Week in Pics: 07.19.14
LUNCH DATE:  Ramen at Ajisen (SF) with BFF Edel on Monday.
BEING GIRLIE:  Got my hair done on Wednesday at Fringe Salon in SF. Love my stylist and I always feel happy everytime I pamper myself.
CRAVINGS:   I just had to indulge my Falafel Wrap  cravings at Gyro King at Civic Center (SF).
SWEET PASTRIES: I try to limit eating pastry to just one per week but since I discovered a pastry vendor at the Farmer’s Market, I could not resist the Blueberry Mango Pastry on top of my weekly Almond Croissant.  Now I am in trouble!
HEALTHY EATING: I could not resist these heirloom tomatoes as I was passing by our local produce store. I made an heirloom tomato salad which turned out to be not just delicious but beautiful with its vibrant colors.
CONFESSIONS: I ate a deep-fried pastrami and sauerkraut egg roll from Morty’s Deli (SF)  because my guy wanted a pastrami sandwich for our Friday dinner. I did not have anything else that I wanted on the menu so I got this. I just had to blame it on somebody! Not bad but I usually do not eat “bad” stuff like this! Yikes!
CELEBRATIONS: Celebrated honorary BFF Russ’ bday at Smuggler’s Cove with his partner, the girls and another friend we have not seen in a years. BFF Heather made a  party favor of lollipop with the bday boy’s name on it. Very thoughtful and cute! Had so much fun.
"It is not perfect but it still is a happy and well-lived life."

Week in Pics: 07.19.14

  • LUNCH DATE:  Ramen at Ajisen (SF) with BFF Edel on Monday.
  • BEING GIRLIE:  Got my hair done on Wednesday at Fringe Salon in SF. Love my stylist and I always feel happy everytime I pamper myself.
  • CRAVINGS:   I just had to indulge my Falafel Wrap  cravings at Gyro King at Civic Center (SF).
  • SWEET PASTRIES: I try to limit eating pastry to just one per week but since I discovered a pastry vendor at the Farmer’s Market, I could not resist the Blueberry Mango Pastry on top of my weekly Almond Croissant.  Now I am in trouble!
  • HEALTHY EATING: I could not resist these heirloom tomatoes as I was passing by our local produce store. I made an heirloom tomato salad which turned out to be not just delicious but beautiful with its vibrant colors.
  • CONFESSIONS: I ate a deep-fried pastrami and sauerkraut egg roll from Morty’s Deli (SF) because my guy wanted a pastrami sandwich for our Friday dinner. I did not have anything else that I wanted on the menu so I got this. I just had to blame it on somebody! Not bad but I usually do not eat “bad” stuff like this! Yikes!
  • CELEBRATIONS: Celebrated honorary BFF Russ’ bday at Smuggler’s Cove with his partner, the girls and another friend we have not seen in a years. BFF Heather made a  party favor of lollipop with the bday boy’s name on it. Very thoughtful and cute! Had so much fun.

"It is not perfect but it still is a happy and well-lived life."

Date Night Dessert @ Dreyer’s Ice Cream Parlor (Oakland)

07.13.14

My guy was pinning for ice cream after dinner at Lungomare at Jack London Square. He was craving Fenton’s Ice Cream worse than a woman who is PMS-ing. LOL! When we saw the super-long line at Fenton’s, we said “no way.” We just started driving around looking for an ice cream parlor. He was the one who thought of Dreyer’s. Bingo! 

Dreyer’s does not have a cool neighborhood history as Fenton’s that goes way back 120 years ago. I do not think it has ever been featured in a movie unlike Fenton’s where it made a cameo appearance in the Pixar movie “Up!” However,  Dreyer’s satisfied our ice cream cravings that afternoon. I had the single scoop of coffee ice cream which was simple, creamy and delicious. My guy had a bowl of ice cream sundae. We sat at the sidewalk bistro tables which was perfect on a lovely summer evening. 

Note to Self: Still have to eat at Fenton’s before I can cross if off my summer list.

Jack London Square (Oakland)

07.12.14

07.12.14 @ Lungomare (Jack London Square in Oakland)

Close enough to home, not a lot of driving or walking but right next to the water, a finer dining….where to go? Jack London Square! Just minutes from the house and it meets all of the above criteria.

Our date nights lately have been a simple “let’s get out of the house before Saturday turns into Sunday” and eat somewhere. This Saturday, though, I wanted a nicer sit down dining experience. Lungomare, a New American-Italian restaurant located at the waterfront with a million dollar view of Jack London Square harbor, is perfect for such whims.

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It was a lovely day but a little windy. Lungomare is a beautiful restaurant with tasteful and classy decor. There was a patio with roaring fire in the fireplace but we decided to dine inside. The view was awesome and perfect for sipping my Bloody Mary (which I found to be too tomato-ey but it was strong enough.)

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We started off with trio crudo $17. (Crudo means “raw” in Italian.) Really tiny serving and meant to be savored. We really enjoyed the very clean and fresh taste of the fish.

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We were thankful for the complimentary bread and sort of loaded up on them since we already anticipated the small portions.

My carnivore guy ordered Grilled Hanger Steak with Olive Oil Potatoes $29. He said that the steak was very good and tasty but he wished the portion was bigger.

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Everytime squid ink pasta is offered on the menu, I just cannot resist it. So I ordered the Squid Ink Chitarra with clams, cuttlefish and shrimp in white wine sauce $17. I really enjoyed this dish! The pasta was very toothsome and the flavors were simple but magnified. I could have eaten a second bowl.

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Verdict:

Lungomare is really about quality ingredients over quantity. It is about enjoying the freshness and taste of the food than about eating until you are stuffed. I guess you can do that by ordering more if you do not mind putting a dent in your wallet. It was quite a pricey dinner that left my guy still a little hungry but it just hit the spot for me.

$108 including one Bloody Mary, Iced Tea and tip

We took a little stroll at Jack London Square so I could take some pictures of the water and watched two long trains go by. Jack London Square is next to  railroad tracks where Amtrak station is also located. Dessert was at Dreyer’s Ice Cream at Rockridge. I really enjoyed this date night!

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100 Little Blessings #12
A Nice Refreshing Breeze 
The weather in the Bay Area has been pretty moody  this past two weeks. A gorgeous day can turn into a gloomy and chilly morning the next day, that would turn humid in a blink of an eye.  A nice refreshing breeze today was so welcome as I was walking home. It was not a harsh wind but the kind that made the leaves and flowers sway gently. While carrying my purse and heavy grocery bag back to my car, I was really thankful that the breeze accompanied me during my 15 minute walk. What a difference it made!

100 Little Blessings #12

A Nice Refreshing Breeze

The weather in the Bay Area has been pretty moody  this past two weeks. A gorgeous day can turn into a gloomy and chilly morning the next day, that would turn humid in a blink of an eye.  A nice refreshing breeze today was so welcome as I was walking home. It was not a harsh wind but the kind that made the leaves and flowers sway gently. While carrying my purse and heavy grocery bag back to my car, I was really thankful that the breeze accompanied me during my 15 minute walk. What a difference it made!

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07.14.14

There is a ramen war currently going on in SF. I have yet to pick up a pair of chopsticks to join the ramen crusade. Maybe one day but for now, I am happy to continue going to Ajisen to get my ramen fix. Many Bay Area foodies consider Ajisen “not worthy.” As for me I find Ajisen’s ramen tasty and satisfying enough. The broth is always flavorful and the noodles are al dente.

My mejor amiga Edel and I decided to hit up Ajisen once again for our lunch date this month. We love Ajisen’s convenient location at the San Francisco Shopping Center. (Click here to read our previous visit to Ajisen.)

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She ordered a  (funny-shaped) fried fish with rice this time. I watched her really enjoy it.  She also said that it was really good. It came with a thick dipping sauce.

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I ordered a pork and corn ramen with tonkatsu broth  because I was craving corn. Just like with my previous experiences at Ajisen, the broth’s flavors was rich and deep enough.

With a wonderful hour of friendship, our meal at Ajisen was very enjoyable. My bowl was neither too big nor too small. It just hit that spot. Edel’s portion was generous that she had to take the rest home. Our meal was $19 plus change before tip.

Thanks, amiga, for the lovely lunch and present. The next month’s lunch date is on me!!! xoxo

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PS I was thrilled to find out that there are Ajisen Ramen spots in Metro Manila Philippines as well!

100 Happy Moments 
     14. Thoughtful presents from a dear friend
My mejor amiga, Edel, always gives me pretty little things whenever we see each other. And her presents are always thoughtful. She gets me things that she says remind her of me — like this “princess” notepad which she gave me during our lunch date today.
Thanks for reminding me that I was a princess once and supporting my inner princess! ;)
So lucky to have you as my amiga! xoxo
07.14.14
 

100 Happy Moments

     14. Thoughtful presents from a dear friend

My mejor amiga, Edel, always gives me pretty little things whenever we see each other. And her presents are always thoughtful. She gets me things that she says remind her of me — like this “princess” notepad which she gave me during our lunch date today.

Thanks for reminding me that I was a princess once and supporting my inner princess! ;)

So lucky to have you as my amiga! xoxo

07.14.14

 
23 Reasons To Love Sundays
Cleaning the house and feeling light and fresh after doing it. Then you sit on your couch tired but admiring how neat and pretty your place is.
Getting high on  jazz while you are doing your house chores AND more jazz while you are relaxing after working so hard.
Long, luxurious hot shower that can only be done on Sundays where you are not rushing to go anywhere.
Applying face mask after the boyfriend goes out to do his own thing.
Deeply conditioning your hair while you are at it.
Watching a  chicflick and allowing yourself to cry because you know that nobody will walk into your moment.
Daydreaming the afternoon away.
A glass or two of rosé, bubbly champagne, a deep red or chardonnay — whatever you want at the moment, really.
Drinking cups after cups of hot black coffee.
Tea, if you like, lots of it.
Getting dressed in your favorite jeans, top and sandals, and go thriftshop shopping for that vase or hoping to find some treasures.
Having a coffee date with your friend that you have not seen for a year but every time you see each other, it feels like the last time was just yesterday.
Stocking up on snacks — japanese musubi, chocolates, mochi ice cream, macarons, and anything that would satisfy your sweet tooth.
Cooking a big slow-cooked  meal while barefoot in your kitchen with all the works, preferably stew, even though the only person you are feeding is your man.
Tearing apart sourdough bread dipped in balsamic vinegar and EVOO, and drinking a glass of wine while you are preparing a feast.
Making a big bowl of pasta with EVOO, lots of sauteed garlic, red pepper flakes, basil, freshly ground peppers, parmesan and feta cheese. Savoring it even if you are trying to avoid eating carbs.
Visiting your sister and nephew, bringing them a box of donuts and making a day of it just hanging out.
Going to church and feel blessed the whole week, (Hopefully you wake up early enough to make it to the worship service.)
Listening to the rain and thinking about how wonderful and scary life is but it just goes by so fast.
Allowing the sunshine bathe your living room with bright glow and refusing to draw the curtain even it means the house would get too sunny and warm.
Getting lost in a cozy mystery or great literature or detective story.
Talking to your parents for an hour or so, and letting your parents forget that you are now an independent and mature woman but you let them still worry about you.
Knowing that tomorrow is Monday, not your favorite day of the week, but also knowing that it is a fresh start, a new page for you to fill with new memories of weekday lunches with your BFF, window-shopping in the City and a chance for you to make a difference in the lives of others— until the weekend.

Inspired by: Thought Catalog posted by The Wanderlust Diary.

23 Reasons To Love Sundays

  1. Cleaning the house and feeling light and fresh after doing it. Then you sit on your couch tired but admiring how neat and pretty your place is.
  2. Getting high on  jazz while you are doing your house chores AND more jazz while you are relaxing after working so hard.
  3. Long, luxurious hot shower that can only be done on Sundays where you are not rushing to go anywhere.
  4. Applying face mask after the boyfriend goes out to do his own thing.
  5. Deeply conditioning your hair while you are at it.
  6. Watching a  chicflick and allowing yourself to cry because you know that nobody will walk into your moment.
  7. Daydreaming the afternoon away.
  8. A glass or two of rosé, bubbly champagne, a deep red or chardonnay — whatever you want at the moment, really.
  9. Drinking cups after cups of hot black coffee.
  10. Tea, if you like, lots of it.
  11. Getting dressed in your favorite jeans, top and sandals, and go thriftshop shopping for that vase or hoping to find some treasures.
  12. Having a coffee date with your friend that you have not seen for a year but every time you see each other, it feels like the last time was just yesterday.
  13. Stocking up on snacks — japanese musubi, chocolates, mochi ice cream, macarons, and anything that would satisfy your sweet tooth.
  14. Cooking a big slow-cooked  meal while barefoot in your kitchen with all the works, preferably stew, even though the only person you are feeding is your man.
  15. Tearing apart sourdough bread dipped in balsamic vinegar and EVOO, and drinking a glass of wine while you are preparing a feast.
  16. Making a big bowl of pasta with EVOO, lots of sauteed garlic, red pepper flakes, basil, freshly ground peppers, parmesan and feta cheese. Savoring it even if you are trying to avoid eating carbs.
  17. Visiting your sister and nephew, bringing them a box of donuts and making a day of it just hanging out.
  18. Going to church and feel blessed the whole week, (Hopefully you wake up early enough to make it to the worship service.)
  19. Listening to the rain and thinking about how wonderful and scary life is but it just goes by so fast.
  20. Allowing the sunshine bathe your living room with bright glow and refusing to draw the curtain even it means the house would get too sunny and warm.
  21. Getting lost in a cozy mystery or great literature or detective story.
  22. Talking to your parents for an hour or so, and letting your parents forget that you are now an independent and mature woman but you let them still worry about you.
  23. Knowing that tomorrow is Monday, not your favorite day of the week, but also knowing that it is a fresh start, a new page for you to fill with new memories of weekday lunches with your BFF, window-shopping in the City and a chance for you to make a difference in the lives of others— until the weekend.

Inspired by: Thought Catalog posted by The Wanderlust Diary.

My Week In Pics: 07.12.14

My week started out as blah. I even felt like I lost my focus until Wednesday. Thursday got busy and Friday was full-blast. I thrive in hard work and sense of accomplishment than being idle.

  • SUNSHINE: The week has been sunny, not too warm and gorgeous! Even the Nesquik bunny  (who was giving out free Nesquik drinks) thought so, too! ;)
  • SWEET TOOTH:  Tuesday was sweetened by a chocolate from my co-worker who came back from vacation. I really loved this spicy chocolate that I could not stop eating it. I was able to find where to buy Lake Champlain Spicy Aztec Chocolate in San Francisco and will get more.
  • HEALTHY EATING: I have been pretty good with my diet this week — I even ate a couple of vegan meals. I had lunch at Thai Idea Vegetarian (SF) on Monday and had vegan beef over rice. So huge that I had the leftover on Tuesday as well.
  • NEW DISCOVERY:  I treated my team during our monthly staff meeting on Friday and discovered a new sandwich place in SF called Lunch Geek. My team of men chose “manwiches” of pastrami and turkey but I had the Vegan Mi with tofu and vegannaise! I am addicted!
  • SHOPPING: Not so happy moment — I finally found a case that I like for my Samsung S4. It was a cute Kate Spade but it does not fit! I have to return it! :(
  • LOVE: The mojado burrito above looks menacing and ugly but it was my guy’s dinner. :) (Mine was a quesadilla.) Fridays have become Mexican Friday at our house. I pick up dinner at Taqueria Cancun on my way home from work at Downtown SF. We eat dinner while watching a  movie. I look forward to these traditions in our relationship.

Overall, a busy but not stressful week. I found the R&R that I badly needed during the long holiday weekend last week. I am thankful for those perfectly-timed breaks in life.

Have a great week, everyone!

Tacolicious (SF)

07.03.14

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It was one of those afternoons where I felt particularly extraordinarily happy and light.  I  am sure that the warm Mission sun contributed to the positive feelings. I also know that being with my best gals always makes me feel this way. And of course, knowing that it was going to be  a long weekend, I was able to relax, as as if all the worries just melted away that day.

Instead of my usual foodie post,  I will not go into great details about the food but I would rather concentrate on the memories of friendship that afternoon.

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It was evident that we were elated. We had lots of  fun — the usual laughter, catching up and gossiping — stuff that girls do when they get together. Everyone dressed particularly summery and pretty. A had her cute scarf on, H totally rocked her outfit with a fashionista necklace and J is always sexy no matter what she wears. And me, I loved my red blouse and dollar store necklace. (My necklace broke that day, luckily I was passing by a dollar store and got a cheap one. A girl’s gotta improvise! It totally worked!)

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(This is cute friend A mxiing a spicy beer)

The drinks were flowing and hit that sweet spot. I honestly cannot remember what we had, not because of inebriation — we were far from it. We were just happily and slightly feeling euphoric. Of course, ETOH  magnified the fun 100x.   All of our fruity drinks (dos pitchers of something delicious and fruity, a shot each of something with pasion fruit and lime, a few sips of michelada and spicy beer) were well-crafted but surprisingly delicate.

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It was indeed an afternoon of decadence, slight intoxication and friendship. What makes Tacolicious great was the equally festive atmosphere and delicious California-Mexican cuisine ( which means organic, sustainable and healthy-ish).  And yes, the vera cruz-inspired squid was really nice, as well as the simple yet really fresh-tasting chunky guacamole. Of couse, We loaded up on chips and 3 kinds of salsa.

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This July 4h eve did not end here. There was more. That will be on my next post. My girls and I enjoyed Tacolicious so much that we are planning another visit. When we do, it will be a foodie post  — detailed, informative, OCD — and boring, if you are not into that kind of stuff. Oh, well…..

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CHEERS!