Search Results : aunt cc

Jul 272015
 

Over the weekend Fabio and I made the 6 hour drive up to Otis, Massachusetts (again!) to celebrate my aunt CC and uncle Steve’s low-key family wedding!

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It was such a fun weekend, and I am once again experiencing the depression that settles in on the Monday after a fun wedding weekend. Sigh.

Anyway, here’s my recap!

Thursday

Fabio and I drove up to Otis on Thursday night after dropping Jack off with our friends Jojo and Jadd who graciously offered to watch him for us over the weekend. It was a long drive and we didn’t wind up leaving until around 8:00 pm (Fabio got held up at work) so we didn’t arrive until 2:00 am. Ugh.

Luckily Fabio is great at driving long distances late at night, so I always try my best to stay awake with him and be a good co-pilot. This of course meant we needed Starbucks at midnight, just to make sure we didn’t get too sleepy during the drive. I have to say midnight Starbucks is a weird experience!

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Eventually we arrived safe and sound and fell immediately into bed.

Friday

Friday morning began with a delicious breakfast cooked by Steve – an egg scramble with broccoli, tomatoes from the garden, chicken and cheese. Plus half a protein English muffin on the side. Yum!

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For most of the day I hung around the house and tried to help get everything ready for the wedding, but CC and Steve didn’t need much help so eventually they sent me off to enjoy the lake!

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Fabio joined me and took some photos as I swam out to the swim platform and did a cannon ball into the chilly water.

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It was a beautiful day and quite hot in the sun, so the cold water felt great!

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Back at the house everything was coming together nicely. Doesn’t the place look great?

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The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent with good food, plenty of wine, and lots of family time! Steve’s family arrived around 4:00, and my mom, stepdad, and uncle David arrived around 7:00.

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We played lots of horseshoes and just sat around enjoying the beautiful summer evening.

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CC had purchased sweatshirts for everyone as wedding favors since it gets chilly at night. How cute is her display?! ( I helped set it up!)

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We moved inside once the evening got too chilly, and stayed up way too late talking to one another and laughing. It was such a fun night!

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Saturday

Saturday was wedding day! Our morning began with an excellent breakfast tag-teamed by my uncle David and stepdad: perfectly poached eggs on top of homemade potato hash. Plus French toast and bacon for whoever wanted some (me, duh). As usual, they knocked it out of the park!

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The rest of my day was spent at the lake with CC and my mom! The three of us love the sun so it was really nice to soak up some rays and catch up with them! While we were at the lake the boys went golfing, so it was like a mini bachelorette/bachelor day for the bride and groom. 🙂

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When we got back to the house we enjoyed tons of delicious snacks and got ourselves ready for the wedding!

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Steve’s brother Brian got permission from the state of Massachusetts to serve as a temporary officiant, so he was the one to actually marry CC and Steve. Since it was only family in attendance, it was really nice to have him perform the ceremony.

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The vows were short and sweet, and a few minutes later CC and Steve were married! You may kiss the bride!!

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Woohoo!!

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The happy couple. 🙂

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Doesn’t CC look fabulous? I loved her dress and shoes.

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Here I am with CC, my uncle David, and my mom!

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It was really nice to have my mom there for everything – this was her first time visiting Otis and I’m so glad she was able to make the trip up. It was so much fun spending time with her!
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Of course I was happy to have this handsome guy by my side too!

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After many champagne toasts to the newlyweds, we headed inside for dinner!

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For our meal we each enjoyed a perfectly cooked steak and a giant lobster!

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Everything tasted delicious, and we all enjoyed cake, brownies, and ice cream for dessert. Oh, yes.

The rest of the evening was spent drinking more wine and champagne and dancing the night away.

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There may have even been some 3:00 am badminton playing, but I obviously didn’t get any pictures of that epic adventure. Needless to say our skills had decreased with our alcohol consumption. 😉

Congratulations again, Steve and CC! I wish you two a lifetime of love and laughter. <3

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Sunday

We spent the whole day Sunday in the car driving back from Otis, and picked up Jack at around 7:00 pm. Our meal planning and grocery shopping didn’t happen, so now I’m going to regret it all week. Sigh.

Question of the day: What do you do during long car rides to entertain yourself?

We listened to a ton of podcasts!

 Posted by on July 27, 2015
May 052015
 

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but my aunt CC (my mom’s sister) is a huge fitness fanatic, and used to teach all types of classes from spinning to bootcamps.

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Since I’ve been taking a ton of fitness classes with ClassPass lately, I’ve been paying a little more attention to the instructors and now have a greater appreciation for my aunt’s former teaching days. Part of me thinks teaching a fitness class would be the coolest thing ever (extra income, free classes, inspiring people, etc.) but the other part of me thinks it would be terrifying (I get nervous about public speaking, so I can’t imagine what it would be like to lead a class by myself).

Since I was pondering all this, I decided to ask my aunt CC a few questions about her teaching days, and wanted to share her responses here on the blog. Here we go!

From CC: 

First I’d like to say how honored I am to be interviewed on CET!  I’ve been an avid fan from the very beginning! It’s my absolute favorite web site ever!!! (Then again, I’m also a little biased.) 🙂

Q: When did you decide to start teaching fitness classes, and what pushed you from just participating in the classes to wanting to teach them yourself?

A: That is a great question! I actually have no idea; everything just kind of evolved. I used to work out a lot, but somehow life got in the way and my fitness had fallen by the wayside. I was overweight and generally unhappy. At the time I worked at a company that had a great discount at a local gym. Everyone talked about the spin classes, especially this one particular class. One morning I got up “early” for one of these awesome spin classes, and was completely hooked.  I had never had so much fun, and I couldn’t wait to do it again. We had a very strong community at that gym, and all became very good friends. We were a great team that pushed each other to do more, get stronger, be healthier. It was very empowering, and that love for fitness has stayed with me ever since. So that was it for me, although now I laugh that I used to consider a 7:30 am spin class “early”!

Fitness and exercise is all about the enjoyment – if you don’t like what you’re doing, you won’t stay with it. At first I started by taking just two spin classes a week, and then I started taking the 5:45 am and 7:30 classes back to back, and the night classes too. For me, it was all about building and getting stronger. You can always do a little more, even if it’s small.  You can always push yourself to be a little stronger every day.

After about a year of taking the spin classes, I figured the next step outside of my comfort zone was to get a hold of that microphone and do it myself. I was absolutely terrified!

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Q: Did you know right away you wanted to teach spin?

A: Nope. I was the biggest scardy cat in the room when I first started taking those classes. It just evolved from a need to push myself and get out of my comfort zone.

Q: How did you start teaching other classes, like bootcamps?

A: After a little while, it seemed like teaching spin was too easy. I felt the need to challenge myself and do more – boot camp / muscle conditioning was a whole ‘nother animal, and I had to figure it out.

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CC and my Uncle Steve!

Q: What was your favorite type of class to teach?

A: I still think spin is my favorite; you can truly let go and let the music drive you. There’s nothing like the energy from an awesome spin class. That being said, the level of accomplishment you feel after teaching a thoroughly exhausting boot camp is fantastic too – leave ‘em so tired they can’t even move!

Q: What was the training/certification process like for becoming a fitness instructor?

A: My spin certification through Johnny G was fairly simple; there’s only so much you can do on a bike that doesn’t go anywhere! (I think in 2002 it was about $200, and took a couple of hours on a Saturday.)  It involved a written test and then you had to lead the class for one song. I’m sure the process has changed a lot now; there is a much stronger focus on safety and technique.

Certification for group exercise is a significantly richer investment both financially and in time. My ACE certification required A LOT of study and a full weekend accreditation process, including a written and performance-based test. It was HARD! I had to learn about nutrition, kinesiology, myology and osteology for the testing process.

AFAA  is also a reputable, well-known organization for certification.

Regardless of the organization, be prepared to study and learn a lot of things you would never consider part of the group exercise space.

I’d also recommend that if you do get certified to conduct any group exercise class, you should re-certify or take additional courses every year or so. It’s important to keep your skills sharp and to learn new tricks. It’s amazing how fast you can burn out, and that’s the worst – for you and your class.

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Q: How much extra income did you make through this experience (roughly), and do you think it was worth the cost of certification?

A: The extra income you can expect varies considerably based upon your location (I taught in Boston, DC and San Francisco – very different markets and different rates – anywhere from $75/class to $150), and the exclusivity of the gym (more prestigious gym = higher pay). When I lived in San Francisco I was teaching 7 classes a week and working full time. It was a lot to handle (probably too much), but I under-estimated the cost of living in California and was so fortunate to have a secondary source of income to help. 

The cost of certification varies based upon the level of your certification and your location. My spin certification (again, through Johnny G) was minuscule compared to the income it generated. Certification for group exercise is a much better investment in both finance and time. 

Q: Did you prefer teaching at small boutique studios, or larger gyms?

A: I did teach at something of a “boutique” gym in California, and also larger gym chains. For me it was all about the location and how well it fit into my life. I’d teach anywhere!  I loved it!!

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Q: What tips do you have for someone who is considering becoming a fitness instructor?

A: Go for it!  You have absolutely nothing to lose! You will learn so much and push yourself so far beyond what you think you can do! NOTHING beats that feeling! Regardless of how many classes you end up teaching, it’s worth it!

Also remember to be patient; class schedules are set and you can’t expect to get a prime class right away (or any set class for that matter). You usually have to wait around on the sub list for a while before a permanent class opens up. Jump at every opportunity to sub; get your name out there and start to build your following. In the beginning it usually means picking classes on holidays or at the last minute without a lot of notice. I always kept a spare set of workout clothes and a playlist ready to go at all times; you just never knew when that call would come in to pick up a class. 

As with most things, the more you do it the easier it gets. Practice teaching when no one is around. Go into an empty spin studio and do a practice class. Go through your song list, see how well the sprints work, the jumps, the counts, and your breathing. Practice makes perfect.

Have faith, stay positive, and be confident – YOU CAN DO IT!!! Most importantly though, have fun! Don’t stress, smile and love every second of it. 🙂

I don’t know about you guys, but this sort of makes me want to go be a fitness instructor like…right now. Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer my questions, CC! Love you!

Question of the day: Would you ever want to be a fitness instructor? Why or why not?

 Posted by on May 5, 2015
Sep 292017
 

On Wednesday this week, I celebrated my 28th birthday! It was a really perfect day, and it started off with an awesome sweat session with Anne and her friend Kath at SweatBox!

I’d heard about SweatBox a few months ago from someone else who had tried it out, and I was immediately intrigued! Then when a PR rep emailed me last week about trying a class, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. Sign me up! It didn’t hurt that I’d be trying the class on my birthday either. 🙂

SweatBox is located on U Street in the same building as the VIDA gym (you can even use VIDA’s showers!). The format of the class is very unique – the space is split up into different “boxes,” each of which has its own spin bike, weights, and TRX.

You are able to complete the whole workout without ever leaving your box, which is great because you don’t waste time moving from one station to another or swapping out equipment. You also wear heart rate monitors for the workout and get to see your stats on the screen, which is always a big motivator for me.

We wound up completing a whole bunch of different circuits that incorporated sprints on the bike, jumping lunges, chest presses, bicep curls, burpees, and more. It was definitely a full body workout! I really liked the music too.

I really enjoyed SweatBox and thought it was a perfect way to kick off my birthday. 🙂

The rest of my morning was fairly uneventful (I had my free Starbucks coffee and enjoyed some cottage cheese + blueberries at my desk) and then around 11 a.m. my phone rang. The receptionist told me she had some Georgetown cupcakes for me at the front desk, which naturally sent me scurrying from my seat to retrieve them. It turns out they were from Fabio!! I have the best husband. 🙂

I waited until after lunch time to open them up, at which point I enjoyed a chocolate one with vanilla cream cheese frosting and set aside a chocolate peanut butter one to take home.

I put the rest of the cupcakes on the shared countertop in my office so the rest of my team could enjoy them, and they were gone in minutes. They were a huge hit!

A little while later my phone rang again, and this time it was flowers!

These were from my amazing best friend, Bianca! They are so beautiful and the lilies smell especially great. Everyone who walks past my desk comments on them!

Then – and I think I got a bit annoying at this point – my phone rang a third time, this time with an edible arrangement from my dad! I think the receptionist was ready to kill me. 🙂

I shared these with my team too, so even people who missed out on the cupcakes were able to enjoy some sugary birthday treats.

At the end of the day, my coworkers surprised me with a card and a gift certificate to SweetGreen! They know me so well. 🙂

I had such a great day at work, and everyone kept coming over to wish me a happy birthday and comment on all my goodies. 🙂 I know I’m incredibly lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life!

When I got home, I had a package from Aunt CC and Uncle Steve! Inside was a gift certificate to Lululemon and a beautiful Kate Spade necklace. Woohoo! Thank you, CC and Steve!

Then after walking Jack, Fabio poured me a glass of wine and we sat on the couch chatting for a while before it was time for a birthday celebration dinner.

I knew Fabio had made reservations somewhere but didn’t know where we were headed. When it was time to leave, we hopped in the car and headed to…Filomena! I’d only been to Filomena once a very long time ago, and even then I’d only been for happy hour and hadn’t had a chance to enjoy their famous handmade pasta. Fabio and I both love Italian food, so it was a perfect choice! Good thing he made a reservation too – it was packed! But we had a nice little table for two to ourselves.

We started our meal with some bread and a bottle of wine, and then placed our orders before it was time for me to open my card. It had glitter and puppies on the front, so obviously he picked a good one. 🙂

Inside there were two tickets to see the Book of Mormon at the Kennedy Center in November! I always love “experience” gifts, and I was really excited about this one. I can’t wait!!

Soon our appetizer of fried mozzarella arrived…

…and then my entree came! I got one of the specials which was a kind of pasta/sweet Italian sausage roll-up, and it was SO good!

Everything was delicious (so fresh! so flavorful!) but there was so. much. food.

We both wound up with leftovers and I was too full to even order any birthday dessert. That’s how you KNOW I was full!

Before we left, our waiter brought over some amaro and sambuca to enjoy, along with some coffee beans for flavor (as if a bottle of wine wasn’t enough! Plus since Fabio drove I drank my fair share for sure. Oof!).

Fabio and I had such a wonderful evening talking, laughing, and enjoying the delicious food and drinks. What a perfect birthday dinner!

We even grabbed a photo with some of the Halloween decor on our way out. 🙂

When we got home I spent some time tinkering around downstairs, and just when I was about to head upstairs Fabio pulled out the cupcake that I had brought home from work earlier with a lit candle on top. He then proceeded to sing happy birthday to me in the kitchen. 🙂

I don’t know how, but he seriously caught me off guard with this – I feel like one minute I was talking to him about something and the next he had already sneakily gotten the candle and lighter from the drawer, opened the fridge, put the candle on the cupcake, and lit it. Maybe the wine had something to do with how surprised I was by this?

Either way, it was super cute and spontaneous, and I love that he thought to do this. (Even though both of us were too full to eat the cupcake – we wound up putting it back in the fridge! Ha!).

Overall it was the absolute perfect birthday, and I wouldn’t have asked for anything different. It was very clear to me that I have so many wonderful people in my life, and I went to bed feeling so thankful for all of them. <3

Question of the day: Experience gifts or regular gifts?

 Posted by on September 29, 2017
Sep 262017
 

Fabio and I got home from New York at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, meaning there wasn’t much time for me to sit at the computer and get a blog post together. That was ok though because we had one of the most memorable weekends in a long time!

A while back, I planned a weekend trip with my high school besties–Bianca, Hana, and Sam–to see Bianca’s new(ish) apartment in New Jersey. Bianca got an apartment with her boyfriend Pasqualle (aka, Sqalls!) a while back, and she was looking forward to having us come up for a visit.

She had told us she had a great view of the city, and she wasn’t kidding! This was the view we saw when we woke up in their apartment on Saturday morning (after having driven up after work on Friday):

So amazing, right?

When we woke up, Bianca immediately got to work making us scrambled eggs, bacon, turkey sausage, and toasted English muffins. What a great hostess! Meanwhile, I sipped hot coffee with pumpkin spice creamer and took in the views. The city is so pretty!

At around this point, Fabio and I realized we were looking right across at the Upper West Side, which is where Aunt CC and Uncle Steve live. We were pretty sure they were in Otis for the weekend since they spent most of their weekends up there, but we sent them a quick text letting them know we were waving across the river toward their apartment.

Imagine our surprise when we got a text back from them saying they were in the city waving back! (CC sent me this picture, which made me LOL.)

When we got these texts we were right in the middle of figuring out our plans for the day, and we thought we’d head to downtown NYC to a newish area called Seaport for their Oktoberfest celebration. We asked CC and Steve if they wanted to join us, and they said yes!! Woohoo!!

As soon as breakfast was over, we got ourselves cleaned up and headed out for a fun day! Here I am with my hubby right outside of Bianca and Squalls’ apartment. Do you think they get tired of this view?

To get into the city, we took the ferry across which was perfect since it was such a nice day.

From there we hopped on the subway, and we met up with Hana as soon as we got off. High school besties reunited!

The Seaport area was really cute with lots of fun-looking restaurants and bars lining a cobblestone street. Apparently this is a relatively new area in the city and was all redone recently. It was adorable!

After walking around for a little while, we arrived at Pier 15 for Oktoberfest! It was pretty crowded, but since we had gotten there relatively early we were able to snag an area right by the water. It was a gorgeous day to be on the water!

And after we were there for about 15 minutes, CC and Steve got there!! Woohoo!! I have the best aunt and uncle. 🙂

We then proceeded to spend the next couple hours chatting, drinking beer, eating pretzels, and enjoying the sunshine and beautiful scenery. It was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time – so many of my favorite people were in one place!

Me & Bianca! Ha!!

The boys <3

And our whole group!

Overall we just had such a fun time, and I was especially grateful that CC and Steve came to hang out with us. 🙂

We decided to forgo the whole ferry –> subway situation on the way home in favor of a $75 uber. Hey, it was worth it when split between 5 people!!

When we arrived back at Bianca and Squalls’ place, we got ready for a fun evening! This weekend also served as a housewarming of sorts for Bianca and Squalls, and we got to meet a bunch of their friends!

Sam and I were beer pong partners, and I’m happy to report we won every game all night! Wooo! Power team!

We even beat Fabio and his best friend Hayden who came in from the city with Hana. They are famously good at beer pong, so it was pretty satisfying to beat them. Twice. 🙂

After that, we headed out to the bars in Jersey City and Hoboken for a little!

It was just SUCH a fun day with so many people I love. That day will definitely be one I remember and look back on for years to come!

Sadly Fabio and I had to leave on Sunday morning, but before we drove back home we got to see a lot of his family at his cousin’s baby shower in Long Island. We hadn’t seen most of them since the wedding, so it was a lot of fun catching up with everyone. And of course, I loved seeing my niece Sofia! 🙂

We got stuck in #allthetraffic on the way back home and didn’t make it back until pretty late, but, as I said, it was SO worth it! 🙂

Question of the day: What do you like to eat on road trips?

Fabio and I got Chick-Fil-A on our way up to New York, and it was SO good!

 Posted by on September 26, 2017
Sep 202017
 

One of my favorite parts about having a blog is getting to relive some of my most favorite memories, and our rehearsal dinner was one of them. It just such a wonderful, happy day!

As I mentioned in my last recap, we had our photographer take some photos of us during the rehearsal dinner instead of having an engagemet shoot. I love this behind-the-scenes shot that my friend Hana took of us getting photographed!

While we were outside smiling in front of the camera, our guests began gathering in the River House, one of the beautiful locations on the Wye River Conference Center property. This is also where many of our guests stayed for the duration of the weekend!

The house had a beautiful brick patio overlooking the river that was perfect for the rehearsal dinner, and the staff there did such a fantastic job setting everything up for us. It was basically like another wedding!

Here are those centerpieces my mom put together. Didn’t they come out great?

I also love this ring shot that our photographer captured. It doesn’t even look real!

The rehearsal dinner was set up buffet style, and we had lots of tasty options to choose from for our meal.


Plus dessert!

We had decided to open up the rehearsal dinner to anyone who was staying in the hotel and wanted to join us, so we wound up having about 80 people there. It was quite the group, and made the event so much fun!


We spent the majority of the dinner walking around and greeting our guests, which was nice because it meant we had less chatting to do during the actual wedding reception. We also got to enjoy time with our friends!


It seemed like everyone had a great time! I love this picture of my mom – even though she will probably kill me for posting it. Sorry, mom!

We also had another snapchat filter for the night!

So fun!

We made sure to take advantage of our photographer so we could have a bunch of nice pictures to remember this fun night. Here we are with the 2017 Otis ski crew!

And all of my best college and high school girl friends! I love this group so much.

High school besties!

My adorable grandparents!

And my grandparents mingling with the Colombians!

Here I am with my mom, Aunt CC, and my grandma. If you look closely, you can see the river off in the background!

Here’s one with my mom and stepdad, who did so much to help us with this wedding. Thank you both so much!

And one with my dad, stepmom, and sister! <3

After we were done eating and taking photos, it was time to give out presents! I gave my bridesmaids these matching pajama sets with matching robes for the moms/my grandma, and they seemed to be a big hit! I even got a small set for the flower girl. So cute!

Fabio’s dad got a heart-shaped patch to pin under his tie, and a mug saying “I $urvived my $on’s wedding.” Haha!

For my mom, I bought a pretty Kate Spade bracelet and an embroidered handkerchief with a heartfelt note on it.

I think it’s safe to say she loved it. Here’s another behind the scenes photo from Hana!

For my dad, I bought these socks that said “Special Socks for a Special Walk” and the same kind of tie patch I got for Fabio’s dad (but with a different note, obviously).

Other gift highlights included two more Kate Spade bracelets – one for Fabio’s mom and one for my stepmom – and a Kate Spade necklace for my sister. I also got these cufflinks for my stepdad, which were a big hit as well.

Giving these gifts was honestly one of my favorite parts of the night, and I loved seeing how much our family seemed to enjoy them.

After we were done with gifts, we continued eating, drinking, and just having a great time!

Before we headed inside, I walked down to the water with Aunt CC, Uncle Steve, and my high school best friends to check out the moon. It was a beautiful way to end a beautiful rehearsal dinner!

That wasn’t all though – little did I know my bridesmaids had set up quite the surprise for us back inside the house! Details to come in part two of my recap!

Questions of the day: Do you like giving presents or receiving them more? It’s funny how it changes as you get older! What gift have you been most excited to give?

**Most of these photos are courtesy of the talented Lauren Nievod! If you’re looking for a wedding photographer in the DC/MD area, I can’t recommend her enough!**

 Posted by on September 20, 2017
Sep 072017
 

It’s time for another recap of our amazing wedding weekend – woohoo! When we last left off, we had just had a lovely pre-rehearsal dinner, dinner with our families. 🙂

When I woke up on Friday morning, I remember feeling SO excited about the day! Since our venue was right on the water and offered lots of fun, outdoor activities, we had encouraged our guests to take the day off from work if they could so they wouldn’t miss out on the pre-wedding fun! I knew most of our friends would be joining us in the early afternoon, and I was so excited to see everyone!

Fabio was up early to play a round of golf with some of the groomsmen, my dad, and Uncle Steve, and since I was too excited to sleep in any longer, I decided to head out for a quick run with Jack. We ran down the hotel property to the other building – the River House – and then meandered down the road a ways.

At one point we came upon a bunch of cows, and they all came over to the fence to stare at us!

I don’t even think it was Jack who piqued their curiosity, I think they were interested in me! It was really weird having them all come over to stare at me – maybe they thought I was going to feed them?

Anyway, I said goodbye to the “wedding cows,” as I dubbed them, and then turned back toward the hotel. I only wound up covering about 2.5 miles, but it was better than nothing! I just remember feeling so excited and happy about the day ahead.

Once I got back to the hotel, most of our family members were awake and enjoying some pastries out on the patio.

After eating half a bagel and some delicious smoked salmon, I did a ceremony walk-through with my sister, since she’d be walking Jack down the aisle. We practiced walking down with him a few times, and he seemed to get the hang of it eventually. He did lunge after a bunny at one point, but mostly he listened to her. 🙂

After that, I changed into my bathing suit and headed down to the pool! On the way down, I stopped to talk to my stepdad who was busy assembling our ceremony archway and a cute directional sign, both of which he built! Thank you for making these for me, Fritz!! (Though I painted the signs, if you couldn’t tell. Haha!)

Then it was pool time!! Jack joined us, but I didn’t let him in since he sheds a ton and would have left his hair everywhere. Womp womp – poor Jack.

My mom, sister, and Aunt CC all joined me at the pool, and almost as soon as we got settled, my friends started arriving. Woohoo!

My friend Hana helped me set up a Snapchat filter during the day on Friday (plus a bunch more throughout the weekend, which you’ll see later!) and I was so excited when it became available around noon.

Of course I asked my mom and CC to help me test it out!

And again with my sister!

At that point I decided to get in the pool, and Hana captured this cute Boomerang video of me cannon-balling in! Jumping into wedding weekend like…

Ha!

A short while later, the rest of my best friends from college arrived, and before long all kinds of guests started trickling in. I had given very detailed instructions to all of our wedding guests so they’d know where to meet us during the day, and it seems like my OCD/type A messaging worked! I loved seeing everyone come to the pool to hang out with us.

It was basically the best pool day ever with absolute perfect summer weather (I think the temps were in the low 80s if I remember correctly) and all my favorite people!

Lol at my sister in this pic – she got tired but didn’t want to miss out on the fun by going inside, so she took a nap under her towel.

Jack seemed happy too!

Eventually it was time for me to head inside and start getting ready for our ceremony rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner that followed. I was feeling sun-kissed and slightly buzzed (we’d had some champagne) and just SO happy.

After showering up and getting changed, it was rehearsal time! Check out all these lovely bridesmaids!

We did a nice walk-through of the ceremony, which I definitely thought was helpful since we had 10 bridesmaids, 9 groomsmen, a junior bridesmaid, a dog ring-bearer, and a flower girl. I felt a lot better once I saw where everyone would go!

It also had me feeling all giddy – in less than 24 hours I’d be married!!

Eek!!

More recaps to come! 🙂

Question of the day: How would you feel if a bunch of cows came up to you/were staring at you?

I actually really liked it and thought they were cute! I was even talking to them! 🙂

 Posted by on September 7, 2017
Aug 302017
 

Eeek – it’s finally time for me to start recapping our amazing wedding weekend! I’ll start with my last day of work, Wednesday, June 7.

Prior to the big day, my wedding dress was being stored at the tailor for a few months, and when they asked me where they should deliver it I chose my office since I didn’t want my wedding dress sitting in a garment bag on my front stoop all day getting wrinkled/rained on/stolen/etc. So, midway through the day at work, I got a call from the front desk saying my dress had arrived!

I quickly deposited it in the back seat of my car down in the garage, and I pretty much couldn’t concentrate on anything else for the rest of the day. I remember being so ready to get outta’ there and start my long vacation!

Eventually it was time for me to head home, and on the way I stopped for two last-minute beauty appointments (planning out when to get my manicure, pedicure, haircut, wax, spray tan etc. was a whole planning debacle itself).

Once I got home, I said hello to some of Fabio’s family members who were staying with us and then headed upstairs to pack up my bags. I had one suitcase packed for Thailand so I could grab it when we returned from the wedding, and one packed for the wedding weekend itself. It’s a good thing I’m super OCD/type A because all this packing took a lot of thinking ahead!

On Thursday morning, I took a class at BodyMass Blast with Anne to get one last sweat session in, and then it was time for wedding festivities! First up, Fabio and I drove over to the courthouse in Queen Anne’s County to pick up our marriage license. 🙂

Then we headed to the venue where staff was busy setting everything up for us, including the tent!

It was big and beautiful. 🙂

Meanwhile, we got to work stuffing welcome bags, unloading car-loads full of stuff we had stored at my grandparents’ house nearby, and meeting with the wedding planning staff to go over a few last details. My mom was also busy putting together these beautiful flower arrangements for the rehearsal dinner, which took place the next day (Friday). Didn’t they come out great? My stepdad made the cute wooden boxes they’re sitting in. 🙂

I know I mentioned this before, but one of my favorite parts about having the wedding at the Wye River Conference Center is that only groups can rent out rooms, and since our group was so big, we blocked every room. That meant we had the place to ourselves during the entire weekend! This was especially nice on Thursday since only our family was there during the day and that night.

Eventually it was time to cleaned up for a pre-rehearsal dinner, dinner with our families! Say that ten times fast. 😉

I had made a reservation for us at Hemingway’s on the Bay, and the view from our table in the upstairs dining room was incredible!

(Don’t mind my dress reflection in the window, lol!)

As soon as we got there, our family got busy snapping tons of photos. Lots of the pictures below came from my dad and Fabio’s dad!

How awesome is that water in the background?

After the first round of pictures was finished (oh, don’t worry, there were plenty more…), we sat down to enjoy dinner. The tables were a nice mix of Fabio’s family and mine, and luckily everyone had met plenty of times before so there was no awkward getting-to-know-you conversation. Just lots of chatting and lots of laughter!

Plus everyone kept raving about the view from our table.

Also, please compare the iPhone photo I took (above) and the photo my dad got with his good camera (below). Ha!

Once the sun started setting in the sky, we all headed out for some pictures by the water!

We got lots of shots with the family too, including this one with all of our parents…

One with Fabio’s parents…

One with Fabio’s family (his other sister Karen and her husband and daughter couldn’t join us until later in the weekend)…

One with my side of the family on my mom’s side…

One with Aunt CC and Uncle Steve…

One with my family on my dad’s side…

Including my Aunt Teri and cousins!

And then we made sure to get one with my grandparents when we got back upstairs! 🙂

Overall dinner was a huge success, and I’m so glad we were able to spend time with our immediate family before all our other guests arrived!

After dinner was over and we had paid the check, Fabio and I went outside with my dad and sister for just a few more photos.

I really like this one that he got with the moon!

Once dinner was over, we headed back to the hotel to relax. Jack, who had been staying in our suite, had brought our clothes onto the bed to snuggle with while we were gone. Silly guy!

At this point we all changed into PJs and then spent the rest of the evening sitting out on the patio of the venue sipping beverages out of solo cups and chatting. It was a little chilly, so I remember a bunch of us were wearing hotel robes and wrapped up in sweatshirts and blankets. We had music playing, and I remember just feeling so happy as I looked around and saw all of our close family members surrounding us and having a good time. Plus, I knew I still had the whole weekend ahead of me! Woohoo!

More to come!

Question of the day: Do you have a big family or a little one?

Mine is relatively small, but Fabio’s is HUGE!

 Posted by on August 30, 2017
Aug 182017
 

At 3:06 a.m. on Wednesday, August 16, my adorable nephew Michael Leon was born!

Side note: Look at all that hair!!

He weighed a whopping 9.6 pounds, which is crazy considering Fabio’s sister Diane is so tiny.

Mom, dad, and baby are all doing well, and I’m hoping I’ll get to meet this little cutie over the weekend!

Congratulations, Diane and Alex!

(Some photos “with Michael” from the wedding :). )

I’m going to keep the rest of this week’s highlights short since I spent my Thursday night at Sibarita eating delicious Bolivian food with Fabio’s cousin Ligia and her boyfriend Sean instead of taking time to really sit down and blog.

It was a fun night with a much-needed margarita after a tough week at work. Cheers!

Some other quick highlights from the week: We had an amazing salad for dinner on Monday night complete with grilled nectarines, sweet corn, goat cheese, chicken sausage, mixed greens, and arugula.

I am loving summer produce right now!

We also had some chicken burgers with a side salad, which also came out delicious. Yum!

And after visiting Aunt CC and Uncle Steve in Otis last weekend, I enjoyed some of the homemade lemon biscotti they sent me home with in my coffee! It wasn’t an every day treat this week, but it was an almost every day one. 🙂

And I will leave you with this fun sign that I saw in the entrance of Next Phase Studio where I completed a fun bootcamp workout this week:

“Can we be your happy place?” Why yes, yes you can! 🙂

The end. Happy Friday!

Question of the day: For those of you with nieces and nephews, tell me how old they are!

 Posted by on August 18, 2017
Aug 142017
 

This past weekend, Fabio, Jack, and I drove up to Aunt CC and Uncle Steve’s house in Otis, Massachusetts (in the Berkshires) for a weekend of fun in the sun! We were joined by my friends Hana and Britt, which made the trip extra amazing.

Here are some scenes from the weekend, with a few notes of commentary here and there. 🙂

We hit the road on Thursday evening after work!

After a long car ride, we arrived in Otis to quite the welcome spread!

We stayed up until around 4 a.m. before throwing in the towel. We were exhausted.

Friday

We slept in a bit on Friday and then had breakfast outside. I made this lemon blueberry “bread” (aka – cake) and it was fantastic!

My plate:

Then it was time for some fun!

Water activities are the best. 🙂

We recently bought this life vest for Jack so we don’t have to worry about him when he jumps off the kayak or paddle board in the middle of the lake. It worked perfectly!

Steve took Jack on his kayak, and the rest of us used the stand-up paddle boards. Poor Fabio had to work on Friday so he stayed at the house, and Britt didn’t arrive until Friday evening. (That pesky day job.)

But the rest of us had fun!

After paddle boarding, we hung out in the back yard enjoying the sunshine and playing lots of lawn games.

Jack wanted to join us in playing bocce. 🙂

Steve was on cocktail duty and made us some amazing concoctions!

Later in the afternoon, the sky began to look a little ominous so we moved our games inside. Steve showed us how to play Gobblet, and we were all instantly addicted.

Once Britt arrived, it was dinner time!

We called it a night around 1 a.m. after playing lots more board games. We were pooped!

Saturday

Saturday morning started off pretty gray and cold, so we huddled inside and went through our wedding pictures together! Then we made a stop at the farmer’s market.

Lunch featured wraps on the deck, and then we headed off for a four-mile hike!

Which of course, meant more swimming for Jack.

The sun was fully out by the time we got back to the house, so we put on our swimsuits and headed over to the lake.

We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out at the house playing lots and lots more games.

The games didn’t stop when the sun went down – night time bocce, kan-jam, and badminton for the win!

We finished up the evening sitting around the fire pit and called it a night around 1:45 a.m. (Dinner was also in there somewhere, but I was too busy having fun to take any pics!)

Sunday

We stuck around for breakfast on Sunday before packing up to head home.

It was a long drive, but the fun weekend was worth it!

The end.

Question of the day: What’s your favorite game?

 Posted by on August 14, 2017
Aug 102017
 

Hey friends! I’m dropping by today with six random things that are on my mind. 🙂

1. We are heading out of town again this weekend, this time for another fun weekend getaway up at Aunt CC and Uncle Steve’s place in Otis, MA. It’s a long, 6.5 hour drive, but it’s always so fun once we get up there. We have a couple of friends joining us this time, so I wanted to bring a couple of treats up with us so CC and Steve don’t spend the whole weekend slaving away over food. I wound up making this Mediterranean Farro Salad and this Lemon Blueberry Bread. The lemon blueberry bread in particular looks amazing, and I can’t wait to dig into it! Woohooo!! Otis weekends are the best.

2. Our wedding pictures are ready!!!!! Eeek!! I got the email from our photographer in the middle of the work day, and it was all I could do not to tear through them right away. Luckily I waited until I got home so Fabio and I could enjoy going through them together. They came out so beautifully and now I’m trying to figure out what to do with them all! I’m thinking I’ll wait until Shutterfly or one of those sites has a sale, and then I’ll make some albums for family and order a few prints. Any recommendations? Here’s one sneak peek for you guys…

3. And now that our wedding pictures are ready, I can get working on the wedding blog recaps! I still have one last honeymoon post to write, and then I’ll dive into all things wedding. It was such a fun, magical weekend, and I want to make sure I capture it all perfectly! It’s going to take some time, but I can’t wait to share it with you all.

4. Speaking of blog posts, I’m finding it harder and harder to find the time to sit down and write here on CET. Work and life have both been really busy, and I’ve always wanted writing in this space to be something I look forward to doing, or get to do, and I don’t ever want it to feel like an obligation. Some days I think, “Oh man, I have to get a blog post up today,” and then I think, “Wait, I don’t have to do anything.” I’m not planning on changing my posting schedule drastically or anything like that, but I wanted to let you guys know how I was feeling and just give you a heads up that some days there might be a post, and some days there might not. That’s just sort of how life is working out for me right now.

5. We didn’t make it to the grocery store last weekend, so our dinners have sort of been all over the place. We used up a lot of random produce we had in the fridge from last week, and I’ve made a bunch of weird thrown-together meals that actually came out pretty tasty. Last night, for example, I made us a pasta dish with leftover roasted carrots, corn salad, and Peruvian chicken, and somehow it all tasted great together once I mixed up a random dressing to tie it all together. Hey, whatever works!

6. Workouts have been pretty good so far this week, with a short run on Monday, a spin class at FlyWheel on Tuesday, a sculpt class at CorePower yoga on Wednesday, and a bootcamp class at Urban Athletic Club planned for tomorrow (it’s Wednesday as I write this). Plus I’m sure I’ll probably get in some fun activities this weekend in Otis as well!

Aaaaand there you have it – six random thoughts in my head this morning. I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday!

Question of the day: What’s your dinner go-to when you haven’t been to the grocery store?

 Posted by on August 10, 2017