I’m back, baby

Today is my first day back at work after Kait’s wedding, and I feel like I need another day of recovery! The weekend was absolutely amazing…so many pictures to share below. What we thought would be a beach ceremony turned in to an inside ceremony due to the horrific weather, but Kait took it all in stride and knew she couldn’t change it! She was a stunning bride. I was so happy to be by her side. We spent an extra night on LBI and I’m so happy we did, it was a mini-getaway! Now, on to the snapshots from my Insta! (You can follow me @ rachstr43)

Pics from the rehearsal - everyone was ready to party! And Kait looked stunning.

Pics from the rehearsal – everyone was ready to party! And Kait looked stunning.

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The florist did an amazing job, our flowers were beautiful, right down to the last detail!

The florist did an amazing job, our flowers were beautiful, right down to the last detail!

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We were almost ready to head to the venue - but needed to make sure all weather precautions were in place!

We were almost ready to head to the venue – but needed to make sure all weather precautions were in place!

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Getting the bride in place, cocktail hour and reception pics!

Getting the bride in place, cocktail hour and reception pics!

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Lucky to spend one extra day soaking up the beach, sun and sand. Nothing like the feeling of sand between your toes for the first time in months!

Lucky to spend one extra day soaking up the beach, sun and sand. Nothing like the feeling of sand between your toes for the first time in months!

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So the sun set on another wedding, and we came to the realization that…we’re next!!?! We have Brian’s brother’s in September, but in our group of friends we are the next ones. It’s very surreal. Let the countdown begin!

A sad end to Mother’s Day

I was going to do my typical weekend re-cap last night of a wonderful Mother’s Day spent with both of our moms and how blessed we are…which all remains true. But our night was rattled when we received a call from Brian’s friend he had just returned from camping with. Their other friend who was with them returned home to find out that his mother had died while out kayaking with his sister (on Mother’s Day no less). Just so tragic and awful. We are unsure of details yet, but Brian is very rattled. This is one of his childhood best friends and he knew his mom quite well. Bri lost his dad tragically when he was in 7th grade and has unfortunately known the feeling of loss from a very young age, so he knows his friend’s whole world has been turned upside down.

We feel even more grateful and blessed that we got to spend the day with both of our moms, and it made me just want to hug my mom even tighter. It’s always sad events like this that give you perspective, but it has once again reminded me that life is so very unpredictable, precious and that we are not the ones in charge here.

Please send along any positive thoughts and prayers to our friend and his family, they will need so much in the weeks and months to come.

Hope you all got to spend Mother’s Day with your moms and kiddos and furbabies alike. XO

5 on Friday!

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TGIF everyone! Thanks to our ladies for hostessing the 5 on Friday as always. Here we go!

  1. Mother’s Day
    As you know Mother’s Day is Sunday – the weather here is looking to be gorgeous! Bri is out of town AGAIN, this time camping til Sunday with some buddies. So I am having my parents over for Mother’s Day brunch on Sunday. I will be making this spinach and artichoke egg casserole, along with cinnamon rolls, turkey bacon, fresh fruit, and of course mimosas! here is a sneak peak of what it looks like, I can’t wait to try it!

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2.  New TV
OK, with Bri gone again and a pretty low-key weekend ahead, I am looking for a new TV show to binge watch. Any suggestions? I am a huge Game of Thrones fan, Scandal, House of Cards…any guilty pleasures you love to watch?!

3. Countdown
One week from today I’ll be standing up for one of my best friends in her wedding in Long Beach Island, NJ! I am so excited for that event, plus the 3 days off that come along with it 🙂

Me and Kaitlin

Me and Kaitlin

 

4. Sunless tanner
I hate to admit this, but I have been “fake baking” the past couple weeks to get ready for Kait’s wedding…it’s on a beach, and I am pale as pale can be. And I know it is soooo bad for you!! So from here on out, I am looking for rec’s on sunless tanners…mind you, as I’ve already mentioned, I am a pasty lady. I have been wary of trying spray tanning or anything for fear of streaking and/or a Ross moment from Friends (anyone remember that?! “Were you counting Mississippi-ily?!”) What do ya think ladies?

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My future?

 

5.  These sandals
I want. That is all.

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Have a great weekend, everyone! xo

Beautiful weekend for a wedding

This weekend we attended our friends’ wedding and it was so fun! The weather held out for them, the ceremony was beautiful and the reception was a blast. It made me so excited for our wedding! They’re currently on their way to Hawaii (jealous :)) and I am blogging before taking a quick day trip for work. So here are some pics from the weekend, hope you all enjoyed yours! Oh, and I saved the best picture for last…my dad sent his first text message this weekend and hilarity ensued.

 

A faraway shot of the wedding party in the GORGEOUS basilica!

A faraway shot of the wedding party in the GORGEOUS basilica!

All smiles!

All smiles!

My future brother-in-law catching me taking a pic of him with the rings!

My future brother-in-law catching me taking a pic of him with the rings!

It's official! Beautiful couple

It’s official! Beautiful couple

A couple shots of me and Bri on the way in to the reception

A couple shots of me and Bri on the way in to the reception – another Rent the Runway success with my dress!

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I got to take home one of the beautiful centerpieces!

I got to take home one of the beautiful centerpieces!

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And last but not least, you’re welcome for the laugh.

5 on Friday

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Happy Friday everyone! Spring has sprung here after a last blast from Winter on Tuesday. Thanks to our hostesses as always! Here’s what’s going on this Friday:

1. Good Friday
It is indeed Good Friday and being raised Catholic in an Italian family it’s a big tradition to do a fish dinner. So we’ll be feasting on fried clams, haddock, garlic pizza and spaghetti with red sauce and tuna (which sounds gross but my mom makes it and it is delish!!) I love having these traditions and it always brings me back to childhood. After dinner tonight Bri and I will be heading to our friends’ house for a poker-themed 30th birthday party. One of my oldest friends (I’ve known him since kindergarten!) is turning 30. I still can’t believe we’re turning 30 this year.

2. This dinner
We made this last night and it was the perfect Spring-night dinner! So easy to make and the salad was so fresh-tasting. Plus we got to break in the grill for the season. It reminds me that summer is on the way.

Chipotle pork loin and black bean salad

Chipotle pork loin and black bean salad

3. Easter Brunch
We’re going to brunch on Sunday with my parents and grandparents which I am looking forward to – but I am even MORE excited because it will be where my bridal shower is being held in September! I just found out a couple weeks ago where my girls were planning to have it – the rest stays a surprise. But the food at Gentile’s is unbelievable so I know they will do a great job.

4. Tucker
I just love our pup. Bri and I were saying last night that it feels as if he is our child. We’ve only had him for 6 months but he’s such a good dog and I am so happy we could rescue him from the horrible situation he was in. Here he is sunbathing on our deck Wednesday even though there was still snow on it and it was 30 degrees out!

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5. Thankful
As I was writing this I received a very sweet email from my future mother in law – she told us she finally had time to look and read through our wedding website and she just said some of the sweetest things. I am so lucky, blessed and grateful that I get to marry in to that family and she has been such a blessing in my life and someone I look up to greatly.

TGIF

bridal showers and Easter eggs

We had a super busy and fun-filled weekend of family and friends! Spent Friday night putting together last minute details for Kaitlin’s bridal shower, then pulled it off without a hitch on Saturday! Tons of photos below to re-cap. (and you can see my Rent the Runway number!) Sunday was absolutely gorgeous (and unseasonably warm here) with 80+ degrees! We had our Easter with our nieces and capped off the day with putt-putt and ice cream. So fun! Hope you all had a great weekend!

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Beautiful (and tasty) cupcakes with G for Gallagher on them!
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Centerpieces we worked tirelessly on the night before 😉

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The spread!

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Our blushing bride with her signature white sangria cocktail

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Me and the bride, bride and her MOH, and cutest flower girls ever!

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And finally, our “Easter Sunday” (Palm Sunday) with nieces, in-laws and family!

xo!

week’s end and blogging help

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Hey all! Sorry I missed my usual 5 on Friday post this past week. I was traveling for work and am not organized enough to schedule a posting 🙂

We had a great weekend, it was finally SPRING here in Syracuse! Friday night Bri and I had a nice and relaxing date night in. We did a wine tasting at this awesome little shop called the Savvy Wine Cellar. They have been open for 5 years now and it is so great to see a local business thrive. They sell JUST wine, no liquor. And they do free tastings every weekend (my kind of place!) Then we got takeout from our favorite seasonal Mexican joint, Boom Boom Mex Mex.  When Boom Boom opens it’s officially the sign of spring. It was just as delicious as I remember it being.

Saturday we went to our niece Katie’s art show up at Syracuse University. She was just the cutest and so excited/proud of all the hard work she had done. She looked like a little adult. (Pardon my wet hair in the picture ;)) Saturday night we had a great night out with friends. Grabbed burgers at our favorite local pub The Blarney Stone and then had a good old fashioned night of bowling. It felt like high school, hah! But those are the best nights in my opinion.

Sunday was gorgeous and we spent all day outside working on our front yard. (Pictured above – the entire garden department of Home Depot that we bought out). I can see how people think gardening is therapeutic, there really is something about digging through the dirt and planting! Right now we just have mulch and  lot of soil. We didn’t move in to our house until late June last year, so we are not sure what’s planted there, but it looks like a lot. We are excited to see what blooms!

Lastly – since I am new blogger, I have been using one of the canned WordPress templates. I am already getting bored of it! Do any other bloggers out there have templates they’ve successfully downloaded from other sources? Or is the trend to have something custom-designed for you? I’d love any and all advice!

That’s it for now – hope your week is off to a fabulous start!