family

Happy Birthday to Cara & Nathan!

I got home around 5am from my trip to Sacramento. Then I got about 4 hours of sleep and had to get ready for a big Frozen themed birthday party in the morning! My niece, Cara, was turning 5!

And my nephew, Nathan, was turning 4!

There were a lot of fun activities for the kids like a Frozen bounce house, crafts, and games!

Cara was dressed up for this special occasion of hers!

Nathan was also dressed up with his Olaf hat. I think he may have had too much sweets on his birthday. It’s just a thought and observation.

Did you want to build a snowman? Evan sure did!

Instead of pin the tail on the donkey, the kids played pin the carrot nose to Olaf!

If you’re curious, that’s how the cake was made! It was absolutely delicious eating this homemade cake!

My little niece and nephew are growing up so fast. I just can’t believe they’re already four and five years old! Can someone stop the clock from ticking away so quickly? I had a lot of fun watching the kids being kids at the party. I can’t wait to see them continue to grow and share with them stories of when they were this young.

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Christmas Festivities 2014

Woah, Christmas flew by so quickly! That tends to happen every Christmas, right? When December comes around, I try to maximize it as best as I can. Here are some Christmas Festivities highlights that took place this month!

6th Annual Gingerbread Party hosted by my sister for her kids’ and their friends.

First Christmas Lighting Adventure for 2014. I go here almost every year since 2006 and I’m always amazed by all the miniature figurines put together in the garage! Here’s an old post about this place.

Location: 2351 Caper Tree Drive, Tustin, CA.

We also went over to another neighborhood in Tustin on Olwyn Drive & Red Hill for more Christmas lights!

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Cara & Nathan’s Pre-School Christmas Performance. In the picture below, my nephew, Ben, told me that it wasn’t Santa but some guy in a costume. I, Auntie Tina, was appalled by his observation because Santa is real! Right?

These girls took my phone and decided to take a selfie!

Evan as an angel in The Nutcracker. She’s following my footsteps of being a dancer for now!

Happy Birthday, Briana! I made that wrapping paper with sponges and stamp pads at Unique LA.

More Christmas lights at Nellie Gail. This neighborhood is probably one of the best communities in south Orange County to check out Christmas lights! Read here about the first time I discovered this neighborhood.

Ben’s Christmas Show & KBBQ at Aria Restaurant with the family.

My brother took this picture of me playing with my nieces. I didn’t realize he took it because I was so focused on playing hand games with them like Lemonade and Crunchy Ice on repeat.

Vegas on Christmas Eve & Day

My family and I were in Vegas for less than 24 hours. Majority of the time, we were eating. We got the Buffet of Buffets pass for $70 that allowed us to eat at a range of buffets within 24 hours. We ate a lot and walked around a lot.

Then once we got home, I was able to catch the sunset in Laguna Beach to end my Christmas day.

I hope your Christmas was spent with friends and family you love and that you were reminded of and thankful for the birth of Jesus!

Chef Yun

Thursday night is usually the only time my whole family and I are together under one roof. We all have different schedules because of work, school, or other obligations so it’s hard sometimes to have dinner together. I thought it’d be nice to cook for my family on Thursday since we were all home.

I went on Pinterest for some inspiration on what to cook. I found this recipe to make pesto pasta with sausage and brussels sprouts. I knew this was a winner immediately because one, I love pesto. Two, it was simple and easy to make.

All you need is:
1 lb brussells sprouts
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 lb (16 oz.) pasta
4 sausage links
1/3 cup pesto
5 cloves garlic
Parmesan cheese, for serving

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Cut your brussells sprouts in half and gently mix them in with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then pop them into the oven for about 20-30 minutes until they are crispy or slightly golden on the outside.

As the brussells sprouts are in the oven, start cooking the pasta according to the instructions. Meanwhile, slice the sausage links into 1/4″ thick coins and cook them on a skillet with olive oil. For more flavor, you can throw in some thinly sliced garlic. Once the pasta and the sausage are cooked, the brussells sprouts should be done around the same time. In a large bowl, mix all of them together with pesto.

Then wah-lah, your masterpiece for the night should look like this:

I ended up making a little more than I should have but it worked out perfectly since I was able to take some to work for lunch! It’s great to eat them when they’re fresh or even when they’re cold!

#Twinsters

I’m not sure what it is but I always have a heart for those who are adopted. Maybe it’s because I have a niece and nephew who were adopted from Korea and a cousin. Perhaps it is because I have been adopted into God’s family. Not sure of the real reason why I get choked up so easily when I hear adoption stories but I just do.

Recently, there’s been a Twinster story that has been going viral through social media. Two identical twin sisters were separated at birth. One grew up here in America and the other in Europe. Long story short, the European twin, Anais, noticed that there was someone who looked a lot like her on YouTube. Next thing you know, she Facebooks her potential sister and they find out they are actually twins!

The twin sisters are not only physically alike but also in their personality and interests! Check out how they interact in this interview on Good Morning America!

They’re in the process of putting a documentary together on their experience of finding each other. Watch the #Twinsters trailer:

Ok, I’m not going to lie, I teared up watching the interview and the trailer! I’m so happy for them even though I don’t know them at all! I can’t wait to watch their documentary when it’s out. I’m definitely a supporter of documentaries like these.

I’m still a fan of the film, Somewhere Between. It’s a documentary that I watched awhile back on American families adopting babies from China. I cried like a baby watching that documentary. I felt like I was adopted after watching that. Documentaries, they know how to get me.

Support the #Twinsters through their Kickstarter! Click here to learn more about them!

Chef Sister

I stopped by my sister’s place for dinner and to hang out with my niece and nephew! My sister can cook basically anything and everything. Whatever she cooks is always good but also the presentation of the food! It’s always colorful! For dinner we had some grilled squash and filet mignon.
Squash and Filet Mignon

Corn, rice, and mashed potato. Salad with cucumber, tomatoes, and avocado.
More food.

Dinner was good as always! For dessert, we had fruity popsicles!
Dessert time!

Thanks Judy for dinner and dessert!

W + L = Engaged!

Congratulations to Weiping and Larry on their engagement! I was very much honored to take pictures of Larry’s proposal to Wei Ping. It was no doubt nerve wrecking to take pictures since it was my first time taking pictures of any sort of important occasion. The special proposal took place at Kean Coffee which was where they first met. I was there as a paparazzi to secretly take pictures of the proposal. The guy in the red shirt to the right probably thought I was checking him out. I kept looking his way later in the night because he sat near Wei Ping and Larry. He kept looking at me. It got a little uncomfortable as I sat at the table by myself.

When I was cued to start taking pictures, I quickly went to the proposal spot. I had to stay focused because I just wanted to watch the whole proposal rather than taking pictures. It was a very magical moment!

Of course, she said yes! Afterwards, we went over to the Yang’s house to celebrate. There, the newly engaged couple shared how they met. They had a lot of memorable stories to share that were all worth listening to. What a great couple they are! I’m excited for what’s in stored in the next chapter of their lives. Congratulations to Weiping and Larry!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I never got the chance to say this. But. Merry Christmas and happy new year, friends!

This is a picture of my little cousin from Korea. My mom bought a onesie for this cutie. My aunt thought that it was a casual outfit so she almost took him to the market in his onesie! Close call, close call.

I’m actually not sure if onesies exist in Korea or in Asia.

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Hope everyone had a blessed Christmas in celebrating the birth of Jesus and a great start in the new year!

New years resolution anyone? I have some goals for the new year that I took note of mentally. I only took brief mental notes just because I usually don’t really believe in new years resolution. But. Somehow this year, I felt more compelled than ever before to have some goals set. They’re just not set in stone because I still have yet to figure out the logistics. When making goals, you have to have a plan! Perhaps I will share some of my new years resolutions in the near future when I have them figured out.

If you have some new years resolutions this year, I wish you the best of luck! Don’t forget to be strategic, realistic, and optimistic! Go you!