may 18, 2013

this post has been long overdue, so i apologize. i left my camera in my friend’s car for a while, and then when i got it back over a month later, i had been busy with so many things….so now i am going to start from may and work my way to the present!

on may 18, i had attended a friend’s wedding. she was a former co-worker of mine. she started working with me when she had started dating her now-husband. i feel so old now that i look back at their younger years together.  my, how time flies! i was very flattered that she wanted to work with me on her wedding invitations, and was very excited to be invited to both her bridal shower and her wedding.

the wedding was held at ashton gardens in corinth, texas. a venue i have always wanted to visit, ashton gardens has a chapel that is 3 walls of glass so you can see the trees all around you. it is voted one of the best wedding venues by the knot, 5 years in a row. it is definitely worth the drive, being that you can’t get a venue like this within the city of dallas. the reception area is in the same building and is already beautiful before any alterations are done. the chandeliers, the tables, the chairs-i don’t even think the bride made any changes to the reception area since everything looked gorgeous as is.

my friend, tony, and i got there as the doors had closed because the bride was about to walk in to the chapel. at first i was sad that i had missed getting a seat before the ceremony started, but being able to see my friend outside before she walked in made me glad i was late. i totally almost bawled when i saw her outside the chapel. her dress was beautiful, she looked fantastic, and it felt like i was in big sister mode. “my little baby is all grown up!!!”  it was so sappy, haha.  she walked down the aisle to christina perri’s “a thousand years” which was very fitting for their ceremony. the ceremony was beautiful, it was exactly as i had expected.

while the bridal party was off taking their photos, i was in charge of making sure the “guest book” was signed. their “guest book” was a huge graphic of a tree that guests had to thumb print leaves on. it was real cute. the bride and groom’s engagement photos hung off tree branches in the lobby area for guests to admire while they got their escort cards (which were in mini frames that guests could later use to put their own photos in).

lunch was fantastic. i know that bride’s aren’t always too fond of having the venue serve their food because they might not enjoy the selection, but ashton gardens has quite a big selection of foods to choose from. and that prime rib…oh, boy. everyone knows that i will try everything in a wedding-and of course i spot the prime rib and am definitely curious to try it. a prime rib at a wedding-it could be good and it could be a downright disaster. i love steak, and i love prime rib. i think i watch too many four weddings episodes (that show in which four brides critique each other’s weddings and rate the food, venue, dress, and overall experience) because every time the brides rate the food, it’s always “bland” and “under seasoned” and “dry.” i was very excited to see the prime rib (i don’t think the other guests were as excited as i was because i noticed them walking by the station of bloody meat) but i didn’t know what to expect. shoot…………i should have just had an entire plate of that thing. it was SO DANG GOOD. now, who would have thought that a fantastic cut of prime rib would be served at a wedding reception! let’s say i was hoping it would be good, but it ended up exceeding my expectations. ashton gardens, you did VERY WELL. that was definitely one of the best dishes i have had at a wedding (automatically into the top 3). it looks pretty obvious, since i just typed up an entire paragraph on it.

i believe the cake was from the cake guys, and some people know i’m a big fan of the cake guys. i don’t even remember what flavor her cake was (she told me once, but i forgot) but it was fantastic. the cake guys are known for their beautiful, over-the-top cake designs, delicious-tasting cakes, and reasonable prices for the price-conscious brides who don’t want to spend an arm and a leg for their wedding cakes.  last year, the cake guys participated in the annual platinum wedding cake competition and took first place. you can read about it and see their amazing cake display HERE in my previous blog, i tasted cakes.

after lunch and cake, we danced and hung out and took pictures, and it was all great. it’s always so amazing to be a part of someone’s big day, especially when you have been there since the beginning. i remember jessica buying steven gifts every month anniversary during their first year of dating and steven singing songs to her on his guitar. i always love hearing relationship stories and theirs were always sweet. now, years later, they’re grown up, married, and living together. i swear, i feel so old now. but very happy.

here are some photos of the wedding. cheers to jessica and steven on your marriage. may you celebrate MANY, MANY years of happiness together and may GOD bless you with the happiness that you both deserve. come and see me for baby shower invitations when the time comes. haha!!! love you both!

xoxo,

sierra lei

 

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the dallas arboretum

i love flowers.

i’m an absolute sucker for flowers. i take pictures of flowers in grocery stores, i take pictures of pretty flowers on the side of the road, i love receiving flowers from anyone, i just love flowers. they make me happy, they cheer me up, they’re beautiful. i grew up around plumerias and hibiscus and gardenias, which are always going to be an island girl’s favorite flowers, but i just love all types of flowers-especially pink ones. oh, and did i mention that i love flowers?

the dallas arboretum held their annual DALLAS BLOOMS festival and i ended up going 3 times within the month. in fact, during my first visit, i got myself a yearly membership to allow me and one guest to visit the gardens for free with free parking (2 adults plus parking is $40 a visit and an individual membership is $79) but by the third visit, i upgraded my individual membership to a family membership which allows me to now bring 4 other guests (it was less than $50 extra). with the fun concerts coming up this summer and fall, i am sure i will be going to the gardens with my fun group of friends.

here are some fun photos i took during my 3 visits at the arboretum with my friends. this place is truly heaven on earth.

purply flowers...

purply flowers…

amazing flowers!

amazing flowers!

of course i had to do a jump shot!

of course i had to do a jump shot!

my friend, jennifer, who went with me on my first visit. i thought this would make a fantastic facebook profile photo for her. =)

my friend, jennifer, who went with me on my first visit. i thought this would make a fantastic facebook profile photo for her. =)

the pansy garden.

the pansy garden.

 

on the second visit, i managed to get a picture of the sign.

on the second visit, i managed to get a picture of the sign.

lots of photo shoots were going on all over the gardens.

lots of photo shoots were going on all over the gardens.

derek and i in front of SNOWBALLS!

derek and i in front of SNOWBALLS!

derek and i in front of a water wall.

derek and i in front of a water wall.

 

Camera 360

azaleas!

azaleas!

 

pink flowers!!

pink flowers!!

 

the tulips were thinning out but still pretty!

the tulips were thinning out but still pretty!

 

i had a blast. obviously i took more pictures than  these but i had to put up some of my favorites.

 

this is the prettiest place on earth.

 

xoxo

rain, rain, go away…

yesterday i hung out with a few friends. we had lunch at misoya, a teeny, tiny japanese restaurant. yumm-o.

 

 

afterwards, we headed south to catch some sun because it was raining up north…

tailgating by the beach and talking stories was fun…

and then the rain caught up to us…

 

 

why does it have to be typhoon/rainy season!?!? so frustrating!!!!!

 

 

but that’s okay.

 

we hung out at the beach until night time, when we couldn’t even see each other in the dark.

it was fun.

 

xoxo

halloween night.

i didn’t dress up too much for halloween night. i was already tired and ready for the holiday to be over. the week was fun, though!

the theme at the club was PIRATES AND WENCHES.

my friend gave me a pink cowboy hat as a going away gift when i left texas, so i had to wear it. =) also, it was my BREAST CANCER AWARENESS outfit before the month ended!

 

 

random blab.

homesick.

very homesick.

both saipan and texas are my homes. and if anyone from this island craps on me for calling texas my home, my dad’s from texas-it IS my other home. i just spent a third of my life there.

i miss my friends. i just posted the photos from my going away party on my facebook page (scroll ALL THE WAY DOWN to find my facebook contact) and i kept tearing up in the coffee shop. it’s only the second time i’ve gone through those pictures.

i’m still having terrible sleeping problems. in fact, i haven’t slept yet. it’s 10 a.m. and i’ve been up all night. wide awake. i’m gonna need to try this “warm milk” trick tonight.

follow my randomness on twitter @sierralei and if you have a twitter account, feel free to share it. i would love to follow. i’m still getting acquainted with it…

i’m thinking about buying a cricut expressions 2. do any of you own a cricut? i don’t know much about them but i know i really want one. haha.

that is all i have for now.

time to read more blogs…

xoxo

random photos from saipan…august 27-september 28…

august 27, date of arrival. meet cupcake. she was given to me by my friend, tiffany, to keep me company during my stay here on saipan. here, she is sitting next to the first book of the worst trilogy ever made. #bigpurchaseregret

 

august 28. one of my favorite drinks on island.

 

august 28. my mom fried this fish for me for dinner, served with breadfruit. i totally threw it up half an hour later. i felt so bad. it was good but i guess my stomach was still being picky from all the nerves i had before leaving texas. i had trouble eating back then…

 

august 30. while on saipan, i would never suggest getting a steak for dinner. i stick to what the location is known for, and that’s raw fish and island food. i hope that prime rib i had the night before i left texas is enough to hold me over for a year…

 

august 31. it’s a road. by the beach. conveniently called BEACH ROAD.

 

august 31. cupcake and my BFF, 2 ball, hanging out at a japanese restaurant.

 

september 3. first time seeing dragon fruit at my dad’s rotary club meeting.

 

september 3. holy #@$%!!! a case of soda! on SALE!

 

september 5. look at those ships!!

 

september 6. a nicer photo of beach road.

 

september 7. represent.

 

september 7. i stalked a cupcakery called sweet escape one night…

 

september 8. the spa.

 

september 10. cupcakes from sweet escape. peanut butter chocolate chip was obviously my favorite.

 

september 11. my dad’s rotary club celebrated the september birthdays. look at that cake!

 

september 11. my dad blowing out the “candle.”

 

september 12. my dad and i at a ribbon cutting event for the expansion of one of the elementary schools.

 

september 24. got to tour the USS Cowpens, the cruiser. the USS McCampbell is the destroyer next to it.

 

september 28. the MMA fight.

 

that is all for now. or at least for this blog.

enjoy!

xoxo