Sharing a few of favorite links from around the web this month:
+I am a little behind on the holiday decorating this year, but I am dreaming of a white flocked Christmas tree covered in gold and black ornaments like the talented Monika of The Doctor’s Closet created. All of the pictures in this post are from her home. You must check out the full Christmas home tour here.
+This year we were awarded a Phoenix New Times Best of Phoenix award. It is an honor to be recognized by such a fun publication. You can check out the article here.
+Do you follow Luisafere on Instagram? If not, I would recommend you do asap. Luisa and her son Mateo are serious style inspiration.
+One of my favorite blogs, One Fine A, started a penpal campaign. I’ve always dreamed of having a penpal, so I signed up! My first letter is on its way. Anxious to hear back.
+I turned 25 this year. It’s one of those benchmark years where you think you need to have accomplished all of these things. Then I came across Jessica’s post on not being held back by numbers. It is such an inspiring must-read for those of any age.
If there is one thing I avoid like the plague, it’s crowded stores! ‘Tis the season for packed shops, traffic, and lines, lines , lines. I’ve been scouring the web this morning for the best Black Friday Deals and doing some holiday shopping. Here are a few stores that are offering great deals online today:
1. If I ever win the lottery, this house is the first thing I will buy.
2. I need more pink in my life.
3. I plan on painting every room in my next home with Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter.
Le Chateau Moderne built by E & A Custom Homes and designed by Caitlin Wilson Interiors is simply stunning. The moment you walk through the massive, custom front door you are greeted by a warm and happy space filled with immaculate details. The hints of gold, charming textiles, and spacious master suite had me oohing and ahhing at every turn. JD was equally impressed, although he preferred the 5 car underground garage, ipads built into the walls, and the shooting range in the basement to the decor. It was truly the perfect mixture of feminine and masculine.
If you’re in the Valley this weekend, you must check out Street of Dreams. My cellphone pictures don’t do it justice!
Does anyone else daydream about beautiful homes all of the time? What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
‘Tis the season for holiday gift guides! One of JD’s favorite stores, Bonobo’s, created the coolest collection of holiday gift ideas geared towards the guy who has almost everything. A gift guide that could easily pass as an ISpy book? Sign me up!
The color coded shopping guide has great ideas for any budget, including a pair of Del Toro’s (JD’s Fav!), a sophisticated leather money clip, or even a trip to space (only a mere $250,000). With three brothers and JD to shop for, this has me ready to start tackling the holiday shopping list! Check out their whole gift guide here.
Have you started your holiday shopping? Who’s the hardest person on your list to shop for? Have you come across any great gift guides? If you had endless money, would you opt for a trip to space?
In our short week exploring Belize, we fell in love with the country, the food, and the people. We spent the first half of our honeymoon unwinding on the beach at Matachica Resort in San Pedro. Arriving at the resort requires a short flight from Belize City airport and then a 15-minute boat ride. Matachica was definitely the highlight of our stay in Belize. The resort is colorful, comfortable, and decorated with a Morroccan influence. Each of the “rooms” are beautiful private huts with thatched roofs and hammocks outside. The Mamba Lounge onsite has some of the best food we’ve ever eaten. We ate dinner there every single night (except for the one night when we fell asleep at 5:00pm). The fish tacos and coconut mojitos are a must. I am still daydreaming about them! We spent every day on the water paddle boarding, kayaking, and snorkeling. We also explored the colorful town of San Pedro. It was a great place to people watch and shop. Highlights of our stay in San Pedro included dolphin sightings, a papaya facial at the spa, and snorkeling in the coral reefs.
After relaxing for a few days at Matachica, we headed for some adventures in the Jungle. We flew from San Pedro to San Ignacio and stayed at a small boutique hotel called Ka’ana (the onsite restaurant here also had spectacular food and the friendliest staff!). Our first day included a day trip to Guatemala where we zip-lined through the jungle and explored the ancient Mayan Ruins of Tikal. Our tour guide was the sweetest old man who had grown up at the ruins when they were being excavated. The weather was a little abnormal while we were in San Ignacio. Flooding and heavy rains closed quite a few of the attractions, so we decided to end our trip with a visit to the Belize Zoo. The roads in Belize are a little crazy, definitely not for the faint stomached. It was quite an adventure just driving to the zoo, but when we arrived we had fun walking around and seeing some of the native animals. The talking parrot and monkeys were our favorites.
Our honeymoon went by so quickly. The perfect mix of relaxation and adventure. It left us yearning to explore more of the world and hopefully one day return!
Have you been to Belize? Where did you/would you honeymoon? Where do you dream of one day visiting?
People have asked what my favorite part of our Wedding was. It’s the hardest question to answer. Every moment of the day was so unbelievably special. There are far too many “favorite parts” to begin to share. But for now, here are 11 highlights from November 8th.
1. TAKING AN EARLY MORNING JOG ON THE BEACH.
One thing I wanted to avoid throughout the whole wedding process was becoming a bridezilla and stressing out over little things. After a month long debate over picking the perfect color of sequins last Winter I realized that I needed to enjoy our engagement and trust that everything would come together perfectly. With the weeks and days leading up to the wedding I was cool, calm, collective and so excited. I couldn’t wait for November 8th to arrive. Then the night of November 7th hit and I suddenly got so nervous and stressed out. Thank goodness for my amazing friend Krystle who sat by my side that evening (and the months leading up) and helped me figure things out. But when I tried to go to bed that night, I panicked. Would I be able to read my personal vows in front of everyone? Would it be too cold for dinner outside? Would the transportation to the chapel go smoothly? The thoughts went on and on. After a completely restless night of sleep, I woke up super early on the wedding morning full of anxiety. I laid in bed and literally googled “how to calm down”. Up came a site that suggested going for a run. So I laced up my running shoes and headed down the the empty beach while the sun rose. It was the most at peace I have felt my entire life. I breathed in the fresh ocean air, took in the beauty of being the only person on the beach, and thought about how blessed I was to marry JD.
2. MIMOSAS WITH THE GIRLS.
After my run/jog/walk, I spent the morning getting ready with some of the girls. Since we opted to not have a bridal party, it was so special to spend some quality girl time drinking mimosas, laughing, and getting ready for the day ahead.
3. SEEING JD FOR THE FIRST TIME.
We planned to have a first look on the beach before we headed to the Chapel. I was running late getting ready (surprise, surprise!). As I was putting on my dress and veil, I could see JD out the window standing on the beach with his back to the house. He looked so handsome patiently standing there waiting for me. It looked like the final scene from a Rose Ceremony on the Bachelor. I couldn’t wait to get down there and embrace him.
4. FORGETTING MY BOUQUET.
When JD and I arrived at the chapel right before the start of the ceremony, we realized my beautiful bouquet was still sitting in the refrigerator back at the beach house (about 30 minutes away!). Chris, the awesome grounds keeper/jack of all trades, jumped into his car and drove 70 mph down the beach to meet Mark, the other groundskeeper, who found the bouquet and was running down the beach with it. They saved the day! Oh what I would have paid to see Mark running down the beach with a bridal bouquet in hand. Our guests got to hear a little extra prelude music and our ceremony started right up.
5. WALKING DOWN THE AISLE & OUR PERSONAL VOWS.
When the doors opened for me to walk down the aisle with my dad, I lost it. I saw JD wiping tears from his eyes at the front of the Chapel and all of our friends and families smiling faces. Let’s just say there wasn’t a dry eye from JD or I for the entire ceremony.
The part I was most nervous about, ended up being one of the best moments of the day. JD and I have always kept our relationship pretty private and intimate. It was a bit nerve racking to share our personal vows to each other in front everyone, but it was beautiful.
6. OUR CHAPEL EXIT.
The historic Corolla Chapel we were married in has the original bell at the top of the Chapel. They ring the bell every wedding as the bride and groom exit. As we walked through the door with the bells ringing, our guests covered us in white confetti.
7. ALONE TIME AFTER THE CEREMONY.
JD and I drove ourselves to and from the ceremony together in a little white Jeep. We drove hand in hand and laughed and smiled about how perfect the day was.
8. A SPECIAL FIRST DANCE.
Our whole wedding day was planned around JD and I having our first dance at sunset on the dune deck of the house. My super talented cousin, Grace, and two of my uncles sang and played Sea of Love for us as we swayed to the music. Our guests were all huddled around us and my grandparents were on the 3rd floor deck watching down. It was so meaningful and beautiful.
9. DINNER CONVERSATIONS.
Our candlelight dinner was another highlight of the day. It started out with the sweetest toasts from my dad and my brother, Nick. After eating a delicious shrimp & grits dish, JD and I had time to walk around the table and say thank-you to every guest for coming. It reaffirmed that nothing beats a small, intimate wedding. And speaking of dinner, I can’t go without mentioning how stunning the set-up was. My amazing friend, Krystle, took my vision and created a show-stopper of a table where we all could eat together.
10. DANCING THE NIGHT AWAY.
The reception was more fun than I ever imagined. I started out by dancing to Daddy Dance with Me with my dad (if you haven’t heard the song, it’s a tear jerker). Then old and young, we all danced until our legs gave out. There may have been a few too many percolator dance moves from a certain little brother (Don’t know what the percolator is? Allow me to introduce you here). And who could forget Andrew’s treadmill dance that ended the night (after he took a nice little nap mid-reception!).
11. A SEND-OFF FROM THE STARS.
When the night was coming to an end, our friends and family lined up to give us a magical sparkler send-off. As soon as JD and I walked outside to run through the sparklers, a huge shooting star shot across the sky. It was the most amazing end to the most amazing day.
I can’t wait to share our official wedding photos in the next few months. It was a day more perfect and beautiful than I could have ever began to imagine. And to all of our family and friends that spent this magical time with us, I can’t thank-you enough for the love and memories your gave us (and for snapping all these photos during the big day!).
I’ll be back tomorrow with some honeymoon pictures!
The past two weeks have been a complete whirlwind. I am still pinching myself wondering if this really did happen. Did I really just spend a week in the Outer Banks with 40 of my closest friends and family? Did I really just get to marry my high school sweetheart? Did JD and I really spend an adventurous week exploring Belize and Guatemala? It was all so dreamy and magical it almost feels unreal. The leftover pieces of confetti, suitcases full of dirty clothes and the shiny thing that now adorns JD’s left finger are slowly helping me realize it really did happened.
I’ll wait to share a lot of our wedding pictures until we get them back from our photographer. But in the meantime, I can’t help but share some thoughts on the whole wedding experience (and a few pics from our special week). I need to write them down somewhere so I can remember all of the little moments, the emotion, and the details that made this such a special time.
When we got engaged, we knew we wanted to have a small wedding. There were three words that constantly rang through my head: classic, intimate, and glamorous. Keeping the guest list small meant we could go a little over the top with some of the plans. This included picking The Outer Banks as our wedding site. There is no place that has more meaning to us than The Outer Banks. My family has been spending Summers there for over 50 years and JD has learned to love it as much as the rest of us. We decided to rent a big beach house for the week where all 40 of us could stay together and celebrate our marriage.
It was so nice to be able to spend quality time with every single person that made the trip out to our wedding. We stayed up late at night reminiscing and playing games, had a fun scavenger hunt, swam in the freezing cold ocean together, hunted for wild horses on the beach, climbed and explored the local lighthouse, and shared more tears of joy and laughs than I ever thought was possible. As if I didn’t already love all 40 of these people enough already, boy did I when the week ended. It was perfect in every sense of the word.
And the wedding day? Pure magic! I still tear up thinking about it. I’ll try to gather a few pics and favorite moments from the Big Day to share tomorrow. Thanks for all the sweet messages and well wishes over the past few weeks. I feel so blessed.
This Fall there are numerous stylish menswear finds to fit any budget. Some of the more trendy items, like Chukkahs, are great items to buy at a bargain price. You’ll look great this season and can save your money for investment pieces. The quilted backpack is on my shopping list!
What are your feelings on look-alike items from higher end designers? What is something in your wardrobe you consider an investment piece?
Remember my little 26 before 26 list? Yesterday I checked off #21 and spent the afternoon at the Arizona State Fair. I must say, it was quite fun! It was my first time at the fair and I made sure it was the full experience filled with a chocolate covered banana on a stick. lots of spinning rides, a few trips on the ferris wheel, and a fresh squeezed lemonade. I’ve decided an afternoon at the State Fair needs to be an annual tradition from now on.
Have you been to the Arizona State Fair? What is you favorite fair food? Can you stomach the spinning rides?