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The World is My Oyster

Last Build Date: Sun, 23 Jul 2017 10:39:31 +0000


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Mon, 15 Apr 2013 17:39:00 +0000

Holy cow, has it really been four and a half months since my last post? What can I's so much easier to share snippets here and there on Instagram and FB than to sit down and write a proper post. But here goes- some of my current favorites that I want to share:Run: Swiftly Tech Short Sleeve from LululemonSwiftly SSs and LSs are my go-tos on my runs- so comfortable and most importantly they don't stink! I am in love with the Fresh Teal/Very Green! I think this has to be one of the best color combos that lulu's come out with. Seriously debating on whether or not to get a long sleeve as well...Divergent by Veronica RothIf you're a fan of the Hunger Games, I highly recommend Divergent- the first book in a dystopian trilogy by Veronica Roth. This book is so hot that they've already cast (casted?) and started filming for the movie! Shailene Woodley (Secret Life of an American Teenager/Descendants) plays the main character and Theo James (you know him as Mr. Pamuk in Downton Abbey) is the male protagonist. And I am super excited that Kate Winslet and Maggie Q have signed on as well! The second book is called Insurgent, and the author is working on the 3rd one which she has jokingly nicknamed Detergent. Parenthood on NBCI've been using my time at home to catch up on all the shows that I never got around to watching over the years. Parenthood was one of those shows I always heard great things about about but never got into. I'm so glad I did! I think it is one of the best series that I've ever watched- a great example of when ensemble casting works! The cancer storyline from Season 4 was so powerful- especially this video (embedded in the post). I sure hope it gets renewed for a 5th season!Annie's Organic Snack Mix BunniesPicked this up from Target on a whim and now it's currently my go-to snack. My only complaint would be that the ratio of crackers to pretzels is not really even. Threshold line from TargetLike Costco, Target is already a time and wallet suck (you know, walk in for toothpaste, walk out with a bunch of stuff you don't need) and the Threshold line isn't helping matters at all! I am in love love love with all their offerings. And finally my current and forever favorite person in the whole wide world just celebrated his 34th birthday.Love him and love our pup![...]

13 Goals for 2013

Wed, 02 Jan 2013 01:02:00 +0000

Happy New Year!I had a lot of fun and success with my 11 goals for 2011 so I thought it'd be great to do one for 2013. For a bit of a twist, I've made my goals number oriented. Here goes!1. Wear every single article of clothing I own at least once. And if I haven't worn something in a needs to go! I did a major purge last year before we moved but despite that I still find myself reaching for the same pieces over and over.2. Focus on two DIY projects- Project Life and the Silhouette Cameo. To learn more about Project Life you can go here, it's probably easier than me trying to explain it. Silhouette Cameo here and here. I bought my Cameo during black friday 2011 and have barely touched it since we've been away most of this year. I'm excited to hunker down and get crafty!3. Go on a road trip to three major cities- Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. See no 13. below for why!4. Play mahjong again. It's been so long since I've last played! Why four? Well there's 4 players, 4 tiles dealt at a time, 4 rounds, 4 melds, 4 seasons, 4 winds, 4 get the picture.5. Embark on five yard projects- give our front yard more curb appeal, and for the back yard, add raised veggie/herb beds, grow flowers, pot succulents, and add outdoor seating. Whew! Ambitious but I think it can be done. Right, Jerry??6. Get out of town six times. Whether it's down to LA to see family/friends or a short weekend away to the mountains or the coast, I want to break away from our routines every couple of months and get out!7. Invest in a pair of 7 For All Mankind jeans. Yes...this one is a bit random. I've heard great things about this brand but I haven't bitten the bullet yet. I had no reason to when I lived in LA, I pretty much wore skirts and dresses from April to November, and my jobs from the last 4 years didn't allow jeans. I currently own only 2 pairs of blue jeans, that won't cut it up here where it's much colder. So this year will be the year I expand my denim collection.8. Learn and be familiar with all the freeways in the Bay Area. Why is this under no 8.? Well, the majority of the freaking freeways up here have 8 in them and it's so confusing! 280, 680, 880, 80...I can't even remember the rest.9. Bake/cook nine new recipes a month. That works out to 2 a week plus 1 for good measure. I have hundreds of recipes bookmarked in binders, cookbooks, Pinterest, and in a google doc so I shouldn't run out of ideas! 10. Engage/indulge in 10 new experiences, restaurants, and attractions, etc in Bay Area. I hope to do so more often than that, but I think aiming for at least once a month is very doable.11. Swim, bike, and play badminton for a combined total of eleven times. It's not that convenient for us to do those things at a moments notice anymore so I'll have to make an effort this coming year to seek out places where we can swim, bike, and play at least monthly. While I don't miss being a part of a HOA, I do miss having a clean and well maintained community pool! And it was so nice to drive 5 minutes to both the beach to bike and also to play badminton.12. Go camping together for the twelfth time, and maybe more! Since March 2008, Jerry and I have camped together 11 times. This year will be the first time with Mochi. :) I can't wait!13. Run a half marathon. Coincidence that it's 13.1 miles! I've got my eye on the Sea Wheeze Half Marathon sponsored by Lululemon in August. It takes place in Vancouver so it will be the perfect opportunity to go on a road trip with Jerry and Mochi, and to visit some friends and family along the way!2012 was fantastic and epic year on so many levels. I don't doubt that 2013 will be awesome in its own way![...]

Twenty Twelve

Tue, 01 Jan 2013 07:19:00 +0000

2012 was a pretty epic year!  I'm repeating the meme that I've used in 2009 and 2010. I guess I could find a new one, but it's kind of fun to look back on the same questions but for different years.1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?Many things- went on an RTW trip spanning 3 continents/17 countries/39 cities, moved to the Bay Area, and brought home our very first Shiba Inu puppy, Mochi!2. Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions from last year and will you make any for 2013?I don't think I made any resolutions for this past year. I've got 13 goals/resolutions for 2013 which I will post in the next few days!3. Did anyone close to you give birth?Yes! One of my dear gal pals had her daughter on 8/16, so now I have a birthday twin! And the cherry on top- their family just moved to the Bay Area so now I have more friends up here. 4. Did anyone close to you die?Luckily no one.5. What countries did you visit?We went to Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Japan, North Korea, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Jordan, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, and England.6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?Nesting galore! I missed cooking, baking, and decorating so much while traveling! And also plenty of family/friends time. I could never be an expat because I'd miss family/friends so much! 7. What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory...and why?July 18th, the day we came home from our travels!8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?We completed a successful around the world trip with pretty much zero mishaps (no lost/stolen money/passports/luggage, missed flights, etc). 9. What was your biggest failure?I really can't think of anything serious so here's a minor one. Operation Empanada in Argentina was a big fail! I had a list of pre-googled shops and when we got to Buenos Aires, apparently none of them existed anymore! We walked to every place on my list and finally I just gave up.10. Did you suffer illness or injury?Nope, whew!11. Did you take any risks this year?We quit our stable jobs, rented out our home, traveled for 5 months around the world, and moved to the Bay Area. I'd say it's pretty risky!12. What was something that you celebrated in 2012?We celebrated 5 years of being together! We actual forgot about it (Dec 9) and spent the day with our friends eating ramen, watching Skyfall, and then gorging on an 18' pizza. Wasn't until halfway through the day that we remembered.  13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?We really didn't like the way people acted in Beijing. They were so rude and uncouth!14. Where did most of your money go?Our around the world trip. Duh! 15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?Every "new-to-us" thing that Mochi, our Shiba Inu puppy would do- from random antics in the backyard, to his napping positions throughout the house, and of course introducing him to all our friends and family!16. What were some of the best things you ate in 2012?Vending machine ice cream and Sushi Dai in the Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo. Peking duck at Da Dong in Beijing. Bun Bo Hue at the lunch lady in Saigon. Steak at Don Julio in Buenos Aires. Tapas at Bar Zeruko in San Sebastian. Mushrooms at Cal Pep in Barcelona. Jerry liked eating Kabobs every day in Jordan. And watermelon anywhere in Spain: the very best watermelons in the world! We had so many epic meals that I could go on and on about...17. What fears did you conquer in 2012?I swam (errr waded) in the open sea in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam! I was a little scared but thankfully the high salt content kept me floating. :)18. In what way were you pleasantly surprised this year?I was surprised by how much incredible fun we had with my family members in Vietnam and Germany! Of course I thought we'd have a good time and Jerry would get to know about family members he'd only heard of before, but I had no idea that we'd all bond on such a deep emotion level despite the la[...]

Movies Galore

Sun, 02 Dec 2012 06:34:00 +0000

Our friend recently asked if Jer and I wanted to buy into a 50 and/or 100 pack of AMC tickets with some other folks. I said yes even though...My track record for movie theater watching is quite dismal. I can count on my hand the number of times that I've been in a movie theater in the last 5 years- Batman and Bond in 2008, 500 Days of Summer in 2009, and The Hunger Games and Perks of Being a Wallflower in 2012. Yep, that's a gap of 2 years and 8 months in between some of these flicks. We did go to the drive-in theater in 2011 though which was really fun! And we've watched a ton of movies as they come out on DVD so we're not totally out of the loop. I think it's just hard for us to take the initiative to watch a movie outside of our house unless it's with other folks. So now that we'll have a wad of AMC tix to use, here are some movies I'm looking forward to!Skyfall- we're gonna watch this next weekend actually!Silver Linings Playbook- I don't know much about this movie except that it's getting a lot of Oscar buzzLes Miserables- love love the trailers. Extended. Regular.Zero Dark Thirty- I really liked The Hurt Locker and I can't wait for this one to come out especially since Jessica Chastain is in it and I enjoyed watching her in The Debt, and you can't go wrong with Kyle Chandler aka Coach Taylor!Ender's Game and The Great Gatsby- I loved both books!Catching Fire- hopefully the new director won't have such a shaky hand!Frozen- even though I'm not a huge fan of animated movies I am definitely looking forward to hearing Kristin Bell and Idina Menzel sing!Whew that's a lot of movies! I'll probably be watching more movies in the upcoming months than in previous years combined![...]

Not Just for Kids

Fri, 12 Oct 2012 20:44:00 +0000

Quick post before we pick up Mochi in a couple hours!

Random kid stuff I'm digging:

I've been spending a lot of time at Ikea getting our house up and running, and I am digging the Leka Cirkus line. Whimsical, fun, and cute!

I mentioned enjoying the 39 Clues series in a previous post, and now I'm on to the next series- Cahills vs Vespers. Fun!

Speaking of books, I love The Dumb Bunnies books. It's too funny. I won't spoil it here, but definitely I recommend picking this up for your niece or nephew and reading it with them.

This conveniently packaged applesauce called GoGo Squeez is very tasty! It comes in all sorts of flavors like apple peach, apple berry, apple cinnamon etc. I always have a few of these in the fridge for a quick pick me up. Handy for when I have kids over as well!

Love these simply designed colored pencils! Wish I was a kid again so I could snatch these up as part of the fall back to school ritual.

And finally, I've been stocking up on these Taro Gomi (of Everybody Poops fame) books as gifts for the kiddos in my family. They are super fun and interactive, and actually I think even adults would enjoy these books.

And finally, there's a kid's movie coming out next year that I'm looking forward to, but I'll save that for a future post on upcoming movies. Hope you've enjoyed this little round-up!(image)


Sun, 30 Sep 2012 16:41:00 +0000

Went to our breeder yesterday to meet the puppies for the first time. To quote Rachel Zoe...I die!!!!!!! They were so cute and adorable. We don't know which one is ours yet, but we'll find out soon enough. One of these pups comes home with us in less than 2 weeks! 
One of these 3 pups is the future Mochi!
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It's gonna be a lot of hard work, but it'll be so worth it!(image)

2 Years

Thu, 20 Sep 2012 05:29:00 +0000

We celebrated our 2nd anniversary yesterday! Since we officially started living in the bay area 2 months ago, we've actually only been to "the city" aka San Francisco once for dinner. We didn't even get to walk around that time, just to the car and back. So instead of spending another day unpacking/working on the house, we hopped into the car and settled back to our touristy ways for the day. It was an amazing anniversary filled with great eats, mini adventures, and easy conversation.  First stop: Ike's Place in Castro. Dutch crunch bread with special sauce, can't lose combo!Then we headed to Blue Bottle Coffee in Hayes Valley where I picked up a latte and a snickerdoodle. There's a crafty reason why I picked the location at Hayes Valley- that'll be for another post!Next, we headed to Fort Mason to fly a kite. Someday I want to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge! In LA it was always a struggle to find a non-beach location for kite flying. Not a problem at all in SF! Next, Jerry had never driven down Lombard Street (the crooked street) so of course we had to do that! It was such a gorgeous clear day. We also went to Coit Tower, which I had never been to. Since it was a weekday, we were able to drive all the way up and park at the top.  We killed an hour before dinner in Japantown, an area that was also new to me. Walked around the shops and browsed in one of the bookstores, where we stumbled upon this book. Shiba! Cute!Finally for dinner, we headed to Zuni Cafe. Many people have been raving about their roasted chicken bread salad dish for years now, so it was on my must-eat list. To enjoy this salad, you have to prepare yourself to wait an hour before the dish comes out. So I'd recommend getting seated an hour before you're actually hungry, and ordering this salad as soon as you sit down. Then, order the shoestring fries to munch on during that hour. If we weren't going oyster shucking next week, we probably would have ordered some raw oysters as well, but we decided to hold out. Did it live up to its hype? I'd definitely say so! The portion was huge, it could feed 3 people easily with leftovers! The chicken was perfectly roasted, juicy, and not salty at all. The bread that they toss with this salad soaks up the yummy chicken juices and is a great accompaniment.  Finally, to top off our day, we had ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery. I went for toasted coconut (I cannot resist a coconut option when I see one!) and dark chocolate for pure indulgence. Mmm!I couldn't ask for a better day or a better partner to share it with. We turned our lives upside down earlier this year by quitting our jobs, moving out of LA, and traveling the world, and we're looking forward for the next set of adventures that year #3 will bring.[...]

An Update via Brain Farts

Sat, 15 Sep 2012 05:17:00 +0000

We've been back for almost 2 months now. How time flies! We've been chipping (and often jack-hammering) away at our to-do list for this house and we're really getting there. Here goes some randomness:I couldn't get Jerry to wear a grey suit for our wedding (he felt very strongly about a traditional black tux) and so the next best thing was a grey sofa. Just kidding. Nah, but I really love the look of grey linen. It's the prefect backdrop for pops of color! I am just really happy we don't have that bachelor style leather couch anymore, it was comfy, but only two people could sit on it really. Our new sofa/chaise seats 4 people comfortably, all the better for entertaining! This is Ikea Karlstad in isunda gray FYI.Almost caught up with all my favorite TV shows (Glee, HIMYM, Nikita, Up All Night, Modern Family, New Girl, Hart of Dixie, House of Lies), and currently finishing up Covert Affairs, Revenge, Keeping up with the Kardashians, Fringe, Pretty Little Liars and Downton Abbey. It's fun watching bad reality shows with Jerry because we like to make fun of the celebs such as the Kardashians so much. For example, every time we hear Rob say "my sock line" we roll our eyes and laugh together haha!We're attending two kiddo birthday parties this weekend for our nephews and niece. It definitely feels good to get my craft back on, even if its a small thing like adding some jazz to their gift wrap. I busted out my Silhouette Cameo to cut the "J" and the 6, and used my cuttlebug to emboss a paint chip.I still have not uploaded our travel pictures to my laptop. So bad, I know! Must do it soon! In the midst of all our unpacking I actually forgot where I put the SD cards, but today when I was organizing I found them again.In the quest to discover good eats up here, I tried Bambu. Jerry's usual drink of green tea with boba (he ONLY gets this drink, a creature of habit!) was standard (nothing will compare to our beloved Half and Half!). I discovered a drink that had all my favorite things- basil seed, longan, coconut meat, and pandan jelly.  Mmm! It's reminds me of different che components that I love, but more slurp-able I guess?I don't know what's up with me, but after months of zero canker sores, I had 3 pop up overnight today! My poor mouth. Last month I also had a blood vessel burst in my eye and it was the scariest thing that I had ever seen, I was so freaked out! Luckily, it's painless and harmless and my eye cleared up in about 10 days. It was still so ugly though. If you're morbidly curious, google subconjunctival hemorrhage, but do so at your own risk! It's not pretty!I am obsessed with the song Good Time by Owl City/Carly Rae Jepson. I'm gonna create a road trip CD...or iPhone playlist and that's gonna be the first song. It puts me in the best mood!The nice thing about being back home is I can get fun snail mail! I started subscribing to Popsugar's monthly boxes, and am loving the surprises I get each month. I like Popsugar more so than Birchbox, Glambox, etc because I'm not a huge beauty junkie and would prefer to get personal/house related items. My August bag was especially awesome! You can visit Popsugar's site for a full list of the items they've given out, but my personal favorites have been the Baggu bag, the Pop Physique workout DVD (I no long live close to a Bar Method, boo), and the Kind Bars they gave out last month. Jerry really likes the Pretzel Crisps.  Please click on my referral link if you're interested in joining!Fun coincidences last month- my friend C had her baby K on my birthday! Yay birthday twin :) And our puppy, Mochi, was born the day after. So excited to meet baby K next week when we come down to LA, and to bring Mochi home in October!Now that we're more settled hopefully I can post more often! I've missed blogging![...]

Perseids in Tahoe

Sun, 12 Aug 2012 07:25:00 +0000

Tonight was one of those perfect summer nights. We happen to be in Tahoe during the peak of the Perseids meteor shower and took full advantage of the opportunity. Rounded up Jerry's parents and watched the most amazing meteor shower (to us) ever, and instead of laying on the ground, we sat in the swings of a nearby school and gazed and gazed. The night was filled with both moments of easy conversation and comfortable silence, punctuated by oohs and aahs as we saw the shooting stars streak across the sky. I'll never forget tonight. <3(image)


Thu, 02 Aug 2012 17:35:00 +0000

It feels so great to be back, its been about 2 weeks now. We pretty much jumped right into things.  Less than two days after we flew to SFO, we drove down to LA and had reunions with family and friends. Ever since we got back we've dived straight into home stuff, more reunions, and getting to know our new 'hood (essentially the whole bay area, one block at a time haha). What we've figured out so far:Finalized flooring, paint colors, and identified other immediate house needs. We'll be going with caramel with an ever so slight red tone wood floors to bring in warmth to our mainly gray, blue, and off white color scheme. Pretty easy decisions so far, we just needed to educate ourselves on what's available.Decided on some big ticket items- sofa and area rugs. I already picked out our couch (btw, what's the diff between a couch and a sofa??) last year and I just had to figure out what size and shape fit best for our new living room. The area rug size was dependent on the sofa. Here it is, I ended up with a 6x9. I didn't really need to order it right away but 75% off is a huge deal and so I'd rather get it done with.  I also picked up a herringbone rug for one of the bedrooms, I haven't decided which one yet. Good thing I bought it anyway, looks like its only 35% off now. So yay, tangible purchases!There are a ton of other house decisions to be made, but I feel like I need to live in the actual house for a bit and slowly tackle the other items one by one. I used to want to have the house completely move in ready and "perfect" prior to move in, but honestly now I want to live there first to figure out what our needs are. Really the only immediate priorities are safety issues like rekeying the locks, painting and flooring (for obvious reasons, if you've ever had to prep for painting you know how annoying it is!), and wiring for lighting. Other than that, I don't even need cute curtains or perfect kitchen cabinets before we move in. I'm willing to live with the ugly blinds and an unkempt yard for a while until I have more time and energy to tackle those things as we're ready. Hence, our Pinterest board is called an "evolution."Striping off 4 layers of paint on our fireplace. A priority for sure! It's a messy and stinky project.Spackling is a biotch. Ugh, I think I hate it more than painter taping.  But it's so worth it!Other stuff on our list...Olympics watching, job hunting, more bay area discovering, and I am super excited for the day we move in and I can go to Trader Joes and stock up our kitchen, AND sleep in my own bed! I've missed my Kind bars, homemade smoothies, and my beloved Oregon Chai with warm milk! I think once we get the big stuff done with, move in, and then we can take care of everything else at our own pace. Traveling has really changed me! The pace we are doing things right now is pretty manageable and reasonable for the amount of time and energy that we have. More updates to come![...]


Sun, 01 Jul 2012 08:35:00 +0000

Whoa, we're coming home THIS month! Haha I just realized in my last few posts I keep mentioning the number of days that I'm coming home. I guess I am getting a little homesick. After all this is the longest I've gone without seeing my mommy!

A week left in Paris, a few days in Amsterdam, a week in London, and our adventures abroad end and our adventure at home begins!

PS: the BEST soft boiled egg EVER. Wow, where can I get these eggs at home??

PPS: not supposed to take pictures at l'Orangerie, but oh well! Too pretty to not photograph!(image)


Thu, 28 Jun 2012 22:16:00 +0000

Out of all the places that we've been to, only Paris conjures up such romanticism and nostalgia. Plans for our two weeks here:

Shopping, shopping and shopping
Macarons galore
Aquaboulevard (Speedos for men rule!)
The usual sightseeing
Watching Euro Cup
Strolling with no destination in mind (that's the good thing about a weekly unlimited subway card!)
Hanging out with our friend who happens to be here at the same time too

We've got 18 days left. Whoa!(image)

My Travel Tunes

Mon, 18 Jun 2012 08:27:00 +0000

Sometimes I relish long train rides and road trips because I can listen to music without much interruption. At home I'll put on a playlist but then I'll get distracted by something else. On a semi related note, our hotel in Madrid had speakers in the bathroom so I had Jerry play DJ with the radio unit in our room. Now I want one for our home as well! So much fun to sing in the shower. It really is the little things in life :)

So here's some songs that have really been our travel anthems, or call it what you will.

Bruno Mars- The Lazy Song
Our Machu Picchu hiking group sang this song in our van ride back, and it was the perfect thing to belt at the top of our lungs after a 4 day hike. So many happy memories :)

Without You- David Guetta feat Usher
I know this song came out last year but I still can't get enough of it. The video makes me nostalgic for Rio. I think Rio is one of the most beautiful cities ever.

One Republic- Good Life
We listened to this song a lot in anticipation of our trip earlier this year. Love the lyrics!

Enrique Iglesias- Escape and Don't Turn Off the Lights
Jerry and I spent a full day in Jordan pretty much watching MTV non stop. One of the shows was entirely on Enrique. It was quite fitting as we were on our way to Spain the next day which is where he's from. Then we proceeded to play those two songs on repeat on Jerry's phone.

And here's my top 25 of songs played on my iPhone. Can you tell I am sort of obsessed with Lady Antebellum? And that I like the different versions of the same song? :) Ahhh I love music! I am excited to also go home and listen to the music that I've discovered while traveling. Thank goodness for Shazam and Soundhound!

One Month and I Don't Feel Like Doing Anything...At All

Mon, 18 Jun 2012 07:29:00 +0000

We've got one month to go! Crazy. We are pretty much ready to go home next month. Right now I am really just try to soak everything in. I am glad we picked Europe to finish our our trip. Our original plan was to do South America glad it didn't work out that way. I can't imagine doing Machu Picchu right now, in the words of Bruno Mars, I don't feel like doing anything...nothing at all!Europe has been treating us so well. Spain turned out to be one of my favorite countries so far, and we've had a blast visiting my family in Berlin. My last visit to Germany was 2001, so I met my cousin's kids that hadn't been born yet at the time! We only met the kiddos 5 days ago, but we completely bonded and already love each other so much. Despite the language barrier we had tons of fun just playing random games. Jerry and I also watched the most soccer we ever have during our time in Berlin, I had no idea my family was such huge fans! I also think it's hilarious that they gamble on games as well. In fact we got so caught up cheering for Germany that we saw last night's game from our hotel room in Prague. It was sad to leave my Berlin cousins yesterday but we had to move onto Prague as our next European leg. However in a few days we'll be bound for Heidelberg where my other cousins live! Yay for double family time. So after Prague and Heidelberg we've got Paris!, Amsterdam, and London. We might throw in a side trip or two, we'll see how ambitious we feel like being. Jerry has a friend in Copenhagen, but we might have to save the Nordic countries for another time. Otherwise I feel perfectly content just doing nothing but soaking in the atmosphere of wherever we're at![...]

Random Obsessions

Mon, 11 Jun 2012 15:07:00 +0000

Podcasts- Jerry had been listening to podcasts (mostly sports related) for ages now but I barely got on the bandwagon until recently. Now I'm obsessed with finding all sorts of podcasts! My favorites to watch on the iPad are Mark Bittman's NYT The Minimalist episodes and random fashion videos. I like video podcasts cus they are short and sweet, I can learn/indulge in all sorts of things in a matter of minutes! I also like listening to the iTunes Celebrity Playlist Podcast, it's where a celebrity will introduce snippets of songs they like. Definitely a great way to get introduced to new bands. NPR has some great listens as well, like Pop Culture Happy Hour. Podcasts have been super useful during the long train rides we've been taking, or when my video screen on the airplane doesn't work.

Downton Abbey- I saw the pilot episode for free on the iPad and now I want to watch the entire seasons when I get back! It's so good!

Without You by David Guetta featuring Usher- okay I know this song is old but I can't stop listening to it. I also like the music video! Rio looks so pretty in the background!

On a more superficial note I've been looking for a new overnight bag and I think I'm going to go with Longchamp for the lightweight factor. Pretty much everyone around the world has the nylon Le Pliage bag which comes in multiple colors and sizes. I was going to go with that one until I found out that a new version came out this spring called the Cuir, it's all leather and has some nice buttery looking colors as well. So I've been obsessed with reading reviews to see if it's really worth it. It's been over 2.5 years since I last bought eye candy for my shoulder so why not in Europe, where prices are relatively cheap/comparable to the states, AND I get VAT back? We also specifically planned to be in Paris during Soldes, so hopefully I'll like the stock available! FYI, sales in France are strictly regulated and are only available twice a year during Jan/Feb and June/July, so pretty much this is when the Parisienne chic stocks up their wardrobe. A far cry from home where sales happen all the time, we're spoiled!

Watermelon. We've been eating it nonstop in Spain! Our place in Barcelona has a generous sized kitchen so we bought a whole watermelon from a local market and finished it in less than a day. I think we might get another one tonight!(image)

Homestretch and Happy

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 16:57:00 +0000

We're in the homestretch of our trip- Europe! Landed in Spain a couple days ago from Jordan. Hard to believe that we're coming home in about 1.5 months. Time really flies.

While this trip has been everything and more, I'm also looking forward to coming home and starting a new life in the bay area with Jerry.

Other things I look forward to:
Checking out books from the library
Cooking in our own kitchen
Hanging out with family and friends
Typing on a real keyboard
American TV
Not being at the mercy of public transportation
Eating homemade salads (I feel like restaurant salads costs more than meat in many places around the world!)
Going on a fat ass refrigerator stocking trip at Trader Joes and Costco
Decorating and pimping our new house
Bumming it on the couch and watching the Olympics!
And bringing our puppy home!!

This trip is an ultimate experience, but what makes it special for me is that eventually it will end and it'll be time to move on. For example, you think back to the dorms and how fun it was, but you wouldn't want to be bunking it with a bunch of undergrads now, right? So that's how I feel about traveling personally. We're not cut out to be indefinite travelers. We crave the life we created at home and can't wait to move on to the next stage.

Howeverrrr since we're in Europe, I'm going to embrace the chill lifestyle (siestas, love it!), decent exchange rate, and tasty bakeries for the remainder of time that we have left :)

I'm incredibly happy, relaxed, and at peace right now. Kind of like this elephant!(image)


Sat, 14 Apr 2012 00:55:00 +0000

We're leaving for North Korea today. Crazy! Will be back next week. Somehow the great firewall of China blocked blogspot but not blogger. Go figure. I'm also able to receive FB private PMs, but nothing else. Google docs is also blocked, but pinterest and feedler aren't, whew! Giving up our phones while in NK so talk to you all on the flip side!(image)

Dumb and Dumber

Sun, 08 Apr 2012 09:45:00 +0000

I think my brain's gone soft the last month. Jerry noticed it too. Examples:

On one of our customs cards, instead of the house number I put the zip code. And then I didn't even fill out the zip code part.

When Jerry says look right! and he looks left, I'll look left too. He does it to prove that I'm dumb now haha.

I keep saying Tokyo when I mean Kyoto and vice versa.

About 80% of the time in Rio, I turned the wrong way from the elevators to our apt. Even on our last day!

I've worn various items of clothing inside out on multiple occasions. I'm not even rushed, I just don't think!

I left two items AT the store, yep walked out empty-handed. I was a little out of it that afternoon though, but still I've never done that before! Oops.

Hmm there are other things but I can't remember right now. Anyways at least my mind's pretty sharp when it comes to calculating exchange rates when I go shopping, and when I need to figure out the metro system! :)

Speaking of shopping I bought so much stuff in Tokyo (screw exchange rates) that we had to buy a backpack to load everything up. Our friend flew out to Kyoto to meet up with us (his job allows him free flights worldwide) and he was able to mule our goodies back home for us. Yay! I bought tons of cute stuff but I can't share it now because many are gifts for friends. I can share that we finally bought two knives that we've been on the hunt for to add to our kitchen, knives are bad luck to gift! Also I bought tons of fabric. I'll have to do a post on Tokyo shopping sometime.

Now we are in Hakone, I'm looking forward to relaxing in the hot springs! Maybe I can restore some brain cells as well haha. Just a few days left in Japan, and we're off to Beijing!

Fabric town in Nippori, awesome!

Fushimi Inari Shrine, love!

Edit: I'm so dumb I mixed up the captions. Oops. You can figure out what's what. :P(image)

Facebook and Penis Jokes

Sun, 25 Mar 2012 12:03:00 +0000

This isn't a rash generalization of everyone, but more of a personal opinion. Disclaimer: Not bagging on my own Facebook friends, just some observations I've made lately! :)

Keeping up with Facebook while traveling has offered me an opportunity to somewhat keep ties to life at home while being geographically removed from it. It's also allowed me to keep in touch with folks that we've met on the road. I don't really know how else to say this, but it's really been refreshing to have this infusion of newness on my Facebook wall that's not interjected with penis jokes, or the t-b word or the d word or something equally inappropriate etc. It's not really my own Facebook friends who post such immature things, it's more friends of friends that seem to not have grown up, despite some of them being older than me! (Many are younger, I guess my fault for accepting requests of college aged kids haha).

Anyways, I still look forward to updates from the home front and from new international friends. I'll just have to learn to turn a blind eye to stuff I don't like to read. Everyone's entitled to say what they want where they want to. I've always been big on not censoring anyone.

But thank goodness my Facebook wall has more variety now! I'm no prude, so if I want to say something dirty or inappropriate I'm more careful than I used to be!(image)

Quick Hello from Argentina!

Tue, 20 Mar 2012 23:22:00 +0000

We've been on the road for about 3.5 weeks now, my how does time fly by. Hope everyone has been able to catch up on our travel blog! I just put up a post on our parrilla adventure in Buenos Aires.

Quick thoughts:
We went from mid 50s in El Calafate to mid 90s in Iguazu Falls. Total wardrobe change in a matter of hours!

I've made so many friends on the road than I have in the last few years it seems like! It is nice meeting folks from all the corners of the world.

After nearly a month in SA, I'm ready to go to Asia! I miss Asian food a lot! I've had two local versions of Chinese food in Peru and Buenos Aires, but definitely not the same. As much as I love lomo saltado, ceviche, chicha morada, steak, I'm ready for new flavor profiles.

Mosquitos love me. I've been bitten in every country we've visited so far.

Today we are exploring the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls and then we fly out to Rio. Then off to Japan on Tuesday, weeee!(image)

Puppy Deposit, Check

Sat, 25 Feb 2012 02:46:00 +0000

We've both wanted a dog for a while, and more specifically a shiba inu.  Well, it's almost a reality because today we met with our breeder and put a deposit down on a puppy from the next litter!  I think normally most people wouldn't reserve so early, especially since the dogs aren't even in heat yet, but since we'll be gone for 6 months, we decided why not, just get it done.  I think a dog's gestation period is around 2 months, and we get to bring the puppy home at 8 weeks, so total 4 months.  Our breeder told us we may be able to bring her/him home around Sept/Oct but of course it's also up to mother nature.  I simply can't wait to have my first puppy!!  But RTW trip first...we leave tomorrow morning!(image)

I Need To Vent

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 18:11:00 +0000

I haven't spent the night at my parents house in years.  Disclaimer- I am grateful that we have a place to stay every time we come to LA.  But I need to vent.

I haven't slept in a house with a landline for years.  Why do my parents get so many calls before 8am???  They even got a call at 5am!  In our own home, we normally keep our cell phones on silent and downstairs.  Quite honestly, I'm not the best person to reach in an emergency.  I think when our parents are much older and prone to getting falls or what not, or when our kids aren't sleeping at home (for example, sleepover at grandma's/a friend's or something) I'd have to change the no cell phones in the bedroom rule.  Or if someone in my family or circle of friends was due to give birth soon and it could happen any day now, and I was on call to babysit or be a driver to the hospital.  That sort of thing.

The guest bedroom bed is hard as a rock.  I am seriously thinking of buying a new bed for the guest bedroom even though I'd only sleep here every couple months (that's how often I'm going to try to visit).  It's that bad.  Same for the pillows.  Honestly if I am going to be bringing our future kids down for visits, it might be a good investment.

The guest bedroom is over the garage.  My parents for some reason opened the garage door and closed it a bunch of times this morning.  It feels like an earthquake each time.  Maybe we can install a quieter garage door?  Jerry?  Possible?

Whenever the toilet flushes in our bathroom it makes a shrieking/screaming noise.  Now that doesn't bother me, but if I'm peeing in the middle of the night, I feel bad that it might wake up my parents, or later on, our baby.  Maybe I'll have to pee downstairs or something if it comes to that.

I know, I'm such a brat.  But 4 hours of spotty sleep over a course of 8 hours of lights out makes me a brat.

Okay, I should mention that I had pudding milk tea yesterday after 3pm.  That might be partially why I couldn't sleep.  But still!!(image)

Living in LA

Sat, 18 Feb 2012 04:18:00 +0000

I can't believe this day is already here, the last night that I'll be living in LA. We've been talking about it for years, and it's finally happening!  A lot of memories made in this city, but I'm ready for something new.(image)


Mon, 13 Feb 2012 04:48:00 +0000

I'm completely, 100% unemployed.  That is something that I'm not used to.  I've been lucky to have been employed in some capacity since my sophomore year of high school.  One year, I had 4 W-2 forms, taxes were a bit complicated that year.  :P  And tomorrow will be the first Monday since 2005 that I have no office to be at.  The longest gap I had in between jobs was 2 days, the shortest gap was 14 hours.  I'm not kidding, unfortunately.

Pre-2012, I'd be feeling uncertain about the future or worrying about looking for my next job.  Right now, I feel quite free and I am really going to embrace this time off that I'm giving myself, that I've never had.   

2012 will be the year I get a break from jammed copiers, long, late night, and last minute meetings, endless traffic, sloooooow Citrix, crazy LA people, and the daily frustrations, stress, and demands of working in a no-vacation nation.  

I'm looking forward to it.

Upside, Downside, Round 2

Mon, 23 Jan 2012 05:24:00 +0000

US: We were able to knock off a bunch of shots at Kaiser, see detailed post hereDS: I was completely knocked down the day after. Despite going to bed at 9pm Friday I woke up Saturday feeling like CRAP.  Like my body was fighting an infection and I was just in a state of tiredness and grogginess all day.  It didn't help that it was pre-Chinese new year at my mom's house, but luckily my mom did most of the cooking so we didn't have to do much.  But the furniture at my mom's house is nice to look at, but not comfy to rest in, so I would have really liked to take a midday nap yesterday from my own bed.  Ah well, I guess I should try to toughen up, I do have wimpy tendencies.  Today I was much better except my left arm is still sore.  Jerry displayed no symptoms except some soreness in his right arm.DS: Our friends gave us tix to see a taping of 2.5 Men, but we barely missed the cut-off point by like 7 people!  Boo...we even showed up an hour and 45 minutes early (recommended is 90 min).  And then we had to drive home from Burbank during peak traffic hour on a Friday night.  Some people were pissed cus they came from out-of-state or other countries!US: Everyone who got turned away got VIP tix for a taping of their choice, anytime in the future!  Actually we were whatever about seeing 2.5 Men since it is not our favorite WB show, but since our friends procured them for us, we figured why not?  But since we got turned away, our tix will allow us to watch any show such as Big Bang Theory, Ellen, etc whenever there is available tix, AND we don't have to wait in line next time.  Score!  And the tix are good for as long as Warner Brothers is in business.  The lady told us that people still bring tickets from Saved By the Bell and Home Improvement!  And driving home wasn't too bad.  I was able to still make it in bed quite early.  Actually now that I think about it, maybe it was a blessing in disguise because TV tapings do run long and I was already pretty tired.  So since BBT is renewed for a few more seasons, we have a pretty good chance of catching a taping someday.  Or maybe we can go see Ellen if there's a really cool guest on the schedule.  So, it all worked out!DS:  My wedding dress didn't get cleaned for 16 months.  Oops. I just never got my act together to bring it to the cleaners.  Armed with a 25% coupon, I brought it to my regular dry cleaners to get a quote.  They said I could either pay to have it preserved with deeper cleaning for $250 with one of their outside partners, but I can't use the coupon...or they could try their best in house but wouldn't guarantee that it be 100% clean, but I could use the coupon and only pay $52.50.  Uh guess which choice I went with?  (The latter.)US:  So I go today to pick up my dress and it's missing!  Turns out a lady working there accidentally sent it to the preservation folks, but they would still honor my $52.50 price.  Score!  That is great customer service right there, to honor the price quoted.  I don't feel bad at all, because in this case I'm not ripping them off, it was their own mistake.   But hopefully no one gets fired for that mistake...US: We were able to drop off our Brazil visa applications quite easily and it'll be ready this week.  Easy [...]