Tuesday, December 31, 2013

how it happened.


Remember that time I told you that I got engaged...then bailed?

Sorry about that. :)

I mentioned in my last post that our engagement was in a very 'plan-less plan B' style. There's a lot of truth (and maybe confusion?) in that statement, and some of you are not letting me forget that I have yet to dish the details! ;) So without further ado, here's the un-abridged version of the big day!


[12.07.2013]
Saturday, December 7th started like any other day. We'd both planned on getting haircuts downtown, as we have the same stylist who'd just opened her own salon. We figured we'd book back-to-back appointments, then seeing as how the new location was near one of our favorite brunch spots and relatively close to Coronado Island, we'd just have a bite to eat then venture across the bridge to do a little sightseeing. Sounds like a nice little morning, right? This part couldn't have gone more wrong.

Firstly, we couldn't find a spot to park because there was a holiday parade processing up and down all streets surrounding the building. The Santas on Harley's coupled with the construction zone still in front of the salon made for a stressful parking situation. My stylist, also late due to the holiday-spectacular-meets-the-Vegas-strip-processional, did my hair first. By the time she'd finished, it was all I could do to keep from crying right there in her chair. I didn't just hate my hair, I haaaaaaaated my hair. Poor girl; it wasn't her fault... she'd done exactly what I said I wanted...except that she'd clearly not seen the hot pink sequined bow on the front of my sweater, or somehow missed the navy blue ruffled coat I was wearing because she'd clearly mistaken my preppy, girly style for that of a modern hipster. NOT that there is anything wrong with that look, it's just so far from what I was going for that particular day. My hair was slicked down straight on one side (she must have missed the 'Texas girls tease their hair within an inch of their lives' memo), and had more spikes than Kate Gosselin circa 2008 on the other side. Just. So. Not. Me.

Once Spencer finished up, I held my tears until we got to the car where he assured me that "today is going to be so good, you won't even think twice about that haircut by the time it's all over". I sniffled back an "OK" and we headed straight for Coronado. The parade was still going on, so clearly brunch was out of the picture.

We got to the island around noon and noticed it was just starting to sprinkle. Not to worry, we'd head inside the Hotel del Coronado to see the Christmas decorations and do a little window shopping. Everyone else must've had the same idea, because we found ourselves shoulder-to-shoulder with every single tourist visiting the city that day. We pushed past the crowds to the outside where we noticed the rain had subsided a bit, and since we were starving by this point, decided to stop in a little tavern to have lunch. We split a burger and fries, and as we were finished up, I heard Spencer mutter an "oh no", as he looked out the window to see sheets upon sheets of a torrential downpour.  Whelp, there goes our plans to stroll along the beach, I thought, but Spencer was insistent that we wait a bit to see if the rain would die down. Knowing he hates the scratchy ocean sand and smelly fish water, I thought it a bit odd that he would want to wait around, but I'm never one to object to an opportunity to put my toes in the sand so I gladly obliged. After waiting what felt like an eternity, we thought we'd chance it and see if maybe the rain had lightened up nearer to the shore. As soon as we stepped outside, we were met with horizontal falling rain. We bolted to the car, but by the time we got there, were both soaked from head to toe. Knowing it wasn't going to get any better, we headed for home.

Spencer was very quiet the whole drive back. The only time he spoke was to ask if I had any interest in heading out to see La Jolla Cove or Del Mar beach. I told him I'd much rather get home and put on some dry clothes, wash the rain out of my hair, and relax. He agreed, but still looked completely bummed.

Once we got home and dried off, we just hung out around the house. The plan was to meet a couple of our friends for dinner later that evening at one of our favorite restaurants, so around 4 o'clock, I got up to get ready to go. All of a sudden, Spencer became extremely concerned that I make sure and be ready to leave the house a good 45 minutes earlier than necessary. I didn't see what the rush was, knowing we already had a reservation, but I did my best to be ready on time.

I finished up and headed toward where he was in the living room where he stopped me to tell me that I looked really pretty, but that he had "something to help sparkle up my outfit a bit". He then pulled a tiny box from the Christmas tree, got down on one knee right there in our little bitty, two-bedroom condo, said all of the most perfect words, and asked me to marry him. As soon as I realized what was happening, my hand instinctively flew to my mouth and the tears started flowing. I'd always wondered exactly how I would react to this moment, but I wasn't prepared for this. It was the happiest moment I can ever remember feeling!

After I took a moment to touch up my makeup (though I shouldn't have bothered--it was only going to get worse as I repeated the story throughout the night!) we got in the car and called our families--both of which already knew it was coming! I then learned that our 'dinner plans' were actually a little rouse for an engagement celebration, which is why he had to ask me the question before we got there. Our sweet, excited friends met us at the restaurant where we feasted on delicious food, popped champagne, and thoroughly enjoyed our newly engaged status. :) One of the best parts of the evening was walking to dinner through (yet another) happy, little Christmas parade. The second time around, the twinkling little floats were far from annoying and felt like the perfect little topper to the evening!

I call it the 'plan-less plan B engagement' because as you might have gathered... there was no plan B! It so rarely rains on this side of the coast, that the notion of a ruined, beachside engagement foiled by a torrential downpour seemed completely silly. Fortunately, as Spencer and I would both agree, the way that it actually happened was perfect. It was just us, in our little house, sharing a happy moment we'll never forget!

Monday, December 16, 2013

"yes!"

Dearest Blog Readers:

I’ll skip the usual apology for having let so much time pass in between posts and cut right to the chase... we’re getting hitched!
our first photo as fiancees :)
naturally, i'd been crying tears of joy for the last 5 hours, so the photo isn't the best.
still, so lucky to have it!
Last weekend, my love dropped to one knee and asked if I would spend the rest of my life with him (to which I squeaked out a barely audible "yes!"). Words can’t describe the incredible journey that’s started! We’ve received such an outpour of love and support from friends and family, and we absolutely cannot wait to be married! Of course, I’m anxious to start planning the wedding (gush!), but we’ve agreed to finish out the year and enjoy our engagement. With all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it didn’t make sense to start planning a wedding right away. Plus, it gives us a few weeks to just soak it all in. :)

the cork from our little engagement soiree and of course, my ring :) 
THANK YOU to all who have wished us well and all involved in our ‘plan-less plan B engagement’… more on that later ;) You guys mean the world to us and we can’t wait to do this thing! My sincerest apologies in advance if this blog turns into ‘wedding headquarters’… ;)

Xoxo!


Saturday, November 30, 2013

holiday cheer.


My most favorite season is upon us, friends. 

I absolutely live for this time of year--the decorations, the baked treats, gifting to friends and family, snail mail cards filled with seasons greetings, winter weather accessorizing, the overall cheerfulness in the air... I just LOVE the holidays! I'm a total sucker for cheesy Lifetime movies and overdosing on cups of hot cocoa during this season--it's obnoxious, and I refuse to apologize for it! 

Of all the holiday traditions, decorating is right up at the top. It should come as no surprise that Thanksgiving dinner had hardly been put away before we were pulling box after box from our teeny, tiny hall closet. Seriously, it's a Jenga puzzle to get all of those boxes back in there, but I don't care! There is decorating to be done!

Here's a little taste of the sights around our casa right now. I'm absolutely smitten with all of our holiday decorations and never tire of putting them out year after year after year. 

What are your favorite seasonal traditions? Is your decorating style over the top, or do you prefer to keep it minimalistic?

view looking toward the dining area.  
one day, i hope to have a mantel :)
until then, the entertainment console will have to do!
thanks mom, for the idea to add a glittery monogram to our stockings--i love it!
garland above the living room mirror.
small wreath i made several years ago on the antique bar cart.
it wouldn't be the holidays without home alone.
other cute finds from the target dollar spot!
large wreath detail on the front door. 

Happy, Happy Holidays friends! Enjoy every second of this beautiful season!

Cheers!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

baking with pumpkins.

Halloween has come and gone, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and there are pumpkins EVERYWHERE.

And candy from those trick-or-treaters who never came.

Darn them.

Leave no pumpkin to waste (nor any fun sized Snickers bar!) and whip up this easy, pumpkin-based fall favorite from our kitchen. Whether you're like me and prefer all pumpkin guts (cleaned and processed, of course!) to come from a can located on aisle 12, or if you don't mind rolling up your sleeves and going after that gourd (or is it a squash?) yourself, these pumpkin-infused treats are hard to beat!



Pumpkin Spiced Muffins
These little devils could not be any tastier or easier to make. I learned this method a few years ago at a Weight Watchers meeting, and have been making them every fall since then. Instead of using oil and eggs, simply sub a can of pure pumpkin. The results are delicious and far less calories and fat than its full-flavor counterpart! You can easily sub the spice cake for any other box of cake mix, but something about the way the spice cake marries with the pumpkin yields a perfect medley of fall flavors. I made these last weekend and Spencer said they tasted like little bites of pumpkin pie. WIN!

Ingredients
1 box spice cake mix
1 (15 oz.) can pure pumpkin
1/4 c. water
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions
Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix until just combined.
Spoon into prepared muffin tins, lined with paper liners.
Bake according to directions on the cake mix.

That's it! These little guys are so moist and delicious. Your whole house will smell amazing while they are baking!
BONUS: They freeze really well, too. Just freeze leftovers in a sealed plastic baggie. Pop one out whenever you feel like it and microwave for 30 seconds.

..........

We both love these muffins! I'm thinking I'll make them again for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. Don't take my word on these, ya'll. Put them on your to-do list ASAP! :) 

Friday, November 1, 2013

exploring fall.

I've been quiet on the blog lately. It's certainly not that I don't have anything to say, because I can think of so many things I want to write about on a daily basis!

Instead, we've just been enjoying the peacefulness of fall. :)

I've been cooking more at night (Lean Cuisine's be gone!) and watching tons of Netflix underneath warm, fuzzy blankets. I've baked pies, muffins, and cookies and we've spent entire days on the sofa, just watching football. My wardrobe has changed from t-shirts and flip-flops to sweaters, skinnies, and riding boots. I've been knitting up a storm and seeing lots of friendly faces. :)



Speaking of knitting, it's finally cool enough here in Southern California to pull out the stash of hand knits! It's like Christmas morning every time I open that beloved drawer of knitwear. I really need to make a better habit of wearing what I make :)

All in all, we've both been taking it easy and exploring fall. Such a lovely, short-lived time of year that I'd hate to waste a minute of it!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

happy halloween.

Happy Halloween from a former dinosaur and a mini cheerleader!
spencer: halloween 1985. adrienne: halloween 1987(ish)?
Hope you all enjoy lots of treats {no tricks} today!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

we three pumpkins.


It's no secret that I love fall, ya'll. 

Could you tell? :)

When I was home visiting my parents this past week, I was leisurely scrolling through Pinterest when I happened upon these precious wood pumpkins. I was totally smitten (and seizing the opportunity in having access to all of the proper wood cutting utensils--though admittedly, I never made a single cut!) knew I had to make a set of my own!

Oh, I forgot to mention... the only thing I love more than decorating for fall is making my own decorations in order to decorate for fall. Ya'll. 

I'm so happy with how they turned out! They've been gracing the dining room table since I got back home. I only wish I could keep them out year round. :) 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

things you might hear [or see] on an airplane.

With all of the traveling we've done recently, I've found myself in quite a few airplanes over the last few months. We all know that airports are prime people-watching opportunities, but if you fail to unplug your headphones during flight you might miss out on some real gems. Enjoy. 

"MISSION CONTROL. COME IN, MISSION CONTROL."

"You're squeezing me and it really hurts!"
"Don't fight it. When you fight it, it hurts."

I'm fairly certain I sat next to Mason Treadwell on one such journey. Not the actor per se, but the actual character Mason Treadwell. 

"PUT YOUR DRESS DOWN!"

On a three-hour flight, I was sitting next to an astute, orderly looking woman who was redlining a thesis. About 15 minutes into it, she closed her pen, tucked the papers away, pulled out her iPad, and played Candy Crush for the next two hours and 45 minutes. Well-played. 

"Whoooooah. It looks like we can just bounce off one of those clouds out there, huh!?"
For the record, this one was not from a child. It was from a drunk 30-something, seemingly addressing the entire aircraft. 

 

Monday, October 7, 2013

texas, my texas.

Blue Bell. Rodeos. Tex-Mex. BBQ. Sweet Tea. Bluebonnets.

These are all things I love [and miss dearly!] about The Lone Star State. For the last week, I've been basking in the hot Texas sun and eating up all of the hot and spicy food I can muster before headed back to sweet [yet mild] Southern California.

I've spent the last seven days in my little hometown, visiting family and friends. I've had such an amazing trip, which makes getting on the airplane tomorrow that much more difficult. Just short of eating myself silly, I've also crafted / cooked / baked with my momma, watched tons of Netflix, shopped, and on some occasions, just did nothing.

I have missed Texas so, as evident from the photos below. :) Enjoy this little look back at my vacation through the lens of my iPhone. Ya'll. 


aaah. my heart is so happy to be back in blue bell country.
  
mom and i made 'pumpkin spice nutella muddy buddies'.
ummmm. okay!
 
autumn: this sweet girl had a birthday while i was visiting.
hard to believe she's eight years old now!

bogart: the resident housecat.

my favorite texas-sized burger. like ever.
on the way to meet up with some friends, i drove past the church i grew up in. 
so happy to meet this little guy!
he's the precious little son of two people i've grown up with. 
enjoyed a couple glasses of wine with mom at a local winery :)
i could get used to this view. absolutely. 
it's tradition that i must get a t-shirt from my favorite local sandwich shoppe. 

Vacations always go by too quickly. It's back to reality on Wednesday, but until then, I'm going to squeeze in all of the Texas love I can manage! 

Monday, September 30, 2013

[second-annual] un-official fall lineup

You guys.

It's back.

FALL, that is!
Pumpkin Spice Lattes (PSLs as the cool kids call it), college football, sweaters, scarves, boots, pumpkins, crunchy leaves and cinnamon & clove scented candles!

Who am I kidding? I live in Southern California where it's more like 80 degrees inside of an allergy bubble...but a girl can dream, can't she?

The weather may not be ready for me to bust out my collection hand knits, but inside I'm enjoying the sweet, spicy smells of my fall candle collection, [iced] pumpkin spice lattes, and the year's best in television! I love all of the must-see fall favorites creeping around the blogosphere this time of year, and I must share my own. My list has changed a bit since last year, but I'm OK with it. I'll just have to clear some more room on the DVR :) Without further ado...

[second annual] un-official fall lineup
in no particular order


Revenge
[categories] drama, psychological thriller, mystery
[why I watch] I finally got around to seeing what all the fuss was about over Revenge. While I'm still behind the rest of America (trailing behind in season two), the third season is recording and ready on the DVR and I am completely hooked. Murder mysteries are kind of my thing (I own an embarrassing number of James Patterson novels), and I love the twists and turns in this show.

Side Note: It took me a long time to realize that Emily VanCamp is the same actress that played the homely looking girlfriend in Everwood. Bonus points for anyone who remembers that show... back when it was on the channel formerly known as 'Warner Brothers'.

Sons of Anarchy
[categories] crime drama, tragedy
[why I watch] Can not even tell you how (un)apologetically obsessed we are with this show. As if Charlie Hunnam wasn't reason enough to watch, the plot lines are well-developed and engaging, building upon themselves season after season. I never thought I'd find a series about biker gangs so intriguing, but I love it and will mourn it's absence after the series finale next season. 

Glee
[categories] musical, comedy-drama, teen drama
[why I watch] ...Because it's the only one on my list that's not some kind of sick, twisted thriller? Well... kind of. It's bubbly, upbeat, somewhat topical, and continually surprising.

American Horror Story: Coven
[categories] horror, thriller
[why I watch] The American Horror Story series is in its third season, and if its anything like the first two it won't disappoint! Each season is like a miniseries all its own, meaning that while the actors are the same, their characters change as does the storyline. This season centers on a group of witches in a coven, lead by Jessica Lange--an ironic twist from her role as a God-fearing Nun last season.
The Bridge
[categories] crime drama
[why I watch] OK, so technically this was a summer hit... but it's fall and still going strong! The premise is interesting and unique, looking inside the lives of two detectives, each on the other side of the border as they work together to find a serial killer. We've really enjoyed this one, and hope they leave it open for a second season.

images: 1 | 2 | 4 | 5
. . . . . . . . . .

While the DVR is still full of countless other recordings (not at all unlike anything you've just seen!) these are my top picks for this season. What are your can't-miss fall favorites?



Sunday, September 29, 2013

september in review.

My lack of posting lately is shameful. It's so hard to believe September is coming to a close and October is lurking around the corner. It seems like just yesterday I was getting amped up about the smell of coconut and suntan lotion and here I am sipping on Pumpkin Spice Lattes and watching football. Where has the time gone?

So...what's been going on?

The weekend after my birthday, I had the most fun baking and decorating four dozen sugar cookies for a baby shower. One of Spencer's co-workers is having a little girl and I happily volunteered to make  the cookies for her shower. Despite the fact that I practiced for weeks, I still managed to wait until the day before to try my hand at some new designs. Typical, right? :) Luckily, I was pretty pleased with how they turned out... but most of all, so was the Momma-to-Be! I'm anxious to use the new pumpkin, black cat, and ghost cookie cutters I scored [on sale!] for Halloween.

a few of my favorites :) 
a pair of my signature booties for the baby girl!
of course... I saved one for myself. duh :)
In between birthday celebrations, baby knitting, and weekend baking sessions, I've been happily munching away on my favorite seasonal treats and decorating our little casa for fall. Since fall doesn't really make it's way to Southern California in the typical sense, I've been trying my hardest to bring fall to us. I've had at least a half dozen Pumpkin Spice Lattes, several handfuls of marshmallow pumpkins and pumpkin spiced M&Ms (don't knock 'em till you try 'em!), treated myself to a mani/pedi on the first day of fall, and even dusted off the old Crock Pot for some hearty, cool weather dinners (never mind the fact it's never dropped below 70 degrees outside!). Much to boyfriend's dismay, the inside of our house is decorated head-to-toe in pumpkins and gourds. Though he's not exactly wild about all of the decorating, I can't help but smile when I see the cheery bowl of mini pumpkins on our coffee table, the ceramic gourds strategically placed on the side tables, or the hand knit candy corns strewn about the living room (hooray for stash busting!). 

little basket of fall happiness that sits on our coffee table! 
the polish on my toesies might look black, but rest assured it's an autumnal shade. ;)
can't get enough of these babies!
these leaves they are a-changing. 
This weekend, I even managed to make a wreath that I'd pinned on Pinterest at least two years ago. It was well worth the wait. I like it so much, I'm toying with the idea of leaving it up year round! That might be a battle I don't win... ;) 

felt flowers are the most fun things to make. ever. 
Life on the job front is busier than ever. Luckily, I see a glimmering bit of light at the end of the tunnel. It comes in the form of a TEXAS VACATION! Hallelujah! I leave on Wednesday to visit my home state for a little R&R... though I know neither rest nor relaxation is on the already full itinerary ;) I am just thankful for the break. 

Hope you all are enjoying the last few days of September! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

birthday goodness.

I fervently and ardently believe that sprinkles make everything taste better. Everything. 
The older I get, the more I delight in the small stuff.

Like whipped cream and sprinkles in my birthday coffee. [I am a firm believer in calories not counting on your birthday... and I definitely live up to my own standard!] I got the idea from my sweet IG buddy [Ashley] over at House of Jensen. She makes the prettiest coffee drinks and I thought... why not!? It was love at first sip.

So this is how my birthday started...fancy coffee & birthday gifts!

Ignore my lobster claws snapping a pic in the reflection :) 
Kitties LOVE crinkly wrapping paper!
Post-gift unwrapping sesh, I got dressed and we headed out for a super yummy, low-key Italian-style brunch. I had the most delicious avocado toast with a sunny side egg and roasted tomatoes. Yes, please! It was simple and heavenly. I will certainly be interpreting it at home.
Sporting a few of the birthday treats I bought for myself.
Selfie birthday presents are also a must :)
Brunch perfection.
We continued the big day with birthday shopping (yay, new riding boots!) and college football. I literally could not ask for more :)

After a quick outfit change, we were off for dinner and drinks at one of our favorite places.

Pretending like it wasn't 85 degrees outside so I could wear my fall getup. 
It was such a low-key birthday, but I enjoyed every minute of it. Twenty-eight... please be kind! :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

the magnificent staircase.

I had to share with you guys one more special moment from our recent trip to New Mexico :)

On our way to the cabin, we stopped in Santa Fe, NM to have lunch and do a little sight-seeing. Little did I know, we were just a couple of blocks away from The Loretto Chapel, home of the famous 'Magnificent Staircase". I'd first heard about it's origins on Unsolved Mysteries (guilty!) and could hardly contain myself at the thought of getting to cross off this feat of structural engineering phenomenon from my architectural bucket list.

If you're unfamiliar with the tale, you can read more about it here. Luckily, it was early in the trip and everyone was tolerable about my moment of pure geekery in paying homage to an inanimate object. It's kind of amazing that to this day, it remains as big of a mystery to anyone as it did upon it's completion in 1878.

PS - I totally took these pictures legally, as flash photography was allowed inside. Not like that time I got snap-happy at the Sistine Chapel.






Tuesday, September 3, 2013

a new mexico vacation.

I know I've kept it pretty quiet on the blog as of late, but that's just because we've been enjoying the mountains of New Mexico in sweet serenity. We've just returned home from a long holiday weekend away at boyfriend's family's cabin in New Mexico. The mountain air, lack of cell service, and general solitude of the sleepy little mountain town was exactly what the doctor ordered! 

I cannot even describe what this trip did for my soul. Just days before, I broke down in the deli of our office building. I was having an incredibly stressful week, nothing was going right, and my to-do-before-vacation list was a mile long. I was feeling overwhelmed and completely incapable of catching a break. The kind deli owner, obviously noticing my red eyes and tear-stained cheeks, complimented me on my necklace and gave me a reassuring smile. I completely lost it, right there by the Sun Chips and Red Bull. It was time to get away. 

We spent Friday through Monday up in the mountains of New Mexico, letting the stress of the previous weeks collide. We ate, drank, hiked, explored, shopped, watched bad television, and woke without an alarm every day we were there. Glorious!

One of our excursions was a hike through the pine-laden trails of our little community. [Did I mention that I'm moderately allergic to pine, and in my best efforts to avoid having a Benadryl coma for the duration of the trip, I thought ahead to have my Flonase prescription refilled? Only... the pharmacy mixed it up with the topical prescription I have for mild eczema (because that's the same?) and I didn't realize it until we were in the airport. Le sigh.] Anyway, it turned out to be totally fine and the hike was gorgeous! 

Every step of the way was postcard-worthy (as evident in this photo-heavy post). The below pictures were a few of many we snapped along the way. The rain held out until we got back to the cabin, where we enjoyed pre-dinner snacks and cocktails. Literally, I couldn't have asked for a better day :) Enjoy!