My Best Friend’s Wedding {Ceremony & Reception}

For those of you just stopping by, be sure to check out Part 1 of My Best Friend’s Wedding to see pictures from the Rehearsal and Wedding Prep!

Today I’m going to share with y’all my pictures and recap from the Ceremony and Reception! No need for chit chat, let’s get straight to it!

Ceremony:

Again, the church is so beautiful (it was actually remodeled just a few years ago!) and the perfect place for a wonderful couple to become one. Don’t you just love her arrangements? They are the white flowers on the side with the pussy willow!

Ms. Kathy {Nicole’s mom} being seated by Cody {Nicole’s cousin}

I love this picture of Nicole and Cliff’s moms {Kathy and Monica} lighting the unity side candles. Such a beautiful moment. Props to the hubs for capturing this one!

Junior bridesmaids. The flower girls were wearing similar dresses which are so cute and age appropriate!
Walking down the aisle with Cliff’s brother! {Kind of an awkward angle}

Here comes the bride!
It’s such a shame that this picture is dark and blurry. But…I really do think it looks kind of neat!

Walking down the aisle with her dad {Scott – left} and step-dad {Jan – right}.
I love that she was able to have two incredible men in her life to share this moment with her 🙂

Again, kind of blurry, but still capturing all the right moments. This is when Nicole and Cliff were exchanging their rings with the MOH’s and Best Man by their side.

They did it! Officially Mr. and Mrs. Clifton Valdez!

Clearly I am getting my sassy picture taking face ready!

Wedding party! Oh and it was quite the party.

This girl is clearly having a good time!

Love this picture. I can’t wait to see the one from the photographer!
All in all, the ceremony was beautiful. The Priest was a family friend of the Valdez’s and the Deacon that did the sermon was actually Cliff’s uncle! It add the perfect amount of personalization and love to the Catholic Mass.

Reception:



Everyone knows that one of the best things about a wedding is the cake. These cakes were phenomenal! The brides cake {left} was a towering silver cake with intricate piping and draping and the groom’s cake {right} was decorated featuring Cliff’s favorite sports team!

Name cards for seating! I helped put these together 🙂 

Really dark, but this is when the Best Man and I were introduced. We all had mini intros like we were players on the Rockets – I’m a 5’6″ starting guard. Then it went into a little blip about ourselves!

Being introduced for the first time as husband and wife!

 Right: Katrina and I – figured we should get another picture with our beautiful bouquets!
Left: How could I not get a picture with my sweet hubby?
Below are pictures that the hubs took while the photographers were taking group shots!

Me and Ms. Kathy 🙂

Speech time! Jan started off strong and was a tough act to follow.

Can you tell I like the microphone? I had my speech in bullet points, but clearly didn’t use it. I used it at one point to read the name of a person I was quoting…that’s about it. What was the quote you ask?
“Love one another and you will be happy. It’s as simple and difficult as that.” – Michael Leunig
I find that quote so very, very true. It seemed to be the best and most simplistic words of advice I could offer the newlyweds! Well that and about 5 minutes of me rambling. Did I mention that I love the microphone?
Cake cutting! They were sweet and barely got it on one another!

All of the dancing pics were taken on my iPhone. My camera died after the speeches! Sad day, but I’m sure the photographers were able to capture some perfect moments that I am beyond thrilled to see!

After the formal dances, I pretty much danced the night away. The reception was such a fun party and it was great to see how many people came out to celebrate and show their love for Nicole and Cliff!

I hope y’all enjoyed part two of Nicole and Cliff’s wedding recap! Don’t forget to take a peak at part 1 if you haven’t already!Now it’s time for me to get back to work 🙂 
See y’all tomorrow!

Until next time…
With love and God bless,
 

My Best Friend’s Wedding {Rehearsal & Prep}

After uploading all the pictures from Nicole and Cliff’s wedding to my computer, I decided to break out my recap into 2 posts 🙂 First up is the Rehearsal and Wedding Prep!

Rehearsal:

In honor of What I Wore Wednesday, here was my rehearsal dinner outfit!
Dress: Zara – Shoes: Target – Watch: Fossil – Clutch (hiding): Coach
The ceremony was held at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Sugar Land. Isn’t it stunning?

Love our bridesmaids gifts: Tory Burch flip flops! You really can’t go wrong with Tory 🙂

My last picture of the bride and groom before they became man and wife!

Of course I had to steal a moment with both of them 🙂 Some background:
I’ve known Nicole since we were in 8th grade. We became inseparable in 9th. Not only are we great friends, but we were also roommates our first 2 years at Texas A&M. It’s safe to say that we know a little bit about each other!
I met Cliff at the very beginning of our freshman year of college. We started hanging out with him every so often (Nicole has actually known him since 2nd grade!) Soon it was more and more. Sophomore year it was normal seeing him at the house, but they were just friends. Luckily by our senior year, they both realized that they were more than friends and that they belonged together.
A marriage based on friendship and love will last a lifetime. I am so happy for Nicole and Cliff and they’re new adventures in life together!
With my second family 🙂

We had a wonderful time celebrating Nicole & Cliff’s last night of being “single”!!!
Wedding Prep:
Wedding Day – May 26, 2012

A little pre-wedding champagne for the bride-to-be!

Nicole’s dress was gorgeous. Gorgeous actually doesn’t even begin to describe its beauty. The entire dress was beaded from bust to bustle and I will have you know that it was NOT light weight by any means. Now, the dress was beautiful, but I truly believe that the bride made it even more stunning. Who knew that was possible?
Getting Nicole into her dress was not an easy feat. Good thing she had two maid of honors because girlfriend needed two of us 🙂 There was a full corset, zipper, hook and button. The corset was to help keep the dress from slipping due to its weight! 

Nikki with her MOHs – Katrina on the left and I’m on the right!

Ready to get married!

Slipping on Nikki’s garter! Oh la la!
Nicole and all of her maids: Jaci – Erin – Dana – Katrina – Nicole – Amy – Rebekah – Kalli – Kelly
Ready to head to the church!

Our last picture with Nicole before she became a Mrs!
Whew! And to think, there are SO MANY MORE pictures on my computer that I decided not to share 🙂 I took about 200 or so before my camera died. Tomorrow I’ll share pictures from the ceremony and reception! Hope you enjoyed the first batch, so many more to come tomorrow.
Have a great hump day y’all! It’s already Wednesday! Gotta love short weeks 🙂

Until next time…
With love and God bless,
 

Sugar Land Skeeters

Is it Tuesday already? Did the weekend really fly by that fast? What is happening? 
All I can say is…what an amazing weekend. I got to see my best friend get married. I got to lay around the pool all day with my nose in a book. I got to go thrift store and dollar store shopping with my mom and aunt. I got to grill out. I got to watch a minor league baseball game. I got to do so much in so little time. I guess you could say I’m a lucky girl.
All that fun has left me with work to do though. I still need to review and edit all the wedding pics, so a recap on that will come later this week and trust me, you don’t want to miss it! Today I’ll leave you with my Memorial Day picture recap!
Yesterday morning, my mom, aunt and I went out to Goodwill, Big Lots and the awesome 99 cent store. {Yes, I just used the word awesome in front of 99 cent store. It is seriously cool and I came away with a ton of stuff for only $30. That is a lot of stuff when everything is only $1!} I didn’t get any pictures, but the trip was definitely worth noting. Highlight for me: all the discounted gluten free products I found at Big Lots!!!
The rest of the day was filled with this…
and this…
Big thanks to Dad for my margs and delicious food!!!
After our early dinner, my dad, brothers, hubs and I all went to the Sugar Land Skeeters minor league baseball game! My family shares season tickets with a few other families and we had the tickets for Monday nights’ game!
The Sugar Land Skeeters are part of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. They are a minor league with no particular affiliation to a professional team. These players are often picked up during the year or had previously played in the majors.

Here I am posing with Swatson the mosquito. His brother’s name in Moe. I may have waited in line behind a 3 and 5 year old to get this picture. 

Matt – JP – Me- Dad – Ben: I look like a midget (I’m not, I’m 5’6″) compared to these guys…all over 6 feet tall!
We thought about leaving the game during the 8th inning. We were down 4-1 and decided that if the other team scored in the top of the 9th we would leave. They didn’t score so we stayed to see if the Skeeters could be the come back kids. Thank goodness we stayed because they ended up WINNING! WHAT? YES, how awesome is that? The Skeeters won 5-4!

Sometimes it’s just worth staying until the end! The Skeeters game was a great ending to a busy Memorial Day weekend. Come back tomorrow to see pictures from Nicole’s wedding. You won’t be sorry! I think it should win prettiest wedding of the year award…but I may be a bit biased.
Happy Tuesday y’all!

Until next time…
With love and God bless,
 

Happy Memorial Day {We Remember}

Happy Memorial Day y’all! As we spend this day away from work and with our loved ones, don’t forget to take a moment to remember what this day is really all about.
Although no sculptured marble should rise to their memory, nor engraved stone bear record of their deeds, yet will their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored.
 ~Daniel Webster
And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
~Lee Greenwood
Source: google.com via Pennie on Pinterest
I hope everyone has a fun, safe and family filled Memorial Day!

Until next time…
With love and God bless,

{Friday Fancies} Memorial Day Weekend!

Hallelujah happy Friday! Better yet, happy Friday before a long weekend! I’ll whoop to that! For so long, Memorial Day weekend has marked the start of summer. A chance for a mini weekend getaway. A few days at the beach or lounging by the pool, margarita in hand. A family barbecue out back. Time to spend with the family, enjoying our freedom, remembering those who allow us to live freely in this wonderful country we call home.

 This Memorial Day Weekend, I will be spending with one of my very best friends watching her marry the man of her dreams. After that, I will be lounging around my parents pool on Sunday, most likely with a margarita made by Daddy Timmer in hand and hopefully an evening barbecue…what do you say Dad? {I know you’re reading this! :)}

Here’s what I think makes for an amazing Memorial Day outfit!

Memorial Day Weekend

I am loving maxi dresses. I’m tall, so I like to think that I can pull them off. Obviously in order to spend the day outside, you need all of your essentials, fabulous beach tote, sunscreen, floppy hat, sunglasses, lip balm, etc.

I’m linking up here!

What is your ideal Memorial Day Weekend outfit? Any exciting plans this weekend? Please share! I love to hear what everyone is doing!

Until next time…
With love and God bless,
 

Do you ever wonder…

…why cops seem to love pulling people over on their morning commutes? Talk about starting off the day just right! {No I didn’t get pulled over, I just notice so many cop cars in the morning!}

…how some people make it through the morning without at least one cup of coffee? It just makes my soul warm and feels like the right way to start the day 🙂

…why come Monday, it seems to take forever to get to Thursday, then next thing you know it’s Sunday evening? I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun! I would just like for it to stick around a bit longer.

…why when you want to be busy at work it’s completely dead and when you want the time to chill it seems like you’re running around like a chicken with your head cut off?

…why the most dramatic/crazy/annoying contestants on the Bachelor/Bachelorette seem to make it so far in the “competition”? Vienna from Jake’s season, Justin from Ali’s, Courtney from Ben’s, and now Kalon from Emily’s…maybe?

…why The Bachelor/Bachelorette is so addicting? Something about that show just pulls me in Every. Single. Season.

…why you always crave the food that you can’t have? Whether it be a diet or allergy, once you’re told you can’t have it, you want it more!

…why small children can be so cute and so dang obnoxious at the same time? Same goes to pups 🙂

…how and why you managed to get to where you are in life?

…how many people sit around wondering the same strange things you are?

Kind of random, but so many thoughts are just rambling around in my head today!

Are you wondering about anything weird today?


I’ll leave you with this…

Do you ever wonder how you can say no to a face like that?

Until next time…
With love and God bless,

A Lovely Pinteresting Wednesday

It’s Wednesday! You know what that means 🙂 Time to focus on all the things I’m loving in this world. Side Note: Obviously, I don’t just love everything. I have my fair share of bad days and grumpy moods, but sometimes, it just takes so much less energy to focus on what you love! So for a few minutes, wipe the frown off your face and think about what in this world makes you smile. Who knows, it could change your whole day!

I’m loving that I’m working from home today which means I’ll get to seem my amazing hubby! Even though I’ll actually be working and on calls, its nice to be near him 🙂


I’m loving that I get to spend this evening with Nicole prepping for last minute wedding details! Only 3 more days until she becomes Mrs. Nicole Valdez!

Fall 2005

Spring 2007

Fall 2008

I’m loving that even though the Houston Marathon isn’t until January, I started a training program that helps me to keep up with maintenance running while I’m not in training!


I’m loving that this weekend is Memorial Day! Not only is it a 3 day weekend, but we also get to show love and support for our Veterans.

I’m loving the sunshine, summertime, pool time, weekend trips and everything about this time of year!


I’m loving all things Pinterest!

Source: 9gag.com via Amy on Pinterest
One of my favorite quotes of all time.
Making this ASAP. I know my family will love it since we’re all obsessed with Puppy Chow 🙂
Peanut butter cups + s’mores = Bliss
Window Frame
Source: houzz.com via Amy on Pinterest
So pretty!
Healthy brownie and peanut butter oat balls – no sugar & no flour!

As always, I’m loving my wonderful husband, sweet puppy, true friends and amazing family. I’m a pretty lucky girl.

Happy hump day y’all! What are you loving today?

I’m linking up here and here!

Until next time…
With love and God bless,

Sunday Funday…more please

I’m just saying, one of my favorite days of the week is Sunday. It can be a day of rest and relaxation or a day to cram everything else you wanted to do during the weekend into about 10 hours of daylight. I chose the latter this weekend!

Brunch…zoo…shopping…dinner

1. Brunch – 2 words: Bottomless Mimosas – brunch restaurants sure do know how to make a girl happy!

Sunday brunch may be my favorite meal of the week. I don’t have “brunch” every week, but when we do go out for it {or even when I cook it!}, it’s always my fave! I had the huevos rancheros made with egg whites. It was delish! I maybe ate half of that mass of food!!!

2. Zoo – I love the zoo. Maybe a little too much for a woman in her mid-20’s, but I don’t care. I have a zoo membership. This means that the hubs and I can go to the zoo whenever and it’s already paid for! The membership actually pays off in only two visits. I think it’s a fabulous deal considering it’s only 5 minutes away from us.

I love the monkeys! They weren’t out when we came back in February, so I was excited to see them up and moving around this weekend. I liked these guys that were picking at each other 🙂

Elephants and giraffes may be my absolute favorite. 

This guy either wanted to eat me or be my best friend. I’m hoping its the BFF choice!

This is the most awesome shirt that I saw at the zoo. Why I did not purchase it is completely beyond me. If it’s still there next time I go, you better believe that I will own it. Who cares that it’s a youth shirt. Lucky for me I can still fit in a youth large 🙂

3. Shopping – after the zoo we went straight to the Houston Galleria to do one of my favorite things…spend money!!! I mean let’s be honest, what girl doesn’t enjoy spending money? Luckily, I spent my money on some pretty good buys! First and foremost, I needed to buy my shoes for Nicole’s wedding which happens to be this coming Saturday! Don’t worry, I had backups, but I wanted something a little bit more comfortable. You’ll get a peak at those babies come next week!

Next I ended up finding some super cute and inexpensive steals from a store called Cotton On. This is an Australian based store with cute Aussie/Euro looks for great prices {similar to Forever 21}. I ended up walking away with a sheer collared sleeveless tops {can be used for work or play!}, a black high-low dress, pink denim shorts and a belt all for $80…including tax! Not too shabby if you ask me!

I also managed to be a good sister and I picked a little something up for my brother, Ben. In the not so great sister sense, I kind of owe him a birthday present that is now nearly a half birthday present. Ooops! The boy is so hard to shop for. Hopefully he’ll love what I got him though!

4. Dinner Just look at those colors!

There’s a local place called Barnaby’s just down the street from us. We went there so. many. times. right after we moved into the area. It was close and there was a great variety, but it got old. It had been months since we stopped by Barnaby’s, so it was quite the treat. We started with a bottle of Chardonnay and sweet potato fries and as you can see, I had the salmon. I’m currently drooling thinking about the yummy leftovers I’ll be eating for dinner tonight! As you can see above, this is clearly two meals!

Wonderful end to a great weekend. How do you like to spend your Sundays? Cramming in everything you wish you had more time for or just relaxing? It honestly just depends on the weekend and time of year for me, but I am so glad we ran around town this Sunday! So. Much. Fun!

Until next time…
With love and God bless,

MMM: Burn more calories after you workout!

Happy Monday y’all! Today’s edition on Making Monday’s Motivational is all about High Intensity Interval Training {HIIT}. Does the high intensity part freak you out a bit? Well, don’t let it! I’m telling you, adding in some HIIT workouts to your weekly routine will really help you to improve your fitness and make you feel good about yourself!

Last Week’s Workouts
Monday: 45 minutes of Dance Central; Core Workout
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: 5 mile run {8:30 pace}
Thursday: 40 minute power walk with the pup
Friday: 3.25 mile run {8:29 pace}
Saturday: 3.5 mile run {8:32 pace}
Sunday: Walked around the zoo and Galleria; 40 minutes Dance Central

Now let’s talk about HIIT. HIIT can also be called sprint training. It is an exercise that alternates short periods of intense anaerobic exercise (sprinting) followed by a less intense recovery period. HIIT workouts are recommended to be from 10-30 minutes. Wanna know the best thing about intervals? Due to the intensity of the workout, you end up burning more calories post workout! The harder you work during your HIIT workout, the more it will pay off afterwards. It really doesn’t get much better than that. HIIT conditions both your anaerobic and aerobic energy systems. The higher intensity increases your metabolism which in turn, takes it longer to return to its original starting point. This increased length of recovery time {which equals increased time at a higher metabolic rate}, in turn, helps your body burn more calories.

Not a runner? HIIT workouts don’t have to be sprinting and jogging! All you need is a cardio exercise that you can do at two intensity levels! Some examples: cycling {road or stationary}, elliptical, stair stepper {may be harder and slightly more dangerous at higher speeds!}, rowing machine. Below are several different options of intervals for you to try!

{Level is on a scale of effort from 1-10, 1 being lowest – slow, easy walking; 10 being highest – fastest possible sprint for your body}

Sprint hard for 60 seconds (Level 7-8)
Recovery jog for 60-90 seconds (Level 3-4)
Repeat roughly 10 times for a 20 minute workout.

Sprint hard for 90 seconds (Level 7-8)
Recovery jog for 2 minutes (Level 3-4)
Repeat 5 times for a 17 minute workout.

Sprint your hardest for 10 seconds (Level 10)
Recover for 20 seconds at an easy speed (Level 4)
Repeat intervals for 10-20 minutes

Sprint for 2 minutes (Level 8)
Recover for 2 minutes (Level 5)
Repeat 10-15 times for a 20-30 minute workout

Increase repetition to lengthen workout time. Try to keep it around 30 minutes or less depending on the intensity

These are just a few examples of intervals you can perform. Feel free to change it up or shoot me an e-mail if you want some other options!

I’ll leave you with my new favorite motivation quote I recently found on Pinterest:

Happy Monday!

Until next time…
With love and God bless,

Friday’s Letters

via
Dear Friday, Thanks for showing up. I love you all year round, but I really love you during the sweet summertime! Dear Husband, I love you with all my heart no matter what. Marriage is a beautiful and funny thing. Beautiful in that we are two people sharing in one life and funny in that little things that at first feel like they’re tearing us apart can bring us together, closer. Dear work, why is it that some days you leave me feeling worthless with nothing to do and then you send a dump truck after me, so that I’m swimming in to dos and follow ups? Dear Weekend, can you come quickly? These next 8 hours can zoom by. I won’t mind. Then we can slow down time for the next 48 hours or so. What do you say? Dear Sweet Tooth, please go away. Don’t you know it’s swim suit season? Dear Beach, I wish I was hanging out with you again this weekend! I’ll find a way to get back to you soon! Dear Nicole, Happy graduation from Law School weekend! I am so proud of you and your accomplishments. Soon I will be able to tell everyone that one of my best friends is a lawyer. Dear Readers, Thanks for hanging out with me every day. I appreciate y’all and hope your weekend is fabulouso! Dear Life, You’re pretty awesome. Just keep on rollin’, I like you the way you are 🙂
Linking up with Ashley!

Until next time…
With love and God bless,