Women, Wine & Words | Help us choose this month’s book!

Happy Monday! I pray that everyone had a nice Easter. If you follow us on Social Media, you would know that we photographed Boudoir Sessions, and had our FIRST ever book club meeting via Facebook Live this past Saturday! I want to thank everyone who watched and participated in our discussion over last month’s book, “Behind Closed Doors.” It was soooo much fun and I’m looking forward to next months discussion.

If you want to see the discussion, please go to our Facebook Page to watch the discussion! We ended the discussion by saying that we would love for you (our members of our book club) to choose next month’s book. I know that for right now this is a virtual book club, but we want to try to keep it as interactive as we can. So with that being said, it’s your turn to choose next month’s book of the month.

Rachel and I chose three books that we had listed in the past. We’d love to have you comment here or on our Facebook page which book you’d like to read. The book with the most votes win!!!

So without further ado, the books –

Book #1 – “A Separation” by Katie Kitamura

“This is her story. About the end of her marriage. About what happened when Christopher went missing and she went to find him. These are her secrets, this is what happened…
 
A young woman has agreed with her faithless husband: it’s time for them to separate. For the moment it’s a private matter, a secret between the two of them. As she begins her new life, she gets word that Christopher has gone missing in a remote region in the rugged south of Greece; she reluctantly agrees to go look for him, still keeping their split to herself. In her heart, she’s not even sure if she wants to find him. As her search comes to a shocking breaking point, she discovers she understands less than she thought she did about her relationship and the man she used to love. 

A searing, suspenseful story of intimacy and infidelity, A Separation lays bare what divides us from the inner lives of others. With exquisitely cool precision, Katie Kitamura propels us into the experience of a woman on edge, with a fiercely mesmerizing story to tell.”

Book #2 – “What Alice Forgot” by Liane Moriarty

“A “cheerfully engaging”(Kirkus Reviews) novel for anyone who’s ever asked herself, “How did I get here?”

Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child. So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! She HATES the gym) and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over—she’s getting divorced, she has three kids, and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over…”

Book #3 – “The Orphan” by Pam Jenoff 

“A powerful novel of friendship set in a traveling circus during World War II, The Orphan’s Taleintroduces two extraordinary women and their harrowing stories of sacrifice and survival 
Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep… When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night.
Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.”

So those are the choices! Comment below or on the Facebook Page which book you would like to read. We will give you guys the next couple of days and ANNOUNCE IT ON WEDNESDAY so that we can all be on the same page and buy the same book. 😉

Also, we got a gift for everyone who is interested in our book club. If you could either email me your address via our Facebook page or my email (efreitas116@gmail.com) I’d love to get it out to you!

Update 4/19/18: the book of the month is “What Alice forgot” by liane moriarty

We appreciate all of you! Thanks

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Women, Wine & Words | Help us choose this month’s book!

“Hello Fresh!” | Confessions Of A Newlywed

We continue our current blog series entitled, “Confessions Of A Newlywed,” where we follow my assistant’s first year of marriage. It’s a continuation our popular blog series, “Confessions Of A Future Bride!” 🙂

“So this post is a little different than past posts.. I decided to try Hello Fresh. It is one of those companies that sends you everything you need to cook a meal. Honestly, these companies are typically just too expensive for me, but I got a coupon in my email.. And I’m a sucker for coupons 🙂

So I signed up and got my 50% off. Which brought it down to $30 for three dinners.. Which I think is pretty good and made it worth a shot! You get to pick which day of the week you would like it to be delivered and pick the three meals (out of about 6 or 7 choices). 

I chose Lemongrass Pork Burgers, Rustic Beef Ragu and Roasted Pork Tenderloin. It was at my house when I came home from work on Tuesday (actually it was at my neighbors house -_- ) It was packaged with a huge ice pack to keep everything cold, which it did. And I was surprised to see it came packaged by meal.. I guess I was expecting to have to sort things outs, but they really make it easy for you! 

First, let’s go over some of my doubts going into it.. I was expecting the meals to take a while to cook. I was expecting it to be difficult to cook. And I was expecting to not have a lot of food.
I was wrong with each of those expectations 🙂 The meals were very easy to make. Each meal came with a recipe card making it super straightforward. Each of the meals was relatively fast; however, I did find that it took longer than the recipe cards said (not much though). And after each meal I was full.. Art said he wasn’t full, but also wasn’t left hungry 🙂 The only downfall is that I typically like to make meals that provide left overs for lunches the following day and with Hello Fresh that is not possible..  Also, Art wasn’t a fan of some of the ingredients.. Like the couscous.
But overall, I really loved the experience! Hello Fresh made me cook meals that I never would have thought to try before. All of the ingredients were super fresh and made the meals taste super fresh! I would most definitely recommend Hello Fresh to everyone, especially couples because it is more affordable than I feel for families and it provides something fun and different to cook!
If you are interested, click the link for a great deal on your first box!!
www.hellofresh.com/?c=RACBONG​”
~Mrs. Bongiorno

I am soo glad Rachel tried this out! I was always curious about how these home delivery cooking meals worked and I’m glad that she had a good experience! I will totally be trying it by clicking that link above! Let us know if you are going to try it – we’d love to hear your experiences with it as well!!!!

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On another note – who’s finished with the book of month?! If you are new to the blog, it’s not too late to join our virtual book club. Here is more information and the first book that we’ve gone through. I am soooo excited to talk about it on April 15th when we go Facebook Live!

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“Hello Fresh!” | Confessions Of A Newlywed

Landon + Angie {Engaged} | Hudson Valley, NY Wedding Photographer

Happy Monday!!!! How about an engagement session to start the week!

Landon and Angie wanted a beautiful fall engagement session. They chose a location hidden in the Hudson Valley. Seriously — it was a beautiful little nook hidden in a park. We walked through the most gorgeous leaves to a hidden creek. Angie also made sure to bring hot cocoa and mugs to enjoy during the session. 🙂

I am soo looking forward to their wedding this year at Locust Grove!!

I would love to photograph your engagement session and/or wedding day! Get in touch using this link!

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Landon + Angie {Engaged} | Hudson Valley, NY Wedding Photographer

A Letter to Judah

A LETTER TO JUDAH                                                                                                 MARCH 25, 2017

Judah Bug. As we approach your second birthday, I can’t help but just think back on these two years. As you and I both know (well maybe only me), that first year was a tough one. But I thank you so much for teaching me some things that I didn’t know about myself.

You are currently sitting on my lap with a book and watching cars. You have to be where we are and I lOVE it! In the same token, this means that we are surrounded by your toys all the time. The living room should might as well be your play room although you have a big room to play in.

And speaking of the living room, your favorite thing to do nowadays is run back and forth. Literally, you are always running!! Another thing you like to do is play fetch with the puppy. You know – we got you the puppy but as it turns out she would most rather be with daddy! Figures. Your relationship with her though has gotten so much better thankfully! Gone are the days where she thinks you are chew toy. Now if she could only learn that she’s a lot larger than you and that a simple jump will knock you down. Lol

Your diet has significantly gotten better from year one. Your favorite is still fruit but we’ve added more breakfast foods, pizza, baked ziti, rice and beans, and meatloaf to the favorite’s list. Your current favorite book is an animal book and a words book. I’m not too sure what your favorite toy is because you play with a variety of things but if I have to guess it would be matchbox cars. You are still obsessed with bath time which I’m grateful about.

“Sesame Street” has moved up above “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” when it comes to your list of favorite tv shows. You also live the “Mickey Mouse Roadster Racers,” “Curious George,” and “Ready, Jet, Go!”

As far as words go, you have finally begun to say a couple within these past few weeks. I pray that the words keep coming along!

I think the thing you love most of all is music! It’s the thing that calms you down and makes you happy. I hope this means you’ll be a musician of some sort.

You have just been a blessing to my life and I can’t believe that you will be two a month from today. The time does go fast so slow down!

Love,
Mami
xoxo

A Letter to Judah

Things I didn’t know about house buying! | Confessions of a Newlywed

Good morning friends! It’s time for another installment of our newest blog series, “Confessions of a Newlywed!” Now it’s not too late to catch up on the blog series before this one, entitled “Confessions of a Future Bride”. It was where we documented EVERY part of my assistant’s wedding planning process. We thought since we are in the wedding business, why not offer ideas for our newest brides! Now that Rachel is married and we got a lot of great feedback from that series, we decided to continue with it. Not as a future bride but as a newlywed! 🙂

If you would like to get started on the Future Bride series, click here and scroll to the bottom where I’ve mapped out past posts for ya!

Today, we are piggy backing off of last weeks post where Rachel caught us up on what it’s been like to be married for 9 months.

“If you caught up with the blog last week, you would have seen that the only exciting thing Arthur and I have done since getting married is buy a house! We have had OUR house for about seven weeks. And I am still obsessed with it 🙂
So one thing buying a house has taught me is patience. And more patience. And even more patience. Now I know some people who it has taken even longer than Arthur and I to close on their house, but geez it is just not fair to have to wait that long when you have found the house and you are ready to move in!
Erica asked me to write about a few things that I did not know prior to buying a house or some things that had surprised me. First, I didn’t realize that the bank takes the lower of the couple’s credit scores. I guess I thought they would take an average of the two? I’m not sure what I thought lol, but I did not realize that. Also, you will need to provide bank statements after bank statements after bank statements. It feels like a million. Another thing.. It is really hard to decide when to lock in on an interest rate.. Like really hard.. Once you lock in, the rate is only good for a certain number of days.. So if you lock in right away, then your closing takes too long (like mine did due to our super slow seller) you could end up having a higher rate. It’s a total guessing game and I made my dad make the decisions for me 🙂 Lastly, I was told that at the closing I would need to sign a million papers and my hand would feel like it was about to fall off.. But it didn’t, we didn’t have to sign much and we walked out WITH THE KEYS TO OUR HOUSE in a little over a half hour 🙂 !!!!
One piece of advice from this new home owner.. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I think I had a gazillion of them. Lucky for me, my dad is in the banking business so he was able to answer a bunch of my questions. And we had a great realtor, Arthur’s Aunt Suzanne Bongiorno of Century 21 in Montgomery (Shameless plug for the great Aunt Sue 🙂  ). And we had an awesome attorney who I felt fully explained every detail and every piece of paper we were signing. 
So continue to keep checking in with the blog and at some point we will take a look inside my new home!!! :)”

~ Mrs. Bongiorno

 

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Things I didn’t know about house buying! | Confessions of a Newlywed

Jadner + Adrienne {Wedding} | Hudson Valley, NY Wedding Photographer

From the moment we met, I knew that Jadner and Adrienne would be a blast to work for! And once you see their photos you will be able to feel the love that these two have for each other. They chose a beautiful country setting for their wedding day! The Tuthill House in Gardiner, NY offers a rustic but refined place to get married! The ladies got ready at an onsite beautiful home, while the guys got ready in another building right above their beautiful restaurant.

Enjoy this small glimpse into their wedding day!

Check out this spread!!!!!

How many can say that they’ve had their PHOTOGRAPHER start a soul train line??!!! Yup! I did it and I got sooo many great shots!!!

Thank you so much Jadner and Adrienne for entrusting Rachel and myself to capture these life lasting memories!!!!

If you’re getting married, I’d love to take you out for some coffee and learn more about your big day!!!!

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Jadner + Adrienne {Wedding} | Hudson Valley, NY Wedding Photographer

Women, Wine & Words | Join our book club!

Part of my New Year’s Resolution was to get back into reading. After having my son, Judah, I didn’t have much time to sit down and read like I wanted to. I was busy trying to figure out motherhood, but I’m excited to get back to it! Now, my sister-in-law Rachel loves to read! She constantly has a book in her hands. One evening, I texted her that I really wanted to have a book club with the many friends and clients that we’ve made since starting my business. I know I always say this but I really do have the best clients! So I thought to myself, “why don’t we connect via my blog here and Facebook?” Instead of having EVERYONE at either of our houses once a month, we could connect via Facebook LIVE!

And so “Women, Wine & Words” was born! I would love for you to join! Our first “meeting” will be Saturday, April 15th. So you have from now until then to read the book of the month!!!

We plan to discuss the book, topics, and end with a giveaway! You read that right! Every month at the end of our Facebook LIVE chat, you will have the option to win something. Anything from a gift card to a free session with us!!! Who doesn’t like to win free stuff?!

So what’s the book of the month? Rachel and I immediately fell in love with this synopsis:

“Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth; she has charm and elegance. He’s a dedicated attorney who has never lost a case; she is a flawless homemaker, a masterful gardener and cook, and dotes on her disabled younger sister. Though they are still newlyweds, they seem to have it all. You might not want to like them, but you do. You’re hopelessly charmed by the ease and comfort of their home, by the graciousness of the dinner parties they throw. You’d like to get to know Grace better. But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are inseparable. Some might call this true love. Others might wonder why Grace never answers the phone. Or why she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. Or why she never seems to take anything with her when she leaves the house, not even a pen. Or why there are such high-security metal shutters on all the downstairs windows. Some might wonder what’s really going on once the dinner party is over, and the front door has closed.”

 

Oooohhhhh!!! Doesn’t that sound interesting??! We’ve decided that the book of the month will be, “Behind Closed Doors” by B.A. Paris.

We are totally open to your suggestions of books too! This isn’t just OUR book club! Comment below if you would love to join as well as any books you’d be interested in reading!!!!! Here are just a few that Rachel and I would love to read:

  • “A Separation” by Katie Kitamura
  • “The Orphans Tale” by Pam Jenoff
  • “Into the Water” by Paula Hawkins (it comes out in May)
  • “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty
  • “The Widow” by Fiona Barton
  • “What Alice Forgot” by Liane Moriarty

Looking forward to getting to know some new people as well as chatting about books over wine with friends!!! xoxox

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Women, Wine & Words | Join our book club!