Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

We followed our usual tradition of having dinner at Maggiano's in Chevy Chase to celebrate the new year tonight. I love this because it's casual, low-key, involves good food and people you're comfortable with. I'm so over the days of dressing up in clothes that aren't warm enough and wearing high heels that cramped my feet--all to go to a party or club where it was too loud to hear my friends. Tonight was perfect...58 minutes to go until midnight, Sophie is well-fed and fast asleep in bed, and Darren and I can ring in the new year together (in peace)!

Yes she is wearing sweats, but there was freezing rain tonight--I swear!

Darren and my sister Michou, who is 5 months preggers with her second baby..woohoo!

The kiddos were taking a break from sparring with forks.

The conversation was riveting. We recapped our best and worst moments of 2009.

Maggiano's never disappoints.

What a nice way to end the night, with a bubble bath. She was an angel today!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Starbucks Via

My parents had a huge party over the weekend and I was asked to help out and "work". They had so much delish food and drink, but honestly my favorite thing I tried was Starbucks Via, their new instant coffee. I had the Decaf Italian Roast and it was to die for. I know a lot of people love to hate Starbucks, but their coffee is truly my favorite. It's very bold and rich in flavor, and this instant coffee was no exception. I don't think anyone can really tell the difference between Starbucks Via and their whole bean coffee!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Whirlwind

It's been a week since I've last blogged, but I have a really good excuse, I promise! I've been just trying to survive the Christmas festivities, and this year there were a bunch. I made my first Christmas Eve meal ever for my in-laws, and it went over pretty well--although I must admit that the Honeybaked Ham Company helped me out quite a bit! Then we headed over for a huge potluck with my family, where we ate and ate and ate and played Dirty Santa. Finally, on Christmas Day we opened up presents at my parents' house and ended the holiday with a Christmas party just for much fun, but honestly I'm beat! I need a year to recover and prepare for the holidays again.

Sophie on Christmas Eve morning before our lunch.

I've been holding on to these jingle bell napkin rings for years and this is the first time I had a chance to use them.

Viva le Honeybaked Ham!

Darren (on the right) and his family

Now here's my family (the Phamily). And that's just about a sixth of us in this picture!

The ubiquitous Snuggie. If it wasn't so wrong, it'd be so right for me.

Christmas morning at our house. Why is my stocking so flat? Hmmm, Santa??

Best. Bedhead. Ever.

She wants to be The Batman when she grows up.

Unwrapping more gifts at my parents' house. We are starting to lose the battle against plastic junk. There's only so much you can control when other people are kind enough to give your child gifts.

If we weren't asian, maybe there wouldn't have been karaoke on Christmas morning.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Funny Face

A parent's gotta do what a parent's gotta do to eat lunch in peace.

We were going stir crazy at home today and decided to get out for lunch. Darren, Sophie and I went to Famous Dave's and I tried to get a few shots of Sophie while she was occupied watching her favorite cartoon, The Batman, on the ipod. As you can see, she was not liking the camera today.

My favorite pic. At a restaurant, in her pajamas, eating corn, with headphones on.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

There's something so nice about being snowed pressure to get out and run errands or buy last minute Christmas gifts. Just nothing but peace and quiet and quality time with the people you love (but never see enough). Today was a perfect wintry day in my book.

Is there anything better than opening up a care package filled with goodies? I couldn't find these things at the market and Darren's cousin Mylene sent them to me from Florida!

This isn't even close to how much snow we got. It's still snowing, 24 hours later.

Oatmeal for sustenance!

Sophie's first time playing in the snow. And it was perfect!

I thought this was such a cute picture of daddy and daughter.

Can you tell she was having fun?

But in the end, she preferred watching her dad shovel snow from the dry comfort of the garage.

This is Darren after shoveling snow for 2 minutes.

...and a warm bubble bath to clean ourselves up afterwards! It was a fun day for Sophie.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I want to see this documentary when it opens next year! The movie follows four babies from around the world during their first years of life. Besides the trailer being upbeat and fun, those babies are irresistibly cute!

Serena & Lily Baby Sling

I love this baby sling from Serena & Lily. The embroidery detail on flax linen is so me. Sophie was a big baby, so it was kinda hard to wear her all the time, unfortunately. But from what I've heard, babies who are physically close to their mamas are much happier people!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Homemade Tree

If I have more time next year (yeah, right!), I'm going to decorate my live tree with edible ornaments, a la blogger Chicken in the Road.

I especially love these dried oranges with cloves. I bet they make the house smell wonderful!

all images via Chicken in the Road

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Village Pillows

Yet another posting about throw pillows that I will probably never be able to afford...

I love this set of village pillows by Rachael Cole. The pieces are sold individually, as well as in a set, so that you can build your own little village. This would look so cute in Sophie's room.

Holiday Brunch

We had a nice little brunch for my cousins today. Nothing complicated, just simple food and good conversation as usual. That's really all I need these days...

I made fresh whipped cream for the first time today (ok, my sister did the whipping). I'm never going back to Cool Whip again!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

These are a few of my favourite things...

Everyone's got a wishlist going, so I thought I'd make a small one to help out certain people who might be my Secret Santa or stuffing my stocking this year *cough cough*. Also, these are just great products that I'd recommend, in general.

My signature fragrance. Kiehl's Musk Eau De Toilette, $38.50

I'm somewhat of a lotion and hand cream connoisseur, and I can attest that this one really works well. Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, $19.50

I love clean and simple pale pink nail polish. Essie "Eternal Optimist" Nail Polish, $8.

I like using rubber stamps to make my own stationery. This kids'-themed octopus stamp would actually be very chic in shiny gold ink. Paper Source Octopus Rubber Stamp, $7.

I like the vintage look of this skating couple for holiday correspondence. Paper Source Ice Skating Couple Rubber Stamp, $7.

A favorite motif of mine for stationery is India. Paper Source India Elephant Rubber Stamp, $8.

And that's all I have! Honestly, this year I haven't felt like I really wanted much. It's just a joy to be able to spend good times with family, ya know?