July 29, 2009

Tonight's Mantra: Rain is Beautiful



This stormy weather is bumming me out big time. In an attempt to remind myself that rain can be beautiful, I'm posting some photos that I took this past May at Central Park's Conservatory Garden.

Hopefully these images of raindrops + flowers will cheer you up too!





I left this pink umbrella in a cab last week. Sad. It had auto-open AND close.




And to put into perspective just how nuts the weather has been, the video below was taken outside my office right when I left work this evening. Wish I could have taken more footage but I was too antsy to run and catch the 1 train at Canal Street. This is the view facing south from the corner of Varick and Grand at about 6:40pm this evening. Yay for my first iPhone video!

video

July 27, 2009

My Wedding To Do List


I know we'll get everything ready in time. I also know that there's something we'll forget, and it may feel like a big deal but probably won't be.

One of the biggest undertakings of wedding planning is list-making: guest lists, address lists, subsets of guest lists, budget spreadsheets, lists of songs we like, songs we don't, lists of ideas of things I should consider adding to my to-do list...

Some of this has been fun to put together, like my list of potential favor ideas which currently includes sapling trees, a charitable donation, or fabric flower pins that guests can wear at the wedding if they want to be extra festive.

The bad lists have included the guest lists because I know there will be people that feel excluded. The latest one I'm having issues with is the Bridal Shower. I want just closest, closest, closest friends and family to help keep it low key and within a budget my family can afford, but then I don't want people who later receive wedding invites but weren't invited to the shower to think that they're on the dreaded "B List".

I made another list tonight; a list of major things I have left to do in the 105 days until the big party. Threw it together in about two minutes and thought I'd share it here since it's a good example of my free-spirited attempt at organization ;)

Plus, maybe I'll do everything on the list if I publish it:

  1. Wedding rings
  2. Marriage License -- Let's not forget
  3. Bouquets + Decor (Find vases + research spray painting, picture frames and photos...)
  4. Fill out "personal remarks" questionnaire by 9/1 so Rev can personalize ceremony
  5. Jewish stuff: Chuppah and assorted accessories (Rob)
  6. Boys' attire
  7. Honeymoon - Let's not forget!
  8. Hotel discounts for guests, then update wedding website
  9. After party plans? Hudson Hotel bar perhaps...
  10. Shopping for mom's dress and shoes
  11. Make hair appt...Figure out what to do with hair...
  12. Decide what to do about makeup...Get a makeover and buy new products in case I DIY my face
  13. Invitations!!! This should be #1. They need to go out in early Sept...def by end of Sept...
  14. Other stationary, like place cards, table numbers/themes(?), a sign convincing guests to write in our guest book, etc.
  15. Favors. Is a charitable donation okay? Which charity?
  16. Gifts for wedding party. Pressure!
  17. Figure out how to properly thank our families for helping us pay for wedding...

July 24, 2009

Street Vendors Hurt By Recession?

...or just hiding their illegal goods from police?

Sign reads, "This stand is CLOSED. Nothing whatsoever is for sale here."

Not even those hats?

July 22, 2009

The High Line: Backdrop for our engagement photos

After visiting Manhattan's new High Line park in late June, not only did I decide that I had a new favorite NYC spot, but I discovered the perfect location for our engagement photo shoot. I immediately contacted the photographer we booked for our wedding, Stacey Ilyse, and she was just as excited about the shoot idea as I was.

And so we spent an hour and a half this Sunday evening on the High Line and in the Meatpacking District and had a BLAST. It was fun and relaxed, and we laughed a lot. Rob and I did a LOT of kissing. Even though the park was crowded, it really felt like we were the only people there. And I had some interesting costume change experiences (including stripping down near the ground floor elevators at The Standard Hotel...)

So while it was happening it felt like a positive experience and I knew we got some great photos.

But really...I was BLOWN AWAY by the finished product. I'm so critical of everything -- I never thought we'd end up with such perfect photos -- there's nothing I would change! Not only did Stacey capture our relationship -- the tender love we have for each other, the goofiness and giggles, and our obvious uniqueness and individuality. And she really showed off her diverse post production style (which is the reason why I was drawn to her photos in the first place).

I told Stacey I wanted to blog about the shoot so she moved around her schedule and was able to send me edited images within 2 days!!!! I can't stop looking at them. I'm soooooo happy! I want professional photos taken once a year for the rest of my life, haha.

Some of my favorites are below. A slide show of a bunch can be found here.

I love this photo because it truly captures the beauty of the High Line, and the post-production makes it look extra vibrant and surreal!


I love the softness of this one


And the vibrancy of this one!


Rob's favorite :)



My favorite :)



Or maybe this one is my favorite. I just love how we're both laughing but for different reasons. I'm pretty sure Rob is laughing at himself for not being able to balance on the train track and I'm laughing at him ;)



Still individuals!



I needed to break out the Louboutins and the infamous Renda DVF dress! Its not everyday that my fabulous shoes get to be photographed by a professional photographer! What I really love though is how this photo captures our personalities :)



Honestly, worth every penny. (If you know anyone who's engaged, tell them Stacey Ilyse Photography is running a summer e-session promo--$100 off and free guest book! No, I'm not being paid to mention that, haha.)

I just hope I'm still smiling when one day my kid sees these photos and shrieks, "MOM?!?!? That's YOU?!?! You and Dad look sooooo young. You used to be PRETTY."


July 13, 2009

Trimble's of Corchaug: Inspired by the Idea Garden


Our NY-centric staycation left us on the North Fork after the visiting the wineries, and any Long Islander knows that if you head out East without going to a farm for fresh produce, you've wasted a trip. As we were driving back to my friend's place, heading west on Rt. 25, I had one of those "WE NEED BERRIES" moments and immediately saw Trimble's which looked like a farmstand so we made a sharp turn into the small parking lot.

Turns out it wasn't a farmstand but a nursery. (The abundance of flowers should have tipped us off...) But I immediately forgot about my hankering for local strawberries since it was such a great spot. We had so much fun walking through it.

Next to the greenhouse and nursery, they have an "Idea Garden" with winding pathways and random accoutrements that you wouldn't normally associate with a garden: Bowling balls as decor, really??? But it achieved it's intention--it gave me the "idea" for a blog post and some inspiration for photos. Here are some photos from the Idea Garden and the nursery. I'll spare you the silly shots I took of Rob ;) No people pictures here...that's what Facebook is for!

What a lovely detour!

July 12, 2009

Long Island Wine Country Photos




During our staycation, we headed out East to see friends and spent a lovely afternoon on the North Fork at a few vineyards: Martha Clara, Raphael and Pindar. The Long Island wine was excellent but the location and the weather were the true highlights. I love being reminded how lucky I am to live in New York.







July 6, 2009

Fire Island: Punny Beach Houses

We spent 4th of July weekend on Fire Island, the small island off the southern coast of Long Island's Suffolk County that bans cars, encourages daytime drinking, has a thriving deer and conifer population, and lets you bounce between the Atlantic Ocean and the Great South Bay with just a 3 minute walk.

Most of the beach houses are quaint bungalows and even the ridiculously huge homes are fairly understated. The houses are named just like most of the boats docked on the shore, and I came across a bunch of "punny" names. I took these pics because my fiance LOVES puns, and thought I'd share them here as well. These are from the towns of Ocean Bay Park and Ocean Beach:



Get it??? Dew Drop Inn??? SEA'S the day? Golden Daze...cause its sunny and you spend your days in a daze!...wink wink ;) ;)
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