Our Wedding, Part One

This morning I woke up to Ed Sheeran’s Perfect. Sure, it’s a cheesy love song like any other, but for me it reminds me so much of my wedding day. It filled me with such immense love and emotion today that I decided to sit down and finally write the recap of my wedding! For those who don’t know, John and I got married on September 2nd, 2017, after being together for over 6 years. It was an absolutely amazing day (despite its imperfections) that flew by so quickly. I wish I could go back and live it again, this time with understanding eyes. It was so surreal at the time that I felt like I couldn’t process what was happening. After nearly two years of being engaged, and all the wedding-related struggles I could hardly believe the magical day had finally come. 


Our wedding was held at the beautiful Woodloch Resort in Hawley, PA. It was about 2-3 hours away from most of our family, so it ended up being a nice weekend away for most people. Those of us involved in the wedding drove up the night before to drop off all the supplies, us curly haired girls had our hair pre-straightened to save time the next day, and we had the rehearsal dinner. Once we arrived at the resort, it was a whirlwind. We rushed over to the salon, then got dressed, went to the venue, and started assembling our lantern favors with a team of about 8 friends, family members and 2 wedding planners from the venue. Our rental car (a huge SUV) was stuffed to the max. We even had to get a cargo box for the roof rack! The lantern favors were packed nice and compactly in their boxes, so we decided to make an assembly line the day before to quickly assemble them in the place where they would be handed out. Then we did the rehearsal (which, for some reason I was SO stressed about) and went over last minute details. Then we rushed back to change for the rehearsal dinner. There was barely enough time for a shower so I didn’t even get to wear makeup. Then, we got there and no one was ready yet! So, I was probably the most casual one at my own rehearsal dinner haha. I was originally supposed to stay at the rental house with my sister, but my stuff was all at the house with John (we rented our own small house) and I decided to stay there. It was probably better, because I know my mom was stressed out so I probably wouldn’t have been able to sleep! 


The day started like any other. I woke up next to John, and we excitedly realized that this was our wedding day. We got dressed and got ready to part ways when we realized it was FREEZING outside. Early September is usually warm on the East Coast, especially since it’s right at the end of the summer. 80’s are a norm. The whole month was filled with 90-degree days. We woke up to like, 40 degree weather! It was also unbelievably foggy and misty. Although the weather called for possible rain later that day, I remained hopeful that we’d be able to have our outdoor wedding ceremony. 


The rest of the morning was a whirlwind. We all gathered at my parents’ rented house and the stylists came to do everyone’s hair and makeup. I didn’t have bridesmaids (only my sister as maid of honor) but I wanted to take photos with some of my closest friends, so I offered them the option to get their makeup done. About 3/4 of the way through my hair & makeup, my photographer Lora Reehling came and started taking photos. It still felt 100% surreal. For starters, I didn’t think to request the nicest home available, so my parents ended up in a basic house filled with plaid wallpaper, red floral curtains, and wood everywhere. I can’t do anything but laugh about it now, but it made for some interesting photos.


I want to take a minute to talk about what I wore, especially that dress! As you may remember, I tried on about 80+ dresses before I was just about ready to give up. I tried on nearly every ball gown-style dress in my price range, and nothing felt right. I kept thinking that maybe a ballgown wasn’t the way to go, but I kept being drawn to them, so the attendants would keep bringing them to me. I know a lot of brides don’t want a ball gown, but try one on and fall in love. I figure this is probably why they kept bringing them to me. I was the opposite. I wanted to wear a ball gown… it made SENSE for me to wear a ball gown. But I would always start by telling them, I tried on a lot and I want to try other things. As soon as I tried this Maggie Sottero dress on (with the intention of wearing a poofy ball gown skirt over it, by the way) I immediately knew it was exactly what I wanted. It had the sweetheart top, the fitted bodice so you could actually see my body, and a poofy skirt at the bottom so that you could get that princess vibe that we all knew I needed. Every other dress I tried on, I kept wondering if John would like the way it looked. When I tried this one on, I didn’t even question it. I knew he would love it, and more importantly I loved it! Since I had originally planned to wear a blush pink dress and instead wore ivory, I went with blush pink accessories. My shoes were by Badgley Mischka and they were pefect! I knew I needed a wedge for an outdoor wedding, and I loved seeing all the shoes with amazing rhinestones online, so I needed a pair for myself. I loved the scalloped design on the wedge. It was very Little Mermaid, which fit in perfectly with my wedding decor! Then, my veil which was custom made in PINK TULLE! I knew I wanted a pink veil when I saw one on Facebook a while back, and I kinda wish I had been braver and gone with a slightly bolder pink. Most people didn’t notice that it was pink because it was so subtle, but it really matched the whole ensemble well! 


Ok, back to the wedding day! We took some group photos with my girls before I started to get dressed. That’s when I started getting the calls, since rain was on the horizon. They asked if I wanted to move the wedding indoors, and I refused. I said that unless it was actually raining, I would get married outside no matter what. The outdoor ceremony is what we loved the most about Woodloch, so I wasn’t about to give up that easily! As I was getting dressed, John and his family were outside taking photos.


Once they were done, it was my turn to go outside. And almost like twisted fate, JUST AT THAT MOMENT, it started to pour. I was ready to curse the skies, but my photographer leaped into action and found an area under a tree that had natural cover. We stood under there taking photos for at least 30 minutes with barely a mist coming through. Unfortunately though, it was during these important photos that the calls started coming in, asking if I would make the decision to move the wedding indoors. We still had about an hour to the ceremony, so I said that unless it was raining at the time of the ceremony, I did not want to move it indoors. Well, after about 30 calls from the venue (and John) asking if we could please finally move it indoors, the decision was made when the ceremony sound guy said that he would not be putting his equipment outside in the wet grass. Having a silent wedding where the officiant is screaming so everyone could hear her was not my idea of fun, so I finally agreed to have it indoors. (PS- still mad that it rained that day!! It was the only cold and rainy weekend day in all of September).


The next 20 minutes or so was such a blur. I arrived at the venue and was whisked into the bridal suite while John waited near the bar of the main dining room. Everyone lined up to go into the ceremony while I hid in the bridal suite downstairs, waiting for my cue. That’s when they told me that John, who barely shows emotion, was already crying. He had insisted to me, and everyone else, that he definitely would not be crying. He didn’t understand why anyone thought he would cry, yet here he was! Already crying before even seeing me. Once John was safely inside the ceremony room, I was led upstairs. Up until this point, it all seemed surreal. When I came up the stairs, rounded the corner, and saw my sister, I suddenly realized this was really happening. We are very close in age, so we would always talk about our wedding days and I always knew she would be my maid of honor. Seeing her all dressed up- with her hair done and makeup on, holding a bouquet- it slapped me right in the face with emotion. And for a second I really thought I was going to start crying right there. Luckily, it went away as fast as it came, because I didn’t want to mess up my makeup! Haha.


It finally became my turn to enter, and the doors opened. It’s so surreal when this happens. I know I keep saying that word, but it’s the only thing that described it! As I walked towards John, who was full on weeping at this moment, I found it so strange that he was the one crying since I was the one that would cry randomly just thinking about the wedding for the past year.


The ceremony was performed by a longtime friend of mine, Sable, and she did an amazing job. It was personalized, sweet, and funny. We decided we wanted a short ceremony and to write our own vows. Unfortunately, we didn’t set the time aside to actually write our vows, so there we were on the day of our wedding, scribbling away. Surprisingly though, our vows came out really good! I definitely operate better under pressure (as my college career filled with all-nighters had shown me) so waiting until the last minute ended up being just fine, although a little bit stressful. 


Although weddings are generally pretty serious, there will always be those awkward or funny parts that make it human, real and relatable. For instance, my flower girl decided her moment in the spotlight wasn’t over, and refused to walk down the aisle more quickly. She stole the show and everyone loved her, so I’m 1000% ok with that!


Then, when it came time for the vows, I thought that my officiant had been given my vows along with her speech, which the venue had printed for us. She said it was time for my vows, and I looked at her while she looked at me. Then she looks at me semi-sternly and says “yours vows!”, assuming I hadn’t heard her. I look at her, then John who’s waiting patiently, and I say “I don’t have them”. Everyone gets awkward, like uh oh she didn’t write them! But then the wedding planner for the venue came rushing up the side with the printed vows and we all had a laugh as I jokingly pulled an imaginary piece of paper from the only place I could have hid them, my cleavage. 


Then, the most “important” and funniest part of all. In the Greek Orthodox church, after you’ve been married by a priest, the maid of honor comes up and takes these special crowns called stefana, and exchanges them on the bride and grooms heads 3 times. Then, she holds them in place as you take 3 steps around the altar, symbolizing your first steps as man and wife. We did not get married at a church, so I wanted this symbolic walk around the table as man and wife to be included. We practiced it about 10+ times the day before the wedding. I didn’t want it to look awkward. We had the whole thing DOWN and ready to go. Except, we got married inside which was MUCH smaller than outside. And my dress’s train was MUCH longer than any of us (even me!) had anticipated. So there we were, walking single file, with my sister trying to hold her dress, my dress, and the crowns. At one point, John’s brother had to jump in to hold my dress for me as we all circled the table in giggles while everyone laughed along. John had practically left us all behind, and it’s actually one of my favorite memories from the ceremony. It’s a reminder that plan as you will, things can always go wrong!


As luck would have it, the rain stopped just after our ceremony (ironic much?) so we were able to go outside for some photos. We did our family photos at the top of the hill, then ventured down towards the lake for “bridal party” photos and our one-on-one session. Although I am still a little bitter that we got rained out of our outdoor ceremony (cue exaggerated fake cry), I am really grateful that we were able to take some gorgeous photos by the lake. It truly was an amazing location to start our life’s journey together.


Defining WellKeptChaos- Finding Yourself by Embracing Your Flaws

When I first started my blog, I intended for it to be an organization blog. I had just bought a house, and I really wanted to blog about it. It was going to be a lifestyle blog, but I’d provide all these handy tips to get your stuff organized. Hence the (old) name, WellKeptChaos. Learn more about the name change to Party HarDIY here.


As it sometimes goes, the blog got reworked and reformed. I realized I didn’t have a passion for organization (and my house on any given day can prove that…) so I decided to go for my next passion- party planning. I did that for a bit, but then my other passion came out, which was crafting. And the blog went in that direction. I even thought about changing the name of the blog. I lined up my new social media channels, bought the domain, and just about everything else! But everyone told me they liked the old name, and so there it stayed. Somehow the name seemed perfect, but also like it didn’t fit either. (UPDATE: You can read about the name change here)

The truth is that through all these transitions, I never really felt like I found my niche or my audience. I, like my blog, wasn’t any one thing. I like to do a whole lot of everything. I have ADD and it was, again, rearing its ugly head. I wanted to do #allthethings and trying to fit myself into a box of a “diy blogger” or a “party blogger” wasn’t really doing it for me. Because the truth is, I want to talk about everything. And I can talk A LOT.

So I sat here, on this chilly almost-June day, and I felt defeated. Not just with my blog, but in general. Who am I and what am I doing? What defines me? Is it my blog, my job, my life? And if any one part changes, do I change? And I thought about that name I created for my blog, and how off it seemed, and it finally clicked. The WellKeptChaos was ME. But not just me… in a way, WellKeptChaos is all of us. 

WellKeptChaos is trying to be an adult when you really still feel like a kid. It’s trying to get your finances in order when you just want to go shopping. It’s trying to hustle and start a business when you have absolutely no frickin idea what you’re doing, but you’re not going to let that stop you. It’s all the very many pieces of your life and how they fit together and make you YOU, when they don’t seem to even make sense together. How a person can be lazy in life but dedicated in their business. How a person can love food and hate cooking. How a person can be obsessed with becoming an adult but not feel ready once they are. These are our quirks, these are our personality traits, and this is our chaos. 

But despite the chaos, despite the pitfalls, and despite the world around us trying to change us, we are doing it. We are being ourselves, we are fighting the norm, and we are trying to find our way in the world. We are changing and adapting every single day, even if we don’t feel it, or sense it, or even believe it. Every day is a change, every day has potential, and every day we learn. And although we might be panicking inside, we put on our big girl (or boy) pants and we get through that day with a smile. We pretend we know what we are doing, we have a sureness in our voice that even we don’t believe, and we pretend we’ve got our shit together. That is our WellKeptChaos.

One thing I always liked to do, and wanted to do, was to help people. And I think that with all the very many things I do on my blog and in my life, I do help people. I’m not an art teacher, but I can sure as heck help you DIY almost anything. I’m not a party planner, but I can plan a shindig that looks like it came out of a magazine- and tell you how to do it too. I’m not a life coach, or google, or the town wiseman, but that doesn’t stop people from coming to me for advice, for someone to listen to them, or someone to encourage them to get their “show on the road”, so to speak. Throughout my life, my career, my jobs, I am that person that people go to for help. It’s something I always knew but also always overlooked. By not being perfect at any one thing, I was fairly proficient in a great many things. And this allows me to help a whole lot of different kinds of people.

So who is my target audience? Anyone that needs help getting their life together. Anyone who needs a girlfriend to tell it to them straight, but with kindness. Anyone that needs help doing this thing called adulting without going absolutely bonkers in the process. She’s probably a woman, she’s probably in her 20’s-30’s, and she’s probably like me. Maybe she’s someone that wants to laugh at her failures while she cries, maybe she wants to dress better but she’s SO bad at it, or maybe she just got her apartment and she’s broke. None of these things are bad, but they aren’t what you see on the internet, or in magazines. Everything looks perfect on there, but I can assure you, it.is.not. And that’s ok, because no one is perfect. That’s a fact, and you can quote me on that.

So you do you, boo. Be weird, be crazy, be broke, be stylish, be lazy. Be everything that you are, that makes you who you are. Keep improving, keep striving, and keep navigating your way through adulthood. We’ll all figure it out someday, someway, and at our own pace. But for now, let’s figure out where the heck to start. And let's do it together.

So, let's get this helpful thing started. Tell me your #1 challenge right now, and I'll do my best to give advice, help you out, or create a blog post about it. Is it something simple, like how to refinish your dresser? Something harder, like how to update your wardrobe on a budget? Or something really tough, like how to move forward when your mind is filled with doubts? Let me know in the comments below, or contact me.

I can't wait to go on this journey with you!

In a world of photoshop, social media, and unrealistic expectations, it can be hard to feel like you're good enough. Click to learn how a particularly bad day helped me find myself- and how you can too!

Things I'd Tell My 8-Year Old Self

As a kid, you always imagine what it'll be like to be an adult. You get this image in your head of what you'll look like, or act like, or even who your husband will be like. A lot of it comes from watching tv, or the things you see and people tell you. As you get older, you realize that there's so much more to the world than your small mind ever could've imagined, but you can't help but let your childhood preconceived notions affect things. There are things I wish I could've told my 8-year old self, so that I could have been better prepared for growing up. Things I wish I hadn't gotten so hung up on, or things I wish I would have let go. Some are silly, and some are important, but they all affected the way I grew up and perceived the world.

There are things I wish I could've told my 8-year old self, so that I could have been better prepared for growing up. Things I wish I hadn't gotten so hung up on, or things I wish I would have let go. Click for the full post. #quotes #lifeadvice

You never get boobs.

As a kid, I always imagined myself getting boobs and looking womanly. But I don't look (or feel) womanly. Sometimes I can still pass for a high school kid, definitely a college kid, and people are shocked when I tell them I'm getting married. You don't really get to a point where you feel like an adult. You just kind of are one. How do you know? Well, there are bills you have to pay, or a lease in your name, or things you don't really have to do (like go to college) but you do it anyway since it will make your life better. The things that you thought would make you an adult (like boobs, or looking womanly) actually have no impact on whether you are one or not.

You can be whatever you want.

When people ask what you want to be when you grow up, it's a very limiting question. You're 8. They only teach you about the common careers- teachers, lawyers, doctors. No one tells you about engineering, or marketing, or dog walking. You don't see a franchise owner on your little flash cards. The truth is, there are SO many careers out there that you won't know about as an 8 year old, or an 18 year old, or even an 88 year old. There are limitless possibilities, so don't fret if you can't decide now or even when you're an adult. Career choices are meant to shift and adapt to your changing life. And being a superhero is always an acceptable answer. Because although you can't wear a cape and fly, sometimes you are saving lives (even in just a metaphorical sense).

You'll still be scared sh*tless.

As an 8-year old, you're afraid of the dark, or dogs, or the house full of "witches" on your block (true story). And you think that adults are brave, so when you grow up, you won't be scared of anything anymore. Well guess what kid? You'll still be scared of stuff when you get older! Fear is a part of life. It's human nature. Being able to get over your fears, or finding the strength to move forward in spite of them, is what happens when you grow up. 

You're still annoying.

When I was a kid, I was really annoying. I always wanted things my way, and I never understood why I couldn't get it. I was insanely stubborn, ruled by my emotions, and kinda whiney. At almost 28 years old, I'm the same way, just the grown up version. You don't grow out of being yourself. Yes, you evolve and you mature, but deep down you're still very much like that 8-year kid, just the grown-up version. For me, wanting things my own way means that I am independent and like to try to find my own way of doing things, even if it means failing. I'm still ruled by my emotions, which means I can get really mad at someone about something trivial, but also means I'm extremely empathetic and try to help people in every way I can. I'm still whiney, and I wish there was something good to be said about that, but hey, sometimes you gotta take the bad with the good. I've tried to change myself, but it doesn't work, because I am me. Which leads me to....

Don't let people try to change you.

There will always be people who try to change you. I think this happens the most when you're starting to date or make friends, but it can even be from your parents. People will try their hardest to change you and this will make you really sad. It's hard to feel like people don't like you for who you are. And wishing you were someone else is never the right feeling to have. So don't let people try to change you... but allow them to try and improve you. What's the difference? Changing means being someone who isn't yourself. Improving means finding a new part of yourself that you didn't know existed. This is important, not only for your well-being, but for others as well. Don't try to make people into what you think they need to be, but instead try to find their hidden magic. The stuff they won't allow themselves to be. That's the only way to improve their life.

It's really not that bad.

As a kid, I would throw fits over the most ridiculous things. Like not getting the toy I wanted in my happy meal, or the name-brand brownie snack I wanted, or getting to see Titanic at 8pm when it's a 3-hour movie and my dad said he'd take me tomorrow morning. To me this felt like the absolute end of the world, and I wish I can say I grew out of feeling that way. I wish I understood then what I know to be true today. Whatever "crisis" you are facing right now, it really isn't that bad. There are always people who have worse situations. And they will tell you that. Sometimes, this isn't meant to belittle your situation, but just to give you some perspective. Life doesn't go your way. You have to put on your big girl pants, get over it, and move on. Sad but true.

No one gives a sh*t.

My parents are those parents where everything you do is considered amazing. I can draw a line on a paper, say "look mommy, I made art!", and she'll say "wow that's amazing!" and keep it forever. Like, probably even if I drew that today, I would get a similar reaction. The sad truth about life is that not everyone will see your potential. For some, painting the next Mona Lisa will garner an "ehhhh" response. The truth is that most people don't give a shit, because they're so wrapped up in their own lives. You won't get a lollipop for doing a good job, or a raise for being the best, or a pat on the back for helping out. Sometimes you don't even get a "thank you" for holding the door open! You have to find a way to be proud of yourself, and stop relying on outside influence. It's great when someone tells you that something is amazing. What's even better is knowing yourself that it's amazing.

Stop living according to your expectations.

As a kid, I had this picture in my head of what it meant to be an adult, what high school would be like, my wedding, etc. As I got older, I found things to be very disappointing. My high school wasn't full of cool people, and even if it was, I sure wouldn't be considered one of them. We didn't have lockers, I didn't feel happy, and some of my friends turned out to be terrible people. Guess what? Life isn't like the movies. To this day, this one still baffles me. I still expect things to go like my preconceived notion of them, and I'm constantly allowing myself to be disappointed by that. Some people's lives mimic movies, some people's don't. Life is what you make it, and life is real. This means that situations aren't perfectly set up and scripted. They're complex, messy, and unpredictable. If you live according to your expectations, you will always be disappointed. Learn to see the good in life, instead of what you're missing out on. 

An elephant never forgets.

When I was a kid, I once really wanted a pair of shoes from Payless. My parents didn't have money, but they promised to come back and get them for me. I threw a fit- I needed them now. My uncle said he would take me back to get them. Not good enough either. I had to be picked me up, kicking and screaming, and taken out of the store. Now another story- in high school, we went on a class trip and someone wasn't feeling well. I stuck with her, asking her how she was doing, walking slowly and staying behind with her, even when her so-called friends ditched her. She was so appreciative of it, and we still remain great friends. In fact, she's the one performing our wedding ceremony! What's the common theme? I know these things happened because I've heard the story, even though I don't actually remember it happening. People don't forget what you've done, even if you have. That can be good or bad, as exhibited in these two very different stories. Always be careful what you say and do, because it'll stick with people.

Always be true to yourself.

Listen, there will always be people out there who try to change you. It's your job to know what you want for yourself, why you want it, and to be strong in your decisions. It'll be hard, but try not to let other people put you into the so-called "box" that society has. Some people can't fathom a person that doesn't fit in becoming successful, but of course it can be done! There is a place for everyone. So if you like to wear bright colors, go for it. If you want to dye your hair purple, do it! If your hobby is dressing up your pet in funny outfits, buy the best ones. And don't let other people try to tell you that you can't be who you want to be. In the words of the great Dr. Suess "Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." It's by being yourself, and standing out, that you will be remembered.

Phew! That's a lot of preaching I just did there, but I think it's really important to know these things, even as an adult. They're still really important! So, what would you go back and tell your 8 year old self? Do you have a piece of advice that you were given, something that's stuck with you all these years? Let me know in the comments below!

How NOT to Tell People You're Engaged

Welcome to Wedding Wednesdays! I figured I'd do something a little different this week and talk about our engagement story. This weekend marks my 5th anniversary with John, so it’s a good time to share the story, don'tcha think? Even though I had been politely asking (nagging) him for quite some time, I honestly had NO idea it was coming! Here's how it went down.

Chicago, doll conventions, and backpacks, oh my! I’m sharing my engagement story and it’s a good one! Click to read more. #weddingplanning #engagementstory #engagement

My foxy fiance, John, and I went to Chicago in October for Blythecon. The night before we left, we had the inspection for the house we put an offer on and eventually purchased. We were super excited about this next stage of home ownership, so that was all we could talk about. 

Once we arrived in Chicago, we planned to meet up with some friends before Blythecon. I was gathering up all my stuff to bring, and there was a lot (my camera, a jacket, 7 dolls!). Since I'm weak, I figured it would make sense to split the stuff I was bringing and have John carry half in his backpack. I picked up his bag and before I could even open the zipper, John came over. He was super defensive about his backpack, and insisted that I carry my stuff in my own bag, which I could then pass to him once I "really couldn't carry it anymore". Mhm, ok jerk... Turns out, the ring was in his backpack and he didn't want me to see it!

Me and John with the dolls he got me.

Me and John with the dolls he got me.

The next day was Blythecon, which was a super long day at the gorgeous Bridgeport Art Center. We were wandering around at all the sales tables, and I found a doll I liked. John asked if I wanted her, and I wasn't sure between her and another doll. For those that don't know, Blythe dolls, especially at the convention, aren't cheap. These aren't $20 Barbie dolls! So when John offered to buy me both, I was over the moon. He really doesn't buy me doll items, so when he does, I cherish them. As we walked away from the table, he told me I better like it because he wasn't going to ever buy me anything again. I told him I was super happy and that if he wanted to, he could just propose to me with the doll instead of buying a ring. He chuckled and said something like, "yea, right" and we went back to our table. Up until this point he was going with the whole "I'm not ready for marriage" lie.

John having oh-so much fun at Blythecon.

John having oh-so much fun at Blythecon.

After a long day at Blythecon, we headed back to the hotel to drop off our stuff. John was trying to find a nice restaurant for us, but I'm a super picky eater. None of the nice restaurants had anything I liked, so he suggested Fridays and I got a little too excited. We went to Fridays and watched the Mets game, then headed back before it ended. Dinner went quickly, but I figured we were just tired.

Back at the hotel, we were sitting on the bed watching the end of the Mets game, and John started his speech. I can't remember exactly what he said but it was something like this.
John: "You know I love you, right?"
Me: "Yea."
J: "And you know I can't imagine my life without you, right?"
Me: (Semi-apathetically because he says that a lot) "Yea, where are you going with this?"
J: Chuckles nervously and reaches for the nightstand.
Me, in my head: What is he reaching for?? Is he going to ask me? Am I going crazy? Oh, he's not reaching for the nightstand, he's reaching for the remote. Well that's embarrassing. STOP BEING CRAZY CATHY!

At this point, he turns off the TV (huge deal, because it was the playoffs game for the World Series) and then opens the nightstand. He pulls out a little box and goes down on one knee and I am in complete shock. He asked me to marry him and I couldn't utter a word. Nothing was in my head, except racing thoughts that I had to say something, anything. All that I could squeak out was "Are you serious?" and he replied with a smile "No, it's just an elaborate joke." After staring at him for what seemed like an eternity (with my mind reminding me I needed to speak!), I finally said yes.

Selfie sticks for the win!

Selfie sticks for the win!

I thought I would cry when I got engaged, but I couldn't because I was in complete shock. My body was on fire and I was shaking. John seriously thought I was going to pass out. I really wanted to call my parents and tell them, but John said that in an effort to keep it a total surprise, he didn't tell anyone about his plans. So, for a few days, it was our little secret. 

When we got back to NY, we went to dinner with my parents and I decided the way I wanted to tell them was to give them the whole long elaborate story before sneaking in the news to surprise them. Take my advice... that is not the best way to do it! When I finally got to that part, it seemed so nonchalant that they didn't believe me for a minute.  They kept asking if I was joking and after we insisted we weren't, it finally sunk in. My mom was so excited about it, but my dad and sister were still in shock until the next day. When we told John's mom, she was super excited and kept saying "I knew it!"

The bed in the hotel room where we got engaged!

The bed in the hotel room where we got engaged!

It's now been over 7 months that John and I have been engaged, and we are just starting to make headway on our wedding planning. We can get this wedding thing done in only a year, right?! After spending about 2 months disagreeing about where we should get married, we finally seem to be on the same page about geographical location. Now we just need to pick a venue and set a date! I know our guests are probably anxious to find out.

Was your engagement a surprise, or did you see it coming? I want to know! 

27 Wishes

I can't believe I'm turning 27 already!  It feels like just yesterday I was 17 and in high school, wishing to be an adult already.  My parents always said time goes faster as you get older and they weren't kidding!  In honor of my 27th birthday, I decided to create 27 wishes for this year.  Some are goals, some are reminders, and some are lofty aspirations.

1.       Try to look on the bright side

2.       Improve my friendships and make new ones

3.       Spend less money but do more

4.       See my family more often

5.       Learn to swim

6.       Smile more often

7.       Improve focus and accomplish goals

8.      Vend at Blythecon successfully

9.     Post weekly & gain readers

10.   Explore my neighborhood

11.   Create a relaxing master bedroom

12.   Keep my home clean and organized

13.   Make my house feel like a home

14.    Create an outdoor oasis

15.   Find a stellar wedding venue

16.   Plan more parties and barbeques

17.    Learn to cook

18.    Be more self-sufficient

19.   Have more face-to-face interaction

20.   Watch less tv and put down my phone

21.   Do yoga and meditate

22.   Get more sleep

23.   Improve health and eat better

24.   Try to eat more vegetarian/vegan meals

25.   Exercise and get out more

26.   Wake up earlier & feel less rushed

27.   Learn to enjoy the little things!

What do you hope to accomplish this year?

Related: My Sugar Sweet 27th Birthday Party