As I’ve recapped in prior years (see 2015 and 2016) Christmas is my favorite holiday to spend with my family. I flew home to Virginia on December 23 and spent four days with my family. Christmas Eve is our big night with my mom’s side of the family. My mom is one of 6 siblings and all my aunts, uncles and cousins live in Northern, Virginia. My grandmother used to host Christmas Eve dinner. However, the last couple of years my mom has hosted since my grandmother now lives full time in Florida. Then, Christmas day we spend the morning with my mom opening our stockings and presents. Then we spend the afternoon and have dinner with my dad and step-family.
After spending a couple of days in Los Angeles, we drove north to Ojai, California to have Thanksgiving with Jeremy’s family. Jeremy’s aunt and uncle live in Portland, Oregon but purchased a vacation home in Ojai, California. Ojai is a small, charming city in Ventura County, northwest of Los Angeles. It’s set in a valley in the Topatopa Mountains.
Jeremy’s aunt and uncle live in Portland, Oregon, but they purchased a second home in Ojai, California. So, this year we celebrated Thanksgiving on the west coast in Ojai. Since Jeremy and I love southern California so much, we flew in early before his family got in to spend some time in Los Angeles.
Julia Engel from Gal Meets Glam is one of my favorite bloggers. So, when Julia announced she was collaborating with Frye, I couldn’t wait to hear the details. Frye is known for its high quality craftsman leather boots. Over the years I’ve had my eyes on a few pairs of Frye boots. However, as my style is more feminine I wasn’t in love with any of the pieces (where I had to have them). Plus, since Frye’s quality is so great, the price tag matches the quality. Therefore, I couldn’t convince myself I needed to spend almost $400 on a pair of boots unless I was completely in love with them.
On Thursday September 28, I attended the SPANX + Fab’rik Fall Fashion Runway Show. SPANX and Fab’rik are both local Georgia companies. So, they collaborated together to feature both of their Fall looks during a runway show. I felt so special that I was invited to this lovely event. SPANX hosted the fashion show at its headquarters located at the Shops at Buckhead. SPANX has a beautiful rooftop. So, the runway was on the rooftop and the models featured outfits with SPANX and Fab’rik Fall looks.
Mid September I visited Charleston, South Carolina with my three college roommates, Lanie, Lisa and Erin. After all this time we’ve remained friends, even if we don’t see eye to eye on everything. At this point we’re more like sisters than friends since we’ve seen each other at our best and at our worst. The three of them live in Virginia and I live in Atlanta now. So, every year we plan a girls weekend to get together and pick a destination. This year we chose Charleston, South Carolina.
Fall weddings are always so beautiful. The weather is cooler and the leaves begin to change colors. On Saturday September 9, I attended my friend Gracie’s wedding in Boone, North Carolina. Gracie married her longtime love and best friend, Jeff. Unfortunately, Jeremy was sick and so was unable to attend the wedding. But, luckily my friend Jenna was also invited to Gracie and Jeff’s wedding so we made it a girls weekend.
As I stated in my Monterey blog post, we ended up loving Carmel more than Monterey. Carmel is a quieter beach town. Carmel is known for Pebble beach and the 17-Mile Drive. Most of the photos taken here and in my Monterey blog post were from the 17-Mile Drive. The drive takes you through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove. The drive passes famous golf courses, mansions and scenic attractions. Some of the scenic attractions includes the Lone Cypress (see Lone Cypress photos from my Monterey blog post), Bird Rock and the 5,300-acre Del Monte Forest of Monterey Cypress trees. The drive is absolutely stunning and you can’t go to Carmel without driving through.
After visiting Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Paso Robles and Big Sur, we ended our California trip in Monterey and Carmel. It’s crazy how different the landscape and temperature is between Southern California and Northern California. You really need to layer in Northern California, because it gets cold. After watching Big Little Lies on HBO, I was dying to visit Monterey. In Monterey we stayed at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa. Honestly, we weren’t that impressed with the hotel. If we had done things differently we would have stayed in another hotel in Monterey or in Carmel. The hotel was a bit outdated; however, was in a great location. We ended up loving Carmel more than Monterey. Although, both areas are beautiful.