We’re Engaged!!!!!!!!!!!! A Scavenger Hunt Proposal

16 Jul

After a hiatus from blogging, I’m back and more inspired than ever! After years of mildly obsessing about engagements, weddings and wondering what my own proposal would be like, I am so excited to share that Drew & I are engaged!!!!!

Crush TagWe were at my house in Westbrook, CT and spent the 4th of July lounging by the pool and planning to have a cookout. Around 5, I went upstairs to get ready when my friend Elyse brought a box upstairs from Crush Boutique  that she “found in the back yard.” There was a tag on the box that said “Ashley – Fourth of July adventure! Get dressed! – Drew”

Clue 1I thought it was absolutely adorable and thoughtful (it is my favorite holiday, afterall), but didn’t think much more of it until the next clue came a few minutes later. Elyse handed me a glass of wine and some daisies, with another note that hinted to go next door, where my parents best friends were renting. At this point, I started to shake and was hoping that “this was it!” All Elyse said was “just enjoy this, and breathe!” She wouldn’t say a word!

IMG_1851I walked next door, where Abby was waiting with more flowers and another clue that hinted for me to go to the Cuckoos’s Nest in Old Saybrook, CT. Elyse drove me there and when I walked in, saw my brother Patrick and his girlfriend Kristen. They gave me more flowers and another clue.

IMG_1868This clue led me to one of my favorite places, Water’s Edge, where our family friends Barb & Kevin were waiting at the outdoor bar. Barb immediately started crying, and so did I. Luckily, it was time for another glass of wine, more flowers, and another clue!

IMG_1890I went to the marina and saw my parents sitting on the back of their boat. My mom was smiling ear to ear and I half expected to see Drew there. But instead, more flowers and another clue! Which led me to Bill’s Seafood. Everyone was waiting in the outdoor bar. Everyone except for Drew.

BlueI got the last flower and clue. It’s an extremely exciting and emotional feeling, know you’re about to get engaged. I mean I knew, right? At this point, my family was involved and although no one actually said it, the only other explanation was that this was a really cruel joke. And Drew, is a jokester. But luckily for me, I came back home to see the love of my life. At least I thought it was him, it was hard to see through the tears.


Drew was standing in the front yard, looking adorable as ever. He was holding a rose and had champagne and glasses set-up next to the fish chairs in our front yard. It was pretty emotional walking up to him, an out of body experience really, and words cannot express how I felt when he got down on one knee. It was the happiest moment of my life! We celebrated, I cried, we drank champagne on the beach, I cried, and then.. fireworks! The night couldn’t have ended any better. Is magical too corny to describe it? It was magical.

IMG_1934           IMG_2111        IMG_2119        IMG_2277

IMG_2143I left out a lot of details – what every clue said, and why the locations are important to me. But each was a memorable place in my life, and Drew ended up proposing at my favorite place on earth – my house in Westbrook, on my favorite holiday. He did everything to make this the most thoughtful proposal for me. My bouquet of flowers even ended up being red, white and blue. I was and am, blown away. I couldn’t have asked for a better night or a better fiance! I’m excited to start blogging about my own wedding plans, so stay tuned!

I want to give a special thanks to Elyse Bichler, for helping me along this “journey” and for capturing these great pictures!


Love Prevails: A Boston Marathon Proposal

17 Apr

Andrew Ruggiero had a plan to propose to his girlfriend after she crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon. His plan was elaborate, and even included working at the Gatorade tent at the finish line so he could pop the question in front of friends, family, spectators and the Boston Herald news crew.

He didn’t get a chance to propose at the finish line, but this story does have a happy ending. This year’s Boston Marathon will be remembered by most for the tragic events that occurred. But for this happy couple, this day marks the beginning of the rest of their lives together. Love conquers all.  Read more.

Marathon Proposal

This Love Hate Relationship is Insane!

22 Mar

Have you ever loved something you hated?  Or hated something you loved? I have, and it’s called INSANITY. Throughout the holidays and the usual winter blues, I realized my clothes had become just a tad too tight for comfort. I asked Santa for Insanity and on January 7th embarked on this insane 2 month journey.


You need a little bit of insanity to do great things
~ Henry Rollins

Day 1 is a Fit Test, designed to serve as a base so you can measure your progress every 2 weeks over the next 60 days. You count how many times you can do an exercise in a minute. And there are 8 exercises. Tania nearly tripled my every exercise and I quickly learned how much room I had for improvement.

In the beginning, it was a struggle. The nutrition plan was difficult to stick to and the workouts felt nearly impossible. It was cold and dark and all I really wanted at the end of each day were my pajamas and a glass of wine. Instead, I bought a scale, tape measure and even took that horrid winter bikini picture.

I stuck with it.  After about a week, every day got the slightest bit easier. Before I knew it, I was doing Insanity 6 days a week and actually liking it, loving it even. I gained a sense of motivation that I’ve only experienced while marathon training. Similarly, Insanity is as much of an emotional challenge as it is physical. Most importantly, I had re-prioritized working out. Insanity kept me on track for eating healthy and leaving work on time – 2 things I struggle with.

Control your life through insanity.
~ Cliff Burton

End of Month 1 – I weighed in, took my measurements and was disappointed. Although I knew I felt better (I could actually do push-ups! And had more energy!) I didn’t think I looked any different. Us females know that this is a huge de-motivator. I thought a month was enough time to see a difference and so I did some research. I learned that Month 2 is where most people see a difference. The problem is, it’s nearly impossible to do the Month 2 workouts until you’ve completed Month 1. I powered through my temptation of giving up.

Month 2 – Let’s just say, Month 2 felt like Day 1 all over again. It was an entirely new challenge. Every workout was harder and longer. There were nights that I wanted to skip, but I was committed. I was starting to see results. Now, I am happy to announce it’s been 71 days and I have officially finished the Insanity Workout plan. I will still continue on my journey with Insanity, but will be incorporating running and classes at my gym in between to keep my sanity.

The Results – 

Weight                         Chest                        Waist                         Arm (bicep)
Start: 134.2 lbs        Start: 35″                Start: 29″                 Start: 11  1/4″
End: 126 lbs              End: 32  1/2″         End: 27  1/2″         End: 11″
Loss: 8.2 lbs       Loss: 2  1/2″     Loss: 1  1/2″      Loss: 1/4″

Hips                            Butt                           Thigh
Start: 35  1/2″        Start: 39  1/2″      Start: 22″
End: 33  1/2″          End: 37  1/2″        End: 21  1/2″
Loss: 2″              Loss: 2″            Loss: 1/2″

Overall, I’m extremely happy I stuck with it. Through the ups and downs (no pun intended), I finished a goal of mine and am walking away happier, healthier and with a little bit of muscle. I have grown to love Shaun T. and more importantly, the results. Bikini season prep came early this year!

I’ve already influenced 3 people I know to get started and while I know it’s not for everyone, it’s worth a try!
Interested in other opinions on Insanity? Click here and here. Good luck!

A Special Delivery: Eternal Love

11 Feb

What better way to kick off Valentine’s Day week than with a love story?

This story truly is the ultimate romantic gesture. A tale of love after death from Sue Johnston in Houston, TX. Attention criers, grab a tissue!

Special Delivery


You can also find this story on Gawker.com and Hypervocal.com.

“My Sweet husband, John, and I were married for 46 years. Each Valentine’s Day, he’d send me the most beautiful flowers containing a note with five simple words: ‘My love for you grows’ . Four children, 46 bouquets and a lifetime of love were his legacy to me when he passed away two years ago.

On my first Valentine’s Day alone, 10 months after I lost him, I was shocked to receive a gorgeous bouquet addressed to me … from John. Angry and heartbroken, I called the florist to say there had been a mistake. The florist replied, ‘No, ma’am, it’s not a mistake. Before he passed away, your husband prepaid for many years and asked us to guarantee that you’d continue getting bouquets every Valentine’s Day.’ With my heart in my throat, I hung up the phone and read the attached card. It said, ‘My love for you is eternal.’”

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide… for Guys! (Guest Post)

7 Feb

Hi everyone! My name’s Amy and I’m the creator of Cupcakes & Couture, a lifestyle blog featuring posts on style, baking, shopping, DIY projects, interior design and more! Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, I wanted to share my gift guide for the guys in your lives. I know how difficult it can be to shop for your boyfriends, fiances and husbands, so hopefully this will make it a bit easier for you come February 14th!

valentine's day gift guide for guys

The North Face ‘Apex Pneumatic’ Jacket – $99. This breathable, waterproof jacket is perfect for guys who love to be active outdoors and look good while doing it.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Stainless Steel Watch – $225. This watch is a perfect combination of sporty and stylish – the rose gold is on trend and unique but the black silicone strap keeps it looking tough and manly.

Boconi ‘Bryant’ Slim Leather Card Wallet – $54. This slim wallet won’t take up much room in his pocket but can still fit his license and all of his credit cards.

Yves Saint Laurent ‘L’Homme’ EDT – $60 for 2oz. Is your guy in need of a new signature scent? I promise he’ll love this sophisticated scent from YSL (and that you’ll love it on him even more!)

NHL 13 for XBox or PS3 – $45. If he’s a gamer and/or a hockey fan, he’ll definitely love the newest NHL game for his console. My boyfriend and I play together all the time and it’s really fun!

Jawbone JAMBOX Wireless Speaker – $200. This little speaker packs a loud punch and comes in 4 fun colors so he can listen to his music anywhere he likes.

Do something fun together. Valentine’s Day isn’t all about spending money on each other…it’s a great time to try out something new together! Get him tickets to see his favorite band, take a cooking class together or go out for a long hike on the next sunny Saturday afternoon.

Bake him something. My boyfriend prefers that I bake him something instead of spending money on him. If your guy has favorite flavors, make sure incorporate them into a special V-Day treat! Looking for ideas? Try out my cookie dough filled cupcakes, banana chocolate chip muffins with Nutella filling or mini Oreo cheesecakes….all of them have been man tested and approved! 🙂

A Friday Laugh..

1 Feb

I have received many wedding invitations over the past few years and frequent the Paper Source, so know the possibilities are endless. You don’t have to be planning a wedding to find this video hilarious! Happy Friday everyone:)

Guys, Time to Make Plans!

30 Jan

VDay DinnerValentines Day is right around the corner. My boyfriend asked me if I had a preference on where we went to dinner. Well yes I do. My preference is for you to make the plans, and not ask me for help.

Valentine’s Day is still a girls holiday, right?

That said, when he asks me this question, my answer is always the same.. “let’s try somewhere new!” With so many favorite go-to’s, this is actually a difficult request.

I know a some people think V-Day is overrated, but if you plan on going out, here’s my list of Boston restaurant suggestions!


Mistral – Inspired by the South of France and located in Boston’s South End. I’m not even a fan of french food, but Mistral is the exception!
223 Columbus Avenue | Boston, MA 02116 | 617.867.9300 | French | Menu

Grill 23 – Known for their steak & seafood, but what sets this restaurant apart is their impeccable service and atmosphere!
161 Berkeley Street | Boston, MA 02117 |617.542.2255 | Steak, Seafood | Menu

Mare Oyster Bar – A true standout among the many options the North End has to offer. Upscale, organic and perfect for a special occasion!
135 Richmond Street | Boston, MA 02109 | 617.723.6273 | Seafood | Menu


Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar – An underground cantina with a dark crimson decor makes for a very sexy ambiance – perfect for Valentine’s Day!
271 Dartmouth Street | Boston, MA 02116 | 617.369.5609 | Mexican | Menu

Scampo – The stunning 1st floor restaurant in Beacon Hill’s Liberty Hotel. Grab a drink at Clink beforehand, and catch a fashion show afterwards!
215 Charles Street | Boston, MA 02114 | 617.536.2100 | Italian/Mediterranean | Menu

Carmen – This intimate candle-lit North End restaurant’s atmosphere is perfect for romance, and be a sure hit for any girl on Valentine’s Day!
33 North Square | Boston, MA 02113 | 617.742.6421 | Italian | Menu


Max & Dylan’s – A hip and trendy restaurant in Boston’s Downtown Crossing with a surprisingly sexy flair. The mac & cheese menu is to die for!
15 West Street | Boston, MA 02111 | 617.423.3600 | Comfort Food | Menu

75 Chestnut –  A great neighborhood restaurant with a cheese & cracker tower upon arrival. Even if this isn’t your V-day choice, I highly recommend it for brunch or another special event!
75 Chestnut Street | Boston, MA 02108 | 617.227.2175 | American | Menu

City Table – My local fave and an absolute recommendation! Seasonable (& affordable) organic menu that’s always changing, and always delicious!
65 Exeter Street | Boston, MA 02116 | 617.933.4800 | American| Menu

Let me know what other suggestions you have for Valentine’s Day, or just a fun dinner date! Make your Boston Valentine’s Day Reservation!

After all these recommendations, I do have to admit that it’s sometimes better to have a nice, home-cooked meal in than spend Valentine’s Day out. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE going out to dinner and my boyfriend is probably calling me a hypocrite at this very moment. But if you feel like staying in, this works too:)

Heart Pizza

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