Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Kathy's Wedding

What can I say about Kathy's wedding??? It was beautiful. It was magical. It was whimsical (chandeliers hanging from tree branches? VERY whimsical) It was a fabulous venue filled with fabulous people celebrating a FABULOUS couple. 

I was so honored to be a part of Kathy's day. She was not only BEAUTIFUL but she was the most calm and put-together bride that I have ever been around (myself included), which made the day THAT much more amazing.

We got ready in the morning/early afternoon at her rental house (which was so awesome, Tony and I are going to stay there some time very soon). Once we were in the car and on the way to the location- I started to get some butterflies in my tummy...you know, it was all just so exciting!!

 Above: a seriously cute front door (the rental in San Luis Obispo)

I was asked to read a poem at the ceremony, which I got choose (now that's pressure, people!!!). I cry every time I read E.E. Cummings', I Carry Your Heart . So, I figured I would make it really  hard on ma-self and read that one (luckily, I held it together).

After the ceremony we took pictures, during which my friends and I came up with a nickname for my "model persona" (which I have been doing around the camera FOR YEARS): Sapphire West. That's ma name. Beyonce is Sasha Fierce....I'm Sapphire West. It works!

above: that's ma Sapphire West pose (and Tony's too, I guess)

Once pics were finished, we ate a fabulous meal and danced the night away! The best part of this wedding was spending so much time with my closest friends. I got to hang with all my peeps all day and night. There is absolutely nothing better than spending the day with those you love most! (Tony and I got a few slow dances in as well...hubba, hubba!!)

Princess and the Pea (I'm that princess)

Just like the  Hans Christian Andersen fairy tail of The Princess and the Pea- I am beginning to feel extreme physical sensitivity to my bed. I'm almost certain that my back pain doesn't indicate royalty, so the only other explanation is I need a new bed. 

Photo credit: Eugenio Recuenco

Tony and I are REALLY trying to save money and new matresses are CRAZY expensive. I've poked around online and found that Ikea matresses are actually pretty well liked.  Honestly....they've gotten really good reviews! We took a little trip to Ikea in Palo Alto and gave the beds a little test drive. I  have to admit, at first I was a little under-whellmed in Ikea. I really want a super luxurious bed. I (often) have to fight against the feeling of, "if I'm going to spend the money on [it], I might as well get the BEST of the BEST." I figure, I have my whole life to buy a really high-end, luxury bed- I'm 28 years old with a growing family...and right now is not the time. So, an Ikea bed it is!!

We found one that we LOVED! The SULTAN ELSFJORD. It's firm, eco friendly, and has amazing reviews. Also, we can get a 25 year warranty (say whaaattt!?!?!). So, we've made up our minds and in the next couple of months we are going to buy that bed! I'll let you know how it goes. 

Queen bed: $499.00
With box spring: $649.00 (we'll be buying the box sprig too)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Power of "The Hug"

I've been thinking about hugs lately. Remember when all I wanted was a HUG? Well today I was thinking about just how powerful a hug can be....

A good friend of mine is going through something pretty rough. When I was told about the sad news, all I could do was give my friend a huge hug. I didn't have ANY words, there was absolutely nothing that I could say to make my friend's world better. But that hug...that hug was a symbol.

The more I thought about hugs,  I realized just how powerful they can be. Two arms wrapped around another person can say so much. They can say, "I love you," or "I miss you." Hugs can show compassion and empathy. They can show sympathy and kindness. They can demonstrate forgiveness or remorse. Hugs can be a happy greeting or a sad farewell. They're how one shows pride or lends support. Hugs are tasteless, wordless, and soundless- but they can exhibit passion, affection, and desire.

I really hope my friend understood ALL that I wanted to say when I gave that hug. My arms said, "I love you, I support you, I can't make it better- but I'd give anything to take your pain away...." 

Next time you give a hug, just ask yourself...."what am I trying to say with my two little arms....???" 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Chicago: Part Two

The second part of our little trip to Chicago, we spent with my aunt and uncle. My mom's sister has lived in Naperville for years (they have recently "downgraded" to a home right next to Naperville) and I spent summers there as a child. Going back as an adult was an amazing experience. It really opened [our] eyes to just how beautiful other ares of this country are. We have lived in California (most) of our lives, and tend to believe the hype....you know, California is the best place to be (so on and so forth). But honestly, it's not. It's pretty amazing here in Cali, but it's not the only place to live and thrive. Tony and I envision our little family fitting in quite nicely in the mid-west. It's just so friendly....

Anyhoooooo- the latter part of our trip was spent shopping, eating ice cream, and hanging out with my family. We really loved our time with my aunt and uncle and enjoyed getting to know the suburbs of Chicago (we even got a little lost while exploring). My aunt and uncle have traveled all over the world, (I mean literally, ALL OVER) They have been to all seven continents. On a trip to Peru, they bought some plastic fruit ("because it just looked so real", said my aunt). Easton had a so much fun playing with it! He even got to take a banana home :)

My aunt introduced us to her dear friend (and neighbor) Jimmy. Jimmy is a fabulous woman (80 years old) who is married to Jesse, a fabulous man who is about to celebrate his 90th birthday. They were such amazing people and loved loved LOVED Easton. Jimmy would have babysat Easton, had we needed a night away.

 I have to mention that Jimmy owns more hats than anyone I have ever met. She has an entire walk in closet FULL of hat boxes that hold the most beautiful hats. Be still my heart.... (I really am a sucker for hats.)

As trips so often do, this one had to come to an end. We'll be back, Chicago...we'll be back. (Sooner than we might have anticipated...)

PS- the photo above....that's my travel hair. It ain't pretty. More on traveling with our baby, later. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Crib hopping.

We bought our crib from a couple on Craigslist. It was an amazing steal. We paid $350 for a crib that was $1000 new, and less than a year old. The couple's son was beginning to "crawl out" at nine months. Honestly, I didn't really believe them. But, in the last week, E has started to stand and cry in his crib. I'm anticipating the day when he is going to crawl right out.

So, I'm buying THESE today! I think they might help to cushion the (inevitable) fall...

 Bonus: they can be used as sitting pillows in a reading corner, (or time-out corner) one day!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Chicago: Part One

On the first part of our trip, we visited with Angela and Reggie. Angela is my best friend. We've known each other since we were five years old. We've been through good times and bad, loved each other through the every day ups and downs of friendship, and watched each other fall in love with amazing men. Reggie, he is an amazing man. Caring, kind, engaging, and....he let's Angela decorate their house however she wants!!! Pretty amazing, I must say.

They live in a VERY small town just west of Chicago. While driving through hundreds of corn fields to get to their town, I thought, "I can't believe MY Angela lives here." She is glitz and glam, NOT country bumpkin. She lives in a town who hosts a "Kid's Fishing Derby" for the fourth of July. It's small, it's country, it's not "her" at all.

Reggie (her fiance) is a doctor who was offered the chance at taking over a practice, so with a lot of thoughtful decision making (that was probably fueled with drinking) they decided to move. Angela works from home and travels, so she can live anywhere. Despite the fact that "fitting in" will probably NEVER happen, they have made the best of it. 

For instance, in order to entertain ourselves- we hung out in masks! Reggie and Angela brought these masks back from Venice, Italy last month!

While on our visit, we spent half the time in their little town and half the time in Chicago. We had so much fun with them, we wished our time would never end. Tony and Reggie played golf, Reggie gave Easton a check-up, Angela and I stayed up chatting until 4am, and we ate delicious food!

Also, Tony and Reggie are both amazing shoppers. So they weren't annoyed at all when Angela and I wanted to shop (for a really long time) on Michigan Ave. They shopped right along with us! We went on an Architectural tour, ate at some fabulous eateries, and listened to live music on Navy Pier.

Our time with them was priceless. I'm so thankful for such amazing family-friends! 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Operation, Drop 8 pounds!

Today is the first day pack from our trip to Chicago. Tony and I are very excited to begin a 30 day regimen of working out and counting calories, in the hopes of dropping eight pounds! Remember  when I talked about doing a Fit Camp??? Today is the beginning of that project! This morning, we are weighing in and taking some measurements- followed by a hike in Almaden!

I'm nervous to get on the scale, I'm almost positive that I gained a few pounds on our trip to Chi-Town. But, knowledge is power. We will be weighing ourselves every morning for 30 days, and keeping record on an excel spreadsheet. Organization....that's just how we roll.

Also, I have never divulged a small-ish, dirty little secret on my blog. I am a HUGE desert addict. Right around 8:30pm EVERY NIGHT (ever since I was pregnant) I start itching for a sweet. Frozen yogurt, chocolate chip cookies, dark chocolate....you name it, I'll eat it. I'm going to be abstaining from desert every day for one week. I'll check in from time to time and let ya'll know how I'm doing. Cold sweats and all.

I'm really, REALLY nervous about giving up my favorite meal of the day (desert)....but, it's absolutely necessary. 

(*note- before ending this post, I weighed myself and I did in fact gain FIVE pounds in about three weeks. Holy moly!)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Home, Sweet Home.

I'll share all about my trip to Chicago in due time, but for now I have to write about our arrival and our lovely little hotel. First and foremost, I am so impressed by my baby and my husband. They are both so easy going- it really makes traveling so delightful.

My hub and I have this thing- we always clean our house, make our bed, etc. right before we leave for a trip. We do this, because coming home to a clean house and a made bed is AMAZING....especially after a really long (10 day) vacation. There is nothing better than getting into our own bed after a long getaway- and it's even more fabulous with fresh sheets and fluffed pillows. It's kinda like coming home to a hotel room.

And on that (hotel room) note...

For part of our trip we stayed at the Allegro Hotel in downtown Chicago. It was so chić and boutique-ie. I love love love boutique hotels. Actually, while staying at the Allegro, I decided that Tony and I should stay in fabulous hotels more often. So then and there we made a pact to do a little more "hotel hopping." You know, weekend getaways to Carmel and Sausalitio ?!?! We are planning a hotel-hop  for August, as we speak!

We were a little worried that Easton wouldn't sleep well-being in the same room as us, and all...but he was so tuckered out that he just fell (Chris Farley style) face down in his pack and play. He couldn't even muster enough energy to let go of his giraffe.

Seriously....how cute is that little guy?!?! Oh yes, and did you get a load of that leopard bathrobe? I totally rocked that. 

By the way...I'm really trying to get a larger fan base. If you like ma blog...won't you follow it!?!?! Or, LIKE my Facebook page!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Land of Nod Outlet, Oh my!

We are still on a little family trip to Chicago! Right now, we're staying in a little town called Naperville. This town is so cute. It's a small-ish town West of Chicago and it's seriously fabulous.

While on a drive through the beautiful neighborhoods, we stumbled on an amazing little find.... The Land of Nod Outlet!!! There is only ONE of these in existence. I found it. I shopped it. And I loved it! I would make an annual pilgrimage to Naperville just to shop at this store. 

This town doesn't just have The Land of Nod Outlet. It is beautiful. It's full of tree lined streets, big and beautiful homes, friendly people, The Daily Method (a workout class that I have just started to get in to), and FIRE-FLYS!! Yes folks, fire-flys. Tony and I are huge fans of fire-flys.

I know that the grass is sometimes greener on someone else's lawn, but this town seems like a perfect place to raise a family. I can imagine Easton running through the forest preserve, dipping his little toes along the River Walk, and swimming in the HUGE pool that was once an old quarry (the quarry supplied many of the buildings in Naperville).

Also, I wouldn't mind living so close to Chicago. That city is amazing. It's clean, fast paced, and friendly. You just can't get much better than that. Oh yes....and Chicago is the third home to one of my favorite stores, Top Shop.

I bought a pretty awesome skirt at Top Shop...more on that later! 
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