Encyclopedia of Meg: J

I started this post almost a month ago… but I didn’t get very far:

Ok, J is a difficult letter. I couldn’t think of much that started with the letter. Jokes? No I’m a terrible joke teller (I laugh in the middle and usually am giggling through the punch line). Jello? I don’t know the last time I ate jello. Um.. yeah that’s about all I can come up with for the letter J…

Yeah, clearly I was having some troubles. But I have now decided that J is for Just Married… One last excuse to include wedding stuff in my blog. And for the 2 of you who read this and aren’t on Facebook I’m including some of my favorite photos of the night (professional photos aren’t ready yet … so these were taken by family and friends).

So far, we love being married :) And this past Tuesday marked 8 years since Kevin asked me to be is girlfriend. I can’t believe we’ve been together for 8 years already, how does that happen? But things are going along swimmingly. And while we didn’t have a real honeymoon (hopefully next summer), out little minimoon to Disneyland was lots of fun.

But back to the wedding. The crazy thing about the wedding itself is how fast it goes by. Yes, I know everyone says that. Everyone told me before, “try to soak it all in, it goes by so fast.” No kidding! After the wedding, Kevin & I both couldn’t believe it was already over. I tried after a few days to write down some of my favorite memories so I wouldn’t forget. Here’s what I have:

Kevin saying “You look so beautiful” when I walked down the aisle
Cole playing “I Will”
Moni’s toast
Colin’s toast “Kevin plays A LOT of video games and Meg never complains”
Drinking champagne before the ceremony with the bridesmaids and spilling it everywhere
Taking shots with the wedding party after the ceremony

I wish I would have wrote down more, I’ll keep trying to write things I remember. Oh well. Like every wedding in history, the week leading up to it all was chaotic and crazy. My mom and I had a million projects to do and I think we both made ourselves ill from it. But it was worth it. The decorations and flowers were exactly what I had envisioned and with the exception of a few snafus including a missing handkerchief, everything was perfect.

But here’s what you all want… photos.

Getting Ready

Ringbearer

Wedding Venue

Groomsmen

Cole played the processional

Mr & Mrs

Cakes by Amy D :)

Flower girl with her daddy

Bouquet Toss

Garter

The competition to catch the garter was fierce

Last Dance

PS, we had the best vendors and I recommend them all! Seriously, we got so lucky!
Venue: The Casino, San Clemente
Catering: Carbonara’s
Photography: Punam Bean (engagement), En Pointe Photography (wedding)
Invitations: Scribble Sketch Press
Cake: Cakes by Amy D.
DJ: Rob Wilkins Entertainment

Encyclopedia of Meg: I

I is for ice cream! Not surprising, right? But yes, I love ice cream. I love to buy it (especially from the Penny Ice Creamery), I love to make it, but most of all I love to eat it! I feel the best way to address this beloved topic of mine is in three parts: discuss previously mentioned favorite ice cream shop, reveal a recent ice cream discovery, and share a recent ice cream making adventure!

The Penny Ice Creamery
I love this place, I mean true, heartfelt love. Sure, it’s a little pricey, but for me that’s a good thing. Why? Because it deters me from stopping by this wonderful place everyday! (And since I’m trying to cut back the sweets as I count down the days until wedding day, that’s even more important than usual.)

Photo compliments of Penny Ice Creamery's facebook page

But why do I love Penny so much? Because their ice cream is amazing! It’s made fresh from all local and in-season ingredients. You never know what will be on the menu when you stop by, but you know it will be different and delicious. My faves so far? Salted Caramel and Mascarpone Hazelnut, so so good. And today’s menu has fresh mint chip, I need to try that! I know, your mouth is watering, right? And to top it all off, they are at my local farmers market every week. Ice cream at 9am? Yes please.

New Find
A few weeks back, at the Target near my parents’ house, I made an amazing discovery: Ben & Jerry’s Volun-Tiramisu. What? Ice cream that’s also tiramisu? Yes please! Apparently, it’s a special flavor, only available at Target (another reason to increase my Target dependency).

Homemade Ice Cream
I love making ice cream and why wouldn’t I? You can combine your favorite flavors and control what goes into you dessert. Recently, I wanted to make some ice cream for a good friend who had done us a lot of favors as of late (pup-sitting, airport pickups, etc). I asked him what his favorite flavor was and he said cookie dough and cookies ‘n’ cream. Me too! I thought why not combine the too. After making chocolate chip cookies, I froze some batter for the ice cream. I added teaspoon-sized balls of the dough along with crumbled Joe-Joe’s cookies to Gidget’s vanilla ice cream. (I doubled the recipe and used vanilla bean paste since my local store didn’t have vanilla beans, but the paste worked great!) My super cookie ice cream turned out fantastic! Good for me? Of course not! But everything in moderation, right? (Well, maybe not everything!)

                  
Craving ice cream yet? Me too! Ok, I admit, I had to get some of this cookie/ice cream goodness out of the freezer!

Encyclopedia of Meg: H

H is for … you guessed it History!

Ok, I know it’s a bit of a cop-out, but really how could I not spend a portion of this Encyclopedia of Meg series without discussing something that takes up the vast majority of my life these days.

Like many people, I didn’t really like history in high school. I didn’t hate and I did well in the classes, but I thought it was so boring. Memorizing names and dates of dead white men just didn’t appeal to me. Then I went to college. For those of you who don’t know, I attended Chapman University for my freshman year of college. In that year, I took two classes with Robert Slayton. His way of teaching history made me fall in love with the subject. I especially loved his course “Everyday Life in America” (which he still teaches, btw). For the first time, I saw the art, the excitement, and the meaning in history.

I transferred to CSUSM in 2000 and my love of history only grew more, largely in part to my adviser Jill Watts (and her blog). I really cannot sing her praises enough, she taught me so much not only about US history but about teaching, about school, and about creating and maintaining professional relationships. I also have to sing the praises about the History faculty at CSUSM in general. I received so much support there and learned so much, I am so thankful to have completed my undergraduate career there.

After a few years off, I returned to pursue a graduate degree and graduated from UCI. I found that to be one of the most difficult experiences, I put too much pressure on myself and ended up leaving with a Masters degree and no desire to return to academia.

And yet… here I am, in the 2nd year of my PhD program and in the midst of the largest budget cuts to the California higher education system… maybe I should have stuck it out at UCI … nah (I’m happy with my decision). So history, specifically of course US history, remains a huge portion of my life. I spend entirely too much time reading and prepping for seminar, section, and lecture. For those of you who care, I’m particularly interested in women and religion in 19th century US… but I’m still trying to figure out my next big research project. Oh! And I also manage an informal blog about history (and am always looking for contributors). So yes, history is a big part of my life.

Encyclopedia of Meg: G

G is for Gus!

Meet Gus, our sweet new puppy. (Don’t worry Sami fans, you can guess what the S post in this series will be!) We got Gus a few weeks ago from a rescue center, Friends of Canine. We had been looking for a friend for Sami and really wanted to rescue a pup. But we also wanted a young dog because we wanted it to be an easy transition for Sami. We scoured the web and came across three little brother pups.

Amazingly, the center’s owners brought the pups out twice! We got to see how each one interacted with Sami and who would be the best fit. I was smitten with Gus from the minute I saw him, but we thought his brother, Ben, might be a better fit. Ben was a little more playful with his brothers and taller than Gus. But with Sami, Ben transformed into a shy little guy while Gus held his own. So we knew, Gus it is!

Gus has been such a great little guy, he loves Sami. They play all the time. He’s pretty calm for a puppy, but still loves to go on a walk or run around with his big “sister.” He’s still figuring out this whole housebreaking thing, but he’s making progress. And I love having two dogs because at the end of the day, I have a pup on either side of me when I watch TV.

Encyclopedia of Meg: F

F is for FOOD! And especially food with good friends. I love food, I love to cook and bake. And I love to eat food. I don’t eat meat (except fish) but that doesn’t mean that I eat less! (I wish I did, I’m kind of a pig!) Nope, I love to eat and no description of me would be accurate without including my love of food.

I especially love to go out to eat. I really do love to cook and bake, especially when we have friends or family to share it with, but nothing tops going to a tasty restaurant with a group of good friends. One of my favorite things to do is have a night out with friends at I Love Sushi (which is aptly named because 1. it serves sushi and 2. I do love sushi!!). And nothing beats having a good meal with good friends and a great glass of wine.

 

Pannikin's

 

Therefore, here are some of my favorite restaurants (both around where I live now and where I grew up):

Breakfast Food/Coffee: Beach Break Cafe (best breakfast food, EVER), Walnut Cafe, Pannikins (you MUST also try their pie!), Vinaka’s, Kelly’s Bakery, and Mocha Marketplace (yes, I know that’s not its name anymore, but it will always be Mocha to me!)

Lunch: Alejandro’s, Taqueria Santa CruzFalafel, Charlie Hong Kong, Betty Burgers, In N Out (they have killer cheese sandwiches for us veggies), Pizza My Heart, Pho Saigon Express

Dinner: I Love Sushi (see above link), Love Boat Sushi, Burger, Saturn Cafe, Malabar, Blanca, Nobo

I know I’m forgetting some places, so what are your favorites?