Jersey and Queens

Oct 8, 2014

This past weekend was nothing short of amazing. I had an incredible time catching up with family, celebrating my cousins wedding, and enjoying the cool fall weather that has already crept into the tri-state area. While we were away, Florida had it's first "cold" front with temperatures in the 60's meanwhile we were enjoying the 40's on a balcony overlooking all five boroughs. I don't think we missed anything, except Mordechai.

We spent some time in New Jersey enjoying a bottle of wine over dinner with my family and enjoying drinks with a friend's family. We walked through a local park enjoying the moms running by with strollers after school and young teens that made picnics in the woods, taking photos together. We stumbled upon a family of deer deeper in the woods and enjoyed crossing the river that runs through the park. The leaves crunched under my feet and they were all different colors, it was beautiful. We don't get that in Florida and it makes me so nostalgic for home (New York). 

We took a train, the subway, and a bus to get to our hotel for the evening of my cousins wedding in Queens. Other family members were staying at the hotel so we continually ran into one person after another in the lobby and in the restaurant. Soon enough it was time to change into our evening wear for the ceremony at a Greek church, and the reception in a building that overlooks some monuments from the 1964 World's Fair in NYC. We could see the ruins of the observatory (they were in the Men In Black movie) and the wedding party took photos at the Unisphere. We enjoyed a cocktail hour that put our Florida dinner receptions to shame with Greek and Brazilian appetizers, towers of vegetables and cheese, beef and lamb under heat lamps, and a suckling pig (S enjoyed a crispy ear). The spread went on for days while an old man in the corner made awesome caipirinhas. Even over the loud music, he heard our drinks every time.

Not only was my cousin beautiful with her hair and makeup done and in a gorgeous dress, but from beginning to end it was all just so much fun and smiles all around. My favorite part by far was when my cousin surprised her husband (!) with a grooms cake - a custom he didn't even know about. The grooms cake was topped with a skull and had Misfits lyrics all over it, an homage to the grooms love of punk rock. During the cake cutting, the DJ played Misfits' We Are 138 and the groom stabbed the cake. Inside, appropriately, red velvet. 

Doggie Photo Shoot

Oct 1, 2014

Our wedding photographer is the most wonderful, down to earth, kind, and talented person. Live Happy Studio offered us a family session to celebrate our new pup, Mordechai, and I was so happy to take her up on it. We decided to shoot around the house and our neighborhood because I know that's where Morty is most comfortable, especially only having him less than two months. We got some ice cream cones and gelato and shared with him. Like I said before, it was so nice to have photos of Mordechai with both S and I. I love how expressive Morty is. The photo of him on the couch, smiling? He's been sleeping on the couch at nights ever since. 

Another week, another whirlwind. Last Thursday, my dear friend came into town to start her wedding weekend! We re-purposed the glass vases that I used for my own wedding and we accented them with her burgundy and gold color scheme by using crushed pyrite and burgundy floating candles. Everything came out beautiful! It rained on her wedding day like it rained on mine, but it was still the most wonderful wedding. I didn't know all of her extended family but in these last few months as a bridesmaid, I got to know my fellow bridesmaids and enjoyed their fun company. I got to know the parents, especially the mothers, and siblings and learn about all of them and their lives miles away. It's incredible seeing all these people joining from across the miles just to celebrate two lovely people that fell in love. 

At the ceremony rehearsal, it was nice to be on the wedding party side. The event coordinator at that venue was doing everything I would have, except he didn't remind the bridesmaids to smile (which I did). I designated myself the rehearsal dinner photographer to make sure my friend would have many memories to look back on of her wedding weekend. At the rehearsal, all of us bridesmaids received a gift, a burgundy and gold Corning glass necklace, which our friend had custom made by a glass maker at the museum she worked at. It's a gorgeous necklace to remember the wedding by. 

The day of, we enjoyed mimosas and getting our hair done. It was a day of pampering followed by a champagne toast in a quick limo ride to the venue. The ceremony quickly came and went, as well as the reception of dancing and a delicious dinner and drinks. It was such a wonderful evening, I wish it never ended and that all weekends could be like that.

All photos on this post were taken by Live Happy Studio.

Weekend Recap: Happy Hour

Sep 22, 2014

This past weekend was surely a whirlwind. Friday we went out for dinner together at a pho restaurant we've been meaning to try. Although it wasn't the best pho broth that we've ever had, the meal was a great deal for our dishes and a bottle of sake to share. It was nice to go out to eat, just the two of us, trying a new place like we used to do all the time. 

Saturday, we brought Mordechai to GPA GO which  is where we adopted him so that he could visit with some of his kennel-mates. We also had a wedding that evening for a friend that I went to college with. She and I had classes together every semester so naturally, we'd always sit together. She was the first person that I ever met that had a blog and by being able to chat with her about it, it gave me the confidence to blog as well. She was there for me during my entire wedding planning process, so it was wonderful to see her own wedding day come together. Her reception had twinkle lights strung on the ceiling, just like our reception did and it was a magical ambiance. I've never seen her smile so much and I am so happy for them!

After the wedding, we went downtown with friends to some bars. It's great to be able to walk from our house where it's a little quiet and sleepy, to a few blocks over where it's downtown and bustling. We tried a cigar bar for the first time, grabbed a slice of our favorite pizza in the area, and made our way to our favorite bar where they serve absinthe. They laid a slotted spoon across the top of the glass with a sugar cube and poured the absinthe over top. After it was drenched with alcohol, they lit the sugar cube on fire and it glowed blue with red smolders. Off to the side was an absinthe fountain filled with ice water. The base was silver with a gilded woman holding up the taps. The bartender opened a tap and let the water slowly drip over the sugar cube until it disintegrated. It was a theatrical show that ended in licorice goodness. 

On Sunday, we started the morning with a doggie photoshoot. Our wedding photographer, Live Happy Studio offered to do a family session for us since we have our new addition, Mordechai. We took her up on it because we would love some photos of him with the both of us! Normally, I'm behind the camera or I persuade S to snap a few shots of me and Morty. 

Later in the day, we had doggie training! GPA GO recommends a company that had a great introductory, at-home training session. Turns out, we have a quietly dominant dog on our hands. He tends to ignore our commands and does things on his own time. The trainer taught us training techniques to show more leadership with Mordechai so that he realizes that things will be on our time. We're already seeing progress with him walking by our side steadily, but we still need to work on the "come here" command. But overall, he's a sweet dog who needs leaders to teach him the way. I'm already proud of his little accomplishments!