Mother’s Day 2017

Belated happy Mother’s Day! I am thankful for my mom and another opportunity to show my appreciation for her display of God’s love, selflessness, generosity, humility, and care towards me!

I had plans on Saturday to take my mom on a day trip to go hiking and explore and eat in SF, but it didn’t work out because my mom had some business to take care of. Instead, I stopped by the Sunnyvale Farmers Market after my doctor’s appointment and picked up some groceries, a bouquet of snapdragons and mums that I paired together, and Philz coffee to surprise my mom!

After running 5 miles on Sunday morning to finish week 1 of my 10 week training for my half marathon, I made breakfast with what we had at home – avocado egg toast and coffee!

About a month and a half ago, I made a dinner reservation for two at 6:00 PM at Black Sheep Brasserie in Downtown Willow Glen. When I bookmarked this place on Yelp a long time ago and even when I made the reservation, it was rated 4 stars, but recently dropped to 3.5 stars.

Decor and Ambience: A modern restaurant with light bulbs from the ceiling, succulents, a nice bar, and spacious seating indoor and outdoor. For Mother’s Day, the restaurant had a few tables occupied with early reservations, but some that weren’t filled until later reservations. The noise level was reasonable and ambience was casual. I liked the decor and ambience!

Service: Our server was so good! She was very nice, well-mannered, and gentle. She served our table, but had many other tables to serve and still did her job with calmness and politeness. The busboys were also attentive to our tables and cleared dishes off the table right away.

Food: While ambience and service was great, this meal was pretty good but the food was not good enough to want to come back. I would only order the mussels and fries again.

“Burnt” french onion soup with rich beef broth, gruyere crouton ($9) — I love cheese but this was too cheesy that it got really tiring to chew the gruyere so I didn’t eat all of the cheese in it

Mussels in saffron cream, pommes frites, aioli ($16) — best dish, mussels were big, generous amount of about 15 mussels, fries with aioli were so delicious

Pan roasted duck breast with peas and carrots, pearl onions, marcona almonds and mint ($29) – duck was good but a little fatty, we didn’t like the pairing with peas and carrots that weren’t cooked thoroughly. I mean who especially likes peas to have that be the side in an entree…

Despite what we thought about the food, Mom and I enjoyed our dinner! We checked off trying another restaurant in the South Bay, even though Nick’s Next Door will remain our favorite!

Black Sheep Brasserie: 1202 Lincoln Ave, Ste 30, San Jose, CA 95125


Easter Dinner

Easter at the end of my Spring Break was already 3 weeks ago. Since I just posted about the pizza pasta I made a week ago, I’ll catch up on blogging about my Easter dinner too! March and April were so busy and stressful at work that I stopped cooking once I started working late and lost my voice for 3 weeks. For the past few years living at home, I have either not cooked or I go big and cook a fancy meal for others, such is the case with Easter dinner two years in a row. Last year I made my first Easter dinner for 11 people, my visiting relatives from HK, Australia, and NY! This year it was my mom and family friends, a small group of 4 of us! I was so sad that my steak was way overcooked because I didn’t have enough time to use the sous vide and get the perfect medium rare steak, but thankfully my guests eat steak cooked thoroughly. On the bright side, I successfully made roasted beets and brussels sprouts for my first time and they were yummy!

Ingredients: ribeye steak, mushrooms, beets, carrots, brussels sprouts, onions, dried thyme

Roasted brussels sprouts and onions and roasted beets and carrots with thyme

Appetizer: Cream of mushroom soup with mushrooms

White grape with elderflower sparking juice and fancy table setting

Entree: Ribeye steak with roasted brussels sprouts, onions, beets, and carrots

Dessert: Mom’s jello eggs and Trader Joe’s mini chocolate ice cream cones

Spring Break in Socal 2017

Back to my blog! March was a really busy and stressful month at work that had me lose my voice for 3 weeks, which made it exhausting to teach and hard to recover until I had the week off to stop talking for 6 hours straight. Spring Break definitely came at the right time. It wasn’t until Facebook popped up old photos of reunions with my grad school friends from the past few years that I realized it was my fifth year in a row spending Spring Break in Socal! I visited my brother and sister-in-law in their newly refurnished home in San Diego with my mom for the first time after they got married last October and my college friends in Irvine. Though it was a busy and productive week, it was restful being away from work and I always have a good time with family and friends! I am also thankful to have had Passion Week off to spend more time reading and mentally preparing for Good Friday and Easter. Hope you had a happy Easter!

Since my last post, Bea gave me two free weeks of yoga, which I milked by going 10 out of the 14 days of unlimited yoga. For being my first time taking yoga classes, I really enjoyed the hour of being unplugged from my phone, destressing from work, not thinking about anything, detoxing my body with stretching and sweating, and getting endorphins! With 3 months left to train for my first half marathon, this hour of working out almost every day kick started my new thing of being active into Spring Break, which is what I looked forward to on this trip (other than catching up with family and friends!) even more than Socal eats. Here are the photos from Spring Break!

Saturday, 4/8: Breakfast at Cream Pan (almond croissant, strawberry croissant)Screenshot_20170418-220019 (1).png

Hung out with my brother’s in-laws in LA. Peruvian lunch at El Rocoto (seafood soup, chicken with pesto spaghetti, lomo saltado).

Katie’s parents’ houseIMG-20170408-WA0012.jpg

Korean Bell of Friendship

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Takeout dinner from Savoy Kitchen (hainan chicken rice) and Noodle King (braised pork rice, dan dan mien, beef noodle soup) at Katie’s sister’s houseIMG_20170408_184630.jpg

Sunday, 4/9: Ran 5 miles at Lake Miramar with Katie

Church and Spiritual Formation Class

Lunch at Point Loma Seafoods (crab sandwich, clam chowder)IMG_20170409_140609_348.jpg

Nap. Katie and Law cooked pizza pasta. Watched Moana.IMG_20170409_195446.jpg

Monday, 4/10: Brunch at Great Maple (house smoked beef brisket english popover)

Visited Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá, California’s first mission

Hiked and laid on the beach at Torrey Pines State Reserve with Gloria

Joined Law’s small group

Tuesday, 4/11: Read at Starbucks. Shopping at Carlsbad Outlets and UTC mall.

Taco Tuesday dinner at El Patron ($1.09 cabeza, lengua, fish, adobada pork tacos)IMG_20170411_182455_838.jpg

Rock climbing at Mesa Rim with Law, Katie, Chiyo, Ricky, and Adam

Wednesday, 4/12: Law made breakfast for the familyIMG_20170412_083458_834.jpg

Watched Rogue One. Nap.

Family dinner at Ironside Fish & Oyster ($1 Ironside Select oysters, chowder fries, clam chowder, steamed mussels, sea bass, and green beans)

Mom flew home

Hung out with Liz at Bing Haus (black sesame and earl grey lavender rolled ice cream)

Thursday, 4/13: Made jello eggs. Nap.

Ran 5 miles on trails and hills at Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve

Dinner at Urban Plates (albacore with brussells sprouts and mashed potatoes). Law & Katie dropped me off in Irvine. Slept over at Cheryl and Mike’s house for 2 nights.

Friday, 4/14: Peet’s. Hung out with Tammy and Tyler and helped Tammy to decorate Tyler’s room.

Dinner at Din Tai Fung with Cheryl and Mike (cucumber salad, xiao long baos, shrimp and pork dumplings, noodles with chicken soup, dan dan mien)

Berean’s Good Friday Service with Crosslife at the new church building!

Saturday, 4/15Breakfast at W Cafe with Michelle and Dephinie (chia pudding)

Lunch at Le Dip with Henry and Pablo, throwback to college (chicken broccoli mushroom sandwich with garlic sauce). Visit the hipster Union Market at The District.

Can’t believe the end of the school year is near, only 37 days left until summer!

TGIF on St. Patrick’s Day

TGIF! 🙌 Celebrated being done with 3 exhausting weeks of report cards and parent-teacher conferences 👩🏻‍🏫 with a rare chance to eat out for lunch on a minimum day with my mom at my family’s favorite restaurant – Yuki Sushi in Santa Clara 🍱🍣🍤, a nap to catch up on 💤, and a girls night in with a home-cooked dinner and green things (zucchini, guacamole, brussel sprouts) 🍴, animal facial masks 🐯🐶, and a nails party 💅. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! ☘️

Losing my voice from the exhaustion and overuse with conferences, but excited for this weekend with our guest speakers at tomorrow’s All Women’s Meeting and Sunday’s services!

An Eventful Two Weeks

Back to my blog! Since my last post, I had an eventful two weeks with something or a few things back-to-back almost every day that kept me busy out of the house and away from my usual blogging, cooking, and reading that I have been busy with in this new year. Even with this post, I feel rusty after not writing for two weeks. The first week was unusually busy in the evenings for a work week. The second week was Ski Break! I have been asked so many times what Ski Break is, but I grew up in Saratoga having this Presidents Day week in February off too. My coworker said they started giving this holiday because so many families would miss school to go up to the snow? Anyway, these two weeks were filled with LOTS OF HANGOUTS and getting my to do list done to catch up on life outside of work. Thankful for Ski Break, my friends, and the opportunities to have fun, catch up, and spend time with so many of them!! For being absent from my blog, here is a recap of my last two weeks with an overload of selfies and food photos…

Monday, 2/13: Purposeful run to the local library to borrow DVDs for a class rewardscreenshot_20170227-201229

Monday, 2/13: Discipleship with Deb at Men-Bei Ramenwp-image-1593941029jpg.jpg

Tuesday, 2/14: Feeling loved by my students on Valentine’s DayIMG_20170214_180528.jpg

Tuesday, 2/14: Valentine’s Day dinner with Pillar friends eating jajangmyeon at Tong Soon Garden

Wednesday, 2/15: Happy hour at Opa! and red velvet/chocolate mint cupcakes from Susie Cakes for a long overdue catch up and early birthday celebration, HBD Brittney!

Thursday, 2/16: Luzia by Cirque Du Soleil with my bestie Serena who won free tickets from work and the show was so good, most notable act was the most flexible guy on the planet

Saturday, 2/18: Mom and me’s Saturday morning tradition of coffee and bagel breakfastIMG_20170218_102218.jpg

Saturday, 2/18: Ed’s last-of-his-twenties birthday at Dave & Buster’swp-image-321886739jpg.jpg

Discipleship got us ordering the same food 😆

Why so serious, Jo? 😂


My coworker Ursula spotted me in the crowd of people at D&B

Bumped into my coworkers Binh and Ursula on the first day of Ski Break!

Saturday, 2/18: Dinner with family friends at Koi Palace in Dublinwp-image-88107980jpg.jpg

Sunday, 2/19: Run with Anita – Same 3 miles around Quarry Lakes without breaks this weekscreenshot_20170227-201511

Sunday, 2/19: Book Club with Grace and Rebecca discussing Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering by Tim Keller and eating delicious breakfast croissant sandwiches

Sunday, 2/19: Dinner with relatives at Golden Palace

Monday, 2/20: Lunch at the Bae’s with Berean friends (Chois and Tsengs) and all 3 Pillar pastors and families, so nice having my two worlds together and HBD Tina and Silas!pixlr_20170220165829319.jpg

Monday, 2/20: Dinner and nails party with Pillar girlswp-image-1502831843jpg.jpgwp-image-372322069jpg.jpgwp-image-1224780976jpg.jpg

Tuesday, 2/21: Dentist appointment. Got my car maintenance and some parts fixed in the shop. Thankfully Sam saved me from the long wait and picked me up for ramen at Shalala and boba at Teaspoon in Mountain View. Finished a book at Starbucks

Thursday, 2/23: Back to the dentist for a cavity filling. Hangout and dinner with the Lo FamilyIMG_20170223_181415.jpg

Thursday, 2/23: Missing photo of Denny’s hangout with Pillar friends after midweek

Friday, 2/24: National Clam Chowder Day – Boudin BOGO clam chowder bowl with MomIMG_20170224_132807.jpg

Friday, 2/24: Small Group hangout over dinner at Krung Thai and my first escape room which was so much fun even though we almost escapedIMG_20170224_191738.jpgIMG_20170224_220632.jpgIMG_20170224_220708 (1).jpg

Friday, 2/24: Missing photo of game night with Pillar friends

Saturday, 2/25: Homemade brunch with Pillar friends and rewatched La La LandIMG_20170225_114809.jpg

Saturday, 2/25: Dinner with family friends, seeing them two Saturdays in a rowIMG_20170225_191428.jpg

Sunday: Run and lunch with Joy at Demiyascreenshot_20170226-112029-1img_20170226_110536img_20170226_124612img_20170226_124630

Sunday, 2/26: Dinner with Pillar friends at QQ Noodleimg_20170226_182158

Now back to reality and work, but looking forward to Tahoe this weekend! Work hard, play hard!