Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I've been overwhelmed with happiness this week. So many of my friends have gotten in touch to congratulate me, and so many of them have mentioned what a great year I have had. I have to admit I hadn't realized how many amazing things have happened this year. Talk about thankful.
This is my absolute favorite time of year. The air is crisp, I can smell Christmas coming and nothing feels as good as a Thanksgiving meal. B and I always enjoy decking our halls for Christmas. We usually start pretty early because I get so excited, so I wouldn't be surprised if our outdoor lights were up this weekend.

Since we were with my entire family last weekend, my little brother and I are not making the trip home for Turkey day. He and his girlfriend drove down to our house this evening. It's so relaxing to not have a huge group, but I think we all feel a bit strange without our parents on Thanksgiving.

Nonetheless, we will be going all out tomorrow. Two turkeys (one in the oven, one deep fried), mashed taters, my brother's favorite green beans, my grandma's famous stuffing, and canned cranberries (by special request). My brother's girlfriend made two pies!

This will be my first Thanksgiving with B. I'm so excited to create an awesome meal with him together in our home.

Happy Thanksgiving to All! I hope you all feel as full of thanks as we do.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Good Weekend

This weekend was an amazing whirlwind of excitement. Our trip to Vegas had been planned for months, as we were meeting my mom's entire family to celebrate my Grandma's 80th Birthday. I wasn't so happy to learn that the day we would leave would be the same day I'd find out my bar results, but I knew that either way, being with my family would be great.
I called my mom at 6:02pm (we found out at 6:00 on the dot) laughing, screaming, crying and screaming again. She was already in Vegas at a restaurant with my family and I heard the entire table erupt in screams and excitement. "I did it!" was the first thing I said. I guess they then went straight to Party City, because when B and I made it to the hotel, our entire room was full of balloons, a huge banner, family members and a bottle of Cristal. Although my dad doesn't drink, he apparently understands good champagne. It was such a great night. I think I was still in a state of shock, but it's slowly starting to sink in that I don't have to take this thing again!

On another note, I'm so excited for Thanksgiving. I'm making dinner (eek!), luckily my law school roomie emailed me an amazing guide to Thanksgiving that her dad put together. I bought turkey last night but I still have so many things to get at the store!

Thank you all so much for your support and congrats!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Guess What?

I did it! I passed the California Bar on the first try! Currently celebrating in Vegas with my entire family! I think the smile is permanent. It's been a long week, but a very happy ending! I'm just incredibly relieved and happy! My family went all out!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Making It Yours, pt III

When it comes down to it, people just want to feel included. Most people like feeling taken care of. I know, for myself, I enjoy it when I feel some sense of ownership in a project or event. I would really love to enlist our family and friends to help, but I'm trying to be sensitive to the fact that not everyone is going to want to cut flowers and arrange centerpieces the night before our wedding.
Irregardless of who lends a hand, my goal for our wedding is for every single guest to feel at home. I wish we could actually have a wedding at home, but since that was not feasible, we chose a home-y ranch in the hills. One of my bms attended this at-home wedding as a guest. She had never met the bride or groom, but like the good lil bm that she is, she took lots and lots of pictures. She said that this was hands down the best wedding she had ever been to. She was enthralled by every detail (this particular bm is not necessarily the type to be enthralled by a wedding). Basically she told me she would never forget it, and that was saying a lot seeing as she has no clue who they are. I'm so glad she sent me pictures, I told her she basically got a sneak peak of our day!

I love all of the flowers! I love that they are so random, so colorful and placed in such unique containers. I also love the wine barrel cocktail tables. T said the whole evening was incredibly relaxed and romantic. The wedding was in a backyard, the ceremony took place on a structure that was built over the pool while a dance floor on the grass provided a sturdy place to bust a move.

A small white row boat floated in the pool, loaded with bushels of florals.

So this was T's favorite detail of the entire evening. The couple had a few kegs of beer and an abundance of wine. Instead of unsightly keg cups, or small cocktail glasses, the favors were these old fashioned glass mugs. Each guest filled out their name on the adorable tag, attached, and enjoyed their frosty beer for the rest of the evening.

Because B works with several major beer companies, we have a great source for beer. I was thinking bottles, but everyone else has told me that kegs would be easier. Cups were a big question mark. But I LOVE these!

All photos by BM, T. This wedding took place in the LA/Long Beach area. While T remembered every single detail of the wedding, she could not remember their names off the top of her head. If you recognize it let me know, I'd love to see how the professional pictures turned out!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Making It Yours, pt. II

While I do agree that there comes a point when you have to stop obsessing about every minute detail of your wedding day, there's just something about those small personal touches that really make a wedding memorable. I know people say that no one will remember the linens or the chairs, but I, as a bride, want to remember a few little things. A few little things that I thought about a little too much, a few little things that make the day more about us, and less about a wedding.

Have you ever seen a more darling bouquet (or photo for that matter)? I'm sure she will never forget it.

So simple. So sweet.

A couple after my own heart! I love the street name idea for table numbers. The groom photo-shoped two pictures together so that they would appear in front of select street names.

Can't get over the s'mores station. I love the thick, square marshmellows. Such a great setup. I'm sure this was not a budget buster, but I doubt anyone who attended will ever forget it!

All photos captured by the ever-so-talented, Terra Tabbytosavit

WeWa Week 1: -4

I thought WeWa was more fun than WW. No?

So..drumroll...I've lost four pounds-gone!
I definitely did not eat as great as I thought I would, but lo and behold, when I logged my points, I only went over one day. The rest of the days it was really difficult to eat my entire allotment.

I ran into a friend of a friend Friday night and hardly recognized her. She has lost 44lbs since July, and she looked incredible. She is a huge advocate of WeWa and told me (very sternly) that you must eat all of your points in order to lose! She has had a loss every single week since she started and I found her tips to be very inspirational. It's hard to argue with a skinny woman who used to be not so skinny.

I haven't been following TBL Families this season, but saw this article and could not believe the before and after. This couple reminded me of me and B-both of us have different porportions, but I bet we are around the same size as this couple (in the before pic). Check out the after shot! Amazing.

Making it Yours

I'm so excited to see that the homespun wedding is completely "in" right now. I'm gathering so many inspirational details lately! There's nothing quite like a wedding where the couple's personality really comes through. Kelly and Terrell's wedding is the perfect example. The day was shot flawlessly by Whitebox Weddings (so talented)! I had to share some of the great details!

Craft paper table covers? Oh yeah. How fun to see what little bursts of artistry your friends would leave. If not for all the tables, definitely a great kids table idea.

I'm loving the red buckets.

Oh no. I'm now completely smitten with the multiple cake table. This couple had been together nine years, so they had nine cakes! I love this idea! Our wedding is on our fourth anniversary. Four cakes?

Oh the sewn pocket for the invitations is incredible. I'm loving this idea more and more. The simple red heart motif is perfect. A nice, easy way to tie everything together. Is this wedding not amazing? This is exactly the feel I'd love to have on our day. Warm. Unique. Not over done.
The perfect meal for a cozy wedding. Gotta love that BBQ.

Thank you SO much to Whitebox Weddings for capturing these great detail shots, and for allowing me to share! There are so many more great details from this day, check them out here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Berry Board

I've played with polyvore in the past, but since I've been home all day with an awful cold, I decided to see if I could come up with something relevant. This is definitely a first draft, but I wanted to see what the berry colors looked like put together.

I chose these dresses mostly for their color, but also tried to pick the style based what I think will suit each bm. I am only planning on five bridesmaids, but I loved the color of that last dress. As for the shoes, if we do go for the mismatched dresses, I would love to do a uniform shoe. I think white and light pink florals with beautiful stems and leafs will also add a nice uniformity. If we go this route I'll carry white flowers with pops of the berry color to compliment their look.

I loved Jenna's comment on my other color post. I actually had an entire post written up about how I'm not going to have a color palette and how I'm so tired of people asking! It was a bit of a rant, so I decided not to post it, but needless to say, I'm not going for the matchy-matchy look. I do think it is a great idea and think it can be gorgeous, but I'm with Jenna in thinking it's easier for me to eliminate colors from the day than to commit to just three.

I'm still playing, who knows where we'll be months from now!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I am so excited about getting back to my healthier way of life. One thing that I think kept me on track with my first 50lbs were the array of vitamins and supplements that I took religiously. I know there have been many a argument that vitamins and supplements are not all they're cracked up to be, but on a personal level I do feel that they worked to my benefit.* I'm not a big pill popper, but these did become part of my routine.

First, through my journey to a healthier me, I started to recognize the importance of fiber in one's diet. From apples to steel cut oats, to Fiber One cereal, I've become somewhat of a fiber junkie. To ensure that I always had enough to keep me goin, I started to take Psyllium Husk Capsules. I would take about four per day and noticed a difference right away. I ran out of these and waited a while to re-order, and let me tell you, I noticed a difference almost immediately.

Next, I was (am) eating a very low fat diet and was told that I needed to supplement with oils, specifically Essential Fatty Acids. I also take four gelcaps a day and noticed a difference after about two weeks. My hair and nails were shiny, thicker and grew like crazy! My manicurist also noticed. She even asked me what I was taking because she couldn't believe the difference. I also think these make a big difference in my complexion.

B introduced me to Vitamin B-Complex. I'm still not exactly clear what the exact benefit is, he claims it gives him energy and boosts immunity. I also read it may speed up metabolism and promote health in general. So I signed on.

I am finishing off my Costco-brand multi vitamin and then I will try another. Quite a few have been recommended. I buy all of my vitamins online at The prices are pretty amazing, and with an online coupon code I've gotten free shipping almost every time. Pretty sweet deal!

Anyone else have vitamin/supplements they've found helpful?

*Of course I am not a health care professional and as with anything, consult your doctor before you begin a new health regimen.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Love of Lavender

Lavender must be very in right now beause I'm seeing it everywhere and am falling in love. Since B is a fan I thought it'd be fun to have it incorporated somehow. I'm loving all of these ideas!

Lavender seating cards.
From Martha

This amazing wedding, shot by Leigh Miller, incorporated dried lavender throughout the day. I'm loving this rustic look.

A great favor or a great alternative to throwing rose petals during the recessional.
From The Bride's Guide

A beautiful way to dress up the champagne toast. I've never tried it but I imagine it tastes good!
From: Martha

Friday, November 14, 2008

Just a City Bride...

Don't mind me, I'm just lusting over these gorgeous City weddings. Of course I'm extremely excited about my rolling hills and rustic barn, but that doesn't mean I don't adore a more urban affair. Take a look at these gorgeous city brides!

A gorgeous San Francisco rooftop-shot. My MOH lives right in this neighborhood so I loved this the moment I saw it!

photo: Terra Tabbytosavit

A view of my old stomping grounds. I just love San Diego. And this is a beautiful shot of the bay and downtown.

Photo: Victor Sizemore

I've never had the pleasure of visiting Hong Kong, but this photo is just breathtaking

photo: Victor Sizemore

Gorgeous Chicago skyline!

photo: Anne Ruthmann

Does it get any better than this shot from Jenna's wedding? I mean really, it is absolutely perfect!

photo: Kelli Nicole Photography

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Colors

I have been wrestling with a color palette since day one. I can't make up my mind and am seriously considering not having a particular color palette. I've been thinking of berry colors (from pale pink to mauve to actual purples and raspberries) with accents of browns (from the structure of the barn), ivories (candles, florals, cake and linens) and greens (eucalyptus, greenery, grass of the property). This morning I stopped by Once Wed and saw that once again, Emily had chosen gorgeous photos that seemed to be just for me! These are the colors I want to see at our wedding!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Bouquet

I feel like I see green and white bouquets all day long, but for some reason this one really struck me. I love the combo and love the white dahlias. I also love the size. This bouquet was part of a stunning wedding photographed by Michael Norwood. All of the florals were gorgeous.

The Weight

image: Mike Earthy via Peonies and Polaroids

I don't want to go on forever about how much I've been struggling with my weight lately. I'll just say that since the bar (last week of July) I've gained. And I'm struggling. I just joined Weight Watchers online. Total whim. I really don't have the money for it, but something has gotta give and I think the per month fee is worth it.

I called B at work and told him all about it. He was so encouraging and said he really wants to do it too. This is really horrible to say but we saw some engagement pics recently of a couple we barely know. They are both significantly overweight and the photos, while beautiful, were awkward. I think it finally hit both of us. We have to get healthy! I think B looks great, but I've seen pictures of him in better shape and I know he aspires to get back to where he was about five years ago.

I've been incredibly motivated by Cyd from The Sweetest Occasion. She looks absolutely amazing and is continuing with her journey toward a healthy body. Her pictures blow me away and her commitment is out of control. I also know there are several bloggers out there who are succeeding on WW. I just saw that Abbie has lost another 2 ell-bees! So awesome! I can't wait to post about an actual loss!

Ok. Deep breaths. I know I can get a grip on this. I didn't think it'd be this hard, but so be it. Ready. Set!

The Story of A&B Part V: Life isn't always a Fairytale

Part I
Make a Wish image: here

After our first date weekend we continued to talk every day. We were both pretty giddy with excitement and we each commented on how it felt as if we'd known each other for years. We made each other laugh, we had similar core values and beliefs and there was definitely chemistry. But after a few more weeks had gone by and we had concluded we were official and exclusive I started to feel as though we had moved way too fast. I was finding myself holding back from saying the L word only because it just seemed too soon. We both had almost said it quite a few times and by the one month mark I started to worry that we were assuming we knew everything about one another, even though it was impossible. I started to feel scared.

Of course I realize now that part of the reason our relationship does work so well is because I can tell B anything. Absolutely anything. And so I told him. I told him I was scared. I told him it was too soon for us to be settling in. I wanted to be wined and dined. I wanted some mystery. I wanted him to court me. "You want games, " he stated. My contorted facial response insisted I was confused, "of course I don't want games! I love that you don't play games!" But (as usual) he was right. I was used to the guy who didn't call back. I was used to the guy who didn't want to call me his girlfriend. I was used to the guy who told me he liked me but never treated me like it. I wasn't used to this perfect companionship. I wasn't used to his honesty and sincerity. I wasn't used to being so loved. Especially at this rate!

"Look, " he told me in a pretty serious tone, "I'm over the games. I like you. I'm pretty sure that I love you. I'm pretty sure that I would marry you right now, today. I'm not going to pretend that I'm someone else, because this is me. I work hard, I like the simple life and I don't want to pretend that I don't. I don't want to set you, and myself up for a big surprise when life does get back to normal. Life isn't always a fairytale. This is me." He should have added, 'take it or leave it' but he didn't.

Let's just say I loved this movie!
Enchanted Image: here

We were in his truck during this conversation, on our way to lunch with a "pit stop" to get his oil changed. Since this was only our third official date I had sort of turned my nose up to his plan for the day. I wanted him to take me somewhere fun, I wanted him to have a picnic set up or some sort of excursion planned. The real deal was that I wanted something really exciting to report back to my girlfriends! I wasn't thrilled with this response, but again, I was incredibly grateful for his honesty. So as he kissed and held me outside Jiffy Lube my cares for what others would think of him drifted away. I was at peace despite my ridiculous law school schedule. I felt so at home and so enamored with the way he made me feel. And then, once we got back into his truck he took me for a long drive and finished off the day with a very romantic tour of a town I'd never visited.
As we made the trip back to his house late that night, holding hands in silence, I closed my eyes and started to realized that his could be the only hand I'd ever need. I made a wish and sent a prayer. The next morning as we made breakfast together, I told him I loved him.

Monday, November 10, 2008

There Will be Food!

We have a caterer! I'm sending off the deposit today so we can reserve our date! Once it all goes through I will add their link to our dream team list, but for now I'll tell you about our wonderful tasting.

We always knew that we wanted a more casual, homespun wedding and of course wanted the food to match. This particular restaurant is a favorite among friends. It's known for great steaks and a great atmosphere. I had heard that this restaurant did catering and I also knew that they had worked with our venue before. After seeing detail shots of their presentation and emailing their catering department, I knew we needn't look any further. I love that they do fabulous Santa Maria style BBQ (a favorite in my family) with a Northern California Twist. Their presenation and finishing touches really add elegance to a casual meal.Cream Cheese Torta, post devouring.

We arrived at the catering building on a very rainy Saturday. The catering manager was there to greet us and show us to our table set for two. She brought us a mini-version of their cream cheese torta appetizer. It was full of flavor with layers of pesto and sun dried tomatoes. We immediately began munching. B later told me that it wasn't his favorite, but given the fact that he ate about half of it himself, I think he liked it just fine. I, of course loved it.

Next was an apple-slaw that I had wanted to try. I had heard that it was really good but when it came out it was just your run of the mill coleslaw with granny smith apples thrown in. B and I barely touched it. I knew that we would go with a traditional house-type salad, but wanted to see what all the fuss was about. No harm done.
Our plate full of yum.

Then, we were met with two huge plates full of goodness. Tri-tip cooked to perfection, oven-roasted to-die-for chicken, gorgeous roasted veggies and the best au-gratin potatoes either of us had ever had. I think we looked at each other between every single bite with a smile. It.Was.Heaven! It couldn't have been more along the lines of what I was hoping for. I had originally thought we'd do BBQ chicken, but the catering manager convinced me into trying their oven baked chicken. I'm SO glad she did because it was awesome. It went really well with the potatoes. Neither of us could finish our entire plate. We changed the salad option, B approved of the bread selection and we were sold.

Honestly, I couldn't have felt more at home chowing town on tri-tip and chicken and we both agreed that it will fit in with our venue perfectly. The catering manager agreed and let us know that she LOVES our venue and has an event there at least once a month. Our venue coordinator had equally great things to say about this caterer, so I couldn't be more confident that all will run smoothly. By the time we made it home the catering manager had emailed me the proposal. We are renting our china and linens from them so she added it all up and I was pleasantly surprised with the total. Not amazingly cheap, but a pretty fabulous deal for the quality of the food.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A First

I just got home from my first ever NBA game. Kings v. Warriors. B got 4th row seats from his company and they were amazing! Right behind the Warriors bench. Friends and family were calling/texting throught the game to tell us they could see us! My brother and his buddy drove down from school to join us. Kings won 115-98. It was a fun game, I can't wait to go to more!

The Good Life

I'm so happy to be done with school. I've had some minor anxiety about the bar, but for the most part I've been enjoying life for the past three months. I love being able to work, come home, make dinner, play with the dog, and basically do what I want without constantly feeling as though I need to study. B and I are able to have entire weekends together! No running off to the library or ending a movie early so I could get back to my work. I can't describe how nice it feels. image

Today we took our time grocery shopping for the week. I walked with Mav and looked up new recipes on Food network. We each did our chores around the house and in the yard and I made paninis for dinner. B went to bed pretty early so I got caught up on all of the laundry that needed folding.

I feel very fortunate that B helps out with almost all of the cooking and cleaning in some capacity. But he never folds the laundry. He claims he doesn't know how. For the most part I find it relaxing to put a movie on while I put his work pants together and stack our towels. It can be overwhelming, since it's generally a task I save for one day a week, but luckily our guest room serves as our second laundry room as well.

Last week I came home from a dinner meeting to find my jeans stacked strangely on the kitchen table. I stopped in my tracks, trying to remember if I had left them there. Then I saw his pants nearby, folded the same way. "You folded the laundry?!" I screamed! Maverick was nearby, "Did you do this?" I asked him (yes, I talk to him as though he can talk back), "because surely B couldn't have folded laundry!" I heard B laugh from the other room. "I tried!" he said. Of course I ran in the room and attacked him with thank you kisses. I love when he does stuff out of nowhere. Alas, he hasn't tried again, and tonight the loads of darks were left to me. I never thought I'd enjoy doing laundry on a Saturday night, but somehow it was the perfect end to a very good day.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Ready to Mingle

I love when couples meet at weddings. Just something romantic about meeting at someone else's most romantic day. But is there a more direct way to get the sparks to fly? I've heard a few different ideas. A friend had a bowl of pukka-shell bracelets that were offered to those who were "single and ready to mingle" it was a semi-subtle hint that certain guests may be looking for a dance etc.

I saw these buttons on the Simply Stated Blog and thought it was a cute idea. The buttons aren't exactly budget friendly, but I like the idea nonetheless. I'm not sure how I'd feel advertising my singledom. Some might find it a little forward and desperate, but maybe after a couple drinks...

These buttons are from Make'm Mingle (great name). They have a button for every type of relationship and it looks like they can customize. I think these would be a great idea for a shower or engagement party. You could spruce them up with naughty nicknames for the bachelorette party too!
I'm the second of my friends to marry but most of B's friends are already married with children. I can't quite see my girls wanted to brandish the single button, but for a bigger crowd of singles I think they'd be a great tool to facilitate some lovin'.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Little Lovelies

More beautiful Curtains! I also really love that garland. I think it's Eucalyptus. Gorgeous!

photo: inStyle

What a clever way to turn your centerpieces into favors. An even better way to avoid throwing away those precious florals.

photo: Martha Stewart

These are so gorgeous and look relatively easy to recreate. I also love that these can be reused.

photo: Sweet Paul
So happy it's Friday! I'm also happy that B and I don't have any big plans. I hope it rains!