Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mrs. Cowboy Boot, Signing Off

Well, hive, I think I've finally written my final posts on Weddingbee. My recaps are finished and I think you can officially call me "an old bee," with respect to those who have blogged before me.

But, I'd never sign off without keeping my word. And my word is that I promised you the portrait that Mr. CB was painting of me in my wedding dress. Note: It's a wee bit sexy, kind of like our version of a boudoir shoot.

To give you a sense of how large this painting is, here's a shot of Mr. CB's studio (see that tiny bottle of soda on that miniature-looking table?):

Weddingbee has actually been more influential in my life than you'd think. I was so inspired by all of the entrepreneurial women around these parts (like Mrs. Bee, for the most obvious example) that I decided to up and start my own business. All of your feedback and support during the planning process gave me the confidence I needed to push myself to do this. Because without you, I would never have considered that I could plan weddings. Had I not found Weddingbee? I'm not sure I'd be as inspired as I am today.

You see, when I planned my wedding, I planned it for me. It was just a lucky side effect that other people thought it had some style or whimsy or whatever you want to call it.

And now, I've launched this in Santa Fe, New Mexico: Barnwood & Birch.

So while you won't find me around Weddingbee all that much (although I do plan to read the blog and the boards and comment and, well, pretty much still loiter), you can find me on my new wedding inspiration blog.

With that, I thought I'd leave you with my absolute favorite picture from our wedding. It totally captures my level of bliss that day (and makes my dress look like it has pockets!).

Don't be a stranger.

With love,

Mrs. Cowboy Boot

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Album: iPhoto Book Review

The benefit of getting married? Among other things, you don't have to hum and haw over what to get your parents the following holiday season. It's obvious: A photo album. There are so many websites to go through (like Blurb and Snapfish and Shutterfly), but if you have a Mac, you can also order a book directly through iPhoto.

That's what we decided to do. I checked out Blurb (because so many Bees had given it rave reviews), but I was actually scared away by the design process. Instead, I opted for iPhoto's super simple drop-and-drag process. You can customize every page to hold up to four photos and even set it to have just one image bleed off the page. Want to see my favorite layouts?

To be honest, I was pretty disappointed with my first round of orders from iPhoto. The prices were good (about $50 for 32 pages), but when I received the books, there were problems. And the time crunch to send these off before Christmas didn't tame my stress level.

Within a few of the photos, there were random lines. See below:

I e-mailed iPhoto Books (there's no phone number!) and, 24 hours later (the clock was ticking towards Christmas), I got a response. What I found out was that I needed to go to "File" --> "Print" --> "Preview." If I did that process, there would be no lines on my book.

Really? They couldn't tell me this the first time around? I was pretty unhappy, but Apple agreed to refund the shipping from the original order (as I'd had it rushed to get it sent out in time for Christmas), then they remade the books and shipped them overnight for free. I'd say that's pretty good customer service. But not great, because they could've just told me to preview my book the first time.

In the end, the books came out so beautifully and our parents were completely in awe.

We haven't ordered an album for us yet. And I don't think I'll go through iPhoto--I kind of want to invest in a really nice album--but for gifts, these are fantastic. Just remember to "preview" your book before you hit the "order" button.

Where did you get your album? Any good deals out there on professional-quality albums?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Reason number 82,761 why I love Mr. Cowboy Boot

Mr. Cowboy Boot left yesterday for an overnight raft trip on New Mexico's Rio Grande. This is a fairly common affair--he's a part-time raft guide--and overnight trips come up about once a month. That also means that once a month I can expect an adorable surprise.

Last night, as I was crawling into bed, I pulled back the covers to find this note:

It says:

Yep, that's my married name (Mr. CB's last name) on there. I think he had fun writing that.

What does your significant other do to make you feel special?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda...

Nine months. Can you believe it's been nine months since our wedding? It feels like yesterday I was still stamping out-of-town bags and collecting jars for our centerpieces. No matter that married life has taken ahold of us, I can't stop noticing wedding-related goodies--and I'm feeling the need to share. Here are a few things I kinda, sorta wish I had when I was in the planning process.

For the decor...

A wedding planner. Not just a day-of-coordinator, but someone to design the event for you. I had fun DIYing, don't get me wrong, but it would've been fun to have had a life the summer before my wedding too. Who would I have chosen? More than likely, local Santa Fean Jessie Abrams Baca. Just get a look at this eye candy.

Photos from

For the invitations... I just stumbled across this stationer and her work is adorable. It reminds me of summer in all of its carefree, fun-loving spirit. Not only does she offer custom invitations, she also has custom e-invitations for eco-friendly weddings!




For the bridesmaids...

Sample gift certificate from I so wish I'd known about this option when I was handing my ladies their gifts. If you're like me, your bridesmaids--and I had five--are spread across the country. I had two in Los Angeles, one in Boulder, Colorado, one in Upstate New York and one in Brooklyn. This website lets you buy gift certificates towards spa treatments, no matter the location of the recipient. They have a database of spas across the country (even in tiny Santa Fe) that participate in accepting their gift certificates and the cool thing is that most of the spas are independent so, by buying this, your also supporting your bridesmaid's local economy.

Did you find anything after your wedding you wish you'd done? How about something you just can't go without on your wedding day if it hasn't happened yet?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Fresh Start

Well, hello, hive. How have you been? It's nice to see you again. We've been uber-busy training for a marathon (using this training plan from the magazine I work for), getting ready for Mr. Cowboy Boot's show this October (he's an oil painter) at this gallery, and most of all, moving! No, we didn't purchase a home (I wish!) but we moved into a great two-bedroom, unfurnished place.

We've lived in partially-furnished homes for the past three years so it's amazing to finally feel like we have a fresh canvas we can make our own. While we're not completely finished decorating, we're close, so I thought I'd share our new home with you, here in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The best part? It's on three enclosed acres and comes with a dog door, so you know our pups--who graced our Thank You cards--are smiling from ear-to-ear.

The entrance

The view of Ski Santa Fe from our driveway

The corner of our house with views of the Sandia Mountains

The first room you walk into--our mud room--has plants in it. So far.

From the mud room, you walk into an open living/dining room

Our dining room still needs its curtains and a few more seats

Those pillows were made from our wedding photo booth fabric by my SIL

Our kitchen is cozy but a lot of wedding registry gifts are in there

Mr. CB was in charge of the photo wall; I ordered the duvet from West Elm

The dogs are blissed out at our new house

And, yes, we're pretty blissed out too...

Did you or are you planning on moving into a new home after getting married?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sometimes I Wish We Lived With My Parents

Okay, before you all gasp in fright, let me reveal the reason why I wish we lived with my parents: they're both psychologists. Psychologists who specialize in couples and, even, love. For the four years of The Cowboy Boot relationship, my parents have indirectly and directly guided us through some of our tougher times.

While growing up under the scrutiny of the ever-analyzing eye means getting away with, well, nothing (consequences involved passive aggressive guilt trips), it also has its perks. You learn how to be emotive (if not overly so), how to vocalize those emotions, you encompass a particular compassion for other people, you develop an ability to listen at exhaustive lengths, and, unfortunately, you are often unable to put a filter on raw emotion. In your world, in your little psychologist household, raw emotion is accepted, even celebrated.

So, when Mr. CB and I fight (Scorpio vs. Sagittarius--two fire signs--for you astrological types), it's stubborn. We're both strong-willed, we think we're right, and when you look up our compatibility on astrological websites, it says: "An affair without a future." I like to think they're wrong, that we're simply human and can work through anything--if we can work as a team.

My mom reminded me of this today when she sent me a link to an interview she just did on's blog. She reminded me of some of the important things to remember as newlyweds (because we too fight). What is the most common problem you have seen among couples?

Dr. Carr: Couples often come into therapy when they are caught in repetitive patterns of relating that have become painful. They have difficulty communicating and they misperceive each other’s intentions and behaviors. This can lead to a lot of blaming and criticism. At that point each has stopped listening to the other and responses are defensive. Neither feels heard or understood. There is a loss of empathy and resentment is blocking feelings of love and attraction.

It's easy to recognize ourselves (as a couple) in the above description. It's also easy to come up with fights that we have that are only budding but could eventually lead us into a therapist's office. Can being aware of those problems--those cyclical fights--early on save us from The Couch? I like to think so.

My mom also offered a few small things you can do every day to maintain a relationship's spark. Can you please give couples out there a tip or exercise they can do regularly to help maintain their relationship?

Dr. Carr: Sure. For couples who haven’t seen each other all day, I tell them to give each other a long hug upon first greeting. Just stay in the hug position until they feel their bodies relax. It usually takes longer than one initially feels comfortable with, but if they stick with it, they achieve a sense of connection and affection.

Another easy tip is to simply take a few minutes each day to check in with one another about the day (without distractions like the TV or cell phone). Even having a designated fifteen or twenty minutes to share a cup of tea, hot chocolate or glass of wine to express the things that are on their minds will enhance the sense of knowing each other’s inner world.

To read the whole blog, head here:

For a good therapist in the Los Angeles area, contact my mom here:

I definitely feel blessed to know that I'm equipped with some of the tools (mentally) to succeed at a relationship and at marriage. But no matter how much you know about psychology, being human is important too. Listening to the other person and really, really taking their feelings into account is what matters most. That and remembering why you love the person in the first place.

The real deal sealer though? I have to agree with my mom on this one--a little conversation over a glass of wine or dinner each night gives us just enough to feel like we reconnect in that deeper way.

How do you connect with your significant other on a daily basis?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

New Zealand Honeymoon: Part III

This is the final installment in my three-part, New Zealand honeymoon posts. So far, we'd been to Christchurch, Kaikoura, Marlborough, Marahau, Nelson, and had started our drive down the west coast to the high-mountain town of Franz Josef.

Once in Franz Josef, we checked into our hotel, Te Waonui. Our room had a wall-size window that looked into a full-on rainforest. It was gorgeous. Moss, intermingling tree branches, ferns, and dampness were framed by this window. I could've sat there and stared at it all day. But instead, we woke up the next morning to hike the Franz Josef glacier.

That's the glacier behind us. From where we're standing in this picture, it was about a 40-minute walk to get to the base of the glacier. And it was raining, no less.

Here's a shot of the glacier once we arrived at the base:

Here I am hiking up the glacier. We had to wear those silly fanny packs to carry our crampons during the hike across the valley. It was incredible to experience this because all of the glaciers are receding rapidly. Plus, there so so may cool ice formations and endless holes to stare into.

After the glacier, we continued our drive south towards Queenstown. There were so many places to pull over that were so scenic. Here's one of the random beaches we stopped at. It had an awesome lookout tower.

We then drove through Mount Aspiring National Park where there was a new waterfall every five feet. The tops of the mountains were misty and it was just gorgeous.

As we came into Queenstown, everything got so pastoral, mountainous, and stunning.

After a rainy day in Queenstown (with plans of rafting lingering in our future), the sun came out. And what did we decide to do? This:

The one place we were told not to miss was Milford Sound. But, the long, long drive was doing a good job of staving off our decision to get in the car again. So, instead, we booked a scenic flight so instead of an 8-hour drive in one day, we took an hour flight there and back.

Mr. CB sat up front while sat diagonally behind him.

And here's what we saw out the window:

And here's where we landed:

We hopped on a boat to cruise around the Sound.

Some little penguins came out to greet our boat. And tons and tons of waterfalls of course.

As the cruise came to an end, the rain enveloped the Sound and we had to fly out very quickly (or suffer a 4-hour bus ride back to Queenstown). We were able to get out though which afforded us pictures like this:

I don't have any pictures from us rafting except for hard copies. So, that's it, my friends. The end of our New Zealand honeymoon.

While we traveled far too much (hours and hours every day in the car), it was amazing to see so much of another country. And, a place that we could see ourselves moving one day. But for now, we'll stay here in Santa Fe, from where I'll continue to blog here on Weddingbee. At least for a few more posts.

Where are you headed on your honeymoon? Anyone up for an adventure?