Surprise Shower

It has been a truly wonderful week. Let’s go back to Thursday. I went to work in the morning like any other day. I got a little more dressed up than usual for an “office ladies luncheon”. We shut the office down and had a party bus pick all the office  gals up for what turned out to be a surprise bridal shower for me!!!!!!!!! I seriously work with THE best group of women! They are sweet, talented, and amazing! My friend and co-worker (and budding photographer), Lori took the following photos:

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The shower was held at Piquant, a cute little French restaurant in the Hyde Park area of Tampa. We had a set menu of some incredible food.  To sip, there were non alcoholic peach bellinis or mango coladas, I ordered a berry infused unsweet tea.

To eat, we started with a melt in your mouth quiche and salad:

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Followed by a mini chicken salad on croissant with fresh fruit:

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Then came a yummy flatbread with pepperoni:

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Finally, dessert was a blueberry lemon mini cupcake and a mini lemon meringue tart.

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What a wonderful surprise these ladies gave me!!!!

Friday I had busy day at work, but got home early enough to get inspired to make one of our favorites. These lettuce wraps were one of the first dinners I made for Matt and he was crazy about them (perhaps the reason he fell for me 😉

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Served with steamed broccoli and red peppers.

Saturday we had to weddings at Cross Creek Ranch. One at the stable:

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And one at the newly renovated French Country Inn:

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It’s hard to believe only one more wedding to go until the end of the season. We don’t have weddings in the summer, it’s just too hot.

After the set up, I was surprisingly motivated to work out. I lifted some weights and did 23 minutes on the treadmill. I took turns running for 3 minutes, then walking fast on a steep incline for 3 minutes.  I felt great afterwards, and decided on a healthy meal in rather than going out to eat, or picking up take out. (Good choice). I made a tofu mexi tater salad. Which was just a mixture of sautéed peppers, onion, tomatoes, black beans, and tofu, seasoned with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, fresh lime juice, and low-fat sour cream, dumped over half of a baked potato, topped with lettuce, tomato, avocado and hot sauce:

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Today (Sunday), I had the day off, and it was one of those perfect days. I slept in until 9:00, enjoyed a cup of coffee and yogurt with berries and granola:

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I did 3 loads of  laundry and cleaned up the kitchen. I went to the gym for more weights and 30 minutes on the treadmill. Then I had a light lunch, a weird combo that grossed out honey. It was a hard-boiled egg, sliced on a sprouted grain tortilla with spinach and salsa:

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Then I showered and we headed out to some jewelry stores to look at wedding bands, we are getting down to the wire on this one. Other than that big one, we just have little things to take care of, It’s all coming together, VERY FAST!

After shopping, we went to Cooper’s Hawk Winery for a wine tasting and dinner. As part of their wine club, I get 2 free tastings and 2 bottles of wine each month.

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For dinner, we stuck to their “Life Balance” menu. We split the ahi tuna tacos and they were fantastic!!!

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They brought out preztel bread, and I had a nibble.

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For dinner, I had the gairdineira burger and honey had the turkey burger, we split each one:

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I’m trying so hard to be super healthy this last month leading up to the wedding. It will be here before I know it. I’m so excited, on one hand, I can’t wait, on the other, I want time to slow down a little because the anticipation is fun and I know it will go by all to fast.

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Out of the Dark, Into the Light

I’m so lucky to wake up most mornings with a positive outlook on my day. I love what I do for a living. I have passion for life. I’m blessed to have found my soul mate that I will soon be marrying! I have an amazing, supportive family, and a few close friends that inspire me.

But… it hasn’t always been that way. I have lived in the shadow of my own dark thoughts. I have battled through depression when I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Even in the darkest hours, there must have been a glimmer of hope. Enough to make me hold onto the faith that life is good. Here on the other side of that darkness, a lesson that stands out is “Faith”.

This word I learned in church and Bible study over 30 years ago took a life lesson to transform from an idea to a reality for me.

To me, “faith” means “knowing”, not just believing. It is knowing something wholeheartedly, that it isn’t a question of “if”, only a question of “when”. My faith is getting stronger every day. The more faith I have, the more I see its positive results, which reinforces that faith works. It’s a snowball effect. What does faith mean to you?

How could I not love what I do? look at this beautiful wedding!

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My breakfasts lately have been looking a lot like this:

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Raspberries, blueberries, pineapple, chia seeds, Greek yogurt and granola. Unless I work early, then I grab a granola bar and banana and eat it in the car.

Lunches are either salads, or leftovers, or a wrap of some sort:

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I have also been trying to put snacks back into habit. my body does best when I eat something every 3-4 hours. A handful of nuts, fruit and cottage cheese, carrots with ranch, 100-200 calories does the trick:

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Weekend dinner’s are still mostly eaten out. This past weekend I tried Korean food for my first time. we ordered veggie dumplings to start, and the came out with a variety of sides from kimchi, to pickled veggies and a bunch of other things i didn’t know what they were.

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I ordered the bibimbop which was a bowl of rice with veggies, ground beef and an egg on top. Honey got the bbq chicken:

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Meh, just okay, wasn’t that impressed.

Exercise has been confined mostly to the gym. I have been lifting,running on the treadmill, and riding the stationary bike. I haven’t been there as much as I would like, but now with about a month before the wedding, I plan to kick it in high gear. I don’t want to lose any weight, just firm up, especially the arms.  I know this month is going to fly by! I have a lot of details and appointments to take care of.  The good news is that this month, I should start transforming into a bride 🙂 I have been sporting some serious dark roots because I wanted to wait until I got closer to get highlights. I have been growing out the brows to get a nice wax. I have been growing out my nails without polish to get them ready for the big day. In other words, I’m looking a little shabby;) But not for long 🙂

Excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!