Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wedding recap!

Ok so yes, I'm super late with this. I realize this. But better late than never?(This is for you, Mrs. Case!)

Here's a (not so) quickie recap of the events leading to our wedding!

Engagement photos:
My friend Nicky from Eight 20 Photography was our photographer and we absolutely were blown away by our engagement session. We went up to Ventura, CA on a sunny day in December '13 and she took some really amazing shots. So many great ones to choose from, but here are two of my favorites:



Dress:
By far the most important part, no? I had quite the adventure finding my dress - only two different stores, but I tried on probably close to 20 dresses. There were several I loved, and one that I *thought* was the one. I bought it, and of course had immediate remorse, so after a week of determining it wasn't just nerves, I exchanged it for a different one. And man, oh man, it was the best decision ever! I ended up with a Vera Wang dress from David's Bridal. I had them add a sweetheart neckline to it, and had to have the top taken in a bunch (I'm small on top and NOT SMALL on bottom). Here it is:



Bachelorette Party:
In March '14 we went to Palm Springs for a long weekend for my bachelorette party, and it was so, so much fun!  Four rooms at the Hard Rock Palm Springs, 14 girls, pool time, penis straws, lots o' drinks, a s'mores bar, and a goofy scavenger hunt all added to an overall amazing weekend of spending time with some of the best ladies I know!


Showers
I had two, since I have two sets of parents, and otherwise there would be about a thousand people there. (Kidding, but still a lot). My mom hosted one, and my stepmom and sisters hosted the other, and both were amazing and so lovely. (And yes, I wore the same dress to both. It was a great dress!)

Shower 1: Hosted by my lovely mama and Shosh & Marie:



Shower 2: Hosted by my step-mom and sisters, with an AMAZING cake by Dani!





Welcome lunch:
We got married up in Santa Barbara, so a few people had to travel into town for the wedding. I had always, always wanted to do a family lunch the day before the wedding at our favorite restaurant in Santa Barbara, The Palace, and it ended up being the perfect occasion! We had family and a few close friends come for a hosted lunch and it was a really great time.




Ceremony:
Our ceremony was originally going to be guerrilla style on the beach with only immediate family and 2-3 friends, but then of course plans changed a bit. We ended up at Alice Keck park instead - still having a much smaller ceremony than reception, and only invited close family and a few friends. Yet somehow, that still ended up being about 40 people! In hindsight, it may have just been fine to open the invite to everyone, but we really loved having an intimate ceremony and a few moments with our people.


 
Photos:
Since the ceremony was at 2pm and the reception was at 6pm, it was awesome to be able to take photos and relax a bit (or, in Sean's case, go for a beer with his besties) before the reception kicked off... Nicky was able to get some really fun shots of us! Here are a couple of my favorites:



 

Reception:
We had our reception at the El Paseo restaurant off State St in Santa Barbara, and it was a near perfect event! There were a couple of things we'd wished we'd thought about ahead of time - asking the bar to not force $4 water bottles on people who asked for a glass of water; asking the servers not to offer coffee & tea to everyone, making it seem like it was included in the meal - but for the most part they were a fantastic venue and the setting and building couldn't have been more perfect for us.

The food was awesome and the drinks were strong (a little too strong, actually), and we all had a BLAST. My friend and old co-worker, DJ Shakee from Scratch Weddings, was our DJ and kept the tone exactly right. There wasn't one person who didn't get onto the dance floor at one point or another, and it was just so much FUN!


Decorations:
We did lots of fun personalized things, but my favorite was definitely the table numbers with song lyrics. I had been collecting song lyrics that stood out to me for ages, and it was the perfect application for them! I also collected a bunch of fun and different photo frames to frame the lyrics in. We had a great guest book station with two options - a book of our engagement photos for folks to sign, and a FujiFilm Instant camera for people to take fun shots with!



Cake & Desserts:
My good friend Dani made an incredible cake for the reception. It was so, so good, and absolutely gorgeous! Boston Cream cake (complete with custard and ganache in between the layers) and a stunningly good buttercream frosting. We ate it for breakfast and a snack the following day, too, and were sad to leave it for our honeymoon. We also had an amazing dessert table filled with delicious treats made by friends and family - mini apple pies, cookies, s'mores pops, Samosas bundt cakes, the list went on and on! It was all so incredible.


 


Our wedding was a really incredible experience and there's literally nothing I'd change about it! And - there are a few more photos up at Nicky's Eight 20 Photography blog!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Good day, 2015!

Happy New Year! 

Wow. I'm clearly a terrible blogger, since my one and only post in 2014 was last year's New Year's survey! C mentioned she couldn't wait to see this year's, and since I've been so MIA, it's probably not surprising it's 6 days late! 

Anyway, let's do this! 

Read on, or find past years are here: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008!
 

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
Holy crap, where do I start? I got married. I changed my name. I got promoted to VP at work. I watched my mom get married. We bought a house. I traveled to the Cook Islands, New York (four times for work), Miami, Portland, London & York, Cannes, and Las Vegas (twice). Oh yeah, and I (mostly) gave up gluten. It was a crazy year! 


2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? 

We are officially married and living in a house of our own, AND I've traveled to some amazing places, progressed at work, and lost weight. I'd actually say I kept more New Year's resolutions in 2014 than any other year! Also - 2014 was definitely one for the history books so that one was right on track too!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, one of my bestest friends. And my little niece Greta Mae is so freakin' awesome.  

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, and it was one of the worst experiences ever. Sean's grandmother, Jo, had a stroke the Sunday before Christmas, and we spent that week in the hospital before she passed away on the Saturday after Christmas. The only saving grace was that she never regained consciousness after the stroke, so the only ones stressed and sad that whole time were us. So glad that she was able to come to our wedding and that we had this long with her. 

5. What countries did you visit?
The Cook Islands (with a layover in New Zealand), England, France, and the U.S.  And I'm proudly still carrying around four currencies in my wallet!

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
I feel like I say this every year, but I think work/life balance is still up there. It's going to be hard, given the huge projects we have lined up for this year, but I'm pretty determined.

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 17, when we got married. May 19, when we arrived in the Cook Islands and I found my most peaceful place. November 17, when my mom got married. December 5, when we closed escrow on our new place. And, of course, December 27, when Jo passed away. 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting married, getting the promotion, and buying our house. Those things keep coming up but they were so monumental and all happened the same year!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Hmm. I think I got caught up a lot this year, and stopped paying attention to what was going on around me a couple of times. Maybe it wasn't quite a failure, but it's definitely something I'd like to improve on!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?  

Not really? My feet got much better when I finally went to the foot doctor and got some anti-inflammatory stuffs. And then, there was my whole digestion thing, but I got that sorted by eliminating gluten for the most part.

Link 11. What was the best thing you bought?
Sean's wedding band. Plane tickets. Our house, and our amazing Christmas tree that went in it!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Definitely my husband's. And, my family and friends really stepped up and were awesome this year. Also, my sisters stepped up and matured and our relationships improved quite a bit this year.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? 

A few things happened at work this year that were pretty disappointing. But strangely, those behaviors kind of woke me up to the fact that I need better focus on Sean and my family and friends, so maybe things really do happen for a reason.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Our wedding, travel, and the house. I don't regret a dollar I spent this year, and am frothing at the bit to spend more on travel again this year. It's going to be a stellar year for that, I think.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Marrying Sean. It was probably the best moment of my life so far.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?  

Hmm. Hard to say, but "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift actually pops to mind, especially for the second half of the year.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?  Much, much happier.
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner! Giving up gluten sucks, but I've lost about 15 lbs and that's not a terrible side effect!
c) richer or poorer?  Poorer, for sure, but WE HAVE A HOUSE! And, we did some amazing things in 2014, and set up more amazing things for this coming year! 

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Stopping to smell the roses, so to speak. Getting outside and taking walks, or just breathing real air. I spend way too much time stuck indoors.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
And again the answer is drive! Wow, another one that stays exactly the same from last year! Also, I wish I'd stressed less about work.


20. How did you spend Christmas?  

Wow, two years running that we were in the hospital with Jo over Christmas. :-( Bummer. Maybe we should travel next year. 

21. Did you fall in love in 2014?
It's so, so cheesy, but I fell more in love with Sean, which I wasn't sure was possible.

22. What was your favorite TV program? 

Well I love tv so it's hard to pick. At the moment my favorites are NCIS: LA, Hart of Dixie, and Stalker. So basically I have the tv tastes of a teenaged girl. 

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No. Hate is a serious waste of time and energy.
 

24. What was the best book you read?
The Power of Habit. Seriously, you should read it too. 

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? 

Sliding deeper into the folksy/twangy/borderline country music... And I've liked Hozier and Gloriana. Oh, and I have a serious crush on Taylor Swift, another thing that makes me feel like I'm 15 years old.

26. What did you want and get? 

MARRIED. Oh, and the promotion and house.

27. What did you want and not get?
Absolutely nothing. It's kind of a great feeling to have it all for a moment.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I think Guardians of the Galaxy was the only movie I saw in theaters in 2014, so we'll go with that. It was fun.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 32 in 2014, and it was a pretty mellow year. Dinners with family and friends, and a relaxing time. And a really good gluten free cake at work.  

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If the last 10 days of the year hadn't happened, and Jo was still with us.  It was on track to be my best year ever until then.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
Oh wow. So I started using Stitch Fix this year (thanks to Nilsa's blogs about it) and I'm addicted. It's such a fun service and has totally revolutionized my fashion sense. I still get pretty lazy a lot but I think I've gotten better?  

32. What kept you sane?
Sean, my friends. Emma. Having people around who I could vent to then move on.  DITTO LAST YEAR.


33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Chris Pratt, Chris Hemsworth, Ben Affleck. Yeah. Same as usual, really.  

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Equal marriage rights! Entitlement among the 1%, and dignity in death.


35. Who did you miss?
Jo.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
We met some amazing neighbors before we moved, and I met some really cool new co-workers.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
Things will never go your way 100% of the time, in fact they probably won't go your way 70% of the time. But being flexible is the only way to make it through.


38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"I love the ring of your name, you're the ying to my yang, oh baby, let's give it a shot." Tie It Up by Kelly Clarkson - same as 2013 but it was pretty much the theme!


Here's to better use of my blogging outlet in 2015!  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Thanks, 2013... Hello, 2014!

Happy New Year! 

It's basically a tradition for me to do this survey now, and though I've been a terrible blogger I had to come do it! Past years are here: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008!
 

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
Got engaged!!! Started planning a wedding, for real. Moved out of Topanga. Got to travel to Europe for work. Traveled twice to New York. Took engagement photos. It was a fairly busy and amazing year.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
We still haven't bought a place of our own, but we did move to a two bedroom place. I am resolving to make 2014 one for the history books! 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
One of my good friends from high school. And a couple others as well! And another is pregnant and due in March. But the one that affected me the most was my friend Sarah having her baby. 

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No. Crossing my fingers that I have the same answer again next year!

5. What countries did you visit?
England, Belgium, France, and the U.S. 

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Hmm.. this is tough this year. I guess I would still like the better work/life balance. But 2013 wasn't too lacking for me, so not a ton else. I guess I'd like some clarity and resolution for my friends for some of the things they're going through at the moment. 

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
August 16! It was my birthday and Sean proposed! My 30s are well on their way to rocking.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Work stuff is going really well. And, Sean and I are in a really good place, which I consider to be a great achievement! 

9. What was your biggest failure?
I can't really think of any big failures. I didn't lose weight and I didn't save as much money as I'd have liked, but I don't really think those are too bad.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?  

I'm still dealing with the plantar fasciitis, but I finally saw the foot doctor and it's getting marginally better.

Link 11. What was the best thing you bought?
MY WEDDING DRESS. It's amazing and beautiful and I cannot wait to wear it!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Sean's. My parents, for being super supportive of me. My aunts and uncle and Sean's family for the same.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? 

I don't really know? Some shady things happened to some friends this year, so that wasn't so amazing.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Travel. And our wedding. But both are really good things.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Getting engaged! And planning our wedding!

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?  

"Tie It Up" by Kelly Clarkson!

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?  Happier. 
b) thinner or fatter? Probably about the same. I've lost a couple pounds this month and it feels pretty good. 
c) richer or poorer?  Poorer over all, but we did some amazing things this year and set up more amazing thing for next year! 

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Practice being healthy.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
And again the answer is drive!


20. How did you spend Christmas?
Well, Sean's grandma is in the hospital at the moment, and has been since before Christmas. So we spent Christmas Eve day there, then I went to my mom's for Christmas Eve night. And ditto that but reverse on Christmas Day - started at my dad's then ended at the hospital. 

21. Did you fall in love in 2013?
Nope. Already there.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Hmm... I really liked Arrow this year. And NCIS: LA. Neither are new this year but I definitely started liking them both this year. 

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
"No. I'm trying really hard to not waste time with hating people." Ditto last year!
 

24. What was the best book you read?
I'm re-reading the "In Death" series by JD Robb and those are really good. 

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I like Imagine Dragons! And more Turnpike Troubadours. More twangy/folksy music this year. 

26. What did you want and get? 

Um, yeah, the engagement ring was the biggest thing this year.

27. What did you want and not get?
A house. 

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I actually enjoyed White House Down. Kind of a terrible movie but it was fun.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 31, and Sean proposed. I went out to dinner with both sets of parents, Sean and I had a great post-engagement day in Santa Barbara, then I had a great brunch with friends at Duke's in Malibu. It was a GREAT birthday. 

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
No one being sick at the holidays. Having family members who aren't well is the worst. 

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
I got a little better this year! Got some really good pieces to throw into my wardrobe. But I'm still pretty lazy. 

32. What kept you sane?
Sean, my friends. Emma. Having people around who I could vent to then move on. 

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Probably Chris Hemsworth. He's hot. 

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Equal marriage rights! And we're getting closer, so that's cool. 

35. Who did you miss?
Friends who weren't here. 

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I met a great mentor at work!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
"Things will happen when they're supposed to."  Again, last year's response is still spot on.


38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"I love the ring of your name, you're the ying to my yang, oh baby, let's give it a shot." Tie It Up by Kelly Clarkson! It was kind of my anthem this year. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Some day, we are gonna get married. Some day, I'll show you how I do.

Best birthday weekend ever! 

Friday night, Sean came home from work with a box. 

He had warned me weeks ago that I was getting a fake present, because my real present wasn't going to make it in time. So when I asked him what was in the box, he told me it was my fake birthday present... but it was definitely the real one! I opened it... he asked... it was very sweet.

It's been a whirlwind weekend of being in a surreal state of sort of shock, telling parents and friends, and just generally feeling overwhelmed. It really doesn't feel real yet!


We had brunch with friends yesterday, and now that I'm back at work and telling everyone, and it's starting to feel more realistic. 

Maybe this engagement will be what gets me back into blogging regularly... I've missed it! 



One more gratuitous shot of my ring... Cheers!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A man with a plan.

Wow, so yeah. A shit ton of stuff has been going on in the last few months! I went to NY (twice), we moved (twice, to new rentals, not owned places - long story!), work kicked up about 15 notches, and there are some awesome summer things coming up (friends visiting! concerts! road trips! weddings!) 

But in the meantime, since I can't get into all of that right at this moment, I wanted to share something that Sean said the other day because it made me giggle. There's a teeny tiny chance I'll get to go to a programming conference in Cannes in the fall, and when I told Sean, he actually got excited. And then two days later, he said he came up with the PERFECT thing to say to the snobby French people he might potentially meet if/when we go. 

Sean: "I'm going to ask them if they speak German."
Adriana: "Um, ok."
Sean: "And then when they say no, all snooty like, I'm going to be like, YOU'RE WELCOME."

Ha! Nevermind that he would likely never actually say that, and that we'd likely meet lots of NICE French people... it just made me smile. 

Hope to be back with more soon!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Buyer's market, my a&@!

At least it's not just us? 

Just read this article about the housing trends in Southern California... 
"Real estate agent Alan Castillo recently listed a client's fixer-upper in Granada Hills for $278,250. 
It was only 1,600 square feet -- but it drew 128 offers, most of them in cash.

The final selling price, after all of 10 days on the market? $377,872."

I'm sorry, what? A fixer-upper sold for almost 100 THOUSAND dollars over the asking price?!?!? That. Is. INSANE. No wonder we can't catch a break!

Ughhhhh.  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Leaving canyon life?

Sean and I have been going back and forth for a few months now about moving out of the canyon even though we haven't found a place to buy. At first, we were both super against it. Leave our canyon? And our owl? And our cozy basement apartment with it's amazing porches for Pinterest brunches and month-to-month lease? Not a chance! 

But, living in the canyon has also been wearing on us - especially since we got Emma. The first few years we lived there (pre-Emma), we didn't have to leave the canyon much if we didn't want to. I would go to work, come home, and chill out in our place and relax. Sean worked 24 hour shifts, so he wasn't driving in and out too often. We would spend entire weekends in the canyon - going for hikes or eating at the Bistro. But when we got Emma, and realized she was allergic to the world but still needed an outlet for all her energy, we started having to leave every day. To the dog park in Santa Monica, or in Calabasas, or to the boardwalk in the Palisades where we could take her on long walks. And it began to wear on us - on our stress levels, on our cars, on our wallets.

Which is when we decided we should look for a place to buy. It was a buyer's market, right? We had some money for a down payment, and we have great credit, so why not buy something and not waste money on rent?? But it turns out it's NOT a buyer's market, which brings us to now - 14 months after we started looking for a house, and getting increasingly frustrated with the canyon.

One of the things topping our list of why to move, other than having to visit the dog park every day? The wildlife - the coyotes, and snakes, and racoons, and mice, and MORE mice, and spiders, and ants, and and and... the list never seems to end. The other day, I had the heater on in the bathroom (you remember, the one where the birds were living?) and a centipede dropped out of it. *shudder* It wasn't fun to kill, either.

But just when I think I'm ready to throw in the towel and move tomorrow, I remember all the things we love about living in the canyon. Our unique shared back yard, Topanga Days and the community, cuddling up with blankets, the way the temperature changes as we get towards home and how the marine layer creeps in, the way our road looks and smells after it rains, how GREEN everything is, how close we are to Santa Monica and the ocean. I love getting out of my car in our driveway and looking up at the stars - they're simply stunning out where we are, and I love driving in the canyon at night and looking in the rearview mirror and seeing nothing - no lights, no traffic.

So why are we considering moving now? A couple of reasons - but the biggest one for me was my recent trauma with the septic tank. It rained a while ago, and last Wednesday I noticed some seepage from the lower manhole in our lot. I told the neighbor that's in charge of getting the tank emptied, and assumed she would get it done. Then on Friday night, I came home pretty late after taking Emma to the park and running errands and getting groceries, and parked a little too close to that manhole. And then accidentally stepped on it when I was going for the groceries in the trunk. And sewage splash out at me. Yeah. Absolutely disgusting. Nothing hit me, fortunately, but I was LIVID. And that sealed the deal for me. I made an appointment to see some apartments by the dog park, and Sean and I went by Sunday.

The apartments by the dog park aren't our perfect place to live. It's a big complex - 600 apartments! - rather than a unique, cute triplex. It's "corporate" - all the places basically look the same. But - it's RIGHT next to the dog park, so taking Emma there every day will be 50 minutes and 30 miles less. It's close to the freeway, which means no more driving 8 miles before I can even get anywhere. They have washers and dryers, and two on-site gyms that are actually pretty well equip. They have dishwashers, garbage disposals and bathtubs - things I have sorely missed for the last 4 and a half years. And while the one bedroom + loft floorplan that we think we like best is a little more expensive than what we're paying now, I think having more space is going to be a really good thing for us.    

Moving out of the canyon will definitely be bittersweet, and a part of me will always think of the canyon as home. It'll always be our first place together. But I think we're ready to go. I think we've outgrown our cute little place (or as Sean says "we've put our time in"), and while it will be really emotional for me to leave, I think it'll be good for us to switch it up.   

Now we just have to agree on WHEN.

Here's to new places!

Monday, February 25, 2013

You and me together, can do anything, baby.

Yesterday, Sean and I celebrated our SEVEN year anniversary. 

 
Me and Sean at my 10th annual holiday party last December

We had a great , lovely day of just hanging out with each other and doing regular things, capped off with a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant and then had cake and hot chocolate!

 We went to Monterey for Sean's birthday and had a relaxing time chilling out and watching the ocean!

This year also marks 10 years of Sean and I knowing each other, which totally trips me out, because that means that he's been an important part of my life for a full third of it! It's really nice and reassuring to know that we still have so much fun together, and can completely be ourselves and total goofballs.  

Goofing around in Monterey!

He makes me laugh, makes me think, and generally makes me happier than I've ever been. Here's to a ton more years together! (And yes, before you ask - we talk about getting married and that's coming along, so don't worry - it's on our minds!)

**Title lyrics from "You and Me" by Dave Matthews Band**

Monday, January 7, 2013

2012, you were a good year.


Better late than never, right? This year is already starting off with a bang - or rather, with tons of plans and being crazy busy. That seems to be the semi-permanent state of my life over the last couple of years. But anyway - I love this little survey, so what better way to attempt to start blogging again? 

Check out past years here: 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
Got approved to buy a house. Traveled to New York. Traveled to Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota. Turned 30.


2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Well, I didn't lose any weight. And I can't remember if I made any other resolutions...? This year, I would really love to buy a place of our own, and move out of the canyon.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Two friends had baby girls this year! And another is pregnant...

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No. Crossing my fingers that I have the same answer again next year!

5. What countries did you visit?
England, and the U.S.


6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
A new place to live. A better work/life balance.


7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

August 16 is the only one that really stands out - I turned 30! I have a feeling my 30s are going to be much different than my 20s were!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I was promoted to Director. That was a big deal for me!

9. What was your biggest failure?
I suppose not finding a house. We should have moved faster when we first started looking, because now prices are going up and there's next to no inventory.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I hurt my foot! I have "plantar fasciitis" and it's been the injury that won't quit. My feet hurts every day. :-(

Link
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Plane tickets!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I really don't know. Sean was a rock star at Christmas this year.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Not to get TOO political, but I was pretty disappointed with the Republicans in this year's election. Especially the tea partiers who are outspoken against equal marriage rights and a woman's right to choose.


14. Where did most of your money go?
Travel. Or savings. Or to my credit card, because I was pretty irresponsible in my spending in the second half of the year!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Potentially buying a house. Turning 30. My 10th annual holiday party. Getting promoted. I was really excited a lot last year!

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
"Ho Hey" by the Lumineers. I actually discovered it in 2011, but it was ALL. OVER. THE. PLACE. in 2012!

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier. 30 is going to be good for me.
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter. Boo.
c) richer or poorer? Richer? I mean, I have less money in my savings account, but I make more and got to do a ton of cool stuff in 2012!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Rest. Go to the gym. Work from home.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Drive. After 8 years of driving 30+ miles each way to work, I'm really getting tired of it.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas Eve with my mom. Christmas Day with my dad. And it was the very first year of my life that I didn't spend Christmas Eve night at my dad's house... instead we drove there early on Christmas morning.

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?
Not really? I'm already in love!

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I like so much TV it's impossible to pick just one show! 


23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No. I'm trying really hard to not waste time with hating people.

24. What was the best book you read?
It was a nerdy work related one - The War For Late Night: When Leno Went Early And Television Went Crazy.


25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The Turnpike Troubadours! They're so good. I had been slowly slip sliding into liking country music, and I think buying their album sealed the deal.

26. What did you want and get?
An owl cookie jar. Books. Amazing trips.

27. What did you want and not get?
A house. And, if I'm being super honest, an engagement ring.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
The Avengers! I really loved it, which suprised me a little!

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
What didn't I do??? My family had a huge party for my 30th, my aunt's 60th, and my brother's 18th birthdays. I did a perfectly sized friends' dinner in Santa Barbara at my favorite restaurant. I had a great dinner with my mom, and Sean and I went to London in October as a belated birthday trip!


30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Getting engaged. It would have really capped off an amazing year. And I really do think it's time.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
I got a little lazy. And for the last three months of the year, I was basically wearing sneakers all the time because of my stupid foot. But I am going to work on all that in 2013.

32. What kept you sane?
Sleep. Music. My puppy dog and my awesome dude, and my friends who let me vent and make me laugh.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Obama, again. So happy he was re-elected as our president!

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Equal marriage rights. I think it's crazy that so many people are so backwards on the issue, and I'm cautiously optimistic that 2013 and on will bring the kind of big change we need.

35. Who did you miss?
Sinead and Ryan. Clara. I got to see Sinead and Clara this year in London, and it only made me miss them more.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I don't even know if I met any new people last year!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
Things will happen when they're supposed to. I already knew this, but 2012 was a year to definitely test that lesson.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"You took the time to memorize me: my fears, my hopes, and dreams, I just like hangin' out with you, all the time... All those times that you didn't leave; It's been occurring to me I'd like to hang out with you, for my whole life. Stay. And I'll be loving you for quite some time. No one else is going to love me when I get mad, mad mad. So I think that it's best if we both stay, stay, stay, stay, stay, stay..." "Stay Stay Stay" by Taylor Swift (I know, I know. But I really love this song!)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Can't catch a break.

Oiy. It's been a while, right? 

We went to London in early October and things have just been a giant whirlwind since then. 

The trip? Was ok. It was GREAT to see Sinead and Clara... but London wasn't one of our favorite places of all time. I'm finally getting around to writing about it over on Tendency To Wander, so when I'm done, I'll link to the posts over there. 

Since we've been back, we've been even more intense about finding a new place to live. When we started looking for a house/condo/whatever to buy, we had no urgency because we have a month to month rent in Topanga, and we figured we would take our time to make sure we found the right place.

But now? Now we actively want to move. We hit four years in our place in August, and we started seriously looking at our lifestyle in Topanga. For every plus, there's a drawback or two - it takes SO long to get places, there's so much wear and tear on our cars, we drive so, so much each day. Every day that we have to take Emma to the dog park, it's a 2 hour excursion. Every time we want to leave, it's 10 minutes in the canyon - minimum - to get to "civilization." And while we can walk to our post office, little general store, and a couple of restaurants, we can't really do so at night, which means little to no walking from home during the winter. 

Anyway. Back to my original reason for writing today. We just can't seem to catch a break with buying a place! We have been pre-approved by not one, but TWO financial institutions for a loan. We have steady jobs and have been paying down debts and saving money - and we've been told over and over that we're the "perfect" candidates. 

So what's the problem? Investors, competition, and, most recently, HOAs. Which I thought would be the LAST thing to prevent us from buying a place, by the way. 

Our newest woe? We found a cute, tiny condo in Santa Monica. Yes, the complete opposite of what we'd been looking at all year, and there's a story there, too. But anyway - we loved it. It's super cute, in a GREAT location, and we started to get excited about living more simply. We decided to put in an offer at full price - because now we've learned that in this market there are no "steals" at under the asking price - and everyone was optimistic and excited. 

And then we found out about the HOA's 10 lb limit on dogs. 

Seriously? 

We offered anyway, contingent upon the HOA making an exception for Emma, who is 55 lbs, and they turned us down.

So let's get this straight, shall we? The owner of this condo is trying to sell. And before his condo is even on the market, he gets a full price offer that he can't accept it because of his HOA. If I were that guy, I'd be pretty irritated with the HOA.


Even more, and this is where I get stabby, I just saw the email the HOA sent back to the realtor telling him that no, they won't make an exception for us, and the last line was "...hopefully one of the other [offers] will work out if they can not find a new home for their pet." WHAT! This woman actually thought that we would give up our dog to buy a fucking condo??? FUCK you, no thanks.

I was (am?) pretty pissed about it, as you can tell. Because it's so LAME that they have a rule for no reason - there are no common areas in this building. The condo we offered on was a corner unit on the side of the building with just 2 other units, and was away from the carport at the end of a walkway. No one would ever have to walk by our place. So why is there even a size limit in existence?

And also, I'm mad because this is just the latest in the litany of rejections. And I KNOW that we should just brush it off and say the right thing will work out the way it's supposed to. I still believe that, really. But oh my gosh sometimes it's hard to figure out why we just can't catch a break!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wild wild (mid)west trip!

Guess who finally, finally finished blogging about her trip to the wild, wild (mid)west of Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota??? THIS GIRL! 

Posts are over at Tendency To Wander, but here's a breakdown of all the stuff we crammed in to our 5 night trip! 

1) Bozeman, Montana
2) The Montana Grizzly Encounter (yep, we saw BEARS!)
3) Yellowstone
4) Horseback riding at the Pahaska Tepee Lodge (yep, I said TEPEE!)
5) Driving across northern Wyoming (includes rodeos and street dances, yee haw!)
6) South Dakota and the Black Hills
7) Mount Rushmore and Custer National Park

My most favoritest parts of the trip? The grizzly bears, horseback riding, Roughlock Falls in the Black Hills, and Sylvan Lake in Custer National Park! 





 



Whew! Next up, London planning! I'm a traveling machine this year!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

To London or not to London

That is the question. 

Some of you might remember that I really, really wanted to go to London this year. I have two friends living there who I'm really craving to see. One I haven't seen in over a year, and the other I haven't seen in over FIVE years! Boo!

Here's the dilemma: 

Even though I CAN afford it, SHOULD I afford it?

I did a budget a bit ago, and I figure Sean and I can go for seven nights in early October for about $3,000. Actually, probably less than that, because I was budgeting $120/day for food (beer, exchange rate and all that), and I bet we could do it for less. We could stay with my friends for at least 3-4 nights, and I have a credit for a night's hotel, as well as credit card points for another 1-2 nights. So, really, it would just be paying for flights and food, right?

My hold up is this - should I keep the money in my savings like a good grown up? We're trying to buy a house, which is ALWAYS more money than you're planning. Then there's stuff to fill that house, stuff to fix, etc, etc. And, the $3k would definitely help towards that.

But there's something still tugging me to go - I really want to see my friends, to see London, to have a nice trip with Sean. I want to do something memorable to celebrate (albeit belatedly) my 30th birthday. And I get the feeling that once we get the house, once we do all that grown up stuff, we won't have the time, money, whatever to travel like this on a whim. 

I was reading PostSecret this morning and this postcard stood out to me:


A sign maybe? What do I do?!?!??