Back to 1833

by fitforthesoul in , ,


And we are back! Alrighty, so we’ve actually been back since late Monday night from our super mini trip to Big Sur.  With all the speeding driving, hiking, and eating our way through Big Sur and Monterey,  a city about 40 minutes away from Big Sur which was our final destination, we came back home wiped out!  It was the good kind of wiped out though.  You know, the kind where you feel like you’ve earned your rest after the ultimate experience of being out in the wild, and then walking for several miles with a big ol’ belly that makes you feel like you’re walking with a weighted vest?  Haha!  I perceive you know what I mean by now. Smile

DSC05814

As soon as we arrived at the Monterey-Marriott hotel at around 7 o’clock, we quickly changed into our fancy date night outfits because Greg had made some reservations at a restaurant.

Fortunately, I found this simple yet beautiful dress at Destination Maternity last month while it was on sale.  Don’t be too surprised if you see this dress more than once on the blog, since I’ll probably wear it for upcoming events because I’m quite limited as to what I can wear as my stomach grows larger.

DSC05815

I have to be honest that man, I felt so feminine and somewhat presentable in this dress, as I hadn’t felt like that in a long time!  I’m not sure if other expectant women feel the same way as often as I do, but it’s definitely not easy getting used to not feeling very ‘feminine’ during these 9 months of carrying my blessed bundle of joy.  Read:  feeling like a penguin ready to pop out of my leggings. Smile with tongue out  Of course, those are just my own thoughts and perception.

DSC05816

Greg reserved a cute and romantic spot for us at a placed called Restaurant 1833, which is located at the end of the downtown strip of the charming little city.  As you can tell from the picture above and the unique name of the restaurant, this location is rather captivating because of its rustic feel.  Everything seems to have been kept the same since the year 1833, except of course, they have maintained the place very clean and up to date in terms of necessary facilities and furnishings.

DSC05818

DSC05817

Restaurant 1833’s weekly menu is an extensive one, but since we were there on Sunday night, they gave us a condensed one instead.  I actually liked the fact that I didn’t have to overwhelm myself with too many menu items!

DSC05821

Every server that we came in contact with raved about their famous fried chicken.  Fried chicken?!  In a fancy place like this?!  Yep folks, it seems to be a hit with all of their customers and naturally, Greg couldn’t pass up on that opportunity to try one of the best friend chicken dishes ever.  As soon as we ordered our food our amazingly knowledgeable and kind waiter brought us deviled eggs.  Now, I love eggs in all shapes and sizes and Greg does not, so he made me suggested that I eat them both.  Yep, he totally had to force me to do that.  (Note the sarcasm, hehe)

DSC05822

Our order of small plates consisted of these ooey gooey bacon and cheddar biscuits!  They were pillowy like a soft cloud and perfectly savory with tiny pieces of bacon studded into the batter, and bacon is not even something I’m crazy about when I eat it by itself!  But much to my surprise I have to admit that the bacon is what made these biscuits taste so unique.

DSC05823

So Greg got his herb-y fried chicken placed on a bed of gritty corn bread.  Although we’re not used to eating foods quite this heavy, let alone so gloriously dripping in oil, we have to admit that it was one of the best fried chicken dishes we’ve had!  The texture of the skin was so perfectly crispy and full of flavor, and the meat was so tender that it literally slid off the bone.

DSC05824

I went with this delicious Cod fish that had a base of Yukon potatoes, tomatoes and mussels all simmered in a reduced sauce that tasted like corn chowder.

Both of us highly recommend this place to anyone visiting Monterey!

Out in Nature

On Monday morning we headed out to Big Sur to do some hiking and exploring out in nature.

Since we wanted a lighter option for lunch, we stopped by Subway to get a sandwich for Greg and a refreshing salad for me.

IMG_0402

IMG_0403

Our original plan was to go down to the shore and then hike our way through the Julia Pfeiffer trail to enjoy some beautiful waterfalls!  But then things got super confusing once we got there and ended up going on the Pfeiffer Falls trail!  Big difference you guys, so if you plan on seeing some really pretty waterfalls, we recommend that you don’t get the two hiking routes mixed up.  Smile with tongue out

IMG_0404

Even so, we managed to have a wonderful time talking about life, laughing about the silliest things, smelling the blossoming greenery, and taking in all of our surroundings.

IMG_0408

This was Greg’s face after we found out that we arrived at the wrong waterfall, hah!  It was so tiny that when we were making our way back down and a group of hikers asked us if this was the path to the waterfalls, Greg’s response was, “well, if you can even call it a waterfall”, and they just cracked up!  They thanked him for setting their expectations straight before they even got to their destination.

Now I can’t believe how fast this week is flying by!  I hope it slows down a bit because I still have things to catch up on.

Do you prefer rustic type settings or more modernized restaurants?

Any interesting stories about hiking?

-Greg and I always manage to get lost somehow.

Love,

Ellie <33


One Year Anniversary

by fitforthesoul in ,


One year ago today I married the one my heart loves. weddingprayer

weddingdan

One year ago today I realized once again how gracious God has been to me for letting me share my life with Greg.

weddingkisswithgrp

One year ago today I woke up to the fact that I’m no longer just ‘myself’, but that I have a mate with whom I can give and take.

weddingdance

One year ago today I started my new life with someone who makes me laugh and shares my insanity.

kauaiplaza

surfin'

One year ago today I learned that we can make a powerful duo to be a testimony, that for the hard times we’ve already endured and are looking forward to struggle through together, nothing is impossible.

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!  EVEN JOY IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM. 

Today is Palm Sunday and we will definitely be having a blast in service with joyful music blaring through the thin church walls for the neighbors to hear.  It is so ironic that the very day that Christ entered so triumphantly also signified something more grave in the end, all whilst he was aware of the betrayal and pain that He would suffer.  However, here I am today proclaiming that it is such a joyous day because without today happening thousands of years ago, I would not be standing here with the assurance that we are loved, cherished, and forgiven by God if only we simply ask Him.

It’s also such a privilege to be able to able to celebrate our one year anniversary on such a special day!  As I mentioned recently, things didn’t exactly go as we planned, but we will be driving up to Big Sur right after service and will be back by tomorrow evening. Smile

Whether you celebrate this day or not, I just pray that you will experience blessings, love, and peace today!  Because…

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, YOU ARE DEEPLY MOST INFINITELY LOVED. 

Has your dating or wedding anniversary fallen on a day that is special to you?

Love,

Ellie <33


Date Night

by fitforthesoul in , , ,


As I’ve mentioned in other posts, Monday is usually date night for me and Greg, and I can happily say that 99% of the time we’ve been really good at keeping it that way!  Even if we have other important things to take care of, which we end up doing earlier in the day anyway, we still do our best to at least go out to dinner or take a walk wherever the road leads.  Of course, date night is never a forced aspect of our marriage because we truly do enjoy it and look forward to it each week, and besides, delicious food is always present!  So what’s not to like? Winking smile DSC05799

Woops!  Caught him chewing his food.  But he’s still so handsome Winking smile

Yesterday was no different as we made our way to the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica without a real set plan.  We kept it simple by satisfying our craving for a basic—but delicious nonetheless—American meal at Johnny Rockets.  Although I’ve never been the biggest fan of burgers and the all too popular classic American meal, lately I’ve been more than okay with having it whenever my stomach feels like it could handle all the meat [and potatoes] and bread, especially if Greg is craving it!  Boy, he must be happy about my pregnancy because it’s making me do and eat things that I wouldn’t otherwise!

DSC05801

Greg ordered a regular cheeseburger while I went with something spicy.  Of course.

I got The Houston burger, which is basically a regular burger sandwiching their oh-so-perfectly-thick patty with all the fix-ins plus spicy jalapenos and a good measure of their special buffalo sauce.  I always like to order those kinds of special sauces on the side though, so that way I can control how much goes in it.  And obviously, I just had to ask for lots of mustard since I kind of can’t live without it.  We were both more than satisfied with our food as it hit the spot, and I'm pretty sure Selah didn't complain either.

After walking through the Promenade and popping into several stores like Zara, Guess, Aldo, and some men’s shoe stores, we both ended up wanting quite a few items that are out of our budget, not to mention that it really made me miss regular clothing!  Although I’m extremely grateful for this pregnancy and Selah’s arrival in June, I also can’t lie that I’m looking forward to feeling normal again…and wearing regular clothes again… Smile

Anyway, coming back from that tangent.

DSC05802

This plate of fluffy deliciousness was also consumed last night.  We decided to have dessert at Café Crepe and devoured a crepe with nutella, banana, and hazelnut chunks!  The chunks truly made this dish in my opinion, and the vanilla ice cream balanced it out.  This reminds me…sometime soon I should make my healthy buckwheat crepes for breakfast!  I guess I will be going on a crepe excursion very soon because I haven’t had those in way too long.

Last night was a simple but great evening full of walking, talking, and people watching, which is pretty much what we love to do anyway!  I know, we’re so wild.

IMG_0384

This morning I toasted two waffles topped with sunflower seed butter, coconut butter, greek yogurt, and fruit.  On the side I had a strip of turkey bacon.  Great way to start the day if you’re trying to save some time in my opinion.

1 Year Anniversary

Oh my goodness I cannot believe how fast time flies!  I feel like I got sucked into some warp zone where I got married yesterday and got spit back out today, haha.

We actually got married last year on March 24th and this coming Sunday will mark our 1ST ANNIVERSARY!!!  We’re planning to drive up to Big Sur on Saturday afternoon and come back on Monday; however, things are getting a bit complicated in our personal lives (not our relationship, other stuff) and we’re now hoping that things work out in favor of this trip as I have reserved the hotel and everything.  We’re just trying to make the best of our situation and thank God despite any circumstances, even if it means us potentially not going anywhere far.  Either way (and thankfully so), we enjoy each other’s presence more and more with each passing day, and I feel like that in itself disproves any claim that marriages will eventually end up growing cold and less “fun” 5 years from now.  Sure, things will inevitably happen and we’re still newlyweds, so we haven’t seen things that older couples may have experienced, but we’re firm believers that marriage should/can be just as wonderful 20 years from now as it was on the day that we said ‘I do’ on March 24, 2013.  We have no doubt that with God as the center of our lives this marriage can only thrive from here on out.  Although no marriage out there is perfect, including ours, we’ve learned that it’s the LITTLE things that truly make a HUGE difference!  A simple “I’m so proud of how far you’ve come”, a nice chat on the couch, or even a nice home cooked meal together can make such a monumental difference in keeping the marriage sweet.  Smile  I may still be young, but that’s what I’ve witnessed in old couples that I admire as well!  Now, that has to have some truth to it don’t you think?

So we’re crossing our fingers that we can go up to Big Sur, but if that doesn’t happen, oh well.

Do you enjoy classic American meals, or are you more of the variety type of person?

-I’m definitely a lover of variety!  But lately simple foods like burgers have been more than welcome!

Do you believe that marriages and relationships can grow sweeter through the years?  I hope so!

Love,

Ellie <33


Exercising Outdoors and Kindred Spirits

by fitforthesoul in ,


park

[Taken with my ancient phone]

Yesterday I was really looking forward to working out and getting in a challenging cardio session at the gym.  However, the weather was so perfectly cool and breezy while sunny at the same time.  Perfect day to be in the great outdoors?  I think so!  Ever since I had visited Wilson Park in Torrance for the weekly farmers’ market, I was excited to go back and see what kind of terrain there would be to get in a nice quick jog. Sometimes, the more hills there are the better, simply due to the fact that my round ligaments don’t ache as much as if I were to run on a completely flat surface.  I finally gave in to my curiosity and completed a really fun and fulfilling workout at the park!

I was actually not that sweaty by the end and perhaps it was because of the cool breeze, but then again, I tried to be as cautious as possible and listen to my body since exercising in natural environments can be much more challenging than doing them indoors.  So here’s the little circuit that I came up with on the spot!  I was inspired. Smile

bootcamp circuit

It took me approximately 40 minutes to complete the circuit 2 times, as I felt really heavy and tried to jog as lightly as possible due to the pulling round ligaments!  Yikes.  It was so fun though, and it made me feel like I was on some game’s obstacle course.

DSC05789

This past weekend I went to my friend Helen’s house, and this girl…oh my, this girl is truly a woman of God!  Sometimes we communicate so perfectly that we both feel like we’re kindred spirits and we’re able to speak encouragement and life into each other.  Helen just had her second baby about 5 months ago!  This little baby is the sweetest that I’ve ever met.  The moment I walked in the door she started laughing and giggling and at first I thought that I had something on my face, haha!

DSC05792

Rosie, the 2 year toddler, wanted to take pictures over and over and wouldn’t relent.  So we gave in and took about 5 of them since she was so fascinated with my little camera.

That day I got to witness how two children from the same exact parents can be polar opposites even at such a young age!  Emma, the infant, is unbelievably calm, peaceful, and smiley, while Rosie on the other hand, is active, outspoken, and more serious.  Amazing, right?!  But then again, that reminded me of me and sister because we too are so different in personality that our life stories seem to have been written by different “authors”, but that kind of variety is makes it fun. Smile

DSC05798

After we ate a curry lunch and played with the kiddos, Helen gave me a bunch of her girls’ clothes that were so nicely used—some of them were actually new because they weren’t summer babies, but they had gotten little shorts and dresses as gifts at the wrong time.  My favorite outfits are the green onesie, the striped overalls, and the flower print dress!

DSC05797

Dahhh I can’t wait to put these on Selah.

I hope you guys have a great rest of the day!

Have you taken your workouts outside? 

If you have siblings, does it seem like you guys are completely different from each other?

Love,

Ellie <33


Updates on Life

by fitforthesoul in , , ,


Once again, I’ve been gone for quite a while (almost a week) but the good news is, I have some good stuff to share. DSC05764

Over the weekend, Greg’s parents came to So Cal to pay us a visit and to see my baby belly which is being occupied by Selah.  Well that, and also because we were in for some sweet family time at the San Diego Safari Park!  We took the above picture and up until now I had no idea how funny and embarrassing it looked.  I guess my in-laws realized how goofy it looked and went ahead and took an even more embarrassing shot…

DSC05765

Hahaha, I promise this was not done on purpose!  Children, please do not attempt this trick at home.

While we were at the park we got to experience one of the coolest things we’d ever witnessed!  Besides basking in the cool and sunshiny weather while looking at all sorts of different animals we never even knew existed, we purchased the VIP passes to see the Cheetah Run.

Wow.  That cheetah (named Johari) was amazingly speedy running at 70+ miles, and she was the sweetest little thing!  I bet you didn’t know that Cheetahs are actually less fierce than you would think.  They choose flight over fight due to their speedy nature, which makes a lot of sense.  Smile  Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures since my batteries ran out right after these photos.  I always do that when I’m on some noteworthy trip—it never fails, boo.

This week we also had the opportunity to choose and purchase Selah’s baby crib, ahhhhh!  My in-laws wanted to follow in the footsteps of Greg’s deceased grandma and buy the crib for us.  We felt so blessed, bad, yet, did I say blessed yet?  “We definitely don’t mind that kind of a tradition”, Greg said.  And I would have to agree or else we’d be in serious debt right now.  The whole experience made everything more “real” and exciting for us, and we’re certain that Selah and the next baby will make good use out of that crib.  I just can’t wait to show it to you guys!

DSC05751

While at work I’ve been enjoying the leek potato soup that I made the other week, and since I just have to have a strong contrast in everything I eat, I sprinkled it with some Stacy’s pita chips.  Those are the best ones I’ve tried so far!  Do you have a favorite pita chip?  If you do, I bet it’s hard to top Stacy’s. Winking smile

DSC05753

DSC05755

Sometimes when I’m on my work lunch break I like to make a quick stop at Whole Foods.  Not because I need to shop for groceries or anything in particular, but that place is like the foodie’s Disneyland when it comes to browsing through the snack aisles.  The other day I discovered this fabulous macaroon made by the company Wonderfully Raw.  It’s made with a minimal number of ingredients and it contains almond flour in the mix.  I couldn’t help but think that these wonderful bites of goodness resembled my vegan macaroons in terms of taste.   I guess I could make these at home but…I’m afraid to admit that pregnancy has me a wee bit on the lazy side when it comes to these things.  I have to be in the mood to bake, cook, and do all of my favorite stuff in order to do it right!  I wonder if this is normal for other expectant moms.

Okay so coming back from that tangent.  These Coco-Roons were so good that I could have easily eaten 4 at a time!  But just because I’m pregnant it doesn’t mean I need to gorge myself by impulse.  Anyway, it’s better to spread out my snacks evenly throughout the day, right?

IMG_0342

After having baked that huge loaf of Strawberry Cream Cheese Swirl Bread last week, I ran out of oats and have been trying to get creative with my breakfast.  Last night I finally bought some groceries at Trader Joe’s and this was the result this morning.

Ta-da!  Haha, nothing too out of the norm but it was so out-of-this-world delicious!  I added chia seeds, egg whites and bananas to make it extra creamy.  And what took the cake oats were the raspberries and sweet blueberries, topped with almond butter, chocolate biscotti, and get this.  Crunchy Speculoos cookie butter!  Now, I was already familiar with the creamy stuff.  But the crunchy spread takes the game to a whole different level.

IMG_0345

Then I took care of some house chores and mustered up the motivation to work out.  Following a rewarding upper body session with Leah I had some Fage yogurt with all the mix-ins.

Lately I’ve been needing sleep like no other and today I was not about to take a nap after a 10 hour long sleep last night!  That is totally not me and I would rather be tired through the day than sleep for so long (hello throbbing headaches), but I just had to go to bed by 9 pm.  Needless to say, I wasn’t quite in the mood to to work out today and I’ve been letting my mood rule a lot of things in my life this week, and I kind of don’t like that.  I got myself out of that rut and rebelled against that dreaded pattern by working out today.  For a girl who is usually relaxed and somewhat easy going, this new hormonal change is quite the beast.  I’ll be honest.  Even I’m scared of the emotions that I’m capable of feeling!  I give all of you women who experience PMS symptoms a huge pat on the back.

Well, I hope you have a glorious day and live it to the fullest!

Do you tend to let your emotions take over your day?

-Not normally, but pregnancy definitely has me experiencing all of that.

Does your family have cool traditions like the one mentioned above? 

-Coming from a busy Korean family, we don’t hold many family traditions, if any at all.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve witnessed in wild animals?

-Most definitely the cheetah run!  Too bad I couldn’t pet her.

Love,

Ellie <33


How to Eat Like the Angelenos

by fitforthesoul in , ,


Hi there dear friends!  I hope your Wednesday has been fruitful, and that despite any bumps on the road you were able to stop and smell the roses. Mmmm…Roses I did not smell today, but I did go to a beautiful and relaxing place yesterday with Greg! Smile  It included a gorgeous little garden at the Getty Museum. DSC05618

I mentioned last time that we would be going out on Monday to have our date-day, but we decided to do some work that day and dedicated Tuesday to be ‘our time’ instead.

DSC05616

DSC05624

Out of the 3 hours that we spent there, we only got to visit a few galleries because the notorious pregnancy fatigue hit me like a ton of bricks late in the afternoon.  This seems to happen most often during lunch time and later in the day.  I’m still trying to figure out how to keep myself alert without caffeine, but for now I like to drink a tea latte every once in a while if it gets unbearable, especially if I’m working all day!

 

And here's an edition of What I Ate Wednesday! Man it's been so long since I've joined in Jenn's WIAW!

DSC05627

More than the excitement of being in the fancy Getty Museum however, we genuinely had a good time getting away from everything related to work, our house, duties,  and just simply basked in each other’s company…It may sound cheesy but marriage and relationships don’t need frills and fancy things.  They are simply what you make of them, don’t you agree?

Oh yeah, and then there was good food.  Hah!  How could I forget?  Alright I totally didn’t forget.  I never forget good food.

So we slowly made our way to Santa Monica to pay a visit at one of our favorite Mexican joints in Los Angeles—El Cholo.  I know I know, the name isn’t that pleasing to your ears and you probably think that it’s a hole-in-the-wall type of eatery (and by the way there’s nothing as awesome as a hole in the wall), but if you ever dine in their chill atmosphere and try their amazing enchiladas and tortilla chips, I assure you that you’ll be more than surprised by their flavorful dishes.  I will gladly collect royalties from Mr. Cholo if they suddenly have a booming business after I publish this post.  Hehe, as if they need any more customers!  Who am I kidding? Smile with tongue out

DSC05629

The first dish was what the server recommended Greg.  He ordered the Sonora Enchiladas and although they were tasty, we both agreed that it wasn’t nearly as superb as my Enchilada Suiza.  That green sauce is bursting with flavor and is quite addicting!  I’m also a sucker for Mexican rice, so I give them major compliments for making it so magically moist.

Since we had eaten dinner really early we had plenty of time to drive to Beverly Hills.  After walking in the freezing weather and getting lost more than once we decided to bust out Greg’s iPhone GPS and put it on Pedestrian mode.  Unfortunately we are both direction challenged and always end up in the boonies somehow, but not this time!  We FINALLY found our way to Harajuku Crepe that I’ve been reading so many rave reviews about!

DSC05630

Even though the creperie itself is tiny and has room for only 3 small groups to sit inside, they at least have a high ceiling to make up for it.  Just thought you would want to know in case you’re claustrophobic. Smile

DSC05632

DSC05636

My little disclaimer is that Harajuku Crepe doesn’t offer the typical French dessert. As with most Japanese and Asian eateries they make their batter extra thin and slightly crispy. Then they fill it with all the fix-ins and roll it up into a large ice cream like cone.  Harajuku offers all sorts of batters:  buckwheat, original, green tea, chocolate.  We went with the green tea flavor and to be quite honest it didn’t taste that strong, but the whole cone came together so nicely with the vanilla ice cream scoop that it just melted in our mouths.

Our verdict is that Harajuku has the best Japanese crepe we’ve ever tried, but deep in our hearts we will always be loyal to the original Parisian version.  Nothing beats that stuff!

17.5 Weeks AlongDSC05650

I wasn’t sure whether or not I should post a picture of my pregnancy progress until later because I felt like you might think, “mehhh her stomach looks the same as a month ago and nothing has changed!”  until the sweetest Jessie asked me to post a new photo of myself.  Jessie, thank you for making me smile so big!

Countless of articles state that most first time pregnant women don’t show much growth until the 16th week (or around that time), and I’ve also read petite/short women tend to grow much faster since there’s less room in our bodies.  I thought that would be the case for me since I’m only 5’1”, but I guess all pregnancies really ARE different.  Now, this isn’t a good nor bad in my opinion.  In some ways I’m relieved that I can enjoy more physical freedom for a longer period of time; however, I do sometimes wonder if my wee child is still breathing in there!  Haha, that’s when I know I’m being such a mom because all the other symptoms (ahem, relentlessly growing chest) tell me otherwise and there’s nothing to be worried about.

Thank you so very much for following me on this journey and supporting me every step of the way!  You have no idea just how much every kind word or helpful advice means to a pregnant woman.  I love you guys.

Have a blessed day and talk to you soon.

Ps:  Stay tuned because I have some pretty cool stuff on the way!  It’s cool to me at least. Winking smile

Love,

Ellie <33