Friday, August 26, 2011

How Do You Feel When Major Life Events Happen?

Do you guys read A Cup Of Jo? I'm sure the majority of you do, since Joanna Goddard is easily the world's most popular blogger. I love reading her posts because she always makes me feel like I'm her best friend. Earlier this week I came across a post by her husband Alex Williams, a reporter for the New York Times. Last year the couple had a baby and Alex wrote about the experience. He compared it to a sporting event—everyone cheering his wife on—and he said cutting the umbilical cord felt like cutting calamari! (I don't think I'll be able to eat another one without thinking of that analogy!)

His story was so sweet and I found myself tearing up a little, even though I was on the Metro North train! My favorite part was when he talked about the beginning. He wrote, "The big events in life never feel like you expect them to. When the moment is majestic, you expect that the heavens will open up, and the trumpets will start playing, but really your wife is lying on the bed with a roll of toilet paper and you're trying to figure out if you should keep making that cup of hot chocolate that you were making. No matter how magical the situation, you're still thrust back into these mundane life details: how to catch a cab in NYC in the middle of the night, I’ll carry the bag, should we take some snacks. It's funny how you normalize it."

Read the rest of his post here.

It's probably because I haven't had a baby yet, but this was the part I related to the most. I remember being surprised at how normal the morning of my wedding was. I was hanging out with my favorite girl friends looking at pictures from the Royal Wedding. I spent the whole ride to the church talking about the book I was reading and I didn't even realize it! (However, because I personally requested them, the trumpets did play later that afternoon!) I imagine Keith may feel a bit of normalcy when it's our turn to have a baby. Me, I think I'll be pretty freakin' scared!

What about you? Have you ever felt surprisingly normal when a major life event rolls around?
Wedding day! On my cell phone as if it's any other day.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Las Vegas Bacheloretting

I just got back from a whirlwind weekend in Las Vegas for my best friend’s bachelorette party and I’m still trying to catch up. It’s pretty hard to adjust back to East Coast time. It’s even harder after you’ve been doing double sessions in some of Sin City’s finest social establishments. I’ve never been a big party girl. Don’t get me wrong I love dressing up and going out dancing, I’m just typically the first one who wants to head home. I was a little nervous heading into this weekend, but in the end I was able to stay out (despite terrible high heel induced foot pain) and have a great time.

Overall, the entire trip was so much fun, but the best part for me was when the bride arrived and got to see her room decorated and fully stocked with booze, balloons and lots of adult themed party favors. She was so excited and happy it made me want to do a million more nice things for her (and I will).

From there on out it was go, go, go non-stop till I left on Sunday morning. We spent our days dancing at pool parties, which I thought were so much fun they should be illegal. At night we’d shower and change into sparkly dresses and head out for more cocktails and dancing.

Here’s a quick peek at our weekend:
Liquid at Aria
Yellow Tail at The Bellagio
Wet Republic

Getting Ready
The Cosmopolitan
The Strip
The Bank at The Bellagio

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kate Moss Gets Hitched PLUS I'm Headed to Vegas

Have you ever been to a wedding or fancy party where they make one of these champagne towers? To me, this is like the ultimate symbol of frivolous excess. It says, "We're so rich we can risk stacking a million glasses and spilling expensive champagne just because it looks cool." I feel like Daniel Craig is one of the few people cool enough to get away with this. Obviously, so is Kate Moss because this shot is from her recent wedding. The rest of the event looks rather quaint compared to the image above. It's an elegant, English country affair and I think it's beautiful.

Any one else have wedding portraits that look like a magazine spread?

Paul McCarthy? Yea, he came to my wedding, too.

All photos from

Today is also a great day because I'm packing for a weekend in Las Vegas for one of my very best friend's bachelorette party. I just got the itinerary and we've got a great few days ahead. I've been to Vegas a million times for work events, but now I'm traveling with people, who know people, who people. I can't wait.


The bride and I are a little bummed to be missing our close friend's baby shower which is also happening this weekend. Isn't she adorable?

Congrats to the mom-to-be and the bride-to-be! I'll see ya next week people!

Design Stars Take On Wedding Planning

Is anyone else watching Design Star on HGTV? I just got sucked into this show and I'm not shocked—it’s pretty much Project Runway minus the clothes, a snarky Michael Kors and Tim Gunn’s go get ‘em attitude. Instead, there’s Pantone color swatches up the wa-zoo, some other snarky judges and a perky host with a less catchy sign off line than Heidi Klum. And I love it. Now that Keith and I are nesting, I’m getting really into what our nest looks like so I’m pretty excited to watch the show and borrow some of their ideas.

Last week, I was watching for about 30 seconds before I said, “There should be a reality show about wedding planners!” And what do I get? One whole Design Star episode dedicate to wedding design! In last night’s episode the seven remaining designers had to plan a wedding in 24 hours. They met with the bride and groom and then, naturally, fought about who had more wedding credentials. Obviously Cathy, the one screaming that her wedding was published in three…three national magazines, was setting herself up for some strong criticism. Go Cathy!

Here’s the thing: I think they were all kind of screwed the moment the bride said she wanted a Victorian look and bright colors, like purple and orange. Call me crazy, but I hate those colors together, and I’m no expert, but I don’t think the Victorians did either. Ok, so far I’m not a great wedding planner because I just dissed the client’s ideas.

Moving on.

I’ve had my wedding published in zero national magazines but I'm confident in my opinion that this wedding was not that great. Sure, there were some really cool elements, like a groom's lounge, but that just proved they were good at designing living rooms, which we already knew they could do well, hence the topic of this episode being a wedding design challenge. All the furniture and fixtures looked a bit too modern, the flowers were nothing special (I’m a strong believer that the flowers make the wedding) and the linens were covered in giant disco-style sequins. Nothing about it was pretty.

I did take away some great wedding planning advice (via former New Jersey Housewife, guest judge and newbie to the HGTV family, Ms. Dina Manzo): You’ve got to make the wedding reception an experience. I think all brides should be asking themselves as they plan, “What experience am I trying to create? And does this add to it?” In order to create an experience, you’ve got to keep your design cohesive. Everything you pick up needs to enhance the mood you’re trying to create.

Adding a wow element was something else they talked about. Kelli said that every wedding needs something that makes your guests say, “Wow, I never would have thought of that!” For this wedding she hung long panels of orange fabric over the dance floor. In an all white room, the design really popped and I think that every guest was drawn to it. I don’t think a wow element has to be huge, or high glam. It just has to be something new.

In the end, the bride and groom loved their reception, so I guess that’s all that matters, right?

Dina Manzo thought the flowers were unbalanced.

This was the "wow moment"

Judges did not like this sign in table. I have to agree.

The men designed this "Mad Men" lounge. Looks cozy, but not very wedding-y.
The judges loved it.

And they loved the skate board wall, but hated the flowers.
Lighting overall got a big thumbs up.

What do you think?
(all images from

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Honeymoon Recap: Kauai

Have I left you on the edge of your seats long enough? Are you dying to see more of our honeymoon pictures? It's my pleasure to transport you now to the beautiful island of Kauai, The Garden Island.

We were welcomed at the airport, not with traditional leis, but with a torrential rain storm. And it was raining again the next morning so we decided to do a little exploring. It was a nice easy start to our well deserved vacation!

The view from the Fantasy Suite

Black lava rock = so pretty!

I loved how this sand bar created a double shoreline.

We took a drive to Waimea Canyon and stopped at every scenic overlook we passed.

And Keith tried to impress his new wife with his toe shoes.

Something that would only happen to us: By the time we reached the canyon, it was completely full of fog! So we took a nature walk instead.

And it was a very foggy nature walk!

Have a great Friday everyone! I hope your weekend is sunny.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Ladies' Home Depot

It's around 3:00 on Saturday afternoon and Keith and I just got home from the beach. The Sox/Yankees game is about to come on, it's Mob Week on AMC and it's cloudy--perfect time to mix up a cocktail and relax on the couch. So I text my sister-in-law for her famous and delicious recipe for summer beer. (It's 4 beers, 1 cup of vodka and 1 can of frozen lemonade, btw.) No sooner do I pour two frosty beer mugs full of the mixture, does my sweetheart announce he's making a trip to Lowes. To look at microwaves. Not purchase, he's just going to look. "Drive safe, hunny," I say, and the next thing I know I'm sitting on the couch in my bathrobe drinking summer beer, alone, and watching The Godfather Part II, hosted by Rudy Gulliani.

What follows is a text exchange with SIL:

Me: Keith just went to Lowes, now I'm drinking my bathrobe. Don't tell my Godson!

SIL: LOL Derek was at Lowes earlier.

Me: I think our husbands have girlfriends at Lowes.

SIL: Lowes/Home Depot are the guys version of the mall. Derek could spend hours there.

Me: True.

After we chatted a little longer, I threw a load of laundry in and as I sipped from my summer beer, I thought more about the ladies version of Lowes. I thought of a million, trillion stores I could spend hours in: Home Goods being a major contender in the time suck category. And then I felt a little bit bad about moaning and groaning every time Keith's dragged me to Home Depot. He's only got two stores that turn him on, while I can shop the Miracle Mile for a solid 12-hours and not even have to stop for a snack break.

Then I remembered while we were wedding planning and I had to make endless stops at Michael's for frames, baskets, stamps, ink, tissue paper, shopping bags, pillar candles, etc., etc., etc., etc. I've never heard someone bellyache more. In fact, I'm sure our future children will whine less than my husband did about having to run into the local craft store so I could purchase a specific item. (Please re-direct your attention to the top of this post where I mention that Keith goes to Lowes to browse. Isn't that what the Internet is for?)

Not pictured: Laptop directed to Home Depot's home page.

If marriage is all about sacrifice than I can stomach a few thousand trips to Home Depot to look at tile, kitchen sinks, 2x4's, paint, paint brushes, painters tape, dishwashers, etc., etc., etc., etc. And I think my husband can bite his tongue the next time I need a picture frame. (Although, if you ask him, I've got so many, I'll never need another picture frame as long as I live. That's a direct quote.)

And because I like to include something useful in these posts, I urge every wife to visit the true Ladies' Home Depot: Shop Sweet Lulu, an online shop for all the pretty things you need to entertain. I'm smitten with the vintage milk jugs and the adorable cupcake liners (pictured above). The best part, ladies, it's an online shop so you can spent hours there and your husband can't complain. I suggest you make a big pitcher of summer beer and kiss you husband before he heads to Lowes before you take out the credit card and start doing some damage!

Happy shopping!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Celebrate Good Times (Come On)! It’s National Underwear Day!

I’m putting the Honeymoon post on hold because right now I've got some breaking news: Friday is National Underwear Day. Hopefully, you’re reading this early enough to slip into your favorite pair. If not, head over to to order yourself some new skivvies.

I can’t pick a favorite. I’m a big fan of the original lace thong (low rise, of course) from Hanky Panky. If you’re not a thong-wearer, I swear this will change you. It’s got a wider gusset than most thongs and it’s made from the stretch lace. While it may cost a bit more ($18), it won’t dig into your sides. I have a pair in nude and black and they are absolute wardrobe staples. Fun Fact: A baby blue Hanky Panky was my "something blue".

Pretty and comfy!

Cosabella also makes a one-size fits all thong called Never-Say-Never, which I love just as much as Hanky Panky, and their colors are really fun. I just got one in eggplant that I think I’ll wear to my best friend’s wedding in September since that’s the color of our bridesmaid dresses! Shopping Tip: The "Cutie" style is their low-rise cut.

I would celebrate National Underwear by buying myself a new pair, but I literally just did. (And I’ll likely buy more again soon!) So I’m urging you to throw away those granny panties and try something new. You can thank me later.

What are you wearing for National Underwear Day? More importantly, what new style are you indulging in today? If you could splurge on any new style, what would it be?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I Miss My Honeymoon

After a pool-side happy hour, I thought I was a master of still life photography.
What do you think of my honeymoon ring shots?

Today, we started the day with a hot cup of 100 percent Kauai coffee. On our honeymoon we stopped at the Kauai Coffee farm where we got to wander through the rows of coffee plants and sip samples of all their flavors in the visitor center. We bought a few pounds to bring home and I was ecstatic to dig into them today.

Here's the coffee before I drank it!

Then for dinner we ate mahi mahi marinated in lime juice and topped with a macadamia nut crust. It was delicious and reminded us of one of our favorite dinners from the trip. We ate fresh fish almost every night, but each meal was undoubtedly better with a frozen drink.

What fell in between the two meals today was work, laundry and a quick trip to the gym, hardly vacation-worthy tasks. But it was nice to have a little taste of our honeymoon.

I'm working on the full honeymoon report so please come back!