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!

Be back soon… Gone glamping!

Sorry things have been quiet around here.  Life has been pretty crazy, and most of it is unbloggable stuff.  All of it good, just crazy.

Tadd and I are both attendants in a wedding next month.  Most of my best friends are also involved in the wedding, which makes the preparations that much more fun.  The bachelorette party is this weekend, and we are glamping!  Which is a funny juxtaposition from what the boys did for the bachelor party a couple weeks ago; ACTUAL camping.  In Florida.  In August.  Ewww!  I much prefer the idea of glamping — air conditioning, running water, an actual bathroom, and real beds!  I’m sure I will share more about this weekend soon, but haven’t been able to talk about the planning process in case the bride reads it, since a lot of what we are doing is and has been a surprise to her.  A lot of my time lately has been spent getting stuff together for our glamping expedition, in addition to regular wedding stuff like getting my dress fitted, helping the bride (and shopping with her while the boys did their non-glamping).

hostess-trays-i-love-not-camping

Almost immediately after that, I am off for a week-long training for work.   I have started a new position at my company, which was recently bought by another much larger company.  So needless to say, everything is changing for me.  It’s almost like I got a completely new job for a completely new company, but still work in the same building with the same people.   Really weird.  Anyways, we have a billion new things to train on, so that’s what I will be doing.

We have some other things in store for the next month or so.  And then after that, we will be well into my favorite season of the year, FALL!  So please be patient with my absence, and stay tuned!

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.

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.

A beautiful day full of love.

As a follow up to my last post, I thought I would share some of my favorite pics from the beautiful wedding we attended on Sunday!  It took place at the Dr. Phillips House at the Courtyard at Lake Lucerne, a breathtaking historic inn right in downtown Orlando.

Dr. Phillips House

Beautiful courtyard for the ceremony…

Happy couple…

In lieu of favors, they had a cookie/pastry bar with personalized take away boxes.

Fancy living room/parlor. Check out that fireplace!  And antique furniture everywhere.

First dance! Awww…

Loved spending time with some of my closest friends too!  These are some of my favorite people on the planet.

Cheers!

Ah, weddings…

I love weddings, don’t you?  Aside from just sharing in the joy of the bride and groom, there are so many ancillary things I love about weddings.

  • I love seeing the personalization that each couple puts into their wedding to make it unique.
  • I love the creativity involved.  I very often find the settings, colors, flowers, and overall look of each wedding to be inspiring.
  • I find the gravity and sincerity of the occasion to be so moving.  It’s amazing to share such a special moment with a couple that I care about.
  • Weddings are just plain fun.  I get to dress up, slow dance with my husband, and have a great time with friends and/or family.
  • It always makes me reminisce about my own wedding, nearly 8 years ago…

I’m sure I could go on.  And it makes me SO happy that tomorrow I get to see my friends Lara and Tom do just that, get married!  I wish them SO much happiness on their special day and for the rest of their lives.  It’s going to be a beautiful day and I am excited!

On a related note, Tadd and I both went out and got new outfits to wear tomorrow.  Well, Tadd got a new shirt and tie that  he will wear with an existing suit.  I, however, got a new dress, cardigan, shoes, and jewelry!  That is another reason weddings are great…they are a great excuse to shop!  I purchased the below dress.  It’s the most lovely shade of yellow (it’s actually slightly deeper in person), and I love it.

I decided to do something I hadn’t done yet since I started sewing.  I decided to make myself something special…A wristlet to go with my new dress!  I used that awesome yellow floral fabric I bought during my birthday shopping spree.  I have to say, I think it came out pretty cute!

I used this same tutorial that I have used for all of my wristlets thus far.  I urge any of you sewers out there to give this one a try.  It’s such an awesome tutorial, easy to follow with great results every time.

Shipping up to Boston!

Finally in vacation mode!  Yay!  I’m even almost packed and everything.  Flying to Boston tomorrow morning with my parents and brother, and I can’t wait!

Stella "helping" me pack.

Although I don’t know if I would technically call this trip a vacation.  It will pretty much be packed to the gills with family & friend visits, and a side trip to Vermont for a wedding.  Not much in the way of relaxing or sightseeing.  Regardless, I am more than ready for a change of scenery, and climate!  The weather in New England looks beautiful to me right now.  I will definitely take temps in the 70sF and 80sF over what we have been experiencing here in Orlando lately (which is gross, hot, mid-90sF highs everyday & lots of thunderstorms).

Tadd is staying behind this time to take care of the house and the kitties.  I will miss him, but I know he is happy for me that I get to see people I haven’t seen in years.

So I apologize if this blog is quiet over the next few days.  I promise lots of pics and posts when I return!  In the meantime, I’m sure I will be tweeting (@sunshineteablog) and posting on Foodspotting during my trip (we have a couple of our favorite Boston area restaurants on the itinerary)!