♥ Love Birds in NYC ♥

Image

We attended the most opulent wedding this weekend for my co-worker, Justin, and his fiancé, Marcella.  It was the bees knees, the mack daddy of all weddings, really something special and I wanted to share with all of you.  First, we headed to Yonkers where the ceremony was held.  It was in the sweetest little church – St. Anthony’s.  This was Marcella’s childhood church where she attended catholic school.

Image

The service was “short” for a catholic ceremony and I have to say it was beautifully done.  The decorations were minimal and Marcella’s dress was gorgeous!

Image

After the ceremony, we headed over to Del Frisco’s Steakhouse for a pre-cocktail reception drink!  Their ‘VIP’ is yumm-o and all you need is one 😉  We also had a bite to eat since we were starving.  If we had known what we were in for at the cocktail reception then I’m sure we would have waited to eat anything!

     Image Image       Image

After Del’s we hopped in a cab and rode over to The Pierre where the cocktail hour and reception would be held.  We walked through the doors, checked our coats and there it was…a sigh from the heavens – lamb chops station, raw bar, antipasto station, two ice sculptures, full drink bar, fried food bar, the list goes on and on.  Everything was tasty…everything!

We were able to snap a few pictures and even grab the groom (Justin) for a quick pic!

 IMG_1148[1]   IMG_1149[1]   IMG_1147[1]

After a couple drinks and some grub we made our way into the reception area.  It was some walk…

               IMG_1151[1]                     IMG_1152[1]

We walked into what I think is the nicest wedding I have ever attended.  From the lighting to the cake, the bride planned everything to a T!  The tables were decorated with candles and white flowers.  Chandeliers hung flawlessly from the ceiling.  The lighting was placed just right to highlight all the best elements of the wedding.

IMG_1156[1]   IMG_1175[1]   IMG_1158[1]

IMG_1154[1]   IMG_1155[1]   IMG_1160[1]

The wedding party was announced and the bride and groom proceeded to entertain us with a wonderfully choreographed song which was a culmination of weeks of dance lessons.  It was a beautiful moment for them and they did a great job!  There were about 220 guests at the reception so you can imagine how tight it was on the dance floor.  Over half of those guests were Sicilian and the rest were Canadian; needless to say, there were A LOT of people dancing!

IMG_1176[1]

After the first dances and speeches, the food began to arrive.  There was a crab salad, mushroom and asparagus risotto, choice of fish or steak and a dessert.  Oh, I’m sorry, did I say ‘a’ dessert???  I meant an array of desserts – petits fours, caramel lava cake, wedding cake, espresso bar, and butler passed ice cream cones!  The service was impeccable.  Two waiters to every two tables and the drinks were never empty.  I think that is almost unheard of at a wedding.  Then, if that weren’t enough, the servers started passing out mini bottles of Grey Goose and Patron in frozen shot glasses – the shot glasses were completely made of ice!  :O  What!?!

IMG_1180[1]

Midnight rolled around and not even that double shot cappuccino could keep this woman awake!  I had to say my goodbye’s and head back to the hotel.  Congratulations Justin & Marcella!  We had a great time and you definitely wow’d me.

Here’s to the new Mr. & Mrs.

IMG_1170[1]

Decorating My Mantel

IMG_1069

I have been trying to find some new and interesting ways to decorate my mantel without breaking the bank.  It would be ideal to find something for each season rather than each holiday worth decorating for (Christmas, Valentines, Easter, July 4th, etc.).  How do you decorate your mantel?  Do you change it for each holiday?  Do you leave it the same year after year? Or are you so exciting that you redecorate every week???

Pinterest is always really great inspiration for me.  I have pinned a few cute ideas for decorating a mantel, but a lot of the redecorating requires purchasing new products.  Can you redecorate using existing items in your home?  What are some items you have repurposed for your mantel?  I would love to be able to craft more items for my mantel as well, but working and being a mom leave little time for that.  I have learned the hard way – you should see the stacks of “projects” I have left to finish in my office!  😮

As you can see, I try to definitely include as many pictures of Fisher as I can.  😉  Most of the other items were gifted to me.  Are the wooden branchy things even in style anymore?  I believe I purchased the red vase from Goodwill about 8 years ago; the purple vase was a gift from my in-laws; and the tan/green swirly vase was a gift from my BFF (Dana).  The owl was a gift from Nate’s aunt for Christmas.  She always comes up with really interested and eclectic gifts.  The Christmas cactus was from my mother-in-law.  I mentioned to her that I would love to have a piece from hers to start my own and she went and bought me a whole plant!  I love those when they bloom (not to mention they are super easy to care for).

  ImageImage

The mirror above the mantel was purchased from Kohl’s.  I had it in our previous home on a main wall of our living area.  I really love the way it pops with warm colors.  I am a warm-color-kind-of-girl!  The various pictures frames were from Target (probably on clearance!).

One last thought…painting a fireplace surround – yay or nay?  Would you leave it white?  I kind of like how the white makes it pop, but sometimes I wonder if we should have painted it a color to go with the mirror above the mantel or another color in our living room.

What are you opinions of my mantel?  I would love to hear what improvements you suggest.  If I end up making any changes I will definitely do an update.  Can’t wait to hear what you think I should do!

Someone Has 6 Teeth!?!

Image

If you follow me on Instagram then you will have seen the crazy picture of Fisher having actual “people food” for breakfast on Sunday.  That’s because we found out the little booger officially has 6 teeth! 

My mother-in-law called me at work on Friday and noticed that he was playing with his ear – it was red, warm and he was grabbing at it.  He was also fussy and seemed like he might be running a fever.  I know, your probably thinking the same thing we both were – that he had a dreaded ear infection 😮  So, I called the doctor and they fit me in early on Saturday morning to get a look at the little guy.  I left work in a rush to go pick him up so we could get home to cuddle and make it feel all better, but when I showed up at my in-laws, he seemed better???  He slept well that night and showed no signs of the symptoms he had during the day.  We thought it might just be teething since he was getting his top, front teeth in.  Teething symptoms can be very strange.  However, we decided to keep our appointment at the doctor just to be safe.

We were up bright and early on Saturday morning and off to the doctor.  We settled into the exam room and played for a bit before Dr. Jen showed up.  She took a look at his ears…all good; next, his throat…nothing there; then, to our amazement, she said…”aw, yep, that’s it – I would say he officially has 6 teeth.”  “I’m sorry,” I said, “could you repeat that”?  “Yes,” she said, “6 teeth.”  We were shocked!

At first, I felt badly that I didn’t know my own child had 2 additional teeth coming through.  I mean, what kind of mother am I!?!  Then, I realized it was a two person job to check his mouth so how could I know.  Needless to say, I was excited for him.  Yay, my little man has 6 teeth!  Nate said he thought I might go around the office giving all of the nurses and doctors high fives.  (I might have!)

To me, 6 teeth means more mature foods – things he can chew.  So, we decided to make pasta for dinner that night.  That didn’t go over very well…Then, we decided to try french toast and eggs for breakfast.  Yummy…did he love that!  It was too cute watching his little hands pick up the french toast and mush the eggs between his fingers.  What a mess!

6 teeth also means that my baby is getting bigger.  I just try to remind myself…enjoy every moment, Alison, enjoy them all.

Quick & Delicious Farro Salad (Uno’s Copycat Recipe)

Image

They have a healthy side option at Uno’s called the Farro Salad.  It is delish!  I usually get the roasted vegetable wrap with the farro salad on the side.  It is the perfect amount and just the right flavors.  With spring right around the corner (fingers crossed!), this is the perfect combination of comfort and fresh rolled into one!

Since we have had some sunny days and warmer weather, I thought I would try my own little version to see if it would be as tasty.  Here is what I did:

Trader Joe’s has a 10-minute Farro that I picked up during my last shopping trip.

Image

Super simple, super easy.  Just boil water:

Image

Add farro:

Image

Boil for 10-12 minutes (according to package directions) and then drain.  That’s it in a nutshell.  Now, to make it similar to Uno’s recipe, I added a bit of olive oil (2 Tbsp.), balsamic vinegar (2-3 Tbsp.), and salt + pepper to taste.  Then I used persian cucumbers and grape tomatoes from Trader Joe’s to add some freshness.  The end product was perfect when we paired it with our Mahi Mahi fillets from Trader Joe’s!

ImageImage

I hope you get a chance to try this delicious comforting and fresh side with your next meal!  Bon Appetite!

How many chocolate chips do you prefer!?!

I had some baking adventures today – chocolate chip cookies and chocolate chip banana bread.  Yumm-o!

My husband is such a snob when it comes to his chocolate chips to cookie ratio and he prefers just 3 chocolate chips per cookie (sometimes only 2 depending on how large the cookie is).  That is about 1 chocolate chip per bite if your trying to calculate!  I realize that may seem daunting to some of you, but really I just don’t mix in the chocolate chips with the cookie batter.  I wait until they are scooped out on the cookie sheet and then gently and precisely place 3 chocolate chips on each and every cookie (evenly spaced 😉 ).  For those of you wondering – I used Tyler Florence’s chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Image

So this little quirk of his got me thinking; how many chocolate chips do you prefer!?!  I know some people that would rather have more chocolate than cookie and now that I have married one, I know some that would prefer less chocolate.  Nate is really not a chocolate person to begin with so it makes sense.

Here is a pictures of the chocolate chip banana bread.  I used a recipe I found on Pinterest and you can see the pin from the blog post from Serenity Now here.  It’s delicious!  I’ve made it several times and several different ways.  This time I omitted the peanut butter chocolate chips and opted for semi-sweet chips rather than milk chocolate.  Simply because that was all I had!  It was delicious – even received a call from the hubby this morning telling me what a delight it was 🙂

Image

I just love baking.  Wish I had more time to do it!  Hope you all have a wonderful day and would love it if you shared some of your delicious baked goods.

Grocery Hauls! and Review of Products???

Image

I just love doing my grocery hauls.  What is it about a huge bounty of food to fill up your refrigerator that puts a giant smile on your face!?!  Come check out some of the different hauls I post on my YouTube page.  I am wondering if people would be interested in a review of some of the products that I buy?  I don’t think any of the items I get are that interesting or different, but I don’t know how helpful those kinds of reviews are.  Please post a comment to let me know if you would be interested in a review of the products.  I can post a video and do a coordinating blog post with it.  Hope to hear from some of you! 🙂

Fisher’s 9 Months Old!

Image

My baby is growing up so fast!  He was officially 9 months old on February 10th and we recently had a photo session with Kristina Hall Photography.  She is amazing with him and takes the sweetest pictures!  Let me tell you that it does not get easier to photograph them as they get older – all of the moving around is just crazy, but they do have more facial expressions and are able to do more so you have better options.  Needless to say, it was challenging, but we got some great photos!  Now we have to plan for his 1st Birthday photos (EEK!).

It is difficult to try to describe how the time has flown by.  I think when people use that expression they say it with regret like they didn’t get to do everything they wanted in the 9 months or however long the time period may have been for them.  I feel like it has been 9 months for sure, but that I do have a few regrets in terms of how my time has been spent throughout those 9 months.  Did I get full satisfaction out of my time with Fisher???  I will never get that time back so it is important that I am happy with it.  Well, I probably could have done more in those 9 months, but I just need to continue to make the most of these oh so important “baby years” with him and with our little family.

So we move forward…we move onward…c’est la vie!!!  Off to very exciting moments watching him crawl all over the house and begin to pull up and let go and all kinds of fun things.  Fun food explorations…new sounds and new words.  His expressions are priceless!  We just continue to make those memories and enjoy our time together.

Is it time for a new addition!?!