Monday, August 31, 2009

Falling in Love with Fall

Even though the first day of Fall is officially September 22, I've always felt that the day after Labor Day marks the end of summer and the start of Fall.

When I was young I loved summer so much that Labor Day was a day of mourning for me. I'd mope around the house and sometimes even cry over the loss of Summer.

Now that I'm "an adult" working for "the man" in an air conditioned office every day, and I don't go back to school, seasons matter less to me. And since I live in a Southern California beach city where the weather rarely drops below 60 all year, and the palm tree leaves don't turn to shades gold and brown, the concept of Seasons is sometimes irrelevant. But nevertheless, in recent years Fall has grown on me.

So since "Fall" is right around the corner I've been thinking of the reasons that I've fallen in love with Fall.

1. College Football! Specifically, my Alma Mater, the USC Trojans!
I love the excitement around college football in general. But there is almost nothing I love more than tailgating on the USC campus with my alumni buddies and watching the Trojans demolish a team in the Colosseum.


PS- Can you believe that a true Freshman, Matt Barkley will be starting at quarterback on Saturday? It's the first time ever in USC history a true Freshman has started at QB.


2. Holidays
I've always loved Halloween. And now I love Thanksgiving because it is always such a fun and special time with the Mr's family in Oregon (where they actually have seasons). Plus my MIL is a great cook and does a lot of fun dishes with the leftovers too.



3. New Fall TV Shows
I don't watch a TON of TV, but I am excited for new episodes of three of my favorite shows (my other favorite show, LOST, will not back on until January)

The Office premires on September 17.


How I Met Your Mother premires on September 21.


Grey's Anatomy premires on September 24 (thank goodness for DVR!)


What parts of Fall do you enjoy? Or do you still hate Fall like I used to? What are you looking forward to in Fall?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Luau Bridal Shower

It’s amazing that I’ve never shared my Bridal Shower on this blog! I had a fabulous Bridal shower in June 2008 before our August 2008 wedding that was hosted by my Godmother at her home in San Diego.

Since we were honeymooning in Hawaii, we thought it would be apropos and fun to do Hawiian Luau theme.

It’s very easy to be cheesy with a Luau theme, so I told my Godmother to steer toward a chic, vintage take on the Luau theme.

I even made her an inspiration board based on what I imagined a vintage Hawaiian Luau Themed Bridal Shower to look like:


And here is a look at what she created for my actual Shower!

{Click to Enlarge}

It was such an amazing Bridal Shower; complete with mai tais, leis, orchids, sand, pu-pu platters, palm trees, and fan favors. She had so many fun details! Here are some of my favorites…

The invitations


The florals


The sand and palms d├ęcor


The entryway to my Godmother’s house (me, Mom, and Grandma!)


My Godmother and me with my chocolate orchid cake


Opening gifts! I love our facial expressions.


Thansk for stopping by on "Show Us Your Life" Friday!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chic Cat Decor

I love sleek, modern decor. Clean lines, minimal clutter.

I know a lot of moms talk about ugly baby gear taking over their homes (I read one blogger who said that most baby gear looks like "the circus threw up on it"). And while we don't have a baby yet, I'm already noticing a little bit of this with our furry baby, our cat Judah.

No offense to anyone, bu there is some seriously fugly cat gear out there. Exhibits A and B:



Faux houses, neon colors? No thank you.

Ideally, I'd love to have a sweet playground of a house for Judah, like this house in Japan.


Isn't that cool?! But it's just not feasible for us.

Apparently some merchants got the memo that some people want sleeker cat products and decor. In fact, Modern Cat is blog/website dedicated to all things modern for cats. But the products are all sooo expensive.

Enter Ikea Hacker. They have so many great ideas for what to do with Ikea products. Such as this litter box hider (originally intended as a bathroom sick cabinet). LOVE this!



Or this cat tree made from Lack shelving.


Now I just need to convince the Mr. to bust out his tools and hack some Ikea with me one of these weekends.

Of course, I can't do a post about Judah without a picture of him. I guess he wanted to come to work with me, because he tried to stole-away in my laptop bag. Silly cat.


Have you incorporated any pet items into your home in a chic and easy way?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

I've been on kind of a nesting spree lately! Ben Bernanke, you cannot blame low consumer confidence on us!

The latest obsession? A sweet mirror for our dining room.

As you may know, in our Condo the living room and dining room are one big open room.

I've been on the hunt for a cool mirror to go above our dining room table for a while. But now that we found our living room art, I'm ready to buy something for that part of the room to really complete it!

Here is how the room will look once we get the art.

You like how I superimposed the image of our art onto that living room picture? Yeah, I'm crafty like that.

I decided that a round mirror would be best for the space above the table, so I scoured the internet to find mirrors that would fit the bill, and I now present to you my "mirror round-up."


{click to enlarge}

I love #3, but that's an outrageous price for a stinkin' mirror. #6 doesn't really fit the clean lines and feel of the room. So those two are pretty much out at this point. That leaves the remaining five in the running.

I really like #7 but it's the smallest of them, and I'd really like it more if it was six inches bigger in diameter.

Which one do you like?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Movies, Movies, Movies, Movies

(The title of this post should be sung, like that old Starz commercial that was to the tune of "Ode to Joy." Remember that one? Anyway...)

In the past week I've see three great films!

District 9
(Newlywed Next Door Rating: 4/5 Stars)


This movie is thrilling, fun, sad, funny, ironic, suspenseful, and fascinating. The back story of aliens alone warrants it own movie. And beneath the surface this movie is a powerful allegory of apartheid. There will definitely be a sequel.


The Time Traveler's Wife
(Newlywed Next Door Rating: 3/5 Stars)


You all know I was super excited to see this movie. It was pretty good, but not great. I think if I had not read and loved the book I would have been kind of lost as to why Claire loved Henry and probably wouldn't have liked the movie so much. Rachel McAdams was cute as ever, but Eric Bana came off as kind of cold.


The Business of Being Born
(Newlywed Next Door Rating: 5/5 Stars)


I rented this amazing documentary. Ricki Lake, after her own natural home birth, decided to take a serious look at America's maternity care system and created this film to shed light on how America views the birthing process. Although I've never been pregnant nor am I currently pregnant, this movie definitely made me examine my own pre-conceived (no pum intended) notions about birthing (wanting epidurals, c-sections, etc.). Seriously worth a watch!


Up next...
I'm now re-reading The Lovely Bones (I read it back in 2003) because the movie comes out in December! I'm so excited! I'm a little bit worried because it's pretty hard to depict heaven without being cheesy, but if anyone can do a good film interpretation, Peter Jackson can.


What did you think of these movies? What upcoming movies are you looking forward to?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Art Found!

How's this for timing? I blogged on Thursday about our hunt for art, and this Sunday there happend to be an art fair right by our condo in Long Beach! The Mr. and went over to it, met a great artist from San Diego who paints beaches and water scenes, and purchased one of her pieces!

In a just a few weeks, this beautiful scene will be hanging over our couch!


I love it! The water is abstract and the boats make it tangible and nautical (this image does not do the water justice).

Thank you all for your great ideas and a special thanks to the Introvert Wife and Carey for volunteering to paint something for us! You guys rock!

Now I just need to buy some couch pillows! Any suggestions for ones that would go well with this piece?

Friday, August 21, 2009

I broke down....

and joined Twitter!

I was hanging out with Danica (aka Chic Runner) earlier this week, and she was telling me about all of the fun that you all are having on Twitter and I finally couldn't resist.

You can read all of my tweets here. I'm SoCalNewlywed!



Some come tweet with me on this beautiful, sunny and 70s, So Cal Friday!

PS- My blog friend, and sorority sister from another chapter, Emily is having her sweet baby Cate today! Praying for her!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Art Hunt

We've lived in our condo officially as a couple for over one year now.

When we moved in we had NOTHING in terms of furniture. I think I had a mattress and the Mr. had a desk chair. We've spent the last year buying furniture, art, frames, and other decor items.

I'm happy to report that in terms of major furniture/decor items we're only missing a few things. The most glaring missing item is a great piece of art over the couch.

Exhibit A:


This area is just SCREAMING for some art. So a few months ago the Mr. and I officially started our "Art Hunt."

(BTW, as soon we get the art, I'm changing out our couch pillows which I hate!)

Our wall is too big, and our ceilings are too high for a cluster of art like this:

(from The Nest)

I've thought about doing 3 panels of art like this:


(from The Nest)

But I really think our space needs one big bold piece.

I've thought about a print of old Long Beach.


But ideally I want something a bit more artistic, more modern and abstract, yet relates to the beach/water. (Note: I may want something that does not exist, ha!)

I've looked online and in some local galleries and nothing really fit. I feel kind of stuck.

Where have you bought art for your home? Have you ever commissioned a piece?

Since we're talking about home decor... a couple of months ago I "met" Mrs. Limestone when our custom blog URLs went down. But since then I have fallen in love with her blog. Her Brooklyn Limestone home is SO amazing. I just look at it and drool. It makes me want to run out tomorrow and buy an old home to fix up and modernize . She has such a great sense of style, is an amazing photographer, and definitely seems to know her way around tools. Basically, I want to be her.

And for fun... a new blogger, Brittany is doing a fun giveaway over on her blog. Go over there to check out!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First Anniversary Weekend Recap

We had an amazing Anniversary Weekend in San Diego! It was so fun to enjoy our wedding hotel and to celebrate our first year as a couple!

We kicked off the weekend on Friday afternoon by opening gifts at home.

I took some of your "paper anniversary" gift advice and framed our vows with a wedding picture of us (we wrote our own vows). I really like how it turned out!


Here is the Mr. opening it. I wrapped it in newspaper (Get it? The paper?)


The Mr. wrote me a long letter and made a CD that summarizes our first year together with new songs off of iTunes. Then he did a write-up of what each song symbolizes. I loved it!


Then we drove down to San Diego. We checked into our waterfront suite and were greeted with strawberries and champagne! An anniversary present from my parents! So sweet!


On Saturday we went to the beach and went sailing (no pictures, boo).

Then we got ready for night out in the Gaslamp District of Downtown San Diego.

The Mr. on our room's balcony before leaving for dinner. I love this view!


Me at our wedding site, one year later!


At the hotel, on our way to dinner. The Mr. is holding a bottle of 1998 Dom Perignon, which was wedding gift from a friend specifically for our first anniversary. A great idea for a gift!


On the way to dinner we stopped off at Lemon Grove Bakery where I picked up a mini re-creation of the top tier of our wedding cake (in flavor and color), since we did not save our top tier.

Lemon Grove Bakery is where my Mom had my birthday cake made almost every year of my life, so when I got engaged I knew they had to do our wedding cake too! They are the cutest family-run business.

I loved seeing all their fun wedding cake displays again! Our cake was similar to the shells ones they have displayed.


For our Anniversary Dinner we had a five course meal at one of my favorite San Diego restaurants, Blue Point. We were eating and drinking for almost three hours! It was ah-mazing!


Here is our little cake!


The flavor was raspberry and white chocolate mousse with butter cream frosting. SO delicious!


After dinner we walked around Downtown San Diego people watching and window shopping.

On Sunday we played tennis, ate brunch, set "goals" of things we want to accomplish in the next year, and then drove back to LA to watch our Wedding DVD. I hadn't watched it since we got it, so that was a lot of fun to see!

It was basically a perfect anniversary weekend to cap off a wonderful first year together! Here's to at least 49 more!

Friday, August 14, 2009

One Year Anniversary - Off to Celebrate in San Diego!

This Sunday is our ONE YEAR Anniversary! I cannot believe it has been one year.

We'll be celebrating in my home town, San Diego, CA, which was also our Wedding Location. I love San Diego. And even though I hope that maybe we'll move back there some day, for now San Diego is my favorite vacation spot!

We'll be staying at our wedding hotel, the San Diego Hilton Resort on Mission Bay.




And visit our ceremony site where we got married.


We'll definitely be doing some sailing and hanging out at the beach.


And of course, tennis.



We'll have a romantic dinner for two at a restauarant in the Historic Gaslamp Quarter.
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And pop the Dom Perignon that we got as a wedding gift!


Thank you for all of your advice about anniversary gifts! I definitely took some of the advice I got and I think I got a really great present!

I'll be back Monday with the gift revealing as well as pictures from our weekend!
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