[Best viewed with Chrome]

Sunday, November 25, 2012

:: it's beginning to look a lot like christmas ::

Our pup, Teddy @ the Christmas tree
I'm feeling very happy and jolly tonight because we just put up the Christmas tree! It is also Rickard's birthday today! (but we are celebrating it later this week with friends)

I can't believe it is almost December already and that Rickard and I have been at this apartment for over a year now. Time sure does fly by!

I would say 2011 and 2012 were really good to us - we got to married last year; I found a new job; we got a puppy; we traveled to Sweden, Norway and Paris; and we have another upcoming trip to Puerto Vallarta Mexico! We have so much to be thankful for this year.

//feeling blessed

playing with aperture while photographing our x-mas tree

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving :: On Living Simply

ETSY :: GusAndLula
Can you believe another Thanksgiving has come and gone already? It seems just like yesterday when Rickard and I were celebrating our first Thanksgiving as husband, wife, and family.

This year, my parents were not able to make it up for Thanksgiving and we skipped the Black Friday madness. Therefore, we have so far spent this long weekend very low-key and at home. We have just been enjoying good home-cooked food and staying in and watching movies, and cuddling with our puppy.

Not only has this been very relaxing, but we've also been able to practice "living simply" (with a few small cheats here and there). We didn't want to do Black Friday because we have been trying to save money for a home and/or traveling. The thing is - material goods really don't make us happy in the long-run. Sure - we want what we see our friends to have (and how can you avoid it with all the constant Facebook posts these days!), or want the latest gadgets and clothes -- but for me and Rickard, we enjoy experiences much more than material goods. I think I realize this the older I get.

This is happiness to us.

Hope you all have a beautiful Thanksgiving with your loved ones. :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Teddy's Day at the Beach

Here are some snaps from Teddy's day at the beach to brighten up your Monday.

It was his first time at the beach (Leo Carrillo in Malibu) and my little pup was so excited and happy to be there!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Happiest Place on Earth

Me & Rickard with Mrs. Incredible
Yesterday, Rickard and I went to Disney Land and had such a blast! We felt like we were transported back in time to our childhood, with our favorite movie characters running around the place! I loved the nostalgic rides, and felt like a giddy kid on The Little Mermaid ride (one of my favorite princesses).

Half of the Christmas decorations were up, so you couldn't help but be in a jolly, good-spirited mood.

It was Rickard's first time ever at Disney Land so we got him a special "First Timer" button he wore around yesterday. Haha!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Geology Field Trip to the Angeles Forest

Devil's Punch Bowl
Last weekend, I tagged along with Rickard's college geology class for a field trip to the Angeles National Forest. We went to several landmarks that I wasn't even aware of until this trip to the San Gabriel Valley (and beyond).

While the class talked about different types of rocks and rock formations, I couldn't help but pick up a few interesting facts here and there. For example, did you know that you can find rocks in the Angeles Forest that are VERY similar to the rocks on the moon? Also, did you know that there are some rocks that are magnetic?

It was pretty cool, and I'm pretty happy to see teachers taking college students on these types of trips on off-hours. Makes me want to go back to school and keep learning. :)

Owl @ Devil's Punch Bowl
Tujunga Canyon Dam
Rickard and Teddy (far left) at Vasquez Rocks

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness Challenge

Beginning tomorrow, I am participating in a "Random Acts of Kindness" 10-day challenge -- an idea that was inspired by another blog.

With the holidays coming up, I think this would be a great idea to adopt some of these ideas to help those around you (and yourself)!
  1. Befriend someone that needs a friend and take the time listen to them.
  2. Tell someone you love them.
  3. Let someone know that you recognize their good work.
  4. Volunteer for a worthy cause.
  5. Phone or write to an old friend or family member.
  6. Say "hello" to other people first today.
  7. Buy your partner/friend/family member a gift for no reason at all, and snail mail it to them. 
  8. Bake some treats for your co-workers/family/friends. 
  9. Send a note of thanks to a past mentor.
  10. Do something kind for another, anonymously. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

What I Have Been Up To... [Instagram Photos]

What have we been up to lately? Well...the last couple months we went to San Francisco, celebrated our first wedding anniversary, and have spent time going on little date nights and tending to our home.

We have now been in the same apartment for over a year; married for over a year; and have had our pup for over a year. I think it's safe to say we feel settled and content these days. :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

{Bottega Louie}

Macaroon Tower @ Bottega Louie
This past weekend I attended a meetup brunch at Bottega Louie in Downtown Los Angeles. I had been meaning to try Bottega Louie for a while. It is one of the most reviewed places on Yelp in the LA area and I had heard so many good things about it.

The decor inside the restaurant is so charming  ---  I cannot resist a restaurant that is this pretty, elegant and full of natural light. 

Light Blue with Gold Flecks -- Earl Grey Macaroons

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Glamorous Armenian Wedding

first dance

This last weekend was one of my dear friend's wedding - someone I have known since college. This was such a lavish and glamorous wedding. If you have ever been to an Armenian wedding, you know that they know how to party and that there is more food than you could ever eat!

church before the ceremony
walking down the aisle

I don't see how this cake could have been any bigger, and as you can see there was SOOO much food that it couldn't all fit on the table!

me at the guestbook table
my friend Shana
groom and bride

party time!
amazing full moon that evening

Monday, October 1, 2012

Old Town Pasadena - A Romantic City for our First Anniversary

me in Pasadena
Yesterday was my one year wedding anniversary, and it was the most perfect day that I could have imagined for myself.

red roses
Rickard and I started our morning pretty normally, by getting some donuts from across the street. While out, he said he wanted to go to this flower shop to get me some "surprise" roses. So sweet!

Later in the evening, we headed over to Old Town Pasadena. 

I've mentioned it before, but Pasadena is really special to me because that is where we had our wedding reception. It is a romantic, charming city that does not look like any other city in Los Angeles. We spent the evening checking out some of the great shopping before heading over to dinner at Cafe Santorini.

handsome husband
outside the restaurant
The food at Cafe Santorini was PHENOMENAL and the service was so great too. We sat at their outside patio deck, with Christmas lights twinkling on the ceiling. We felt like we were transported back to Europe. It was lovely. 

red curry risotto with shrimp and clams
chicken kebob

wedding cake!!!
The sweetest part was saved till the end -- wedding cake! Now, technically we didn't freeze our wedding cake as is tradition for the first anniversary, but we did get the EXACT same cake from the same bakery where we bought our wedding cake. They made these cute little cupcake sized cakes for us. This is my FAVORITE -- vanilla cake with raspberry bavarian creme. It is SO light and fluffy.

Our server came out with the cake with candles. We blew out the candles and made our wishes. :)

A wonderful evening, with the most thoughtful husband.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

One Year Wedding Anniversary

My Wedding
My parents and I share the same wedding anniversary. Today they have been married 29 years, and now I have been married one year. Happy Anniversary all around! Thank you to my parents for showing me what marriage really means, and all my love to my amazing husband today. :)