it was rather painful to wait to finally announce our engagement to our friends and loved ones. we waited about two weeks! i had in mind what I wanted to do, though. and when i have a plan, i stick to it. while we were in spain,we phoned our family and told them the news!

i also purchased a bunch of madrid postcards, stamps and other stationery! i’m sending a few of our favorite pictures to the printer. never mind. i spent nights sorting through gorgeous designs of engagement announcements online, however, i decided that a custom portrait of us as a family, our first illustrated portrait was a much better idea, it was special! we are starting here a tradition of getting our family portrait done during very special moments of our lives!

i researched various artists who do this type of work and fell completely in love with my little buffalo. lisa is extremely talented and she worked with us to get a portrait that reflected our personality and i just love it!

vanessawe also purchased the cutest paper bags, washi tapes, stamps, colorful paper for confetti and ribbons and finally, after weeks of working on this, we sent out last week the announcement to friends and family in the US, brazil, spain, eveywhere! the best experience was to roam through El Rastro, the largest flea market in spain, searching for vintage spanish stamps, postcards and envelopes!


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now: on to planning our engagement party. it will be a party not to be missed, we are a lot of fun!

new jersey, be prepared!


this is the last installment from our engagement photo shoot series! we had so much fun together on this day! i’m so glad we did this and i’m so glad we met jesus and got to work with him!

0338_vanessa-bret_130429as you can see, we ended up going to all B.’s favorite spots in town: the retiro park {where we got engaged}, the plaza mayor and the mercado san miguel!

this is a gorgeous hip market, that has wonderful vendors selling incredible food and drinks!

0401_vanessa-bret_130429 0462_vanessa-bret_130429 0464_vanessa-bret_130429 0465_vanessa-bret_130429 0466_vanessa-bret_130429 0467_vanessa-bret_1304290452_vanessa-bret_130429 0318_vanessa-bret_130429 0322_vanessa-bret_130429 0323_vanessa-bret_130429 0333_vanessa-bret_130429 0334_vanessa-bret_130429 0342_vanessa-bret_130429 0345_vanessa-bret_130429 0350_vanessa-bret_130429 0358_vanessa-bret_130429 0361_vanessa-bret_130429 0370_vanessa-bret_130429and that’s a wrap! i hope you guys enjoyed the series, thank you for letting me share it with you!

0202_vanessa-bret_130429a little more from our engagement photo shoot. our photographer didn’t know the meaning Plaza Mayor has for us. stopping here was natural, organic. but, before our trip, B. would tell me all these stories of him hanging out at Plaza Mayor! it was one of his favorite spots in Madrid and he spent a lot of time there and he thought of it as a special place!

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IMG_5494last week, B. went home to NJ and he brought with him a little gift for our families. in a very cute, key-shaped, gold flash drive we saved all the pictures from our trip and from our engagement shoot and sent it to them with a cool, colorful garland, in polka dot envelopes!

i just had so much fun to put this little gift together, and I know how much our mom’s loved looking at our pictures! it was a pleasure to share with them the memories of the best days of our lives!

this is how the little package turned out:

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IMG_5377this was one of the most impressive things we visited in europe! it deserves its own post!

the Palacio Real {royal palace} does not house the spanish monarchs. instead, it’s a museum, open to the public and only holds special events with world leaders! and it’s amazing! it’s not mentioned in the Madrid museums route, which is a total mistake! this place deserves your time!

inside you can see the palace as it was during all the Carlos’ reign. there is so much history, the paintings are incredible, the royal dinning room: extremely impressive! and imagine this: the majority of the gold, jewels, and antiques were stolen when Napoleon ransacked the place!

the place s beautiful inside and outside. across the street is the gorgeous cathedral and in the back, an amazing garden! it was a fantastic trip! it’s a shame we don’t have any pictures from the museum part, since they would not allow!

Screen Shot 2013-05-25 at 7.43.41 PMIMG_4867 ^^it was such a beautiful, warm day, and we were so happy, we held an impromptu dance party!

Screen Shot 2013-05-25 at 7.43.58 PMDSC06548^^ how amazing is the cathedral across the street?

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the first part of our trip to Madrid, Spain is here!

our trip to Toledo is here!

B. was kind enough to write his vision of our engagement! it was so funny reading it, I’m going to share it here with you! but, bear in mind, this is his side of the story and I see things very differently! 🙂



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“It’s hard to surprise someone when they’ve been walking around the house wearing their engagement ring before you even leave for Spain, tell you the date it should happen which was our 4 year anniversary and asked for it to be early so she doesn’t  have to stress out about getting engaged all day. When I thought about this a few weeks before our engagement it seemed insane, because it was. So I decided to just roll with it and propose in a place I deemed worthy no matter the time of day, all I knew was that if I thought I found the spot I couldn’t allow myself to argue my way into finding a better spot. As we walked to the prettiest part of Retiro Park in Spain I decided this was the spot, with one look at the photos later how was I going to find a better setting? I reached into my bag while Vanessa was speaking with her cousin and quietly untied the ribbon on the box and reached in without looking and the ring wasn’t there. I panicked, though quietly, Vanessa told me not to be so crazy a few days before we left and untie the nice ribbon she made, she told me not to be paranoid. Well in those few seconds I wanted to kill her for not letting me check something so simple, but alas after 20 more seconds of feverishly searching the front of my bag very, very subtly so she wouldn’t notice I found it. Whew
Next I needed an opportunity that felt alone despite this being in public, we did have her cousin Fabio with us which was great since I knew we’d have photos but I needed to ditch him for a few seconds so it could just be us, Vanessa chose to take a photo fairly far away with me, below a higher part of the park. It was my chance, I fiddled with my left pocket one last time ( i always put important things in my left pocket) to make sure the ring I slipped into there was in fact still there and it was, the 10 minutes it was in my pocket I checked it so much people must have thought I was an exhibitionist creep. After a few photos when Vanessa turned away to look at some other piece of beauty in the park I dropped to my knee and grabbed her hand. After saying something about our life and how much we’ve done together (moved to Denver, started a business, grew it into a successful business that is growing rapidly, became healthier people, became better people, etc)  I said, “Quer casar comigo?” which is will you marry me in Portuguese. She cried what appeared to be moisturizer, I’ve never seen cream stream out of someone’s eyes before (without it being rated for adults),  she forgot to answer for a bit, said yes and then to my surprise two random women in Madrid started applauding and were taking photos the entire time.
We walked thorough the park after that, had a celebratory beer, rented some bikes and rode them around the park for the next hour happily engaged.”
the pictures of my beautiful ring were taken during our engagement shoot, by spanish photographer, jesus caballero, from white dress photo!

0401_vanessa-bret_130429this blue tile that shows is in the pictures is a little porcelain box I purchased in Escorial especially to hold my ring, when I’m not using it, at home! Escorial was one of B.’s favorite things we did in Europe, so it feels so special to have something from that beautiful country town holding my ring!


some of my favorite pictures from our engagement shoot were the black and white ones!

this one, on the top, being my most favorite ever, a top on my wish list! I love the distanced pictures so much!

0028_vanessa-bret_1304290100_vanessa-bret_1304290136_vanessa-bret_130429check out Jesus Caballero’s website for more images!

this is the second post on our engagement pictures series. check out the sneak peak and first post, DANCE PARTY AT PARQUE EL RETIRO here!


Madrid was were we spent most of our time in Europe and I gotta say: it reminded me so much of Brazil! I guees it’s an easy place to adapt if you are a brazilian living in europe! The weather was great, the people are happy, the place shows a lot of signs of the economic crisis but it’s still beautiful and amazing!

Spending time with my family was just incredible! I got to go to a lot of places with my cousin, he gave us a fantastic city tour! We had so much fun! There was a lot of walking. Some days, when I’d wake up in the morning, I could not stand my feet, I did not have the strength to hold myself up! But, it was a lot of fun!

I’ll share a few pictures here with you:


^^ B. found the public phone he used to call his mom 11 years ago! How amazing is that?!





^^100 montaditos was def. one of B.’s favorite places! wonderful spanish sandwiches for 1 euro + beer for 1 euro!

20130519-143333.jpg20130519-143348.jpg20130519-143417.jpg20130519-143514.jpgDSC06469DSC06472 DSC06548 DSC06555 DSC06557 DSC06566 DSC06583 IMG_3506IMG_5333 IMG_5368 IMG_5365 IMG_5366 IMG_5367^^ I could live in an apartment in that middle building, over there, in the floor with all the beautiful flowers in the balcony! Yes, I could!

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