our kayak adventure

Yup, a post is definitely overdue. I was meaning to write about our water adventure a few weeks back, but I never got around to it. Eh, well here goes.

Earlier this month, we decided that it had been almost a year since our last kayak adventure. It was definitely time for a kayak excursion. Early one Saturday morning, we went to our favorite kayaking spot in Monterey Bay. We spent a few hours paddling out and enjoying the pretty views.

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We spotted a crap load of sea nettles, a raft of otters, and so many seals. Definitely an awesome sight to see.

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I think the best part about this adventure was that we packed food and water in our water sack, and we had a picnic sitting in our kayak on the water. Food? On a kayak? Yes, please!

Me wants to do this again soon! Hopefully, it won’t be another year when we next kayak.

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winter cha 2014, california adventure, and disneyland.

I can’t believe that our much anticipated girls’ weekend is already over. We had this road trip planned for over half a year, and it came and went so quickly. Maybe we need to start planning another trip because I’m going through fun withdrawals already.

Anyway, our original intention was to go to the winter CHA mega show to check out all of the latest in the craft industry. Yup, we went and gawked over all the pretty new things (my favorites being a handful of the new Lawn Fawn stamp sets)…

…but the fun actually started when we went to play in the parks! We hit up California Adventure first.

There’s no way in heck that I’d get on California Screamin’! You couldn’t even pay me to ride that rollercoaster, but the two daredevils couldn’t wait to get on that ride. Can you spot Ann and G in the picture below?! What crazies, haha!

It was also my first time to ride the Radiator Springs Racers ride! I loved the exhilaration of it. Below are a couple of pictures that Ann snapped of me during the ride:

…and believe it or not, me and Shaleen actually got on the ferris wheel that night. Here’s a view from up top:

We also went to Disneyland. We wanted to make use of the girls’ annual passes, haha!

Shaleen’s fabulous cousin was actually working a face painting shift when we there, so guess what we did?!

…and more random snapshots from our day in Disneyland:

Our favorite little hangout place, Trader Sam’s Echanted Tiki Bar.

On our way back up, we took the long, scenic drive. We drove through Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Yup, we even went down Rodeo Drive. Then, we drove up the coast to keep us entertained. We stopped in Santa Barbara to grab lunch at the harbor, and then we headed home.

I still can’t believe that trip came and went. I wish it was longer. Boo! Well, I guess that just means we’ll have to plan another trip in the future.

PS: Thanks, Ann, for letting me use some of your photos. They turned out fabulous!

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christmas and NYE 2013 recap.

Umm… where did 2013 go?! Oh, that’s right… back over there! Obviously, I haven’t been blogging very much recently, so I wanted to do a quick recap of some fun moments this past month for documentation purposes. These kinds of posts make a good time reference in the future.

Earlier in December, I finished my first 5k with friends. I can now cross that one off of my bucket list. Wahoo! Surprisingly, it was lots of fun, and it’s something I would definitely do again. As a matter of fact, I’ve been trying to search for my next race. Yup, we dressed up as elves to get us into the spirit.

As far as our 2013 Christmas tree, we decided on keeping it metallic and white. It was pretty much a gold and silver tree this year.

Overall, it was a wonderful holiday season. Yeah, it’s nice to eat delicious holiday food and get lavish gifts, but the best part about this season, at least for me, was feeling blessed to have spent lots of quality time with the people I love.

As for New Year’s Eve, we spent it at the beach, of course!

Later that evening, as we rang in 2014, we popped a bottle and enjoyed the fizz.

To start off the new year with a bang, we drove down the coast this past Sunday. We had a little family picnic on one of our favorite beaches in Big Sur. I think the four of us should just become professional beach bums, hah!

Yup, and that pretty much brings us up to date with life. We’ve got stuffed planned this weekend, so expect a post in the near future.

Happy 2014!

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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.

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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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