12 February 2016

long time no see . . .

*** warning, back-dating in process ***

for the few who still read my blog or are checking in on me (thanks!), apologies for going m-i-a. i am going to start posting again (and will be going backwards from here). needless to say, i've been busy but no excuses!

stay tuned!

03 February 2016

goodbye hellofresh

i started hellofresh deliveries in early december. my dear friend kelly sent me three free meals so i decided to try it. at first, it was quite fun. i felt so domesticated which i haven't been in some time. and didn't know it was still in me. i was also finally making use of my kitchen tools i'd spent so much money on.

after 4 weeks of delivery, here are the meals i managed to make and take pictures of:
unfortunately, i missed taking pictures of week 2, the meals didn't turn out as pretty as the pictures on the recipe looked (week 2 was: trout en papillote, coconut-crusted chicken fingers, and steak au poivre). the above meals from week 3 are (from left, clockwise): turkish meatballs with parsnip & creamy polenta; glazed pork tenderloin with caramelized sweet potato & crispy green beans; and fregola sarda & sweet italian sausage with mushrooms, wilted spinach, & parmesan. even though it took much longer to make than they tell you, i actually enjoyed all the meals in this package.
these were from the last delivery. they were (from left, clockwise): quick-marinated steak with broiled balsamic veggies; pork and apple burger with rosemary potatoes & mixed green salad; and oven-roasted chicken with winter veggies, basmati rice, & lemon-thyme pan sauce. my fav meal from this batch was the pork and apple burger. even the potatoes were yummy. the other two meals were eh, which is why i decided to say goodbye to hellofresh.

16 January 2016

first run of 2016!

this was the run the road to the superbowl about a month before the superbowl 50 at levi's stadium, about 5 miles from where i live.

there's a funny story about this run. we had 2 additional ladies join us, they were friends of kelli's. and another was supposed to join us but hurt herself playing charades the night before. i thought, how convenient! but turns out, the person who was supposed to join us is married to my brother-in-law's brother. i've spent several thanksgiving and christmas holidays with her. and in fact, she hurt herself playing charades with my very own sister! it is a small world indeed.

19 December 2015

the illustrious navy boot

i've been looking for navy ankle boots for a while. i was almost desperate enough to dye a pair i already had. on a recent weekend trip to fairfield, i found these at saks off 5th at the vacaville outlets. they were 78% off so i had to have them. what a deal!

this pair is called 'whitley' in navy nappa and have quilted detail with buckles and zippers on both sides and a 3" stacked heel.

the search is finally over!

12 December 2015

hello hellofresh

kelly sent me these free meals from hellofresh which is similar to blue apron which i've never tried. unfortunately, there were 3 meals, not 2. being my first delivery, i only managed to make 2 of the 3. i attempted the 3rd but it was a disaster and not a pretty picture.
bottom to top: walnut-crusted salmon with crispy broccoli & pilaf-style couscous; smoky chicken fajitas with charred pepper & onion, lime crema, & quick-pickled jalapeno; and missing was the seared steak & crispy potato salad with tomatoes, green beans, and shallot pan sauce. both of the pictured meals were suprisingly delicious. the salmon was my very first meal and it lasted 2 days. the fajitas, on the other hand, were completely inhaled the night i made them. it was really good. the smoke from the attempted steak stunk up my condo for days. out of desperation, i used coffee grounds and baking soda to clear it up. luckily it worked!

02 May 2015

the legendary totoro at nikkei matsuri

after the 415k in san francisco, i made it to see kelly's girls dance at the nikkei matsuri festival in japantown. and as we were walking along the street, what do i see? totoro, the mythical creature from my neighbor totoro. after seeing the movie ages ago, i've been collecting totoro stuffed animals and in whatever else forms i can find him in. there is something so special about this gentle spirit that draws people to him and adores him. you could see the excitement in my face next to him. this, after running a 5k with the best time yet.

415k - my best time!

last week, i ran the across the bay 415k run. a bunch of us ladies signed up but it ended up just being me and laurie. i barely had any sleep the night before but got up early enough to get to the city and park by 7am. while most of the runners did the 12k, there was still a good amount doing the 5k with us. the run started with a steep hill which i ran up. looking back, i probably should have walked up that hill. the good thing about ending with the hill was going down and pushing me to speed up. so much that i finished 1st in my age group!
before the hill, i was huffing and puffing. i was tempted to stop and almost did. at one point, i felt really nauseous. then came the downhill. and at the end, what really helped with this kid (a boy about 12 or so) who just raced by me with nearly no effort. he literally had no fat on him, just skin and bones. i tried my hardest to beat him but alas, he got the best of me. as a result, i got #1!

26 April 2015

oprah!

one of the perks of my work place was this. i finally got to see oprah winfrey live. after watching her for years on tv and figuring out how to get on her show in chicago, i finally got to see her. all i did was enter my name on a website and i got a ticket! even though this lecture was for students and geared towards students, it was such an amazing experience and i feel so fortunate to have been there.

the thing about oprah is that she is so personable. it feels relatable as if she is your friend and that's probably a big problem for her. after she finished speaking, about 20 people rushed the stage towards her. you could see the panic and fear in her face. i was a little scared for her and luckily, her body guard(s) whisked her away to safety. but you know, i never thought that i would get to see her in my lifetime. check!

my deflowering of belle & sebastian

*** let the back-dating begin! ***
venue: the greek theater in berkeley
band: belle & sebastian with real estate and perfume cruise
when: 12 april 2015 (sunday)
show started at 4p

my lovely cousin's wife and childhood friend, nina was my date and witness to the deflowering. at this point, i've probably been to 200+ concerts and i'd yet gone to see belle & sebastian until now. i have always wanted to see belle & sebastian and they sound amazing live. the greek in berkeley is one of my favorite venues so it was super exciting to go.

we got there early and noticed all these random people, including kids, dressed up and all in white. once the show started, we began to recognize all the people in white were now on stage dancing with the band! i was super jealous. turns out, it was some sort of first 50 to sign up got this gig. the white attire would have been very appropriate for the deflowering of this experience. finally, i can say that i've seen them live. for someone who used to go to a show every week for years, catching one a month at this age has been a challenge.

rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
i didn't see it coming | make me dance | i want to surrender

29 March 2015

no one is lost

venue: the fillmore
band: stars with leisure cruise
when: 5 march 2015 (thursday)
doors open at 7p

my 12th stars show (one where they opened for broken social scene) and the 3rd show with joe. corrie and arlo met us there. it was their first stars show. and i'm told, stars is arlo's new fav band! yay! i do love to spread the love of stars. they are so good and versatile that it is so easy to love them.
this new album is much different from the last two but i enjoy it very much. there's a song i absolutely love on this album. it's called look away and it reminds me very much of the beautiful south especially with both amy and torquil singing as they do on many of their songs. arlo mentioned that it reminded him of the housemartins who basically became the beautiful south. afterwards, joe and i hit tommy's joynt for our usual after concert snack. they don't do the combo pastrami and corned beef anymore. :(
i didn't know that the show was sold out but turns out, there was a fillmore poster for the show and i'm told they only make posters for sold out shows. this made my collection complete. yay!

the setlist:
1. from the night
2. ageless beauty
3. we don’t want your body
4. backlines
5. you keep coming up
6. a song is a weapon
7. this is the last time
8. hold on when you get love and let go when you give it
9. look away
10. dead hearts
11. trap door
12. one more night (your ex-lover remains dead)
13. elevator love letter
14. take me to the riot
15. your ex-lover is dead
16. no one is lost
encore: are you ok? & nothing i can do

rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ turn it up!

08 March 2015

408k "race to the row" in san jose

last sunday, i did my very first 8k (about 5 miles). i try to walk 10 miles/day but hadn't gone running in a while so i was a bit nervous about running from downtown (it started at the sap center) to santana row. but i surprised myself. i ran the entire run with kelly. we did really well! they split it up and gave different names to two of the miles. the first was the memorial mile in honor of those who served our country. apparently, they bused veterans in uniform in and set them up along this mile. we tried to high-five all of them. it was pretty cool. after this mile, we ran the mariachi mile. they had a few mariachi bands throughout this mile. both of kelly's daughters ran their age group runs, so we all got medals. our celebratory meal was at yard house. it hit the spot!
the picture is me crossing the finish line. pretty cool, huh?

07 March 2015

thao (solo)

venue: swedish american hall (upstairs from café du nord)
artist: thao (solo), the myanbirds and two other openings (sold out!) @noise pop
when: 23 february 2015 (tuesday)
doors open at 7:30p

last month, i saw thao nguyen perform live for the 6th time. we started off with dinner at l'ardoise and it was just as i remembered the last time i was there. while the first two openers were not very good. the third opening band, the myanbirds which was really just laura bernhenn, was pretty surprisingly fantastic. she did the whole looping thing with her vocals and all the different sounds she played on her keyboards. i was very impressed. i wouldn't mind seeing her on her own.

it is still amazing to watch thao. she's also got a witty and awesome personality. and even though there were three openers and it wasn't over until after midnight on a work day, it was worth not getting enough sleep over.

rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥