A few days ago a friend of mine linked from her Tumblr account to this Huffington Post article.  The article “15 Ways to Stay Married for 15 Years” by Lydia Netzer has a lot of great advice on thing she and her husband have learned throughout the years together.  All her tips are a home run – in my opinion – the only one I really can’t decide if I totally agree with or not is “Go to Bed Angry”.  Although I see her point I would almost want to modify to say “sometimes go to bed angry”.

I’ve noticed a lot of married couples have their own tips/tricks to a long and successful marriage and I enjoy hearing their tidbits.  AND … with the husband and I quickly approaching our one year anniversary together I often think this  first year was a great start to the rest of our lives together!  I hope to write my own 15 tips for saying married in 14 years and 1 month. :)

Photo Credit: Korie Lynn Photography

One of my absolute favorite pieces of advice is #12.  So FRIENDS I make this husband (and wife) pact with you …

“12. Make a husband pact with your friends – The husband pact says this: I promise to listen to you complain about your husband even in the most dire terms, without it affecting my good opinion of him. I will agree with your harshest criticism, accept your gloomiest predictions. I will nod and furrow my brow and sigh when you describe him as a hideous ogre. Then when your fight is over and love shines again like a beautiful sunbeam in your life, I promise to forget everything you said and regard him as the most charming of princes once more. The husband pact is very useful because you want to be able to vent to your friend without having her actually start hating your husband. Because you don’t really mean all those things you say. And she, the swearer of the pact, knows this.” source

The husband and I always say we are a team and it’s kind of become our thing.  So much so that we made sure the word team was in our wedding vows and made team sweat suites for the morning after our wedding.  Due to my love of the team mentality tip #14 really hit home for me …

“14. Be loyal.  All the crap you read in magazines about honesty, sense of humor, communication, sensitivity, date nights, couples weekends, blah blah blah can be trumped by one word: loyalty. You and your spouse are a team of two. It is you against the world. No one else is allowed on the team, and no one else will ever understand the team’s rules. This is okay. The team is not adversarial, the team does not tear its members down, the team does not sabotage the team’s success. Teammates work constantly to help and better their teammates. Loyalty means you put the other person in your marriage first all the time, and you let them put you first. Loyalty means subverting your whims or desires of the moment to better meet your spouse’s whims or desires, with the full understanding and expectation that they will be doing the same. This is the heart of everything, and it is a tricky balance. Sometimes it sways one way and sometimes the other. Sometimes he gets to be crazy, sometimes it’s your turn. Sometimes she’s in the spotlight, sometimes you. Ups and downs ultimately don’t matter, because the team endures.” source

What do you think of Lydia Netzer’s tips?  Is she missing any important tidbits?  Do you like the husband pact?

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I remember being very excited to register for our wedding.  After the husband and I moved in together we did the whole merging of the worlds exercise.  For example, we kept his couches, but I got to keep my bedroom set.  Deciding what to keep vs. discard was a fairly easy process for us.  However, nothing in our apartment was really “ours”.  For example our kitchen dishes were handed down to me from my mother when she redid the kitchen — this was back when I was still in college.  They have got to be at least 10 years old. The dishes have really held up well, but we wanted dishes that we had chosen together.

Side Note – I think this is officially my second blog post with no pictures.  The problem is I didn’t take pictures when we went on these registry excursions.  I was going to take pictures of our wedding gifts, but didn’t think that would be fun to look at LOL.  In any event I hope you enjoy the post and I promise to have pictures in the next post! :)

The husband I scheduled an evening to do our first round of registering.  Off to Crate and Barrel we went.  Despite sitting in traffic for an hour to get the big Tyson’s Corner store instead of going to the smaller store in DC I was in great spirits.  We walked up to the counter “hi we need to register”, which was followed by the whole, congrats, when is the wedding and here’s how you work your scanning gun.  Okay now where do we start?  I had done a little pre-shopping online and we had agreed on some glasses. Scan – enter quantity.  Ummm how many do we need?  I had no idea and my husband looked at me smiled and shrugged his shoulders.  After just sort of staring at each other for 30 seconds he reminds me we can update the quantity online.  Okay great we can do that later so there is no need to worry.  Now what?

Imagine walking around the store for over an hour and randomly choosing things.  We had no idea what we needed or how much.  There were also a few items we couldn’t agree upon.  We left the store a bit defeated, okay maybe a lot defeated!  I thought registering would be easy and fun … not so much.  As we returned our scanner they gave us two heart shaped champagne glasses as a gift!  At least there was a little reward at the end of our attempt to choose things for the registry.

As we drove home I texted one of my bridesmaids, who also recently got married, and reported our less than successful registry experience.  She had some great advice for us … take a parent (or parents) with you to register.  The parents are able to help with how many of an item you need, what stuff  you will want to have that you might not be aware of and when needed the parent can mediate the choosing process. =)

This is exactly what we need!!  My mother (more than) happily agreed to accompany us to the next store and provide us with her expert advice!  A few weeks later when the husband and I were visiting my parents we headed to Bloomingdale’s with my mom.  We were a lot more successful the second time around and both found her suggestions extremely helpful.

So there you have it … our wedding registry experience in a nutshell.  Do you have any tidbits from registering that might help a current/future bride to be??

Happy planning!

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Previously on our honeymoon series: Positano, Sorrento and Cinque Terre. Now that you are all caught up let’s talk ROME!

After another extremely long train ride we arrived in Rome!  I feel like our last stop was the most cultural.  Rome was a great way to spend our last few days in Italy and on our honeymoon.  We stayed in downtown Rome and within walking distance of the at the Artemide Hotel.  On the evening we arrived we were starving after checking into the hotel.  We walked down the street to a local bar.  We had a little food as well as a drink and just people watched for a while.

Heading to Rome? Here is a sample itinerary for what to do if you have a few days in Rome, Italy. Honeymoon travel guide

Day 10: Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman Forum

After breakfast, at the hotel, we headed to the Colosseum.  We packed plenty of water and suntan lotion into our backpack as well as the camera.  Rome in mid-August is HOT HOT HOT!  The ticket line at the Colosseum was super long.

In order to skip the line we decided to join a tour.  This was a bad idea.  Although they got us into the Colosseum rather quickly, the tour really didn’t provide any substantial information.  The time spent within the Colosseum was very limited before they tried rushing us off to the next two locations – Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum.

There was no reentry to the Colosseum and we weren’t done exploring so we opted to stay behind and really soak it all in.  The tour guide didn’t give us our tickets so we wouldn’t be able to get into Palatine Hill without being with the group.  Saying behind meant we would need to purchase tickets again to gain entrance to the other sites.  Tourist fail and we absolutely felt like we had been scammed, but it was the only issue we encountered the entire time we were in Italy.  Lesson learned!

After walking around the Colosseum we headed over to the  Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum.  The line was SO short.  After getting our fill of tourist stuff we headed back to the hotel to relax and get ready for dinner.

TIP – Go to Palatine Hill and buy tickets there for the Colosseum.  The lines at Palatine Hill/Forum are SO much shorter the Colosseum.







Restaurant Romantico came highly recommended so we made a reservation through Facebook.  The ambience and food did NOT disappoint!  The restaurant was quaint and very romantic … perfect for a honeymoon.

Restaurant Romantico Rome, Italy

Restaurant Romantico Rome, Italy

Day 11:  Capital Hill, Pantheon, Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain

We had trouble deciding what to do on our last day.  Torn between the Vatican and a self guided tour around Rome to see a bunch of sites.  In the end a self guided walking tour won out.  Although we really wanted to see the Vatican we also weren’t excited about missing all the other great sites around the city.  Our guided tour went like this:  Capital Hill, Pantheon,  lunch at Life Pizzeria, Spanish Steps to the Trevi Fountain.

Things to do in Rome

Our last dinner in Rome was at La Pentolaccia.  The owner of the restaurant suggested a fabulous bottle of wine and helped us choose great meals.  After dinner he suggested we get have some of their homemade limoncello.  It was delicious and the meal was a great bookend to our honeymoon!

La Pentolaccia Restaurant in Rome, Italy

Side Note:  The wine in this picture is actually sold at Costco in VA!  When I told the husband I found a wine from our honeymoon at Costco he didn’t believe me.  Luckily I took a picture of the bottle and was able to PROVE to him it was in fact a “honeymoon” wine. :)  Every time we buy the wine we reminisce a little about our trip.

Day 12: Heading Home

We took an EARLY cab ride to the airport and checked our flight back to the states.  Does anyone remember that crazy hurricane from last summer?  Well we do!  When we arrived at the airport a number of flights to New York and New Jersey were already cancelled.  We were fortunate and our flight from Rome to Boston to DC was still on schedule.

Apparently when we were already inflight to Boston our connecting flight to DC was cancelled.  This was actually not a big deal since my parents live in MA so we had a place to stay.  PLUS they had been watching Sophi so we got to be with our puppy too!  After a couple nights with my parents and sister we flew back to DC with the dog and started our life in DC as husband and wife!

Have you been to Rome?  What was your favorite restaurant or thing to do?

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A few weeks ago we went to a friend’s beach themed wedding.  She had EVERY detail covered.  Knowing the amount of time and effort even small details take I can’t even imagine how many hours my friend put into everything for her wedding.

At her bachelorette party she mentioned they were going to have a Photo Booth at the wedding.  I had been to a wedding last year with a photo booth and loved it. At the last wedding I had taken pictures with friends, but by the time the husband and I made it to the booth it was closed.  Total pout! So this time I was determined to get a photo booth picture with my lovely husband.

After quickly locating the photo booth during cocktail hour I noticed a poster board.  On the posterboard there were a few photobooth pictures of my friend and (now) husband from other weddings.  She had the photo booth picture strip size increased and then added some cute text about taking pictures in the booth. I wish I had taken a picture of the poster board to show you exactly what it looked liked.

It took us the first two shots to understand where to look and how the booth worked. You would think two grown adults could successfully take pictures, but I guess we aren’t coordinated enough hahaha.  Here’s how our pictures came out:

See what I mean? The first two we are a little caught off guard.  When we sat down at the table in the reception room we found these cute frames to put our photobooth picture into.

Each frame had a message from the bride and groom.  On the back there was a clear label with our name on it so we knew which frame was ours.Such a cute detail! I just love the message and idea to send each guest home with a frame.  Check it out!

And can you believe it … each one was hand signed by the bride and groom!  I told you this bride had every detail covered! :)

The cost of the frames seem pretty reasonable. I did a little Googling and found a number of places like this one.  There are many places that sell the perfect size frames for photobooth picture strips.

Have you seen this tidbit at a wedding before?

Happy wedding planning!!

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The title sounds worse than it is by A LOT, but I thought it accurately summed up the situation.  My husband will tell you I am one of those people who loves something in the store (or online) and then immediately second guesses my choices once the item is purchased and home.  For example when we got our dining room table chairs I obsessed about if the cream went okay with the beige/darker cream couches we have. I think it took a good two weeks for the buyers remorse to dissipate.  I love the chairs and think they look great … so seriously what was up withe the buyers remorse?

If it happens with purchases like a pair of jean or a chair, then clearly the buyers remorse would kick in for a wedding dress, right?

I started watching “Say Yes to the Dress” before I got engaged and once we were engaged I thought heck I will try on 5 or 10 dresses and find the one I want quickly.  Unfortunately I wasn’t a 5-10 dress kind of bride. I think I was probably more in the 30-40 range.  I would chalk a lot of that up to trying on almost any dress suggested so I could narrow down what it was I really wanted.

I tried on a lot of dresses before deciding on THE dress. The day I found my wedding dress I was with my MOH and one bridesmaid.  And just to make things interesting the dress I decided was THE ONE happen to be part of a trunk sale.  This dress was only going to be in the store for that weekend and then it would be packed up and sent to another bridal shop.  There was no way I was going to buy a wedding dress without my mother seeing it. The owner of the store suggested we skype with her, however while having lunch, my sister and I decided my mother should fly from Boston to DC just for the day.

Oh yes I am that crazy and thought it was TOTALLY appropriate to have my mother fly in Sunday morning and out that evening just to see the dress.  After some serious convincing my mother agreed to fly in for the day.  We found a “reasonably” priced ticket and the next day she arrived bright and early to do some dress shopping.  Smartly, she requested that we go to at least one other store so she could have other dresses to compare THE dress too.

We began at Hannelore’s and I tried on two dresses for her.  The first and the immediate favorite at that store looked like this:

Anne Barge, Style 612

The second, which I had liked the first time, but not loved got cut almost immediately. We quickly realized in pictures you couldn’t see the beautiful lace in the boddus.  It just didn’t “pop” to us.  Here’s the second dress:

Romona Keveza Legends 804 – Look at my sister in the background … how bored does she look. hahahahaha. It was because she knew it wasn’t the right dress!

After taking my measurements for the first dress and pretty much talking myself out of the dress my mother had initially flown in to see we headed to Love Couture.

They already had “the” dress as well as one other I had been considering ready for us.  I slipped into the dress and was grinning ear to ear.  As my sister had predicted while we were in Hannelore the Stephen Yearik dress was a better match for the look I was going for.  Here we are trying on the dress at the store:

Stephen Yearick

Two days later the buyers remorse kicked into high gear. I started pulling up the two dresses and comparing/contrasting them. My sister, the MOH, kept telling me I was crazy for doubting my initial decision. I waffled back and forth for the next few months. I started checking out second hand versions of the Anne Barge dress and seeing if I could afford (heck no!!) the second dress I liked as well.

In the end all the buyers remorse was erased when I went to the store to try my dress on the day it came in!  After the alterations, makeup, jewlery and all the other good bridal stuff here’s how it looked on our wedding day:

Photo Credit: Korie Lynn Photography

Thanks for taking a walk down memory lane with me.  Buyers remorse be gone because on the day of our wedding I wouldn’t have wanted to be in any other dress!

Happy Dress Shopping!

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