Tag Archives: wedding

1st Anniversary Gifts & A Sentimental D-I-Y

Saturday we celebrated our 1st anniversary. We went swimming, out for a delicious Italian dinner (at the place that catered our wedding), ate our year old cake, then cracked open a bottle of Deleon Tequila (that we got as a wedding gift) and watched our wedding video. It was a perfect day 🙂

He bought me a really cute watch!  I love it!!

You guys know, I’m a sucker for packaging.  It came in an ice cube! How fun is that?!

I ended up giving him the speaker/ipod dock.  He really liked it.

I also made him a sappy gift, because I couldn’t help myself!  I saw this idea on Pinterest, and since we are going to Atlantic City to celebrate, I thought using a deck of cards would be a cute touch.

Here’s a peek inside…

We both like the idea of more thoughtful gifts.  I made & gave him something very similar for our 2nd Valentines Day, so it was a throwback 😉



Wedding Week Part 4

Picking up from the “To Be Continued…”  The reception!  This was the most fun part of the whole event!  The party!  The ceremony was a bit more serious and very romantic, but it was nice to let our hair down after all of the planning, stress, and anticipation.

So much researching and decision making goes into this one day, and it all goes by so quickly  in a blur of camera flashes and kisses.  I am so thankful that our photographers (See their blog here!  They are truly amazing!!) got so many pictures of the details that I surely missed during all of the confusion and happy chaos.

Here’s where our guests “signed in”.  My husband and I are very fortunate to be able to say that both of our parents are still together.  We thought it would be a nice touch to have their wedding photos displayed.

To hold cards or gifts we used a birdcage that we decorated with some flowers & tulle.  The ornament is from Lisa Leonard Designs.

Instead of a guest book we did this…

And the stones sit in decorative bowls in our living room.  They are always a conversation piece.  I didn’t want a book that just collected dust, plus it’s more fun to write on a stone 😀

Instead of buying favors that everyone most likely will throw out, we opted to make a donation to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. and my mom really wanted matches because she’s a kook.

I thought it was a fun idea to have baloons with long ribbons all along the dance floor (it reminded me of the prom scene in the 80’s flick “She’s Out Of Control” which was a favorite by the way).

I found these in TJMaxx for like 2 bucks and printed our names on them.

We didn’t go for the traditional cake topper, or even the funny bride dragging the groom.  We got these monograms & I’m making some sort of wall art with them soon 😉

We cut our cake to the song ” I wanna grow old with you” from The Wedding Singer, fun &goofy, but still sweet. If you’ve never heard it…

I thought I’d surprise him with a fun groom’s cake.  Since he is an avid skier, the cake looked like a ski boot 🙂


The banquet hall just installed uplighting literally the day before our wedding and they were excited to try it out, so they threw it into our package for free! It really made the room feel festive and romantic. Plus there is a warm pink glow in all of the photos.


Here’s what each table looked like…

At 11:00 my grandparents kissed us goodbye for the night. I couldn’t believe how fast the day flew by!  We were so busy taking photos and thanking people for coming that I only had a couple of bites of food, and drank nothing but the toast. We only had 1 hour left to party.  So that’s exactly what we did.

When it came time for the bouquet & garter toss, Mr. FSL had a little trick up his sleeve (literally)!  Instead of pulling the garter, he pulled out a pair of huuuuge granny panties!  It was so funny! Did I mention he put them on his head??! LOL!

The rest of the night was filled with dancing & fun!

I think a great party is all about the fun details!  Thank you guys for stooping by to relive our wedding with us!  If you are planning your own wedding, I hope this little series helped to spark your imagination a little!  If you’ve already said “I do”, what details were your favorites at your wedding?

Love you guys



Wedding Week Part 3

The big day!  I’ve shared posts & photos about our wedding day (here) and I’ve even posted about our fake wedding photos (here, lol!). But I’m going to dish the details in this one…

Here’s a timeline of the day…

I woke up, ate a light breakfast, the hit the gym for a shoulder workout (hello strapless!) the hopped into the shower.

My dress was really wrinkled and I dropped it off at the cleaners the day before to be pressed.  When I got back from the gym, the wrinkles never came out, so I did what any desperate bride-to-be would do.  I did something pretty ballsy.  I ironed my dress (inside out just in case) and it didn’t really work.  I took a deep breath and told myself “It is not the end of the world.  Relax.  One small thing will not ruin the day. DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF!

I grabbed my veil and jumped into my car and got my hair did 😉

I drove home and did my makeup myself.  My trial didn’t go so well, I looked more like this:

.Mmmm, yeah.  Not so bride-y.

So I stuck with what makeup I’d normally  wear, except I added false eyelashes to kick it up a notch and added a bit more bronzer because I tend to look washed out in photos.

I had my best girls to help me get into my dress!  It took a long time to get the corset just right!

I love the back of this dress!

And they helped me put my garters &  shoes on too…

Rocco had his own mini photo shoot! He was unbelievable that day.  He was following me around (like hopping at me) all day while I got ready!  I swear he didn’t take his eyes off of me.

We all got onto the party bus to the church!

My dad helped me off, and we headed in for the ceremony…

Then the ceremony took place.  A funny thing happened at the altar after we put the rings on each other.

The priest didn’t say “You may kiss the bride”.  He just kept on with the ceremony.  Of course Dum Dum (me) had to open her trap!  I loud whispered “Father!” and motioned for him to come over. I asked him ” When do we kiss?! You didn’t say kiss the bride”. He started laughing and said “Listen.  I’ve been doing this for 40 years, just trust me on this one” and he laughed his way back to the throne-like chair. Mr. FSL couldn’t believe I did that!

And my maid & matron of honor couldn’t either!

The big smooch!

We snapped some shots after the ceremony with our massive bridal party.


Since this post is already the longest, I’ll post the 2nd half of the day tomorrow!




Wedding Week Part 2

Keeping on with Wedding Week, today’s post will be about planning.  It’s not an easy task to put together every detail of such a huge event and have it all work out beautifully.  Our wedding went off without a hitch thanks to careful planning.  This is especially odd because I am suuuuper disorganized!  I owe much of my wedding organization skills to my Matron of Honor, Jackie.

She signed me up on The Knot.com.  All you do is enter your wedding date and the site lets you know when you need to do what.  For example, when you log in, your checklist will pop up and tell you that you should be thinking about ordering your invitations, offer you different wording options, show you a zillion examples of cool invites, etc. I am notoriously forgetful, and I didn’t forget ANYTHING because of this website!  Plus, there is a budgeter, a guest list manager, and so many other useful tools.  See it here.

Here’s a list of great websites that I obsessed over thought were really useful resources…

Style Me Pretty is a fantastic site that is packed with inspiration, real weddings, and some sweet D-I-Y stuff.

The Wedding Chicks have some great downloads, and tons of ideas!!

Martha Stewart Weddings is run by the D-I-Y queen herself!  You won’t believe all of the ideas on here!

The Inspired Bride has so many D-I-Y ideas plus how to maximize your budget.  My favorite feature that this site has to offer is the color palettes.  There are so many different color combinations to choose from (and some you may not have envisioned before, but will love!) with moodboards.

A huge part of planning your wedding has to do with inspiration. I actually found inspiration at Victoria’s Secret!  Meeeeoooow 😉 !  LOL!  In their shopping bags actually.  I loved the hot pink, fuchsia, light pink & black combo (I added silver for some sparkle).  It screamed party to me!  Here’s a peek at my inspiration that came to life through the details of the day.

How to negotiate with vendors 101: Okay, before I went through this experience, I was not known for my sweet Donald Trump-esque deal making capabilities. I thought you went to a florist, tell them what you wanted, they told you how much it would cost, and either you could afford it or you find a new one.  Well, this approach got me 4 outrageous quotes and really panicky.  I finally was running out of options.  We couldn’t stretch the budget any more and I refused to end up with really low quality (which was apparently all we thought we could afford).  I finally decided that I had nothing to lose, so I made an appointment with a florist that had gorgeous (and really expensive) flowers.  I told the consultant that I thought they were the best florist in the city (which is true) and that I knew I probably couldn’t afford them.  I told her exactly what I could spend and told her what I had in mind.  I asked her if she could do this tastefully on our budget.  She said absolutely!  So the moral of the story is: tell the vendor that you love their work, you don’t want to sacrifice quality, and tell them the maximum amount you can spend.

Don’t try to make everyone happy.  It will never happen.  If you love seafood and your brother-in-law hates it, just make sure to  have at least one alternative. If you love orange, and your maid of honor hates it, she can choose whatever color she wants for her own wedding.  You don’t have to be Bridezilla either though. When choosing bridesmaid dresses do take into consideration the various size and shapes of the girls.  Don’t choose strapless if you have a few top heavy ladies.  Nobody wants a wardrobe malfunction during the bouquet toss!  There are a few cute dress lines (like J.Crew and Alfred Angelo) that have dresses in the same colors,  but different necklines or hem lengths.  Every girl can look different but still look similar.  I let my bridesmaids wear their hair however they liked, and wear whatever jewelry they liked too.  I always hated my hair up and I was in a wedding once where we HAD to wear our hair up.  Needless to point out, I wasn’t a happy camper.  Leave them a little wiggle room.


Wedding Week Part 1

It’s Wedding Week here at casa FSL!  Our 1 year wedding anniversary is Saturday!  To celebrate, this week will be filled with all things weddings!  To kick things off, I’m going to (re-post) share our engagement story.

We agreed that we were going to buy a house before we got engaged.  We had put an offer in on a house (which the offer fell through eventually).  He was dragging his feet a bit with the house as if he didn’t want to buy it anymore.  It was exactly what we were looking for.  I was freeeeeaking out   just a little nervous because I thought he suddenly was having second thoughts about us living together (it turns out, he was saving for a ring, not a down payment).  I though he was second guessing our relationship, and inside I was frantically over-analyzing a little worried.

Thanksgiving day he and I ran a 5 mile race. That night, my mother, aunt, and I went “Midnight Madness” shopping until around 3:30AM.  The next day was Black Friday, and I was completely exhausted. We went to his sister’s house for a birthday party which lasted into the evening. He told me to wear something nice in case we met our friends out for a drink.  The birthday party lasted much longer than I had expected and I was beat.  I never do this, but I told him I didn’t want to meet our friends out, I was too tired. He insisted, and said they were already on their way to the restaurant/bar (which was a 30 minute drive for us).  I hate flaking out, so I agreed to go and have just one drink.

We were getting off of the exit, and he got a text message from our friend.  He said “You’ve got to be kidding!  You’re gonna kill me.  They are blowing us off” (a staged text from his friend that was in on the surprise) I was so mad!  He said not to worry, we’ll grab one drink at the first place we see off the exit, and then we’ll go home.  Well we might as well, we did drive all the way out here.

We pulled into the parking lot, and I realized it was the place we went on our first date!  I said “Hey! I thought this place closed down!”  He said he thought so too.  We walked in, he got us both a drink and we sat down on the couch in front of the fireplace way in the back (the same place we sat on our first date).

He’s usually very quiet, so when there was a dj there playing loud music, it didn’t bother me.  He said it was too loud, and we wouldn’t be able to talk to each other without yelling.  He asked the dj to lower the music and he requested “They way you look tonight” by Frank Sinatra (I love Frank Sinatra)

So he sits back down, and as he’s talking, he was pushing the coffee table away from him.  He started to kneel down (I was NOT expecting this so I thought he was going to tie his shoe or something) and the next thing I knew, I looked down and he had a ring in his hand!!!  I sat there in complete disbelief for a few seconds. I was worried for days that he was questioning the future of our relationship, and moving in together, and there he was on his knee with a ring! I started crying and said yes!

We later met my sister and her boyfriend out to celebrate!

That photo was taken about an hour after I said yes.  I was cheezin so hard! Aint he cute?!  Sorry ladies, he’s taken.


Here are a few of our engagement pictures.  We took them at a local vineyard.

How did your fiance or husband pop the question?? If you aren’t married or engaged, how do you hope it will be?



Any 1st Anniversary Gift Ideas?

I like to think of myself as pretty creative, especially in the gift department.  But I am stumped as to what to buy my husband for our first anniversary next week!  I found a cute idea online (duh!) that I think I may D-I-Y.  I’m not going to post in in case he secretly reads this blog. In which case, he’ll know that I have no idea what to get him… sorry Love 😦

He’s mentioned that he liked this ipod dock/speaker a few times.

It’s pretty frikkin cool, but a little impersonal, and definitely not romantic.

Please give me some ideas!!

Here are some lovey dovey coupley facts to help your girl think of something amazing…

* We honeymooned in Jamaica

* We are going to Atlantic City for our anniversary weekend

* We read in bed every night -he loves autobiographies

* He loves to perfect our yard

* We go on ski vacations

* We always get into trouble  have fun on his quad

* We’ve seen The Wailers (Bob Marley’s band) in concert a bunch of times and love them


Looking Back…What A Rockin’ Year!

Today is my last day of school!!! Actually, it’s a half day 🙂  I am uber psyched!  Every time I reach the end of something, I reflect.  I reflect to see what I’ve learned, what I could do better next time, and how I’ve grown as a person from the experience.

As I look back,  it was a great year for me.  I have so much to be thankful for.

Here’s my last year in review…

June 2010: I had my bridal shower, bachelorette party, and found out our offer was accepted on our first house! Click here & here to see what our house looked like before we bought it.

July 2010: I went from Mindy Mac to Mindy P!  I married my best friend July 30th. See pics of that here. We paid a honeymoon visit to Negril, Jamaica.

August 2010: I turned 28, moved into my in law’s house and gained 8 pounds because my mother-in-law is an amazing cook!!  Click here for her crockpot chicken & potatoes recipe.

September 2010:  We finally closed on our house!!!

October 2011:  We moved in!!! Mr.FSL turned 32.  His vineyard birthday party is where we snapped this picture…

November 2010: November 1st was the inaugural post (about jalapeno infused tequila no less, lol! See my first post here).  I got my wisdom teeth pulled. We hosted our first family holiday at casa FSL!  I made my first Thanksgiving turkey!! (Hear about that mess new experience here)

December 2010: Our first married Christmas in our new home!  Instead of a housewarming party, we had a “Bad Christmas Sweater Party” and made a shot-ski!  Hear all about that crazy time here.

January 2011: The snowiest winter on record for CT! Actually, there was so much snow, our roof that extended over our beck deck (which extends the entire length of the house) collapsed!  Hear about that craziness here. Here’s a shot of my husband and his dad & our borrowed snow blower on the back deck.  That lovely metal piece in the background used to be our roof 😦

February 2011:  We took a much needed vacation to Salt Lake City, Utah!  We went skiing on some of the most beautiful terrain & ate at the oldest saloon in the state! Get the scoop on that trip here, here, and here.

March 2011: We threw our first rager!  About 100 people came to our house for a surprise party.  We had the pizza truck & a comedian, great time.  I got the DIY itch & painted a chalkboard wall in our kitchen & decorated it for the occasion. I drew Yankee Stadium & a pic of the b-day boy on it…

April 2011: My chicken tortilla soup recipe was featured by Oxygen Magazine!!  I was sooo excited, it’s my fitness bible (get the recipe for that here)! My husband & I did a photo shoot in a haunted opera house (see those pics & the insane video here)  My craigslist desk makeover was “Freshly Pressed” and is still the most popular post on Finding Silver Linings to date.  I was stoked and amazed that I was also a  “Pop Pressed” featured blogger!  Crazy!!!

Are you kidding?! I was so excited!

May 2011:  My mom & I had the best Mother’s Day ever!  We hit up Manhattan for a spa day, made it on TV, and ate at one of the best restaurants in the country!! (Hear all about it here).  I started my vegetable garden!

June 2011:  Here we are! Finally feeling settled at our house.  Getting the hang of keeping up after laundry, cooking, cleaning, wife-ing, ya know, that whole thing.  All in all, what a wonderful year!  I can’t wait to see what summer vacation brings!  You all know I have a list of stuff to do!!

Sorry for the uber wordy post.  I guess I am feeling a bit nostalgic. Looking back does that to me.

Thanks for sticking around 🙂  I love you guys!!!



Wedding Woes

I have to go to a wedding this weekend and can’t decide what to wear.   This doesn’t sound like a big issue, but I am bringing 1 bag.  ONE BAG.  Each dress means different accessories, shoes, bag, etc.  Can’t bring them all in one bag. 


A bit of insight, it’s a beach wedding that goes from late afternoon to evening (ceremony begins at 3).  It’s going to be about 65 F.  Chilly.  Hopefully the reception will be inside.  Yikes!

I tried on a zillion dresses in my closet & narrowed it down to these 3.  And had a photoshoot in my dining room (hence the lame mirror pictures).  I don’t have on any accessories, that’s probably not how I’m wearing my hair, and probably different shoes.  Base your decision solely on the dress. 

Numero Uno:

Peach, strapless, chiffon, short(ish)

Choice Number Two:

Spaghetti strap, shades of green, hits just below the knee.



Choice 3:

Black, halter, asymmetrical hem, side ruching.

Please vote to stop my insanity!


As If You Saw A Ghost

Friday night was the grand opening party of our friends Mike & Marcie’s new photography studio. The place was packed, the wine was flowing, and the photographs on display were incredible!

The highlight of the evening was the video release. This couple is insanely talented. They put together a short film (about 3 minutes) that tells an enchanted if not eerie love story. The film is set to music, and you just might recognize the actress & actor *wink, wink*.  Also, you may have seen a sneak peek of that day here, maybe 😉 .  

As a gift, they gave us a huge print of this photo in a matted frame that now lives on the ledge behind our sofa.  Thanks guys!  You rock!

This was not our wedding, by the way. You can see our real wedding pictures (shot by the same photographers)  here.   This shoot was done purely for the love of the art and their passion for perfecting their craft.

This husband and wife photography team is always edgy and constantly pushing the envelope.  See for yourself…

The Sterling Opera House in Derby, CT opened April 2, 1889. The video & pictures were shot at on April 2, 2011, its 122nd anniversary. This location is said to be extremely haunted, and even appeared very recently on the SyFy network’s “Ghost Hunters” reality show. A quick video clip of that episode can be seen here if you’d like to hear the history behind this place. I’m glad this aired AFTER we were inside this abandoned building!! YIKES!!

Today is the official public release of the video and photos they shot from that day. 

The Sterling Opera House – A Never-Ending Story from Michael Maler on Vimeo.

 You can see all of them by clicking this link.  I just watched it on full-screen mode and got the chills! Feel free to poke around on their website.  Their work is amazing.  Please leave a comment on their blog to show your support!

Also shooting that day was Jennifer Dougan (you can see her blog here). Here’s a sample of her work…

Enjoy the photos & video!



Sneak Peek

It was a busy weekend for my husband and I.  We hung out with our  friends Mike & Marcie who happen to be insanely talented photographers (see their blog here).  They shot our engagement pictures and our wedding.

(Gratuitous Engagement & Wedding Shots! HAHAH!  I have no shame.)

We visited a haunted opera house that is going to be featured on the TV show Ghost Hunters in a few weeks! 

Here’s a few blurry phone pictures from our weekend…


Do you believe in ghosts?  Did you ever have a paranormal experience???