Monthly Archives: June 2010

Real Wedding Recap: Noah & Jill, II

The Wedding Day, Sunday, dawned bright and…rainy!  Oh no!  Jill & Noah had planned to have their ceremony outside, and the skies were just NOT having it Sunday morning.  Luckily, the rain moved through all day and around 3:00pm, the sky opened up, the sun came out, and it turned into a really beautiful afternoon.  Outdoor ceremony, saved!

Here’s Dr. Groomy and I in the hotel lobby before leaving for the ceremony:

Noah & Jill's Wedding 012

Noah & Jill's Wedding 014

We took the wedding trolley over to the ceremony/reception venue, The Chicago History Museum.  WHAT A SPACE!  It was a beautiful building with a beautiful courtyard, perfect for a wedding.

Noah & Jill's Wedding 016
Here comes the bride!

Noah & Jill's Wedding 018

Noah & Jill's Wedding 022
The lovely bridesmaids…

Noah & Jill's Wedding 015
And the handsome groomsmen.

Noah & Jill's Wedding 023

Noah & Jill's Wedding 025 

You could just tell how happy they were…the bride kept flashing her beautiful smile at all of us!

Noah & Jill's Wedding 030

The ceremony was beautiful…short and sweet, but incorporating elements of both of their faiths (the groom is Jewish and the bride is Catholic).  Their rabbi was a real treat.  He was from Russia and spoke with thickly accented English…and at one point in the ceremony, he was relating a story about being in Jamaica, so he spoke with a thickly accented Russian-English-Jamaican accent.  He said to the guests, “This is a once in a lifetime thing you are hearing!”  We all cracked up!

Noah & Jill's Wedding 033

Right before the stomping of the glass!  The groom had a bit of trouble the first time, actually…it was quite amusing.  The glass shot out from the bag and the bride had to put it back in for him to be able to try to stomp it again!

Noah & Jill's Wedding 034
Mazel Tov!

It was a beautiful ceremony and was such a wonderful thing to witness. Stay tuned for Part III coming up tomorrow:  reception details and fun! 

Get caught up here:
Noah & Jill, Part I

Past Real Wedding Recaps:
Charity & AJ
Nikki & JT

*All photos by me.  Please do not use without my express written consent and permission.



Filed under Inspiration

Real Wedding Recap: Noah & Jill, I

This past Sunday, our dear friends Noah and Jill tied the knot.  These two are so special to Dr. Groomy and I, and we were so excited to be invited to celebrate with them.  [Back story:  Noah, Dr. Groomy and I all attended college together at UW-Madison.  Dr. Groomy and Noah were very good friends, but as can sometimes happen, they drifted apart a little after college.  Last year, at the wedding of another set of wonderful friends, Andy and Amanda, in the Dominican Republic, we were able to reconnect with Noah and his lovely girlfriend, Jill.]  Over the last year, we have become incredibly close with them, and I cannot tell you how much we value their friendship.  It has been wonderful getting to know and celebrate them as a couple, and it all culminated in their big wedding weekend in Chicago!

I took over 90 photos this weekend, so this recap is going to be in three parts.  Let’s get started with Saturday evening and the rehearsal dinner!

We arrived in Chicago via train around 4:30pm and immediately headed over to the wedding hotel, The Ambassador East.  It was a lovely hotel, with beautifully appointed rooms.  Many of our friends were there already and it was wonderful to see everyone.  Once we checked in and headed up to our room, we were delighted to find we had received an Out-of-Town Gift Bag!

Noah & Jill's Wedding 001
The bag contained the following treats:

Noah & Jill's Wedding 002 Left to right:  Two water bottles, some BBQ & Original Jay’s Potato Chips, Garrett’s Popcorn (holy yum, that stuff is one of my favorite Chicago staples), and two boxes of Fannie May chocolates.

Jill also included a welcome note for all of the guests, as well as a second page with plenty of information on how to get around the city.

Noah & Jill's Wedding 003 
Getting an OOT bag was such a nice gesture and it definitely confirmed my plans to do some for our wedding!

After freshening up and changing, it was time to head over to the rehearsal dinner, hosted by the groom’s parents.  The rehearsal dinner was held at Sapori Trattoria, a lovely little Italian restaurant near the hotel.  The party was held in the back room, and all of the out-of-town guests were invited.

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Noah & Jill's Wedding 007(Our Table)

The food was DELICIOUS and you could just feel the excitement in the air.  Behold, the happy couple:

Noah & Jill's Wedding 006

After the rehearsal dinner, we went out with the bride and groom to a bar down the street.  Needless to say, it was a late night, but a great way to start out the celebrations!

Once we got back to our hotel room, I stepped out of the bathroom to see this:

Noah & Jill's Wedding 010 
Um, that would be Dr. Groomy’s version of closing the curtains after a night of drinking.  He didn’t realize there were blackout curtains behind the white panels!  Hilarious.

Stay tuned for part II of the celebrations tomorrow!

Past Real Wedding Recaps:
Charity & AJ
Nikki & JT

*All photos by me.  Please do not use without my express written consent and permission.


Filed under Inspiration, Rehearsal, Relationships

Fitness Friday

I know, I know…there hasn’t been a fitness Friday since, well…the first one.  But!  It’s not without good reason.  Things were a bit screwy at the gym for awhile with my fitness eval person being fired (sadness, I loved her), my trainer being sick, and me just not wanting to take the extra time to go in for an eval (bad Amy, I know!).  I am happy to report though, that things in the gym have finally settled down and I am scheduled for my next fitness eval next Thursday!

I am excited to see how much muscle I have gained in the last few months—I know I definitely feel stronger and I work out with much higher weights.  Truth be told though, I honestly haven’t lost much, if any weight, and in fact, have been weighing in a bit higher than I’d like to lately.  With my first dress fitting looming in late July, I finally got my act together during the last two weeks…and I am definitely feeling much more healthy and motivated now!  With that in mind, I thought today I’d share with you some of the things that have been working for me:

1.  Eating at least six times a day.  I tried the six small meals a day idea, and I love the concept…but I found that it was either too much food or too little food at certain times of the day.  I am one of those people who needs a bit more in the morning to jumpstart my metabolism, and not so much during the afternoon…so, I tweaked the concept.  Instead of eating six small meals a day, I just make sure I eat something six times a day.  A typical day, for me, consists of a heartier, heftier breakfast, a morning snack of fruit and nuts, a lighter lunch, an afternoon snack with veggies and protein, and a light dinner followed up with some berries or soy ice cream for dessert.

2. Similarly, try for protein at almost every meal.  This has done wonders to keep me satisfied!  I am a huge carb-aholic, but I have been trying to be very mindful of how much and when I eat carbs.  I load up in the morning and try to eat very few, if any, with dinner. 

3. Log your food and exercise.  Many of you know that I am a member of the weight loss website  Just checking in there every day to log my food & exercise and see what my carb-protein-fat ratio is has done wonders to keep me in check.  I know exactly how much I am eating and how much I am working out.  Calorie counting isn’t for everyone, but it has served me quite well in the past, so I will continue to use it to get to my goal.

4. Get exercise anywhere and any way you can.  I’m lucky in that I get an hour for lunch…so every day that the weather has cooperated, I have taken the first 20-30 minutes of each lunch break to go for a walk.  It’s a great way to get out of the office, enjoy the weather, and catch up on my reading (yes, I read a book while I walk.  MAJOR DORK ALERT).  I really look forward to these walks every day!

In July, I am taking my workouts up a notch as I embark on a crazy challenge:

Triathlon Challenge Logo  
Not many of you know this, but this is the first summer in two years that I am not actively training for a long-distance endurance race.  Two summers ago I was training for a half-marathon, and last summer I was training for the big one—a full marathon.  I didn’t think I would miss training, but I have to say I have been feeling a bit restless with my workouts and not having a particular “schedule” to follow.  When my friend Terrie from CalorieKing mentioned that her gym was starting a triathlon challenge, I asked her the particulars so I could do my own challenge at the gym…so this month, I will be attempting to run 26.2 miles, bike 86.5 miles, and swim 35,000 meters over the course of July.  Only what I do AT THE GYM counts, so any walks or runs I take or bike rides I go on outside of the gym don’t count towards this goal.

I bike, swim, and run/walk regularly already, so this is really just going to take my workouts up a notch and force me to focus on a particular goal.  The swimming, in particular, is going to be a pretty hard goal to meet—our gym has a 25 meter pool and I will have to swim 5 days a week—about three more days than I normally swim—in addition to the biking and running to hit 35,000 meters.  But I am ready for the challenge…are you ready to cheer me on?!

The training plan:

Triathlon Challenge

I’ll keep you posted each week as to how I’m doing…and if you want to join in, please do!  It’ll be fun to cheer each other on.

What are you doing to get in shape for your wedding?

*It goes without saying, I ain’t no doctor.  So, you should do what works best for you, and take my advice with a grain of salt.  Also, if you plan to do the triathlon challenge or take up any new fitness regimen, make sure you check with your doctor first, y’all!

*Triathlon Challenge logo by me in my favorite design tool, good ol’ Microsoft Word.  Feel free to steal it if you want to participate!


Filed under Fitness

Gifts for My Girls, II

This goes without saying, but

Keep Away Bridesmaids (Source for Grandma Photo)



…ok, they should be all gone now.

This gift is a quick and easy DIY that anyone can do, and the results are, in my opinion, just darling.  Ready?  Here we go!

Step 1:  Go to Target and buy yourself a package of 5 nice hangers.  I chose wooden ones similar to these:

Hangers (Source)

Step 2:  Gather up some ribbon, adhesive, cardstock, and pretty shimmery paper.

Step 3:  Create a tag for your hangers using Microsoft Word.

Step 4:  Print tag, cut tag, attach to cardstock, and cut to shape again.

Step 5:  Punch holes, thread ribbon through, tie a pretty bow, and you’re left with these lovelies:

Cute, no?  I wanted to make the girls nice hangers for their dresses (and, selfishly, I also think it will provide a cool photo op).  Here they are hanging up:

And here’s a close-up of what they say:

007 (Don’t steal our date, mmmk?)

This project was really easy…and inexpensive!  I had all the materials on hand aside from the hangers, which I think were like maybe $3 for the pack?  I love the way they turned out!  [Side note:  In these pictures, the ribbon looks really yellow, but it’s actual almost an exact match to the gold color of the girls’ dresses!]  Now, to find a hanger appropriate for my dress…

What quick and easy DIY projects are you doing?

See their other gifts here:
Survival Kits

*All photos by me unless otherwise noted.


Filed under Bridesmaids, Gifts, How-To

Adding In A Personal Touch

One of the things that I have really been mindful of during the whole wedding planning process has been making sure that our choices really reflect us.  We want people to leave our wedding feeling that, although it was big, it was a very personal reflection of the two of us.  And one of the best ways we’ll be doing that is by jumping on the bandwagon of a trend that has become pretty popular in recent years:  the display of family wedding photos.  However, we’ve decided to put our own little twist into it:

Dress Display Example

Yep—we’ll be displaying our mothers’ wedding dresses along with the family photos!  

I am so excited about this and cannot wait to see how this display turns out.  We’ve been collecting frames similar to size and feel as these:

Family Photo Display Example 2

Family Photo Display Example

I plan to make labels that match our reception paper products, much like the labels in the second photo, so everyone knows whose picture they are looking at.  I will also pin labels on both my mom’s and Dr. Groomy’s mom’s dresses, which will flank either side of a long table holding the photo display. 

I am so excited about this idea.  I’ve already been collecting photos, and this week I will start scanning them in to my computer, printing and framing them.  Stay tuned later in the week for some sneak peeks!

What are you doing to personalize your reception?

*Unfortunately, this the first entry in which I do not have a proper source for these photos.  I clipped them along time ago when I first started this project, and never noted where I got them from.  If you know where these photos are from, please let me know so I can credit them properly!


Filed under Decor

Happy Weekend, All!

It’s been quiet around these parts this week, and I confess:  I’m just in a bit of a blogging lull.  Normally I have post ideas swarming in my head day in and day out, but with the stress of work this week, plus all the goings-on this past weekend and this coming weekend, I am feeling just wiped.  I’m taking it as a sign…so I am going to enjoy a bit of a break this weekend and be back on Monday with the same three-to-four-times-a-week posts you’re used to.

Thanks for understanding and have a great weekend, all!  I’ll be spending mine out boating on a lake, enjoying some of the first summery weather Wisconsin’s had.  Bliss!

Fish Lake
(Yep, I’ll be hanging out on this very lake!  Source)


Filed under Random

Guest Blogging

Hey Guys!  I am guest blogging today for the lovely Laura over at Lucky in Love.  She just got married this past weekend, hooray! 

My post over there is about getting pregnant after marriage.  I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts, since I am currently going through somewhat of a “Baby Boom” in my life (a lot of people I know are suddenly having babies!)…so head on over there, check out my post, and leave some comments!

1 Comment

Filed under Guest Blogging