Monday, October 20, 2014

Weekend Update|| Natalie Getting Married

Here comes weekend catch up #2...a few weeks late!

My baby sister got married on October 3, back home in Iowa City. Her wedding was actually at a similar venue to ours. They shut down the venue where we married due to zoning laws, but the owner rebuilt similar structures and that's where Natty and Matt got married. 

Just married!

It was gorgeous! As matron of honor with my older sister, I obviously knew the theme and some of the details, but I didn't know everything. I was so proud of my little sister's planning! They went for a chic, rustic fall wedding, with their colors being deep purple and orange. Everything seriously came together flawlessly and was just gorgeous, from the flowers to the guest book. It was almost like stepping INSIDE Pinterest.

Getting ready to see her groom for the first time!

The three 'Zupek' girls 

Given the time of year, everyone expected cooler weather, but no one one expected the 47 degree temps that day. Despite the wind and cold, the show went on, with an outdoor ceremony. Honestly, it wasn't that bad. They decided to warm guests with hot apple cider as they took their seats and they got heat lamps for the wedding party at the altar. Lifesavers. And since the reception was held mostly inside, the temps were only a minor issue.

Wedding party!

Natty is still pretty young -- she turns 24 in December. She and Matt got engaged two years ago and it's been so enjoyable to see them pretty much grow up during their engagement. Being young and married can be challenging -- but then again, so can being "old" and married. The most important thing, more important than age or experience, is that two people make each other happy. And I know that Matt, my new BIL, loves Natty more than anything and that she adores him.

With my preggo besties!

Older sissy and co-Matron of honor

It was hard for my older sister, Jessica, and I to come up with our wedding speech. I mean, it was our baby sister. How do we possibly summarize the past 23 years we've known her and all the things we love about her into one semi-short speech? We decided to go the route of telling all the hilarious (well, we found them hilarious) ways we tortured Natalie growing up, to focusing on how we've actually come to GASP like each other over the years, and of course, how happy we are for her and her new husband.

My handsome hubby & I. Let's hope baby gets Daddy's looks!

We closed our speech with the following toast, which we found on the ever-helpful Pinterest. Natty, I love you and am so happy for you! Your wedding was truly a beautiful celebration and I was so happy to be a part of it. Listen to our advice! :)


Since they got married on a Friday, on Saturday, my dad and stepmom hosted an "after party" where everyone opened presents, ate leftover food, drank leftover booze and watched college football. Children ran wild and adults drank away their hangovers. (Wamp wamp.) That night, we went to one last dinner with everyone before they took off on Sunday. It was great to be able to see my cousins, aunts and uncles who live all over the U.S. and we don't see often enough!




Sloan was a bit out of sorts after the weekend. Only Uncle Bry Bry could calm her down. These pics seriously melt me.

If you're feeling romantic, please check out Natalie and Matt's amazing wedding highlights, which truly capture what an amazing day it was!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

4 Favorite Fall Looks

I love me some fall. Not only because of the cooler temperatures, pretty leaves or Pumpkin-scented/flavored EVERYTHING, but because personally, I think it's when the cutest clothes make their debut.

My favorite go-to outfit in the fall is a sweater, skinny jeans and some boots. Throw in a scarf for good measure. My second favorite outfit is a sweatshirt and jeans, but I usually leave that for football Saturday/Sundays.

Thankfully, being preggo hasn't affected my fall style too much. In fact, I am loving the options I have. Sure, it was nice to live in maxis skirts and sundresses this summer, but if you ask me, there is nothing cuter (or more cozy) than comfy leggings, a fitted shirt and flowy cardigan sweater to show off your growing bump. Open workshirts/flannels and vests are also favorite great go-tos. For dressier occasions, rock a cute dress with boots and a scarf. Done and done.

Below are some of my favorite fall looks, non of which are maternity, but could be, and all are adorable!

Layers





My Style





Ain't that Rosy




Game Day




The Daily Tay Blogtober14

Monday, October 13, 2014

In A New York Minute || Babymoon Recap

So much to catch up on on the blog! Starting with the past three weekends.

I'll start furthest back with our wonderful Babymoon to New York City. We debated where to go for this trip, and even if we should take one, mainly since I lost my job over the summer and money was tight. While I was still unemployed, we decided to ditch the beach vacation idea. After all, we just went to Puerto Rico in May. Plus, as I learned on that trip, beach vacations are made for cocktails and bikinis. Not mocktails and baby bumps. Just my opinion :).

Bryan found out he would have to go to NYC for an even for work the week after my birthday, so we thought, why not precede his trip with a weekend in NY to celebrate baby and my 31st birthday? DONE!

And I must say, it was perfect. It was food-focused, rather than drink focused. And since we'd been before, we weren't running around trying to squeeze in all the tourist stuff - we could do a nice mix of relaxing/new activities.

We flew in on Thursday night and after checking in to our hotel, we walked through Times Square and then stopped to get a drink and a bite to eat. Times Square amazes me every time we walk through...always packed with people and stores there are open until 2am! Who shops at H&M until 2am!?




On Friday, we slept in, then took our time walking around different neighborhoods until we found a lunch spot. After a leisurely meal, we took the Staten Island Ferry over to Staten Island so I could see Lady Liberty. I wasn't interested in going to the actual monument because there was no way I could climb the hundreds of stairs to the top. The ferry is free and gives you great views of the Lady and of the city!






Next, we walked over to see the 9/11 memorial. When we were here about 5 years ago, the fountains hadn't been built yet, and the Freedom Tower wasn't finished. As you can imagine, it was neat to see but not when you thought about why they were both there.


The memorials are fountains where each tower stood, with the names of all deceased engraved around it. Freedom tower is on the right.

                       



We headed down to the High Line to walk around and catch the sunset before dinner. First, we stopped at the Standard Hotel for Bryan to get a drink while I rested my feet! Love how all the bars in Manhattan are so cute and classy. And oh, the garnishes!




Friday night, I was super excited because Bryan had a surprise dinner planned to celebrate my birthday. We got dressed up and headed out, destination unknown!

The hotel gave me some cheesecake! Nice work.

We ended up at Colicchio & Sons. For all you foodies/Top Chef fans, that's Tom Colicchio's restaurant (one of many). Aside from a DELICIOUS dinner, all the details of it was perfect! I had a personalized "Happy Birthday" menu, and after I ordered dessert, the waiter informed me that one of my besties, Ashley, had dessert taken care of! Plus she sent a card and some ice cream. All this to go with the complimentary dessert I was already getting from the restaurant. 






Saturday morning, we got up early to spend the first part of the day in Brooklyn, another place I'd never been. We walked the bridge in blinding sun and sweltering heat - we were not expecting that for end of September, but we weren't complaining!






After the bridget, we grabbed brunch at a yummy mexican restaurant and afterwards, walked along the water and explored the arts festival going on. It was so hot, I was downing water and seeking shade, so the rest of the day was spent making pit stops around the city so I could go to the bathroom and Bryan would just get a drink. Bless Bryan's heart - I legit had to pee about 25 times this day, I have no idea why. He didn't say a word, just made sure I was able to go when I had to and that we could stop when I needed to rest to my legs. Love him!

We ended the day with a walk through Central Park, where there was a line like you couldn't believe waiting to get in. We finally deduced that there was a free concert featuring JayZ, Beyonce, Carrie Underwood, Gwen Stefani and more going on in the park. We realized too late though, and opted to stick with our original plans.




After another delicious dinner at the cutest restaurant called Freeman's, it was time to see Wicked! We've seen shows here in Chicago, but neither of us had seen a real Broadway show. I've been dying to see Wicked for years now, so we thought, what better time? Even Bryan enjoyed it. Highly recommend if you haven't seen it already!




And just like that, it was Sunday! My 31st birthday. We slept in, had breakfast together and then I had to get to the airport, while Bryan stayed in NYC. It was slightly depressing heading home alone, especially on my birthday. I even shed tears saying goodbye, which I never do! Hormones, for sure. But once I got home, I spent the afternoon resting and then had dinner with friends at a delicious Italian restaurant. All in all, it was a wonderful birthday!

More than that, it was a wonderful weekend. It's becoming more and more real that we only have limited time left as "just the two of us," and I'm trying to soak it all in. It was just nice spending time together, talking about what the future holds and catching up on life. It's important to make time for that, bun in the oven or not.

Happy Monday!

The Daily Tay