Sweets & Treats Gallery

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

every bride is beautiful on her wedding day...

And here are some photos from the wedding I just got back from on the island of Chincoteague, VA. I was the novice wedding photographer and the semi-pro make-up artist! ;) Enjoy!
Gil & Mary a sweet couple! I couldn't be happier for them or happier to be apart of their day! Congrats & best wishes!
Sweet Bean

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

starting with the end in mind...

For this post, I'd like to start with the end in mind, but at the very beginning.
That's my oldest/lonegest friend, Amy, on the far right. Here she is with Joe and Stephanie, friends we met at the concert from Michigan, leaving the Dave Matthews Band concert on Friday night. We were literally jumping for joy because the concert was sooo good! DMB played for nearly three hours. Amy had an emotional moment and we both had a blast.

This is Amy shortly before the end of the show. Look at my beautiful friend, glowing as bright as the stage behind her. She is a one-of-a-kind lady: full of life, love and gratitude! She makes everything fun!

This is Dave playing Some Devil. It was magical.

This is a pretty shot of Dave performing. It's a little blurry, but still beautiful. Amy and I are slightly obsessed with Dave's quirky cuteness! I remember singing DMB songs in middle school, belting out lyrics for emotions we had yet to experience. And as life went on, DMB's lyrics started to mean more and accompany us through heart break, loss of life, carefree days and times when we were, as always, too mature for our age!
 All night I kept making Amy do "artsy fartsy" poses while I captured the moment. I'll save all of those photos for my own personal delight. But this was a DMB artsy fartsy shot and I love how it turned out, blurs and all!
This was the first Dave sighting. Like always, he came out to introduce the opening act, who was also awesome! It's kind of ridiculous that a grown, married woman is such a school girl for a man she's never met... I heart DM!

This is Amy Marie. I have known her since I was 2. She is more like a sister than a friend. What I like best about Amy is that she is true to herself. She doesn't try to be someone else. And by being 100% herself, she allows others to be themselves. If only everyone had an Amy in their life...

These are the super classy peach belinis we made in the parking lot of the concert after a stop into a gas station convenience store. They were yummy. Sipping a belini pre-concert made me feel like an adult. Sometimes I get glimpses of my young self wishing for adulthood because it looked so cool. Drinking peach belinis before a concert, having slumber parties with my husband, staying up late, watching a movie on a week night... all childhood fantasies come true!
These are our fancy tickets! Oooh la la!
Belini supplies and a thumbs up!
My cute driver and concert companion!
And finally, we're back to the beginning. Thank you, Amy Marie, for being a thoughtful, generous, loyal friend for over 25 years! I wouldn't be who I am without you, sister!

Sweet Bean

Monday, August 09, 2010

bicycle, bicycle...

Back in June my husband and I decided to get us bikes. It was supposed to be a surprise, but somehow I ended up finding out about the purchase. After work I arrived home to find my adorable new bike waiting for me! The cruiser bike is, in what my mother calls, “my colors!” Two years ago that would have meant the bike was pink and cream with vintage roses all over it. But since merging my life with Penguin, “my colors” mean robin’s egg aqua blue, pail yellow/cream and milk chocolate brown—just like my beautiful dining room! Both the bike and my dining room are GORG (gorgeous)!!! Penguin and I immediately named our bikes. His bike is named Rocky as is Rocky Road ice cream (his favorite) and as in the paths he will be traveling on his bike. My bike’s name is Mint Julep—Julie for short! For obvious reasons, I named my bike Mint Julep because of the icy, mint blue (mint leaves, iced drink), the brown (bourbon) and the silver rims (the julep cup). So cute! I was impressed with my self on that. Ha, ha.

We’ve taken the bikes out for a few rides. My favorite memory so far is the 4th of July ride with our good friends Josh and Catherine. I was the last one out of the house. I come out to find Josh and Catherine in helmets on their mountain bikes and Penguin on his mountain bike (we still need helmets). I come out in a causal outfit for cruising on my cruiser. I was not looking the part, especially next to three people who actually looked like cyclists.
Down to the park we rode only to learn that the major walking and biking trails were closed in preparation for that night’s firework display. That’s when Julie met the likes of off-roading and the grass. Yowzers! My quads were burning. Cruisers are just that: cruisers. Thankfully, Josh, Catherine and Penguin were kind enough (and forgiving enough) to stop once we’d crossed the large open field of grass to give me a break. It was at this point that my knees started to ache from the low seat. I’m 6 feet tall… the seat was for someone in the 5’5’’ range of height. Josh, also known as MacGyver, fondly, found a random piece of litter. He dismantled my seat, took the heavy plastic piece of litter and fitted it to the bar of my seat, and reassembled it right there in the park. It was just the fix I my little bike needed! Tall and proud I rode home leading the way. The height Josh had created gave my knees just the distance they needed! Sure, it looks a little strange, but I can actually ride my bike comfortably now!
On another, different note, we love Josh and Catherine. Josh, the best man at our wedding, is Penguin’s best friend. Over the years I have seen their amazing friendship close up. It’s simple, unpresumptuous and enjoyable. Penguin and Josh have an unspoken (at least unspoken in front of me) respect for each other. I always say that besides me, Josh is Penguin’s biggest fan. Sometimes I think Josh knows Penguin’s heart better than even I do. They really get each other and they don’t have to prove it (or anything) to one another. I have always liked Josh and when I feel in love with Penguin, I felt deeply appreciative that he had someone like Josh in his life.
The first time I met Catherine, Josh’s now fiancée (to be wedded in mid-September) I was visiting Josh in San Diego. Actually, I was visiting my friend from college who also lived in San Diego and worked it out to see Josh while I was down there. I met them for breakfast at a café. I ordered delicious pumpkin pancakes, but I digress. I immediately liked Catherine. She was quiet and reserved, but kindness radiated out of her. After they moved from San Diego back to the bay area, we all saw each other more often. And after a few one on one experiences with Catherine (like surviving a drive to a bridal shower that should have taken 30 minutes but ended up being an hour and half… SO FRUSTRATING!), I have found not just an acquaintance who is the fiancée of my husband’s best friend, but a friend of my own.
At this point in life, and maybe other late-twenty-some-things can relate, I just don’t have the time, energy, or desire to waste on people that don’t matter and don’t infinitely improve my life. Catherine does, and sometimes I think we were cut from the same cloth. She is so easy to talk to and because our men are the ultimate optimists who never have an ill thing to say about anyone/thing, I find refuge in Catherine who has a similar sense of humor/honesty and likes to vent (not bitch, right…?) about the way things are. And when I was at the lowest I’ve been in my year-long battle with depression, Catherine is someone (and thanks to Lyns, Sarah, Amy, Michelle, Moma and Penguin who were also very supportive!!) I could totally open up to. I’m not sure she was ready for, expecting or happy that I did… but she was there, with an open heart and a quiet honesty about her own life that told me she will be a life long friend. And thank the good Lord for it! I feel lucky to love Josh and Catherine so much and to love being with them so much. They are family! And when Josh and Jason are out and about being busy boys, Catherine and I can sit and waste the day away doing nothing… but not even know we’re doing nothing because an hour has passed and we’ve just discovered we are basically the same person, accept I am loud and obnoxious and she’s quiet and graceful! J
All that to say, if I had to be the dorky, whiny, big girl lagging behind on a cruiser bike, at least I was with family. And, I love my bike! I still need a helmet and I want a basket for my frequent trips to the library and the grocery store, all within biking distance from our home. And some ribbon tassels or spokes noise makers would be fun too! But one thing at a time...
Happy Monday!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

waiting for baby mason...

This is Lynsey.  She's pregnant with baby boy Mason! I can't wait to see her be a mommy!!!  She will be terrific!!!

It's safe to say I would do anything for Lynsey, who's loyalty, sacrifice and friendship have known no bounds or limits.  I've seen her in action: she was my matron of honor!  More importantly, she's been a great friend to me since my sophomore year of highschool.  And I followed her to college too, where she always had my back and introduced me to my hubby!  I adore her and I am beyond excited to meet little Mason, my nephew, arriving this fall!
My mom and I hosted a baby shower for her. It was a chocolate and blue bonanza! It was a positively perfect evening for a shower!  And I was thrilled with how everything turned out. It was my first baby shower. Lynsey and her guests were delighted, pampered and pleased!
Chocoalte table clothes with blue napkins folded and pinned like diapers.
Party games and pencils in "Mason" jars, which Lyns noticed right away!
Lysney's Momma, Patty, provided the beautiful daisies. 
Daisies are the perfect shower flower!
Gift to Mommy-to-Be: A clothesline filled with onesies and socks!
Yummy food table with light, fresh food.
A gift for baby Mason also used as part decor.
Teddy bears!
Diaper drawing!  One raffle ticket for
every pack of diapers each guest brought!
Diaper drawing tickets.
Mint filled mini diapers for party favors!  Lyns loves buttermints too!
Blue & white straws in a "Mason" jar.
Make-Your-Own Drink Bar Menu.
Party favors just for the Grandmas: vanilla spiced
 sugar jars cause little boys are snips, snails and puppy dog
tails, but Grandma's are sugar, spice and everything nice!
The 100% homemade dessert bar!
The life of the party: marsh mellow pops!
Candied pretzel wands.
Homemade orange cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting;
chocolate chip cupcakes with chocoalte frosting.
Homemade orange cupcakes with vanilla bean
frosting; cherry almond cupcakes with my famous
triple lemon frosting.
Mint brownie pops. Cute!
Sprinkle bar for ice cream cups!
We had so much fun planning this shower for Lynsey!  It was a very festive way to celebrate Mason's arrival.  Let the count down begin....!

Sweet Bean
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