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Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all! Especially my family, who I am missing this weekend...
And hoping that Santa brings you all everything you wished for...
I hope you fill your bellies with lots of good treats...(like Christmas Rocky Road Fudge!) YUM!
And lots of good cheer
Look! I found a use for our leftover Pilsner centerpieces from the wedding!
Here's to our favorite Christmas movies!

ELF 
Buddy: I thought maybe we could make ginger bread houses, and eat cookie dough, and go ice skating, and maybe even hold hands.  
 Buddy: First we'll make snow angels for a two hours, then we'll go ice skating, then we'll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookiedough as fast as we can, and then we'll snuggle.
A Christmas Story
Ralphie as Adult: Immediately, my feet began to sweat as those two fluffy little bunnies with a blue button eye stared supply up at me.
Mother: Come down so I can see you better.
Ralphie as Adult: I just hope Flick would never spot them as a word of this humiliation could make easier in life at G. Harding School a variatable Hell. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Splitting up the Holidays

I have a confession: Chris and I have been together 7 years and we have never spent a holiday together, until this past Thanksgiving.
Both of us are deeply entrenched in our family's traditions and neither of us were willing to sacrifice that time with them. So every year I went home to Pennsylvania to spend the Holidays with my family and Chris celebrated with his family in New York. We told each other year after year "We're not dealing with it..until we have to", and now that we're married: well, we have to.

Though it may seem strange to some, I'm really happy we waited to celebrate together until now. For one, it gave me some great alone time with my family around the holidays that I wouldn't normally get, and made those holiday's all the more special to me as I knew we only had a handful of them left as just"us". I'm also glad it was a mutual understanding between us. Neither of us were "sacrificing" or "giving in" to make the other happy - we were doing what was right for both of us, and never held it over the other person's head. But the best reason for waiting to spend the holiday's together is that I am SO very excited for the upcoming holidays because I'll finally spend them with Chris. It's a new thing to look forward to and the start of our holidays together as we know them, as a family.
So this year, we both spent Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania and we will now celebrate Christmas in New York. We will probably alternate those holidays each year, depending on where Christmas falls in the week. Being 2 1/2 hours apart, it's not worth trying to split up the one day between the two families. That would make for an exhausting and stressful holiday.
Last year's Christmas was very bittersweet for me, as I knew it would be the last one as just me, my parents and sister getting up on Christmas morning to open gifts. And though it's still bittersweet for me this year...I have to say that I am extremely excited to wake up Christmas morning next to my husband and for us to celebrate Christmas morning with our puppy, Zoey.

How do you split up the holidays? Will this be your first holiday away from your family?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Saying "I do": The Stats!

I initially started this blog to keep my parents in Pennsylvania up to date on our New York wedding plans. I never expected for it to turn into a way to share and connect with other brides the way that it did. I've met some wonderful people through "Saying 'I do'" and absolutely love that I have a place where this entire experience is captured forever. Through the blog, I was able to do giveaways, score freebies, write for other blogs, and have some elements of our day featured.
Features:
  • I did 30 unique blog posts for Weddzilla.com 
  • I was a featured Blogger for The Knottie Diaries at Theknot.com 
  • I blogged for GetMarried.com  
  • Our Save The Dates were featured at Wedding of the Season
  • Our DIY Calligraphy projects were featured at Lettering Art Studio
  • I was a featured "Bio of the Week" on WeddingBee
  • At least 20 ideas from my blog have been pinned to Pinterest. Not a LOT, but pinned non-the-less!

  • Site Visits:
    • Over the past 2 1/2 years, I've gone from having 300 visits a month, to well over 2000 visits a month.
    • The most visits I had in one month was 2,589 in April 2011
    •  I have accumulated 2,814 comments  
      • 320 of them are from my mom
    • What started as 1 follower (Hi mom) has grown to 139 and 181 unique RSS Subscribers
    • People from the following countries have visited my blog: the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, Italy, India, Ukraine, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Belgium, Taiwan, Czech Republic, Brazil, France, and many more...
    • This is my 330th post
    • I've had almost 83,000 total visits to my site
    • My top 5 most popular posts of all time were:
      Wednesday Wedding Poll: Crying
      To cake topper or not to cake topper?

      Internet and Anemone Addiction

      Bridal Shower Hostess Gifts

    • These were most visited because of Google image searches. Many brides Google image search cake toppers, anemones, and bridal shower hostess gifts. The Crying Poll? I'm just not sure why that is the most viewed post but apparently, people are very interested in knowing if they will cry on their wedding day.

      Source
      True story: I got a ton of traffic to this post because I have a picture of "Michelle Tanner" from Full House. Not sure if I want to know why so many people are Google image searching her...

      So there's a little Saying "I do" trivia for you! Make a little drinking game out of it this holiday season! 

      Do you keep track of your blog's stats? What program(s) do you use?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

And they lived happily ever after...

Cheesy title for today, but it was way more romantic than "The End." Alternate title consideration was "To Be Continued..."
Well here I am at the very end of my wedding recaps. I literally do not have any more to share with you about our wedding. I have shared every last detail of our day with you and now 55 posts and 23 Friday Finds later, I am literally at the end...in a somewhat symbolic end to 2011.

It's been a great journey so far, and you have been with us every step of the way. You were with us when we got engaged in the Bahamas
After visiting 13 venues, we finally decided on The SandCastle in Franklin Square, New York.
You were there for our TWO engagement parties:
We had our engagement pictures taken at Wagner College:
And we sent out our save-the-dates
We picked our band, photographer, florist, and hotel and I had my bridesmaid dress fitting day:
We had our cake tasting!
I found my wedding day shoes!
You were there when I picked my dress! (Even though I made you wait to see it!)
You saw us mail out our invitations:
You were with me for my Bridal shower
You were there when my mom finally picked her dress!
You were with us when we got our marriage license
You traveled along to Atlantic City for my Bachelorette party!
You witnessed Mickey and Minnie personally wish us a happy marriage!
You were there when we hit the 30 day mark!
You helped me pick out which Guest Book to have!
You saw every last detail of our wedding
And traveled to Italy with us on our Honeymoon
Thank you for following us on this incredible journey...the laughs, the tears, the stress, the excitement, the love!!!

But this is not the end of Saying "I do"! There are over 50 blogging brides for 2012 over on my Blogging Brides page, and I so look forward to following them all as they count down to their big day in 2012. I love weddings, and with all the weddings Chris and I will be attending in 2012, you can be sure I will still have LOTS to share!!
To be continued...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday Find: Roller Coaster Wedding

I don't have a post ready for today, so I'm sharing another wedding find! Despite the fact that this couple seems slightly odd....This is certainly interesting.I like the fact that right after they say "I do" they head off on this roller coaster ride...quite symbolic!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Find: Disneyworld Proposal

Friday Find: A Trash Can Proposal in Disney World! I've seen this talking trash can before in Disney and have always thought it was so funny. So clever to incorporate it into his proposal! Only in Disney World right? God I love Disney....

Part 1:
Part 2:
Happy Weekend before Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wedding Gifties!

Chris and I are very blessed and we got some amazing wedding gifts from our friends and family. My parents got us this beautiful Waterford candy bowl, which is currently holding Christmas balls and candy so you can't really see the beautiful designs on the bowl, but it's been a perfect addition to our home!
 

Molly and Mark had this really awesome artwork made for us! It has all the details of our wedding day and it's in our wedding colors! It's kind of like an official, beautiful marriage certificate! I WILL hang this in our room this weekend!

My Uncle John and Aunt Margaret live in Hong Kong. They brought back this beautiful vase, which I have a poinsettia arrangement in right now:
 The vase is gorgeeeous!
Our friend, Danielle, made this candle by wrapping our invitation around it and adding some embellishments!

Christina and Kenny got us this adorable plaque:

But some very special gifts were the ones that Chris and I got for each other. I got Chris a new engraved money clip. He is very difficult to shop for, and I had to really try and think of something that he could use that would be special. I got him a nice money clip from Hammacher Schlemmer and had it engraved with his initials at Things Remembered.
Source
100 dollar bill not included :(
On the morning of our wedding, Chris had his brother drop a gift off at the house for me! I was expecting a new watch, which I had hinted made very clear I wanted.
But when I opened the box and it wasn't my new watch, I really couldn't be too upset when I saw these beautiful diamond earrings instead!
diamond earrings Laura
diamond earrings
Every time I wear these...I think of our wedding day, and as a result, these are extremely special to me. Kudos to the Hubby!

Did/Will you exchange gifts on your wedding day?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Presents for Zoey

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program to show off Zoey's first Christmas presents!! I participated in the Canine and Kitty Gift exchange hosted by Gator Tales and KJPugs.

I was paired with Elle and her dog Charlie Brown from ElleSees, who has an amazing fashion blog (seriously check it out!). I came home on Monday to a box at my door and Zoey was super excited to see what was inside for her! She was immediately curious about these new toys. Chris and I left her to play with them while we prepared the rest of our dinner when all of a sudden we heard whimpering coming from the living room. We rushed in to see what was wrong, but she was still happily playing with her toys...I'm pretty sure she was crying from sheer excitement.

Like the little lady that she is...her favorite of the three was the ice skating boot..she loves her shoes!
Not sure which one to play with next...


 I love how she holds her toys
In addition, Elle included a recipe for Salt Dough ornaments to make an imprint of Zoey's paw in the dough for her first Christmas.
Salt Dough Recipe (Yields 15 ornaments)
4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup salt
1 1/2 cup warm water

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. Mix flour and salt. Gradually add water and mix well. Finish mixing and kneading with hands
3. Roll onto floured surface and cut into shapes (press Zoey's paw into the dough)
4. Place on cookie sheet, make hole in top with a toothpick or straw
5. Bake 1 hour or until hard
 I remember making these as a child and I will definitely be making these this weekend, I can't wait!

Thanks Elle and Charlie!!
 
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