Monthly Archives: March 2013

Rumblings of Wedding Planning

I’m just over the moon about being engaged to Brian. It’s only been a little over a month and  it feels just the same as the night we were engaged.  The main reason I want to have a longer engagement is to selfishly revel in having a finance’ for as long as I can 🙂 Also, my favorite season is Autumn and I have always imagined being married then. I especially love the weather and scenery in Virginia in October (sorry football fans).  I think by having a longer engagement, we can really take the time to pick what we want and not feel too stressed. I really want to enjoy every single moment.

It has been fun to day dream about what direction our wedding could go. I’ve started “planning” in these fun ways!

Creating a Pinterest board to organize all my wedding dreams.

wedding table

View my Wedding Pinterest Board here.

Day dreaming about our honey moon!

Can we really only take one? What about a year long honey moon? Here of some of the places we’ve thought about.


Thailand! I wanna swim with an elephant!


Croatia! Just look at this beautiful beach! I’m sold.



Greece! I love the juxtaposition of the ligt and dark landscape in Santorini

Here are all my dreams of upcoming trips.

Browsing Wedding Venues

I know I definetly want to get married in my hometown area of Richmond, Virginia. I’ve contacted the owners of the farm I grew up on, North Wales Farm. You can read more about this lovely farm here. It would really mean the world to me to be married on this farm I have so many memories from.  My parents were married here, so of course it would mean even more to be married here too.

North Wales Farm Virginia

I’ve been preparing myself in case the owners of North Wales Farm say no. My mom recently suggested Meadow Farm in Doswell, Virginia. This is the farm Secretariat was born and raised. In case you don’t know, I was a horse fanatic growing up and a Secretariat groupie. I even have snap shot of him signed by Penny Chenery. ha! Dork alert.

Topham 080

Mike Topham Photography

Planning our Engagement Shoot

We’re taking our engagement photos next weekend! I’m even more giddy to see how my friend Heather Raeburn makes us shine 🙂 It’s comforting knowing a friend is taking the shots. I know she’ll be honest if we look awkward or corny.  We’re planning to take some shots by the tidal basin (hopefully the cherry blossoms are still in full bloom), some down Pennsylvania Avenue with the Capitol in the background, and one in the metro going up an escalator.  Shameless Plug: Win your own photo shoot or photo book from Heather here!


Inspiration from Holland Photo Arts

How did you start planning your wedding? Have any organizing tips? What was your favorite part of planning?



Filed under Wedding Planning

South of the Border

I’m finally blogging about our Mexico trip wohooo! Mexico was such a great trip for two main reasons. It was my mom’s first trip out of the country, and Brian and I got engaged! Also,  I am the  proud Hamster Ball Champion of the Riviera Maya region (I’ll explain later). So get ready readers, you’re about to read the post of a true winner.

hamster ball champion

We sleepily rose from our beds at 3:45 am to make our way to BWI airport. Actually, Brian never went to sleep because he came home from work around 3:30 am.  I would’ve been a cranky zombie, but Brian used his travel mojo to push through. After one layover in Ft. Lauderdale, we made it to sunny Mexico around 12 pm. Not surprisingly, the Cancun airport was jam packed with pale travelers, all patiently waiting, day dreaming about bottomless pina coladas and crystal clear beaches.


After making our way through customs and my mom racking in her very first passport stamp, we headed off for our resort, the Marina El Cid in Puerto Morelos. I wasn’t sure what to expect, as this was my first real deal all-inclusive resort experience. Driving in, all the resorts were massive and impressive.  El Cid was no exception.

We checked in at the front desk and were sadly informed our room wasn’t quite ready. But hey, the bar was open and they were serving. We checked in with our resort “tour guide” and sipped on our cool beverages.

vacation drinks

Now, this is the only negative piece I have to share about El Cid. They sneakily try to sell all their guests a time share.  For some reason El Cid thinks it’s a great idea to hide the true intentions of their initial overview meeting of the resort. I don’t know why they think tricking people into sitting in on a 3 hour meeting while they’re on vacation will  go over well and magically help them sell more condos. Luckily Brian, my mom, and I had studied up on the reviews beforehand, so we came armed and ready to shoot this down immediately.  Brian stuck to his guns and quickly helped us bypass the sales ploy. We then happily skipped down to the pool, corona and lime in hand. Falalala.

mariana el cid

marina el cid

We spent the rest of the day exploring the resort, relaxing by the pool and ocean, and adjusting to the vacation life (it didn’t take long :)).

mexico resorts

Later that night, after dinner, Brian and I went to a Madonna themed show hosted by the resort. It was hilariously awful. Imagine a high school budget show pretending to be a full scale Broadway performance. Brian and I sat through about 5 acts and slipped out the back, making vogue poses as we left.


Yes there were many cone-shaped bras in case you were wondering.

We enjoyed the rest of the night walking around the resort, basking in the fresh warm air. We went to bed giddy for our next full day of tropical relaxation.

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Filed under Travel

Gypsy Soul Giveaway- Heather Raeburn Photography

Congrats to Kylie Elizabeth! You are the lucky winner  of the Gypsy Soul Giveaway this month!!! A big thanks to Heather Raeburn Photography for donating these awesome prizes!

Yayy! Another giveaway! I’m really excited to share that my friend Heather is graciously giving away an awesome photo prize!

Heather is an amazing photographer and is the proud owner of Heather Raeburn Photography, LLC.  Heather has a great talent for capturing candid moments  and every one of her photos exudes love and happiness.  She really takes the time to snap wonderful shots and then edits them to pure perfection.  I can’t wait for her to take Brian and my engagement photos in two weeks!

Check out some of her lovely images below.

heather raeburn photography

heather raeburn photography

heather raeburn photography

heather raeburn photography

Here’s a little bit more about Heather:

My life is full of special memories, and I’m lucky that I have always been one to carry a camera to preserve them. I love being able to capture the hopes in the gazes of young couples beginning their lives together, the awe and innocence in a child’s face, and the pure devotion in the eyes of new parents. My goal as a photographer is to make your memories last. I am based in Arlington, VA and am happy to work with clients throughout the Washington, DC metro area.
Here’s what she’s giving away!

Heather is giving away one of these awesome prizes valued at $75!

A 30 minute mini photo shoot. Heather will then edit and send 10-15 digital images on a CD for free! The photo shoot must take place within 25 miles of Washington, D.C.


She’ll design a custom 20 page photo book. All you have to do is send her the images you would like to include and she’ll do the rest.

The winner will have the option to choose one of these prizes.

Here are the details to enter! Good luck!!!
  • Prize: 30 minute mini photo shoot OR a custom photo book
  • How to Enter: Click on this rafflecopter link. From there, login with facebook and click on the link to like Heather Raeburn Photography’s facebook page, then click “I’m a fan” to enter. Easy as cherry pie.
  • Bonus: Of course there’s a bonus!  If you like my blog’s Facebook page you’ll receive an extra entry.  If you click this rafflecopter link you can easily enter in both ways.   Again,  like Gypsy-Soul facebook page, then click “I’m a fan” to enter.
  • Give-away closes: Tuesday, April 2nd at 11:59 pm.
  • Winner:  One winner in the U.S. will be selected.
  • Details:  The winner will be selected using Rafflecopter and announced on Wednesday, April 3rd as an update to this post.

What’s one of your favorite moments captured in a photo?

One of mine is a candid photo taken by my Aunt of Brian and I relaxing in a hammock. We’re both so at ease lying next to one another, day dreaming.

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Filed under Giveaway

Runaway Bride

Four Courts Four Miler

four courts four miler

The Four Courts Four Miler is one of my favorite local races.  Reason’s being, it’s short, it’s festive, and it’s usually not too cold out. It also has a killer one mile long hill at the end that forces you to work real darn hard. You end feeling like you earned your beer for that day.

I’ve been working to get back into running shape but boy oh boy it’s hard. It’s funny how long it takes to get back into running shape and how easy it is to lose your momentum.

Here come the excuses…

I’ve been really busy at work opening a Wellness Center,which I’m super ecstatic to say actually opened yesterday!!!  With working much longer hours, it’s been a real challenge squeezing in any type of work out. After putting in a 12 hour work day, the last thing I wanna do is more work.

My real motivation…another race.

I just realized  three weeks ago, I’m running the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in less than three weeks from today. Eeek!!!  At this point, I knew I needed to suck it up and somehow start hitting the pavement.

I’m not gonna sugar coat it, right now every run feels pretty darn crappy.  BUT every hard run is only more motivation to keep running, so those 10 miles aren’t so painful.  The Four Courts Four Miler couldn’t have come at a better time.

This year, Brian and I decided to have a little fun and dress up like a bride and groom to promote this big contest we were in to possibly win a $100,000 dream wedding (sadly, we didn’t win).  It was definite added bonus hearing  people congratulate us!

All that positive energy helped propel me to the finish line, even with a mile long dreadful hill at the end. Brian and I both racked in pretty good times. Brian ran in 27:42 and I ran in 32:40.  Last year, I had a sprained ankle so I couldn’t run, but in 2011 I ran it in 35:05. Not too shabby for being out of shape! I’m really working on starting my races off faster. It’s really helped to shave off some time!

Here are some fun race photos from Swim Bike Run Photography:

2013 Four Courts Four MilerCan you spot the bride?

2013 Four Courts Four MilerOh no, Brian lost a leg!

2013 Four Courts Four MilerBunny Hopping!

2013 Four Courts Four MilerI can testify that my friend PD has this same smile in every photo. Just impressed he kept it while running this killer hill!

2013 Four Courts Four MilerProof this hill is killer!!!

This race has certainly provided positive encouragement to keep training. I’m hoping that with a couple more weeks of training, I will finally pick up my stride and not feel like a dead horse every time I run.

How do you squeeze in runs when you’re really busy? How do you motivate yourself to start running again when you’ve taken a hiatus? I’m always looking for ways to increase my motivation or get my butt moving. How do you..?

Other posts to check out:


Filed under Fitness

Virginia Really is for Lovers

virginia is for lovers

For all you single ladies out there, you will soon learn that the first two questions every one asks once you’re engaged is, “can I see the ring? ” and, “when is the date?”.  Then they ask, “when are you expecting?” JK!!!

I’ve had so much fun showing off my ring from Brian and basking in all the warm, loving attention from our family and friends, especially when champagne is involved :).

engagement brunch

Honestly though, my thoughts of planning haven’t even begun. I’m not just saying this, I promise. You can check my Pinterest board for proof. I haven’t even pinned one wedding inspiration on my Pinterest board.  Right now, I’m just loving being engaged and sharing this special time with Brian.

This all changed though when I discovered the Northern Virginia Magazine Dream Wedding contest…

And this is where my wedding planning began:

northern va dream wedding

If you don’t know, Brian and I love contests. We probably each enter some kinda contest around once a month (mostly travel). Mainly, I enter these contest because I love day dreaming about all the possibilities if we won. I’m dreaming about an all-inclusive trip to Costa Rica as we speak 🙂

Brian and I were feeling a little crazy,  well mainly me, and decided to enter the Northern Virginia Dream Wedding Giveaway contest. The contest was right up my alley calling for a little creativity and a lot of silly. I somehow convinced Brian to stay in one night, play dress up, and craft a funny, cutesy-corny video that described us best.

We submitted our 2 minute video and patiently waited to see if we would be chosen by the Northern Virginia judges as worthy finalists.

Welp, guess what folks, we were chosen as a finalists!!! Holy moly!! We announced yesterday to our family, friends, and basically everyone we have known at some points in our lives that we were finalists. I must say I’m truly humbled by the response. The love and support shown has been such a blessing to see, and honestly the best part of entering this contest. I just want to say a big thank you for your support!!! You’ve made this really fun (even if we don’t win) and somehow I’m even more excited to marry Brian.

Vote for us!

Here’s the part where I self-promote. I know you were waiting for it. We truly appreciate your support in voting for us. Here’s where to vote for us, Becca and Brian.

You can vote once a day from every unique IP address you have available (work computer, cell, ipad, home computer).  Vote early, vote often! You can vote for us until, Thursday March 14th at 11:59 p.m.

Help us spread the word in any way you can.

Facebook it, tweet it, pin it, blog it, or email it to everyone you now!!!!

Here’s our video for your viewing pleasure.

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Filed under Wedding Planning