first half 2013 photo dump

With half the year behind me, it’s about that time for a photo dump! I know that’s what Instagram is for but most of the time I don’t think about sharing pics right away so… here they are now, heh.

After we went to Portland and had the fish sauce wings at Pok Pok, I asked Rob to try making them one night and he obliged.

They don’t look pretty but they were OHSOGOOD. Recipe here.

I also made mango sticky rice for dessert a few times — it’s one of my favorite desserts and so easy to make too. Recipe here.

I’ve never been a huge burger fan (though I do LOVE Shake Shack) but on a business trip to San Francisco, I got the chance to try Super Duper Burger. YUMMY!

At our local mall, a new pizza place opened called Pieology. For only $7.50, you get an oversized personal thin crust pizza that you can customize with as many toppings as you like. They also have this amazing herb butter that they spread over the dough before it bakes. WOW. IT’S AWESOME.

Finally tried the shaved ice/frozen yogurt combo at Milk & Honey. Gawd, I love dessert.

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october happy things

It’s been awhile since a Happy Things post… so here’s the October edition! 🙂

1. My Birthday. I LOVE when my birthday rolls around. I use it to justify pretty much everything. LOL. Too bad I hit the big 33 this year. Waaaahhhhh.

2. New iPad! My birthday present from Rob. LOVEIT.

3. Last minute trip to Las Vegas. Yup, it’s the third time I’ve been this year. Pretty unheard of for me but with work so crazy lately, it’s nice to have someplace close and familiar to get away.

Hello again!

Amongst some great meals (Raku in particular), I convinced Rob to have afternoon tea at the Mandarin Oriental. I used the “it’s my birthday” plea. 🙂

We also finally visited the Fremont Street Experience located downtown. It was cool to see the lights but I’m not sure there’s a need to go back. Except maybe to try the zipline!

The view from our room at Vdara. Until next time!

4. Upcoming trip to Japan. I’ve alluded to it a few times but we’re about a week and a half away from our vacation. !!! We’re going to have about 2 weeks there and will split our time between Kyoto, Tokyo and of course, the Tokyo Disneyland Resort. ICANNOTWAIT.

5. Holiday cards. Ordering them signals my favorite time of year!

How is your October going? 🙂

first half 2012 photo dump

I’ve been meaning to do a photo dump for MONTHS. I feel like time has been flying by on fast forward (let’s not even think about the 17 days I was pretty much glued to the TV watching the Olympics – at least I met my Olympics boyfriend Nathan Adrian, hehe). So I thought I’d take a look back at the year so far by sharing some random iphone pics. A combined “happy things” and “slice of life” post…

Earlier this year we spent a morning on Balboa Island. We shared a yummy Balboa bar (vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate and rolled with the topping of your choice – we selected almonds), strolled along the water and took the ferry back and forth from the island to the peninsula. We’re really lucky to live so close to such beautiful places to visit. We really need to do more exploring in Orange County.

We brought the absolute BEST strawberry croissants from Japanese bakery Cream Pan to dinner at a friend’s new house. I LOVE THESE SO MUCH. I want one right now.

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march happy things

Daylight savings time wrecked me today. I could barely wake up! It’s crazy how one measly hour can turn my day upside down.

Work is still a nightmare but what else is new.

Let’s talk Happy Things!

1. Rob & I are heading to WonderCon this Saturday. WHEEE! It’s local this year (in Anaheim) so we figured why not. 🙂 I just want to check out the exhibition floor and maybe go see a panel or two. It’ll be interesting to see how different the experience is compared to Comic-Con. If it’s a bust, there’s always Disneyland right across the street.

2. Discovering amazing local restaurants. We live in a part of Orange County where chains and big box stores are the norm (not knocking these establishments — I LOVE Target and have a weakness for Chipotle) but every once in awhile, we stumble upon a real find. This past weekend we had brunch at Break of Dawn in Laguna Hills and I cannot wait to go back!

I had the Sausage and Rice (DAMN GOOD) and Rob had the Creme Brulee French Toast (F*ING GOOD). We want to try everything else on the menu. Hehe.

3. I’m going to be a godmother to my niece (my cousin’s daughter!). Damn, I’m getting old. OK OK. I *am* old.

4. Getting back to the swing of things and working on the house. When we moved in back in 2010, we went a little crazy painting and buying furniture that we burned out pretty quickly. We haven’t done anything major since then. This year, we have plans to paint the guest room (leaning towards gray), move Rob’s office upstairs, look for a buffet to reside near the kitchen, and possibly invest in a new sofa/sectional. Rob even managed to install the ceiling fan we got for Christmas. So pretty. YAY.

5. I have constant wanderlust. CONSTANT. So I’m excited that we have our next vacation lined up! We’ll be spending 9 nights between NYC & Washington, DC in early May. I haven’t been to either city since I was around 10 (possibly younger) and Rob’s never been to either one so they’re pretty much new destinations for us. If anyone has recs for attractions or dining, I’d love to hear them! 🙂

Hope everyone is having a great week!

highs and a low

I was all set to publish a Happy Things entry and then I got some truly upsetting news.

Early Thursday morning I was woken up by a phone call from my aunt letting me know that my grandma (on my mom’s side) passed away just a few hours before. I guess it’s because I was still half asleep but I lay in bed in a total daze. I was stunned. It wasn’t until I woke Rob up to tell him that it really hit me. It’s like it wasn’t real until I shared the news.

My grandma lived with my parents and me growing up and she practically raised me. She introduced me to the Lakers (I know, can you believe it — that wasn’t Rob’s influence), soap operas (the ABC soaps were our favorites – One Life to Live, General Hospital), and books — all still some of my very favorite things. I’m not very good with words and it’s even harder for me now to express how much she means to me. I will miss her very, very much.

I’d still like to share my original Happy Things post — I write so infrequently nowadays that I can’t let it go to waste…

1. Dinner with Friends. Last Saturday night, we had a few friends over to watch the Lakers/Clippers game — Rob made gumbo, I made rice krispies treats, and our friends’ brought over alcohol and 50 McDonald’s chicken mcnuggets for appetizers. There were only 5 of us and we managed to eat ALL of the nuggets before dinner. LOL. For the record, I only had 2. Possibly 3.

2. The aforementioned rice krispies treats. Even this non-cook can’t mess them up. Nommy.

3. Belated Christmas celebration with BFFs. Lunch, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 and the Golden Globes. Super low key and easy. And I can’t forget the presents! I am so spoiled…

4. Going to a basketball game at the Staples Center for the first time. Thank goodness for job perks because we had AMAZING lower level seats. Too bad it was a Clippers game, LOL (hopefully someday I’ll get to see the Lakers!). It ended up being a pretty boring game (they were playing the Dallas Mavericks and both teams seemed a little low energy) but it was a lot of fun to watch a game live.

5. My blog turned 10! TEN!!! I’ve been blogging at this domain since 2002. WOW. Happy Blog-iversary to me. 🙂

Hope all of you are well! *HUGS*

november’s happy things

I meant to post this entry before vacation but ran out of time. Better late than never…

Aside from Thanksgiving, November brought some fun Happy Things my way (of the material variety).

1. Our Christmas tree!

2. The Kindle Fire Rob gave me for my birthday arrived and I love it. I think it’s great for the price point and particularly if you’re only interested in consuming media. I brought it along on our trip and so far I’ve used it to play games, read books, and watch TV (The Wonder Years is available on Amazon streaming!). The only downside is that because it’s backlit, my eyes definitely get tired after reading for long periods of time. So the Fire isn’t going to replace my original Kindle, which features a much easier on the eyes e-ink display.

3. We’ve lived in our house for over a year now but still have yet to finish furnishing our master bedroom. I’ve been looking for a vanity table to store my girly stuff and I finally found one! Now we just want to get a ceiling fan and floor-length mirror in there and we’ll be all set.

4. About a week prior to our trip, we received Mickey mail (aka our Disney vacation confirmation). I’m pretty sure my excitement skyrocketed. And I had good reason — so far, it’s been an AH-MAY-ZING trip.

5. I actually planned ahead and ordered and received our Holiday cards. Woo hoo! If you’d like one, let me know in the comments and I’ll send you an email!

Now it’s December, Rob & I have had a fantastic first week of vacation and we’re looking forward to the second. I can’t wait to share highlights and pics of our trip when we get back. 🙂

end of summer’s happy things

I can hardly believe we’re heading into Fall. I enjoy summer and warm weather but I love the back half of the year so much more. Bring it on!

So yes, this means it’s time for an end of summer Happy Things post…

1. Going to Knott’s Berry Farm last Saturday to celebrate a good friend’s birthday. I haven’t been there since high school so it was definitely an eye-opener to see what’s still around (Montezooma’s Revenge!) and what’s new (uhhh… pretty much everything else). Sadly, I felt every bit my age by the end of the day. LOL.

2. 4-day Labor Day weekend! AWESOME.

3. TV marathons. So far this summer, I’ve watched the first 2 seasons of True Blood and started season 3. AND I recently discovered that Mad Men is available to stream instantly on Netflix so that’s probably the next show I’ll try to catch up on.

4. The local dollar movie theatre. Well ok, it’s really a $2 theatre. I’ve missed quite a few summer blockbusters (Super 8, Bridesmaids, etc) so I’m looking forward to catching them here.

5. Last weekend Rob was in Las Vegas for a boys’ weekend and he came home with MACARONS for me. Probably one of my most favorite treats EVER. IAMSOSPOILED. Obligatory pic because they’re so YUM.

Bonus happy thing!

6. Watching old episodes of So You Think You Can Dance. Specifically seasons 2 and 3. I still love the show but I mourn the earlier seasons when there was more variety — in terms of dancers, genres, and choreography. The show has become WAY too contemporary-focused in recent years.

Annnndddd that’s all folks. Have a FAB weekend. 🙂

happy things, (almost) july edition

Rob’s out of town this weekend so I decided to take advantage and start watching True Blood. I saw the first couple of episodes at a friend’s place back when the series first started but I didn’t have HBO at the time so I never bothered to finish the season. It didn’t help that I wasn’t particularly enamored with the episodes I did see. I’ve since heard that the show definitely picks up after that point. And now that I’ve read the first 6 books of the Sookie Stackhouse series (which I enjoy), I thought I’d give it another chance. Hopefully I’ll like it much better this time around. 🙂

So it’s about that time for another Happy Things entry — this time it’s the (almost) July edition!

1. House-iversary! Rob and I have been living in our house for the past year. CRAZY. It really doesn’t seem that long. Particularly since we’re not even done furnishing or organizing the boxes in our garage. Not to mention that…

2. We JUST now (mostly) finished the work in our (tiny) yard. Yes, after a year! We had sod and pavers installed last September but since then, we’ve let weeds grow in the surrounding soil. Oops. Finally, two weeks ago, with my dad’s help, we got rid of the weeds, prepared the soil, and added plants. YAY.

3. The upcoming Fourth of July holiday. One of my favorites. Love how laid back it is. Not sure what our plans are for the long weekend but it’ll probably involve some work around the house. Maybe Rob will fire up the grill. 😀 And we can catch up on summer movies (still want to see Bridesmaids, X-Men: First Class, and Super 8).

4. Speaking of movies… HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART 2. !!! I can’t believe it’s almost over. *sob* I’ve already convinced Rob we NEED to see it opening weekend.

5. Two weddings and a baby shower. 🙂 I’m going to be an aunt! My cousin’s wife is pregnant — since I have no siblings, I’m claiming their (future) daughter as my niece.

Bonus happy thing!

6. Comic-Con. We’re going the full 4 days again. I CAN’T WAIT. This time we’ll have other friends with us — it’s going to be great.

Random. I’ve had Bruno Mars’s “The Lazy Song” on repeat. This is like my summer anthem…

Today I don’t feel like doing anything
I just want to lay in my bed
Don’t feel like picking up my phone
So leave a message at the tone
Cause today I swear I’m not doing anything

happy things, spring edition

It’s about time for a Happy Things entry! Spring Edition this time.

1. An unexpected Friday off… giving me an awesome 3-day Easter weekend. To make it PC, my company officially called it a special “Spring Friday.” So awesome!

2. Making chocolate chip cookies for a friend’s barbecue. Rob & I have most of the ingredients on-hand so we make these whenever there’s an opportunity. 😀 No pictures because we ate them all. Hee.

3. Darren Criss. He plays Blaine on Glee. I completely realize that sometimes he is absolutely shoe-horned into episodes but I adore him so I just don’t care. (Hey, at least I admit it!). Anyway, he’s been doing talk show appearances recently (probably to promote the new Warblers album) and I’ve really enjoyed catching his performances and interviews. He’s not so great live… but whatevs. 😉

4. Spring flowers, especially ranunculus and daffodils.

5. Food trucks at our local Farmers’ Market. It’s actually less of a Farmers’ Market and more of a mini-food truck meet-up. That’s ok with us, though. We pick up our fruit then grab lunch before heading home. This past weekend we indulged in various tacos and chimichurri fries. YUM.

Now, if only the weather around here would fully commit to Spring, then I’d definitely be a happy camper.

Hope everyone is doing well! 🙂

happy things, valentine’s edition

February is halfway over and this is my first entry of the month. !!! Terrible.

I did get sick for about a week so… yeah. That helps justify my lack of blogging.

Anyway. HAPPY (Belated) VALENTINE’S DAY!!! It’s time for another Happy Things… Valentine’s edition.

1. Mini carnations. I bought them for myself on Valentine’s Day. 🙂 Carnations get a bad rap but I love them.

2. Cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery. Thanks Carms for bringing them over! They were YUM!

3. Rob and I took one last trip to Disneyland before our annual passes expire. We normally “gift” them to each other for Valentine’s Day but we’re considering an international trip this year so we figured we should save the money…

He totally beat me on Toy Story Mania but I got him back on Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters, hehe.

We also finally saw the new water show World of Color, which was both amazing (loved the music) and disappointing (standing room only so hard to see everything going on even from the preferred viewing area).

4. We had such a great Disney day that we’ve decided to renew our annual passes anyway. SUCKERS.

5. We got new top soil in the yard and Diesel ran straight over and started rubbing his face in it. ARGH. He got SO dirty. But he’s still so cute! 🙂

And that’s it! How was YOUR Valentine’s Day?