Thursday, October 31, 2013

Things That Go Bump In The Night

I really love Halloween! I love seeing people dressed up in costumes. It really brings out the kid in everyone. I love the decorations. Almost everything about it. That's why it blew my mind this morning when I got to work and saw my receptionist dressed as a witch and realized that I had forgotten that today was Halloween. Don't worry, if you are stopping by my place I did remember to get candy so all is good with the world.

I celebrated Halloween early with my family over the weekend. I was a witch. A really colorful and wide witch. Like I swallowed some kids or maybe just one.

Speaking of kids...the one in my belly is a little boy! He's going to love Halloween in the next couple of years. This year he's going as a baby bump.

This week I'm about 20 weeks along, just 20 more weeks to go. @_@ My bladder is running out of space. I almost peed my pants in the car a couple of weeks ago when my husband made me laugh and I could not stop laughing. That was a close one. I told him never to talk to me about the thing that I could not stop laughing at ever again.  

It's getting difficult for me to get comfortable at night. It feels like I am eternally flip-flopping my belly from one side to the other every night in order to find that magical comfort zone. This picture is not me but it is how I look in the morning. I just do not want to get out of bed.

The lack of bladder control and uncomfortable nights have not been fun but I can't really complain too much since my pregnancy has been pretty great so far. Last week, I thought I felt fetal movement for the first time but I wasn't sure since I've never been pregnant before and don't know what the heck it feels like. This week they have picked up quite a bit so I'm pretty sure he's trying to get my attention. I've read a couple of articles on what fetal movements should feel like but it doesn't feel like anything I've read about. You know what it does feel like? Involuntary muscle twists. It's weird and cute all at the same time.

Happy Halloween!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Woah, I'm Half Way There!

A hat tip to hottie Bon Jovi! ;0)

I'm back! Contrary to what you may have thought...I didn't fall in. I've just been too lazy to blog. Mostly tired but I'm starting to feel better now. Since I completely skipped over the month of September and half of October, I'll do a brief recap of what I've been up to.

I celebrated a birthday this month and was spoiled rotten by my loved ones. <3

My niece and I have birthdays very close to each other so she also celebrated a birthday. The BIG 2!!! She loves to blow out candles and sing the Happy Birthday song so this was right up her alley. She is turning into a little girl so fast but I still pinch those little cheeks every chance I get. Yes, I'm one of those cheek pinching aunties.

Over the past two months, I've been running or should I say jogging less and less and I am basically down to just walking and using the elliptical machine. I have to say that working out for the sake of health can be pretty boring. I've gotten so use to pushing my limits when I workout that I find absolutely no enjoyment in just walking around. But you know what's even worst than walking around? The elliptical machine. That thing is just a slow torture device to bored the heck out of you. I have to admit that I only move at all nowadays so that I don't end up looking like Jabba the Hutt. I wanted so much to be one of those women that still ran or worked out regularly like before they got pregnant but sadly I am not. It doesn't feel all that comfortable when I run so I've decided to just use this time as a break from running and store all my running energy and excitement for when I can fully get back to it.

I have picked up knitting again. My first project was this bunny for my niece's birthday. I am now onto crocheting a blanket.

I have a new dining room table now but it's been a mini ordeal. I ordered this table a couple of months ago when I first moved in and since then the order has been misrouted to Canada, involved in a truck derailment, arrived damaged and sent back. The replacement table came really quickly and aside from the delay and mishap I love the table even more than when I saw it online.

Here is a progress photo of me at four months! That's right, almost half way there...hitting the mile 12-13 mark in a marathon...okay so there is still a long ways to go, believe me I know but I won't mind if you tell me that I'm almost there but only this one time. This is how you can tell I've totally stepped out of my runner shoes. It probably doesn't look like much at this point but I feel huge when I look down. I've been very lucky with this whole pregnancy thing because I've had no morning sickness, I still sleep like a log, and have pretty normal cravings. Okay, so there was that one time I wanted McDonald's french fries and this other time that I wanted frosted flakes. But no ice cream and pickles cravings yet or ever. I thought that I would be craving sweets like crazy since I had a major sweet tooth prior to being pregnant but lo and behold I mostly want to eat salty foods. Toss me that bag of chips will ya?

Next week we find out the baby's gender. I kind of already know but it will be good to get confirmation. All the tests have come back and the baby is healthy and doing well. That was a load of bricks off my mind. I spent most of the early months worrying about everything under the sun. It didn't help that I was on the internet every night reading about stuff that could go wrong. I know I should have been relaxing but the unknown and my curiosity got the better of me. I swear I am way more relaxed now.

So come back next week if you want to know...

Monday, September 9, 2013

Do You Want to Know a Secret?

I love that Beatles song by the way.

Hello! I'm back. It's been a busy month in my world which is the excuse I'm using for why I haven't updated my blog in almost a month. ^_^ I recently moved and I don't have to tell you how awful moving can be. I'm just glad it's over and for the most part we've settled into our new place. I love my new place! It's bigger, brighter and most importantly located very close to one of my favorite running paths.

Speaking of running...I haven't been doing very much of it...mostly because of this...

Which has since grew into this...

Surprise!!! Oh yes, that's a "teeny person"  in the words of my friend Heather. I guess I'm bringing all this up now because I was supposed to be running the Big Cottonwood Marathon this coming weekend but over the summer I got some news that will forever change my life and caused me to withdraw from the race. I have to say that I have so much more free time on my hands these days. I never realized how much time I use to spend training for races. I've been running and training for so many years that it's been a hard habit to break. I never realized how much my running routine structured the other aspects of my life until now.

It took me awhile to wrap my head around this new development but over the course of these past few months I've done a complete 180 from obsessing about running to obsessing about the nursery theme and ultrasound photos. Don't get me wrong, I miss racing like you wouldn't believe but I'm just more excited about other things now.

And so my race calendar is currently empty for the foreseeable future. I only have one race on my radar for 2014 and that's the New York Marathon that I've been waiting years to run. I'm pretty excited and can't wait to start training for that next summer. I hope to complete all the "majors" one day so I'm excited to get to cross another one off the list. After New York, I'll need to travel internationally for the remaining ones. It's a tough job but somebody's got to do it. ;0)

It's a big day in the running community today. The 2014 Boston Marathon registration opened today and I had originally planned to sign up but I will be less than a month postpartum come next April so no matter how much I wanted to be there it was just not realistic. I wanted to go back mainly to experience the race as it is meant to be experienced but that will have to wait. Good luck to everyone who qualified this year. I hope you all get in! It is no doubt going to be a spectacular race weekend!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Today this little blog turns 6! Six years ago I originally started this blog to talk about all things relating to afternoon tea. Over the years, the blog has gone through some changes but there will always be that underlining essence of drinking tea served in fine china while eating little crust-less sandwiches and dessert. A couple of years ago I decided to commemorate my "blog-a-versary" by having afternoon tea someplace new each year. I started this in 2011 but some how I didn't do it last year, maybe I forgot or maybe I was just busy.

This year I remembered and planned ahead. My pick this year was the Rendezvous Cafe inside the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. I read some reviews prior to picking this spot so I was really excited to have tea here.

There is only one tea set here, the Victorian Tea for $35/person. The tea selection is pretty small but it covers a decent range with a couple of offerings of black, green and herbal teas.

I have to be honest and say that this was one of the worst tea service I've ever had and I've had many. The sandwiches were uninspired, as were the desserts. I didn't really enjoy any of the food. Nothing stood out in my mind. If not for the nice company I was with, I would have been in a foul mood as this place was a long drive from the OC in some really knarly traffic. If you plan to come here, make sure you make a reservation. Also, please note that they are very strict about their tea set. Apparently, they prepare all their food in "sets" so you can't really ask for extras of anything. I know this because I asked them to sub out one of the sandwiches and they made it seem like a chore and half to do so. By the way they were reacting when I asked for this, I did not think that I would actually get a substitution but eventually they did bring me a couple of cucumber sandwiches. I was really surprised by how bad the food was and how strict they were with their food. I was just expecting so much more from a restaurant inside a hotel with such a glamorous past. I can honestly say that I will probably never come back here for tea. It's too bad because I love historical hotels and I really wanted to like this place.

Rendezvous Cafe (Biltmore Hotel)
506 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Monday, August 12, 2013

Bodies and Titanic

Over the weekend I went to check out the newly opened Bodies The Exhibition and the Titanic Experience located in Buena Park where the old Movieland Wax Museum use to be, just right across the street from Medieval Times.  

I came mainly for the Bodies exhibit because I've been wanting to go to the Vegas exhibit for a long time now but somehow I keep forgetting to go when I am actually in Vegas.

Just as I suspected, the exhibit was fascinating. I was both intrigued and a little bit mortified to be that close to such well preserved real human bodies. All the bodies came from China so they are all Chinese. You can basically see everything from muscle fibers, to bones, to the inside of the human body. The bodies are posed in different ways and each show something different. There were also individual display cases focusing on almost every single organ, vein and even nerves. They also showed what diseased body parts looked like as compared to normal body parts. There was also one body that displayed replacement parts, such as hip, knee and shoulder replacements.


The exhibit is divided into different rooms that concentrate on different body parts, such as the heart, lungs, bowel, etc.


As I said, you can basically see the human body in every which way, including sliced in half, sectioned or a combination of both. It is an amazing exhibit to learn and see how the human body works. I've always known that the body is very complex but to see it broken down to very small details was beyond interesting.


And just because we were already there and because I loved the movie, we decided to go check out the Titanic exhibit as well.

So I enjoyed this exhibit because I've always been fascinated by the Titanic. So if this sounds like you, then you'll probably enjoy this. There is a lot of information inside the exhibit on the ship, the sinking and the people. There are also items on display of stuff that they've managed to salvage from the site. This exhibit reminded me a bit of the exhibit at the Museum of Tolerance.

Bodies The Exhibition & Titanic The Experience
7711 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park, CA 90620
Box Office: 657-529-7224

Friday, August 9, 2013

Just Another Beautiful Weekend

I've been such a blogging slacker lately. Thought I'd pop in to say 'hi'! Hello!

It was my sweetie's birthday this week so I took him to the St. Regis Hotel for brunch last weekend. Blue pool, beach and sky...that's how we like things here in SoCal.

Boy, let me tell you, the brunch here was pretty nice. Just look at this dessert section.

There was a wedding going on that day so everyone at brunch got a meal and a show.

I wanted to take a photo of the birthday boy but he wouldn't let me so here is a photo of me. :0)

Backing up a bit...on Saturday I went to Shannon's baby shower! Shannon's friend made these cupcakes. Cool huh?

Isn't she adorable? I had not seen Shannon since March so needless to say she looked a little bit different. lol.

A small gathering of the crew (Heather, Shannon, me, Julie) of Van Awesome (circa Ragnar 2012) at Shannon's shower. I feel so lucky to have met them because they are such nice people.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Ramen House Benten - San Gabriel

Recently I drove by the restaurant that used to known as Ton-Chan. Before that it was called Ajiman's. Obviously, there has been a lot of turnover at this location. It may have something to do with the fact that this space is located right next to the very popular Golden Deli which always has a long line in front no matter what time of day you go. You would think that since GD is always so busy that whatever nearby restaurants would catch the over-spill of customers but GD devotees are hardcore. They are not phased by the long wait nor the very cramped seating inside. I guess the stomach wants what the stomach wants.

I should probably stop talking about Golden Deli since this is not a post about them but rather about the new restaurant that has taken over the space next door called Ramen House Benten. I was excited that it was another ramen house but was also wary that it would be "just" another ramen house.

We walked in and noticed right away that the place has been simplified, I guess some would call it Zen. White walls, a couple of wooden tables, black curtains separating the dining area from the kitchen and this black board with the entire menu written on it. The prices are very similar to the place that use to occupy this space but the menu has gotten a lot...well simple. Only four items to choose from. Maybe that's a good thing, maybe it's a bad thing.

We came in for an early dinner on a Sunday so the place was not too crowded. Not sure what the normal wait time is during peak hours. We were seated right away and the waiter brought us complimentary organic rooibos or green tea!

After taking our orders, the waiter points our attention to some plastic containers on the table that contained bibs and hair ties. How accommodating!

Spicy Miso Ramen - this is not my order but I did taste it and it was pretty spicy and delicious! You can't really see the noodles in this picture but it is the wavy kind, similar to the noodles from Santouka. I'm definitely going to have to go back and get this bowl.

Shoyu Ramen - this was pretty good. It reminded me a little bit of the ramen from Jinya down in Costa Mesa but that location has shut down now so this opening is impeccably timed just for my benefit. :0D The broth is very flavorful and not too oily. The noodles in the shoyu ramen are thin and I'm not really a fan of that but I can't really knock this bowl just for that since it is a personal preference. The egg is runny on the inside AND injected with broth so that when you take that first bite, all that broth comes bursting out. I don't know how I felt about all that broth injection. It kind of diluted the taste of the yolk a bit.

Fruit and Herbs infused lemonade! Yum.

This place is definitely worth a return trip.

Ramen House Benten
821 W. Las Tunas Drive
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 910-5075

Monday, July 22, 2013

dineLA Restaurant Week: Bouchon Bistro

I was in Beverly Hills over the weekend! Good ol' 90210.

It was such a beautiful day! My little point-and-shoot camera loves this overcast lighting. I do too! I don't come to these parts very often mainly because it is a haul to get up here from the OC but I made an exception today.

Why? Well, if you don't already know, it's Restaurant Week in LA (July 15-26). Two glorious weeks to sample food from restaurants all over LA. Almost all of them are offering a deal of some sort or prix fixe meal to entice you in. It worked because here I am.

I've wanted to eat at Bouchon for a couple of years now. Awhile back, Sister K and I had this crazy plan of trying to get a reservation at Thomas Keller's French Laundry in Napa. Those plans didn't work out but it is still on both of our bucket lists. One day.

When we were not able to float "Project French Laundry", Sister K did some reading and researching and one day she told me about one of Thomas Keller's other restaurant, Bouchon in Beverly Hills. So this was much closer to us than Napa and much more affordable so perhaps we can start here.

When LA Restaurant Week rolled around this year, I was so excited when I saw that Bouchon was on the list. Let's go in shall we?

Bouchon's dineLA 2013 prix fixe menu.

After we were seated, the waiter takes our order and then brings us this warm and crusty little loaf of french bread. No basket required!

For the appetizer course or "Entree" course as they call it I selected the Salade de Melon. It had cubes of watermelon and compressed cucumber, pickled kohlrabi, in a pickled watermelon vinaigrette. Really light and refreshing. I'm one of those people that like a little salt on my fruit so I thought this was tasty and visually stimulating.

For the second course or "Plats Principaux" I selected the Cavatelli pasta. The pasta is hand-rolled! The cheese sauce had a very nice flavor...imagine a "kicked-up" mac n' cheese. So creamy!

And for dessert...Lychee Sorbet on a coconut cookie floating on a summer fruit consomme. The consomme tasted like watermelon and strawberries among other summer flavors. Those little green leaves are mint. This was so refreshing. I never thought that a little scoop of sorbet could satisfy my sweet tooth after a meal but it did.

This Peach and Almond Tart is another dessert option on the prix fixe menu.

Here are a couple of other items that I got to try a la cart.

They have a great bakery onsite and this Chocolate Croissant was one of the best that I've ever had. It was extremely flaky with very defined layers. You need to eat this.

Until next time!