Monday, January 23, 2012

Random Mondays: Happy Chinese (Lunar) New Year!!

Today's Random Monday Emoticon:
Item in question fact:

Today is Chinese/Lunar New Year!!! This Asian holiday is HUGE and is well celebrated with abundance in food and games with all family members returning home. Every year, my family closes my aunt's restaurant a little early to utilize the space and the ginormous woks for cooking to put on a celebratory dinner fit for a king. Seriously. This year's menu consisted of 20 items of food (e.g. duck, quail, noodles, veggies, pork, beef, tofu, 3 types of rice, soup) and 3 desserts. The food was prepped and displayed in the buffet line.
Sorry the pictures are so blurry! iPhone didn't like the
horrible buffet lighting.

With over 50 people in attendance, laughter and joy from story telling could be heard miles away I'm sure. We were LOUD!

And to think I almost missed out on it this year because of the shop. An hour prior to closing, the hubby decided we were going to Oklahoma (3.5 hour drive) to enjoy the new year dinner with my family. He knew how BIG my family does it and was determined not to miss out on it. Meanwhile, I was set on not going. Not that I don't miss or love my family, but after a 12 hour shift (2am till 2pm) at the shop and a 3.5 hour drive immediately following (got to OK at 5pm) just to have dinner (dinner was at 8:30pm) then immediately drive back (left dinner at 10:45pm) another 3.5 hours to get back just in time to open up the shop again (got back to TX at 2:30am. Shop opens up at 3am), didn't sound appealing. Talk about extremely tiring. Plus, the hubby was driving and I was concerned if he had the energy to do it.

He even called my parents and jokingly tattled on me because I was being a bad daughter since I was refusing to go and that he might be arriving there by himself. He's too funny. My dad reasoned the same logic as I did. However, the hubby knew how much this annual dinner meant to my family and wasn't missing out. So the hubby took on the challenge and drove me to OK after a long work day so that I could spend New Year's with my family. Y'all, I have THE BEST hubby. Ever. Seriously. There's only 24 hours in a day, and we expended it all.

As if my hubby wasn't already awesomeness to the max. THEN, oh then... once we got back into town in the nick of time, the hubby let me sleep in till 7:30am while he proceeded to setup and prep the shop. Talk about love y'all. Le sigh... This has been by far the BEST Chinese New Year ever!
It's the year of the dragon!!

From the hubby and I: 祝你新年快樂!恭喜發財!身體健康!萬事如意!!
(Wishing you a happy new year! To Happiness and Prosperity! To Health!  To accomplishing 10,000 things of your heart's desire!)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Christmas 20 1 1 : Whistler Day 2

After failing to pick up our ski/snowboarding gear the previous day, we woke up at 7:30am to catch the complimentary breakfast (make yourself cinnamon waffles and PB&J sandwiches - breakfast of champions!). At 8am sharp, we headed down the slope to grab our gear and purchase our lift tickets.
The mountain extends well beyond the cloud covering the
mountain in the background

It's been a few years since either of us hit the slopes so warm ups on the greens were a must. Plus, just looking for the mountain peak was intimidating. Why? Because constant fresh powder promised the time of our lives and the clouds were mysteriously hiding its greatest and tallest Whistler treasure.
See the clouds in our first picture? That's only halfway up on
the Wizard Express chair lifts. Just to give you a point of
reference on how BIG this mountain is. Just saying.

I've only officially snowboarded 3 times in my entire life. The very first time was with now hubby during our first trip together during Spring Break 2007 to Breckenridge. He was a proud recipient of a new snowboard and bindings from his pharmacy friends a few months prior. Since he's normally an avid skier, we figured this new adventure together would be a great bonding experience. Cue unanimous awe - aw..... Okay, enough cheesiness.  Final verdict - eh eh on the boards for the hubby and two thumbs up for me! I attempted skiing back in grade school and that was an epic fail!

After a few runs down the easiest greens, I became frustrated. We learned to board in less than a day more than 4 years ago, and while I totally rock on the heel side of the board, I totally suck on the toe edge. In order to take on the steeper routes, it was vital I gained comfort on my toe side. (*Note - with the hubby being such an awesome skier (blues ain't no thing for him), I felt like I was holding him back from truly enjoying the mountain). The hubby could see that I was no longer enjoying the runs and suggested I enroll in a 2 hour course to ride out my toe side. Unwillingly, but through the hubby's logical reasoning, I enrolled.

With an hour till "class time", we rode the gondola up to the peak of Blackcomb to ride the Peak2Peak gondola to Whistler.
2 different ski lifts and 20 degrees cooler later, we reached the peak of Blackcomb. After some stomping and waddling through a foot deep of snow, we entered the boarding platform for the Peak2Peak bottom glass Gondola. This gondola is the longest in the world and gets you from one mountain to the other in 11 minutes!

Once we reached Whistler, we had the option to ride the gondola back to Blackcomb or take another gondola down to the base of Whistler. We chose the latter. Total time down to the base of Whistler - 30 minutes. And if you look back up at the map, we weren't even really at the peak and it still took 30 minutes. You getting a better picture at this beast of a mountain yet???

Once we reached the base, we took the brief 5 minute walk back over to the base of Blackcomb to start my class. While I attempted to master the toe side, the hubby hit rode up the lifts to take on Whistler like an Olympian.

I successfully gained confidence on my toe side and the hubby took on the mountain. Twice. He said it's by far, THE best mountain he has ever skied at. It's also the most tiring one. haha! The numerous trails available is ridiculous. While you depart from the same gates each time, the trail you take can be totally different each and every time.

3pm rolled around before we knew it and the chair lifts were being shut down. We promptly walked up the slope to return our gear rentals. Genius me suggested we walk the road back to our hotel instead of back up the mountain. Bad idea. It took us twice as long to reach our hotel. Oops!
My fake smile after a tiring day on the slopes

Once we reached our hotel, we hit the hot, hot showers to get ready to head to Whistler Village to watch the Fire and Ice Show.
They build the slopes from scratch every weekend! The dozer
utilized is intense and can handle the steepness.

The show evidenced trick jumps and aerials performed by the ski and snowboard instructors at Whistler. The performers are whisked up the super steep slope by holding onto a rope tied to a snowmobile. And no show is complete without ending in a bang (fireworks)!

Since the show started late, we officially have been standing out in the cold, but beautiful heavy drifting snow for more than an hour. Freezing at the conclusion of the show, the hubby and I still had one must visit place prior to concluding our visit to Whistler - the Olympic Village.
Quarter mile walk later. You can see the snowflakes! Loved that
about Whistler. None stop snow!!

After visiting the Olympic Village, we stopped by 21 Steps to sample their small plates while we reminisced our trip. As we say au revoir to Whistler, Vancouver was whispering bonjour.

Gas to Whistler: $60
Lift tickets: $218
Re-enroll in snowboarding school: $150
Experiencing an Olympic Mountain: Priceless.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Random Mondays

Today's Random Monday emoticon:

Item in question:
What does an Executive Chef at a nice restaurant buy at the grocery store?
Sorry the pic is grainy. It was taken with an iPhone
Ramen noodles!!

We were at the Uwajimaya Supermarket in Seattle when the hubby noticed this chef standing in the checkout line embracing a few packages of ramen noodles and a grocery list? As the chef spun around to people watch, we noticed his jacket was labeled with his name with the title Executive Chef underneath it. Interesting! Maybe chefs get tired of cooking nice meals so an easy, simple "home cooked" meal is preferred?

What's your take on the Executive Chef's purchase?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Christmas 20 1 1 : Whistler

Annually, the hubby and I close the donut shop down from Christmas Day till New Year's day to take our Christmas vacation. While our customers are a little bitter about the week long donut hiatus, they know we really need this vaca since we're open every day of the year! This year's locale: Seattle, Whistler, and Vancouver!

We flew into Seattle late Christmas Eve. Upon arrival and locating our hotel at 8pm, we were ravenous for some food! Long and behold, everyone else shut their businesses down early to spend time relaxing and consuming Christmas cheer. After 10 minutes of walking around downtown Seattle, we found two restaurants open - Benihana's and P.F. Chang's. We chose...

They were surprisingly busy! Too tired and with nothing else open, we turned in for the evening to gear up for our 4 hour drive up to Whistler the next day.

Merry Christmas!! *chirp chirp* The various breakfast joints we marched up and down the San Francisco like hills in search of a good breakfast joint were closed. Bah humbug! Not even Starbucks was open!! Really?! The one place that was?

Aren't you jealous of our Christmas vacation already?? Yea, didn't think so.
Us outside of Subway with the waterfront in the back

The hubby and I ordered a foot long flat bread ham, egg, and cheese for $5 and took it back to our hotel room for consumption. We washed it down with the hotel's complimentary tea/coffee/hot chocolate.

Our 2011 Christmas card.
Card from

As we were packing up to head out, the hubby and I decided to have dim sum in Richmond, Canada en route to Whistler. It'd help break out the 4 hour drive and give us some fuel for the belly. Plus, we're total dim sum fiends. Ask our friends. It's ridiculous. Being Christmas day, we weren't sure if the restaurant would be open or not. Then again, Asian restaurants are always open. Always. Have you not seen the movie A Christmas Story? Proof right there! So the odds were in our favor.
Beautiful Seattle scenery en route to Canada
Welcome to Canada!
And this is how Canada welcomed us, lots and lots of rain

Sure enough, as we exited into Richmond, all the Asian restaurants had beaming OPEN signs. Looks like we're having dim sum for lunch!
Did you know Canadians consume their dim sum without soy
sauce, red vinegar, and chili oil?! We thought it was the norm! 
The most petite egg tarts I have ever seen.
They were the size of my siu mai!

With our bellies full, our journey to Whistler continued.

While Richmond welcomed us with rain, Whistler welcomed us with snow! Hello white Christmas!!
We stayed at The Coast Blackcomb Suites which was a ski-in/ski-out resort! It also meant every room had a fully equipped kitchen, dining/living area with a (non functional) fireplace, and balcony!

After a few hours of relaxing and enjoying the beautiful white snow, we decided to pick up our skis and snowboard so we could fully utilize our ski-in/ski-out privilege early next morning. Unfortunately, the ski rental place was at the bottom of the slope.
A very long, and somewhat steep slope.

Proud that we managed to get down the mountain without falling, we had one more issue to tackle. Where in the world was the rental shop?! Even after asking 2 people of its location, we still wandered aimlessly. After a good 30 minutes of cardio walking (you try not slipping on ice and walking effortlessly in a foot of fresh powder!), we found it. YAY!

While elated at the sight of our "lost treasure", it was celebrated much too soon. The shop was closed. *$&@%#+~^! Nooooo! Defeated, we started our trek back up the moonlit path on the mountain. Cardio workout #2.

However, not all was lost as we had a nice fancy dinner to get ready for! After a quick change in clothes, we took the complimentary shuttle to Whistler Village. The village was lined with numerous shops and decked with plenty of holiday cheer. After watching the 2010 Winter Olympics on NBC for its 2 week duration, I felt like I was living the experience!

As our reservation at Hy's Steakhouse was rapidly approaching, we stopped in at one of the shops to inquire directions. They even provided us a short cut. Sweet!

Hy's welcomed us into their warm and cozy abode by offering a coat check prior to escorting us to our table. The restaurant was bumbling with stories and laughter as friends and family enjoy Christmas dinner. Not needing much contemplation of menu choices, we ordered the roasted prime rib of beef and a Caesar salad.

Hy's even provided us complimentary dessert to celebrate our engage-aversary! What a great way to end Christmas day.

Tomorrow, we will dominate the mountains and ski like we're going for the Gold! Or so we thought...
The 2010 Winter Olympic logo

P.S. If you're wondering what's going on with our family since Christmas is usually spent with family. The hubby's family went to Cambodia for the month of December and my family always spend Christmas in Vegas. Always. Don't worry! We spent time with our loved ones in the weeks prior to everyone's departure to their Christmas destinations!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pinterest Christmas Card

Pinterest - who's not addicted to this love/hate relationship with yet another online social media?? I'm definitely guilty of it. The numerous drool worthy pictures of recipes that promise to deliver succulent results, motivational pictures to make our yearly resolution of getting fit last just a tad bit longer, inspirational pictures to document your pregnancy journey, and the list could go on for miles on inspiration for everything under the moon.

While I may pin away and delve into more details later, the one that kept tapping me on the shoulder was this one:

*swoon* How freakin adorable! My heart totally melted upon sight and I forwarded the link to the hubby via email. Stat. Time of discovery: Thanksgiving-ish? The hubby said it was cute and that we should totally replicate it. The hunt for the garland was on. Via the couple in the picture, the garland was a product of Anthropologie many years ago. Aka no longer available. Well crap.

While I sourced local craft stores (e.g. Hobby Lobby, Michaels, JoAnn's, etc.), that garland just wasn't available. Sigh. Hopes and dreams for the photo came crashing down and got brushed under the rug. Why don't I just re-create it you say? I totally would except I can't even cut a straight line that's drawn out for me (how embarrassing). How in the world do you expect me to cut straight AND make sure all the letters are the same size?! Ha! Puhleez!

On December 14, during a casual convo with the hubby's cousin's wife (does that make her my cousin-in-law??), the above picture was brought up. Her response, "That's easy to replicate! Just use my Cricut!!". Cue record player scratch. Home girl say whaaaa?? And that was how my hopes and dreams for the photo was brought to life again. Great, but who's going to photograph us?! Enter friend we've gotten to known via the donut shop - Mrs. Deanna Campbell! She said she could squeeze us in that Saturday afternoon. Yay, but holy mackerel, that means I gotta make the garland pronto! Would we get the photos back in time to get the cards printed and mailed before Christmas???

The next day, the hubby was awesome and accompanied me to Hobby Lobby to source the paper to re-create the garland. 1.5 hours for 10 sheets of paper later, we had our paper! 1.5 hours for 10 sheets of paper??? Really?? Major props to the hubby for being uber patient and providing insight the whole time. Paper in hand, let the crafting begin!

First up, cutting the backing for our garland. Paper used - leftover card stock from our wedding programs. Booyah! 10 minutes later...
Ta da! Easy peasy! How freaking awesome is the 
Cricut man! Perfectly cut letters. Nice!

And to make sure the size was appropriate for our use, I had the hubby lay down next to it and pretend he was holding it.
Looks good right? P.S. we won't be using the exclamation
point. The cricut cut 3 letters per page and I had extra space
on the paper left so I figured why not utilize the void. Ha!

Next step, cut the front piece of the garland!
The cricut didn't like the paper we selected for the Y,
S, and H.  It totally hated the paper we selected for T
and promptly ate it up, hence the missing T.

The final step was to put it all together with some yarn as our string. We decided we would "sandwich" the yarn between the card stock backing and the front pretty letters via double sided stickers. Tape the top together, place string underneath tape position, then tape right below the string. Easy enough right? Fail. Obviously, no craft is ever complete without a road block. The sticker just wasn't strong enough to bind the two different types of paper together. I knew I couldn't use glue as this would cause "bubbles" to appear in the paper. What to do, what to do? Super frustrated, the hubby said use staples! Say whaaa? That's definitely not going to be pretty! Tacky even! He reasoned the camera would be far enough away and the staples would blend in with the paper we chose, it wouldn't be noticeable. With the photo shoot being the next day, I had no other choice but agree and proceed. I cringed each time the hubby stapled as I imagined the hideous staples making its debut in our photo.

Saturday afternoon came much too quick. After closing up shop and running our errands, I had less than 30 minutes to get showered up and look somewhat decent for the photo shoot. With just concealer on, I went sans makeup to the shoot. Ew! Here's how the shoot went. Beware: loads of pictures ahead!

What do you think of our garland? Guess the hubby was right about the staples. Hate it when he's right! Ha!

Not sure if you noticed or not, but our "replica" picture failed also. The white walls of the building washed out the few last letters of our garland. Mrs. Deanna made a valiant effort to "fix" the problem, but no can do. However, Mrs. Deanna turned these pictures around to us in 2 days!! That's just unheard of! Thanks, Mrs. Deanna!

Which picture do you think we chose for our Christmas Card? By the way, they were mailed and received by our friends and family prior to Christmas. Score!

*all pictures above were taken by Deanna Campbell Photography


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...