Monday, June 29, 2009


The pictures below were borrowed from one of my new favorite blogs Green Wedding Shoes. I am in love with all of these ideas and hope to incorporate some of them into my wedding day design! You'll see lots of bright yellow, and although that isn't necessarily one of my wedding colors, I love the use of the bright pop of color mixed in with more subtle warm tones of green, white, and peach. This is what I'm going for - lots of soft, warm, natural colors, with bursts of bright corals, oranges, and some yellows. The yellow fuzzballs are called "Billy Buttons" - how appropriate, wouldn't you say?!

Friday, June 26, 2009

On buying a house

Let me just say that buying a house is extremely stressful. It was crazy at first trying to figure out the whole loan thing then it was really fun looking at open houses and driving around trying to find the perfect home. Now, it's insane. There is SO much paperwork. I feel like all I ever do is scan, sign, print, copy, scan, email, etc. etc. This isn't hard, but it is time consuming and sometimes I feel like I am drowning in paper. By the time we actually move in, we'll have made a serious dent on Mother Earth.

The hardest part about buying a house is understanding the lingo. We've had to learn about interest rates, appraisals, closing costs, escrow, rate buydowns, disclosure reports, how a well works, how a septic system works, how to not kill your significant other. Lucky for us, we have an amazing loan advisor who emails updates constantly, gets paperwork done efficiently, and gets on our realtor, the title company, the appraisor, the sellers agent, just about everyone in order to get things moving. If it weren't for her, we'd probably be lost....and probably screwed over.

Another lucky thing for us is that we are trying to buy an estate sale, where the owners have deceased but their family is taking care of the deal. The family lives in Maryland, and wants to get this house SOLD. The fewer complications the better. Unfortunately, it's never that easy, and there's always miscommunication, problems with the house that need repair, and sometimes unethical strategy to MAKE MONEY! We aren't necessarily surprised by the roadblocks and confusion, but we are frustrated with it! We just want to finish this deal and MOVE IN already.

There's also so many rules and regulations about dates. 17 days for the buyers to find everything wrong with the place before you lose your deposit, 30 days to close escrow, 7 days for the sellers to give their disclosures, 2 days before the close of escrow to fund the loan, 2 days past closing of escrow to finalize the loan, and 3 days after escrow to record the deal! WTF. If you don't follow these dates EXACTLY, you're out another couple hundred bucks.

Interest rates are another tricky thing. Increasing the rate by like .125% increases your yearly payment by over $400 bucks, which means over 30 years you're spending a crap load of money just because you didn't get a .125% lower interest rate! Lucky for us (AGAIN) interest rates are REALLY low nowadays, so we're going to be getting a pretty fair rate. (But if you lock the rate for more than 30 days and you haven't closed the deal yet, you have to pay $600!) See! All these rules rules rules. NT real estate world.

Okay, enough of my ranting. I'm off to Long Beach to visit my MOH Helya to get lost in the land of lovely dresses and share some wine together. Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tomorrow will be better...

So, I usually use the general templates that blogger provides, but when I came across some lovely layouts on I couldn't resist going one step further in making my blog oh-so-pretty! I love it and I hope you do too! :)

Did you hear Michael Jackson died today?! His music rocks my socks, so I am very sad about this! He was only 50! My mom must be really sad because she used to groove to MJ in her fringed suede vest.

Farrah Fawcett died today too and all I recall about Farrah Fawcett is her incredibly feathery hair. I wish there was more I can say, but her "feathers outstaged her performance" (SYTYCD fans - I had to use it!) That or I am just too young...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Saddest Story Ever

Associated Press - June 19, 2009 11:34 AM ET
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) - A 10-year-old California girl has died after getting her last wish: to see the movie "Up."

Colby Curtin of Huntington Beach had advanced vascular cancer and couldn't watch the Disney-Pixar movie in a theater. Her mother says Colby desperately wanted to see the animated film about a man who flies off in his house to fulfill a dream after his wife's death.

A friend managed to contact Pixar, and on June 10 a company employee arrived with a DVD copy at Colby's house. Colby's mother says she asked her daughter if she could hang on until it arrived. The girl said she was ready to die but added: "I'm going to wait for the movie." By then, Colby couldn't open her eyes but her mother described the scenes.
Colby died that night.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Beautiful Bridesmaids

I have been shopping around J. Crew and ordered a few dresses to try for the bridesmaids. I am looking for corals and oranges and these dresses have come the closest to what I'm looking for.

Supposed to get this one in the color though and I am curious to find out how the fabric lays since we had trouble with some similar dresses on our first round with J. Crew.

This one is a lot less pink in person than it looks here. I love the detail at the top and the band at the waist is very flattering. It has a deep open V in the back which is so lovely! This dress also comes in the Cantaloupe color as seen below.

This color is absolutely gorgeous in person, but the top isn't as flattering as the other dress (at least not on me because there was a lot of material left unfilled!) Both dresses will probably be shortened a bit!

The last two dresses are the same material and come in each color, so its possible I might do some mixing at matching. I am taking the dresses to Helya's next weekend to have her try them and pick which one she likes the most. :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"Lovely Country Setting"

Today our offer was accepted on yet another house that I haven't mentioned yet! Since we were getting so sick of waiting on the two short sales, we decided to give this conventional sale a try. It was actually an estate sale where the family trying to sell it live in Maryland. We thought this might give us room to negotiate a low offer, and it worked! We put our offer in on Saturday morning, and today it was officially accepted!! We go into escrow TOMORROW! Which means we have 30 days to complete all of the inspections and paper work and we'll be moving next month!! WAHOO!! FINALLY!

It is a very plain jane house, but its pretty big (about 2100 square feet) and is on 2.5 acres! YES, 2.5 acres!!!! That means we can have horses! But we'll probably just stick to some goats and kittens :) We already have big plans for fixing up the place, which will keep us busy and having fun for years to come I'm sure! The first thing is the kitchen and putting in hardwood floors! I'm getting ahead of myself, but we've been dreaming about this for awhile now! :)

The house is located in the country outside of Arroyo Grande - about 2 miles from the downtown area and a beautiful backroad drive to work! We are so thrilled!

Off to pop some champagne and celebrate!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wedding Update

My dress will be here in two weeks! I have to go back down to the Nicole Miller store in LA to pick it up! If you watch The Bachelorette, the silver roushed (sp?) strapless dress she wore two weeks ago was very similiar to my dress, but mine is ivory and doesn't have nearly as much roushing. It is very fitted and has a similar train! I am anxious to see it again in person!

Also, we have finally figured out the wedding party!

  • Maid of Honor: Helya Sahami
  • Bridesmaid: Heather Mohr
  • Bridesmaid: Jillian Coffelt
  • Bridesmaid: Joanna Schafhausen
  • Bridesmaid: Rachel Connors
  • Groomsman: Jim Dwight (Steve's Dad)
  • Groomsman: Jim Bass (Steve's Step-dad)
I decided it doesn't have to be even on both sides - it matters more that we both have who means the most to us!

I've also decided on wedding colors: spring greens, corals/oranges/peaches (okay so not exactly, but in that color palette!)

And we've booked the photographer: Michael and Maren from Applemoon Photography

Other than that I am still looking through magazines and wedding blogs for inspiration! My mom has taken some flower arranging classes and it sounds like we might be doing all of our flowers ourselves as well! The next things on the to-do list are to find a brooch for my dress, bridesmaid dresses, and something for the guys to wear. I've been having a lot of fun just dreaming up ideas and finding colors that inspire me!

We still have to figure out where we are registering, but probably Crate and Barrel and Home Depot for sure. The other big decision is the honeymoon!! We're thinking either Vancouver or Hawaii.

That's it for now!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

50 is the new 30!

As most of you know, I've been planning my mom's 50th birthday party for several months now and we finally got to surprise her last weekend. Her birthday was Friday and we invited my aunt Cathy, cousin Michael, Grandpa and pal Jeff out to dinner at Vienni Vai. We sipped on sweet wine, laughed at Grandpa's new trick, and shared some Gelato. I gave my mom a birthday card with a massage coupon for the Avila Lighthouse Suites where they were staying for the next morning (to keep her in her room while we set up the party!) Jeff, Grandpa, Phil and my mom all went to Mothers and Mcarthy's afterwards, and I had to pick up the crazy kids later that night and endured teases from Jeff and Phil for being "the mom". :) I didn't go out with them because I had to wake up early to set up, but my mom thought I was just resting up for a full day of wine tasting. 

The next morning my aunt Cathy and I went to start setting up and Susanne, Kaity, Philip, and Jeff met us there to help get things organized! We finished the flower centerpieces, banners, table setups, and Susanne's famous shrimp in less than an hour and I headed back to town to to pick up the food, drinks, and some other party-goers. Back at the party, everyone started to arrive and it was about time to pick up my mom in her room for "wine tasting". My aunt and I went up and told her that all the boys were down wandering around the hotel. 

We walked down and headed towards to conference room where the party was pretending to look for the boys. Phil said he wanted some coffee and that there was some inside the room, so we opened the doors and told my mom to come on in. She walked in and looked stunned and confused for a second, and then everyone yelled, "SURPRISE!!" and she immediately burst into laughter and tears. She was genuinely surprised and it couldn't have been a better moment.

For the next four hours, we ate lunch, had some wine and beer, and Grandpa made us his special White Russians. We listened to mom's favorite music, enjoyed the sunshine and good conversation, and devoured a scrumptious pink champagne cake from Madonna Inn. But, by 4:00, the party was just getting started and we moved everyone to mom's suite, complete with a full kitchen, living room, fire place, patio, and easy access to the ping pong tables, life-size chess board, and the beach! Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, and others REALLY enjoyed their drinks! :) We made several wine and beer runs throughout the night, and BBQ'd up another feast of burgers, shrimp, and tri-tip. 

By 11:00, everyone said their goodbye's and headed back to their hotels for some rest and mom and Phil enjoyed a quiet, relaxing moment on the patio. 

Sunday morning a few of the stragglers met for breakfast at the Custom House and snapped a few family photos in front of the breathtaking ocean. The weekend was a success and it was incredible to have so many family and friends make it to my mom's special birthday. She is very lucky to have such loving people in her life and those who were able to come - THANK YOU for making it so memorable! She is the most deserving mom in the world because she does so much for everyone else. I hope she remembers that day for the rest of her life and if we're lucky, we'll be celebrating with her again in 50 years! :) 

Mom's 50th Birthday from Jaime Rogers on Vimeo.

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