Monday, November 30, 2009

2nd Annual Newlywed Thanksgiving Pilgrimage to Oregon

When I first started my blog a year ago, one of my first posts was about Thanksgiving in Oregon.

Well, here we are again!

Although this is my second Thanksgiving in Oregon as a Newlywed, it's actually my fourth Thanksgiving with the Mr's family up there and I'm really starting to feel like a part of "the crew".

There are several great Thanksgiving traditions that we do every year.

Tradition #1. Thanksgiving Day (duh)

Lots and lots of eating amazing food prepared by my Mother in Law. As well as drinking delicious wine that the Mr. and I provide.

Playing games together.

(That's the Mr. and his three younger brothers. Aren't they so cute!? Attention ladies, they are ALL single.)

More eating.

And watching a movie at home as a family.

This year's movie was Julie & Julia which I was so happy about because we usually just see "guy" movies. I really liked it, especially since I'm a blogger.

Tradition #2: Christmas Tree

Every year we head out to a giant Christmas Tree farm to pick a tree.

Then we chop it down, bring it home, and decorate it!

I always laugh and say that we could just get a tree from someone's yard, because there are millions of pine trees in Oregon, unlike Southern California where we actually need Christmas tree lots and farms.

Tradition #3: Movie

Every year my in-laws treat us all to new release in the theater that we see as a family.

This year we saw Fantastic Mr. Fox. I loved it! Such a fun, quirky, and insightful little movie. It is really great for all ages.

How was your Thanksgiving? Any special traditions that you do every year?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Merry/"Married" Christmas Cards

I bet you know what this means...

It means our Christmas Cards are done and ready to be sent!

We didn't do Christmas Cards last year because we had just done Wedding Announcements and Photo Wedding Thank You Cards, so we figured that people had heard enough from us in 2008.

But this year, we reached yet another newlywed milestone ... the first "Married" Christmas Card!

Here's a better look at this year's card...

Although I did lust after the spectaculars cards on, we decided to go for much more budget friendly option on And I'm really happy with how they turned out! This will definitely be annual tradition for us.

Our next project? Christmas decorations!

Are you doing Christmas Cards this year?

Join the Christmas Card Carousel with Faith!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dividing the Holidays

A couple of years ago the Mr. and I faced that that critical decision that every couple must make around the holidays... how to divide them between our families.

I know this can be a major source of contention in many relationships, so I'm not trying to brag when I say that I may be one of the luckiest newlyweds alive.

The Mr.'s favorite Holiday is Thanksgiving, so he asked that we do every Thanksgiving in Oregon with his family. And his family was thrilled! That meant that we'd do every Christmas with my family in San Diego which made me and my parents ecstatic! No fighting, no bitterness. Everyone was a winner. Amazing, right?

But the one thing I've missed for the past couple of years is helping my Mom decorate the house, particularly putting up the Christmas Village.

My Mom and I have been collecting Department 56 Dickens Village Christmas houses and accessories for almost 15 years.

We buy a house and an accessory every year. I love it!

But this year, I'm going to be able to drive down to San Diego this weekend (before Thanksgiving) and help my Mom put up the Christmas Village! So excited! I'll be sure to post photos of our setup when we're done.

How do you divide the holidays with your significant other and your families?
Are you happy with what you've decided?
Even if you are happy, do you ever feel like you miss out on your family traditions because of dividing the holidays?
And more importantly, do you any of you do Christmas villages? :-)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Photobooks and Digital Scrapbooking

In high school and college I was HUGE scrapbooker. But in recent years I'm less and less into it. The time and the cost of paper scrapbooking have become huge factors for me.

I've recently started making some digital scrapbooks/photobooks. Back in June I blogged about making a Honeymoon Photobook on Blurb, I've also done a Kodak Gallery Book for my Baptism, and MyPublisher Book for our Engagement Pictures/Wedding Guest Book.

Here they all are:

So I was really excited when someone from Shutterfly offered me a free 8x11 Photobook!

I used my Shutterfly book to capture all of our "Wedding Festivities" -- basically the events around our wedding like Bridal Shower, Rehearsal, Rehearsal Dinner, etc that weren't the actual "big day."

I think the book turned out great!

Here are some of my Bridal Shower pages...

And our Rehearsal Dinner...

{Click to enlarge any of these pages}

Here is a look inside of all of my photobooks (the Shutterfly one is on the upper left side).

What I liked about Shutterfly:
- Really high quality book
- Cute backgrounds to choose from
- Lots of layout choices
- Easy to use
- GREAT prices
- Fast shipping

The only thing I didn't like is that the website seemed a tad bit slow at times (probably because of the large size of the photos in my book). And you have to be connected to the internet at all times since you build the book online (you don't download software).

(I also found that scrappers can create digital scrapbook layouts in Photoshop or other programs and then upload full pages to Shutterfly to have their books printed. I really want to give this a try! Does anyone use Photoshop Elements for Digital Scrapbooking? Would you recommend it?)

Because I liked making my Shutterfly Photo Book so much, I wanted to give you a chance to win one! Click here to enter my giveaway that I've posted on my "Reviews and Giveaways Blog!"

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I'm sure many of you also read Kelly's Blog, Kelly's Korner.

So if you do, you'll know that Kelly is currently on a Compassion trip to El Salvador where she's live blogging all about her trip and the children who are being helped by Compassion.
(Photo courtesy of Kelly's Korner)

Her posts like this one moved my heart so much that I talked to the Mr and prayed about us sponsoring a child.

And I'm happy to report... that we have decided to sponsor a 6 year girl from El Salvador named Gloria!

Compassion Sponsors help children who live in extreme poverty to receive food, clothing, medical help, education, social skill development, and spiritual guidance. Compassion is a highly regarded charity that is professionally audited and ensures that 83 cents of every dollar you donate goes directly to your sponsored child.

I can't wait to get my starter package from Compassion and start writing to Gloria!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

No Shave November

November is the Mr's favorite month of year. And not just because his favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. It's because November marks a time honored, masculine tradition, "No Shave November".

Yes, it's a real phenomenon. Even Brad Pitt may be taking part.

For those who have not heard of it, No Shave November is month where guys grow a beard for the entire month too prove their manliness or something.

The Mr's been participating for years and I hate it.

It's too scratchy and it makes him look like tree-sitting hippy.

In past years I've tried to talk him out of it by telling him that I would participate too and not shave my legs. But I quickly realized that was impossible since I'm slightly OCD about shaving my legs.

Then I told him "No Shave November" = "No play November." But I couldn't keep that up for an entire month as Newlyweds!

This year I tried to appeal to his vanity and told him how bad he looks with beard by showing him pictures of Thanksgiving 2008, like this:

And this:

(I'm mean, I know, I know. But I don't think he looks very good with beard, do you?)

But he was unmovable. All I can do is to count down the 20 more days until this month is over.

Are any of your men participating in No Shave November? Do you like hairy look or the clean cut look on you guy?

*Edited to add: Thanks for the hilarious comments. I can't participate in No Shave November myself to get revenge on my hubby because I'm compulsive about shaving my legs every day. Why? Because I wear skirts to work most days and if I go more than a day or two without shaving I start to feel really gross, like I haven't showered. I know, I'm weird like that. My friends and family tell me that I'm totally crazy to shave almost every day, but it makes me feel happy, and that's what counts right? There, now you've learned a new quirk about me!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Checking In

I remember back in High School after I got my driver's license, it was important to my Mom that I "check in".

Such as, "hi Mom, I'm going to so-and-so's house for dinner" or "I'm going to go over to the mall after tennis practice, so I'll be home late."

That way she knew I wasn't dead when I wasn't home at 5 PM and also could plan out family dinners, family time, etc.

Then after high school graduation for the next seven years of my life I didn't check in with anyone (unless I made explicit plans to hang out with them). I worked late, ate when I wanted to, and ran errands whenever.

Flash forward a year later, I just called the Mr. to let him know I was grabbing dinner with a friend after work and would be home around 8:30 PM.

And then it hit me, I've started "checking in" again. This time so my husband won't think I'm dead if I'm not home by 7:00 PM and so he can plan his dinner, gym time, etc.

It's funny how life comes full circle, isn't it?

Do naturally "check in" or do your family and friends have to remind you?

Monday, November 02, 2009

A very Dwangela Halloween

As you may remember, we decided to dress as Dwight and Angela from The Office since we love the Office and we love cheep Halloween Costumes.

I present to you, Dwight Schrute...

And Angela Martin...

Together, Dwangela...

This was definitely my most conservative Halloween costume since middle school but most of it I already had in my closet for work (obviously I usually don't wear all that together) .

For those who don't want The Office, Angela is the icy, conservative, office prude who rarely smiles. She loves cats and the bible. She thinks that may colors and clothing choices are "whorish", so I opted for a lacy white turtle neck and cardigan over it with a grey skirt, black tights, and black flats. I had Judah (very unwillingly) pose in some pictures with me to get the full Angela effect...

(If you enlarge this one, you can see my cross necklace too)

But the Mr. really made a great Dwight, right down to his mustard shirt and tie from Goodwill and the glasses from Wal-Mart...

His costume was SO good that when we were walking to the Halloween party that we attended, a bunch of drunk guys across the street started heckeling him saying "hey geek! What a geek!"

And of course I HAD to smile for one picture. Happy Halloween everyone! Hope you had a great one!
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