Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Life Lately: Weddings & Travels

Life is really flying by these days. Between everything at work, holidays, a wedding, and lots of travel, December & January were some of the busiest, but also most fun, months I've had in a while. When I started my blog back in July (before josh moved), I promised myself that it was going to be a place that I could not only write and share ideas, but a place to reflect and force myself to slowwwww down. In those first blogging months, I took time to write about life events like bridal showers and birthdays and appreciate memories as they happened. But now that josh (and Mac!) are here, I find myself spending that time planning things like cool new activities around the city, weekend trips, or just our next puzzle. He's the greatest partner in crime, but also the greatest distraction. :) And now with another Spring approaching (and my calendar booked through June), I find myself asking where winter has gone and I think a deep breathe and a reflection post are in order.

1. To start, I'm finally sharing some of my favorite photos from Emily & John's wedding in December, better known as #jemwed. Thanks to the huge pockets sewn into my bridesmaids dress (I had it on silent during the ceremony, I promise Em), I was able to capture some great behind the scenes photos throughout the day that I've been hoarding on my phone and scrolling back to almost every day wishing we could do it all over again. It really was such a special weekend, filled with lots of tears but many more laughs. After getting all of my tears out during my Bachelorette speech (picture literal blubbering, tears streaming), I was able to keep myself together through the whole ceremony, a huge feat considering Liza was literally whimpering beside me on stage to the tune of the processional. The wedding day for me was more about controlling my grin - I was just so happy that one of my best friends had found her perfect match and that we were all there witnessing it. The whole ceremony and everything that ensued after, from the dinner to the sword detail to the first dance, could only be described as perfect. And these two deserved it.

The only thing that's been hard about this marriage is that after the wedding and honeymoon were over, John & Emily didn't come back to us. They moved to Florida to start their new life and I couldn't be happier for them, but it left most of us #jemwed fans with a big, empty sorta feeling. That's why I am so glad Emily has started her lovely new blog, the Gallivant. Check it out for a glimpse into the beginnings of married life in Pensacola - I'm so so excited to keep up with her there!

2. Then, towards the end of January, I traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah for the first time to attend Alt Summit, a blogger conference that Wayfair sponsored. Alt was founded by one of my favorite bloggers, Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom, as a place for hundreds of bloggers to gather to connect, collaborate, learn and leave as better bloggers. I flew into SLC as a corporate sponsor not knowing what to expect, but left feeling blown away by the creativity that existed within the small confines of the conference and feeling inspired by some of the amazing speakers to be a better blogger myself. You can get a feel for how creative these ladies are just by looking at their business cards and for how creative all the brand sponsors are by looking through the Flickr photostream from Alt this year.

That being said, the bar was set extremely high when it came to creating a space that these design & DIY experts would feel inspired by. Our dream team of 4 had one night to build out a 1,700 sq. foot room that we had never seen before with all the Wayfair products we'd shipped. We had taken the room's measurements into consideration when designing the room and ordering all the furniture, but we hadn't accounted for the 20 foot ceilings, the extravagant chandelier, the textured wallpaper or any of the other ornate details that the hotel and all its rooms possessed. Luckily at midnight when all the furniture had been assembled, all the rugs had been spread, and the balloons and candy jars had been filled, it actually kind of worked....perfectly. The crazy colorful chandelier almost suddenly felt like it was a planned part of our "Home Is Where The Heart Is" theme, which was centered around Valentine's Day. It was amazing to see all of our hard work culminate into such a cute space after months of planning, and even better seeing the blogger's eyes light up (and camera's come out) when I met them at the door the next day.

3. And then came the really fun part, vacation! Less than 12 hours after I arrived home from Salt Lake City, I packed a new (and very different) suitcase and Josh and I headed back to Logan to fly to Orlando. The 9 relaxing days that followed were much needed. After one of the coldest and snowiest Boston winters we've had in years, I was so easily excited about the little things like flip flops, the smell of sunscreen, those cute Florida lizards and the humid night air. I spent 6 days at josh's parents' house in Kissimmee (3 sunny, 3 rainy) before I drove south to meet up with the girls, who flew into Palm Beach for the weekend. Palm Beach was the chicest little microcosm, filled with huge houses and even huger boats, perfect palm tree lined streets, and amazing hedged driveways. It was basically heaven. We saw Palm Beach's waterfront the first day by bike and then saw the inland area the second day by convertible (baller!). After lots of sun time, I made it back to Kissimmee just in time for the SuperBowl halftime show and to hesitantly fly back to Boston the next morning.

^ Cirque du Soleil!
^Live music at downtown Disney
 ^The view from josh's lanai

So ya, the start to 2014 has been pretty awesome. I think it's going to be a good year.

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