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

 

DSC08119

 

 

DSC08131

 

 

DSC08144

 

 

DSC08148

 

 

DSC08202

 

 

DSC08184

 

 

DSC08192

 

 

DSC08217

 

 

DSC08263

 

 

DSC08295

 

 

DSC08334

 

 

DSC08341

 

 

DSC08344

 

 

DSC08365

 

 

DSC08400

 

 

DSC08526

 

 

DSC08562

 

 

DSC08571

 

 

DSC08623

Advertisements

30 for 30

my sister turned 30 this year. when she turned 21, i took her to get her nails done and i bought us matching outfits and accessories. i wasn’t too fond of fake nails, but i kept the tradition of dressing alike for her birthday for a few years. here are some pictures of my sister and i dressing alike, some on her birthday and some not:

DSC03378

DSC03565

DSC02614

DSC03659

aside from dressing alike, i have taken my sister out to dinner or have arranged for birthday dinners for her. we had fondue one year, just the two of us. i took her to her favorite restaurant another year, the old warsaw. a big group of us took her to dinner at a japanese buffet restaurant, tokyo one. dinners are always the main part of birthdays, but i wanted my sister’s 30th birthday to be very different than the others. for my 30th birthday last year, i had an awesome dinner with friends, followed by an after-party at a bar. i pretty much celebrated my 30th birthday all week. well, my sister doesn’t do that. she doesn’t go out much, she doesn’t go to bars, and she surely does not go to clubs. she’s on her last leg of school and currently student teaches third grade. she gets up at some ungodly hour of the morning, goes to school, comes home, prepares for her next day, and is in bed by 9. her birthday was on a monday and i wanted to do something on her actual birthday instead of on the weekend prior, so i took all that information and came up with giving her 30 gifts for her 30th birthday. before i came up with the idea, she would always say she needed “teacher’s clothes” and i would hear stories about the rules that teachers had and stories about her students. after i came up with the idea, i took the stories and incorporated them into the gifts that i would get her.

i started my 30 for 30 project by listing all the things i wanted to get my sister. aside from the teacher theme i was going for, i also had down a list of things that i knew she wanted or thought she would enjoy. she’s very much into the paris theme at the moment, so that helped with some gifts. i called my dad the day i came up with the idea, and he made some great gift suggestions.  i told some of my friends, too, and they came up with some neat ideas. of course 30 gifts would cost a ton of money, but i tried to play it smart-to shop sales, shop clearance, use coupons, etc. i had about a month to shop, so i did every chance that i got. working in a mall helped because i was able to swing by a store on a break or look around for ideas. she had been wanting good eyeshadows in neutral shades so i got her the latest mini naked palette that came out by urban decay. i love my naked 2 palette, it’s amazing and i use it all the time. she had been obsessing over a bobbi brown lipstick of mine, threatening to steal it, so i brought it out while shopping and found her a few lipsticks in a similar shade. i got her some gift cards so she could buy whatever she wanted from certain stores. i studied her closet to see what she had been recently purchasing to figure out what to buy as far as teacher’s clothes go. some major department stores were running ridiculous sales on top of their clearance so i would spend what seemed like forever going through every piece of clothing. i found amazing dresses and tops and belts and accessories at ridiculous prices. the prices were so low that i was putting multiple gifts in one box. my 30 for 30 was probably 80 for 30 or something, if we counted every item. haha. some gifts were gag gifts. bath and body works had an anti-bacterial soap sale and i got her a bunch of full-sized soaps “because her students have germs.” she student teaches third grade. i also hand made her a “survival kit for naughty students” which consisted of a yardstick, a roll of duct tape, a bar of soap, and a dunce cap. as far as the paris theme goes, i got her an eiffel tower necklace, sets of notecards with her name personalized on them, and the very last gift she opened was an amazing memory board that my friend/co-worker handmade for her. my friend, amber, makes memory boards and sells them on etsy and she couldn’t have made it any more perfect. i was SO excited when i got to see it in person and i was SO sure that it was going to be my sister’s favorite gift out of all of them, so i made it #30, the grand finale. if any of you want custom-made memory boards, you really should check out my friend on etsy. she is very talented. i’m having her make one for my new black/gray/pink bedroom and my co-workers have thrown their orders in as well. if you want to look at her work, click here.

also, my sister was not a big card person. how funny, since i’m the complete opposite. so…i thought it would be funny to attach a card to all her gifts. hahahaha.

if any of you think of doing this for a birthday, for any age, it’s really fun and it doesn’t have to cost much if you shopped like i did. sign up for email alerts or rewards memberships from stores and use coupons. shop sales and clearance racks. hand make things. but allow yourself enough time to get everything together-and wrapped. i am a professional gift wrapper, so of course everything had to look perfect-and it wasn’t as hard, because i think wrapping them all was the most time-consuming part.

aside from the 30 for 30 gifts, we took my sister out to 2 nice dinners within her birthday week. it was fun and delicious.

here is a captioned photo gallery of my 30 for 30 project. enjoy!

xoxo

 

one of the first gifts i wrapped...with a card.

one of the first gifts i wrapped…with a card.

 

hiding gifts results in only one thing: putting them in the trunk.

hiding gifts results in only one thing: putting them in the trunk.

 

hiding fully wrapped gifts in a closet.

hiding fully wrapped gifts in a closet.

 

while she was at school, i took the day off from work to set up.

while she was at school, i took the day off from work to set up.

 

i had my sister blindfolded when i brought her in the house. this is her shocked face.

i had my sister blindfolded when i brought her in the house. this is her shocked face.

 

gift #1: bread pudding, one of her favorite desserts.

gift #1: bread pudding, one of her favorite desserts.

 

teacher's kit for naughty students. the dunce cap.

teacher’s kit for naughty students. the dunce cap.

 

this was a gift that wasn't on my list but was perfect for the teacher's kit. like a boss!

this was a gift that wasn’t on my list but was perfect for the teacher’s kit. like a boss!

 

dad's idea. chicken soup for the teacher's soul. we grew up reading chicken soup books. it was perfect.

dad’s idea. chicken soup for the teacher’s soul. we grew up reading chicken soup books. it was perfect.

 

she knew what this gift was. i made her try on a NIQUEA.D necklace from papyrus and she fell in love with it and wanted it so bad. so i got it for her.

she knew what this gift was. i made her try on a NIQUEA.D necklace from papyrus and she fell in love with it and wanted it so bad. so i got it for her.

 

putting her necklace on.

putting her necklace on.

 

oooooohhhh.....

oooooohhhh…..

 

gift #30!!!!! the memory board that my friend hand made for my sister!

gift #30!!!!! the memory board that my friend hand made for my sister!

 

 

we used my niece as a prop. she's a great actress.

we used my niece as a prop. she’s a great actress.

 

one of my sister's 2 birthday dinners.

one of my sister’s 2 birthday dinners.

 

 

 

 

mother’s day cards

mother’s day is coming up. sunday, may 12, for those of you who have no clue.

don’t forget to give your mom a mother’s day card.

I REPEAT: DO NOT FORGET TO GIVE YOUR MOM A MOTHER’S DAY CARD.

and anyone else who is a mother that you care about (boy, do i have a list).

for all the foodies out there, here are 3 food/drink-related cards that you might enjoy from papyrus:

 

Camera 360 Camera 360 Camera 360

 

 

the macarons are starting to take over, but they will never replace cupcake cards. i wouldn’t even be able to post a blog on all the cupcake cards that papyrus has-there are so many cute ones. i have yet to see a cupcake mother’s day card, but i am SURE they have one this year. i am so sure of it……………i hope they do………

xoxo

november at a glance

november 2: we have fun at work. this here is samantha sporting one of our 2011 holiday ornaments…

NOVEMBER 8: these are the fashion glam earrings i want from NIQUEA.D PAPYRUS NORTHPARK.

NOVEMBER 9: this is what boys do in pool halls in between games. they arm wrestle to prove…um…who’s stronger?

NOVEMBER 12: i helped decorate and attended a quinceanera. 

NOVEMBER 16: i did a radio interview with 103.7 LITE FM for a segment called “READY, SET…CHRISTMAS!” which was released on november 27. it was a fun radio interview, but the funny thing is that the interview got released on paige’s “NOT SO PERFECT PARENT” website, and it was completely shortened and…..not really anything i had said. haha. but CLICK HERE to read the 8-10 minute interview that turned into a 1 question, 1 answer article.  here are some pictures from the interview. what happened was that i brought a wrapped display and one of the deejays was suppose to copy it as we were doing the interview. it was hilarious. the last picture is just of a display i did for our northpark location.

NOVEMBER 17: over 5 years later, i am still in love with my nephew. i came home one night to capture this. 

NOVEMBER 18: my buddy, tony, and i went to the JEAN PAUL GAULTIER exhibit at the dallas museum of art. of course, we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the exhibit, as it was exclusive to dallas and there was security ALL OVER THE PLACE, but that’s what the entry way was for.

NOVEMBER 19: my lovely friend, mishi, invited me to a party and i got to dress up! this was such an amazing weekend!

NOVEMBER 20: chromeo was in town (*tear*) but after work, 2 of my girlfriends and i went to visit a friend of ours that got out of surgery the week before. his mom made lemon bars, pecan pie, and starbucks coffee for us……so yummy!!!!!! we all just lounged around the living room, watching tv, and gossiping. fun times!

NOVEMBER 24: thanksgiving, my favorite holiday of the year. we spent this holiday at my brother’s girlfriend’s house. my nephew was obsessed with the trampoline, so he was on it all day. we opted for lunch instead of dinner, so we got to take naps in the evening. the weather was nice. it was fun. =) 

NOVEMBER 27: select papyrus stores came out with a signature wrap for the holidays. the toppers were handmade by yours truly. i spent the next few days wrapping displays for our 4 dallas locations and training them on how to do each topper.  these are 4 of the 6 wrapped displays: 

NOVEMBER 30: some co workers and i got together for dinner at chuy’s in dallas to wind down from our hectic past few weeks. these are some of the amazing people that fulfill your custom printing/gift wrapping/jewelry/gifting needs in the dallas (northpark, dallas galleria, southlake, and the shops of willowbend) market: 

i apologize for not blogging lately in the past few weeks. as you can tell, the holiday season has kept me quite busy. i have been at our northpark location for the past 3 weeks, so it has been quite an adventure in that store. i still haven’t completed half of my christmas shopping, so i really need to get on that. other than that, i hope y’all had a wonderful thanksgiving and will have a fabulous christmas!

xoxo

sugary sweets and gift wrapping

this morning (as i mentioned on facebook), i was throwing out some trash at work and the fed ex guy gave me 3 bags of peanut M&Ms. yesssss!!! he’s so sweet, that fed ex guy. he doesn’t even deliver to my store, but he brings me all the free candy that he gets from the other stores-especially GODIVA! ❤ every day that he sees me, he pops in to greet me and make me smile because he says it makes his day-my smile. what a sweetie. he’s always following up on what is going on with my life. he’s just so nice and pleasant every day. i wonder what he’s like on one of his BAD DAYS. i can’t even imagine, being that he’s always in such a chipper mood. he sometimes comes in to buy a little something for his girlfriend or his son. he’s so thoughtful.

notice how i use that adjective a lot when describing my friends. thoughtful. and i’m blessed to have those thoughtful friends in my life. because i could have a lot worse. haha.

but that fed ex guy. he’s so cool.

and then jonathan walks in to work a few hours later and hands me…………………

CUPCAKES!!!!!!

sugar queen cupcakes.

they are a whole lotta YUM. i’ve been munching on their cupcakes since the week they opened. and i don’t even remember when they opened, to be honest-it doesn’t feel as if it’s been a year yet. i just remember being on a mission to try every single one of their flavors at least once.

the close up pictures i took are of their confetti birthday cake, pumpkin spice, chocolate, and berry pecan. the berry pecan is named THE OFFICIAL CUPCAKE OF TEXAS (the story behind that is on their website). that was actually their first flavor i bought. it’s a strawberry/vanilla flavored cupcake with pecans and toasted coconut in it….don’t knock it ’til you try it! it’s…so…good…sugar queen cupcakes has 2 locations, one at the shops of willow bend and one at the stonebriar mall. they make their cupcakes fresh, and i love the density of the cake. i love their flavors, too. snickerdoodle is one of my favorites, and although i do NOT like key lime pie, their cream cheese lime is delish. the one flavor i really want to try is their root beer float!! i have yet to snag one of those root beer float cupcakes. i could eat these cupcakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. yes, i make cupcakes, but i don’t eat my own, so i need someone else’s to munch on. =) i love their manager, stephanie. she’s the sweetest. it’s always wonderful to have a good shop with good people. ❤

…and back to jonathan…

jonathan is my boss. he’s been my boss on and off for a few years. we’ve known each other longer than we have worked together. in fact, that’s how we ended up working together.

let’s take it WAAAAAAAAY back in the day…….

we met on christmas of the year 2004 (whaaaaaaaaat!?!? that’s insane!)…

i just started dating his brother at the time-it was our first christmas together. i went over to my (now ex) boyfriend’s place and jonathan was with one of his best friends, tamara….along with a bottle of a beverage and bomb pops. every time i hear “bomb pops” it INSTANTLY takes me to christmas of ’04 with jonathan and tamara. i’m not even sure if they remember that christmas, they seemed to be having a party of their own even with david and i in the room. they were fun. so jonathan started off as “my boyfriend’s brother.”

over the next year and a half, i saw jonathan a few times, here and there…whether it was going to a concert or going to dinner, but it was always connected with his brother.

and then in july of ’06, i had a job interview on my (now ex) boyfriend’s birthday for a store called PAPYRUS.

fabulous interview. best job interview i’ve ever had.

jonathan met up with us to celebrate his brother’s birthday and i said, “you gotta go in that store, i just had a job interview. i think you’ll like it! check if you can get interviewed!” or something along those lines…

and jonathan ends up with a job interview that lasted about 4 times longer than mine.

THAT is how we ended up working together. =) he got hired to work at the northpark location, i got hired to open up the shops of willow bend location, and here we are…FIVE AND A HALF YEARS LATER and still working together. 

we became closer and our brothers became closer. it would be awesome if we could do a “sibling trade off.” our brothers love their sports and college football and jonathan and i love our fashion and fun.

and more randomness and more about jonathan…

jonathan introduces me to new music, funny videos, and cool websites that i happen to always love.

jonathan loves carolina herrera. and vera wang.

jonathan is a fantastic gift giver. one christmas, he gave me a sephora perfume sampler, which i think is a fabulous gift to give. i love perfumes, and the set came with a bunch of perfume samples. i was to test them and rate them and pick my favorite sample to redeem for a full-size bottle. it took me a few months before i chose 2 perfumes (got one for free and paid for the other one): harajuku lovers G, which was 2009’s women’s fragrance of the year, and aquolina’s pink sugar. another christmas, he gave me a lola marc jacobs perfume ring. i love accessories AND lola marc jacobs was actually 2010’s women’s fragrance of the year! i’m not sure if he knew that…and another christmas, one of the gifts he got me was a porcelain coffee mug…because i love coffee…and the funny thing was that before he gave me the gift, i almost told him about how i saw “a porcelain coffee mug” in a store and wanted it. i laughed when i opened the gift. it was such the craziest coincidence because it was the exact mug i wanted. jonathan’s thoughtfulness (there’s that word again) and “attention to detail” is what makes him such a great friend.

he’s sassy and he’s sweet. 

someone needs to write a book of all the slangs and smart-alecky sayings that come out of jonathan’s mouth.

el. oh. el.

he’s too much fun.

and here are some random pictures of us:

i told him that he needs to start blogging. he’d be great at it.

another thing he is great at is being patient while wrapping a HUGE gift!!!!!!!!!!!!

behold, project I HOPE WE NEVER HAVE TO WRAP CAR SEATS AND STROLLERS AGAIN

now…before you ooh and aah about jonathan’s fierce “i can wrap anything larger than life” skills and want him to wrap the next dresser set you purchase as a wedding gift, ask yourself if you really want to spend over $60 to have someone wrap a large gift like that for you. i’m not going to lie, i was super happy with the fact that i actually had the CHOICE as to whether i wanted to wrap those honkin’ huge boxes or not. it felt like a vacation watching jonathan wrap those boxes. but i felt sorry for him at the same time. that was a lot of double stick tape, slowly-flipping-the-boxes-numerous-times-without-creasing-the-paper, and “i want to kill myself” for me to handle. those 2 boxes required a total of 5 rolls of wrapping paper, 9 spools of ribbon, and a lot of sanity.

thank you, jonathan, for the cupcakes today…and thank you for not letting me wrap those gifts. =)

you’re the best boss, ever!

xoxo

new ear bling

one of my girlfriends, jessica, went to LA for the adobe MAX conference a few weeks ago.

she is one of the most thoughtful people i know.

…a little bit about jessica…

we have known each other for a total of about 8 or 9 years now. i could actually say that i have known her the longest out of all my girlfriends. she was more of an acquaintance when i first met her, and then became closer as a friend in the past 4-5 years. we got much closer as friends when we started shooting in our pool league. here is a picture of the first team we were both on together:

that was our winning team…*sigh*…i miss getting all those shiny trophies…

anyways, back to jessica…

here are a few random pictures of us:

i think the highlight of our friendship definitely has to be the fact that i got to be a part of her wedding this year.

she jokes around about how we are such good friends because we share the love of PINK! haha!

anyways…that’s my little friendship with jessica in a photo gallery of goodness.

when we shop, we see cute things and think of each other-and then we buy each other a bunch of things.

although it’s not pink, she bought me these pair of earrings, which i SUPERlove:

thank you, JEP! ❤

of course i wore them to work the day after she gifted them to me. and, of course, i have a necklace that happens to match it!

another pair of new earrings i got are NIQUEA.D, the new jewelry/accessories line at our northpark location.

i figured i’d wear them to work and chat up my customers about the new brand since they always compliment me on my earrings.

i love these:

i love my new ear bling.

xoxo