Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Poor Puppy. She Likes Sticks Too Much

You probably know this by now, but this is me and my dog, Panda. She's my baby. She will be 2 next month, so she's still very much a puppy. As such, she likes to chew on things, but she's had enough time to figure out what we'll get mad at her for chewing on. 

Panda and me during pre-Christmas festivities
Moving right along, about a week ago now, Tim and I started to notice Panda was smelling funny - not really bad, but occasionally, she'd be nearby and one or both of us would catch a whiff of something odd. Then last weekend, on our driving down to San Diego, I sat in the back with her 1) because she gets car sick, and 2) we were driving my friend down and we didn't want to take any chances of Panda being sick on her. As I sat in the backseat with my very large pup, I noticed the smell was stronger, but I couldn't pinpoint where it was coming from - I couldn't even come close. It was almost like an aura, but if I stuck my nose in her fur, it didn't smell weird.
Over the course of the weekend, the smell slowly got worse. Tim's mom suggested it might be that we needed to get her anal glands emptied (? is that even the right term for that?) since it was kind of a fishy smell, which is often associated with that, but the smell didn't seem like it was coming from her tush.
His dad said something about her having stinky breath, but he mentioned his dog did too, and I generally try not to smell dogs' breath.

Tuesday night, Tim gave in and gave Panda a bath. When she got out of the bath smelling like baby shampoo and weird fishiness, we figured it was either her bum or her breath. I'm not sure how, but by the time we went to bed on Tuesday, we knew that her breath was the source of the stink - and she seemed to be doing a weird mouth-smacking thing, like her mouth was dry.
We had no idea what the solution for that could be. Maybe she was dehydrated? How could we get her to drink more water?

Last night when I got home from work, I was taken aback by how bad the smell had gotten. She likes to jump up on me when I open the door, so the breath-to-face contact made me cringe a bit and try to keep her mouth away from me. Then I noticed she was smacking her mouth a lot too.

Since she's essentially my child, I picked up the phone and called the vet. They said there are any number of reasons she could have smelly breath and be smacking her mouth, so I should take her in just to be sure. I looked her symptoms up on the interwebs and found it could be anything from dehydration to oral infection to tumors. I stepped away from the internet at the suggestion that my 2 year old puppy might have tumors. I checked her gums to see if maybe she needed her teeth cleaned, but they looked fine - nothing stuck in her gums as best I could see.

This morning we got up early and I took her to the vet. Within 30 seconds, the guy opens up her mouth and finds something similar to this lovely image I put together using Google image search and Paint. (I don't happen to have a photo of the roof of my dog's mouth on hand)

She had apparently gotten a hold of some bamboo or other similar stick, chewed it up, and got a big chunk of it stuck on the roof of her mouth. It was there for days and we didn't know about it. I feel so terrible for not even thinking to force her mouth open and check that something might have been stuck there.

The vet pulled it out, they flushed out the sores it left behind, pumped her with antibiotics, and gave her back to me, saying her breath should be back to normal soon.

I feel so much better now - even though we're a little poorer than we were when we woke up this morning. It was well worth it for the peace of mind.

I was still left with the following train of thought: Do people get things stuck in the roofs of their mouths? No? Because we have fingers? Can dogs use their paws to scratch the insides of the mouths? I guess not.

First Christmas Away

This year was Tim and my 2nd Christmas together. Last year we spent the weekend with my wonderful and crazy family, so this year it was Tim's turn to spend Christmas with his much more low key family. :) We're still working out how this is going to work with alternating Christmas with each family. This was my first year away from mine, and even though I'm glad my hubby got to spend it with his family, it broke my heart to be not be there to obnoxiously sing the 12 Days of Christmas with the Reinecker clan, or stuff my face with delicious "ethnic" food at the Handys'.

I still needed to give my family their gifts, so my mom got it planned and we all had dinner and opened presents on the 23rd. Here are some of the better shots from the night:
My bro-in-law, Ryan, Tim, me, & big sis, Colette drinking wine and feeling fine
Ryan opening his DIY Ultimate Iced Blended kit 
Tim opening one of his gifts from my fam
Mi con la mia Mamma. 
The gift Camille couldn't wait until gift-opening time to give me - amazing robot watch/necklace.
We got some pretty great gifts. Thank you, family, for being so generous this Christmas.

Saturday morning we took our time getting out of the house. We meant to leave by 10:30, but didn't end up on the road until 11:45. My little sister came by for breakfast since she was only going to be in town for 4 days, so that put us behind schedule for a bit since we hadn't packed when she called to say she was parking. My wonderful friend Deedee hitched a ride with us and we dropped her off in Carlsbad to spend Christmas with her 9-month-old niece (who is pretty much the cutest thing ever), then continued on our way to San Diego to spend Christmas eve and day with Tim's parents.

Christmas morning we got up and ate a delicious breakfast Tim made for us. Then the four of us sat down to exchange gifts. It was very nice and low key. It's definitely an adjustment from the Christmases I've had growing up. They got a few presents for the dogs too.
Panda stole Maddy's kangaroo. They got her a bear, but she slobbered all over it and moved on. 
We also took a walk up to the park near their house and let the dogs run around for a bit. The weather was absolutely beautiful. I wore a lightweight loose sweater that day and was starting to get uncomfortable toward the middle of our walk.
Tim's dad, Marlin, running around with the dogs on Christmas day
We drove back to the Valley on Monday morning, and spent the day running errands and getting ready for real life. I wish it was Christmas more often. I almost said every day, but man, that would be exhausting. :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

One Sheet, Two Projects

A few weeks back, my mom was cleaning out her linen closet and found that she had tons of double sheet sets, and not enough double beds for them. Since she remembered some of them belonged to my sisters and me, she called us up to come and claim them.
Mine, though lovely, were not exactly the best quality - not to mention I had four sheet sets and I only have one double bed at my house (before two weeks ago, I had no double beds at my house). So, I picked my favorite sets and planned to leave the others for good will. As it was, that was the day we were moving the desk from my parents, and we needed something to use as padding in the car. So, we grabbed one of the extra sheet sets and used them to protect the desk and car from each other.
When we got home, we had an extra set of sheets.

Rewind to last winter when we had our living room carpet installed and had to trim the bottoms of the doors to fit over the carpet, and were left with a tiny space under the door that lets all the cold air in during these frigid California winters - we hoped this would be fixed when we installed new door sweeps.
Fast forward to this weekend, Tim installed new door sweeps and they don't completely solve the problem, so - at his request - I made this bad boy:

I will admit I didn't want to do it. I don't like the way they look, and calling it a "draft dodger" is not something I plan to do, but it does work. Our house is tall and skinny so the bottom level is always cold and the upstairs is always hot. This lovely devise is actually helping to bring the temperatures closer together.

In case you were wondering where I got the stuffing for this project, the answer is... from the parts of Panda's bed that I cut off to make it fit into the corner under the stairs. Duh.

Since the cover was looking pretty beat up and I needed a solution to the gaping holes I'd cut along the sides - I didn't want to take the time to stitch up an ugly cover - I used the rest of that sheet to make a new cover for Panda's now re-sized bed.

She was very helpful. She kept coming over and sitting on it to make sure the fabric stayed in place. So considerate.

My Room!

Let me cut right to the chase...

When we moved in, the second bedroom looked like this:

A few weeks later, we got things organized and moved into it and it looked like this:

The walls were still that gnarly puke orange color, but we made it work for a while. Then there was some drama with the carpet. We didn't want to use the light colored carpet that would have to be pieced together for the living room, so instead of taking it back down to the garage, it ended up stored in here. Slowly, things just started to pile up in this room - like it was the place to put things to get them out of the way.

Then one weekend (two weeks ago, actually), Tim was inspired to fix the room and turn it into usable space, so we pulled everything out, primed, repainted, swapped the queen bed out for a double, got a bigger desk, moved all the worthwhile stuff back in, and tried to make some sense of it...

The room is actually a lot (a lot, a lot) more full of stuff right now, but its completely usable space, which is what I love. I can have my computer out. My sewing machine now has a permanent home on top of the desk, instead of in a box in the closet. I have been using this room as my own personal office/craft space. I pay bills in there, wrap Christmas presents, even nap - when the bed hasn't been taken over by Panda and other miscellaneous items.

It's pretty messy right now, but I love it.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bar In Progress

One of the things we thought was kind of unique about our house - in addition to being bank owned and the amount of house we wanted for a whole lot less than we told ourselves we'd pay - was that it came with a wet bar. Unfortunately, it appeared as though this aspect of the house as not been touched since its original construction in 1975...

Since we moved in, we've been talking about tearing the awful mirrors down and making this thing look nice, but it always took a back seat to bigger projects - the living room, the bathrooms, my the office (which I will post about next).

Last Friday night, Tim caught the "do-er" bug.  So while I was at my aunt's helping with her Mark. party, he set about tearing down the mirrors, taking off the cabinets, and ripping off the counter top. The result was this...

The next day, we set out for Ikea to buy a slab of this stuff. It took all day, running around before we finally gave in and made the trip to Burbank, where we knew they'd have the butcher block in stock. They only had one shade available, so it was a good thing we liked it. We barely fit that thing in my car and then headed back to the West Valley to cut it to size - unfortunately, our wet bar is not standard counter depth. It took the rest of the weekend to get the counter top perfectly cut, including cutting the hole for the sink, and getting the sink...sunk.

The plan now is to scrape the walls and then re-texture them before we have some guys come out to paint the room. I also still need to finish touching up the paint on the cabinets before we can put them back on. I meant to do that today, but I didn't end up getting to it.
I pretty much love the new counter top. I'm really excited to see the wet bar finished. I'll definitely be posting pictures once it's done. :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Better In Time For Christmas!

*knock on wood*

I'm still coughing, but I feel good. :)
I took yoga last night and it was marvelous. I only coughed once during the entire hour. Of course, then I stepped outside the studio and started hacking up a lung, but it seemed like yoga actually helped me - like the focus on breathing and stretching, etc. helps my lungs say "hey mucus, get out the way!" Makes sense.
I'm definitely gonna try to go every Tuesday and Thursday until my gym membership stops on Jan 8th.
Anyway, I have really missed being able to exercise. It's like my body is giving me the Christmas present of health...almost. Regardless, after being sick for so long, I really appreciate it.

Speaking of Christmas, its beginning to feel like Christmastime at my house. Our tree is up and I've got plenty of gifts wrapped underneath it. Most of them will be taken elsewhere to be opened, but its still nice to have them there...

They've also been playing White Christmas on AMC practically every day. I DVR'd it to watch at my leisure. This way I can watch for an hour, go do something else, and come back to Bing and Rosemary just where I left them.
So much of that movie is completely heartwarming. It makes me feel like a kid. I wanted to sing like Rosemary Clooney when I grew up, so now I sing along as I fold laundry and take the dog on walks. So what if I'm that weird lady who sings as she walks? I love every moment of it - even when I'm in between coughs and the notes come out a little crackly.

Hopefully I'll have some more posts as we get closer to Christmas. I've got a mini-holiday project in mind for next week. Plus on Wednesday I'm giving myself the gift of a pedicure.

Oh! and I have to mention this because I wouldn't be a good Mark. rep if I didn't - there is still time to place your orders and have them in time for Christmas! - you'll just have to expedite the shipping. And you can continue to buy yourself and your loved ones gifts whenever you want and not have to rush the shipping. :) Visit my eboutique for tons of great gift ideas - whether or not they're for Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Let me tell you something about being sick...

Unless I'm totally wrong, when you are a normal, healthy, nonsmoking woman in your 20's and you get sick, you are supposed to get better - and you are supposed to get better relatively quickly. And so, when I started to feel a tad bit under the weather the few days before Turkey Day, I thought, "Hey, no big, its just a bug and I'll kick it in the ass and be back on my feet in no time."
As we already know, I stayed home last Monday in my attempt to rest up so my body could get rid of said bug.
And for a while after that I wasn't feeling amazing, but I was better and I was making strides towards normal - my hopes of getting to the gym tomorrow or the next day or the next day seemed reasonable.

And here I am, 16 days after first mentioning aloud that I was not feeling awesome, and now, in addition to the lovely cough the developed over the last week, my original symptoms of grogginess, dizziness and congestion appear to have returned.

DOUBLE-U TEE EFF!?!?! (yes, I just spelled that out and defeated the entire purpose of abbreviating it in the first place)

This WHATEVER-THIS-IS is pissing me off. I would sincerely appreciate if it would get the heck out of my system.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy *cough* Thanksgiving *cough cough* -er

Last week was brutal.  The week started off not quite right with Tim battling a bug. It was no big deal. He just didn't feel great. I was good.
Wednesday I woke up with a lump in my throat and powered through the day with vitamin C. Luckily Tim got to leave work early that day because his "not so great" had progressed into feeling downright bad.
Thursday my throat had gotten a little worse, but I was still feeling generally good. More vitamin C, plus delicious  homemade smoothies helped me in my efforts to get the house cleaned up for Tim's parents' arrival on Friday morning, but I could not get my sick Timmy out of bed. Already reluctant to expose my entire family to whatever bug had gotten loose in our home, we decided to skip the trip to the O.C. for Thanksgiving with the Handys. It broke my heart to miss Thanksgiving.
Later in the evening, my well rested husband got a burst of energy and put the Christmas tree up in the living room to make me feel better. I wish it filled the hole that missing Thanksgiving left, but it did make me feel a little better.
Unfortunately, I went to bed Thursday night feeling not-so-awesome.

Friday morning Tim woke up, checked in with his parents on their trip, and brought me dayquil and ibuprofen - without which I would not have gotten out of bed. Tim's parents arrived around 11. We all hung out together for a while before Tim and his mom started cooking our Thanksgiving-er dinner. It would have been Thanksgiving; Part 2, but we didn't make it to Thanksgiving; Part 1
We had way way too much food, so some of my family came by to help us eat it all. I was very happy that they were able to make it out - especially since I wasn't able to see them the day before.

Saturday morning Tim got up first and brought me dayquil and ibuprofen to help get me out of bed. We immediately ventured out into the world - had to get $5 off at Bevmo and buy a new bookshelf. I spent the rest of the day going upstairs to take naps between socializing and watching TV.

That night we watched Pirates of the Caribbean; On Stranger Tides and gave Tim's mom her birthday presents - her birthday is today, by the way (Happy Birthday, Bridget!).

Sunday, I think, was my worst day. We had to get up early to say goodbye to Tim's parents, who wanted to miss any Thanksgiving traffic on their way back down to San Diego. Once they were on the road, we were back in bed, where we slept soundly until about noon. Tim woke up feeling refreshed, like he was actually getting better, and I woke up happy for him, but feeling terrible. We did hardly anything all day. I hardly left the couch all day. My parents brought us some soup and Tim ran out to the store to restock our orange juice supply and pick up some Mucinex. They helped enough that I was able to assemble the bookshelf we'd bought on Saturday. It looks great, by the way - pictures soon!

Monday morning I woke up feeling totally not awesome, so I called in sick and slept until 1030. I spent the rest of the day on the couch, watching the first two seasons of Parks & Rec on Netflix, and getting dizzy every time I turned my head.

Yesterday I went back to work, and today (in addition to being my mother-in-law's birthday) is my dad's birthday! Happy Birthday Dad! You're the greatest ever!
I'm still not feeling awesome, but I am determined to feel good enough to get to my dad's birthday dinner tonight.
So, in the interest of rest...

Peace out.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy Holidays!

I won free photocards from Kim's Kitchen Sink! I ordered them today! Hooray!
(also, as a side note, my husband is currently cheering against Oklahoma by singing "Oooooklahoma!")
Bursts Of Snowflakes Holiday Card
Create holiday photo cards that create smiles.
View the entire collection of cards.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


For months, Tim and I have been making trips to car dealerships - looking for the best deal on the best car and what is the most realistic and reasonable for us, researching cars online, finding out what kind of financing we can get where and what the monthly payments would work out to. We sent a whole slew of car options to our insurance guy to find out what we could expect to pay for insurance on each car, and then we looked at our budget again and again to make sure we were managing this car buying thing effectively.

After trips to Honda, Dodge, Ford, and Subaru, we finally made our way over to Nissan on Saturday. We looked at a few different cars while we were there, and though some of them were really nice, only one of them was going to be our Tim's new car. We went home on Saturday to mull things over, and came back on Sunday with this very specific car in mind - a 2012 Altima.

And then we set about negotiating with the Nissan people to buy it.

So now we have officially bought our first car as a married couple. I kind of love it, and sort of wish we had bought it for me, but my turn will come. :) My little Honda Civic is still truckin' away, so I've got some time before it needs replacing. 

In the mean time, check out Timmy's totally awesome new car. :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Operation Get Out of the House; Take a Cooking Class

For a while now, the husband (tehehe) and I have realized that we have been in a bit of a rut. We're talking work, home, gym, watch tv, sleep, work, home, gym, watch tv, sleep. Yuck.

So, we've been making an real effort to get off our butts and actually do things.  In August, we planned an elaborate and terrifying fishing trip. We bought a 6 person raft (which is really a 2-3 person raft) and set out into the Pacific Ocean, where I promptly had a panic attack and then calmed down to take some nice pictures. 

After that, we were kind of whelmed by wedding stuff. Getting married takes up a lot of time. It did, however, get us out of the house for extended periods of time. We had a lovely mini-vacay in Santa Barbara and an amazing party in our honor with all our family and friends, before heading off on a full length vacation and then spending a day at Disneyland (our first trip together to the happiest place on earth).
Now that we've returned to normal life, it takes more of an effort to get out of the damn house. So, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Giant Spaghetti Monster for LivingSocial and Groupon. Every time I get an email with a deal that intrigues me, I email it to Tim and most times, we end up buying it.

Our first escape from the day-to-day (as officially married folks) came courtesy of LivingSocial and Chef Lance Corralez - a Tapas cooking class for two, Cooking with Corralez! I bought this deal a couple months ago knowing we wouldn't be able to take the class until after the wedding. So tonight, I picked the dogs up from my parents (they've been playing there during the week due to our lack of yard and desire to keep our house clean), met Tim at home, and together we drove back out to Encino to learn how to make delicious tapas. It was a lot of fun. We learned a ton, have the recipes to try at home, and Chef Lance was just a really cool guy - very down to earth, easy to relate to, genuinely excited to have us there, and a pretty good teacher too. We left with little goodie bags full of tiny whisks, lindor truffles, a huge discount to have Chef Lance come to our house and cook a private dinner for two in our kitchen (we probly won't do this, but its still cool),  and a certificate for a complimentary wine tasting at Flask in Studio City - yet another reason to get out of the house!

So far, Operation Get Out of the House is a success. I'm looking forward to all of our adventures to come!

Monday, October 10, 2011

1 Week Into Real Life

As of this past Saturday, Tim and I have been married for 3 weeks. It's still kind of surreal. These last 3 weeks have gone by so fast.
Here are a handful of pictures from our wedding. I didn't think we looked any happier than the normal happy couple, but all I keep hearing is how incredibly happy we seemed and how affectionate we were, so hooray!

Sisters during pre-ceremony photos
I just like the face Timmy's making in this one
Getting by bouquet back before being introduced as husband and wife
After exiting the ceremony as husband and wife
Deedee thinks champagne and flowers are awesome

Dancing and kissing and stuff

The Tuesday after the wedding, we left for our honeymoon in the Canadian Rockies. It was basically awesome...except for Calgary, which was totally lame. It's possible that we didn't try hard enough to find awesome things to do, but we certainly did not find any.
We did so much hiking and adventuring around in Banff/Yoho. I'm trying to post some different pictures from the ones on facebook already.
Laughing Falls
Twin Falls
Lake Louise
Takakkaw Falls
Our lodge and its mountain
That's all for now. The real world calls. If you need me, I'll be here, thinking about my next vacation.

Monday, September 19, 2011


I have a most of today to relax before we set off on our honeymoon in the wee hours of tomorrow morning, but I just wanted to quickly share a few thoughts on the best weekend of my life.

I am so happy. It is the most wonderful thing to know that my best friend and person I love most in the world is mine forever - to look up and call him husband or to see that ring on his finger.

The weekend went by in a whirlwind, but everything was perfect. 
Our rehearsal dinner was so much fun. I'm sure the margaritas helped ;), but I never thought I would laugh so much. The restaurant set the perfect vibe, and the food and drinks were excellent.

The wedding itself was incredible. Everyone who was able to come out made it so special - all of our family and friends. I cannot believe how lucky we are so have such wonderful and loving people in our lives.

Everyone loved my dress and the flowers - though I doubt they would tell me otherwise. The band was a blast. Timmy danced with me on multiple occasions. I thought it would be a challenge to get him to stay on the dance floor with me, but he did so willingly - spinning me around and picking me up as we danced to songs I don't even remember.

I'm waiting impatiently to see everyone's pictures. :) Though I guess it will be easier to wait once I'm away from home and off on romantic adventures with my hubby. I am SO excited for this time with him to travel and relax, and just enjoy being around each other.

Hopefully I'll have some more pictures to share soon. For now, here's a little something my totally amazing big sister put together with the magic of instant pictures:

I am so happy to have had such an amazing wedding weekend, surrounded by all of the people I love, and so lucky to be married to my very best friend in the world.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Almost Married

This is most likely my last post before I'm officially a married woman. Kind of weird to think of myself as being married, but not weird to think of myself spending forever with Timmy, but after being engaged for a year and a half, and still having pretty much 27 years to decide how I feel about it, "Wife" and "Mrs." still seem so foreign to me - not like titles that will apply to me in 3 days.

It is finally starting to sink in though - in a good way. No cold feet here. I find myself thinking, "We're getting married this week. How freaking cool is that!?!"

We're still working out the most final of final details, but all the big stuff is done. The dress is at my parents' house. My shoes and jewelry are in a suitcase in my bedroom. The photographers and videographers are paid and know what time to be there. The table assignments are done, the place cards are being printed, and a special cake has been order so my cake topper doesn't have to sit on the table next to the cake.

I feel really good, and thinking about it makes me smile.

So, I know this was not a very long post, but being so near my wedding has shortened my attention span.

This is legally single Alyssa signing off for the last time. Latah.

Still Pretty Much The Same

Hi! I just changed my blog design a little bit. I like it better now - much brighter. :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Dress Fitting, Schmess Fitting

A few weeks ago, I had my first dress fitting. Woohoo! My dress looked great and the alterations lady thought it fit well enough so we shouldn't take anything in. BAH! My mom and I disagreed with the alterations lady. 
I am already a picky girl when it comes to how dresses fit me (as I would think many women are) and this is my WEDDING DRESS we're talking about here, so I'm gonna be ultra picky. So, I say to this dress, it would appear that I do have wedding dress size 8 hips and bust, but I have a size 6 waist, and dammit, I want my dress to fit like a glove, so take it in!

Yesterday was my second fitting. The dress fit perfectly in the bust and the waist, but was mysteriously tight in the hips. The lining kept bunching awkwardly. WTF? My butt did not get bigger in the last few weeks. I did not increase my ice cream intake or stop exercising, so there is no reason for my dress to be tight in the hips. The alterations lady told us either we could let it out a little or she could press it and "loosen up the fabric" or something. After much deliberation, we decided to have it let out a bit, but I'm kinda frustrated about it. I'm thinking she took it in too low and ended up making it tighter on the hips. 
Then as I was about to change back into my jeans, I noticed the bussel was uneven. It has three points where it buttons and the one on the left was noticeably lower than the one on the right. So, we asked her to fix it. 
Also kind of frustrating because we're not in there with a bunch of complicated alterations, so that just looks like laziness. 

My next and final dress fitting is Sept. 8 - my parents 32nd anniversary. My mom is coming with me and then spending the rest of the day celebrating with my dad. :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's the Final Countdoooown

There has been so much going on that I don't even know where to begin. This may end up a hodgepodge that makes no sense, but I'm hoping I can fit it into a nice, neat summary so I don't have to write a horrendously long blog post right now.

So, let's start with I tagged that this post would be about before I even started writing; the wedding. We're exactly one month out now. We sent out the invitations and rsvp's are slowing making their way back to us. We invited way too many people for the amount of space we have, but as long as we get a "normal" amount of regrets back, we should have enough space. On July 30th, we went for the menu tasting. The entrees we picked are fillet, halibut, and butternut squash ravioli. The rest of the food will be delicious too. It's this gigantic 3 course meal with 5 passed appetizers during the cocktail hour, plus soup and salad courses. I'm a little bummed that I won't be around to eat the delicious appetizers during cocktail hour because they are basically awesome.

On the 4th, my mom and I went out to meet a potential hair stylist. She is amazing. She totally blew us away. So easy to work with and she really knows hair and what looks good, not just fancy techniques and stuff. So, she's scheduled to come up to SB and do my hair as well as my mom's and future mother-in-law's.

Then a week ago Sunday, my mom and I went to Nordstrom to meet with a "beauty stylist" and learn more about makeup and the best techniques for bridal application. By the end of the 2 hours we spent there, I looked a little bit like an alien, but I had a plethora of makeup information and a nice little stash of new products to use when I do my own makeup for the wedding. I do not plan on making myself look like an alien, but I am going to use the tips and techniques she gave me to make myself look like a more dressed up "everyday" Alyssa.

During the week last week, I found out that my future mother-in-law would not be able to make it to my bridal shower, which happened this past Saturday.My future husband was very upset because there was a whole bunch of drama with setting the shower date to begin with because everyone was taking their kids to college or going out of town on any later weekends and after we get out of August, it's way to close to the wedding, so the shower date couldn't get bumped back a week or two.
Anyway, I stayed up way too late the night before my shower wrapping presents for bridesmaids and folding laundry and painting Buzz Lightyear, so I set myself (btw, just tried to spell that "M-Y-S-E-L-P-H") up for an exhausting Saturday.
The shower was beautiful - though slightly bittersweet since Tim's mom wasn't there. She doesn't have any daughters, so she doesn't get to do girly stuff like this and now she'd missed a chance, ya know? My aunts and the ladies of WWAR(family friend acronym) did an absolutely fantastic job. I was am so overwhelmed by the whole thing - and so happy for everyone who was able to make it out.

In the madness that has been the last couple of weeks, my house has felt the most neglect. The house does not have feelings, so I don't have to worry about hurting them by leaving it to last. Unfortunately it's progressed to a level of messyness that just looking at leaves me completely stressed out. Staring into any room in the house for too long sends me into a surreal state - fuzzyness clouds my periphery and frustration takes over. I just want to kick something, but instead I start picking things up - all the while getting upset that no one is helping me, which is ridiculous because I didn't even ask for help - and then the dishwasher breaks.

Sunday night, after filling the dishwasher to the brim (it probably should not have had that much in it), I pushed the start button and... nothing happened. No beep, no light, no 'hey hey hey, you put to much stuff", no struggle to get going, nada. I pushed buttons for a while to no avail and finally called Tim down to help. He pushed buttons, did some maneuvering to see if he could pull the dishwasher out, checked the detergent thing, made sure nothing was getting blocked, pushed some more buttons and said, "well, at least we have a brand new dishwasher in the garage"

The (lovely) new dishwasher came as part of a set from all my aunts and uncles on my mom's side as a totallyamazingandhaveImentionedIamcompletelyblownawaybythisincredible wedding present. The dishwasher, range, microwave/hood, and TOTALLY AMAZING fridge (separate and equally awesome wedding gift from my grandparents) arrived at our house last Saturday, the 6th. Because we knew they were coming, Tim and I got up early early in the morning and ran out to Home Depot to call dibs on the truck. Nobody was in town to help us, so I attempted to play the roll of someone significantly stronger than myself, and help Tim move the old fridge out of the house and onto the truck. I think I did a pretty good job considering I am not, in fact, very large. Anyhoo, our kitchen - though significantly larger than our previous kitchen - is not so very pretty, nor is it in very good shape. The formica countertops don't match. The one chunk of butcherblock countertop has been used as a cutting board, the cabinets are poorly painted and flimsy, one of the shelves in the pantry is broken. It needs some love.
We went ahead and had them swap out the fridge and the range on the 6th, but the other two require some more intensive installation, so our plan was to wait until our countertops are replaced and cabinets are repainted. The trouble with that Tim's parents didn't come up for the shower this past weekend...we have no idea when fixing the kitchen is going to happen.
Before the shower I thought for sure our kitchen would be done long before we were married, but now that we're one month away and don't have a plan anymore, I'm kind of bummed. I got so excited about my new kitchen and now I walk in and see my pretty new fridge and range and wish that the rest of the kitchen was as shiny and new as they are. And now the dishwasher doesn't work, so I'll be hand-washing dishes for the foreseeable future.
I know I would be so much happier if we just had a plan.

That's all for now. I'm sure I have more to write about, but I don't need to write a book today, so this is where I'll stop.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Happy Patio

I'm pretty behind on blogging. Life's been a bit on the hectic side - with wedding planning, cake making, and mark happenings - and ya know, I still have this full time job thing, so it doesn't leave a lot of time for me to sit down with my thoughts.

Today's thought sharing comes to us courtesy of my wonderful soon-to-be husband and now landscaping aficionado.

When we bought our townhouse back in October, our patio space looked something like this:
Not too awful right? This is the cleaned up version. I didn't take any pictures of the dead rose bushes growing out of dust off to the right of where this picture was taken, or the ground completely covered in the fallings of the many trees on and around our patio. It was kind of a gnarly mess, so within the first month we were there, we cleaned it up, and got it looking like this:

Tim put down some funky wood chips to make the ground look less gross, we swept everything up, added my lovely purple-potted rose bush, replaced whatever was in the yellow pot with gardenias, got a new hose, and did some rearranging. You may notice on the far left of the picture of our dog, Panda, there is a tree stump? It's not just any tree stump - it belongs to perhaps the most pain in the ass tree ever. Now, I'm a big proponent of going green and saving the environment, so let's not cut down trees and all that, but for reals, this tree was awful. It dropped gross stuff everywhere, it water logged during the storms in January and whole branches broke off, it looked ugly, it was pulling up the fence separating our patio from our neighbors, and we generally just didn't like it.
So, a couple weeks back, my landscaping-almost-husband took action - starting with that tree. We went to Home Depot and spent way too much money on the following things:

  • 1 ax
  • a blueberry bush
  • a rosemary bush
  • another rose bush
  • heather plant
  • mysterious dahlias
  • a pink plant I dont remember the name of
  • 6 new pots for our 6 new plants
  • 6 hunks of sod
  • 2 bags of fertilizer/potting soil
  • 2 bags of fancy Mexican rocks
  • 1 box of Miracle Grow
  • 6 pieces of mini black fencing
And by the end of the weekend, our patio looked like this instead:

Until next time...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cake Poll!

Please visit my facebook page and vote for what kind of cake I should make this weekend!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hooray! Mark. Party!

It's an exciting week for me because this week commences my very first online mark. party! Woohoo!

It's being hosted by the lovely and talented Kim. We're giving away all kinds of free stuff through raffles and gifts with purchase. For serious, you should check it out here and get all the details. Then make sure to follow the links and register at my eboutique so you're entered to win free stuff! :)

Yay! I'm so excited!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Deliciously Delicious Cupcake

For Memorial Day, I made these:
In case you were wondering, they're basically the most joyous little cakes ever. I filled them with strawberry mash and I have been eating at least 2 per day without fail since Monday. Tuesday I ate four. I will miss them when they're gone (we have one left), but I will be glad to have a break from temptation for a while.

I'm placing a mark. order today. Anyone want me to order something?
FYI, sales is so discouraging sometimes. I mean really, praise Jeebus that I have a full time job to pay the bills.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fitness Goals

As of today, I have just over 3 and a half months before the wedding. For the past three months, I have been really good about working out right around 6 days a week. Sometimes I slipped to 5 and sometimes I powered through 7, but for the most part I've been keeping up with 6 days...until this past weekend, which was disastrous for my fitness and completely pulled me out of my rhythm.
Tim hurt his back last week. No big deal. He just needed to rest to get back to a place where he felt comfortable lifting large amounts of weight.
This should not really have any impact on my workout schedule, right? Not so. Tim and I usually work out at the same time. He goes to the gym and I go to the dining room (where I have all my weights lined up, yoga mats out and even a blanket for when I do ab work - because hardwood floors and tail-bones don't get along)
Tim ended up in the living room. Not so bad. I still have the dining room. Too bad there is no wall to separate the two rooms. My peewee laptop speakers cannot compete with the Black Ops explosions and NCAA football commentator. So, my motivation is gone. I have not done a P90X workout since last Thursday.
I did manage to make it to Cardio Barre on Sunday and did some kettle bell work and swam some laps on Monday, but yesterday I was back to depressedly (not a real word) eating cupcakes on the couch and rereading Harry Potter 7.
The cupcakes are delicious and I'm happy to refresh my HP7 memory - because I forgot damn near everything - but I feel like in 3 days I completely cancelled out all of the work I've put in over the last 3 months.

So, I'm starting over. For reals this time. I'm going to continue to go to Cardio Barre once or twice a week, but I am also going to actually follow the P90X schedule - not say to myself "I think I've been doing this about a month, I think I'll work in some new discs" - and I'm going to write down what I'm able to do this time so that I "know what to do" next time.

Today will be disc 1 - Core Synergistics

Maybe I'll even take some "before" pictures this time around. Ha!

EDIT 6:43pm: Nevermind. No living room workout for me tonight. Tim and his injured back have taken it over. :( P90X will have to wait until tomorrow morning. Tonight I'm off to Cardio Barre

Saturday, May 28, 2011


I've been pretty busy the last couple weeks...hence the not particularly details blog posts and this wont probably wont be much different since I'm planning to get back to cleaning and laundry as soon as I finish this.

This week I:

* Made a tiny cake for my friend's belated birthday dinner
* Approved the invitation proofs for the wedding
* Reserved a photo booth for the wedding
* Set up a blog for my cakes and filled it with photos and blurbs about my baking experience


*insurance shopped. (while this achievement is not quite completed yet, I think I know what direction we're headed)

This along with my regular work and work out schedule. Oh, and I made a facebook group for my mark. store. You should "like" it.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

In honor of the apocalypse

Lately I've been keeping myself pretty busy. I'm trying to get more involved in Mark. again and I'm really happy about it because a) I feel like Mark. is really stepping up their game. I've seen a huge quality improvement and they're really trying to appeal to a broader demographic instead of just teens and college students, b) I get awesome discounts on all this new higher quality stuff catered to my demographic, and c) it gives me an opportunity to get in touch with a really good friend of mine who I haven't spent much time with lately.
So, if anyone who reads this is interested in checking out some totally awesome makeup, clothing and accessories, let me know. I can get you a magalog and some free samples. :)

I've also
been trying to dedicate myself more to my at home cake business. The last two weekends, I have had some wonderful opportunities to challenge myself and create cakes using at least one method I'd never used before.
Last weekend I made fresh whipped cream and iced the entire cake with it. It tasted like a giant strawberry shortcake and was one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten. (Tim and I share the cake tops when I even out the tops of the cakes)
This weekend I was asked to make a cake that was half red and half white with red filling. The red filling was easy peasy, but I had a much harder time with making half the cake red than I thought I would. Plus I challenged myself into doing this with fondant, so I had to dye half of it red. It turned out pretty nicely, if I may say so.

And finally, today we finally had our hopefully last meeting with the woman who is doing our wedding invitations. We just had a 20 minute meeting today to go over exactly what we wanted on what kind of paper since at the end of our last meeting, we weren't sure what the company would actually be able to do. She's going to email my mom and I the proof sometime during the coming week so that I we can approve it and order the invitations. Tomorrow Tim and I have to go bug my parents to get the actual number of people we will be inviting so we can see how many invitations we'll need.
Not excited about that. There's too much drama in guest list making.

Supposedly The Rapture has happened. I guess not a lot of people were worthy or going straight to heaven since I haven't noticed anyone missing yet - nor have I noticed any fire and brimstone lurking about. I hope everyone has a pleasant post-apocalyptic weekend?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

4 Months!

We're getting married in 4 months!

This makes me think I should be more focused on the little things.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Yay! Productivity!

So, it would seem that in order to have a day of "getting sh*t done", I need to take a day off work.

I stayed at my parents' last night to dog sit, so today I am taking care of some things that are easier to do from their house as well as a few things at home!

1: Wash my car.

Didn't take any before pictures of this because it was gross...and I didn't think of it.
Yesterday my big sister told me that when she saw my car outside, she was tempted to write "wash me" on it. While my car was dirty, it didn't exactly have the layer of grossness required to legibly write "wash me", unless you somehow managed to write in the dog saliva on the inside of the back windows.
I scrubbed (and even Windexed parts of) my car to near perfect cleanliness. The paint needs some touch ups and wax, but those are not in the cards anytime soon. Well, maybe the wax.

I hoped to get back outside and vacuum out all the dog hair in the back seat, but since it got pretty hot today and I didn't want to stay at my parents well into the evening, this will have to wait until another day.

2: Paint my grandma's old mirror

I don't remember how long ago, my grandma gave me this awesome old mirror to put up in my bedroom. It's gold and doesn't really go with anything, but I like to have a kind of funky design aesthetic, so I put it up.
Almost 2 years ago, I officially moved out of my parent's house, so it was time to get pretty much everything out of there. I didn't have a place for the mirror at the time, so it stayed (I still have a lot of stuff in my old closet still too).
Last October, Tim and I bought our own place and we've been in a pretty constant state of mild renovation ever since. The living room was the biggest project since it took over a month and forced us to use the dining room for all things "living". 
It's still a work in progress, but we're onto minor details now, like the mirror. ;)
We were talking about putting a mirror up on the wall facing the front doors, and maybe adding some hooks to the wall there in case we needed to hang something. After a few trips to Target, Home Goods and Tuesday Morning with no luck, my mom proposed that we use the old gold mirror from my room and just paint it white.
She gave us the idea probably about a month ago, and today around 11am, I finally go to it.
Taping newspaper down to protect the glass was a paint in the arse. It's harder than taping for regular painting, because how are you gonna go back in with spray paint and touch it up? So I spent a good half hour to 45 mins just taping the damn thing.
After that, it was pretty smooth sailing. I discovered that you should give detailed pieces a good once-over for large chunks of fuzz and dust before you start painting, but that took about 10 minutes to remedy and I was back on track. Then over the next hour, I'd go back out and do another coat or some touch ups here and there, and then (like magic) it was done.
After I took off the newspaper, I noticed that I hadn't done a perfect job projecting the glass from the spray paint, so I had to go in with an exacto knife and carefully scrape the white off the mirror.
And then I packed it in the car and took it home to hang. :)

Taping down the newspaper.
Panda helped
First coat of paint
White paint on the mirror :(
Happily in place
3: Put up the tie-back knobs

A couple weeks ago, I found these cute butterfly knobs for $2.99 each at Anthropologie. I've been meaning to put them up this whole time, but we didn't have the right screws and we didn't have tie-backs yet anyway.
Last weekend we finally got around to picking up some tie-backs and the right screws, so I decided now was the time to get these things up! It took a whole 15 minutes to do all three of them...and they're all the same, so you don't need the whole process.
Here are some pictures:

And - because I realized I'd forgotten most of what happened in the seventh installment of Harry Potter as I walked in to the movie theatre for 7; part 1, I also read a handful of pages from HP7 while laying out by the pool. It was lovely.

Happy Weekend!