the first time we ever met was Wednesday!  I pretty much ended up spending the entire weekend with her.  Well, we didn’t hang out Saturday, but I think we shared the same post-Friday-fun feeling all day (if you know what I mean).

Saturday I was up and at ‘em (though very hungover groggy from my Friday night festivities) to get my eyebrows done.  Embarrassingly enough I was feeling way to crappy to make it to bootcamp (sorry Tristan!), so I headed to the New England Aquarium with my cousins and brother instead.  First thing we saw were the penguins, then some turtles and a whole bunch of fish.  There wasn’t much to do there (thank god teachers get in free), so we were in and out in about an hour and a half.

After we all headed to the Black Rose for some lunch and some beers (gag).

We shared the spinach and artichoke dip, but it was nothing to write home about.  Very salty, not too creamy.

For lunch I got the most adult thing on the menu: a diet pepsi and a grilled cheese.

On the walk home we stopped at Max and Dylan’s to sit outside and have a couple of beverages.  I love outdoor eating and drinking.  It is seriously the best part about warmer weather (well, besides the beach).  I enjoyed 2 blue moons while we were there.

Sunday was a blast.  I ran the Doyle’s 5-Miler in Jamaica Plain with my friend Maureen, Ali, and her friend Julia.  I love running in groups because chatting the time away goes by so much faster than listening to music!  Let me tell you, it was perfect race weather!  Slightly breezy and just warm enough.  I ran in my new Nike Dri-fit pants and gray t-shirt.  I also ran in a hat but it was so hot I wish I hadn’t.

Before I left my house I devoured a Clif bar.  This is my go-to pre-run food.

I saw runners with numbers up to the 2,000’s and on such a narrow path, many points at the race got congested.  I got stuck behind many strollers and slower runners which was so frustrating.  I was not trying to be a speed demon by any means.  I wanted to go at a comfortable pace where I could still enjoy the experience.

Of course I sprinted which I got to mile 4, forgetting that a mile is still pretty far to go.  At that point I just wanted it to be over with!  When I finished I got into the free beer pandemonium that was going on outside the bar .  It was kind of stressful.  When one of our friends got to the front he just kept handing them back to us.  I ended up with two Sam Adams’.

Mo and I enjoyed them immensely while we waited to meet back up with Ali and Julia.  I also met up with mi familia.  My cousin Carney, her husband Mark, and my cousin Brendan came out (with a cooler).

I got hungry around 2 and went inside to order a pizza.  While I waited I enjoyed listening to the live Irish Band play.  They were amazing- people were dancing and singing at the top of their lungs!  I brought the pizza outside for others to enjoy too!

I headed home around 4 and I was BEAT.  Jack picked me up some food from Kowloon but I was too tired to even eat it.  Ok, I managed to eat a few chicken fingers, fried wontons and broccoli.  But I literally, I went to take a nap at 4:30 and didn’t get out of bed until this morning!  Guess I needed to recover before taking on this last week of school before April vacation!

Phew- that was my weekend.  I got to start blogging on the weekends!  I think this Friday I will instate a “5 Word Friday/Saturday?Sunday” so I can keep ya up-to-date in a more timely fashion.

Crossfit is outside tonight!  Woop woop!

~L

BEST.DAY.EVER

On Tuesday I bought tickets to see Ray Lamontagne when he comes to Boston in June.

You probably don’t know that you ever heard Ray….let me help you out:

 

See, I knew you knew him 😉

Focus Lisa…

I have seen Ray live 4 times, most recently being for two sold out shows at the Bank of America Pavillion last August(with David Gray).

The tickets I bought for the upcoming June show were in Section 1, Row U.

Sweet!  That is the closest I have ever sat at a concert (except for the one time I saw Bruce Springstein dead front and center at the Garden).  I was psyched to sit the closest I have ever been to Ray.

I check my email this morning, on message was title “Your Ray Lamontange Tickets Have been Upgraded”

Intriguing…

Here is what it said:

“Dear Fan,

Thank you for supporting Ray LaMontagne through the exclusive ticket presale.  Because we value your support as a fan, we are upgrading your seats!

You will receive your new locations via email – look for a new confirmation email to arrive shortly.

See you on the road –

The Ray LaMontagne Ticketing Team”

UMMMMMM WHAT?!

__________________________________________

The next email rocked my world:

“Ray LaMontagne
Reserved P1 All Ages
Sec SEC 2, Row A, Seats (    –    )”

ROW A!!!  That is in the front people.  The most front you can get!  OMG.

*SWOON*

FYI: Public ticket sales for the show go on sale Saturday,March 5th (the presale for the Boston show is already sold out)

File under: BEST. DAY. EVER.