Two Year Anniversary.

10472825_10101319960690297_2614153603999943808_o-1Today is our second anniversary. So much has changed in our life together over the past two years, through a roller coaster of events, but what stays constant is our love. And that’s all that matters. We have plans to stay in tonight (since JR works late some nights) and we’ll celebrate with a special date night this weekend.

Happy Anniversary, babe. I love you more with everyday. 

x, Wife10482019_10101319960750177_6118845521281438076_o

On Changing Her Name.

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I’m a traditional girl, so when JR and I got engaged, we didn’t really have to discuss changing my name. I was engaged to marry the love of my life and I was happy to take his last name.

Almost two years into our marriage and I’ve only recently changed my name. Like…really recent…like 2 weeks ago. Procrastinating played a big part in the delay because I hate dealing with paperwork (there are so many steps to take just to change your name), but so did the fear of change. I struggled with the idea of losing my identity. I was an Alvarez for 29 years, and now I’m just not?  But after pondering this idea for far too long, I came to the conclusion that taking my husband’s last name isn’t losing my identity, it’s a symbol of unity and love. I will always be an Alvarez, that will never change, but becoming a Silverman has been the sweetest time in my life and I’m happy to celebrate that by sharing JR’s last name.

I asked some of my closest girlfriends to share their thoughts and experiences (ugh, the paperwork!) on changing their last name.

What are your thoughts on the subject? Let me know in the comments! 

x, Carina

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MARISSA on keeping her name // When we first got married, the game plan was to change my last name and keep my maiden name as my middle name. We’ve been happily married for almost four years now and I have still not changed my name. We recently purchased a car and checked off the married box on the loan application. But since we had different last names, he had to ask to confirm. It’s 2016, we should focus on more important questions like “why isn’t teleporting real yet?”

There is no one reason why I am not changing my name. Not changing my last name just feels right like being married to Ryan has always felt right. Today, we are choosing to leave my birth name as is and we are both happy with this decision.

JOANNE on the ideals //  For me, my name is my identity, and I’ve had it for nearly three decades. It’s attached to my career, and with my achievements and my failures. That being said, I am not completely attached to keeping it when I do get married. My last name does not sound particularly great and it’s my dad’s name, who I don’t have a relationship with. At the end of the day, everyone has their own personal reasons to change their name or not. I simply don’t think women should ever be automatically expected to change their names.

KARA  on the process // I was ecstatic at the thought of changing my name through HitchSwitch. But as the obsessive that I am, I read the reviews and saw similar takes from new brides saying it wasn’t really worth it. So I decided to just start the process myself.

I first proceeded to change my driver’s license, then submitted an application to Social Security for a name change. I had to wait a few weeks to get my new card in the mail- as this was also the only major requirement for my job. They had to have a copy of my updated SS card to change my information in their system (and in my paycheck). From there, I filled out an application for a new passport and had to  pay a $110 for a new one. They would only waive the fee if your most recent passport was issued less than a year prior to a name change request. They are also the only establishment that required the original marriage certificate. All documents were returned.

CINDY on hyphenating // My dad passed 10 years ago and missing him during my wedding made carrying on my last name even more important. I have two older brothers who, at the time,weren’t in serious relationships. Thinking they would have children to carry on our name was not something I thought would happen. So, when I got married, I decided to hyphenate my last name. Three days later, my brother tells me his girlfriend is pregnant with a boy! I guess I didn’t have to hyphenate after all.

If I could take it back, I would, along with the 3 Oreos I had for lunch today. It’s terrible for people like me, who depend on MS Outlook at work–No One Can Find You! I don’t care to change it now, but I could, I’d definitely take the 3 Oreo do over.

JULIANA on meeting in the middle //  If you want to change your last name because you’re proud to have your husband’s last name and it’s meaningful to you, then girl, you go for it! But if you have your own reasons for not changing your last name, maybe you like your maiden name, maybe your family name is something you want to carry on because there are no boys in the family,  whatever the reason may be, don’t change your name, and be proud of that! Be proud that you can keep your own last name but still be an amazing wife while doing it.

At the end of the day, it’s your name and your choice. Do what feels right for you even if that means something in the middle! I’ve kept my maiden name in the U.S. where I grew up and lived the first 25 years of my life, and I’ve taken my married name in Canada, where I am happy to now call home. And I have to say, I’m pretty darn proud of both of my names. Whatever your choice, make the decision that best suits you!

CARRIE’d Away

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Carrie Bradshaw was my Cinderella–by no means was she perfect, but she found a man who loved her anyway! As a girl in my teens and twenties, I’d fantasize about living her glamorous life. You can say, I wanted to literally live in her shoes.

And in the last few months of planning my wedding, I still hadn’t found a pair of shoes worthy to walk me down the aisle. But when I heard SJP (who by the way, is my Ultimate style icon) launched her line of shoes at Nordstrom, I had to check them out. Perfect in every way, the vintage inspired T-strapped pumps were elegant and classic. I knew they were THE shoes. And fitting since, they are called the Carrie. It only made sense to have her with me as I walked down the aisle.

The best part about these shoes is being able to wear them on any given day. And when I do wear them, I look down at my feet, smile and I’m reminded of how these shoes Carrie’d me toward my very own Mr. Big on our wedding day.

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Alternative Wedding Gift Ideas

A friend is getting married next weekend and while she and her husband-to-be have a few gift registries, I was browsing the web for a  some alternative gift ideas. So, if you’re attending a wedding in the near future and want to give a gift a little out of the ordinary, but still just as special and definitely unique, here are a few ideas.

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        A personalized wine box- 3 separate compartments for 3 bottles of wine.

       One bottle for each anniversary- 1st, 5th, and 10th | WineforAWedding.com

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Cooking Class for the New Mr.& Mrs. | Hipcooks, West LA

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Monogrammed leather passport holders for their Newly Wed adventures | Cuyana

In La La Land.

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Excuse me for being away far too long. I am a bride…just 7 weeks away from our big day! It’s stressful, time consuming, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve stepped back from blogging, but I miss it and all of you so so much.

Everything is coming together and I’m more than thrilled for the day we say “I do”. I can’t wait to share all the details with you. Until then, I’ll be in la la land with the love of my life.

x Carina

A Year Ago, Today…

Screenshot_2013-10-06-10-39-29…this happened.

It’s not uncommon for people to ask “How’d he do it?” and say ” I wanna hear the story”. So if you’re curious (and I love telling this story by the way), here it is.

One of my favorite things about our weekends, was our tradition— brunch at The Filling Station Cafe in Old Town Orange (just a few block from where he lived). Though I was excited to spend our quality time together,   I was a grump that morning because 1. I was starving 2. I hated what I was wearing (and  you know how that can have an affect on a girl!)

We added our name to the long line of hungry patrons waiting for a table. The hostess mentioned the wait would be at least half an hour and my hungry little self was not happy. But, we decided to make the best of the time we had to wait and window shop our way down the street through all the cute little antique stores. I love to peruse and look at everything, but Handsome kept trying to move me along. After a few stores, I mentioned I was bothered by how he was rushing me through the stores, but he explained that our table might be ready.

As stood at the store front, a flurry of pink balloons, flowers and streamers decorating the grassy area in the Traffic Circle caught my attention. I was excited to check out what all the excitement was about. He obliged to my wishes (like the good man that he is). When we got there, I immediately noticed flower petals neatly shaped like a heart on the patch of grass. I thought to myself “Handsome should be taking notes…this is such a sweet gesture”.  I turned to him and said “Let’s get out of here. This must be for someone special“. He smiled…a big cheesy, I’m so happy smile and said nothing. I was confused in the moment, but then he pulled me onto the flower shaped heart and explained ” it is for someone special. This is all for you”.  I dropped my clutch and threw my hands over my face in awe. What is going on!?!?! 

He got down on one knee and asked four simple words. “WILL.YOU.MARRY ME.” All the while people stopping to watch, and cars stopped on the street honking their horns at the sight.  He presented me with a box, and the in it, the shiniest ring I’ve ever seen. Tears flooding my eyes, and a few OH! MY GOD!’s later and we were engaged!!!

We walked back to the restaurant to get food in my incredibly happy belly, with my left hand now heavier and shinier. Without checking in with the hostess he claimed that our table was ready. Again, I was confused! He pointed to the direction of the tables outside and there they were…. ALL OF OUR CLOSEST FRIENDS with a sign and balloons and flowers smiling and cheering and clapping. The biggest surprise of all was seeing my best friend—she flew down from the Bay area to celebrate. I even had a friend join via Facetime because she wanted to be there too.

THE. BEST. DAY. EVER! 

It’s the moment I replay in my mind when my day is going horribly, or I feel lonely.  Whenever I think about that day, a year ago… i remember that I’m the luckiest girl in the world to be sharing the rest of my life with such a thoughtful and loving man.

Bridezilla and Her Body.

IMG_3830Feeling good (and sweaty) after hitting the gym.

I was always fairly thin growing up. I was active and had youth on my side, but since college I put on more than a few pounds and have been struggling with weight loss since then. Of course its normal to have insecurities about my body, I’m a girl aren’t I? But when you’re a bride imagining yourself in a white dress….and you’re not freakin’ Kate Middleton, you start to freak out!  While I was over the moon about our engagement, I couldn’t help but think, Oh My God! I’m gonna be a fat bride!

Since our engagement, I’ve been slow to do anything about it. But in recent weeks I’ve been making big strides not just to drop the weight, but really to feel better! I’m excited to see what comes out of my recent Bridezilla motivation. Of course having the support of friends, family and my amazing Husband-to-be helps a lot, too!

Day by day, as I continue to eat better and hit the gym (everyday),  I get more and more excited about our wedding and how I will look and feel in MY white dress.

In just 9 short months we’ll be saying I do!

Stay tuned!

x, Carina

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