Happy Holidays and wishing you an awesome New Year!!!! It's time to finish up some last minute work before heading out to a much needed vacation. I sincerely thank you all for your support of my tiny little blog and my S&S Etsy shop- it's been a productive year of creating a dream and I only hope it continues to prosper with time.
It's beginning to feel a lot like the holidays! Oooooo, I can't wait! I was able to sneak away a bit of time with D this weekend to enjoy a trip to Coronado. It's a little tradition of ours to take a 15 minute drive over to the island and enjoy an evening of food, shopping, and walking. We enjoy browsing the shops on Orange Ave. and viewing the huge Christmas tree at the Hotel Del, Coronado. It's a sentimental place for us, as D proposed right in front of the hotel (by a gorgeous illuminating fountain) on December 23rd on our 10 year anniversary. It's such a special time and place to visit every year in December. We captured some moments and of course the awesome window displays!
My fave tree at the Hotel every year- filled with shells, aqua colors, and glitter! *pardon the 'tired' look- Etsy work got the best of me this weekend and I wasn't up for looking glam*
The Hotel Del
Lobby Tree- they have a different theme every year, this year was a "Sweet" theme filled with candy inspired ornaments. The tree is 25 feet tall!
Window display of the Seaside Papery
Window display of The Attic
Have I turned into an oldie? I mean, I really seemed to enjoy the window displays this year, along with the ambiance of walking the streets, getting a hot salted caramel hot chocolate, and starring in awe at the amazing outdoor lights illuminating the trees. I'm accepting my new found enjoyments- even though I haven't quite hit the big 3-0 yet.
Speaking of 30's, Hubby D turns 32 this Christmas- yes, he's a Christmas baby (adorable). I'm rubbing my hands back and forth in excitement to give him his gift, which I cannot post because he may read today's blog. In any case, we'll be taking a much needed vacation next week- YAY!
Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! Mine was filled mostly with Etsy orders and I'm feeling quite accomplished to be wrapping them up before the holidays. For those who may be checking out the shop, it will be closed between 12/22 - 1/3, however I will still read messages that come in and orders will be completed upon my return! Thank you to everyone who has supported S&S this year and to all those amazing new friends I have met out in this blogging world- it's been the best!
Gosh, I know the holiday season usually gets pretty gnarly as far as "time" is concerned, but lately I just don't have enough of it! Trying to get things squared away for a trip, finishing Etsy orders, working, trying to pick up a few gifts here and there (while treating myself), um, exhausted. Not to mention I have a gazillion emails to return.
Just had to stop in this morning to share my love for Toms. I mentioned on Monday that Hubby D bought me some awesome natural burlap ones as an early gift, and I'm convinced they'll be worn too much- if that's possible. My major urge to support this company is that they've established a movement "One for One" where they donate a pair of shoes to a child in need (currently they donate to 24 different countries around the world) for every pair that is purchased. How AMAZING is this?!! It allows customers to be benefactors and I just think it's a drop darn awesome organization. Their web site is worth visiting, they encourage customers to share photos, they have tons of color and finish options for their products, and share the involvement of their company's belief in helping others. Also, a Tom's flag is included with each purchase so that each individual can snap a photo with their flag and share it with the company. I haven't done so yet with mine, but it's a fun idea, no?
Hello lovely readers- I'm returning from that awfully tough week of struggling through a nasty sick bug. So glad to be back, so glad. How is your December progressing?
Hubby D and I were able to get out this weekend to enjoy some holiday shopping and festivities and it was a nice break to catch some fresh air- especially since the weather was in the 80s. Yes, it's true. California December. Today's forecast? Mid-eighties again. Nice.
We did a bit of decorating this weekend, yet kept it minimal this year since we'll be traveling out and about and won't be spending as much time at home. We wanted just enough pop of red and sparkles to put us in the holiday mood. I think it worked, as I'm feeling the desire to stay in slippers and wanting to lounge around the house while eating fudge.
We added a wreath and a red cable knit throw to the bedroom- yep, that's it.
Enough to get a feel of the season.
We added a few touches to the living room as well, however my photos didn't turn out too hot, maybe I'll try again this week. Hope you're all getting in the holiday spirit.
I have to share a tiny bit of my excitement. Santa (in the form of hubs), brought me an early gift this year, my very own pair of Tom's. If you're not familiar with these shoes, I'll share a bit of awesomeness about them later this week! xoxo to D!!! I chose them in natural burlap:
My apologies for the absence the past few days. I'm battling a nasty head cold accompanied by a burning sore throat and am just trying to get through the week (at this point, I feel like the weekend is nowhere in site). Thanks to some lovlies for the get well wishes, Hubby D for always taking care of me-well or sick- and bringing me gorgeous flowers, my Mom who is always caring and brought me an awesome Jamba Juice, and to Jen for the many cyber hugs she always wishes me. I've got a long day ahead- a Holiday Open House at work which will run well into the evening (following a full day of work)- hmmmm, I may have to force those smiles today. It's going to be a tough one/
After our long drive up North, we stopped for a late lunch and decided to browse around and shop a bit before heading to D's Aunt's home, where we would stay for our first evening. We picked up a sweet Martha cable blanket in red (on sale of course)- perfect for the holidays!
We spent our first evening catching up with family, it was a good time! Thanksgiving was the next day, and it was beyond relaxing! It actually felt awesome to be a guest at someone else's Thanksgiving which left the day open for relaxing and enjoying the awesome food. Charlotte and Paul cooked an unbelievable spread! We helped decorate the exterior of her home with Christmas decor (her tradition on Thanksgiving), and it was all a good time. We even braved the crowds at Michaels later in the evening to take advantage of those awesome crafting deals!
Don't we look like a couple of kids among these fab adults?
That evening we drove to Steve (D's cousin) and Paul's home. They were great hosts to allow us to stay with them and Paul even made us an amazing breakfast the morning before we left- a Creme Brulee French Toast, ahhhhhh, it was AMAZING! I got the recipe from him and will try my hand at it soon!
The evening we got there, Paul allowed me to go through his fabric stash to snag some things for projects and Etsy orders- too sweet. We then got to talking about a place named Scrap in SF where you can go and pick up all types of things for super cheap! It sounded like a "must do", so the next morning we headed over there and D's grandma met us as well.
Down an ally in SF
So basically Scrap ended up being like a huge garage sale! You weed through the place and pick up whatever you'd like, pile it in a bag and when you'd done, you take it up to the front and they provide you with a set price for the whole bag, or bags. Awesome! I scored lots of fabric remnants, stencils, tape, ribbon, and a coffee table surf book for a whooping $15. Score.
I then headed to the Dicken's Fair with D's grandma while the guys went to the Car Show. We weren't at the fair too long, so she drove me around the city while the guys were enjoying the show. We drove by the Bay Bridge, down toward the piers, and over the Golden Gate Bridge into Sausalito. If I were to live up North, it would be in that city for sure! Such a cute waterfront town (expensive as well), with an amazing view across the water of the city. Loved it.
We all met up in the city for dinner, but stopped at Ciao Cupcakes first to take a few home
Then had dinner at the Urban Lounge/Tavern - yum!
I got Mac and Cheese- no surprise
D got Swordfish
We walked around for a bit after dinner, the city was amazing at night. It was packed (being that it was Black Friday), and the stores were jammed with shoppers. We went in Macy's Home Store and I admired their display window.
To cap off the evening, Steve drove us up to Twin Peaks to get an overall view of the entire city! It was freezing cold, but a gorgeous view, honestly so beautiful. I know my camera couldn't handle the evening darkness, so the memory remains in my mind. From what we hear, there aren't too many clear days around this time of year to view the city as we did, so we were very grateful in that aspect.
The next morning we woke up, had an amazing breakfast that Paul baked, and were off back home. It was a quick trip, but was full of memories and fun times!
Taking a mini trip to San Fran for Thanksgiving was a nice break from routine, although it passed by way too quickly. D and I drove (which took about 7 hours up and over 9 hours back down) and we've pretty much decided that we may not take another driving trip again on the Thanksgiving holiday, as traffic is out of control! We made it safe and brought back some awesome memories, thought I'd share:
A Few photos of the drive:
Cruising through the Grapevine
Long Drive up the I-5
We saw quite a few rainbows:
Tomorrow I'll share a bit more of what we did while we were out there!
Loving this song lately by Train's album "Save me, San Francisco"
Ok, ok- I know I said SF posts would be shown for the remainder of the week (they will for the next two days), but I just had to share a sneak peak of our Holiday cards. I spent so much time deciding last night which layouts to choose, which photos, editing the photos to make them look a bit retro and both Hubby D and I are so excited to get the final product. I ended up ordering the cards through Shutterfly (which is a first time trial); therefore I'll post the end result when we receive them and report on the quality. I had a complete vision for these cards, but unfortunately I couldn't find an option on Shutterfly that allowed us to upload a complete custom design. We chose one of their holiday designs and incorporated our photos, our theme being "funny retro with a major cheeseball factor." I can't wait for family and friends to open these and be at a loss for words.
A HUGE kuddos to my Mom for taking the photos for us- she's awesome. Can you imagine how many laughs we had? She even found a way to pin on that weird garland on my $1.95 gold blouse from the thrift store. Thanks Mom!
Waving hello to everyone now that I'm getting back into the groove of my routine. It's been a tough transition from having a few days off work (both "works"), as my brain wants to resort back to coziness and relaxation. I'll be sharing some fun memories from our SF trip the rest of this week, until tomorrow, I'll dream of this photo all day and wish those were my legs all bundled up.
We've been traveling these past few days for the holiday, as we took a mini trip to San Fran to visit Hub's family. We had some rad times and captured fun memories- more to come this week! Hope everyone had an awesome turkey day!
For now, I'll be catching up on Etsy orders and Hubby D will be watching football while texting up a storm on his mobile. Sure beats 9 hours of commuting in the truck. Ahhhhhhh, home.
Uh- Um: Attention, attention lovely holiday jazzed peeps- head over to Dreamy Whites (here) ASAP!!! There is a drop-down fab giveaway going on and everyone needs to be aware. Posting about this opp does give you additional entries; however, I think it needs to be shouted loud and clear from every possible networking source. I don't know if I have ever adored each and every item in a single giveaway- EVER! Check it out, drool, and if anything, be inspired for this upcoming holiday season!
I'm waiting to share my lovely finds from our antiquing trips, although I haven't had great natural light lately to snap some decent photos! They will come soon! This weekend's forecast is rain, an excuse to be cozy and drink Starbucks while sitting under warm bed covers. Maybe I'll squeeze that in while working away on Etsy orders on the laptop. I'm determined to get inspired to begin designing new items for the shop, hope I can find a free moment.
Just posted a new spin on the Love Naturally No. 2 titled The Prepster. I'm looking forward to introducing new products in the shop soon; as in new, I mean completely different concepts with that same clean, classic feel. I'm excited to share so stay tuned!
Living in Cali, you don't exactly get to feel the change of the seasons. The lovely Jen sent me over this winter photo, all the way from Alaska where she lives, so that I can put it on my freezer door, open the freezer to get a cold chill, and feel as if it were winter. I heart Jen and this photo:
I'm overjoyed to be planning the of designs our Christmas cards! It's been a little tradition the past few years. I know it's easier to go to the store and purchase cards or search online and order them, although I get a kick out of designing our own. Hubby D had a great idea this year to go with a throwback retro theme and I'm all for it! We scored our outfits this past weekend at the local thrift store (both of us found our threads for less than $7), we talked to one of our fave people on Earth- his Step-Mother Alene to take our photos, and I'm pulling together the paper and designs. Here's a sneak peak:
Paper for envelope liners- but ours has a bit of green in it too:
Template for our throwback photo collage:
The slogan for this year:
I can't wait to finish these, seriously! D and I were talking about what people may say when they open up our cards this year, and even if one person says W-T- (##(&$@) is this, then we'll be all smiles. Why not have fun with it?- That's how we feel.
And we can't wait for our visit to Colorado to see the munchkins! My sis sent us a video of the boys (pretending to call their Aunt Shelly)- so cute!
Super filled busy days until this weekend! Just had to share another photo of my oh-so-adorable nephew, baby Alex. He's getting so big! I can't wait to see my sister and her family next month, seriously, I feel like I should create a link chain and tear off each link to count down the days until we get to Colorado.
I had the absolute pleasure of working with Hillary, a PW bride, on a lovely burlap banner for her gorgeous wedding. She is such a sweet gal and has a super genuine personality. To be honest, when I saw her jaw-dropping photos, I pictured her to be just as beautiful as she is, radiant in every shot! Look at that smile!
Eliesa of Photogen Inc. (found here) captured such amazing elements and emotions throughout this couple's special day. What a gift to have had these memories captured in such gorgeous shots with beautiful lighting.
Check out those florals- that bouquet is one of the most gorgeous I've ever laid eyes on. Each and every color and type of bloom seem so carefully thought out and dreamy! The creative floral designer behind all the beauty is Cherie Russel of Simplicity Defined, round of applause, really.
Congratulations to Hillary and Matt, your wedding is out-of-this-world gorgeous and your smiles are so infectious they make me want to throw my hands up in the air and plan a vow renewal! Thank you so much for sharing your fabulous photos.
To see more breathtaking photos, visit Eliesa'a blog here Hillary also has done an outstanding job with documenting her planning, from engagement photos to every little detail, which can be seen by visiting her Project Wedding bio page where she's know as Mrs.ABC.to.be. I know the time involved with planning and keeping the information all together, so kudos to Hillary for creating such an amazing resource where other brides can visit and find inspiration for their big day.
I'm also pleased to announce that Hillary has agreed to allow S&S to promote the Love Naturally No. 3 banner by listing her wedding photos in the shop. Many thanks Hil- you rock!!!