Sunday, December 28, 2008


I have been looking over my past blogs and thinking about the journey I have taken that is chronicled in them. I guess that is a good reason for updating this one, so I can look back and remember what it was like to experience the east coast and grad school for the first time. I used to mainly write for the comments, but I don't think those will be plenty unless I get a dedicated readership outside of our friends and family. However, I now like to think I'm writing to record my journey and let the people we love know that we're okay.

I've had mixed feelings on returning home. On one hand, I love California and miss it all the time when we're in North Carolina. The food's cheaper, family's here, and there are no due dates to worry about. On the other hand, I miss the excitement of North Carolina and how there always seems to be something to do. I didn't think that would really happen. I guess it's not missing North Carolina per se, but the people and being able to do things on my own. I don't feel as if I'm really taking advantage of being home in California again.

Of course, I think it would be more fun if Nick were here. We always have things to do when we're together and it sucks to only be able to talk to him on the phone. I have resigned myself to looking at pictures on facebook when I miss looking at his face. I feel stalkerish and it's my own freaking boyfriend. =)

Last night I watched Mamma Mia! with my mom. I have to confess that I love musicals. I really do. However, musicals in movie form have never been that great for me, with the exception being "The Sound of Music." Nick and I might try to go watch "Rent" for our anniversary in January. Quite a step down from Hawaii (what we did last year) but I think it will be sweet and fun. I can't believe it will be 6 years in less than a month.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Hello everyone! Nick and I wanted to wish everyone happy holidays and thanks for being such great friends during our 2008 transition. We feel so lucky to know you and want to thank you for your support. This is an open invitation to visit us in North Carolina. Please come!

I hope 2009 is an exciting year filled with lots of good things. =)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Annika's Christmas Program

Last night I went to watch Annika sing Christmas carols with her preschool class. It was cute. The place was packed with kids. Here are two videos for your enjoyment. Can you spot her? Hint: she's in the front row.

p.s. We have a youtube account now!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Menu for Hope V

If you're a big food blog follower like me, you've probably heard of Menu for Hope. Started by Pim of Chez Pim, it's where food bloggers come together to raise money for schoolchildren through the UN World Food Programme. Last year they raised $90,000.

What Menu for Hope does is simple: participating blogs from all over the world offer up prizes, ranging from amazing dinners to food kits to chocolate to personalized cooking classes. Each prize will have its own raffle drawing. Now, where we come in: $10 gets you one raffle ticket that you can put toward the prize of your choice. You can donate as much as you want and disperse the tickets among the prizes you want. I donated $60 and chose to put it as one ticket each toward six different prizes.

The donations are collected by FirstGiving, so it doesn't go directly to the pockets of the bloggers. You can see how much has been donated directly, and the instructions are pretty simple.

Each region has a host blog that lists that region's prizes. Some of them are very regional, such as dinner at specific restaurants, but others that are listed by region can be shipped all over. I suggest you guys check out the master list at Chez Pim here although it might be a good idea to check out the regional hosts' list because I've seen some prizes listed there that aren't on the master list. You can also see what Menu for Hope has done for school children in Lesotho in the past here and here.

Happy holidays!

Monday, December 15, 2008

I survived!

Well, I survived through finals and made it back across the country to LA. It was pretty hard at times, but eventually it didn't seem to be that important to me. I mean, after I finished my massive GIS project, I felt a lot better even though I had two more finals to take. To celebrate, Nick and I did some Christmas shopping and then stopped at Pop's for dinner. If you remember, in one of my previous posts I mentioned it was on the list of places I wanted to try.

I loved the atmosphere and the butternut squash soup I had as an appetizer. My entree, the special, left something to be desired. It was seared sea scallops on a bed of sauteed vegetables, braised cabbage, and thin strips of cured beef. The scallops were overly salted, the vegetables were swimming in butter, and the beef was very salty. It was a very rich dish which had potential, but it needed something acidic and fresh to cut down the richness of the dish.

Nick had the pan-fried grouper with parmigiano-reggiano and stewed tomatoes and he loved it. I'm going to chalk this up to the special not being quite fully developed and stick to the pasta next time. The bread they served us was excellent too. I really like the feel of the place. It felt like a place you would meet good friends after a long day or to celebrate something.

On Saturday Nick dropped me off on Ninth Street to do some shopping while he went to his ultimate frisbee game. I felt bad about not going, but I really needed to get this shopping done. I like shopping locally and the stores on Ninth are very eclectic and cute. I think I found some great things there. Afterward, Emily and I dropped Lisanne off at the airport and made our way over to the mall for some more marathon shopping. I pretty much finished my list and scored a few things for myself, too. =) All in a day's work!

Now I'm home and I've been enjoying the nieces quite a bit. I hope I get adjusted to the time change soon and eat some more great food. Happy holidays, everyone!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cash or credit?

I'm dying slowly from finals, but here's a video to make you laugh:

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Middle of Finals List Mania

I am stuck deep in a hell called finals week. I have a massive GIS project due and two crazy finals to study for and I am totally unprepared. I wish it was Christmas break already. I would be back in California, stuffing my face full of all the wonderful food home has to offer. I plan on hitting old favorites and new supercool, blog-worthy restaurants.

I decided, in this high-stress situation, that I needed to make lists. So here they are:

Top 5 Restaurants, ever:
1. Chef Mavro, Honolulu, HI - January 2008
2. The Kitchen, Sacramento, CA - July 2008
3. Auberge du Soleil restaurant, Rutherford, CA - January 2006
4. Redd, Yountville, CA - February 2008
5. The Restaurant at the Getty Los Angeles, CA - June 2006

Top SGV eats:
1. Seven courses of beef
2. Banh cuon
3. Hu tieu noodles at Mien Nghia
4. dim sum
5. pho

Top 5 places I want to try in the Durham area:
1. Magnolia Grill
2. Rue Cler and Bakery
3. Lantern
4. Nana's
5. Pop's

Top 5 restaurants I miss in Davis:
1. Thai Bistro
2. Chuy's
3. Zen Toro
4. Seasons
5. Cafe Mediteranee

As you can see, this has nothing to do with finals. Go me!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Gay Marriage: the Musical!

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die