Monday, March 31, 2008

Real Weddings Awards --FINALISTS ANNOUNCED!!!!!

WOOT WOOT!!!! I just found out we are finalists for the Wedding Bio! So please help us out and send your love and go VOTE HERE!!!

If you are having trouble logging in to vote with your knot id, you have to create a new one for the contest. This id is just to vote and nothing else and helps them track people voting once a day! Okay... go vote now!!! PRETTY PLEASE!!!

Real Weddings Awards --GO VOTE

LAST day left to send your love and go VOTE HERE!!!

At the moment, I'm in the top 5 for the Wedding Bios and who knows where for the photos!! The top eleven at the end of this month get to move on to the next round! :) So please go vote! Thanks!!!!

If you are having trouble logging in to vote with your knot id, you have to create a new one for the contest. This id is just to vote and nothing else and helps them track people voting once a day! Okay... go vote now!!! PRETTY PLEASE!!!

Inspirations 22

Bouquets...


Make this!



Make This!

Make This!


Source

...and my favorite one:

Source

I'm a winner...

I never win anything... okay... 99 times our out of a 100 I don't win. But I guess it only takes one time! I won something!


The hubby and I want to go to Europe in 2009 and always talked about doing a cruise there! This book really will help make it all a reality!!! Thanks Weddingbee! :)

Challenge and the Weigh in #2

Because we had family in town all weekend we moved our challenge to Sunday evening. The challenge for this week was an easy one. It was a battle of wills and who could hold out the longest. We started with having to hold a dog over our head (the hubby got the bigger one who weighed 13lbs while I got the little squirt who weighed 7 lbs.) while laying down. Yes, we dragged our dogs into our weirdo world! So minutes ticked by and our stomaches were grumbling wanting dinner but neither of us would budge. By minute ten we upped it a notch and sat up and had to hold the dogs out in front of us. Tick Tock Tick Tock! The hubby started to get antsy and tiresome while I and the little puppy focused and didn't move. By the fifteenth minute, the hubby dropped Bruno and gave up... I WIN AGAIN!!!

This morning was our second weigh in. I figured since I ate like I didn't care that I wouldn't be the biggest loser. The hubby got on the scale and low and behold, only lost another .24%. Great, so if the hubby lost .24% I must have lost .1% this time. WRONG... apparently when you don't care that is when you lose weight. I racked up 2.46% weight loss! WOOT WOOT!!! I WIN AGAIN!


Wifey: 4
Hubby: 2


So I've decided that since I'm doing this weekly update, I might as well write down my goals too... This week, I'll run 20 miles. I have a 10k this weekend and I'll be running to it (it's 2 miles away). That gives me around ten miles to run before the race. We'll see if that helps or hinders any weight loss!

Friday, March 28, 2008

YUMMY...

While catching up in some of my blogs, I found the cutest idea for centerpieces:

Photo was taken from here

Can you imagine a HUGE centerpiece with this idea in the center of your candy buffet? DROOL!!!!

Tamarindo - Costa Rica Part 2

The second leg of our trip the more relaxing one. I'm sure the hubby wouldn't too keen on any major hiking trips considering all we had planned for in Arenal. So on top of lounging on the beach and eating lots I really only have one thing planned:



Photos of a Marlin Del Ray sail.
A sailing/snorkel/sunset cruise off the coast of Costa Rica!

When you planned your vacations or your honeymoon, did you check out what excursions there were to do before you went?

The worst places

In non related news, I saw the most interesting article about the worst places to put stuff. Here's some of the ones I was shocked about:

The 16 worst places to stash your stuff
The worst stall to pick in a public restroom: the one in the middle
The worst place for your toothbrush: on the bathroom sink
The worst place for your sneakers and flip-flops: in the bedroom closet
The worst place to sit on an airplane: the rear
The worst place for your coffee: the refrigerator or freezer


The last one really surprised me... guess I'll be pulling the coffee out of the frig and placing it somewhere else!

To read more about the worst places and why they are soo bad, go here!

Inspirations 21

All of the following designs are from Juniper Floral Designs in Santa Barbara! I love them all!!!!





Tempation #2

It was my turn to create the temptation while I have to admit, I had all these amazing plans but when it came to my turn, I was lazy and took the easy way out. I created a list of restaurants and labeled them zero through nine. When it was time, we played a game of hoops using the game I got him for Christmas. Then whoever won, would than get to pick a restaurant from the two places his top score was. So if I scored 45 points, I got to choose from restaurant 4 or restaurant 5.

And well, I lost and he got to choose. CHINESE FOOD IT IS! Like the last time, we are allowed to reward each other if we were good, and lets just say neither of us got a point! :| (If we could have subtracted points I'm pretty sure we would have too!!!) Oh well, I guess this means I'll have to actually exercise now!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Deadline...

A few weeks ago we were talking about June is coming up and two of the three of our Southwest Reward flights will be expiring. With memorial weekend coming up, we figured might as well "get outta dodge" and just relax by the pool. We threw around Portland, Phoenix and even Hawaii (for a split second). We finally settled on Phoenix largely due to the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, that is until we saw the weekly TravelZoo top 20!!!!

$199 Hawaii 5-Star Hotel on Waikiki Beach, 60% OFF BookIt.com


Wait... what? nooo... so with a little further looking two of the Sheraton's are uber cheap for that weekend. And with further analysis of the hotels to pick from and a few calls to Southwest about flights and booked it! We even called the hotel and got an even better deal to the tune of $140 a night with ocean view! SWEET!!!! With this wonderful news, we are going to stay four nights. While we wanted to go to another island, we still were excited about it all. We went two years ago for our one year anniversary and did everything under the sun. This time around, it'll be three years since we first met and all that we can think about is hiking Diamond head, snorkeling, laying out and eating at MATTEO's! They have the best Ceasar salad! They make it from scratch right in front of you! OHHH DROOL!!!


(photo taken on Waikiki Beach in 2006)

Tamarindo - Costa Rica

Like every big trip we do, we decided we needed to cut this one up too and spend a few days somewhere else. I present to you our second destination:


Tamarindo Beach, Costa Rica. Tamarindo, located on the Pacific Coast, has much to offer besides its crystal clear ocean, exquisite nature and stunning sunsets. Go surfing, fishing, visit a spa, rent a car, stay at a friendly bed and breakfast, luxurious hotel, the options are endless.
--Visit Tamarindo

When looking for a hotel, we wanted something on the beach and more of a boutique style. With all the searching we did, I stumbled onto this:

Hotel: Capitan Suizo
This well-appointed beachfront hotel is located on the quiet southern end of Tamarindo. The rooms are located in a series of two-story buildings. The lower rooms have air-conditioning and private patios; the upper units have plenty of cross ventilation and inviting balconies. All have large bathrooms and sitting rooms with fold-down futon couches. In effect, all the rooms are really suites, with separate sitting/living room areas. The spacious bungalows are spread around the shady grounds; these all come with a tub in the bathroom and an inviting outdoor shower among the trees.
--Frommers

The hotel's free-form pool is quite nice. The shallow end slopes in gradually, imitating a beach, and there's also a separate children's pool. Perhaps this hotel's greatest attribute is the fact that it's just steps from one of the calmer and more isolated sections of Playa Tamarindo, making it a good family pick.



Photos from google images

Next up... more excursions... ;)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Who needs a car when you can go by plane?


In Costa Rica, we found a small domestic flight company called Nature Air that seemed to fit all our needs. They fly to almost every hotspot destination and are priced sooo well!!!!

(click on photo to see larger)

We'll be traveling from San Jose to Arenal to Tarmarindo back to San Jose. While the plane looks small, I think it will be an amazing experience to see Costa Rica from the air not to mention what would have taken us over four hours to get to the destinations, it will now take us less than 30 minutes!

Inspirations 20

Spring party inspirations from Martha!

Make this!

Make this!

Make this!

Make this!

I love all these ideas for showers, spring weddings, or any party in general!

Source

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The top of my wish list...

In all our vacations, we seem to always be buying underwater cameras. I think this time I might want to spend a little more than the typical 13$ for the disposable and just buy a digital underwater one. I was leery about pricing because I don't want to spend the same amount as our regular camera but I think I found something that is priced perfect for us. I present:

Vivitar 6.0MP All Weather/Underwater Digital Camera- 6200W





Product Description
Price: under 100$
Image resolution up to 2816 x 21124x digital zoomSpecifically designed for divers to take brighter, colorful pictures underwater up to 30' Rubber armored and waterproof up to 30' Focus free lensRecords movies up to 320 x 240 at 24fps4 5/8 W x 2 13/16" H x 1 7/16 DUses 2 AA alkaline or NiMH batteriesUses SD memory up to 1GBIncludes 2 AA alkaline batteries, hand strap, USB cable and software

Now since I don't really have to buy anything for my next few trips, I might be able to convince myself this would be a worthy purchase. Until then, I'm mentally shoving this little device to the top of my wish list!

Dangling Tablecards

While sipping my coffee I saw this beautiful photo from Michelle Rago.



I instantly thought of the how beautiful table cards would be dangling from branches in the entrance of your reception venue. It's just a dramatic and unique idea that doesn't have to cost you a lot! You could even find some tree branches and even spray paint it metalics or any shimmer paint to give it a bit of a glimmer. You could even put it in a vase or attach it to a stand and to hide the stand a bit more, use some moss on the base to give it more of a green feel!

Oh my!!!

Arenal Costa Rica Part 2

I do love to chill out and do nothing but not so much on vacations. I love exploring new places and creating fantastic memories. We decided to choose a few excursions that would show us different sides of our first destination spot.

The excursions:
HORSEBACK TOUR

This horseback tour is really different. We departure from a private farm. This adventure takes place at the slopes of the Arenal Volcano by a mountain trail that was used back in the time by the pioneers of these regions.

Cross rivers and beautiful landscapes, admire the Arenal Volcano from a real close perspective. During the trip we will arrive to a look out point, from here we are able to observe the old lava from past eruptions.

We invite you to conquer your way thru Arenal’s slopes. Enjoy this wonderful adventure, be a pioneer in the tropics. Ride and conquer the Arenal today!


Bike Tour

This is an excellent option for real adventures. Enjoy the Volcano area and the panoramic views.

We do the transfer to the Lake in our A/C vehicle, then we begin our biking tour by the "former trail" of the Arenal Volcano National Park.

This expedition will take us to enjoy excellent views of the Volcano. We can admire flora and fauna of the surroundings, then find our way cross a little river to discover the rain forest.


Canopy Tour

Without a doubt the Canopy in the Arenal Area is one of the most attractive and exciting tours available.

It's a perfect combination of adrenaline, adventure and nature that combined offers one of the most impressive views available in the area. This tour offers a guaranteed unforgettable experience.

The tour starts with an informative chat about the equipment you will be using. Your guide will explain safety rules and maybe even crack a local joke or two to ease your nerves. Next you will enjoy a 25 minute cart ride through the Rainforest. Upon arriving at the observation base you can awe at the Pino Blanco Waterfall. You will then start a short 20 minute walk through the middle of the Rainforest enjoying and learning of the flora and fauna that surround you. Your guide will educate you about the ecosystem.

And your adventure begins. 10 cables starting from 180 to 980 meters are waiting just for you, a journey of around 3.5 kilometers. Each cable starts from the treetops on an 18 meter high tower. You can rest assure daily safety checks are run on all cables guaranteeing your safety. During your tour will be able to observe two waterfalls, the Pino Blanco Waterfall and the Fortuna Waterfall, plus the Majestic very active Arenal Volcano.

You will return by cart making a visit to the indigenous Maleku town, there you will learn a little of their customes, culture and traditions. As an additional canopy attraction you will finalize your tour by making a short 20 minute hike to visit the frog farm and butterfly observatory located within the park grounds.

An experience that will last a lifetime.


And last but certainly not least:
Tabacón Hot Springs

Tabacón offers thermal hot springs heated directly from the Areanl Volcano. Explore the beautiful Rainforest that surround the hot springs, and emerge yourself in the mineral waters surrounded by waterfalls and lush tropical gardens.

The Tabacon Hot Springs are known world wide as the loveliest and most impressive experiences possible in Natural Hot Springs. Without a doubt emerging yourself into the hot mineral baths will rejuvenate you, due to the volcanic minerals present in the springs. A truly remarkable experience. One I would recommend time and time again.

Below are just a few of the benefits of emerging yourself into these hot mineral baths:
1) Cleanses the blood eliminating toxins through your pores.
2) Reactivates your metabolism.
3) Relaxes muscles and joints.
4) Helps regulate persons suffering from rheumatism.
5) Rejuvenates your skin.

Enjoy the all-natural hot springs at Tabacon, while admiring the colossal Areal Volcano. Two wonders of nature connected for you to enjoy.


...next up... how we're getting from point A to point B.

Image Source 1
Image Source 2
Image Source 3

Inspirations 19

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--Possibly my favorite out of the lot!!!
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Source
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--I really like how simple this is. It would be really pretty for a shower!
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Monday, March 24, 2008

Arenal Costa Rica

I found the most fantastic website that helped me book our domestic flights, hotels and excursions and got some great deals. For our first destination, we are going to Arenal.
The Arenal Volcano is the only volcano in Costa Rica constantly active since it woke up after 400 years with the big 1968 eruption producing huge ash columns, explosions & glowing red lava almost every day. It is considered one of the ten most active volcanoes in the world. This country is about beaches, rainforest and the spectacular Arenal.
--Arenal.net

Source
Okay... the photo is a bit over dramatic of it's daily eruptions but still... how amazing is this?! When I was on the Big Island and saw lava seep into the Pacific Ocean, I thought that would be the last time I'd ever see such a majestic site!!!


May I present to your our hotel: El Silencio del Campo






Next up... the excursions!!! :)

Challenge and the Weigh in...

We had our first challenge on Saturday and I'm happy to report I won! It was who could jump rope the longest and I cleaned house! ;) But as the weekend drew to an end, the record heat got us both tired and any "last chance workouts" where out of the question (other than my typical 10 minutes of abs late at night).

This morning we had our first official weigh in and while I have to admit I did notice the ever so slight indentation of what one can call a waist appear out of nowhere I only lost 0.35% of my total weight. At first I was really bummed about it but while I thought my goal was about losing X lbs, the only thing I really care about is looking decent in a bathing suit and being healthy. So, if I lost 0.35%, how much did the hubby lose? 0.48%! YES... he beat me by 0.13% and thus getting the point for the week. Because we both earned points on the temptation and with my challenge win and his weight loss win, we are tied.

Wifey: 2
Hubby: 2


Today is SUPPOSE to be the start of the boot camp but we found a better one that is a little more but is 5 days a week and six weeks long. Only downfall is that it starts in May. :| This means either join this one too or just do the other one and have to train by myself until then. I think it might be the latter...

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Beginning and the End

With a little help with a friend/family, we just booked our first night and last night of our trip to Costa Rica. We are lucky to get to stay at the beautiful and amazing Marriott San Jose:



Now... with a 99% sure idea of what we'll stay for the middle portion of our trip, I'll wait to blog about that until we know it's for sure! See, you don't lame travel agents to book a fabulous vacation!!! :)

Temptation #1

With our first temptation behind us, I think I succeeded admirably! It was the Hubby's turn to make up the temptation for our competition. He wrote down ten restaurants and numbered them in no specific reasoning. Then it was my turn to pick a number and we would have to eat there. I had no idea what number when with what eatery. The restaurants ranged from Subway all the way down to Panda Express. The real temptation came when we got there, we got to decide if the other deserved a point for being good. I luckily choose number six that ended up being this little cafe near our house and had a sandwich (without half the bread, and not dressings of any sort) and kept it mostly healthy.

Did I get my point? Yes! :)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Corpse pose...

In my quest to beat my hubby on our little competition, I decided last night to drag one of my really good friends to Bikram Yoga while he was out with his buddies playing pool. My friend has never done yoga before and while I know my asanas pretty well, I've only done Bikram Yoga once. Thirty minutes into the 90 minute class I was about to pass out. By the forty minute marker, I wanted to throw up and by the middle mark of the class I was in constant corpse pose. Mental note, never to a class and with a cotton shirt on and "sorta" hungry.

Overall it was fun to watch my friend attempt some of the poses and watch him almost take out the little lady next to him. I think next week I'll hunt down a nice cool climate yoga loft. ;)

What is Bikram Yoga:
Also known as Hot Yoga, is a style of yoga developed by Bikram Choudhury and a Los Angeles, California based company. Bikram Yoga is ideally practiced in a room heated to 105°F (40.5°C) with a humidity of 40%. Classes are guided by specific dialogue including 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Classes last approximately 90-minutes.

Source

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

To hell with Travel Agents...

Before I begin, this is a rant... It has nothing to do with wedding planning one bit. I apologize for strong use of language in the title but you'll understand below...

Rant BEGIN:
I just got off the phone with a travel agent. I called to inquire about if we could get some help with our trip to Costa Rica. While I'm one of the best little Internet searchers out there, I wanted to find someone who's been there and can help me book some hidden gems of some hotels. I let this person know my budget for 8 nights would be around 1500$ (just for hotels and transportation) and I kid you not, she laughed in my face! She then told me that she doesn't deal with the Internet wouldn't even know to get those deals in the first place. Oh, and it gets better, she said that she knows of this great little gem of a place to stay at, where everyone has to stay for 2 nights and is always the best part of the trip for everyone, but because our budget is SO LOW she wouldn't even book it for us. And to finish off the conversation she said: "I'm sorry, I just don't deal with low end. People would laugh even if I tried to book it."

This is the reason I HATE dealing with travel agents. First the fiasco with the travel agent booking our flight the NIGHT of our wedding (and then telling me I said it was OK...when in fact I had it in writing I said no) then this?! I am NEVER dealing with a travel agent again! No need to... I have the Internet and while she thinks the Internet is wrong, someone needs to reality check this lady and tell her you can trust the Internet in this day and age for booking vacations!!!! At least the computer won't laugh and try to humiliate you if your hotel budget is too low!

BTW... I did find a cool hotel near the volcano, a nice beach resort (all inclusive) WITH AIR TRANSPORTATION to each spot for $1200. The extras like food and excursions was never in our budget state of mind. We knew we had to pay for it and was willing to spend there.


RANT END

Thank you for listening.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008