Friday, May 31, 2013

Memorial Day BBQ and Smoretini Shots

On Sunday Chris and I hosted a Memorial Day BBQ. It was the first nice day of the weekend and we really lucked out with the weather! It was so nice to see and catch up with many friends whom we hadn't seen in awhile!
 
The backyard

 The bar: complete with this Citrus Sparkler drink that was SO GOOD (I had the tiniest sip)

Roasted tomatoes and Mozzarella with Basil

Our friend, Chris, enjoying the food

Love, LOVE this picture with two of my best ladies, Mal and Mandy

 And a shot with the guys - sans Eric who was watching the Indie 500 sick that day ;)

We christened the chiminea! I forsee many summer nights next to this!

We were even responsible for a hook-up that night!
Maria's dog, Cookie, and Anthony hit it off right away.

I made these smoretini shooters last year for a party, and they were a huge hit.
So I pulled the recipe out again for this year.

Smoretini-Shooters 
From How Sweet It Is
makes 8-10 shots

Ingredients:
4 ounces marshmallow vodka (or vanilla, whipped cream or cake flavored vodka)
4 ounces Godiva chocolate liqueur
2 ounces Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur
6 ounces cream/half and half or milk
Chocolate syrup or hot fudge
Graham cracker crumbs
Vanilla frosting for glass rimming (I used Smuckers Cupcake Magic shell) - agave or maple syrup will work well too.
Mini marshmallows

Directions:
1. Dip the rim of you glass in a bit of frosting, then dip into graham cracker crumbs. Pour about 1/2 teaspoon chocolate fudge into the bottom of the glass.
2. Combine vodka, Baileys, Godiva and cream in a shaker (or water bottle with lid) with ice and shake for 15 seconds.
3. Pour into glass. Top with mini marshmallows skewered on a toothpick.

Drink and enjoy with friends!!
(Or, watch and take pictures if you're pregnant)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Finding Out or "How Did that Happen?!"

When we announced our pregnancy to our parents, one of the first questions my mother-in-law asked was "How did that happen?" We all laughed; a few inappropriate jokes were made; I blushed; and we moved on to discussing ridiculous baby names. You know, as you do.

We all know "how" it happens, (if you don't, please email me and I will explain the birds and the bees to you). I don't need to go into any explanation there. But I think the better question is "How and when did we come to the decision to start a family?" I think that's a fair and important question.

For the past year we've both known we were getting closer and closer to wanting a baby. I'm the first to admit that we basically treat our dog like a human child, and working together to "raise" Zoey was a real great lesson for us in parenting and cooperation between each other. With the idea that we'd start trying around the end of 2012, I stopped taking my birth control pill in October. I wanted to be off any and all birth control for at least three months before trying.
Bye-Bye BC

At first we thought we'd start trying at the end of December, but we were in Disney World sharing a room with my sister that week (hi sis!!) so that turned into January. Which was fine, because I had to wait until after my scheduled Lasik surgery anyway, so that became end of January. Then end of January/early February ended up being exactly 9 months away from one of my best friend's weddings and so before we knew it, it was March. It was one of those things that seemed so exciting, and we seemed so ready, but when the time actually came it was so easy to say "let's just wait one more month." But by the end of February, we were sick of putting it off. Those few months of waiting gave both of us a lot of time to think about it, and come to terms with the fact that we were ready for this next phase of our lives. We had our lives to live! There will always be weddings, there will always be trips and life events, and always "something" for us to wait just "one more month". We were ready, and we'd have to just deal with it as it came.

I tracked my cycles through the Ladytimer and Fertility Friend Mobile apps. We started trying the beginning of March with the thought that it would probably take 3 or 4 months before I'd get pregnant. 20 days later, I stood in our bathroom with a positive pregnancy test. I was happy, and shocked. Wow - that happened fast.

The crazy thing about discovering your pregnant is that, if you're patient enough to wait until a day or two after your missed period, you're already considered 4 weeks pregnant! You've already knocked one month off of the 9 (really 10) month process and you didn't even know!

I always imagined the moment I'd see my positive pregnancy test would be a joyous, jump-up-and-down "OMG!" exciting moment. But for us, that's not how it went. Of course we were excited but, for one: I already knew I was pregnant before taking the test. I could just tell that I was from various symptoms and so the test was just this confirmation for me, rather than this big shocking, revealing moment. Second: Our approach to this news was described best by Chris as "cautious". At only 4 weeks, we knew that anything could happen at any moment and while we were both excited, we didn't allow ourselves to get too caught up in anything before things were confirmed fine for us by a doctor. A bit anti-climatic, but that's how it went. We kind of walked around in a stupefied haze for a week, knowing it was true, but yet still so skeptical.

Chris asked me to take another test one week later. He wanted to be doubly sure and I don't blame him. I had all these symptoms that I was feeling, it was happening to me...but for the guy? He has nothing to go off of but a wife that says she feels tired, or hungry, and honestly is that really all that different from everyday life?! At least, not really for us, haha! I tested again a week later, this time with the ClearBlue digital test. There's something about seeing the word "pregnant" very clearly on a test that seems so much more definite than two pink, barely visible lines.

At eight weeks, we showed up to my doctor together for my first sonogram. It was just a little speck, but it was all the confirmation we needed to know that yes...the tests were right, and this was indeed happening.

And so that's "how it happened" without going too far into detail on the "how it happened" ;)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Full Pregnancy Announcement Video

Last week I shared with you our Announcement Teaser Trailer, but here is the full video with everyone's reactions. From Kerry screaming "I KNEW IT!" and picking me up, to James and Maria's utter shock at our news, to the lots and lots of hugs, smiles, and cheers we received from our friends, this movie fills my heart with so much love. I loved putting this together in iMovie on my ipad. I also love that I'll have this to look back on forever and show my child one day when they are old enough to understand the love surrounding them before they were even born.
 
Did/Will you video tape anyone's reactions to your pregnancy news?




Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bumpdate: Week 13

Today I am 14 weeks pregnant! Time for another Bumpdate, recapping my 13th week.

How Far Along: 13 Weeks!

Baby is the size of: Peach (or a small shrimp as BabyCenter.com says....I think they should just stick to fruits to compare it too...)

Total weight gain: 1 pound

Sleep: Still waking up to go to the bathroom at least once a night. I'm having more trouble

Best Moment of the week: Finding two fabulous maxi dresses at Old Navy that I know I'll be able to wear throughout the summer. And having a BBQ on Sunday and being able to celebrate with friends.

Worst Moment of the week: I had some pretty bad headaches this week and on Saturday. I am allowed to take advil, but I held out and it eventually went away.

Have you told Family and Friends: Yes and Yes

Miss Anything: No, not really

Food Cravings: Still Cheese

Anything make you queasy or sick: Nope

Have you started to show? Yes! I really do feel like I have a little "baby bump" now :)

Gender: Don't know yet!

Symptoms: same: easily tired, a little back pain if I stand too long, have to eat every 3-4 hours.

Workouts: Lots of Walking

Mood: Generally good

Looking Forward to: Having an actual, recognizable baby bump...rather than just being "maybe pregnant?"

Maternity Clothes: Sort of. I need to get a pair of black maternity pants, but have yet to get them. I plan on wearing my two Old  Navy maxi dresses pretty much for the rest of the summer.

Reading: Cinderella Ate My Daughter

Milestones: So apparently, the 13th week is actually the end of the first trimester so NOW, I'm entering my second trimester. This week, the babies vocal chords began to develop!


Linking up with Kristin for Baby Talk Tuesday

Friday, May 24, 2013

Announcement Teaser Trailer

I told you yesterday that I tried to capture as many people as possible on video or audio recording when we told them our big news. Finally, here is our Announcement Teaser Trailer. I have a full length version to share next week. 
I hope you enjoy it, and have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Telling Our Family and Friends

When Chris and I got engaged, we returned home from the Bahamas and posted our news to Facebook for all the word to see and share (you know...as one does to announce all life-changing moments).
This was clearly when Facebook was in it's "simpler" days. No tagging of people in posts, no geotagging, I didn't even attach a picture!!!! What was I thinking?! ;)

Nevertheless, it was an exciting night, and the congratulatory emails, text messages, and phone calls that came in were heartwarming. I tried so hard not to say anything when I called my roommate, Molly, to tell her I was on my way home. She asked how the trip was and I tried to play it cool: "Oh you know, it was fine" before I busted out with "OK I CAN'T HOLD IT IN ANYMORE WE GOT ENGAGED!!!" Molly was obviously super excited for us and waited patiently for my arrival back at the apartment. But I had ruined a potential "in-person" reaction, and I had tried so hard to hold out!

So when I came back to my Astoria apartment, I went downstairs to my neighbors, Bruce and Alisha, to thank them for feeding my fish while I was away, and to reveal to them my new bling. I gathered them in front of me, and with one motion thrust my hand out and waited. I watched as their faces looked down, and together they both realized what I was telling them. They both immediately started screaming at the top of their lungs, lunged forward to hug me, and together the three of us jumped up and down in their kitchen, screaming at the top of our lungs, for a good 10-15 seconds. Unfortunately, I don't see Bruce or Alisha anymore - but those two will forever be engrained in my memory and heart. It was the one and only genuine, in-person reaction I got to my engagement, and it was one I wouldn't trade for anything.

So when Chris and I were faced with this next round of exciting, life-changing news, I knew I wanted to get more of those in-person reactions. Sites like motherglow.com (which had recently become an obsession of mine) gave me inspiration and ideas on how to reveal the news. It's easier with pregnancy because you typically don't share your news with all the world right away. You have time to prepare and tell people at your own pace, without a ring to immediately give you away.
Telling Molly and Mark over Breakfast

As Chris and I revealed our news to our family and friends, I tried my hardest to capture each moment on video, or to at least get the audio of the initial reactions. I learned a LOT as I went along, and got better and better at it with each person. Unfortunately, that means there were a few failed, or even missed attempts at getting some reactions and as a result, I have a few regrets.
Telling my Grandpa

First: I didn't get a video of us telling our parents or siblings. Obviously, they were the first people we told and so this whole thing was just beginning to even process in our minds, let alone theirs. We told them one week after we found out, and I didn't have time to plan anything special or interesting. I barely had time to even convince myself that it was true. Surprisingly, I was ridiculously nervous to tell our families. I was shaking, my heart was racing, and I couldn't even finish my slice of pizza (!!) I don't know why I was so nervous...I just was, and I was only able to get the audio of their reactions. Still, better than nothing.
Champagne Toast the night we told our families

Secondly, I learned that my husband, bless his soul, is not a videographer. Through poor communication and last minute spur-of-the-moment video taking, he manged to stop filming exactly as three of our close friend's reactions were beginning. I'm still baffled...but I digress. At least there are pictures.
The night we told Mandy, Billy and Matt

One reaction I regret not capturing, was my Uncle David, who is a natural jokester. Out at brunch with him and my family I said:
Me- "Hey Uncle Dave! What do you think about being a Great-Uncle this November?"
UD- "This November? Um...I don't know, I don't think that will work for me. What about January or February?"
Me -"Oh...well...it's going to be November, so..."
UD- "Oh! You mean, you didn't consult with me before this was a thing?"
Me - "Haha, no, it's already happened."
UD -"Oh, that's awesome! Congratulations!"

I also regret not recording Chris's brother, who looking back, I don't even know why I didn't even at least get audio for it! We were very rushed to tell him on Easter because people were coming and going and it was hard to find the right time. He was very stunned by the news, and I think almost skeptical at first that we were playing a trick on him. But of course, he was excited and happy.
At a local bar the night we told a bunch of friends

Whether we were able to get everyone's reaction or not, Chris and I have each and every one of them to remember by either on video, or in our hearts. Each one was priceless and amazing in its own right, and we are so blessed to have such amazing and supportive people in our lives. I have a full video (as in 5 minutes long!) of everyone's reactions to share next week, but I made a teaser trailer video highlighting some of them that I will share tomorrow. I'm so happy with how it came out! If you're impatient, like me, and want to view it today....click here.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bumpdate: Week 12

Many pregnant bloggers out there like to do a weekly Bump Update or "Bump-date" where they share the different symptoms and feelings they're having week to week throughout their pregnancy. Because my pregnancy weeks start on a Tuesday: each week, I will recap the previous week's pregnancy experience. 

 
Bumpdate #1: 12 Weeks (I'll recap the first twelve weeks in one post later next week)

How Far Along: 12 Weeks - exactly 3 months!

Baby is the size of: In week 12, the baby is the size of a lime!

Total weight gain: 1 pound. I lost about 3 or 4 pounds when I first found out I was pregnant. Not because I was getting sick, but one: My sweet tooth was virtually gone and 2: I was walking a lot more because we finally started to have nice weather. So, I've gained all of that back, plus 1 additional pound from before.
Ultrasound at 12 Weeks
Sleep: I wake up at least once every night to go to the bathroom. Usually, it's around 4:00am. I usually can go right back to sleep but Sunday night into Monday morning I could NOT get back to sleep. I woke up at 4am, went to the bathroom and then realized I was starrrrrving. I tried to ignore it, but by 5:30 I went downstairs and ate a piece of cold pizza. It had to happen. By 6:00am, I was back asleep for one more hour before I had to get up for work. Me thinks this baby will love pizza as much as I do.

Best Moment of the week: Going for the sonogram! Seeing an actual human baby at the sonogram appointment suddenly made it all seem "real real" for us. At the end, the baby was kicking around like CRAZY inside me. I couldn't feel it at all, but we could watch it on the screen. I never wanted the technician to take the sono do-hicky tool away (technical term, obvi.). I love the picture of the baby's little leg and foot. I think it's safe to say that I first fell in love with our baby's foot and leg before anything else! 

Worst moment of the week: Saturday. Chris and I had dinner reservations for our 2nd year anniversary at a nice new place that I've been wanting to go to for a long time now! I was so excited to eat there, but when Saturday rolled around, my lunch was not sitting well with me, and I was soooo tired. When Chris woke me up from my nap to get ready for dinner, the LAST thing I wanted to do was get dressed up and go eat a big meal. So we cancelled our dinner plans, grilled burgers at home, and I was back asleep for the night by 10:00pm. Still a nice night, but I feel bad that we didn't do anything special for our anniversary. However, we still made sure to have room for our anniversary cakes! (Yes we got two...no, neither of us were able to finish them. Next year - we're back to sharing ONE.)
 

Have you told family and friends: YES! more on that this week

Miss anything: Not really. I guess sleeping through the night.

Food cravings: CHEEEEESSSEE. I can't get enough of cheddar cheese. It's amazing, it's satisfying, it's glorious.

Anything making you queasy or sick: I have not felt any nausea, but for some reason, the thought of fresh mozzarella cheese sounds disgusting to me. I did have some a few weeks ago and it tasted great when I actually ate it, but the thought of it more than anything else, just made me totally not want any more. Honestly, I think it's because I've now watched the process of making cheese - and while it's not "gross", it's definitely a neat process - for some reason...seeing the milk separate from the whey and turn into cheese, makes me queasy to think about. I hope that this "learning to make your own cheese" adventure hasn't turned me off to mozzarella forever! (Except of course, if it's melted onto pizza!)

Have you started to show? A little bit, it's not that noticeable, but I definitely have a bit "more" of a pooch than usual.

Gender: Won't be known for another 8 weeks. We may not be finding out the gender. But if you ask me - I'll swear up and down that we're having a boy.

Symptoms: I get tired for about an hour every day, usually between 3 and 4pm. Once it passes, I'm fine, but it can be difficult to fight while I'm at work.

Workouts: What's that? I don't understand the question. Well, I walk. I try to walk 10,000 steps a day, at least during the week. I keep track of this thanks to my handy dandy Moves Iphone App, and lately I have been able to reach my goal a few days a week.

Mood: Generally good. I don't feel too hormonal or anything. My friend, Corinne, thinks that I'm going to be one of those girls who is always like "Oh no...I'm not moody or hormonal or anything," and then immediately lash out at someone for no reason, but swear up and down that it's "not the hormones." Haha, we'll see.

Looking Forward to: Feeling the baby kick, not being so tired anymore.

Maternity Clothes: Not yet, but I think I'm going shopping for a few staples this weekend with my mom!

Reading: Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein. Book Review coming soon!

Milestones: Out of the first trimester!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

An Anniversary Announcement!

 
   
Today is our two year wedding anniversary, but it also marks another important milestone for Chris and me. Today I am officially out of my first trimester, and can officially announce that we are expecting a little one this November! 


I can't even believe that two years ago today, Chris and I became husband and wife, and celebrated the best day of our lives. In some ways, it feels like only yesterday, and in other ways, it feels like a lifetime ago. I look through these pictures and even after two years, I think we look like babies!
 

And now here we are, two years later, ready to start the next chapter of our lives! 

 You can absolutely expect all many of my posts to be "pregnancy and baby related" for the next...well...foreseeable future. In just three months, I have learned a LOT, and done a ton of research on topics I've never even thought about. I'll share things I've learned and have yet to learn, questions on various things, and general thoughts and experiences throughout my pregnancy. So if babies aren't you're thing - I hope you'll still stop by for my occasional recipes and book reviews!


Any advice for this first-time-mother-to be?

Linking up with Kristin for Baby Talk Tuesday

Monday, May 20, 2013

Book Review: The Great Gatsby



From Goodreads:
In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write "something new--something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned." That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned, and above all, simple novel became The Great Gatsby, arguably Fitzgerald's finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author's generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald's--and his country's--most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings. "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning--" Gatsby's rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.

It's also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby's quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying, but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means--and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. "Her voice is full of money," Gatsby says admiringly, in one of the novel's more famous descriptions. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy's patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties, and waits for her to appear. When she does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout. Spare, elegantly plotted, and written in crystalline prose, The Great Gatsby is as perfectly satisfying as the best kind of poem.



My Thoughts:
I last read this book in 9th grade, and didn't really remember liking it. I wasn't entirely looking forward to reading it, but it was the current book for the book club I'm a part of, so I gave it a try. I ended up enjoying this book so much more than I thought! It's amazing how different a book can be reading it at age 14 and again at age 28. It made me want to see the movie even more than I already do, and it made me realize that this really is a great piece of American literature. The description above says it all about the plot, and if it's been many years since you've read this book, I recommend giving it another try. You might be surprised how much more you like it now!

Here's our fabulous hostess of the evening, Kerry, who threw a very successful Roaring 20's, Great Gatsby themed Book Club meeting!


Have you ever read this book, or have you seen the new movie since it opened last week?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Bachelorette Slideshow...as you do.

I recapped Corinne's Bachelorette party on Tuesday....but like I always say: "What celebration is complete without a picture/video slideshow?!" Here's a slideshow I put together of the party, complete with some hilarious dancing videos from the hotel room!


Happy Weekend! Chris and I are celebrating our 2 year anniversary (a little bit early) this weekend! I can't even believe we're starting our "Junior Year" of marriage! Happy Weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Book Review: The Uncommon Reader




From Goodreads
From the author of The History Boys and The Clothes They Stood Up In. A deliciously funny novella that celebrates the pleasure of reading.

When the Queen in pursuit of her wandering corgis stumbles upon a mobile library she feels duty bound to borrow a book. Aided by Norman, a young man from the palace kitchen who frequents the library, Bennett describes the Queen's transformation as she discovers the liberating pleasures of the written word.

I thought the description on Amazon was better:
When her corgis stray into a mobile library parked near Buckingham Palace, the Queen feels duty-bound to borrow a book. Discovering the joy of reading widely (from J. R. Ackerley, Jean Genet, and Ivy Compton-Burnett to the classics) and intelligently, she finds that her view of the world changes dramatically. Abetted in her newfound obsession by Norman, a young man from the royal kitchens, the Queen comes to question the prescribed order of the world and loses patience with the routines of her role as monarch. Her new passion for reading initially alarms the palace staff and soon leads to surprising and very funny consequences for the country at large. 

My Thoughts:
My mind sometimes drifted reading this book however, it was a cute, quick, and light read. At 120 pages, I was done in two days. Queen Elizabeth II eyes are opened to the wonderful world of books when she stumbles across a mobile library outside her home. For the first time in her life, she is enthralled by something and becomes bored with the mundane "Queen" tasks that she has to tend to on a daily basis. As you can expect, the public and the people in her life are not too pleased by her new hobby. The Queen is ultimately met with some challenges as she struggles between tending to her Queenly duties and her intense desire to do nothing but read and eventually write. Very cute, and recommended for any book lover out there.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Chocolate Chip/M&M Cookies with Sea Salt

As I wrote about yesterday, two weeks ago I attended my friend Corinne's Bachelorette Party. I made these chocolate chip/M&M cookies for the party and they were a rip-roaring hit! I found this recipe on pinterest and it was rated the #1 chocolate chip cookie recipe by The New York Times, so I had to see for myself.  I dare-say I maaaaayyy have found a cookie that might possibly rival my friend Mandy's incredible cookies, but I'm not so sure - we may just have to put these two  to a duel in a taste test one day.


Chocolate Chip Cookies
From I Am Baker
The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Ingredients
  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour *I only used all purpose flour for my recipe.
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 pounds chocolate chips *I used milk and semi sweet chocolate, then also went back and added Reece's peanut butter chips.
Instructions:
  1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy – about 5 minutes. 
  3. Add eggs. Stir in vanilla. Reduce to low speed and add dry ingredients slowly, mixing until just combined. 
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Refrigerate dough for 24-36 hours.
  6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350.
  7. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

My Notes: For this recipe, I used half chocolate chips and half m&m's. I also sprinkled sea salt on top of each cookie which totally took them to the next level. This recipe yields a LOT. I think I ended up with at least 5 dozen cookies when all was said and done. GREAT for a party - but I'd half it if you're just looking for some cookies for...yourself.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Corinne's Bachelorette Party

I'm late to the game on recapping this but two weekends ago we celebrated my friend Corinne's Bachelorette Party! Her and her fiancé are getting married in just FOUR WEEKS out at Duck Walk Vineyards on Long Island. To say I am excited for this wedding is an understatement. I have been anxiously awaiting their wedding for years now, and can't believe it's almost here!

We arrived to the Hilton Hotel in New York City at 3:00pm on Saturday, May 4th. The Hilton is a beautiful hotel and has a fantastic location, close to everything. We were on the 25th floor and had a pretty awesome view of the street down below.


Corinne's friend, Jen, bought her 2 Chicks with Chocolate wine collection chocolates! Very interesting and suuuch cute packaging!

After settling into our room and having a view shots drinks, we headed downtown to a Chair-Dancing class through From Mind to Body. We were all a little hesitant/skeptical/nervous about what to expect with this class, but it actually was a TON of fun and a great workout!
Corinne with our instructor:


After our dance class, we walked over to Heartland Brewery for our dinner!

Corinne's Maid of Honor, Marissa, made SURE we all knew who was in charge here ;)
 The group at dinner:

Then it was back to the hotel to change, and pre-game before heading out to Turtle Bay on the East Side of Manhattan. This bar/dance club was packkked for Cinco de Mayo, but was a fun place to dance and have some fun!


 


The group before we head out to the club!

We then spent 3 hours dancing, drinking (and almost getting into a fight with a crazy lady) at Turtle Bay. It was great fun!

We came back to the hotel around 12:30am and I think were all passed out by 2:00am. Pretty good for a night out on the town!
The next morning, we woke up bright and early to head back out to Queens for brunch with Corinne's family who couldn't stay overnight. The five borough bike tour was taking place, and many streets were closed, causing major traffic jams everywhere. This added some serious travel time to our drive home. 
Bikes EVERYWHERE!

After about 2 hours we showed up at the restaurant, Tavern 18, tired and HANGRY!

 Corinne with her future Mother-in-Law

I had a great time celebrating with Corinne and getting to know her girlfriends better. This weekend made me even more excited for her wedding next month! Love you Corinne!