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.

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 😉

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 😉

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…

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



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 🙂

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 😉 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...


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 😉

New shoes.

I LOVE my new bowl!

Headlamp. Every girl should have one!

And that was my Christmas 🙂 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 😉

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.

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 🙂 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.  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… 😉 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 🙂

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.