Sam and Pat tied the knot at Boston City Hall on a rainy winter day - complete with champagne kisses, happy tears, sparkly sneakers, a pinecone boutonniere, and a ride on the MBTA!
2018 WAS AN EPIC YEAR…
There was laughing, happy tears, hilarious speeches, rainy days, hot days, CAKE, boutonnieres pinned, trains bustled, dancing floor grinding, sore feet, Dunkin Donuts fueled road trips, early mornings, late nights, and HUNDREDS of sneak peeks.
I took 78,338 photographs and edited + delivered over 31,000.
Thirty. One. Thousand.
I worked my buns off, so you better believe it was a kickass year. Got my own health insurance. Took a bajillion selfies. Made pasta in Italy. Shot 22 weddings both big and small. Got published in 11 different magazines and blogs. Traveled to 18 cities. Drank over 300 bubble teas.
Ok but where is Lena pulling these random numbers from?
SURPRISE, I have been keeping track ALL FREAKIN YEAR for the sole purpose of blogging about it.
B R B pouring myself a drink....
Nicole & Mike's nightclub-worthy dance floor (and the hot mulled cider)
First trip to Long Island for Bevin & Steve! And seeing past LM brides there too
Loving on so many LM brides in one room at Haleigh & Adam’s wedding
Bringing tupperware to bring home goodies from Juliet & Evan’s epic dessert table
Jess & Ilhan’s wildly talented belly dancer
The unforgettable food at Hillary & Phil’s backyard wedding
Jackie screaming “If I die, just know that I love you!” to Reuven during the horah dance
Shooting in a downpour / thunder and lightning storm at a tiny backyard wedding
Having all access to a night at the museum (the ICA!) with Erin & Jack
Dancing to Pitbull with glow sticks with Cass & Chris
Shooting at the unforgettably luxurious Castle Hill Inn with Amanda & Vinny
Having TWO back to back wedding days with Eliza & John
Kristen’s father of the bride speech that had everyone in stitches
Brooke & Darren’s married singing duet
Spending an entire holiday weekend on Martha’s Vineyard with Ana & Adam’s… plus the Backdoor Donuts apple fritters
Adorable toddler Fionn in a suit at Carol Ann & Greg’s elopement
Shooting at a CASTLE with Justin & Victoria in New York
Eating cake that my talented bride Jacki made herself
SEE FOR YOURSELF!
And the beloved
I’m one lucky lady.
Thanks for an incredible year, darlings… here’s to 2019.
Stephanie & Ivin love a few things: each other, a good bottle of champagne, skiing, traveling (especially to Chicago, or anywhere warm), cheering on their Boston sports teams, ramen date nights, and above all, their adorable Boxer pup, Django.
Ivin popped the question this October, so the two celebrated their recent engagement winter in true New England style: at the adorable Greenwood Tree Farm in Billerica. They went home with a perfect tree to decorate, AND hot cider & doughnuts.
CONGRATS Steph & Ivin on this amazing chapter!!!
I didn’t know diddly squat about baking. And when I rolled up my sleeves to make my first cookies from scratch… I forgot to grease the baking sheet and they were a hot, burnt mess that fused to the pan. RIP to that pan. Apparently you shouldn’t use the random baking soda that deodorizes your fridge for your batter either. Hey, I’m no Christina Tosi yet, so bear with me here.
2 cups salted butter (4 sticks)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups brown sugar, packed
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
3 1/2 cups flour
2 cups oats
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup chocolate chunks
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup mini M&M’s
1-2 crushed handfuls of Trader Joes peanut putter filled pretzels, salted
Makes ~6 dozen cookies (yeah, you’re gonna want that many)
1) Mix room temperature butter and sugar (2-3 minutes with hand mixer)
2) Add eggs and vanilla (beat for 1 minute)
3) Combine flour, baking soda, and oats in separate bowl
4) Add dry to wet, mixing one cup at a time until all mixed
5) Add extras, mix again
6) Use a cookie scoop to dole out onto a greased sheet pan
7) Bake at 350 degrees for ~10 minutes (every oven is different so just watch them ok)
Don’t forget to grease the flippin’ pan! Or use parchment paper!
Dough is best baked when refrigerated, so after making the batter, either put the whole bowl in the fridge to scoop later, or scoop them all out onto a sheet pan immediately and chill those babies for minimum 1 hour, best 12-24 hours
I like to bake in bulk, so I save one batch for now and the rest for later in labeled freezer bags. Then, when I’m feeling like a delicious homemade cookie ASAP, I can pop them straight from the freezer into the oven WHAT A LIFE HACK FOLKS
If you use unsalted butter, add 2 tsp salt to the batter. If you use salted butter, don’t add extra salt #thanksjayme
Feel free to get creative with the toppings. Add your own mix-ins, do less of some and more of another, etc. I honestly forget SOMETHING every time I make these, so don’t worry, they’ll survive a little experimentation
The best way to store extra cookies its in a tupperware container with a piece of BREAD. Yes I said bread! White bread, wheat bread, bulkie roll, whatever. The cookies retain moisture from the bread and are even softer the day after you bake them. Replace the bread every 1-2 days as it gets hard. This is my all time favorite bake hack for sure!
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore…
Was truly the theme of the whole trip. We came. We saw. We ate.
In Rome, we stayed in a super chic, glass floored Airbnb called the Rasella Loft by the Trevi Fountain in Rome for 3 days and at an Airbnb owned by the sweetest couple called Casa Perla in Positano on the Amalfi Coast for 4 days.
One of the highlights of the trip was biking through Rome with Giulia - she was the best guide (and owns a female bike co-op!) and knew all the best spots for food around Rome.
Of course, followed by our ravioli & meatball making class by Vatican City. Serena taught us how to make the most delicious food, and we got to eat it all with a glass of wine at the end!
The Amalfi Coast is famous for its seafood, views, and lemons - two of which we greatly enjoyed. Limoncello, fresh fruit from the market, giant lemons, lemon granitas, and heaping amounts of pasta and pizza from Ristorante C'era Una Volta.
We spent every single day in Positano on the beach - not at the main Spaggia, but at Fornillo beach, which wasn’t crowded and touristy. We climbed 50 flights of stairs to get to the beach and 50 flights back up. PHEW.
Scroll through our photos to get to the food + activity recommendations at the bottom!
food highlights of ROME:
Roscioli for pastries and prosciutto, grab some from their deli next door to bakery (by Campo di Fiori)
Pasta at Ai Tre Scalini - Cavour 313 - La Casetta a Monti (all in the same neighborhood)
Pizza at Dar Poeta (sit down) OR Antico Forno del Ghetto - in the Jewish section. It looks like a deli, but there’s pizza everywhere. Get the potato one and classic cheese, you order, then pay at the other counter, then grab your pizza. You’d think it’s old stale pizza but it literally changed my life.
Gelato at Origini Gelato or Blue Ice Gelato (they have kiwi flavor!!!)
Pasticceria Panificio Panella Roma for pastries, also there’s one in the Jewish corner by the Synagogue - Pasticceria Boccione it’s GREAT
Great tiramisu at POMPI by Vatican City
Best cannoli of my MF life (hazelnut) at I Dolci di Nonna Vincenza (by Campo di Fiori)
ACTIVITY HIGHLIGHTS OF ROME:
Trevi Fountain (go early in the AM)
Coliseum (go early in the AM)
Palazzo della Sapienza
Piazza Navona (great for a drink)
Villa Borghese for sunset
Campo di Fiore market
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Jax and Roo said I do! These best friends turned bashert (soulmates!) have been together six years, and today was the day they made it official... with cider donuts and a giant popcorn machine, of course. Rain couldn't stop their joy on this fabulous fall day at Birch Wood Vineyards!
This pumpkin spice Cape Cod wedding was complete with an oceanfront ceremony, flower girl grandmas, spiced rum cider, pumpkin candles, and fresh donuts - their reception literally SMELLED like all the best parts of fall! And for this party animal, Drake-loving couple and all their wild friends and family, they turned Wequassett Resort into the hottest nightclub around.