Vacation Finale & Wedding Invites

Well, friends — today marks my return to the harried life of a grad student. I’ll be spending the next three days participating in a nutrition policy field trip of sorts here in D.C. with my classmates, listening to speakers and participating in discussions about nutrition-related hot topics. It should be an interesting and very informative few days — and certainly convenient that I was already in D.C. for break and didn’t have to go anywhere. :)

I invited my group of grad school girlfriends to stay at my parent’s place over the course of the trip (“Wait, HOW many girls did you invite to stay with us?”) since a) I knew it would be fun, and b) Hotels in this area are super expensive. I was so happy to be reunited with them last night — and guess who surprised us by having a ring on her finger!!! :)


SO exciting!! You can imagine the massive amount of shrieking that ensued when she came into the restaurant where we were last night and flashed her hand, hehe. Check out Elle’s blog to read all the engagement story details! :)

Monday and Tuesday were spent thoroughly enjoying my last bit of vacation. I started Monday morning with a run with my dad (a very hilly 4.4 miles in 39:25), then met up with a couple long lost friends for lunch!



Jimmy, Lauren, and I met while studying abroad in Australia during college in 2003. I hadn’t seen them in AGES and I missed them! These kids are hilarious and we had a blast reminiscing about all our adventures and travels together down under. (We missed you, Katie and Lee!)

We went to Cactus Cantina for lunch — a tasty Mexican place in D.C.


Clearly sangria happened. It was 5 o’clock somewhere.


Plus a big chicken taco salad. Delish!


I wish we’d had more time to hang out — great seeing you guys again! :)

After lunch, I hightailed it straight down to Georgetown to meet my mom — we made an appointment at The Dandelion Patch to look at potential wedding invitations. We weren’t 100% sold on any, but here are a couple we liked.


Regarding Save the Dates, below is a picture of one we liked, but I’m debating doing the save the dates online so I can be more involved in the creation process. It’s annoying that if you use an in-person store, you can’t see a proof of your picture in the card until you agree to buy the cards! We want to use the first photo from our engagement post for them — so imagine that picture instead of this random one, ha. Any recommendations for good create your own (but still nice quality) save the date or invitation websites?


I capped Monday off with another fun dinner with my high school girls, minus Jenny who was no longer in town!


Love them. :)

We went to Busara Thai in Tysons Corner and spent nearly 3 hours dying of laughter. And eating, of course. I had the Pad Pak (my standard) — but with shrimp instead of chicken.


Plus brown rice! Most Asian restaurants have brown rice — you just have to ask for it instead of white.


As for Tuesday, I spent most of the day getting organized, catching up on emails, cleaning up the house/my room, etc. before the girls arrived. But I did make it out to Down Dog Yoga in Georgetown for the 9:30 a.m. hour and a half long hot vinyasa flow class!


Don’t let the sunshine fool you — it was FREEZING!


Heather joined me at the class and we both agreed it was an awesome one — and HARD! We were both totally wiped out afterward. The room is heated to 90 degrees so while it’s not as hot as a bikram studio, it was still very warm and we both worked up a major sweat. I liked the teacher a lot, too. Great mix of poses and flowing vs. holding poses. I will have to keep an eye out for a Groupon or Living Social for this place — I don’t think I can afford it normally. :( Luckily yesterday I was able to use a free birthday class they emailed me back in September, good for 6 months! So glad I remembered to use that before it expired!

After a whirlwind of blow dryers, makeup, and showers, I’m headed downtown with the girls — let the nutrition policy field trip begin!


  1. 1

    We use wedding paper divas for our magnets (discount if you’re a Costco member) and I worked with a graphic designer on etsy for our invites. I wanted something unique.

    • 2

      I second Wedding Paper Divas as a good reasonable source. When we were trying to decide on our invites we ordered a bunch of samples and the end result was fantastic.

      • 3

        I will third that! I used wedding paper divas for my invitations and the quality was really good for the price you pay. I used Vistaprint for my save the dates. Everything we did was really simple though. And inexpensive. :-)

  2. 4

    I second the Etsy support! I got one of a kind, handmade invites for a little less than we would have paid for run-of-the-mill type invitations that we would have had to piece together ourselves. Mine were from and I couldn’t have been happier!

  3. 5

    I’ve heard that Down Dog Yoga is awesome! I just wished I lived closer to DC to try it out myself :(

  4. 6

    Ooooh I love big sleepovers haha! Sounds like a good time. Have fun on your field trips :)

  5. 7

    We actually did our save the dates through Costco. We opted for a full picture greeting card. I instered text by using The turned out really great!!! The only thing that surprised me was how big they are. You can see the final product at

  6. 8

    I love the first invite! So cute :D

  7. 9

    I just got married this past November…good luck with wedding planning! We got our save the date magnets from They were affordable and turned out GREAT!!

  8. 10

    I got married last year and my hubby and I turned our save the dates into refrigerator magnets! We actually ordered them off and as long as you use a high resolution picture they looks perfect! Ours look like they cost $$$$ but they cost about $90 for 150 of them! And vistaprint has a 100% satisfaction guarnatee so if you hate them you can send them back and get your money back no problem!

  9. 12

    Oh Cactus :) God, I miss some of my favorite margarita spots in DC. (Oh, wait…maybe that’s why I ended up needing to lose 50 pounds :)) But Cactus was the first restaurant I went to as a freshman at AU, so it holds a special place in my heart.

  10. 15

    It stinks how expensive yoga classes are, but yay for getting a free birthday class! :)

  11. 16

    We got our save the dates from peartree greetings. They have a lot of cute options but we LOVED this one:– it was a lot cheaper with online discount codes as well. For our invites I couldn’t really find anything I liked. I finally found one I loved on etsy but it was WAY out of our price range so I contacted Emily at this blog and she worked with me to create my perfect invitation!

  12. 17

    We used Photo Card Chef ( for our invitations and we loved working with her. She was amazingly cooperative in incorporating our colors and we received an electronic proof of our invitation. She also has some really unique wedding invitations which is what we liked.

    I’ve also had good luck with Shutterfly for my photo Christmas Cards and I love them! They give you a proof on the screen so that helps.

    Have fun and good luck!!

  13. 18

    I LOVE Down Dog Yoga!! I’m also anxiously awaiting a Groupon or Living Social deal haha i want to dive into more yoga for the new year, but it’s pretty pricey..

  14. 19
    Stephanie says:

    We did our save the dates through wedding paper divas. The original one I liked didn’t come in the color I wanted do I emailed them and thu offered to customize the design in my colors for no charge! I loved my Dave the dates so much we ended up ordering our invites through them too.

  15. 20

    I second the VistaPrint recommendation. It’s also an awesome way to save money. I think it’s $5 to upload your own photo but you can get 100 free post cards (google it for the offer to come up) and you can get multiple sets of free postcards (we used two sets for our wedding). I bought envelopes to send them in, but we spent less than $20 on STDs.

    We’re using ETSY for our invitations and my only complaint is there are too many gorgeous designs to choose from. Took months to decide!

  16. 21

    I really love the invite that’s horizontal. It’s kinda classic yet modern. I’m not engaged or anything but I’ve seen some of the cutest wedding invites and save the dates on Etsy. You should check them out if you’re still looking. Good Luck!! :-D

  17. 22

    I used for our save the dates and wedding invitations, and was super happy with them – great choice of designs, good quality paper and quick delivery. Good luck!

  18. 23

    I love meeting up with friends and laughing like that for hours! Mostly remembering how dorky we were/are! Chicken Taco salad looks so good and easily made. Probably have all of the ingredients in my pantry, minus the avocado.
    Have a great day and good luck with this weeks field trip!

  19. 24

    We went with for ours, they had a great variety of designs that were endlessly customizable (like you, I wanted lots of control). Don’t be fooled by the name either, it’s not all magnets, i chose a theme and we got every piece of wedding stationery we used there, and all was top quality. Prices were extremely reasonable too (look for coupon codes online)and service was super fast!

  20. 25

    Looks like you had a great last few days of your break! Good Luck with the start of a new semester!

  21. 26

    I used snapfish for my save the dates and I’m very happy with how they turned out! They had a greater selection than Kodak or other photo websites.

  22. 27
    Jill in Chicago says:

    You and your friends seem to have unlimited funds for traveling to Europe, eating out, and drop-in yoga classes. I think I’m in the wrong line of work at a not-for-profit, I should go back to grad school!

  23. 29

    We actually did not do save the dates for our 2011 wedding. I figured no one did them 10+ years ago, so why do we need them now? We were in touch with all of our guests in person/over email/over the phone to tell them all of the date. Just a tip in case you are looking to save time/paper/money!

  24. 30

    One of my favorite parts about planning my wedding was the stationary. I live in Burlington, NC and met with a local graphic designer who did an amazing job on everything – save the dates, invitations and most recently – our Christmas card. She got my vision and everything was so special and unique. Plus it was less expensive than some of the invitations out of books, etc.

    Here is her facebook page –

  25. 31

    Missing you girls lots this week!

  26. 33

    I’m sorry your vacation is over, but it’s always exciting to start new phases!

  27. 34

    We’ve had friends who used magnets for save the dates and also for wedding favors, and as recipients we love them!

    I just recommended your site to a friend who is slowly going vegan and pointed her to all your awesome vegan recipes! I just made a double batch of the vegan banana breakfast bars for my hubby’s breakfasts – they freeze really well so as I get more and more pregnant I won’t have to make more for a while :) Your microwave banana oatmeal (with peanut flour to increase protein and make it peanut butter banana!) is also a high-protein pregnancy staple snack of mine!

  28. 36
    Adventurer says:

    Sounds like an awesome time. Food, fitness, and fun — all with friends. Green with envy! Very nice –

  29. 37
    Elizabeth says:

    I’m getting married in March and just got my invites from
    I absolutely love them, they send you up to 5 samples in the mail to help you make your decision. They are high quality and affordable. My sister got her save the dates with the same results. They are awesome!

  30. 38

    I was so sore yesterday! Whew. Now I know where to go when I want a different scene, but good butt-kicking ;)

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