Weekend Awesomeness

Happy Monday lovelies!

I had a pretty fabulous weekend and that makes starting Monday off EVEN harder. I also realized that Sunday nights are the HARDEST nights to write entries when you’ve had an amazing weekend. Sooooo sorry I’m not sorry…Lol

Despite telling you all I had virtually no plans this weekend, that was a lie. Rob and my fabulous friends threw me an AMAZING surprise party on Friday. We had a nice dinner at Mikunis (sushi nomzzz) and went back to Rob’s for some beverages. And by some beverages, I mean LOTS of dranks. The after party was the best part and everyone got along so well and had a ton of fun! We even had s’mores by the fire to finish the night. I haven’t laughed as hard as I did that night in a longgggg time and I’m so unbelievably thankful for all the work Rob put into it. I love you boo! Thank you to all my friends for making it out!

In the midst of the madness, Rob and I managed to not get 1 picture together. Boo.

And no Mom and Dad (+Family that read my blog), I didn’t even drink much! I was having too much fun naturally to even have to drink 🙂

Okay, that’s end of my birthday talk. No mas!

Yesterday, I went to my lovely friend Caitlin’s birthday party with a bunch of my sorority sisters. I don’t get to see them nearly as often as I’d like so I was happy to spend time with them. Caitlin is one of the sweetest girls ever and it was wonderful to celebrate her birthday with her!

And because I clearly don’t have my own shiz together, here’s some blogs that do!

This one is for the ladies who love to do their own manicures!

My dear friend Lyss has finally taught me how to add washi tape to my blog!

This wall art is so beautiful, further proof I clearly need a Cricut or Silhouette.

I’ve pinned this time and time again but it’s time to make these already!

If only I had known this trick in college!

Let’s Get Physical Link up, THIS Wednesday October 3rd! Get your Confessions, Facts and Goals ready!

Have a great day! 🙂

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Simply Traveling: Lodi Wine Tasting

Happy Thursday everyone!

Ever have one of those weeks where you’re just dying for it to be Friday already? I have been so exhausted lately! Anyhoot, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve linked up with Current Crush over at The Wright Stuff and I had just the post ready. My Current Crush: Wine Tasting!

For my birthday last year, my parents bought me limo service for wine tasting in Lodi, CA. Basically 4 hours in a limo taking me and 7 other guests wine tasting. I didn’t get to use it for my birthday last year and it expired before my birthday this year so I invited 3 of our favorite couples out to wine tasting just for fun.

We went to 3 fabulous wineries:

d’Art – A lovely winery started by a couple whose passions include art and wine. We met Helen Dart (the wife of the winemaker) and she lead us through a wonderful tasting of their delicious wines. It was only 10:30 am so we were classy individuals at this stop. I walked away with their Chardonnay, it was light and perfect for the last days of summer.

Oak Ridge Winery – Oak Ridge had a beautiful tasting room, with a wide selection of wines. They gave us a free tasting of 4 wines and for their palate cleanser they had pita chips which were a hit at that point in the day. And they have a wine club that can’t be beat! Clearly I had a good time wine tasting there because I don’t even remember the bottle we bought…

Delicato Vineyards – We were lured to this place by a big billboard for Gnarly Head wine and we weren’t disappointed. Their tasting room was so spacious and we sampled 6 free wines there plus a dessert port blend that was delicious. I know we walked away with a HandCraft wine, I just don’t remember what it was… haha

I’ve always been a little intimidated by wine selection but thanks to our first wine tasting I’ve realized that I’m a Chardonnay, Petit Sirah and Cabernet Savignon girl.

I’d never gone wine tasting before so it was a pleasant surprise how FUN and educational it was. I’d be lying if I said we weren’t all LOVING life at the 3rd stop (but we weren’t obnoxious, I don’t think lol). And after 4 hours of wine tasting, we weren’t ready for the party to stop so we had the limo drop us off at Chevy’s for Happy Hour! We weren’t entirely sure how we’d get home but once Margaritas were mentioned, there was no turning back. Just thinking about it makes me laugh, taking the limo to Chevy’s, haha.

Someone told Chevy’s it was my birthday (which it wasn’t but technically we were using my 23rd birthday present) where they proceeded to sing happy birthday, throw a sombrero on me and literally from behind, pour a shot into my mouth. Considering I haven’t taken a shot since my junior year of college, I was just glad it didn’t come back up. Lol Rob looked as shocked as I was about that. But overall it was SUCH an amazing time and definitely my favorite 2nd 23rd birthday ever!! Thank you to my wonderful friends for coming and thanks Mom and Dad! 🙂

Wine Tasting Tip: If you’re going to be tasting for a few hours, bring FOOD. Our friends Jeremy and Casey were kind enough to bring salami and rolls and I packed some olive oil and bread. Saved our lives that day…

Did I mention Rob and I had a wedding to go to right after this? DEATH.

Have you gone wine tasting before? What is your favorite type of wine?

Happy Day before Friday!

To Do List: Spend time with loved ones

Happy Wednesday loves!

Last night, I took a step away from the blogosphere to spend quality time with some of my dearest friends. I had dinner and wine with my best friend Auva and spent 2 hours group chatting with my 2 long distance best friends, Chid and Eva. It’s so easy to get caught up in the millions of things we feel like we have to do everyday but at the end of the day, friends and family make life worth living.

So I’ve added to my to-do list to spend more time nurturing the relationships of people close to me. Whether that means cooking dinner for my family, more happy hours with friends or maybe some real life blog meet ups, I need to learn how to silence my phone, refrain from checking instagram or log off my computer more often to interact in real time. Yesterday was a wonderful example of that. Love you ladies!

 Etsy $15

Ever have those days when it feels good to just put down the laptop and spend time with the people you adore?

Bloggy Love

And since I don’t want you to leave empty-handed, I figured I’d share some of my must-read blogs:

 I can’t get ENOUGH of Lauren, she is so honest, sarcastic but remarkably sweet. I adore her.

In reading one entry, Mish had my heart. By far, the funniest girl in the blog world and my total blog crush.

If anyone can make you LOL with hashtags, it’s Kristine. And she has the most adorable children!

So much of Simply Evani was inspired by Maggie. While I can only dream of being as talented and successful, she’s so incredibly open with her life and it makes me want to stay awhile.

None of these blogs are sponsors, I just genuinely love reading them!

Which blogs are your must reads??

Happy Hump Day!

Simply Celebrating: Cinco De Mayo

Last Saturday, we hosted our first Cinco De Mayo celebration! As usual, I spent most of the week before stressing myself to death with all the projects I had to do. But all in all, I was so happy with how it turned out and I can’t wait to share some fun photos with you all!

Attached to these amazing bulb outdoor lights I bought at Target, I saw a Papel Picado DIY on Oh Happy Day! I knew I had to give it a try. I just followed Jordan’s instructions, created a few different designs and they added such a fun decorations in the sky.

Individual 7 layer dips were so easy and fun to make, plus they looked so much cuter than having people drop a clump of dip on a plate.  I bought the cups at Dollar Tree and we already had all the ingredients since we were servings tacos. The layers included beans, sour cream, lettuce, guacamole, salsa, mexican blend cheese and tomatoes.

The food for the night was completely homemade and included beans, rice, chicken enchiladas, beef tacos/nachos and a sweet corn tomalito. The tomalito was a huge hit and the recipe is here if you want it!

Mason Jar Margaritas is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time and some light teal ribbon with these adorable printables via Living Locurto was perfect! Such amazing printables at her wonderful site.

 I thought the printables looks great on top of the mason jar too.

This picture was clearly prior to mason jar decorating but we also had lime green cake pops. The cake pops were German Chocolate and Caramel which were a huge hit! I used the new Duncan Hines Frosting Creations which I spotted at Target for the first time and it was the perfect Caramel flavor. I’ll definitely be using many more for my cake pops!

After slaving over tiny pieces of cardboard and tissue for 3 days, I was so happy at how these Mini Pinatas turned out! Once again via Oh Happy Day and the amazing Jordan, I followed her instructions pretty closely and they turned out wonderful. I even stuffed mine with some candy as parting gifts. How cute are they?

Overall it was an amazing gathering with close friends that went well into the wee hours of the morning. We even broke out the fire pit at night and had some s’mores. I hope our guests had as much fun as we did hosting it!

Love,
Evani

Simply Celebrating: Our First Hosting Gig

* I wrote this entry before the creation of SimplyEvani but since it’s party related, I decided to keep it!

Last Sunday, Rob and I hosted our first dinner party. It ended up being an amazing night with our closest friends and I don’t think I could’ve asked for more. However now I am deathly ill and unbearably tired at work.

This party marked the beginning of my domestic divaship and my trial run for the future childrens birthday parties I will undoubtedly hate myself for planning. When we said we wanted to throw a BBQ to commemorate not attending Houseboats this year, it started as a simple homage of burgers and hot dogs but as usual, I was blinded by visions of grandeur. Since I’ve started a 9-5 job, I’ve been reading “Mommy blogs” religiously. These stay-at-home-moms and their outrageously adorned and adorable parties had me feeling ambitious for our party. Plus, it was a good chance to trial run some of the ideas I’ve loved recently on Pinterest. So while Rob envisioned some paper plates, chips and burgers, I was attempting to make our simple party as complicated as possible.

Tablescape

Overall, I am pleased to say we executed my vision almost to a T. I wasn’t able to get thank you favors ready but my tablescape was exactly as I had envisioned. We served a menu of cheeseburgers, chicken burgers, chips, salsa, fruit, corn, and potato skins. I managed to do some dipped pretzels which were eaten up quickly and officially created my best batch of cake pops by popular vote, red velvet. Not to mention they weren’t too bad on the eyes this time around! I’m now an avid collector of glass vases, jars and anything I can use as display for future parties. I jokingly (but probably seriously) said I would keep the decor for one of my children’s nautical themed 3rd birthdays and I stashed away all my seashells and netting. Overall, the overachieving part of myself was satisfied with knowing that Sandra Dee or Martha Stewart would nod in appreciation. Most of all, really excited my closest friends appreciated the effort and enjoyed themselves! Success!

There were some great drinks to be consumed with great friends. It was a good mix of old and news friends and although I think the number of guests was a little higher than we planned, we were happy with it.  However if I plan on decorating and personalizing any more of our parties, the smaller number of guests the better. I wanted to make sure to note that somewhere as a reminder to myself, because I tend to forget how I felt and I repeat my mistakes over. But overall, great weekend with even greater friends!! Party planning is something I foresee being a real hobby of mine, if Rob can stand it  🙂

This weekend was also great for hanging out with some of my best friends. I know I tend to use the term best friend rather loosely (I consider many people to be my “best friend”) but having Paige, Rudy and Auva all in one place is like having the planets align (even though we were missing Jess and Katie). Throughout college, I probably share the most memorable moments with those 3 individuals (and Rob lol) and no matter how many times we talk about those moments, they never cease being funny. Like when I cried in Aliki’s class  senior year or when I left Auva’s house without shoes and a child’s tshirt on. I know that the 3 of us have friends outside of each other and I don’t even really know if they would all consider me one of their best friends, but I know that they will be in my life as long as they can stand me. It reminds me that friendship is something that comes easily between the right people and that some friendships are worth trying a little harder to keep than others. And I appreciate Rudy and Paige making the trek from their long distance locales!

Can’t wait until our next planned function!