memories

Happy Birthday Dasom!

After a long research of trying to find a place to take Dasom for her birthday, I found Regatta Cafe in Newport Beach. I was focused on finding a place in Newport Beach because the city itself has a comforting feeling to it where there’s always something to do. I mean, come on. You’re by the beach! Beach = fun. We weren’t going to go tan or swim before or after dinner but there’s place to walk around by the beach.

So Regatta Cafe is a little hidden restaurant that has great food and entertainment. When we got there, the restaurant was pretty empty. I don’t think a lot of people know about this restaurant most likely because of it’s poor location. It’s one block away from Mama D’s which by the way is a great place to check out when you get the chance. The restaurant had a European theme to it as it is a Italian restaurant but the antique chairs brought out the theme even more of the European style.

Once we got seated, we were served complimentary bread and salad with a light rasberry dressing afterwards.
Dasoms and food.

For dinner, Dasom ordered angel hair pasta with olive oil and shrimp. Simple ingredients involved yet so flavorful.
Angel hair pasta with shrimp.

I got the Fettucine Michelangelo which is a popular one. The pasta wasn’t too creamy or heavy. It had just the right amount of sauce. The quality overall and the portion of the pasta was perfect and I wouldn’t mind getting it again.
Fettucine Michelangelo

As we were eating, there was a man who just started singing out of nowhere. There was background music as he was singing opera style. He definitely had a beautiful deep and bold voice. I wish he was singing throughout the whole night but he ended up singing a song or two. There was a grand piano in the restaurant but I think they play the piano when the restaurant is more packed. Hopefully the next time I go, they’ll play the piano.
Singing Man.

For dessert, we got a peach cobbler a la mode style. Since it was fresh from the oven, oh man. It was so good. I probably could have eaten the whole thing by myself but I didn’t. I had to share it with the birthday girl!
Peach Cobbler

I hope this restaurant gets popular sooner than later because it’s definitely a great place to check out if you want good quality Italian food and entertainment at the same time. The price is reasonable for the most part. A plate can range from $12-$16. It’s a tad bit pricey by a buck or two but I definitely recommend their food. I don’t think anything on their menu will disappoint you.

After dinner, we drove around Newport Beach and ended up parking near the pier. It was too cold to go outside so we talked in the car like we always do. Late night car talks are the best. We caught up with each other and laughed like always!

Dasom, I can’t wait to see what comes in this new year for you! I am so blessed and thankful to be friends with! Hope you had a fun and happy birthday!

Goodbye and Good Luck Mark!

Mark is leaving sunny southern California for a whole new scene. That is Minneapolis! Briana and I had to see him one last time before he permanently leaves. So we grabbed lunch at Greenhouse Cafe.
Greenhouse Cafe

The three of us all got a half and half lunch meal. Briana got half chicken salad sandwich. Half bowl of tomato soup. Mark got a classic BLT and tomato soup.
Briana & Mark

I got the tuna melt and of course like everyone else, the tomato soup. The three of us recommend that everyone tries the tomato soup. There’s some kind of magical ingredient that makes the soup taste so homey and addicting. I asked the owner of the shop how he made it and he wouldn’t share. That’s how good it is. Please try it when you go there!My half and half lunch.

I can tell that Greenhouse Cafe pours out a lot of love as they make the food. They really care about the quality and your experience. After our small yet filling meal, we got some dessert. The dessert is actually for breakfast but hey, it can go as dessert too. So we got a Belgian waffle with strawberries and whip cream, chocolate and syrup on the side.
Belgian Waffle

The Belgian Waffle became a beautiful mess.
Beautiful Mess.

Once we were completely done eating, Briana and I gave Mark a goodbye gift. We gave him pictures from the many times the four of us all hung out. The four of us includes me, Briana, Christian, and Mark.
Marks Going Away 006

Unfortunately, Christian was not able to say goodbye to Mark because he’s in Buffalo, New York. So we decided to Face Time him for a few minutes and make him jealous for missing out on the fun. Surely, he was jealous.
Face Time with Christian!

Greenhouse Cafe is quite a memorable place for the four of us. The first time we had a Secret Santa gift exchange took place at Greenhouse Cafe. Now, Greenhouse Cafe is also a memory of where we said goodbye to Mark!

Mark, we wish you the best in Minneapolis! We can’t wait to see what Target Corporate has in stored for you and we can’t wait to see you grow and be challenged there! We’re all proud of you for climbing up the ladder so quickly in short period of time! Good luck!

Spontaneous Night to LA

Finally Briana was free from school and work. So we had to have a mandatory hang out. We had dinner at In-N-Out. Then decided spontaneously to go to LA for dessert and to check out Rodeo Drive. We went to Bottega Louie for some fancy shmancy macarons. Since we got there a little after 9PM, all the good macarons were gone. We picked out the ones that they had the least of because we thought that if they have little left for a certain macaron that means a lot of customers got that one. For 5 macarons in a pretty lavendar box we paid a little under $11. A little expensive for me but I thought I’d get some for my family and just for the experience of trying Bottega Louie’s macarons. Bottega Louie is not only a maracon place but a restaurant also. Even though we got there late, the restaurant was pretty darn packed and busy! I’ll check it out one day.

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We took our macarons and off we went to Rodeo Drive. I really wanted to go to Rodeo Drive because on Instagram a blogger who I follow posted up a pretty scenery on Rodeo Drive. I took a screenshot and texted Briana, “Let’s go there!” She said she knew where it was. So then it was a perfect night to go check it out after macaron adventure.

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It was a magical moment when we found the Christmas tree and the lights. We tried to take the picture just like the the Instagrammer but we weren’t as successful as Angelaishere. Even though I don’t know who “Angelaishere” is, thanks to her, Briana and I had a fun time walking around Rodeo Drive at night and taking pretty Christmas light pictures.

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Oh how I love the power of social media. It’s crazy how it works.

Gingerbread Party

My sister held her 4th Annual Gingerbread Party for her kids and their friends recently. Kids come and decorate their gingerbread cookies with all sorts of candies. Then they go sugar high within 5 minutes of decorating. It’s always fun to watch the kids just run around and dance around freely because they’re so hyper.

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I helped her put together party favors which were little gingerbread ornaments.

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From this gingerbread party, I’ve learned a few important things. One. Some kids are passionate about decorating their gingerbread cookie . Two. Some kids are there to just eat only (Ahem. My nephew.). Three. The most important thing I learned was that every year at least one gingerbread man drowns from too much icing.

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RIP Gingerbread man.

To the Motherland, Korea: Day 1

Note to reader: My trip to Korea will take more than one post to share.

The last time I went to Korea was 17 years ago! I was there when I was in kindergarten. I remember celebrating my birthday in a traditional Korean gown. I remember a dead dog or bird on the street in front of my grandma’s house. I remember asking myself what I was suppose to call the old lady at the house I was staying in which I later found out was my grandma. I remember my sister and I got lost at the market/mall that had escalators. It was really scary losing my mom there. I remember holding onto my mom’s purse so I wouldn’t lose her. As we were walking, I looked up and it wasn’t my mom. I remember getting a perm and I was really embarrassed that I had to wear an ugly shower cap on for the perm to stay.  I remember my aunts from my dad’s side were making food while my cousin was tying my hair with a cool hair tie. I remember buying Yakult from the Yakult lady who always stopped by my grandma’s. I remember watching some K-pop performance and trying to dance like them. One of the K-pop singers had a microphone on her pinky, so I tried to dance and sing with my pinky. Good times, good times.

Prior to this trip, I knew I was going to come prepared as a traveler. First of all, pick-pocketing was NOT going to happen again. No! (FYI: I got pick-pocketed big time in Paris) Secondly, I was going to soak in every moment and take a lot of pictures. That was basically it for my preparation. Dasom (who I went to Oregon with)  suggested that I roll up my clothes in my suitcase to save space and it definitely helped! Thanks Dasom!

I was able to fit 2.5 weeks worth of clothes in that small black suitcase all because I rolled up my clothes! We brought so many suitcases because my family and I bought a bunch of goodies for my relatives. We bough pancake mix, syrup, chocolate, vitamins, soap, etc. The list goes on and on. Our suitcases were so heavy that there was random inspection by customs. They left a little note that they looked through our bags. No biggy.

We went to LAX early in the morning to fly to Narita, Japan through American Airlines. While we were waiting to board, I saw this:

There was a group of Asian tourists and two of them were meditating. One was listening to something and the other wasn’t, but somehow they all moved into the same motion at the same time. I’m not sure how they knew when to change their meditation pose.

My 16 hour flight from LAX to Narita, then Narita to Incheon, Korea was painful! I never get motion sickness in cars, planes, or roller coasters. Somehow I was feeling sick towards the end of my flight. I think it was because I was just eating, sitting, eating some more, and sitting even longer. Quick tip about airplane food is that you should place your butter on top of your main course over the foil. It will help the butter be soft because the butter is usually hard to spread on the bread. (I learned this from Simon Hwang when we went to China for missions. Thank you!)

For my connecting flight from Narita to Incheon, I flew in from Korean Air. I was really excited about it because the flight attendants are so pretty and genuinely care about their passengers. The plane itself is awesome because of the lighting set up and the USB drive by the monitor. Korean Air beats all the airlines, no doubt about it.

Korean Air was serving food even though it was 2.5 hour flight. I ordered my food but could not eat it at all. I love Korean food, but I could not stand the smell of it at that moment. I had to skip the meal, hold onto my vomit bag, and sleep the sickness away. Luckily, I felt better once we arrived at Incheon Airport. Day one of my trip was basically a day of flying.

Chelsea’s Bridal Shower

I attended my first bridal shower for my best friend who is getting married in June! I have to give credit to Lexi (Maid of Honor) and all the other bridesmaids for putting so much love into this bridal shower. This bridal shower was elegant, fun, and filled with many blessings.

Invited guests were given recipe cards to write down their favorite recipe to give to Chelsea. A box was handmade to put in all the recipes. Great idea from Heidi!

Lexi prepared all of the yummy finger food! Everything looked and tasted great!

I also made something small for the bridal shower. I made wedding marshmallow pops! They were fun and easy to make! The marshmallows were dipped in melted chocolate, smoothed out, and decorated with sprinkles. No oven was used!

Chelsea gave a sweet little speech of gratitude for all the women who made an impact in her life at her bridal shower. That definitely made me tear up! After sharing her thanks, it was time to play! Everyone was paired up to make the most beautiful wedding dress out of toilet paper!

Afterwards, Chelsea opened up many of her gifts and did not use a pair of scissors at all! Congratulations to Chelsea for not using your bare hands!

Below is a picture of the bridal shower: me, Shannon, Chelsea Hybskmann aka Bride aka future Chelsea Abraham, Heidi, Lexi, and Sarah. We’re only missing Jenna!

Chelsea, I can’t wait for the big day! I am so excited for you and Eric!