Cheers! (Arrested Development-Style)

As you may or may not be aware, a series of new episodes of the critically acclaimed show Arrested Development were released on Netflix this past Sunday. As a filmmaker who appreciates clever writing and sharp comedy, I’ve been a huge fan of the show ever since I was introduced to the original series a number of years ago.

It’s delightful for many reasons, none of which have anything to do with the main subject of this post, so instead of telling you all about why it’s great, I’ll just urge you to go watch it for yourself (it’s all available on Netflix streaming).

Since Eric and I are huge fans of the show, we decided to throw a little viewing party, complete with a homemade banner, bowls of candy beans, pop secret, and a selection of themed alcoholic beverages.

In today’s “Cheers,” I’m going to share with you the recipe for my favorite drink of the night, which I have classily named the “I Just Blue Myself,” after everyone’s favorite analrapist.

I Just Blue Myself
The "I Just Blue Myself"


  • 2 oz Amaretto
  • 3 oz Blue Curacao
  • 1/2 cup Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Ice
  • Whipped Cream
  • Blue Sprinkles
  • Blue Food Coloring (optional)


Combine the Amaretto, Blue Curacao, Vanilla Ice Cream, and about two handfuls of ice in a blender. Add blue food coloring if you want a darker blue color.

Blend until smooth.

Pour into a Snifter Glass and top with Whipped Cream and Blue Sprinkles.

You could easily turn this into a 4th of July themed drink by using red sprinkles or a cherry on top. It’s all up to you!

Hope you enjoy!

PS: Want more Arrested Development-themed drinks? The Hot Ham Water.

Freebie: Vintage Postcard Graphics

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. I spent it watching the new season of Arrested Development and cleaning my apartment, so no exciting outings for me.

Since I’ll be DIY-ing my wedding invitations, I’ve been working on mocking up some designs recently. I’ve long had the idea of sending out postcards for Save the Dates to save on money and paper, so I started doing some research and found tons of images of vintage postcards online. Only problem? Most of them are poor quality photos or are covered in writing and post marks — not quite the quality you want when trying to make nice-looking Save the Dates for yourself!

To help with this problem, I’ve created several PNGs using elements from real vintage postcards, and I thought I’d share them with others trying to create the same thing. You can download all five here!

Vintage Postcard Freebie
These are perfect for any sort of vintage or romantic themed wedding! I hope you enjoy, and feel free to share with me what you create!

PS: Free Holiday Card Printable

Budget Woes

Eric and I sat down to plan out our budget last weekend. I’m going to go ahead and say that, even though I’ve just started with the wedding planning, planning a wedding budget might be the worst part of the whole process. Maybe it’s not so hard if you’ve got a lot of cash on hand or rich parents, but when you’re both fresh out of graduate school still trying to get your career together while sitting on a pile of student loans, it’s pretty difficult.

Sometimes I think to myself that we ought to just forget the whole thing and go down to the courthouse, but then I think about how I’ll feel if I look back in ten years on my wedding and have nothing beautiful to remember. At the same time, I don’t really want to wait ten years to be able to afford a wedding.

It’s all about finding a balance. Figuring how to do the things we want while not breaking the bank.

The budget we put together is pretty generous. I think we’ll be able to save on pretty much everything on there, so that’s a plus. Another plus is that our budget rounded out to just over $30,000, which in terms of wedding budgets is already on the low end. I’d prefer to get it down closer to $20,000 though.

Here’s hoping. We’re going to start soon by narrowing down venues for our reception. I’ve already found a place in Scotland I’d like to get married at; it’s not too expensive, plus it offers discounts to eloping couples. Hopefully we can get our venues for less than we’ve budgeted for and that’ll start us off in the right direction.

Maybe I can also talk Eric out of buying a $4,000 suit.

Let’s Not: Have Kids at Our Wedding

Welcome to “Let’s Not,” my new blog series all about traditions that I don’t care to include in my wedding. I’ll simultaneously run another series called “Let’s Do,” about those traditions that I will include.

I’m going to say something that might be blasphemous to some, but, here goes: I’m not a big fan of kids. I’ve just never really spent much time around children. There haven’t been a lot of young children in my family and I never really babysat growing up. So, as a result, my interactions with children are just… awkward. I don’t know what to say to them because I lack a basic understanding of how to talk to kids.

Luckily I found a man who shares in my discomfort around children. Eric’s kind of in the same boat in terms of his experience with children.

As a result, we decided pretty quickly that we weren’t going to have kids in or at our wedding.

This becomes easier as neither of us have children in our immediate families, so we don’t have parents pushing kids on us to be flower girls or ring bearers. Since we’re eloping, we’re managing to avoid the situation of having a wedding party altogether.

But, even if we were to have a traditional ceremony, I don’t see us including children in it. Why not? Sure, kids can be cute all dolled up in their Sunday best. Or, they can be bloody nightmares.

Baby Crying at Wedding

I’d prefer to avoid this situation // image via Today

Or, how about this?

Kid Ruins Wedding

This kid fell asleep on the floor // image via Y100 Country

I’ve also heard lovely stories about kids picking their noses down the aisle. Wonderful.

Here’s how I look at it, though. Most brides agree that the wedding is your big day. It’s the bride’s chance to have all the attention on her. So why, believing this, would you put a child in your wedding? We all know children crave attention. The last thing I want is some kid taking the attention away from me!

Yes, I know that sounds selfish, and maybe it is a little, but I don’t want my vows being ruined by some kid being silly right behind me. It would be so heartbreaking for me for my family and friends to miss my vows or my first kiss because they’re too busy laughing at the flower girl beside me with her finger up her nose.

As for our reception, we’re not planning on inviting kids. Why not? Well, mainly because it’s just not going to be a kid-friendly event. We’re planning on getting a DJ to play loud music and there will be a lot of drinking. If I had a kid, I don’t think this would even be something I would want to take my child to.

So that’s our first big no-no: No kids at our wedding. I’m definitely not bending on that rule.

May Birchbox Review

Last December, I signed up for an account with Birchbox at the recommendation of a coworker. For just $10 a month, you receive a little box of beauty samples, tailored just for you. I think it’s a wonderful program, and definitely worth the money. In just the six months I’ve been receiving Birchboxes, I’ve gotten a full bottle of mascara, a couple eyeliners, lip glosses, tons of hair product samples, and even some chocolates and teas! The samples are reasonably sized, too, and I’ve been able to use some of the products for several months.

I decided to blog about these here because, being a DIY bride, and considering that Eric and I are planning to elope, I’ll be doing my own hair and makeup. Using Birchbox has given me access to tons of brands and products that I wouldn’t otherwise have tried, and I’m already planning on purchasing several of the products for my wedding styling.

This month was a pretty good haul, so I thought I’d share it with you all.

Birchbox Contents

Photo from (referral link)

Here’s the image of the contents of my box from my Birchbox login page. As you can see below, the contents are pretty accurate!

My Birchbox

So let’s get in to the contents of my Birchbox, shall we?

Runa Tea

Runa Tea. This little sample box came with four different types of tea: traditional guayusa, mint guayusa, cinnamon-lemongrass guayusa, and ginger-citrus guayusa teas. According to the box, Guayusa is a native Amazonian tree leaf that has been brewed by indigenous people in the area for thousands of years, and also claims to provide the same energy as a cup of coffee and have twice the antioxidants of green tea.

I’m not a coffee drinker, and, while I do drink tea, I’ve yet to try any of the teas in this box. I think I’ll bring them with me to work this week and try them out.

Hair Mask

amika Obliphica Nourishing Mask. This is a mask for your hair. It’s designed to work as either a weekly mask treatment or a daily deep conditioner. The use for either is the same: leave in for two to five minutes and rinse.

I’ve tried this sample a couple of times now, and while it works well as a conditioner, it doesn’t go much farther than that. I left it in one time for the maximum recommended five minutes, and the second time for a little bit longer. I received another hair mask from Birchbox a few months back that left my hair feeling much silkier and lighter than this one, so I think it was going to choose, I’d purchase the other one instead.

Cucumber Moisturizer

COOLA Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face. Admittedly I have not sampled this one yet, because I’m always nervous to try new moisturizers on days when I’m going to be out in public. My skin can be very oily with the wrong products, so I’m a little afraid that a new moisturizer is going to make me look like I have an oil slick on my face by lunchtime. I think I’ll wait and buy some new oil-removing sheets before trying this one out.

It claims to smooth and tone skin, as well as provide some age-reversing benefits. I don’t have much aging in my skin yet, so I don’t know how much I’ll be able to test this.

Marvis Toothpaste

Marvis Toothpaste. The mint flavor of this toothpaste is very nice. It leaves my teeth feeling fresh and clean, though I don’t notice them feeling much cleaner than when I use my normal Crest Toothpaste. And, at $10.50 a bottle, I don’t plan on switching over any time soon. It’s fortified with fluoride in order to whiten teeth, but it must be a gradual process because I haven’t noticed much difference in my four days of using this product.

I did encounter a little gum bleeding on day two of using the toothpaste, though I’m not entirely sure if I can blame the toothpaste — I’m using a new toothbrush, and it may also have been from flossing.


Sumitra Color Contrast Eyeliner. The picture on my Birchbox page showed this product in a lime green shade, but I ended up receiving black. I’m happy for this because I can wear the product more frequently, though it would have been fun to have a neon color to try out (I don’t know that I would ever buy lime green eyeliner on my own)!

I’m really happy with this product so far. It’s sort of more like a marker than a pencil, and it goes on smooth. It also seems to be very waterproof and smudge-proof. While wearing it this week, I both teared up and rubbed my eyes a little and it stayed put nicely.

And that’s my Birchbox for the month! Overall, I’d give it a 7/10 in terms of product quality and usefulness. This isn’t one of my better boxes, but there is definitely some cool stuff in here that I’ll get a lot out of.

If you’re interested in signing up for your own Birchboxes, I highly recommend the site. Check it out here! (referral link)

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    Hello! I'm Erika, a quiet girl living in the noisy city of Los Angeles with my husband Eric and my cat Cookies. I enjoy exploring new places, going on adventures, eating delicious food, and taking lots of pictures! >> Read more

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