Wedding Hair

I just secured a makeup artist to do hair and makeup for me and my bridesmaids. Since then, I've been scouring Pinterest for hairstyle inspiration. While I normally wear my hair down, I am planning to wear it up for the wedding. I'm planning to get my dance on, and I don't want my hair to look stringy. :) Here are a few of my favorite up-dos that I've found.

Any wedding hair tips?

Found here: {Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3}

Summer Platform Sandals

My favorite summer trend has to be platform sandals. The best thing about platforms is that they are tall, so they make your legs look long and lean, but they also have relatively flat soles, so they are super comfy and you can walk in them all day.

My two favorite pairs are:

What trends are you into this season?


Check out this amazing toy company designed to get more girls interested in engineering and science. Today my friend, Emily, volunteered at a "Bring Your Child to Work Day" event at Google, and GoldieBlox brought toys for the kids to play with. She said it was a huge hit with both the girls and boys. I would love to buy this for my niece Kaya when she's a bit older. What a cool concept!

Weekend Trip: Pescadero and Half Moon Bay

This guy celebrated his 25th birthday yesterday (!!!), so we took a weekend trip to Pescadero, California, which is about halfway between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay. The weather has been really nice in the Bay, so we thought it would be fun to explore the great outdoors. I guess that I should preface this blog post by saying that I am not what most would consider to be outdoorsy. I really am so selfless... :) 
On Saturday, we went hiking in Big Basin Redwoods State Park. You can park right at Pescadero State Beach and then walk into the park (for free!). We did a 7 mile hike up to the top of a hill that overlooked the beach and the strawberry fields below.
 View from the top!
Afterwards we hung out at the beach for a while and watched the kite surfers. Since we worked up quite an appetite, we went to Duarte's for dinner, which is known for its artichoke soup and its olallieberry pie - so good!
On Saturday night we stayed in a tent bungalow at Costanoa, which also has a campground and nicer cabins. We've been joking and calling it glamping - even though we didn't have to pitch our own tent, it was definitely bare bones. The tent came with a bed, heated mattress pad, lamp, and fire pit - that's about it!
On the way home, we took the scenic US 1 back up the coast, and the views were amazing. We stopped at the Pigeon Point lighthouse. There is actually a hostel at the base of the lighthouse - wouldn't it be exciting and chilling to stay there?
Our final stop was in Half Moon Bay. We ate breakfast at a local diner called Sam's and then Lucas went surfing while I sat on the shore and addressed a few save the dates. :)
It was such a fun trip. Weekends like this make me never want to leave California. 

House of Cards

We always joke that there are Jill shows (think: Glee, Gossip Girl, and Sex and the City) and Lucas Shows (at the moment: The Americans, Suits, and pretty much anything on ESPN), but there are seldom shows that we both love. Last summer, we watched every season of Friday Night Lights, and we were both pretty much obsessed. We just added a new show to the shared list - we just started watching the Netflix series, House of Cards. Since we're both political junkies, we love it! What are some of your favorite shows? xo

Wedding Shower

Last weekend I co-hosted a wedding shower for our close friends, Meredith and Andrew. They're getting married on Labor Day weekend in Half Moon Bay, so it was nice to celebrate the couple a few weeks before their big day!
They're using jewel tones (think: deep purple, turquoise, fuchsia, and emerald!) in their wedding, so we decided to run with that theme and focused the decor around purple and green.
 We created a dessert bar complete with purple and green French Macarons (pistachio and black currant - yum!), salted caramel brownies, and grape and lime licorice.
I think my favorite part of the party was the mimosa bar! In addition to champagne (of course!) we had orange juice, pomegranate lime juice, and guava passion fruit juice for mixing.
Andrew and Meredith (who unknowingly dressed in the perfect color palette!) posing with Helen and Phil, the party co-hosts whose lovely house the party was at, myself, and Drea, who cooked an amazing meal.

We served pulled pork, cornbread, strawberry and goat cheese salad, apple and walnut quesadillas, and roasted red pepper soup sips. Cornbread is Andrew's favorite food ever, so we had to put it on the menu.  :)
So many friends and family members came out for the shower. The weather was perfect - sunny and mid-70s. :)
One of my favorite parts of the shower was the "Who Said What?" game that we played. It's hard to find non-cheesy shower games, so we debated whether or not to play one at all. Here's the idea: basically I went through Meredith and Andrew's Facebook pages and chose a few of their status updates. Some of them were fairly tricky and it was really hard to tell who said what. We put a tiebreaker on the end, "How many FB friends do Meredith and Andrew have (combined)?" In the end, we only had 1 perfect score (out of around 30 party guests), and we had a ton of fun reading out all of the answers.  I highly recommend this party game!
It was great fun with great friends. Congratulations Meredith and Andrew - we love you guys! xoxo

DIY: How To Paint Your Own Monogrammed Cornhole Set

Last weekend I spent the weekend in Georgia with my family, and my mom and I went into wedding DIY frenzy mode. Our largest project involved making our own cornhole set to use during cocktail hour at the wedding. I snapped a few photos on my iPhone (sorry for the poor quality!) throughout the crafting process, if you'd like to see. 

What You'll Need:
-Drop cloth
-Saw horses or something elevated to balance your cornhole set on while you paint
-Paint tray
-4'' or 6'' paint roller
-A few extra roller covers
-1 high quality paint brush
-Frog tape
-Con-Tact paper
-Eggshell paint & primer in white. We purchased 2 of these tintable samplers (we didn't add any color), and it was the perfect amount to paint 2 boards, paint the monogram, plus paint any touch up areas.
-1 qt. of paint tinted to whatever color you want to use. We used Behr Premium paint. 1 qt. is more than enough for multiple coats of color on each board.
-1 qt. of clear, fast-drying polyurethane. Again, 1 qt. is more than enough polyurethane for this project.

The first step is to make or buy an unfinished cornhole set. If you're handy, you can find several tutorials online to build a regulation cornhole game, including this one. I also suggest searching on Etsy and Craigslist for vendors in your area.

Before you start, make sure that you fill in any holes and then sand the surface of each board so it's smooth and ready to go.
I suggest putting down a drop cloth outside and placing the boards on sawhorses or something elevated to do your painting. You should definitely apply a layer primer to the boards before attempting to apply any color. We used samples of eggshell finish paint and primer in one, which worked perfectly. Make sure to apply a few layers of the primer to any areas that you'd like to tape off and leave white. We did this around the border and around the circle. Feel free to use a roller for the priming and painting but NOT for the polyurethane step at the end. More on that later! :)
The next step is to tape off any areas that you'd like to leave white. My favorite painters tape to use is FrogTape. We also used Con-Tact Paper that we had on hand to tape off the area around the circle. This step is completely optional, but I like the way the white contrast looks. We used a 9" paper plate to trace a circle on the Con-Tact Paper and then carefully pressed it down on the board to get all of the bubbles out. We later decided to add a "P" to the board - looking back, it would have been much easier to put Con-Tact paper down for the letter before painting the entire board orange. You live and you learn!
Next you should paint your entire board with whatever color you decided to use. We're using bright fall colors like orange and coral for our wedding, so we went with this bright, tangerine color. 
After we painted 2 coats of orange and it got nice and dry, we cut out two "P" letters out of Con-Tact paper and placed the stencil in the middle of each board. We painted three coats of the eggshell paint/primer combination inside of our stencil, waited for it to dry thoroughly, and then peeled it off gently.

At this point, you might want to take a small paintbrush and touch up any areas where the orange bled onto the white. It's pretty easy to touch it up, but I recommend using a really tiny brush!
Finally, you should take a high quality brush and paint on a layer of polyurethane. You should let the layer of polyurethane dry for 2-3 hours before painting on the next layer. The board should feel very smooth and dry (not sticky) before you paint your next layer. I recommend painting 4 layers in total. After 4 coats, you should take some very fine sand paper and lightly sand the entire surface of the board - make sure to go with the grain! Paint one final layer of polyurethane and let it dry completely. Once you do this, the boards should be sealed and very smooth.
The final step is to grab some friends, some beers, and test out the boards. We made our own beanbags too - I'll post a follow up tutorial next week. And there you have it - a cornhole tutorial just in time for summer BBQs and weddings. Happy playing everyone! xoxo

Birthday Weekend!

My 24th birthday was on Saturday, so I officially entered my mid-20s! I am truly not a huge birthday person, but I was overwhelmed by the love from my friends and family. On Friday, my coworkers (who are also some of my dearest friends), showered me with gifts, including a limited edition of Domino (RIP!), tiny red velvet cupcakes, and a singing balloon. Lucas sent me a gorgeous bouquet of hydrangeas and ranunculus from Church Street Flowers in SF. 
The thoughtful gifts just kept coming. Lucas got me this tiny J ring and this gorgeous Juliet & Co. necklace. My BFF, Kristina, sent me the sweetest package and these fab Tory Burch earrings.
On Friday night, we went to dinner with a few friends at St. Michaels Alley in Palo Alto, which was amazing. Their special was artichoke crusted halibut with creamy cauliflower, which was so tasty, and they brought out the most amazing Crème Brûlée for me. On Saturday Lucas and I had a date night at Flour + Water in SF. It is now one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco. They're well known for their homemade pastas and pizzas and cozy atmosphere. There was a 2+ hour wait, so we went to a local bar called Trick Dog for a few drinks beforehand.  It was well worth the wait and it was so nice to have a long date night with Lucas. 
Afterwards we met a few friends in the Mission to go out. We ended up going to a dance club called Baobab, where they played funky Caribbean and Afro dance music. 

We capped off the weekend with Easter lunch at our friends' house where I ate my weight in ham and mac-n-cheese. It was an amazing birthday weekend. I had absolutely no plans going into it, but my friends were so thoughtful and really made it such a great birthday. I love you all! xo