Oceanside Vacation Recap – Stuff we Like

And here we are, it’s been a few days since we’ve been back to reality. That was quick lol!

If you didn’t know, Charlie decided to take me on a quick getaway for our 5 year wedding anniversary this year. Man, we both needed it. This year has been really rough for the both of us and I don’t know about him but I was spent. Extremely burnt out. To the point where despite all the good things that were going on I just couldn’t get past the bad. So when he said that he was willing to take me somewhere I made sure all the businesses were as prepared as possible so I can make sure we can go lol!

Charlie got us an Airbnb in “South O” (South Oceanside) 4 blocks from the beach. It was awesome. If you follow me on Snapchat (@cartel_co) I posted a video of the place we stayed at and the cute kitty that greeted us at the door. Charlie and I love the vibe and community feeling of a small beach town and South O was just that. There were tons of great places to visit and eat. We checked in on Saturday and decided to explore our surroundings on Sunday. We walked over to Carlsbad State Beach and explored Carlsbad Village during the day and then ended at Cassidy Beach for the sunset.

Ignore the our beach hair 😛
Steps to Carlsbad Beach



We checked out on Monday morning and headed straight to Heritage Park in Dana Point where we had our wedding ceremony 5 years ago. It was a gorgeous day. Nice a clear with a few clouds, a slight cool breeze, and the sun was out.

Pathway leading up to the ceremony area
Pathway leading up to the ceremony area
View from the parking lot
View from the parking lot

It was still as breathtaking as I remembered it to be. Our ceremony was on the edge of a hillside that overlooked the marina and ocean in Dana Point. I actually never knew about this place until we were looking for ceremony locations and I’m so glad I found it. It was everything I was looking for.

Our ceremony location
The view from the overlook

We stayed there for a bit, played our wedding song, and prayed. This was definitely the highlight of our trip for me!

After that we were able to spend time with Charlie’s family before heading home. We went to Captain Kidd’s in Redondo Beach with his mom and dad. We laughed and talked over fresh steamed crab and seafood. Then we had dinner at our favorite poke spot in Socal, Jus Poke in Redondo with his brother and brother’s girlfriend. Perfect way to cap off our trip!



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Eternity Part 1 and Part 2

I’m sitting here today, the same place I was sitting 365 days ago. 365 days ago, I was with my girls getting ready for the best day of my life. The happiest day of my life to date. I couldn’t even sleep because I was SO. EXCITED. I was excited to marry the man I love, the man I love more than words can ever explain.

If you didn’t already know, I’m a type-A planner. No detail can be overlooked with me. There were to be no surprises at my wedding, if I could control it anyway. But no, Ray wouldn’t let that happen. When I asked him to create a wedding song for Charlie and I, he immediately said yes. He was already doing so much as far as groomsmen duty I was scared he was going to say no. But without hesitation, he gave me his classic “OF COURSE!!” I remember the week leading up the wedding and the week before that Ray, John, Tazzy, and Mel would be at Kevin’s house til 5 am or even sleeping over at Kev’s to get this song done for us. It was a labor of love I will always be thankful for. When they told me they finished it I wanted to hear it! I begged and pleaded with Ray to let me hear it. But he said no, absolutely not. And he wanted me to hear it for the first time for our Same Day Edit that our videographer, Loyd Calomay, was going to release that night at the reception. I tried to trick them, I would try to break into Ray’s computer, I would try to listen to John singing it, but no. They were good. I had no idea what it was going to sound like.

Cut to the day of the wedding. After the ceremony was over, I couldn’t wait to hear it! Loyd was working so hard to get it done. And finally we saw this:

Carissa + Charlie | Same Day Edit from Loyd Calomay on Vimeo.

The song and the video blew me away. I cried like a baby, and laughed out loud all at the same time. I couldn’t believe this was made for us, I was just so grateful…for EVERYTHING.

After the wedding was over, I talked to Ray and realized they wrote that song based on what we wrote on our wedding blog. They took our words and our story and created a song..a beautiful song.

Today I sit here, at the same place. 365 days later, I love this song more and more every time I listen to it. For its words, for the hard work my awesome friends put into it, for the meaning behind it…but its meaning has changed. They told us this song was about us, and now I realize, it’s about love. That feeling of love in the song can be transcended into so many types of love. Ray taught us that. He showed us unconditional love, love as a brother, love as a friend, love as a family member..no matter what, he showed what true selfless love was like. The story may be ours: the first verse is about Charlie, the second is about me, but the chorus in between I dedicate to Ray..

Eternity, just you and me
That’s all we need

Luckily for us, there is an Eternity Part II! Inspired by our RayRayAllDay and sung/written by John Mascardo. Such a beautiful song, please enjoy..

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iPhone and iPad Case Update, and an Announcement

Throughout this month, Charlie and I have been working tirelessly to get designs up onto our online store. It’s been a very meticulous process, but it’s all been worth it! Slowly but surely our designs are getting put up and I’m so happy we’re almost done for the Summer ’12 line. After this is done, our next project is our look book. I know that’s going to be such a big undertaking. But I’m excited about it at the same time.

I’ve been transitioning my role and the way it affects the company. I’ve been digging deep and really making tough decisions these past few months. Based on our personal and professional goals and a lot of prayer I think I’m finally walking down the right path. At the end of last month, I decided to focus solely on graphic design. CO will continue to provide graphic design and web services, invitations and custom stationery, as well as iPhone and iPad cases.

I was going back and forth about this decision as the past 7 years of my life have been dedicated to the wedding planning industry. To let go of that aspect of my life and career was very difficult for me. I worked so hard, I planned so many events, I met so many great people, and me giving up would mean I failed.. All I thought about was why I should stay. But slowly, it started to crumble away and I started to realize why I should leave. In fact, the last 3 years have been me going back and forth about it. Instead of wanting an answer that same day (cuz that’s just how I roll), I decided to let go and let God. And quickly, he gave me the answer.

Now, I couldn’t be happier! Things have been moving along on my new career path swimmingly and I’m incredibly excited about where my new career path is going to take me. Letting go of my old path may mean I failed, or it may not. But what matters most is that I don’t care. It just means I fell and got back up, better than ever.

Since I’m in a happy mood we’re going to do a contest in June! We’re going to be giving away a free iPad case and a free iPhone in celebration! Stay tuned for details everyone!


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