Wedding planning with your man.

Now we all know  the wedding day is all about the both of you… but let’s be real… the bride is the one that is making that day happen.  I am sure there are some exceptions out there. 🙂

When wedding planning began, I asked Alex what are some things he would like… his response ” I like when guys wear vans.” Well, Isn’t that helpful…

Then when it came to his attire for the day, he became full-blown groomzilla. Sorry, but a lime green tie isn’t happening. He is really fighting for his lime green tie… when I brought up the fact that my girls will not be wearing anything close to lime green, his response was classic… ” sorry, not everyone can look as good as me in lime green… but I am wearing it.”  This is coming from the guy that was wearing socks and Birkenstocks with basketball shorts…. which made him lose all credibility.

When it came to getting his thoughts on a wedding dress… he told me I can wear whatever I want, because he is going to wear what he wants.

I finally got him to look on Pinterest with me…. well,that was interesting. He would point out a mermaid cut …..Alex: ” what is that, why all this fluff shit ( as he waves his hands around the photo)

Me:  Okay on to the next…..

him: Why are there flowers… that’s dumb…and the next… I mean that’s not bad…

me: What do you like about it ?

Him: I don’t know… it isn’t as bad as the others.

me: how about this nice low back?

him: I mean.. you’re naked…. ( coming from a guy that has never expressed me having to be modest)

me: WHAT….. well, you no longer have say!

Sums it all up lol.

I have realized that Alex has no idea about weddings and he has realized this too and finally said..” “Babe, it seems I do better when options are presented and I just say yes or no.”

So true… when wedding talking with my girlfriend and fellow bride planning a wedding, she was having the same issues with her groom.  They either have no idea or elaborate ideas they won’t let go of.

A strategy is then needed…. only present what you would be comfortable with and then it gives him some freedom to pick within boundaries. 🙂

With Alex’s busy chef  schedule I ended up making a secret pinterest board for the both of us and downloaded the app on his phone. This way I could pin all the things I wanted to run across him and he could check it out on his downtime.

I started to feel bad that once he came home, I started asking so many wedding questions or trying to show him things…. that was a little over whelming for him. The board helped solve that problem.

He actually really likes this pinterest board for us and has even suggested making one that is called ” done deal” which means we approved it and that is what we are going with.

I want to make sure that our wedding day represents both of us but I want to be realistic in the fact if I let him have a free range… it would be a total mess. 🙂

Some tips on wedding planning with your man:

1. ask him to describe what he has always thought of when thinking of his wedding day.

2.  Get the vibe…. use adjectives to get a description down.  Whimsical, industrial, rustic… etc

3. Create a Pinterest board for both of you… and explain to him how it works.

4.  Make a list of what’s  most important for him. Alex wanted great food and venue… he said he wanted to feel “wowed.”

5. Don’t provide ideas or pictures of things you are not willing to have part of your day.

6. Have fun and remember it’s suppose to be a wedding of two loves and  not a birthday party. 🙂

Happy planning 😉

X- A

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The Ultimate Wedding planner & checklist!

 

Well, I didn’t think I could love Google docs/drive more than I already did… but it’s official, I do! Google has an entire comprehensive wedding planning checklist and spreadsheets for everything…. with all the formulas already done for you!!! Who needs to count when Google does it for you!! 🙂  I feel much better about using google vs the other random wedding site for tracking all my wedding details. Checkout this wedding planning lifesaver—> Google Weddding

What is your go to for wedding planning?

X- A

My go to protein bar!

Seems everyone has their go to favorite protein bar/shake to get them through the morning or a good mid day snack or lunch. What I have discovered is that a lot of protein/power bars are filled with carbs,sugar and tons of calories.

Then I found my love of Atkins bars and shakes, they are filled with protein and have very few carbs and calories. They don’t taste chalky or “dietiy”   Like most protein bars. They are a little pricey. I try to purchase them at Target or Walmart since they seem to be almost a $1 cheaper there verse the grocery store. They do have good sales pretty often, so just stock up.  I keep these bad boys with me all the time, so I avoid a “hangery” state lol.

Share with me your favorite way to eat healthy when in a rush and really hungry!

x- A

Dark Western | Fall Fashion 2014

Fall is just around the corner and I couldn’t wait to share  the Dark Western fall fashion trend! I am loving it!
  ** Look out for the rest of the up coming  fall fashion trends here on B.D!
 X- A.

The start of Wedding planning!

 

So that day comes you are officially engaged and now you have to plan a wedding…..

I was naive and didn’t think it would be so hard and there would be so many things to think about… Well, there is!!!!

There seems to be an enormous amount of wedding blogs out there, but I am hoping these post are straight forward, no bullshit wedding planning insight.

Like many, I have had a long time running “Wedding” board on Pinterest and I instantly refereed to it. The downside is for many it is unrealistic to be able to afford these “Pinterest perfect” weddings. I am pretty crafty but there is no crafting to be had when finding a venue for a reasonable price or catering.

So first things first…budget! Be prepared for your budget to change but try and be as strict as possible unless you don’t need to be… than just have fun!

When looking for a venue I used several sites such as Here comes the guide,Wedding Wire,Wedding Spot and Google.

I live in San Diego but I am originally from the Bay Area… Sonoma county to be more exact.. and that is where Alex and I plan on getting hitched.

My plan had been to rent a lovely home on some property and have the wedding there. Well, Sonoma County decided to ruin that plan. They no longer allow vacation rentals to be used for events/weddings larger than 15.  Sucks for me… than they even decided to have a 10 pm NO amplified music ordinance!! Geez, cut me a break here.

Then it was time for plan B-Z ….. We started calling, emailing and collecting brochures of the first round venues. That didn’t go so well either…

for example: I called a place that has a re-purposed barn and some lovely property. I asked about the fee and was told $9,000 just for the four walls and property for 5 hours. I happen to ask about the restrooms and I was then informed that there is a beautiful bathroom for the bride and groom but we would have to rent a port-a-potty trailer for my guest. Are you F***ing kidding me…WHAT… how is that allowed?!?!!?  I obviously moved on…

I found that city buildings,churches schools and cultural centers were the most affordable. Most of the places you have to bring in outside vendors for everything. Just always make sure to ask what the rules and regulations are…such as decorations,outside vendors, times,music,alcohol…etc.

It got to a point I was seeing so many numbers and having to add taxes and fees etc that I was boggled. So, I just emailed the coordinators of the venue and asked for them to provide me with a full proposal with all fees and taxes included etc. It made it so helpful to see everything all at once all added up with no  unexpected fees.

I at first stayed clear of golf courses and country clubs because I don’t want to have a “cookie cutter” wedding. I did find that golf courses seemed nicer than I thought… and.. they provide everything = less stress and coordinating.

Think outside of the box but be realistic on what you and your team can accomplish on the wedding day.  We contemplated self catering since Alex is a chef…. but that is just way to much worry and work. 🙂

Make a list of what is the most important aspect of the wedding to you and that will help you know how your budget will be dispersed.

Don’t lose hope and stay optimistic…. because it can get stressful and some times you may feel defeated BUT ultimately it is about you and your partner’s love 🙂

I will be posting all about my wedding planning up’s and downs, tips and tricks and everything in between.

Please share anything that helped you in your wedding planning process or any questions you may have! I would love to hear all about it!

x- A

Taylor Swift’s surprise new music!! | 1989

I read from Instyle.com that Taylor Swift just made  Monday a lot more exciting. Below is a snippet about how she pulled off a huge surprise making fans go crazy.

From a lounge at the top of the Empire State Building in New York City, Swift began her “Live Stream Extravaganza Adventure-a-Thon” (as she called it), in which she revealed a trifecta of news: her new single is “Shake It Off;” the album—complete with Polaroid-style cover art—will be called 1989.

Taylor speaking of her new song ” Shake it off”—– “I have a new song I’m going to play you in 30 seconds,” she told the crowd. “The idea is that I’ve had to learn a pretty tough lesson in the past couple of years: People can say anything they want about us at any time, and we cannot control that—the only thing we can control is our reaction to it. I figure we have two options: You can either let it get to you, let it change you, make you bitter. Option two, is you just shake it off.”

She did it once again…. caught me in her web of catchy music. 🙂 Enjoy 1989

Xo-A

Vacation Surprise!

Summer vacation… there is nothing better! Alex and I had barely been seeing each other due to how busy life was.So,we were so excited to have a week in Florida. We boarded the plane with our usual travel snack pack,essentially a picnic. 🙂 We also happen to have a bunch of free Southwest drink coupons! Best thing ever! We ordered cocktails and cheered to 7 days of white sand beaches and poolside living! We landed and was greeted by Alex’s mom. We were going to visit his grandparent and his mom had already arrived.

This is not your average grandparent visit. We arrived at the estate and had homemade soup waiting for us. It was perfect. It was late but Alex and I were on West Coast time, so we decided to go for a midnight swim. Beers in hand and warm summer night and a perfectly heated pool, vacation had officially started! The next day, we decided to head to the beach club. This is where we met a cabana boy who set up an umbrella,chairs and a table for us and then took our drink order. Every beach needs this! Now I need to join a beach club. 😉

 

 

The ocean was 80°  and perfectly clear. I love the southwest Florida for its pool like ocean. San Diego, you have to battle the waves…. which is also fun.  Our evenings were filled with watching and tracking the  weather. Alex and his mom love to track thunderstorms while in Florida lol.

A few more of Alex’s Family members came to visit and we had fabulous dinners all together. But after being together with Alex for 7 years, I am continuously asked why we aren’t married. I always say, “I am not the one that gets down on one knee.” I told Alex the next day (our last day) that we needed to come up with a script to tell people on why we aren’t married yet. He laughed at me and said,” we can do that later tonight.” He had seemed weird the past 24hrs, extra lovely but different also. That night we had reservations with the family at the Ritz Carlton on the beach. We all got ready and Alex was looking so handsome.

I was hearing some skinny black pants with a sheer white tank with a fringe bottom and a big white and gold floral statement necklace and some gold strappie sandals. . (I would make links but I scored all the pieces at little cheap stores like, Ross and some local little shops.)

The Ritz was beautiful and we ate a the tapas restaurant inside the Ritz. There was even a Spanish guitarist and a box drummer, it was beyond amazing. I ordered myself a raspberry mojito and scanned the menu. Alex and I always share food, so I had to get his thoughts.   He wanted the duck foie gras and I did not! Good thing about small plates is you can order a lot and sample them all. I stuck with  Crab cakes and Chicken and biscuits 🙂  Alex was loving his  foie gras and ended up dropping some on his shirt. He was so bothered by it and I didn’t understand why. I giggled at him,since normally I am the one always dropping stuff on myself.

After dinner I was ready for dessert! I was listing off all the delicious dishes and hoping I could try them all! Then all of a sudden the waitress walked up and says there is a special for the night. I thought it was a complimentary “I’m sorry” since they messed up grandpa’s order. Well I was wrong!

As the plate was placed in front of me, I read the magical words ” Will You Marry Me?” I looked at Alex and said ” this is happening?!?!” He responded with a huge smile ” it’s happening, babe!” He got down on one knee and asked me to be his Wife!!! I said YES!!! I then broke out in tears and sipped champagne with Alex and  of course called my mom to tell her we are getting marrrieeed.. It is still so wild to me. I kept telling Alex how we are officially \ adults because we are old enough to get married. We giggled like little kids hearing the word penis. lol. We are so excited for this next chapter and  I feel so lucky to have found my person at 20 and to continue riding this journey together!

Now for post on wedding planning … 🙂

xo.. A

Robin Williams Neighbors Remember ‘Beloved’ Local Legend

  Being a child of the 90’s I grew up with Robin Williams on my screen.  I know many feel the same, he was like all of out uncles that made us uncontrollably laugh! He had an ability that few people have and that is to simply make people happy with just his presence. Mr. Williams was the first major celebrity I had ever seen. I grew up in a little town next to where Williams lived. I was at the local REI and I noticed a familiar face, he was in a puffy jacket and wearing reading glasses…. I stopped in my tracks….IT’S ROBIN WILLIAMS!!!!  I didn’t want to bother him, so like a a total fan and a creep I just smiled at him and watched him leave the store. I was bummed that I didn’t say anything to him. I shortly after left the store and found myself right next to him at a stop light. He was driving a G5000 with tons of eco friendly bumper stickers, I turned and looked at him with a smile like I was 5 and waves. He smiled back and the light turned green. That was my Robin Williams moment and I know many people of  his Northern California  town loved there little moments with him also. He was remarkable and magical!

 I read the article below and thought it was a great insight to Robin Williams as a neighbor and community member, not just the actor.

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One of the locals who came by to pay their respects was Agne Correll, the owner of an art gallery in nearby Mill Valley, which Williams had frequented. She brought flowers and her 7-year-old son — whom she said she wanted to teach the tradition of paying respects after someone from your community dies. “I didn’t know [Williams] personally, but I felt like I did. We all feel like we’ve been in his life,” she said of those who lived nearby in the area, which is north of San Francisco.

“‘O Captain, my Captain.’ I will never forget,” Correll said.

Fans and friends leave bouquets outside Robin Williams’ home north of San Francisco, in the small unincorporated area of Tiburon, Calif., on Aug. 12, 2014.Katy Steinmetz for TIME

Others who knew the comedian and actor, whether as an occasional customer or as a dear friend, describe a humble fixture in the community who didn’t want to be treated like a celebrity. He would pedal his bike around the surrounding neighborhoods and stop at little shops to flip through CDs, they report — the kind of casual shopping an A-list celebrity could easily do on a computer at home instead, if one wanted to avoid the public eye.

Residents also remember Williams as someone who would never bark at the fan who stared at him or asked for a picture. He was, by all accounts, an American icon who was willing to lend his famous name to any local cause he could help.

“He was so beloved by the community,” said Louise Satterfield, who works at Two Neat, a shop in Mill Valley that Williams patronized. Tears welled in her eyes as she recounted a time they were talking about a Southern rock band named Little Feat, and how appreciative he was when she remembered to tell him their CD had come in.

“I knew it was going to be sad to come in here and see that music section,” she said. “We’re going to miss out on so much. But we have what he left us, which is genius.” After news of his death, the store quickly sold out of all Williams’ comedy albums.

Williams moved to Marin County when he was 16, and was voted “funniest,” as well as “least likely to succeed” by his peers. He studied theater at Marin College and was a lifelong fan of the San Francisco Giants, sometimes rooting for them via a microphone in front of the crowd, riling them up by tweaking one of his most famous movie lines: “Gooooooood evening, San Francisco!” The team also issued a statement after news of his death spread on Monday, lamenting that they lost “one of our greatest fans.” It’s no accident that they expressed condolences both to his family and “the entire community.”

Some locals, like employees at a bike shop where the avid cyclist would shop, refused to speak to the press except to say that Williams was a quiet man who didn’t want publicity. While he may have been a star, he was, to many here, a patch in the town tapestry. One friend of the family referred to the media attention accompanying his passing as “disgusting” and “gross,” an exploitation not of a public happening but a dearly personal, tragic event that befell one of their own. To many, the news coverage looked uglier in Marin County than it does in Manhattan or Los Angeles.

Microphones are piled high at the press conference to address the death of Robin Williams, held in San Rafael, Calif., on the morning of Aug. 12, 2014.Katy Steinmetz for TIME

Almost every Tuesday, Williams would cross Highway 101, traveling from his home in Tiburon to the neighboring suburb of Mill Valley, to attend the weekly comedy night at the Throckmorton Theatre. On Tuesday this week, the board that would otherwise have announced what was showing had been erased and read simply: “Robin Williams.” More often than not, the Oscar-winning actor was in the green room, rather than onstage, encouraging young comedians, says the theater’s marketing director Julian Kaelon.

On Tuesday this week, the venue owners canceled Throckmorton’s comedy night for the first time in 10 years. They would run a show on Christmas if it happened to fall on a Tuesday, Kaelon says — but not today.

Throckmorton’s doorstep was also lined with flowers on Tuesday. A staff member put on a record of Gregorian chants, as locals wrote notes to the actor on a piece of cardboard taped over a glass poster box. Michael Jeung brought yellow roses and water in a mason jar, which he poured into an antique bowl where he had placed a single gardenia.

“I wanted to bring something that lasted a while and that was a little sweet, because he was so sweet,” Jeung said, recalling a time he helped divert one of Williams’ more insistent fans — an act the comedian heartily thanked Jeung for the next time they met.

Pilgrims to Throckmorton would walk under a big, circular painting on the ceiling outside the theater, a skyscape showing stars that shine bright enough at night to turn the clouds light yellow. The painting is by Williams’ widow, Susan Schneider, an artist who became his third wife in 2011 and who is also a respected resident of the town.

This painting decorating the entryway to the Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley, Calif., was painted by Robin Williams’ widow Susan Schneider. Photograph taken Aug. 12, 2014.Katy Steinmetz for TIME

Caroline de Lone walked under the painting clutching a box she brought from the bakery where she works, Beth’s Community Kitchen. “He was like a ball of sunshine,” she said. Her mother, Lesley, agreed: “He was a local. Everyone loved him. He was completely unspoilt.”

The baked goods were not for the memorial but for the executive director of the theater, Williams’ close friend Lucy Mercer. In a statement, Mercer asked people to remember Williams this way:

“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Robin, we have a simple request. Honor his appreciation of humor by laughing everyday. Honor his modesty by staying curious and willing to make mistakes. And please — hug someone today in honor of the greatest friend in the world Robin Williams.”

While some gave hugs in Marin County, many also turned to flowers. By Tuesday evening, the dozen bouquets outside Williams’ house had turned into nearly 100. Behind them, two statues of monkeys flanked the walkway leading to the front door, as they had before the tragedy but perhaps with new significance. The sentries’ small, stone faces were frozen in toothy, permanent smiles, and their hands held instruments just in front of their lips, forever almost ready to amuse the next passersby. They were playful and grotesque, fitting symbols for the day after the world had to face the loss of a sad man who made so many people happy.

You’re Free….

Original Article. 

Beach Day Essentials!

Beach Day musts!

Bachelorette Weekend

 

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You reach that time in your life where all your friends begin getting engaged,married and having babies… and not necessarily in that order.  Well I am on the cusp of that. This past weekend I got to celebrate at my bachelorette party.  I grew up in a little town in Northern California and was lucky to have a group of girlfriends that are just a few years older than me that are now in the peak of EMB (engagement,marriage and babies)  The girls flew down  to Palm Springs from the Bay Area and I had a nice little 2 hour drive. I have lived in San Diego for almost 7 years and still had never made it to Palm Springs, I always feared the heat! I made sure to have my bikini’s ready because my intention were cocktails while lounging in the pool.

I drove in early Saturday to meet up with my girl B while the others were still flying in. B is from Palm Springs and she gave me a grand tour. First stop of the Riveria Hotel….OMG, it is fabulous!! The walls were mirrored and there were ginormous chandeliers and old Hollywood style furniture. I felt like Marylin Monroe..hehe  B took me around to 5 of the major hotels/ pool parties and everyone was themed… I love a good theme. I could go back to stay at different hotels each time just because each experience would be very different.

We ended our time with a beer poolside. I departed my lovely B, to go meet up with my Nor Cal ladies.

I was SOOO excited to see my girls, it had been too long. We are the friends that don’t keep in touch very well but once back together,it is like nothing has changed. We were all decked out in our Palm Springs tanks ready to kick the weekend off right!

First things first, bikinis on!  I am currently obsessed with my itsy bitsy Victoria Secret bottoms.
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We all made our way to the pool as Lisa made up some amazing  MoscowMules…. mmmm… so refreshing and so delicious… and little dangerous.  I made sure to bring out my little surprise for the bride before we got too deep into the weekend. I made an awesome Bachelorette weekend survival kit, it was a hit and every single item was used! (detailed post on it later)

It was about 100 degrees but wasn’t as bad as  I had thought, as long as you were in the water. The house was amazing, it had a modern yet retro vibe with bright teal and orange accents. The pool had a little shallow area for lounging with an umbrella in the middle… it was perfect!!

We had reservations at 8pm and it was seven and we all were still wet and in our bikinis by the pool. The crazy time-keeper that I am made sure to make a small announcement that it was CRUNCH time. lol.  Some of the best times are the times getting ready as girls together.  The shouting of what do I wear, who has gloss, help me curl my hair….  all the great madness that getting ready involves.
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The bride had an awesome tiger H&M skirt and a new bride tank to pair with it. I convinced her it was necessary to tie up her shirt. With some mid drift showing and her tiger skirt flowing, we were ready for dinner.
The restaurant LuLu’s looked like it came straight out of Miami. All white with big chandeliers. From the looks of it we were in for a treat. Well we were wrong. The tuna crevice was great but other than that nothing was impressive. From non-existant plating to the obviously frozen lobster, it all was a major disappointment. It would have been a great place for a drink and an app, just because of the decor and location.
After a fun but not delicious dinner we decided to not hit the bars and to instead get back in our bikinis and enjoy cocktails by the pool while listening to our 2003/2004 mix CD’S….it was pretty epic.

Vacation Rental—>

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It was my kind of bachelorette party, just enough of everything! We all left tanner and a little hungover , and we all want to do it again!!