Baby Shower in the Bay Area

I am so lucky to have caring and loving friends and family all around me. During my pregnancy, I had, not one, but THREE baby showers; one in the Bay Area, one back in my hometown, and another at work. I can hardly believe it myself.

I was showered with love and support time and time again, and my mini is extremely lucky to have people with such big hearts all around her.

Pink-Balloon

Incase you couldn’t tell from my blog, I’m a planner. I love lists. I love invites. I love precision. BUT I don’t love surprises and bothering people with assignments. I’m learning that doing everything yourself also comes with pressure and over-responsibility.

I had embarked on executing my own baby shower. I had set the date, the invite list, and booked a spot in a park, but then my sweetest and best girlfriends (plus my sister) decided to take over from there. I let them because whoa, being pregnant is tiring! You’re constantly wanting to sleep. And I’m so glad I gave it up, because they planned the sweetest and most beautiful shower a girl could ask for.

The weather wasn’t the best; it had been raining all week prior, but thankfully the rain let up just for the few hours we were outdoors. It was a chilly day but a very memorable one.

On Our Way

On Our Way

Lemonade, Tea, & Cucumber Water

Lemonade, Tea, & Cucumber Water

Take Home Gifts

Take Home Gifts

Did you know, you can hire people to grill for you at events? That’s what we did! We decided to do this because it would give the hosts a chance to hang out with people and chat. Have you ever thrown a party where you felt like there was no chance to just relax and enjoy? Hiring someone to grill was exactly the answer to that!

The grill master

The grill master

BBQ

BBQ

Candied Bacon and a Bacon bundt cake

Candied Bacon and a Bacon bundt cake

Baby Shower in the Bay Area

All the gifts!

All the gifts!

Isn’t that crazy? Look at all those gifts! I think that amount beat my own wedding! Oh yeah, and we also celebrated Ming-Gih’s birthday! He wasn’t forgotten, I promise!

Mg's birthday present

Mg’s birthday present

Thank you so much to Holly, Jessica, and Katie for this amazing day. I could relive that day and over and over again! One day, I’ll show my mini these pictures so she can see how much she was loved before even entering into this world.

xoxo,
Jay

  

The Best Christmas Yet!

MG and I are leaving for Texas this week! I can’t wait to visit my family and friends back home. I miss them dearly. I better get to doing laundry and packin!

Sadly, no super sadly, I’m not bringing my Chubaloo home with me. There’s too much traveling to bring him along. I’m torn… already. And I haven’t even left this guy yet.

On a happy note though, since we’re leaving so soon, we celebrated Christmas with friends early this year. Lots of dinner gatherings, drinks a-flowin, and gift unwrapping!

Get this – best present yet. Actually, I don’t know if anyone can top this.

KitchenAid

I finally got a KitchenAid mixer!!!!

I’ve been eyeing this for so long, but for some reason MG and I didn’t put it on our wedding registry, and we haven’t mustered up the courage to get one. I have no idea why… But finally! My sweetest of sweet and dearly beloved friends got this for me for Christmas.

This has got to be the nicest gift I’ve ever gotten from a friend. Thank you so much for an incredible gift. I wholeheartedly love it and cannot show you enough appreciation.

Now, friends, what should I make with this? Give me some ideas!

What did you do this weekend?
Jay

  

Fast Food Buffet

Okay, before you start to read this post… no judgement! Thanks.

It’s been a slow weekend. No real plans, just relaxation. We had brunch on Saturday morning in the city, and it was lovely. MG and I took a stroll around the city from SoMA to Union Square, had a cup of hot chocolate at Ghirardelli, and then BARTed home for nap. Then our friends came over, and we had dinner together.

I live in a city that has the most fast food in the Bay Area! I can literally walk to McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and El Pollo Loco. In other words, I live in an area where you must practice self control everyday. MG and I have been trying to live healthier lifestyles, but Saturday was a splurge day (of my life).

Again, no judgement.

We had a fast food buffet!!! First we hit up Sonic for cream slushies. On the drive back home, we saw a Taco Bell/KFC combo and had to stop there. Our friend wanted Doritos Locos Tacos and Cinnabon Delights (fried dough balls with melted icing inside, in other words “crack balls”), and I just simply wanted a chicken tender from KFC. Don’t you have those days where you just need fried chicken? I thought that would be it.

But we also drove by La Vic’s, and Holly said she’d never had it. If you live in the East Bay or South Bay, that is blasphemy. Obviously, it was of upmost importance to get her a taste of glorious quesadillas paired with spectacular orange sauce. Then, I decided that I had to have burger and fries on this joy ride, because what’s a fast food buffet without McDonald’s?

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Wendy’s is across from McDonald’s, and they have pretzel burgers?!? How could we forget that! We made a stop there for the Baconator and the Pretzel Burger. Let me put this all together for you again… Sonic, Taco Bell/KFC, La Victoria, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s. Still no judgement, right?

So we ended up with this:

bountyHey, remember what I said in my very first sentence?

Look how happy we started:

Ming
My BT (thanks for this nickname, Brian)

Luu'sA few of my favorite fatty friends <3

MeLa Vic’s! At this point, why be a well-mannered girly, girl?

This is the damage:

Done!There’s still food left over… 

I am going to admit that maybe, possibly, perhaps we went overboard, and our greed got the best of us. Just kinda… But man was this magnificent! I think I’m over fast food… and will be over it for at least 6 months.

After the meal, this happened:

Death

No, not a heart attack. Just intense food coma.

I promise that we ate better on Sunday – spinach salads with roasted chicken. Here you go heart and arteries, a meal just for you!

What’s your favorite fast food place? Is there something you crave at least once a month? Are we crazy or have you done something like this before? If so, tell me the details!

Love,
This fatty, Jay

  

From Roots to Fruits

Personal Devos

From Friday evening up until Sunday afternoon, I was at my church’s annual retreat (I attend Living Stones Christian Church). This year the theme was “From Roots to Fruits,” and it was primarily about Evangelism. The last few retreats that I’ve been to weren’t that memorable for me. The retreat sites were nice, but other than that I didn’t get much more out of it. I prepared my heart and my mind the week leading up to this year’s retreat, trying to be positive and focus on the subject of evangelism. And I truly believe that your mindset has everything to do with how much you learn because this year, the messages resonated with me.

My key takeaway was how I could share my own personal good news to people around me. Maybe you’re wondering, “what does that mean?”

It means that I’ve truly come to accept Jesus as my Savior. I know this is true because when I struggle with life’s challenges and I put pressure on myself to perform my best, it becomes unbearable and too much for me to manage. I could never climb out of this pit that I put myself in. The day I asked God to take rein of my life was the day where my burdens were lifted, and I no longer had to climb a neverending ladder myself. I have someone who loves me so much that I could rely on Him to watch over me and guide me down life’s journey.

Worship

Do you have times where you feel like life is too hard? What is your savior in moments of vulnerability?

It’s a heavy thought, one that requires you to really look into your past. But I encourage you to dig deep to find answers because it truly has some implications on what you define as the meaning to life.

Here are some pictures from this retreat at Camp Koinonia.

KoinoniaCampground view – surrounded by beautiful redwoods. No phone reception & limited wifi means a perfect weekend.

Practice
Worship practice

Girls NightAnnual spa night with the girls – face masks and nail painting sessions, not to mention unfiltered conversations! Next time I need to bring a tip jar for all the nails I painted (10+ girls!). Heh!

Sliding
Sliding down the huge slide with a burlap bag. I bruised my butt, ouch!

R2F 2013
These weirdos… (xoxo)

Love!I love my KP and creepy Leo

Hot Pants
Hot pants reunion!

Union City Small GroupSome of the members of my small group. I love these people.

What did you do this weekend?
Jay

  

Narnia, Pizza, and Dinner at Dave’s

It was a fun and relaxing weekend with friends, one of the best kind of weekends!

Friday night:  I went to a Narnia musical hosted by Neighborhood Church in Castro Valley. For $6 I didn’t expect it to be anything extraordinary. I was WRONG! It was fabulous! Think Broadway – gorgeous sets, beautiful singing, lots of people in the audience. I never noticed the parallels of Christianity in the story before (probably because I was not Christian when I read the book/saw the movie). While watching this musical this time around, it hit me… I’m Edmund, a traitor and one who wants earthly riches. It gave Aslan a whole new meaning to me, one who would sacrifice himself for the sake saving me.

Here’s a picture of Eileen and me excited for the show!
Narnia

Saturday:  I hosted a “Make Your Own Pizza” luncheon with my good friend’s crazy boys! I hadn’t seen them in a while so I thought it would be fun to see them and make pizzas!

Look at these little cuties!
Pizza Party!
One kid put 5 layers of meat on! The other wanted only crust. Kids… don’t understand them! You may be wondering if I’m thinking about having one now… NOPE! You gotta wait! For now, I’ll play with them ^^^!

Sunday:  After church, MG and I went to Dave’s house for dinner. Lots of food and good conversations.

Look at Aaron and all these ribs!Aaron and ribs!

Lastly, Chubs got a sweet gift from Holly! He LOVES this thing! He’s totally posing in the second picture, so GQ right?
Chubs' Fish

What did you do this past weekend?

———
Check at Neighborhood Church here

  

Weekend Picnic

My college roommate Sarah is in town! What better way to remember our college days than to go drink, obviously grown up style now…

I threw a picnic party with some close friends. We spent the afternoon at Concannon Vineyard, picnicking on the lawn. Lots of food, lots of drinks, and more importantly lots of great conversation and laughs.

The wine tasting room charges a $10 fee to taste the reserve selection. I was not going to taste since I already went the weekend before, however, after sweet talking an older employee, I somehow ended up with a glass and a full flight! Free for me (and does that mean I can still charm older men?)!

I ended up buying the Cabernet Sauvignon (highly recommended), so in the end I guess he won and I spent some $$$!

Here are a few fun pictures of the venue, the food, and the gang. I love these guys!

Picnic FoodIn our tummies:  ham and turkey sweet rolls, pigs in a blanket, chocolate chip brownies, cheeses, and caprese sticks.

We also had strawberries, cherries, watermelon, chips & salsa, guacamole, and Reese’s Pieces cookies (not pictured but definitely in our stomachs).

What are your favorite foods to bring on a picnic?

FriendsMe and my Sarhair

Picnic 2

Picnic Gang

What did you do this past weekend?  And do you have any recommendations for picnic spots in the Bay Area?

Love, Jay

—–
venue: www.concannonvineyard.com
photography: myself and www.estop22.com

  

My sweet friend, Jeremiah

I met Jeremiah through a really good friend of mine!  Initially when I first quit my job, we were going to take up blogging together. I told him my plans. He told me his. Then he bought a cup to kick start my ideas.

After a few months of mulling over ideas for content, I gave up… I didn’t want to think about it anymore, and day after day, I laid in bed until noon because I was somewhat in a depression mode – didn’t feel like I was useful.

Then I thought about the cup I had gotten from Jeremiah. It gave me hope, and I didn’t want it to go to waste. So I picked up blogging again, laid out the content I would write for the month of August, and now I’m writing.

Jeremiah, thanks for the encouragement to keep going.

There are days when you just need a small pick me up, and a good friend can do just that!

Thanks Jeremiah!

The cup is from Jay Mart (a perfect cup for my blog!). And it has a kitty!