Thursday, June 30, 2011

summer: style


Summer professional



Summer Girls night


Summer lunch date



Summer beach + farmers market day



Summer date with my Preston J



Summer lake side lounging


While I haven't gotten to any of the recipes I listed yesterday, we did have basil blue cheese turkey burgers last night for dinner. P grilled them to perfection and we topped with avocado, grilled oninions, tomatoe and smoked gouda. Oh my yummy.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

summer: food

Can you believe it is almost time for the Fourth of July!? I, for one, am tickled that it is already time to lather on the sunscreen (yes, even you, Preston Jacob) grab a towel and book and enjoy the sunshine.  Of course, what is summer without delicious recipes with all of the fresh seasonal ingredients?  Here is my to-make list for the next few weeks:


Mexican Quinoa with Avocado and Black Beans



Pesto Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken



Oven Fried Zucchini



Lemon Coffee Cake



Homemade Pickles!



Corn, corn and more corn. We LOVE corn.



Fish/ Shrimp Tacos


What is on your summer to-cook list? If you are hosting an Independence Day shindig, here is my inspiration board!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

weekend(s)









Here is what we have been up to lately! Our past few weekends have included the Ringling Brothers Circus, Del Mar Fair, a Padres game and lots of enjoying Mr. Sebastian!

Monday, June 27, 2011

dear friends and family,

May you please all relocate from Seattle, Las Vegas and Texas to San Diego? And may you please do this quickly? We miss having friends. And I am quite in the mood to throw a dinner party. You see, if I were to throw dinner parties in San Diego, it would be for only for Preston and I... and then we would inevitably eat too much food and drink too much wine... and let's be honest - my behind does not need excess of either! So, in an attempt to not-so-subtly encourage you to move closer to P, Sebastian and I - here are some images of the kind of get-togethers that have been on my mind lately...


A carnival party - how darling is the cupcake wheel?!



A breakfast birthday party! So sweet - I think we are going to have to do this next month when my sweet momma in law, Lisa comes to visit to celebrate her birthday (which was this past Saturday!)



A tea party - we used to have these at my Auntie Lori's house for all the girls in the family. She would get us a new special tea cup for our birthday's each year - I think this tradition should be restarted!



A desert party... need I say more?



An outdoor summer dinner party - how perfect are the cantaloupes?!


Speaking of fun events, when I head to Seattle in August, my momma, sister and I will be hosting a girls night on Saturday, August 6th at Hannah's cute place in NE Tacoma! If you are a lady and will be in the area - join us for crafts, wine, relaxing and great company!

Friday, June 24, 2011

blessed

Do you ever get so caught up in life that you forget to appreciate it? I do. I forget how incredibly blessed I am to be living this wonderful life. I want to cherish every little moment - I want to embrace each person I meet, each meal I eat, every bike ride I take, each and every family member I am blessed with. So here I am, taking a few minutes to be thankful for so many things...

1. A God that loves me beyond any shadow of a doubt no matter how selfish or silly I may act.

2. A best friend who I will soon get to call my husband!

3. A home I adore, where I feel safe, comfortable and loved at all times.

4. Another best friend who I am blessed to call my sister.

5. A puppy boy who gives me big slobbery kisses even when I have crazy hair, smelly feet and am grumpy!

6. The flexibility + ability to do whatever I want in life.

7.  SO MANY THINGS to look forward to - visits from lots of family, upcoming Seattle vacation, wedding dress shopping, sister time, the fair, summer picnics

8. The ocean - and the fact that I am greeted by its beauty every morning.

9. Books. My Eyes. The Library. This wonderful little trio that gives me endless hours of entertainment, tears, laughs and satisfaction! On my summer reading list is The History of Love, Same Kind of Different as Me, The Help and Bossypants.

10.  Modern Technology. And its durability. I'm very thankful that my computers, phone and I-pad are all able to withstand daily water spills, regularly occuring (unplanned) trips to the floor and every other imaginable accident that comes with belonging to a clumsy person.

11. Alright, I was going to keep this list to 10 things, but there is one more thing I simply can't go without mentioning: Food Trucks. Now, I didn't mention it on this post yesterday because, well, I was a little jealous that I wasn't the one to think of this idea. At the wedding we went to this weekend, at around 11:00 p.m., just as everybody was starting to feel their 3rd cocktail set in and their dancing feet start to get a little sleepy - a food truck with HEAVEN-SENT sliders and tots showed up. In my life, I have never seen a group of wedding attendees get so excited. Then, yesterday I stumbled upon this Mashable article discussing 16 of the Top Food Trucks. People, there are such things as Gourmet Grilled Cheese and Creme Brulee food trucks! So today, on my blessings post, I am feeling especially thankful for the amazing person who had the idea of creating a mobile restaurant, as well as to myself for choosing to divulge my inner fat kid with all sorts of deliciousness on a regular basis. 

And I can't end this post without expressing how thankful I am that it is Friday and I have the Del Mar Fair, friends in town, paddle boarding and a neighboord event involving a beer garden in my near future. Happy Weekend!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

c/o 2011

While in Las Vegas, we also got to see Hannah graduate from Coronado High School! We had a fun celebration lunch at Terra Verde (the harvest salad + creme brulee were to die for) and she had the most fabulous Hello Kitty graduation cake! She is attending UNR next year and we are so excited for her!



As part of her present, P and I put together a list of 50 tips for surviving college that we had learned through the years. Here are a few of them...


"If you bring a car to school, said car doesn't stop needing any and all mechanical maintence just because mom and dad aren't there. Learn how often you need an oil change."


"As generous and loving as you are, it is not neccessary to buy everyone at the bar a round of shots after you've had several cocktails and your favorite song comes on. It may take a few surprise $150 charges on your bank account for this one to sink in."


"Theme parties are not nearly as fun or prevelant when you leave college. Take advantage of them - rock that side pony and leotard."


"Employ the buddy system for tailgates, parties, games and any other event that doesn't involve a professor or community service"


Congratulations Hannah - we love you to pieces!

wedding goodness

While in Las Vegas this past weekend we attended the Mackin wedding. The wedding was absolutely beautiful, as were the sweet couple. I have stolen a few pictures to share (thank you Facebook) because I was so busy drooling over every perfect detail that I barely remembered to take any pictures! Preston was a groomsmen and couldn't of looked any more handsome!



It looks as if this was straight out of my Real Simple Wedding magazine. I promise these are real people, not models!



My Internet stalking skills seem to be decreasing...I can't find the photographer's site to link to. Regardless, the photos are beautiful!



While P was busy looking handsome for lots of photos, I danced and drank with this cute girl!



I think this is the one normal-looking (almost) photo of P and I the whole night - I am terrible!



Super blurry - but too cute not to put up!


It was the first wedding Preston and I have been to since we were engaged and it was so fun to think that it will be us in just over a year!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

growing up

I wrote this post two weeks ago. I scheduled it to post and took it down immediately, fearing it may be too personal, too long, too many details for the sweet readers who stumble upon this blog for pictures of sweet little ones and fun weekend recaps. But, while I do love crafts and cupcakes, it turns out there are sometimes other things I think about too...

There have been a lot of shifts going on in my life lately. Things changing at work, me thinking about my future, plans changing in my head. A huge thanks to those of you who have been the most wonderful sounding boards as I’ve wondered, what do I want to be when I grow up?

My biological father passed away in January of this year. It was unexpected. And heartbreaking. And other things I can’t seem to find the words for. My sister, mother and I went to Billings, MT to handle his personal affairs… and to hopefully gain some sort of closure. We went to his home – a small, one bedroom apartment. He drove an older, inexpensive car. He lived simply. I thought back to the last trip I had with my father – he had come to Las Vegas during the summer between my sophomore and junior years of college to visit. He got us a big, beautiful suite at Mandalay Bay. He took me to dinner at Lawry’s, to see the Lion King in amazing seats, rented us a cabana to read and enjoy the sun in during the day and before he left, he handed me one of his favorite motivational books to read. Later, as I opened the book to begin reading it, I discovered $500 he had placed in it. I can’t imagine how long it took him to save up for this trip. Never did he say one word about it – only discussing how happy he was to see me and how proud he was. Before we went to Montana in January, two individuals who my father had been close with, but whom I had never met, reached out to offer their condolences and kind words. I was able to meet one while we were there and hear stories of how my father volunteered in his church, helped the homeless and spoke of his alcoholism at AA meetings to help encourage others. Now, as I able to look back and reflect I gain the closure I wasn’t sure I would be able to ever have. I can say that when I grow up I want to be resilient like my father. I want to be selfless like my father. And I want to be a strong enough person, as he was, to realize that even when you make mistakes in life, there is always a way to turn your life around and to become a wonderful person.

My father’s death happened only weeks after our engagement and days before our move to California. Some days, I laid in bed all day watching Grey’s Anatomy, mute to the outside world. Preston didn’t ask me to pack boxes, didn’t expect me plan for our new home. He just loved me. When I needed somebody to talk to, Preston was there. When I said I wanted to laugh, he told me jokes and put on ‘Despicable Me’. He only asked me to talk when he knew I wanted to, he let me cry when he knew that would be best for me. That is how Preston always  is, not only during hard times. He knows what I need before I know it. He knows how to make me laugh, when I need to be held, when I have an ever-so-slight worry about something or when I am unhappy. He makes not only me, but everyone he is around, so comfortable. It is easy to be with him and it is easy to love him. I long to be as accepting and loving as he is – and hopefully a lifetime spent with him will make me just that way.

When I was eight, my family had to move from Montana to Washington. My mother packed up her three daughters and made all of our arrangements to head (further) west to Seattle. The brakes went out on the Uhaul on the drive over – no matter, my mother calmly found a way to stop the 1,000 lb vehicle. We had little money and few plans - my mother arranged for us to stay with my sweet Uncle in his home. A mother to five, her whole life was dedicated to raising her babies. She recognized that being the most wonderful mom in the whole world wouldn’t pay the bills – so she enrolled back in college. She studied while my little sister and I played, if you know either of us, you know that is not a quiet ordeal. I don’t remember her ever getting frustrated, complaining or questioning what she was doing. I am sure she had those feelings, but outwardly, despite going through a difficult divorce, pursuing her education, raising five children and worrying about finances; she was the same amazing mother I had always known. Today, my mother is the Clinic Coordinator for a Breast Cancer Clinic that is pioneering new ways to help woman in the fight of their lives. Every day, she touches the hearts of women who are hopeless and hurt. She is not only an amazing mother to her six babies, but a ‘Mimi’ to six beautiful grandbabes. Simply, she is everything to everybody. My mother is the shining example of a strong woman, who never lets anything get in the way of her kindness.Preston summed it up best when one day, while talking about how women turn into their mothers, he said ‘I wouldn’t mind one bit if you grew up to be just like your mother!’ My mother provided me with an amazing childhood and an absolutely wonderful life, and I hope one day I can do the same for my children.

The move from Montana to Seattle happened soon after my sister, Hannah, graduated high school. She was offered scholarships for her achievements in academics and athleticism at a college in Montana. I am not sure if she considered accepting, but I do not remember a single discussion of her not coming with us. Back then, I didn’t see anything incredible about that – my sister was always there for us, I couldn’t imagine it any other way. I didn’t see the incredible until years later when I realized, (albeit she never brought it to my attention) that she left behind her wonderful friends, boyfriend, college scholarship and life in order to come support her family as we searched for a new life. I didn’t notice anything strange when, in an effort to ensure my invitation, I asked her if I could come to her surprise going away party and she only answered, ‘Of course you can!’ with no hint of frustration. She came with us to Seattle to help raise us and to give us all the love we ever desired. I now realize the selflessness of her actions, and I recognize how she does the same thing day in and day out today. Though smart and successful in previous positions, she has no desire to take job offers that will jeopardize the time she gets to spend with her family.  She will constantly sacrifice personal wishes and things, as does her husband, so their two littles don’t have to miss one single wonderful thing in their childhood. When I grow up, I want to be as loving as my sister. Loving to her family, friends, acquaintances, peers, the world.

Shortly after moving to Seattle, my sister began working at a restaurant to put herself through college. The owner of that restaurant soon started to wonder about that cute little family of hers. Well, more specifically, her cute little mom. And, our mother? Well, she wasn’t interested. Not one bit. He continued to pursue – and one day, she agreed to a family date, where his daughter could play with hers over a bowl of spaghetti and draw-on paper table covers. The rest was history. He won my momma over because he was a family man. The best part is, that wasn’t an act and he the best family man our family could have ever hoped for. He’s the kind of person who works long hours to make sure we all have what we need. He’s the kind of person who edited every single one of my college admission essays multiple times – and then put me through college - without ever complaining. He’s the kind of person who set up appointments for me to look at my favorite Seattle wedding locations only days after Preston and I got engaged. He’s the kind of person who loves, supports and encourages us unconditionally.

When I grow up, I want to be like my role models. I am sure I will do work along the way, and I hope that whatever I do, I am great at it. But my career and the money I earn will not make or break me; it will not define who I am or who I want to be. These people, who have molded and loved, supported and encouraged me, have taught me what I want to be when I grow up. I want to love like them, share like them and enjoy life as they do. When I grow up, I want to be a loving wife, a kind mother, a caring daughter, sister, auntie and friend.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

sweet photos

Well hello there! We returned home from our wonderful trip to Las Vegas late last evening and are quickly gettting back into the swing of things! I will post pictures of our fun weekend soon, but today I wanted to share a few FABULOUS photos taken by Nikki of OliverBlue Photography. This photoshoot of my sweet Arianna and Remington came at a perfect time, this month Arianna turned 18 months and Remy celebrated his 5th Birthday! I can hardly believe it! They are so full of life and laughter and I am so looking forward to loving on them nonstop when I visit Seattle in August!








Could these be any more precious?! I think not. I cannot wait  for our engagement shoot with Nikki in Seattle this August!

*Updated to add: Hannah couldn't stop talking about how great Nikki was not only at taking photos, but at making the little ones feel comfortable in front of the camera. You can find her contact info on her blog if you are interested in having her capture life's sweet moments for you!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

obsessing

I am obsessing over these things lately...


Ciita del Mare hotel in Sicily


I love this video - I think it is fantastic these towns are using social media and creative methods to showcase their city pride!




I am looking forward to purchasing a little planner present for myself - coincidence that they will be restocked near my birthday? I think not.

 


Cheesecake stuffed strawberries are heaven! I made them this weekend and they rocked our world. 

 

After seeing the above image on Pinterest, I decided to try a healthy version, not knowing how they would turn out. The entire plate was gone within 24 hours... and it was only Preston and I! To make the the filling, combine low fat whipped cream cheese, nonfat plain Greek yogurt and sugar. Gut the strawberries, fill with cheesecake batter and then dip in crushed graham crackers. So easy and SO delicious!

 

The basket on my bike. When Preston got home on Saturday, we were planning on going out to celebrate the start of our weekend... but then got tempted by how great a nice late night bike ride sounded. We went to the store for wine and a movie - and threw it all in my basket! I could even bring my purse and a water - because it all fits in my basket! That thing rocks my world.

 

And last but not least, I am obsessing over all of the birthdays, weddings, graduations and other great events that we will be busy celebrating the next few months! What fun things are you loving lately?!

Friday, June 10, 2011

friday funnies

Sometimes, I have the maturity level of a child.  Right now is one of those times, here are some funnies for your Friday!








Click image for source. Have a fabulous weekend, sweet friends!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

one week

We leave for Las Vegas in ONE WEEK! 7 DAYS! We are so excited and can't wait to have all sorts of fun with our fabulous friends + family!  We are so looking forward to soaking in the sun here...


Las Vegas European Style Pool

We are excited to see The Mackins tie the knot as well as to celebrate P's little sister's, Hannah, high school graduation + birthday! Of course, a trip to Vegas would not be complete without seeing these wonderful faces...



I have also heard a little rumor that there may be a date night in my future to this wonderful restaurant!



via


If we have any spare time at all, I have been dying to do the Fremont Street Zip Line!



We can't wait! If you, sweet friends, are dying for a vacation I happen to know a fun couple in San Diego who loves entertaining visitors! ;)