Category Archives: holiday

only a month later: the 4th weekend.

For crying out loud, Sarah! When are you ever going to post right after an event happens?! Well, I guess it’s better late than never.

We spent our 4th of July weekend up at my parents’ place, and we did the usual – family time, barbecue, and fireworks. No complaints there! Well, the heat was definitely a complaint, but other than that, it was all good.

As you can see, it looked pretty eventful.

I still need to post about Nat’s bridal shower. Perhaps I’ll actually get to that before their wedding day, haha! We shall see.


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take me back to nyc.

Long post ahead.

It’s no secret; I love the New York City life. The food choices are phenomenal, and the fashion is by far my favorite part! If I could have it my way, I’d get up and move in a heartbeat. Alas, the Silicon Valley will do for now.

We flew back to NYC for one of Gloria’s many business trips, and I, of course, tagged along. It was such a wonderful (and chilly) week filled with lots of memories.

Day 1: It was late afternoon by the time we got into the city, but that didn’t stop us from exploring! First stop after checking in at the Westin Grand Central was Shack Shake in the Grand Central Terminal (which, by the way, changed their crinkle cut fries, argh!). It had been six months since our last visit to Manhattan, so I needed to sink my teeth into my beloved ‘shroom burger. It’s my favorite vegetarian burger. Deliciousness!

Here’s our room view of the Empire State Building:

…and that delicious ‘shroom burger is the one on the right. The one on the left is Gloria’s Shake Stack burger.

Then, we headed uptown towards Rockefeller to see the tree. It was so unbelievably sparkly and festive.

Because it’s just a block over, we stopped into the historical St. Patrick’s Cathedral to say a prayer (or two).

We also roamed around in the park in the frigid cold. The photo below captures such a perfect moment in time.

To end the night, we hit up Serendipity. The first time I went to New York, I really wanted to go, but I didn’t make it up there. Each time there after, I always wanted to go, but time did not allow (because the wait was always 2-3 hours long). This trip, however, Gloria planned for us to have dessert there. Besides, the wait wasn’t too long; I killed time shopping in Bloomies, haha! It was perfect.

Day 2: Normally when we travel, we don’t just lounge around and sleep in as some would do on vacation. Instead, we like to get up at the crack of down to get our day started. However, on Day 2, it was all about sleeping in, hah! What?! We were out super late last night roaming the city. Besides, it’s the city that never sleeps, right?!

Anyway, that morning I wanted to try this local brunch place, Penelope. The line was, of course, a little bit over an hour, so I thought it would be fun to check out the well-acclaimed Ace Hotel. On our way there, we saw the J.crew and Madewell sample sale, and the line was super long! ARGH! If I wasn’t on a time constraint, I would’ve wanted to wait in that line. Once we got to the hotel, we walked in to try Stumptown coffee, which was fantastic, and to play in their lobby photobooth.

Shortly after, we headed back towards Penelope for brunch! I ordered the Nutella french toast with carmelized bananas and an apple cider mimosa. Goodness, it was so, so very delectable.

After brunch, we headed towards the Flat Iron Building. It’s always fun to see the architecture of this building, so different and unique. Plus, there’s great shopping in this area, haha!

Next, we headed uptown towards the Upper East Side to do more shopping. I love the shops up there. They have the finest stuff. After spending a couple hours of shopping, we roamed the park and went camera happy.

I love this park. Okay, is there anything I don’t love about NYC, minus the dirty subway?!

Later that evening, we met up with our friends, Elaine and Helena, at my most favorite restaurant ever, Ippudo. Seriously, it’s the best ramen I have ever eaten. Every time we’re in the city, this is a must visit for us. You really haven’t eaten good ramen unless you’ve been here. That’s no joke either!

After dinner, I wasn’t ready to head back to the hotel. Why rest when the city awaits adventure?! …so we decided to hit up our most favorite park, Washington Square Park. It’s a special place for us, so when the first snowfall for NYC started falling, it was absolutely perfect.

Playing in the park just wasn’t enough. We weren’t ready to head back home. We walked over towards the West Village and stopped at my favorite cupcake place ever, Magnolia’s, to pick up a late midnight snack. It wouldn’t be a trip to NYC without a vanilla cupcake.

Day 3: It was an icy, cold rain day, but that didn’t stop us. I still made Gloria come out with me to wait in the already backed up cronut line at Dominique Ansel’s Bakery. Last trip, I really, really wanted to try the renowned cronut, but we ran out of time. This time, it was on the priority list. Glad that we made it a priority because I have never had anything like it. If you haven’t already heard, Dominique Ansel created a hybrid pastry that combines the deliciousness from both croissants and donuts. I loved that it was not oily like some donuts and croissants can be. Let’s just say It was so worth the wait in the freezing, cold rain.

Oh, and every month, the cronut flavor changes. For the month of December, it was a dark chocolate spiked with champagne. Um… Dark chocolate?! Champagne?! Talk about a perfect combination! Yum.

Later that day, it was a shopping day, hah! When is it not a shopping day for me?! Anyway, one of my most favorite shopping spots in the city – Soho! Love, love, love this area for the shopping.

…and then it was time for us to head to Princeton. Such a quaint university town!

Day 4: I woke up to the snow coming down! It was magical. Thank goodness we were in a hotel. I didn’t want to be shoveling out a driveway or anything, hah!

After Gloria was finished with her presentations for work, we headed towards Palmer Square and took an afternoon walk around the gorgeous Princeton campus.

Day 5: Gloria had a full day of work, so it was a solo day for me. What better than go back to the city and roam the city streets alone?!

First stop was Bryant Park. It’s such a charming, quaint park.

…and for lunch I wanted Shake Shack, so I braved the crowds at the Times Square Shack Shack.

After food, I walked towards Radio City.

As you can see, there were lots and lots of Christmas decorations on the city sidewalks. It really is magical during Christmastime.

Here are some other pictures from our trip:

Day 6: Time to head home. Boo. However, I’m not going to fret  because I know we’ll be going back soon. It seems that both of us have left our hearts in New York City.


Filed under family, holiday, personal, vacation

last weekend’s christmas party.

Before we left for New York City last weekend, we threw a Christmas party for a small group of our friends. This post is mostly just photos from my phone, so excuse the low quality images.

Recap of the night – we ate and stuffed ourselves, we played games (Cranium and Cards Against Humanity), and we played with the Christmas photo props and had a little bit too much fun, hehe.

I love this time of year, and not just for the food, hah!


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thanksgiving 2013 recap.

Just a little bit over a week ago, Thanksgiving plans changed and I was nominated to host a Thanksgiving dinner. Thank goodness my parents offered up their home for dinner because I didn’t plan on cleaning and prepping our house with a week’s notice, hah! …so I hustled and bustled to get everything done in time for Turkey Day.

After making the floral arrangements, setting the table, and cooking up a storm, I’d say it was another successful Thanksgiving dinner hosted by yours truly.

…and it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a feast! Some of the dishes that I cooked/served are pictured below:

Green beans with shallots and almonds

Chicken Wild Rice

Sausage and Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing

Garlic Roasted Mashed Potatoes

Roasted Garlic Pork

…and of course, the juicy and delicious turkey!

Before we all stuffed ourselves, we remembered to snap some photos. I especially love the ones of G and the dogs; they crack me up.

Candles were lit, grace was said, and a party of eight went food happy.

The best part about Thanksgiving, in my opinion, is the leftovers! Yum! Oh, the gravy… *salivating*

…but now that Thanksgiving is officially over, I can now start decorating for Christmas. Wahoo! I’ve held off up until now.


Filed under family, hilo, holiday, maui, miniature schnauzer, personal, vacation

when you wish…

…upon a star, makes no difference who you are. The older I get, the more I find Disneyland to be more magical. I’ve always wanted to go to Disneyland during Halloween tIme, but I never got around to doing so. This was the first year that our schedules allowed, so we packed up and headed down South.

Here are some fun memories from our first day in the park:

We met up with one of my college besties, Alex. It’s been a couple years since we last hung out, so it was awesome to see her and her fiancee in Disneyland!

We loved how they decked out Haunted Mansion!

Early afternoon, we headed towards Toontown to line up for Mickey’s Halloween Party. By the time we got there, there was already a line. Mind you, we got there about an hour earlier, haha! I’m so glad we went though. It was way too much fun. We got to meet and greet with a ton of characters, including the villains. Plus, there’s tons of candy trails! Here are some pictures from Mickey’s Halloween Party:

…and our visit wouldn’t have been complete without a parade and a fireworks show, Halloween style, of course! We were so excited to finally see Donald in his Stormtrooper costume!

After the fireworks show, we hustled across the park to meet and greet with Jack and Sally!

What Dapper Dans?! During Halloween time, they turn into the Cadaver Dans! …and they sing Halloween songs, too!

Well, we weren’t satisfied with just one day, so we had to go a second. Glad that we did because we took the time to ride a lot of the rides. Here are some pictures from our second day:

After this trip, we may have to do Halloween there next year. I wouldn’t be opposed to it at all! 🙂


Filed under family, holiday, personal, vacation