The Zestful Bride Chronicles

One of the biggest days of my life so far, my wedding day, has come and gone! My hubby and I were dating over three years when he had proposed to me on our trip to Disney World in 2011. It was a surprise (because I had snooped through his suitcase before we left and I didn’t see a ring!) and not a surprise at the same time since we talked about marriage from very early on in our relationship. When you are an unemployed graduate school graduate living at home with your parents, money is extremely tight,  but after the death of my grandfather I desperately needed something to take my mind from my woes and the wedding planning ensued!

One thing I knew I wanted for our wedding was a surprise wedding dance. I have been dancing my whole life  from toddlerville through college (the most recent venture was dragging my unfortunate husband and friends to  ballroom classes). I also come from an EXTREMELY musical family and I’m a choir  kid as well.

So, really, the dance was just in the cards.

Through my research of what others had done for their surprise wedding dances, I found some gems! These truly make my soul happy! Here are a few of my favorites because of their song choice, their uniqueness, and their ENERGY. And for those of you who want to see the finished product, here is my bridal party’s (I’m a proud momma!) 

I was passionate about kick-starting our life together with a zestful, uninhabited show of joy and our dance definitely did that!

Now, on to the Adina and Gem surprise dance gems!

I love me some Bieber!   

Like I said, I am a choir dork, having been in many choirs and the opera company in college. So, while this isn’t a surprise DANCE, it was definitely a surprise…

Just gets better and better!

And last, but not least, a father daughter surprise dance 



Lia’s Summer Finds

Every year, usually in March, when the snow finally has completely melted and the sun’s rays filter through the clouds, you can find me in flip flops without my coat, and picking out what bathing suits I should buy. Keep in mind, in New Jersey in March, it is still about 40-something degrees and it’s more likely than not we’ll get another flurry or two.  So then, I have to pull my coat back out of the basement and polish up my boots because I’ll get in at least another month of wearing them.

What never fails to surprise me though, is after so many months of waiting for summer and 2 months of delicious heat, why on earth are they showing khakis and thermals at the end of July?!

This makes me want to lash out at the media and marketing companies- don’t they REALIZE how frustrating it is for people like myself who are finally just getting into the slow summer rhythm to go shopping for a pair of short shorts and are instead overwhelmed with sweaters? I like to go shopping for summer clothes IN the summer. And I like to go shopping for fall (which happens to be my favorite season) IN the fall.

In an attempt to fight back this saddening marketing ploy, I will list some GREAT summer finds for those of us who still want to shop for summer during the summer.

This metallic bathing suit handmade by carolinebenoit11, may be a little pricey for my pocket (because I’m a poor graduate student), but it’s PERFECT for a warm summer night. One pieces are very in this season and I love LOVE the one shoulder.

(gold one piece bathing suit | link)


Oh how I wish I had a little girl to dress her in this! CharmingNecessities is one of my favorite shops on Etsy. I love frills, lace, floral patterns, and little girls outfits that look like they’re made for little girls. If you need a gift for your child, your friend’s child, your grandchild… look at this sweet bubble romper. This picture alone will melt your heart!

(vintage beauty sunsuit in English rose | link)


Ahoy there! This tiny keepsake bag made my ZiBagz is ADORABLE with a nautical color palate that I love. Again, the nautical theme is very in this season and I love the red and navy blue together :)

(ahoy sailor mini keepsake bag | link)


And last but not least, this is for the little man in your life! This cute, fully lined swimming trunk made by PigtailsandPatches pulled at my heartstrings. With another few months of warm weather, I could just imagine this bathing suit getting tons of use. I love the plaid! (and the fish!) And the best part? Everything in this shop can be personalized. I am a sucker for personalized, embroidered, initialed items because growing up the unique spelling of my name could never be found on bracelets, cups, or keychains. My poor future children are going to have their name on everything!

(little fish boys | link)


On that note, I hope all you happy readers are having a wonderful summer and enjoy the rest of the warm weather while you can!