Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Cullen Wedding!

Last weekend one of my best friends from college married her best friend, and I couldn't be happier for them!  The wedding was absolutely perfect!  The girls started primping at 7:30 am, with a hair and makeup team on-site.  We also enjoyed a few mimosas and a homemade breakfast to boot!  At noon the photgrapher arrived to start taking pictures of the little things ( jewelry, shoes, etc) and then the big kahuna- Katie getting into her princess attire!
MOH Tara and K Collins getting all dolled up!
Toby, Tara's pooch, enjoying the royal treatment!
All our dresses!
My Hair- back view
My Hair- Side view
Mimosa?  Why not!
Peace signs and sunglasses- Katie's trademark moves!
Our flowers!  A beautiful mix of hydrangeas, and mini roses
Katie's Hair pre-vail
Katie and Knels
Laughing about how much we're sweating I presume!
After we were all dolled up we headed outside for more photos, and then off to the church.  Slight mishap- the limo to the church was not air conditioned making the mile ride seem longer.  We survived, and the ceremony was gorgeous!  Following the ceremony we headed to Souther's Marsh Golf Course for a night of fun, friends, dinner, drinks and celebrating this lovely couple.  Katie and Andrew also made a slide show of pictures from college that was so fun.  I found myself sitting there and watching the years pass by.  It was a welcomed addition, and I think it made people feel a bit more connected ;)
  While at the wedding Katie and Andrew offered an open bar for beer and wne, as well as two signature drinks: John Daley's and Cape Codder's.  Luckily for me, Katie and I adore Cape Codders, so I tried the John Daley which was simply delish, and I definitely had my fair share! 

Katie and MOH Dany


The Girls!

Me and one of my oldest friends, Katie

Jenn and Jaffe!

Cheers to Mr. and Mrs. Cullen!  I can't wait for them to return for their Mexican fiesta Honeymoon!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Book Review: Distant Shores, By Kristen Hannah

Good Morning!
  It's the absent minded blogger here... As of tomorrow I have officially been out of school for two weeks.  In some ways it feels like I could head back to room 501 tomorrow and in other ways it seems like I have been off for quite some time.  Anyways, throughout the last two weeks I have had a Bachelorette party, and about 14 people either staying, eating or showering with us at the cape to ring in the 4th of July... Lets just say I should have pre-scheduled blog posts!
  Anyways, I did finish a novel I had lying around titled Distant Shores.  My review is below with spoilers ( if you are interested in reading it stop here !)
image source
  Distant Shores, by Kristen Hannah starts off very similar to most of Hannah's novels:  The main character, a woman, who is unhappy in her marriage and yearning for some "else" in her life.  Elizabeth, or Birdie as they call her for sort, resides in a coastal suburban town in Washington state with her husband, a retired professional football player turned sports caster.  Birdie and Jack, her husband, attended the University of Washington and fell in love after a brief stint of "tutoring".  Birdie was a top student, and Jack not so much.  The two of them hit it off big when they were young and married immediately after college.  Jack was moved around a lot per order of his professional football career, leaving Elizabeth's dreams of obtaining a Masters in art a distant memory. Instead, the couple had two children, Stephanie and Jamie, and Birdie busied herself in their lives.  Once in NY Jack was quarterback for the New York Jets and his knee gave out.  This was a career ender for "Jumping Jack", sending him to a rehabilitation center, where he became addicted to prescribed pain medicine.  Jack was at rock bottom, or so he thought and Elizabeth stood by him.  She continued to stand by her man for the next 15 to 20 years as they bounced around to various small news stations because many of the bigger names refused to hire a man previously addicted to narcotics. After a brief visit to her father's southern home for Christmas, a big opportunity for Jack and a sudden tragedy  Elizabeth is forced to reevaluate her life.  She needed a change and with the help of her ailing father, picture perfect stepmother and best friend Meghan she found her niche for sure!
  The novel was not an all time favorite, but it was funny and heart warming at times.  I would recommend this book to someone married with grown children, seeing as though it may touch the "empty nester" a bit more than it did my 27-year-old-self.  All in all, a decent and quick read.  I love  how Hannah portrays and develops her characters; another reason why she's a favorite of mine.
Happy Reading!
Questions of the day:
Read any good books lately?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Survey Time...

It's Survey Time!  Surveys always remind of those .. who do you like email chains that would be sent around when I was in middle school.  You would take them, print them and show them off.  Not exactly normal, but hey who was at age 13?  This is a fitness survey.  It is FOR FUN and to prove that fitness and health means different things to different people.  The answers below are my honest opinions.  Feel free to respond in the comment section.  ps... this  survey was originally found on Julie's Blog (pbfingers.com) and since I wrote this it appeared again on Tina's Blog (carrotsncake.com).  Read.... respond in the comment section and enjoy!

1. What did you eat for breakfast?
This morning I had a multi-grain english muffin with peanut butter and sliced bananas and a homemade iced coffee that I didn't finish.  I was starving because I worked last night at the restaurant.

2. How much water do you drink a day? I make a conscious effort to fill my Camelbak four times a day (24 ounces x 4).  On days I practice Bikram, I shoot for 5 or more refills.

3. What is your current favorite workout? Long, short, fast or slow runs and Bikram yoga

4. How many calories do you eat a day? I have no idea.... I assume a lot?  I seem to eat frequently.

5. What are your favorite healthy snacks? nuts, Greek yogurt, nut butter, fruits, veggies smoothies, hummus, cheese

6. What do you usually eat for lunch? depends.. if I am at school I eat leftovers, a salad or low sodium lunch meat rolled up or on flax bread.  Since I'm off for the summer, I eat whatever I'd like!  Today I had an all white meat chicken burger with some strawberries and kettle cooked chips

7. What is your favorite body part to strength train?
.Abs and back... but it is so worth it for posture purposes

8. What is your least favorite body part to strength train?  Shoulders.... Mine are already broad and I feel self conscious strengthening them.  Lame I know

9. What are your “bad” food cravings? Ehh all food has some good to it right?  I try not to think about good and bad.  But as far as treats are concerned I love bagels, but I really don't need all the carbs they contain.  I also love big breakfasts like pancakes waffles, donuts oh my!  Lastly, I am a sucker for ice cream and birthday cake ;)

10. Do you take vitamins or supplements? I take a daily vitamin

11. How often do you eat out? once or twice a week. 

12. Do you eat fast food? I adore fast food, but I rarely get it.  But I do eat pizza more often so I guess this is a yes

13. Who is your biggest supporter? Geez this is tough.  Mark and my Mom probably.  My mom supports me with anything and everything.  Mark knows that exercise helps me stay focused and  less anxious, so he is a big supporter or me getting out there.
My biggest supporters enjoying cocktails in Fort Lauderdale!

14. Do you have a gym membership? Yes.. I have a cheap membership for when the weather is bad.  I also have a Bikram and Power yoga punch card.

15. How many hours of sleep do you get a night? 8... I got to bed early and wake up early.  #dogproblems
"Hello.. Remember me?  I'm hungry!!!"

16. Do you have a “cheat”day? gosh no... 

17. Do you drink alcohol? yes

18. Do you have a workout buddy? I prefer to workout alone, but I workout with Tuck and Mark a lot by default!

19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?  I feel I ate too much for the majority of my life.  I feel better and my digestion is better now that I eat more balanced and try to avoid over eating.

20. What was the last healthy thing you did? Well, I slept for a full eight hours last night, have had a lot of water this morning, walked 3 miles with Tucker and  if  the downpours stop I will head out for a run up the coastline.  If not, I'll be at 5pm Bikram !

Question of the day:
  Pick one or two and fire away!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Army Wives Obsession...

 The Thursday before Memorial Day Weekend I had strep throat and stayed home from school.   I recovered quickly with the aide of a Z pak, however  I started watching Army Wives via Xfinity Steampix while home.  Lets just say this was a BAD plan!  I have been beyond obsessed with the series ever since!  In fact, when we decided to get Internet at the cape cottage, we discovered it was cheaper to "bundle" the two services together (cable and Internet).  Comcast was also running a special for Streampix Free for 3 Months!  Of course I signed up.  Just what I need, to sit around inside while on beautiful Cape Cod!
Some of the original cast...
image source
Army Wives Season 1 Cast Promo Photos
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  For those unfamiliar with the Army Wives series, it essentially follows five or 6 friends, depending on the season, and all that happens between them and their significant others.  They live in Fort Marshall, a fictional Army fort in North Carolina.  The husbands and life partners of the featured five are often deployed, and the wives and husbands depend on one another for support, companionship and assurance that their loved ones will return.  Each character is so different, and I just adore the way they connect with one another.
  My favorite for  the first six seasons ( yes, I watched all six) is Roxy LeBlanc.  Roxy was a single mother tending bar in Alabama when she met Trevor, while he was away on leave.  After a short four days, Trevor proposed and they moved to Fort Marshall.  Roxy is a true spitfire, both with how she dresses and what she says.  In fact, in one of the first episodes she tried to get a stain out of her dress in the bathroom of an Army Ball.  She is half naked at the bathroom sink in front of two officer's wives!  She is humble, strong and kind.  I also admire that even though most of the featured women don't work, she continues to tend bar and then buy her own bar .
Army Wives Season 1 Cast Promo Photos
image source
  Another favorite character is Denise Sherwood, a nurse and Mother of two.  Denise is married to a stereotypical Army Gruff,  and they face their differences and family sadness.  Denise really grew on me as the seasons progressed.  She is kind, gorgeous and smart.  I also adore her fashion, or at least what she wears on the show.
  As you can see I am a bit OBSESSED with the show!  I am at a turning point now because Streampix offers seasons 1-6, but I can't seem to find the beginning of season seven anywhere!  I will continue my search on demand this evening, but I will be quite sad If I have to wait all summer!

If you are looking for a great new show, check it out!
Ps.. Mark loved it too:)

Question of the day:
  What TV shows are you really "into" right now?

Chloe & Isabel Pop-up Shop

I have great news....especially if you have some big events this upcoming summer!

I am running a Chloe and Isabel Online  Pop-Up Shop and you can join!
  My oldest friend, Lauren Goodman, recently became a Chloe and Isabel merchandiser and the company is beyond AWESOME!  Since their start in 2011, Chloe and Isabel has received many awards from Business Insider such as, best start up for 2011 and 4th most innovative company in New York City, 2012.  The have also been featured in almost every fashion magazine and on gilt.com.  Although these accolades are fantastic, the reason I adore this company is because all their jewelry pieces are handcrafted, nickel free, lead safe and feature a lifetime guarantee!  Seeing as though I break EVERYTHING, this lifetime guarantee business is ESSENTIAL!
  Anyways, the Pop-Up Shop runs until Monday 6/24.  C&I offers a flat rate of $5.95 for all orders under $100, and FREE SHIPPING for all offers over $100.  They are also offering a special 15% off all orders of $125 or more until June 24th!  If interested in participating, comment below or send me an email at jeanegasson@gmail.com and I will invite you :)

Wondering about Chloe and Isabel?
 Click the link below and explore what they have to offer.
Chloe and Isabel

"Happy Girls are the prettiest"~Audrey Hepburn
Have a great day,

Thursday, June 20, 2013

It's the final countdown....

 These are the final, bittersweet days all teachers can relate to.  I say "bittersweet" with caution, seeing that it is mostly sweet;  but a bitter road to get there!  This year my district, as well as many others in the Northeast had to take many snow/ storm days to accommodate snow removal, power outages and hurricane Sandy.  This means our slotted last day, Wednesday, June, 19th, was moved to Wednesday,  June 26th to make up the time.  It is the law that we need to be in school for 180 days, but lets just say these last few days are TORTURE for all involved!
  Regardless of the road to get there, I am VERY excited for summer, and the well-awaited time beyond the classroom.  I look forward to summer to establish my own routine and hone in on my workouts.  I am one of those people who prefer morning workouts, but my 7-2:30 schedule does not permit this from September to June.  Now that summer is here,  my schedule is MUCH more flexible, and I look forward to incorporating more of a variety and more time to my workout regime.

A few things to look forward to....

Bikram Yoga Falmouth:
  I had never taken a yoga class as of last June, nor had I ever heard of Bikram Yoga.  A friend of mine fell in love with a new studio in town, Bikram Yoga Falmouth.  To top it off, they were offering a resident and new client special, making this a very affordable habit ( or in my case addiction!).  I started and was instantly hooked!  In fact, I was often choosing to attend a Bikram class over going for a run, and  I adore morning summer runs!  I bought an unlimited month-long pass and used is almost daily.  I love the determination it takes to make it through the class, the mindfulness needed to achieve some of the poses and the euphoric feeling once the well-earned savasana comes my way!  Although I had a great experience at Bikram Yoga Falmouth, I did not have the same experience at a studio closer to my winter home.  I went a few times, and quickly realized  it wasn't for me.  I recently bought a ten class card to BYF to use over the last few weeks of school.  I was instantly drawn back in.  Although I am rusty at most of the 26 positions, I am eager to improve. Bikram is a mind game for me, similar to running.  I need to work on my own athletic confidence, and I think this is the perfect place!

  Stand up paddle boarding is something Mark and I have been very interested in, since we saw it while traveling in the BVI.  For those of you who have never seen it, it is essentially a long board that you stand on with a paddle.  Stand up Paddle Boarding or SUP requires balance, core strength and muscular legs; making it an excellent workout!  It is also fun and cool on a hot day.  Last year Mark bought me an inflatable board to practice on.  I am sure it is not the "best of the best", but it is great for learning.  It is also lightweight so I can easily carry it down to the beach by myself.  This week I bought a living social deal to take a lesson in Buttermilk Bay (Bourne, Ma), to ensure my technique is correct before I start practicing on my own.  I am looking forward to a new athletic hobby, and perhaps even something Mark and I could do together.
Stand up Paddle Boarding in Oak Bluffs!

I never realized I was so color coordinated!

Training for the Falmouth Road Race:
  This is the first year I am running the Falmouth Road Race as "myself" in a really long time.  Yes I will admit I have broken the rules in past years and run as an "alias", but this year I am in!  For those not familiar with the race, it is a seven mile run that follows the coastline from Woods Hole to Falmouth Heights.  The race is crowded and hot, but attracts QUITE the crowd!  It is a family tradition for many people to watch the runners, barbecue, drink and cheer even if they do not have anyone they know running!  The streets are closed for the majority of the morning, and the seven mile costal jaunt attracts over 10,000 runners.  In order to organize the runners thought the narrow roads, especially in Woods Hole, they separate you into corrals and stagger the start time.  The wheelchair and elite runners go first, and then they sort of organize the rest of us accordingly.  I think coral two may be by time, but after that  it may just be by signup time.

Did I mention it was "wet"???

 Mark and I were in coral five last year, the second to group to start.  We crossed the starting line with almost 19 minutes already on the clock!  The race was wet (it had rained that morning), and crowded, but we made decent time.  We ran it in 1 hr and 6 minutes. This past fall we ran the same route in the Falmouth in the Fall Race in 59:58.  I would like to run closer to an hour this summer, so I am excited to start training on the actual route.

Hope you all stay cool today!
(Disclaimer****  These thoughts are my own.  I was not paid by any of the above companies to write this post)

Question of the day:  What exercise plans do you have for this summer?

Websites you may be interested in:
Bikram Yoga Falmouth's Webpage
The Falmouth Road Race Webpage

Friday, June 7, 2013

Dunkin’ toasts National Donut Day

 For those of you who know me... Donuts are my ultimate weakness.  I have loved them to the core (haha) since I was a little girl, and I fight the urge to buy one whenever I am at a coffee shop. I celebrated in style today with a butter crunch donut.  It wasn't as great as usual, so I ate half and threw the rest away.

On the docket for the weekend...
 Tomorrow Mark and I are running in the Flag Day 5K in Falmouth, Ma.  This is a fun, out and back race in Falmouth Heights.  The 3.1 mile jaunt takes you past Falmouth Heights Beach.  This has potential to be very scenic, however tomorrow will be a different story with the predicted rain.  Oh well, the race will still be fun.They also posted the T-shirt design on their website... score!
  Besides the race, I'm sure I will be playing with this sandy mutt  all weekend.  A little rain never slows him down!

On a different note...
  The Bikram Yoga studio I practiced at last summer, Bikram Yoga Falmouth, opened a sister studio for kids and teens.  The studio, Beyond The Asana, focuses on the importance of a positive outlook and gears kids and teens up for positive sports experiences.  I am VERY excited  for this to open, because I feel it could be quite effective.
If interested, the website is as follows: beyondtheasana.org

Sites you may be interested in:
Dunkin’ toasts National Donut Day