Wedding Wednesday: Destination Engagement

Ever since we got engaged the one question Dom and I get asked the most is "Are you doing a destination wedding?"  Knowing how much we both love to travel, everyone we know seems to think that would be a given!  As much as we adore traveling, we knew a destination wedding just wasn't the right fit for us.  We both had way too many people we wanted to invite, and it would be too sad to cut down the guest list.

So, what does a couple that loves to travel do instead?  A destination engagement! Unbeknownst to me, Dom had been planning this since the summer before!

 Once Dom heard we were planning on vacationing at Maria's he knew he would propose there.  I've mentioned before on the blog that Maria's Beach in Rincon, Puerto Rico is named after my great grandmother, and my family just recently opened a rental property that we built there.  After many years of building, it would be the first time Dom or I saw the place in person.  Family is so important in Puerto Rico, and both Dom and my family knew how special it would be to get engaged there with the family all around.

It doesn't hurt that this is the view from one of the master balconies. ;)

I love that along with being my great-grandmother's beach and my family's place, it will always have a place in my heart as the spot where Dom asked me to spend forever with him.  If we could casually knock 100 people off our guest list we would totally get married here too!  Some of the pictures of the destination weddings held there are seriously stunning...

All photos from Vanessa Vargas Photography

The flowers...the sunset...the water.  I'm starting to think maybe destination isn't such a bad idea!
The real question now is...can I have two weddings? ;)

Love Always Nancy J

Have you ever done/attended a destination engagement or destination wedding?


How To Survive Finals!

The white sand...the hot sun...cold drink...cute cabana boy.  So close, but yet... so far. The only thing standing between you and this dream are your finals.

After 12 semesters (remind me again why I'm getting a second degree?) I have my finals week survival plan down pat.  Here are 5 tips to make it through the week alive!

1. Start early.  In hindsight, those all nighters I spent with my sorority sisters in the library with gallons of coffee and pounds of snacks were fun, but at the time they were awful.  Do not wait until the last minute!  During the semester I read the textbook and highlighted the important parts that were explained in the lectures.  Then, I take my lecture slides and notes along with my textbook and write out study guides on printer paper.  I made sure every chapter can fit on the front and back of one sheet (even if it means writing really tiny)!  I use these to study for exams during the semester, and come finals time I already have the study guides made!  Just the act of reading through your notes and highlights to make the guide really gets it into your head, so reading them seems like a review.  It makes tackling a comprehensive final way easier!

2. Know if you're a night owl or an early bird.  This might seem obvious, but it isn't always.  For me, I do better at night.  I had some friends that would wake up at 5am before and 11am exam and get 6 solid hours of studying in right before the exam.  That seemed like such a good idea!  Who wouldn't want to take a test after immediately reviewing the material?  But for me?  I got up, dragged myself to the library and gazed half asleep at my computer until I fully woke up around 9.  Not very productive.  Instead, I'd rather stay up until 3 if necessary (which it shouldn't be if I didn't wait until the last minute) and then sleep until 9, and be refreshed for the exam.  Just because all your friends are up early studying (or up late studying) doesn't mean you should be too!

3. Eat well!  Soda and sugary candy seems like all you want when you're crunching for an exam, but I promise your stomach, brain, and grades will thank you for sticking to less sugary options.  Think nuts, sweet bell peppers, fruit, and cheese.  However, I think it's scientifically proven that after an exam wine is very encouraged. :)

4.  Take breaks!  Don't let the stress overwhelm you!  Set a timer for 30 minutes and walk around, check instagram or watch a TV show.  You will focus way better afterwards.  I've found that even scrolling through Pinterest for a few minutes puts me at ease, since I get so look at a bunch of pretty pictures of things that inspire me.

5.  The self control app.  Seriously. Life changing!  Through this site you can enter certain websites (think Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Blogger) and set the time.  For whatever amount of time you set your browser will not let you on those sites.  It's great for limiting procrastination!

Once you're done?  Sleep, go for a run, go for drinks, or head to the beach and find that cabana boy! ;)


Preppy Easter Outfits

For us, Easter was simple: Church in the morning, followed by cooking dinner and sitting out on the porch with friends.  However, yesterday was another holiday besides Easter (and Erin's birthday!)

It was the start of Lilly, seersucker, white pants and pastel season!  Down south we wear those all year 'round (except white pants...I'm a firm follower of that rule) but up here Dom and I have kept our preppy colorful wardrobes mostly under wraps.  Yesterday they came out of hiding and we let our prep flags fly!   Of course, that warranted a mini photoshoot when we got home.  Dom needs material for his new instagram (@dmarino17) after all!

Hope you all had a very Hoppy Easter!


What's Your Number?

I've seen this post floating around and I had to join!

1-  Number of hard ciders I had before writing this post (I am writing this the night before...just in case you think I'm drinking cider for breakfast).

478- Days until we say "I do!"

5- Number of finals I have standing between me and Florida

13- Number of countries I've visited

6- Number of months I spent in Australia

6- Number of cities I've lived in during the last 4 years

17- My lucky number.  Actually, April 17th is my lucky day :)

21- Number of years I've known 1 of my Maids of Honor!

1,467,802- My brother's lucky number.  I'm not joking at all.

715- Number of pictures I've posted on my Instagram 

3- Number of times I had braces.

14- Years I studied ballet

7- Number of women I'll have standing by my side on my wedding day!

4- Number of times I listened to "All of Me" yesterday.  Usually I think romantic ballads are boring by oh my it's so beautiful.  I need to have it in my wedding somehow!

 love of my life. :)


I Can't Believe...

...how relieved I am now that my workshop is over!  The little kiddos were great and one little girl even told me she was going to eat a banana for a snack when she got home! I have 5 final exams, but this workshop was the biggest thing having over my head.  I feel like it's smooth sailing to Florida now!

...Nordstrom's denim sale!  If you need new jeans run, don't walk, to your nearest Nordstrom (or go online like me).  I have a confession.  I have only 1 pair of blue denim jeans...and they're so old I need to shrink them before wearing them every single time.  I have known I need new jeans for awhile, but have been resisting since good jeans are pricey and I'd rather buy fun things.  Or pay my bills.   Well wham bam thank you ma'am I bought 4 pair last night!  I'm talking all around $30. Oh, how I love Nordstrom.

...It snowed yesterday.  That's all I have to say about that.

... I put in my 3 weeks at my job this weekend, and now my move seems real!  At least, I tried to give my notice.  my 2 managers refused to take it twice, so I left a note for my GM who has been out for a few days.  They threatened to throw it away, but I hope they didn't!  As much as I appreciate the love, I don't think my GM will be happy if I leave and he hasn't realized I gave notice. ;)

...I'll be in Puerto Rico celebrating my 25th birthday in less than a month!

...ummm.  I can't believe I'm about to turn 25. Whoa there.

...how strong my cravings can be.  Alexa and I were chatting yesterday and she introduced me to the idea of spreading the chocolate coconut peanut butter we both adore onto a waffle and then topping with bananas and strawberries for breakfast.  Is it breakfast?  Is it dessert?  Is it heaven?  I think it's all 3!

...One of the videographers my photographer recommended charges from $7,000-10,000.  But don't worry, he will do a 5 minute highlight for only $6,000!  My heart literally stopped.  However, his work is literally incredible.  Definitely not in our budget...but it could probably win an Oscar.

...I have Saturday and Sunday off this week!  This is the second weekend in a row I've gotten off without requesting it.  I'm not asking any questions...just enjoying. :)

What can't you believe?


3 Things That Will NOT Help Your Baby Fever

Dom and I are still 480 days away from getting married, but my baby fever is on overdrive.  I have pretty much had baby fever my entire life so this is no surprise...but I think this big sparkler on my finger makes it worse!  Unfortunately, this week I discovered 3 things that have not helped my baby fever whatsoever.


Today I'm teaching a nutrition workshop to a group of pre-schoolers!  I'm actually kind of nervous, since I've never dealt with 10 little munchkins at once, but I have a feeling once I see those little squishy faces I'll want to steal one (I promise I won't)

 The home of everything wonderful and wildly depressing.
Why are there so many adorable onsies, baby girl dresses, and little boy hats?  Just a 2 minute scroll through Pinterest makes me want to reproduce STAT.
Then I remember the amount of medical school debt we will have and suddenly a plant is just fine.


This delicious Scentsy Scent, Newborn Nursery.  
Kim sent me this deliciously fresh scent to try and it smells just like a little newborn baby.
(The good parts of a newborn baby, that is.)
We had it on in the window the other night with all our windows open and it was so clean and fresh.  Dom even commented that it smelled like a fresh load of laundry.  
If you aren't into really intense floral or fruity scents, this one is perfect.  
You can grab this scent and other Scentsy products on Kim's Scentsy Consultant site
Now I just want to have a baby so I can burn this in the nursery. ;)
* Although I was sent the Scentsy and scent to review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


A Hint of Florida

I know everyone and their mother is going to be posting about the gorgeous weather we all had this weekend, but I just can't contain my excitement!
We had the windows open all weekend and the fresh air was so heavenly.  
On Saturday we sat on our little back porch for a little bit and took in as much Vitamin D as possible. I swear my skin didn't remember what that big ball of fire was. ;)

After we went back inside and had an extremely rare lazy day.  Dom ran through flashcards while watching the Masters and I flipped between Cosmo and one of my new blogging books.
What really struck me was how much less stressed and happy both Dom and I were all weekend.
Having the sunshine and fresh air was such a reminder of life in Florida, and it made us even more excited to get there.  The hard ciders and red wine my parents brought helped with the relaxation too!

You know that feeling of that first really warm day of Spring?  That's the kind of excitement we had everyday living down south.  It's so happy, warm, and relaxing, and really compliments both of our personalities.
I know I harp on it a lot, but it's just so nice to finally know where you belong, and it's hard to think about anything other than the countdown to our move!

How did you enjoy the nice weather??


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