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Thursday, September 30

Tres Chic


I ordered these items from Tres Chic Boutique last week. I can think of a few of you readers who would really like them, so I thought I'd share. They arrived much sooner than I expected, and they are much more lovely in real life than they were on the website! What do you think?
This is my new headband, Gray Rose Tulle. 
Say hello, Gray Rose Tulle. 
I haven't worn a headband of this size before, and I wasn't sure if I'd like it, but I couldn't help falling in love when I saw those elegant gray pearls and tulle! It's so adorable! Errr, tres chic, en francais! And this is my necklace. I just love it's feminine and romantic look. It comes in cream, mauve, and grey, and I had a hard time picking just one. I decided on mauve because I wear a lot of grey, and I have a bracelet to match it.

I'm wearing it under my sweater here, as you can see. I liked it both ways, but this way it looks like it's part of my shirt. I tried to take a few more pictures so you could see it better.
 You can see that there are rhinestones too, for a little glitter. (Btw, even with a self timer, it's really hard to take a good picture of yourself!)

Both the headband and the necklace are on clearance right now, along with lots of other girly goodies. I'm giving both of these five stars out of five. I can't wait to wear them!

Wednesday, September 29

Princess Day Pictures

Hairspray

Curls
This collage took me over four hours and four computer programs to complete. It's definitely worth it!
If you haven't yet, you can read a fun account of our princess day here

Monday, September 27

JoyNess Journal: Monday

Happy Monday!

Credit: Weheartit.com
There are so many things I could write about today, that it's really hard to write about anything. So I've decided to just do a joyness journal list for today.

Friday
  • We went to Target last night and used our last Target wedding gift card to buy two clocks,  and a pair of tongs. I also bought a desperately needed swim suit and a pair of jeans, just for fun. Normally $20, they were on sale for $15, and the cashier gave me a catalina coupon someone had left there for $3 off! {I'll have some pictures of our new clocks soon. And maybe my jeans, they're just too cute!}
  •  My order from Tres Chic Boutique arrived! (I might write a post about it this week)
  •  I get to babysit today
  • It's Princess day! 
 Saturday

  • You can read all about our princess day on Honormommy's blog. As you can see, it was a blast! {Pictures coming soon}
  • Brian had a great time camping with the men from church
  • Now he really wants to go camping again, with me!
  • We had a sweet date last night; dinner at California Pizza Kitchen, looking at Mustangs at the Ford Dealership, and picking out camping equipment at the Bass Pro Shop. The nice dinner was for mainly my benefit (I had a migraine earlier and didn't feel like cooking), the mustangs for Brian (and kind of me, since they are my all time favorite car), and the Bass Pro Shop was for both of us, because it really is a good place for dates, surprisingly. We saw numerous couples there, obviously also on dates, and there's a nice restaurant sort of attached. 
  • My October issue of Better Homes and Gardens came! I can't wait to read it. 
Today
  • School went well. I'm doing well in all my classes except Chemistry...if the lectures weren't so boring I could learn faster...
  • I hope to get the house vacuumed today
  • I posted on my blog! Well, once I publish it anyway. 
What good things happened to you over the weekend? 

Friday, September 24

Two Good Bible Study Books by Elizabeth George

 Happy Friday! Today I'm looking forward to spending some girl time! My hubby and Honormommy's are both gone for the men and boys campout, which means girly time is on! 

I'd like to start a new schedule for my posts by including a book review on Fridays. I adore books, and I've read a lot of them, both good and bad, so I would love to share my experiences with you. 

Since school has just started, my thoughts turned toward Bible studies. These are two of the best books I've used in women's Bible study; the first as a participant and the second as the leader. They work wonderfully for a women's group, but they're also perfect for personal quiet times. 

 
"Quiet Confidence for a Woman's heart" by Elizabeth George is a reflective study of Psalms 23. Elizabeth unwraps each phrase to reveal applications for every woman's heart. Twelve promises from the familiar psalm deal with provision, protection, peace, rest, guidance, care, comfort, companionship, hope, healing, and our future home. 

Honestly, this wasn't my first choice of Bible study material. I thought I knew all there was to know about Psalm 23. I soon learned how mistaken I was! The principles I learned from this book have helped me to battle my worrying and fears, especially during a difficult school semester. I especially appreciated the teaching on the names of God, and how they tie into the promises in the psalm. 

I found that the discussion questions for every chapter in the back are perfect for a group or a personal study. "Building Your Confidence in Him" sections throughout the chapters give additional information, applications, and focus points. 

For more information about this book, click here or check it out in my bookshelf on the left side of this page. 

 
This is the younger version of the well-known "A woman After God's own Heart." Again, it's by Elizabeth George. I really enjoy her books for Bible studies; her layout is so organized and the application questions are  awesome for fueling great discussions or quiet soul-searching. 

It's written for teenage to college-aged girls and divides into three sections: The Pursuit of God, The Pursuit of God's Priorities, and The Practice of God's Priorities. It deals with the pressing issues: getting along with parents and siblings, making and keeping friends, dating, why to have daily Bible reading, prayer, and serving others. It's full of practical steps and thought provoking questions to encourage young women to develop godly attitudes and habits. 

I think every mother of a teenage girl should get this for her daughter. Going through it together is a great idea, as long as you're willing to take a close look at your own heart! 

Click here for more information about this book; it's also on my bookshelf. 

Feel free to browse the items I've selected for Scribbles Store. I've only chosen items that I've had personal experience with and that I can vouch for their quality and scriptural soundness. Eventually, I hope to have a review posted for every item I include. 

Enjoy your weekend! 

Do you have a Bible study book recommendation? Leave a comment about it!


Thursday, September 23

New Blog Design!

It's here!!!

Isn't it LOVELY???

A HUGE thank you to Melanie of Elegant Custom Blogs for the blog design giveaway that made this possible! Melanie was so sweet and fun to work with. She answers emails within seconds, seconds I tell you! She was great at deciphering my un-technical descriptions and requests and intuitively designing the idea in my head. If you ever need any professional blog design services, I strongly recommend her.

Don't you just love the butterflies?! And the little bird?!

If you'd like, I'd appreciate it if you poke around and explore. If you find anything amiss, let me know in the comments or shoot me an email!

Tuesday, September 21

Sinatra and Celebrating Three Months

Brian and I have been married for three months as of last Sunday!
Frank Sinatra

The weekend started with our date Friday night. Once again, our differing expectations threatened to ruin our date. I was thinking something romantic would be fun, like a walk by a lake at sunset, a picnic, maybe a bike ride, and I was planning to try making pizza. But Brian had other plans. He wanted to go to In and Out drive-through for burgers, then go to Fry's Electronics store, and Half Price Books, and come home and watch a movie.

Honestly, I didn't have a very good attitude at first. I love In and Out burgers, seriously, double double animal style can't be beat. But I didn't feel like fast food, and I really hate that we hardly ever eat at restaurants: we go through the drive through, or if we go inside, we still take the food home to eat it. But Brian gave me such a sad face when I said I'd rather make pizza, I acquiesced. We waited in a long line for the drive through, and then after we got our food, we parked in the parking lot and ate it in the car. I'm not quite sure I understand that yet, but I found that it was nice to not fix dinner, and like I said, their burgers can't be beat.

I didn't want to go to an electronics store. Not on a date, at least. Brian explained that he wanted to get something to keep his computer cool and get more RAM or something for my computer. I wasn't too excited when he spent the first ten minutes on the phone, either. But I had to admit, it was a really cool store. Once Brian was off the phone, I found that I actually enjoyed exploring the store, drooling over the fancy cappuccino machines and Mac computers, and browsing the music and DVDs.

I love bookstores, and I'd been wanting to go to Half Price Books for awhile, so it was easy to be excited about that part of our date. There were so many books I wanted at such ridiculously low prices, but I finally picked out a Frank Sinatra CD. I hadn't listened to much of him until this last summer, and I instantly got hooked on 1940's and 50's music. This CD was definitely worth the $7 for the 22 love songs.

Several weeks ago, we were looking for something "Classic" to watch after eating at Bucca Di Beppo, where the decor is very 1940's-50's. We were trying to come up with black and white movies, and I mentioned one that I'd seen years ago. All I could remember was the plot and that Clark Gable was in it. With that information, somehow Brian found it on netflix: "It Happened One Night." How sweet is that?!
It Happened One Night


After reflecting on it, I came to the conclusion that I really needed to alter my expectation that dates have to fit  a certain definition. The whole point of a date is to enjoy being together, after all. So whether we are running errands or enjoying a candlelit dinner, with the right attitude, it could be a great date!

Sunday, during the service my mind was wandering a little. I thought of how I missed the cool crisp weather in Iowa, and I figured it would be fun to take the advice so many people have given us and go to the mountains where you actually can experience changing seasons, like Sedona or Flagstaff. But, Brian said it would be too far of a drive and we didn't have time to go there and back before the "Love and Respect" class at 5pm. So, I said I'd like to go to the Fashion Square in Scottsdale instead, just to look around. Brian planned a quick trip up to North of Scottsdale and a slow drive back down through the middle.

"We can go to the Porsche and Rolls-Royce dealerships! We'll go right by on the way through Scottsdale!" he told me gleefully.
"Great. What about the Fashion Square?"
"Oh, we'll go by lots of malls."
Sigh. "Ok. That's fine. I guess I should change into better walking shoes."
"You don't need to, we won't be doing much walking."
I stopped and stared at him. "I thought we were going to a mall!"
"We're going for a drive through Scottsdale. I don't think we'll have time to stop at a mall."

Right about then, I got really frustrated. I had said I wanted to go to The Fashion Square Mall in Scottsdale, not just Scottsdale. I knew deep down that driving around sight seeing could be fun, but it wasn't what I wanted to do. I almost threw up my hands and said "But I don't want to go for a drive, I want to window shop at a mall!" But I didn't. I didn't say anything. I just didn't change my shoes and packed some sandwiches and granola bars, and off we went. Brian knew I wasn't happy, but I really don't think he had any idea why. I knew that if I told him I'd rather just go to the mall close by so that we could actually spend some time there, he would scrap his plan for me, but he would be disappointed.

And once again, I had fun. I got to listen to my new Frank Sinatra CD the whole way! It was really hot in the car, even with the AC at full blast, but we drove around in some residential neighborhoods and admired the fancy houses that all have grass, while I kept an eye on their trash cans for discarded chandeliers or the like. We drove past the Rolls-Royce and Porsche dealerships without stopping, which surprised me. "If you want to stop anywhere, just say so." Brian told me. By the time we got to The Fashion Square, I think we were both ready to stop and get out of the sun. It just so happened that we parked right next to a beautiful black 911 Porsche, and inside the mall, several different Jaguars were on display. So, it ended up that Brian got to see his cars, and I got to window shop after all!

I realized that I am really blessed to have a husband who likes to plan our dates. I'm glad that he doesn't expect me to plan something every week, and then complain about it if he doesn't like it. I know he does try to take both of our interests into consideration too. And, I'm glad he's a homebody and is content to cuddle and watch movies at home for our dates.  I do think we could use some balance, however. I hope that in the next three months, I'll get to plan a few of our dates, and that we will get out of the house  at least for part of them, since by the weekend I'm almost going crazy from being home all week. I hope that I will learn to be unselfish and have a more positive attitude about our dates too, whatever we do together!
June 19th, 2010

Brian and I both agree that it doesn't feel like we've been married for three months, it feels like we've been married forever! But it doesn't seem that long ago that I wrote about our one month anniversary. It seems ages ago that we moved from Iowa, but it hasn't been that long. I'm planning to write a post soon about the goals I made before we moved, and add some new ones.

Before that, you'll see some new things happing here, TBA. For now, I'm just enjoying listening to Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, and watching obscure Frank Capra films.
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What's your favorite black and white movie? What have been some of your favorite dates?

Thursday, September 16

A Lifetime Learner

Today I'm linking up with the SITS "Back to Blogging Event" and Mama Kat's writing prompt and writing about a woman who inspires me.

There are so many women who inspire me, it was really hard to choose just one. But then I read Simple Mom's post about "8 Ways to Pursue a Lifetime of Learning" and that reminded me of my mom.

Source
The first  of  the 8 ways listed is reading, and the second is reading quality. One of my very favorite memories of growing up is our family sitting comfortably around the living room listening as mom read to us. She took pains to find quality books: Newbury Award winners and classics like Johny Tremain, Where the Red Fern Grows, Oliver Twist, Treasure Island,Swiss Family Robinson and my personal favorite, Kidnapped. I remember mom telling me that she didn't used to read many classics. At some point when she and dad were newly married, they listened to some books on tape, and I think that's when she discovered that they weren't so bad after you got past all the descriptive stuff, especially true of Charles Dickens'.  Because mom started us early on good books, none of us ever had an affinity for "fluffy" novels. And even now, I can't read any Lori Wick books or past the first Twilight book because they bug the crap out of me. It's not even that they're poorly written, it's just that they aren't excellently written, and my brain gets hung up on the wordy sentences or passive verbs. Anyway, I've never known my mom to read anything but quality.

The third suggestion is that when you watch TV, to watch quality. From the time I was 11 until the present day, we don't have TV. We have a TV, but no channels. Even when we did get channels, mom didn't watch TV. My mom's philosophy on cable was that it would just cause us to get sucked into wasting lots of time watching shows that we "couldn't miss." Plus, TV wasn't good for the brain; or at least definitely not as good as reading. The only shows I've known my mom to watch are classics on DVD, like Gilligan's Island or The Waltons.

When one of my brothers first started having seizures my mom learned just about everything there was to know about epilepsy. She learned to stand up to doctors and nurses. She learned to track and record the details. She learned about the medications and treatment options, and she learned to cope. That's not to say that she, or any of our family, will ever be totally ok with it, it's an ongoing process, but we do survive, and take one day at a time.

She continues to learn about non-traditional treatments, supplements, and natural remedies.From digestive issues to ADHD, she probably knows of a supplement that might help. She also has extensive knowledge on Fetal Alcoholism Syndrome, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and a host of other psychological/genetic illnesses. A few years ago, she took charge of her own health and started an exercise program and learned more about healthy eating, and nutrition.

#6 is to keep up with news, and my mom stays abreast of political issues in addition to Christians in persecution.

#7 is to make lists. Mom makes lots of lists: home remodeling goals, summer activities for the kids, in addition to shopping lists.

Source
Something that's not listed that could be is learning new skills. My mom does all sorts of crafts. I mean, all sorts. Crosstitching, knitting, crocheting, sewing, rubber stamping, jewelry making and quilting to name a few, but she has books about the others she would like to learn, such as woodworking, wood burning, tin-smithing, painting, ribbon embroidery, millinery, spinning yarn, and stained glass. There's probably a lot more that I've forgotten!

I would also add to the list "Teaching Someone Else." From my experience, you learn the most when you try to explain it to someone else, not just about the topic but about yourself, others, communication, and motivation. My mom has taught music classes at the Christian school, as well as lessons on voice, piano, and violin. She also homeschooled my sisters and I through high school, except for some language, art, math, and science classes. With my brothers' learning disabilities, it's been much harder, but even now that they aren't technically homeschooled, she still tutors them with the areas they struggle with.

She's learning to let her children grow up and go off to college and get married, so now she can learn to be a grandmother to the cutest baby alive! (No offense to other babies, but I'm her aunt, it's part of my job to be biased).

If you aren't already participating in either of the link-ups, tell us about a woman who inspires you!


  

Monday, September 13

A Christian's Response to the Mosque near Ground Zero and Burning the Quran

There are many Christians in America who would say they are thankful for religious freedom. They would say they prize it and strive to protect it, through voting, or boycotts, or peaceful demonstrations. But it seems there is a misunderstanding about what religious freedom is. I looked, but I couldn’t find in the Constitution where it says that religious freedom is only for “Christian” religions.

Be honest. Would there be national uproar over a Baptist or Presbyterian or Catholic church being built a few blocks from ground zero? I highly doubt it. But there’s tremendous upheaval over a Mosque. And shockingly, it’s mainly Christians that are opposing it: the same people who claim to value religious freedom in America!

Interesting logic: unfortunately, Saudi Arabia doesn't have religious freedom, America does. It needs to act like it. 
Go read the Constitution, and tell me if it says only Christians are allowed to build houses of worship where they want to. I thought it said Americans were allowed to build houses of worship where they wanted to. We Christians often thank God for the soldiers who have fought and died for our freedoms, but do we realize that really, they were fighting for all Americans, so that all people could live and worship without fear of persecution? If we as Christians really want to protect religious freedom, we can’t be selective.


And let’s get something straight here. I’ve heard many times: “They’re trying to build a Mosque on Ground Zero!” On Ground Zero? Go read the news, because it’s a few blocks away! You can Google map it if you’re not convinced.

And after you’re finished with the Constitution and the news, try reading the Bible. It saddens me that I have to say this to Christians, but we seem to have forgotten the golden rule: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). Guess who said that? Jesus Christ, the one we claim to want to be like, to show the whole world His love.

And what about burning Qurans? Someone who claims to be a Christian came up with the idea of a “National Quran Burning Day.” He isn’t alone, other Christians support it! The thought process as I understand it is something along the lines: “Well, they burn Bibles! They hate Christians! Why shouldn't we burn their holy book? After all, it’s just a book of lies, and ours is the truth.”

When Jesus was on earth, did he go to Rome and Greece and burn their idols? He claimed to not only have truth, but actually be the truth. If anyone had a right to destroy other religion’s texts or icons, He did! But instead he said: “In everything, do unto others as you would have them do to you.” And “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Apostle Paul went to both Athens and Rome, the centers of the world’s religions in that day. Not once did he burn a single book of Athenian humanistic philosophy, or one Roman god. In fact, in Athens he studied their religion, and used it as a basis for sharing the gospel in his famous sermon on Mars Hill. Paul said to imitate him as he imitated Christ. Are we imitating either one of them in our blatant disrespect for other religion’s texts?

I’m encouraged to find that I’m not alone on this. Family Life radio news reported on the add run in the New York Times today that simply claimed: “Burning the Quran does not illuminate the Bible.” It was sponsored by the American Bible Society, whose president mentioned in a news release: 
“The intent of this ad is to communicate that the true biblical response to those of other faiths-or no faith-is respect and civility in religious discussions, disagreements and debates.  Acts of hatred in the name of Christianity are antithetical to the good news of the Gospel so intrinsically expressed in the Bible.” 
This full page add was signed by Christian organizations across denominations, including Campus Crusade for Christ, Focus on the Family’s Jim Daly, Family Talk’s Dr. James Dobson, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, Chuck Colson, Ravi Zacharias, and Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance. Read about it here and here.

Perhaps you’re thinking: “But they killed 3,000 people on 9/11!” and “But don’t you know America is a Christian nation? Not Muslim!”
Who's the enemy? Muslims aren't the enemy: Terrorism and Evil are.

1.     The people who killed 3,000 people on 9/11 are dead. They were Muslim, but they were also Terrorists. Muslims aren’t the enemy. Terrorists are. Evil is. And as Christians, we should recognize that there is an evil sin nature in every one of us. It’s un-educated and illogical to assume that all Muslims are terrorists. That’s like saying all Americans are Christians.

Also, what does the Bible say about how Christians should treat their “enemies”? It’s crystal clear: “You have heard that it was said 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you; Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matt. 5: 38.39). "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5: 43,44). If we hate Muslims, or even terrorists, we are acting just like them. We are not being different from unbelievers; we are not living as Christ commanded.

2.       This second statement is a deeply rooted idea among Christians, and it’s faulty at its core. America was founded for all people of all races and all religions, on moralistic principles probably derived from the Bible. Saying that America is Christian is like saying America is Caucasian. And unless the President is Jesus and he completely oversees government, and every citizen is a born again believer, I don’t see how you can claim that you have a Christian nation. Just because it’s founded on certain principles doesn’t mean even the government is Christian, much less the entire nation. Actually, there are more Christians in China than there are in America; so really, China has a better case than we do for being called a Christian nation.

While some may regard Christianity as American, and Islam as not American, I’d like to remind you where both religions started: Not in America. Interestingly, they both started in the Middle East. Both books were written in the Middle East. Muslims and the Quran are just as “American” as Christianity and the Bible. And just because the Bible is in English, doesn’t make it American, sorry!  And just because the Pilgrims got to America first, still doesn’t change the fact that they came for freedom to worship however and wherever they chose.

We like to say that Jesus died for the world, but do you realize who that includes? Everyone, Buddhist, Catholic, Baptist, Atheist, New Age, Mormon, and Muslim. We like to lump all Muslims into a group of terrorists trying to overrun our country; them we de-humanize them, support dropping a nuke and wiping them all out. We forget that each one is a soul, a precious human life. We forget how God sees them, how he cares about them and loves them, each and every one of them, enough to die for them. If that’s how God sees Muslims, what right to do we have to hate them?

Pier 1 Love


Pier 1 Imports is my new favorite store! Brian and I were there Friday browsing for something on which to spend a wedding gift card. I made a wish list in no time! I just love their fall decorations! They have very unique furniture and dishes, as well as bath stuff and decor.

We found a few clearance items we couldn't resist.
 The glass container cost $4.98. I plan to fill it with something fall-ish to display on the sofa table or coffee table.  I was so excited about this teapot! I love butterflies, and it matches the tea mug and the fancy plates I received as a wedding gift. It cost $4.18This is the tea mug dismantled. I think it is so cool! The Chinese symbol means "tranquility."  It cost $2.98

Come to find out, they're hiring! If the bus route timing works out, I think I'm going to apply! 

Friday, September 10

Our California Adventure

 I've had a lot of catching up to do this week, but finally, a week since my last post, here's my first ever trip to California! Brace yourself for lots of pictures! 

We had an amazing vacation on Labor Day weekend! We both needed a break from our hectic work/school/sleep schedules. I only missed my computer a little bit, there was so much to see and do! And even then, it was just because I wished I could write about it right away and see what all my blogging friends were up to. I loved seeing tall trees, grass in everyone's yards, and water. Everyone had roses in their yards, and on the street medians, and outside of restaurants. The weather was perfect; every time we walked outside Brian and I breathed a sigh of relief and commented on how cool it felt. I actually wore a light sweater and jeans for the first time in three months!

We were very thankful Brian only had a half day at work. Even at 1:30 p.m. traffic was already heavy in Phoenix. Soon we were on the open road, heading toward the ocean.

This is Arizona...
This is California. Notice the difference?
We didn't talk much during the six hours there. It was hot in the car, even with the AC, since the sun beat on us through the windows. We also neglected to bring any water...just mountain dew and cream soda. As refreshing as soda may be, when you're sizzling under glass and on hot leather for six hours, it just doesn't cut it. On the bright side, we didn't have to stop to use the restroom ever. When we did stop for dinner at Palm Springs, we got two huge cups of water and rehydrated.

We arrived at my sister-in-law's at 8 p.m, and after the tour of the beautiful house she shares with three other girls,  we and her housemate Natalie all went to Yogurt Land. I love frozen yogurt places, I'd never been to one until we moved to Phoenix! It was delicious and as healthy as you make it. As we were eating, the ocean came up in the conversation, and I realized that we were really just a few minutes away. My excitement could hardly be contained, after we devoured our yogurt we headed to the pier on Seal Beach. Oh, the salty spray! The threnody of the waves! The cries of the seagulls! I have missed the ocean, and I didn't realize it until I was there again.

Saturday we had breakfast at Mimi's Cafe. The pictures speak for themselves! Mmmmmhmmmm.

Crab, asiago cheese, avocado, and bacon omelet with potatoes. 
Blueberry French toast, eggs and sausage
Then we headed to the beach, where we stayed all afternoon. Like, 5 hours or more. It was awesome, but we were without sunscreen, and with baby oil. FYI, that's a bad idea. I got the worst sunburn in my entire life. Andrea and I burned on our backs and the backs of our legs, and Brian got it really bad on his stomach and face. Sitting, wearing a bra or jeans, and sleeping all became very difficult. With lots of solarcaine spray and aloe vera gel we survived.

We did swim in the ocean too, even though it was freezing. We just had to wait until we were numb on our legs up to our knees, then our waists, then our necks, and then we had to wait for a lull in the waves and swim past where they were breaking.  

That evening, after treating our sunburns, we went to Downtown Disney. It was magical, even though it wasn't the actual park. The sounds of live music: Spanish, jazz, and classic mixes; swarms of people milling about, glowing store windows, and the smell of caramel popcorn.

We had a hard time choosing a restaurant, they all looked good and were expensive, but we decided on the Jazz Kitchen, which was really good. The decor was fancy and funky, tying in Jazz and musical instruments and notes with the Louisiana swamp in Princess and the Frog style while still being upscale. We went to the "California" letters and Brian and I were going to get our picture taken by the big "C" but I forgot my camera. So, I have no pictures of Downtown Disney, which means I'll just have to go back sometime! I used my birthday present from Andrea, a Disney gift card, on a pair of really cute aqua sandals at the Disney store. We got to see some of the Disney fireworks too, which were really cool. I can't wait to go back someday when we can get passes! 

Sunday we went to church with Andrea in the morning, and In and Out for lunch. We watched "The Nightmare Before Christmas" because I'd never seen it before. It was different, much more Tim Burton than typical Disney. We were happy to help her hang up some curtains and pictures and wall stuff in her room; she was such huge help with the unpacking when we moved. 

That evening we went to Hollywood. We had dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen, another amazing restaurant where I'd never been, and we used a mystery coupon that took 50% off of the total bill! That was the best barbecue Hawaiian pizza ever. The plaza area was really neat. 
We walked over to the Chinese Theater and saw the hand prints, footprints, and signatures of famous actors, actresses, and directors in the cement. I took far too many pictures to share here, but here's a few of my favorites. 
Tom Hanks
Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren
Matt Damon. I have no idea why these pics are sideways.
The Chinese Theater
This is the first movie Brian and I watched together. 
From the souvenir store: life sized cardboard cut outs.
Edward does end up with Bella, but Jacob gets Marilyn! :)

Monday morning, Brian and I were finally able to sleep in! I did enjoy waking up at 8 a.m the two days prior, with the sunlight streaming in and the neighborhood noises and cool, almost chilly, breezes coming through the open window. But on Monday, we didn't have any plans other than brunch at Schooner or Later. We bought coffee as we waited to be seated, and sipped it while watching the morning mist lift from the harbor.The food was delicious again, and after we ate we walked along the wharf a little, and I took more pictures! Last ones, I promise. 





I saved the best pictures for last :) 

Anyway, now that I've finally got all that off my chest, LA gave me lots of food for thought and ideas to write about, so the next few posts will probably reference this one. I already miss California and my sister-in-law. 

But, it's back to school and work, grocery shopping, housecleaning, laundry...sigh. Ad despite the lathering on of lotions, my sunburn is peeling. But, I do have the most awesome California tan!