Thursday, April 9, 2015

Here Comes Peter Cottontail

This year, I got to spend Easter at home in Connecticut with my family for the first time in over 5 years! It was so nice to be home and see all my aunts, uncles, and cousins, and to eat all the amazing Italian Easter food that you just can't find on the west coast.

For those non-Italians out there, Easter means apizzagain, or "Easter Pie".  What is apizzagain?  Two types of ham, eggs, cheese, pepper crust.  Healthy? Hell no. Delicious? Hell yes.

This is little lady and I got to spend a lot of time together while I was home.  I can't believe the next time I will see her will be when she is the flower girl in my wedding.  But for now, we are just two bunnies hanging out on Easter.

                                 

My mother, as usual, went a little crazy for our Easter Baskets.  Yes, I am 28 years old and yes, that is a Hello Kitty kite because Mom said we needed "a toy".  Now if only I had enough self control to not eat all that candy in under a week...


Also, can you believe my cousin and I showed up to Easter in the same exact outfit? I guess everyone loves a pair of pastel jeans and silk shirt no matter where you live.






Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: Signed, Sealed, Delivered

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Wedding Paper Divas. I received a product and a promotional item to thank me for participating.”

I mentioned a week or two ago that we decided to go with Wedding Paper Divas for our wedding invitations. (You can take a peep at that post here if you are so inclined.)  Now that all the invitations are in the mail (as of one weeks ago), I feel safe (and excited) to share the details of the invitations with the world aka the 20 people who read this blog on a regular basis (ps. I love you).


Yup, that's a cupcake and champagne celebration after we finished all the invites.

After a lot of trial and error (we may or may not have ordered over 8 samples before deciding on the look we were going for) we decided that a simple, clean look was really what we wanted the most.  Bold typeface, black and white with gold accents, and a clean, modern look are what we finally settled on and we could not have been happier.


I love how the gold really made the invitations pop and I loved all the ways I was able to customize the invitations to fit our needs.  All I had to do was put a little note about what I wanted added, deleted, or changed, and it was taken care of for me quickly and easily during the proof review process. I even ended up calling customer service at one point to get a little more information during the process and I have to say that everyone I spoke with was friendly, efficient, and genuinely helpful (which we all know from calling customer service, is unfortunately not always the case). We started out with the Perfect Simplicity invitation suite and went to town turning it into our own perfect invitation.

We were able to:
  • Have the corners of all the inserts, including the invitation, rounded
  • Have the back be solid white instead of a pattern
  • Change the title of the insert card from "Directions" to "Information"
  • Have a fourth dinner option be added to the RSVP card
  • Get upgraded to gold envelope instead of standard white
  • Tie it all together with a white satin ribbon (also purchased on the site)

All of this for a fraction of the price of what I was getting quoted elsewhere! And I do mean a fraction...hundreds of dollars cheaper! And when you are planning a wedding (especially one with over 200 people invited) every bit of savings counts!





Thursday, April 2, 2015

When You Wish Upon a Star...

The fiancĂ© and I have really been enjoying our Disneyland Annual Passes.  It has been so nice to leisurely enjoy the parks and take part in events we may not have "bothered" with in the past.  When you only have one or two days a year to go to Disneyland, you don't want to "waste your time" on Dapper Day when it will be very crowded or the Egg-Stravaganza Easter Egg hunt (which we did last weekend).  But when you know you can come back any day you want, you get to experiment, relax and have fun.  

This past weekend, we went to Disneyland Saturday after a morning stair hike (you know we love those) and a late morning breakfast.  Even though it was a little hot, the park wasn't too crowded and we got to see a lot of characters (which is always fun).  



It is also nice to see how the park changes almost every time we go.  At Disneyland, they are gearing up for the 60th anniversary of the park.  This time we noticed changes to the castle and a new restaurant and re-vamped attraction at California Adventure.  

This time, we also decided to try the Cove Bar.  The Cove Bar is in California Adventure right on the boardwalk and is the only full bar in the park.  We ended up getting the Fun Wheel and the Melrose Place. They were both yummy and refreshing and it was nice to sit outside by the water during the heat of the day.  We will also be back for the famous lobster nachos very soon...too bad we weren't hungry!


Unfortunately, this might be the last time we visit Disney for a few weeks.  I will be back east this coming weekend, have our "Engaged Encounter" weekend coming up in April, and will be going back east again at the end of the month as well.  Can't wait to see what they come up with next!




Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: My Mailman Thinks I am Running a Scam

One of the caveats about getting married in a place other than where you currently live is that the rest of the wedding activities also take place in a location other than where you currently live.  I am extremely fortunate and have not one, but two showers planning in my honor.  However, both will be taking place on the East Coast.  Because of this, everyone is very thoughtfully shipping their gifts to my home in California.  Also because of this, I get about 2-3 packages delivered to my house a day.

I am confident my mailman thinks I am one, if not all, of the following:


  • A housewife spending all of her husbands money on items from Macy's and Crate & Barrel
  • A scam artist running some short of mail-order fraud
  • A shopaholic who needs an intervention

This is what my "office" looked like as of two weeks ago:



Needless to say, that pile has grown by about 25% in the past few days and soon we will have to climb over stuff in order to use the bathroom.  

On top of it all, I can't open any of them until the shower.  So I have to look at them, everyday, taunting me.  I know, I know...poor me.
Monday, March 23, 2015

Marathons are Even More Fun When You Only Run Part of It

While I have run the Los Angeles Marathon two times, the past few years I have hung up my running shoes in favor of shorter races (aka races that I can walk down stairs after I run).  However, just because I haven't run the marathon in two years, doesn't mean I don't like to go to the marathon.  In fact, attending the marathon as a spectator is SO FREAKING INSPIRATIONAL...if you haven't been to cheer on marathon runners before then I suggest you find the closest marathon to your house and start making a sign now.

Before the race, I had a few friends over to what has quickly become a pre-marathon cheering tradition: waffles and mimosas.  This year I added bacon to the menu because, well, it's bacon and it's delicious.  


This year, I couldn't take the traditional "road mimosa" with me because I was going to meet a friend of mine and run the last 3 miles of the marathon with her! This year, the LA Marathon had an amazing app that allowed me to track her as she ran to make sure I was in position for when we were supposed to meet up.



G looked AMAZING when we met us at San Vicente and 19th.  This woman does not look like she ran 23 miles.



It was so nice to be able to the return the favor of being someone's "Marathon Support".  My first LA Marathon, my friend Betsy met me at mile 20 and ran the last six miles with me.  I told her the same story about 6 times in a row and she just smiled and encouraged me.  I would not have been able to finish that race without her.  To be able to do that for someone else was amazing...and the cheers as I ran by didn't hurt either.

Congrats to G and all the other LA Marathon finishers who braved the 90 + degree heat!  You are all champions!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: Invitations

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Wedding Paper Divas. I received a product and a promotional item to thank me for participating.”


Ok guys, we are in the home stretch on this whole wedding thing over here!  This month, the big thing is INVITATIONS.  Etiquette dictates that invitations go out 3 months before the wedding, but let me tell you something...it took a long time to get where we are now.

We decided to go with Wedding Paper Divas for our invitations after a LOT of trial and error. (And after a lot of sticker shock...some places, that will remain nameless, wanted our first born child as payment.)  One thing we really appreciated was the ability to get samples of ANY invitation that we wanted.  And I really mean any, the fiancĂ© and I may or may not have ordered two rounds of 5+ samples until we were able to make a decision. Samples are key because you need to see things like the weight of the paper and readability of fonts in real life.  Nothing ever looks exactly like it does on the internet, and the invitations for our wedding was NOT where we needed to learn that the hard way.

The sample kit from Wedding Paper Divas was amazing.  Not only were the samples high quality, but I loved how they included booklets about how the invitations could be customized: everything from font and font sizes, to colors, and add ons like inner envelopes, liners, and belly bands.

It was also really nice to get samples of the companion cards that come with the invitations.  Below is an example of a wedding suite we did not end up picking (can't reveal the good stuff just yet), but it shows how even the RSVP card is included.  This really helped us to get a better idea of the overall look that we were going for.


It was also really nice to see samples in alliterative colors or with different shapes.  Admittedly, we really had NO IDEA what I wanted, and after ordering not one, but TWO rounds of samples we ended up with a completely different look than I had originally thought we would choose.



Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Easy Weeknight Dinner: Portobello Pizzas

Confession: as much as I love to cook, some nights cooking is the BIGGEST CHORE EVER.  After a long day of work and then a workout, the thought of having to make dinner can be almost unbearable.  That is why I like to have a few staples that are delicious, but also extremely fast and easy.

Enter, the Portobello Pizza.  More assembling and less cooking makes these something that you can whip of very quickly.  And bonus points...it's really yummy!


I served by mini pizzas with a side salad of arugula, shaved parmesan, garlic croutons, and lemon dressing.  Also an essay and yummy side dish! 

Ingredients
for one serving
from this recipe 

1 large portobello mushroom, stem
removed
1 tablespoon spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 tablespoon sliced black olives
4 slices pepperoni sausage
1 clove garlic, chopped


Directions

1.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2.Place the mushroom on a baking sheet, and bake for 5 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from the oven, and spread spaghetti sauce in the cup of the cap. Top with cheese, olives, pepperoni and garlic.
3.Bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden.


 

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