summer staycation

first things first…although i really love the picture of brian and i tailgating at an IU game, i felt it was finally time to update my header photo

i chose one of my favorite from our engagement session, because 1) we are wearing matching IU jerseys, so it still fits my theme and 2) i think it really showcases our personalities and love for each other

i’m still waiting to order our save the dates before i post all of our engagement pics, but i promise i will share them soon

anywho, the last 4 days have been so relaxing and fun, i’m sad to return to the real world tomorrow :( we were thinking of going to cincinnati for a long weekend and to see some reds games, but it was supposed to rain so we decided not to. of course it was beautiful all weekend! murphy’s law

last week, i opted out of teaching cheer camp, and worked at the hospital instead. brian was out of town monday and tuesday, so i went to work out with my mom

monday we did strength training focusing on “pushing” muscles, and yes i took a shameless gym selfie, because i am very proud of myself for continuing to work out, eat right, and overall maintain a healthier lifestyle

wpid-wp-1436136496443.jpgmy mom is pretty ripped too!

wpid-wp-1436143748473.jpgafterwards my parents let me stay for dinner…filet, roasted potatoes, and salad…yummy!

and i got to see my favorite girl, so that’s always a plus!

wpid-wp-1436143760577.jpgthen on tuesday mom and i went to tabata, which by definition means:  high intensity interval training approach a try to burn more fat in less time

yikes! i was pooped!

wpid-wp-1436142464200.jpgbrian came home wednesday night, and i can’t really remember what we did

however, on thursday we went to lunch at maggiano’s, because i had a gift card…it was DELICIOUS!! the calamari and creme brulee were amazing! then we went shopping to get some stuff we needed for a wedding coming up at the end of this month. and finally we went on a bike ride together

wpid-wp-1436136424862.jpgfriday, some friends from crawfordsville came to visit. we took them to mass ave downtown for a little bit of eating and shopping. we went to bru burger, and tried subzero ice cream for the first time. that is where they take fresh cream, mix in your flavor and toppings, and flash freeze it with liquid nitrogen! it was on shark tank i guess. we had heard it was good from some other friends of ours, but i wasn’t a huge fan.

on saturday (the 4th of july) we went on another bike ride, and broke our personal record for distance. we rode 13 miles! it was hot as all get out too and i was so ready to be done lol. my next goal is a 15 mile ride. we have really been racking up the miles though, so i am happy about that.

then we went to our friends’ house for a get together. we got to meet their baby boy, trevor, and he is so stinking cute! we had some pretty good food, drinks, fun and games.

we spent the night, which worked out in my favor, because this morning i got to get breakfast at the kolache factory! YUM!

when we got home brian went back to sleep and i got a ton of sewing done.

then we finally went to the pool and i got a little bit of a tan. yay!

brian grilled steaks and we just got done watching the soccer game. GO USA!

(i promise i didn’t just eat all weekend, although i did do quite a lot of that, lol)

overall it was a great weekend of food, friends, and fun

i don’t think i have another “vacation” until fall break? sadness!

i hope you all had a safe and eventful 4th as well! :)

c

it’s all happening!

i haven’t blogged in a while, so i will do a quick recap…

summer has been amazing so far! i signed up for fewer hours at work so i could enjoy more time with people i love, doing what i love!

a few weekends ago we went to crawfordsville for the strawberry festival, and i got to meet our friend brandon and rachel’s son, alex. he is a doll baby! so cute!

wpid-wp-1435101498745.jpglook who else i met while out with friends in broadripple…one of my favorite hoosier basketball players, will sheehey! he was so kind, and humored me being a “fan girl,” lol

wpid-wp-1435537037427.jpgbrian and i have been consistently riding our bikes, and i have even gone on some solo trips when he was out of town

wpid-wp-1435101485660.jpgi’m proud to say i am down a few more pounds, and only have about 7 more to go to reach my goal! i’ve even started wearing some of my old college tees. (benefits of being a hoarder!)

wpid-wp-1435539363364.jpg wpid-wp-1435539353529.jpgi have also been going to strength training classes with my mom on saturday mornings. the best part is that afterwards we always stop by the farmers’ market lol. then, when we get back to her house i get to spend some girl time with her and her chickens

wpid-wp-1435101514293.jpgit has all paid off too, because this weekend, i “said yes to the dress!” i have awesome friends/bridesmaids, and was lucky that three of them were able to come with me. the dress is everything i wanted, and i did not want to take it off lol. i felt like a disney princess! of course i spent more than i was wanting to, but i knew it was the one! the best part is, with the style of the dress i mostly just need to focus on my arms and back now to have a rockin bridal body lol.

i’ve also recruited another bridesmaid, katie! so happy she agreed to join the team :) she is married to kelly, one of brian’s good friends and groomsmen. so when i asked her, i joked that there is a pretty cute groomsman that she will get to walk with, lol. cheesy i know, but hey it worked!

katiewedding planning has finally turned from stressful to fun. out of the blue brian even decided to tell me “i think we are going to have a nice wedding,” lol. it’s just all coming together smoothly (knock on wood) and i couldn’t be more excited. we are less than a year away and it’s starting to feel more “real” if that makes sense.

wpid-wp-1435539343104.jpg

(this is an old pic, we are now 363 days away, because next year is a leap year)

working on the guest list tonight, i just realize how truly blessed we are with such amazing friends and family. i think brian’s right…our wedding is going to be pretty awesome! when it’s all said and done, it’s really all about the marriage and not the wedding, but i am still glad we will be able to share our special day and party with some pretty fun folks!

wpid-wp-1435536923291.jpgwe also took our engagement pictures, and have the final edits back, but i am not ready to share those yet. perhaps after we mail out save the dates i will. here’s one we took ourselves just for fun after it was all said and done

wpid-wp-1435537076695.jpgi also decided that after the wedding i am chopping all of my hair off! but i don’t want to pay for extensions, so i guess i have to keep it in the meantime lol

wpid-wp-1435536939643.jpgsuper stoked that brian and i will finally have a 4 day holiday weekend all to ourselves! we are still planning what fun stuff to do, but i’m sure we will make the most of it!

c

school’s out for summer!

well, kind of…

in order to keep my benefits, i still have to work full time…so i will continue to teach swim lessons, lifeguard, and do summer camp as well.

but my hours will be awesome, so i intend to take full advantage of my free afternoons and evenings!

i apologize if you follow me on instagram (missbiro) twitter (miss_biro) or facebook, because my blog posts are probably a big review of the things i share on there

but anywho…

on thursday i had my 6 month check up at the dentist. i’m proud to say in that in my 30 and 1/2 years, i remain cavity free! i had a slight scare involving a blackberry seed though, lol, but i won’t get into that

wpid-wp-1433119267075.jpganother highlight of my week was getting this super cute cincinnati reds hat on clearance for $4 at meijer, lol. i CAN’T WAIT to see them play this summer…i’m starting to realize how much i look forward to their games. perhaps this should be a new tradition? we hope to go 4th of july weekend

wpid-wp-1433119275052.jpgi think it’s also fitting to say that the shirt i am wearing in this picture says “geek,” but i was wise enough to crop that part out lol

i’m also glad to say i “finished” the quilt i intend to bring to our engagement photo shoot next sunday. i still need to bind and wash it, but that shouldn’t take too long (knock on wood). we already tested it out and we can both fit under it. yay!

wpid-wp-1433119282836.jpgon saturday, we had a double date with ashlee and tyler. we got our favorite wings and fries from the ale emporium (after i ran of course) and went to see pitch perfect 2. i LOVED it!

wpid-wp-1433119298347.jpgi’m really starting to notice big changes in my figure, and couldn’t be happier. a lot of people have also been commenting on my weight loss and asking about what i’ve been doing to lose weight, so that brings me a lot of joy as well!

wpid-wp-1433119291229.jpgtoday i cracked the code on iced coffee using the keurig, which will come in handy for a refreshing summer beverage

wpid-wp-1433119305069.jpgand after a week of “bike envy” from brian’s new bike, i got one for myself! it’s supposed to be nice tomorrow (after TONS of rain, and hail damage to the siding on our house, grrrr) so i’m super excited to take it for a test ride, and to spend time exercising with brian

wpid-wp-1433119311234.jpgon a side note, i decided to watch the 80’s movie “the heathers,” and i have to say i really regret that decision, lol. what in the world?!

now that school’s out, i will hopefully get back on track with blogging on a regular basis.

summer, here we come!!

c & b

holiday weekend

this weekend has been amazing! i’m sad to see it come to an end, but this is the last week of school, and i think it’s safe to say that summer is officially here. i’m so ready!

on thursday, one of our good friends came into town, so we took her out to dinner. sadly we didn’t get a picture with her, but we took one together of course lol

wpid-img_20150521_232850.jpgfriday, my sister and her friend ally and i went to paint pottery. i made this small plate for my future father in law for father’s day. it was the fastest i’ve ever painted something at the pottery place, usually i have to come back several times to get it all done. it’s also the simplest thing i’ve ever painted. i feel like the sides are very plain and i wanted to add more, but i tend to overdo it sometimes, and my sister and her friend said it looks good as is, so i (very hesitantly) decided to leave it alone. we shall see how it turns out after it’s been fired.

wpid-img_20150522_183227.jpgafter that, we went out to dinner and came home and had a dance party, lol. we had a lot of fun

wpid-img_20150522_224055.jpgthe girls were helping me celebrate, because friday was an awesome day for me! when i got dressed for work, i realized that a pair of jeans i had just bought, were already too big. now i literally have no pants or shorts that fit me!

wpid-img_20150522_075353.jpgso we went shopping, and i discovered that i had finally reached my goal of leaving double digits! i fit a medium shirt (in the juniors department!) and medium pants, size 7/9! i was so proud! i can’t believe that less than a year ago i was a size 16! i’m happier, and healthier, and never looking back! time to set new goals

wpid-wp-1432595762469.jpgmy trainer has really been kicking my butt, and last week i was getting really discouraged and wanted to quit. but i need to remember that instead of looking at how far i still have left to go, i need to look at how far i’ve already come. and in a month or even a year from now, when i look back at all of the progress i will have made, i will be so glad i didn’t give up.

wpid-img_20150509_105930.jpgi even restarted c25k (couch to 5k), so i could still be active on my “days off.” i felt so much stronger and more equipped. in the words of tim mcgraw, “i’m not as good as i’m gonna get, but i’m better than i used to be!” wedding dress shopping is going to be so much better next time around!!

wpid-img_20150524_123047.jpg(just having fun, because i bought this iu tank awhile ago, and it fits so well now, i was so happy and confident! please excuse the mess in my room, lol)

anywho…on saturday, me, the girls, brian, and his mom all went to turkey run. on the way there we stopped at an amish greenhouse and bought some pretty flowers to redo my large planter on the front porch

wpid-wp-1432595644264.jpgturkey run was gorgeous!! i had never been before, but i definitely want to go back. i want to go tubing down the creek this summer :)

wpid-img_20150523_131708.jpgthis was us in the back of the convertible with the top down on the way there lol

wpid-wp-1432595688672.jpg wpid-wp-1432595657416.jpgwpid-wp-1432601708534.jpgthese pictures don’t really show the beautiful waterfalls, but you get the idea. there was a lot of hiking and stairs involved, so a pretty good workout to say the least!

on sunday brian and i went to the casino, although there’s not much to that story lol

wpid-wp-1432595638071.jpgthen we came home and played drinking games, despite the fact that i could only hang for about two rounds lol

wpid-wp-1432595630878.jpgand today we did the “normal sunday chores,” of laundry and cleaning the house. i worked on a quilt for awhile, then stopped by the hospital to do a bit of work and ran a few errands, but that was about it.

now it’s time to try to squeeze in a movie before bed, and back to work tomorrow

c

team bride: my starting line up

i’ve reemerged to break my blogging silence with a very special post!

i’m pleased to announce that i can officially check one of the most important “tasks” off my bridal to do list…i have chosen my bridesmaids!

i have my man, but i still need my girls!

and i’m proud to say that it didn’t take (much) cajoling to get them all on board, lol

it took a lot of planning to to make my “proposals” perfect…and luckily for me, they all said yes!

first, i ordered these super cute, gold foiled cards, in mint (not pink) which will be the main color for our wedding, and personalized them each with a different poem, quote, or inside joke

cardthen, i bought each of the ladies a gold alex and ani charm bracelet, with their initial, so we will all have matching jewelry on the big day. gold is one of my accent colors as well

braceletand finally, i wanted to do something a little more personal, so i made drawstring bags in fabrics/colors to their likings, and also chose lip balms and candies that i knew they would love

so without further ado, i’d like to introduce…

first up, is ashlee, my matron of honor

ashwe met at iu, and i call her my other half, because we are both half vietnamese and half white…so together we make a whole asian and a whole caucasian, lol. we also refer to each other as soul sisters, because we are SO much alike, it’s scary sometimes. (matching tattoos are in the works!) after graduation we went our separate ways and were apart for awhile. unfortunately i didn’t make it to her wedding, so i am honored that she will not only be in attendance at mine, but will be my right hand (wo)man! and i promise by hook or by crook i will be at her 10 year anniversary party with bells on! we reunited at the baby shower for her daughter archer, now my goddaughter, and have been inseparable ever since. it’s like we never skipped a beat. we cook, craft, laugh and cry together. not a day goes by that we don’t talk to each other, and i couldn’t ask for a better friend.

of course the picture i took of ashlee’s “care package” is somehow mysteriously missing from my phone :(

next up, my little sister tori

tototori is not just my littler sister, she is one of my best friends. i couldn’t imagine my crazy family without her! there’s a lot to be said for someone who has seen you at your worst and still loves you just the same. she has literally played a huge part in my life for the last almost 20 years. his past year has been hard on me, as it was her first year away at college (purdue nonetheless!) and she’s no longer just a short drive away. but now she is home for the summer, and i can’t wait to get to spend more time with her! she is probably the person who understands me best, because we come from the same place and have been through so much together.

wpid-wp-1431310017782.jpgnext comes cheryl

cherylwe met at work. i can’t remember the first time we ever hung out, but now i can’t remember a time without her. when we are together, the goofiest times are had. only she and i can laugh the way we do. we even started writing a book about the crazy “adventures” we have had, although we didn’t get very far, because i’m sure we got distracted by another much more fascinating idea at the time. cheryl will be getting married this september, and i couldn’t be happier for her. it’s been so helpful having someone to go through this overwhelming planning process with!

wpid-img_20150423_1409492.jpg.jpgand last, but certainly not least, my good friend angela

angangela and i met while teaching at the same school. i had just graduated, and wanted to move out of my parents’ house. she was looking to rent a room, and the rest is history. i gained so much more than a roommate that year. angela is one of the most caring and genuine individuals i have ever met. we went everywhere together from church to zumba. although i eventually have to move on to a house of my own, i made the wise decision to get one just around the corner, and still get to see her for walks around the neighborhood, laying out at the pool, or watching project runway.

wpid-wp-1431310033196.jpgi huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders knowing that i will have these four in my corner, not just on my big day, but every day

planning this wedding has been super stressful, but this part was a piece of cake!

i’m blessed to have so many people who love and support me and i couldn’t imagine saying “i do” without these girls by my side

c

#feelingbeautifulin5

i don’t know how i originally got invited/signed up for influenster, but i’m so excited i did! i think it may have come from blogging, so if that is the case, let me continue doing that to hopefully get sent more free products!

my first “voxbox” came from the freeman beauty company. i have used a few of their face and foot products before, and loved them, so i couldn’t wait to get started. they sent me 5 different face mask samples to test and review. so, for the last time, before i get started, let me state, “I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.”

i have combination skin, which is super annoying! so it wasn’t hard for me to decide what mask to use first

Freeman Beauty Feeling Beautiful™ Avocado & Oatmeal Clay Mask

i have nothing but good things to say about the avocado and clay oatmeal mask. this “one time use” packet was so full, i could’ve definitely cut it in half and saved it for another time. but i didn’t. instead, i generously slathered up. i hate to admit it, but i am a person that has texture issues. luckily for me this mask was thick, creamy, and went on really smooth. like i already stated, there was plenty of coverage. there was even a slight cooling sensation, and the smell was divine. here i am trying it out. i was so excited to start my reviews, i even purchased this cute terry cloth headband to keep my hair pulled back lol. and i had to make a weird face, because when i smiled normally the color made my teeth look weird haha

wpid-img_20150321_122140.jpgafter letting it dry and rinsing it off, of course my face felt amazing. it was smoother, clearer, brighter, and the pores of my nose (my usual trouble spot) were noticeably reduced.

i tried to drag this process out and use one mask per week. i wanted to give my face time to be “in need” of another one again, due to the use of makeup and just the daily elements i we are all exposed to. 5/5

next i tried the

Freeman Beauty Feeling Beautiful™ Charcoal & Black Sugar Polishing Mask

oh my goodness, this one smelled heavenly too. it reminded me of something from my childhood, but i couldn’t quite put my finger on just what it was. i already have a charcoal face scrub from another company that i use pretty frequently, so i was already familiar with the great effects it can have on your skin. i was a little worried about this one, because like any polishing mask, it had little microscrubbers in it, and i was afraid they would not stick to my face. however, that was not a problem at all, and i felt safe to move around freely and do other things while i kept it on for the allotted time.

wpid-img_20150328_100109.jpgyes, i’m a weirdo, i know. sometimes polishing scrubs can be rough and abrasive, but this one was not. it felt very smooth and was actually fun to exfoliate with. i have sensitive skin, so it was a little red after using this, but it didn’t hurt, wasn’t irritated, and quickly went away leaving my face softer and brighter than before. 5/5

i’m no spring chicken anymore, so after staying up way too late one night drinking with friends, my eyes were puffy the next, and i had bags under them as well. it isn’t a mystery what mask i decided to put to use next

Freeman Beauty Feeling Beautiful™ Coffee & Chai Energizing Paper Eye Mask

this one was a little different than the others i tried, because it was a paper mask made only for the eye area. it didn’t really smell like coffee or chai, just had a clean, fresh smell. it went on easily, but didn’t contour/stick to my face as well as i had hoped. it was cool and refreshing, and extra juicy so i could rub the excess liquid on for an added bonus.

wpid-img_20150329_110942.jpgi felt a little like batman, lol, but it worked wonders! i felt energized and ready to go, and the skin around my eyes felt tight and wrinkle free. i am definitely going to purchase some more of these to use particularly before i get my engagement photos done. 5/5

i have to admit that i’m a softy, and donated one of my masks to my mom. she was going on and on about how she likes peel off masks, but she can never find them or get them to work correctly. so i gave her this one

Freeman Beauty Feeling Beautiful™ Cucumber Peel-Off Mask

with the requirement that she must review it. she sent me pictures, but they are way to funny to share on social media. she did like how thickly it went off, but didn’t like that it took at least 45 minutes to dry, up to 65 minutes in some sections. however, all she had to do was stretch her face, and the whole thing came off in one piece. she was very impressed by that. she also loved the smell, and how the fragrance lingered for the rest of the day. her face felt smoother and tighter, and she wants more for mother’s day, lol. 5/5

and last, but certainly not least

Freeman Beauty Feeling Beautiful™ Honeydew & Chamomile Sleeping Mask

i teach swim lessons sometimes up to three times a week, for at least 4 hours at a time. needless to say, my skin gets dry from the humidity in the pool area, and from the chlorine as well. i waited until i was in dire need of a deep moisturizer before using this mask. i was a little hesitant, because usually i’m not a big fan of chamomile, but luckily the honeydew overpowered it and smelled delicious! for an overnight cream i thought it was going to be thick and greasy, but it actually went on light and airy, more like a gel. and i must admit that i only used a tiny finger swipe’s worth, so i could continue using the rest over and over lol. this might be my new nightly ritual!

although i was given these products for free, i still fully endorse them and for an average of only $1.99 per full size product, i will definitely be purchasing more of them for myself, and others as well

#refreshvoxbox

#feelingbeautifulin5

@influenster

@freemanbeauty

c

spare tire…

i’ve been working toward writing this post for quite some time now, and i am so proud to say that i finally have the opportunity to do so…

for those of you who have been following along with my weight loss journey, you know it has been slow and steady with a few bumps along the way

my new job is awesome, and provides me with free lunch everyday…however, i can’t exactly eat what my 3 and 4 year olds do, because i don’t have the same metabolism as them. i was loving pepperoni pizza and bread sticks, and waffles with syrup, and chicken fingers with fries…but my diet wasn’t! in just a matter of weeks, i quickly gained 5 pounds back

so, i had to get serious about counting calories again, and even returned to running.

another benefit to my new job is that there is a full sized indoor track, and it only took me 30 days of working there to finally take advantage of it

wpid-img_20150223_155034.jpgi’ve tested out a lot of new delicious low calorie meals, such as israeli cous cous tabouleh

wpid-img_20150223_193641.jpgand one pan vegan tex mex quinoa

wpid-img_20150302_180959.jpgand some not so delicious, and probably not so low calorie andouille sausage jumbo

wpid-img_20150228_171911.jpgit wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t very flavorful and had a very thick texture. you know how you can buy swanson broth in cartons? well our grocery store had a Louisiana cajun flavor with this recipe on the back, so we tried it out

you know you are turning into a foodie when you are excited to go to fresh thyme, which is where we are headed later today. they have the best produce there, and such reasonable prices as well! i already have my breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu made out for next week, so no excuses, and no school lunches lol

but now for the moment i’ve been waiting for!

after losing about 18 or 19 pounds, i hit a plateau…granted i had stopped running on a regular basis, and stopped counting calories as well

but after lots of dedication and hard work, i’m ecstatic to announce that i finally “broke the barrier” and have lost 22 pounds! now i only have 8 pounds left to meet my initial goal. can you believe it?!

did you know that a car tire weighs 20 pounds? i’ve literally been caring around the weight of a tire on my body. how’s that for extra weight holding you down?! other things that weigh 20 pounds include a kitchen aid mixer, 2 gallons of water, and 80 sticks of butter. YUCK!

remember this picture?

fatfati made it, i made it, i really made it!!

8 more pounds to go, and then i want to start shopping for wedding dresses

the gym teacher at work stays every day to help people work out, so i need to swallow my pride, stop being shy, and join the others sometime soon

perhaps i will have a bikini body by summer after all!

c