there were two things i was certain of when i got engaged
the guy i was going to marry
and that there would be mason jars at my wedding
lots of them
everything else seemed to fall into place
around all the mason jars of course
...and then came baby...

Friday, December 31, 2010


it's the final day of 2010.

i hope you're all enjoying the last of what this year has to offer & are looking forward to life in 2011.

the hubs and i were scheduled to be lying on a beach along the gulf coast this week, but the lovely blizzard of 2010 kept us grounded in manhattan. i'll admit, i cried a little, but once i realized how easy we had it compared to all of the people stranded in the airports, trains and lord knows where else, i got over it. we've had a relaxing week in the city and are looking forward to vacation "take 2" next year.

one of my new year's resolutions is to be better about blogging more regularly. you might notice i'll write a bit about babies. don't worry, i'll still blog my little heart out about weddings, entertaining and everything else that catches my eye, but i've got babies on the brain these days. mostly because i've got one in my belly right now ; )

i promise not to get all mushy and diaper-obsessed on this blog, but i can't promise i won't feature a baby shower or amazing new baby product every once in awhile.

i'll be throwing back some sparkling apple cider tonight to ring in the new year and am counting on all of you to throw back the real stuff for me.


Monday, December 20, 2010

holly daze: getting into the christmas spirit

christmas finally exploded in our apartment yesterday. i was determined to check some things off my list and was in bed by 9pm as a result.

i managed to knock out several dozen of one of my dearest friend's anginettes. she of course didn't mention how many the recipe yielded and was also slightly vague about how much of each ingredient goes into the frosting, but hey, that's how we learn, right?!

wrapped a few xmas gifts to give our tree a little company. note to self, wrapping paper is extremely expensive in manhattan. i was heading to the register with a roll in my hand before realizing they were asking for $10!! i mean, i want the gifts to look pretty, but come on people, $10?!

and i capped off the evening by designing an extremely ugly christmas sweatshirt. we'll be spending xmas eve with the hub's extended family this year and have decided as a group to wear our ugliest xmas attire. this excites me because i greatly enjoy any excuse to dress up. we haven't mentioned it to the hub's grandparents yet, as we want to see if they can tell there is a theme or if they think we're all just going a little cuckoo.

oh & if you're looking for an easy gift for a friend/coworker/hot neighbor, i think a nice bottle of italian wine with a few amaretti di sarono cookies (that i wrote about here) sprinkled in a bag is a great treat!

and just for some afternoon entertainment, check out this hot couple:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

winter weddings: guest blogger, F.I.L.

the hubs & i woke up to the following email from my father-in-law a few mornings ago & i thought i would share with all of you. it was totally random, unsolicited, but it got both of us starting our day off laughing. don't focus too much on how it all ends... ; )

If we go back to the late 70's or very early 80's -- definitely before 1982, there was a January evening when my brother Tom and I went out for dinner. I was his Best Man and he was getting married the following day. We had a great dinner and then stayed on for drinks until 1 or 2 in the morning. When we left the bar, it was just beginning to snow. How great for the wedding tomorrow! We thought some breakfast at a diner on 69th
street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn was just the place to discuss the plans for the next day. An hour later, we left the diner, but the snow had fallen so thick and so fast and the City plows had done such a fine job that we could not get Tom's car out of the snow. Not a problem we thought. We'll just walk four blocks to Marilyn's and my apartment and Tom would sleep on my couch. The wedding was not 'til late afternoon and there would be plenty of time to get him to his house for the wedding preparations.

Not so fast, we discovered the following morning. Not just a snowfall, but a record setting blizzard. His fiancé was having a fit because the limos would not cross the Verrazano to get her in Staten Island. My father and mother and the south Jersey branch of the family was having a devil of a time getting to the wedding as was anyone who lived more than a block from the Church. By 11, forget the snowy backdrop because we had to forget the wedding -- for that day anyway. As it turns out, Tom should have forgotten the wedding altogether. They did get married the following weekend, by which time the snow was sooty, yellow spotted, and generally slushy at every corner. A divorce about a year and a half later made it clear to all that that the snow was an omen and not just a backdrop.

again, the ending isn't all roses, but there are a few things i love about this. first, the fact that they were out drinking until the wee hours the night before the wedding. second, that no matter how hard we all try, we absolutely can't control mother nature, so sometimes you just have to go with it. and three, that he decided out of the blue to type up this note & send to me & the hubs.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

you have my heart

{jaime le sole via we heart it}

this dress stole my heart.

i absolutely love the small ruffles around the heart cut-out that gradually form the fun sleeves.

i have no idea what the front of this dress looks like, but i'd buy it in a second based on the rearview.

happy hump day!

Monday, December 6, 2010

snowy bride: flurries in new york

i can't tell you how excited i was to wake up to snow flurries this morning. makes me love new york in december!

after my sister-in-law's amazing baby shower this weekend (pictures to follow), the hubs & i were on a mission to decorate for the holidays. i'd like to tell you that we drove out to connecticut & chopped down our own tree, but truth be told, we went to the closest corner store & picked the smallest one they had out on the sidewalk. convenience is key in manhattan.

the tree is all gussied up, we have far too many decorations up in our tiny one bedroom apartment and i absolutely love it.

seeing the snow this morning made me yearn for a winter wedding. one amazing thing about having your wedding in the winter months, besides the possibility of a gorgeous snowfall as your backdrop, is the holiday decor. most establishments decorate for the holidays around thanksgiving and keep them up through the beginning of the new year. most of your major wedding decor will be taken care of and all you'll need to do is add a few winter inspired centerpieces, favors and a wedding cake!

to all you former winter brides, any tips for future cold weather bride-to-bes?

Friday, December 3, 2010

have a sweet weekend: candy table

{via amy atlas}

apologies for being a bit MIA lately. between the holidays and life, i've slacked on blogging a tad...oops.

but, i am SO excited for my sister-in-law's baby shower this weekend!

looking forward to seeing everyone, celebrating the new bambino on the way and the overall party itself.

my SIL and her madre pretty much planned the entire event, so my mom & i wanted to contribute something fun to the day. we've been working on a red & white themed candy bar to go with the color scheme of the shower and tie in the holidays. we got our inspiration from the amy atlas display above and are hoping ours looks half as good : )

wish us luck!

have a great weekend all and happy december!

Monday, November 29, 2010

get a pair, give a pair: TOMS wedding shoe collection

the TOMS shoe brand is composed of a bunch of do-gooders that give a pair of new shoes to a child in need each time someone purchases a pair.

turns out this philanthropic company also carries a wedding collection! sure, it's not your everyday high heel, but they do have some snazzy glitter pairs and they're very comfortable. plus, let's be honest, you don't really see the shoe under that long hem. i would bet $1,000 that not one of my guests could tell you what pair of shoes i wore on my wedding day.

if you really want your maids & g'men to be in snazzy shoes for the ceremony, as an alternative, you could always purchase them each a pair of TOMS as a gift to change into for the reception. TOMS could be the new flip flop!

go here to check out how real brides, grooms and their bridal party wore them at their real weddings.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

thankful: happy turkey day

it's the day of giving thanks and so, without further ado, i would like to thank all of you for being a part of my blogging adventure. whether it's 2 or 2,000 of you, i feel lucky that i have an outlet and that at least one person is interested in what i have to say.

i also feel particularly grateful for:

my radical friends who always keep me laughing...

{via we heart it}

my loving, supportive family...

{via we heart it}

and all of the babies that are joining our family in the next few months...

{via tracy raver}

wishing you all a very happy and healthy thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

gobble gobble: a thanksgiving wedding

this bride might possibly be the biggest fan of thanksgiving. not only did she and her guests feast on turkey at the reception, BUT her and her bridesmaids donned gowns she made herself from turkey feathers. now if that's not commitment, i don't know what it is. see for yourself!

{via life}

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

beautiful white birch: incorporating into your wedding decor

my grandma had one beautiful solo white birch tree in her backyard that i always loved. for our wedding, my uncle generously built a gorgeous white birch arch for us to be married beneath. there is something so pretty about white birch and i think it would be an absolutely stunning design element for any wedding, but particularly in the fall and winter months. see below for a lil inspiration...

{white birch votive sleeve via bettula on etsy}

is it thanksgiving yet??

Friday, November 19, 2010

T. G. I. F. have a great weekend!

"a true man never frets about his place in the world, but just slides into it by the gravitation of his nature, and swings there as easily as a star."
edwin hubbel chapin

{via lace and tea}

oh & if you're looking for a caffeine fix this weekend, don't forget to grab a friend & get the starbucks 2 for 1 dealio!

{via starbucks}

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

all-natural beauty: looking good on your wedding day & everyday the all-natural way

let me start by saying this is by no means intended to be a preachy post. for many reasons, i try to maintain an all-natural lifestyle. i am not a strict organic lady, but when i can, i opt to go that route. don't get me wrong, i never turn down a visit to an in-n-out burger and i'm a total sucker for twizzlers.

i had mostly been focused on the food i was eating, but recently made an effort to switch out all of my beauty products to exclude as many chemicals as possible. i first got the kick when i simply could not get my skin to clear up no matter what i tried (this includes that heavily celebrity-endorsed acne brand). i decided it was time for a new moisturizer & when i was on the hunt for an oil-free option, i stumbled upon alba botanica aloe & green tea oil-free moisturizer. not to sound like an infomercial, but it truly did help clear up my skin. that, in my opinion, combined with the other all-natural products i switched to, did wonders.
what happened next was somewhat of a snowball effect. i tossed all of my products that had parabens, chemicals, and any other crap (for loss of a better technical term). it was time to start fresh. i was able to find all of my new all-natural products at whole foods, rite aid and sephora.

here's a quick run-down of some of my favorites just in case you're on the market.

whole foods has their own great line of products under the "365" heading that is significantly cheaper than the other name brands. i was able to get a great deal on a sulfate-free citrus grapefruit shampoo and conditioner at a much better price than your average hair care line.

another fantastic brand is dr. bronner's. i tested out their organic peppermint bar soap and LOVED it. not only is it free of all the crap you don't want, it smells delicious and actually helps wake me up in the morning. the peppermint has a great kick to it and definitely helps me start my day.

karma organics makes a fantastic array of nail polish (minus formaldehyde, yuck!) and a great smelling non-toxic polish remover.

my sister-in-law turned me on to a fantastic philadelphia brand called duross & langel. i'm currently obsessed with their ginger deodorant. i've tried MANY all-natural deodorants and this is the first one to actually do the trick. they make tons of other amazing products and beautiful gift sets, which i can guarantee any bride-to-be would LOVE.

on to the make-up. i have to confess, i'm not much of a make-up connoisseur. give me some bronzer, blush and chapstick and i'm good to go. i'm not picky who makes it, so i figured why not try the all-natural route?

tarte cosmetics makes AMAZING all-natural products and the best part is that they carry them at sephora stores. currently in love with: their matte waterproof mineral powder bronzer, park ave princess.
the eraser, which is a great natural concealer. this lights, camera, lashes! mascara works wonders for my eyes and has a fancy case. and finally, drumroll please, my ultimate: the cheek stain. i had been using this stuff for years before knowing it was paraben-free. it hands-down gives me the best flushed look and i do not go a day without putting this magical stuff on.
and i finish it all off with the minty freshness of yes to carrots brand chapstick. this is a great new brand that focuses on all-natural ingredients and is carried in most drugstores. highly recommend.
have any all-natural brands to share? i'm always on the look out and especially interested in more affordable options. it's silly to pay more for a product with less stuff in it, but in my opinion, it's worth the price.

Monday, November 15, 2010

hey mambo, mambo italiano: wedding favor or everyday treat

i walked by these pretty italian treats in whole foods yesterday and remembered watching good ol' giada de laurentiis use them in several recipes.
i went back to my archives and found the following recipe for chocolate amaretti cake. how scrumptious does that sound?

not only are these treats delicious dipped in your favorite coffee or better yet crumbled on top of some creamy gelato, BUT they are simply delicious all on their own.

i love the idea of incorporating these beautifully wrapped cookies into a wedding favor. you could throw a few of these pastel beauties into a clear cellophane bag, wrap with a ribbon and voila! you've got yourself a pretty, edible wedding favor.

check out the fantastic packaging below! i'm thinking about buying a canister just to add a little something italiano to our kitchen.

Friday, November 12, 2010

pie in a jar? yes, please: adorable wedding favors or a holiday dessert treat

i saw these adorable pies-in-a-jar earlier this week and fell in food love.

if the title of this blog is unclear, let me clarify, i love mason jars.

you put a pie into a mason jar & top it with heart-shaped pieces of dough and you're pretty much my new favorite person.

i would love to try & tackle these for thanksgiving this year.

or maybe i'll just show everyone a picture of these? ha.

happy friday & have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

who cut the cheese?: customized cutting board gifts

{via a.heirloom}

i'm a sucker for wine & cheese. add a little french bread in there & you can pretty much call it a day.

i've mentioned before how much i enjoy having pals over for a little vino e formaggio. then yesterday i saw these fantastic cutting boards & simply couldn't keep to myself!

as evident by above, i have a soft spot for california and connecticut. i met my hubs in the sunshine state and we were married in the constitution state (how boring is that label?)

anywho, i'm adding these fantastic cutting boards to my never-ending wish list of random items i would like to own one day.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

spotlight on allyson + peter: real wedding

it's time for another real wedding and today's gorgeous fall affair took place in the quaint little state of rhode island. i don't know about you, but it's near impossible for me to look at a couple's wedding photographs and not wish i had done something they had done. this wedding is certainly no exception! peter and allyson were wed in the evening at a lush botanical garden under gorgeous lighting. they continued on down to a lively jazz club to kick off the reception festivities. these two lovebirds were lucky with rain on their wedding day and captured my favorite: umbrella shots! prepare to be dazzled. enjoy!

smiling in the rain drops
our ceremony was at the roger williams botanical center at roger williams park in providence, ri and our reception was at the hi-hat in davol square in providence. we chose the botanical center for the ceremony because we were looking for a unique ceremony venue. we fell in love with the botanical center because we were surrounded by gorgeous flowers and gardens in the middle of november—it gave the feeling of being outside without actually having to go outside because it is literally a huge greenhouse. we also picked it because our wedding was at night and the botanical center is GORGEOUS when it is lit up. there are a million spot lights along the glass ceiling so it was really pretty after dark.

beautiful train

red shoes = fab

the groom & his mama

in love with this color palette

precious moment

candids are my favorite

how gorgeous is this setting?!

the couple in the beautiful botanical garden


the real deal

the happy couple

one of my favorite backdrops: rain

the couple & their party

fantastic fall bouquets

love the color of this boutonniere

such a pretty hair accessory

for our reception, we really did not want anything traditional. we wanted our wedding to be more of a huge party with all of our favorite people as opposed to people having to stop and watch some of the traditional things that are nice, but sometimes take away from the dancing. we went to the hi-hat and it was the second place we looked at for reception venues. it is a big jazz club in downtown providence, which was EXACTLY what we were looking for. we wanted to have completely open seating for our guests so everyone could sit wherever they wanted and the jazz club had high tops, round banquettes, different-sized tables and two large bars (key!). there was also a large stage for our band and since it is a jazz club, the acoustics were great.


this might be my favorite

candy bar, please!
the post-dinner party at our reception was my favorite. we really had such a great time at the hi-hat. our goal was to be able to enjoy the wedding as though we were guests and we really did. we had the world premier band for our band and although they were a bit more money that we originally wanted to spend, they were worth every penny. we still have people come up to us and rave about our band.

i love a bride that can get down

i could go through all the little details that didn’t go perfectly, but i’m incredibly anal and i wouldn’t want to scare brides! the major thing that went wrong was that i really kept my fingers crossed for a nice november evening so we could take lots of pictures in downtown providence. the remnants of hurricane ida didn’t care though! it POURED on our wedding day and i was pretty devastated worrying about it all week leading up to the wedding. after it was all said and done, we ended up taking pictures outside in the rain anyways and our pictures came out incredible. i was soaking wet and my dress ended up drenched, but it was worth it! after seeing our pictures, i ended up being glad that it rained because everything had so much more character.

on your wedding day, take a breath and enjoy your day. not everything can go exactly as planned, and no one will ever know the difference if things go a little wrong.

and, if it rains and you had planned on taking pictures outside, grab and umbrella and suck it up. maybe leave your bridal party inside with cocktails so they don’t have to suffer through it, but your groom can handle a little rain… it will be worth it!

thank you so much to allyson & peter for sharing their amazing wedding photographs with us! you two look so happy and really planned a beautiful day. best of luck & love!


pictures: kristin spencer
flowers: flowers by semia
ceremony: roger williams botanical center
reception (including food): the hi-hat
bridal hair accessory: bridal finery
hair and makeup: salon bianco
band: world premier band
transportation: newport trolley
candy bar: candyland warehouse