happy things again

This week’s 5 Happy Things include…

1. Raiding a friend’s bookcase
I love to read but buying books adds up. What can I say? I’m cheap. And these days it takes me forever to finish a regular length book. So having friends who have their own personal libraries is awesome. I don’t need to worry about overdue library fees. Hee.

2. Saturday trip to Disneyland with my cousin and a celebrity sighting!
My cousin came to visit a few weekends ago so we could go to Disneyland (yes, again :P). We used to go every summer together when we were growing up so it brought back lots of silly memories. Good times.

And we saw Jason Lee! For a split second. No picture though. We were in line for Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters when we noticed a group of 6 boarding the ride with empty cars in front and behind them. I thought that was odd. Then I noticed they had their own Disney cast member with them (you can tell because they wear a plaid outfit) so I knew right away there was a celebrity in the group. Then I spotted him! So cool. Celebrities. They’re just like us. They go to Disneyland too!

3. Instant streaming on Netflix
I can be a little impatient (fine, A LOT) so being able to watch movies or TV shows instantly is the BEST. This is how Rob and I caught up with Numb3rs and Leverage. Once the current TV season is over, we also plan to marathon Dexter. And possibly The Tudors too. Ok, that last one’s just for me because I love JONATHAN RHYS MEYERS.

4. Lemon scents
I love love LOVE (almost) anything lemon scented and lemon flavored (mmm, lemon skittles and starbursts). So I get excited when summertime rolls around and lemon scents find their way back into stores. The Body Shop has their new Sweet Lemon collection and Bath and Body Works recently released Lemon Vanilla. Mmmm. I have to check these out.

5. Getting our tax refund
YAYAYAY. It’s going straight to our savings to use when we have to buy a refrigerator, washer/dryer, and all that other good stuff for the house. 😀

Now I just have to get through Wednesday and then I’m off for 5 days! WOOT.

a very disney (30th) birthday

Rob and I were supposed to go to Disneyland for breakfast over the weekend but decided to sleep in instead. Hee. 😀

I still have pics to share, though, because I realized that I never posted any from my 30th birthday trip.

I love Disneyland in October. The resort celebrates “Halloweentime” all month so the park is decorated in various shades of fall colors.

From the entrance gates…

to Town Square…

to Main Street…

to the partner’s statue…

to the flowers planted in the hub…

and even to the balloons being sold throughout the park.

Love it. It looks so festive!

There were only a few (very important!) things I wanted to accomplish in the park…

1. Take advantage of the photopass system and get some fun “magic” shots taken of Rob and me. Like these with Tinkerbell and Stitch! Hehe.

2. Meet Mickey! He can be found on Main Street at various points in the day but I wanted to be sure I would get a picture with him so I dragged Rob over to Towntown to visit Mickey at his very own house. 🙂 And he’s wearing his Sorceror Mickey outfit. MY FAVORITE. I totally need a red velvet robe so I can be Sorceror Mickey for Halloween.

3. Eat at Cafe Orleans. I love sitting outside on the patio and people-watching. I had a cup of gumbo, pommes frites (OMG. THESE ARE SO GOOD), and beignets with raspberry and vanilla sauce for dessert. YUM.

4. Ride Space Mountain. My favorite ride in the park. Notice how Rob totally covered my face in our ride picture?! THANKS A LOT.

…And that’s it! Those were my must-dos. It doesn’t take much for me to enjoy Disneyland.

My friend Robyn met up with us for more rides and then my friend Carmen joined us later that night for dinner at Roy’s.

The following night Rob took me to Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel for dinner.

I know, it sounds weird. Fine dining on Disneyland property?! But it’s true! I had an AMAZING meal. Rob and I shared the tempura lobster and spicy asian beef salad as our appetizer and I had the yummiest beef short ribs over risotto and butternut squash sauce for my entree. Nom nom nom.

My food pictures didn’t turn out so great but I have to share this one of our dessert…

…a S’mores popover with toasted marshmallows, peanut butter ice cream, and chocolate sauce. HEAVEN.

It was a perfect Disney birthday. 🙂

valentine’s day

I’m officially giving up on the 30 Day Meme. The rest of the prompts require way too much thinking… also, L-A-Z-Y.

So what have I been doing? Mmm… watching WAY too much Olympics coverage. I’m an Olympics junkie. I’ll watch anything that NBC “packages” up in primetime — speed skating, alpine skiing, luge, etc. And of course, I’m following figure skating! I follow individual men’s and women’s skating more closely than I do the other disciplines but I’m really happy that Shen/Zhao won pairs despite the almost-spill on their lift in the free skate. They’re the total package — they have the tricks and the artistry. Which brings me to the men. I can’t believe Plushenko is the leader going into the free skate. He is ALL jumps and no artistry. There’s no real choreography or footwork between jumps — he’s just skating around doing as little as possible until the next jump. I much prefer Evan Lysacek (despite the questionable arm-flailing he does in his programs), Daisuke Takahashi, Stephane Lambiel (his spins!), and Jeffrey Abbott (too bad he imploded in the short program). I hope they all have amazing free skates on Thursday and overtake Plushenko. A girl can dream.

This past weekend was Valentine’s Day and Rob and I celebrated by…

1. Going to Starbucks. LOVE their Valentine’s Day cups. 😀

2. Taking Diesel to the park. He’s in desperate need of a haircut, LOL.

3. Watching the NBA All-Star festivities (the slam dunk contest, which I normally enjoy, was laaaame) and the Olympics (again, figure skating!).

4. Renewing our Disneyland annual passes. We decided that this would be our annual Valentine’s Day present to each other. YAY!

5. Looking at model homes and going back and forth (and back and forth) about the pros and cons of buying a townhouse versus single family, new versus resale, now versus later, etc. It’s kinda stressing me out. Seriously, the home buying process is not fun.

Off to watch more Olympics. Speed skating tonight! 🙂

30 Day Meme: Day 14 – A Non-Fictional Book

Day 14 — A Non-Fictional Book

I don’t read a lot of non-fiction. What can I say? I prefer “escaping” into the books I read. But as you know, I’m a huge Disneyland fan and I just *had* to read Mouse Tales: A Behind the Ears Look at Disneyland by David Koenig. It’s a quick and fun read filled with everything from the history of the park to hilarious insider gossip and even to the darker side of lawsuits and accidents. I have a tendency to romanticize all things Disney and even this book can’t tarnish the magic. Highly recommended for any Disney fan.

30 Day Meme: Day 9 – A photo you took

Day 09 — A photo you took

I’m *so* not a photographer so there’s probably about a million things wrong with this picture but it makes me smile. So I love it. I took this during my 30th birthday trip to Disneyland (hmm, that reminds me that I never blogged about it — must do that someday).

Random — Rob and I made this chicken piccata recipe for dinner tonight. OMG. So good! I especially love the tart lemon sauce. Serve it with a side of rice pilaf and asparagus and you’re golden. YUM.

kobe at disneyland

Rob and I found out on Tuesday night that the Lakers (it turned out to be just Kobe) were going to appear at Disneyland on Thursday morning to celebrate their NBA championship. Now, if you know the two of us, you KNOW this is the PERFECT combination of things we love. So I managed to get the morning off from work and we made our way over to the happiest place on Earth. Thank goodness for our Annual Passes!

We arrived just after the 8am park opening and there were already TONS of purple and gold faithful lining Main Street waiting for the 10am parade. Rob decided to stake out a seat for us in front of the Fire Dept/City Hall area while I got my morning coffee and croissant. YUM.

Here we are happily waiting for the parade to start. It was cool and overcast in the morning but as it got later, the sun came out and beat down on us. It was so hot I was afraid of getting a sunglass tan. (I do have priorities).

Kobe’s approaching! You could *feel* the anticipation in the air.

The lead banner of the parade. SQUEE.

Finally. There’s Kobe’s coming around the corner! WITH MICKEY. WOOOOOOOOOO. The parade was just 1 float accompanied by a handful of Disney characters and dancers dressed in Lakers jerseys but there was something about being there with so many other fans that made the “event” feel bigger than it really was. I’m glad I got to be a part of it.

Before heading home to go back to work, we managed to fit in a quick ride on Space Mountain (still the best ride ever). On our way out of the park, I spotted this cast member selling purple and gold balloons so I had to get my picture taken with them. And no, I was not the only person doing this. It was a great start to my day. 🙂

a day of (california) adventure

My friends Ruby and Jason were in town a few weekends ago and where did we go? California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort.


The park is undergoing major construction right now (it’s scheduled to be finished 2010-2011) but we managed to keep ourselves busy for a few hours.

I’m not allowed to post pictures of Jason (hehe) so I’ll share random ones instead.

First we hit Toy Story Mania. I love this ride. Too bad I suck at it and only scored 91,600 to Rob’s 171,800.

The Food and Wine Festival was going on and while we didn’t attend any culinary demonstrations, we saw Food Network Star Guy Fieri. I love him! I could watch Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives all day long.

We stopped in the candy store at Greetings of California to drool over the treats. Look at those HUGE caramel apples. YUM!

If you’re familiar with my love for all things Disneyland resort, you know that Rob and I always go to the Animation Building to draw at the Animation Academy. This is one of our favorite attractions ever. This time we drew Mickey’s best friend, Pluto.

Since we were in the Animation Building, we thought we’d check out the Sorceror’s Workshop. Surprisingly, I’ve never been in there, hehe. In Beast’s library, you can find out what character you’re most like. First, you get your picture taken and then you answer a few random questions. It turns out I’m most like Mulan. Pffft. Just because I’m Asian. HAHAHA.

Here’s the picture Rob took.

Rob is most like Timon. BWAH.

We had fast passes to go on Tower of Terror but I just could not convince Ruby and Jason that a multiple drop thrill ride is fun. Hee. I’m always a little apprehensive before I get on the ride and I’m totally screaming and clutching at Rob for dear life during all the drop sequences but I just love it when it’s all over. I guess it’s the adrenaline kicking in.

At that point, we headed out of the park and continued our Disney day by watching Up (my review is below — highly recommended). All in all, we had a great day (no, great weekend) hanging out. Miss you guys and hope to see you again soon!

april update

Wrote this last night…

Yup, I’ve been neglecting the blog again. Sooo lazy. I went to Santa Barbara over the weekend to visit my cousin and I brought back a cold and sore throat (no, it is not the swine flu). We had a good weekend eating tons of food (yummy gumbo at Cajun Kitchen and amazing Crab Cakes Benedict at Sambo’s), walking up and down State Street, and running around the Santa Barbara Fair (no rides for me but I had funnel cake!!!). I took Amtrak, which was so easy! It’s been over 10 years since I’ve taken the train anywhere and I was seriously surprised at how CROWDED they are. On the way back to Orange County, there were no more seats so people were standing. Crazy! The trip was roughly 4 hours each way and the time passed really quickly. I brought my trusty MacBook and a few books and the ride was over before I knew it. I’ll definitely make the trip again.

Tonight is the Chuck season finale (haven’t watched it yet because I’m waiting for the Lakers to win the game against the Jazz). I am really, really hoping it’s not the series finale. So much so that Rob went to Subway today to buy a footlong sandwich in support of the Finale and Footlong campaign to SAVE Chuck. NBC, you better not cancel this show!!!

I finally downloaded some pics from the past few weeks — hopefully you don’t mind if I share? 🙂 Click for bigger…

Let’s start with some pics of Diesel…

We bought Diesel this cute little “house” and put it in our “office” so that he could sleep in there during the day. What a cutie.

Rob was bored and thought it would be funny to put my Mickey ears on Diesel’s head. Diesel was obviously not pleased.

Back on Easter, we went to a barbecue at my cousin’s house and were in charge of making dessert. We decided on cupcakes! We used regular Betty Crocker cupcake mix (both chocolate and yellow cake) and then made this strawberry frosting (mostly because it gave us an opportunity to use the awesome Kitchenaid mixer we received as a wedding gift). The frosting was A-MA-ZING. I changed the frosting ingredients to only include 1 stick of butter (2 sticks seemed waaayyy too much) and I used 4.5 tbsps of strawberry puree. The recipe says it’s enough for a dozen cupcakes but I used it for 2. Yummy.

And of course, a few weekends ago we went to Disneyland. Again. 🙂

We got to the park just shortly after the 8am opening and headed straight to Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters!

I beat Rob!

Rob went to Fantasia Gardens (the smoking area) and I wandered around the castle to find Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Awww.

Then we headed over to the Plaza Inn to have (all you can eat) breakfast with Minnie and her friends. I had a traditional breakfast of eggs, bacon/sausage, and potatoes along with some Mickey waffles and a variety of fruit. Also available were biscuits and gravy, tons of pastries, a huge assortment of cereal, and other items I’m sure I’m forgetting. SO GOOD. Plus, we got to meet…

Captain Hook just walked right up to our table, grabbed our camera and started taking random pictures… like this self-portrait of himself. What a character.

Minnie dropped by…

… and Tigger too! We also met/saw Eeyore, Max, White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, Alice and Rafiki. Definitely lots of fun.

When we finished up with breakfast, it was HOT HOT HOT. The weather had been pretty chilly the days prior and then the day we go to DL, it got up to 96 degrees. CRAZY. Anyway, CA Adventure opened at 10am so we made a beeline over there to ride Toy Story Mania. We arrived shortly after opening and the line was already at a 30 min wait. We figured this was the best it would get so we wait in line… only for the ride to BREAK DOWN about 10 mins before we got to the front. We decided to wait it out but after awhile, we were all instructed to get out of line. ARGH. It wasn’t meant to be on this trip again.

We decided to get out of the heat and hang out at the Animation Academy. This ended up being an AWESOME decision because…

… I met Sorceror Mickey! I’m upset the picture quality is crap, though. I will meet him again! And take a better picture.

It was almost time for the Laker game so we went over to the ESPN Zone at Downtown Disney to watch the first game of the series and also to wait for my best friend Robyn to join us. YAYAYAY.

The Lakers were up by 20 points at half time so when Robyn arrived, we headed over to Animation Academy again since she’s never been there before (!!!). We drew Minnie and mine was terrible as usual (Rob’s holding mine on top).

We headed over to Toy Story Mania to see if it was open again and found that the wait was 60+ mins. INSANE. Instead, we went back over to the Hollywood Pictures Backlot to ride Tower of Terror. The three of us are at the bottom right of the picture. I’m in the middle scared out of my mind (the constant drops feel never-ending), Robyn has her hands at her face to hold on to her glasses, and Rob’s egging on my screaming.

Back at Disneyland, we go on Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters twice in a row. The second time I think we found a Hidden Mickey on one of the maps visible in line.

Robyn beat Rob! And Rob was not pleased. Hehehe.

And finally, for our last ride of the day, we hit It’s a Small World. I haven’t been on this ride in YEARS. They recently made some changes and sprinkled Disney characters throughout the ride. I saw Alice, Aladdin, Jasmine, Pinocchio, Nemo, Ariel, Flounder, Woody, Jesse, Lilo, and Stitch. SO CUTE.

That’s it! We’ll have to schedule another trip before the summer heat sets in for good… YAY.

we cheer + disneyland again

Congrats to my friend Emma (and Mike) who gave birth to a baby girl this morning! Awww. 🙂

I missed the Girl Scouts this year. 🙁 I even found the dates/times of their booths on the OC Girl Scout website. Oh well. I suppose my waistline is thankful that I didn’t buy any Thin Mints or Samoas. Mmmm.

We bought a new Wii. The broken one was no longer booting up. 🙁 We looked up the “symptom” on the Nintendo site and it advised us to send in the old one for repair. Since we’ve had the console for 2+ years, it didn’t have a warranty anymore and would cost $75. We thought that wasn’t bad. THEN in the part where you enter your credit card info, we found out that they also charge $10 for shipping and tax on top of that, which brought the total to just under $100. LAME. Rob had $125 in Amazon rewards so buying a new Wii made more sense since the difference of $124.99 wasn’t much more than the repair cost.

So over the weekend, I bought We Cheer. OMG, I’m seriously addicted. It took me a few routines to get my moves synced to the game, which was a little frustrating at first, but after I got the hang of it, I was having so much fun! It does look a little cheesy (the cheerleaders remind me of Bratz dolls) and there’s no storylines (just random conversations between the characters that add nothing to the game) but whatever — I skip all that extra stuff and focus on clearing songs and unlocking stages. It’s a pretty good workout too. Thumbs up!

We also made an impromptu trip to Disneyland again on Sunday. I LOVE DISNEYLAND. I now want to spend my 30th (!!!) birthday weekend there. Anyway, we found out Saturday night that there was supposed to be a “storm” coming in the next day so we decided to play it by ear. I woke up at about 7am on Sunday morning and it wasn’t raining. WOOT. I really wanted to get to DL as close as possible to the 8am park opening. So I took a shower and when I got out, it was raining. HARD. UGH. So I didn’t even bother waking up Rob. I went back to sleep, lol. Then when I woke up again at about 9am, it was clear. It even looked like the sun was trying to peek through the clouds. This time I woke up Rob and we made it out of the apartment by 10am. Our first stop was across the street at Starbucks to get some coffee and while I was ordering inside, rain started pounding down again. GRRR. I was ready to go back home but Rob said we might as well drive to Anaheim (about 15 miles away) and see what the weather was like there. I’m glad we did because on the way, the rain stopped (again) and it turned out to be a great day to be at DL. The crowds were really light too, probably because locals didn’t want to brave the rain. We are troopers! 😀

Obligatory pics…

A new “sight” at Celebration Point. Not sure if I like it since it seems totally out of place on Main Street… good picture spot though!

We weren’t planning on spending the entire day at the park so we only did what are now our “must do’s.” First, we walked quickly to Space Mountain to get a Fast Pass. Then we made a beeline for Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters where Rob beat my score again. BOO.

We headed back to Main Street and killed some time by the Partners’ statue because we wanted to have fried chicken at the Plaza Inn for lunch and they don’t take reservations. We got there about 5 minutes before their noon opening and the line was already looooong. Crazy!

The fried chicken was excellent! Mmm, I’m drooling right now just thinking about it.

After lunch, it was time to head over to California Adventure. We walked alllllll the way to Toy Story Mania and found out the wait was 60 minutes. We decided to pass. Next time we’ll have to hit that ride right when CA opens.

So of course, we headed over to the Animation Academy. We found out that the next session at 1:30 is for Jack Skellington but the 2:00 session is for Piglet. Since we’ve drawn Jack before, we decided to wait for Piglet. We went outside to walk around and we found Goofy! The line to take pictures with him wasn’t too long so I convinced Rob to come with me. Hehehehe. My new goal is to find Sorceror Mickey so I can take my picture with him when I’m wearing my Sorceror Mickey ears.

Back at the Animation Academy, I found that Piglet is freaking hard to draw! My drawing is on the left and it suuuuucks. Rob’s is so much better. *pout*

Finally, we went back to DL to use Fast Passes for Space Mountain (my favorite ride EVER). And after a quick walk through Downtown Disney to check out the Lego store, we headed home. *happy* Can’t wait for my next trip.