Costa Rica

Costa Rica Trip

Ok, So I am back tracking a bit with this trip. We went on this girls trip back in November of 2015. My husband thinks Punta Cana was beautiful but when I tell him that Costa Rica is yet the most beautiful place I have ever been, he doesn’t believe me. On top of it all you can get an all inclusive trip with flight for pretty cheap! Something to consider when booking a honeymoon since its so affordable. Even more affordable than going to Mexico if you’re smart about it!

This was the view from our villa. We ended up staying at The Springs Resort and Spa. We stayed in the Presidential Villa. Which also has hosted celebrities like Beyonce, Will Smith, and the Kardashians. After experiencing a room like that, living like a celebrity for a few days really does show that money can buy SOME sort of happiness (sometimes). This specific resort came out so cheap for us because we split the cost, and purchased it through a Groupon deal here. That room costs about $2,300 for a night. Yeah, No. I don’t have Beyonce money like that. We each spent $400 total for the room for 4 nights. Costa Rica is known as the happiest place in the world. Many Americans chose to retire there, especially since the cost of living is so cheap. Vacationing here is also a bargain in comparison to other travels. Common sites to use to plan a trip here would be Groupon, Cheap Caribbean, and Vacation Express as noted in my honeymoon post.

My friend Oanh and I have this tradition of taking travel pics of our shoes at the airport on top of our matching luggage. We do it for good luck with every trip.

This is a common Dominican Dish including plantains, rice, beans, and chicken made by a local. Definitely do cultural tours when going to another country.

Tasting some pure strong sugar cane tequila.

This was the best way to get the most breath taking views of the land!

yep, we did this too!

Our resort had these amazing warm mineral springs, that make your skin feel so soft!

We also took a hike of the rain forest. Just look  at how big this tree is! and this is just the base!

I am such an animal lover. These guys are everywhere! even our back porch of our villa.

 

“The Springs Resort and Spa is a 165 acre luxury boutique five star hotel in La Fortuna, Arenal, Costa Rica with the best view of the Arenal Volcano and the most onsite guest amenities including a 14,000 square foot full service Spa, hot springs, a kilometer of frontage on the Arenal River and a wildlife rescue preserve. We are the best hotel for bird watching in Arenal along with hiking, river fishing, kayaking and wildlife tours.  We have been rated one of the best five star hotels in the La Fortuna, Arenal area of Costa Rica.” – From The Springs Resort.

I do plan to blog more about my previous trips, But we also do have another up coming trip to Colorado for January! Subscribe to stay updated!

 

XOXO,

 

 

 

 

From Houston to Seattle to Vancouver Canada!

A Trip to remember: Houstonians getting to explore the best of Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, Canada BC.

I wanted to share a few of the pictures I took while on our trip to Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, Canada BC. My husband and I both wanted to go out of the country somewhat last minute and we considered Canada, but international flights not booked in advance are a bit on the pricey side. We considered flying to Seattle, staying for a few nights, then traveling to Vancouver by bus. The price was significantly cheaper from Houston. We took a direct flight on Alaska Airlines. Thankfully if you have T-mobile ONE that gets you one hour of internet and texting free on any flight that has go-go Wi-Fi. What I love about T-Mobile is having signal anywhere we go in the world. I specifically got with T-mobile because I planned on traveling a lot. Alaska Airlines provided yummy snacks, and I’ve got to say my experience with them went well. Arriving to Seattle on the left of the plane was saw a beautiful snowcap mountain, even in August! It was probably the most beautiful thing I’ve seen on the entire trip.

(picture from AirBNB)

In looking at hotel prices staying in Seattle is VERY expensive. The cheapest hotel I could find (by the airport, far away from where we wanted to be.) was $75 per night, not including taxes or fees. And it was sketchy to say the least. I looked on AirBNB and found Roy Street Commons owned by Eric. He runs this place like an AirBNB hotel. We were provided with fresh muffins every morning, had our own code to the front door and our room, and he responded promptly to our messages. So, long story short, originally, we were going to only stay in Seattle one night but our Canada AirBNB canceled literally the day before! (DON’T BOOK THIS GUY)  I messaged Eric and he called me as soon as he had another room in his building open for another night. He saved us, and we got to enjoy another day in Seattle and a better AirBNB in Canada. The first night at Roy Street Commons we stayed in room 104 in a twin bed (we did it in college, so why not?). One thing we learned fast coming from Texas, was to expect no central air conditioning anywhere. But it’s not needed what’s so ever. It cost us about $100 and had everything we needed. It was small and brought back college dorm memories for us. It was walking distance from many shops and bars. Perfect location. We took  an Uber and the rail everywhere. The second night we moved our stuff upstairs to room 503 with a full bed.

The rooftop of this building is great, you get a romantic view of the Seattle skyline. Try looking for any AirBNB in Capital hill for that price. You won’t find it. I told my husband that I’d rather stay in a small clean AirBNB than any of the sketchy hotels we saw online.

We did some Pinterest research and already had a feel of what we wanted to do in this city. Of course, seeing the space needle was at the top of our list. It’s beautiful to see this amazing work of architecture constructed in the 1962.

 

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I got some great pics of the city up there! We also went to the Science Museum to kill some time before we could view the needle. (book your tickets for the space needle online before you go so that you don’t have to wait.) The museum was interesting, but seems to be more for kids so I would not recommend it. If you have children, I think you should go for sure!

Definitely ride the famous monorail to the mall.

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After the Space needle, we ended up at Mantra, which is a Thai Restaurant. You must EAT HERE! It was amazing. And they have the BEST Thai Tea! Diego got the Thai Tea Coffee that also was delicious! So good, that on the way back from Canada we stopped there again.

Who goes to Seattle without checking out Pike Place Market. We walked around for a bit, went to the gum wall that’s located there, and had some yummy donuts and honey. I had a margarita while on the Great Wheel.

The original Sarbucks is at Pike Place Market, and please don’t assume that Starbucks on Pike Street is the original one. The original Starbucks says Draft and it has mugs with the original logo. It’s a very small shop in front of Pike Place Market, and the line wasn’t bad at all. They’re fast at getting through the line of people. Be sure to buy a mug from there showing that you were at the OG Starbucks!

Check out this Dessert, Drink place called Blank Space Cafe. They serve yummy coffee, boba drinks, and ice-cream among other things. They’re known for their bubble waffle served with ice-cream! I ordered green tea ice-cream with the original bubble waffle, with cereal and mochi as my topping.

Yep they’re named Blank Space Cafe and even have T. Swifts lyrics on their wall. You think they have copy rights? Mhmm…maybe. We walked most places and took Uber for everything else.

We spent the night at local bars and walking around Capitol Hill. I got these cool pics from the rooftop of our AirBNB. In the morning we packed our bags and took a bus to Vancouver, Canada to another AirBNB located in Yaletown. The bus there on BOLT was about 3-3.5 hours with only one stop. I felt like we arrived fast! We took the subway to our AirBNB and walked everywhere in Vancouver. Another option would be taking the scenic train that goes along the west coast. We didn’t know about it at that time, but the bus was still cheaper than the train. I would not recommend taking any other bus except bolt bus because it made the least stops and got us there the fastest.

Started out day with a cup of cofee topped with canadian maple syrup flakes. Be sure to get some coffee in both Seattle and Canada. As long as you have a Visa credit card you have no worries about having to exchange your money for some Canadian cash.

On our agenda was the famous Steam Clock in Gasstown. In Vancouver you walk everywhere! So please be sure to pick a location to stay that is where you want to be. They do not have Uber here. Gasstown was a 15-20 minute walk from out AirBNB. We reached a total of about 29K steps in just one day!

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Stanley Park was a 45 minute walk. So we cheated and rented a Car2Go. This app allowed us to rent a car only for the time we needed it. The price was the same as an Uber except we were the ones driving.

Be sure to check out the popular spectacular Capilano Suspension Bridge! Free shuttles leave from Hyatt Regency Hotel every 10-15 minutes.

This beauty right here is what you see us taking pictures on previously. The trees are so tall that even from far away I am not able to get the top and bottom of the trees in the picture!

We checked out Granville Island, Which I found out isn’t really an Island. It’s a peninsula! Take an Aqua bus there instead! Super cheap!

The Market is well known for their yummy and unique treats! be sure to get some coffee from JJ Bean. Both Canada and Seattle are known for some of the best coffee!

One of our most memorable restaurant’s was Tuc Craft Kitchen. OMG, THIS PLACE WAS AMAZING! Definitely not cheap but you do get what you pay for! Yummy Canadian food!

My best pictures were of food. Future food photographer in the making? Haha. This place also had some of the most sophisticated best drinks we have ever had.

All in all, this trip went smoothly and we made memories of a lifetime! I’ve realized in the time I have taken for myself, that what matters most is experiences and the relationships that you have with people. Life is too short and I want to squeeze in as much traveling as I can into it. Our world is our playground! Let’s explore it! I’m thankful to god for having sent me the best partner to live it with!

Message me for questions and tips on planning a similar trip!

 

Sharing Our Wedding Video

I am so happy to share our wedding video! I highly recommend Eddie Spaghetti! He did an amazing job on our wedding video, as well as other couples videos! All the brides at Big Sky Barn seem to book him! I can’t wait to get the rest of our video! He made our wedding video feel like some epic movie! I enjoyed watching this at home on my big screen TV with the bass. Trust me, It gave me so many feelings and I must have watched it 100 times over and over! 5 stars for sure! It was worth the wait to get such amazing clear quality video!

Stephanie + Diego from Eddie Spaghetti on Vimeo.

 

 

XOXO,

A Hill Country Glam Wedding in Dripping Springs, Texas

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This beautiful bride Vanessa has been my friend for more than half of my life. When I got the invitation to her wedding, I was more than excited! Her marrying such a honorable loyal kind man like Luis made my heart just melt! What I thought was so unique about Vanessa’s wedding was that she had an outdoor ceremony! As a guest to her wedding, I experienced the shock of seeing her walk down those stairs as the sunset hit her beautiful dress, blonde locks, and just the overall beauty that she is! You have to see her wedding video! Her song walking down the isle gave me the absolute chills! Well, Here is a little snippet from her:

Our wedding day was truly a dream come true for us and our family. We were so detailed in every aspect of our wedding because we wanted it to be incredibly special. My favorite part was having an outdoor sunset ceremony. We knew we wanted a sunset wedding the day we booked our wedding venue (a year and a half in advance).

Therefore, we prayed for perfect weather (no rain) and planned for a hill country glam themed wedding. My top 3 favorite details about our outdoor ceremony were

1) the wine barrels at the altar with gold candelabras on top of them with huge flower arrangements

2) the festoon lights going from the top of the second building to the altar (these were a surprise from our venue’s owner)

 3) our blankets we had as favors. We chose to have blush throw blankets as our wedding favors and had them wrapped in gold sequin bows for our guests since it gets chilly at the end of November. We thought this was a great idea and that they would help our guests concentrate on the ceremony and not being cold! The blankets were a big hit and not one was left behind

Outdoor ceremonies are a lot of fun but sunsets will always be my favorite from now on. Every sunset reminds me of that special day and reminds me of how much Luis really does love me. It also takes me back to this very important verse:

Ephesians 4:26-27

26 “In your anger do not sin”[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,27 and do not give the devil a foothold.

When I see a sunset I’m always reminded to not let the sun go down on my anger and that Luis and I can get through anything with God first in our lives. God is the center of our relationship and that is why having had a sunset wedding is so special to me. 

Venue: The Terrace Club

Photo/Video: The Bird & The Bear
Flowers: Wild Bunches Floral
DJ: DJ Greenbelt
Cake: Sweet Treets Bakery
Bridal Robe: Le Rose
Maids of Honor Dresses: Amsale
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal

Link to Vanessa’s Wedding blog post:

Ever Changing Vane

Wedding Video:

Vanessa & Luis | The Terrace Club | Austin Wedding Videography from The Bird & The Bear on Vimeo.

Renting from Vow to be Chic

So I had a really good experience renting from vow to be chic.

I picked the dress Aiden that is convertible by Jenny Yoo. it was $95 to rent plus shipping I believe. I added the girls contact information and vow to be chic emailed them with my bridal suite. With my login I was able to track who ordered their try on, who paid for their rental and if they returned it. Kimberlee handled contacting the girls for me, so I did not have to be a bridezilla and stress about the girls, and their dresses. The reason I rented instead of bought is because the dresses already came according to the girls heights. With being a December wedding, I knew I wanted long dresses. Thinking about adding alterations on top of buying dresses would have really sucked! I designated the maid of honor to return the dresses and contact the girls. They are suppose to mail the dresses out 2 weeks before the wedding, but I got mine like a month before really! You keep the bag and hanger the dress came in, and you fold it up and drop it off at UPS in the packaging they provide within 4 days after the wedding. Super easy! Don’t forget to collect the reciept at UPS and save it until Vow to Be Chic shows they received the dress.

XOXO,