Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin. It was just what I wanted in a great juicy novel - about a lawyer living in New York and her best friend and they end up both loving the same man. I visited my friend Leslie back in May and she was subletting an apartment near Columbus Circle. The apartment was furnished - and filled - with the sublessor\'s stuff. Including a small collection of books. Leslie slept in one day and I read Lauren Weisberger\'s Everyone Worth Knowing in one sitting. I enjoyed the book so I decided to take a photo of the other books so I could someday read some of those. Something Borrowed was one of the books in her sublessor\'s collection and it was just as good. I can\'t wait to read the others! One of my favorite clips from the book was this: \"Songs and smells will bring you back to a moment in time more than anything else. It\'s amazing how much can be conjured with a few notes of a song or a solitary whiff of a room. A song you didn\'t even pay attention to at the time, a place that you didn\'t even know had a particular smell.\""; $category = "At Home"; include("../../template.php"); ?> “Lovebirds in the Window” Ceramic Salt & Pepper Shakers Heart Shaped Measuring Spoons are cute and useful! Measuring Spoons Love these chess piece place card holders! So awesome! \"Check Mate!\" King and Queen Place Card/Photo Holder I am a big fan of paper books and I can always use another bookmark. I am just not sure I can picture myself reading books for the rest of my life from my iPad. I just love the feel of a book and paper. I love the Fleur De Lis shape of this bookmark! We did a New Orleans themed wedding last year and these would have fit right in with their decor! Fleur-de-Lis Metal Bookmark with Elegant White-Silk Tassel This topiary mini tree would add to any table decor and they are so pretty! Topiary Photo Holder/Place Card Holder We had a wedding a few weeks ago with the a \"Meant to Bee\" favor - it was a tiny honey bottle shaped like a bee filled with honey. It was so cute! I also like these ceramic honey pots with a wooden dipper! \"Meant to Bee\" Ceramic Honey Pot with Wooden Dipper This would be great with a nautical themed wedding or for a wedding held at a yacht club! They are tea lights shaped like sailboats! \"Set Sail\" Frosted Glass Sailboat Tealight Holders This is just fun! They remind me of a restaurant called Shakers that we have here in Orlando in the College Park area. The restaurant has different salt and pepper shakers all over. And as a side note - the Annie\'s Apple Sandwich is my all time favorite! It is fresh apple slices, cream cheese, raisins, crisp bacon, melted Swiss cheese and lettuce on pumpernickel. Two Peas in a Pod - Ceramic Salt & Pepper Shakers "; $category = "Decor"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Visual Effects by Seth just sent me this awesome video from Summer and Matthew\'s wedding at the Vero Beach Hotel and Spa. They picked the perfect day for a beach wedding - it was a dream to shoot! And if you want to check out Summer and Matthew\'s photos - we have our favorites in our gallery."; $category = "At Home"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Really Bad Kitty from Dallas on Etsy. Also in the photo above are purple and green beaded flowers by Forever Flowers on Etsy. And then there are the enamel cake decoration flowers by Debra Moreland is Paris. I wore a set of her hairpins to my dad\'s wedding a few years ago and I love them! I would love to find another excuse to wear them out on the town. They are so pretty! Here is a brooch bouquet - I\'ve seen these before and they are so beautiful (and heavy!) and this one is by Fantasy Floral Designs. They have a whole gallery on their website for bouquets made from brooches and they are amazing! The orange, black and gray bouquet below is made of felt and buttons. It is made by The One Happy Girl on Etsy. Then the green and tan floral fabric bouquet is made by Milk Pod Studios (although she is currently on maternity leave according to her Etsy page. And my favorite is the bouquet made of paper - more specifically pages from a National Geographic magazine. The pink, red and white paper flowers are made by Whether Paperworks on Etsy. And in the bottom right the green, brown and cream paper flower bouquet is from The One Happy Girl on Etsy. The small bundles of lavender and green are mini paper poppy bundles from The Gilded Bee on Etsy. And last but not least the pink, purple and gray tissue paper flower poms are from Party Poms on Etsy. "; $category = "Decor"; include("../../template.php"); ?> //www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sausage-gravy.html but I\'ve since found a variation that is much better. That should be enough back story for you, so let\'s get to it. First add 1/3 of a cup of flower to the pot and 3 cups of milk. Stir that up and set the heat to low, we will flavor it up in a few minutes but it will take a while to thicken so it\'s ok to get it started while we cook everything else. Next you need to chop up some mushrooms and throw them on a skillet over medium heat. (I\'ve done this with and without the mushrooms and it\'s far better with.) Use more than you think you need and don\'t worry about chopping them up too small, they will shrink as they cook. When they start to brown a little that means you are done, dump them into the milk mixture and stir it a bit to keep it cooking evenly. One thing to note, if your gravy is starting to clump to the bottom of the pan your heat is too high, it needs to simmer but it doesn\'t need to burn. This isn\'t a race so turn the heat down a bit. Now you need to brown some sausage. This is the key to the entire thing and I like to use Johnsonville Brats for this part. Buy the uncooked ones and cut the casing off of two of them and you have the right amount of sausage. The best part is that they are already seasoned, but if you want to add any spices you need to add it to the sausage because the milk is going to remove any heat from any pepper that you add to the gravy directly. Once your sausage is browned DO NOT DRAIN IT, add it to the gravy and stir it in. All of that sausage grease is going to add so much flavor to the gravy that it would be a shame to lose it. And don\'t worry, as the gravy thickens it will absorb the good fats and add a bit of color as well. Remember, Andrew Zimmern says, \"Fat means flavor\" so go for it. Now you need to start your biscuits, I usually buy them already made from my local grocery store because theirs are awesome! If your grocery store isn\'t that great you can go with the canned ones or if you are really good, make your own from scratch. (I\'m not that ambitious) Keep stirring the gravy as it thickens and once it is thick enough for you it is ready to eat! You can refrigerate any that you have left over, it reheats well in the microwave. If you don\'t like to wait for your breakfast, you should make the gravy at night so you can just reheat it in the morning. "; $category = "At Home"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> The water float is filled with loads of foam beads - teeny tiny ones. The top is the traditional Sunbrella fabric and the bottom is a tiny mesh that lets the water drain out. You can also use this on the deck for relaxing as a chair or lounger. I miss living in Florida and if I move back to Florida (or move anywhere else where I might have a pool like Phoenix) I will definitely buy one (or a few!) of these water floats. "; $category = "At Home"; @include("../../template.php"); ?> Modern 8 Films does such a great job with wedding videos but I saw this proposal video (shot with a hidden camera/videographer) and I thought it was SO awesome! The groom proposed to his bride while they were looking for a geocache location in the Santa Clarita hills.

Tyman & Ashley: A Hidden Camera Proposal from Modern 8 Films on Vimeo.

"; $category = "At Home"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Puppy in Bilbao Some fun Wikipedia info on Puppy: Koons was commissioned in 1992 to create a piece for an art exhibition in Bad Arolsen, Germany. The result was Puppy, a forty-three feet tall topiary sculpture of a West Highland White Terrier puppy, executed in a variety of flowers on a steel substructure. In 1995, the sculpture was dismantled and re-erected at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Sydney Harbour on a new, more permanent, stainless steel armature with an internal irrigation system. The piece was purchased in 1997 by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and installed on the terrace outside the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Before the dedication at the museum, an Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) trio disguised as gardeners attempted to plant explosive-filled flowerpots near the sculpture, but was foiled by Basque police officer Jose María Aguirre, who then was shot dead by ETA members. Currently the square in which the statue is placed bears the name of Aguirre. In the summer of 2000, the statue travelled to New York City for a temporary exhibition at Rockefeller Center. Media mogul Peter Brant and his wife, model Stephanie Seymour, have an exact Jeff Koons duplicate of the Bilbao statue on the grounds of their Connecticut estate. "; $category = "At Home"; include("../../template.php"); ?> I love the one shoulder but I really love the ruffled shrug that folds over the shoulder. I think I wore a dress similar to this on a date function while at the University of Florida! I need to see if I can find old photos of that dress. I was dating a boy that was in Kappa Alpha and they had a date function called \"Old South\" where you would dress up in Civil War era clothing and get on a paddle wheel boat for a party. I did a search to see if KA still had their Old South Ball and apparently it is a tradition for all of Kappa Alpha - not just the chapter at UF. Check out this blog post from an intern named Anna at Southern Weddings Magazine. I love the big bows on the backs of the dresses in her photos! Southern Weddings Magazine Blog Post Year ago Chris and I were outside of Savannah, Georgia and we took a side trip to Wormsloe Plantation. The home is now in ruins but the tree lined road heading to the old house is still perfect! Apparently the opening scene of Forrest Gump was filmed in Savannah and although the people at Wormsloe Plantation deny that this is the tree lined road that Forrest Gump ran along, it looks exactly like it. Could you imagine getting married in front of a house like the one in Forrest Gump?! Wow! Here is the road at Wormsloe Plantation: Chris and I photographed a wedding at Nottoway Plantation just outside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana not long ago. It would be a great southern belle theme wedding dress location for this Ian Stuart gown! Here are the photos we took from the wedding at Nottoway Plantation: Nottoway Plantation Wedding Photos "; $category = "Fun Ideas"; $comments[] = "20140120101641|Wow! Stunning! And you\\'re exactly right! It\\'s perfect for Charleston! I\\'m getting married there in Oct. 2014 at the Thomas Bennett House. ;0) Thanks so much for noting the designer btw. I cannot tell you obnoxious it is to find a beautiful dress & not have the designer listed. Cheers! Penelope D.|Penelope D. Glifort|penelope.d.glifort@gmail.com||74.93.86.225"; include("../../template.php"); ?>Art Ketubah and it was called After the Kiss. They brought it with them to their destination wedding here in Orlando, Florida. Their wedding and reception were at Paradise Cove. "; $category = "Fun Ideas"; include("../../template.php"); ?> This wreath is made of forsythia branches by Ariella Chezar. The garland is made with lemons, oranges, limes, and Solomon’s Seal. "; $category = "Decor"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Will and Kate\'s wedding with the trees that were brought in to Westminster Abbey. I think you could use this idea inside a church just like Kate did or you could add it to a wedding outside. Either way it is beautiful! "; $category = "Decor"; include("../../template.php"); ?> here."; $category = "At Home"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> When I was in Phoenix last summer I loved getting up before sunrise every morning to hike up Camelback Mountain. There were only a few parking spots so you had to get there early if you wanted one of them! I was the 2nd to last spot one morning! Yikes! I recently read online that they are renovating the Echo Canyon lot to increase the number of parking spots. I can\'t wait to go back there one day with Chris and show him the area. I fell in love with Phoenix and the surrounding areas! "; $category = "At Home"; include("../../template.php"); ?> http://pinterest.com/sjfoto/ So far I have the following boards: Fashion I love I want to visit Photos I love Weddings Home Design SJFoto.com Weddings Food I love Poodles"; $category = "Fun Ideas"; include("../../template.php"); ?> \"The Peep Show\" \"Rollerblades with Dogs\" \"What Dogs Do While We\'re Not At Home\" \"Ernesto News Spoof\" \"Great Smokey Mountains Dog Hike\" \"Dog Island Trip\" \"The Log Monster\" \"Goblin the freak\" \"Chipmunks!\" \"The Canoe Chase\" I know a photo is worth 1,000 words, but to be perfectly honest these videos are so much more valuable. This makes me want to spend the extra time to get the videos on the site rather than just settle for the photos. When Duke gets home you can expect a flurry of new videos staring the pups. Of course that\'s once the Road Trip and the Colorado Trip are completed."; $category = "At Home"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> And James: And both boys together with their cute bandanas - Goblin\'s says \"I\'m the BIG brother\" and James\' says \"I bite\" both very fitting! "; $category = "At Home"; include("../../template.php"); ?> The Sartorialist and Intel put together a great documentary on Scott that I really enjoyed: I sometimes miss living in NYC and the people watching so The Sartorialist is my virtual people watching!"; $category = "At Home"; include("../../template.php"); ?> It is supposed to snow again next Tuesday - I am guessing that might be the last snow of this Winter."; $category = "At Home"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> "; $category = "At Home"; @include("../../template.php"); ?> we went to Albuquerque with Bob a few years back for the Balloon Fiesta and starting your day off with a Hot Air Balloon Ride over Central Florida has to be an amazing experience. Next I would want to see Gatorland. It\'s been an attraction in Central Florida since 1949 and we\'ve never been! I\'ve met people who have worked there and heard their stories but I\'ve never made it to Gatorland. It would definitely make my list of things to do in Kissimmee. If we couldn\'t fit Gatorland into the schedule we would at least have to take an Airboat tour to see some gators. Or we could even do both because I hear that the sunset Airboat rides usually see the most alligators and how cool would that be to watch the sunset over a gator infested Florida swamp! Plus I hear there is a Zipline Safari in Kissimmee which is cool because we missed out on the Zipline tour in Costa Rica which we heard was pretty good. But how cool is it that we have something like that right here in our own back yard! That definitely makes the list. Of course we would have to eat and one thing I know for sure is that there are several great restaurants in Celebration, not to mention that there is an ice cream parlor for desert! We met some friends from Sweden for dinner in Celebration a few years back and had a wonderful time. It would have to make our list again for sure. You see how there is so much to see in just Kissimmee and in just a few minutes I\'ve found enough cool stuff to fill an entire day! We really should start taking some time to see our local attractions because if we ever move it will feel like we never really got to know the place! "; $category = "At Home"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> The back has several ports but don\'t be worried, this is an easy thing to deal with. In fact, I\'m only going to use the bottom four but you may only need the bottom two. Listing what they are from bottom to top. Power, Cable/DSL Modem, USB, three network ports for printers or other gadgets. This is what I plugged in. The USB that I have goes to a USB Strip. I keep a few cables plugged into it for charging devices while I\'m not using them and until recently I had that USB backup drive on there as well. Once you have all of your stuff plugged in you just need to go to your Mac and open the AirPort Utility. The easiest way to do this is to click on the magnifying glass at the upper right corner of your screen right next to the time. Start typing \"A i r P\" and it should fill in. Just hit enter and it will open. Without doing anything AirPort Utility is looking for your wi-fi network to configure your Time Capsule and if it doesn\'t find one it will set one up for you which is what I wanted. It will ask you to name your wi-fi network, the time capsule unit itself and choose a password for accessing the time capsule settings. Then you are done setting up your wi-fi, that\'s all there is to it! But don\'t stop there, when it sets up your network it makes the TimeCapsule password and your network password the same and I didn\'t want that. Pick the TimeCapsule in the AirPort Utility and click the \'Edit\' button. Then click on the \'Wireless\' tab at the top. This is where you can change the password that you use for accessing your wi-fi. The password for the Time Capsule itself was on the first tab. Your next step is really simple. At the bottom of the \'Wireless\' screen is a button that says \'Wireless Options...\' and you want to click that. Then check off the box that says \'Create a hidden network\' and then \'Save\' and \'Update\'. A \'hidden network\' just doesn\'t tell you it\'s there so you won\'t be able to just pick it from your wi-fi menu. You will first have to pick \'Join Other\' and give the computer the name of your network. Once you have joined it will remember. This isn\'t security, but it will make it less likely that your wi-fi is a target for someone trying to connect without you knowing. Once your Time Machine restarts it will have a green light on the front and you are done setting up your wi-fi. Now we need to set up our Time Machine backup feature which is just as easy! Open up your System Preferences which is the icon with the gears on it. Then choose \'Time Machine\', it is the icon that looks like a clock with an arrow going around it counter clockwise. (Anti-clockwise if you prefer) Just flip the switch and pick the drive that shows up. Mine was called \'Data\'. That\'s all you have to do, your machine will now do it\'s first backup which will take a long time, probably hours. Then every 30 minutes or so it will just back up the changes and you won\'t even notice it. Fantastic! Initially it will have a count down to your first backup and will look like this. When the backup actually starts (and if you have the box checked to show time machine in your menu bar) the little icon in your menu bar will look like this. Congratulations! You have not only set up a new Wi-Fi network but you have also configured an automated backup for your computer! You can use the same backup drive for other Macs if you want to, just open Time Machine on the other mac and set it up. Time Machine on each machine will share the drive and never even know that the other backup is there."; $category = "At Home"; @include("../../template.php"); ?> Injinji toe socks. So I needed to buy a pair of slippers. I wanted something I could slip into on a cold day when I didn\'t feel like wearing my heavy warm boots anymore. I looked at everything - Uggs, Wal-Mart slippers, etc. I just wasn\'t sold on anything. I knew house slippers were probably going to be ugly. But as long as they were snuggly and warm it would be okay! We were walking around REI the other day when I spotted the REI Down Booties. I glanced at them thinking they were so ugly and moved on. But then I went on the REI website to look at other options and after reading the reviews on the REI Down Booties I was sold! It was pretty cute - many of the reviews came from husbands saying these are the only thing to keep their wives\' cold feet off of them! Another reviewer said these were sleeping bags for your feet. So I decided to order them. It isn\'t too cold yet here in DC - right now it is 44 outside. But tomorrow the high is 27 and I am going to be ready! REI Down Booties $39.50"; $category = "At Home"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> A closeup of his tag - his name is \"Goblin\" after all and he is a bit spooked by everything so this tag fits his personality: Two of the little dogs (Martini and Houston) had a special trick yesterday - they could pose on their back feet with their paws up in the air. So we decided to see if Goblin could do this trick with a little help from some pizza crust: He was not as graceful but we can work on this trick! Then I asked Chris if I could hand him the camera and have him take a few photos of me with the G-man. I was trying to copy his paws crossed and watching for people and other dogs look: A nice posed one: Goblin\'s ears don\'t perk up like this - I must have been roughing him up a bit with my hand! "; $category = "At Home"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Lovin Sullivan Cakes. The cake stands are all from Rosanna. "; $category = "Decor"; include("../../template.php"); ?> You can visit their website to see more of their product line http://www.nnchart.com."; $category = "At Home"; @include("../../template.php"); ?> Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin. It was just what I wanted in a great juicy novel - about a lawyer living in New York and her best friend and they end up both loving the same man. I visited my friend Leslie back in May and she was subletting an apartment near Columbus Circle. The apartment was furnished - and filled - with the sublessor\'s stuff. Including a small collection of books. Leslie slept in one day and I read Lauren Weisberger\'s Everyone Worth Knowing in one sitting. I enjoyed the book so I decided to take a photo of the other books so I could someday read some of those. Something Borrowed was one of the books in her sublessor\'s collection and it was just as good. I can\'t wait to read the others! One of my favorite clips from the book was this: \"Songs and smells will bring you back to a moment in time more than anything else. It\'s amazing how much can be conjured with a few notes of a song or a solitary whiff of a room. A song you didn\'t even pay attention to at the time, a place that you didn\'t even know had a particular smell.\""; $category = "Dining"; include("../../template.php"); ?> "; $category = "Dining"; @include("../../template.php"); ?> When I was in Phoenix last summer I loved getting up before sunrise every morning to hike up Camelback Mountain. There were only a few parking spots so you had to get there early if you wanted one of them! I was the 2nd to last spot one morning! Yikes! I recently read online that they are renovating the Echo Canyon lot to increase the number of parking spots. I can\'t wait to go back there one day with Chris and show him the area. I fell in love with Phoenix and the surrounding areas! "; $category = "Dining"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Subway Love Cake by Sweet Element A few other awesome cakes also featured in the article because I just LOVE cake art: The Joy of Sprinkles by Cheryl Kleinman Cakes Fruit Slice Cake by Sweet Element"; $category = "Dining"; include("../../template.php"); ?> And James: And both boys together with their cute bandanas - Goblin\'s says \"I\'m the BIG brother\" and James\' says \"I bite\" both very fitting! "; $category = "Dining"; include("../../template.php"); ?> "; $category = "Dining"; include("../../template.php"); ?> The only thing I didn\'t do was save the container - it would have been perfect for when we make our own ice cream! And we usually make small batches that would fit perfectly into this one pint container. "; $category = "Dining"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Elizabeth Showers London Blue Topaz Cascade Earrings $625 I also love these blue turquoise teardrop earrings: John Hardy Dot Turquoise Teardrop Earrings $895"; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> (see this post from 2010) - the problem is finding one that doesn\'t become discontinued! First it was Revlon\'s ColorStaylash tint that was discontinued. Now, my current favorite is also being discontinued: Tarte 4 Day Lash Stain The Tarte mascara was originally in Sephora\'s 2009 LashStash and I fell in love with it. It doesn\'t budge all day - not even with heat, oily skin, sweat and tears! So I asked my friend aka Orlando\'s makeup artist expert Michele Mann at M3 Makeup what she recommended for waterproof mascara. She told me about Cover Girl\'s Lash Blast mascara. When I went to look at the CoverGirl selection at Ulta I was a bit overwhelmed. They have a TON of mascara. And even when I narrowed it down to the waterproof ones they still had so many to choose from. But then I saw it - the 24Hour version of LashBlast and I knew that was what I wanted to try. The best part? It comes in a range of colors! Usually waterproof mascara only comes in black but check out these colors: Very Black Black Black Brown Blue Black (the one I went with - I usually get brown but I have a cooler skin tone so blue would make more sense) Black Gold The wand is awesome - it is a rubbery wand with lots of bristles. It applies thin to start and then you can thicken it up with a second coat. And it really does last 24 hours! I have worn it to several hot weddings where I was very oily and sweaty and it didn\'t budge at all. It is funny - the reviews on the CoverGirl website for this LashBlast 24HR are pretty bad - they are all complaining that it doesn\'t come off. But isn\'t that the point? You don\'t want it to come off! I do use an oil based remover at night to take it off and it is no problem. If I use my basic cleanser it doesn\'t come off. Hopefully I can continue to use this mascara for years to come!"; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> And a side note - I wasn\'t sure what blog category to put this under so I decided on fashion. A car is an accessory, after all!"; $category = "Fashion"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> “Lovebirds in the Window” Ceramic Salt & Pepper Shakers Heart Shaped Measuring Spoons are cute and useful! Measuring Spoons Love these chess piece place card holders! So awesome! \"Check Mate!\" King and Queen Place Card/Photo Holder I am a big fan of paper books and I can always use another bookmark. I am just not sure I can picture myself reading books for the rest of my life from my iPad. I just love the feel of a book and paper. I love the Fleur De Lis shape of this bookmark! We did a New Orleans themed wedding last year and these would have fit right in with their decor! Fleur-de-Lis Metal Bookmark with Elegant White-Silk Tassel This topiary mini tree would add to any table decor and they are so pretty! Topiary Photo Holder/Place Card Holder We had a wedding a few weeks ago with the a \"Meant to Bee\" favor - it was a tiny honey bottle shaped like a bee filled with honey. It was so cute! I also like these ceramic honey pots with a wooden dipper! \"Meant to Bee\" Ceramic Honey Pot with Wooden Dipper This would be great with a nautical themed wedding or for a wedding held at a yacht club! They are tea lights shaped like sailboats! \"Set Sail\" Frosted Glass Sailboat Tealight Holders This is just fun! They remind me of a restaurant called Shakers that we have here in Orlando in the College Park area. The restaurant has different salt and pepper shakers all over. And as a side note - the Annie\'s Apple Sandwich is my all time favorite! It is fresh apple slices, cream cheese, raisins, crisp bacon, melted Swiss cheese and lettuce on pumpernickel. Two Peas in a Pod - Ceramic Salt & Pepper Shakers "; $category = "Decor"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Really Bad Kitty from Dallas on Etsy. Also in the photo above are purple and green beaded flowers by Forever Flowers on Etsy. And then there are the enamel cake decoration flowers by Debra Moreland is Paris. I wore a set of her hairpins to my dad\'s wedding a few years ago and I love them! I would love to find another excuse to wear them out on the town. They are so pretty! Here is a brooch bouquet - I\'ve seen these before and they are so beautiful (and heavy!) and this one is by Fantasy Floral Designs. They have a whole gallery on their website for bouquets made from brooches and they are amazing! The orange, black and gray bouquet below is made of felt and buttons. It is made by The One Happy Girl on Etsy. Then the green and tan floral fabric bouquet is made by Milk Pod Studios (although she is currently on maternity leave according to her Etsy page. And my favorite is the bouquet made of paper - more specifically pages from a National Geographic magazine. The pink, red and white paper flowers are made by Whether Paperworks on Etsy. And in the bottom right the green, brown and cream paper flower bouquet is from The One Happy Girl on Etsy. The small bundles of lavender and green are mini paper poppy bundles from The Gilded Bee on Etsy. And last but not least the pink, purple and gray tissue paper flower poms are from Party Poms on Etsy. "; $category = "Decor"; include("../../template.php"); ?> The silver ones on the right of the Lili Marlenes are the Marales and they are cute little booties!"; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> And the perfect pink Elie Saab gown for your bridesmaids if you wear the above dress: "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> posted about her in the 1992 November Rain music video before. She rocks brown lipstick! And you can\'t mention the 90s and brown lipstick without mentioning Jennifer Aniston. As a side note, I feel like I am the only 30something that didn\'t watch EVERY episode of Friends. I loved watching the show if I happened to catch it. But I didn\'t watch it every week. A few chocolate brown lipsticks I\'ve found in Sephora that I really like. I will probably end up buying one (or all three!) of these this fall. Tarte in Undressed (a matte brown lipstick in a crayon format) $26 Too Faced Melted Chocolate in Chocolate Honey (an opaque glossy brown in a tube - which I do find harder to apply, especially when something is very dark and opaque. You don\'t have the forgiveness of a clear gloss!) $21 Nars in Supervixen (a sheer sparkly mauve that has a very 90s beach feel) $26 And speaking of clear gloss and the 90s - Heather Locklear rocked the clear gloss look in the 90s! "; $category = "Fashion"; @include("../../template.php"); ?> *Bliss Glamour Gloves My old ones are getting a little gross looking and now that i think about it they are probably 5 years old. Time for new ones! *Bliss Softening Socks As I mentioned with the gloves, my old ones are gross and around 5 years old. *Laura Mercier Purifying Oil - Light I have the Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Oil and it is almost out so I thought this winter I would try something new. I\'m looking forward to trying this. I love the Laura Mercier line - if Sephora had the 3 pack of body creams that would be a part of this order, too! It is at Bloomingdales every year around the holidays so I will keep looking. By the way - Bloomingdales has the BEST selection of beauty gift kits ever! I always end up buying a few every year. *Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Liner Shadow - Onyx My favorite makeup artist Michele Mann told me about this line and I fell in love with it. It has great pigment - a little bit goes a long way! And I needed a good black to add to my collection *Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara in Jet Brown This is my all time favorite day to day mascara. It is just what the name says - natural looking and glossy. It isn\'t thick, it doesn\'t lengthen and most important it isn\'t waterproof. So I can\'t wear it to a wedding (yes, I cry at weddings!). But I just can\'t seem to find another basic mascara that tops this one! *Sephora Favorites LashStash Mascara Deluxe Sampler I bought this last year and it had a whole different set of mascaras this year. I have a few favorite mascaras but for some reason I am still on the hunt for something better. Last year the set included Tarte\'s 4 Day Lash Stain and it is now my all time favorite waterproof mascara! This year\'s set includes the following: - 0.31 oz Too Faced LashLight Mascara in Black (full size) - 0.11 oz Josie Maran GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara in Pitch Black - 0.1 oz Tarte MultiplEYE Clinically-Proven Lash Enhancing Mascara in Black - 0.1 oz Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash Mascara in Black - 0.141 oz Blinc Kiss Me Mascara in Black - 0.207 Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Mascara in Black - 0.20 oz Buxom Lash Mascara in Blackest Black - 0.14 oz Benefit BADgal Lash Mascara in Black - 0.09 oz Sephora Collection Advanced Lash Booster in Black - 0.16 oz Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara in Onyx - Tarte Picture Perfect Eyelash Curler And FYI they are selling last year\'s unsold LashStash for a fraction of the cost if you want to try it, too. It includes the following: - 0.16 oz Hourglass Superficial Lash - 0.09 oz Urban Decay Skyscraper Multi-Benefit Mascara - 0.13 oz Korres Abyssinia Oil Volumizing and Strengthening Mascara - 0.14 oz Benefit A Little Bit BADGal Lash Mascara - 0.2 oz Smashbox Lash DNA - 0.03 oz Laura Mercier Thickening and Building Mascara - 0.07 oz Fresh Supernova - 0.1 oz Sephora Lash Stretcher - 0.14 oz Tarte 4 Day Stay Lash Stain - 0.12 oz Cargo LashActivator *Tarte Ring It In Cheek Stain Set I love the Tarte cheek stains (my favorite one is Blissful) and I tried these three out in the Sephora store to make sure I liked all three and they were awesome! I am not so sure about the ring but I will see when it gets here. *Tarte Good As Gold Lipgloss Collection I bought this last year around the holidays and I love the little glosses. They are the perfect size to mix it up every day. *Tarte 4 Day Lash Stain As I mentioned above this was in the LashStash 2009 set and I love it! I wear it to weddings and it doesn\'t budge all day - not even with heat, sweat and tears! Then I picked the following free samples: *Sephora Collection Colorful Mono Eyeshadow in Brown Harmony *Urban Decay Stardust Eyeshadow in Retrograde and Space Cowboy *Jurlique Balancing Day Care Cream (I happen to love the Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist so I thought I would give this a try) Here is the Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist - it is great for spraying on your face before you put on your moisturizer. And last but not least, the promo code for Sephora Friends and Family 2010 is: FF2010 "; $category = "Fashion"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> Givenchy Le Prisme Superstellar - Eye Shadow Palette $63.00 *edited to add - I saw this palette online at Sephora, too! "; $category = "Fashion"; @include("../../template.php"); ?> Shine Stopper from Paula\'s Choice and I have used it alone, under makeup and on top of makeup. My favorite is probably when I wear it alone but I do have a little redness in my skin that I like to tone down. When I wear it under my makeup I feel like my makeup doesn\'t spread around as easily as my usual primer (either Paula\'s Choice Super Antioxidant Serum or Amazing Cosmetics Anti Aging Face Primer). It probably is fine but it just feels harder to spread (I wear liquid makeup since my skin is dry/combination). I did try putting a little bit of the Shine Stopper on top of my makeup but I felt like I was then rubbing off my makeup. Again, it probably just feels like it but it is fine. Today I decided to experiment and mix my liquid foundation (Make Up Forever HD recommended to me be by the amazing Michele at M3 Makeup) with the Shine Stopper. Wow! I couldn\'t believe it - after a few hours in very muggy post-rain heat I didn\'t have any shine! This is definitely my new foundation practice on hot shiny skin prone days (pretty much most of the year in Florida). Shine Stopper Instant Matte Finish with Microsponge® Technology And a few of my other heat proof favorites: *Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Sin (a great base and I can wear it alone if I don\'t want to have a lot of eye makeup) *Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner (my favorite colors are Violet Ink and Denim Ink - I really want to try the new Twilight Night Shimmer Ink, too!) *Tarte 4 Day Lash Stain (this has been discontinued so I will have to search for a new one when mine runs out. It is tricky to use - it dries fast and you have to run a clean lash wand through it to make sure your lashes don\'t stick together. It is really crispy when it is dry but the goal *is* waterproof and I mean lots of Florida heat sweat and wedding tears waterproof!) I am checking Beautypedia for a replacement and sadly, a lot of the waterproof mascaras that Paula recommends are discontinued. I don\'t think women wear a lot of waterproof mascara. I know I only wear it when I know I will need it (shoots or weddings) and not day to day. I\'ve tried the Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara and I didn\'t like it at all (it definitely smudged and flaked on me!). I might try the Make Up For Ever Lengthening Waterproof Mascara, though. "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> H2O Plus Spa Sea Salt Skin Smoother ~$28 When I lived in Tribeca I used to love walking around the mall in what I considered to be the basement of the NYC World Trade Center. It had the first Sephora I ever walked into (and instantly fell in love with the store) and it also had an H2O Plus. I wasn\'t familiar with the brand but I loved everything they had. Last year I found this Sea Salt line in Ulta and bought a mini gift set of several products. One was Sea Salt Skin Smoother and I knew I had to buy a bigger tub of it! Brilliant Brunette Shine Release Moisturizing Conditioner by John Frieda ~$8 Yet another item I found in NYC - back then I was a blonde and my roommate used the Sheer Blonde line. She raved about the conditioner so I tried it and I loved it, too. Now that I am brown I\'ve switched to the Brilliant Brunette line. I don\'t really see a difference in them - and they don\'t deposit any color so my guess is it is all marketing! But the conditioner rocks so it doesn\'t matter to me as long as they keep it around! Matrix Biolage Hydratherapie Conditioning Balm ~$20 My mom is a hairdresser and she always bought the big tub of this when I was in high school. I still love it today - it is very thick and heavy - exactly what I love in a conditioner. And I have thin fine hair - it still doesn\'t weight it down. Scotch Brite sponge ~$3 for 3 Funny how so much of my daily routine is stuff I\'ve done for years! My dad loves the scrub sponges you can only find at certain Wal-Marts - I fell in love with them too but they are so hard to find that I finally gave up. I used washcloths for a while and then one day I realized the white side of the Scotch Brite sponges is the same thing as the hard to find scrub sponges! These are rough - I use it very, very gently on my skin and not every day. But the soft pink side can be used daily. EO shower gel French Lavender ~$12 I am always buying new shower gels - I love to switch it up. I had a few from Bath and Body Works I liked but when I put on black clothes I sometimes noticed a white haze on my clothes. I wasn\'t sure what was going on with that so I decided to try this one I found at Whole Foods. I love the smell - the only downside is it really doesn\'t lather up a lot. I\'ve noticed that with a lot of Whole Foods items - I think the sudsing agent added in regular soaps is bad for you so Whole Foods doesn\'t carry those. Oscar Blandi Crema Shampoo ~$20 I found this shampoo about 7 years ago - it smells just like gardenias so of course I was hooked with gardenias being my all time favorite flower. I even sold a bride\'s mother on this shampoo because of the smell! Paula\'s Choice Skin Balancing Cleanser ~$16 When we were getting married I was active on the Wedding Channel boards - now they are no longer but a fellow board bride mentioned Paula\'s Choice and how everything was unscented and great for brides with sensitive skin. I slowly started trying the line - one product at a time. I now have a ton of Paula\'s Choice in my bathroom (cleansers, BHA, AHA, moisturizers that rock, body lotion, lip balm, nail oil, foundation...the list goes on and on). The Skin Balancing Cleanser is great - it doesn\'t hurt if you get it in your eyes, it breaks down eye makeup - even waterproof mascara and it doesn\'t leave any kind of film on my skin that requires a toner to remove. Pureology Hydrate Shampoo ~$30 I am wrapping up this bottle - I haven\'t colored my hair in a while so I don\'t really need it right now. But when you do pay big bucks to color your hair there is no sense in washing it all out with shampoo! This line is great for keeping your color in place! Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Scrub ~$55 This is a trial size of the Almond Coconut Milk Scrub - I bought something at Bloomingdales and this came in a free gift set. Oh how I love the smell! I already plan on buying the big jar when this runs out. And I am getting the lotion and the body wash! It is such a light pretty scent! Kerastase Masquintense ~$40 I bought this conditioner in Las Vegas - it used to be hard to find in the Orlando area but finally a few salons are carrying it. I am not really sold on the line - it is very expensive and I haven\'t seen a huge difference in the way the shampoos and conditioners look on my hair compared to other products. But I like using this mask on my hair once a month or so to really kick up the moisture. They also have a shine spray that I do love - it isn\'t too greasy like some of those can be! I really want to try the overnight shine spray at some point. Pumice stone ~$2 Keeps my feet soft - I try to scrub them at least once a week with the pumice. I even got Chris hooked on one!"; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Paula\'s Choice Almost the Real Thing Self-Tanning Gel I used this a few times this summer on my legs and I love it! The color is great! The skin on my shins has been a little dry this summer and I did get an odd scaling look once because I didn\'t exfoliate after the color started to shed off. I will need to work on that the next time I wear it. I have been eating more healthy oils lately and I am waiting to see if that makes a difference where I sometimes have dry skin!"; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Haute Bride. They have necklaces, earrings, hair accessories, lariats and more. I love to look at all of it but in reality I will probably never wear a lot of it since I am already married. But on Haute Bride\'s website I noticed a section in the menu called \"cocktail\" and that is where the shopping started!!! If you notice in your address bar the website actually changes to Cocktail Bling and they have all kinds of stuff you can wear daily. Check out these shoe brooches! Of course they are a great something blue for the wedding, but I would wear these on a regular basis! And they are only $80 for the pair! These add hundreds of dollars in looks to shoes! And these earrings are so cute! I would wear these with dark jeans and a black shirt (they are on sale for $30): And a bunch of other earrings I love: "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Charm Slingback Pump by Kate Spade New York $325.00 Another modern pair of wedding sandals - I could also see these worn with a white wedding pantsuit. I would love to wear these again and again after the wedding. Here I go again - ordering shoes that I really only wanted to blog about. I can\'t wait to see these in person! Koda Pointy Toe Slingback Pump by BCBG MAXAZRIA $195.00 Here is a sparkly peep toe flat - comfortable but still a great wedding shoe! Flat by Benjamin Adams London $299.00 I love these jeweled d\'Orsay silk white pumps. They are simple and elegant! Lamour Half d\'Orsay Silk Duchesse Satin Pump by Benjamin Adams London $299.00 "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Love this dress! I love the coral and grey! This is such a cute dress, too. I love belted dresses! I want this jacket! Black and grey jackets are just too boring and this one has sassy all over it with the yellow and orange! Yellow and orange belted dress - so cute! Of course the black dress with sheer material is my favorite! Can you see Kate Middleton wearing this dress? I think it is those sleeves! She started the recent cap sleeve trend! My favorite look from the Spring collection so far - an orange high waisted skirt with sheer material and a cute grey and orange top! I love the neckline and shoulders! I would love to wear this to a wedding as a guest! "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Paula\'s Choice Barely There Tint. But before I talk about my new favorite BB cream and tinted moisturizer, a little history: I have been looking for a light makeup or tinted moisturizer for years. And with the new BB cream rage I thought I would find one of those I would love. But it has been a constant search and nothing is quite right. The tinted moisturizers and BB creams I have tried have been too light (not enough coverage), too shimmery (very common) or too dark (too much coverage). Here is a short list of what I have tried: *Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer (I look too greasy wearing this) *Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer (not enough color to it and it dries funny, almost crumbly? I wonder if I had a bad tube?) *Smashbox Camera Ready BB cream (colors were just not right) *Estee Lauder DayWear BB cream (only color ends up too dark - it starts out white - and the perfume! Wow, the perfume. It amazes me how much fragrance they add to makeup and I could never wear anything from the Estee Lauder brand) *Hourglass Illusion Tinted Moisturizer (way, way, way too shimmery!) *Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer (too shimmery) *Stila Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer (too shimmery) *Cover FX Skin Tint FX Moisturizing Treatment & Tint (too shimmery) I recently found the Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm. I really like it but it is serious stuff - it isn\'t a light and fluffy traditional tinted moisturizer or BB cream. I will say it is very thick and the coverage is very heavy for a BB cream. But it dries and this stuff is hard core! I wear it to weddings where I sweat A LOT and this doesn\'t budge! At the end of the night when I remove my makeup it FEELS hard to remove. And then when I swipe toner on my skin after cleansing there is always makeup remaining. They should advertise the Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm as waterproof! I think it is! So this is probably my favorite foundation overall for work - mainly because of the SPF 20. If I am going out for a date night or working inside all day I prefer Make Up Forever\'s HD Invisible Cover Foundation. It is still thick but it doesn\'t have that waterproof feeling that Too Faced has in their Beauty Balm. I have posted many times about Paula\'s Choice and how I love her skincare line. I have tried her All Bases Covered Foundation and I like it. But it still wasn\'t my perfect makeup. But now that I have found the Barely There Sheer Tint I am done searching! It is funny, the product is labeled as \"matte\" and I don\'t really think of it as having a matte finish. But it doesn\'t have the illuminizing/luminizer cream shimmer that nearly every other BB cream has - thank goodness! Barely There Sheer Matte Tint SPF 30 The best parts - it is light but has coverage and it has a built in SPF. It is perfect! If Paula\'s Choice ever discontinues this makeup I will be in trouble! I still haven\'t tried the Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturizer (it was always sold out in my color) or the Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturizing Balm but I don\'t think I will even try them now that I have found the Paula\'s Choice Barely There makeup. "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> These Steve Maddens are my favorite - I think I might get these! Steve Madden \'Trouser\' Laceless Oxford in Gold Glitter $79.95: Here are the same Steve Maddens in a different pattern. Steve Madden \'Trouser\' Laceless Oxford in Floral $69.95: These are my favorite!!! I love the vintage oxford look. BP. \'Aiden\' Oxford Flat in Off White $59.95: These are really cute, too. I love the satin laces! Betsey Johnson \'Drrew\' Oxford $89.95: Menswear inspired oxfords - very nice! Paola Ferri \'1549\' Oxford $72.95: "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Will and Kate\'s wedding with the trees that were brought in to Westminster Abbey. I think you could use this idea inside a church just like Kate did or you could add it to a wedding outside. Either way it is beautiful! "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Here is the bottle: "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> I love shoes shots but throw in a pair of toe shoes and I am in Heaven!!! Curtis had an awesome Gator watch and I loved how he wrapped his arms around Tammy: "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Zappos today and I found a cute pair of blue heels that I thought would be the perfect \"Something Blue\" for a bride: These shoes are by RSVP - Ivana style and they are around $90. Then I found these super cute turquoise heels with the signature Paris Hilton hot pink bottom: These are the Suarey style and they are around $90. Then for the funky pair by my favorite funky designer Betsey Johnson: These are the Judson style and they are around $150. Then I looked at the Badgley Mischka heels - they had so many gorgeous blue shoes that would be perfect for a wedding: These are the Foxy style and they are around $200. These are the Frank style and they are around $200. These were my favorite of the Badgley Mischka blue heels - they are the Fuller style and they are around $200."; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Ippolita \'Wicked\' Multi Stone & Diamond Accent Ring $595 at Nordstrom"; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> I love the poppies on top of these multi-colored Liberty D\'Orsays for $280: I wonder if I could wear these Feather Trimmed D\'Orsays with jeans? They are $340: The perfect something blue shoes with a cute bow - Paramount D\'Orsays for $280: An old Hollywood glamour meets Vegas! I love these Sun-Glinted Peep Toe something blue heels with the jewel topped toe for $120: "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Reebok ATV19 Plus $140"; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Veluz Reyes gowns. They are breathtaking!!! The detail, the design, the lace, the beading - everything is incredible! If I was getting married now I would fly to the Philippines for a dress from Veluz Reyes. These custom wedding dresses are works of art! One of my favorite parts of pretty much every wedding gown is the back. So many wedding dresses have boring backs and the details on the backs are just as nice as the detailing on the front! "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Rachel Zoe, \"Happy Shoe Year\"! Rachel posted about the AMAZING Pigalili Louboutins today and they are definitely a heel for New Year\'s Eve! PS. Don\'t look at the price. But if you wear them 25 times it will only be about $142 per wearing! "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Avelle aka Bag Borrow or Steal. Statement jewelry is kind of hard to wear again and again and again without people starting to think you don\'t own any other jewelry. I just love the idea of borrowing something for a week and then next week having something else. I think the idea of Bag Borrow Steal really came about with purses and I am not really into purses. I\'ve now had the same seat belt messenger bag for 2 years! But let\'s talk about what I love - jewelry! Here are some things on Bag Borrow or Steal\'s jewelry section that caught my eye - perfect for a wedding! Gorgeous chandelier diamond earrings from Gabriel and Co. for $85 a week: What a perfect \"something blue\": earrings but Judith Ripka for $128 a week: I would wear this right now for our vow renewals with a simple gown - bug necklace from Kenneth Jay Lane for $15 a week: Another Kenneth Jay Lane necklace for $26 a week: And a classic Kenneth Jay Lane pearl multi strand necklace with a crystal flower broach closure for $20 a week: "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Here are the details on the dress: Priscilla of Boston STYLE 4507. Silk Satin Ball gown with softly curved crystal encrusted V-neckline, bias draped waistband and pleated full skirt. Available in Ivory and White. Price: $3975.00. "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Michelle Obama has worn Tracy Reese dresses in the past that I loved, too! And if you want to wear this dress it is still available online at Nordstrom today."; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Steven Birnbaum dress the I loved! It is the \"Lori\" dress Here are two more photos from the Steven Birnbaum website: Many of the Steven Birnbaum gowns have a vintage modern look (wow, that seems like an oxymoron!) because they have lace but it isn\'t the lace your great grandmother wore. It is like a mod 1950s type of lace with fun patterns."; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> And I am loving lace veils a ton: "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Pinterest! You see all kinds of things you wouldn\'t normally see unless you read a LOT of blogs and magazines. Check out this wedding blog post from Mindy Weiss - that is an amazing train! The dress with the 50 pound train was worn by Monica Arnold when she married basketball star Shannon Brown at the Cathedral Vibiana in downtown Los Angeles. All photos by Jay Lawrence Goldman: Even the front of this dress is just stunning: And something I think is even more amazing? Planner Mindy Weiss put that wedding together in less than 30 days! Wow! "; $category = "Fashion"; $comments[] = "20130414172506|I agree, I love Pinterest. Great tool to find beautiful photos. I just checked out that blog by Mindy. Love the dress that you posted!|Leon|leon.bailey@lastingblueprint.com|http://www.leonbailey.me/|142.196.70.43"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Above, from left to right: Essie Pretty Edgy (part of an Essie sample kit, a fun punk rock color) Pure Ice Kiss Me Here (the best gray I have found!) Essie Over The Top (the perfect platinum) OPI Light My Sapphire (okay, I can\'t lie. I LOVE all things dark blue that almost look black. And my Infiniti FX is just that - a dark blue that looks black. This is nearly the same color and I love it!) Essie After Sex (A bright intro to fall and great for Christmastime) Above, from left to right: OPI Siberian Nights (purple is this fall\'s color it seems and this a great deep, dark purple) NARS Midnight Express (another part of my dark blue obsession - but I actually bought my first bottle of this when I lived in NYC years ago. This is bottle number two. NARS recently brought it back from being discontinued - it was featured in a recent Bloomingdales beauty mailer I received in the mail) NARS Mash (I love army green!) Essie Damsel in a Dress (A brighter funkier purple) OPI My Private Jet (on my toes at the moment - very glamourous!) "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> E Dress Me so I went to check it out. They have a great selection of destination wedding dresses! And the prices are pretty great considering dresses lately seem to be creeping too close to new car prices. I thought this Faviana Couture gown would be great for a Vegas wedding or even a rehearsal dinner dress: I love the back on this Barely There Back Gown by Janique: This Nicole Miller square neck has a very glamourous but still destination feel to it (another great rehearsal dinner dress, too): An awesome beachy flowy dress with a gorgeous Y-back by Blush: I love that the front of this one has a high neck (sometimes too much cleavage gets old!) and the back is still very sexy. And again it is beachy and flowy (are those even words? Haha!) and the dress is by Love, Yu: "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Laura Mercier\'s Foundation Primer but I\'ve always felt like it made my skin dry which was odd because I always apply it right after moisturizer. But recently I read a review on Paula Begoun\'s Beautypedia about the MAC Prep + Prime Line Filler Primer so I tried that. I like it much better - a little does go a long way which is a good thing because it is a tiny bottle of primer compared to the Laura Mercier bottle. Then after you apply your liquid foundation you can use a setting powder like the MAC Set Powder. I first saw a bridesmaid use this at a summer wedding to de-grease her oily face. It is translucent so it doesn\'t cover up your existing makeup. It works great to set liquid foundation after you apply it. You can also use it after you apply all of your makeup. And then you can use it throughout the day for touchups. Before you apply your eye makeup a favorite and must-have for long days is the Urban Decay Eye Primer. It is available in the original formula (colorless) but I prefer the one with a bit of color, conceal and sparkle called Sin. This helps your eye makeup stay in place and keep it from creasing. As with all long hot humid days it isn\'t perfect - I applied it around 9am on Saturday and by midnight my eye makeup was still creased in my eye. But that was a long hot wedding day with (as I mentioned above) lots of tears! I am sure if I would have stopped in the bathroom to touch it up it would have looked fine. After all of this is complete you really only need to bring lip gloss and coffee filters (or the MAC Set Powder) with you in your purse. Coffee filters are great - they soak up excess oil on your face and they are much cheaper than the expensive oil blotting papers you buy from makeup companies. If you love makeup like I do you should check out Paula Begoun\'s website - Beautypedia. She also has a skin care line that I love - I have used her moisturizers for nearly 10 years and if I travel I always take them carry-on since they are priceless to me! If the airline lost my luggage I would be helpless without my moisturizer! And another tip - if you need an awesome makeup artist my favorite is Michele Hundley Mann with M3 makeup in Orlando. She has given me lessons and I\'ve seen her apply makeup to lots of gorgeous brides!"; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> *Bliss Glamour Gloves My old ones are getting a little gross looking and now that i think about it they are probably 5 years old. Time for new ones! *Bliss Softening Socks As I mentioned with the gloves, my old ones are gross and around 5 years old. *Laura Mercier Purifying Oil - Light I have the Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Oil and it is almost out so I thought this winter I would try something new. I\'m looking forward to trying this. I love the Laura Mercier line - if Sephora had the 3 pack of body creams that would be a part of this order, too! It is at Bloomingdales every year around the holidays so I will keep looking. By the way - Bloomingdales has the BEST selection of beauty gift kits ever! I always end up buying a few every year. *Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Liner Shadow - Onyx My favorite makeup artist Michele Mann told me about this line and I fell in love with it. It has great pigment - a little bit goes a long way! And I needed a good black to add to my collection *Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara in Jet Brown This is my all time favorite day to day mascara. It is just what the name says - natural looking and glossy. It isn\'t thick, it doesn\'t lengthen and most important it isn\'t waterproof. So I can\'t wear it to a wedding (yes, I cry at weddings!). But I just can\'t seem to find another basic mascara that tops this one! *Sephora Favorites LashStash Mascara Deluxe Sampler I bought this last year and it had a whole different set of mascaras this year. I have a few favorite mascaras but for some reason I am still on the hunt for something better. Last year the set included Tarte\'s 4 Day Lash Stain and it is now my all time favorite waterproof mascara! This year\'s set includes the following: - 0.31 oz Too Faced LashLight Mascara in Black (full size) - 0.11 oz Josie Maran GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara in Pitch Black - 0.1 oz Tarte MultiplEYE Clinically-Proven Lash Enhancing Mascara in Black - 0.1 oz Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash Mascara in Black - 0.141 oz Blinc Kiss Me Mascara in Black - 0.207 Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Mascara in Black - 0.20 oz Buxom Lash Mascara in Blackest Black - 0.14 oz Benefit BADgal Lash Mascara in Black - 0.09 oz Sephora Collection Advanced Lash Booster in Black - 0.16 oz Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara in Onyx - Tarte Picture Perfect Eyelash Curler And FYI they are selling last year\'s unsold LashStash for a fraction of the cost if you want to try it, too. It includes the following: - 0.16 oz Hourglass Superficial Lash - 0.09 oz Urban Decay Skyscraper Multi-Benefit Mascara - 0.13 oz Korres Abyssinia Oil Volumizing and Strengthening Mascara - 0.14 oz Benefit A Little Bit BADGal Lash Mascara - 0.2 oz Smashbox Lash DNA - 0.03 oz Laura Mercier Thickening and Building Mascara - 0.07 oz Fresh Supernova - 0.1 oz Sephora Lash Stretcher - 0.14 oz Tarte 4 Day Stay Lash Stain - 0.12 oz Cargo LashActivator *Tarte Ring It In Cheek Stain Set I love the Tarte cheek stains (my favorite one is Blissful) and I tried these three out in the Sephora store to make sure I liked all three and they were awesome! I am not so sure about the ring but I will see when it gets here. *Tarte Good As Gold Lipgloss Collection I bought this last year around the holidays and I love the little glosses. They are the perfect size to mix it up every day. *Tarte 4 Day Lash Stain As I mentioned above this was in the LashStash 2009 set and I love it! I wear it to weddings and it doesn\'t budge all day - not even with heat, sweat and tears! Then I picked the following free samples: *Sephora Collection Colorful Mono Eyeshadow in Brown Harmony *Urban Decay Stardust Eyeshadow in Retrograde and Space Cowboy *Jurlique Balancing Day Care Cream (I happen to love the Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist so I thought I would give this a try) Here is the Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist - it is great for spraying on your face before you put on your moisturizer. And last but not least, the promo code for Sephora Friends and Family 2010 is: FF2010 "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Carolina Herrera wedding gown is amazing! I love that dress overall is very simple and you are drawn to the neck and back with this sheer embellished material! I also love the simplicity of the Adele dress. It reminds me of dresses that were popular when we got married. It also reminds me of one that I LOVED and should have bought but I didn\'t. This Carolina Herrera Audrey is perfect for a garden wedding! "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> The wedding we just shot in DC - the bride had a cute strapless dress with the front cut up high (a la Stephanie Seymour in November Rain) but not quite as high. It was really cute! She even added a scarf type bit to it that tied around her neck. It was all so flow-y and summer-y. Speaking of weddings, designer Badgley Mischka is making swimwear and it is fabulous with broaches and other \"wedding\" type touches that I love like this one: "; $category = "Fashion"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> Have you seen the show Say Yes to the Dress? Where a bride finds THE dress and her family hates it? I can totally relate. I feel so awful for those brides. And if they end up buying something else they are going to always wish they would have bought THE dress. Just like I did. I was recently in New York City and they had a display of Vera Wang dresses through the years (I blogged about it here) and my favorite was the dress from 2002. So if Chris and I renew our vows some day I want to wear THE dress that I didn\'t buy. Maybe I could call Reem Acra and find out where to find this dress. So the search for a new dress began. As I mentioned yesterday, I had a wedding dress that I liked that was similar to that Badgley Mischka dress I posted with the jacket. I saw this Ian Stuart dress and it was perfect - simple and you could remove the jacket and train for a nice dress for the reception and dinner. So my dad and I drove down to Elva\'s Bridal in South Florida to try the dress on - and it just wasn\'t looking right on me. I was heartbroken. And a side note - this dress shop was odd. They showed me a dress that looked like this Ian Stuart one but they wouldn\'t tell me if it was the actual dress - and they pulled out all of the labels so you didn\'t know what dress it was. I got a very odd vibe from this place and we quickly left. Our next stop was Boca Raton Bridal - now this was a great dress shop. They had gorgeous gowns and the only problem was this Paula Varsalona dress I wanted was about 4 times my budget. It was gorgeous with lace all over. Our 2nd to last stop was at the Saks Bridal Salon in Bal Harbor where I loved this Tomasina gown: And on our final stop where I still wasn\'t sure what I was going to do (I loved the Paula Varsalona one but I knew it wasn\'t going to happen being $8000 and all) my dad picked the dress - it was a 2 piece Maggie Sottero with a lace up back. I didn\'t want a lace up back - they were just coming into style and I thought it was too old looking. But I didn\'t realize how flattering they are - it looked great on me! I tried on two that were very similar and my dad picked one over the other and that was it. I had a wedding dress! The sad part is I couldn\'t find photos of it anywhere - not on the Maggie Sottero website, not in magazines, nowhere. I actually forgot what the dress looked like after I ordered it and I was a little nervous before it came in from the shop! By the way, I bought my dress from Bellissima Bride in Deerfield Beach. They were awesome to work with and the alterations were included! I don\'t have very many photos on my computer from the wedding but I do have this one that shows the front of my dress: "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Silk taffeta gown $5990"; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Prada Patent Crisscross Slingback Sandal $850 Tabitha Simmons Twisted Crystal Sandal $1595 Tory Burch Elias Cutout Bootie $325 Manolo Blahnik Nscanti Patent d\'Orsay in purple (also in nude) $765 "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> But this one shoulder turquoise gown is amazing! "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> And I will take these boots, too: Oh why not, I\'ll take the booties, too: "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Compared to the always skin-full contestants on Dancing with the Stars: Edyta is by far my favorite dancer: I actually think it is funny when Edyta walks out in an a full coverage dance costume - one that just screams \"that is going to be ripped off at some point during the routine\" and sure enough it always is! She has a great figure and the best legs on the planet so I don\'t mind seeing her skin! I actually hope she gets a good partner next season so she sticks around longer!"; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Sephora to look at them! Some of the other colors I want to try are Black Lab (shimmering black sky), Bull Dog (intense royal blue), Chihuahua (bright silver), Collie (sparkling champagne), Husky (baby blue), Pug (smoky pewter), Saint Bernard (deep sea green) and Schnauzer (vivid violet plum). "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Chelsea and Marc\'s wedding. I love weddings! Look at how happy they are in this photo by Genevieve de Manio: "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Jim Hjelm Occasions Bridesmaids Dress (Style JH5183). The Raspberry color is so pretty and I am loving chiffon dresses right now. Probably because it is summer and they all seem so light. I love the open back! "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> I really love the T back of the white jumpsuit: Alice + Olivia Jumpsuit - Gab Ultra Wide Leg Pleated $495 I would pair this Alice + Olivia white pantsuit with a sash or belt from BHLDN to dress it up for my wedding: BHLDN - Crystal Lattice Sash $300 Here is another great jumpsuit in white for a wedding: Pant Suit by Reiss Francesca Nordstrom has this nice white jumpsuit and it is white leather! I think white leather is going to be big this summer. I was in Banana Republic yesterday and they had a lot of white leather! I LOVE the open back: Tamara Mellon - Backless Stretch Lambskin Leather Jumpsuit $1,995 If white leather is a bit too much for you this simple white pantsuit is also at Nordstrom from Rachel Zoe: Rachel Zoe - Rayder Jumpsuit $296.25 And finally, for that haute couture pantsuit bride there is always Stephanie Rolland. Did you see her Spring 2013 line?! Wow! I love the white dresses and pantsuits and I also loved the mix of black and white and all black jumpsuits. Stephanie Rolland did have some dresses in the mix but the pantsuits are what really stood out to me as beyond amazing design! I don\'t think \"WOW!\" even begins to describe these jumpsuits! I would LOVE to see a bride wearing one of these! "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> But those boots are cute! I like little pull on boots. I had a dark brown pair in college that I loved and the patent leather just wore out eventually. I need to work on showing my socks with short boots. Right now I only wear socks that are hidden."; $category = "Fashion"; @include("../../template.php"); ?> "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> BHLDN. I can\'t get enough of it. I originally wanted everything in the Anthropologie catalog. Now I want everything in the BHLDN catalog! It is all so perfect! I LOVE this necklace! It is called Frozen-In-Time and it is $350: And even better is the bracelet for $300: These earrings are so pretty - they have a bit of a vintage feel to them and they are $160: This wood heart necklace is great - I have a heart necklace from Anthropologie that is a brushed gold but I think I like this one better for $250: "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Nars Danmari All About Cheeks Palette which has: - 6 x 0.12 oz Cheek Color in Hungry Heart (gold ivory), Super Orgasm (peachy pink with gold glitter), Desire (cotton candy pink), Casino (dark brown with golden shimmer), Orgasm (peachy pink with golden shimmer), Sin (berry with gold shimmer) bareMinerals READY™ Eyeshadow 4.0 I love the BM EyeColor that is loose but these pressed versions are great, too. I tested out this quad at Sephora and I loved the colors! I just don\'t need anymore eye makeup right now! Nars Sea of Love Set - 0.14 oz mini The Multiple in Orgasm (peachy pink shimmer) - 0.12 oz mini Blush in Super Orgasm (peachy pink with gold glitter) - 0.14 oz mini Lip Gloss in Turkish Delight (pink sorbet) - 1.1 oz full size Illuminator in Laguna (brown with golden shimmer) Nars Trio Eyeshadow in Arabian Nights Can you tell I am on a purple kick lately? I love these colors! I need to go test them in-store. "; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> It contains: Eyes: Primrose (sateen finish), African Violet (luster finish), Merlot (sateen finish), Truffle (matte finish), Topaz (luster finish), Stellar (sateen finish). Liners: Ground Espresso, Black Ebony and Burgundy Wine. Cheek Colors: Rose Petal and City Pink. Then this wasn\'t planned at all but I loved the travel sized double ended brushes! Laura Mercier limited edition travel brush set It contains: Set includes: double-ended secret camouflage powder brush, double-ended all over eye colour ponytail brush, double-ended flat eye liner/ smudge brush, double-ended brow definer/ brow grooming brush, finishing brush"; $category = "Fashion"; include("../../template.php"); ?> "; $category = "Holidays"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> Chris has the June sun filled birthday - I told him the chances of him getting snow on his birthday are pretty slim. But last year in DC it was 73 degrees so never say never!"; $category = "Holidays"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> check out these awesome snow globe cupcakes by Bakerella! "; $category = "Holidays"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> And a fun shot of me diving into the tube into the water: In case you were wondering, the photos were shot with our Fuji F30 camera using the underwater housing we bought for it. You can view that old post about my new Fuji F30 here . And you are really probably wondering what a Fantasy Session is. We do lingerie sessions for our brides and other clients. We also do underwater bridals. I will post a photo from one of the Fantasy sessions that doesn\'t really give away who it is. Then I will try to edit some underwater bridals and add those later. She had the best eyelashes! "; $category = "Photos"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> Click here to view: Revisiting 9/11: Unpublished Photos by James Nachtwey"; $category = "Photos"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> "; $category = "Photos"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> Jason and Molly\'s planner said something along the lines of “Normally there would be a Plan B, but that choice wasn’t made. I would have made that choice, and we would have been nice and cozy and warm inside.” Nice and cozy and pretty ugly to me! I much prefer the rain! Here is an outdoor wedding (it didn\'t rain) but just to compare the backdrop: And finally, the video on ABC\'s website of Jason and Molly\'s vows: *edited - the video was removed from the ABC website so here is a photo instead. "; $category = "Soap Box"; include("../../template.php"); ?> this is what Android looks like and this is Google\'s business model Here are a few more Google flops and those don\'t even include non-web products. But it\'s always a chase with Google. The fact is they are all over the tech board. \"Hey, some kid just invented a successful social network, let\'s show him who\'s boss!\" then they fail at it. But they are still pretty good at search which is sad because they can\'t even stop messing with it. Is their search so bad that they need to make 500-600 changes to their algorithm every year? (I\'m going to do a follow-up post to the search problems later... I\'ll let you know where you can find it when it goes live) The latest chase that I was willing to sit through was last week when they had their Google Maps press conference where they underwhelmed everyone and they did it deliberately five days ahead of Apple\'s WWDC 2012 to try to take away from Apple\'s announcement of their own Map product which is everything that Google feared it would be. (and probably more) In my opinion, Google is distracted, disoriented and discombobulated and Microsoft is catching up to them fast with Bing. I wouldn\'t be at all surprised to see Bing overtake Google in search within the next 5 years. So I\'m sitting this one out, I\'m no longer an investor, it was a nice run but I think Google is about to start it\'s journey down the same path that AOL took back in the late 90\'s."; $category = "Soap Box"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> And a fun self portrait of us: "; $category = "Soap Box"; include("../../template.php"); ?> iPod Review that I posted, where Bill Gates wrote about a future device much like today\'s iPod Touch but Apple ended up being the one to deliver."; $category = "Soap Box"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> Mark Brewer of the Central Florida Foundation (at the time it was the Community Foundation of Central Florida). Mark spoke that evening about the different generations, why and how the spend their money and how to market to them. I was already interesting in generational marketing with my photography business and after hearing Mark speak - I wanted to hear more! So I followed him outside while the GMM continued and introduced myself. I wanted to know where I could learn more - when Mark might be speaking again (it turns out he was speaking at the BIG Summit in a few months) and what his reading list was (I love to ask people about their book reading lists*). One of the things Mark showed in his presentations was commercials. Does the commercial speak to you? If not, chances are you are not their target market. I love watching commercials and trying to figure out who they are marketing to. It is pretty easy for me these days - I can tell if something is being sold to a Baby Boomer, a Millennial or my generation, Generation X. I often laugh at luxury car commercials that are marketing to Millennials. Millennials aren’t into cars. They are getting their driver’s licenses much later (not at 15 like us Gen Xers) and they would rather live somewhere with public transportation or bike lanes. And I worry about what will happen to the classic cars that Baby Boomers LOVE so much. And antiques. And collectibles. So many things that are priceless to Baby Boomers have no value to Millennials. Hopefully there is a shift as the Baby Boomer generation grows older and a new generation will want their stuff. I saw a commercial recently that I really liked. Clearly, they are marketing to me. Generation X. I happen to love Las Vegas. It is my idea of an easy vacation - amazing restaurants, gorgeous pools, shopping and gambling. I am not a huge gambler but I do enjoy playing video poker for a few hours. And I love people watching! Visit Las Vegas: What Happens here, Stays Here. I love the “selfies” haha. I don’t think Gen X is into selfies like Millennials and now Baby Boomers. In addition to Mark Brewer’s knowledge on generational marketing, another favorite of mine is Richard Florida. Richard Florida is the author of so many books I have read several times (you can find all of these on Amazon): Rise of the Creative Class, Who’s Your City?, The Great Reset and Flight of the Creative Class. All of this talk of generational marketing wants me to learn even more about it! I just can’t get enough! *Speaking of Book Reading Lists, Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, has a great reading list. If you get a chance to visit his Zappos headquarters in Las Vegas, they have a great tour. And at the end they have an area with books for employees to borrow. Since tour guests can’t exactly borrow the books, they have a printed book list. Tony Hsieh was the keynote speaker at the BIG Summit the year I went and saw Mark Brewer speak there. What a great experience! Ah ha - I found the Zappos book list on their website. "; $category = "Soap Box"; @include("../../template.php"); ?> This one was my favorite - a Mark and James for Badgley Mischka: Then up on the housewares floor I noticed this stunning place setting from Prouna. Gorgeous! It definitely fits the \"this china has bling\" description since it is covered with Swarovski crystals! It turns out Bloomindales just started carrying the Prouna line! I was walked around and talking to Chris on the phone. He was back in Orlando working on these awesome Umbra frames we have been putting in our hallway. We bought a bunch of white ones in Canada a few years ago and we decided to get a few more and make a whole wall collage of the Polaroid looking frames. Then I saw this Banana Republic window and had to send Chris a photo! I also have an obsession with macarons and you can\'t find good ones in Florida. I think it is too humid and the egg whites don\'t stay crisp. So I ate a few. So delicious! These are from the Francois Payard Chocolate Bar: And one night I headed over to the meatpacking district to see what the area was looking like these days. I used to work right here in this intersection and it looks so different now. They have added big pots and pedestrian areas - it used to be a mess of big meat trucks and cars: I also stopped in to Fig and Olive for an awesome meal!"; $category = "Soap Box"; include("../../template.php"); ?> "; $category = "Soap Box"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Then tonight\'s wedding was at a church by our house and it turns out the funeral is there on Monday. Then I go from being angry to sad. How sad for her parents. She was so young - only 23. And her siblings. Her boyfriend will move on (assuming he doesn\'t get charged with a form of murder). But she is gone forever. Then I go back to angry - very angry! She is lucky she only killed herself and no one innocent walking on that sidewalk or driving nearby. The wall was crushed last week by another man - and that house has several dogs that always bark at us when we walk by. Did he kill any of the dogs as he plowed into the wall? One thing is certain: the trees are winning. We planted a nice big Magnolia on our corner. We just need another one for in front of the bedroom window. Chris thinks it is funny that the boyfriend hasn\'t been named. He thinks he will be bought out of this since he obviously has money. He thinks he will be in politics. I just don\'t understand how these young kids have cars that must be around $100k. I saw a guy on our road the other day in a Ferrari with an ATO sticker on the back (Alpha Tau Omega) and he looked to be about 21. Instead of working on the MPG on cars they need to install breath tubes so the car won\'t start if you are over a certain limit. Rant over!"; $category = "Soap Box"; ?> Coming in at Number 3 is Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Nestled in the Smoky Mountains, it is known as \"the wedding capital of the South\". 42,000 weddings are held per year in Gatlinburg and many say it is due to the picturesque and fairytale-like setting and architecture. Other statistics analysts say it is due to the low fee for a marriage license in Servier County, $39 for out of state couples. Chris and I first visited Gatlinburg a few years ago for a last minute January getaway. And I do mean last minute - I found a cabin on VRBO.com and emailed them in the morning and asked if they had any last minute specials for the next four days. They said yes and we finished up our work late that night. We didn\'t even go to bed - just after midnight we were in the car driving to Gatlinburg! We did take a nice long nap - and we lucked out with rain the first night. The cabin had a tin roof and the sound of rain on that tin roof was heavenly! When we finally got out to check out the town we were so surprised by all of the wedding chapels! They were everywhere! The town was pretty quiet - we were there in the slow season. But apparently the town is very busy in the summer! And if you are there of course you have to spend some time in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We did a wonderful hike with the dogs along a stream and I have great photos and memories from that day! And you probably guessed it like I did - but not as a runner up. Number 2 is Las Vegas, Nevada. Oh Las Vegas, the city that never sleeps. Here the weddings are known to be quick, in, I do, and out. The city hosts 114,000 a year, the most for any American city. With the wide spectrum of different hotels, chapels, and receptions to choose from, no wonder so many couples choose to get married here. Sin City has many luxurious hotels - my favorites are Bellagio, The Venetian/Palazzo, Wynn/Encore, THE Hotel at Mandalay Bay, Caesar\'s Palace, Palms and now my new favorite cluster of Hotels at CityCenter - Vdara, Aria, Cosmopolitan and Mandarin Oriental. We\'ve now stayed at the Mandarin Oriental twice and it is an awesome hotel! And there are other options nearby for wedding ceremonies and receptions - Red Rock Canyon, Lake Mead, the Colorado River (have you been on the new Hoover Dam bypass? Wow! Formally known as the Mike O\'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. It breaks all kinds of highest/tallest/longest records!) and the Grand Canyon. Number 1 is the unexpected wedding capital of the world - Istanbul, Turkey. 166,000 couples get married in this ancient city every year because of its location and beauty. Its romantic backdrop and exotic location, sitting right on the edge of Europe and Asia, has recently been attracting couples from all around the world. Christian, Islamic, and Jewish weddings can be arranged. The price tag on Turkish weddings comes out to be affordable with the Turkish currency being in favor of the American Dollar and the Euro. Weddings can be held at numerous places in Istanbul such as one of its numerous historic cathedrals, its beaches, or even in a castle or hot air balloon. I have never been to Istanbul but I will have a different look on it when I do visit now that I know about the wedding statistics! "; $category = "Soap Box"; include("../../template.php"); ?> "; $category = "Soap Box"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> "; $category = "Soap Box"; include("../../template.php"); ?> Our bus ride took us through some really rough areas and some incredibly beautiful forrest which was now a National Park and formerly the US Panama Canal Zone. We pulled into the old US Army base where we were going to board a ferry boat and take a trip through the locks of the canal. As we began boarding the ferry we discovered that there were 8 busses of 40 people all joining us on the single ferry boat. There were not enough seats as you can imagine and the sun was brutally hot even this early in the morning. The tour started off and we learned a few interesting facts about the canal, nothing you couldn\'t learn on the History Channel but seeing it in person made it much more impressive, especially with a massive cargo ship following behind us as we headed toward the Pacific locks. The tour itself wasn\'t bad, it included lunch and unlimited sodas and water. Beers were $2 and had the flavor of stale swamp water, which did not seem to bother a group of rowdy Russian tourists who were crowded at the front of the boat. The ferry had three levels, the bottom and the middle floors had air conditioned areas and most of the deck had shade although the available seats were in the sun. "; $category = "Vacations"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> The bathing suit was from Ron Jon and probably out of style anyway but the towel was from REI, it was quick drying and cost about $40 so this really sucked! Sandra went to complain to the staff but all they could do was pass on the message. We finished packing up while we watched two other cars pealing out as they left this campground in a rush. We were not far behind because the bugs were awful! As we headed out we not only skipped showers but breakfast as well. Soon enough we passed a McDonald\'s and pulled in to get something except the chairs were on the tables, the doors were locked and there were notes on the drive thru speaker. This place was closed, and when a McDonald\'s closes it\'s for a health issue that we decided was not worth participating in so we drove to a gas station a few miles away and picked up some snacks. "; $category = "Vacations"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> They dug in and would only stop when the brain freeze set in. You could see the pain in their eyes until their brains warmed up again and they dove in for more frozen goodness. Then they passed out for the rest of the ride home. We cruised through the last 3 hours of our trip fairly quickly, talking about the different places we had seen and trying to decide which ones to return to. It was such a nice relaxing end to the trip that I didn\'t notice the gas warning light come on, but luckily I did see it before we ran out of gas. (About 1/2 gallon before to be exact!) We pulled over with about 30 minutes to go, filled up and made the rest of the trip with no more surprises. We had traveled nearly 7,000 miles over the last 28 days and after unpacking the car and ordering a pizza we went to bed with no plans of setting an alarm clock. Tomorrow begins our recovery and slow transition back to our normal routines. We won\'t be back on the road again for 5 more days, then it\'s off to Georgia for the next two weekends this time for work, it\'s wedding season after all..."; $category = "Vacations"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> We pulled up to the sandbar known as Stingray City where the water is about 3 feet deep and there are about 200 people wading around with a huge number of stingrays from 1 foot across to 3+ feet across. The crazy thing about the experience is that the stingrays are not afraid of you at all and will swim into you and even over you like one did to me! It was a very odd experience and the constant waves were freaking Sandra out because we didn\'t want to step on the stingrays. Our guide Mark was showing us how to hold the stingrays and pet them without upsetting them. Slowly we became more comfortable with them, and even tried feeding them but I was very unsuccessful in my attempt. (My squid was nearly grabbed by a gull and eventually eaten by a large gar) Sandra ended up holding a really large stingray for a while, but I was just happy with petting them as they passed. After about an hour at Stingray City we pulled over to the barrier reef nearby. The water was perfectly clear and there was quite a bit to see in the coral maze. My problem is that I\'m not very good at getting photos of the fish with our underwater camera. We stayed at the reef for almost a full hour before climbing back on the catamaran and sailing back in. We were sitting up on the trampoline when Chip walked to the front of one of the pontoons and said, \"Don\'t mind the splash.\" and jumped overboard! It\'s not every day you have your captain dive off of the moving boat! Then he popped back up the ladder at the rear of the boat with a huge starfish that he had just retrieved from the bottom! This guy was awesome! While we were checking out the starfish he came up the ladder again with a sea biscuit. He must be part fish or something. We all took photos with the starfish before he dove over again to put it back on the bottom. It was a non-stop tour for sure, then we got to see the photos that Mark had taken at Stingray City. We bought a CD with our photos for a few bucks and he threw in some of his own stock photos as well. Out of all of the tours we have taken this one is definitely one of our top two, right up there with the helicopter tour of the Juno ice fields. The best part is that you can take this tour even without being on a cruise. So if you are headed to Georgetown, Grand Cayman look up StingraySailing.com. "; $category = "Vacations"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> Hanging Toiletry Bag This is a MUST. Your hanging toiletry bag needs to have a hanging hook and I prefer large hooks that easily rotate. Most campground bathrooms have small hooks for hanging towels and bags. But the bonus with a big hanging hook is you can hang your bag on a bathroom stall door, bathroom stall wall or shower wall. Usually in campground showers they have one small hook in the shower stall and you can use that for your towels. Then your hanging toiletry bag can hang closer to where you shower. My hanging toiletry bag is so old but Eagle Creek makes a nice one (see this photo above) that you can find online or at REI. Shampoo and Conditioner I use LUSH shampoo bars. I buy the little tin that LUSH sells, too. It is the best way to travel with shampoo and not worry about heavy liquids or liquids spilling. LUSH says that one shampoo bar lasts for 80 washes! There is also a Basin store in downtown Disney and we used to buy those shampoo bars when we lived in Orlando. Chris uses the J.R. Liggett shampoo bar at home but he has a LUSH shampoo bar for when he travels. Then my conditioner goes into a GoToob container. The GoToob containers are pricey, but they are worth it! I used to have a cheap travel bottle and it was so hard to squeeze and eventually the plastic started to crack. Since I switched to GoToob I haven’t had any trouble squeezing out my conditioner. Toilet Seat Covers I bought these at REI. When you need to sit on the toilet these are great. I usually wipe the seat down twice with toilet paper, flush and then place one of these on the toilet seat. Face Wash When I travel I use the Olay 4 in 1 Face Wipe towelettes (but many other brands also make these). They are dry and you get them wet to use them. They remove makeup and you can also use them as a travel washcloth to wash the rest of your body. Then you throw it away after your shower. Easy! Deodorant I usually use hard core Secret deodorant at home but when I travel I like the smaller sized deodorants. I did have a salt stick I used for a while but lately I am loving the Milk makeup deodorant that Sephora now carries. It has a little bit of a masculine cologne smell to it but the smell doesn’t last. Dry Shampoo I have tried so many dry shampoos but I keep going back to the Batiste brand. Batiste makes a small travel sized dry shampoo spray. So if you don’t feel like washing your hair every day this works in between washes. Moisturizer I don’t travel without my Paula’s Choice moisturizer. There is nothing else like it! Depending on the time of the year, the formula I use changes. I’ve been feeling a little dry lately so I am using a heavier moisturizer. This is the Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery moisturizer. It is pictured with my travel Shu Uemura cleansing oil. I tend to use waterproof mascara when I camp so I need a good cleansing oil to remove the waterproof mascara. Hair oil I usually don’t bring any styling tools when I camp. I let my hair air dry and it looks pretty good. I love hair oil. I have this travel Kerastase Elixir Ultime bottle that I keep refilling with my current oil. So it is a bit of a mix. The last time I traveled I was using the Agave Oil Treatment from Sephora and I can still smell it in this bottle. And I am currently using the Show Beauty Treatment oil so that is mixed in there, too. Body Moisturizer I bought a set of mini moisturizers from Ulta just after Christmas. They are the Pacifica body moisturizers and they smell so good! I was putting some of this on my legs at the campground and Chris asked if I was putting on bug spray. Even he doesn’t know I am a girly girl and use moisturizer on my legs! Actually, I don’t think men really notice the work women put into looking nice every day. One of our friends wears a lot of makeup - more than any other woman I know. And one day I asked Chris if he thought this friend wore too much makeup. He thought about it and said “I don’t think she wears much makeup at all.” Wow! Antibacterial Hand Wipes I always travel with these. I like the Giovanni Recharge Towelettes from Whole Foods. They have an assortment of scents - lavender, grapefruit and peppermint. They are great for washing your hands and they are also great for wiping yourself down on a hot day. Sunscreen When I place my Paula’s Choice orders I always add in 3 sunscreen samples. Sometimes they are free (it depends on what samples are in the free set that day) and other times they are less than $1 for a sample. Then you aren’t taking a huge bottle of sunscreen when you travel. If I am only putting sunscreen on my face, neck and shoulders I have enough to use it a second day, too. "; $category = "Vacations"; @include("../../template.php"); ?> The dogs scanned the water trying to find something interesting and in the distance I could hear someone saying \"woof, woof\". It took me a minute to spot two people in a canoe and another minute to figure out it was Sandra\'s cousin Mike and his wife Marianna who were barking at the dogs as they addled closer. They pulled up to the dock and asked if we wanted to paddle around, they had borrowed the canoe from the neighbor and it was such a nice morning we decided to take a turn. This canoe was nice, it wasn\'t the typical aluminum rental boat, this thing was all wood and very solid. It was also much thinner than the last canoe we paddled which made it faster but a little less stable. We backed away from the dock and paddled along the shore. Duke couldn\'t stand it and chased us along the shore wading into the water when possible but never letting us out of his sight. It was cute. We rowed back to the dock and offered up the canoe to the next group then Sandra\'s Dad\'s cell phone rang. It was Sandra\'s cousin Jeanette, their new van wouldn\'t start and they needed someone to come give them a jump start. We volunteered, none of the events were happening for a few hours and the hotel had Wi-Fi for me to send an email so we could help them and send out an email at the same time. As it turned out a storm durring the night set off their alarm which ran long enough to kill their battery. We got them started and sent my email and headed back to the reunion. "; $category = "Vacations"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> We decided to take a break and get some fresh water. Thanks to a portable water filter we were able to get fresh water from the ice cold stream, and enjoy the view for a while. Then it was time to cross the stream again only this time we were going to get a little wet because it was much wider and much more shallow. We were now above the tree line and our campsite was not that far ahead. And that\'s where we started to see the local wildlife. We found a family of pheasants and were able to get close enough to get this video of them! Then finally we made it to our campsite. We were close to the stream and had an incredible view for the next three days. Setting up the tents after a six hour hike and nearly 4,000 feet of elevation change was not as easy as it sounds. The first time I bent over to pick up a corner of the tent I nearly passed out! The last time I was at this altitude I was in an airplane and technology was on my side, but now I had to deal with it on my own. But we managed to set up camp and just as we were settling down we spotted the locals... Marmots! Sure they look harmless enough but they were prime candidates for stealing our food and messing with our camp. So we decided to try to scare them off, but of course they couldn\'t be intimidated! And finally just before it got dark we made dinner, it was the best meal of the trip so far! Lucky for us it looked like it was going to rain tonight. I sure hope our tent is waterproof! This was going to be a really good night of sleep, as long as we stay dry! "; $category = "Vacations"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> We stopped for showers on the way out of the campground and headed to Lewes, Maryland to catch the ferry to Cape May, New Jersey. We filled up with gas and bought a bag of ice before the ferry and were early enough that we almost caught the ferry that was leaving before out reservation time. "; $category = "Vacations"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> As we were walking across the bridge, a kid and his older brother were walking over as well. Apparently this kid does this jump every day. We also learned that there was a big writeup in the paper about how they are trying to stop the kids from jumping from the bridge. Why does someone always have to spoil the fun? While we were there a cop showed up and asked that the kids not jump from the bridge. He was nice enough, but our dogs wouldn\'t even let him pet them, they know a party pooper when they see one! As we left the kids made sure the cop was gone and started jumping again. Good for them! Actually what they were doing was not illegal, all he could do is take their names and go find a doughnut hole to share them with. It\'s too bad people can\'t allow someone else to have fun. While we were on the bridge we were talking to a group from the Carolinas. They were shocked when we told them we hadn\'t had any lobster in our trip through New England so we decided to get some to see what all of the fuss was about. We checked on Yelp.com to find something close by that had a good rating and it recommended the Sea Basket, 3 min. ahead. Plenty of fried greasy stuff and very highly rated, so even though we were not very hungry we decided to give it a try. We pulled in ready to eat and discovered an empty parking lot. Apparently they are closed on Tuesdays. Well not to be outdone we consulted Yelp again and found Red\'s Eats and Sprague\'s in the town of Wiscasset, just up the road. Both were rated highly and they were across from each other so one of them had to be open. Wiscasset was really cool, there were some shops along the highway and we pulled in to check them out. Besides the line at Red\'s Eats was pretty long so we decided to wait for it to think a bit. We found Rock, Paper, Scissors where we could pick up some journaling books for our offline blogging, then headed down to Sprague\'s because Red\'s line hadn\'t changed much. The big thing seemed to be the lobster roll, but we didn\'t know what that was. We were thinking sushi, some sort of burrito or something along those lines but that it actually was is more like a hot dog. Basically a bun stuffed with lobster meat. It was awesome! While we were waiting for our food this kid walked over and asked what kind of dogs we had. (This was becoming a very common question) I told him they were just dogs, he just smiled. If I didnt know better I would have thought this kid was in his late 60\'s, he had more people skills than ten kids his age. We talked with him until his order was ready and he said goodbye and headed off to eat. (I think his dad ran the coffee shop on the boardwalk.) When our food was ready we went to a table overlooking the water, our view was great, we were really glad we chose this place because it had shaded tables, the lobster stand an ice cream stand and a few other shops. It was also very dog friendly. After eating we wandered around the boardwalk and talked to a lady that ran a shop selling decorative glass. She said the weather today has been the best weather they\'ve had in a while. She also told us about a friend of hers that lives in Florida and spends her summers in Maine working a summer job to get away from the heat. Hmmmm... "; $category = "Vacations"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> Then we signed in at the trail head and started our hike up the trail. At the time we had no idea how long our hike would be but Ernie had hiked this trail before and had a good idea of the site where he wanted to set up camp. And as you can see, we had no issues with snow as we started up the trail. The trail was incredible, every turn had a different view and there was no one in sight. Except for the cars in the parking lot we had no evidence of anyone else on the trail. We hiked for a long time and slowly in the distance we heard water. Then we spotted a waterfall, a really big waterfall. And a little while after that we came to the source of the waterfall. And for some reason we didn\'t expect to have to cross the stream because the trail continued along the trail without any hint of a crossing, that is until we came across the log bridge that was only big enough for one person at a time. This was going to be fun! "; $category = "Vacations"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> We went to Albuquerque with our friend and hot air balloon pilot Bob Wilamoski in 2004. He owns Bob\'s Balloons here in Orlando so if you ever want a ride, give him a call! And if you are ever in Albuquerque in the beginning of October, you are in for one heck of an experience! Hundreds of hot air balloons and a week full of events! The evenings have an event called \"Glow\" where the balloons don\'t take off, but they just show off how beautiful they are in the evening. They all are on radios to time the blast of propane that lights up the balloons. Here is our self portrait during one night of glow: Then in the morning you get up before sunrise for Dawn Patrol. All of the pilots gather and they set off a small party balloon to check the wind. Here is the dawn patrol group taking off before sunrise: Then Mass Ascension starts following Dawn Patrol - this is where you see HUNDREDS of balloons all at once! It is like candy floating around in the sky! I love this one of the space shuttle balloon taking off: More balloon Glow from another night: Another morning at Dawn Patrol I got this shot and it is one of my favorites from the whole trip. I love that it was SO dark outside and the sun was just starting to give some light on the moon and stars: A note if you do ever attend the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, be sure to bring warm clothes! We figured it was the desert in New Mexico - how cold could it get? We even rented a convertible! Well, on the first morning we froze our rear ends off at Dawn Patrol! We quickly ran to Wal-Mart (side note - it is the nicest Wal-Mart I have ever been to in my life!) and got some warm jackets. Since it was such a nice Wal-Mart we actually got some really great cheap jackets and I even found a cute bag that would work perfectly for shooting weddings. You can see how cold we are in this shot in front of Bob\'s Balloon just before Mass Ascension: Bob kicking some heat into the balloon: We were lucky enough to ride with Bob one morning. If you get a chance to go to Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta, there is a trick to riding in the balloons. If you pay, you ride in a 16 passenger balloon - it is still a nice ride, but not really the intimate traditional balloon ride if you want my opinion. It is REALLY expensive to ride in those 16 passenger baskets, too. If you can meet a pilot from your home town and help as crew for the week, you might get to ride for free. The other pilots are not allowed to sell rides - they can only give free rides to their crew and friends. We really didn\'t think we would get to ride, but on our last morning Bob told us to jump in and we were ecstatic! Lift off: What a sight: The field below with the other balloons joining Mass Ascension: Don\'t look down! Next time you talk to Chris, ask him how easy it is to help a balloon land! We were very, very lucky that the idiots at our first choice were just waving and saying \"hi\" instead of answering us when we asked for help landing. We took off again at the last minute and landing in another field - where the Columbia Sports Crew helped us land! It was awesome! You can check out this older post where Chris included our video from Albuquerque."; $category = "Vacations"; $comments[] = "20080607111142|Sometimes they do, they call it \"kissing\". Of course it is something they try not to do, but with 800+ balloons in the air at once it happens sometimes.|Sandra|sandra@ourbigadventure.com|//www.SJFoto.com|72.188.126.126"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> this is what our Wal-Mart is like) The entire shopping center was still under construction, only the Wal-Mart, Lowe\'s and KFC/Taco Bell combo were completed which made this a great place to stop because it was lunch time! So it was back to the interstate for one exit to find the Whole Foods. Sandra was excited to find a juice bar at this one because we haven\'t seen that at any of the ones we stopped at since we left orlando. This store was very similar to the one we found in Austin, TX which is where the chain began. Another reason we like Whole Foods is because they always feature local items and we found a selection of local beers at this store and picked up a few for later, Beary\'s Summer Ale to be exact, because it was summer and we\'re in Maine... or something like that. We made our way into Portland and headed to East End Park where we let the dogs out for a walk. We then headed down to the water so we could watch the people swim and the ferry boats sail by. It was perfect weather and the park was filled with people picnicking and napping in the shade. It\'s the kind of place that you visit and start thinking about moving to. I\'m sure it would be worth visiting in the winter before making any decisions. "; $category = "Vacations"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> Campground Map) and climbed into the tent to try to sleep while the Boston group carried on for about an hour longer. Finally the campground got quiet, only the wind a few barking dogs in the distance, the occasional car alarm and the soft hum of an airplane flying over. It was a cool 60-70 degrees and only a 30% chance of rain between 4 and 6 am. Lets hope we stay dry this time. "; $category = "Vacations"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> The stream was much larger here than where we found it up the trail yesterday. And the snow drifts were HUGE. Being from Florida it was amazing to see this much snow in July. So we had to take a self portrait because nobody would believe us back home. The photos are a little unflattering so we took this one to show how much snow was still on the ground. I don\'t think we were in danger of post holing like the lady at the ranger station described but if we had not been prepared for the cold we could have definitely had some issues. I thought we were over prepared but an extra pair of socks for the night was on the schedule for tonight! We found even more cool nature stuff in the ice. This was something we had only seen on nature shows but how incredible to find it for ourselves! "; $category = "Vacations"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> Next we found a little coffee shop with free Wi-Fi. It was amazing to watch my email download at 90 KB/s compared to the 2 KB/s or less on the ship. Within 5 minutes we were caught up on email and off to find the Tortuga Rum. We found a duty free liquor store at the pier and bought two bottles of Tortuga Rum and one bottle of Jameson for $33 (total) and got another free rum cake from Tortuga Rum this time. We are now well stocked for everyone to visit us in Orlando. (Just be sure to call first.) After dinner we headed to the Deck Party where they had a late night buffet, an ice carving demonstration and dancing. The dancing was great until the entertainment staff butted in with their own line dance that cleared the floor. Apparently this was once again going to be a \"dance\" where we were now their audience. Every time we had tried to go dancing on this ship we had the same thing happen and because we had such a great day already we headed back to the room to call it a night. It\'s another sea day tomorrow and nearly time to pack up our stuff for home. "; $category = "Vacations"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> Then... farmland, as far as we could see and all the way to Pocamoke where we turned off to the National Forrest for our campground reservation at Milburn Landing State Park. As it turns out there were three groups camping here tonight (we were #3) then one in a cabin and another late arrival with an RV. It was a quiet night with no rain and plenty of time for us to setup, relax and clean all of that sand out of the car, our tent and everywhere else sand could go. We had a relaxing dinner and just about dusk Sandra spotted Fireflies! The fireflies were everywhere, Duke was staring around the campground like a kid in a toy factory! Goblin was chasing them, but only when they lit up. It was a circus all around! But as it got darker they all faded away and we hit the tent to try to get at least our first full night\'s sleep so far on our trip. There is a chance of rain in the forecast but let\'s hope we stay dry. Goblin just shifted so he is sharing Sandra\'s pillow, and I don\'t have a camera! I guess that\'s my cue to go to sleep myself. "; $category = "Vacations"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> Sandra took the opportunity to get a drink from the stream right below the ice. There is nowhere else that you could get fresh water like this. This was the perfect place for another self portrait. With our group intact and ready to hike back to our camp site. We made it back to camp and decided to hang out for a while before making dinner. Basically that means we were ready for a nap. The day was flying by and the altitude made it tough to keep exploring the mountains. "; $category = "Vacations"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> "; $category = "Vacations"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> We were almost to the peek when a nasty storm rolled in and we decided to race down to a safer elevation to avoid the lightning but we didn\'t expect to have to deal with a hail storm! That\'s when we really began to rush down hill. The hail was coming down hard and it was painful because we didn\'t have much more than our rain coats to protect us. Warren and Ernie were at the peek so we had no idea what they were dealing with but the lighting and hail was horrible at our elevation. Finally the storm let up and we found a nice place to sit and wait for Warren and Ernie to meet up with us again. At this elevation we had no idea how they were doing because the lightning was everywhere. All we could do was wait. In the last video I was up the trail trying to see if I could see Warren and Ernie on the trail back down. All we could do was wait, hopefully they didn\'t have any trouble, because there wasn\'t much we could do for them if they did."; $category = "Vacations"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> We thought the Old City had some real character as well as some real characters and after about 45 minutes we decided to park ourselves on a curb to just sit and watch. It was like becoming an instant fly on the wall. We watched the walking tours stream by as the tourists tried politely to fend off the street vendors. We watched the street vendors chat amongst themselves in their own little social network. We saw other people watchers on a bench across the square and crowds of people looking at the interactive displays outside of the museum across the street. We decided to make our way to our meeting place and wait for Aiofe and Lee for the remaining hour. As soon as we left the Old City this weasel of a guy latched onto us, \"You are leaving the Old City my friend, this is the New City.\" As if we didn\'t know... \"Go Away.\", I told him. I\'m no longer concerned with being polite to this kind of guy, we\'ve run into them everywhere including Orlando, but this one was particularly stupid. \"Do you need a taxi? I get you a taxi.\" \"No taxi, get lost.\" I told him \"I get you taxi, where do you want to go?\" I could feel my patience disappearing entirely. We ignored him from this point on and found a nice shaded bench to sit on where he came and continued on about a taxi. He even called his friend (a taxi driver) over to us. I told the driver, \"No Taxi\" and he smiled and left. Soon after so did the weasel. "; $category = "Vacations"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> The boat and the three guys raced back again nearly crashing twice before making it up the ladder once again. The guy threw the rope off of the bolt and raced back onto his boat. (You would think he would wait to see if he did it right this time.) Luckily the rope came in with no more trouble and we were back on our way. It was an exciting day, full of unexpected stuff and plenty of great blog material! "; $category = "Vacations"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> Sandra\'s cousin Kathy\'s steak was undercooked and her son\'s lasagna was overcooked. The potatoes weren\'t cooked all the way through and they were out of prime rib. They should have taken our reservation. After dinner we walked next door to the A&W and had some ice cream. We didn\'t have another hour to devote to Club 13 and we were warn out from a long day at the lake so we headed back to the cabin to hit the sack. "; $category = "Vacations"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> The Capitol Building was impressive just as they all are but we were anxious to see the unique feature of this building and as we got closer we couldn\'t help but notice the fantastic Gold Dome on the top of the building. As we approached the steps to the Capitol Building we spotted it! The marker telling us that we were one mile above sea level, we were for sure a mile high in the mile high city. If you notice there is a horizontal line in the middle of this brass marker and that line marks the exact point where 5,280 feet above Sea Level lies. The fun thing about this is not that it is a Mile above Sea Level but the fact that someone had the idea that marking the one mile point on the capitol would be a good idea. If you get a chance to visit Denver, be sure to see the Capitol Steps where this marker lies. It was fun, even though it was a quick visit we still enjoyed it. "; $category = "Vacations"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> There was a free shuttle to take us to where we could pick up a taxi which was only a five minute walk so we skipped the bus and walked ahead with everyone else. We thought about walking out to town on our own but we quickly realized the language barrier and headed back to the cab line. We decided to find another couple from the ship to share a cab with and found a couple about our age from Ireland (Aiofe and Lee) who were willing to share. We went to the head of the cab line and were told it would be $20 to go to the Old City. The daily news letter from the ship listed this as a twenty minute ride so we thought $20 was reasonable... Five minutes later we were at the Old City and the cab driver was trying to hustle us for a time when he could take us back for the same price. It didn\'t pass the smell test so we sent him packing. (Actually Aiofe was the hero because she couldn\'t get him to come down on the price so she told him to get lost. ALWAYS bargain a price if you are in another country... ALWAYS!) There were plenty of cabs and he wouldn\'t come off his price. "; $category = "Vacations"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> "; $category = "Videos"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> the Henri Bendel home page for now to see the video as they intended. Or you can watch it here: I love their use of The Disco Song and I noticed Ivan Shaw was one of the creative directors. I remember him from when I was an intern with Steven Klein."; $category = "Videos"; ?> "; $category = "Videos"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?> And Madonna and Rosanna Arquette: "; $category = "Videos"; include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/template.php"); ?>