My Wedding Anti-Diet

Friday, March 25, 2016

Color me clueless, but I lived nearly two decades of my life not even realizing dieting for one's wedding was a thing. I distinctly remember when I realized wedding diets existed in the world at large and how terrible this discovery felt. It felt like the time I realized "sophomore" was not spelled "sophmore"—an error I made consistently for countless years (including "sophmore" year of high school). (To this day, I take spelling much more seriously than dieting, you should too.)

I was in college, and the T.V. blared Royal Wedding coverage (but of course). The news people were discussing....wait for it...Kate Middleton's waistline. What else?

They were showing beautiful pictures of Kate six months ago and beautiful pictures of present day Kate and comparing her waist size in the pictures. Because really? This woman is about to officially become royalty so let's discuss her body at length, shall we? What else could we possibly cover about her? Oh yes, her clothes. Well, we'll cover her wardrobe extensively in the next segment and the next segment and the next segment, don't you worry.

So, one woman says: "I must say, she just looks so much thinner. I'm worried she's starving herself for the wedding."

Second woman responds: "Well, I say, let her do what she wants with her body. It's the most important day of her life. Of course she'd want to be in the best shape possible!"

And this is when I had my miserable epiphany. I can't remember my exact position but it's safe to assume I was sprawled out on the couch inhaling Sour Patch Kids. And I thought, eloquently:

Wait, what? People diet for weddings? Shit.

Because, as an athlete, when I asked myself the question: When should one be in the best shape of one's life? The following answers came to the forefront of my mind:

*When one's playing in the NCAA Tournament
*When one's climbing Mount Everest
*When one's swimming the English Channel
*When one's competing in the Olympics

These, to me, make sense. You should probably (at least attempt) to be in (somewhere near) the best shape of your life when you're participating in a vigorous athletic event. But when one's getting married? When you've found a person who wants to share the rest of your life with you, until death due you part? Why?  Had the stars ever been more misaligned?

I suppose (I admit this is likely an uncommon perspective), for the first 20 years of life I never associated being in shape with appearance. I mean you either can or can't run a mile in under 6 minutes and 30 seconds and it didn't matter how thin you are, if you didn't make your mile time you were benched until you did (this actually happened for my college  basketball team, some of the thinnest girls on the team didn't pass the test).

Of course, flash forward seven years, and now I'm actually planning a wedding and less blissfully naive about society's body standards, and I totally get it. You're going to have to wear a dress in front of tons of people, some of which you haven't seen in years. You're going to be professionally photographed for hours on end. Those photos will be broadcast all over social media, so even friends and friends of friends you purposefully didn't invite will be able to judge how you look and say passive aggressive comments like, "Well she looks nice but that dress just isn't for me, you know?"

So, when we were dress shopping, I had another epiphany to counteract my miserable epiphany of yore: I'm going to buy a dress that fits me. (Note: with my really short guest list, I already had not invited any passive-aggressive dress judgers to my wedding.) Furthermore, being what Cosmo calls "pear-shaped"—I tried on a few tight-all-the-way-down numbers, thought "nope," and told the dress attendant that I'm going to need to buy a dress that "goes out." And, then, the whole dress shopping experience became much easier and more enjoyable.

And therefore, my friends, I present to you the ultimate wedding (anti)diet: BUY A DRESS THAT FITS. THE END.


Read This: My New Author Girl Crush, Liane Moriarty

Monday, March 14, 2016

So every once in a while after I read a book I think, "I need to read every book by this author." It happened right away with Emily Giffin from the moment I finished Something Borrowed and I've loved reading all of her books and staying up to date as her new titles come out ever since (I look forward to her new book First Comes Love, out in June).

Well, I'm excited to report I have another official author girl crush: Liane Moriarty. This Australian writer was highly recommended to me, and as luck would have it my sister Becky bought me "The Husband's Secret" for Christmas, even though I hadn't mentioned the recommendations to her. Becky is an awesome gift giver!

Well, after flying through the Husband's Secret I knew I had to read them all :) My mom found The Hypnotist's Love Story for me half-priced, and I bought Big Little Lies used and read that in under a week, too! So I've read one Liane Moriarty book a month in 2016--not bad! She has 6 novels so these are the ones I've read:

And these are the ones I need to read:
She also writes children's books which I'm totally tempted to read as well.

But what are her books like?, you ask. Glad you asked! To keep the Emily Giffin comparison alive, I'd say she's a darker Emily Giffin. Similarly, her books center around women, but whereas most of Emily's center around, say the 25-30 year-old woman who's struggling to find love (speaking in generalities, of course), most of Moriarty's protagonists are slightly older than that, and most are moms. Or, should I say, since Moriarty is an Australian author, "mums." (Aside: I love the Australian elements thrown into these books. It's fun reading about people on the other side of the world! Who, of course, have a lot in common with us.)

I enjoy love stories, and there are certainly romantic elements weaved in throughout Moriarty's books, but it's not all love. In fact, two of the three books I've read of hers involve a murder--but don't think it's a murder mystery in the traditional sense of a crime-story genre. It's not!

In regards to the writing itself: All of her books (that I've read) are written in third person tight with alternating points of view. I do think a challenge here is, in each book, I did start to care about one point of view more than all of the rest. (I'd love to know, if you read them, which protagonists you preferred.) Regardless of POV, she's great at incorporating humor as she writes, and adept at drilling down to little insights about life that ring so true.

Overall, I find her writing incredible relatable, fun, and full of great tension. The girl will make you want to turn the page! I'd say The Hypnotist's Love Story was my least favorite of the three (not as complex/layered, felt a bit too simple), so I'd recommend starting with The Husband's Secret or Big Little Lies. If you check out the books (or have read them already) I'd love to know what you think! Next up on my Moriarty book list for April: What Alice Forgot which is apparently a tear-jerker. Happy Monday, friends! xx

(First two images of books from the author's website.)

Honeymoon Suggestions: What Should We Do in Oregon?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Of all the wedding decisions (venue! dress! flowers!), the honeymoon location was one of the most exciting for me. Stephen and I love traveling, but, since we dated for long distance for so long (when traveling = going to see the other person), we've only been on 2 big trips by ourselves during our 6+ years of dating.

Two years ago we went to the California coast and then, of course, Spain this past November! Both were wonderful and, well, kind of busy. In California we went from San Fran > Carmel > Yosemite > San Fran, and in Spain we did Madrid > Barcelona > Seville > Madrid.

So, for our honeymoon we had a new criteria: more relaxing. Less doing. This is hard for me as I am, at my core, a do-er. But, our first step of picking a place is complete! We picked a domestic place as I feel the pressures of "oh-my-gosh-we-have-to-do-everything-because-we-are-in-a-different-country-and-may-never-come-back" are relieved. Plus, less guilt for skipping art museums ;)

We booked our tickets last night from Madison to Portland, Oregon. Our loose plan is to explore Portland some, eat delicious food, and then hit a small town on the Oregon Coast (Manzanita? Cannon Beach?) to relax. But I would LOVE to hear all of your Oregon recommendations! From restaurants to activities to just cool places to hang out!

Image via here
Also, would love your opinion on this burning philosophical question: Does honeymooning in Oregon make us the most hipster/granola couple ever?  I don't really identify as a hipster because I don't have hipster style (never wore chunky glasses in my life!). But, of course, I don't really have style per se all unless "I actually woke up like this" counts as a style. (Trust me, I'm not putting that sh*t on Instagram.) (Working from home most of the time does NOT improve my wardrobe, for the record).

And when a friend recently asked where we were honeymooning and I said "We're choosing between the Oregon Coast and Arcadia Park in Maine" I'm pretty sure she gave me a "OMG-you're-a-hipster" look So I'm dying to know how I should appropriately categorize myself here. :)

Thanks in advance for all your Portland and Oregon recommendations!! xx

Warby Parker Spring Collection

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Can you believe that I'm writing the word "spring" in a post title? Me neither, but it feels great. Today I took a walk outside without a hat or gloves which feels like a massive accomplishment here in Wisconsin. Before we know it, it will be time for fresh flowers at the Madison farmer's market and the lakes will un-freeze.

With a new season comes new styles, and Warby Parker's spring collection has a flashy array of new glasses styles I wanted to share with you. :)

Aren't the colors fun? I love companies like Warby Parker, because of their strong moral conscience. For each pair or glasses you buy, they distribute a pair to someone in need. Because--get this--almost one billion people worldwide lack access to glasses. This (obviously) hinders their ability to learn and work.

So, if you're on the lookout for a new pair of eyewear, swing over to their site and check out their collection.

I'm working on some book review blog posts to bring to you soon, but in the mean time, enjoy the beginning of March and congrats for making it through February! xx