Looking Back Over the Past Year
Today is my birthday and as I enter into the second half of my twenties I have been feeling prompted to look back over the past few years and reflect over all that has changed. I graduated college, was baptized in the church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints, began dating, got engaged and married the handsomest man who also happens to be the best friend and partner a girl could ask for, moved from Saratoga to Palo Alto to Layton, found a dream job that never feels like work, and was welcomed into a new extended family that treats me like I am one of their own.
It makes me speechless to realize how many blessings have come my way. Some were earned and others were truly through the grace of God. I can't want to see what the second half of our twenties has in store for Eric and I. There is so much ahead of us, and so much behind us to inspire us to keep moving forward and working hard for our dreams.
Orbit Meme images and the Like!
Here are some cool Orbit graphics that I have been creating for online marketing. Hooray for work not feeling like work. :) Life is good!
The Princes Do Vegas!
A few weeks ago, Eric and I decided to go to Vegas to celebrate my new job! We both love EDM and dancing, so what better place to let loose? We stayed at our favorite hotel, The Venetian. We love it there because you don't get lambasted with the icky side of vegas. (This side is, of course, the backsides of the ladies which adorn everything on the strip. We don't much go for that.)
They were super nice and upgraded us our room when they saw we were military. I LOVE the decor here. And of course white sheets at a hotel are a must. Eric has been to Venice and I spent a semester studying it's art and culture (from a classroom... boo!) So we both just LOVE the ornate halls and cute shops built to look like the Rialto.
We like to hit up Casanova Ristorante, they definitely have a tasty menu, but the restaurant I will tell you about below is MUCH better. We also love the delicious gelato shop, Cocolini's, in the middle of the courtyard where there is always live music being played in the evenings. They have a great selection of amazing gelato flavors. You can't walk past it without getting some at least once!
Our NEW favorite place to eat in the hotel is called Trattoria Reggiano. It is this little hole in the wall restaurant that is ALWAYS packed for dinner, so we decided to try it. The food was absolutely amazing. Totally authentic Italian cuisine. The Italian maître d' loved chatting with Eric about his travels through Italy. We ordered the caprese salad to start which came with luscious, fresh mozzarella imported from Italy daily. They also had imported Italian Basalmic Vinegar and Olive oil which was to die for. I ordered the pesto gnocchi with pine nuts and Eric ordered the Quattro Formaggi pizza. All of this was mouthwateringly delicious; and the prices are reasonable too :)
On the first night we saw Zarkana, a Cirque du Soleil show at the hotel/casino, Aria. It was my second time at a Vegas show, but Eric's first. He was skeptical, since he definitely isn't a theatre gent. But the acrobatics, music and amazing visuals sucked him in. I had seen LOVE previously at the Mirage, and there was little to no crowd participation there. (and I was fine with that since I usually find that sort of thing a bit camp) Zarkana used its spritely characters to mess around in the audience while people were finding their seats. Then the two goofy gentlemen brought a pretty girl on stage (as seen in the picture below) and had a pretty charming routine with her on stage. I thought it was charming enough to be worth the campiness. ;)
The next night we wanted to get in some good EDM time at a club with adequate temperature control, as is so often difficult to find. We decided to go to the Marquee nightclub at the new hotel/casino, Cosmopolitan. Ashley Wallbridge was DJ for the night, we could have seen a few other bigger names, but went for the option that would probably be less crowded. Marquee was gorgeous, the sound was great, the temperature was perfect and the outdoor areas were to die for. There were beautiful views of the surrounding hotels making the night perfectly romantic and awesome.
All in all our impromptu Vegas weekend was totally worth it. We got to enjoy the Bellagio fountain together and spend time soaking in the sun as well as in our own private little pool at the TAO Beach day club. (public pools at day clubs are, once again, not my fave. So finding our own little private area was a total win) Vegas can totally be done without venturing into the trashier netherlands of its culture. We will definitely be making another trip! Especially since it is only 5 hours away from our house in Utah! Ciao!
ALWAYS scan for great groupons or living social deals when you are thinking of planning a trip. There were so many 50% off deals we were able to score for quick lunches and services. It worked for us!
Gettin' Muddy at Work!
So every once in a while Orbit volunteers to install someone's sprinkler system. Then they invite whichever employees want to come and play with product to learn how it works! I was asked to be a photographer for the day. It was a ton of fun to be out in the sun on a warm spring day, handing out with my coworkers and watching how easy it is to install the products I design for every day! I am seriously amazed at how much importance my company places on having fun and really enjoying and understanding what we do. :)
I wonder if Eric is jealous that I made it into Orbit before him. Lol... Get it??
Bailey the Athlete!
So this week Eric decided to take Bailey with him on his weekly 5k. She's used to running a lot with her Grandpa Prince, but this was the first time she ran in an event with lots of people! Eric said that she did really well, only getting confused and flustered when everyone started running at the same time. (she calmed down and got into her groove relatively quickly) But, she started going a bit slower and began limping at the end! It turned out that she had a little sticker stuck in her delicate paw. Eric pulled it out for her and she was fine. I am glad she was a little fancy, I can't cope with having a tough well adjusted animal. (jk jk)
Check out the pics of Bailey the athlete! There is a little bit of DERP in the center top photo. :) #proudpuppymamma
Road Trip to CA: Pescadero
As most of you probably know by now we have been blessed with a very emotionally complex Bailey dog. When she was little she was scared of drawers, cardboard boxes and baby strollers. Now she has pretty much overcome her fear of drawers and strollers, and cardboard boxes only make her slightly uneasy. (there is a much longer list of her fears, but that's for another blog post) One thing that has never changed is her epic distrust of water. I wouldn't call it a fear, I think distrust is indeed the right word. Bath time is a series of agonized analysis and begrudging concessions on Bailey's part. I decided to make a video montage her average bubble bath experience. Enjoy! :)
I Can't Decide!
So! Regardless of what my hot hubby says, we need drapes for the living room. It is fact. I have two options lined up: warm gold drapes and red pillows with cream embroidery, or cool blue drapes and cream pillows with matching blue embroidery... I can't make up my mind!! Halp?
My New Fantabulous Office!
So Eric is still gone (LAME) and our "office" has been a room filled with boxes and wrapping paper this WHOLE time. (Since September pretty much...) Eric's dad, Gary, gave us these AMAZE architectural drawings of historical and religious buildings of Utah. I always wanted to hang them over my computer for inspiration, because they are SO gloriously design-y and gorgeous. Can you tell I like them? ;)
So... I finally did it! I measured them out and hung them in a pattern over my desk.
Then I grabbed Eric's monitor (he isn't using it, so why not! lol I'm going to get in trouble...) and got my computer set up with dual screens!!
Then I made Bailey just about the comfiest and softest doggy bed ever. It was so comfy though, that she wouldn't put her weight on it. She kept hovering her paw over it, tapping it gently and looking terrified. She's good at that. Finally she decided that it was not in fact quick sand, and she has been snoozing cozily in it ever since. Hooray for a proper office space!!! :) <3
The Weekend with Bailey
So we are down to the last stretch!! Eric comes home in less than two weeks! I know that is a happy thing, but I can't help but think that that is still a whole quarter left. But that isn't very positive thinking, is it! I'll work on that...
This weekend Bailey and I visited the Prince house in South Jordan. She is seriously never happier than when she is at her Gramma and Grampa's house. On Saturday morning, I was trying to get some work done, but she was having none of it! I started petting her to get her to chill out and she broke out in crazy yodels and doggy songs. So I decided to flip my webcam on and catch her in her goof ball mood! Here is the resultant video:
What a funny dog... lol
So lately I have been missing the heck out of this:
Like... really missing having him around... So I think I get to treat myself to some of this:
(strawberry, mango, banana, and almond milk smoothie!)
While cuddling with this:
It'll work for now :) Happy Friday!!
Presenting the Princess Room!
Ever since forever, I have dreamed of being able to have a picture perfect bedroom fit for a princess! Now that I've married a prince, I get to have one! (Or at least I think it looks like a princess room :P) I love the silver and blue with touches of beige. The square lamps make it a bit more masculine, after all, Prince Eric has to live here too! Luckily the blue leather chair (also kind of masculine, no?) from my previous room has matched perfectly with our new decorations!
All of our beautiful framed wedding photos go with the princess theme. Obviously, because that was the most princessy day of my life!
HOWEVER, I have now realized that this room is fit for a princess... But she is not me. The princess to whom this room belongs is Miss Priss herself, Bailey. Scroll down to the last picture to see her lounging in the lap of luxury. AKA our bed! Tsk Tsk!
The Nephews Present: The Nativity!
Every Christmas at the Prince house involves the tradition of acting out the nativity. It is a great way to remind us all of the true meaning of Christmas. The boys put towels on their heads, held on by neck ties, and acted out the story as we read along. It is SUPER adorable. The dogs participated, but Cassie had really wanted to be Baby Jesus. She wasn't very happy when we booted her out of the cradle. Aubrey and Matthew were Mary and Joseph to the boys' wise men. All in all, it is a super sweet Christmas tradition that Eric and I definitely plan on continuing! Enjoy the super sweet pics!
Eric & Stephanie's First Christmas!
This Christmas was so special for us. It was the first official Christmas that we could spend together and it was also the first Christmas that we spent in our new house. The spirit of Christmas was so strong this year! The snow, the icicles on our roof, the smell of baking cookies and the family we were able to be with all blended together to create an amazing Christmas spirit. This is our blog post documenting all of the awesome times we had during "Our First Christmas," 2014!
I kept my presents a secret from Eric by wrapping them at work! My OCD goes a bit crazy when it comes to gift wrapping...! We decided to spend the morning of Christmas Eve alone together. It was the first time that we had actually been together on Christmas!
As part of Eric's Christmas present I splurged and bought bacon to have with our Christmas breakfast. I also scrambled some eggs, seasoned with a dash of garlic salt, chopped onions, some pepper and melted sharp cheddar over the top. I made whole grain pancakes, plain for the first batch and chocolate chip as a special surprise when he wanted second helpings. And on the side I put out some yummy diced peaches!
Below is a pic of Eric's face when I served the food. Gotta love that bed head and those sleepy eyes!
Now for presents!! I got Eric some great Nautica dress socks because I LOVE how it looks when he wears a clean dark suit, but has that flash of color when he crosses his legs and his socks show. Is that weird? I also got him a super awesome tie that can work in any season! Eric was ALWAYS complaining of how his wallet was uncomfortable to his bum, and lately I had noticed that the compartments were literally only held on by a thread. So I found this gorgeous bifold wallet by Kenneth Cole. It still had tons of compartments and a flap for his ID, which I know he likes. He LOVED IT! Yay! I also gave him some great indoor-outdoor slippers. They're great for when he has to take out the garbage in the snow. You can see those on his feet in the picture below.
For Christmas Eric got me a whole suite of ski gear!! He got me a matching set of gloves, hat and neck gaiter by Columbia. They are so fuzzy and gorgeous! He also got me a ski suit that fit perfectly and ski socks! (Pink of course)
He also got us a Groupon for an Ice Skating double date, because he knows Ice Skating is my favorite! Last but not least, he framed a photo from our honeymoon. Over all it was a wonderful first Christmas in our first home together <3
Above is a peppermint chocolate chip milkshake for a treat before we headed to his parent's house. (made in our new ninja blender. Get one. They're amazing)
We had to buy all new ornaments for our cute little fake tree (which was also new) P.S. Being newlywed is expensive! The angel on top of the tree was given to my by my grandma when I was just a little girl. Bailey is afraid of it because it's arms move. lol
All in all, we feel so blessed to be where we are in life right now. We have wonderful friends with beautiful hearts, loving families with warm welcoming arms, and a beautiful home that we can call our own. Thank you to everyone who celebrated the beginning of our new life with us. The love and celebration surrounding our wedding has helped kick off what has become the best four months of our lives. Love to all!
Honeymoon in Kaua'i! Pt 1
In between our Utah and California ceremonies, Eric and I spend two amazing weeks on the Island of Kaua'i. After three months of house buying, moving, job finding, wedding planning and more we were SO ready to press pause on life and relax. Or at least I was. Eric wanted to climb every mountain on the island.
So we compromised ;)
For the first night we stayed at this sprawling estate vacation rental. Which was REALLY nice, don't get us wrong, but they hadn't been super upfront in their correspondence with Eric. We ended up having to stay in an older structure than they had promised, the pool wasn't lit, the owners were living right across from where we would be staying and there was tons of gecko poop in the house! So we decided on the second day to switch to a resort. BEST IDEA EVER. Click on Read more to continue reading!!
So, I am back dating this post to keep this as kind of a timeline of our first year! I Eric and I got married on November 2nd, 2013 and it went without a hitch! We seriously got so lucky. Everyday had been gloomy and rainy and cold, but the day of our wedding stuck out as the one 72 degree day amongst a sea of >50 degree days. :)
We all went over to the Lion House afterwards and had an amazing lunch with everyone there. Unfortunately I don't have the pictures for the luncheon done yet! So that will have to be another post ;)
After we were able to have a few hours of down time we had the open house at Eric's family's church. The decorator absolutely transformed the cultural hall into exactly what I had pictured in my mind. Eric and I always wanted a down home, classy wedding with tasty food. We had a dress your own cheesecake and brownies bar with fruit, candy and various syrups. We served lemonade, but Natalie was kind enough to go get me, the exhausted bride, a soda from the local 7-11! (That part - not so classy, but very necessary!)
What I hadn't mentioned before was that Eric's siblings surprised us with an impromptu performance of "Kiss the Girl," from the Little Mermaid. They reprized the routine at the open house and all of the little kids LOVED it. Eric loved it because he didn't have to go up on stage again :)
Eric and I cut the cake and shoved it in each other's faces - as its tradition - we were pretty non aggressive about it. We're cute like that I guess... :) After the cutting of the cake we shared our first dance. I had kind of an "Oh Crud!" moment, because we had not even thought about the first dance. And slow dancing isn't really something we've done before. So our first dance was really kind of legit in that sense.
I totally understand why people do the "first dance" because it was this amazing moment of realizing that we were married while swaying in time to our favorite song.
After the dance we packed up, put on my cute wedding hoodie, and headed out to the car! Eric' siblings had gone CRAZY. I recommend you read what it says on the windshield. Haha that was not the worst of it either. We had two days of downtime before we headed off on our Honeymoon. After we finish uploading the pics, I will have to make a post about it. Kauai was the most amazing experience ever!
Its the Final Countdown!!
Two more days!!!! Yeesh!
So some people are a bit confused at how this whole wedding thing is going to work!
Saturday November 2nd we are being sealed in the Salt Lake City temple with my parents and Eric's family. Since we wanted as many people to celebrate with us as possible we are also also doing a ceremony in California on Saturday 16th! If you haven't gotten an invitation yet, don't fret! We are working as fast as we can to get them out! Keep in mind we have only been engaged for just shy of two months!! :)
Wedding Photo Shoot!
Eric's cousin Catherine took our wedding photos today! Eric had the billiant idea of shooting at Silver Late in the mountains. The sun and light was absolutely perfect and the scenery was nothing short of EPIC! was so mad that I couldn't be the one behind the camera, but Catherine ended up being totally amazing. We pinned a bunch of inspiration shots to Pinterest before hand and she was able to totally recreate the look we wanted. We are feeling so amazed at how wonderfully everything is turning out. <3
Our First Dinner!
We cooked!! As your probably know, we have a little townhome in Layton awaiting us, and we are having a blast turning it into a home! Although we're not living in it yet, we have been spending our evenings there, but have never cooked until tonight. Momentous, I think is the word. ;)
It was kind of a lame dinner, just OJ, chicken-veggie dumplings, and garlic mashed potatoes. We used the beautiful Calphalon pan set that Aunt Barbara gave us at Stephanie's bridal shower. They are kind of amazing.
We are SO lucky to be the recipients of such wonderful gifts and well-wishes. We can't wait to celebrate with everyone come November!!
It's Getting Legal in Utah!
We have a marriage license! Stuff got real today when we went to the courthouse and applied for a real live marriage license. You know what is weird? They didn't need a blood test nor did they need our parents' birth dates! But they DID want their state of birth?? So odd.
Seeing our names on that certificate was such a jolt of reality. We're really doing this!
Let the Stuffing Begin!
The invitations arrived and the example invite has been assembled! We LOVE how the Utah ones turned out!!
And the great part about having two ceremonies? We get to design TWO different invitations! Stay tuned for the California edition :)
The Utah Family Bridal Shower
This Thursday Cynthia was kind enough to throw Stephanie an awesome bridal shower. Several ladies from the family. neighborhood and church came to show their love and support for us. Eric babysat Bailey in the basement with Mathew and the three little nephews, while Stephanie opened presents with Aubrey, who was kind enough to take note of all gifts and gifters. We just continue to be warmed by the kindness of our family and friends. <3
Just look at the kitchen now! So many new goodies and so much space to arrange them! :)
Happy Birthday, Eric!
Today is Eric's birthday! Woohoo! lol
Cynthia, Gary, Michelle, Mathew and Aubrey all came over to celebrate Eric's day and to enjoy a super yummy dinner made by Cynthia. Eric is NOT very into birthdays, but I thought it would be nice to take a break from wedding planning and make him his favorite dessert: Skookies! I used the uh-mazing recipe on the underside of the Quaker Oats lid and instead of nuts or raisins I just added chocolate chips! Pulled them out of the oven while they were still soft and gooey and quickly scooped a big dollop of vanilla bean ice cream on top. The finishing touch was a drizzle of melted chocolate over the Ice cream, which hardens to be a yummy crunchy treat!
Since he totally deserves a cake, I made a HUGE cookie with happy birthday wishes on it in chocolate :) He may not like a big fuss, but when it involves s huge cookie covered in ice cream I think he was willing to make an exception!
After 2 years of dating