Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy 10th Birthday to My Little Man!

Hello everyone,

Today, my little McKinley man turns 10!
Mom always corrects me when I say "little man" because he is no longer little,
and she thinks he is, in fact, quite large,
but he came to us when he was so tiny!!

in my arms.  a tiny puppy with huge paws!

seee???   AHHH  puppy version of McKinley is SO cute!!!!!

He came to us when he was 3 weeks old because his mom passed away soon after giving birth,
and the owners, Mom's friends, just couldn't take care of 11 puppies.
So Mom went and picked the smallest and the quietest of the litter, and brought him home.
3 weeks is quite early in the developmental stage, and he couldn't even walk very well when he first got home.
I remember Dad asking if there was something wrong with the puppy   haha

This tiny puppy, who made his home in a small cardboard box,
somehow doubled in size in less than a month, and kept growing..  and growing.. 
and growing some more,
much to my Mom's horror   haha

He also grew out of his quietness pretty quickly, and grew into quite a rambunctious little (big) puppy with lots and lots of energy.  
did I mention he has a lot of energy?

Even at 10 years old, he can still outrun most puppies!

Though there were moments of difficulty, as is expected when raising a puppy,
we're so glad you came to be a part of our family little man!
Thanks for putting up with me making you wear my clothing for 10 years (because we're the same size..),

and of providing many hours of laughter and unforgettable memories!!

Happy Birthday Little Man!
and many more to come!  =D

 Much love,

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all enjoying this Christmas morning/afternoon with your loved ones!
Seattle is trying so hard to give us a White Christmas, but the temperature is a bit too warm for that I guess, so we were greeted with lots and lots of rain today  haha  
(way to live up to the stereotype, Seattle,, lol)

Anyway, our Christmas celebrations began last night when Daddy all of a sudden decided that he would make us a buttered mochi cake!
First of all, what is a buttered mochi cake?
and second of all, when has he ever baked in his life?
the answer to the last question is NEVER.

we were a bit shocked to say the least, 
but he was adamant that he was going to bake us this cake, so the adventures in the kitchen began!
and of course, somehow I got roped into being the assistant...  haha

the role of being Daddy's assistant in the kitchen included...
well, mostly assuring him that things were going fine, like,
"Janny, the oven turned off"
"No, Dad, the oven is still on, it's fine"
"no, but the light went off!  and it doesn't sound like it's on!"
"Dad, that's because it's done preheating..."
"are you sure???"

In the end, somehow, his mochi cake turned out really well!
He was so proud of his first baking project, and thanks to him, 
we shared many laughs as a family, and enjoyed a yummy dessert for Christmas eve!  ;)

Then, the next morning began with excited "Merry Christmas!!!", mostly from me,
and opening presents  =)

For presents from lil bro, we had to do some hunting because they were located in odd places,, 
like these   haha

It was a wonderful morning full of spending some time as a family,
listening to Christmas music,
eating yummy food,
and much laughter  =)

I feel so blessed and thankful to have such amazing family and friends around me,
both near and far,
and I hope all of you are spending an amazing day filled with warmth and happiness!  =)

present from lil bro--baby pooh! AAHH  I definitely still have a soft spot for cute, cuddly, and fuzzy things  haha

Merry Christmas!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

April's visit, sans food

Hello everyone,

I was going to write up a post about the rest of April's visit right away
(the non-food aspects),
but somehow my chillaxing time at home became rather filled with activities  haha

so here is the belated post about Aber's visit!
see? we didn't just eat the whole time she was here...   sort of...?  =)

let us start with the most anti-caloric-consumption activity we did during her visit;

We hiked the Tiger Mountain, and we absolutely loved it!
so gorgeous!

it really seemed like we were in a sort of a fairy tale land most of the time we were there.
see what I mean?
quite other-worldly. 

Then when we got higher, we found this!

Having spent the first part of the winter in 80 degree weather in Houston,
it was such a wondrous sight to behold.
I never thought I would have missed snow so much, but boy, 
I sure did miss the beauty of it as well as the crispness in the air when there's snow around =)
the air up there?  I can't even describe in words what that is like.
so clean,,, so fresh... full of trees and snow.   =)

Oh, and this view....
 oh mother nature. how you take my breath away...

Once we got to the top, we were greeted by these cute and extremely friendly birds!

they weren't afraid of us at all, and they just started flocking around us!
kind of felt like we were in a Disney movie or something...

little did we know that was only because they wanted food...
they are called the 'camp robbers' and we soon found out why they are called that.
man, they really are not afraid of humans at all! 
they would hop right on up to your hand and eat what you gave them!
I think I was more scared of them than they were of me  haha

After awhile though, they got a bit too aggressive--
they were flying at our faces to get a bite of our sandwich!

pretty soon after we finished our meal,
we began to realize just how cold it was up there...
I was only wearing a windbreaker (didn't think we would see snow...),
and that was just not enough to keep me warm for a long period of time in the freezing temperature we encountered at the top.
We probably should have noticed how cold it was up there sooner,
but we were hot from the hike up, and then got rather preoccupied with the birds,
so we didn't notice anything until our sweat started to freeze...

but don't worry, other than our non-functional and frozen fingers,
no lasting harm was done to our bodies once we cranked up the heat in the car and sat there for about half an hour thawing our bodies once we got down.
oh, we also took a looong hot bath when we got back as well,, until we were past the pruny stage  lol

the next day, we visited the Seattle Art Museum!   

this happened right after the Pike Place Market food marathon day 1 because this museum is located right next to the market!
couldn't be more convenient  ;)

It is a pretty small museum, but we really liked it a lot!
or perhaps that's why we liked it a lot?
the flow of the exhibit was very clear, and everything made a lot of sense.
they had good variety of art works, yet I never felt like I was lost in a sea of ideas.

we both stared at this painting for awhile, reading the plaque that came with it.
neither of us knew that each other took a photo of the other looking at this painting;
we only found that out later that night when we were comparing photos from the two cameras  haha

If you are in visiting Seattle, SAM is definitely a fun little museum to visit  =)

last but not least, we stumbled upon this toy at a toy shop,
and we (well, I) went nuts!!
I used to play with these ALL the time!
(except mine were pastel colored, not such bright primary colors  lol)
It's like LEGO, but the different sized shapes stack with one another differently,
and you can make so many varieties of structures out of them!
AAHHHH  I loved these things!
did anyone else play with these?  
I'm not even sure what they are called, but they brought back such a powerful gust of childhood memories!
someday, when I am in the position to gift toys to children, these will be my first pick!

aww, these automatically bring a pretty ridiculous grin to my face   haha
such happy memories!

Anyway, on this happy note, 
I hope you all have a great weekend!
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Quarter of a Century!!

Hello everyone,
Today, my parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary!!
YAY!!!  =D

25 years is quite a long time!
I mean that's a quarter of a century!
And it seems even longer to me because I have yet to live a quarter of a century
--which makes sense, I suppose  ;)   haha--

To celebrate, I thought we would take a little stroll down the memory lane...
Mommy and Daddy.
Past 25 years.

Together, they brought into this world, a baby girl,,,
who was completely disinterested in taking photos  haha
(I really tried hard to find a good baby photo of myself with my parents,
 but I was apparently not a very cooperative little one..)

And together, the three of us made a pretty happy and content little family.
(though I still never smiled during photos...)

 see? happy and content.

But then, after I've gotten completely used to being an only child for many years,
 they decided to add a baby boy to our family of three.
family of three!  
three people, not four.  

It was a rocky beginning at first for the no-longer-an-only-child, 
getting used to having someone cuter around,
but somehow, the family of four managed to evolve into a pretty happy family of four 
from a family of three in the end  =)
I mean, how could we not?  baby bro was pretty darn cute!  haha

Somehow, our parents succeeded in raising two rambunctious little devils
 into somewhat socially acceptable beings!
(at least we know how to put on a show in order to seem that way...?  haha  =p)
Only they know how difficult that process was...  haha

Both of us even graduated from high school!  =p

What I love about my parents is that they laugh together all the time.
Of course life gets in the way and tempers may flare,
but at the end of the day, they can make fun of one another and laugh together.
Oh, and they are always going on random trips and vacations together.
Then they call me from awesome places and we have conversations like this;
"Janny! we're in this awesome place doing these awesome things!!  What are you up to?"
"...practicing...  in a practice room...  thanks for taking me parents..."

Here's to at least another quarter of a century of enjoying life together!!
Happy 25th Anniversary, dearest Mommy and Daddy!!

hehe, they so cute!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Seattle. via food. with Abers.

Hello everyone!

My dearest Abers (April) came to visit Seattle, and as I was looking through the pictures, I noticed a peculiar phenomenon...  They all involved food!
So instead of chronicling her visit by events, here is Aber's visit to Seattle via food.

Well, it all began as soon as she arrived at our house.
Here's Abers enjoying her midnight snack of seaweed soup
I do believe this was precisely 1.5 minutes after she arrived;
my mom is famous for feeding people, future guests beware  ;)

The next day began with Bibimbap for breakfast!
I'm not a big breakfast person, so this was a bit... intense for breakfast,
but it's one of my favorite dishes, and Abers just told me that she likes all of the Korean dishes,
so both of us were happy to consume this... 

Then, for lunch, we enjoyed ourselves at a Korean traditional restaurant called Sula.
Mommy with rice cake soup, Abers with Oxtail bone soup, and me with Galbi soup.
It was a soup kind of a day, if you can't tell  ;)   haha
Seattle lends itself very well to soups and stews in the winter-- yummm!

For dessert, we had some Ho Dduck, which Abers insists on calling hot dogs 
(they do sound very similar, I have to give that to her, 
the only difference is that the vowels-the way they sound-are switched)
and Boog Uh Bbang!
Boong uh bbang literally translates into fish bread, but don't worry, there's no fish in it;
just yummy pastry that looks like fish stuffed with sweet red bean paste!

We skipped dinner that day because,, well, that was a lot of food for breakfast and lunch, and neither of us were particularly hungry...
but we did bake things!
and if you know Abers and I at all, you know there had to be baking involved in her visit.
our past cooking/baking episodes have been documented here and here
so this time, we tried to make Sesame seed balls, which Abers has nicknamed Sesame Eggs,
and some Peanut butter Nutella cookies!!

This has to be one of my favorite cookies we've made so far  =)
you can't go wrong with peanut butter and Nutella!

On the 2nd day of Abers, we went hiking!  
that's going to have to wait for another post because there's too much to document just in the foods department...

After hiking, during which we calculated that we burned about 700 calories,
we went to reconsume those calories in sushi form!
O'Shan Sushi.
Such a cute little restaurant, and if you are ever in Seattle and want to taste some of the freshest sushi ever, we would HIGHLY recommend this place!

We probably should have stopped after sushi,
but we wanted dessert,,,
and I'm always up for ice cream, so we visited Full Tilt.
Their 'small' scoop is giant.  
(in the picture below, the bottom bowl is their 'small' scoop)
We both died a little I think when we first saw that,
so for Aber's bowl, we requested a 'kid' scoop...
(the top bowl,,,)
I have never seen so much ice cream in one place for individual consumption.
Needless to say, we couldn't finish the ice cream
--a personal first in failure to finish the ice cream present before me--
and  neither of us have touched any frozen desserts since then.
Ice cream overload.
Too much of a good thing?
But if you go with, say, 10 friends, Full Tilt is an amazing place to visit!  SHARE!!

On the 3rd day of Abers,,,
omg food.
I can't even believe we consumed so much food in one day!
Both of us just died a little looking back at the photos.
our poor (lucky?) bodies..

ok, here we go.
For lunch, we visited the Pike Place Market--definitely a must!
And we visited Le Piche for lunch!

So. French.
So. good.
We loved the bread, their fries were amazing, Abers loved her egg dish and their mayo, and I...
well, I thought the Pate would be a sandwich... not a hunk of meat...
but overall, it was a really fun experience in a super cute restaurant!

Then we visited this cute little chocolate shop where we both bought fudge!
We loved the samples, but that was enough sugar for both of us,
and we,,, haven't touch the rest of the fudge yet  haha

If you haven't walked around the Pike Place Market, let me tell you, you are missing out!
It has got to be one of our favorite places in Seattle  =)
So many stalls filled with amazingly fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, sausages, and fish!
And lots and lots of samples  haha
We weren't hungry at all after our French lunch, but we couldn't turn down samples,,,
so our lunch was our Elevensies, and the samples were our Noonsies...

We also went to this Italian grocery store in the market, and it really felt like we were in Italy!
I forget what it was called, but they had quite a few things I had never seen before..
First French, then Italian..  who needs Europe when you can go to the Pike Place Market?  =p haha

We were incredibly full of food by this point, but you can't visit Seattle without getting some coffee,
so we visited this cute (more like odd?) little coffee shop called Cherry Street Coffee.
Of course, you have to visit the first Starbucks in the Pike Place Market,
but Seattle is also full of mom and pops kind of little coffee shops which are really fun to visit as well.  =)

We should have stopped with the food consumption there, but we didn't...
That night, we went to a Korean BBQ with some family friends  =)

so. good.
but so much meat...  
food baby...

That night, we promised each other that we were done with eating so much.

this promise lasted approximately 12 hours,
and then we hit the Pike Place Market yet again.
for more food.

So, on the 4th day of Abers,
we began by consuming some awesome Hombow for breakfast at the market.

As we were wandering around the market with our Hombow in hand, 
we stumbled upon this Bavarian shop with so much candy!!
Can you say, "kid in a candy store"?  haha

There, we found this Mozart chocolate!
 The pic of me with the chocolates was taken 
as Abers informed me that these were called Mozart's balls...  =/ 

One of many awesome bakeries in the market...
Here, we somehow mustered enough self control to not try any of the amazing goodies staring at us,
but we promised ourselves we would be back to try them later  =)

Our next stop was Le Panier.
The last time Abers and I were together at the market, it was also with our friends Timmay and Michael.
For one of our spring breaks during our undergraduate years,
we came here to Seattle to ski and also to enjoy the city.
We have fond memories of this bakery where Timmay showed off his 'French' skills to the native French speakers of the bakery  ;)   aww, such fond memories!

We were still pretty full, but we just had to have something here for memories' sake,
so we had a little spinach pastry as well as a hazelnut macaroon.
It was our first time trying a macaroon, and...
well, it was quite good, but also incredibly sweet--a bit too sweet.

Next stop was the Beecher's cheese shop where they make their own cheese right there in the shop!
yay cheese samples!!
I was so tempted to buy a block of cheese, but I figured walking around all day with a block of cheese was probably not the best idea, so I restrained myself...  next time, cheese, next time...

Abers and I have never had crumpets, so when we stumpled upon this shop, we decided to go check it out.
We were informed that it was kind of like an English muffin?
We wanted to try them, but we were just so full from all of the elevensies and noonsies and all the other samples that we just couldn't bear the thought of another food product entering our bodies...
It was pretty cool to watch him make all of the crumpets though!

After walking around for awhile, we stopped by the Daily Dozen Doughnut Company stall.
We were still full, but we were told that these doughnuts are a must,
so we stopped by anyway, and we were not disappointed!
Hot, fresh, chewy doughnuts!
Now we understand why it was a must.  =)
My personal favorite was the cinnamon sugar, but the powdered ones were really good too!
An elderly couple told us that they have been coming to the stall for over 40 years!
There's definitely something to be said about a restaurant or a stall that can have costumers coming back again and again for 40 years.

Finally, after spending hours and hours in the market, we decided that it was time to leave.
After all, there are other cool places to explore in Seattle!

Our next stop was in Queen Anne, an incredibly cute neighborhood in Seattle,
and our goal was to eat at the Red Mill Burger.
However, we drove by this restaurant, Homegrown, which has really great, healthy sandwiches,
and we just had to stop by.
I think our bodies were perhaps craving some vegetables after the doughnut episode?

Here, we shared a squash pesto sandwich and black eyed pea and kale soup,
all tiny sized because we were still trying to digest everything else.
We just needed a serving of veggies to round out our diet.

If you are in the mood for some locally grown, mostly organic sandwiches and soups,
we would highly recommend Homegrown!

Then, finally, we arrived at our real destination;
the Red Mill Burger!

We shared a Red Mill Deluxe burger and a side of onion rings.
Abers claims that these are the best onion rings she has ever had!
and well, I love the Red Mill burgers  ;)

perhaps not the healthiest meal ever, but hey, that's why we had all those vegetable beforehand!  ;)  haha

Later that night, we came home, and decided to try our hand at making some Ho Dduck!
We had them the first day, and Abers really took to them  ;)
We got a mix of the pastry ingredients from H Mart, and got to work!

And voila!

Some awesome Ho Dduck!  =)

That concludes our epic food adventures in Seattle.
now onto detox and fasting for at least a week!  haha  ;)
Thanks for stopping by, and happy Monday!