Flamingos, Donuts, and Rosé

Last weekend’s girls’ getaway (aka my bachelorette) to the North Shore of Long Island was pretty perfect.

flamingo float

My girl Alyssa went all out with the decorations, gift bags (complete with beach towels, neon glasses, a bag of essentials like face wipes, conditioner, Advil, and Pedialyte…), food, drink, all of it. I am so lucky and oozing with love for these girls. Seriously, Lys, ya killed it.

bachelorette gift bags bachelorette decorations

I could live all my days on the deck, and floating in the Sound…especially with my donut(s) and flamingo floats (< Trace…I am still so sad we had to leave that flamingo behind) and giraffe beach towel (!!!). We never even made it to the vineyards…our little oasis was too perfect (and believe you me…we had PLENTY of food and drink at the house…).
sunset floating

The weekend was filled with prosecco, Alyssa’s famous Hawaiian poke, taco night, Cards Against Humanity with glowsticks, hilarious stories, an interesting townie bar and crazy taxi ride, lots of water time (and zero showers for me…?), kayaking with Sara (who came allll the way from Maryland), and friends that I haven’t seen in ages.

glow sticks

Major props to my West Chester mama-to-be for coming up for a solid 24 hours of beachy goodness….is she glowing, or what?! Thanks to Jess and Lizzie for making the trek early Saturday morning to hang all day and night…..tequila jello shots in hand (even though she couldn’t take them! Don’t worry, I took one, or 5, for the team…).

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Can every morning be like this?

the deck

Oh…and came home to JC Sunday for a perfect brunch and pool day with our Hoboken friends and their adorable babe (I mean, his shirt said ‘Aloha Ladies’ and his bathing suit had lobsters all over it), who hung with us all day like a champ.

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Thanks to everyone who made it a truly unforgettable time!!!

The Perfect Bridal Shower

Last Saturday, the 21st, my gorgeous bridesmaids and mama threw me the most beautiful bridal shower at White Dog Cafe in Wayne, PA. I cannot thank them enough, especially my sister and Maid of Honor, Allie, for all the hard work they put into the perfect little party.

Bridal Party

The whole weekend was a whirlwind, beginning with my family meeting us at a local Italian place Friday night, only to be trailed by my grandma who lives in Florida and my best friend Lauren from Arizona, two of the biggest surprises I have ever had! I had no clue they were flying in for the weekend, and as I hadn’t seen Lauren in 5 years (how is that even possible?!), it was an emotional get-together!

My parents’ house was pretty packed over the weekend, as they were joined by my sister and her boyfriend Oscar, my two grandmas, Lauren, and Josh & I (oh, and two big, excited dogs!), so it was like a huge sleepover all weekend! We celebrated my 28th birthday and our shower weekend kickoff with an amazing confetti Birthday Cake by Momofoku. Oh. My god. Best cake ever.

Momofoku Confetti Cake

Saturday was my shower, and the boys took off to golf while the gals headed to PA. The shower wasn’t a total surprise, but I didn’t know where it was going to be or who was able to make it…and White Dog was the perfect spot. My girls know me well!! The place is adorable, with fabulous sustainable and local food and pictures of dogs everywhere. Plus, they decorated it so beautifully, it was like a page out of a magazine (and the favors?! So very “me”….Lush soaps and Momofoku Confetti Cookies…perhaps even better than the cake we had the night before?! David Chang, I love you. And the Philly Cooper cheese box is so perfect!).

Lush Soaps and Momofoku Cookies Favors Shower Gift Table

Allie and I

Beagle!Dog topiary 11052872_10104021060699022_6660058446950184928_n

I should’ve known with my sister’s skills from working for Anthropologie for so long (and my artistic friends), it was going to be aesthetically stunning! Alyssa even gave me a real Hawaiian lei of tuberose and white orchids that smelled like heaven and felt so special!! I have always wanted to wear one! It was a pretty intimate shower, with my closest friends and relatives there….we wanted to keep it on the small side. It wasn’t totally traditional, in that I didn’t open gifts there or play any games, we just started with cocktails and mingled and then sat down for a great meal (I had the lobster bisque, the cheeseburger with truffle fries, and the dessert trio…soooo insanely good).

cheeseburger and fries

 

dessert trioJosh’s mom came all the way from New Hampshire, and Josh and Oscar showed up shortly after to say hi to everyone and help take the gifts home. The drinks and food were awesome, the decor was stellar, and the company was just the best. It was the most low-key, perfectly “me” shower ever, and I am SO thankful for everyone who came far and wide to make it! It gives me butterflies thinking about it!

The girls 11403277_10104021063683042_7852609095590584119_n 11057974_10104021063069272_455410853692074069_n

A few of us stopped at my bridesmaid Alyssa and her boyfriend Mike’s house for a bit after to keep the party going, and then came home to ice cream from Latteria, the best place known to mankind. They are doing ice cream at our wedding!

Sunday, Allie, Lauren, and I woke up and headed to Philly for something I have been anticipating for a LONG time! We went to Max Brenner, famous for his chocolate….so we obviously had to get something chocolate-laden to try. We split a Mexican omelette (with a sugar-dusted biscuit and molten chocolate spread on the side. Wut.), a Philly cheesesteak waffle sandwich with KILLER sweet potato fries, and a peanut butter and chocolate crepe. Ugh, my mouth is watering even thinking about this meal. I cannot wait to take Coop to the NYC Max Brenner!!

Max Brenner's Max Brenner's Max Brenner's

We then walked all around Center City and Old City, did some shopping, and included a quick stop at Josh’s old place on Elfreth’s Alley. I miss that house!! And Philly….always holds a special place in my heart! Remember this from our engagement pics? We HAD to come back to take photos in a place so reminiscent of the beginning of our relationship. And every time I am in the area I love to walk by and peek in the courtyard.

Elfreth's Alley

City Hall on Broad Street

That evening, the clan drove me back up to JC (Coop was at practice in PA all day), and it was so nice to spend more time with my parents and grandmas and Lauren before she headed back to AZ, and it was fun walking down to the waterfront so they could take in the iconic views of the Manhattan skyline. It was a nice way to celebrate Father’s Day with my dad, too. Oh, and did I mention I also got to test-drive my dad’s friend’s brand new 2015 Corvette, too?! Just another feather in the hat of the weekend.

Father's Day 2015 in Jersey City

It was a jam-packed, indulgent weekend, and I have never felt so loved! It was the perfect kickoff to our wedding festivities…it finally feels like it is really happening! I cannot believe we are only a few months away!

xoxo

 

Guess who’s back…

Heyyy, remember when I blogged sometimes?

It’s been a crazy ride here since I’ve become a Jersey Girl again, and I love being just a quick hop into the city. If you told me this time last year I would be where I am today, I would laugh at you. But! It has been so amazing, Coop is loving his not-so-new-anymore career move to Manhattan, I get to see my city-dwelling BFF like WAYYY more, and I don’t think the same weekend night can ever be repeated. Always something so fun and new to try. I feel like our life has been infused with didn’t-even-know-we-needed-it new adventure, and it feels amazing. Also, we are less than three months out to the wedding (WHAT?!?!).

So! I have been thinking, and Coop and I have agreed it would be so fun to document this time in our lives. We could be up by NYC for years to come, or things could change by next year…who knows! So we are taking full advantage of it. And so, I think you will be seeing a little bit more of me over here!

Starting with this past weekend. It was one of my absolute favorites I have had since moving! My 28th birthday was last week, so our weekend started off with a bang when Coop took me to a restaurant on the waterfront I have been dying to try. And it did NOT disappoint.

Battello JC

Battello is on a pier in JC with a breathtaking view of the city, and the decor was crazy impressive, as well.

And then there was the food.

We decided on a chef’s tasting, where we could each choose an appetizer, a pasta, an entree, and then received a tasting of 4 different desserts. We also each had a Brooklyn Blast IPA and then split a bottle of Malbec while the sun set.

Bread and Truffle Butter

 

 

Mussels

Tuna Rollatini

Ricotta Gnocchi with Sausage Bolognese

Linguine with Clams

Pancetta Wrapped Scallops with Red Quinoa and Almond Puree

Ribeye Steak

Dessert Sampler

(That popcorn ice cream and the chocolate/caramel/powdered PB/caramel popcorn dessert were TO. DIE. FOR.) We both agreed it was one of our best experiences in JC and one of our favorite dinners/date nights ever, period!! The service was stellar, too. Even though the place was packed, our server was attentive and had great suggestions while still allowing us to not feel ushered out once we finished our meal. He even took a photo of us on the water before we headed out! Nothing but glowing reviews for Battello, and we cannot wait to come back for oysters and drinks at the bar, and will certainly be a go-to for any celebratory dinners.

View of NYC

NYC

We were able to walk along the boardwalk to another beer spot that I didn’t even know existed….Taphaus is another with one of the very best views of the city, with a solid beer list and lots of space. Definitely will be back here as well.

Saturday was another memorable day for us; after walking to his local barber for a quick hair cut, we hopped in the city to Indochino for Coop to get fitted for his suit for the wedding. It was so fun to be there while he chose all of the unique details of his suit, including stitching, the lining, even the inside monogram of my soon-to-be new last name and our wedding date. SO fun, and the associate that helped us was so great. Can’t wait for his custom-made suit!

Indochino fitting

We were STARVING after, so we walked to one of our favorite spots in the city…Cooper’s Craft & Kitchen (how appropriate…)! Last time we were here we had THE BEST oxtail gravy and biscuits for brunch, seriously, the best, but as this trip was a little later in the day and brunch had ended, we went with the pretzels and beer cheese and a dozen hot buffalo wings. I planned on sharing a yummy-sounding grilled cheese after, but we were so full after this! Also, their own IPA is on point.

Cooper's Craft & Kitchen

Pretzels and Beer Cheese

Buffalo WingsCooper at Cooper's

After a quick pitstop to visit my best friend Christine who happened to be a few blocks away with some girlfriends (and inhale a quick margarita on the rocks because, well, Mexican restaurant), we went back to JC to see Jurassic World! Seriously SO fun, it was the perfect mixture of adventure + corniness + visually awesome. Go see it in 3D, you won’t be disappointed! After a late-night cajun turkey hoagie (with fresh mozz!!) stop at Stella’s on the way home (our go-to late night JC food spot…solid little 24hr pizza and sandwich shop on our way home from downtown), we were more than ready to crash!

Sunday Coop had band practice in PA, and my mom and grandmother came up for the day to hang. We walked to the water and went to City Diner (another go-to for us!) for salads and burgers (cannot wait to try the Veggie Jalapeno Burger again), and came back to our place to relax and watch a movie and drink coffee from my favorite bakery downstairs.

Veggie Jalapeno Griller from City Diner

 

It was my grandma’s first time to Jersey City, and it was so fun to see how much she loved our new place and our neighborhood! Another fabulous weekend in the books, and next week is our wedding shower back in Philly/South Jersey. I know my sister has been planning up a storm and I am so excited to see what she has in store for us. See ya then! 😉

Save the Date Sneak Peek

We went for postcards for our Save the Dates that I designed last week. Glossy front, matte back, and craft paper envelopes with a return address stamp that I designed a couple weeks ago.

It was tough to pick a fave from our engagement photos, but this one was a winner with the colors and composition…I had to Photoshop a bit of the graffiti around a bit, but in general, the composition lent itself well to creating typography around the photo. It is definitely hard designing for yourself, but you have to step away at some point! Here is the front of our Save the Dates! So happy to have one more thing checked off the ever-growing list…

Cooper Save the Date Front

Back Where It All Began: Philly Engagement Photos Pt. I

Well, at almost 5 months out, guess I better get moving on wedding plans, eh? With that, I bring you some photos from our recent engagement sesh with our amazing photographer, John Barone. One of the very very first things I did after we got engaged (as in…the Monday after we got engaged last January) was contact this guy to snag him. He is an artist for sure.

We met on a fateful and adventurous night out in Philly, and spent the first few years of our relationship in Old City, where Coop lived on Elfreth’s Alley, the “oldest residential street in America.” No better place to return for our photos than his old home, where it all began.

Engagement Photo 1 Engagement Photo 2 Engagement Photo 3 Engagement Photo 4 Engagement Photo 5 Engagement Photo 6 Engagement Photo 7 Engagement Photo 8 Engagement Photo 9 Engagement Photo 10 Engagement Photo 11 Engagement Photo 12

NOW I just have to choose which one I want to use for our Save the Dates I need to design this week!!! JB isn’t making this easy on me.

Part II coming later this week. :)