Category Archives: My Life Update

My Life Update #9 | Founded The Lisa Michelle Memorial Fund

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Hello Everyone!

I have some exciting news for you. I’ve finally started The Lisa Michelle Memorial Fund in honor of my mom who passed away on September 20, 2008.

The LMM Fund has been a dream of mine for a long time and I’m in a place where I can finally make my dream a reality. The primary purpose of the fund is to provide scholarships to students who have lost a parent to drug, alcohol, or prescription drug addiction, but I also plan on working with organizations who help families cope with this type of loss and provide ways to prevent it.

Many of you might know that my mom was a prescription drug addict. For as long as I can remember she had this problem and it’s the reason she passed away at such a young age. I’ve written about her and my experiences with this for some time and none of that has helped me cope as much as starting this fund has. Just in the last few weeks I feel like I’m able to channel my grief and anger into something worth while.

My hope is that, in some way, we can help students cope with their loss. So, I need your help to spread the word so that I can offer at least one scholarship next year. Please share on FB, Twitter, Instagram and anywhere else to help me make an impact in the lives of students who lost a parent to substance abuse.

Our website is www.theLMMFund.org and all donations are tax deductible.

Check out some of my past posts about my mom and my family:

Thank you in advance for you support.

Sincerely,

Danielle

My Life Update #8 | I’m Married!!

Hello my lovely followers,

It seems like I’ve been gone for so long, but I’m happy to say that I’m finally a married woman now. Our wedding was beautiful even with the surprise California rain that lasted for 5 minutes. We danced. We cried (ok I cried). We laughed. At the end of the day I married the most wonderful man I’ve ever known.

Now to share some pictures provided by our wonderful, amazing, and talented photographer Sean King of Sean King Photography.

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My Life Update #7 | My Wedding Is Almost Here!

Hi Everyone,

So sorry I’ve been MIA for the last couple of weeks. It’s been pretty hectic because in 6 days I will be getting married! Now I understand why they say the last few weeks are the most stressful.  My fiancé and I have been running around finalizing details and making sure everything is in order.  Thursday and Friday are going to be busy days since my dress, wedding favors, and flower girl shoes need to be picked up and I have to get my nails done.  Hopefully I still have hair by Saturday and please cross your fingers that it doesn’t rain.  It’s supposed to rain Thursday and Friday I guess.

I’ve also been trying to get everything wrapped up at work since I’ll be gone for a few weeks for our honeymoon to St. Thomas.  I can’t wait to lay out with my husband enjoying each other’s company, eating food, and drinking cocktails…and of course I’ll be catching up on my reading.  Right now I’m reading The Beautiful Daughters by Nichole Baart and will end up finishing the book on a nice beach.

I’ll have a few scheduled posts ready during the honeymoon, but will be pretty much off the grid. I just want to spend my honeymoon thinking only of my husband and the fact that we are newlyweds.

I’m so looking forward to this Saturday when I finally get to marry the man of my dreams. He’s so amazing and I can’t imagine my life without him.

Considering how excited I am, I wanted so share some more engagement photos. (I’ve said this a million times, but our photographer is AMAZING!)

"Sean King Photography"

"Sean King Photography"

"Sean King Photography"

"Sean King Photography"

"Sean King Photography"

"Sean King Photography"

My Life Update #6 | Bridal Shower Fun!

It’s been quite a while since I shared a Life Update post.  I thought my bridal shower would be the perfect thing to share today.

My wonderful aunt hosted by bridal shower on Saturday.  It was sprinkling outside, but inside there was an awesome party going on!

I absolutely loved sharing this day with many of the woman in my life.  I had moms, sisters, cousins, aunts, and even a sweet old dog in attendance.

We played several games, but my favorite part was having everyone write down their favorite memory they have with me.  There was a great mixture of all kinds of memories from funny to sweet.

Now to share a few photos from my AWESOME bridal shower!

I absolutely loved my balloons!

 

My fiancé and me.

My fiancé and me.

With my little sisters.

With my little sisters.

Future Mother-In-Law

Future Mother-In-Law

Got one of my favorite bottles of wine!

Got one of my favorite bottles of wine!

My Life Update #5 | Blake Shelton Ten Times Crazier Tour

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On October 4th, I went to my very first Blake Shelton concert during his Ten Times Crazier Tour.  I’ve always loved Blake Shelton, just never had a chance to enjoy his music in a venue with thousands of other fans.  Let’s blame it on the college budget and lack of money to purchase any concert tickets.

I’ve never been to a concert and had the performer tap into several of my emotions like Blake Shelton did.  I was crying, laughing, and having a blast.

The host that night was country legend, Neal McCoy, who I remember listening to when I was young.  He sang songs like The Shake and No Doubt About It, which got me reminiscing about when I was younger and would dance in the living room with my mom.  I was thinking about my mom a lot that night.  She passed away on September 20, 2008 and we had her funeral on October 4, 2008.  So it was an emotional night for me since it had been 6 years to the day that I laid her to rest.

While there were some songs that pricked my heart a bit, Neal had great stage presence and would interact with the crowd during transition periods.  He’d make jokes and even held a contest during the show.

The opening act were country singers Dan & Shay who played some familiar songs that I had heard over the radio and actually liked.

When The Band Perry came out, I felt like we were getting two concerts for the price of one.  Their performance was amazing and they played a few favorites of mine.

blake-shelton-mullet-hairBy the time Blake Shelton came out I was super pumped.  I was crossing my fingers that he’d play Who Are You When I’m Not Looking and God Gave Me You and he totally delivered.  Blake knew how to keep the attention of his fans, making us laugh when he brought out his cowboy hat, which had long wavy hair attached to it.  This was to transition into his older songs that we all love and when he rocked those long curly locks.

There was a particular song that Blake sang which made me almost break down and cry right there in the Hollywood Bowl.  He brought his guitar out and started singing Over You, which his wife Miranda Lambert originally sang.  The song was about Blake’s brother who was killed in a tragic car accident and if you haven’t heard the song, please go listen to it.  If you’ve ever lost someone close to you the song will probably make you tear up.  This is exactly what I was doing when he sang it.  I closed my eyes and just listened to every word, soaked it in, and thought about the good times I had with my mom when she was alive.  The concert had been a good distraction up until that song, but Blake sang it so amazingly and I felt like my mom was with me in that moment.

His concert was the best one I’ve been to in years and I plan on going to many more.

As a side note, I briefly met Blake Shelton after The Voice Season 3 finale.  I felt so stupid when I asked him to take a picture with me because I could barely speak.  I was so nervous meeting someone I thought I would never get the chance to see in person and I thought I was going to faint for the first time in my life.  I know…I sound like a crazy fan, but I promise I’m not.  I got lucky when I had the chance the take a photo with Blake Shelton.  He was so nice about it and was totally willing to take a minute of his time so that I can have a picture that would make me happy and make my day.

Thank you so much Blake Shelton (if for some reason this actually gets to you)!

My Life Update #4 | Engagement Photos

Last Friday my fiancé and I took our engagement photos!  It was a really hot day, but the photos turned out so perfectly.  I’m literally starring at them all day and our photographer only sent a few..there’s still so many more that he is working on.  I can’t wait to go through all of them with my fiancé.

Our photographer captured everything I wanted during the session and we hit every location on our list.  My fiancé spent a whole evening mapping out our locations and it made the session easier for our photographer.

During the session, we would bounce our ideas off the photographer and he’d say, “Let’s try it”.  He was very open to everything we wanted and I didn’t feel rushed.  I have no doubt our wedding photos will be just as amazing.  I seriously can’t wait!

Because I’m so in love with our photos, I wanted to share a few of my favorites from the shoot.  Also, if you guessed the white dress in the recent post “Random Post | Dress Obsession“, you guessed correctly!

"Sean King Photography"

"Sean King Photography"

"Sean King Photography"

"Sean King Photography"

Photos are courtesy of Sean King Photography

My Life Update #3 | Santa Barbara Trip

Over the weekend I took my fiance on a surprise getaway.  We spent a few days in Santa Barbara.  Here’s what we did:

DAY #1 | DROVE TO SANTA BARBARA

I wanted this surprise trip to be a combination of things we like to do together and a few new things added to it.  So, just like any other trip to Santa Barbara we stopped in Ventura to have lunch at Spencer Makenzie’s.

We just happened to stop by during their 5th Annual End of Summer Block Party.  Totally not planned on my part, but it was cool to see what the Cornhole tournament was all about (Check out How to play Cornhole).

After our lunch, we headed to one of our favorite wine tasting rooms called The Ojai Vineyard.  We are wine club members and enjoy our quarterly wine pickups and complementary tastings.  I always end up purchasing a bottle or two of other wines that aren’t included in the wine pickup.  This usually includes their Ice Wine!  I’m in love with their Ice Wine.

We also love the people that work there.  They seem to remember everything about you and are very knowledgeable about their wines.

They recently completed the “new” tasting room and I love the way it looks and how much space it has now, but they kept the old room for private events.  I plan on using this space for my Bachelorette Getaway.  Yay!

After arriving in Santa Barbara, we checked into our hotel and walked down State Street to our destination.  It was a surprise for my fiance, but he figured it out later.  He’s too observant sometimes and noticed a sign that had Celebration Cruises Sunset Cruise information on it.  We spent the rest of the evening on the yacht, Azure Seas, taking in the views and enjoying our time together.

Our final stop of the night, before walking back to the hotel, was to have dinner at the Blue Tavern.  It was on the list of restaurants my fiance wanted to try and a must try for me since the Chef who opened it also owns a restaurant in Downtown LA that I love going to.

As expected, the food was great!  We shared the Beets & Heirloom Tomato Salad, Hanger Steak Anticucho, and the Home Made Papardelle.  Sadly I didn’t take any pictures of the food from Blue Tavern.

Kyle and me at Spencer Makenzie’s

The mixed vegetable tempura, street tacos, and Famous Giant Fish Taco from Spencer Makenzie’s

At one of our favorite wine tasting rooms. The Ojai Vineyard.

Pictures from the Sunset Cruise in Santa Barbara

DAY #2 | HANGING OUT IN SANTA BARBARA

The next day was an early one.  I wanted my fiance and I to do something we have never done together.  In my case, I had never done it at all.  I signed us up for ocean Kayaking.

I had never experienced the ocean this way and had such a blast.  It’s not very easy to kayak, but it’s not as hard as I thought it would be.  I fully expected to fall out several times, but we never did.  There were a few close calls though.

We booked through the Santa Barbara Adventure Company to give us a beginners course and to guide us through the Harbor and into the ocean.  I would highly recommend them if you’ve never Kayaked before.

We did the Santa Barbara Coastal Kayaking package which included all the gear we would need and lunch.  The guides were great and the group was small, making it more enjoyable.  I think any more than eight people would have been too much for the guides to handle.  Did I mention we got super close to some seals and sea lions!

I loved the kayaking experience so much that I didn’t want it to end!  We plan on kayaking whenever we visit Santa Barbara. Now that we know the basics we can just rent the kayaks ourselves without a guide.

The next thing I want to try is the Channel Islands Kayaking Tour also offered by the Santa Barbara Adventure Company.

The rest of the day was spent walking down State Street and going wine tasting.  We stopped at two wine tasting rooms, Pali Wine Company and Riverbench Winery.  Riverbench had a white wine flight and a flight that included sparkling wines. Score!

All ready for Kayaking

My fiancé and I after about an hour of Kayaking

Have you ever been to Santa Barbara?  What do you like to do when you’re visiting?  

Let me know if you have any questions about anything.

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