A Memorable First -Father’s Day

With this being my hubby’s first Father’s Day, I wanted to make it memorable for him. I love to plan special days for the people I love and care about, so of course I wanted to make this first memory as special as possible! I thought about how I was going to plan this special day for weeks, and I kept going back and forth with different ideas. Ultimately, I decided to plan a picnic lunch in the park and a present to go along with my theme for the day. I found this cool cooler about a month earlier at Target and knew I had to get it for my hubby! He has always enjoyed spending time on the Yakima River fishing and relaxing with good company.

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The day couldn’t have been more perfect, the hubby spent the morning relaxing and sleeping in. We had to celebrate Father’s Day on Saturday because it was my hubby’s only day off and he was pretty wore out. While he spent the morning relaxing, I was busy putting together our lunch and getting everything together that we would need for the afternoon. Once I had everything staged and ready to present, I grabbed the hubby to present him with his gift. I really wish I would have taken a picture of the little staged presentation for him to share with you, but I got caught up in the moment and forgot! I took the cooler that we had our lunch ready to enjoy in it, a bag of more goodies nestled on top with the new cooler, and a fishing pool leaning up against it all. Of course, he loved it!

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I was so excited about giving my hubby the gift above, so excited in fact that I had to give it to him the night before our big Father’s Day celebration. I saw an idea on Pinterest awhile back, where someone had taken their pets’ paw-prints and framed them. I decided to do my own take on it and have our two ‘hugsters’ with our little miss’ handprint/paw-prints on one canvas. It turned out perfect! Being the gushy type, I almost cried when I gave it to him because I knew that it would mean so much to him. He loved it and was almost as excited about it as I was! Just not on the verge of tearing up like I was!

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Getting back to the picnic in the park, we had beautiful weather that day, it wasn’t to hot and it wasn’t to cold…it was just right! We had a nice lunch and warded off the pesky seagulls long enough to eat and enjoy our food. Then we let the little miss take a few steps, fall, we would pick her up, and the process would repeat again for a while. Oh the joys of helping your little one learn how to walk! We then packed up our lunch, blanket, and stroller so the vulchers..I mean seagulls…wouldn’t destroy our stuff while we walked the short distance down to the water. The hubby and little miss played in the water while I snapped some pictures, we enjoyed this special moment for a second and then headed out. After all, we had a surprise 30th birthday to get too! And we’re off again….never a dull moment!

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Cheers!

Mel

An Oasis in the Desert

Well…there is just too much to share about our trip to capture it all in just two posts, after all we were there 4 1/2 days! We definitely had to get in some pool time while we were there and its a good thing that both places we stayed had pools! It was hot, hot, hot!! Being the end of May and beginning of June the temperatures at home were just beginning to peak the 80’s and into the 90’s, but in Arizona it was in the 110’s plus! So pool time was necessary, period.

The timeshare we stayed at in Northern Arizona was nice, clean, and pleasant. Little Miss loved, loved, loved the pool! I had an idea that she would like the pool…she has always loved bath time! It’s a good thing that I made the last minute purchase of this pool floaty thanks to the advice of a fellow blogger, Melissa @ Pretty Wednesday! Thanks Melissa!

Pool at our timeshare…

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But the real oasis in the desert was at my parent’s good friends house. She has truly created an retreat! I’ve had the pleasure of staying at her house several times during previous trips to Arizona, but she is always changing and adding pieces to her casa (she named her house ‘Casa de Fern’). During this visit, it was more beautiful than I remember! But, unfortunately, being a mommy now… I began to realize that her beautiful home wasn’t exactly “kid” friendly. I was chasing little miss around the house making sure she didn’t destroy all of her dainty keepsakes and mementos. With an almost walker, this proved to be an exhausting task to say the least. We were very fortunate for her gracious hospitality, but we may need to make our next trip down there without the little miss or wait until she gets a bit older! Please see pictures of her beautiful casa below…

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Cheers!

Mel

An Artist’s Retreat

Since this was my first long distance trip with the little miss, we (as in…my parents, their good friends, little miss, and myself) made the most out of it! We traveled to Arizona for my good friend’s wedding, please see my post “An Elegant & Rustic Wedding in Northern Arizona” for all the info and the complete gush fest! It was truly one of the best weddings I have ever been to…I just wish the hubby would have been able to make it (he was busy working his tail off!). We decided to travel to nearby Sedona and Jerome to see more of what beautiful Northern Arizona had to offer.

In Sedona, we visited a local shopping center for lunch and to enjoy all the amazing art pieces that local artists had on display. There were some truly amazing art pieces (both for sale and on display), everything from murals to bronze works to jewelry. Being a person who loves ‘global’ and ‘spiritual’ pieces of home décor and jewelry (I am completely obsessed with turquoise, all kinds of spiritual home décor, and authentic global art pieces and jewelry!). So, naturally I would fall in love with everything and Sedona did not disappoint! I remember a while back someone telling me that the mountains in Sedona had some spiritual energy and artists tend to flock to this area. I was reminded how true this theory is during our visit (and we only went to 1 shopping area!). Art was everywhere in Sedona, and being a fellow artist, I felt the energy this place generated! Please see the beautiful pictures I captured in this shopping area below!
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We didn’t get a chance to spend much time in Jerome, but we were able to get the low down on the history of this interesting town. First of all, the town was built on the side of a mountain…and believe me when I say it was a very scary highway to travel up. My car sickness kicked in about halfway up the mountain highway! Any who, back to the history of Jerome…apparently it was an old mining town that later housed an insane asylum. Scary! The legend is that this town is haunted and houses have a tendency to fall off the mountain! So, naturally, we had to have lunch at the Haunted Hamburger and it was delicious. The 50 plus steps it took to climb up to the next street to get to the restaurant helped us work up an appetite!
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We checked out a few shops while we were there, but we were ready to make the final trek back to Phoenix to get ready for our flight home the next day. So we said goodbye to Jerome and all of its charm and made the 4-5 hour drive back to Phoenix (I fell asleep for most of the trip back so I can’t remember how far it was!).

I definitely recommend checking out Sedona or Jerome, or both, on your next trip to Arizona! Like I mentioned earlier, Lake Powell is definitely worth visiting as well if you want to do a camping/house boat trip too!!

Cheers!

Mel

An Elegant & Rustic Wedding in Northern Arizona

I know what you’re thinking…how can a wedding be both rustic and elegant at the same time. Well when looking at pictures of my beautiful college friend’s wedding, it was certainly the case. Her wedding was by far the most well planned and executed wedding I have ever been to (including my own wedding)! Every detail was well thought out, just as an example…they had menu’s printed with our names on them, they had cards printed with seat assignments, and the list goes on and on.

I can go on for days about how beautiful their wedding was, it was located in northern Arizona which looked quite a bit different than the Phoenix area I was use to seeing in Arizona. I have been to northern Arizona once before, when I was in High School on a family trip to the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell and Sedona but I forgot how beautiful and awe inspiring northern Arizona can be. Their wedding took place on an estate that had a gorgeous two story cabin that oozed rustic charm. Including this gun chandelier….
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The property also had a vineyard, a gazebo, a waterfall and a large manmade lake. The wedding took place in front of the waterfall, with the cocktail hour before and after the ceremony taking place on the gorgeous wrap around porch of the cabin, and the dinner reception took place on the grass in between the cabin and the vineyard. Their wedding day was absolutely perfect, but it wouldn’t be a wedding without some drama…unfortunately one of the fellow bridesmaids fainted during the ceremony! Poor thing, I felt so bad for her!

Getting back to the amazing decor they had at the wedding, they had wine bottles featured throughout the space (a nod to the groom’s career and their love for wine). They also had pictures of the bride and groom’s life thus far and all of the amazing people who have touched their lives (a special and unique touch that I absolutely loved!). I can also go on for days on how amazing the food was, but I’ll spare you…just know that it was to die for! I should have known that food would be one of the features of the wedding, the groom is an amazing cook and has fed me meals before that were beyond most restaurant quality dishes I’ve tried. So I shouldn’t have been surprised when they said they brought in their favorite chef to cater the wedding. I just can’t even begin to describe how amazing this wedding was, it just spoke to the bride and groom with every detail of the wedding! I’ve included some pictures, hoping that I captured some of the amazing beauty and elegance of their wedding!

 

Cheers!

-Mel

It’s July Already?!

Whew…what a busy month and a half its been! I can’t believe my last post was back on May 21st!! We’ve been pretty busy around these parts, first our computer took a turn for the worst for a few weeks (darn virus!), then a wedding in Arizona, two more weddings, Father’s Day, a 1st Birthday, and living life in all its busyness…there goes the rest of May and all of June!! I have a lot to catch up on! I plan to do a post a day to get caught up on everything that’s been going on for the last month and a half! Then hopefully I’ll be able to get back on track to have at least a post a week. So for now…more coming soon!

Happy Birthday…To Me!!

I just had the most wonderful birthday celebration weekend! This was a special birthday for me… I got to celebrate a milestone birthday, 30! I know most people dread the thought of turning 30, and for most people this is one of the hardest birthday’s they face. For me, I was looking forward to turning 30. Now, before you think I’m crazy I think it’s important to put everything into perspective. I truly believe that I am at the best place in my life (so far), I have a wonderful hubby, a beautiful daughter, a job I love, a renewed committment to my faith, and I’m surrounded by wonderful family and friends. What more could a girl ask for! I am truly blessed and I give thanks for my blessings every day! I think it’s important to reflect on all the great things you have going on in your life, especially on your birthday, rather than dwelling on the things you don’t have. Trust me, my list of “don’t have’s” is very long and I simply choose not to dwell on them. Anyways…back to my birthday weekend!
We started out the birthday celebration by meeting my family for a wonderful lunch at Anthony’s Seafood restaurant. Of course it was amazing, as always! It was great to have my family get together and enjoy each other’s company! Then it was off to a few local wineries for a mini-wine tour. It was so fun! I’ve been to all of these wineries before, but it was much more fun this time around. Bookwalter was my favorite…as always! I just love something about the laid back atmosphere there and they have some great red blends. I highly recommend them…please check them out at http://www.bookwalterwines.com! The next stop was Barnard Griffin, which has totally changed in the last couple of years. Yes, again, I don’t get out much for drinking/social endeavours! They have a fun restaurant/bistro set up now with a glass studio across the patio. If you aren’t familiar with this winery, the husband is a wine maker and the wife is a glass artist. Pretty cool stuff! Her artwork is proudly displayed throughout the restaurant/bistro and it gives the space an artsy feel, which I loved! The last stop on the tour was Tagaris, and this is always the most decadent stop amongst this grouping of wineries. It has beautiful large oak doors to welcome you in with wrought iron throughout the restaurant. It looks like what I would imagine a Tuscan winery to be like. It is a truly beautiful, yet a bit on the pricey side, winery. We finished the evening off here with a brief visit by the outdoor fire and then moved inside due to the weather. We were able to get a large table that made it perfect for visiting. It was a perfect day and a wonderful evening!
If you’re ever in the Tri Cities, WA area and are looking to check out some local wines I highly recommend this area. All of the wineries are within walking distance of each other and they each have a unique ambiance. And of course…great wines!

Cheers!

Mel

A Mother’s Love

With this being my first ‘offical’ Mother’s Day, the day felt exceptionally special to me. There is something about becoming a mother for the first time that makes you appreciate your own mom and the other mother figures in your life. I am so greatful to my mom for nuturing and endlessly encouraging me to explore my creativity! I have not only been fortunate enough to have a creative mom, but I also have a creative and talented step-mom. I am so blessed! They are amazing cheerleaders of support for me, and I know that I am so fortunate to have both of them in my life. I hope I can be the same mom to my beautiful little girl!
This year as I was reflecting on Mother’s Day, I realize the importantance of the holiday. It’s not about buying expensive gifts to thank your mom for the person she helped you become, but to let her know how special she is! I had the opportunity to make a little extra money this weekend working the fragrance counter at a local mall. As I was visiting with my fellow co-workers they were commenting on how slow business seemed to be with Mother’s Day on Sunday. I got to thinking about it, and truly hope that most of the customers who would have bought their mom an expensive bottle of perfume opted to spend the day with their mom instead. The older I get, the more I realize that unpersonal gifts are just not for me and I would much rather spend the day with my family and handmade gifts. I didn’t get the opportunity to see both of my mom’s yesterday, but I hope they both know how special they are to me. I am working on creating personal gifts for both of my moms and I hope they like them…I’ll post pictures soon!

To all my fellow mommies out there, you have the hardest and the most rewarding job in the world! I hope you cherish every moment and memory!

Cheers!

Mel

Go Big or Go Home…

My hubby is getting ready to celebrate his big 31st birthday tomorrow, and I know what your thinking…what’s so big about turning 31? Well I have a theory that once you make a big deal out of a birthday you are kinda obligated to continue on with the tradition. With last year being his 30th I like most people, made a big deal out of his birthday. I thought long and hard about the perfect theme and came up with ‘Old Buck’ because I wanted it to be unique and personal for him. He is the definition of a “man’s man”…he loves to camp, hunt, fish, and all things outdoors. So the theme was perfect for him and he absolutely loved it! I thought I would have to DIY most of the decorations, with my unique theme and all, and was presently surprised that there is a plethora of hunting theme decorations out there. Who knew!

Just a side note, when party planning it’s always a good idea to make it personal to the featured person. If the person loves shoes, have a purse and shoe themed birthday party! If they love fishing, have a bait and tackle party! I could go on for days, but I’ll spare you! There are so many ideas on Pinterest and don’t be afraid to have a non-traditional themed party!

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Cheers!

Mel

Tis the Season…for Love!

Well it must be spring! We have been invited to six, count them SIX, weddings this year! I don’t know about anybody else but it seems that each year alternates between weddings to attend or welcoming a brand new baby into the world. Don’t get me wrong, I love celebrations of all kinds but sometimes it seems to be a little overwhelming when you have so many to attend.

We started the season off this past weekend with the beautiful wedding of my husband’s childhood friend and his longtime love. This wedding has been a little unique for me because the bride-to-be is our daughter’s babysitter. So I have had the pleasure of hearing all of the wedding planning excitement! It’s amazing how quickly you forget how much work planning/decorating a wedding yourself can be. It can truly be an all consuming activity with every little detail needing to be planned out and trying to organize the flowers, the table centerpieces, the cake, etc., etc. etc. It brings me back to my own wedding and how stressed out I got about making sure that everything coordinated with my theme and now I can’t really even remember what the theme was almost three years later. I think it was beach romantic? We had a unique wedding, I wanted an intimate ceremony on the beach with just our immediate family and my husband wanted a big party. Ultimately, we ended up compromising and I got my small intimate wedding on the beach and we came back and had a big shindig in our hometown. We thought this was a great idea and a way that we could each get what we wanted. It turned out that we had signed up to plan two weddings rather than one. Great idea huh? It was all worth it in the end and we were so blessed by all the love we recieved from our family and friends who attended the reception!

I just love weddings, they are such a beautiful celebration of love and two families coming together! I’m looking forward to the several more weddings we have coming up and I remember the beautiful wedding we had 3 years ago…awe memories!

Tis the Season…for Love!

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Cheers!

Mel