Archive for Personal

**Mom’s 60th Bday Party**

My mom is one of my best friends, my biggest cheerleader, and the person who taught me that it’s OK to be a strong woman.   I’ve always known that I could  never re-pay my mom for the years of countless sacrifices and support she has given me, my dad and my brother…..but when her 60th birthday rolled, I figured that I could at least start the process!! I decided that after all of the over-the-top birthday parties, amazing family dinners and special surprises she had given us growing up, she deserved a surprise of her own.  So I set up an undercover surprise party in my own backyard with 60 of her closest friends and family members (a lady with a big heart like my mom acquires many close friends after 60 years!)

We threw together a grey and fuschia inspired event with a few special touches.  Florals were done by the great Kate Baker, and these beautiful photos below were taken by one of my recent clients and talented photog, Ashleigh Taylor:



The birthday girl herself…as she walked in.  She is as nosy as they come, so I thought she would totally sniff out the plans, but somehow she managed to be completely surprised that day!


We decided to forego passed appetizers for cocktail hour and open up a mashed potato bar stocked with martini glasses… was a huge huge hit with our guests!  



I figured a regular ol’ birthday cake would not do my mom justice, so we decided to go for an entire dessert table spread instead, sprinkled full of treats ranging from DIY yummies by yours truly, to Trader Joe’s, to Vanilla Bake Shop!


And I’ll end with a picture of me and the birthday girl…..don’t be fooled by her tiny stature, there is alot of spunk and heart in that little lady~! 


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All right, Mrs. Hazel, I’m ready for my closeup…

For those of you who don’t already know of Jordana Hazel, please run, don’t walk , to her website, Hazelnut Photography.  She is one of those people that you can’t help but just puffy heart, because she is hilarious, positive, and just real…..she just makes all those around her giddy and happy.  More importantly, she is ridiculously talented!!  She just gets behind the camera and is able to find the pretty in everything and everyone, and you can just tell that this girl was born to shoot. 

So, when it came down to choosing someone to help me with some headshots for my upcoming website relaunch, it wasn’t even a question…….I immediately dialed up my friend Jordana.    There is nothing better than getting to spend a few hours with someone so fun, and getting stuff done!!

Here are a couple of her shots of me, that I think are just….awesome.  Awesome to the 10th power.



And, although I think I look a little nutso when I laugh…….this shot is proof of why I love Jordy.  She cracks me up THIS much…..and I have to say, I don’t hand out a guffaw like this very easily:


Please visit her blog for more of the shots we captured that day, along with more of her captivating work!

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New school year, new look!

Every year growing up, the last two weeks of August always consisted of two things.  A 2-hour trek to Target to buy a brand new backpack and school supplies, and a trip to the hair salon for a new look. 

For those of you who have met me, you have probably gotten to see my hair on the longest state it’s ever been.  I started growing it out for my own wedding, then decided to keep it long for a Lauren’s wedding this past May.  I really did start to love it, although I usually ended up throwing it up in a messy ponytail, because I have no patience for hair styling.   The thing with me and my hair is, I get bored really fast.

I decided that going into the new school year (and yes, I’m quite aware I am no longer a student, nor am I a teacher), I would revisit the traditions of years past and treat myself to a whole new look.  I wanted to go for something chic and versatile, with little maintenence, that still maintained a sense of professionalism.  I  took the liberty of assuming that my clients didn’t want me showing up to coordinate their elegant weddings in a mohawk!!

So we went from this, the old look:


To this look…..”the Gwenyth bob”:


It’s day 3 of the new bob and I’m loving it!!  A big shout-out to my stylist, Rigo Ortiz at Studio 26 (who also does amazing wedding hair!), for rocking the shears!!

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Happy anniversary to us!!

Well it was actually yesterday, that I celebrated my first anniversary with the hubs….but since he whisked me away to the happiest place on earth, DISNEYLAND (I grew up in Orange County and we went every year, so I still hold a little place in my heart for it), I had no time to blog about it!  I really can’t believe it’s been a year, (caution: gushy mushy thoughts ahead) I feel like the luckiest girl on earth every day and feel so blessed to be married to my man.

Some of my favorite shots from that special day (all taken by the ridiculously talented Evoke Photography):

The necessary elated shots taken moments after our recessional:



Our hottie bridal party:


And the people we can’t live without….our families:



More fun bride/groom shots:


Our ceremony was held at the gorgeous Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels:


Followed by a the reception I had dreamed up in my head for 18 months at the Athenaeum in Pasadena:


Our grand entrance went straight into our first dance:


Some of my favorite details of the day (most of this was all DIY, it took alot of blood, sweat and tears and an amazing mom to help me with all of it):

Our programs:


Our placecard trees:


The rhinestone table numbers we painstakenly glued every single rhinestone onto:


The placesettings, complete with a coral napkin, DIY menu and the DIY soda favors (that the hubs worked so very hard on), and the DIY round bottle opener/placecards:


The cocktail napkins and the bar menus:


And the yummy 3-tiered cake, provided by DeCroupet Cake Sisters:


 And the reasons I adore Kate Baker, who rocked my florals, as usual:


And, can’t forget about all the signs!


I know that this shot didn’t come out totally clear, but it brings back one of my favorite memories of the day.  I convinced the hubs that I HAD to have “Time of My Life” from the Dirty Dancing movie as our last song, and not only did he give in…..but when we did dance that last song, I ran to him – a la Jennifer Grey – and he spun me around like we were in the movie.  One of the 10000000 reasons I love my hubby!!


After the last dance, we went through a sparkler grand exit and into our getaway car!  Aside from the snafus, I will always remember it as a perfect day!



Eric – I love you more than I could ever try to put into words, you are my heart, but just as importantly, you are my funny bone.  Thank you for this amazing year, and my only wish is for 100 more!!

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You mean….from scratch?!?

Yesterday, out of nowhere, I got a huge craving for strawberry cupcakes…….REAL strawberry cupcakes, none of this boxed crap.  I had seen a recipe that DaPotato used recently in her blog, so I decided to work my magic while the hubs was at the gym (and yes, I realize it’s counter-productive, but he’s skinny, he can take it).

I didn’t do the chocolate glaze part because then my laziness took over, but the hubs came home to piping hot, straight from the oven, strawberry heaven.  He then proceeded to ask me where I got the cake mix part, since he could clearly see the real strawberry chunks in the cupcake.  I looked up at him and said, “Ummm, well you know the usual suspects…..flour, sugar, eggs, etc.”  The poor man looked astonished….and slowly goes, “You mean, FROM SCRATCH!?!?,” as if he had just hit the lottery. 

Who knew it was so simple to keep a hubby happy?!

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Turns out he is quirky too…..

As a follow-up to my quirks post from last week, I just have to post about one of my husband’s funniest quirks.  The man has an obsession with what he has deemed, “One of the greatest movies of all time,” aka Teen Wolf.  For those of you that haven’t seen it, I have to agree, it is pretty amazing (or at least it was pretty darn good for the 80’s).

One of his nicknames for me is Boof, and he likes to call his best friend Styles.

He created a “Van Surfin” video in college:


The Halloween costume that won him first prize at work:



Need I say more?  What are the funny quirks about your significant others that make you love them?


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