Thursday, May 28, 2015

China: Through the Looking Glass

One of our first stops in New York was the Met, even though we were just there in October. There was a special exhibit going on this time that I wanted to check out - China: Through the Looking Glass. My favorite part of the exhibit was the Chinese-inspired haute couture. The dresses were absolutely gorgeous - especially the blue and white ones designed by Chanel! If only I lived the sort of life where I could afford these dresses and have somewhere fabulous to wear them to...

Monday, May 18, 2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Little Blue Box

Katie generously gifted me with a beautiful Tiffany's necklace for helping with her wedding. The necklace is a gorgeous, classic design that I love - it's the same one that Jeff got me for our one year dating anniversary 12 years ago! Yes, we've been together for a long time. :)

Katie had already included a gift receipt just in case, and graciously assured me that she wanted me to exchange it for something I don't already own. Here are some other beautiful necklaces that I'm considering as an alternative:

Paloma Picasso®:Villa Paloma<br>Flower Pendant

Elsa Peretti®:Bean® Pendant

I love the feminine design of the flower, as well as the simple, timeless design of the bean. I'm leaning slightly more towards the flower, only because I've never seen that on anyone in real life before. Both are beautiful options though! I'll have go to the store in person to check out how they look on me.

Monday, May 11, 2015

A wedding at the Ramekins

Last week, we had the pleasure of attending a gorgeous wedding at the Ramekins in Sonoma. Jeff and I were both honored to take part in the wedding as an officiant and a bridesmaid respectively. Because I have a great memory for little details and cute stories, I helped him draft up his speech, which he delivered beautifully. He received so many compliments, I started joking that he was available for hire at future weddings! 

Love the hanging florals for the ceremony

Gorgeous centerpieces for every table (and now my coffee table)

Because the Ramekins is a culinary school, the food was some of the best I've ever had at a wedding. No rubbery chicken in sight...

A delicious salad to start off the meal

There was a last minute no-show at our table but the kitchen graciously served us their entree anyway, which we shared family style at the table. I typically discriminate against vegetarian options but now I see that I've been missing out - this mushroom ravioli was amazing!

Sea bass - perfectly cooked and paired with a light, flavorful sauce

Jeff loves his steak! If I'm being honest, I'm not a huge fan of beef when sea bass is an option.

A beautiful cake from the Ramekins, supplemented with delicious angel food cupcakes from Angel Heart Cakes and Krispy Kremes (per groom's request!). The espresso chip and strawberry cupcakes were my favorites of the night!

This was definitely one of the best weddings I've ever attended! Jeff and I are close friends with both the bride and groom, so it was a lot of fun for us to participate in the wedding. We also got to catch up with familiar faces and old friends during the cocktail hour and reception. Most importantly, the newly wedded couple took care to make sure everyone had a good time and it definitely paid off. Here's to a lifetime of happiness and joy for the bride and groom!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Ad Hoc & A Proposal

During the festivities of this past weekend, we managed to squeeze in a meal at Ad Hoc in Napa, one of Thomas Keller's more "affordable" restaurants ($52/person still isn't exactly cheap). They offer one set menu served family style so I was a bit nervous - I like having options! What if the options included foods I don't like? I can be a pretty picky eater! Luckily, the food was great and the company was even better. 

Delicious salad of TFL lettuces, which were grown in the "Laundry" garden - I normally don't love salad but this one had a great citrus dressing that was just the right amount of lightness and sweetness combined.

Steak with button mushrooms, asparagus, parsnip puree, and blue cheese butter - the steak was a bit rarer than I'm used to but it was delicious. I'm not a fan of blue cheese so this was one of those rare occasions that I didn't indulge in butter. It's probably better that way!

Almond financier topped fresh whipped cream - I found the dessert plenty sweet without the caramel so I'm glad the server offered to serve it on the side instead of drizzled all over. I thought it was going to be too corn bready for my tastes but it ended up being really yummy.

Goat milk cheese with honey - I love the combination of sweet and savory at the same time!

I kind of wanted to try the fried chicken at Addendum right behind Ad Hoc but we were super stuffed after four very satisfying courses. It seemed a bit excessive to top off the meal with fried chicken. Plus, we weren't able to stay because Bryan was going to propose that night! 

Of course, no proposal goes off without a hitch and this one was no exception. After dinner, Jeff and I had been instructed to drive to Palo Alto and wait while the happy couple drove to the proposal spot. It just so happened that along their drive, Sandy caught us walking in downtown Palo Alto. As she rolled down the window to call out to us, Bryan drove off rather quickly, worried that we might accidentally spill the beans. Luckily, we did no such thing and she was none the wiser. After the proposal took place, they came back to meet us and we shared lots of hugs, laughs, and details. It's been a long time coming so we are super excited for them! 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Weekend of Love

What an amazing weekend. It started with a family reunion, followed by our friends' wedding, and then topped off with a proposal from Jeff's brother to his girlfriend the next day! Jeff and I were both in the wedding so we weren't able to take many pictures. Luckily, I still have my bridesmaid bouquet and table centerpiece to provide some fond reminders of a great weekend filled with much love.

The beautiful centerpiece from our table - I asked for permission from the bride before taking it!

My bridesmaid bouquet - it's starting to wilt a bit but still looks gorgeous!

Two of the bridesmaids were from out of the country, so they generously donated their bridesmaid bouquets to decorate the honeymoon suite for the bride and groom. We also added in a few slices of cake, in case they were still hungry by the end of the night. Our dear bride does love her cake!