Thursday, February 25, 2010

International Crush Day

Somehow I missed this last week (probably because I've been neglecting this blog like a horrible person and instead eating and writing about it elsewhere). It was International Crush Day! Everyone has a crush (or ten), and this post is dedicated to all the bloggers I admire.

First and foremost, my kindred spirit and best friend Sam, who I obviously adore and have a girl crush on. She's the most kind, thoughtful, and creative person I know. She can talk me into anything (literally anything) because her excitement is contagious. I'm going to snuggle with her so hard when I see her in 15 days (!) in Disney.

Then there's the dear Lilu, who I love even more right now because she's working on a redesign of my foodie blog. I love my little slice of the interwebs all about delicious food, and I can't think of a better person to make it look as fabulous as I feel about it. Plus she's freaking hysterical and is from MA. Can't get much better.

I have a personal favorite, and virtual crush, on Restaurant Refugee. Any man that can describe a love for cufflinks and cigars the way he can obviously brings to mind images of time gone by. And he knows food. It's what he does. Tremendous amount of respect for that. Plus, the stories of his worst clients make my jaw drop.

I could certainly go on with my list of bloggers that I love, but that list would probably be a mile long. Instead, I'll stop here and ask for your suggestions. What are your favorites? What blog out there have I been missing?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Silly Question

It's been a few months now since the wedding. When we first got back, the question was always "How was the wedding?!" or "Did you love Ireland?!". The answers are "Amazing" and "We LOVE Ireland". Now? The question we get most often is "So, how's married life?".

I've probably asked this question to others before, but now hearing it all the time I feel like it's a really silly question. What is someone really supposed to say to that question? Married life has been great, but not really any different than what it was before. This made me think, what actually has changed?

The answer, not much. We still live together. Still have the same jobs. Still live in the same place. Still love each other just as much. We just get to say "This is my husband... " or "Have you met my wife....?".

So really, what's different? I thought about it and figured it out. Now we have nicer things. We're young professionals, and we haven't gone crazy on buying fancy kitchen appliances, or even matching silverware. The wedding changed all that. All we had to do was create a registry and suddenly we have more plates, glassware, napkins, and martini glasses than two people can handle.

There's the answer. How's married life? Well, now we have nice things. And each other :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bad Blogger

I've been a horrible blogger lately over here. It's been weeks since I posted! Shame on me.

But, I've found a new love. Well, maybe not new, but I see this love in a new way. That love is food. So really, the love isn't new, but my outlet for expressing it is. I started a new blog that I am absolutely loving: No Sincerer Love. This blog is filled with reviews, recipes, food suggestions, taste testings, and anything else I can think of that's food related. Dane is helping me out with this new project, which is also really fun. We get to work together on it and I'm loving that we have a new way to share something we both really enjoy.

We're always looking for new ideas. Have anything you want us to try? A restaurant we should try? A favorite wine we need to have? Let us know!

Promise, I'll be better over here. Scouts honor.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Wedding Recap

I was so busy with reflecting on the year that I realized I never actually got around to posting pictures from our wedding in November. We had such a great time planning the wedding and the day of the big event was wonderful. We're so grateful to everyone that was able to make it and spend the day celebrating with us!

Our photographer was amazing and sent me 2 DVD's with 1,200 photos on them. I'm just going to pick a few that are my favorites to share.

This totally looks like a magazine ad to me. Let's just put the name of whatever hairspray that is and put this in print. I'll happily accept any payment for the use of my image.

Yup, I wore my Sam Adams jacket while getting ready. Because I take pride in my beer.

Our photographer took my shoes and bouquet and ran off for a little while. This was what she was doing. There's a ton of different angles and combinations of things. I love that she got the little details of the day.

The Gallo girls are FIERCE. Eat your heart out Tyra.

It's official! The new Mr. and Mrs.!

Our pastor had the best idea. He got married about a year ago to his wife, who is from Estonia. When they went back to Estonia for a ceremony there, part of the tradition was to have a picture with everyone outside the church after the ceremony. He suggested this to us and we loved the idea. There's no other time that you get everybody in one shot. Our original plan was to do it outside, but with the sun setting earlier in late November we opted to move it inside just in case it got too dark outside. I love this picture!

We had the best bridal party ever. I had both my sisters as maids of honor. Really, there was no way to choose one of them. I'm too close with them both to pick one over the other. So we made our own rules and I had two maids of honor, while Dane chose two best men. His two friends from Penn State completed the bridal party. We had a blast with this group.

Our first dance, after much debate, was "Better Together" by Jack Johnson. We both love the song, and it's a little more upbeat than other songs. It was perfect for us.

It was really important to us that our guest have a great time. Judging by this picture I would say that they did! I love that our friends from all different parts of our lives got to come together.

I think this was us dancing to "The Luckiest" by Ben Folds. When it came on Dane asked me to dance even though everyone had already sat down to dinner. We were the only ones on the floor and it was perfect.

There are so many more, but I won't go crazy here. We really got to enjoy the whole day and it was exactly what we wanted.

Now if I just had another occasion to wear my dress again...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Best of 2009: Stationary, Laugh, Ad, and Resolution

I'm wrapping up the best of 2009 with this post. I love that I got a chance to reflect on this past year through this blog. Gwen Bell's prompts were great for each day and made me think about things from this year that I would otherwise never have thought of and recognized. So here it is, the final chapter of my best of 2009.

Best Stationary

Anything from the Paper Source. Anything at all. We used their paper for everything for the wedding. The save the dates were sent with their beautiful envelopes and cards with a personal note to each person, the invitations were coordinating paper in soft white, and out thank you cards are also from Paper Source. The best part was that the beautiful paper let us print our own design on all of our stationary and we made it our own.

Best Laugh

I really love to laugh, so I don't know if I can name one time that was my best laugh of 2009. I'm lucky to have friends, family, and co-workers that make me happy and make me laugh all the time.

The one time that does come to mind was a car ride with Becca. We were headed to a jewelry party and got a little lost on the way there. When we found a Boston House of Pizza somewhere in the suburbs, Becca lost it and, laughing hysterically, yelled "BHOP!? WHERE THE HECK ARE WE?!". I lost it too at that point, and the rest of the car ride was filled with tears from laughing so hard. We did make it to our destination. Eventually.

Best Ad

My favorite ads are definitely the ones featuring Mac and PC. Every new commercial that comes out is smart and funny. Being a Mac girl myself, I can obviously appreciate the point being made too.

Best Resolution

Two years ago, I made a resolution that I would not make any more New Year's resolutions. I have to say, it's the only resolution I've ever kept.

I'm excited for 2010 and can't wait to see the changes that will happen this year. Here's to a happy, healthy, and fun new year! Cheers!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best of 2009: Lesson, Gift, Aha!, and Social Web Moment

Best Learning Experience

A combination of things taught me this lesson: do what makes you happy, even if it means taking some risks (actual or perceived risks).

I've always been a people pleaser. I like harmony in my relationships and have always tried to make everyone around me happy. This is exhausting and sometimes (often) meant forgetting about my own needs or wants to make sure everyone else was taken care of. When it's little things that can make someone else's day, then it's just a good feeling. But when it meant forgetting my own goals, I realized it wasn't a good feeling.

Wedding planning really helped me figure out the difference between the important things and the things that could just make others happy too. My mom (love you Mom) was absolutely convinced that I NEEDED an aisle runner for the church. I didn't care or want one because they usually just get caught underneath the dress and pulled along down the aisle. But when the limo company offered to roll one out, we opted to do it and make my mom happy. A little thing that made someone's day.

But, the big discussion that we really struggled with was whether or not to get married in a church, and if we did, what denomination. Without going into details, we ended up in a church, in a denomination that Dane and I identify with, but not necessarily my family. This was important to us and we found what felt like our niche. Countless times I heard (especially from older more traditional relatives) why we shouldn't get married there. My first reaction was to make different plans and go to the church that they wanted. With Dane's help on this one, I held my ground and we ended up with exactly what we wanted. No compromise on that one and it made us happy. Everyone else had to keep their opinions to themselves. And the best part was that it worked out beautifully.

This summer (and I know I've only mentioned this a million times), when Sam and I opened our Etsy shop was another learning experience for me. When I found Etsy I was in awe of all the gorgeous creations that others were selling. I didn't think I could ever find my place among them. What if it wasn't good enough? What if we never got a sale? But we took a chance, and we're loving every second of it. Who would have thought I could sew for the first time in April and have a shop by July?

The point is, risks can be personal relationships, finances, self confidence, or beliefs. But that doesn't mean you should let them keep you from doing something that will make you happy.

Best Gift

Easy one. My sewing machine was a gift to myself and it's become something that I can no longer be without. I don't know how I went so long without it! I love being able to look through fabrics and find ones that suit different people perfectly, then be able to take them home and create beautiful items. Sewing has also given me a different perspectives on buying things, which has been good and bad. When I see a bag I like, instead of looking at the price tag, I now look at how it was constructed to try and figure out how I can do it myself. It's a good feeling to know what you can be capable of if you just try.

Aha! Moment

Though I'm not sure when this actually happened, it may have been one moment in time or a culmination of different things, my aha! moment came when I realized I have options in my career. And that just maybe, I would want to make some changes.

I guess between the wedding and working with the SnowBall, my interest in event planning really blossomed. At my current job I've planned all kinds of events and it's always the most rewarding feeling to see everything come together. These two big events this year let me focus just on the event planning process and made me think about making some changes.

Right now, I'm happy with what I'm doing, but I've realized there are options. And I can always make some changes.

Social Web Moment

This year I discovered Twitter. I never understood what the big deal was. I couldn't figure out what the draw was in following people's thoughts in 140 characters or less.

Now? Can't live without checking it at least a few times a day. I get my news and updates from Twitter, find out what friends are up to, get notified of new blog posts, and can waste hours of time. Twitter is what informed me of the death of Michael Jackson, the passing of Thornton's, and allowed me to be in contact with my KS when she moved. Thanks Twitter.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Best of 2009: Person, Project, Startup, Web Tool

New Person of 2009

The best new people for me this year are my relatives in Ireland. On our honeymoon we finally had the chance to meet these people I'm related to and it was wonderful. They welcomed up with open arms. Going to another country and staying with people you've never met before may sound a little scary, but I knew from the first time I talked with my cousin that it was going to be great. We got to see what life is like for them in their little village and they showed us what it means to be family (no matter how distant or far apart).

Next up, seeking out my relatives in Italy.

Best Project of 2009

By far the project I'm most proud of is We Are Kindred Spirits. I know I talk about it all the time, but going from never having used a sewing machine to opening a shop on Etsy in a matter of a few months was really incredible for both me and Sam. I love every piece I make and find meaning in creating custom items for people. I hope our little project continues to grow so I can keep enjoying it!

Best Startup of 2009

This is just getting started, but I have to say my favorite startup goes to the photographer we used for the wedding, Jessi. She is incredible and had never done a wedding before, but is talented and was eager to try. After Dane and I met her back in July, we knew she had the perfect personality to work with us and had an amazing eye for finding moments that might pass other people by. We ended up with the most beautiful memories of our wedding day, and I truly hope that working with us will open doors for her.

Best Web Tool

The best tool is my iCal on my iPhone which can sync with my Google Calendar. I can't remember things to save my life, so having my schedule in the palm of my hand at any given time is great. Anything worth remembering goes straight into my iPhone, along with all the details, and if needed, a reminder (which is needed more often that not). With everything that I juggle in my life this simple way of keeping it all together is a life saver. Thank you Apple and Google. I love you both more than you know.

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