Wednesday, June 30, 2010

100 Day Challenge

One of the best thing about bridesmaids is the support. With now less than 100 days to go to the wedding, I need a lot of it, especially in the fitness area. I am not a huge lover of the gym or working out. I actually hate the gym. I went once in college and didn't go back. I tried again after our engagement, but only lasted a few months. I prefer group exercising like hiking with friends, or in highschool getting together with friends for some Tae-Bo with Billy Blanks.


So for someone who hates the gym, and is super busy it's hard to find the motivation to get in shape. Maybe not for other brides, but for me it is. So Bridesmaid E started a fitness challenge awhile back. We each logged our hours and we could see how much everyone was working out. It worked for awhile, but we all stopped submitting our time.

So as the wedding is swiftly approaching Bridesmaid E decided to rev it up. She came up with the 100 Day Challenge. It's a bit more motivating because their is more at stake.

Here are the rules, note there are 5 participants:

There are almost 100 days before Miss Newport's wedding!! So, to rev up our fitness challenge (and finally offer some prizes for the winners), the last 100 days will be a challenge to log 100 hours. If you do 100+ hours of exercise between now and the wedding, you will be a ‘winner’ and, if not, you will be a ‘loser’!

If there are 5 winners, then we can all go out for celebratory drinks, and the one with the most hours gets treated by everyone else.
If there are 4 winners and 1 loser, the loser treats the winners to a round of drinks (maximum $50)
If there are 3 winners and 2 losers, the losers treat the winners to dinner (maximum cost of $50 for each of the losers, so $100 total)
If there are 2 winners and 3 losers, the losers treat for dinner and a round of drinks
If there is only one winner, the winner gets treated to dinner and drinks! Also, the losers all pitch in $5 for the winner to buy a health food cookbook.

Every Monday, I will collect the minutes for the previous week (so, the previous Monday through Sunday). Every day you are late giving me the minutes, you get deducted one hour!! You can send minutes by email, text, facebook, BBM, phone call, whatever is easiest. If you remember to send them in, and want to send a reminder to everyone else, that will be helpful… I will try to send a reminder to everyone on Mondays.

We will have to average 7 hours, or 420 minutes every week to get to 100 hours, so good luck everyone! If anyone wants to plan a hike or some other multi-hour exercising trip, let me know!!
And there it is.... my motivation for the last 100 days!

What's motivating you to get fit for the big day?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Showers of Happiness

Mr. Newport and I recently went to our first wedding shower, hosted by FMIL Newport on the Jersey Shore. When we first arrived, my first thoughts were, "why haven't we been here before"? The place was gorgeous. The shower was hosted at a restaurant called Antoinetta's, which is right on the water. When we arrived a few guests were already there. It was fun catching up, since it has been a year since we last saw everyone.
Sister Newport, Me, Mr. Newport, and FMIL Newport
Us with Newport Cousin

Us with Mr. Newport's friends

After catching up with everyone, the food came out. FMIL Newport chose a menu including a few of our favorites. To start there was calamari (Mr. Newport's favorite) and a delicious salad served family style. Then for an entree there was a choice between crab cakes, an organic chicken wrap, cavatelli, or scallops over mushroom risotto (I love Scallops and they were amazing). And since Mr. Newport was the only guy at the shower, which isn't typical near them, FMIL Newport made it special for him by including his favorite beer.After eating lunch, it was time to open presents. I have been worrying about our showers for the last few weeks. The idea of sitting in the center of a room, opening gifts with all eyes on me was really stressing me out and I was a little more stressed about our Jersey shower, because I had only met a couple of the guests a few times. But, Mr. Newport sat by my side as we started opening gifts. We were sitting pretty close to the tables. About two minutes in, I was having a blast opening gifts. Everyone was talking with us and laughing, it was so much fun. We were overwhelmed at the generosity. We got so many of our favorite registry items and some really fun items not on the registry, including a TV!

We've been eating off paper plates for a couple months. After this shower, we almost have our complete set of place settings! The place settings were the most popular gift of the day, which made me really happy. I can't wait to have friends and family over for dinner on real plates. We also got tons of fun baking supplies. Including a hand mixer, our Kitchen Aid mixer, cook books, and lots of misc. baking supplies. Then there were some really fun off-registry items, I'll have to share in another post!
After opening gifts it was time to cut the cake. Sister Newport was our photographer and wouldn't let us miss any photo ops. She told us it was practice and we need to do the first cut. She was joking, but didn't realize we actually need pratcice. We had no idea what to do. After a few tries, we got it right and cut the cake.
The cake was amazing! FMIL Newport asked to have starfish on the cake to go with our wedding theme. She picked a cake that was half chocolate and half vanilla. I couldn't decide which I liked more. When we left New Jersey she packed it up for us to bring home, which was really nice, but not good for the wedding diet. I indulged in another slice on our trip home, it was too good to resist.

After the cake was finished, we got to spend a little more time with friends and family before it was time to end. It was the perfect shower. Great location, great food and great people.
FMIL Newport picked a beautiful location and had really special touches. My MA bridal shower is hosted by Newport Mom and the Newport Bridesmaids, so it was really sweet of FMIL Newport to plan the New Jersey Shower on her own. I don't know why I was so stressed about the shower in the first place!
Did you have moer than one shower? Were you nervous about them?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Getting Crafty

With the wedding approaching, I'm realizing how much needs to get done in a short period of time. So to get motivated, I've purchased quite a few new craft supplies in the past couple of weeks. My Favorites?

I first saw this "THANKS" punch on one of my favorite personal wedding planning blogs,
Honey My Heart, via Ellen Hutson.


I love the way she used the punch to embellish the envelope liners. I want to do something similar for our shower thank yous, but not sure if I'll have enough time to write them all out and design the cards.


The next purchase I have no clue what we'll be doing with it, but I love Baker's Twine. So I just ordered over 3,000 yards of it from Etsy seller fortandfield.

My favorite purchase of all was a Barbara Kua address stamp, which we will be using for our invitation rsvp envelopes, invitation return addresses, return addresses on our shower invites and all personal mail I send in the future!

I heard about Barbara Kua through Miss Sunrise, in her "Stamp my Little Heart Out" post. After reading Miss Sunrise's post, I knew I had to have one. I had been searching for awhile and couldn't find the right font style, but fell in love with the Claire style. Miss Sunrise already wrote an awesome post on Barbara Kua, so if your interested check it. out!



You'll have to wait a bit to see ours, when I reveal it with the invites I've been working on!

Have you found any fun new craft supplies lately? I'm still looking for a few fun details for our paper products and looking for some fun sugesstions!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dressing for the Occassion

It's going to be a busy couple of weeks for the Newports! This upcoming weekend we are heading to the Jersey Shore for Shower #1. FMIL Newport is hosting a bridal shower for us at a beautiful water front restaurant. Then Shower #2 is the following week at a cute New England Inn, hosted by the Newport Bridesmaids and Newport Mom.

So what does a girl wear to a Jersey Shore Shower and a Boston Tea party? I've looked for weeks for white dresses, I have some crazy idea that I need to wear white to every wedding event, I thought this for our engageemnt party too and ended up in silver. Well after many shopping excursions, I only found one white dress, which I can't wear for both showers.

So here's what I've come up with. I love them both, but feel like the "rope dress" isn't bridal enough.

I love the back on this one!


Other than being white, I had one other thing that I wanted from the dress- I have to wear it again! Luckily, I love them both and they are perfect summer dresses that I can wear a lot over the next few months. I bet you can guess what dress goes with each shower!

Did you have trouble finding a dress you loved for your shower? Anyone else feel the need to wear white to everything?

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Honeymoon

Our "honeymoon" has been ever evolving. Growing up, my dream honeymoon was Walt Disney World. As I got older I started to see beyond the mouse and considered tropical beaches and started thinking of various spots in the carribean or Hawaii, but Disney was still a choice. A while into our engagement, Newport Ant offered her time share in Disney World for our honeymoon. It was perfect because she has it in October, right after our wedding.
At the point of our engagement, Disney had been the only place we had gone on vacation together. The photo above is from Disney trip number 2 in 2007. We were beyond excited with Newport Ant's generous offer, but had to decline due to vacation time.
Mr. N started a new job recently and will not have acrrued enough time off by the time our wedding is here to really enjoy a honeymoon. We came up with a few options: take the honeymoon as unpaid, take a mini-moon, or skip the honeymoon completely.

We decided to do a mix of things. We are going to extend our stay in Newport to spend more time with our family, so it will sort of be a mini-moon. Then, at some point in 2011, when Mr. N has more time, we'll go on our "honeymoon". We don't know where, but that is the best part of this. One less thing to plan. Between wedding vendors, plumbers, and floor installers, we want to take a break from plans. Once we've settled into the house and said "I do", we'll have some time to plan a fun and relaxing vacation. We're already looking forward to it!

Has vacation time or a new job affected your honeymoon plans?

Friday, June 11, 2010

OOT Ideas

Mr. S and I are so appreciative knowing that our friends and family will be travelling to see us say "I do". Choosing the location was an easy choice for sentimental reasons, but I do feel bad that everyone will have to travel. We really didn't have a choice on travel, because either of our home towns would still cause a large number of our guests to travel.

We've tried to come up with ways to make their stay comfortable. None of these ideas are really earth shattering, but I still think these little details make a difference.

1. Send Save the Dates. - Our wedding isn't during the summer or on a holiday weekend, but due to the travel involved, we felt it was important to give our guests advance notice. We sent hotel block information as well as a link to our wedding website. Our room blocks end 2 months prior to the wedding, which is when our invitations will go out. The save the dates were a great way to give advance notification.

2. Create a website with useful information. We've included directions, local restaurants and attractions and will use it if any updates need to be sent.
3. Give clear directions- I'm horrible with directions, so clear directions are always super helpful when it comes to weddings or any day in life. We have links with mapquest directions on our website for each location.
4. Set up Room Blocks - try to find great deals. We spent huors trying to find hotels with quality, affrodability and convenience.

5. Welcome Note- we plan to leave our oot guests a welcome note to let them know how appreciative we are that they have made the trip to our wedding.
6. Printed area information in a folder or oot bag for the non-tech savvy or those who may not visit your website- this includes maps, area attractions and restaurant information.
7. OOT bag/welcome treat. - we plan to fll up bags with snacks for guests who may be hungry after a long drive.


8. Morning after Brunch- Some of our guests will have a long car ride home the day after our wedding, so we thought it would be nice to feed them before they get on the road. And it's another excuse to hang out with all our firends and family!

Are you having a lot of oot guests? Are you planning to do anything to make their stay more comfortable? Anything I should add to our list?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Ring

Mr. Newport and I had talked about marriage numerous times before he proposed. He had given me a promise ring during our first year of dating, during college. We both knew we would get married, but wanted to finish college and start our careers before getting married.

Mr. Newport wanted to pick the ring out on his own. He tends to pick things out I would never buy for myself and end up loving. Most of the time, I actually like his taste in clothes and jewlery for me better than my own....99% of the time. My favorite coat and earrings were Christmas gifts from him, my favorite dress was a birthday gift. So when it came time to choose a ring, I knew he'd find something gorgeous.

That's not to say, I never showed him any rings I liked. If I had a magazine in front of me, I'd show him something I liked. I tended to show him halo rings. I noticed a pattern after while, and so I was surprised when he proposed with something completely different from anything I had shown him.

FMIL and FFIL Newport gave Mr. Newport the ring his father proposed to his mother with over thirty years ago. Mr. Newport was extremely grateful, but wanted to pick out something, so he decided he would use the center stone and choose a different setting.

The center stone is the original diamond, which is a circle solitare, with 4 smaller diamonds on either side, with an engraved design on either side of the band and tiny diamonds underneath each side of the main stone. It has a vitnage look. I hadn't looked at anything like it, but when he proposed with it, I knew it was my perfect ring.

And you can tell how much I love it, by our little photo shoot that weekend....
Did you have any say in the style of your engagement ring?

Sunday, June 6, 2010


As wedding Season is coming up, I started thinking of all the weddings I've attended in the past. The past couple years have been a huge source of inspiration wedding wise. Mr. Newport and I have attended quite a few weddings. At each wedding, I find there is always something that sticks out to me. It could be a first dance, a new trend, a unique favor, the vibe of the wedding, the band, anything at all really.

After we got engaged, I found myself sort of judging weddings. Not in a negative way, but I became more intuned to those little details that really make a wedding unique. I found myself looking for these items and assesing what the most wonderful thing is about each wedding.

Last October, we attended Mr. Newport's childhood friend's wedding. We'll call him Mr. Villanova. Mr. Villanova. and his wife met in college. They held their ceremony at their alma mater's chapel. The ceremony was given by their college pastor. They had grown close with him, which made the wedding more personal. They truly made their wedding about their relationship. I felt like I really knew the couple by the end of the night. We heard their story during the ceremony. Their sibling's the maid of honor and best man, gave toasts that were so sweet and gave you such a special glimpse into their lives. We danced all night, with people I had just met. At the end of the night, they hosted an after party, at one of their favorite bars from college. We hung out with all the people who were there when they first met, in college. It was an amazing wedding. I felt nervous attending a wedding, in which I pretty much knew no one, but it ended up being one of the most amazing weddings I have attended. I love how personal everything felt. It wasn't about physical details, it was more about the atmosphere they created by including special places and special people.

At my cousin's wedding, we'll call him Mr. Foxboro, I left raving about his first dance. I've known my cousin for 25 years. Mr. Foxboro is not a dancer, but you would never know it that night. He and his wife had surprised everyone by taking dance lessons for their first dance. It was the sweetest first dance I had ever seen. In addition to their amazing first dance, they also had a mashed potato bar, which I thought was amazing! I love potatatoes, and I had never seen something like this before. It was a huge hit!

At a family friend's wedding, last summer, all of the guests were surprised when her brother in-law showed up halfway through dancing in an easter bunny costume. Apparently at each of his friend's and family member's weddings, he chooses a different costume to show up in. It made for some great photo opportunities, and must be a fun tradition for the people who know what's coming.

I love seeing unique traditions and coming across new trends. Other items that have stood out at recent weddings have been an amazing band, a candy bar, a hot apple cider station, signature drinks, photo booths, groom's cakes, and in general seeing couples who are truly in love.

I think it will be interesting to see how our wedding unfolds. I wonder what will stick out in our guest's minds.

Do you "judge" weddings now that you are engaged? What usually stands out to you?