Monday, May 31, 2010

Catching Up

Here are some pics summing up what we've been up to the last few days...

Shilo was one of my old roomates back in Cali. I first met her as a single girl and now she's married with baby #2 on the way. She and her husband Glen moved up to Seattle a couple years ago and it was such a treat to meet up with her and her fam and to hear all about what the Lord was doing in her life. Shilo is such a sweet and joyful spirit and it was so much fun catching up. Micah is almost 2 years old now and her second is due any day now - a girl!

Here are some new pics of the Monkey

We were able to visit with my mom's brother, Uncle Jun, and his family down in Seattle. My uncle and his family are such sweet people and we had a great time being with them and enjoying a hot pot dinner together.

My Aunt Thanh

My cousin Amy. She is a student at the University of Washington and is one smart, funny, and hard-working girl. She is such a joy; I held her as a baby and now she's holding mine! Time flies!

Matt and I enjoyed lunch today at La Fiamma, another locally owned eatery in Bellingham. This place is really good and the decor inside is modern meets homey - me likey!

The lunch special comes with a green salad and your own personal size pizza, all for only $9, not bad!

Matt ordered the B.B.Q. chicken pizza

I ordered the "Grecian Formula" - SO yummy! Topped with a white herb sauce, Roma tomatoes, basil, red peppers, feta cheese, black olives, and flank stank, Matt and I both agreed that it was delicious.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bagels and Books

You may not think it, but Bellingham has become quite the major foodie hot spot and over the years it's only gotten better and better as great local restaurants and shops continue to open around here. I love how many of the businesses will purchase items from other local establishments, therefore creating a community support group for independent business owners. And since my parents use to run their own restaurant, I am all about supporting your local mom and pop shops. With a stop at one of my favorite breakfast places followed by a stop at the Bellingham library's annual book sale, Matt and I were able to support the local community while making our stomachs and book collection very happy.

One of my most favorite places in Bellingham is The Bagelry. I've gone to this place regularly since high school and I always order the same thing. The Bagelry makes their own bagels on site and is so good! So if you're ever in town, make sure to stop by here!

Matt loves the pumpernickel bagel and got it alongside the Farmer's Omelette.

My usual order minus the eggs (I felt in need of some protein this morning): a bialy with a schmear of Italian cream cheese. So what is a bialy you might ask? Good question! It's almost like a bagel except that it only has a center depression instead of a hole, and is not boiled before it's baked and has poppyseeds and onions sprinkled on top - yummy!

This weekend in Bellingham is Ski-to-Sea, a time of fun community events, culminating in a major outdoor race on Memorial Day consisting of activities like mountain biking, canoeing, and kayaking, just to name a few. One of the benchmarks of this event is a major booksale at the library and Matt and I cleaned up! Books at $1 each?! Shut!

$12 = 12 books. Woo hoo!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


It's no coincidence that their license plate slogan says "Beautiful British Columbia" for that's exactly what it is, and then some. Being the westernmost province of Canada, British Columbia is absolutely gorgeous and if you've never traveled up that way, you should, especially if you love the great outdoors. We had the privilege of being taken up to Whistler these last couple days by my Uncle Siha and Aunt Nhung (my dad's sister) and staying at their timeshare. My parents, Matt, Jet, and I had never been before so we were very excited to go up north. Whistler not only recently hosted much of the 2010 Winter Olympics, but it is also known for being one of the best places in the world to ski/snowboard. Yesterday was the last open day on the slopes and we didn't get a chance to hit the snow so Matt will just have to wait till this winter to get Jet on some skis. I absolutely loved Whistler - everywhere you looked was like looking at a postcard and I definitely want to come back again when the snowy season is in full swing.

Okay, for my fellow Americans who are not familiar with Tim Hortons, the Canadian would say, "Shame on you!" T.H. is Canada's equivalent to America's Starbucks (many would argue that it's even better) and is Canada's largest restaurant chain. And just who is this Tim Horton you might ask? Well he was a hockey player who started this enterprise in 1964 before dying in a car accident 10 years later, leaving behind a legacy that would do him proud. So whether you define it as customer loyalty or maniacal obsession, one thing's for sure, Canadians love their Tim Hortons and my husband is no exception. As soon as we crossed the border, the only thing on his mind was, "Gimmie my Timmies!"

Matt + Tim Horton's = Pure Happiness

After having his first cup of Timmie Ho's, Jet was overcome with superhero strength and didn't need to sit in a carseat anymore.

Crossing Lion's Gate Bridge to Whistler

Whistler Village

Having worked at the Four Seasons in Westlake Village, I had to give a shout out to the Four Seasons peeps in Whistler. This location was huge and so pretty. Man, I miss those comp nights!

The place we stayed at was right in town so all we had to do was walk across the street and we were right in Whistler Village. This place was so nice, loved it!

Notice how the American is victoriously on top? Oh snap! Okay, I know, I know, Canada won the most gold medals at this year's Winter Games, I'm just jealous.

A stop at Tantalus Lookout on our way home from Whistler. Gorgeous scenery - the background wasn't bad either;)

Shannon Falls

The most bite-able cheeks!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Phans

Ever seen the movie, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"? Well, I've always thought that my family is just like that, except Asian style. My dad is the oldest of 11 kids and all his siblings live around here so every time we have a family gathering, it's guaranteed to be loud, crowded, and full of food. Last night we had just a small handful of my family over, with most of them meeting Jet for the first time. I love the crazy and rowdy dynamic of my family - so fun!

My Grandma on my dad's side. She is definitely the matriarch figure in our family and I'm so glad she was finally able to meet her great grandson. Those red bags that are in Jet's hands are known as Chinese lucky bags that typically hold money and are given at special occasions, i.e. Chinese New Year, birthdays, weddings, etc. In this case, Jet received a couple of them as a welcome gift and judging by that smile, I think he knew some bling was coming his way.

"Where is Waldo?":)
Matt has been such a champ in not only acclimating to our family but also to our culture. He is so good with trying new foods and learning some Chinese and Vietnamese phrases and is such a natural fit with our family.

One of the easiest, healthiest, and tastiest dishes you can always make is roasted vegetables. Just chop up whatever veggies you like, toss it in some olive oil, salt, and pepper, bake at 400 degrees until tender, and you've got yourself a foolproof veggie dish. My mom made this last night with sweet potatoes, yams, beets,and carrots - so good!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hike & Hotpot

One of my most favorite hiking trails in Bellingham is the one to Fragrance Lake. Off of Chuckanut Drive, this hike is beautiful and also challenging as you hike uphill practically the whole way up. But what awaits you at the top makes all the sweat worth it.

Jet's first time wearing shoes, this pair was courtesy of Barb and Phil Raby - so cute!

I love this natural illustration of death giving birth to life.

The lake at the end of the hike, on top of the mountain.

We had hotpot for dinner tonight. I grew up eating this meal and I love it. All you need is some sort of boiling device, whether that means an actual hotpot or even a rice cooker, you cook your meats in a broth in the pot and then add veggies and herbs onto rice paper, roll it up, dip it in peanut sauce and voila! you've got yourself an easy, healthy, and delicious dinner. And once you finish the main meal, you can do what we do, add some egg whites to the broth and have a little bowl of soup to top off your dinner.