20 May

Hanoi Vietnam

Jillian here. Today I’m so, so very excited to share our amazing travels to Vietnam. You might be wondering, why Vietnam? There are so many reasons to travel to this beautiful country. It’s always been a place I’ve longed to visit after hearing travel stories from family and friends. It was everything I hoped. Eye-opening, gracious, breathtaking, and delicious. The food, oh my, the food was so good!

To begin this trip we enlisted the help of a travel agent, our trusted partners at Mr & Mrs Smith Hotels, and Cathay Pacific Airways. This was by far our biggest adventure as a family, so working on the ultimate trip itinerary was super important. Together they created the perfect balance of comfort, spontaneity, and discovery. And while there were a few hiccups along the way, (what trip is not complete without a few?), it was a true dream. Looking at these pictures, I still can’t believe we did it. Okay, enough talk… let’s go travel, shall we?

Cathay Pacific airport lounge

First stop: Hong Kong. We traveled via Cathay Pacific in their updated premium economy class. I’d never been on a 14 hour flight. It’s a doozy, so the premium economy offers bigger seats, more leg room, business class dining, and you can arrange lounge access. Above is what we feasted on as soon as we arrived in The Cabin Lounge in Hong Kong. It was so nice to try the local fare right off the plane. Even if was at 6am!

Vietnam Hanio

Two hours later we arrived in Hanoi where we drove straight to our hotel, the Sofitel Legend Metropole, a gorgeous colonial hotel right in the center of town. We felt like we were in the Paris of Vietnam. Actually, to our amazement, Gustave Eiffel designed a main bridge in Hanoi. Just a little fun fact for you. Once we got settled we walked leisurely around the Old Quarter soaking up the new surroundings. The sounds of honking street bikes, the smells, and the language were intoxicating.

Sofitel Metropole Hotel Hanio

Vietnam Hanio

Hanoi Vietnam

Phó all day, every day!

Sofitel Metropole Hotel Hanio

Vietnam Hanio

Hanoi Vietnam

Hanoi Vietnam

A tourist must is to take a rickshaw ride around the old quarter. It’s so thrilling. We still laugh at some of the video footage from this experience. A couple of yummy food spots to check out: the perfect Banh Mi, French colonial restaurant, best sticky rice; you can check out this link for more foodie options in Hanoi.

Vietnam Hanio

Hanoi Vietnam

Hanoi Vietnam

Vietnam Hanio

Hanoi Vietnam

Our favorite cultural attractions: Museum of Ethnology, Temple of Literature, Water Puppet Theatre, and I recommend seeing the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum and house.

Halong Bay Vietnam

Our next stop was Halong bay. The running joke was, how long to Halong? Ha! It was a very long 3+ hour drive from Hanoi, but SO worth it. Breathtakingly beautiful, right? We boarded a Bhaya Cruise for one night. For a little more luxury you can also take a Paradise Luxury Cruise. It was so nice to get out on the water, sip a glass of wine, and watch in wonder at all the large rocks we pass by. Very relaxing! While we only chose to stay one night, you can take longer cruises amongst less boat traffic.

Halong Bay Vietnam

Halong Bay Vietnam

Vietnam Halong Bay

Halong Bay Vietnam

Halong Bay Vietnam

Halong Bay Vietnam

Halong Bay Vietnam

vietnam-7

Halong Bay Vietnam

When traveling to far away places I love engaging in conversation with other travelers, curious about where they’re from, where they’ve been, and where to next. You’re part of this unique group of explorers. Well explorers, our next stop is Nha Trang, the southern coast of Vietnam. A beautiful fishing culture. Pop by tomorrow for more of our adventures in Vietnam.

Photography: Scott Clark Photo / Flight accommodations: Cathay Pacific Airways

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20 May

Garden inspired bridal shower

Remember the sweet surprise southern California proposal that Love Ala Photography caught on camera last fall? We loved sharing Megan + Adam’s big news, especially considering our gal Megan is a talented wedding photog herself. And thanks (again) to Ala, we get to peek into her darling garden-inspired bridal shower, which was brought to life by one of her closest friends Wynter + Kim of Drops Of Honey Designs.

Garden inspired bridal shower

Garden inspired bridal shower

Kim says, We knew we wanted the shower to feel feminine, simple, and natural. One of the first design elements we decided on was a natural live greenery runner and hand dyed linen napkins, which were some of the items that really made the table top design stand out!

Wood place card

Garden inspired bridal shower

Calligraphy banner

Next up was incorporating Megan’s love for gold and flowers so we ensured that the few flower arrangements were designed to be statement pieces and the rest of the event design was designed with these two things in mind. One of our favorite pieces were the hand painted watercolor menu done by Lacy from Paperbirch Designs and the love quote banner featuring the calligraphy of Mon Voir. It was an intimate, girly celebration for such a lovely girl.

Ivy table garland

Garden inspired bridal shower

Ivy table garland

Yep, still swooning over the aforementioned runner.

Garden inspired bridal shower

Mini naked cake

Garden inspired bridal shower

Garden inspired bridal shower

garden inspired bridal shower

How cute are these ladies?!

bridal-shower

A big congrats to Megan + Adam, whose big day is TOMORROW! Wishing you the best!

Thanks to Love Ala Photography + the vendors below for sharing the deets with us…

Photography: Love Ala Photography / Venue: Historic Seven Sycamores / Stylist & Event Design: Kim Rico from Drops Of Honey Designs / Florist: Tricia of Queen Peach Designs / Calligraphy: Mon Voir Calligraphy / Paper Goods: Paperbirch Designs / Catering: The Lunch Box Catering Company / Desserts: Max’s Cookie Company / Chairs & Tabletop Items: Classic Rental Company / Farmhouse Tables: Junk in the Trunk 559

 
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19 May

Exciting news. Riley & Grey just added new designs to their collection of luxury wedding websites, and we’ve got a peek at the latest for ya today. They’re always coming up with new limited edition designs, and there are more styles now than ever for those of you thinking of personalizing your big day. Plus, we just heard about this rad new feature: matching paper! (You know you are as thrilled as we are at the thought of going matchy-matchy with your site + invites.) It’s possibly one of the easiest, coolest things you can do for a cohesive wedding design. Deets below…

Riley and Grey wedding websites

^^ Here’s one of the latest Riley & Grey designs, a charming layout paired with playful new fonts. This one in particular was designed for their collab with the wedding paper gurus Lucky Luxe. Which means there are some pretty matching paper elements to be had here…

Riley and Grey wedding websites

So nice that the guests who’ve taken the time to pop over to your website can receive a beautifully done hard copy in the mail too. Super sweet.

Riley and Grey wedding websites

There’s also the possibility of a photo-based website too, among other options.

Riley and Grey luxury wedding websites

If you’ve yet to check out R&G, you’ll want to know that a website by Riley & Grey means a custom domain name, a place to collect and organize RSVPs, easy navigation, and customer support. All sites are optimized for any device, which means they look great on mobile too. It will function like an app minus any downloading, and everyone will have all the info instantly in one place. Quite simple really!

Riley and Grey wedding websites

So. Much. Happiness. Stop by Riley & Grey to view the newly expanded collection of site designs, fonts, colors, and matching paper. And why not check out their Instagram + blog while you’re at it?

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