Learning to Lean


If Emily can pull off a wedding with Ross in exactly six weeks, then by goodness I can get my act together for the next two months.

I’m not going to lie, I love talking about the wedding planning process. I look at it this way: I’m only going to get married once, so I’m going to enjoy this planning process. Yes, there have been tears, yes I have been eating french fries on the reg, yes I stress ate a cupcake in 3 bites last week, but I’m fine. We’re fine. The wedding is going to be spectacular even though sometimes I fall asleep at night with buyer’s remorse about the whole Christmas theme.

Speaking of the whole Christmas theme, I’m getting married in December. Christmas is my favorite holiday. Twinkle lights are romantic, and why wouldn’t anybody want to put all the wedding gifts under an elegant Christmas tree rather than on a table? It didn’t start out Christmas themed, but then I realized the other day it morphed into it. It matches my personality. I was listening to Christmas music in September.

I love this wedding planning process so much that I have a hard time delegating. I want to savor the moment, I want to do all the things. I also want to eat all the bacon. I’m not pregnant; like I said, I stress eat.

Remember when Pai and I decided to plan our wedding in the busiest work season for both of us? Yeah, that was a great idea. Granted, if I could go back and talk to 22 year old Nina, I would tell her no differently, because neither of us want a long engagement. Now that we’re down to just a few days under 2 months, I can’t even imagine not getting married to Pai in December.

learning to lean

I’m learning dependency. I’m learning to delegate. And I’m learning to stop saying sorry. Yesterday my mother in law, mom, and sisters gathered around my dining room table and helped me address 200+ invitations. And my MOH ran her first wedding errands: to find a post office that sold more than jack o’lantern stamps. And she designed return address labels, because who thinks of return address labels when you’re focused on the cute little Mr & Mrs stamp and ink pad? Not me. I am increasingly thankful in this increasingly busy season for the people who have surrounded me for years. You go your whole life surrounded by your support system, taking them for granted until you truly need people.

That is why it is so important to say thank you. I never want a day to go by where the people I love have to question my gratitude and love for them.

Momma, you’re a rock. You drive 4 hours round trip multiple times in a month just to eat a cupcake with me, or to go to one of my 8 dress fittings (it turns out my dress was originally a size TWENTY, not an 18. S/o to my seamstress.) and talking wedding to me on the phone almost every single day.

My MOH, you make up poems for bachelorette parties and help me with the dishes. You also designed my return labels which I’m just fascinated by, and you keep me from pulling out my eyebrows. Please just move in with Pai and me. Kidding. I love you, but not in the first year at least. 😉

My sweet MIL – God knew I would need a mother-in-law who I could love like a mom. She teaches me all the traditions and proprieties I don’t know yet in their culture, and she’s a great sounding board.

And Pai. . . you talk sense into me, you give the bests hugs, and you help me clean the house when I’m frantic before we have people come over. Boom. Husband Material. (Also you’re cute. So YAY.)

Who is your support system? Send them a note of encouragement today! I’m just going to send my people the blog post. #promotingtheblog


Monthly Link Up: April Showers!

April Showers

Grab the button below and come back here to link up with the Blogging Elite on April 26th with any post from April!

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5 (Last Minute) Valentine’s Dates

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A few weeks ago, Jon, my manicurist (I have a manicurist now! I pay $20 to this guy to redo the Shellac on my nails. He won me over a few weekends ago by telling me I looked like a Supermodel. I was having a particularly horrible weekend and anyone who flatters me can have my money. This is why I try to avoid the vendors at the mall.) asked me if I was getting any bling bling from the boyfriend next month. I thought, “Great, here’s another person who is asking me if I’m engaged. NOT. YET.” But he meant is the boyfriend giving me jewelry for Valentine’s Day. And I was like, Valentine’s Day? Oh yeah. . . I forgot about that. He was shocked we didn’t even have plans yet and I was thinking, bro, it’s only January 31. But then February 7 came along and Pai was mourning the Panther’s loss and Valentine’s Day was still unspoken between us. I said, “Well I’ll be grieving if we don’t do anything fun for Valentine’s Day next week.” And he said “Okay.” And then we went on with our lives.

The truth is, I don’t really like Valentine’s Day. Those Chocolate hearts with assorted truffles are 75% gross, and then I feel pressured to do something sweet/romantic/buy something.

And the other truth is, I actually really like it when people are sweet/romantic/buy me something as long as it’s not those nasty assorted truffles. Just buy a bag of Andes Mints, Hershey Kisses, and Reeces Cups and then I’ll be happy. If you buy me a book from my Amazon wishlist, I’ll be like HECK YES and kiss you. But only if you’re Pai.***MAJOR HINT RIGHT HERE, FOR THE BOYFRIEND WHO READS MY BLOG***

I’m actually a pretty creative person, if I do say so myself. I blame Pinterest. But sometimes Pinterest can be overwhelming, so I’ve compiled the perfect dates for you to pull off last minute. Ladies, just send this blog on over to your man and tell him to read the bold print. These are so easy, a caveman can do it. Bonus: They’re inexpensive. Because I’m not a millionaire and dating a grad student, who is also not a millionaire.

–> Blanket Fort of Love <–

Gather all the blankets in your apartment and hang them all up with nails, or just drape them over a table and put pillows underneath. Get a funny movie she’s been wanting to watch lately, or read a book together. Bring take out Chinese into the blanket fort of love and boom. You’ve spent $10 on a date and it was creative.

–> Hiking/Picnic <–

This year, Valentine’s day is on a Sunday, so you have time to pull off a quick little hike. Bundle up in some fleece, grab a blanket and a picnic basket full of goodies. Bonus points if you (the man) make the sandwiches. Your lady will be like, “Thanks for not being sexist. Wow, these are the best sandwiches a man has ever made. You’re the best. I’m going to kiss you a lot now.”

–> A Spa Day <–

You know your girl is stressed out. She works so hard at work/school and then she comes home and has to watch Netflix/clean/blog (if she’s a blogger.) Nothing would make her heart happier than if you either a) send her to a spa day or b) give her a spa day. A little back massage can go a loooooong way. She’ll love you forever and then you can be like, “Thanks for sending me that post from Hugs and Lattes. Maybe we should read her blog together everyday?” And she’ll say, “Yes! That’s all I’ve ever wanted from you!” And I’ll say, Thanks, you guys are the best.

–> Wine and Dine Her <–

Who cooks more in the relationship? You? Her? If it’s her, then send your female friend over the moon by cooking her a favorite meal. Flip through a cookbook, or if you’re brave enough, peruse through Pinterest or Stumbleupon. Clean up the dishes afterwards and you’re golden until next week when she wants you to put in the effort to pull off another date.

–> Scavenger Hunts!! <–

I’m a huge fan of the Scavenger hunt. One time, my mom sent my prom date and I on a scavenger hunt after prom because she thought our idea to go back home and watch a movie was lame. It was the best scavenger hunt ever even though we trespassed property, set off the intruder alarm, and probably almost got arrested. Boyfriends/fiances/husbands, don’t send your wifey somewhere she may get arrested. But do send her on a scavenger hunt around the place you’ve been/places that have significance. aka your first date. aka where you had your first kiss. aka where you had your first fight and she almost broke up with you but you cried so she decided not to. Just kidding, don’t go there. But seriously, scavenger hunts are fun.

Fellas, I’ve just given you 5 great ideas to pull off last minute (minus the scavenger hunt. That may take some preparation) Valentine’s Date ideas and guess what! It’s only Wednesday. That means you still have half a week to ruminate on how you’re going to woo your lady.

Let me make this clear: I don’t care if you’ve been dating two weeks or two years or have been married twenty years. Woo. Your. Lady. Woo your lady every chance you get. She wants to be wooed. Even if she says “nahh let’s just sit back and eat a pizza” maybe she’s just tired! Still. Woo her.

Ladies, you’re welcome.


How to Survive the Snow for Dayz

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Make sure you have a new Netflix show to binge watch. Or an old one. I hate trying on new shows, but may I suggest a few old good ones like Grey’s Anatomy or Friends?

Stock up on the necessities: Books. Find 3 new books you’ve wanted to take the time to read. Congratulations! The universe has granted you unlimited time for days. Over the snow days this past week I read Memoirs of a Geisha and Kite Runner. Excellent novels.

Get the eggs, milk, and bread.

I have no idea why other than the fact that snow days give you lots of time to bake. Like Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake!” Or brownies, banana bread, cake.

Don’t be alone.

If not for the sheer fact you might go stir crazy. I woke up on Wednesday morning at 6:30 to start getting ready for work, checked my phone, and to my delight discovered there was no such thing as work for me on that Wednesday. I was so excited I couldn’t even go back to sleep. I pulled out of my apartment’s driveway just as the snow began to settle on the roads to spend the day with Pai and his family. And then I didn’t sleep in my own apartment again until the following Sunday night. If I had been by myself in my own apartment all those days. . .

Entertain yourself

We played five games of Settlers of Catan over those snow days. That is ten to twelve hours of strategery and I don’t know how my brain computed. Granted, I lost every single time.

Lots and lots of drinking

Coffee, that is. On Wednesday I treated myself to my favorite latte from my favorite coffee shop that I don’t get to visit too often anymore because it’s way out of my way nowadays. Pai lives only five minutes away from this place, though, so before I went to his house I drove on past towards the coffee shop to treat myself to a “Single Lady-” Jamaican Rum, Irish Cream and Chocolate in a latte. But then as I was walking up the hill to Pai’s house, I tripped and fell and have two awesome bruises on my knee that I’m sporting and no latte in my cup anymore. I almost cried. Pai suggested I look up how to make lattes from home so I spent the last 5 days perfecting the frothy milk a la homemade latte. This of course took a lot of coffee drinking.

And enough pictures to stock up for the rest of winter

Take enough pictures so you don’t forget that you spent five days away from responsibilities and with your books and not showering. Because goodness knows Instagram had no idea that it was snowing outside.

snow dayz snow dayz

snow dayz


We’ve already got one wave of snow down for the winter. . . I hear they’re calling for more snow this weekend though. . .

All the Things Crossfit Didn’t Teach Me


Two nights ago Pai and I were inspired by an Instagram video I saw of a couples work out and we tried it. Yesterday I couldn’t figure out why my abs were so sore and we realized that the three reps we did of this workout actually made me sore the next day which means I seriously need to work out more. Pai has requested I not post the video of us doing this work out because it would embarrass him. And me. I’m weak. Anyway, trust us – it was super cool. It even motivated me enough to go to the gym tonight. I think I’m finally getting out of the January Slumps, so it’s time to start strength training for that half I’m running in 5 months. I would say it’s time to start running for that half I’m running in 5 months but it’s 9° outside today and Nina has a strict rule where she doesn’t get out of bed in that kind of weather. Unless it’s for work. Because we have to keep the heat on.

So I’m watching all these Instagram videos, right? And these cross fitters crop up. Now my co-worker is a cross fitter and I always want to stay on her good side because she’s the kind of person I would need to defend me in a bar fight. We don’t go to bars. Nor do we fight. But you get what I’m saying. This girl is intense. So intense she eats chicken and spinach for breakfast. Meanwhile I’m bringing in these cinnamon muffins I made yesterday that were actually supposed to be donuts but I don’t have a donut pan so that’s a whole ‘nother story #datedayfail.

I’m not going to lie, I make fun of crossfit a lot sometimes. Everyone is so intense! And they all do handstands. Why? But I’m only mocking them because I want to be like them, and be strong like them. Let’s face it, though. I’m not dedicated enough to wake up at 5am to do a 2 hour work out. Give me a 5 mile run and we’ll call it a day.

I’m not ever going to be that person with that crazy strong looking back with the longhorn and all.

I don’t know if I could take a video of every. single. workout I did and post it to the Insta. If not for the sheer fact that we all know my videos don’t get as many likes as my photos, it would be embarrassing to see me lift the bar. Because I can’t even lift the weight circle thingies on the end.

And I’m just not confident to run around in my sports bra. One time I did run in my sports bra in my hometown (mistake) on a trail and I immediately felt exposed and sinful when I ran past this old man. Then I was like – what if that man works with my dad? Or worse, goes to my church? It was enough to give me the heebie jeebies to put my shirt back on. I’ll just be soaked in sweat. It’s fine.

So basically, I can’t do crossfit. I’m not extreme enough. But I am going to go to the school’s wellness center after work before I go eat Chickfila for dinner and do a circuit with all the cool college kids I may or may not have recruited.

Expect an Instagram tonight of me in a shirt and a mirror selfie. 

Don’t forget! Next Tuesday, January 26th: The Frosty Link Up

The link up with The Blogging Elite, sporting a title so lame because I’m off my blogging game.

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