Summer Time: Wedding Video, Fun Dinners, and More

Lordy, did I fall off the blogosphere or what?  I apologize for my extended absence !!!

First, here here is some REAL mushy mush….. our wedding highlight video complete with interviews:

NorthFox Media….. is THE BEST. Hands down. Hire them.

So…… here is what is new:

  • My name is officially changed. I am no longer bearing Pirate’s last name.
  • I signed up for a marathon in the fall. It is already starting to consume my brain.
  • I think I might be addicted to cereal. Specifically, Raisin Bran and All Bran.
  • My running injuries are pretty much healed…… ::happy dance::
  • My tiny niece is actually a llama:
How cute is this?

How cute is this?

What I’ve done lately:

  • Got tan. KIDDING. I don’t tan.
  • Got to hold a 6 week old baby. My running friend brought her cute baby boy to practice last week…. and I think I felt my ovaries leap for joy. Oh dear.
  • Fed a dog a pretzel. This is a big deal because I am learning to be friendly with canines and share my beloved carbs.
  • Cooking: Somewhere between pre-wedding and post-honeymoon I realized that I hadn’t really cooked any decent dinners for my man. My Mom has been cleaning out her cookbook collection and gave me magazines from like, the 80s, that are full of easy recipes. Sundays I have been planning our dinner menus for the entire week and making new things, such as:

I also made a gorgeous pork dish with a brown-sugar-red-wine glaze (are you drooling? I am.) but didn’t take a picture because we had a guest over and I didn’t want him to think ‘WOW MR. SPEEDY’S WIFE COOKS AND TAKES PICTURES OF HER OWN FOOD. WERID-O.”

Anyways, life is good.

This past weekend we travled to West Virginia with one of our running groups for a half-marathon. TOTAL FREAKIN BLAST.

Here is the group together:

We are a happy bunch.

We are a happy bunch.

My shorts are the shortest.... what does that mean?!?

My shorts are the shortest…. what does that mean?!?

During the race, someone yelled ‘GO BILLY!’
Naturally, I thought they meant to say ‘LILY’ so I corrected them as I ran by, screaming ‘Thanks but my name is LILY!’
And then…. a tiny voice breathed behind me, ‘My name is Billy.’

Here is a shot of us running together:

Lily and Billy.

Lily and Billy.

Poor Billy. I dragged him through mile 7-11. He was a senior in high school and every time he got a little behind, I yelled ‘Come on Billy!! Billy get up here!’

He probably regretted admitting that he was Billy. Oh well, good job young runner whom I will probably never meet! I hope you do well in college.

(Clearly, I’m a creep).

I was happy with my time at 1:33:53…. totally tanked at the end but this is proof that my IT Band is getting stronger and bandier (is that a word???).

After the run, we all drove a very windy path to one of the runner’s property and stayed for a few nights. It was a little slice of paradise. Woods. Fresh air. Mountain creeks. Natural waterfalls. This place had it all.

Mr. Speedy and I got to sleep above the barn with a large Elk head looming on a wall. It was kind of like sleeping in a Gander Mountain. All was fine and dandy until people started talking about ticks and bugs. If you don’t remember, I actually got a tick once in Nebraska. It was the single most terrifying moment in my life. I FREAKED OUT. Mr. Speedy had to light a match and BURN that nasty little thing out of my back. My spine was in danger. Gah. I can’t even talk about it.

So when people start talking about ticks, I FREAK OUT. You better believe that every night I swiftly stripped down, and demanded that Mr. Speedy fully inspect me. There was nothing sexy about this task. I also made it clear that if even JOKED about a bug burrowing into my skin, he would be sorry (I actually never really thought of a decent enough threat). I also took a hair-dryer (because ticks don’t like heat) and hair-dried my already dry body to the point that it was practically burning.

Just in case he missed any….

Obviously, I’d be a GREAT camping companion.

Yes. I can relate.

Yes. I can relate.

We did have the opportunity to drive this feisty little vehicle that had no windshield or doors. It could go over rocks, mud, branches, you name it.

Here we are when the vehicle is not moving:

Oh this is so nice.

Oh this is so nice.

And here I am when the vehicle was moving:

DEAR SWEET BABY JOSEPH SLOOOOW DOWN.

DEAR SWEET BABY JOSEPH SLOOOOW DOWN.

Obviously, I highly recommend anyone riding in one of these so they can look simply attractive and totally gorgeous. Your date will surely just drive faster and don’t mind the bugs that get lodged into your pupil, they eventually fly out.

I’m wearing a helmet next time.

Have you gotten a tick before?
What have you made for dinner lately?
Gone anywhere fun?

Sincerely,

Lily

My Top 10 Gift ideas for HER

HER.

You know who I am talking about – that lady. Her could be your mother, girlfriend, crush, sister, best friend, teacher, or wife.

HER.

Here are my top 10 gifts for any HER in your life:

1. Burt’s Bees Lip Gloss: Or any Burt’s Bees lip product. It is all natural. It creates a smooth shine and healthy lips. All women wear chapstick, lip gloss, lip stick, or a combo of all three. We need this. It is an essential part of our daily routine. My friend Brittany mailed me this and it is always in my coat pocket.  Find it at CVS for $8.99. PERFECT STOCKING STUFFER.

This is THE BEST.

This is THE BEST.

2. Magazine Subscription: THIS IS SUCH A GOOD GIFT. You know what I love? Curling up a with a good magazine that I didn’t have to pay for. Does she like cooking? Home decor? Travel? Clothes? Sports? I look forward to finding my Self, Runner’s World, and Country Living in my mailbox every month. Get her subscription to a magazine- you can’t go wrong! It is like getting a present every month! Find a variety on Amazon for a range of prices… or just find the magazine directly and order.

YES. DROOL.

YES. DROOL.

3. Wine, this wine: This is just not any wine. This wine is made in Northern Michigan and it is hands down the BEST RIESLING I have ever had. It is sweet but not as sweet as a Moscato. It is smooth and airy and light. I love it. Buy her a bottle of this or an entire case and invite me over. Please. Find the Late Harvest Riesling at Black Star Farms, they can ship or have a list of stores that carry it (many in Detroit area). $15.00

This wine seriously taste like an explosion of all good things.

This wine seriously taste like an explosion of all good things.

This also makes a great hostess gift if you are attending a holiday party!

4. Home Decor OR Decor Surprise: This present only works if you live with the woman or are extremely close with them. Do not do this to a crush or teacher because it may freak them out. Re-arrange and re-decorate a space for them. It doesn’t have to be extreme and doesn’t have to cost much. This image of the bookshelf was one I rearranged- group colors and sizes together and add a pop of color with a new bowl, with fruit. Or buy a vase. A photograph. A few new pillows for the couch. We love and adore home decor. Seriously. These pillows from Kohls are a favorite, $64. I also love this cable knit pillow (it is like a big sweater!), for $69.  Love Nate Berkus line at Target and this starburst, $13.98. You can never go wrong with a classic Kate Spade vase, $50. I adore her Grace Avenue collection and it goes great with ANY room.

A little home decor is always a good gift.

A little home decor is always a good gift.

Mr. Speedy bought me this canvas art and I love it. What a perfect way to dress up the wall!

Mr. Speedy bought me this canvas art and I love it. What a perfect way to dress up the wall!

5. Gift Card to a Salon for WAXING: Or if she doesn’t get waxed, a nail salon or hair place will do. Every lady requires maintenance and let me tell you- I would be so happy to receive a gift towards getting my eyebrows waxed so I don’t have to worry about the expense of it all. A massage would work too. So many good options. Find out where she gets her business (nails, wax, hair cut, etc.) done and go grab a gift card!!!

Don't I just look like  a model?

Don’t I just look like a model?

6. Personalized Stationary: This goes along with the post on men gifts, but seriously, EVERYONE could use some high-end stationary for their personal correspondence. Or if the woman has a favorite flower, buy some with that on it. The choices are really endlessly. Include some stamps for extra bonus points. Order some from Paper Source, or these cute ones from NaomiLynn, $15.

Stationary!

Stationary!

7. A Getaway: Although pricey, this is easy peasy and means a lot. Book a weekend trip (or even just one night) somewhere to go. This is perfect for girlfriends, best friends, moms, or sisters. We love getaways. Find a picture of the person on vacation and write on the back “Merry Christmas- get ready for another trip because we are going X (name location) on X (name dates)!”. A great place in Northern Michigan where Mr. Speedy proposed but would be a fun trip for ANYONE, is the Inn at Bay Harbor. From $157. Or I took him for a night away to the Dearborn Inn (and we visited the museum across the street) which was a total blast, from $149. BE SURE TO GET BUFFET BREAKFAST.

Fate.

Fate.

8. Lavender Vanilla Pillow Mist: It is fact that the scent lavender helps relax and get into sleep mode. Pillow mist is probably one of the BEST THINGS EVER.  I use this before sleepy time, just spray a little on the pillows and climb in. Mr. Speedy doesn’t mind although it doesn’t make him sleepy…. never mind. What a great gift, find it at Bath and Body Works for only $10.

Buy this for anyone, they are sure to love it. Who doesn't like to relax and sleep???

Buy this for anyone, they are sure to love it. Who doesn’t like to relax and sleep???

9. The Pioneer Woman: A Year of Holidays (cookbook): The Pioneer Woman is one of my favorite blogs and she is an amazing cook…. and photographer. And she is hilarious. All of her cook books are stuffed full of rich and flavorful recipes, complete with easy steps and pictures. Perfect for any level of cook. She has three cook books out, but this latest one, A Year of Holidays, is geared around holiday foods. I love that- recipes for any occasion! Find it at Barnes & Noble, $20.99.

Love this cook book!

Love this cook book!

10. Solar-Powered Dancing Daisy: Mr. Speedy bought me one of these and it sits in my window at work and DANCES ALL DAY LONG and always brings a smile to my face. When the sun hits it directly, it dances to fast that the plastic pedals hit each other. It is crazy but it makes me laugh. And brightens my day. I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying this thing. Find it at a Dollar Store, $1. If you really want to be funny, buy a whole bunch. (ha, get it? Bunch?)

It dances in the sun! So dang cute!

It dances in the sun! So dang cute!

Other notable mentiones: soap from CerealFly – try XOXO scent, $4.50, a book on her hobby/passion, a red nail polish that is fast-drying – we rarely have time to wait for our nails to dry and we always need a good red color.

There is my little list of gifts for women… hope you enjoyed it and good luck with the rest of Christmas shopping! One more week and it’ll be here.

I am going to go put myself in direct sunlight now and see if it gets me to dance.

Sincerely,

Lily

Mackinac Island Re-cap: A present, fancy dinners, and lots of exploring

Lovers at Grand Hotel.

Lovers at Grand Hotel.

The post is going to be quick and simple, with lots and lots of pictures.

We had a blast at Mackinac Island. Here is a quick re-cap through some lovely shots:

Waiting for the ferry-

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The ferry was large and in charge:

DSC_0007The water was BEAUTIFUL:

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Once seated on the top deck and in motion, we quickly realized that it was WINDY and CHILLY. My hair was quite amazing:

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The bridge and the island!

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We immediately enjoyed drinks and a humus appetizer before going to our hotel. Have I mentioned I love orange peels?

We were on a pre-wedding-mini-moon.

We were on a pre-wedding-mini-moon.

Scenes from our walk to the hotel:

Our hotel room was AMAZING. Large king size bed, funny old-fashioned decor, a sitting room over-looking the lake and bridge:

Have I mentioned that I love his arms? I do:

Drooooool.

Drooooool.

Now for the TIFFANY PRESENT. Any guesses? Mr. Speedy was COMPLETELY SHOCKED (well, he knew I was giving him something because throughout the entire week I was like “I have a present for you and you shall receive it this weekend.” But he had no idea what it was!)

DSC_0117DSC_0120They were CUFF LINKS from the Gatsby line of jewelry that came out at Tiffanys….. aka perfect for our themed wedding.

I love them. They are perfect.

I love them. They are perfect.

I had to give them to him oh-so-early prior to the wedding because several times he attempted to purchase some for his tux or talked about purchasing them for his tux. What is a girl to do? I couldn’t exactly be like ‘DON’T BUY ANY CUFF LINKS BECAUSE YOU WILL GET SOME BUT NOT FROM ME, LETS GO RUNNING.” He ended up wearing them that night at our fancy dinner 🙂

Okay, after making out for 354365534 hours and recovering from our lovey-dovey feelings, we went to our fancy dinner:

Very patriotic.

Very patriotic.

The next day was full of adventures. After our buffet, we played chess on the porch:

I was frowning and losing.

I was frowning and losing.

And then we started off on exploring the island:

I am pretty sure that Mr. Speedy’s favorite part of this day, was discovering this dog who sat at still as a statue and just mellow and sweet:

Mr. Speedy loved this dog.

Mr. Speedy loved this dog.

In the far off future, I will have to learn how to love dogs because Mr. Speedy will want one. However, if we have a very large yard with plenty of room and like, a separate living house for a dog, then I am okay with this pet. But it cannot go near my bed, kitchen, couches, or drool near me. Or poop.

Maybe I am not okay with this….. ::shudddddders:::

After exploring, we had a couple of drinks at The Gatehouse, enjoyed some coconut shrimp and then had fancy dinner #2:

It was like a painting.

It was like a painting.

We also spent lots of time with my old college roommate and her mother, who were on this trip. I don’t know if I mentioned it, but the owner of the Grand Hotel is an alum of my college and every year, for the past 4 years, there has been an alum trip and you get to stay at the Grand Hotel at a very discounted rate.

It was a blast that she was on the trip and to catch up!

I also think I am going to do fudge wedding favors from the island….. I mean, how perfect does that sound and all of the out-of-town guests can drool over the amazing Michigan famous dessert. Um…. yes!

Seriously though, if you EVER get the chance to visit this place or need a vacation spot – go here. End of summer is the best because the leaves are changing and it is not very hot/humid and there are not hudge crowds.

Sincerely,

Lily

Romantic Island of Fudge and Horses- Here we come!

This weekend Mr. Speedy and I are going on an annual weekend getaway to Mackinac Island.

We actually ALMOST PICKED THIS PLACE FOR OUR WEDDING, but though it would be a little difficult to travel to for guests…. but it would be such a lovely place to get married. The perfect destination. WILL SOMEONE PLEASE GET MARRIED HERE AND INVITE ME?

Last year, when we visited the island after a mere 5 months of dating, we had a full conversation about getting married here over cocktails and the sun setting… I would have married him right there on the spot, had he asked. ::SWOON::

Pretty little marker on the water.

Pretty little marker on the water.

From the view of the ferry that brought us to the island!

From the view of the ferry that brought us to the island!

From the top of our bike ride last year, overlooking the water.

From the top of our bike ride last year, overlooking the water.

I have blogged about this place before and its magical qualities. If you do not know what I am talking about, google it. Or watch the movie Somewhere In Time. We will be staying at the Grand Hotel, which is extremely historical and a special treat. You have to dress up and be fancy schmancy.

This pic was taken 2 years ago, prior to Mr. Speedy. But LOOK AT THE HOTEL.

This pic was taken 2 years ago, prior to Mr. Speedy. But LOOK AT THE HOTEL.

The porch is famous. It is the LONGEST PORCH IN THE WORLD.

The porch is famous. It is the LONGEST PORCH IN THE WORLD.

Yep. I shall marry you.

Yep. I shall marry you.

***Side note: This hotel is where my father likes to remind me that my older sister was conceived. Kind of gross. Kind of didn’t need to share it, but I just wanted to let you know the type of things Pirate will say.

Obviously,  it is a romantic place if my sibling was created here. I have a friend who went here for her honeymoon. It is such a timeless place to visit.

This island is located between the Northern peninsula and Southern hand of Michigan and…

  • NO CARS ALLOWED: The island consists of walkers, bikers, and horses for transportation. It is like stepping back in time. And side-stepping all horse poop.
  • FUDGE: The island is known for it’s fudge and holy heck, you can smell it everywhere, get samples, buy it in chunks. SO GOOD.
  • IT IS ROMANTIC: HAVE I EXPRESSED THIS ENOUGH YET? Crystal-blue waters, no horns honking, and the clitter-clatter of hooves…. seriously. Your heart melts.
  • RUNNING: You can easily run around the entire island – an 8 mile scenic-drop-dead-gorgeous loop. We did 2 loops last year for our marathon training and completely missed the HUGE BUFFET BREAKFAST. We will only be doing one loop and will not be missing any meals. 🙂
We were so young! ha!

We were so young! ha!

Saturday marks 6 MONTHS UNTIL THE WEDDING…. so I thought I’d do something special while for him we are sipping cocktails and enjoying the Grand and the horses and fudge.

I adore this man, as you all know to a sickening level of love. I have a hard time keeping secrets and feel like this is an appropriate opportunity to give a gift, and express my undying happiness and love and smother him in kisses.

Also, my birthday is approaching and I ain’t getting any younger and you only live once.

So I have something for him, something for the wedding (he has another gift, but I’ll save that for the actual wedding day). I will be giving him this Saturday:

Oh- what is this? What is in here?

Oh- what is this? What is in here?

I’m so sneaky.

I will update about the trip and secret Tiffany & Co. gift after we return from the land of horses and fudge and old-fashioned buildings.

I can’t wait. Have a great weekend! ♥

Sincerely,

Lily

Last year, getting ready for dinner. Our hips are attached.

Last year, getting ready for dinner. Our hips are attached.