April 9, 2012 Off to the Honeymoon…

Posted by: Frances

August 9th, 2012 >> Holidays, Outdoor Activities, Travel

Matt surprised me with a honeymoon to Playa Mujeres in Mexico.  It was exquisite! We had to go through several gates just to get to the private 2 mile beach area with the Excellence Resort on it.  They have 9 restaurants and 7 bars and several pools and of course the private beach.  We were greeted with wet wash rags as we got out of the car to wipe our hands and face with.  Then as we walked up the stairs to two large doors without handles, they opened up (like open sesame) to another Bell Boy with champagne for us.  It was complete pampering!  I felt so spoiled and enjoyed every minute we were there.  The food was excellent as well as the service.  Our room was the coolest room I have ever been in.  (You will see when you look at the pictures)  We went on two excursions;  one to Jungle Maya and the other to Isla Mujeres.  We went repelling into an underground cave of water, zip lining, snorkeling in the largest underground cave of water in the world as well as one of the reefs, went out on a catamaran, drove golf carts around Isla Mujeres, and relaxed.  We met a lot of great people we will keep in touch with and made lots of memories.  We will be returning!



April 7, 2012 Wedding Day: The fine details

Posted by: Frances

April 26th, 2012 >> Holidays, Outdoor Activities

So… today is the day Matt Barker and I got married!  We had a 1920s classy glamor style wedding at The Lookout, a lavender farm over looking the valley in Austin, TX.  It was a Saturday and a full moon.  Our colors were that of a Peacock.  We had many details in the wedding that were very sentimental and things we noticed that were interesting.


For instance, we met 4 years and seven months ago on Sept 12, 2007 from today.

My engagement ring Matt gave me was his Grandfather’s Aunts engagement ring date around 1910 to 1920s.  Mine and his wedding bands were made and custom designed out of my Aunt Frances’ gold hook bracelet.  My wedding band also included diamonds that were my Grandmothers and the design was inspired by my Great Grandmother’s wedding band.


We also bought an authentic 1929 Websters Dictionary with the 1920s census in it as well as other important history from that decade.  Guests highlighted words in it to remind us of our day.  I also found an authentic jewelry charm of an April calender from 1920 with the 7th circled on it.

Wedding Decoration 1929 original Dictionary, Frances Tatted bookmark (9)


My bouquet was made of broaches I purchased on ebay as well as broaches given to me by family and friends.


We used postcards for people to sign in as guests on the table with a candy bar and wedding favors.  The wedding favors were homemade by my sister Jackie and were an assortment of jams.  The turquoise tatted ornament attached to the jars were all tatted by me.


We had a solid silver dinner bell made in the late 1920s with a tag on it that said “Ring for a Kiss.”  This is our “Truce Bell”.  It is meant to be kept out in our home and when times get tough, one of us is to ring the bell and remind of us what brought us together in the beginning.


Our appetizers were fruit (but no melon because I don’t like it), cheese, and sausage.  For our meal we had smoked pork tenderloin with a cranberry glaze, parmesan potatoes, green beans, caeser salad with La Madeline’s caesar dressing, stuffed quiche, and manicotti with shredded chicken and alfredo sauce.  We had a blonde, porter, and an IPA home brewed beer from Matt Barker and a buttery chardonnay and a bristol red wine made by my Uncle Bobby.  The cake was a wedding cake with almond creme filling for the top and bottom layers and a chocolate cake with a strawberry filling as the 2nd layer with butter cream icing.  The cake topper was a B for Barker and a South Carolina state groom and a Texas state bride topper.   Everything was made from scratch and was extra extra tasty!!!




My mother made Berit Raines dress, the flower girl.  My sister Jackie’s dress, the matron of honor.  And my new sister in law Laura Barker’s dress.  They are all in 1920 style dresses and beautiful!  I wore my mother’s wedding dress with very few alterations.  It turned out to be breath taking!


We also had a photo booth area with pearls, top hats, bow ties, camisole, headbands, and other props for people to make funny pictures.  This was so much fun and very entertaining.  We got a lot of fun laughs doing this.


To transport the out of town guests to and from the wedding venue, we had an original Austin Trolley.  That was a hit and a lot of fun with a hint of Austin.


Lastly, my mother, sister, Rachel, and many others dedicated a lot of time to make this day the most perfect day and it was more than we could have asked for with tons of details and thought put into each and every decision.

You can also find our story and more wedding pictures at: http://mattfrances.shutterfly.com/

Washington D.C. Bridal Shower Feb 2012

Posted by: Frances

April 25th, 2012 >> Travel

A few of us flew out to Washington D.C. to have my Bridal Shower at Matchbox a brick oven restaurant.  By the time the shower was over, we probably each tried 80% of the menu.  It was so DELICIOUS!  I wish we had one of these by where I live!  We also went to the Crime and Punishment Museum that was really interesting.  They had some crazy torture devices.  We had a lot of fun and took some really fun pictures.

My sister took the time to make each of us a welcome bag with gloves and goodies in it as well as a 1920s style hat with a big flower and broach.  I absolutely LOVED them.  My sister is the best!


Matchbox!  YUMMY! YUMMY!

jackie-jamie-harriet-rachel-frances-katie-amberJackie, Jamie, Mom, Rachel, Frances, Katie, Amber

Our HATS!!!


Crime and Punishment Museum


SO MUCH FUN IN D.C.!  I love this place!

January 2012: The New Year

Posted by: Frances

February 3rd, 2012 >> Educational, Outdoor Activities, Travel

Well on New Years Eve, Matt and I were so exhausted from the previous days activities, we didn’t even make it to 9:30pm.  I can’t believe it is 2012 already!  In the last year, I have traveled to several different places, moved into a new residence, started my Master’s Degree in Accounting, and got engaged!  This year I will be getting married, traveling to many more places, graduating with my Master’s in Accounting from Kaplan University in December (with a 4.0 I hope), and working to start a position in the Accounting world.  It will be a year full of many new doors for me and I can’t wait.  More news to come….

Christmas 2011 in Florida

Posted by: Frances

February 3rd, 2012 >> Outdoor Activities, Travel

Matt and I went to Florida to join his Dad, Nelson, and sister for a fabulous Christmas.  It was great seeing everyone together and being able to relax for a few days without work.  I have to admit it was a little weird for me on Christmas Day because it was so warm outside!  We also headed to Busch Gardens for a day full of roller coaster riding.  Just a few fun pictures below:

frances-matt-laura-tom-nelson-xmasFrances, Matt, Laura, Tom, Nelson


matt-frances-xmas-busch-gardens-2Matt & I

matt-frances-xmas-busch-gardens-7Matt and I at Busch Gardens

matt-frances-xmas-busch-gardensMatt and I Busch Gardens


Thanksgiving in Austin, TX & Filmore, CA Christmas Tree Train

Posted by: Frances

December 6th, 2011 >> Holidays, Outdoor Activities, Travel

Matt and I went to Austin, TX to spend Thanksgiving with my family.  We had a fantastic time with everyone and I must say, man can my sister cook!!!  I miss them dearly.

Matt, Steve Pearson’s family, and I drove out to Filmore, CA to ride the Train and cut down our Christmas tree.  This train had a Steam Engine from 1913 and train cars from the 1920s and 1930s.  I loved it!  The water fountains on the train were really neat too.  We had a 45 minute train ride to the Christmas tree farm.  Then we roamed the farm and found our perfect tree to cut down.  I felt like Clark Griswald in Christmas vacation.  All of us had such a great time.  Here are some pictures below:


The train!



Our Christmas tree being cut down…


And off to load onto the train!


And the final result!!!

Bridge to NoWhere Hike for the 2nd time

Posted by: Frances

December 6th, 2011 >> Outdoor Activities, Travel

Matt and I took Jack on the Hike to the Bridge to NoWhere.  We only hiked about 3 miles in and 3 miles back because the trail is rough on his paws.  We had a great time and loved the hike.  The weather was perfect and Jack loved swimming in the water.  We had a lot of laughs and good moments on this hike.  I can’t wait to do it again.


water crossing!


Disneyland California Adventure

Posted by: Frances

December 6th, 2011 >> Outdoor Activities, Travel

I went to Disneyland California Adventure with the Caudill Family.  It was my first time to go to this park.  I had a great time, but I like the other park much better because there is more to do.  They had my favorite Disney show there called It’s a bug’s life.  I absolutely love this show!  I went on the Ferris Wheel with swinging carts and did not like it very much.  I loved the view, but not the so much the swing.


Tatting Class

Posted by: Frances

August 28th, 2011 >> Crafts, Sewing

I went to my first tatting class today!  I was very excited to complete a snowflake that inquired many of the different techniques needed to tat. I don’t have a picture of what I made, but I did learn how to do these as well.  I am really enjoying learning this lost art that is slowly being reborn.  The teachers website is http://www.snapdragonlace.com/   Also, if you knit or sew or do anything that requires a pattern you can find free .pdf books at http://www.antiquepatternlibrary.org/  it is an awesome website.



Posted by: Frances

August 23rd, 2011 >> Outdoor Activities, Travel

During my time off, I was able to make it out to Disneyland again.  I have one more day pass to use before October so hopefully I will make it out before it expires.  I went with my friend Amber and we actually went to a few rides neither of us had done or done in a really long time.  We enjoyed climbing through the tight spaces to the top of Tom Sawyer’s island and the fun adventure Roger Rabbit ride in Toon Town.  We took pictures with Minnie Mouse last time and this time we actually got to take pictures with Mickey Mouse.  This place always puts a smile on my face.  We enjoyed an extremely delicious lunch at the French Quarter, New Orleans Restaurant.  We had an amazing salad and a Monte Cristo that melted in your mouth.  Then we ended the afternoon with a delicious cup of ice cream while watching the parade.  There were some very different costume that I just loved.  I am thinking about making one up for Halloween.  Across from where we were sitting there was this adorable little girl dressed up as Minnie Mouse.  She had a huge red lollipop and then her mom showed up with a pickle.  She went straight for the pickle and said forget the lollipop.  She was very entertaining to watch as the parade went on.