Thursday, January 21, 2016


This birthday girl was properly feted and felt ALL the birthday love during her birthday week plus some. Lots of cocktails, champagne, tiaras, thoughtful gifts, delicious food, time with girlfriends, a yummy Husband who made outstanding paella, adorable children to sing happy birthday and high jack my birthday cake and blow out my candles. There is simply nothing more that this girl could ask for.

cake for breakfast! #ftw

favorite things
38 is going to be a good year. I have been feeling successful in career and family and relatively balanced give or take. There are always those days or weeks where you are buried in work and you are just trying to get through the next day, but for the most part things have been fantastic and I have so many things to look forward to this year.

We had the most lovely MLK day. Wine tasting (and purchasing), Hog Island oysters, Schramsburg,  and shopping in Napa Valley.

Next we head to Minneapolis for the weekend. Brrrr! I look at those temps and I'm not entirely sure how I managed to grow up there without meeting my peril in a snowbank. I'm signed up for the Shamrock'n Half Marathon and have made a new training friend. Tickets have been purchased for a girls weekend in Minneapolis and I've booked a hotel room for my 20th high school class reunion.

Other goals for 38 include teaching Little Miss J how to ride her bike without training wheels and tie her shoes, potty training J2, and finishing the Ely Lake swim this summer.

Here is to 38!   

happy new year!

We are well into the new year and with that came a whirlwind of work and blogging fell a bit to the wayside.

We said good-bye to 2015 with failed molecular gastronomy, good friends, selfies, caviar and, of course, champagne!

New Year's Day we were up bright and early to celebrate Gus's parents. Traditionally, you eat rice cake soup, don your hanboks, and bow to your elders, who in return usually give you some cash.

When told to bow, J2 says "I can't!"

Then after only moderate complaining, I got Gus to take me to see the Star Wars movie. He had already seen it opening night and wasn't sure he wanted to see it again. Not a true fan, apparently. I, however, loved it. Who knew?

Happy 2016! With the holidays over - next came my birthday week plus a few days ... stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

trains, trolleys, and buses

The day after Christmas we took Amtrak into San Francisco. Seeing how excited J2 gets every time he sees a train, "TRAIN! I SEE IT! ALL ABOARD! CHOO CHOO!" - I sincerely thought the train ride would blow the kids' minds, and that being the expectation I was mildly disappointed.

J2 appreciated the lack of seat belts on the train, and the lack of occupancy. He roamed freely between seats and up and down the aisle.

We got off the train in Emeryville and hopped on a bus that would take us to downtown San Francisco. There were seat belts on the bus, but J2 was still pretty happy to not be in a car seat.

us on a bus selfie!
crossing the Bay Bridge
Then we hopped on a cable car by the Ferry Building and headed to the Fairmont to see the giant gingerbread house.

ding ding!
The gingerbread house is more than 22 feet high and includes thousands of home-baked gingerbread books and more than a ton of royal icing. Since it had been up since end of November, there were a few pieces of candy missing ... but still amazing nonetheless.

In my opinion, better than the gingerbread house was the tower of Moet.

ETA - Fairmont San Francisco is gorgeous year round. If you didn't make it during the holidays, you should definitely check it out another time! Click here for more info:

We wandered around Chinatown. Bought some cheap sunglasses and had some dim sum. J2 took a nap.

he's wearing Gus's gloves
Ice cream at Humphry Slocombe in the Ferry Building and then we headed back on the bus/train.

It was a long day. A bit stressful trying to get on and off a cable car with two kids and a stroller without getting killed. A less than mind blowing train ride with mediocre food from the snack car. But the dim sum and ice cream were delicious, and one can always dream about towers of Moet.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

christmas 2015

Before we get too far into 2016, here's the Christmas recap. I think it might have been the best Christmas we have spent in Sacramento to date. Perhaps it is because the kids were one year older. Little Miss J was really excited about Christmas and was pretty enthusiastic about the advent calendar - so enthusiastic that according to the advent calendar, Christmas was coming about three days early. Perhaps it was because we were closing out a pretty good year for the Chunglund family. We had a very happy and healthy 2015.

After wrapping all the presents and putting them under the tree, I was a bit overwhelmed by the sheer volume so made the executive order to establish Christmas Eve Eve where we opened presents from friends and extended family. The goal was to cut down on the gift opening fatigue.

On Christmas Eve we celebrated by opening gifts from our little family, then headed to Old Sacramento for the annual Chunglund crab extravaganza. Little Miss J can eat crab faster than you can crack it. This is the first year J2 has really gotten into it, but he kept pace with his sister. 

Our timing was off so we either had to wait 45 minutes for the nightly light show or just head home. We opted for heading home. Little Miss J fell asleep on the way home so Gus got right to putting her doll house together from Santa, while I tried to keep J2 from hiding/breaking/eating any of the pieces.

Christmas morning we opened presents from Santa and Gus's parents came over for breakfast.

I desperately tried to get a cute picture of both my kids in their Christmas jammies in front of the tree. I intended to bribe him with a jellybean, but he just kept holding his hand out for it.

I finally gave in and the next picture is him picking said jellybean out of his teeth. I can't really win.

We spent the day playing with toys and I baked a chocolate Guinness cheesecake topped with Bailey's whipped cream since we were headed to our neighbors' for Christmas dinner. Julie, Top Chef extraordinaire, made the entire beautiful meal without the use of her stove/oven. She's pretty amazing. Drinks, dinner, friends, and Wii bowling. What better way to spend Christmas?

Hope you all had the merriest of Christmases too!