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Wedding planner, cool aunt of little Texans, lover of all things love, and obsessed with espresso.


Good grief, this last week has been incredible. I don’t even know where to begin! First, I attended the Engage!11 Luxury Wedding Summit at the spectacular Grand Del Mar Resort in San Diego, THEN my husband Eric and I celebrated our 10 yr wedding anniversary at the luxurious Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. Two 5 Star resorts in one week, y’all. I don’t believe my life has ever been this glamorous.

Engage!11 was all that I hoped for and more. I can’t even really begin to put into words what I learned, what and who I was inspired by, and what I took away from it, but needless to say it was exactly what I needed. I came home revved up and ready to take my company to the next level.
My week kicked off last Sunday with a small luncheon at the gorgeous Cal-a-Vie Health Spa and Vacation Resort hosted by motivational speaker and author Simon T. Bailey and Planner/Author/Coach Marley Majcher The Party Goddess! The staff at Cal-a-Vie pampered us with wine tastings, massages, tours of their gorgeous property, and a few goodies to take on the road with us. This property is divine and there is a very good reason they’re listed as one of the top 10 spas of the world. I can’t wait to plan a wedding there someday in the 17th century French chapel.

Since our conference did not begin until  Monday, I was able to settle into my snazzy room at the Grand Del Mar. Sunday night I was able to work, nap, work out, AND continue my addiction (thanks to the TV in my treadmill!) to my newest favorite TV show: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. Check. It. Out. Move over, Toddlers and Tiaras, cause your bedazzled booties just got served.

In our opening session of Engage, of the 250 attendees, 11 were highlighted for doing innovative things and I almost fell on the floor when I (and attendee DJ Nahchey and former Engage!10 attendees CallawayGable) were mentioned for Joya and Emre’s Black Eyed Peas wedding music video! The rest of the conference I had people coming up to me asking me HOW on earth we pulled that off. I was so humbled that the people in my industry whom I look up to were impressed by something that I was a part of!
While much of our event looked fancy like this: 

I looked a lot like this. The entertainment every night was just too, tooooooo good!

While I could post pictures all the live long day about this experience, nothing sums it up quite like the wrap video by Cloud 9 Creative:

Engage 11: Grand Del Mar // Wrap Film from Cloud Nine Creative on Vimeo.

I got home Thursday mid-day and worked until my eyes crossed as Friday morning my husband and I left for Ojai to stay at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa  for our 10th wedding anniversary. The sweet catering manager, Tiffany Emch (who I had just seen at Engage!11) had a gift of these fantabulous red ladybug slippers and a spa robe for me. Eric promptly broke them in for me.
The weather was a bit gloomy up in Ojai, but that didn’t stop us from fully enjoying the gorgeous property. We rode bikes, got massages, ate delicious food, and just enjoyed each others company. Eric would not, however, watch Highschool Musical Three with me at the pool Friday night, so I guest I didn’t get the full resort experience….
(sidenote: I don’t know if that dude in the hot tub was trying to photobomb this shot or not, but I’d like to think he was attempting to give me bunny ears) 
At dinner Friday night Eric surprised me with a new diamond for my wedding ring! Such perfect timing as the week before one of the smaller diamonds fell out it. This stone is probably 60 or 70 years old as it came to the jeweler he bought it from from an estate sale. While I won’t be ugly and give numbers, let’s just say that it is going to be WHOA! on my hand.
Our actual anniversary is next Thursday, June 9, and due to a wedding on the 11th, we celebrated this weekend. Next Thursday we’re going to have some professional photos taken by our friends Cat & Adi of Next Exit Photography down at one of my favorite art installations.
This concludes today’s episode of “The Glamorous Life of Amber Gustafson”….tune in next time to hear all about how our cats show their disprovable of our absence, the kitchen drain that won’t work and thus causes us to wash our dishes in the bath tub, and how I can’t, for the life of me, cook anything other than one pasta dish.


From San Diego to Ojai

Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017


Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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