Off on the honeymoon!

Well, the wedding is over. We mDe it through. AJ cried sooooo much! Who knew I would be the one to keep it together? We are sitting at LAX, waiting to board our flight to Charles DeGaul. Yup. Off to Paris we go!
We spent two wonderful, relaxing nights at the Grand Californian hotel. If you ever get the chance, stay there. The staff is Disney helpful and friendly and the rooms are spacious and beautiful. Plus, we can walk right into California Adventure from our hotel. How cool is that? We spent a lazy Sunday by the pool and even made it into the park for a couple of rides. AJ and I stopped to get our “just married” buttons at City Hall and our Mickey and Minnie top hat and veil at The Mad Hatter. It was a great start to what looks to be an amazing honeymoon. Hopefully we will get free wi-fi as we continue our trip so we can share some of our adventures with you. Talk to you all soon, or as they say in Paris, au revoir!

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Bridal Shower Fun

This past weekend, my bridesmaids threw me a bridal shower.  It was amazing. They threw a party like I would throw a party.  The attention to detail was insane.  Right down to the centerpiece Duffi had her husband build.  Yup, there were power tools involved in my bridal shower.  How cool is that? But we will get to that later.

My day started out at the hair salon, where Crystal made me beautiful.  I had been putting off getting my hair done for a month so I could go in on the day of my shower.  Those of you who know me, know how hard that is for me.  I felt as if I belonged in a trailer park and had to change my name to something like  Candi, with an “i” of course.  She introduced me to her amazing curling iron that I just simply cannot live without.  After she worked her magic, I headed off to MAC because, well, a girl just needs to pamper herself, just a bit.

Oh yeah, check out the kick ass flower I found on Etsy by Mignonne Handmade.  I actually built my entire outfit around that.  Because that’s what you do, you find an accessory and then find the rest of the outfit. (BTW – didn’t I tell you the curling iron was amazing?!)

So back to the power tools.  Duffi took her job ad Matron of Honor very seriously and did her research for the shower.  She went to Anthropologie for inspiration and made many trips to the dreaded Shinoda’s.  She had her husband build the crate as the center piece for the table.  I love it so much I am going to have to sneak into her house one night and steal it!

How awesome would my herb garden look nestled in that? Or as a centerpiece on my kitchen table…oh the possibilities!

My mom put her painting skills to work and painted teacups with our wedding date and names on them.  And my other wonderful bridesmaid Heather had her mom make her toffee.  This stuff is like crack.  People who don’t like toffee like this stuff.  It is so amazing!

Did I mention that Heather also designed our invitations for the shower as well?  I have a multi-talented bunch of gals, don’t I?

The weird thing was it made this whole wedding thing “real”.  I have only had couple of other moments like that. The first was when I walked into the very first bridal salon, the other two times were in mass and I realized that I would be “up there” saying vows in a few short months.  This was a little nerve wracking going into it.  I had a blast once I was able to relax a little. Duffi’s white wine sangria helped with that quite a bit.  I wish I was able to talk to everyone more but it really was a whirlwind of a day.  I was so glad to see all of my girls there and have them all celebrate with me.

And as for the gifts? AJ and I made out like bandits!  We have all of our stemware -I think our friends know us pretty well – as well as quite a few kitchen essentials.

Of course, no Dalbey family gathering is complete without my cousins. Jana and Carolyn are twins and as different as can be.  Jana works in a law firm and can be totally inappropriate at times (which is why we love her- she calls a spade a spade). Where as Carolyn is a designer for Roxy and a bit more reserved.  They are both so much fun.  Well, Of course, thanks to them, this happened…

That’s right folks.  I thought I had made it through the entire shower without being embarrassed.  I was wrong.  The very last gift was from the twins, and well, I won’t go into detail as to what they put into the basket, but as you can see, I turned a rather lovely shade of red.

Thank you to my friends and family who were able to make it. Thank you those who couldn’t but still sent cards and love. Thank you to my aunties! They made my shower beautiful (and yummy too!) And most importantly, thank you to my bridesmaids.  The shower was more amazing than I ever thought it would be.  You are all so wonderful and I am so lucky to have you all in my life!

I will leave you with some fun pictures of the shower.  All pictures are from either Jill Troutman Photography, Alison MacInnes and my mom.

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A-registering we will go!

With my bridal shower looming in the distance, I thought I would share our registering experience with everyone! Not too long ago AJ and decided we should have a little fun with this whole wedding thing. Namely picking out presents for other people to buy us.  Please don’t get me wrong, that is not the point of getting married, but shopping with “pretend money” is a great way to relax while under the stress of planning a wedding.  The great thing is most places you register at have set up a special time just for registrants to be in the store.  They have experts to answer questions on certain appliances, cookware even china.  Our first stop was Williams Sonoma, a store I should never be allowed in alone, much less with scanner gun. 


They had a beautiful light breakfast of fresh fruit and scones waiting for us, so we jumped in while waiting for the other couples to arrive.  Well, it was just our luck that the other 3 couples who signed up for this (free) event didn’t show up.  AJ and I had the entire store to ourselves!  Can’t you just imagine my evil little laugh as I rush off towards the pots and pans?

I even let AJ get in on the fun.

It was a great day, that’s for sure.  I love all of the little things they do to take care of the registrants.  Just yesterday, we got a letter from Diane, our registry consultant, reminding us to fill out a couple of forms so that we could take advantage of a few giveaways All Clad and Wustholf were offering just for registering for them .

On our second registering outing we brought another couple with us.  Kristen and Duke generously gave up a Sunday morning to join us at Crate and Barrel for one of their “Wedding Parties”. 

Okay, you see right there? In our hands?  That’s why AJ and Duke were so excited for this registry event.  Those are mimosas.  They were feeding us and giving us booze.  Yup, it was Spring Break in Crate and Barrel.

See the boys huddled near the pitcher? 

Our first scan of the day!

We had a great time all day, Duke and Kristen were great helping us to figure out what we needed and what was just fluff and filler.  Unbeknownst to us, they were also there for another reason.  The dreaded “registry argument” that every couple inevitably have.  Let me walk you through these next few photos.

AJ: “I like these plates”

Dana: “But I like these plates”

Dana: “Why don’t we pick something completely different so that way we both win?”

AJ: “But I like these plates”

So went the Great Plate Debate of ’09.  You will notice in checking our registry that our plates are not from Crate and Barrel at all. So came our first lesson in marital compromise. 

The rest of the day went off without a hitch.  AJ found an “old man chair” which he claimed as his own.

The guy who never wanted to grow up has now decided to be an old man. I know, I don’t understand it either.

Thanks for joining us!

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New tab added

It has been almost 3 months since I have updated anything.  I am sooo sorry!  Check out the new tab and meet our wedding party.  More to come soon!

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wedding inspiration

I haven’t written in a bit and I know the holidays are no excuse, but….it’s the holidays and we have been hectic! Excuses aside, I thought I should post what has been been inspiring me for our wedding.  So here is the first in a series of  posts. I have spent the better part of my evenings “blog-stalking” several sites.  There are a few that I absolutely L-O-V-E.

One of the first ones I came across was Jessica Claire‘s blog site.  I was introduced to her work by our good friends Kristen and Duke.  She is a friend of Kristen’s family and was their photographer for their wedding.  Her work is absolutely beautiful! She has an adorable studio in Ladera Ranch in a great little area that has homes that are zoned for commercial. I love her style and I have enjoyed follwing her own trip to the alter.  There are so many great little nuances that made her wedding so special and I love where it has taken me in my own journey. I particularly loved her invites.

Photography by Jessica Claire

Another great blog is The Wedding Chicks. It is run by two fabulous ladies in San Clemente, California and it has so  many resources.  I love that they follow brides throughout the process.  Everything you can imagine is covered throughout this site.  I love their personalized totes and tees!

That’s all for today!  Stay tuned for more coming soon!

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Fun at Balboa


Just last Sunday, AJ and I met up with our wonderful photographer Kristin at the Balboa Fun Zone for our engagement shoot.  We had a blast and Kristin worked her magic.  We were so lucky to find her on the day AJ proposed, while he was proposing!  Check out her blog and some of the pictures she has posted.  

Blue Sky’s Studios

Some cool facts about our shoot. 

   On our first date AJ convinced me to go on the ferris wheel at the fair, even though I am terified of heights, actually make that of falling from heights.  That is why we got photos on the ferris wheel.

The suitcase was one that actually belonged to my grandparents.  Yup, all those stickers are from their travels.

Most of the old cameras came from my collection.  In fact, the old 8mm was my Papa’s that he used to shoot home movies of my mom, my aunts and uncle.  I am not sure, but it may even be the one he took overseas with him while in the Marines.

Enjoy!  We will post more when we have more to share!

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How he proposed, Part 1

I know many of you have waited for this post.  I have decided to share my version of how we met and the proposal while we wait – *hint hint* – for AJ’s version.

Once upon a time, in land far far away in a town known to some as San Juan Capistrano, a blond girl with her arm stuck in a sling met a boy throwing a party while his dad was away in Japan.  The fair-haired maiden, who had recently had reconstructive surgery on her shoulder, went to a party with her very good friend Francine.  There they talked and mingled and drank “sodas” all night long.  The boy and the girl talked very briefly that night, laughing at the note his dad left on the oven.  The note may have included:

              No parties, the neighbors are watching.  If you do throw a party, you won’t get your allowance.

             Jake, you are grounded.  You can only go to the desert to go riding. 

              Don’t drink my beers.  I counted them and spit in all of them.

The boy went back to San Francisco and finished up his first year away at college.  That would have been the end of it, but just a few months later the boy returned home and met up with Francine and the now red-haired girl for another party at another friends house.  They spent the night talking and laughing and knew they started something very special.  Of course it took the boy another month and a half to get up the courage to have his good friend ask the girl out for him.  They went to the fair and the rest is history.

Eight years later, AJ and I were getting ready to celebrate another anniversary together.  AJ has always been a big fan of “grand gestures” . One year it was a scavenger hunt around south Orange County put on by his alter ego “Big Tony”.  While another year he blindfolded me and took me to Glen Ivy Hot Springs and Spa.  Needless to say, I knew I was in for something special.  The morning began with my gift to AJ. As long as I can remember, AJ had been talking about how cool the Tiffany Atlas collection was.  When he woke up I pulled out the box and had Lola “give him” his present, the Atlas ring.


We then got on our way. We started off at the Ritz Carlton for breakfast overlooking the ocean. Both AJ and I  were delighted to see an italian version of eggs Benedict.  Prosciutto and pesto Hollandaise heaven!
AJ and his present
Our view for breakfast

Before we go on, you need to understand one fundamental difference between AJ and myself. He loves being surprised where I love surprises so I can figure them out. This drives him nuts. So as we started driving along for the rest of our fun-filled day, I had to guess everything. And I am pretty good at it too, it drove him crazy that I was guessing everything we were going to do. We were headed to the Sawdust Festival, a local showcase for artists in Laguna Beach. But before we headed in, we stopped off at Pure Light Candles, a “Make your own candle” store and made our “Love Candle”.

Our next stop was Tommy Bahama’s for lunch and pineapple mojitos followed by a quick stop in to Sprinkles for cupcakes. After that we stopped at the Newport Beach Vespa to try and grab me a t-shirt. What we forgot was that it was Monday and the dealerships are closed. This picture out front had to tide me over.


Then AJ got really weird. He kept saying that we were going to be late. But then was saying we needed to go home and feed the dog, but it was only 2:30pm. He passed our exit to get off the freeway. And the next one and the next one. He got off at Ortega highway and headed towards he church. We parked in the lot and he suggested that we stop by and say hi to the youth minister since we both volunteer with the youth community at the church. Jaymes wasn’t there so he suggested that we head over to the old mission. Neither of us had been there in a while even though we spend quite a bit of time right next door. We wandered the mission for a bit, taking pictures. AJ seemed to be sweating a bit more than was called for on that afternoon. I asked him more than once if he was okay. He just told me that it was a warm day and he was fine.
At some point I left him for a few minutes and he was talking to strangers. This, if you know AJ,is not unusual at all. He makes friends where ever he goes. I paid no attention this, although I guess I should have. I was a little more concerned with the mini panic attack he seemed to be having. We made our way over to the fountain in the center of the courtyard and AJ started talking to me. What he said, I am not entirely sure of. What I do remember is him crying and me asking him “what are you doing?” Yes, I waited eight years for him to propose and I respond with “what are you doing?” Of course I said yes and the rest is history.



As some of you know, when AJ proposed there happened to be a photographer there taking another couple’s engagement photos.  She got off a few great shots of AJ crying like little girl – he was so cute! We actually ened up booking her as our wedding photographer, check out her work at Blue Skys Studios


The day was perfect and wonderful!

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