Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Dress

I’m sorry to say that I will be one of the one’s with their alarm set for 4 a.m. on Friday. Whether or not I will be up, I’m not sure. But somewhere in between sleeping and waking I am DYING to see Kate Middleton’s wedding dress.

There are speculations on how she will dress. Traditional? Stylish? A hint of Diana?

Most assume it will be a British designer, so I have Googled the designers mentioned. While Bruce Oldfield is out, I still LOVE his designs. They are so elegant and simple; I will I could have had him as my designer. Check out this two piece beautiful creation:

It reminds me a bit of Princess Raina’s dress. (I DIE over the jacket.)

Another name drop was Libelula designer Sophie Cranston, but frankly her designs seem too causal for a royal wedding. Kate’s favorite designer is Issa London, but they’ve never done a wedding dress before. Another contender, who I have also fallen for is Phillipa Lepley. Check out the back of this dress?

How perfect for a nautical wedding?

Apparently Vivienne Westwood is another candidate, though maybe a bit too much for the palace. We all remember the Carrie dress? I don’t want to get too carried away because I think I would be devastated if it wasn't VW.

I have a feeling Kate will wear something form fitting; she tends towards body hugging clothing to begin with. She has lost a lot of weight and unless it’s stress (which could be. I freaked out with 200 people watching me, I can’t imagine the world!) I’m sure she’s gearing up for something that resembles a dress, not a big fluffy cupcake.

Um, did I mention her parents offered up the $434,000 price tag for the soon-to-be-memorable dress?

I have my own predictions. I leave you with some queen-worthy styles that the everyday princess-bride can afford.

Justin Alexander's Grace Kelly Masterpiece

Love Amsale

Audrey Hepburn wore a short dress

Justin Alexander's (#8465) modern day Audrey Dress

Of course I had to include a something pink

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Easter marks the first holiday Mark and I have spent just the two of us!

Easter is my favorite holiday. As a Christian, it’s obviously one of the most important, as it is the foundation of our entire belief system. But it’s also one of those holidays where there is no expectations.

It’s a bit bittersweet, as any holiday without close family feels a bit little strange. While Mark and I headed to church this morning, it was weird not seeing EVERYONE dressed up. Cincinnati is so traditional, and I miss that in south Florida.

My family’s tradition usually include Sunday mass (I’ll throw in my inter-dominational service Saturday night), my brothers complain about getting dressed up, all four of us are fighting over who gets the shower next and struggle to get a spot in the mirror. After church we either hit up the country club or Dad makes the infamous holiday-only casserole while us “kids” (we are all well over 20) search for our Easter Baskets; baskets filled with Esther Price, BonBonerie cookies, and Jelly Bellys.

During Pre-Cana one of the speakers talked about making new traditions as a married couple. This Easter is our first opportunity to decide on how we want to celebrate a holiday, which is the sweet part.

We went to Good Friday service, visited the “Vatican Splendors” art exhibit at the Ft. Lauderdale Art Museum and went to service this morning (… which we were an hour early for. We were running “so late” I didn’t have time to double-check the time, of course.). I made brunch, complete with mimosas. (I even wore my fancy apron one of my besties gave me for my birthday, thanks Melz!).

My fancy & stylish apron from Anthropologie Love it!

AND! After seven months of marriage, we FINALLY got to use our “fancy” dinnerware, platters, bowls and serving utensils! I even got a little flash with a tablecloth and broke out my old, inner yachtie stewardess and prettied-up some table settings.

table setting

Our first Easter table! & my handsome husband

It was a fantastic, champagne-y late lunch (… I rarely cook, so it took me a while). We ate on our balcony, which has such a amazing view Mark and I couldn’t believe we didn't eat out there more often. Most people would kill to vacation here, and we are blessed enough to live here (yes, I did say I feel blessed to live in SoFla … maybe it’s the mimosas and the Cadbury eggs).

Even Martini and Morgan got some Easter-loot.

And now we continue our celebration of tradition-making by ordering an Easter pizza :)

I hope your Easter was just as blessed as ours!

Morgan getting her basket


Martini checking out the Bunny Loot

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Great Outdoors

Inspired by a sermon from our church in Ohio, Mark decided he wanted to put away the computer, turn off the TV and get back to living simply. Insert, an impromptu camping in SW Florida.

Two hours west of Miami lies the Collier-Seminole State Park. Mark organized us a drive up campsite and although we weren’t backpacking, I insisted we “rough” it as much as we could. We packed up our spanking new camping gear, the bare essentials of food and clothing and the pups and headed west.

(Little did we know, our neighbors had fans around their campsites, Christmas lights, stereo systems, gourmet foods and cooking items. Whatever happened to cooking a hotdog on a stick?)

our campsite

Unfortunately it wasn’t as picturesque as we had planned. Our assigned campsite was infested by wasp. I panicked (I have a history with yellow jackets), refusing to move anywhere near the flying spawns of Satan, which meant Mark was left with heavy lifting. After a lot of work and even more sweat, our tent was up and a fire was started.

Surprisingly, we didn't take into account that spring in the swamp brings out bugs. With the wasp and the increasing number of brown flies, Mark decided to make a trip to the ranger station for more fire wood and a quick pass by the gas station near to pick up bug spray. The ranger told us we could move campsites. Luckily, the site next to us was open and wasp-free. A few trips back and forth we were once again ready to relax.

We literally puddled sitting in front of our tent. The dogs were constantly getting tangled up. I didn’t bring any long pants because it’s effing hot in Florida; thought it would have been nice to be protected from the ‘squitos. A veggie burger fell into the fire. Half the campsite was rented to a Cuban family reunion, and if you didn't know Cubans are loud: loud talking, loud music blaring (Christina Aguilera, the Spanish version), lots of people and a huge pig turning over a spit.

Nothing was going right.

Martini's not into the camping


Morgan exploring

The night cooled off a bit, and lucky the campsites had restrooms with showers. After an ice cold shower we were able to jump into the tent. We just started relaxing, when Morgan gave a warning bark. The yacht captain in Mark sprung into action, flicking on his flashlight on a raccoon scouring our campsite (the bandit was actually really cute and really clean. I kept wondering how he was so clean and I had to scrub the dirt off me after camping for only half a day).

In the morning, Mark attempted to make me fresh coffee. Unfortunately the press didn't work and the coffee ended up more like silt water. We called it quits, packed up quickly and went on a hunt for anyplace that had decent coffee.

We did spend the rest of the afternoon at the dog beach then drove back to Miami.

On another note, this past weekend marked three years together for Mark and me. I didn't realize it until Monday night (See how romantic I am?). But it’s actually quite fitting we had a disastrous camping trip … after all everything we’ve done has never been easy.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Survival Guide

For years (yikes! I can’t believe it’s been almost three!), Mark and I have been desperately trying to find a hobby to do together.

After spending our first year traveling, sitting on the couch under the same roof, chowing on pizza was romantic. However, Mark and I are not sit at home types. Yes, we prefer low-key nights, but we want to feel like we took the life out of the daytime.

So what did we come up with?

Camping!!! What better way to strengthen your bond than with getting lost and fighting over starting a fire? Honestly, I love camping, so I'm excited Mark is as excited as me.

This is just my new stuff – Mark has a whole separate bag full of mini pots and cups, a Jet Boil and a pocket chain saw just in case we need to Swiss Family Robinson it.

Mark has been religiously watching Man vs. Wild and even bought a Bear Grylls survival knife (… it’s actually pretty cool) as well as a Bear Grylls shirt (which apparently can be used to make a “survival rope” for quicksand if such a need arises) and Bear Grylls pants (with a glorified Ziploc pocket pouch for all the items you don’t want to get wet on the "slippy" rocks).

When he reads this, he probably thinks I’m making fun of him, but his all-hands-on-deck, jumping-in-head-first, balls-to-the-walls enthusiasm is something I love about him.

We had tried other hobbies; two months into dating he surprised me with a motorcycle helmet for his Honda CBR 1000. As a girl that carries extra hairspray and a teasing comb in her purse, a helmet isn’t the most ideal gift. Mark’s a SCUBA instructor, so I have a pretty pink snorkel and mask (used once) and a brand new wet suit hanging in the closet (used zero). We did lucked out with paddle boarding. However once I moved off the boat, my paddle board went into storage and has yet to be seen.

And unfortunately Florida doesn’t boast the most rugged terrain, so in order to really test out our “survival” gear we’ll have to make a trip.

I really want to find a hiking/camping trail that allows dogs, because how cute would Martini be wearing one of these?