Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Signs of Adulthood: New Years Eve as a "Couple"

This blog's subtitle is "Newly Wed, Nearly Mature" -- which I think sums us up really well. In many ways I still feel like an adolescent sorority girl, and in some ways I already feel like an old married lady. So I've started a series of posts called "Signs of Adulthood" (check out my first post about "baby showers") and I plan to blog about all the things that I do that make feel like an actual "grown-up". Today's topic? New Years Eve as a "Couple."

Although I haven't been "single" for a New Years since 2002, this is our first New Years as married couple. And it just so happens that this year we're not spending New Years at a bar, or a club, or house party... but we're doing a fancy pre-fixed dinner with wine at gourmet restaurant in Long Beach, just the two of us. I'm really excited about it, but it does make me feel like an adult ringing in the New Years as a "couple" without wild drunken debauchary like so many years past.

How about the rest of you? How are you spending New Years? Night on the town? Quiet night at home? With friends?

Wherever you are, the Newlyweds Next Door wish you a very Happy New Year and fabulous 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Newlywed Annual Pilgrimage Re-cap: Christmas in San Diego

Christmas in San Diego was a blast! Wanted to share some of the highlights:

Spending time with Family and Friends. I saw some of my High School girlfriends. I spent lots of great time with my Mom and Dad and extended family. It's such a great time of year!

My Mom and me

Poinsettia Bowl! We got BOX seats for the Poinsettia Bowl, which was a great game (TCU vs. Boise St). We definitely took FULL advantage of the all-you-can-eat and drink smorgasbord.

My Uncle, the Mr., and Me in the Box Seats at Qualcomm Stadium

Suprise Baby Shower for Leanne (family friend)

The the sports-themed diaper-cake

Food! My Mom made so many amazing dinners. And I did some baking. I literally gained 3 lbs in 6 days.

Some amazing sugar cookies that I made. The icing recipe can be found here.

Parties! My parents had several dinner parties that included many friends, old and new.

The wine for the Christmas Day dinner party

Hope you all had a great Christmas! What are some of your Christmas highlights? (If you have a Christmas Highlight post -- please post the link!)

Back from San Diego!

The Mr. and I are back home in LA after a week in San Diego. We had a great time but it was good to be home.

While I was gone I recieved two awards! Thank you!!!

The first is from the awesome Sassy Engineer.

The qualifications to receive the award are:
A. Display a cheerful attitude.
B. Love one another.
C. Make mistakes.
D. Learn from others.
E. Be a positive contributor to the blog world.
F. Love life.
G. Love kids.

The other is from the super sweet, Good Gals Inc. I can't wait to get to know her more too!

"This blog invests and believes in proximity - nearness in space, time, and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind of bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated."

Aren't those cool?!

Thanks again girls! A nice belated Christmas present!

Here's a little gift for you all, sunrise from our Condo in Long Beach, CA this morning. Beautiful!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wedding Memories: Shadow Box Solution

As many of my fellow Newlyweds know, after your wedding you end up with a lot of wedding crap memorabilia left sitting around or stored in your house/apartment. And if you're like me, you may have worked really hard on some Wedding DIY Projects. So you don't want to just toss all of the stuff or shove it in your Mom's attic, BUT you don't want your house to be some odd tribute to your wedding (a la Miss Havisham).

So I came up with what I think is a good middle-ground solution. I created a Wedding shadow box which now hangs in our Guest Bathroom (not too prominent of a place, but still visible). Check it out:

(sorry this picture is a bit crappy, I had to take it without flash since the box is glass. If you look close you can see my ghostly reflection... creepy)

So I've contained the memorabilia to one corner of the house, my newest goal is making sure our house is not overrun with wedding pictures. In a few weeks I promise to give you a house tour like Mrs. Mojito to show how I've displayed photos, etc.

I still have some boxes of wedding memories that I'm going to clean out over my Christmas break (that starts tomorrow)!

What creative solutions do you girls have for storing or displaying memories for your wedding? (Or is it all in the back of your closet?)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Riding on the (LA) Metro

"It's the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In L.A., nobody touches you. We're always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something. " - Don Cheadle, Opening Line of "Crash."

Car culture is as much a part of LA as Hollywood or Disneyland. We love our cars (as we should considering how much time we spend in them). We are "safe" behind the steel and glass. We can wear uncomforable shoes 24x7 because we never have to walk. We don't have to interact with others unless we choose to.

Well, even though allegedy, "Nobody Walks in LA", there's one young Newlywed braving the streets of Los Angeles and the LA Metro.

This week, I began my "car-less" lifestyle by taking the Metro from Downtown Long Beach to my office in El Segundo via the Blue Line and the Green Line (with about 2/3 of a mile of walking total). It's suprising easy!

It only takes 1 hour, 15 mins door-to-door (which isn't bad considering the freeway takes almost as long and I can read magazines and books on the journey). The walking is a good little workout, the Metro is cheap, and not driving is "green". Overall, I like it.

Here is a picture I took on the Green Line yesterday:

I guess now I'm a counterexample to the Los Angelinos described in "Crash" -- I'm not hidden behind "metal and glass" and on the crowded train (yes, it actually gets crowded.. who knew) you actually end up touching people.

Also, here's something fun -- I found this website called You can put in your address it tells you the walkability of your neighborhood. My neighborhood in Downtown Long Beach scored a 92: A Walker's Paradise!

How about your neighborhood? How walkable is it?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

These are a few of my "H" favorite things!

The beautiful and talented, Mrs. Stilettos is doing a fun game and invited me to play. She gave me the letter "H" so now I must present to you ten of my favorite things that start with that letter! So, without further ado...

My Husband. I still love saying that word. I love him more each day. He's the best.

Holy Bible
Sorry to copy Mrs. Stillettos a bit -- But in the end, there is nothing that matters more to me than Faith, Hope, and Love.

I love our home in Long Beach at West Ocean Condos.

Our honeymoon was such a fun, special, and amazing time!

Releated to the post above (since we honeymooned in Hawaii), but I LOVE Hawaii. I wish I could go back now. (This picture is at our resort in Maui)

I love water. When I was little, my Dad called me his "water-daughter" and to this day, water is my favorite drink.

Hazelnut Coffee
A close second to water is coffee (followed by wine). I love my morning (and afternoon) coffee. One of my favorite noises is hearing coffee being ground in our kitchen.

I love to ski. And Heavenly Resort in Lake Tahoe is about as picturesque as skiing gets.

Hermona Beach
I love all Southern California Beaches -- but Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach are two of my favorites.

Holding Hands
Holding hands is such a great form of non-verbal communication. I love it when the Mr. takes me by the hand.

That's all! Let Mrs. Stilettos know if you want to play!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Coffee Table He's Coveting

Our condo is almost fully furnished! (I'll give you a house tour in the future) One key thing we're missing is a coffee table...

I'd been hunting for a glass coffee table with clean lines that doesn't look cheap or ornante. Then while we were at Crate & Barrel the Mr. spotted this table and wanted to buy it right then. I balked at the idea of a $600 acrylic coffee table and we left. However, he still wanted it.

A few weeks later I was online on CB2 and found its cheaper, sleaker cousin and it got my wheels turning...

Some pictures:

Description: This transparent new surface floats in the room without taking up permanent visual residency. Thick half-inch molded acrylic adds clean mod edge in one seamless turn.

Our living room is not huge and the furniture is already dark, so we need something clear/glassy. Our style is very clean and modern so this definitely fits that. I'm really temped to buy it!

But I'm still not sure about acrylic... Have any of seen an acrylic coffee or side table in someone's house? What do you think about this table?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Welcome to the World, Gremlin!

Big news! My friend (and former manager) delivered her baby boy on Friday!!!

(I blogged about her baby shower earlier)

She nicknamed him "Gremlin" (beacuse of when he looked/sounded like on the ultrasound) but now he's a living person with a real name (which I won't reveal without her permission). I'm so excited and happy for her and her family!

I worked closely with her for all 8 months of her pregnancy, so I really got to learn the ins-and-outs of pregnancy like never before (the exhaustion, the "baby brain", the crazy kicks/punches the baby would do). She even joked around that she was helping me to learn the "best practices" for when it was my turn.

Working with her for those 8 months definitely made a part of me want to start my own family. But the other part of me (who heard about child labor classes and braxton-hicks contractions) wanted to wait a looooong time before going through all that craziness.

How about the rest of you ladies who don't have kids yet... does being around moms-to-be and new moms make you want to have kids anytime soon? Or are you happy with your care-free, child-free lifestyle?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fabulocity and 6 Things about the Newlyweds Next Door

Rachel, one of my favorite Newlyweds (check out her blog "Girl Learning Along the Way") gave me the Fabulous award! I am so flattered! Thanks Rachel!

I already did my "6 random facts about me" so... here are 6 facts about the Mr. and I...
  1. We actually met at the USC Campus Bar, the 901 Club. (although since we were both in sorority/fraternity life at USC, we figured out later that we'd probably seen each other or maybe even met before).
  2. He proposed to me on 7/7/07 -- LUCKY DAY!
  3. We're active in our church and lead a Small Group in Long Beach.
  4. We both love California and the beach -- we got married by the beach, engaged on a beach, our condo is by the beach, we got to the beach a lot ... you get it.
  5. We are the world's worst painters. We painted two rooms of our condo and then had to pay someone to fix it. We learned an important lesson about home improvement... hire someone. The Mr. posted about it on his blog a while back.
  6. We are total foodies -- one of our favorite things to go out to a long multi-course dinner with wine. We'd rather buy each other a plush dinner than buy each other gifts.

I think you all are fabulous! So if you haven't gotten this award, please post it and write about yourself. Just post to me to let me know you did!

PS- Did you know that I used to think "fabulous" was spelled "fabolous" because of the rapper, Fabolous. Hilaraious.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Party in My Pantry

We finally got the long-awaited kitchen pantry installed in our condo! I love it! It makes our kitchen so much more organized and makes it much easier to buy food and stock up (which could actually lead me to cook more).

Here's the story of the pantry ...

In the the kitchen area of our condo there was a coat closest. I'll give you a minute to process that... A COAT closet in kitchen area of Southern California condo. I don't even wear A coat in Long Beach, let alone enough coats to necessitate a coat CLOSET.

The useless coat closet:

So we hired a carpenter to put in shelving to convert it into a pantry.

His finished product:

And then I stocked the pantry and added spice racks.

Our FINISHED Pantry:

So to recap our food when from being housed like this:

To this:

Talk about an easy improvement! And my Mom said a pantry raised the value of our home as well!

So now that I have a pantry to store my kitchen goods, I want to have items "on hand" for meals, so that I basically just have to buy fruits/veggies/dairy on a weekly basis. What items are your "must stock" items? Items that you always have on hand in your pantry or kitchen cupboard?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Coming up Roses!

Our USC Trojans stomped the UCLA Bruins last night to secure their spot in the Rose Bowl against Penn State.

I guess we're all a little bummed out that USC doesn't have a chance to go to the BCS Championship Game thanks to that stupid loss against Oregon St. Bleh. I wish they'd chance the BCS to have playoffs like pro football. Oh well, the Rose Bowl isn't too bad of a concilation prize.

The funniest part of the game...

When UCLA hired Rick Neuheisel they ran this ad in the LA Times:

Well some trojans got ahold of the ad, and photoshopped and printed it on to t-shirts:

It's so funny becuase it's true and looks like Rick is pointing across town at USC. GO TROJANS!!!

Friday, December 05, 2008

No Longer a "Tag" Virgin

Emily at "Living our own Fairy Tale" tagged me. Thanks Emily! My first "tag" -- I feel loved!

Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person that tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Share five non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
6. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

So here the five random "non-important things/habits/quirks" about me:

  1. I love organizing. When I was kid, I’d organize my friends’ closets… for fun. The container store is pretty much my heaven on earth. I heart the show, “Clean House”.
  2. I am a giant Microsoft Excel geek. I make fancy Excel work plans at work and for tasks at home (like furnishing our condo or planning our Wedding). My Wedding Planning excel document is legendary and is being leveraged by several brides-to-be at my company and in my social circles. If It can be managed via an excel doc, I’ll make one.
  3. In almost any given situation I can quote a movie or apply a song. I quote movies at work constantly and occasionally bust into song. People are either impressed or confused.
  4. I come from a long line of only-children. My Grandma is an only child, Dad is an only child, my Mom has two brothers, one has an only child and one has no kids. That brings me to a grand total of 1 cousin. Thank goodness The Mr. has a big family.
  5. My favorite chore is laundry. I love it. The washing, the drying, the folding. The smell of clean hot clothes. I'm a nut. In fact, that reminds me, I'm gonna go do some laundry.

OK, now it's my turn to tag. I tag:

Serious Shopaholic




Mrs. Bliss


Happy Friday! Hope you're at Happy Hour already!

A Eulogy for Our Dead Camry

To Our Dear Dead 1994 Toyota Camry:

You were a wonderful car for us. Although you smelled like wet dog and burning motor oil, we loved you. You survived for 240,000 miles on earth and had a good life in Oregon with the Greers and in California with us. I’m so sorry for the time that I backed my car into you – it was nothing personal, I’m just a horrible horrible driver. I know you forgive me.

We knew that you were old and sick and would die someday soon – but we never guessed that a busted headlight and dead battery would be your COD.

You are truly an irreplaceable car (mainly because we have no money to replace you).

Thank you for keeping us safe on the 405 freeway all these years. We hope you will be happy in the junk yard car heaven. You will be missed. RIP.

The Camry: 1994-2008

Now that our Camry is kaput, we officially join a rare group of Los Angelinos, "One-Car Couples". That's right, we live in the one of the most car-obsessed and car-required cities in the USA, and we only have one car. I'm a little worried about sharing (I'm an only child, I don't "share" well). Are there any other couples out there who share a car? How do you deal?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

"Woo! Girls"

A couple of weeks ago I watch THE most hilarious episode of "How I Met Your Mother" called "Woooo!"

Robin rediscovers the “Woo Girls”, the single party girls (who say "woooo!" after every sentence). Lily (the married girl) feels left out.

Here's a good clip:

Or you can watch the full episode here.

I can totally relate to Lily!

Have any of you young Newlywed or Married girls felt like this? Do you feel slightly left out of the "single party girls club" that some of your girl friends are still in? Maybe you were once part of the "Woo Girls" (I know I was... wooo!). Can you still "woooo!" with the best of them, or are your woo-ing days behind you?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Domestic Dilemma: Sewing Machines?

I need some domestic help. Iwant to buy a sewing machine (or rather, have the Mr. buy me a sewing machine for Christmas), but I have NO idea what to buy.

Let me give you some background...

My Grandma taught me to sew by hand when I was a little girl and I was hooked! I became my family's rip, tear, and button mender. I'm actually really good at hand sewing, but I've never sewed with a machine. I know I would love quilting, fancy stiching, etc., which is why I want a sewing machine so badly.

For the last 5 Christmases I've been asking my Mom for a sewing machine and I have yet to recieve one. I think my feminist, career woman, "less stiches, more riches" Mom doesn't really know what kind of machine to get me, nor does she really want to take the time to figure it out (we don't really know a lot of people who sew). I need some advice!

I found this one on and it seemed snazzy (and pricey):

I've noticed a lot of ladies in the blogosphere sew, so I'm hoping you all can recommend a good machine to me!

Here are a few questions I have:

  • Do you have a sewing machine that you like?
  • What brand is best?
  • What features do I NEED?
  • Should I get one that does embroidery as well (embroidery looks like so much fun) or should i master machine sewing first)?
  • About how much should I spend for a decent machine?

No matter what I know I'll take a sewing class to learn to use it through Long Beach Parks and Rec. They have a "sewing machine bootcamp". How cool is that?

Monday, December 01, 2008

We Wish a Merry Christmas Card?

My parents only send Christmas Cards about every 5 years (sad, but they're busy folks, especially since Christmas is always at the end of school semester and they work at Universities). My Mom really wanted to do cards this year (since she wanted to tell people about the wedding, etc.) so I designed a card for them on Kodak ordered them today with "cyber Monday" deals Kodak has going on. Here's what the cards look like:

Since those are from my Mom and Dad, my Mom asked me if the Mr. and were going to send cards of our own. I'm still debating, but considering we just sent a Wedding Thank You card to pretty much everyone we knew a couple weeks ago, I feel like people have heard enough from us this year. This is what our Wedding Thank You card looked like:

I also feel like with new technology (facebook, email, blogs, etc.) that I keep in such close touch with most people, that a holiday card feels a bit superfluous (esp. this year).

So Newlyweds out there, are you sending out cards this year, or have people gotten enough mail from you in 2008?

And should we send out Christmas Cards? (considering that 1. we just sent out over 100 Thank Yous and 2. My parents card will reach most people that I tangentially know and don't keep in close touch with?)

On a separate note, I LOVE someecards. So snarky. Check out their Christmas Card selection.

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