Monday, January 20, 2014

Succulent Succulents at Succulence

Check out that awesome alliteration. My 2nd grade English teacher would be so proud (not really).

This past weekend I met up with a coworker to take a terrarium making class at this super cute little shop in Bernal Heights, Succulence.  Anyone who isn't living under a rock knows that succulents are so in right now and this store was like hipster heaven.  They have a nice selection of books on gardening, preserving foods, etc; as well as promenade terrarium and all the things you'd need to make a terrarium of your own.

L to R: starting with succulents in their pots, terrarium with my drainage layer and succulents waiting for their
 new home
The class was run by the owner,  Ken, who is crazy about succulents. We started off with us choosing 3-5 small succulents... but being the rebel that I am, I started with 6. I just couldn't choose! There were too many pretty ones to choose from.  Once we had all chosen our plants we sat down and Ken broke down the different components of a good terrarium and their importance; as well as how to care for our soon to be made terrariums. Then we took a tour of the shop to get some design ideas before getting started on our own terrariums.

L to R: succulents in place with decorative moss bits, adding the final touch of a blue ninja
Not to toot my own horn, but I was really impressed with my end product. Usually my DIY adventures end up incomplete or as a disappointment so I was really pleased with my terrarium. Even hubs was surprised at how well my terrarium turned much so that he was gladly willing to give my terrarium a home in his new office. Now that's the true mark of a successful DIY project!

I can't wait to make my next terrarium and even want to try their vertical gardening class.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

New Year in Hawaii

First post of the new year almost half way through the January...please excuse my absence. As anyone in my field knows things can get pretty crazy around the holiday season and when I'd get home all I wanted to do was feed my face and fall into bed. Thank goodness we had a trip to Hawaii planned right after Christmas...I definitely needed a break from all the craziness at work.

The cost of flights to Hawaii were seriously out of control when we bought our tickets. So in an attempt to save a little bit of money we made the switch from Hawaiian Airlines to Alaska Airlines. But after 2 flights with poor service by the cabin crew of Alaska we decided that we'll be sticking with Hawaiian. On the flight to Hawaii my entire row was skipped over and wasn't offered any drinks. When I noticed they had skipped me I politely turned around to ask for a drink and was greeted with a completely annoyed stewardess. And while we were experiencing a relatively long duration of light turbulence quite a few people were hitting their call buttons...they were answered by an irritated announcement over the speaker system telling people to stop pressing the call buttons unless it was an emergency. On our flight back to California it seemed like the entire cabin crew staff had a stick up their ass or a major case of "resting bitch face." I even overheard the passengers behind us complain about the cabin crew member who rudely removed the digi-player from the passengers hand as she tried to turn it off before handing it over. Needless to say we definitely missed the warm aloha spirit of Hawaiian and will not be returning to Alaska any time soon. end rant.

group photo of the c/o 2003
Conveniently we were in Hawaii during the same time as my high school 10 year reunion...damn I'm getting old. The reunion was held at Stage Restaurant with good people and pretty good food. It was a nice chance to get together and catch up with a lot of people that I hadn't really kept in touch with. It's amazing to see how people have and haven't changed in 10 years.

The next day we hiked Pill Boxes with someone I used to ice skate with and her little brother. I am nothing close to an outdoorsy girl so it was the first time I hiked anything besides Diamond Head in Hawaii. It was a pretty easy hike even for a newb like me. Probably the toughest part of the hike is going back down since there's a lot of loose gravel which makes for a slipper trip.

my favorite ladies
That night we met up with the usual suspects at MW Restaurant. Of course the food was delicious, our culinary friends were the ones who chose the place. I'm pretty sure we should always let them choose our dinner spot since they always know someone in the kitchen and we get extra special service. Even though we had just seen them the night before at the reunion it was so nice to get to catch up in a more intimate setting. With one of them newly engaged and the other with a wedding coming up in summer there was definitely a lot to talk about. It makes me so happy to see that my friends have found such good guys to spend the rest of their lives with.

The main reason for our trip to Hawaii was to ring in the New Year with my family...especially since it was my parent's year to host the big New Year celebration at their house. It was really nice getting to see a lot of my family and celebrate with them since we don't get to see them too often. After growing up on an island with my family so close, living on the mainland and being so far away is a little bit tough for me especially during the holidays. I'm so glad we got to spend New Years in Hawaii with my family this year.

Before we left Hawaii and returned to our lives in California we made a trip to North Shore to check out the winter swells and to eat our favorite garlic shrimp at Giovanni's. Lastly we met up with a couple of friends from pharmacy school for dinner at Shokudo. It was great to catch up with them over some delicious honey toast.

Although our trip was short it was great to get away and see some of my family and friends that we don't get to see very often. Already looking forward to our next trip back for my friend's wedding.