• Jennifer
  • posted by Jennifer

  • As soon as it gets warm enough to think about buying a new bathing suit, John and I are planning our next trip to the mountains. While many of my friends, family and colleagues camp, we tend to find spots off the beaten path that require 4 wheel drive and a shovel (Yes Lora, that means no toilets or running water). A quick bath with some CampSuds in the nearby lake becomes your daily cleansing routine. Although, don't brush your teeth with lake water, unless you want Giardia (another story, for another day).

    My only requirement when we go camping is there must be a lake or river and we have to be able to build a fire. Water instantly relaxes me and you have to have a campfire for S'mores!

    Our latest trip was to Tamarack Lake, near Blue Lakes off Highway 88 in the Sierras. We spent the day at Silver Lake, another beautiful spot, which I will talk about today.I grew up camping at this lake every summer with my grandparents, which is how I know silly things about the area, like the fact that this mountain ridge is nicknamed, Dragon Mountain. Can you see it? His head is up to the right, with his tail falling off the left side of this pic. He's napping, obviously. When we go to the lake John brings the boat so he can fish and I bring my "fishing necessities". It's about the only time I get to read a magazine that's not wedding related. Kylie has no real requirements for riding in the boat, except for the occasional stop that allows her to find the nearest stick. BTW If there's not one on shore, she'll swim to the middle of the lake to retrieve anything resembling wood, from a twig to a tree branch.John's usual fishing motto is catch and release, but sometimes those little goofs swallow the hook and we have to eat them. Here's John cleaning dinner. Followed by a shameless self portrait. :) This was our day spent at Silver Lake..oh..I forgot the goose poo story! Dang...
    I'll have to post about that next and then our awesome spot at Tamarack Lake. Check for the next installment of our weekend camping trip soon. ;0)

  • Jennifer
  • posted by Jennifer

  • Newcastle Wedding Gardens wedding, California

    We would recommend the Memory Journalists hands down. From the time we met with Jen we felt so comfortable and knew that we would share our special day with her and her team. Jen and her team are dedicated to putting in 100% and providing exactly what we wanted for our engagement and wedding photos. We had Jen, Corey, and Nicole present for our wedding day and could not ask for a better team. They made it fun and comfortable and most of all, they captured the day flawlessly. The photos are a true work of art and with the multiple photographers, nothing was missed. The entire team was wonderful and professional. Also, with the sneak peak photos posted the next day and slideshow posted within 2 weeks, it allows you to relive the day and enjoy the beautiful moments that were captured.

    The packages may seem a bit pricey, but they also include credits for making the album, prints from engagement sessions and the wedding, as well as copies of the album for family/friends. Also, Jen is so easy to work with for customizing each package to what you want or need. It was well worth it in our opinion. This team of professionals are some of the best in the area and we highly recommend them. We know they will be in our lives to capture even more memories in the future!

    Kim and Scott
    married 7/25/2009

  • Jennifer
  • posted by Jennifer

  • On Tuesday, Jennifer, Nicole and I went to the city for the August San Francisco NACE meeting. The topic was Go Green ... Save Green. It was held at Hotel Vitale (Jen's favorite). We had the distinct pleasure of meeting up with Krysta North and Sunna Yassin of Hotel Vitale in the afternoon. Krysta planned Jen and Cory's wedding at Hotel Vitale so it was a nice reunion for them. Krysta and Sunna are top notch in their field and it was an absolute delight to spend some time with them before the event. While we were sitting in the gorgeous lounge at Hotel Vitale meeting with Krysta and Sunna, Duncan Reyes of Events by Design rolled by and with just a little encouragement from Nicole, joined our gathering. Here is a picture of Duncan, Sunna, Jen and Krysta. We can't tear Jen away from client work to go to the city very often so we thought we better document the occasion.

    In between meetings we went over to the Ferry Building for a little (just a little) shopping. There are so many great stores in this building and all the food vendors offer local and organic meats, produce, sauces, oils, etc. We found some great olive oil at Stonehouse and after tasting several decided on a few to take home with us. Jen is on a salad kick so she was very happy to find some flavored oils to spice up her salad dressings. We also stopped in Sur La Table. Have you been to this store! Holy fun-toys-for-the-kitchen, Batman! I could barely contain myself and made a bit of a scene gasping and squeeling over all the great tricky tools they have. Thankfully Jen is not easily embarassed so we laughed it off and got out of there before we bought one of EVERYTHING at the front counter! Below is Stonehouse Olive Oil. What a great find!
    After narrowly escaping Sur La Table with something left in our wallets, we rejoined Nicole who was trying to work at a little wine bar in the building. Once Jen and I joined her, working was nearly impossible so we broke down and did a little (again, just a little) wine tasting. We got 3 flights (4 tastes each) and started sipping. We tried some whites from Greece and New Zealand, an Argentinian Malbec and the usual suspects, a Cabernet, Syrah and Pinot Noir. Here's the table with ALL our wine glasses. And, some marvelous cheese and bread to go with the wine. mmmm! I love the laptop in the background. Really...we were working!
    Good fortune was with us because we also were able to steal some time with Stacie Tamaki of The Flirty Guide and HelpingTami.org before the NACE meeting. As Duncan calls her, the busiest woman he knows! We were delighted to spend some time getting to know Stacie a bit. The Flirty Guide is one of the best sites in the business and Stacie is a truly inspiring person. Stacie, we look forward to crossing paths again very soon! Here's a picture of Stacie, Jen and Nicole.
    The topic of the NACE meeting was very interesting and informative. Going green is not as difficult as one might think and it was a great reminder that if we all do a little it will add up to a lot. This is my new modo and I will be incorporating it into conversation every chance I get. So, get some canvas grocery bags and carpool or ride your bike to work folks! Let's all do our part. Check out http://www.greenbiz.ca.gov/ or http://www.greenweddingproviders.com/ for more information on going green.

    The night started out on one of Hotel Vitale's beautiful terraces. These terraces are available for events and weddings. I apologize I didn't take any pictures of the view. It was quite spectacular. This is an amazing venue. Check it out if you get the chance. Hotel Vitale is a green hotel. They go to amazing lengths to be green but as Krysta North explained in her talk, it's easier than you would think. Small changes can make a big difference and save you money. One of the things Hotel Vitale does is use "spa water" instead of bottled water. Imagine eliminating plastic water bottles from your life! It's my next green goal that I will conquer.

    The actual meeting convened downstairs on the first floor in the Amalfi Ballroom which event designer and NACE Co-Chair, Duncan Reyes, had transformed with huge plants and special lighting for a warm and cozy atmosphere.

    The centerpieces were totally eco-friendly. Karen Hsu of Grandiflora didn't use the floral foam they sometimes use and instead used a clever wire which held all the folded leaves together and is totally reusable. The folds in the leaves were then utilized to hold the cut flowers in place. The tray is reusable as well and the leaves will last in a little bit of water for 3 weeks! I love, love, love these centerpieces! They were just gorgeous. Nice work, Karen!
    All in all it was an excellent trip to San Francisco. We loved meeting with some stellar folks in the industry and learning more about eco-friendly practices. We enjoyed the luxury and friendliness of Hotel Vitale. And, the location could not be any better! It's San Francisco's only luxury, waterfront hotel. I'm planning a getaway with my husband in early September. I promise to take lots of pictures and blog post about it. -- Carie

  • Jennifer
  • posted by Jennifer

  • On Carie and NJ's last trip to San Francisco they took some pics together - don't they look like they are having way too much fun?! What a dynamic duo!!

  • Jennifer
  • posted by Jennifer

  • This week, Carie and I had the privilege of attending NACE San Francisco for a Tuesday afternoon luncheon at the Parc 55 Hotel. This month's topic was Web 2.0 with two fabulous speakers, Liz Guthrie and Stacie Tamaki who spoke about networking possibilities, navigation and the importance of Twitter and Facebook. Both ladies had great information to bring to the table and the NACE members were Tweeting and Facebooking to see their name in "lights" during the presentation. The topics were helpful since web networking is key right now for any professionals, but especially useful for wedding professionals. Thanks to Duncan Reyes and Beverly Yip, NACE event Co-chairs, for putting together this fabulous day in the city. Thanks to The Flirty Guide blog for these fabulous pics, and for sharing your insight into the world of Facebook!
    Here's a quick pic, from Jason Diavatis' (Bay Area Entertainment) iPhone of Natasha Miller (Entire Productions), my new SF partner in crime, and myself at the NACE event.
    Posted by NJ

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