Monday, November 25, 2013

So, We Went to California

Hi guys!  It has been a while since I have blogged.  Not surprised seeing as I feel so dead all the time these days from school.  But enough about that.  I have a bunch of photos today!  Brandon and I went to California to visit some family.

Day 1:

We didn't think we would have so much fun on the first day we arrived, but Brandon's cousin Jennifer spoiled us rotten and took us to the best sushi place HANDS DOWN I have ever had in my life.  I don't think I can ever eat other sushi again without a pit of sadness in my stomach for the loss of not having this restaurant readily available to me.  The place was called Sushi Gen, in LA.  The chefs were super nice, but be careful not to eat too much!  It adds up very quickly. The coolest part was that the menu had Hirigana and Katakana, so I ordered in Japanese.  THANK YOU JAPANESE CLASS!  Did I mention Jennifer is the best?  That was my first time meeting her, but she was so gracious to us, and was a really fun person to talk to and is drop dead gorgeous.  We drove around Korea-town a bit as well.  Actually we did lots of stuff but my memory is kind of failing me.  *SIGH* This is why it is best to blog the day after something happens....

The sushi chefs at Sushi Gen.  THEY ARE AMAZING.

One of the MANY delicious sushi pieces we ordered (this one was plain tuna).  Do not be fooled by the simplicity.  It is the absolute best.


Day 2:

First, we went to brunch at a Korean restaurant with Brandon's dad and his cute grandmother.  Then, we went to DISNEYLAND!!!

Seriously, this place makes me so happy!  I love the attention to detail even in their gardens.

They already had Christmas stuff up, which is something I am usually opposed to before Thanksgiving, but Disneyland can definitely pull it off.

We went to the Mad Hatter as our first stop and bought hats.  Here is a cute shot of Brandon wearing his.

And this is how I dressed (sorry for how blurry it is).  The weather was perfect for it.  Notice I match Minnie Mouse.  Ears and all.  

Brandon humored me and rode the Winnie the Pooh ride, but look how cramped his legs were in the seat!  It was hilarious.

The teacup ride!  How I love Alice in Wonderland, so this is one of my favorites.

We actually took tons more pictures but they all came out blurry on account of me not being able to use our fancy camera properly.  UGH!  Brandon's cousin, Benjamin, fixed the issue for us the next day.  Sadly, we didn't stay for fireworks because we had been walking around for six hours and got too tired.  However, we did polish off a large turkey leg, churro, chili lime corn-on-the-cob, and a hot cocoa.  :-) I just wish we could have had more time so we could have done more.

After Disneyland, we had a dinner and dessert date with Benjamin and his super cute girlfriend, Amber.  We were so extremely tired at this point, but had a lot of fun with them.

Day 3:

We started out our day meeting our friend, Esther at this Bruxie place.  Apparently, this chain is everywhere in California.  It was my first time going there.  I had a tuna waffle sandwich.

That day we kind of took it easy and relaxed.  We also went to this amazing Italian restaurant, Pizzeria Mozza.  OH MAN!  Again, another restaurant recommended by Jennifer.  That girl has great taste in food.  I recommend their Margherita pizza.

Oh, did I mention Benjamin let us drive his Corvette the entire trip.  It was so nice of him.  Gosh, we have the COOLEST COUSINS EVER!

Day 4:

 We went to Huntington Beach first thing in the morning.  Notice the Panda and Lion shirt!!!

We ended up having breakfast at a quaint place nearby, and then renting bikes and riding along the beach.  It was WONDERFUL and I am so sad we don't get to do that regularly.

We also walked along the pier and saw this Pelican!!  At least, I think it is a pelican.  It was fearless and didn't fly away even with tons of people surrounding it to take a photo.

In my opinion, it was too cool outside to go surfing, but it was fun to watch other people doing it.

Benjamin was being a friend to all the birds on the beach that day.  It was hilarious.  They were all a bit wary of him.

Cheese alert!!! I can never go to the beach without writing "I <3 Brandon" in the sand.  And here is Brandon making us all laugh.  He is so cute and hilarious!

He wrote one for me too.  We are so cheesy, my goodness!

That night we went and had Korean barbecue with Benjamin and Jennifer's parents.  The meats were phenomenal!  

It was Kang HoDong's restaurant!  So I made Brandon take a picture in front of the cardboard cutout.  

Day 5:

We had to leave early in the morning to head home.  We were sad, but it was nice to have a day off from work. :-)

Well... I am now super tired after blogging all of this.  Hope you all enjoyed it.  xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hot Pot and Other Stuff

GUYS!!! I miss you.  I have been wanting to blog so bad, but seriously have been exhausted.  I am in the midst of doing full time school and full time work and being a Young Women's leader, and trying to be a good wife and trying to keep the house clean, etc.  So naturally blogging has been skipped for about a month.  But I am back because I just wanted to share some stuff.  First, I want to show you some Hot Pot pictures.  Brandon and I had homemade hot pot for dinner and it was absolutely divine!  Pretty much the best hot pot I have had in ... forever!

We started with homemade chicken broth...made by Brandon of course.  We put it in a hot pot (a pot that you can control the temperature manually while it is on the table).  This broth came from the bones of a Costco rotisserie chicken.  Brandon added onions, celery, and carrots to flavor the broth and then drained it afterward.  He probably added pepper to taste... and maybe salt?  I don't know.  Anyway, it was SUPER good broth.

We bought some meat from H-Mart.  The beef was thin-sliced...as was the chicken.  You don't want to have cuts of meat that are too thick or else there is a chance that it won't cook enough and you will get sick!  I also sliced some boiled eggs for extra protein.  I know, the whole tin-foil thing doesn't look too pretty, but we just kept it like that for clean-up convenience.

Then, we had a huge plate/platter of vegetables.  We had sliced savoy cabbage, separated bok choy leaves, sliced red cabbage, baby spinach leaves, broccoli, enokitake mushrooms, and zucchini slices.  Brandon's mom said watercress would have been good too, so we will try that next time.

This is what it looked like before we started.  Basically you have this stock boiling in the middle of the table... or should I say... simmering.  And then you just add whatever soup fixings you want.  We also added some Sriracha sauce and spicy Vietnamese chili sauce to our broth since we love a spicy taste.  PS... that cute little tea set we were using was a gift from my dad when I was 15 years old.  I still have the whole set and love to use it on special occasions.  

Ignore my eyes creepily glowing in the camera and the open dishwasher....  I was absolutely thrilled - and I mean THRILLED - to eat Hot Pot at home.  Also, notice I am wearing the Lana Lang kryptonite necklace... :-)  I had a picture of Brandon too.  He was eating his soup and that picture showed off his muscular arms nicely.  HAHA but he made me promise I will not post that picture.

This is what it looks like when it is cooking.  We had some lovely pure Jasmine tea with our meal, but I wish we had also served it with tall glasses of ice-cold lemon water!

Long story short, it was amazing.  

As for the rest of life... school is hard, but not so bad as last quarter.  I am taking a Japanese class, economics class, and an Accounting class.  I have not gone out with too many friends lately, but we have had a few cool people move into our church and have had a chance to get to know them.  I got a gelish manicure!  I absolutely love it.  My grandmother from South Africa finally moved in with my parents in Utah, so that is awesome.  Lastly, I am going to Disneyland this week!  I can't wait to get away, since I really need a vacation.  Work has been making me so stressed lately.  Although I feel blessed to have a job I can't wait until school is over so I can work somewhere that I am more passionate about.  My current job is perfect for life at the moment, but it is definitely not what I want to do for the rest of my life.  Anyway, I had better get going! xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son