Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chelsea Clinton's Wedding

I'm not gonna lie, I am excited to see all the pictures from Chelsea Clinton's wedding hit the internet over the weekend, and I am eager to see some of the details in this extremely high profile wedding. However, I am SO SICK of hearing about Chelsea Clinton's wedding!! I have a google alert set for "wedding" and pretty much every single article I've been sent for the past three weeks is about Chelsea Clinton's wedding. Good Morning America and Today talk about it DAILY: Where will it be? Who will be there? How much does it cost? Who's going to wear what? blah blah blah...leave poor Chelsea alone and let her enjoy her wedding. I clicked on an article the other day entitled "Chelsea Clinton's wedding to cost millions" and these were the other articles it took me to:

I would be so upset if I saw those articles right before my wedding. They're not even about the wedding anymore (except the last one)! I'm sure she's used to handling the press, especially negative press. And, I'm sure some would say she's asking for it by having such a public wedding, but those articles have to sting a little! I realize I'm just perpetuating the madness by talking about it even more, but it seems to be the only thing anyone can talk about these days, so why not join in?

If the residents of Rhinebeck are smart, they'll head out of town for the weekend. It's going to be a real shit-show there with press and security. However, I REALLY REALLY think it would be great if the whole Rhinebeck Wedding leak is all a hoax to divert the media, and it's really in some completely other city or state. That would just be impressive. But, apparently tents are going up, roses are coming in, and luxury porta-potties are being installed at Astor Courts, so I don't think that's the case.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mike and Kerry's Engagement Party

Our friends Mike and Kerry, who are getting married next September, 2011 had their engagement party this past Saturday. Mike is one of Chris's oldest friends, and Chris will be a groomsmen in this wedding. It was sooooo hot outside on Saturday, but thank goodness Mike's parents have a new in-ground pool!! We hung out in the pool, drank beers, and tried to stay as cool as possible throughout the day. We arrived at around 3:30pm and didn't leave until 11 hours later at 2:30am after a monsoon came out of nowhere! Chris and I had a ton of fun and, of course, being treated to amazing food all day long didn't hurt either!

Mike and Kerry with their families
Kerry's friends put together a great "How well do you know Mike and Kerry" game that was of course turned into a "How well do you know Mike and Kerry drinking game." It was a great way to get all their friends involved in celebrating their relationship. I was happy that I knew a fair amount of the answers but also learned a lot of things I didn't know about them too!
The "kids" after our game:
Congratulations Mike and Kerry!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Our Engage-aversary Celebration

With a little bit of trickery and some fancy string pulling...I was able to get a 6:30 reservation at Mesa Grill for Chris and me on Friday!! I was sooooo excited and glad we wouldn't have to wait around for 3 hours with our name on a list. Chris drove into the city Friday afternoon and picked me up at work. We drove downtown and easily found a parking spot right down the block from the restaurant.
We were seated right away. I got a glass of some Spanish red wine and Chris got his usual captain and coke. For our appetizer we ordered a Spanish Chorizo Quesadilla with fried egg, smoked tomato salsa, grilled green onion and crispy artichokes. I was skeptical about ordering this, but it was my favorite part of the entire meal!

With our meals, we ordered a side of mashed potatos with green chile queso sauce, and roasted corn with grilled cactus, lime and cotija. (Yea..I don't know what half that stuff is either) But let me tell you...that corn was one of the most amazing things I've ever eaten. I wanted to bathe in it...too much?

I ordered Ancho Chile-Honey Glazed Salmon with a Spicy Black Bean sauce, Tomatillo Salsa and Roasted Jalapeno Crema.

Chris ordered Red and black pepper crusted filet mignon with mushroom-Ancho chile sauce.
For dessert we knew exactly what we wanted. We ordered the same thing we had last year for dessert: Churros dusted with cinnamon sugar and star anise with dark chocolate dipping sauce and two scoops of vanilla ice cream:
I realized that we didn't get a picture of us at our I made sure to get one in the car..not the best picture but at least we got one!
We both enjoyed our entrees, but I wouldn't say we were raving about them. Our favorite part of the meal was the appetizer and the sides. This was a great place to go for nostalgic reasons and good food, but I don't know if we'll be rushing back here. There are tons of other places I want to try that I hear are better. We got in the car to go back home just in the nick of time. It started to storm really bad as soon as we started to drive away, and the storm just continued to pick up the more we drove into Queens. The rain was hitting so hard we could hardly see the road in front of us. And, the lightning was lighting up the entire sky. It was actually a really cool storm...I just wish we could have enjoyed it from the comfort of our own home. On the radio, the announcers kept saying to stay indoors and that parts of New York and New Jersey had tornado warnings! What the heck??
We got home in one piece and hung out with our friends Mike and Kerry at our place for a few hours. It was great catching up with them, we definitely don't get to see them as much as we want to. All in all, we had a successful first engage-aversary celebration! (And I guess only because I'm pretty sure people don't celebrate their engage-aversary's every year.)

I leave you with this amazingly beautiful video that I found over at The Wedding Chicks. Her sister's speech is really beautiful and I can't watch this without tearing up.

Joanna + Dan from Picotte Photography on Vimeo.

Friday, July 23, 2010


I can't believe it, but one year ago Chris proposed to me on vacation at the Atlantic Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas!!

I realized that because I started this blog last August, I never really did give a recap of our amazing "Engagement" trip to the Bahamas. When we planned this trip in late Spring 2009, I thought in my head how awesome it would be if Chris proposed to me in the Bahamas. Of course, I dropped subtle (not too subtle) hints to him by saying things like "Wouldn't it be soooo romantic if we got engaged in the Bahamas?!?!" (told ya I was subtle). Chris would usually just laugh and say something like "yea that's true, but it's just not going to happen...I told you, it will not be until the end of the year," or sometimes he just wouldn't respond at all. Finally, a few weeks before we were to leave, I guess I jokingly mentioned it to him again. I remember that moment so distinctly: we were in his car right outside my apartment in Astoria and it was the final straw with him. He got pretty angry and told me to stop thinking that it was going to happen because I was just getting my hopes up and he didn't want me to be disappointed and ruin the whole trip when it didn't happen. It would happen at the end of the year. End of story.


That was that. I never brought it up again, and though of course I was bummed...I thought "He's right...I can't let that determine whether or not I enjoy my vacation. It will happen when it will happen." So I really, truly, honestly, 100% pushed it from my mind, and was just fine with that. This was a much needed vacation for both of us, and we were going to have a great time!

We could hardly sleep the night before we were to leave and we had to be up at 4am to catch our early flight! I think I got a little under 4 hours of sleep, but we got up, got dropped off at JFK, and were on our way to the Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas!!
The Atlantis should pay me big $$ for all the people I've since recommended this place to. But it really is one of the greatest places on earth (besides Disney World, don't panic Matt!). I don't think I would stay anywhere else in the Bahamas again. Everything you could possibly need is there, and it's a beautiful sanctuary perfect for romantic vacations, but also with sooo much to do if you're there with the whole family. We stayed in the Beach Tower and had an awesome room with a great ocean side balcony!
Our Room
View from our Balcony
By the afternoon on our first day there, we were exhausted. Traveling is tiring and neither of us slept much the night before. I asked for more pillows from the front desk and they said they'd bring them right up to us. Chris passed out for an afternoon nap (in 2 seconds flat per usual). I was close to falling asleep too, but I was trying to stay awake so I'd hear when our pillows arrived. Well....2 hours later, there were still no pillows, I still hadn't taken a nap, and it was time to get ready to go out for the night. On top of that, I discovered that I lost my brand new black cover-up I had literally bought 2 days earlier specifically for our trip. Needless to say...I wasn't in the best of moods.

Chris kept saying over and over that he really wanted me to be in a good mood tonight. He asked that I please, for his sake, try and keep my spirits up because it was really important to him that I be in a good mood and enjoy myself. I guess in retrospect, I should have seen this as a bit of a clue, but I didn't see it at the time. I thought..."He's right. I'm on vacation...enjoy yourself."  So we started freshening up to go out to dinner, gamble, and walk around the beautiful premises. Chris was being really cute the whole time we were getting ready. He was very giddy, very bubbly, and it totally helped me turn my mood around. Finally, at one point as I was doing my hair I said "Boyfriend...can you pass me the hairspray?" I often called him's this thing I do...I call my sister "sister", my mother "motherful" and my father "fatherful". My sister is literally in my cell-phone as "sister". I don't know why I do this, but I do. Anyway, as Chris handed me the hair spray he said "What did you call me?" I said "boyfriend" and he handed me the hairspray with a look on his face that said "interessssting". For the first time that day I thought..."could he??...maybe??? did that just mean what I think it means?" But I quickly told myself I was being paranoid and pushed it from my mind.

I continued to get ready and just as I was about ready to leave, Chris got very serious. I was quite confused as first. He said things like "You know I really, truly love you...right?" to which I looked at him inquisitively and said ".....yesss......I know.....whyyy are you being like this?" Then he'd go on to say something which I would again be like "...yesss....I know...I'm aware." I think I may have blacked out for most of the proposal, I don't really remember at what point I realized what was happening. I think it was when he started to reach into his pocket where I put my hand over my mouth, started to cry and kept repeating over and over again "Are you for real? are you serious? Are you for real?? are you serious?? oh my God!" I know he asked me to marry him...I know I said "Yes"...but those particular moments are sadly a bit hazy for me. I was processing so much at once, and I was shaking quite a bit as well. My fingers were so swollen from being dehydrated and from traveling, etc. so the ring didn't go on right away. But it was beautiful, and it was mine!! I downed a couple glasses of water and that baby popped right on my finger! After we sat down and he told me the whole story of how he got the ring, where he got the ring, who knew, and who didn't know, we both called our parents. Chris had called my parents and "sister" the night before we left to tell them, so they had been waiting for our call.
On the phone with my parents
I really don't like this picture, but I do think it captures the crazed joy that I'm feeling at just being proposed to. It's like my head is about to explode!
Self-portrait of us after getting engaged!
It was soooo weird walking around with an engagement ring on! I remember some people at the Black Jack table we were playing on that night asked us if we were on our honeymoon. We looked at each other and told them "Actually...we just got engaged. hour ago." Of course the whole table got really excited and congratulated us. Anytime someone new would join us, someone at the table would inevitably mention the fact that we just got engaged that night! I also remember later in the night a girl and her boyfriend joined the table. She immediately looked at my hand and said "That's such a beautiful ring" I said "thanks....I just got it tonight!" and her and her boyfriend congratulated us and started asking us all sorts of questions. It was like being a mini celeb for a night!

For the next 5 days we went to the beach, drank lots of frozen poolside beverages, and hung out in the amaaaazing pool area of the Atlantis (honestly, I wanted to be by the pool more than on the beach!) It was a regular water park! They had amazing water slides, water slides with rafts, and an awesome lazy river....
At night, we gambled (we both won big money playing black-jack the night we got engaged. We subsequently lost most of it over the course of the next few nights...but I think we walked away at the end of the week up two or three hundred dollars!) We walked around a lot, stared at the crazy huge yachts that park at the Atlantis Marina, ate lots of amazing food, ordered room service, and had an amazingly romantic trip.

What was really cool about being engaged on vacation and not wanting to use a ton of minutes to call everyone...was that for the next 5 days we were engaged and nobody else knew but us (and our parents). Then, when the vacation was over and we landed back in NY, it was like reliving the excitement of being engaged alllll over again. Texting friends, putting it on phone was ringing non-stop that night. It was so exciting to go home to Molly, who was truly so excited and happy for us. I think hands down, the best and craziest reaction I got was when I went down to see my neighbors, Bruce and Alisha, to give them their "thanks for babysitting the fish" presents. After I gave them their gifts, I stood them in front of me and plopped my hand down right in front of them. They both immediately started screaming at the top of their lungs and jumping up and down with me. I swear, I will remember that moment for the rest of my life.

And so here we are, one year later. Not only are we engaged, but living together! I feel like my cute little Astoria apartment life was yearrrs ago. For our "engage-aversary" we plan to head to Union Square to go to Mesa Grill. Unfortunately, it's restaurant week and they've already been booked for a month!!! (Seriously NYC, it's not special when you have restaurant week every two weeks!! We just had you in June..give it a rest.) Anyway, I'm determined to get a table there even if we have to wait for 3 hours! We chose this place because the last night of our trip was spent at Mesa Grill at the Atlantis and it was our favorite dinner of the week! It was a close race between that meal and the amazing turkey club sandwiches that we ordered through room service...seriously, so. good!!

I've been perusing their menu all week dreaming about what I'm going to order. I'm really excited for our date tonight. I feel like we haven't made time for ourselves to do a date night like this in a while. It's wonderful to have these little milestones to keep us in check, and remind us of why we are here celebrating what we are celebrating in the first place.
<3    300 days!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Well, even though I didn't post at all last week, I actually spent a LOT of time working on some site maintenance stuff, and researching some tools to add to the good old Blog. Now you'll notice a  "sharing" feature after every post and also on the side toolbar. 
I also included a link to my running blog on the side because I'm really getting to the nitty-gritty training again for the Diva Half Marathon on October 3 which I'm soooo excited to be running with two of my bridesmaids: Mal and Mandy! Also, Blogger now allows me to add "pages", so I pretty much copied everything from our knot website (cause I don't really use it/nobody cares) and put the information on here. So, browse the pages above!!

I changed my profile picture for my user profile, and I worked on two posts that I'll be publishing in the next few weeks, and now I'm back to my regularly scheduled programming!

Chris and I went to a Dave Matthews Concert at Citifield on Saturday. Citifield is GORGEOUS, and I was so excited to see the new place. I have yet to see the new Yankee Stadium, and I'm also excited to see there too! The concert was good and I was really excited that they played "Crash Into Me." I knoooow, I know, it's the most overplayed DMB song EVER, but I still like it and I think it's kind of rare that he plays it at his concerts. This song immediately takes me back to those angsty teen years in Jr. High and High school. I listened to the Crash CD for the entirety of Summer 1999, and I also listened to it non-stop on my family vacation to Canada that year. You may also recall my awkward "Crash Into Me" moment with my parents, when I first actually listened to the lyrics. So, it is safe to say that this song is very close to my heart and super fun to listen to live while in the arms of your fiance!

I think that this week will be the official start to honeymoon planning!! The plan is to eat dinner with Chris and his mom tonight and start hashing out our itinerary for our Honeymoon. I don't know if I've actually said where we plan on going, but the plan is........
More Specifically:
Rome, Florence, Venice, Capri and Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre was recommended to me TWICE within the same week as somewhere we must go while in Italy. So, we're going to research that and see if we can fit it in. I mean just LOOK at this picture!

Chris's mom is going to be a huge help with the planning. She's planned two trips to Italy before and is very organized and thorough with her research and planning, so I will definitely be relying on her travel expertise for this part. However, I still plan to do some researching of my own for some restaurants and sites to see while we're there. How did people plan honeymoons before the internet?!?!

Sooo, for anyone out there who's been to Italy, or any of these 5 places within Italy...give me some tips please!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Hotel Booked!

Guess what?? MY wedding dress came in!!! I can't believe it..but it's waiting for me at the bridal salon in Pennsylvania! I'm going to go try it on when I'm home at the end of July...but I'm not sure if I'm quite ready for the alterations process...thhaaaat kind of scares me a little bit right now. So I'll probably wait a few months for that.

Now that I'm onto the more boring aspects of our wedding (hotel, transportation, etc.) it's been a little hard to get overly excited and motivated. Chris and I looked at 4 hotels over the past two weeks to see where we wanted to block off rooms. I know it seems silly to put so much time and thought into a hotel, but it was actually very important for us. We want our guests, and of course us, to be comfortable; we want it to be nice; we don't want it to be overpriced; and hopefully we can be with all our friends there after the wedding and the next morning.

So, after looking at 4 hotels, we finally blocked off rooms at the La Quinta Inns and Suites in Garden City, NY for us and our of town friends and family.
Front exterior
Bar Area- Possible after-party??

I'm very happy with decision and glad that I can stop thinking about the hotel part. In addition, though we haven't actually been able to visit this place yet,  I'm pretty sure we have decided to get our pictures taken after the ceremony at the Clark Botanical Garden in Roslyn Heights. Pray it doesn't rain! We got there just as they were closing on Monday, so we could only peek in. I haven't called to book it because the phone number on their website wasn't work (arrrrg) but I plan on getting a permit soon with them. Look at how pretty it is!

I hope you all have great weekends!! Chris and I are off to Cape Cod with Ben, Kyle, Ashley, and Jeff!! Should be a great weekend full of sun, swimming, food, drinks and undoubtedly lots of wedding talk! (I bet the boys are SO excited.)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ashley and Jeff!

'Tis the season! Yesterday we received Ashley and Jeff's wedding invitation in the mail!! (The white-out spots are obviously from me. We don't need no wedding crashers!!)
Beautiful calligraphy and all tied together by a cute little ribbon
All the components
They even included this adorable little map of the area where we'll be. Ashley's mom drew this!! Kudos to her! Sometimes I wonder how different my life would be if I could draw....sigh...
They are so adorable and I was very excited to mail back my RSVP this morning (I always mail them out the next day I get them.)

Oh and in case anyone was wondering, I'm getting the salmon and Chris is getting the Filet. Is it bad I'm already dreaming about my meal? That's bad, right?

Very exciting!

In honor of Ashley and Jeff's impending wedding, I'm posting this great, beautiful video of a happy couple who just got married:

Bahahahahahha!!!!! ENJOY!