hi from the desert + annie’s wedding

Hi friends! Happy Monday and helloooo from Tucson. 🙂 Before we get into the weekend recap, huge congratulations to the winner of the Zeel massage:  Kelsey J. The lucky lady has been emailed. I’ll pick the winner for the Bitsy’s giveaway tonight!

Saturday morning, we hopped on a jet plane to spend some time here in Tucson with the fam. We had two weddings to attend, in addition to the necessary lounging, Mexican food, margaritas, and meeting up with lifelong friends.


Our last family flight wasn’t great -it wasn’t terrible, but wasn’t a picnic haha- but we knew what to expect this time. Liv is very used to traveling, but P needs constant jumping/toys/interaction to keep her from serenading the entire plane with her pterodactyl songs. This time, we were more prepared. We had our arms ready for a workout (to hold her as she jumped on our laps), brought NEW (<— key) toys for her to play with, and had a pouch of sweet potato + a couple of bottles. The pouch ended up being the winner. She LOVES sweet potatoes, and was totally happy for the entire 52-minue flight. Apparently I’m the only one in our family who hates flying. We hit some turbulence on the descent, and Liv thought it was NBD while P crashed in the Pilot’s arms. I was white as a ghost and silently praying “Hail Mary”s until we were safely on the ground.

Sleeping goose

But, we made it! 

The fam

Mom and nana met us at the airport, and then we all headed to the hotel to enjoy takeout from our beloved Calle Tepa.

After our enormous taco salads + at least 9 different types of salsa, we got dressed to head to my friend Annie’s wedding at Loew’s Ventana Canyon.

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(I had rented a dress from Rent the Runway, but it ended up looking too juinor/prom-y for me. I felt like a cupcake in the worst way possible. So, I headed down to Miss Match for something a bit more simple.)

The wedding was held in the Upper Terrace, a lush outdoor patio shaded with palo verde trees, surrounded by blooming wildflowers. The weather was absolutely perfect: warm in the sun with a cool breeze in the shade. 

Annies wedding

There were so many details that made the wedding unique, and I especially loved these floral arrangements hanging from the trees.


The ceremony was beautiful, and Annie was the most gorgeous bride. Her dress was serious heart eyes emoji. It was even more breathtaking in person and fit her perfectly. We’ve been friends since kindergarten, and it made my heart so happy to be there for such a special day.

Here she is with her dad, who was my 8th grade science teacher! Such an awesome and brilliantly smart guy.

Annie and mr rhodes

(Pic from the wedding IG hashtag!)

They did it!

FullSizeRender 10(I love all weddings, and everything about them, but my favorite moments are sneaking a look at the groom as the bride walks down the aisle, and the cheers after their first kiss. Oh, and the cake. Of course.)

After the ceremony, the guests went to the reception area for hors d’oeuvres (cheese, fruit, passed appetizers, guacamole and chips)

Flowers 5

and some refreshing pricky pear margaritas that went down verrryyy easily. 

Prickly pear marg

One more pic to document the fact that we were both dressed up at the same time. 😉

At annies wedding 2

After cocktails, we headed inside for dinner and dancing. I snapped a pic of the venue before the rest of the guests made their way to their tables.

Wedding tables

The centerpieces were a mix of roses and peonies, and many tables were also adorned with wrought iron candelabras. 


The menu had a beef, veggie, and vegan option, and I had chosen the chicken entree. 

Annies wedding 2

Everything was fantastic, but I think the prickly pear sorbet stole the show.

Prickly pear sorbet

The toasts were heartfelt and wonderful (which is extra impressive since the open bar had been going for hours at that point) and I loved seeing Annie and Sean’s sweet first dance, and cake cutting. 

We chatted with the friends at our table and danced the night away. The reception went by way too quickly, and the event was perfectly punctuated by a stunning fireworks display. 

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A huge congratulations to Annie and Sean! We had an amazing time celebrating such a special day, and send all our best wishes for your future together. <3

Today, we’re off on some Tucson adventures! See ya later today. 🙂



Friends: what’s your fave song to dance to at weddings? Favorite wedding dessert ever? I still love the “Cha cha slide” (i can’t help myself haha) and even though I love all cake, my favorite wedding dessert was at my cousin Kate’s wedding. She had an espresso and chocolate cake. Yesssss.

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  1. You look stunning in that dress…. and the Pilot ~ handsome. 🙂

    The pic of the 4-of you ~ ~ def a framer!! So cute.

  2. I still love the Cha Cha Slide, the Electric Slide, and the Cupid Shuffle! I always feel so old when I go to weddings now because all the youths dance to songs I’ve never heard of. Like, what is The Wobble?! Apparently you miss out on a lot when you stop going out to the bars to dance 😉

  3. Looks like a beautiful wedding! I dance if I’ve been drinking, so I dance at most weddings I go to, and to just about any song 😉 My favorite dessert was at a friend’s wedding where they had several different kinds of macarons–I think I ate one of each flavor lol.

    • Fitnessista says:

      same! and i’m a WAY better dancer (in my mind) if i’ve had a couple 😉
      and the macaron wedding sounds like my dream come true

  4. You look beautiful!!!! Stunning couple! OX – Gina (from Mass)

  5. Annie’s dress is gorgeous! I bet it was fun. Ventana Canyon is so beautiful. It would be my dream to get married there someday.

  6. About flying: if you get nervous about a situation (e.g. turbulence), take a look at the Flight Attendants. If they’re not showing any signs of concern & are going about their business, try to relax. You only need to be concerned if the Captain makes an announcement and they stop the beverage service and strap back into their jumpseats. I know – sometimes easier said than done, but they fly for a living so they know when it’s serious & when it isn’t. (I’m an airline employee, but not a crewmember.)

    • Fitnessista says:

      yes! that is such a good idea. BUT i’ve been in a flight where we hit turbulence and the attendants had to strap into their seats and it scared the life out of me

  7. You made me LOL for real with the Hail Mary comment and everyone else was cool as cucumbers, lol! That would have been my reaction to- prayer mode asap! Thanks for sharing pictures- you look Amazing in that dress! Doesn’t even look like u had a baby!!! My youngest is 13- so its not baby weight anymore, lol-

    • Fitnessista says:

      YES. everyone else is just chilling and i’m like DO YOU SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING?!
      thanks for the sweet comment about the dress! hope you have a wonderful week <3

  8. You look so beautiful in that dress! Sorry that your RTR dress was a bust, but I don’t think you could have found a more gorgeous back-up plan dress 🙂

    I agree – the Cha Cha Slide is never going to stop being fun! I think my very favorite is the Cupid Shuffle!

  9. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person on the plane who’s terrified of turbulence! No one else even bats an eye and I’m like alone in my seat saying my final goodbyes. It just freaks me out!
    You guys look gorgeous, glad you had fun at the wedding!

    • Fitnessista says:

      hahah SAME. everyone else is cool as a cucumber and i’m freaking out
      thank you, friend. hope you had a great weekend!

  10. Wow! Gina! Loved reading about the wedding from a guests perspective. It makes my heart so happy you came and that we will always share a childhood bond! I have loved watching you get married and become a family of four and I look up to you as a wife and mother! Cheers Amiga para siempre!

    • Fitnessista says:

      thank you again so much for inviting us to share such a special day! everything was beautiful, and wishing the best for you and sean. i know we’ll have a random adventure sometime soon with you guys 🙂 lots of love to you!!!

  11. Looks amazing! I just attended a friend’s wedding at the same resort earlier this month! It was my first visit to Tucson and I loved it. So much scenery to take in!

  12. Gorgeous wedding! I love the drinks and the sorbet! Annie’s wedding dress is to die for. In that photo of P crashed out on Tom, she resembles Olivia a lot!

    We have a tough time traveling. We just got back from a 3 hour flight and it felt more like 9! The way there was terrible because he had so much energy and was very loud while the way back was perfect because we left at night so he crashed the entire time!

    • Fitnessista says:

      i think she looks just like liv in that pic, too! 3 hours sounds so terrible right now haha. we’re heading home at bedtime so i’m praying she sleeps. otherwise, she’ll probably cry the whole time :/

  13. You look amazing in that dress!!

  14. Weddings are so much fun, but I always look forward to the moment the bride walks down the isle. I too watch the groom and love seeing the dress, flowers and also get swept up in the moment.

  15. That dress looks AMAZING on you! Love, love, love it! Glad you both had such a nice time, those margs look awesome, yum! Enjoy your stay!

  16. Which dress did you have from RTR? That dress looks gorgeous!

    • Fitnessista says:

      thank you, friend! it was the nha khanh on cloud nine dress. in the photos it looked awesome, but not so much in real life

  17. What a beautiful wedding! The cha cha slide is my favorite too! Haha

  18. I hate to fly as well! My father-in-law was a pilot and when I first started dating my husband I remember sitting him down and asking him all kinds of questions about flying and planes (he probably thought I was a lunatic looking back on it!). Does Tom ever talk to you while you guys are on a flight about what’s going on? Like if you are in turbulence, does he tell you how normal it is and that the pilots are so used to it? Or does he kinda ignore it all (and by it I mean flying- not you!). My husband loved to fly until he started dating me and I have somehow given him my fear! His dad sadly passed away of ALS a number of years ago or else I know he would be sitting my husband down and explaining how safe it all is.

    • Fitnessista says:

      ooh i’m so sorry to hear about your family’s loss. i hate flying, but always feel better if tom is with me. i’ll ask him what certain sounds are and he can always explain what’s happening. it’s also comforting to know that he could land the plane if he needed to 😉

  19. I don’t mind flying at all. I just don’t even think about it. I love weddings. Now that I am married (got married last year), weddings are so much more special to me!

    • Fitnessista says:

      that’s so crazy. i hate it so much haha.
      ahhh i totally agree! they feel even more special now

  20. That wedding looked gorgeous! I love weddings too! They are so fun. Everyone is in such a good mood. It’s a reason to dress up and be fancy, and there’s usually some pretty good food. Open bars are always good too 🙂 You and The Pilot look fabulous by the way!

  21. Beautiful wedding. I just love the hanging decorations. You and your husband are such a good looking couple.

  22. “serenading the entire plane with her pterodactyl songs” I cracked up at the this line. I love the bride’s wedding dress!

  23. Courtney says:

    1.) I would like that prickly pear cocktail (long day)

    2.) If I could do it all over again I would chose the dress the bride is wearing, STUN-NING!

    3.) Speaking of stunning, I am always in awe of your ability to put together outfits for your dates with your husband. All while managing a very busy life. You are one gorgeous lady! What a fun time!

  24. Your dress is so cute! And also.. That wedding dress is absolutely gorgeous too. Ok pretty much any song by TSwift always gets me to the dance floor at weddings. Or anywhere:) haha

  25. Brittany says:

    I love looking at the groom too! And always get a picture when he sees his bride for the first time! The coolest wedding I ever went to had cupcakes for dessert and little to go boxes to have some later. A candy bar for the favors, a coffee bar, and at the end they brought out pizza! Give me pizza and I’m happy!

  26. You look so gorgeous in that dress! And your friends wedding dress…..dream dress right there!

  27. PRICKLY PEAR SORBET! i am salivating. it almost matches your dress! haha. by the way, you look stunning! <3
    and liv looks so grown up! like, she's a full, real person now, not baby! (<< that is supposed to be a funny comment btw 🙂 ), and Penelope makes the best faces! 🙂 hope you had a good flight back too!!

    • Fitnessista says:

      thank you, friend!
      yes! it’s so weird. all of a sudden, she’s a legit kid. it’s the best <3
      hope you have a great weekend!

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