Dude, What About My Car?

So you just moved to Washington but don’t know the first thing to do with your license, registration, insurance, blah blah blah. I just moved to the Evergreen state in the last month so I can help you save some time on that end.

  1. First things first: get a Washington driver’s license. There are plenty of locations and some places like ours are open on Saturday’s. If you’re able to pre-apply online, please do so. You won’t need to fill out any forms when you get to the office and excluding the wait time, you’ll be out in half an hour.

    No appointment is required. You show up, pull a number and sit your butt down.

    Once your number gets called, give them your full name and your current valid driver’s license. You’ll have to take a new picture so ensure to beautify yourself like I did. 🙂

    I can’t remember the exact dollar amount but you pay the >$100 fee and you are given a temporary license until it comes in the mail.

    Done.

  2. Call up your insurance company and tell them you’ve moved. We have State Farm so they’re everywhere. We were able to easily transfer it over to Washington and save $600 a year! Take that, California! Pew pew.
  3. Visit a vehicle licensing office. It depends on your situation but for me, both our cars are already paid off and we hold the titles so it was pretty easy to get our plates. If your car is older than 2009, you will need to pass an emission/smog test before heading in.

    Again, no appointment is required. You show up, tell the front desk why you’re there and they hand you a number.

    They asked me for my Washington driver’s license and the title to my car. I was asked to sign a few things, pay the <$300 fee and I received my new plates right then and there! I went on a weekday at 10AM and was finished by 10:30! Like what?! The DMV in California is horrendous and even though you have an appointment, you’re still waiting at least 3 hours to get something accomplished.

    I applaud you, Washington. 🙂

 

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Snap as you stroll

I walk around my neighborhood on a daily basis to appease Kyle’s intense yearning for the outdoors. He loves cars already and how they make noise as they zoom on by. I think it’s a given that Hot Wheels cars are in my very near future. I can already see myself stepping on them and being in explicable pain. 😀

Back in LA, we live in a gated community with cookie cutter condos and houses, so my neighborhood in the Bay area that’s near a college campus is eclectic to say the least. There was a big campus event last Friday before graduation and the streets were amok with young’ins. I’ve never been to a college event that let you wear briefs as pants! Times have changed. 😉

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Whatever the norm is on dressing yourself these days, I felt so out of place with no make-up, crazy hair, and stroller in tow. I really felt the generational gap and no wonder – these kids are the same age as my 21 year old brother! I still thought I was pretty young but this day made it all too clear that I am NOT. Time to head on over to the 30’s bracket next year!

This house does not seem to care for visitors – at all. No if’s, and’s, or but’s about it.

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Do you see what I see? I’ll give you a closer look.

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Like, what?! A mysterious Polynesian Easter Island statue in the Bay?

It made me smile as I walked by.

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Dieting is bad for the soul.

As a summary to my experiences on a slow carb diet, it’s just not my thing. Sorry but I’m not sorry. It’s not me, it’s you. 😀

I don’t have an allergy to gluten. I thankfully don’t have any food allergies. Slow carb, low carb, no carb, Atkins, Dukan, et al is not for me. My 2nd attempt at slow carb went smoother than my first but I can’t incorporate this lifestyle into my life. I eat bread. I eat carbs. I LOVE BREAD. I can eat toast all day if I wanted to. Without bread, I am deprived and eating peanut butter straight out of the jar. I know a lot of people do this on a daily basis without pause but I normally do not.

Typical eats on a typical day:
Breakfast @ 8AM: 2 pieces of toast with a heavy slather of butter &  jam. Coffee with cream.
Lunch @ 1PM: Big salad with nuts and cheese.
Dinner @ 6PM: Meat with rice/pasta/veggies.
Snacks consist of chocolate, small/big serving of ice cream, beef jerky, or whatever I feel or at hand at the moment.

I eat on cue. I eat when I’m hungry. Sometimes I forget and don’t eat for 5-6 hours. Sometimes I snack right after my meals. I think what I’m practicing is moderation but most importantly, I listen to my body. For example, I had gorgonzola cheese on my salad for lunch so for dinner, I take the cheese off of my burger. If I had a light breakfast of fruit and yogurt, my body might crave a nice filling and meaty panini from the deli for lunch. If I went overboard the day before, I try to balance it out by eating a little lighter the next day. I truly think everything is about balance and having bit and pieces of everything.

For me, any type of diet is typically a very bad idea. My body knows its’ being deprived; I start grabbing for anything that can fill the void. I become irrational and unwell. Although, I think this is normally how anyone would behave if they’re on a diet. 😉

Bridesmaid Do’s & Dont’s

After being a bride and a bridesmaid, I think I’m pretty knowledgeable in this area…? 😉

Me and my bridesmaids.

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Here are a few tips and tricks I put together for any future bridesmaids:

–  As I mentioned in my previous post, I know you want to stand out but come with neatly trimmed nails. On the day of, do not wear acrylics or have long fingernails. They will get in your way of everything! You want to be able to help tie/button/buckle your bride in her dress and your acrylics will not help you in any way.

–  Be ready to run for your bride! I think I was the only one who was in a wedding before because I was the only one in modest wedges. I love them so much because I can wear them for any occasion and they did not hurt my feet at all! I purposely picked something that would be easy on my feet – wide open toe, moderate height, and a nice buckle to keep me fastened in. The others wore sky-high heels that became painful to walk in. They teetered while I ran around unhindered. I probably helped my bride more than the maid of honor herself. Remember that this day is about your bride – not you!

My cousin was actually the one to help button me up – all 25+ of them!

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–  Have a small emergency kit ready (I think they sell a bridal emergency kit online too). In the kit include tissues, cotton swabs, q-tips, bobby pins, safety pins, soft pink lip gloss, setting powder & brush, and a mini sewing kit. Because girrrl, you never know what’s going to go down!

In our case, there were 2 emergencies: 1. our bride’s ruching came undone on her dress and 2. a bridesmaid’s dress imploded on her. She was complaining about being horribly bloated from the meal the night before and how the dress was fitting too tight. Well, half an hour before the ceremony, her zipper decided to pop off. Thankfully, our bride was calm and collected while her wedding coordinator sewed them back in.

– As aforementioned, be careful about what you eat prior to the day. I asked the bridesmaid if she ate anything out of the ordinary. She said not really but that she had avoided salt/sodium for the past week until the day before at the rehearsal dinner. Oh goodness. Isn’t it obvious? Her body just ate all that salt up, of course! Be mindful and don’t do anything out of sync – it will backfire on you!

– Stop disappearing. It’s comforting to the bride if you stick by her side. If you have to leave for the bathroom, run to the car, smoking break, etc, just make sure to tell her or someone beforehand. We had a quite a few instances where one or two groomsmen/bridesmaids weren’t where they were suppose to be. It takes up time and energy to find you when everyone’s running on a tight schedule.

– And do have fun! Enjoy this special occasion with lots of laughs, chats, and pictures. I loved being a bridesmaid! I would love to be one again. 🙂

I hope this post was helpful. If anyone has any other tidbits to share, please feel free to comment!

My postpartum body after baby

When I was pregnant, I didn’t really think too much about life after baby. Silly or plain stupid? No worries. I think I was both too. C’mon. Women were made for this, right? The labor pains and the strength that comes from within. I can do this. And honestly, I was too in the moment what with my constant and might I add almost painful Braxton Hicks contractions. I was enthralled by all the baby forums and their questions of ‘What do contractions feel like?, Do I have signs of early labor?, What’s lightning crotch?’ I was also kept busy by perusing the internet and reading about women breaking their water while shopping, having their membranes stretched/ripped at their 38 week doctor’s appointment or how they’re already dilated 1.5 cm and effaced whatever percent at their last check up. Like, what?! I felt like I was always behind and no matter how much I read, there was always something else to figure out.

However, here are a few things that I wish I had known when I was pregnant about my body right after baby. In no particular order:

  • Your milk coming in. Your milk doesn’t come in right away like a pump at the gas station. It takes about 2 to 3 days. And for that to happen, you have to keep the baby sucking on your once sexy lady bits. You might think nothing is coming out but don’t worry, it is. Babies are born with reserves in their body for 24 hours or was it 48? Anyways, they will not perish of hunger. If you’re going to breastfeed, keep that sucker on your.. sucker and wait for your breasts to swell 3 times the original size. I have a picture of my boobs almost the size of my large head. They were hard and painful, hot to the touch and giving me a fever and chills. Once the milk came out, my sigh of relief was instantaneous. Wow oh wow.
  • And while we’re on the boobs, nursing pads are a MUST. I initially bought those organic re-usable cotton ones at Babies ‘R Us and personally, I stopped using them after the first week. You will leak constantly and it will drench through your shirt while you’re taking your 1.5 sleep (if even that long!) until your next pumping session/crying baby/waking up because of your soaked shirt. I used the ones you use once and throw away and they were more practical. Although, I’ve heard of women putting in long pads or newborn diapers in there to save some money.  😀
  • Breastfeeding doesn’t ultimately ruin your boobs – pregnancy does. That’s what I think anyway.
  • You will bleed for at least a month. Postpartum bleeding is no joke. I was done by my 6-week check up but I know some women can bleed for longer. It’s just annoying at most. And those hospital sized pads you’ll need? No need to buy them in bulk before. The hospital usually provides that for you and you’ll probably only need them for the first 3-5 days.
  • And as for sexy time after baby? 😉  Doctors usually say to wait until you get the green light at your 6-week check up and… we did. It was doable (haha) but not very fun for me. I didn’t get an episiotomy but had a 2 degree tear so there were stitches that probably still didn’t dissolve. We waited another week until I felt mentally prepared and it was much better when I wasn’t so worried about the possible pain.
  • You’ll be one of the lucky ones if you don’t deal with postpartum hair loss. I’m thankfully not shedding as much anymore but it was really bad starting 3.5 months postpartum. I would be pulling out countless stands as I showered, hair clogged my drains and my strands littered the floors for all to see. I’m now dealing with new funky baby hairs that stick up all over my forehead but I’ll take it over thinning hair any day.
  • I still have a light linea nigra on my belly. I’m not too worried about it but I wonder when it’s going to finally let up.
  • My skin has surprisingly cleared up and my annoying digestive systems issues have disappeared. I hear that a lot though. I’m assuming that having a baby is like a reset button?
  • My body is practically back to pre-pregnancy, give or take 5 pounds, and am able to fit into my size 26 jeans – but it’s still not quite the same. Muscle tone is weak and even though I don’t have loose skin, I feel like I do.
  • But all in all, I’m 95% happy with where my body is now. I didn’t think the swollen, bloated look would ever disappear but it eventually did within 5 months or so. As a first time mom, you’re always going to be overly worried about everything but it will get better – I promise. And try not to fret too much about the weight loss. I started losing the extra weight when I stopped worrying about weight loss! Some women are blessed to snap back into shape within a month whereas, some people like might take a bit of time. Take your time because time is so fleeting and worrying about the state of your body will only mount to more stress, hair loss (!) and take away your time from baby and living life. 🙂

Here is a recap of my body changes with pregnancy and postpartum.

3 weeks pregnant. I’ve always had a pooch. 😉

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39~40 weeks. A week before I went into labor.

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5 months postpartum

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