Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Motto Today


Thanks for all the birthday wishes!  xoxo

Friday, July 27, 2012

Christmas in July!

I am so excited for the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics tonight that I seriously feel like a kid on Christmas!  It's hereeeee!  It's finally HEREE!!!!

Now how the hell am I going to make it through work all day?!

(Side note: did you know hell was the first curse word I ever said?  I was probably around 10.  We were up at our Pocono house when I said out nowhere, "it's hot as hell in here!"  I obviously didn't know that was not something appriorate to say...  And I think I got my mouth washed out with soap??)

Anyways, what are your summer olympic favorites?  Mine are, without a doubt, swimming, gymnastics and of course, soccer! 

I can't wait for the Phelps / Lochte showdown, And I'm anxious to see Matt Grevers swim the 100m backstrock because I just recently learned that Nate swam against him in the NCAA championships when he swam for Penn State his freshman year of college...and was touched out by .01 of a second (!!).  (He also swam against Michael Phelps when he was 12 years old...and beat him!  Now that's a cool claim to fame, huh?!)  Oh and Natalie Coughlin, even I have a girl crush on you! :)

Mmm...swimmer bodies!

Was anyone else as glued to the U.S. women's gymnastic trials as I was?  Poor Nastia...  And although I'll definitely miss getting to watch another Shawn Johnson performance, hello Gabby Douglas!  She seriously won me over as her new biggest fan! 

I'm still a bit disappointed the U.S. men's soccer team is not making an appearance, but the U.S. women's team is already giving us plenty to cheer about!!  Looking forward to watching more from these ladies!

Other events I'm really looking forward to?  Diving, the triathlon, and track and field!

Do you have Olympic fever?!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

On Pregnancy And...Before We Were Expecting

The month after our wedding, I had my annual exam at the lady doctor.  After catching up with the doc on what I had been up to - oh you know, just got married and had the most amazing honeymoon in Fiji! - he immediately took out his prescription pad, wrote one out for prenatal vitamins and handed it to me saying "Oh, then you'll be needing this!"

I laughed out loud.

Although we were planning on starting our family soon, that length of time had not exactly been defined yet...and I surely hadn't mentioned that to him!! 

Heck, I still hadn't even unpacked my bags yet!

But he said I should start taking them anyway - never too soon to start.  And I headed out of the office thinking "Wow, before these appointments used to be all birth control and the moment I mention I got married they switch to the tune of babies, babies babies!"

But a couple days later, I had a flashback to a memory of my mom when she was pregnant with my youngest brother Patrick.  I was still the world's pickiest eater - like literally, I think I could have won an award - and my mom was telling me how important it would be for me to take a prenatal vitamin with folic acid, and that she prayed by the time I was having children there might be at least one or two vegetables in my diet.

(At that time, the only vegetables I liked were carrots and celery.  And I did not eat fruit.  Period.)

I started thinking about my diet... Luckily I outgrew my pickiness as I got older.  And after losing all the college / post college weight I had gained (from late night food, beer and lack of exercise) by changing my lifestyle, diet and joining a boxing gym (it really does work!), I was able to maintain a weight I was pretty satisfied with for the past 4 years. 

But I realized that during the times my exercise had become more sporadic, my eating also turned more erratic - I was a habitual snacker, meal skipper, crash dieter.  But it did the trick to keep the scale tipping right around where I wanted it to when I wasn't on the work out train.  

Anddddd then I lost about 3-4 lbs the month before my wedding - the really unhealthy way - you know, because you're supposed to be your skinniest on the most important day of your life!!!  (I wanted to do more (!!) but I was fighting some serious funeral weight... #eatingyouremotions)

I knew that if we were serious about starting a family anytime in the near future, I needed to start eating right again.  And this time not just for me, but for the health of our unborn baby.  That meant no more meal skipping, and especially none of those extreme pre-wedding measures... 

I also did some homework (I promised not to get preachy on ya, but I thought this was too important not to share: stocking your body with nutrients, reduced risk of neural tube defects, fewer episodes of morning sickness, increased fertility...  Food for thought!) and immediately took that prescription to the pharmacy! 

"Soon" turned out to be mid-December.  And while my eating wasn't perfect (and my exercise was still rather nonexistant.  but hey, it was winter!), I was on my way to a healthier me.  Something that couldn't have been done overnight...or from the moment we decided to press go on starting a family right then and there.

Because sure enough, just one month later, well, you know what happened!  :)

Like the doc said, never too soon to start.  Especially for someone like me.

(Stay tuned for an upcoming post On Pregnancy...And Weight Gain for more on this topic!)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

On Pregnancy And...


This week, we officially entered the third and final trimester of our pregnancy!  I cannot believe it!  When I think back to that life changing day in February, it seems so long ago...  Yet I feel like our pregnancy is flying by!  We'll be meeting our little boy for the first time in just a few short months!  EEEEEE!!!!

When I finally shared our big news with the blog-o-sphere, I really wasn't sure how much I'd write about our 9 months waiting for baby.  Since then, I shared the story about how we found out, our decision to find out the gender of our baby (here and here), the party we threw the celebrate, and the big announcement that we are (to apparently no ones surprise) expecting a baby BOY

I have, however, neglected to share the more personal details of our experience, equally because I am naturally a private person at heart (despite having a very public blog) and I have been, well, extremely busy this summer with work, building the new house and getting ready for baby!!  Not to mention, I am no expert here - this is baby #1 on board!

But this has truly been one of the most amazing and life altering experiences of my life.  I honestly LOVE being pregnant and I realized I should be writing about it!  Not only for myself, but for for any readers out there going through / will go through some of the ups, downs and everything in between in their own pregnancy! 

So, I'd like kick off a little series I'd like to call "On Pregnancy And..." where we'll talk about some pregnancy related topics like: gaining weight (something I really struggled with mentally), finding maternity clothes (harder than you think!), great reads / resources, designing a nursery (so.much.fun), pregnancy journals (some cute ideas ahead!), baby bumps (when exactly do you get one?!), feeling those first kicks (indescribable), and more!

I'll hope you'll tune in and share some of your stories, as well!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Our New House: Update #6

Welp, it's official.  We're sheet rocking!

We finally passed our final framing and insulation inspections yesterday...


And today they hung the first piece of drywall!

sneak peak at the future nursery

We could not be more excited!!

While our house undergoes its next big transformation - this time on the interior - here are some pictures I promised in my last update of the (95%) completed exterior! 

from the right

from the left

close up of the arch on the 3rd floor deck
(you can see a glimpse of it in the shots above)

Ain't she a beaut?  (The house.  Not the port-o-potty...or Nate's truck!  Something always seems to be in my way of a perfect shot!)

Garage door, interior doors, trim / molding and appliances have all been ordered.  Next up on our to-do list: order kitchen cabinets (I swear we're doing this on Monday), finalizing tile and vanity selections for the bathrooms and ordering the hardwood floors!  Then maybe I can finally start thinking about furniture and decorating!  :)

Until next time!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012



A few weeks ago while on one of our nightly walks in Ocean City (this particular night was a stroll on the boardwalk), I couldn't help but notice that just about every other kid under the age of 20 was wearing a graphic tee with four letters on it: YOLO.

I was completely stumped.  Is that a word?  An abbreviation?  I asked Nate but he he was just as confused as I was!  The best we could come up with was that it was a form of "hello" - you know, when you enter a room and say "yellow" or "ello" in a a funny accent?!

It wasn't until my 5 years and 12 years younger siblings arrived over the Fourth of July that we learned what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks it all meant.


Apparently its taken from rap lyrics from Drake's "The Motto" (pronounced YO-LO)...and everyone is saying it! 

Everyone?!  Not me! 

I thought I was pretty "with it" when it comes to pop culture references, but this revelation totally caught me off guard!  And made me feel so old!  I mean, I know we're going to be parents and all (13 more weeks!) but I'm only 26!!  I should really know these things!

Is this how our parents felt when we had to explain what LOL meant?!

Regardless, I'm worried that this is only the start of being out of touch when it comes to what the "young crowd" is in to... 

So I pray you, dear younger siblings of mine, please keep me informed of all the useless, funny and random words / phrases / abbrevs (is it still ok to abbreviate the word abbreviations?) that I should both know about and avoid saying at all costs!  :)

P.S. For another abbreviation I that had me stumped, see definition #3 of TBH here.  Anyone else?!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Target + Neiman Marcus

If you haven't already heard....

Target and Neiman Marcus are teaming up with 24 CFDA designers to create a holiday collection of limited-edition gift items!

The collaboration will debut December 1st and will run for three weeks at both Target and Neiman stores and websites.

Designers who created pieces for the collection include:
Alice + Olivia, Altuzarra, Band of Outsiders, Brian Atwood, Carolina Herrera, Derek Lam, Diane von Furstenberg, Eddie Borgo, Jason Wu, Judith Leiber, Lela Rose, Marchesa, Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Philip Crangi, Prabal Gurung, Proenza Schouler, Rag & Bone, Robert Rodriguez, Rodarte, Skaist-Taylor, Thom Browne, Tory Burch and Tracy Reese!

Can you tell who I am most excited about?!

P.S. Is it too soon to be looking for our first babysitter?  Who is available Dec 1st?! :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Working From Home

Today, I am working from home. 

I have 2 conference calls, an inbox full of emails and a research project due by the end of the week.

I'm also doing all of the laundry, the dishes, cleaning the kitchen / bathroom and taking out the trash. 

I will shower (at some point) and do my hair.  And I hope to squeeze in both a walk on the boardwalk and a mani-pedi at some point this afternoon.

I will wear spandex and a comfy t-shirt.  And I'll be more productive than any single day I've spent in the office this week and any single Saturday morning I've attempted to get my life in order.

Working from home one day a week is a luxury I've been enjoying for the past 9 months.  I work on a small team of 3 people where my boss travels frequently and my new coworker (who joined 2 months ago) and I have a clear divide between our roles and responsibilities.  Most of my day is spent in front of the computer researching...by myself...which could really be done anywhere. 

URBN (like the previous employer I worked for) boasts that it is a place where employees can have a healthy work / life balance.  And while I would have to agree that this does actually hold true, there is still something to say about the importance of "face time" in the office...  Which is why I was a little nervous to have the conversation with my boss about a more flexible work schedule.

He, however, more than agreed that it would be no problem!  I could work from home one day a week (two when he was out on extended travel), the day TBD weekly depending on what meetings were on my calendar.  And its honestly a life savor - both for my work and my personal life.  I am happier, more productive, well rested and can enjoy my weeknights and weekends so much more knowing I have those 10 consecutive hours during the week that I cannot leave our house!  Oh, and it's been a nice thing for our commuting budget, as well.  :) 

I'm curious, how many of you have a flexible work schedule?  Do you love and appreciate it?  Or are you more unproductive when you're at home?

P.S. How come girls are better multi-taskers than guys?!  I can't imagine many men I know getting this much done in an entire week! Am I right?!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Our Wedding Video

I'll be honest, when we started planning our wedding last year a videographer was the first thing I cut to trim down our budget.

First, because I (like most people) hate the way I look and sound on camera...and didn't want to have to worry that my every move on the most important day of my life was being capture by a complete stranger!

Second, because I thought watching the video afterwards would take away from all the emotions, memories and feelings I had surrounding our wedding day.  There is no way a video could live up to how I remembered that day in my head, right?

But then, my grandmother passed away in April (2011), just 2 months (almost to the day) before my mom.  And I completely changed my mind.

At her viewing, one of my uncles set up a TV to display a montage video with snippets from my great grandparents', grandparents', aunts' and uncles' and my own parent's weddings. 

It was the first time I had ever seen video footage of my grandmother when she was "young".  And the first time I ever saw my parents wedding video.  To be honest, I didn't know they had one!

I think watching the videos was an emotional experience for everyone that day. We all got to see the day our families started, starting our great grandparents!  But, you know the saying about how every family occasion seems to be either a  wedding  or funeral?  Well, we were definitely living it.  Wedding one year, funeral the next.  And little did we know we'd have yet another funeral that year... 

I cried watching it for about a million reasons.  Tears of grief over the loss of our dear grandma; tears of happiness to be a part of her living legacy, and to see how in love all those bride and bridegrooms were both then and now; tears of sadness as I saw just how much my beautiful mother's body was failing her, 30 years after she married my dad; tears of joy as I anticipated my marrying the love of my life; tears of absolute fear later that night as my mom had another near-death chocking episode. 

And finally, I cried because I learned that I wipe the tears from my eyes the exact same way my mom did...and because it had already been so long, due to the Parkinson's disease, since I had seen her wipe her own tears that I forgot we shared this little semblance.

Over the next few months, I made my case to Nate about why we now needed a videographer at our wedding.  What will they show at my funeral?  (To which he replied "you are nuts") How will our kids get to see how young and in love we were on our wedding day? ("They don't want to see that!")  I told him I didn't want something 12 hours long that we'd never watch - just some basic  coverage, set to a few songs, that shows the highlights of the day!  Nothing expensive.

But in his mind, we had already written this off the list.  And it was a couple thousand dollars we weren't adding back on...  He didn't budge. 

So, what did I do?  I hired one anyways.  And felt so guilty about it! 

That is, until I got the final version and showed it to Nate.  He LOVED it!!  (So much so that he actually thanked me for going ahead and having this done even though he had said no!).  And so did I! 

Here it is, my friends:  Our Wedding Video

I hope you enjoy this little glimpse in our wedding day.  And who knows, maybe it will help you decide whether or not a videographer is for you!

P.S. Wedding day coverage + editing by Well Spun Weddings.  

P.P.S. The infamous tear wipe at minute 1:15...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th!

Hope your 4th of July is filled with lots of sun, barbecues, fireworks, family and friends! 

Let freedom ring!


(Photo via Thefancy.com)

Monday, July 2, 2012

How long is your commute?

Nate and I commute from Ocean City, NJ to Philadelphia, PA for work every day - approx. 65 miles each way. 

When we first moved to Ocean City, the plan was that we'd drive together 2-3 times a week.  That lasted all of maybe one week before we realized our schedules are way too different to commute together...  I'd end up being at work hours before anyone else with not much to show for it except bags under my eyes.  And Nate would spend hours waiting in the parking lot for me to leave work as soon as possible. 

I honestly don't mind the drive itself - it takes about an hour and 15 minutes (+/- 15 minutes depending on traffic) which really isn't bad when you think about it.  It used to take me about an hour door-to-door when I lived and worked in New York City.  And that involved walking, subways, transfers and more walking!  Now, I'm in the comforts of my own car and I have audiobooks, a cell phone and radio to keep me company.  Sure I have my days, but don't we all?

(In my opinion, the real killer of commuting is gas and tolls.  But we won't even get into that!!) 

How long is your commute?  And how do you feel about it?  If you're really feeling bad about yours, check out this New Yorker article which featured a woman who spent six-and-a-half hours commuting every day! Now THAT is just plain crazy!

Safe travels!

(Photo via hotphotography.tumblr.com)