Tuesday, March 30, 2010

February Fun

Kicked off February with a trip with friends to visit The Blankenships in Denver. Adam and Angela moved to Denver a few months ago so it was fun to get to spend time with them again.

The Blankenship's neighborhood

We hit the slopes the next day and then conked out for a nap. Just for the record in the first two days that I was there I took 4 naps including one as well at the lodge bar like Allison. Crazy altitude or just a relaxing vacation.

Angela is a true Southern Louisiana girl at heart so we had a festive Mardi Gras decorated dinner.

Prior to Adam and Angela's departure from California, they had hosted the past 3 Super Bowl Parties for our Outlet church group. This year the weekend we visited happened to be the same weekend as the Super Bowl so the guys got to watch it in Adam's man cave with the girls upstairs in the family room.

Gotta love the funny shot. Or the not so funny but sad Shannon who just watched her Colts lose to the New Orleans Saints.

So one of my goals for 2010 (well it kind of started back in September 2009) is to be less fearful? What does that exactly mean? Well it looks like this...
- allowing God to lead me and not questioning, doubting or dragging my feet
- trying new things (don't think I've blogged about it but I've taking up Spinning and Kangoo at the gym, joined a kickball team and see the rock climbing pics below) - this isn't limited to physical activities although it might seem like it
- doing things that are out of my ordinary routine

So the next two things fall into the trying new things and doing things that are out of my ordinary routine. Went rock climbing at this gym in Manhattan Beach and it was pretty cool

I'm holding the rope so my friend, Jenn, doesn't fall. Yeah there is a technical term but I kind of wasn't paying alot of attention during the tutorial.

I'm not a die hard Bachelor fan but I started watching three seasons ago when Jason Mesnick was the Bachelor and have mostly continued because I like hanging out with my friends while we watch it. This past season, one of my friends had weekly Bachelor gatherings so I was pretty excited when one of my die hard Bachelor fans who has watched every season scored tickets to the After The Final Rose taping. I'll have to honestly say that the main drive of excitement was to see all the behind the scenes of the taping of a show (had a little dream at the end of college and beyond that I wanted a career in tv or movie production - behind the scenes so I love to go to tapings or see how movies and shows are made).
Anyways I headed up to Burbank with Jen and two of her friends. Signed a $5 million dollar confidentiality agreement, got fed, stood in the rain, walked into the studio and was then with the rest of the audience told to clap, laugh, clap, look shocked, clap, look like I was thinking, clap while standing up, turn to a neighbor and talk, oh yeah and clap and clap and clap BECAUSE we were going to be filmed and possibly be in the audience when the show was aired. WHAAAAAT????
So I got to see the final episode, find out who Jake chose a week before it was aired and find out who the next Bachelorette would be (yea Ali!!!) - yes it was truly difficult not to say anything but dying to share the experience of going to the taping of the After The Final Rose but I don't have $5M so I kept quiet about who was selected.
During the week before the final episode and After The Final Rose aired, commercials advertising it started to air. One of my friends happen to see this clip of a commercial.

My friend Jen who is sitting on my right (your left) and I were sitting in the optimal or non-optimal location and ended up on camera alot The camera actually caught us tearing up a bit during the final episode. Luckily that ended up on the cutting room flow and not on national television. Check out the episode at the link below.

Such a fun experience to be a part of. Got to talk to Chris Harrison and Jake and Tenley is just as sweet as she was on camera. I will say that after watching After The Final Rose, I do like Vienna and and can see the chemistry (not just physical) with Jake and Vienna and as cheesy as it was really liked them getting serenaded by Jeffrey Osborne singing On The Wings Of Love.

Wrapped up February with Open The Bottle Night at the Harts. This year I brought a chardonnay from my Auntie Jann's vineyard in the backyard of my grandfather's house in the Oakland Skyline Hills.

So fun to hear all the stories behind each bottle that every person brought.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Zooming through January

Yes we're zooming through January, partly because it was two months ago and also because although I did alot of stuff, I haven't been so good with capturing it in pictures so here goes...

After Sam and Sarah left, I settled back into "single" life. It's a hard transition on one hand because I miss them dearly and the things that they bring to my life and what they bring out in me when they are here and its an easy transition because God has blessed me with great friends and endless amounts of things to do.

Bunch of the Outlet'ers attended the opening night of a mainstream film, To Save A Life, produced by one of my friend's brothers.

Also went to the soft opening of Izaka-ya, part of the chain of high end asian fusion sushi restaurants Katsu-ya, in Manhattan Beach. Pretty random story...One of my friends was trying to make a reservation for Katsu and 411 connected her to Katsu-ya and through the course of the mistaken connection got an invite to the soft opening. Other than heaven there is nothing better than free sushi, appetizers (if you've never had the creamy rock shrimp from this place you've got to try it) and japanese beer (yes a bit of an exaggeration because I'm sure there are many other things that also come close but seriously that is how I was feeling after that evening). Our picture was taken for the Easy Reader but haven't seen the magazine to see if we were in it.
And now onto February...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Three...Two...One...Happy New Year!!!

Yep its only taken 3 months to finally get to the New Year's Post and the only thing that is driving me is all the stuff I want to post about the last couple of weeks.

Anyways left Sam and Sarah with friends (with reliable parents) and headed to my friend, Tim's family cabin in Tahoe to ring in the New Year. I really haven't been to Tahoe since I was 10 years old and first learned to ski. Its worth noting that it was also the last time I was on skis. The whole make a pizza with my skis really wasn't fun and boarding is soooo much better (as are the clothes).

Anyways 15 of us invaded the cabin for a few days of relaxation, hitting the slopes and a food feeding frenzy.

Beautiful shot as we headed up the mountain.

The snowplow that almost ran us off the road.

The food feeding frenzy that ensued - breakfast burritos, Nickki's famous caramel french toast, ebelskivers filled with jam or nutella, calzones, salad, tri-tip and the backyard beverage frig.

First day we boarded at Donner and the second at NorthStar. Few fun shots on our first day.

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Gosh Its Going To Be Christmas Again

Yes its almost March and the main reason I'm finally getting to December Part 2 is because I have alot to blog about from this past weekend. So let's get back to Christmas.

Sam and Sarah spent Christmas in the US and joined me in Stockton with my mom and dad and then with my mom's extended family. We drove up a few days before and just hung out with my parents, saw a movie, and did a bit of shopping. Sam, Sarah and I attended my dad's church for Christmas Eve's services.

It was exciting to have Sam and Sarah join me for my Christmas Day family traditions.

My parents and I got them a few gifts but here they are each wearing one of their gifts from me. Sarah saw this outfit on the Free People website 4 months ago and Sam had been looking for a leather jacket since summer. Yeah I know I'm super short...

My mom and I with my new box of gift cards for 2010.

After Christmas at my parents, Sam, Sarah and I headed down to visit with my cousins and grandfather and then onto my Aunt's house (used to be my grandfather's and where most of my aunts and uncles grew up) in the Skyline Hills of Oakland.

Here I am with my cousin, Sara and my favorite gift. For her birthday she got a camera so at Thanksgiving, I taught her how to do "selfies". For Christmas she made me this cute gift with the pictures that we had taken. So cute, huh?

At Christmas, my Uncle David is in charge of decorating the house and he's so creative (remember the pics from last year with the movie theater and the picture trees). Well my Auntie Jann has a vineyard in the backyard which she has named Leona Ridge Winery so here's the adult table. Not sure if you can see it but that wreath is made up of lots and lots of cookie cutters.

My Uncle David and his partner, Larry, baked thirteen different desserts and we got to fill a plastic bin full of the sweets.

And the kids table where all the grandkids sit. After we eat, there is always a game for us where we win stuff or money as our Christmas gift. Not sure if you can see it in the picture but there are cupcakes. We each had to lick off the frosting and find a letter buried in the frosting. The person with the first letter of the alphabet got to go first, then the next letter and the next and the next. Now to the game...

A mini claw machine...in each fo the containers there was money rolled up ranging from $7 to $50.

My Auntie Jann also always has a game for the adult kids (essentially teen and up so Sam and Sarah got to participate). The game was in those white envelopes above the stockings. So for that game it was Mission Impossible-ish. In each of the envelopes was pictures of "our team" and a SD card that we put into a computer and watched a video that gave us a riddle/clues on where we would find our present ($). All of the presents were hidden in some part of the house in a box or "secret" container. One of my cousin's was in a fake soda can in the frig. Mine was actually behind the stockings on the bookshelf in a fake book that had a compartment in it.
Oh yeah check out all those stockings. Sam and Sarah got stockings too. So fun they are considered part of my extended family.

Fong Family Christmas picture - we're only missing one of my uncles and his family who live in Texas.

Our Christmas usually goes until after midnight but its so fun and good to see everyone and its really all I've ever known.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

December Part 1

December was a crazy but fun filled month so I'm splitting it into two posts.

I love giving gifts (yes, its my top giving and receiving love language - although to me gifts come in many forms). One of my favorite "gifts" at Christmas is spending time with a friend doing something. Every year (I think we've been doing it the last 3 or 4) my friend, Shannon, and I pick something to do as our Christmas gift to each other. This year we were able to find $20 tickets on Goldstar (http://www.goldstar.com/home) to How the Grinch Stole Christmas Musical at the Pantages. So we checked out a new Italian restaurant near the theater and then headed to the show.

If you've never checked out Goldstar, you definitely should. As I mentioned, we got $20 tickets in the second level but were upgraded to Orchestra and were seated fifteen rows from the FRONT!!!! The musical was so whimsical and cute. It's my mom's favorite Christmas cartoon so it brought back alot of fun memories of when I was a kid and my mom and I would watch it.

The next morning I headed to Portland for a few days to visit Gail (best friend from high school) and have a girls weekend with Ellie and celebrate Allison's birthday. I unfortunately didn't get any pics of Gail and I but we had a great day just having some girl time and hanging out which she doesn't get to do much of with 3 kids. Did a little catching up, exploring, shopping and lunch. Then connected up with Ellie for some dinner and then picked up Nickki and Allison from the airport later that night.

The next 3 days were a whirlwind of activity. First we went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Let me just say right now - in case you didn't know - I LOVE CHEESE - creamy cheeses like St Andre, drunken goat cheese, swiss, cheddar, jalapeno jack, parmesian, mixtures of cheese (mexican cheese blend, italian cheese blend), smoked, feta, and especially nacho cheese so needless to say I was really excited to visit a cheese factory.

Random displays like this. Do you remember the one that we had at Ellie's going away party with the Princess and the Armoured guy.

The production process...

The best part - tasting the cheese. I tried the Squeaky Cheese but it really didn't squeak. I was a bit disappointed.

We took the coastal route back. The weather over the weekend (except Sunday) was beautiful. Cold and sunny - my favorite.

Saturday (Allison's birthday) we went to Mother's for breakfast. Super cute place (kind of decorated like Anthropologie) and an amazing menu. A definite place to go if you're ever visiting.

For years Ellie has been talking about Dragon Tree - holistic spa that specializes in foot baths and massages. So that was the next stop for the day.

This lady was the best neck/shoulder and foot massager in the world. She did this funny thing where she was slapping my feet which was kind of odd but oh well. So sad I live so far away from Dragon Tree.

Nickki and Allison relaxing.

Dinner at Portland City Grill. Beautiful night time view of all of Portland. We were planning to watch a boat parade but realized that the boats weren't going to be floating by. What did these four girls do with that info and an iphone. Decide to go to the boats of course!!! Did I mention that we had to go to Washington state.

A little goofing around...

while Allison became the photographer for a family reunion. It actually was really cool because the whole family hadn't gotten together in many years so they got a fun family photo in front of the Christmas tree in the lobby of the building. She's looking pretty professional.

After the photo taking, we continued on our adventure to find the boat parade. So we headed over some river and into Washington state. 30 minutes later and a trek down the dock we found the boats (just as they were pulling back into their docking area). No we're not really far away, they were just really little boats. Luckily this was my first boat parade so I didn't have anything to compare it to and it was of course a fun adventure.

Ellie and I being silly at Powell's books. This is the largest and best new and used bookstore I've ever been too. I was a bit overwhelmed and got lost a few times. I did buy a few books, just a few...

Sunday morning before we flew out we decided to go on a hike at Multnomah Falls. It doesn't look like it from the picture but its about 25 degrees and looks like its ready to rain.

It was super slippery...

Such a fun girls weekend and it was so good to spend time with Ellie. I think we all fell in love with Portland.