The V Family Annual Camping Trip

Posted by Suburbanette on September 4th, 2013

Rob and I did not go on a honeymoon unless you count a visit to Virginia Beach for our annual V Family camping trip at First Landing Park (see photos from last year here).

To tell you the truth, I actually don’t sleep in a tent. I stay for the crabs, company, swimming, and swings on our hammock but Rob has family who lives less than fifteen minutes away from the camp site so we always stay with them instead. The weather was perfect with a light breeze and I got to spend tons of time with my brothers (they are starting eighth grade this year — wowzers), Kassie, and my new nieces and nephews. We also got to experience the magic that is Jollibee, the McDonalds of the Philippines now on the East Coast! To Filipnos, nothing else says comfort food like a two piece Chicken Joy with a side of rice, spaghetti with hot dogs, a yum burger, mango pie and a big fat ube milkshake to wash it all down…And if we are really being honest, we also went to Sonic too!

I love my life.

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The Story of Robert + Kimberly

Posted by Suburbanette on August 29th, 2013

I woke up early this morning to get a head start on my work day when I noticed that our cinematographer Stan Pe Films had sent me an email with the first cut of our wedding video…let’s just say that I’ve watched it about 100x since then.

Check it out:

Kimberly + Robert Wedding Highlight from Stan Pe Films on Vimeo.

Also, a shout out to Stan Pe and his team who worked their tails off to shoot our wedding extravaganza! They just started their company this year but you can see raw talent seeping through everything that they do. They have my highest recommendations for your videography needs — they are easy and fun to work with, creative, and lightning fast!

Homemade Terraniums

Posted by Suburbanette on August 27th, 2013

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Like every other girl who got married in 2012 and 2013, my bouquet and centerpiece arrangements consisted of succulents. Not wanting my wedding fun to dwindle, I actually removed the succulents from the arrangements, dried out the roots and replanted them as a terrarium using empty jars and vases I found around the house.

SUBURBANETTE’S GUIDE TO TERRARIUMS:
1.Fill a clear glass bowl or vase with a wide opening with gravel
2. Add layer of cactus soil on top (You can also add layers of charcoal and sand but I could not find any at the store)
3. Make a hole with your fingers in the soil and add succulent
4. Decorate with additional air plants or cacti for color
5. For extra credit, add in decorative figurines. I am currently on a hunt for tiny vintage woodland creatures on Etsy but that will have to wait.
6. Make sure your terranium has lots of indirect sunlight and mist with water every two weeks. Do not cover or risk mold. I got a lot of covered jars for the wedding so expect a covered terrarium tutorial in the future!

*A few notes, if the roots of your succulents are damaged, leave them out to dry for five days or you will risk mold infection. Mine were punctured by florist wires so cross your fingers that my terrarium will be able to self sustain!

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As you can see, I went a little bit crazy with my terrarium making. I placed it on a crate that my dad made out of broken fence, added gold candlesticks, a Christmas ornament from Rob and I’s trip to San Diego, and a Lucky Bamboo plant that Rob’s mom potted for me using my vintage milk jug. So many pretty things in one little tray! I  I could burst from happiness staring at it.

PS: Friends and family, expect a terrarium for upcoming birthdays, housewarmings, and holidays.

 

Sweets for the Sweet

Posted by Suburbanette on August 21st, 2013

I am married!

Since I no longer have a wedding to plan and I am addicted to being constantly busy, I have decided to focus on my blog again. I’ll write more about the wedding when I come back from my newlywed high but today’s blog post is dedicated to something that I have been thinking of for a while — Agave Syrup.

Yes, the thought of sweetener substitute keeps me up at night. I am weird like that. My dad has been diagnosed with pre-diabetes so has been trying really hard to regulate his diet. I had known that agave syrup was evil for a while so I am still surprised when I see many health food blogs, recipe books, and even healthy appliance manufacturers touting agave syrup as an all-natural alternative to refined sugar.

It is easy to believe to when they use photos of Mexican farmers harvesting them from the desert and using words such as “organic” and “raw” to help move products from the shelves. But the truth is, agave syrup is not really better than any of the other artificial sweeteners that are out there.

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It really grinds my gears when quasi food celebrities use their name to tout a product without realizing the health implications it will have on the masses. People like my pops! This is truly irresponsible and ethically wrong.

For a more scientific information on why agave syrup is bad for you click here. To put it simply: Agave Syrup is another form of high fructose corn syrup and definitely not safe for diabetics.

Other better alternatives: Stevia or Raw, Organic Honey

A Date at Yards Park

Posted by Suburbanette on July 30th, 2013

Is it just me or is engagement photos a new phenomenon based on the popularity of photo sharing websites like Facebook? Before 2006, I never even knew that this type of service even existed but now it is pretty much a mainstay in every engaged couple’s wedding timeline.

I would have nixed this tradition if it was not a part of the package that I was able to negotiate with my wedding photographer Cassidy Duhon. I am not a fan of getting my picture taken (unless my mouth is open, I am making a funny face or squished between ten people) so I was nervous about the whole thing. I am super awkward and I am even more awkward when people are telling me what to do. Luckily for me, Cassidy made the whole experience playful and relaxed. I think towards the end of the shoot there may even have been a real genuine smile in there!

The location of our photo shoot is Yards Park which is right on the Southeast Waterfront. Rob and I could have chosen Georgetown or Old Town Alexandria as a location like most normal DC couples but at the end of the day…we all know that we’re a little bit more SE than NW. Besides, the Capital Riverfront is not at all like the SE of days passed. Located a hop, skip and away from Nats stadium it is filled with parks galore, restaurants, live music, and lots of culture. I definitely recommend stopping by if you are in the area sometime!

A Trip to the Hospital

Posted by Suburbanette on June 11th, 2013

So I know you what you must be thinking….is this a Noxzema commercial or what? But I actually have a way normal life! - Cher from Clueless

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With my blog, Facebook and Instagram it’s pretty easy to think that my life is a big hodge podge of macarons, trips to Anthropologie, rooftop parties, and nail painting sprees. I don’t like talking about sad stuff, it’s no fun and it puts me in a depressed mood. I wish my life WAS all glitter, sprinkles, and cupcakes but sometimes (most of the time) life hands you lemons. Exactly one month ago, Rob developed a high fever of 104 degrees and seizure like chills. He gets sick fairly easily so we assumed it would be gone in 24 hours and we would all go on our merry little way. Instead, he only got worse and needed round the clock care (In reality, I actually missed Kristina walk on graduation and her pinning ceremony. I was only able to step out to take the one photo in the image below and stepped out for two hours while Rob was knocked out on pain killers). We had to send him to the ER three times before he was finally admitted for a scary bacterial infection that had entered his bloodstream and had also affected his appendix. It was also kind of scary because he showed no symptoms of infection or appendicitis besides the fever so it was hard for the hospital to diagnose at first. Once they were able to pinpoint the problem they were able to treat him pretty quickly: a few IVs, a sugery, and two weeks of antibiotics he was finally home and feeling better.

Having being previously diagnosed with cancer, I always thought I would be the sick one in the relationship and I always felt guilty about the complications that might cause later down the road. While having Rob in the hospital was no peach, I felt like it taught me some very valuable lessons before we get married:

1) It is okay to not be able to do everything – I work from home so I luckily had the flexibility to give him the round the clock care that he needed. However after a while it got pretty exhausting! When he was at the hospital, even though I slept on a small couch (which I learned you can pull out the day we were discharged) I seriously had the best sleep of my life in years. Doctors were coming in at all hours of the night, drawing blood, asking questions and I had no idea — I was zonked out! Surprising because I can’t sleep anywhere without my special pillow and blankie (yes, I’m a five year old).

2) We are starting a family together – During this whole ordeal, Rob’s parents were on a three week European cruise vacation without any access to phone or internet. The first week I tried doing everything myself but my mom (who is a nurse) worried about Rob so she ended up checking on him while I was at a meeting and deciding immediately that he should go to the hospital (again) for additional blood work. Her quick thinking and concern was the reason they were able to diagnose the blood infection. She was also able to reach out to his aunties, his brother, and my sisters who were all able to watch over Rob when I had to cover two events that weekend. I have always been in the immature mind set thinking that it was HIS family and MY family and there was a big separation but for the first time I realized that we were in this together and now I have an extra big network of people who now love and care for us now. Also for the first time Rob called my parents “Mom” and “Dad.” Also, I think that is kind of weird because I still call them Mommy and Daddy (again, I am five years old). I honestly would not have been able to get through the three weeks he was sick without the help of family. While I sometimes dream of moving away to a far off city where nobody knows my name, it’s the though of my family that keeps me here.

3) We are in an equal relationship – For better or for worse. As I mentioned earlier, I have a lot of guilt for having had cancer and all the complications that it will cause later in my life. With Rob being sick, I realized that we are both equal partners and we both have no idea what is going to happen tomorrow. As long as we both stay grounded and understand that we love each other we will be good.

Welp, thats enough of me being emo. I promise the next entry will be about unicorns, glitter, and rainbows again!

*The photo above was taken when Rob was finally admitted in the hospital overnight. He has a fever of 104 degrees and just finished a crazy bout of chills but he is still smiling for the camera (he was miserable but I begged him to). Even though he is super sick in this photo, I still think he is so handsome. I am so lucky to be marrying him!

 

Graduation Day!

Posted by Suburbanette on May 16th, 2013

This morning, my youngest sister Kristina graduated from George Mason University’s nursing program with honors! This kid is amazing, for her internships she actually CHOSE to work at a prison and a mental institution. She is the only person I know who can talk about enlarged scrotums with fascination and intrigue. She is going to be a fantastic nurse!

Three kids down…two more to go. I am pretty sure my parents are relieved that they won’t have to pay college tuition for another five years.

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Because I have to make everything about me: I got kind of emo when taking photos by Mason pond with my family afterwards. Seven years ago, Rob and I graduated from Mason together. We were dating at the time but I honestly did not think anything of our relationship. I assumed that after that summer I would never see him again. I can’t believe we are getting married in three months.

Sari but Not Sari for This Selfie Post

Posted by Suburbanette on May 13th, 2013

I could never have a style blog because I am uncomfortable in any piece of clothing that is not a jersey shift dress or yoga pants (and since I only own two of them there would be an extreme lack of quality posts). However, I finally think I have found another piece of clothing that is worthy of joining my wardrobe full time.

May I present to you the sari: worn in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Burma, Malaysia, and Singapore, the sari signified the grace of Indian women adequately displaying the curves at the right places. [Thanks Wikipedia]

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Suffering from a lack of self-confidence my entire life, I unlike Maria never feel pretty, witty or gay. But in a sari, I felt like a princess! Saris are modern, worldly and full of bright, pretty colors that flatter yellow or brown skin tones. Forget my wedding dress, I want to get married in a sari.

I was able to don this pretty gown at the DC Jazz Festival Young Artists Series launch at the Residence of the Ambassador of India. And yes, it was as fancy as it sounds! I totally did not belong but I had a wonderful time listening to a fabulous jazz songstress named Marianne Solivan (Do yourself a favor and check her out on Spotify as well as check out the BILLIONS of free and ticketed concerts they are hosting around town June 5 – 16th).

 

Meet Me: The Human Pincushion

Posted by Suburbanette on April 10th, 2013

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So I thought that I was really good at handling stress. I got things done like a boss and my friends and family  are able to depend on me to fix things when they are broken, I could work two jobs and make it appear effortless (I hope!). But a few months ago I realized that while I was fine on the outside, I was a mess on the inside! Anxiety and stress about handling my personal life, health, work, and my upcoming nuptials were starting to take a toll in my body mostly in the form of mini panic attacks, mouth sores, and extreme exhaustion.

As I mentioned a while ago, I was raised in a house where stress and anxiety was a laughable first world problem so the fact that it started happening to me was a little bit scary.

I had always been interested in acupuncture but I never had time or money to actually partake in the treatment. When I finally found myself with some free time on my hands and my health insurance started adding acupuncture as one of its benefits, it was a no-brainer to sign myself up for a few sessions at East West Medicine in Falls Church.

My first meeting with Dr. Nguyen was two hours and included a whole body health assessment. She asked me questions about my health, checked the coating on my tongue and checked my pulse. In fact she was able to tell a whole lot about my body based on last two items. She noticed right away that I had a scalloped tongue which is due to something they call “dampness” in my body.

I was so relieved that she noticed this because my scalloped tongue had been a major source of pain for several years and it always led to huge canker sores which always came at the most inopportune times. It also took approximately THREE WEEKS to heal. Can you imagine not being able to talk properly for three weeks? If you thought I was quiet before, now you know why.

I had my treatment and within a day my sore started to go away. I had a major work event a few weeks later and I could feel a sore start to pop up so I started getting worried again but it also healed very quickly.

I have been seeing Dr. Nguyen every week for the past two months and she basically put the reset button on my body. She is teaching me how to relax which helps with the anxiety and teaching my body to heal itself. It is AMAZING what the human body can do. I have since then graduated to bi-monthly sessions.

So now that I’m done with my bit I am sure you have a few questions:- Does it hurt?: You will feel a little pinch but not really. The whole treatment is very relaxing.
-How long does it take? The first session is two hours and follow up sessions are about thirty minutes each.
-How many sessions should I have?: One session is not enough! You will need several maintenance sessions to keep up the progress in your body. Older people need more frequent sessions but if you are young and relatively healthy you should need less, but it is definitely an investment in time and money.
-What can acupuncture do for me? Treatment options include organ and blood strengthening, relaxation, smoking cessation, headaches and migraines, stomach problems, skin issues, chronic pain, etc.
-How much does it cost? Visit the East West Medicine website for more information.

Happy healthy living to you! And I hope you enjoy the treatment selfies I took when I should have been relaxing. :)

 

You’re a Mean Girl Cady! You’re a Mean Girl!

Posted by Suburbanette on April 9th, 2013

Since I started working from home a few months ago I started watching a lot of daytime television: Kathie Lee and Hoda, Michael and Kelly, The View, The Chew, Rachael Ray, Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, etc.

I am currently watching the Today Show and they are commenting on an article that was recently written about Mean Girls After High School in the Huffington Post.

I have been an adult for over five years now and find myself whole heartedly agreeing with this article. I have so many people who try to excuse their mean girl behavior by exclaiming that they are “keeping it real” or “just telling the truth.” There are ways to be tactful and truthful without being rude. You don’t have to agree with people and you can think people are idiots but using intimidation techniques and making people feel bad about themselves is not cool at all.

I am not a saint. I definitely get mean girl tendencies (although I usually keep it to myself or share the thoughts with close friends). But talking shit never makes me feel better, in fact it makes me feel more hateful and more resentful. Once you get in a shit talking cycle it is hard to stop. I noticed this happens when I am feeling insecure with myself or unhappy with my life. So instead of obsessing over other people, I am trying to focus on myself. Meditation, yoga, cooking, spending quality time with my boo. It really helps! When you are content with your life, happy thoughts will follow.

And thats my two cents.

 

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