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Inspired by Spring

Quote for Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! Being from the Pacific Northwest, I think you are just born to love nature and respect the Earth. To celebrate Easter and my belated birthday, our family went to the tulip fields in Woodland, Washington this past weekend. Tulips have always been one of my favorite flower, I can never get enough of them! This quote reminds me of how I feel every time I step outside and take a moment to enjoy my surroundings. Also, nature is a great instant boost for design inspiration!

Wishing you a happy Easter, Spring and Earth Day!


Taking Your Married Name

Not many women talk about the emotional journey of changing your name. Being in the midst of the process myself. I can tell you it’s not as easy logistically or mentally as I originally thought it would be.

When everyone is asking you before you are married whether or not you are planning to change your name, future relatives and outsiders assumed I would with no question. Those close to me, young women, recently married friends, asked with almost a pained look of understanding. They knew of the mourning process one goes through when deciding to give up their former identity that they worked all their life to build and maintain. Suddenly they are a part of something else, not their own, yet expected to maintain.

Interesting fact: We signed our marriage certificate during the ceremony. This was not the final one. We ordered a replacement since our witnesses signed on the opposites lines in the heat of the moment. Should have put sticky notes!

Interesting fact: We signed our marriage certificate during the ceremony. This was not the final one. We ordered a replacement since our witnesses signed on the opposites lines in the heat of the moment. Should have put sticky notes!

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Newlywed Life: Hosting Thanksgiving

For the fourth year in a row, we successfully put a turkey on the table for our family to enjoy. Hosting Thanksgiving is not a task one would normally volunteer for, but I believe the ability to pull off a day of cooking while entertaining both sides of our family is an important skill to master.

I would say this year was the most successful yet! I followed Martha Stewart’s recipe for the Perfect Turkey, which was lovely. The outer skin was a little tough, but I think I may have overcooked him slightly…


That’s my family’s Shiba, Milo, who made it to another holiday season. So thankful he got to spend some time, at his appropriate distance, with our pug Chloe. He secretly likes it.

For the first time, I actually was prepared in advance of the holiday (first time not working retail beforehand!). The prep work went as follows:

  • Several Months Out: Communication with family that we will, yes, once again undertake the task of hosting Thanksgiving in our modest-sized townhouse
  • 3 Weeks Out: Determine recipes (YAY Pinterest!) to create a good balance that will fulfill everyone’s vision of the perfect Thanksgiving meal
  • 2 Weeks Out: Reserve turkey and research the likelihood of finding exotic ingredients… research alternatives (always have a back-up plan!)
  • 0.5 Weeks Out: Purchase all ingredients, record oven cooking time for all recipes, create timeline (yes, I make I timeline for anything possible)
  • Thanksgiving Eve: Bath time for the turkey in the brine
  • Thanksgiving: Wake up in enough time to prep the first item to go in the oven before the parade starts!

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a major tradition in our family; we have many. My brother and I both marched in the Seattle parade the day after Thanksgiving. Any excuse for festivities and merriment, we’re there.

After dinner we played a card game that my hubby’s family would play at family gatherings. It was the perfect way to end the day (almost) all together, while incorporating both family traditions (we lost my brother to tryptophan before dessert).

Our menu this year included:


I hope all of you had a warm holiday surrounded by loved ones. From my family to yours, happy holiday season. Let the seasonal music commence!

Newlywed Life: Free Time

It’s incredible how much free time and brain space have been available to me now that the wedding is over. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE planning weddings. But it really is a part time job when you DIY as much as we did. Now I have all this time to plan out my weekly chores, jump into work projects and start thinking about the next steps…

I really must love torturing myself. I am already planning out how to tackle life’s next challenges for us. We bought a car. We considered buying a house. We are planning on adopting a sibling for our pug, Chloe.

I think I have a problem sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the life phase I’m in. I’m always thinking about what’s next, before I’ve even finished the phase I’m in. I mean, I still need to finish our thank you notes (the guilt keeps me up at night!), finalize changing my name, pick our photos for our wedding album and watch the video footage taken on flipcams at our wedding. Who knew I’d still be working on these tasks nearly 4 months later?

I think it’s time to take a breath before jumping into what’s next. Just in time for the holidays 🙂

Newlywed Life: Labor Day


Not sure how all of you spent your Labor Day Weekend, but I had the honor of accompanying my husband to the PAX Convention. This was my first year attending, and I must say I was eager to see what it was all about.  As a very casual gamer (aka very infrequent) I can’t say I was particularly excited about any one thing going into it. But being around so many people that were so excited and seeing all the elaborate displays was just awesome.


Another great part about PAX is that the host city is Seattle, my hometown. We got to see some good friends and my family while we were in town. Plus several of the #DOTAwidows were in town with their husbands (the very appropriate name for the wives of DOTA video gamers). I even snuck in an afternoon at Pike Place Market (a must see anytime of year) and got some lavender honey, fresh crab cocktail from the fish throwers and my favorite,  Daily Donuts.


While it was hard not to think about all the post-wedding to do’s piling up at home, we did get some thank you notes written which made me feel better. Overall, a great weekend getaway for the holiday weekend.

Newlywed Life: I’m a Survivor


We did it. We survived wedding planning. As I lay here poolside at our first (of hopefully many) spa days, the full extent of the whole process, and the amazingness that was our wedding day, is setting in. I knew it would be intense, but one could never prepare for how stressful, nerve-wracking yet fulfilling planning your wedding really is. The sense of “you only do this once” is hard to kick,  especially when everyone around you is reminding you of that fact. My now husband kept reiterating “so this is why people only get married once, who would ever want to go through this again!” I can’t blame him. He was super involved and helpful the whole way. Sometimes out of necessity, but I truly couldn’t have done it all without him.

I don’t recommend starting a new job while in the midst of planning your wedding. I managed to pull it off successfully, but there were definitely moments where I wish I hadn’t been working so I could have really dug my heels in at the end. That’s where my now-sister came in. I wouldn’t have accomplished nearly half of what I wanted if she hadn’t been living with us the final month beforehand. My parents, my new parents and my wonderful bridesmaids & work friends were also a godsend in keeping my sanity at the end.

As cliche as it sounds, everything turned out like my very own fairytale. From the craziest bachelorette party, to the sweetest bridal shower tea party, to the dream that was our wedding day, I couldn’t have asked for anything better. I can’t wait to share all my favorite details from the planning to the day of, as well as pass along some of my favorite tips & lessons learned, now that I have all of this free time! But for now I’m signing off to enjoy this newlywed time with my husband.