Wednesday, March 21, 2012

101 Days

I just looked at my wedding website, and it says "101 days to go!" Holy crap. I'm going to be married before I know it. A wife. And Frank will be my husband. I'm beyond excited.

I was never really one of those little girls that envisioned her wedding. I saw myself getting married one day, but didn't have all the details planned out. I know there are girls that know exactly what they want and how they want everything to look on their big day, even before they are engaged. This was not me. Not that I dislike pretty things, don't get me wrong, but when it comes to sparkly, glitzy, glittery things, I can usually pass. A diamond studded brooch for a bow on a chair cover? Really? No. Flower petals strewn across each guest's plate? Nope. All the planning has been a really fun process though. Now that we're in the thick of planning, all I do is envision. I see pretty flowers and dresses and fancy suits. Colored lights and fluffy white swans. I need more swans. Wait, I don't have any swans? Where are my swans?

The next 101 days are going to fly by. Before we know it, we'll be on our honeymoon, sipping margaritas on a warm, sunny beach in Sayulita, Mexico. I haven't had a full week of vacation in a very long time. I will welcome it with open arms.

And by that time, 101 days from now, I will be Mrs. Lauren Leon. Lauren Eleanor Leon. OH. EM. GEE.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Art and Weddings

My blog has been quite empty for some time now. I'm sorry, blog!

When I look at my last blog post, I think of ALL the things that have happened in the last 7 months. Funny enough, I was on an elimination diet at the time, and now I'm finishing the last few days of a 21 day cleanse. I have definitely given myself plenty of healthy breaks. Ample breaks. I'm ready for a beer.

I started my own jewelry line recently! In case you don't already know, go take a gander at my stuffs:

I've always wanted to make jewelry, and for years, I didn't know how to do it or if I'd ever be good enough. When I first posted a few items to Etsy, I was so nervous. That mean voice in my head was telling me that I'm not a real artist; that so many other people in the world can do much more amazingly artistic things; who was I kidding? I finally told that voice to shut it. When my very first order from a stranger in Canada came in, I wanted to blast the news through a loud speaker...instead I ecstatically whispered it to Frank at a Taco Bell. A stranger willingly purchased one of my necklaces. This was my validation.

On another note, I'm getting married in less than 5 months! 149 days, to be precise. And I'm already having wedding nightmares. I can't imagine what kind of dreams I will have when I'm 2 weeks away from my wedding. The only part of this planning stuff that has given me a headache is finding a venue. What a pain in the ass that is! All the packets and brochures and pricing and packages. Ugh. And some of those catering coordinator people are very self-rightous about their really awesome hotel. Give me a break. "Well, our pricing starts at $90 a person." OH. No thank you. "Mmmmm hmmmm, I'll send you the pricing." No thank you. Some of those people are nuts. I'm happy we found our venue and that our coordinator is normal.

So things are moving along nicely now! Very busy but going great!

...promise I'll be back sooner than 7 long as I don't die in a cake-tasting fury..

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

20 Days in; 8 More to Go

20 days ago, Frank and I embarked on an elimination diet journey. No gluten, dairy, soy, corn, sugar, alcohol, or caffeine. It was sudden, and we were ill-prepared. One Thursday morning, he said, "Oh, today is the start of elimination diet. You don't have to do it, but I'm starting." I could have said no. I could have held tight to my "I love sugar too much" mantra, but instead, I said, "Um, ok." And so it began.

Of course, Day 1 was easy. No coffee this morning? No problem! And for lunch, we'll eat chicken and brown rice and sweet potatoes! So healthy! We scrambled to make a dinner that followed our new guidelines - we came up with ground turkey and brown rice. Strange, and kinda gross.

By the next day, we were starting to gather ourselves, and came up with a shopping list so that we could feel more organized and not so miserably starving. And on Day 3, we felt like death. Headaches, body aches, fatigue, irritability - every terrible symptom of withdrawal. It's pretty crazy how addicted our bodies get to sugar, fat, wheat, caffeine, alcohol, etc. I was miserable, and all I wanted was a donut.

I will save you from reading the entire span of 20 days of cravings and recipes. But I will say that by Day 5 or so, I felt great, and have ever since. Sure, I've had a few days where all I can think about is a chocolate chip cookie, or shoving 14 slices of pizza into my face, and chugging 8 beers, but those things come and go, and can usually be side stepped by a delicious glass of coconut water and perhaps some bean chips. That sounds like a joke, but seriously, Beanfields brand of bean and rice chips, Pico de Gallo flavor, might as well be chips made of crack. They are just as good as Doritos, and way better for you. So there.

I am pretty surprised by the amount of energy I have every day. There are bits of me that think "how could you go back??" I feel my body slimming down, my skin is clearer, and I don't feel sluggish after eating. I'll just have to find a balance.

I'm excited to have a cup of coffee in the morning again. I don't think I'll be cutting that out for good - my one cup a day is just fine. More than anything, I'm excited to know that there are so many other healthier options for so many food allergens. Not that I ate that poorly before, but I'm happy I've given my body the break. 8 more days, and we start introducing one food at a time. I do wish it could be pizza, but that will come in due time.

Til then, I will merely dream of this:

Monday, April 25, 2011

In All Seriousness

Let’s take a moment to be not so serious.

Maybe it’s living in LA, or even living in America? Perhaps it’s because I work in a corporate office environment that discusses the IRS and tax forms all day. It could be the collective weight of the world. Do I have a “case of the Mondays”? Oh god, NO! But I feel a heaviness sometimes and I want to shrug it off a bit.

Here are some ideas for a lighter mood:
Hug a tree.
Sing in public.
Smile at a stranger in the hallway/store/elevator (this happens in other cities, I know, but I notice that people here do everything possible NOT to look at me sometimes). It’s ok to say hi.
Run in a field.
Write a terribly awesome poem.
Explore your city like you are a visitor – Frank and I plan to do this on Saturday…I’ll let you know how it goes!
Take a day away from television.
Try something new; food, an outfit, something that makes you nervous but have always wanted to do.
Make something; a new recipe, a piece of art, or craft.

I think a very important thing is also letting someone know how much you care about them. I realize that this sounds SO cheesy, but it’s kind of the most important thing we can do. We get caught up in our worlds, our every day, our sadness, happiness, loneliness, work, projects, etc. Time goes by really fast. We have each other, and our experiences. Our memories, laughter, and stories.

Let’s just try to not take it all so seriously.

Friday, March 18, 2011

$5 to Japan = Free EP

FROM NOW UNTIL MARCH 25TH: To help with the recent damage and loss of life in Japan, all proceeds of No More I'm Sorry EP digital download sales are going directly to the American Red Cross. Purchase must be made directly though our website's store March 18 - March 25. You get music, they get money!

Think about it as a $5 donation!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Compact Life & A Strangle in Time

I have been fighting against time these days. I want to wrestle it to the ground, strangle it for a few seconds, just long enough for it to get a little scared, and then point at it, while walking away, and say, "STAY THERE FOR A YEAR!" And in the meantime, I could do all the things that I want to do in a day. Hey, you could too, because I'd be making Time lay on the ground, paralyzed for an entire year, for everyone! I realize that my logic is slightly skewed...if Time was paralyzed, how would it be able to tell you that its one-year paralysis is over, and it can start moving again? Whatever; details, shmetails.

I love music and it will eventually be my career. After work, I work on music. I also like to paint and make fun jewelry. I also like to act and do improv. I also want to write a book. Where does every day go? Today is Thursday, and I feel like I just came back from the weekend. I am not complaining about being busy, because I don't mind that, but I am just wishing that I had more time in each day. Being at work for 9 hours every day is dumb. I don't care if that's "how it works". I'm saying it's dumb. We should all work 4 day weeks. Or how 'bout 4 and a half days? Who says that a 40 hour week is necessary? It's dumb. Here are your two days off - Saturday is the best day of the week, and Sunday, you feel a little depressed that it's not Saturday anymore. If I was aiming for a lifelong career in tax software, I'd be living the dream, man. But I'm not. I like those artsy things, and I get antsy when I don't have enough time for them. So I think my original idea is going to have to suffice. I will attempt to strangle Time.

If only I could find the time to do that...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Beautiful Wedding

Two weeks ago, my brother Josh married the loveliest lady. I couldn't be happier to have Emily as a sister-in-law. She calms my brother in a way that no one can. They are a couple that is truly meant to be, and I'm beyond excited for what their future holds.

The Rehearsal Dinner
The rehearsal dinner took place at Josh and Emily's friend Eric's house, and it was an amazing, fun, beautiful night. Bridesmaids and groomsmen, parents and siblings filled the room, and excited chatter bounced off the walls. We sipped on wine and feasted on Mexican food. Emily looked stunning; she had a pre-wedding glow. Josh looked dapper, and very proud. He had a smile that just wouldn't leave his face, as he looked around the room at his best friends, his family, and his soon-to-be family. People toasted, and gave some of the best, funniest, and most heartfelt speeches I've ever heard. We laughed and cried. I stood up to speak, without having a real plan of what to say, and I became completely overwhelmed with emotion. I wanted to represent Josh's siblings, and convey to Emily how proud we are to have her in the family. I wanted to say how much I believe Ian would have loved her as a sister, and what great friends I imagine them being. I could barely speak to get my point across, as tears welled up, and emotions choked my every word. I've never had that happen before; I've seen award show winners break down like that, but always thought "Ok, get a hold of yourself." But it was real and true, and the whole night was splendid. We all floated home, anxiously awaiting the next day's excitement.

The Ceremony
Josh and Emily's friends' parents opened their home and had the ceremony there, in the hills of Calabasas. Their friend Wes built them a chuppah to be married under, and it was outside in the beautiful backyard, overlooking rolling hills. All the bridesmaids, dressed in pewter and red, gathered at the ceremony site early, and we bustled around, getting ready and fawning over the beautiful bride. She looked like a Hollywood starlet from the 1940s. And as always, she was calm and collected. As the time drew closer for her to walk down the aisle, she was studying her vows and staying very quiet. My brother and all his groomsmen started showing up. They sipped on whiskey and helped each other fasten their boutineers. Josh was pacing a bit, and doing his famous nervous leg-kick.

And then it was time to walk down the aisle. We all lined up, and prepared ourselves behind the groom. As I watched my brother standing at the alter, the tears came a'welling again. Jillian was standing in front of me, and I whispered to her "Make me laugh so I'm not crying." She whispered back, "I could punch you, if you want." I said, "Yeah, keep that up." And we walked down and took our places in our seats. Josh hadn't seen his bride yet, as she had been hidden in the house since he got there, so it was amazing to watch the look on his face when she came down the aisle. Ben Folds' song "The Luckiest" started to play. Josh looked over at me briefly, and saw tears in my eyes, and said "Oh great, it's all over now." Their friend Eron married them, and did such a great job. I read a little speech that I had written. Josh and Emily wrote their own vows, which were incredibly sweet. The ceremony was beautiful, and even included the word "Slurm", a popular nonsense word in Josh and Emily's vocabulary. And before long, they were married, and the celebration began.

The Reception
The newlyweds' reception took place in Pasadena, at The Rococo Room. There was a big dance floor, beautifully decorated tables, a cupcake tower, and a candy station. The glowing couple was announced, and they had their first dance. Their maids of honor and best men gave speeches, one of which included a display of a poster-sized picture of my brother in a Baywatch bathing suit, from his college fraternity days. When I say bathing suit, I mean a women's bathing suit. That's all I'll say. It wasn't pretty. And I shall no longer digress. We danced and danced, and my dad and I did a duet: "Tonight You Belong to Me" & "Two of Us". The night was perfect, and everyone had a blast.

My Reading from the Reception:
When a love is simple and happy and true, it can test and defy boundaries. It floats and it dances. It sits next to you on the couch, lies beside you on the bed, holds your hand while you cry, laughs as you laugh. It whispers in your ear, and cradles you when you hurt. This kind of love is not always easily found. And this kind of love is not made up of fluff. It's not wrapped up with pretty pink ribbons, or covered in sparkly flashy jewels. But it is a beautiful kind of love. It's honest and true, and accepting. It's long-lasting. And Josh and Emily have found it. Together, they dance, they laugh, they sing, they cry...well, mainly Emily does the crying part. But with their kind of love, they can test and defy boundaries. Speak with honesty and respect. They can trust. And with their love, they can leap into an unexplored world of marriage. And here, their kind of love is bound. And they'll learn and create and grow. And here, it is simple and happy and true. And it will float and dance, as long as they both shall live, till death do they part.

Congratulations, newlyweds. I love you dearly.