Gracie takes a bubble bath

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Taking a break from the engagement/wedding posts for some cute puppy pictures. Because why not!?

Heather was visiting for a weekend a little while back & helped out when I gave Gracie a bath. She looked too cute in the bubbles, I just had to snap some pictures. Although she looks less than thrilled & afraid for her life, trust me, she was fine :) 

Wet Puppy!!

some wedding inspiration

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I've been busy pinning away wedding inspiration on Pinterest & trying to find the best style that reflect us as a couple. We've decided on a "vintage travel" theme using a soft color palette. Our colors are inspired by the colors on a map (see this one right here). We've decided on the travel/map theme because it represents our love of traveling and is also an important part of our long-distance relationship for the first 2+ years, so it only seems fitting. We've also decided on a destination in wedding in Mexico, so we hope to add some of the local flavor too!

--I love incorporating the travel theme into the invitations/save-the-dates.
--I love the soft pastel, miss-matched bridesmaid dresses.
--Soft pink & twinkle light garland - blush bouquet - melt my heart!
--We are getting married in Mexico after all, I'd love to insert some local flavor!

(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

Chicago, from the top.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

While we were in Chicago we went to the top of the WIllis Tower (formerly Sears Tower). It was such a beautiful & clear day - the views were amazing! It's kinda pricey to get up there, but once you're there it's worth it, I think. At 1300+ feet up in the air, you can step out into a glass box that extends off the skyscraper & look to the city below you. It's a crazy experience, but lots of fun!

- Photos © Holly Carman -

I promise this isn't going to turn into a wedding blog, but...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I wanted to share some more photos from when we got engaged in Chicago. I told myself that I was going to take about a month just to enjoy the engagement & do NO wedding planning. Well, I lied. As soon as we got home from Chicago I found a wedding magazine on the table that my sister left for me & it's been all downhill since then! I started scouring Pinterest, looking at invitation styles, thinking about possible wedding dates, looking at different resorts in Mexico, looking at wedding dresses online... You name it, I'm researching it! And I can't help it, it's too exciting! I never thought I would want to plan a wedding - but now that we're planning on getting married - I do :)

We've already decided that we're having a destination wedding in Mexico (we've actually known that we've wanted to do that for a long time though...). We've been working with a wedding coordinator to narrow down the perfect resort, set a date & start planning all the logistics. All that & we've only been engaged for a few weeks. Typing all of this out officially makes me look like a crazy person now!

Here's some more photos of the night that we got engaged & more celebrating! Sometime soon I hope to share more Chicago photos  - I just took so many :)

Our Big News!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

If you're friends with me on Facebook, or follow me on Instagram, then you probably already know our exciting news. If not, here it is... Luke proposed to me in Chicago! We're over the moon excited! I couldn't be happier with how everything happened & can't believe that I'm now engaged to my best friend!

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It was Tuesday afternoon & I was heading back from work in the suburbs. I had to drop off my rental car at the airport & then hop on the orange line train back downtown to our hotel, where I was meeting Luke (who had just arrived about an hour earlier). We decided to go out for a few drinks since it was pretty early (like 4pm early). We went to the Wit Hotel, just around the corner & had a few drinks at their Rooftop bar before we got ready for our dinner reservations.

Beforehand, Luke had done some research & found Le Colonial, a French/Vietnamese restaurant on Rush street, that he knew I'd just love. After a short cab ride, we arrived at the restaurant & proceeded upstairs to the bar because we were kinda early. While up at the bar we casually chatted & I just remember being so happy that Luke was finally in Chicago with me. I could tell Luke was even more excited than me, because Chicago is HIS city.

We had the best time at dinner & our restaurant was absolutely amazing. Luke couldn't have picked out a more perfect place for us. The food was to die for & the atmosphere was so romantic with a south pacific flair. There was soft French music playing in the background as we kept smiling at each other & raving about our food. A sweet couple sitting next to us took our picture & we took theirs as well.

After we left the restaurant we decided that we should go up to the Hancock Tower (just a few blocks away) & have a drink on the 95th floor Signature Room. Before we got there, Luke kept trying to find the Water Tower Building. He kept looking at his phone & trying to figure out where it was... Of course me being oblivious to everything around me, I just thought that he wanted me to see it because it's a Chicago landmark. We leisurely strolled up to the stairs of the building, hand-in-hand, when Luke stopped me. He turned around & said that he brought me here for a reason. It was right then when I knew what was happening. He was down on one knee & giving me the most beautiful speech that I could have ever imagined. He explained the significance of our location, what it meant to him, what it meant to us... The tears started flowing immediately. I couldn't believe it was happening! I tried to remember everything he was saying, but it was all a blur. It was such a sweet moment that I wish could've lasted forever.

After a lot of hugs & kisses & more crying (happy tears!!) we walked over to the Hancock Tower & rode the elevator up to the Signature Room. Once we got settled in at our table & ordered a few drinks, we called our families & texted a few friends. We kept the celebrating going at a few more bars on Rush Street before we took a cab back to our hotel. I went to bed thinking that was one of the best evenings of my life!

I had always wondered what Luke would do, when the time came that he proposed to me. Nothing I ever imagined came close to how perfect everything was on Tuesday night. The drinks, the dinner, the ring, the guy... that entire night - was the best I could ever ask for. I truly am one lucky girl!

This is where Luke proposed :)

- Photos © Holly Carman -

Chicago Sunset Cruise

Monday, July 2, 2012

I was sitting in my hotel room on Sunday night at 7 o'clock trying to figure out what to do for the rest of the evening. I was talking to Luke on the phone & he said I should do a sunset boat cruise. I then remembered that I wasn't too far from the Wendella Boat Tour dock, so I got online, looked up their schedule, bought a ticket & ran out the door to go catch the boat! I arrived all hot & sweaty (ya know, Oregon girl in humidity...) but it was so worth it because once on the boat there was a nice warm breeze & a sunset that was absolutely gorgeous. We cruised around on the water for a few hours taking in the Chicago skyline (& me snapping a million pictures). It was by far one of the best spontaneous adventures I've taken :)

- Photos © Holly Carman -


Happy Monday friends! I'm in Chicago right now & let me tell ya, it's hot & humid. The opposite of Portland weather - But I'm loving it! I'm here for work for a few days & then vacationing with Luke & his family for the rest. 

When I got to town, I checked into my hotel & then hit the streets with my camera & started snapping away. Chicago is such a beautiful city, it's hard not to. I grabbed some dinner at Potbelly (mmm) walked over to Millennium Park, came back to the hotel for some wine tasting in the lobby & then I headed back out to walk across some bridges & hop on a last minute sunset boat cruise of the city. Whew, that was a lot for just the first day!! 

I'll be working all day today & Tuesday so I wanted to get some fun stuff in beforehand. Depending on how much time I have during the week, I might be back to blogging, or I might not :) But I promise that I will get around to showing you all some Chicago pix soon! 

Have a great week!