Meant to Be

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We attended the wedding of this beautiful couple in Upstate NY/Bronx a few weeks ago. I went to high school with the groom, Marcin, and we continued along similar paths heading to the University of Maryland for college, and eventually New York City in our early 20s. It was so nice to have a friendly face from home when we (my now husband and I) first moved to the Big Apple. We didn’t know how long we would stay, but it’s crazy to think we all just came upon our 8th anniversary here. I was so honored Marcin and his fiancé (and now wife), Dana, asked me to be a part of their ceremony by doing a reading at the church. I couldn’t have been happier to support this couple as they spoke their vows on that beautiful day. Not only have I remained close with Marcin and his family throughout the years, but it’s been a blessing getting to know Dana as well as Dana’s incredible family. To see two amazing families unite is truly a wonderful thing. Marcin and Dana make each other so exceptionally happy and you can just tell from these photos how much they light up when they are around each other. From day one, I could tell these two had a strong bond, and I know they will continue to be blessed and happy together for many many years to come. Congratulations Marcin and Dee…you are truly meant to be!

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These photos bring me back! What a great day and night it was…and you can truly see the love!

Hope you are all having a great week. I have been playing a lot of catch up…both with work and with home life (laundry, grocery shopping, etc. – you know all the fun stuff). We got back on Monday from a trip to the Finger Lakes for the 4th of July holiday. We spent some time on Seneca Lake, in the Ithaca area near Cayuga lake, and exploring around the outdoors. I have a lot more to share from our trip, so stay tuned to the next couple posts to view our adventures!

Make it a great one!

XO,

Gina

Tying the Knot in Tucson

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Tucson.  Beautiful Tucson.  The boys and I flew out to Arizona back in November to celebrate the wedding of my pen pal (yes you heard that right), Angela to her sweetheart, Leon.  We visited them in May 2013 while I was pregnant, back before they were even engaged, and we had the most amazing time out there exploring and meeting her family.  We were so happy to return as a family of three and celebrate their wonderful union together.

It was a magical night in the Tucson desert.  The sunset was absolutely unreal out there.  The flowers were stunning of course, as Angela and her sister are both floral designers.  I loved the artistic touches Angela included, especially the four wedding dresses she pulled from the parents and grandparents of her and Leon.  These dresses were hung from trees that lined her walk down the aisle.  Sigh.

Aside from the beautiful decor and scenery, the wedding was full of fantastic people.  Coming from across the country, we didn’t know many of the guests but both Angela and Leon’s family and friends were so completely welcoming and friendly.  They were also lots of fun, and we joined them on the dance floor for much of the night.  Kids were able to run around in the outdoor space, and I think our little Nico actually learned how to really walk here.

It was a beautiful night, and I am so happy for Angela and Leon.  Thanks for letting us be a part of your celebration.  Love you both!

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Beautiful, huh?

Fast forward to present day: Yesterday marked the first Day of P90X for me.  As you can probably imagine, I am in an incredible amount of pain!  But no pain, no gain right?  Day 2 (today) I woke up early to do plyometrics.  I was actually enjoying the workout, but started to feel sick and queasy about half way in.  Now, I know I’m not pregnant, so I guess this is a sign I am out of shape!  I started having flashbacks of high school basketball tryouts where there were trashcans lined up around the gym “just in  case.”  Yikes.  I decided to listen to my body, and stop the workout at the moment.  It’s only Day 2, and I have a long journey.  I do plan on completing the second half of the workout later today when I have a bit more energy.  Oh the curveballs!

Other than that, we have SNOW today up in the Big Apple!  Unfortunately, since Nico and I have been sick, I think we will be enjoying the snow through the window today, but at least it’s pretty!

Hope you are all having a great week and a great start to the new year!

XO,

Gina

Nautical 1st Birthday Party

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Since Nico was born on Labor Day Weekend of last year, we decided to throw a little nautical themed bash to round out the summer.  The hubby and I spent the week prior crafting some decorations for the event, and I think they turned out nicely.  To create letters like the ONE shown above, check out my tutorial on the letters I created for Nico’s nursery.

My parents, sister, and her boyfriend came up from Maryland,  close friends in NY arrived, and Nico had his little buddies to hang with and jam out to the Munchkin Music Club sing-a-long.  I decided I did not want to spend the entire day in the kitchen, so we had the event catered by Fairway, and they did a phenomenal job.  I think we may have overdone it a bit…just a little bit…as we had food leftover for the entire week and then some.  The fabulous cake from Betty Bakery tasted just as good as it looked!  We appreciate everyone who came out to celebrate, and we hope you all had a great time!

XO,

Gina

Boston Love

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I finally found some time to go through the tons of photos I took at Jamie and Kaitlyn’s wedding in Boston.  For those that don’t remember, their wedding took place on the same day as the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bomber.  It was an extremely crazy day, and I am proud of the bride and groom for taking everything in stride.  Their original ceremony location was supposed to be held at a church that was in a lockdown area, so they had to move it at the last minute to the same location at the reception.  I think they did a phenomenal job with the transformation, and this couple proved that the show must go on and love prevails!

Tons of love, patriotism, and Boston pride were shown at this wedding from start to finish.  The groom and his men dressed in Naval attire, the sword arch ceremony, the altered speeches, and the irish jig and Bostonian song lyrics gave this wedding a special touch.  It was so nice to see their family and friends rally around the bride and groom on their special day, and also rally around their city in light of such crazy times.  I’m sure you can see the love here in the photos below.  Enjoy!

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Brotherly love

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Me and the hubby (with the little one doing a good job of hiding)

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What a fun night!

Stay tuned for more photos from our Boston trip to come.

This past weekend we went to Maryland for the 1st Annual John Petrovick Memorial 5K in Baltimore.  You may remember I ran for John and raised over $5,000 for the Johns Hopkins Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery back in October.   Well, yesterday marked the 1 year anniversary of his passing, and some good friends of mine put on this special event to honor his memory and inspire others.  John was a truly inspirational person, and I am so happy this event went off without a hitch.  It was a gorgeous, sunny day, and about 250 runners and walkers participated.  This was definitely the best possible way we could have spent the day.  “Inside all of us is HOPE.”  Miss you, John.

Hope you all are having a great start to your week!

XO,

Gina

A Day on the Farm

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While on holiday, we spent a day celebrating my mother-in-law’s birthday on the farm.  Her friend owns a beautiful piece of property in Northern Maryland, and invited a crew over for a lovely housewarming at their newly renovated home.  Along with my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law were also in attendance.  It was great to catch up with everyone over delicious home cooked seafood chowder, decadent desserts, and a fantastic walk around the yard with all the goats and chickens.  Thanks to Bill and Ellen for their hospitality.

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Today is my first day back at the office in the new year.  It’s strangely quiet so far today.  This morning I was able to make it to the gym, and I actually made it there before it opened.  What, you say?  Yes, this is no joke.  Weird things are happening in 2013.

Hope you all enjoy the end of our short week.

Cheers,

Gina

Seven Fishes

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The Feast of the Seven Fishes is an Italian Christmas celebration.  The dinner features seven different types of seafood and commemorates the wait, or vigil, for the midnight birth of the baby Jesus.  The most famous dish that Southern Italians are known for is baccala, or codfish.  Italians today also incorporate many other different types of seafood into their meal.

My family has been celebrating this tradition since before I can even remember.  What used to be a feast at my Grandparent’s house for many years has now moved to my Aunt and Uncle’s due to spacial reasons.  The family keeps growing!  Christmas Eve is a night that my cousins and I look forward to all year long.  It’s a time where the whole family is together, we drink delicious drinks, eat the best meal of the year, share gifts, and take our annual family photos.

This year was no different.  We shared many laughs, pumpkin martinis, cherry bomb spritzers, pesto rockfish, breaded baccala, escargot, clams, mussels, shrimp (ok so we had six, not seven, but close enough!), broccoli, garlic bread, the amazing corn pudding, brie, homemade cookies, awkward family photos, presents, and silliness.

I always hate departure time, but I was able to end the night knowing that we would be seeing everyone in less than a week for a family wedding before the new year!  Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.

Buon Natale!

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AC

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Atlantic City!  What a weekend.  First off, congratulations to the bachelorette, my cousin Alex.  I think we showed her a pretty good celebration, evident by the fact that she wore her tiara the entire time, and even on the way out of the casino.  She clearly did not want the weekend to end.  It was wonderful to get some quality girl time complete with constant squealing, dirty shirley’s, sequins, stilettos, and dancing.  I am not a huge gambler, but I did get into a game of black jack, the Sex and the City slots, and a little roulette as well.  This weekend was definitely one for the books, and I am now super excited for her wedding at the end of the month!

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View from our hotel room at the Revel. You can see a bit of destruction left over from Hurricane Sandy. Boardwalk and casinos were pretty much in tact though.

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My cousins Marisa and Alex. Matron of Honor & Bride.

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The crew

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Bride with one of her bridesmaids

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My sister and I. On me: Forever 21 dress, Betsey Johnson watch, Lancome Fuchsia Clutch lip, bracelet (gift from cousin), ALDO earrings

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Well, I am looking forward to a little relaxation tonight after a crazy fun-filled weekend.  Planning on maybe a little work out, dinner with the hubs, and catching the Redskins v. Giants game on TV.  HAIL!

Happy Manic Monday everyone!

XO,

Gina



Milk & Cookie

Here are a few photos from my cousin, Alex’s, bridal shower this past weekend.  Alex and her fiance, Seamus, have been calling each other “Milk & Cookie” for quite some time now, and as you can see, we decided to take that theme and run with it for her shower!  Each of the bridesmaids made a batch of cookies (or in my case brought down cookies from a Brooklyn bakery – a family favorite), and we created a little cookie bar where guests could take home some sweet treats.

The beautiful bride looking stunning in a dress from Forever 21! Rock it girl!

A gift from the in-laws! Also got her a “Gaelic & Garlic” tee. So funny!

Cousin love – Sensational Six!

  It was a great day to see family and shower Alex with love.  Isn’t she just the cutest?!?!  She is going to make such a beautiful bride!

In other news…NYC is a mess.  Insane amount of flooding, power outages, trees down, houses and cars destroyed, subways and tunnels down.  It’s unreal.  I am shocked at how much damage Hurricane Sandy has caused.  I think a lot of us were hoping it would be similar to Irene, but this is way more intense.  My husband and I have been very lucky.  We are doing okay in Brooklyn.  Luckily we are far enough inland that the flooding has not reached us, and we did not lose power.  I am praying for family and friends in the area who were not as lucky. If anyone needs a place to stay and you can get here, you are more than welcome.  Stay safe everyone.

Love,

Gina