Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: Reception Details!

Our reception was incredible.  Yes I am biased, but our wedding planner and I put a lot of thought into each and every detail.

I bought a card box off of etsy, and had an instagram sign made.  The large frame is our guest book. 

I had a designer make a vintage chart of Chicago's harbor for us for our guest book.  Everyone signed it, and it has our new last name at the bottom in flag code. 

Place Cards

More detail of the Card Box and Instagram #

We used KLA designs for our flowers.  Love them!

We had Amy Beck design our cake.  It was incredible!

We rented every piece of furniture for our reception.  This was one small gathering area for folks.  One niece was passed out on that couch by the end of the night!

Some tables were farm tables.  This was the head table. 

My seat and the menu!

I love the variety.  KLA and the wedding planner.  Wow.  Just wow. 

Our linens were from La Tavola.  Such a great selection.

I am so happy how everything turned out.  Just so beautiful!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Catch Up!

Its been busy the past two weeks.  Between trying to see friends, keeping up with small house projects, and morning sickness (back with a vengeance), its been nuts!

I have hosted a brunch at my house, ventured downtown a few nights for dinner with the girls, spent time with family to see my cute nieces from NYC, and spruced up some items around the house.

Making a house a home is no joke!  We installed all new lights, address signs, did more gardening, etc.  Now we just have to finish the office, and start on the baby's room while I still feel great!!

Summer nights on the Chicago River.  I love this city!

Dinner at Siena Tavern. If you haven't been, I highly recommend it! I had the linguine with lobster.  

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: Photo Tour

One big part of our Chicago wedding was to take some incredible pictures with our wedding party downtown.  Our ceremony and reception were both downtown, and we wanted some landmark pictures!  Our photographer obliged, and she led the way.  Only downside was the day was chilly, and 25 degrees was welcoming at some points!

I love this photo so much.  It was our Christmas card picture this year!

State Street Bridge!

Michigan Ave

Art Institute Lions



Me and my girls!

I love this photo.  I made it into a canvas for our home!
Were there any photo must haves on your day?  We just wanted to reflect the city we love:)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Recipe: Easy Enchiladas

I made these enchiladas last week, and my husband couldn't get over how good they were.  He loves it when I take pictures of what I make on Instagram, so he then can show his co workers.  He brags about me, and I am ok with it:)

I bought a whole COSTCO chicken, and used that for the enchiladas.  To save money, I used an entire chicken all week!  I used it for two batches of enchiladas, and chicken salads for DH lunch.  I really wanted to make this soup, but it was just too hot out.

Finished restaurant quality product. Or at least that is what DH says.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Inspirational Video

If you are feeling down today, or just want to watch something that will warm your heart.  Take a look at this.  Found this today on facebook, and it keeps making me smile!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Note to Old Me

Dear Old Me...
Me that was 25.  Just diagnosed with Endometriosis.  Me who had to go through hell just to get a doctor to take her seriously. Who went through 6 months of pure pain/hell/tough times at work just to get a diagnosis.  Who had two surgeries the following year, and countless medicated therapies to get where you are today.  Who met one of your best friends along the way.

Today, 33 year old me, you are pregnant.  After 8 years of hell.  Weight gain, weight loss, crazy medications.  Yes, you should be rejoicing.  You look at the pregnancy test.  Not the first one, but the first, and the second- and just cry.  Cry because you can't believe it is real.  Cry because it is real.  Cry because after all the pain, suffering, breakups because the old boyfriends couldn't deal with the pain from your treatments.  Cry because you have an amazing husband who is by your side every day.  Cry with joy when your husband gets home from work, so you can tell him the good news. Cry when you hear the baby's first heartbeat.

Old me...please be considerate to those who have similar issues.  Have compassion.  Have love.  Do not shoulder away from your pregnant friends.  Yes, you are 25 and single, but they still need you. Whether it is to go out to lunch, or maybe help one day with something at the house.   All of the things I know now, I wish I knew back when I was the old me.  I guess that is why they always say "older and wiser".

Today me, continue to love.  Continue to understand.  Continue to grow.  Continue to learn.

Keep learning how to be a good wife, sister, friend, and now, mother.  Keep forging healthy relationships.  Keep learning from the past.  Never let other people's expectations let you down.  You are your own person, and you need to do what is best for you, and your family.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: The Ceremony

Our wedding ceremony was at Assumption Catholic Church in Chicago.  We had a tough time finding a church, because I lived in Florida, and wasn't a parishioner anywhere.  Luckily, they took us, and my friend who is a priest.

I didn't decorate the church, as it was gorgeous on its own.  I did get some great music choices, an organist, trumpeter, and a vocalist for all of the music.  I picked the following songs, as the Catholic Church is strict in what you can/can't play.  I was happy with it, because it was more traditional, and just beautiful.

  • Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring by Bach for the seating of parents
  • Trumpet Voluntary by Clarke for the Wedding Party
  • Canon in D for me and my brother
  • Ode to Joy Beethoven for the recessional
I felt like it was a blur, but it was about 30 minutes of pure joy.

I was really nervous.  I was sitting in the bus with my oldest brother, waiting for him to walk me down the aisle.  Then I saw a dear friend from college in the back of the church with her toddler and infant daughters, and I was immediately at ease.

The walk down the aisle seemed like an eternity, and I was just jittery.  Until I got to sit down with Mike.  Then all was perfect in the world.  I had my SIL and niece do the readings.  I have such a big immediate family, it was tough to incorporate every single person!

One big detail I do need to mention was the programs.  I had all of my paper products match from wedding paper divas.  They are such a great company to work with!  I made a section in the program which had the following below the wedding party:

Through the years their comfort, wisdom, and unconditional love has helped shape who we are.  They are here today, watching over us and smiling as we begin our new life together. Their love for both of us will never be forgotten, as their memories will live on forever in our hearts. 
In loving memory of Michael and Janis Gill, Parents of the Bride

Enough of the wordy description, here are a few photos!

Assumption Church

Father Stan

2 of the 3 flower girls.  My other niece went on strike:)

When he saw me!

The long walk.  Longest walk ever.

Trying not to be nervous, and my brother hiding his Oakleys!

Our reaction after my brother gave me away.  He thought he would give me a friendly ass slap to ease my nervousness.  

Yep.  Happy!


One of the many kisses I managed to sneak in the ceremony.  What?  Can you blame me?!

Husband and Wife!
What was your favorite part of your ceremony?!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Some BIG News..

So some of you follow me on Instagram, and already know the big news, but here it is!

Bought this little outfit in Ireland on our honeymoon!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Recipe: Italian Chicken Bake

I really want to be more frugal with the grocery bill, and also need to make great healthy meals for DH and I.  I bought the tomatoes and cheese at ALDI, and the chicken at Costco.  Pesto is usually already in my fridge all the time (I love pesto).

I found this recipe on pinterest, and knew I had to make it.  I made the chicken, and put it over a bed of cous cous to make sure I had some whole grains in my meal.  DH loved it.  Definitely making it again!!

Still in the pan.  Costco chicken breasts are huge.  Next time I will use a different kind and save those for all of my crock pot recipes!

Finished product.  So good!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: The Gift

I figured this story needed its own post, and it is most deserving of one.  Both of my parents passed away (my father 19 years ago, and my mom 9 years ago), so the wedding without them was tough.  I paid tribute to them in little ways, but also did not want to dwell on their loss the entire day.  It was a day to celebrate a new life, a bigger family, and most of all, love.

After I finished getting ready, my bridesmaids got me together to give me a gift.  It was an engraved locket, with my parents wedding photo inside, as well as another cute photo of them inside.  I was beyond moved.  I cried my eyes out, and didn't want to ruin my make up, but this was a gift that I will always cherish.

I had a picture of my parents from my sister Amy's wedding on my bouquet.  I also wore one of my mom's rings on my right hand. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Recipe: Fourth of July Mocktail

So I decided to try a special drink for the fourth, without booze.  It was going to be hot out, so I wanted something cute for my MIL and I to drink.

I used this recipe, and it turned out great!  It tasted amazing, and was a huge hit.  Follow the directions to a "t", other wise you will not have the layered look!

So good!

Hope everyone had a safe and happy Fourth!