Friday, January 31, 2014


"It is not the happy people who are thankful, it is the thankful people who are happy."

So we are a little behind on getting our thank you cards out. I think the proper wedding etiquette is within 6 month of your date. Although we have never followed any "wedding rules" in the past, if we are going by this one then we actually have one more month to get them out -- woohoo!

We were waiting for our photos to come back, because we knew we wanted to send thank you cards with some wedding photos on them. While a lot of people have facebook and have probably seen some of our photos, not everyone has, and I think a thank you photo card is a nice way of showing your guests your formal wedding shots. Since I am overly obsessed with our wedding photos (as I'm sure most brides are), I like that we have one more chance to send our guests something a little more personal.

We stuck with our previous choices in invitations, etc and used Wedding Paper Divas. This is our third time ordering from them, and I like that they are quick, easy to use online and especially with adding photos, the paper is very nice quality, and they have great customer service. We found these romantic, purple, vineyard feeling wedding invitations from them, and they were absolutely beautiful without breaking the bank. We then ordered Christmas cards from them and lastly, our thank yous. One big reason I really like them is the customer service. After we had ordered and proofread our wedding invites, we got 100 count in the mail and realized we had spelt the name of the road the winery was on wrong! Not that big of a deal, but even after proofreading we missed it. Since people look at wedding invitations with a little more scrutiny than other invites and we knew we would be saving them as a keepsake, we emailed them our problem and they mailed us an entire new box of invitations at no additional cost. I think that's pretty awesome.

I'm actually looking forward to writing these (we'll see if I'm saying that after about 10) because I don't know if I was actually able to really thank everyone who came to our wedding. We had the BEST time and it wouldn't have happened without each and everyone of our guests and the amazing vendors we used. Awesome people = an awesome party.

Check your mailboxes for these in the next few weeks!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Carolina and Midweek Lunches

So is anyone else feeling 50/50 on all of this winter snow?? It seems like it snows every other day here at the moment. While I do love the prettiness of freshly fallen snow and the way it gives reasons for completely bundling up and getting cozy inside, I also am ready for the below freezing cold temps and cleaning off the car to be over! I miss being outside a lot. I guess it feels ok to have these intense seasons though, it makes you appreciate all of the seasons and find unique things to love about each of them. It's probably less of the snow, and more of the Arctic temps I wish would pass. This 10 degree days are ridiculous, and almost impossible to run in. And don't even get my started on what this cold has been doing to my skin. I've been trying all sorts of beauty regimens lately to help with the dry air and lack of moisture. One thing I've always read about but never tried till now, is after a shower/bath to rub Vaseline over your feet and then put them right in socks. I've been doing this after a nice hot bath and sleeping with the socks on, and it really does make your skin baby soft! I'm going to be trying this soon with my hands and use mittens. Trust me, it works really well. Here are some other tips you can use Vaseline for, all beauty related!

Anyways, with all this winter polar vortex talk. I am happy to say that the husband and I have booked our flights to go down to Charleston next weekend. Hopefully, it starts being normal weather down there and when we go will be in the 50s or 60s. It's kind of ridiculous that now that we have these plans booked they get a freak snow storm and the entire south gets shut down. We really hope this is a one time thing because we need some sunshine on our faces!

I am so excited to bring the boy down to Charleston. I was lucky enough to visit there a few months back for my initial interview, and like everyone else that visits, fell in love with the town. Charleston has so much charm and beauty to it, unlike any other city I've ever been. And it also has an amazing food culture and scene there, which doesn't hurt either! Plus, it is so close to water and several beaches - something on my dream place to live check list. We are going back down for a "2nd look" at a residency program for me, but gave ourselves enough time that it is going to be like a mini-vacation, weekend getaway for us. So pumped!!

Speaking of little mini-vacation, we were able to go out to lunch today and I just have to say that lunch dates during the middle of the week also feel like some type of vacation. Probably because we never do it. There is something about having a delicious meal in the middle of the day and relaxing and chatting over the food that makes lunch feel so special. I wish it was in our culture to do this every day, really stop for maybe 2 hours during lunch, like in Europe, shut down and have a breather before heading back to work. I think it would keep people a lot more happy, that's for sure. It's something we did everyday on our honeymoon and just left us in a blissful state.

Kyle's stew :)
I got out of work early and Kyle had off today and went to the doctors, so we decided to head out to our favorite little bistro Cake for some lunch. I've posted about Cake before, but it is such a quaint and warm little greenhouse turned restaurant that we absolutely love. It is a farm-to-table kind of place, and everything on the menu is so fresh, homemade, and healthy (for the most part). Today for lunch, I got a prosciutto and fig toast with goat cheese and strawberries (ugh I wish I took a pic). It was so tasty and felt so decadent. Kyle got a winter stew and small salad. We had such a relaxing lunch, and it left us both in a great mood for the rest of the day! :)

Enjoy the snow, stay warm, and treat yourself to a special lunch this week!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Security or Adventure?

The match deadline is right around the corner. For those of you who don't know, (I'm not going to get into too many details because it's complicated), the match is where medical students pick their residency positions for their specialty. Basically, as a student I rank all the places I've interviewed at that I would like to go for for residency. The residency programs also make a rank list of their top candidates. It's suppose to favor the student's choices and hopefully in the end, you match at a place that you want to be at and that wanted you there as well. Hence, the term "Match".

This process has been extremely exciting and terrifying at the same time. I have been questioning my choices, myself, and what I wanted since the process started. It really forces you to think seriously about where you want to be, what places made you feel all warm and cozy and what type of doctor you want to be. Thank god I love family medicine and at least I know that much. Some classmates of mine are torn between two specialties and so have been applying and interviewing at both. So along with choosing which places they want to be at, they still have to decide the "What do I want to be when I grow up" kinda thing.

From the beginning of this process, I have told myself and my husband that I wanted to go somewhere new. I wanted my residency time to not only be a new experience as a doctor, but in a new place. I really think this is a great time in my life to expand my horizons and go live in a different part of the country. There aren't many times in life when you can pick and choose to go to places all over, and actually be at a point in life where you can just pick up and move. For Kyle and I, I think this is a great time and since he is also flexible with his job, we have opened ourselves up for this opportunity. What better way to strengthen a marriage and friendship than to go somewhere new and fresh together?

I also have had places that I love that are close to where we are now. I love them and I know they love me, but is security enough for us to stay? I will be happy wherever I go most likely, but do I have enough guts to seek out the adventure I am looking for? I think the universe is pushing me towards the latter, although unknown and scary. Yesterday, I was questioning all my choices one last time, and went to write in my daily journal to hopefully get my mind of the matter for a minute. I kid you not the question of the day for yesterday was, "Are you seeking security or adventure?"

I think for now I am going to take the risk, having confidence in myself and the process that I will match where I'm suppose to be. For the most part, I've always played it pretty safe and have been pretty happy. But this time around, I'm seeking adventure.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Snow Craziness

Ok, so have you ever seen cars abandoned at the side of the road somewhere during a snow storm or heavy rain and think "Omg, that must suck so much." Well yea, that happened to me yesterday. I didn't even know we were suppose to get hit with a lot of snow until the night before, and at that time I was going into work so early I thought I would get out in time before anything happened. Well, I was way wrong. The snowstorm yesterday was so ridiculous, that even though I left for home around 10:30 am and it just started snowing, it didn't matter because the roads instantly became apocalypse style. I drove home on a pretty major interstate and seriously was terrified. First, because I used to drive a big car with 4-wheel drive, now I'm in a little sedan with ZERO control in the snow. Second, people were fishtailing all over the place in the rear view mirror, while big trucks were just chugging on through. Scary stuff right there.

Anyways, I finally made it to my exit after a lot of talking to myself and heavy breathing. I thought to myself, ok just a few more miles home, I am doing great! But nope. The roads were so awful and silly me decided that I should take the scenic hilly route home. I was doing great until I was climbing a steep hill and the car in front of me just stopped. After that, it was all down the drain. I could not get my car to do anything but slip on the snow and make a lot of stinky gas smell. My options were to go back down the hill to climb out the other side (which wasn't going to happen), continue to try to climb the hill, pull over, or sit in the car and cry. May or may not have done two of those.

Since my husband's car is also a little sedan, there was no way he could get his car down/up the hills to come rescue me. (Still dreaming of a little "Rescue me, my love!" scenario where Kyle rides in on a white horse wearing jingle bells or something). So I thought ok, here are my options: walk to the bar and begin to drink heavily, walk to a flat ground so I could get a ride from Kyle, or sit in my car and eat all the girl scout cookies I just bought until I froze. Since it was only like 11am and the snow wasn't suppose to stop until like 6am the next day (what?!?), I decided to lace up my sneakers and walk the 3 miles to a place I could get a ride. This doesn't sound that bad, but in the moment, I literally was packing my purse with things I thought I would need in case I got "lost" or in case I simply couldn't go on..any...longer. (I live in a city, both of these were ridiculous thoughts to have, but hey I was in the moment.) The essentials: water bottle, phone, day planner, girlscout cookies.

So there I was, walking on the side of the road in scrubs, sneakers and my northface. It was a balmy 15 degrees out and let's just say my legs froze almost immediately. Scrubs are not the best attire for snow walking.  So I'm walking down this narrow roadway into the giant wooded park, next to all these cars and it seemed nobody was thinking, hey this is weird, or why is this girl going for a hike right now? I finally got to the base of the hill and was actually a little proud of myself because I thought walking even that far would take an hour. I did notice the woods were very quiet and peaceful with the snow falling and if I was in my snow suit ("Ralphie, I can't get up!" style) I might have enjoyed it a little more.

Starting my trek back up the other side of this hill/road though started to be a little harder. It was slippery in sneakers, my legs were practically numb, and I was starting to get a little angry by all the cars that had passed without saying anything to me! Like emergency septa trucks, plows and multiple SUV's drove by without stopping or asking questions. Do I look like I'm just out for a fun little stroll right now people? I was starting to loose faith when a woman in a mini van pulled over and asked if I needed a ride to the top. Turns out she was a nurse getting off her shift. I was starting to get a little emotional and be like "this is the nicest thing anyone had ever done for me, ever in the whole world, ever". But it seemed like she thought nothing of it and stopping to help another woman was just something you do. (I think it was the scrubs that got her) This one little act of kindness (but really huge to me) made my day and made me realize how small gestures mean so much to people. THANK YOU NURSE LADY! Needless to say, I got home safe, thawed out in a hot bath and with soup for about an hour, and then took a gigantic nap. From now on, if it snows, I will be on the look out for all the people that just need little rides, a push out of the snow, a helping hand, so I can pay it forward and pass on a small act of kindness.

xoxo How was your snow day children?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Journals and Avocados..

Ok, so what goes together better than a journal and anything with avocado? Realistically, a lot of things. But for me, they've both been making me pretty smiley that past few days. Pretty much any good food will do that for me.

While I was reading some food blogs, I found an easy recipe for an avocado spread on toast. If anybody knows me well, they know that I will cook, scoop, bake or put avocado on anything. I love it. While I love to eat it with tacos or scoop it up as guacamole, I think our trip to Costa Rica a few years back really gave me a whole new insight on just what you can put avocado on. They literally put it on everything; eggs, salads, grilled as an appetizer, desserts, cocktails, etc. After that trip, I really have been using it with everything. And right now they seem to be on sale at the grocery store, so I've stocked up! One of my favorite ways to eat them was an easy baked recipe I found. I would make them as an appetizer for our summer meals -- aka I didn't use it as salsa and would just spoon that thing into my mouth. (Thank God for pinterest, right?) Anyways, I stumbled across another recipe for avocado as a spread. You simply mash up one ripe avocado with 2oz of goat cheese. In my case, I didn't have goat cheese, so I used my 2nd favorite food obsession, feta! Two of my favorite things in one. It takes all of 5 seconds, and it such a delicious and healthy spread for toast.

My next fun thing that I've started this January, is writing in my journal my best friend got my for my bridal shower. It's a question a day for 5 years. Simple questions, one each day, with enough space for about 4 lines of thoughts. I've really been enjoying it because, A: it gets you writing in a journal but is not overwhelming you with filling up pages at at time, 2: you don't have to just think of random things to write about as it asks you a question, and D: some of the questions really get you thinking about your day and how you approached things, sometimes allowing you to take a step back and see things in a different perspective. (Home Alone reference anyone). For instance, one of the questions on Saturday was, "What was peaceful about your day?". I've played the best thing/worst thing to happen to you today game, but never thought about what brought a sense of peacefulness to my day. So this is why I've been liking my little Q&A journal. And who knows, if I can keep up with it, I will have a little journal of my life to look back on in 5 years. Pretty cool.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Be Happy!

The little things that make me happy today:

1. Sipping tea while watching the Today Show (doesn't happen very often!)
2. Getting a great deal for steak dinner (we haven't eaten steak in months)
3. Yoga class
4. Organizing my closet
5. The sun is shining!

What are some little things making you happy today?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


So life post-wedding planning was still pretty hectic. I've heard others say, after some of the magic surrounding the wedding has died down, you may experience some wedding withdrawal. I feel like I still have been too busy to feel that. This fall was filled with audition rotations for residency programs, away rotations in the middle of no-where, hosting our first Thanksgiving (yes, we squeezed everyone in our tiny apartment, and we actually didn't even cook turkey --ha!), and Kyle having a bit of a set back. Kyle injured his ankle bad enough to almost need surgery, be stuck in the house in a cast for several weeks, and more weeks of mending. So although I did miss wedding planning a little, I feel like life got in the way and we embraced it full force.

However, January as a 4th year med student is a different story. :) All my audition rotations are done, all the tests I will ever take in med school are done (who EVER thought that day would come!), and I am left pondering life decisions and basically baking/cooking everything. During some time off around the holidays, I really got into the relaxation mode. This is sometimes hard for me to get into -- and I feel like a lot of people are like this, we are so used to go, go, go and being so busy, it almost feels weird to not have an agenda to stick to. But I actually have really enjoyed having a lot of down time, and it has let me tap into a different creative side of me. Basically, I have been watching a lot of Breaking Bad (that show is the most intense addicting thing ever!), reading good books, baking a lot of homemade bread (amazing), and finding new cooking blogs to follow. I also really love just searching through pinterest for healthy, delicious looking recipes to try, and I think that the husband is pretty happy about it too!

I definitely think the winter months allow me to become obsessed with food on a whole new level. Winter is a time for slowing down, cuddling up on the couch, and eating comfort foods -- which for us at the moment happens to be soups of any kind and homemade breads. Our favorite thing to do right now is make a banging dinner and watch BB or some other movie and just chill. I realize that this cannot last forever, as eating loaves of bread at a time cannot be good for half-marathon training, but for right now I'm just enjoying the moments of relaxation, home cooking and love.  xoxo What's getting you through the winter months?

"Forcing ourselves to operate at summer levels in winter goes against our grain. Listen to your body and allow yourself to recharge and slow down this winter" 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Details

After reading over my post about the wedding, I realized that I wrote all about the day and gave pictures of us, but I didn't talk too much about the wedding details! Pretty much the whole time I have been blogging about the wedding prep, it's been about all the details that go into the day. So after all that pondering and decision making, here are some of the details from our wedding day!

Our rings

I wore Tom's ballet flats as my shoes -- best decision ever they were so comfy!

My dreamy, lacy, beautiful gown.

Kyle's boutonniere

The AMAZING cupcakes my brother-in-law baked.

My flowers :)

Bridesmaids flowers

Ceremony with the rainbow <3

Guests arriving..the sign I made.

Seating chart that my Dad and I made together.

Rustic meets romantic..old wood from our fences, stencils and paint from Michael's.

Card box was an old rustic lantern, guest book was a fingerprint tree. 

Our guest book.

My favorite...dessert/candy bar with cupcakes as the main piece!!
Another view of the candy bar, signs were made by my bridesmaid.

Table numbers I made from old corks, scrapbook paper, and stencils.

Table for loved ones wedding pictures and those who have passed.

The atmosphere at dinner...loved my volatile candles and mercury jars. Smaller floral centerpieces so everyone could see across the table/room.

Sign at the bar!
Sweetheart table with initials I painted and hung with fun ribbons.

Happy New Year.

'Judge your success by the degree that you're enjoying peace, health, and love.'

The perfect 2013:

Here's to all the new adventures and love that 2014 will bring. Keep loving, keep living.
Happy New Year!

And the main event....Our Wedding!!!

Your wedding day is said to be one of the best days of your life. It seems impossible to put into words the feelings that Kyle and I had on that day. I once heard, trying to describe an amazing moment or feeling is like trying to describe a song when you can't actually hear the melody. It just can't be done. Pure, endless, palpable LOVE.
   Surprisingly enough, I slept really well the night before the wedding. I was expecting to be tossing and turning all night in anticipation, like a kid on Christmas, but I think my relaxation came with knowing I was right where I was meant to be -- with Kyle. The morning of the wedding, I woke up before anyone else in my household (except my mom obviously), and had a special quiet moment with my mom. Even though it only lasted a few minutes, it is a vivid memory that I will take with me from that day. I gave her a small gift and card, but really I just wanted her to know how much I appreciated her and loved her. She did an unbelievable amount for us for the wedding, and I only hope that if we have a daughter, I can play the same role for her. She poured her unconditional love into our day and I cannot thank her enough. 

     The rest of the morning was pretty relaxed. The hair and make up girls were first to arrive to start on me, and the rest of the morning the bridal party trickled in. We all just hung out in our robes, ate some breakfast, and got our hair and make up done with no stresses. It was a special few hours with just my best girlfriends that was such a positive and warm way to start the day. Before we knew it however, the videographer had arrived, followed by the photographer and the florist. Literally within 15 minutes the madness of the day had started!

    I obviously am not a celebrity, but I think this morning was the closest I will get to feeling like one. The photographer was amazing and from the second he got to my house was looking around for creative ways to shoot my dress, accessories and me all done up. He was running in and out of the house, moving furniture around (which thankfully my parents didn't mind), and finding all different parts of the house/yard for shooting. It was so fun (and a little intimidating) to take bridal portraits. It was definitely hard at times to act very natural but I did get used to the camera and I think we got some amazing shots!

   Once the girls were all dressed, I got into my dress in front of everyone (which was hilarious), and I got to do a "first look" with my Dad. We did this in my backyard, and although my dad had seen me that day before I had my whole "bridal look" done, his reaction was something I will never forget. It was just a special moment that I had with my Dad and allowed me to be freely emotional. After all the other pictures were done, we got on the trolley (which was amazing and really added to the feeling we wanted that day) to go meet up with Kyle so he and I could have our first look together.

   Our first look was seriously one of the best, if not the best, moment of my life thus far. If anyone is questioning whether to do one or not, I would 100% say to do this. We chose to have our first look at this quaint place in Island Heights, overlooking the Toms River. When the trolley pulled up and I saw Kyle standing with his back to us overlooking the water, I was just so so happy. It was unbelievably beautiful out. I will never forget how the cool breeze felt on my face, seeing the sun peaking through the trees shining on Kyle, or looking on the water and seeing the sailboats out for the holiday. It was absolutely magical. The trolley left to go pick up the rest of the groomsmen, so really for our first look it was Kyle and I and the photographer/videographer, which we didn't really notice. The moment when he finally turned around to look at me was so special and it was a moment that truly only the two of us know. The reason I suggest everyone do this, is because it allowed Kyle and I to have a special moment alone, without taking away from anything else that day. We both felt so much more relaxed and happy seeing each other early in the day. And I can say that we were both still very emotional when I walked down the aisle- which I was afraid would not happen. A first look basically just lets you have some private time together that frankly, you don't really get to have too much on the actually wedding day -- someone is always around!

  After the first look, we met up with the rest of the bridal party and took pictures in Seaside Park, on both the bay side, and the beach.  Can I just say that I love my friends so much??
Our amazing bridal party!!

Super sleek.

We then drove to the winery for more pictures and the rest of the days events. For most of the day, there were a lot of clouds, but on our drive to the winery we actually drove through the heavy downpour of a summer storm. I was a little disheartened, because this would mean our ceremony would get moved indoors, and I had dreamed of marrying Kyle outside on the grounds of the vineyard. Amazingly enough, when we pulled up to the winery, we saw that somehow the storm had missed the winery! When we got out of the trolley, we could see the storm clouds in the distance, but not a drop of rain had fallen there and instead there was a beautiful rainbow. A few of us got a little emotional, because Kyle had lost a brother several years back, and we always said rainbows were signs from him. We believed he was looking down on us smiling, and again we had such a magical feeling!
One of the most amazing things about our day.
We took more photos at the winery, but as soon as guest started to arrive, we went to our separate suites to relax and refresh ourselves before the ceremony. That thirty minutes being separate, really did lead to a huge build up for our ceremony. Before we knew it, we were being called down to start the ceremony. I remember standing in a hallway before walking out, being next to my Dad, looking at pictures of my parents, grandparents at their weddings, and hearing the song "All of my days" on the speakers. I just felt that this was exactly where I was suppose to be, and I couldn't believe after all the planning, after being with Kyle for more than 10 years, that this was the moment that would change our lives forever. I walked down the "aisle" to "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys. The "aisle" was a very long and winding path that opening to a grassy area leading to the actually aisle and to my Kyle. I have never really felt what people talk about in movies as having tunnel vision, or being in a snow globe where there is no one else but the two of you, until that day. I literally do not remember seeing anyone except Kyle's face. It felt like I was given a glimpse of what heaven would be like. In fact, for the whole ceremony, I felt like it was an out of body experience and was like, Ok, this is heaven. :)

Our florist did such a beautiful job on the ceremony alter.

Our programs with the wands we made.

The stunning sunset.

I do remember our entire ceremony though, and it was personal, beautiful, and short and sweet. We did a handfasting ceremony where our mom's read a prayer, my godmother read a poem we had picked out, and Kyle and I exchanged our own written vows. We both held it together pretty well during the ceremony, only having a few tears here and there. After the ceremony however, we walked up the aisle as husband and wife, beaming-- and then sobbed to each other. I think we both had held a lot of our emotions in and finally we were able to be like holy cow, did that just happen. It truly was the most magical, amazing day of our lives and we partied and danced the night away!!
So happy to be married!

Mr. and Mrs. Long :)