Sunday, December 28, 2014

Let's Catch Up Part IV: Halloween

Halloween is my most favorite FAVORITE holiday. I just love it. Especially at home...where fall is my favorite season.

In years past here in LA...I've had a pumpkin carving party. I wanted to do it this year, but things were a bit up in the air with my new job (I wasn't sure when I'd be starting and training in San Diego) and I live pretty far from most of the people I know (Long Beach-Santa Monica is only about 30 miles, but that can be a long way in after-work traffic). That certainly didn't stop me from having my own little pumpkin carving party for 1. ;)

My pumpkin had a natural nose!! hehe!

I wasn't going to dress up this year. Preston isn't much into Halloween, or really ANY holiday...which is ultra depressing and zero fun. Luckily, my friend Gianna (ANOTHER Gianna) and I got to talking and made a plan to dress up and pass out candy at her house. Gianna already had plans to be Khalessi from Game of Thrones, so I thought it would be funny to be her dragon, Drogon to be specific!

Since I still wasn't working...I threw together my own dragon costume. I bought some awesome scale-y looking yoga pants and a fake leather jacket at Target. I found a shiny child's top at the 99cents store-that I cut apart and sewed onto a black tank top that I already had. I painted my nails black with red tips and did my best on some dragon-y make up with ideas from pinterest. I already had some shoes that worked well. I also bought some fairy wings and spray painted them black.The part of my costume that made me feel most accomplished was the tail. Now, I'm NOT crafty or very creative, so I'm preettty proud of myself for all this ;) I bought a pair of tights and stuffed one leg inside the other. I then stuffed this with black material. Last, I made triangle scales out of tin foil and pinned them with safety pins to the tights. 

I mean, seriously! Am I the best or what?! ;)

I think the whole outfit turned out pretty well and I am quite pleased with myself, to boot :D (In case you can't tell-I made Erica/Preston take a million pics of me). It was a bit of an undertaking to make this costume just to hand out candy, but like I said...I LOVE Halloween, so it was completely worth it! 

Don't mind the 100 surfboards in my living room :P

Gianna's turned into a bit of a party. I made two different kinds of chili to take to her house. Erica came up from Long Beach and we were joined by some of Gianna's friends from work and her yoga class. Preston works with Gianna's husband Gavin (it's how we met!), so there were a bunch of guys there too. What there was not? Trick or Treaters! What the heck? We did arrive a bit late (like 7:30) and there was only ONE group that came to the door. Lame!! Nonetheless, we had a fun time. 

Mother of Dragon

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

We Interrupt This Program... bring you CHRISTMAS.

I've been wildly typing up these Catch Up posts in an effort to finally begin blogging again in real time...something I've not done in a year! :P

But, before I write about Halloween, etc...I just wanted to mention CHRISTMAS!!

Being that I got an insanely awesome, amazing, wonderful, new job-we get to go home for 11 days for Christmas and New Years!! Cough cough 11 PAID days cough cough. THANKS USC!! This is something I truly wasn't sure I'd get to do this year, so I'm EXTREMELY grateful.

Pres and I are flying from LA-Chicago for Christmas. Unfortunately, we are leaving TODAY-Christmas Eve, since I had to work this morning. Sadly we've missed all the hubbub leading up to Christmas, which the best part. That said, I'm SO glad we get to go home at I'm not truly complaining. I've done my part to be Christmassy in LA. :D

I decorated our apartment!

I got my nails done in a fun sparkly red!

I've had copious amounts of Starbuck's Christmas Drinks!

I joined Erica for her Annual Christmas Boat Parade Party in Long Beach 

I seriously enjoy bad pictures of myself, tho this was a purposeful one

I've watched all my favorite Christmas movies:
Love Actually
The Holiday
The Family Stone
The Santa Clause

as well as some extremely bad ones on Netflix. Seriously Netflix? Seriously?? The highest rated 'holiday movie' on Netflix right now is an hour long crackling fire that plays Christmas music (I have to admit-it's pretty good). 

This will be my FIRST Christmas EVER...away from home and my family. It's going to be a little tough for me, but I am making the most of it and I'm excited to be with Preston's family and experience their traditions.

We will be heading to Maryland for New Years.

To any burglars out there looking for some Christmas action...let it be known that our apartment (which I fully disclosed in a previous post:P) is being well looked don't even THINK about it ;) 

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming...

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Thoughts on our wedding, a year after

I actually wrote this post just after our wedding, but never posted it. I thought a year reflection...was as good a time as any :D

There were a few things that surprised me in regard to my wedding.  

One was the utter lack of customer service in the wedding industry. I certainly had some good experiences, but the majority of them were not all that good. I can only think that it's because this industry has become such a circus...that companies just don't NEED to have good customer service. The demand is too great and they don't really suffer from bad reviews. From my make-up lady, to my photographer, to the shuttle van service, to the caterer, I was shocked at the lack of professionalism and even knowledge about their services.  It's sad to me that brides are paying SO much for lackluster service. That said...the dress shop where I bought my dress, my DJ, and the woman that made my cupcakes...were all fabulous and fantastic.

Another thing that surprised me was how BAD I felt the night before my wedding. Hehe!! While I was excited and happy to be marrying Preston, I really just wanted the whole thing to be over. I was so drained and exhausted...I felt I couldn't go on. Someone told me that the adrenaline would kick in on the wedding day and all that would be forgotten. This was the absolute truth :) You get through it and it's all very worth it in the end.

My friendships. I really learned a lot about people throughout this experience. I feel like weddings bring to light who in your life you can REALLY count on. My wedding certainly did that for me and I know it was the same for Preston. I found that some people were not the friends that I thought they were. It was disappointing, but you just have to accept people for who they are and know what you can or can't expect from them. It's hard not to be really hurt by those that you thought were better friends than they ended up being. It's hard not to be hurt by those that think the worst of you when they really aren't getting the whole truth. But, you should never have to defend yourself or justify yourself to people that are TRULY your friends. And my wedding also showed me who those people are. I have some INCREDIBLE friends and I have an even more incredible family. I knew this already, but I was still so surprised to see the unfailing support and help that they offered me. So many people rallied around Preston and me to give us a great send off into a bright future. 

Ultimately, I am life, at love, and at what happiness can be. 

Let's Catch Up Part III: ONE YEAR!!

October 12 was our wedding anniversary. It's hard to believe that it's been a year and in other ways it's hard to believe that it's ONLY been a year. :P 

I mean, this. This is true:

It has been one FULL and eventful year. 

Getting Hitched
Christmas in MD

New Year's in Chicago
Leaving LA



Hiking Volcanoes


Great Ocean Rd
West Australia




Traditionally, gifts for a one year anniversary are paper. Preston and I decided not to get each other gifts and instead, just spend the day together. But then...Preston went and got me a gift! ha!! 

Preston's gift was really so incredibly thoughtful and clever. He got me a globe. Now, not only is this suiting since we just traveled the world AND it's made with paper, but ever since visiting my friend David in Australia, we've been obsessed with globes. David had one on his dining room table and we spent hours studying it and talking about it. The globe Preston got me is retro...I think from the 60s, so many of the countries are now changed. It was such a terrific gift and I'll treasure it forever. I just wrote him a list of 100 reasons why I love him. Hey, it was on paper and he cheated anyway!

Belgian Congo

We spent the day at the beach in Malibu where we were engaged. In typical Parisian fashion, we got some meats, cheeses, bread, and wine and had a picnic. I gotta say...I've gotten really snobby about these things since spending so much time in Europe. Your run of the mill baguette in America just does. not. compare. :P

It was a great day and I truly hope we are together for many more great days, and weeks, and years to come!!