Atlanta:

Image from Asterisk Photo.

Nick & I qualified for Southwest’s companion pass and I thought I’d start taking full of it so we’re headed to Atlanta for a couple days for business. Anyone live in Atlanta or have visited? I’m excited to check out a brand new city, I’ve never been! Any recommendations for eats / sights to see / shops? I  really like hamburgers if anyone knows of a good burger place 😉  Thanks in advance for any recommendations!

Hot Air Balloon Ride:





On our trip to Napa a few weeks ago, I learned never say never and if you have a fear of something, you can totally overcome it! One morning our friend Lillian said to wake up early because we were going to watch the sunrise. Little did we know we were going to watch it in a hot air balloon! Now, I have a huge fear of heights. I told Nick I honestly could never go in a hot air balloon because it is so scary. But Lillian was so sweet and thoughtful to plan this surprise for us! We were totally and completely surprised when we got there! I was so nervous and excited while we waited for the balloon to be blown up. and it was honestly such a neat experience – so peaceful and quiet up there.




Here are some pics I snapped up in the air. Photographing hot air balloons is so much fun, they are so pretty!











blowing the air balloon up is crazy! on the right someone 

was trying to keep it from touching the light post!




so huge! 2 guys pressing all the air out afterward.










Anyway, I wouldn’t say I’ve totally overcome my fear of heights but I must say it is so cool to do something you thought you’d never do and experience something totally new and out of your element. Have you ever done anything like this? 




Thanks to our sweet friends (L&M) for such a fun weekend of fun conversations, amazing food, and quality time!

Home:



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Hi friends! So we’re in Denver right now waiting for our flight to get home (got stuck at the airport last night, posted about it here) but we basically missed our connecting flight to orange county so we stayed the night at the airport. 



When we got in last night, I overheard they had another flight to a different city but nearby (ontario for those of you who know socal airports) and so we rushed over to see if we could make it on that flight instead. They only had 1 seat left (go figure!) and Nick told me to just go and he’d make it home the next day. I was like, I’m not leaving Nick alone at an airport, haha. Not an option. He asked me later why I didn’t take the flight and I said to him as much as I was desperate to get home, it just wouldn’t be the same if he wasn’t there. Then I told him my home is wherever he is. It sounded really cheesy but never has it been so true! 😉 Nick is my home, it doesnt matter where we are, whether it be in a car in England (yea, we may have slept in our car one night, haven’t really told anyone that) or on the airport ground in another state. I’ve always thought this phrase was sweet but it definitely was true last night. 



Anyway, we found a little cozy spot in the airport and camped out. It was one of the most uncomfortable nights of sleep I’ve ever had (airport floors are not sleep-friendly!) We used sweaters as pillows and my skirt and dress as blankets. but at least we were together :) 



Have you ever been stuck at an airport? I was pretty upset at first but I looked around and there were several others in the same situation, people sleeping on the ground, stuck for whatever reason. The world doesn’t revolve around just me. Life continues and we’ll get home. 



Hope your week is off to a great start! Normal posting will continue tomorrow. 


Lovely getaway:











We had an amazing little getaway with our dear friends the other weekend. I blogged about Napa earlier this year, we went for my cousin’s wedding. Since we were just there for a quick weekend, we didn’t do a whole lot of exploring.
This trip was all exploring and trying places out! I had no idea the food was so amazing and I was really impressed at every single place we ate! It was so relaxing and peaceful, and the scenery is gorgeous. We totally unplugged and just had a good time conversing with friends. Nick and I never have had any wine or alcohol but we totally experienced it for the first time on this trip with Lillian and Mardy… I’ll just say wine is interesting, definitely an acquired taste 😉 Nick and I were talking about it later and we both said we were expecting it to be more sweet like grape juice or something.. so maybe the problem was we were expecting it to taste one way and it kind of tasted totally different. But still a new experience and totally a memorable one!
Last time we were there we met a couple who told us they make a trip out every year, they were from the east coast. Initially I thought it was crazy they came to Napa of all the places they could visit in the country. But now I see why and I’m ready to make it an annual thing, except I’d like to go back next week 😉 There are restaurants I am dying to go back to now!
Oddly enough, we didn’t take any photos of our food, haha! I guess we didn’t know it was really good until after we ate it. So here’s a list of the places we ate at: Oenotri, Bounty HunterThe Model Bakery, Oakville Grocery.
Anyway, Lillian totally surprised us with a crazy adventure, which I’m saving for another blog post. I’d really recommend a trip to Napa with some friends, it was the best! 

Vietnam:


Last fall I was able to take a little trip to Vietnam. I have been to Vietnam a few years ago but it is hands down my absolute favorite place to visit. The food is incredible and the culture is amazing. My dad travels there with his family from time to time so I am able to just meet up with them there.
















My dad put this snake around him and his face is priceless, makes me laugh every time!








I love traveling and have been fortunate to travel to a few different countries. As I said above, Vietnam is my favorite country I’ve been to! Something about being there is so different and interesting. I was able to just go along for the ride as my dad took me around to all the spots so it was nice to be with someone who knew their way around.. and his wife speaks vietnamese so that’s kind of a plus too. If you ever have an opportunity to visit, I would highly recommend visiting this unique country :)


New York here we come!



via Eye Poetry Photography


via the fresh exchange


via Jeremiah Probodanu


Well actually, we’re already here! We headed to New York to attend the National Stationery Show! We’re not showing but we wanted to check it out for possibly showing in 2014, and ordering for the shop. I’m pretty excited – I love paper goods. and from the looks of it, this is paper good’s heaven. So many creatives out there. and I mean, it’s definitely cool to just travel to New York. My cousin is actually graduating from Medical School and the dates totally lined up with NSS so I figured it was meant to be. My mom is going to see her graduate so it’ll be a fun time with family too.



I’ve been to New York once, long ago. Actually about 10 years ago. Crazy! Nick has never been.. so my question is: What should we do in NY?! I know it’s HUGE and there are probably endless things to do, but what is on your top list of places to see/eats? Any fun (paper/stationery) stores to check out? Any good flea markets in NY? :) I always appreciate your recommendations and suggestions! (the ones from Toronto were awesome!) Thanks friends! :)

Toronto:











Today we’re headed to Toronto for One of a Kind show going from Wednesday 3/27 to Sunday 3/31! We’re staying a couple extra days afterward to explore so just wondering if you have any recommendations for places to eat/see :) I’ve been to Canada long ago when I visited some of my old roommates from when I went to school here.  It was really lovely, I’m excited to go back. If you live in the area, hope you can make it to the show!





PS: I have 8 free passes if anyone in Toronto wants a pass to the show and wants to come to the show. Just leave your email address in the comments and I’ll email you!


PSS: Our shop in Downtown Fullerton will still be open so stop by anytime :) Our hours are Tuesday-Saturday 11:00-6:00. We’ll be closed this Sunday for Easter!




Photos from: old city printsurban dream photos , Rachael Nicole PhotographyMr City PrintingCharlene Precious


Napa Valley:













My cousin got married a few months ago and so we all headed up to the Napa Valley area. I had never been but this town was absolutely gorgeous. We stayed in a little town called Rutherford and my cousin got married at this beautiful winery. I was with my mom and brother’s so we didn’t do a whole lot of exploring but we did have the english muffins from this place and they were pretty incredible, I want to go back just to have them again 😉 My mom and I did get to do a little antique shopping so that was really fun to spend some mother/daughter time together. 
If you’re ever able to go to Napa for a vacation or getaway, I’d recommend it. It was so peaceful. It seemed like everyone had grape vines in their front yard, so legit. It seemed like a different kind of life  around here – no one is really in a rush or always on the go.. We met a couple who comes here every year from Colorado, it’s their yearly trip! I hope to return soon! Do you have a traditional yearly trip you take? That could be something fun to start with Nick. 

travel, austin:


Found these photos in a folder on my computer and realized I never blogged about our trip to Austin! I am so bad about posting photos of trips. I think because it’s so many photos to go through and so much to edit 😉 Anyway. I hope you don’t mind me posting this now. Don’t be surprised if the photos from my Vietnam/China + England trip are posted next year, hehe :)





Gordough’s – wow. It is a good thing I don’t live in Austin or I think I would eat one of these every day. Thanks to Viv for bringing me one, what a sweetheart. Has anyone ever tried Gordough’s? Austin locals – do you eat these every day or what?? 


Rudy’s – we were quite impressed. We came here both days to eat. It was amazing.They serve you your food on some wax paper and in a tray.. Loved the banana pudding and cream corn. Kind of counting the days till we get to go back to Austin to eat here again!

Got to meet up with Vivian and meet her husband, Jon – which pretty much made us wish these 2 lived in California (or we live in Texas) so we could be near such quality company all the time 😉


Ate at Phil’s with some friends from the show.


Did lots of thrifting – my favorite! :)






We stayed at the San Jose Hotel – it was really nice! Highly recommend this hotel. It’s located right on the main street where all the shops and restaurants are. Loved all the little details of this hotel – if I owned a hotel, it’d definitely be like this hotel 😉 I actually got the inspiration for our house from here – they had concrete floors and a big barn door to the bathroom, so cool.

Visiting Downton:



Today I wanted to share some images of Downton Abbey with you guys from our trip to England! When I learned you could actually visit the Castle they film at in Downton Abbey, I was elated! I googled the directions from where we were staying, it was about a 2 hour drive. so it was set. We rented a car and headed there on the 2nd day of our trip. I had no idea it’d be so amazing and incredible in person. The castle is actually called Highclere Castle, they often tours during the seasons they’re open. It was amazing!

Front entrance! Holy smokes! We weren’t allowed to take any pics of the inside so these are just outside shots. Inside was amazing. We saw the main entrance room, the library, dining room, stairway, and some of the bedrooms! They film the downstairs servant area/kitchen and some of the rooms on another location, so it was a little different but still amazing to see most of it! The rooms are actually so much smaller in person, they make it seems so huge on tv!



Tip: If you ever take a visit to Highclere Castle, go toward the end of the day! We went around 3:00, it closed at 5:00 but they stop letting people in at 4:00. The last of the tour buses was just about leaving when we got there and it was not crowded at all! We could see the rooms inside quite easily and we got plenty of photos without big tour buses blocking the castle. Also, if you are able to rent a car during your trip, definitely drive to the castle. We looked up tours with a group and it was quite expensive, I think $100 per person or something, as they take you on the bus. The entry cost to the castle was around £13 for the gardens, castle, and exhibitions – very reasonable! Plus it’s just nice to be on your own schedule. If we ever go again, I am going to spend all day here 😉


We had tea & scones in their tea room. Nick & I sat and enjoyed the scenery – hands down the best part of the trip. So peaceful, the scones and clotted cream/jam were so good.




They had really pretty gardens, it was so fun to walk around and explore.


Here are some photos from my instagram feed too!

We weren’t allowed to take photos on the inside (sad!!) but I kind of snuck one of the hallway. I came home and watched a couple episodes and it’s exactly how it looks in the show! 



I have to say, now when I watch the show, I get pretty excited that I’ve actually been here now. It’s amazing. I highly recommend it to any fans of the show, if you ever get the opportunity to go.