Mari & Jason Chesaning Wedding {Clio Wedding Photographer}

Comment on the photo blog post so Mari and Jason get a free print!

Enjoy the View Photography

Mari & Jason had such an amazing wedding! The whole theme of their wedding was very rustic and they had some very unique ideas to change it up a little. From getting hitched at The Milestone Barn, having pies instead of a wedding cake, to having a little portable fire and full s’mores bar! We can honestly say that we had such a good time photographing their wedding. Check out some of these great ideas if you plan on having a rustic wedding anytime soon!


Thanks, Mari & Jason, for having us as your photographers!  We had a blast working with you and wish you many years of happiness!

Other Vendors that helped make Mari and Jason’s wedding day a success:

Florist: Mayn Street Flowers, 810-639-7975,

Cake Artist: Sweet and Savory Bake Shop

Pie: Dangerously Delicious Pies,

Band/DJ: Music Box Productions, 

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Italy and Denmark

I’ve been back for a while, but haven’t had a chance to post any photos from our Honeymoon!  We had a really wonderful time despite the cold and rainy weather.  Everyone we met told us that it was unseasonably cold and rainy!! We chose the end of May/early June because we wanted warm weather.  It was romantic at times and kind of a bummer at others.  But overall we had a really great time.

Our first stop was Rome.  We were a bit delayed due to the airline waiting for a few passengers, so we missed our train, but we had a fun time taking a train, another train, a bus and then walking to our hotel at 11:45pm.  A really nice man asked us if we needed a ride the rest of the way and we took him up on his offer.  (would probably never do that in SF!) We stayed at a really great Villa called Villa Grazioli.  I definitely recommend it!




Our next stop was Florence! We stayed at a sweet refurbished farm house called Hotel Tenuta il Burchio in the town of Burchio.  It’s a really small village with one taxi driver, so if you take the train from Rome, be sure to call ahead and arrange a car. Because we didn’t and guess what we did? We walked to the hotel!  Strange coincidence, another lovely citizen picked us up and took us to the hotel on our walk! We must’ve looked like tourists needing help. Our room was in the dining room, which was really weird, but their dinners were delicious and the staff were amazing.  Here’s a bit of our stay:

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After Florence we headed out to Capri! Taxi, train, train, boat, taxi, walk! We stayed at Hotel Il Girasole in Anacapri.  While the views are stunning, the hotel was kind of a dud.  Everyone there was amazing and sweet and willing to help, but the room walls are extremely thin.  I could hear our neighbor using his toilet.  No thanks! By this point we were starting to get cabin fever due to all of the rain and all I wanted to do was swim in the beautiful blue water, but it rained a lot and when the sun came out, it wasn’t hot enough.  Bummer.

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It was gorgeous!

Our last stop was to a really great Hill Town in Umbria called Orvietto.  A coworker of my husbands is Italian and goes there every summer, so he gave us a great recommendation on a hotel (They only speak Italian, so he wrote them a letter and called for us!).  It had to be one of my favorite spots.  Gorgeous town, lots of yummy food and nice people.  I highly recommend this town to all of my readers! From Capri we took a car, ferry, train, train, funicular and bus… then we walked.  I think next time we travel we’re going to get a car. 🙂
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A beautiful body

I always get inspired by blogs and articles I read that say how you should love your body no matter what and to stop hate speak about your body.  Hate speak like “I’m so fat”, “Look at this cellulite!”, “I wish I could lose X lbs”, “Why are you so skinny and I’m so fat?!”, etc.  I’m completely guilty of hate speak about my own body and not-so-secretly wish I could lose 20 lbs.  But you know what? I’m beautiful.  I may have cellulite, chubby thighs and a muffin top, but you guys, I’m pretty.  I know I am.  I just wish I could remember that 24/7! 

I saw this wonderful website/kickstarter campaign today that I hope you all read/listen to and really think about yourselves differently.  Speak highly of yourself, love yourself, and make sure those around you are supportive and love you.  If not, they’re not worth your time.  And if you feel like it, contribute to A Beautiful Body Project.  I think it’s life changing.


My friend Maria from It’s a Beautiful Life inspired me today! I’m going to try and post more often.  This will help! Here’s the “Currently” post! 

Thinking About: I’m going to Italy on May 18th for 20 days.  I want to go RIGHT NOW.  I want to get a hair cut, get my eyebrows waxed, get my nails done and pack lightly and correctly.  I tend to over pack or under pack and both are a bad idea.  I’m hoping I can under pack and find a place to do a bit of laundry.  We’re also stopping over in Copenhagen (for a whole 19 hours!), so I need to figure out what we should do there.  Get a hotel and sleep a bit or just party all night… I’m guessing we’re probably going to want to sleep.  My baby cousin Colleen is going to be there studying abroad, so we may have to hang out with her! 

Feeling: excited! See above.  I’m also a bit stressed out.  Lots of things happening this summer! Italy, Detroit for one of my bestest friends weddings, Orange County for a sweet little girl’s 2nd Birthday Party and hopefully some people coming to visit in Somerset! (FAMILY AND FRIENDS, HELLOOOO! Please come visit!) 

Watching: Secretly in LOVE with The Only Way is Essex. It’s totally the Jersey Shore of the U.K. but I can’t help myself.  I watched a few seasons on Hulu last year and then found the rest of them here.  Don’t judge. 

Reading: I just finished the 5th book of Game of Thrones, I Can Barely Take Care of Myself by Jen Kirkman and Attempting Normal by Marc Maron.  I’ve had a lot of reading time lately.  I’m currently reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  I just got Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight Without Dieting in the mail today, too! You can find me here on Goodreads

Looking Forward To: Hopefully getting to see most of my family and a lot of my friends this summer.  I miss my people! 

Making Me Happy: Eating really amazing and delicious HEALTHY food.  I’m such a food person.  I equate memories with food I ate.  I research places to eat when traveling and tend to base my experiences upon the type of food I had.  Italy is going to be so amazing.  Oh goodness.  

And that’s that. 🙂

twenty thirteen or two thousand thirteen

Happy New Year, friends and readers!

I normally hate to make resolutions because I generally don’t stick to any of them, but this year is different.   After the past year, I finally feel like I can stick to them and feel really good about myself when I do. So, here goes, blogverse:

  1. Less thai food, more Weight Watchers recipes.
  2. Work harder. I tend to be a pretty lazy human being.
  3. More exercise.  See #2.
  4. Spend more time with my family (including my husband)!
  5. Pay off my debt.  Ugh. Last year was the year of saving for the wedding, and since I saved up so much, I can DEFINITELY get this stuff paid off rather quickly!

I’ve done pretty well in the past 7 days! A failed bike ride attempt (I’m still nursing a cold I’ve had since December 17th!), a nice long walk with Billy, lots of delicious and healthy meals, and some credit card payments! Go me!

I’m also looking forward to a healthy 2013 for my husband.  He has a neurology appointment this week and an MRI and appointment with his surgeon next month.  I can’t wait for him to be able to drive again (freedom for him more than anything), for him to reduce the medication he’s on and for him to feel like himself again.  I love that man more than anything.

Happy thoughts to all of you in this new year!


I Love Fall

James and I went up to Somerset (see previous two posts) this weekend with his sister and her boyfriend.  Fall is in full swing! Fall color, crisp evenings, fall vegetables in full swing! Ah, it was amazing.  I had a great time.  I woke up each morning, made a healthy breakfast and set out on my two-mile walk with Billy.  It was amazing.  Crisp in the shade, a really nice and warm in the sun.  The grapes are all changing color and man.  I just love it up there!!!

I also ate really well: Garlic Shrimp in Coconut Milk, Tomatoes and Cilatro, Asparagus and Swiss Cheese Fritatta (although asparagus isn’t in season, so I used broccoli) and this delicious recipe: Asian Glazed Drumsticks.  I’m going to make all three again.  Everyone enjoyed my cooking! Success!  The drumsticks were a huge hit.  All in all, I lost 5lbs last week.  It’s a little too much weight, but I’m guessing about 2lbs of that was water weight/bloating from all of the boozing I did the week before.  I’m getting so much closer to my goal weight.  10lbs! I can do it!!!

I hope you all had an amazing weekend 😉


Hi and Happy Wednesdays!  It’s been a rainy few days with LOTS of bursting beautiful sunshine in between some fun rain.  It just reminds me that fall is here and to stop pining away for a real summer.  It was really hard for me to spend my first San Francisco summer wishing for heat.  I’ll get used to it eventually! The 58 degree foggy summer weather is actually pretty nice once you get over the fact that it’s Mid July and you haven’t seen the sun since May.

Anyway! Guess what? I’ve lost a total of sixteen pounds since I first started trying to lose weight earlier this year! That’s awesome.  I lost another 2lbs this past week, which is really incredible to me.  I kinda fell off the wagon this past weekend, but not bad enough to gain more weight back.  Last October’s Martha Stewart Living had this amazing recipe for Beer Braised Short Rib Pot Pie that I made last year.  Well, it was rainy and cold so I was really craving it.  It is definitely not a skinnytaste/weight watchers recipe, but boy was it delicious.   It also didn’t help that after I made the skinny pumpkin granola, I had a whole can of pumpkin puree to use, so I made the biggest pumpkin bread ever – and not a skinny version! But I’ve been really good and only eat a tiny little piece every once in a while.  🙂 I got back on track on Tuesday and made turkey meatloaf (I know! I ate turkey and didn’t get a migraine!), garlic sweet potato mash and a salad last night.  Tonight I’m making summer veggies with sausage and potatoes!  It really helps to plan meals out on Sunday before going grocery shopping so I’m prepared for most of the weeks meals.  I just feel so much better about cooking when I don’t have to go to the store for something I’m missing, or having to come up with something at 4:30, ya know?

Hope you’re all enjoying the awesome fall weather!


On life and it’s bumps in the road

What a roller-coaster year of emotions 2012 has been!  I got engaged on my birthday in 2011 (SO EXCITING!).  My fiance had a seizure in March that lead to us discovering a brain tumor and cyst that were ultimately removed in July.  My nephew had a rare autoimmune disease from a vaccination that paralyzed him for 5 weeks and included a long hospital stay in August and early September and lots of physical therapy.  I married my best friend and love of my life on September 21st (the best day of my life).  My sister in law fainted and hit her head so hard she had to have a hematoma removed from her brain this past weekend.  Bad things happen in 3s, and I am quite certain that this latest hospital stay will be the very end of this madness. NO MORE ILLNESS.  NO MORE HOSPITALS.  NO MORE, I SAY! Authoritative, isn’t it?

My own health this year has been a big focus.  I’ve lost 15 pounds and feel great.  I have another 14ish to go to make my doctor happy.  I finally feel comfortable in my skin and have been feeding it amazing things.  I didn’t finish Whole30, but I will start it again soon and I will make it through the entire 30 days.  I will continue to feed myself healthy, whole foods and continue on this amazing journey of staying healthy and positive.

On that note, my husband and I picked 20 pounds of pears from our pear tree this weekend and we’re going to make pear butter in the crock pot.  Can you say CHRISTMAS PRESENTS?!

here are some photos from the wedding.  most photos are by Terry Spraitz Ciszek.

How to Handle an Emergency and stick with Whole30 – Day 9

I had a family emergency yesterday around noon (I’m going to be watching my nephew until probably Monday), and have been scrambling to maintain the Whole30 guidelines, and I can tell you, it’s been incredibly difficult.  I realized that my salad from Subway (ew) had some peppers and jalapeno’s and I’m sure they’re not on plan because of the pickling process and because I couldn’t read the ingredients listed.  I’m not counting myself out entirely for that one (technicality).  Although I was starving and very tempted to stop at In N Out on my way to watch my nephew for a few days, I stuck it out and made dinner at 9pm – eggs, grapes and half of an avocado.  This morning I had eggs, sautéed bell peppers and sugar snap peas and some berries.  I haven’t been able to go grocery shopping at my sister’s house yet (and it’s chock full of food I can’t eat!!!!!), so I went out to pick up The Counter’s burger salad.  I added a lot of fresh veggies, excluded the dressing and BOY was it delicious.  I REALLY wanted sweet potato fries, but they fry them in soy bean oil and something else.  So that was out.  I’m not sure what I’ll be able to do for dinner tonight, but I might be able to bring the little one with me shopping for more meat.  There are tons of veggies, but probably not enough.  I might be able to go home to get a change of clothes tomorrow, so I might bring all of the stuff I have there back with me here so I at least have some more options.  My sisters mother-in-law is Iranian and she is dying to make me Persian Food, but it’s all rice and lentils and stuff, and although I really want to eat it, I’m not going to.  This is super hard and I’ve really thought about throwing in the towel more than once.  Stress is a nightmare.

If any of you are the praying type, please say a prayer for my nephew, Anthony.  If you don’t pray, please think happy thoughts for him and for a speedy recovery.


on weddings

weddings are expensive. unfortunately, we don’t have the help of our parents wallet’s for our big day, but for some reason, i never even though about that.  it was never a question in my mind that my mom would be helping with my wedding costs.
the good news is that i can save most of the money we need by our big day. it’s kind of scary how much it costs! especially now that our guest list is gigantic.  we went over out budget before going to bed the other night and i felt pretty happy with our guestimates and overall budget.  i have to be REALLY conscious of how much i spend and won’t be able to do anything really fun until after everything is paid for, but that’s okay.  i get to have a huge and really fun party to celebrate the love of my life.  i’m really okay with that.  we made a pact that we would only pay cash for everything. NO CREDIT CARDS. i’m really happy about that.
it’s a little stressful trying to figure out everything we need, make decisions, coordinate people from out of town, out of state, and out of the freaking’ country…
all in all i’m REALLY looking forward to our day and how much fun it’s going to be.
AND i’m really looking forward to all of the fun exercise i’m going to be doing in the next 9 months. running, jackie warner workouts, AIDS/Lifecycle 11! fingers crossed that my thyroid/graves cooperates and will let me lose a little bit of the extra lb’s i’ve added over the past year.  i have a goal in mind, but will be happy if i even make 3/4 of that goal. happy thoughts, friends. happy thoughts. i’m not just losing weight for my wedding (although it sure is a great motivator!), but for my health. my bmi is a little too high at the moment, and if i have to go up a size in jeans one more time i’m going to sit in old navy and cry. 🙂 i’d also like to be able to run a 5k by the time ALC happens.  i think it’s great cross training!
speaking of, I need about $1000 more by June 1st. Anyone want to help a girl out?
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