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Wedding Anniversary- Nina&James Edition

4 Feb

Wow! I cannot believe that it has already been a full year since James and I got married! It is a funny thing because even though so many things have happened in between the time we got married and now, it feels as if it were only yesterday that we exchanged our vows. I guess time flies when you’re having fun? ūüėČ

Looking back, I am so grateful because I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. Although the weather forecast had signs of rain all week, on our wedding day the rain held off until the tail end of the night and we enjoy a warm and rain free day! ¬†Our vendors were amazing, on time, and so gracious in helping make sure everything went on without a hitch. In addition, we were so blessed to have our supportive family and friends (some from out of town) by our side which made it all that more touching and unforgettable.

However, looking back I realize that I cherish most the small details that made everything so memorable, special, and beautiful to me. Here are a couple that comes to my mind, but also not in any particular order:

  • ¬†The letter James wrote to me before our wedding letting me know how excited he was to marry me set me to tears but also calmed my nerves. (also, Jaime one of my bridesmaids did her dance, which made me laugh)
  • The fun and relaxing time I had with my bridesmaids and maid of honor getting ready before the wedding. I love all those girls.
  • The first sight.
  • The white fragrant freesias my florist added to my bouquet reminded me of my late mother who’s favorite flowers were freesias. (Her wedding whole bouquet were white freesias!)
  • The daddy-daughter small talk I had with my dad at the top of the staircase waiting to walk down the aisle. Also a tear jerker.
  • The thoughtfully written vow James read to me during the ceremony which brought so many people (including myself) to tears.
  • The 10 mins James and I got to share in between ceremony and reception where we got to soak in our newly- married-ness, if you will. ūüôā
  • The MoH speech so beautifully written by Nina Earnest.
  • The photobooth pictures with my friends, family, and guests were such a blast!
  • The first dance.

And because pictures are worth a thousand words…








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Pictures: Laura Leslie Photography (

With the very special Nina C. Earnest and MoH who inspires me to blog! We love you guys!


I can’t believe it’s already that time of the year for all the holiday cheer!

27 Nov

When is comes to holiday decorations and cheer, Nina Choi Earnest has some serious style sense. So, this being my first time having my very own place to decorate , I channeled some of Nina’s holiday style into my own home. (thanks Nina! ) I still have a lot to go in terms of decorating our little home, but with yesterday’s start I am very optimistic about it all!

I assembled my first DIY tinsel wreath which was inspired by Nina’s wreath that she made last year. If you forgot, you can read all about it here. Although I had some tinsel that I bought with Nina last year, I cheated a little and bought a tinsel wreath at Five Below Zero for $3. My original intent was to buy more tinsel and a base wreath, but this saved me the extra step of wrapping the weath. However, the wreath came with a price. The tinsel wreath came with a bunch of red/white candy canes all over it which made the wreath look a bit kiddish. So before adding the ornaments, I carefully cut it all off one by one. I’m not sure what was more worth it- wrapping tinsel or cutting all of the candy canes off one by one. ūüėČ Anyways, afterwards I added some ornaments which I purchased at Ikea and added some scrap ribbon I found in my craft box.

Now this is how it looks on my door! ūüôā Unfortunately, due to the door layout of our¬†town home, no one else but the UPS man and occasional visitors will be really seeing it. But it makes me happy!

Dolphin Meet and Greet

23 Sep

This past Labor Day weekend, James and I decided to get away for a couple of days to sunny Cancun to enjoy the tail end of summer. I really felt like I needed a break from work so we decided to take a quick 3 day trip down to our neighboring south of the border country, Mexico. James and I had never been to Mexico before so we were pretty excited about the trip.

We stayed at the Riu¬†(Palace Peninsula) and because the resort was an all-inclusive resort we did a lot of eating. Some of our favorite foods during the trip¬†included their authentic chicken tacos on corn tortillas and their lime ice cream sherbet. We are pretty easy to please when it comes to food. ūüôā

This is the view from our hotel room overlooking the resort, pools, and beach.

The turquoise colored ocean beach was a nice mental break.

The resort always had a nice beautiful display of desserts.

This was where we stayed. The whole hotel had some very interesting interior design schemes as you can see with all the purple.

James and I getting some sun on the beach.

Displaying some married couple PDA. ūüėČ

Swimming with the Dolphins!

The highlight of the trip was an excursion we took to¬†swim with the dolphins. I’ve always loved dolphins. As a kid, dolphins were my favorite animal¬†so I learned to draw them, I would¬†have dolphin¬†posters on my wall, and I also¬†collected dolphin stuffed animals. As a grown woman I don’t think¬†I completely¬†grew out of my love for¬†dolphins.

James, knowing this slight obsession¬†of mine decided that we would do an excursion¬†involving dolphins even though he wasn’t a huge fan of sea creatures.¬†We booked an excursion with Dolphin Discovery in Cancun who took us out on a ferry¬†to their facility on Isla Mujeres, which¬†is¬†an island off the coast of Cancun.

As soon as we docked,¬†I became so excited seeing dolphins swimming so gracefully in the ocean. I’m not sure if¬†anyone else has wondered this as well, but¬†I was always curious as to what¬†dolphins and whales would feel like. I always imagined it would feel a bit rubbery and slimy and I was ready to find out! Once we got to the facility we were put in groups and led by the dolphin trainers into an enclosed area of the ocean where the dolphins lived.¬†We were directed to¬†stand against the fence on a platform in the water¬†as the instructor allowed the dolphins to swim up to us for the encounter.

One of the coolest experiences was getting a “foot push” from the dolphins. The instructors would direct us to swim out about 50 feet on a boogie board¬†and then would signal to the dolphins and they would push our feet and bring us back. We also got to swim out, grab onto their fins and swim back as well.

Such cute and intelligent animals!

The dolphins here are waving to us!

Dolphins are great synchronized swimmers!

The facility also had a meet and greet with the sea lions and manatees.¬†Here are some pictures of other tourists¬†interacting with the cool¬†animals. ūüôā

After a long day of swimming and staying out in the sun, we were so exhausted. Here is a picture of James cautiously¬†getting in a Mexican¬†hammock. Believe it of not, this was his first time in a hammock ever! So many firsts this trip… However, this hammock was so comfortable¬†we hope to have one of these at our house some day.

Hope you guys enjoyed an awesome summer. We are now officially ready for Fall in the Ryu household with this cool weather coming through.


6 Sep

Taking a moment to reflect on today and re-ground myself.



Life Lesson: Fixing an Oven Door

1 Sep

I¬†don’t know about you guys, but when it comes to appliances and fixing them, James and I are but newbies in a¬†big world of broken things waiting to be fixed.¬†Fortunately and unfortunately though life experience¬†is a tough teacher and¬†through trial and error, mistakes and pain we learn its lessons.

So when it came to tightening the screws to the loose handle of our oven, it was no different.

  1. First lesson learned: Oven doors are usually made out of  more than one layer of glass. In our case, it was three layers of glass!
  2. Second lesson learned:¬†If you own a¬†Whirlpool¬†stainless steel oven, there is a good chance that the¬†most outer layer of the oven is ALL glass¬†not just the part you can see through to see if your¬†cookies are done, but also the¬†whole area¬†surrounding¬†the clear part is¬†glass disguised¬†in black paint and tape. Thus, don’t use an electronic drill to tighten the screws of the handles or the pressure will cause the¬†whole glass will shatter.
  3. Third lesson learned:¬†Replacing¬†the outer¬†shattered glass door is expensive¬†and figuring out how to assemble the new glass door with the rest of the inner door is made difficult because the instructions don’t come with the part and there are no clear instructions online. It¬†was¬†A LOT¬†more complicated than we both imagined.
  4. Fourth lesson learned:¬†Instructions for removing¬†and reinstalling the oven door can be found most likely online on your oven manufacturer’s website. You can search the make/model and there¬†should be an e-manual¬†to help you through.¬†Otherwise, there are a couple of Youtube links that was (sort of) helpful.

Fortunately for us, the third and fourth lessons were made easier by our knowledgeable friends, Nina E and Chris, who came to the rescue!

Here is an image of our once pitiful oven without a door.

This is a picture of our detached oven door waiting to be reassemble.

The boys brain storming about how this complicated door needs to be put back together.

Doing the manual work.

Crossing fingers and learning lesson number 4!

The boys did it! A very proud moment for all of us!


One life lesson down, many more to go! Happy September!

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