2-0-1-8!

I love January and new years! It’s like a fresh, promising, open slate of a full year ahead. I enjoy getting new desk and wall calendars, a new planner, and all that good stuff. I am not huge on making new year’s resolutions for myself, but I am a believer in striving to be a better version of myself.

So January has been quite eventful. My brother’s birthday was on the 9th, so we went out for dim sum after church the Sunday before. Afterwards, my parents treated us all out to Starbucks and a movie! We watched Jumanji, but honestly, my favorite part of going to the movies is the popcorn. LOL. On his actual birthday, we had dinner at the local Chinese bistro and it was delicious! That Friday, my office had its end of the year party. I love our little parties because it’s just always fun with lots of food, wine, and stories! We also had a white elephant gifting, and I came away with movie tickets! WIN!! The next day (Saturday) was Mike’s birthday. We had lunch with his parents at Texas Roadhouse, and went to a Korean BBQ restaurant for dinner with my family. The food, of course, was YUMMY!! Yes! I love me lots of family time!

On Thursday, we flew out to Orange County to spend the evening at Disneyland. We had tickets to Disneyland’s Disney After Dark: Throwback Nite event. Only ticket holders were allowed to stay in the park from 8PM to 1AM, and attendees were encouraged to dress in their best 50s and 60s inspired outfits. I was sick, so Mike and I did not try too hard. LOL. It was so much fun seeing all the dapper gals and pals, walking around the park listening to music from those two decades, and being able to get on rides with not much wait. I do have to say that Peter Pan’s Flight ride almost always has a long line, and Snow White’s Scary Adventures is much scarier when you’re the only people inside at 12:50AM. Hah! We also met up with my good friend, Cynthia, and her sister. Towards the of the night, Mike and I were hanging out by the castle, when an awesome cast member handed each of us a churro. It was the best way to end the evening! 🙂

 

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We love Mickey!
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Jungle Julep – we paired it with Pork Belly skewer and Kahlua Pork rice plate.

 

Yesterday, we spent a few hours at California Adventure, and were bummed that there were a lot of sections closed off. However, we are excited to see all the new things that are coming later this year. We left the park mid-afternoon and drove to Long Beach. We got milk tea and ube-flavored desserts in Cerritos to kill time before our flight back home. Oh! We finally decided to buy the Samyang Spicy Chicken Noodles that catapulted to popularity when the noodle challenge made its round. I’ll let you guys know how it goes when it happens. 😉

Alright friends – praying that everyone has a joyous, prosperous, wonderful 2018! xo.

2017 in Quick Review

How is this year pretty much over?! It is so hard to believe that in just a few hours (California time), 2017 will be “history.” As I look back at the past twelve months, I am consumed with so many emotions. There were many “firsts” and a number of “hope this is the last” moments. It was a year of learning, a year of growing, a year of toughing it out, a year of holding on tighter, a year of praying harder, and a year of so much more. Through it all, I am still thankful.

2017 was my first full year of marriage. Without a doubt, Mike and I were tried time and time again, and each time, we just did. Without going into all the deep, heart wrenching, sappy details, we learned about the people around us and ourselves – individually and as partners. There were times when we were without, and we had to get really creative to come up with a few extra bucks. We took advantage of earned points and pending credits to suffice our need for quick travels. It was the first time we had to really tighten our buckles to make ends meet. To be honest, sometimes, they barely met. We thought about how much of ourselves we try to selflessly offer when are able, yet, it is so hard to find someone to lend us a helping hand without judgment (and ultimately not doing so anyway). Still, we will choose to love and give unconditionally.

This year was also full of happy memories. I had several relatives visit from far-away places like the Philippines, Singapore, Qatar, and the UAE. I know this delighted my mom more than anyone else, because it is so rare these days that she sees her sisters more than once in a year. Thanks to technology though, she is able to talk to them and FaceTime with them no matter where they are in the world.

Despite everything that has happened in the past year, I remain thankful. Even though my parents (especially my mom) did not have the healthiest year ever, the fact that they are still here is a huge blessing. My brother and sister-in-law are expecting their first daughter, received promotions, and were able to take an out-of-country family vacation. My other brother and sister-in-law spent their first full year in their new home, bought a new car, and are seemingly looking more fulfilled with their lives. Mike’s parents are also healthy, and his brothers and sister are doing well in their respective careers. Our pets are all spunky, healthy, and happy. We are also thankful for the friends who are there for us no matter what, and have made us laugh and happy throughout the year(s).

Lastly, we are thankful to Him, who never let us forget how blessed we are. Just the other day, one of our six-month long prayer was answered. I am so happy for Mike, who is overjoyed by the news. No, we are not expecting a child. Although, that’s a thought.

As for 2018, I am just hoping and praying that things will go a little easier, that we are all healthy, prosperous, and loving, and that everyone remains blessed and true to themselves. Happy New Year, everyone!

Oh, according to Instagram, these are my best nines of the year. Of course, it’s only a glimpse of my 2017, but it’s not a bad compilation.

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Lots of Disney, Ice Cream, and Mike. HAHA!

Life Lately

Last time I posted, it was Thanksgiving week. Now, it’s the week leading up to Christmas! I also never got to post about the “feels” and the wedding (from last year). It’s in my drafts, and sort of feel out of place at this point. Lol. I’ve gotta do better with my timing.

Anyway…

Thanksgiving was fantastic! Mike and I woke up super early to run some errands before lunch and dinner. Hehe. We kind of went shopping during the wee hours of Black Friday with my siblings. Really, all we bought were a pair of shoes for each of us, a pair of leggings, a shirt, and a jacket. Seriously, last year’s Black Friday was so much better! Our wedding, in case I lost ya.

The week after, we celebrated our anniversary at, where else? The happiest place on Earth – Disneyland! We also watched live show of The Voice. It was so much fun, but it felt like we were waiting all day to get to show time. My legs and arms were so tired by the end of it, and we were all hungry. Heh. But… Adam Levine, so… 😉 It’s too bad we were not allowed to bring cellphones or cameras inside.

Disneyland was amazing, of course. We were in the parks Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and it was perfect. The crowd was manageable, and the lines were not too long. That Friday, we went to the park to simply pick up a new pair of Minnie ears, stockings, and ornaments, and it was already super crowded at 10AM! We always wish we never had to leave, but we already booked a one-day trip for next month. Oops.

So, who’s ready for Christmas?! We are totally not. We have a few more important people to shop for, and a whole lot of gifts to wrap! Here’s to backaches and hoping that paper cuts do not happen.

Life Lately

It’s Thanksgiving week and I am getting all the feels! More on this later. 😉

Since my last update, a few cool, fun-fun-fun things happened!

We had visitors from the Philippines and Singapore! Two of my mom’s sisters, their husbands, and my cousin came to visit us for a week. Because the visit was quick, we tried to make the most of it and did something every day they were here. It was such a joy to see my mom so happy spending time with her sisters. Of course, the goodbyes are never easy, and it wasn’t easy this time around.

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Welcome (back) to California! I’m pretty sure this was the only picture with all of us!
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Sisters at Apple Hill! ❤

We also attended two of our good friends’ wedding at the Bentley Reserve in San San Francisco. It was a great day celebrating two amazing people and a beautiful wedding! The bride’s family came all the way from Brazil! Too bad the only “couple pic” we took with the bride and groom was dark and you can hardly see us. Oh well, haha! Congrats, David and Nayra!

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Photo Booth photos from the wedding, of course!

During Veterans Day weekend, we flew down to San Diego to celebrate my good friend Randy’s birthday! We were only there for the weekend, but it felt so much longer. I’m pretty sure my liver was not ready for that. Hah! We also stayed at an AirBnB for the first time. We shared a two-bedroom flat on a hill, and aside from the complicated parking arrangement, it was pretty neat experience! Of course, when in San Diego, you go to the beach and eat at Hodads. Yum!

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Serenity… take me back!
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F & M Reunion!

So hey, about all those feels?! One year ago, my family and I were doing last minute errands, arrangements, and touristy things in preparation for my wedding! AHHH! All the memories. Ohh my gosh!

Fall and NWM

Well, my absolute favorite season is here – FALL! The delicious comfort food (mostly desserts), the beautiful colors outdoors, and the crisp air without it being too cold… OHH YEAH!! I am currently sitting here with a Maple Pecan Frappuccino from Starbucks. For the record, I usually get the fall flavors once or twice during the season, and then go back to my classics. Sometimes, though, I get obsessed and order it five times in a row. 😉 I am also watching some post-season baseball! My team is not in it this year, but it’s always exciting to watch no matter what. I just love baseball! Football is back, too, and what a downer that has been for our household. Our team just can’t get it together! Next week, we are going to our basketball team’s home opener! Go Kings! See? Lots of good things this time of the year.

In case you are wondering why I am posting in the middle of the day on a Monday, well… it’s an observed holiday for our company. NWM = No Work Monday! But even if it weren’t, I think they might have sent us home early today anyway. You see, I work in the Napa Valley, and what is going on over there right now? A massive fire! It has gone rapidly through other counties as well, and some of my coworkers have either evacuated or are on alert. They have also been without electricity since about two this morning. Please keep the residents, visitors, animals, and businesses who are affected in your thoughts and prayers. Last time I checked, two hospitals have already been evacuated. This really hurts me because many of my favorite people and sceneries are in that immediate area.

Other than that… I am looking forward to next week! Other than the Kings game, my nephew and his parents (my brother and sister-in-law) are coming back from their vacation in the Philippines! I miss him so much. Haha! I also get to see my optometrist for my annual check-up, and hopefully, she has good news for me.

Have a great Monday, y’all!

Weekend Recap

Is it already Sunday night? Weekends are so unfair. They take forever to get here, and then they’re over in a snap! Ugh. But hey, I had a fantastic weekend, so I guess it’s alright. I just always wish the weekends were longer.

Yesterday, Mike and I spent the day with the dogs in San Francisco. I love San Francisco! It makes me so sad that we don’t go there as often as we used to, which was at least once a week! I wish we could afford to live there also, but it’s whatever. Ha! Anyway, we finally got our fix of Salt & Straw ice cream. I have been craving that thing for a couple of years now, since our last trip to Portland. I got Honey Lavender and Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache. Oh. My. Gosh. AMAZING! Mike got Peach Vinegar Cobbler with Toasted Nutmeg and Bone Marrow & Smoked Cherries (so brave). We waited maybe around ten/fifteen minutes in line, but even if we had waited longer, it would not have mattered. Aside from the ice cream being worth it, we were also entertained by all the dogs roaming around with their humans.

After getting our ice cream fix, we took the dogs to Crissy Field – East Beach. We walked around for a bit, got to know a few other dogs, and then called it a day. It was such a beautiful day in the city – warm sun and cool breeze, my favorite SF weather. I wish we didn’t have to leave so soon, but we did.

Last night, Mike’s parents and sister came over for dinner and to watch boxing (#CaneloGGG). Because it was such a last minute invite, we had to whip up something quick. We came up with Sweet & Sour Chicken, Mongolian Beef, and rice (of course). Beer, soda, and dessert were optional. As for the fight, I thought there was a clear cut winner, but the judges thought otherwise. Oh well.

After everyone left, Mike and I spent the rest of the evening at my parents’ house. Everyone was there so it was fun. We didn’t sleep until around 6:30 in the morning! Haha! I’m still tired. But we woke up early to pick up our cruise voucher, then lunch and Niners game. I had chicken lettuce wraps and mango mojito. So good! I wish I could have another pitcher of the mojito. Ha!

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Clearly, my girls were not interested in taking a picture.
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Favorite ice cream in my favorite city!
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My handsome guy. ❤

Fireflies

The past weeks have been very devastating for our nation and for the world. My heart goes out to all those who are affected, and I am praying for you all. Of course, we also remembered what happened sixteen years ago. As many do every year, I watched the videos of those planes crashing in to the towers and the aftermath over and over and over again. I can still vividly remember that morning and how scared the entire nation was. Sigh… still so heavy.

Moving on…

Have you ever seen so many fireflies in your life? Over the weekend, my parents’ backyard was a surprising showcase of these fascinating little insects. They covered a couple of the trees twinkling their lights, and it was just oh-so beautiful to watch. We tried to take pictures but nothing could do the sight justice, and just our luck, the battery on my SLR camera died. Nevertheless, it was gorgeous, and our family was in complete awe.

Special mention… today is my Nanay’s birthday. Nanay is what we grew up calling our maternal grandmother. Though she is no longer with us physically, we feel her love every single day. I miss her and I know my mom misses her so much more. ❤