Paris in Seattle

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Bride’s Best Friend: Bestowe Gifting

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Members of your bridal party are more than just the people that precede you walking down the aisle, that stand next to you in photos, or wear matching pastel dresses.They are your people; the ones who have stood by you both literally and metaphorically on every big day leading up to THE Big Day. They are the ones with whom you’ve laughed until you cried with and cried until you laughed with. Your bridal party has journeyed with you through the highs and lows of wedding planning, and there is no more thoughtful or meaningful way to say a giant “thank you” than with a custom gift to capture exactly how you feel toward the ones who have journeyed with you and your fiance. 

Bestowe Gifting, an Oakland, California curated gifting boutique, works with clients one-on-one to create meaningful, personalized, and unique gifts meant to leave a lasting impression. I had the opportunity to work with Catherine, Bestowe’s founder and creative force, to craft an experience through the act of giving. 


The Process 

Catherine makes the brainstorming process straightforward and easy, making sure you feel like you are involved every step of the way, or as much as you want to be. She takes care to get to know you and asks you just the right questions to get what you want to look how you want it to look. And don’t get me started about the end look of the gift, which will make your bridesmaids and groomsmen, or guests (if you are asking for wedding welcome gifts), feel special! Catherine and I brainstormed together several times before arriving at our final vision for our bridal party’s gifts. After emails, calls, and mockups, we landed on our vision. For the bride tribe, we chose a gifting theme emphasized relaxation and light, femine details. For the guys, we honed in on the groom’s passion for homebrewing beer and settled on warm leather tones as our color scheme. Catherine built out their gifts by centering on Kyle’s passion project for the wedding, his homebrewed beers. She worked with us to create custom labels and names for each beer (oh, did I mention that she is a full-service design house as well!). She creatively presented us with Hoppy Matrimony, Sweet Sweet Love, and Beerly Beloved labels to add to our unique gifting experience. We used the labels on the rest of the bottles that we had at the bar for our guests as well.

The outcome? Beyond my grandest gifting dreams. 


The Results 

Catherine curated items, many from local small business, to create our custom boxes, which was important to us to convey who we were, where we came from, and more about our destination wedding: like a beautiful pint glass etched the destination of our Mendocino wedding for the groomsman. We wanted to add pieces that would be useful for the Big Day from sunrise to sunset. For both the bridesmaids and the groomsmen, we aimed to gift pieces that they would enjoy during the wedding weekend and beyond.










For the Bridesmaids

French Girl Cosmetics for setting the tone of relaxation and pampering with calming Rose Sea Polish and moisturizing Lip Tint  in Ambre Noire  (that is, if I do say so myself, my all-time favorite beauty product) 

Sincerely Sofi Designs PJ Set perfect for a relaxing, silky, and cozy wedding morning

Una Lou Rose for toasting with as we prepped (and add a pretty pop of color to our gift)

Palete Polish in Earl Grey for adding a light, pretty, and femine touch to our look for the day. 

Sachi Style Earrings in Grey Moonstone for adding a stunning finishing touch to pair with my bridesmaid’s formal gowns. 









For the Groomsmen 

The Groom’s Homebrewed Beers complete with custom labels designed by Catherine herself 

Fire Road Bottle Opener for cracking a cold one with the boys (sorry, I couldn't resist the pun)

Map Pint Glasses for sipping Kyle’s brews in a glass that gave a custom ode to our wedding venue, complete with “Poppinga Brewing Co.” etched in the glass

Leather Luggage Tags by Lifetime Leather Co. for dark leather accents and custom monograms for each groomsman

Teakwood + Leather Candle by BASIK for a masculine scent and an ode to Bestow Gfting’s Bay Area roots 

Dress Socks by the Tie Bar for adding a dash of color to the groomsmen’s formal look


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10 Days in India!

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We traveled with Worldwide Adventures. We told our guide Sandy, what we had in mind for the trip, and he created this itinerary. It was the perfect blend of city sites and outdoor adventures. I am usually an independent traveler, but I was so glad to have someone who could speak the language, navigate situations, and show us the most incredible his country.

Day 1: 
Travel Day. Arrive in Delhi



Day 2: 
Rickshaw ride through the streets of Old Delhi. Shop the colorful bazaars. Visit Jama Masjid, the oldest mosque in India. Tour King Humayun's Tomb and Qutub Minar, the highest and oldest tower in India.



Day 3: 
Take a yoga in the morning. Tour the stunning Swaminarayan Akshardham Hindu temple. Visit the largest Sikh temple in Delhi, Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, and help make naan for the homeless. Make sure to drive by India Gate and Parliament House.



Day 4: 
Drive to the “Pink City” and stop along the way to feed monkeys. Tour local factories that employ local women in need and manufacture blue pottery, hand woven rugs, marble, and eco friendly paper.





Day 5: 
Take an off-road Jeep ride to Amber Fort and then visit Palace of the Winds. Tour City Palace, the former royal residence. Go to the medieval observatory, Jantar Mantar.






Day 6: 
Hike through old Jaipur up to Jai Garh Fort and Nahargarh Fort. Have lunch at Caffé Palladio. Drive to Dera Amer and spend time with rescue elephants. Go on a trek through the Aravali Forest and have dinner on the property (This was one of my favorite experiences! I found the website here and found out that you can camp there overnight too!)





Day 7:  
Drive to Agra. Stop to visit Fatehpur Sikri, the walled city outside of Agra. Visit Mehtaab Bagh garden to see the Taj Mahal at sunset.



Day 8: 
Watch the sunrise from the Taj Mahal. Go on boat ride on the Yamuna River right behind behind the Taj Mahal. Rent bikes to explore the old city. Take a cooking class and learn local recipes. Visit Agra Fort.



Day 9: 
Start your day with yoga at Taj Khema overlooking the Taj Mahal. Have breakfast before driving back to Delhi.



Day 10: 
Travel Day, Arrive back home

More Info

Visa: Before you travel to India, you have to apply for a visa! The first time I went, I completely forgot and go to the Indian Embassy in San Francisco to request one in person.

Health: Get your Malaria and Flu shots before you go! Pack Imodium and Pepto Bismol. Don't drink non bottled water. Avoid raw fruits or vegetables. Don't eat food from street vendors. And most of all, just use common sense!

Safety: If you are a Westerner, you may feel uncomfortable by the stares, but keep in mind that most of the time others are just curious about you! Always be aware of your surroundings, don't wear a backpack or carry an open bag, try not to wear expensive jewelry, and use common sense.

Clothing: It's easy to under and over estimate how to dress modestly in India. It's not like anything is "against the rules" to wear, but it's more about how you feel about getting stared at. If you show your chest, shoulders, or above your knees you and others might feel uncomfortable. If you go in a temple or someone's home, be sure to take off your shoes.

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Why Gaming Isn’t Just For The Guys

Marriage is all about sharing, right?! That’s why in this household gaming isn’t just for guys anymore! Sharing what you love with who you love is so important… that means that this girl is hopping on our new Xbox One S All-Digital Edition for a date night in full of Chinese takeout and gaming! And not going to lie, #NewlywedLife means #BudgetLife, so coming up with fun, creative, and affordable date nights has been a fun challenge! When Xbox sent me this console to try out, I was so excited because game nights are the perfect way to spend the night laughing and bonding without breaking the budget. 

One of my favorite things about our Xbox One S All-Digital Edition is that it is entirely digital! The less clutter in our cute lil 600 square foot Love Nest, the better! With an all digital set up, we don’t have any boxes, disks, or extras that we don’t need. Our Xbox Game Pass membership gives unlimited access to over one hundred great Xbox One and Xbox 360 titles, so we have all the games without the clutter! And the best part of going all digital? By removing the disc drive, it takes $50 off the Xbox One S price! No need to pay for something you don’t use! Our Xbox setup is streamlined and simple, which I LOVE. 

I don’t know about you, but growing up I was a Guitar Hero gal! That was actually one of the things that Kyle and I bonded about early in our relationship. And even now, we’ve had intense Guitar Hero game nights with our college friends! Getting together to play, laugh, and (of course) share takeout is always a good time and I love how we can have fun, make memories, and host people in our new place as newlyweds. 

This post is brought to you by Xbox. 




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