Recently Pinned \\ Amalfi Coast

I'm headed to the Amalfi Coast in a few short weeks. In preparation for our trip, I've been doing a lot of research on Italian destinations, must-see locations, and beautiful hotels. There are so many amazing ones, but the challenge is finding one that is under $1,000 a night! Maybe it is the fact that we are booking last minute, or that staying on the Amalfi Coast is a little pricier than I thought it would be. I'm not sure, but I've been really discouraged about the whole thing. Hopefully I can find something affordable but just as beautiful as these options! I'm pinning tons of Italian recommendations on my travel board this week. Isn't it amazing how Pinterest has changed the way we search for recommendations? I'm loving it.

Anyone else planning a trip to Italy? Honeymoon perhaps? Let's here your plans!

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French Honeymoon

We finally booked our honeymoon and I'm so excited to be going to France! Now, along with the final wedding preparations, we're adding honeymoon planning to our plate. Luckily my fiancé is a great trip planner and we are going to keep the agenda pretty simple so we have plenty of time to relax.

First stop: Paris!

lovers-bridge-pont-des-arts-paris-france P1070740 Chanel-store-Rue-Cambon

france paris wedding honeymoon attractions - eiffel towerSources: Lovers Bridge, Food, Chanel, Eiffel Tower

Next up on the itinerary is Provence - a few hours southeast of Paris by high-speed train. We're still researching where we want to stay in this area. The things we want to do - wine taste, eat good food, a truffle tour, see a Roman ruin or two, and relax in the beautiful setting.

CrillonleBravetruffle HoneymoonSources: dogs, truffles

 ancient_history_provence wine_provence_gallery_2Source

Our last destination will be Côte d'Azur, also known as the French Riviera.

imagechateau_new wedding-cote-dazurSource


This will be a first time in France for both of us. I can't wait to see what it has in store for us!

Cruising Through Your Honeymoon

Have you ever considered a cruise? Until recently, the concept didn't seem all too appealing to me, but with a short amount of time to getaway and a huge list of "must-sees" I started warming up to the idea.

The locations on my agenda are Italy + Greece. Ideally, I would like to fly into Italy, stay there for 2 nights, then embark on a fabulous 12 day cruise to the islands of Greece. After much research of all the cruise lines, packages, prices, etc. I became partial to Holland America. Cruise ships are super small so I want something that is at least luxurious in the process. They offered tons of packages (although none were totally exact) I found a few I would   Mediterranean Romance was nice, but Mediterranean Tapestry was the clear winner. Road map listed below:

The prices are affordable (since ship quarters are tight, I would opt for at least Ocean View if not Verandah). Total trip cost: under $6,000 for two people. Not to mention the lack of stress that occurs when you choose the all-inclusive route.

Would you cruise for your honeymoon? How about as an anniversary trip?

{honeymooning} Travel In Style

These fabulous luggage pieces will get you where you need to go with those closet-staples you need most. From a perfect tote bag to carry the necessities, to a carryall bag for day trips to the beach, these are my favorites of the season! As a note, a fun tote bag with your names and wedding date on it, is the perfect way to prove you're honeymooning it up to those that can pull a few strings to make your honeymoon extra special. (Always ask for honeymoon upgrades people!)

Source: Wedding Chicks | J Crew | Kate Spade | Louis Vuitton 

J'Adore {Honeymoon Planning and French Inspiration}

I don't know about you guys, but whenever wedding to-dos have me stressed, I just daydream about our honeymoon. Don't get me wrong; I'm beyond excited for the wedding day. But the fact that we have a fabulous vacation following it is icing on the cake. Or, should I say, la cerise sur le gâteau...because we're headed to France! (PS. I have no idea of that's correct French. I just looked it up on google!) Sure, romance in France may be a bit cliche, but we don't care one bit! We are very excited for a relaxing and romantic honeymoon.

We figure we'll be exhausted from the planning, wedding and travel, so we're starting on the beach. We're staying in a small fishing village near Nice called Villefranche Sur Mer. This part of the trip will be filled with coffee and pastries on the balcony, wondering through the village, big bowls of mussels and time on the beach!

Sources: 1, 2

From there, we head north to the Loire Valley. This area is a bit south of France and full chateaus, vineyards and amazing food. So we'll ride bikes through the vines, drink wine and eat!

Sources: 1, 2, 3

Hopefully we'll be fairly rested after some beach and winery time as we'll be finishing our French adventure in Paris. Dan's never been before, and I went with a college group, but never really got to appreciate Paris. So, we're going to keep our touristy time to a minimum and try to really soak up the culture. I'm looking forward to wondering little streets, stopping for a cappuccino, finding a flea market or antique shop and eating. Yes, eating will be a theme :)

Sources: 1, 2, 3

Looking at photos of France gets me so excited about the trip! It also makes me think about how AMAZING a French-inspired wedding could be. My french wedding would be inspired by the countryside, with lavender, balloons, pastels and charming vintage details.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

What would your French-inspired wedding look like?

Our Anniversary Weekend

A year has past already? CRAZY! (If you haven't seen our wedding, check it out here and here.) April 8, 2011 we were in Carmel Valley at Holman Ranch getting married! So it seemed fitting that for our 1 year anniversary we headed back to Carmel for a weekend retreat. Our first stop was the Tickle Pink Inn in Carmel Highlands. It was the place we went on our wedding night and one of the nicest places I have ever stayed. The views are incredible, like truly incredible! The entire wall is top to bottom windows with an incredible ocean view.

We made our way to the wine and cheese service and brought our goodies upstairs to our room for this spectacular view. :) And this is only the start!

We took a trip to Big Sur to Bixby Bridge. Ian decided to follow a not so formal trail down the side of the mountain....which I thought was a little scary! But there were some gorgeous views. It would have been the most amazing place for a proposal :)

When we got back to our amazing room this "Happy Anniversary" gift was waiting for us. So cute huh?

The next morning we woke up to some more amazing views, mimosas on the porch and breakfast in bed! Yum yum :) From the moment we arrived until the moment we left we had fireplaces going, so nice waking up to a fire, I'm going to miss that.

Ian had a few surprises in store  which turned out to be amazing. Whenever I watch The Bachelor I always ask Ian why he doesn't take me on dates in helicopters to amazing islands. :) So this trip seemed appropriate to him. It was amazing and totally fun.

Next up, we went to Bernardus Lodge! I am a major fan of hotel hopping during trips and getting all sorts of different experiences in the same go. We went from amazing oceanfront views to a quiet gorgeous valley setting, it was fabulous.

When we arrived we were greeted with a glass of wine and we were ready to go. We started with a fun game of bocce ball followed by a surprise trip to the spa. Again with the surprises from my husband, I swear, he went all out during this trip! After spending a few hours in the spa enjoying all the amazing amenities, we got a couples massage. Super duper relaxing, I swear.

We spent the day hanging at the hotel, enjoying the amazing weather and the gorgeous views, eating at their awesome restaurant and of course hanging in the hotel by the fireplace.

I absolutely loved everything about Bernardus. I am definitely making it my new favorite hotel in the Carmel area and I will be back. I told another bride this yesterday, and I will tell all of you, if you are getting married at Holman Ranch and need a place for guests to stay (when your Holman rooms are filled) this is the place to go! They will take care of you all and I swear you will have so much fun making it part of your wedding festivities. I wished I did.... Anywho, I'm definitely going back to Bernardus, in fact, I am ready to plan my next trip there like now!

Horrible picture but look at that dress :) I love my new tangerine dress.

And now for my surprises! April 8 was our wedding date as I say a million times. April 8 this year fell on a Sunday which was perfect for the treat I had in store for my husband.

I absolutely love Holman Ranch. I just love it. So I thought a picnic at Holman would be the perfect treat for Ian and I to end off our anniversary weekend. Being in the same spot that we were married at a year ago was an amazing experience for the both of us. I never tire of the views of Holman :)

We were greeted with a fabulous welcome bag from Holman including a sweet card! And the amazing Paradise Catering catered a lunch for us including several of the dishes that were on our menu for our wedding. Just look how amazing this menu is! Paradise Catering is such a fabulous company and they truly make amazing food. I was so happy I had the chance to taste their amazing food (I LOVE their vegan rainbow roll!) again.

I set up a fabulous little picnic on the lawn for the two of us to enjoy. I also had a photographer, Tatum Brooke (thanks so much to Kim for coming down and shooting some fab photos of us!), come take some photos of this sweet spot and some photos of us. It was great to get some more photos with the Holman Ranch backdrop since we didn't have the chance to take engagement photos before the wedding. I can't wait to share more of those soon!

And finally, as if all this wasn't enough, he surprised me with something good in a small box. Seriously, how sweet is he?!

So many people made our first anniversary a truly special one! I am so glad we got married at such a gorgeous spot that has allowed us to come back and share our anniversary there as well. We ate plenty of amazing meals, and did so many fun things. Getting back to real life was quite difficult after such an amazing weekend!

Happy Anniversary to us! :)

December 3, 2009.....

I think I have told the proposal story (along with other anniversary posts, here and here) a few times in the past few years (but did you see the new one? Second video), but I feel like each year I should say a few words about it. I can't say I was blind-sided by the proposal seeing as I hinted at it every second for months upon months. :) I know, I sound crazy, but since the beginning of this journey that technically started in 2002, I thought it was about time! Anyways, this date 2 years ago changed just a few things in my life. I was putting together the photos for our holiday card and it struck me as a little crazy. The events that followed this date have been some of the most amazing times in our lives. These are a few photos from the wedding and our honeymoon to Australia & New Zealand.

I'm definitely excited for all the new photos we will create from here on out for years and years to come. And I am specifically excited for little Reagan :) If and when she comes!

And for time's sake, I'll combine two posts. Next weekend we will be heading to the Langham Hotel in Pasadena to celebrate our birthdays! Ian's is December 7 and mine is December 9. You might be thinking why Pasadena. Nothing really special about the area, except that we stayed in the Langham Hotel during our honeymoon in New Zealand. We both totally loved it, so I am excited to stay there again without having to cross the country!

This was the presentation of the gift that his brother gave us for our birthdays! :) I'm excited.

Hello From Sydney!

I know that I am not supposed to be blogging, but such is life! I can't wait to share tons more about the wedding (I miss it already! Can't wait to see the photos, OMG! I'm loving all the amazing things I have been hearing from people that were there!) and all about the adventures we have been taking during the Honeymoon.

We have been in Sydney for several days now and have seen so so much. We are hopping back on the plane later this afternoon to head over to the Gold Coast. Now THAT I am excited for :) This is a photo I captured at dinner the first day we were here. So so pretty.

Ok, I guess I didn't really have too much to say, but wanted to check in! Glad you guys have loved the posts this week, and though I love being here, it will be totally fun to go home and start life as a married couple!

{honeymoon planning} Flights Are Booked

After researching every single airline known to man, I finally picked a suitable travel plan and booked the tickets! I spent a tad more than I wanted to, but it was totally worth it because of the extra leg we get to add into the trip. If you have ever been to Australia, or are an avid researcher of the area and just know everything there is to know, I would love some input and advice.

Our trip starts 4 days after the wedding (Monday, April 11) with a non-stop flight to Sydney. (Yes, I am stocked about the non-stop). Of course I called to ask for wifi, and they do indeed have it. (double yes!) This is an overnight flight so hopefully if we sleep for 15 hours, we will be there in no time. We arrive Wednesday at like 6:00am. No what? We have like 5 days in Sydney, so suggest some go-to spots people!

On Saturday (or Friday, haven't decided yet.) we head over to the Gold Coast. We are "driving" although I don't know what that means or how we are going to get there. Point is, we get to the Gold Coast on Saturday. We check into the Versace Hotel (YES!) and get a small getaway within a getaway for the weekend. I have heard great things about the Gold Coast and I can't wait. I have signed up for Groupon deals for the Gold Coast and Sydney so hopefully that helps me find great deals AND great places to go that are highly rated. So if you are a Gold Coast fan, this is the point to chime in with your all-time favorite spots!

Next up, and this is a totally new addition to the trip, Auckland New Zealand. Turns out I found some tickets that were the same price but included this little addition! Totally excited because Ian was obsessed with going to New Zealand. So here we are at the final leg of our trip. We arrive on Tuesday and leave on Friday. Not totally sure what adventures this will lead to, but I am hoping New Zealand has something totally amazing to offer! So this is your turn all you New Zealander's. What spots must we check out?

And that will conclude our 11 day journey in as of now, uncharted territory. I really can't wait for the wedding to be over and to be just hanging out all around these totally gorgeous areas. So far my budget is looking pretty good too which helps me stay sane :)

Ok, suggest away my lovely friends! Srsly, I am talking favorite hotels, favorite places to eat, favorite activities, must see spots, etc. etc. etc. Anything will help me plan a totally fun and totally amazing trip. Thanks :)

Our Honeymoon Abode

Everything is getting closer, I just can't believe it. The honeymoon really should be booked by now, but seeing as that was on Ian's side of the wedding to-do list, it hasn't been done. One day I will come to terms with the fact that boys just don't care as much as girls. (Though I will say that Ian has done a beyond incredible job on the invites, escort cards, website, and all that design stuff. So I don't mind taking over on this.)

For about a week I went back and forth between the Mediterranean Islands and Australia. After crunching the numbers for both and doing tons of research on both, Australia won the battle. Basically they will cost the same, and Australia is so different. But the tie breaker of the whole thing was seeing that there is a Versace Hotel in Australia. Obvi the winner, duh.

So, welcome to our honeymoon abode!

The hotel has something called the "Water Salon" which is basically a pool made like a beach with amazing sand. I don't totally get it, but whatever it is, it sounds totally awesome.

The Versace Hotel is on the Gold Coast of Australia. I am not sure what else there is to do in the area, and it is about 4 hours north of Sydney, so we will probably stay here for part of the time, then travel elsewhere. And if everything permits, we are hoping that we get the chance to head over to New Zealand for a bit of time as well.

So there you have it. The amazing honeymoon destination. And as far as the money aspect of it all goes, here is a little tip for you beginner planners. When I first started, I set a budget for the wedding and one for the honeymoon. I didn't want all the honeymoon money to be burnt up by wedding expenses, so I made sure to keep them all separate and for no reason wanted to use that because as amazing as the wedding is going to be, I want a good chunk of time going on a trip and exploring the world together. And that is what ended up happening :)