What’s Up Wednesday!

Hi there and Happy Wednesday! We’re making it people…half way to the weekend! I’m linking up with Sheaffer and Shay for What’s Up Wednesday, thanks for following along to find out what we’re up to this week!

What's Up Wednesday

1. What We’re Eating

I’ve learned over time that the simpler we keep our menu the less frustrating it is for everyone. Our kids really like to keep things basic. Our dinner usually consist of a protein (typically poultry or fish), a vegetable and a complex carb.  On Monday I made THE EASIEST dinner you’ll every make which is also a staple around our house. We call it Russian Chicken, super creative being that it’s made with Russian Dressing. Ha!  One of my good friends made this meal for us when we first had Parker and we’ve been making it ever since.

Russian Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts (thawed)
  • 1/2 a packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mis
  • 1 bottle of Wishbone Russian Dressing
  • 1/2-1 full jar of Apricot preserves

Directions

  • Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix onion soup mix, dressing and apricot preserves in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Meanwhile, place the 4 chicken breasts in a 9×13 glass baking dish.
  • Once the mixture is brought to a boil, pour over chicken and place pan (uncovered) into oven for 30 minutes
  • *Cooking time may vary depending on your oven and the size of the chicken breasts

We usually serve our chicken over a bed of brown rice alongside green beans or asparagus.

2. What I’m Reminiscing About

Now that the weather’s getting nicer, I’m thinking a lot about summer! I’m looking forward to summer break and being home with the kids!

3. What We’ve Been Up To

Since we got back from Spring Break, it’s pretty much been business as usual around here. Our weeknights are filled with hockey, gymnastics, dance and flag football.

 

4. What I’m Dreading

I honestly can’t say I’m dreading anything right now!

5. What I’m Working On

I’m working on organizing our basement. #alwaysaworkinprogress  You know what, this brings me to something I WISH I were working on. I wish I were re-organizing my Tupperware cabinet, anyone of any great tips on how you organize all of your Tupperware?

6. What I’m Excited About

I’m really excited about Parker’s Hockey Tournament this weekend! It’s Thursday thru Sunday and I’m looking forward to seeing the boys play! I’m also really excited that it’s supposed to get up to 63 degrees today, woot!!  #timetobreakouttheshorts Ha!

7. What I’m Watching/Reading

I have been trying to watch the Heal documentary on Netflix for forever! I’m about half way through and I really am enjoying it but it’s one of those movies that you really have to be watching 100% in order to get everything out of it and a lot of times I’m doing about 50 million other things while I’m watching a movie or TV show. #whoswithme  Has anyone else seen it, what did you think?

Other than that, the only other thing of watched at home recently was “Abducted in Plain Site”. This story is beyond tragic, especially since as the story continues to evolve you can’t help but to think her parents could have done a much better job of protecting their daughter…instead they were protecting themselves. I try to keep my TV viewing a little more upbeat than the last show.

Over the last month I’ve read “Rising Strong” by Brene Brown, “The Dinner List” by Rebecca Serle and “Beneath A Scarlet Sky” by Mark Sullivan. All three books were great. “Rising Strong” is in the personal development genre while “The Dinner List” is fiction and quite an entertaining read. I read this one while we were on vacation, you can read about our trip HERE. The last book, “Beneath A Scarlet Sky” is a fictional book but based on a true story about one person’s account of their time in Italy during Word War II. A very interesting, suspenseful and heart wrenching story. I would recommend all three books.

 

 

8. What I’m Listening To

I spend a lot of time in the car on the days that I’m working driving from patient to patient. I used to listen to talk radio a lot but I’ve gotten into the habit of either listening to audiobooks or podcasts. Usually I’m listening to self improvement, motivational speakers or educators on various topics or listening to a non-fiction audiobook. The podcasts I listen to most are:

  • Rise Podcast
  • Rise Together Podcast
  • Goal Digger Podcast
  • TED talks
  • Earn Your Happy
  • Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations
  • Healers
  • Parenting Beyond Discipline #becausegivemeallthepointers
  • This American Life
  • 20/20
  • Heather Dubrow’s World ~this is where I get all my updates on world news 😉
  • Brandi Glanville Unfiltered~she covers a lot of current events too
  • House of Kim with Kim Zolciak #oncearealhousewivesfanalwaysafan

If I’m at home, I’ve been telling Alexa “play me some Jason Mraz” , please and thank you.

9. What I’m Wearing

I’ve been wearing a ton of Athleta lately, mostly their travel pants. I bought The Wander pant and The Brooklyn Pant in olive before we left for our trip to San Francisco and I’ve been wearing them a few times a week ever since.

 

10. What I’m Doing this Weekend

Hockey Tournament and flag football x 2!

11. What I’m looking Forward To Next Month

I’m really looking forward to the month of April because my parents are coming back to Minnesota after being gone over the winter. Also looking forward to celebrating Easter with our extended family.

12. What Else is New

That’s a wrap, not much else new here!

Thanks for reading today, Happy Hump Day!

XOXO,

Melissa @ Finding My Mojo

 

Hello Monday!

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It’s Monday and I’m kicking off another week by  linking up with Lindsay, Heather, Johannah and Tanya  to recap our weekend!

On Friday, Jared and I met up for lunch at Keg and Case Market. Niether of us had ever been to this marketplace before and I’m so glad we checked it out. Keg and Case Market hosts a variety of vendors, including Bogarts’s Doughnut Co , Studio Emme, Evla Pottery and Clutch Brewing Co. There are two sit-down restaurants within the building, In Bloom and Revival.   We ate at In Bloom and it was SO! GOOD!  Jared had the French onion soup and I had the Venison Mortadella Sandwich. Those of you who know  me well know that I almost NEVER eat red meat so this was definitely a leap of faith for me. I originally requested to have the sandwich without the venison, however the waiter was able to persuade me to give it a whirl and I’m so glad he did!  In Bloom uses a woodfire grill to cook most of their foods, through our conversation with one of their top chefs we learned that the restaurant gets 3-5 venison per week from a local farmer. Their menu was designed to incorporate venison into many of the dishes and they get their fruits and vegetables from local farmers.   Our entrees were so good, we decided to split desert at In Bloom too. We shared the Burnt Marshmallow and it was AMAZING! #nopicsbecause…yummm

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After lunch, we browsed the market a bit more and stopped at Spinning Wylde Cotton Candy to bring some home for the kids. I got the Strawberry Fields flavor for them and they ate it up!  They have over 50 flavors to choose from, definitely worth a stop!

 

While dining at a more traditional sit-down restaurant is an option at Keg and Case Market, you can also choose to just grab a bite from any of the other vendors and take a seat at one of the many tables and chairs located on both the main floor and upper level of the market place.

Beginning May 16 thru October 19,2019 they will also be opening their outdoor farmers market. In addition to the farmers market, they will play host to musical events, kids activities and other events!

On Friday night, we pulled out the Pie in the Face game. Always one of the kid’s favs because they would love nothing more than to see us get pied in the face. Ha! Parker actually really liked it when he ended up getting pied, it was so funny! He kept asking for another turn or to turn the dial just one more time!

 

 

On Saturday morning we all enjoyed a little time outdoors. The weather here in Minnesota is finally getting warmer! Just when we thought we couldn’t survive another week of frigid temps, we’ve started to turn a corner.

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Despite the warmer weather we were experiencing on Saturday, that afternoon we headed back down to St. Paul for our son’s hockey event.  Parker’s Mite hockey team had the opportunity to play during one of the Frozen Four Championship games so we met up with several other hockey families at New Bohemia in St. Paul before heading to the Xcel center for the game.   New Bohemia is an “American beir hall”, they serve craft beers, sausage, burgers and giant pretzels. I did not see schnitzel on the menu, that must be the “American” part of the bier hall. You have to go to a German bier hall if you want the schnitzel. Ha!

If that fare isn’t really striking your fancy you can walk over to Truck Park, which is an indoor food truck park and bar. They have street tacos, fried chicken, ice cream, grilled cheese and cocktails. The seating style in both restaurants is cafeteria style which worked out really well for our large group.

 

After lunch we headed over to the Xcel Center to watch the Frozen Face off game, Colorado College against Denver college. The more exciting game was played later that night, University of Minnesota Bulldogs vs. the St. Cloud State Huskies.

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On Sunday morning we went to church. I really loved the sermon this week on forgiving. Certainly a message we all need and can relate too!  

 

We spent the day enjoying the nice weather and getting ready for the week!  On Sunday’s I usually plan the week’s meals and order groceries online from Hy-Vee. I find that when we have a dinner plan for each night, the evenings roll much more smoothly than when I don’t have a plan! 

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend too!

XOXO,

Melissa @ Finding My Mojo

 

 

 

Friday Favorites!

Happy Friday! Due to be on an extended spring break, it’s been awhile since I’ve linked up with Erika, Narci and Andrea for their Friday Favorite link-up, so I’m glad to be back!

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Essential Oils and Diffuser

A LOVE running my diffuser throughout the day with Serenity essential oil, it smells so good!  I haven’t made a complete switch from burning candles, instead of using my diffuser but when I do light a candle I try to make sure it’s a candle made of soy or beeswax. Why you ask?  Did you know that many traditional candles are made with paraffin? This fact alone is not the issue. When you light the candle, it releases carcinogenic chemicals and some candle wicks are made of lead which gets released into your home through the soot. #nothanks  All that to say, I really enjoy using the oils as a safe alternative. The ones I have are DoTerra and I only have 3. I use the Serenity all of the time and swap that out for a blend of the Cassia and Wild Orange during the winter. I’d love to expand upon the oils I use in my diffuser, not so much for homeopathic methods at this point.  If you have any recommendations for other oils or blends that are your favorites, I would love to hear them! Comment below!

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Brandless

I shopped Brandless for the first time a little over a month ago and placed my second order earlier this week. Both times, I’ve really liked what I’ve gotten, the price is on point and delivery is super fast. I hadn’t realized it before but their foods have no artificial colors/flavors and are non-GMO.  I love how they give back to the community as well, every time you place an order they provide a meal to someone via their connection with Feeding America. I’ll definitely be trying to shop more with them in the future. Since I’m fairly new to the brand, if any of you have tried and have some favorite things you like to purchase from them, let me know!  If you’ve never ordered and are thinking of giving it a try, use this link and we both get $6 off of our order. #winwin

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Tinkle Razors

Girl, shave your face! Haha!  Do you follow Living with Landyn? If you don’t you should and then you should go and watch her insta story on how to shave your face. #ilearnedfromthebest  Don’t worry, you won’t grow a beard and the hair on your face won’t grow back darker but your face WILL feel so much more smooth, your makeup will go on much more easily and your skincare products will be so much more easily absorbed. I’m telling you don’t knock it until you try it and you can thank me later! #yourewelcome

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Stella and Dot

I’ve been a huge fan of Stella and Dot for over 10 years. I have been friends who are stylists for the company and most of the time they’re who I go to when I need a statement piece for a special occasion, an update to my everyday pieces or a new clutch spice things up a bit. My current favs are these earrings and this clutch, I brought them on our recent trip to Cabo (read about it here). *links posted so you can check them out but I’m not a stylist nor am I receiving any product * I just like their jewels * 🙂 If you don’t have a stylist, you can shop or connect with my friend Ann here.

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My Beautycounter Stock-up

I love Beautycounter’s cleansing balm, it’s primary use is cleansing (even as an overnight cleanser) but this stuff can be use for so much more. Some of the things we use it for in our home are eczema, treating sun burns and chapped lips. This stuff is seriously amazing. The price tag is a little high but it lasts forever.

Thanks to those rays I was catching in Cabo, I needed to stock up on my foundation. Normally, I use the linen shade of the Tint Skin but I was able to kick it up a notch this time and went with the sand shade.

This next thing is probably Jared’s favorite of the week! I got him one of the items from Beautycounter’s new men’s line, Counterman. He’s totally loving the exfoliating cleanser.

Although I’ve been a consultant for Beautycounter for several years, I like to mix and match my fav products across brands…. these are just some of my favs!

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Thanks for stopping by and reading today!  Have a wonderful weekend!

XOXO,

Melissa @ Finding My Mojo

Mojo Travels~ Cabo!

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A couple of weeks ago we spent a long weekend in San Francisco for my sister’s wedding, you can read that post HERE. The morning after the wedding our family was up bright and early to head for the airport in order to reach our final destination on our vacation, Cabo San Lucas! Despite being tired from dancing the night away at the wedding, the kids were SO EXCITED to get Mexico.

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Cabo bound! The smile on her face says it all!

Each of the kids had their own Kindle Fires which they had downloaded books, games and movies on prior to our departure so they had plenty of entertainment. We stayed at Villa del Palmar in Cabo San Lucas in a two bedroom penthouse with an oceanfront view. It fit our family of five and my parents perfectly. The kids really loved the jacuzzi on the balcony, this along with having their own room with a TV was probably their highlight of our accommodations.

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Living their BEST LIVES at the end of the day watching a movie!

By the time we got to the resort, we only had a few hours left in the day but that didn’t stop the kids from taking a dip in the pool. We just grabbed pizza for them from the onsite Sports Bar for dinner.  It was good but the woodfired pizza at their restaurant, Tomatillos , is even better!

Day 2:

We woke up and the kids swam for a bit before we had lunch poolside. My parents were kind enough to watch Camryn during her naptime so Jared, the kids and myself walked along the beach towards downtown Cabo. Since it’s spring break time, things started to get a little more, shall we say “crazy”, as we started to get closer to the restaurants along the beach so we hitched a ride on a water taxi to get to the marina. I’m so glad we did that, the kids loved it! We stopped at Captain Tony’s and had a cocktail while the kid’s enjoyed banana smoothies. Once we got back to the resort the kids swam and swam some more.

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My parents offered to watch the kids that evening so Jared and I could enjoy a night out on the town. We made reservations at La Golandrina, which we’ve eaten at several times before. The ambiance of this restaurant is absolutely beautiful. The seating is outdoors and above you is a canopy of tree branches all strung with white lights.  So beautiful. Unfortunately, this trip the food was just subpar. I would definitely recommend going there for a cocktail and maybe an appetizer but save your dinner reservation for another restaurant. I would recommend Edith’s or La Casita, both are great choices!

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Day 3and 4:

More swimming…lots of swimming! HA!  I was so happy I had brought swim shirts along for both of the girls to wear, the sun is so intense and it definitely helped to protect their skin. There are a ton of cute suits at Target this season, I got this one for Cami!!

 

My favorite suit was this one from amazon. I have NEVER bought any article of clothing from amazon so I was definitely going out on a limb getting  a suit. I generally have to buy more expensive suits because I got a lot going up top, if you know what I’m saying, so I need suits with a little bit of support. This one shoulder ruffled suit was so cute. I love that you can wear it under a cute pair of shorts and throw on a kimono  and you’re ready to go get a quick bite or walk along the beach. I’m wearing my Rachel Zoe palm print kimono, though you can’t really tell it’s length in the photo, that I got from my Box of Style last spring. I looked everywhere but I couldn’t find a link for it. I really like this kimono from Nordstrom! It’s really reasonable too, oops, might have to get that one too.

 

 

Day 5:

The kids swam from sun up until sundown every day. We thought about taking them to go swim with the dolphins but they were more interested in swimming so we let them be. So much of the time I think we as parents work so hard to give them all of these “experiences” but they are often just content being right where they are. It really makes me feel overjoyed to think about how much fun they had just being together and loving life during our trip. Family vacays are a cup filler for me, for sure!

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On this day, Jared had actually surprised me by booking me a massage at the Desert Spa. I had never been to that spa before and it was so beautiful and peaceful, if it weren’t for wanting to get back to spend time with my family I would’ve stayed there all day! I had the deep tissue massage that day and went back the next day for a pedicure.

 

Day 6:

On the last night of our trip we met up with some friends of ours from back in Minnesota that were also vacationing in Cabo. One of my friends had set up a private boat tour to go whale watching. We had such a great time and ended up seeing 2 whales about a half an hour into our trip. It was a mama whale and her calf that we saw and they stuck around our boat for over an hour. It was so neat to watch them swim so close to the surface of the water. I got WAY TOO many pictures of our whale sighting. Ha! I mean how many pictures does one need of air bubbles coming up from the water?!   At least no one can say I didn’t take any pictures.

 

After the whale watching tour, our crew ate dinner at The Office on Medano beach. I’ve been there for lunch and dinner before, the food is always great and the atmosphere is perfect!

Day 7:

On our last day in Cabo, our departing flight was 2 hours late. I was actually more than happy to stay an extra two hours, which meant we had nearly the entire day to soak up some more rays and avoid re-entry back to reality just a bit longer.

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This trip exceeded any expectations I had of traveling to another country with all 3 kids. We had an amazing time and I would totally recommend this vacation to anyone, the kids are already asking “when can we go back?”. The answer…not soon enough! Good news is now that we’re back home, the temps are rising and the snow is melting. Praise the lord!

Thanks so much for reading, have a great day!

XOXO,

Melissa @ Finding My Mojo

 

 

 

 

Hello Monday!

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Today I’m linking up with Lindsay, Heather, Johannah, and Tanya for the first time!  I actually ran across Lindsay’s blog, Lindsay’s Sweet World, a couple of years ago when I was on Pinterest looking for 1st birthday party ideas for Camryn. I ended up going with a gold and light pink pumpkin theme and it was SO. CUTE! (Am I allowed to say that about a party that I put together? HA!)  You can check it out here!

Anyway, this past weekend we spent most of our time relaxing at home and getting back into our normal routine after being gone for an extended period of time over spring break. I recapped our trip to San Francisco  last week and plan on recapping our trip to Cabo San Lucas later this week!

It was so nice being home, without any evening activities, for a few days. Last Thursday, I took all 3 kiddos to the American Girl store at the Mall of America. Our store here in Minnesota is closing this week, so I wanted to take Laney to get her first full size doll.  After browsing the store for awhile she settled on Nanea. We’ve been reading a little bit of the book the doll came with each night and she’s loving her new doll!

 

After taking one for the team on Thursday, I told Parker he could bring a buddy to  see the How to Train Your Dragon 3 movie on Friday afternoon and it was sooooo good! I would totally recommend it!

 

On Sunday morning I made Lucky Charm Marshmallow bars to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. We’re not Irish so I don’t go too crazy with the celebrating, this little treat was the perfect way to start our day. Just ask my little Leprechauns. Ha!  The super difficult recipe is listed below.

 

Lucky Charm Marshmallow Bars

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 5-6 cups Lucky Charms cereal
  • 5 cups mini-marshmallows

Directions

Melt butter in large saucepan. Once butter is melted, stir in marshmallows and continue to stir until marshmallows have completely melted. Take pan off of burner. Stir in Lucky Charms cereal and then spread in a greased 9×9 pan. Voila!

That concludes my very relaxing weekend recap! I’ll be back later this week with the details on our Cabo trip and Friday Favorites! Have a great week everyone!

XOXO,

Finding My Mojo

Mojo Travels- San Francisco!

A couple of weeks ago, my family and I were  San Francisco bound for my sister’s wedding. The wedding was absolutely beautiful and we had such a great time exploring the city with the kids.

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Sorry Cami, when you’re trying to get all 5 smiling at the same time sometimes you take what you can get.

We arrived in San Francisco mid-morning and just like most places in the country, they were experiencing abnormally cold temps and increased precipitation. That didn’t hold us down though;  the kids were so excited to let loose some of their bound up energy. We thought we’d be fine in our rain jackets but about two minutes in, we had spent $20 on two giant umbrellas. #wellworthit

This jacket I brought along is my new favorite rain jacket. I love the color, fit and feel of this jacket!  I’m currently pretty obsessed with all things Athleta 🙂

Our first stop was Pier 45 and we were lucky enough to stumble upon a pop-up Old Fashioned Arcade museum. The kids had fun playing some games, my favorite was probably watching them play Wack-a-Mole. So funny!

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Our next stop was Fisherman’s Wharf. The kids really enjoyed Aquariumof the Bay, there were so many exhibits and sea animals to see.

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There are many shops and restaurants all along the wharf. The  docks lining the wharf are also home to hundreds of sea lions. You can see Alcatraz from the end of the pier too; despite being to San Fransisco many times I’ve actually never visited Alcatraz. Have any of you been and would you recommend a visit?

Probably one of the most memorable events at Fisherman’s Wharf  was Parker winning a giant stuffed animal out of one of those claw machines. I should preface this by saying that Jared’s dad has a serious affinity towards claw machines and whenever we visit Grandpa, he’s got a new supply of stuffed animals that he has won. When Parker initially asked to spend $3 on the machine I said no but after re-thinking it I thought it was a fine way to pass some time and who knows maybe he has a stroke of his Grandpa’s luck. Low and behold he won this beaut of a stuffed doll on the second try (same $3 dollars lest you think he swindled me out of $6 to achieve this big win)! He was so excited and Camryn was even more excited to win her special “dowy”, which she insisted upon sleeping with in the already tight quarters of her pack-n-play. HaHa!

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The last big adventure at the wharf was hopping on this two-story carousel. By the time we went on it, it was getting darker out and the lights on the carousel were so pretty.  Day 1 and already an unforgettable trip.

At the end of the day we headed back to the beautiful and ginormous mansion my sister and her fiance had rented to host all of the family who were to attend the wedding in a couple of days. Because our family is the largest, read nosiest, we were sequestered to the attic. The kids loved that big space all to themselves.  We enjoyed a dinner of Boudin’s Calm Chowder and sourdough bread, Boudin’s is a staple of San Fran. If you haven’t tried it, you should definitely make a visit if you’re ever in town.

The next day, we spent the morning at The Exploratorium. The Exploratorium is an interactive, hands on museum of science, art and physical movement. All 5 us found it interesting, there’s truly something for everyone. It’s fairly expensive to get in but they allow you to come and go throughout the day. The museum is on the Embarcadero and  close enough to other places of interest, like the Ferry Building ,to allow people to come and go easily .

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We had plans to eat at the Ferry Building but I wouldn’t take the kid’s there again to grab lunch. To be fair, we didn’t go to any of the sit down restaurants but looked at menus for the smaller grab-and go shops, the menus were a bit too “fancy” for our kid’s tastes. They may not have like the lunch fare but they certainly didn’t mind the ice cream at Gott’s Ice Cream!  So delish! After heading back to The Exploratorium for a bit longer we went back to the mansion for the rehearsal dinner.

The Grand Finale and last day of our trip was centered around the wedding of my sister and her now husband. Their day was absolute perfection and I was so honored to be a part of it. Delaney and I headed to my sister’s apartment bright and early that morning for hair and makeup. My sister is such a light in the world and it’s no wonder, her makeup artist is also a friend of hers. He was just the kindest, most talented human being, I had so much fun meeting him. I may just take a trip back to SF for him to do my makeup again!

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The wedding took place at city hall and my sister, I’m sure, was the most beautiful bride to ever walk those halls.

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Following the wedding ceremony, we went on a trolley ride through the city.

I’m not sure of the name of the reception hall, but it was such a wonderful evening. As most weddings do, this one went by way too fast. The weekend was magic and we enjoyed spending time with all of our extended family. I can’t wait to get back!!

Stay tuned next week, I’ll be taking about part deux of our trip. Cabo bound!!

XOXO,

Melissa @ Finding My Mojo