Monterey Bay Aquarium

We had a few days off work for Christmas, so we thought it would be fun to take a day trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. So lovely to breathe in that fresh ocean air!
Had to wear my Lilly conch scarf for the occasion!
This little penguin was my favorite!
Her name was Betsy!
Such a beautiful sunset view!
And this guy.. a huge octopus!
 Can you tell I love the bright colors of the tropical reefs the most?!

And the jellyfish!

 I really could sit here all day and listen to the ocean! So lovely!

Christmas Time Around the House

I wanted to share a few more pictures of our Christmas decor from this year, it's always so great to be able to look back every year to see how it evolves.
This year I was all about tartan, some sparkle, natural elements (burlap and greenery) with red accents.
The view from the entryway:
My Christmas Eve outfit: 
See, red, sparkle and tartan!

A card that fit in perfectly with our decor.

Christmas Eve: Hot chocolate + peppermint bark, doesn't get much better!

And as I was setting up for our Christmas Day dinner.
The tree during the day:
Don't mind my angel topper, she was a bit lopsided this year but only because the tree was funky on top.
A few close-ups of my favorite ornaments:

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season! XOXO

Little Shift Dress

My favorite dress of this Holiday season has been a shift dress I picked up at Target! The shape makes it super versatile and did I mention it's only $17?!! The material is a Jacquard so it looks much more luxe which makes it perfect for any Holiday events. I have it in black and winter white!
A few ways I styled it:
Cocktails with friends:
Kate Spade Shoes // J.Crew Bag // Target Dress
At the office:
Target Dress // Lilly Belt // J.Crew necklaces (pearl, crystal)
Junior League Ornament Exchange:
J.Crew Bow necklace // Target Dress
 And a few fun ways to wear it for both Christmas and New Years Eve:
Do you have a go to Holiday dress??

Blue Wedding Shoes

I've mentioned it several times before but I plan to wear a pair of blue Manolos CWF gifted me to our wedding a la Carrie Bradshaw! While they aren't exactly Carrie's shoes, they are still very fun! I've even convinced my coworker to do the same- she is wearing a pair of blue Jimmy Choo's to her wedding next month!

I put together a few fun blue options at every price range and heel height:

1. Nina //  2. Kate Spade //  3. Valentino //  4. Kate Spade //  5. Manolo Blahnik //  6. Nina //  7. Kate Spade
I'm seriously considering getting those flat Kate Spades to wear dancing as the night goes on! The Manolo's might be pretty, but they sure aren't comfortable.

Holiday Home Tour

Of of my favorite things to do with my soon-to-be MIL are Home Tours! I guess you could say it's our 'thing' together. (A few older posts: Holiday Home Tour, Garden Tour
Last weekend we did the Holiday Home tour in the 'fab forties' area of my city- all the homes are truly fab with large tree lined streets. Regan actually lived there during his time as Governor of California. We almost bought a house there a few years ago and it makes me a bit sad thinking we could have had our home on the tour too, but everything happens for a reason :)
A few of my favorites:
Such a classic Christmas tree!

I adored all the Persian rugs and toile throughout this house

Magnolia garland, swoon!

Love the silver vases mixed in with burlap!

Pretty natural centerpiece here

 Loved the JOY in the window, I would love to do this someday!

Staircase garland! 

 Such a classic living room!
I just adored all the traditional decorations throughout the houses!

I hope your Holiday Season has been Merry & Bright!

Bling Sale

This weekend only, Jojo Loves You is having a huge bling sale! They have the cutest handmade earrings and make perfect gifts for all your friends (or yourself)! You might remember, I also wore a pair to match my favorite Lilly dress for a dinner out in DC back in May here!

This time, I wore mine to a holiday party and I thought they added the perfect amount of sparkle to my outfit!

A close-up of the 'Party Bling' in Hazel:

Here are the details:

Blings: 3 pairs for $60
Mini Blings: 3 pairs for $50
Oval Blings: 3 pairs for $50
Navette Blings: 3 pairs for $50
Party Blings: 3 pairs for $60
And you can Mix & Match...meaning your 3 pairs can be 3 different styles!

Happy Shopping!!


Holiday Table Setting

I love decorating for the Holidays and I love to make sure I have the perfect Holiday table setting! Each year I like to do things slightly different (last year I used my gold glass chargers and a plaid tablecloth). But this year since our tree is in our dining area, I went with a theme that coordinated with the tree theme (which is red, silver and woodland animals).
This is the table setting I came up with! I love my burlap runner (that I just cut from a yard of burlap), I use it year-round and I think it adds a lot of texture to the table. I used my rattan chargers from Target, Williams Sonoma Tartan plates (old- similar) and napkin rings, Lauren Ralph Lauren tablecloth and napkins, and my grandma's monogrammed silverware.
Love my tartan wine bottle bag and reindeer stopper also from WS last year. I recommend checking out their sale section the day after Christmas- I once got napkins for less than $1 each!
The centerpiece looks a bit funky here, but it a collection of crystal taper candle holders with a fun holiday crystal tree. I wanted to keep it simple!
Mr. Kitty approves too!
I almost forgot to share, but this was my Thanksgiving tablesetting- the upside to hosting- whatever you say goes!
Lilly, toile, sequins and poms oh my!!

Thanksgiving Tree

Happy Thanksgiving week!
Growing up my parents always had this cute little 'Thanksgiving Tree' in our dining room. During the month of November we had to add leaves to the tree, and each leaf was different, one said 'Grandma' with her picture and another one might say 'House' with a picture of our house. It was a cute way to be thinking of all the things we were thankful for throughout the month up until Thanksgiving.
This year, I thought CWF and I could start a new family tradition with our own little Thanksgiving Tree.
And here it is! I know it's not much but I think its the thought that counts! I just scavenged some twigs from the yard and put them in this old bottle I had lying around. Then on Thanksgiving when everyone is over I'm going to have them add (glittered) leaves to it and say what they are thankful for.
We have so much to be thankful for this year, and I can't wait to see the tree with all it's leaves!
Do you have any fun (new or old) Thanksgiving family traditions?

Friday Five

TGIF!! I know it's been sparse around here, and I truly do apologize for that (mom), but I am here today sharing a few of my recent favorite things!
1. All the generous and thoughtful gifts we received at our engagement party! Seriously we are so blessed to have such wonderful and supporting family and friends.
Matouk pillows from Horchow // Horchow quilt

 2. The temps finally cooled down this week enough to wear layers! Hooray for sweaters with oxfords underneath! My favorite fall look!

3. A few months ago, I started eating better and making an effort to workout on a more regular basis, and I'm so happy because all my hard work has paid off! I've lost a few pounds and I'm feeling great! My biggest challenge was getting past the thought that 'if I do xx thing (join the gym/buy new shoes/etc) then I'll workout!'. When really if I wanted to workout I could do it without any of those things, and in fact I have been- I don't have a gym membership and instead have found free bootcamp classes, utlize the workouts that are included with my cable service or on online, and jog in my neighborhood. If I can do it, anyone can!
Although a bit of Lululemon never hurts! However, the trick is to use it as a reward and not an incentive!
4. When my family was in town for our engagment party, they took me out wedding dress shopping! Such a fun thing to share with my extended family. In true shopper fashion I can't say I have picked a dress yet- there are just so many pretty options! But at least I have my blue shoes :)
5. This week I was tagged by one of my favorite bloggers, Suburban Charm, for a fun monogram game! And well if you have been reading for a while, I love to monogram everything! (see picture in #1. above!) Her questions to me:
1. Do you follow "traditional" monogramming etiquette, or do you follow "contemporary" monogramming etiquette? I'm definatly a traditional girl!
2. What is the most outrageous thing you have monogrammed? I've monogrammed a lot, but nothing out of the ordinary!
3. Have you ever regretted monogramming something? No, but I do have a lot of things in my madien name monogram, but I don't regret doing it.
4. What's your favorite monogram style? I love the diamond, or traditional block. Interlocking is fun too but I think it's very trendy- I'm in it for the long haul!
5. At what age did you first discover your love of monograms? Not sure, but the first chance I got to decorate my room on my own I put an 'A' everywhere!
I hope you all have a great weekend!

Wedding Wednesday- Our Engagment Story

I promised I would share our engagement story quite some time ago, and since our engagement party is now over I thought it would be the perfect time to share!

This story starts long ago, when my dad, CWF and his parents all talked about our future wedding plans in their backyard (I was eavsdropping nearby) and how we would wait until he graduated Law School. Unfortuantly CWF never had the chance to actually ask my dad (since he has passed) but it was so meaningful to me that they had that conversation all those years ago.
Fastfoward to 2013, two weeks before our Maui trip on our way back from my Aunt & Uncle's 30th Wedding anniversary party (it's a 8 hour drive) in August we started seriously talking about rings and what I liked. Once we were home, CWF did a bunch of diamond research and ended up contacting a close family friend who owns a jewelry wholesale mart in San Francisco.
So of course, I had to seize the opportunity and I made us an appointment the following weekend. We did a lot of looking around and ended up going with a Verragio setting. I tried on my ring and immediately knew it was the one for me. Luckily they were able to size it the same day so CWF had it right away.
It just so happened that on that weekend, they were having a Verragio event and the designer, Mr. Verragio was there himself.

Then the waiting began. I tried really hard to be patient but I just wanted to wear my ring! A few days later we jetted off to Maui for two weeks and I couldn't contain my excitement!

CWF made reservations at our favorite Maui restaurant (Mama's Fish House) at sunset about a week after we arrived (sunset is a hard reservation to get). As we were driving there, CWF pulled over at a  beach along the highway and as we were walking along the sand he got down on one knee! He said so many sweet and wonderful things that I will forever cherish.  But I was really surprised (he had the huge ring BOX in his shorts pocket the whole time) and honestly very thankful he didn't do it at the restaurant (so many people!).

Right after the proposal!

It was so nice to be able to spend a beautiful sunset dinner together after to celebrate! And because of the time difference it was really too late to make too many phone calls.

The view from our dinner table!
One of the most special parts about it all was that CWF proposed on my Grandparents 58th wedding anniversary. I could cry thinking about that :)
One of our friends was on the island too, and the next day took some fun photos of me with my ring!

And I couldn't stop staring!

I am beyond excited to marry my best friend and I am so grateful for everyone who helped make this a special time for us! XOXO