Recap: Casey’s Bachelorette

Hi folks 🙂  How is everyone’s July going?  This month is flying by and I wish it would just slow down a bit.  What is the rush to get into August and the summer’s end? As you can tell, I have been slacking on the blogger front but I will catch you guys up eventually! One of the great things about the blog is being able to re-live fun times.  Doing recaps of events and parties is such a fun way to reminisce!

My cousin Casey is getting married in just less than a month from today even though it feels like she just got engaged!  Actually, she is getting married one month from yesterday.

Here is a shot of her gorgeous bridal party:

The weekend of the Fourth of July we headed up to York Beach, Maine to a quaint cottage we rented for the week and used my tips for planning an AWESOME Bachelorette Party to plan the weekend. The weather was warm and sunny and the party started as soon as the first groups of girls arrived. The house had both a large deck to hang out on as well as a fire pit, which was decorated for our Hawaiian Luau theme. I got all the decorations at the Christmas Tree Shop.

While waiting for diner to be grilled (Caesar chicken, steak tips, and salad) we had some beers and Jell-O shots.

After dinner we gave Casey a Bachelorette Bag filled with a bunch of fun stuff.

She got an authentic Hawaiian Lei (ordered here), fake grass skirt, bachelorette tank top (all the girls got these), and a “Dare List” full of fun things for her to do when we were at the beach.

Sample “Dares” included:

  • do 5 cartwheels in a row on the shoreline
  • body surf a wave
  • do a handstand in the water
  • run into the water, and dunk, without stopping
  • find a guy with a bald head and rub it to make a wish
  • write “I HEART TIM” in the sand with your toes, text him a picture

Simple but fun 🙂

Post dinner we also had our first Power Hour. Power Hour is a cd handed down to me by my friend Maureen that has 60, 1 minute songs. Every time a new song comes on, you take a shot of beer (it ends up being about 4 beers in 60 minutes). You can take a shot of anything I guess, but I don’t suggest using vodka or any other hard stuff.

As a fun game, I also sent her fiance, Tim, a list of 50 questions for him to answer. Throughout the weekend I asked her questions. The questions varied from relationship questions (think: where did you meet, what was your first date), to “favorites” questions (does Casey prefer pen or pencil?), to just plain goofy questions (If Casey was a stripper which name would she choose?). If she got a question right she gave a drink, if she got it wrong she took a drink. So fun!

Later Saturday night we had a fire, made s’mores, and hung out. Her friends are so funny, I laughed non-stop 🙂

Of course, dancing was involved too.

Don't ask!

We made Sunday a beach day even though it was cloudy and cool. York Beach was about a mile from the house and was PACKED even in the gloomy weather. We took advantage of Happy Hour at Inn on the Blue. I got the “Junk Punch”- man, it was the best drink I’ve had in a while. It sure did pack a [rum] PUNCH!

Im' the mature one in pink, Casey, Michelle, Carney

Monday and Tuesday the weather was perfect-O!

I can’t believe Casey is getting married so soon!  I feel like she should still be rocking some sweet Tweety-Bird shirts instead of a stunning wedding dress.  Congrats girl!

Carney, Casey, me, and my Uncle Mac circa 1996-ish

Happy Fourth of July!

Hope everyone is having a fun and safe Fourth of July.  I am up in York, Maine celebrating my cousin Casey’s bachelorette party.

When I was in high school I spent every Fourth of July up in Merrimack, NH.  Each year we took a picture in front on a humungous American Flag and we fit every person who was on that Island in the photo with us.

This particular photo was taken in 1998 in the summer (I believe) of my junior year of high school.  Do you see me??  Hot stuff right 🙂

What is a Fourth of July tradition of yours?

My Celebrity Crushes

We have all had them right? Celebrity crushes? Last year I watched me my fifth graders swoon over Justin Bieber and before that it was Joe Jonas. I can remember being their age and trying to get my parents to give me money to join their fan clubs (luckily for me I am now old enough to take care of the fees myself 😉 )

Here are my top three celebrity crushes:

1) Joey McIntyre
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Who didn’t love this New Kid? I mean, when I saw them at Fenway Park a few weeks ago I heard him sing “Please Don’t Go Girl” and my heart melted like a pre-teen again.

My Auntie Erin took me to their concert, my first concert EVER, at the Boston Garden. I must’ve been like 7 or 8. A friend of hers knew security and offered to take us back stage to meet them (I think my cousin Carney still hates me for this). I was so SCARED that I refused to leave my seat. That’s right girls- I almost met Joey McIntrye but was too big of a wuss (even at 8yrs old) to do so!

THe following Christmas we all received an autographed picture. Mine read, “To Lisa, Love Joey McIntyre”. Best. Christmas. Present. EVER. I still have it framed in my bedroom at my parents house, 20-something years later!

2) Brandon Call
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Now, I know there are probably a lot of Jonathan Taylor THomas lovers out there, and though I have to admit he was a cutie pie, my TV crush was Brandon Call from “Step by Step”. He was kind of the bad-ass, knuckle-head older brother character that had a little bit of a sweet side.

I tried to join his fan club back in the days when you had to snail mail in applications. I was excited to get back a response with his picture enclosed, that asked for $X to join the club. My parents would NOT give me the money so I guess that was the end of that.

3) Adam Levine

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Ok, my crush Adam Levine may not be classified as a “childhood crush” (unless you consider a 25-year-old a child) and “crush” might better be described as an obsession, but whatever. I think you get the point. I saw Maroon 5 for the first time at a Kiss Concert and immediately needed to stalk his life, haha. I bought “Songs about Jane” and left it in slot number 5 of my car’s cd player basically until I started to love Ray LaMontagne.

I loved Adam Levine before you loved him on The Voice friends 🙂

Quick story: I got to go back stage at a Maroon 5 concert when they played at the Fleet Center Garden. At the end of the concert, in hopes to find my God Father who was working there I bumped into a crew member and inadvertently got us backstage passes. I know, when does that EVER happen? We went back stage and hung out with his band mates who, as I remember were super impressed at me and Amy being teachers. You know, drinking Carona’s with Maroon 5, no big deal. 😉

I was patiently waiting for Adam, who I was told was doing yoga (weird?!). Finally I asked an important looking guy in the hallway if Adam was coming out, his answer made me blush. Apparently Adam was looking to do “yoga” (if you know what I mean).  Since I am not that type of groupie (hey, I am a teacher and morals), I headed toward the exit.

Who was your childhood (or adult) celebrity crush? Did you ever get to meet them?

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

Dinner Envy

Hello everyone! Happy Wednesday night! Since I am teaching summer school this week seems to be dragging, but it my only full week of teaching this summer so I think I can make it ;). Having the sun shining brightly each day on my way to school is good motivation to make it through the school day and the warmer weather is motivation for the killer Crossfit workouts I’ve been doing.

Today after school Jack ran me to Priscilla’s of Boston on Boylston St. to pick up my bridesmaids dress I will be wearing in August for my cousin Casey’s wedding. I am not going to post any pics because I can’t ruin the surprise for all the wedding guests! What I can tell you I sent a picture to Casey and she approved of it!

When I got home I whipped up some lunch based on Jack’s meal at the Cheesecake Factory last night. Have you ever had dinner envy when the person you are dining with order a meal that looks far more appealing than yours? That was me last night! He got balsamic chicken medallions with stir-fried vegetables and rice.

Today I made this:

Green Giant teriyaki stir-fry (broccoli, red peppers, water chestnuts) and whole wheat angel hair pasta. It was very filling and delicious. It only took 15 minutes to make. I am a big fan of quick and filling foods.

After lunch a nap was in order. I was trying to catch up on the Real Housewives of NY but they lulled me to sleep somehow.

Since my half marathon I have taken a mini break from Crossfit and this is my first full week back at it. My muscles are feeling it I’ll tell ya. Today my shoulders were sore and my hamstrings and quads burned walking up the stairs, but tomorrow is going to be a rest day so that got me going.

I ran there today but was super slow because my legs felt so tight. Actually, judging by the way passers-by were looking at me I very well may have been walking, but I made it to Crossfit with 10 minutes to spare.

Warm-up:

  • 2 floor lengths each of bear crawls and walking lunges (Marc said it was a warm up for the WOD, I think it was torture)

3 rounds:

  • 15 jumping jacks
  • 10 double unders/30 singles
  • 10 jumping squats

Strength:

  • 5 x 5 push press (80lbs max)
  • alternating with 10 box jumps (20 in box)

The box jumps were hard.  It was the third day in a row I had done them and I definitely felt them in my calves and shins.
WOD: 2 rounds

  • 50 double unders/150 singles
  • 100m bear crawl
  • 100m walking lunges
  • BONUS: 800m run

CONFESSION:  I saw the bear crawls when the WOD was posted last night.  I was immediately scared and thought about canceling.  Knowing I was taking tomorrow as a rest day, and knowing that I wouldn’t be the only one faced with the task of bear crawling for 100m in public, I decided to suck it up and go.  I am glad I did, of course.  Sometimes the feeling after finishing is what drives me to go in the first place.

OBSERVATIONS:

  1. I needed to learn how to do double unders like yesterday.  Triple digit jump rope reps are just plain silly.
  2. Bear crawls did not hurt my shoulders the way I thought they would, they did have my quads SCREAMING though.
  3. Whoever though that running 800m, as a bonus, after doing 200m of bear crawls and 200m of walking lunges is insane.

Finish: 24:16.

And then I walked home. And I took the short route. Don’t judge me.

Now I am sitting on the couch waiting for Jack to bring home dinner. I know I am making it too much of a habit with the eating out (I don’t even think I need to tell you what he is bringing home), but I just still am not feeling the food shopping cooking.

What does the bright sunshine and warm weather motivate you to do?

Sneaking in some Mileage

What a gorgeous Tuesday we had on our hands today didn’t we? When I got out of school today I headed home and immediately took a nap. My upper body was feeling those Caber tosses from yesterday’s workout. Good news is that I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to take whatever workout Marc planned for our Sports Bootcamp class (I just figured out that is the “official” name for bootcamp on the registration site).

I had half a Clif bar about an hour before class (and ate the other half after class).

I also decided that since I had a little nap, I should run to and from Crossfit. It is only a little over a mile from my front door to theirs and serves as a great warm up before class. Of course, bootcamp was going to be outside (it wasn’t raining) and I knew we’d be running, but these mini-runs serve as a great way to sneak in some mileage each week.

Run (to and from)

  • about 60 minutes total (including at least a 25 minute talk break when I bumped into Ali on my run home and chatted on Medford St.)
  • 2.25 miles total

Bootcamp today was an original Croffit WOD (all of them are named after women).

WOD: Kelly, for 5 rounds, 32 minute time limit

  • 400m run
  • 30 wall balls (10lb ball)
  • 30 ledge jumps

The workout was killer. Marc told use we could modify as we thought we needed to be able to complete 5 full rounds in the time given. I did the first two rounds as prescribed, but I was struggling with catching my breath. For round three I modified to 20 wall balls and at four and five I modified the wall balls to 20 as well. These modifications were very necessary- I went at this WOD balls to the wall (no pun intended 😉 )
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I finished my modified WOD with like 45 seconds to spare, and then had no energy to stretch after.

Did I mention I had to run home?  I ran a total of 4ish miles today.  See how I snuck that in?!  Clever right?

I was delighted to see Ali running on the other side of the street though I definitely disrupted her Fartlek fun (she was doing some speed work). The only part that neither of us thought out about our chatting: having to completely start our runs over! My body totally cooled down during my break and when I started running again my whole body hurt! Gah!

When I got home, Jack and I decided that we would use a gift card to the Cheesecake Factory and treat ourselves to dinner out. I promised him that at some point I would start cooking dinner again, but as of now we should continue eating out every night 🙂

I started dinner with a couple pieces of bread, a huge glass of water, and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. I actually wasn’t very hungry so I ordered a garden salad served with balsamic vinegarette and fried zucchini sticks.
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Right about now I could go for a huge brownie sundae and 12 hours of sleep. Since I don’t have brownies and ice cream, and I have to work at 8 am I am plain out of luck for this evening.

I will have to settle for some cookies instead.

Night!
~l

A Caber Tossing Purple Iguana

Wow today flew by, huh? If only all Mondays could be like this one!

As you may know, today is Pizza Monday. I think the concept is catching on! Anyone else eat pizza on every day of the week Monday? Funny thing is that before I headed out to Crossfit, Jack asked where we’d be getting our pizza tonight. It took me a minute to remember it was Pizza Monday 😉 Thanks for the reminder love ❤

Before we headed to Regina’s, Ali and I met up at my place and headed to Avalon Crossfit. I did a little shopping today and was sporting some new workout duds: purple Nike Tempo shorts and a dri-fit shirt. I had never worked out in shorts but it was going to be so hot so I knew I needed to at least give it a shot. I really loved the shorts- they didn’t ride up in between the legs or give me a muffin top like many elastic waist shorts do! Ali told me I looked like a purple iguana, just the look I was going for 😉

The sneakers are my custom designed Nike Free shoes I ordered a couple of months ago. It took them six weeks to be delivered and I just started using them in Crossfit. They allow my feet to move more naturally because they are less structured than my running sneaker. I like them so far and will do a better write up when I’ve used them for a bit longer.

The 6 pm class was taught by John and it was packed! We got there right at 6 and they had already started with the warm up and strength portion of the class so I had to get right to work.

Warm Up: 3 rounds

  • 5 inchworms
  • 10 alternating lunges
  • 15 good mornings with a pvc pipe (these things make my hamstrings feel amazing!)
Strength:
  • 5 x 5 deadlifts for max weight (Ali and I shared a bar and maxed at 105lbs I think?)
  • 5 x 10 ring push ups (holy hard!)
MetCon WOD for 4 rounds (the most fun one we have done EVER!)
  • Sprint to ledge
  • 20 ledge jumps
  • Sprint to turf
  • 20 Push ups
  • 20 Caber Toss

I felt really strong today during the WOD.  Part of the reason I believe is because of the lunch I had today with my dad: grilled chicken, rice, and corn.  I also had a cool mint Clif bar two hours before working out.  Usually I feel really hungry by the time I Crossfit and end up starved by the end, but not today!  I felt completely content and energized.

Anyway,  I felt like I dominated this WOD and finished at 23:15.

John gave me some more pointers on my push-ups when he saw me do a couple regular then modify them on my knees (even thought my goal is to do as close to prescribed as possible).  He said my core is definitely string enough so I should hold the plank position on the way down and quickly drop my knees on the way back up into a plank position.  Using this tip I did pushups faster than I think I ever have in Crossfit.  It felt great.

Oh, and I bet you are wondering about the Caber toss.  That was the fun part I mentioned above.  It was just so different than what we have ever done and really spiced out the WOD.

We obviously weren’t tossing trees in the air at the Charlestown track, but we used medicine balls and tossed them over the goal post. Each time it went over was one rep. If it didn’t make it over it didn’t count.

See, fun right!?

After dropping Ali off Jack and I headed to Regina’s for some patio seating and pizza.

Delish!

Did you celebrate Pizza Monday?