A Few New Things

I know the time for "currently" posts was last week, but it's amazing the difference a weekend can make. Some fun and new things have gone on lately, one in particular being an event I'm really proud of, so I thought I'd share...

A Beautiful Bridal Shower
My cousin is getting married in just over a month, and this past weekend I threw her bridal shower. I went with a bit of an unconventional venue—a big, beautiful flower shop—knowing my family friend there would help me make it as perfect an event as possible. My cousin is a huge I Love Lucy fan, so we took that theme and subtly (she's 30, not 16) weaved it into the event: Favors were DIY candy bags with a black, red, and white theme and "We Love Michelle" stickers to seal the bags; the guestbook was a framed photo of the couple in a classic Lucy and Ricky stance; polka dots and aprons were everywhere, and her cakes might be my favorite part.

The little one is the gluten-free vegan death by chocolate cake for the bride's dietary restrictions. You guys, if you ever find yourself in Bethlehem, PA, drop into Vegan Treats—whether you're vegan or not. You will find some of the best pastries and desserts you've ever tasted in your life. Put it this way: there are no fewer than 10 bakeries between my apartment in the venue. Vegan Treats is over an hour away, and getting the cake from there was a no-brainer. The big cake was a special order from the Cake Boss, and everything else was homemade to include nods to both passed grandmothers (cream cheese cookies from our Italian grandmother's recipe box, English scones from my cousin's paternal grandmother's).

We asked for a viewing shower, because Michelle didn't want to spend the whole afternoon opening gifts (and we, frankly, didn't want her to either). Still, some traditionalists brought wrapped gifts so there was a short gift-opening session and a fun, not-too-kitchy shower game. We went through the bride's and groom's old Facebook statuses and quizzed the crowd on who wrote them for the chance to win a centerpiece prize. It was harder than it sounds!

We rounded out the day with a beautiful slideshow made by one of the bridesmaids, and a wine basket building session where we paired off with the mother, godmother, and soon-to-be mother-in-law of the bride to present Mich and her groom with bottles of wine (and one bottle of whiskey) to open and enjoy together at milestones in their future together.

The surprise was kept, the bride was happy, there was a small (but brief) fire, and lots of wine was drunk—better than usual for an Ammirato family event.

A Second Studio
In case I haven't mentioned it lately, here's an unnecessary update: I love teaching yoga. I also tremendously LOVE my studio and the community that's built around it and its multiple beautiful locations that give me a great many opportunities to teach and practice with some of the most amazing yogis around. So it was kind of hard for me to even really think at all about teaching anywhere else.

Luckily, I've found another great studio, Main Street, where I feel equally welcomed. It's a multiple-discipline studio that offers barre, cycling classes, TRX, and non-heated yoga. I'm now happy to say I'm one of the studio's three yoga teachers and am really looking forward to taking my mat to the head of the class for the first (and second) time next week.

Because there are so many different offerings but not enough hours in a day, for now I'm just floating into sub spots as they come available. But hopefully there'll be a good time slot for me to built my own yoga class in in the near future!

A New Interest
As if I needed another way to sweat, I've found yet another one I enjoy. I'm able to practice and take classes for free at Main Street, and I've taken advantage of a few spin classes lately. I don't know if Tracy's dreams of me joining her triathlon team will come true anytime in the near future, but I'm really enjoying the time I spend on the (stationary) bike. No telling if that enjoyment would translate to time on the bike outdoors, but for now I do like it for a great cardio workout that doesn't tweak up my legs, but rather helps me get all the tension out that running builds up.

A New Dress (And a New Favorite Store)
Have you guys ever been to Francesca's? I haven't, and I don't know why. On Saturday, the matron of honor and I (maid of honor) stole my cousin away for some manis, lunch, and shopping. Because oh yeah, the wedding is next month and we still don't have dresses. (She's going with a very unconventional dress style and letting all the girls pick their own.) We wandered into Francesca's after a few unsuccessful try-ons and immediately fell in love with what would be come the maid and matron of honor dress. I want to keep it a surprise, but you guys. It's amazing. And that store! How have I never gone in before?! It just speaks right to my bohemian heart. (It's also where I got the dress I wore to the shower, above.)

An Inconvenient Truth
You may have noticed that I'm the only person in blogland today not talking about books. That's because I literally have not finished a single book since I last updated you all with March's Show Us Your Books. I've given up on The Casual Vacancy and am working my way through The Life of Pi very, very slowly, because I'm just not making enough time for reading lately. I don't like that, but I don't see it changing right away. My world has been hectic lately, and on some days that's a good thing—on others, it's a really bad thing. Either way, I've just needed to make more room for other stuff besides reading. But I'm going to wrap up this writing right now so I can hopefully get some pages in while I'm thinking about it...


  1. What a fabulous place to throw a shower and the best part is not having to get flowers for the event!! Looked like you did a great job! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  2. The shower looks fabulous-love your dress and I adore the photo of you all in aprons.

    Congrats on picking up another teaching gig!

  3. How adorable is everything about that shower?! Love the theme, love the cakes, love the aprons, love your outfit, just...love everything about it. What a special day for your cousin and for your family! So glad all your hard work planning it paid off and everyone thoroughly enjoyed a beautiful shower in a beautiful venue (the flower shop is seriously genius).
    Congrats on the second studio! So happy it's working out both for your teaching and your spinning needs ;) I go through phases with spin vs. outside...it's nice to get out, but without a good trail nearby it's been tough (SO happy that is changing soon). I like the convenience of spin and it definitely pumps me up and gives me a different type of workout than anything else.
    Sorry about the lack of reading :/ You've had a lot going on and you can't give 100% to everything!

  4. A viewing shower, how fun!!!! I love the idea and the aprons look so fabulous. Soooo, can we talk about the cake and getting me some left overs ;)!

  5. OMG! So many things to discuss!

    1) Your cousin's shower was perfect!!! I love all the aprons and you look super adorable. Very 20s inspired.

    2) Tell me Main Street is in Little Falls?! I was just talking with the studio manager this morning.

    3) Spin is intense! Fully cardio but it's not easy. I haven't taken a class in a LONG time.

    4) HOW HAVE YOU NEVER BEEN TO FRANCESCA'S?!?!?! I'm sorry for my part in allowing this to happen. "Had I but known..."

    5) I read 3 books since the last link up. And it's taken me the entire time to get through one that I'm STILL not finished with.

  6. The bridal shower sounds (and looks) amazing! Great job planning! I love the idea of the Facebook post game - it's fun AND it's easy for family members to gather info without letting on what they're doing.

  7. SUCH a fun bridal shower! So unique and fun and I love the subtle theme you worked in! :) Francesca's is seriously awesome! I love that they have a little better quality stuff than say a F21, etc... but without a CRAZY huge price jump!

  8. It took me way too long to discover Francesca's too. Which reminds me that I should probably get back in there ASAP. Did I tell you I finished The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry? Amahzing. Taking 5 million flights really helps in the reading department. :) OH, and of course I'm so proud of your shower. Well done, my friend.

  9. Great bridal shower! So well planned and so personal to your cousin. I loved your recap and can I make home-aprons a thing again? Too sassy! Apparently I have a Francesca's so I'll have to check it out!!

  10. 1) Your outfit for the shower is amazing, I love it and I need it.

    2) I have read the first chapter of The Casual Vacancy about 4 times. It's such struggle and makes me sad I can never get any further.

    3) I can't seem to find anytime to read these days either, I swore I would never go the way of audio books, but I have found if I want to "read" anything at all that is the way I am having to go. I do enjoy them more than I thought I would!

  11. A shower in a flower shop is like a dream-- such a great location and everything looks gorgeous! I love all of the small details and the I love lucy theme! Everyone looks so gorgeous! Yay for a second studio and being able to fill in as a sub when needed, plus I'm sure it's a bonus to have spin classes available. Francesca's has so many cute things, I know you're relieved to have finally found your dress! Sometimes reading is so hard for whatever reason, and I think that's okay. I went crazy downloading books because our trip last week and I didn't end up reading AT ALL even though I ended up with more downtime than I was expecting.

  12. The bridal shower and all the treats sound lovely!!! The game with guessing the facebook statuses sounds really interesting!!! Oh gosh, the horror of someone going through my old status posts from years ago. Yikes!

    Congrats on the second studio gig!!! That is awesome!!! I love love love Francesca's!!!! We have several of them down here and I can always find something cute.

  13. Love this little update from you! Francesca's is so much fun... I think they have the cutest stuff!!

  14. Sounds like a really good day, and so pleased to read I am not the only one struggling to find time to read. I keep thinking of adding a "things I have read" roundup to my blog but then another month passes with nothing read...

  15. That shower looked AMAZING ! You may have a career in party planning if you ever need it because DAMN ! And YAY for spin class. So many people rave about the cross-training benefits (Hi Tracy !) so it's good that you're still getting work done while the wind decides to make outdoor things miserable. And finally, that dress is gorgeous and I've heard of francesca's but never been in ! I'll have to pop in next time I see one.

  16. What a fun shower! The wine basket building sounds especially fun. Also, I'm going to my first yoga class tonight! My new employer offers them free, so they're in our building and not at a studio, but taught by a regular instructor. I'm excited!

  17. Bravo Alyssa! You may be the best host of a bridal shower that I've ever seen...from the venue to the adorable aprons and those amazing cakes!
    I took yoga years ago and loved it. Moved from that area and never picked it up again. I want to...but I admit, I'm intimidated. I'm out of shape. I'm overweight. I'm not anywhere as close to being as flexible or coordinated as I used to be. I WISH I lived near you because I have no doubts that I could bundle up my fears and intimidation and walk into a studio with you as my instructor.

  18. That Facebook status game is genius! I'm glad the one fire of the party was small! haha It looks like a lovely, delicious bridal shower. I have never heard of Francesca's but am going to go check out their site right now!

  19. the shower looks so amazing! you are the best MOH ever. and i'm glad your enjoying spin! it's been years since i've done a class, but i loved it... it did not translate to outside for me. i'm super klutzy and awkward and the last time i rode a real bike (2012) i fell off and hurt myself within like 5 minutes lol. i'm so happy you love your new studio though! and omg Francesca's!! one of my favourite stores. i love their dresses.

  20. Bridal shower in a flower shop?? That's SUCH a great idea! I love it!

  21. Um excuse me, did you say a small FIRE???! What?!? Also, that game sounds hilarious! I adore your dress. I've never been to Francesca's either, but sounds like I need to pay it a visit! Congrats on finding another studio to teach at!

  22. i completely shit the bed with reading in the last few months...i even had to return 4 books to the library untouched which makes me sad because i love reading.


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