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 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 162017
 

Fabio and I knew we wanted part of our honeymoon to be filled with lots of adventures – like hiking through the forests of Chiang Mai to get to secluded temples, swimming in waterfalls, and walking with gentle elephants – but it was also important for us to take some time to relax and remember that we are on our honeymoon and are supposed to be enjoying romantic time with one another as husband and wife. (Eek! Those words still seem unreal to me.)

We decided to end our trip with a stop in Ko Samui, one of the beautiful islands off the southeast coast of Thailand (FYI – we picked the east coast because we read it was supposed to be less rainy in June). And while I truly enjoyed every moment of learning about Thai culture and exploring new places, there is something so calming about plopping in a chair on the sand and just soaking up the sun to the sound of the waves.

And, in addition to spending some time relaxing in the sun, we enjoyed the most romantic dinner of our trip in Ko Samui. In fact, it might have been the most romantic dinner we’ve ever had!

When we arrived at Ozo, our Ko Samui hotel in Chaweng Beach, Fabio wasted no time in asking the concierge for dinner recommendations. Thankfully she recommended Six Senses’ Dining on the Rocks restaurant as one of the places we had to visit during sunset, and I’m so incredibly thankful that she did.

We took a cab from our hotel to the Six Senses luxury resort, and then took a golf cart up to their Dining on the Rocks restaurant. Before we headed up to the main part of the restaurant, we were whisked onto a patio just in time to watch the sun set over the ocean.

Our table was right along the edge of the patio so we were treated to an amazing view!

With the mountains in the distance and the beautiful ocean in front of us, this wound up being one of the prettiest sunsets I’ve ever seen! It didn’t hurt that I was so relaxed and happy about spending a romantic evening with my husband. And you can’t see our faces here because of the sun, but I promise you we are grinning ear to ear.

As soon as we sat down, we ordered two glasses of champagne. Cheers to a honeymoon in paradise!

After the sun had gone down, we headed up to the main part of the restaurant where we’d eat an amazing meal.

It was still beautiful up there, but we were facing slightly away from the sun so I’m glad we enjoyed happy hour on the smaller patio first.

Instead, we got to take in beautiful views of the ocean!

(With more champagne, obviously.)

The meal itself was also amazing! I started off with some prawn and sea bass ceviche with “sweet potato sheets” which was delicious and refreshing, especially since it was pretty hot out.

For my entree, I enjoyed the scallops! Fabio got a steak, and we also shared a few side dishes.

Dessert was probably my favorite dish – I got the mango yogurt roll which was a mix of the most perfectly ripe mango and frozen yogurt. Yum!!

This restaurant is not cheap by any means – in fact it was the most expensive meal we had during our trip – but it was so romantic and relaxing and so perfect for a honeymoon. I loved every second!

Question of the day: What’s the most romantic dinner you’ve ever had?

 Posted by on August 16, 2017
Jun 262017
 

Hi friends! Man, what a whirlwind couple of weeks it’s been!

On June 10, 2017, I married my best friend. It was the most perfect day, and the whole thing was like a fairy tale. Honestly, it was just the best day of my life. It was like a dream!

Then I proceeded to spend the next two weeks traipsing around Thailand, walking with elephants, enjoying beautiful sunset dinners, swimming down waterfalls, hiking up monk’s trails to golden temples, and more.

This was a time of my life I will never forget! And even though it’s back to reality now (and I’m totally dreading catching up on work emails…gulp), it is nice to be home and get back into a routine. Plus we missed Jack a ton! 🙂

And at least I’ll get to relive all these fun times through my blog recaps! I’m planning to hold off on recapping the wedding until I get all the photos back from our photographer, so today I’ll just leave you with these sneak peek photos we received while we were on our honeymoon.

By the way, I have to give a quick shoutout to our amazing wedding photographer, Lauren Nievod! Not only are her pictures stunning (!!), but she was an absolute pleasure to work with! We loved her from our very first Skype interview and had high expectations, but once we met her in person we were blown away by her mix of professionalism, artistic eye, and fun personality! She even included a couple of photos of my dad and me in our sneak peek since she sent them to me right before Father’s Day. So thoughtful! I can’t recommend her services enough if you’re looking for a wedding photographer in the MD/DC/VA area!

Anway, here are the sneak peek photos! 🙂

Eeeeek! I can’t wait to see the rest of them!! Thank you again, Lauren!!

And since it’s probably going to be a while before I get the rest of the pictures back, I figured I would tackle this whole blog recap situation by starting with our honeymoon in Thailand! I have about a million pictures so I’m planning to break everything up into multiple posts, and I’m planning to get started with those later this week! Then hopefully by the time I’m done with Thailand, I’ll have all the wedding photos back.

So I hope you all are ready for lots and lots of recaps! 🙂

Question of the day: What do you enjoy reading about vacation recaps and what would you prefer I skip over?

 Posted by on June 26, 2017
Jun 022017
 

Hi friends! Things are super busy around here, so I’m going to keep today’s blog post pretty short. I want to chat about a few of my last minute wedding thoughts (it’s next weekend! Eek!) but first let’s go over this week’s workouts.

Saturday, May 27 – Rest day! I spent this day day-drinking with my best friends at the beach!

Sunday, May 28 – On Sunday morning, I tackled a 3.7 mile run along the boardwalk, and then walked another two-ish miles with my friends to get breakfast. It was a beautiful day for a beach-side run!

Monday, May 29 – Monday was a rest day! This entire day was spent wedding planning. Oof!

Tuesday, May 30 – On Tuesday morning, I headed to Definitions via ClassPass (<–affiliate link for $30 off) for a bootcamp class with Anne and Fabio!

We had a great class with lots of different exercises like rowing, jump squats, planks, push-ups, shuffle runs, and more. It was a good one, and I had fun chatting with Anne and Fabio about wedding stuff. 🙂

Wednesday, May 31 – On Wednesday I met up with Anne again and our buddy Kathleen for another bootcamp class, only this time at Urban Athletic Club! Wednesday’s workout included all of my least favorite (read: hardest) exercises including pull-up holds, mountain climbers with our feet in the TRX straps, mountain climbers on the sliders, and a three-minute jump rope finisher. Phew! I was exhausted after this workout, but it left me feeling nice and accomplished!

Thursday, June 1 – I was feeling pretty stressed out on Wednesday, so Fabio suggested we take a yoga class on Thursday morning to zone out a bit. We wound up signing up for CorePower Yoga’s How Power Fusion class (again, via ClassPass), which is similar to their Yoga 2 class but with slightly more strength work. It was super hot and I sweat like crazy, but I really felt like I was able to relax and be present in the moment during this fun time of prepping for the wedding. Toward the end of class when we were in half pigeon, the instructor came over and gave me a little massage which felt absolutely amazing. It really, really helped me relax, and weirdly even made me feel emotional. I remember thinking, how did she know I needed this little massage? Ha! I think I’m losing it. 🙂

Friday, June 2 – Tomorrow (it’s Thursday night as I’m writing this) I’m planning to run three miles with Jack. This will allow me to sleep in a little later, which I’m really looking forward to! Plus the weather is supposed to be nice. 🙂

Overall it was a great week of workouts!

As for wedding planning, it’s going well! All of the big stuff is done, and this weekend we’re going to have a crafting day at my mom’s house to finish up some of the other items like assembling the programs, folding the escort cards, painting some signs, etc. There’s still a lot of last-minute details to wrap up, but overall I’m feeling pretty good about my to-do list!

Emotionally, I’m not sure it’s hit me yet. This big event that we’ve been planning since we got engaged on Christmas 2015 is finally here!

What’s more than that though, is that this guy who I met when we were sophomores in college back in 2008 is going to become my husband. We’re going to make a promise to each other to be bonded for life, and I don’t think all of the emotions that come along with that kind of commitment have really set in yet. It will be interesting to see how I’m feeling as the day continues to come closer!

Starting this weekend we’ll have family coming into town, and then next week I have a lot of last-minute wedding stuff to finish up (for example, after work next week I have some nail appointments, hair appointments, stuff like that) and then on Thursday morning we head out for the venue! And then on Sunday we head out for a two-week honeymoon! 🙂 I will try to get one more post up before then, but if I don’t, you’ll know why. 🙂 I can’t believe this time has come!

Question of the day: Do you have any advice for me?

 Posted by on June 2, 2017
May 262017
 

Helloooo! How are ya? I’m feeling pumped because it’s almost time for a three-day weekend where I’ll be spending time at the beach with some of my best friends! Woohoo! But first I have to make it through half a workday before we can hit the road. I hope the time goes quickly!

Overall I had a really nice week, despite some super rainy and gray weather. The sun barely came out all week! Anyway, here’s a look at my workouts.

Saturday, May 20 – Saturday was a rest day that I spent traipsing around vineyards in Virginia with some of my best girl friends!

Sunday, May 21 – I wasn’t feeling so hot on Sunday after all the wine the day before (oof) so I thought going for a short run might help. I only wound up going a mile, but it really did make me feel much better after! My headache was pretty much completely gone after that.

Monday, May 22 – I was planning to complete one of my Kayla Itsines workouts at the track on Monday, but when I woke up to pouring rain I decided to move my workout indoors. I knew I still had to walk Jack and would get wet regardless, so I took him on a one-mile warm-up run that was extremely wet. When we came inside, I chose a Kayla workout that didn’t require too much space and got to work! The one I picked included burpees, jumping lunges, push-ups, squats, mountain climbers, V-ups, and more. It was a good one!

Tuesday, May 23 – On Tuesday, I drove over to CorePower Yoga for my favorite Sculpt class with Monica. I swear, she kicks my butt every time! I still think she’s the hardest CPY sculpt instructor I’ve ever had. Her plank series is insane!

Wednesday, May 24 – Wednesday it was finally not raining (though it was still chilly and gray out) so I took Jack for a three-mile run along our favorite path. It was nice to get outside!

Thursday, May 25 – On Thursday, Fabio and I headed over to BodyMass Gym for another one of their bootcamps (we’ve been loving them lately!) and this time we were joined by one of my college besties, Lauren! Lauren lives really close to the gym and is also on ClassPass (<– affiliate link for $30 off), so the night before class I texted her to see if she was free to join us. To my delight she was, so on Thursday morning she joined us for a fun class that included a mix of upper body, core, and leg exercises (so many jumping lunges and lunges on the slider!).

It was especially fun chatting about wedding stuff with her since she and I met right before Fabio and I met in 2008, so the three of us all know each other really well. 🙂 So fun! Thanks for joining us, Lauren!

Friday, May 26 – Tomorrow (it’s Thursday night as I type this) I’m signed up for another bootcamp class with my friend Kathleen at Urban Athletic Club (Anne is out of town this week). It should be good!

*Edited to add: Omg I did MORE jumping lunges in today’s class. Help!

And one other thing happened this week that I wanted to share with you all – my coworkers threw me a surprise bridal shower!

I thought I was on my way to a regular meeting, and when I got to the conference room I saw that they had set up a whole spread complete with decorations, balloons, adorable snacks, and even some presents.

How sweet is this?! They also somehow found my registry, so they got me one gift from there and then a few other personal gifts. They are the best!

After opening presents, we played a couple of games! For the first game, my coworker Dani played about 10 seconds of a song with “love” in the title and you had to guess the name and the artist (each answer was worth half a point). It was so fun!

Then my other coworker Carly said she had another game that was just for me – uh oh! It turns out she had contacted Fabio (my coworkers are very sneaky) and asked him a bunch of trivia questions like “where does Chelsea want to retire” and “what is Fabio’s most prized possession” and then I had to guess what Fabio’s answers were. It was hard, but I did a lot better than I did at my regular shower. 🙂

It was so fun, and so unbelievably thoughtful. I am truly lucky to be blessed with so many wonderful people in my life!

After the party, I moved all the decorations over to my desk. 🙂

Hooray indeed! 🙂

Question of the day: For those of you celebrating Memorial Day, what are your plans?

 Posted by on May 26, 2017
May 242017
 

Hi friends! How is your week going so far? Sorry for the delay in posting my weekend recap; things have been extremely busy on the wedding front (and work-wise, if I’m being honest), so it’s been hard to find the time to sit down and write.

On Sunday evening for example, which is normally when I would write my weekend recap post, I was busy planning out which hotel rooms each of our guests will be staying in. It was like planning a seating chart, only with hotel rooms. It was kind of fun, but also a lot of work!

Anyway, I did have a really nice weekend that included a mini bachelorette party with some girlfriends, so I wanted to make sure to still get a recap in. Here’s a look back!

Friday

Our Friday night began with a few errands to pick up supplies for the wedding, including welcome bag items, alcohol for the after party, etc. I think we finally have everything we need, though we are seriously lacking space to store it all in. Yikes.

We also kicked off our Friday evening with some tequila from my wedding basket! This one was supposed to be for the seating chart, but that night we started working on the hotel room assignments which we figured was pretty similar. Plus there’s still plenty of tequila left for when we actually do tackle the seating chart and escort cards, which will be in our very near future. Gulp. We need to get on that.

Fabio used the tequila to make us each a margarita, and they turned out great!

To go with our margaritas, I made us some Caesar salads with salmon.

I even made homemade croutons by toasting a random hamburger bun we had on hand and sprinkling it with salt, pepper, and garlic salt – I guess the margarita had me feeling creative. Ha!

After dinner, we hung out on the couch watching Netflix, which was my definition of a perfect Friday night. Our favorite furry companion joined us.

He has absolutely no sense of personal space – these are my legs he’s laying on. 🙂

Haha!

Saturday

On Saturday morning, I met up with some friends for a mini bachelorette party! I had invited these ladies to come on my March bachelorette party in Florida, but due to tight budgets/limited vacation time/other obligations they weren’t able to come. Luckily, they are awesome friends and decided to plan a mini, local bachelorette party for me instead! This group of ladies includes friends that I used to work with ages ago, and my stepsister Maggie even joined us as well! Woohoo! They’re the best. 🙂

We started off our day with breakfast at Northside Social, my absolute favorite Arlington cafe/breakfast spot. I got the smoked salmon (yep, more salmon) and poached egg sandwich and it was delicious!

Then we headed off to a couple of vineyards for a fun day of wine-tasting! We started at Hillsborough Vineyard, which featured some beautiful views! 

My favorite wine at this vineyard was Ruby’s Blush, a delicious rosé. Yum! Claire was a sweetheart and bought me a bottle to go. Thanks, Claire!!

After our tasting, we moved outside where we enjoyed some snacks that the girls brought (goat cheese brie, hummus, crackers, carrots, and chocolates – perfection!) and enjoyed the views.

Eventually, it was time to move on to vineyard number two: 868 Estate Vineyards! This vineyard was pretty crowded and we wound up doing our tasting standing up at the bar, which was fine but not as nice as the ambiance at Hillsborough.

One of the options for this wine tasting was the “truffle tasting” which came with different chocolate truffles for each wine. Yum! We got one of these to share and wound up cutting the truffles into little pieces so we could all try some. The wine was good, but I mostly remember loving the truffles. 🙂

On our way out, we randomly bumped into my cousins Yasi and Niloo, who were also vineyard hopping! It was so nice to see them, even if it was only for a minute.

Then we headed over to Breaux vineyards, which was definitely the biggest vineyard we went to that day. The grounds were so beautiful!

It was a little chilly by this point so we all huddled together, but it was so pretty out that we didn’t want to move inside. We were having too much fun!

After this vineyard, we decided it was time to call it quits, and my friends came back home with me where we ate dinner and eventually said our goodbyes.

I can’t thank my friends and stepsister enough for taking the time to plan this special day for me! They really are so thoughtful, and I had a blast with all of them.

Thank you also to Shriya and Maggie for being our designated drivers and not minding when the rest of us had too much wine. 🙂

If you’re ever looking for vineyards to visit in the Loudoun County area of Virginia, I definitely recommend these three! They were all about three minutes from each other, which made popping from one to the other so easy. What a fun day!

Sunday

On Sunday, we made a quick drive out to Bethesda to watch my favorite little person’s playoff lacrosse game!

Though Nicole’s team didn’t win, I’m so glad we went and were able to watch her running around in her element. Now that she’s getting older (12!!) it’s really fun to watch her interact with her friends and get more involved in sports!

Go Nicole!

And, as you already saw, our Sunday afternoon/evening was spent working on wedding stuff. I really hope to be able to keep up with regular blog updates throughout the next two weeks before the wedding (!!!), but it’s definitely getting more and more difficult. I’ll do my best though because I really want to document this fun time in our lives!

Question of the day: Have you been to any good vineyards in Virginia? If so, which ones?

 Posted by on May 24, 2017
May 102017
 

As of today, my wedding is officially one month away.

Eeeeek! To say I am freaking out would be an understatement; I’m feeling a whole flurry of emotions that range from incredibly stressed to unbelievably excited. And now that the countdown is on, body image is top of mind.

I’m one of those women who’s always looked forward to her wedding day and imagined what it might be like. Even from the time I was a little girl, I can remember thinking about *that special day* and knowing it would be the most perfect day.

Once we got engaged, I thought that as part of my wedding prep I would also lose a whole bunch of weight. Sweating for the wedding, and all that.

I’ll definitely be 10 pounds lighter by the time of the wedding, I thought.

Well here I am, one month out, nowhere near ten pounds lighter. And, I’m not freaking out about it.

As you may remember from last April when I tried to lose weight for our engagement party in New York, losing weight is not easy for me. I definitely have what I consider to be a normal weight range, and the best I was able to do then is get two pounds below that normal number.

I might have been two pounds lighter, but I still was eating my treats! Haha!

And in all reality, that’s probably where I’ll be for the wedding too. Right now I’m at the lower part of my normal range, and I feel like in one month I might be able to lose another pound or two.

Even though the number on the scale isn’t showing the kind of progress I was hoping to see by this point, I’m ok with that for a couple of reasons.

First, I feel strong. I can feel my quads and hamstrings powering me through spin class and bootcamp squats, and I know my upper body can handle heavier weights now in my classes. Recently some of Fabio’s friends called me “jacked,”  which I took as a compliment even though I’m not sure they really intended it as one (I feel like guys don’t really like girls with big muscles, but mine does so who cares). I can see more definition in my abs, and I can see my performance improving in my classes. My body can do amazing things, and the scale is just a dumb number anyway.

And secondly, I like my life the way it is. I like eating healthy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners during the week and getting lots of exercise in, but then still going out with friends on the weekend or enjoying a special meal out.

I truly believe a healthy lifestyle is all about balance, and I have to decide what’s worth a splurge and what’s not. When my coworkers go for milkshakes, it’s easy for me to walk with them and not get anything. When there’s delicious banana pancakes on the menu, but also a healthy egg and veggie dish, I’m ok with getting the eggs. But if there’s something I really want – a piece of NYC pizza or my mom’s amazing cheesecake – I’m going to eat it. And I’m not going to feel guilty about it or beat myself up about it later. Because I know that with my next meal, I can go back to my typical healthy choice.

So I guess that’s how I’m feeling these days, hoping that I’ll look my best during the wedding but also trying not to stress over a dumb number on the scale. Even if I’m not 10 pounds lighter, I know my dress will fit. I know my friends and family will tell me I look beautiful. I know that, at the end of the day, this is all really about my marriage (!!!) to Fabio, who loves me even when I eat the pizza and the cheesecake and who has seen me at every range of my weight.

Now someone please remind me of all this before my final dress fitting in a couple of weeks. K thanks. 😉

Question of the day: How do you handle weight loss/body image for big events?

 Posted by on May 10, 2017
Apr 122017
 

Earlier this week I looked at the date and realized my wedding is just two months away. Ah! Where did the time go? I feel like I’ve been engaged for so long and my wedding always felt so far away, and now it’s really weird that now it’s just around the corner. Eeek!

Since my mind is pretty much focused on all things wedding at the moment, I figured I would give you guys an update today!

Bridal Shower

My bridal shower is going to be more like a backyard BBQ, and couples will be invited! I’ve been to a bunch of traditional bridal showers where it’s ladies only and everyone watches the bride open up a bunch of gifts, and while that tradition is beautiful, it never really felt like me. I’d rather have a more casual get-together with both guys and girls, and I’m not planning to spend a lot of time opening up gifts in front of everyone (I figured I would just talk to some of the ladies who might want me to open their gifts, and do that separately, away from the whole party).

The shower will be at my dad’s house on April 29, so it’s coming up really soon! I’m also having my wedding makeup trial that morning, so I’ll have a full face of makeup for the party. Hey, whatever works, right? Now I’m debtating…should I get a blow out too? Decisions, decisions.

My dad, cousin, and a couple of my bridesmaids are taking care of all the planning for the party, so the only thing I have to do is figure out what to wear! Woohoo!

I wound up buying this fun maxi skirt, which arrived in the mail last week.

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I think it’s perfect for a bridal shower! Now I’m on the hunt for a top to match. I can’t tell if it needs to be white or ivory (or some other color, like gray?) so I’m planning to head to the mall soon to look around. Suggestions are welcome! Either way, things are moving right along for the shower!

Rehearsal Dinner

Another thing I’ve been shopping for is my rehearsal dinner! I went to the mall with my mom a couple of weekends ago to look for a dress, and though I saw lots of pretty things, I didn’t see anything that seemed right for my rehearsal dinner.

After thinking about it a bit more and doing some research online, I decided what I really wanted was a white jumpsuit. I thought it would be trendy and modern, but still sophisticated and elegant. Here are some of the ones I looked at online.

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I loved this one above, but it only comes in petite sizes and I was worried it would be too short.

In the end, I wound up getting this one from Nordstrom!

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It also arrived last week, and I absolutely LOVE it. It’s a great material, super flattering, and has an open back (which I’m going to need to buy a stick-on bra for – please let me know if you have any suggestions for ones you like!).

The slits up the side are also very fun, and I think it’s going to be perfect for the rehearsal dinner. Granted, it’s a bit dressier than I initially thought I wanted, but I figured if anyone can be overdressed at a rehearsal dinner it’s the bride! Right?

Wedding

Wedding planning itself is going…so-so. Unfortunately, our wedding coordinator with the venue had unexpected surgery in early March, and we’re not sure when she’s going to be back. Initially we were told she’d be back at the end of March, but now we’re being told it will be sometime in May. Her replacement planner seems ok, but I just really love our coordinator. She’s been working at the venue doing weddings for 30 years, and just knows so much! I really hope everything went ok with her surgery – I sent a get well soon card to her house – but selfishly I hope she is able to come back to work soon!

Her replacement planner seems ok, but I just really love our coordinator. She’s been working at the venue doing weddings for 30 years, and she just knows so much! I really hope everything went ok with her surgery – I sent a get well soon card to her house – but selfishly I hope she is able to come back to work soon!

Either way, I feel confident that between her replacement and my compulsive, type A personality, everything will go smoothly.

Other wedding items are also going well – I recently coordinated with the hair people, makeup people, photographer, and florist on a day-of timeline, which took a lot of work. All the girls received their bridesmaid’s dresses, and all of the groomsmen except one have their suits. I’ve been talking to the florist and the bakery and we are all set there. I think the next thing on my to-do list is to work more closely with the DJ. It’s all coming together!

Honeymoon

A lot has been happening on the honeymoon front! We recently booked our flights to Thailand and are now working out the exact itinerary for our trip! We had a general idea before, but wanted to wait to book our flights to pin down which days we’d be doing what. Now that we know exactly what our schedule will look like, we are doing fun things like booking our day trip to the Elephant Nature Park – the elephant reserve that takes in abused elephants and lets you feed them and play in the river with them – and book our hotel on the beach. Eeeek!

[Source – This is also a great recap of what we’ll be doing at the park]

Because I’m so type A and love planning, this is one of my favorite things to do! I’m currently deeply immersed in articles about the best places to eat, the coolest neighborhoods, and the most unique bars, and I couldn’t be happier. 🙂

And that’s about it as far as the latest wedding planning updates go. All in all, it’s coming along nicely and I think (hope?) we are in pretty good shape.

Before I sign off for the day, I have to give some major props to my good friend Shriya who recently opened up her own makeup artistry business, SKK Beauty! Since it’s also wedding-related, I figured this was a good time to share about it. 🙂

To celebrate the launch of her website, she’s running a limited time offer for 2017 brides through May 9. As part of the offer, they get a free makeup trial ($85 value) when they book four or more wedding attendants.

Here’s why Shriya said she started SKK: “I felt like makeup artists in the DMV area either cost an arm and leg for event makeup, were inconveniently located (i.e., did not travel to the client’s home or venue), or did not take into consideration the client’s skin type and overall makeup style preferences, and you ended up with a cake face or something totally different than what you imagined. I wanted to provide a service that was fairly priced, offered in-home service, AND really listened to client’s needs and preferences to create a flawless look. While I always listen to my own client’s desires, my personal style is elegance and glamor without feeling or looking caked.”

Go Shriya! I’m so proud of her for taking on this new adventure.

Alright friends, that’s all I have for you today. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Question of the day: What color shirt do you think I should look for to go with the bridal shower skirt? Do you have any recommendations for those sticky bras?

 Posted by on April 12, 2017