Friday, October 24, 2014

praise God for another day, another year to celebrate this beautiful life! i'm so thankful for all the love from friends and family-- the phone calls, texts, emails, cards, surprise packages, and food! it reminded me of how fortunate i am to have such wonderful, caring people in my life. ♥ tonight we celebrated at a restaurant i've wanted to try for some time, claud & co eatery.

this month's theme was new orleans and everything on the menu looked delicious!

pan seared barramundi; with grilled okra, and potato mash with crystal beurre blanc.

all the dishes tasted great. thanks so much for a lovely evening! ♥

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

bizarra capital doesn't look like much from the outside (i actually drove past it while looking for it), but it's pretty good.

the restaurant had a relaxed, casual atmosphere which i loved-- and friendly service too.

taco de asada; skirt steak, avocado salsa, cabbage. taco de pollo; grilled chicken breast, pico de gallo, green salsa.

chorizo quesadilla; aged housemade chorizo, oxacan cheese.

chimichanga; fried burritos filled with flank steak, beans, grilled onions, hot dipping broth.

pastel de tres leches. this is one of the best tres leches cakes i've ever had.

it was wonderful to celebrate another year with delicious mexican food and good company!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

four years later, and these are still some of my favorite songs. here are a few more to add to the list. ♥

'breakfast' - newsboys
'con que pagaremos' - fernando ortega
'counting stars' - onerepublic
'dead man (carry me)' - jars of clay
'm.a.g.i.c' - the sound of arrows
'man of sorrows' - hillsong
'september' - earth, wind & fire
'shake it off' - taylor swift
'skinny love' - birdy
'viva la vida' - coldplay

Thursday, October 16, 2014

during last month's visit to ikea, my sister suggested that we buy fabric to make curtains. i suggested that we simply hang shower curtains instead.

but once we took a look at the fabrics, i knew that she was right. plus, the windows at home are custom sized so it made more sense to make curtains that actually fit.

this beautiful fabric was on sale and the colors were perfect for the walls. it was also light enough to give the room a lift.

we calculated that five yards of fabric would be enough to make curtains for three windows.

and so we measured it, cut it, bought it, and brought it back. and if it were left to me, the fabric would still be in its bag, untouched.

thankfully, my sister is such a creative genius and came up with a plan. we measured the fabric, and cut out three identical panels.

after accounting for the extra fabric for the hems, we cut off the excess.

next, we ironed down the hems twice-- to make double fold hems. even though it was our first time making curtains, i was impressed at my sister's attention to detail.

we pinned the hems so that there would be no raw edges,

and started sewing. i'm quite a beginner when it comes to sewing, but my sister showed me the ropes.

after that, i was sewing straight lines.

the whole project took a couple of hours, but it was definitely worth it. now my room has lovely handmade curtains. total cost (fabric and rods) came out to $30 for all three curtains. ♥

Monday, October 13, 2014

'libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. they open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life. libraries change lives for the better.” ― sidney sheldon

'a great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. you live several lives while reading.' – william styron

Thursday, October 9, 2014

i have hundreds of pictures from the trip to santa barbara, but i'll leave you with just a few more from one of my favorite places-- the santa barbara public market. it was exciting to visit such a creative space that was arsty and basically, all sorts of wonderful. one place inside that we all really enjoyed was rori's artisinal creamery. it was quite refreshing to have ice cream on a hot day, and even better to have such great flavors to choose from.

here are some of the flavors we tried: blood orange, fresh mint patty, malted milk ball, and serious dark chocolate (72% cacao).

Monday, October 6, 2014

it's amazing how God brings together such beautiful friendships, especially when it's unexpected-- yan success stories! i headed up to santa barbara with some lovely ladies for a relaxing weekend filled with much food and fun. we stopped by scarlett begonia for brunch and it was outstanding. the colors, the presentation, the service, the food-- well done. so if you ever find yourself in the area, i would recommend that you stop by and give it a try.

shrimp and grits; sautéed prawns, two soft poached eggs, paprika sausage, caramelized onions, roasted red pepper.

'sustainable, organic, local, thoughtful food.'

breakfast sandwich; arugula, avocado, heirloom tomato, bacon, vermont cheddar, over easy egg, smoked tomato vinaigrette, morning potatoes.

torta ahogada; niman pork butt, cilantro, pickled red onion, arbol broth.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

earlier this month, one of my brothers shared a book with me-- 'radical' by david platt. it was a hard read, as it challenged me in so many ways. yet it was full of so much truth that i couldn't get it off my mind for weeks. this topic of 'taking back your faith from the american dream', of living a life worthy of the calling. there's so much more to it, so i encourage you to read it. for the next year, i will take on the radical experiment: to pray for the entire world, to read through the entire word, to commit our lives to multiplying community, to sacrifice our money for a specific purpose, and to give our time in another context. and i trust that throughout the year, God will be glorified all the more.

around the same time, i also picked up 'strange fire' by john macarthur after a conversation with a friend where we amicably disagreed about how the Holy Spirit works in the lives of believers. though i wish one visit to the healing service at my friend's church would miraculously heal me, i don't believe that God would choose to be glorified through strange mutterings, loud shrieks, and fainting spells. it reminded me of the story in leviticus 10:1-3 where aaron's sons offered strange fire before the Lord. and look at what happened to them-- it's no laughing matter.

Monday, September 22, 2014

this past weekend, we went to the pasadena greek fest on the spur of the moment. a little bit of spontaneity with friends that i don't often see. i was planning to rest, but it looks like that didn't happen. and so, we wandered around, enjoyed the music, and tried some greek food.

there were fresh pastries and desserts for sale like baklava,

and meats straight from the grill! the souvlaki was delicious with a squeeze of lemon.

the feta fries were also quite popular. what a beautiful way to end the summer! ♥

Thursday, September 18, 2014

today was a great day! thank you Jesus for friends who understand and respect the need to rest. sometimes it's hard to tell other people, 'i want to hangout with you, but i just really need to rest.' it's been a struggle to carve out time for rest, true rest, when the world seems to offer such excitement. i'm still trying to find the balance-- so if it seems like i'm too busy to hang out, it might just be because i need some time off. either that or, i'm just not good at keeping in touch. anyway, i took a break tonight and had some fun in the kitchen. ♥

lime-marinated salmon over corn and quinoa; salmon, lime, corn, quinoa, lemon zest, parsley flakes, crushed red pepper, garlic powder, salt, pepper, oil.