Thursday, June 28, 2012

Couch to 5k: The Color Run #C25K

Sometimes I make silly decisions when my blood sugar drops and lunch is still another 30 minutes away. So what did I do this time? Well, I signed up for my first ever 5k. And by first ever I mean there are no 10k or half marathons in my past. I can’t run half a mile in the shape that I’m in now let alone 3.1 miles.

But it’s a 5k unlike any other and I’ve had friends in other cities participate that had a blast. It’s called the Color Run and it is all kinds of fun! More information can be found on their website and to see if they’re coming to a city near you.

picture via the The Color Run website

So what does this mean for me, the big ol’ couch potato that likes to take the elevator one floor up at work and only walks her dog a quarter of a mile every morning? It means it’s time to train! Four and a half months seems like a long time to train but judging by the not so distant past it will fly. Can you believe it’s almost July?! Yeah, me neither.

Last night I started Googling and Pinning anything I could get my hands on that was in anyway related to going from couch potato (me now) to a 5k runner (future me). There are a lot of resources out there and even apps! My goal is to have my plan laid out by the end of this weekend. Shouldn’t be too difficult because I’m planning on spending Saturday wearing as little as possible and sitting in front of the AC vent… the weatherman said something about it being 106 degrees.

Below are some of the resources that I found. Do you have any that you could suggest? Thanks!

- apps: Couch-to-5k (brought to you by and Get Running to name a few. Mashable has a list of 10 Essential iPhone Apps for Runners.
- podcasts & playlists: Running into Shape
- list/note keeping sites: Evernote
- twitter hashtag: #C25K

Very much looking forward to November 17th!

P.S. I celebrated signing up for my first 5k by eating a gorgeous Champagne cupcake from Gigi’s and washing it down with Acqua Panna. Perfection!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wedding in the Queen City: Finding the Right Venue

In honor of Wedding Wednesday and our wedding getting published in Charlotte Wedding Magazine, I will begin to tell the story of how our big day come together and offer advice along the way… I won’t sit around and call myself an expert; however, I do handle large events for my day job so I know a thing or two about planning these things. ;)

photo by JJ Horton Photography

The first two steps (that usually happen simultaneously) are setting the date and finding the perfect location. We became engaged in late October of 2010 (the same day as the first annual Panther Purrsuit) and made the decision to put off any real wedding planning until the new year. Of course, like any excited bride to be, I began the search for the perfect location.

We were on a fairly tight budget so several locations were marked off the list right away, the rest went through a vigorous spreadsheet cost analysis, features and benefits, pros and cons, and most importantly the people that work there. I’ve worked in the hospitality sector as well as sales and customer service so little red flags popped up about several locations. The quickness of response to emails, the tone of the communication, etc. are very important to me. For example, we had scheduled a site visit with a venue that shall remain unnamed… We drove the 45 minutes down to Fort Mill to be greeted with a locked gate. We called all the numbers listed on the gate as well as the numbers provided in the email and no one answered the phone. What followed were several nastygrams stating that we were at fault, not the venue. Another venue’s initial response was snappy and laced with arrogance. They were both crossed off the list fairly quickly. Several others took forever to respond, if at all.

By January we were down to three locations: The Depot, CenterStage @ NoDa, and Big Chill. We’ve had great experiences with all of them (and highly recommend them to all) but CenterStage took the cake. Their willingness to go the extra mile before we were even clients was amazing! And once we became clients they were even more amazing!

If you’re a bride on a budget I highly recommend creating a spreadsheet for each venue that you’re considering. Just because the base rental price is low (let’s say, oh, $500 for four hours) you may end up spending a whole lot more on chair rentals and time extensions than if you rented a space and spend $3000-6000 as a base (which looks like a large number) but end up saving money when it’s all said and done. Look at what each venue offers in the base, look at all the rentals that you’ll need, etc. It all adds up!

So why did we chose CenterStage? The biggest reason was the staff. They’re amazing. That is all you need to know. The other reasons? We could bring in our own alcohol (you need to get a license from the state to do so and our caterer allowed it) so we saved a ton of money on one of the most expensive parts of any wedding, we had a clean slate to do anything we wanted to to decorate the space, they are an event space so they’re set up to do weddings and dealing with nervous brides (& grooms!), and did I mention that they’re amazing? We were also able to divide the large space into three parts using their drapes that made the space feel more intimate, as well as stage the different parts of the wedding (the ceremony, cocktail hour, and dinner/dancing). The final set up was more than I ever imagined that space could be.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Motivation Monday: I Don't Know the Way

via revelment

All roads have been leading to change and it must first come from within.
There's a right turn waiting for me but I must first find it.

I will get there, soon.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wedding in the Queen City: Published!

I’ve got some exciting news… are you ready for it?

Our wedding was published in the Fall/Winter 2012 issue of Charlotte Wedding Magazine!

I have to admit, we’re pretty giddy about it. We found out this spring that the mag wanted to publish the amazing work of our awesome photographer Jessica and in May Sarah interviewed me for the article. We only told our closest friends because part of us couldn’t believe that it was real.

On June 6th (which happens to be my birthday) Aleigh, the editor of the mag, posted a picture of the magazine on instagram. Best birthday present ever! However, the magazine was not yet on stands so we had to be patient and wait just a little longer.

Then yesterday came. I was selected to be part of a focus group for a local restaurant and when I walked in and introduced myself the host said that she saw someone with the same name in the Charlotte Wedding magazine. That someone was me and that wedding was our wedding! Knowing that our issue has hit stands made it difficult to focus during the focus group so as soon as it was over I ran straight to Barnes & Noble in South Park to pick up a few copies.

My favorite quote of the night came from the lady checking me out, “Page 42 took all the copies of the Charlotte Wedding Magazine!” I didn’t! I grabbed most copies, leaving a few for other fellow brides that are featured (Andi of My Beautiful Adventures is in the issue too).

You can see our article on the magazine’s website, purchase it online or find a copy at a local retailer in Charlotte.

A lot went into planning our wedding last year and I hope to share it with you all. It was a fun project coming together into one unforgettable day.