Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My First Makeover

Good Afternoon everyone, please pardon the dust, as you can tell I am in the middle of my very first makeover! Not only am I pumped because of the fresh new look, this makeover also means I have hit a milestone I set for myself. When I first decided to start my blog I said I would use a basic design and if I proved successful (that is to my own standards), I would reward myself with a whole new look. I find this one to appear clean and easy to navigate. I haven't posted in a few days because I wanted to have a major reveal, but with only a few details left to go, I just couldn't wait any longer.  Hopefully, everything will be completed by the end of the week, I am just loving it so far!

I promise to be back tomorrow explaining the best surprise I have ever experienced at a bridal shower!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Friendship Circle

If you know my sister, Melissa, you know she is a social butterfly.  So among the many reasons I follow in her footsteps, being a professional bridesmaid is definitely one of them.  When I asked her if she wanted to guest post on my blog on being the "original" professional bridesmaid, she was flattered but decided she wanted to use the platform for a cause a little closer to her heart.  So ladies (and the few gentlemen reading this) without further ado here is my better half, best friend, and maid of honor, Melissa!


What better way to start my morning than reading my sister’s blog? I am sure many of you feel this
way.  It is clever, funny, and makes you smile.  I have wanted to write an entry for a while, but I could not decide what topic to pick.  Like my sister, I have had my fair share of experience as a bridesmaid and a bride, and therefore promise to write something on one of those topics in the very near future.  But today, I want to write about something else… you know that exciting feeling you get when you are going to a big wedding, shower or bachelorette party? Those tingly butterflies you feel in your toes, stomach and fingers. No I am not describing what it feels like during your first kiss or first whatever else…. I am describing that feeling of excitement and adrenaline all mixed in one when you are thrilled about something joyous in your life. That feeling is what we work to achieve each and every day.  For me that feeling occurred on the day of my wedding, the day my son was born and the day I passed the bar, but it also happens on a lower scale each and every day I volunteer at the Friendship Circle.

The Friendship Circle is a nationwide organization that serves children with special needs and their
families by providing social and recreational programs that promote inclusion and friendship. Their
method is to pair together, one on one, a child with special needs and a teenage volunteer. Together,
they participate in one or many of the programs at least once a week.

I was blessed to stumble upon this amazing organization right after moving to metro Detroit. After
making a couple phone calls, receiving a tour and speaking with the director- I was hooked. Now, I
spend almost every Sunday at the Friendship Circle teaching art and dance to kids with special needs, and volunteering at other events.

Two weeks ago I brought my son, Spencer, with me to an event at a food bank!

These kids have my heart and that is why I am starting a fundraising campaign for their annual
Walk4Friendship event. It’s my turn to “give back” to an organization that has given me so much joy
each week. Join me in giving back today by donating here.  For me the Friendship Circle is the organization that I am passionate about. I hope that you get involved in an organization that gives you the same type of happiness.

To learn more about Friendship Circle, please visit www.FriendshipCircle.org


Mel, thank you so much for sharing your passion for Friendship Circle.  I hope everyone feels inspired and donates whatever they can to this cause or another they keep close to their hearts!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hahn SLH Estate

As I recapped here, this past Friday I went to a cocktail party and wine tasting event at the most picturesque location ever, The Hahn SLH Estate.  Friday was a long day with field tours and constant conversation.  We had this wine tasting event slated for the end of our afternoon and I was honestly not that excited.  I was just exhausted and knew we had a big dinner to attend that night where I had to be on my game, so I just couldn't imagine sitting in a room listening to someone tell me about wine and the different flavor profiles.  As we made the drive there I took a little nap, when I woke up it was to some coworkers screaming our bus is smoking!  We got out of the bus to see a huge cloud of black smoke.  Determined to make it to the event we started the two mile climb uphill.  Luckily a car approached me and asked if I wanted a ride, I quickly tucked away the thoughts of you should never hitch hike replaying in my mind, and got into the vehicle.  Luckily it was a nice couple on their way to the estate as well!

Once I arrived I alerted the employees that we had a busload of people walking up and they quickly sent some vans to help them out.  So there I was me by myself staring at one of the most beautiful views ever.

(Photo taken from the Hahn SLH website)

I just couldn't believe THIS is what they meant when the itinerary said "wine tasting."  I was just baffled.  There was a private chef making delicious appetizers and handing out some of the best wine I have ever tasted.

My favorite appetizer was short rib ontop a cauliflower puree with a truffle demi glaze... YUM!

So naturally, I was there at the estate for about five minutes before I decided this would be probably the most breathtaking location for a wedding.  Inside the estate we were situated at the Hahn Winery Vineyard House which according to the website description is "a rustic ranch style house that suggests an earlier, quieter time and evokes country living and romance."  It is located above the valley floor at 1,100 foot elevation which overlooks the vineyards and the Salinas Valley.  I immediately asked the hostess how often they have weddings and was surprised to find they no longer allow weddings at their venue.  However, they will allow engagement and anniversary parties.  So the next time you want to plan your low key event in California check out Hahn SLH Estate.

Here are some more pictures some are repeats from yesterday:

(Photo taken from the Hahn SLH website)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Weekend Recap

As I mentioned last week, this past weekend I went to Monterey, CA for the annual Produce Management Association convention. I never really bring my job into this blog, but I figured this past weekend was so wonderful I may as well share it with you.  Just a brief description, the PMA is an annual event held in Monterey each year which brings a majority of the industry together.  We take tours, wine and dine customers, and many people play golf.  Basically, I was going from seven AM until midnight for four days straight, and I don't think I can handle another fancy meal for at least a week (if you know me well then that is a very long time for this foodie).  The views were breathtaking and I just couldn't stop myself from daydreaming a wedding out there.

Here is a rundown on my weekend (if you follow me on instagram then this may be old news):

Naturally, In-N-Out Burger was our first stop when we landed on Thursday!  I had never been and I had been counting down the days.  YUMMMY!

The view from the lobby at our hotel, The Monterey Plaza.

Friday morning we headed out to a lettuce field.  The hairnets are soo sexy I know, but nobody wants hair in their salad!!

Sugar snap pea field. 

I got all dolled up to tour a lettuce processor.  Sorry I don't have links for these items:)

Friday afternoon one of our shippers held a cocktail/wine tasting party for our company.  Our bus broke down and I had to hitch hike to the vineyard, but when I got there this was the view waiting for me! 

Another view of the estate.  Look forward to tomorrows post I will give you details on how to visit this beautiful place.

Saturday during the day we walked around Carmel- By- the- Sea.  I am a big fan of Mrs. Eastwood and Company so I was hoping to spot some cheeks, but instead we just ate and drank.  Then, Saturday evening I attend the Produce Alliance annual cocktail reception. 

There was a wedding going on the level below us, how beautiful is that backdrop?

Sunday night I made it home just in time to pick up Pizza and catch the Bachelorette Finale.  She was so worried we would have to wait until today to watch and by then we may have heard the results!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

PMA Break

I will be back Monday with some more bridesmaid posts, but tomorrow I am off to Monterey, California for the Produce Management Association show.  David and I both work for the same company, but we hardly ever cross paths.  This is one of the only times  of the year we get to attend a work function together, and I am very excited it is in BEAUTIFUL Monetery.  It will we a weekend filled with good food, good wine and a WHOLE lot of produce conversations. 

Not a bad place to go on a business trip!

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Walk Down Wedding Lane: Samantha and Blake's Wedding

On Saturday, we drove up to Kholer, Wisconsin to celebrate with Samantha and Blake.  The weather ALL DAY was beautiful and then about an hour before the wedding was supposed to start it began to pour.  To most people that are planning an outdoor ceremony it would mean it was time to throw in the towel, but Samantha and Blake wanted to wait, they wanted their ceremony they had been dreaming of.  So they waited.  At the absolute last minute before they had to start moving everything inside the sun came out.  The staff quickly dried off the chairs and as the birds chirped and guests sipped on cocktails, we witnessed one of the most special ceremonies ever.  

Bride and Groom seeing each other for the first time!
Photography by Jason Eiting representing Emily Johnson Photography

It was truely a wonderful night and I wish Samantha and Blake a lifetime of happiness!  Mazel!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Samantha's Getting Married!!

Part of the fun of attending an old friends wedding is reminiscing on how far back the two of you go.  This weekend one of my oldest and dearest friends, Samantha, is marrying the man of her dreams.  Samantha and I have been through so much of our lives together and I cannot wait to watch her reach such a GIANT milestone.  We met in fifth grade homeroom and immediately clicked.  I figured what better way to describe this friendship than take a look back at the years we have spent together as partners in crime. 

Samantha, you will be THE most gorgeous bride tomorrow and I cannot wait to celebrate with you and Blake!

I will be back with a recap next week!