Monday, September 15, 2014


Today I wanted to take a moment to say a huge HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my husband Jacob.  
We have been married for 5 1/2 years and were together for 10 before that. We have been through many many things in our life together.  

He is such a hard worker, and works so hard for me and the kids. 

For his first part of his gift this year from me was a little fun lunch date we went on.  I saw it first on groupon and thought it looked interesting. It was a mystery dinner show.  It was like a real life version of the game clue.  It was alot of fun and the food was really good too.  Ill share more on the entire show in another post.  

This year I threw him a "surprise" birthday party, that he found out about from someone, but oh well I am still glad I was able to throw him a Miami Dolphins themed birthday party.  It was alot of fun on Saturday.  

Today I have one more suprise for him up my sleeve, that he still doesn't know about.  :)  That is for later today though, so I will share that later.  

Jacob, we have been through so much in our life together and I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how much I LOVE YOU and wish you a HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY. 
I hope that this year has been full of birthday surprises and that you have enjoyed them all.  
Thank you for all you do for me and the kids and being such a good daddy to them and husband to me.  HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY and I hope your day is wonderful.  
love, NICOLE  

Friday, September 12, 2014


I was asked to join IMAGINISCE as a guest designer on their blog this week.  
Here is a peek at what I created. 

You can find IMAGINISCE on FACEBOOK HERE and on their BLOG HERE.  

Come on over and check out my projects.
I will be back again next week with a few more projects.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014


So Saturday morning we got up and laid around in the super comfy bed and watched a little tv.  Then we decided we should get up and go have breakfast.  So we took our showers and while I was doing my makeup Jacob called me out to the patio. There was tons of hot air balloons all around us.  Some were so close I swear you could reach up and touch them.  Not really, but they seemed that close.  
I snapped a few pictures and finished up getting ready to go.  As we drove over to the restaurant, you could just see them for miles and miles.  It was such a site, quite beautiful. I loved how they just added a pop of color to the overcast sky that morning.  

We had our breakfast, another amazing meal.  I had pancakes and Jacob ordered a burrito that he said was excellent as well.  He also had a side of bacon, and mine had a side of fruit.  

After breakfast I set the timer on my camera, propped the camera up on my sweater on the hood of the car and took a few pictures of me and Jacob.  Normally I hate being in front of the camera, but the grapes were just so beautiful and I wanted something to remember this trip.  Of course I didn't curl my hair until after this, figures.  :)

I think this is the one I am going to frame for our living room wall.  

On Friday we drove past the barrel house and the doors were closed already, so on our way back to the room after breakfast they were open.  Jacob stopped for me so I could walk up and grab a few shots with my camera.  It was cold in there, and smelled just like wine.  It was really cool to see all the barrels though from floor to ceiling.  

We went back to the room for a bit and just relaxed until it was check out time.  It was nice just to sit on the couch, just the two of us and watch a little tv.  Quiet and definitely different from watching tv at home lol.  
I also curled my hair while we were relaxing.  I was definitely having an awesome hair day that day for sure.  :) 

I couldn't stop taking pictures of the beautiful grape vines and flowers while we were there.  There was beauty all around.  
Be ready for an overload of grape vine pictures.  :) 
This was actually Friday night after dinner, and our walk around the winery.  I loved how the sun was setting and  coming through the grape vines.  

More sunset picture with the leaves.  

There was a ton of purple and green grapes, just everywhere.  So pretty.  

These grapes were right outside our room door.  It says you can sample them, so I did and there were seeds :)  .  Still good grapes just be careful of the seeds.  

There were beautiful flowers there along with all these amazing grape vines.  
These flowers were down by the waterfall that we found on our walk around the winery after dinner. 

After we checked out we walked over to the gift shop and he bought me a turquoise winery sweatshirt.  

On our way home we stopped at a little avocado stand to get him some avocados.  He loves avocados, so we couldn't go to avocado country and not come home without any.  We also bought some fresh strawberries and grapes too. 
It was such an amazing trip. I loved that Jacob planned all this and surprised me like he did.  It was such a nice time to get away just the two of us, something we don't do often enough at all.  
This was our selfie on the way home.  
It was such an amazing trip. I loved that Jacob planned all this and surprised me like he did.  It was such a nice time to get away just the two of us, something we don't do often enough at all.  

But that wasn't even the end of my surprises.  We came home to a big surprise party he planned for me.  WOW!!  I was so surprised that I cried when we pulled up to the house and everyone, friends and family were all outside (in the rain) holding signs up for me.  My brother and his wife and their girls drove all the way from Sacramento the night before and went home the next morning just to come for the party.  My dear friend drove all the way from Tehachapi for the party, family came from far, friends came.  It was truely amazing and I cried.  Not tears of sadness, but tears of happiness.  Happiness to have all these amazing people in my life that were there and those that couldn't make it as well, but wanted to be.
It was overwhelming all the love I felt that weekend and was just a reminder of how lucky I am.  So thank you everyone for those memories, but thank you mostly to my wonderful husband who planned
 all this and took the time to make me feel so very special.  I loved our time away together and I hope we can do it more often.  I love you so much.  Thank you!  

If you want to check out the winery you can do so


                       pleast note : I was not paid to write this post, all the thoughts and opinions are all of my own. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014


My birthday was at the end of July.  We celebrated as a family on the day of my birthday, Jacob made me dinner and him and the kids baked me a chocolate cake with chocolate icing and sprinkles.  
Little did I know this year was going to be full of surprises. BIG surprises.  
He had it all worked out with my mom to watch the kids on Friday and he was going to take me somewhere special, just him and I.  
I had no clue where we were going, I couldn't even guess if I had tried. 
First on Thursday we cleaned the house extra super clean so that it would be spotless when we got home on Saturday afternoon.  
Then Friday we got up and got us all dressed and ready to go.  We took the kids to my moms about 10:30 am and we headed out on our way.  
We drove and drove some more, I even dosed off in the car, like I always do. :)  
About 2 or so hours later we were there.  Where is THERE?
He took me to Temecula to a BEAUTIFUL winery called SOUTH COAST WINERY RESORT AND SPA.
He didn't just get us a room for the night, he got us a villa.  OMG it was amazing.  I was in awe the entire time we were there.  
We got there and were able to check in early, since we were a few hours before the actual check in time.  

We parked in front of our villa and this is what we saw.  There were only 4 parking spots in front of each villa, one for each room.  We were all the way to the left.  We parked and walked in.  

This cute statue fountain was in the the courtyard of all the rooms.  

This was right when you walk into the room.  I told Jacob our room was like a tiny apartment.  This being the kitchen table.  It greeted us with wine glasses and some brochures for the area.  

Standing in the same spot and looking over to the right there was a sitting area with a couch and and a coffee table right in front of the fireplace.  The big brown doors are a big closet.  

This is the view from the sitting area.  This is the big COMFY bed, and the tv and dresser to the left.
To the right are french doors that led out to our own private patio.  

Here is the view from the sitting area of the door and the sink, fridge area.  

Even the bathroom was huge and beautiful.
 There was a huge spa tub with jets and everything.  

Jacob was testing out the tub to see how comfy it would be for a bath later that night.  

They had this mirror attached to the wall with some extra high power zoom, it was actually kind of cool, but a bit scary to see myself that close too.  

No place we have ever stayed has ever sealed the toilet paper with a gold sticker. :)

I had alot of fun checking out the room and taking a million pictures.
He made dinner reservations for the wineries restaurant for 6:00 so since it was still several hours away and we were real hungry we decided to go grab a small bite to eat somewhere close and take a drive through Temecula.  
We ended up stopping at McDonalds for a quick burger and fries.  Even the McDonalds was a little fancier than the ones by home.
After we were done eating we took a drive across to the other side of Temecula where it is avacado farming area.  Jacob loves avacado so I thought this would be fun. Plus the area is beautiful so I knew this would be a beautiful drive to spend the time until our dinner reservations.

It is so different from anything like home.  It was so beautiful and green which is quite the drastic difference from the desert back home.  Jacob pulled over so I could get a few shots of some awesome trees.

This was out the window, overlooking the Temecula valley.

He was driving and didn't know I took this picture.  :)

Now he knew, we were stopped and I made him look at me so I could snap a picture of him.  He rarely lets me take his picture, which I don't know why, I love taking pictures of my handsome guy!

We got back to the room and sat down for a few minutes until we headed out to do some wine tasting and then head to dinner.

When we checked in they gave us a certificate for 3 free wine tastes for each of us.  

This winery has been voted winery of the year for many years now.

We tried some wine, it was good, but I prefer my wine cold and these were quite warm.  The first one was our favorite and it was a white wine.  I usually prefer red, if and when I ever do drink it.
So then we went to dinner and we sat out on the patio, and had it all to ourselves.

Since I don't really know wine, I asked our waiter to bring me a glass of red that would go nicely with what I was having for dinner.  He brought me this red which was a moscato if I remember correctly.

Jacob and I both ordered the same thing.  We had prime rib with a baked potato and grilled vegetables.  Let me just say this was by far THE BEST piece of prime rib either of us have ever tasted in our lives.  It was cooked to perfection, and those vegetables mixed with some grilled sweet onions.  SO DANG GOOD!

I mean seriously look at the thickness of that prime rib.
Then, since we were staying at the winery we got a free slice of pinecapple cheesecake.  I am not usually a pineapple fan in my desserts but this was so good, it wasn't an overwhelming flavor. It was so good I ate most of it and I was stuffed before that. I didn't even finish all my dinner.  It had a drizzle of caramel over the top and the crust was perfect.

After dinner we decided to take a walk around the winery and just soak in all its amazingness.
I made my handsome hubby stop again so I could take his picture.  :) 

I can't decide if I like it more in black and white or color.

The roses and flowers were in full bloom just beautiful.

This is the front where the restaurant, gift shop and wine tasting room are.

Even looking up was so pretty and stunning.

We walked the entire outside of the winery.

This path led from the restaurant down to the lower part of the winery, a sitting area and some lawn area.

This is the hotel part of the winery, tucked in the back behind all these beautiful grape vines.  This is where he had checked in for our villa too.

This place had so many beautiful things to look at, we came across this fun little waterfall.

We took a "selfie" infront of it too.

I made him stand in front to take a picture of him.

And he made me go in front of it too so he could take my picture.

Towards the front of the winery they have this fenced area, where I think the hold many weddings.

We walked back to the front through this area.

I got up close to some of the stunning wrought iron work.

Out in the very front there was a water fountain.  They had this plaque that shares a little story about angels who leave coins and how they donate all the coins thrown into the fountain. I thought that was pretty cool.  

I had to get a cool flag shot while I was standing next to the pole.  I loved how it was blowing in the wind.

So after our walk we went back to the room.  We took a nice bath in the jacuzzi tub that was so relaxing. I think I stayed in for over an hour.  
After that we sat out on the balcony and watched some tv from there.  I thought it was fun that when you turned on the tv it said our name and had a welcome note to us.

That was our first day there, and just typing this post and looking at the pictures 
takes me right back to that day.  I would love to go again and I can't wait until we can go again. It was such an amazing trip to just be surprised like that and be in such a beautiful place.  

You can check out the winery  HERE ON FACEBOOK or HERE ON THEIR WEBSITE.  


I have a few more photos to share , but since this is so long and photo heavy already I will share those with you tomorrow.  :)

pleast note : I was not paid to write this post, all the thoughts and opinions are all of my own. 


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