A Washington State Vacation


3 of my bestest

Exhausted is the word. Jeff and I just returned from our week long vacation in Washington, and it’s safe to say we had a blast. Time always seems to go so quickly when you want it to last forever, and so slow in between.


Wedding best!

The week began with my sister-in-law’s wedding rehearsal lunch cruise, my two girlfriends from Seattle arriving in town, quickly followed by Jeff’s hockey game, and capped off with our west coast wedding reception. Yes, that all happened in one day.  The reception was held in Jeff’s parents’ backyard, and I wish I took photos to capture the beautiful sparkling bistro lights, the wood fired pizza oven serving thin crusted, cheesy goodness, the band playing oldies by the pool, or the many people that stopped by to see us. But I have no pictures because I was having too much fun enjoying the company of so many people. You’ll have to imagine it in your head, the magic and all. It is so rare these days we lose ourselves so much that we actually forget to take photos. I actually don’t think I had my cell phone with me at all.


Add Idaho to your bucket list!

The next day followed with Jeff’s sister’s wedding, and the rest of the week is a blur. We drove out to Seattle, ate way too many oysters, spent time with good friends, drove around the wooded hills of eastern Washington, cruised around the beautiful Lake Coeur D’Alene, played with our nephew, spent time with family, tried pop rocks wings (they were weird), and just enjoyed life. There were no alarm clocks, lots of fun, lots of food, and the best kind of relaxation.

full vacation mode ;)

full vacation mode ;)

Usually towards the end of vacations I tend to get annoyed, tired, and want my own bed, but this was different. Getting on the plane back to reality was a bit of a struggle. But here we are back in Upstate New York, very ready for our next adventure.


My husband, Wayne Gretzky, and Frontier Hockey Fest

fronter hokey fest

I told a very funny joke to myself before we left for vacation. That joke was “I will have time to update my blog during the next week and a half.” I know, I’m still laughing. This morning I found myself with a little extra time, so I thought I’d give it a go.

cda hockey fest

cda hockey fest

Our little vacation has been a whirlwind trip thus far. One of the first things we did when we came to Spokane (Jeff’s hometown) was head for the hockey rink. It seems like wherever we go, Jeff has to bring his gear with him. This particular game was Frontier Hockey Fest, a charity game benefiting local youth hockey programs, starring the one and only Wayne Gretzky.  I will admit I did feel a bit soccer-mom-ish trying to snap some pics of my husband on the ice with “The Great One,” but I figured they’d be nice little mementos to show the grand kiddos one day – poor quality and all.


For all of the stress hockey can bring – especially during the off season (aka now), it’s nice to see Jeff having fun playing his favorite game with a bunch of his childhood friends.

Also, I’m well aware I do not have a future in sports photography.


Summer Goals as of Now

Jeffrey & Annessa

Okay, so summer is basically halfway over, but I’m a believer that it’s never too late to create goals for yourself. Sometimes you just need to declare them to force yourself you make them happen. Here’s what I’ll be working on this summer.

1. Patience – I suffer from a problem I think many Americans suffer from… lack of patience. I’m sometimes so eager for life’s next stages that I’m constantly not paying attention to anything else. I want things when I want them, and if I don’t  get them I’m not happy. And as I result I stress myself out.

2. Continue with Gym Flow – I’ve been doing really well this summer with eating healthy and working out regularly. Now I just need to keep it going through the rest of the summer. I’ve never felt fully confident in a bikini, so this is the summer I will!

3. Give the blog life some TLC – Keeping this space up to date this summer has been a challenge. But it can only get better from here!  This little blog has really helped me keep my creative juices flowing, and I love it. I’ve also been so behind on keeping up with my favorite bloggers, it’s simply unacceptable!

4. Learn how to use my camera properly – A few months ago I purchased a Canon Rebel T2i on ebay. I had an older model when I was in high school circa 2005, and I cannot remember how to use it to save my life. I’ll be spending some time trying to figure out what all of the buttons mean.

5. Save money – This one is always tough for me. Between paying for our wedding, rent, school loans, all of our recent adventures, and online shopping sales (oops), my bank account is shedding tears. Time to be a big kid and made a greater effort to save for those big purchases we want to make someday (house, car, honeymoon, etc).

I’m really hoping that concentrating on these few things will make like a little easier and less stressful for me. Less stress is a good thing.  


A Finger Lakes Wedding: The Prep & First Look


If you couldn’t tell from the rehearsal, my stress levels were off the charts. I had such a difficult time sleeping, and wedding day I shot awake at 6am for absolutely no reason. I woke up, made myself some coffee, and began finishing up my chalkboard signs. I told myself that the day would be stress free. Anything that went wrong (and it did) was out of my hands.





We got ready in the beautiful lake house on Seneca Lake  that my family, bridesmaids, and I had rented for the weekend. The huge windows looked out onto the lake and the forest. It doesn’t get much more beautiful. My friend Chelsea started making breakfast for everyone as hair and make up began. My mom was arranging all of the flowers for the centerpieces that she had brought from around our New Jersey home. Jeff’s sister, Alicia of Modern Apothecary (Spokane, WA), was busy doing makeup, and Mary Lawler of The Soho Salon (Pittsford, NY), was doing hair. The morning cruised. I busied myself cleaning, walking in circles, twiddling my thumbs, reciting my vows, and basically doing everything to distract from the fact I was getting married later on in the day.




We were an hour behind after hair and makeup was done, so the boys came over for the first look. They hung out by the lake patiently waiting for us to finish up. It looks like they were having a good time. Jeff didn’t want to know any of the details of my dress, so it was nice to have the little moment alone for him to see it. It was really important to us that we get most of the photos out of the way before the wedding, and thankfully we did. Like I mentioned earlier, the day was all about avoiding stress.







After we took some photos at the house, we were off to Wagner Vineyards where we finished up our pre ceremony photos (next week), and eventually said our “I do’s.” Do you know how hard it is to pick only a few photos to share out of like 1,000? Really hard. Next Wednesday I’ll be sharing pre-ceremony and ceremony things!


I Am Obsessed With My Dog and Have No Shame

cavalier king charles

I openly admit to being one of those people. The kind of person that is obsessed with their pet and acts like it’s their child. It was around this time 5 years ago that Gia came into my life. I had always wanted a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, so I was excited when I first saw her her beautiful little face. Little did I know the adventures that would ensue in the future years.

cavalier king charles spaniel

8 weeks old

This little pup has completed 2 cross country road trips with me, been to 4 different countries, more states than most humans, and been by my side no matter what life has thrown my way. After 5 years you would think Jeff and I would get bored of her, but everyday she makes us smile and laugh with whatever antics she gets herself into. It may have been the stupidest idea ever to get a dog in college, but I’m glad I did.

cavalier king charles

Here’s to many more years of this little nugget bringing us lots and lots of joy, and getting spoiled up a storm. I cannot imagine my life any other way.