Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Caturday Pictures and "Fetch" Video

You all I know that I'm a crazy cat lady and I realized that haven't featured my "sweet beast" (as the Mr. calls him) on the blog lately, so it's time to fix that!

What's Judah been up to lately?

Sometimes he sleeps in his bed...

Sometimes he sleeps in our office/guest room.

Sometimes he plays with his toy mouse.

And sometimes he plays fetch!

I'm so excited that I finally got a video of him playing fetch with me! He's so hilarious!

Friday, August 27, 2010

What's in your Fridge Friday

My blog friend, Jessica, is doing a fun Friday feature called "What's in your Fridge Friday."

I think this is so funny and so perfect for nosy people like me types!

So what's in the Newlyweds Next Door's Fridge? ...

The main shelves contain: Milk, salsa, cranberry juice, Brita, a half of an onion leftover from last night, Parmesan cheese (for these potatoes I'm making tonight), Trader Joe's yogurts, bagels, bread.

I warned you before, we tend to not have a lot of food on hand.

The meat drawer contains: Turkey lunch meat, ham lunch meat, procsutto.

The produce drawers contain: apples, limes, oranges, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, asparagus, corn, and arugula.

Our produce drawers are a little lighter this week because our CSA came last week, not this week.

The door contains: Pacifico beers, 3 kinds of cheese, PB&J, and a whole lot of condiments.

Now I know it doesn't seem like we have a lot of food on hand but I did cook two meals this week! I made Thai curry chicken and veggies stir fry on Wednesday and Gazpacho on Thursday.

How did I cook without a lot of food on hand?

I've been doing a new shopping technique where I buy staples that keep a long time (like rice, condiments, soups, cereal, frozen food, etc.) once a month at Costco. And then when I'm not out of town working, I do lots of small trips to Trader Joe's and Fresh & Easy on my way home from from my office and only buy fresh food for the next 2-3 days out. It keeps me from getting overwhelmed with shopping and keeps me from wasting food. I'm lucky that I have to drive by a Trader Joe's to get home from my office.

Now, tell me, what's in YOUR Fridge? Or better yet, link up to Jessica's blog, My Beatles Babies.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Identity Crisis Solved

A year ago I went to the DMV to change my name to First Name, Maiden Name, New Last Name.

And they would NOT let me.

My two choices were First Name, Middle Name, New Last Name or First Name, Middle Name Maiden Name, New Last Name. I blogged all about that drama here.

So for over a year my Social Security Card (which has my name as First Name, Maiden Name, New Last Name) and my Driver's License (which has my name as First Name, Middle Name Maiden Name, New Last Name) did not match.

Um yeah, that caused some problems!

Well, on Monday night while I was out celebrating my work promotion with the Mr. I somehow dropped/lost my driver's license. Ooops.

I decided that if I was going to go back to the DMV to get new license I should try to get my correct name on that license.

I'd heard from Mrs. Kiwi on Wedding Bee that the Culver City DMV let her get the name she wanted, so today I went over there to get a new license. I waited about an hour an half before they finally they called my number. Then I explained to the nice lady that the Long Beach DMV "accidentally" left my middle name and maiden name on my license and explained to her that I needed to drop my middle name to match my Social Security card. And guess what?! She let me! Hallelujah!

So in about seven days I'll be in possession of a California Driver's license that reads: First Name, Maiden Name, New Last Name. YAY!

Speaking of Monday night's promotion celebration here are some pictures from it.

The Mr. congratulated me with flowers, a card, and champagne. So sweet!

Hilarious card!

I changed my clothes and was ready to celebrate!

We enjoyed wine at District Wine, a fantastic new wine bar in our neighborhood.

And we ate sushi and drank sake at Wokano!

Does anyone else out there have any name change horror stories?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's Not Easy Eating Green

For a long time I could have cared less about organic food or being green in my food choices.

I had decided that organic food was probably just an expensive gimmick. I mean if the food and the plastic packaging was allowed to be sold, it had to be safe, right?

Or maybe not...

It all started when I gave up artificial sugars and lost a bit of weight and massively decreased my sugar cravings.

"Hmmm that was interesting..." I thought to myself. I wondered if there was more to this whole "chemicals and food" thing.

Then I started doing some research about eating organic. Reading books. Watching movies like Food Inc. Reading blogs, news sources, and magazines. And I started to become convinced.

What stood out most to me was some of the alarming stuff about pesticides/chemicals and fertility. So I decided to make it a part of my "Baby Bucket List" to stop eating non-organic food from the "dirty dozen" list and limit the amount of BPA in our home.

(BPA is a compound used in some plastic that is an endocrine disruptor, which means it mimics or alters the effects of a particular hormone, in this case estrogen, potentially throwing your body way out of whack. It's found in the highest quantities in certain plastics and canned goods. You can read a great article about it here.)

I'm happy to report that I've now accomplished both!

Here's how I did it...

First, I realized my biggest obstacle to eating organic food was just getting into my house. So I looked into getting an organic food delivery service, and found a great one called Beach Greens.

We signed up and now two times a month we get a crate that looks like this:

It's filled with some of most delicious fruits and veggies I've ever had!

Like juicey oranges...

And crunchy kale...

I supplement the deliveries with additional "Clean 15" fruits and veggies from the local grocery store. But overall we're eating a lot more fresh produce and a lot more organic produce and loving it!

(Note: To find a CSA like Beach Greens in your area, go here.)

Then I went on a BPA purge.

I got rid of every plastic bottle that has #3 or a #7 on the bottom. Then I went to Costco and bought glass food storage/microwave dishes and got rid or the plastic ones.

The left container is what I got rid of and the right container is what we have now.

And (sadly) I stopped buying by my beloved canned soups.

I know I can't purge all BPA from my home, but these were the best places to start according to my research.

Obviously, I can keep improving my green ways of eating and living, but overall I feel like I'm off to a good start. My next "green" task is to start making more of my own organic cleaning supplies!

Note: This post is not intended to tell you how you should or should not eat. I know people still having conflicting opinions about organics, BPA, chemicals, etc. So I won't judge you if you're not on the organic food train. This post is simply my story and journey.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Two Year Anniversary

Two years ago today I married the love of my life.

And on that amazing day we pledged to love, cherish, and honor each other for the rest of our lives.

This weekend we celebrated us.

Two years of married "us."

We celebrated by taking a little stay-cation in Santa Monica.

We had a hotel room with a gorgeous view!

We went out to dinner at an amazing french restaurant called Melisse. It was some of the best food I've ever had in my life - lobster, beef, chocolate souffle, pinot nior and so so much more. Our eight-course meal lasted over four hours!

The place was so nice that I felt weird taking pictures there, but I did manage to get a picture of us at the hotel before we went to the restaurant.

Then when we got back home yesterday we exchanged cards and gifts.

We both made each other home-made cards.

And since it's our "cotton" anniversary we both centered our gifts around cotton.

I got the Mr. a tempurpedic pillow. He was so happy!

And he got me an apron that I've been wanting from Flirty Aprons.

I love that it's my favorite color.

I feel so blessed that I could spend another wonderful anniversary with my amazing husband. Here's to many more!

Friday, August 13, 2010


This weekend we have something to celebrate.

So we're doing a little stay-cation.

(That's a vacation where you stay in your own city)

We'll be going here:

Staying here:

Eating here:

And drinking this:

Big stay-cation recap coming next week. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

10 Random Thoughts

Not too much to post today so I thought I'd entertain you with some things on my mind lately.

1. I will never be trendy/stylish enough to pull off an outfit like this...

2. Based on charting, I think I have a short luteal phase. I'm going to ask my Dr. about it in a couple of weeks. No, I'm not trying to get preggo.

3. I'm in the market for a new wallet. I asked people on Twitter what they like. LV is widely loved but I think it's too rich for my blood. I'm thinking this Kate Spade might be good.

4. It's almost our second anniversary! The cotton anniversary. I think I know what I'm going to buy the Mr. as gift. Any suggestions for a great cotton anniversary gift?

5. I've watched Jessica's "Daily Affirmation" about 20 times now. I just love her. "I can doing anything good!"

6. My favorite microwave meal ever is Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers Chicken Margarita. I love having these for lunch at my office (just 6 WW points!). I wish Costco still carried these.

7. Summer never came to Southern California. It's cloudy where I live all the time. Is it crazy to be envious over the summer heat that's boiling the rest of the country?

8. Some of you have commented that I'm always on the go -- both for work and vacations. It's true. In fact, I did the math and in the last year the Mr. and I have spent 20 weekends out of 52 traveling away from home, vacationing together (and that does not count my business trips). We went to San Diego several times, Oregon a few times, Arizona, Seattle, several ski trips, Boston, and of course, Europe. I love to travel. I'd much rather spend money on a vacation than an expensive item. In the last year I've spent far more on traveling than clothing and home goods combined. That's just how I roll.

9. Thank you all for your sweet comments and weight loss motivation on this post.

10. My parents are coming to town this weekend. Not sure of all that we're doing all weekend, but for sure we're renting a motorboat on Sunday to cruise around Long Beach. Something I've never done before. So excited!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Watching TV on Netflix Together

One thing that the Mr. and I really enjoy doing together is renting TV shows on Netflix. We love to crack a bottle a wine and watch a few back-to-back episodes on our giant TV with surround sound (the Mr.'s baby).

What we've watched

We watched 5 seasons of The Office on Netflix.

We quit watching The Office this year, half-way through season 6, because, in our opinion, it got dumb. Sorry, current Office fans!

We watched 4 seasons of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia on Netflix. LOVE. THAT. SHOW. I know it can be crude and not-PC, but it's SO funny. We're super excited that season 5 is on Netflix in September!

Also, we watched all 9 seasons of The X-Files. Don't judge us for being geeks, ok?

Although, I quit watching someplace in Season 8, because the show really jumped the shark toward the end.

What we're currently watching

We finally jumped on the Mad Men bandwagon and started watching Season 1. Despite all the cheating, I really like it! We'll definitely be renting more Mad Men soon.

What's up next

Obviously more Always Sunny and Mad Men.

Also, maybe Dexter, Season 4. We watched Seasons 1-3 of Dexter back when I had Showtime. But the Mr. quit half-way through Season 3 because he hated that Dexter and Rita were getting married and having a baby. I'm trying to convince him to rent Season 4 with me because apparently Rita dies in the last episode.

We're also going to rent the 1990s cult-classic, Twin Peaks.

I'm also trying to convince the Mr. that The West Wing is not liberal propaganda and that we should start renting those (even though I watched many of them live in the late 1990s/early 2000s.) So far I've gotten a "maybe" out of him.

Also, I've been watching Friday Night Lights and How I Met Your Mother on my own on DVR and borrowed DVDs -- But I've been unable to convince the Mr. that they are not "girl shows."

What TV shows do you and your husband/significant other love to watch together?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

How did I get here?

First a bit of background...

Age 12: I start complaining to my friends that I'm "fat." (I'm already 5'8" at this point)

High School: I varsity letter in two sports (tennis and basketball). I'm never "thin" in the tradition sense but very fit and muscular.

College and the years after: I put on over 20 pounds.

The year before our wedding: I lose 25 pounds reaching my lowest weight since middle school and finally reaching my "happy weight".

And today...

I've gained 12 pounds since our wedding on 8/16/08. Ugh.

It was this recent picture of me that really brought the gain to my attention.

I compared it to a similar picture taken at my bachelorette party in 2008.

So I admit that the 2008 picture angle is better and the outfit is more flattering. But the 12 pounds is definitely noticeable in my legs, tum, and face. And I can feel the gain in way my pants fit.

Now I need to lose weight. Again.

I'm embarrassed to be back here.

I keep asking myself, "how did I get here?!"

But I know the answer... I got here by working out less and not tracking how much I eat/drink.

I have to lose the 12 pounds before 12 becomes 20 again.

So what's the plan?

The plan is start tracking how much I eat and drink using Weight Watchers points again.

I'm also jumping back on the workout train by:
- Hitting the gym 2 times a week
- Doing yoga 1 time a week
- Walking or hiking 1 time a week
- And for something new, swimming 1 time a week

My goal is to lose 10 pounds.

I'm posting this here to a) keep it real with you all and b) create some motivation and accountability for myself

I hope that in 6-10 weeks I can post a success story here!

Does anyone have any other tips for me?

Monday, August 02, 2010

Everything smells like campfire smoke...

We're back from camping in Ft. Stevens, Oregon and I feel like my whole life smells like smoke.

I've shampooed my hair now twice since camping and I can still smell the campfire in it. I laundered all my clothes, but a few still have a faint smoke smell. Ahhhh, the joys of camping!

The trip was super relaxing and fun.

We played a lot of games and sat around the campfire a lot...

And played Bocce Ball on the beach again...

We also did some great bike rides...

Family bike ride picture! Notice the newest female on the right. Yay, the number of girls is sloooowly catching up with the guys...

Silly family photo in a WWII jeep!

I love the family camping tradition, but I must say sleeping on my plush mattress back at home last night was pure heaven!

Oh and I don't miss the mosquitoes.

Or having to choose between walking 1/2 mile to the restroom or peeing in the woods when I wake up in the night having to go to the bathroom.

But I do love camping.

Just once a year.
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