Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Foto: Sydney Bridge Climb

We went to Australia for our honeymoon last year. We visited Lizard Island, Port Douglas and finished our 2-week trip in Sydney.

Of course, one of the things we had to do there (beside see an opera at the famous Opera House), was experience the Sydney Bridge Climb.  They make you wear those super snazzy jumpers and a latch that attaches to a static line on the bridge, so you won't have to worry about your safety.  They don't let you take cameras or cell phones with you since there's the possibility of dropping them on to oncoming traffic below - that would be no bueno.  The sunglasses we were wearing had to have those neck straps connected to them, so they don't fall off our body.

Here's an excerpt about the climb from their website:

The Bridge Climb is a 3 ½ hour guided journey to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It takes you along the outer arch of the Bridge on catwalks and ladders all the way to the summit, 134 metres above Sydney Harbour.

The steady incline to the summit leaves you free to focus your attention on your Sydney experience, with opportunities to witness 360 degree views of Sydney, including east to the Sydney Opera House, west to the Blue Mountains and the Harbour city surrounds.

When you reach the top you will have a sense of achievement that you will remember forever - you've conquered an Australian icon recognised the world over!

The Bridge Climb is the ultimate Sydney experience.

It truly was an amazing experience to be on top of that bridge!  The view was breathtaking - and not just because we were at a higher elevation :) If you ever have a chance to visit Sydney, I would definitely recommend the Bridge Climb -- worth every penny!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

All We Need is Laughter

The other night, the hubs made a mean spirited joke at the worst moment, which resulted in a very upset me giving him the silent treatment. He apologized for said joke, but sometimes I can be a stubborn B-word and that night I was not going to let it go that easily (please tell me I'm not the only one who does this). I'm really good at holding my ground, too. I can stare him down and not even flinch. You do not want me to get upset. It's not cute.

Then, he went and did something like this (Note: This story will only make sense if you've seen Avatar. Otherwise, the story will sound a little stupid and you'll be left thinking "WTHeck?"):

[We were in bed and I had my back turned to him since I was trying to show how upset I was]

Hubs: "Are you still mad? I said I was sorry."

Me: [silent]

[Hubs twisted my hair into a ponytail and touched the ends of my hair to the top of his buzzed head, simulating the Na'vi hair connection. I couldn't see him doing this because my back was turned, but I could feel the top of his head nuzzled against the back of my neck]

And I laughed. Hard. I laughed hard because I thought of how ridiculous I was for trying to be mad at someone who was just so darn cute. Why fight over something as stupid as a joke about my hair (or whatever it is I overreact about on a given day)?

Laughter resolves a lot of our stupid tiffs -- we rarely have arguments that last longer than 5 minutes anymore. Because, in the end, is it really worth it to fight for hours about nothing? From time to time, we still do get mad at each other and that's completely normal, but we try our hardest not to sweat the small stuff. After all, we are spending the rest of our lives together, I think it would be best if we got along :)

Our Avatars were created here

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I'm Feeling Blue...berries

The kitchen is my favorite room in our house.  It's not gigantic, but it's filled with tons of fun gadgets that we registered for during our wedding and has pretty granite tops and a fun stone backsplash. 

This picture was taken before we moved in when I was showing my mom the house.  Sorry, I don't have a recent picture of all our kitchen gadgets, but you can see the counter tops and backsplash.  That's my mom

The problem is:  I don't cook or bake (much).  Sure, I'll make a pasta meal or grill some chicken every few weeks, and during holidays I like to whip up my go-to appetizers and dessert recipes, but other than that, the kitchen stays pretty unused.  That's why it's so pretty. 

Anyway, my wonderful FIL stopped by this morning and delivered 5 lbs of blueberries that he got on his recent trip to Oregon.  FIVE POUNDS!! (I understand to some that may not seem like a lot, but I never buy blueberries at the store -- though I do love eating them when they're available)

I took a handful to work today to eat as a snack, but... what am I going to do with the rest of the 4.98 lbs?!

So, I am on a mission.  I am looking for wonderful recipes (easy enough for a complete cooking/baking idiot) that incorporate blueberries.   That way, I can finally use some of the cool kitchen doohickies that have been collecting dust in the past year. I'm throwing a party for my brother's birthday at the house this weekend, so I hope to have a few ideas by then.... but I kinda need help. 

How do I know if a recipe is "good"?  Do you have any yummy ones you'd like to share?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Calves are Permanently Flexed

As a little girl, I used to love holidays like Easter and Christmas when my mom would buy me a new pair of shoes with little one-inch heels.  I would leave them on all day and walk up and down our hallway until my mom would yell at me to stop because I was making her dizzy.  I remember asking her if I could wear my fancy heels to school, but she would say "no"  and that heels were just for "special occasions".

Then, sometime during the peak of the Spice Girls craze, also around the same time I started plucking my eyebrows (should've started when I was 5! They were monstrous!) and wearing lipstick, my parents decided to let me wear heels to school.  Most of my friends were obsessing over Eastbay catalogues and talking about which Nikes they were going to get next, but I wasn't really into that.  I liked wearing my heels. I loved the way wearing heels made my walk feel more graceful and feminine... not to mention, I was freakin' 3-inches taller!  I wore heels everyday to school from the 8th grade until I graduated high school (changing during P.E. and badminton practice, of course).  Same in college. To this day, you will rarely see me in flats... no matter how much I wish I could.

This is how I feel standing next to Matthew in flats

You see, I'm short... and my husband is not. He's 6'3'' while I am 5'0'' (give or take 1/8 of an inch).  That's a whole 15-inch difference.  Without shoes, I reach his chest.  If he were to walk looking straight ahead, I probably would not be in his line of vision and he'd walk straight into me (this has never happened of course, but I'm sure it could)!  Matthew loves me and doesn't care about my height, but I sometimes feel super conscious about it.  I'm totally fine around my family and circle of friends since we're all roughly similar in elevation, but when I'm around my hubs' family and friends that's a whole other story. 

I'm not sure if they're ready to make their blog debut, so I've drawn a representation of what it looks like when I take a picture with Matthew and his siblings:

This is with heels, too!  I know no one really cares and most of the time I don't either, but sometimes I wish I were just a few inches taller.  Because I'm not, I've resorted to constantly wearing high heels.  They need to be at least 3-inches, but can be as high as 5" before my walk gets compromised.   Unfortunately, the only type of flats I have in my closet are either running shoes, uggs, or flip flops. 

When I take pictures with flats on, I make sure to stand on my tiptoes so my legs are elongated and I can continue the illusion that I'm 5'3''.  There are so many cute, stylish ballet flats and sandals that I am always so tempted to buy... but I just can't pull the trigger.  There have been many days where I just want to make a quick trip to the store and wish I had some cute slip-ons to wear for comfort, but since I never buy any, I have to strap on my 4" stilettos just to buy eggs!! It's insane. 

I am so concerned about this stupid height thing that I almost wore 7-inch shoes on my wedding day!  Thank goodness I did not because I probably would have face planted numerous times throughout the day! 

What about you... were you blessed with the height gene and don't have to worry about being tall enough to reach the cereal boxes on the top shelf? 

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Well-Needed Lazy Sunday

I don't like to "waste" weekends.  We only get two days a week to unwind and do whatever we want without having to worry about waking up early the next day.  Whether it's lunch with girlfriends or an impromptu indoor trampoline funhouse excursion with the hubs, I'm game.  (Most of my weekend events are centered around eating and not physical activities, because I'm lazy like that -- but I'll have a couple events requiring movement other than chewing interspersed somewhere in the month.)

Yesterday, however, I was not in the mood to do anything.  I just wanted to sleep all day and have a quiet  lazy Sunday with my boys.

So that's what we did.

Bulldogs are awesome if for this reason alone... They love to sleep!  Hubs and I don't feel too guilty when if we don't take them out for a walk, because they'd rather sit in an air-conditioned room and watch TV, too!

Sometimes they sleep apart, but more often than not, they find where the other is laying down and plop down right next to him.

Take a look at their sleeping positions yesterday. I promise we did not pose them.

Apparently, Harry's favorite pillow is his brother Marv's butt.
The two cuddling brothers

Since I didn't really want to do chores either, I decided to pick up my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and re-read it before the movie comes out in a few months.  Reading HP always brightens my mood, since it takes me back to my college years when I'd skip lectures just to finish reading the latest installment.  I even took a class devoted to studying the J.K. Rowling series and wrote my final about Dumbledore's obsession with socks.  Yeah, I'm kind of a geek (I'm lazy, a slob and a geek -- isn't Matthew lucky?!).  I have even talked Matthew into going to a couple of the midnight premiere showings of the movies:

Before the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix premiere in 2007

Anyway, it was nice staying in and curling up with one of my favorite books.  I do kind of feel guilty for not doing more... but this next weekend should be more exciting.  I plan on FINALLY crossing something off of my 30 before 30 list.  Stay tuned :)

What did you do yesterday?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Foto: Corneal Ulcer

Some time last year, I woke up with a feeling that something was in my right eye.  I checked in the mirror and didn't see anything, so I went about my morning ritual, including putting in my contact lenses. Ed note: I cannot believe I missed the typos earlier... The first sentence read "Some time last year, I work up with a feeling that someone was in my right eye." Hahahah. I'm an idiot.

I've worn contacts since I was 15 (glasses since 13) and never had an issue, but that morning, when I put a contact in my right eye, it hurt like a mother!  Still, I hate the way I look in glasses, so because of my vanity, I told myself to suck it up and left the contact in.

Throughout my drive to work though, I kept blinking because the irritation didn't go away.  At a red light, I inspected my right eye closer and saw a teeny, tiny white speck on my iris (the brown part of my eye).  Rubbing it away didn't work, and I began to worry. As soon as I got to work, I removed the contact from my right eye... I still needed to keep the contact in my left eye because I am pretty much BLIND without them.

I don't know if you wear contacts, but wearing only ONE is super difficult.  My spacial awareness was all off and staring at my computer with two different visions was starting to make me dizzy.  So, I decided to make myself a patch to cover my right eye:

I'm obviously not very happy in this picture...

Cute, right? Ha... I thought it would be funny to draw an eye on the patch, but as you can see, my placement was all sorts of wrong. 

Long story short, I went to an optometrist who told me I had a corneal ulcer in my right eye, due to bacteria from my contacts.  Basically the bacteria from my dirty contacts ate away at the first few layers of my eye.  Yuck. So I WARN all you contact wearing folks, be sure to clean your contacts AND contact case every night.  Also, don't try to wear them longer than what's recommended.  I had 2-week disposables that I would sometimes wear for a MONTH before throwing out.  Stupid.  Having an ulcer was probably one of the WORST experiences in my life.  I had to put drops in every 30 minutes (even throughout the night) for 2 weeks straight!

Thank goodness my loving husband gifted me with LASIK/PR-K surgery for Valentine's Day this year.  It's a whole new world waking up with 20/15 vision.  I love not having to worry about taking my contacts out every night before going to bed or ruining my glasses after falling asleep with them on.

Do you have a horror story about contacts?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

How Far to Heaven?

“How far to heaven? Just open your eyes and look. You are in heaven” -Shankar

Man, I wish I could be back in Hawaii again... This was taken back in 2008 while we were in Oahu for one of my BFF's wedding.  We decided to stay a little longer after the nuptials and visited Kaua'i for a week and a half before going back to Cali...

I can't wait to go back.  My heaven is just a 6-hour flight away....

Mama's Losin' It

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Don't Blink

December 2009

....You just might miss your babies growing like mine did! (Points if you know which song that line comes from)

I was browsing through the picture folders on my laptop last night and came across what has got to be my favorite picture of H&M.  It was taken just a couple of days after we took them home, while they were still learning and taking in their new environment.  It was so cute watching them as they got used to the feeling of cement underneath their paws, only to be shocked when they stepped off the pavement onto the newly put in lawn.  They maneuvered cautiously at first, sniffing everything in site, but soon felt comfortable enough to run around and chase each other.  It seemed to take them forever to get from one end of the turf to the other.  They were my tiny 8 lb babies.

7 months and 45 lbs later, H&M strut around the backyard like they're kings.  They like to sunbathe and chew on sprinkler heads.  They take "treasures" they find from the garage and hide them in different corners of the yard.  It only takes a few strides for them to reach the other side of the lawn. They're still my babies, but they're my BIG babies now. :)

July 2010 - After a long day of playing in the sun

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lilac Baptism: The Reveal

This past Saturday was the day of the baptism I was prepping for all of last week.  I put off finishing the favors until Friday night and also had the centerpieces to work on, so I didn't get to go to bed until 3AM the morning of the party!  For some reason though, I had a lot of energy and didn't have too much trouble waking up 5 hours later to go to the venue to set up.  No coffee was required either!!  My lovely hubs helped me load/unload everything and was the best helper!  He has quite an eye for design and is very much a perfectionist (I'm more of a "ehh, that looks good enough" type of person -- it's the Libra in me), so he was a definite asset to me that morning. 

We finished setting up with plenty of time to get ready and head over to the baptism ceremony.  It was beautiful and Baby L is one of the cutest babies ever.  After the ceremony, we headed to the reception and had a great time with family.

Of course, as promised, here are some pictures of how everything turned out.  All photos were taken using our camera phones, since we still do not have a replacement for the point & shoot I lost in the beginning of this month.  (We were going to get a new one, but I decided I wanted the new iPhone 4 instead - the new cam will have to wait a little longer... maybe a D-SLR instead? That hint's for you, hubs)

I also included a breakdown of the cost for everything, in case you wanted to do something similar for your next party.


80 Favors = $43.18/80 = $.54 each
-8 bags of caramel corn from Target = $34.55
-2 packs of 40-count favor bags from Michaels = $8.64
-20 pieces of white cardstock paper + staples + ink = FREE (leftover from previous projects)

Pom Poms:

10 Pom Poms = $5.35/10 = $.54 each
-Jewelry wire and fishing wire = FREE (leftover from previous projects)
-5 packs of gift-wrapping tissue paper from Target and Dollar Story = $.99/each


Custom Name Banner = $7.23
-Cardstock from Michaels = $2.93
-Ribbon from Michaels = $3.22
-Design tape from Michaels = $1.07


10 Centerpieces = $140.57/10 = $14.57 per table
-9 bunches of flowers from Costco = $89.18
-10 sheets of cardstock = $6.85
-10 small bowls from Michaels = $12.72
-Floating candles: $14.80
-Design tape from Michaels = $1.07
-2 bags of decorative rocks from Michaels = $13.80
-Food coloring for water = $2.15
-Vases = FREE (had a ton of vases leftover from wedding)

And how can this post be complete without a picture of the guest of honor:

CIL J, Baby L (grabbing my hair), and me

Top 2 Tuesday - I Want....

This week's topic for Top 2 Tuesday is "Things You Want to Purchase".

Here are my Top 2... or at least the first 2 things that I thought of... Of course, I still need a camera, but I'd feel like a broken record if I mention that again.

1. Triple Rope Ring by Pamela Love.  I don't really wear jewelry other than my engagement and wedding band.... I'm not great at accessorizing, but this piece caught my eye.  It's kinda country but chic at the same time.  The only thing is, I lose things a lot, unless it's permanently on me.  I never take off my rings (not even while doing the dishes or in the shower) which is probably the only reason why they're still in my possession.  Still, I want the ring... if I get it though, I would basically be throwing $350 out the window since I'm bound to lose that thing within a month!   Who am I kidding -- probably within a week!

2. The Cricut.  My hands were definitely feeling sore after painstakingly cutting the letters manually for Baby L's banner.  It took me a good 30 minutes to finish cutting 6 letter when I know it would have taken 30 seconds on the Cricut.  I'm not sure if I do enough crafting to really get my money's worth, but I have seen so many ways you can use it... I've been coveting the Cricut since our engagement, but never got it.  I think now's the time....

If you want to play, feel free to click the link above, head to Taylor's blog and link up!

Monday, July 19, 2010

I Have a Fear of Holes

I was inspired by Jen and LoaDW who recently wrote about their irrational fears to write a post of my own on the same subject.

For the most part, I don't scare easily.  This is probably attributed to my over-protective mom who did all the worrying for me and my brother while growing up.  Sometimes her fears were overkill (ummm... she used to follow me to school every morning -- I was a senior in high school and drove myself, but she insisted to drive behind me to ensure that I got there safely... talk about embarrassing). So I fought hard to prove her wrong -- that the world is not out to get me and every bad news story she hears on the radio will not necessarily happen to me. (My mom says I'll only understand her feelings when I become a mom... and I don't doubt that, since other moms I know tell me the same thing... but I'm not a mother yet, so for now, I'm sticking with my belief that she's a little crazy)

I don't mind being at home by myself (despite the weird creaking noises I hear that only seem to occur when I'm home alone). 

I like doing "thrilling" things that most people would avoid - bungee jumping, sky diving, performing on stage, etc.

I find scary movies fun to watch (though I can't tell you when the last time I saw a scary movie was because no one else I know seem to enjoy them).

However, I am scared of a few things that others probably won't be able to relate with... or maybe you can relate.  If so, please let me know, so I don't feel so bad about them.

Bees.  I understand that I am like a million times bigger than a bee and can kill it in an instant if it gets too close for comfort, but the moment I hear that buzzing, I scream and run around in circles as if I were 5-years-old again.  I have never been stung before and from what others have told me, getting stung doesn't hurt all that bad, but I don't ever want to know the feeling.  Bees in cartoon form are fine and I do love honey on cornbread, but those black and yellow winged creatures with their pointy bottoms give me the creeps. I try really hard to suppress my fears, especially if I'm at a work function and other colleague are around me, but I cannot help myself and run for safety if a bee flies by.  I've even seen that Dakota Fanning/Queen Latifah bee movie in hopes that I might gain a new appreciation for them and maybe learn to tolerate being around them, but couldn't handle it.  I even had to mute the portions that had excessive buzzing. 

Losing teeth.  I freak out every time I wake up from dreams where I end up losing teeth.  And it happens pretty often.  I don't know why, but I have dreams where one of my teeth becomes loose and in my dream I try really hard to keep it from falling out.  I try to pushing it back in, avoid my tongue getting near it, and once even tried to using glue to keep the tooth in.  Somehow though, the tooth always falls out and that's when I wake up.  Immediately, I check to see that all 28 teeth are still there, which has been the case so far, but I cannot rest easy for at least half an hour after a nightmare like that.  I brush my teeth everyday and floss often (though not as much as recommended), so I have no idea where these dreams come from.  I've looked up the dream definition online but couldn't find anything that made sense to me...

Holes.  Not just any hole.  I am scared of tiny holes in asymmetrical clusters (as pictured below).  I get all itchy and squirmy when I look at that picture... it's such an uncomfortable feeling.  Some of you may have seen an email thread about washing newly purchased bras before wearing and encountered a similar image to the one shown below on the bottom of the email (If you haven't seen it -- good!! Please do not google it.. trust me. It's disgusting).  That picture gave me nightmares for DAYS!!!  When Matthew wants to freak me out, he just need to mention that image and I get skeeved out and almost vomit. 

Great... why did I look at that picture?!  I feel so uneasy right now...

Do you have any irrational fears?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Foto: Harvy

My mom is funny. Not in the she-tells-great-jokes kind of way... She immigrated to the United States about 30 years ago from the Philippines and can speak English fluently but still has a slight accent. Sometimes the fob in her will come out and she'll say or do things like this:

[Mom and I are driving on the freeway when all of a sudden, someone cuts her off causing us to swerve and almost hit the car in the other lane]

Mom: Look at dat stupid guy! He almost hit us!
Me: I know! What a jerk!
Mom: I hate him [she makes the "thumbs up" gesture with her hand and pumps it in the air for the car in front to see]
Me: What are you doing?
Mom: I'm showing him how angry he made me!
Me: [laughing] Umm.. no you're not! You're telling him "good job"! You're supposed to use your MIDDLE finger if you want him to know you don't like him.

See? She's funny. I love her.

Also, she can never tell our two dogs, Harry and Marv, apart. They have distinct looks, but no matter how many times we tell her who's who, she never gets it right and more often than not, she refers to Harry as "Harvy" - unintentionally combining the two names.

I kinda like it. Instead of H&M, I might start using "Harvy" to refer to both our little bullies:

iPhone pic

Thursday, July 15, 2010

H&M's Favorite Chew Toys

I think H&M have been bored at the house lately. Since they cannot be fully trusted to stay inside the house without supervision for 12 hours while we are at work, we have a nice area set up for them in the garage. There's a doggy door to the backyard, so they go in and out throughout the day as they please. We make sure to provide them with plenty of toys to play with but for some reason, they like to chew on the dry wall and rummage through the donation boxes we have in the garage to find "new toys" to chew and destroy:

Bad doggies. 

It's fine since those shoes were going to be donated anyway... I guess H&M love high heels just as much as their mommy*!!!

*I don't chew on heels, of course... I just wear them :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Letter to Me

writing a letter

Familiar with that Brad Paisley song? If not, you should listen to it... it's some good stuff (if you like Country). The song is about what Mr. Paisley would have said to his 17-year-old self... here's a snippet:

"And oh you got so much going for you going right
But I know at 17 it’s hard to see past Friday night
She wasn’t right for you
And still you feel like there’s a knife sticking out of your back
And you’re wondering if you’ll survive
You’ll make it through this and you’ll see
You’re still around to write this letter to me"

It got me thinking... What would I say if I could write a letter to myself 10 years ago? I probably would tell myself to stop thinking I was fat because I will never fit into the jeans I wore in high school ever again... Or to spend more time with my Lola (grandmother) instead of hanging out with friends at every chance I had.

Though I can't go back in time to change what I would have done differently in the past, I did find this cool site where you can write to yourself in the future - It's pretty neat and easy to do! You just go to the site, write a letter, and choose the date you want the letter e-mailed to you.

I learned about the site last year - in the midst of all the wedding planning - and decided to write a letter to the future married me on our 6-month anniversary. I totally forgot about it, so when I saw the email on February 8, 2010, it was a huge surprise. I found it funny looking back at what my biggest worries were. Everything worked out and I didn't really need to stress about them as much as I had:

Dear FutureMe,

It is July 16th, 2009 and you are getting ready to marry the love of your life on August 8, 2009.

In the past few weeks, these have been your...

Biggest Worries:

- Berni not having the window decal and having to order new ones
- Macy's (concord) giving Matthew's rehearsal suit away
- Finishing the wedding programs!
- Wrapping all the BM & GM presents in time for the rehearsal dinner

Happiest Moments:

- My Bridal Shower and all the presents! Woohoo for lingerie.
- No-Hitter Giants game on our 8-year anni - we're the Giants' lucky charm!

Next on To-Buy List:

- Petals & Bubble Bath for Ner’s wedding night
- Frame for Giants' game tix

Moments looking forward to:

- Ner & Marc's rehearsal & wedding!

The last 18 months have truly been a whirlwind of events, but I have had sooo much fun doing it and spending every moment with Matthew...

I love him. He makes my heart smile.

I am so excited to finally be married and spend 13 days in Australia!!!

Aubrey [Maiden Name]

Haaa. I'm so cheesy sometimes... I even make myself gag a little from the corniness of my writing. Anyway, I enjoyed the exercise so much that I wrote myself another letter for my 30th birthday. You should, too! Here. Do it now :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Simple Joys: Snoodling

My first alarm goes off at 4:20 in the morning.  I hit the snooze button immediately.  After all, I don't really need to get up until 5:30.

The next alarm goes off at 5:30.... I'm still so tired and my eyes do not want to stay open.  I nudge the hubs to try to get him to wake up, so I can sleep while he gets ready first.  This fails. Every time.  (He says I have to get ready first because I take longer... fine, I guess that makes sense.)

"Is it OK if I get up in 3 minutes?" I ask the hubs.  There's really no reason for me to ask permission since I'm the one with the start time, while he can come in whenever he wants, but I feel less guilty about it when someone else gives me the green light. 

He says, "Yes", of course -- though the word 'yes' never comes out.  It's more often a grunt which I take to mean 'yes'.  After all, three minutes for me equals three additional minutes for him.  Win-win.

We almost always start off the evenings in a spooning position, but somewhere between "good night" and "oh-my-god-we're-so-late-get-up-now!", we drift to our separate sides of the bed.

However, during these last few moments of sleep, he opens his arms to fit me into his nook, which I've deemed to be my favorite place in the world.  We cuddle together until the 3 minute snooze alarm goes off, and I roll out of bed to begin the day.

Snooze + Cuddling = Snoodling* and it's the best feeling.

You feel like you're getting over on the world by getting to sleep in those extra few minutes, PLUS you get to share the experience with one you love the most.    It's my favorite part of the day and makes every morning a little more bearable...

source - the nook!

*Obviously "snoodling" is not a real word - it's just something I made up.  However, I did a quick google search and found some disturbing definitions for "snoodling" on  Urban Dictionary.  That is NOT what I'm talking about.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sneak Peek: Lilac Baptism

Remember the inspiration board I was working on last month for CIL J's daughter's baptism?  Well, the party is this weekend and I'm really excited but at the same time kinda nervous.  I hope my ideas are received well and CIL J isn't disappointed!

Last week during the few hours I have between dinner and bed time, I worked on finishing the centerpiece details and other decoration ideas.  It was a lot of work, but I had a really fun time shopping at Michael's and creating something out of nothing.  All I have left to do this week are the favors - woohoo!

I'll definitely post pictures after the event is over, but for now, here's a little sneak peak*:

*sorry for the poor quality camera phone images

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Our Google Search Story

This is our Google Search Love Story.  I find it fitting to post this video today since it is the 9th anniversary of the day my hubs and I became a couple - love you, honey.

circa 2001 @ the hub's 18th birthday party

 You can make your own google search story, too! click here.  Thanks, Kim, for sharing the link!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Story of the Missing Fuji

I went into our office the other night with plans to upload our pictures and video from our Reno weekend.

Matthew took some super cute shots of our babies sleeping like little angels.

Plus, I made sure to diligently document the things we did to post on this blog!

I looked in my purse, where I remembered seeing it last, and only found loose change, old receipts, my wallet, and lip gloss.

I walked to the living room where Matthew was watching ESPN (not sure about this fact, but 9 times out of 10 the TV will be on ESPN if I'm not in the room with him) and proceeded to scan our bar counter top to see if I placed it there. Nope.

I quickened my pace as I went upstairs to check our suitcase. I didn't remember seeing it when we unpacked last night, but maybe I did and put it away in our bedroom. Suitcase was completely empty and our room showed no trace of the camera.

F word.

I pretty much ran downstairs to check our cars in the garage. I thought maybe it fell out of my purse on the way home (I tend to leave my purse unzipped - I know... bad habit. My mom constantly reminds me when I see her, yet I never learn). But our little white Fuji camera was still nowhere in sight in any of our cars.

At that point, Matthew sensed something was wrong and asked me what I was looking for. "Have you seen our camera, honey?" I asked. "Nope," he said and continued to stare at the tube.

Shortly after, it was time for bed, so we went to sleep -- or at least, he did. I was busy recounting my steps from the weekend, trying to remember where I left it, but my memory was all fuzzy. There was no way I left it in the hotel room... right?

You see, I *almost* lose things A LOT. Like, I don't know where my phone is and spend so many minutes looking for it, but I always find it (knock on wood). Or, I leave my debit card in my pocket and look for it the next day in my wallet but of course it's not there because it's still in my jeans from the day before. I scare myself a lot with my occasional absent-mindedness and vow to be more careful with my belongings, but in most cases, things work out and I think there's no reason to be more careful anymore because I never lost anything to begin with. (I like to rationalize my flaws because fixing them takes too much effort for me)

Anyway, I thought my camera would turn up eventually.

It's been almost a week and I've called the hotel a few times already to see if someone turned our camera in, but I got nothing.

So, it's now time for me accept that I lost our camera. I mean, it wasn't the greatest and most expensive thing in the world. Heck, we didn't even really like our camera at first. We only got it because it was THE ONLY camera we could buy in Port Douglas, Australia. There was only one store in the entire city that sold cameras and that cute, white Fuji thing was the last one they had left. It probably cost twice as much as it would, had we bought it at Costco here in the US, but our camera broke and we needed to document the rest of our honeymoon. We've had to endure countless teasing from some of the hub's friends because of the rhinestones on faceplate, but at the same time, we've also grown attached to that thing. It was our favorite Australian souvenir and served as a good conversational piece.

We can replace it - I know it's not the end of the word. But man, I failed at being responsible and that feeling just plain sucks. I wanted to get the new iPhone 4, but now that we have to get a new camera, I would feel bad to get both... so I'll have to make do with the old school 2G version (the battery dies after just an hour of usage) for a little longer.

Anyone out there make a recent point & shoot camera purchase lately? I'd love to hear recommendations... we are planning our 1-year wedding anniversary in August, and would like to have a camera by then.

Or if you want to scold me for being completely careless and stupid, go for it... I deserve it.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Friday Foto: Blue Sky

This is a view from our little commuter car, on my way to pick up the hubs after work. It was taken using my 1st generation iPhone 2G (yup, I haven't upgraded yet) - hence the horrible 2MP quality.

Still, check out the blue sky.

I'm inside of a building all day long, so I often don't get a chance to appreciate the beauty of the world outside of these four walls.

I think I will eat lunch outside today. My skin needs some Vitamin D and the weather over here has been rather wonderful lately.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thursday Mashup!

Every week, I will share a few links/pictures about food, shopping, celebrities, babies, parties, crafts, or random news, that I find noteworthy. It's a mashup of all things I love. Enjoy!


me with circle lenses on, looking a little cross-eyed.. yeah, I couldn't pull them off

Circle Lenses are super popular in many Asian countries. They are special contacts that make the iris of your eyes appear larger. Lady Gaga used them in her Bad Romance music video. However, they are apparently dangerous according to this article I found on I have to admit though, I bought a pair for myself last year to try them out. I knew it was kinda shady buying contacts without a prescription online, but Lady Gaga wore them, so I thought they must be safe. Anyway, I had LASIK/PR-K surgery not too long after buying the lens (a whole different story I'll write about later), so I promised myself never to put anything in my eyes that could potentially damage my new 20/15 vision. Plus, people thought I looked weird with them on... So, just passing along the news in case you have a pair!

This is a picture of the Apple store in Paris. Beautiful, right?! *le sigh*


These are banana bites and don't they look scrumptious!  Found the recipe here.


Check out the cute doggy giving his daddy a high-five when the baby wouldn't do it.


I kinda want this - might be cool to have the blueprint of the english bulldog on our wall... but I'm not sure if I would pay $185 for it or where the heck I would hang it...


Lastly, check out this inspiration board.  I love the green/orange combo and sleek elements!


Again, feel free to share any other cool finds of the week below!

The Biggest Little City in the World

my only iPhone picture from the weekend

This past Sunday, for America's birthday, the hubs and I travelled three hours North to visit the "biggest little city in the world".  Why?  Who knows.  I needed to get away for the weekend and with the limited vacation I have left for the year, we needed to go somewhere not too far.  Plus, we planned it pretty much at the last minute, so the only city with hotel vacancy during the holiday weekend was Reno.  At first I wish we had gone somewhere nicer... maybe someplace that didn't leave my clothes and hair smelling like a box of Marlboro (gross... I hate the smell of smoke), but we surprisingly had an AMAZING time and I wouldn't change anything if given the chance to do it over again.

The Great International Chicken Wing Society Cookoff was right outside our hotel that weekend so of course that was the first thing we hit up!  Yum yum yum! I heart chicken wings!  The streets were lined with dozens of booths selling samples of their delicious wings along with lots of other goodies.  Here is the photographic evidence of the fun:

[Crap! I lost our camera!!!! I'm so bummed... I think we might have left it on our hotel room. So sad.  We bought that camera on our honeymoon because our "waterproof camera" didn't like the water.  So, there are no pictures to show.  I suck, sorry.]

[imagine a picture of me sipping a HUGE cup of OLL (orange-ade, lemonade, and lime-ade concoction) with buffalo sauce all over my face]

[imagine a picture of matthew holding up a delicious buttery corn on the cob]

[imagine a picture of a huge line of booths with lots of people milling around]

There was also a super great live band that played my favorite mix of country and pop - I'm talking songs by Lady Antebellum, Alan Jackson, Lynyrd Skynyrd and even Katy Perry.  We stopped to check them out and encountered some fascinating people in the crowd:

[imagine a picture of women scantily dressed dancing very wildly on the sidelines]

[imagine a picture of sweaty, funny looking guys mouthing words to the song being played by the band in the background and dancing in front of the stage]

Later that night, we went to a nearby hotel for dinner and walked passed a seemingly inebriated man yelling at me... or so I thought he was.  I looked over and it turned out he was screaming at someone on the other end of his cell.   I don't think he was having a very good gambling day.  Did you know that Reno was ranked as the #2 Drunkest City in America?  Gambling will do that to ya.

The rest of the night was spent low stakes gambling, carnival game winning, and late night eating.  What's more patriotic than that?

Hope your 4th of July went well (and you didn't lose your camera like my dumbass did)!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Wet Bandits

Have you ever seen the movie Home Alone? If you answered "no", open a new browser window, sign up for a Netflix account, and rent it now. It's the best. The movie made Macaulay Culkin every 10-year-old boy's super hero. I'm sure parents around the world came home to booby traps planted around the house for months after that movie came out. I know Matthew's parents did. He was the king of pranks (just ask his siblings) and still is to this day!

Home Alone is played every year on Christmas at our family gatherings. Matthew can quote practically every line from that movie. I can't because I'm horrible at being funny, even if I'm saying someone else's lines.

Anyway, the villains in the movie are named Harry and Marv. Sound familiar? Yup! Our little bulldogs are named after the "Wet Bandits".

Harry, played by Joe Pesci in the movies, is the shorter and more stout of the two. He is also the boss and dictates what the duo will do next.

Marv, played by Daniel Stern, is the taller and more goofy one. He just does whatever Harry tells him to do.

I don't think their personalities match 100%, but I do think they resemble their namesake pretty well... What do you think?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

30 before 30 - The Beginning...

Ziplining in Kaua'i

Long before the Bucket List movie came out, I made a really simple site to list everything I wanted to do in life from the really easy (i.e. fly a kite) to the more challenging (i.e. be on a gameshow). Very slowly, I have been able to cross some things off and it felt really great to watch my list grow smaller... but as I reviewed the things I've already completed, I also found myself adding new things I wanted to do and experience.

I have been very blessed throughout the years and am super happy with everything I've accomplished in life so far, but sometimes life goes by so fast and I lose focus or forget the goals I have made for myself.

Thus, I've given myself a deadline - my 30th birthday.

Like many others have already done, I made a list of 30 things I want to do before I turn 30. This list will include the things on my old list that I never completed, plus a bunch of new things I want to do! I have a little over three years, which gives me plenty of time. I know it won't be easy, but I look forward to challenge.

I hope by doing this I will be a better, happier, and more fulfilled person by the age of 30. If not, at least I'll have done a bunch of cool things I can tell my future grandkids about!

I'll be sure to continuously post my progress here... If you have a 30 before 30 list of your own, I'd love to hear about it below!

[in no specific order]
1. Run a full marathon
2. Visit all of the other main Hawaiian islands (Oahu, Maui, Kaua'i, Hawai'i, Ni'ihau, Moloka'i, Lana'i, Kaho'olawe)
3. Kid(s)!
4. Audition for musical/play/reality show Oops! I forgot I auditioned for American Idol back in 2004 New Goal: Learn to make French Macarons
5. Harry Potter World
6. Disneyworld
7. Master 3 Filipino dishes
8. Have an anniversary photoshoot (like an engagement photoshoot)
9. Learn how to sew
10. Learn how to really swim (I can make it from one end of a pool the other, but I don't think I can do laps and certainly cannot tread water for the life of me)
11. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
12. Fly a kite
13. Attend every type of professional sporting event: football, basketball, baseball, hockey, tennis, horse racing, arena football, soccer, NASCAR
14. Watch the Lord of the Rings film trilogy
15. Teatro Zinani
16. Master 3 American dishes
17. Ride a bike further than around the block
18. Build a snowman
19. Go on an East Coast vacation with the hubs
20. Visit the Coca-cola factory
21. Finish painting all the rooms in the house
22. Visit a fortune teller
23. Learn how to solve the rubik's cube 8/15/10
24. Sing the national anthem at a baseball/hockey/football game

25. White water rafting (different from regular water rafting...)
26. Take ballroom dancing lessons with the hubs
27. Go on an Alaskan cruise
28. Cut my hair short (above the shoulder)
29. Have a full conversation (at least 10 exchanges) with my parents in Tagalog (no Tag-lish allowed)
30. Go on a Jelly Belly Factory tour

Monday, July 5, 2010

Genentech Gives Back

The hubs works at a great company - actually, a FANTASTIC company.

They've been on Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work list for 12 consecutive years and even made the #1 spot in 2006. Most importantly though, Genentech makes breakthrough medicines that has helped millions of patients worldwide. They truly care about helping people and appreciating the people and employees who have helped make Genentech the company they are today.

Hubs has been working at Genentech since he graduated college 5 years ago, so I have been very priviledged to reap the benefits of being his +1 at every event. They throw these awesome holiday parties every year complete with casinos, ice skating rink, ferris wheel, unlimited food and drinks, multiple live bands, and fantabulous themed decor... every year they seem to find ways to outdo themselves. If that isn't enough, from time to time, they throw concerts for employees and guests, to show their appreciation for the hard work they put in. Previous performers include: Sir Elton John, The Eagles, Mary J Blige, Matchbox 20, and Black Eyed Peas.

So, it was no surprise when Matthew told me about an upcoming concert Genentech was putting together, that we were in for another amazing time.

The concert was held at the home of the San Francisco Giants, AT&T Ballpark. The entire ballpark was shut down just for their company. When they have their holiday parties there, it's so awesome. Some people only dream about getting to walk on the field and hang out in the bullpen -- I've had the privilege of doing that 3 times!

This concert was no exception. There were free concessions everywhere!! Matthew and I felt like little kids in a candy store:

Yes, that's me with beer in my right hand, wine hanging from my mouth, cotton candy, licorice rope and a hot dog in my left hand! What can I say - I'm a lady. Hey, if they say something is FREE I am going to take advantage.

Unlimited alcohol, chicken fingers, garlic fries, pizza, hot dogs, ice cream sandwiches, and anything else you can think of. I was too busy chowing down, I almost forgot there were actual performances scheduled...

First up: Natasha Beddingfield:

She was great and super beautiful in person.

It got way too crowded standing in the front. People kept pusing and shoving to get closer to the stage, so we moved to a more spacious location for The Fray and The Counting Crows:

We had a fab time that day... Thanks, Genentech!