Friday, November 30, 2012

Natalie's Sentiments is AWESOME!

Oh man you guys... I just had to announce something totally awesome.  I won something!  Yes, it is true!  My favorite blogger, Natalie, was doing a giveaway for Stanley Steemer carpet cleaners and I WON!!! Oh man.  I know, you may think I am bragging, and I totally am... but I have never won something before.  Here is the screenshot to prove it!

I don't know if you can see that, or if it is too small.  But... hehe.  I just couldn't resist getting all arrogant about it.  I LOVE Natalie's Sentiments.  I LOVE my life!!!! haha xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Feeling a Festive Wintry Vibe

As you could tell from the title of this post, today I felt a bit festive.  Not exactly for Christmas, but for a "Winter Sort Of Movie."  Do you know what I mean?  So I watched Little Women.  The one with Winona Rider, Claire Danes, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon, and Christian Bale.  BEST ACTORS all in one classic wintry movie.  I swear, there are certain films I can't help but watch in the winter because they just have a vibe that makes me want to cozy up in front of a fire with some hot tea and my love in my arms.  I seriously forgot how good this movie is!  I mean, it was made in the 1990's, but it has the BEST soundtrack ever.  Christian Bale is soooo young!  And so is Kirsten Dunst, for that matter.  I even teared up a little bit on certain scenes in the movie.  So that just goes to show you how awesome it is.  Here are a couple other suggestions for some perfect winter movies.  By the way, this might not apply to guys, but I SWEAR if you are a girl you will love these!

1) The Anne of Green Gables entire movie series.  So romantic.  Also, I always had a secret wish to be best friends with Megan Follows (the main actress).  Yes, I know I am totally weird.
2) Pride and Prejudice (the British 6 hour long version... but the Kiera Knightly one is awesome too)
3) A Little Princess (starring Liesel Matthews) <---- ummm I cry on this movie every time too. ha ha.  It is a children's film!

Ok... so that is 3 more classic movies to add to your winter watch-list.  I don't know why, but usually I am not much of a movie person, unless it is wintertime.  Then I just feel inclined to sit back and watch something kind of slow-paced with some quality romance... or with a heartwarming theme.  Same goes for reading too.  I feel like sitting back and reading a REALLY GOOD book.  I really enjoy "The Work and the Glory" series.  And Twilight (don't hate me ok!! It is actually quite gripping.) Any other good movie or book recommendations? xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Something My Eyes Appreciate

Well hello there.  I just thought I would try to creep you out with my EYE.  Just kidding.  More like, I wanted to talk about something I have done to improve my appearance.  I have been trying not to over-pluck my eyebrows.  In the past I have had the problem of taking too much eyebrow hairs off, and then they just look thin and weird.  I have not plucked my eyebrows for about half a year now, except for the SUPER stray hairs that just need to go, but anywhere within a 4 millimeter radius of my natural eyebrow shape I have vowed not to touch.  It looks a lot better now, believe me.  But here is the problem.  Sometimes my eyebrows end up looking a little wild since they are not as thin as they used to be.  So actually, here is my secret.  I trim my eyebrows with tiny scissors.  Yes, that sounds a bit intimidating, but actually it looks VERY groomed and nice when you are done.  I just finished today, hence, I was inspired to write about this.  All you do is take a small eyelash comb and comb your eyebrows downward.  Whatever falls below the natural arch of your brow, trim it to line up with the bottom of the arch.  Then, I comb the brows upward, and if anything is sticking out wildly or awkwardly, I just trim it to line up with the top of the brow.  Important note:  I trim each eyebrow hair individually so I do not take too much off.  I have chosen to keep the natural shape of my brow arch, since that looks the most flattering on me.  Man, I can't even tell you how much of a difference it makes.  If I have blond hairs beneath the arch, I go ahead and tweeze those away since I just hate the look of how unflattering that looks on me.  But as for actually going INTO the brow area, I avoid that at all costs.  I hope this post makes sense.  Sometimes I think I am explaining something well but I am really not.  Ha ha.  I just think eyebrows are a very important feature on a person's face.  If someone has weird eyebrows, that can ruin their whole image.  I found this article on Oprah to be very enlightening (and a little bit amusing too. heh heh).  If you don't believe me, then believe Oprah.  Thankfully, I don't need to fill in my eyebrows with makeup, but if you do, there are lots of good tutorials out there, and my main advice would be to stay away from using a pencil that is too dark.  Use a pencil that is a few shades lighter than your hair so it does not look harsh.  Alright, well, I have got to go now.  xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Monday, November 26, 2012

Highly Recommended Love Reading

(picture not taken by me... but SO CUTE)

Hi to all of you!  Today is a different kind of post.  I just wanted to make a top 3 list of some very awesome reading material.  About LOVE that is.  I love thinking about love.  I love improving my own character so that I can be the best I can in my marriage.  You could say it is a hobby, as weird as that sounds.  Anyway, about this list... these 3 things have changed my life dramatically for the best:

1) The Love Dare (Day by Day) A Year of Devotions for Couples - By Stephen Kendrick

I first discovered this book on the loneliest year of my life, 2010.  I did not know who I was.  I had very low self-worth and expected happiness and love to come from outside sources.  This book helped me so much!  My favorite concept in the book was learning what true love really is.  It is the same as charity.  And to have charity is the greatest gift you can give your family, friends, and especially yourself.  Charity is loving despite what you may or may not get back in return.  I love how it backs up its concepts with scripture, and is very straightforward.  Every day has a new challenge or thought to keep you strong in your pursuit of truly being able to love.   I use these principles CONSTANTLY.  This book is always on my desk next to my computer.  Also, a little side bonus, but there is a movie based on this book, called "Fireproof."  I totally recommend this movie to watch, since it is so motivational.  But beware that they do have a very strong Born Again Christian theme in it, so have an open mind even if you do not share all of their beliefs.  They have some truly good love advice.

2) A Blog About Love - By Danny and Mara Kofoed

I also discovered this blog back when I was going through the worst moments of life.  I know I have mentioned this website a number of times.... but I truly cannot stress enough how liberating it is to embrace all the principles this couple has taught.  I kid you not.  Start from the very beginning and just keep reading.  You will be surprised at how blunt they are about you being the one to choose how you react to things.  I guarantee you will look at life very differently and be more motivated to control your own emotions for the sake of your own happiness.  Discovering these things was the beginning of a great paradigm shift I have experienced.

3) The Five Love Languages - By Gary Chapman

Last, but not least, I have to mention this book.  I believe that people really do need love expressed in different ways.  And this book is very eye-opening.  Once you learn what your spouse needs, you are ready to fill their "love tank" <--- this was the BEST concept in the book.  I know as far as my marriage goes, I am beyond disappointed if I do not feel like I have been meeting my husband's needs or he is not happy in any way.  Learning his love language has improved our communication skills.  I solemnly hope to do everything in my power to never let his "love tank" go empty so that we can "run smoothly."  Haha... do you see where I am going with this?  The content of this book is just too good.  And there are a few very cheesy stories in the book about other random couples, making it a very easy read.  I could read it in one day if I had the discipline.

Alright my loves!  Time to get to bed.  I highly recommend everyone look into this reading material if you are looking to change your life in a very positive way. xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Super Rambling Sunday

*Sigh* Goodness!  I am very upset that I have to go to work tomorrow.   This weekend has been HEAVEN.  Yesterday Brandon and I spent some quality time together, finishing up our Christmas shopping.  We first printed off our Christmas cards.  Then we went to the mall and picked up a few things, and ate some pomegranate frozen yogurt with no toppings from Red Mango.  Man, I highly recommend that place if you have not had it.  I mean, it is one of the few frozen yogurts I can eat without feeling like crap afterwards.  Their plain frozen yogurt with raspberries and mangoes on top is usually my favorite, but their fruit looked terrible that day, so we decided to try something new.  GOODNESS!  It was delicious.  I also like their parfaits.  But anyway, enough about Red Mango.  Brandon bought me this LOVELY coat from H&M for one of my Christmas presents.  I am so excited about that.  Normally, I only buy clothes if they blow me away, otherwise I just don't bother with them.  But we both saw this particular coat as if it were shimmering in ideal light on the rack and walked towards it at the same time.  Brandon and I started laughing when we realized the same coat caught our eye.  I tried it on and knew it was love at first sight.  So he just HAD to get it for me.  I must say, it is very fun to be married to Brandon.  He has a great sense of style.  Also, he has a very model-like body (he is 6'1") and everything looks good on him.  And he does not mind wearing things that are a step above average-guy-fashion.  So I really love that.  Half the time when I go to the store, I see stuff all over the place that I am just DYING to buy for him because I think it would look so cute on him.  Oh my.  You would think I am dressing an adorable little kid or something.  When we got home we played some board games...Phase 10 and Monopoly.  I am afraid we are semi-addicted to Monopoly, regardless of the fact that it is kind of an old-fashioned game.  Needless to say, last night ended up being one of those nights where we stayed up WAY too late because we were just in the mood to hang out for as long as humanly possible without passing out.  We ended our night by starting to watch a KDrama called "Protect the Boss."  I was laughing SO hard about 1 minute into the drama.  It is very amusing.  But then I passed out in the middle of episode 1.  Come to find out, it was 4 in the morning.  So we finally went to bed.  This morning I was dead tired.  Thanks to my bad habit of staying up too late....grrr.  But we went to church (I was actually on time!) and then went to the Korean ward because we wanted to hear our missionary friend speak in church for the last time before he leaves Washington.  We are really going to miss Elder Bartlett!  He has been just wonderful.  And I hope he goes out with one of my sisters when he gets home.  Just saying.  Me and Brandon's mom have been very conniving when it comes to playing matchmaker with Elder Bartlett.  Haha...

Brandon's mom:  You know, Elder Bartlett, Ashleigh has some REALLY PRETTY younger sisters.
Elder Bartlett: Oh, wow. haha.
Me: Yes, you are really their type.  When you get to Utah you should go on a date with them.
Elder Bartlett: ..... okay... heh heh. *awkward silence*
Me and Brandon's mom: *laughing evilly*

For those of you who do not know, missionaries DO NOT DATE.  But we were just trying to be funny since he is going home on Tuesday this week.  It is pretty amusing how some missionaries act really weird when they get home because they are not used to dating or being around girls.  I hope Elder Bartlett has a nice smooth transition back to real life.  LOL.

Anyway, after church I just HAD to have a nap since  I hardly slept at all.  Brandon made another pumpkin pie while I slept.  Gosh, I am so freakin' spoiled.  But I have not eaten any yet because I only felt like eating really healthy food for some reason.  So all I have had was "Cuties" aka California clementines (my favorite fruit in the winter) and coconut water.  I won't mention the fact that I also tried these nacho snack chips from the Korean store.  Don't worry, I will have room for pie an about half an hour.

After snacking a bit, Brandon and I just talked with each other, about how we can make life better, etc.  We try to make a habit of checking in with each other every Sunday, reading some church articles, and just seeing what we can do for the well-being of each other.  I think it is wonderful how we are able to talk to each other like that.  It makes for some very good conversations and growing closer to each other.  I feel honored to be married to him, and am very happy with our marriage and the way we are growing together.  Even on weeks when we feel a little bit "off," we are able to come right back and get focused on what we are supposed to be doing to improve the dynamics of our lives. On that same note, we could not do all that without the occasional help of friends who really care about us.  Today I was especially grateful to a dear church friend of ours (you know who you are) who was observant enough to pull Brandon aside and see how he was doing today.  It meant a lot to both Brandon and me.  It is just so good to have wonderful friends in this life who care about our physical as well as spiritual/emotional well-being. 

Anyway, wow, this post ended up being a lot longer than I expected it to be.  Right now we are just taking some time to wind down and relax and enjoy our last *wonderful* day before work starts again.  I hope all of you have a good rest of your Sunday.  xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Friday, November 23, 2012

Our Long Holiday Weekend

Is everyone having a great holiday weekend?  I know I am.  Brandon and I can hardly believe how much time we have to relax, since we did not have work on Thanksgiving, today, or for the rest of the weekend.  It has been AWESOME.  We ran all of our errands today so that we do not have any obligations tomorrow.  We also took a couple of our favorite Korean missionaries out to an Indian buffet that we love.  It was really fun to hang out with them.  One of them is going home on Tuesday, so we just wanted to spend some time with him while he is still here.  While we were at it, we stuffed our bellies to the brim with fatty and delicious Indian food.  We were both so full the whole day.  Afterwards we went to the doctor for a general checkup.  They had to draw our blood.  It was sickening to look at.  I don't do so well with needles generally but I just sucked it up and tried not to freak out as the needle slid beneath my tender skin on the underside of my arm/ bend of the elbow....and my dark blood bubbled into a translucent tube.  Ugh, sick.  I feel a bit queasy just thinking about it.  But anyway, it ended up being fine.  I am just a baby like that.  We also just sat around aimlessly at our house.  Brandon played his current favorite NBA video game and I started watching "Beauty and the Beast."  The version on CW.  Oh my goodness!  I love that show!  My mom is the one who got me hooked on it.  She said the main girl reminds her of me.  So of course I had to see what she meant... and now... here I am.  With another show to occupy my thoughts.

I liked how my mom described the show.  She said it is like a mixture of Smallville, Twilight, and Bourne Identity.  I would have to add CSI, since the main girl always figures out mysteries.  LOL.  But anyway, it is pretty gripping.  I am always such a sucker for shows like that, though.  Plus, Kristen Kreuk is by far one of my favorite television actresses.

After I watched Beauty and the Beast, Brandon and I watched a couple episodes of "King of Queens."  I must say, that is one of the shows that we are both truly entertained by.  I think we need to own it on DVD one of these days.  As we were watching it, we were snacking on all kinds of things.  Then Brandon took out some of these Trader Joe's Halloween O's.  They are kinda like Oreos.  But anyway, they were too old.  We both took a bite of the cookies at the same time, and spit them out at the same time because they were awful and had a soggy pantry texture... UGH.  Haha, I guess you had to be there, but it was pretty hilarious.

Randomly, I need to share with you our latest go-to snack.  We take low-carb tortillas and put almond butter and jelly on them, fold it in half, and VIOLA!  It is the perfect snack if you want something sweet but not too unhealthy.

Goodness I think this post was the most random one yet.  I am sure everyone wanted to know how we lazed around all day and ate like true gluttons... ha ha.  Yes I am being sarcastic.  I will tell you that I have been messing around with designing our Christmas cards.  It has been fun.  I feel my artistic side coming out.  I am really enjoying this website since they have some awesome holiday templates.  Go ahead and upload your own photos!  It is surprisingly addictive.  Even if you don't buy their products, you may just find some inspiration you were looking for when it comes to designing your own Christmas cards.  Maybe when December comes, I will show you my favorite cards I designed.

Welllll.... until next time, I hope you guys watch Beauty and the Beast! xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Our First Thanksgiving Together

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving.  I just have to say... Brandon is the best cook EVER.  Our dinner was fantastic, and he made all of it.

We had turkey... and it was very good quality since he got organic.  It really made a difference.

Here is a picture of the rolls.  They were DELIGHTFUL.  You know how I am with bread lately.

Steamed green beans!  For good health.

Trader Joe's cornbread stuffing.  It was yummy.  I kinda want to make a homemade one next year.

Sweet potatoes...with marshmallows.  Haha.

Parsley Mashed Potatoes.... Very delicious and a bit different than your average mashed potatoes.  We also had gravy to go with it.  Next year we will definitely go homemade with the gravy.

Brussel Sprouts.  I made this all on my own.  They were absolutely lovely.  My contribution. >__<

And homemade pumpkin pie for dessert.  BEST DESSERT!!! I LOVE IT.

A view of the table before the feast began.

Everyone eating!  Sadly, I did not get a picture of me and Brandon.  But with good reason, because we were cooking and cleaning all day and looked terrible.  So here is everyone else enjoying themselves.

This pie had layers.  There was a lot of thought put into it.

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving.  And please don't think I hardly contributed with the meal.  Haha, I was the clean up girl.  I am better at cleaning than cooking.  But I can do both.  Brandon just didn't need help with anything.  We thought it was the perfect first Thanksgiving together.  Last year we were still dating but did not get to spend any holidays together.  Grrr.  I am grateful that those days are over.  Random... but we stayed up until 3:30 am last night.  So we are tired.  We could pass out dead cold and it is only 8:38 pm.  Wow.  I don't think we will be interested in shopping early tomorrow for Black Friday lol.  We will see I guess.  xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Few Quotes I Cling To Lately

Hello everyone.  Thank goodness it is Thanksgiving tomorrow, and I have a super long weekend.  No work!  YAY!  I just wanted to share some quotes I have sprinkled on my desktop.  They are my little reminders every day when I get home from work to keep my head in the game.

Aren't these great reminders?  They have been doing wonders in helping me stay centered and remember my current paradigm shift.  I am sorry this post is so short today.  But I have been a bum on the computer all day and I really need to stop.  Haha, hope you understand.   But heck... lets make this post a little bit longer.  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  In my family, we have a tradition of saying what we are grateful for, and we have to say however many things as how old we are.  Grrr I wish I could have worded that more eloquently, but my mind is not working properly.  For example, I am 24 years old, so I have to say 24 things I am grateful for.  Here is my gratitude list:

1) I am grateful for ... YOU GUESSED IT... Brandon Son.  He is the absolute love of my life and has been so good to me.  I never knew what true love was until I met him.   He has helped me grow so much in just the short time we have been married.  He is literally the sweetest person in the world with a pure heart and I just ADORE him so much.

2) I would not be who I am today without my family.  Dad, helping me to see the big picture in life, always.  Mom, being there for me as not only a mother but a best friend too.  Kaelyn, my amazing sister who is practically a twin to me.  Ashley, Kaelyn's husband who is truly a good man and a welcome addition to our family.  Elsie, my darling niece who makes me wish I had a baby.  Sarah, my dear little sister that I love to chat to whenever I get the chance and we laugh until we cry.  Kristen, my gorgeous and wonderful little sister who has actually one of the best hearts and I miss her so bad.  Joseph, my brother, who does not have one mean bone in his body...and not to mention the most fun person to tease.  Rachel, aka LITTLE ME!  Goodness I love that girl.

3) Amazing in-laws.  Seong, my mother-in-law, who is really comforting while I don't get to be around my own mom.  David, with his kind ways, always doing little things to help everyone even when hardly anyone notices.  Brett... well I never met him but I am plenty entertained by stories of him.  Brian, my super generous awesome brother-in-law who we just LOVE spending time with.  Fiona, Brian's wife, who is also lots of fun.  Grandma, with her contagious laugh and cute little old lady ways.  Gah! I love these guys so much!

4) Our jobs and financial situation.  It is very comforting to not be suffering or in debt.  We may even be homeowners soon.

5) My car... and the fact that it hasn't broken down yet.  Goodness, I don't know how that thing has lasted so long.  It is just holding out for when we have saved enough to get a brand new car.

6) Food!  Oh my.  I could not LIVE without food.  It is just too important.

7) Water.  Hot water for showers and soup and tea.  Cold water for drinking.  LOVE it.  Nothing can replace it.

8) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I am so happy with our religion.  We have seen many blessings poured out to us from the path of life we have taken.  We can't wait to get married in the temple in March.  I am so thankful for a prophet to guide me, and the friends I have made at church as well.

9) Washington.  Even though I miss Utah, it is just the right climate for me.  I love rain, actually.  I love how much green there is here.  I adore my drive to work because it makes my whole work day more bearable.  The beauty is stunning.  The air is fresh.  *sigh* PERFECT.

10) My body.  I have very good health at the moment.  I am glad that everything is functioning the way it should.

11) Blogging and journaling.  This has really helped me to work out my tangled thoughts and helped me to have a more zen life.  Not to mention it is the perfect social outlet for an introvert such as myself.  Also, I love reading other people's blogs, because i am nosy like that.

12) Mirrors.  Can you imagine how life would be if we could not see our reflections?  Neither can I.  

13) Electricity.  Makes the place warm or cold, depending on what you want.  Provides power and light for every little need.

14) Photos.  Even if I think they are ugly when I first take them, I always end up treasuring them later.  They document life in a way that nothing else can.

15) My amazing friends!  DeeDee, Lara, Erin, Mary, Hailey, Rene.  Thanks so much for being there for me.  I LOVE YOU!!!

16) The internet. I would be nothing without it.  Also, life would be so boring.

17) Hello Kitty.  I know it sounds stupid to include her, but she is just so darn cute and you can't possibly be mad while looking at her.

18) Music.  This makes life better in so many ways.  I am grateful that I can carry a tune and that I have discovered exactly what kind of music makes me feel upbeat.

19) The sun.  The source of all energy... Natural warmth.  Need I say more?

20) Education.  Although I have not finished my education, I am thankful for the opportunity to do so.  I love learning.  I love that it makes me feel smarter.

21) Scriptures.  I would be so lost without the guidance of scriptures and the protective barrier it seems to coat my day with.  Sounds funny to put it that way, but I can assure you it is true.  On days where I have done my scripture study, things ALWAYS go smoother.

22) Beauty products.  Makeup.  Dry shampoo.  Soap.  Shampoo.  Perfume.  I love all of it.  

23) Different seasons.  It gives a variety to the way life is, and you don't get sick of seeing the same old thing all the time.

24) I am thankful for Thanksgiving, and how it makes me purposefully think of things I am thankful for.  I just feel so much gratitude and joy when I am done thinking about all this positive stuff.  I challenge you to do the same thing as I just did.  However old you are, write that many things that you are thankful for.  And you will instantly feel a lift.

Hehe, so much for not being a computer bum. LOVE YOU MY READERS!  Happy Thanksgiving Eve! xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Why I Love a Clean Home

I found this picture on Pinterest.  It is not my room, but I was VERY inspired. 
A <3 B MOST!!

I absolutely love having a clean and tidy home.  I find that if my room is messy, my mind is messy.  The state of my living space reflects my state of my mind.  I remember in high school I was such a slob, and would just throw my clothes onto the floor each day, and only clean my room when my mom threatened to ground me if I didn't take care of it.  Then I grew up a bit.  When I was 19 I moved into my own space.  I think that is when everything clicked for me.  I just wanted my living space to be spotless.  Now, don't get me wrong.  In times of stress, you can SEE what I am going through just by looking at how disorganized my house is.  But I really try not to let that happen.  I love to have my closet meticulously organized.  I love vacuum lines on the carpet.  I love freshly dusted surfaces!  I love a sparkling clean bathroom.  My absolute favorite is crawling into bed with freshly laundered linens (after a hot shower, of course).  These are very important to my well-being.  Sometimes when I begin to notice I am feeling stressed and snappy about little things, I look at my living space.  Without a doubt, it is not as organized and clean as I like it.  I take at least 15 minutes to tidy up.  This gives me an instant lift, and I feel a lot less stressed.  I never thought I would say that when I was younger.  I think I am just like my mom! Haha, and I used to think she was so cruel for encouraging me to clean... or should I say forcing.... Oh well.  Mothers know best.  I am so grateful to have a mom who taught me how to fold laundry properly and make things look tidy and to throw out things I don't use. 

Just a few tips on having a tidy home, from Yours Truly....

1) Honestly, once your living space is clean, the best way to make sure it doesn't end up looking messy is to clean up a little bit every day.  If this is not possible, it is IMPERATIVE to have a few hours to clean one set day a week NO MATTER WHAT (I do Saturdays).

2) When I need to clean up in a hurry, I "Neat Before I Clean."  I read about this concept in a book about organization.  This is possibly the best advice I have been given when it comes to cleaning.  Quick example of this.... To "neat" a bathroom, pick up all stray items and throw them into a large drawer.  Take a dry hand towel and wipe down counter surfaces and any other surfaces that look like they collected heavy dust and hair.  Close the shower curtain so no one can see all the random bottles in your shower.  Straighten all the towels on the racks. Flush all toilets and shut the lids.  If you see anything on the floor, quickly sweep it up or pick it up.  To "clean" a bathroom is much more.  This involves scrubbing and detail work.  It is emptying the drawers and organizing everything and putting each item into its given place.  Every single towel will be replaced with a freshly laundered towel.  Everything is sterile by the time you are done.  See the difference?

3) I try not to let a day go by without making my bed.  I also put new pillowcases on our pillows every morning.  It only takes about 2 minutes of my morning, and this really pulls the room together, even if it is not perfectly clean yet.   If I am in a rush to get to work the first thing I like to do when I get home is make the bed, so I don't have to see crumpled bedding.

4) Change the air in your room for at least 10 minutes a day.  Crack the window open, and let it air out a bit.  Also, invest in a good air freshener.  My current favorite is Febreze Thai Dragonfruit.  OH MY GOSH!  It seriously smells like yummy Pantene Pro-V shampoo or something similar.  My husband loves it too.  It is not overpowering at all.

5) When it comes to cleaning products... THROW AWAY anything you have not used for more than a month.... unless it is wooden floor polish, of course.  You will find that you only use about 6 favorite products.  Going forward, do not spend your money on any cleaner except for that which you use all the time.  No matter how good of a deal it may seem like at the store at the time.  I use "Scrub Free" for the water stains on our glass shower door, "Comet" to scrub the shower floor, "Windex" for all glass and mirrors, "Clorox" or "Lysol" toilet cleaner with bleach for the toilets, and "Clorox" wipes for all disinfecting of counters and shower tiles and the toilet.  I used to be into Eco-friendly natural brands, but at the moment I don't care since all these get the job done sufficiently.  

6) About once a week, I dust all our electronics and bedside tables, etc.  This, as well as vacuuming, really makes cleaning feel complete.

7) Don't be a pack rat!  If you have stuff you do not need or have not used for a long time, please believe me, it is just a waste of space.  If you get rid of it you will unclutter your mind.  I promise.  Donate those knick-knacks that are just taking up space in your home, or throw them away.  Same goes for clothes.  If you have not worn it for 3 months, you probably never are going to.  I do an annual clothing giveaway with my sisters, as a fun tradition.  It makes all of us happy. :-)

Alright guys.... I am sure I have a plethora of cleaning advice, but this is all the important stuff.  TAKE MY ADVICE!  You won't regret it.  Also, Brandon REALLY appreciates any and all cleaning efforts. 

By the way, I had a FABULOUS day of binge eating with Brandon.  We made pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes together, Brandon made some of his famous beer bread, and then we toasted and buttered up some Kneaders rye bread that we had stashed in the freezer.  It was DELIGHTFUL.  And I don't regret it... yet.  Hahaha.  Also, maybe you didn't notice, but on my sidebar, I have added a list of the countries my readers are from.  I hope I didn't miss anyone!  Another random thing, I finished all the Christmas shopping for my side of the family.  YAY!  I hope they all like their gifts.  Also... RANDOMLY.  Gosh... I am in a random mood... but... I am LOVING snail mail lately.  I just received a letter from my sister, Sarah.  I just ADORE getting letters in the mail.  Does anyone else feel this way?  Okay, seriously, you have probably heard enough of my rambling today.  xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Monday, November 19, 2012

Little Gifts and Being Intentional

You know you are married to someone absolutely wonderful when you come home to this:

A chocolate orange!!! MY FAVORITE kind of holiday candy...

Brandon frequently surprises me with little things like this... for instance, a while back he left this on my laptop:
Dark chocolate... we are both absolute ADDICTS when it comes to this.

I think it is wonderful that he is constantly expressing his love in ways such as this.  And yes, as you can see I am a chocolate FREAK.  In fact, I love most food, so Brandon is always cooking delicious things to surprise me.  Seriously, I can hardly believe how blessed I am when it comes to who I married.  Goodness.

This got me thinking about how important it is to be intentional within a marriage.  I think we often get stuck in a rut of letting life get in the way of expressing our love, even in small and simple ways.  For me, what helps me to do loving/intentional things in my marriage is to make a task list.  Yes, I know this is the ultimate nerdy technique, but I use a task list on my smart phone and include all my regular daily duties.  I also think of little things Brandon might like me to do for him as well and add it on to my list.  For a long time, I forgot about the "list technique." Things did not go as planned, to say the least, because I could not organize my thoughts well enough to get everything done efficiently and then have time left over to be a loving, intentional woman.  I am a very structured kind of person, so it is best for me to have things listed if I really want to get them done.  As soon as I started up my task list again, I found I did not feel as hectic with daily tasks, and also I had a lot of extra time since I had planned out activities for the day.  There was less time wasted on thinking about what needed to be prioritized, or what was I forgetting to do...etc. 

Especially with the holidays coming up, I want to be very intentional and create loving memories for Brandon and me.  This Thanksgiving we will be cooking all our food together, enjoying quality time together, and creating our own traditions...and I plan on documenting it.  I also feel like journaling or blogging about married life is a good way to be intentional in the relationship because it captures memories that you can never get back.  I think it is important to find things to be grateful for in my spouse, and let him know how much I appreciate him and care that we are creating these priceless memories together.  Bottom line... find a way that you can be intentional in your marriage and you will begin to notice all the little blessings in your life, and your spouse will notice your little efforts as well.  xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Classic K-Drama: You're Beautiful

Hello my dear readers.... especially my new readers from Austria and Australia. :-))) Today I just wanted to recommend to everyone that you watch the KDrama "You're Beautiful."  I believe it is on Netflix, otherwise you can watch it online for free I am sure.  And yes, it will be English subtitled.  I actually love it so much that my mom bought it for me on DVD.  This is an older KDrama, but it is timeless!  I guarantee that it will make you feel like a young girl in high school who is drop dead in love with someone.  I suppose it is similar to when the book "Twilight" came out and all red-blooded females who read it could not help but wish it were real.  This drama is about a young lady named Gemma who is in training to become a nun.  She is trying to live her life the best that she can.  However she is also very clumsy (it sort of reminded me of Maria on The Sound of Music), and she somewhat does not fit into the typical "nun stereotype."  Gemma has a twin brother named Go Mi Nam (I believe this translates to "Flower Boy" in English) who is the opposite of her.  He has just been accepted to be a part of the latest KPop Idol group, A.N.Jell.  In hopes to look more handsome for the public eye, Go Mi Nam gets plastic surgery to make his eyes look more beautiful.  Unfortunately, his plastic surgery goes horribly wrong and he is not able to even blink, and he does not have time to recover before he is supposed to debut as the newest member of A.N.Jell.  He gets his agent to find his twin nun sister, Gemma, to cover for him while his eyes heal.  She reluctantly agrees to cover for the love of a family member, even though she is totally against dressing up like a boy and living with three boys.  Also, they must NEVER find out that she is a girl, or else there could be awful consequences.  I don't want to give away too much of the story, but lets just say it made me extremely giddy to watch this entire series.  There were some cute love stories as well as heartbreaks involved.  I think girls might enjoy it a little bit more than guys, but at the same time it is VERY ADDICTIVE.  Even my 15 year old brother got sucked into it.  Hahaha.... yes I am ratting you out, Joseph.  Best of all, there are only 16 episodes in the entire series.  I included the video at the top of the page because that is what made me want to watch the drama in the first place.

The main love interest on You're Beautiful.  He reminds me strongly of Brandon sometimes.

A shot of A.N.Jell.  Come on, you know you want to watch it...

On a completely different subject, I had a somewhat trying day today.  Lets just say it involved a very ridiculous individual who was being selfish, and I will leave it at that.  But as always, my wonderful husband made me smile like nothing had happened.  He made me a homemade pumpkin pie.  Oh my gosh, I hope he shares the recipe on his blog because it was RIDICULOUSLY delicious.  I love that he cheers me up with treats and knows exactly what I need to be completely happy.  I am so grateful for him, like none other.  Okay, enough being sappy for now... xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Ladylike Dress I Tailored

I am thrilled to have some new readers from China, Bulgaria, Spain and Hungary.  Hello to all of you!  Today I wanted to showcase a small project I finished somewhat recently.  I found two pretty vintage-looking dresses at Murasaki for $3.99 and tailored them to fit my petite frame a bit better.   Today I will be showcasing the pink one, although the other dress was the exact same in blue.  Maybe I will model that one another time.

This dress was fairly easy to tailor.  I do not sew at all but I managed to make a few stitches by hand to make it a little bit more fitted around the waistline.  At first it looked like an ugly muffin-top dress.  Maybe that doesn't make much sense, but believe me, it did not fit right at all.  Also, The chest was way too exposed before so I brought that up a ton.  My favorite part about this dress is that it looks really feminine and reminds me of one of the dresses on "Love Rain."  For those of you who have not seen Love Rain, it is a Korean drama that I am in love with due to all the awesome and ladylike outfits on it.  I also like how the sleeves have plenty of coverage but do not quite hit the elbows, and I like the tiny ruffle detail on the skirt.  My least favorite part is that the waistline is still not as flattering as I would like it to be.  It still drapes over a little bit too much for my taste.  Perhaps if I actually knew how to sew this could be remedied.  However, I am pretty happy with the overall outcome.  Also, I know it is kinda goofy that I take my own pictures of my outfit, but I really need the practice just in case Brandon is not around.  He offered to take the pictures this time, but I just wanted to practice since I am the WORST at self-photography.  Haha.  Anyway, hope everyone has a good night, and I will talk to you next time. xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Quick Marriage Tip (for Women)

Hi ladies.  I just wanted to share with you something that I find to be some good advice.  That is.... after you are married, still wear makeup.  Still try to dress cute.  Don't let yourself go.  Granted, there will be times where scrubbiness is unavoidable.  Yes, he is going to see you in your ragged sweatpants and a greasy ponytail in your hair more than you want him to.  But make an effort.  It's kinda sad how we get so comfortable with each other, that we forget to try to impress our spouse (the one person we SHOULD be trying to impress as much as possible).  I think this is a common problem that married girls have, myself included.  I just sometimes figure "why bother if he see's me all the time anyway?"  But this is bad!  This person has to be around you all the time.  Why not make the extra effort to look as pretty as you can for them?  Even if you are a feminist, take pride in how you present yourself.  The past couple days I have taken the extra few minutes to dress up when I hang out with Brandon, including a tasteful amount of eye makeup (he is a sucker for eye makeup).  Each time, he has commented on how cute I look.  I believe it makes a difference.  Make it a challenge to find out what kind of look he likes, and then go for it at least once a week.  Try to bring out your best features.  Wear a spritz of (not too strong) perfume.  Brandon does not like intense smells, but he loves the smell of my O Hui face lotions, so I try to apply that when I know I will be in close proximity to him.  If you don't wash your hair everyday, invest in a nice-smelling dry shampoo.  I guarantee it makes a difference.  Bottom line... be the kind of girl you intended to be from the beginning of your dating days.  <3  I guess if there are any guys reading this.... I would say on your side, try not to dress like too much of a scrub all the time.  Dress to impress!  Make sure you shave and are well-groomed with good hygiene.  That is it.... hehe.  Does anyone else have anything to add about this? xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Half White Half Asian Beauty

For my Facebook friends who use Pinterest, you might have already seen this picture on my board.  But a while back, I was curious as to what my future children will look like.  So I uploaded a picture of both Brandon and me onto this website, and these two pictures were the turnout.  (Girl on the left, boy on the right) I personally think these digital predictions are ADORABLE!  And maybe even realistic.  Have you ever noticed how white + asian = usually some pretty GORGEOUS babies.  Goodness.  Take my friend Mary for instance.  (oh... be prepared to HATE HER GUTS for being so pretty) She is freakishly beautiful.  Half Asian. Half White. <3 <3 <3  And for the record, I was kidding about suggesting anyone would hate her guts.  She is 100% one of the most awesome people I know. ^____^

Sorry for stealing this pic off your Facebook Mary.  I just had to demonstrate.
Also, take for example this cute young half White half Korean child actor, Mason Moon Moorehouse (Sorry, I do not remember the website I got this from.  Some random google image maybe?)
Awww! Is this not the cutest little thing??
I will keep my little swooning rant short today, but I just wanted to point out how adorable and gorgeous half Asian and half White people happen to be.  And me and Brandon will have our own beautiful kids someday... so I am pretty excited and psyched about that.  No, this post is not an announcement or anything, haha.  But yeah.  That is all the interesting stuff I was thinking about at the moment.  LOVE YOU ALL!  Oh, and a big WELCOME to my blog to my new Hong Kong readers.  It is so nice to have you here with me.... reading about all my crazy little thoughts here and there. xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Nightly Skincare Routine

A couple of my skin products I use at night

Today is going to be a post about my NIGHTLY skin routine.  I will talk about my morning routine another time.  As I have mentioned a couple times, I have a very sensitive skin type.  I seem to break out if I eat the wrong foods, don't sleep long enough, don't exercise regularly, or forget to drink enough water.  So that is first and foremost always a part of my skincare routine....taking care of my health.  I know it sounds a bit extreme, but it is true.  The second thing is having my face completely cleaned and well-moisturized before I go to sleep.  So.... this is what I do.  I wash my face with Neutrogena oil free acne wash.  I am sure their regular wash would do just fine, but I have trusted the acne wash version for years.  It is one of the few drugstore brands that does well with my skin.  Next, I spritz on some toner that does not irritate my sensitive skin.  I like to use The Body Shop's seaweed toner.  Now, if I use a weak moisturizer after this, I am in big trouble, so afterwards I apply my Hydra Formula moisturizer set by O Hui.  This is one of the best moisturizers I have used on my skin, and smells fantastic.  I don't use it in the daytime because it leaves an oily looking sheen on my face.  It has never made me break out though.  And in the morning my skin feels nice and soft.  Last, but not least, I apply a really good eye cream by Enprani.  I believe this is my secret to looking young, seeing as I have been wearing eye cream since I was 15 years old.  Except when I was younger I just used Desert Essence Organics pomegranate eye gel, or Burt's Bees Radiance Eye Cream.  I highly recommend those. Except, now that I am in my 20's, I find I need a richer formula.   Soooo.... just a quick run-down/review of the products:

1) Neutrogena oil free acne wash Just use glycerine soap if this is too harsh for your skin.
2) The Body Shop's seaweed toner If this is too strong for you, invest in some rose water from the health food store.
3) O Hui Hydra Formula vital skin softener (part 1 of moisturizer)
4) O Hui Hydra Formula ultra moist emulsion (part 2 of moisturizer)
5) Enprani eye cream This comes in a two piece set... eye cream and eye brightener.  I just use the eye cream at night.

Please note that I am not trying to say that these products will work for everyone, because not everyone has the same skin type as me.  However, I do have sensitive skin that breaks out easily, and this nightly routine has helped me out a lot and contributed to much clearer skin than before.  Not to mention more properly moisturized skin...  Also, I have mentioned that I do asprin masks on a regular basis.  My skin would not be the same without doing that at least once a week.  One more thing: Always use a clean towel to dry your face after washing it.  In fact, I tend to just use paper towels or tissues if I don't have a clean towel on hand. Hope everyone has a lovely rest of their Tuesday.  xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Monday, November 12, 2012

Just Another Monday...

Hi to all of you.  Today was one of those days that Brandon and I absolutely overloaded on bread.  Unhealthy bread.  Speaking of which... here is a RANDOM quick list of my absolute favorite breads in the world.  I tend to go for the artisan crusty type.  I actually eat bread about as often as I eat dessert, which is not too much.  I feel like it is a comfort food aka unhealthy.  Ok, so lets get started (not in the order of preference, of course):

1) Organic sourdough bread from a Pike Place Market bakery in Seattle.  Best eaten right when you get it.
2) Rye Bread from Kneaders.  Best eaten plain, or toasted with avocados and black cracked pepper. YUM!
3) Rosemary Olive Oil Bread from Costco (lol).  Best eaten toasted with butter. *stomach growl*
4) Sourdough bread from Panera.  Also best eaten toasted with butter.  Or dipped into soup. :-)
5) Naan from almost any genuine Indian restaurant.  Best eaten with curry.

Hehe, shows you how much I know about bread.  But seriously I recommend all of those.  I am totally full from eating too much today.... but just talking about it makes me hungry again.  Other than eating bread, Brandon made some festive pumpkin protein pancakes.  They were so lovely and delicious.  But he hasn't perfected the recipe, so it will not be on his blog yet.  Only the best for our readers!
We are both a bit tired today on account of staying up until 3 am last night playing board games.  TRUE STORY.  And by the way.... Brandon wins at EVERYTHING.  He even beat me at my signature card game, Slap Jack.  Ask any of my friends and they will tell you I am a total FREAK when it comes to that game.  And in Jr High and High school I used to be the champion of Slap Jack every. single. time.  Well anyway, I think it might have been the fact that Brandon had just beaten me at a couple of other games, but my confidence was pretty low during slap jack.  So I think that's why he won.  LOL.  We couldn't stop laughing.  We even played "War" and it was the fastest game I have ever played in my life before Brandon won.  Gosh!  Some people have all the luck.  I guess you had to be there, but it was actually hilarious how badly I was losing at everything.  Monopoly, Candyland, California Speed.  All of it.
Before I say goodnight... I just wanted to leave you with a picture of my Lavendar Red Tea I have been devouring lately.  For anyone who REALLY needs to take a chill pill (jk) this tea helps me relax even on the most annoying days at work.

I just ran out of this tea, but I will be ordering it from here because a refill of 100 tea bags is only $15.90.  (About 15 or 16 cents for each cup of tea!) Now, this doesn't include shipping, but if you order $50 worth of tea, you get free shipping.  Just a cool side note... they are fair trade and organic.  And if you wanted to know.... NO I am not affiliated with this company in any way.  I just really like their product and want to share what I love with my readers.  Alright.... I will quit rambling for tonight.  Hope you all are having a wonderful start to your week.  I know I am.  xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Sunday, November 11, 2012

What To Wear on a Lazy Day

Hello to all my fabulous readers out there! :-) I especially want to welcome my new readers from Singapore!  Makes me so happy to have readers from other countries.  Today I just wanted to tell you what I do when I want to look put-together on a lazy day, or on a day where none of my outfits seem to look cute.  The secret is.... wear all black.  I know, that may seem boring, but actually black is such a classic.  It makes you look skinnier, and if you wear it every single day of the week no one can say anything bad about it, right?  For formal days, I like to have a simple shift dress that I can just pull on and a cardigan for cooler weather.  For everyday wear, I wear a black t-shirt with black skinny jeans.  If it is a cold day I add a belted cardigan that cinches in at the waist.  Add a pair of black flats to both of those outfits and you are good to go.  Say you want to go grocery shopping, and you kinda want to dress like a scrub but not ugly?  Reach for your pre-planned black yoga pants, black t-shirt, and black hoodie (for cold days of course).  Whatever you do, make sure the black clothes are nice and fitted and not baggy/hideous or that just defeats the purpose.  Also, for winter I recommend investing in a black fitted double breasted pea coat.  Goodness, that will last you years!  I bought one for about $20 at Wet Seal a couple years back and it has served me well, and I still get compliments on it all the time even though it is not a new coat.  Here is a couple of snapshots of my all-black outfit from yesterday, just to show you one of my most worn pre-planned black outfits.

 Unflattering lighting, but you get the picture, right? Black makes you look taller and skinnier.

Another bonus (for me) is that when I wear black it really brings out my natural hair color.

Alright lovelies!  Hope you enjoyed my little tip for the easiest (laziest) dressing available that actually looks nice at the same time.  

On another note.... church was really awesome today.  We had a lesson about kindness that really touched me.  I have made a goal to ALWAYS be kind to Brandon no matter what.  After all, he is the most important relationship in my life and I want to cultivate love wherever I can.  I am sure sometimes I will be tempted to not follow through with this goal, but it will be worth it to stick to it. 

ALSO! Oh man... if you guys haven't made Brandon's recipe for crock pot honey steak, you are missing out!  We had it for dinner today and I am soooo satisfied right now.  I also had a few toasted slices of rosemary olive oil bread, pumpkin cookies, and snacked on some Korean side dishes.  So I am beyond full.  *sigh* life is good right now. xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Match Made In Heaven

Hi everyone!  Today is definitely going to be a sappy post.

Lately I have been under somewhat of a dark cloud, or as Brandon put it, a "dark storm."  Yeah, I think his description suits it better.  But thanks to an entire Saturday of getting enough sleep, thinking very hard about things,  then talking to my sweet love about everything (opening my heart completely), and listening to him tell me that he is there for me always and we should come to each other in OPEN HONESTY if we are ever having a hard time, I felt it was finally time to snap out of it for good.  I can't help but feel so blessed to have such a loving husband, who is there for me unconditionally, who bought all this comfort food for me that I don't normally get to eat, who really is like the other half of me.  I can't imagine life without him and I just know that no matter how bad outside stresses are, we can come to each other for comfort.  We are able to get through anything if only we have each other.  We both have a belief that if one person is going through a hard time, of COURSE it affects the other person, since our lives are bound together.  And therefore, we try to help the other person out if they are not feeling quite like their normal happy self.  I think God knew that Brandon had to be the one I ended up with, because no one has ever had this kind of connection with me, and I really do not know how I would have ended up if I never met him.  I feel extremely spoiled to have Brandon in my life, especially during these stressful and anxious times I was experiencing. 

If I could give some advice to anyone on how I have been able to get past this hard phase in my life, it would be this:

1) Communication - This is seriously one of the hardest things to do, especially if you feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster, or you feel things are not going right around you, or if you are depressed, or if you think you are right about everything (even when you really aren't).  But let me tell you, without proper communication, it is hard to come out from under a dark cloud.  Sharing what is really in your heart can do miracles in mending a broken heart or easing a troubled mind.  Communication is two-sided, meaning that you are completely honest and upfront about what is going on in your mind,  .... AND THEN!!! the really hard part.... you have to listen to your spouse's side of the story, and hear what they have to say to you.  It could turn out that they have a lot of helpful feedback for you.  This is best to do when you are not tired and cranky.  Wait for a moment that is good for both of you.  If you are not married, the same can apply to a best friend or a trusted family member you are talking to.  Also, if you feel like you are going to say something stupid or mean that you might regret to your loved one.... BITE YOUR TONGUE.  No need to sever a good relationship in order to be "right."

2) Discipline - If you make a plan to solve the problem... follow through with it.  Do not get tied up in other seemingly important things or distracted by other duties.  Right now is the time to get out of depressing thoughts and this should take a high priority to make sure you are able to get out of this pattern of thinking.  I talked about happiness despite circumstances here. It takes a great amount of discipline, and ONLY YOU are the one that can do your part in taking care of these things.  Please do not rely on your spouse or anyone else to get things done for you.  But by all means, if you need their help with certain things that they ARE able to help with... refer back to #1.  Communicate with them to help you to achieve this sense of discipline.

3) Center Yourself - However you are able to do this, make sure you have the realization that you have the strength to get through any trial.  I tend to pray, read scriptures, journal, and meditate.  This is what helps me to center myself and find a greater purpose in my life.  I have friends who go running.  I am not able to do that so much due to exercise-induced asthma, but what doesn't work for me may very well work for other people to become centered.  Maybe Yoga will help? 

4) Take Care of Health - Believe me.... when you are running off of 5-6 hours of sleep a night, this is just not going to cut it.  You think you can function properly with a clear head, but really your tiredness can overwhelm you so much that you become a grump - even around those you care about most!  This is detrimental if this pattern keeps going on especially in a marriage relationship.  Same goes for eating healthy foods and regular exercise.  Honestly, if you are not feeling as healthy as you can be, your whole existence will feel a bit thrown off.  I really believe that mind and health correlate with each other inseparably.

Well, once again I just have to thank my dear husband for being there for me during hard times, and for sharing pearls of wisdom with me and for his unconditional love.  AND for spoiling me on a day that was really hard to cope with.

Everyone else, please check out Brandon's blog, where he posted a recipe for my favorite pumpkin cookies.  They are better than ANY recipe I have ever tried for pumpkin cookies, and are pretty healthy.  (Yes, he baked them for me to help cheer me up today) Also, my picky-eater step father in law who hates pumpkin absolutely loves these cookies too.   And the best part is.... Brandon created this recipe off the top of his head.  Absolutely no help from anyone else.  He just knew how much I loved pumpkin cookies so he became a genius at making them.

This post was pretty long, GOODNESS.  But I just thought it would be selfish to have kept those gems of advice to myself when they seriously helped me so much.  After a couple of months of not being 100% the happiest I could be, the things I mentioned really helped me come back to my senses.  And I hope they can help you as well.

P.S. Happy birthday to my brother-in-law Ashley!  You are just awesome! xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

An Interesting Date We Went On

Wow, it is almost 1 am.  Today, it just didn't seem like there were enough hours in the day.  I got home from work, showered quickly, ate something quickly, and then promptly rushed off to Tacoma for a date with Brandon.  Actually, it was a big group hang-out with some of Brandon's school friends.  But what we ended up doing was going to a symphony.... where they played VIDEO GAME music.  Hahaha... it was pretty fun.  Let's just say it reminded me of the few times in my childhood that I DID play video games.  And it also reminded me of how much of a Tetris nerd I am at heart, and how much I think Sonic the Hedgehog is the cutest.  Oh, by the way, in the picture, I am holding the tickets to the symphony.  So anyway... the show was pretty good.  My favorite part would have to be the flute soloist as well as the general entertainment of it all.  There were some parts where I did not "get" some of the jokes, since I am soooo not familiar with video games, but seriously it was just fun to watch something that Brandon and his friends really enjoy, and that in itself made me enjoy it more.  Since we rarely invest in fine arts entertainment, it was kinda cool to throw some of it into our lives.  Also, I have to add that Brandon is the best and makes EVERYTHING fun.  Just being around him..... Ok I will stop being so cheesy now hehe.  Anyway, I had a few things I wanted to do today, like deep clean the house, but let's just say I don't want to at all anymore on account of me being a glutton and eating too much and having a food coma and drinking hot earl grey-style red tea.  Yeah... I am just not in the mood to clean.  I will do that tomorrow.  Goodnight for now! xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What I Just Couldn't Resist Doing

Hi everyone!  Just wanted to share an extremely awesome photo.  Hehe... I am surprised Brandon gave me permission to post this.  He is such a good sport.  While Brandon was playing his NBA video game, I got bored and started playing with his hair.  This was the turnout.  What?  Brandon has more gorgeous hair than most women?? I KNOW RIGHT!? And if you wanted to know, yes, I cut Brandon's hair.  I used a different technique than usual.  I gave him an A-line haircut, which normally looks good on women, but I made it a little more disconnected especially in the front and made some minor modifications so it suits a man's haircut.  I think he looks ridiculously handsome.  Just saying.  And no, he would NEVER step foot out of the house with a hairstyle like this.  He was just humoring me since I had a girly streak and wanted to practice my hairstyling skills.  *sigh* I love my husband! xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Why I Love Journaling

Today on my break at work I decided to journal (in my real handwritten leather journal) about the Vegas trip Brandon and I went on.  It has really been a long time since I have written in my journal.  I noticed I only have one page left to write in!  Sad day!  But anyway, I started looking at all the old entries, starting from the beginning.  I started this particular journal a couple weeks after I met Brandon.  We each used to journal every single day and then on our weekly Skype dates, we would read our entries to each other.  Also, every time we visited each other we would trade journals, just to switch things up. There were SO MANY great entries.  It is hilarious to look back on what I used to freak out about, or how much I would read into things way too deeply.  I drew lots of funny comics about mine and Brandon's dating days.  I would think of worst case scenarios and draw funny cartoons about them in my journal.  Even if I didn't have anything to say that day, I would FIND something to say.... something random.... ANYTHING.  Reading about each experience today, I started tearing up remembering how much all of it meant to me.  I had forgotten a lot of things already, and it hasn't even been two years since I started the journal.  Each moment that I wrote about, no matter how silly or stupid or meaningless I thought it was while I was writing it, has become a treasure to me.  I think once in a while I might share on this blog an entry from my old journal days.... with a few modifications if the entry is a bit too personal.  I was laughing so hard about some of the stuff that I was crying!  AT WORK!  So that just tells you how awesome it is to keep a record of life as it comes.  It really makes me want to do better.  At the moment, I hardly even do one journal entry a month, besides my blogging.  And lets just be honest, I can only be so open online for the whole world to see.  I would even go so far as to say that keeping a journal aided in my falling in love with Brandon even more.... especially when I heard the entries he wrote about me.  It just about melted my heart! <3 Oh man, I can't even tell you.  Brandon drew a funny cartoon at the beginning of each of his entries.  I just think reading all of those things today made me appreciate Brandon more and heighten my puppy love that I have for him already.  Goodness.  I recommend journaling to every one of you.  Please.  You will love it.  Here is just a tiiiiny sample of some of the goofy things we drew in our couples journal (and yes, I am aware that you probably can't read the entries.... I just want to show you how cheesy and awesome our drawings were):

 I drew stars exploding everywhere to represent how I felt every time I saw Brandon.  (Warning: It only gets worse from here...)

 Brandon drew a picture of a panda loving a lion.... yep even back then we were "My Panda" and "Baby Lion" to each other.

 Even using hi-lighters to write loving phrases... ha ha! <3

 This was a picture I drew of me being sad every time Brandon had to leave back to Washington and I was stuck without him all alone in Utah... OH THE EMOTIONS!

 A funny comic of a worst case scenario I imagined would happen...

 Trust me.... similar pictures were sprinkled here and there all throughout our journals.

 Comics about funny things that happened on our dates.

 We used to play "rock, paper, scissors" to determine who was the best.  I always said Brandon was the best, and he always said I was the best... lol, so I drew a picture about these things.

Well, this has been sufficiently cheesy.  I hope I inspired at least SOMEONE out there to start keeping better record of their life.  These moments will never come back. *sad face* But new exciting ones will always happen.  Now we just hope to remember all of it somehow. xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Back From Vegas Today!

What a weekend!  Brandon and I went to Vegas for 3 nights and now we are back.  Just wanted to share tons of pictures!  Beware of the fact that there are probably too many. ;-)

Day 1:

Arrived at Tropicana hotel.

 View of our hotel bathroom... it was clean and cheerful inside.

 Entrance View.... just ignore the random junk I accidentally left around before I took the picture.

 The bed.... we slept very well since they had comfortable mattresses.

 Mirrors in the room made the space look even bigger.  Ignore the scrubby airport outfit.

 Oh, and they had a couple's photo ready for us.  Just kidding.  That was a gift for Brandon's grandma.

 I brought some Korean face masks for Brandon and me to use to spoil our skin.  However, we forgot to use them, LOL.
I thought the "Do Not Disturb" door hanger was funny...mostly because it says "hot" all over it.

What I liked about Tropicana hotel/casino: It was fairly clean.... at least when we first arrived.  The room was spacious and I liked the color scheme.  It was a very simple feel and looked sleek enough for my taste.  The air in the casino was well-ventilated so we did not have to deal with cigarette smoke swirling up my nostrils.  The room service girl was also very cheerful and sweet when she delivered more towels when I did not think we had enough.  However.... I would not recommend this hotel to anyone (See below).

What I disliked about Tropicana: Oh man.... you guys.  When we arrived at the hotel, it was not THAT busy, but Brandon and I had to wait around for 15-20 minutes waiting for our hotel host (that we had been in contact with for days) to help us.  We were very unimpressed.  Thinking we could make our stay more pleasant with a huge (HUGE) tip, we gave an extremely generous tip to our host when he did finally arrive.  I understand people get busy, but he TOTALLY forgot about us and did not take care of us in the way he said he would.  I was extremely disappointed.  Also, the staff was mostly unfriendly and half-hearted.  Most of them had a real attitude if we needed their assistance or just brushed us off to another department if it was anything beyond their job description.  We bought some gelato, and their large scoop broke, so they used a scoop that could be compared to a cantaloupe scoop, maybe a tiny bit bigger.  They gave us a total of 3.5 ounces of gelato.... and that was a two scoop order.  I just think that was stingy and pathetic.  Also, the room pricing was not the best either. The casino itself did not have that good of selection of games (for whoever cares about that) Seriously, also when we went upstairs to our floor, the carpet in the hallway smelled like raw sewage had leaked onto it.  I thought that was disgusting.  It was not like that the first day, but it was like that for the remainder of the trip.  Maybe that was not their fault... but ugh....Anyway, you might be wondering why I am telling you all this.  I just would NEVER EVER want ANYONE to receive the kind of service we did.  And I am telling you, I am very low maintenance and would never write a bad review for anyone unless they deserved it.  I mean, you can go there if you want, but let's just say Brandon and I have vowed to stay away from there at all costs from now on. 

Anyway, we also hung out with Brandon's brother, Brian, and his fiance, Fiona.  I also got to meet his cousin Benjamin.  I ADORE ALL OF THEM!  I love them so much.

Day 2:

We went to church with Brian, Fiona, and Brian's grandparents.  The ward was so nice, and Brandon even made some new friends.  *Sigh* He is just so popular.  ;-)

 Brandon and I visited his grandmother, who lives in Vegas, and also I got to meet his dad for the first time.  I wish we took more pictures of the visit.  It was so heartwarming.  We went to a Korean restaurant and I tried my best to speak Korean.  Oh man, it was intimidating, but I was really happy to be able to have that experience.

Day 3:

 We went to Brandon's favorite casino, Silverton, and played a few random slots games and then ate the yummiest sourdough patty melt I have ever had....oh man the food was DELICIOUS.  Next time we will definitely stay at Silverton.

 Brandon always puts his feet up while playing games, and I find it very cute haha.

 PANDAS!?!?!?! yesssss....

 LIONS?!?!?!? wow, they are everywhere.

 Silverton has this awesome aquarium inside it.  I wish we got better pictures, but this will have to do. They even had pumpkins decorated inside the fish tank for the autumn holidays. :-)

Another aquarium pic.  I swear, it is more awesome in real life.

 We drove past Brandon's childhood home.  Apparently it looks exactly the same.

 Brandon also showed me around his favorite park.  This place is the biggest park I have ever seen.

 Just a tiny snippet of the park.  There were also rows and rows of basketball courts, tennis courts, swings, a playground, volleyball nets, and anything else you could possibly want in a park.

 By the way, the weather was perfect at the park as we walked around.  I even got some snaps of some pretty flowers IN NOVEMBER.  Wow, Nevada does have a beauty of its own.

 Here is one of the playgrounds Brandon used to play on.  I loved taking a trip down memory lane with him.

 Just another view of the vastness of this park.  It is called Sunset Park if anyone wants to visit it.  It is semi-close to all the main hotels and casinos in Vegas and next to an airport.

 As soon as it got dark, we started walking down the strip.  We went inside New York New York hotel and saw this statue of liberty made entirely of jelly bellies.  WOW!

 Brandon's dad recommended this Korean restaurant, but we didn't end up being able to go in the short time we were in Vegas.  We did, however, go to 2 Hawaiian restaurants and 2 other Korean restaurants.  So we will for sure do this one next time.

 We didn't take too many pictures on the street, but I did think the architecture of some of the buildings was pretty stunning.  I somehow regret not taking the stereotypical pictures next to the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty, etc.  

We went inside a random casino and played this game.  It was so cute! You can design your own superhero and it has mini-games to play for the bonuses. 

Day 4:

No pictures today!  This was the day we traveled back.  In the morning, we did stop at Silverton again and this time I had a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich, and that was delightful.  We also scarfed down a whole bunch of berries and 3 GENEROUS scoops of vanilla bean gelato.  We were so full!  I had such a great time with my sweetheart.  Next time, we want to stay at Silverton, explore Chinatown, and try some other food that we did not get a chance to eat since there was so much.  Most of all, though, the best part of any trip is coming home. :-) :-) :-) xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son