Sunday, September 28, 2014

Boston Weekend

Julie and I headed to Boston for the weekend to support my cousin who's currently in dental school and would be having his white coat ceremony on Sunday. His parents live in Taiwan and my parents are currently in Taiwan on vacation.  Julie and I are kinda the third tier of supporters and of course, we didn't want him to feel sad that he didn't have any family around to celebrate with him.  Plus, Boston is only an hour flight so it was no big deal.

Saturday was pretty much left for travel, vegging, and eating.  My cousin had school work to do so we didn't see him until Sunday.  For dinner, we went to Royal Roast Beef & Seafood where I got some clam chowder and Julie got a steak and cheese.  I even put on my gym clothes on to get some steps in at the gym's treadmill.

On Sunday, Julie and I took a cab to the hotel that the ceremony was being held at.  We met up with my cousin who had a big smile on his face and gave the rundown of how his first month of school and Boston went. He's had some issues with IKEA furniture and getting his belongings delivered by FedEx, but he seemed to be in good spirits despite having lots of school work to do.

He went to go line up and Julie and I went to go sit down along with all the other students' family and friends.  There were some quick speeches from the professors and then it was time for the students to line up to get their white coats.  All 195 of them were individually called up and recognized.  Some students were coated by a family member, so it was cool to see that they were keeping up with the family legacy.  One student was coated by her husband and when they got their picture taken, they brought their two children up on stage.  It was so cute.
After the ceremony, we sat down with my cousin and two of his friends to eat lunch that was provided by the school/hotel.  We handed him his mail and some fun money, gave him a hug and then back to the hotel to change and head to the New England Aquarium before going home.  I felt like we had to do something quintessential to Boston before we went home!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Limited Edition Oreos and New Makeup

I decided to take a sick day today for doctor's appointments: dentist appointment in the morning and a dermatologist appointment in the afternoon.  I stayed at my parents' house last night to catch up with Julie and it's closer to my dentist anyway.

After getting a clean bill of health from the dentist, I drove across the street to Target.  I found these limited edition Oreos right in the entrance (ugh, good planning on their part!).  I couldn't decide which one I wanted so of course, I got both. After trying both of them, I have to say that I liked the pumpkin spice one more.
I went back to my parents' house to eat lunch and address any work emails that came through.  Around 1 PM, I headed to the dermatologist and they didn't say anything different from when I saw them 3 weeks ago.  Well, except to say that they had these pads that might help with the discoloration on my neck leftover from the shingles.  I thought that was a promising idea until they told me that it was $64.  Um, no thanks.  It's not that important to me.  The people that care about me know what happened and they won't judge me for my leopard spots.

On the way home, I went to RiteAid and CVS to take advantage of some makeup sales.  At RiteAid, Wet 'N Wild was 40%, so I got a MegaLast lipstick in Vamp It Up.  The dark purple color might be fun for Halloween.  Then I went to CVS and took advantage of their Maybelline and Wet 'N Wild deals.  They had a buy $12 worth of Maybelline, get $4 Extra Care Bucks.  I also had $3 off $15 Maybelline CVS coupon too.  I bought a blush and a concealer to get the $4 Extra Care Bucks and then I went back to get two Wet 'N Wild eyeshadow palettes and a nail polish (buy 2, get 1 free).  I had been searching for these palettes for a few weeks now.  They've gotten good reviews on YouTube. Whoo hoo! :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tahoe, Day 5 and 6: the Long Trip Home

Getting home from Tahoe was quite an ordeal! 

1. Drive from Tahoe to Reno airport (this was actually the easiest part of the trip because the road was flat and there was no risk of falling over the cliff).

2. When we got to the airport, Robyn had to check her bag and the ticket agent said that there was an air traffic delay at San Francisco, which would cause us to miss our connecting flight.  I guess our plane was coming in from SFO and it was delayed over there.  The agent took 30 minutes to figure out how to get us home to DCA and then she realized that the delay was magically lifted.  Whew, ok!

3. We went through security which was not too bad.  The family behind us was talking about Social Security and Wisconsin so Robyn talked to them.  I noticed that the guy in front of me had a bunch of Ironman gear on, so I asked him how his race went. Unfortunately, they cancelled it because of the fires.  What a bummer!

4. We got to the gate and were excited to be heading home...until I got a text message saying that the flight to SFO was back to being delayed and we would miss out connecting flight.  You could tell that others in the gate area got the same text message because we started lining up at the counter.  I pulled out my phone to call United and Robyn stayed in line. Yay, team work. I was able to get a hold of the United agent on the phone and there were no options of getting home to DCA that night.  We could take a red eye or get into Dulles at 2 AM.  Ugh, neither one of those options were good, but we went with the 2 AM arrival time one.  At least we would be close to home.  The red eye would mean a lot of time wasted just sitting around, waiting for the flight.

5. We got to SFO and then it was off to Dulles.  Fortunately, because of the crappy arrival time, it wasn't a full flight.  Both Robyn and I got rows to ourselves.  We got to Dulles and then we road a taxi to Robyn's apartment which was close to DCA.  I camped out on her couch and then left first thing in the morning to hop on the Metro to get home to my place.  I think I rolled into the house around 8 AM.  Whew!

I multi-tasked by doing some laundry, showering, unpacking and answering emails.  Around 3:30 PM, I headed to the office to give my computer to IT because they wanted to switch it with a new one and I also wanted to catch up with folks before going to Surili's happy hour at 8407 Kitchen Bar.  I had a cocktail called Birds and Bees, which was tasty.

I didn't stay very long because I was so tired from travelings, so I went home and bummed around until it was time for the season premiere of NCIS :D

It's good to be home...well, until Saturday when my sister and I go to Boston for my cousin's white coat ceremony.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Tahoe, Day 4: Sequoia Fail

When we were planning for this trip, Robyn suggested going to see some sequoia trees.  Big Tree Grove in Placer County looked like a good option.  That was the plan for today.  That was about 3 hours away from where we were staying.  Ok, let's go!

What we didn't count on was the smoke from the surrounding fires. About 2.5 hours into the drive, the smoke was getting really bad, both to breathe in and for the visibility. Eventually, we had to make the executive decision to turn back to be safe.  Being stuck out there is not the way to go because it's not like someone can easily save you if you're stuck on the mountain!

We got lunch on the way back and went back to the Bijou Park to get our Fitbit steps in.  Sigh, oh well.  Safety first!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Tahoe, Day 3: Emerald Bay and Steph's Wedding

I was looking at the Google Maps app to see what there was to do around the area that we were staying in. I pulled up this thing called Emerald Bay. Hm, it looked familiar and then I realized that it was on one of the postcards that we bought at CVS the day before. It was going to be a 30 minute drive. Perfect!

The drive there was a little scary.  It wasn't too bad in the dark, but in the daylight you could see that some places on the road had no guardrail and there was no protection between you and the edge of the cliff.  Robyn kept her concentration on the road (thankfully, since she was driving) and I was trying to concentrate on not looking down.  There were some cyclists that we had to share the road with too.  That must take a lot of self-confidence and faith in the drivers that you're not going to fall over into the abyss!

After we parked the car, we took in the scenery and it was tough to imagine that we could walk down to the Bay since it seemed like such a far way down. We took the 1 mile trail down to the water and wow, how beautiful! :)
We headed back so that we could relax at the resort before having to get ready for Steph's wedding.  The invitation said that we had to plan to take the gondala up to the Heavenly Resort for the wedding ceremony and reception.  The Food Network helped us pass the time.

I chose to wear a new dress that I bought at JCPenney this past summer.  I was planning to wear my hair up in two rope braids, but when I looked in the mirror, I could see the discoloration left behind from the shingles and while normally, I wouldn't care who saw it if I was at home or at the office, I was going to a wedding where the majority of folks don't know what my situation was. I didn't want to get any weird stairs.  Fortunately, I learned how to curl my hair using the flat iron.  Yay!

Robyn and I drove up to the gondala area at the base of the mountain.  Steph's aunt was behind us in line so we chatted with them.  The gondala ride up the mountain was beautiful and once we got to the top, we were seated for the ceremony. Not too long after everyone sat down, it started to sprinkle.  They made an executive decision to move everyone inside and that was a good decision because it started to pour right after we all got inside. The pink paper parasol that we got as a wedding favor wouldn't have held up.

The ceremony was short and sweet and then we moved into the cocktail hour before dinner.  One of the friends was asked to show off his yo-yo skills.  Another friend was asked to show off his Rubik's cube solving skills.  Steph and other musicians played "Marry You" which was cool.

Dinner was a buffet (mac and cheese, sea bass, vegetables and a carving station).  Then there were toasts from the father of the bride, father of the groom, best man, and one of the bridesmaids.  While all this stuff was going on, we could help ourselves to the shaved ice station (this was in place of wedding cake) and the photo booth.  The couple had a cake for the cake cutting ceremony, and that cake was cut up for the guests, but by the end of the night, I thought I had eaten too much already.  Then it was time to dance the calories away.  I spent most of that time catching up with Steph's family since the last time I saw them was Christmas time. My feet hurting was a sign that it was time to head back.  We drove Steph's aunt and uncle back to the resort since we were all going to the same place.
Me with the bride
Me with Steph's parents and brother
Green tea shaved ice, the bouquet that was made by the bride's aunt (made all from paper!), and the welcome table

Friday, September 19, 2014

Tahoe, Day 1 and 2

Day 1: Since our flight didn't leave DCA until after lunch, Robyn and I were able to get some work done in the morning before heading to the airport separately.  The flight to Denver and then to Reno were uneventful.  

That was until I got an email from Steph's fiance, Eric, saying that Route 50 might be closed because of the area forest fires and that we should go around the west side of Lake Tahoe (as opposed to the east side) to get to Aston Lakeland Village, where we were going to be staying. Uh oh.

Robyn went to get the rental car, while I went to get our bags.  When Robyn booked the rental car, she got a wildcard.  Not sure what that meant, but it sounded like it'd be fun.  The wildcard happened to be a Fiat 500.  I was a little worried that Robyn would be uncomfortable with a smaller car since she's almost 6' tall, but the car was surprisingly roomy on the inside. She asked the rental car lady about the detour and she gave us a map to show us how we could get to the resort.  
The drive to the resort was very...dark and a little scary and there was road work being done so we needed to stop periodically.  We finally rolled into the resort around midnight and got settled into our room.  There was a pull-out couch on the ground floor and a king bed in the loft.  I gave Robyn the king bed so that she could be more comfortable. We took out the pull out bed from the couch and there were popcorn crumbs on it.  Um, no.  I'll sleep on top of the couch, thanks!  It was the perfect size for me.
Day 2: Time to have some fun!  We headed out to look for some breakfast and fortunately, there was a place called Heidi's right next door. The interior decor was Heidi (as in the book) themed.  How cute!  I went with a lighter breakfast with oatmeal, and Robyn went with some pancakes. We also went to Safeway to get some breakfast food for the next couple of days and CVS to browse (ended up with toiletries and a pack of postcards).  

We went to check out the private beach that the resort had to offer and it was a beautiful view.
We also went to Bijou Community Park to get our Fitbit steps in.  This place had a dog agility park and had the setup for disc golf.  They also had a fitness course that we tried out.
After getting some exercise, we went to get some Indian food at Nikki's.  I had been thinking about it since this morning when we got breakfast since it was near Heidi's.  We got butter chicken, butter lamb, some sort of fried vegetable dish, samosas and naan.  Yum! 
The movie Pacific Rim was on tv. It was surprisingly good. I didn't recognize Charlie Hunnam because I'm used to seeing him on tv with facial hair on Sons of Anarchy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Trip to NaiNai's

I went to lunch with my coworkers today (Michelle, Ben, Surili and Hilary).  Ben and Hilary had been talking about this dumpling place nearby and of course, the rest of us had to check it out.  The place was called NaiNai's.  I ordered 6 of the beef dumplings and 6 of the pork ones.   Yum!  (But mine are better, tee hee).

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hiroki's Wedding

1-hour spin class (check).

When I was in class, my cousin texted me some pictures of my cousin's wedding that my parents went to in Japan.  It was nice to see them dressed up and having a good time with family.
I watched my third movie in three days: The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  I would say that I liked this one and the first one equally.  I liked the chemistry that Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield have.  Well, it probably helps that they are a real life couple. 

For dinner, I went to my uncle's house for dinner along with my 2 cousins and Julie.  It's rare to have a family dinner without my parents, but they are off having their own fun.  After dinner, each of us was able to take some leftovers home, yay for an already prepared meal for tomorrow.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Yard Sale Find and Captain America 2

My coworker sent me an email earlier this week, letting me know about a yard sale that was happening this weekend.  I went there this morning, but only found a Sterilite container for $1 that I though I could use for my craft room.  I went to the mall afterwards to browse when I got an email from that same coworker.  She was asking if I had gone to the yard sale yet and that there were good finds there.  She ended up with a scarf and a purse and something else.  She said that she thought one of the dresses would look great on me.  I didn't want to add anything more to my closet since I bought several dresses over the summer.

I spent much of my afternoon doing some organizing of my craft room.  Yay!
Tonight, I watched Captain America: The Winter Soldier and it was so good.  I thought it was better than the first one (how rare it is that a sequel is better than the original??) and there were instances where my mouth fell open with shock.  I enjoyed it more than Divergent, which I watched last night.  I returned the movie and because I had another coupon code for $1 off a rental, I rented Spider-Man 2 to watch tomorrow.  Lots of movie watching this weekend! :D

Friday, September 12, 2014

Ah, Friday!

Yay, Friday!

I got an hour spin class in this morning, so it was nice to start off the day on a good note!

I got some work done and also took a break to pick up the Redbox movies that I rented (I had a rent 1, get 1 free coupon in my email).  :D

I rented Divergent, which I watched tonight.  I hadn't read the book, so the movie trailer was the only reference that I had. Meh, it wasn't the worst movie, but I didn't think it was the best either. I thought it had shades of Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.  Plus, I wasn't really convinced that the girl that played Tris was believable.  This is contrast to how I felt Jennifer Lawrence played Katniss. Tris's professing her love for Four at the end of the movie made me roll my eyes. Yawn.

Four was easy to look at though ;)

The other movie I rented was Captain America 2 and I'll wait until tomorrow to watch that.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

RJ's Follow-Up Appointment

I worked from home this morning and then took RJ to the vet for his follow-up appointment to make sure that his urinary issue had been resolved.  The vet tech called me yesterday and told me that he needed to have a full bladder in the morning so they could get a urine sample. 


I fed him some wet food and shut the door to the litter box.  He circle around and tapped the door knob several times.  He looked at me and the door, as if to say "Mommy, I really have to pee."  Ugh, I tried to hold on as long as I could, but I couldn't see him pathetically circling around. Fine, go pee in your box.

Surprise, surprise, he didn't have enough in his bladder for the vet to get a urine sample.

She said that I have two options: "You can try to get one yourself or you can keep him here.  We'll give him fluids to get a urine sample out of him."

How am I supposed to get a urine sample?  My friend at work was really funny when I told her what happened.  "It's not like you can squeeze him like a orange."

I left him at the vet and went to work and got a call around 5:30 PM saying that he peed and the urine test came back with good news.  Red and white bloods cells were normal.  Whew!

On another note, when I got home from the vet the first time, I turned on the tv and watched some clips of the Today Show.  They were talking about one of the surviving rescue dogs from 9-11.  It's hard to believe that day was 13 years ago.  I had just started freshman year of college.  It was hard not to tear up a little while watching the remembrance clips they showed on tv.  And it's also hard to think that a lot of the struggles with fighting evil then still continue today.

Never Forget.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Aunt to the Rescue

Not that I need anyone to prepare food for me, but it's nice when someone invites me to dinner.  My uncle called me last night to ask a Facebook related question.

"What time are you coming over?"

I dunno. 5:30?

"Are you going to stay for dinner?"

Sure, what's for dinner?

"How about rice with beef and veggies?"


Dinner in exchange for some technical advice (my cousin and I also tried to get his email to work on his Kindle, with no luck) sounds like a fair trade to me!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mom and Dad in Taiwan

Mom and Dad left for Taiwan on Monday and won't be back for a month!  This is their first vacation without kids.

And they've been married for over 30 years.


Oh well.  Better late than never?

I was IMing with Julie earlier in the day, wondering how we'd know if they had gotten to Taiwan safely.  Mom and Dad aren't the most tech-savvy people, so how would communication work?  My cousin and I must have been on the same wavelength because I noticed when I pulled out my cell phone 5 minutes after the IM conversation, she had sent me a text message with this picture.  Notice that my dad and my uncle are wearing the same shirt.  I don't think that was planned.  How funny!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

New Nail Polish Storage and Nails

After going to the spin class this morning, I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond, armed with a 20% off coupon. I wanted to get a shoe hanger to store my nail polish and free up a shelf in my bathroom. Now I can hide my slight nail polish addiction, ha ha.
Robyn and Julie came over last night to make some dumplings for dinner. I had a plate of leftovers that I wanted to eat for lunch and dinner tonight, but I accidentally dropped the plate of them after I got home from the gym. Well there goes that idea! Fortunately, I bought extra ground beef and had almost all the ingredients that I needed (except ginger), so I made another batch for myself tonight.

While watching the Real Housewives of New Jersey tonight, I painted my nails with CoverGirl's nail polish in Grapevine.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Seche Vite Restore

My Seche Vite and my Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coats were getting really goopy, even though there was probably half of the product left in the bottle.  I was determined not to let this go to waste, so I decided to buy the Seche Vite Restore solution to thin out my top coats. I saw that it got really good reviews on  I actually ended up buying a 2 oz bottle from Face & Body Shoppe for $10 with free shipping (Ulta sold a 0.5 oz bottle for $4.49 and you had to pay for shipping).  Yay for getting a good deal.

I gave my nails about a week-long break from nail polish except for nail strengthener treatment and painted it with a dark purple Sally Hansen color.  The thinner worked and I'm really pleased with my purchase :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Shingles Follow-Up Appointment

The dermatologist said that I was healing nicely from my bout of shingles a few weeks ago.  I expressed a little concern about the resulting skin discoloration, and they said that my skin is still healing.  They recommended that I come back in about 3 weeks for another check up and then we could discuss treatment options then.

Yeah, that'd be nice.

I'd like to not look like I have a bunch of hickeys on my neck, thanks.  :P

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Trip to the Regular Vet

UGH!  Why is my kitty not feeling better?  I thought things were getting better yesterday, but then when I woke up this morning, I saw him straining in the litter box again. 

Then I was debating between the emergency vet and the regular vet.  I called the emergency vet to explain my situation and they said that RJ should go to see a vet, whether emergency or regular.  Yeah, I know!!

(deep breath)

Since it was about 7:30 AM, I decided to try to get some work done, send an email to my boss to let her know what was going on, and promptly called the regular vet at 8:00 AM when they opened.  I was able to bring him in right away.  He got x-rayed there to check for bladder stones, which thankfully he didn't have.  They couldn't get a sterile urine sample, so they had to keep him for a few hours.

I got the same message that I got on Sunday when I went to the emergency vet, which was to increase his water intake to dilute the urine and feed him more wet food instead of dry.  They even went so far as to say that I should add water to the wet food.


It's like cat food soup.

Oh well.  RJ likes it so I guess that's all that matters.

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Cleaning and Card-Filled Monday

Hooray for a day off!  I took the opportunity to do a lot of cleaning: washed a load of towels, cleaned the bathroom sink, cleaned the kitchen including scrubbing down the sink and inside the fridge, and vacuumed.  I also made 2 cards that Julie requested as well as a wedding card for my cousin.
I went over to my parents' house for dinner (steak and grilled vegetables).  Julie gave me an almost full bar of chocolate.  I stopped by my aunt/uncle's house on the way home and they gave me a full bar of chocolate too.  Is there something that's coming up this week that requires chocolate as a destresser?  I hope not!

RJ seems to be doing better.  At least the puddles of pee are getting bigger.  The vet recommended that he get some wet food in his diet and of course, he was so excited about that since right now, I feed him weight control food which probably tastes like cardboard (even though he's always excited to see his food when the automatic feeder turns).