Tuesday, November 30, 2010


My Hubbs is no ME, but he does good work.* I am impressed with his efforts yesterday.  He has the sweetest of intentions, and made me a happy, happy old lady.

He gets overwhelmed by the three big events within a month from each other, but I tell him we have the whole year to think about it. I remind him that my birthday will not take a backseat to our anniversary (within the same week), or Christmas. Each day has its own special meaning.
It always bothered me that the season from October to December gets treated like one big retail-obsessed holiday.  There are so many great holidays in there, but they all get mushed together. I love the season and fall is my absolute fav time of the year, but can't we relish each holiday without stocking the shelves for the next one right away?

(*Sigh*) I know the answer is no. I work in retail.

I am just asking for Halloween and Thanksgiving and my B-day to be over before decking the halls. In my house, not the ones everyone else's house. I understand families get together only a few times a year, so you gotta decorate while you got 'em captive. That being said, there is no excuse to not make each of our momentous occasions especially distinct from each other in our house.

This year was a bit different, though, with all the reception hoopla, and the fact that I didn't wanna make a big deal out of this birthday. 
"I am so handsome it drives my momma crazy."

The day was fabulous. I was served pancakes in bed. I enjoyed a leisurely walk with my hairy son, took in this little fat robin in the back yard.

"You want to squeeze me!"

After work, I got ready for our dinner date. I met him at Taste of Thai, glass of wine in hand, as planned. I enjoyed watching him walk in with a pink bag & box. Dinner was tasty and we made it to the 10:15 showing of Burlesque (Disclaimer: I sat through The Inside Job on Thanksgiving with two finance guys, Interesting, yes, but I felt like I was in class. I told Hubbs I wanted to see Burlesque after all the derivative talk). The movie was entertaining and we cut up like teens, being the ONLY ONES in the theater! We laughed a lot, made our Cher impressions, and went home for more gifts :).

Showing off his bling mug, munching a tiny biscuit
I am so proud of him for trying so hard. He makes me happy, and I feel lucky to be loved so unconditionally. We make each other better people.

Stay tuned for our (actual) first anniversary this Friday! I got him the perfect paper gift!


*I am obsessed with perfection, of which I usually cannot achieve alone, but I try anyway. Sometimes get disappointed, but am learning to let go. By the grace of God, help from my mom, and my Hubbs, I am learning. Its tough.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dinner date

Excited about my date with a handsome man, tonight. He's meeting at the restaurant after work. I shall be there with a glass of wine in hand, like in the movies.

Ohhh, what should I wear?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, this is our first married Thanksgiving, and we are so thankful for all that we have! We have a sweet little family. As we were walking our dog this morning, we felt our hearts uplifted at how that animal has made us so happy, and brought so much love into our life together. I am so thankful to have a wonderful husband, who strives to love me the best he can every day.
  The day has been so peaceful so far. We had breakfast in bed, followed by a jam session, a family walk, and a light lunch. We will be going to Printworks bistro for dinner with Mom Whitmire & our friend, Brah. It feels so good to not have to plan the meal and the subsequent cleaning.

I will leave you with a couple shots of the day, as Hubbs has started a bonfire in the back yard! Gotta go!
there's a story to this speckled hen!
A finer things club Breakfast in bed.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How I get what I want

    With birthday, our actual first anniversary and Christmas coming up there are several reason for the Hubbs to get me a gift. I don't ask for much or expect extravagance, but I do like the idea of a sweet little wrapped gift, into which I can tear.

So here is how I get what I want from my Hubbs.  This is what we've found to be the best way of communicating: e-mail. My Hubbs, like most people, does not hear every word that comes out of my mouth.  This applies to anything from chores, doggy matters, bills, stuff I like, literally anything. I can say, "I like this and would really to receive it as a gift, from you, on my birthday," but there is no guarantee he will remember that even if he did hear it.  He is no secretary, and since I cannot fire him, I can't be his boss. I 've come to realize and make peace with this, though it saddens me greatly ;p.

It took me a while to come to this realization. I am the type of person who had a good long term memory for anything gift/occasion related or for occasions not related to anything at all. I remember what I wore when we first met, which really has no use at all, but to make me look smart to the Hubbs. However, it takes me a few tries to get some one's name right. It varies.

Anyway, we've found that e-mails work. We're tech savvy enough to make it work. I simply find my item on-line, and paste the url into an e-mail, making sure to make it an active link. The easier for him, the better for me. Sometimes I use the web site's "share with a friend" tool. This is how I picked my engagement ring (because if I wear it for the rest of my life, I better be ok with it sitting on my finger).  It actually took a lot of pressure off of him, and men will usually just spend a lot to compensate for the fact that they have no clue what ring to get. In the e-mail, I include some helpful info, like "there is a coupon in the catalog on the nightstand," or, "you can use your discount card." He has more patience with this method, than live shopping. I've circled things in catalogs before, but he is just not going to flip through a J.Crew or Tiffany, no matter where I strategically place them.

My b-day in 2007
His B day in 2009
So the point of this little story is not that I'm a greedy wife, but that we've found good ways of communication between us.  There are still many methods of communication that we can improve and when I figure them out, I'll triumphantly share them with you.
'Till then, little triumphs for now! I'll let you know what he gets me!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Recap: The Food

 Four things that were important to me at our party were:
  1. Food,
  2. Beverages,
  3. Cake, and
  4. Dancing.
    Food is probably the most important reception detail. Every one's expecting some sort of meal and most of the guest made a sacrifice to be there, so we wanted to make sure they were well fed. I think they were, since we had lots left over, and reports of people going for seconds.
    I really wanted to incorporate Filipino dishes into the menu, in addition to the catered food. No one, I mean no one makes pancit and lumpia like my own mother makes them, so I asked her to make these dishes. It was the most wonderful gift to not only Hubbs & I, but to everyone else. I love her pancit and how she mixes the clear rice noodle with the yellow flour noodles. I asked her to skip the Chinese sausage, because not many people like it, myself included. Her lumpia (Filipino eggrolls, which are deep fried & skinny. Someone described them as a cross between an empanada and a taquito, and I guess that's an accurate description coming from a non-Filipino) don't taste like any one's I've ever had before. There's none of that seasoned pork flavor you'd inside a potsticker. She used ground beef, shredded carrots, green beans, garlic & soy sauce. Sometimes I crave them and grab a few from the freezer and fry them up.
My second-cuz and the lumpia. Photo by Bob Laigo

   My mom and aunt came over and cook for hours, quietly and diligently. This meant so much to Shawn & I. There is really no thanks big enough for what these ladies did for us, no card of gift that would equal their gift. I only hope I can give this gift to my family in the future, returning the favor in down the line.
Here they are working hard in my tiny kitchen. Photo by Lindsay Salet
Pancit prep. Photo by Lindsay Salet

    I was elated to see people enjoying these dishes. A dear old friend, with whom I lived in college, reminisced about the time when I tried to make it at our house, but my  mom's is the real deal.

Plus, here is what I learned about catering:
  1. Make sure you go over every detail beforehand including how things are served.  I had asked that out London Broil be served sliced, but they were put into tiny sandwiches with horsey sauce on them. Granted, this dish was mainly for others, but I generally stay away from condiments. I didn't even eat one.
  2. If you order something you should get it.  Beware the person who writes things down so illegibly that even she or her staff couldn't read it. I was supposed to get a single serving of mac' & cheese, only because the caterer insisted, stating she does single servings for brides all the time. I can just imagine the special requests! I said this would be great. Sadly, I think they forgot. I wondered if they couldn't decipher her notes!
  3. Ask who is working the event. We had a lovely, enthusiastic and helpful staff member who I remember to this day. Make sure you get people who smile and are helpful, and who don't look like they just want to go home. Actually say this to your caterer and the message will get passed to staff. Maybe the lurchy guy will smile next time.
  4. Money Talks. Pay your bill & tip well. Your business and input will always be welcome in the future.
  5. Give an accurate guest count. Don't try to account for people who may come. If they haven't replied "yes" they probably won't show. You will not run out of food. You'll have leftovers, most likely. You can always donate the rest and write it off. Since we stayed in town with family, we ate a lot it it the next night.
Seems simple, but I wish I had done these things. Just for my peace of mind. It is so nice not to worry about little details anymore, even thought I said I wouldn't worry about them in the first place.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Recap: Our "Beat it" dance & Hubbs' Beat Boy Moves

At our marriage celebration, there were some things we omitted due to the fact that we were not just married. Things like a bouquet toss, or even a bouquet, a garter, and a first dance. I'm pretty sure we've danced together since last December. Actually, I don't remember our first dance as a married couple. I guess its one of those things that were more of a societal tradition of which we wanted to come up with our own version. We dance all the time at home. Sometimes we'll break into a little boogie in the bathroom or the office.
Lifetime dance partners. Photo Courtesy of Erin Pope

Clearly, we love to dance. We decided a choreographed dance would be way cooler. This idea fits into the whole mood of Hubbs & I giving our guests something to see, since the day was more about them and our gratitude for their attendance.

We decided to do the gang knife fight scene from Michael Jackson's "Beat It." We didn't get much practicing done, but it was fun and people enjoyed it, I think!

Check out the "Beat it"video to refresh yourself on the fight scene.
Here are our moves:
They told you don't you ever come around here

Don't wanna see your face

You better disappear
The fire's in their eyes, and their words are really clear

I fight with my tongue out.
The crowd goes NUTS

You can tell my my wet mess of a hairstyle it was  a good fight.
Did you know Shawn can breakdance? My little show pony- I have such a crush on him!

  Photos Courtesy of Nicole Freda!

Recap: Wax Lips

photo by Bob Laigo
...were probably the best investment we made for our little celebration. Something about 'em, I don't know, is so celebratory. They truly make ordinary photos quite comical.  All photos courtesy of Nicole Freda, unless otherwise noted.

Three gals & a hand? Add some lips, and BAM!
Ok, so solidarity isn't always the key.

Check 'em out:
Such camaraderie.
My second cousins. Photo courtesy of Bob Laigo. He doesn't knot it yet, though.
Brah hardly smiles in photos. Thank you, Lips!
Hey, Luke can sleep standing up!
Robot lip dance

      and then, things start to make no sense...unless, we all got stung by bees in the mouth.
Filed under "ridiculous."

thumbs up
I got mine at Oriental Trading company, by far the best price out there. After all, who could put a price on these images????

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Our Guest Book

Our guest book wasn't a book at all. 

It was important to me to have some creative documentation of our guest attendance at our celebration. I wanted something that I could display in the house and see every day. I felt a book's covers would hide all the beautiful sentiments. I picked up come ceramic plates at the Dollar Tree and some paint pens at Michael's.

Of course, Martha gave me this idea. I love the variety on the wall here, and I plan to add a few more decorative plates.
How they did it.

Our special touches:
I made a small sign that read: Love is...please tell us what love means to you. 
I thought that glancing up at the plates and reading about love, since it was the reason we all came together, would be so nice. I also finished up with the dates on the top plate shown.

Across the top and bottom rim it reads: Shawn and Leilani married on December 4, 2009, and all our family and friends came together to celebrate our Love on 11. 5. 2010.

Here's the final result:
With our favorite wedding/ Bully photos
 a Bit closer
I took some liberties and filled in empty spaces

To make the paint stick on a ceramic surface, you can use paint pens made for ceramics. Some pens cure with time, and some you may nave to bake. I just used some matte lacquer and sprayed a thin coat on the surface, let it cure, then sprayed a couple more times.

I just love it!