Wednesday, April 24, 2013


So we all know I'm a blog-stalker. I follow a ton of sweet ladies and their daily posts because they are super down-to-earth, fashionable and mostly because they're full of GREAT ideas on which I just can't wait to put my own twist.

Steph, my-fave-photographer-ever-of-all-time, over at Saltwater Studios posted this awesome little idea the other day on her blog and I was so excited that she did because I NEVER would have thought of it on my own :)

I'm new to android/iPhones for my own personal use (had my good ole blackberry up til last week) and I've gotta say, the first app I downloaded was Instagram. I'm so hooked! I loveeee it!


So I went ahead today and added this page to our wedding website ;) I thought that Steph was a genius for posting her hashtag early on in her engagement! What a great move so that all your friends can use it for all the events surrounding the wedding.

We're planning on an engagement/housewarming/beerolympics party as soon as our house is cleaned up and ready for company and then there's the shower and bachelor/ette parites (although maybe some of those pictures should NOT be shared) and the rehearsal and the wedding itself! I am soooo pumped that everyone will be able to tag their pictures and share with all of us :)

(the soon-to-be)#mrandmrsdonoghue

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Silver Linings....

My fiance is spectacular. He reposted this image above on my facebook page this morning from RunUMother.

It brought tears to my eyes. All my life, I never thought I'd ever be able to run a marathon... I was not a runner. Never had been (other than a brief few years in grade school where I was better at shot put than anything else). My sister - she was the runner - the cross country record setter. But then one day, 2 years ago, I started running. I ran every day.

When I started I couldn't even run 1 mile. I walked some and I set a goal to do 3 miles a day... just get in the distance and run as much as I could. Walk/Run/Walk/Jog/Die a little/Walk/Jog/Sprint home at the very end... I was able to run 1 mile, then 2, then 3. I was a runner. Not a great one, but I got a little better at it every day. I remembered things my sister taught me and used them like a mantra. When I got weary, I'd think to myself "I can do this. I can do this", sometimes I'd even say it out loud in tune with my breathing. In through your nose, out through your mouth.... I can do this.... elbows in, punch punch.... let your arms help your momentum.... I can do this... knees up... roll through your toes...I loved every second of it.When I lost motivation, I'd tell myself I just needed to get out a 1/2 hour to think. Just do 1 mile, and once I was out there, just me and the pavement, I'd make it at least 3 miles before heading home. Some days I was fast, some days I was slow. It didn't matter because I was doing it.

I ran my first 5k, 5 miler, The Broad Street Run, and a 1/2 marathon. I was the me-time, to the head clearing, to the thrill of pushing myself just a little further, then just a little faster... I raced other people, I played games my sister taught me like find a person ahead of you and catch up to them. If  I crossed paths with someone running my route, I'd change directions and try to beat them back to that point. I seriously have enjoyed every second and every step of every run I've ever taken. I know I am so lucky that I love it so much because I know so many people who absolutely hate running.

I'm not a great runner, but I'm a runner. I haven't run a marathon yet but I would like to some day. I dream about qualifying for Boston. When Jay and I were in Boston last spring, we walked down Boyleston St. to dinner one night and we talked about how fun it would be if we had come a week later so that we could watch the Marathon. We chatted with a few people who were in town for the race, we daydreamed about how awesome it would be if we could run it too.

Today I find myself thankful that I didn't qualify but hurting for those who were there. I'm thankful to be part of such a wonderful group of amazing people. The people who run toward the bombs to help instead of away to save themselves. The finishers who gave away their medals to others who didn't get to cross the finish line. These are AMAZING people! They are what 99.9% of us strive to be good. We want to be "the Helpers", we want to show how strong we are when we're struck in a moment of weakness. When our vulnerability is attacked by the malignant few, we want to be the light in the darkness.

Read about Laura Wellington's story that she shared on Facebook below.... 

As some of you know, I was 1/2 mile from the finish line when the explosion went off. I had no idea what was going on until I finally stopped and asked someone. Knowing that my family was at the finish line waiting for me, I started panicking, trying to call them. Diverted away from the finish line, I started walking down Mass Ave towards Symphony Hall still not knowing where my family was. Right before the intersection of Huntington, I was able to get in touch with Bryan and found out he was with my family and they were safe. I was just so happy to hear his voice that I sat down and started crying. Just couldn't hold it back. At that moment, a couple walking by stopped. The woman took the space tent off her husband, who had finished the marathon, and wrapped it around me. She asked me if I was okay, if I knew where my family was. I reassured her I knew where they were and I would be ok. The man then asked me if I finished to which I nodded "no." He then proceeded to take the medal off from around his neck and placed it around mine. He told me "you are a finisher in my eyes." I was barely able to choke out a "thank you" between my tears.

Odds are I will never see this couple again, but I'm reaching out with the slim chance that I will be able to express to them just what this gesture meant to me. I was so in need of a familiar face at that point in time. This couple reassured me that even though such a terrible thing had happened, everything was going to be ok.

We are all going to be ok.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Things I Love: Confessions of a chapstick addict

I am a total chap stick addict, have been since my Pink Lemonade and Dr. Pepper LipSmackers days (20+ years!?!?!) that said, I have transitioned through the multitudes. Softlips, Chapstick, Burt's Bees was my fave for about the last 8 years or so until Christmas of 2011... ENTER:

My awesome sister-in-law got me hooked on eos lip balm last year when she tucked a little "summer fruit" sphere inside the cutest vegan leather clutch along with a great Ulta polish in what we like to call Penn State Blue (can you say We ARE?!). I love love love that these little babies last forever and they pretty-much are indestructible! We've all had that moment where we've opened up our glove box or center console to find our chap stick has melted all over the place... and the times where you pull the tube out of your beach bag or your pocket and it looks solid until you place it on your lips and a giant chunk sticks to your mouth... oh yea, that's sexy! I know you'll miss it but you won't get those problems with these!

I love them so much I picked up the 5-pack above on our last Costco run. My wonderful fiance looked at me, confusion in his eyes... "what the hell do you need that many for!?" Of course, I couldn't turn down the good deal, since you practically get 2 free but I did rattle off, "one for my car, for my night stand, for my purse, for your car, and for my desk. DUH!" Not that he really cares but I guess he felt a bit like an enabler since I had a relatively new on in my purse and another half-gone one in my car still.

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I found this little gem. Vaseline, like Johnson's baby lotion, is an old stand by. My mom was never a big user of any crazy beauty products (unless it came from a Mary Kay party... she might have owned/still own everything they ever made). However, I will say, Vaseline is something that we ALWAYS had in our house growing up. My dad was like the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding with this shit, put some Windex vaseline on it and you'll be good to go.
I kind of laughed when my little sister came downtown with a tub of it in her overnight bag a few weeks ago when we were out for her birthday but they may be onto something. This winter had been SOOOOOOO dry that I was seriously considering cutting my nose off. I can't even tell you how badly the inside was cracking and I'm sure spackle-dust wasn't helping my cause. Upon my little sis' suggestion, I stuck a q-tip in the vaseline and then up my nose. AHHHH sweet relief! within 24 hours, I went from feeling like a coke-addict back to a normal person! Walmart to the rescue, I snagged my own tub of wonder-goo on my way home that day and it came with a teeny tiny replica of Lip Therapy. What the hell, I'll give it a whirl! And now... a month later... still obsessed! I slather this shit on in the morning (in the car, at a red light, on my way to work) and then again at night and I'm not kidding when I say I only put any other kind of balm on after I eat. My lips are softer than they've been in years and I feel like I'm no longer a slave to the salve. I have found that I went from applying balm about 20 times a day to maybe 5. It's awesome.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

B-E-A-You-tiful day

Finally got to welcome some gorgeous spring weather in the North East corridor! (about damn time!)

This past week made it official! The first days we didn't have to warm up our cars and debate whether or not we would need our winter coats. It has been GLORIOUS!

Friday night, Jay went to the Home Opener so I was left to my own devices... which went from cleaning/painting to Happy Hour on the deck with Abby which then turned into girl's night at her house watching This is 40. If you haven't seen it, you should, it's hysterical! 3 bottles of wine, a pizza, an order of wings and some Morgan City Fries later... we were full and drunk and put ourselves to bed! Thank god for fun neighbors!!!

The last few days have been jam-packed with Spring fun! Saturday we went to our friends beer-n-bowling baby shower (Jay can no longer complain about co-ed showers, and as a matter of fact, all our friends are rallying to make sure that all baby showers from here on out are done this way!) I ran with my sister both days this weekend at our favorite park and even my 3 year old niece rocked a whole mile! WE COULDN'T BELIEVE HER! She is such a tough little chick and funny... she killed us with her cute lines:

"Momma, will we have time to play over there [on the playground] when we're finished exercising?"
"I'm allergic to flowers, when the air gets up my nose I have to sneeze the allergies out"
"ya know, momma, strollers are for babies, but big girls can run pretty fast. I'm a big girl"
"I don't think you knew that when I'm in the stroller, it makes my energy get really low"
and my favorite - "Aunt Leenie, we're so speedy! Running is great exercise, we're gettin' so healthy"

Ummm... can I tell you how much I love this freaking kid!?!?!?!?!

My honey and I went to see the Phillies play the Mets last night and were gravely disappointed. Fortunately, Citizens Bank Park is among the best beer-stadiums that exist in the and we got to sample a few craft brews while taking in the game.

We also got some amazing sausage, peppers & onions (of course I added mustard and sauerkraut to mine... It's not weird. It's AMAZING!!!)

After that, his best friend/man (one of them) and I took a little adventure to seek out helmet's filled with soft serve ice cream and jimmies (I believe you guys outside our little bubble call them sprinkles) we were quickly convinced that everything tastes better out of a Phillies helmet. It's true. (clearly... since I didn't take a picture of it til it was half gone and melty... and you still wish you had some too!)

Today is another absolutely too-good-for-work day! Counting the minutes to escape and go get our grill on... that last hour was a doooooooozy!

Monday, April 1, 2013

In Progress... house + life

We know I love that "check off the list" feeling... So far, our to-do list looks kind of like this:

  • Paint All Rooms/Hall/Stairwell
    • Ceilings (prime, 2 coats paint)
    • Walls (prime, 2 coats paint)
    • Trim (2 coats paint)
    • Doors (2 coats paint) 
    • Closet Doors (spray: prime, paint) waiting for nicer weather so I can spray outside
  • Stair railings 
  • Chandelier and new lighting for stairwell/hallway
  • Carpet in process :)
    • bedrooms
    • hall 
    • steps
  •  New hardware on all doors
    • door knobs
    • hinges
    • door stops
  • New Closet doors for Master (french-style), move current ones to office and pantry.
  • Add pot lights to all rooms and hall
  • Bathrooms scheduled for May
    • Redo Hall Bath (all white pieces)
      • New vanity
      • New light
      • New medicine cabinets
      • New tub (soaker, deep!)
      • New Toilet
      • New tile floor
      • New faucets (sink, bath, shower)
      • New fan
      • Close up wall between bathroom and vanity/closet area (where new bathroom will go)
      • New fixtures (shower curtain bar, towel bars, toilet paper holder, etc)
      • New shower curtain, towels, accessories
      • New cabinet over toilet
    • Add Master Bath scheduled for May
      • Run plumbing
      • Change drywall to water-resistant
      • New vanity
      • New light
      • New medicine cabinets 
      • New stall shower with glass door
      • New floor
      • New faucets (sink, shower)
      • New fan
      • New cabinet over toilet
      • New towels, accessories.
      • Move existing door to current bathroom to other side to opening between new bathroom and master bedroom.
  • Move furniture upstairs (from basement and storage) after carpet is in
  • Hang plantation blinds, curtain rods, and new curtains in all windows. Planning for this weekend
  • Decorate. Planning for this weekend, but will most likely be an ongoing venture. after carpet is in

  • Paint all ceilings (prime, 2 coats paint) leaky upstairs bathroom has put this on hold for the living/dining room area, otherwise it's all done!
  • Paint all walls (prime, 2 coats paint) see above
  • Paint all trim (2 coats paint) see above
  • Paint doors (prime, 2 coats paint)
  •  New hardware on all doors
    • door knobs 
    • hinges 
    • door stops 
  •  Kitchen
    • Take down vertical blinds (and destroy them!) Lead to pulling off trim and replacing with wider, prettier trim that actually covers the gap from the door to the drywall... always something!
    • Take down ceiling fans (let them go the way of the vertical blinds) New Lights are up! LOVE THEM! Thank you Ikea for our cheap fix to a serious eyesore.
    • Clean and organize cabinets and pantry
    • shelf liner inside cabinets
    • New flooring picked out
    • Add closet doors to pantry (use doors from master bedroom closet)
    • New hinges and hardware on cabinets ordered! Pulls and hinges are in but I have to order new knobs... Anthro kind of screwed me on this one. Still bitter.
    • New stainless appliances (fridge, range, dishwasher, over-range microwave with vent)
    • Bead board back splash
    • New stone counter tops (some light whitish-gray color)
    • New kitchen table & chairs
    • Add moulding around windows and doors + new base boards in process, courtesy of my dear old dad!
    • Add island with 2 stools
    • Decorate: chalk board!! and memo-center stuffins
  •  Living Room
    • sand walls to remove the lovely faux finish (which also is sand) in preparation for painting don't have to! wooooo hooooo!!! one less step!
    • Hang plantation blinds, curtain rods (from Shiela and Jay), and new curtains in all windows.
    • Hang TV above fireplace
    • Decorate: need rug and furniture and lamps... 
  • Dining Room
    • Hang chandelier
    • Recover chairs for dining room set
    • 2 new chairs for table-heads
    • Decorate: Rug, mirror above buffet
  • Powder Room
    • Bead board or board and batten
    • new medicine cabinet/mirror purchased. didn't love it. returned. on the hunt for a new one
    • new flooring 
    • new fixtures (towel rack, toilet paper holder)
    • new lighting - vanity style
    • new fan