Savoring Summer

Summer, please don’t go! I love you toooooo much and will hang on to every last ray of sunshine that you use to warm my skin with! I will kick off my sandals and treasure the grass under my feet and the freedom of walking barefoot on the beach. I will joy in the last of the 4/$1.00 corn on the cob at the grocery store and the smell of meat on the barbecue. I will take in and savor every last piece of what you have left to give, until the cool breeze will soon force me to put on a jacket and long pants and prepare for the looming winter blast. Yes, I will. I promise, I will.



 I have been in loooove with these hangers since they first appeared on Style Me Pretty. Fast forward a few years and yep, I am still in love! For my sister-in-law’s bridal shower gift, I wanted to get her something that she would be able to use on her wedding day and this hanger from Lila Francis was just perfect…unique, sentimental, and made my heart pitter-patter because I know how cute it will be in the photos!!

If you need a bridal shower gift for that special someone, go to Lila Francis‘s shop as she has lots of other cute items for sale, but please keep in mind it takes about 8-10 weeks for her to complete your order but she tells you this before you order, so no surprises!!


Airport Travel

Although travel is usually thought of as a stressful time, the first few minutes on an airplane seem to be when I am most relaxed.  No cell phones to answer, no dinners to make, no blind spots to check for. I am filled with excitement for where I am headed and who I will see. Often, we are so rushed in the hustle of life to sit and enjoy the sights of what is really around us. So, I do just as any good passenger does, I sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

Can you guess which airports these pictures are from?

#1: LAX at take off
#2, #3: Sacramento
#4:  Facing south towards Palos Verdes (left) and facing north over Malibu (right)
#5: Sacramento Baggage Claim stack of suitcases

Welcome 2011!

What can I say, we had a fantastic two thousand ten and spent so much of it sharing it with the people we love! The new year is a time for reflection and express gratitude for all the people we have been so lucky to have in our lives and for all of the people who we have shared our lives with on this blog.

We hope to continue this blog into 2011 and we hope you keep checking in to see what’s new! Welcome 2011!

photo by Alexandra Stauber


Shan & Ry


macaron smiles.

Yesterday, my entire day was filled with french macaron chatter. My mom and I ooh and ahh’d  over the Ladurée Sucré cookbook and how we must have a french themed bridal shower for one of my sisters so that we can decorate with macarons. Then we couldn’t figure out why we didn’t see Ladurée when we were in Milan years ago.  I told her I bought almond flour over the weekend in hopes of attempting these difficult little cookies. I promise, every 15 minutes discussion about those delectable little treats would surface.

All of that talk  left me craving for french macarons, so much I was almost out of the office and on my way to Bottega Louie to pick some up. I chatted Ryan, as I often do, to let him know I was heading out early. He asked if I wanted to meet for a “treat” which I assumed was a kiss and maybe a piece of a homemade, brownie that he swiped from the office kitchen.

I met him on the corner in between our buildings and I got my kiss, but no treat. Hmmmm.

I asked, “No treat?”

He said, “Yeah, the kiss.”

Ok, I thought, well that was pretty good, but I know he must have a treat somewhere. So, I reached around his back pocket and found it!!!!  I found a  purple Bottega Louie box filled with four yummy french macarons!!!!! How did he know that my Mom and I had been talking about these all day and I was dying for a little bite of one?? Seriously, nuts – but happiness at last!

I am always so shocked how fabulously happy a little treat can make me, and a kiss too! Thanks Ry for both of my treats!!!

UPDATE: Yes, I actually spelled something right and it is macaron with 1 “o” not two. According to Wikipedia (totally authoritative), “Since the English word macaroon can also refer to the Coconut macaroon, many have adopted the French spelling of macaron to distinguish the two items in the English language. However, this has caused confusion over the correct spelling of the cookie. Some recipes exclude the use of macaroon to refer to this French confection while others think that they are synonyms.”

21st Miner Poll.

With the happy rescue of the Chilean miners on the news,a discussion has come up about what the married miner with a mistress must be thinking….Be the last one up? Stay down there?? What does the wife think about this?

The 21st freed miner, Johny Barrios, 50, is married to Marta Salinas. However, he also has had a girlfriend for the past 5 years. 

While at the camp, Salinas (the wife) discovered her husband of 28 years had a lover named Susana Valenzuela, the Nation reported. Johny Barrios requested that BOTH woman welcome him at his rescue.

So I pose the question:



my perfect lunch heaven.

With the warm air sweeping over LA this week, it was time to celebrate summer and what better way than taking an off campus lunch with the hubby! When Ryan asked me to lunch, I suspected we would go to one of the usual’s, La Salsa, Quizno’s, or one of the other nameless places in the underground food court. Boy, was I surprised when we walked into what felt like lunch heaven at Bottega Louie.  Bottega Louie is a restaurant, bar, market, deli, cafe and bakery all in one – all while exuding glamorous!!  The design studio behind Bottega Louie, View Design Studio states, “Evoking old European style, this 10,000 square foot restaurant set in a historical building in downtown Los Angles brings a new concept to dining with its market of gleaming dessert cases, prepared foods and other sundry items. The light-filled dining area is open to the kitchen and flows from the market and bar. White marble, walls and ceilings are accented by brass, black banquettes and warm woods.”

Gosh, I am such a sucker for white molding these days, so this place was an instant hit the second I spotted the crisp white walls with detailed molding surround the vast dining area.

And desserts, my other obsession! With so many desserts to choose from the options were endless, but I settled on the vanilla eclair.

The pastry case filled with perfectly colored macaroons and beautiful, gold tinned cupcakes that greets you upon entering.  I have been hoping to try my hand at macroons, so this was just the inspiration I needed!

Boy was this sure a nice way to spend the lunch hour – I can’ t wait to go back and maybe try a few of the yummy cocktails from the menu!!

BOTTEGA LOUIE: 700 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn., (213) 802-1470 or Open daily 6:30 a.m. to (about) 11 p.m.; AE, MC, V. Full bar. Valet parking. Takeout and prepared foods. Starters $6-$8; main courses $8-$33; desserts $7.


Yesterday, we  got the great news – our wedding was published in “Our Wedding” magazine!

Ryan and I were contacted about this several months ago and we were so happy about the possibility of being in a magazine, but I wasn’t sure if we were “good enough” to make the final cut! So, after several scheduling conflicts, we finalized a time to be interviewed by Marie Rood. Back in February, over Saturday morning coffee, we had our telephonic interview with Ms. Rood.  We chatted with her for over an hour, which was actually a lot of fun to relive the day again and hear Ryan’s take on things! Due to the long interview, and my tenancy to tell all,  I was pretty nervous about what she would actually write up!  Ms. Rood and the magazine did an amazing job and we have our photographer, Lyndsay Undseth, to thank for making this happen!



lemon and lime of a good time.

Since my little brother, Nick, was a little boy, he has been nothing but all boy. Growing up, Nick dreamed of  growing up and becoming an Army Bomb Detonator. I don’t even know how he knew what this was, but somehow he knew that is what he wanted to be. After a few years it changed to becoming a Fire Storm jumper – yes, he wanted to be the guy to jump out of an airplane and into a raging forest fire. I am not sure if it was the influence of my parents or him coming to his own senses, but somewhere along the way he settled with becoming a firefighter. There is nothing that gets him more excited than to talk about the fire calls he goes on or teach us the lingo (“Code 3” or  “frequent flyers”).  All of the sleepless nights don’t bother him because he gets to do what he loves. Nick has never been one to love school or frankly even understand why he needed to go to college. But, my parents never stopped encouraging him.  So, on Saturday, my baby brother actually did it and graduated from California State University of Sacramento (Sac State) with a degree in Fire Service Management.

So, what does this mean? PARTY!

We decided that a  lemon and lime theme would go nicley with the party venue and as a bonus green and yellow are Sac State’s colors. Since we plan most all family events from different locations, I love to get everyone on the same page with an inspiration board.

I saw the tissue pomanders a few months ago in Martha Stewart and have been looking for a reason to make them! Like most things Martha does, they look beautiful in the magazine, but in real life they turn out looking a bit to DIY-ish to actually use. So, intially I was a bit skeptical of this project. I followed the instructions from her website and 12 minutes later I had my first pom-pom completed! While mine didn’t look 100% as good as Ms. Martha’s I was happy enough with the outcome!!

After making 20 or so of these things I learned:

1. Do not tie the wire too tight because it makes it impossible to actually seperate the tissue paper.

2. Make sure your wire is centered before you start to pull the tissue apart or else you end of with an oval pom-pom.

3. Cutting through all those layers is rough, so just take a few at a time.

As for drinks, we wanted to offer guests something other than beer and wine, but it also had to be easy for them to take and drink. The solution was to use canning jars and fill them with homeade,  “Hard Lemonade”. For this, I mixed 1 can of frozen lemonade concentrate, 2 cans of water, 1  can of vodka, and 1/8 cup of fresh lemon juice. We poured the mix into the canning jars and added fresh lemon wedges.

For budget friendly centerpieces, my mom bought 6 bags of lemons which we used to fill various sized vases and glass containers. These were left over from my wedding so we didn’t have any added cost there.

And to put the finishing touch on the lemon and lime theme party, my Mom made a 3-tier cake with each layer a different flavor. The bottom was the secret family favorite carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, the middle tier was lime with whipped cream frosting, and the top was lemon.  As it turns out, the middle layer was a bit too soft to hold the weight of the top tier, so we ended up with only a 2-tier cake (at least for decoration purposes)! The cake was a major hit and tasted fabulous too!

We have plenty more pictures of our time up there, but these were just the first few to get out for now!


Lately, it seems everywhere I look I am surrounded by beautiful flowers, gardens, houses, and yards. Last weekend, we spent a night in Santa Barbara and the yards were all full of blooms – lilacs, roses, hydrangeas, and ivy surrounded us. Even a house of four boys managed to have rose blossoms galore.

A slow morning here in the office, has led me to several interior design blogs which are filled with gorgeous dining areas, fabulous living rooms, and even cuter powder rooms. These photo’s are making me want to have a place of our own to create rustic, soft, romantic spaces to call home. For now, I will spend the rest of the day planning how I will decorate our fake house with a big yard filled with lots of blooms!

This is where Ryan will get ready in the morning – very simple, a little bulky, and mostly I will be out-of-the-way. I love the idea of using an antique table for the counter top and adorable lamp on the left. The hint of green plants just top off this bathroom to make it perfect!

Upstairs I will be getting ready in this simple, serene, slightly girlie paradise! I love everything about this bathroom – the paneling on the wall, the stunning tub (don’t miss the precious detailed legs on that sucker), and the wall sconces.   The register on the top of the ceiling is even adorable!

This chair will be used to sit by our fireplace and sip on a glass of wine while chatting with family and friends. Seriously those vintage books on the book shelves make the perfect backdrop to this photo. Brooke, the owner of this room actually bought 1500 leather books to fill her home store and house with. And check out the gigantic books that serve as a side table! Seriously, where do you find books that big!?! They look so fantastic!

I will have to have some textured wallpaper like this,and some more creamy colored vintage books. The flowers will be from our gorgeous garden.

These Vietri dishes will be fill our white cabinets and be placed on the counters with lots of food, treats, and snacks! Those cake plates are just asking to be filled with one of my Mom’s amazing home-made treats.

For now, I have mentally filed away all of these images of my dream home and hope that they will be put to use the day when we decide to become home owners and have a place to enjoy all of these stunning creations.

*All photos by Velvet & Linen

double-play, may-day.

The Bobs are back which means Wednesday nights will start with the same dialogue:

Ryan: Shan, Bobs are playin’ tonight, you going?
Shan: I don’t know. Is it cold?
Ryan: Come on babe, we’ll dress you warm, it will be fun.
Shan: I don’t know. Are any of the girls going?
Ryan: Yeah, they all are (lying).
This leads to me one of two responses of either, “I’m going to watch Gossip Girl” or “Sure, I’ll go!”

This past Wednesday I decided the second option and went. Apparently, the team “always play[s] well in front of a crowd” so in an effort to drum up attendance, last Wednesday’s game was deemed “Significant Others” night.  Being that it was Cinco de Mayo many of the girls were spending their night amongst margaritas and sombreros, but a few others made it out to the field with me.

The Bob’s ended up playing a terrific game; they made five double plays, hit one home run, and won the game!

Just in case you didn’t get enough softball pictures (or didn’t see yourself above, here is a slideshow of more pictures from the game, and a super killer picture of Morgan at the end, it’s worth it!

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never too old to play dress up.

In order to get a few new pictures for my Dad’s photography website (, I decided it would be fun to organize a mini-photoshoot! I recruited a few picture loving girls, picked up some of my favorite spring flowers, created a few amazing accessories (check out the flower headbands!), and told my Dad to snap away at all the beauty!

Here was the inspiration board created to give everyone involved the overall vision of the shoot: * sorry, I did not keep track of where all these images are from, but I know some are Jose Villa, Duet Weddings, Style Me Pretty

The day was filled with sunshine and lots of girlieness which always means lots of laughter! I think all the pink, flowers, and hairspray scared any potential snakes away because, thankfully, they all decided to stay home that day!

Although this shoot was set-up for my Dad, I just just couldn’t pass up the chance to take a few pictures myself! These girls were definitely channeling their inner top model and really poured on the fierceness!

See why I was so excited to share! These girls looked totally stunning and everything turned out beautiful! A big thank you to Corynne, Melissa, Kelsey, and Mom!

his hands.

This picture reminds me of a poem that was read by the priest during a very tender moment during our Engaged Encounter (Catholic marriage preparation weekend) in Santa Barbara.

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love,
that are holding yours on your wedding day, as he promises to love you all the
days of his life.
These are the hands that will work along side yours, as together you build your
future, as you laugh and cry, as you share your innermost secrets and dreams.
These are the hands you will place with expectant joy against your stomach, until
he too, feels his child stir within you.
These are the hands that look so large and strong, yet will be so gentle as he
holds your baby for the first time.
These are the hands that will work long hours for you and your new family.
These are that hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the
years, for a lifetime of happiness.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes: tears
of sorrow and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will comfort you in illness, and hold you when fear or
grief wrack your mind.
These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin and brush your cheek as they
raise your face to look into his eyes: eyes that are filled completely with his
overwhelming love and desire for you.

Hearing that poem again still brings tears to my eyes 🙂

a little bit vintage. a little bit country.

I have never been a “country kind of girl” and in fact I recall when I was young actually crying at the thought of moving to the country. Don’t get me wrong, I love to camp, fish, and shoot guns, but I don’t like the “getting dirty” part of those experiences.  The older I get and the longer I live in a city, the more I treasure those times that I get to be in among the weeds, checking out the wild flowers, watching turkeys and deer cruise by, and just the simple smell of fresh morning air. There is just something so calming about it all.

Here are a few shots from yesterday that just make me want to pack up a vintage Louis Vuitton suitcase, put on a big hat, and take a ride to the country in my 1960 black convertible Porsche — now that is how you travel to the country.

dreaming of flowers.

With my Dad getting back into the photography business (, and Ryan sending me flickr links every hour, photography seems to be surrounding my life. I love looking at pretty pictures, but I get frustrated when I can’t produce images that I am actually proud of, but I guess you have to start somewhere!  I am totally in love with the soft, creamy, dreamy pictures these days, maybe its a little mental state  leftover from the wedding.

Since, my knee is still hurt (from snowboarding), I was not able to join Ryan on a beach run last night, so I decide to walk the strand and gaze at the flowers that I hope to have in my yard one day! Well, actually I hope to have a yard of pretty pink peonies, a gazillion tulips, and beautiful hydrangeas, I will have to settle with these pictures for now!

Headbands – yes, I am still in love!

Although Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl may have stopped wearing headbands last season, this wannabe Gossip Girl just can’t get enough of them! I’m sorry, but everything is cuter with a headband!

While there are so many cute headband’s out there, just might have some of my favorites! I love their heart by line because everything is under $50! Maybe the hubby will surprise me with one of these fabulous head jewelery for my birthday (wink.)