The Ramdolfi Wedding | The Venue

The Ramdolfi Wedding | The Venue

When we visited Orcutt Ranch for the final walk-through, we could picture what our wedding would look like, but actually looking at our venue as we intended it to look was a dream come true. Every detail that we spent a year planning came to life. It was perfect.

The Ceremony

The Reception

The Happily Ever After

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(Featured Image by: EverTwo Films)

The Ramdolfis

The Ramdolfis

At last, my best friend is my wife. In retrospect, it’s clear that she was always the one. However, it took us years to arrive at forever and always. Our story begins 11 years ago during the summer of 2008 in a Southern California desert, right in the middle of nowhere. We were but teenagers who attended the same youth group meeting. While we were instantly infatuated, it would be almost a decade before we would admit it. We filled the years with phones calls, handwritten letters, and after moving to opposite sides of the country, overnight flights to see one another. Fast forward to April 2017, with a dozen roses in one hand and a guitar in the other, I surprise-serenaded her in the middle of the night surrounded by some of our closest friends in my attempt to ask her to be my girlfriend — she said yes. I promptly proceeded to quit my job, subleased my apartment, and bequeathed my possessions to move back Los Angeles where we would sign a lease. I began to plan the engagement, and the following year on the exact 10 year anniversary of when we met, I asked her to marry me — she said yes. The following year was a wonderful blur of wedding planning. Finally, as she walked down the aisle, I looked back at the long road that lead us to that moment where I would ask her in front of our friends and family to be my wife — she said yes.

Boyfriend and girlfriend, fiancé and fiancée, husband and wife, each of these periods pictured above have been a blessing unlike anything I could have ever imagined, each better than the last. As we embark on the adventure of a lifetime, as Mr. and Mrs. Ramdolfi, I thank the Lord for taking me to the middle of nowhere all those years ago and introducing me to my best friend, my better half, my wife.

Tell me, have you ever experienced a moment in life that seemed ordinary at the time but turned out to be momentous years later?

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(Featured Image by: EverTwo Films)

Appreciating Wife

Appreciating Wife

One of the things that I could not possibly ever come close to achieving is appreciating my wife enough. Although I do try to constantly show her gratitude and appreciation, Mrs. Ramdolfi simply does not get enough credit for everything that she does. Perhaps it’s that absence makes the heart grow fonder why some distance exacerbated my fondness, but I’m rather fond of her as it is. That said, after a weekend apart from her, I came back to the most loving, thoughtful, and stunning wife — not to mention an impeccable apartment!

This was our first weekend apart as a married couple, and despite our nightly calls and constant text messages, the 270 miles that physically separated us provided me with enough distance to better appreciate just how much she means to me. She is my better half. I’m not just talking about a partner to divide domestic chores like washing dishes while I vacuum the apartment — though I do very much appreciate that. But rather, I’m talking about someone who will listen to you at the end of a long day and care about you, someone who thinks of your needs before their own, someone that makes you want to share life with them — and who also wants to share life with you. To me, she is that and so much more.

Admittedly, it did not take a weekend apart for me to draw these conclusions, I’ve known them from the beginning. But it certainly made me acknowledge them and reminded me that I should never take her for granted. For those reasons, when I saw her waiting to pick me up from Union Station, she was a sight for sore eyes. We embraced one another and proceeded to secure some In-N-Out burgers. After dinner I gave her the fruit tart I had purchased at Eataly, and she surprised me with a copy of the most anticipated movie of the year. I think it may go without saying, but it’s always worth repeating, I love and appreciate my wife.

Tell me, in which ways have you been shown appreciation? Who have you been appreciated by? When was the last time you showed someone appreciation?

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(Featured Image by: EverTwo Films)

Have A Lovely Weekend

Have A Lovely Weekend

Good morning caffeinated nation — it’s morning somewhere in the world. I hope your weekend is wonderful thus far! Today we wanted to share a dash of positivity by sharing our morning.

Full disclosure, I am not sure that I subscribe to karma (a concept that can be summarized with “what goes around comes around“). But I am a firm believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.

At the same time, I think it’s a good idea to add positivity into the world, without expecting anything in return. It’s just a better way of life. As such, this morning Wife was the recipient of this weekend’s first random act of kindness.

After a long week at work, we were happy to sleep in today. But our four-legged feline had other plans. She jumped ferociously across the bed waking us up to serve her breakfast, which wife generously took care of — that’s when inspiration struck.

It occurred to me to brighten Wife’s day with some flapjacks for breakfast! She loves it when I cook them for her, and today was not the exception. Kodiak Cakes’ 100% whole grain mix, milk, and an egg mixed and cooked in a buttered griddle, yielded the delicious breakfast above.

I was happy to see Wife happy. Now we venture into our weekend thankful for each other. Quick appreciation note, I love the “Hubby” coffee mug (pictured) that she surprised me with earlier this week. Thank you amazing, loving, thoughtful wife!

Tell me, what are your plans for the weekend? Do you like to sleep in, or wake up early to seize the day? What is your favorite topping on flapjacks?

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(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

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The Pizza Cookery

The Pizza Cookery

After securing the pizza ingredients, it was time to channel my inner Master Chef. I feel confident with this challenge, I have been perfecting this dish for over a decade. That said, you do not win Master Chef by playing it safe, so I decided to try a few new things such as garlic salt to stand out from the competition — I can hear Gordon Ramsay asking me in his British accent “Why on earth would you choose to try something you’ve never done before on such a crucial night?

Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately for me, today’s dish will not be evaluated by our standard judges; but rather, by the most important person on earth, my stunning wife. She has flown all the way from the living room to be in this Master Chef kitchen with us tonight. I feel privileged and honored to be cooking for such a distinguished guest tonight.

I am looking at my fresh basil, succulent Roma tomato, and spicy jalapeno, and I feel good about what’s in my metaphorical basket. I am ready when suddenly, in an unprecedented turn of events, a new judge emerges from behind the scenes, right in the middle of the competition — a first in Master Chef. Introducing for the first time, our beloved third member of the family, Bagheera.

Bagheera, or Baggsy as I like to call her, is an even tougher judge. She’s been in the eating business for 3 years, and has an insatiable desire to eat all the cat food worldwide. Now, she’s looking for the one person good enough to become America’s first, Baggsy Chef. Just look at her intently evaluating the freshness of the basil. With 90 minutes on the clock, the competition begins, now!

Graham Elliot approaches my station and asks me why pizza. “As an American of partial Italian descent, pizza is very close to my heart” I reply while focusing on adding the right amount of salt to my flour. “What’s the most important thing to do right now for your dish?” he asks. “The dough, I need to make sure it has enough time to rise” I respond as I begin to knead the dough. “Will you have enough time to let the dough rise?” he follows up. “Yes Chef” I assure him. “Good luck!” he says with skeptical undertones. “Thank you Chef” I conclude the conversation as I move on to the sauce.

With just enough time for the pizza to bake, I place it in the oven and hope that the risks pay off. I stare at my pie through the oven window as the crusts begin to turn golden brown. The clock keeps ticking. I look at the pie, then at the clock, and back to the pie. We are down to the last few minutes. I open the oven door, confirm it is cooked, and take the pie out. “60 seconds remaining,” I hear the judges say. I briefly let the pizza cool down before plating. “5, 4, 3, 2, 1, hands up!” they shout.

It came down to the last second, but I did it! Feeling accomplished, the judges ask me to come up. Joe Bastianich makes his way to me, “describe your plate” he commands. I imagine him throwing my plate in the trash, then snap out of it. “Today I present an American rendition of a traditional Margherita pie composed of fresh mozzarella, Roma tomatoes instead of San Marzano, and organic basil, drizzled with garlic-infused olive oil.” He looks at my plate, then at me. We make eye contact when, enter our guest judges, wife and Baggsy.

The wife is pleased and the Baggsy is satisfied just sniffing. I exhale a sigh of relief! That was an intense challenge, one that ultimately was worth it just to see my gorgeous wife smile.

Tell me, have you ever made pizza from scratch? Do you enjoy cooking, or do you prefer take-out? What is your favorite dish to cook?

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(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

The Pizza Ingredients

The Pizza Ingredients

The wife and I have been watching Master Chef lately — a famous cooking competition show that we had somehow managed to unintentionally evade since its inception a decade ago. It was originally intended to be background noise as we took care of chores such as folding laundry or washing dishes. But with time, we started to pay attention. Before we knew it, we were invested. Now, I am inspired to cook.

I, like most people, have passionately loved pizza since, well, since I can remember. For that reason, 13 years ago I decided to try making my own, from scratch. Long story short, it was disgusting. The dough was under-cooked, the sauce was unbearably salty, and the toppings were sub-par — the memory still haunts me. Over a decade later, through perseverance and multiple, multiple attempts, I have perfected The Ramdolfi Pizza™ (not actually trademarked).

Master Chef in mind and inspiration in heart, we drove to the grocery store to acquire the freshest of ingredients for the freshest of pizzas. Admittedly, Mrs. Ramdolfi is vastly more talented in selecting the perfect fruits, including tomatoes — and yes, they are technically considered fruits. For that reason, the stunning wife pictured above helped me pick the perfect tomato for this pie.

Ready to create the perfect pizza sauce with the perfect tomatoes, I proceeded to inspect the store’s basil for freshness, as pictured above. Satisfied with their selection, we moved on to the garlic, mozzarella, and other secret ingredients. It’s actually a rather simple recipe, but it is one that I’ve been developing since the mid 2000’s.

Fun fact: The wife enjoys riding the ends of shopping carts — up until I decide to take pictures, then she is just unamused. I like to give her a hard time, but the truth is that I think it’s adorable, which is why I also tend to encourage it.

Back to Master Chef. Upon securing the most delicious ingredients, I spotted some items that beckoned me with their tempting convenience…

I entertained them for an instant, and even lifted them just to confirm what I instinctively knew, they were but a mockery of Italian cuisine. Could they make a decent pie? Maybe. But would I have to turn in my Italian card? Absolutely. Unamused by these Americanized ingredients, we headed straight to the self-checkout stations, and on to our Master Chef challenge at home.

Tell me, do you like to have shows playing as background noise? Do you pronounce it tomato or to-mah-to? Would you rather buy premade meals or make your own from scratch?

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(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

It’Sugar Candy Store

It’Sugar Candy Store

Spider-Man: Far From Home was awesome! But our date was far from over. Universal CityWalk still had much to offer. As we wandered around, we stumbled upon some interesting shops, including It’Sugar — and no, that’s not a typo.

The Ramdolfis wandering around CityWalk for fun

It’Sugar is a large candy store that offers specialty sweets, some of which I had never even heard of before. The wife spotted the store and quickly led me into it. I was initially reluctant to follow, but she was so excited! It’s difficult to say no to an excited wife.

The thing about candy is that it’s delicious, but unless you have Mrs. Ramdolfi’s metabolism, you are certain to pay the price. If you’re like me, you were not blessed with the genetic material required to consume sweets and process them like they’re veggies. As such, I was not amused by the plethora of colorful temptations surrounding me — but wife was.

Mr. Ramdolfi unamused with the plethora of sweets tempting him to make poor decisions

The truth is that I have actively been trying to get back in shape for the last few months, so partaking in any of these treats would be counterproductive to say the least — even if they do have all sorts of Jelly Belly jelly bean flavors including Krispy Kreme!

It’Sugar was a fun stop, but ultimately we chose to be responsible adults, with aging bodies that prefer nutrition over tasty empty calories, and leave before we changed our minds.

Tell me, do you have a sweet tooth? What is your favorite candy? Are you still able to consume sugar confections without gaining a pound, or have you reached the age of conscious eating?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)