Thursday, April 30, 2009

Travel Tip Thursday – Avoid Getting Sick while Traveling.

I know it’s been forever since I’ve done a Travel Tip Thursday!

My work travel budget got cut significantly, so I’ve been traveling less and having trouble coming up with new topics. But I'm happy to let you know Travel Tip Thursday is back!

With swine flu pandemic panic being the hot topic on the news, I thought I’d focus on how to avoid getting sick while traveling.

People always ask me “since you travel on an airplane a lot, do you get sick a lot?” The answer is “no”. I'm blessed with a good immune system, but I also take a lot of steps to prevent getting sick.

Here are my tips for how to stay healthy while traveling on planes:

  • Pack hand sanitizer. Be sure to bring that comes in size smaller than 3 oz. and put in a plastic ziplock bag, or else you won’t be able to get it through security.
  • The dirtiest place on the plane is that tiny nasty bathroom. Avoid it all costs. Remember to use the restroom right before boarding your flight. I’ve heard that the #1 predictor of getting sick from flying is using that airplane restroom.
  • Avoid the pillows and blankets available on commercial airliners. They have been slept on, sat on, drooled on, and who knows what else, and they are not cleaned enough. Gross. I always pack a pashmina which can be used a blanket or wrap. For longer flights I also bring my own travel pillow (with a pillow case that I can wash later so as not to have to wash the whole pillow).
  • Keep you immune system up. Take vitamins and pro-biotics (like the ones in natural yogurt). DRINK plenty of water. I can’t emphasis this enough. I credit a lot of my good health to drinking at least 60 oz. of water a day. Also make sure you get plenty of sleep the week before traveling. You do not want your body to be run down when it gets exposed to germs.
  • Don’t stress. Stressing about getting sick will just stress your immune system and could cause you to get sick. So take the above precautions and then enjoy your trip.

One timely and quick cautionary story for you: My good friend and her family flew to Japan this week, she just emailed me to tell me about her journey. When they landed in Tokyo, men in hazmat suits boarded their plane and took every person’s temperature (including her 4 month old baby) and checked for signs of illness. If they had found one person with a temperature on that plane they were going to quarantine the whole plane for 72 hours. So if you’re feeling sick and running a temperature right now (even if you know it’s not Swine Flu), please consider changing your travel plans for the sake of others on the plane. I’m sure that given the current situation most airlines would waive the change fee (or if you fly Southwest Airlines there are no change fees!)

Do you all have any more tips for staying healthy while traveling?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Meet Judah!

I'd like to present our new kitten, Judah!

We named him Judah after in the passage in the Bible where Jacob blesses Judah saying, "You are a lion's cub, Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness—who dares to rouse him." (Genesis 49)

Thanks for all of you comments yesterday! It's so fun to hear about all of your pets and pet experiences.

Here he is, sitting on The Mr while the Mr. watched TV...

Attacking some toy mice...

Family self-portait!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A New Family Member for the Newlyweds Next Door!

Looks like our little “family” will be growing. We’re getting a kitten! (sorry friends, no babies yet! Ha!)

If you read my post on SJGM yesterday, you got a preview of this.

A bit of history for you… when I was a little girl, I wanted a pet. My Mom bought me a hummingbird feeder and told me that “all the hummingbirds in San Diego” were my pets. Thanks Mom!

Needless to say this did not satisfy my desire to snuggle with a puppy or kitty. My parents are just not “animal people” and didn’t want to fit another dependent into their busy lives.

It wasn’t until about 8 years later that I got my first real pet – three kittens we found in my neighborhood abandoned. I loved those kitties so much. One of them even survived in the coyote-haven landscape that my parents live in until I graduated from college.

The Mr. doesn’t exactly come from an animal-crazy family either. They have a family dog, that is, well, a dog. Not another child like dogs are in some families.

The Mr. and I are not in rush to have kids – we're enjoying our carefree 20-something lifestyle. Many of our friends have already settled down with “furry children” and their Pets end up really restricting their lives like kids do (when you can stay out until, how long you can be gone, what to do when you travel, etc.). We definitely are not ready for a commitment like a dog (nor could our little condo accommodate one). But I’ve contemplated a cat.

Yesterday I got an email for a girl in my alumnae association that she had a kitten that she rescued from an evil pet store that was going to kill and she wanted to know if any of all alumnae wanted it. I emailed her back to say if no one else takes it, I would. Looks like I was the lucky winner.

So tonight The Mr. and I will become proud parents of a little kitten! Check him out!

SO stinkin' cute!

I know a lot of you have pets. Question for the couples out there, how have pets changed your relationship (if at all)?

Monday, April 27, 2009

There Is An Arizona

We are back from our mini vay-kay in Arizona! It was a blast!

We stayed at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in Phoenix, Arizona. A very beautiful and fun property!

Friday night we had dinner in Scottsdale with a fellow "Large Consulting Firm" co-worker and her husband.

Saturday we got up early to play some tennis.

Then we went back to the suite where the Mr. mixed up some Patron Margaritas for us to take the pool.

We spent the rest of the day floating around the huge lazy river sippin' ritas and getting tan.

Here we are before getting into the lazy river (pictured behind us in both shots).

Next summer trip? Lake of the Ozarks for my family reunion!

PS - I may have some exciting news to share tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Heading to Arizona for Mini Vay-kay!


We are

flying to

Arizona to enjoy the

sun and

a beautiful resort. We'll be drinking

lots of margaritas while floating on

the sweet lazy river. We'll be playing some

Tennis. And enjoying

quality time together.

Talk to you all Monday! xoxo!

PS- Yes that is me playing tennis in my wedding dress. :-)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Current Crushes and Cravings

I'm starting a new sporadic blog series called "Current Crushes and Cravings".

Why? Because I love seeing this kind of stuff on other peoples posts because it gives me ideas for things to check out. AND I think it will be fun to capture the things I'm into at this point in my life for posterity.

Current Crushes:

My black pashmina. The perfect spring accessory. Good for cold offices and covering up for a night on the town after the sun goes down.

The Book "Outliers". I read this a couple a months ago and find instances to cite it almost daily! It's such a good book to help explain social/economic phenomenon. Great for sounding witty at cocktail parties.

Direct TV DVR. How did I live this long without DVR? I have no idea. I was stuck in the stone age. No longer am I tethered to particular timeslots or subjected to endless commercials. Note: On DVR an episode of American idol can be watched in like 30 minutes.

Multi-string beaded necklaces. I have a bunch of cute necklaces that I picked up shopping last month (many for like $4 at Forever XXI). I've got white, black, green, purple. The really make a simple outfit a lot more fun, funky, and hip.

Pandora. I know Pandora is not new. But I got sick of my iPod and I love Pandora. Favorite playlists? "Journey", "John Mayer", "Rascal Flatts", "David Crowder", and "The Cure". What can I say, I'm eclectic!

Current Cravings:

Ceviche. I LOVE ceviche. It's 9 AM and I could go for some ceviche. And to think a year ago was the first time i tried the heavenly dish. Crazy. (Note: Ceviche is a form of citrus-marinated seafood appetizer, popular in mainly South American. Both finfish and shellfish are used; finfish is typically raw while shellfish is typically cooked. If you like sushi and citrus, you'll like ceviche.)

Viogner. Nothing beats a good wine. For years I've been very into red wine -- Cabernets, Zins, Pinots. But while wine tasting in Santa Barbara I discovered an amazing white wine, Viogner. It pretty sweet but goes great with spicy Thai or Chinese dishes which I love.

What are you currently crushing on? Craving?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Long Beach Grand Prix Recap

Last weekend the Long Beach Grand Prix came to our backyard.

The Long Beach Grand Prix is a open-wheel race held on a temporary road course and is the longest running major "street" race in America.

So the Mr. and I spent the weekend checking out races, exhibits, and festivities.

I've never been to car race before (sorry nascar fans), so it was a great experience!

Here are the pics from the weekend...

Me next to the palm-lined track:

Our Condo Building as viewed from the track:

Sitting by the track:

Celebrity Race. Celebs included Keanu Reeves, Raven Symone, Alex Trebek, and others I'm forgetting:

Keanu Reeves won! But apparently forgot to shave:

Pros warming up:

The Mr. checking out the cool cars at the exhibition:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Summer is Here!

It's going to be 95 degrees in Long Beach today -- shattering heat records for late April in Southern California!

Thanks goodness I just invested in these:

Last week I picked up this great patio furniture set from Bed, Bath, and Beyond for our balcony deck! It's really comfy, looks chic, and it was all 20% off.
(On a side note: those 20% off coupons for BB&B that you get in the mail/in magazines never expire and you can use them in combination, even though they say you can't do that! Isn't that cool?)

Can you believe I fit all that furniture in my tiny Toyota Solara? I was quite the sight, driving down the 405 freeway with the chaise lounge sticking out of the truck and the deck chairs hanging out the passenger window. I can't tell if the Mr. was impressed or scared when he saw me pull up to the condo. Ha!

I want to pick up a planter box to go on the window that opens onto the balcony (see below). Any ideas of where to get a good planter box? Also do you have any ideas for some pretty and heat-resistant plants to plant in it?


I love summer!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Few Follow Ups

Happy Sunday everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend!

I realized that I owe you a couple of follow ups from prior posts...

1. Taxes. In my prior post on taxes I was stressing about owing the IRS a lot of money. Well, when all was said and done we ended up owing the IRS, but not near what I feared! Thank goodness for all of those deductions! Thank you for your prayers for us.

2. Blogging safety. I really appreciate all the kind comments about our wedding. I'm glad to see so many of you taking steps to ensure your safety. Also, I wanted to let you know that I emailed with Mrs. Stilettos. She wanted you to all to know that she misses you and that leaving her blog has been hard but she had to prioritize her family. She is starting a new private blog and you can email her at if you want an invitation to it!

3. Easter. I wanted to do whole post about Easter. But it's been a week now and I lost motivation to post a ton about it. So here are some pics from Easter weekend to give you the highlights:

Padre game dugout seats!

Sunrise Easter Service on Mt. Helix.

At Easter Dinner!

Giant chocolate Easter sculpture. We then smashed it and ate it. Awesome!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Is Blogging Dangerous?

Today I read that Newlywed Stilettos has closed her blog due to “some recent security concerns.” I don’t know what happened. But I am sad to see her go.

Reading of her departure, I began rethinking, “is blogging safe?”

Why rethinking?

Because I used to have a wedding blog (you can find it here, but it’s not as cool as this one).

I started my wedding blog for my friends and family, but I also hoped there were other turquoise brides, and San Diego brides, and just brides in general who could benefit from my ideas and gathered wedding wisdom. What started as something fun and inspirational, ended in a nightmare

A workers union that was locked in a bitter labor dispute with my wedding venue and found my blog via Google. As way to “hurt the San Diego Hilton” they intentionally targeted my beautiful beach wedding upwards of 30 labor protestors with mega-phones, drums, and other noise-makers to protest Hilton’s labor policies. Because I stupidly had a blog chocked full of personal details, they were able to see the exact date, time, and location of the Wedding.

We found out five days before the wedding that this protest threatened to totally disrupt our Wedding Ceremony, Cocktail hour, our pictures, and the enjoyment of our guests at the hotel. Through tears, prayer, and political negotiation by my Dad, we managed to salvage the wedding ceremony and enjoy our gorgeous wedding, but not without a lot of heartache and drama.

After that experience I vowed not to use our first or last names on this blog, or give too many details about personal events. Despite blogging under a fake name, I’m sure if you clicked through enough pictures and links you could figure out who we are. And I guess that’s OK. I just can’t preserve my anonymity as much as the amazing Mrs. Newlywed does.

I have installed Google Analytics on my blog so I can see where people are finding me from (google search terms, linked sites, etc.). And I see where they are from, what ISP they are using, how long they stayed, etc. And from that I can tryyyy to spot funky behavior.
Yes, I’m talking to you, person from Don Mills, Ontorio at Nesbitt burns inc. who’s visited my blog 97 times in two months via my husband’s blog.

I love blogging and I love making bloggy friends; learning about all of you guys from your blogs and comments. But the thought of creapsters does occasionally cross my mind.

How about you? Do you feel safe blogging? Do you ever have concerns about being victimized because of your blog? What do you do, if anything, to protect yourself?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Huge Klutz

I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I am a huge klutz. Mostly in the realm of spilling stuff on myself and others. It got so bad at one point that Mr. would make me stand/sit at least two feet away from him if I am drinking a colored liquid.

Exhibit A:
This morning, not even five minutes after I sat down at my desk, I managed to spill coffee all down the left side of my dress.

Which is why I always carry this:

Yes, my trusty tide pens! "Tide To Go" definitely takes stains out, but on some fabrics it leaves a water spot ring. Better than a stain, but still not optimal.

Are there any klutzes like me out there? Anyone have any good advice for how to get out stains on the go?

PS- I’ve been lazy, but I have great pics and stories from our Easter weekend in San Diego. Check back tomorrow for those!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday and Easter Plans!

I’m so excited that it’s Friday! I have a really fun weekend plans coming up -- Celebrating Easter and seeing lots of friends and family that I haven’t seen since Christmas!

Friday Night – Good Friday gathering at Parkcrest Church in Long Beach. I’m looking forward to meditating and reflecting on Jesus and the cross. Then the Mr. and I are driving down to San Diego afterwards. We're definitely gonna need a starbucks run in there someplace!

Saturday – Hanging out with my parents and some friends in San Diego. Then going to Petco Park for San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants. And guess where our seats are? Behind Home Plate. Like RIGHT there – three rows behind home plate! Yup, I have the ticket hook up! Look for us on TV if you watch the game!

Sunday- Sunrise Easter Service on top of Mt. Helix. I think its going be a beautiful experience --watching the sunrise while celebrating Jesus rising from the dead -- very symbolic. Then big Easter dinner with our closet family friends in Scripps Ranch.

What are you all doing for Easter Weekend? Traveling? Staying home?

Oh and PS – Mom, if you’re reading, in my Easter basket I want more of this:

And less of this:

I’m trying to diet! Hahaha! Love you!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Drenched! My Beach Baptism

Easter is about re-birth.

We celebrate Easter in spring -- when flowers bloom and animals come out of hibernation. We celebrate Jesus’ death and resurrection – dying so our sins could be forgiven and so that we could rejoice in a new life with Him.

There is tradition that Christians observe that really illustrates rebirth in Christ – Baptism. “For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.” - Colossians 2:12

Because of the re-birth symbolized by baptism, I wanted to share my baptism story with you before Easter.

I’ve been baptized twice. Once in 1983. Once in 2006. I obviously don’t remember the first time.

My Mom and Dad baptized me Catholic as a baby. I am eternally grateful to my Mom for getting me baptized, taking me to Sunday School, and going to Church with me throughout my whole young life. And I respect my Dad immensely for being so supportive of me choosing my own beliefs and path, even at a young age.

Despite my Catholic/Agnostic background, at age 21 I began attending a Christian Church in Los Angeles and for the first time in my life I fell in love with Jesus. I was irrevocably moved by His love, His message, and His purpose.

And one night after Church, alone in my bedroom, I prayed to God that I believed in Jesus and that I wanted to be a follower of Christ.

I knew that although my Mom so lovingly had me baptized as a baby; that was more about her faith than about mine. And I wanted to make a public declaration of my faith. Baptism would be that declaration.

So tried to get baptized at a Church event, but because of a “miscommunication” that baptism did not happen. I was very sad, in fact, heartbroken. I was SO ready to get baptized. I felt thwarted. Soon I realized it was God who did not let that baptism happen, because he had a better much plan for my baptism. (isn’t it funny how that happens so often?)

So I began making plans for a baptism that was much more “me”: A baptism at the beach with all of my friends and parents present.

My Small Group Leader, Joe, agreed to baptize me.

I bought supplies for the post-baptism cookout/bonfire.

I invited friends from San Diego, Gamma Phi Beta, USC, and Mosaic Church. I figured that most people wouldn’t want to come….

They ALL came. Including my Mom and Dad.

Here I am with Sorority Sisters and Childhood friends from San Diego:

After everyone had arrived we headed down to the water’s edge. Joe talked about the meaning of baptism and we prayed. It was beautiful – the ocean crashing, everyone I love praying with me. It was a moment only surpassed by a few others, like my wedding.

Then we headed out into the icy pacific.

My baptism was in early Spring. It. Was. COLD.

Joe asked me “you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and have you accepted Him as your Lord and Savior?” I said “Yes”.

And under the water I went. “For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized.”

Joe lifted me up, hugged me, and we ran to shore. “And with Him you were raised to new life.”

Can you tell I was excited?

I changed out of my wet clothes and then rejoined my friends and family for hot dogs, s’mores, and sunset on the sand.

My Mom and my best friend:

Look at the short-haired Mr.!

We have been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. -1 Corinthians 12:13
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