Saturday, October 25, 2014

10 Years, 10 Lessons and Anzani

Wedding Day October 2004
It's amazing how fast time flies. One moment you're slipping on your wedding dress on the morning of the big day and the next thing you know, you've popped out three kids and 10 years have come and gone. 

I've learned a lot over the past decade, however I'm no marriage expert. But I'm no newlywed either. Looking back, there was a lot of maturing, changing and growing that had to be done and I'm so grateful for every second of it. If I had to do it all over again, I would because I love where I'm at right now in life. 

10 years later...October 2014
I've learned to appreciate the journey that we went through as a married couple and as a family to get to where we are today. If there were 10 important life/love lessons I've learned over the pass ten years of being married (to the same man I might stress) it would be these...

1) Don't be afraid to admit when you're wrong. Not just for your spouse's sake, but for your own. It's quite humbling. 

2) The longer you complain about a situation, the longer it'll take for it to resolve itself. Suck it up, walk through that wilderness and know things will turn around for the better. 

3) It's OK to laugh at or with your spouse...during "sexy" time ;)

4) No matter how crazy, outlandish and impossible your spouse's dreams might be, support them anyways. You'll be surprised (or not) on what they can achieve when they know you believe in them and when they believe in themselves.

5) takes time and patience. But always remember that no matter how long it takes, change is inevitable. And in many cases, it's an overall positive one.

6) Choosing sides: your parents/family/relatives/friends or your spouse. Your spouse. ALWAYS choose your spouse (even if they're wrong)!

7) First and foremost, do it for yourself. Whatever "it" is, make yourself your number one reason. 

8) Share. Everything. Share your thoughts, your fears, your joys, your visions, your plans, your goals, your clothes, your blanket, your favorite snack you hide behind the veggies in the fridge...share everything!

9) It's better to hurt and disappoint with the truth than to continue living a lie. At least with the truth there's a chance for resolution, forgiveness and growth.

And finally...

10) Date Nights! They're a must, especially for couples with young children. Everyone needs a break from the brood every now and then and Date Nights are the perfect opportunity to be alone, focus on each other and watch adult movies in the cinema....and by adult I mean movies that aren't made by Disney or computer animation, not the other "adult" type films (but hey, whatever floats your boat). 

Which brings me to our wonderful evening of fancy dining, sweet treats and a movie that might have had a little too much dialogue, but still enjoyable all the same.

We celebrated our 10 year anniversary at an exquisite Mediterranean restaurant called Anzani.

Interior Dining
Terrace Dining 
We started off the meal with wine, artisan breads, and hummus...

Olive and Tomato Bread with olive oil, tomato basil and balsamic vinegar dips

Spicy Chickpea Hummus
Followed by our exquisitely plated appetizer, Five Wonders of the Ocean.

Oyster in white zabaione, seared US jumbo scallops, marinated Norwegian salmon, crispy squid,  and steamed lobster tail
Then it was on to the main course!

Baby Back Pork Ribs with steamed veggies, seven spiced crispy potato wedges, and cream of Rockford cheese sauce

16 oz. Australian Beef Porterhouse with steamed white rice, tomato stew and vegetable ratatouille, and whole green pepper corn sauce
A little photo op after dinner on the terrace which featured a beautiful view of the city down below.

Afterwards we had dessert at Red Mango and Vanille Patisserie for some froyo and macarons!

Frozen Yogurt with strawberries, red beans, mango and almonds

Hazelnut and Peppermint macarons

Banoffee Parfait
What a sweet way to end such a lovely evening. Happy 10 Years to my one and only...looking forward to another decade of love, happiness, adventures and of course many many more food trips! 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Spice Fusion Birthday

Yesterday we celebrated my husband's birthday and had another extraordinary dining experience, but this time it was at Spice Fusion. This place fuses the flavors of Southeast Asia with all its spicy, sweet and sour dishes. It's managed by Malaysian Chef Ling Sui Ching who does a great job of keeping their menu fresh and exciting by introducing new items on occasion.

But enough talk(type), here's what we had...

Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice, Mint Green Tea and Chrysanthemum Mint Tea
Dumpling Soup
Steamed Tofu Skin Shrimp Roll
Battered Chicken in a Basket
Sambal Mixed Vegetables
Grilled Tanguige Steak in Banana Leaf
Roasted Honey Pork Belly
Sizzling Pepper Beef

Everything was so good and the kids agreed the restaurant was top notch. My 4 year old even asked if we could go back and this is while we were STILL eating. No birthday meal is complete without dessert and what better way to end the celebration than with ice cream! But not just any ice cream...only THE BEST for my hubs.

Cookies 'n Cream, Milk Chocolate, Italian Cream Cake and Mocha Almond Fudge
Blue belle...sont les mots qui vont tres bien ensemble! It's been over 5 years since we've tasted your sweet, creamy smoothness and now we can experience your southern goodness once again. Happy Birthday daddy, hope you enjoyed your day of fun, shopping and good eats...Love ya' lots!


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hong Kong: Nong Ping 360 and Po Lin Monastery

Another awesome family vacation in the bag. We can never get enough of Hong Kong because there's so much things to see and do and we barely scratched the surface with last year's Disneyland trip.

The Big Buddha and the 250+ steps we climbed to get to it.
Our trip was a little longer this time around so we were able to see  more sights like Ngong Ping 360 and the Po Lin Monastery which was the highlight of our vacation. We went on a 20 minute cable car ride overlooking the ocean and mountains, climbed up 250+ steps to see the Tian Tan Buddha (the Big Buddha), and delighted our bellies with a vegetarian lunch at the monastery's restaurant. 

Boarding the cable car, kids not too sure about it all.

But apprehension soon turns into excitement and discovery.

Views below from the cable car.

Exploring Ngong Ping 360 Village before heading to the Big Buddha.

Atop the Big Buddha, climb was not that bad.

Vegetarian lunch included tofu, mushrooms, bean curd, deep fried spring rolls, soup and hot tea.
After our visit to the monastery we checked into the Rosedale Hotel Kowloon (highly recommended by the way) and headed out for dinner. We had dinner at Cafe De Coral which is considered to be one of Hong Kong's popular "fast food" chains...

Baked pork chops, spicy sausage, sweet bbq pork, spaghetti, beef soup, and bbq duck.
If this is what they consider "fast food" then count me in, I'd eat you ALL DAY!

And according to my children, no trip to Hong Kong would be complete without a visit to Disneyland which basically made up all of Day 2's itinerary.

I would say this Disneyland visit was more relaxing, less rushed and a lot more enjoyable since we've seen almost everything in previous visits and we just focused on the rides and shows we missed last time. Like the AutoPia car racing ride that my youngest was too small to get on last year let alone drive. This year all three kids were tall enough to drive. Check out Zoe speeding like a boss at 100+ kph (really 10 kph but the speedometer was exaggerating a bit)...

Traveling with kids can be such an adventure and my children were awesome sports. They tried foods they weren't familiar with, conquered fears of height and speed, and didn't mind all the walking we did in the three days we were in Hong Kong. I'm pretty sure I burned about a million calories so that should make up for all those carbs I consumed ;)

See you next year Hong Kong!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Birthday Dinner at Tymad Bistro

(Photo taken from Tymad Bistro webpage)
This past weekend I celebrated my birthday...spent a quiet evening with my family and had dinner at a small French restaurant called Tymad Bistro. Feeling younger than ever and according to my 4 year old I'm ageless. 

Something my children surprised me with in the morning. 
"Mommy, if it's your birthday now then why do you still look the same when you were a kid?" -Ben

Gotta love this kid! If I keep aging at the same rate then I should be looking like I'm in my 20's by the time I'm in my 50's...thank you awesome Asian genes. 

But back to my birthday dinner which was absolutely delightful. I haven't had French cuisine in ages and since the owner/chef of the restaurant is French, I knew it was going to be authentic. 

Let's start off with the appetizers.

Escargot de Bourgogne (snails in garlic and parsley butter)
My "I Love Lucy" moment with the slugs
Salade Paysanne (salad with bacon, eggs, tomato and olives)
On to the main course...

10 oz. Steak Chez Philippe (angus rib-eye in a pepper sauce flambee Cognac)

Brochette de Lapu-Lapu Au Beurre Blanc (lapu-lapu and prawn skewer in white wine butter sauce)

Cotes De Porc Persillade (pork chop in white wine, garlic, and parsley butter)
Dessert, dessert and more dessert!!!

Tarte Aux Fraises (strawberry tarts)

Black Forest Cake

Berry Cake

Strawberry Shortcake

Creme Brulee

It was all good. Chef Philippe was very gracious and even made the strawberry tarts gluten-free as per my request (which I did so a week in advance). Would definitely come back, especially for dessert. So here's to another year of a great life and good eats.

Happy Birthday indeed!
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