12 Sep

County Fair

Today is the day, my sweets! We’re off to Italy this evening and I COULD NOT be more excited, although Trav and I are missing out on something pretty awesome because of our trip…

The Santa Cruz County Fair!

With fall comes the appearance of state and county fairs all over the country.  Travis and I had our first “official” date at the fair five years ago— I love the gooey cinnamon rolls, hilarious hypnotist, and adorable baby pigs as much now as I did growing up.

I stumbled onto these awesome state fair posters, and I thought I’d share…

All images {via}

They’re part of a series called “Poster-On-A-Stick”… pretty cool, right?

Do you have a state or county fair in your area?  What’s your favorite part?  The food?  The festivities?  The cute animals?  Share in the comments!

27 Jun

Wedding Wednesday POLL: Should You Live Together Before Marriage?

I have a friend who is planning to move in with her boyfriend in the coming months, and we were talking about living together before marriage.  Travis and I moved in together less than a year into our relationship and spent three years shacked up before heading down the aisle.  My friend agreed that living together was important for her before marriage, but she was happy spending a year or less under the same roof before making the plunge.

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For me, I feel like living with someone before you agree to spend your entire life with them is a smart move.  What if you’re styles of cohabiting are totally different and living together is more stressful than fun?  Beyond that, I know from experience that Travis and I learned a lot about each other simply from being around each other all the time and living in the same apartment.

On the other hand, I have another friend who won’t move in until after the wedding ceremony.  And there’s something unbelievably romantic about that.  When she gets married, she will really be starting her life with her husband.  (Travis and I had “started our life together” years before he put a ring on it.)

I’d love to know what you think…


Will you (or did you) live with your significant other before marriage?  What made you choose to do one or the other?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

P.S.- Click here to enter this week’s giveaway :)

21 Jun

Wise Words From Dad

You know what they say: hindsight is 20/20. Don’t we all wish we could have the wisdom we get from going through hardships before we endure them?

When I reflect on the three phrases that have helped me in the past and guided me toward my future, I realize the one thing they all have in common is that they have been passed down to me from my dad.

So, in honor of Father’s Day earlier this week, I decided I’d share some of his wise words with you because, let’s face it; we’re all going through something— a breakup, a transition, a milestone, a decision, a move, love, loss, or something in-between.

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This first one used to seem like a joke to me, one of those silly things parents say that doesn’t help at the time but perhaps makes sense later on. When I came in crying after my first serious breakup with my high school sweetheart, my dad’s choice of comforting words before I sulked to my room were…

No one has ever died from heartache.

Ouch.  But two more major breakups and seven years later, I can safely say this advice is true. Heartache may be the worst possible feeling, but eventually it ends; your life doesn’t. You grow and you move on.

The other two things my dad has said for as long as I can remember have always remained in the back of my mind, especially when I was in college and throughout the choices I’ve made since.

Do what you love and the money will follow. & Follow your bliss.

These were my dad’s way of instilling in me the belief that there are intangible things more important than money, and if you listen to those (be they your passions, hopes, or dreams), money will take care of itself.

This isn’t to say that you can be careless with your finances (I’ve definitely had a few lectures from him regarding that too!), but things have a way of working out if you are truly in touch with your soul’s desire. And, if you follow your bliss– again, your dream or your calling– I think the universe will help everything else align in your favor.

Sometimes we forget our parents are people, too, who’ve learned by trial and error just as we have. Their wisdom isn’t from a parenting book; it’s more likely from living and enduring, making mistakes, and overcoming obstacles – the same sort we experience ourselves.

So join me in raising a glass to our fathers– or any older, wiser, influential men that have made you a bit smarter, life a little easier, and the harder times more bearable. Cheers, dads!  (And thanks!)

What advice has your dad (or grandfather or uncle, etc.) given you? Have they passed down any wise words that have helped you through a tough time or difficult decision? Share it with us in the comments!

13 Jun

Wedding Wednesday: I Lost My Ring!

Lovely readers, yesterday was THE WORST day ever.  I’ve heard plenty of stories over the years about women who lose their wedding rings and now I know first hand just how terrible it is…

(a very awkward picture of my now-naked left hand)

Remember how I’m trying to be better about sunscreen?  Yesterday, I slipped off my ring to apply my SPF.  Rather than placing it by our toothbrushes in our bathroom (like I usually do), I placed it in my bra.  I rushed out the door and drove across the city to a friend’s house to take care of her dog while she was away for the day.  I was in her backyard, her bathroom… all over her house, really.  THEN, I took her dog to a local dog park and played around for an hour or so.

I noticed that my ring was gone toward the end of my time at the dog park, but I assumed it was next to our toothbrushes in the bathroom because that’s where I ALWAYS keep it when my ring is off.  It wasn’t until I got home that I remembered putting the ring in my bra, and by then it was gone.

To be honest, I’m devastated.  We’ve looked everywhere.  I’m working with a ring finder to get him to bring a metal detector to the dog park, but there’s a chance that the ring isn’t even there.  There’s a part of me that’s still holding out hope that it will be found, but the other part of me feels like it’s extremely unrealistic.

Ugh… I’m sorry for the not-so-happy post this morning, but I try to keep the blog honest and this is all I can think about today.

Have you ever lost an important piece of jewelry?  Were you able to find it?  Any tips or tricks?  Please share them in the comments!

6 Jun

Wedding Wednesday: Celebrating Anniversaries

I’m not sure how time has passed so quickly, but Travis and I have been married for almost nine months already!  It feels like our wedding was just yesterday, but now we’re close to celebrating our one year anniversary.

We all know the classic wedding anniversary tradition: freezing the top tier of your wedding cake and eating it a year after you tie the knot.  But if the idea of eating thawed-out cake doesn’t feel like the dreamy celebration you had in mind, there are other fun ways to evoke the romance of your wedding day a year (or five, or ten) after the wedding.  Here are a few fun anniversary ideas (including what Trav and I are doing to celebrate):

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1. Have wedding guests write a letter. On your wedding day, set a note card and an envelope at each table setting and instruct guests to write you a message— either reminding you about a fun detail of your reception, giving you advice, or simply sending you their love.  Number each envelop from 1-50 and have guests seal their letter inside.  Each year, on your anniversary, open the corresponding numbered envelope for a sweet reminder of your big day!  (I wish we had gotten it together to do this at our wedding— it’s SUCH a neat idea!)

2. Do a photo shoot. You have all those beautiful photos of you and your husband on the day of your wedding, wouldn’t it be fun to take professional photos on your anniversary every year (or every five years)?  You could have an anniversary album that grows with your relationship and can be passed down to your kids or grandkids— how romantic!

3. Write each other a letter. It’s super sweet to read a letter from friends or family on your anniversary, but it would be so romantic to write each other letters each year on your anniversary.  I’m not talking about signing your name on a Hallmark card.  I mean a real, handwritten love letter.  Write one to your husband (and have him do the same) each year, and keep them in a special keepsake box.  Then, each year, you can read your new letter, but also sift through the old ones.  It’s sure to set the tone for a romantic celebration.

4. Take a romantic trip. There’s nothing more dreamy than your wedding day and honeymoon.  I often find myself wishing we could transport ourselves back to Maui and re-live the week we spent there post-wedding.  So, Travis and I have decided to spend our 1st wedding anniversary in another super-romantic locale: Italy!  Escaping the hectic to-do’s of everyday life make it easy to focus on the romance and reminisce on the amazing first year of marriage.

Do you have any other ideas for celebrating an anniversary?  Which of these is your favorite?  Are you celebrating an anniversary this summer?  How will you mark the occasion?  Share in the comments!