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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

question(s) of the week

i wish there was a feature on this site that shows you where your followers are from. i can view where my visitors are from, but i’d rather know where my followers are from.

question(s):

where are you currently located?

how long have you lived there?

what are your 2 favorite things about your current residence?

i am currently located in dallas, texas. in november it will be my 10th year here (major WHOA!!!!). besides the obvious “friends and family” answer, i will say that the first 2 favorite things that come to mind when i think of texas are the yummy medium rare ribeyes that i get to eat and the texan accents that i get to hear. it is definitely not the summer weather. 

 

xoxo,

sierra lei

happy 4th!

this is the third year in a row that i have gone to lucas for the 4th of july. lucas is in the middle of nowhere. there are 2 huge fireworks stands and behind them are fields in which you can blow up your fireworks and park carnival-style to watch them as close or as far as you want from the site. you can park so close that the fireworks can be right above you, but no matter how far you are from the site, you will get rained on by debris. i think my brother, sister, and i are the only ones that have gone to lucas all 3 times in a row. the group we go with has been different every year, but they have always been fun. this year was the best so far because my brother found the fireworks feature on my camera, so we got to capture some amazing photos. i had issues using the flash on my camera because there was SO MUCH debris and smoke in the air, so we had to improvise and use my sister’s iphone flashlight app and try different ISO/fireworks/auto settings. we got some great photos, and i have to share them RIGHT NOW……

i hope you all had a wonderful and safe 4th of july! 

the entry sign…

 

this was one of the first shots my brother took when he got my camera on the fireworks setting!

 

this was my favorite picture because it was one of my firsts on the fireworks setting! i was super excited!

 

this was my favorite photo that my brother took because he captured the firework on the right which was about to blow up and looks like a flower!

 

you can see the cars below…it was a packed house this year!

 

snacks, coolers of drinks, blankets, and cameras. check!

 

this is such a pretty one!

 

yay for fireworks!

 

love. this. photo!

 

great photo of my sister and tiffany.

 

girls!

 

the guys were fun to photograph!

 

…and another one…

 

hilarious!

 

time is up, blow up all your fireworks before you leave!

 

finale!

 

jammed music in my car so long that my battery died and these guys jumped my car! thanks, guys! =)

 

they probably didn’t believe that i’d blog about them. this is why i need business cards. lol.

 

 

xoxo! =)

01/05/2012 random post

it’s an ungodly hour of the night and i’m back to being a night owl…again.

here is a bunch of random thoughts….

a junior high/high school friend of mine is getting married back home (saipan) on the 7th. one of the downfalls of working in the retail industry is that there is no vacation time around the holidays (and that would be in between october and february). i would have loved to be at the wedding, and would have loved to see my parents who i haven’t seen in 3 years (*sob*), and would have loved to bask in the saipan sun during these cold winter months. but for now, best wishes to my friend and her soon-to-be husband! i wish them all the best. =)

after work, i grabbed a late dinner with a friend. we chatted over finger foods, non-alcoholic beverages, and dessert at TGIFridays because it was the only place open late on a wednesday night. we happened to sit next to neat wall decor…and of course, since i have my camera handy at all times, here are 2 winning pictures of the night:

 

 

 

excellent. 

during our late-night girl pow wow sessions, we can talk about anything with or without substance…like the crazy night out we had a few days ago…or the cute boys we recently met…or figuring out where i should live in the next few months…or dating, in general.

which brought up an idea for my blog…

should i start blogging about my dating life?

i’m about to turn 30 and i’m single. 

(alright, so i began blogging to post up shoe and cupcake inspirations on top of posting about everyday random acts of kindness and the positive things that happen in my life…and then i started posting tons of pictures of events that i’ve attended, on top of posting about the jewelry i wear to work…..and now DATING?…..yes.)

but wouldn’t that make for a good blog topic every once in a while? i guess it would if the stories were interesting. i’m not sure how exciting my dating life would be. but the characters that pursue me are pretty interesting individuals, that’s for sure.

i will make sure to change the names of each individual, to prevent embarrassment and shame.

JUST KIDDING…on the latter part, not the former.

i might even go as far as asking y’all, the readers, to name each person i talk about. that would be fun. but let’s not get carried away with the nicknames or anything…we’ll keep it simple.

and with that being said…

i am suppose to meet someone this week….i don’t like to say, “go on a date” because i’m stubborn and it sounds too official. also, it was suppose to be a “date” but because i’m still recovering from being sick earlier this week, eating wouldn’t be a great idea since my tummy still needs to take baby steps before it starts consuming food like a starving man….i didn’t even feel well after eating finger foods tonight. bleh. so this indian dining experience has to be put on hold until a later date (it sounded great, though…like one of those dates in which it would take me 4 hours and 23 outfit changes to get ready before i decide on a cute top and jeans in the end…and maybe a paper bag to breath in and out of because i’d be way too nervous). we might just make it a coffee-grabbing deal instead.

but back to this guy. he’s 35. he’s hispanic. he’s handsome. he’s a libra (for all you zodiac-crazy friends of mine). and he’s very passionate about traveling…which i’m very envious of, because i would be completely content with visiting half of the places he has. he just got back from spending a month out of the country for “christmas break” as i like to call it. must be nice. i can already predict the dialogue when we meet:

him: so how was your christmas?

me: so what was the first thing you ate when you got there?

him: and how was work this holiday season?

me: so did you eat any good dessert?

him: so what are you doing next week?

me: what was the best thing you ate there?

oh, of course i’m gonna wonder if he took pictures of his food, but i already know he didn’t….because only crazy people do that…

why did i tell my mom that i was going on a “date” this week? now she’s going to be sitting around with her phone in hand, waiting for me to call her…every day…until i do. and then she’s going to want to know every detail. i guess i better meet this guy so i can give her good mother/daughter girly gossip. now that i think about it, that would be fun. we have discussed boyfriends in the past, but not prospects or “first dates.” *getting nervous*

i’m going to end this topic now before i ruin anything…tune in later on this week for an update on whether it was a hit or miss or epic fail. thank you.

in other news…

i have a new journal for 2012. and yes, it’s a moleskine. it’s the moleskine 2012 daily diary/planner. it has a page per day, so it will force me to write in it every day. it can’t be hard to write a page a day, right? WRONG. i failed miserably in 2010-not even half the journal was written in. i was very upset. so this year, i am determined to write/draw/scribble in it every day. whether it’s a full page of a terrible rant or a scribble of a song lyric or a drawing of something that i got bored and doodled, i will have something in my journal every day. that is one of my resolutions.

what is my other new year resolution?

to meet and blog about one person a week. that’s 52 new people i meet for 2012. these will not be people i already know-they must start off as complete strangers. i will accept them if they are friends of friends, so long as i have never met them. this one might be hard because i could spend weeks hiding under a rock…so i guess i better be social…and i better be social OUT of the pool hall. i do meet some interesting individuals there, though. my camera will be with me, and there will be pictures of these new and potential friends. =) cheers to this adventure!

my other resolutions are personal, but once achieved, i will definitely blog about them. =)

i haven’t shot pool in weeks…and it feels kinda good…i’m not sure whether i will be shooting pool by the end of the year or not. we’ll see about that. more on that in another blog.

i guess i should get some rest now. thank you for reading my random junk of the evening. =)

xoxo