Friday, December 6, 2013

DIY Wine Cork Heart

How cool is this DIY wine cork heart?!?! When I first decided to make this I had two grocery bags full of corks and it was only enough to fill the bottom section on the heart. In the end I used over 300 corks. While I love wine I would have needed to drink one bottle every day for almost a year to fill this up. So instead I asked friends, family and my favorite winery for their corks. You can always make a smaller heart which will take fewer corks. Here is a step by step guide to make your own DIY wine cork heart!

What you’ll need:
  1. A strong, preferably blank piece of cardboard 
  2. A large piece of paper
  3. Pen or pencil
  4. Tape
  5. Scissors or an exacto knife
  6. Hot glue gun and glue
  7. Wine corks (number varies based on what you are making)

What you'll do:
  1. Fold piece of paper in half and starting at crease draw one half a heart
  2.  Cute out the half heart, unfold paper, and now you have a perfectly symmetrical heart
  3. Tape the heart onto the cardboard and trace around it
  4.  Using scissors or exacto knife cut out the traced heart
    1.  Optional – using a sharpie or marker color the cardboard the color of your choice so that any gaps between corks will show that color
  5. Using your glue gun place enough glue to cover the top of the cork. Glue the top of the cork to the board so the red wine corks display their red stained bases.
  6. Start at the top or bottom of the heart and work your way up. Along the edges let a bit of the cork hang over so you fully hid the cardboard.
You can display your DIY wine cork heart on a wall, at a wedding, or use as a cork board to pin things on. This is a fun DIY project and a great excuse to drink more wine J

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Ocean Inspired Bedroom




(Duvet Target/Pillows Marshalls/Headboard DIY/Canvases Personal Photos)

My fiancé and I moved in together earlier this year, so that meant no more pink in the bedroom. Since we both love the ocean we decided to go with an ocean inspired bedroom theme. All shades of blue and white were welcomed.

The Duvet: I have always loved white duvets. They remind me of a fluffy cloud, and who wouldn't want to sleep on a cloud?


The Pillows: We wanted to bring some color to the bed. Pillows were a great way to do this. The different colors of the square vs. rectangle pillows add additional spice. And on top of being pretty they are filled with down making them extra snugly.


The Headboard: Seth had an old headboard that we wanted to use but it didn't match our theme. Enter the save-the-headboard DIY project. With 1 inch thick foam, a staple gun, hours searching for the perfect fabric and 1 hour of assembly we had a new headboard. Message me or leave a comment if you want to know exactly how we saved this headboard.

Canvases: To finish off the room we ordered canvases and used a picture from a recent hike at Torrey Pines and a shot from our vacation in Cancun. The pictures are a great reminder of the natural beauty of San Diego and also a reminder to plan more vacations!


Our room looks just a I imagined it would. And getting out of bed is EXTRA hard now.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How to Find a Wedding Photographer

After securing our venue (Mount Woodson Castle) and wedding date (10.4.14) it was time to start the LONG three month (yes, kind of crazy) search for a wedding photographer. I have learned a lot that I wish I had known when I first started looking. Below are my tips on how to find a wedding photographer. Your photographer will be entrusted to capture the most special day of your life, so make sure to spend some time finding a great one.


  • Get an idea of how much you are willing to spend. Instead of asking around I picked a number I was comfortable with. Not only was the number unreasonable but I couldn't even find new photographers that would charge that amount.  I ended up wasting time that could have been better spent vetting photographers that I would actually trust to shoot my wedding.
  • Determine your style. But first check out different styles to make sure you actually like a certain style best. There are many different styles including photo-journalistic, traditional, modern, or whimsical.  Every photographer has a style and since they are artists, don’t expect to change their style. Once you determine the style you prefer you can stop wasting time looking at those that don’t fit your style.
  • Don’t be fooled by photographers that are good at enhancing photos. You want someone that takes great photos that don't require a lot of editing to make them look better. Also, look at the variety of shots. For example, I like when photographers take pictures from different angles and with different light. Some photographers tend to shoot straight on every time which works for some clients and not for others. Just make sure to have a critical eye.
  • Meet with them. This meeting should be used to ensure that they are a good fit for your wedding. This is also a chance to ask them questions about their style of photography, who the second photographer is,  their working style, how many weddings they have shot, etc. I used this as a guide.
  • Search for reviews. A Google search will help surface reviews that can help uncover good things or bad things about photographers. Also, make sure that they are willing to provide references. I had one photographer that refused. MAJOR red flag.
  • Ask your friends and family for recommendations. That way you are getting recommendations that you can trust and that those closest to you have experience with. There are A LOT of photographers out there so this will help narrow your search.

In the end the photos (and your memories) are all you have left of your wedding. So take time to make sure you can sleep well at night knowing that the photographer you choose will capture your wedding right.  We settled on Narrative Images.  They are a husband and wife team who met as photography majors in college. They have an eye for capturing the special moments that the untrained eye might miss. Looking forward to our engagement and wedding pictures! 

P.S. If you are searching for San Diego wedding photographers I can send you an excel of all of the ones I researched. Just leave a comment with your contact info and I'll send it over.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Our Country Chic Engagement Party

With our love for country music, cowboy boots and s'mores it's no wonder the theme for our engagement party was country chic. My sister and her husband hosted our party which had country-style comfort food, s'more bar, hay and to add a bit of chic a chandelier.  Here's a peak into the party.

Sweet Treats Bar: guests could fill little boxes with all kinds of treats including cookies, peanut butter bars, brownies and more! The added touches were the banner with our wedding date and the hanging paper lanterns.



The S'more Love Bar: The s'more bar was my favorite. It has all of the fixings needed to make s'mores including a fire pit and hay bales for seats. The chandelier made this s'more bar super fabulous and chic. Once the sun went down everyone started to dig in! Thanks to my sister-in-law Devon for helping with this, and Nicole for designing the sign.



The Menu: mac n' cheese, pork spare ribs, garlic bread, ranch style beans and more!


Drink Bar: The drink tags were made by Nicole and were tied onto mason jars with twine. She is an expert designer and they turned out so good. The stripped straws also added to the perfect country chic look.



The Attire: we both wore cowboy boots and I paired it with this dress from Urban Outfitters and a necklace from etsy. Simple, country & chic!


A big thanks to Erin and Chad for hosting, and Devon and Nicole for helping. Thanks to all of our friends and family who were there to celebrate with us. It was such a special night! We love you all and can't wait for 10.4.14.



Friday, February 15, 2013

The Pursuit of the Perfect Wedding Venue




I'm engaged(YAY), and now it's time to start planning for the big day. I plan to post different tips throughout the planning process so that you can benefit from my learnings! So what's the first step? Finding your perfect venue! And it's never too early to start. My wedding will be late September or early October 2014 and some venues are already booking up. You don't want to end up in the all too common situation of having found the perfect venue, that is booked already. I looked at over 10 venues, and have now narrowed it down to two. For the pursuit of the perfect wedding venue, I suggest using these steps.  

Finding your perfect* wedding venue:

  • Determine the budget. This will help narrow your search (no Rtiz Carlton wedding for me), and prevents wasted time spent looking at venues that are way over your budget. 
  • Determine the guest count. You don't want to fall in love with a venue and then discover that if won't be big enough to accommodate your guest count. You can  start by making a preliminary list to at least give you a good estimate.  
  • Determine the location. Will it be in your hometown?  Your fiance's home town?  A destination wedding? 
  • Determine your must-haves. Make a list of must-haves and then use this list when searching for venues.  With most of us working on a budget, it's hard to find a place with everything on your wishlist, but at least you can start your search knowing what you must-have and what you are willing to compromise on. You can also create a list of things you don't want to help focus your search even more. Some things to consider: Do you need a venue that allows a band? Do you want your wedding to go to midnight or later? Do you want a ballroom? Do you want to have an open bar? Does it need to have lodging on site?
  • Determine when you want your wedding to be. Is the date & day of the week flexible? Wedding season, usually from May through September, can book up fast. Some venues book out over 2 years in advance for Saturdays. 


This is often the first step in planning a wedding, so start it off right! I had my finace, sister, mom and best friend come along with me. It was a great day, and made a stressful activity so much more enjoyable.  Remember to enjoy the process, and good luck on your pursuit of the perfect wedding venue!

*per-fect (adj): exactly fitting the need in a certain situation or for a certain purpose (your wedding).

Sunday, January 13, 2013

How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes at Home




Don't know how to clean your makeup brushes at home? Well you're in luck! I experimented with a few ways to clean my brushes, and settled on this method. I would recommend doing this monthly, but really you can do this as often as you like. I cleaned all of these brushes and it took me less than 15 minutes.

What you'll need:
  1. A bowl - I used an old butter container so that I could throw it away after (my brushes were DIRTY)
  2. Warm water - If your brushes are really dirty then you will need to rinse out the water after cleaning each brush so that you aren't transferring dirt and bacteria from one brush to the next 
  3. An old washcloth or several paper towels - I liked the sturdiness of a washcloth,  but either work
  4. Gentle shampoo - I found that baby shampoo works best. If you don't have gentle shampoo try a gentle dish soap
What you'll do: 
  1. Fill your bowl with warm water. Submerge the brush(clean one brush at a time) just below the metal encasing (the encasing contains glue to hold the brushes in place so you don't want to get it wet) 
  2. Place a small amount of baby shampoo in your hand and swirl the brush around 
  3. Dip back in the water and gently sweep it back and forth
  4. Gently squeeze out excess water
  5. Sweep the brushes back and forth on the washcloth or paper towel
  6. Lay on clean washcloth or paper towel to dry
  7. You might have to repeat these steps 1-6 several times if your brushes are really dirty 
Let me know once you have tried this method and if you have any tips to add.

Dirty brushes are just that, dirty! And cleaning them is simple and so worth it. 



Friday, January 4, 2013

A Day at Padres Petco Park










(Jacket & Jeans Nordstrom Rack/Ballerina Flats Tory Burch/Ring Finesta Corp Drusy Ring/Wristlet Coach)

This shoot was done at the Padres' Petco Park in Downtown San Diego's East Village. I have been walking through it on my way to work everyday for the last 3 years, and everyday I fall more in love with it. How could I not?!?! My office is on the 11th floor of the building that looks right into the park. Yes, game days can be a bit distracting,  but they are also a source of inspiration :) Since I associate this park with work and play, I choose an outfit that would work for a day at the office but also for a happy hour with friends.

And I'll leave you will this quote by Tony Gwynn Senior:  "If you work hard good things will happen."