Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ya Do What Ya Can

Good morning, everyone!

How are you all doing this Tuesday?! :)

I don't know about you guys, but after taking a couple of weeks pretty much completely off from working out (truth: I may have squeezed in about 3 workouts total in the past 2.5 weeks...), it is so much more difficult for me to motivate myself to sweat on a daily basis.

This morning's sweat sesh almost never was.

I woke up 10 minutes after my alarm (5:10), knowing that I would not have time to make it to the gym.

You see, now-a-days, if I want to do the whole rise & shine thing, I pretty much have to be out the door by 5AM.

I know, it's ungodly.

I dragged myself out of bed anyway, deciding I'd get in a quick run outside.

I really wasn't feeling it at this point.

It is now dark here around 5AM, and I am not so comfortable about running, outside, in the dark, by myself.

Call me paranoid...I have just watched 1 too many 48 Hours Mysteries to fall for that trick.

But...I found my big girl pants I laced up my shoes and headed downstairs anyway, only to find that my iPod was DEAD.


At this point I was so dang frustrated, I decided to show them (and by "them," I mean whoever was trying to prevent my morning workout after Taco Night, of all things!).

I did a few quick laps, in silence, around our neighborhood, treating it kind of like a track.

That was about all I could handle.  You guys know how ADD I get with old music - try that with NO music.

I came back upstairs to knock out a new BBF YouTube Ab series, the Butterfly Abs series, followed by a little total body blast that I have been meaning to share with you guys for WEEKS.

This little set is great, because it can literally be done ANYWHERE.  No weights, big bouncy ball, or mirror needed.

Just a little willpower, your body, and maybe some Britney (or Justin Bieber, my choice this AM!) to get you through it!

The "5 by 25" Total Body Circuit:

1) 25 mini-sumo squats + 25 cellulite blasters (See this video @ 1:48 & 2:08 for these moves!)

2) 50 jumping jacks (I guess this ruins the "5 by 25 name," but who's counting?!)

3) 25 tricep dips (body weight on floor or use a seat or even a couch!)

4) 25 crunches of choice (can alternate type each circuit if you’d like)

5) 25 pushups (try the real ones for the first 10, then drop to your knees if you’d like)

Repeat this 3 to 5 times, depending on how you’re feeling that day! 

This is a goodie!! Your legs, tush, arms, and abs will be burning!

*Remember: Always check with your doctor before starting any new fitness routine*  

As I was working through all of this this morning, I was constantly telling myself, "hey, ya do what ya can."

It's not always possible to get in a full, 60 minute workout at a gym.

For regular exercise to be sustainable with a busy schedule, you've gotta get creative.

And, sometimes it is the most impromptu workouts that are the best!

I'm so glad to have that out of the way, because I've got a busy day ahead, including a meeting tonight with a potential photographer/stationary vendor! :)

On that note, I wanted to ask all of my engaged & married readers...did you all DIY your invites, or outsource them?? I was thinking about doing ours myself, but I'm wondering if all of the extra work would be worth the amount of $ we might save.

A question for all ma single (or not!) ladies (and men?!): What is the most impromptu workout you've done lately?!

I'm off to finish this beautiful cup of coffee staring at me...

Have a great day, ya'll!



Sunday, August 21, 2011

I've Missed You!

Hi friends!!!!!!!!! :)

I hope you guys have not given up on me!

I fully did not intend to take a blog-cation, but my oh my, these past couple of weeks have been BA-nanas.

With coming home from vacation, heading right into a brand-new (and time-consuming) job, and helping with 2 fabulous bachleorette parties, I feel like I have literally been treading water.

It's all been a blast, but I am craving my routine, including my regular blog posts!

So, lets cut to the chase, I'm sure you're all wondering...

1) How was the rest of our trip to Maui? 

It was incredible!

We rounded out our trip with a Luau:

We finally got "lei"ed! ;) 

Some more relaxing days at the beach:

Yes, this is a real picture. 

A trip above the clouds:

10,000 feet above ground, to be exact. 

Looking down into the crater. 

It was so windy and about 50 degrees - we were WAY under-dressed! 

And more sunsets that will take your breath away:

We had an amazing time on our vacation.  I could not think of a more perfect way to celebrate being done with the Bar exam, and, of course, being newly engaged!

I would highly recommend Maui to anyone thinking of a their first Hawaiian vacation.

In case you are wondering, we stayed at the Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas - the Westin's time share complex in Maui.

The resort was beautiful and we had impeccable service!

We got a great deal through Costco Travel.

I think it is worth becoming a Costco member just to take advantage of the incredible deals on their travel service.

It was hands down the best deal out of all of the popular online travel sites.

2) How is being engaged? 

It's amazing! :)

The excitement of it all is still setting in, and I still feel a little bit like I am playing house with this sparkly little number on my finger! ;)

I have been so busy, I haven't gotten to spend a ton of time with my future hubby these past couple of weeks, but I'm looking forward to many relaxing nights as a newly engaged couple ahead.

The week I got back, my wine club threw me the SWEETEST surprise engagement party @ Season's 52.

I was so so surprised and thrilled to see all of the girls - thank you all so much again for everything!

Dessert cups for all! :) 

3) How is the wedding planning going? 

It's just getting started!

No date as of yet, but are leaning towards sometime in September/October 2012.

We did make one big decision though - to have the wedding back in Indiana, where Justin is from! :)

We are going to look at a bunch of potential venues this coming weekend - and I am *hoping* we will have a date booked shortly thereafter!

I've finally gathered some magazines, a great planning book (thanks Laura!!), and I'm ready to put on my bride-to-be cap and get down to business! :)

So much to think about - but it is all so fun!

4) How is the job going? 

It's going well so far! It's nice to have an office, and I'm slowly settling in, but the schedule (as I'm sure you can all gather by my 2 week absence) is going to take some getting used to.

My workouts have been almost non-existent over the past 2 weeks because of how early I have been leaving and how late I have been getting home.

I am seriously considering joining the gym in my office building so that I can squeeze in a sweat just before or after work.

5) Where the heck else have I been? 

I've been partying with some other amazing brides-to-be! :)

My bestest friend, Miss Ashley! To be a LaGrand on September 17th! :) 

And my friend from home, Miss Marie! To be a Cooper on November 5th! :) 

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind. 

I am so sorry I have been neglecting you all! 

I promise I do have some really fun things planned for BEBT.

This week: 

1) A brand-spakin-new playlist! 

2) A mouth-watering weekend night-in recipe. 

3) A WIAW - working woman edition. 

4) Taking care of these special blog awards I have been given! 

5) More wedding deets. 

Stay tuned!! :)



Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Why aloha there! :)

How are you all doing on this happy hump day?

We are having such a fun, relaxing time on our trip, which has now turned into our "engagement(moon)!"

So, by this point, I'm sure you're all wondering how Justin proposed, right?!

Let me see if I can sum it up pretty quickly for you before I head out to enjoy the beautiful beach.

Sunday, we didn't have set plans for the night, so we decided we would just head down to Whaler's Village to find some dinner.

As we were leaving the room, Justin grabbed a blanket and a bottle of wine, so of course I asked, "what are you doing?"  He said, "oh, aren't we going to blankity-blank-blank like the conceirge said to watch the sunset?"

I really couldn't remember what he was talking about, but we had gotten so much advice from everyone on cool places to go in Maui, so I didn't think much of it. I just smiled and awarded him a few brownie points for a sweet, romantic idea.

So, we got in our rental car and drove for about 15 minutes south.

Just as I started wondering where the h-e-double-hockey-sticks we were going, Justin turned to me and said we were actually going the wrong way, so maybe we should just forget it and go to dinner.

See...cool as a cucumber...or so I thought.

I was, of course, kind of excited about this sunset idea, so I said "let's just turn around and go!" We were in no hurry, right?

So we turned around and made our way up to the very northern part of the coast, stopping along the way to take in some beautiful views.


I kind of felt like I was floating as we were driving up there.

I just felt so happy and peaceful (and I didn't even know what was about to happen!).

I've been fortunate to travel to some amazing places in my life so far, but this was one of the most beautiful drives I have ever been on, and it felt really special to be sharing this new experience (neither of us have ever been here before) with Justin.

We curved up the windy roads, and finally got to the spot he was talking about - "mile marker 38."

We pulled off the road to park by a secluded cliff area.

I was a little nervous about maneuvering my way down onto a cliff in my flip flops, so I was really starting to wonder if he had lost his marbles.

We worked our way around to a perfect spot to watch the sunset, and snapped a few pictures.

It was windy!

Once we sat down and got settled, before I even had a moment to think, he turned to me, said "Jessica," (I always know something is up when he calls me "Jessica") and with a really serious look in his eyes started saying all of these nice, wonderful things to me, none of which I remember!

My friend Christina warned me that you will not remember anything that is said, and she was so right!

I was so shocked, excited, and caught off-guard that I couldn't even gather myself to say "yes!"  Finally, I came back down to earth, and was able to give him a resounding YES! :)

We stayed up there for a while to enjoy the moment.

It was perfect.

The hardest part was that we had zero cell phone service, and it was about 1am back at home, so we only made a select few phone calls to break the good news.

After leaving our little spot, we decided to go to dinner to celebrate.

We ended up at a random steakhouse on the way back.

We started with some champagne, of course.

And then Justin had a steak (I think ribeye):

And I had some delcious hawaiian fish (can't remember the name!) with mango salsa & mashed sweet potatoes:

Yum! :)

The following night, as you guys know, we were all dolled up and ready to go out to Mama's Fish House for another special dinner.

Little did I know, this place everyone has been raving about is actually an hour drive away from our hotel!

Oh well, I'll do just about anything for some delicious fruity cocktails...

And, did I mention, LOBSTER guacamole!

Umm...yeah, this would definitely be a part of my last supper.

I enjoyed the house specialty, crab & lobster stuffed Mahi Mahi:

I don't typically like asparagas, but I actually enjoyed it this time around...or maybe it was just the butter :)

Justin had the Ono, which had some amazing asian flavors going on:

Not gonna lie, I actually liked his dish better than mine.

Mama's Fish House is definitely a MUST if you come to Maui.  It is an open-air restaurant, right on the beach.  You really cannot beat the atmosphere, or the delicious seafood!

During the past couple of days we have been enjoying our amazing breakfast buffet, reading & relaxing on the beach, and some snorkeling.

{Yes, a little sunburnt, but I've seen worse!} 

Last night, we went to Maui Brewing Co. to sample some local beers.

I didn't take many pictures, but the Coconut Porter was my favorite.

I don't love dark beers, but the Brekenridge Brewing Co. Vanilla Porter is one of my favs, and the Coconut Porter I had last night was very similar.

We were both super tired last night, so we decided to grab some frozen yogurt @ Yogurtland:

Thanks to Katie for the recommendation! They had Hello Kitty cups & spoons! :)

Tonight we have our Luau at Feast a Lele.  I am so excited for some delicous local food & the show.

But for now, I gotta go join this tan man on the beach!



P.S. I know many of you have expressed interest in seeing closer up pictures of my engagement ring.

Send me an email at brighteyesandbushytales@gmail.com, and I will be happy to share! :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Maui Fashion(ish)

Hi friends! :)

I hope you are all settling in for a good night's sleep!

It's just about dinner time over here in Maui, and I thought I'd share my outfit for tonight!

We are just about to head out to Mama's Fish House, a restaurant that has been recommended to us by about 10 different people, so we know it's going to be good.

Here's tonight's look....

Earrings: Boutique (can't remember the name!) in Birmingham, MI

Shoes: Seychelles via Click Boutique
{Purple polish is "Nice is Nice" by Essie!}

Dress: Pitaya
Tennis Bracelet: Vintage
Engagement Ring: Designed by Justin Miller

Yep!! You read that right!! :) We are ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!!!

Details & many more pictures to follow, but for now, I'm off to celebrate with my fiancé!

I'll see you guys tomorrow, assuming I don't wake up from this dream! :)