December 30, 2011

oh 2011, it was a good run

hey 2011. this year was a whirlwind. we had some beautiful + wonderful ups and some things i will never forget. personally, i think 2012 will be much better but that's just me. i've already got some great plans in store and cannot wait!

In 2011, I...
  • got a fulltime job (!!!!)
  • ran my first 5k
  • moved to a new apartment with joe
  • many visits to catch up with college friends, whether it was in mpls, des moines or chicago we always know how to get a little crazy
  • spent more time with my family that i ever had in the last five years
  • said goodbye to my Target discount. you are missed
  • party rocked and shuffled through October
  • became a better sports fan
  • got lazy and grew my hair out soley so i could have my mulan bun back. and then i cut it again
  • cooked more. baked more. crafted more.
  • got a wonderful gift from my parents including a new computer + camera (and a food processor from J)
  • celebrated my sister's achievements of getting into law school. and am plenty excited for her upcoming graduation and send off!
  • enjoyed sweet dates with J. we had many and we have many more ahead!
  • spent lots of time with our sweet sweet kitten
  • developed more. personally and professionally. but i can already tell i have much more to grow!

alright 2012, im ready!  let us celebrate the end of 2011 & the beginning of a wonderful 2012 with a sparkly dress, champagne & good company!

image via 

December 29, 2011

on our eighth date of christmas...

... we went to uptown diner in minneapolis for brunch.
eggs benedict for me + cajun breakfast for joe.

December 28, 2011

asian christmas

Christmastime has always been sweet for my little family. All of my extended family still live in China so it's always been just mom, dad, Jenn and me. We always do a meal (or two) and a movie. This year was no different. Joe and I joined my family for peking duck on Christmas Eve and on Christmas day, we headed to Wanderers Garden for dim sum brunch*. the food was delicious, the company was wonderful and Asian Christmas was a success. afterwards, we met up with J's dad at the movies and watched Sherlock Holmes. i couldn't ask for more.

*if you've never had dim sum, its quite the experience. servers roll around carts/trays filled with a variety of freshly prepared small plates  and you pick and choose what looks appealing. food ranges from dumplings to short ribs to sesame balls.  there was a family next to us who was expecting a buffet and were very confused by the carts & all the servers moving around.

on our seventh date of christmas...

... we had milkshakes, burgers and fries at The Convention Grill.
it was a little date + my birthday dinner.
and it was delicious.

December 27, 2011

diy: glitter wine bottles

you'll need:

empty wine bottles, cleaned & labels removed
glitter, any color
mod podge

1. mix together mod podge & A LOT of glitter 2. paint on an even coat of glitter glue onto the wine bottle 3. let dry. 4. repeat 2-3 times until all gaps are covered. 5. set flowers inside the bottle. done.

after taking down our holiday decorations the other day, i thought our kitchen needed a little something something. I've been saving these wine bottles for a different project but decided to give this glitter project a go and i think they turned out pretty decent! i think they are still a little wintery but changing up the color of the flowers would make it seasonal.

birthday + christmas weekend, according to my iphone



hope your holiday weekends were just as lovely.

December 24, 2011

on our sixth date of christmas...

...we drove around neighboring areas and looked at christmas lights!

we actually stumbled upon this date as we were headed for another so we decided to make a quick trip back a different night and really take some time to admire all the pretty houses. we drove around a few neighborhoods, got a little lost but we found our way back.

if and when we get a house, i want it to be the most festive house on the block.

image via 

December 23, 2011

sweet treats

for my birthday, Joe and I went on a little diner date & then met up with some friends for drinks.  it was nice to go out, have a few drinks and catch up with everyone. i also got these sweet treats from Casey.

on our fifth date of christmas...

... we built a gingerbread house.


my side was the clear winner

J + N

December 21, 2011



today is my birthday.

not sure why 24 seems older than 23 (its only one year!) but 24 seems super old
aaand i know it's really not that old, im just saying.(no offense to anyone 24+)

anyways, im off to spend the day at work (i know, i know), meet J for dinner & friends for drinks. maybe throw in a face cake or some glitter in there somewhere.
that would be ideal.

image via

asparagus gruyere tart

i made this asparagus gruyere tart for Joe's family's holiday party. it was so quick & delicious (and festive looking!). J came home late and we rushed to the party with food in hand. everyone had already started eating, drinking and socializing so we got right down to business (the eating,drinking and socializing business that is).

too bad they all called it an asparagus pizza.

recipe found here

December 20, 2011

on our fourth date of christmas...

... we slept in, woke up late,
and had donuts & coffee.
it was the perfect way to start a lazy Sunday.

*i have a slight feeling that we're not going to be able to finish all twelve dates before the end of the month. maybe. we'll see (smile)

December 19, 2011

sugar cookie overload

on Saturday afternoon, my friends and I got festive and did some holiday cookie decorating. I realized I am not a cut-out cookie baker since mine all smooshed together while baking. Anyhow, we still had plenty of cookies to decorate (sans mine) and now my home has an abundance of sugar cookies.

Come over and eat some?

December 18, 2011

life lately, according to my iphone

Right now, boyfriend is still sleeping and I just finished playing an awesome word on Words With Friends (68 pts, booyah!). I can't decide if I should go in and wake him up & take him to brunch or donuts. Life decisions. We had one of those talks last night about life that neither of us like but it ended with a smooch & lychee martinis so neither of us complained.

In other news, Wiz keeps eating my basil plant.

December 16, 2011

stuffed green peppers


  • 2 bell peppers, any color, tops cut off and seeds removed

  • 3 cups cooked rice

  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/4 onion powder

  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes

  • 2 cans of tomato sauce

  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tsp italian seasoning

  • dash of tabasco sauce

  • sprinkle of cheese

  • salt and pepper to taste

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. bring a large pot of salted water to boil. add peppers & keep them submerged for three mins. drain and set aside. 3. Mix together cooked rice, 1.5 cans tomato sauce, tomatoes, garlic powder, beans, onion powder, 1/2 tbsp worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Fill the peppers with even amounts of rice mix. 4. Mix remaining tomato sauce, worcestershire sauce, italian seasoning and tabsaco sauce in a bowl and spoon over rice. 5. Bake 30-45 minutes. 6. Sprinkle the tops with a bit of cheese. Serve!


this was a delicious veggie dish Joe and I enjoyed earlier this week. i kept insisting that we add ground beef or something but J said rice & beans would be just fine -- which is surprising since J is definitely a meat & potatoes type of man. We had some leftover rice filling which was still delicious warmed up as leftovers.

December 15, 2011

on our third date of christmas...

.. we went on a sushi date! at wakame.

i spent some time looking for new places for sushi (since wakame is our normal go-to) but alas, it was raining and wakame is close to our apt so we opted to go there. we chatted over a few drinks and tried some new rolls and we even found our new favorite! we joked about what to do for my birthday and J showed off his sweet chopstick skills.

yeah, he's basically a ninja.

December 14, 2011

the day we went to go visit a reindeer (blitzen, dixen, whatever)


Over the weekend, Casey, Lisa and I went to go visit a reindeer at the mall. I should mention it was an outdoor mall so reindeer were allowed. There was a lady showing off reindeer antlers and such but no Santa. And we didn't even get the reindeer's name. Afterwards, we went to lunch, they dropped me off at my hair appointment (where I chopped off my overgrown locks)  and even picked me up afterwards. How sweet.

Other things this weekend:

  1. number one has to be that my friend got engaged - congrats Casey and Mitch (a different Casey. Yes, I have two. I'm lucky like that)

  2. and brunching with the girls to celebrate!

  3. J and I watched every episode of "The League." It is a total bro show but we snuggled up & laughed (alot). and i love it when can we both laugh out loud.

  4. we also watched football. I do love football Sundays.

  5. my momma made me lo mein and won ton soup. some days, i really miss living in an asian household.

  6. we bought cookie butter. and dipped apples in it. i could eat apples all day with cookie butter. thats healthy, right?

  7. like I said before, I got a hair cut. I already miss piling into a bun on top of my head.

  8. annnd my baby sister got into law school! California, here we come (to visit of course!)

December 13, 2011

wishlist: w's

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Little Wiz will for sure be getting #6 in her stocking. She can't stop playing with my hair ties.

December 11, 2011

wishlist: j's

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

i may or may not have helped him pick some items out.

December 10, 2011

on our second date of christmas...

... we ate pizza, popcorn + movie theater snacks, made s'mores, built a fort and watched Elf.

that was until Wiz thought it'd be fun to try and walk on top of the fort and it came crashing down. joe said i looked so sad when it all fell over but he got up and helped put it back together.

it was a really, really, really nice night in. plus, can you believe j's never seen Elf before? it's a christmastime classic. we may have to do this every year.

December 9, 2011

wishlist: n's

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12

i guess really this is a birthday + christmas wish list.

December 8, 2011

on our first date of christmas...

... we made lasagna, drank wine & caught up.

i stumbled upon this idea here and thought that this was a sweet way to celebrate december, the holidays and christmas. so cheers to twelve dates of christmas, twelve dates to celebrate the holidays and twelve dates to spend with my love.

December 4, 2011

Today I'm loving this

  1. sleeping in late + curling up against the boy with the kitty in between.

  2. breakfast sandwiches.

  3. seeing all the snow that fell yesterday.

  4. our chilly apartment & tons of blankets.

  5. a clean kitchen.

  6. stealing this idea and starting a tradition with J.

  7. puppy chow. best decision to make this yesterday.

  8. putting away laundry. its weird but this is one of my favorite tasks.

  9. deciding to reinvigorate my summer plants indoors.

December 3, 2011

this is what happens when you dont really know how to use your new camera


but some of them are a-okay

thanks for the dinner date Shelby. that was a much deserved 2 hour pizzeria catch up session.