Tuesday, September 30, 2008

workin on my fitness

So yesterday, I went to the Athletic Training class, taught by Terri K., at 24 Hour Fitness, Newport Beach. Let me tell you...I get so freaked out and scared before going to her class every week because the class is so challenging. And I always feel good about myself for going afterwards. I always felt like my pants fit more loosely after taking this class, and I knew I had to be losing some pounds too. Well, yesterday, I weighed myself before and after, and I can confirm that her class is that good. I weighed 2 lbs less after taking the class. Granted, it might have been water weight that I lost, BUT I lost 2 lbs with that 1 hour class!!

I never had an issue with my weight. I was content with myself and the boyfriend weight I packed on (or aka freshman 15, which stayed with me throughout my college years). Now, I wasn't fat, but here are some pix to give you a little perspective. I don't have any pix from when we first got together (2001); I'll have to scan some later. Digital cameras were just coming out...can you believe it?!

Winter 2002

Summer 2003

Spring 2004

Summer 2005

Fall 2006: Mom and me. She told me I was gaining weight, but I didn't want to hear it.

February2007: my turning point.

Fi had started to lose weight because he was training to run a half-marathon, and I...was not losing weight. And I finally noticed in that last picture. So right away, I joined a gym. I started counting calories and watching what I ate...baby steps. I had a small goal of 5 pounds, which I lost fairly quickly while sticking to my diet and workout program. So I continued to stick to my diet and workout program. Here's what my progress looked like:

April 2007

May 2007: check out my arms. I'm particularly proud of them. They are shrinking!

June 2007: The biggest thing I noticed was how the shape of my face changed.

October 2007

November 2007: Check me out sideways

I was pretty happy with my progress at this point. I lost 18 lbs! I couldn't believe it. Hard work does pay off...and I did it the healthy way, which I'm even more proud of.

From this point, I worked out to maintain my weight. Fi and I both work out...together. He was my motivation to get in shape back then, and he's still my motivation to keep it up. But I thank him for loving me at any shape. So here's me maintaining my fitness:

April 2008

May 2008: Face shape maintenance

August 2008

Our most recent adventure: Yosemite

I'm so happy that I don't have to worry about losing weight while planning the wedding. I don't think my body would be able to handle the stress.

I'll share my workout tips in another post. Until then, make healthy choices! ;-)

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Photog #3

Photog 3 (P3): P3 had a great deal for the first 5 brides who booked for 2009. P3's packages were awesome. And our meeting was really great. We talked over hot chocolate and coffee. It was refreshing to meet a vendor who didn't give me the impression that if I didn't go with them, that they could easily replace me.

You know that feeling...when the vendor doesn't want to give you more than the time of day unless you're going to book with them that instance.

Okay...more photographers I admire: Greg Bumatay shot my friend's wedding, which was an absolutely beautiful wedding...and Greg was able to capture the wedding such that every time you would look at those pictures, you would be taken back to that day and feel exactly what you were feeling that moment.

Travis Hoehne shot Mrs. Penguin's engagement pictures. His pictures are fun and definitely unforgettable.

Coming up: revealing our photographer.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Photog #2

Moving on to my next review.

Photog 2 (P2): First meeting via phone, only with me. P2 said all the right things. P2 has a partner he only shoots with, so we would know exactly who would be documenting our wedding day. Three years experience. I had been following P2's blog for about a year and was happy to see the work progress. Prices seemed reasonable for the quality and experience. I decided to set up a meeting with P2 and planned to bring Fi along.

I would also like to mention some other photographers I admire. Sarah K. Chen started out as an OC Knottie. She has blossomed into a great photographer. Her work has been featured on Weddingbee as one of the blogger's photog. Jonilyn was Sarah K. Chen's 2nd shooter for this particular wedding. I have seen her photography skills improve so much; I had been following her blog for a long time as well when her name started popping up on my community Knot boards.

I stumbled upon the work of Micah Gilmore via an LA Knottie. Her wedding was gorgeous! I was super impressed with this couple's engagement pix as well!

Photog 3's review coming up.

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New Michaels Coupon

Michaels 50% off 1 item 9/22-9/27

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Photog #1

After booking the venue, I really wanted us to book a photographer as quickly as we could. I had a running list of photographers I was interested as well as the style I was looking for. I loved the styles of Jasmine Star and Trista Lerit. Way out of our price range though. The photographers of Tempting Weddings make any moment picture perfect. And I so loved the combination of classic and artistic style of { j a c } photographers.

Well...we chose 3 photographers in our price range, set up appointments, did the cost comparison, and made our choice.

Photog 1 (P1): Fi was present to this meeting. P1 was fairly new to the wedding biz (I felt). As this was our first meeting, we expected to guided through the process by the photographer. I felt like I worked the hardest to keep conversation afloat. Graduated from college as a bio major and then turned to photography. P1 is very talented, but prices seemed high to me for P1's experience, but P1 said we could lock in 2008 prices since I contacted P1 before the price increase. 2nd photog is offered in package, but we didn't know who would shoot with P1 at the wedding or what his/her experience would be. No emotional connection. In addition, the issue of lack of timely communication was mentioned on my Knot Community Board.

Photog 2 review next up.

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Well, my friend's (aka coordinator's) idea for centerpieces: To save money on floral arrangements, oranges and kumquats to fill cylindrical vases of water. Very simple, minimal, modern looking and chic. Did I mention that we would save money?

Monday, September 22, 2008

60% off all suits at Jos. A. Bank

Shopping for your man's wedding suit? The groomsmen still need attire? Shop Jos. A. Bank's 60% OFF ALL SUITS - 2 Days Only Sale! Monday, Sept. 22 & Tuesday, Sept. 23. Plus get free 2-day shipping on all orders over $175. Don't forget to check out the $199 sale gonig on from Sept. 22 through Oct. 26.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Venue

I discovered that my frustration in finding a venue for our wedding was not unique. It's common for the budget-minded couple. And we did eventually find a venue. And I was relieved to finally have a wedding date. I was okay about the venue we had chosen...it wasn't my first or second choice, but it was my parents' favorite venue, and my fiance was actually okay with the cost.

The Irvine Hilton is where our wedding will take place next year. We're still not sure if we should do the ceremony there, so that's still up in the air. But we will be doing the reception and dinner and dancing there.

The picture above is the outside. It's very close to John Wayne Airport, which will be really convenient for our out-of-towners, and we expect a lot of out-of-towners. We were also able to get a discounted rate for our guests. Not to mention they're giving a honeymoon suite for the evening.

Here's a picture I took of the ballroom. There was going to be a wedding that day.

Here's a picture of the foyer where cocktail hour will held. I thought the chandeliers were interesting decoration pieces.

Here's what impressed me about the Irvine Hilton: the $10M renovation to the inside of the hotel.

The thing that did not impress me was the location of where the ceremony would be held: aka the patio area.

It's not a bad lounge area, but it's not a great ceremony area. The entrance is where the hotel lobby ends. So strangers would definitely be able to check out what's going on, and if I didn't pay for your butt to be there, I don't want you freeload watching my wedding. It sounds silly, but I want this to be about us and our guests. The other thing that really upset me was the cost, especially for our ceremony site to be right next to the pool and tennis court. What the freak Hilton?!

Anyways...there it is. We were able to get a discount by choosing a Sunday for our event. We got lucky and took the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend.

Next challenge: how to make it beautiful!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008


So I think I'm just going to start jotting down my ideas here whenever I come up with one and I'm around a computer. I usually jot my ideas down on post-its, but I always lose them or end up finding them ages later. At least I can come back to my blog and see what I was thinking...

So this idea is about the guys' attire. I'm trying to decide whether or not I should keep those vests I got for our groomsmen. MarkessaXO's comment has got me thinking...I really should stick to my color theme. And while that green might make a good accent color, that vest isn't exactly an accent piece. So...

Groom: Black suit with aqua green tie
Groomsmen: Gray suits with light orange tie

Monday, September 15, 2008

To my honey

Before the day is over...I must wish my baby a HAPPY 28 YEARS on this Earth!

We celebrated with his friends on Saturday by brewing our own beer at Brewbakers in Huntington Beach! We made a hef and something similar to New Castle. We pick up our beer in a couple of weeks. Then we went to Flight for some more drinks. Then to Elvis for some Karaoke, where my baby had a little too much to drink, and we had to end the evening before we got to singing.

And today, I took him to California Shabu Shabu for his official birthday dinner. Yum!

Happy Birthday Baby! I love you!

I hope you enjoyed your day!

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Michaels Coupon

50% off! <-- Click here

Woo hoo!

Keep the vests?

Remember the vests I got for our groomsmen?

This picture I saw on Etsy Wedding is getting me to think maybe I can keep them and incorporate them into our wedding colors:

I'm thinking my handsome groom could sport one of these striped aqua ties:

Chevronstrip - Silver/Aquas

School Stripe - Navy/Teal

Spring Stripe - Turqouoise

Polo Stripes - Aquas

and for the groomsmen...

PinDot - Turqouoise (these would match our theme well)

Herringbone - Teal

Herringbone - Pool Aqua

Herringbone - Aqua

All pictures above courtesy of The Tie Bar. I could not find any other ties that feature dots or circles that could be in line with our them colors. =(

All the guys would wear an orange bout...something really subtle.

Anyways, what do you guys think? Keep the vests or let the groomsmen wear suits too? Would you suggest something different? Would this ruin my aqua and orange theme? Help!

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Apartment Inspiration

Not my apartment...and it's more of a home office's decoration that screams our wedding.

photo courtesy of Apartment Therapy

It's so simple. I love the white and the splash of color of aqua and orange. And I love that there are vases of gerbera daisies on the desk. How do I translate this to our wedding now?

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I really want FI to wear a 3-piece suit for the wedding. Like this guy:

photo courtesy of men.style.com/

I think a suit would be a great investment, and it's a staple in a man's closet. Besides, my man is ready for a nice suit.

As for the groomsmen, I love this idea:

photo courtesy of White Lilac Inc.

I like that it's different, and that it definitely could save our groomsmen some money. Unfortunately, we can't afford to pay for our wedding party's attire. With my inital idea for our color scheme, I drew what I had in mind:

And this is what I found:

I had to beg FI to model for me. Anyways, I found this vest along with the black tie at Jos A. Bank on sale! He didn't have a better white shirt on hand (we were at my parents), and he put on the tie kind of sloppy. It was a little big on FI, but I still thought it looked great. And he wouldn't have been wearing the vest anyway.

But then I fell in love with aqua and orange, and now I don't feel like it will work well with our aqua and orange colored wedding. I'm not writing it off completely, but I may decide to let these go.

If I do let these go, I think I'll opt to have our groomsmen wear suits also, in gray, while my guy is in black.

Jos A. Bank has pretty good sales once in a while. Right now, there's 50% off all remaining clearance valid 09/10/2008-09/14/2008.

Jos. A. Bank 50% off all remaining clearance. Valid 9/10/08 - 9/14/08

What's your man wearing for the wedding?

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Admiring another inspiration board

Yes, I am totally allowed to keep admiring other inspiration boards, color choices, and themes. I hope it helps another bride out there with her color choice and theme. Oh, and yes, I'm still definitely in love with our color palette of aqua (more green than blue) and orange. It feels right for the both of us.

So here is one I stumbled upon reading Ritzy Bee:

Plum and nude. Gorgeous, isn't it? Anyways...I think this would be great for a formal evening wedding.

We're going for a more clean, modern, minimalist, and fun look. So aqua and orange is going to be perfect to work with.

Hope someone was inspired today!

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Back from Yosemite. Now, Let's Go Shopping

Just got back from our mini vacay...actually, it was more work that relaxing, but still fun for us. Several of our friends from So Cal and Nor Cal plus my dad joined us at Yosemite for some camping and hiking. The plan was to car camp in Upper Pines Friday night and hike up to Half Dome Saturday, and leave Sunday morning. Only 4 of us (out of 11) made it up Half Dome: me, FI, Dad, and a Nor Cal friend. It was tough, but we made it. It took us about 13 hours to hike the 17.6 miles roundtrip.

Two years ago, FI and I went up to Yosemite with other friends and backpacked for the first time. We hiked the same trail we did this time except last time, we were carrying between 40-50 pounds on our backs. Going up this time with only water was really hard; I can't believe we were able to do what we did last time.

Anyways...so now we're back, and I've been itching to shop. But I'm watching myself because we do have this huge wedding to finance. So I'll share some deals I came across: today only though!

Banana Republic offers 30% off your order today only by using code HAPPY30. There is also a Printable Coupon available for shopping in store [Store Locator].


Credit to slickdeals.net and Mrs. Green Tea of Weddingbee.

Everyone's trying to get rid of Spring/Summer items and get ready for Fall arrivals...that means you get the best deals of the season!! Expiring today, take an extra 50% off sale items at Active Endeavors with code "sale50." There are TONS of items on sale, and with the code, they will be marked down up to 75% from their original prices. Credit to Grechen's Closet.

Tobi's having a big sale - more than 700 items are marked down up to 50% off. Jeans from Goldsign are marked down, shoes from Rachel Comey, and BOYY bags are also on sale. If you find something you love that's NOT on sale, use code 10GRECHEN for 10% off. Credit to Grechen's Closet.

Today is the last day to take an extra 40% off sale items at Ivy Blue, using code "bye40." There are still a lot of items left to choose from: Matt Berson sandals, Splendid tees, Velvet tops, Notify Jeans are all marked down, and would be just a fraction of their original prices using code "bye40." This expires today, but you can use code "grechen" for 20% off regularly-priced items anytime! Credit to Grechen's Closet.

More from Grechen's Closet:

Spanx: 30% off Friends & family coupon - spanxanniversaryz expires 9/14
Verre New York Jewelry: 20% off with code "grechen" through 9/14
Maneater Threads: 30% off outerwear with code "BUNDLEUP" through 9/9

Happy Shopping!

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Monday, September 1, 2008

You spin me right round baby,

Right round like our wedding theme, baby
Right round round round

Circles, dots, anything round. This will be driving our wedding theme.

It seems only fitting as the circle is a symbol of unity, of wholeness, and infinity.

This symbolizes the merging of male and female forces. You could expect to see this pop up throughout the wedding. Pictures courtesy of Symbols and their meaning.

I'm still not sure how I want to do my invitations. I know that it will be a big DIY project, and I'm super excited to tackle it! But our theme will certainly make its first appearance here. Here are some of my ideas:

photo courtesy of www.minted.com

Embossed paper and cut-outs! That will certainly be work-intensive, but I welcome the challenge! Other ideas I love:

Pictures above courtesy of www.minted.com

photo credit unknown

Continuing with the ceremony. I purchased capiz shell curtains from an OC knot bride. I was thinking of using them as a backdrop for our wedding ceremony. I think it would add some texture and direct our guests' focus to us.

photo courtesy of Sarah K. Chen

How about confetti for guests to throw during our recessional?

photo courtesy of Snippet and Ink

I would of course use biodegradable paper to make the round confetti.

Moving on to the reception. I'm going to be making buttons to use as seating and place cards.

photo courtesy of Mrs. Strawberry of Weddingbee

I will also be making button magnets to give to our guests as a wedding favor. I jacked this idea from my Etsy obsessing.

And then there's the cake. How perfect would Sprinkles cupcakes be? Little round masterpieces for each guest.

They even have an aqua and orange dot! Both photos above courtesy of Sprinkles.

So that's what I have so far. I'll keep you posted on my other ideas.

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