Friday, June 12, 2015

All Dogs Go to Heaven

Nine years ago my heart was stolen by a blue eyed boy.
He had freckles, was affectionate and showed me a love I had never known before.
He changed my life forever.

I guess I should also mention he was a chocolate dapple miniature dachshund.

A week ago today, the man that I spent the better part of a decade loving took his last breath. Beamer Dean, Beams, Beamie, or Weasel, as I so affectionately called him, was my sidekick. Wherever I would go, he would go. He was attached to me and I to him. I used to always joke that I needed to get one of those baby wrap carriers because all he ever wanted was to be in my arms.

About a year and a half ago my little man lost his sight. It was hard on us both but it didn't get him down. Shortly after that, he was diagnosed with Cushing's Disease which is an overproduction of cortisol, requiring lifelong testing and medication. Having just gone through the long, hard and ultimately fatal journal of IMHA (Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia) with my other pooch, I was devastated by the news. There really isn't much worse than having a sick pet. They don't know what is going on and can't tell you how they feel. The quality of Beamers life had taken a drastic turn after the Cushings. He continually gained weight and didn't enjoy walks or playing like he used to. I find comfort in knowing that he is free of his ailments and no longer trapped in a body that was essentially shutting down and working against him.

I have so many wonderful memories with this little guy. He was my first pet that was all my own and I really did love him like a child. There is an emptiness in our home that I'm not sure will ever go away, but I remind myself of all of the treasured moments that we shared. Like the first time I ever saw him and he flashed those baby blues at me. Or the first night I brought him home, where he fell asleep in my arms. Or the first (and only haha) time I took him in the pool.  Teaching him to "dance" and "speak" and once he learned that doing so got him treats, he'd put on his own little song and dance shows for us! The attention he would get whenever I would take him out... cars would literally stop and pull over to look at him when I took him on walks. He was special... and boy he knew it. And the list goes on and on. That little guy brought me more happiness than I ever could have thought possible. He turned me into a crazy wiener dog lady who is now obsessed with all things wiener dog! There is a hole in my heart that I'm not sure will ever fully mend but loving him was one of the most special things I've ever had the privilege of doing.

Nine Years.
My longest relationship.
And my greatest heartbreak.

I consider myself lucky to have been his.

And now, for the last, and final time... "Bye bye Beamie... Mommy loves you"

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Wedding DIY using Cricut Explore

I've said it before and I'll say it again, wedding planning, while stressful, was also some of the most fun I've ever had, mainly because I spent a good majority of it in my craft cave. 

Not long after getting engaged I treated myself to the newest toy in paper crafting, the Cricut Explore. While I have dabbled in just about every kind of crafting under the sun, paper crafting and scrapbooking is one that never quite stuck so I didn't have much experience with the Cricut brand. The Explore, however, was a brand new kind of paper crafting machine. It opened my eyes to a whole new world of creating. I had no idea the kinds of things that could be created using a Cricut! The Explore can not only cut but it can write, score, and can now even use a print then cut feature! The possibilities are truly endless!

I had so much fun coming up with different ways to use my Explore throughout the wedding planning process.  
Some of the (many) things I created for the wedding with my Explore were:

Tags for the girls' dresses. 
Our "Chalkboard" Cocktail Signs

Our Bar Signs

Our Cards Sign

Our Guestbook Sign

 Our "Mrs." & "Mr." for our sweetheart table.
(Flowers by the incredible LeeLina Martin)


One of my favorites was our "logo" for our "Guest Guitar". 
Using Cricut Design Space I was able to use the logo that was created by our invitation designer Erin to put our wedding logo on the guitar itself. 

Another favorite, our escort cards/favors. 
Because I am a creator at heart, I wanted our escort cards/favors to be something creative. I had the idea of having them be mini canvases on easels and after some trial and error, I decided on putting arrows on all of the boys canvases and hearts on all of the girls. 





I, of course, made special "Bride" & "Groom" canvases for Sam and I.

Using the same idea, I created our table numbers on small canvases.


And lastly, the sizing for the flip flops. 
There were all sorts of other things along the way, I just decided to share some of my favorites. 
I had so much fun creating unique things for the wedding, and I really can't imagine doing it without my Cricut! Since the wedding, I have actually missed the long nights working on wedding crafts and have tried to come up with excuses to use it! Lucky for me, now I get to plan a baby shower and you better believe my Cricut will be putting in overtime for the occasion. :)

**This post was in no way sponsored by Cricut, I just love the product that much. **
(All photos compliments of our amazing photographer Roger with EPlove.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Another Year Older

It is time for another birthday, my first as a wife! This year I decided to keep things mellow, after all, I just had the party of a lifetime... a WEDDING!

On my birthday I'm always reminded of all of the wonderful people that I am lucky enough to have in my life. I wouldn't want it any other way...



Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year... New Last Name!

It's 2015!

So much has happened this year! Now, I'm not the type that subscribes to the idea that a new year has to mean "new beginnings" or a "new you". I think new beginnings can happen whenever you want them to! But... it is still nice to reflect on all that has happened over the lat 365 days.

The year started with my fiancé (now husband) moving in the first of the year. He joined me and my roommate Stefana for a very "Three's Company"-esque living situation. It was a good way for all of us to save a little money (splitting bill three ways is a lot better than splitting them two ways). And it was a good way to make sure Sam and I could stand living with each other. Haha.

Also in January I noticed my dog acting funny. He had been putting on a lot of weight quickly and just seemed lethargic. I took him to the vet and they didn't seem to be too concerned. Then, one morning a couple weeks later I went to give him his usual "bye bye treat" that I give to him when I go to work and it was like he couldn't see the treat right in front of his face, he just sniffed around for it. Something was definitely wrong. I took him back into the vet and they confirmed what I had suspected. He was blind. Not just a little blind, completely blind. Basically overnight. The research that I did all pointed to SARDS (Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration). Beamer fell right into most of the categories of the classic SARDS cases. We took him to a specialist and they told me there was really nothing I can do. The truth is that I took him going blind a lot harder than he did. He's a resilient little guy and it really didn't' seem to affect him too much. After noticing a few other changes in his behavior we decided to also get him tested for Cushing's Disease which shares a lot of the same characteristics of SARDS. Turns out, he also has Cushing's Disease which is an increase in cortisone due to a benign tumor in the pituitary gland and has to be on lifelong medication to combat it. Along with the medication, he has to have constant testing and monitoring of his levels to make sure he is being properly medicated so, that has been a struggle but it has become our "normal".
I turned another (undisclosed) year old and had a little shin-dig to celebrate, complete with a DIY photobooth of course. 
 I also spent the weekend at the Riot LA comedy festival with some girl friends for my birthday. 
In February my mom and I had our first ever girls trip and we went up to Seattle for a cousins wedding. It was such a fun weekend. 
In March Sam and I relived our youth and saw The Used along with Taking Back Sunday at the Palladium. 
 I also found my wedding dress :)
In April we celebrated Sams birthday by spending a weekend in a cabin in Idyllwild (where we also took our engagement photos). 
We also spent another year at Stagecoach (and his mom and her best friend joined us!)
I attended the wedding of one of my oldest friends, Andy. 
 Watched my little cousin graduate high school and helped her move into her college dorm!
My mom and I had another mother daughter trip, this time to Denver for my aunts wedding!
Had a wonderful bachelorette party. 
Attended yet another wedding (thats four if you're keeping track) for our friends Ashley and Andrew. 
My wonderful Mother in Law threw me the most perfect bridal shower. 
Followed by an equally perfect shower thrown by my best friend and maid of honor Danica
And in the midst of wedding planning, Danica and I also planned our 10 year high school reunion. I know what you're thinking, we aren't nearly old enough to have graduated high school ten years ago, and you would be right ;) (Or so I'd like to think.)
And then... the event of the year (at least for me)... I got married!
And then I finished the year by celebrating the holidays with the ones I care about most. 

All in all it was a wonderful year, full of crazy highs and some lows but I feel that it's the lows that really make you appreciate the highs. Looking forward to a new year with a new last name and a husband! :)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Be Brave

For whatever reason I watched this video today and it really touched me (literally tears at my desk) so I thought I'd share.

"Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave"



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Vendors Vendors Vendors! (Part Seven:Florist)

It's no secret, I'm not a big flower girl.
Don't get me wrong, I love a good "just because" bouquet as much as the next girl. The idea of flowers, itself, is nice, but after a few days, when they just start to wilt and die, it just makes me sad.

Finding a florist for my wedding (I mean OUR wedding, I have GOT to stop doing that ;) ) was a lot easier than expected. My wedding coordinator actually recommended her and, even though my coordinator is based out of Seattle/Palm Springs, the florist she recommended was from Long Beach! Like me! I figured it was a good sign, and I was definitely right.

My first meeting with LeeLina was in a conference room at her apartment complex and I, of course, took my Maid of Honor along with me. From the moment I met LeeLina, I adored her. Everything about her. Her demeanor, her style, her heartfelt smile. And not only that, she got me, like really got me. She was throwing out suggestions I hadn't thought of, and yet, adored. Adding spray painted gold succulents to the bridesmaids bouquets, genius, and so me! (If you are unaware, throughout my wedding planning process I literally spray painted EVERYTHING gold.) Danica and I walked out of that meeting and said "Well... that was easy".

Throughout our florist/client relationship I feel like we actually became friends. I would text her random thoughts and even vent to her about some of my other wedding mishaps. Any time I would talk about her or be asked about her, it was always the same three words... I adore her. And it couldn't be more true. I even talked with my mom and friends about seeing if, after my wedding, she would maybe want me to start helping her. I always thought I'd want to be a Wedding Coordinator but, after seeing how much my incredible Coordinator had to do and was responsible for, I was like count me out. But, florals and styling... that's the fun stuff! That's the stuff that makes everything beautiful! Who wouldn't want to be a part of that!? The day of my wedding LeeLina actually jokingly asked me when I was going to start working for her and I told her that I had actually already toyed around with the idea. She seemed surprised but excited and said we should definitely work on some collaborating, so we'll see where that leads. In the meantime, if you are looking for a florist, I couldn't recommend LeeLina any higher. An amazing florist, and above all, a wonderful person.


Friday, December 12, 2014

Vendors Vendors Vendors! (Part Six:Coordinator!!)

Honestly, I'd say at the beginning of this wedding planning process I was pretty clueless of all of the inter-workings of planning a wedding. I really didn't think I even needed a wedding coordinator. Boy, was I wrong. Because of the intricacies of my venue, a coordinator is not only suggested, it's required.

I started by contacted a friend of mine who coordinates and styles weddings locally, Wilma Rose of Lovely Jubilee. She has a wonderful eye for turning drab to fab. To exhaust all options I also went through the list of preferred vendors provided to me by my venue. Some seemed wonderful, while others I had to make an appointment just to get a phone call in with them.

Then I spoke with Tamara Bolton of Sensorium Event Productions. Not only had she done previous events at my venue, she had crazy connections all over the Coachella Valley. I was in a pickle. I adored Wilma and her work and, not to mention, that she is local and I could get a quick meeting in with her whenever. I went back and fourth on this with my mom for awhile, but with the intricacies of my venue, it sure would be amazing to have someone who knows the ins and outs. That being said, I ended up going with Tamara but couldn't recommend Wilma any higher. She is incredible at what she does.

With that big decision behind me, I began full steam ahead with Tamara and she was like a gift from God. She knew every little nuance of my venue down to where we needed power supplies and extension cords, things I never would have thought of. Her connections were incredible and it was through her that I found my florist, who I absolutely adore, but I'll save that for my next vendor post.

Technically Tamara was considered a "Day Of" Coordinator but she didn't hesitate to help me in every way imaginable, down to getting Certificates of Insurance from all of my vendors (another requirement of my venue). She was always quick to respond to e-mails and didn't hesitate to let me know where there were holes in my grand wedding plan (and boy were there a lot haha).

I feel honored to have worked with her and if you are planning an event in the Coachella Valley (or in Seattle, which is her second home), do yourself a favor and give her a call. You won't regret it. (And no, she didn't ask me to give her a plug, I genuinely feel that way.)

Also... Be sure to check out her facebook page for some of her previous work.