When choosing our wedding invitations, I had a certain look and vibe that I was going for. I knew I wanted them to be elegant and simple, yet really tie into our wedding. I looked at all of the different sites and all of the options for months but I kept coming back to the same design. So we decided to go with Minted again, like we had for our save the date cards and we couldn’t have been happier with how they turned out.

 

I absolutely loved the Minted Fall in Love design and Cody was in complete agreement. We chose to go with the white and gold option to best match with our wedding accent colors. They turned out perfect – simple, but sophisticated and stylish with the gold foil leaves that complimented our fall wedding.

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We went with the same design for our programs too and they turned out lovely as well.

* Tip – None of our guests even really noticed or picked up our programs – we had a TON left over. So don’t put your money towards programs unless they’re really important to you or you’re sure they’ll be seen/used. Placing them on chairs would have been the ideal option, but we didn’t want to chance the autumn wind blowing them away.

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Professional photo credit: Karey at Hazy Lane Studios

I highly recommend using Minted for your wedding invitations, or even holiday cards. We’ve been very happy with their service and quality so far.

And of course, shout out to our amazing photographer Karey! Click the link above for Hazy Lane Studios to learn more if you’re in the Tri-Valley or Bay Area!

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For anyone, this would be a long story. Maybe you had a fight with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Maybe your best friend didn’t show up. Maybe this is your normal secret hideaway. Maybe your entire life is falling apart and this is it for you right now.

But the bottom line is you’re sitting in a bar all alone waiting for what? Maybe nothing, maybe a friend, maybe for Prince Charming or Princess Everything. Maybe you lock eyes with someone across the room and it’s fate…or you’re too scared to talk to them so you run out like Cinderella – boy or girl. Maybe you ordered the wrong beer so you’re just slowing sipping it like you like it and know what you wanted. Or maybe you’re hiding yourself in a phone or book or bible. Or maybe you’re watching the door hoping a certain someone will walk in and save you from yourself.

That doesn’t happen. None of it. You have to pick yourself up. “Life’s tough, get a helmet”. You can’t count on others, friends – they won’t always make time to be there. Sometimes you just end up in a bar alone. Wishing for a million things that will never happen. And you have to pick yourself up and walk out and move on. But I’m telling you it’s possible, maybe not right away, but eventually everything and anything is possible if you just believe and give yourself the credit you deserve.

You can’t and won’t always make everyone happy. And that’s got to be okay. Learn to make YOU happy and content. If you can master that, you’ve pretty much mastered life.

So good luck. Cheers. Here’s to hoping you don’t end up in a bar alone or feel the need to. You’ve got this.

 

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Today we have a guest writer – my hubby! He’s a major Marvel fan and owns every movie to date. Though he doesn’t hesitate to critique when necessary. When I asked him if he’d be interested in writing a review of the new Avengers movie for the blog, just to expand our content a bit, he jumped at the chance. There are some spoilers in the below review, so if you haven’t watched the movie yet and don’t want to know some major details then save this to read later. 

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Where do I begin? This is the culmination of 10, carefully crafted years and 18 movies of pure Marvel genius. 10 years ago, they put everything on the line, with a little-known B-list Marvel character, portrayed by a washed up, rehabbed actor – Robert Downey Jr. Iron Man was the last chance that Marvel Studios had, in building the cinematic Universe that they dreamt of crafting. All of their money, jobs and livelihoods were dependent on this movie. I think it’s safe to say they hit it out of the park. Little did we know, when the movie ended and the credits had rolled, we would get our first glance at what this world, this Universe could be. “”I am Iron Man”. You think you’re the only superhero in the world? Mr. Stark, you’ve become part of a bigger universe, you just don’t know it yet.” These words spoken by Nick Fury would echo on for the next 10 years of a carefully planned cinematic universe that would take us on a journey from World War 2 to Asgard, and across the Galaxy with our favorite Guardians, all to lead us to this very moment. The Infinity War.

It is Wednesday May 2nd, at 7pm. Sitting in my seat, heart beating fast, awaiting the culmination of the last 10 years of Marvel movies. The somber Marvel theme comes on the speakers, with the traditional Marvel scroll, appearing on screen. I knew from that moment this movie was going to be different – that this movie was going to go all out and not hold back. The opening voice over, of the Asgardian refugee distress signal, was such a different tone from past Marvel movies – perfect to kick off this Epic story. In the opening minutes of the movie, we immediately see our villain, Thanos, murder Loki and Heimdall, as well as put a beat down on the Hulk. The action did not stop after this first scene, and the movie never slowed down, delivering scene after scene of action, humor and story.

This movie was so well-balanced, managing over 20 characters, a “new” villain and his back story, as well as tying up a lot of loose ends from the previous 18 movies. Fast forward to a little over 2½ hours later and I was left sitting in my seat, with my mind racing, completely blown away. The Russo brothers did it. The tone and the flow of this movie just plain worked, and it really shouldn’t have. It was such a large endeavor to bring all of these characters and their stories into one movie, having so much weight and pressure from the fans and critics to make this work. The Russo brothers handled this Cinematic Universe with such respect, that they were able to make it all work together in this epic film. They crafted such a well-balanced movie, marrying so many different characters, movies, plots and sparks of humor with perfect timing.

We received a villain worthy of beating down our heroes, and coming out victorious. Thanos succeeded, just let that sink in. More than half of our heroes are lost, which leaves the OG Avenger’s cast plus a handful of characters to figure this all out. The dynamic cast that we’ve grown to love and admire, delivered such emotion and such remarkable performances. This is truly a movie worthy of a 10 year build up.
There is so much to discuss about this movie, and so many great moments, that it is hard to capture everything in a reasonable amount of time, so let’s talk about some my favorite scenes from the movie. During the Wakanda battle, when through the crowd of the charging army comes Captain America (or Nomad) and Black Panther – I thought that little extra touch of these two supers sprinting in front of everyone to fight the Outriders was awesome! And let’s talk about the fight scene on Titan. This battle was amazing, but the scenes were absolutely stolen by Doctor Strange. It is so nice to see this new character so powerful in this movie. His visuals in this entire movie were so spectacular – turning a large blast from Thanos into a flurry of butterflies, summoning the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak, and splitting himself into multiple versions in an attempt to stop the Mad Titan. This magical side of Marvel needs to be more deeply explored, as this was hands down one of my favorite aspects of the film.

The last scene I want to talk about should be obvious. In the midst of the battle and our heroes getting over run by the Outriders of Thanos, you think hope is about to be lost, and then comes a bright flash of light, the Bifrost! And a super charged King Thor shows up, with his new weapon, Storm Breaker. The lightning and the power from Thor in the scene had the entire crowd in the theater cheering. That was hands down the best entrance in the entire movie. I love that they cut to Bruce in the Hulkbuster giving the line, “You are all screwed now!”. That line captured my emotions perfectly in that moment. This movie truly did all of our hero’s justice and gave us the amazing visual scenes that you would expect to see in a comic book movie.

I cannot give enough praise to Avengers: Infinity War and the job done by the cast, directors, and the crew behind the scenes. I would give this movie two thumbs up, rate it a 9.5 out of 10, and highly recommend it to anyone – comic book fan or not. I think it’s safe to say that this film just became my absolute favorite Marvel movie to date. I cannot wait for next May to see what the Russo brother’s and Marvel Studios have in store for us with the untitled Avengers 4 movie, but I am more than confident that it will not disappoint.

– Cody Petty

If you’ve seen the movie we’d love to hear what you thought in the comments below!

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We all deal with stress and/or anxiety on some level. Some more than others, sometimes at certain times in our lives and sometimes consistently. The important thing is that we learn how to deal with it properly – something I am still very much working on. But once we can get a handle on it in a healthy way, we can continue to work through those feelings and thrive in our daily lives. Today I thought I’d share with you a few things that I’ve found to be helpful lately.

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  1. Breathwork
    It took me the longest time to realize the importance and major benefits of breathwork. It also took a lot of patience and practice to get to a place where I understood that it was helping me – and there are still days I struggle with it. But let me tell you, it really does help. There are many different ways to go about doing breathwork – from regular deep breathing to abdominal breathing to alternate nostril breathing – so I’m sure you can find one that resonates with you. I found an article here that does a pretty good job of describing some of these techniques, and YouTube has a lot of helpful videos as well.
  2. Bach Rescue Remedy Natural Stress Relief
    This stuff was recommended to me by the lovely lady that performs reiki on me and I love it. I keep the dropper in my purse and pull it out anytime I’m feeling overwhelmed or stressed and need a little assistance besides some deep breathing. Rescue remedy is designed to help deal with immediate problems and is a blend of all natural flower essences: Impatiens, Star of Bethlehem, Cherry Plum, Rock Rose and Clematis.You can read more about what each of these assist with here. I pick mine up at Whole foods and it’s definitely become a bit of a lifesaver.
  3. Essential Oils
    You’ve heard me mention them before, but I can’t express enough how much I love my Young Living essential oils. Lavender is my best friend – in the diffuser by itself or mixed with one of their blends like Stress Away, Peace & Calming, or even just Cedarwood or Peppermint. I always have a few oils or rollers in my purse so I can easily apply some to my wrists and neck at any time to help with my mood.
  4. Taking a walk
    There’s something about getting out in nature that helps me to breathe a little easier. It can be a walk around the neighborhood, a hike, or my favorite, a stroll on the beach. The fresh air and vitamin D just seem to really do the trick most times.
  5. Yoga/Stretching
    Slow and easy yoga or even just stretching really helps the tension that my body holds from stress and anxiety. As I’ve mentioned before, I tend to turn to Boho Beautiful as a guide for my yoga flows and even workouts. The two flows I’ve been really loving lately to do either by themselves or to end a workout are their Gentle Yin Yoga ♥ Tools For A New You | Forgiveness and their Yoga For Beginners ♥ Easy Stretch & Stress Release | Playa Barrigona.

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What are some of your tips and tricks for dealing with stress and anxiety? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

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Do you feel fulfillment from yourself – the things you do, the thoughts you have, the vibe you put out into the world? If so, then that’s freaking awesome and you should be damn proud. But some of us have this tendency to rely on other people to make us happy. It could be a friend, a boyfriend or girlfriend, a spouse, a “good job” from your boss – it doesn’t matter who because that’s not healthy. The fact is that the majority of us have decided that it’s normal and okay to give someone else complete control over our emotional and sometimes mental state. Sure, it may happen by accident, and it may feel like falling in love, but on some level we let it happen. We let ourselves get to that point and stop fighting it – not the love, but stop fighting for control over our own happiness because it’s easier to rely on someone else.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “you can’t be there for someone else if you’re not there for yourself”, right? Well, it’s true. How can we expect to be the best version of ourselves for someone of our choosing if we aren’t already that way for our own benefit without them? We must work on ourselves first and get to a point of contentment, control, flow and happiness before we can be a proper partner for someone else.

Four years ago I was just starting to finally get this and focus on me – and then divine intervention happened. My knight in shining armor came bursting into my life and I didn’t need to work on myself anymore, I was working on us and I was loving it. Now I’m learning that while that was amazing and wonderful and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, it’s time to hit that play button that’s been paused all this time and get back to working on myself. And who knows, this might be more difficult while in a committed relationship, or it might be easier. It may take more strength but it has to be done. And at times, whether you’re in a relationship or not while finding out who you are and trying to become the best version of yourself, it might get lonely. And when I think of this I think of one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books that I recommend everyone read at least once in their life – Eat, Pray Love.

“When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.”

― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

For real happiness, you have to work for it and you have to work hard. Read the self-help books, take that drive or go on that vacation, explore yourself and your beliefs, dance and sing, eat what you want, try different hobbies until you find a few that you love and that inspire you. Whatever it is you do, be open to it – enjoy it and don’t be afraid to grow and let it change you. You’ll be better for it, your current or future relationship will be better for it and your life will be better for it.

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I’m just restarting this journey and I’m not exactly sure where to start but I’m willing to try. If you’re on the same journey or have been, share in the comments below – share your story, your starting point, share your favorite books, quotes or tips that helped you. I’d love to hear things from your perspective.

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