Spontaneous Napa Trip

My weekend plan was to go running and get some R&R at home on Saturday. But then my weather app told me it would rain. The weather doesn’t permit for me to work out so it’s okay that I decided against it, right?

I woke up on Saturday at 11am on a cloudy day, and spontaneously screamed, “OMG let’s go to Napa!” With that I woke up MG, texted my roommate to get ready, made pancakes for breakfast, and we left for Napa Valley within 2 hours of waking up.

Are you one of those that can make last minute plans like this? I know some people don’t enjoy it, but I love it! It’s so exciting, an adventure ahead. I am so lucky to live in the Bay Area and simply get to Napa Valley by a 1.5 hour drive. Our Napa trips always consists of food in Yountville, 2 wineries, and a trip to Oxbow Market.

For this specific trip, MG and I took our roommate Jess and her boyfriend, Dan. (Maybe you’re wondering why I have a roommate. She needed a place to stay for a bit so we offered our downstairs to her. Simple story). Jess told me that she had never been to Napa before! Whenever you tell me “you’ve never ever…” I decide it’s my duty to take you to experience it (this applies very much so to food). Off to Napa we went!

First stop – Bouchon in Yountville. It’s a must if you love macrons!


Macrons, macrons, make me so happy!

Chai tea and coffee

Macrons, macrons, make her so happy!

Chocolate covered macron
Mind blown!!! Chocolate covered macron ^^^

With some food in our stomachs, we set out for some wine tasting! First we went to V. Sattui. The picnic area is fabulous! The oak trees give the winery a grandeur feeling, and it was so lovely on a cloudy day. Not to mention, this winery has a deli with some great eats. Afterwards, we went over to the Napa Cellars Tasting Room for another tasting and to purchase Ménage à Trois wine. Ménage à Trois has a great taste for the price, and their moscato is crisp without too much sweetness – yum.  This tasting room is fun because it has a grassy area where you can drink, listen to music coming from these garden rocks, and play ladder toss! The employees aren’t pushy, which makes for a nice, relaxing environment.


Barrel Room



And finally, Oxbow Public Market to snack and buy dinner!

I’m typically terrified of oysters (because of a bad experience one time. Ask me in person and if you’re lucky you’ll get all the details). But for some reason, when in Napa and at the Hog Island Oyster Bar

Hog Island

Kumamoto oysters are so sweet! I can definitely get into oysters again because of these little guys

MG usually dislikes oysters (that’s an understatement cause he hates them) but he truly enjoyed them!

GrilledGrilled oysters ^^^

MG and I discovered dry-aged bone-in rib eye at a place called Five Dot Ranch. We call these steaks, “marshmallow meat.” We buy 2 steaks at $22/lb, get some hickory salt at Whole Spice, and we call that dinner! 



^^^ Yup, made some sangria and drinking it now as I’m posting. My legendary steak recipe here

Charcuterie from Oxbow Cheese and Wine Merchant

A glorious meal indeed! Instead of working out and saving some money by staying at home on Saturday, we spent the weekend opposite of what was planned. Good laughs, great friends, macrons, cheese, wine, steak, and oysters all equal a magnificent Saturday! An awesome trip, yet again!

What are your favorite wineries? Have you been to Napa Valley? What’s on your must do list?

What did you do this weekend?

LA LA Weekend

Sun. Shopping. Food. What more can a girl ask for?

Los Angeles is a dream come true, and I’m so lucky that it’s only a one-hour flight away. MG and I visit LA at least once every 6 months which is more than enough because it’s basically our Vegas. We spend so much money on shopping and food, and when we come back into the Bay Area, it’s kind of a relief.

This past weekend we went to LA for a dear friend’s wedding. We flew out on a beautiful Friday afternoon. Clear skies colored in the perfect blue.


The airport brings up many memories for me. MG and I dated long distance for almost 4 years. I always say the airport can either be the happiest or the saddest place on earth. Lots of smiles and laughs when vacation begins, or in my case, when MG would visit me or I would visit him, then followed by a lot of tears when it was time for goodbye. Before the other person left, we would get to the airport early, sit down in the baggage claim area, and talk until it was time for one of us to board. We have specific places in the airport that we call our “meeting spots.” My favorite conversations were our “Thank You” notes. We “thanked” each other for silly things that happened throughout our vacation. “Thanks for paying for dinner, dessert, and second dessert. Thank you for almost making me late to my flight. Thank you for warning me before you fart…” I’m glad all that time spent at the airport actually worked out! Now that we’re married, we actually still keep up our Thank You tradition by writing each other notes in a journal.

The sun was blazing so once we got into our hotel, I put on my bikini and immediately went to lay out by the pool. Finally, some vitamin D and a slight tan! Why can’t all Fridays be like this…


Our hotel kinda looks like the Tower of Terror right?


Fridays should also always have milk tea. For me, that would be honey dew milk tea!

Milk Tea

And my number one thing I must do in LA is go to K-town and get Korean food! Kang Hodong Baekjeong is one of MG’s top 5 favorite restaurants. It’s Korean BBQ in a very traditional and basic way. Some meats are not marinated, and the side dishes are egg, bean sprouts, and cheese with corn. The food is cooked over coal by the server at your table. Be prepared to wait over an hour at this restaurant. MG and I waited an hour for a table for 2 at 10pm. I’ve been told some people wait 3 hours! Worth it? Yes, at least once!


Korean BBQ


Is that an entire prime rib eye? Yup. Get it! So deliciously marbled. We ordered the beef platter for two for only $60. It seems like a lot of food, and it is. Which means it’s the perfect amount of food for me!

Saturday was the day of the wedding. We got dressed up, then went to Chick-Fil-A for a pre-dinner snack. Yum! Truly the best milkshakes you can order at a fast-food restaurant.


I dream about this image – MG delivering me a HUGE gift (hint)

The bride and groom had us take polaroids to replace our name cards for the reception!

The best part of any wedding is reconnecting with old friends! And cake.

Such a great trip to LA! Oh yeah, and one more thing that made this trip epic – I learned how to use chopsticks the correct way! I’ve gone 26 years without using it the right way. Now I’m a true Asian!

What’s on your must do list for LA?

What did you do this weekend?


Remember my last LAN party? It was so much fun, MG and I hosted another one!


Same gamers. Different game. Most importantly, more food!

I think we all know MG’s task and my task when it comes to these parties. I’m set up. He’s the chef. Yeah right! I can’t even roll up cables correctly. I have no idea how he sets these types of things up, which is why I’m in charge of food. Only true LAN-ers know how important it is to have delicious snacks during game time (now that we’re not in college that is… College would have just been bring your own Mountain Dew and Cheetos). For lunch we had those fancy grilled cheese sandwiches again (we’ll continue to eat this since we bought sliced cheese at Costco!).

Surely, with age means more of this!  Veggies > Chips

MuffinsBaked goods ^^^ (Broccoli Rice cups recipe here)

Hot Dog in a Muffin
Nope, not your normal cornbread muffin!

Then for dinner, we had to order Hungry Howies. It’s the best pizza ever! That’s an understatement. 4 pizzas for 8 people… Yup, we overdid it. We had two pizzas left.

This was the ultimate highlight of the night:

Homemade spam musubi!!! Musubi!!! See the excitement?

My friend Serena made these for the entire gang. You should go check out her blog (Food-Touring) – Really cool foods from around the globe.

Back to the nerd gathering – If you’re wondering, yes, I game during LAN parties too! This time we ventured to Borderlands 2. It’s an easy to understand, first person shooter game that requires you to complete tasks, which in turn will jump you to the next level. There’s a whole story… blah, blah, blah. Now let’s shoot monsters!

Do you go to LAN parties? What games do you play? What snacks do you have?

Don’t you want to come to my party?

New running shoes!

After watching Katie and Baldwin run the half marathon (Disney half here), MG and I were encouraged to start running.

Why right? Ugh, who likes to run? I’m with you. I HATE running. You know those people that tell you “once you’re over the hump, you will love to run.” I hated those people (perhaps hate is a strong word… umm no it’s correct).

But I have to admit, maybe it’s not as bad as I thought. I could barely run down the block before, but I am proud to say I can run a mile now and easily cool down because my breathing is back to normal in no time. I can even run three miles now! Yay!

MG and I thought some new shoes might motivate us to run some more. We actually visited a running store in Campbell called The Running Revolution (4.5 stars and $$ on Yelp, not too bad, so we went to check it out). I’m SO glad we came here! But I still wish MG had gone with the shoes I’d recommended on shoe hero. The employees are super knowledgeable and avid runners themselves. They put you on a scale to see how you balance your weight on your feet, film you while you run, then you try on a bunch of shoes and run in them outside. Basically, they recommend shoes that fit your running habits and then you choose which ones are most comfortable for you.

I found out that I was an entire shoe size off! I also have “arches so strong they are tipping me over to the side” (word for word). Fortunately, MG and I don’t have any bad running habits – no buckling of knees and no strange footing. The employee told us, “nothing is stopping us from running.” If he was just trying to sell me shoes, I ate everything he was saying and ended up buying these beauties!

Asics Nimbus 15  – Super comfortable!

Running shoes
^^ left and right socks – crazy right?

The right pair of running shoes makes all the difference. If anything hurts (achilles heel, knee, arches), most of the time it’s because your shoes are not giving the right support and/or you’re wearing the wrong size. It’s extremely important to buy good shoes if you run frequently.

These shoes have made a drastic change. It’s still not easy to run, definitely not as easy as runners describe it to be. But I do believe that once I build up my stamina, I could, maybe, start to enjoy running.

It’s time to admit, I don’t hate running like I used to in the past. I don’t love it right now, but I am trying to enjoy it. I’m one step closer for sure! Ask me in another month how I feel about it.

Do you run? What encourages you to do it? What are some tips on building stamina? What kind of running shoes do you wear?

Advise me!

H-Town Food

I finally got my food on in Houston!

On Saturday, I had Torchy’s Tacos for lunch. Then ventured to go to Cloud 10 Creamery. Sadly they didn’t have the Fall favorite, Maple Butter, but I do love their egg custard and vanilla bean flavors. Lastly, I got to buy some Crave cupcakes. This might sound crazy, but cupcakes are not on the top of my dessert list, probably at the bottom. Usually cupcakes are too sweet… I do love the design of the Crave store though – lots of teal and brown, a display of vintage mixers, and people hand stamping the logo onto fondant. Pretty neat store!

Torchy's TacosAt Torchy’s and yes, it was awkward taking this pic because I have no idea who those people are! I wish I had that sign though

Cloud 10 Creamery
Egg custard ice cream is delicious. I need to learn this recipe!

CraveCrave cupcakes – so much detail in each cupcake 

Just for fun, a few friends and I also went to Rocket Fizz. This store displays hundreds of sodas (including Jelly Belly soda, Jones, and a bunch of other crazy flavors, like bacon, pumpkin pie, and ranch dressing). So fun!

Rocket FizzOverload of soda!!

SodaDid you want a meal in soda form?

On a Sunday morning, one must have Shipley donuts when in Sugar Land. Bought half a dozen and easily ate them all!


MG and I made a reservation at Backstreet Cafe in Montrose for a late afternoon brunch, and I’m so glad we ventured out that far. We had an amazing lunch – crimini mushrooms cooked escargot style, jalapeños pasta chicken alfredo, and steak benedict with tomato hollandaise. Wow! Aren’t you so jealous? Definitely one of the better brunches that I’ve had. The restaurant is in a house with a full bar downstairs, and it also has live music. If you’re ever in Houston, take my word and check this place out! Make sure you make a reservation because apparently everyone and their mom knows about this joint.

Backstreet CafeHow cute is this restaurant?

Backstreet Cafe - Mushrooms

Jalapeño Alfredo

Steak Benedict

What are some of your favorite places to go in Houston or Sugar Land? Any recommendations since I’m still going to be here for a few more days?

What did you eat this weekend?

Family time

What are your plans for the holidays?

I flew back to Texas this past week to visit my family. I’ve been shopping all day with my mom and sister to finish Christmas shopping for our huge family (my mom and dad are both 1 out of 7 siblings, huge is an understatement). I’ve also embarked on a new DIY project. My parent’s current house is about 20 years old, with only one renovation about 15 years ago when the granite floors were installed. Nothing else has been done. While sitting on the toilet, I came up with the idea of painting the bathroom walls (never TMI on this blog) but you can visit the site from where I took this idea. The one obstacle, and this is a big one, all the bathrooms are wallpapered (talk about early 90s!). So I told my dad I was going to ripe out the wallpaper and paint the upstairs bathroom, and he replied with “yeah right… you’re on Christmas break.” Either he was being totally serious, or he knew the right button to hit so that I would complete the task. Probably the latter…

So challenge accepted.

I’ve worked on the upstairs bathroom (which is conjoined by two powder rooms) for the past four days, tearing off wallpaper. Except it wasn’t as easy as YouTube makes it look… The wallpaper is glued onto drywall, which is basically raw materials made of layers and layers of paper. Can’t really peel glued paper off paper, am I right? Damn, this became a WAY bigger project than I expected. So now the process is: peel wallpaper (careful not to damage the drywall too much), spackle, smooth out the plaster, wipe down the dust, texturize the walls, sand down the texture so it matches the walls at home, primer, then paint. What did I get myself and MG into? But it’s been a learning experience, and to me that’s always worth it. I’m hitting up Home Depot like it’s my local coffee shop, and hard at work everyday toiling away, which is better for my weight because the other situation is that I’d be snacking all day. I’m happy to say that today, all the wallpaper is off and we’ve spackled two rooms.  Pics to come soon! There is one pic of MG spackling at the bottom of the collage. This spackle goes on pink, but dries white so you see where you’ve plastered.

In the meantime, here are some pictures of my time in Texas right now, according to my iPhone.

I miss my little Chubalee, but thankfully he’s having a great time with his cat sitters (thanks Winnie)! I do have a fat fat here to keep me company though. Meet Tinker, my sister’s butterball 26lb kitty. He’s a cuddle muffin, and I must smother him every chance I get.

On our free time, obviously we’re eating! Whataburger at 1am is the Texan thing to do. Mmm… honey butter chicken biscuit. Also Sonic had half off milkshakes this past weekend – we had the ultimate shake, the vanilla mint holiday shake. Yum!

We also celebrated my mama’s birthday with a delicious Whole Foods cake. Happy Birthday mommy!


2 more days until Christmas day! What are you doing until then?

Peace & Love, 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.


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?


It’s the time of holiday parties!

MG and I had our own date night, gift opening party on Friday evening. I bought him some amazing Shun knives (basically I get to use them too, best kind of gift). And he bought me a Fisheye lens for my camera and Snake Oil, only the best game ever. I should let you know that we’re going to Texas to visit my family and friends for Christmas soon. That’s why we celebrated our own Christmas early and opened gifts.

On Saturday we went Christmas tree chopping! We’ve made this an annual tradition to go with our friends and chop your own tree at the farm. I can’t wait until the day all my friends and I have toddlers, and we can bring the little ones to run around and help saw the tree. Those will make for good memories. What are some of your annual Christmas traditions? Please share, I’d love to know!

Doesn’t the tree on the right look like someone is hiding in camo? Freaky… and bushy.

Give a guy a saw and he feels like Ron Swanson! (Any Parks and Rec fans here?)

Sawing the perfect tree!

DSC03534Soooo muddy…

DSC03548The Luu’s tree ^^^

DSC03559Always a great time with these two

We also went to our church’s annual White Elephant Christmas party. Food was delicious. Fellowship was great. Gifts were… creative. I say this because the maximum amount you could spent was $4. I came out with an olive oil dispenser. I’m happy! I’ve discovered that at this age, kitchenware is the best gift you could get (am I old?).

DSC03663Singing Christmas carols 

BTW, did you notice I’m using my fisheye lens? Thanks hubby.

My love ^^^

We had a gingerbread cookie mansion decorating table. People were encouraged to continually add to the mansion. Look at that ice skating rink in the front and the garden on the right – so much imagination! Making a gingerbread house is SO difficult. Props to those that can make one look like something… Ha!

On Sunday night I celebrated Christmas with my lovely in-laws. We had a seafood feast at home, played a round of Snake Oil, unwrapped gifts, and then had some homemade vanilla ice cream. It was a splendid night of family.

Our tree filled with presents!

DSC03687A fantastic family picture. Isn’t it Christmas card worthy?

What did you do this weekend?


In November…

Hope you had a fantastic weekend!

I went hiking Saturday morning, worked on some crafts for a Christmas party in the afternoon, and then had a steak for dinner. Now that’s a great and productive day!


On Sunday I went to church and then took a nap. One bit of advice, try to stay away from Costco during the weekend. I shop frequently, and when I’m there I’m like a mad woman buying purses and shoes on Black Friday, but the weekend is totally not worth it. OMG… hoards of people lining up for Cheesecake samples or drivers staring you down because they crossed the intersection on a red light. Just wave and smile and then note to self, don’t go again on the weekends. Does this happen to you too? How do you handle it?!?

Here’s what’s been going on during the month of November according to my iPhone.


1 // I got these flowers when I was wedding coordinating for a friend. If you ever need a day-of coordinator, give me a holla! In all seriousness, I love organizing and scheduling, so it’s fun for me. Kalam & Alan, thanks for giving me a chance and possibly opening doors. I appreciate it with all my heart.

2// MG and I have look at at least 15 stores for Monopoly Deal, including Walmart, Target, Toys-R-Us, and Kmart (what, these are still around? yes). I’ve also asked my sister and mom to look in Texas for this game. Then I found out it was discontinued – sad face. I randomly decided to take a stroll around Kohl’s recently and jaw-droppingly happened to come across the game!!! MG and I bought 5 packs. Who knows when they might come in handy?

BTW have you seen this Joe Boxer Christmas ad by Kmart – hilarious! Disturbing or awesome? You tell me!

3 & 4// My little Chubs has been super cuddly because it’s getting cold out. He falls asleep in my arms at night, how sweet is that? The other night he was sitting like a diva on the couch. Look at that little chicken leg!

5 & 6// Okay this is kinda crazy, and yet epic at the same time. 85 Degrees Bakery just opened in Newark recently. This place is extremely popular in Taiwan and Irvine, CA. On opening day, people stood in line for 3 hours to get bread… BREAD! I didn’t go during opening day, but I’ve already been to the bakery 3 times since the opening 2 weeks ago. Each time I’ve waited about 10-20 minutes in line, and it’s totally worth it. The anticipation you have while waiting motivates you to fill your tray with bread, which is what I do every time. Among MG and I, we buy 10-15 breads. Fatties at heart, forreal. The bread is worth it, promise. Go check it out if you’re in the area.

7 & 8// This past weekend my friends and I bought a bunch of Christmas decor for our church Christmas party. We also worked on some crafts at home for the party. Obviously glitter for the holidays is a MUST. Am I right?

What did you do this past weekend? Who’s excited for a short week?

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. Newcastle vending machines supplier is Royal Vending.

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:

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:


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!

This fatty, Jay