Chelsea

Oct 202017
 

Hi friends! I’m still alive – just insanely busy at work. It’s been really hard for me to arrive home at like 8 p.m. and then make dinner and sit down to blog, but hopefully things should be calming down soon. November is right around the corner, which means our American Diabetes Month campaign will have to be finished by then – right? (I’m joking – of course it will be – hopefully.)

Anyway, I just wanted to pop in today to tell you about a traumatizing morning that I had earlier this week. It’s a pretty gross – but funny – story, so I thought you’d enjoy! Warning: If you don’t like bugs, this one’s not for you (Megan!)!

It all started on Wednesday morning after I took a class at FlyWheel and then headed into work to shower in the little shower room they have there. It’s nothing fancy – just a small enclosed room with a shower and small changing space with a bench for your stuff – but it works and there’s never a line, which made it more appealing than the crowded showers at FlyWheel.

The water takes a bit of time to warm up in that shower, so when I got in there I locked the door behind me, set out my stuff, turned my music on, and then went to turn the water on like usual (luckily I hadn’t undressed yet, which you’ll see is important in a minute).

When I pulled back the clear shower curtain, something brown slid down in front of me.

I immediately leaped back, but wasn’t sure quite what I had seen. Then I moved the shower curtain again and a huge, brown cockroach scuttled out from under it and started running around the small enclosed shower room.

At this point I jumped up onto the bench as the cockroach continued to run all around this small enclosed room. At one point it ran over to where my heels were laid out, and proceeded to hide under them. Ew, ew, ew!!

I remember thinking I might be stuck on this bench for a while – how would I ever get down and then proceed to shower in this room?!

Then I heard someone else come into the main part of the bathroom, which was unusual since it was only 8 a.m. and most people weren’t in the office yet. I opened the door to my shower room and jumped from the bench down into the main part of the bathroom, and asked if someone was there.

When I rounded the corner, I saw it was one of our VPs – great – but at this point I had already started my request so I had to finish it. I asked if there was any way she could help me kill this cockroach, mostly because I needed some moral support.

She agreed (what a saint!) and grabbed some napkins to help take care of it. Then she turned to me and was like, “You know some of them fly, right?” Oh man. I hadn’t thought of that.

Together we entered the shower room and proceeded to chase this big bug around, both of us screaming and squealing intermittently. At one point she stepped on it and it crunched, but when she lifted her shoe it continued running around. Ugh!

Eventually I was able to corner it and step on it, and it made a huge crunch and all this juice gushed out. Yep, it was dead. Teamwork!

At this point I was super grossed out, but relieved to have solved the problem. I used some napkins to pick up the bug, and then walked to the trash can. Unfortunately, the door to the shower room locked behind me!! I guess somehow it was still locked from earlier?!

The VP said she’d send an email to our building management folks to let them know, and then she went back to her desk (I later bought her a Starbucks gift card to thank her for her help).

I stood there waiting for about 15 minutes – in my sweaty gym clothes, barefoot – until someone finally arrived to help. When our building guy got there he discovered his master key didn’t work for that lock (!!!) so he had to go get the main building engineer.

By this time lots of other people started arriving at the office, and they were looking at me strangely since I was barefoot and in sweaty gym clothes.

Eventually the engineer guy was able to let me back into the shower room using a big wire rig thing that he said “doesn’t usually work.” Ha!

Despite having arrived at work extra early to get started on my day, I didn’t wind up getting to my desk until around 9:15. Womp womp.

Anyway, it was a pretty traumatic experience, but it’s kind of funny now. 🙂

Happy Friday!

Question of the day: Share a bug story, or a story of something embarrassing happening to you.

 Posted by on October 20, 2017
Oct 162017
 

This weekend was exactly what I needed after a super stressful week at work. My coworker Carly and I were able to finish up a big deliverable on Friday afternoon, which meant I didn’t have to do any work over the weekend. Hooray! I left the office in the best mood ever and couldn’t wait to spend a weekend unwinding. 🙂

Friday

I think most of you know by now that Fabio is a huge Yankees fan, so our Friday night plans revolved around watching the playoff game. We debated going to Ugly Mug in D.C., which apparently is a big Yankees bar, but in the end we decided to stay close to home and head to the Buffalo Wild Wings that’s right up the street from us.

I celebrated the end of my long week with a gigantic beer! Dogfish head 90 minute IPA for the win. 🙂

We wound up sharing a mix of BBQ and Buffalo boneless wings (so good!) and we had a great time watching the game together, even though the Yankees lost.

Shortly after we returned home, Fabio’s dad arrived from New York! It was great to see him, and we spent a few minutes chatting before I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer and headed up to bed.

Saturday

In the morning, we drove over to Fabio’s sister and brother-in-law’s house to see our new nephew, Michael!

We hadn’t seen him since he was just a few days old, so we were definitely overdue for another visit.

He’s such a cutie, and I felt like I could just sit and stare at him for hours. Babies are the best!

I also couldn’t believe what a good baby he was – he had lots of smiles for us and made lots of adorable baby cooing noises.

Soon enough we were all hungry for lunch, so we went to town on some Bolivian food we had brought with us. The pastries below are called Saltenas, and they’re filled with chicken and veggies – sort of like a chicken pot pie. And they are gooood! We brought lots of extras for Diane and Alex to enjoy throughout the week too!

After lunch, we headed outside for a little and I couldn’t get over baby Michael’s bear suit. Come on – how adorable?!

Fabio and I sadly had to head back home in the early afternoon, so we said goodbye to everyone and then hopped back in the car. ‘Til next time, baby Michael!

When we got home, Jack’s friend Tilly was there! Our friends Jojo and Jadd had a wedding to attend on Saturday, and Jojo’s sister dropped Tilly off on Saturday afternoon.

She and Jack get along great – we joke that they’re boyfriend and girlfriend – so he was really happy to see her!

After we took the dogs for a walk, we settled in for a movie night at home. We ate some leftover wings from the night before, drank some more delicious beer (in Harry Potter mugs, no less) and watched a somewhat dumb movie on Netflix called What Happened to Monday.

Even though the movie wasn’t great, I stayed awake for the whole thing which is a pretty big accomplishment for me these days. Ha!

The doggies kept us company on the couch.

We headed up to bed after the movie, and I will just say that having two snuggly dogs and two humans in a queen-sized bed didn’t make for the most restful night of sleep. 😉

Sunday

Sunday morning began with another walk with the dogs to the park…

..and then we said goodbye to Tilly and headed out to meet my dad and sister for a fun lunch outing at Top Golf!

Fabio and I love going to Top Golf, and we had a sneaking suspicion my dad and sister would like it too. They did!

We wound up getting a bunch of appetizers to share as our lunch…

…and spent some time hitting the balls in between grabbing bites of food!

It was a really fun way to spend the afternoon!

We stopped by the grocery store on the way home, and then later for dinner I made homemade pizza. Yummmmm!

Now I’m sitting at the computer writing this post, and I’m trying to force myself to work on some of the wedding thank you notes when I’m done. Orrrrr not…. 😉

Question of the day: Are you watching the baseball playoffs? Who are you rooting for?

The Nats loss earlier this week was a really tough one!

 Posted by on October 16, 2017
Oct 112017
 

It’s 7:51 p.m., and I just got home from work (well – I came home from work, immediately changed into pjs, and then sat down to write this post). Life is super busy right now, and though I’m enjoying it, it doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for the old blog here.

Take yesterday for example. I work, work, worked until 5:45 p.m., and then I joined my coworkers for a kickboxing class at UFC Gym (maybe you remember the last time I went there? Probably not – it was ages ago!). Anyway, the hour-long class started at 6:30 p.m. and it was 20 minutes away in Alexandria so I didn’t get home until around 8. Then our friend Ciro came over to watch the Yankee game with Fabio, and then there was no way I was going to sit down and write a blog post. Or cook a healthy dinner. We wound up with Subway, which could have been worse I suppose.

Then there was today (Tuesday). I took a bootcamp class at Body Mass Gym with my friends Anne and Kathleen in the morning, and then headed into work for another completely manic day. It was go-go-go all day long, with lots of meetings to attend and deliverables to complete. Now I just got home and have to make dinner, and then I just want to relax!

I know I shouldn’t complain–I have a really interesting job and I get to work on really cool stuff. American Diabetes Month is coming up in November, and my coworker Carly and I are in charge of planning and executing the entire campaign. It’s sooooo much work for just two people to tackle, but it’s super rewarding and interesting! (I’m sure you’ll hear more about it here starting in November when I write about it. 🙂 You all are such good sports for humoring me on that stuff.)

But I just hate that right now this hectic schedule of mine doesn’t leave me with a ton of brain space–or time–for creative/fun writing here on the blog. But that’s just the way it is right now, and I know in a couple of weeks my schedule will be back to normal.

For now I’m just continuing to do the best I can to keep the rest of my life balanced, namely with exercise. I find that when I’m stressed, working out can be like therapy for me and helps me set the day off on the right foot. When I skip a day of working out, I feel more sluggish and blah for the whole day. Working out just helps me feel sane and normal right now, which is exactly what I need!

I will say my diet hasn’t been super amazing lately – I’m eating all the healthy meals that I planned and prepped for myself over the weekend, but I’m also stress-eating. Mostly delicious, sweet, sugary carbs. When they’re available. And when I have time for snacks. Which actually, hasn’t been all that often during the day. But that doesn’t mean I’m not craving them!

Anyway, I guess all of this is a really long-winded way of saying that I have quite a bit going on right now, and I apologize for not having a super interesting post for you today. And, no pictures. Womp womp. I’ll try to get my act together to have something better on Friday, but if I wind up not popping in, you’ll know why.

Until next time, my friends!

Question of the day: Do you stress eat?

 Posted by on October 11, 2017
Oct 092017
 

Hey there, and happy Monday to you! I’m actually writing this on Sunday morning, which is fairly unusual for me. I’ve got my favorite cooking shows on in the background and Jack is snuggled up close nearby, and since I had some free time I figured I’d sit down and get this blog post knocked out.

Fabio was up in New York City for the weekend celebrating a friend’s bachelor party, so I had some time to myself! I debated making plans with girlfriends or with my family, and while I am heading out to see family later today (more on that below), I decided I wanted to spend my Saturday with a day just for myself. And you know what? It was amazing!

Friday

Work has been incredibly busy and stressful lately, as we’re gearing up for American Diabetes Month in November. My coworker Carly and I are in charge of running the whole campaign, so we’ve been super busy! I stayed at work until around 6 on Friday, at which point I came home, walked Jack, and then picked up sushi from my favorite spot in Ballston, Sushi 2 Go. I watched one episode of Grey’s Anatomy (I’m rewatching the series…and it’s bringing out all the emotions!!) and then did a bit more work. I finally closed my laptop just before 10 p.m. and then I read my book in bed for approximately 2.5 seconds before falling asleep.

Saturday

I must have been really exhausted because I slept until 11:15 on Saturday! I honestly cannot tell you the last time I slept that late – maybe when I was in middle school? Even when I’m hungover I don’t sleep that late! I guess this was my body’s way of telling me to slow down and pay attention to my needs.

After waking up, I took Jack for a walk and then started my day! I had a bunch of local errands I wanted to run, and since it was such a beautiful day I decided to walk everywhere instead of taking the bus, metro, or my car.

I listened to a couple of good podcasts (I am really liking NPR’s How I Built This) and had a lovely day walking around Arlington!

My first stop was my favorite local coffee shop, Northside Social. I snagged a table outside for myself and enjoyed an iced latte (it was 83 degrees on Saturday!! Where is fall??) and a turkey sandwich (since I missed breakfast).

I also bought a peanut butter cookie which I stashed in my purse for later. 🙂 I just love the atmosphere of Northside Social – so many people come to sit and relax inside and out, and I felt like I could sit there reading my Kindle all day.

I just love the atmosphere of Northside Social – so many people come to sit and relax inside and out, and I felt like I could sit there reading my Kindle all day.

Once I finished my food, it was time to move on to my next stop: Lululemon! I received two gift certificates to Lululemon for my birthday (it’s like my family knows me or something 😉 ) and I wanted to put them to good use!

I wound up getting these pants, this jacket, and a cute grey tank that I can’t find on the website. I was also thiiiiis close to buying these pants, but I already have a bunch of black leggings and didn’t feel like draining my entire wallet, so I put them back on the rack.

After that, I continued my exploration of Arlington by walking down to Smitten Boutique in Courthouse for a hair appointment! My hair had gotten really long and straggly over the summer, and I was ready for some brightness and a trim.

This was my first time visiting Smitten Boutique – I had read good reviews online – and I really liked it! It wasn’t cheap, but I really liked the staff, service, and the results.

What do you guys think?? It’s a little lighter and a little shorter, and I’m a fan!

When I got home (it took me about 30 minutes to walk back), I took Jack for another walk and then made my grocery list for the week and headed to Target. I usually go to Giant for groceries, but I was hoping Target would have some cute fall decorations in addition to my groceries, and they did!

I love this cute little leaf garland, and I now have some festive pumpkins on the front stoop and a wreath on the door. I’m ready for fall even if the mother nature is not!

I found some random leftovers in the fridge for dinner, and then I set out to make this cream cheese pound cake to take to my grandma.

My grandma had knee-replacement surgery on Friday morning, and she comes home from the hospital today. I’m planning to take this cake over to her a little later, and I’m hoping it will put a smile on her face!

I tasted a couple of crumbs that came off the cake when I was flipping it out of the bundt pan, and they tasted great! 🙂

Once my cake was done, I headed upstairs to bed. Spending a day to myself was a little bit lonely, but I called some people during all my walking and once I got home, I had Jack to keep me company. And honestly it was just so nice to have a day to myself to do some of the things I enjoy doing that Fabio doesn’t (shopping, baking, decorating the house, etc.) and I think it’s a day I’ll remember for a long time (I’m sure when we have kids someday I’ll look back on this day and wish for it back!).

All that being said, I’m ready for my hubby to come home. I miss him!

Question of the day: If you could spend a day by yourself doing whatever you wanted, what would you do?

 Posted by on October 9, 2017
Oct 052017
 

It’s time for another wedding weekend recap! When we last left off, our rehearsal dinner had just wrapped up, and I thought our evening was mostly over. Little did I know my amazing bridesmaids had an awesome surprise up their sleeves!

After dinner, presents, and photos by the river, I was brought inside where I saw a big projection screen and a projector set up. Everyone gathered around, and my bridesmaids announced that they’d been putting together a slideshow of photos for Fabio and me.

Unbeknownst to me, my 10 amazing bridesmaids had reached out to our family and friends to collect photos of us from years past.

Fabio and I seated ourselves front and center, and the rest of our friends and family gathered around to watch the slideshow!

When the slideshow began, I heard the first strains of Red Dirt Road by Brooks and Dunn, which was one of my favorite songs growing up. Pictures began flashing on the screen from when I was a baby all the way up until early college, which was when Fabio and I met. There were so many pictures in the slideshow, many of which I had somehow never seen before.

Some of them were definitely awkward/embarrassing, but that was part of the fun!If you look carefully, you’ll spot my friends Bianca and Hana in this one!

If you look carefully in this next one, you’ll spot my friends/bridesmaids, Bianca and Hana!

It was really fun having our family and friends surrounding us for the show – there was lots of cheering and laughing when certain photos came on the screen.

I love this picture of my grandma – my dad’s mom – reaching across my grandpa to hold my mom’s hand. 🙂

Seeing all of our family and friends blend together made everything even more special!

Before long, Red Dirt Road ended and Empire State of Mind came on. Since Fabio grew up in New York, this was one of his favorite songs! Then came all of his adorable baby photos – what a cutie!

Again, there was a lot of cheering and laughter when a new photo would come onto the screen!

It was also so nice having our photographer there to capture the joy we felt during these moments!

This was such an amazing surprise, and I can’t thank my maid of honor, Bianca, enough for spearheading this and doing something so special for us. It meant the world!

Of course it also made me appreciate my soon-to-be husband! 🙂

When the slideshow was over, we lingered in the main house for a little bit longer before walking over to an after party we had planned earlier. This was our chance to relax, let loose, and really catch up with all of our friends. My dad had brought a stereo and light system with him from home, so we enjoyed lots of good music and dancing. It was so much fun!! Take me back!

Best maid of honor ever!

And that night I went to bed for the last time as an unmarried woman, and I remember having the biggest smile on my face when I laid down. What a perfect day!

Question of the day: Tell me about something special you’ve seen at a rehearsal dinner or wedding.

 Posted by on October 5, 2017
Oct 022017
 

**Edited to add: I woke up this morning to the devastating news about the shooting in Las Vegas. My heart is broken by the evilness, and my thoughts and prayers are with anyone who was affected. <3

Hello there, and happy Monday! I hope everyone had a relaxing and fun weekend!

Ours was mostly spent celebrating my birthday at my grandparents’ house on the Chesapeake Bay! It was a lot of fun, but went by way too fast.

Friday

Fabio and I were initially planning to drive down to my grandparents’ house on Friday after work, but due to an accident on the bay bridge, our GPS was showing it would take two hours to get there (instead of the usual hour and 10 minutes). Ugh.

Instead of sitting in all that traffic, we decided to stay home and make the drive in the morning instead. We wound up making one of the Hello Fresh meals we had in the fridge (roast pork with cauliflower mashed potatoes, apple pan sauce, and snap peas) and watching a movie. We watched The Founder and while I really enjoyed it, I fell asleep about 3/4 of the way through. Oops! 🙂

Saturday

On Saturday morning, we made the drive to my grandparents’ house, and didn’t have to sit in any traffic. Woohoo!

We arrived in time for lunch, and after quickly eating some sandwiches, the boys (my dad, grandpa, and Fabio) headed out for a game of golf. While they played, I got to spend the day with my grandma and sister, and our four collective black labs – Jack, my grandparents’ dog Cindy, and my dad’s dogs, Max and Lexi.

The four dogs get along great and had a blast playing in the backyard. 🙂

Since I knew the boys would be golfing for a while, I had planned to spend the day prepping dinner with my sister. She’s 12 and doesn’t cook a whole lot at home, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for her to test out her cooking skills! We spent some time looking through a couple of cookbooks I had brought with me, and then once we had picked out a couple of recipes to make we headed to the grocery store together. Then it was time to get to work!

My sous chef!

We wound up making these butternut squash lasagna rolls and these brussels sprouts with pancetta.

Cooking with my sister was a lot of fun!

Right around the time we finished prepping dinner, we got a call from the boys saying they were finished with their game. We decided to meet them up at the clubhouse for a drink, at which point my sister took hold of my phone and took a bunch of funny pictures on Snapchat.

I don’t even know how she did this!? Haha!

A little while later we headed back to the house, where I opened up birthday presents from my family. They gave me some great gifts! 🙂 Thank you, guys!

Before sitting down to dinner, we spent some time outside playing with the dogs in the yard again.

It was such a beautiful night – I’m always in awe of the view from their house.

Once it got dark, we headed inside to eat. Everyone seemed to enjoy the butternut squash lasagna rolls and brussels sprouts, and my sister ate three helpings of the sprouts! She’s a picky eater and doesn’t eat a ton of vegetables, so this was a big win for me. 🙂

After dinner, it was time for birthday cake! Look how beautiful this cake is that my grandma got from Peace of Cake (the same vendor that did our wedding desserts)…

Isn’t that so beautiful? Happy birthday to meeeeee…. 🙂

Unbeknownst to anyone, my grandma accidentally bought trick birthday candles, which were just about impossible to blow out. It was so funny!

So funny! The cake also was extremely delicious, with fresh raspberries and a lemon curd filling. Yummm.

Even the shell decorations were delicious (they were made of white chocolate!) and I enjoyed eating the edible pearls and sparkles.

My dad, stepmom, and sister headed home after dinner, but Fabio and I decided to extend our visit by staying the night. 🙂

Sunday

Fabio made us all bacon and egg sandwiches on English muffins for breakfast on Sunday (yum!) and after that, we packed up our stuff and said goodbye to my grandparents.

Back at home, we ran a bunch of errands and cleaned the whole house from top to bottom. I also got out our fall decorations and realized that I don’t have nearly as many as I thought. Time to go to TJ Maxx! 🙂

While I cleaned and decorated, Fabio worked on organizing our new pantry and a peg board we have in our storage room. It feels so good to be organized!

And when I asked Fabio what he wanted for dinner a little while ago, he said he wasn’t too hungry so I suggested having leftover birthday cake for dinner. He agreed, so that’s what we had! 😉

And now I’m finishing up this post with the football game on, and am thinking of going to bed early. It was a busy weekend!

Question of the day: When was the last time you had dessert for dinner?

 Posted by on October 2, 2017
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 182017
 

Hello! How was your weekend? The highlight of ours was a wedding, the first one we’ve been to as husband and wife! 🙂 Here’s a recap!

Friday

I worked from home on Friday because we had someone coming from the Container Store to install our new pantry. We have a really awkward storage room off our kitchen — which is also where our washer/dryer, water heater, etc. are located — and it was pretty much a mess in there without any shelves. We got a bunch of new gifts from the wedding, most of which were previously stacked haphazardly against the wall and you could never really access anything. It’s a million times better now with the pantry shelves!

Before:

After!

I spent some time this weekend moving our appliances, canned goods, and other kitchen items onto the new shelves, but it’s not exactly how I want it yet. I’ll post an update once I get everything all organized!

We were also dog-sitting on Friday, so once Fabio got home we took the two pups for a walk to the park!

These two were BFFs and got along so great. 🙂

Then on Friday evening, we drove over to a brewery in Warrenton, VA for a rehearsal dinner! The wedding was for Fabio’s coworker Kyle and his new wife Ash, and I was so thankful we got to celebrate with them. They’re the best!

The brewery was a perfect location for the event, and I loved that the whole evening was spent outside. It was a beautiful night, and we had a lot of fun catching up with friends! This is Fabio’s coworker’s daughter, who we hadn’t seen in ages. Last time I saw her she was a senior in high school, and now she’s a college sophomore! We had to take a picture

This is Fabio’s coworker’s daughter, who I always love chatting with. Last time we saw her she was a senior in high school, and now she’s a college sophomore! We had to take a picture since we were wearing matching olive-colored dresses. 🙂

It was a really fun night!

Saturday

Saturday morning began with another trip to the park!

We watched Rooney just until around 11:00 a.m., and then she got picked up. It sure was fun having her around!

Eventually it was time for us to drive back to Warrenton for the wedding! We stayed at a Hampton Inn and took the shuttle over to the venue.

The wedding took place at Eastwood Retreat, and it was beautiful! Here comes the bride!

Congrats, Kyle and Ash!

After a quick ceremony, it was time for cocktail hour! Check out my handsome husband. 🙂

BTW – my skirt is from my recent Trunk Club! I loved wearing it and thought it was perfect for a fall wedding. I got a ton of compliments on it too!

Cocktail hour was held on a really pretty outdoor patio, and we enjoyed some delicious passed hors d’ouvres and plenty of good drinks!

One fun detail that I really liked from Kyle and Ash’s wedding was that they created nametag buttons for each guest. When we RSVPed they asked us each to include a fun fact, which they then added to the nametag pins. So fun!

My fun fact was that I have a health and fitness blog. 🙂

Here’s Fabio with the groom!

The rest of the evening was spent cheering on the couple, enjoying a tasty buffet, and of course dancing! There was also an epic cookie and doughnut table when it came time for dessert. It was a lot of fun!

When the reception was over, we all headed to Molly’s Irish pub for an after party. The bride even played the tambourine with the band!

Haha!

Sunday

Fabio and I headed home pretty early on Sunday morning, which was nice because it meant we had the whole day to meal plan, go to the grocery store, do some chores around the house, and then relax and watch football.

And now we’re about to dig into some baked ziti for dinner. Yum!

Question of the day: Pick one, vineyard or brewery?

 Posted by on September 18, 2017