A year of wedding prep coming to a close

This is us at my 24th birthday a few weeks after we started dating.

In the beginning of 2010 (before we planned to elope) a friend asked me what my plans were for 2011. I said, very casually, well I'm going to get married. Get married, I did! To say that the wedding has consumed me would be an understatement. I feel like my head is a cloud and everything is foggy and fuzzy and in the middle is a clear picture of JCPE.

This year was for us.

Every night I look over and JCPE and say out loud 'how cool is that we get to live together!' I really am grateful that he is in my life. Every bump in the road has made us closer, and every day I'm more sure that he's the person I've always wanted.

New Year's Eve we made the first big decisions for our wedding day.

February 11th we had the most beautiful engagement ever.

April 30th got married.

May 1st we started our honey moon at Rosa Muerta.

June 10th my friends threw me a lovely bridal shower.

August 28th we planned our first reception.

September 16th JCPE's brother took him on a Bachelor Weekend.

October 22nd we finally had our first reception.

& this Saturday we are having our final reception with friends and family in Las Vegas.

12 solid months of wedding planning and celebrating really made 2011 our year. People ask me all the time if it feels any different now that we're married. We've lived together for so long and been a part of each others lives for so long isn't it a lot of the same? Actually, it is really different for one reason. We're together forever now. In a very real way. Every hope and dream that we both have for our lives are fully interconnected. There are no more decisions for just one of us, we're a family now.

I am so excited to be celebrating with our families this weekend! Our siblings have met but our parents have never met each other! They are going to have such a great time getting to know one another. I really couldn't ask for a better family in-law I'm so grateful for all the family love in our lives. We are truly lucky.

As we do the final prep for this weekend my mind wanders into 'did we do this right?' often, and again and again I am reminded of a detail that makes me remember that yes, we did. We did it for us. Every detail of our wedding day was ours. The details of our NYC reception were for friends that we love and the details of our Las Vegas reception are for the families who have given us so much throughout our lives.

Every wedding story is different. Thank all you for being a part of ours.

As for 2012. I think we're transitioning into a new space. Does that mean a new apartment, a new city, a new direction? I honestly don't know yet but I'm excited for the possibilities!


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Christmas Tree is up!

For the first time ever I own my very own grown-up tree! For a while we had a little mini hot-green tree that I would move around the house at Christmas time. We kept it in the shed (aka the Temple of Doom) and bad things happened to it. Bad things happen back there. Traumatizing things that involve unidentified sticky. So when we registered for things when we got married I wanted to make sure that I added a Christmas tree to the list. I like fake trees, they make more sense than a yearly tree-murder and they seem less likely to catch on fire.

We have a small space so we registered for a corner tree from treetopia (thanks to Amazon's universal registry). It came in it's own tree-bag... and it's fantastic!


The Friday after Thanksgiving we had the family over to put it up. We have been really missing our families recently, we are so lucky to have such awesome people in our lives and we want to see them more. MUCH more than we have these past few years!

I had to go to work for a few hours, but I got home in time to put the crock pot on to make some spinach artichoke dip (found HERE - next time I'll roast the jalapenos and add a t of salt... I used cream cheese instead of mayo) Then JCPE's parents, his brother and his wife, his cousin and her husband and baby and another cousin stopped by! Having a baby in the house was hilarious! He turned 1 in September and effectively tested out the child-proofing of my home (it's not at all child proof). At one point JCPE was in the bathroom washing his hands and the baby was sitting in the shower hilarious.

The whole family helped to put together the tree! Which is probably the best idea ever and kept JCPE and I from murdering each other (I'm not great with directions). JCPE's mama bought us a great assortment of 'starter' ornaments from Costco and we mixed them in with the 6 or so that we had already. Note the disco ball in the middle! It's the funnest.

We then went out to our favorite restaurant, Vesta (where we are actually going again tonight with our friends Amy & Xin). JCPE's cousin and I left early to give the baby a bath in our kitchen sink! Cute.

It was great! We wish you all a very Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!
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Updated: Holiday Giving!

We spend a lot of our time working with non-profits and this holiday season we are focusing our household giving on The Tank NYC and StreetWise Partners program.

Click through below to learn about the two amazing NYC based programs!

The Tank NYC Donation Page

StreetWise Partners Donation Page

Update 12/03

Well the other day I get home and there's a knock on the door right after. Which is weird because nobody ever comes over. It was two very nice young men from Frack Action. I took one look at their clipboard (good canvassing skills guys! Hold that clipboard out!) and went OMG hi! I know Julia Strauss I'm a big fan of you guys I was president of MYD... etc, it was a lot for them to take. I rambled and I signed their form and then I mailed a check to Frack Action too!

I love drinking water and cute canvassers and doing the right thing.

Learn more about the risks of Hydrofracking without proper research and regulation and donate here:

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NYC Wedding Music

I'm actually writing this on Jan 3! I just downgraded all of our internet services like grooveshark (that we used to dj the nyc reception and needed to pay $6 for the songs to fade together) and punchbowl (for the invites) and grooveshark is being a weirdo. Sometimes my playlists disappear and I didn't want them to go away forever. Especially since we sent them to the Vegas DJ who did SUCH an awesome job. So I did the only think I could think of... screenshots:

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NYC Wedding Pictures!

We had SUCH a great time at our wedding celebration on October 22nd! You might remember that we had to change the date due to Hurricane Irene, but like you have to tell yourself for all things ever, it worked out for the best!

The event was moved to a Sat night (what part of me thought I was young enough to go to work the day after my wedding, I don't know) and the guest list more or less evened out! We missed those of you who weren't able to make it!

I had one small breakdown on the way to Costco and I got unnaturally upset at someone who was walking RIDICULOUSLY slow once we were inside costco but other than that the process of getting to the event was fine! Even when the trader joes guy had to lower a case of wine into my lap in the front seat of our packed car!

We picked up Elizabeth and her awesome stash of party goods (ice buckets, wedding wish trees, lucite stands and more!) and headed downtown. If you haven't been to GreenSpaces (Broadway and Walker) you should go, but not to go in you should walk around the building to the coooooooooolest alley I've ever seen! Actually, the ONLY NYC alley I've ever seen. You usually can't even get back there because someone is always being murdered CSI:NY style, that's how cool it is.

So we loaded our stuff in the freight elevator that backs into the alley and we had just over an hour to get the room ready! Elizabeth, Julia, Allison, Evelyn, Victor, Dana & Nicole were life savers! They hung lights, put out food, set up the speakers and helped the bartender set up! Loni & TJ arrived a little later due to their baby girl accidentally grabbing the curling iron (been there! but I was a teenager) with cake-pops and a card box!

Guests arrived, there was dancing and mingling. We did an amazing first dance (JCPE is seriously the cutest) and then it was dance party all night long! We stayed a little later than planned and the staff at GreenSpaces helped us clean up and get everything into the car (still missing - scissors, serrated knife and condiment holders). The night was capped off by a JCPE sneak-attacking me with the cupcakes! My fault for not discussing 'not smushing my face with cake' earlier!

Then we headed to a nearby dive-bar for a few more cocktails before the night was over!

[ok, ok I also fell really hard, ok?! Is that what you wanted to hear? I wanted to surprise JCPE and meet him around the corner so I ran... and I BIT IT in my crazy heels. I hope someone somewhere saw me and that it made their night a little cheerier to see a huge blue ball of fluff tumble down the sidewalk!]

All in all it was a wonderful night! We couldn't have done it without our amazing friends who supported us and moved around their schedules to celebrate with us! Thank you all SO MUCH!

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We haven't been able to log on to Taylor + Juan in so long! Cheers to being back!

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Old Time Savory Canning at ICE!

A few weeks ago Evelyn's awesome parents had Juan and I over for dinner to celebrate our wedding and her father brought out a course guide from the Institute of Culinary Education. We're pretty sure that it was a ploy to get Evelyn and I to take a Knife Skills class so that we stop cutting ourselves, aaand we'll do that eventually!

In the interim I took Old Time Savory Canning with Chef Daniel Stone and it was amazing! I always get that weird feeling when I walk into something new like I want to run away. In a 'fight or flight' scenario I'm a flight kinda girl. But, obviously it's a cooking class it's not the end of the world and I need to learn some breathing exercises. An hour of instruction and canning explanation later I'm standing across from my partner (who btw has taken more than 300 classes in the past three years at ICE) wearing a white apron and starring at 12 cups of watermelon rind trying to double 2T as fast as I can (it's 4T I was in a panic, but I figured it out).

Over three hours later my partner and I had canned watermelon rind, dill pickles, cocktail onions and a ton of chow chow (a relish... I don't know what to do with relishes really but now I have a TON!).


I loved it! Maybe it's just the feeling of being in a kitchen that's bigger than a hallway, and all of the pots and pans and the man who (god bless him) washes the dishes as you cook! Amazing.

The Chef made us snacks, a fantastic watermelon salad and an egg pasta. Plus, people kept stopping by with food "oh hey we just made these sliders" "oh hi I have a gigantic bowl of popcorn I just seasoned." By the end of the night we were rushing to get things finished and I'm not gonna lie I felt a little Top Chefish trying to clean things up and yelling to my partner across the room "I've got the sterilized jars!" while she yells "The water is boiling!" from across the kitchen. Ok, maybe we weren't supposed to yell but I promise I walked carefully and held my knife the right way when I walked.

By far one of the most fun Thursday nights I've had in a while!

Looking forward to taking more classes! Anyone want to join me?
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Reception postponed due to Hurricane

Seriously. And you know, we had an earthquake on Tuesday and a hurricane on Sunday? Hells Bells that's pretty weird, right? Up until about Thursday at 3pm I didn't even think that we would have to cancel our reception. Most stuff is done, Caleb and Matt were in town (thankfully, there were only two out of towners) the photographer was booked, as was the bartender. We planned to go to Costco at 12 on Sat, to dinner with friends at 6 and then come home to do last minute prep! I thought, oh, it may rain I should put my sail boat hat on when we get there and we'll have to find somewhere to put the umbrellas etc...

But! Alas, by the afternoon on Friday the subways were planned to be closed by 12 on Saturday and people were evacuating lower levels of Manhattan. So, today we're home we put all the stuff from the basement in the living room and I've filled every plastic container we own with water so that we'll be able to keep the fridge cold if the power does go out.

At first I was really upset. Going back to my usual complaint when something like this happens 'nothing good ever happens to me.' Because I need to be upset for a little while when stuff like this happens. Even though I KNOW it's fine, we hadn't bought the food, the place will change the date for free. Plus, we're ALREADY married that's the most important thing like, ever.

So, we're ok. A little stir crazy staying home all weekend but totally ok. We will let you all know when we reschedule the party and it will be just as fun!

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"We're Already Married!" Photo Shoot

Something is wrong and I can't upload pics! Ugh. Pls note that if you click on the title you'll be directed to a slideshow! It's cute! Go there.
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The Hunger Games

I'm reading them again because I'm crazy about them. This time I'm noticing so many small details that make it so wonderful. I highlighted this recently, really gets me thinking about my priorities here in this place where the food is free.
What must it be like, I wonder, to live in a world where food appears at the press of a button? How would I spend the hours I now commit to combing the woods for sustenance if it were so easy to come by? What do they do all day? These people in the Capitol...?

Buy them HERE and read them before the summer is over and there is no excuse to lay around all weekend reading young adult novels!

Mockingjay via Fanpop
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White Roof Project! Volunteer and Donate today!

We do this in our spare time.

We're painting an entire city block white on August 20-21! Learn why a Model Block is important HERE. We can't do it alon we're looking to gather 50 volunteers each day and pay for the paint to keep the cost low for the community! Any donation is greatly appreciated! Learn more HERE.

Check out some of our recent press:

YES! Magazine:

White Roofs Project Helps NYC Beat The Heat


Help NYC wipe out the heat!
White Roof Project to Paint 40k in Roof Space


Painting Bill Clinton’s “white roofs” into reality

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We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

But really, we need a bigger kitchen. We wouldn't even mind living in an apartment that was like, 50% kitchen. This one-wall small oven NO drawer nonsense is just about to be too much. We have to keep some of our new appliances in the basement, and the cake (not the cake-plate that has to stay in it's box in the basement but the "cake") is that our new dishes DON'T FIT IN THE CABINETS! hahahhahahahahaha what? Who registers for dishes without measuring their cabinets? Probably a lot of people? Right? I mean, I never even thought to measure them! ugh.

Today JCPE said he was going to "stores" with his mama so I've put him to the task of picking out flatware. Our mismatched forks and iced tea spoons are on the outta here team!

We've been thinking about moving A LOT. Moving to Manhattan or somewhere else. Like, not in New York anymore somewhere else. I'm coming up on my 11 year anniversary here, we're feeling the urge to move on.

Currently obsessed with the idea of living in Santa Barbara. Just learned that you can't possibly live more than a mile from the beach +1! Just looked up tickets from SB to Las Vegas avg $400 -1! BUT it's just a 5 hour drive +1! BUT I don't drive -1!

So, the jury's out. What I know for sure is I can't live in a place where my crockpot and mixer can't cohabitate.
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Will I ever not be busy?

Sometimes I take off my wedding ring and put my engagement ring on alone and try to remember the two months or so that I just wore the engagement ring and it's hard to even remember. That was only 5 months ago. It feels like forever.

This weekend JCPE worked for hopefully the last full weekend in a while (ie: morning - 3am both days) so I've been home. I finished Twin Peaks, I made two curtains and re-covered two pillows (and stared at my couch for a while trying to think about our color scheme). I found a bunch of new pictures to put into frames. Our friend Natalie gave us the most thoughtful card, it's two animals in a boat (I think a cat and an owl) and there is such nice stuff written inside that I had to frame it. You can't read the inside, but I know it's there.

Reception planning is going well. It's difficult to articulate what they are exactly but either way I think both parties are going to be very very fun! I've been looking at the pictures from Indika's wedding and I'm so excited to party with my friends! What I'm excited about is the excuse to just get together!

I have a lot more on flickr from my CSA (although someone I live with deleted this week's picture, like he deleted all the pictures from election night 2008 because he assumed I had saved them, will always be a little sad about that). It's also totally official, I'm sick of kale.

I booked two flights for the next few weeks. A weekend in Charlotte for my mother in law's birthday and a weekend in NOLA for the New Leaders Council. I'm excited to do both things. Actually, right as I typed this Ally McBeal had a dream about a plane crash. I watched it twice. It's ok. It really just has to be. I've been terrified of flying for about 5 years. I was ok immediately after 9/11, then the first year JCPE and I were together something changed. I flew from NY to Vegas to ATL to Orlando (where his parents are) for new years. Then to Philly (which I think was the flight that did it, it was small and bumpy) then to London. My whole two weeks in London I was like, I don't want to go back, I'm scared. Then that flight was the first where I really self-medicated and tried to sleep it off. Since then, what? I've read all the books, talked to a lot of people, and been on a lot of flights. All over the US many many times. I've gotten A LOT better. I just flew to Vegas and back totally alone.

I think I hit the mark last weekend. I didn't go to the movies for a while because of bedbugs. One stupid person on the Astoria blogs said they saw one at our theater and I didn't go for like a year. So finally I went and JCPE was so happy. Like, so happy. I'm a jerk. He loves movies, I need to go with him. So I realized, finally, that doing something for me means making JCPE happy, means making my friends and family happy. It means traveling and going to the movies. There is a lot I am afraid of, but I think I'm finally learning that life is funner when you're not afraid.

The initial point I wanted to make is that I feel busy all the time. I have a ton to do with the charities I'm involved in, there's a lot to do at work and at home, but I'm happy. I'm so super happy. I like being busy, I also kind of like complaining about it. In a counting my blessings kind of way.


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CSA Week 1

So JCPE and I are enjoying a romantic evening at home watching "Machete" a totally ridiculous movie where the LEAST believable thing is tied between Jessica Alba having any ability to pronounce words en Espanol with an accent and someone allowing Jessica Alba to be a federal agent (and seriously, Steven Segal has an accent in this movie and I'm pretty sure they just crucified Cheech).

More importantly we just had a nice dinner.

We went from having ZERO foods, I was home sick last week and had tuna and pasta for breakfast, that's how bad it was. To having SO MUCH food! I got an awesome order of base ingredients from Fresh Direct in anticipation of the CSA starting today! I didn't take a picture of everything because it was all in separate bags. I didn't know how it worked but now that I know I'm just going to bring one reusable bag and put everything in it!

The list for this week went as such:

1 lettuce
1 lb of greens (mixed varieties in separate bins)
5 radishes mixed colors
2 garlic
8 garlic scapes
4 spring onions
3 beets

The most exciting thing being Garlic Scapes:

Did I live a sheltered life or are there new vegetables? I have an amazing Mom and I had an amazing childhood full of backyard gardens and fresh veggies. I think I heard of kale like, a year ago. And Garlic Scapes?! This was the first time I'd heard the word scape!

The CSA was in an alternate location today than usual but it worked fine for me! Several bins lined some tables and each was labeled with how many you could take. I dug deep into the piles and picked out beautifully purple beets, red radishes and the whitest green garlic I had ever seen! The lettuce is huge the greens are kale and swiss chard in beautiful reds and oranges (anyone want to help the 'get Taylor an awesome camera fund' going?)

The scapes though, they were the most beautiful. They're soft and smooth and smell very faintly of garlic. I'm going to make them into a pesto and saute them and put them in salads (which, I only eat with lemon juice, dressing is overrated) I hope we get more next week and I haven't even tried them yet! Tonight's salad (that accompanied a curry I made with seasoning from Urban Accents) was lettuce with radishes and a left over cucumber from this weekend's water (ha!) with a spring onion. Amazingly fresh and delicious!

Tune in as I get increasingly better at photographing and increasingly sick of kale.
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Party People!

I haven't felt like I've seen my husband in like, months. I can't believe that we're not even at our two-month-aversery! We're not, we're less than. There's A LOT of stuff that we need to do that I need him to do, like get me into USAA so I can get a sweet new ATM card that doesn't charge me $7 to use an ATM (I'm looking square into your eyes, citibank). Actually, do you have speakers or headphones? Please click on this and wiggle with me while you read! Thank you to Julia for the wiggling song. So, besides hanging up the print of the painting we got engaged in front of (even though one of us ordered the print, got it framed, bought a stud finder and stuck said stud finder on the wall [not before chasing the other around the apt yelling 'I'm going to fiiiiind you!'] and is just waiting for the other to act. At this point it's a matter of principle), we are going to start planning our party! (you're dancing aren't you?) August 28, NYC! woot! Details will come together this week! We're meeting with our personal event planner this evening to talk options. We don't have a ton of money, and as much as I bitch about cash bars at weddings... welllll we'll just have to weigh our options! But basically, I'm pretty excited to celebrate yet again! The December party is tentatively set for Dec 10 in Las Vegas, but we need to do some serious money talkin' before we get that one set... We might have some money issues coming up, so we might have to stay in Astoria and push the December party back. But, no cause for alarm, it's much more of a happy reason not to have so much cash-ola. It's a lifestyle thing... see where I'm going? So, we'll have to see! Any excuse to get together with loved ones I will happily take! ps. I just had to edit this like 95 times because it made even less sense than it did now! I got turned down yesterday for a volunteer writing position. If anyone seriously wants to tell me what I can be when I grow up I would love that.
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