Monthly Archives: September 2013

Can We Afford The Ghetto In LA?

September 19, 2013



Now here is a photo of a very nice apartment building in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles. This area is very expensive and even this building is pretty compared to many others in the area. The truth is, of all the places I have lived, Los Angeles has the least curb appeal for the price. There are some hideous apartment buildings on the outside but inside they can be charming with very well taken care of original wood floors and tiled bathrooms. Our last home in West Seattle was a CUTE 2 bedroom, one bath, one car garage on a hill with a view of the Puget Sound, a gorgeous private garden in a quaint neighborhood, walking distance to cafes and shops with plenty of street parking for $2000. Here in Los Angeles, a comparable house would cost over $4000.

We were joking after viewing some real eyesores with bars on the windows or backed up next to a Baptist Church (no offence but I like to sleep in on Sunday mornings), or a garage that is accessible via an alley that you share with a bunch of fast food shops…that we can’t even afford to live in the ghetto. It is funny how you learn to decipher Craigslist rental ads and photos depending on the city. The things to look out for here are assigned parking spots and as with anywhere-laundry on premises vs in-unit. MANY apartments in LA do not have in-unit laundry.

We’ve opted for a company called Westside Rentals. Today we looked at one place and although it was more space and beauty than we need (standards have quickly plummeted in the past 4 days of searching), it was AWESOME. Of course it is a zillion dollars so we’re in the process of negotiating. It is SUPER close to Chris’ work and he’s suggested that we may only need one car now. NOOOOOOO! 🙂 The place we saw has a rooftop deck with a jacuzzi! It is a condo but compared to the places Chris and I have lived in the past year, it’s a mansion! I feel like a New Yorker or something.

Let’s see what happens.


Brides Of Rome And Seattle City Guide Guest Post

September 18, 2013

LIFESTYLE / Out and About / Travel / Uncategorized

Pike's Market

Today, is my first opportunity to guest post! You can find the article on Jewel Hazelton‘s Blog, Eat Drink Shop Love. I found her page randomly and after surfing it, realized we had a lot in common (spinach smoothies to the same Cabinet of Curiosities coffee table book). She is running a weekly feature of city guides. I did a Seattle City Guide even though I just relocated to LA.

Hey, thanks for all the great feedback on the photos. I never thought I could look so nice in a picture! Wow! I think that’s the coolest part of being a bride-getting to look your best and then having it frozen in time for the rest of your life. It’s really fundamentally important to me to have physical “evidence” of our love connection. It’s nice to have tangible evidence that perpetuates wonderful feelings and it can remind you of those feelings when you are having a tough time.

One night in Rome, we got very lucky and saw these two brides near the Spanish Steps. They were so different!

This woman looked like such a diva! When the camera started going, she struck supermodel poses and faces. Her husband is celebrity handsome (like you, Chris) and she looked like a hand full! Again, even though this dress would be too sexy for my taste (let’s get real, I don’t have the bod to pull this off), she looks gorgeous. Looks at those arms! Nice!








What do you think of these brides?

Paris Wedding Photo Shoot By Catherine O’Hara

September 17, 2013

Me and Chris / Paris Wedding / Uncategorized


We found our sensationally talented photographer, Catherine O’Hara, online. You can see incredible examples of her work on her blog, Catherine O’Hara Photography Blog. She specializes in a photojournalistic style and is a member of The Wedding Photojournalist Association. These members are “skilled in a candid, unobtrusive style.”

Catherine is from Ireland and we were so lucky to have an English-speaking photographer in France. She also travels for destination weddings. Her manner is gentle. Her direction is so slight and brilliant. This is REALLY great if you or your partner aren’t natural-born-models and could use kind coaching. You won’t hear her saying any horrifying things like, “show me your inner diva.” She has the magic power of making it appear and feel as if Paris was put on hold for your photo shoot.

Chris and I actually felt as if we were spending a romantic evening around town with each other. There was a lot of time to connect and really experience the scenery of Paris. Catherine knew the perfect timing for both lighting and foot traffic at each location. We were so surprised by all the locations she offered! She was also very open to anything we wanted to try-we wanted to dance by these performers in Place Colette.

Thank you for your input on the Wedding Dress Shopping: J. Crew post! I totally agreed with all the info and then chose this dress because of the weather and Parisian feeling it had for me. Do you like how it turned out?

She took us into an inner courtyard at Place Colette with dreamy rows of trees. I had seen this place on her blog and had been imagining what it was going to look and feel like.


OK, these next 2 were obviously posed and I love how they turned out!


I will refrain from making fun of myself in this shot and enjoy that my parents picked this as their favorite.


The Love Locks Bridge. You can buy a lock from a vendor on the bridge or bring a fancy one of your own.


You lock it up and throw away the key into the Seine!


Then of course you kiss.


The Louvre Museum.


Gardens of the Louvre with The Eiffel Tower in the background.


Walking along the Seine.


I want to live in this photo dream.


Another cool spot.


We received 97 photos from this session and we love all of them! That never happens?! I am so picky and critical! The backdrop of Paris and Catherine’s style with her quality of work really take the pressure of the subjects. Anyone would look incredible with some coaching and Paris in the background. I want to send annoying daily emails to Catherine telling her how happy I am. I’ll try to just stick with this appreciative post. The value of these photos and the experience are priceless but it was actually affordable and worth even more.

Chris is really excited to see how happy this made me and I know he really likes them too…he’s just more worried about finding a place to live right now. 🙂 Back to the home search! Thank you so much for taking time to look at our photos!

Photos by Catherine O’Hara Photography

This was so different from our Traditional Korean Wedding photos! Here is a little on shopping for the dress


French Bathrooms, Cheese With Butter And Laundromats

September 16, 2013

LIFESTYLE / Out and About / Uncategorized


I miss you little, miniature, child’s clothing sized personal washer sans dryer from studio in Paris…even though you only had the capacity to wash 2 pairs of my husband’s jeans at a time, you were mine…all mine.

Ok, we’re back in the US, AKA land of the large bathroom stalls, toilet paper flushing, separate male and female restrooms…did I mention that I missed American bathrooms? No, really, my first toilet experience was at the Paris airport where I saw a sign for bathrooms-Male icon (floor below), Women icon (floor below that). So, I go down a floor and walk past the male icon bathroom on the way down to the “women’s” floor. When I get to the women’s floor, there is another multi-stall bathroom but as I’m walking in I see a man’s back to me and he is using a urinal. *little gasp and walking backwards. I look back at the sign above the door and it has a male icon next to a female icon. ?? I scan the floor to find the ACTUAL women’s bathroom and then a nice French man exiting the bathroom and seeing my confusion/distress says, “le/se mix.” Ah. Thank you, French man. I run into the stall closest to the door with eyes facing floor. I feel shy and unworldly-Oh, oui, le mix! Of course. I knew that and I’m totally ok with it. Watch me linger at the co-ed hand washing station showing you how comfortable I AM. Not.

Right now I’m missing chocolate croissants on the reg and the permission/right to eat a huge pile of cheese with a modest amount of bread (add butter to that combo and you’ll even be celebrated as a local there).

Currently we’re living at a hotel by the Los Angeles airport and I’m doing my best to keep up with wifely duties of laundry, food and keeping expenses low in those departments. We’re living off of GF cereal with almond milk, soup, grocery store take-out from Whole Foods, hotel breakfasts and YELP’s recommendation for great Thai food.

I dropped Chris off at work (we have one car now), dropped off the dry cleaning at a great and inexpensive place (owned by a Korean woman of course who appreciates me speaking Korean to her but responds in English-knowing well that I’m faking it) and now it’s time for a cup of tea and posting. On today’s agenda? Well, pick up lots of laundry detergent for a few hours of fun at the laundromat! I’ve been to a laundromat like once. The last time I went to one was to wash a huge comforter I was too cheap to pay a dry cleaner to do a few years ago. It was in a nice neighborhood but yes, I got cat called and a bit harassed. Hopefully less excitement today.

The wonderful wedding photographer in Paris just emailed me our photos and I’m really nervous about opening them! You know when you are waiting for something that could potentially be incredible and then it arrives quicker than expected? I had prepped myself for 2 weeks of wondering, imagining and fantasizing about these photos. Well, I’m downloading them as I write this. I’ll allow myself 10 minutes of decadent browsing before slamming this laptop shut and running off to laundry land where I will be imagining these photos in a large montage frame hanging in some. Ok, nix that, the download says it could take 2 hours. I may get the wait I was asking for after all. Worth the $12 wifi fee at the hotel today?

Well, after watching the news this morning with the shootings in the Washington Navy Ship Yard, it again puts things into perspective for me.

Big bonus of the day: I slept from 5 PM yesterday evening until about 1:30 AM, ate some leftovers and went in for round two from 2:30-4:30 AM!

Any good foreign bathroom experiences?


Expensive Outerwear for Pennies

September 13, 2013


This Winter's Wardrobe


…and REPEAT! I wore one of these three sweatshirts/jackets every day this Seattle winter (sorry, Chris). They are a bit spendy but calculating how much I wore them…they come out costing me about 2 pennies per wear. I packed the white one for this European trip because it is very breathable and comfy-great for the plane.
Here is some internet inspiration for you!
Have you seen these donut cakes?
An alarm clock app for heavy sleepers.
Yummy flatbread recipe that is as fun to watch as it probably is to eat by a really talented blogger in Seattle!
Happy Friday!
We will be on our way home from Paris tomorrow! Looking forward to starting our home search in Los Angeles!

How To Look Hot People In The Eye

September 12, 2013

HAPPINESS / How To / Uncategorized

Guest Post by: Jen Kleiner

Thank God For Cardio Barre. Class is one of the only times during my day that I fully allow myself to love my body as she is while also appreciating the different ways she’s still developing. Most of the time, I am the first to criticize physical parts of yours truly that are far from perfect, but in class I find respite from the voice of my inner critic, and I get to experience myself without her constant jabs at my belly flab, arm jiggle and unwanted stretch marks. I feel the potential of everything I am and can ever be.

I am proud of myself for being able to complete the strenuous exercises and that gives me the sense of my growing physical strength. It also provides me with a greater capacity to take on things that feel difficult in my personal life. For example, after class one morning I am walking down the back stairs of the building to the parking lot when a very handsome man opens the door and holds it for me from a great distance away. He waits patiently until I exit and instead of looking down until passing, I smile brightly and say “thank you”, never loosing eye contact. This is a big stretch for me.

Normally, I let my shy part take over from looking directly at any guy I find attractive, sometimes coming across as intense or unapproachable as my protector parts come out to defend her from having vulnerability exposed. But after spending an hour feeling good in my body, I actually feel delighted to look into this stranger’s striking blue eyes and give this beautiful man a glimse of my own self confidence, emanating brightly through my sweaty tank top and messy hair. In this moment, I put myself in his shoes and let the proud part of me see the beauty he sees as he waits those extra seconds until I pass through the door. And that moment, my inner critic learns something new; I am totally worth waiting for 🙂

(photo by Jonathan Kos-Read, via Flickr)