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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wedding Hint #5

I was going to wait to post this one because I average about 1 hint per month, but then I realized I would never get to giving away 10 Wedding Hints (which is what I originally wanted to do) at that rate! So ENJOY the second and last hint of the month:

I'm sure it's obvious to you - but this Hint combines a few different hints I've given so far (colors & crystals) and adds a BIG ONE to the list.

Every Ring Bearer needs a Flowermaid!

I was looking forward to spending some quality time with my mom, sister and niece this week.  We planned to spend an entire today doing wedding stuff together and first on the list for things to do was find my niece a Flowermaid Dress!   

Well, what the heck is a "flowermaid?" and why would she need a dress?  Let me explain...

From the beginning I was torn about whether or not to include my niece and nephew into our wedding, and there are two reasons for this.  1) We are not having children at our reception and 2) My niece is 9 years old, and tall for her I knew she had outgrown the "flower girl" title.  After thinking about this topic since I asked my bridal party to be a part of our big day back in October/November, Mr. Hess and I finally agreed about what we would do.

My niece, Kayla.  I absolutely LOVE this pic of her!

Since Kayla is my ONLY niece and Cole is my ONLY nephew, it only seems fair that they should be a part of our big day.  The bridal party is well...traditionally about the "bride"...and for this reason I wanted to include them both into our ceremony, and I'm SO happy to officially announce:  

 Cole is going to be our Ring Bearer (and I can't wait to see him in his cute little tux/suit!) and Kayla is going to be.....a FLOWERMAID!  

My definition of the flowermaid title is "the role you give someone you love in your wedding when they're in between the age of a flower girl and a Jr. Bridesmaid."  I didn't really want there to be a Jr. Bridesmaid in my party because Lord knows we already have 9 beautiful bridesmaids there!  Since she is taller, she wouldn't have really gotten away with a Flower Girl title out of no where one day it hit me - I can call her a FLOWERMAID! If it doesn't exist, it's not a problem because you know what?  It's OUR day and Mr. Hess and I can do whatever we want at OUR wedding!  :)

I really enjoyed getting to spend some girl time with the girls in my family.  We started off the day by going to have lunch at the cafe my caterer operates and finally put down a deposit with him! (AHHH FINALLY! This deserves an entire new post, so you can expect it in the next week or two when we go back to pick out linens and do a tasting!) After that, we picked out a few stores we wanted to try to find the perfect flowermaid dress for Kayla!  I had already browsed online and looked over the flower girl sections of Priscilla's when I was there last and had a few ideas.  We were right by the Millenia mall, so we figured we would start with a shot in the dark at David's Bridal.  Now - ladies, I'm not knocking this store...but the first time I ever attempted to go here was in the very beginning of our planning process...I walked in and saw the MADNESS...and walked right back out.  In no way did I want picking out my dress, my accessories, or my bridal party dresses in a stressful environment. SO, believe me I thought this would be a shot in the dark to say the least...

Ready to pick out our dress and color! SO many options...

We walked into DB, and surprisingly this time it was busy but not crazy. We signed in at the front and got assigned someone to help us.  At first, we found a few options in the flower girl section, but of course we all loved the dresses that came in white or ivory only.  Seeing that I didn't want Kayla to LOOK like a flower girl, I knew this wasn't an option. We pulled a few "doable" options, but then our consultant had the amazing idea to go look at the Jr. Bridesmaid section - the WHAT?! I didn't know that existed!  I'm so glad she mentioned it, because right away we found EXACTLY what we were looking for! It has similar material of my dress, and is very complimenting to the girls' dresses as well.  We chose to have the color different from the bridesmaid dresses because it wouldn't match exactly to their dresses and didn't want it to clash.  So, we settled on a pewter grey color and are going to accent the color in with accessories!  Kayla loved the dress, but I think half of the reason was because she tried on a bright blue color, which obviously is NOT in the wedding color scheme.  Eventually, she'll realize what her dress will look like, and I'm excited to see it all together with me, the girls, and accessories!

Do you like how I put in a bouquet to hide what her dress actually looks like? ;)

I had such a good time with my family, just taking a day to grab lunch and go shopping.  We really don't have enough days like that to just "hang out".  After the dress shopping we hopped over the Millenia mall and enjoyed the bouncing from one store to the next.  My mom even got her make-up done at MAC and she looked beautiful!  Hopefully that was just a preview for her of what her treatment on my wedding day will be like... :)

So there it is, the definition of a flowermaid.  Don't be surprised if you see this term a few more times, and even on the program at the wedding ceremony.  I'm extremely happy with the decision of including the two into the Bridal Party, and I'm even more excited to see how cute they look on the day of our wedding!

Kayla and Cole - Flowermaid and Ring Bearer! <3

113 days to go, my beautiful ---<-<-@ maid,

Monday, March 28, 2011

Courtney's Baby Shower!

We all know by now that this is the time and age where a lot of my friends are getting married, having babies, and starting completely new chapters in their lives.  I was in my dear friend Court's wedding last Januaray (2010) and I had the exciting role of helping to host her 1st baby shower last weekend!

I have known Court literally since I was in diapers, so it was a no-brainer that I would be involved in all of her new chapters of life, and she would be a part of mine.  I felt honored to be standing by her side about a year and a half ago when she became a MRS., and I felt just as proud this past weekend when I got to experience her first baby shower...welcome to the:

Sugar + Spice & Everything Nice Baby Shower!

To start with, Court's sister Lori is a bridal and baby shower genius.  She claims that she has been to "a shower or two" and has helped plan a lot of her girlfriend's showers and even weddings.  I knew right away when she started e-mailing a few months ago that Court's shower was going to be great, but seeing how everything turned out and how much work she put into everything, I was completely floored.

She knew ahead of time when she asked me to help host this wonderful event that I would not be able to get involved as much as I usually would, with traveling and planning a wedding...but I was there the day of and I can honestly say I could NEVER think of anything or do anything she hadn't already done or thought of!  Ladies, I have found the ultimate shower planner...and yes, I would hire her myself! 

Now that you know about how I personally am not responsible for the cuteness below, I am going to show you exactly what I'm talking about...some really cute ideas here!

"SUGAR & SPICE" table complete with Spiced Chai tea!

Baby sonogram...look at that little nugget! <3

Printed SUGAR & SPICE napkins:


Regular, Chocolate & Strawberry milk...great idea:

YUMMY chocolate fountain.

Food set up: for party favors? Make your own candy bag...yum.

SUGAR & SPICE Candy Bar! (Get it?!)

Pink & White M&Ms...of course.

Great party favors!

I had read and heard about everything that was going to take place at this shower, but I had no idea just how much planning had gone into it until I got there.  Everything turned out SO freaking adorable, and I know Court appreciated every second of it.

Mommy-to-be Court! <3

And the baby shower hostesses:
My sister and niece, Me, Court, her sister Lori, Katie and Karine

It was so nice to see all of the girls again, and it almost like we pressed a rewind button to a year and a half ago when we really got to know each other during all of Court's bridal showers and wedding events!  It's really amazing how time just flies by...and here's proof: a beautiful baby girl on the way!

I CAN NOT WAIT to meet her, and I feel like I am going to be an Aunt again.  Court is in no way my "sister", but our families are very close and we jokingly call each other "cousins" and introduce ourselves that way to others, so you can see why I feel so connected to her baby on the way!

One thing I absolutely LOVED about this shower was the memories Court is going to take home with her.  Lori (once again) outdid herself and couldn't have made a cuter scrapbook for the baby, and for the guests to sign.  Each guest got a designated page in the scrapbook and we were told to pick our background, writing paper, and write a message to the baby.  She then took a picture of each of us and would add it to our page and finished off the page with some stickers.  INSTANT SCRAPBOOK! You know how obsessed I am with these, and you've probably seen it by now but I did an entire post about this subject in the "Our Honeymoon Album" post last month! 

great idea and touching gift for baby & mommy:

Instant Scrapbook:

Pick your background page, your writing space page, and write your message.

 Decorate with stickers, and finish it off with a photo of you (taken at the shower) to put on the page.
Example and directions of what each page looks like...genius.

I couldn't get over the amount of time and detail that went into every aspect of this shower, KUDOS Lori! :)  One more thing I thought was a great idea was buying the guest of honor Thank You cards, and having each guest address their own envelopes to be sent to them know kind of like what you do at the dentist's office, but more fun! lol.

At the end the shower, Court pulled one name from this pile and they won a gift...easy, and very helpful for the guest of honor to get started on showing her thanks to the guests.  Good thing she had a good start because HOLY PRESENTS!!!

Court, Lori, and one of my fav presents:
UF Gator & FSU Seminole baby girl dresses - yup, they're a house divided!

I'm sure it's overly obvious to you how much I enjoyed this baby shower.  Not only did I get to spend time with Court and her family, but I got to share such a joyous time in her life with her.  I am so happy for her and I already love the little nugget in her belly SO much!  I can't wait to meet her and I'm counting down until the day that happens...

Love you Courtney!

You are going to be an amazing mother and your little girl is going to be surrounded by so much love.  I feel blessed to be such a big part of your life, and honored that you are one of my bridesmaids!  "Sister" or "cousin", whatever you are, I'm so glad we share such a special bond and I can't wait to add one more little girl to it...verrrrrry soon.

See you at the hospital!

Friday, March 25, 2011


Yup, that's right - Scott and I took it upon ourselves to have me tag along on another work trip of his this month and spend a little "QT" with each other. And, I know what you're thinking...that it was driving me nuts that we couldn't get anything done AND I was spending and not making money down here in Florida...well...INSERT MEWAH MEWAH SOUND...for once, this wasn't the case!

I knew ahead of time that March would almost be a wash with getting what we needed to get done DONE, so I embraced that and as a result, everything that HAS gotten done has turned into a pleasant surprise... ;)


Disclaimer: picture taken while inside of a car ;)

Let's start with our first night there: I was SO excited to get into the city after we landed, but let me just say my welcome into Chicago was not the smoothest...

I was very excited to land and still on Could 9 that Scott has surprised me with first class seats on my flights up to Chicago - how sweet is that?!

I actually landed a few minutes early into the O'Hare airport and started walking towards baggage claim, anxious to see my man! Sadly, the excitement of landing early quickly dwindled when I came to realize I was the last one on my flight left at baggage claim - sans bag.  My ride and Scott's partner in crime Barry must have circled around the arrival lanes about 50 times before finally giving up on my bag arriving on time.  They had to hurry to the arena and get to the Bulls game while I was left to raise "you know what" in order to get my bag in a timely matter.   

So there I was: no ride, no bags and worried about getting to the game on time.  Luckily, our friend Annabelle came to the rescue with snacks and refreshments.  Little did I know the 15 minutes planned to grab my bags turned into a 4 and a half hour wait time! YUCK!  She was very sweet and felt bad about the whole thing, when obviously nothing about that was her fault!  I could have had the bags delivered to my hotel, but I knew THAT would take even longer and no one had time for that nonsense.

Needless to say, I finally got my bags and it was time to head to the Bulls game!  I always love the opportunity to travel to different cities and experience NBA games from that city's perspective.  The game was really fun and I had a great time watching while Scott worked.

It felt great to "get away" again and know we had a few days in the city ahead...

The next day, Scott and I planned to enjoy the parks, tour some buildings and take advantage of the culture that Chicago has to offer.  Unfortunately, the weather had other plans: dropping to what felt like zero and raining.  So, we improvised.  We took this opportunity to tour the Museum of Contemporary Art followed by shopping and finding my two new favorite stores in the city Hershey's and Ghirardelli! ;)

I can't lie that Scott and I both got pretty excited about this adventure:

HOLY 5 pounds of Hershey's Bar!
I'm pretty sure he could have drank that entire bottle.
Ghirardelli hot cocoas - THE BEST hot chocolate EVER! :)

And..what better way to spend your time at at the Contemporary Art Museum, than remembering your time with some great photo opps?

I'm sure we're the only ones who took pictures with this.
Just a hanging out in the giant shells...

You probably get by now that we made a great day out of a rainy and cold day in Chicago.  It wasn't ideal for "touring the city," but we still had a great time together and I would love to come back to the city either in early spring, or fall one day.  I'm sure there's TONS we didn't get to do or see.
Ahhh! There you are - in the rubber house...of course!

The last night before we left, we got to spend some time with one of Scott's best friends, Barry.  The two guys have always had a close bond and together are pretty ridiculous.  No matter what they do or where they go, there's always bound to be lots of shenanigans and laughs happening.  We had a nice dinner and went out to the House of Blues, which was so much fun! 

We didn't really want to leave, but at the end of the night we were all impressed by the funny little mini "pew pew" gun that our waitress shared with us, and yes, this is completely normal. ;)
There they are...Annabelle "pew pew"ing.

On the last morning of our trip, Scott and I woke up and spent the remainder of our time with Barry before we had to head back to sunny Florida - sorry guys...had to throw that in!

He took us up to his new place and we had brunch at a charming little diner by the arena that SCREAMS Chicago!  The owner of this place was hysterical and told us jokes I've never heard before...mostly inappropriate for this blog, so just use your imagination on those!  But, needless to say...even brunch was FUN.

Love these two...

 Thanks for a great trip, Scott. I feel very lucky to be able to travel with you and just enjoy time together during such a crazy time. 

Thanks for reading, and I'm sure there will be plenty up and coming to read about as we enter into April.
Time sure is flyyyyying....

Sunday, March 20, 2011


OMG.....(in 2 days) our wedding is 4 MONTHS AWAY!!!!

I'm doing this month's check-in post little early because we are going to hit our "4 MONTHS TO GO" mark when Mr. Hess and I will be in Chicago!  I had to do something wedding related before we left...right?! SO - I thought it was time for a video update.  Here I explain everything that we've been trying to book, negotiate, and settle since our 5 month mark:

In the video I mentioned a few things: 

Invitations!  We have FINALLY BOOKED a company to do our invitations:  
  • Paper Charm Custom Designs.  Our contact's name is Angela and I picked up her business card at a bridal show we went to last October.  Everything she does is hand made and she can put a lot of special touches and creativity into whatever she does, so I know we are in good hands.  Once we get proofs back for our invitations, I'm sure I will be writing more about this!
Her link is below, and it directs you to her blogpage:

Catering!  WE ARE DOWN TO 2 PEOPLE!!!!  
  • Millenia Catering -  On of the top 3 preferred caterers of our venue.  More on a smaller scale, and every event is personally ran by Chef Lo.  He understands our contemporary style and is very accommodating.  The thing we love most about him is his attention to detail and only does one event per day.  He has thrown in a lot of "extras" into our package for free and is a pleasure to work with!
  • Big City Catering - On the top of our wedding coordinator's preferred caterers.  Offers an overall great package of everything we need with a contemporary style!  Has done tons of events at our venue and is highly recommended by some of our other vendors.  
  • BOTH are within the same price range, give or take a few dollars, and we are equally impressed with them.  WHAT TO DO?!
SUGGESTIONS?!?!?! It's our goal to BOOK a caterer by the end of this coming week and sign a contract.  Any type of feedback would be greatly appreciated! :)

And on that note, I'm now off to go pack for Chicago.  I'm so excited to see the city for the first time and spend another few days "away" with Mr. Hess!

124 days to go... 


Thursday, March 17, 2011


Not only is today St. Patrick's Day...but today celebrates the heritage of my amazing fiance, Mr. Hess.  Anyone who has met him knows he is proud of being Irish, and I have to say I am proud to officially marry into it in about 4 months! 

If you paid any attention to the silly but informative video post about "Our Claddagh Rings" in the beginning of the month, you would know all of these things.  But even if you missed it, you probably now understand how much Mr. Hess and I LOVE St. Patrick's Day and celebrating an IRISH holiday!  Heck, we ideally wanted our wedding to be all green and white and theme it out around this time of this year (St. Patty's Day) - but obviously that didn't happen and thankfully we still have 4 months to put everything together! PHEW!

Traditionally, Mr. Hess and I will be celebrating the day with an Irish dinner made up of corned beef & cabbage....well at least he will.  I can honestly say I try to eat it every year, but I mostly just end up pushing the food around on my plate and ordering some kind of Irish stew - works for me!  Either way, we like to at least honor the holiday by grabbing an Irish meal and usually meet some friends out to celebrate later.  Hopefully by next year once we are married and settled into our new place, I will actually take the initiative to learn how to cook these things, but for this year - a good 'ol Irish pub will do!  I can here the "top of the mornin' to ya's" already....

So before we go, I thought I'd share some fun facts about St. Patricks Day with all of you, as I stumbled upon them a week or so ago doing some research on shamrocks!
  • The shamrock is the traditional symbol because St. Patrick used it to explain the connection between the father, the son, and the holy spirit in the Christian religion. 
  • For good luck, the shamrock is usually included in the bouquet of an Irish bride, and also in the boutonniere of the groom. **HINT HINT!!! ;)
  • The very first St. Patrick's Day parade was not in Ireland. It was in Boston in 1737.
  • The city with the largest population of Americans of Irish descent is Boston (23%). (NO WONDER those Boston Celtics fans are DIE HARD, even when they come to Orlando!!!)
  • In Chicago, on St. Patrick's Day, the rivers are dyed green. (FUN! We'll be there next week!)
  • 34 million Americans have Irish ancestry, according to the 2003 US Census. That’s almost nine times the population of Ireland, which has 4.1 million people.
  • One estimate suggests that there are about 10,000 regular three-leaf clovers for every lucky four-leaf clover. 
  •  Legend says that each leaf of the clover means something: the first is for HOPE, the second is for FAITH, the third is for LOVE, and the fourth for  LUCK.
Dying the Chicago Rivers Green - SO COOL!

All of this information I found at also provides some great videos on how to make Irish dishes such as Irish Nachos and Irish Coffee...YUM!

All the best to you and yours on this St. Patrick's Day! Off to go get ready for dinner, but I'm going to leave you with a pretty amazing video if I do say so myself - ENJOY!!!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wedding Ring BLING!

Well, today did not start out with the best of mornings...I have had to deal with a lot of stuff from my accident back in December, and it looks like today will not be the end of it either.  Accidents can get very complicated and very emotional, and it's something you may never get over.  Mr. Hess has supported me through this entire process and will continue to stick by my side for the rest of our lives, and he definitely proved that this morning.

On a lighter note, he also knows JUST how to cheer me up and make me feel better: Taking me to go look for our WEDDING RINGS!!!!! On our way to the mall, hearing the words come out of my mouth that we were going to look for our actual "wedding rings" turned this girl's frown upside down in no time!  This has been something I have been looking forward to ever since I saw my engagement ring, and goes wayyyyy back into my dreams as a young know what I'm talking about here ladies...we've all had the picture of our "perfect day" dating back to the elementary school years, and this definitely includes what my ring(s) would look like!

Now, I'm not saying that my taste hasn't changed since the age of 8, but I can say I get to live a little bit of the dream every day planning our BIG DAY! Mr. Hess did a really good job at picking out such a unique engagement ring for me, and I'm learning just how unique it is every time we go into a store and look for our bands.  It has a double strand of diamonds on each side of the 2 baguettes that hold the main diamond, so it has been very challenging to find the perfect wedding band to compliment it without taking away from the original ring.  If you ask Mr. Hess, he says he did this on purpose so that I wouldn't need a wedding band at all.  Well, tough luck buddy, because I believe in the meaning behind the wedding band and want that extra ring closest to my heart on my wedding day.  I love what having the rings together symbolizes and I wouldn't want it any other way.

I've gotten my ring cleaned several times at the jewlers Mr. Hess purchased my engagement ring from, and found several different options that would work for me there, but this is the first time we have actually gone to look together at rings and I was in the best mood EVER!!!!!!

We went to about 5 or 6 jewelery stores in the mall, and I found a few similar rings for me at each store...but of course I have my FAVORITE!  It's from Tiffany & Co. (go figure) and it is as traditional as a string of thin diamonds can get as far as bands go.  Anyone who's asked me knows exactly what I'm looking for - a small band of diamonds that compliments MY ring without overpowering it - so I'm pretty sure you can figure out a good idea of what my wedding band will look like...and for this reason only I'm going to show you all what it is because I am SO excited to finally find one the compliments my challenge of an engagement ring:

It was the first one I saw that actually looked MADE to compliment my ring!

You can imagine my excitement when I tried this baby on!  And the best part about it all?! It's within the SAME exact price range as rings very similar from other jewelers that I felt would just simply "work" with my ring.  At first, we didn't even want to walk into Tiffany's because every time I do, I see something I want and then see that I would be paying 3 times as much if I purchased something similar from somewhere else, but luckily for once (and maybe the MOST IMPORTANT time ever!) this was not the case!!!!! YAYYYY!!!!!!! This ring in particular just came out and will be available in my size in mid-April.  I wanted to hug the guy when he told me the good I feel like I am SO close to buying MY ring!  Now we're on the mission to find one for Mr. Hess...

So many options and so many stores to choose from! What to do?!

I found out very quickly today that we both agreed what my ring should look like but had absolutely NO IDEA about what we wanted Mr. Hess's ring to look like.  Traditional?  Trendy? Plain? Embellished with diamonds?  White Gold/Platinum/Titanium? The questions for this seem endless!  We found a few options at each store we went to that we both liked and agreed upon.  We saw a lot of plain rings, and right away knew that nothing about our wedding is going to be plain, and knew we wanted something a little more on the trendy side.  So the search began...

We probably had a favorite or two at each store and my favorites included one from Mayors and one from David Yurman.  I can't show you pictures of the ones we were thinking about for Mr. Hess because I feel like it would give TOO much away....c'mon people, mine was a no brainier so I have to save some element of surprise for you to see later down the road!  We still aren't 100% sure whether we want a super trendy ring for him, because we found some GREAT but still more traditional rings that we both liked.  What I can show you are some cool ideas that are definitely more trendy and contemporary options along the way that both Mr. Hess and I LOVED:

David Yurman bands - complete with black diamonds.

But don't get too excited...we haven't picked one out for him just yet and we still have a few more places to visit.  The important thing is that we figured out what we were looking for, and Mr. Hess showed me once again how great of a companion he is going to be.  What started out as a horrible morning ended with an amazing afternoon, so THANK YOU MR. HESS for being my rock, my best friend, and my soon-to-be husband.  Today was JUST what I needed...

What makes ring shopping even better? Panera Pick 2 & Lattes! YUM!

 128 days until our rings become OUR RINGS!!!!

Until Next Time,

Saturday, March 12, 2011

We heart NY!

So you know by now that this month of March is absolutely CRAZY!  Part of the reason is because Mr. Hess and I are getting opportunities to travel A LOT this month, which can put wedding planning a little bit on the back burner.  At first, I was having a hard time letting go of my silly "TO DO" list for March and was getting nervous that not everything will get done this month.  Then we actually landed in NJ and I got over it - quickly!

A BIG part of wedding planning is making sure you enjoy it, and in order for Mr. Hess and I to not feel a little burnt out at this point, taking a vacation was DEFINITELY needed.  It's amazing what taking a few "us" days can do for our relationship, and now we are refreshed and actually excited about getting back to some planning.  Now that you know how hard it was for me to leave Orlando, I'm going to share with you how much FUN I had in NY!!!!! I'm probably confusing you with this whole NY/NJ thing so here's the reason I keep mentioning BOTH states:

Mr. Hess was traveling up to New Jersey to work a NJ Nets Basketball game on Friday.  We thought this was the perfect opportunity for me to take a few days off, travel up there with him, and spend a few nights in New York City before the game!  Well, turns out - that's exactly what I needed, and boy am I glad we did.

Last night in NJ/NY - what a great trip!
I haven't mentioned anything about this on my posts before, but Mr. Hess has always had a thing for NY.  We both love Orlando, and personally I have never lived anywhere else besides here, with the exception of my 4 years in Tampa for college.  I have always viewed NYC is very busy, loud, and no place to settle down and raise a family.  I knew I liked to visit there, just that I would never want to move to a place with so much "citylife."  Mr. Hess on the other hand, LOVES the hussle and bussle of the city and would love any kind of opportunity to move up there.  Before this trip, I said there was absolutely NO way I would move up north for two reasons: 1) I would be too far away from my family and 2) It's too freaking cold up there!!!! But, after our few nights in the City, I am now closer to the same page as Mr. Hess.  And for the record, I said closer, not ON! ;)

Straight from the plane, Mr. Hess and I made our way from Newark to Secaucus and trained over to Penn Station.  From there, we made our 10 block walk (suitcases and all) to meet my dear friend Lauren to get her keys since we were staying with her.  From there, we walked to 42nd Street and rode the Subway for about 20 minutes to her place.  I can't believe we made it all that way - two Floridians with luggage - sans problems!  Kudos to you Mr. Hess for your ability to read Subway maps and lead the way.  I found out my specialty turns out to be reading street names and figuring out the streets and avenues.  We did a pretty good job of disguising we were tourists, and actually enjoyed walking and riding from place to place during our stay!

From our first walk on the streets of NYC, I could tell Mr. Hess was enjoying every second of it.  I guess being from a small town in Arkansas, this could be like a dream to live in such a busy and urban place.  We walked from street to avenue and avenue to street, and passed a lot of the Fashion district.  I'm not even exaggerating when I say Mr. Hess was like a kid in a candy store - not so much into fashion, but more for entertainment purposes.  There were so many specialty stores, fabric stores, accessories, and bling in such a small radius, it was almost too much to take in!  I should have gotten pictures of this, because every two seconds both of us would be like "WOWWW, OMIGOSH LOOK!" SO COOL!

Attempting to take a picture of the citylife while dashing across the street!

Actually stopped to take this one, but not much better.

We found a great spot to play games like chess, ping pong, pool and listen to live music.
Our friend Jessica met us out in the City!
We also got to see a friend from home, who now lives in NY!
After our second night in NYC, I realized I didn't take as many pictures as I should have to document our trip - but half of that reason is because it was SO cold, windy, and rainy that night.  I was worried about getting from point A to point B as fast as possible! Not to mention, we kept commuting back and forth from NJ to NY, which didn't leave much time to walk around during the daytime and explore the city.  But, I have to say, Mr. Hess and I got prettttttty good at the whole Subway and train situation - which can get very confusing.  By the end of the trip, we had figured out the maps and were able to pick Subway over cab for the majority of the stay! :)

You might also say that we enjoyed eating a lot of NY's specialties including Pizza and crepes!

Enjoying a late night snack.
This crepe was coconut, banana, and nutella - AMAZING!

A good way to describe our trip would be EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY! I am now "okay" with the possibility of someday moving up there, since it's secretly one of Mr. Hess's dreams, and I'm looking forward to going back up there sometime soon.  I feel like we have a lot more "city" to see, and I would love to actually enjoy a stroll in Central Park when it's not rainy and cold outside!

Advice to any bride-to-be that's feeling overwhelmed and not as excited as they should be about planning detail after detail for a little bit? Take a weekend getaway. Mr. Hess and I couldn't be happier as a couple, we're now eager to get back to planning, and I am enjoying being back in FL getting ready for work tomorrow - weird!  I guess everyone needs a little NEWWWWWWWW YORRRRRRRRRRRRK every once in a while...that was my broadway voice singing Frank Sinatra if you couldn't pick that up! ;)

This week's focus? Booking that CATERER! We actually talked about this a lot on the trip about which way we want to go and are SOOOO close, so stay tuned for reading more about that!

Until next time,

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Wedding Hint #4

If you have been catching the color hints in previous blogs by the pictures (it was almost a dead giveaway in my Wedding Notebook Makeover post), you could have probably guessed this. But, without further adieu, here are the official colors added to the  
PINK that will be present on our BIG DAY!

Not everything about this picture will be seen at our wedding, but if you add pink to that color scheme, it hits it right on.  SO EXCITED to start decorating our venue in the next couple of months!

138 days to go...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Our Claddagh Rings

March is here!!! What does that mean to Mr. Hess and I? It's the month of ST. PATRICK'S DAY!!!

It may sound kind of silly, but this is one of our favorite holidays because Mr. Hess has Irish routes.  We always celebrate by eating a traditional Irish meal, usually followed by enjoying the night at an Irish pub (imagine that!) I love the shamrocks, the green carnations, leprechauns (well, the ones that aren't creepy), and celebrating the Irish culture in general.  I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to talk about this since March is now here, and St. Patty's day will be here before we know it!

I explain more in the video, but originally Mr. Hess and I wanted to theme our wedding around St. Patrick's Day and have an Irish wedding.  We wanted it to be in March (OMG that would be NOW) and wanted it to be GREEN and white.  I LOVED this idea, because it kind of felt like I would be joining the Irish culture, through marriage - and I've never felt a connection to any kind of culture before.  Here some of my thoughts below...and oh, ignore the middle of the video where 2 random things happen: Mr. Hess asks me for directions on where we are going and then the audio sounds like it's going to blow up! Those both will

Well, you've figured out by now, this theme didn't happen and it's for two reasons: 1) Timing - IMPOSSIBLE! We are only about 2/3 done with our regular work season and 2) Half of our guests or even wedding party members wouldn't be able to be a part of it if it wasn't during the off-season or summer.  Plus, this gave me 4 extra months of planning time....and boyyyyyyyy do we need that!!!!  So, we didn't incorporate the whole Irish theme into our wedding, but we might throw a hint of it in here in there - so look out for it!

With all of that said, you will now understand why Mr. Hess and I originally wanted to purchase claddagh rings for wedding bands!  A WHAT?! A claddagh ring!  I'm sure you've seen one before...the design features two hands clasping a heart, and usually topped with a crown. The elements of this symbol are often said to correspond to the qualities of LOVE (the heart), FRIENDSHIP (the hands), and LOYALTY (the crown).

The traditional gold claddagh ring - pictured here as a men's and women's set

Claddagh rings may be used as friendship, relationship, eternity, engagement, or wedding rings depending on the intention of wearer, or the intention of the giver if the ring if it is a gift. There are three traditionally accepted ways of wearing the ring which may signal someone's relationship status:

1. When worn on the right ring finger with the heart pointing to the fingertip, the wearer is free of any attachment.
2. On the same finger with the ring turned around, it suggests someone is romantically involved.
3. When the ring is on the left hand wedding ring finger it means the person is married or engaged.

You can even have your claddagh rings personalized with your birthstones and names.  This is more of a girly version, and something I would like to have!

Clearly, you can guess which way Mr. Hess would wear his ring, but I on the other hand had a challenge.  I have a beautiful engagement ring, and would have to wear the claddagh ring on my right hand, which would be a different meaning than his.  So, we've decided - we STILL want claddagh rings, but will purchase them on our 1 year anniversary.  The only way Mr. Hess agreed to this is because I threw in this gem of an idea: "How about we go to Ireland for our 1 year anniversary and purchase authentic claddagh rings there!" Perfect right? Well, he went for it....YAY! So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we can make that happen!

For now, our next ring adventure will be purchasing our actual WEDDING BANDS!!!! How freaking excited am I?! Yup - you guessed it...pretty excited.  I'll keep you updated on how that search is going, but I'll leave you with a few ideas of what kind of claddagh ring I will hopefully be wearing a little under a year and a half from now.  There are SO many options - but I'm pretty sure I would go with something like one of the following...and of course, the first one is pink:

OR...a little more blinged out:

OR - I REALLY like the modern day look of the claddagh ring...

The different variations and ways you can personalize this ring are endless! I don't know the best link to give out to find these rings, but there are some great pictures and information about this ring if you simply goggle claddagh ring.  I will have more information on this later, when I actually research on getting OUR claddagh ringhs! And like I said before, my dream would be to actually pick up a set of these babies if we actually get to GO to Ireland for our 1 year anniversary there.  It's going to be hard not to purchase one of these before then, because I think they are adorable and I really like the meaning behind them.  I'm looking forward to learning more about the Irish culture with Mr. Hess and starting our own claddagh ring collection!

A year and 141 days until that anniversary trip happens!

Until Next Time,
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