Thursday, December 21, 2006

Laguna Niguel's "Most Unique" Lighting Display

SO last night we went to look at Christmas lights, and found the "Most Unique" winner of Laguna Niguel's Christmas decorating contest. The house has a sign in front asking you to set your radio station to 90.5 FM. There you will meet Mr. Belgen, the man who has produced a lighting show set to Christmas music.

Definitely worth seeing.

5 Tunis
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I Heart Christmas #6

Nellie Gail Christmas Lights - My husband and my first date was when I was 14 years old. We went to Nellie Gail (a really nice neighborhood by where we live), parked the car and walked through the streets looking at Christmas lights. Tonight we will be celebrating our 12th year of that cherished tradition.

A Singing Santa's Elf

Katharine McPhee of 'American Idol' hauls gifts to O.C.'s Hopes House.
The Orange County Register

Months after the fifth season of "American Idol" ended, McPheever swept through a south Orange County shelter Tuesday.
"Idol" runner-up Katharine McPhee and her boyfriend, Nicholas Cokas, drove two cars packed with gifts from their home in Sherman Oaks to Hopes House, a refuge for abused women and their children.
None of the six kids, all under age 6, knew who McPhee was. But what's more important to a 4-year-old – that you're a newly minted pop star, or that you just showed up with hundreds of presents? read more

Monday, December 18, 2006

I Heart Christmas #5

The Christmas Sweater Spectacular - Some friends of ours have an annual party asking us to wear the tackiest Christmas Sweaters we can find. It is hilarious, people get really creative. This year a guy made his own sweater with twinkle lights strung through...however he couldn't find any battery operate lights, so he had to plug himself in wherever he was standing. Funny. And the 'We Three Kings' perform. Their greatest hit is Little Drummer Boy - it's outstanding in every way.

Friday, December 15, 2006

10% off Hozell for the Holidays

For those of you who have become Hozell fans, here's a promo code for 10% off through Christmas. You'll also get an "I'm friends with Hozell" t-shirt. I just got mine and I feel so dope. I can now say first hand that these are really sweet shirts. Really thin and soft - my husband just got vacation and tree. All orders placed before Dec. 18th ship by Christmas. Enjoy.

I Heart Christmas #4

Birch log Fires - My father-in-law packs really light every summer when we go to Maine, so that he can bring home boxes of birch logs as checked baggage. Free Shipping! We bring them out at Christmas time and listen to the crackling of the logs - it's fantastic.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

12 days of Freebies

12 days of Freebies started yesterday. Go check it out...we'll be posting new freebies everyday. And if you're really that lazy then you can grab them here too. Just right click and save to your desktop.

A Postcard for your students:

300 dpi
front & back

If you are just short of a printing genius then you'll have no problem printing both sides on a desktop printer. If you're mother doesn't call you for technical support for her printing needs, you might want to consider one of these two other options:

1. Print front and freestyle the back
2. Send out to have them printed at Kinkos

I heart Christmas #3

The Joy - This is really the greatest. Undescribable happiness tied to a feel good season, where people love and give and are kind solely because it's Christmas time. It's bizarre but it makes me so happy.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I Heart Christmas #2

You've Got Mail - literally, and the movie.

I love receiving Christmas cards. It's a wonderful break from the bountiful amount of Christmas specials that are shoved into the mailbox. Every night when I come home my husband has sorted through the junk and has a lovely little pile of fun mail for me to open. A highlight!

And the movie...ah, the movie. There's nothing quite like the combo that is Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan. I usually watch this with a cup of tea and my dear friend Shelby. We watched it 3 times in a row once. It was in college, and the week of finals. Both art majors. Both serious procrastinators.

Team Day

We went to Moran Raceway "The Full Wood Kingdom" in Beaumont for our sym team day. 70 mph go-karts. Amazing! We had a blast. I would recommend this to anyone who's looking for something special to do for their team, or just a group of friends. I really thought I was going to hate the whole thing - being a girl, and kind of a princess - but Rocky (co-owner) took incredible care of us. Gave us a 40 minute class on safety tips, and best practices on the track, got us all geared up (even rib guards), locked and loaded and set us free.
I thought I was basically amazing until Andy passed me (smiling and waving). Then Josh, then Nadim, then Pepe, then Jack. But I beat Debbie and Daphne - that's gotta count for something right?

Here's an arial view of the track

SYM team after completing "the final race" Team Nadim & Pepe were the big winners - thus they got bigger trophies. That's me with the helmet on. I felt really cool with it on.

Here's my car.

Friday, December 01, 2006

I Heart Christmas #1

Peppermint Hot Chocolate - I actually order this year round, but it's just more fun in a Red Cup during the holidays.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

My Fortune

We ordered in Pick Up Stix today for a team lunch before the long weekend. Good conversation, good food and a great fortune.

I've always wondered when this would happen. Apparently soon. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Office was amazing last night

OK so do you really think they're dating or is he just trying to make Pam jealous? What was the deal with the gum? These questions take hold of my mind. My opinion, Pam is ridiculous. She rejected him so now it's her turn to take some daring initiative. She went back to her old indifferent self way too quickly. Come on Pam, put yourself out there.

• It was 45 minutes and should always be
• When temp claimed his desk
• Tobey trying to give knuckles


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Joshua Radin in Concert

My husband took me on a date last night to the House of Blues to see a musician we enjoy named Joshua Radin. He's part of an 11 week tour called Hotel Cafe, proceeds go to (PRODUCT)RED. His set was short but brilliant. He's a featured artist on Zach Braff's new movie The Last Kiss. Here's a video about the movie and soundtrack. Paperweight with Schuyler Fisk is a winner, which they performed at the concert together - very sweet. Fear You Won't Fall is my favorite of his from a previous CD.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Riddle Me This

My most recent I'm on level 7. Top that.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

One Word Challenge

Josh, I accept your challenge.

You can only use one word...
Not as easy as you may think.

1. Yourself: joyful
2. Your husband: sincere
3. Your hair?: growing
4. Your mother?: cheerleader
5. Your Father?: gentle
6. Your Favorite Item: sweatshirt
7. Your dream last night: design
8. Your Favorite drink: propel
9. Your Dream Car: Toureg
10. The Room You Are In: loft
12. Your fear: death
13. What you want to be in 10 years: mother
14. Who you hung out with last night?: hubby
15. What You're Not?: organized
16. Muffins: top
17: One of Your Wish List Items: Toureg
18: Time: gone
19. The Last Thing You Did: click
20. What You Are Wearing: dress
21. Your Favorite Weather: 78
22. Your Favorite Book: pride
23. The Last Thing You Ate: egg
24. Your Life: blessed
25. Your Mood: fun
26. Your body: short
27. Who are you thinking about right now? legs
29. What are you doing at the moment?: concentrating
30. Your summer: europe
31. Best part of your life: love

Take it Nadim!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

InDesign CS2 Lesson

I spent the first half of my day today at an InDesign class put on by one of our printers West America Graphics. It's a free class that they offer to their clients to further our learning and streamlining file preparation and hand off. It really benefits everyone involved.
I learned so much. They brought in a gentleman who does Beta testing and consulting for Adobe - so he really knew what he was talking about, offering tips and how to's to benefit our workflow across the board.

To top it all off, I got a certificate of completion (andy's going to frame it) and I won a $10 Starbucks card in the drawing. Hooray!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

New Site

3 1/2 months of work, and it all goes live today. Check it out.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Family Picture Day

Years of my mom's forced photography sessions has really paid off. We are all well trained, even my 2 year old niece, to know the sooner we all just sit there and smile the sooner it willl be over.
Of course we're always appreciative after the fact. So thank you mom for yet another great captured moment.

YS Anaheim - more fun than expected

I really don't look forward to conferences, but tonight I had a great time working in the SYM store at YS.

1) we were over staffed so I barely had to work at all. the best.
2) most of our team was there which means lots of fun.
3) everybody's families came - new babies, kiddos running around. very entertaining.
4) I got a watermelon jolly rancher from Group Publishing's booth. delicious.
5) 2 people recognized me from the podcast and thought I was cool.

I'd say a pretty great outcome from having to work on a saturday.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

iPhoto 6

Although I have the ability to edit photographs in Photoshop with limitless possibilites, I was amazed by the new photo editing capabilities of iPhoto 6. New actions for re-coloring images, even their healing brush is really quite remarkable, not to mention the ease of red-eye reduction.
You can create albums with unique templates, create photo gallery websites, order prints, make cards, calendars...all within one interface. Really...It's pretty amazing.
I've had this loaded on my computer for over a year now, and I just started using it since being back from our Europe trip. If you're a mac user, you're probably already using this. But if not, maybe you're like me who thought iPhoto was just for amateurs...I mean, I've got Photoshop CS2. And don't get me wrong, there's a million things that you still need photoshop for. But taking a snapshot and getting it to look amazing - this can now be done in iPhoto.
Try it sometime.

Monday, October 30, 2006

So I'm decided on the Razr. Very excited about it. I went o purchase this weekend and the guy suggested taht I wait until April (3 months before my contract is up) and I'll get a better deal. That was pretty helpful of him, huh?
So I think I'm stuck with this beast for a while longer.
Thanks to all who so carefully researched and gave thoughtful input on this big decision.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Things that I love

The Notebook
My new signature scent Sud Pacifique
Peppermint Hot Chocolate from Starbucks
Taco Tuesdays
My Grandma's Regatoni & Cutlets - Amazing!
Reading Pride & Prejudice (over and over again)
Gopher Glen Braeburn Apples
The smell of my husbands deodorant
Two scoop sundaes from baskin robbins - mint chip, both scoops
Playing Settlers
Cozy Pajama Pants
The Office
Real Simple Magazine
Watching Felicity re-runs
Broguiere's Chocolate Milk

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

What a Drab Day

What a drab day. Everyone's working from home today, which leaves me alone in the loft for the past 5 hours. I'm starting to lose my mind, but I've gotten a lot done - which is probably a good thing. A new newsletter hits this week, here are a few of the freebie backgrounds included.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Free Stuff

I enjoy getting things for free. Sure who doesn't? But I love getting things for free that I actually would have spent money on. I was given a coupon to Pick Up Stix for a free lunch special and regular drink. I was craving it today, I went and I didn't spend $7.28. Now that is exciting.

I have one more. I can hardly wait.


Two friends of mine from high school - Jeff and Chad - started a new clothing company called Hozell, based in Southern Orange County. Their goal was to create a line of golf apparel for the young and trendy who are embracing the golf scene but uninterested in the traditional attire.

I must say the clothes are pretty awesome. Super thin and soft t-shirts with collars sewed into them, to make them golf course savvy. They are finding their way into surf & skate stores, golf shops, and chic fashion boutiques in LA & NYC.

They were on a local news station this week, so the word is starting to get out. Check 'em out.

Friday, October 20, 2006

My Phone is so Lame

This is humiliating. People...this is my phone! I am a semi savvy girl. I'm a designer, I can be well dressed if I chose to be, I'm a mac girl, I work on a 23 inch beautiful apple display, I drive a Volkswagon. I care about such things. So the fact that I've gone a year and a half with a zach morrris phone is really beyond my understanding. I'm teased ruthlessly by my co-workers and they occassionally throw it across the room to try to break it.
I embrace it. I believe it's time to get a new phone...but which one. While savvy, I'm not techi. I don't need email, or weather, or sports scores delivered straight to my phone, but I would like to have a bluetooth ear piece. I don't need to take pictures with it or stream videos...Just a phone, that's really thin, that supports Verizon service, that's compatible with a bluetooth ear piece.
Any Suggestions?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Email is a Distraction

I've gotta get my ducks in a row. My most recent discovery, thank you Tony Steward, is a website called

Yesterday I learned that email keeps us from being productive. Constant dings, and send/receives are distracting me from getting work done. Rather than keeping my email set to auto receive every 10 minutes, I've changed it to every hour.
While Andy is going to hate this, it's required for a scatter brained person such as myself in order to stay focused and get things accomplished. Also by doing this, I can more effectively manage my emails because I'm doing them in batches rather than constantly trying to sort through the junk, non junk, long reply, short reply, searching for a file to send to someone, another task (that gets ahead of other tasks because now it has my attention), or a thankful thursday from my mom (that reminds me that I love my life so I need to call my husband because now I miss him).
See...if we allow these distractions all day long, whenever they so choose to command our attention it becomes a constant people pleasing catastrophe. I hope my life will take new shape after this new step of planning infuses into my life.
Check back I'll let you know.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A funfilled, action packed, extremely tiring three days...pretending to be parents for a weekend with my niece and nephew. Highlight for all was the pumpkin patch. We picked out a pumpkin, carved it, baked the seeds and had a lighting ceremony. Too fun.

Monday, October 09, 2006

I took this picture this weekend of my husband and my 2 year old niece, Camryn (my sister's daughter). They are the sweetest little buddies and I love seeing them together.
I went to the American Idol concert at the Anaheim Pond. Oh, yeah baby. My mom is a dear friend of runner up Kathryn McPhee, so we had the pleasure of going to the concert and visiting with the performers backstage. The whole concert was a little corny but Eric and I agreed to embrace the corniness and dance and sing along. We had a blast.
The worst part of the corniness is that they had kareoke booths set up outside with the concessions stands, and people were shamelessly singing, trying to prove that they were just as good as the American Idols on tour. It was bad. Really, really bad.
Best performance was definitely Chris. Second would be Elliot. Taylor started his set by signing Jail House Rock. He entered the arena from the very back and ran down the stairs and through the aisles finishing the song from the stage. Eric and I enjoyed this idea and screamed along with everyone when he ran by our seats. Eric even shook his hand. We had to admit we got caught up in the moment and were star stuck by the whole encounter.
The backstage meeting was actually pretty dullsville since they all just seemed so exhausted. The friendliest of them all was Ace. Kathryn's even prettier in person. Taylor is even more socially awkward.
All around I give it an A-. Fun for the whole family.

Monday, October 02, 2006

My husband and I just returned from a 3-week trip to Europe. We visited London, Paris, Barcelona, Nice, Italian Riviera (Rapallo, Santa Marguerita, Portofino, Cinque Terre) Siena and Rome.

Travels were amazing. Favorite city was London – high tech, high fashion, so much history, a million things to do. Best day was Cinque Terre – hiking from town to town, swimming in the little ports, listening to a band of 3 70+ year old men play accordians, great food. Worst day - Barcelona , Spain – flooded, our train had engine trouble and we got in after midnight, no hotel reservations. Pouring rain and we’re running from hotel to hotel trying to find a room. We ended up sharing a top bunk at a hostel – so miserable at the time, but very funny afterwards.

Monday, August 07, 2006

My second annual girls weekend
I spent a nice, relaxing three day weekend in santa barbara with 9 of my dearest girl friends from college. Since graduating we've all gone our separate ways, 9 of the 10 have gotten married, and now 5 of the 10 are onto motherhood. It is very easy to maintain friendships when you're in college, live together, and have everything in common. It is a lot more work to make the friendships a priority while managing jobs, marriage, families, a home, and living several hundred miles apart. While hard, I believe we're doing it. And we reap the benefits when we're all together celebrating eachother and what God has done in our lives since the previous summer. I feel so blessed.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting this gentleman, Nick Vujicic. I was nervous about meeting him, because the natural thing when you meet a person is to shake their hand - he doesn't have arms. So I walked in the door, smiled, looked a little unsure of what to do, and he said "come give me a hug!". A dynamic personality, outstanding communicator and servant of God. He has an incredible story of God's grace, love and purpose for us all.

Check out his website to learn more about him and his ministry
The Lost Virtue of Hapiness.
I attended Rock Harbor this weekend, and heard JP Moreland Speak about his new book the Lost Virtue of Happiness. For being such an intelligent man, he communicates very clearly to the simple minded, like myself. He explained that the definition of hapiness has changed since Jesus Christ's teaching, early day philosophers, and even the declaration of independece's "pursuit of happiness". Our definition of hapiness now is distorted, and our lives reflect that. I believe that what he shared with us will have a lasting impact on my life. Strongly recommended.

Friday, June 30, 2006

It's my birthday.
I turned 26 this week (on 6-26-06). My husband threw me an 80's themed roller skating party. Classic in every way. Our friends totally got into the spirit of the event. And the roller skating rink was so authentically stuck in the 80's it was kind of creepy. Same smell, same games (we played the limbo, the dice game, couples skate, backwards skate)...they even called me out to the middle of the rink to sing happy birthday. I truly felt like I was 8 all over again. Here are some pics for your enjoyment.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Taste of Ladera.
I love my little town...which Doug insists on calling Arizona - because it's SO far away (10 miles). It's quaint and young and focused around community. Really, it's the greatest.
So on Saturday after enjoying some time at the pool, my husband and I headed to the 2nd Annual Taste of Ladera. It's an opportunity for all the restaurants to set up booths and sell samples of their food. 2 tickets got me 3 ribs and a salad from the Newport Rib Company, delicious. Eric opted for Pizza from the Back Bay Brewing Company, and then we shared some dippin dots - always a highlight. There was also a fondue restaurant represented, some staples such as Baja Fresh, and all sorts of activities for kids - a hoola hoop contest (I got third), face painting (eric was a lion), and a Black Eyed Peas performance by the neighborhood Performing Arts Center. This was the highlight of our time there...
Probably 30 kids from ages 5-12, all dressed in flourescent t-shirts and stiff baseball caps trying to rap and dance to "Let's Get It Started". About one minute in the sound system went out. The kids looked around for a minute and then kept going, singing the last two minutes acapella and trying to stay on beat. Hilarious. They were all running into eachother. It was painful to watch.
But the all around Taste of Ladera experience, I'd give a solid 8.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Stick It.
Last night I took my mom out for dinner and then to see the new movie Stick It. I am a lover of teenie bopper movies, so the fact that it was really stupid didn't bother me at all. Poor writing, choppy character development, and lots of bad jokes - I eat this stuff up. I would recommend this movie to anyone who watches the Olympics solely for the gymnastics (like myself). The skill displayed in the movie is outstanding, and they found a gymnast who looks just like the actress, so it wasn't too distracting when it would switch from one to the other. That's a good thing. A solid one star for me.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I'm that good!
Let me clarify however, that Chris was my favorite from the very beginning. I projected him to win the whole thing - and he probably should have. But this bet was about analyzing performances and knowing the general audience. Poor Nadim, he never wins.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Chris is going home. Sad but true. I've been a fan of his from the beginning, but last night he did nothing special. Taylor is getting votes from idol haters - so I think he's fine, Kathryn is hot and the only girl so I think she's fine too. I am a super fan of Elliot, he pulled out some magic in the clutch last night. Very impressive performances. I think he has the best vocals of anyone. So, although I don't necessarily believe that he deserves it - Chris is going home tonight. I have a $3.50 lunch bet with Nadim on this. So please let me know - who's with me?

Monday, May 08, 2006

San Luis Obispo is my favorite town to visit. My husband went to college there, so I've for many years been in the habit of retreating there for rest and relaxation. It is a cool small college town that boasts an impressive Thursday night Farmers market and the best Tri-Tip sandwich.
So we arrived Thursday afternoon with beautiful weather; stopped at the beach for a couple hours and soaked up the sun, before meeting up with some friends for dinner and Farmers. Fantastic way to start our trip! We spent the day at Avila Beach on Friday reading and getting nice and sunburned, a mini hike through MontaƱa de Oro to the sand dunes where we got a beautiful view of morro bay. We found a romantic spot in Los Osos for an authentic Cinco de mayo dinner - yum.
We stayed through the weekend and got to visit with lots of Eric's friends from college. He participated in an alumni soccer tournament, and we were able to attend a Campus Crusade for Christ reunion. As always, we felt so encouraged and blessed by our time there. It's great for our marriage too to head out of town (4 hours) and just rest. Lots of new and interesting conversations on the car email, or tv - no distractions at all really. Just quality time together. I recommend it!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

My very first thrilling. Just an FYI, Josh wrote the last one for me. Although the facts were true, please notice that he finds great joy in making me sound high maintenance and self involved. Which I can't say that I'm not, but at least hear it from my mouth instead of his...
Yes I did get my hair cut. Which is a big deal for me - because the last time I cut my hair short I was a freshman in college. And that year I thought "why stop at the traditional 15 pounds of weight gain", and went for 18 instead. Not my favorite pictures to reflect back on.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

No one even noticed that I got my haircut the other day. Did you know I work with all guys in The Loft at Simply Youth Ministry? If I worked with girls then THEY would have noticed. Sigh ... I think I'm going to steal trail mix from my favorite co-worker just to get him back for being insensitive to my new do.

Next thing you know, my husband will start calling me "cute." Ugh.