Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Rollercoasters, Parades, and Thai Iced Tea


Man, I haven't been on here very much. I suppose that's to be expected since we just moved and are prepping to move into our permanent apartment this weekend (yay!), but still! I feel like I'm so active these days, and when I'm not active I'd rather be writing or watching Boys Over Flowers... ha! Or the new Sailor Moon Crystal anime that just started last weekend! Did you watch? I loved it! In fact, I'm planning a whole separate post about it. :)

I am loving life in Irvine. Everything here is so convenient and clean! Seriously, I can't believe how clean everything is. It's freaky. We tried out the gym here and have been to the pool many times... although seeing a small swarm of bees up in a palm tree put a damper on it. No pun intended. Although if you hear Matt tell the story, it was actually a bee apocalypse! "A HUGE SWARM!" (I've seen an actual huge swarm so I wasn't too scared of the little one so far away.) He's so funny.



Last week we went to Knott's with his family (hence the pictures above!), which was really fun. I hadn't been to a park other than Disneyland in ages! Their boysenberry punch is delicious, and my favorite ride was... well, whatever that rollercoaster is with the spinning cars. It was oddly relaxing! Never going on a wooden rollercoaster again, though... theirs was genuinely painful. I literally have bruises from it. We also went to his family's for a BBQ on the 5th since that was the day his younger sister came down from the Bay Area. That was lots of fun too!

Matt started work Monday and came home with a mountain of games that they just handed him. Crazy. I'm starting to realize just how big a company it is, it almost feels like a government organization sometimes! For instance, they were all advised at orientation to take their badges off as soon as they leave campus because apparently people will get all up in your face trying to get recommendations for jobs. Matt was the youngest one at his orientation, which was sort of funny to hear about. He said every time he'd think he found someone his age, they'd mention their wife and teenage kid or twenty-year career in the industry and he'd feel like a "little babby" again.

He seems really, really happy, though! He keeps telling me this is the kind of job you stay at for a good, long time. Like this place is top of the line, dream job status. So I think it's safe to say we're staying in Irvine for a good long while (YAY!).

(x)
This weekend Disneyland is holding auditions for parade performers for the Christmas Fantasy Parade... talk about good timing for us to move down here! I decided to go ahead and audition even though I haven't had much time to prepare, because:
  1. I'll definitely, definitely regret it if I don't.
  2. It'll be a really fun experience.
  3. Even if I don't pass, I'll know how the parade auditions work for next time so I can prep better!
  4. Who knows? I could get in! It'd probably take a miracle, but maybe not! I mean, I didn't see any dances in the parade that I couldn't do or keep up with.
I mean, as Matt said, "stranger things have happened" (like him getting a job at Blizzard so young!). So heck, why not?



On top of all this good stuff, I'm pretty sure I figured out how to make restaurant-style Thai iced tea at home... so tasty! Maybe I'll post a how-to. :)

Hope you're all doing well!

xoxo,
Jesse

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Let's Catch Up!

We are safe and sound in Irvine! We got in last Wednesday after a long and strenuous drive... as soon as we hit LA, it's traffic and heat made everything literal hell on wheels! We were there too late to get our key to temporary housing, but luckily Matt's mom somehow managed to grab it for us. HUUUUGE thank you to my lovely parents for flying up and helping us move, we wouldn't have been able to do it without you for sure!

We cannot get over how beautiful it is here. Everything is clean and well-manicured, convenient, and there's a huge variety of good shops and food. 

Temp housing is beautiful! We're in a studio apartment across from the mall and my goodness has it been comfortable. An actual couch to sit on!!! Imagine that.

We've been using the pool (this complex has four, and all are saltwater!) quite a lot. I had to pick up a new swim bottom since mine was too small, and found a perfect one at Old navy for $8! I don't know why that store gets such a bad rap, they have great basics. I got a green bottom to pair with my purple top... Little Mermaid inspired. :) It's been so nice being able to swim and enjoy summer activities, I swear I'm going to get sunkissed this summer instead of remaining pale or getting burnt... I've been very careful about applying sunscreen!

Our temporary place has a balcony which I'll admit I haven't been utilizing as much as I thought I would, but the view of the courtyard is nice and I'm sure I'll be out there the next time I do laundry! Yes, the washer/dryer is in a cabinet on the balcony. So cool.

We've already been out with friends three times and each time has been pleasant and effortless. I'd completely forgotten what it's like to hang out with friends and be completely at ease. Guess that comes with the territory of being friends for nearly eleven years!

Oswin is adjusting well and has been so extra loving since we got here. I think she's happy :)

Some super excellent news is that we officially got approved for a beautiful 1-bedroom apartment! It's 3 miles from Matt's work, has an in-unit washer/dryer, and get this: NO CARPET. That is so rare that I'm pretty sure I accidentally stumbled upon the only carpet-less floorplan in Irvine. That's probably an exaggeration, but only a slight one. I recently expressed my distaste for carpet (specifically of the beige persuasion) and had a ton of my friends agree with me... we are a pro-area rug bunch. Ha!

We were unsure about it initially, but after doing the math and assessing what we really wanted and double checking other apartment listings, we realized it was the best value for our money. It has the most space, the best location, and lots of windows! It's always scary to sign a lease, but shortly after when we started talking about how awesome it's going to be our minds were eased and we became 100% excited!

Here are some pictures of the apartment:

Giant living room... seriously, it's huge. The photo doesn't do it justice. 


View of the kitchen from the living room: nice open floorplan. That's the entryway on the right... nice how big it is so we could easily stick subtle storage there (I'm already figuring out how to furnish it and finding places to sneak in storage, ha!).

Kitchen! So cute. And yes, THERE IS A DISHWASHER!

Mini hallway to the bathroom. Coat closet on the left, washer and dryer on the right. I liked that the washer/dryer wasn't on the balcony or in the kitchen like in a lot of floorplans.


And my favorite feature: the giant sliding bedroom door! It's so good. The bedroom is tiny (very utilitarian) but the huge living room makes up for it.

So, that's going to be our home for at least the next year! I'm beyond excited and Matt seems to be too! And yes, that complex is gorgeous too. I'll share photos once we move there, obviously, but this is a nice starter so you can get a feel for it. We get the keys next Thursday!

Have a busy few days coming up. I am loving this new life!

How are you doing? I feel like it's been forever!

xoxo,
Jesse

Monday, June 23, 2014

Dramafever!


Since all of my DVDs are currently packed up, I was looking for a new show to watch after I finished Orange is the New Black. Just in the nick of time, someone tweeted about Dramafever and I decided to finally try out watching a Korean drama. Dramafever is basically a website that has a ton of kdramas on it and you can have a queue and all that (sort of like Netflix, except free!). I had been hearing a lot about how entertaining they are from Bubz (of bubzbeauty) and so I decided to watch one that she had recommended called Boys Over Flowers.

I have not been disappointed! It is so, so cute. Basically, the show is about a girl named Jan Di who saves a boy who is being bullied at an elite school when she is delivering dry cleaning. As thanks, the school gives her a scholarship and her parents insist that she goes there, even though she doesn't want to. She stands up to the group of bullies (who are four super rich guys) on several occasions and ends up being their main target, but soon her attitude starts winning them over. It sounds very dramatic when it's written out that way, but somehow they keep it upbeat. The main girl reminds me so much of Usagi (from Sailor Moon, if you're unfamiliar) with all her hilarious lamentations, refusal to take anyone's crap, and silly/sweet/spirited personality.

It's so cool to see TV that is the norm elsewhere and so, so different from American/British television. I love how exaggerated their mannerisms are (in a good way, but one that is much different from what I'm used to!) and just the overall funny mood of the show despite the serious subject matter. They definitely have some moments that remind me that it is based on a manga/anime, like the broody violin playing character Ji Hoo... I swear some of the scenes of him playing the violin out in the woodsy area surrounded by pretty flowering trees look like they're straight out of an anime!

I also really like that there are a limited number of episodes for each show... or at least there seem to be. It's not like I have to watch 8 seasons of something, it's more like 25 episodes or so, at least for the shows I have encountered so far! I really appreciate that as shows that have a lot of seasons seem to get bad as they go on (cough Supernatural cough). So far I have about 6 shows in my queue... I'll let you know how they are! If they're anything like Boys Over Flowers, I'm bound to be entertained! I'm particularly excited about Goong, which is a retelling of the Cinderella story. :)

Off to do more packing and cleaning!

xoxo,
Jesse

P.S. I'm sure you noticed this blog is looking a lot brighter and happier, design-wise... I was doing the light, subtle theme for a while (which seems to be what everyone is doing right now actually) and decided that that is just not me, so I brightened the place up! Hope you like it! :)

P.P.S. I wrote some posts over the weekend so at least the blog won't be too dead! Woo!