Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ordinary Home to Extraordinary Home Gym

Last weekend I went searching for my wedding dress with my mom and sister-in-law Megan. I found not one, but two dresses that I'm in love with and am hoping to make a final decision when I return to the dress shop this weekend.

Looking at myself in the mirror all day also motivated me to put my pre-wedding shape up plans into high gear. However, my gym membership was axed as part of my plan to pay for the aforementioned wedding, leaving me to turn my ordinary home into an extraordinary home gym. Here is what I've been using:

1. Stairs - They are the ultimate in home-gym cardio equipment. To get the most from your stairs, try taking two at a time, walking up sideways or using the bottom step as a jump box.

2. Step stool - Use this kitchen staple as a step or use it to jump over from side to side. I find that stepping up and down on my step stool as I'm drying my hair is a great way to multi-task.

3. Chair - Typically, the less time you spend in a chair, the better unless you use it for chair dips, squats or for balance while doing leg extentions.

4. Canned goods and milk jugs - Looking for affordable hand weights? Look no further than your kitchen cupboard. Canned goods will often do the trick. If you need something heavier consider fill milk jugs or soda bottles with sand.

5. Your TV - Turn your TV into a group fitness instructor by renting exercise DVDs from your local library.

6. Wall - The wall is perfect for the wall sit and assisted push ups.

7. Your living room floor - Despite what gym advertisements and fitness magazines might tell us, your living room floor works for pilates, push ups and a plethora of other exercises. Check out fitness sites such as Fitness Magazine or Shape for numerous exercises.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Will You Be My Bridesmaid?


I wanted to do something fun, but affordable, to ask friends to play a special part in my wedding. Last night I came up with a candy gram for my maid of honor, bridesmaids and personal attendant.


It reads:

Bridesmaids are more than Dots in your life. They are Mounds of fun and make you Snicker. They are Smarties that share advice and keep their Promises. Above all, they are your Life Savers and will stand by you Now and Later. It would be sweet if you would be my bridesmaid.

I designed tags with the candy gram. You are more than welcome to download and use the bridesmaid candygram printables. The sheet includes one tag for the maid of honor, one for a personal attendant and four for bridesmaids.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Birthday Care Package

My youngest brother turns 21 this month, which means it was time for another college care package. This one naturally had a 21st birthday theme.


It included:
I wanted to send a cake, but that is kind of hard to mail. Instead I made cake cookies.

He's turning 21, so I also wanted to send beer. But again, hard to mail. I decided instead to make drink tickets that he can use to get a drink the next time he's out with Blake and I (If you want to make some of your own, see below). I also include 21 dollar bills, because what college student isn't looking for a little extra cash? Finally, I have him a gift card for Buffalo Wild Wings, a popular watering hole near the NDSU campus.

The package arrived on Valentine's Day. I didn't want to overlook that fact, so I included some Valentine chocolates and a few extras from Blake's sweet treat buffet.

Happy Birthday Benny! I'm glad that Melissa and I no longer have to worry about getting kicked out of the bar when I come to Fargo and want to enjoy a martini after taking you out to dinner.

I designed the tags I used for Ben's drink tickets. Feel free to download and use as drink tickets or prehaps place cards for a St. Patty's Day celebration.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mini Dessert Buffet

Blake and I went to a comedian last night for an early Valentine's Day celebration. As a comedian isn't entirely romantic, I followed up the show with wine and a mini dessert buffet.


In addition to Thin Mints from a local Girl Scout, I served:

Heart-shaped Rice Krispe treats

Cake sandwich cookies left over from the care package I made for Ben (I'll post that shortly).

Pretzel bear claws
Small pretzels
Rolo candies

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place pretzels on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray and place in oven for 4 minutes. Press a cashew into the middle of the Rolo and let cool.

Peanut butter cup banana bites
Chocolate candy coating
2 Reese's peanut butter cups

Place peanut butter cups in the freezer, take out and chop up once frozen. Melt chocolate and slice banana. Dip each banana chunk in chocolate, place on waxed paper and sprinkle with peanut butter cup pieces. Return to freezer until ready to serve.

Check out what else I made Blake for Valentine's Day.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hospital Care Package

Blake and I have a friend who is in the middle of a long-term hospital stay, and I figured a care package was in order. I wanted to give her some creative things to bring a little enjoyment to her journey and help her stay go a bit faster.


Here is what she got:
Blank note cards she can use to write notes to friends and family. I made these for another friend on bed rest. Learn how easy they are to make.

Color pencils to jazz up the note cards.

A little something to help her celebrate Valentine's Day. She has strict diet restrictions, so candy was out of the question.

Lotion as a treat to her skin in the dry, frigid weather in Fargo.

Making Progress

House is on the market.


Church is reserved.

Illustration from Church of the Resurrection

Reception hall is booked.

Photo from Mayo Civic Center

Version one of the guest list is nearly complete.

And, a date is set for dress shopping. My mom and Megan (sister-in-law) are coming with me in a couple of weeks to look for dresses.  Here are some samples from David's Bridal and The Knot to give you an idea of what I'll be looking at:


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