20 year wedding anniversary_reviving charm


Life is interesting. You can cross paths with someone and in that unsuspecting moment, not realize that they are the person who is going to turn your whole life around. For me, that person was Mr. B. He’s the person I think of morning, noon and night. He’s the person that makes life interesting and exciting (no exaggeration) and he is the one I can’t imagine life without. We’re 2 peas in a pod.

Today marks our 20th wedding anniversary and although we are celebrating on a tiny island in the middle of Lake Maggiore, Italy, I can’t help but reminisce about the wedding we planned 20 years ago. From the start, we liked doing things differently and planned a destination wedding long before they were ever popular. The internet wasn’t around in 1998 and I made all plans and reservations over my Pacific Bell “princess” landline phone. We chose to book one of two presidential suites at the Four Seasons Olympic Hotel (now known as the Fairmont Olympic Hotel) in Seattle to serve as the backdrop for our small, intimate affair. It was booked sight unseen and we didn’t see the room until a few hours before the wedding took place. We figured, “It’s the Four Seasons…c’mon how bad could it really be?” I eventually asked the hotel to send me pictures of the room and they happily obliged (The Four Seasons was very accommodating before, during, and after the event). However, I had to wait for the pictures to be developed and sent overnight via Fed-X. Interesting how times have changed!

individual wedding cake_Reviving Charm

This was our wedding cake. Again, wanting to stray from tradition and opting for something more unique, we decided to design our own version of the wedding cake. I asked the hotel to create individual cakes for each of the 20 guests. When I made the request, I was told it was something the hotel had never done before and my wedding coordinator would have to first consult with the pastry chef. Naturally, they accommodated my request and each guest was served their very own miniature wedding cake adorned with fruit and fresh flowers (the miniature roses were my favorite). Printed menus were placed at each table setting and the dessert course was described as a “wedding cake surprise”. The cakes certainly were a surprise because we had no idea how they would exactly turn out until they were served at the wedding. Thankfully, they came out just as I had imagined and people enjoyed them so much that they continued to talk about them for many years to follow. It was a wonderful day and if I had to do it all over again, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

thanksgiving 2017_Reviving Charm


Each day offers us the gift of being a special occasion if we can simply learn that as well as giving, it is blessed to receive with grace and a grateful heart. –Sarah Ban Breathnach

Thanksgiving centerpiece_Reviving Charm 2

Thanksgiving 2017 – Dinner for Two

This wasn’t intended to be my original post. In fact, I started drafting today’s post last week but I continued to make revision after revision. For some reason, I had a hard time finalizing my message; it never felt quite right. Now I know why. Keep reading…

Mr. B and I made plans to be in San Francisco to celebrate Thanksgiving and enjoy the long holiday weekend. It’s one of our favorite cities and it feels like a home away from home, of sorts. I even mentioned the trip in my last post. But life has a way of throwing curve balls and last night I canceled our flight, hotel, and all dinner reservations due to a family emergency involving Mr. B. He is still recuperating and, thankfully, he will be fine. But naturally, after a trip to the ER and an overnight stay in the hospital, we decided that it was best to stay put, stay home, and have a quiet evening for two. This can pose a challenge for someone like me who doesn’t cook. Given absolutely no notice, I had to become resourceful and quickly scrambled to order up dinner. I even purchased a floral cornucopia centerpiece from our local gourmet market. I reaped the benefits of a last minute purchase because I scored the flowers on sale for 20 bucks. Well, $19.99 to be exact. Once the meal was taken care of I quickly turned to the linen closet and decided to keep it simple by pulling out a fresh white tablecloth, napkins, and straw placements. In just a few short minutes I notice that the makings of a casual tablescape were falling into place nicely.Thanksgiving centerpiece_Reviving Charm 1

I was saddened at the fact that my husband became ill but I am very grateful that matters weren’t worse. I am thankful that he was home relatively quickly, although not quick enough if you ask him, I’m sure. I am also very fortunate to have good medical insurance and have some of the very best specialists available to Mr. B. One doctor in particular is someone that people travel the world to come see. We are fortunate in that we are just a few zip codes and short car ride away from him. Although it’s not without its issues, access to good healthcare is something I never take for granted and I was quickly reminded of that yesterday after overhearing a conversation between an older woman and hospital staff discussing arrangements on how she would pay for her hospital visit, which turned out to be her second visit in just a few short months. The women had no real source of income, no job, and was having to apply for government assistance.Thanksgiving centerpiece_Reviving Charm

If I have to leave you with anything today let it be a lesson in gratitude. Life has a tendency of shaking things up every now and then. As difficult as it may be, you just have to accept it, embrace it, and make the very best of what it has to offer. Trust me, I know first hand that it’s something easier said than done but do take time to appreciate the moments in life and all the moments within the moments. After all, each day does really offer us the gift of being a special occasion.

A special note was tucked into a small envelope waiting to be read by Mr. B.

I am happy to be surrounded by wonderful people who love and support me dearly (YT and MJ…you both mean the world to me). I am also thankful for my readers because I know you have lots of options for reading material but you manage to routinely visit Reviving Charm. Thank you for your readership and continued support of this site. It’s very much appreciated. Just don’t forget to tell your friends about me. I always love new readers!

All the best to you and yours now and always…Vanessa.

P.S. Thanks for letting me get a little personal with you today.


I mentioned in this post that I have a short bob haircut. A couple of weeks ago I received a fresh-cut with additional layers in the back. This time I decided to mix things up dramatically and have the layers dyed teal. Yes, TEAL. It’s not something most people would expect of me (I actually surprised myself) and seeing their reaction has been fun. In honor of my new hair color let’s have some design fun with teal, turquoise and peacock. teal-turquoise-peacock-via-revivingcharm_com-17about-revivingcharm_comteal-turquoise-peacock-via-revivingcharm_comteal-turquoise-peacock-via-revivingcharm_com-12teal-and-peacock-via-revivingcharm_comteal-turquoise-peacock-via-revivingcharm_com-13teal-turquoise-peacock-via-revivingcharm_com-5teal-turquoise-peacock-via-revivingcharm_com-14teal-turquoise-peacock-doors-via-revivingcharm_comteal-turquoise-peacockteal-turquoise-peacock-via-revivingcharm_com-11teal-turquoise-peacock-via-revivingcharm_com-1teal-turquoise-peacock-via-revivingcharm_com-3


In order to maintain a bit of privacy I have been very careful about not over sharing. After all, everyone has their own problems so why would you want to hear about someone else’s? However, the more I write the more I realize that it is important to share a little bit of life with you (starting with this post).  And if I am willing to publicly post images of our home, then it’s probably okay to get a little personal with you every now and then. After all…life happens. nightstand-via-revivingcharm_com-21

People read blogs for many different reasons, myself included. For example, they can serve as a great source of inspiration or as an escape, a way to stay informed or as a resource to learn something new. Why do you read blogs and what makes you coming back here for more?

I’ve been reading blogs since 2007 and have realized that I am attracted to or continue to follow those that interject their own personality and provide a little bit of information about themselves and their lives. It’s interesting to learn about the people behind the keystrokes. nightstand-via-revivingcharm_com-22

Where am I going with all this? 

My surgeon recently told me “You have a gallstone the size of a golf ball….we really should take care of that.”  How do you respond to that? I have been in a bit of denial over the whole thing until I feel the sudden tinge of pain come on. It serves as a reminder that I better take care of myself because it’s only bound to get worse if I don’t.  Needless to say, today is the big day. It is the day that Reviving Charm goes to the hospital for surgery.

nightstand-via-revivingcharm_com-20Naturally, I have to tie today’s post into something design related so I am featuring a few lovely nightstands accessorized with beautiful fresh flowers. No matter how big or small your nightstand is there is always room for flowers. Whether it be a single stem in a bud vase or a full floral arrangement there is nothing more wonderful than having fresh flowers at your bedside. And if any of my friends or family are reading this I want them to know that I’ve already cleared off my own nightstand to make room for a few new fresh bouquets of my own…hint, hint. And for those who have already sent flowers…Thank you! 

I will be back soon but in the meantime I have a few posts lined up to keep you entertained while I recuperate.             –xoxo, v.



I work as high level executive in a management position. I work in a very faced paced environment where multitasking anywhere from 10-20 demanding projects at any one time is the norm. I also help oversee a staff of almost 20. Sometimes there are long hours (12-15 hour days) and on very rare occasion I might work from home. Needless to say, I work hard.  I realize that my job is one that isn’t for everyone but I do love my job and I respect the organization. I love the collaboration and diversity of projects that I work on. Plus, I get to meet a lot of interesting people and be part of many interesting things. The job is rewarding. We might have a lot going on in the office but we also try to have fun in the process. There is never a dull moment!

I also have many interests and hobbies and wish I had more time to enjoy them all. I am convinced that I will never be bored in retirement although retirement is still far off for me and the number of years I have left to work is still in double digits. In the meantime, I will enjoy this extra day off that the Labor Day holiday affords me. You should, too! I hope your day involves working less and playing more….whatever that may mean for you.

If anyone needs me today you can find me at the mall. I will be out shopping to take advantage of all the sales…

Happy holiday Monday. xoxo, V.

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