Orange County, California

Today, Kelly from Kelly’s Korner Blog is doing a Blog Carnival about “Show Us Where You Live”. Rather than show you my particular town, I thought I would highlight the entire county that I live in, Orange County.  The town I live in, is decent size but I do many things throughout the actual county rather than just my town.

Huntington Beach Pier, CaliforniaThe Huntington Beach Pier-The beach, downtown stores, and restaurants.

Spectrum 8The Ferris Wheel at the Irvine Spectrum-Shopping Center with stores, and restaurants.

Dana Point Harbor, CADana Point Harbor-Fishing, Boat Docks, and Whale Watching.

Angels Game Collage April 2010Anaheim Stadium aka Home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Baseball Team.  They also host other events there too.

DSC_0005The view from the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel.  The Ritz Carlton is a beautiful resort.

San Clemente Beach TrailSan Clemente Beach Trail.  A great beach to run on. There is a paved path.

Overlooking the World of Color at Disney's California AdventureDisneyland and Disney’s California Adventure.  We try to go here at least once every two weeks. We live about 15 minutes away and have Season Passes.

Oh, and we have the Real Housewives of Orange County. The original Housewives.  It’s pretty hard to compete with that.  I’ve seen almost all of the women around the area, either at the mall or Starbuck’s.

I can’t wait to check out other people’s hometowns!

My Precious… Fiestaware

I do not cook very much, rarely, or ever.  Angry Husband will probably say that I’ve cooked maybe 5 times in our marriage. I know it’s more than that, like 10ish.  I’ve always said, my skill is making money.  I can’t cook. I don’t clean very well. And I’m not very crafty.  But oohhh, I have a black belt in shopping and I’ve had a job since I was 14.

When we got married, I registered for Lenox’s “Poppies on Blue” pattern. I may have registered for EVERYTHING that they sold with that pattern.  Seriously, we had so much stuff, it became overwhelming.  We moved about 4 times in the first 5 years of our marriage.  Every time we moved, that china and all of its accessories along with us.  Right before we bought our house, I finally decided that the china had to go.  We had barely used it.  It wasn’t our every day china.  I had never even seen my own mother use her wedding china.

So I placed it on e-bay and sold it piece-by-piece.  I also sold some pieces to a friend.  I had a few place settings left, and actually had a couple from Palm Springs drive 2 hours to come and get the china from me.  Angry Husband was impressed, because I sold the china for more than it was probably originally paid for.  I’m pretty good at e-bay, when I try a little.

After selling this wedding china, I decided that we needed some everyday china.  I became a little obsessed (see a pattern here), and starting buying (collecting) Fiestaware. It all started with a few dinner plates, then salad plates, then bowls. I have tons of it now, and all different colors. I think that’s my favorite thing about Fiestaware. That you can mix and match the colors.

Fiestaware

You can see some of my Fiestaware in the picture above.  This is one of our kitchen cabinets.  I have more pieces, but they are in random places around the house. Some of the pieces that I have are actually Vintage Fiestaware.  My mom has found them in antique shops around Orange County.  I’m currently on the search for my serving dishes. I only have one problem with Fiestaware though.  They keep coming out with new colors.  I have at least 25+ dinner plates.  I want more. Because I love all the colors. Aren’t they pretty?

What do you collect?

P.S. The “My Precious” title was in reference to Gollum in Lord of the Rings. If you haven’t seen any of the movies, you will have no clue on what I’m talking about.

Getting My Fit On

I kicked butt in 2008 and early 2009. And then I hit the wall.  Seriously, life can get quite hectic, and you start forgetting what is important.  I get so caught up in family life, working, and hobbies (cough, cough, cough…blog) that sometimes, I forget about me.  I need to remember that my health, and really mental sanity is more important than all of this. Because if momma’s not happy, no one is going to be happy.

“Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states.”
~ Carol Welch

I recently switched to a different work schedule that has me completely out of whack.  I went from working normal hours i.e. daytime of 6am-4:30pm to night owl hours of 4pm-2:30am.  I have been dragging myself home at night, and depositing myself into Angry Kid’s bedroom. It’s easier this way, because no one will wake me up in the morning.

Before switching my work schedule, I attended a fitness class at 24Hour Fitness every Thursday.  I slacked a little during the Holidays, but most of the past year, I attended.  I was all set to attend it yesterday, when my down comforter called my name.  Slacker!

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For my 2010 Goals, I list ten races in 2010 as my #2 goal. Well, I can’t really run all those races if I’m not running, right? So yes, I need to run more. Honestly, running is quite boring.  I can only listen to my music for so long. I’m a chatty-type and it kinda looks weird if I’m talking to myself.  I have totally flaked on my running partner, Pesha.  We used to do runs like at least once a week. Do you see this Pesha, call me!!! I also need to dust off that treadmill in my garage. Angry Husband re-arranged the garage last week, and now it’s not covered with tools. My race partner, Monique, sent me an e-mail that she signed up for a race training/prep class, so jealous and I wish I had the time.

Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred

I also have Jillian Michaels “30-Day Shred” DVD. Have you heard of that? Awesome workout that you can do at home, in front of your TV. This is especially nice if you have small kiddos and have to deal with nap times, etc. All you need is some tennis shoes and some light hand weights.  Seriously, this workout kicks my butt!

Do you have a gym membership that you barely use? Does it have childcare? I started taking Angry Kid to the gym with me last year. I personally waited until he was completely potty-trained.  He loves that place. I kid you not, he asks to go to 24Hour Fitness every time we drive by.  I can work out for an hour while I’m there and take 30 minutes to take a shower, etc.  Then I don’t have to worry about what trouble he’s getting into while I’m showering at home.

I really increased the use of my gym membership last year by diving into their group fitness classes.  I’m always been timid about jumping into things.  I tend to feel a little lost, and get that feeling “that everyone knows each other, and what happens in the class.” Well a good time to start is in January. There are a lot of other new people, looking to try something new. Most gyms (especially national ones) have their class schedules online.

Doris Dodge-Thews

My friend, Doris, is teaching what she calls “Triple Threat Thursday”. She starts at 8am with TKB (Turbo Kick Box), 9am is 24Lift, and 10am is PIYO (Mat pilates and yoga mix).  I’m not saying that I’m going to attempt all 3 of these classes. I’m not that nuts. But I may try and do that TKB and 24Lift, that is, if I can get up in time.  Doris is really inspiring too. She’s been teaching fitness classes for years…and she’s a personal trainer too. And on top of all that, she’s training for her second Boston Marathon and she’s an ambassador for lululemon. She also has a nickname for me, umm “cupcake”.

So with all these things? I should be fit, right?

I start my day off pretty good. I usually have either a protein drink, oatmeal, or some kind of yogurt.  I really need some kind of protein early in the day, because I tend to get fatigued easy if I don’t.  I try and have either a salad, some kind of soup, or something chicken-oriented for lunch. And well, dinner, four days of the week, I will be at work. This is always a challenge.  I also need to focus on drinking more water. I’ve actually done pretty good with my caffeine lately, but my water consumption needs to increase.

Wish me luck!

For more weight loss tips and fitness posts, be sure to check out Kelly’s Korner. She’s hosting a carnival today to inspire others and to share your knowledge.

Some Crafty Moms and Their Sites

Kelly’s Korner is doing a carnival celebrating handmade items. Since I’m not crafty at all, ok, well I’m learning. I thought I would post some of my favorites.

Several of the mom’s are from my parenting forums that I’ve been on throughout the years. A few of them I’ve met. And some of them just have fabulous products that I’ve bought in the past year.

P.S. If you click the photo, it gets larger.

Team Spirit, USC

usccollageToday on Kelly’s Korner, we are discussing our teams. Around here in Southern California, we have The Los Angeles Lakers, The Los Angeles Clippers, The Los Angeles Kings, The Anaheim Ducks, The Los Angeles Dodgers, and The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. We do not have a local football team. But really, I’m not a sports fan type. We occasionally watch some Angels games, and my mom is a die hard Lakers fan.

So who do we cheer on? USC, University of Southern California, The Trojans. In Orange County, where I live, people are HUGE USC fans. It’s one of those things, where there are alumna and non-alumna cheering them on. The school that I went to did not have a football team, so I have to be a fan of another school’s team.

Every year we get Angry Toddler a new USC football jersey. He’s had them since he was a few months old. Angry Toddler’s BFF, Stella, is a huge fan too. Her daddy, Stacey’s husband, actually went to USC. They are huge fans. Sometimes the USC thing can get a little obnoxious, but Angry Toddler sure loves his USC duds.

We never tailgate or anything like that. But if the game’s on, we watch it if we are around. Stacey and I actually talked about taking the kids to a USC game this year. We are total slackers though, and the decent tickets are sold out. Maybe next year.

Newlywed’s Next Door also did a post about USC, University of Southern California. She and her husband went there. She’s a HUGE fan!

Show Us Your Life-Baby Gear

Kelly’s Korner is doing a tribute to baby gear today. Angry Toddler is almost four and a half now, so he’s not quite a baby anymore. But it hasn’t been that long since he was a baby. I definitely remember my haves and have-nots.

I will start with my must-haves:

The Swing:

<span class=We had the 2005 version of the Fisher-Price Papasan Swing. Angry Toddler had reflux so he took many naps in his swing. We used it daily until he was about six months old. He then got way too heavy, and we heard this awful noise when it was swinging. I sold the swing on Craig’s List as soon as he grew out of it.

The Exersaucer:

<span class=We had the 2005 version of the Graco Baby Einstein Discover & Play Activity Center. I’m not going to lie about this one. I admit that we plopped him in the exersaucer, so that we could get things done. He loved watching videos. I liked taking a shower. It worked for us.

Pack N Play:

<span class=We used this in our bedroom when Angry Toddler was first born. We were paranoid as first time parents of a premature reflux-y kid. But then, the kid started snoring, like loud. We moved him to his crib after that. We used the pack-n-play portion all the time though, especially at my parent’s house. Angry Toddler climbed out of the pack-n-play at about eighteen months old. It was a very sad day. We had one similar to this, Graco Pack N Play. Except it was green.

My Have-Nots

Stroller System-Have Not, Stroller Frame-Haves:

<span class=We had the whole stroller system with the matchy-matchy infant seat and stroller. It was a pain to assemble. I could never get the infant seat to click in right. If I had to do it all over again, I would buy the simple stroller frame, that you can just use with the infant car seat. Angry Toddler was only in the infant seat for four months. This stroller frame would have been much easier.

Baby Bjorn:

Angry Toddler hated the Bjorn. He fussed and cried every time he was in it. And to make matters worse, he had relux. Nothing better than puking baby in Bjorn. It wasn’t pretty. Plus Angry Husband refused to Bjorn-it. If I had to do it all over again, I would totally use one of those wrap-thingys.

Bouncer:

Useless. Seriously he didn’t bounce. We just used the swing. He loved the swing.

Wipes Warmer:

Common sense. We received one as a gift. I probably even registered for it. Don’t judge. I was a first time mom. I registered for everything, and listened to no one. Thankfully, we thought about it before we used it. It got returned.

Bottle Warmer:

Angry Toddler liked his formula cold and/or lukewarm. He was a very easy baby to feed. We just had to make/mix the formula and pop it into a bottle.

You are probably thinking, why is Angry Julie doing a post about baby stuff. There are tons of first-time moms reading blogs, looking for advice and information. I was one of those. I read all the reviews on the products I was registering for. I spent so much time online, my head hurt. I talked to my friends, I stalked people at the baby stores, but eventually I learned.

I thought I would participate in this little carnival to share my personal opinions of what worked for us. What worked for me, might not work for everyone though. So it’s just my opinion.

Show Us Your Life-Wedding Party and Flowers/Ceremony

Today on Kelly’s Korner, she is featuring “Show Us Your Life-Wedding Party and Flowers/Ceremony”. Last week, she featured our wedding dresses. I’m so glad that I picked the wedding dress that best represented my personality.

Our wedding party was very small. Angry Husband had his dad as Best Man and I had a friend as Maid of Honor. I will not mention that friend’s name. I’m sure that I will read many happy stories about people’s weddings on this carnival. My wedding was very happy. But my Maid of Honor and I, are no longer friends. I wonder how many people are still friends with their Maid of Honor or people in their wedding party? After eleven years, people and situations change. Unfortunately, life is not always rainbows, sunshine, and unicorns.

My friend and I had known each other since Junior High. We had one of those off/on relationships. Sometimes, we were friends, and sometimes we didn’t talk. This was one of my more stable friendships when I was getting married, so I picked her. We had a small wedding, so I didn’t want a ton of attendants. A few years after I got married, my friend ran into some problems. She got fired from her job, went back and forth on some temporary jobs, and ended up getting kicked out of her apartment. She came to live with us for a few weeks and drove me crazy. I finally had enough and kicked her out. She had family locally, so she went to live with them. I think the last time that I saw her was at our 10-year high school reunion. I know several people who never talk to their Maid of Honor and/or Bridesmaids. Life gets in the way and you part. That’s what happens with friendships. Some times you don’t have anything in common anymore.

Now back to the happy. My theme was red. My Maid of Honor wore a red dress. Since she was the only person in my wedding party, I let her pick out the dress. She chose a simple red dress. The Best Man, Angry Husband’s dad, wore a tux. My flowers were tulips. I love tulips. Although it’s pretty hard to find tulips, in Las Vegas, in December. But they did it. They were beautiful until they started flopping, as tulips do.

Before the wedding, I had my hair done at the hair salon in the Hotel. Big mistake. I just had a simple up-do, which in reality was a teased ponytail. They charged me $120. My Maid of Honor had a lot more done to her hair (curls, up-do, etc.), they charged her less than $50. I know I was the Bride, but seriously, $120 for a pony tail. We went and had our make-up done at the mall, at the Clinique counter I think?

We had a simple ceremony. I think we invited less than 50 people, so it was over pretty quick. Before the ceremony, I had my usual squabbles with my mom, etc. I’m a pain in the butt, would you expect anything less.

i have pictures with my Maid of Honor, but I really don’t want to include them in this post. It makes my stomach hurt. There are so many more stories about this friend, but I don’ t want to turn it into a nasty post.

I’m going to include a picture of myself, and my grandmother. She passed away in 2004, about a month before I found out that I was pregnant with Angry Toddler. It’s not a great picture, but hey, you can see my flowers.

SHOW US YOUR LIFE-Wedding Dresses


This week on Kelly’s Korner, we are talking about wedding dresses. I got married in 1998, so the wedding dress fashion has changed drastically since then.

I only went to one store for my dress, Jessica McClintock. It was located in our local mall. I picked out around ten dresses and headed towards the dressing room. I had issues then because I had huge boobs. This was about three years before I decided to have a breast reduction. I had to go for a much larger size to accommodate “the twins”, which really limited my awesome dress potential.

I tried on lace, satin, you name it. But if anyone know me, they know that I like to be a little bit different. I picked a fabulous dress with a plain a-line design and marabou feathers surrounding the collar area. I even found some shoes with marabou feathers to match the dress. How fabulous is that! Our “wedding” was in December and this was actually being marketed as a “winter formal” style dress. Even better. I think we paid $250 for it. If I had to do it all over again, I would still pick that dress. Although I might put one of those really cool colored sashes around the waist. I love those!

The shoes didn’t last very long with me, as they hurt. I tossed them after the official photos and switched to some more comfortable shoes, my 10-hole white Doc Marten’s. My grandmother did not appreciate the Doc Marten’s, but hey, at least they weren’t flip flops. And they were something old, I had them forever. I actually still have those shoes.


So now you know the story of my wedding dress. Our wedding was on December 12, 1998. We got married at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. They had only been open for about two months. We were one of the first weddings that they held, and the costs weren’t outrageous.

Oh, and I have to add this little tidbit….I like to say, “wedding” above. Because really we were already married. I know that some of my readers are friends and family, so this might be a first for them.

Yes, we actually got married on July 24, 1998. We went through the “drive-thru” wedding chapel in Las Vegas. We totally eloped. My mom knew about it, but no one else knew. I can’t remember the reason we actually eloped, but I think it had something to do with health insurance.

So, if you can do the math, today is my 11th Wedding Anniversary!!! Happy Anniversary Angry Husband.

I’m not even home to spend the day with him or do something special. Because I’m in Chicago at the BlogHer Conference. I will have to have a drink to celebrate. Ok, maybe I will have a few drinks.