Pink Argyle Gets a Facelift

This month, I reached 500 posts. Can you believe it? For someone that gets tired of shoes after a few wears, three years and 500 posts--that's real love.

As a treat to myself and the blog, I contacted Joy of HoyJoyful Design Studio, to spruce up what I originally designed in 2007, and she designed this beautiful layout for me. The space is much wider to accommodate bigger photos, and I now have links up at the top so that popular posts (like our wedding) can be retrieved with more ease.

There is going to be some construction around here (ie, actually tagging posts...you'd think a someone studying to become a librarian would be more organized, heh...) as I move things around and add content, but I am very excited about all the changes around here in my cyber space.

Stay tuned for more changes! Thanks Joy!



Cardstore.com Review, Sweet Street Gals Gift Tag

Well girls and a few boys, it's officially the holiday season. *cue the bells chiming* Despite my holiday blues and inordinate amount of time spent lying in bed, I take refuge in the visual feast of gift wrap, ornaments, pretty baked goods, glittering lights, and trees that have proliferated all of the retail spaces I like to call my third place. I swear, any holiday that promotes hot chocolate, velvet wrapping paper, and loads of glitter gets two thumbs up from me.

My first piece of business on my holiday to-do list? Gift tags!

[Tag from Cardstore.com, design by Sweet Street Gals]

Cardstore.com had me choose a gift tag to review, and I chose this adorable design from Sweet Street Gals, a creative duo that has the cutest of designs. Check out their blog for more!

For $15, you receive
1. 25 gift tags, 2 x 3 (about the size of a business card), with color on both sides
2. Options for personalization (in some cases a photo, and your signature)
3. a case to carry your cards

I used it to decorate my first wrapped present (I LOVE wrapping presents!) to my niece:

[This case keeps them safe.]

[And here is the back of the card, which I think is just as cute as the front]

For those of you still hemming and hawing about where to get your paper goods, here's my two cents about cardstore.com:

+Love love love the design choices from a lot of different designers
+I also appreciate the good amount of "holiday" vs. "Christmas" designs
+I really liked the design I chose, especially that there are two sides of color
+The packaging was really cute, with a sturdy box and the carrying case shown above
+All of the printing is eco-conscious. For more details, see here.
+Changing the photo and text was easy on their website.
+Hooray for Berkeley, California companies!

+I would have liked a heavier weight, and I realize that it probably isn't printed on a heavier weight because 1. then you can't punch a hole through it and string ribbon through if you want to, and 2. the price point would go up, and 3. it makes it harder to put the tag on a fridge, if the recipient wants your pretty faces on the fridge with other cards. Maybe another option for designs on, say, a kraft board or thicker spongier paper, would be a nice addition to the collection?

+I think the tag is a little small, but maybe that's just because I think we're really cute and it's hard to tell on the tag. :)

Overall, cute product that will bring more holiday cheer to all your wrapped goodies this season.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you to my coworkers, who did not finish the pumpkin tart (above) I brought for yesterday's party. Mmmmmm....

(For your own pumpkin tart, visit Opera Patisserie in Sorrento Valley.)

I'm going to be spending time with the boy tomorrow at Disneyland, where we're spending Thanksgiving dinner at Blue Bayou and eating Mickey beignets. I can't wait to spend some quality time together before the work rush hits us both before the holiday season. Oy.

Happy Thanksgiving my lovely readers! Hope it's full of lots of good food and loved ones.


On Not Doing Chores

Chores are an issue in our home. I wish I could write that the boy does just as many chores as I do. I wish I could say that he actually knows how to clean the shower and that he cleans the litter box on a whim just to surprise me. I'll admit, I think he's better than some--he'll take out the trash, vacuum, do his own laundry. But it's minimal work, and as a result, I've just stopped caring as much too. What has happened is that neither one of us puts much effort into making our apartment more...homey. It makes me explode periodically.

This week, in an effort for more chore equity, the boy made a Google spreadsheet with all the chores that needed to be done. [This is how much we're tied to our computers. While I was doing work at home, and he was doing work at work, we were chatting in Google docs and filling this spreadsheet out online. I'm sure normal people would sit down with a pad and pen. In the same room. Face to face.]

So far, the cat has finished her chores (cuddling and cleaning herself) but I'm slowly working through mine. I think I managed to take out the trash and do some laundry. *pats self on back*

How do you divide up chores? Anyone track your chores on Google docs like us nerds? How do people keep their homes clean??


20% Off Personalized Holiday Tags and Cards

I started my holiday shopping today, and like any paper lover, I need a cute piece of parchment to let that lucky someone know that she has been gifted. Earlier I blogged about Tiny Prints, but was unaware of Cardstore.com, which carries customizable products from a few of my favorite letterpress printers: Hammerpress, dutch door design, and (San Diego-based) Delphine. I've been given the opportunity to review their personalized holiday tags and can't wait to get mine in the mail and check out the print quality and design.

[Both tags from Simple Te (a new fave designer of mine, check out her blog here) for Cardstore.com]

If you are looking for cute holiday tags or cards, for Pink Argyle readers, receive 20% off at Cardstore.com with the code CSHOLIDAY20.




Thanksgiving Plans

[See how to make a turkey-shaped cake, and other Thanksgiving recipes, on the CRAFT blog]

CRAFTzine has a whole slew of recipes on its blog in time for Thanksgiving (click here to view how to make the adorable turkey above!) and it got me thinking about last year's turkey that we made. We were so domestic, I almost can't believe we did it. I still remember, 1 in the morning, the two of us arguing with turkey goop and ice water up to our elbows, which end was the front. (I was right, by the way.)

This year, we're staying close to our apartment again and spending Thanksgiving at Disneyland, mainly because we only have a few days to spare and don't want to fight everyone else at the airport, and also because...well...we like Disneyland. :)

What are your Thanksgiving plans? Anyone else escaping to the magic kingdom?



The Boy Has a Birthday + Happy Monday

I love these new shoes of mine, and yesterday I paired them with these purple tights for the boy's birthday at Sushi Ota, which you should all try if you're in the area (just make a reservation at the sushi bar!) He absolutely loved it--a no-fuss, sake-filled gourmet birthday without any cheesy singing.

[Top: salmon belly and unknown white fish, Middle: red bean ice cream, Bottom: stuffed persimmon, organic vegetables, lobster, urchin mixed with spicy cod, and a cracker with sardine eyes (no joke!)]

I was reminiscing about his very first birthday with me. We had just started dating, and I gathered people together for a party, even though I didn't know anyone. Back then I didn't obsessively take pictures of my food so I don't remember the exact details, but if I tried to organize something after only dating for one month, I must have really liked him. :)

Hope everyone has a great week!


French Toast Friday

Today's French toast is brought to you by the fabulous peeps at Lockwood Table in Solana Beach.
I had a wonderful morning there with my girlfriend, whose birthday is tomorrow! We LOVED it, the coffee was great, the french toast with agave syrup (yuuum!) was delicious, and it was peaceful and sunny. Definitely a good stop for San Diegans looking for someplace unique and quaint.

[Grilled brioche french toast from Lockwood Table]

[A birthday bouquet of gerbera daisies]

[Lockwood Table had this cool vertical garden next to the seating area. I could hear the trickle of water from where we sat and it was very soothing while we dined.]

Sigh...and now it's back to doing my dreaded research paper. Can't I just eat french toast in the sun while telling stories and giggling all day long? What an unfair world.
Well, enough of my complaining, I hope that you have a wonderful weekend, and please think of me while you're out having fun. =)



You Don't Look Like A Spouse

"You don't look like a spouse."

That's honestly what someone just said to me when meeting me for the first time. I was introduced as the boy's wife, and this is what that person decided to say to me. Not hi. Not nice to meet you. Not what's up? He decided to address me with clearly the most logical greeting you would give someone you just met: "You don't look like a spouse."

Le sigh. I've complained about looking young on here before (I'm pretty sure that's what this person was referring to, unless of course he thought I looked like no one would possibly want to marry me, then that's an entirely different complaint,) and I'm constantly told it's a compliment, but really, I don't know when it's a compliment when the person thinks I look like I'm in high school. One embarrassing time in high school when I was on a date, the person at the ticket counter assumed I needed a child's ticket. Mmmm...compliment? I think not.

Has anyone ever told you you're too young to be married?

Our Donated Wedding Flowers

[Our flowers, ready for a new home!]

[All packed up in the mini-van]

[A Blooms From the Heart volunteer dropping the flower pots off at a local nursing home, photos courtesy of Blooms From the Heart]

As recommended by our florist Rae Florae, we donated our mini potted roses to Blooms From the Heart. It was super easy to work with them. I just left the flowers under the tent, they came and picked them up, and brought them to a local nursing home. If you're having a wedding in San Diego, I highly recommend working with them as it was a piece of cake and you know your flowers are going to a worthy new home!

But, if you are donating, I also recommend making an announcement at the reception! What I didn't anticipate was that people actually wanted to take the flower pots home. Back in 2009 at my sister's wedding, I was begging people to take flowers. Pleading. A couple of people even gave me attitude. As a result, flowers got trashed.

But at our wedding, I had to ask my Mom and sisters to request that people put a couple of the pots back, as I had told the organization we would have 75-90 pots for them. We ended up donating 25, but probably could have donated more if I had said something (whoops, my bad).

In any case, if you can, donate your flowers! Ours ended up in a very happy home.


You Don't Need To Impress Anyone Anymore, You're Married

These were the exact words he used the last time I mentioned putting any effort into an outfit. I also like "why are you putting on makeup to go grocery shopping??" and "why are you wearing that, I'm not even going to be at this party!" or "Awww, you're wearing a sweatshirt and jeans. This is the girl I fell in love with." Le sigh.

Back to the point, I don't really understand his argument of letting yourself go just because you got married. Because I'm married I should stop exercising, plucking my eyebrows, shaving my legs, getting regular haircuts, and wearing make-up? It sounds a little too close to my habits in college, and thank goodness I've stepped it up in terms of grooming since then. (Someone should have also burned those black loafers I used to wear, oh em gee were those ugly shoes.)

I mean, it really assumes that the entire time we were together before marriage, I was taking care of myself so that I could keep him attracted until we got married...or it could also mean that I was in peak condition JUST IN CASE someone cuter and more desirable walked through the door and I needed to look cute in case he wanted to whisk me away. (I know, totally not possible, right?) In any case...

I'm not letting myself go. (At least for this first year of being newlyweds.) First on my holiday list of still caring about the way I look is this top.

Which will look super hot with skinny jeans. And these shoes.

And yes. Sometimes putting on lipstick is necessary to go grocery shopping.


Noon Designs, Solana Beach Grand Opening!

[I love the earrings: Sterling silver german leaves, Swarovski crystal earrings, Grecian pearl earrings (what I gave to my sisters at the wedding!) Photos from Noon Designs.]

Back in August, I had the pleasure of visiting Noon Designs in Ocean Beach, a super cute store featuring independent designers like Acute Designs and Naiad Soap Arts. {You can see photos of the shop here on my guest post for Chic 'n Cheap Living!}

Noon Designs is now expanding to Solana Beach, and they're giving everyone 25% off at their grand opening party on November 18th from 4-8 PM! In addition, if you visit the Ocean Beach store from 4-8 PM this Thursday and bring a canned good, you will also receive 25% off.

For locations, click here for the shop addresses.

I plan on attending the Solana Beach party, come join me if you're in the San Diego area! Hope to see you there. =)

It's Monday...

[My new slippers, Rowlf and Benji]

...and I wish I was still wearing my slippers, but I'm going to make the most of it.

Happy Monday everyone, here's to a great week!


Mo+Boy Tie the Knot: Thank You Readers

[Our sweetheart table, the wreaths we made still in place]

[The tent glowing after the sun went down]

Well Pink Argyle readers, like all good things, my wedding recaps are coming to an end. Tragically, for the most part, you will now have to read *dun dun dun* about my very boring everyday life. It involves a cat and a lot of sitting at a computer.

I'm honestly a little sad. So many of you have loyally followed along, lent advice and support along the way, and kept me sane in my craziest of moments. No one else quite understands how it is conceivably possible to have a freak-out about a cake topper or have your budget busted because your dress doesn't fit. For that, I'm so grateful you understand. It's been totally fun. And even more fun when I could share it with you all. Thank you.

Planning a wedding? Have fun with it, and try not to stress so much about keeping up with the Joneses (or the Changs.) In the end, you'll still be married and your friends and family will still love you, with or without ice sculptures or swans waddling around the tulip border.

I leave you with some photos I took the day after the wedding. Normal, everyday Mo posts to commence shortly!


[I put my beautiful bouquet in water. I loved that huge peony so much, and the next day it really blossomed open.]

[One detail I never shared--this is the notebook I bought for our officiant to hold. Our vows and the transcript for the ceremony are written inside, and I think I might use it as a scrap book for the polaroids and notes people wrote at the wedding. I glued the ribbon to front and back to have it match our theme.]

[Our 65 leftover cupcakes. Holy cupcake, Batman!]



A Long Distance Marriage

[In a long distance relationship? Miss a friend? Send 'em this adorable letterpress postcard from rarrarpress]

Before you jump to any conclusions, no, I'm not moving. I'm still here in our home in San Diego, and have the luxury of getting take-out with the boy on any random weeknight, and waking up and having him there everyday. We do things like take turns getting the mail, driving the other one to work, sharing groceries, being available to hang out together with friends. We don't fly or drive in order to see each other. We share the same address.

Thank goodness, because long distance is HARD.

Twice we have been long distance, both times were because I moved away, both times were miserable. There's no feeling like being away from your love for 6-10 weeks at a time and then seeing each other after trying to talk on the phone, write emails, and send care packages in the mail. (For anyone taking notes, Godiva chocolates delivered to your doorstep in a heart-shaped box are a pretty great surprise.)

So why in the world would I even be thinking about moving away, especially since I wrote this post about following him? While thinking of my next career steps in the next few years, I decided to torture myself and look at options in other cities. And because I love hypothetical scenarios, my next thought was, would it be possible to move by myself and be married? What if I applied to a job somewhere else, and it was such a great opportunity that I couldn't pass it up? Because of his obligations, the possibility of the boy following me, ever, are slim. It would mean having a long distance marriage and waiting for that fateful day when we would share an address again.

Have you ever been in a long distance relationship? What do you think about a married couple living apart to pursue their careers?


Japan Honeymoon: Exploring Kyoto, the last day

Our last day in Kyoto was spent at Kikusui Ryokan where we had a traditional kaiseki meal. The boy told me this was supposed to have a garden view, but I had no idea we would have our very own room with such a beautiful garden. It was quite romantic of him, he planned where to go and had help from the owner at our hotel. They chose this place because she said I would like the view (thanks Hisako!)

I have to admit, I have no idea what I ate for 75% of the meal, so please excuse my lame excuse at captions. Onto the food!

[I didn't want to make any noise because it was dead quiet in there. We were scared to move because shuffling around made too much noise.]

[Noodles...squid?...and.....leeks?? I don't know, but I ate it!]

[Aha, this is lavender on top. However, everything else underneath is unidentifiable to me...]

[This was so pretty, much better than that sheet of paper I get when I order a taco at Rubio's.]

[Again, I wish I could tell you what this is! But the green thing is in the shape of a leaf!]

[Mo conquers fish.]

[Tempura in a cute little basket]

[The grapes in Japan were SO GINORMOUS! And they peeled them for us!]


[A closer look at the beautiful garden]

[A fond farewell to Japan]

Well, this *sniff* concludes my honeymoon recaps. While the boy and I trudge along in workaholic mode *sniff*, we continue to dream of our next vacation.

Where's your next dream vacation?

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