Monday, October 31, 2011

Music Mondays

I don't want the whole world...I just wanna be the only girl you love all your life

Friday, October 28, 2011

Red Devils Unite

We are in full post season mode here on the tennis courts of Golden Gate Park. Yesterday we played our semi-final match against International (a team we played competitively last Friday). To say I was nervous in an understatement. Not because I doubt my team. On the contrary, I believe whole heartedly that this is their time to shine. But more nervous due to a mother-like instinct. I adore these girls like I imagine I'll adore my own someday. Their spirits touch me daily, and their smiles & giggles really enlighten me. 

Mid-season we were at a cross in the road. We had a choice to make, and we took the high road to rise above our past. Ever since that moment, we have really united as a team and pressed on with fierce competitiveness. So it was fitting that we came out storming late afternoon to defeat IHS 5-2. The win put us into the finals of the BCL tournament. A victory that I was certain we deserved and had the talent to achieve, but at times, I feared we might lack the mental toughness to overcome. Happy to report my fears were put to rest.

On Halloween, we will face Lick or MA; teams that will no doubt bring the heat against us. But we are prepared to put our war paint on and bring the thunder! Please say a special prayer for us on Monday as we strive to win the BCL tournament and DEFEAT!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Career Fulfillment

A few days ago, Kendahl & I were chatting (no not the new baby little sis) about Christmas gifts, funny family stuff, etc. The usual way our convos go. Basic jokes and laughter. So when she called me back to chat about something else, I knew it was important.

I've mentioned before that Ken & I have really grown into our relationship as sisters. We both lean on one another for advice which I truly cherish. She was discussing her desire to have a more hands on role at the dealership but struggling to juggle motherhood too. Her yearning for fulfillment from a career stand point yet a passion to be a stay-at-home mom reminded me of myself. And although I do not have children (yet), I have always had the need to do something greater in terms of career. I, too, yearn to make a difference, and I keep the family business close to my heart. In some ways, sans kids, I am just as complicated in this area as she seems to be.

I realized from talking to her two things: a) our family has succeeded in leaving a legacy so great that their children & grandchildren want to be a part of it all, and b) my desire to do something great with my life is still lurking.

So as I think about my loves & passions, family, tennis, & events are at the top of the list. Hopefully I can figure out a way to make those three things mesh into making a difference in the world. Fingers crossed ;)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

  • this little pumpkin
precious Collins
  • BCL playoffs tomorrow
Red Devils Unite!
  • a very short to do list

if only it was that simple ;)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Mexican Wedding

Saturday, we flew to Denver to see Ryan's cousin Chantelle marry Ruben. While facebook can be a dangerous tool, it also serves as a great way to connect with you had never met before but felt like you knew them for years. Throughout the past several months, her & I have traded numerous messages regarding wedding stuff, surviving being engaged (yes at times we wanted to choke our fiances ;) ), family planning, and general life stuff. So it was wonderful to finally meet Chantelle, her sister Casandra, and her parents Rosemary & Cesar. **Rose is Mr. T's sister.

The Thompsons are part of 8 siblings and Mr. Espinoza (Cesar) is one of 10 I believe. Ruben, being full Mexican, has 20+ aunts and uncles making a whole lot of cousins! They invited over 600 people and nearly 550 attended the soiree. 

lovely church

here comes the bride...

The beautiful bride & her dad 
no turning back now ;)

Rose, the future-in-laws, & I

goin to the chapel and we're...

The ceremony was set at a beautiful Catholic church in Brighton, CO (ironically where Ryan's Aunt Jeanette got married many years ago). It included a full blown Catholic mass as well as many Mexican traditions to send the couple on their merry way to wedded bliss. Portions were preached in Spanish, really testing my skills. Needless to say, I struggled to understand those parts since my vocab extends as far as hola and como esta. Nonetheless, it was such a neat combination of cultures.

mariachi band!

pretty in purple


Jeanette, Lorenzo, & Eric

a packed house

Laura & I

soon-to-be Thompsons

table for 2

yummy cake

Go Cubs Go!

Mr. & Mrs. Ruben Chavez

Now onto the partayyyy and boy was there ever one! Three bands and a DJ supplied ample amounts of kick-off-your-shoes-and-dance music for the guests. A mariachi band entertained during cocktail hour, serenading us with Mexican favorites. Next was a band from Northern Mexico traveling through the US given as a gift by some of Ruben's family members. Lastly what I deemed a Mexican Country band rocked the house. It was so fun getting to see new traditions and explore my two-step swag. 

The following day, we took a mini drive to Boulder to see the sights. The scenery is breathtaking. People say that CA is so pretty, and it truly is to me. But I actually find CO to be even more beautiful with its snow capped mountains and vast landscaping.

heading to Pearl Street 
Pearl Street, aka shop heaven

bar on wheels, college town...check!

gorg back drop

all smiles

The Sink

monster pizza

We strolled down Pearl Street, nestled close to University of Colorado's campus. Ah to be in college again...we enjoyed some light shopping, fall weather, and a delicious late lunch at The Sink (recommended by Uncle Lorenzo). 

Finishing up our trip with quality family time, we caught up on life with Chantelle, Ruben, Casandra, Rosemary, Cesar, Jeanette, & Lorenzo. A side of the family that without wedding events, I might not have met for years and years to come.

We are so excited to see the newlywed Chavez family at our wedding in just a few short weeks!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Music Mondays

Amazing how true this song really is...especially in my life

Friday, October 21, 2011

Spooktacular October Love

Hey guys!  The Love Drop team is at it again! They just came back from the Boston area where they dropped $5,000 worth of appliances and gifts to a woman who recently got hit by a car and is recovering in a wheelchair, and THIS month they're trying to round up the love for precious newborn triplets!
We want to help Jeff and Becca (the parents) prepare to bring them home from the hospital, as all three were born very underweight and are currently in the Neonatal ICU (they're doing great though! And will be coming home soon). With four children already, adding a surprise batch of triplets is going to put considerable financial strain on the family, and that's where we come in!
Let's help give them everything they need to welcome the triplets home, including diapers, food, furniture, gift cards - any cool baby stuff you can think of. We're shooting for at least $3,000 in cash, plus gifts.
Want to help?  Here are three ways you can participate:
  1. Give $1.00 - This money will help go to their family, and every dollar counts!
  2. Give a gift card - Gift cards are extremely helpful. Places like Target, Wal-mart, restaurants, etc would be incredible. out.
  3. Donate baby stuff! - Specifically diapers, formula and clothes. Gift cards here are awesome too.  (Or maybe you have contacts in the baby world?)
You can reach the Love Drop team here anytime with questions: team (at) love drop (dot) us., or by checking them out at Thanks everyone! We'll let you know how it goes!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Solvang, An Escape from Reality

There is a reason we are getting married in the most quaint town known to the United States. Honestly. Peace just fills my mind and heart whenever we visit the Danish capital of America. Smiles and chatter fill the streets as people stroll from bakery to winery to specialty shop.  I truly cannot wait for our family & friends to experience the town of Solvang in just 22 days.

dropping off my dress for pressing in SB


This past Saturday & Sunday, we drove down the coast for final wedding preparations and perhaps the most important task: choosing the wine to be served! We always have a blast tasting at Lincourt and manage to meet some of the neatest people. Saturday the place was packed with lots of wine lovers, puppies, and smiles. We met a delightful couple who had just moved from Houston to Santa Monica and were experiencing their first weekend in Santa Barbara. We managed to talk them into joining the wine club ;) We also met a newly engaged couple who were testing out the spot to see if they could imagine their fairytale wedding at Lincourt.

ceremony view 
almost married ;) 
he is a proud groom

wine heaven

After carefully selecting our wines (post lots & lots of tasting), we headed into Los Olivos per our good friend Sue's suggestion for dinner. Brothers proved to be a great spot to take the family on the Wednesday before the wedding. We dined in the sunroom which provided gorgeous views of the sunset.

seafood sensation
chicken & veggies...his staple

On Sunday, we practiced our usual routine with a tasting at Foleys (where we will be hosting a day-after brunch). Once again, we met a wonderful couple who was on a road trip up the coast celebrating 20 years of wedded bliss. They had great advice to share: dates, trips, wine, prayer. I was definitely a fan of what they had to say.


admiring the view

sun hat

obsession...Ryan's that is

inside the tasting room

Hard to believe that our next trip down will be for our wedding!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

  • my baby sister and her amazing talents...look who designed the UK magazine cover for Homecoming!
so proud of my Tay Tay
  • meeting more of Ryan's dad's side of the family this weekend for Chantelle & Ruben's wedding

Soon to Be Mr & Mrs Chavez
  • visiting my 4th city in one week: Denver

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Miami, Mon Coeur

Miami is always a bittersweet trip for me. So many wonderful memories surround my heart when I think of it and they always come rushing back when I return to the hot spot. And despite some painful experiences in the land of palm trees, I can't help but hold it close to mon coeur (my heart in French...a direct refusal to speak Spanish ;) ).

So when given the chance to take a mini vaca to the east coast, I jumped at the opportunity. A short lived trip from Wednesday to Friday, but a good one nonetheless. When your time is limited, you try to prioritize as best you can. A dinner at Greenstreet with Tara & Heather. Quality time with Timmy Loka$h. Scenic drives through the Grove & the Gables. Dadeland mall shopping. Sunrises & sunsets. 

 My only regret is not getting to meet baby Jeremy Matthews, the newborn of my good friends Jackie & Brad. Looks like that means I'll need to make another trip back soon ;)

What travel spots have your heart? Please do share!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Music Mondays

Back in Miami, the U Crew...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Jewel Mint

When I need advice on faith, I turn to Rachie. When I need advice on relationships, I turn to mom Kendahl Kelley Allison everyone. And when I need advice on fashion, I turn to Nikki also known as Bedazzles After Dark.

So when she blogged about Jewel Mint, a new online jewelry shop...think the Sole Society of jewelry, I had to check it out. Each month you are presented with a gallery of jewelry based off of your initial style which is determined by a series of questions you answer when setting up the account. You can choose to skip the month if nothing tickles your fancy or you can choose a piece for $29.99.

I am not huge on jewelry, never have been, but I had been eyeing this pair of earrings ever since I signed up. The Bella Flora earrings kept flirting with me and I finally caved once I received my half off coupon. So I scored these pretty dangles for only $14.99!

I cannot wait to pair them with this fabulous skirt, a simple white top, and these mustard heels for the bridesmaid brunch in November!

back of skirt 
front of skirt

versatile heels ;)

**skirt courtesy of Maren owned and designed by my good friend Marea Clements