Sunday, August 25, 2013

Memory Charms for Wedding

One of the most bittersweet things about everything to do with my wedding was the fact that my grandpa's wouldn't be there with us to celebrate.  I am so happy that Adam got to meet both of my grandfather's before they passed and I know they both really liked him.  There's so many things about Adam that remind me of my mom's dad.  I wanted to honor my grandpas on our special day so I checked out several options.  I know a lot of people do the roses on chairs in memory of but I didn't want to see the empty chairs or have my grandmas sitting beside these empty chairs so that wasn't a good option for me.  Then, I came across memory charms that you can attach to your dress, bouquet, etc.  Perfect!  These were actually one of the first things I ordered last summer.  I found them on etsy and the vendor is Designs by Tami.  Love the final result.  



Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fantabulous Cricut Challenge #174 -- Camping Theme

When I first read the challenge for this week over at the Fantabulous Cricut, I was stumped.  I AM not a "camping" type of gal.  I don't camp, I don't hunt, I don't fish... HOWEVER, I DO have a previous baby niece who just went camping/fishing last weekend!!  I had some adorable pics of her on my iPhone that my family sent so I had them printed at Walgreens while I was at work today and threw together this layout when I got home.  LOVE how it turned out!!!  I facetimed my niece and showed her and got her approval as well.  She said when she's older she's going to draw things and I'll create the scrapbooks :-)  sounds like a game plan to me!

I used 3 Cricut cartridges for this layout:  Everyday Paper Dolls for the fish, Simply Charmed for the fishing rod and "Just Because" cards for the phrase.  I used the Swiss Dots embossing folder in my cuttlebug on "catch" and "later" and stamped the date with my new "Smash" date stamp.  My favorite part (other than the pics) is the fishing line!  Hope you enjoy! 

Friday, August 16, 2013

French Polynesia Travel Tips

I’ve been jotting down things as I remember on my ”list of things I wish I had known” before we went on our Honeymoon and thought I would share for those that are also thinking about making a trip to the beautiful French Polynesia. 

If you take the night flight into Tahiti, I would suggest getting a basic/non-bungalow room.  You land in the dark and Tahiti isn’t anywhere near as pretty as the other islands so it’s not worth the splurge.  We took a taxi to the Papeete (Papeete is the capital of French Polynesia) market before our ferry over to Moorea and spent a few hours walking around the downtown area.  There’s basically no shopping on Moorea or Bora Bora so if you want to purchase anything Tahiti’s your best bet.  I was a little leery about getting my black pearls at the first place/first morning but don’t regret it at all after seeing the shops at the Hilton s and the few scattered everywhere else.  I got my pearls at the Tahiti Pearl Market.  We actually got to pick the pearls and the settings and then came back 30 minutes later and they had set them.   

We started the whole process in April and it was major crunch time to get everything completed.  You do have the option of having your final check off dives at your vacation destination (if it’s offered) but that eats into your actual “dive” time and you can run into the language barrier with that option too.

We did everything through Choo Choo Dive in Chattanooga.  I have nothing but good things to say about this place – everyone we met and worked with there is on top of their game.    
We first did the Intro to Scuba class where you receive an explanation of the equipment, sign all the waivers and then get in the pool with the equipment (just the shallow end). 

After that, we signed up for the classes (Open Water Diver).  We went with the intense weekend course that was Friday evening and all day Saturday and Sunday.  Plus an additional Thursday evening to get a nitrox certification. 

Once you finish the classes you have to have 5 certification dives in order to be open water certified.  We did that at the rock quarry in Athens and it was FREEZING.  They do take weekend trips to Florida in the spring but with our timing we couldn’t fit it in.

Once we were on the honeymoon, we dove with Top Dive. Adam had pre-paid for the diving before we left (you get a slight discount) and can email with them etc to get any questions answered up front.   They have locations throughout the Polynesia but we decided to only dive Bora Bora.  We had 2 dives – first one we saw sharks and the second,  spotted eagle rays.  You don’t go far in the ocean at all so motion sickness wasn’t an issue.  You do have to plan your diving around when your flights are because you have to allow a certain amount of time to pass before you can safely fly.  Top Dive picked us up from our resort dock and returned us afterwards.
We did buy/take most of our equipment with us.  The only things we rented were ours BCs and tanks.  (Be prepared to spend a lot of money on diving equipment!!!!  I’m still in sticker shock but it’s like any other hobby/sport.. you can buy all levels of equipment with or without the bells and whistles). 

No type of heels/pumps whatsoever.  I wore the same sandals basically everyday/every meal/everywhere.  There’s sand everywhere and LOTS of walking involved (from the bungalows to the main resorts can take 10-15 minutes by foot). 

Leave anything perfume/lotion/scented home!  Bring plenty of bug spray and itch cream!  Let’s just say I learned the hard way!

If you are taking dive equipment, pack it in its own bag and don’t pack your diver certification cards—keep them in your purse/carry-on etc.  This saved us many times with not having to pay overweight fees… bat your eyes and say but we have dive equipment and then flash your cards!!

Men don’t need anything more than dressy looking shorts.  Adam took several pair of dress slacks and maybe wore one pair?  It was really too hot and khaki shorts seemed to be the norm/acceptable. 

We booked our own flight from Atlanta to LA and then our other flights were part of our package through the travel agency.  You just have to allow at least 4 hours between when you land and then take off so you can claim your bags, check in, re-check bags, go through security, customs, etc.  There’s only 2 flights a day into Tahiti so you don’t want to miss your flight!!!

When flying into Bora Bora be on the left side of the plane (you enter from the back, sit on the left so main aisle is to your right).

They are very strict about the baggage (weight/size) restrictions on the Air Tahiti airline.  We triple-checked everything before each flight!!

A can of pop is $5.  The Diet Coke tasted weird and the last day I discovered the Coke Zero was really more like Diet Coke.

We converted about $250 when we got to the airport in Tahiti.  When we got back to the states we converted back and had about $40 left.  For the majority of costs you can charge them.  Very little need for a lot of cash.   I always use my Capital One card for international travel because they’re one of the only credit cards (that I’m aware of anyway) that doesn’t charge an international fee per charge. 

When you’re at Moorea, lots of local restaurants will come pick you up/drop you back off for dinner.  There’s only 1 place to get dinner at the Hilton Resort in Moorea so it was nice to have options.  We had an amazing dinner at Rudy’s.   

Also, there’s other “dive” places within walking distance where you can grab lunch.  We had great paninis from a food truck in someone’s front yard J

When you’re in Bora Bora… there’s nothing other than the resort.  HOWEVER --- we had lunch at Bloody Mary’s on the “main land” and it was well worth the boat taxi fee.  You’d probably enjoy the dinner there too but we aren’t sea food people so lunch was just fine with us (best burger ever).  Either way – lunch or dinner – it’s something you HAVE to do while you’re there.

We did 4x4 jeep safari excursions on both Moorea and Bora Bora.  The one on Moorea went through the fruit plantations and by the juice factory (buy pineapple juice – it’s so good!!  We mixed it with champagne and had mimosas in our bungalow).  The one in Bora Bora was a last minute decision and I’m so glad we decided too.  We got to see the mainland and some gorgeous views of the lagoons.  It’s very humbling to see how the people live on the island – especially when you compare it to the glamour of the resorts. 

We stayed at both Hilton resorts (Moorea and Bora Bora) and they were fabulous.  We met another couple in Moorea at our resort that went on to stay at the Four Seasons in Bora Bora vs the Hilton.  I felt like I knew what I was getting staying at the Hilton – BUT – I may have possibly booked at the Four Seasons instead after seeing some of her pictures. 

If you stay at the Hilton in Bora Bora, you have to go up to the spa (massage was awesome) but even if you don’t get a massage, the spa is famous for the million dollar views.  Absolutely beautiful!! 

Make sure you ask when you book and when you check in for a bungalow that’s as far out as possible and facing away from the other bungalows.   

Here’s the company/agent we used to book.  She’s a little ding-batty but has been to the islands a few times and knew about the resorts, etc.

Kathy Schultz
Honeymoon and Romantic Get-Away Specialist
916-532-9757-Direct line

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fantabulous Cricut Challenge #173 -- Cool Treats

Today I'm taking a break from the wedding recaps to do a little scrapbooking!  When I have a few minutes, I love to see what's going on over at the Fantabulous Cricut Challenge blog!  This week's challenge was to make anything with a "cool treat" so I headed up to my scrapbook room and dug through some pics until I found something with ice cream!!  I kept coming across DQ ice cream cakes (a family favorite) but couldn't find any Cricut cuts to go with it and then I remembered this fun pic of Henderson eating dog ice cream!  This is totally unlike me to scrapbook something so out of order, but hey, when you're 3+ years behind what's it really matter right?!

The page is actually an 8x10 and will go in a horizontal Project Life page protector.  The ice cream sundae is cut from the Sweet Treats cartridge and then I used my CuttleBug to emboss the dish.  Eventually I'll add the date to the page (when I figure out what it was!!).  

And.. ironically enough, today is Henderson's 4th birthday!  This big guy brings so much joy to us and makes our family complete.  He and Mason were such good sports for this little photo shoot earlier tonight!!  

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Our Wedding Cakes

One of the things I had a lot of fun picking out were our wedding cakes.  I knew I wanted something classy, blinged out and elegant for our cake.  I spent a lot of time on Pinterest looking at "bling cakes" and then sketched out what I was thinking for the bakery that we used.  The cake turned out beautifully!! I loved that we were able to have it on display for the cocktail hour so everyone got to see it (and the groom's cake) before it was moved into the reception.  Our top layer that we saved was chocolate, next was strawberry, then wedding white and chocolate on the bottom.  The cake was so moist and so wonderful!  We didn't even have any left except for the top which we planned to save anyway.  I had a diamond pattern with gems on every other layer and a small rhinestone strand band and on the solid layers, they added a thicker rhinestone strand band.  The final touch was a few soft pink peonies on the top and then some random placements on the layers. 

Adam's cake was a surprise to him and a no-brainer for me on what to get... a Henderson replica!  He turned out awesome!! Hat's off to The Bakery in Athens, TN for creating such an awesome sculpted (yummy) cake.  He was made out of yellow pound cake and butter cream icing.  He really was too cute to cut!!

Can't wait til 10 months from now when we bust out the top!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Scentsy at the Wedding!

So hard to believe that we've already been married for two months (well, two months tomorrow).  What a wonderful two months it has been!!  I got all my thank you cards written (except for 2 more gifts we got this week) and most of the gifts put away or exchanged.  We were so blessed with so many wonderful goodies!!  Maybe I'll do a post on some of our fab gifts.  We used our Crock Pot for the first time Sunday - I am hooked!  Where has that been all my life?!  Going to try another recipe tomorrow.  I'll post the creamy chicken one we made from the weekend at some point too.  SO good and SO easy!  Win win!

To continue on with my wedding blogs about our wedding, I thought today I'd share how I combined my love of Scentsy with things in the wedding!  Since I'm a Scentsy consultant and also LOVE the product, I thought they would be the perfect items to add in our welcome bags and give as wedding favors.  I already posted about the welcome bags here -- I included various scent circles in each bag -- so here's a little about our wedding favors!

I used Scentsy Travel Tins and tied them with pink satin bows.  The tins are silver so they matched the color scheme perfectly!  I thought the tins looked adorable and smelled fabulous!  They must have been a hit with our guests too because they were all gone in no time!!  

I made a sign with the Cricut and the Cricut Craft Room software that said "We hope you had a scent-sational time!" to go with the tins.  

Interested in some Scentsy?? Send me a message or leave a comment below!  You'll never go back to candles!