Friday, December 30, 2011

Ring Out the Old, Ring In the New!

Before you roll your eyes about New Year's resolutions and write them off as stupid and something-I’m-not-gonna-stick-to-anyway-so-why-bother, just take a moment and ask yourself if it’s really such a bad thing to have goals for yourself?  I think New Year’s Resolutions can be wonderful.  I love the tradition of reflecting on the past year, identifying the changes that I want to see and resolving to follow through with those changes.  For me, writing my resolutions helps me define what kind of person I want to be, what I want to manifest in the new year, and how I'll live up to my potential.

So in 2012, I resolve to:

1.    Run a half marathon - I’ve always wanted to do one, and training for it should keep me healthy and active! 

2.    Volunteer at least 3 events - Everyday, I am grateful to be healthy, have so many supportive friends and family, and a job that I love. 2011 was a very hard year for a lot of people, and it's important to take time from our busy lives to help others.

3.    Read 12 books from 12 different genres - Being an attorney involves so much reading that I rarely want to read outside of the office.  I thought I would aim to read 1 book a month from 12 different genres which should help me rediscover my love of reading and hopefully expand my literary knowledge!

4.    Take a class or workshop on something I haven’t done before (today, I'm thinking millinery!)- Time waits for noone and you’re never too young or old to learn a new skill.

5.    Make a new recipe every month - I want to improve my culinary skills and there are still so many things I haven’t tried yet.  Hopefully this will not only give me the chance to be bold and try new recipes, but also give me the chance to invite friends over to share in my adventure.

One year is out and another quickly fills in. I welcome you 2012 with open arms!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Girls' Weekend in SF

This past weekend, some friends and I were fortunate enough to spend a few days in the lovely City by the Bay. We enjoyed meals at Foreign Cinema, Limon, Gracias Madre, Boogaloos, and numerous trips for gelato at La Copa Loca.  We relaxed, rejuvenated, and exfoliated with fabulous massages at the Korean day spa, watched movies, toured a historical landmark, and shopped ‘til we dropped in Union Square and the Mission District. 

But the best part of the weekend for me was the camaraderie and time with my friends.  I’m always amazed when I meet women who have no female friends.  I’ve been blessed to have many wonderful girlfriends in my life and have found each of these friendships immensely valuable and such an important part in keeping me sane!  We had a wonderful time enjoying each other’s company, planning for our year ahead, and generally just reconnecting with one another.  I'm really glad I took a break from the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and took some time for myself.  I’m now back, reconnected, restored, and recharged for the exciting year ahead!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas at Disneyland

I spent last Friday night with friends Alex, Lauren, and Naf at the Happiest Place on Earth.  With the exception of a handful of years since I was 2 years old, I have been a Disneyland annual passholder.  In fact, the current picture on my pass is almost ten years old, which means I’ll have to keep renewing it every year or subject myself to a new picture at my current age if I let it lapse and renew it later (Eek!)  

One of the things I most look forward to every holiday season is Christmas at Disneyland when the Magic Kingdom becomes even more magical!  I just love how the park transforms itself into a winter wonderland.  From the moment you walk onto Main Street, you’ll see it all strung with lights and a 60-foot Christmas tree that is adorned with thousands of ornaments. 

Main Street Christmas Tree
And at the end of Main Street is Sleeping Beauty's Castle lit up in a lilac/icicle extravaganza that is impossible to describe.

So happy at the HPOE
Treated like VIP’s, we zipped through Disneyland over the next couple of hours going on: 1) Star Tours, 2) Space Mountain, 3) Big Thunder 4) Haunted Mansion – which turns into the Haunted Mansion Holiday between Halloween and Christmas, and incorporates characters from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Xmas and 5) Indiana Jones.  

And no visit to Disneyland is complete without seeing the fireworks show burst over Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Saying No to the Dress

I had a different wedding dress shopping experience than probably most other girls, or at least the ones they show on TV.  I’ve probably seen every single episode of Say Yes to the Dress and in every single episode, each girl comes in with a small army to help them decide on the dress.   I, on the other hand, went by myself (with the exception of the one trip with Mom to confirm that I was picking the right dress - I guess I still want Mom's approval.)   By the end of my dress shopping, I had tried on 20 dresses and visited 3 bridal salons - Erin Cole, which was my favorite, Mon Amie, and David’s Bridal (I had to know what the difference was between a $500 vs. a $5000+ dress).  All in all, I ended up with dress number one, but that’s the extent that I’ll talk about “the one.”  After all this post, is about the one’s I said “no” to.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel trying on wedding dresses.  Wedding dresses are inherently special so almost every single one that I tried on gave me that excited, giddy feeling!  Here’s a rundown of the most notable selections: 

1.     Monique Lhuillier – This dress was everything and more and worthy of its namesake the “Magical.”  The top was beaded and sexy, and from the moment I put just one leg into the skirt, it was like butter.  Unfortunately, the amount of customizing I’d have to do this dress to make it fit by body would’ve close to doubled its price, and I wasn’t going to have the chance to see how it would look on me until it came in.  That was way more uncertainty than I could handle so I passed.

 2.      Oscar de la Renta – This dress was an absolute work of art.  It’s beautifully constructed, and made me feel like a princess.  Fortunately for my wallet, I wasn’t looking for the ballgown look.  Besides, this dress makes everyone who isn’t a twig look like a whale, including me.

3.   Vera Wang – Oh how I loved this dress!  It’s made of mikado satin that just sucks you in and gives you the most incredible silhouette.  But what I didn’t love was that I had to keep referring to it as the “Khloe Kardashian wedding dress,” which was almost enough for me to pass on it.  I think this dress might also be the most popular dress of 2011.  I read probably 4 style blogs a day, and have probably seen this dress on no less than 20 featured brides.  And I absolutely understand why – it feels like you’re wearing yoga pants but makes you look like you’re wearing a lace up corset.  I know my dress isn't one of a kind, but there's a part of me that's glad that I have yet to see it on any other featured bride.  

4.    Lazaro – This was the only beaded number that I tried on.  It was incredibly flattering and I loved all the beading, but it just didn’t feel the love.

5.    Rivini  – This was the only lace dress that I tried on.  I think lace can be so beautiful and romantic, but I just didn’t think it suits me.  I knew I had to try one on just to know.  But again, I just didn’t feel the love. 
It felt so amazing to try on so many gorgeous gowns and it’s something that I’ve looked forward to my whole life.  And surprisingly, I really loved going at it all alone.  It gave me the chance to hear myself think and know when it was truly “the one.”

Orange You Glad I Didn't Say Banana

During the color selection process in planning this wedding, I have found myself combing through various color pallette swatches, debating various shades of peach, and asking myself “What does coral really mean?”  In my research, I discovered something called the Pantone Matching System which is a system used worldwide to identify every unique color of the rainbow and is used by almost every industry you can imagine.  And now I’m a little Pantone crazy!

Each year, Pantone announces its selection for Color of the Year, which often influences the year’s next big trend in colors from fashion to home design to product packaging.  This all sounds very arbitrary, but the color selection process is no joke.  The people at Pantone scour the world to identify what the new color of the coming year will be, drawing in influence from socio-economic conditions and technology, and studying the impact color has on people to determine what it is people really need.

Just this week, Pantone announced “Tangerine Tango” as its top color for 2012 and I’m just ecstatic about it!

As many of you already know, this red orange hue has been my favorite color for years now so it looks like I’m a head of the curve !  It’s a color that surprisingly looks good on almost anyone daring enough to wear it.  It looks great paired with navy blue, gray, and if you’re sassy enough, purple!
But more so, what I really love about this color is the emotion that it invokes.  “Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy,” explains Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman.  From a psychological standpoint, color does so much to influence our moods and emotions, and I hope that Pantone’s color decision will give the world the charge of energy and courage we’ll all need to get through these tough economic times.

Circa summer 2008 - See how happy this shade of red orange makes me?!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Coming to a mailbox near you...

By now, most of you have already or should soon be receiving our Save the Dates cards in your mailboxes!  Although Save the Date cards are not mandatory, Marc and I decided to send them to a few of our guests for a variety of reasons.  First, we have a lot of family coming from the East Coast that we really want to attend and wanted to give everyone enough notice so that they had ample time to make travel arrangements.  Also, we’re getting married in the middle of the summer so we knew people would be planning their vacations and wanted to at least let everyone take our big day in consideration.  Finally, because I like being creative!

I should probably start off by saying that I absolutely LOVE paper!  When I was a kid, the best part about going back to school wasn’t seeing my friends again, but the chance to go back-to-school shopping so that I could go home and thumb through all my new fresh notebooks and fill up my binders with new reams of paper.

Once the date was actually set, I started designing (as in teaching myself Photoshop and Illustrator). I knew I didn’t want to do anything like a formal invitation and wanted it to be simple, but whimsical. And nothing says “whimsical” like a fun font!  None of the Microsoft Word fonts equipped on my computer were going to work so I went to to find something more to my liking.  I ended up downloading the “Channel” font, which Marc refers to as the “I Dream of Jeannie” font.

Several hours later, our Save the Dates were created! Several more hours later they were letterpressed (another blog entry for another time) by yours truly.  Several more hours later, the envelopes were stuffed, stamped, and hand-addressed by who else, but me. They were a true labor of love, but the more time I spent on them, the more special they were to me.

I’ve already gotten a few messages from my friends complimenting them, and it makes me so incredibly happy that other people appreciate them too!