Oahu: Days 1 & 2


Mike and I just got back from our vacation in Hawaii! Actually, we got back late Saturday evening (11p), but yesterday was recovery/catch up day. Today, Mike went back to work, while I’m trying to prep myself for tomorrow’s comeback. Hehe. Honestly, I need to clean up, put away the luggages, and do laundry.

Back to our Hawaii trip. We were there a total of eight nights, so to spare a long, drawn out post, I will be breaking this up by days. I may also go back and edit to add pictures at a later time. 😉 Note: We booked our resort back in August of last year, but did not book flights until the first week of February! We lucked out on prices, especially on our rental SUV. We booked it for $365 for the entire trip, and the following week, the price went up to over $1,000! Whew!

On Friday, February 23rd, we took a 9AM flight from Oakland to Honolulu. We arrived at HNL shortly before 1PM local time, so we picked up our luggage, took the shuttle to the car rental lots to pick up our vehicle, and went on our merry way. By the way, we got a 2018 Nissan Rogue with only 45 miles on it! The representative at the Hertz kiosk said we were the first to drive it. Score! Our resort was about half an hour away from the airport, so we got there way before the posted check-in time. However, the staff was so amazing that upon arrival, we received our orchid lei (for me) and Kukui nut lei (for Mike), and we were told that our room was ready!

We stayed in a “Deluxe Studio – Poolside Garden View” at Aulani, and oh my gosh, that resort is just beautiful! We were on the fourth floor, which was perfect for us because it was one floor above the lobby floor and just three floors above the pools and the beach. Everything was so easily accessible by elevator or stairs, and we just enjoyed it. We thought we would get lunch after checking in, but we were a combination of tired and in awe, that we did not leave until almost dinner time. In that case, we just went across the street to Island Country Markets for food. Mike got a hamburger and a bottle of beer, and I got a spicy ahi poke bowl, spam musubi, and milk tea. It was satisfying. We also went for a drive, found a few beaches, and finally stopped at one that was not so crowded to watch the sunset. It was gorgeous!

The next morning, we strolled across the street again, and had breakfast at Island Vintage Coffee. Their frozen Macadamia Nut Kona Mocha was my favorite! Yum! We spent our first full day in Hawaii just hanging out at the resort – swimming in the pools, floating along the lazy river, soaking in the hot tub, and just lounging around. Around 6PM, we went back to our room to shower and got ready for dinner.

Welcome  buttons!
View from our balcony.
First breakfast in HI. YUM!
A short program by the pool.
Infinity pool!

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.

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

Engagement’s 2nd Anniversary

At the beginning of June, I booked a round-trip plane tickets to Burbank for Mike and myself, not knowing if the trip would actually happen. However, just in case, I also booked a hotel room for a four-night stay a few days later. I was confident in my booking because Southwest Airlines has an amazing cancellation policy and DoubleTree By Hilton allows for a 24-hour cancellation. What’s great is that I booked my hotel at the right time, because I checked again a week later, and the prices was almost doubled! Phew!

Anyway, the mini vacation happened! We arrived in Burbank on a Saturday morning, and had breakfast at Grits Fullerton. I got Pork Belly & Grits and Mike ordered Bone Marrow & Waffles. Both were delicious! Then, on a whim, we drove to San Diego while monitoring StubHub. We watched our SF Giants play the Padres. Who knew that finding Giants shirt would be so hard in So Cal? LOL. We eventually found a Sports Fever store, where I got a nice shirt for 50% off! We made our way to Petco Park, and their parking price of $15 still amaze us because that is so much cheaper than what we are used to, especially with the garage being across the street from the ballpark! We had Phil’s BBQ right before the game, and we were happy to have set next to a pair of Giants fans. Our team lost, making us 0-2 when in attendance at Petco Park. On the bright side, it was fireworks night! We watched the fireworks show before heading back to Anaheim.

We spent Sunday, most of Monday, and Tuesday at Disneyland & California Adventure. We dined at Carthay Circle and Carnation Cafe, and we also did the on-the-go dining package for Fantasmic. This was mainly because we wanted to celebrate our engagement’s second anniversary. Silly, but it makes us nostalgic thinking about the day of! While waiting for Fantasmic, we sat in a circle talking with a family from Georgia and a local lady (of So Cal). They were really nice people, and made the wait bearable. One thing that we got a laugh out of was when the lady mentioned how folks from the East Coast or anywhere but the West Coast say “Disney” when referring to Walt Disney World, while West Coasters actually say “Land” or “World.” That is so interesting, but I also found some truth to it when I look at my Disney forums! Haha.

We flew back home on Wednesday, and of course, we had to bring back some pastries from Porto’s! Our families love it and they appreciate whenever we bring those boxes of happiness back. Now, I am gearing back to go to work… tomorrow… on a Saturday! But only for four hours. Ha!

If there is anything different from this past vacation, it’s the fact that we were more budget-conscious than we have ever been on a vacation. We also ate a whole bunch of popcorn because we remembered to bring the AP popcorn bucket we bought during our last visit to Disneyland. What was cool is that we were able to get refills for just $1! We must have refilled it 4 or 5 time during the trip. 😛

What’s new everyone?!

Breakfast at Grits Fullerton
Petco Park







Sleeping Beauty’s Castle! & a bunch of people


Daylight Savings Time

A lot of times, I feel that there is not enough time in a day to do everything I need to do, but today, that holds truer than any other days of the year. I mean sleep is for the weak anyway. Just kiIMG_7803dding. I could have totally used that extra hour. To help us kind of cope with the loss of an hour, Mike and I went do Dunkin’ Donuts at 5:30 in the morning. I still don’t feel I can function properly, but that might be more of a personal thing rather than a DST thing.

We are heading over to my brother’s house for the day. Mike is getting ready and I can hear the Moana soundtrack playing. I am both proud and giggly. Haha! Anyway, I’ve decided that I will go bare-faced and hair undone. I blame this on DST. But also because my face can use the day to just breathe. Ok forgive me but I have to stop. The Moana soundtrack proves to be distracting and funny. LOL!

February Happened

Finally, a day off with nothing to do. Actually that’s wrong because there are plenty of things to do, but what’s an hour to myself? I deserve it after all.

I am finally getting settled in at the new workplace – two and a half months later! While I wish things were like that instead of this, or that this should be this way and not that way, I like where I’m at. The people I work with are nice and helpful, and it’s nice and liberating not being the automatic go-to person. New girl perks.

Now that February is gone – what happened in February? For our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple, Mike and I went out for some sushi at one of our usual places in Sacramento. It was nothing romantic but it works for us. The following weekend, we drove down to Orange County. We stopped by Valencia for an extra early breakfast and Stumptown coffee! We then spent the day at Disneyland, where we stuffed our faces as much as we could. We grabbed a light lunch and some drinks at Cove Bar and had an amazing dinner at Blue Bayou. The highlight of the day was hands-down watching the Main Street Electrical Parade! I love all the Disney parades, but the Electrical Parade brings all the feels and memories from childhood. Can I cry now? Haha. TIP: There are two different meal plans that will give you a preferred viewing for the parade. Check out Disneyland’s website for more information. It’s worth it if you don’t want to park yourselves for a few hours before the show.


The following day was a beautiful, warm day so we decided to head out Laguna Beach for lunch and shenanigans. Downfall of that weekend though? Learning that the Sacramento Kings traded Boogie. I may have cried a little.

Now is probably the time to get off. I have a lot of cleaning up to do. A LOT. Happy Saturday, y’all! 🙂

Life Lately, Jan 2017 Edition

Hello World and Happy New Year! November and December seriously happened in a snap, or at least that’s what it felt like. So many things happened between my last post and now that I don’t know where to begin. Maybe I’ll do a quick recap now, and do more in-depth posts later on.

So remember that wedding thing I was talking about? It totally happened! 😀 I am married! Ahhh! It’s true what people say – that the days leading up to your wedding will have you feeling all sorts of emotions. People said I looked pretty calm for a bride-to-be, but I was totally freaking out on the inside. Honestly, I was truly lucky enough to have my entire family by my side, helping me in whatever way they could. I felt so loved! Oh, did my groom cry? Duh! LOL. More on this later, aka another post.

The honeymoon? I mean, can we just go back to those two weeks when we were in paradise? I would do this part of the getting-married-thing all over again! We took a Disney cruise to the Bahamas and then stayed another week in Orlando. We never wanted to go home. Nuh uh. Take us back!

How was our first Christmas as a married couple? Although it seemed like the routine was the same, some things just felt different. Different in a way that made it feel a little more cozy. 😉 Also, those gifts for our parents? They no longer have to say, “Dad/Uncle” or “Mom/Auntie” because now they say “Mom” or “Dad.” It saves my fingers from cramping. Just kidding.

Finally, this whole living together thing? It has been fun and frustrating, but mostly fun. LOL. I am also finding out things about myself that are pleasantly surprising, if I do say so myself… like cooking or doing laundry! 😛 Please don’t judge me.

That’s it for now. I’m feeling like a grandma, needing to sleep before midnight. I promise to write more about the above mentioned events soon, and then some. I hope everyone’s having a great, happy 2017 so far! *Cheers to a wonderful 2017!

Do these rings make me look married? ❤

One Decade!

When you realize that you have been with someone for ten years, a whole decade, you also start realizing how far you’ve come in life as individuals and as a couple. It has been a fun, exhausting, thrilling ten years, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. I can’t wait for the decades to come!

Because ten years is a milestone, I want to recap our day and share what we did to celebrate yesterday. It started with going to a friend’s house for “just a simple lunch.” But once we got there, we were greeted with a loud “surprise!” and flower petals thrown at us by the kids. We also had so much cellphones pointed at us, we didn’t know where to look. After a few moments and finally coming to senses that they just threw us a surprise wedding shower, I cried. I am usually the one throwing surprise parties, but was never a recipient of one. It was overwhelming, and I quickly felt humbled. As we walked through the house and hugged everyone there, we saw balloons with our pictures attached floating all over the place, beautiful rose arrangements, and delicious food. It was amazing. We felt so loved and so incredibly happy. I am still so touched thinking about it.

We left around 4:30PM to drive to San Francisco. We watched The Lion King at the Orpheum Theatre! There was so much traffic there, but we made it just in time for the opening scene. The Lion King is one of our all-time favorite movies, so this was a perfect way to celebrate our tenth anniversary. We were five rows back from the stage, so we could totally see every move. I was so amazed by the intensity and the stamina of the actors. I am always impressed by stage actors, but there’s something about last night. Oh, and the young Nala? So cute! 🙂

Party favors!
Facebook photos come alive! 😀


Eighteen days until we enter a new chapter in our lives, and I cannot wait to finally marry my favorite friend. The fact that our families and closest friends will be there will make it so much more special. Cheers to love!