Monday, October 15, 2018

Our Favorite Wedding Photos

Joseph and I got married in San Ramon, California earlier this August, and I'm so happy to be sharing some of the photos from that day with all of you! Enjoy 🤗

Joe picked out my engagement ring all on his own! I knew I wanted something unique with a vintage feel, and he did an excellent job. I went with a simple wedding band so it could stand out.

This wooden bridge was the perfect "first look" location, but my gown and veil got caught every time I moved. Luckily, you can't see any of the splinters on me but it was hard to ignore.

I took this seating chart idea from a wedding featured on Ruffled and just changed up the colors. The rose gold wall grid is from Amazon (I originally bought a larger one from Urban Outfitters but it was delivered bent out of shape) and I used the Uni Posca Paint Marker in 0.7mm to write all the guest names. It splatters a bit, so I wouldn't recommend it unless you're going for that effect. For the table names (they're all musicals!) I used the Uni Posca Paint Marker in 1.8~2.5mm.

It took me so long to write everything—I had to start over many times because the guest names weren't centered (and I ended up allowing some of them to be off-centered because I was getting tired)—but I love how it looks together. I wish it was hung from the ceiling instead of laying on the easel, but don't ask me how that would work 😂

The table cards were supposed to be displayed in little log holders (you can kind of see them in the picture below) but I think it would've been hard for our guests to read. Either way, the tables still look good!

This doughnut wall was another DIY project that Joe helped me with! We purchased all of our supplies from Home Depot (white pegboard + dowels) and sawed the dowels into pegs at the store. Joe's groomsmen were at our house the day before our wedding to help us finish preparing and they smoothed the pegs with sandpaper. We're so blessed to call them friends—they didn't complain one bit and kept asking, "what's next?" Our day wouldn't have been as beautiful without them.

I had to tuck my veil between my elbow and body right before walking down the aisle because there was a rose bush nearby, and I forgot to release it! I was trying too hard to keep from crying. (I still cried.) That's why you still see it sandwiched in the picture (left) above. It doesn't look too obvious though ... hopefully :p

If you're wondering what I'm saying in the picture (left) above ... "LOOK! The doughnuts!" If you recall that beautiful wall of doughnuts—there wasn't a single one left when we walked into the reception so we didn't get to see it in person! Luckily, our day-of coordinator asked us which ones we wanted so she could save us some. Bless her soul. But the sad part is that I didn't even finish mine 😭

I think the photo above (left) is my most favorite one from this set! Everything looks and feels natural, which is so hard to achieve, strangely enough, when people are watching.

One of our friends made our cake (you can see her other creations by searching @kneadandnourish on Instagram!) and she's actually in this picture. Well, half of her is 😆

Joe's sister was so kind as to choreograph our first dance. To stay with the musical theme, I chose "Can I Have This Dance" from High School Musical 3. And it turned out so well, our guests loved it! I can't wait to see what it looks like on video. We both agree that this was our best run-through, which is such a relief. What you don't see pictured: so many sweat and tears (from me) while practicing our dance. There was no rehearsal I came away with dry eyes. Neither of us are dancers, but Joe caught on a lot quicker than I did so his patience was definitely tested. If you truly want to know how much you love your partner, learn a dance together ... haha.

I was originally going to keep my gown on for the whole night, but practicing our dance was already difficult wearing workout clothes. So I bought this dress from BHLDN four days before! (I do not recommend last minute shopping.) It took one night to ship and my mom helped me alter the bottom since it was too long for me. Luckily, the material made it easy to do so with scissors. But my maid of honor had to trim more off the night before since I kept stepping on it during our last minute practice.

Okay, but why is my left hand like that? 😂

Photographer: Danya Chen Photography
Venue: The Bridges Golf Club
Dresses: Oleg Cassini (gown) + BHLDN
Bridesmaids' dress: Weddington Way
Earrings: Marchesa

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Book Review + Talk → To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Book 1 in the To All the Boys I've Loved Before trilogy

Release Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover // 355 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Links: Purchase from The Book Depository or AmazonAdd to Goodreads

"Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren't love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she's written. One for every boy she's ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control."

Right from the start, we see how close Lara Jean and her sisters are. Maybe it's because of their mother's passing, but the three of them hold tightly to each other despite some annoyances. Lara Jean would do anything for her older sister, Margot, and is devastated that she's flying to Scotland for school. But when she leaves, Lara Jean knows she needs to step into her shoes to be the older sister figure and take care of her younger sister, Kitty. I love that this wasn't a book that just focused on the main character and her love interest—her family was involved and played significant roles.

I started to read To All the Boys I've Loved Before in May 2015 but put it down after 30 pages because of two reasons: 1) it didn't capture my attention as well as I had hoped (in the moment) and 2) I thought Lara Jean sounded too childish. But this time around, I felt like I was reading with a different lens. Her stream of consciousness really highlighted her personality and made the story a little more light-hearted and entertaining. Who am I to say how she should be acting and talking at her age? Maybe there are circumstances in her life that cause her to be that way. And I don't doubt that there are some sixteen-year-olds who can relate to Lara Jean. Looking back, I see a lot of myself in her. I, too, preferred staying home, I didn't go out to parties, and I DEFINITELY did not have experience with boys.

This is the first book in a long time (or ever?) that made me want to start over from the beginning after I finished the last page. To All the Boys I've Loved Before was more than just a romance—it included so much about familial love and just navigating the realities of high school. It was fun, and the characters were perfectly imperfect. Boys are not always gonna be as swoon-worthy and precious as we hope. And I forgot to mention all the Korean traditions and cultural elements! I love that it's included in this story but it's not the focus of it. Lara Jean must face the consequences of her exposed love letters and she just happens to be half-Korean.

If you couldn't tell by now, I absolutely loved To All the Boys I've Loved Before. What an excellent rom-com!!!


Other books/series by Jenny Han: The Burn for Burn trilogy, ShugThe Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy

Okay friends, everything I talk about
under this warning will be filled with spoilers!
If you haven't read To All the Boys I've Loved Before yet,
please stop looking any further and go pick up the book!


I've never known Margot to chicken out before, but I suppose in matters of the heart, there's no predicting how a person will or won't behave. (p. 11)

"Okay, okay. You know I didn't mean it like that. I just mean that you should give people a chance to know you." Josh points the remote control at me and says, "If people knew you, they would love you." He sounds so matter-of-fact. Josh, you break my heart. And you're a liar. Because you know me, you know me better than almost anybody, and you don't love me. (p. 223)

He's expecting me to say yes. I want to say yes, but I don't want to be with a boy whose heart belongs to somebody else. Just once, I want to be somebody's first choice. (p. 311)

Around three a.m. I throw away Peter's notes. I delete the picture of him from my phone; I delete his number. I think that if I just delete him enough, it will be like none of it ever happened and my heart won't hurt so badly. (p. 328)


AHHHHHH. I totally cringed while I was reading this scene but also it was kind of entertaining?! Lara Jean was completely out of her element. I really wanted to see this play out on screen, but alas ... ALSO I can't believe she said "thank you" AND PETER SAID "YOU'RE WELCOME." AND THEN IT BECOMES A THING. CUE "START OF SOMETHING NEW" FROM HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL.

I LOVE the relationship between Peter and Kitty. Almost more than I love Lara Jean and Peter together, to be honest. I love that he calls her Katherine!!! And I love that their love for each other is suffocating at times 😂

I had mixed feelings about Peter throughout the entire book—I'm pretty sure I only liked him when he was interacting with Kitty lol. He didn't really treat Lara Jean that well, but I GET IT because he's been explicit from the beginning on how he feels about Gen. It's not a secret to anyone and he's being honest, but I still felt terrible for Lara Jean ... no girl wants to be second place. But when they're together and Peter's not talking about Gen, I love the dynamics between them. They work so well together! Peter is used to girls swooning over him and in comes Lara Jean, someone who will not and does not take his crap.


Yes to this whole thing. He woke up early and brought her donuts!!! He negotiated with the man so Lara Jean could have the one reindeer ornament!!! It was such a sweet and carefree moment.

I also really loved everything that happened on Halloween and that whole scene with the dancing and Christmas cookies but it all blurs together in my mind so I cannot put my feels into words. AND THEN THAT ENDING HAPPENED ...

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

August Recap → I have a husband now + going back to school?!

highlights + notes
  • Joe and I got married the first weekend of August!!! I'm going to try my best to put up a post detailing everything. But right now, I'm so relieved to not have to think about anything wedding-related anymore. (Aside from our thank you cards, which will probably take us a long while to write ... but we have time!)
  • We left for our honeymoon two days later and visited Paris, Milan, Rome, London, and Walt Disney World! Let's just say I'll be sharing so many pictures in September :p
  • I started working again the day after we got back—I'm now an aide at a public library! I've been there since the middle of July and it's something I wanted to do in addition to my freelance work. Also, I decided to go back to school to get a masters in library and information science to become a librarian! I submitted my application the weekend we got back and now I'll be going back to school in January. Thankfully, it's an online program so I can learn from the comfort of my own home and still continue working at the library. It's kind of funny because I told myself I didn't want to go back to school when I graduated four years ago ... but if it's to be a librarian, I'm more than willing to. I know it's going to be a lot of work, but I'm really excited. Writing this down so when I'm drowning in papers, I can come back and check myself 😂

books i read IN AUGUST 📚

ONE book read // 355 pages

I knew I wanted to read To All the Boys I've Loved Before before watching the movie, so I brought it with me on our honeymoon. But I actually finished it when we got back, mostly because one of our friends LOVED the movie and he wanted to talk about it 😂

favorite music (of summer) 🎵

Lost in Japan - Shawn Mendes
Girls Like You (feat. Cardi B) - Maroon 5
2002 - Anne-Marie
Homesick - Dua Lipa
Say Amen (Saturday Night) - Panic! At The Disco
Dying in LA - Panic! At The Disco
The Way I Am - Charlie Puth
Boo'd Up - Ella Mai
Enemies - Lauv
no tears left to cry - Ariana Grande
God is a woman - Ariana Grande


Tell me about your August/summer highlights!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

September TBR

Hi friends!

So much has happened during these past couple of months ... I didn't read a single page for at least six weeks 😳

But before I tell you all where I've been and what I've been up to, here's what I plan to read in September! I know it's a lofty goal, but I'm itchin' for some really good reads :)


Warcross by Marie Lu
Alexa has been non-stop championing this book, so I know it'll be an excellent read!

Vicious by V.E. Schwab
I always wait so long to read books I KNOW are gonna be good ... but I haven't been spoiled yet, so I better get to it before it happens 😅

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
This one is going to be a doozy ...

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I tried reading this one a couple of years ago and it may have just been bad timing, but I couldn't get through it. 100% willing to try it again, since *so* many people love it.


Believe Me by J.P. Delaney
I didn't get to my early copy from NetGalley because July was so busy for me, but I still want to read and review it. The Girl Before, Delaney's debut novel, was really good.

Contagion by Erin Bowman
I've read an embarrassingly low number of sci-fi/space books, and I told y'all I wanted to read this one soon ... note to self: MAKE IT HAPPEN. I can't be going around, telling people I love sci-fi only having read a handful on the subject 🙄

Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer
This one is a maybe (hopefully) since I'm not sure I'll be able to get it from my library in time. I won't be bummed to push this one back to October though—I think it'll be the perfect read for Halloween since it's on the dark side.


City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
Another Schwab book I'm hoping to get to. I've heard all sorts of good things from Emma and Madalyn at Novel Ink!

Midnight in the Piazza by Tiffany Parks
I'm working at a public library (more on that soon!) and have been particularly interested in the middle grade reads, so I wanted to try and pick a book to read each month—not based on reviews or anything I see about it online, but just by the blurb (and I'll be honest, the cover too.) Right when I saw "ROME" in the summary, I knew this would be my September choice. It was one of the cities my husband and I visited during our honeymoon!

Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
To be honest, I'm not too interested in this book ... but Mary Poppins Returns is coming out in December and it's a MUSICAL. That LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA is in. So sign me up 😂


Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan + P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han


What are you planning to read this month?