Chelsea

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
Sep 152017
 

Hellooooooo there! And happy Friday! 🙂 This week was another doozy for me – lots of stress at work – and I’m SO ready for the weekend. Woohoo!

I have a few random things from the week to share with you guys today, but I’m going to attempt to keep things short because I’m a bit distracted by a new doggy friend who’s currently running in circles around our couch with Jack. (It’s Thursday night as I type this.)

Fabio and I are watching my coworker Carly’s sweet chocolate lab, Rooney, for a couple of days, and these two are playing nonstop!

Both dogs are going to sleep well tonight, that’s for sure.

With that, here’s a few other updates from the week!

1. I had some really great workouts this week! On Tuesday, I joined my friends Anne and Kathleen for a class at Urban Athletic Club. UAC has a new program on Tuesdays and Thursdays where the first half of the class is dedicated to skill work, and the second half is the actual workout. To be honest, I don’t usually love this format – I feel like there’s a lot of time wasted standing around/taking breaks from the skill – but it was good to mix it up this time.

Our skill for the day was handstands and L-sits, which we did for about 10 minutes.

Then we got into our workout of the day, which was a really good one! I was sore the next day, which doesn’t always happen since I take these classes so often. Woo!

I also took a class at Orange Theory Fitness this week! You may remember I took a class there back in February and loved it, and then when my friend Courtney expressed interest in taking a class there a couple of weeks ago, I decided to drop in with her. Like last time, I absolutely loved the workout and felt really challenged, so I decided to go ahead and buy a package of classes. Yep, call me a sucker.

My package includes 14 classes that I have a whole year to use up, and because I enjoyed the workout so much, I feel like I’m going to go through them in no time. I know it’s a lot of money to spend on fitness on top of my monthly ClassPass payments, but it’s something that makes me happy and is good for me so I decided it was worth it.

Also, just as a side note, the staff at the Clarendon location of OTF have been absolutely phenomenal. They’re so encouraging and friendly, and their classes are so hard! Eventually I’ll probably give the Ballston location a try since I can walk to it, but I feel a sense of loyalty to the Clarendon one since they’re the ones who first invited me in!  🙂

Aside from OTF, I’m also signed up for a “blast” bootcamp class at BodyMass Gym tomorrow with Anne, and I’m excited for that too! Those workouts are always killer. Lots of good stuff happening on the fitness front this week, that’s for sure!

 2. I have some new(ish) Nikes that I’ve been wearing for workouts, and I love them!

They’re these Nikes and didn’t cost too much and have been really great for all my different bootcamps. I bought them a few months ago and wanted to really break them in before blogging about them, and now I can report that they’re awesome! I think they look sporty and fun, and I like that there’s a velcro strap to help keep my laces from coming untied. I haven’t been running too much in them, but I think they’d probably be just fine for that as well. If you’re in the market for some new sneakers, definitely check these out!

3. We have some destructive bunnies/squirrels in our neighborhood. Remember last week when I said my mom gave us two pumpkins from the garden? Well, I cooked one and made soup, and I put the other one out on the front stoop for some fall festiveness. And then this happened. Womp womp.

My mom said I could cut off the chewed up part and still cook the other half, but I might just toss this one. What do you guys think?

4. We had homemade pizza one night this week, and it felt like such a treat!

When meal planning this week, I found some homemade dough in the freezer from the last time I made pizza, so I took it out to defrost and then we enjoyed the quick and easy pizza on Tuesday night. It was delicious!

5. You guys might kill me for telling you about this – but have any of you tried Trunk ClubIt’s the exact same premise as Stitch Fix — i.e., you fill out a style profile and get a delivery of clothes sent to your house, which you can then choose to keep or send back — only I absolutely LOVED everything in my trunk and wound up wanting to keep the entire thing. FYI – I think Trunk Club has been around a while for men, but only recently started offering the service for women.

I also felt like working with the Trunk Club stylist made my box feel more personalized to the types of clothes I want, and I got to review everything and swap items out before the trunk was sent. This was really helpful since I already had a few similar pieces to what my stylist was planning to include, so I traded those two things out for something different.

It’s hard for me to explain exactly why I liked this service so much more than Stitch Fix, but I will just say I felt like every piece in my box was a perfect fit for me. Like, literal fit and also style fit. Ha! I guess I was just really excited about everything in my box and didn’t feel like anything was a dud, which seems to happen to me a lot with SF. I wound up sending two things back (which was also super easy) but really only because I couldn’t justify paying for everything. It was such a great experience, and I will definitely be ordering more of these!

Alright friends, that’s all I have for you today! I will leave you with this picture of Jack snuggling on the couch. 🙂

Have a good weekend!

Question of the day: Have you ever tried Trunk Club? How about OTF?

 Posted by on September 15, 2017
Sep 132017
 

Hi friends! Today I’m back with another recap of our amazing wedding weekend!

If you missed the first two posts, you can read about our pre-rehearsal dinner, dinner here and our pool party and ceremony rehearsal here. Today I’m sharing some photos from our rehearsal dinner photo shoot, which I absolutely love!

When we booked our amazing wedding photographer, Lauren Nievod, we found out that Lauren’s services include a photo shoot prior to the wedding. Lauren explained that she does this so she can get to know the bride and groom better before the big day, and so the bride and groom can get comfortable in front of the camera too. Smart!

Since Fabio and I had already taken some engagement photos during our vacation in Jamaica, we asked if we could use our extra photo shoot during the rehearsal dinner instead. We figured this way we’d be able to capture the excitement we felt leading up to the wedding, and hopefully get some pictures of our friends and family too!

Lauren was totally cool with this plan – we just had to pay for her accommodations that night so she didn’t have to drive down and back twice – and we were able to get some amazing photos of the two of us plus LOTS of awesome pictures of our friends and family enjoying the rehearsal dinner. It was the perfect solution!

Today I’m sharing the photos of just the two of us, and then I’ll recap the actual rehearsal dinner in another post. 🙂 All of these pictures were taken by Lauren Nievod, and the location of these photos was the River House of the Wye River Conference Center. Oh, and the boat is my dad’s. Enjoy!

The end! <3

Question of the day: For those of you who have had professional photoshoots done similar to these, what do you do with all the pictures?? These are just some of my favorites, but there were hundreds more!

 Posted by on September 13, 2017
Sep 112017
 

Hey there! How was your weekend? Mine was especially nice, and I’m feeling like it went by way too fast. Wahhh! Can I get one more day please? Here’s a look at what we were up to…

Friday

Friday evening was wonderful because we had absolutely zero plans. We came home from work, took Jack to the park, walked to get sushi, and then watched Narcos from the couch. I drank some wine and fell asleep early and it was everything my Friday night dreams are made of. Haha!

Saturday

On Saturday morning, Fabio made us breakfast!

On my plate: a Colombian arepa (similar to a tortilla but thicker) with scrambled eggs and salsa. Plus a frothy cappuccino. Yum!! Enjoyed while watching cooking shows, which is one of my favorite things to do on weekend mornings. 🙂

After breakfast, we cleaned ourselves up and headed out to a baby shower for Anne! The shower was held outside in a nearby neighborhood, and we couldn’t have asked for a nicer day! The temperatures were in the mid-seventies and it was sunny – aka perfect weather for an outdoor party.

Anne’s mom hired this really cool pizza truck for the event – it had a wood-fired oven built right into the truck so they could keep fresh, thin-crust pizzas coming out every few minutes. The truck also had a few different beer options on tap, and they served salad and gelato. Amazing!

Next time you need a caterer for a party, definitely check them out!

The party itself was a lot of fun, and Fabio and I had a nice time getting to know some of Anne’s other friends and family members. Everyone was super nice! 🙂

On our way out, I made sure to grab one of these cute onesie sugar cookies they were giving out as favors. So cute, right? It was tasty too. 😉

After the baby shower, Fabio and I headed home to change and grab Jack, and then we drove over to my mom’s house for dinner. I just love visiting her house in the summer!

Upon arriving, we spent some time exploring the back yard and checking out all the produce that my mom and stepdad have growing in the garden these days.

My mom sent us home with a bunch of canned goodies and some other fresh produce – including a couple of pumpkins!

We also picked out some tomatoes, which are basically like candy to Fabio. He loves them!

My mom and stepdad also had some onions and garlic hanging up to dry – cool!

A trip to my mom and Fritz’s wouldn’t be complete without a stop by the chicken coop! They have so many chickens now and are selling eggs to neighbors, people at church, and pretty much anyone who will buy them. So cool! We went home with a couple of eggs too. 🙂

When it got to be dinner time, we enjoyed some tasty okra and homemade pasta, plus my mom’s caramel cake for dessert. Delicious! It was really nice catching up with my mom and stepdad and we had a really fun evening with them!

Once we got back home, we got a text from some friends saying they were at Dacha beer garden in DC (one of my favorite spots!) so we quickly got changed to meet up with them. We wound up staying at the beer garden until it closed and then went to another bar until around midnight. It was really nice meeting up with our friends – some of whom we hadn’t seen in a while – and I’m glad we were able to make the little outing work with our plans!

Sunday

Sunday included breakfast at Silver Diner! We started with coffee, and then I got the pancakes with eggs and sausage. I almost always get pancakes at places like this – I can’t resist them! Fabio, meanwhile, went with chicken tenders and fries – as you can see, he’s not a big breakfast person. Crazy, I know!

Fabio and I wound up talking about all kinds of stuff during our breakfast together, and it felt like a nice little date! (Even if it was just at Silver Diner – ha!) It was definitely a fun way to start the morning!

After breakfast we stopped by the Container Store to pick up a few things and finalize the order we placed recently for a pantry installation in our storage room off the kitchen. This is something we really need in that room, and I CANNOT WAIT for it to get installed later this week. Woohoo!

We may or may not have popped into Lululemon after this since it was right across the street, and my birthday is coming up. Hint hint, husband! 🙂 Ha!

The rest of the afternoon was spent organizing the cupboard under my bathroom sink with some of the new storage solutions we bought (exciting I know) and meal planning, grocery shopping, etc.

Meanwhile, Fabio watched #allthefootball on Red Zone and didn’t leave the couch once. *insert eye roll emoji*

For dinner, we had pumpkin soup that I made with the pumpkin my mom gave us! My mom sent me the recipe too. 🙂

It came out delicious, and now we have leftovers to have for lunch during the week. Woohoo!

And now the evening is drawing to an end, and I’m wishing we had just a little more time in our weekend. It was such a good one!

Questions of the day: What do you order when you’re out for breakfast at a diner? Any other significant others glued to the TV this Sunday?

**I can’t help but look at today’s date and think about all the lives that were lost to senseless terrorist attacks 16 years ago today. I hope you’ll join me in keeping all those affected by that tragedy in your thoughts and prayers today.**

 Posted by on September 11, 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
Sep 062017
 

Hello! How was your weekend? For my American friends, I hope you enjoyed a nice Labor Day yesterday!

Our weekend was pretty good – Fabio spent most of it studying for a computer technology certification for his job, and I spent a good chunk of it working on Hurricane Harvey support, but despite all of that we still managed to have some fun!

Friday

On Friday night, we headed out for a date! We popped over to Texas Jack’s BBQ because they have a great happy hour deal: $5 drafts and $6 sandwiches!

Their beer is especially tasty, as is their brisket sandwich. Yum! We were able to snag a seat at the bar and enjoyed a nice evening chatting with each other about anything but work. 🙂

Afterwords, Fabio decided he really wanted to try one of Burger King’s new Lucky Charms milkshakes. Note: There is not even a Burger King close to us, so this was an actual planned outing.

The verdict: Gross! Do NOT get one of these – haha! Oh well, now he knows.

We finished up our Friday night watching the new season of Narcos on the couch. 🙂

Saturday

Unfortunately, my entire day on Saturday was spent working. We are still sending supplies down to Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey (and now planning for Hurricane Irma – ugh), and I had to help post about the locations where people could get their supplies.

Luckily the weather was pretty crappy – it rained a ton on Saturday – and Fabio had to spend the day studying anyway, so it wasn’t like I was missing much. Jack kept us company.

When I finally wrapped up work at around 6:30, it was cocktail time!

Fabio made us some mojitos which came out delicious! Also, take note of Fabio’s sweater above – it was chilly on Saturday! Fall is definitely in the air.

Yum!

For dinner, we headed over to Pupatella, a pizza place near us that we’d heard about but had never visited. At Pupatella, all the pizzas are personal-size and are made to order!

Fabio got a Margherita and I got meatball. Yum!!

Date night number two was a success!

Sunday

On Sunday I was finally finished with work (phew!) so I was able to squeeze in a bit more fun. First up: a trip to the dog park in Clarendon!

After that, I headed to a relaxing yoga class at one of my favorite spots, Edge Yoga. I love their classes – they really give you the opportunity to stretch out and relax.

My hips were actually a little sore after taking the class; I guess I need to work on stretching them out more. Note to self: Sit in pigeon pose while watching TV!

After my class I walked over to Current Boutique, a cute consignment shop with designer clothing brands. I wound up getting a pair of jeans, a shirt from Zara, and a Lululemon tank all for $80. Score! The Lululemon tank by itself was only $18, which I couldn’t get over.

Fabio was still studying when I got home, so I tackled some cleaning around the house and folded some laundry while watching Harry Potter. 🙂

After two nights in a row of eating unhealthy crap out at restaurants, we enjoyed a lighter salad at home on Sunday evening which was definitely needed.

Monday

Monday revolved around weekly meal planning and grocery shopping, and then Fabio and I took Jack to The Brig, a fun dog-friendly beer garden in DC, for my friend Jojo’s 30th birthday! Jack wasn’t the only dog in attendance – I would say there was probably one dog to every four people!

It was definitely a fun atmophere, and Fabio and I enjoyed the chance to get out and be social (in the beautiful weather, no less!) after a somewhat quiet weekend at home. Happy birthday, Jojo!

Eventually it was time for us to head home so Fabio could continue studying (his test is this week!). I think Jack had fun at the beer garden, and would totally go back!

The end.

P.S. I got these glasses a few weeks ago – did I mention that? What do you guys think?

Question of the day: Do you prefer really busy weekends or ones that are more slow?

We thought we were going to have some other plans for Labor Day, but when Fabio’s test popped up and my work got crazy, we figured it was probably smarter to stay around town. It actually wound up being really nice to have some time to relax at home, and it made the weekend feel even longer!

 Posted by on September 6, 2017
Sep 012017
 

Phew – this week was a crazy one for me, but it was an amazing one at the same time. By now I’m sure all of you have heard about the devastating effect Hurricane Harvey had on the people of Texas, dumping more than 50 inches of rain on the Houston area.

[Source]

There have been tons and tons of articles with suggestions for ways to get involved – I personally donated to Austin Pets Alive organization to help displaced animals – but I’ve also spent every day this week at work helping people with diabetes who were affected by the storm.

As I think most of you know by now, when I’m not writing for this little blog here, I work for the American Diabetes Association doing PR and Strategic Communications. What you may not realize – I know I didn’t think of this when I first heard about the storm – is that for people with diabetes, access to their medications is literally a matter of life and death, and Hurricane Harvey took away that access for thousands of people.

Imagine this – for someone who has type 1 diabetes (this is the autoimmune disease that attacks your pancreas and makes it so your body can’t produce insulin, and is usually is diagnosed in children and young adults), you need to check your blood sugar and inject yourself with insulin many times a day. People with type 2 diabetes often need to do this too, and even if their disease hasn’t progressed to the point where they need insulin injections, they usually require a daily dose of oral medications to keep their blood sugar levels in check.

When people don’t have the medications they need to manage their diabetes, they are at risk for all kinds of complications including vision loss, limb amputation, heart disease, stroke, and death. The situation is especially serious for people with type 1 diabetes – if they can’t get insulin, they die. Simple as that.

Insulin also needs to be refrigerated. And with lots of power outages in the area, this creates even more problems for people with diabetes.

So, there are plenty of people in the Houston area who were told to evacuate their homes and grabbed whatever insulin or diabetes supplies they could. Days later, they may now be realizing they’re not able to return to their houses to get more medicine, and their doctors and pharmacies are likely not operating as usual. Not to mention the fact that evacuees then have to figure out how to keep their insulin cold given significant power outages and limited access to refrigerators.

And that’s where my organization stepped in. Earlier this week, the American Diabetes Association partnered with two other diabetes orgs, JDRF and Insulin for Life, to ship more than 3,750 pounds of donated diabetes supplies to the Houston area. On Tuesday, we helped ship five pallets to the area, each of which includes 20,000 syringes, 50,000 pen needles, and 20,000 alcohol pads. We also sent separate packages containing dozens of blood glucose meters, thousands of test strips, and more than 25,000 units of insulin. Then on Wednesday, we sent four more. (I’m typing this up Wednesday night, but I bet we will send more tomorrow!)

One of the pallets!

Though I wasn’t directly involved in the shipping of these deliveries, I was directly responsible for getting the word out through our website, press release, and social media. Monitoring social media, especially Twitter, was so rewarding this week as I got to see people offer up donations and ask for help. When people tweeted at us, it felt good to have a real response to share.

Though I had a lot of late nights at work this week and was feeling super burned out at times, it’s been so rewarding to work for an organization that makes a difference for so many people.

I don’t really have a point to this blog post, except to say that I’m so proud of the organization I work for and consider myself so lucky to be able to make a difference in the aftermath of such a devastating natural disaster. And I encourage all of you to think of some way you can help out the Hurricane Harvey victims if you haven’t already. You never know what kind of impact you can have! <3

No question of the day today, I just encourage you to do something good for the world today!

Want to help people with diabetes affected by Hurricane Harvey? Make a donation to Insulin for Life! You can also share these local resources:

 Posted by on September 1, 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 282017
 

Hi friends! How was your weekend? Ours was a good mix of fun and relaxing, which is always the best way to spend a weekend if you ask me! Here’s a peek at what we were up to.

Friday

On Friday night, Fabio and I went on a boat cruise hosted by his work. (Yes, that makes two Friday nights in a row with boat cruises…who are we??)

This time our boat left from the Navy Yard and we cruised south along the Potomac, as opposed to last week when we left from Georgetown and cruised north. I guess now we’ve seen the whole river by boat! 🙂

It was a lovely night to be out on the water, and we had fun eating, drinking, and dancing with Fabio’s coworkers.

After the boat ride, we hopped into an uber and headed over to Policy on U Street with a few of Fabio’s coworkers. Once there, we continued to dance the night away. I hadn’t been to Policy in ages, and it was a lot of fun to be back!

Saturday

Saturday morning began with a quick run with Jack (I always feel like a little sweat session helps get alcohol out of my system faster – ha!) and then around 12:30 we got ready for two special guests to arrive, my stepsister Maggie and her boyfriend, Nick!

Before they got there, Fabio and I tag-teamed cleaning up the house and then he offered to run out to the store to pick up some snacks while I finished getting ready. Our neighbor also happened to be selling some figs from his fig tree, so when Maggie and Nick arrived we all snacked on champagne, cheese, figs, prosciutto, and cantaloupe!

Happy Saturday indeed! 🙂

A little while after our snack session, we all hopped in an uber that would take us to a BBQ hosted by our family friends Dan and Alanna. Even though we had just eaten cheese and snacks, I wasted no time filling up on amazing BBQ food.

I hadn’t eaten breakfast on Saturday, so I basically considered our cheese course breakfast and the BBQ lunch. Haha! Everything was delicious, especially the two salads made by Alanna. I’ll have to get those recipes!

Before long, it was time for our group to pack everything up and walk over to the Nationals game! Maggie had never been to a Nats game before, so we briefly split up from Dan, Alanna, and the rest of their friends so we could show her the Bullpen.

It was packed, as usual! Must have been because of the good weather, live music, and beer. 🙂

I love this place and was so glad Maggie and Nick got to see it!

Before long, it was time to head into the stadium!

Our seats were fairly high up, but we still had a good view of the field.

Thanks so much to Dan to treating us all to these seats!!! (He’s a season ticket holder and was able to cash in some rewards points so everyone could go together.)

At the end of the fifth inning, we left our seats to meet up with our good friends Courtney and Kevin who also happened to be at the game. We shared a beer with them and enjoyed catching up! Before we knew it, the 8th inning had arrived so we all scurried back to our seats to watch the rest of the game.

My handsome husband!

I think I’ve mentioned that Fabio used to be a bat boy for the Yankees and the Mets, and when we first started dating he took me to a bunch of Mets games so I could watch him down on the field. Because of him I also got to visit the club house and dugout – and go onto the field – after a game. Because of this, I was having mixed emotions about which team to root for, Nats or Mets, but in the end I was happy when the Nats pulled off a win. 🙂

It was such a fun day with fun people, and after a quick dinner at Nando’s and saying goodbye to Nick and Maggie, I fell into bed exhausted at 10:00 p.m. Fabio wound up watching the big fight at a friend’s house on Pay Per View, but I was happy to stay home in my PJs and catch up on sleep instead. 🙂

Sunday

Sunday was a very relaxing and lazy day – we slept in, watched a few episodes of Shameless, and just kind of hung out around the house which was glorious.

Eventually I did some meal planning and hit up the grocery store, but other than that it was quite a relaxing day!

Now I’m just waiting for Fabio’s cousin and her boyfriend to come over a little later for the Game of Thrones finale! I can’t wait to see what happens but am bummed this season is already almost over. Wah!!

Question of the day: Did you watch the finale? What did you think?

 Posted by on August 28, 2017
Aug 242017
 

Hi friends! Today I’m popping in with the very last recap of our amazing honeymoon trip to Thailand! It was such a fun experience, and writing these posts has allowed me to relive it, which is such a nice bonus.

In case you missed my first six (holy cow!) posts, you can find them here:

Today I’m highlighting a few of the activities we really loved in Ko Samui. If you ever find yourself in that part of the world, here are some things I recommend doing during your stay!

1. Take an all-day speedboat tour of Ang Thong Marine National Park. This was an excursion we knew we wanted to do, so we booked a tour through the concierge at our hotel. We might have had more options if we had booked online before our trip, but with coordinating the rest of this vacation and – oh yeah, planning a wedding – I decided winging it and booking upon arrival would be fine. And it was! 🙂

When we arrived at the tour’s starting point, I knew we were in for a fun day!

We boarded a boat with about 20 other people and then zoomed across the ocean. Our boat’s first stop of the day was snorkeling!

Fabio and I are lucky enough that we’ve both snorkeled in plenty of places around the world – though mostly in the Caribbean – and this snorkeling was pretty similar to other snorkeling trips we’ve done. Lots of coral and plenty of fish!

Our next highlight on the boat was riding around the National Park itself, which allowed us to view tons of cool rock formations that came right out of the water.

We even got to see “Monkey Rock,” and this one that’s out of a James Bond movie.

After that, we had a couple of other stops including one to eat lunch and one to climb up some super steep steps to check out a blue lagoon!

There was also a great view of the National Park’s rock formations from up there. Oh, and we got some Thai beers from a little refreshment stand to enjoy while we soaked in the views!

Our last stop of the day took us to a nice relaxing private beach (there was no one around except for the people who were on our boat) where we were able to take out some kayaks, play beach volleyball, and soak up the sunshine.

It was definitely a fun day-long excursion!

2. Eat dinner at The CliffI already told you guys about our super romantic, delicious dinner at Six Senses’ Dining on the Rocks, but we also enjoyed a nice dinner out at The Cliff restaurant.

This one wasn’t quite as nice as Dining on the Rocks and the food definitely wasn’t as good, but it was much cheaper, still tasty, and had a really nice view! And I guess you can’t eat like a king every night, right?

3. Eat all the mango sticky rice. This tip really goes for all of Thailand, but since we visited Ko Samui during the end of our trip, we really felt the need to enjoy this amazing dessert as much as we could before it was time to head back to the U.S.

The mangoes were always perfectly ripe, and the warm, sweet rice was perfection. Yum! I think I need to recreate this dish sometime soon.

4. Attend a party on Chaweng Beach. There weren’t any crazy full moon beach parties happening when we were down by Ko Samui, but there was still plenty of beach entertainment! One night we walked up to famous Ark Bar and enjoyed an amazing fire-throwing show on the beach.

There were lots of people trying to sell us stuff which was kind of annoying, but it was still fun to listen to good music, sip deliciously cold beer, and watch the show. Afterwards, we walked over to the Green Mango club area of Chaweng Beach and enjoyed a really fun night at a couple of different bars! Green Mango is a really big, crowded club, but we had just as much fun at a smaller bar next door with an awesome DJ! Lots and lots of dancing happened that night. My favorite! 🙂

5. Go to the Thai ExperienceThis is something you absolutely, positively MUST do if you’re ever in Ko Samui! Our friends Brian and Daria (who we met up with in Chiang Mai) did this during their stay, and they signed us up for it as a wedding/honeymoon gift for us. They’re the best!!In a nutshell, the Thai Experience was created for people who have outgrown staying in hostels during vacation but still want an opportunity to get to know other travellers and bond over shared experiences.

In a nutshell, the Thai Experience was created for people who have outgrown staying in hostels during vacation but still want an opportunity to get to know other travelers and bond over shared experiences.

A van picks you up right from your hotel and takes you to the Thai Experience location where a friendly host for the evening explains that you’re going to wear silly hats, drink lots of booze, talk to other travellers from around the world, learn about the Thai culture, and eat TONS of delicious Thai food.

We also got to learn how to make Thai cocktails!

The food was incredible, and we ate SO much of it. We also had a blast getting to know a family from New Zealand that was seated next to us. And now we’re all friends on Facebook!

Plus, as promised, there was an endless supply of cocktails. 🙂

We wound up doing this on the last night of our trip, and it was such a fun way to end our vacation! Apparently there’s another “Experience” location in Argentina, so if we ever make our way down there (which we plan to!) we will definitely add that to our itinerary.

After all that fun, we spent 30+ hours traveling back home to the states. Womp womp. Oh well, at least our two-week vacation was a blast and one we will never forget!

Question of the day: Do you like dancing at big clubs or smaller bars?

 Posted by on August 24, 2017