Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Laura and Jeremy's baby shower

so my little brother and sister in-law are having a sweet little baby girl in late september. who knew that it was Jeremy Choy's dream to be a dad? not me- i'll tell you that! to my surprise he's wanted to start a family for the past couple of years and when the guy wants something he goes full force. earlier this year Jeremy and Laura got married in Maui and some people wondered why there wasn't any alcohol to cheers them during toasts. as it turned out only one month prior to the wedding they discovered that Laura started growing a little Choy gummy bear. 

her name is Lily. Lily Ann Choy to be specific. i had the opportunity to be there when they found out that Laura's growing belly housed a little daddy's girl. the moment i heard "girl" i asked if they'd had a name picked out and this exchange happened...

J: Lily Ann
me: oh, i like that name. but did you watch that episode of Modern Family where they said that Lily is the worst name for an Asian baby because they'd never be able to pronounce their own name?
J: uhhh no
me: do you think poh-poh (our grandma who doesn't speak a lick of English) will be able to say it? 
J: uhhhh i don't know 
me: Riry 

meanwhile the ultrasound exam is still going on. i'm sure i was annoying and ruining the moment. whoops! and sorryssss! 

to maybe make up for it (not really...i more so just felt like i wanted to) i offered to throw the baby shower. many people will tell you that i'm not a kid person but so many of my friends have been pushing them out that i sort of have no choice but to be surrounded by them. in turn, i have grown to accept like them more....when they grow personalities. and are cuter. and can communicate. and i've always said i'd like my own kids so it's not like i'm completely opposed to them as a whole. but i mean this is my first niece so i want to be a part of her life even before birth. i threw a baby shower at my house and here's how it turned out. 

hilarious-ish mini-story-- some of you have seen this sort of decorating on Pinterest boards, i'm sure. strung up onesies and bibs at a baby shower isn't really a new thing but my grandma is an immigrant and baby showers aren't really a cocept she knows too much about. so when she came over and saw my decorations she turned to my mom and said "why would she do laundry today when everybody is coming over? and why does she have little clothes?" aaaaaHAHAHAhahaha!!

you're wondering what the heads are for right? you'll see...

good thing this shower was held at my house because that diaper cake wasn't the most sturdy thing. it was my first (and maybe last) time making one of those and i only used rubber bands and scotch tape to secure things. i'd say it turned out pretty good but transporting it from my living room to te backyard definitely was cause for potential disaster. 

instead of a guest list i made a calendar around the actual due date (sept 29) and had the guests take a onesie sticker and place it on the date they guessed Laura might pop (aka Lily's birthday).

aside from guessing/measuring how big people thought Laura's tummy was, tasting and guessing various baby foods and guessing how many circus animal crackers were in a big jar (which really meant guess-how-many-Regina-guessed because you swear i would spend my time counting cookies), we did a question and answers game. 

i read a question out loud and read either J or L's answer and the guests were supposed to hold up the face that corresponded to their guess. whoever got the most right won. sure they could've just thought out loud or kept their guesses in their minds but i thought this would be more fun.

preggers women love dessert. actually, women everybody loves dessert. also, i needed a standout staging area so that people wouldn't notice my backyard is comprised of a dying tree, dirt and cement cracks. enter the ever so popular dessert table! everybody is doing it nowadays and you know i enjoy baking! 

these went quick! 

as did these! my grandma wasn't quick enough at snatching up a cookie so when my mom asked if there were any extras or backups, i had to make an executive decision and take one from the two i'd saved for my boyfriend's parents who we're visiting from out of state. of course it wasn't like Sophie's Choice or anything, i mean grandma always wins right? i'm not even sure if she liked it. *sorry Mr. and Mrs. Lin, if you're reading this! (i know you are!) 

these doubled as the favors. unfortunately some of them melted in the sun but hopefully the guests let them get back to room temp before eating them up. they're pretty damn delicious if i do say so myself. 

no dessert table is complete without the cupcake tower! 

lots of presents and present-opening-awkwardness from the guy on the left and the baby shower was a done deal! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Martin & Nina's wedding

i can't believe i'm writing a post on Martin and Nina's wedding more than half a month after the most grande day of their lives. please pardon the tardiness but my life currently lacks a laptop so that's my excuse. 

Martin ohhh Martin. throughout high school and college years my friends awaited the day that he bring a girl around that we would genuinely like and respect. see, Martin is a sweetheart. that's to say he will do anything (i repeat...ANYTHING)  for the people he cares about. once he decides he likes someone he puts his all into it. whether it's family, friends or potential girlfriends. but the problem with this is that just because he saw the world in someone else doesn't mean that they deserved to be a part of his world. i wanted to see him with someone worthy of his thoughtfulness, kindness and caring ways. true, he says some asshole things sometimes and can be inappropriate at other times but if you know him well you know he's joking and would never hurt a fly (so to speak). ultimately he's a big bundle of jokes and warmth. i just wanted to see him with someone who looked at him with the same admiration as he had for them. enter Nina. one thanksgiving gathering years ago Martin brought Nina over to my house and almost immediately i could tell that they were a kickass pairing. they made each other laugh and seemed so comfortable with each other (something i never felt with any other girls i'd met prior). it didn't hurt that she was also super cute, goofy and easy to talk to. all of our friends instantly liked her and were hoping that one day they'd get married. 

wellllllll it looks like our dreams have come true! on August 2nd they were married at St. Vincent's Boys School in San Rafael among a huge gathering of 350 friends and family. she looked beautiful and he looked stressed. but that's okay because it's in his nature to give a damn about everybody else's experience. while i wish he were able to just take a step back and relax to enjoy himself, he wanted to make sure everybody else was having a good time. this is what i love about Martin. when people stood to give speeches and the audience gave less attention than the speaker deserved, Martin made sure that the audience knew he wanted their undivided attention towards the speaker to give them the respect they deserved for getting up in front of hundreds of people to talk. luckily with a little liquor and a lot of love, he was able to end his night dancing with some of his best friends along with his blushing bride. the wedding as a whole was relaxed and full of heart. people enjoyed themselves as they shared in a moment everybody was genuinely happy to witness.

Nina and Martin, as you already know, i am so so very happy for you guys. i couldn't think of either of your lives without the other. Nina, welcome to our friend-family (even though you were fully welcomed years ago already)!

the quick glimpse i got of Nina at the beginning of her trek down the verrrry long aisle of people waiting to witness their love day.

from a far, zoomed in as much as my iphone would allow

my favorite lady friends! 
jenny, trina, kris, kim, jax, steph, bryli and meiche

my awesome date for the night
my date and my Special Friend's date. they have to hang together because Kris and i are like this [crosses fingers over one another].

Brylersons lookin' cool in her shades

hey pretty lady! i see you!
adorable, you two!

this is how i like them the most, always making each other laugh
cute and simple
kris said "she never drinks with us! she drinks with other people but never invites us to drink with her!" so here it is! and for the record that's not true. our early-mid 20's were full of liver destruction.
Martin's mom has always been like our own mother. she looked radiant that day and full of so much happiness. not only did her son get married and she gained a daughter, but she also became a grandmother just two weeks prior. what an awesome year for her!

1) props 2) dinosaur faces (because Bryli was saying something about dino faces) 3) regularis 4) the "EAE" symbol (our high school clique name. i will not break down the acronym due to embarrassment though) which i obviously was not well versed in.

me and mine
the CUTEST vietnamese outfits! you can't really tell but Nina's was made of red lace for a more modern version and it was just perfect!

dancing with mama
what a great grooms cake. it's SO them. actually, it literally is them.
git it!

Eric caught the garter, which is fitting considering we've all been waiting ever so patiently for him to propose to Kim. i'm waiting for that text or call, dude. can you just do it already?
physical therapy school is supposed to make you super knowledgeable about the human body and it's muscular system but judging by this picture it obviously doesn't teach you how to use those muscles for dancing purposes, huh Dr. Toy? also, let it be known that i will NEVER call you Dr. Toy unless it's in mockery. you're still Pattoy to me.

line dances aren't a chinese thing....jenny looks like she's having fun. pattoy looks confused and fearful.

our boys being awesome as always!

jax is not loving this moment.or is she?
open your eyeeeees Tedison!

dancing with the lady of the night!
wisp her away
 all love, smiles and happiness for Martin on his big day! i'm oh so very happy for you, BD!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


hey All You Guamanians in the Bay Area Hiding Among the Many Filipinos Out There, it's time to rise as food from your culture has made it's way out of the comforts of your homes and into the mouths of anybody willing to give it a try! hooray, right? right! 

walking into the space that is Prubechu, you wouldn't think the quality or creativity in the dishes could be anything more than simple home cooking. the three counter top burners, ice cream freezer and portable deep fryers don't seem like they are capable of putting out five course meals for tables full of people but somehow they do. and it's not just sloppily thrown at you in a rushed fury or hurriedness. the dishes are thoughtfully prepared and executed. the service was relaxed, informative and enthusiastic. whether it was the cook or the host/server/probably part owner, there was a passion when speaking about the next course we were to indulge in. 

the food's base is Chamorro or in recognizable words, Guamanian comfort food. but then they take it to another level by using quality seasonal ingredients chosen on a daily basis at the farmers market and amp it up even more by making it pretty. the five course dinner is accompanied by an amuse (ours was a fancy pants oyster) and a dessert (ours was a coconut with rock salt ice cream with a tapioca/coconut concoction that was incredible) and costs a very reasonable $45. while the rest of the menu sounds great and I'll definitely be back to try it, i recommend the tasting menu upon your first experience. 

oyster with coconut, tobiko, etc. 
slightly sweet but with the familiar brininess of the oyster. I don't even like oysters but this was awesome with the slight crunch/texture from the fruits and fish eggs.

corn soup with crab, coconut and crisped nori 
refreshing and light. creamy and crisp. a delightful start to the meal.

crispy egg with pork belly and tomatoes 
the egg had a good crisp to them while the yolk remained a nice luscious runny when sliced through with your fork. pork belly is never a negative but with the egg it's quite a rich dish. good thing there was the tomato to cut through all of that! 

chicken sausage cooked in banana leaf
this was probably my least favorite dish but not for lack of flavor. i personally am not a fan of mushy textures and it's unavoidable with steamed ground meats so i don't fault them for that. 

rice porridge with smoked meat, brussel sprouts, mushrooms and quail egg
aaaahhh the epitome of comfort food. rice porridge is prominent in asian food cultures so a tasting menu wouldn't be implore without this addition. revamped and more refined than your typical porridge, this was an absolute winner. 

tender short rib over mung bean noodles
as advertised, this was very tender and full of flavor. the mung bean noodles were cooked perfectly and were a nice change from the expected rice accompaniment to the hearty chunk of beef.

coconut ice cream with rock salt, hazelnut and oats, with coconut tapioca 
as much as I loved the rest of the dishes we had this night, my favorite dish was the dessert. the coconut tapioca was perfect in texture and was super coconutty. as a whole it was chewy, crunchy, creamy and utterly satisfying. 

i thoroughly enjoyed my meal at prubechu!