Thursday, December 13, 2012

Style Me Pretty & Destination Weddings!

A few months ago, I had the pleasure to contribute some jewelry to a beautiful wedding photo shoot that was going to take place in my beloved Hawaii.  It got my creative juices flowing in a lot of ways and I loved being able to do some custom pieces for a stylized situation that was elegant and unique.

Anyway, long story short.  That photo shoot was featured on Style Me Pretty's Destination Wedding blog today!  Rebecca Arthurs is an amazing photographer who did a fantastic job capturing the day (also, Hawaii being such a small place, I found out later on that she was the photographer for a friend's wedding!).  Let me put it this way.  If I had to do my wedding over again, I would probably do whatever was necessary to have Rebecca be my photographer and get all these amazing vendors to help me with my wedding.  =)

Check the full post and all the photos at Style Me Pretty!  Or visit Rebecca's blog!

Hope you enjoy it and have a beautiful day!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Some of the things on my wishlist...

A friend on Facebook commented this week that she kept adding to her wishlist as she was shopping for other people.  So these are some of the things I am adding to my list as I am doing my shopping for everyone else.  =)

1) Baking supplies:  I realized as I was trying to do some baking recently that I don't have some essentials.  Things like pastry brushes, a pastry cutter, or even a second cookie sheet (do you know how hard it is to bake cookies with only one cookie sheet?!).  

Pastry Brushes @ Sur La Table

2) New baby bag to accommodate two kiddos:  I was on a coffee date with some moms from church and their little ones and saw this in a shop and kind of loved the bag.

Wistful Weekender by Petunia Pickle Bottoms
3) Cute stuff for the house: I think house decorating must be a live long task because I feel like I am still working on it all.  But you know what, that's ok because I keep finding cute stuff that I want.  =)

For my office by dearmoonbeams via Etsy (if you are still shopping for Christmas gifts too, check out her shop.  Megan is a good friend who makes adorable things!)
Air plants for our bedroom by PetitBeast
What is on your wishlist?  Any other ideas for me or did I help you think about your list?!

Have a beautiful day!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving is done, now for Christmas!

Did anyone else's Thanksgiving seem to fly by?  And now that that holiday is gone, we are racing at breakneck speed towards Christmas!!!

some of the new earrings going up in the shop today!

my Santa Barbara inspired necklace
And to help some of you with your Christmas shopping, Sense and Sensibility Designs is still running our Black Friday - Cyber Monday sale!  You can get 40% off your entire purchase with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY"!  There are some new items in the store as well as some old favorites.  Check it out and keep an eye out for more deals as we get closer to Christmas!

Have a beautiful day and snag some good deals today!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

an early thankfulness post

As my readers will have noticed this year, life has been...crazy, chaotic, congested, colorful (I admit it, I got stuck in alliteration there).  But some of the things that have happened recently have made me realize a few things.  Or rather, one big thing.

I am immensely blessed.

Regardless of what has happened in my life this year, I look at my situation and I can do nothing but praise a very gracious God for all His many blessings.  I have a healthy family, roof over my head, and a new baby on the way.  Oh and by the way, we are expecting #2 kiddo summer of 2013.  =)

Hito figured out how straws work and now wants to drink anything that has one - including dad's milk tea.  =)
How ungrateful am I that these thoughts only come to mind during holiday season?  And these are blessings that I have always had!

So I am going to leave these lyrics here as a little reminder for us to think of these things all year long!

If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep
Counting your blessings.
"Count Your Blessings" by Irving Berlin

Have a beautiful and thankful day!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wine Wednesday :: Jean-Claude Lapalu 2011 Brouilly Vielles Vignes

Hello everyone!

I am finally getting back to my Wine Wednesday posts.  I'm sorry I have been so absent (if you've been following the blog, you know why) but I am very excited because in my absence, I have been stockpiling pictures and meals from some fantastic wines that I highly recommend you look for at a wine store near you!

What wine is it: 
Jean-Claude Lapalu 2011 Brouilly Vielles Vignes
What I ate with it: 
eggplant steaks grilled with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt & pepper
How much is it: 
Where to shop for it: 

Alright, folks, I am starting to build up a repertory of wines that have struck me as amazing.  And let me tell you, this is very easily at the top of the list.  Some wines that you drink are difficult to dissect, others are very simplistic and hit you over the head with how fruity they are.  This wine was so beautifully harmonized, balanced, and all together a make-you-wanna-cry type of wine.  

we did decant this wine (which simply means pouring it into another vessel that allows for the wine to come in contact with oxygen) but it did not need it.
this is the rest of our dinner: grilled eggplant & green bell peppers, baby back ribs, Louisiana style sausages, and garlic mashed potatoes
The eggplant with the caramelized balsamic vinegar off the grill complimented the apple cider-y quality of the wine so perfectly that I can only think of one food pairing that I have liked better in a long time.  As the wine sat in the glass longer, floral notes (one friend swears he smelled roses in his glass) became more prevalent.  But the subtle cinnamon spiciness of the wine balanced with deep berry flavors and the light scent of flowers made this wine sound weird in that sentence but taste absolutely phenomenal in the glass.  

Get a bottle and try it.  You will not regret it!

Have a beautiful day!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

back to the grind...

It has been a while since a normal blog post has come from this keyboard.  Many thanks to all my readers who sent very sweet notes of prayers and encouragement as you read about my grandmother passing away. Unfortunately, two weeks after posting that note, my grandfather also passed on.  It has been an emotionally charged month and I am still working out some of those details in my head and the ramifications for my life.

But I will say that I am so thankful to be striving for a normal blogging schedule again and hoping to be here more regularly.  I am excited to write and catch up on all my reading that I haven't been able to sit and do with family affairs and illnesses going on (oh, and did I mention that my whole family got the flu right after coming back from taking care of my grandfather's affairs?).

And if you haven't heard it before, I'm going to tell you again.  Don't sweat the little things.  We live in a world that has unseen events and circumstances right around the corner.  Whether they are good or bad, it is never too soon to tell someone you love that you still love them.  Again.  And again.  Enjoy.  Love.  Dream.  And enjoy.  People, places, good cups of coffee, baby kisses, and corn mazes.

1) Corn maze with my mom, sister, and cousins (currently behind the camera)
2) Grandma and Hito walking around the pumpkin patch
3) And a moment of mom and kiddo just enjoying...
Have a beautiful day.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

note to my readers

This post is far overdue but I did want to explain my recent absence from the blog.  As you may have read recently, I have been dealing with illness in our family.  Both Corby's and my grandparents have been struggling with health issues and last week, my grandmother passed away.  My posting has obviously been non-existent since then.  I will begin posting again as soon as I can.  

Thank you for your understanding.

Have a beautiful day - every day is. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

one year...

Can you believe it?  One year.

Tears, dirty diapers, bruises, laughs, smiles, pictures, and joy.  Lots of joy.

And one year has gone by so fast.  This kid...

He likes any food you give him.

He likes people.

He loves the beach/water/pool.

He loves cuddling.

He loves walking, crawling, moving.

He is mine...for a short period of time, entrusted to me by my God to train and raise for His glory.  God, help me to do so...

Have a beautiful day and thanks for sharing one year with me!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

i'm not sure what to call this post

I have a lot of thoughts rolling around in my head and I thought I would talk some of them out here with you all.  My dear readers.  Or the emptiness of the internet.  Either way.

Something that has been difficult this week is my grandma.  I got the news on Tuesday that she had had a stroke which has left her unable to use the right side of her body, unable to talk, and worst of all, unable to swallow.  That means she needs a permanent feeding tube to stay alive.  She has been fighting everything the doctors and nurses have been trying to do to help her so...we aren't sure how that will work.  Suffice to say...heartache.  And this is right after my grandfather got out of the hospital for a bad infection.

And then on the other side of the family, my husband's grandmothers are in failing health also.  One is in between surgeries and the other is starting to lose her memory slowly and it is harder for her to create new memories.

And in all of this I am wanting to spend every minute possible with these people who have always been there for me and Corby when we needed them.  I learned to crochet from my grandma.  I still have some afghans that she made for me on my bed.

But I'm not really able to.  I have a husband and child, I live half way across the country from my grandparents.  Another grandma is in Arizona.  But one is here and close by.  And I still don't feel like I am able to stay close enough.  Then I feel slightly (or a lot) guilty that I am not able to spend more time with grandparents.

So I have been praying and talking to people a lot this week.  And I realized a few things that have been helpful.

1.  I'm not the first one to go through this and I will make it through too.
2.  There are a lot of people in a lot of places praying for me and my family.  We can always use more prayer for God's will and healing so please feel free to join us.  =)
3.  Despite the sadness, God is still working out His perfect, holy, and sovereign will.  It will be glorifying to Himself and for my sanctification to become more like Him.  So I will trust in Him.

In better news, I have some exciting posts coming up about the jewelry side of Sense and Sensibility and my family is coming to visit me this week!  So I have a lot to look forward to.  God is good.

Have a beautiful day.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


This summer has been busy.  Between church events, family, friends visiting from out of town, and the constant requirements of maintaining a relatively clean/organized house, I have been staying quite occupied.  It has not left a lot of time for...a lot of things.

Now, I like being busy.  I like having places to go, people to see.  But in the last two weeks, I have come to realize something else.  There is a lot of value in quietness, being alone.

One of my biggest tasks in the last three weeks has been getting up to speed on two classes I will be teaching for high school seniors starting in two weeks.  I am very excited to be doing teaching and am loving reviewing material and being creative as I work on getting these high schoolers ready for college.  In my preparation, the hubby has been unspeakably helpful to take care of the kiddo (who is getting very talkative and more and more mobile) so that I can go grab a coffee and focus my brain power on what British literature I want these kids to read during the course of the year.  =)

As I have been working on my classes, it has also turned into blog reading time.  And then prayer and journaling time.  We serve an amazing God...He uses technology to connect people around the world who might otherwise never have had the ability to keep know each other or keep in touch.

But in the course of my blog reading, I have come across people that I "know" who are struggling with some very real problems right now.  Two bloggers I regularly follow have babies in NICU.  Others are dealing with recovering from illness or difficult pregnancies/deliveries.  People I know in my area are dealing with incapacitating pain from a variety of sources.  Both the hubby and myself have grandparents who have been in and out of hospitals for the last three months.

Life is short.  And precious.  And all in God's hands.

I realize that there is little I can do in a very physical sense to help these people.  There are doctors who are qualified to do much more for these people.  But there is something of value that I have been trying to do more often.


My heart is wretched by all these stories and situations.  I want to be able to hold hands, hug, or make dinners for people.  But I'm not always able to do that.  So I take the most immediate and helpful thing I can do and do it with all my heart - pray.

via Pinterest & here
I know we serve a powerful and listening God.  He can see each of these people and has them in his hands.  What more can I ask for?  The Creator of the world is making sure that each person is given strength in measure for the difficulties in front of them.

That is comfort.

Have a beautiful day and stop to notice - it really is beautiful.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wine Wednesday :: Crnko (Silvo Crnko) 2011 Jarenincan

Summer is rapidly drawing to a close but I thought I'd squeeze in another summery wine for the last few hot evenings and beautiful sunsets that remain this season.

What wine is it: 
Crnko (Silvo Crnko) 2011 Jarenincan
What I ate with it: 
brown rice with furikake (a Japanese seaweed  condiment) and seared yellowtail tuna
How much is it: 
$10.99 for a liter bottle
Where to shop for it: 
Wine Exchange (this is the only place I could find it for sale so I apologize if I get your hopes up and you can't find it.)  =P

This wine was absolutely delightful.  It is a rare Czechoslovakian wine.  Not a country widely known for having great wine but they are certainly working up to it if this bottle is any indication.  

The nose was strongly green apple (think the smell of biting into a Granny Smith apple) but the taste was more apple with a pine-y taste also.  (The hubby said it smelled like moments in his childhood when he and tree sap became inseparable.)  =P  It sounds like an odd combination but it actually harmonizes very well.  It is like tasting the fruit and the soil it grew in at the same time. One word of caution: this wine does not sit open very well.  So if you are not able to drink a liter of white wine by yourself, get some girl friends or have a dinner party or something.  If it does end up sitting for too long, it starts to have more resemblance  the scent of cleaning products than wine.  We had a glass left over from Monday evening to Tuesday and it definitely was past its prime.

But I would definitely recommend it over all and hope you all get a chance to try it!

Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wine Wednesday :: Mountford Liason Pinot Noir 2008

I give up.  I keep trying to take pictures of my meal and wine so that you can see what I'm eating and drinking.  But I'm going to be honest here.  I get kind of excited and start sipping and eating and before I know it, I'm done with everything.  =P  

So we are going to start a new format.  I will use whatever picture I can find/snap of the bottle so you all know what to shop for and I will give you all the information you need right off the bat.  Like this:

What wine is it: 
Mountford Liason Pinot Noir 2008
What I ate with it: 
spicy Italian sausage with angel hair pasta tossed in meyer lemon olive oil, oregano, Parmesan cheese, and sea salt.
How much is it: 
depending on where you get it, $29.99
Where to shop for it: 

As you may have seen on my post last week, it was my anniversary and we decided to get a couple of bottles that we might not otherwise get to celebrate on a few other days.  Extend the party if you will.  =) 

But when we opened this bottle and started sipping, I couldn't believe how easy to drink it was.  It was one of the most balanced wines I have ever had.  The alcohol content is a little high for a pinot but the flavors in the wine itself were so well harmonized that it didn't matter.  There was an even balance of fruit and the earthy flavor of the soil that the grapes had grown in.  It was amazing.  I am certainly not qualified to accurately describe what was going on in that wine.  Suffice to say, it was worth every penny of the $29.99 we paid.  Even while eating the spicy sausage, there was no competition between the food and the wine.  The flavors were clear and compatible.

Verdict?  Get a bottle.  =)

Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wine Wednesday :: 2011 Ostatu Rioja Blanco

I have been very negligent of my Wine Wednesday posts recently and I am very sorry.  However, I do have a good reason and I hope that you will forgive me since we have had friends and family visiting for the last two weeks.  It was a fantastic time to catch up with people and I will put together a summary in photos of that time pretty soon but for now, I have another wine to introduce you all to!

I have realized recently that I am developing a distinct inclination for European wines.  They have a balance and complexity that is often harder to find in domestics.  (This does not mean that American wines are not good, just not always my taste.)  With this inclination, I have recently been introduced to some amazing Spanish wines that are phenomenal.  Today, though, I will be focusing on the Ostatu Rioja Alavesa Blanco 2011.

From: Wine Searcher.  From: Wine Exchange.
The vineyard has changed its wine making style in the last few years from a process that merely churned out early drinking wines to a process that allows the wines to age for a good period.  That being said, this new 2011 is drinking beautifully right now.  (And I suspect it will hold up for a few years to come as well.  So the $11.99 price tag from Wine Exchange makes it a great investment or wonderful for this weekend's party.)

There are two varietals in this blanco: 85% viura and 15% malvasia.  Viura is pretty exclusive to this area of Spain and let me tell you, they do it good.  =P  There are strong green apple notes on the nose but when you sip, there is something that made me think of hiking.  A strong earthy (flinty, as one friend described it) tone is there as well.  Altogether a very pleasant wine that balances well on the nose and is pleasing on the palette.    I paired it with an Asian inspired noodle salad and with the ginger dressing and crispness of the vegetables brought out the sweetness of the wine but also highlighted the more sun-warmed earth elements were there also.  

So what am I saying?  I'm saying get a bottle, chill it, and enjoy.  You won't be disappointed.

Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Today is my third anniversary.  Corby and I have been married for three years.  Although neither of us can really say that it has felt like that many years or anything like that, we have been living under the same roof, had the same last name, and put up with each other for three years.  =P  Just kidding because Lord willing, we will have many more.

I was reflecting today on why my guy is greatest.  These are the top things that come to mind.

He knows how much I hate doing dishes and almost always will do them before I get to the kitchen.

He helps me figure out my technological difficulties.

He will play any video game I want (yes, I am a gamer...kind of his fault...that is how many of our free nights are spent =P).

He will take care of the kiddo so I can get a little extra sleep.

He's kind of the best.  I always said that I needed a guy who would tell me when I needed to shut up and would always bring me closer to our God.  And I got him.  Happy anniversary, sweetie.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wine Wednesday :: Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne

***This post is getting up late this week and I apologize.  I came down with some weird cold thing earlier this week and then baby got it yesterday.  Thus computer time was limited.  I hope this makes up for it.  =)***

Hello dear readers!  Here we are at yet another Wine Wednesday.  Crazy thought, I realized that I could probably keep this series going for a very long time and never exhaust all the wonderful wines that have been and are still being created in this world.  So let's raise a glass and discuss a great new wine that I highly recommend to you folks.

This past Saturday, the hubby, kiddo, and I were invited to a sushi party at our friends' home.  It was an amazing dinner but more on that later.  I wanted to bring a a beverage of some sort (our hostess is an amazing woman who wouldn't let me bring anything to help with dinner).  So I turned to my friend/wine adviser for a suggestion and he said to do champagne.  Only in this case, he recommended a cremant de bourgogne.  Are you asking what is the difference?  Good question, I asked the same thing.  (Well, I asked what's the difference right after I asked him how to pronounce that.)

To make a long and complicated story shorter, the difference is in the region of France it comes from rather than any major difference in the essence of the grape or winemaking style.  French wine makers jealously guard the right to claim where their wine comes and so only wines made in Champagne are champagnes.  Both wines fall under the general category of sparkling wine but each comes from a different region in France.

Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne Sparkling Brut: from Wine Exchange or Wine Searcher
Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne Rose Perle Aurore: from Wine Exchange or Wine Searcher
So back to the main feature: cremant and sushi.  It was an amazing pairing!  My personal favorite was the rose cremant.  It was refreshing, palate cleansing, and not over powering to the main event (which was the mountains of sushi we were about to set in on).  Just imagine a refreshing glass of bubbly to go with the richness and fatness of good salmon and tuna.  
This picture was early in the evening before all the food came out relegating the flowers to  another space.
Near to far: shrimp, yellowtail tuna, and assorted veggies.
Clams, octopus, salmon, and spam musubis.
Isn't it beautiful?!
The requisite miso soup and sake cup!
The big picture.  =)
While some people ate, the little one went and had some fun on the floor.  =)
That was my Saturday night dinner and my Wine Wednesday suggestion!

Have a beautiful day and go get something good to drink!

Monday, July 23, 2012

make it better Monday :: play date!

It seems like life just keeps on going and I can't quite seem to catch my breath.  But however poor my time management skills may be, there have been some fantastic little moments that I love having the opportunity to remember while I write this post for make it better Monday!

I have to say, play dates are one of my favorite parts of being a mom.  The kid gets lots of energy out and I get to spend some time with some fabulous women!  These are some pictures from last week's play date!

like my twinsie Kristin from Petal and Thorn.  Yes, I talk about her a lot.  Yes, she is awesome.  Yes, you should go check her out if you haven't already. =)  The hats are from Urban Outfitters if you are wondering.  =)
Hito had the perfect smile right before the camera clicked...  But my friend Jennie looks cute, doesn't she?!
Aren't these mammas beautiful?  It ended up being hat day for most of us.  =P  Their little girls are the  cutest too!
And then we get home and this kid still finds the energy to come home and pull pretty nearly every toy in the box.  =P 
All told, despite getting sick over the weekend, it has been great just chilling with the hubby and kiddo, sleeping, and reading.  All great summer activities even if I was forced to do them because I was sick.  =P  

Have a beautiful day, everyone!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wine Wednesday :: 2007 J.L. Wolf Wachenheimer Belz Riesling

Hello everyone!  Welcome back to another Wine Wednesday!  I am totally in love with this wine that I am sharing with you today and it is a great summer wine that will not break your budget!

Today, I have a wine that is crisp, clean, and extremely refreshing for the warmer weather that most of us are enjoying!  J.L. Wolf Wachenheimer Belz Riesling is fantastic!

I think I may have found one of my new favorite wineries for white wines.  J.L. Wolf makes several fantastic wines.  I have had their 2009 Wachenheimer Riesling also - with the same great experience!

The hubby and I opened this bottle last night for a little late night relaxation (the baby is teething so life has been more than a little hectic).  While we didn't have a full meal with this, it isn't hard to imagine having this wine with something beautifully fried.  =P  (Maybe these pig ears that I talk about over in this post.)

When you smell it, the wine smells like apple pie before you bake it.  There is a spicy, tart, scent to it.  When you take a sip, that green apple taste is predominant with some undercurrents of white pepper or the bite that you get when you eat arugula.  (No, the wine does not taste like arugula but there is that almost bitter taste that you get when bitting into a leaf.)

All in all, I have had two different rieslings from this maker and love them both.  You can find bottles for anywhere from $10 - $30 depending on the year and vineyard it is sourced from.

Check it out!  I think you will like it!

Have a beautiful day and get a bottle of wine to drink!  =)

Monday, July 16, 2012

make it better Monday :: 10 month musings...

It has been a while since I've done a make it better Monday post but since today is also Hito's 10 month mark, I thought it would be appropriate.  =)

Man, I have had a baby around for 10 months now...whodathunk?  I mean, I knew he was coming, well, I knew a baby was coming (we didn't find out if he was going to be a boy or girl before he came).  And I knew it was going to be a journey.  But I guess I didn't expect all of this.  The joy, the disregard for the state of my house because I'd rather spend time with the kid, the ridiculous happiness when I see pictures like this...

He is learning how to use the things that he used to just wing around, he is pulling himself up on anything he thinks is remotely stable.  The pace of life is increasing rapidly...

 But still he smiles...and I smile.  Mostly because his is so darn infectious...I can't help it.  Even when I'm praying with all my might to keep it all under control because he won't nap and I have things that need to get done.  Ah well.  God knows.  And so on this Monday, it is a better Monday.  Even if he hasn't had a good nap and isn't wanting to pay attention when he is eating and has been fussying a lot today.  We smile because he still is so excited to see me or dad or to pull himself up again and again.  Not all of this may make sense today.  But let me just say it again.  It is a better Monday because I have been blessed.  With smiles, family, and a 10 month old baby.

Have a beautiful day.

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