Category Archives: Wedding

6 Bridal Shower Party Ideas

My recent trip to the east coast included more on the agenda than just visiting family – it was also to throw a bridal shower for my little brother’s bride-to-be! I’m a bridesmaid in their wedding next month, and I flew in to help celebrate with a bridal shower surprise.

L to R: My sister-in-law Jamie, my sister Kelsey, me, my soon to be sister-in-law Desiree, and my mom

I had fun planning out all of the decorations and little details that went along with their springtime wedding pastel color theme, and today I thought I’d share a few of the fun party ideas that I implemented with the other bridesmaids and my mom.

1.) Photo Balloons.
I absolutely love doing photo projects, and I know that my soon to be sister-in-law Dez also digs them too… so making photo balloons was one of my first ideas for the party. The basic gist is to attach a photo to each balloon and have memories floating around the party all day for guests to check out.

My brother Danny and Dez have a 3-year old boy, so it was fun going back a couple years and including photos from when he was just a baby. I also included shots from when the two of them had just started dating in college, along with some of their first photos as a family.

To do this, I ordered 35 photos, hole punched each one, then knotted the balloon strings around each photo. A few of the balloons started sagging, so I had to cut some of the photos to make them a tad bit lighter to fly free. I decided to go with a mix of gold + white balloons, which wound up looking really pretty.

I also ordered a couple of weighted balloon bouquets to place around the room, including a champagne balloon that we put near the alcohol and an engagement room balloon bouquet that we placed near the present table.

2.) Mimosa Bar. I had seen mimosa bars online of other bridal showers, and was happy to finally have the chance to do my own mimosa bar!

For the mimosa bar, you need a.) champagne, b.) different kinds of juices, c.) a couple of different kinds of fruit. I also bought a ‘Bubbly Bar’ banner online to hang on the front of the table, along with a large chalkboard sign for a festive bar note + smaller chalkboard signs to label the juices.

The mimosa bar was a total hit, and I think we went through 5 double bottles of champagne with 40 guests (+ 3 double bottles of white & red wine!).

3.) ‘Recipe for a Great Marriage’ Activity. I found this idea on Sweet C’s Designs and immediately loved it. Instead of just doing a typical advice book for the bride, you ask guests to write marriage advice on wooden spoons. You gather the spoons up in mason jars, and the bride can take her advice spoons home as fun kitchen decor or to keep elsewhere in her home.

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Life Lately: A Wedding Extravaganza East Coast Trip

Hi there!

Long time no talk. I have been crazy busy lately! An anniversary, 2 weddings, a bachelorette party & visiting family on the east coast have all taken place… and today I thought I’d back it up a few weeks to share with you guys just what I’ve been up to!

At the beginning of the month, my hubby and I celebrated 7 years of marriage! I was traveling to the east coast two days later, so we elected to celebrate lucky #7 locally.


First up, we went to a San Diego Chargers game. They played the Saints and the game was so much fun….until the Chargers totally blew their 13-point lead in the last 4 minutes and lost the game. Whomp whomp. 


Let’s just say that there were many die-hard fans that were not too pleased after the game. Even we were bummed out about it, and we are both really fans of other teams (the Giants for me, the Eagles for him).


After the game, we headed down to Coronado to have dinner at Il Fornaio. It’s an Italian restaurant I’ve mentioned on the blog before that offers great views of downtown San Diego. It was a gorgeous day, so we sat outside to enjoy our meal.

downtown-sd-view {Pasta pomodoro for me for dinner}


{And gelato + a boozy coffee to split for dessert}


It was such a fun day together! I especially appreciated it since I knew we’d be apart for a few weeks, and since A has been so insanely busy with work & school lately.


A few days later, I headed cross country to NJ. Even though I was just in my home state of NJ over the summer, this east coast trip came up when I found out that two of my friends were getting married in the same weekend. One of my close friends works for JetBlue and was able to hook me up with free flights, which was awesome!


complimentary snacks on my JetBlue flights = a happy traveling me

It was actually the first time I’ve ever flown JetBlue (they don’t fly a lot of routes that I do… yet!) and I absolutely loved them. Free wi-fi, free TV, free snacks, enough space to sit so that I don’t feel completely claustrophobic… it’s the little complimentary things that make me a happy traveler! I was able to work the entire flight out with easy wi-fi access, and the 6-hour flights flew by (pun intended!) both ways.


The first wedding was for the friend that I’ve had the longest in the world. Ashley and I started cheerleading together at age 7 and were carpooling buddies our senior year of high school, and now as adults, we keep in touch & meet up whenever I’m in the area. She looked so happy and stunning at her wedding!


Sans my hubby, my friend Danielle was my date for the night. It was fun to get to catch up with her the whole night and crash at a hotel together!

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Weekly Workout Recap: No Excuses in Making Exercise a Priority

Hi friends!

I had such an awesome time on vacation last week, but I missed you guys! Even though I had access to my computer some of the time, I really stayed away and just enjoyed visiting my family and friends in Jersey. Between my full-time work, blog/freelance work, and personal email, I get a ridiculous amount of emails, and it felt kind of nice to ignore them for an entire 9 days. Now I’m just trying to catch up and decompress from the craziness that was last week!

The sunset view from my parents' NJ beach house

The sunset view from my parents’ NJ beach house

My hubby flew back to San Diego yesterday, while I’m staying with my parents in Jersey and working from here for the next few weeks to get more quality time in with my loved ones. I decided that since this is a long trip, I’m going to post weekly workout recaps while I’m away from my home. It can be tough to keep up with workouts when I’m not on a normal routine and in my own house, but I’ve been finding ways to keep nice and active.

Side planking along the Navesink River

Side planking along the Navesink River

This week’s workout theme? No excuses! There are nearly always reasons you can come up with for why you should skip exercise, and on the flip side, there are nearly always ways that you can fit it in with some effort and a bit of planning ahead.

low lunge-front yard

So let’s go ahead and recap my workouts since I’ve been home! To exemplify how I make it work and have no excuses when it comes to an active lifestyle, I’m also going to share with you what I was up to that day – because I’ve been all over the place and crazy busy since flying to the east coast!

Backing it up to last weekend when we arrived, last Saturday I was at my parents’ beach house. Some of my family – I think there was around 40 of us! – got together for fun in the sun and lots of good food and drinks. My hubby’s birthday was the day before, and my cousin and I had our birthdays coming up in a few days, so everyone celebrated with us.

My hubby, cousin and I are all Leos born with a week of each other

My hubby, cousin and I are all Leos born within a week of each other

It was an awesome first full day home! Since I knew the afternoon and evening would be hectic, I woke up and got a workout in: a 15 minute walk with my parents’ dog + 45 minutes of kickboxing & conditioning exercises + 15 minutes of yoga and stretching. A and I also wound up canoeing for 30 minutes in the early afternoon, which was fun! 

canoeing-2We enjoyed canoeing so much on Saturday, we did it again on Sunday morning. A 45-minute canoe ride was the perfect low-key movement to cure a bit of jet lag and tiredness from partying on Saturday, before we made the 2-hour drive south to visit A’s dad, who threw us a surprise family birthday party on Sunday evening. We were spoiled with birthday celebrations this year!

Relaxing in my father-in-law's backyard & playing with his black lab

Relaxing in my father-in-law’s backyard & playing with his black lab

Monday was a rest day, as our day was jam-packed with getting up early to take A’s dad’s boat out on a nice ride to Chesapeake City, Maryland. We walked around and checked out all of the neat little antique shops and had lunch there before driving to Philly to take his dad to the airport for a work trip, and heading back to his house to get ready for dinner at A’s grandparents’ place.

Chesapeake City

Chesapeake City, Maryland


Mary's Palette - Chesapeake City

I had wanted to workout that night following dinner, but we didn’t wind up getting back to his dad’s to go to sleep until 11:30 pm, so….Tuesday I woke up bright and early to get a quick workout in. I did a 30-minute treadmill interval workout, followed by 10 minutes of squats, sit-ups and pushups. Not surprisingly, I hated every minute of it! I’m still not a treadmill fan.

Eagles training camp

We then drove 45-minutes to A’s mom’s house, then headed down to Philly to see the Eagles training camp open practice. We had fun watching all of the players practice with 20,000 other fans, and I’m getting excited for football season to start…. though let’s be clear, I’m still a Giants fan myself! šŸ˜‰

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