weekend recap

Had a really mellow weekend. I took some random snaps so thought I’d post them here…

Wicked on Friday! (I know you hate it, Ricardo. :P) I loved it but overall I don’t think the singing voices of this touring cast (save for David Nathan Perlow as Fiyero) are as strong as the LA cast I saw a few years back at the Pantages. That’s ok, though. I totally have the original Broadway soundtrack on repeat right now anyway.

Rob got really sick on Saturday morning so he pretty much slept the entire day. I hung out with Diesel and watched The Romantics (it wasn’t very good – Katie Holmes was miscast; her role needed a more subtle and nuanced actress — she and Anna Paquin probably should have switched).

I recently downloaded the Instagram app for my iPhone and LOVE playing around with it. Diesel is my favorite subject. Of course.

Another Diesel pic from last week for good measure. He can be such a lazy bum sometimes.

Rob felt much better today so we ran some errands (Target, I love you!) and picked up frozen treats at Pinkberry.

To close out the weekend, we made a really yummy gumbo for dinner. My friend Jason used to cook this on cold, rainy nights in the Bay Area and while it was neither cold nor rainy here in SoCal today, this gumbo really brought me back to those days. Love that food can evoke good memories.

And that was my low-key weekend. How was yours? 🙂

happy 2009

So it’s the last day of my holiday vacation. 🙁 So sad. But before real life begins again, I have to share some vacation highlights!

1. Spending time with friends and family.
Christmas Eve is spent with my family — my cousin and his wife just bought a Wii so they asked us to bring our games so they could try them out. We brought Guitar Hero with us (with our one measly guitar) and my cousin pretty much spent the entire night playing it all by himself. Heh.

Christmas Day is spent with Rob’s family — his parents hosted lunch and there was a constant stream of relatives visiting all day. I was pretty much parked next to the food table. YUM. Rob watched the Lakers crush the Celtics. 😀

Rob and I also hung out with friends — my best friends and I had a yummy dinner and annual gift exchange (where I received the Gossip Girl s1 DVDs and a gorgeous Paris picture book among other FABULOUS presents). And our friends Daniel and Carolyn hosted a potluck where we dined on healthy foods such as fried chicken, spam musubi, and korean bbq and played Rock Band 2 all night. Well, the guys did. I sang “Hungry Like the Wolf” and that was it. I suck at Rock Band.

2. Looking for (and finding!) an apartment.
Rob and I spent all day on the 26th and 27th driving around Orange County visiting various apartment communities. OMG. They were built by the same developer so after seeing 2 places, they all started to look exactly the same. Except for the kitchens. We barely cook at all but for some reason, the look of the kitchens really made a huge difference in how we felt about the apartments. We really liked 2 communities — Option #1 is a new-ish community (6 years) on the border of Tustin and Irvine and very close to a major retail shopping center and lots of “hustle and bustle.” Option #2 is a brand new community a few miles south close to the Irvine Spectrum but in a more quiet, less developed area. After visiting both locations a second time we went with Option #2. The rent was over a $100 less per month and we couldn’t pass up having a brand new apartment with granite kitchen countertops (sooo pretty). We still feel like we’re central to lots of stuff in the OC (South Coast Plaza!) so that’s good. We anticipate moving in sometime the last week of January. CRAZY!

3. Seeing Jorge Garcia (Hurley from Lost!) at South Coast Plaza. Rob spotted him going up an escalator while we were looking around in Crate and Barrel. I didn’t believe it was him at first but it totally was! I wanted to follow him but chickened out. 😛

4. I had Pinkberry!
I snagged a Pinkberry gift card from work (for some reason, a vendor thought it was a good idea to give out gift cards even though there is not a single Pinkberry in the Bay Area) and treated myself to a large. Oink oink. SO GOOD.

5. Going to CA Adventure and Disneyland!!!!!!!!!!
I’ve never been to DCA and it’s been about 5 years since my last trip to DL so I figured it was about time and I begged Rob to go with me. 😀 He agreed to 2 whole days! WOOT.

First day was spent at CA Adventure. A rundown of our day with some pics thrown in for good measure…

CLICK to see larger versions of the pics.

Grizzly River Run. Fun but I got SOAKED. ICK.

The Golden Gate Bridge!

Tower of Terror. OMG. I screamed and held on to Rob’s arm for dear life during the entire ride. Looking back the feeling of weightlessness is actually pretty cool.

Taking a quick shopping break and trying on the bride and groom Mickey ears!

Next up we went to the Animation Academy where we learned how to draw Donald Duck. This was definitely our favorite attraction of the trip! My drawing is on the left. 😀

Walking around the Wharf (does not beat the real thing right here in the Bay Area)…

Soarin’ Over California. A simulator ride that takes advantage of scent in addition to sight and sound.

California Screamin’. Awesome wooden roller coaster. Probably my favorite ride at DCA.

Mulholland Madness. Fun little mini-coaster.

At the Hollywood Pictures Backlot, I found the cutest fountain. So here I am with my Sorceror Mickey ears taking a picture with the Sorceror Mickey fountain! I have no idea why I am smiling like that. Dork.

Monsters Inc. Cute kiddie ride that takes you through the movie.

And to close our day at DCA, we went back to the Animation Academy to draw Jack Skeleton. My drawing is on the right.

Last picture of the day – Mickey, the “C”, and me!

Some random comments:
— Wow, I am SO OLD. We were only at DCA from about 11am to 9pm but my feet were KILLING me. What happened?!?
— I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it but Rob smokes. And I honestly had no idea that there were smoking areas at DCA. So Rob would leave the park every once in awhile to handle his business. Then we happened upon a smoking area in the Condor Flats area across from Soarin’. Isn’t that crazy? The other one is in the Hollywood Pictures area near the Muppet Vision show. (At Disneyland, there’s a smoking area near Big Thunder Ranch and another at Fantasy Gardens, which I dubbed “Smokey Gardens.” :P)

Overall, I enjoyed DCA but I probably wouldn’t spend another whole day at this park alone… I’d definitely have to mix it up with some time at DL. Still tons of fun, though. I’m sure I’ll be back to draw some more characters at Animation Academy and ride Screamin’!

Our second day was spent at Disneyland. YAYAYAYAYAYAY. I seriously love this place. My face lights up and I get so happy here. *giddy* There was an INSANE amount of people at DL and we missed a lot of the “kiddie” rides due to long lines (and the fact that they don’t have Fast Passes) but we trudged through and still had a great time. 😀 Since it was DL day, I forced Rob out of bed at 6am(!) so we could be at the park by the 8am opening. That didn’t happen exactly as planned but we still arrived around 8:30am.

Matterhorn. Always a classic. One of my faves.

Splash Mountain. After agreeing not to ride any water rides (considering how wet we got after GRR the previous day), we still went on SM when we saw that the stand-by line was only 5 minutes. Well, we got UNBELIEVABLY DRENCHED. So soaked that I had to buy a t-shirt and sweatshirt to replace my dripping sweater. I wish I had a picture of us after the ride but I was preoccupied.

Haunted Mansion with the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay. Going on this ride totally made me want to see this movie.

After breakfast, we made our way over to DCA to go to the Animation Academy again! This time we drew Winnie the Pooh. My drawing is on the right.

Back at Disneyland sporting our Mickey tees!

Hanging out at the Star Trader store in Tomorrowland. One of my favorite stores because they have Star Wars themed merchandise. Heh.

Rob as Buzz Lightyear.

Me as Goofy.

Rob as Eeyore.

Me with an awesome R2D2 backpack I found. 😀

It may be unbelievably crowded during the holidays but I just LOVE seeing all the decorations. Look how gorgeous Sleeping Beauty’s castle is!

Eating a pineapple dole whip. A MUST HAVE.

Indiana Jones Adventure. Not as crazy and fast as I remember but still a goodie. Thank goodness for Fast Pass — the stand-by line for this ride got up to 2 hours!

Pirates of the Caribbean. A good time to rest our tired feet. Also got to see the holiday decorations in New Orleans Square.

Space Mountain. MY MOST FAVORITE RIDE EVER. The Fast Passes for this ride ran out quickly or I would have tried to get another one so we could ride it a second time. It’s the BEST.

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. My first time on this ride! Rob’s score: 63,800. My score: 52,200.

The HUGE Disneyland Christmas tree in the middle of Main Street. We passed it because…

… we were on our way to DCA and the Animation Academy for a second time! This time we drew Minnie Mouse. My drawing is on the left.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Another oldie but goodie.

The castle all lit up!

And Small World too! I took this picture as we were waiting for the Fireworks Spectacular, which were pretty fantastic. I always love the music and the buildup to the Disney “snow” at the end.

Star Tours. Went on this ride because the line was only 10 minutes. It’s ok. I kinda think the video needs to be updated.

And finally, we end our day with another ride on the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. Rob’s score: 14,800. My score: 48,500. I WON!!!

And so ends a great day and a fantastic holiday vacation. 😀

Back to real life tomorrow.

my october

The Starbucks red cups are back! WOOT. This signals the start of my ABSOLUTE favorite time of the year. I got my first red cup of the year today. My signature nonfat peppermint mocha. YUM.

So it doesn’t seem like it but I’m around. Just lazy. As per usual.

My “vote by mail” ballot for today’s election arrived yesterday. WHICH MEANS IT IS TOO LATE FOR ME TO DO ANYTHING WITH IT. Considering I live in Northern CA and am unable to fly down and turn it in to an LA County polling place today. You’d think they’d send the ballots out early enough to give the voter enough time to you know, MAIL IT BACK.

I know, I know. I’m disappointed in myself for not registering for my ballot earlier. 🙁

I just finished watching McCain’s concession and Obama’s acceptance speeches. WOW. I teared up a few times. It’s an amazing day and even though I did not participate, I’m glad I am here to witness it.

So I’ve been meaning to share pictures of some recent events so here goes…

October 18
Rob and I attended our friends’ Eric and Amy’s wedding at the Trump National Golf Club in Southern CA. It was a wonderful event! I definitely appreciate all the little details now that I’ve planned a wedding myself. Some of the gorgeousness…

The pretty, pretty placecards. Amy embossed the cards with a lovely brocade motif. The colors of the wedding were various shades of purple. So lovely.

Trump’s outdoor ceremony site boasts an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean. WOW. And look at all the purple yumminess! The rose petals along the aisle, the hydrangea balls hanging on the shepherd’s hooks, and the pashminas laid out on the chairs.

The gorgeous bride coming down the aisle…

They had my favorite Sprinkles cupcakes instead of a traditional cake. Terrible photo but YUMMY cupcakes.

A picture of the husband and me during cocktail hour. (It is still SO WEIRD to say “husband”). And yes, I wore that blue dress to yet another event this year. 😀

October 26
Rob, Diesel and I were invited by our friends Shirley and Grantland to attend Farm Day with them at the Terra Firma Farm in Winters. It was a gorgeous day — perfect for the farm! Shirley prepared a picnic lunch for us (turkey sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, chips) and the farm provided freshly squeezed juices to drink (the apple was particularly yummy).

Sitting on the picnic blanket waiting for treats.

Rob and Diesel enjoying the day in the sun.

Rob picking strawberries. They were SO GOOD.

As we were leaving, we walked past a large dog that kinda looked like a pitbull. He was tied to a tree with his owners nowhere around. When Rob and Diesel walked by him (I think it was a him), he jumped for Diesel and started biting his poor little face. Rob got in the middle and Grantland pulled the crazy dog away by his leash (luckily he was there because I didn’t know what to do and totally froze). After a few tense minutes, they got the dogs separated. Diesel was shaken and had a cut by his nose but he was his old self in no time. He’s a tough little guy.

October 31
But also Girls Weekend in LA with my best friends. We didn’t dress up but I wore purple cat ears. 😀 No picture, though, sorry. We spent the weekend eating, relaxing at Le Spa, shopping, watching Center Stage… it was great. AND I got to have Pinkberry! YAY.

Now I’m gearing up for a tough few weeks at work and looking forward to the holidays. I love this time of year.

intj + isfj

I’m back from my long weekend in LA. And of course, I return to find that a stinky virus hit a ton of Coppermine sites — one of which is CreekCaps.com. UGH. A few people have emailed me about the problem and it’ll probably take me a few days to get the site cleaned up. I so don’t want to do this right now. Don’t these people have better things to do than mess with personal sites?!? I mean, REALLY. GAWD. Huge thanks to Mandy at Josh-Jackson.net for letting me know about the attacks.

What a pain.


Rob and I had a good weekend in LA visiting family and meeting with our wedding vendors. Here’s a quick rundown…

In the morning, I visited Candi Merle, a super popular SoCal veil maker, to discuss veils (obviously). Trying on veils made me feel even more “bridal” than trying on dresses. I tried on a bunch of options from short to looooooong. The short veils seemed to make me look even shorter than I already am and the really looooooong ones had way too much fabric for me to handle. I settled on one that cascades along the side and just barely touches the floor. SQUEE. It’s supposed to arrive in a few weeks. I can’t wait to prance around the apartment in it. 😀 Just kidding. Kind of.

That night we had dinner with Rob’s friends at Hometown Buffet in honor of a late friend’s birthday. The buffet was nothing spectacular but they had some amazing cornbread. Mmm. Too bad they ran out before I had the chance to snag another piece. I think that was a sign that I should be scaling back on the carbs. 😛
We also opened the presents we’ve received so far — they’re all being delivered to Rob’s parent’s house since there is just no room here. Our friends are such generous people. *sniff* Here’s Rob with the Kitchenaid Mixer! I never thought we’d actually get this…

Rob and I had our first Marriage Prep class. A 4 hour session on a Sunday! But as much as we were dreading it, I really feel like we got a lot out of it. We started off with the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, which is a personality test designed to tell you about your yourself. I discovered that I am an ISFJ (quiet, likes order, good at responsibilities, thoughtful) and Rob is an INTJ (analytical, logical, mentally quick). The descriptions fit us perfectly. We learned how our personality types work together and were, again, totally blown away by the accuracy of the advice. For example, with my personality, I need more affection from Rob so it is suggested that he smile and look at me lovingly, especially when seeing me for the first time. BWAH! But totally on point. Seriously.

Next we took the FOCCUS, which is a survey of 189 questions(!) designed to help facilitate discussion between engaged couples. This totally made me realize that while we’re on the same page with regards to most issues, there are still some things we need to talk about, like religion and family planning. Who knew that getting married isn’t just planning a party? 😛

Finally, we had a private meeting with the Father officiating our wedding to go over the structure of the ceremony. OMG. This was the meeting that gave me the whole “butterflies” feeling. Choosing which vows we wanted to read, practicing where we’re going to stand… it’s the weirdest thing, I tell you.

We had a couple of meetings in the morning — one with our fab coordinator Angel and another at our venue to go over the details, like linens, miscellaneous stationery, timeline of the reception, lighting, etc, etc, etc. OMG, you guys. There is SO MUCH STUFF to think about. Just a year ago I had NO IDEA. Wowzers.

As a sweet treat before the drive back to the Bay, we stopped by the Pinkberry in Huntington Beach. Here I am with a LARGE (don’t worry, Rob had some too) Original Yogurt with strawberries, Captain Crunch, and mochi. Heaven.

Why is my face so ROUND? UGH.

And that was my weekend! Phew. Sorry for all the rambling… I didn’t really want to monopolize my blog with wedding planning entries but I realized that it’s taking over my life right now and my blog should reflect that…

Random — I just noticed that Mario Kart for the Nintendo Wii is being released next week. I’m SO going to get it. I love racing games. Even though I’m totally awful at them.


venue search

I got back into the routine of things here so quickly that I totally forgot to blog about my trip to LA last weekend. The first thing that comes to mind is that it was HOT. Unbelievably hot. But seriously, I had a fabulous weekend. Rob and I were running around LA & the OC for wedding meetings but we still had time to hang out… I got to catch up with my best friends (and bridesmaids!), we attended a friend’s barbecue and sat around their pool, and we even took our parents’ out to dinner so we could all finally sit down together. It was the kind of weekend that reminded me of how much I love Southern CA. I really do miss it.

OH! I also got to try Pinkberry, which is the frozen yogurt craze that’s taken over LA (the chain has been seen on MTV’s The Hills). I really, really liked it. I had an original yogurt with strawberry and mochi (rice cake) toppings. YUM. It’s expensive, though.

Anyway, does anyone remember the last time Rob and I were in LA scouting out possible wedding venues? Well, now that we’ve picked a venue, I thought I’d go back and post pictures and thoughts from the others that we didn’t choose. Mostly because I think it might be nice to have a journal, if you will, of the wedding planning process.

(I know it’s starting to be ALL WEDDING, ALL THE TIME here but I can’t help it! It’s pretty much taken over my life… but I’m trying my best not to blog exclusively about wedding stuff. Really, I am!).

Here we go…

La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes

It’s located high on a hill in the Palos Verdes Estates and it’s a phenomenal venue. The ceremony site overlooks the Pacific Ocean…

I could totally see us getting married here if the set-up for the reception area was different. As it is, the dining tables are in a separate room than the dance floor so the whole flow didn’t feel right. The dining area was also super tight, like there wasn’t a lot of room to move around freely.

Seven Degrees in Laguna Beach

seven-degrees looks like a fun, fun place to have a wedding but pretty much as soon as Rob and I got there, we knew it wasn’t for us. It has a totally hip and modern feel and we’re not exactly a hip and modern couple, lol. It’s a multi-purpose creative space that’s used to showcase art, paintings, etc. I wish I had a photo of the ballroom to share because it’s amazing… it has the latest in audiovisual technology and super cool lighting. (Carmen, if you’re reading this, I can totally see you getting married at a place like this — it’s so trendy and chic).

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