Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thank you Jillian Michaels!

I just realized it's probably been a bit too long since my last post, and I was wondering what to write about. I had a look at my last post about our engagement photos and realized it's time to talk about my (near) daily date with Jillian Michaels. Most of you probably know Jillian from The Biggest Loser series. She's the one who yells at everyone and makes them cry. She's one scary lady considering her tiny stature!

I had heard a lot about her workout DVD, 30 Day Shred. I think I've expressed before how much I really and truly hate working out. It's not so much the working out, it's the sweating. I hate to sweat. Like really truly hate it. It's revolting. I have a crappy cardio system, I'll never be a marathon runner, that's for sure. I was doing Curves 3x a week, but I sort of got bored of it, and the street in front of it was under construction making it impossible to get in and out, so I gave in and got myself a copy of The 30 Day Shred. 

Basically the DVD is set up into three levels, each increasing in intensity. The workouts are about 20 minutes long, but you work hard in those 20 minutes, trust me. I sort of wanted to punch Jillian in the face the first few days (not that I could have lifted my arms that high if I tried), but after I got over the initial hump, I had a sort of sick desire to kick some ass with the Shred each morning. What had happened to me?! 

I'm not fanatically religious about doing it every day, I mean, we all have a life right? I try to do it at least three times a week. The odd time I've taken a full week off when wedding related and life related activities make it too hard to work it into my schedule. There were also a few days when it was so humid even at 8am that I couldn't possibly work out. I tried and nearly died. Not worth it.  I also changed what I eat in the morning. I typically have a piece of fruit and a yogurt or a big bowl of cereal with skim milk. And lots and lots of water! Always water!

So anywho, even with my non-religious regime, I've gotten great results! I've dropped down a dress size, from a 10 to an 8 and I couldn't be happier! I'm fitting into clothes from when I first met Dan five years ago and haven't been able to get into for at least two years.

Now I realize I'm not a huge person, but we all have our insecurities right? I tend to gain weight in my stomach and my hips. I hate putting on a bathing suit. The last time I felt good about myself in a bikini was five years ago. I don't want to live my life feeling like I need to suck in my stomach or camoflauge that bit of a pooch, so it was time for change. I didn't take before photos (bad move), so here's a photo from a friend's wedding last summer. When I left the house I felt like I was looking nice, when I saw this photo it was a HUGE reality check for me. I thought black was slimming?! Who was this woman wearing my dress?!

So, I hit it with Jillian. I sweated. A lot. I swore. I grunted. I sweated some more. It was gross. BUT after a while I noticed my jeans were too big, and not the stretched out after a few days of wearing them big. Like big straight out of the dryer. I got brave and put on my goal pants. They fit!!! We had our engagement shoot and my "Ah ha!" moment came when I saw this photo:

Who was that hot chick with the trim thighs and toned arms?! Look at my waist! THANK YOU JILLIAN MICHAELS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I swear to god I'm having that photo blown up so I can stare at it every morning when I wake up! It's my motivation to keep going. My first fitting is July 27th, so who knows what the next month will bring!

Before I sign off, I'd like to share with you a few pros and cons of the 30 Day Shred since not every program is perfect. It's not a godsend for everyone, it doesn't work for each person who tries it, it's what you make of it. Each person will have different results, I just happen to be very happy with mine. Remember too that even though you're exercising, you need to eat healthy! Working out is not an excuse to eat a Big Mac every day! I definitely splurge on food, this blog isn't called The Well Fed Newlyweds for nothing, but I try to balance out my splurging and my healthy eating as much as I can.

  • All you need is a pair of running shoes, a yoga mat, and a pair of 3-5 lb weights. It's not highly structured with tons of equipment. I love that!
  • It's only 20 minutes. Now it's what you make of those 20 minutes, are you going to push yourself or wimp out? 
  • Jillian is tough but encouraging. I liked some of the things she said during the video, she seemed to be in touch with when her viewers would be hurting the most and really keyed in on helping you push through it. It caught me off guard, but I like it. 
  • There are three different levels, so when you can do one relatively easily, you can move up to the next. I didn't get bored with Level 1 at all, I think I could have done it for months on end, but I figured I should move on. 
  • It's working for me!
  • Really short warm ups and cool downs. I typically stop the video and do more stretching at the end. A lot of people say they're SO sore after the first day or two, and it's likely caused by this short cool down period. I think Jillian was too focused on the time frame and keeping it within 20 minutes. Spend the extra few more minutes to stretch a bit more. 
  • Level 2 is full of exercises in the plank or push-up position. For me, this is a huge con because I freaking hate push ups. I have no upper body strength and I'm just fine with that. I'll substitute some of her plank position exercises for ones from Level 1 when my arms get too tired. 
 So make of it what you will, but I'm thrilled with my results and I'm going to keep going. I'm looking forward to bikini shopping (did I really just say that?!) and lookin hot on our honeymoon!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More E-pic Awesomeness!!!!

We met with our incredible aforementioned photographer Justin DeMers today to see the rest of our engagement session photos. I think I should feel slightly guilty about how much I love this man. Talent just oozes out of his pores, and thankfully right into our photos!!! He gave us the terrific news that they're actually turning our engagement session into a sample book for the studio and gave us a peek at the book he's designed. Sorry if it goes missing "mysteriously" from the studio Justin... Just kidding! sort of.

So here you go! A few more amazing photos. We got a disc of something like 85 back from him, so I'll try to calm the heck down and add just my favourites and keep myself under control. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A tisket a tasket, a card basket! Well not really a basket but it rhymed.

A friend of mine was gracious enough to give me her card box from her wedding last year. It's pretty and white but needed some oomph. The more I looked at it, the more I didn't know what to do with it. So (sorry!) I started from scratch. This is what happens when your engagement is more than a year, you start focusing on these tiny little things..... But since I'm anal retentive detail oriented, there's nothing I would rather do than spend an afternoon making myself a new cardbox! 

To begin, my mom and I went shopping in Chinatown. We found these two awesome woven suitcases for about $15 altogether. Great deal!

I stacked them up on each other and chalk lined inside the bottom of the smaller one the size of the opening I wanted. 

Unstack and cut. I used a craft knife, scissors did not work out so well. I used scissors to trim any extra pieces that were sticking out or untidy.

Now put this back on top of the larger case, and bust out the chalk to trace the outline of this hole onto the top of your lid of the larger case. 

Cut. Trim. This really isn't complicated is it?!

Now to stick the two together, I used a combination of "Good Glue" (yes that's a brand) and fishing line. Whatever glue you use, just make sure it works on wood, not just paper. I glued all around the bottom edges of the suitcase and was fairly light on the rest of the bottom of the surface. I lined up the holes and pressed. Then I cut some pieces of fishing line and stuck it through the two layers of the wood and tied it together just to give a bit of added security. I did one in each corner, and one halfway between each of those. Let it dry overnight. I think the combination of the fishing line and the glue worked out perfectly, that sucker is not coming apart. The glue dries clear and I couldn't even find the fishing line when I looked for it in the corners!

Finally, I printed off a few of our engagement photos to stick inside the lid of the top suitcase as a little surprise for when people open it. I still have to make a little "cards" sign to attach to the handle, I may use an old school luggage tag or something. I love that it really doesn't need to be overly embellished, it can really stand on its own.

This is sitting on our dining room table still and every time Dan walks past it he smiles and says "That's just so cute....". You have to love with the guy can even appreciate a wedding DIY project!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Love in a Canoe

We got more of our engagement photos back from our photographer this week. Hooray!!! I'm in love with them almost as much as I love Dan..... All photos are the artwork and genius of Justin DeMers at Stillmotion. He did an incredible job of capturing everything that's important in our life together: Our cats, our river, laughter, fun, and most importantly, our love for each other. Thank you so much Justin!

These are our serious faces. 

And this is my hair ransacked after laying in a canoe. There's a possibility Dan was picking a spider out of my hair.

These next two are my favourites I think. It's hard to pick!

Monday, June 07, 2010

We've hit double digits people!!!

96 days to go. I'm trying not to make this face:

Okay but seriously. I have lists. And lists of lists. Because we all know how much I love my lists. 

That's my list. You can't see the bottom of it. And on the right, more lists. Notice that nothing on that list is crossed off just yet. ACK!!!!! And on a side note, god I love Microsoft OneNote, it's life changing.

Okay, moving to the happy place. 96 days is not a long time, but I know I certainly have time to get it all done and that I have a wonderful mother who is dying to help, and six bridesmaids who I can force beg ask nicely for help when I need it. 

But here's the thing. In 96 short days, I get to marry Dan. I get to be his wife, and he gets to be my husband, we get to walk down this road together from now on. In 96 days, we'll get to spend a day with our family and friends celebrating our commitment to each other, our love for each other, and what an amazing life we're leading. In 96 days, all this hard work will be done, and chances are I'll forget to look at the menus I printed or the cake toppers I painted because I'll be looking into Dan's eyes and promising to love him. It's all pretty incredible and somewhat overwhelming, but I couldn't be more excited. I almost wish it were tomorrow, but who would want to miss all that menu printing right?! 

So friends, see you in 96 days. I'll be the one in the big white dress. Dan, I'll meet you at the top of the aisle. 


PS - Stay tuned for more DIY details, recipes, and summer fun! If I'm staying this busy for the next 96 days you better believe I'm showing off what I'm doing around here!!!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Sneaky Sneak Peek!

I sent an email to our photographer begging politely asking for a sneak peek photo from our engagement session to tide me over. So he humoured me and sent me this photo (well four photos really). 

Sneaky sneaky photographer. I can hardly wait to see more! Oh and in case you're wondering, we're actually launching reeds out into the river. Dan's went further but I'm not sure what he won. Bragging rights I suppose ;)