Friday, June 28, 2013

Five on Friday!

1. Fiancé
Of course this had to be my numero UNO! I couldn't think of anything I'm more happy about right now. These past three years together have been so fun and I can't wait for a lifetime more and traveling on this journey with my guy :)

2. My Best Friend's Wedding 
No, I'm not talking about good ol' Julia Roberts, although that is a great movie. My best friend, Katie, of over 10 years is getting married tomorrow! We have been through so much together and I simply can't wait to be a part of this huge milestone in her life. Today starts the festivities of the BIG day with their rehearsal and I couldn't be more excited to celebrate Katie & Beau's love and future with them. Katie has been working nonstop over the past couple months DIYing everything, and from the sneak peeks I've seen along the way its going to be AMAZING!

These are some of my favorite photos we have together:
1. Being engaged together! (for one week) This is really special to me, not only because of the obvious reasons, but she was there the night I met Alex, and I was there the day Beau asked for her phone number :)
2. When she flew half way across the world (literally) to Australia and SURPRISED me with my other bestie Kirston when I was studying abroad there in college. Can you tell they succeeded with the surprise?
3. Snowboarding, throughout high school (and college) we had so much fun snowboarding together, definitely some of my fondest memories of our friendship thus far!

3. Summer Nights
The other night we got happy hour and sat outside on the patio and it was perfect weather. I love the warm weather and long daylight that comes with these months.

4. Wedding Planning
Call me crazy, but I'm already so excited to begin our wedding planning. Considering we're not even sure what state it'll be in, we have a lot of planning to do so I don't think it's too early! My amazing sis gave me insight to a couple of blogs to get me started and I've been looking at them daily:

Style Me Pretty
Green Wedding Shoes
Wedding Paper Divas
Wedding ChicksOnce Wed

If you have any other helpful sites, please send them my way!

5. Starbucks Passion Fruit Iced Tea
One of the tell tail signs of Summer for me is this yummy drink. It is so refreshing, and just makes me happy with its sweet taste and pretty color. I'm planning on having my first one of the season today!

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I said Yes!

I don't even know where to begin with this post, I have SO much to tell and it's difficult to compile! The short and sweet is, we are engaged! I can't even explain the emotion I have been feeling these past few days, I am feeling so happy, loved, thankful, blessed...and so much more. All my friends and family really know how to make a girl feel loved. Being engaged is such a great feeling, I always imagined it would feel good, but really I can't even explain how content and exciting it is! So, let's get to it, here's how it all went down...

This past Saturday our family had planned to have a bonfire at the beach by our home to celebrate my sister's birthday. My family was meeting us down there and Alex and I would ride our beach cruisers, because we take up any chance to ride those bad boys! That was the plan, and it's necessary to mention that on Friday evening Alex came home from work with a telescope, he had mentioned my dad gave it to him thinking we would get good use of it living by the beach. Anyone who knows my dad knows this is something he would totally do, so although most people would think that is weird, I did not in the least bit. Okay, back to Saturday...we woke up and went for a run, did some cleaning because the family would probably come back to our place after the bon fire, went to the store to make some food for the evening, then came back to gather our things and head down to the beach. We packed up our baskets, grabbed our beach chairs and went on our way...everything is still totally normal and no sign of any "surprise" to come. 

We rode down to the beach and once we hit Ocean Blvd. (up on the cliff, overlooking the entire beach and ocean) Alex pulled his bike over. This I thought was a bit odd, but once again he pulled out that telescope and said "I want to see if we can see Newport"...knowing Alex I didn't think this was too out of the ordinary. But then, here's were I started to think something "was up". He told me to hop off my bike (again weird) and to look through the telescope (Huh?). He told me to look through the telescope between two of the palm trees.


So I looked through the telescope and saw "Marry"....not  realizing there was more written, tough to see but in the photo above it's where the black/blue sign was much clearer in the telescope! Then I looked over and Alex got down on one knee. The next couple of minutes are pretty blurry because I was immediately overwhelmed with emotion and happiness and trying to grasp it all! But I did catch the last part of his sweet little speech "Will you marry me?" And of course I said "yes!"  Note the telescope in my hand the whole time, ha! As soon as he got down on one knee we hear a bunch of "woo hoo" screams from people down at the beach.

The whole time I was looking around wondering if anyone was taking photos but didn't see anyone. Later I found out my sister was hiding, literally hiding, on the side of the road in between two cars on the ground...didn't she do an amazing job capturing the moment?!

After I said "yes" and we had a few minutes to digest, we got back on our bikes to head down to the beach. At this point I knew my family would be down there and I was so excited to share in this moment with them. I had so many questions for Alex as we started riding, but he just kept pushing me off because little did I know the surprises weren't done! 
 I guess I was shaking after this all went down, so he recommended we get off our bikes and walk the rest of the way...

As we approached the beach, I looked over and saw all my family and friends...he had arranged for everyone to be there to celebrate with us right after this all went down. I was so happy to see that he included all these people who mean so much to us. The next few moments were spent giving hugs, showing off my new bling and recapping what happened at the top of the cliff!

Admiring My Ring!

As if that wasn't enough, there was a set up of fun photos, wedding mags, champagne, yummy food, and the cutest Sprinkles cupcakes that was so thoughtfully all planned out by everyone!

The rest of the time at the beach was spent playing cornhole, talking about how CRAZY it is that we just got engaged, the fact that me and my best friend Katie are engaged together for a week (she gets married Saturday!),  and who knew for how long and how they didn't tell me and all that jazz! 
After the beach we headed back up to the house and had a little bbq out front and continued the celebration!

As you can see, the day was absolutely perfect. My fiance (love calling him that) did an amazing job, and my family and friends were so generous with all their help and thoughtfulness. Thank you everyone for making this one of the best days of my life so far. I am so excited for all the festivities to come and ultimately to spend my life with the one person who makes me feel like like I'm the only girl in the world!

One of my sweet friends, Marysa, made this amazing collage. I love it!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Five on Friday

1. "Summer Fridays"
Today I'm so incredibly thankful that my work is generous enough to give us every other Friday in the Summer as a half day...and today is one of mine, so appropriate for the first day of Summer! Woo hoo--work, life, balance at it's finest :)
2. Fam Bam
I'm so happy that I am lucky enough to live very close to my family, so on days like today my best sista friend and nephew can come up and enjoy this beautiful day.

3. The Perfect Shoes
As I've mentioned once or twice, my best friend from high school is getting married NEXT Saturday! I needed neutral wedges for her big day, and couldn't find any. I'm happy to say that I found the perfect pair (after a couple road bumps) and I'll be wearing them all summer long!
4. Luke Bryan
I've always liked him, but recently I've been obsessed. Ha! I love all his music, and especially with this warmer weather, he has the perfect summer driving music. Just puts me in a happy mood! Not to mention,  I just recently found out he is part of the "Buck Commander" crew, which is the "brother show" to one of my favorites "Duck Commander"-HEY JACK!

5. Summer Recipes
Tomorrow we're having the first bon-fire of the Summer, and I wanted to bring a fun summer recipe. Searching on my favorite recipe site (Gina over at Skinny Taste) I found what looks like a delish recipe! I think i'll be bringing this, let's just hope mine will look half as presentable as hers:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Boats & Burgers

Last weekend we celebrated my SIL's b-day in true fashion--on a Duffy boat in the harbor. We had a great time, Alex was a mighty fine captain, and we drank wine and ate a delish appetizer plate (courtesy of ThingsToBeStroudOf!) and played many games of "liars dice"...a new game we learned that is so much fun!

The night ended at one of  my new favorite restaurants, Dublin 4. One of my all time favorite foods is a good cheeseburger, and good doesn't even begin to describe their burger! Oh and I'm also a sucker for anything truffle, and the burger came with truffle fries, I was in heaven! Happy Happy Birthday to my beautiful SIL, Marina.

Captain Hottie :)

Amidst a Tense Game of Liars Dice
The Whole Gang--Me and the BIL Need Some Sunnies!

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Easiest " Bakery Shop " Cupcakes!

I'd always wanted to make fancy cupcakes, so when I was tasked with bringing the cupcakes to Katie's bridal shower I thought what better time than now? I did some research, and some trial. I tried making the actual cupcakes from scratch but they didn't come out as good as the box-they weren't bad, but just not as good ol' Betty Crocker. We'll perfect those at a later date... So, I stuck with the box cupcakes (shh) and made homemade cream cheese frosting. With the help of my sister (over at ThingsToBeStroudOf) and her beautiful kitchen, and cupcake display supplies, I would say we were pretty successful!
Wilton Sprinkles (Michaels) & Wilton Decorating Kit (Target)
For the frosting, I used a half a stick of softened unsalted butter, 8 oz softened cream cheese, 1.5 tablespoons of vanilla and 3.5 cups powdered sugar. Mix those in your mixer.

Once you have your cupcakes baked (& cooled--very important!), you need to get your decorating bag prepped--use the largest tip in the kit. When you have it ready, spoon your frosting into the bag. Make sure don't get the frosting on the sides of the bag, especially the top part or else when you squeeze it will come out the top. Once you have a good amount in there, you're ready to decorate!

To start, place the tip in the middle of the cupcake (make sure you're squeezing firmly, and consistently, the entire time you are decorating).
 Then slowly make a circular motion as you move outward on the cupcake, but don't go all the way to the edge.
 Once you have done your final "circle" bring the tip back to the middle and then up--and voila!
The hardest part was figuring out how to get 36 cupcakes to the shower down the street, without them tipping over and/or the frosting melting. But I succeeded, thanks to my sister's "cupcake" holder--lifesaver let me tell ya! I was also able to display them nicely with her cake stands (see them displayed here)

 And, we couldn't have succeeded making these cupcakes without this little helper to keep us entertained :) check out those toofers!