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Springtime Blooms

I'm sorry I've been MIA this week, but I wanted to pop in and participate in the Spring Photo Challenge that Katie over at Bower Power is hosting today.

I thought, what better photo to capture the beauty of Spring, than my favorite image from my trip to the Carlsbad Flower Fields! Actually, I don't even think I can call this my favorite, because I really love so many of them. But this one in particular feels so cheerful!

Nikon D3100 - Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm lens
 ISO 200 - f/2.8 - 1/4000

Spending an hour walking through the Carlsbad Flower Fields taking photos was one of the most enjoyable afternoons I've had in a while. When Andrew bought me a camera last summer, it reminded me how much I love photography and taking pictures. But my photography class really reinforced that and sparked my desire to learn more, and continue to improve my skills. I really enjoyed challenging myself to use the new lens I borrowed from my Dad at the Flower Fields. I love that it gave me the ability to create a shallow depth of field and have the blurred background that really makes flowers in the foreground pop.

I have a lot to learn still, but I know I've made a lot of progress. Thankfully this blog, participating in photo challenges like this, and weekly linkups with Stephanie will help me continue to learn and develop my photography skills.

If you're stopping by for the first time from the linky party, hello! :) You can see more pictures from my trip to the Carlsbad Flower Fields on this post.


I promise I'll be back tomorrow with an update from my girls weekend and our bridesmaid dress shopping adventures :) It was an amazing weekend with some of my closest and oldest friends! I am so excited Erica's wedding gives us an excuse to hang out so many times over the next few months!

Also, it's 82* in San Francisco today!! And of course, these rare days NEVER fall on a weekend, so I'm stuck in the office :( But I plan to run outside or head to the beach after work and enjoy this beautiful day!


Five on Friday: Blushing Bridesmaids

I am so excited for this weekend! It is jammed packed with fun activities :) As I've mentioned, one of my best friends is getting married this fall! I'm honored to be one of her bridesmaids, and we're already having so much fun planning for the bachelorette party, shopping, and discussing all things wedding! I shared a glimpse at their engagement photos the other day on Facebook, seriously how cute are they?!

Anyways...we've had this weekend planned for months now and have been looking forward to it ever since. Erica has four bridesmaids, and two of the girls don't live in San Francisco. Since this weekend worked for everyone, so we coordinated a big shopping trip/wedding weekend, all to honor the bride to be! Our good friend Joy that lives in Southern California flew up last night, and Jacquie is driving down tonight. We've booted Andrew and are having a good ol' fashioned slumber party at my house tonight! Complete with champagne and chocolate covered strawberries!

Tomorrow we're up early to shop for Bridesmaid dresses all day long! The lovely Maid of Honor has organized our day visiting various boutiques in the city and brunch at the wedding venue across the Golden Gate, Cavallo Point! It's going to be such a perfect day!

Erica has chosen blush as the color for our bridesmaid dresses. She wants us to all wear different dresses, but stay within the same blush tones. We have a group "bridesmaids" board on Pinterest, and it's been so fun searching for the perfect blush dress. Luckily, it's a big color this spring, and there are a lot of options! Hopefully tomorrow we all find the perfect dress for Erica's big day. I love the idea of all shopping together, that way Erica is there to weigh in on what she likes and doesn't like. And we can get a better sense of the exact color and style she is envisioning for her big day.

I feel like this weekend is really going to kick off Wedding season and all the fun events ahead! We're busy planning an epic bachelorette party in Palm Springs, which is the next thing we'll have to look forward too!

I've collected my five favorite dresses pinned on our group bridesmaid board, I'm really loving the bottom three! Which is your favorite? Have you seen any cute blush dresses? If so, send me a link!

I hope you all have a great weekend, I know I will :) I'll be back Monday with a full report!

And just for fun, I'll leave with you these pictures of the 5 of us! The top one is from our Junior Prom! I love that we've been friends for years and have remained as close as ever! I love these girls!!


Carlsbad Flower Fields

Ever since Andrew and I started dating, I've been dying to go to the Carlsbad Flower Fields while they're in bloom. But in over three years of frequent trips to Carlsbad, I still hadn't been able to visit! I think it was a combination of timing (they're in peak bloom mid-April through mid-May) and the fact that Andrew grew up literally next door and wasn't ecstatic about paying to see a bunch of flowers.

However, this trip happen to fall right in the peak of the ranunculus blooming and I wasn't about to miss out. Thankfully, we had some down time on Saturday morning and I was able to squeeze in a visit before we needed to leave for the Giants v. Padres game.

But of course, I forgot my camera charger, and had a dead battery. After a few hours racing around town to find a charger (batteries aren't sold with a charge so that wouldn't have helped), we were off to the flower fields!

Ranunculus are one of my most favorite flowers, and seeing acres of them all blooming at once was so beautiful. I only wish my mom could have gone with me. I know she would have appreciated it as much as I did, and enjoyed walking around the grounds and seeing all the various colors.

I could have walked around for hours taking pictures. But even in just an hour we spent there, I got some incredible pictures. Its amazing how much joy I get out of taking pictures, my camera is the best investment I've Andrew has ever made!

My Dad had let me borrow is Macro lens, which I knew would be perfect for capturing the flowers. I was so excited to use it, and hopefully get a few shots I could frame for all my home updates! Thankfully, I got more than a few pictures I was happy with. And I'll definitely be investing in a new lens!

Here are some of my favorite shots from the day. I think I took over 200 pictures...get ready for flower overload!

If you're ever in the San Diego area mid-April to mid-May I highly recommend a trip to the Carlsbad Flower Fields. It's a $12 entry fee and they offer tractor rides, food, vendors, and acres of breathtaking flowers! You can visit their Facebook page here for more information.


Giants vs. Padres @ Petco Park

Last weekend we went down to San Diego to spend Easter with Andrew's family. I always love going down there, it's so nice to get away for a little bit and relax. Plus, I was in desperate need of vitamin D! I miss being able to leave the house in shorts and a t-shirt and not have to worry about getting cold.

Although it's so fun to see his family, our visits are always much too short. We had a brutal drive both ways, spending about 20 hours of our long weekend in the car. But we managed to make the most of our trip while we were there!

View from our seats :) 

One of my favorite activities was going to the Giants v. Padres game at Petco Park. This was my third time visiting Petco Park and it's always a good time. A family friend got us pretty great seats in the outfield, right behind my favorite, Hunter Pence.

We got to the game early to watch batting practice and hopefully get a ball. It wasn't our lucky day, but it was still so fun to see the players warming up. It was my first time arriving to a game so early, so I had a great time taking pictures and watching the players interact as they warmed up. Jeremy Affeldt is quite the character :) It was so fun being close to all the Giants players and watch them warm up. It made me excited to go to a game early when they're playing here at home! Maybe next time I'll be able to meet Pence...

It was a perfect evening for baseball, and although the Giants lost, it was still a fun night! We listened to the game on our drive home Sunday, and at least they got one win in this series! can't really see in the picture of Andrew and I, but I was rocking my Pence jersey! I would guess nearly half the stadium was filled with Giants fans :)


Twosday: Windows & Doors

An afternoon at the Philo Apple Farm in Anderson Valley.

Check out my Instagram for the "door" portion of this week's Twosday assignment :) 

Read more about our trip to Anderson Valley here...

Twentieth Street


Gold Gnome DIY

I have a really simple and fun DIY for you all today!

As I've mentioned here, Andrew loves gnomes. Or as he says, he "has an affinity for gnome culture" haha! It's almost embarrassing how many gnomes we have hiding around our house. 

I was so excited when I saw Danielle from Breakfast at Toast, apartment tour last year on The Everygirl. I spotted this cute little guy on her mantle, and knew that was a gnome I would happily add to our collection. BUT I wasn't about to spend  $50 on a little gnome, sorry Andrew. 

Lucky for us, shortly after Andrew moved to the city, Andrew's mom sent us a little house warming package. Inside was this cute little ceramic gnome from the craft store. It was just an unfinished white gnome, perfect for a simple DIY!  

First, he needed a coat of glossy white paint since he was currently just naked ceramic. I am a fan of Rust-Oleum spray paint, so I picked up a can of white gloss paint. I gave it two thin coast of paint and let it dry for a couple days. Since I would be taping off the hat, I wanted to make sure the white paint was really dry so it didn't peel off when I removed the tape after spraying the gold. 

Looking better already! Next, it was time to tape off the hat. I wanted to be sure it didn't bleed, so I spent a lot of time making sure there were not air pockets where gold paint would seep through. First, I did a layer of tape around the base of the hat. 

Next, I used a plastic produce bag, and taped the bottom of it to the gnome, directly on the first layer of tape I used. Once I made sure that was secure, I repeated the process with another grocery bag. This was probably excessive, but I didn't want to find drips of gold paint anywhere other than his hat. 

Once he was all taped up, it was time for paint! I went back and forth with which paint to use. But after looking at this review of gold spray paint I had pinned, I decided to stick with Rust-Oleum. Again, I did two thin coats, making sure to get an even distribution so there were no drips. I also let this dry overnight before removing the tape and bags to find the finished product. 

I LOVE the way this turned out! He is so cute, and for much less than $50 too! I'm not sure how much the gnome cost, but I'm sure it wasn't more than $20 or so. And the spray paint was less than $10 for both cans, so it's definitely an affordable project. 

He might not be a container like my inspiration, but I think he's just as cute, if not cuter! I'm definitely on board with the gnome thing now :) 

I'm still trying to figure out where his home should be. I don't love how our mantle is styled now, but I think he could look cute up there. After all, this was my original inspiration. I love how the little gnome looks on Danielle's mantle. I also put him over on our bar area, but I think he was a little cluttered there with all the bottles, too much going on. So for now, he's on the mantle, but his permanent residence has yet to be determined. 

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