Monthly Archives

May 2011

10 Steps To A Well-Balanced Life

Hi “And Her Little Dog Too” Readers!! I am so thrilled to do a guest post for Leslie as she celebrates on her honeymoon.

 

My name is Bobbi-Marie McCormick and I write a blog called NHerShoes about maintaining a healthy lifestyle in a crazy busy world. I wear several different hats every day as a wife, cook, runner, camp host, blogger, small business owner, and kickboxing instructor! Hope you stop by sometime. 
I thought I would write a fun guest post about balanced living.

A Start To A Healthy, Well-Balanced Life

We all have 24 hours in a day, but do we utilize every minute? We all know what it means to plan but how do we do it? It is not easy to live a healthy, well-balanced life, but I promise it can get easier. We all have the tools and resources to help us organize our lives: planners, cell phones, calendars, PDA’s, Gmail task lists, and much more.

So why is balancing our lives so hard?

It’s because we are people who love to do it all. We all want to be super wives, super moms, and super women! The more you take on, the more stress you receive and the less time you get to truly live your life to the fullest. Do you want to come up for air?

Here are 10 simple steps that I do myself. I hope it helps you get on the path to living a more healthy, well-balanced life

1.  Sit down on Sundays for no more than 1 hour and plan out your weekly meetings, workouts, meals, and social gatherings. I know things will come up and that’s ok, but having a plan will help you to make it easier to make a “yes” or “no” decision.  I once heard this quote that changed my life, “No one plans to fail, but so many fail to plan.

2.  On the weekends, prep some of your meals for the week. Cut up vegetables, cook rice, make a pot of stew, or even prepare a casserole that you can stick in the oven when you get home.  

3.  Make a one stop grocery shop. If you plan out your meals for the week you can go shopping and get all the supplies you’ll need. Instead of wasting time making those small unnecessary trips. I am really trying to work on this one!

4.  Give up busyness!! Plan on spending some time engaging in meaningful activities that nourish you life. Make a date with a friend to have coffee or make dinner with. If you have kids plan a date night to get in some quality time with your Hubby.  

5.  Multi-task!  Women are known to be pros at this! Get your exercise and girl time in by taking a walk with your girlfriends instead of getting dinner out together.

6.  Take time for yourself. Do some yoga in the morning at home, go for a jog or walk, take a bath in the evening, or even go to a local library and just sit and read. Do whatever you need to do to refuel yourself! You are only as good as your last day of rest.

7.  Don’t be a “yes” woman! Practice saying “no.” I have a hard time doing this — I want to be there for everyone and hate not being able to help. It is ok to say no to someone… they will understand. It is worst to say yes and feel stressed about it!

8.  Give up all unnecessary things on that to-do list. Clean up your days and start making time for the things that matter.

9.  Smile and laugh as much as possible. This is not only good for your health, but does wonders for your spirit.

10. Be spontaneous. If you are anything like me, breaking plans is difficult, but be open to change and live your life, not the plan!
Thanks for reading!

What are some of your tips to living a healthier, more balanced life?

SkinnyRunner’s Photography Tips

Hey kids, while Leslie’s off consummating her marriage, she asked me to guest post.  Since I know pretty much nothing about blogging, I decided that it was only fitting that I gave out blogging tips, specifically photography ones.  So here’s the absolutely useless, SR guide to blogography:

1. When in doubt, take a picture.

A good post needs lots of pictures.  Mainly because the more pictures there are, the less you have to write.  Always a plus in my book. 

Seriously though, pictures can help to tell a story and keep your readers interested at the same time so don’t be afraid to liberally use pictures.

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2. The very best camera is the one that you use.

If you won’t use a big, expensive, professional camera then don’t spend 4 mortgage payments on it.  The best camera is the one you have on you because it’s pretty darn hard to take a picture without one.  And reversely, if photography is a passion of yours, invest in a quality camera or photography classes and showcase that on your blog.  (Somehow my passion for celebrity gossip and candy haven’t quite come in as handy….)

I use a small point-and-shoot, nothing fancy or expensive, but I almost always have it in my purse with me.  I’ll never win a photography contest, but when someone craps their pants in a race, I’ll be there to memorialize it.  And that, my friends, is priceless.

PICTURE #2 – runner pooping

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3.Don’t worry about what other people are thinking.

At first you might feel awkward always whipping your camera out and taking random pictures,(What are people thinking of me?!) but you’ll get over it and start to accept it as normal.  I’ve never had anyone say anything to me, and trust me, I take pictures in some weird places…. hello, bathroom self portraits.

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And if someone does say something, it’s an opportunity to talk about your blog.  Self promotion, baby!

3.  Don’t take it too seriously.

Try to focus… and maybe even on the right subject.  But if not, just joke about it.

DSCN2967

Thank you, oh so dumb camera for focusing oh so perfectly on that dumb branch.  Priorities are clearly not in the right order.

If you don’t always take great or even decent pictures (like me) at least you can make fun of them.  No one expects you to be Annie Leibovitz so have some fun with it.  Sometimes the best pictures are the funny outtakes.

4. Don’t be afraid to take pictures of yourself!

Unless you have a supremely boring life, and we all have something interesting about us, people want to know about you!  You are what makes your blog unique.  So take pictures and put yourself out there because your readers want to see you.  (I’ve obviously got this tip down pat)

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What are some of your favorite photography tips?

A Honeymoon Hello

Hello everyone! Greetings from Greece!

Jump

Honeymoons RULE!

We spent the earlier part of this week in Istanbul, Turkey and got to Athens, Greece yesterday. We have been having a blast seeing the sights but I am getting really excited for our cruise of the Greek Islands next week followed by a relaxing end to the honeymoon in Santorini!

Charles wanted history (which is what we have been doing this week) and I wanted beaches (which is what we are planning on doing next week) so everyone is happy on our honeymoon! 

Bosphorous

I can’t wait to share our trip with you – we have seen and done some amazing things! Stay tuned and I will try to post again soon!

The Honeymoon Litmus Test

Hello there, And Her Little Dog Too readers! My name is Jenn and I write the blog Eating Bender. Typically, you will find me talking about Coffee Cocoa or mentioning some guy named Papa Bender. He’s too modest to tell you this, but his fajitas are ridiculously good.

When I’m not using kooky nicknames, I also enjoy talking about the recipes I make with my new husband, Bobby. We were married on October 16, 2010.

Guest Post #1

So when Leslie asked me to share a guest post about our honeymoon, I jumped at the opportunity. You see, our honeymoon was a wild ride, and I mean that quite literally. Which brings me to the point of the post. Something I like to call The Honeymoon Litmus Test.

A litmus test is defined as a test in which a single factor (such as an event) is decisive. In other words, there is one shining, standout moment that determines the outcome.

For our honeymoon, that moment came on a tandem bicycle ride.

Guest Post #2

We look so carefree, don’t we? Don’t let our reflective ankle straps fool you.
Of course, we had no idea what was in store for us that day and for the most part, our tandem bicycle adventure was a lot of fun!

We were able to enjoy the fresh fall air in Napa Valley while riding from winery to restaurant to winery (And to avoid any confusion, please know we made sure to wait long enough between each trip so that we were clearheaded and responsible on our two-wheeler.)

Guest Post #3

It was only when we were on our way back to the bike shop that calamity struck. We were greeted by rain upon leaving our final stop on the tour: Whitehall Lane. It wasn’t pouring, though, so we decided to buck up, throw our hoods over our heads and pedal.  Just outside the parking lot, there was a railroad crossing. I remembered seeing it on our way in, but at the time we had needed to cross the highway so we had gotten off the bike and walked across.

In Napa they have no set bike paths, so you are basically in the lane next to the road. It’s definitely not the best system, which we soon found out the hard way. As we began our ride back, I noticed the railroad tracks were coming up on my right. Then I noticed they were veering inward – right toward us. It happened in slow motion.

One minute I was yelling to Bobby that the railroad tracks were curving inward as they crossed the road, becoming parallel with our bike tires.
The next second, we were on the ground and I was screaming in pain.

It was an epic crash, I’ll give it that.

Our tires had gotten stuck in the rut of the railroad tracks as they turned parallel with our bike. We spilled out onto the road. Fortunately, no cars were coming at the time and we moved quickly to pull ourselves over to safety.
To make a long story short, the next day we ended up in the hospital, where it was determined that my husband has a scaphoid fracture.

Guest Post #4

Fortunately, when we made it back to our home in Chicago, it was determined that Bobby would not need surgery. Still, he would endure twelve weeks of wearing a cast and more than a month of rehabilitation once it was finally off.
I’m painting a really happy picture of our first few months of marriage, aren’t I?

Here is where the litmus test comes in. Bobby and I could have let our tandem bike crash define our honeymoon in a negative way.

It could have spelled D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R.
But we were determined not to let the crash define our experience. And so our last day in Napa was spent touring Castello di Amorosa, among several other exciting venues.

Guest Post #5

Even while my husband and I wore a splint and a very busted up knee, respectively, we managed to treat ourselves like a king and queen.

Guest Post #6 

The royal treatment is what a honeymoon is all about, right?
My point in highlighting the least glamorous aspect of our trip, then, is not to look for pity and talk about how unlucky we were, but rather to share that honeymoons are perfectly imperfect – and I wouldn’t have had ours any other way.

Many of us dream of the flawless wedding and unblemished getaway, but often it’s the things that don’t go exactly the way you planned that are most memorable. They will become the stories you carry with you for years to come.
Find the ability to laugh at yourself. I compiled this before and after video to show you exactly what I mean. Trust me when I tell you that the first clip is truly ironic:

Despite our bruised egos, Bobby and I had the most amazing honeymoon. And now, seven months after our wedding and six months after the epic crash, we could not be happier!

I am so excited for Leslie and Charles and wish them the most amazing wedding and tandem bicycle-free honeymoon! 🙂 Congratulations, you two! Can’t wait to hear your stories.

Abrazos,

Jenn (Eating Bender)

Rules of Honeymooning

Hello And Her Little Dog Too readers! Congrats to Leslie – I hope you are enjoying every single minute of your new life 😉

When Leslie asked for guest bloggers to share their honeymoon stories, I jumped at the chance. The Mister and I will celebrate our 5-year anniversary (read our love story here) this year and after welcoming a little one into the world this year, I thought it’d be fun to re-live the early days.

Best friend Husband

With a little experience under my belt, I thought I’d share my rules of honeymooning.

  • Enjoy the views. Sure, taking pictures is important, but make sure you stop to take it all in. STOP. Look around you and talk about the places you visit with your partner. See the beauty wherever it is you are and soak it all in.
  • Unplug – The Internet and texting will still exist when your honeymoon is over.
  • Say no to alarms. ‘Nuff said.

Say no to alrams

  • Never pass up an empty hammock. It’s just not right.

hammock

  • Don’t forget bug spray. Seriously.

don't forget bug spray

  • Go make-up free. You are beautiful; let your husband see the woman he fell in love with.

make up free

  • Don’t be afraid to get your feet wet

get your feet wet

  • Indulge. Now is not the time for calorie counting. That piece of chocolate cake? Eat it. You will regret not having it. Trust me.
  • Don’t worry about seeing EVERYTHING. You aren’t going to – no matter how much time you have. Instead, be fully present wherever it is you end up going. You’ll enjoy yourself much more focusing on the present. Don’t miss out on memories because you’re too busy thinking about what to do next.
  • Do it all with your best friend, the love of your life, your partner in crime – your HUSBAND.

     
Shannon is a first-time mom and the blogger behind The Daily Balance, updated daily with advice, tips and personal stories to help others find balance in their lives. From food to fashion, motherhood, fitness, inspiration and recipes, The Daily Balance is the perfect tool for those who “want it all,” but could handle getting pooped on every now and then!

Do you have any Rules for Honeymooning to add to the list?

RhodeyGirl Relives Her Engagement

 

It’s amazing to think that just about 3 years ago my life changed and my now husband PhillyBoy asked me to marry him. The next morning I, of course, logged onto my blog, RhodeyGirl Tests, and shared the proposal story. I love my excitement in the post, the random details, and of course the fact that I picked our wedding date and location by the morning after the proposal. I am a true Virgo! As Leslie and her new hubbie celebrate their new marriage, I relive some of my old memories. Congratulations to the new bride! Miss you girl- come home soon!

engaged

Reprinted from May 2008

PB was picking me up to go to dinner with his dad, my dad, the bishop, and a few other friends. He was running late (30 minutes!!!) so I told him I would meet him at the restaurant but he insisted he needed to freshen up a bit first! I offered to meet him outside but he INSISTED on coming in. So he rushed past me with his suit jacket all crumpled up in his hands (obv hiding something, but I didn’ t know what!). He went upstairs and I followed him up there. He closed the bedroom door and then came out a second later and went into the bathroom and asked me to get his cell phone for him from under the pillow in the bedroom.

So I did, but I knew something weird was going on because why would his cell be under the pillow all of a sudden? So I lift up the pillow and see a ring box, opened, with the ring showing.. I freaked out and slammed the pillow back down on top of the box and his cell haha! He crept (is that a word?) into the room and asked me if I found “ it” ? I said ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod (x about a zillion) and he ran over with the ring, got down on his knee and said “ Sabrina, Will you marry me?”

Of course I said yes and started crying (which, by the way, I told myself I was NEVER going to be one of those girls that cried!!!) and we hugged and said some nice things to each other (sorry, personal just for us!) and finally I got to look at the ring.. It was kind of hard to see it through my tears though! I was so so happy! oh, and it is so pretty!

So then we headed off to the restaurant and had a LOVELY dinner!

He was going to wait and ask me at the end of the half marathon but he was way too excited! I am happy he didn’ t wait because now we get the whole weekend to celebrate and have fun! And I love how it was so simple, and so… us! It was so perfect…

Side note: He asked my dad a couple of weeks ago when he had lunch with him and one of the artists… and my dad said something like… If it was not ok then he would NEVER have allowed her to go to Philadelphia (to visit)! And that he loves PB!

So now we are engaged and I am already working on the guest list and meeting with the Westin coordinator tomorrow so that we can get things rolling! I think either July 11th or 25th of next year (2009). I’ll let you
all know for sure next week. I wanted 7/18/2009 which would  have been our exact 2 year anniversary but unfortunately the Westin is already booked that day and I really want to have the reception there as it fits all of the criteria 1. in Providence 2. a hotel since lots of people are coming from Philly 3. has the capacity for our guest list and 4. is pretty!!!!

Oh and in case you were going to ask… I AM GOING TO MOVE TO PHILADELPHIA! You are all going to have to come and visit! I am not going to move until we get married but I am so excited!!!

I can’ t wait to be married and I can’ t believe I can now say “ ohhh, yes, my fianceeeeee” and soon enough HUSBAND! I found the right man, and I am so excited we are starting our life together!

(And just for fun, here are some photos from our July 25, 2009 wedding!)

J’s Everyday Fashion

Hi everyone! I’m J and I blog at J’s Everyday Fashion. I’m so honored to be doing a guest post today for And Her Little Dog Too. I love how down-to-earth Leslie is, and I love the reference to the Wizard of Oz because I grew up in Kansas!

My blog, J’s Everyday Fashion, is a how-to blog that teaches women to re-create the looks we see on celebrities and in magazines, how to stay fashionable on a budget, and how to re-work items in your closet. You can think of it as a fashion magazine full to tips and tricks, with pictures of my personal style as illustrations! Today I’m sharing a couple examples of the daily looks I post.

The first example is an outfit that was inspired by an Anthropologie catalog:

Anthropologie 

Inspiration photo: Anthropologie
Cardigan: H&M, $18
Shirt: Forever 21, $22
Necklace: Forever 21, $8
Belt: American Eagle, $15
Pants: Banana Republic, $14
Shoes: Bandolino/TJ Maxx, $25

The second example is a look I created based on a magazine layout from InStyle magazine:

InStyle layout

Inspiration photo: InStyle magazine
Sweater: Gap, $20
Shirt: H&M, $13
Pants: Gap, $15
Brooch: Banana Republic, $15
Shoes: Endless.com/Restricted, $39
Purse: Juicy Couture
Watch: Michael Kors, Christmas present
Scarf: The Vintage Scarf, $20

The last example is a celebrity look I re-created for a night out:

Rockn Red

Inspiration photo: FabSugar.com
Faux leather jacket: Forever 21, $40
Dress: Forever 21, $30
Tights: Hue/TJ Maxx, $6
Boots: Cynthia Rowley/TJ Maxx, $85
Earrings: Urban Outfitters, $5

Leslie, thanks again for letting me guest blog today. A huge congrats to you on your wedding and honeymoon!

And to everyone reading – I hope you will come visit me at J’s Everyday Fashion! – J.

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