Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"Yo fui al partido de fútbol Americano" - Football Weekend Recap

When I was in High School, every Monday morning my Spanish Teacher would ask the class "what did you do this weekend?" (in Spanish) and then if you raised your hand and answered (in Spanish) he'd give you like .1 of an extra credit point. So every Monday in the Fall I would raise my hand and say, "Yo fuí al partido de fútbol Americano" (I went to a Football Game). And it was true because I was always at either my High School games, San Diego State games, or Charger games.

Well, I'm starting to feel like my blog has become my Spanish class this Fall, because it seems that the major thing going in my life is Football games. So if you don't like football, just go ahead and skip this post. But for the pigskin lovin' girls like me, here's a recap of my Football weekend.

My cousin and his girlfriend arrived at LAX on Friday afternoon. Friday night we grilled out, drank wine, and went to the Laugh Factory Comedy Club in Long Beach. Good times!

Saturday morning we gave them a mini tour of Long Beach and LA and then headed to USC for to see the Trojans take on the Cougars!

I love seeing campus on Game Day! So full of energy and Cardinal & Gold. Here's the Mr. and I at Tommy Trojan.

The whole crew leaving home.


I'm happy to report that the Trojans won this weekend!

Sunday morning we drove down to San Diego to watch the Chargers beat the Miami Dolphins!

We sat with a bunch of friends from San Diego in the first/second row of endzone. Great seats!

Here I am with my friend, Sarah.

The Charger Girls!

Right before the Chargers scored a touchdown!

I took a day off work on Monday to relax with my family in San Diego and go to Mission Beach.

Now it's back to the grind until next the Football Weekend, which actually starts this Friday when we fly up the San Francisco Bay area to watch the Trojans play at UC Berkely (Cal) on Saturday! And next Monday I can once again say, "Yo fui al partido de fútbol Americano."

Monday, September 28, 2009

10 Ways To Beat the Post-Wedding Blues

Recently, I was talking to a co-worker of mine who got married last month. I asked her how she was doing. And she replied that she felt “odd” now that her big day was over. Finally not in constant “wedding planning mode”. Not unhappy, but almost a feeling of “now what?”

I know that some people fell right into wedding bliss and were so-freakin'-glad to have all of the wedding planning behind him. But I think for many of us it’s natural to feel a little let down after all the hours, money, and passion you’d put into planning your wedding.

My co-worker got me thinking about the "post-wedding blues" and the ways that I beat them.

Therefore, I now present to you, dear readers, 10 Ways To Beat the Post-Wedding Blues.

1. Get organized
Through the magic of a wedding registry, you now have two sets of china, a Panini maker, guest linens, and more kitchen spoons than you know what to do with. Now is the time to get that house or apartment organized!

Use some of you wedding cash and head to the Container Store, Bed Bath & Beyond, or Target to buy some organizing gear. Think about adding shelving in your living room, kitchen, and spare rooms. Buy kitchen cabinet organizers, closet organizers, under the bed boxes, and bathroom organizers. Trust me, a little bit of organization early on goes a long when you’re adding a deluge of new stuff to your newlywed home.

2. Write thank you notes!
In this technological era, a hand-written note is so meaningful, so be sure to write those thank you notes. Set aside a fun night to bake some treats and have some wine with the hubby while writing thank you notes. Use the time to reminise about the sweet things family members said to you at the wedding or how funny his fraterity brothers danced at the wedding.

I ordered some really cool photo-collage thank you cards and through the magic of wine and cookies we finished writing almost all of them in one night!

3. Create Wedding a Wedding Shadow Box and Mementos Box
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. So display your favorite wedding memories in a Shadow Box. Such as the invitation, program, ribbons, a favor, and some pictures.

Then save some other key mementos (like place cards, RSVPs, some flowers, or some of your favorite cards in a beautiful box)

Then toss the rest. I'm talking about business cards from vendors you never use, scribbled notes of ideas, or the 50 leftover programs you might have. Yes, it’s painful, but remember, you’re saving the stuff you care about most.

Here is the Shadow Box that I created:

4. Share the Love
As a former bride, you’re in a unique position to share your wisdom and experience with others. Have a wedding planning binder? Have a wedding “workplan” in excel like I did? Have really cool word doc templates for programs or placecards? Package it all up and give it to the next bride-to-be you know.

I “scrubbed” all of the documents that I used to plan our wedding – like our budget template, guest list template, day-of agenda, wedding workplan, and program template and put it all in a .zip file. I now have sent the package to at least 10 brides-to-be who are friends, or friends-of-friends. It’s a cool feeling to know that your hard work lives on!

5. Get Your Wedding Pictures in Order

Plan out your wedding album and order it (I'll admit, I have not yet done this! Yikes!). Get some great 5x7 and 8x10 wedding pictures made and frame them. The longer you wait, the harder it is, so just get it done. Also get pictures framed for your family and friends who were in the wedding as part of your order. They make great birthday or Christmas gifts.

6. Throw a Party!
You have great newly-acquired party planning skills and I’m betting that you have all kinds of new serving platters and pitchers to hostess with.

Throw a fun theme party or you could invite family and close friends who were at your wedding and use this opportunity to share your wedding video and/or pictures.

7. Join a group
While you’re planning your wedding, you’re part of solid community of vendors, bridal party, family, and guests. Plus if you chat on Wedding Bee, Style Me Pretty, or the Knot then you’re part of a “bride-to-be club”

After you’re married, you could end up feeling like you’ve lost that exclusive community.

Start a Newlywed blog and/or chat with other newlywed women on The Nest, Elizabeth Anne Designs Living, She Just Got Married, or another online community.

Also look for opportunities to connect with other newlyweds in your community through church or philanthropy. If you can’t find other newlyweds to connect with, then join a young women’s book club, cooking class, alumnae organization, or running group. You’ll feel part of “the club” again in no time.

8. Do the Name Change (if you’re changing it)
(Ok, on this one, I’m definitely giving “do as I say, not as I do” advice since it took me a looong time to change my time and I still have credit cars and frequent flier accounts with my maiden name. Regardless…)

List out all the places where you need to change your name and begin the arduous process of changing it.

Hint: Start at Social Security and the DMV and branch out from there.

9. Get your Finances in Order
Money is major cause of marital discontent. So set a realistic budget with your husband and start managing your money wisely. Don’t worry if you don’t do well the first few months; it can take a while to get adjusted to the budget.

Tips: Join and/or manage your budget in Excel (I have a great template). Some fun advice can be found on Lean with Green.

To make it more fun to save, set some fun savings goals like “Europe Trip” or “New Flatscreen TV” and watch the money grow!

10. Find some Décor Inspiration and do some Nesting

We’ll all admit it, one of my favorite things about planning a wedding was the “Wedding Porn” – you know, beautiful photography of garden ceremony sites, rows upon rows of escort cards, lavish table settings, 6-tier cakes. Spend an hour at Style Me Pretty and you’ll know what I mean. I still swoon looking at this stuff.

Why not add some entertaining and home décor blogs to your internet “ohhing and ahhing” and start capturing ideas for your current or future home?

Some home décor blogs/websites that I love are:
Apartment Therapy
Elizabeth Anne Designs
Young House Love
Hostess with the Mostess
Urban Nest
Design Sponge
Brooklyn Limestone
Rate my Space

Apply your wedding planning skills - like bugeting, theming, shopping, and priortizing - to nesting. You can do a lot of fun decorating with a not-so-big budget!

I'm sure there are many many other great ways to beat the post-wedding blues, and I'd love to hear those from you! Leave a comment to let me know how you beat the post-wedding blues.

PS- I'm you're interested in any of my wedding planning template, budget worksheet, or any other details that I posted above, feel free to email me at

Friday, September 25, 2009

Chocolate Pots de Creme

This is the first recipe that I've ever posted on the Newlyweds Next Door (shows what a cook I am!), but since the "Chocolate Pots de Creme" were such a huge hit at our dinner party and are pretty easy to make, I had to share the recipe with you all. And it's also "Dessert Week" on Kelly's Korner!

These Chocolate Pots de Creme are perfect for a small dinner party because everyone get their own little dessert cup!

1/2 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 oz bittersweet chocolate
3 large egg yolks
1/3 sugar
Whipped cream for serving

Deep baking dish
Samme ramekins
Large glass measuring cup
Fine-mesh sieve

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Heat the milk and cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat until you see small bubbles start to form along the sides of the pan. Add the chocolate; stir to melt the chocolate. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly.

In a bowl, gently combine the egg yolks and sugar with a wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved. Do not create too many bubbles as you mix. Slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly. Poor through a fine-mesh sieve into a large glass measuring cup. Spoon off any foam from the surface.

Arrange six 1/2 ramekins or custard cups in a deep baking dish or pan. Divide the chocolate mixture evenly among the ramekins. Fill the pan with water to reach about halfway up the sides of the ramekins and cover loosely with foil to prevent a skin from forming on the creams. Bake until the cream are just firm at the edges but still tremble in center when shaken, about 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and carefully remove the ramekins from the water. Allow to cool completely before covering and refrigerating for at least 2 hours or overnight to set. Serve chilled with a dollop of whipped cream. Add chocolate shavings, if desired.

Recipe is from the William-Sonoma Bride and Groom Cookbook.
Image from Cooks Illustrated.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Family & Football this weekend!

One thing that you may not know about me is that I have the world's smallest family.

Seriously. I've never met anyone with a smaller family/extended family.

Lots and lots of only children (including me). I have only two cousins (and one is by marriage, so she is really a step-cousin). Yes, I know this may be shocking to people that have like 25 cousins like many people I know.

So you can imagine how excited I am that my only blood-cousin is coming to visit me in Los Angeles from Illinois for the first time ever!

I saw him last here, where we cooked up plans for fun-filled football weekend in Los Angeles and San Diego since he loves Football as much as I do but doesn't have big-time college or pro sports in his small town.

He flies in Friday.

On Saturday we're going to tailgate on USC's campus and watch the Trojans play at the Colosseum.

Then Sunday we're going down to San Diego to see the Chargers play at Qualcomm Stadium

The last Charger game that I saw in person was this one. Check out the view from our seats. First row, end-zone! Yup, I've got the hooook-up with tickets.

Have a great weekend everyone! Go Trojans and Bolts!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday Musings

Things on my mind...

  • The dinner party on Saturday was huge success! I have fully redeemed myself from my cooking failures. Our guests loved everything and even complemented my cooking skills! The gazpacho (cold soup) was huge hit. The Mr. did a great job on the steaks over arugula. And the mini-pots of chocolate dessert was ah-mazing. I officially love that William-Sonoma cookbook. In all the stress of cooking I didn't take any pictures, but this is what the gazpacho looked like.

  • USC Trojans lost to Washington. I almost cried. That's all I want to say about that.

  • On Saturday night the Mr. slammed his hand in the door out to our condo balcony. He cut his finger really bad I'm we're pretty sure he fractured the top bone of his finger. We tried to go to the emergency room at 11:30 PM on Saturday night and the wait there was over 3 hours (there was also a crazy man in the waiting room barking like dog. I heart LA). Since we figured he didn't need stitches for the cut and since doctors can't do much for a broken finger, we immediately left and just went to Rite Aid to buy a finger splint. Poor guy.

  • Like millions of other Americans we are officially "underwater" on our home loan. But we confirmed can't refinance to a lower interest rate through the government bailout plans, because we haven't missed any payments. I find that very ironic.

  • I got my annual bonus today! Too bad taxes ate over 1/2 of it. Don't you hate that about bonuses?

  • In less than four weeks we will be BOSTON! I'm so excited for our week vacation to New England!

Ok that's enough randomness for now. How was your weekend?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

More "Trash The Dress" Pictures

Thank you to everyone who went over to Kim's blog to see our "Trash the Dress" pictures and left such sweet comments.

I got the disk of all of our pictures in the mail from Kim Irons, and WOW I am having a hard time picking my favorites! Is it bad to say that I like these even more than our wedding pictures?

Here are my current favorites of me.

But I'm really diggin' these ones too!

I love these three of the Mr and me:

But I'm liking all of these a lot too!

Note: Click of any of these collages to enlarge them

I know it's not the worst dilemma to have TOO many good shots, but I can't display like 20 pictures of our Trash the Dress shoot in our Condo. Which ones do you like?!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Dinner Party Planning

When I was engaged I had all these dreams of holding fancy-schmancy dinner parties at our condo complete with Hostess with the Mostess-style center pieces and "the good china."

Flash forward one year, and I think we've had about two dinner parties with two couples. Not to say we haven't had people over. We do poolside burgers & BBQs, football watching parties, dessert parties, and copious booze fests with friends at our home; just not real dinner parties. Why not so many dinner parties? Because I'm not exaccctttlly the next barefoot contessa (see here), but I think I may be getting better.

Well tomorrow night the Mr's old boss and his wife are coming over for dinner and I figured, "what the heck, let's give this dinner party cooking thing another go."

So I dusted off my Williams-Sonoma "Bride and Groom" cookbook

And tomorrow night we'll be serving...
- Appetizer: Veggie platter
- Soup: Gazpacho
- Main Course: Steak with garlic butter over a bed of arugula with crisp rosemary potatoes
- Dessert: Chocolate Pots de Creme

The Mr. is doing the steak and I can premake the gazpacho, veggie platter, and chocolate pots. So I don't think I'm setting myself up for complete failure. I promise I'll post on how it goes next week! Be prepared for some hilarity.

Do you have any tips for successful dinner party hostessing?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pets in the Bedroom?

Growing up, every pet that I ever had was an "outdoor pet". I had pet bunnies that lived in little rabbit hutches outside and pet cats that lived outside and in the garage. The only pets that ever lived in the house were my Mom's fishes in their tank in the living room.

When we got our cat Judah I set him up with his own "room" (aka our guest bathroom) complete with his food, litter, scratching post, and little bed. I knew he was too much of a rowdy kitten to sleep in our room.

After a couple of months apparently Judah was not too pleased with his accommodations and learned how to open the bathroom door. He can now get it open in two minutes flat. So we started closing and locking our bedroom door so he could roam the condo at night, just not our room.

Well lately starting at about 3 AM, Judah will sit at our door and cry. He'll even try to open the locked door, banging against it. It's really sad and pathetic. I'll usually let him in around then and he'll snuggle up in our bed.

So I went to Petco and bought him his own new plush pet bed, thinking that maybe that would make him want to stay in his room. Nice huh?

(Yes, it is dog bed. And yes, it is too big for him. But I liked these colors best and it is sooo soft).

Judah likes his new bed a lot, especially during the day, but he still likes coming in our room at night more.

I know that a lot of people have their pets in their bedrooms. Just last week my blog friend, Blue Eyed Bride, posted about giving her dogs space in the bedroom. But I've never had a pet stay in room at night permantely before.

I'm tempted to move Judah's new bed into our room, so at least when he comes into our room maybe he will sleep there instead of on my feet or my pillow waking me up. But will moving the bed into our room just affirm that our room is his "space"?

Do you let your pets sleep in our room? Do they sleep in pet beds or in your bed? How do you keep them from waking you up while you sleep?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

USC vs. Ohio

Today is the big USC vs. Ohio game!

Judah is in his game day gear!

We're ready for a win!

We're having drinks and eatin' football food with friends at our place. Fight on!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wine Tasting in Santa Ynez, CA

As you may know, one of our favorite things to do is taste wine, collect wine, and of course, drink wine!

So when my Dad suggested that we take a road trip up to Santa Ynez, CA (about an hour north of Santa Barbara, CA) to the wine country for some wine tasting over Labor Day weekend, the Mr. and I answered with a resounding "of course!"

We started off our wine tour at Tantera with a private barrel tasting with the wine maker. It was amazing!

If you've never done a barrel tasting, go sign up for one now! We learned so much about wine grapes, wine aging, and wine making in general. We got to taste 10 different kinds of Pinot Nior all grown and aged in different ways, straight out of the barrel. So cool!

Here's a look at some of the barrels at Tantera.

After spending over an hour and some serious dough at Tantera, we headed down to Foxen.

You may recognize this winery from the movie "Sideways". In fact, they have a picture of Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church in the Foxen scene of the movie on a shelf in the tasting "room".

Foxen is a fun and funky winery that sells an amazing blend that they make annually called "Range 30 West." We're currently aging a few Range 30s in our cellar.

Here's the Mr. and I after we bought this year's Range 30 West. Can you tell we are happy!

I tried to take a picture of the Mr. and my Dad at Foxen, but they kept acting silly. Boys will be boys at any age I guess. Ha!

{Click to enlarge to see the "Foxen Photo Booth" shoot}

After Foxen we stopped off at Zaca Mesa where we purchased some delicious viognier. Here is my Dad and me in the tasting room at Zaca.

Our next stop was Fess Parker. Fess Parker, who owns the winery, played Davy Crockett on TV when our parents were little. There's a giant picture of Fess as Davy hanging in the tasting lodge.

The Fess Parker logo is coonskin "Davy Crockett"cap and they even have coonskin caps for sale there. Check me out! Ha!

We tasted some delicious wines at the Fess Parker Lodge.

And ended up buying a case of the "Frontier Red."

We finished off the day with dinner in the town of Los Olivos and a final tasting at the Daniel Gehrs Los Olivos tasting room.

"Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy." - Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Fight On for ol' SC

Our men Fight On to victory!

This weekend we went to the USC Trojans season opener at the LA Memorial Colosseum!

I heart my alma mater so much!

(That's us tailgating at the Mr.'s Fraternity Alumni Tailgate)

Our season tickets this year are the best seats we've ever had!

Really great, huh?!

Despite the 90-degree weather, the fans were still out in full force.

(Yes, yes, I know, Californians are wimps about weather. We're like Goldilocks, we can't have it too hot or too cold. We accept nothing less than 74 and sunny.)

USC won 56-3 and now we are ranked #3! In Pete we Trust!

But what I also loved on Saturday was seeing all of my bloggy girlfriends blogging and blowing up Twitter with College Football game day updates. (And seeing babies in game day gear makes me want a little one so bad! Like, tomorrow. I think that's the first thing I'd buy if I found out that I was pregnant).

From your blogs I learned so much about your College Football traditions and personal stories. Like from Kelly's Korner I learned about how SEC girls dress for games. Or from Kate at Elefantitas Alegres about what it's like to live in a "house divided". Or from Megan at In this Wonderful Life about how she decorates her home for Football season.

It's so fun to be friends with so many college football fans across the country! Although I don't know if Mrs. Everlasting and I can still friends next weekend when our teams play each other! Ha! Fight On Trojans!

Did you go to a College Football Game this weekend? What College Football Traditions do you have or love?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

We Were Featured!

I feel so honored!

This week we are the featured Newlyweds on the super fun blog, Newlyweds!

Have you ever wondered how I knew the Mr. was "the one", what I learned about him after we were married, or how we stay connected during everyday stresses of life?

Then head over to!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

"Trash The Dress" Anniversary Pictures Posted!

Remember the preview that I shared of our "Trash The Dress" Anniversary Pictures a few weeks ago?

Well, our oh-so-talented photographer, Kim Irons, has finished editing our photos and has posted the highlights to her blog here.

Can I just say they are ah-mazing?!
Is that conceited?
I don't care, I love them!

Here is a look at just one of the beautiful shots:

Now go over to Kim's blog to see the rest! If you like what you see, leave her a comment to let her know you stopped by! Cheers!

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