Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Is anyone else a fan of checklists?

Sometimes I make lists just so I can cross things off...

I swear I have wedding checklists on 4-5 different platforms. Every online wedding place provides their member a checklist. I also have one in my bridal moleskin a friend of mine gave me after I got engaged (best gift ever!)

I check on the lists from to time to just to see if I'm on track.

Some of the major things I can cross off my list...
Venue for reception and ceremony
Caterer (comes with venue)
DJ who is also doing uplighting
Found out about Florida marriage licenses
Assembled guest list and asked for addresses
Sent Save-the-Dates
Booked photobooth
Got multiple florist/decor proposals (booking soon)
Got chair rental quotes
Went wedding dress shopping (several times....I think I found the one...I'm not sure...we'll see :)
Picked wedding party
Started wedding website (work in progress. trying to launch mid-August)
Made hotel room blocks
Narrowed down source for bridesmaids dresses
Scheduled tasting
Inquired with multiple hair/make-up professionals to check availability (will be booking soon)
Touched base with cake baker (tasting and design will be sometime in September)
Looked at wedding stationary and other paper goods 
Start planning Chinese Tea Ceremony (MOH/sister picking up a lot of things from Taiwan)
Researched rehearsal dinner venues

I remember when I first got engaged, my first thought was, "Crap. I have to plan a wedding now."

You'd think after dating for close to 8 years, I'd have some planning already out of the way but I'm a little silly. I thought it would jinx it so I didn't touch wedding planning at all.

We knew we wanted to marry at a very specific time in Florida which meant if we didn't get married beginning of 2015, we'd have to wait until 2016.

Jason was not a fan of waiting that long so I felt so much pressure to plan a wedding in a little over a year. I literally jumped right into it and looking back now, I realize it is possible. I just have to stay organized.

On that note, this is my Changuages vlog this week about my wedding planning gripe so far.

In other news, we've been having really cool mornings this morning (by Florida standards) because of the evening rain. I've taken advantage of this and gotten longer runs in all week.

3.2 yesterday (pushed my fiance about 1 mile more than he usually runs) and 4.8 today solo.

I'm hoping to get out there again tomorrow morning. 

How's the weather in your parts? 

I'm not a huge fan of summer so I can't wait until it's over. It really is my least favorite season of the year. 

Any summer fans out there? Feel free to make your case why summer is the BEST thing ever!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I caved.

I've been good the last few weeks with no non-fruit desserts but yesterday, I caved.

Guess what I learned you can do with cookie dough?

You can cook it in the microwave (90 seconds on 70% power) in a oven safe ramekin and you have a perfectly soft chocolate chip cookie. It tastes just like it came out of the oven - nice and warm.

It's back to being diligent again though after that small indulgence.

Gorgeous skies Tuesday morning!

I've managed morning runs all three days this week (2.4 miles, 2.4 miles and 4.8 miles).

Today's run was solo and I almost skipped it. I ran the last mile in pouring rain which was really refreshing but I had to be careful not to slip.  I was soaked when I got home but felt happy I got it done.

Strength training has been good. I used my 8 lb weights 3-4 times last week. I also mixed it in with some P90X and yoga. On top of that, I managed 17+ miles ran throughout the week.

I'm participating in a lot of wedding forums now because it's nice to be surrounded with people excited about centerpieces, colors, stationary...and it stops me from annoying my friends and family. 

I think it's like my blog where I get to talk about my healthy living habits without being super annoying. If people don't like it, they don't have to read it. 

I hope you all have a productive week! 

Here are two videos from our Youtube channels (Without a License & Changuages)

My family's first day in Japan!!!

My response to their trip & musings about hoarding :)

and last but not least, FUNNY gifs I stumbled upon this week....

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Shortest appointment ever... my wedding dress hunt continues!

Today was another wedding dress appointment at my 3rd store in the area.

I swear that my appointments are getting shorter and shorter because I know exactly what I want and don't want. It makes grabbing dresses a lot simpler and we don't waste time.

The problem is, it seems that the dresses I have written down to try aren't available even though the store carries the designer.

On one hand, it means that the style I seem to be gravitating toward isn't as popular with the general crowd. This is a good thing because I trust my taste and I don't want to wear something everyone else wears. I want something classic yet modern. It won't become dated in 30 years when my grandchildren checkout how young grandma used to be yet it's not SO trendy that I look back in horror.

I think I may have found the dress but I have to think it through. I have until August to place my order and not feel rushed. In the mean time, I have three other dresses that another store is asking to borrow from the designer coming in the next two weeks. I feel terrible if I say yes to another dress when the boutique's owner has gone through the trouble.

In the mean time, let's show some photos of my fun today shall we?

In my future house, I want a three way mirror with a pedestal in front. How amazing would that be?

My appointment was supposed to be 90 minutes but I was out of there in a little over 30. I only tried on two dresses which was disappointing since I had 7 dresses written down but the surprising thing is that the second dress I fell in love with!

I'll be analyzing the photos in the mean time while waiting for the other dresses to come in.

How is everyone else's weekend going?

Before my appointment this morning, I managed a 4.8 mile run. Jason was feeling extra tired this morning so he slept in so I went for a longer run than I planned.

It was so humid by the time my run finished and I was soaked through with sweat.

How are you guys staying active this weekend?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Unused muscles

Strength training this week made me realize how weak certain parts of my upper body are that I never use. There's a soreness today that's not painful but constant mild soreness. This is a good thing right?

Thank you for your strength training recommendations! I was googling after reading your comments to make sure I knew what the workout was!

So far I've ran every morning this week ranging from 4.8 miles to 2.4 miles. The total right now is close to 14 miles with a few more runs scheduled this week. When I do my short runs, I do HIIT while Jason keeps a steady pace throughout. I have to keep moving because mosquitoes like me ....a lot.

I saw a rainbow this morning on my run!

I almost skipped my run this morning but Jason wanted to go so I was all ready and dressed when I woke him up. He sleepily told me he was going to sleep in.

Since I was dressed, I shrugged my shoulders and managed 3.8 miles. I took it easy today with no sprinting to rest my knees. 

I have an appointment with another bridal boutique this weekend on Saturday. I'm less anxious than before since I know almost exactly what I want. The key will be in the details since I have the overall shape nailed down.

Did you guys have an ah-hah! moment when you tried on dresses? I refuse to settle but I'm not sure if I'll know it's the one when I put it on. The funny thing is, almost every dress I put on last week I loved. 

I used photos later to compare them to see if they translated well from another point of view. Both boutiques I went to were kind enough to take photos for me and not have a problem with it. I've heard of places that don't allow you to take photos.

My sister, mom and brother are in Japan right now for a few days. I feel bad for my fiance who seems really stressed lately with work. I think we need to schedule a weekend getaway asap away from wedding planning where he gets to relax. 

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Thursday! I'm off to be productive :)

Before I sign off, I have to show you my sister's vlog to me this week and she literally had me LOLing.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

starting to strength train

After I went dress shopping, I ended the week with picking up two 8-lb dumbbells. We've been talking about it for a while and I finally moved my butt and bought them.

Last night before I jumped in the shower, I did sets of bicep curls, tricep overhead presses and standing side raises.

I started from 10 reps, then 8 reps, then 5 reps then 3.

Jason was the one who recommended this regimen.

I spent the rest of the night pinning thing to my fit and fab board on Pinterest (follow me!) and learning other exercises I can do with my weights.

I'm excited to start. I even did a vlog yesterday about it showing my arms and shaking it around for good measure.

I'm excited to add weights into my training! I remember you guys giving me advice months ago to start weights into my regimen and it's always been on my mind. It's fantastic advice and I know if I stick with it, it'll pay off.

Let me know what kind of strength training you guys do! I'm curious how people stay lean and mean.

Tuesday's morning run was with Jason so we did our usual 2.4 miles. Since it was a shorter distance, I did HIIT for the most of it to push myself a bit harder. I was super sweaty by the time I got back but it just shows you how humid it is around these parts. Ugh. 

I want to do stretching and yoga  later today because I feel slight tightness in my legs and hips. 

I've been super motivated recently and staying productive. There are no major trips in the next few weeks so I can stay put and enjoy my routine. I'm a creature of habit so I feel the best when I'm eating home-cooked meals, sleeping in my bed and keeping a regular schedule.

I'm like my dad in that way. 

A few weeks ago, I found myself fighting the alarm. I'm back to waking up 5 minutes before my alarm goes off. That's always a sign that I'm feeling normal again.

Anyone else a creature of habit?

Before I sign off, I want to thank you guys for your comments yesterday! You always give the best feedback. Of the things I showed you, I only ended up buying the blue dress because it was really lightweight and effortless (....comfortable). The yellow dress was a pretty color but I didn't like the weird layer on top because it was a little flat and looked unfinished. 

Have a wonderful day :)

Monday, July 7, 2014

The motivation I needed

Let's start off with a photo I took post 4.8 mile run this morning.

Now let's move onto other things. 

How was everyone's Fourth of July weekend?

I felt exhausted by Saturday night because we were literally out the door Friday morning around 8 AM, went home only to sleep for 6 hours (after showering), then I was out the door again Saturday morning by 9 AM to run wedding errands all day.

We didn't get home until 7-8 PM Saturday after grocery shopping so I was exhausted.

Sunday, I decided to "sleep in" and skip my sunrise run and workout to P90X around 10 AM instead.

I felt somewhat well rested this morning and eager to get my week started with a good workout.

Florida summers are simply brutal. It's so hot and humid so I hate going outside even for a few minutes. Jason soaked through the back of his shirt just running one short errand yesterday.

He had to get two of his suits tailored because he's lost 30 pounds since he last wore them so they look very silly on him now. The total cost of tailoring was around $230 because he wants to remove pleats in both pants.

One thing I am completely clueless about is men's fashion. I think I have a good eye in terms of color and patterns but when it comes to flattering cuts on men, I have no clue. It all looks the same to me but Jason ends up being super picky. He thinks pleats make you look old.

I'll just nod and go along with him.

He's also sworn off bow ties completely which means he'll be donning a tie on our wedding day.

At the outlets, I tried on outfits and had fun taking photos in the dressing room.

It was a fun day of shopping but we went back to Tampa around 5PM so we could spend the evening with friends. We didn't get home until after midnight and I had a 10 AM appointment about 45 minutes away from our house at a bridal boutique.

I needed to wake up and do my make-up and curl my hair so I could get the full effect. I ended up waking up at 6 AM because I was scared I'd oversleep.

So did I find the dress? I did find one dress that I really loved.

What was important from this first appointment was that I narrowed down exactly what shape I'm looking for. Now I'm just looking at the details, fabric and stylistic difference between similar silhouettes. It's definitely streamlined my search process. I can literally flip through look books and photographs now and just skip the ones that aren't a particular shape.

I also realized that I need to up my upper body workouts because in wedding dresses, the shoulders and arms are out there whereas my legs (super toned from running and squats) are mostly covered.

I'm going to continue running though because I enjoy it for other reasons and it's great for my core but I am upping strength training.

One of the things that did make me a little sad was that all of my close friends are not in Tampa so I had to do this solo. At my second appointment, another bride was there and she brought an entourage of family and friends. There I was at the three-way mirror next to her with just me.

I like doing certain things alone and wedding dress shopping was fine by myself but it would have been nice to have someone there who wasn't trying to sell me the dress.

The good thing about it just being me was that I could decide if I liked the dress. The stylists were also kind enough to take photos for me to send to my sister and mom later.

The good and bad thing about family is that they don't have filter. My mom bluntly said which one she liked and which one she didn't like. I expressed that I was self-conscious about my stomach pooch that's incredibly hard to shed. She said, "Lose more weight."

Easier said than done right?

The month of July will be about toning up and getting in shape because I want to order my dress soon. The more accurate the measurements, the less alterations I'll need to do so that'll be what I'm thinking about every time I just want to be a potato.

I hope everyone has a fantastic week!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Reach for the celery

If you've been caught up on some of the posts, I joked about a month ago that I was going to turn our house into "celery central" where I avoid buying junk food in the house. We normally don't have much junk snacks around in the first place but sometimes (especially with my 13 y/o brother around) it creeps into our house.

I am fairly good about smart snacking but there's always that moment of vulnerability where I end up going overboard. Those episodes are rare now but it does happen. To avoid that altogether, our house currently has no baked goods, cookies, ice cream, candy or chips.

Jason hates celery so he winced when I called it celery-central. He responded, "Then I'm not going to eat anything."

I told him he was being silly and it was just a name.

Then again, I'm chomping on celery right now as we speak.

I don't know about you but I need snacks between lunch and dinner. My go-to snacks include nuts, yogurt, fresh fruit and celery. I like to prepare a container full of celery ready for me to snack on. The crunch is really satisfying. On some days, I even indulge in some peanut butter on it.

Today is a plain celery kind of day though.

We managed two runs together this week both about 2.4 miles. I went on a solo run yesterday finishing 4.8 miles. The soreness in my body is slowly going away. I'm trying to do at least 15-20 minutes of stretching a day. It goes by fast especially with the TV on.

What I want to start incorporating again is weighted hula-hooping. Ever since this wedding planning wind hit me, I've been glued to the computer screen longer than I care to admit. It's hard to take myself away from the computer. My ritual used to be watch some TV at night and hula hoop. It was calming and kept my attention. Nowadays, my attention is on Pinterest, blogs, forums, my e-mail...etc.

That should change or I'll experience burn out where I'm tempted again to ask if we can elope :)

On one of the message boards I was reading, they mentioned this article about 10 horrifying bridezilla moments and I read them and thought to myself, "WOW. Let's hope I don't turn into one."

I'd love to hear your personal bridezilla experiences!

I am happy that I AM feeling motivated to get things moving though.

Happy Fourth of July weekend! What is everyone's plans?

Like I said in my previous post, we'll be at the outlets all day tomorrow. On Saturday, we have a few appointments with various vendors.

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