Thursday, December 31, 2015

Theater Thursday

It's Thursday and that can only mean one thing... it's Theater Thursday! We are on the other side of Christmas but that doesn't mean we can't celebrate one last time before this year ends. This week's featured movie is, Serendipity.
Serenipity stars John Cusack as Jonathan Trager and Kate Beckinsale as Sara Thomas. Both live in New York City and they both happen to be at Bloomingdale's looking for a Christmas present for their significant others. They both happen to meet while trying to buy the same pair of gloves. Even though they are involved with other people they feel a mutual attraction and end up having ice cream together at Serendipity III. Sara deeply believes in fate and Jonathan is so attracted to her he will believe in anything she says. When Sara writes her phone number in a book and sells it to a book store she says when it comes back to him that's when the universe will bring them back together. At the same time Jonathan's phone number get's put on the back of a five dollar bill.

Several years later Jonathan is having his engagement party... with his fiancé Halley. At the same time on the other side of the country in San Francisco, Sara has just gotten engaged. As the wedding dates for both couples near they are both starting to have a little cold feet. Sara decides to journey back to NYC with her friend Eve for one last horary... at least that's what Eve thinks. Sara is actually back in NYC to find Jonathan. Yet she doesn't know his last name because she's never found the five dollar bill. While she's running around NYC hoping that fate will bring them together, Jonathan is having his rehearsal. At the end of the rehearsal Halley gifts him a grooms gift... a book that he always opens up in bookstores but doesn't own. Guess what's inside? Sara's name and number.

What will happen now? Will Sara and Jonathan finally end up together or will fate not have it in the cards.. Watch and find out!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Reads of 2015

In 2015, I was realistic about my reading. I knew that planning a wedding and working a full time job would consume most of my time. In June, we had a major health scare happen and that halted even the constant wedding planning let alone my reading. I had a goal of reading 10 books in 2015 and I ended the year with eight books finished. I'm currently reading my ninth book. So enough though I had a crazy year I almost hit my goal of reading 10 books. Next year I hope to read 20 books if not more. I've got them all sitting and waiting. But before we dive into 2016, let's take a look back on all the books I read in 2015...

1. Jewel of the Nile.

2. Champion.

3. Stand Up Guy.

4. Cut and Thrust.

5. Paris Match.

6. Insatiable Appetites.

7. Grey.

8. Hot Pursuit.

9. Mrs. Jeffries Takes a Second Look.

I loved reading all of these books. I wasn't disappointed in any of them. To be honest I actually read more than 10 books, I technically read 13 but three books that I read were re-reads from books I had read in the past. I want to count only new books to my read count. Once I finish the Mrs. Jeffries book that I'm currently reading, I'll start next year's book count out with the new Stuart Woods book that I got for Christmas. He is by far my favorite author. I keep checking his calendar to see if he's coming anywhere near where I live for book signings!

Do you have any book suggestions? What have you been reading?

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas 2015

Christmas has come and gone and now the countdown begins again to the next Christmas. It's only 362 days away, that's how I'm going to look at it. Before we countdown to next year, let's take a look at what this Christmas brought us.

On December 23rd we started our Christmas shopping. Nope, I'm not kidding. We were so busy with the wedding we didn't do our shopping until 2 days before Christmas. We hit up one store and literally did all of our shopping there until we were finished. I also had my wedding manicure removed and got my nails decked out for the holiday. These beauties will be with me into January...
note the entrance of my wedding band! (First manicure after the wedding)
We spent the rest of the 23rd wrapping presents and I got my baking skills on. I made peanut butter cookies and for the first time made smore bars. The smore bars were a big hit and they were extremely easy to make. All you need is some fudge brownie mix, a bag of marsh mellows  and a box of graham crackers. They took about 40 minutes to bake. This is how the turned out...
On Christmas Eve we spent the day relaxing and in the evening headed to my in laws house. I proudly wore this shirt the whole evening...
On Christmas I was able to Skype (thank goodness for technology) with my mom and we were able to watch each other open our gifts.
Since my mom and I didn't get to physically be in the same place for Christmas, I took on the role of making Christmas dinner. I made an entire ham by myself along with mashed potatoes and homemade gravy. I also made baked macaroni and cheese. I was going to make another dessert but decided we had too many sweets in the house already. Next week I'll make a peanut butter pie.
We had a pretty low key Christmas but next year we will do it up big! I should mention I got some amazing Christmas village pieces to start off my new Christmas project for next year!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!
Enjoy the day with family and friends

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Theater Thursday

It's Thursday and Christmas Eve! That means it's Theater Thursday! This week's featured movie is not only a Christmas classic but personally my favorite Christmas movie. It's none other than... White Christmas.

White Christmas stars Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye as Bob Wallace and Phil Davis. The men met while serving in the army and because of Phil saving Bob's life they become life long friends. When Bob visits Phil in the medical tent to thank him for saving his life, he let's him know he can always come to him if he needs anything. Phil pounces on the offer and tells Bob about a song he's written. The only problem for Bob is that the song is a duet. He's a solo act.

Once the war is over, the men join forces and become a duet. Their duet takes off and they are a smashing success. They have a whole show with singing and dancing, elaborate sets and tons of extra dancers. Their lives change once they agree to see a sisters act as a favor for a friend they had in the Army. That's when they meet Judy and Betty Hanes. The sisters are finishing their performances in Florida and are headed to Vermont for the holidays. When Phil gets an idea to set Bob & Betty up he quickly thinks of a way to get them all to Vermont together. Once there they run into their old General from the war. The General has fallen on hard times. He own a ski lodge and since Vermont hasn't had any snow he's struggling financially. 

Bob and Phil decide to bring their entire show to Vermont and from there on the antics are crazy and fun. Watch this heartwarming classic and you'll soon be dreaming of a White Christmas.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Our Wedding Day Part 1

On 12-13-15 we woke up to a downpour. California has been in a major drought but on our wedding day it rained cats and dogs. Accompanying it was 40 mph wind. It didn't phase me though, I knew that our ceremony and reception was taking place indoors and if there's one thing I know for sure, you can't control the weather. Our makeup and hair person was set to arrive at 8:00 a.m. to start working on the bridesmaids. When she arrived started on hair first and then makeup. We stuck to tradition and the night before the wedding Beezy and I slept in different rooms. We also didn't want to see each other until we were on the venue property doing our first look. We had a suite with an adjoining room so he was literally on the other side of the wall all morning. 
Getting ready in the hotel with my mom
Amanda did a great job on all of our hair. My hair is thick and I was worried about it not making it all night. I was also worried about having a bobby pin headache. If you've ever had one of those then you know exactly what I'm talking about. I'm happy to report, I didn't get a headache! Amanda was also able to do all of our hair and makeup in 5 hours. Basically it was an hour per person.
My hair pin and style
Cara's up do hairstyle
Once we had our hair and makeup ready we headed over to the venue to get dressed. Thankfully the rain had stopped and the winds had calmed down. The hotel was about 15 minutes from the venue so our ride was short. I had gifted all of my bridesmaids robes embroidered with their initials and we wore them to the venue.

My beautiful mommy
My wedding coordinator got us into my bridal suite and we hung our dresses up. We also sneaked a peek at the reception room to see the progress. I was so excited to see our winter wonderland vision come to life. I had to quickly get back into my bridal suite because Beezy was arriving at the venue after me to finish getting ready. Once I was back in my bridal suite, I got into my dress. My dress had a large amount of crystal buttons that had to be looped. Once we were dressed, we snacked on cheese and fruit the venue had set up for us. We also took some shots of my gown.

My shoes and bouquet
By this time my groom had arrived to the venue and was getting ready for the first look. He was also supplied with some snacks and drinks. We were so happy the rain held off because we did our first look in our venue's courtyard which is not covered from the sky.

We haven't got any of our first look photos back yet so for now you'll just have to wait! My mom did take this one from inside the venue...

Once our first look was done we took the bulk of our photos before the ceremony. We also took our bridal party photos. This was also the first time that we got to see our cake. It hadn't been delivered before we got on site and it came while we were busy taking photos. I loved how it turned out. Our cake had three different flavors: Marbled, White with strawberry filling and chocolate with a chocolate fudge filling. I loved the marbled and that was also our top tier which is currently in our freezer. It was also made of butter cream frosting and only our snowflakes were made of fondant.
Our winter wonderland wedding cake
Our top tier and cake topper

Next up the ceremony and reception....

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Practice Makes Perfect

On Sunday, December 13th we finally said, "I Do!"

Our wedding weekend actually started on Friday. My mom came into town on Thursday night and the rest of our friends  and family started descending in to Pleasanton. We planned to head over on Friday and that's exactly what we did. We loaded up the cars with everything that we would need until Monday and then hit the road. We were lucky enough to have a suite in the hotel so our room was the central hang out place for my bridesmaids. By Friday night all of my bridesmaids besides one had made it into town.

On Saturday morning, we had our rehearsal at the venue, Casa Real. This was our chance to practice how we would line up, walk into the ceremony room, practice some of our traditional vows and introduce some of the bridal party to each other that hadn't got to meet before hand. My bridesmaids also got to practice walking in their shoes (which did not go well). This was also the first time our parents and wedding party got to see the venue. We were the only ones who had seen it in person leading up to the wedding. They were decorated for a corporate event so we knew it was going to look completely different for our reception.

Once the rehearsal ended we headed back to the hotel and then out to grab some lunch. I went with some of my bridesmaids and my mom to get pizza at a local Pleasanton place. We were able to hang out and relax before the rehearsal dinner. At this point, I was feeling a lot of anxiety. I felt nervous and was still hoping that everything would turn out perfect. I also hadn't slept a wink the night before. Once we got back to the hotel, it was time to get ready for our dinner. Our rehearsal dinner was held in downtown Pleasanton at Strizzis.  
Strizzi's is an Italian restaurant. Since we had about 30 guests for our dinner we had a special menu created for our event. This was actually our first time eating at the restaurant so we were pleased to find out the food was great! I had posted this photo on my instagram that night and got tons of compliments on my outfit. My skirt is actually a dress and I bought it at Macys. I had debated on this dress and another one and went with this one because the blue color matched one of our colors we were using in the wedding. Plus it was extremely comfortable not to mention cute.
 with my MOH
 My bridesmaid Cara who you can find over on Craft Dictator and her husband
 my bridesmaid Kristin and my mom
 groomsmen and family
 our Chaplin
the gang
Once the rehersal dinner was over, we all headed back to the hotel. Once we got to the hotel the party didn't stop. We were in the lobby/hotel bar area for hours. Our friends and family all got to know each other more and hang out. My mother and I excused ourselves around 10:00 p.m. because I needed to get some sleep. Unfortunately, I was so nervous I didn't sleep a wink. I think I got about 2 hours of sleep the whole night. When I got up though, I was surprisingly calm. I wasn't worried about the set up at the venue. I didn't flinch when our videographer went to the wrong hotel. I wasn't upset that there was 40 mph wind and rain pouring down. I remained calm.
Tomorrow... wedding day!

Monday, December 21, 2015

2015 Christmas Wish List

Dear Santa,

I want you to know that our wedding was this December and we got so many wonderful gifts. We were also surrounded by family and friends and that alone was gift enough. We were showered with so many gifts for our home and are so appreciative. We have decided to only do Christmas stockings for each other this year. So my list of Christmas wishes is only a list. I don't need any of these items and I am not expecting them. We feel very blessed to have had our wedding, being able to have our friends fly in from all over the country and most of all have been able to spend time with my mother. I will be so happy if Skype doesn't crash on Christmas day. We also feel very blessed to have a roof over our heads, food in our stomachs and to be able to pay our bills. So really... this list is just a list of non essential items I'd love to have one day.

1. Vera Bradley Bag
Turn Lock Satchel in Impressionista
There was a point in my life where I only carried Vera Bradley bags. I use to love, love, love them. They were light, easy to clean and not super expensive. They also show off super cute colors and patterns. Then it was like you saw them every where you went and it was like Vera Bradley was on overload. I still have all of my VB bags but I haven't had a new one in probably 10 years. I saw this one online and thought it was super cute.

2. Daily Agenda Planner.
I'm old school and do not put all of my appointments in my phone. I like to take a pen and write it on paper and be able to flip through the pages and go back and look at things that I've wrote down. I like having room to write down, I like to take a pen and cross things out that I've finished, etc. Last year I got a burnt orange color one and even though it's a little big I carry it around in my purse every day. My life is busy so I have to keep it organized or I will forget what time I'm suppose to show up or where to be.

3. If I Can Dream- Elvis Presley
This is the newest Elvis cd to hit the stands. It was released in November and I've been hearing some of the tracks on my satellite radio. It's so good! They took Elvis' vocals, isolated them and had the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra do the back up for the music. All of the songs were hand picked by Priscilla herself and she did a good job. The songs were ones special to him and her. They were each chosen for specific reasons and it's some of the best versions I've ever heard.

4. Hallmark Christmas Movies

I am a sucker for all of the Hallmark Christmas movies. Seriously, I watch them all. I will probably cry when they go off once the new year starts. Our DVR is busting at the seams with them that I've recorded and refuse to delete. I need to get them all on dvd so I can just watch them through the whole year until the start them back up. I think my Amazon wish list is overloaded with all of them on there.

5. Michaels Gift Card
I'm all about knitting scarves. Plus I go in there and stare at all the cake supplies, ornaments, home décor etc. Who am I kidding? I'd buy yarn.