Saturday, April 30, 2011

We Have a Winner!

I won't draw this out any longer.

Chrissy is the lucky winner! Congratulations, Chrissy! I'll be getting in touch with you soon!

psst. Bummed that you didn't win? Cheer up! I made a mixtape for you.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Wedding Mixtape

Don't forget - today is the last day to enter my giveaway! The giveaway closes at midnight tonight and I'll be announcing the winner this weekend. Good luck to everyone! I can't wait to see who wins.

And just so no one feels left out, I put together a little gift for all of you. A mix tape!

Before our wedding ceremony started we had a wedding mix playing off of our ipod and through our venue's speakers. Since we knew lots of people would probably get there before our 6:30 ceremony start time, this was our way of sharing some of our favorite lovey dovey songs with our guests and setting the mood for the whole evening. I've already shared a list of the songs we chose, but today I wanted to actually give you the mix! I really hope you like it :)

 [download the zip file and enjoy!]

Its hard for me to pick a favorite song from this, but I'd have to go with Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.

So happy Friday everyone! What is everyone up to this weekend? I'm going out with my bestie for dinner tonight and then working like a mad woman the rest of the weekend to finish up my final papers. I am so ready for this semester to be over!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Update on Our Wedding Album

pssst.  I'm hosting a 50 dollar visa gift-card giveaway. I hope you will enter to win! 

Thank you guys so much for all of your support and advice regarding my wedding album woes. I was so nervous to e-mail our photographer about our wedding album, but after reading all of your lovely comments I finally put my big girl panties on and sent her an e-mail. And, just like most of you predicted, she wasn't mad at all. 

Neill and I asked her to pretty much design the whole thing, but we did want to be sure some of our favorite photos would be included. So, the other day we made a list of our "must have" shots. It was surprisingly hard to come up with a concise list so to help narrow down our list we asked ourselves whether we would be disappointed if our album didn't contain each picture. If the answer was "yes," it made it to our final list.

So, without further adieu, here are our must have wedding album photos!

getting dressed

before our first look

our first look

pictures at promontory point

in front of the allerton

us with our bridal party

me and my bridesmaids

bridal party with balloons!

wedding shoes

neill under the huppah

saying our vows


we held hands the whole time

our first kiss

waiting to be announced as husband & wife

outside our reception venue

Thank you so much for your support! I feel loads better after contacting our photographer and getting this going. I hope in my next post about this I can show you pictures of our how album turns out!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Friends? Circle Yes or No

Okay. Its secrets time.

I am really behind the times with this whole blog following business. I just discovered google friend connect and bloglovin. Like some of you told me you followed me with GFC and I had to GOOGLE what that was. Oy.

Am I the only one who is confused by there being SO many ways to keep in touch with my favorite bloggers? The thing that I find really confusing is that some of these overlap, but some of them don't. Or do they? I'm all turned around. 

Even though I don't really understand all of these different options, I decided to jump on the bandwagon. So, I set up google friend connect and bloglovin. Fancy, right?

So, for the record, there are a number of ways you can follow me. You can . . . 

And for extra friend bonus points, you can also follow me on twitter

Thinking about this has also made me question the way I follow blogs. A while ago I deleted all of my blogger subscriptions and started using feedly, a reader similar to google reader. But, now I'm second guessing this choice.

So, I'm curious - how do you keep up with your favorite blogs? I'm thinking about switching to something other than feedly. What would you recommend?

Is it easy enough to follow me? Should I be doing something different?

Also, since that secret was kind of lame here is a better one. Sometimes, if I find an outfit that I really like I'll wear it multiple times during the week to see different people. I hope I'm not the only one who does that!

And don't forget to participate in my first ever Married in Chicago Giveaway! One person will win a 50 dollar visa gift card!

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Blogger ABCs

Finals are kicking my arse right now. My brain is so tired that I am seriously doubting my ability to put a cogent post together. Thankfully, the blogger ABC series was created for times just like this. Also, don't forget to enter my visa gift card giveaway! 

A. Age: 25.

B. Bed size: Queen

C. Chore you hate: I don't like cleaning. I can organize things all day long, but actual cleaning? No thank you! My least favorite would probably be cleaning the bathroom.

D. Dogs: I really really really really want a dog. But, right now I just don't have the time to take care of one. I have a hard enough time remembering to water my plants.

E. Essential start to your day: I have to know the coffee is already brewing before I can motivate myself to get out of bed.

F. Favorite color: Hmm. I'll go with sea glass green. But, there really isn't any color that I don't like.

G. Gold or silver: Gold.

H. Height: 5'7. 

I. Instruments: I played piano growing up and a few years ago took guitar lessons for a while, but I don't actively play an instrument currently.

J. Job title: research assistant, full time graduate student, graduate student counselor, teaching assistant. Lots of titles, very little pay.

K. Kids: want some.

L. Live: Chicago

M. Mom’s name: Judy

N. Nicknames: Nope. Alisha (pronounces ah-leesh-ah) doesn't really lend itself so many nicknames. Although, one summer people called me Ali and I hated it.

O. Overnight hospital stays: When I was fourteen I spent a week in the hospital after I had a spinal fusion surgery. I had an 80 degree curve in my back and they fused a metal rod to my spine in order to keep it straight. 

not my spine, via

P. Pet peeve: I have too many. I'm easily annoyed. People who don't give up their seat on the bus for the disabled, elderly, pregnant, etc., I give them evil stares.

Q. Quote from a movie: No. I'm one of those weird people who never remembers quotes from movies. I also don't really find it funny when someone says a quote from a movie during conversation. Usually because I either haven't seen the movie or don't remember the quote. Don't I sound like a ton of fun?

R. Right or left handed: Right

S. Siblings: I’m an only child.

T. Time you wake up: 7am. If I had my druthers, it would be closer to 9 though.

U. Underwear:

V. Vegetables you dislike: Celery. Ew. I hate celery. 

W. What makes you run late: I almost never run late. I'm borderline obsessive about being places on time. More often than not I'm at least five minutes early everywhere I go.

X. X-Rays you’ve had: a million for my back and wrist, ankle, and dental.

Y. Yummy food you make: Lots of it. I fancy myself a pretty good cook. Bacon wrapped dates are always a crowd pleaser.

Z. Zoo- favorite animal: Good question. When I was younger I looooved sea otters. Now? I haven't been to the zoo in so long I couldn't even say. 

Have you done the blogger ABCs? What is going on in your life right now?


Friday, April 22, 2011

My First Giveaway!!!

I am beyond excited to be doing my first ever Married in Chicago giveaway! So, I'm going to cut right to the chase. 

What can you win?

A visa gift card worth $50!

With summer right around the corner, I figured we could all use a little extra cash to spend on a new pair of shoes or a fun night out with the girls.

There are three ways you can win this summer spending money. First, you must be a follower of Married in Chicago to participate. If you aren't already a follower, just click that "follow" button over there to the right.

1. Leave a comment on this entry and tell me that you follow me and what you would spend the money on

2. Follow me on twitter and tweet about this giveaway, linking to this post and mentioning @ChicagoWife. Then, come back here and leave a comment letting me know that you tweeted.

3. Write a blog post about this giveaway, linking to this post, and and leave me a comment here letting me know where I can check it out.

The giveaway will end at midnight on April 29th. A winner will be chosen via, so make sure to leave one comment for each entry!

Good luck!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Big Dreams

Pssst. I am guest posting today on Joelle's blog,  Where We Love is Home. I love Joelle's blog and I had such a good time writing about my struggle with dreaming big. I'd love if you would come over and say hi! 

If you are new here, I hope you will take a few moments to poke around and subscribe using the button to the right! Also, don't forget to add me on twitter - I'm @ChicagoWife. I just signed up and am already addicted :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Making the Most of Our Balcony

I could list some good reasons why our balcony isn't anything to get excited about. For starters, its tiny. But even worse than that, it faces an alley AND train tracks. Lovely, right?

looking to the left

looking to the right

But, its my balcony. And so I plan to make the most of our little piece of outside. But, right now we don't have much more going on other than a few dead plants and dirty plastic chairs.

Yikes! I am so sorry you had to see that. But, I'm convinced that the space has potential. Just look at these beauties.

Source: via Alisha on Pinterest

Source: None via Alisha on Pinterest

Source: via Alisha on Pinterest

So, I've come up with a plan to beautify our balcony. First,  I'd first like to add a brightly colored 5X8 out-door rug made from recycled polypropylene.


Then, I'd like to upgrade our seating and bring in a little table. I think we have just enough room for a small bistro table and two chairs. I can already imagine us resting our drinks on the table.  

Lastly, the balcony can no longer be where plants go to die. I'd like to invest in two flower boxes to decorate our railing.


Even though these changes are pretty basic, I think they will make a huge difference. I can't wait to share the "after" pictures with you!

Do you have a backyard, balcony, or patio? Do you use it often? How do you decorate it? What do you think of my plan to make the most of our balcony?


Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Passover

One of my favorite times of year is here! It's Passover! While most of the world is getting ready for Easter, Jewish people start the Passover festival tonight. Since Passover is my absolute favorite holiday, I thought I would take today to share with you a little bit about what the holiday is about. 

What is Passover?
Passover is an eight day celebration that commemorates the Israelites emancipation from slavery in ancient Egypt. It is a chance for us to remember that we as a people were once enslaved and be thankful for our freedom. Furthermore, I believe it is also a time for us to remember the people in today's world who are not free and that it is our duty to promote freedom for all.

How do you celebrate Passover? 
The main celebration of Passover is with a Seder, a big traditional meal during which you tell the story of how Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. Everyone at the table receiving a Haggadah, a liturgy that describes in detail the story of the exodus from Egypt, and we go around the table and take turns reading the story aloud.

If you are curious about what a Passover Haggadah looks like, I encourage you to download this free version. This is what Neill and I used when we hosted our own Seder last year.

While reading the story, there are a variety of traditional things we eat. For example, we eat matzah to commemorate the unleavened bread the Israelites ate because they had to leave Egypt in such a hurry and bitter herbs (called maror), like horseradish, as a symbolic remembrance of the bitterness of slavery. One of my favorite traditional foods is charoset, a mixture of minced apple, nuts, and wine that resembles the mortar Jews used in their labor in ancient Egypt. There is nothing more delicious than a matzah, horsradish, and charoset sandwich. Wine is also a big part of the Seder and at various points throughout the Haggadah we are instructed to refill our wine glasses. Besides these symbolic foods, at the end of the Seder we also  eat a big family dinner with matzah ball soup and brisket.

Photo by Lara Ferroni, via epicurious

Matzah Ball Soup, via 

 President Obama at a Seder, via the huffington post

I hope you've enjoyed reading a little bit about my favorite holiday! This year, Neill and I are going to a Seder at my mother's house. I'll be sure to share pictures next week. Do you celebrate passover or have you ever been to a Passover Seder before? What was the experience like for you?  What is your favorite holiday?


Friday, April 15, 2011

Wedding Album Woes

Now that I'm officially finished with my wedding day recaps, I can admit to you my wedding album woes.

Specifically, that we don't have one.

And its my fault.

not my album, via

You see, we paid for a wedding album. And our photographer provided us with so many wonderful photos that I really, really want one. But . . . somehow I let it slip through the cracks. I e-mailed her in the beginning of October of 2010 to check in about the wedding album and she responded that a 30 page book and one design was included in our package and asked me to pick 80-100 photos.

But, there hasn't been anything else said on the subject.

Let me explain. At the time, I just couldn't handle choosing the pictures. The wedding was still too new. I didn't want to look at the photos at all, let alone choose photos for our wedding album. I didn't want to the responsibility of choosing the photos. A handful of favorites, maybe. But, every single picture? It seemed too overwhelming.

But did I express any of my thoughts of feelings to her like a logical person? No. Instead, I told myself that I would respond to her e-mail later and avoided thinking about the subject.

Well, its six months later and I can't seem to avoid the subject anymore. 

And I feel so dumb for dropping the ball like this. She even offered to look at the photos with me over beers!  Why oh why did I not take her up on that? Obviously, I messed up. Big time. But, the thing is. I want an album. So what do I do?

I feel ridiculous e-mailing her out of the blue almost a year after our wedding. I don't want to be an inconvenience.

So I need some help! What do you think I should do? Is it okay to e-mail her, apologize for my complete lack of communication, and bring up our wedding album? Or, do you think we've missed our chance and I should look into hiring someone else to design our album? Did you get a wedding album? What was your experience like?


Just to be clear, I absolutely loved my photographer. She is easy to get along with, fun, and talented. I think this album situation is pretty much my fault. If I could do everything over again, I would definitely still hire Alix! If any Chicago brides out there have any questions on what it was like to work with Alix, don't hesitate to e-mail me at

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Miller Time: Our Last Dance

Yesterday was our ten month wedding anniversary. I can't believe how quickly time has gone by since saying " I do." This first year of marriage has been so sweet and everyday I am glad to be married.

But, there is also a bit of a sadness in saying goodbye to being Just Married. And, I'm embarrassingly sad to say that I've come to the end of our wedding day recaps. But, just like every good story, every wedding day also ends. And seeing as how my wedding day ended more than ten months ago, I think its time for me to write this final post.

We got all dressed up, took our pictures (here, here), we said our vows, food was eaten, the cake was cut, and we danced the night away. And before I knew it, the DJ was playing our last song.

{Press play to hear our last song, The Adventure by Angels and Airwaves}

I wish I had pictures to show you, so that you could see how magical the last moments were. But, I don't. Our photographer was long gone by then. But, I don't think the pictures would do it justice anyways. Because the magic was not in the aesthetics. It was in the connection between me and Neill.

Neill and I danced together, gripping each other tight. Everything else melted away. We looked into each others eyes and sang to each other

I cannot live, I can't breathe
unless you do this with me
I cannot live, I can't breathe
unless you do this with me
I cannot live, I can't breathe
unless you do this with me
I cannot live, I can't breathe
unless you do this with me
I cannot live, I can't breathe
unless you do this with me
I cannot live, I can't breathe
unless you do this with me

And we just knew. We knew we had gotten the wedding of our dreams. We knew that all the hard work we put into our relationship had given us a strong foundation to start out marriage. We knew that we were in it together, one hundred percent. We knew how lucky we were to be there, at that very moment, together and happy and madly in love. We knew that the future was waiting for us.

Here I am
And here we go
 Life's waiting to begin.
Life's waiting to begin.


Thanks so much for letting me share my wedding day with you! It has been so fun to look back on our wedding and I'm even thinking of getting a book made of all of my wedding day posts (read them all here). I know I wouldn't have even thought write this all down if not for you guys, so I'm really grateful to have this blog as an outlet.

Did you and your sweetie share a last dance? What was your last song? What do you remember about the final moments of your wedding reception?