Sunday, February 23, 2014

planting season.

Every year around this time, my mind starts to wander. I start to dream big.

One of my most favorite parts about this time of year is planting.

Planting what, you might ask? Anything and everything. Really, it doesn't matter. 

The first year I really got into planting, I started out like any good beginner with some annuals and vining plants. Those fared pretty well for me... when I remembered to water. Eventually, I graduated into succulents and cacti [and really, have never looked back since]. The second year, I got brave. I rather foolishly spent a ton of time researching potted vegetable gardens. All of the gorgeous images of tomatoes and peppers and lettuce [oh my!] had me shooting for the stars in terms of my little patio garden. Despite the fact that I probably spent more time, money, and sanity in organic pesticides and Epsom salt sprays than a person ever really should... the bugs eventually got the best of me and my garden. I was totally crushed. So much so, that the next year came and went and I thought little more than nothing about planting anything. Somewhere in there, I had a brief stint with sunflowers, a lime tree took root, and the succulents remained a constant.

It had been a long time since I've aimlessly roamed around a plant nursery [one of my favorite things to do!], but today when a friend gave a suggestion to check out a cute little nursery near our house, my wheels got to turning again. I pulled my car into an oasis of lush greens and bright, cheery flowers and before I even reached for the door handle I knew I was, yet again, in trouble.

I managed to find some air plants... which I had been searching for forever! I adore these little guys! They are so unique and modern, and best of all... no soil required! I love seeing all of the container DIY's for these little cuties. I had a couple of glass jars and a handful of rocks close by, so for now, that's where they've taken up residency.

Then of course, I saw one of Southern California's prized gems... the Ranunculus. These flowers are gorgeous! Spencer likes them too, and since it had been a while since we had any on our patio, I figured why not? I chose purple, orange, and red flowers to start Spring out on a bright note.

I might get brave again this year and venture back into the world of edible planting. Who knows? As for now though, I got my fix and will enjoy these little pretties for the weeks to come.

Monday, February 17, 2014

a long weekend.

Three cheers for the long weekend that's (sadly, almost) behind us! I was so fortunate to have today off to celebrate President's Day. Vacation days are so rare, and I am thankful for every single one that comes my way.

Friday night we celebrated a casual Valentine's Day in. We pretty much had a carbohydrate-based menu of salami, truffle cheese, and crackers for pre-dinner munchies, before we feasted on giant cheese ravioli in a light oil and herb sauce complete with French bread. You guys, seriously... it was all white.

And it was alright.

We exchanged Valentines and snuggled in to watch a movie. It was perfect.

wear some flowers hearts in your hair.
knit up lots of these little guys!
now what to do with all that's left? hmmm...
just a little pre-dinner sweet to compliment the champagne. ;) 
yummy little homemade coffee drink to kick off the weekend.
Saturday morning, we got up bright and early to go get our hairs did. Since I'm trying to grow mine out ('Project G', as my stylist calls it), I opted for a more balanced cut to try and get the length all the same. I have loved my asymmetrical haircut, but just cannot see it with the traditional veil I have in mind. Oooh, the excitement of veil shopping! I am seriously as excited for the accessories as I am for the dress... true story.

We went for brunch at a new place near our house, then later that afternoon, I took to re-potting some neglected patio plants. These poor little babies. They may not look like much, but this is a vast improvement to what they were before!

I'll always have a soft spot for succulents. 
Sunday, Spencer spent most of his day on the golf course while I got a mountain of errands accomplished in north county. I even squeezed in some wedding planning time with my little buddy. The ultimate treat was stopping by the Kate Spade store in the outlet mall to cash in on my Valentine gift from Spencer. Yay, shopping!

meeting of minds :) 
shopping > working
Today was the least fun day as I spent 5 hours at the service department for my car's annual scheduled service. What I thought (and was told) would take a quick hour and I'd be on my way turned in to much more... coupled with the fact that my phone died while I was waiting, the WiFi was down so I couldn't access my iPad, it was stuck on some horrible news channel relaying the medal count from the Olympics on loop play, while all the while tacking on to my already growling stomach since I skipped on breakfast (hoping to stop at a local coffee shop after my 'quick' appointment!) made for a very grumpy unpleasant morning.

The bright side? Thank goodness for full-coverage warranties and fresh Chick-fil-A chocolate chip cookies to turn my mood around... eventually ;) Regardless... a bad day away from the office is better than a Monday at the office, I always say. So for that, I am thankful.

Right now I believe it's happy hour with my darling fiancee. Cheers to all of you and best wishes for a quick work week! XOXO!

Friday, February 14, 2014

valentine's goodies!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Like I've said before, I'm a big fan of any day that voluntarily celebrates red, pink, chocolate and love. Even so, Spencer and I have never really gone too far out on Valentine's Day. We always get each other a little something, but try to keep it relatively modest. Obviously for me, that means crafting up something special!

This year, I found these sweet little zippered pouches at Michaels Arts & Crafts store for around $2 a piece. They were cute, whimsical, somewhat(?!) masculine, so I snatched one up. Knowing what a big coffee drinker Spencer has become (quite the different tune from last year), I decided to slip a Starbucks gift card inside, along with a sweet little note. Seeing as how the theme was already created for me, setting up the rest of it was a no-brainer. 

I really mustache you a question... 
Will you be my Valentine?
*There's supposed to be a Starbucks gift card inside... but Cupid was a little behind this year! ;)
The first {and maybe only!?} year I get to address the card to my future hubby!
Aside from gifting up some sweets for my handsome man, I'm also pretty stoked to be passing out these adult-friendly, girly Valentine gifts as well. Ya'll know I'm a huuuuuuuge fan of the champs, so when these individual, pink moscatos caught my eye, I knew just what to do with them! Each one is paired with a pink and white stripy straw and ready for sipping! Right from the bottle if you want... no judgement here. ;)

Valentine's Day falls on a Friday... could that be any more perfect?! 

Right... so I did mention that these were adult-friendly gifts... but how stinking cute is that Hello Kitty in her hot pink heart shades and heart-themed sundress? I. die. 

*Confession: I totally bought one for myself. I mean, really... how could I not? I know, I know... ridiculous, yet I still feel no buyer's remorse on that one.

Lastly, a little something for the office crew. :)

I bought a big gift set of these cheapie little lip glosses post-holidays on a massive clearance. The colors were fun, so I thought, why not? I packaged each one up with a small wine-themed magnet and a handmade gift tag.

Why wine magnets? I don't know... I just had them?

Then for the one boy in our office (who I wasn't so sure would be down for piling on the lip gloss-ha!), I found these re-useable ice cube 'rocks'. You pop 'em in the freezer and use them in your drink just like you would ice cubes, but the plus is that they don't melt.

Well, the pun there came pretty naturally. ;)

That's all for my little Valentine's bag of tricks!

What are you guys up to for Valentine's Day? Big plans or laying low? We'll be hanging out around the house, likely sipping one of those fancy pink champagne cocktails! At least... I know one of us that will be! ;) 

Monday, February 10, 2014

for the moms.

You guys know I'm a sucker for cheesy gifts. There is something so appealing about a having cheap laugh from an otherwise ordinary notion that gets me every time.

One of the most important things for me during this whole wedding process is making sure that every single person involved {the wedding party, the house party, friends, family} feel as special and excited as we are. We truly want our wedding to be a celebration to include all of our friends and family, not just one where we're the only ones on display. So when I saw that Zazzle was having a flash sale on their printed t-shirts, I knew I had to get something for the Mothers.

For both of our Moms, this is the only time they'll get to carry the title of 'Mother of the Bride' and 'Mother of the Groom', as I'm an only child and Spencer is the only son. Of course, that means there's also a 'Father of the Bride' and the 'Father of the Groom'... but seeing as how I didn't figure those two men would be as apt to sport around a printed t-shirt declaring their new-found title, I have something else in mind for them. More on that later... ;)

Regardless, I'm a big believer in celebrating the small things since it's the small things that make a life {or an event, in this case} all the more special. Even when the small things come in the form of a cheesy gift.

Cue the t-shirts.

I got each of the Moms a corresponding "Mother of the Bride/Groom" t-shirt, just for fun. They were pretty tastefully done so in the event either of them want to wear it out in public, that's totally doable. ;) 

I included a little note... from the Bride, of course.

Then packaged each one up with their corresponding colors.

Added the notes, then shipped them off in the mail!

Sure hope they can find some humor, and maybe even excitement, in these cheesy little gifts. At the very least, they were fun to design and assemble! ;)

our families after my masters ceremony in 2010. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

something | blue

This weekend, instead of thinking about all of the fabulous pink and red on my radar for the upcoming week {I love Valentine's Day, ya'll!}, I was instead focused on a wee bit of blue in the form of a stunning pair of Kendra Scott earrings. 

I'd ordered these earrings a while back on a flash sale Facebook auction and after three weeks, they'd finally appeared on my doorstep. They are everything. When I placed the order I thought they'd be pretty, but as soon as I opened the box I almost let out a little gasp. They're the most stunning shade of cobalt blue trimmed in gold. They're perfectly modern + feminine + touch of traditional for my bridal 'something blue'.

The only problem?

My sweet, future hubby-to-be isn't all that crazy about them. :) He doesn't dislike them per se, he just doesn't think they're quite wedding-appropriate. 

Well, shoot. 

I'm still up-in-the-air on whether or not to proceed with them for the big day, because they're just so stinking pretty... but they're not a shabby option for the rehearsal dinner, either. Decisions, decisions. In the meantime, I guess I'll just keep wearing them around the house {perfectly paired with my weekend sweats! Ha!} in the hopes of helping to trigger the result! 

Friday, February 7, 2014

handmade | valentines

Woohoo! It's the weekend, ya'll! 

I'm waaaaaaay more excited than I should be about it. Looking forward to lots of lounging and making no plans. 

I just finished up the last of a little Valentine's project and I'm totally smitten with it. As a knitter, I'm constantly looking for any and every reason to knit little cutesies for any occasion. Valentine's Day is no exception. 

After some searching, I found a pattern for this sweet little hand knit heart. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. Instead of knitting up several of them and making them into a scarf as the pattern intended, I adhered them to the front of plain, store bought greeting cards. I used a gold Sharpie marker to write little notes to friends and family on the inside, and off to the mailbox they went! They ended up costing a bit more in postage due to their odd shape once inside the envelope, but that's a totally excusable expense. I mean, it's not every day that you get to knit hearts!

I've got a couple other Valentine gifts up my sleeve, but will save those for another day. ;)
Hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing weekend! 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

currently loving...

I mentioned in my last post that I was really feeling my new Clarisonic Mia2. Well... I still am.

I kind of, sort of, have this new obsession with skincare. And I just keep adding more and more members to 'the dream team'.

Sephora and I are becoming fast friends. I'm OK with it.
the night | time dream team. 
Anyway, I thought I'd just throw together a quick post with my new 'current favorites' to share with you! I love a good review and spend hours and hours researching different products before purchasing. However, it typically only takes one person with a rave review to sell me on anything. That being said, here's some of my new favorite things!

Clarisonic Mia2 | Really? I think we've very clearly established my feelings on this one. NEXT! 

Purity by Philosophy | I was really skeptical about this face wash at first. I'd heard mostly good glowing reviews, but a couple of people who said it just wasn't for them. I've been using it for about a week now, and have to say... I'm drinking the Kool-Aid. This facial cleanser does a fantastic job of removing makeup (even eye makeup!), smells fresh, and leaves skin light and oil free. Love!

Olay Total Effects Tone Correcting Eye Cream | I have this sudden, unapparent, unhealthy obsession with crow's feet. I don't really know how it started (OK, I kind of do... but you'd all point and laugh so I'll just keep the story moving...). Anyway, I figured there's no time like the present to start working on it! Oh, and the massively reduced Olay gift set on the end aisle at Target didn't hurt, either. I honestly can't say that I've noticed a huuuuuge difference in this, mainly because I'm not totally sure I had any lines to around my eyes to begin with, but hey... I like where this relationship is going.

Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins | This stuff though... It's a specially formulated moisturizer strictly for nighttime use that leaves your skin feeling plump and bright by morning. I know 'plump' isn't an optimal word for how any woman wants to wake up in the morning and feel, but honestly it does amazing things for your skin! Not only that, but I noticeably see a difference in how bright and fresh and awake my skin looks in the morning. Bonus: a little bit of this stuff goes a lonnnng way. It's a pretty tiny jar with a pretty good sized price tag, but the tiniest dab is all you need, really. Instant favorite!

Jaclyn Hill | So this is a person and not a product... but I'm really enjoying her makeup tutorials, skincare secrets, reviews, and new finds. It was her twelve minute review of the Mia2 (yes... twelve minutes! And I definitely watched the whole thing...) that finally pushed me over the edge into purchasing it. She talks really fast, but she's bubbly and fun to watch. Plus, with a complexion like that, who wouldn't want to learn more?!

That's it! My silly little review of my new skincare favorites, but I'm telling you guys--these are all winners! Please feel free to share if you have any must-haves of your own. I'm always looking for the next best. Goodnight!