Monday, January 27, 2014

1 Year Anniversary Paper Gifts

I stressed for months over what I was going to get John for our anniversary. I wanted to be traditional and do paper but John is SO hard to buy for and not really a sentimental person. Google 1 year anniversary gifts and you'll get scrapbooks and a bunch of mush I knew he wouldn't really enjoy.

Finally after a gazillion internet searches I found something about a travel map. Hmm, that sounds interesting. So, I do some more searches for  DIY travel map (because the ones I found online were scratch off and not really my style) and up popped The Dating Divas website. They had a whole post dedicated to a travel map and I was in Heaven. I knew I found John's gift. We travel alot and this is something we can add to year after year so it was perfect. And Easy!

I started with the 24x36 map from this website and a basic frame from Hobby Lobby. The map was only like $6 after shipping and the frame was about $15. Cheap so far! Add in some spray adhesive, the free printables from the Dating Davis website and some map flags - you've got yourself a travel map!

When I gave it to him, I had only pinned the places that we had been together so far and since then we've added in the blue flags - places we plan on visiting soon and the white flags - places we dream of going.

On our list of places we plan on visiting soon - (because we have the cruise booked for September)
Turks and Caicos
St. Thomas and
Puerto Rico

And on our list of places we dream of going -
Rome and

I love seeing all of the pins on there and can't wait to add more through the years! I really have no idea where we are going to hang it yet. We are in the process of making over our master bedroom so it will probably go in there after we are done. Ideally I'd love the map in the middle and the pictures all around it from our travels! I will share once it has it's final destination!

Along with the map I also got John a book...

I ordered from Amazon here and even though some of the places in there are very random and odd and we will never visit, it was fun looking through it and adding some new places to idea list!

And I can't only rave about what I got him because he got me something pretty special too :)

Those are our first dance lyrics in the tree! He did good :) It's going to hang in our bedroom too! 

I know this is off topic of our anniversary gifts, but since I was horrible and didn't take hardly any pictures of our actual anniversary celebration, I thought I would share the pics I DID take here. On the 17th, since it was a work night and had just gotten back from Napa, we decided to go to dinner at Maggianos (where we went after our church wedding), came home and had cake and watched our StoryMix wedding video. :) The only pics I took were of our cake! We ordered a new cake since we couldn't exactly bring home our cake top from Mexico ;) This is a replica of our cake we had after our church wedding at Maggianos. It was delish! 

What an amazing first year. I can't believe our anniversary has already come and gone! People aren't kidding when they say it flies by. I really can't wait to see what the next year brings! 


Friday, January 24, 2014

Five on Friday!

Happy Friday friends!

1. Houston is experiencing some crazy weather. Ice/Snow this morning and and 68 degrees 2 days from now.... No wonder everyone is always sick!

2. I don't think John knew what he was going to start when he got me my Kendra Scott earrings for Christmas. These pretties may have jumped in my shopping cart last night. ;) I love the new atlantic collection and wish I could afford one of everything! But just a few things will have to do for now :)

3. We are really hoping to start our master bedroom overhaul this weekend, starting with a new paint job. We had a huge leak in our bedroom/bathroom about a year ago and had to rip some of the carpet up and cut holes in the wall. We finally got the holes patched up, the carpet put back down and now we need some new paint! We are going with the gray and yellow theme. This is our current bed set...

And I'm hoping to get 2 of these pretty tables for our room this weekend too. Now to decide on gray or yellow..... hmmmm. 

4. I've had my Etsy shop closed for awhile, but got to work on a menu and some table numbers recently for a friends wedding that's in February. I do have to say I love how they turned out and can't wait to see them all printed and framed at the wedding! 

5.  Speaking of weddings... I think this one in February might be our last friends wedding to attend! Which means no more weddings until our younger brothers, sisters and cousins start getting married which probably won't be for awhile! It's crazy to think that we're all married now and at different stages in our lives than we were just a short year ago. I guess the next thing that will be happening are baby showers! So crazy! Ahhh, lets reminisce :)

gosh I was skinny....

Hope y'all have a great weekend! 


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Celebrating 1 Year in Napa: Part 2

Oh, remember how we went to Napa for our 1 year anniversary? I'm finally getting around to posting the last bit of our trip. Seems like this is a trend lately. Always way late. Oh well, better late than never.

You can ready the first part of our trip here.

Saturday morning we were up reeeeeeaaly early to get picked up by our tour that we booked for the day. They picked us up 6:45am and then we were off to the Domain Chandon to meet the rest of our group for our hot air balloon ride. We used Napa Valley Balloons and really have nothing bad to say. Everyone and everything was fantastic! They gave us the run down of how the trip up was going to go and then we were off in our vans to a nearby country club to meet our hot air balloon "pilot" and have one of the best experiences of our lives!

Hot air ballooning is a very popular thing to do in Napa, so there were several other balloons out with us that morning. It was really amazing to see all the balloons up in the air and really, that was my favorite thing to look at while we were up there. Oh and someone proposed to his girlfriend in our basket while we were in the air! Such a sweet moment :)

And how freaking cool is this.... they have a camera attached to the balloons to take pictures of everyone up there! And they didn't charge us for the pics! 

After our hot air balloon ride, we got back in our vans and they took us back to Domain Chandon where we had a big breakfast with mimosas, with Chandon champagne of course! We booked another tour that day and then they came and picked us from there to start the rest of our day. We used Platypus tours for that tour and it was great too!! We visited 4 different wineries, had a great lunch and then they dropped us back off at our hotel - perfect way to see Napa so there was no driving involved!

One of the things I liked about the Platypus tour was that the driver took us to wineries that are off the main road. They aren't ones that you would pick out of a magazine and go visit. They were all very personalized to us too. We told them what types of wines we liked and they made sure we atleast tried one of them. And a perk was that most of them waived your tasting fee if you bought a bottle of wine. Most of the tasting fees were $15/each and the bottles of wine weren't much more than that so we ended up with alot of wine to bring home! 

Our first stop was to Tedeschi Family Winery in Calistoga. This was definitely one that was off the beaten path and really not much of a tour. The wine was good though and the lady doing the tasting was very nice. We ended up buying a Rose' and Merlot from here.

Our next stop was to Maldonado Vineyards, also in Calistoga.  This was my favorite of the day. The winery was actually in a cave! We walked through all of the barrels and then they had a table set up for us to sit and have a tasting. They lady doing the tour was very knowledgeable and had a heavy pour ;) Something I liked about this tour is that she let us taste the differences between years. We tried a red wine that was from 2 different harvest seasons and there was a real difference. I guess I never knew (even though DUH, it makes sense), just because it's the same winery and type of wine, they aren't going to taste the same every year because the grapes might be different. We bought a a bottle of dessert wine and bottle of Chardonnay from here. I think this dessert wine was my favorite, other than the La Fantasia we had bought the day before at the Castle. This is where our tour guide from Platypus served us lunch too. We had croissant sandwiches, quinoa salad, and muffins for dessert. Perfect lunch for our day.

Another favorite of this tour - we're all tourists right? Right. Well, the tour driver stopped at the Napa Valley sign on the side of the road and took all our pictures there! 

Our next stop was to Ballentine Vineyards in St. Helena. I was not impressed with this stop just because we all had to stand around a very small bar to do our tasting, the person doing the tour gave us no background about the winery and didn't know the answers when we asked questions. The wine was ok here, but nothing special and we ended up not buying any from this place. Because there was little conversation, we were really only here for maybe 20 minutes so I have no pictures other than the one as we entered! 

Our last stop of the day was to Hill Wine Company in St. Helena. I loved this winery but not really for the wine. The property was gorgeous. The winery was like a house and we sat out on the back porch at an old farm table for our tasting. It was the perfect setting to me. I wasn't too thrilled with the wine even though I really wanted to love it. They just didn't have anything really sweet which is what I like. John liked it though and we ended up with a bottle of Cab and Pinot Noir. Not only did they have a gorgeous property, notice the dog on their sign? Well, that's on all of their bottles too. They love animals and donate a percentage of every sale to the ASPCA. Now you know why I realllllly wanted to love their wine! And they sell it at Specs here in Houston. 

After our last winery, the tour driver dropped us all back off at our hotel and it was nap time. A full day of downing wine wears you out ;) We ended up waking up from our nap well past dinner time especially since there wasn't much around our hotel. We ended up driving in to downtown Napa and ate a small Italian place that was good, but I don't remember the name and I took no pictures! Then it was to our hotel for another cozy night by our fire place :) And I grabbed a pic of all of our wine from the day! 

Sunday our flight didn't leave until late in the day so we had some time before we had to be back on the road to San Francisco. We decided to go back to Domain Chandon and do their tasting since we didn't get to do it the day before when we were there for our breakfast after our balloon ride. And it was right across the street from hotel! I'm all about bubbly, but drinking 4 full glasses of it pretty fast did not mesh well with my stomach. I didn't take any pictures other than outside because I was miserable after the tasting and all the carbonation! But we did buy 2 bottles of champagne from there which we have already drank. We got the holiday bottle we drank on Christmas morning and another bottle we drank on New Years Eve with our friends. 

Then it was off to the airport. We decided to take a different way back to San Fran and got to go over the Golden Gate Bridge. I loved it! I really want to go back to San Fran one day and actually spend time there. 

Wondering how we got all of those wine bottles home? I wish I would have taken a picture, but the tour we were on sold boxes that had an insert in it that held the bottles. It was $10 for the box and because of the United credit card we have, we get free checked bags. We stopped at Target on the way to the airport and bought packing tape and sharpies, packed the wine in the box, taped it up and wrote fragile all over the box. We checked it like a bag and it made it out fine! John was prepared though to leave it on the luggage drop though if he noticed it was wet or had red stains all over it! haha. So, basically we got all the wine home for $10 :) So easy! 

It was a perfect trip and perfect way to spend our anniversary. It was relaxing but we still got to sight see and do things around Napa. I loved it and will definitely be back to visit! 

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