2014 Recap

Every night that we've turned the lights on our Christmas tree this year, I can't help but smile. Our gracious and thoughtful friends and families have gifted us with several new ornaments this year, and they remind me of what a wonderful year 2014 has been thus far.

We've had happy times with our friends, finally met our newborn nephew, traveled, and we got married too -- all in a year!

I devoted the early months of 2014 prepping for our wedding -- DIY projects, contacting vendors, arranging and participating in events with our bridal party, etc. etc. These were hectic, yet rewarding months. 

By the half-way mark of 2014, we officially became husband and wife! We had a blast on our wedding day and hope all of our attendees did too! #BestDayEver

So thankful for everyone's love and support, seriously. 

My bridal party was with with me every step of the way -- from start to finish. 

Our wonderful and talented photographer, Jennifer Fujikawa, captured all of the special moments....and then she went above and beyond and gifted us a special ornament yesterday!! Such a sweet and thoughtful gesture. My hubby and I smiled when we opened her gift because the photo inside the ornament frame turned out to be one of the photos we love most from that day (& have a larger version already framed)! We're all on the same page here. 

My in-laws have always welcomed me as family, and now it is official :) My mom-in-law gifted us with this "best dog ever" ornament this year {she gifts us an ornament each year} for Louie. It's in the shape of a treat jar with small dog biscuits inside.

In the fall, we went on our dream honeymoon to Europe :) We navigated through two countries and attempted our best to speak their languages {at least the bare minimum}. Parlez-vous anglais?

Now onto winter, we've finally started getting used to being referred to as "Mr & Mrs," and I've legally changed my last name. What a process that was {those that have gone through the name changing process -- my hats off to you}!

I've also had the pleasure this year to befriend some of the most creative and thoughtful people on Instagram and on the blogosphere. One of these people happens to be Jane from Always With Yoo. She is quiet and sweet, yet firm with her beliefs, and I love and admire that aspect about her. Thank you, Jane, Yangkyu, and Piri for sending us this wonderfully handcrafted mini tree ornament! It is such a heartwarming gift.

Thank you, 2014, for being so, so good to us. This will probably be my last post for 2014 -- wishing you happy holidays and best wishes for a new year of happiness and peace! xoxo.


When friends become strangers

Last night, my husband and I had the opportunity to watch a Clipper's game {someone from his work gave us the tickets}, so we said "Why not?" and headed out to downtown L.A. after work. Although I am not a big sports fan, we ended up having a lot of fun watching the game! I know you're supposed to root for the home team, but I just felt awful about the rookie from the opposing team that airballed two straight free throws.

This is kind of unrelated, but lately I've been having dreams about people from the past that I haven't thought about in years. People that I used to be close with over 10 years ago, but haven't contacted since then. Essentially, people who were my very close friends but have since become strangers. 

I googled "friends become strangers" and the top search result hit a home run for me. It's a quote from Hayley Williams, the singer from Paramore: 

"Sometimes friends become enemies, but what's worse is when they become strangers."

After these dreams, I wake up with a mixed bag of emotions -- a sprinkle of "Hm, that was an odd dream," a dash of  "I wonder what they're up to now...," and a hint of utter sadness and disappointment that both parties didn't put much effort to keep in touch. 

Isn't it weird how the subconscious mind works? 99.9% of the time, nothing makes me happier than to be surrounded by my small circle of tight-knit friends, my husband, family, and Louie. What more can I ask for than to be loved by the people I love? I am very fortunate to have such good people in my life. I am there for them, and they are here for me. Doing the most mundane things together with them is a fun experience, and doing impromptu things like going to a Clipper's game on a Wednesday night with my husband turns into an adventure. Most of the time, they're all I think and care about because we constantly communicate with one another, whether it be via text, calls, or in person.

But that 00.1% of the time, something triggers my mind to remember individuals like the ones that have been recurring characters in my dreams lately and think about how unfortunate it is that we as humans put so much time and effort to build relationships with certain people; yet after some time, both or one of the parties begin to experience change and the relationship you once had just evaporates. It's usually a gradual thing -- like, one of you starts noticing that you two no longer share the same values or interests that you once did. You try to look past the differences, but you can't help but want to be with the person that they once were instead. You don't enjoy being with this "new" person they've become {or vice versa}.

So naturally the frequent meetups begin to dwindle, you both find other people that are more in line with your aspirations and interests, and in a blink of an eye you're no longer speaking to one another. Not even a simple "How are you?" More time passes, and they've become a ghost of your past. People change, friends sometimes become strangers, but the memories will remain.

Upon a further google search, I came across this eloquently written piece about my current state of mind. Though I am not able to write down my thoughts as beautifully as the author, my sentiments are the same: "The hope is that we grow with our friends, but more often than not we grow apart. We grow into strangers...We were strangers once before and built a friendship. We are now strangers again. Do we try again?"

Something to think about.


Raining cats and dogs

SoCal is experiencing some much needed rain today.

Out of all the different types of weather, rain brings back a lot of memories and feelings for me.

Back in grade school, I looked forward to rainy days because that meant we were able to play "Heads up, Seven-up" as a class. When I was given the chance to press down on someone's thumb, I always chose an acquaintance -- someone I was not quite friends with -- just to make the guessing part more difficult. Looking back, I remember most kids chose their close friends or their crushes. It just seemed too obvious when that happened, and it wasn't much fun in my book. Have you played this game, and if so, did you enjoy it? 

In middle school, I remember an incident when my childhood best friend and I were waiting for her grandmother to pick us up after school, but she didn't come after 30 minutes of waiting. It started drizzling. We decided to take a chance and walked to her grandmother's home together. Midway through the walk, it started pouring. We decided to stop by a fast food joint and pooled our coins to share fries inside and talked until the rain started to clear up. That was one of my most memorable times with her, even though all we did was talk about the things we did all the time, which was: "which boy do you think is cute/funny/smart?" and "if you could be anyone from tv, which character would you want to be?"

Then there was this one time in high school when I lost by a point on a tie-breaker in a tennis match against our rival school and it was sprinkling. I shed a few tears in frustration as soon as my ball hit the net {on my side}, because I knew my team was counting on me to win. I guess it didn't help that I was mentally and physically exhausted by then. I sniffled my tears away and tried to convince my teammates that my tears were being mistaken by the rain -- they didn't buy it for one second. Smart girls.

Now as an adult, I enjoy the rain for the most part. I find the gentle sound of the rain hitting the window panes to be soothing. The only thing I do not like is when Louie shakes all over the house after she's gone outside to do her business and splatters water all over me. Oh, and driving to and from work in the rain. That's always a drag and adds a good 30 extra minutes on my commute.

Do you have any memories that are triggered by the rain?


Thanksgiving 2014

Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving in America -- a day to gather and celebrate friends, family, and food.

If my memory serves me right, I think I was ill and miserable around this time last year. Thankfully, I am in good health this year! Ever since I was a child, I've had a low immune system and would easily catch a cold or flu, especially during the fall to winter months. This year, I've been exercising and/or stretching throughout the week, and have been trying to eat more fresh vegetables and fruits -- and I think it's been helping me ward off germs. Staying healthy means that I can better take care of others in times of need as well. Good health is oftentimes taken for granted, and I am appreciative that all of the special people in my life have been relatively healthy this year.

I am also very thankful for the special dog in my life, Louie. I have suffered from bouts of mild depression from time to time, and ever since we've had her in our lives, she has made me feel positive and happy. As a token of my appreciation and as a belated birthday present for Louie, I purchased our first Barkbox -- a monthly subscription catered to pups!

Here are the items that were included in this month's package (I decided to do two months worth):

  • Swag Company Cornucopia (toy)
  • Petmate Chef Heggies (toy)
  • Caru Pet Food Company Beef Stew
  • Plato EOS Turkey & Sweet Potato Treats
  • Safemade Apawthecary Cleaning Wipes

Louie is so pleased with these items, which makes me very happy {her favorite is the cornucopia toy}! We plan to feed her the beef stew tomorrow, so she can have a special dinner like the rest of us. Thank you Louie, for just being you.

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, and hope you are able to spend time with your loved ones :)

Sephora lipbalm from Ice Pandora

I recently won a giveaway hosted by the one and only Mei from Ice Pandora :) I love her blog because she posts so many DIY tutorials & recipes that are very easy to follow and produce great results! I think my all-time favorite tutorial she posted is her crocheted pumpkin pie -- it is so darn cute and makes for a sweet gift to a gal pal. I've also been wanting to follow her raspberry beanie tutorial -- maybe during the holiday break.

She recently hosted a Sephora "Kiss Me" lipbalm giveaway, and I was randomly chosen as the winner :) I just received my package in the mail and I was eager to try it on!

Sephora "Kiss Me" in 05 Strawberry Fizz

Ta-da! Love this lip color :)
Thank you so much, Mei! I love it :) & the handwritten note you included was very sweet too! I will give Louie extra hugs for you ;)


Honeymoon: Paris | La Ville-Lumière

Oh, Paris! Paris is a city that just oozes with romance and wonderment. You can enjoy Paris via train, via cab, and/or via walking. Each one offers a different perspective of the city. Our top choice was to stroll hand-in-hand, as we were able to leisurely go from point A to point B and detour to point C through various streets easily.

We hit up the usual attractions -- the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysées, Arc de Triomphe, Notre-Dame Cathedral, love lock bridge (we didn't participate but were amazed by the amount of locks, despite the recent concerns), the Louvre, etc.

a view of the Eiffel Tower from the Seine River
the Eiffel Tower
looking up the Eiffel Tower

"Paris is always a good idea" - Audrey Hepburn

Arc de Triomphe
love locks
love lock bridge

"Hold me close and hold me fast/ This magic spell that you cast/ This is la vie en rose." - Louis Armstrong

Notre-Dame Cathedral
the Louvre

On our last night in Paris, we went on the Seine River sunset cruise. It was a very relaxing and memorable way to end our trip. It felt bittersweet, because we loved our European honeymoon, but we were also getting pretty homesick too (especially being without Louie...! But it turns out she was totally fine without us, and loved being pampered by grandma and grandpa). We will always look back on this trip & although our memories may fade as we grow older, our photographs will be our forever souvenirs. This post concludes our honeymoon series; thank you for reading :) xx

Our previous posts can be seen here:


Halloween 2014

I'm taking a short break from the honeymoon series to wish you all a safe and happy Halloween! To celebrate the Halloween spirit, I'm going to share a few photos of Louie in her various costumes this year. Enjoy :)

Our groomer gave her a festive bandana!

The makings of a Tina Belcher (from Bob's Burgers) costume.

Louie as Tina Belcher ( > v < )

Louie as the friendly triceratops.

Louie as an owl :)

Yesterday, my husband took our camera to his Halloween office party. He let his co-worker go through several of the photos (because she is also a Bobs Burgers fan), and she said him "Oh my gosh, so cute!! ...So is this what your wife does during her spare time?" Haha. I'm quite embarrassed, but's true. I'm very lucky Louie is a good sport about it all!