Miami Kind Of Xmas...


image found here

Hey all! Sorry Ive been gone for a good while but things got a bit hectic a while back and then there was the packing and xmas parties and so you know... I started feeling a little stressed out about everything and then decided it was ok to take a little brake from all internet related things. Sometimes you just have to unplug you know? Ive missed you all and hope to pop in from time to time while on holiday in Miami... but can't make any promises! Just in case, hope you all have a very merry xmas and a happy new year, love hubs and I, from sunny and warm Miami!!!

***Today am thankful for mini breaks and that warm sunshine on my face***


White Flag...


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Today I give in and wave a white flag... a white flag to the feelings of sadness inside of me. Today I will curl up with hot chocolate, have a good cry, and belt out as many sad songs as my voice will allow with more sorrow, passion, and sincerity than any broken hearted teenage girl out there. Today I acknowledge this heavy heart I feel and not try to fix it, but rather indulge in it. Today I will let it all out and then tomorrow I will move on... tomorrow will be a better day.

***Today I am thankful for... songs that let me express my sadness***


Bishop Allen...


First, I brief apology for being absent from the bogging sphere for some time... I am no good at this whole scheduled posts... and so when life goes the littlest bit chaotic, I disappear =( Ive missed you all, my little blog, and my daily reads. I also realize that I left everyone in sort of suspense leading up to the actual wedding ceremony and reception posts... bad me! There's a reason why a posted about said wedding a year later... and you all thought I was trying to be cute or something! Anyways, my new self imposed deadline for wrapping those up along with a honeymoon recap is now the 14th... a year and a month anniversary for some sort of symbolism... again not really but let's just pretend for my sake!!!

So back to the music... I first have to confess that I have seriously been listening to nothing but Birdy since I downloaded the album a couple of weeks back. Even hubs is starting to say its not healthy to listen to the same songs over and over again... but what if they help me relax and keep my sanity??? I have self prescribed myself Birdy and may be overdosing... but who can blame me? Then amongst the sea of my itunes, I found an old gem... Bishop Allen. Of course they are an indie rock group, complete with banjos, keyboards, and the occasional pop infused melodies... another one that makes me smile just with a simple listen. Go on, I dare you not to crack a smile while listening to the entire playlist below... ok go!!!

image from here

 my fave 10...
*Click through to the blog to view actual music player...

***Today I am thankful for all the good things in my life that I  can concentrate on and pull strength from when times are trying***


Tuesday Tunes: Birdy


image from here

Birdy aka Jasmine van den Bogaerde,  has completely won me over!!! All it took was one listen to her cover of Skinny Love (I blogged about the original by Bon Iver here) and I was awestruck. Can you believe she was only 14 when that single was released?!? Her voice is so haunting and passionate, as if she's already had years of experience in life and love matters. Really I could keep on babbling away about why I love her voice so much... why I couldn't wait to download her album... and why she's been on repeat since... but I won't. Instead I'll just let you listen to the playlist and become as obsessed as I am... enjoy!
my fave 10:
*Click through to the blog to view actual music player...

***Today I am thankful I found Birdy... I can already tell we are going to have a great repeat all her songs all of the time kind of relationship her and I***


Mo Run 5K Battersea Park...


Movember... formerly known as the month of November, has quickly become one of the biggest promoters for prostate and testicular cancer around the world!!! At the start of the month, men everywhere participate by clean shaving for the last time... or at least until the end of the month... and then the race is on! Facial hair is grown, trimmed, and sculpted into a multitude of styles and fashions. Hubs was a dear and took part, even letting my donators have say in the final outcome of his mustache. Although hub's mustache is already styled, you can still help out by donating on my page here. All proceeds are going to The Prostate Cancer Charity.

My way of helping and promoting awareness (since I obviously can't grow a 'stache!) was to sign up for one of the many local races held here in London and fundraising for the main charity... what else? It's what I do!!! So this past Sunday, I woke up bright and early to meet up with some of the gals, sport our mustaches, and run our little hearts out! Here is a brief recap:

Getting There: what can I say except it was a nightmare!!! The day before and even the morning of, I double checked the transportation I should take, ensuring to get me to the race with plenty of leisure time so I could relax and stretch. Well that never happened... thank you tfl journey planner for saying a specific bus was running when it wasn't... three bus time slots later and still no bus I started to panic and opted for an alternate route... cutting it really close to the end of registration time. Luckily I made it, was able to register, put on my mustache, and even took some pictures with the gals... phew!

The Race: We had a quick aerobic warm up to get the muscles loose and the juices flowing... plus it was a little chilly so it helped to literally warm us up. Since I had opted to run the 5k at Battersea Park, I had decided that I would concentrate on my race time rather than the race length... and so I said goodbye to the gals at the start line and ran off to try and reach my goal of running less than 10 minute miles. I have to say the weather that day was perfect for running... it was chilly enough to help with my endurance but not too cold that long sleeves and pants wouldn't cut it. The day was also overcast so I didn't have to worry about sun shining into my eyes and blinding me... basically my idea of the ideal running conditions, in the fifties and overcast =) I made it around the park (we had to lap it twice) pretty easily but not without my 'stache falling off due to sweat. I stuck it to my palm and kept my hand in a fist for safe keeping. I was so hyped up and enjoying people watching... oh the fancy dress and mustaches I saw! I also got a shot out from hubs via the dj and hearing my name being called out made my day!!!

A mixture of nerves and excitement kept me going stronger and quicker than my usual pace. I started to feel a bit of cramping into my second lap, and saw some people slowing down to walk which made me want to stop too and walk for a bit... oh it's all so mental sometimes. But I kept pushing on, knowing I was fully capable of running 6 miles non stop let alone 5K... I was determined to run the whole thing and at my new faster pace. I remember the last stretch, as I turned the corner and saw the finish line at the end of about a 300 yard stretch. Adrenaline fueled through me and I broke out into a sprint... where that sudden burst of energy came from I have no idea as I already thought I was going as fast as I could. Right near the end, I noticed a camera man squatted down and taking pictures of runners as they neared the end. I ran straight towards him, smile beaming on my face, and mustache stuck on my open palm... you can see the pictures here and here. Flying through the finish line I couldn't stop smiling... and running for that matter, I almost ran past the people handing out medals! And to make a sweet moment even sweeter, there was hubs, with his grinning mustache, waiting for me at the finish line.

Post Race: After catching my breath, realizing I had met my personal goal, kissing hubs, eying my medal, posing for pictures, and finding the gals again, it was time to celebrate!!! We headed off to find some coffee and a brunch spot to stuff our faces. Really happy and pleased with ourselves, we feasted on all things breakfasty and toasted with bloody marys... eagerly chatting away about our plans for next year's mo run...

1. hubs on day 20 of the growing 2. debuting the winning mustache 3. will i make it to the race???
4. made it and feeling great!!! 5. the ladies with 'staches 6. we're on a horse 7. beat my personal goal
8. mustache on a medal 9. winners brunch post race 10. mustaches 11. my treat to myself!!!

***Today I am thankful for the blissful high Ive been on all day from the happiness of yesterday... I don't even mind the soreness in my muscles***


Link Love 11.27.11



I am so very excited to share with you lovely friends the news of me obtaining my running goal in today's race. If you follow me on twitter or facebook, I'm sure you have seen, maybe even a little too much, my persistent fundraising efforts for my Mo Run. Well while I didn't necessarily meet my fundraising goal, I did manage to run each mile under 10 minutes, an accomplishment that I am so proud of and sometimes in such great disbelief as to how far Ive come with running! If you knew me back in high school, you would know that it was my most hated event in Physical Education classes... one avoided with endless excuses and complaints! And now with countless races, three half marathons, and tons of money collected for various charities, I can't help but smile and think "who would've thought?" I'll fill you all in with a complete recap of the race and all the amazingly hilarious pictures in a post tomorrow, but for now, enjoy the lovely links of things that have caught my fancy (a lot are food related!) this week... Yay me!!!  

It's still not too late to donate to prostate cancer... give as much or as little as you please here...

And the countdown until xmas begins... and what better way than with this creative advent calendar...

Just loving this succulent centerpiece idea for a xmas gathering... rustic and beautiful...

Swooning over The Union Street messenger bag... designed to hold your camera and laptop...

The perfect treat for your guests at any party this winter... red hot apple cider... in an apple...

Have you checked out the IHOD Holiday Gift Guide 2011 yet... some amazing hand made finds!!!

This week's favorite little thing of mine is a tie between this, this, and this... just couldn't choose...

What an amazing all things shiny roundup over at Oh Happy Day... it just screams festive!!!

Sweet potato, good... marshmallows, good... biscuits, good... now combine all three, yep it's true!!!

And last but certainly not least, some very good marriage advice, parts1 & parts 2 for all to enjoy...

***Today I am thankful that I was able to push myself further and meet a personal running goal of 3.1 miles in under 30 minutes... all while raising awareness, funds, and sporting a ginger mustache for prostate cancer via Mo Run!!!***


Giving Thanks...


So it's that time of the year again... Novemeber... a time for giving thanks and growing facial hair (for the guys anyways). As quickly as I thought October had passed (in the blink of an eye), November has seemed to go by even faster... I don't think I even got to close an eyelid for that to count as a blink! But I'm not complaining... well maybe just a little... but still I have a whole lot to be thankful for this month, including hub's and i's first wedding anniversary!!! What are you all thankful for this year around? And how are you celebrating your thanksgiving? Quick now it's a mad dash into the holiday season and a sprint to the new year (sorry for the running analogies)... hello and welcome to 2012...

1. obsessed with cotton buds!!! 2. mind the gap... train approaching 3. vintage bottles
4. my future dishes 5. fall floating leaves 6. through the branches 7. i went ombre!!!
8. day 20 of hub's facial growth 9. glittery nails 10. first green bean casserole ever 11. colorful veggies 12. chocolate peanut butter cookies 13. amreicans and their brits 14. our thanksgiving spread 
15. my oh too delishes plate 16. desert time 17. some are bare and some are ombre
18. snowflakes on the sidewalk 19. i tied a bow tie!!! 20. RDM emotional night
21. my movember get up!!!

Awesome-  More leaves falling and covering the ground in all their orange-red glory... I'm really going to miss them when they disappear in the next month or so... Going ombre with my hair!!! Yes I finally did it and took the plunge one step further by cutting some side swept bangs in the process too! It's a little subtler than I wanted but a good start. Seeing hubs grow out his facial hair for me and my movember project... even though it's itching him like crazy right now... he loves me! Getting into the groove of cooking and baking again for our early thanksgiving over seas... I told everyone I can cook, I just choose not too ;) Celebrating thanksgiving with fellow American friends in the UK... that also happen to be married to Brits... now who is conquering who?!? After nearly 30 minutes of effort, figuring out how to tie a bow tie properly... although not quite so pretty just yet, give me a few more practices... Getting my shirt in the mail, my suspenders from work, and my boxers from hubs... all for this Sunday's Movember race... mustache to be applied at the race!!! Oh and did I mention that if you donate anything here, you get a vote in to how hubs will style his mustache for the race... pictures next week!!!

Awkward- Getting easily distracted by things I just have to take pictures of in my daily life... and being completely oblivious as to who is watching... yep Ive turned into one of those people now... The shop being so empty this past week that I literally thought I might die of boredom... insert tumbleweeds and me learning to tie bow tie... Crying really hard from chopping onions... I mean they usually sting my eyes but I think from lack of sleep and too much contacts wearing they were more sensitive than usual cause man I was bawling!!! Trying to figure out what the next step in my life is... I know that last one is a bit of a serious one but sometimes I can be serious...

***Today I am thankful for modern technologies such as Skype and the Internet... together they made it possible for me to wish a face to face happy thanksgiving to my parents and little k... across 4,437 miles and an ocean***




I interrupt all the wedding posts to bring you folks this special bulletin... a chance to participate in fundraising for a very great cause, The Prostate Cancer Charity, and... wait for it... a chance to vote on how hubs should shave, trim, and mold his mustache come this Sunday's 5K race. Yep, is he the greatest or what? Hubs has been growing out the old facial hair in support of Movember and my Battersea Park 5K race and is now taking it one step further... donate here and leave a comment with your 'stache of choice. The popular vote wins and I will display hubs sporting his new face do next week with a recap post of the event. Oh and if you are in the area Sunday, come out and support us runners... I myself will be sporting a stick on 'stache... possibly some suspenders and a bow tie too!

hubs day 20 of the growth...
***Today I am thankful for such a supportive hubs... any man that is willing to grow his facial hair and then let you put your donators in control of the outcome is a keeper by me!!!***


Wedding Series: Helpful Links...

For the sake of tradition... I give you Sunday links on a Monday evening ;) This week Ive decided to share with you all some links to the lovely vendors we used and other such wedding related things that might be helpful to future brides. Most of our inspiration came from the amazing Snippet and Ink, The Knot, and Martha Stewart Weddings websites. Instead of a traditional registry, hubs and I opted for a registry that allowed guests to play a part in our honeymoon via the Traveler's Joy. Oh and just in case you were wondering, being from Miami, we decided to get married at home (for me anyways) and so the vendors are mainly local.

Venue and Wine: (ceremony & reception) Schnebly Redland's Winery

All Catering and Day Of Coordinator: We're Having A Party

Cake: Stacey Marucci (a friend of mine)

Save The Dates, Invitations and Place Settings: we did ourselves

Guest Book: Morgan Hill Designs

Flowers: we did ourselves

Officiant: George R. Ronkowitz

Photography and Videography: Louis Tristram and Lee Trott (friend's of hubs)

Reception Music: can't remember or find the info

Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Three String Trio: Music For Anything

Transportation: surprise from parents

 ***Today I am thankful for all the lovely vendors and companies that we had the pleasure to work with that helped make our wedding day absolutely wonderful***


Wedding Series: Getting Ready...


For me, this was one of the happiest experiences ever!!! I woke up with so much energy and a swarm of butterflies in my tummy. I had been so nervous the day before (a lump in my throat, permanent stomach knot, nausea) because there was so much going on and so much that still needed to get done. I even ended up breaking yet another rule (I must seem like such a rule breaker when really I love rules!) and had hubs spend the night with me... yep, that's right... I saw hubs on our wedding morning =O I just needed some alone time with him and sure enough, he did the trick and eased away everything! I couldn't stop smiling after that!!!

After that I truly enjoyed my wedding morning. I had all of my 10 bridesmaids and flower girl, yep I typed 10 folks, come over to the house. Why so many you ask? Well because hubs and I really wanted to include our siblings (my one sissy and his three) and I have also been fortunate enough to have seven special ladies in my life. You see the thing is, when I thought about it, I just couldn't bring myself to choose because each of those women had helped shape and mold me into the person I am today. Some were from my college years and some were from my career/NYC years and it was really nice to have those two huge pieces of my life come together to celebrate our big day. The more the merrier right!!!

I was made breakfast (did I mention my egg had two yolks... a good sign I'm sure!) and handed a mimosa. I gave a little non sappy speech (cause that's just my style) of appreciation and presented each of my gals with various glasses I had collected from thrift stores. In each glass, I had placed a vintage pearl necklace and earrings for them to wear that day... each different in style, color, and size... unique just like them! The lovely Heather Kelly (of my fashion classes, hip hop clubbing, and M.K. & A. posing days) had agreed to do all of the ladies makeup which was such a help. Meanwhile, I got my hair and makeup done by the genius that is Lutz Karpf... I mean my hair was so short I wasn't sure how he was going to achieve the pulled back look I wanted... but he teased and weaved a hair miracle!!! He also marvelously covered up a stubborn little pimple I had gotten morning of =<

Before I knew it, it was time to head to the winery!!! Now I really couldn't stop smiling and couldn't wait to put my dress on. Luckily for my nerves, the mimosas kept coming... and maybe it was because of the nerves, but I swear they didn't even make me tipsy! I remember taking a moment where I just sat back to observe the girls as they all ran about spraying hair stuff, touching up makeup, and getting dressed. I think I might have even had an out of body moment (nope still not tipsy) where I clearly saw myself and how happy I genuinely was, surrounded by so much love and about to marry my love. It was a perfect, private little moment where I took it all in before the big moment. And I have to say that for having as many girls as we did in the room, everything (including mirror time) went smoothly!

My something old is that black string you see tied around my wrist. I have this necklace that has a heart dangling from it with the words- "only he who has the key can unlock my heart" and a gold key as well. Well a few years back hubs literally stole the key and wore it around his neck on that very string. He wore it for about a year when it broke. Being too small to retie around his neck, he tied it around my wrist... nearly three years ago! My something new was a cuff that I splurged on! I knew I just had to have it for the wedding before I even knew what dress I would be wearing... it was love at first sight! My something borrowed is a bit of lace from my mom's dress that I detached and had intended to sew unto my own. Since I ran out of time, I tucked it into my bodice instead so it would be close to my heart. And of course my something blue was a silk rose on my garter that little k got for me... one that I had been eying myself in fact!

***Today I am thankful for my wonderful girlfriends... I am so blessed and you girls really made my special day that much more special!!!***


Wedding Series: An Inspiration Board...


From the very start, I knew pink just had to play a big part in our color story for the wedding. Being the girly girl that I am, I wanted the overall feel to be romantic in a soft and playful way. So I opted for various shades of pinks, from blush to rose,  in all fabrics and textures I could find. Now I knew that pink was fine for my bridesmaids (and thanks to those of you that wore pink for the first time ever... means the world to me!) but for the groomsmen, I did prefer something more masculine. Since grey had become the new black in menswear in general, and pink was now the trendy guy's favorite accent color, it was a match made in heaven!!!

Now for as many times as I had already been a bridesmaid, one thing I was definitely certain of was the fact that one dress can not and will not ever look good on everyone. I wanted each of my ladies to wear something unique to their personalities and body types... and of course in a shade of pink that would flatter their skin tone the best. The only rules were I had to approve the pink (you know, to make sure no hot pinks or magenta snuck in on accident) and that the dresses should be short. Aside from that, I encouraged them to go for different fabrics, silhouettes, and shoes. Little K was my maid of honor and I debated for a bit on ways to make her stand out when all the girls were wearing different dresses anyways... and so we settled on her wearing grey!

As for the men, well the same pretty much applied to them too. All was game as long as it was was in the grey family (no three piece suit was necessary) and some even braved a pink shirt! Hubs and I got them all vintage pink ties that I rummaged all over Brooklyn to find and some of the coolest cuff links ever!!! Oh and some of the guys (my father in law included) even wore converse sneakers! Again we wanted everyone to just feel as comfortable and like themselves as possible. The goal was for everyone to focus on having a fun time and I think we achieved it!!!

The rest of the decor mainly involved more shades of pink roses, pewter pieces such as a bird cage, picture frames, and a tea set. Their was also some wooden accents like our guest book. One thing you should note, our wedding was in November and in Miami... and I broke some major wedding rules... 1. having a spring colors in the fall 2. using roses in an otherwise very tropical setting 3. insisting on a vintage theme when the reception was held in a giant tiki hut. But you know what, I didn't care about the rules. To me our dream wedding had pale roses not bright hibiscus flowers... it had a whimsy vintage feel to it, not a tropical one... and it certainly didn't have any sandals, coconuts, or sea shells. And so in spite of some non believers (yep hubs was among them) I continued to convince and  insist on making my vision a reality. And maybe it wasn't exactly the way I had originally imagined it, but you know what, in the end, it came out even better... unique and weird just like hubs and I. =)

Mood: romantic, vintage, and whimsical...

Color Palette: blush pinks, shades of grey, and ivory with accents of pewter, bronze, and wood...

Texture: chiffon, lace, suede, and metals...
Row 2: carved guest book, pink cocktails, maid of honor in grey, bridesmaids in shades of pink
Row 3: family photos in antique frames, various shades and textures, the dress

***Today I am thankful for pinks and greys... seriously one of the prettiest color combinations of all times!!!***


Wedding Series: The Memorable Five...


Pssst... guess what?!? In case you didn't already know... Hub's and I just celebrated our first year of marriage together on Monday... the 14th of November... eeeek!!! Beyond exciting I know!!! It seems like it went by so fast, this past year... and I realize that I never got around to sharing that special day with you lovely blog folk (ultimate procrastination or what?) And as that sweet day has come and gone, I'm actually feeling some non-newly wed blues! Now I know that this may sound just a little bit ridiculous, but I hear it's actually quite common to miss the engagement/planning/wedding/honeymoon/newlywed phases... and as happy as Ive been, I can't help but feel sad that it's all over too! Any other wives out there know what I'm talking about??? Anyhow, since I can't turn back time, I have decided to instead share and reminisce in that beautiful journey once more, a year later... and hopefully I can make you feel like you are were there too!

the memorable five...
*Click through to the blog to view actual music player...

So let's begin with the memorable five... songs that is! I know some brides have a hard time deciding on what the most important songs should be... what to walk in and out to... the first dance... the father/daughter dance... the mother/son dance... but not me! As soon as I started planning and envisioning that day, I knew in my heart what songs would be perfect for each of those moments... songs that were truly unique to hubs and I... and special in their own right.

For as long as I can remember, I have always fantasized about walking down the aisle to Canon in D Major... just the right amount tradition for the non traditional bride I think. The extra special twist was, my parents hiring a string trio!!! It took the same song to a new level of elegance in my opinion. Now hubs wanted to walk down the aisle to something a bit more original and unexpected but my heart was already set... so we compromised... and he got to chose what we left to once we were wed. This how Back In Black came to be a part of our musical selection... also upgraded in a string trio version!!!

For our first dance I also knew exactly what I wanted, Have A Little Faith but the Van Morrison version. After our long journey of a five year relationship across seas, the lyrics to this song just seemed meant for us. Every time I had heard it in the past, I would close my eyes and picture hubs saying those precious words to me (he was so the braver one!) Wise words of encouragement, love and faith in us. Now add to all that the heart melting voice that is Morrison, and well, it was a no brainer!

And lastly but most certainly not least, the father/daughter and mother /son dances. These were also chosen quite personally between the dancers involved. With my dad and his long time passion for The Beatles, All You Need Is Love seemed like a natural fit. It was happy and upbeat... and let's face it, crying was inevitable so we wanted to keep the song to something cheery. Ben and his mom also chose a silly and light hearted song, Dancing In The Street... and boy did they bust out some moves of their own! All in all the song selections were a huge success! Each piece catered to our needs, moods, and feelings for each specific moment... happy sigh!

P.S. You can read all about our engagement story (a good one I promise!) here... it involves a tree, some carving, and really beautiful ring!!!

***Today I am thankful the past year of hub's and i's lives together... not always perfect, but always worth it!!!***


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