Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New furniture!

After a month of furniture hunting for our new home, this past weekend we finally decided on a lovely rustic-meets-modern coffee table, side tables, and sofa table. I really love the refreshing and nature-inspired look of grained wood surfaces but our home is also very modern. We found the perfect mix of a warm and rustic look with clean modern lines when we found this lovely set of tables at Living Spaces:

When I first saw this pretty set of furniture, it immediately reminded me of this set of occasion tables that I had recently spotted in the Crate and Barrel catalog:  

The crate and barrel coffee table alone was $499 while we snagged our whole set of one cocktail table and two end tables for under $400.  Same sleek design and quality hardwood material, but we got a set of three tables for only a fraction of the price! I also much perfer the muted metal of our table set rather than Crate and Barrel's shiney stainless steel because it gives the furniture a more earthy and grounded look (as opposed to the office-furniture vibe of shiney metal). 

Our other truly unexpected find was a beautiful floor model sofa table that was marked almost 50% off. The table first caught my eye because it had the same style as our cocktail table set with a metal frame and ardwood surface but upon closer inspection the wood had a smoother finish and lighter stain. Nevertheless, it had the same rustic but simplistic feel and the gorgeous natural wood surface that I really loved. Also, it had really unique details like 3 bolts along the outer edge that gave the table a lot of character. When I was doing some more furniture research later that day, I saw this coffe table version of the sofa table we had just purchased: 

From the weathered metal frame down to the three bolt detail on the side, the look of this table was a dead-on match to our new sofa table. This close cousin of our sofa table was from Restoration Hardware priced at over $1000. We got our sofa table for under $200. While our sofa table definitely isn't an european antique crafted from a reclaimed brickmaker's table, it also has interesting origins that we have traced back to a boutique woodwork shop in India that specializes in hand crafted wood furniture-- a very cool find I was not at all expecting the find at Living Spaces (which I have always deemed as being a retailer of cookie-cutter style furniture). I was really pleasantly surprised! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I can't believe Thanksgiving is just a week away! Then Will and I will be off to the Windy City! Aside from the cold weather ("cold" for California), I love absolutely everything else about this time of year...especially all of the great food. Recently, I've rediscovered pumpkin as a star ingredient of autumn and winter time dishes. I have always loved pumpkin pie, but for a long time that was the only use I knew about for the orange squash-- aside from pumpkin carving of course. Lately though, I've suddenly come across pumpkin in all sorts of foods, from soup to bread to pasta!

A few nights ago I had a delicious pumpkin and sage butter ravioli from an Italian restaurant just a few blocks from our home. The fried sage and sweet spices were a perfect compliment for the creamy pumpkin filling. 
Last weekend when we visited my parents, my mom made a delicious pumpkin mi fen (rice noodle) with sweet sausage. Pumpkin is actually considered a super health food in Taiwan and lately there has been a

For the trip home, I also happened to bake some pumpkin bread for dessert. It was from mix since I had a bit of a crazy week but in the future perhaps I would try a recipe from scratch.

And of course Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete without my beloved pumpkin pie! 

To top it all off, pumpkin is very low in calories (just 26 cal for 100 g), high in fiber and anti-oxidants, and is one of the highest sources of vitamin A among vegetables (a good thing for me because I don't like carrots so this is a fine alternative source for vitamin A). Now that's icing on the pumpkin pie~ 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween Weekend Wedding

This past weekend Will and I attended our first wedding together since our very own two months ago! Time really flies...It was beautiful weather for an outdoor ceremony in Huntington Beach followed by a fun-filled reception, that was just oozing with the personality of the couple, Charlyn and Justin. When the dancing started, they were prepared with a big box of fun props for everyone to dress-up in! Pirate swords, masquerade masks, mustaches....

...cool hats and super cool glasses!

Our friends had a very modern, very cool, purple and silver theme. The purple up lights cast a romantic hue on the absolutely gorgeous centerpiece arrangements of flowers, vases, and candles (I couldn't do it justice with my lil camera), but also gave a great party vibe when the DJ dimmed the lights and everyone hit the dance floor.

so we really had a lot of fun with the Kanye West shutter glasses... 

Attending a wedding as a married couple felt different-- like the way attending a friend's graduation feels a bit different before and after your own graduation. Throughout the evening Will and I would reminisce about our own wedding but there was also another unexpected effect was how much happier I felt. I have always loved attending weddings and of course I am always thrilled for the newlyweds; but after having experienced my own wedding and marriage, I can truly say that marriage is such a blessing. I am much more excited for the couple because I myself absolutely love being married and I know firsthand that this is such an exciting time in life!

Will and I are really looking forward to 2012, when more of our friends will be tying the knot!
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