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I think this might be the wedding recap post I’m most excited to share. Our honeymoon to Sonoma and Napa! To be honest, we spent the months leading up to the wedding so stressed about details that we didn’t put any thought into the honeymoon. C and I love to travel, but the thought of planning a wedding and a honeymoon at the same time legit gave me heart palpitations. We had always planned to do a big destination honeymoon full of adventure travel and relaxation. And with New Zealand at the top of our bucket list, we assumed that was where we would go. But in our research pretty much everyone told us to only go to NZ between January and March, which meant waiting almost a year to go on our honeymoon. Given that we were pretty stressed already, this didn’t sound like a terrible idea.
So instead, we decided to spend the week after our wedding in our own backyard, Sonoma and Napa. At first we were calling it a “minimoon” because we didn’t feel like an hour drive to a destination should count as our honeymoon. We were wrong. You don’t have to travel far or do a whole extensive vacation for a honeymoon to count. And now that we’ve done it, we’re not feeling any kind of rush to fly halfway across the world to New Zealand. That’s not to say we won’t go, but it’s unlikely to happen next January…and I’m very okay with that!
Our week in Sonoma and Napa was truly a dream. We’re pretty familiar with wine country and try to spend as many weekends as possible there so getting to spend a whole week there doing the things we love in a place that is comforting and homey ended up being the honeymoon we never knew we needed. It was about as perfect as perfect can come!
So let’s chat about that week…
I knew that right after the wedding C and I would want to get away somewhere nearby where we could disconnect and process the madness. I immediately knew what that place would be. A few years ago C and I spent a night at Farmhouse Inn in Forestville (in Sonoma County) and it was truly magical. We knew we’d make it back at some point. So when we started thinking about what we’d do after the wedding I knew exactly where to book.
Farmhouse is nothing short of spectacular. The rooms are stunning and “farmhouse chic”, there’s a Michelin Star restaurant on property and you’re right in the heart of wine country. It’s the perfect place to hang out all day and relax or use as a launching point for local activities. We did a mixture of both.
They have homemade bath products on site so I took as many baths as I humanly could. C made great use of the pool and hot tub and we both enjoyed the daily wine tastings and local food. Whether it was dinner at the restaurant or breakfast in bed, there truly is nothing wrong with Farmhouse and it will forever hold a special place in our hearts.
Besides hanging out on property, we spent an afternoon hanging out in Sebastopol, antiquing in local towns and did a little bit of wine tasting. We had to stop at SHED in Healdsburg (one of my favorite places) and did the ranch tour at Medlock Ames, an organic winery in Geyserville. We also did a whole lot of nothing and completely checked out from the world. It was amazing.
I’m thinking about sharing a post on my favorite restaurants, shops and wineries in Sonoma so let me know if you’d like to see that!
We would have spent the rest of the week (or honestly, the rest of our lives) at Farmhouse but we would have gone broke, so after a few days we packed up our stuff and headed to Calistoga (in Napa) for a few more nights at Indian Springs.
Now, I’ll be honest, anything that was going to follow Farmhouse was not going to compare so even though it wasn’t Indian Spring’s fault, it was a slight let-down. Truly, the only thing that was a let-down was our room. As a heads up, if you stay at Indian Springs, do NOT book the lodge (well do if you want just okay accommodations). The photos you see online of the lodge are actually all the other rooms. The lodge is not nearly as nice as we expected and while it was totally fine, and clean and perfectly nice, there was nothing cute or romantic about it. I’m being a diva here but thought I’d keep things 100% honest.
Besides our room, our stay at Indian Springs was really nice. It’s a funky place with a huge communal hot spring pool that looks like it’s straight out of a 1950s Pepsi commercial. The spa is also beautiful and a really nice place to relax for the day. I did the mud baths which were a really interesting experience. To be honest, I would have preferred being in the mud bath for the entire hour (rather than the 15 minute start of the circuit), but if you’re looking for a really different spa experience, don’t skip out on it.
Calistoga itself is super cute. Even if you just go to visit for the day, you shouldn’t miss it. It’s small enough to conquer in a few hours although you may need longer if you enjoy antiquing. C and I got some amazing finds in local Calistoga stores and just loved the quaintness of the town. The wine there is, not surprisingly, delicious but we tend to prefer the more relaxed vibe of tasting in Sonoma. We ended up only tasting at one winery called Brian Arden and while the property is beautiful and the wine is great, the cost is just hard to justify. Especially when you can get equally delicious wines 30 minutes away in Sonoma. I think it’s pretty clear that we’re on #TeamSonoma.
But if you do find yourselves in Calistoga make sure you go to: ROAM antique shop, Lovina for brunch (owned by the same people as Zazie in SF), Sam’s Social Club for dinner and Solbar at Solage Calistoga (<– if you can stay here you are winning at life).
At this point we had two more nights left in wine country before we had planned to go back to SF (aka when Bodhi was getting dropped off from summer camp) and we left those open to see how we were feeling. We knew there was a chance we’d want to go home, but there was also a chance we wanted to continue the honeymoon for just a bit longer. In the end we got a little bit of both.
We have close friends who have a house in Guerneville (also in Sonoma) who offered their place to us that week. We ended up taking them up on the offer and spent our last two nights there. It was so nice to have access to a house so we could cook and nest without feeling like we were fully back in society. We also finally got to explore Armstrong Woods, which we’d wanted to do for a long time but always had Bodhi in tow (you can’t have dogs on the trails). Also waking up every morning and picking up fresh biscuits from Big Bottom Market is a lifelong dream of mine that I’d like to make an everyday occasion…there’s a reason they’re Oprah’s favorite!
Otherwise we did a lot more antiquing (we are officially old), watched way too many TV shows and honestly, just rested our brains before heading back into reality. It was perfect.
Sunday morning we packed up our car and drove an hour back home. It’s the honeymoon we never knew we needed and beyond anything we could have hoped for. Feeling eternally grateful for my partner in crime and for the privilege we have to be able to explore these places and call them our backyard.
This is the last and final wedding recap post! I’m so happy to have been able to share this experience with you and know that I have this virtual diary to look back on in the years to come. I’m also happy to be closing this chapter and opening a new one. C and I are so grateful for everyone’s support as we’ve taken this next step…even though married life feels exactly the same! We cannot wait for what the future has to hold. Stay tuned!
Did you do a honeymoon? Were did you go?
The post Wedding Recap #5: Our Honeymoon to Sonoma and Napa appeared first on The Healthy Maven.
Stem Cells have are taking over the medical world because of their incredibly safe and effective treatment profile. Using your own cells which release key growth factors (proteins) and https://t.co/8G6H0iGsGy
from Twitter https://twitter.com/SohNaturalAZ
Guess who’s baaaaack! Now that we’re almost 2 years into the podcast, it’s been fun to bring some return visitors back on the show to catch-up about life and what’s changed since we last spoke. Today’s guest is no exception and likely requires no introduction: Lee Hersh from Fit Foodie Finds. I’ve known Lee for 5 years now after meeting through the blogging space and we’ve chronicled our friendship online and in our last podcast episode together. Today’s episode is a bit different. We kept things conversational and open and I loved the result! A true reflection of our friendship but also some much necessary realness.
Lee reaches millions of visitors every month and has inspired so many with her recipes and body positive content. Today we’re chatting about what it’s really like behind the scenes of FFF and how things have changed recently.
Here are some other things we chatted about:
Do you have any questions for Lee? Did you find THM through Lee and Fit Foodie Finds?
Such a delicious birthday treat at @cafegratitude Newport Beach may have to make room for my second location...anyone need a doc out there? Much love and many thanks to dara_thrivinu https://t.co/tBb3JyqFtP
from Twitter https://twitter.com/SohNaturalAZ
Incredible and inspiring yoga class with this guy @kyleweiger if you get to Newport Beach this is the class to take. Hell be in phx early February 2019 on tour. Much love #yoga https://t.co/7P3djayPUe
from Twitter https://twitter.com/SohNaturalAZ
Amazing time in LA with the stemcelldude talking about the incredible ways to help patients get better without drugs or surgery! If you dont have a clue what stem cells can do you https://t.co/ANrNs4v7Ks
from Twitter https://twitter.com/SohNaturalAZ
Shakeology lovers (and chocolate lovers!) know the truth: There’s no such thing as too many Chocolate Shakeology Recipes.
These are delicious go-to recipes that you should definitely add to your Chocolate Shakeology recipe library — they’re all five ingredients or less (minus the ice) and you can make them in a flash.
Pin it, print it, share it — these recipes will ensure you’re never far from your chocolate fix!
I’ll be honest, when Southwest Idaho Travel Association (SWITA) reached out a few months ago about spending a few days in Southwest Idaho I wasn’t sure what to think. I’d been hearing a lot of buzz around Boise and the surrounding areas and how it’s an up and coming destination but I can’t say it was at the top of my bucket list. All of that changed after 4 days exploring Boise and beyond!
Boise, and just Idaho in general is so much more than anyone expects it to be. I think that’s what makes it so great. It feels like this undiscovered paradise. An underdog of sorts. Of course, most people know that if you a) like adventure or b) like potatoes than Idaho is your place. But it truly is more than just an adventure-junkie, potato-growing mecca. If you love wine, Southwest Idaho is for you. If you like farm-to-table food, Southwest Idaho is for you. If you like live music or theater, Southwest Idaho is for you. The list goes on…
I honestly never thought I’d see “What To Do In Boise, Idaho” and “Why You Need To Visit ASAP” in the same title, but here we are! Boise and Southwest Idaho truly blew me away. Here’s why…
Where To Stay In Boise, Idaho
Without question you MUST stay at the Inn at 500 Capitol. Besides the accommodations being top-notch, the location can’t be beat. It’s right in downtown but a block or two away so you’re not directly in the madness. If you’re not planning to rent a car and want to exclusively explore Boise than I recommend staying here as you can walk all of downtown.
Our room had a double balcony with a gorgeous view of the capitol building and the foothills to the right of it. Though my one complaint is that there wasn’t a bath (#bathjunkie) they made up for it with free snacks and a glass a wine upon check-in. Also they’re dog-friendly so you better bet we’re coming back with Bodhi!
What To Do In Boise, Idaho
Where do I even begin with this? There is so much to do. Some activities are right in Boise but others definitely require a car. If you want to get outside the city and explore the rapids, the foothills and local vineyards, I highly recommend renting a car. It was worth it!
1. Explore Downtown Boise
There are so many cute little shops and corners to explore. Stop in the Capitol building if you’re an architecture nerd like C or the art that is placed throughout the city. If you like records definitely stop in at Record World where C and I got a few great finds!
2. Go Rafting at Cascade Raft and Kayak
If you’re up for a short ride outside the city (just under an hour) than definitely go rafting at Cascade Raft and Kayak! Be smarter than I was and bring some water shoes but despite my poor footwear, I had the best time! Our guide, Tango was so much fun and totally made us feel safe as we sped over class 2 and 3 rapids. A great activity for families too!
3. Stop by the Farmer’s Market
By now you all know I’m incapable of visiting a city and not checking out their farmer’s market. I’ll be honest, I didn’t have high expectations of the Boise Farmer’s Market before our trip. I was wrong. It became clear immediately upon arriving that the farm-to-table scene is BIG in Boise. Naturally their Farmer’s Market was a reflection of this. They had everything all from local area farmers and it honestly put my local area Farmer’s Market to shame. It happens every Saturday morning so be sure to stop by!
4. Go Wine Tasting
Idaho and wine tasting?! No, I’m not kidding! This is perhaps the part that most surprised me and just about everyone I have told to visit Idaho. The wine scene outside Boise or more accurately, the Snake River AVA is about to explode in a big way. The wines coming out of this region will blow your mind and the landscape holds up to some of the nicest wineries and vineyards in Napa and Sonoma. Head out to Caldwell, Idaho (about 40 minutes outside Boise) for some wine tasting including must-make stops at Koenig Winery, Sawtooth Winery and Fujishin Family Cellars. All show-off different sides of the region but I especially recommend grabbing a to-go lunch from The Orchard House and driving around the corner to Koenig Winery to enjoy lunch on one of the terraces. It’s spectacular!
5. See a Play at The Idaho Shakespeare Festival
We had such a cool experience at The Idaho Shakespeare Festival! If we’d known better we would have brought a picnic dinner with us and eaten it at the venue, but we made do with beer and wine! They run plays all throughout the summer season which include Shakespeare but also plays and musicals. The venue is beautiful so be sure to walk around. We saw deer just 10 meters away from us drinking from the Barber Pond right behind the venue.
6. Try Some Local Brews
You MUST stop by Payette Brewing Company for some locally made and sourced beers. Their new facility is in an old gymnasium with the old pool as the tap room and the brewery in the former gymnastics studio. You can take yourself on a self-guided tour with the open track to view how the beer is made. Or if you just want to rest your feet after a long day post up in their taproom or hangout in the huge outdoor garden area.
Where To Eat In Boise, Idaho
If you’re not out doing some kind of activity in Boise, then you are most definitely eating some great food. I asked you guys on Instagram to give your best Boise food recommendations and they did not disappoint. We loved every single meal we ate and in addition to the wine tasting, would say that the food was a highlight for us!
a Boise classic and one of the most recommended restaurants. We loved our meal at Fork but especially the apps! Don’t miss the asparagus fries and the brussels sprouts. Accidentally filled up on both but we both still loved our Idaho trout and Short Ribs. They emphasize locally sourced ingredients and local Boise vendors.
We loved our meal here. It’s located at The Modern Hotel so be sure to snag a seat in their courtyard if you can. Another farm-to-table restaurant using interesting flavor combinations and ingredients. The cocktails are supposed to be amazing but we had just come from the brewery so we were tapped out.
We ended up going here twice! It’s a fast-casual restaurant right downtown cooking up healthy bowls, local ingredients and can accommodate pretty much every diet. We had breakfast here one morning that was amazing and then ended up going back for dinner that evening because yo’ girl needed some vegetables after a day of wine tasting!
If you’re not able to escape the city to check out the local vineyards, be sure to stop by Coiled Wine Bar to try some locally produced Idaho wines. Or you know…if you want a wine slushie! The wines are great and the atmosphere is awesome for a little happy hour wind down.
We went here every single morning because the coffee could not be topped. I’m told there’s a lot of great coffee shops in Boise but this one stole our heart on the first day and we couldn’t help but go back! Also their cherry croissants were unreal. Definitely grab one!
All in all we were both surprised and amazed by Boise. Beyond the incredible food and local adventures, the people were so nice. Everyone was so welcoming and helpful and we loved the feeling of community we felt there.
It may not have been on our bucket list before but it’s officially on our “must revisit” list now. Idaho, we’ll be back!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by SWITA, however all opinions expressed are 100% my own.
Have you been to Boise or Idaho? What did you love about it?
The post What To Do In Boise, Idaho + Why You Need To Visit ASAP appeared first on The Healthy Maven.
Am I going to get a bruise? The face and scalp are extremely vascularized regions in the body; which is fantastic for speed of healing. However when it comes to any type of injections https://t.co/xA0YmiXfTz
from Twitter https://twitter.com/SohNaturalAZ
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We’re officially on recap #4 of our wedding! I’ll be honest, I’m a bit relieved to be wrapping up these recaps. Not because I didn’t love our wedding but because I’m feeling ready to close this chapter and open a new one. I don’t mean this in a negative way, but after a year of planning I’m SO okay with moving on. That being said, I want to make sure that I a) capture the memories (I like looking back on these posts!) and b) know that I learned a lot along the way and would love to impart some of this knowledge onto you if you’re in this season of your life.
This is especially true as C and I enter our own round of wedding seasons and now have the honor and privilege in supporting our friends as they take this next step. If my excessive list-making and newfound discovery for DIY Wedding Details can be of service to someone else than I’ve done my job well!
But before we get into the DIY wedding details, let’s first recap the brunch. Now, as I mentioned in the welcome dinner post, because 120 of 135 guests were from out of town, our wedding was more than just a one-night affair. We welcomed everyone on Saturday night, the wedding was Sunday and then Monday morning of Memorial Day Weekend we hosted a brunch to say our farewells and thank everyone for coming.
So the morning after the wedding, C and I rallied ourselves to the Marriott Marquis for the Goodbye Brunch. At this point I need to credit Mama Maven for all of her hard work in putting together this event. The brunch was 100% her doing and would not have happened without her. One of the first things Mama Maven did when we confirmed our wedding was book off room blocks at a couple hotels in SF. Not everyone stayed at the hotels, but we wanted to ensure people had the option and Mama Maven being Mama Maven negotiated an insane deal (she’s the best!).
Given that most people were staying at the Marriott Marquis, we though hosting the brunch there would be ideal. It’s also a pretty central location so it was easy to access for everyone. If anyone has ever been to a Marriott breakfast buffet you know it’s really good. So we basically gave access to everyone to the buffet and then the Marriott blocked off the “Chill Lounge” (yes that’s the name…) for us. They set up tables and chairs, coffee and orange juice and made sure everyone was accommodated. We also reused the flowers from the wedding that Mama Maven dropped off the night before. #WIN.
Overall it was a perfect way to recap the weekend and say our goodbyes to everyone before they went home and we left on our honeymoon. HUGE thanks to Mama Maven for organizing!
* * * * *
At this point I want to share some DIY wedding details with you guys in the hopes that I can be helpful to some of you as you plan your big day. We didn’t have a planner for the wedding and most definitely did not have a big budget so doing things ourselves was key. I like small DIY projects, but this was definitely way bigger than anything I had ever worked on before, but luckily I had a lot of help. To save money, here are the things we DIYed for the wedding:
I can’t even tell you how much money we saved by doing these things ourselves. Of course, they took a lot of time but saving thousands of dollars was definitely worth it!
Let’s start with a few tips before you DIY your wedding.
I made all the signs myself using photoshop. Because our theme was green, white, gold and greenery I kept to this theme when creating the signs. Here are the signs I created:
After designing each sign in photoshop, we went to Fedex and had them printed to the correct size ($100 total). We then put all of our signs with the exception of the welcome signs in these 5 x 7 Umbra frames. These frames were actually life-savers. They’re beautiful, went with our theme and kept things consistent. Umbra to the rescue for so many things!
For the welcome signs we also had them printed at Fedex and then pinned them onto two sheets of wood we purchased at home depot and stained. We spent $60 total on them when they were $80 each on Etsy. Felt good about this one!
Also the hashtag signs were displayed in these adorable picture holders from Umbra. Like I said, Umbra is a wedding mecca.
This was definitely the more daring DIY piece we undertook. Especially because it had to be done the day before the wedding. Luckily we were prepared for this and I came equipped with a group of women who had done wedding flowers before. C’s sister Lauren got married in Carmel a few years ago and they had done their flowers themselves so I definitely feel like I lucked out having this crew with me, but I also think anyone could do this if they put in enough preparation. So let’s talk flowers.
The San Francisco Flower Mart is a huge warehouse in SOMA where most flower vendors in the city come to purchase their flowers. After 10:00 AM they open to the public and you can go in and purchase as many flowers as you want. It has everything! The key is to go in with a plan AND an open mind.
We went in on Friday morning with the plan of putting together the flowers on Saturday morning before dropping them off at the venue on Sunday. We ordered all vases and buckets in advance so we knew exactly how many flowers we needed. That being said, you can’t know 100% what kind of flowers they will have in stock so we went in knowing my theme (green and white) but weren’t attached to any specific flower. I had pinned some pictured for inspiration but we interpreted them based on what we found at the flower mart.Pro tip! Buy big buckets from home depot to store the flowers in and then have the vendors add water to them so they stay fresh.
After we had purchased all of our flowers we squished them into the cars and stored them at Lauren’s house. The next morning I rallied the troops aka C’s cousins and we did an assembly line to put together all the flowers for the tables and the aisle buckets. It was a team effort putting together my bouquet and my niece’s and C’s mom did an amazing job making the boutonnieres with succulent clippings from Lauren’s garden. It definitely requires some courage and faith to do the flowers yourselves but honestly, these are some of my favorite memories of the weekend. Thank you to everyone who helped out <3
Not surprisingly, having a theme makes table design so much easier. A few things we thought about: height of the flowers (we wanted people to be able to talk with people across the table), a feeling of warmth (candles) and pulling the outside, inside (leaves on the table). I also didn’t want it to feel cluttered or wind up with a ton of stuff we’d never use again after the wedding.
The flowers were the centerpiece and we worked around those. I actually put together a mock-up of the table on photoshop because I’m such a visual person. The signs are as indicated above where I designed them on photoshop, had them printed at Fedex and then put them in these Umbra frames. We then ordered some candle holders from Amazon and used greenery from the Flower Mart to finish out the rest. It wasn’t anything over the top, but neither are we and we’re really happy with how it turned out.
I honestly shouldn’t be the person writing this portion because I had very little to do with the chuppah design. For those of you who don’t know, a chuppah is a traditional jewish wedding canopy. It represents the home you’re building together with open sides to remind everyone that the home is open and welcoming. C and his uncle built the Chuppah using douglas fir and that’s about all I know. I gave them pictures and they used their engineering/architect skills to make it happen. Given that there were hurricane-force winds and the thing didn’t blow over, I’d say that did a pretty epic job!
We covered the top with the tallit (jewish prayer shalls) from the women of my family and stood on top of a rug that C’s parents gave us from one of their trips to Pakistan. Somehow, C’s uncle was able to get the plants to stay on the chuppah despite the winds. That might be the most impressive piece. We kept the chuppah design pretty simple because we wanted the outdoor space to speak for itself.
* * * * *
Weddings are a very individualized experience. There’s a good chance you’re looking at this recap and not liking any of our design. That’s totally fine! Everyone has different tastes and the point is not to create a wedding that pleases all these tastes…because that’s impossible. C and I are pretty classic. Even though I know I’ll probably look back on our wedding in 30 years and think everything was tacky, I did my very best to not include anything super trendy that I know I’ll hate in the future (I’m looking at you flower crowns…). But if mid-century modern, moody, flower crowns is your jam, by all means – DO IT. Your wedding should be a reflection of you right now, even if it makes you cringe 30 years from now.
We didn’t DIY the entire wedding (some things just weren’t worth doing ourselves) but I have no regrets on the parts that we did. They’re weren’t all perfect, but they made for some great memories that I’ll cherish for a lifetime. Also I’m a sucker for saving $$$ so I’m feeling good about that.
This is the final wedding recap, but hold tight because next week I’m sharing our honeymoon to Napa and Sonoma! Possibly one of the best week’s of my life and favorite post to write. Stay tuned!
Photography: Sierra Ashleigh Photography (digital + film)
Did you do any DIY projects for your wedding? What advice would you have for someone looking to DIY their wedding?
The post Wedding Recap #4: The Brunch + DIY Wedding Details appeared first on The Healthy Maven.
Hi I am Lena Litle 27 years old living in North Charleston. I have studied pharmacy and I like to share news related to health and medicines.