Food Tasting

The best thing about having a wedding – aside from marrying the most awesome guy in the world – is free food tasting! Many places charge for tasting, but ours was included in the package. Woot woot!

Kevin and I got to try two salmon dishes, two chicken dishes, and a vegan dish, along with six appetizers during a sampling session at our wedding venue last week.

It was a tough decision but we picked our favorites. I hope our guests will enjoy our menu selections!

Big Hair, Little Next Door

My Easter Sunday began with the trial session with the stylist who will be helping me with hair and makeup at the upcoming wedding … and she was ah-mazing. biggrin She was fun to talk to, and completely understood what I was looking for (even before I even knew what I was looking for). She’s someone I totally want to be friends with, and I’m so excited that I get to work with her on the big day.

Special thanks to Shannon, my style guru, for snapping photos and giving me much-needed tips during the two-hour session!

After the makeover session, we headed to Little Next Door for brunch. The place was quiet in the morning, probably due to Easter, and we got to enjoy the place all to ourselves.

We split Quiche Lorraine

And I had Salad Nicoise, with a glass of Riesling. Shannon had Peruvian Omelet with gruyere cheese, ham, and wild mushrooms. You just can’t go wrong with this place.

For dessert, we shared chocolate éclair. The shell had a distinct, cookie-like crunch that I’ve never tasted in choux pastry before. I really enjoyed this, a lot!

And I can never leave this place without having its amazing macarons. Since I had no more room, I took some home to be enjoyed later.

Now, time to resume my Sex and the City marathon. I recently purchased the complete DVD set, and I have been glued to the TV ever since, catching up on older episodes. In fact, I didn’t get out of my pajamas all day yesterday, and ordered Chinese food delivery for dinner.  The series is very dangerous, I tell you.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Say Yes to the Dress

Lunch (11:00 a.m.): Early lunch at Fat Spoon in Little Tokyo with Tiffany and Shannon, before wedding dress shopping. We started out with an order of Fat Spoon Salad, followed by its famous corn dogs. I had beef curry for the main dish.

Dress Shopping: We visited the Simple Bridal showroom in Downtown. Simple Bridal is an online bridal dress shop that has a several by-appointments-only showrooms around the country. We visited the LA showroom near Staple Center, in a building overlooking the entire Downtown LA.  It was breathtaking!

The experience was absolutely amazing. The showroom staff was knowledgeable and extremely helpful, and made me feel so comfortable. I was really dreading this process before arriving here but they made it completely pain-free for me. I actually ended up having a wonderful time playing dress up.

We even got to enjoy a few glasses of complimentary mimosas!biggrin

I was bummed that Saori (she wasn’t feeling well) and Maya (she lives out of town) couldn’t join in, but big thanks to Tiffany and Shannon for the much-needed moral support and honest feedback. Saori gave me her comments and feedback virtually via our iPhones after I sent her photos with options!

I’m happy to report that I found the perfect dress. And what people say is true – when you find the one, you just know. I knew immediately when I put on it on that this was the dress that I was going to walk down the aisle in!

I tried on a few more, just in case, but nothing came close to the feeling I had when I put on the winning dress.

Dinner (4:30 p.m.): After dressing shopping, we headed over to Daikokuya for an early dinner. I ordered Tsukemen, a deconstructed version of a regular ramen bowl.  We walked over to the nearby Pinkberry for a small pomegranate- and original-flavor frozen yogurt with strawberries, kiwis, and chocolate crisps, for dessert.

Late-Night Snack (8:40 p.m.): Imagawayaki from Mitsuru Cafe in Little Tokyo.  I ate way too much today.  Juice detox to commence next week.

This was a wonderful productive Sunday! Thank you, girls, for everything!

New Year’s Eve Eve

Today was the final work day of 2011.biggrin It was a fairy busy day, considering that many of the lucky coworkers have already gone on vacation days ago. I thought about taking some time off during the holidays myself but I figured I would save it for later in 2012.

I am looking forward to the relaxing next few days celebrating the new year with the family (as it is a big deal in a Japanese culture) and try not to think about the busy work month that awaits me in January.

Breakfast / Lunch (11:45 a.m.): I really need to get in the habit of eating breakfast earlier in the day.  I had a smoked salmon sandwich (same as last night) on sourdough baguette.  The sandwich is especially delicious dipped in balsamic vinegar. I also had a cup of freshly brewed coffee, served in my favorite mug cup. It’s from a store called The Universe Knows, and all their merchandises (t-shirt, mug cups, etc.) have wonderful quotes on them. This one says “cherish the journey,” and I have a few more with quotes like: “believe in yourself” and “be in gratitude.” Along with Life is Good cups, they bring such joy into my life every day.

Snack (4:30 p.m.): Made a steamed sweet potato for a pre-workout carb load. Although sweet potatoes are already sweet on their own, I like to drizzle a little bit of maple syrup on them. This reminds me of ishi yakiimo, stone-baked sweet potatoes, that I loved eating in Japan.  I like sweet potatoes so much better than yams.

Dinner (9:30 p.m.): After an intense workout with my sister, we opened a bottle of Cotes Du Rhone to celebrate the last workout of 2011! I made an udon dish with sliced yamaimo, okra, and green onion, with gomadare and ponzu. I just can’t get enough of the slimy goodness of all those food. I ate some kimchi with the noodle.

Addition:  My sister and I ended up staying up until 2:30 a.m. to watch the movie, Space Battleship Yamato.  Why not — it’s Friday night afterall, and it’s a friggin’ AMAZING movie.  We ate several onigiri (rice balls) at midnight and opened another bottle of wine — this time a bottle of nicely chilled Robert Mondavi Riesling.  I know I shouldn’t have but I simply couldn’t resist.

The wedding invitation cards and envelopes arrived this week from LCI Paper. I found this place while searching for good paper source online, and was impressed with all the helpful video tutorials they have posted on its Website. We are striving for a DIY wedding so we’ll be designing and printing our own cards.

The reality is finally setting in, that we’re getting married soon. I’m not even worried about the actual wedding but the preparation part makes me nervous a little since neither of us have done this in the past. I have to remember the quote from the mug – cherish the journey – and try to enjoy the process.