Big changes

It feels like I’ve been holding in this news for an eternity, so I’m thrilled to be able to announce that in addition to our upcoming marriage, Mike and I will also be moving to Berkeley, California!

Mike got a job with a super cool non-profit journalism group called California Watch, and he will be heading out there in November to start working. We are hoping to officially move Dec. 1.

I have been on an incredible journey over the past year or so with my career, and now it’s Mike’s turn to explore some new options. It is a big and scary change for us lifelong midwesterners, for sure, but one that we’re ready and excited for. Berkeley has the kind of spirit that I love in a city, so I can’t wait to get to know it better. Imagine the possibilities for Nia and yoga!

Waiting to hear about this has been a huge distraction for me the last few weeks, but now it’s time to focus on the wedding and honeymoon for a while. We leave tomorrow for Minnesota, and we are just finishing up the last few details. Yesterday I was a little panicky, but today I am just trying to enjoy the calm before the storm.

T-minus one week


The shore of Lake Superior at Lutsen Resort.

So the wedding is a week from today. It’s felt really far away for so long — it’s hard to believe it’s actually happening.

I had a massage this morning (from the uber-talented Bridget). That was a good idea.

I have approximately one million more little things to do before the wedding. But not too many big ones. I have short moments of freaking out, but mostly I am calm.

Brianne made me cry last night. I’m sure those were the first of many tears!

On another note, I was wondering if any of you have advice on places we should visit during our honeymoon to Spain.

We’re starting in Barcelona, then traveling south to Valencia, Ronda, Grenada, and Sevilla. There is so much to see. Obviously we have guide books, but I’d rather have personal advice.

Better get back to my to-do list…

Wedding blogs

When you’re planning a wedding the volume of information out there can be totally overwhelming. It helped me a lot to add just a few blogs to my reader — the ones that captured the spirit and aesthetic of the wedding I wanted to have. I also got a subscription to Martha Stewart Weddings, but I pretty much limited myself to those.

Here’s what I read, and why I loved them:

Once Wed – This was the first wedding blog I started reading, and the first one I noticed featuring DIY weddings with stellar photography. Plus, they promote the idea of the used wedding dress, which I love.

A Practical Wedding – Far and away the best wedding blog, in my opinion, because writer Meg addresses not only the wedding, but the marriage itself. What a concept! Brides pour their hearts into wedding graduate posts, and I love the thoughtful conversations sparked on topics like family drama, same sex unions, and having kids.

Brooklyn Bride – Obviously I don’t live in Brooklyn, but I’m often inspired by the chic urban weddings featured here. There are plenty of ideas you can use in your wedding, no matter where it is.

100 Layer Cake – This blog is pretty, pretty, pretty. Written by three designers, it features all sorts of inspiration and DIY projects.

The Bride’s Guide, from MSW – At times the Martha Stewart Weddings blog is a little over the top for me, but it’s still a good source of projects and advice on etiquette and tradition.

iDIY – It’s pretty self-explanatory. Lots of helpful project ideas.

A DIY Wedding Day – This one has less frequent posts, but still some good ideas.

Offbeat Bride – Many of these weddings are really offbeat, but they still inspire you to think out of the box and to realize that you are in charge of creating your own tradition.

Ruffled – This one’s all about vintage inspired weddings. The photos are absolutely beautiful. Since I’m incorporating some vintage elements into mine, I connect with this blog a lot.

Tiny crackers!

Did you know that saltines come in miniature?

I did not realize until I went searching for some at Dahls the other day. I was looking for a smaller box, since we never seem to be able to finish four packets of saltines before they go stale when I found these. They are so yummy!

I also wanted to show you a picture of the oversize cake we ate at Erin’s bachelorette party. The cake is so big they served it on a big serving platter, and 7 of us couldn’t finish 2 slices.

And finally, I had to share this photo of Sadie. This must be my dog.

Trying out SparkPeople

After interviewing several people for fitness-related stories that said it was actually diet that was the most important part of their routines, I decided that I needed some more discipline in my diet.

Like any bride-to-be, I also want to look good in my wedding dress, but without going on some crazy crash diet that I will never maintain. So, I decided to try using SparkPeople.com to record what I eat and how much I exercise. I really like it.

I’ve kept food journals before, but this is different because it’s interactive. It offers meal plans and grocery lists, and gives feedback on how you’re doing. I find that it keeps me from mindless snacking or baking up random batches of cookies because I know I’m going to have to be accountable for that stuff. I could just not input it into the computer, but for some reason I feel compelled to do it.

My only complaint is that it’s a little complicated to use, especially if you can’t find your exact food in the search. And sometimes it seems to me like it’s underestimating calories (I don’t need any help lying to myself). But overall, it’s a good thing.

Things I’ve learned about myself:

• I pretty much always eat more for lunch than for breakfast and more for dinner than for lunch.

• I don’t drink enough water.

• I’m always hungry from about 3-5 p.m. even if I have snacks. Going back to my first point, I’m just spacing my meals out in a way that doesn’t work.

• I eat too much sugar and not enough protein.

I am thinking I should add in some more Greek yogurt and cottage cheese, and maybe some green smoothies (the only way I like to eat spinach).

Have you tried this or something similar? Does it work for you?