family

Wedding Gifts

I was given an extremely awesome opportunity to review some products from Uncommon Goods.

They originally contacted me to review a product for a Mother’s Day post.  I am extremely close with my mom (incase you didn’t know, she planned about 95% of the wedding and without her it would not have been as successful as it was).

my parents

my parents

 

I was browsing Uncommon Goods and found a lot of cute things I loved.  It’s a very cute, interesting and unique website and immediately I found a lot of gifts I like for family and friends.

However, something struck me for a great wedding gift.  Before they contacted me, I was struggling with finding appropriate wedding gifts.  I’m extremely close with my parents but we aren’t the sentimental, emotional type of family.  We are the funny and gag gift type of family.  It always makes birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas extremely difficult.  One of the hardest parts of the wedding was trying to figure out what I wanted to give my parents.  Not to say we all don’t like nice things but an emotional wedding gift was not the route I wanted to go.

 I love the “What I Love About You Series”.  I choose these to use these as part of a wedding gift set for both my parents and the groom. 

In a way, the books remind me of sentimental mad lips.  You fill in the blanks of various and sentimental topics.  I love the way you ________ or I love that you love _________.

I really like them.  You can be as funny or as serious as you want.  Obviously my blog is titled “Fueledbylolz” and I get my sense of humor from my parents…so you can see where mine personal books went.  We can fit our own personalities and share the humor together…another person can make them very emotional and heart felt.  They are very personal and you can fill them out to your life.  Each book is filled with 50 pages (and 50 one liners to fill out).  I think it’s the perfect length without feeling overbearing or tired.  I would 100% recommend them to anyone.

what I love about you books

I actually really like a lot of their products and have since gone to buy a few more items.  Thank you Uncommon Goods for reaching out and contacting me.  There are quite a few products I like for my friends and family (as well as myself…like this scarf).

Question for you: Are you close with your parents?

 

 

Homecation

My visit last week to Virginia was a lot of fun.  I haven’t spent a week in my hometown in a while.  I think the last time I spent an entire week there was when I lived in Virginia for the summer of 2013.  It was nice to relax and see friends.  I also got a lot of very much needed wedding stuff done. With all of things I have gotten done wedding wise, I might get married.

Where to even begin?

I arrived to Virginia late Christmas Eve.  It’s hard to believe that was 2 weeks ago. I drove home from work and then spent Christmas day relaxing and hanging out with my family. It was exactly what I needed.  While I don’t live in Virginia, Virginia is still home.

In the days after Christmas, I did a lot.  Instead of writing too much, ’ll just caption photos.

I was able to hang out with one of my bridesmaids, Theresa. We went to a (new to us) Mexican restaurant Luna Maya.  Their portions were massive and if you visit Norfolk, VA, I would recommend the restaurant.  In fact, I want to visit Virginia again so I can go.

Getting froyo afterwords.  I mean whipped cream with a side of fro yo,

Getting froyo afterwords. I mean whipped cream with a side of fro yo,

At Luna Maya

At Luna Maya

I got to hang out with another Bridesmaid, Anna.  Anna and I have been friends for over 13 years (that is over half our lives!).  It’s crazy to think that.  She is truly one of the best friends I could ask for.  After undergrad, Anna taught in China for two years and recently moved back to the US to work on grad school.  While we don’t live close, it’s a lot closer than halfway around the world.  She has been one of my best friends for 13 years now and it was so lovely to catch up with her.

anna and i

After more relaxing, wedding planning and doing absolutely nothing, I got lunch with Kris L and Kellie.  Most Virginia Beach runners know what powerhouse runners these woman are.  Not only are they both insanely fast, but they are both insanely nice.  We went to a local favorite and (Virginia diner?) Citrus on Christmas Eve.  They are two of my favorite people to talk training, life and whatever else with.

Nonrunning clothes ;)

Nonrunning clothes ;) Kellie, myself and Kris

The of course, I also did two local road races (I’m sure I’ve spammed my blog enough with them):

12/31 11:15 pm Beat the Ball 5k

Happy New Years!

Happy New Years!

1/1 10 am: Hair of the Dog 5k

This week vacation was exactly what I needed.  It broke up the month the month of December and it made it fly by.  I feel like I was just leaving New Jersey and now I’m back.

While my “homecation” was relaxing, I got a lot of much needed stuff done on my wedding too.  I was starting to feel nervous (due to doing nothing in December) but I got a lot accomplished last week.  It also made the wedding as a whole become more real!  I’ll have a wedding update at some point.  Long story short, I’ve gone to the first vendor of each category…said what I have wanted and they have done a great job.  I have no stress or complaints.

Questions for you:

Do you visit your hometown a lot?

How were your Holidays?

Hollie Jolly Christmas

I always find it interesting to see how others celebrate their Christmas holidays.

For some it means gathering family and extended family.

For others it means a small get together at home.

Some families open gifts together, some families open gifts as they wake up. 

My family is small and close.  I always enjoy coming home to see them (Holiday related or not).

Last year Tim and I spent Christmas with his family.  I love Tim’s family as much as my own.  We were supposed to drive to see them again this but plans change. Hopefully next year we will be able see them for the holidays again!  It’s crazy (overwhelming and also crazy) that plans can change so soon!

I didn’t make an effort to take a bunch of family selfies, photos of my family or scan the internet to get the best Holiday dessert ideas.  Maybe this is why I win the worst blogger of 2014…oh well next year I can win best blogger.  There is a New Year’s Resolution for everyone.  Anyways, we had a cute Christmas tree at my parents house and celebrated as a family.

Here are some photos of my family that were not taken on Christmas:

My family is adorable.  I'm a weirdo.

My brothers high school graduation

Here is from last year

My extended family at a 2 mile open water swim

Very cold family photo.

Lake Placid.  It was -22 degrees when that photo was taken

familyportrait1

My Christmas was pretty quiet.  We did our traditional Christmas of opening gifts and having an early Christmas dinner (around 3pm).  Then we just relaxed and sat in a food coma the rest of the day.  It was honestly the relaxing and rest I needed.

Christmas tree

The craziest part of my Christmas was I didn’t drink any coffee! 

The next day, mom and I went and got some nice clearance items.  I ended up finding a blazer at New York and Company as well as a couple pairs of pants. I always love a good sale.  I’ve always found a few good updates to my wardrobe post Holiday season (mostly because everything is on sale). Boxing day was no exception.

Blazer in action getting froyo

Blazer in action getting froyo

My Christmas was very laid back (exactly what I needed and liked).  I have no complaints and I’m truly glad to have enjoyed the company with family.  Of course I missed my significant other I had a really good Christmas with my family and friends.

Questions for you:

How did you celebrate the Holidays?

Have you found any good deals post-Holiday season?  

So Much Life!

Do you ever feel like when it rains, it pours?

This post is actually about a lot of life events pouring in (nothing bad though).  On top of work, I’ve crammed my schedule with multiple diner dates with friends and family. I feel like NJ doesn’t have enough diners or meals lately.  I don’t mind though.

Where have I been? 

On Monday night Tim and I celebrated all the major holidays (Christmas, New Years and his birthday). Since we were given about a week before he left, we didn’t have a lot of time to make plans (READ: Christmas Shop).  We made the best of another unexpected situation and went out for dinner and relaxed together.   It was a lot of fun.

tim and I night

I was upset we had a week of notice but after putting it into perspective this is a better time (versus in a few months), I’m doing a lot better.  It ensures he won’t be done for our wedding in the Spring (and could possible be there for some events too).  We dressed up and I even got to wear my “no secrets” dress. In college, my housemate and I nicknamed it the “No secrets dress”. It’s so tight you can’t hide anything in that dress.

Then Tuesday we had a work party. We did a secret Santa type of deal. I ended up with a party of the pounds DVD by Richard Simmons. I think it’s hilarious and will have to play it when I need a good LOLZ. I will record my moves obviously.  Here is a link to a youtube version (nonsponsored).

On Wednesday I got dinner at the Westmont diner with Liz. Liz Is a local fast runner and I always enjoy seeing her. I felt like it’s been so long!  Please nevermind that I look like a straight up bum and Liz looks so nice…but you get the point.  ;)

liz and I

Then yesterday my parents came into town. They are heading up to the New York city this weekend. As much as I wanted to join them, I am working.  It was great to see them yesterday evening.  I will get to see them for both Christmas and New Years so I have no complaints from that.  I should have gotten our waiter to take a photo!  Oh well, I have blogging failed.

Questions for you:

What have you been up to this week?

What are your weekend plans?

No racing for me, just working and hopefully doing a long run.

Happy Birthday Dad

Today is my dad’s birthday.  Happy birthday Dad!

I can truly say I’m very lucky to have him in my life.  He has always been there for me; whether it was moving to college each year, moving to Texas, helping me with life problems and issues or even inspiring me to begin running a few years ago. He is the best.

Thank you dad for everything and Happy Birthday.

Thank you for making fun of me when I photograph coffee.

Thank you for making fun of me when I photograph coffee.  (What he thinks I look like…it’s accurate)

 

Looking nice

Looking nice

One of my first road races

One of my first road races

My dad:  I don't want that specialty ice cream crap.  I just want plain vanilla ice cream...I'll be bold and go with a cone.  Put this on the blog, I never eat ice cream...I'm treating myself.

My dad: I don’t want that specialty ice cream crap. I just want plain vanilla ice cream…I’ll be bold and go with a cone. Put this on the blog, I never eat ice cream…I’m treating myself.

Weekend Warrior

Wow what a crazy weekend.  Last weekend was one of those weekends where you look back and say…um where did that go?  How is already Wednesday?

Rewind to an entire week ago, I went home on Wednesday evening.  The drive from NJ normally takes about 6 hours.  It took me abut 6 hours but it felt like it was never ending.  I thought I might be really close to VA…then realized I was just getting onto the NJ turnpike  (ie: 20 minutes into my drive).

Tim’s parents arrived Thursday night.  His mom was coming to look at wedding dresses with me and his dad was coming along for the ride.  Since Tim and I are getting married down in Norfolk, VA we wanted to show them more of the area, venue, etc.  It turned out to be a jam packed but really amazing weekend.

Friday we looked at wedding dresses.

Saturday morning we did the Strider Mile (Tim’s father, myself and dadLOLZ). It was a lot of fun.

After the race (eating and showering), we went and explored downtown Norfolk.  I cannot tell you the last time I was there for something other than a road race.  I went to Nauticus way back in summer camp.  The last thing you want to do in summer camp is learn anything.  My memories of Nauticus were “I want to nap on the bus”.  We probably went to Nauticus 20 times during camp…which is 19 too many.  This time we went and it was a lot of fun.

Because who doesn't want to be a mermaid...

Because who doesn’t want to be a mermaid…

It was enjoyable to go again 10 years later.  Dad gave us some cool information about the ship there (DAD spent 30 years in the Navy so knows a bit about that…).  We walked around downtown afterwords but then it got extremely hot.

The Battleship

The Battleship

Tim's parents and I

Tim’s parents and I

That night we went to a Kenny Loggins concert (sings Footloose).  It was really enjoyable.

My parents and I

My parents and I…Can you tell it’s past my bedtime? 

Sadly Tim’s parents had to leave on Sunday morning.  I had a great time and I’m sure I will see them soon.  I’m lucky to be so close with Tim’s family as well (of course)as my parents.  It was a great weekend with all four of them and we were only missing one person to make it perfect.

I left VA on Tuesday and headed back home to NJ (still weird to say). My orginal plan had been to leave on Monday but I was so exhausted that was not happening.  I could barely keep my eyes open on Sunday, let alone pack.  I could have packed on Monday and left later in the day…but then I found out I could hang out with Katie if I left Tuesday.

Katie and I

So that was more of an incentive to be lazy on Sunday and most of Monday as well. 

Whew that was tiring just typing it out.  After a nice long week long (very productive) vacation, it’s nice to sleep in my own bed.  Running shoes and feet await me at work.

Questions for you:

So old, but how was your weekend?  Any plans this weekend?

What was the last concert you went too?

Vacation Life

The last few days I was a MIA from the internet. On Wednesday evening, Tim and I drove down to my parents house. We spent Thursday taking engagement photos and then drove to Tim’s grandparents house in Charlottesville on Friday morning.

I’ve seen a few of our engagement photos and I absolutely love them.  I posted one of my instagram.  They don’t call me fueledby LOLZ for nothing I guess.

Painting some props

Painting some props

Tim’s grandfather was celebrating his 90th birthday so we had a huge get together. Everyone from Florida to Colorado to Canada traveled to get there. We had a lot of fun.  His grandparents live on a lake so we were able to just enjoy relaxing in the sun.  We were lucky the weather was nice as well.

Water front bowling

Water front bowling

They live on Lake Monticello so it was nice to go out on the boat and relax. I don’t ski but I enjoyed watching Tim, his cousin and dad ski.

The lake life

The lake life

I also got to go to my favorite sandwich shop: Which Wich.  One thing I miss a lot from Texas is this little fast food sandwich place.  It’s similar to a subway but they have a lot more options and the sandwiches are customizable.   The closest one to my parents house (and actually too us in NJ too I think) is in Richmond. Since we were in Charlottesville and it was close we had to go.

The Which Wich Life

The Which Wich Life

That’s all I really have for weekend life.  I had a lot of fun this weekend enjoying the outside world with family.  I suppose it’s time to get back into the routine.

Questions for you:

Do you have family gatherings?

Have you ever gone skiing?

Tim Nordic Skiied in college and water skiis in the summer. I’m not coordinated to do it…maybe one day I’ll get out there.  You are never too old!

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