Friday, December 31, 2010

Year End Reflections

As we close in on the final few hours of 2010, I'm in a rather contemplative mood. It's been a big year- for almost everyone I know, too. As I look back on the past 12 months, I can definitely say that this year will probably mart the biggest turning point in my life: I started a career and got married. Pretty hard to top, huh?

Though in my reflections, I've come to realize that while I am extremely thankful for the amazing job that I have, it's not quite what I want to do. Part of me says "go after what you want!", while the logical more rational side says "you have a good job, you wont be able to support the family without it, etc". The golden handcuffs as a wise cousin of mine once said. But I guess that's all part of growing up.

As I look forward into 2011, I'm pretty optimistic. We're moving closer to our hometown and also closer to friends that we left behind 3 years ago when we moved. Most of the reason I'm excited to move is because of how small this place is. Don't get me wrong, I love being 4 houses down from the beach, but when the IHOP closes at 9pm, you know it's too small.

So here's to 2011, may it bring good times with great friends. :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Adventures in the Wild

I am a self-proclaimed neat freak. I don't like to get dirty, I love the comfort of home and I keep my french manicure looking nice. I blame Dearest for making me this way. The man has pampered me way too much. Not that I'm complaining... ;) Anyway...

So how does backpacking fit in? Not only do I have to lug all my gear out there, but I have to sleep in an uncomfortable little tent with mosquitoes, no running water and a pit for a toilet. Sounds like paradise, eh? Surprisingly, I rather enjoy backpacking. There's a small sense of accomplishment on the trek and it's great to get away from the hussle and bussle of life. Even if just for a weekend trip, it's relaxing.

This time we had some company for the day. Mr. & Ms. Army came with us for a killer day hike. We went up 1000 ft and got some amazing views. :)For a little perspective... Do you see the little strip of beach above Dearest's head where the trees sort of make a wide v? That's where we started. We went even further and yes, we had to walk all. the. way. down.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Whoa, What Just Happened?

That's how I feel about everything right now! Today was my one year anniversary of working at the bank. It's crazy how fast that year went by! I'm completely happy with my quick promotion to my position, but I'm a little afraid to see where I'll be in another year... Branch manager, anyone? ;)

Dearest's BFF is back from serving our country overseas! In a way it feels like he wasn't gone that long, but then I remember how many times I thought, "Man, I really miss him." All in all, we're both so glad he's back. After all, he's the closest I've got to a brother-in-law. :)
My new month, new me has been going.... n
ot so great. The first few days started off nicely, then I got super busy. Between celebrating another close friend's birthday, celebrating D's BFF's homecoming and just adjusting to my new work load (while still carrying my old one), it's been one busy week. I'm getting things back on track and my life back in order, so hopefully my workouts will find their rightful place and time.

Happy Birthday, J!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

August 30DS Challenge

At this moment, I've got the major things in my life in order- I have a great job, I just got married to the most wonderful man and I am amazingly happy. But the one thing that's bugging me is that I haven't reached my target weight goal. After the wedding, our exercising routine went down the drain, but it's time to get back on the bandwagon. So... new month, new me.

With my new hours, I suddenly have an extra 30 minutes in the morning before work- the perfect time to fit in some 30 day shred. If you haven't heard of it, it's a 30 minute work out created by Jillian Michaels, a previous biggest loser contestant. It's a fun quick workout that can really kick your butt. The three levels are supposed to be completed within 30 days, so that's my goal- once a day for 30 days with my weigh-in on August 31st.

I'm really excited about this!

Stats: 10 lbs to go. 30 days left.

Friday, July 30, 2010

It's On!

No, not like Donkey Kong... like Mickey Mouse! Two of my favorite die-hard Disney fans and I are taking a little road trip down to LA to compete in the first Disney sponsored scavenger hunt! The hunt spans both parks (Disneyland and California Adventure) and Downtown Disney. It's a race to collect as many points as possible before time runs out. We're pumped up and ready to kick some butt. It's gonna be awesome! :D

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Did I Really Just Say That?

"I love my job." Yes, I really just said that. Considering that my line of work is the exact opposite from what I thought I'd be doing, it's seems so surreal to me. My promotion landed me in management, a far cry from the "grunt" work I was doing before. My detail oriented side is thriving and enjoying everything. For once I'm actually excited to go to work! :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

When it Rains, it Pours

The Morton salt girl is very wise. When life changes, it REALLY changes. This past month has made me realize how far I've come in life and how much I'm growing up. First getting married, then moving up at work. Not to say this is my first promotion (oh, Century, how I miss you!), but this is my first real career-advancing promotion. I feel like I actually have something to look forward to, something that'll be substantial and lasting. The job I'm moving into is great- it's an operations based management position, which is perfect for me. Plus, I get a desk and the pay is pretty awesome. :) So here's to growing up!

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Sweet Future

Our future god-daughter turned one and this was her birthday cake. Her mom and I made and decorated over 150 cupcakes in one evening. Look how great it turned out! I sense a future baking business for G. :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The One-Month Mark

We passed the one-month mark of being married a couple days ago. :) Life has finally settled back into the normal groove of things, which has left me thinking about my "wifely tasks..." Since the wedding is over, I've been left with huge chunks of free time, most of which I fill with work (gotta make that money, honey), but I'm excited to be able to pick up my hobbies again!

I plan on getting back into sewing: I want to make curtains for some of our windows so we can open the blinds and let some of that wonderful sunlight in, without giving our creepy neighbors the chance at a peep show.
I also just got an amazing DSLR camera. Let's just call is a wedding gift... to myself. :) I can't wait to go to Filoli for a photo shoot. It must be gorgeous right now... *sigh*

Dearest and I are also planning a camping trip. We've both camped before, but somehow never together. I guess in the past 3 years we've been together, we haven't had the opportunity. It'll be... interesting. I wonder who will burn down the tent first. ;)

All in all, it's been an exciting past month! I can't wait to see what else is in store for us.

And... here's a pro-pic from the wedding. See my facebook for more. :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Back in the Groove

Dearest and I are finally back in the groove of things. For him, that means playing video games all day. ;) For me, it's back to work. After almost 3 weeks off, I was definitely ready to be back. I'm applying for a promotion at work, but it's a couple levels higher than I am now, so cross your fingers that I get it. My boss is really gunning for me, but it still has to be approved by the regional higher ups.

All in all, the wedding was fantastic, we keep hearing great things about how much fun it was. We're still waiting for the professional pictures, which should be done in a few weeks. I can't wait to see them! :)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

More wedding photos...

Yes, we fist bumped after we kissed.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wedding Recap!

All in all, I'd say the wedding was pretty perfect. It was better than anything I had imagined and we had such a blast. There were a couple hick-ups, like it being 88 degrees (yikes!) and not accounting for my dress for our first dance, but it made the day more memorable. :)

Some highlights:
Me squinting at Dearest during our vows.

My red shoes!
Hmm. Why am I up here all by myself? ;)

Aww. :)

This is one of my favorites. :)

I'm sure there will be tons more pictures and stories to come! :) Stay tuned for more.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Love is Sweet

... so here's a treat! Dearest and I decided pretty early on that we were going to have some sort of edible favor for the wedding. We chose salt water taffy because the area we live in is known for it. We got a great deal on the taffy, all 25 pounds of it, and this past weekend my family came down to help put them together. Teamwork definitely helped!
Dearest doesn't look too pleased that he was working and I was taking pictures. :) About half way through we realized that we had no idea how many we made and how many we had left. In the end, we reached the 250 we needed.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Some Details

Instead of having the classic numbered tables, we decided to name our tables after some of our favorite movies as a tribute to how we met at the movies. It took a while, but they're all finished!
Our flower girl dress arrived today! I can't wait for her to try it on. Don't you love the polka dots?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Because you can't go naked...

We finally got all the guys fitted for their tuxes. We actually had 3 out of the 4 (the 4th is across the country) with us! Although it made me a little worried that we waited until 3 weeks before the wedding to get their measurements in, Dearest wanted to be in tip-top shape. I can't wait to see him; he'll be so spiffy in his tux. :)
We also had our last game night for a while. :( It's gonna be strange to go more than a couple weeks without having one.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Shower & Bachelorette Fun

A few highlights from my bridal shower and bachelorette night. :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

And they're off!

On Tuesday, I sent my beloved invitations out into the world. And based on the RSVPs I've been receiving, they made it in one piece! I heard a horror story from a fellow bride that her envelope seals didn't hold and her invitations were arriving open and even missing some pieces. Yikes! Getting the mail has never been so exciting.

In other news, I had my first gown fitting with my super talented Aunt. It was really exciting to see the dress on me- and with the right length. The best news- it fits! I can still lose a bit more weight with it still fitting, so that's my new goal. No pictures to post- I want it to be a surprise. :)

My mom made these "kissing balls" for the ceremony chairs. How cute are they!?

Monday, March 29, 2010

It's Official... I'm a Bridezilla.

I went to the Post Office today to buy stamps for the invitations. Each one costs 81 cents to send, but they don't have 81 cent stamps. The poor lady must've thought I was crazy, asking to see a bunch of different designs and styles. I finally decided on using two 44 cent stamps with the King & Queen of Hearts design because they fit together to look like one stamp. And yes, it's wasted postage. My thoughts: after all the time and effort put into those invites, I don't want them plastered with strange stamps. I want them to still look pretty even after going through the rough road of the USPS to your hands. My bridezilla moment for the day. :)

Anyway, invites are going out next week!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pie in a Jar

Ever have a craving for a slice of yummy homemade pie, but don't want to take the time to make one? Introducing the Pie in a Jar: homemade pie in individual jars that you can freeze and when you've got the craving, bake up in no time- still in their jars! Plus you can throw a lid back on them and take them on the go to work or on a picnic. :)
All you need is regular pie crust (I always use homemade), regular pie filling recipe (could be apples, cherries, or boysenberries as Dearest loves), and 1/2 pint wide mouth mason jars. Use the pie crust to line the inside of the mason jars- no need to roll it out, just push little pieces onto the sides and bottom, making sure there are no holes or cracks. Be sure to leave enough to make top crusts for them.Fill the jars with filling, about 1/2 cup is needed for each one. (I made apple.)
Make tops for the pies- I did lattice tops and regular tops. If making regular tops, make sure there are vents for the steam to escape when baking later.
You can brush the tops with a bit of butter and sprinkle sugar on as well.
Cover them and freeze until you're ready to enjoy!
If you're worried about the jars busting open (they won't- they're canning jars made for high heat), put the pies in the oven before preheating.
To cook: bake at 375 degrees F for 35-45 mins if fresh, 50-60 if frozen.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I got bored.... I made a flower for my hair for the wedding. I picked a vintage-looking button for the center to go along with my vintage engagement ring. What do you think?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I am so happy to say that the invitations are done! We finished assembling them and 95% have been stuffed and addressed, all ready to be sent out in April. It's been a long road with these invites.... After going to Paper Source with my mom and seeing all the beautiful samples with embossing, we were hooked. Seemed easy enough, until we realized that it was 13 stamps (and powdering and heat gun-ing) PER invitation. We made 100 invites. You do the math. Needless to say, I'm glad it's over. Add Image

Monday, January 25, 2010


I was browsing through my pictures and found some of the dresses that I've tried on. The dress I chose may or may not be in here. You'll just have to wait and find out. ;)
The first one (pics 1 &2) is a gorgeous Oleg Cassini satin dress with tons of beading and a super long train. The second is so light and flowy- perfect for a beach wedding! It's got a beautiful lace up back, too. The third and fourth are definitely two Dearest would like- they have ruching across the bodice and show off my curves. ;) The fifth I've already posted about, but it was my runner up dress.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Forever and always....

Often a phrase associated with love, "forever and always" has popped into my life in a different way. On my quest to be toned and skinny for the wedding, Dearest and I have been running a lot. He thinks it's for marathon training... Shh... ;) We're about 3 weeks into it and I've lost about 4 pounds. My jeans fit a little looser (except that new pair I put in the washer), so I decided to venture out and try on my bikinis.... *GASP* I've been holding onto one for more than a few years, hoping that someday I'd fit into it again. And I did! :D Woohoo! But that's not my point of the post. That's when I realized that all my bikinis have polka dots... As many of you may know, I'm a obsessed with polka dots (hence the background). So love may come and go in my life, although now it's here to stay, but polka dots will be with me forever and always... :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Food Tasting!

People only really go to weddings for the food, right? We had our food tasting for the wedding at the hotel tonight. All the food looked amazing and tasted so good. For hors d'voeurves we had crab cakes with a creole remoulade, portobello puffs (red peppers, cheese and mushrooms wrapped in puff pastry) and mini beef wellingtons. Dearest picked the beef wellingtons since we always watch Hell's Kitchen and they seem to be the hardest for the chefs to cook.
Entrees consisted of Sonoma chicken breast served with wild rice, zuchini and squash.
Alaskan halibut with a saffron beurre blanc over mashed potatoes with asparagus.

Herb crusted salmon with a citrus glaze over mashed potatoes served with broccoli and cauliflower.New York steak with a green peppercorn sauce served with yukon potatoes and green beans.
In the end we decided on the chicken, steak and salmon (with asparagus instead of broccoli). A little tip- the steak was by far the best and the salmon a close second. During cocktail hour, you'll be munching on crab cakes, portobello puffs and rosemary crusted lamb lollipops. Enjoy!