on being ready

December 31, 2009
the past few weeks have been flying by. i feel like it never really registered that i was flying out until.. oh, 2 days ago? so i've been up packing and trying to figure out what exactly i need without being ridiculous. i'm attempting an all-nighter (so i can pass out on the plane), just like i did the night before i left for greece, but tonight may be a little harder because it's only 3 and i don't have to be anywhere until 8. also, in the midst of packing, i realized all of the stuff i forgot, and the stores that sell them are not open until 9 or so.. of course.

and to get to the real motivation behind this post, i've just been thinking about being ready. i feel like i'm not ready to go and have been thinking "oh, just one more week at home would be perfect." it's hard to leave when i can't bring people i love so much along with me


adorable raiza in this video.
she's only 3 months old and i won't be back for another 6.
she's going to be so different when i get back,
and i hate that i'm missing that.

my heart needs time to catch up with.. well, time. but this is rarely the case and while i've been resentful about it in the past, i suppose i've gained acceptance (and maybe appreciation?) for it.

i remember that being ready was hardly necessary to have the best experience. in fact, our lives would be so different if we were able to dictate when we were ready to take on the next challenge. unfortunately or fortunately, this is not the case. i see it as "fortunately"-- scared and anxious as i am right now.

if anything, in the end, this only makes us braver.

talk to you again when i'm on the other side of the world <3

pacifica pier

December 30, 2009

i'm trying to spend as much time as i can with david since i'm leaving in 2 days. actually, it's almost 4 am so i'm leaving tomorrow. oh, goodness.

i wanted to take pictures of pacifica to share with my host family in florence, but the most beautiful things about pacifica all have to do with some view of the ocean. so, david and i went to the pier.

view while on the pier

david... you're a fox

the freezing pacific

just booked..

December 27, 2009

3 nights in paris
2 nights in brussels
2 nights in amsterdam
2 nights in frankfurt
2 nights in salzburg
2 nights in vienna
1 night in potsdam

with david
trains in between <3

and 4 days until florence.

{via weheartit}

merry christmas!

December 25, 2009
{via our christmas eve candlelight service}

wishing you all of the love and light in the world.

merry christmas!

holiday tea party

December 23, 2009
today i hosted a holiday tea party with some of my favorite girls
complete with cucumber sandwiches, pumpkin scones, and devonshire cream

our tier of cucumber sandwiches,
egg salad sandwiches
& biscuits
(to be accompanied with jam and devonshire cream)

pumpkin scones.. from scratch :)

our pretty little table

candy canes in tea are SO GOOD
a encourage you to try it if you haven't already :)

love these girls
(raine decided to join us for the tea party).
if this is what it's like in england.. i can't wait!

nameless trail along skyline blvd.

December 22, 2009

a few days ago, david and i took a walk along
a trail adjacent to skyline blvd.
(after 20 years living near it,
i still have no idea what it's called)

we drive by this trail so much that it felt strange to walk on it and
just enjoy the reservoir and and natural beauty.

a little more than half way along the trail,
we ran into some trees decorated with ornaments and tinsel!

a wonderful surprise.

florence in winter

December 20, 2009

this morning i received an email from my professor in florence.
this is what florence looks like this morning (:

friday five

December 18, 2009

13 days until europe!
i'm flying out on new year's eve and am slightly anxious, slightly terrified, slightly ready.
i'm going to meet this darling girl in rome
and from there we're going to head up to florence where
we'll be for the next 3 months!

and two nights ago david and i just booked
3 nights in paris
for our adventures together in late march/ early april
i can't believe this is actually happening.


a few days ago i saw this beautiful photo
(she has a wonderful blog!)
so i thought i'd give it a try...


my lens aperture doesn't go low enough
(which i found out after johanna & kurt kindly gave me tips)
but i did get this photo when i experimented
with the city lights from my porch.
i couldn't get the hearts that i wanted
so i sort of forced my aperture to give me hearts
and they came out upside down..
and i kind of like it (:


i would like to introduce you to my dear friend camille.
as you can see, she's not part of the blogger community
but she has an amazing tumblr
and she always finds the most beautiful things.

and, she's in love with
just like i am
so she always posts GREAT photos from those two movies

love her <3


yesterday i babysat my other niece, raiza.
she is adorable.
and she is extra cute when
her sister, raine, is trying to take care of her.


i'm headed to windsor for the weekend
with david and his parents
a vacation within a vacation?
it feels weird not being in school
and having no stress
but i think i can get used to it :)

7 days 'til Christmas!!!

baked brie

December 17, 2009
yesterday david and i went christmas shopping, had lunch, then headed to santa cruz for the night. while we were there, i decided to experiment making baked brie (minus the almonds, because i'm allergic).

the chopped shallot and pear

sauteed with butter, white wine, brown sugar & thyme

hollowed out sourdough round with a layer of brie,
half of the pear mixture, more brie, more pear, more brie :)

the finished product

i think i may not have left it in the oven long enough.. i was too impatient to try it! but other than that i think it was a pretty successful first attempt. and this was just practice for the tea party i'm hosting next week...

happy thursday!

Catching Up (Dim Sum)

December 15, 2009
For those of you who don't know me very well, I often take a ton of pictures then procrastinate in posting them. I think it might be a disease. Most of my "Catching Up"s were from this summer, when I had bad internet in Greece and had a valid excuse not to update, but after I went to dim sum with some of my favorite girls a few weeks ago, I really had no excuse not to post. But, better late than never, right?

My dear friend, Norris, invited my drawmates and me to have an authentic dim sum experience with her. I'd gone with my family previously, but we're filipino so it's not really the same. I have never been too adventurous when it comes to dim sum, but this time I tried jelly fish and chicken feet! To me, it's really important to expose yourself to other cultures and their traditions, even if you have to step outside of your comfort zone. I actually really liked the jelly fish, but I still need to get used to the chicken feet :)

Elaine, my roommate, is a vegetarian. BUT, since she is leaving for Madrid in a few weeks she decided she may as well start eating meat because it's going to be difficult to maintain vegetarianism over in Spain. So, what does she eat as her first bite as a omnivore? Chicken feet. And she liked it!

Let me just say that this was a really amazing experience. It was really fun having Norris share her favorites with us and there was SO MUCH DELICIOUS FOOD. I never really think of dim sum as being filling, because there are just small, bite-sized things- but when you keep ordering everything because it's delicious, it really starts to add up.

The environment is so lively and bustling, yet close and intimate- I think I understand why it's such an important tradition. Moreover, it makes even more sense why "dim sum" literally means

"(to) touch the heart"

Thank you so much, Norris!

monday music

December 14, 2009

a few weeks ago, john mayer released his fourth album, "battle studies," and let me tell you...
it is SO good. i play it on repeat in my car and i can't get enough of how great his harmonies sound.

"then you come on crashing in
like the realest thing
trying my best to understand
all that your love can bring"
- half of my heart

and in other news, a few days ago my new blog friend, trishiekoh, gave me a blog award over at under lock and key. her blog is really wonderful to read so getting this totally made my day (especially in the middle of finals)! thank you so much for the blog love <3

friday five

December 11, 2009

as of 10:30 this morning.. i am done with autumn quarter!
this quarter was kicking my butt and i had my toughest final this morning.
now i can focus on planning for europe!


can i just say reiterate how much i believe that everything works out in the end?
i came to campus this year knowing nothing about where i was living,
who my roommate was, what the other people were going to be like
and living in my co-op has
introduced me truly wonderful people
and reinstates my belief that true, genuine people exist.


of the wonderful people i met,
one sent me this video while i was suffering-- i mean studying..

watch this. it WILL make your day.


today was my last day at work for one of my jobs.
we had a tea party with hot apple cider and russian pastries.
best last day of work ever :)


and last but not least, raine says "happy holidays!"

{first two photos via weheartit}