This and That

Apparently I don’t feel like being a “share-er” anymore! Here’s what’s been happening.

We went to my favorite concert EVER. Needtobreathe at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park. They were everything.

IMG_5571We went to Greece. For ourselves.

DSC00282We went to Delaware. For a wedding. Amazing dancing.

IMG_6067We had our fourth wedding anniversary. Scott bought me a trip to Greece for our anniversary.¬† I planned the trip to Greece for Scott for our anniversary. ūüôā

We straight up quit doing work ON the house.¬† Now I’m buying pretty things FOR the house. Guess which I like better. I dare you.

We went to Bermuda. For a wedding. Bermudians=party!

IMG_6191I jumped on the Essential Oils bandwagon. Have only tried what came in the starter kit. I’ve ordered a few more for immune boosting.¬† I can’t handle Scott’s ongoing cough/sniffle that lasts all winter this year.

I started taking spin classes.¬† I love it. Great workout, but it’s such a mental game for me! The first two classes I almost broke down in tears.¬† I think I need to throw some yoga in for good measure.

Family time and mini golf with my pink-loving mini me.

IMG_6053We (I) have had my heart broken by Hokie football.

We (Scott) have had all our (his) dreams come true. The Mets are in the World Series. Lets Go Mets!

IMG_5683We saw Josh Turner right here in our hometown. His {deep} voice is just as good in person as it is on the radio. And it’s an excuse to wear cowboy boots in Jersey.

IMG_6043And I’ve knitted 6 scarves. Help.

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Flashback Friday: Cape May

It’s summer time dreaming around here. Just last weekend we commented that we skipped spring. Scott said it with dismay, and I said, “Good! That is what I grew up with!”¬† Northern Virgina skips rainy springs and skips straight to hot and humid.¬† I love hot, so I love that about it.¬† Well, the weather decided to drop 25+ degrees and rain for the past week here in Jersey.¬† Blergh.¬† And brrr.

So we’re looking back at our vacation to Cape May, NJ last summer.¬† The past 2 summers Scott and I met my family there as a sort of halfway meeting point.IMG_2002

The beaches there are just beautiful and never too crowded.  We stayed right across the street from the beach that year and that made ALL the difference.

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These two.  Always with the playing.IMG_2020

Our vacations are pretty low-key.  Lots of reading while sitting on the beach.IMG_3454

I started the Outlander series on this particular vacation.¬† I’m now on book four (five?).¬† I am happy to have a series and I love the show on Starz.¬† They brought it to life just like I imagined it!IMG_2102 IMG_2101

Here we have an Irishman not in his natural habitat (under the portico).IMG_2100

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We try to do a couple outings because not everyone has my skill for sitting in a beach chair for a week straight.  I highly recommend Cape May Brewery.  IMG_2028

They have great beers (not all IPAs which is my complaint with most microbreweries).  And their complimentary glasses are always a unique shape. IMG_2030

And they grow their own hops on the outside of the converted airplane hangar where they set up shop.IMG_2032

We also like to have at least one seafood dinner out.  IMG_2005

And new last year – SUPPING!¬† Or Stand Up Paddle Boarding.¬† No pics, since only “the kids” went and no one wanted to chance a dropped phone.¬† We did celebrate with post-supping bloody mary’s.IMG_2039

I earned mine.  I ran into a pylon. Twice. IMG_2042

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We have a family fantasy football league.¬† We got to do the draft together in-person that year, which is always fun.¬† My sister had her manager on the line, just like in Draft Day.¬† It doesn’t look like he’s happy with her choice.IMG_2037

Cape May has quite a few wineries, so we decided to try one.¬† I’d prefer not to type the name.IMG_2060

I don’t think the East Coast will rival the West Coast or Europe (or New Zealand – Sauvignon Blanc for the win) for wine anytime soon, but the winery was beautiful. Our sommelier/host was phenomenal and the sangria was good (mom and I took it home and mixed it with sprite!).

We asked everyone their favorite part of the vacation. Megan chose stand up paddle boarding.IMG_2078

Scott said his favorite part was getting a “shiner.” He and my sister were horsing around and Megan clocked him in the face.¬† Or he walked into her fist.¬† There was much debate.¬† Runner up was supping.IMG_2068 Mom appreciated that every single day was “paradise.”¬† I’m not sure we could have asked for better weather.

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And winding out the group, Dad and I both voted for the winery.¬† We both have a slight fascination with France and love to try cheese and wine pairings, so I’m not surprised.IMG_2079IMG_2084We visited the Cape May Lighthouse on our final day.¬† IMG_2116

It’s nice. You get a workout climbing 5,325,8754 stairs.¬† And you get to feel like you are on a field trip again.¬† I mean, there was bird watching.¬† Come on. IMG_2118

It was beautiful, I’ll give it that.IMG_2114

And I can always count on this one for comic relief.IMG_2107 Good vacation, family!!

Blush and Champagne

Two weeks ago, Scott and I were in VEGAS, BABY for Maria’s wedding!¬† We took a 5:30 am flight.¬† From Philadelphia.¬† We left our house at 3:00 am. I couldn’t talk about it leading up to it.¬† My father-in-law is an eminently helpful individual and would bring it up to talk through the logistics and details.¬† Scott would just nod, “Yes, that’s right, 5:30.¬† Yep, from Philly.¬† Yes, we figured out the parking.”¬† I would just walk in the other direction.¬† Not trying to be rude, but it was just my coping mechanism with that hour of the morning!¬† Here I am on flight #2, post-make up-application.

The flight into Vegas was a PARTY!IMG_4520

We stayed at The Venetian and after checking in, headed straight to the pool party at TAO.  This is so far from my realm of comfort.

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But it was a great way to get the wedding guests together in a Vegas atmosphere before everything started.

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We roomed with our new friends, Allie and Todd.  Allie is a fellow bridesmaid (thats how we met) and fellow Hokie.  She lives in the next town (coincidence!) and we decided we must be travel partners throughout all the Miami and Vegas travel for the wedding.IMG_4540

We introduced the husbands once before spending 3 nights in one room together.¬† It went well, but we couldn’t predict just how smashingly they ended up getting along.¬† Todd came into the room and casually said, “I brought American Flag bandanas.”¬† The room went dead silent.¬† And that was when I knew, everything was going to be just fine.IMG_4533After a 2:30 am wake up call and an afternoon in the sun with cocktails, all we could manage for dinner was burgers.¬† They were amazing – definitely try I Heart Burgers if you can.¬† They also had great orange crushes/margaritas.¬† Cause it’s Vegas.¬† This is a Seoul burger (with Kimchi and a fried egg).

And then we went to bed at 8:30. IMG_4549

The next day was nails and rehearsing for the girls and golf, gambling and celebrity-sighting for the boys.¬† Isn’t the day before your wedding such a surreal time?¬† It was fun to spend some quick quiet time with Maria.IMG_4560 IMG_4563

Josh came in during our photo shoot and well, grooms need love, too.

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The fabulous foursome snuck in a little time at the sports bar in the casino.  Did I mention that the Kentucky Derby AND the Mayweather fight were both that weekend?  In the biggest gambling city in the world?

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It was a show.IMG_4569

The girls were so busy with wedding stuff, that we barely got any Vegas time. So we really enjoyed our stroll to and from the rehearsal dinner down the strip.IMG_4574IMG_4577

The desert sunset was just beautiful.  And Las Vegas is really just a playground for adults.IMG_4582

This is becoming gratuitous, but humor me.  We were dressed up and had places to go!IMG_4847IMG_4841IMG_4614IMG_4635

Oh my word, the Bellagio fountains! I was in love.  We stayed for 3 shows.  IMG_4634

Hats off to the designers/choreographers.  IMG_4640

They had classic Vegas-Sinatra, Big Band and the Grand Finale was Whitney Houston singing the National Anthem. We loved it and talked about it for the rest of the weekend.¬† There may have been fountain-inspired dance moves at the wedding… IMG_4622

Now! The reason for the weekend!  Would you just LOOK at that champagne and blush perfection?

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Our bridesmaid gift was this adorable PJ set.IMG_4666

I love it and can see no reason to not always have adorable sleeping outfits. IMG_4660

Here is our beautiful bride!¬† We had a nice, leisurely time getting ready.¬† And in true Maria and Rebecca fashion, the two of us wound up hidden from the make up artists fixing our make up, while having a giggle fit.¬† Don’t stand between us and eyeliner and bronzer, mmkay?

Maria was a beautiful bride, inside and out.¬† I can’t say enough.¬† My iPhone photos don’t do it justice.IMG_4678

The day was just perfect, as was the venue.

IMG_4852IMG_4843These handsome gents were there waiting for us.¬† We couldn’t have asked for a better support team.

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The beautiful bride.  (She had a GoPro in her bouquet Рbrilliant!)IMG_4854

It was a very emotional, beautiful ceremony.  As you can tell by the bridesmaid caught mid-tear brush (that would be moi). IMG_4735

I always try to soak up the messages at weddings, because it makes you treasure your own marriage.

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Speaking of marriage – I wore my wedding shoes again and it was GLORIOUS. IMG_4719

BFFs.IMG_4724

I promise, we talked to other people!  There were some dear lifelong friends there and I soaked up every minute of it.IMG_4734

Patrick is the closest thing to a brother I had growing up.¬† It warms my heart that we are such good friends with each other’s spouses.¬† Jenny and I talked throughout the whole dang dinner.¬† And forget about small talk, this was heart-spilling stuff.¬† And Patrick basically tackled Scott when ‘Enter Sandman’ was played at the end of the night.¬† My heart could explode from the happiness. IMG_4691

Why didn’t I play Enter Sandman at my wedding? Can I even call myself a Hokie?IMG_4726

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Maria had some lovely details.  IMG_4702

I can’t get over the cocktail napkins…Maria loves Josh more.¬† Are you serious right now with the cuteness!?IMG_4706

Dear friends, old and new.

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The cool thing about sharing a middle school & high school with Maria?  Getting to reconnect with your best friend from 7th grade. And marveling that she married a kid you met in kindergarten. And remembering why you got along so well all those years ago.  Hi Thanh and Randy!

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Basically, what I’m trying to say is that we had a good time, to put it mildly.IMG_4721

The Strip by night.¬† IMG_4720It was a wonderful wedding and I’m glad to have shared in Maria and Josh’s special day.

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Best wishes, y’all!¬† LOVE you!

A Love Letter to Maria

I meant to post this last week.  But then I had to whisk away to Vegas, take 2 days off work and you know, still get all of my work done.  So posting about my friend Maria BEFORE she got married did not happen.  But I still wanted to post this little love letter to her anyways.  And then post all of the pink and sparkly pictures from her wedding next week!

Maria and I went to the same middle school, high school AND college (Go Hokies!).¬† But we had to go all the way to France to become friends.¬† We were both Hospitality majors and were mentored by the same fabulous man, Pierre.¬† We were some of his “shining stars.”¬† So when he organized a trip post-graduation to the South of France, we both jumped on it.¬† At one of the planning sessions, Maria approached me and said a shy hello.¬† And then we ran into each other at the airport where Maria and her mom were frantically unpacking Maria’s {overweight} luggage.¬† She stored her hot rollers and comforter in my luggage and the rest is history!

10400681_600286334273_5542_nWe roomed together across St. Tropez, Cannes, Nice and Antibes.

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10400681_600286464013_2669_nWe discovered a love of walking up and down docks admiring boats and yachts.  We each even found the boats named after us.

The Silly Goose.

1923885_601013676673_6066_nAnd the Lazy Princess.

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We ate our weight in olive tapenade, cheese, bread, pizza and more pizza (there is a large Italian influence on the food in the South of France, being so close to Italy.  We embraced it.)10400681_600286518903_5468_nAnd gelato, of course!!

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Our routine was to each get a cone with two scoops of different flavors.  We would then switch cones half way through as we strolled/power walked along the coast for hours.

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We enjoyed the sweet, leisurely way of life in France. We watched old men play bocce ball, we read, laid in the sun, went to the market daily to make the world’s BEST salads for dinner.¬† 1923885_601013886253_4935_n

We shared life stories, our dreams for the future and talked about the men we would both eventually marry.¬† I was there when Maria told her now husband she loved him over Skype, only to have the connection short out directly after.¬† That is what lasting friendships are made of, people.¬† At the end of the trip, we gave ourselves the title, “Best Couple.”¬† And we were ūüôā

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Back stateside, we supported each other through good and bad jobs, moves, new pets and continued to power walk whenever possible.  She taught me the ways of bronzer when my French tan faded.  She taught me it was ok to wear olive green instead of pink, black or white.  I taught her the reverse.  She lets me borrow her clothes at the drop of a hat.  And no one can talk hospitality and service like we can.

When I got married, Maria stood up beside me and was so sweet and supportive through every shower, bachelorette party and little detail. It was even her idea for my hot pink cocktail dress with the rest of the girls in black.  Love.

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She made the trek to Newport, didn’t complain about the windy weather and even let our friend Billy throw her bouquet. ¬† Reception 6

She and Josh visited us in New York and I have such good memories of that trip.  IMG_2101

Still best couple.IMG_2120

And then it was my turn to shower her with pink and sparkle at her bridal shower (she really took to my pink lessons well!), wear sparkly temporary tattoos at her bachelorette and stand up beside her at her wedding.   IMG_4260I love you, Maria!

Easter

I hope everyone had quite the happy Easter.¬† Ours was full of family, jelly beans, good conversations, a great church service and eggs (dying, rolling, throwing, hunting). We spent the weekend in PA at Scott’s brother’s home.¬† Their church held multiple Easter services all weekend.¬† We went to church on Saturday afternoon and it was crazy convenient!

We went out for a family dinner after church in our Easter best.

IMG_4317IMG_4321Would you just look at Scott’s jacket?¬† He’s getting ready for the country club, it seems.

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IMG_4329Dying Easter eggs is a must with littles around.

IMG_4335It’s always fun spending holidays with the little ones.¬† For one thing, Uncle Scott gets to help them get ready for bed.¬† And picks Santa pjs for Easter.

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But you also get to be a part of the magic.  Where did those bunny tracks come from!?

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CANDY!  IMG_4348

Little Man takes after his aunt Rebecca’s love of gummy anything.IMG_4355

And Little Miss obviously inherited the sparkle gene.IMG_4349

Easter egg hunt!¬† We asked Avery how tall the Easter Bunny is.¬† She guessed 9 feet.¬† But it looks like he’s about Uncle Scott’s height…IMG_4362

This is the next big thing in strength training, I’m sure of it.IMG_4380

Who needs Cross Fit?

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So I’m pretty sure that Steph and I did the lion’s share of the cooking.¬† And yet, look who gets the glory.¬† Obviously kidding.¬† The family was very appreciative.IMG_4367

After a delicious brunch, the games began.IMG_4368

The Easter egg roll was my contribution.  Here I am facing off against the reigning champion.  My mother-in-law.  IMG_4382

She won our round.  IMG_4386IMG_4384

And the ultimate winner?  Mark, for the win!IMG_4389

Well.  The next game was an egg toss.  With raw eggs. Partnered with your spouse.  We did two rounds and Scott asked for a new partner after our first round.  #truelove. IMG_4394

Needless to say, we did not go far and I had yolk on my hands.¬† Or I did not throw far enough and Scott’s new shoes almost bit the dust.¬† The wind was against me!

But look at that form!¬† My sister-in-law and her sister started talking about their days playing softball.¬† To which I say, pffft.¬† I’ll challenge you to a ballet duel any day. IMG_4393

Flashback Friday: NOLA

Airplane photos? I’m not usually a fan.¬† Cloud pictures always look the same to me.¬† But would you look at that New York City skyline?¬† photo 4

I couldn’t stop snapping.photo 5

She is just the prettiest.  I may have been feeling sentimental, since I was on my last trip as a working-in-New-Yorker.photo 3

While New York is the Queen, I was stoked that my farewell trip took me to New Orleans.¬† It’s southern, it’s irreverent, it’s got serious soul and a music culture like nowhere else on earth.¬† And they put dilly beans on everything!¬† Salad? Put a dilly bean on it.¬† Bloody Mary? Garnish with a dilly bean!¬† It’s such a special city.¬† Again, don’t let these photos fool you, I was working while there.¬† But a girl’s gotta eat! And drink sweet tea.¬† Lots of sweet tea.photo 5

Best oysters I’ve ever had, hands down.¬† At Cochon.¬† They were wood-fired with chili garlic butter.¬† After Wednesday’s post, I might be in danger of having an oyster-review blog…photo 4

Well, hello, Bourbon street!

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I love a city that wears her jewels.

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And that has not one, but two signature drinks.¬† I was able to sample both.¬† The first was the Hurricane at Pat O’Brien’s.¬† I’ve had them before at a bachelorette party, while touring a cemetery.¬† Never thought I would type that sentence.photo 5

New Orleans also boasts the Sazerac.¬† The Sazerac is “America’s first cocktail” and you simply must have one while sitting in a leather chair at The Roosevelt.¬† Key word for me being one.¬† That thing is strong!¬† It was all I could do to not make a yucky face after every sip.

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Cafe Du Monde. Need I say more?  photo 2

The beignets are the most delicious thing ever. Best served warm with plenty of dips into the bag for extra powdered sugar and a cup of chicory coffee with a generous serving of cream.photo 1 If you ever have the chance to go to New Orleans – GO!¬† I heard some people compare it to Vegas.¬† Sure, if you seek out that atmosphere on Bourbon Street.¬† But I don’t. I enjoy the amazing music you can find in every type of restaurant at all times of day.¬† And the supreme quality of the food and drink.¬† And how everyone there clearly loves their city and want to make sure that you leave loving it as much as they do (see: the amazing conversation I had with my cab driver on the way to the airport).¬† I mean – you can hire your own parade there!¬† I may have followed a bridal party dancing down the street with their own band!

So yes, please go.  And invite me to come with you!

Disneyland Adventures and California Dreaming

I went to DIsneyland!
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This fall, I was able to bookend a work trip to Anaheim, CA with trips to Disneyland and California Adventure.  I was there with my {then} supervisor and {still} friend who is also a Disney fanatic.  It felt like we hit the jack pot.  photo 5

Since it was October, the park was all done up for Halloween.

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Even the haunted mansion had been taken over by the Nightmare Before Christmas characters.  Not just the mansion but the entire ride.
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Not everything was Halloween-themed though. ¬†Some standbys were their usual selves, like the Tiki Room and Small World. ¬†I wasn’t expecting big things from Small World, but I have to tell you, it might have been my favorite ride! ¬†It’s been redone and they added the Disney movie characters into the scenes of all of the countries. ¬†Here’s Simba and Pumba.photo 5

The Little Mermaid! ¬†I’m not sure which country she was supposed to be in.photo 1 Aladdin!photo 3

And they added America to the ride!  There was a farm scene, mountains and cowboys and Native Americans.  I think the Native Americans were Tiger Lily and gang from Peter Pan and Woody and Jessie were the cowboy faction, obviously.photo 2

During our work time, we even got to have dinners at some of the Disney-themed restaurants. ¬†I’d never been to a Trader Sam’s but luckily I was with a pro.photo 2

While it is a themed restaurant, it is definitely for adults only. ¬†Completely decked out in tiki-Hawaiian-polynesian-ship wreck chic, it was a 360 degree fully interactive experience. ¬†My friend’s seat at the bar would suddenly start to lower, there was a song to accompany every drink order, sometimes with sprays of water, live-action volcanic photos and an indoor thunderstorm. ¬† ¬†photo 4Ordering a drink caused such a stir, that they had to come in a worthy glass. ¬†Each drink has a corresponding glass, which you can purchase, of course. ¬†And they were limited edition, naturally. ¬†I bought the one on the right. ¬†I thought it would be fun at Halloween but didn’t creep me out too much.
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Delicious food and crazy bars aside, lets focus on my favorite part of the trip.  That time we deemed plastic crowns beneath me and asked where to find real, sparkly crowns.
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At Disney, they didn’t even bat an eye at that request. ¬†The crown display was next to the real jewelry and crystal stemware, but of course.¬† And it was magical.¬† Everyone should have the chance to try on this many crowns.photo 4

We also spent a bit of time at California Adventure.photo 3There’s more grown up fun and less of a “magical world” feel to it.photo 2

photo 1However, I would recommend that you definitely make a stop at Radiator Springs from Cars.  It was like stepping into the movie come to life!
photo 5It was actually quite amazing.photo 3And the Cars ride really takes it over the edge. ¬†You are in a race car, racing other people on another track. ¬†You come up close and personal with a life size animatronic ‘Mater, Lighting McQueen and Porsche. ¬† I’m not kidding about the life-size. Definitely go, if you have a Cars fan in your life.photo 2

All in all, this princess was grateful for an unexpected chance to go to Disney again. ¬†I didn’t think I would get the chance as an adult with no kids to use as an excuse! ¬†photo 3

It was a real treat and renewed my wonder in all things Disney, sparkle and magic.photo 1