Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Myspace Comments

I'm kind of glad to see 2008 end. It was one roller coaster ride. I'm hoping that 2009 is a little more calm and filled with happier things.
Tonight we are headed over to our friend's house for some celebrating and food. I talk alot about food on here but never about drinks. I do love a good drink and many of you will imbibe some tonight. But what will you consume? Here a few recipes to wet your whistle.
Even though Christmas is over the Merry Christmas sounds delicious. Or how about a Christmas Cosmopolitan? Frozen margaritas are always popular at our parties. This is a similar recipe to what our friend, Michelle, makes. Or her husband, Greg, has started making these Washington Apple Martinis recently. I'm not sure if he use Crown Royale though. I do like some of these concoctions but I'm pretty happy with a glass of Bushmills.
Whatever your plan is, please stay safe. Have a plan on how to get home safely. I definitely want to see all of you in 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yummy Soup at the Little Hot Pot

Last week, Jeff, Cherie, Tai and I tried the Little Hot Pot. It recently opened near our house and we've been wanting to try it. I've never had hot pot before and Tai and Jeff are pros at this. We choose the half and half with mild broth. Mild! Ha. It was pretty spicy. I couldn't hang so I stuck with the regular broth. We ordered a ton of food:Beef, lamb, tofu, baby corn, bok choy, mushrooms, seaweed, scallops, oysters, bamboo, and noodles. We laughed we they brought it all out. It was so much food. But it was so good. I love how you can customize the soup. We would add some meat and veggies, eat and then add more. It was great fun to discuss what to mix next with everyone. The boys kept the spicy side for them so they added whatever they wanted there. I definately think we'll be back.

Monday, December 29, 2008

How Sweet It Is!

We are a house of many sweetners. This one is too sweet, this one isn't sweet enough, this one is too chemically. Before I met Tai I used sugar, almost exclusively.
I know like the baker's sugar cause it blends and melts better but not the best to use in a scrub. Tai doesn't like sugar cause of all the calories. We drink several cups of iced tea and coffee a day here so that does add up.
So he brought:
My mom had used this stuff when I was kid. I don't like the way it tastes. Too chemically for me. So I bought:
I like that it doesn't have a chemical taste (to me) and it sweetens things perfectly for me.
But we are just ingesting more chemicals when there are purer alternatives out there. So we also have:
Excuse the almost empty bear. Time for a new one. I do like honey but it's messy and difficult to add the right quantity. It tends to work better in hot beverages than cold and adds a yummy taste to hot tea, not coffee. So we bought:
Again excuse the almost empty bottle here. Some friends of mine had recommended this for us and my dad (since he's a diabetic). I really like it but the cons are similar to honey. I do like it for cooking. It does blend a little better in cold liquids so I use it in my iced tea sometimes.
But then I found this on a recent grocery trip:But I was disappointed. Not sweet enough. I had to add 4 packets to my iced tea to make it sweet enough for me. I didn't like that. Tai didn't like it at all. So I'll have to think of creative ways to use up what I have. Perhaps this simple syrup might work best.
So what about you? Do you have a favorite sweetner? Is sugar your standby or honey? Can you recommend something for our sweet teeth?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Myspace Christmas Graphics

Warning: I seem to a be a gloomy gus about the holidays this year. Sorry! Feel free to ignore me!

Unless the weather breaks we'll be spending Christmas at home. We usually go to our friend's house for Christmas but if the weather stays bad we'll be at home, eating pizza:) It's a sad Christmas because we didn't buy any gifts. We were supposed to go last weekend but nope the weather was terrible. We'll be hitting the after Christmas sales to buy our gifts to each other. It's ok since we'll be together, celebrating our first married Christmas.
But I hope you all have wonderful holidays. I'm going to take a long weekend off from blogging perhaps I'll have some fun things to talk about next week.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snowy Days

It's been snowing here for days. It doesn't normally snow that much here which is why I like it. Work's been canceled for the past few days so free holiday but I can't leave the house! I'm not one of those drive in the snow people and I don't have chains on my car. I saw today that our neighborhood is pretty snowy and icy but the streets below are pretty clear so if I had to drive I would just have to navigate our neighborhood.
But I did venture out yesterday and took some lovely pictures of the beautiful snow.This is the corner by our apartment. So is this. I just love how winter wonderland it looks there.
The guys from the Indian buffet near our house were hard at work on this snowman. They graciously let me snap a picture!
On my walk I wound up under these trees and caught this picture. Tai didn't think it looked real.
So we'll be stuck at home for the next few days. The weather doesn't seem to be warming up so we'll be here, where it's warm and safe!

Monday, December 22, 2008

41 before 40

I've seen a few of you doing these lists so I thought I would jump on the bandwagon. A few of these are going to take years so I gave myself just over 7 years to complete this list.

1. Get a passport
2. See the Grand Canyon
3. Visit the town my maternal grandmother was born in
4. Take Tai to my alma mater
5. Visit the Louvre
6. Drive across the country
7. Partake in a Japanese Tea Ceremony (preferably with my mother in law or in Japan)
8. Visit Ireland
9. Go on a cruise
10. See the Northern Lights
11. Go on a safari in the Serengeti
12. Go to MoMa
13. Eat sushi in Japan
14. Go to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame
15. Go to DisneyWorld
16. Go to Australia
17. Attend Mardi Gras in New Orleans
18. Walk along the Great Wall of China
19. Stay in a luxury suite in Vegas
20. Go to Hawaii
21. Complete the 1001 books list
22. Get my Master's
23. Bake and decorate a cake
24. Learn how to swing dance-really swing dance
25. Buy a house
26. Get out of debt
27. Ride a Harley
28. Get a tattoo!
29. Make a will
30. Maintain contact with my brother
31. Plan a kick ass 40th birthday for Tai
32. Learn to sew
33. Get my own web domain
34. Host a dinner party
35. Meet my father in law and Tai's brothers and sisters
36. Drive a convertible
37. Win big in Vegas
38. Finish embroidering the pillow I started 8 years ago
39. Bowl a perfect game irl not on the Wii
40. Learn enough HTML to customize my blog
41. Ride a mechanical bull

Damn that was daunting! It was difficult to complete the whole list. I don't think it's something you should do in one sitting like I did. Tai thinks some of those are a stretch but still possible. All of these are things I've never done before but have wanted to do. I think it will be fun to work on completing these. I'll of course give my progress periodical.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


drinkingI bought this tea a while ago and made the best iced tea ever. All I used was this tea. It's so flavorful. I adore it. I have trouble finding it so I buy a box or two every time I see it!

readingI don't remember where I read a recommendation for this book but I put it on my to be read list. It's a great book. I highly recommend it for those who like chick lit but want something a little more thought provoking (just a little).


Tai got me to use Grooveshark. I still like Pandora better but it works well to build these widgets. So here are a few of my favorite holiday songs!

Friday, December 19, 2008

All About Tai

Here’s a husband meme I found on Tiffany’s blog. But I checked my answers with Tai. His are in bold.
1. He’s sitting in front of the TV: what is on the screen? MMA fighting(UFC) Correct

2. You’re out to eat. What kind of dressing does he get on his salad? Blue Cheese Correct

3. What is one food he doesn’t like? He doesn’t like beans or potatoes too much. He says "Fake Cheese. I'm starting to like beans and I like french fries so I like potatoes."

4. You go out to the bar. What does he order? A Daiquiri He says "Rum & Coke. But a strawberry margarita is always good."

5. Where did he go to high school? In North Hollywood Correct

6. What size shoe does he wear? 7.5 or 8.Correct
7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be? Hmm, he doesn’t really collect anything. But I would think those little flying planes would be cool. He says "Comic books". Duh, I say!

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich? Roast beef on pita with hummus "Italian Sub" So far off!

9. What would the Husband eat every day if he could? Sushi Correct

10. What is his favorite cereal? Corn Pops or Fruity Pebbles He says "Peanut Butter Captain Crunch"

11. What would he never wear? He doesn’t like collared shirts "Never wear? Your clothes."

12. What is his favorite sports team? He roots for the Seattle teams but I wouldn’t call them his favorites. He doesn't have a favorite team. He hardly watches sports. "Dodgers or Lakers"

13. Who is his best friend? Brian (and Jeff and Jamie and Carlo) Correct

14. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn’t do? Doubt myself, slouch, be stubborn Correct

15. How many states has he lived in? 2-Washington & California Correct

16. What is his heritage? Half Japanese, Half Caucasian Correct

17. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what kind? Chocolate Correct

18. Did he play sports in high school? He swam and wrestled. Correct

19. What could he spend hours doing? Gaming! Correct
He says that I know him pretty well. I did a good job!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Do More With Stuff You Already Have

I'm a big fan of using things I have in the house for more than their original purpose. I thought I'd share some of things I use and find some ideas I didn't know about.

Salt-As you know, I'm a huge fan of salt. I use sea salt to scrub my cast iron pans clean. I mix enough salt to cover the bottom of the pan and dishwashing liquid and scub with a towel. Works really well on getting stuck on food off. But did you know you can kill poison ivy with it? Or clean your bathroom with it?

Sugar-I don't buy expensive bath scrubs. I take a handful of sugar and mix it with my body wash. It works just as well as the stuff over the counter. I can even use it on my face (mixed with cetaphil instead of body wash). Did you know you can start a fire with sugar?

Coffee filters-I often use these as serving bowls for popcorn and Tai uses them to clean his glasses. But what about using them to absorb odors?

Listerine-We have half a bottle of this stuff cause I can't stand it. It burns and makes my eyes water. I prefer Act. But now I can use it as deodorant?

Ziploc bags-I love Ziploc or Glad bags, all the same to me. My friend Jen taught me to make cookies in them. She adds all the ingredients and then mixes it in the bag. The resulting dough can be shaped into a log for easy cutting. She's so smart. But how about using them to make sure your packages arrive intact?

So what about you? What are those everyday items that you use for their non-intended purpose?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I Puffy Heart Free Stuff

Last month Erin mentioned President Brie Log. I'd never seen it before so I commented that I would like to try it. So last week, someone in their PR department contacted me about send me a brie log for free. I love free stuff so I said sign me up.
Here's what arrived:
I was really surprised to find this bag full of goodies!

Aside from the cheese:
There was this Mango Chutney.And Carr's Crackers to go with it all!
I'm quite pleased with the brie log. It's just like the regular brie but in a more convenient shape. I have not tried the chutney, so I will report back when I do.
As you can see, I don't accept advertising on my blog. I think of you guys as my friends so I wouldn't accept money to tell you how much I like something. Now, if I get more free goodies, I'll definitely let you guys know and let you know how I liked them.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Beef Stroganoff Again!

After I made beef stroganoff the other week, Cindy emailed me about her mom's beef stroganoff. She offered me the recipe so I made it again using Cindy's recipe. So here with her permission (of course) is her mom's recipe:

Beef Stroganoff

2 lbs. ground beef (more or less)
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
1 can chicken broth
salt & pepper (to taste)
garlic powder (to taste)
2 bay leaves
Tabasco sauce (1-2 dashes)
1 bag medium egg noodles
16 oz. sour cream (reduced fat if you want, I prefer the real stuff)
1. Brown and drain the beef. Put back in the pot over medium-low heat.
2. Add the onion, celery, chicken broth, and seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic, bay leaf, tobasco). (side note: I'm not sure why my mom uses chicken broth, I'm sure beef would probably be fine, I think it's just a flavor preference.)
3. Let all that stuff simmer until the onion and celery are cooked way down and soft - like until the onion is basically clear. Maybe 20-30 minutes? Something like that.
4. In a separate pot, cook your egg noodles. (That's the trickiest part for me, timing it so the egg noodles and meat are both done at the same time!)
5. Add your sour cream to your meat mixture, then stir until it's heated evenly. (Make sure it doesn't boil.)
6. Serve up your egg noodles with the meat and sauce on top. Pluck out those bay leaves before serving!

Here's what it looked like for me:
Cindy thinks her mom got this out a magazine so if it looks familiar to you, that's why. Tai and I liked it. I would cut back on the chicken broth because it was slightly too runny for me. And I added mushrooms cause Tai loves them. But a great weeknight meal. Thanks, Cindy!

Monday, December 15, 2008


Rachel tagged me last week to share some details about myself.

First of all, here are the deets:
1. Link to the person that tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

So here are 6 random facts about me:

1. I have always thought of myself as a writer. When I was little I used to make up stories. In high school I write fan faction (despite not knowing that's what it was called). I always wanted to write as my career, but never have. I start writing some-a story-but always get hung up about half way through. I've taken some writing classes but never finished anything since high school.
2. I'm scared of clowns. I blame "Send in The Clowns" for making me not like them and Poltergeist for making me afraid of them. It's called coulrophobia.
3. I have never left North America. This is something I've long wanted to remedy. I've never had a passport, but I'm going to get one in 2009. Tai has never left this continent either. We're both eager to go somewhere.
4. Every so often, I can't eat meat, so I go vegetarian for a while. I can't explain it. Meat just won't taste good so I stop eating it. Tai likes tofu so he doesn't mind. I can't stay permanently vegetarian though. I've tried it. It just doesn't work for me.
5. I've ridden an elephant. I was talking about this to Tai and his former boss so it's fresh in my mind. When I was little, they brought an elephant to a nearby mall. Mom took me and I sat on the elephant while she took a few steps. Probably totally horrifying now-something akin to animal abuse. But no one thought anything of it then.
6. I've seen over 100 hundred concerts so far. My parents took me to my first concert-the Beach Boys. The latest one I saw was Foo Fighters a few days before the wedding. None planned for 2009 yet. It's getting hard for me to pick since I've seen so many. I'd still like to see Metallica though.

So, I tag:

Friday, December 12, 2008

Stress Reliever

It's the holiday season and this year they are more stressful than usual. I'm always trying to do more in less time during the holidays. Then there's the matter of the crappy economy. And last week Tai got laid off. We really needed that. Such a lovely holiday gift!
So I've been doing my stress relieving activity more than normal. And yes I can share this one with you! I turn on my favorite songs and dance around the living room.I dance like no one is watching because no one is watching. Tai's usually at the gym when I do this. I crank my favorites and dance my pants off.
My current favorites are:

I can recommend both of these for stress relieving dancing. It's fun to be silly. It certainly helps me!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gift Ideas Under $30

Every year we have a gift exchange with some of our friends. It's like a white elephant, but most of the gifts are gifts you'd want. We have to start looking for what we are going to give this year. I'd like to keep it with a ecological twist. I plan to use recyclable bags as the wrapping. I know these Sigg bottles are the rage. So this is a maybe. I like this design. Very cool.Or how about this statuette. She's hand carved by teens in Hanoi to keep them off the streets. I like her cool meditative pose.
Or how about an LED flashlight? At work we keep talking about emergency preparedness. It's always good to have a couple of flashlights around in case of a power outage.
Or a sushi kit? We have a couple of people who have multiple food allergies. It makes it difficult for them to get out to restaurants where they can eat safely.
Whatever we wind up getting we're going to make sure we get something we want too. Just in case ;)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Plus size wedding dresses

As we learned the other day, brides still find my blog. I'm not really in wedding mode anymore. Honestly I'm so glad mine is all over. But wedding things still catch my eye. Like this wedding dress designer for plus sized girls.
Photos found here. Definitely very flattering. Especially the top left one. And I don't like sleeves on dresses. I wish I would have seen this when I planning my wedding. It's nice to have another option.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Carne Asada and Homemade Tortillas

I bought this gorgeous piece of strip steak the other day to make fajitas but changed my mind and made carne asada instead. I marinated it when I got home for work but life intervened and I didn't cook the steak til the next day. Fail, I know! But the meat was super soft and not mushy at all. I would not recommended it but it didn't ruin my meal.
And what are those pathetic discs on the side? Homemade tortillas I whipped up almost as an afterthought. We buy tortillas but sometimes we don't use them before they go bad. I found this super simple tortilla recipe and gave it a try. Tai was a litte skeptical, but deemed them ok. I will definately try to make them again.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Does it seem like we were at 100 posts just a few weeks ago? And now we're here at 300! I just blew through 200 posts like that. In 10 short months. I'm shocked.
So let me thank those who direct people to my little site:
Cindy, Sabrina, Jenna, Daisy's Favorite Things, the ladies at Elizabeth Anne Designs, GlamourThis, Rachel, A Bride In the Making, Manolo For The Brides, Tara, Jennifer, Darci, Tiffany, Tina, Dream Weddings On A Budget, Erica, FatFree Vegan, Don't Be That Bride, Laura, Confessions of A Foodie Bride, Weddingbee, Jessy, Jules, and Erin.

Top 10 Searches to find me were:
Fall weddings
Hydrangea bouquet(s)
Jimmy Choos
Barn Wedding
Celebrity Weddings
Pinks Wedding Dress
Fall Centerpieces
Must Take Wedding Photos
Brown Bridesmaids
Pretty shoes

My favorites though are:
"dance grade 8 shuffle"-was someone looking for ideas on how?
"brown match red bridesmaid gown"-huh? looking for brown to match a red bridesmaid gown?
"bangs poof one"-WTF?
"Preppy tattooed" -if you find this show me.
"is finesse shampoo gluten free"-Idk. I did a little, quick research and you can't absorb gluten through your skin so if you are a celiac I think shampoo is safe.
So here's to another 300 and beyond. Hope you stick around for the journey!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


As an early holiday gift Tai bought me this heated mattress pad. I tend to get cold and I like to have the heat on but Tai likes it to be a little cold at night. This mattress pad has dual controls so I can be warm and Tai can stay chilly.

I'm not a fan of white wine. I prefer red so I never white on hand when I'm making a dish. So I found these as a perfect solution. I don't have to waste an entire bottle on a 1/4 of cup.


We watched this last night. One of the best graphic novel movies I've ever seen. It felt like a comic book. We were able to rent in blu-ray since we now have a PS3. Such a gorgeous picture! I want to be Angelia Jolie. She's superbad ass in this movie.

wantingI saw these in the LL Bean catalog. I definitely think they'd come in handy during the icy season. Might help me not fall. Anyone have these?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Tastes Better Than It Looks

The other day, Tai asked me to make beef stroganoff. I've never made or had beef stroganoff before so I had to do some research and find a suitable recipe. So I found this pretty basic recipe and made this:
It's not a lot too look at. Kind of a giant white blob but it was yummy. Tai loves mushrooms so he definitely liked this dish. And yes I made it with real sour cream. Tai's been taking some acidophilus pills that have really helped his lactose intolerance. I made those yummy brussel sprouts again. They are a hit!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Book Meme

What was the last book you bought?

Devil and the White City

Name a book you have read MORE than once

Gone With the Wind, Scarlett, House of Mirth

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Read my review here.

How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews

I usually read books by author's that I've read before. Or if an author I like writes a foreword or recommends the book. I also love book recommendations from friends.

Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?

I usually read fiction but sometimes I pick up non-fiction.

What’s more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?

A gripping plot. I love a book I can't put down.

Most loved/memorable character (character/book)

Lilly Bart (House of Mirth)- such a tragic character. One reason I read the book over and over again.

Scarlett O'Hara (Gone With The Wind, Scarlett)-I loved her as a young girl. I wanted to move to Atlanta and become a debutante.

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?

Aesop's Fables

What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?

Breaking Dawn. I finished it last week.

Have you ever given up on a book half way in?

Yup. Sometimes it's just not going to work.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Yummy Ramen!

No, not this ramen.
This ramen.
Tai loves ramen. In LA there are ramen shops everywhere. Here not so much. The Uwajimaya near our house serves ramen. Not bad as good as Samurai Noodle but not too bad. But I wanted to learn to make ramen at home so we can have it when ever we want.
After a couple of failed attempts I decided that I would have to get some help. I found these at Uwajimaya:Here's Tai's:
Made with the miso. I added roasted pork (that I made the night before), a hard boiled egg, green onions and nori. This one is mine:
I made mine with tofu, a hard boiled egg, and green onion. The broth is right on. I will definitely be buying this again. The thing I love about ramen is that's very customizable.
Oh, this stuff is nothing like Top Ramen. It's so much better. The miso broth is like fish soup and the tonkotsu is a pork broth. As you can see it's not clearish like the top ramen. It's meaty like a meal. I do keep the Top Ramen on hand though. Tai likes to make soups and will use that as a base. I like the noodles so I use them in soups.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Challenge

I found this list of 1001 Books You Must Read and decided to tackle it. Before starting the list I've read 29 (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Life of Pi, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Robber Bride, Jazz, Beloved, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Song of Solomon, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, The Bluest Eye, In Cold Blood, Franny and Zooey, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye, The Little Prince, Gone With the Wind, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Hobbit, Billy Budd, The Age of Innocence, The House of Mirth, The Turn of the Screw, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Wuthering Heights, Frankenstein, Oliver Twist, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility) of them. And I've tried to read 7 (The Poisonwood Bible, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Love in the Time of Cholera, Cold Comfort Farm, The Great Gatsby, Women in Love, Sons and Lovers) of them so I'll have attempt again.
There are tons of books on the list I've always wanted to read but never got around to it. This list will definitely force to read them! I've put the first book on hold. I'm starting at the bottom with Aesop's Fables. I'll keep you informed on my progress.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Lately, I've been feeling like decorating (not just for the holidays) and cleaning our little home. Probably part of settling into being married and the weather. I've been slowly cleaning up the clutter and trying to get rid of the excess. What's left, I've been trying to make look nice.
I've had this painting for over year and I just put it up the other day. I was hemming and hawing about where to put it but I decided that the bedroom was fine. I can always move it later if need be. I have 2 other walls in the bedroom that need something too. I'll be keeping my eye out for something for over the bed and the wall opposite. I'm no good at finding things and I probably need Tai to help me. Unfortunately he doesn't have a lot interest in the little things. But I want things to look nice and homey.
We have a pile of boxes and other "homeless" crap that I'd love to get rid of so I can put another bookshelf up. But I'm slowly running out of room since there's only so much space and my intent is to declutter not clutter. I want to get some stuff put away so I can pull out the holiday decorations and not make it look worse!