Category Archives: Life

Fish in Jellyfish

Can we just take a second to gawk at this?! This is a fish swimming inside of a jellyfish. There’s something that’s actually really strange about it, but the warm and fuzzy part of me is like “Awww!!” It wasn’t too long ago that we said we like to reserve some of our Sunday posts from something educational and while that is kind of true, I don’t want to limit it to that – I still want to just include things that I find really interesting and fascinating. However… as I’m writing this, I realize that I try and do this for everyday, but the reason why I’ve probably designated it to Sundays is because it is the day in which I have the most time to blog.

Anyways, this photograph was captured by photographer Tim Samuel while diving in Byron Bay.

Sideview, man.

[Source]

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Aging and Alone in Manhattan’s Chinatown

I had been hoarding this video/article in my tabs for exactly a month now and only this week was I able to finally watch it. After watching it, I asked myself a few questions, why did I keep it here for so long? Shouldn’t I have just watched it and either a) posted about it or b) moved on from it? The other option that also seems pretty likely is c) that I was scared of it. All I knew about it was the title and a screenshot of an elderly Asian woman walking through Chinatown – actually that same one above.

Growing up, my family and I went to Chinatown nearly every weekend in Seattle. To be politically correct, we call it the “International District” because it’s not just targeted towards Chinese people – it’s all Asian cultures. I remember when walking around wondering where their families were – where were their sons and daughters and grandchildren the way that my grandparents had me? Where did they live and did they have family gatherings the way we did? Today, I only have one Grandma left. I was recently told by someone at a funeral that I needed to get married soon so that she could be present at my wedding. Talk about the pressure! Well, if my Grandmother didn’t live 15 minutes away from my childhood home, could this woman in the video easily be her? Yes, probably. And it’s not the life that I would hope for her, but this is the reality for so many elderly people in International Districts all over the country. I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone because the woman’s story profiled in the video is worth watching. What I love about this video is that it gives me a sliver of the answers that I was always looking for, but I’m curious to know more. I want to dig deeper into the stories of those living in Chinatown and hustling every day like this woman. Maybe someday, we’ll be able to do that…

Just a warning, the video doesn’t have a happy ending, but DoobyBrain informed their readers that actually the woman is alive and still in Chinatown so hopefully that puts you at ease.

The video profile was created by Mantai Chow and you can watch it here.

[Source]

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Seth Rogan Helps A Vanity Fair Producer Use Tinder

I don’t normally feel this way about Mondays, but today I really needed a laugh. I couldn’t wait to get home this evening, kick up my feet, and for a few hours just try not to think about work. I remembered seeing this video over the weekend and I honestly wasn’t going to watch it because I imagined that it wouldn’t be that funny. However, given the day I had, I was willing to give it a second chance and I’m glad I did because it actually is pretty funny. Seth doesn’t use Tinder I don’t think, but he has a lot of the same thoughts that my friends and I have about dating apps and sometimes it’s funny when you can relate to someone that you didn’t think you would. Or… you’re just Seth Rogan and you’re funny anyways and you have the worst laugh.

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Blog Roundup

  • Frank Ocean’s album reportedly will be within 72 hours (Frank, pls) [Independent]
  • Meet the ATM for pizzas [Inside Hook]
  • The Filipino diving team is not good. Just watch. [Digg]
  • The captions to use when you post that first photo with your significant other [List]
  • Famous first landing pages [One Month Rails]
  • How the USA women’s gymnastics team picks their music [Fader]
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Wedding Mondays

This week’s Wedding Mondays wedding video comes to us from a referral. Thanks Heing! Actually, I’m pretty excited to be sharing this video on Wedding Mondays because not only was my own brother attending, but the bride is the older sister of a former classmate of mine. I never really knew Tiffany growing up personally, but how neat is it that we have all these random connections years later! Anyways, this video is a super sweet one and I found myself getting a sad after about a minute because – um all these shots of Seattle. Amazing.

Happy Monday y’all! Enjoy!

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Monday Night Workshop

You guys, I finally did that thing that I’ve been putting off since January. A couple of weeks ago, Jessie and I finally committed to going to Monday Night Workshop – a 2 hour hip hop class in San Jose from 9:30-11:30 PM. For years, since I moved here, I started researching which places I should go to and what class might be a good fit for me. I’ve been following Monday Night Workshop on Instagram for awhile and was pretty sure that I had found the one. Lucky for me, Jessie, my co-worker had also heard about it too and had been interested in trying it out. So back in March, we put it on the calendar. But for whatever reason, kept putting it off – things kept coming up, we had to work late that night, we were lazy, it was a Monday, the excuses were never ending.

Growing up, I always wanted to take hip hop classes. It wasn’t feasible for me as a kid and when I got to college, I started going to my university’s gym where classes were being taught, but similar to now – it was hard for me to remain committed. I just wanted to get really good, but how can you be good if you stop showing up? Monday Night Workshop is late and Mondays are our busiest days so I knew it was going to be a struggle! I had nerves the morning of class and because of this – savaged my body with an Egg McMuffin and hashbrowns that morning to calm myself. I wanted to take this class for a few reasons:

  1. I wanted to get good. I wanted to continue going and work my way up towards becoming better
  2. This was the hobby that I always wanted and it wasn’t too late for me to take it on. I thought it would be both fun and relaxing
  3. Dancing isn’t easy; you need to focus and you have to pay attention to the details (things that push me every day in my work) and I wanted that challenge

So this class is no joke. Everyone here is as good as a Jabbawockee and while everyone was a 9-10, I felt like I was a 4. I probably only got every 3rd or 4th step which made me insecure at first, but then I quickly recognized that it’s not like everyone comes out of the womb being a good dancer. It took work and I’ve been out of it for years so while I can pick up some things, I shouldn’t have expected that I could go to one class after a long time and be as good as everyone else. The choreography, the song, the instructor – all met my expectations. It was exactly what I had wanted, but 9:30 PM for a start time is rough after a long working day. Everyone was so talented though and I think that’s something I enjoyed watching. This kind of dance is beautiful and mesmerizing to me. Would I go back? Probably, but I’m still a little bit shy to be doing this in front of everyone else so I think if I can make the time for it, I’d like to set up just a couple of private lessons before heading back. I’m glad we finally took the plunge!

If you’re interested in seeing the piece we learned – here is a video of our instructor Deziree doing the choreography to it at the end of class. She’s amazing. The song is PARTYNEXTDOOR – Persian Rugs.

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Just An Update

So… should we just hand Yow Yow! over to Mandi? The front page alone has 3 of her Wedding Wednesday posts! In all seriousness, we’ve got a few posts lined up that we’re hoping to write this weekend, but when we look back on the month of July, it pretty much looks like a blur. We were in Seattle for 3 weekends in a row this summer. Work has been picking up and come fall, I’ll be on the road on and off for about a month and a half and I may have just gotten back from a quick weekend jaunt in Los Angeles.

We’ve still got a pulse over here though and even though I’m headed into my busiest work season yet, Yow Yow! is still really important to us. However, we should just set expectations now – all daily updates can just be found at my Instagram and now with Instagram Stories, we’ve more active than ever! See you all there!

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Wedding Wednesdays – You’re Invited!

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I have learned a lot about wedding planning over the last year and much of that is thanks to my wonderful wedding planner. One of the most random things I learned is in regards to stationery and choosing your save the dates and invitation suite. I learned that your stationery can set the tone for your wedding day. I didn’t realize choosing stationery for one’s wedding required so much thought. And so, we set out into the wonderful world of paper goods knowing that we had to choose invitations that both expressed our vision for the wedding weekend and was conveniently under budget.

First, our save the dates. We chose not to pursue the modern save the dates highlighting an engagement picture because that just didn’t suit us as a couple. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love having two of my favorite people featured on my fridge in a gorgeous professional photo, it just never felt quite right for Eric and I. Picking out save the dates are incredibly fun because they can be playful and unique. You can choose an adorable engagement photo or you can choose a vintage postcard depicting the Yosemite Valley. I love the simplicity of our save the dates and practicality as I assume they will end up in everyone’s recycling bins eventually. Don’t lie to me, we’ve all been there, none of us scrapbook anymore.

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I have been an avid follower of Rifle Paper Company for a long time now and am completely obsessed with their gorgeous flower prints. I knew our wedding planner was the perfect match for a while, but when did I really know? It was when she sent us an invitation suite that highlighted a colorful Rifle floral print, without me ever mentioning my dream of Rifle Paper Co wedding invitations. I was sold from the second she sent it. Not only were the invitations all of my favorite colors, but they were done in letterpress, which is an especially nice touch for those who want to add a little somethin’ somethin’. Sure, they weren’t customized Rifle invites, but who has that in their budget anyways? The best part about our invites, Eric, our wedding planner, and myself designed the suite from the ground up. We had inspiration from Etsy, duh who doesn’t these days, but we took the original invitations and went wild. We were able to take our overall vision for the wedding and display it in something as simple and low key as an invitation. This my friends, marks our first wedding DIY project. Eric and I went crazy at Paper Source shortly thereafter buying necessary craft supplies and painstakingly put the final product together. We created our very own assembly line and, singlehandedly, glued envelope liners, taped belly bands (yes that’s a real thing), and stuffed 120 envelopes.

Lastly, but certainly one of the most important considerations is that of the wording and addressing of a wedding invitation. Do you have any idea how sexist an envelope can be? Dr. and Mrs? I mean really. The approach Eric and I took, and advice I felt worthy of sharing on this post is that the envelope should be labeled for who you know best. Everyone should get a label before their names and so as to not make assumptions, all the women can be assigned Ms. (instead of Mrs.). Next, if a couple is living together they can be assigned the same line on an envelope otherwise they each get their own line. Note, if you’ve known each individual of a couple for the same amount of time my personal default was to put the woman first. We’ve earned it ladies.

For example, Ms. Amanda Thomas and Mr. Eric Spishak would be an appropriate way to address an envelope to my fiancé and I. We’re on the same line because we’ve been living together three years and dating almost seven years total. We’ve worked hard to be on the same line after all of these years.

As for the wording of the invitation, I’m a big fan of some formality with some fun. You want to keep these classy and timeless, but still have your personality shine through so as to not have your invitations feel stuffy and impersonal. We hope we nailed that little tidbit in ours, but nobody’s perfect. We are also financing a majority of our wedding therefore we get to invite everyone to our wedding instead of the traditional, so and so’s parents invite you to their daughter’s wedding. You know what I mean.

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There are a lot of ways to modernize wedding invitations these days including RSVPs online, which a lot of people do. Personally, I love getting mail and find the tradition of mailing an RSVP a non-negotiable so we chose to keep it traditional. Minted and Wedding Paper Divas are online stationery companies that make purchasing and designing stationery an easy and painless process. Long story short, our wedding invitations and save the dates were not something we wanted to break the bank, but they were an important way to express ourselves and set the tone for the wedding weekend. We had a lot of fun creating our own invitations, licking over a hundred envelopes (Eric literally licked all of them, I have to be honest), and learning that there are two ways and definitions to spell stationery (or stationary).

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Wedding Wednesdays – How to: Register for Wedding Gifts

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Let’s talk gifts. I LOVE gift giving and I especially love buying a wedding gift for a couple. I mean, how could you not? It’s legitimately the easiest gift you’ll ever buy, the couple chooses the exact gifts their hearts desire and all you have to do is click purchase and your gift is sent directly to their door! Wedding registries can be a very controversial topic for some and it’s a subject that people can get extremely judgey about so take a breath because as always, this is just simply one woman’s opinion and that woman, is me.

Eric and I went the old fashioned way and registered at three different stores, linking each registry through our website, but before I get into that we must talk about all of the hip new registries on the block. There are so many different ways to register these days, it’s really insane how many start ups have been created to tackle the “issue” of wedding registries. I’ll give one example because it’s the only alternative we ever looked into and that is, Blueprint Registry. Of course I’ve participated in purchasing gifts for friends through the Honeyfund and Zola sites as well. Blueprint Registry is a new way of looking at a wedding registry. It allows the couple to create a homepage and shop for a variety of items from a variety of stores all on one website. It also allows the couple to shop “room by room” in their integrated system, taking an overwhelming task of what one needs for their house and organizing it in a very systematic way. What drew me to Blueprint was the idea that it wouldn’t matter what store each item was from while also allowing guests to narrow their search by price. I decided to ultimately stick with tradition primarily due to the concern I had over return policies through Blueprint Registry. Things get complicated when the items are integrated into one system instead of using each store’s website and we ultimately decided to go with our gut and register at: Williams-Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, and Heath Ceramics.

I have to be honest, I love shopping and I love housewares and kitchen gadgets so registering for our wedding was basically my dream. My dream came crashing down pretty quickly after I realized stores no longer give you a barcode scanner to scan items in their store. First off, what’s with that? If you’ve watched enough rom-coms that involve weddings you know that you’re supposed to get a “gun” to scan items in a store when you get married and it looks fun and it looks easy! Well now we can all thank technology for allowing us to download a freaking registry app that allows one to roam the store freely, scanning barcodes like a crazy person. That might still sound fun to you, but let me tell you, if you’re registering at Crate & Barrel or Williams-Sonoma like we were, both of their apps are glitchy, slow, and not nearly as fun as what I can only imagine those scanning guns were in their hay day. I know, I know, first world problems, but bear with me.

A little backstory on Eric and my registry. We have been living together for three years in an adorable San Francisco, 500 square foot, apartment (or what Craigslist lovingly referred to as a “junior one bedroom”). Now, over these three years one would think we would have a well stocked apartment or kitchen, but not Eric and I, oh no. We have been waiting until we get married to actually buy things that don’t snap in half when you use them (like our Target knife, terrifying) and so our registry was a big deal. We needed everything under the sun you can think of, including the obvious, a KitchenAid Mixer (pistachio color obviously) and the not so obvious, a garlic press. One thing we did that I would highly recommend is to make a list of things as you notice them missing in your kitchen, things you wished you had or things that need replacing. Likely, the stores you register at will load you up with all sorts of helpful lists, tips, and tricks on how to best utilize their wedding registry. Not only that, but when you check-in at the stores in person, they’ll probably give you an adorable wedding gift. At Crate & Barrel for example, we got two free stemless wine glasses! The other thing is to consult the internet. I found great, comprehensive lists of recommended items that I brought with me to each store for registering in order to make the task less daunting. No matter how much preparation you have going into building and creating a wedding registry though, it’s going to overwhelm you at some point and don’t you worry, that’s normal. Trust me, you have no idea how big of an industry dish drying racks are until you begin your wedding registry.

The last thing I want to say about registering is to focus on creating a registry that speaks to you as a couple and your life together moving forward in your marriage. I think the main reason alternative registries are growing is due to the lack of personalization one can have in purchasing a wedding gift through a traditional wedding registry. For me, I get excited about buying someone new sheets or glassware, but that’s not for everyone. Some people want to participate in your honeymoon by buying you an adventure on your Croatian getaway or getting you a restaurant gift card to contribute to future date nights. Not everyone even has a wedding registry at all these days and that’s okay too. Just note, older family and friends may find it challenging to not have any ideas to go off of and many people frown upon asking for money to pay off your student loans after the wedding (trust me, we considered this). Eric and I chose Heath Ceramics as our sort of outlier store. Heath Ceramics is a gorgeous and incredible local ceramics shop started in Sausalito by Edith Heath where we registered for all of our dishes and serving platters/bowls. To us, shopping local is important and we fell in love with Heath Ceramics after moving to San Francisco. Their attention to detail and handmade craft makes their dishes special and unique and something we hope to keep forever. What’s the real adventure about registering for wedding gifts? Choosing to wait to open them all until after the wedding and allowing them to stack up until the big day. If there’s one thing I am, it’s impatient. The fact that I haven’t completely spoiled the entire registry is only due to the fact that Eric locked me out of our registries by changing all of the passwords.

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Wedding Wednesdays – Building a Wedding Website

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At brunch this weekend with Katie, we both realized it had been far too long since I’ve blogged about wedding planning. Time is flying by and all of a sudden the wedding is just over two months away, 73 days to be exact but who’s counting? It’s a weird thing when you’re engaged for a year and a half because for so much of the time it feels so far away and then all of a sudden, in the blink of an eye you are completely freaking out with excitement that it’s just around the corner! So with that, I’m back and anxious to discuss the importance of a wedding website.

A destination wedding can mean a couple of things. It can mean that most of your family and friends are coming in from various parts of the country therefore, for them, it’s a destination wedding. It can also mean that you chose a wedding venue that’s in a national park conveniently located a 3-4 hour drive from an airport…oh wait that’s what we did. Either way, having a destination wedding of sorts means there is a lot of pressure on a good wedding website. Not only am I having a destination wedding, but I’m having a wedding weekend, making the wedding website even more significant. Knowing the importance of a clear, well done wedding website and luckily marrying a software engineer, Eric and I set to work on building our wedding website from the ground up. That’s right, we did not use Squarespace (*gasp!)

The goal of a wedding website should be to exchange information with your guests without actually having to participate in a million different texts, calls, and emails asking the same questions. Your website should be clear and succinct, you don’t want to overwhelm your guests, but you’re covering a lot of ground so truly more information is better in this case. Your website should also be personal and unique to you as a couple. For example, Eric and I have been together for almost seven years and wanted to share our story for those who might not know it already or those who want to hear it again! We also shared a myriad of photos depicting us throughout our relationship, which we had a lot of fun picking out and putting together in a slideshow. Most importantly, our website has travel and lodging information so that our guests can feel at ease in booking their flights and accommodations. Lastly, guests want to know what to expect for the day or weekend so include information such as a schedule of events, anticipated weather, and requested guest attire.

Not everyone chooses to have a wedding website, but they are a nice thing to have and can be easily included on your save the date or on an invitation insert. Absolutely if you are planning a destination wedding a website should be considered and created prior to sending out save the dates. If you can’t code an entire website like my better half, then I would strongly encourage a predesigned/pre-built wedding website engine. Thankfully for me, I got to sit next to Eric and dictate all of my website desires while he did all of the hard work. We think it turned out pretty great, and we’re always working to update it and add additional information as the big day gets closer. The update we’re most excited about? Adding a road trip playlist, curated by my famous bridesmaid who is a big deal in the music industry, and road trip suggested stops for everyone on their drive from the Bay Area to Yosemite.

Interested in how ours turned out or want to just stalk our wedding plans? We don’t judge, check it out here: mandianderic2016.com

Yes, it does sound like we’re running for president, but vote for us and check out our labor of love for inspiration for your own website!

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