2013 Retrospective

Just like last year, I have created a Videogram via Shutterfly, documenting my adventures throughout the year.  I really love making these.  The craziness of the holiday season tends to force you to live in the moment.  But in making this retrospective video, it encourages me to reflect on all that has happened this year.  This has been a mostly happy year for me, and I am really looking forward to what’s in store for 2014.

Best wishes to you for a very happy 2014!

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Catching Up – September 2013

Sorry about dropping off of the face of the earth.  I guess I just needed a break from blogging.  Here’s what I have been up to the past few months!:

Here’s what happened in September:

Stood up as Matron of Honor in a very good friend‘s wedding!  Tadd was also a groomsman.  It was a lovely, simple affair, and a beautiful day spent with some of my favorite people.

The very next day, we headed to Miami to go on a Caribbean cruise with some friends.  We sailed on the Carnival Breeze (great ship, by the way!) and stopped in Grand Turk, Ocho Rios, and Nassau.

October through December update coming up next!

 

Happy Wedding Day Eve!

Well, not long after my last hiatus, I am off again.  As I have mentioned previously, October should be a MUCH quieter month than the last 2+ have been…and I should be able to share  But I will definitely be unable to update again until the end of the month.  Which is sad, because I have (mostly) already decorated for fall/Halloween and I want to be able to share that with you!

But I did want to wish a happy wedding day eve to one of my best friends in the whole wide world.  I can’t wait for tomorrow!  It’s going to be amazing, and fun, and full of happy memories!  Just like these memories, which are among my fondest:

 

Congratulations, Carrie!  I love you SO much and wish you nothing but a lifetime of happiness and joy. 

A Very Special Glamping Weekend

Hopefully there are still people reading this blog after my extended hiatus…

I am finally back from a whirlwind week-and-a-half filled with glamping, business travel, and a much-needed long weekend of recovery.  I’m ready to share with you again for a few weeks, before more crazy insanity comes my way.  As much fun as I am having with keeping so busy with so many wonderful and exciting events, a part of me is longing for October, when my life will (perhaps) start to resume some semblance of normalcy.

I did want to tell you a little bit about my glamping experience with these lovely ladies:

We rented a cabin at Fort Wilderness for the whole weekend, which was awesome.  It sleeps 6 (1 full size bed and bunk beds in the bedroom, 1 full size murphy bed in the living room), and has a full kitchen!  It was perfect for our group.

We spent Friday night hanging out in the cabin, eating taco salads (graciously and expertly prepared by my wonderful friend Melanie), roasting marshmallows, drinking cocktails, and celebrating the bride, Carrie, with love and gifts.  There were some of your typical bachelorette gag gifts…  But also some meaningful ones.  Like this tote bag, which is a MUST for any Twilight fan bride-to-be that happens to be marrying a man named Jake:

My friend Lara, who is also involved in the wedding helped me put together these INCREDIBLE goody bags for all of the girls, filled with “glamping supplies” (all kinds of cosmetics, sunscreen, and some other fun tchochkes).  I bought these colorful mesh drawstring bags on OrientalTrading.com, and they worked perfectly.  The girls can reuse them in the future too, they make great beach/pool bags.  I also made personalized tags for each bag, using glittery sticker letters on pre-cut manila rectangles, and tied them, along with a silver skeleton key (keys are somewhat of a symbol for our group…long story), to each bag with pink or purple baker’s twine.  They were a big hit!

Saturday was spent exploring Fort Wilderness…

And Saturday night, we got all prettied up (using all of our new cosmetics from the glamping supply bags, of course!), and headed out to the monorail loop for dinner and drinks.  We had dinner at The Wave in the Contemporary Resort, then rode the monorail to the Polynesian Resort, where we had a round of drinks and watched Wishes (Magic Kingdom’s fireworks show) from the beach behind the resort, then had one last drink at the Grand Floridian, before taking the monorail and boat back to the Fort and our cabin.

The next morning, we packed up everything, and headed home…Where I promptly unpacked and repacked, since I had a 7am flight to Boston the next morning for a full week of training for my new position.

I think the weekend was perfect for our group.  We laughed, ate, drank, reminisced, and even shed a few tears together.  We had lots of time to just be together, strengthen our bonds, and most importantly, celebrate the bride.  I often think of how grateful I am to have such a tight-knit group of girlfriends that truly care about each other.  It’s so important in life to have places where you feel like you truly belong, and I know I belong in this group.  It was so nice to have a weekend that focused on celebrating that, in addition to celebrating the lifetime of happiness that begins with Carrie’s rapidly-approaching Big Day.  These happy, emotional times of togetherness are what life is all about.

Sorry to get mushy, but if I start talking about this group of ladies, it’s going to happen!

Looking back 9 years…

Today I am celebrating 9 years of marriage to my perfect match!  I saw this little “Share Your Wedding Details” meme on my cousin’s blog a few weeks ago.  It was designed for a link party that has since closed.  So although I cannot participate in the link party, I still thought it would be appropriate to share today.

Share Your Wedding Details

Location (church/outdoors/destination):  Since we got married in the middle of summer in Florida, I didn’t want to chance any weather-related issues by having any major part of the day be held outside.  We also had a lot of out of town guests.  So to keep things simple and stress-free, we did the whole shebang, ceremony and reception indoors at the Hilton Orlando North.  Not a super unique or scenic location, but I think we did a good job making it our own.  We were lucky enough to have decent weather during our formal portraits, so we opted to have those taken outdoors at a nearby park (Crane’s Roost Park, if you’re local).
Colors: Plum and silver were the main colors, but I had my florist make the flowers (daisies!) as colorful as possible.  I loved how the pink, yellow, red, and orange gerber daisies popped off of the deep purple of the bridesmaids’ dresses.  I wanted a very colorful wedding, and that’s just what I got.
 
Bridal Party: I would say we had a medium-sized party.  We each had one honor attendant and three additional attendants.  We also had 1 junior groomsman and 2 junior bridesmaids.   The group consisted of all three of our siblings, three of my cousins, and several close friends.
First Dance Song: Nightingale by Saves The Day. Still sometimes gets me misty-eyed when I hear it…
Ceilings don’t exist and there are no floors beneath me,
If I were king of this night, would you become my queen?
And I hope, your majesty, that you like your position
I’ll do everything I can to keep you by my side
And I’ll stare off through the darkness to find us a kingdom
Just kiss me before I go…
Honeymoon:  We flew to San Diego and cruised the Pacific Coast of Mexico for a week on Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Seas.  We visited Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerta Vallarta.  This was our first trip to Mexico (and Tadd’s first time on the Pacific Coast, period!) and we were totally smitten!
What would you do different? I would schedule the honeymoon to be a few days later after all the hullabaloo had died down.  We had a VERY late night the night of the wedding, followed by a VERY early morning when the town car arrived to take us to the airport to fly to San Diego.  Of course, we took a nap after the muster drill and ended up sleeping straight through until morning, missing our first dinner/evening on the cruise ship.  There are a few other small things I might change, but that would be the one thing that sticks out most in my mind.

Wishing You a Happy New Year

I will be away from the blog for a few days, but I thought I would post one last message for the year before signing off.  I hope to have lots to share when I get back!

2012 has been an amazing year for me and Tadd, and I decided I wanted to make a keepsake of all of the happy times I shared with friends and family over the past year.  I decided to try out Shutterfly’s Videogram feature.  You basically select a group of photos or video clips, choose a display style and music, and it puts together a really cute video slideshow for you.  Once the video is to your liking, you can purchase the digital file in one of 3 different resolution types.  I chose the middle option for $4.99 and think it was well worth the price.  I was able to save the video file to my laptop, share it on Facebook, and post it to YouTube.  So far everyone has loved it, and I told Tadd that it would be fun to do one of these each year.

Wishing you all a very happy new year!  Here’s to 2013!  See you next year!!!

P.S. Above opinions regarding Shutterfly and their Videogram product are 100% my own.  Not being compensated in any way.

Wedding Day Emergency Kit!

It’s my cousin’s wedding day!  And I couldn’t be more excited!!

She was a bridesmaid in my own wedding 8 years ago, and I am more than happy to return the favor.  You see, back when we were little girls (who obsessively read Babysitters Club books, watched Beverly Hills 90210, and assigned random celebrity code names to all of the members of our family), we made a pact to be bridesmaids in each other’s weddings someday.  And today, that last step in our childhood pact comes true!  Of course, we always imagined that I would be marrying Jason Priestley and she would be marrying Luke Perry, but I would say that our childhood selves would still be quite pleased with the dashing men we chose!

To make this day of hustle and bustle a bit more relaxing and stress-free for all involved, I decided to put together a wedding day emergency kit.  I filled it with items that I thought we might be in need of last-minute or just in case.  It’s hard to envision and try to prepare for every scenario known to man, but I think we will be ready for just about anything with these items in easy reach:

  • compact brush/mirror combo
  • hairspray
  • bobby pins
  • white nail polish

  • safety pins
  • Tide To-Go
  • lint roller

  • floss picks
  • mini first aid kit
  • mints
  • antacid
  • pain medicine (asprin, ibuprofen, etc)

I am also including this purse-sized emergency kit, which contains:

  • sewing kit
  • emery boards
  • double stick tape
  • more flossers
  • hair tie
  • band aids

I put everything into this super cute large blue cosmetics case.  I will throw it into my “getting ready” tote bag when I meet up with the girls this morning to get ready.  I plan on adding a few other items to the tote bag as well…tissues, a mini deodorant, maybe some snacks and water.

Now we are ready to face the day!  Time to get the big day started!  I will be back in a few days to share more about the wedding and hopefully a few pics as well.

Road Trip!

Tadd and I are on our way back to Myrtle Beach with another couple to visit some friends this weekend, and I am stoked for a road trip!  It was eight months ago when we last visited these same friends over New Year’s Eve this past year.  Winter is obviously the off season for Myrtle Beach, so I think it may be a completely different experience this time.  We have some fun stuff planned, but we also want to take time to just hang out and catch up.  We have missed our friends and can’t wait to see them!

We have procured a few road snacks…pretzel chips, black & white cookies (!!!), soda & sweet tea.  Yes, all junk, but I believe in living life the way you want to on vacation without guilt!  I saw these at the store last night and almost bought them instead of the black & white cookies, but didn’t and now I regret it!  I will have to buy some before the end of the fall season.

Pepperidge Farms Limited Edition Pumpkin Cheesecake soft-baked cookies

I also have my license plate game app ready to go on my iPhone!  How many states do you think we can find on the way from Orlando to Myrtle Beach?

“State Plate Bingo” app for iPhone

When we get back from our trip, I think I will finally be able to get 100% into fall season mode.  I have a couple of simple and small projects in mind so far, and I need to get back to JoAnn’s to pick up some pretty fall fabric for at least one of them.   We have a very busy few months ahead of us and I can’t wait!  We are entering my favorite time of year!

Not sure if I will have time to post again before we leave.  If not, enjoy your Labor Day weekend!  Goodbye Summer 2012!

MelissaBeingMartha.com

I always love when friends of mine decide to embark on a new blogging adventure.  And so of course, I try to give them a friendly plug on here whenever I can.

Introducing MelissaBeingMartha.com, a brand new blog started by a girl who I have known her entire life.  Literally. If you had to press my parents into revealing who their best friends are, I have very little doubt that their answer would be Melissa’s parents (and vice versa, I’m sure).  Her dad is my godfather, and our families have been very close friends since before both Melissa and I were born.  They are friends who are really almost like family.

Anyways, all personal connections aside, Melissa is so creative and talented!  She loves crafts, baking, yoga, nail polish, you name it!  I can’t wait to see what she comes up with to share on her blog.  Please go check it out!