Our First Christmas Tree

Bub and I have been celebrating Christmas together since 2005. That’s a long time. And this year marks our first Christmas as a married couple. It makes me feel warm and cozy inside.

We went to church today, the first in months for him, as he’s worked every Saturday since the end of May. On our way to lunch afterwards, I took a quick photo of us and promptly put it on my private Instagram account but will go ahead and show ya here.

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He wore the suit pants, tie, and shoes he wore on our wedding day. I wore a dress that really belongs to my sister but I’ve kept for a few years now πŸ˜‰

I like being married. Yes, we’ve only been married for just over 5 months now, so we’re certainly not pros or anything at this whole marriage thing. However, we have been together for nearly 10 years now and have practically been living together for over 2. But the fact that we’re married now, well, it’s just a whole different ball game. Not much has changed in our relationship, but at the same time, it has. Even our families treat us differently. I know marriage isn’t for everyone, but I’m most definitely glad he and I have taken this step and this ultimate level of commitment.

Like I’ve mentioned before, we live in a very small space. It being so small, we hardly have any room except for our basic necessities of bed, desk, dressers, standup wardrobe for me, and an entertainment center that also acts as a book shelf and storage area. That’s it. We still have a majority of our wedding presents (unopened) in a neat pile that you hardly notice πŸ˜‰

With that being said, we knew we absolutely could not fit a decent Christmas tree in here. But we knew we wanted some sort of a tree. So we went to Home Depot last week and found a cut little thing, some cute mini ornaments, got a 2014 ornament, and threw on a strand of 20 mini lights…

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In’nt it cute? It stands at about a mighty 2 feet and we plan to plant it in his parents field after Christmas. I love our little tree. It may be tiny and may not look like much (especially during the day), but it’s our first tree and I love it.

xo, Briana

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It’s Almost Christmas?!

Christmas is in officially 2 weeks and 1 day! And I am nowhere near ready. Haha. Although Bub and I did get our first stockings for our little place. I’ll show them once our place is a bit more festive and ready to see.

One reason we have yet to get ready and actually start shopping is my honey and his twin sister recently just celebrated their 28th birthday! I can’t believe he’s 28 already! It’s hard to imagine because when we started dating, he was 18 and I was 16. Yikes!

We were lucky to go to Disneyland on their birthday as his twin has an annual pass and her boyfriend does as well. We ate dinner at the famous Blue Bayou (which was delicious), did some swing dancing, saw fireworks, and hit up a bunch of the rides.

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The day before their birthday, we actually spent some time at the Disneyland hotel and pool as his family was spending time there. The weather was cloudy but still warm!

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Now that we’re all Disney-ed out and celebrated their birthday’s, I am ready to get this holiday season going!

First things first… at-home manicure!

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This lovely color is OPI in Under The Mistletoe πŸ™‚ It’s wonderfully sparkly and festive.

Have you all started getting ready for Christmas? I feel like I’m lagging (which I am…)!

xo, Briana

‘Murica! An OOTD

Seeing as how tomorrow is the blessed 4th of July aka Independence Day, I thought I’d get a little festive!

I recently bought this fantastic t-shirt at Cotton On (which happens to be Australian) and also painted my nails to be a little patriotic.

"Freedom Forever"

“Freedom Forever”

I mean, how awesome and majestic is this shirt?

I’m being completely serious by the way. I totally love this. It makes me feel like I need to listen to Journey or Bon Jovi or something like that.

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Last year I did a (poor) nail art design but this year I thought I’d keep it simple.

Hello

Hello

I also thought I’d show my makeup but again, you can’t hardly tell… Thanks camera! Haha. I am also slightly out of focus on my right eye… I did my hair up in a pony tail for two reasons.

1) My hair is dirty
2) It’s hot.

Pretty simple, right?

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and a good ol’ classic (dirty) mirror shot. And no, I’m not flexing my calf muscle there. That’s a streak on the mirror that is probably from my niece after she touched it…

Happy 4th of July everyone! Have fun celebrating and be safe!

xo, Briana

It’s That Time Of Year Again

It’s January. Where everyone decides to create their personal resolutions, whether it’s getting healthier or getting a better job. Or perhaps not create any resolutions, for whatever reason.

I’m one of those. I never made resolutions. I already have my goals, whether short-term or long-term. I don’t need a new year to set them.

I know New Years was a few days ago, but how was your NYE’s anyway? The boyfriend and I spent it with a fun group of friends, catching up and whatnot. We all got caught up in whatever we were doing, that we barely had two minutes to spare before realizing it was nearly midnight. Midnight came and it, with noise makers and of course I got my kiss!

If you recall, I spent last year in Morro Bay with my boyfriend, since he was working and living in Central California at the time. But due to his daily schedule, he was asleep by 10:30 that night and I ended up watching TV by myself and waking him up at midnight. He feel asleep again within 5 minutes, while I answered texts and calls from family. Some people will read that and go, “aww, how sad!” but really, I look back at it and laugh. I was just happy to be with him.

Well, back to the point of this post. Resolutions. A new year. Goals. Reflection. Stuff like that.

I’ve been reading a few other blogs that I follow and a lot of them are all on this last year and the upcoming year. And yes, it made me look back at this last year. I’ve had wonderful moments of happiness and excitement from doing new things (fishing in Alaska, starting nursing school), meeting new people, boyfriend moving home after 6 months of living 5+ hours away. And of course we all have the downs in life. This last year was no exception. I won’t go into detail, but I know I put in a recent post that this last year was probably one of my most trying years, in terms of emotions and whatnot.

But I will reitterate that in the end, I learned that I am the one in charge of how I feel. Ultimately, I can choose to be happy with myself because I am doing what I love, or can I tell myself “no”, putting myself last. Let me tell you something… That doesn’t work.

Just saying.

Anyway. My boyfriends twin sister asked us (boyfriend+me)Β  last night what are plans and goals are for this year. I simply stated “school” and he said “fire job.”

We’re to the point.

Honestly though, school is my priority, while his is the continuing pursuit of a fire job. We are continuing on our quest and while it may be hard at times, we push and encourage each other the whole way through. We do not allow each other to give up.

I start school again the 14th and I’m mildly dreading it. The first half of the semester is going to be a rather hellish schedule, but I know it will go by fast! …Right? At least the last half will be easier, in terms of schedules and driving. I look forward to it.

Well, it’s close to midnight and I’ve only been home for a few hours since driving home from Mammoth Lakes. I’ve been there since the 2nd. I’m tired. My body hurts from 6 hours of sitting in a car and a snow mobile ride this morning! Oh, and sledding yesterday. And was it worth it?

You betcha.

Here’s to you 2013! 2012, I’m glad you’re in the past. I’m ready to move on…

xo, Briana

Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

How are your Thanksgiving plans going? Have you already celebrated? I have two dinners to attend tomorrow, my family’s and of course the boyfriends family. I have pumpkin pies baking right now and then I’ll be moving onto an apple cake, rather than an apple pie. Change things up a bit.

For this post, I thought I’d write about a few things I’m thankful about.

The last few months I think I’ve been the most thankful for a lot of things, for multiple reasons. Nursing school has that kind of impact on you mentally. Ha. So here goes!

1) Family. I know that is an easy one to say, but it’s very true. They fully support me in school and life in general. They never put me down for my choices and only offer support and comfort. Yes, we disagree on things and offer advice as well, but no matter what is going on, I know I always have their support. This includes my parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, my boyfriends family as well, and so on. Without you guys, I wouldn’t have a bed, a roof over my head, a car, food, or anything really! Haha. No, but really, I would be nothing without any of you. You have helped me grow into the person I am today.

2) My boyfriend. Another easy one, but a very important one! Unlike my family, I have chosen to be with him! Haha! But seriously. He guides me, comforts me, holds me, pushes me, encourages me, loves me, and all that good stuff a good man will do for ya. We’ve been celebrating many Thanksgiving dinners together (since 2005!) and I am only looking forward to more πŸ™‚ This year I’m especially thankful for him since his job earlier this year took him away from home for so long. I appreciate our time together more than ever. He encourages me on bad school days. He loves me for who I truly am and never puts me down. Love you babe!

3) School. I wroteΒ a blog post a year ago regarding school and the future. I can’t believe how much as changed since that. I had just applied to the school that I am currently attending, not thinking anything would have actually happened. I had applied before and was denied. But ohmygoodness am I thankful how things worked out. I really feel like I’m learning so much and am confident with where I’m at. I have wonderful instructors who never put us down. My classmates are awesome and I know I’ll be friends with them beyond nursing school. But more than anything, I’m thankful for this opportunity I’ve been given. The drives may be long, as well as my days (wake up call at 3:50 am anyone?), but I know it’s worth it. I’ll be graduating in just 18 months and I know I’ll come out an RN soon after that. I cannot wait!

4) You guys πŸ™‚ I love writing a blog post and then seeing the Likes I get and especially the comments! Thankfully I have not received any negative comments, so each one is a joy to me! I may not get a lot of likes or comments on every post, that just makes each one more special to me. I know some of my posts might bore a few of you, but then I know when I write about food or makeup, I’ve made someone smile. Haha. I really do appreciate each and every one of you that has taken the time to read my little blog. I love you all!

Happy Thanksgiving my friends!

Huge love and hugs,
Briana

Just A Couple of Things

Hello loves,

Just a few words to say, hi! How’s everyone three-day weekend? Did you go anywhere? Maybe have a BBQ? Or shop?

I happened to go camping Saturday/Sunday. Saturday consisted of lots of hiking, campfires, peeing behind small bushes thanks to no running water, and then experimenting with long exposure on a friends camera. I was a subject in the pictures along with everyone else. Pictures looked awesome. But I don’t have them :-/

Morning coffee. Thanks Del Taco. It was good..?

We went to an area called Painted Canyon, near Mecca, which is right next to the Salton Sea, about an hour+ drive from my house. Got it? Okay good. Anyway, there are plenty of areas to hike, which is what we did. Hike.

The boyfriend and I climbed up to a peak near our site, which took us about 3 hours. It could have taken us just 1 hour but because going down is always more difficult than going up, it took us a while. We had to reroute ourselves a couple of times heading down. Not to mention the terrain was compacted sand, which would crumble on occasion, whether it’s your foothold or where you hands are placed. Makes things interesting. Totally felt like Bear Grylls though at some point, unnecessarily climbing up an extremely steep and sandy section because we couldn’t go around. Haha!

The hills and canyons look like someone just pushed them together.

The best part of our hiking was the ladder hike. You go into a canyon with amazing rocks and scenery. At one point, you go “off” trail(not really) and climb a few rocks then climb ladders that have been placed against huge rocks. You climb a few rocks and your in a new section of the canyon. You just hike through all of this for about an hour then you get to the top, where the view is awesome. From there, you go back down into the canyon. In that section of the canyon you find out why it’s called “Painted Canyon.” There are these rocks that look like someone took a paintbrush with white paint and just went at it on the rocks. It’s so beautiful. There are horizontal and vertical lines. Or it’s just a solid white rock. But no photo evidence 😦

Unfortunately, I hardly have any pictures from it because:

1) I don’t have my camera. My dad has it. He’s been gone on business since Thursday and shall arrive home tomorrow. Er, today.
and
2) What pictures I did take or are in (eh?) are on my sweetie’s iPhone. He is now 4+ hours away. And I forgot to upload them to my computer because I came home today with a wonderful migraine and could only think of crawling back in bed. I’m not sure I was even awake when I said goodbye to the manfriend. Sad face.

Man, I am slacking in the picture taking. Argh!

Morning light.

The boyfriend has a lot more pictures on his phone, but like I said, I forgot to upload them. I’ll try to get those from him asap!

Moving on…

Before I head out (it’s close to 1am here), I just wanted you all to know I have a new lust.

Michael Kors. I’ll take a watch or a bag. But I have plenty of bags, so I’ll take the watch for now. Here’s what I like:

Tortoise shell.

another tortoise shell.

I LOVE this espresso color πŸ™‚

The last one is my absolute favorite. I love, love, LOVE the color.

Well loves, it’s late and I have isht to do tomorrow. Er, today!

Have a wonderful week loves!

xo
Briana

 

New Year in Central California

As many of you know, my cadet is working in central California as a “site safety health officer” aka on-site EMT for a construction site, specifically a solar field. He’s been at this job for five weeks now and has his own apartment, with a roommate. What an adult! His roommate is also an employee of the same company, but runs a water truck.

This last weekend (New Year’s Eve) he decided to stay at his place, but because we didn’t want to spend NYE apart, I made the 4+ hour drive to be with him. I was excited not only to see his apartment for the first time, but to make such a drive by myself. If you know California, going to central California usually requires driving up the I-5, which goes through the Grapevine, a long pass which occasionally gets shut down due to hectic weather. Fortunately, the weather could not have been better.

For the most part.

Driving the I-5. Smog, haze, and pesticides. Yum!

The 198, driving to the beach with my honey for NYE. The weather eventually cleared up. It was lovely.

Where my honey actually lives is kind of, um, run-down. It’s a farm town basically, but kind of small and… yeah. So we spent the first night at his place, and then the next day we drove to Morro Bay, about a two hour drive. It’s nice where we stayed because all of the other beach towns were kind of busy that night (NYE), which isn’t quite our taste. We like to go out and stuff, but not on NYE, when it can get pretty hectic.

He loves me. Really.

Exploring Morro Bay. Segways!

The huge freaking rock of Morro Bay! Can you see the little cars at the base?

Sunset was lovely, however πŸ™‚

Slightly enhanced with Instagram πŸ™‚

My honey actually posing for me.

My love and I.

Waiting for our movie. I love this picture.

We watched “Sherlock Holmes” that night then went back to our hotel where my honey promptly fell asleep by 10:30 because he’s so used to his schedule now of going to bed at 8:00 pm, waking up at 5:00 am. But I definitely woke him up at 11:59 to get my kiss! And that was our NYE.

Pretty hectic, I know. Don’t hang out with us! We might be a bad influence…

The next day was spent at Pismo Beach where we drove ON the sand, watched a few surfers, and then explored San Luis Obispo. I love central California. Specifically the ocean part of it.

Driving on the sand! Thank goodness for 4x4!

Hi. I love Pismo.

Instagram filters are so much fun.

I didn't even know he was taking pictures. I fell in love with this one though πŸ™‚ Can we say new FB profile picture?!

I went to go touch the water and feel the sand in between my toes (such a California girl!) and it was cold! I then turned around to walk back and didn’t realize a wave came in behind me so quickly. The water went up mid-calf and my pants were soaked. Oh well.

On the pier and you can look down at the water. So freakishly weird and crazy.

Surf was okay. It just walled up and became white water. Some waves were pretty decent though.

And that it how we brought in 2012!

Nothing to crazy or “exciting” but for us, it was wonderful just to spend time together and have a mini-vacation. Probably won’t see each other two weeks, so this was a nice treat.

Do any of you have a resolution (or two or a dozen…)?

I personally don’t have any, nor have I ever really made one. I always fail. And I don’t want to be a failure! Although I suppose I could try to be healthier and more fit. I certainly don’t need to lose weight! But I would like to become stronger and more in shape. I’m only thin thanks to a wonderful metabolism.

Well I hope you all had a fun and exciting New Year!

May 2012 be a wonderful year for you! Let’s prove those Mayans WRONG!!

Happy 2012,
Briana

Post-Christmas

Hello Loves!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas or if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope it was a good holiday for you πŸ™‚

Note: This will feature plenty of pictures! Enjoy the loading time! Haha!

Mine started off on Christmas Eve day. Went to church with the boyfriend+family, made pies in the afternoon, had a “treasure hunt.” My team won, naturally πŸ˜‰ Our prize? Knowing that Jesus (and Brittany, who made up the race) love us! In the evening, we had our traditional corn chowder and cheesy bread meal, followed by a reading of The Other Wiseman and of course the Christmas story, which my sweet boyfriend read. After that, the family watched “Christmas Vacation.” Always a good laugh. I recommend watching it if you haven’t already! Then it was bedtime!

Our victorious team! The santa's were our clues. We take great pictures, by the way.

My lattice pie!

Christmas tree at the boyfriends house. I had to lay on the ground to get a full picture.

My honey reading the Christmas story.

In the morning, we woke up early, opened presents, then had a quick brunch! Two of the boyfriends sisters had to go to work (nurse and barista!). After spending a few more hours with my boyfriends family, we headed back home, where we opened presents with my family and enjoyed some enchiladas (made my yours truly), lots of sweets, Jenga, puzzles, and orange wheat beer, which is locally brewed in here in Redlands California. Yum!

Le tree, presents, and napping daddy.

My cousin Niko's expression is priceless.

Thanking his brother profusely for the gift. and hello there foot... oops.

My sister got some very sweet and sentimental gifts from our mom. She started crying when she opened it. We all cried. It was sweet.

Landon boy opening his gifts. He promptly walked away to play with them.

I bought her the Naked palette.

My man. Cause he's so handsome.

My family’s Christmases usually involve a lot of food. One year we made tamales. Most years we actually make Mexican, which is funny for us because we’re a Filipino/American family. You’d think it’d involve more Filipino or traditional American food. This year was no different, however. I made two kinds of enchiladas and my mom made chicken tortilla soup, as well as beans and rice. Yum.

Danny, my brother-in-law, is good about taking pictures when I’m too busy, which is nice because he takes pictures of me, which proves my existence! If I ask my honey, he’ll take a quick picture and acts like he doesn’t enjoy it or something, which perturbs me. Poo. I don’t bother asking him to take pictures because of that. Bleh.

Mmm, queso.

Wearing one of two aprons I received from Brittany, my secret santa with the bf's family. I already got it messy. It's what I do.

My sarcastic, "no more pictures please" face.

We always do a few puzzles during the holidays. Usually from 1000 pieces to 2500 pieces. Good stuff. We’ll stay up until the middle of then night just to finish a whole section, if not the whole thing. One year, my boyfriends brother-in-law and I worked on a puzzle for about 5 hours straight just to finish it. Our neck were quite sore afterwards. We also added Jenga to the holiday mix of things. My cousin Sasha and the boyfriend of mine got quite into it during one game. It was “tied” because they couldn’t go any higher without it falling. But apparently there aren’t any ties in Jenga, so who knows who won!

This was a candid shot. Didn't know Danny took it. I'm glad he did though. I love it.

Almost done with it. Actually finished it last night though...

Boys.

See his technique?

My dad is funny.

I was surprised this year by the amount of gifts I actually received. My favorites are probably my new glass 5 qt. KitchenAid bowl (with a handle!), new running shoes, and then of course my sweeties gift to me: a headlamp! I know, I know, he really outdid himself this year πŸ˜‰

New shoes.

I LOVE my new bowl!

Headlamp. Every girl should have one!

And that was my Christmas πŸ™‚ Again, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, whether it was with family and friends or on the road or even working. Now that it’s all over until next year, I’m not sure what to do with myself for the next few days… I guess I could use my new running shoes OR my new KitchenAid bowl. My family knows me well πŸ˜‰

I probably will not be writing again until the new year, so that being said, thank you to everyone who has followed my blog, left comments, liked my blog, and then some. You all made this year a little bit more special. I hope 2012 is a wonderful year for you and you leave 2011 on a good note.

Hugs,
Brita-Loo, aka Briana

Update on the Cadet: He’s got an apartment now! Which means he’ll only be coming home every other weekend now, but I plan on making the four-hour drive on Friday so we can spend NYE together. Haven’t missed one yet in over six years!

Getting Ready for Christmas

Sorry for the lack of posts, although I’ve barely had any views in the last week anyway. Eh. Who am I writing to, anyway? Who reads this thing? I wish I could see who reads this thing, then I can thank you for making me smile because my view count for that day wasn’t “zero.”

Well, on to my actual post: Christmas!

It’s been a busy Christmas season and it’s almost ready to end. I love getting ready for Christmas. I hate the crowds, the stress, and the pressure, but at the same time, I love the stress and pressure. It means I’m getting something done and I’m doing something good for somebody else other than me. I love thinking of gifts for my family, especially the little ones.

My chubby niece πŸ™‚ She's 7 mos. old and so much fun! And she's flipping the bird! haha!

But I gotta tell ya, buying a gift for the boyfriend is still the hardest task. For one, he’s kind of picky. Okay, really picky. And then he won’t tell you what he wants because honestly, he doesn’t want or need much. And what he does want, I’m not about to dish out hundreds of dollars that I don’t have.Β  His requests are (of course) surfboards and an RC car. He knows he won’t be getting a surfboard any time soon from anyone other then himself, but it doesn’t hurt to throw it out there; I do the same thing with a 5.5 quart KitchenAid mixer (red, please!).

To Bubbles (boyfriend), Love Pockets (me). Our cute nicknames and my clever wrapping skills.

In my family and in my boyfriends family, we both are doing a gift exchange, rather than buying everybody something. In my family, I have three siblings and my boyfriend has three siblings and we’re all pretty much married or in serious relationships which adds to the number of people. Plus little kids now and of course our parents. That’s a lot of people in a time when not all of us can afford to buy everyone something nice. So we all do a gift exchange with one person with a set limit of money to spend. It’s fun, secretive, and hard to keep that secret. At least in my family because everyone just tells who they have, which annoys me. It’s a SECRET Santa gift exchange! I don’t know what part of that they don’t understand… πŸ˜‰ I had a big argument with my oldest brother and brother-in-law about it over Thanksgiving when we got our names. Le sigh.

Another fun thing about Christmas is the food. Mom, sister, and I have been doing a lot of baking these last few days, whether for ourselves or family and friends. Mm, cookies, spiced nuts, monkey bread….

Boyfriends favorite.

Sweet and slightly spicy mixed nuts.

And some good ol' orange wheat from our local brewery while baking πŸ™‚

I truly do love Christmas. Some people stress so much about it, whether it’s because they can’t buy enough gifts for everyone or the pressure of hosting something or lacking something with someone. I say, worry about your own family because at this time of year, they’re the ones that truly matter. It’s what it’s all about. And I’m lucky to spend Christmas Eve with my boyfriend+family, then Christmas Day with my own family. Two Christmases in a positive way!

Christmas Eve will consist of homemade corn chowder, sparkling cider, the Christmas story, a short story called The Fourth Wiseman and then watching “Christmas Vacation.” Christmas Day will be presents, puzzles, and maybe a movie. My grandpa always watched “The Sound of Music” for Christmas so maybe we’ll do the same.

I took care of the shopping for my boyfriend since he can't do his own shopping right now due to work hours.

My cousin has got some serious wrapping skillz....

Peppermint Tea.

Ornaments at the boyfriends house.

Fuel for more shopping!!! In-N-Out!!

That’s all I have for now everyone.

I hope you all have a blessed holiday and a happy new year! 2011 has been a crazy year and I hope 2012 is a great one. Looking forward to whatever is out there waiting for me.

Love,
Briana