“Our wedding was many years ago. The celebration continues to this day.”  Gene Perret

main point: my total babe of a mom + my ridiculously hilarious dad garry o. = the best parents ever. hands down!

explanation: today is my parent’s 30th wedding anniverary. thirty years!! as someone who has been married for just shy of 3 months, i can only hope that thirty years down the road my marriage resembles what my parents have created. i feel so lucky to have been blessed with such a wonderful example! not only are they each other’s biggest fans….but they have ALWAYS given their unparalleled love and support to each one of us kids.

because of all that, we knew we wanted to do something HUGE to help them celebrate! so we surprised them this weekend as any sensible person would: showing up late friday night and barging into their room with confetti poppers, streamers and a strobe light. my dad stood there quietly taking it all in while my mom fell out of bed kicking her legs and screaming something about robbers. it was AWESOME. (it also helped to assure us all that if there were to ever be actual robbers, my mom would be a GREAT distraction while my dad calmly handled the situation.)

on saturday night we rented a limo (i need to do this more often. grocery store, perhaps?!) and drove downtown to the restaurant where they had had their reception 30 years ago. let me just say…i wish i could have been at their reception because this place was FANCY!  in between courses we were served things like cucumber sorbet and grilled red onion pastries to  “cleanse our palette” (servers words, not mine!) and it was quite obvious that ordering something as trivial as a coke to go with my “rib-eye chargrilled with caramelized shallot-tomato butter” was highly looked down upon. (i wanted one SO bad!)

after dinner we had one last surprise for my parents: a sweet hotel room with a window that opened to look out on all the city lights. throw in the fact that it was raining and my mom was ecstatic! i helped carry their luggage (that my sister & i had secretly packed!) to the room and upon arrival, fell in love. i almost successfully convinced them to let me stay as well, but no luck. maybe next time!

it was so fun to be able to do something like that for our parents after they have done so, so much for us over the years.

love you dearly, mom and dad! happy anniversary!!

all you need are a few simple things (purchased for less than $25, mind you!)

1.  a holiday wreath. we found this one at michaels and it fit perfectly snug around the hurricane…done and done!

2. a fall-colored candle that has some height to it. i snagged this bad boy from home goods…love that place!

3. a hurricane candle holder. this one is about 12 inches tall (even though it looks about 5 feet tall in the picture. oops!).

4. brown burlap. did you know burlap comes in so many different colors?! i had no clue!


once you’ve gathered up everything it only takes about 2 minutes to put together! just pull the wreath over the hurricane and put the candle inside. then, cut your burlap however wide/long you want to fit your table (i cut mine to be a runner for a little more color on our white table) and you’re done! wahoo!

the finished product:


i absolutely love it! given, i may be a little biased…but it beats paying a ridiculous amount for a store bought centerpiece.

actually, when we were in michaels buying all of the materials (yes, i dragged danny along. he’s a trooper!) we put the wreath around the hurricane to see if it fit, and then left it on without really thinking. when we went to check-out, the cashier only rang us up for the price of the hurricane, thinking that it was sold as a set piece. she didn’t believe us until we pulled the wreath off. needless to say, we were very proud of ourselves!

i’ve had this on my table since the beginning of october and will happily leave it up through thanksgiving…and then i’m sure i’ll be on the hunt for a christmas wreath and a red candle.

who knew making your own decorations could be so much fun?!



(which, believe me…is saying A LOT. Lord only knows how many shows i watch!)

ten reasons why you should (MUST!) watch friday night lights:

1. tim riggins – enough said. (give him until at least season 3 before you give up on him. by then, you won’t. i promise!)

2. coach & mrs. taylor – EASILY the best marriage on tv. so genuine! don’t even try and tell me they aren’t really together.

3. crucifictorius – hands down, my favorite kind of music. still trying to get a copy of their cd.

4. matt saracen’s grandma – sweetest lady ever! i think she’d be great friends with my grandma, and i love that about her.

5. football – i will proudly admit to jumping up and down and screaming my head off during certain (most!) games and i don’t even really like football. SO intense!! you WILL refer to them when talking about your favorite teams (or maybe that’s just me…).

6. lyla’s constant life changes – one day, she’s president of the christian club. the next, she’s in bed with tim riggins. just go with it. i’m just as confused as you are.

7. coach’s motivational talks & life advice – often times i find myself nodding my head in agreement and saying “thanks coach!” sure, he isn’t talking directly to me…but that’s not important. i need him in my real life. whoever writes his lines must be one heck of a therapist.

8. jd mccoy – i’m sorry, but i can’t stand you, you arrogant prick! every show needs a villain, right?! i felt bad for him at first…now i don’t. at all. i find that yelling at him thru the screen helps to relieve stress. don’t even get me started on his dad. the nerve!!

9. landry/lance – everyone loves landry! mainly because everyone knows a landry in their own life and loves him terribly. i’m still waiting to see him around town and ask when we can hang out…because obviously we’re best friends.

10. mrs. taylor’s hair – JEALOUS. i’d kill for that.

seriously though, it truly is the greatest show.  i didn’t start watching until earlier this year when i watched them all furiously on netflix as fast as i could…i felt like i’d been let in on some highly confidential secret! three episodes in i was already planning my trip to dillon. (i know, i’ts not a real place. fooled me at first, i’ll be honest.)

i guarantee you will learn something about yourself by watching this show. i feel like i know each character personally because they are SO relatable (although i should probably stop referring to them by first name only in conversation). you’ll find yourself always hoping for the best but preparing for the worst as you cheer them along through new jobs, long-distance relationships, and the best rivalries. and if you’re anything like me, you’ll notice how some of their problems seem to, oddly enough, line right up with yours (you just don’t use y’all when explaining it to everyone else).

so…go watch. now! you won’t be disappointed!

{images via here and here}

when i first moved in to our apartment, i was living all by my lonesome (as the wedding wasn’t for another 2 months!) and spent every waking hour (or so it seemed) crossing off things on our ever growing to-do list. meaning, decorating the apartment feel to about number 1,398 on said list.

after the wedding came and went, danny moved in (finally!) and the wedding magazines were no longer necessary…so we turned our attention to decorating. hooray! we started with the walls, as they were so bare! and so white!

a while back, i had found this picture on pinterest and was immediately obsessed with the big, hanging letters. SO fun! we had two very blank walls in our front room and i thought this might fill them perfectly! danny was a little harder to convince, but gave me the green light after i assured him i’d do it all myself (i know, i was shocked he believed me too).

so off to michaels i went. i started searching through tons of fabrics and realized i had no idea what i wanted (decision making has NEVER been a strong point). however, i had decided to stick with just one color, as our taste is a little less eclectic than those who live in the room of the picture above. danny we had just painted a navy blue accent wall in our dining room…so i thought a solid, navy blue fabric would be a fun way to incorporate that color into the rest of the house. (but seriously, i know close to nothing about interior design and have absolutely no idea what i’m talking about…i just went for it!)

i had also stumbled across this quote on pinterest which i thought would be PERFECT! i had had my eye on it for a while, but thought i better wait until danny actually moved in to display it so prominently (as the only person i was currently sharing my home with was myself…).

so i bought the fabric, pulled up the quote….and went to work. and boy, was it WORK! cutting out those gosh darn letters took me at least 5 hours. maybe i’m a really slow cutter?! i’m not sure. but by the end of it i was POSITIVE my hand was going to fall off (i’ve always been a bit dramatic). i made patterns for each letter by printing them out in a size 500 (or something ridiculous like that) onto cardstock, and then tracing that on the fabric.

my plan was to have it all finished and up on the wall when danny got home from work that evening (with dinner on the table and all of his laundry neatly folded, no less!) but that plan failed miserably. all parts of it, actually.

anyway, here’s the finished product. we love it! i went with smaller letters since it’s the first thing you see when you walk in the door and i didn’t want people to think we were screaming at them, or anything crazy like that. i just hung the letters up with mini clothespins i also found at micheals, and attached them to a white ribbon. ta-da!

i realize now while looking at the pictures that some of the letters aren’t very straight and they aren’t all hanging with the same swagger…don’t worry, i’ll have danny tend to that as soon as he gets home.

next up: hanging things up on the other 18 very white, very blank walls in the apartment. one step at a time!


{images via here and here}

this weekend i celebrated at the nickelodeon halloween party! my best friend (since she moved onto my street in 5th grade!) works at nickelodeon and invited me to their extravagant, halloween affair…where they completely transformed the inside of their whole building into different mazes to represent each show. so fun! my favorite was probably sponge bob…partially because they had a HUGE jelly fish that was awesome! and partially (meaning 95%) because that was the only show i recognized (kung fu panda? i thought that was a movie?!)

beck told me to come as baby spice. i’ve only dressed up as her once or twice (okay, or 8 times) so the costume part was easy. the only problem i ran into was just poor planning on my part: realizing i STILL had to drive to burbank from irvine (oh you know, only a 2 hour drive in traffic) after i put RIDICULOUS pig tails in my hair. i tried to avoid eye contact with every single person on the road, but that lasted for about 2 minutes…so i then resorted to plan b: making up completely reasonable explanations as to why i had styled my hair so beautifully and sending these reasons in subliminal message form to all other drivers. only problem, they still didn’t get it. in total i got 3 waves, 4 honks and about 529 awkward stares. i was tempted to roll down my window and yell “it’s halloween, people!” but i figured i should just keep whatever dignity i had left and keep driving.  yeah, i was completely humiliated. oh well.

my favorite part about of the night (besides your maze, beck!) was the caramel apple station. why have i never thought of this before?! it was GENIUS! and delicious. has anyone ever tried whipped cream on a caramel apple? threw me off at first, but it was actually pretty good.

anyway, i hope everyone has a wonderful halloween night! part of me wishes i was back in santa barbara to take in all of the chaos while trying to figure out half the costumes (they don’t give you much to go off of!) but the other part of me is perfectly content making hot dog mummies for dinner and watching the scariest move of all time: hocus pocus! seriously though, those witches CREEP. ME. OUT! might have to keep the lights on so i don’t scream bloody murder when trick-or-treaters knock on the door. actually, i might have to sleep with the lights on.

happy halloween!

when danny and i were planning our wedding, we realized we had SO. many. ideas! it’s hard to sort though all of your inspiration and decide what you ACTUALLY want to do…there’s a lot of pressure! a lot of our ideas sounded so much better in our heads…but turned out quite unfortunately on paper. however, this began a fun process of tweaking and re-thinking until (luckily!) it was better than we’d imagined.

a perfect example of this process was our invitations. danny designed all of our paper products, which blew my mind. truly! i had absolutely NO idea he could do that!! and actually, i didn’t find out he had this secret talent until AFTER we’d hired a graphic designer to create our invitations. one afternoon, after we’d received some rough drafts back from said designer and i wasn’t exactly thrilled, danny went to work. he took one look at her e-mail, then looked at me and said “hold on, give me a second.” and then, 5 minutes later… “is this what you want?” my response “UMM yes, actually. EXACTLY what i want! and by the way, are there any other secrets i should know about you?!”

needless to say, i was thrilled! from picking out the perfect “cute” font to re-sizing the spacing only a million and a half times (me? perfectionist? GUILTY!) danny did an amazing job (with the invitations AND putting up with me)!

i highly recommend doing mad libs for your rsvp cards. getting them in the mail each day was SO much fun! we got all sorts of advice, from really serious and genuine to extremely ridiculous and borderline inappropriate. here are some of my favorites…


man, i miss getting those every day.

on second thought, i might start sending out random mad libs in the mail…keep your eyes peeled!

any guesses on which one is ACTUALLY almost 26 weeks pregnant with triplets?! i know, we all look pretty darn convincing…huh?!

however…at the end of the night, two of us took out the pumpkins (much to the relief of our husbands!) while the third one still has her little 3 boys growing miraculously inside.

 but before we did that, we managed to take about 500 pictures and laugh hysterically in regards to our newfound baby bumps. note to self to remember in the future: pregnancy makes things like touching your toes and picking things up off the ground A LOT harder. other than that, i think i’ve got it down. baby, here we come! (kidding, danny. and mom & dad. deep breaths!)

 maybe a few more pictures will help make it a little clearer…

blythe, the proud mama-to-be of 3 more boys, is on the far right in the last picture. (she looks GREAT, huh?!)

(you can read her blog about her triplets here!)

in the mean time, i found a soccer ball that i think looks eerily realistic regarding me: 6 months pregnant with a singleton. i might just pop that in while watching ellen to see if being pregnant will affect my favorite i’m-watching-tv position from the couch. i’m very curious. don’t mind me! it’s good to be prepared, right?!

on the scale of food-taking-risks, danny and i fall very closely to the “we know what we like to eat, and we don’t really want to try anything new…but thanks!” line.  i’ve always felt like i was dealt really immature taste buds. for example, i’ll take french fries, tacos and spaghetti ANY DAY over foie gras, guacamole and any other bizarre foods i can’t pronounce (what?! guacamole is GROSS!).  unfortunately, i seemed to have met my perfect food match in danny (there’s a reason his roommates called him “chick nug” in college) and so our food choices, although perfect for us, seem quite boring and mundane to others.

danny and i started watching the great food truck race on the food network a few months ago, and were always amazed at the ridiculous things they were serving. i know, i know….but that’s a stretch for us! confit of wild mushroom on a grilled cheese sandwich?! i seriously don’t know what that means.

there was one truck on the show, the lime truck, that featured california beach cuisine and is originally from orange county. when the show was over (they won!) and they returned to their local schedule, danny and i decided we should forgo our planned meal of parmesan chicken (risky, i know!) and venture out into the great, unknown world of food trucks. this was a BIG step!

the round-up (i’m slowly learning the lingo) we went to had about 10 trucks. the first time we went, we felt so brave we wanted to try one of everything! and we almost did! steak fries, vegetarian chili (i didn’t know that existed?), carnitas tacos and a nutella cream puff. all things considered, we loved it! i was so proud of us.

we’ve been back a few times since…we’re getting REALLY brave! last night the lime truck wasn’t there, so danny was forced to get something other than his beloved carnitas tacos (with honey-chipotle slaw and cotija cheese, mind you!) he got pulled pork sliders, and i went for a shrimp tempura hand roll. SO good! (who am i?!)

 there are a few other items we’re working our way up to (and are definitely still scared of) but we’re getting there. all in due time! watch out peruvian ceviche, i’m coming for you!


{image via here}

1. having a huge (colossal, enormous…whatever works) bridal party.

i know. i’m crazy!! and believe you me, i had heard just as many horror stories as you have about how your aunt’s best friend had a bridesmaid who ruined the wedding, how even 4 is one too many, and was even warned that having more than a few girls up there next to me would take all the attention off of me (so, what happens if you have 10?!). but when we started to think about who we wanted standing up there with us on our wedding day, the decision for us was an easy one. (everyone, obviously!)  every single person in our wedding party means the world to us. every. single. one. our friends are truly, truly the BEST.

note for brides-to-be: when it comes down to it, it’s YOUR day. do what you want! if that means having a 20 person wedding party, so be it. i remember peeking out of the bridal room when the ceremony first started, seeing all of our groomsmen next to danny and then watching each one of my bridesmaids walk down the aisle. i will always treasure that. yes, it did take about 20 minutes (i’m not kidding…) but being surrounded by all of my closest friends only made marrying my best friend that much better.

2. having a first look.

now, i know this isn’t for everyone. i completely see both sides of this, which is why we wrestled back and forth with the idea of actually doing this for a while. but after a lot of thought, it  became a really easy decision for us. on the most important day of our lives AND the  first day of our new life together, it only made sense that i should get to spend some time with my soon-to-be-husband. you hear me?! if you think about, on your wedding day…you’re always surrounded by people. (people you love and adore and want to spend time with, no doubt!) but it all goes by so fast! and all of a sudden you’re driving away at the end of the night with a ring on your finger and (if you’re anything like me) you literally can’t believe it’s over. seeing danny before the actual ceremony calmed me down, helped me catch my breath, and made me so infinitely excited for what we were about to do.

when i first saw him, i sobbed. this was not planned, or expected. and then, we laughed hysterically! “can you believe this?! it’s our wedding day! we’re getting MARRIED!” i think we repeated those 3 lines over and over and over again. it was such a special time for the two of us to take it all in. i wouldn’t trade that time for the world. to each their own on this one, but i think it is SUCH a wonderful idea.

3. having grandpa tom officiate our ceremony.

when danny and i started talking about who would officiate our ceremony, we were kind of stuck. i had always envisioned my pastor from back home marrying me off, as had danny…the only problem was, we each had only met the other’s respective pastor a handful of times. something about that just didn’t seem right. i wanted the person who would marry us to be someone who knew us both, and knew us well. someone who had encouraged us along the way, and had seen us grow in our relationship throughout the years. someone that knew our strengths and weaknesses, someone that had been praying for us since day one, someone that i respected and admired with my whole heart. and that someone was, without a shadow of a doubt, grandpa tom.

danny and i met with grandpa tom and his wife (of 58 years!!) for dinner a few nights before the wedding to make sure everything was all set. before we sat down, grandpa tom told us “well, you’ve been married about 10 times in my mirror so far. now i’m just trying to get through without crying!” just in case we weren’t 100% sure we’d made the right decision (we were!) this erased any uncertainty.

bottom line: have the guts to make your own decisions, even if not everyone agrees. it’s more fun that way!

(and we had so much fun!!)

top ten favorite things:

1. getting to our camp site when it was PITCH-BLACK (my fault, i’ll admit it). unloading the car, setting up the tent, starting a fire and cooking dinner in said darkness. we wanted adventure, right?!

2. our MASSIVE tent (that was just for the two of us). don’t worry…next time we go camping, we’re inviting ALL of you. and ALL of your friends. you bring the food, we’ll bring the tent. deal?

3. turning off our phones & leaving our ipad/computers/etc. at HOME! as someone who is pathetically always on her phone,  it was SO nice to feel like i didn’t have to check twitter every 5 minutes. because really, everything will be okay.

4. turning on my phone (ha!) saturday night to check the score on the gaucho soccer game. however, in a cruel twist of fate…my phone died with 8 minutes left in the game. TORTURE!

5. the gross bathrooms! i feel like i always forget about this aspect of camping, which is probably a good thing seeing as it might be enough to make me stay at home. eww! however, not wanting to touch the toilet = best thigh work out EVER. maybe i should try that at home.

6. bringing an entire package of oreos into our tent on saturday night. we made this decision knowing full well that we had to finish every. single. one. (food in your tent, not the bear box = bears IN YOUR TENT). this seemed like a great idea until we were so full we thought we might explode…and still had a full row of oreos left. NOT wanting to run to the bear box in the FREEZING cold was the best motivator i’ve ever had.

7. waking up saturday morning and opening  the door to our tent. we had no idea what to expect! (see #1) boy, were we in for a treat! it was gorgeous! so many trees and the air was so, so clear. it made us happy to just be outside.

8. beating danny at every card game we played, except one. this is huge, people. HUGE!

9. our meals on saturday: breakfast-scrambled eggs  & bacon, lunch-sandwiches and caramel apples, dinner-beef stew and baked potatoes. oh yeah, and a full bag of oreos. i’m reeeally hoping for a repeat this saturday.

10. leaving on sunday completely dirty, smelly, and HAPPY. there’s just something about being outside all weekend and sleeping under the stars. exactly what the doctor ordered!

all in all, first camping trip: success!

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