Happy Friday! We made it. What are you up to these next two glorious days? This weekend involves fitting in some more fall fun for us (and my mama's birthday -- Happy B-day, Mom!). My friend and I are hitting up another pumpkin patch today before coming back here to carve them by a fire in our backyard, cider in hand of course. On Sunday we are headed up to Orange County for the day to go to Knott's Berry Farm. I've never been before but I love me some roller coasters! And then somehow next week it's already Halloween, quickly followed by the election (make sure you're registered to vote at www.vote.org, please!), and then I head up to Northern California for a retreat at the farm animal sanctuary I started working for recently! Autumn really is shaping up to, once again, be the best time of the year 😊
Navy open-front knit cardigan (also seen here, here & here): Gap
What are you wearing for Halloween? We don't have any plans for the holiday this year so I don't have a costume planned, unfortunately. I'll most likely be sportin' my favorite jogger sweatpants and an oversized tee, as I watch The Office and Parks & Recreation Halloween episode reruns. 👻
Hello! How has your fall bucket list been going? This past weekend Matt and I took a day trip to Julian (just like the latest LunaVida post suggested 💁). It was super busy so we didn't stick around the actual town for very long. (Long enough to grab some pumpkin butter and vegan apple pie though. Obviously.) We decided instead to take a drive through the woodsy areas and happened upon a pumpkin patch. Like, a legitimate pumpkin patch that you walked through the fields to pick your favorite! It was exactly what I needed after what had been a pretty stressful week. High praises to serene autumn activities that can always save the day!
Olive green military jacket (also seen here, here & here): Old Navy
What have you been up to so far this October? We still have quite a few fall fun items to check off our list which makes me so happy. This really is the best season (and the clothes are for real the cutest too 😉).
Raise your hand if you love to do all the fall things every October and November? 🙋 After discussing how this season always seems to get away from us each year, a friend of mine (hi, Kristen!) had the genius idea to create a spreadsheet and Google Calendar of all the fall activities we planned to do, and - here's the kicker - actually go out and do them. I know. It's a wild notion to make a plan and then stick to it but we're gonna try our damnedest! A little over a week in, and so far, so good. We've watched a scary film, we've hiked, we've art festival-ed, we've volunteered for the midterm elections (speaking of, make sure you're registered to vote here and then GO VOTE!), and we have plans for outdoor Nightmare Before Christmas-watching this weekend. We are really taking autumn by the reigns this year! Thankfully SoCal has plenty to offer us fall lovers so I thought if you're local, this list we've created may also be of benefit to you. Hope to see you out and about in this beautiful city of ours!
Hit up movies on the lawn
San Diego has some of the best year-round weather known to humankind. It may not be chilly during the days here just yet but at night the temps drop. It's a perfect opportunity to grab a warm drink, a blanket, and catch a free Halloween-themed movie at the park!
Get your #basic on and visit a pumpkin patch
Of course. This is a necessity no matter where you live. Here is a list of local SD County spots!
Honestly, I've never personally been to this before because no one I know here likes haunted houses... 😐 But I hear it is v terrifying. And I wish I could go. (Take me with you?) **Another honorable mention is The Haunted Hotel which is located downtown in the Gaslamp District. It claims to be "ranked #1 Scariest Haunt in America... and is the longest running haunted house in San Diego." (!!!)
Go on a ghost tour
San Diego has some very famous haunted spots. If you're feeling brave and looking for some paranormal activity, schedule a walking tour!
Looking for something less scary and a little more family-friendly? Head to the beach to check out Belmont Park's free entertainment and festive activities. (Why not get on some rides while you're there too?)
Take a scenic drive to go apple-picking in Julian
I've discussed my love of this tiny town before (read about it here). Somehow though, I've never gone to an orchard there - and they're famous for apples! This is a must do this autumn.
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What fall festivities are you most excited about this season? Or do you plan to cozy up at home with blankets, movies, and tea? The beautiful thing about this time of year is that all of those options are equally as appealing 🍃🍁🍂
Hey there! Who was terrified of high-waisted denim (AKA "mom jeans") when we first started seeing them a couple years ago? 🙋 I will admit I was pretty uneasy with this particular trend. Then I saw these J.Crew skinny jeans on sale this summer and couldn't resist trying them. Thankfully my (very heroic) risk paid off because I'm a convert now! (I, too, am shocked to be saying that.) There's just something irresistible about the distressing, raw hems, and most importantly, that extra pseudo length they give one's legs. Plus it's nice being able to bend over and not have to do the plumber's crack hand cover. (You know exactly what I'm talking about.)
Black long sleeve twist-back top: J.Crew - on sale for under $20!
Splendid LA reversible vegan leather tote bag: Shopbop (This faux leather is so good)
Gold aviator sunglasses: Old Navy - on sale for $8!
What's a trend of which you were once afraid? Did you open your mind to it eventually or are you still not willing to budge? I get it either way. I used to be scared of maxi dresses but then saw the light. Something I could never get behind though is those huge rubbery platform sandals that came back from the 90s for a bit. If it's not a member of the Spice Girls wearing them, I'm sorry but it just can't be pulled off. 🙅
Last week I got back from a trip to the seventh wedding that I was a part of the bridal party. (No, that is not a typo. I really meant lucky number 7.) Next summer Matt and I will fly to Greece (yesssss!) to be in our friends' wedding in Santorini. This event will then make it Nuptial #8 for me. Of those seven, I've been Maid of Honor twice. I've traveled to more cities than I can count on two hands for engagement celebrations, bachelorette parties, showers, the actual weddings, etc.
You may now be saying "Damn, girl. That's too many weddings to be in. It's time to stop before you become a real-life 27 Dresses." Something along those lines tends to be the advice people tell me when they hear just how many times I've been involved in weddings, none of which have even been my own of course. (#AlwaysABridesmaidNeverABride) I just can't - and never plan to - turn down such a lovely offer from my beloved friends and family to be a part of their Big Day. It's an honor that I still take to heart very seriously, and I'm always happy to be included in their festivities in any way, shape, or form.
Now, you may be asking yourself how one gets to this point. Well, it all started when I was crowned "Flower Girl" in my mom and stepdad's wedding way back in the 90s. (Ye Olde Flower Girl was a title I actually longed for, for many years previous but for some reason was never chosen. Possibly because I'm told I was an obnoxiously loud child, and this role is generally given to a so-called "well behaved" kid.) From there, I grew up surrounded by a fantastic core group of grade-school friends. Then I met another amazing group of human beings in college. Then I graduated and began my career in the nonprofit sector. NPO people are some of my all-time favorites; they made it easy to make friends as an adult even though honestly, I always imagined it would be super hard. I was fortunate enough to continue to meet additional lifelong friends into adulthood. (I really do consider myself extremely lucky to already have had so many strong companions in my life that I am confident will stay by my side for decades to come. It is one of my greatest joys in life, actually.) Throughout these nearly three decades, friends and family members have gotten engaged and, thus, eventually married.
Since that first wedding in the late 1990s up to present day, I've been a bridesmaid to my college friend, oldest sister, two friends from middle school, and now a friend I met at work back in Arizona. I've also acted as MOH to my other sister and my college BFF. (I know - that's a lot of wedding experience for someone who has never had an actual wedding day themselves!)
Each day was stunningly beautiful in their own ways. It may sound sappy but the memories that are made at each of your loved ones' weddings are one-of-a-kind. For me, this includes the getting ready aspect of the day too which is personally a favorite part of the day. Spending the whole morning with your besties in matching robes in a hotel room, getting pampered, drinking champagne, reminding the bride that she needs to eat real food and drink water, and trying to joke enough to help suppress those nerves are some of the best times of the entire experience. (I think this is something that bridal parties sometimes forget - no, we're not there just to show up a few hours early to get an updo and fancy makeup and put on a matching dress. We're there to make the day more fun and less stressful for the bride, plain and simple.)
Something I do always love to see is what "role" each member of the bridal party typically takes. In every wedding I've ever been in, each person involved has taken on a specific duty, whether that was strictly dictated or just naturally playing to their own strengths. There's always the bridesmaid who is good at handling the details, like making sure the mother-in-law doesn't hover too much in the room and stress out the bride. There's the small talk bridesmaid who can chit-chat with all the extended family members and keep them entertained. There's the DJ bridesmaid, responsible for keeping the energy up in the bridal suite. There's the tough ass who takes all the bride's phone calls and texts and tells people to "Leave her the hell alone - don't you realize she's getting MARRIED IN TWO HOURS?!" And then there's the funny one who is kept close at all times to keep nerves at bay.
Each person plays a vital part in the couple's special day. Whatever your role may be, just remember to keep your bride or groom as calm as possible - even if you're sweating uncontrollably too. (Am I the only one this happens to? Like, why am I crazy sweaty right before the vows are recited? I'm not the one saying them in front of 100 people!! Never fails to happen, though there is no logic behind it...)
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Quick 3 Bridesmaid Tips:
Focus on the bride throughout the day - obviously. But also be sure to check in with her during the party part. Brides and grooms spend so much time going person to person to thank them for attending. After they're done, try to find a way to get them out to have fun with the group - even if just for a song or two. They planned this amazing event and deserve to actually enjoy it too!
Being in a wedding is expensive. Straight up. I won't lie and pretend there's a "budget" way to do it. Between the $150+ dress, travel to and from the various events, hair/makeup/nail appointments, etc you will most likely spend a small fortune -- but you can save a few dollars here and there! For example, when possible, consider rooming with others guests. Splitting a hotel or Airbnb in half will save you quite a bit. You can also go in together on a group gift with the rest of the bridesmaids and/or groomsmen. I recommend buying one of the highest priced registry items. Split between everyone you can end up saving money while the couple gets one of their dream gifts they may not otherwise have received!
Put down your phone, pay attention to the ceremony, enjoy the meal and pleasant conversation, and then hit the dance floor all night long. After all, no one regrets dancing too much at a wedding. (Truly, go dance. No matter how good or bad you may think you are, I can guarantee no one is actually judging you like we all tend to assume.)
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Have you been in a bridal party before? What role you usually take on during weddings? I'm a dancing queen 💃 You can 100% find me shimmying as soon as the dinner is over up until venue curfew.
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PS: Long time no see! As I previously mentioned, Matt and I were on a 10-day road trip across the great Southwestern United States (Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona) with the pups for said 7th bridal party wedding. When we got back to San Diego last week we were busy preparing for going back to normal life. Then yesterday was our 11 year anniversary so we had to celebrate vegan food style, of course! But now I am back to typical day-to-day living, which means back to LunaVida posts on a more regular schedule :)
PPS: I don't think I have ever written a wedding-themed post in nearly six years of blogging, yet somehow it's been back-to-back!