We Are OFFICIALLY Married! (And Other Big News!)

Charli and Gibran's Wedding at the Stonehouse at Stirling Ridge

Our big moment on our big day!

Okay so I know you’re probably thinking, “She said she was getting married, but that was like three weeks ago. Did she go on a honeymoon and never come back?!” Fine, so I’ve been MIA – but can you blame a girl? I got married, then I escaped for a ten-day honeymoon getaway, and then I came home to the news that after 8 long months of unemployment, I had finally landed a job! One that I had to start immediately no less. (But who’s complaining? Not me!) So needless to say, it’s been a pretty busy month for me. So today I return to you as the new Mrs. Watkins, and the new Digital Commerce and Marketing Manager for Ellery Homestyles. (More job deets later – it’s QUITE an awesome story and such a blessing too.) So, I’m back now. And yes, I’ve missed you too! If you haven’t given up on me all together, I can promise you that if you start paying regular visits again, I’ll be here steady chronicling my ups and downs as a rookie wife.

Now, to kick things off properly: Here are three of my favorite wedding photos of Gibran and I, and my little list of the 5 Things That Made My Wedding (Truly!) The Best Day Ever!

charli and gibrans new jersey wedding portrait  basking ridgecharli and gibran wedding portrait stonehouse at stirling ridge croppedcharli and gibran wedding portrait pleasant valley park nj 1. I was surrounded by love. My new husband and all of our closest family and friends came out to help us celebrate (on a Sunday night no less!) and the room was just bursting at the seams with love. You could feel it in the air, almost like we were wrapped in it. We felt so loved, so blessed, and so happy all at once. It was moving and wonderful and surely a feeling I won’t soon forget.Charli and Gibran Wedding Entrance2. Though they say most brides end up pissed off on their wedding day because something went terribly wrong or just wasn’t right, I would be lying if I told you I had a single regret that day. Every single detail that I poured my heart into, and worked so diligently with my planner on, came together beautifully. It was as if the way I dreamed it in my head for all of those months became a reality. It was wedding day décor perfection. (Cheers to my wonderful planning team at Concepts in Bloom!)Charli and Gibran's Wedding Ceremony New Jersey Stonehouse at Stirling Ridge3. The food, the drinks, and the laughs were so good that everybody (and I mean everybody!) partied like there was no tomorrow. My 70something grandma got Tipsy (as evidenced from the photo booth below!) and Gibran’s little nephews dance battled all night long. I don’t think anyone stayed in their seats. It was party perfection, and an awesome way to follow a heart-felt and magical ceremony. Thanks for the memories everyone!

Charli and Gibran DIY Wedding Photo Booth

4. I never felt more beautiful. They always say you’re supposed to feel like a princess. Well, I felt like a queen. I’ve never been totally happy with my hair or makeup for a big event but this time, I felt flawless. And as we women know, no matter how much we fake it, it’s rare a moment when you feel like you truly look stunning from every angle!

Charli Penn Bridal Portrait

5. I finally made it official with my guy. There is nothing like standing there holding hands with the one person on earth who completes you and vowing your undying love to them. Call me cheesy, but it was like a scene out of a movie and we really felt like stars. I will never forget the look in his eyes and the way my heart jumped when we read me his special vows. If I could only relive one moment from our wedding it would be our ceremony. And I would say “I do” to Gibran over and over again. I love my husband!! That has a ring to it, doesn’t it? Sigh…the moment was unforgettable.Couple Jump the Broom at Wedding in New JerseyFabulous photo credit due to Diana and Jess of Di Bezi Photography

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My Wedding Weekend Has Arrived!

I’m getting married this weekend!!! And as you can see, I’ve been MIA for the last month. Let’s just say things have been just that nutty in the world of wedding planning. I haven’t been able to come for air or crank out a blog post, and as much as I love to write, that’s saying a lot. But, on a happier note, I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that the day’s nearly here and I don’t have to meet with another vendor or order another thing. I’m going to woosah it all out now and just enjoy all the festivities. On Sunday I’m marrying the man of my dreams and my rookie wife journey truly begins. Okay, I’m off to get married now. So nervous, but so excited! (Wish me luck!) Stay tuned for a little honeymoon blogging!

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OMG My Wedding Is Going to Be On TV

My wedding dress!!!!!! (I'm so in love with her!)

Today I went into Kleinfeld’s Bridal in New York for my final dress fitting. (Isn’t she a beauty? Her name’s Adele from Amsale!) I’ve waited 6 months for this day to come, because it was love at first sight between me and my dress from the moment I first tried it on. I thought I couldn’t be any happier when I got there, then I got some awesome news. TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress wanted to tape my final fitting and wedding day for the next season of their new spin-off Big Bliss. If you somehow you’ve been living under a rock and aren’t already obsessed with the show, Say Yes to the Dress is the network’s hit show about NYC’s Kleinfeld brides and their hunt for The Wedding Dress. Well this fall’s new spin-off is all about fabulous plus size brides and their journey to find a fabulous dress that fits them the way they always dreamed.

I’m honored to say that me and my fab dress will be on the next season! My MOH (and BFF for life) Twanna and I were both taped and interviewed at the fitting and they even told us they’re sending a crew to my wedding to tape my big ceremony debut in the dress, and our first dance and reception fun. I’m floored by this news. What a pleasant surprise. I LOVE THE SHOW, and I never thought I would get the chance to be on it. It’s like an early wedding gift!  As soon as I have more details I’ll let you know.

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Your Husband Watches Porn: Minor Offense, or Does He Deserve Capital Punishment?

If you hadn’t heard the news by now, a Brooklyn woman stabbed her husband to death with a pair of scissors on Friday after finding a porn flick in the home they share with their three young children. Apparently, the couple is said to have fought a lot recently over money, and the wife just snapped when she found out her unemployed hubby was watching porn movies around their four-year old. After stabbing him once in the chest, she called the police and kept screaming about the porn while they arrested her for what would later become a second degree murder charge. Now, I also must point out that she killed her husband in front of their three kids. WTF? Clearly, she lost it. Obviously, porn can be a very touchy topic in any relationship, especially when you share a home together, but it’s certainly not cause to kill.

Now I’ll admit that there’s porn stashed in my home, and it’s been the catalyst for a few squabbles between Hubby 2 Be and I before.  His take: All men own and watch it, and we women should never fool ourselves into thinking otherwise. My take: Nothing is more disturbing than turning on what you thought was a romantic comedy DVD you fell asleep on the night before only to find a giant butt on your flat screen. Or better yet, logging on to your computer to check your e-mail only to find it’s been invaded by tons of x-rated porn ads leftover from your guy’s last visit to his favorite late-night site. It’s not that I’m judging him for wanting to watch it. (I honestly don’t get the draw here, but it’s not a battle worth fighting to me.) I’m more disappointed in how little care my fiancé, and most likely all other men, takes in trying to conceal is guilty pleasures. I know you’re watching Ultimate Butts Part 48 when I’m out with the girls, but do I have to trip right over the evidence? Watch if you must, but take a few extra minutes to replace the disc that was in the player, or to buy your own copies so you don’t have to destroy my PC trying to get it for free. Is that really too much to ask? Now, I’m not going to kill you for being so impolite (that poor woman should have just walked out!) but I might just make you buy me a new computer the next time mine crashes.

Wives and girlfriends, any thoughts on this one? Am I off base here? Do you give a whoha?

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Posted in Man vs. Wife, Married Life, Wives Gone Bad | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Karma’s First Encounter With the Lake

A few funny snapshots from The Dog’s first encounter with a lake (and waves!).

Karma the Yorkie at Lake Waywayanda

"This doesn't look like any bathtub I've ever seen."

"No...I won't go!"

Karma at the lake

"Get me outta her -- NOW!"

Posted in Diary of a Spoiled Rotten Yorkie | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Best Sesame Street Themed Birthday Party Ever — My God Son Turned ONE!

I spent the weekend prepping for and attending an amazing first birthday party. My wonderful god son Liam turned one over the weekend and to celebrate his momma threw him the mother of all first birthday parties. The chosen theme of the day was Sesame Street, and his fabulous mommy should really be an event planner, because she went ALL out, and it showed. It was a backyard barbecue-style event that was decorated so fabulously it looked as if we were having a block party right on Sesame Street. The kids got to get their faces painted by an awesome artist (PattySweetCakes), jump around in the giant bouncer, and take a swing at the piñata. Meanwhile, us adults enjoyed one of the last beautiful days of summer and munched on yummy dishes like guava empanadas, shrimp shish-kabob, and sliders. It was truly the perfect party!

Liam's Sesame Street Themed Birthday Party

Liam's Sesame Street Themed First Birthday Party

Look at what you can do for your little one with the right patience, planning, and persistence, on a very practical budget. (And if you want to know where she got some of the fabulous one of a kind details, just holler, and I’ll share all the details.) I can tell you that the one of a kind cake is another great creation from Anne over at Pink Cake Box. Happy, Happy Birthday Liam!

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Posted in Party Perfection, The Big Things | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments