Sunday, December 3, 2017

Decadent Datenights

Hey guys, listen up. Go get a babysitter. Dogsitter. Take the night off. Whatever you need to do to make a reservation (real quick) at Delage in Oakland, California.

I have a feeling that this legitely-poppin’ Michelin recommended establishment will earn its very first Michelin star real soon. You'll want to be there before they do that because their $65/person price tag will go up for sure! This is a real bargain in the Omakase realm in my humble opinion.

Anyhoo, I am sooo glad we did not follow through with our original reservation elsewhere and went with this quaint, Omakase-fusion, dining experience. 

this was the 3 oz toro steak. fatty tuna belly lightly seared and sliced into 3 slices garnished w/ black truffle paste, garlic chips, and ponzu A++. mmmm.....fat girl kid kinda good

**You know you are in good hands when you feel like you’re being teleported somewhere really cool where all your senses are positively triggered. Hollaa!!!**

We looooovvvvved our dining experience so much I completely nerded out and busted out my mini notebook and started taking notes like I was in school.

Our gracious attendant Kara found my geeking out endearing and said I could take home the pretty Card stock menus for my Scrapbook & Blog. SCORE!!!

Speaking of the attendants here Kara & Jasmine were absolute sweetie pies and were really adorable in their urban, sleek, and trendy get ups. They had these super cute low waisted, high quality, Japanese-denim aprons that they paired with black leggings, mid-length boots, black fitted tops, and hair-do’s in high buns. They reminded me of graciously flitting ballerinas knowledgeable in every course they presented to us including the cute little doodads on every dish.

**no photos here. i didn't want to be weird and take photos of the ballerinas**

Here’s a breakdown of the Omakase (chef’s choice) 8-course tasting menu we had with photos, description, and our rating of each culinary experience:


kabocha salad- kale, quinoa, ume-orange dressing A+


chef's choice sashimi w/ ponzu (akami, kinme/tai, anago, &toro don). A++


**no picture of #3 ** we were too busy sampling the sake. we sampled all the tiers and started w/ the junmai. stick w/ the junmai cuz everything else tasted like nail polish remover. your taste buds won't lie.


this was one of my faves. it took the hummus & chips experience to a whole 'notha level. that black stuff is fermented rice and the bubbly looking thing is the chip you dip in the black stuff. the pomegranate beans and doodads in the middle made a flavor explosion in your mouth. this course was pure MAGIC

oh my snap, i don't like duck but i looooveed this DUCK! sashimi grade duck if there ever was one. man this was good. i'd eat duck everyday if it tasted like this. A++


this was hella lit. sequence is important here. you eat this from from left to right. A++ that black stuff on top of the white sushi tasted like an upgraded salt. i want that in my kitchen cupboard.


this was really underwhelming. they shoulda put soma' that black nori salty thing in here. it was hella bland even if the ingredients were super fresh B+


duuuuuude. i dont mind gaining 5 pounds with this dessert. they made a green tea custard with fresh cream and fruit for dessert. kara hooked it up with the bubbly for anniversary too. she's really pretty btw

Friday, June 10, 2016

Summer 2016

Wednesday, 6/8/16- Gigi's last day of 2nd grade and kindergarten for Gavin.

Later that day we celebrated with their cousins and family for (Alina's 9th birthday.)

With the newest member of the family, Tyson only 11 days old!

Thu., 6/9/16 kids played with neighborhood friends, went to the library, park, and grocery shopping.

Fri., 6/10/16, taking advantage the free bowling for elementary kids during the summer! 

The kids love bowling! Especially with the bumpers 😊







Friday, February 20, 2015

Oakland Museum of California

On Wednesday, we put our current obligations on hold to spend the day with friends at the museum.

I was thinking about how our friends were doing and sycnhronistically received a group text from Kiscelle about hanging out with the gang for an outing at the Oakland Museum of California.

My scheduled meetings were changed, we checked to make sure the hubby was okay with the kids missing school, packed our food/snacks/drinks, and got ready for a day of fun!

We left at 10:30 and got to the museum at about 11 am. The museum has its own enclosed parking structure and parking was easy. We stayed for about four hours and with museum validation, the parking fee was $5. Children 8 and under are free and adults $15.

There are three parts of the museum, natural, history, and art (I think). We spent most of our time in the natural portion of the museum but visited all three. 

Gigi and Rowan.

Gavin enjoying looking at bees up close.

Gavin and Alana listening to an audio/visual exhibit.

Alan and Myra hanging out.

Gigi so excited to see Kayla and Kelsey!

We had lunch in the open, grassy area of the museum.

Mommys hung out while the kids played after lunch. 

Hello Clark!

We had a kick watching Gigi and Rowan do this basic cheer lift with the smaller kids. 

Here's a video of Gigi, Rowan, and Kelsey.

Mateo, Clark, & Gavin.

There was this psychedelic, art-inspired video exhibit that was strange and captivating. 

We also read about how Frida Kahlo  found art as her positive companion from the many physical and emotional challenges she faced.

An outing wouldn't be complete without a group photo!

Top row, from L to R: Kiscelle, Clark, Rowan, Gigi, Kayla, Kelsey, Myra, Gavin, Alana, Millie.

Bottom row, from L to R: Linda, Adria, Mateo, Petra.

A passion for adventure, fun with our kids and, friendship is what continues to draw us together. 

Thank you mamas & kids for another wonderful excursion!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Family travel tips: in-room meal prepping

I am writing this post because I promised my friend Karina that I would share my family meal-prepping tips before she leaves for vacation with her family.

When you travel with your family food costs can multiply very quickly so I've devised ways to save money and still eat well.

The only appliances you really need in your hotel room is a refrigerator and a microwave. During our most recent trip to the Aulani, we opted for a studio suite versus a one-bedroom (with a full kitchen) to lengthen our vacation. Since the studio sleeps the four of us comfortably, it was definitely worth it!

As a rule of thumb, while on vacation I like to have one nice meal at a restaurant as a treat. Dinner is usually the meal we prefer to splurge on. Sometimes it's lunch or brunch. For the rest of our non-restaurant meals, I like to prepare them in our hotel room.

love traveling to Hawaii because it is far enough so we feel like we're getting away but comfortable in that there are nearby grocery stores and Costco's/Sam's Club.

Our DVC (Disney Vacation Club) studio at the Aulani came with a sink, sponge, dishwashing soap, microwave, refrigerator, toaster, coffee maker, carafe for the coffee, serving platters, utensils, glasses, wine glasses, cups, and plates. 

In this post I will show you how to make a hot breakfast and lunch (or dinner) in your room with a refrigerator and a microwave.

Breakfast: Bacon, eggs, and toast. (Kimchi is optional. Gerald and I like it on our eggs because it adds flavor.)


First you'll need to pack microwaveable Tupperware and coconut oil in a small plastic container. Both travel well and coconut oil is solid at room temperature so it doesn't scan as a liquid during your TSA check at the airport. The coconut oil is used to line the Tupperware so if you are cooking eggs or other items, it doesn't ruin the container. Plus it is healthy and all natural. I also like to pack scissors.

Now take your Tupperware, line
it with paper towel and cut your store bought bacon in half. Place another paper towel on top of the bacon. Microwave on high for about one minute per slice. I would recommend checking the status of your bacon every 1- 1.5 minutes to ensure it doesn't burn. We like our bacon crispy so I cook it until it is just right.


Take 2-3 eggs and scramble them up in another container. Then pour the mixture in your bacon-greased-up Tupperware. Cook at 50% power for about 1 minute each egg. I like to whisk the egg mixture up every minute or so to ensure the liquid cooks off but the egg still stays fluffy.

Toast your bread, add some kimchi and breakfast is served!

Lunch or Dinner: Asian chopped salad, roasted chicken, garlic brown rice and quinoa, and kimchi. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the kids.

Costco is a traveler's best friend. We hit up the Costco in Kapolei and bought rotisserie chicken, kimchi, Asian chopped salad, bread, lunchables, snacks, peanut butter, apples, bananas, juice boxes, wine, bottled water, and garlic brown rice with quinoa.

We bought the eggs, bacon, jelly, and musubis at a local ABC store (small grocery shop.)

The chicken just needs to be cut up and heated up. So does the microwaveable brown rice and quinoa which is surprisingly flavorful and moist! Then toss the salad and your hot meal is done:-) Kimchi is an easy way to add flavor, texture, and veggies to almost any meal.

Sandwiches are super easy. Lather the bread with peanut butter alone or add jelly.

And voila! Kids lunch is served!

With some planning and creativity you can create your own in-room-dining menu that is easy, heathy, and cost-effective :-)

Happy travels!

Monday, October 27, 2014

For Julio

Dear Juju,

Happy 10th birthday honey. I know this post is long overdue and today, after many years of contemplating how to remember you, I finally have the courage to write about the three wonderful years we had with you.

You helping mommy blow out her birthday candles.

Last week we watched a wonderful movie called the Book of Life. It is about the intertwined lives of the living and the dead. It is a beautiful story based on Mexican folklore and it reminded me of you and all our loved ones who have passed.

I was looking through archived pictures and I wanted to show you how loved you were since the day you were in your mom's belly to your last birthday with us.

While in your mommy's belly:

Here are pictures from your coming out party (baby shower):

Your first cake!

Check out how young your mom and dad are here!

Nana and Lola excited to meet their grand babies :)

And the football trash talking begins.

But of course your dad knows how to pick a winner (in women and in football.)

When you were born, 10/27/04:

Your first few weeks outside your mom's womb were tough but you were a fighter and your mommy and daddy never left your side.

Mommy giving you kisses at the hospital.

You and Lorenzo when you were teeny-tiny!

And who could forget THE HAIR! Bam! Stuck straight up  ;D

That smile of yours, oh my! You quickly won people over from the time they met you. Even as a baby you were easy to please and when you cried it was a tiny squeal-whimper.

You were one of the gentlest souls I've ever met.

And super easy to put to sleep.

I love this photo of handsome and kind, even as a baby!

Here are a couple photos with your brother in your Hawaiian shirts and matching sunglasses! Cuties!!

As you two got older, we had even more fun with you! 

Here are pictures from your 1st birthday party:

You and Nana

And of course a pic with your dad, mom, and brother.

You and your brother were our borrowed babies until we had our own. Lorenzo was Uncle Gerald's boy and you were mine, lol. We loved taking you to parties and everywhere we went.

Here are more blast from the past pics. Look how small all your cousins were!

Here are photos from Thanksgiving 2005:

There go those mesmerizing eyes again.

With Auntie Steph and Uncle Jay.

Here's a good one with Lola, MB, JJ, & Jer.

With your brother and cousins

With your dad

You did this gesture a lot when you were small and would get pretty much whatever you asked for ;-)

Love this one of you with Lola

The following are pictures taken in 2006, you would've been  2-2 1/2 years old.

Cutie on the Cell

Smiling with Uncle Gerald

Playing with the piano

One of your many sleepovers with us; you were the best cuddle bug!

Hello boys!

Here is another fave of mine which was taken at our wedding in 2006. You loved having a good time and would dance to anything!

You were the smallest one in our wedding party but look at your swag ;D

Here are pictures from your 3rd birthday party. Fun galore!

I hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane. It is the only path we have to be with you now. Please know that there are many of us whose hearts still ache for you, who remember all your endearing qualities, your sweet smell, your loving embrace, and your tender ways.  Until we meet again Juju, happy birthday honey.

"The Fault In Our Stars" by John Green