Three Years of Marriage

Wedding Kiss Photo

{Photos by Kate McElwee}

Today, my husband and I are celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary. I recently told someone that we had been married for three years and he said, “Oh, so like a long time!”. It feels like our wedding was only a few months ago, not a few years and we’re still learning more about each other every day.

When we were engaged, older couples always told us that marriage is “hard” and “a lot of work”. They were so right! It’s the most wonderful, gratifying relationship I’ve ever had but also the most difficult which, I believe, is a result of being around each other so much of the time and dealing with really grown up things together.

I thought that Anel should jump in on this post so that you can hear from both of us how it is to be married to each other! Plus I’m sharing some of my favorite photos from our the best day of our lives exactly three years ago today.

Wedding Details

1. What have you learned about marriage over the last three years?

Julia: It’s better to be happy than to be right. People always say to choose your battles and now I really understand why! I could spend all day everyday trying to be right (which I’ve done in the past) but it ends up stressing out both of us and making the relationship strained. Now I push for what I really want and need and drop the small stuff… Most of the time anyway!

Anel: Compromise, communication, intimacy and laughter are key. If you have those, all is good. It’s also important to have your own lives and activities. Time to together is essential but so is time spent apart with your own friends doing what you love.

First Dance

2. What is one thing that pushes the other person’s buttons?

Julia: Anel hates it when I tell him to do something. He does not like being told by anyone what to do, especially me! I have learned how to ask him for things when I need him as opposed to being bossy which is an unfortunately natural quality for me.

Anel: Julia keeps the house very very very clean (she’s bordering on OCD in my opinion), and she hates when I leave things lying around or don’t clean up after myself.

Wedding Flowers

3. What do you love the most about the other person?

Julia: Where to start? Anel is an incredible man with many talents but what I love most about him is his ability to put up with me. I can be intense, over-the-top, and emotional, and he can remain patient and understanding through all of that.

Anel: She always has my back and supports me in everything that I want to do, even when she knows it might not be the best idea. More superficially, I love it when she has a laughing fit and can’t stop herself. Her joy makes me so happy!

Getting Ready

4. How do you do to make the other person laugh?

Julia: Sometimes I stand up and dance in the living room. I have really goofy, embarrassing dance moves and it cracks him up every time.

Anel: I have a knack for making up nick names for people and that really cracks her up. And burps (Can I say that?).

Wedding Pic

5. What do you still want to work on as a husband/wife?

Julia: I’ve always been impatient and I need to work on being more patient with him.

Anel: I need to work on being more empathetic. Sometimes it’s hard for me to understand where she’s coming from because I can’t put myself in her shoes. Also, there is always room for improvement in communication and I know that I need to work on that more.

Wedding Bouquet

6. What makes you a good husband/wife?

Julia: I love to take care of people, and Anel probably sees that the most. I love to cook his favorite meals and see his happiness as he eats them, I love to buy him thoughtful gifts that make him feel special and loved. I just love to love him!

Anel: No matter what the situation is, my goal is to make her happy. I try to put her first and prioritize our marriage over everything else in my life. But more importantly, I am an excellent dance partner at weddings.

Wedding Party

7. What is one thing you want to do together in year 4 of marriage?

Julia: Make a baby! Wait, can I say that? Guess I just did. In the next year, we’re going to start thinking about having kids which is so exciting. Anel is going to be the best dad in the whole world (he’s amazing with children) and I can’t wait to take that life-changing journey with him whether it’s this year, next year, or in five years.

Anel: I’m ready to start a family and be a father. I’m excited to see how how relationship changes as we become parents.

Glen Manor House

This Summer in Photos


I cannot believe it’s September. But also, I can. Usually the summer flies by too quickly, but despite our insanely aggressive travel schedule and seemingly endless list of projects, I feel like it was just the right length. Slash I’m so craving a relaxing fall (Ha! Yeah right.) When I started putting together this post, even I was shocked at how much we did over the last three months. Seeing the photos from all of our trips in one place brought back so many fun memories.

While you look at these pics and read about the summer, I don’t want you to think that I just sipped on cocktails and traveled the world. I also worked my full time job (sometimes on the road!) at Nourish Snacks. You’re probably wondering if I’m insane. I don’t blame you. Read this feature on how I get it all done.

Here’s a look back at what I think I’ll always remember as the summer of insanity!

We kicked it all off at the Veuve Clicquot polo match


And perfected my watermelon granita recipe


We took a quick, last minute trip to Bermuda


Where I wore this fabulous flamingo outfit


Then off to Sicily with my family for a week to celebrate my birthday…


As soon as we landed, tanned and 10 lbs heavier, we headed to Rhode Island for a jet-lagged 4th of July…


I turned 30 and shared some advice, wearing a lemon dress of course…


For my birthday, my husband and sister gave me my first Chanel bag


But more importantly, I worked on improving my sleeping habits

A Good Night's Sleep

Even though we were away a lot, I really appreciated our first summer in Connecticut


I launched a line of phone cases with Minnie & Emma of which the one and only Reese Witherspoon is a fan…


And then jetted off to Montauk for the weekend to celebrate…


We took a quick trip to LA for a family reunion and a friend’s wedding…

Santa Monica

I organized my finances and felt really good about that…

Get Control of Your Finances

We spent a fancy night in Newport

The Chanler at The Cliff Walk

Followed by a weekend in Martha’s Vineyard

Edgartown, MV

Next up? We’re heading back to Bermuda on Friday to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary. Then it’s no travel for three whole glorious weeks.

This month’s wellness tip:

Have 5 free minutes? Complete 10 sun salutations. This always makes me fell 100% better physically and emotionally in very little time!

View all wellness posts >>


V Neck Sweater

c/o Chicwish sweater, Express jeans, Sam Edelman pumps, c/o Mark & Graham bag, Love Always necklace

I’m always shocked by it when it happens yet it’s inevitable year after year. The nights start getting a little cooler and even though the temperatures are in the 80’s there is a cool breeze in the air that hasn’t been around for the last few months. Winter is coming. JK… let’s deal with fall first, shall we?

We had such a fun weekend and enjoyed being home to the fullest. On Saturday, we had friends come up from the city for an afternoon at the beach followed by dinner at The Whelk in Westport, one of my favorite restaurants we’ve found in the ‘burbs so far.  We sipped on our last glasses of rosé for the season and ate green goddess deviled eggs, oysters, and arctic char. As we waited for our table, we strolled along the water on the most gorgeous night.

This sweater (under $50!) is perfect for cool nights as we transition to fall. The deep v neck is sexy but it’s also loose and comfortable and looks chic paired with ripped black jeans.

V Neck

Collegiate Sweater

Fall Transition

Black and White

Shop my look:

Pineapple Sweater

Martha's Vineyard

c/o Vineyard Vines pineapple sweater, oxford shirt, skirt (similar here), clutch, Love Always monogram necklace

On our last night in the Vineyard last weekend, we drove into Edgartown for a little shopping spree at Vineyard Vines, dinner at The Port Hunter, and a Vineyard Sound concert (the cutest all-male a capella group made up of 10 college boys). My brother Jackson (pictured below) is a super-fan of this group and it was so cute to see him get SO excited and then SO nervous to see them perform. His excitement puts everything else in perspective for me.

Although it was humid, there was a chill in the air so I layered this adorable pineapple sweater over a striped oxford for the evening’s festivities. I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of this sweater over the next few months paired with white jeans and loafers or dark jeans and boots.


Pineapple Sweater


Preppy Pineapples

Vineyard Vines MV


Shop my look:


“Cambiare tutto perché niente cambi. (If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.)”

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

When to Go Natural

The Best Natural Products

I recently read that women put an average of 168 chemicals on their body every day. Every day! That number was eye-opening and disturbing to me. As someone who values living a clean lifestyle, I probably use less than half of the chemicals that the average woman, but even that is aggressive. To help more people go the natural route, I thought I’d share some of the natural products that I use every single day and can’t live without.

That being said, there are certain things that I use that are not natural or organic. “When to go natural” is a constant battle for me, but this is where I stand as of today:

When I Go Natural:

Face Wash– I have very oily skin so Desert Essence tea tree oil face wash has been my go-to for almost 10 years. I use it with a Clarisonic to keep my skin clear and glowing

Toner– To get that uber-clean feeling after I wash my face, I always follow up with SW Basics toner, a product made with only five ingredients. It gives me a tingly clean and keeps my acne-prone face clear as can be.

Lip Balm– I use lip balm probably 10-20 times/day (I may or may not be an addict). I turn to SW Basics again for their organic lip balm. My favorite flavor is peppermint.

Eye Cream– I have tried every expensive eye cream out there and Dr. Hauschka’s Daily Hydrating Formula is by far my favorite.  It goes on light and smooth and hydrates without getting too thick or clumpy. It’s easy to wear on under make up as well.

Face Mask- I religiously use a face mask every Sunday night. Because my skin is oily, I have to be careful about using masks that are too hydrating. My favorite is made by Tata Harper. Their Resurfacing Mask is light and smells amazing, giving me a natural glow.

Hand Soap– This might sound silly but I like the hand soap in my kitchen and bathrooms to look as nice as it smells. When Method changed the game with it’s beautiful packaging and clean ingredients, I became hooked! I am always changing my favorite scent but I’m currently on a lavender kick.

Body Wash– I made the switch from regular old body wash to Dr. Bronner’s pure castile soap (in almond) made from just water and natural oils, about five years ago and have never looked back. It makes my skin soft and smooth without ever drying it out.

Laundry Detergent– Every single day you wear clothes that are washed in some sort of laundry detergent. Even though you don’t see this product every day, it’s seeping into your skin on a daily basis. I use Mrs. Meyers detergent in Geranium because it smells amazing.

Dryer Sheets–  I was always freaked out by dryer sheets because of chemicals like Ethyl Acetate (which is apparently on the EPA’s hazardous waste list) and Camphor. Then I accidentally discovered The Honest Company’s plant-based dryer cloths and everything changed. They make my clothes soft and fluffy without any of the crap that comes in regular dryer sheets!

Dish Soap– I hand wash dishes with Mrs. Meyers dish soap and use dishwashing pods in my dish washer, both in lemon verbena.

Hand Cream– Every night before bed I slather on hand cream to keep my hands soft and young. A few years ago, I received Weleda Sea Buckthorn Hand Cream as a gift and now I can’t use anything else.

Tampons- It’s taken me a long time to find a natural tampon that actually works AND has an applicator! I use The Honest Company’s Organic Cotton Tampons because they work AND they boast super cute packaging.

When I Stick to Mainstream Products:
Shampoo + Conditioner– I color my hair so it gets dry and brittle if I don’t use the right product.

Nail Polish– Manicures are my main vice and I’ve been wearing Essie Ballet Slippers for as long as I can remember

Mascara– My eyelashes are pretty much non-existant and Benefit They’re Real mascara makes them magically look long and lustrous.

Concealer + Bronzer- I use Benefit for most of my make up (per above) including Boi-ing concealer and Hoola bronzer.

Perfume– I can’t give up my Le Labo Santal 33 eau de parfum. It leads with sandalwood and has hints of cardamom, iris, and violet. It’s perfect!

Hair Spray– Like my eyelashes, my hair is super thin so to hold a curl or have any volume whatsoever, I need an aggressive hairspray that’s equally as flexible. The only one that works for me is Kerastase Spray a Porter.

Deoderant– I sweat a lot. Enough said. Dove Advanced Care Original is my jam.

Bathroom Cleaner– I have to clean my shower with something stronger. Please don’t judge me for using Clorox!

Toothpaste– I have a mild obsessed with my teeth feeling clean. Crest with Scope does the job for me.

I’d love to hear more about when you go natural, when you don’t, and why!