Category Archives: the engagement

on registries.


CJ and I were very, very lucky to receive so many gorgeous gifts off of our registries. I think it’s easy to get caught up in the fun of running around with a registry gun (pancake maker! waffle maker! pancake waffle maker!), but when you live in a NYC apartment, you have to edit, edit, edit. I put together a few ideas on registering based on what worked for us, what didn’t, and some thoughts I had along the way. Grab a cup of coffee, because this post is a doozy.

::1:: You need gifts for every price point. If your guests are kind enough to look to your registry, the worst thing you could do would be to make them feel like they are out-priced. Remember, not everyone can afford a $150 gift (or a $100 gift, or a $50 gift). I think it’s great to have things that are even around $15- Williams Sonoma has great kitchen accessories that are around those price points and can make your cousin in college feel like they are still getting you something you really want.

::2:: Think about the way you really live. Chris and I thought about registering for martini glasses. Then we realized neither of us a) drinks martinis, b) really accurately knows how to make a martini without looking it up online, c) can afford the ingredients for martinis.

::3:: Repeat after me: My taste will change. My taste will change. My taste will change. Get the classic china and the trendy everyday dishes. And if you can…

::4:: Get Juliska. juliskaLook, y’all, I don’t work for Juliska. But I should. I talk about them almost every day. In full disclosure, their flagship store is where my dad and stepmom live…so I get to visit OFTEN. Juliska could probably get a separate post on this blog, so I’ll try to condense my joy for one paragraph. Juliska can go from the freezer to the oven. Juliska can go in the microwave. Juliska can mix and match with almost everything. Juliska is really difficult to break when you accidentally drop a plate on the floor. Juliska is moderately priced everyday dishware. Juliska makes me really, really happy.

We have the white Berry & Thread set, a set of the Pewter plates, and all of our serve ware is Berry & Thread. I do have two baking pans in the Pewter, which I use weekly. I love that I can pull them out of the oven and toss them on our table without giving it a second thought. We’ve had our sets for almost two years now (we even have a Christmas set!) and I feel like I should be starring in a Juliska commercial. My stepmom asked me to step away from the Juliska since maybe it’s gotten to be a bit of an addiction? No worries.

It gets a lot of play on my Instagram, and almost every time food is featured on this blog.

::5:: I recommend, with my whole heart, Le Creuset.

le creuset

I’m a little embarrassed because I e-mail the amazing lady who gave me this almost WEEKLY to thank her for this little gem. My dutch oven sits out year round and we use her for almost every meal. I use her to brown meats, cook sauce, boil pasta, braise to my heart’s content. If the house was on fire, I’d probably grab her after I grabbed Harley.

::6:: This is a secret:




The wine glasses we got from Williams Sonoma are gorgeous- and I know exactly where to get them if we need more (spoiler alert: we already need more).

::7:: I’m one of those weird people who really does think about who gave the gift as they  use it. We have a little pig cutting board from our friends Lauren and Brody, and I think about them each time we set out cheese and crackers. Same goes for the Cuisinart my friend Amy’s parents gave us, and the coffee maker from my aunt. Maybe it’s because those things are still brand new, but it’s kind of lovely to be cooking in your kitchen and thinking about all the people who love you enough to buy you a Cuisinart. Similarly, I love pulling out our Christmas stockings and tree skirts and Christmas plates (!) and thinking of the folks who so sweetly gave them to us. If your wedding falls near the holidays, I think it’s a really special thing to include on your registry.

::8::  I’m sure you’ll be smitten with everything you select, because that’s the point of a registry: you are adding things you love. Some of the items we registered for just got better in practice. Here are a few of our favorites that get a ton of play in our house:

bar setBar Set from Williams Sonoma

This has everything you’ll ever need to make the perfect cocktail. I love the way it looks and how chicly it combines all of the tools.

10 piece glass bowl set10 Piece Glass Bowl Set

I love the price point, and love all of these little bowls! We use them constantly for prepping and serving food.

cheese board

Vintage Wood Pizza Paddle Board

This is hanging in our kitchen and is just a gorgeous piece. We use it for larger spreads like the Super Bowl or important life events like the season finale of Homeland.


These Chilewich Dahlia Pressed Vinyl Placemats are a-mazing. They just dress everything up in the prettiest way.


Love, love, love.


Schott Zwiesel Barware

In the glassware department, I feel like you can get highball and lowball and call it a day. Ican pour a cocktail in these Pottery Barn glasses (we have them monogrammed, which I adore), grab a glass of water, juice, whatever. They are simple and get the job done. Don’t be the girl who has 136 glasses in their apartment. Don’t be that girl (says that girl).

::9:: If you need a (really really really) comprehensive list of what to register for, The Knot has a good one here. I mean, we didn’t register for a sofa or a panini press or a snow blower or a garden hose, but to each his own.

I’m really, really glad we registered for these things:

     * 16 everyday dishes (dishes break and it’s good to have back up)

     * 12 everyday glasses

     * 14 wine glasses

     * Slow cooker

     * Cuisinart (seriously, what did I do before we got this?)

     * Kitchenaid stand mixer (I use this more than I thought I would!)

     * Le Creuset dutch oven and skillet

     * 2 sizes of baking pans (for lasagna, crisps, roasted veggies)

     * A great all-inclusive baking kit (this one is amazing)

     * Accessories like measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls (we have these in blue and I love the spout), ice cream scoops, etc.

     * Towels and bath mats (I have most of these wrapped up in our guest room since I am positive that simply entering our NYC bathroom will give you a transferable disease. So most of these will wait until Dall’au Stage 2 to make their debut)

     * TRIVETS. I didn’t register for these, but we received the most beautiful set from Anthropologie and I use them all the time. Right before the food comes out, everyone is looking at the trivet (that is seriously the whackest sentence I’ve ever put on this blog, but it’s true). And if you are me, sometimes they are looking at your stained oven mitt which is intended to house your lasagna. Wouldn’t a trivet just be so much prettier?

Some helpful tips:

– After everything was said and done, I purchased our linens and pillows. Something about other people giving me sheets felt a little weird to me, but I know people do it all the time and they are just fine. I may have three sets of sheets and duvet covers, just in case like the apocalypse comes and everyone needs fresh bedding.

– We did not register for frames or vases (okay, maybe one or two frames) and I don’t regret it. I also am not someone who lusts after vases. If you are, I think it’s a great thing to register for.

– Try registering for odd numbers, since things will break (when you invite me over, when you move, when you turn off your lights to watch “The League” and knock over every single thing on your bar as you try to get to the couch).

– Remember that you won’t always live in the house or apartment that you are in now. Who knows if your next place has an all red kitchen? Try to get things that can go wherever you do (this is a ringing endorsement for purchasing stainless steel appliances).

– Bloomingdales, Williams Sonoma, and Pottery Barn were all delicious to work with. Strongly recommend. They also have “Thank You Note Trackers” so you can be absolutely sure you get all those thank you’s out!

– Macy*s does not have the best online return policy- you can’t return anything you buy online in-store. So keep that in mind if you don’t live close to a Macy*s.

Are you guys still reading this? Geeze louise I love writing about registries, I guess.

Good luck! Happy wedding! xo

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It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Things have been a little busy here over at our house, and from the looks of it – I think – things are about to get a whole lot busier.

(This picture should demonstrate how BUSY we have been. And that I cut 6 inches off my hair. It works double time.)

More busy work.

There is a definite calm before the storm. Our families will start to get here in the next two weeks. They are the storm.

I’m kidding Mom! So kidding.

Some things have gone awry. My rehearsal dinner dress, which I had custom made (why? why did I choose this?), came. Chris asked:

“Is that made of wheat?”

Which is a good sign. Twas a cross between burlap and muslin.

That translates directly into sexy pre-wedding FASHION.

Some of our invitations got lost in the mail, did not include pertinent inserts, went to the wrong address, were addressed to the wrong person. I can only blame one person for the assembly of said invitations.

I just want to be honest and say: it just doesn’t feel real yet. Still feels like we are planning a really big party for next spring.

Until I see something like this at the church:


Hot dog.



the amazing shoe shower.

Last weekend, my mom and sisters threw me the MOST AMAZING shoe themed shower.

I know what you are thinking. Shoe shower? What is a happenin here?

But my mom has started this tradition that I think will carry on through my sisters, nieces, and cousins. It’s not just shoes because shoes are so fabulous (which they are). But shoes to help you walk into your new life.

I think it’s the sweetest.


She did all of this as a big surprise- even had shoe shaped cupcakes made! and shoe bottle openers and wine stoppers! I’m dying.

(P.S. Don’t I have the prettiest mom in the whole world?)

Are you kidding? DELISH.

My beautiful (almost) mother-in-law. She brought the china she has so generously gifted Chris and I. I may have set the table I was so excited.

PS Don’t you love her hair?!



This picture makes me so happy: my baby sisters, Sandy and Reese, and Kaitlin.

My mom making a toast, me trying to laugh and not cry.

So many important women in this picture.

Me with my girlfriend, the Le Creuset Dutch Oven. We’ve wanted to be together for so long and now, we are one. So, so thankful.


I don’t know what to say, other than that I am simply bowled over with gratitude and happiness. This has just been such an amazing time, and this day was absolutely perfect.

I miss you guys already! xo


Here are a few pictures from our weekend in Miami for my bridal luncheon and birthday. So much fun. xo

I think the top take-aways are:

1. Sandy loves to take self-portraits

2. I got those beautiful shoes.

3. I ate that entire bowl of Danielle friendly squid ink pasta.

4. We had the best time.

5. Sandy loves to take self-portraits.

I miss my family already. Don’t you wish you could just teleport everyone you love to the same square block so you all could cuddle and drink coffee together all day long? Sigh.




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Big. Day.

One year ago today, this guy asked if I would like to get gelato, and maybe marry him?
Don’t mind if I DO.


CJ, I love you, I love you, I love you. Thank you for asking me, because it also means I get your beautiful family. And your mama’s china (Happy Birthday, Mama Jo!!) and sweet airfare tracking skills. I was always in it for the perks.

I’m looking forward to an entire lifetime of fighting over dog food brands, the timing of Harley’s haircuts, and whether or not I am an abusive parent.

Get that tush home already!! H & I are running around in circles waiting for you to get back here. xo


Also, y’all: 14 months. Too long to be engaged. Put a ring on it, get in, get out. We’ve been lally gaggin’ around and now our wedding is ten minutes away. Well, more like 15. But you get it.




Merci New York

Oh hi!

Merci New York, a lovely wedding website that covers all things New Yorkand bridal, featured Chris and my engagement photos on their blog today! It was such a sweet thing to read, and made me remember how fun that day was. Check it out here.

Hope everyone is having a great week! xo

well hot dog!

I didn’t need Glamour magazine to tell me I had a gorgeous girl on my finger. But it sure was nice and made my day!

my bridal shower.

Last weekend, my maid of honor and close family friend gave me a bridal shower in Connecticut. It was such a special afternoon with so many women I love!

the amazing drinks station- you can see the pool decorations in the corner! so cute!


the cupcakes! oh my gosh, the cupcakes.


i love this picture- two ladies so dear to my heart. grandma and i agreed this was the happiest day of our lives so far.


this is bridal shower GLAMOUR at it’s finest, ladies and gentlemen.


beautiful bridesmaids: car, kate, kait, & amy

It was one of those absolutely perfect summer Saturdays- with amazing drinks (life changing, right Kait?), delicious food, and women I adore.


my aunt Carmela and I will the bell of the ball, my grandmother

the beautiful moms: shawn, jo, lisa


my girls and i, being silly.


opening the cookbook.

bach part 2

When you get my sweet girls and I together, I can tell you what to expect: shen-anigans. Raucous party. Here’s what we’re giving you, and Imma tell you now- you may need to shield your eyes.

We have some bathrobe work.

(the gorgeous laur, kait, kate, & car)

Look at Lauren’s thumbs up sign. She just spells TROUBLE.

We also had a strong monogram/pink striped pajamas showing.

(my sisters reese & sandy)

A classic sorority shot. No party is complete without it.

(my bridesmaids – sans one amazing michelle, who we missed terribly!-from top: amy, sandy, kate, reese, me, laur, kait, car)

And a real good dose of snuggling.

(amy & i)

When Amy checked into the hotel and shared that she was there for a bachelorette party, the staff made her sign a document protecting the hotel should there be any major damage done to the room.

Amy responded: “Ma’am. We are having CUPCAKES delivered.”

I’m so in love with these girls.

Who knew you could have so many soulmates?

bridal shower.

This weekend was also my bridal shower, given by my best friend Amy and our (amazing) (delightful) family friend Leslie. It was probably the best day of my entire life (I know- it beat out that day we spent at Disney in ’09- the reigning champion). I’ve never felt so loved and supported.

I will be updating with photos et al later, but I did want to share this piece.

Amy created a cookbook that had recipes from all of the wonderful ladies in my life. There were recipes that have been in Chris’ family for generations, recipes from my mama, my grandma’s father’s recipes…I’ve been pouring over it since Saturday and can’t put it down.

She had a favorite artist of mine create the cover artwork.

(that’s me- complete with monogrammed mixing bowl- with my sweet gentleman)

I know this is something I’ll have forever and ever, amen.

Editor’s Note: Amy is pretty freaking amazing. No- you cannot have her as your best friend. She is mine. Stand down.

I can’t wait to show you everything later! I’m such a lucky girl.