Monday, February 21, 2011

Amazing Eats: Raku Japanese Charcoal Grill

I love/hate Vegas. I love the lights and lack the timekeeping but I hate that I feel my age every time I come. Since I no longer hang with the mini-skirt-clubbing-until-4 A.M. crowd, I indulge in food. We just took a trip to Vegas to celebrate G6's birthday and the boys introduced me to Raku, otherwise known as the best food I've ever eaten. If you're ever in the mood for anything other than the buffet, give this place a try.

Raku is a small restaurant located in a strip mall near Chinatown and the boys discovered it via yelp. Everything is tasty, everything is amazing. They serve all small dishes and all orders for skewers are a single skewer so we took the opportunity to eat A LOT.

Yellowtail. I almost cried when I ate the salmon version of this. It was THAT good.

House cold tofu. You can get this fried as well. Which we did. Obvs.

Wilkinson Ginger Ale. Canada Dry claims that their Ginger Ale is made out of real ginger. This ginger ales tastes like someone too a piece of ginger and juiced it into this bottle. I literally choked multiple times just from the fragrance of the soda. AND it has the ginger bite. I drank the whole bottle but I probably won't drink it again.

I don't have more pictures of the food because I was too busy stuffing my face after awhile. We also had chicken, duck, kobe beef, etc. etc. etc.

Besides the food there is the bathroom decor.
Bathroom #1 has a fishtank.

And the fancy toilet that will clean and dry your bum

The 2nd bathroom has a faux tree.

And faux grass.

Not to mention a CD of nature sounds and birds playing. It's a good thing the bathroom is immaculate otherwise it would have been creepy and gross.

I cannot wait to come back again.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Louie Likes It: Bowhaus NYC

We're anticipating a few days of rain here in LA so it was perfect that Louie received his new trench coat in the mail this week.

Thanks to Gilt, Louie scored a fabulous trench coat from BowhausNYC.

The coat is super well made and much better than other coats out on the market for dogs. I didn't snap any photos of the inside but it is lined with an adorable pattern. Did you see the adorable button and buckle detail?!!? I die!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

cocktail + ring = instant fun

Currently have my mind on cocktail rings. I feel so fancy with them on, even if I'm just trying and refilling copiers daily. Best part? They don't have to break the bank. Whenever I bring home a giant piece of jewelry, I wear it around the house. That way, I'm used to wearing it and it won't be so awkward when I leave the house. It also gives me a chance to figure out if I love it enough to keep it. I've been known to pick up jewelry from a store and wear it the whole time while I'm in there just to see what it feels like. Lindsay Lohan has taught us that this may not be a great idea.

A quick window shopping trip around the web yielded these beauties:

From top left:

Though if you were trying to break the bank, I'd go for this one:

Do you love it??!?!

Monday, February 14, 2011

happy day!!

Whatever you feel about valentine's day, it's always good to be reminded to sprinkle a little extra love on those around you.

K and I are part of a couple's group with three other couples at our church and this past weekend, the men of the group cooked us a huge dinner. We had oxtail potpie from Mr. Waddles, a yummy salad from Mr. Simpo, dessert from Mr. Shhh, and K whipped up "Fish Two Ways." (It's important that you refer to this dish properly.) All went really well and was super tasty, with no significant casualties except for Simpo who had cooked himself into a physical state of exhaustion after having previously cooked for his wife the day before. The ladies really appreciated a meal.

I snapped this photo of the men at work.

K is so excited because the ginger he cut out for his fish were shaped like hearts. I heart him.

"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality." Romans 12:9-11

Friday, February 11, 2011

the thirty - the details

My milestone birthday has come and gone and if we're friends in real life or on Facebook, you already know the details but I thought the world needed to know what a truly epic celebration it was.

I've been thinking about thirty ever since I turned 29 and researched a million options. It was like planning another wedding. Initially, it was going to be circus party because I was inspired by this party. Actually, I was more inspired by the outfits, namely this one:

(Photo from The Winding Road)

How perfect is this?! The circus theme was brewing for much of 2010 so much so that MOH's mom bought me a perfect circus jacket she spotted at a flea market. The perfect outfit hung in mind for months with no where to go. I even thought about hosting it at Cirque School LA but just couldn't swing the budget for it.

And then it Boots Saga 2010/11 happened. Most people don't believe me (or think I'm ridiculous) but the whole idea for the party happened because of these boots. I wanted these boots and wanted to have an occasion to wear them. Just to make sure that occasion would occur, I planned the whole party around them. I spotted these boots first at Anthropologie. On sale!

Boots Saga 2010/11 was a tragic story of love, loss, love, and loss again - but finally love. Long story short, I ordered them in September 2010 and didn't get them until January 2011. Now I realize I'm not really a cow girl. I don't even really love the outdoors but I love these boots, I love glitter, and I love plaid. So this is what had been swirling in my head for months:

(I too wish there was a better photo. :)) So there it was. The Birthday Outfit. Now all I needed was the party. And what a party it was...

Invitation designed by MOH. Wish you could've seen it in person.

Somewhere along the way, mustaches became a huge obsession. (Subsequent detail photos by Ruby Chu Creative.)

The confetti were punched out of glitter cardstock, one by one with a 1" punch out, by the best husband in the world. It was completely necessary to keep the party from going too Dude Ranch.

Mason jars were purchased at Target and other random glass bottles were borrowed from a friend.

Poms on a stick added a nice touch of pink. It's just like making a regular pom but gluing a stick in between.

Mustaches were purchased from Oriental Trading and in order to create the backing, I traced each mustache out from sheets of sticky glittery foam and mounted them on to long lollipop sticks from Michaels.

The whole combination of everything in theory was strange to everyone but myself. It was perfect in my head.

These gift boxes were a labor of love by MOH. I gave her the box and twine and she figured the rest out. It helped that I had 2395802 mustaches leftover because I ordered 108 mustaches when I thought I was ordering 36.

Inside each box was a few of my favorite things:

Chocolate kettle corn from Popcornopolis packaged in popcorn bag from The Sugar Diva. (Had to get my circus in somewhere.)

In addition to the confetti, the cake was K's masterpiece. A couple weeks before the party, whilst I was losing my mind, I commissioned K to get the cake. I knew exactly what I wanted but couldn't find an exact picture so had to send him to the bakery with inspiration pictures with very specific rules:
- The mustache must be big, but not too big.
- The mustache must be smooth, but no fondant.
- The cake must be round.
- The cake must have texture.

I may or may not have lost my cool on my than one occasion when repeating these parameters over the phone. :)

Cake Sensations did a FABULOUS job. I literally squealed with I saw the cake.

It truly was one of the best birthdays ever and I'm forever grateful to everyone who came clad in plaid.

the bounty hunter

Friday, February 4, 2011

don't stop make it pop: the counter mj experience

It's been a busy season. I didn't even realize Jam could even have a busy season. I've been so exhausted from work lately that it's hard to keep my eyes open by the time I get home each night. I haven't been feeling very social but we're blessed to have regular meet ups with friends each week and I make it a point to keep that commitment to these fun folks. This week, we dined at the counter and had wii fest 2011.

at the counter, you can pretty much have whatever you want. just check the box.

My masterpiece: 1/3 pound burger in a bowl on organic greens. Topped with: avocado, sauteed mushrooms, and fried onions.

I would've eaten more of it if I didn't already have chili cheese fries, parmesan fries, and sweet potato fries before the burger got to the table.

Here are some of the fun folks:

Inept service notwithstanding, it was a great meal. No host or hostess was harmed in the process. Promise.

For our post-dinner activity, K borrowed a few games from the mouse one of them being THE MJ EXPERIENCE!!!!! (All exclamation marks necessary.) I've been wanting to play this game for a long, long time and it was everything I thought it'd be - and more. Check out the fun folks in the mj experience.

For the record, I am the best Michael in the group. (I refuse to compete with JoJo who had previous experience via Just Dance.)

Love you fun folks and your dance faces!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

lodi dodi we likes to party

Happy lunar new year to you!!! It's the year of the rabbit ... and that's about all I know about that. You know a cultural holiday has reached its peak when Cityville has incorporated into a game and demands that you put up 3 lanterns in celebration.

I come from a small family and Chinese new year always meant a family meal and red envelopes. I've married into a big clan of people and they like to party like it's the year of the rabbit so the celebrations are a bit more elaborate. This year, there was a buffet, karaoke, and party games!

You choose an envelope and write your name on it. At the end of the night the envelopes were opened and inside could be any amount of money ranging from $5 to $100. Guess who got all of the high amounts? THE MUNCHKINS.

K and I haven't attended a new year celebration of the clan because it always fell on fellowship night but it all worked out this year and we went. Our first appearance at the celebration as a married couple means you have to dole out the red envelopes. To whom? TO THE MUNCHKINS. K enjoyed it very much.

What do you get for Chinese new year when you're married? NOTHING. Except usually from your parents. But this year a branch of the clan decided to make turnip cakes! From scratch!

Homemade amazingness. It's almost as good as a red envelope in your pocket. ;)

Happy new year!!