wow...college was worth it...

cash advance

Guess my CSULB education is definitely paying off...


chop chop

Unfortunately, I need to keep this short and sweet. It's super frustrating typing with only 9 fingers and without the all important left index finger. Thankfully, my finger doesn't hurt anymore, but it is wrapped with a huge bandage. Last Saturday while preparing for our AMA holiday party, I was chopping chicken and chopped off a good size sliver of my finger. After about 5 stitches, the party continued, with some help from our friends to finish the preparations.

I'll be getting the stitches out next Friday so until then, I'll be a blog lurker and an infrequent updater. I will work on posting our party and Christmas pictures. Pictures say a thousand words, right?

Warning: the following images are a bit gory...



I recently helped grant a wish for 17-year old Tianna. She passed away yesterday morning. Her frail little body couldn't fight anymore. My heart is completely breaking for her mother, who is now alone. Just 3 years ago, Tianna was on her high school soccer team. Now she's resting in peace, hopefully on her way to becoming a guardian angel to a little cancer-fighting child.

This is particularly hard for me as I've been dealing with extremely selfish and oppositional 8th grade girls who have absolutely no sense of reality, other than their little circle of disrespectful friends and their little world in Belmont Shores. I'm not sure why or specifically what yet, but I feel as though I'm being led to create some sort of community service group at this particular school in Long Beach, especially for the students {girls} who have lost all school privileges due to behavior problems. Can someone say, "Reality Check"?

Meanwhile, my thoughts and prayers are with Tianna's mom right now. I'm praying for peace and strength, especially with Christmas right around the corner. I just cannot imagine...



According to dictionary.com, the definition of decadence is:

dec·a·dence [dek-uh-duhns, di-keyd-ns] Pronunciation Key - noun

1. the act or process of falling into an inferior condition or state; deterioration; decay: Some historians hold that the fall of Rome can be attributed to internal decadence.
2. moral degeneration or decay; turpitude.
3. unrestrained or excessive self-indulgence.

Excessive self-indulgence is right!

If you are attending a holiday party and have volunteered to bring a dessert item, you must try this:

Chocolate-Pecan Pie

(serves 8-10) 1 tbsp. butter, plus 6 tbsp. melted butter, plus 5 tbsp, melted butter 1 package (7oz.) shortbread cookies 3 eggs, lightly beaten 1 cup sugar 1/4 tsp. salt 1 cup dark corn syrup 3 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, coarsely chopped 1 cup pecan halves Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9" pie plate with 1 tablespoon butter. Place the shortbread cookies in a food processor, and pulse until they are fine crumbs. Add 6 tablespoons melted butter, and pulse a few times to combine. Transfer mixture to the pie plate, and press firmly and evenly to form a crust. Place the plate in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, salt, corn syrup, chocolate, 5 tablespoons melted butter and pecans; stir until the mixture is fairly uniform. Take the pie plate out of the freezer, and place on a baking sheet. Pour the chocolate mixture into the pie plate, and put in the oven. Bake for 55 minutes, remove and let cool completely before serving.

Thank you, domino magazine, for the incredible dessert recipe. I made it for Thanksgiving as well as a recent Christmas luncheon at church. Both times, people raved about how delicious and decadent the pie was.

Bon App├ętit!

diy...and lovin' it!

Well, it seems as though perhaps I've neglected my blog. Though I faithfully read my fav blogs daily, even if I don't comment, I definitely read. I've been so busy lately with handmade creations, I just haven't had the energy to update my blog in the evenings. Hopefully after the holiday festivities I can dedicate more time to more frequent updates.

Since this is our first Christmas together as husband and wifey, we decided that in addition to a real Christmas tree, we would also decorate our cozy condo. The big deal about getting a real tree is because Rob is "allegedly" allergic, though we've had the tree over a week now and he's only had one sneezing fit (and I think it was the need to dust, less the tree). Granted, our tree is only about 5 feet tall, and on the underdog side, I'm thankful we've had good luck so far with the allergy concern. Between Target, Pottery Barn, and Crate & Barrel, we've accumulated enough stuff to create a warm festive atmosphere...

Our little guy...
As we (or I) were searching for the perfect stockings, I came across an Etsy shop that made "the ones". I was looking for red and chartreuse green and if I was lucky, polka dots. Call me crazy, but I wanted everything to somehow coordinate. Can't stop a girl with a specific vision. They are literally perfect!

Next was the tree skirt mission. I just couldn't bring myself to purchase one that I wasn't in love with - they aren't cheap. So I decided that I would make one. The funny thing about this statement though is that I don't sew. Turns out I'm a really good hot glue gunner! While the circle of the final product is a bit funky, I'm really happy with my creation and proud to say that I made it. My favorite part is the chartreuse pom poms on the edge of the fabric.

A couple weekends ago I became inspired to create an Advent calendar. Again, I couldn't find the right one to purchase and I wasn't sure how to create it myself, though I knew I wanted to use some cute paper I had just purchased. In the midst of this conundrum, {living the swell life} shared her recent Advent calendar creation, and it was absolutely perfect. Personal, simple, creative, and fun...just what I wanted. Thank you, Jessica, for allowing me to borrow your idea. Rob and I love it. Inside each date, we have some sort of activity to do together to honor the season, in addition to a Bible verse from the Nativity Story. Most of December was already booked, but we managed to squeeze in a few festive events. This will hopefully become a reminder to slow down and remember what the Christmas season is really about.

Rob and I are opening up our condo in a couple weeks to my American Marketing Association (AMA) college buddies. We all continue to keep in touch with one another, which is really awesome. We've been to weddings, housewarming parties, baby showers, baptisms, and recently, first birthdays. I just couldn't send an evite, so I decided to hit up Paper-Source for some inspiration. This is what actually inspired all of the above creations.

That's it for my recent crafts, with the exception of a few handmade gifts that I'm working on, but I can't publish pics of those until after Christmas (some readers may be gift recipients). I would love to make holiday cards too, but Rob and I have been making a donation to a children's charity each year in exchange for holiday cards - I guess warm-fuzzy beats cute and personal sometimes.

This weekend, Rob and I had the pleasure to hang out with our friend Jerry (an AMAer). We saw a steel drum concert at CSULB and finished off the afternoon with Sushi Studio. It was great hanging with you, Jer! Can't wait to celebrate with you soon!

I just read a few Sushi Studio reviews on Yelp and I'm totally disappointed with the mixed reviews. The parking situation stinks and it's in a shady hotel parking lot - part of its charm if you ask us. The fish is super fresh and the rolls are incredible, if you ever get a chance to visit (I guess I should have posted this mini-review on Yelp...)



Wow, I'm kind of speechless. If you have a couple of minutes, you have to watch this video. It's funny! Trying to avoid saying anything mean, all I could think of was, "At least she's got cute hair." Enjoy!

'tis the season for polka dots

About a month or two ago, I received a Pottery Barn catalog and discovered these absolutely adorable ornaments.

I had to have them. I love polka dots! Actually, a part of me thought I would be able to re-create them. As the holiday season approached, it became a reality that I probably wouldn't have time to make them. When I created a list of all the DIY projects I would have going on at once, something had to give, and needless to say the handmade ornaments were quickly removed from my DIY list.

Last Friday, the infamous Black Friday, while Rob was buying a router, I was buying those ornaments and some perfectly coordinated napkins from Pottery Barn. That polka dot table runner would be perfect too.

We are super excited, okay, I'm a bit more excited, to decorate for our first Christmas together. We are hosting a holiday party in a few weeks for some of my college friends, including Jolene and Gerric, and also hosting Christmas Eve dinner for Rob's family. Tomorrow is the big day when we'll shop for our very first Christmas tree!!! Yippee! I feel like a little girl going to bed on Christmas Eve!


hodge podge recap

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday! It’s been particularly hectic for me lately. Here’s a quick recap of some highlights over the last week:

Jolene recently mentioned that she can no longer blog at work. I can’t either…

This is the message I get at work when I visit a website that I'm not supposed to be on

Last Friday we met up with our friends Gino and Rebecca. After eating at this cute little Italian restaurant in West LA (I can’t remember the name) we all went to support one of Rob’s co-workers who has a role in the new movie, Southland Tales. While I won’t offer my review of the movie on my blog, you can go to this website to learn more about this film.

Rebecca and Gino
Silly Rob and I
Last Saturday we celebrated our dads’ birthdays at Mario’s by the Sea in Dana Point. It’s always great to get the entire Tucker/Palmer family together. We missed Mimi, although sounds like she a had fun girls’ night out.

Daddy Palmer
Daddy Tucker
All of us (L to R): Terry, Gabe, Patrice, Gil, me, Rob, Laura, Marie
The Palmers
That evening as we pulled into a parking spot in front of our condo, a big black Jeep decided it would reverse into us and drive off. We think they were either upset we took the spot (when in fact we were about to ask them if we accidentally took the spot they wanted) or they were drunk. Either way, Rob’s beloved aluminum car was dented. Of course the Jeep was new and didn't have plates, so when the police arrived there wasn’t much they could do other than write a police report. A little after the police left, Rob and I had a gut feeling that we needed to drive around the block. We listened to our guts and caught the offenders! They had the audacity to park around the corner. We snapped some pics of the VIN and also the damage to their car and called the police back. At this point, Rob’s car is in the shop and hopefully the offenders will be captured soon.

Ouch...poor car
Last Sunday I attended a CPR class all day. Knowing that we were going to eat at Sushi Studio with our friends Jeff and Karen got me through the 8-hour class. They brought along their 3-year old daughter, Katie. Is she not the cutest?

Thursday morning I ran the Long Beach Turkey Trot…this perhaps isn't a big deal to most, but because I hate running, it was a big deal to me. I ended up finding the inspiration and ran the entire thing! Well, except for maybe 3 minutes. I was very proud of myself and as it turns out, I loved the running part. I think I’m more of a racer and less of a trainer. I’m definitely up for participating in all of the local 5Ks and maybe eventually the 10Ks. Come on, if Katie Holmes can run the NYC Marathon, I can too, right?

Even Rob stretched with me...
So close...
After the run, and the soy peppermint mocha latte from Coffee Bean (my first one in about 2 months), I made a chocolate pecan pie for Thanksgiving dessert. It was so incredibly decadent and delicious. I didn’t feel an ounce guilty for my indulgences after my run.

We had a really great Thanksgiving dinner with Rob’s family in San Clemente. It was so nice to spend time with family we don’t see often enough. Of course, as all Tucker family gatherings end around the piano, this Thanksgiving wasn’t any different. It's fun to hang out and sing old songs with really talented family.

On Friday, or Black Friday, we were crazy enough and joined the throngs of people at South Coast Plaza. We got there around 8am and left by 11am. A couple deals were discovered and some gift ideas were inspired from browsing, but mostly Christmas decorations and some cute wrappings were purchased. After shopping, we headed to Santa Monica to visit our friend Matt. He happily showed off his new LCD TV as we watched Spiderman 3. Rob and I are super proud of Matt as he recently organized a Habitat for Humanity event for his work.

Saturday I did some scrapbooking in Valencia with Susan while Rob made some music with Griff, and even little Corbin. We ended the evening with dinner at Macaroni Grill. I really love spending time with the Lauerman family…and bonus, we all have the same creative tendencies!

Sunday after church I did some organizing and resting. Can’t believe a new week is already upon us. So many fun DIY projects going on right now, but most importantly I need to find more time to keep up on blogging!


dark violet?

Mimi recently shared a fun color personality test. She wasn't happy with her results (she's not a teal lover) and I'm not completely satisfied with my results either, but it was fun nonetheless.

you are darkviolet

Your dominant hues are blue and magenta. You're the one who goes to all the parties but doesn't quite fit in at every one... you know what you want, but are afraid of what the world might think of it. You're a little different and that's okay with them, and if you're smart it's okay with you too.

Your saturation level is very high - you are all about getting things done. The world may think you work too hard but you have a lot to show for it, and it keeps you going. You shouldn't be afraid to lead people, because if you're doing it, it'll be done right.

Your outlook on life is brighter than most people's. You like the idea of influencing things for the better and find hope in situations where others might give up. You're not exactly a bouncy sunshine but things in your world generally look up.
the spacefem.com html color quiz

First of all, I definitely do not go to all the parties - I'm a total homebody! I also wouldn't consider myself afraid of what the world might think. I am however very task orientated and all about getting things checked off my list. I also like to think that my presence in this world will positively influence others. Lastly, I would also consider myself pretty darn bouncy and sunshiny. I thought for sure I'd be some shade of pink, or at least a pretty light color. If you have a few minutes, share your results. I'm curious if you find it more accurate than I did.


abc, easy as 123

I was tagged by Amber and Jolene to do a meme. This was definitely one of the more challenging memes - I even had to get creative with Wikipedia.

Rules: List a word that describes you for every letter of the alphabet. Offer as much or as little explanation as you wish. Please keep the words positive (for example, don’t use “fat” for F or “lame” for L), and feel free to get creative. Tag as many or as few people as you wish.

A: Anal - I'm not really proud of it, but I can't fight it

B: Business Partner

C: Creative

D: Detail-Orientated

E: Educator

F: Frozen Yogurt Eater - I could literally LIVE off of fro-yo

G: Girlie - my husband recently said, "Baby, please rein in the cute!"

H: Happy

I: Inspired

J: Jack Johnson Freak

K: KeeKee Lover (my baby blanket)

L: Loyal

M: Married (I agree with Amber, it's so fun to describe myself as a married woman)

N: Narcoleptic - according to my husband anyhow

O: Oprah Watcher

P: Prayerful

Q: Quiet

R: Redhead (natural too)

S: Small Moment Cherisher - I love the small moments in life that make me feel special or opportunities to do something small that make someone else feel special

T: Tucker - thank you, honey, for my new last name. I love it!

U: Ukulele Listener (The Tucker's are big ukulele players)

V: Volunteer

W: Warm-Fuzzy Lover - oh how I love this feeling!

X: Xenodochial (WeeMo, can you tell me what this definition is without looking it up?)

Y: Youthful

Z: Zesty

I'm now tagging:
Emily at Just a Little Slice
Jessica at Living the Swell Life
Mrs. Bumble Bee at Puppy Lovin' Reflections


mazel tav!

This weekend we had the honor of attending our little cousin Liann's Bat Mitzvah. Liann has always been very shy, but on her special day she glowed and even seemed to enjoy the spotlight. We were all so proud of Liann! She's an incredible little girl with so much intelligence, compassion, strength, beauty, and love. Happy Bat Mitzvah, Liann!

Liann preparing before the service
Rob, Liann, and I
Getting the party started...
Liann's dad wanted in on the fun too
Father-Daughter dance
Liann enjoying her party
Laura and her daddy (my FIL)
Laura and her BF, Jeff
Rob enjoying one of the party props

Liann and her mom, Nadine, worked so hard on all of the party details. Liann is a huge horse lover, so the theme was horses.

All of the men received a Yarmulke with little silver horses on them
The centerpieces were buckets with stuffed horses and fake carrots and apples with some fresh daisies (each table was also named after a different horse)
Table assignments were placed on little plastic horses
I have never been to a Bat or Bar Mitzvah. I grew up in a home that celebrated Christmas and Easter, but never discussed the significance behind the celebrations. We never really discussed religion and looking back, I don't recall having any friends who practiced a specific religion (except for a friend who was Mormon and all I remember is that she couldn't drink soda and she couldn't play with me on Sundays). As a recently baptized Christian, I am still somewhat uneducated on other religions. Wow, was I blown away on Saturday as I watched Liann read the Torah in Hebrew. I had absolutely no idea what a commitment Judaism was. I'd always heard about the big party that goes along with a Bat or Bar Mitzvah, and admittedly thought it was a bit odd. After witnessing my first Bat Mitzvah, I believe that the party is now totally well deserved. If in order to pass through this stage of Judaism, a child who is 12 or 13 must be nearly bilingual in Hebrew, a party is surely necessary. I've always admired Liann for her kindness and her passion for horses, but I certainly have a new admiration for Liann that includes wisdom and perseverance. Thank you, Liann for opening my eyes to something new.

BTW, I was able to wear a dress that I definitely didn't fit into a couple months ago - thank you Weight Watchers! Nevermind the fact that I wore a seersucker dress in November, I was so freakin' thrilled that it fit me. I also wore my wedding jewelry again - I was so excited!


we heart nyc

I'm a bad blogger again! Being home sick today allowed me to read and catch up on all my fav blogs. Here's a recap of our New York City weekend. I tried to make it short, but it's a long one:

I met Rob at Whole Foods for dinner in El Segundo and we stocked up on greens, since we had an intuition that we wouldn't be eating many veggies in NYC. After our great dinner, we experienced a slew of hiccups that eventually were resolved the following day upon arriving to our apartment rental. This is what happened:

- First, we were going to leave our apartment rental deposit in the form of a check so the check could be shredded upon our departure from NYC. Well, I realized when we got to LAX that I forgot our checkbook at home. Not only did we have to withdraw a bunch of cash to cover the rental and the deposit, but we had to be hopeful that the woman we rented the apartment from is honest and will return our full deposit (we should receive a check this week for the full deposit amount - still kinda crossing our fingers).

- Second, we told our shuttle that we were departing from Virgin America. When we went to check in at Virgin America, we were told our flight had already departed and we missed our flight. Oops...I then realized that we were actually departing from Delta (we flew home on Virgin America).

- Next, when we checked our luggage at the Delta terminal, we discovered our luggage was 7 pounds too heavy. Ugh...thank goodness I packed a gigantic purse that could hold 7 pounds worth of crap.

- Finally, we make it on the plane. Barely speaking to one another from the stress that just happened, but we were on the plane and ready for a nap.

- We eventually land in NYC, speaking, and ready for an incredible trip. Then I called our apartment rental woman and left a voicemail. She didn't return our call for 45 minutes! In that 45 minutes, I was so bummed! Not only are hotels expensive in the city, but it was the NY Marathon. Fat chance we would even find a hotel. Luckily, she eventually called back. Phew!

We dropped our stuff off at the apartment (located in the Upper East Side) and I had just a few minutes until my Sex and the City tour departed. It almost left without me, but fortunately for me, they were running a few minutes late. Seriously, this was the best $39 ever spent! The highlight was definitely visiting Carrie's apartment stoop. We also:

• Shopped at The Pleasure Chest where Charlotte bought her 'Rabbit'
• Enjoyed a cupcake at the Magnolia Bakery
• Visited the church where Samantha met "The Friar"
• Saw the gallery in SoHo where Charlotte worked
• Saw the furniture store where Aidan designed his tables and chairs
• Drank a cosmo at Aiden and Steve's bar, Scout, in real life the bar is Onieal's Speakeasy

As I was enjoying my cupcake all by myself, I noticed another girl about my age alone. I approached her and it turns out she is traveling alone for 3 1/2 months! She's from Australia and has already been to Italy, Paris, and New York. She'll be visiting LA in about a week. I'm hoping to meet up with her again.
This is Carrie's apartment stoop!
Jasmine and I at "Scout"

While I was enjoying the tour, Rob met up with a former colleague for lunch near Lincoln Center. I couldn't bribe or convince Rob to go with me, but I had a great time alone surprisingly and maybe met a new email pal. After the tour, Rob and I met up and took a quick stroll through Central Park and then headed back to the apartment for a nap before the big Duran Duran concert.

The view from the living room of the apartment
The living room

Rob is a big Duran Duran fan and the guys didn't disappoint! Even Donald Trump was rockin' out! I think one of the Olsen twins was rockin' out behind the Donald too. Duran Duran played every song from their new album, Red Carpet Massacre, and then of course the classics we all grew up with. We didn't leave ourselves enough time to grab dinner, but we quickly discovered (or at least I did) that there isn't anything like a fresh hot dog from a corner hot dog stand. Yummy! Obviously, no effort was taken to count points on our trip. After the concert, some friends from the agency we both used to work at were in town so we met up with them for some cocktails and dancing. We went to this club called Cielo where they played all electronic music. Not even a few cocktails could get me in the mood to dance to that junk. We had a great time though. So great that we made it back to our apartment just before sunrise. Seriously, nothing like going to bed at 4am (not really though).

We slept in until nearly noon and made our way to Nick's Pizza, according to Yelp, the best pizza place on the Upper East Side. It was actually really delicious. After lunch, we literally just roamed around holding hands and snuggling through the West Side, Upper West Side, and Lincoln Center area. We walked and walked the entire day. As we were making our way back to the apartment to get ready for Legally Blonde, we walked by a Crumbs Bakeshop. Since I've never treated myself to a Crumbs visit in LA, I had to have a cupcake from the original Crumbs location on the Upper West Side. Rob talked some sense into me and convinced me to wait to enjoy the chocolate brownie goodness until after dinner. Again, with not enough time to eat dinner at a restaurant (turns out this was our cheapest NYC trip yet because we hardly ate out) we grabbed a hot dog near the theater. I wasn't about to miss one second of Legally Blonde. It was the best show ever. It even beat seeing Mary Poppins in London. I'll even admit to crying at the end of the first act. It was so great! The music, the dancing, the costumes, the sets - they were all so perfect! I'm praying the show comes to Los Angeles so I can see it again (I'll host a "Pink Party" for the event). I was even a sucker and paid $50 for a t-shirt and official program. Perhaps the perfect way to end a perfect evening was with our Nick's leftovers and the chocolate brownie cupcake.


We woke up early to grab some breakfast at a nearby cafe that was popular with the locals in the neighborhood (can't remember the name). After breakfast, the woman we rented the apartment from stopped by so Rob could help her navigate her way to better understanding her new MacBook. While Rob was in heaven showing-off his Apple knowledge, I took a quick nap to try to fight off a cold that started coming on the night before. By 11:30am, we were off to meet some family who live in New Jersey. We meet Rob's cousin Karen, her husband Michael and their sons Jorden and Kaenen in Little Italy. We ate (or over ate) at Grotta Azurra. The food was delicious and I seriously ate so much my stomach felt like it was expanding. I thankfully digested while shopping at Century 21 with Karen. This department store was a freakin' nightmare! Fortunately for Rob. he didn't have to experience what would have been his H-E-L-L! I tried to rummage through the jam packed racks and fight off the crowds of aggressive New York shoppers. I walked away with a pair of $30 gold/silver metallic flats. I'm really happy with my purchase and I've already worn my new shows a couple of times, but Century 21 was almost my H-E-L-L, so I would have liked to come away with more. On the other hand, our luggage couldn't accommodate any more weight, so it was meant to be.

The family: Rob, me, Jorden, Michael, Karen, Kaenen

After saying our good-byes to our East Coast family, Rob and I did some more roaming through Greenwich Village and Soho. I was very excited for the evening to arrive and to meet up with Jolene! We picked Jolene up at her swanky hotel in Midtown. We headed to Serendipity to put our name on the waiting list. Rob and I stopped by Serendipity the day before to see about grabbing a quick frozen hot chocolate treat and the wait was almost 3 hours. Sunday evening however the wait was only 45 minutes. We ate dinner at Patsy's Pizzeria (thank you WeMo for knowing the name of the restaurant) that was really great. Even though my tummy was still sore from eating too much earlier in the day, I couldn't resist a couple slices of pizza. We hurried through dinner so we could make it to our ultimate destination, Serendipity's frozen hot chocolate. We also ordered the humble pie sundae (peanut butter pie). Wow! Both were incredible! Our recommendation is to start with the frozen hot chocolate and then move on to the humble pie sundae.

Toyota sponsored the NYC Marathon...we had to take a picture since we met and fell in love working on Toyota
Serendipity - Yum!

After dessert, we put Jolene in a cab so she could get some sleep for her work week and we strolled along Park Avenue and then went to Rockefeller Center. I really wanted to ice skate, but it was getting late and we had to be up the next morning at 4:15am to catch our flight. We ended up having a quick cocktail over looking the entire city at the Rainbow Room. Again, another perfect ending to a perfect day.

We had to be up super early in order to make the journey to JFK. Our flight left at 7:30am and we literally arrived to JFK at 7:10am. I'm actually surprised they let us on the flight. Leave it to us to barely make our flight. We were told our luggage would likely arrive to LAX on the next Virgin America flight in the afternoon, but it ended up on our flight and we left LAX with our giant 50-pound luggage. After a quick lunch at Togo's, Rob went to work and I went home to write a paper. I opted to catch up on some much needed sleep and ended up submitting my paper via email and missing class. It was an incredible whirlwind weekend. Though it started off a bit bumpy, it turned out to be a dream weekend. We saw friends, family, Sex and the City hot spots, Duran Duran, and Legally Blonde - it really was the perfect NYC trip!

Rob is almost done creating a slide show with all of our pictures to some perfectly selected music. I'll upload it as soon as he's done.