Eat, Pray, Love and ITALY!

I'm back from my amazing trip to Italy with Ry. We started our trip in Rome visiting the Colesium, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and Vatican, we then headed to Florence where we hiked to the top of the Dome of Duomo, took pictures at the breathtaking Ponte Vecchio and Galleria dell' Academicia. From Florence we headed to Venice which was the most romantic city with brillant blue canals with boats and gondalas lined by beautifully intricate structures, we stopped to visit the leaning tower of Pisa and were spoiled with a luxurious hotel and great people, my personal favorite was our next couple days in Cinque Terra which is composed of 5 villages lining the Italian Riveria-Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Ry and I were able to hike and take the train to all 5 of the villages and stayed in Corniglia and Riomagiore which ended up being our favorites of the towns visited.Even thinking about the trip now makes me emotional because it was such a special trip. If you haven't visited Italy I can not stress enough how much you'll love it!!!! The scenery, the food, the fashion was so fantastic and the people of Italy were so friendly and loving.


Off to Italia

Ryan and I are off to Italy to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary!! What an incredible year it's been:) I arrive back in SD the 29th and will be sure to have many stories and pictures to share!!!!


Oprah's farewell season premiered this week and I have mixed emotions; I am so excited that the show is back because I adore her but I feel sad that this is her final year. It's really quite ridiculous but I almost feel like Oprah is a personal therapist and educator to me.I have been a big fan of the Oprah for 13 years now and believe there will be no other person in my lifetime that will make such an impact on this world. One of my favorite things about Oprah is her true passion for helping others using the abundance of money she has earned to sup rise deserving people with new houses, cars and trips making many people's dreams come true.
I often think of what I would do if I was fortunate to have the amount of money that she has and I would want nothing more than to help people and give great people who are less fortunate the opportunity to succeed in life and get what they truly deserve.

Here are a couple of my favorite Oprah quotes that I cherish and believe in with all my heart.

"I define joy as a sustained sense of well-being and internal peace - a connection to what matters."

"In every aspect of our lives, we are always asking ourselves, How am I of value? What is my worth? Yet I believe that worthiness is our birthright."

"Living in the moment brings you a sense of reverence for all of life's blessings."

"The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be."

"What I know for sure is that what you give comes back to you."

"What we're all striving for is authenticity, a spirit-to-spirit connection."

"Use what you have to run toward your best - that's how I now live my life."

"Every time you state what you want or believe, you're the first to hear it. It's a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don't put a ceiling on yourself."


Nerd Alert!

So, Ryan and I have our 1st wedding anniversary in just a couple days and I've been thinking and searching for the perfect gift. After dating for 6 years, I feel like I've gotten him all the "typical" gifts for men from watches, ipods, clothes, poker sets, scrapbooks, movies, concert tickets, etc. To me a gift means so much more when it's homemade and I enjoy being able to use my creative side. I ended up finding a modern pocket watch and got it engraved and then I went out on a limb and did something super duper nerdy.
Our computer crashed a couple months and ago and I thought that the hardrive was too cool looking to throw away so, it's been in the closet and I decided to do something creative and make a recycled computer hard drive clock for his work desk. Below I will take you through the steps I took to achieve this "masterpiece." I really hope he likes it, I will admit it is a very random present but considering that he is both an Engineer and leader of the IT department I figured he would appreciate it:)

Nerdy Hard drive clock:

1. Here is the picture of the hard drive. Pretty exciting huh??!2. Go to your local craft store (I went to Michael's) and get a Clock Kit which is only $5.99 and is super easy to put together. 3. Take a blank CD

4. Place the CD in the microwave for 15 seconds. Please note only 15 seconds otherwise I am not responsible for your microwave exploding. You will see some lights sparking in the microwave but it's safe and it will result in a cool crackled effect shown below.
5. Take an old picture frame. Paint the glass with whatever color you choose. Of course I picked a blue-green color that matched the panel of the hard drive.6. Paint the rim and inner circle of the CD the same color as you paint the glass.
7. After the painted glass is dry place the glass side in the frame and clean so there are no finger prints.

8. I painted the back of the frame blue and put a quote with our anniversary date. (not the best pic...I promise it looks better than this:) 9. So, here is the final product. I put the clock movements in the CD and then glued the computer hard drive to the framed painted picture!! It was fun, easy and for those looking for a truly orignal homemade gift this is a winner.


Online Shopping Fav's!

I was never a huge fan of online shopping mostly because I feel I have to try on the clothes before purchasing but, there are a few online stores that I've recently discovered that in all honesty are better than any mall or boutique stores that I've visited. The clothes are well made, unique, fashion forward and true to size which makes shopping easy breazy. I have 4 online shopping sites that you really cant go wrong with, the transactions and shipping is so easy that you'll never want to go back to searching and wasting time at the mall. So, here are my favs, I promise they won't disappoint just don't hate me when you become addicted:)
To justify your shopping you can say that shopping has never been easier, browse on the sites, find something you like and go for it. Saving time is priceless, plus shipping is typically free with purchase. There is nothing better than coming home to a package of beautiful outfits.

Top 4 online sites:

  1. Mod Cloth ahhh I can't even explain how much damage I could do if I had money to spend. Truly unique vintage/mod inspired clothes that are to die for:)

  2. Ruche amazingly unique shoes, beautifully inticite cardigans and blouses made for the professional world and causual wear.

  3. Lulus awesome bottoms and shoes. A more modern approach than my #1 and #2 sites

  4. Tulle love their skirts and dresses among pretty much everything on their site
    Here are just a couple pic's of the many many favorite pieces from these sites:

Magical Moments

"You rose into my life like a promised sunrise, brightening my days with the light in your eyes. I’ve never been so strong. Now I’m where I belong." – Maya Angelou
There are few moments in your lifetime that you experience an out-of-body feeling; as if you need to pinch yourself because the moment far surpasses any expectations you ever felt were humanly possible. When I think of life and happiness I can say with certainty that I have never been as happy as I was on my wedding day. Of course I knew it would be a very special day, but it was so perfect that I can't imagine doing one thing differently.
I enjoyed every moment of my wedding but there are two moments that I will cherish as perhaps the happiest times of my life.
First, the moment I saw my Dad right before walking down the isle together at the ceremony. I was standing behind a sectional so that none of our guests could see me and when my Dad turned around we both started tearing up. I had kept my dress a secret so that my Dad could see me with the full bridal makeover and his expression was priceless. Daddy's little girl was all grown up and we both felt emotional yet I felt this overwhelming sense that it was exactly where I was meant to be, Ryan and I were certain we were meant for eachother and we had all our families love and support. The moment my Dad and I started getting emotional, my Dad turned around quickly and made a goofy face so that we could both laugh (saving my makeup job:)
The other moment that I honestly can't put into words to give it the justice it deserves is when I walked down the isle with my dad in hand looking at my soon-to-be husband. I honestly didn't know how Ryan was going to react seeing me, obviously I had hoped he would get emotional but, I didn't want to think he would react a certain way because I didn't want to get disappointed. Disappointed I was not!!Ryan's expression made me feel like the most beautiful bride in the world and I could tell he was overcome with emotion. It was a magical moment and his reaction was absolutley perfect. At the end of the reception, Ryan and I climbed in the limo to drive to the hotel and we immediately turned to eachother laughing saying "Wow, that literally was the best night ever!" We both knew it far exceeded our expectations and we both felt full of love seeing all the people that have been present in your life in one room. We felt so fortunate to have our families support so that we could create the wedding of our dreams.
I thought I would share a couple photos of Ryan's reaction as I walked down the isle! ahhhh LOVE IT!

Another amazing moment was the night that Ryan proposed to me. I was completely suprised, after a wonderful day and nice dinner we decided that we take a walk on the beach to see the beautiful sunset. Ryan had set up his camera on his tripod to take pictures of us (sounds strange but this isn't unusual for us:) and little did I know that he had it running the whole time while he proposed. I wish you could hear what we were saying in the video but to summarize it; he tells me that before we take pictures he has something for me, I opened the wrapped gift which was a framed letter that he wrote which was absolutely beautiful. After reading the letter he asked if I wanted any chocolates, I told him that I was too full from dinner and that we could eat them later on. He replied, "no, I REALLY think you'll like them," so I opened the chocolates and saw a jewlery box. I didn't want to overreact and assume it was a ring so, I opened it reluctantly and then that was when he dropped to his knee!! It was PERFECT:)

"The honorary duty of a human being is to love."-Maya Angelou