fun

Birthday Extravaganza – Part 2

My coworkers threw me a fiesta! Huge thanks to my department for making this all colorful and having endless amounts of sweets on desk from Snickers bars to donuts to Nothing Bundt Cakes!

Oh and yes, that is a piñata hanging from the ceiling!

One of my coworkers highly encouraged me to take one of those hipster, Pinterest-y pictures with my birthday cake and balloons. It was one hilarious photoshoot taken at work that I could not contain myself. I’m surprised that I didn’t drop the cake!

By the way, the piñata is stuffed with candy! Thanks Eric!

Thanks friends for wearing the party hats and taking a picture with me! Again, many thanks to my department for making my birthday special!

Birthday Extravaganza – Part 1

Woah, it’s been five months and a few weeks since I last blogged! I apologize for being MIA. Sometimes, you just have fun in life and forget to share it! That’s pretty much what happened to me.

I don’t even know where to begin but I’ll just share with you the most recent celebration. August was my birthday month! Yay me and for all those Leos out there! I always want to try to maximize my birthday month or even just any holiday month all for fun. Why not find a reason to have fun everyday, right? For my birthday month, I decided to wear a dress every day until the 20th, my real birthday. I was surprised at how many dresses I owned. It wasn’t even a struggle to figure out what to dress to wear each day. I just grabbed whatever I found first but saved the best ones for last.

Unfortunately, I did not take any selfies of my 20 days of dresses to show proof that I did it. If you don’t believe me then feel free to talk to my coworkers. They have witnessed me wearing a dress everyday!

Even though it’s over, I still continue to wear dresses. I may have gained some weight from wearing a dress everyday. My dresses tend to leave more room for dessert than pants hence the gain in weight. At the end of this dress extravaganza, I realized I probably own about 30 dresses. It’s not even funny.

Side note: My best friend and I made a pact this year to not go shopping unless we need to or if we have a gift card so we can save money and not become materialistic. We’ve been pretty good so far to not buy anything unless it’s a necessity. I think doing this 20 days of dresses confirmed even more so that I don’t need any more dresses or even clothes in general. I’m sure I still have a few dresses in my closet that I have yet to wear once or even twice maybe.

Aside from this 20 days of dresses, I celebrated my birthday a few times with friends and family. First one was a potluck at the park! Thank you friends for bringing all kinds of food! We had homemade guac, Costco food, salads, fruit, desserts, a lot of cold drinks and so much more! There was definitely a lot of food!

Thank you Kat for stopping by! I know you had a busy summer but really appreciated your presence there and with all the fruit you brought!

Hannerz! Thank you so much for making the long drive to come here! Thank you for bringing the wraps and keeping them cool using your mother-in-law’s ice packs! I know I need to return those to you still! Thanks for the gift as well!

Derek, I can’t believe you biked 10 miles to get here! Thank you for making it alive! Phil, that Almond Haus drink doe. What an awesome gift, thank you! CindyxBindy, thank you for the precious cake and the bluetooth! I feel so hip like you now! Briana, thank you for bringing fancy sushi and always surprising me with practical gifts on my birthday! Aaron, thank you for bringing chicken tenders from Carl’s Jr! I think it was a healthier choice to bring chicken tenders over them McNuggets.

Peter and Jenn, thank you for bringing Costco pizza! Thank you for being considerate of vegetarians and thanks for the gifts! Thank you Jamakea and Dan for each bringing a salad! And those flowers were beautiful, thank you! Winston, thanks for bringing so much dessert! Costco’s apple pie and cheesecake can never go wrong!

Ben, thanks for driving to multiple markets to look for Capri Sun drinks. Even though they were nowhere to be found, luckily the party was able to continue without them. No but really, thank you for bringing all the drinks and keeping them cold with ice! Kat, thanks for coming to my potluck instead of going to your bootcamp and thank you for the cookies! Matt and Alana, thank you for the chicken quinoa and the homemade guac dip! Delicious!

I know I didn’t get to take a picture with everyone who came but shoutouts to Elaine Linda, Andrea, Dan, and Dasom for coming! Thank you Elaine and Linda for coming over to make the guac and pasta salad with so much love! Andrea, thank you for stopping by and bringing food! Dan, that Mexican ice cream was amazing! Thank you for sharing it with me! Dasom, I was so happy to see you there! Thank you for the giant balloon and the sacrifice you went through to purchase it!

Thank you, thank you my friends for bringing all this wonderful food! Thank you for taking that extra time to prepare or purchase the food you brought. Everything was so good that I think We should have another potluck soon!

Happy Monday!

Happy 2nd day of March!

Sunny SoCal hasn’t been so sunny for the past few days. It’s been nice to get a new change of weather for once. We got some grey clouds and lots of heavy rain to hopefully cure the drought. Hopefully. Probably not to be realistic.

Anyway, sometimes the gloomy weather can be a damper especially for the start of a new week. I thought I should lift up the mood with this awesome song that has been stuck in my head for the past 24 hours.

One. I love Tegan and Sara. Their music is awesome. Two. I love the cheesiness of this song. How can this song not bring a smile to you?

Note to readers: I have not seen the movie.

Well SoCal residents, I hope this song made you realize how everything awesome. I just wish I could be wearing a cape, put one hand on hip, other hand punched into the air, and fly away

Pizza Rock

We all had a pretty good work out at the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink. Skating our hearts out to the crowd and picking up flowers from our fans on the ice rank made us pretty tired and hungry. We decided to celebrate our gold medals that we won from our unofficial competition against each other.

We went over to Pizza Rock for some rockin’ pizza. Ok, that was really cheesy. That was also an extra cheesy joke.

First, we got some Pizza Rock Meatballs as appetizers. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of these meatballs because I was so focused on eating that I forgot to take pictures! You will just have to go to Pizza Rock to know what they’re like! I highly suggest ordering them if you get the chance.

And of course, we got pizza! We ordered a classic Margherita pizza.

We also ordered one of their popular items called Stromboli which had three different kinds of pizza all on one platter! It was one very long pizza!

On one end of the pizza was the Romano’s Original 1950. It had Prosciutto di Parma, Italian sausage, pepperoni, mozarella, American cheese, and sweet peppers.

Then the middle of the pizza was the 3 Cheese Roll which had mozzarella, ricotta, and crushed red peppers.

On the other side of the pizza was the Pepperolly that had pepperoni, mozzarella, garlic, and oregano.

It was such a bittersweet moment at dinner since it was our last night together! I wish we could have spent one more day hanging out in Sacramento. I must say that I think overall we maximized our time pretty well in a short amount of time. After dinner, Alex and I had to get going because we had a long drive ahead of us. We left Sacramento around 10pm and were on the road for 7 hours heading back to home sweet home.

There are so many things that I’m truly grateful for from this trip! Thank you to the Vu Family for letting me tag along on this trip! Alex, tell your parents I said thanks again. By the way, I still can’t believe your mom was a news anchor! Thank you to Briana for I don’t know what actually. Just kidding! Thank you for letting me crash at your place and for showing me all the popular spots in Sacramento. We need to get started on The Brina Band Tour 2015. Can’t wait! Thanks Justin for driving us around and for the cronuts! If you’re ever in SoCal, I will treat you out to some good milk tea! Thank you Jaclyn for making time to hang out with us from your busy schedule and thank you Phil aka Snow King for taking us to the best shaved ice place in Sacramento. I’m so glad that I was able to see you both from SoCal to NorCal! I hope we can all get together again one day! Thanks everyone for everything!

Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink

Once I had a taste of those cronuts from Bakers Donuts, it was time to ice skate! Well first, I had to pack my belongings at Briana’s place since it was my last day in Sacramento. I packed, helped Briana clean up her place, and then off to the next adventure!

Sadly, Briana wasn’t able to ice skate because she had other plans for the night so she dropped me off at my next destination. From there, we said our goodbyes and parted ways. Tear, tear.

Going to Downtown Sacramento to ice skate was like going to Rockefeller Center in New York City because of the outdoorsy feel. Actually, I’ve never been to NYC but I imagine it would be something similar. Coming from SoCal, you don’t see an outdoors ice rink quite often. It’s not a significant attraction to check out nor is it available in SoCal so it was nice to experience a new kind of winter culture in Sacramento.

At the ice rink, I met up with Phil, Jaclyn, and a bunch of other people! To be more specific, I met some new friends who were friends with Jaclyn. Also, Alex and Justin joined in on the fun!

Since we skated on a Friday night, we got a dollar discount on admission fee. We ended up paying $9 each, eight for the admission and a dollar to rent the skates. We skated for a good 2 hours!

The rink was big enough for me to practice my triple axels flawlessly like Yuna Kim. Just kidding, I have no skills in ice skating except moving forward and opening up my arms gracefully like a ballerina.

I don’t know what it is but ice skating around the rink is a lot of fun. Whether you’re skating with your friends or even by yourself, to skate through the cold is ironically fun. Maybe you get a sense of freedom like an eagle soaring through the sky and from that comes out joy perhaps. It’s just liberating to skate in a circle for some odd reason.

I was having so much fun like a little kid that I really didn’t want it to end! But, we had to get going since it was our last night there and we were planning to leave a few hours after ice skating.

Thank you, thank you Briana for taking care of me and showing me your favorites spots in Sacramento! I’m glad that I was able to hang out in Sacramento for more than 24 hours unlike last time! Ok, talk to you on the phone soon!

 

Midtown, Sacramento

Alex, Justin, and I went over to Midtown for our first official exploration in Sacramento! In Midtown, there’s a museum and a park right next to each other. Unfortunately, by the time we got to California State Indian Musuem, it was closed! This relatively small museum has 4 out of 5 stars with 19 reviews on Yelp. I wouldn’t mind checking out this museum next time I’m here. It doesn’t hurt learn more about California history! Luckily, we were still able to hang around the area because of Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park. This spacious park was scenic even at night! I’m sure it’s more beautiful in the daytime but it was nice to take a walk around the park and enjoy each other’s company! As we were walking to find a place to eat, we made a new friend in Midtown! I can’t remember his name but he complimented Alex on his shoes. For the next five minutes, they became best friends. Justin and I were walking right behind them, protecting Alex’s back just in case anything happened, literally. It was quite an entertaining walk. We decided to grab some food at The Red Rabbit that has a homey service with a hip vibe to it. They focus on providing seasonal and local products and services. In other words, their food and drinks are seasonal but also when it comes to their banking, accounting, and anything behind the scenes, it’s all done locally. Thoughtfully amazing, huh? I love how they use their community to build each other up. Read more about the restaurant here. When you read about their history, you’ll understand why they have a strong standing on Yelp with 4/5 stars and more than 500 reviews! We made dinner plans for later in the night to meet up with a few other friends so we had to save room for that. For the time being, we decided to share some appetizers. We first shared the School Boy Poutine. They were tater tots topped with some fresh hot poutine! You always gotta have some greens so we also shared another starter of Brussels & Bacon. The crispy and fried brussels were stuffed in a basket with thick strips of bacon! To finish it off, there was a side of chipotle aioli sauce. Surprisingly, I was pretty stuffed from just these two starters! I really enjoyed the ambiance of this restaurant and of course the food! It’s something different and new that I have yet to experience in SoCal. By the way, let me formally introduce you to my friend, Alex! I’ve known him a little too long. Just kidding! Sarcasm. I’ve known him since 5th grade! I’m not sure why but when we were younger, we were pretty competitive against each in everything! Whether it was math, music, or running. You name it, we were pretty competitive. The picture below defines our current friendship. Just kidding! We are in different paths in life so there isn’t so much competition between us. It’s good to know that we are still friends after all that competition! Well, at least I hope think we are still friends. Meet Justin who is friends with Alex! Huge thanks to Justin for driving us around in Sacramento and for being so hospitable! Back to The Red Rabbit. If I could, I would have a birthday dinner or some group function here for dinner. They have private rooms made just for those occasions! They have a patio outside with a fireplace and it just makes the ambiance so much more comfortable! After The Red Rabbit, we drove over to Quan Nem Ninh Hoa, a popular Vietnamese restaurant that has 4/5 stars with 506 reviews on Yelp. There, we met up with Phil and Jaclyn! Since we had already eaten a little something-something, Alex, Justin and I decided to share appetizers again. We got some traditional spring rolls that are popular at this restaurant. We also ordered something that was new to me which was the Bahn Beo. A Bahn Beo is a soft rice cake topped with dried crispy shrimp and onions. You pour some fish sauce over the little rice cake and then you eat it like you would with an oyster. A spoon or chopsticks will be helpful to scoop the rice cake out. If you want a starter that is sweet and savory with crispy and soft textures then this is something to try! Excuse me for the pixelated and blurry group picture! A selfie stick would have been handy for this occasion but this will do for now. I’m glad that we got one group selfie in there! After dinner, we parted ways with Jaclyn and Phil. We went to sing our hearts out with Briana at Oishii, a Japanese sushi and karaoke bar. Though Yelp gives them only 3 stars with 175 reviews, I really enjoyed the karaoke part at this place. They have a wide range of music in different languages and they have the latest songs you can sing to. I guess the only downside or difference about this place compared to Korean karaoke places is that you have to go up to the machine to select your music rather than pressing buttons on a large keypad. We sang all kinds of songs for an hour and a half. I lost my voice after singing but it was well worth singing with some fun friends! Thanks Jaclyn and Phil for meeting up with us for dinner! I’m glad we were able to finally see you both again but in Sacramento this time! Thank you, Briana, my best frenemy, for singing Taylor Swift songs with me! I didn’t think you were going to be able to come out but I’m thankful that your schedule allowed you to! Thanks again to Justin for showing us around in Sacramento! Alex, thanks for not being competitive with me anymore!

Off to Sacramento!

Going to Sacramento was pretty much a YOLO trip. My friend, Alex, spontaneously invited me to tag along on this mini road trip. I had nothing planned but to play, be productive (I actually had plans to get work done at a coffee shop), and spend the night at Briana’s place! We left SoCal at 6:20am for the road trip up north.

I slept in the car for a good few hours with my head bobbing back and forth, side to side. I’m sure I wasn’t pretty when I was sleeping. We only made one stop at  Harris Ranch in Coalinga, California which was the midpoint between LA and Sacramento. Have you heard of Harris Ranch before? This was my first time ever hearing about it so I was pretty excited to explore.

According to Wikipedia, Harris Ranch is the largest beef producer and the largest ranch in the West Coast! I don’t doubt Wikipedia because when we got to Harris Ranch, we knew it was cow town by the smell and look of the area. It’s a different culture and environment there in a good way!

Not only do they produce beef and have a ranch, they also have an inn, bakery and deli store, and a fancy shmancy restaurant.

We made a stop here to stretch, use the restroom, but mainly to pick up some darn good cookies! Make sure to get their Pecan Drops and their classic Chocolate Chip cookies. I will never forget those cookies because they were so good! Even though they only have 22 reviews on Yelp, this place has 4 stars.

Harris Ranch has a country and homie feel with the homemade goods and decor!

This couch wasn’t part of the decoration. It was actually functional for seating.

After a short exploration at Harris Ranch, we were back on the road!

I must mention that as we were driving by a field of cows, Alex had to roll down his window to say hi to them. It was the worst idea ever because the smell of manure rushed into the car! The car did not smell clean for quite some time. Never again, Alex. Never again!