wedding gift etiquette

Wednesday was me and hubby's 8month wedding anniversary. No we didnt celebrate or anything, but I just happened to realize this morning that we had been married for 8 months. Technically not that long considering we've been together for going on 10years now, but hey still a milestone right? But why Im telling yall this is because within the last 3 weeks I have received not 1 but 2 wedding gifts. I mean come on people, 8 months later you decide you want to send me a gift? lol its not that Im unappreciative, but I personally I would feel really awkward stupid bad if I waited that long to give someone a wedding gift.

However, technically speaking I think its considered proper wedding gift etiquette as long as its within 1 year of the wedding. (Still you'd never hear me doing this) So you may be wondering what the 2 gifts were. Well one was a check (thank you lord, southern wifey is going broke) the other a bracelet.

Now I'd have to say that the bracelet is actually one of my favorite gifts. Not only is it beautiful, but it comes from my oldest bestest (yeah I can make up words like that) friend in the whole wide world, Erin.
This girl right here :)
 Her house is literally the house next to my parents. We've known each other since we were I think 1.5 or 2 years old. Crazy right? we've had alot of crazy bad fun trouble-making good times together. More than likeing you'll find us doing something like this:

Yes this was on our honeymoon.... yes my best friend was with us one of the days while on our honeymoon in St Thomas where she was living for a while. Lets just say she might have gotten us a little belligerent typsy and may or may not have taken us to do this
 But thats not a typical day with us. A typical day with us normally ends up looking like this
Anyone else see a common theme?



uummm yeah......

so back to the point of this lil here post. This lovely lady gave me a wedding gift. Does anyone have a Irish Claddah ring?
via amazon

Me neither. But Ive always wanted one. Just felt awkward wearing it since im only a teeny tiny bit Irish. Basically for those of you who dont know, if the crown is pointing towards your heart your taken, if it points out your single. So wouldnt you know that the Virgin Island (aka St. Thomas where bestie lived) has a similar tradition of their own. Introducing, the "hooked" bracelet.
The story goes, an old fisherman who lived on the island couldnt afford to give his bride a ring. So he took fishing line and a fishing hook and tied them together for her. From there it became a tradition on the island that if the hook was facing toward your heart you were forever hooked to your soulmate. If it faced the opposite way, it meant you were unhooked and single. Needless to say I absolutely LOVE it! I feel like I relate to it so much more being a fishermans wife. And so if you go to the Virgin Islands you will see alot of people wearing these bracelets because they are handmade by the artists there. They have abunch of different styles. Bestie even has one herself, but pointing out
Gotta love the beer can in the pic...ooops.

And I looked it up and guess who else has one of these precious little things? If you guess my 2nd husband Kenny Chesney, then your RIGHT?!?! (note: he may not know hes my husband yet) He got the bracelet while we were at his private house on St. John. 'nother note: we were not married yet this is why the bracelet is facing out in the pic ;)
omg. that cowboy hat gets me every time........drool......just dont take the cowboy hat off.....

sorry. minor setback in the story. Back to bestie and I. I absolutely LOOOVVVEEEE this bracelet. And it was well worth the 8month wait to get it. I havent taken it off since she put it on and I dont think I plan to. Its so simple and its sterling silver so basically it matches everything I wear.

Ok thats all for now. Probably should go back to work. its what pays the bills ya know?


camping, tubing, and lots of other fun

Okay, so I promise this will be the last post about our crazy long fun-filled entertaining road trip. If you havent been following along with all of the posts you can catch up by clicking on these links: roadtrip, Tennessee, CT Wedding, and CT Wedding 2.
To recap real quick we started off by driving to Tennessee from South Florida. In Tennessee we stayed on our friend Billy's parents farm mountain property. We were there for 3 days which included the 4th of July. Then we drove from Tennessee to my family's property in New Jersey. It was a quick visit, just for the night. Then off to Connecticut for our friend Michele and Wills wedding.

So next on our trip was camping. See the bride and her family every summer rent a spot at a campgrounds to put their trailer on. Instead of heading off directly on a honeymoon the bride and groom decided to make the weekend fun filled by hanging out with friends and family while camping. (yes, for those wondering, they are still going on a honeymoon to Lake Tahoe I believe next week). Hubs and I decided that we wanted to do the whole real camping thing. Meaning we brought a tent and an air mattress and slept outside. However a few friends rented a trailer so there was a shower and bathroom nearby Thank.God.
Surprisingly the tent was pretty comfortable. I was kind scared at first because Im used to camping in South Florida where the humidity makes it absolute hell. But in CT it was actually a lil chilly at nighttime. We brought a portable battery operated fan and didnt even have to use it (except during the day when it was hot). And because there is a bunch of different sites that the group of us had rented we got around by golfcart, which we just so happen to deck out with "Just Married" decorations for the bride and groom.
So after pitching the tents, we decided to blow up some tubes we had snagged at a local store and take advantage of the lake that was at the campgrounds. It was overcast all day, but we didnt let that ruin any fun we had. And Ill have to say is the water up north is waaaaaaaay colder than the water down by us. But with a few beers in us I dont think any of us really noticed after a few mins.

The boys then decided that they were going to try using the tubes to go down a river that flowed behind the campsite. And yes my friends, you do see an air-mattress being used as a floatation device. (lowers head in shame, we are truly a little redneck at times.....)
After the boys ventured through this I decided I would be the first brave girl to test out the river and brought my waterproof camera with us for the ride.
Once the rest of the girls realized it was safe and fun, we proceeded to go back to the store and get more tubes for everyone to have fun. (we may have also but a slip and slide.....)
Our 2 nights at the campsite were filled with food, laughter, a little bit of rain, and alot of fun. We had a cookout with the rest of the brides family, followed with some good old rope swinging. We also cooked smores the last night we were there.
We may have taken another ride or two down the river. Oh and since the pics may be a little to hard to see I thought it would be nice to let you know what the guys shirts said in the one pic:

Lohse's Shirt (red): "Choose Wisely" (from Super Mario Bros, standing on the tunnel)
Billy's Shirt (green):  "Life is Crap"
Chad's Shirt (black): "Im the Designated Passenger"

So to sum everything up, we had an absolute awesome time. I wouldnt suggest being the only girl in the car on such a long roadtrip (note to self either fly or convince a girlfriend to go with me), but according to my boys, they no longer consider me one of the girls.......great......


And the PARTAY continues . . .

Continuing on with my road trip posts, this one is all about the PARTAY! (aka wedding reception for Michele & Will). Ill start with the decorations. I have to give some major props to Michele. See the bride and groom both live by us in south Florida, but the bride is originally from Connecticut. She managed to get everything organized for such a large wedding in a completely different state. And on top of that, all the decorations were not only perfect, but so meaningful too! (oh and total photographer fail, i forgot to get a pic of the ballroom all decorated before anyone went it. oops)
And because they were all so meaningful, I have to explain these pics to you.

1. birdcage envelope box - no special meaning that I know of, but it looks cute

2 & 3. little lollipop favors that are supposed to look like flowers in pots (so cute) that have tags used as place cards for which table your supposed to sit at.

4. the groom used to play on the Rutgers football team in college, so instead of a guest book they had a helmet for everyone to sign with their picture on it ( i know clever huh?)

5. picture frames with collages used for the table numbers. The table number corresponded with the a seperate picture of each of them at that age. We sat at table 15 (right next to the dance floor was perfect) and the pics were of them each at age 15.

6. (Now this is my favorite and it is the story I promised in this post) Ill start off with the story of how the lovely bride and groom met. Michele, as originally stated, is from Connecticut. Which means she doesn't really have the knowledge of all the neighborhoods in south Florida. After living several years with different roommates in apartments, she decided it was time to purchase a place of her own. Us native south Floridians tried to warn Michele of certain areas to not buy in. But Michele refused to listen to us and bought a beautiful townhouse in a gated community right smack in the middle of Lauderdhill, ahem "ghetto" for those of you who arent familiar. Because she did have 2 extra rooms she offered 2 friends to move in with her. So boxes, beds, tv's, and lots of makeup were brought into this "bad" neighborhood. Well fellow inhabitants of the area must have been steaking out the place seeing that it was 3 beautiful young women who had moved in. Ill give you 3 guess on what happens next, and the first 2 dont count. A few days later one of the roomates comes home to the door wide open. No one else was home, so she immediately called Michele who quickly left work to go home and call the police. Insert Knight in Shinning Armour, Officer Will. As Will pulls up in his Lauderdhill police car, the 2 girls immediately notice the attractive man in uniform. Needless to say the rest is kind of history as the two exchanged numbers and quickly started dating. Turns out Will just happen to grow up in the same neighbor hood as the rest of us so we already knew him. Ok back to the point, so this little decoration (#6 scroll up again so you can see) was a surprise from Will's Police Department back home who sent this up to the wedding. Its a figurine of Will in his uniform carrying his princess Michele, who also happens to be holding a football. Now you might ask what is that plastic bag with a brick in it behind the figurines? well that my friends, that is the evidence bag from the station with the brick that had went through the window to break into Micheles house. Now do you see why I love the story? :)

7. At last, but certainly not least, the bride and groom decided to honor the brides brother who battled cancer, with a donation to the Make a Wish foundation as their favors for the wedding. (i know my heart melted a little too)

Some things you may see here: the beautiful bride. First Dance. One of the bridesmaids actually sang the song for their first dance. It was absolutely beautiful. Father Daughter Dance. Mother Son Dance. And the last 2 pictures are absolutely epic. The MOH (aka brides sister) had been joking the previous couple of months that she was going to rap at her sisters wedding. Michele thought she was kidding. This was not the case. She told a bunch of us (bridesmaids, groomsmen, close friends, etc) that she was going to do this and she would queue us all when it was time. She literally made up this entire song of Michele leaving CT, partying in SoFL, moving to the ghetto, getting her house broken into, meeting will, getting engaged,.... i think you get the point. The best part was it went along with the background music to Fresh Prince of Bel Air. It was absolutely hilarious. I believe there was a video camcorder, so when someone finally shares the video of it I will def share it with you all. 
And then of course the infamous cake smashing in the face cutting. Not Surpirsingly it was the bride who started this little mess. I love how I captured the actual moment she smashed it on his face. 

Next came the bouquet and garter toss. It was actually kinda weird for me and hubs. It was the first wedding we had been to that we were "allowed" to go out on the dance floor for this part.
The rest of the night went by pretty fast. But I guess thats what happens when you combine friends + liquor + music + family + liquor + dancing = good times :)  Unfortunately I didnt get alot of said dancing pics, well, because I was dancing :D
All in all, the night was beautiful, everyone had fun, and we couldnt have asked for two better people to begin their happily ever after together.......

p.s. I think the bride enjoyed the night too, she was totally exhausted by time it was over ;)


wee bit wednesday {2}

Linking up with Leigh Ashley this week for Wee Bit Wednesdays

{one} what is your dream job?
Have my own event planning business, cupcakery, and fashion design. wondering how I can combine them all. . .

{two} how many best friends do you have?
So of course my all time best friend would have to be my sister, she just knows me better than anyone and yet wont take any crap from me either. But if were talking about non-related bfs then i would have to say that all my girls who were in my bridal party (5) would make the cut
From left to right: Helen (bf I met through my hubby), Erin (bf who grew up next to me since I was 2yrs old, and currently we live 2 blocks away form each other), Stephanie (bf from high school), Francine (bf from college), Me, Sister Denise (bf from always), Mom Donna (surprisingly I consider her one of my best friends as well), and niece Jenna (luv her, and as she grows up she has no choice but to be part of my little group lol)

{three} what’s the longest road trip you’ve ever taken?
Well as Ive mentioned before, growing up with a family absolutely paranoid with flying, Ive been on many roadtrips during the summer from South Florida to the Jersey Shore. But Id have to say that my most recent trip from South Florida to Tennessee to New Jersey to Conneticut and back to South Florida, a total of 10 days with 3 boys has been my longest and most fun road trip yet. You can read about it here, here, and here with I think one more post that has yet to be published.

{four} if you had to do one single thing every day for the next year, what would it be?
Take pictures. Im not a professional photographer or anything, but lately I have been taking pics of everything. I like that I can look back and see all the things I did over the past couple of months. And hopefully when I get old and grey my grandkids can look back and say that their grandma was pretty cool when she was younger. lol

{five} what’s one story your family always tells about you?
This one is actually kinda gross. When I was little (like really little) my nickname was "barf bucket" (told ya it was gross) because I never could really keep my food down (no problem with that today). Well my sister is 6 years old than I am, and basically I was her play doll. She would play house with me as the baby. Well one day my sister was playing Airplane with me. You know the one where the person is lying on their back and holding you up with their legs? Well my mom had just fed me and told me sister  "You shouldnt do that, she just ate." Well my sister didnt listen and guess what happened? I puked. And since I was directly above her it went directly below me. In.Her.Mouth.... I know gross, but its something that for some reason my family feels as though they need to share with everyone. So, yep, just shared it with you all....

{six} how did your parents pick your name?
My name was actually supposed to be Christine since my bday is so close to Christmas (Dec 17th for those of you already thinking about getting me a present *wink*wink*) but my dad didnt like the name. So they decided to choose Lisa after one of my moms best friends (my sister Denise is also named after one of my moms best friends) and my middle name is Marie, just like my moms.

{seven} what’s the one thing that scares you more than anything?
I have this fear that I am going to get into an accident while driving on the highway in the rain. Like it gives me nightmares. Im not sure how to make this go away.... :(

{eight} are you a good cook?
HA! funny! umm no, i dont cook. Ive actually caught the stove on fire twice trying to make mashed potatoes (nobody told me that the milk froths and overflows) but I do bake! (yes there is a total difference between cooking and baking)
Thank god my hubby loves to cook though. Otherwise we would definitely be starving. My mom also got me a crock pot for christmas that she says I should be able to use and "set it and forget it" lol. We'll see, it still hasnt been taken out of the box....
p.s. I can also dial a mean pizza number. . .

{nine} where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Hopefully many more promotions, at least 2-3 kids, a bigger house, and traveling more with my family (a girl can dream right?!?!)

{ten} what’s your best childhood memory?
My grandparents from NJ used to live with us 6months out of the year during the winter time. I always loved spending time with them doing the simplest things. Every Saturday morning my grandma and I would wake up and go garage sale-ing. She would by me high heels and barbies for basically nothing. On Sunday mornings I would sit on the kitchen table (not sure how I got away with this, because literally I would sit on it, not at it) and help make biscuits for breakfast. We would put the flour all over the counter and we would make them from scratch. Once they were done, I remember I would always split mine with my grandpa. He would take the outsides (the hard part) and would take the fluffy part our of it and give it to me. Funny how I remember that so vividly.


rain, rain, dont go away, plz

I know, I know. 2 posts in one day. (so not me) But I just thought Id share. Its been raining here like crazy the past couple of days (thank god we got the roof fixed in time for rainy season). And I just have to say, I think Im enjoying the free water as a new homeowner. Its a making our dirt pit backyard soooo much greener. Take a look for yourself!

Ok thats it. Time to go take care of the hubby who came home from work not feeling well...

a wedding fit for a princess

So our road trip began with our first stop in Tana-See, but the real reason for this escapade was to get to Conneticut for our friend Michele & Will's wedding.
Technically, we did have one small stop in between Tennessee and Connecticut, but it was just for one night so we wouldnt have to pay for a hotel. We decided that we would stop in New Jersey at my Aunt & Uncles house and leave before lunch the following day to make it in time for the rehearsal dinner.
It was a relatively quick visit and really only consisted of a bite to eat down by the jersey shore, some ping pong games, and a little bit of ring toss at my family's picnic facility up there. As I said, we had to get back on the road the following morning to make it to the hotel in time for the rehearsal dinner. Surprisingly the trip from NJ to the hotel in CT was only about 2.5 hours (relatively short compared to the 16hours we drove the previous day).

So the wedding festivities began that night with a buffet style rehearsal dinner and of course a few glasses of wine. The bride and groom were nice enough to also make us some absolutely appropriate munchies for later on that evening (aka popcorn, m&m's, and marshmallows in a cute little bag) that my husband kept on stealing from all the tables to take with us.
You might notice that all the wedding festivities pictures will start to look sooooooooo much better in quality. This might be because I kinda stole the newlyweds brand spankin new DSLR camera they got from the in-laws. Let me tell you something. They almost didnt get this little puppy back after the wedding, I think I might have fallen in love again (sorry babe).
The next morning (or shall I say afternoon for those of us who drank a lil too much wine) is when the bridal party starting getting ready for the big day. Although I was not in the bridal party, Michele had plenty of girls (8 to be exact) who would be standing by her side up at the alter. Ironically, when I went to go check on her all the ladies had disappeared to get their hair done at a local salon and Michele was left by her self to get her makeup done. So what did I do? I whipped out aforementioned stolen camera and started snapping away.
Once her makeup was done, the bridal party started to slowly trickle in. Mimosa's were poured. Dresses were put on. Smiles were shown on all. And it seemed like everything moved pretty quickly from there.
Isnt her dress gorgeous? Once the bridal party was on the bus, and the beautiful bride was in her limo, all headed to the castle (yes you heard me, they were married at a castle) for photos, it was time for the rest of us to get ready and head to the ceremony. There also might have been a few pre-graming shots of baby Guinness and of course a lil bit of Captain.....
Isnt my hubby handsome? Everyone kept saying you could for sure tell he was one of the Floridians, as he sported his Sperry TopSiders with his suit.  He thought he was a stud, Id have to say I didnt disagree ;) Sorry, of topic, back to the ceremony. As mentioned, they were married at a castle, St. Clements Castle to be exact. The scenery was absolutely gorgeous, and the ceremony had a to-die-for view overlooking a waterway with mountains. Truly, it was like it was right out of a childrens story book; a princess marrying her knight in shinning armor (Ill share their story of how they met in my next post, and youll totally understand where Im getting that form).
I do have to admit, although I think I captured the entire ceremony beautifully through the camera, I feel kind of like I didnt get to actually watch them get married. I dont know, maybe other photographers feel this way too? Or is it just me? Like I was there, but not really there. I was behind the camera capturing the moment, but not in the moment.

So, I think thats enough pictures for today. Im going to save the actually wedding reception for another post because literally I think in total I snapped like 450+ photos with this camera. (I wasnt lying when I said I fell in love, babe; this is your subtle hint, new camera wink wink)



Did you know "Tana-see," the Yuchi Indian word meaning “The Meeting Place,” is where Tennessee actually got its name from? Nope? neither did I..... so now that I got my one and only history lesson for you out of the way lets get down to the good stuff
As I mentioned in yesterdays post, our first stop on this crazy road trip was at our friend Billy's parents house in Tennessee. We spent a total of 3 days here and it was so nice just to be outside enjoying the hot fresh air. With plenty of land to explore and three 4-wheelers and a side-by-side, I think it would only appropriate to say we covered every inch of their property.
And for you entertainment I also took a little video tour via the 4wheeler. (dont forget to pause the music on the bottom of the page before pressing play on the video)
Did you watch it? Well then you may have heard that I was afraid of cows. Not like the "hey look theres a cow over there" but more like "holy cow?!?! how close do they get to us? Can you make them stop?" Im not kidding people. These cows were not shy whatsoever. I guess they think that you have something and let me just show you how it went down. It started off like this:
you see, they were all nice up there on that little hill. minding their own biznez. Then I turn to look the other way for like 2 secs and when I turn back around it was like bam..
yes, that is the handlebars of our 4wheeler you see in the bottom left corner. Now, i dont know about you, but i feel as though these cows were invading my space. And it sure didnt help that the boys were trying to feed them, and get there attention by trying to kiss them.... yes you heard me right
If you look extremely close on the pic with the close up of the 4wheeler you can see that the cow actually left drool all over the handlebars. I seemed to think it was pretty hilarious when one of the boys went to start it up, and OOOPPPS, i might have forgotten to tell them it was on there......

Okay, enough with the 4wheeler and cow pics. We did do some other things while there. Like shooting guns (i even got to shoot, but of course since im the "photographer" i didnt get any pics of me doing this. insert sad face)
But let me tell you, that old Ford tailgate, it didnt stand a chance against the 4 of us ;) Man im really starting to sound like a redneck. I hope I dont scare any of you off. Please I promise to add some pics that you will like.

How bout this one?

Me and the hubs on 4th of July. Kinda looks like we're on a golf course. Let me correct you. We're NOT. Its a farm.

Oh, wait. I got another! How about this beautiful sunset looking over the mountains? (FYI- SOOC)

Since we spent our Independence Day in Tana-See, it was only appropriate to go stock up on fireworks and set them off in the fields. While we were buying the mortars at a tent down the street, I just happen to stumble across a very cute rottweiler puppy in a box. I wanted to still it, but the owner quickly came and claimed it before i could. Plus i dont think I need anymore animals in my house
 Basically, out time in Tana-See was great.  Here are some random pictures of our time there.
Some things you may see: pickles (lots of them, they had a fresh garden with lots of veggies and made lots of pickles), firewood stocked up for the winter, old haunted house on one of their properties, rainstorm (so bad it struck 2 trees with lightening and tore off the roof of one of the equipment sheds), more puppies! (i almost took one of these home too, but again too many animals already), slingshot-ing smoke bombs, boys passed out from long days, pigs (oink oink), horse (if you see the top right pic, that was his parents, she has a broken arm from falling off the house in the other pic about 2 months ago), some fishing, and of course me and the hubs.

OK, I think Im done with Tennessee pics. Only about a thousand more to go through, and 2 more places (Wedding and Camping) to post about.

p.s. we starting tearing down the shelves and wall today for the kitchen remodel. Can you say EXCITED!!!!!! look forward to future post....

things i blog about

#Roads #SentimentalJourney 14months 2012 2013 3 months 4th of july about me about us advice anniversaries babies baby #1 baby blues baby boy style baby elf baby fever baby giraffe baby pumpkin baby shower baby-free weekend babys firs valentine's day babys first bath babys first christmas babys first easter babys first halloween babys first pumpkin babys first pumpkin patch babys first smiles babys first thanksgiving bachelorettes beach beauty before and after bin laden birth birth story birthday giving birthdays birthing books Brave bunny business cameras careers celebrations challenges Chris Mann christmas christmas eve cold weather confessions conneticut constests country country music cousin frankie cousins cruises currently day-in-the-life deals death debt design diet disappointment Disney disney pumpkin donate dream house earache easter easter basket elections emergency room emmy rossum exercise fall family fashion featured posts finances five on friday florida football freebies fridays letters friends fundraise gender reveal gift giving gifts giveaway goals grandparents hair halloween health high school history holiday bucket list holidays home home tour house renovation hubby i won infantino inpiration intro iPhone iphone 5 jack-o-lantern kitchen labor life living room love Luminous married life marry-wed game matthew me memories merry christmas mickey mouse jack-o-lantern mickey mouse pumpkin milestones mommy meltdown monthly updates movies music my family rocks neighborhood New Jersey new mom new york niece oceans office pajamas parenting parents photo challenge photography photography business pinterest pixar PONDS post-baby pre-baby pregnancy premama prenatals procrastination product reviews project31 project365 pumpkin patch pumpkins questions quotes recipes republican reviews road trip Roads rock the ocean rolling stone sante fe saving schedules shopping shopping cart cover show and tell sick sleep issues snow so what social sponsored spring stress style swingset target tuesday tennessee thanksgiving The Croods The Little Mermaid The Voice things we love thoughts throwback thursdays TLC toddler tortuga music festival traditions trendy tot tuesday TTC turkey ultimate blog party vacation valentine's day videos vitamins voting vows walking weddedn bliss wednesdays wedding bliss wednesday weddings wednesday weigh-in wee bit wednesday weight weight watchers wife wine night winners winter wish list wordless{ish} Wednesday work working from home working mom year in review