Alright, so the title is a little misleading because this was our first trip to Calistoga, but we definitely will be going back. Last Friday Troy and I were trying to figure out our weekend plans and decided last minute to make a little trip up to wine country. We thought we’d try somewhere a little different and landed on Calistoga. After searching online for an available hotel to no avail and calling a few B&Bs, Troy was directed to the chamber of commerce where a rabbit was somehow pulled out of a hat and we were able to find a great last minute deal on a room at the old famous Dr. Wilkonson’s Hot Spring Resort. I’m typically a big planner, so spontaneous trips like this don’t usually happen much in my book, but so glad it all worked out because we had such a great time. You seriously can’t get much better than the Bay Area where you can decide on a whim to make a trip to wine country, the beach, the mountains for a day trip or the weekend.
We rented bikes at the Calistoga Bike Shop and did a self-led bike tour. We did four wine tastings (which they reserved for us) and they gave us wristbands and a map and sent us on our way. So fun.
Troy at Twomey Cellars – the first winery on our stop.
There were two dogs that lived on the property of our second stop, Dutch Henry. They were pretty awesome. Note that if you do this same route, the map is definitely not to scale and the hills are a bit intense between the two wineries.
We bought a tasty bottle of wine and enjoyed it on their picnic grounds along with some delicious sandwiches from a deli we stopped off before the route.
Rustic chairs at our 3rd stop – Lava Winery. This place was fun. There was definitely more people here than the other two wineries and quite the lively crowd, including a former WSU Coug that was on her honeymoon with her husband. Got love that Cougar pride.
Awesome chandelier made out of an old grape vine and cut wine bottles.
These spontaneous tips need to happen more often. Such a fun weekend. Oh and we’re definitely planning on going going back back go Cali- stoga. And yes, that’s a Notorious B I G reference. May he RIP.
Posted by christienoelle on August 10, 2012
Some fun finds and recent favorites…
Ben & Jerry’s Greek Frozen Yogurt (loving the Strawberry Shortcake flavor) and Suppenküche.
Smitten Ice Cream in Hayes Valley. So so so freakin’ good and such a cool story. I highly recommend it.
Mission Bowling Club. Good food. Good drinks. Good bowling. And how cool are all the bowling decor details?!
Posted by christienoelle on July 31, 2012
Apparently I’m not good at blogging while traveling. Woops. Well I’m back home and catching up after an amazing (and much needed) 2 and a half-week vacation. The first week and a half was spent on a European cruise with Troy and two other couples that we’re good friends with, and the latter part of the vacation was spent visiting with my in-laws in New England AND THEN from there we flew to San Diego to celebrate the wedding of my good friend from SCU. I know, crazy, right? So fun though and once I edit my pictures I’ll be sure to share.
So that’s the reason I’ve been so MIA the last few weeks. Now onto some exciting news….
I started this blog in an attempt to corral my creative endeavors and to journal my exploration of how I can continue to do the things that I really enjoy doing. As a kid I was always rearranging my room, creating furniture for my dolls, drawing, and sewing doll clothes. Clearly I was creative from the start and very crafty . But somehow my passion for creativity got pushed to the side as I went on to do other things. Then I discovered the world of decorating blogs, and once I planned and designed my own DIY wedding, I knew I couldn’t stop there.
To keep it going, I decided to blog, continue to do DIY projects around the home, learn some new skills, and talk to other creative professionals. After talking with my good friend Margie about my plan, she suggested that I meet her friend PJ who is SUPER creative and has been doing visual displays for Anthropologie and Bloomingdales for the past few years (so cool, right?!). A friend of Margie’s is a friend of mine, and I knew I wanted to pick her brain, so back in May we got together for coffee.
Well about three hours later, we left the coffee shop with a decision to partner together on a new venture doing event design and coordination – Going Lovely. This all happened right before I left for India for a work trip and everything has been falling into place since. Amidst my travels we’ve been busy working away on updating our website (huge thanks to Sarah Hoag for the AMAZING pictures!), putting together our business plan and planning and designing 4 weddings taking place from August- November. We’ve also signed up for floral design classes together which start at the beginning of September!
So there you have it. Amazing how things just fall into place sometimes. Check out our website, Like our Page and spread the word if you know of anyone in need of event design or coordination! So excited to see what’s to come and I’ll keep everyone posted along the way!
Posted by christienoelle on July 25, 2012
Ahhh! I can’t believe June is over. Seriously, this year has probably gone by the fastest so far. It’s been over a month since my last post. Fail. Things have been a little busy since I last left off. I spent another couple weeks in India, came back for a week then it was off to New Zealand for 2 weeks, back for a day then, off to Seattle for our good friends’ wedding, back for a week and a half and then off to Chicago for my nephew’s 1st birthday. Crazy.
Lots of exciting things to share that went on amidst all my traveling, but I thought I’d start where I left off and share some pics from India and New Zealand. It’s definitely been a great experience to visit some of these places I would probably never go on my own, but I just want to throw it out there that it’s a lot less glamorous that it seems. Long days and ughh… jet lag is the worst (let’s just say I drank a lot of coffee). I did get to sneak in a little sightseeing on the weekends and of course I made sure to snap some pictures of things that inspired me at dinners, the hotel or wherever I happened to be. Most of them ended up on Instagram (you can follow me at christienoelle) but here’s a little compilation from where I last left off.
New scarves from India, beautiful seating area at the Leland Hotel, delicious cheese platter and gorgeous dinnerware I wouldn’t mind having on my table.
Am I the only one who gets excited to see things with my name on them?? Christie’s Cafe in Goa and Christie’s Gin spotted at the airport in New Zealand (which of course I had to purchase).
Views from my run to Mt. Eden – the highest natural point in Aukland. Gorgeous.
All Blacks game.
Some lovely flowers and displays spotted around Aukland.
Views from wine tasting at Waiheke Island. The water was soooo blue and I am obsessed with those chesterfield chairs and couch. Get in my living room.
Posted by christienoelle on July 2, 2012
Feeling a little homesick while away (1 more week left!) so I thought I’d share some recent pictures from visiting with my amazing nephews. My sister-in-law and nephew came for a visit from Chicago last month and the weekend before coming to India the Mr. and I went out to Sacramento to visit our nephew Kai and see him dominate in little league
Uncle Troy and Oliver at the park
Oliver wasn’t so sure about the swing business
Checkin out the goats at Happy Hollow
A pony just his size!
Proud aunt and uncle
Love this little guy
Promise to post more pics from India soon!
Posted by christienoelle on May 21, 2012
Hello from Mumbai, India! After a long journey (24+ hours traveling), I got to Mumbai with my co-worker on Saturday night. We were greeted at the airport with flowers from our partners amongst a fairly large crowd of people. Such a great welcoming! This is my second time to India but first time to Mumbai and my boss was right when he said this place was filled with energy! I can’t get over how many people there are! I’ve never quite experienced traffic like this. It’s 10pm and it’s still going strong (I can hear the horns outside my window as I type).
I haven’t yet had the chance to do much exploring, but I wanted to share a few pics that I’ve taken so far.
Our welcome at the airport.
View at dawn from my hotel room (jet lag is pretty terrible).
Glass design in the hotel lobby.
Love these pendant lights in the hotel.
AMAZING bathtub in my room. I know what I want in my future custom bathroom someday
I’ve been eyeing the Nespresso espresso maker for a while now and after testing this out, I think I’m sold.
The hotel pool is perfect for laps and I’ve been able to get in a few morning swims. I used to swim in high school and for a couple years in college, but it’s been a while since I’ve hit the water. I forgot how much I love it.
My co-worker and I having a chai tea break with the team from the tea shack. So good.
Lovely table setting at dinner last night.
I should have more to share after exploring this weekend. Planning to visit some markets and will be taking lots of pictures!
Has anyone been to Mumbai? Have any recommendations for me?
Posted by christienoelle on May 9, 2012
Graduation season is approaching and I’ve noticed senior pictures popping up on Facebook lately from family and photographers. Ummm why weren’t graduation pictures this cute when I was graduating? I love seeing the creative and fresh pictures being taken these days. When I graduated (10 years ago now – ahh!) We took our pictures in a studio. We had one with our cap and gown, one with the standard black drape (not sure what the real term is?) and one “casual” picture with a fake backdrop.
Here’s a roundup of some of my favorite that I’ve seen.
Oh and here’s my high school graduation picture. Pre-digital days. Ignore the fold in the picture and the spots.
Can’t believe that was 10 years ago…
Posted by christienoelle on May 3, 2012
When I first met with our wedding photographer Kate Harrison in her office, I not only fell in love with her soft and romantic photography style, I also fell for the beautiful albums she offers. Her pricing is a la carte, and the albums were a bit out of our budget, so I didn’t include one in our package and hoped that maybe down the line we could get one.
Well, shortly after our wedding, my wonderful dad and his girlfriend decided they wanted to get us an album as our wedding gift. YAY!! I was so excited. Once we got our pictures back from Kate, I found myself looking at them constantly, so I knew the album would be well worth the purchase and would be something we’d cherish for years to come.
Kate uses Cypress Albums and they are AMAZING. They are individually handcrafted, photographic prints are flush-mounted to heavy-weight 6-ply pages, library bound style binding, custom presentation boxes are available to store and protect the album, and they are available in over 20 fabrics & ribbons.
I decided to go with the 10×10 (which I think is the perfect size) linen bound album in english linen and included the presentation box with an ivory ribbon. I went with Kate’s simple option where I chose the pictures I wanted included in the album, placed them in a folder in my preferred order, and left the design up to her. While I typically enjoy being more involved in the design process, I’m really glad I went this route and Kate DEFINITELY did not disappoint.
I’d say the hardest part (besides waiting for the album!) was narrowing down my selection to only 55 pictures. There were so many that I loved! I started with a larger folder of my favorites and then chose 55 pictures from there that I felt told the best “story” from the day.
I’ve been having a bit of a stressful week; so the delivery of this bad boy came at such a good time! I seriously couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.
For all those brides out there I highly recommend that you get an album if you can. Totally worth it. For all those photographers out there – definitely look into Cypress Albums. I can’t speak on behalf of other photographers, but as a customer, I couldn’t be happier.
I head to India on Friday for the next three and will be trying to keep up with the blog posts as much as possible and plan on sharing some of my adventures along the way! Hope everyone is having a great week!
Posted by christienoelle on May 2, 2012
Holy busy week! Been a little MIA on the blog this week due to a hectic schedule. I was basically “unplugged” all weekend (which is rare for me) while attending admit weekend with the Mr. at Stanford (so so proud of him!) and then I had work events that went through the evenings Monday-Wednesday. Lots goin’ on over here.
So I started this blog as an outlet for my creative thoughts and to encourage me continue to pursue being creative and to act on what excites and inspires me.
A while back, I blogged about the book The Happiness Project that I was reading. The author of this book writes about her year long process of discovering her “happiness.” One area that the author focuses on as part of her project is to “stimulate the mind in different ways” and learn something new. As she says in the book “Novely and challenge bring big boosts in happiness…it was (also) tremendously gratifying to learn something new – to partake in the atmosphere of growth.”
I have to agree that learning something new, particularly in an area of interest, can be very happiness inducing. I’m trying to purposely be more creative, so what better thing to do than learn from other creative people?!
I’ve set a new goal for myself to learn and perfect some new skills in the creative field. Here’s what’s currently on my list:
- Take a floral class
- Learn more about typography
- Learn how to use Illustrator, InDesign, & Photoshop (the right way)
- Take a calligraphy class
- Take a letterpress class
- Learn how to use my DSLR
I’ve started a Pinterest board with online tutorials and online and local classes. It’s looking a little sparse at the moment, so if anyone has any suggestions – please send em’ my way!
I’m also going to be starting a new series of posts featuring interviews of individuals with “creative” careers to learn more about their day to day jobs and how they got to where they are today. Hoping to learn a lot from this process and I hope others will find this useful too!
Anyone have any requests for interesting creative fields they want to learn more about or have suggestions for things I should add to my creative learning list?
Posted by christienoelle on April 27, 2012
I’ve just signed up for Bloglovin‘ and let me tell you – it’s not only a great resource to find new blogs to follow but also an AMAZING way to follow all of your favorite blogs in one place. I know there are other blog readers out there, but I’m really diggin’ how clean and simple this site is.
The majority of the blogs that I already follow are on here so I simply created a login and searched and added all of my bookmarked blogs and put them into categories.
Now instead of this:
I can just go here:
I’ve added Christie’s Creative to Bloglovin’ too – so be sure to follow my blog with Bloglovin if you sign up for an account!
Anyone else have any other good blog readers they use? Am I totally late to the game on this Bloglovin’ thing?
Posted by christienoelle on April 19, 2012