Monday, January 30, 2012

The Fuzzy End of the Lollipop

This photo describes me perfectly right now.

No matter how hard I try, everything has just been turning out as a big, gooey, broken mess. 
I just studied my butt off for a Research Methods class I thought I would do well on, since I was understanding class discussions. 
It was terrible.
And I skipped one class to finish an assignment for this Research Methods class (which again, I thought I understood but ended up kicking my butt too), and it turns out its not due until wednesday.
I used to be so good at keeping things together, 
but I just feel like I'm a total mess right now.
And I've just had a hard month.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Happy Birthday, Joey!

January 25th will forever be one of my favorite days, because that's the day my sweetheart was born. And without him, life wouldn't be nearly as wonderful. 

Some Things I Love About Joey
his smile and those dimples.
his cowlick. I just like the way his hair looks.
his happy disposition. Even before I knew him I noticed it.
he likes the same, relatively obscure bands as me.
his love for ethnic food and trying new things.
how he always makes sure I'm taken care of first, even when he could use some TLC too.
he loves the gospel so much.
he can't wait to be a daddy.
he shares my affinity for dachshunds.
he knows his denim.
the way his eyes light up when I meet him at VMI.
he loves the office and arrested development as much as I do.
he is incredibly kind.
he's got mad yo-yo skills.
he'd do anything to protect me.
he's one smart cookie.
he makes me want to be better.
he loves me. 
he is quick to forgive me.
he supports me and my goals.
any time we are at a store and they ask if we want to donate a dollar to some charity, he always says yes.
he puts up with my dumb-girl moments.
he's simply the sweetest, most thoughtful, and sincere man I know.

and he's a total stud.

Happy birthday, my darling. You truly are the greatest. You've brought inexpressible joy to my life, and I'm so lucky to have you for the rest of forever. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

For the Peanuts: About Me Drawing

Our first project in Art for the Young Child at the beginning of the semester was to write our name and incorporate the letters into drawings of things that tell about ourselves. My professor explained that this is great for kids to do in new group settings to break the ice and introduce themselves, and it also gets the creative juices flowing. Then as a group, the kids can talk about their drawing. I included things like VMI and the Navy (for Joey), utensils - because we like to cook and eat, scotland, dance shoes and music, a dachshund, and a needle and thread.

I just used an ink pen, but obviously having the little ones incorporate color by using crayons or colored pencils would be great. And I have to say, even as an adult, this was a lot of fun and it was interesting thinking about things that I would share about myself. 

the Weekend: Pho + Frozen Yogurt

Let me tell you what, I had been looking forward to Saturday all week--and even though I've been sick for two weeks, I made sure I was healthy enough for this day! We planned a day to Roanoke so I could buy fabric to make my dress for Midwinter Formal at VMI, he could get running shoes, and we could both enjoy Pho and spring rolls at Pho Saigon. And to top it off, we could use our Groupon for frozen yogurt at the Yogurt Cafe.

Again, if you haven't had Pho....well you need to. Its been one of Joey's favorites since he was a teenager and I'm so glad he introduced it to me. It's the best feel-better food out there--totally kicks chicken noodle soup's butt. 

Since the Groupon was $12 of frozen yogurt for $6, and it was just the two of us, we went a little crazy and got three different combinations to try. 1: cake batter and cookies and cream, with sprinkles, granola, and butterscotch. 2: cheesecake with blueberries, strawberries, cherries, and granola. 3: chocolate and peanut butter with health, caramel, and hot fudge. 

And the mess.

And yes, we realize that it was a saturday and we said no sugar except for sundays, but we made a special exception since I had a coupon, and we just made up for it by not having tons of sugar on sunday, so its still only one sugar day for the week!

Despite still having a cough, it was a delightful day. And! I ended up finding shoes to wear with my wedding dress (which my mom is bringing down on Saturday!!) and we got to play with an adorable (yet somewhat manic) Papillon at the pet store. Hooray for fun dates!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

For the Peanuts: Cut Paper Letters

I just started a class called Art for the Young Child. I thought since I'm an Art and Family & Child Development double major and I work at a Montessori school, this would be right up my alley. I have to say, after only a couple classes, I already love it. We basically get to do arts and crafts each week but we also learn how a project corresponds with developmental levels and the education standards set by the state of Virginia. Its so neat to see the other things people choose to make (its a very open list of projects), and I always leave the class feeling upbeat and ready to tackle other tasks and projects I have.

After doing this project, I was just too proud of it and had so much fun, and I wanted a way to share it on the blog. So here's what I'm thinking: each time I do a project for the class, I'll share it the blog and at the end of the semester, we'll have a little collection of projects perfect for little peanuts. Hopefully this will be helpful to the handful of mamas and papas out there who I know follow the blog. 

All you need for this project is a pair of scissors and paper--hows that for an easy, inexpensive first project?? Before I cut my letters, I painted two sheets of 12x18 paper with acrylic paint I had in the house to give my letters a little oomph. After the paper dried, I roughly cut 30 squares and rectangles (15 from each sheet) from which to cut my letters. For the class we just needed to cut the alphabet and a title and glue to 12x18 paper, but you can obviously use these letters for anything--its a fun activity for kids and can help little ones practice with their scissor skills, and adults can tidy them up (mine are looking a tad rough) and cut out nicer letters for bulletin boards, room decorations, etc.

The project came from my textbook, A Handbook of Arts and Crafts, and since I currently should be doing the homework for my Humanities, Research Methods, AND American Literature classes, I'm not going to post the directions for every single letter. BUT, if you check out this website, you'll find a similar method for all 26 letters of the alphabet with step by step photos. 

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

120 Days to Lookin' Good

You know how I mentioned that I wouldn't be having my spicy thai wings from Macados for the rest of the semester? Well that's not all.
Joey and I have decided to do a health challenge (I'm not using the word "diet"--those always fail), which includes no fried food, no sugar (except a treat on sundays), no soda, fruit and/or veggies at every meal, pasta only two times a week (that's my weakness), and some form of exercise 6 days a week.
I wanted to look as good as possible in my wedding dress in four months, and Joey decided to jump on the bandwagon--which will be great for me because I hate working out and doing this kind of stuff by myself.
So, to say goodbye to the junk, we went to the gas station last night and got one final root beer, a boston creme donut for me, and peanut m&ms for him.

The chocolate chips, marshmallows, left over christmas candy, and anything else tempting has been put behind the baking stuff, all chips and snacks are out of the house, and we are ready to go!

Wedding, here we come!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I Almost Forgot...

Did I mention that Joey and I get married in 

Because we totally do. Holy cow. Four months. That's 121 days. 
We've been engaged for 7 months and 6 days. That's far too long. 
Its finally starting to feel real, and I think I can just barely make out the finish line! 
But hey, if there was anyone in the world I had to have an eleven month engagement with, I'm glad its been with Joey, because he's just the greatest, in every way.

[photo by Brinn Willis of BMW Photography]

A Monday Wing Night

When my awesome friend, Jenna, and I figured out that Macados had a wing night every Monday night, it soon became a tradition--in fact, I even spent last year's Valentines Day at Macados with a couple girlfriends because Joey was a second and couldn't leave VMI on a Monday night. Naturally I started going to wing night with Joey, and now its something fun we like to do every once in a while, especially since he is now a first classman so he can go out on Monday nights. The spicy thai wings and a cookie and cream milkshake hit the spot last night.

I love this boy. 

And I don't even care that this is sub par quality. I love being a goober with him.

All I can say is, I hope my belly enjoyed having its craving for spicy thai wings satisfied, because it won't be seeing much more of it the rest of the semester!

And hey! don't forget to email me your fabric hairpieces for our mega inspiration post! I've gotten a couple now and they look fantastic!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Blog Love + A Fun Project for You!

Well friends, this just made my day:

Joey showed me a post on another blog that had a little bit about me and my hairpiece tutorial from a few weeks ago! The blog is Dear McKenzie by Mariah Poyzer, and she and her husband, Dave, are good friends with Joey. Dave, the man behind The Wedding Format, will be shooting our wedding in May--and have I mentioned yet that I'm totally excited for that fact? Cuz I definitely am.

Well, Mariah used my tutorial to make some darling headbands for her nieces for Christmas--and buttered me up with some very sweet comments!

photo by Mariah Poyzer

I've had a few other individuals tell me that they've used my tutorial to create fun accessories as well. And all of this got me to thinkin'.....What if everyone sent me a photo of their creations, and we can have a totally rad, mega inspiration post?

Now, this only works if people get into it, so, here's all that you have to do:
In the next week or two, take a photo of your project made with my fabric hairpiece tutorial (or perhaps you want to share another fun method or technique, that's totally cool too), email it to me at (along with anything you might like to say about your piece), and I will put together a fun post sharing everyone's projects!

Sound good? Great!

Let's get to it!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Under the Weather - Do Me a Favor?

I've been sick since Wednesday.
And not just 'a little sniffle' sick. I'm the 'coughing up a lung' sick--shoot, I'm coughing up both lungs! Its that kind of cough that's so dry and half the time you just end up choking. Naturally, my voice is raspy, and Joey can hardly keep a straight face when I open my mouth half the time. But its ok, he's been such a sweetheart taking care of me, so I'll let it slide.
All I can say is, thank goodness for the three day weekend, because I spent the last couple days laying on the couch, watching The Office, and drinking honey and lemon tea. Hopefully tomorrow I can crank out the pile of homework looming over me.

On another note, I'm hearing more and more from people who read our blog, which excites me tremendously. I will admit, I wonder often if anyone really reads it.

So, humor a sick girl won't you? And leave a comment if you read A Mr. & His Soon-to-be Mrs.!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Weekend in Richmond

To finish up our week together before school really got going and we got back to the grind stone, Joey and I went to Richmond last Saturday for the Virginia State YoYo Competition.  You might remember that I took him to this competition last year as an early birthday present to him, so it was great fun to go again.

Before the competition, Joey went out with his friend, Luke, to shoot some video for Joey's sponsor at Belle Isle, a little island in the James River. Apparently it used to be a Civil War quarry and POW camp. Now its a park with lots of neat things to see and do. I went along just for kicks.

Which, included climbing some rock walls. I could've gone higher too, if I had a harness and wasn't wearing jeans. ;)

And how do you get to an island in the middle of a river? A super freaky bridge. Ok ok, I suppose its a normal bridge, but I am not a big fan of them--I stopped once to take a picture, felt it moving because of the highway above it, and I booked it to the other end and didn't stop speed walking until I was on solid ground again.

After a little Panera action for lunch, Joey competed. The competition was tough this year, but Joey had a great time and really enjoyed seeing his yoyo friends again.

And check out this awesome photo someone at the competition snapped of Joey during his run! Joey definitely performs up there!

We finished off the day with a stop in Midlothian to pick up Joey's wedding band (which is totally rockin, by the way), a visit to Short Pump, and a late dinner at House of Vietnam, which was a huge blessing! Joey and I were so hungry, didn't know where to eat, couldn't find any healthy yet affordable options, it was getting late...and we found the Vietnamese place tucked away in a little corner of a strip mall--an act of mercy!

I guess I'd say that the fun of the day ended on our way home from Richmond when, completely exhausted, we had to pull over and take a 30 minute nap in a Waffle House parking lot. We're classy like that. But no worries, we made it home safe and sound!

So now its back to school, and all that it entails...

But hey, we get married in 4 months and 3 days!

A Week With My Sweetheart, Pt. 2

So to finish our week together...

I had a Groupon for the Visulite theater in Lynchburg and SVU was doing an ice skating trip for new student orientation in Lynchburg as well. Since anyone could go ice skating, Joey and I decided to make a day of it. First, we saw Sherlock Holmes 2 at the Visulite, then went to A Taste of Philly for a couple cheese steaks--which was perfect, because both of us had been craving them all week!

Then we hit the ice at Liberty University! Neither of us had been ice skating in quite a while, but Joey proved to be a natural pro. I on the other hand, took a while to warm up on the ice and feel confident--and I did really well too, until I fell in the last half hour that we were there!

Since I paid for the Groupon months ago (which included two tickets to any movie, two drinks, and endless popcorn), and the ice skating and skates were free, we only spent 15 dollars on our day trip to Lynchburg! Needless to say, we were feeling quite proud.

Just one last update coming -- the wrap up to our lovely week together!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Week With My Sweetheart, Pt. 1

Joey and I both came back to Virginia to celebrate New Years, which meant we also got a week together before I started school.

Our (so far) one-and-only snowfall. It was short lived.

We played a lot of Phase 10, cooked every meal together, and saw the lights at Main Hall one last time before they were taken down.

We worked on a DIY project for our wedding.

Check back soon for more!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Years Eve - Let's Go, 2012!

Buying Joey's suit for our wedding. New Years fare: baked brie with cranberry chutney, lumpia, hot wings, spinach dip with crusty bread, apply dumplings with ice cream. A wonderful night with the future Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Brandt. Kisses and smiles to ring in 2012.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

And We're Back!

Hello friends!

Its been quite a few days, but with the holidays and school starting, I'm sure we weren't missed too much. Joey and I spent our Christmases apart, him in Virginia Beach and me in Ohio, but we came back to BV to celebrate New Years with my roommate, Mallory--and her new Fiance!!

After a few relaxed days, I started school last thursday, and Joey will start classes this thursday. Then its just digging down and pushing through until May!

So many photos are coming of our New Years and the first week of January 2012, so check back here in a couple days for some serious fun!

Its Gonna Be Awesome.
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