Monday, March 31, 2014

A Very Blessed Weekend

My heart is filled with joy and happiness after this weekend.  Words cannot describe how it feels to be in a room filled with the people that you love most and who have truly shaped you as a person.  I can't thank everyone enough for all of the generous gifts, making travel arrangements and taking time out of your busy schedule to come celebrate!  Also, for those who could not make it, thank you so much for still sending such sweet gifts!

I will do a more "detailed" recap of the shower later. For now, I thought I would share photos from the fun weekend we had first!

After work on Friday I jetted over to the airport to pick up Thayer, Addison and Megan who all arranged their travel so that I could pick them all up at once, thank you! We stopped for spray tans and coffees. Addison arrived looking as stylish and adorable as ever.

    Afterwards, we dropped all of their luggage off at our apartment and drove down to Alki Beach for dinner at the Marination Station and then headed to Husky Deli for some ice cream :). Megan dropped her milk shake and took a picture to make it look like it was someone else's fault!The next morning we woke up early to get a morning work out in while Dustin and Addison were sleeping.Then it was time to get ready for the shower!  Here are a just a few pictures to to show how special this day was! I hope to do a better recap very soon once I collect all the photos to show all of the special details :).The amazing host, Maureen!

These Vander Ark ladies flew in from Phoenix and Las Vegas to come, so special!

The most amazing gift was having my mom there with all of us to celebrate!!

After the shower, Thayer, Addison, Megan and I all headed back to West Seattle for some down time before dinner.  We then traveled south to have dinner with Becky, Debbie, Mom and Dustin!  Georgia 
and Michael also joined :).

Can you tell Addison was excited to be reunited with Baby?!


Are you bored of this recap yet?  Keep reading, still one more day to recap :)

On Sunday, I woke up early to take Megan to the airport, came home and played with Addison while Thayer and Dustin slept.  Once everyone woke up, we went to Memorial Stadium to see some of Thayer and Addison's Colorado friends.

We came home and enjoyed the West Seattle Farmers Market before meeting for brunch at Fresh Bistro with the Vander Arks!



I can't thank everyone enough for this weekend. It was so special and I loved creating these memories with everyone!  I truly appreciate all the details that everyone worked on, nothing was overlooked!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Favorites

Hello and happy Friday!  I am excited to end the work week and start a weekend of fun bridal shower activities with family and friends.  I am picking Thayer, Addison and Megan up from the airport after work and then it is time for some West Seattle fun!

I am so grateful for all of my friends who are flying in for this. There have been so many stress factors for us during our engagement and it is so wonderful to see our friends showing us so much love and support through it all. It means the world to me!

This week was another crazy one but thankfully we will have most of our staff back in on Monday and things will simmer down.

A few highlights from the week:

- Dustin and I finished the pre-approval process and are starting to look at homes in the Seattle area
- We put up our gallery wall and got a bar cart
- We are close to finalizing our wedding dinner menu
- We booked a shuttle service for guest staying at the hotel
- Dustin and I had dinner her Marination Station on Alki for dinner and enjoyed this view:

Some favorites from the week:

- Zinc letters from Anthropologie.  I have been eyeing these for a while finally made my purchase this week for our gallery wall
- Hot water, lemon and raw honey.  I have been having some weird skin reactions lately and trying out this detox drink in the morning, love it!
- Peonies are back at Pike Place Market
- Starting a book club with close girlfriends

Looking forward to a fun weekend recap after the bridal shower, happy weekend!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Gallery Wall!

Whenever I ask Morgan for design advice, she always tells me to put together a gallery wall! I never knew which space of mine it would look good in or what pictures to use. I got ancy and wanted to switch things up, again.

So, after even more rearranging (more since my last post), dragging Katie to Target, shuffling objects around, taking some things secretly to my mom's garage (shhh!) and purchasing from Craig's List, I found space for our gallery wall! I found my inspiration here and used an ampersand from here and ended up with this! And why are white matte frames so hard to find?!

So after all of my hard work, I put Dustin to work because he actually uses a leveler and a tape measure.

While I drank some wine from our new bar cart. I guess you get a bar cart when you take Katie to Target with you!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Colossians 3:23

There has been a verse in my head for a while now that has hit me hard.  Truthfully, I didn't know which verse it was, I just knew the "jist" of it. It was just always on my mind.  I also must add that I have never been the person who "hears" God often.

On Sunday, Dustin and I had our third pre-marital counseling session.  Our sessions with Chris are helping us dig deeper into the bible and teaching us what it says about marriage and how to live a Christian life and prepare for a Christian marriage.

One thing Chris has us do is take turns reading verses out loud (something I haven't done in a long time!)  After our discussion of what it means to serve one another he asked me to read aloud Colossians 3:23.  BINGO, the mysterious verse that has been in my head.  I almost leaped for joy when I looked down and found my verse!
The perfect inspiration.  

Whatever YOU do, do it you the best of your ability.  Are you a co-worker?  Be the best you can be.  Are you a wife?  Be loving and show your husband respect.  Are you a sister? Be the most loving and selfless sister you can be.  Are you a daughter?  Be the best daughter you can be and love your parents.  

Do you notice a trend here?  Whatever you do, do it whole heartily. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Weekend Recap + Birthdays!

Happy Monday! I had a fun and busy weekend filled with  two special Birthday celebrations!  Let's start with Friday.

I went down to my mom's house and we ate dinner and started to watch Frozen. Unfortunately, she was feeling sleepy and we didn't finish the entire movie.

I drove back up to Seattle to meet up with Dustin and our friends at Von Trapp's Beer Garden for Ben's (my cousin) 25th Birthday!  Yes, he is the tallest cousin and I am the shortest.

On Saturday morning, I had a 10:45 am dress fitting that Katie tagged along for.  Such a sweet friend!  I picked her up in Queen Anne and found her with two coffees in hand and we were ready to go.  We ran into crazy downtown traffic and missed the fitting.  Luckily, they had a 12:15 appointment available and the gals were very sweet and understanding.  After we picked up the dress, we headed to Target to get Addison a carseat for when she comes into town (on Friday!)  After a lunch at Red Mill Burger, nap and run, we were ready to celebrate Farrah's Birthday!  We grabbed flowers, pink bubbly and wrapped gifts.  Then, it was Matador time!

It was a fun filled Birthday weekend, Happy Birthday to both Farrah and Ben!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Favorites

I am feeling super motivated today and ready to crank through my big "to-do" list for work, but first Friday Favorites!

1) This quote (thanks, Thayer!)

2) Katie's in town!

Last night, Dustin dropped me off downtown to stay the night with Katie, who is in Seattle for a conference. We met at The Maxwell Hotel (where she was staying) and then walked over to Peso's Kitchen for margaritas!  This morning we had breakfast before work and her conference, what a fun Thursday night!


3) Impulse Craigslist Purchase

I have been wanting a leaning shelf for a while, but never knew where to put it. When I found this baby on Craigslist, I knew I wanted it. I liked the color because it matched our furniture and it is incredibly sturdy. The best part was when I asked for his address to pick it up, he was located one block away from my old apartment in Ballard. I drove Dustin's truck and used his tie-downs all by myself, I must be becoming a Martin! I haven't had much time to work on it yet, I still need new frames for the second shelf, but it is coming along!

4) Spring is here!

I love that the winter months are over and am looking forward to more sunshine, maxi dresses and time outside!  I am also ready for more trips to the market on my lunch to pick up fresh, beautiful flowers :).

Thursday, March 20, 2014

3 Ways to Bloom This Spring

This morning, I read a blog post this that discussed three ways to "bloom" this spring and I love the idea of setting and redefining goals for yourself.

Here are a few ways I would like to bloom this spring:

1)  Read More Books

Each day I have a morning and afternoon bus commute from West Seattle into downtown and vice versa, about 25 minutes each way.  I want to make sure I start reading more books during this time rather than being glued to my iPhone.  This week I am hoping to finish up the book "Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy".  My co-worker bought it for me and I am loving it so far!

2) Find Peace 

I had an odd sad moment last night.  I have had a good week at work, the sun was shining and we had fun at my mom's house.  Dustin and I had dinner with Greg, Becky, Debbie (in town from Ohio) and my mom.  It was a great night!  Why did I get sad?  I think I was dwelling which caused my mind to wander.  Dustin keeps reminding me to try to enjoy these moments the best that I can.  I need to, but so much easier said than done!

3) Enjoy The Chaos

My body handles stress in the most awful ways.  Not only do I need to keep my Crohn symptoms in line, I also get terrible blemishes on my face and the latest and greatest, and eye stye!  Oh boy!  My goal is to learn to embrace the chaos these next few months.  Let's be honest, things are going to get busy and emotional at some points too.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How to Stay Active at a Desk Job

As much as I love my job, I really hate the fact that I have a "desk job" with up to 8 hours of screen time a day.  I try to make sure I get a morning work out in or have one planned after work, but sometimes things don't always go as planned.  To avoid "sitting" for 8 hours a day, here are some of my tips for staying active at your office!

1) Get up and move every 30 minutes

Our kitchen is at the back of the office so I like to get up and walk back there frequently to fill up my water bottle, walk to someones office to ask a question and use the stairs whenever I use the bathroom (located one floor below us).

2) Eat small meals every few hours

There is nothing worse than indulging in a big meal and then having to sit for another 4 hours.  Talk about major food coma.  Tack on a afternoon beer and I would fall asleep. I always make sure I have small breakfast in the morning, a snack when I get to the office, a small lunch (which I bring from home) and an afternoon snack.  I learned to eat by this regimen as a way to manage my Crohn's disease and I swear by it.  I constantly feel like I am eating and I never feel famished.  Your body metabolizes your food faster this way as well.

I like to prep my snacks for the week on Sunday night.  Some easy "go-to" snacks include:

- Raspberries and pineapple (buy whole to save money and then slice up)
- Apple and sharp cheddar cheese
- Avocado smushed on whole wheat toast
- Banana and peanut butter (great as a pre-workout snack as well)
- Marcona Almonds

All of these ideas are simple and portable to take to work!

3) Drink lots of water

As I mentioned, our kitchen is in the back so I am constantly making trips to fill up my water bottle.  It helps keep me alert and energized.  I get made fun of all of the time for doing so, but I really just don't care!

4) Walk on your lunch break

I know it's not always possible to get a lunch break, so even if I don't have a full hour I will make sure just to walk around the block a few times.  The fresh air is so rejuvenating and I am ready to tackle the next portion of the day.

5) Stand as often as you can

I find it hard to concentrate when looking at numbers or smaller details when I am standing.  So when I have a task that doesn't take as much "brain power" I love to make sure I work standing up.  This is also a great time to get in some calf raises!

6) Eat the office goodies, but cut your portion in half

We constantly have media representatives and co-workers who bring in tasty treats!  My willpower is not always strong enough to say no, but I find that when I cut my portion in half I feel satisfied but I don't hate myself the rest of the day.

These are just a few ways I like to stay active at work.  What are some of your tricks?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Work Craziness

Work has been a bit nutty these past few weeks and operating as a small shop makes thing a bit hectic when things go array.  Two weeks ago our Media Director, Jon, was rushed to the ER for medical purposes and was out for the whole week.  During this week, our Media Buyer had planned to put in her two weeks, which didn't end up happening until the end of the week.  The following week, Lisa, was leaving on an exchange trip to Brazil for her MBA program.

Luckily, Jon was healthy enough to come back in the following Monday and things in the media department could settle down a bit before Arlana's departure.

As crazy as things are now, I am excited for the possibilities these new challenges present!  With the departure of our Media Buyer and Lisa's absence, I will be taking on a larger role in this small shop.  I am so thankful to be a part of such a great agency

That's all for now, back to work I go!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  Keeping along with my weekly series of posts, here are some of my favorites/ highlights from the week, enjoy!

1. La Croix Sparkling Water

When I was in Denver, Thayer had me drink up all of her Pellegrino water that she didn't care for and it reminded me how much I love sparkling water!  This is the perfect afternoon drink at work.

2) Date Night + Play 

My boss bought us each a pair of 5th Avenue tickets and I chose to see Little Shop of Horrors and it was SO good. The best part was discovering that we had Orchestra seats.  Because the play was at the ACT theater it was easy to hear the dialogue and follow along.  Beforehand, we went out to eat at The Lodge in Pioneer Square and had delicious "Pac-12" burgers!

3) Afternoon Runs

Thank you daylight savings for light and sunny afternoons!  I am so excited to start running and seeing the water again after work.

4) Jobs

This week Dad found out he got the job at Bertolli Olive Oil and I got another raise at work, go Team Stephens!

Have a good weekend everyone!