ADVENTURE DIARY: THE SURPRISE OF A LIFETIME: ENGAGEMENT EDITION

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July 21st, 2018. The BEST day of my life to date. 

Let's rewind, shall we? Earlier this month, Freddie and I visited Ohio to visit his family. While we were on this trip, I remember finishing up a shoot for Dunkin' Donuts and coming inside to look through the images. As we all sat down in the living room, I started scrolling through the photos when a notification on my phone went off. I opened up my e-mail and saw a message from Beau Beasley regarding "YoungArts Foundation Photoshoot." 

A smile began to emerge on my face as I started to read,

"It was wonderful meeting the both of you at the Daytime Emmy's Golden Gift Lounge in Pasadena a couple months back.  So sorry for my random "reach out" but I thought of you for our upcoming launch of our summer collection of "New Arrivals."

Miami Swim Week is approaching us and flip-flop season is already in full swing.  

We are planning on doing our photoshoot for our new collection in California in July and think you would be the perfect fit."

I remembered exactly who he was! Freddie and I loved meeting Beau at the gifting suite and adored Samba Sol's flip-flops. I thought nothing of this e-mail as this is pretty standard when brands are reaching out to collab. I immediately perked up and pivoted my attention towards Freddie. 

"Hey, babe! Remember Samba Sol from The Emmy Gifting Suite? They just e-mailed us wanting to collaborate. Let's do it!" I squealed out. Freddie was totally into it (OF COURSE HE WAS - HE PLANNED THIS WHOLE THING.) And that was that! 

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A week later I received another e-mail from Beau titled, "Location" - Ooo! This is where we were going to shoot! I opened the message and began reading, 

"Hello there!!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend…we just got back from shooting the kids styles of our YoungArts Foundation flip flops and the shots came out amazzzzzing!

Just wanted to give you an update on the location of our LA shoot.  We secured a beautiful private estate in Malibu.  Yes, Malibu!

The address is: 9*** Deer Creek Road Malibu, CA 90265

Since our shoot is only a few hours, we will NOT have access to the inside of the house.  I know, totally lame- but since we are on a tight budget, that's the only way they would let us use the pool area.  There’s a Starbucks down the street that we can utilize need-be.  It's at 3**** Pacific Coast Hwy.  

Alyssa, can you come with your hair and make-up done already?  Nothing over the top, I'm thinking “a natural look” with nice flowy hair.  You’re already beautiful :)

As far as outfits I was thinking ALL WHITE for the both of you.  White jeans and shirt for you Freddie and maybe a cute white sun-dress for you Alyssa?  If you want to do a casual skinny-jeans and white tank top look, we can work that angle as well.  Bring a few options and we’ll make it work.  The YoungArts flip flops are already super colorful.  You’ll both be barefoot as well as wearing the different styles in the photoshoot.  

Shoot date: Saturday, JULY 21st - Call time: 4pm sharp!"

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First of all, I couldn't get over how kind and amazing Beau was! What a great soul. I could feel his energy through the computer. Second, how cool did this sound!? A shoot in Malibu?? Fun! Freddie and I were laying in bed when I received this e-mail, so I read it out loud to him. I then (as he knew I would) started to google the location. When I saw the house, I about FLIPPED out.  

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"Oh my gosh!!! BABE! Look at this!" I excitedly said to Freddie. He took a look at the photos and agreed how incredibly gorgeous this property was. I immediately mentioned that we should have Bryon come and do a vlog for this shoot. You see, sneaky Freddie knows what a Type A personality I am and he KNEW that I would jump to book Bryon to shoot this episode - and so I quickly wrote Bryon and did not think a thing of it. I also mentioned that I'd love to get my hair and makeup done that day since it was a big scale shoot - ohhhh Freddie, that boy knows me WELL. 

So here we are, the day is July 21st, 2018. I get up that morning and go get my hair done. When I arrived home, my friend & makeup artist, Christian, came over to glam me up for this shoot. Freddie kept peeking his head in towards the end seeing how we were doing time-wise. He wanted to make sure we were "good on time" (MHMMMM.)

We then gathered our stuff, gave Benji a kiss good-bye and headed out to MALIBU! Part of me was wondering/hoping that the proposal would happen that day BUT a big part of me thought there was no way as it was a company photo shoot. We were having a great time on the ride up listening to wonderful music, having great conversation & just enjoying each other and the view. Then one of my all time favorite songs came on, "Until The End Of Time" by Justin Timberlake. My heart dropped to my stomach and I wondered, "Omg. Is this a sign?? Is it happening today?"

As we were getting closer to the final destination, I couldn't help but admire everything around me; the beautiful ocean, my wonderful boyfriend and the grand energy of the day. I was so excited to get our shoot on! As we made our final turn, we drove up the mountain and around to the absolutely fabulous property. I couldn't believe this is where we were working today!

We grabbed our belongings from the car and walked around the side of the house per Beau's instructions in the e-mail, taking in the view and the day. We were greeted by the fantastic Beau of Samba Sol, Jalisa the photographer and of course our master videographer, Bryon! 

Beau then walked us through the day's shoot & looks and we got to work (after cheering with some rose of course! Like I said, Beau is beyond fab!) We then did our intro for our vlog, got content for Samba Sol & The Young Arts Foundation collaboration, and took some fun photos. 

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As the shoot was wrapping, Beau & Jalisa mentioned we should grab photos by the edge overlooking the ocean. As Jalisa began snapping away, Beau threw rose petals into the shot and I had a quick thought of, "OMG. THIS IS HAPPENING. MY INSTINCT WAS RIGHT." A few more minutes went by and my stomach had butterflies. Jalisa took the last shot and we were done. "Hmmm. I guess my gut wasn't right." I thought to myself.

As we walked back to the pool area, Bryon mentioned we needed to film the outro for the vlog. We walk over to another area overlooking the ocean and Freddie began speaking to camera. Towards the end he mentioned, "If you saw the latest vlog you'll know there is an engagement coming. Hang tight. It'll be happening this summer!" Then Freddie turned towards me and started explaining how much he loved me, how he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me - AND THEN IT CLICKED. HOLY S#*&! THIS WAS IT. THIS WAS HAPPENING. Freddie then went on to say, "Baby I love you so much. Will you make me the happiest man for the rest of my life? Will you marry me?"

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After what seemed like an hour of shock, not being able to speak, and complete surprise, I looked at him with a full heart, loving eyes, a blissful soul and I yelled, "YES!!! YES!!"

Freddie got up and wrapped his arms around me so tight. THIS was bliss. But what came out of Freddie's mouth next completely threw me. THERE WAS MORE!? "So babe, what if I told you this entire place, EVEN the inside was ours for the night?" I about lost it.

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Not only did the love of my life just propose to me but now we got to stay at this breathtaking property for the night!? This entire place was ours?? Daaaang Fred. You truly outdid yourself. I was on Cloud Nine.

Freddie sweetly grabbed my hand and guided me towards the house. "Let's go for a tour, shall we fiance'?" Be still, my heart. I was in pure heaven. 

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As we got to the last room, I couldn't believe what had just taken place. As a little girl you always dream of this moment and I could've NEVER imagined it to be what it was; pure love & *magic*. But it was what was on the other side of the last door that changed the game and was the biggest shock of all... 

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Freddie had arranged for my parents, Rick & Vallerie to fly in along with one of my best friends from childhood, Brooke, her husband Jonathan and my niece, Blair!! I was FLOORED. Never in my wildest dreams had I ever had such a genuine and loving surprise. Our dear friends from Orange County, Mike & Ariane also were there and it was a picture-perfect evening. Unfortunately, my sister was unable to make it due to her pregnancy, but we will celebrate when I head to the east coast in a few weeks for her baby shower!

Crazy enough, my parents had been in town for a few days already and when Freddie said he was going to work on Friday, he was really picking up my ring with my dad (swoon!) Freddie really put his heart and soul into this proposal and I could not be more happy or proud to call that incredible man my fiance'. I am so beyond honored to be his wife next year!

And that, my friends, is how Freddie pulled off the surprise of a lifetime. A major thank you to everyone that was a part of this engagement. From Happy Jewelers + Danny, Hayley & Gabe (happyjewelers.com) to Beau Beasley and Carrie Johnson of Samba Sol (their collaboration with The Young Arts Foundation & the photo shoot was REAL so be sure to check them out at sambasol.com) to our main man @bryon.lambe for capturing our moments along with @jalisamariephotography! And of course, to all of the wonderful family & friends for your outpouring of love and support. I am so grateful for each and every one of you.

Here is a sneak peek of how we celebrated the rest of the evening! 

X,

Alyssa 

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