The moment we got to Monterey we started taking pictures. I really wanted to do an outfit post to show off my new Forever 21 scarf but whenever I see a beach I can't help but start to dance. The key to having awesome photos on the beach? Wear blue. Makes such a difference.
Hope you get a chance to dance today!
And seriously,why do I always forget to take off the hair tie around my wrist? Geesh!
Up next... the best dining experience I ever had. Ever.
On Wednesday I picked Mr. Branflake up from work and whisked him away for a surprise Thanksgiving getaway. The next few days were filled with elaborate dinners, special gifts, and PDA so bad Italians would blush (just kidding.... there was a lot of mushiness though.)
If you follow me on Twitter then you know where we went and what we did. Since Mr. Branflake loves the ocean I took a hint from writer John Steinbeck and planned an incredibly romantic and surprise-filled mini vacation in Monterey, CA (a quaint little town on the coast along Highway 1).
~Indulging in French chocolate covered strawberries and croissants in bed.
~Seeing his face every time I gave him another gift (I gave him one every few hours).
~Staying at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa
~Dining at only four star restaurants where the ambiance and beautiful food made me feel like I was in a movie.
~Playing at the beach at Fisherman's Wharf
~The Monterey Bay Aquarium (sea otters are so cute!)
~Handing a sealed envelope to my loved one during our four course meal that overlooked the ocean.
Inside the envelope? A membership to the California Academy of Science in San Francisco, his favorite place. I led him to believe this whole time that we were going there.
This trip, and all the surprise gifts in between, was a thank you to my wonderful husband who not only works and goes to law school but makes me feel like a princess everyday.
Do you love surprises?
I can't wait to show you hotel photos (it was so gorgeous!), outfit shots, and the best beach side photo shoot with lots of jumping pictures.
I started packing last week for the big Dancing Branflake Surprise. I cannot tell you how much I love to travel and a large part of that are the wonderful luggage options available. Showing up to a new adventure with fabulous luggage is all part of the fun!
I am particularly loving these fabulous weekenders. Perfect for a two day trip to a place that is known for their famous visitors. This place may or may not have been subject of a few novels. (Another hint!).
Former dancer turned photographer Oliver Endahl started Ballet Zaida as a way to celebrate not only the beauty of ballet but also the proper technique that this artform requires. I contacted Oliver, the photographer for ballet Zaida, and asked him if I could showcase his project on this blog.
He was incredibly kind and excited to not only share his talents with Dancing Branflake friends but also do an interview sometime soon. If you have not met Ballet Zaida I am happy to introduce you.
To view Oliver's website visit Ballet Zaida.
Click here to become Facebook friends with Ballet Zaida.
And stay tuned for my interview with Ballerina Project photographer, Dane Shitagi. Both of these photographers are at the top of their game yet have two different philosophies when doing a photoshoot. It is so very interesting!
My extremely crafty friend, Jen, just emailed this to me and I am incredibly sad that I cannot go. Urgh! How perfect would that be to learn decorating skills from the masters themselves? If you are in the area this sounds like a wonderful way to start the Christmas season.
I did it! I sent in my measurements to eShakti for my free dress for the product review.
What one did I choose?
Here's a breakdown of each dress.
I absolutely love this dress. Just looking at it makes me want to twirl around and dance. And, it is the most expensive one so I feel like I'm getting the most financially out of it.
This dress reminds me of old Hollywood glamour and I know it's flattering.
This dress also had the second most amount of votes and for good reason.
I would add a higher neckline and sleeves to make it more my taste.
This dress was third in the voting.
I love the neckline but it is a little more plain.
This dress had few votes.
I mean, like, four.
This dress was the clear winner with around 35 votes. You all loved the ruffles and the bright colors. Since I wanted sleeves I was anxious to see how they would figure it out.
What dress did I decide?
I could not give up the most expensive one (the pink one) nor could I give up the most flattering one (the second one). So I am getting both, with eShakti picking up the bill for the expensive one. I am the most indecisive person ever!
I loved all of your comments especially.
You guys have such a great eye for style and detail.
"I kind of love the very first piece to be honest. There is something very dainty, ethereal, and Audrey-like about it. As a dancer, I think it would be breathtaking on you!! :)"
And here's what my sister said about #2
"As your sister and fellow non-waisted woman, I vote for #2 - nips in at the "empire" and creates an hourglass shape. Plus the color is good for your skin tone."
I can just imagine myself wearing one of my new fancy dresses with a very handsome Branflake at a very secret setting.
I have basically bought all new clothes for the big Branflake Surprise, which is why all my posts have been so fashion heavy lately. I have also given Mr. Branflake a few more hints so I will catch you all up to speed.
~I need a new clutch and dress (done)
~He needs to pack comfortable shoes, nice shoes, and sneakers
~He needs to pack his suit (with cuff links)
~We need our tennis rackets and balls
~I need to buy comfortable but nice looking shoes (so I bought the cutest sparkle flats)
~We leave on Wednesday and come back on Friday
~The place is in driving distance although flying is not out of the question
~We need to bring our video and digital camera (hence the need to buy an entire new wardrobe for the trip)
And here's the clincher:
This trip involves science (he's a physicist)
Can you guess it?
Yeah, neither can he.
He's on pins and needles though and it takes everything in my power not to just blurt it out.
PS... I did decide on a dress but that's a whole other post for tomorrow. I couldn't believe how hard it was to decide. It felt like prom all over again!
So I found the most perfect, oh my goodness I look hot, where have you been all my life? jeans. The moment I put them on I just knew (knew) my denim life would never be the same. They not only looked amazing but also felt incredibly comfortable. What were these magical jeans?
Gap Curvy Jeans. Which is weird because I am the last person who could be called curvy. Well, actually my sister is even less curvy and is a Gap Curvy Jeans convert also. She's actually the one who told me about them. Weird.
Have you found the perfect jeans?
What brand are they?
(I predict that because I love these jeans so much they are going to discontinue them.
The things they are giving away are kind of insane and huge and I just hope I at least win one of them. The giveaway has been going on all week and ends today so you better hurry and get your comment on!
And in case you are still hungry for dance, here are a few photos to brighten your day:
All these photos are shot by Dane Shitagi, creator of Ballerina Project. I know you all know and love him so I interviewed Dane on Tuesday via telephone. I will post this interview soon so all my Dancing Branflake friends will get a sneak peak into what goes on behind the scenes during these beautiful shoots. Dane is an incredibly insightful and talented photographer and this is definitely an interview you don't want to miss.
By the way, out of everyone in the dance industry he has the most Facebook fans. Well over 100,000. Basically, he is the most famous photographer in the dance world and that fame is spreading like crazy outside of it. And you get to witness it all.
To my grandfather who served in World War II, my step-grandfather who served in Korea, to my father in law who served in Vietnam, and to all those who served or are serving our country for the rest of the United States....
image taken by me in D.C. at the Vietnam Memorial.
But, if you think the clutch doesn't match I can always get the Barneys one.
I need a dress! I need a beautiful, sparkle in the night, welcome to the holidays, hello I am glamorous party dress. I need it soon for my big Thanksgiving "Branflake Surprise."
Thank goodness eShakti contacted me a few days ago asking me if I wanted to do a product review. Wait, you mean you want me to chose any dress, have it custom made, and shipped to me within 3-7 business days? Uh, yeah!
But they have so many fabulous dresses and I can't choose! I am sending them my measurements soon and I am going to test their sewing skills by having them add cap sleeves to the dress I choose. So, if you could help me decide I would appreciate it immensely!
What one do you like the best?
1,2,3,4 or 5?
(Thanks, Steph! I owe you forever for introducing me to this awesome company.)