my very first rental car

another step toward big girl status (never mind the fact that i’m way pass my “mid-twenties”) — i rented and picked up my very first rental car last week in la! a little bit nervous, a little bit exciting.

 i decided to go with midway rental cars and was glad the confirmation i received came with specific step by step instructions on how to pick up my rental car.

  1.  after collecting your luggage, please exit the baggage claim area on the lower level of the airport. — check
  2. proceed to the center island to the “hotel/courtesy” shuttle pick up area which is indicated by the overhead “red” sign — check
  3. the shuttle will be yellow and will say “quikpark” on the side. — check

 i spot the shuttle almost immediately! what great luck!  *shuttle zooms by*

 wait. looks down at instructions. looks up at red sign. looks down at instructions. “the shuttle runs every 15 minutes; however you are welcome to call them directly for pick up from the lax airport.” i call the rental car company and they promise to send a shuttle asap. cool, i resumed my waiting.

 a few minutes later, i spot another yellow quikpark shuttle. that wasn’t so bad.. *shuttle zooms by*

 i check the red sign above me a second time. i’m fairly certain i’m in the right spot!

 it’s now been well over 20 minutes and i’m starting to get bored. despite being fairly quiet in nature i also have a short attention span. and this was driving me nuts! there was one lone man standing a little to my left. i say hi in hopes of starting some friendly convo. he gives me a frightened look just as his shuttle pulls up and he scurried onto his shuttle without a word.

hmm. another man comes to a stop a little to my right. i decide to take my chances and try again. the second man was a bit more responsive and asked my ethnicity. i told him i was chinese, which seemed to perk his interest. the next thing you know, we were new bffs and i was reminded, yet again, just how bad my mandarin really is (sorry, grandma).

 just as the conversation was getting fun, i glanced up to see my shuttle pulling away from the curb! doh! the shuttle actually stopped and i’m about to miss it! i said a quick goodbye to my new friend and ran after my shuttle, arms waving. luckily the bus driver hadn’t made it very far and stopped to let me on! *whew*

 i was a little sad to see my new friend vanish because i know i’ll probably never see him again — it’s kind of interesting the people who come and go from your life!

 anyway, 30 minutes later i walk out of midway car rental with a apple green fiat 500c! i couldn’t help but smile when i saw it. i was pretty darn proud of my little green car! que and my brother disagreed though (they were afraid i’d get run over on the cali hwys!) and i wasn’t allowed to drive it all weekend. boo.

 oh, well. cute though, isn’t it? 😀



sorry i’ve been mia. it’s been hectic, crazy around here..

some random stuff lately:

realization: it seems most of the posts i’ve “re-released” thus far have been all about food. oops.
+ sick: ugh. i was in california for work last week and brought back a cold/flu. currently feeling awful.
cute: i opened my suitcase and found a huge stack of paintings from my nephews!
addictions: half and half milk tea, maple cream cookies
the big news: i suppose it’s about time i told you, que & i got engaged! woohoo!

a fresh start


lately i’ve been pondering the direction of this little blog & thought it best to start fresh (yey!). i’ve privatized old posts and will reissue relevant / “popular” posts after a little cleaning here and there. i hope you won’t mind too much!   *scrub scrub*


lemon crinkle cookies

lemon crinkle cookies
found via lds living (makes 2-3 dozen


½ cups butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons baking powder
⅛ teaspoons baking soda
1-½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cups powdered sugar


  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. in a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy; whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice. stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar.
  3. pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.
  4. bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

a diaper cake

i made a diaper cake for bin to take to his friend’s baby shower.
there’s quite a bit of pink – but, i think i like it. =)

happy monday, friends!

the boyfriend shopping survival kit

everything you need to keep the bf entertained on those long, but absolutely necessary shopping trips.

inspired by: our 7 hour christmas shopping spree = one very miserable boyfriend. so as part of his christmas gift, i made him this shopping survival kit.


  • for hunger – pretzel, cheese, beef jerky, apple sauce (you only see apple sauce? that’s because i ate the rest. oops. don’t worry, i’ll replenish it!)
  • for sleepiness –  energy pack
  • for boredom –  travel games (poker and blackjack)
  • for contact problems – contact case, solution, eye drops
  • for accidents – band aid

this project was my first experience with zippers and wow, that was kind of a pain! mental note to self: read directions first!

after completion, i also realized that:

  1. i should have chosen a longer zipper
  2. i should have added a strap

being the crazy virgo that i am, these mini-imperfections are driving me mad! i plan to re-make the survival pack soon. maybe a tutorial to follow?

in the mean time… happy friday, friends!

the oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookie

it’s genius. all cookies should be stuffed.

* note: the oreo cookies in the middle are supposed to be horizontal. i just happened to pick the one cookie that wasn’t! as much as it bothered me, i only made a dozen + 2 cookies and they were promised to others (so i couldn’t cut into another cookie for picture purposes)! i am, however,  happy to say i did not spot another cookie that was crooked while spying on those who devoured these babies! i’m not creepy. no i’m not!

the oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookie
via lovin’ from the oven


2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 package Oreo cookies (i used the double stuffed oreos)


  1. cream together the butter and sugars. add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined.
  2. in a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. slowly add the dry mix to the wet mixture until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. refrigerate the dough for an hour.
  5. preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. scoop a ball of cookie dough on top of the oreo and another below, sandwiching the oreo in between. flatten the cookie dough and seal the sides, completely covering the oreo.
  7. place the cookies at least two inches apart on a baking sheet and bake for 9-13 minutes.



via smitten kitchen

1 bag of dark chocolate
1 orange
1 cup sugar


  1. cut orange into wedges, eat orange
  2. save and slice orange peel
  3. boil water in pot, toss orange peels into water; let cook for a few minutes; drain and repeat (removes bitterness)
  4. simmer 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar; toss orange peels into pot; simmer for 1 hour
  5. drain and place peels on paper towels
  6. melt dark chocolate in double boiler
  7. dip peels in chocolate and let dry on parchment paper
  8. eat!

* i also rolled a batch in sugar (replacing steps 6 and 7 above), here’s a recipe via the food network

cranberry orange pistachio cookies

anh and i were walking through the farmer’s market last weekend when we came across the best cranberry orange cookies! they were so tasty i was inspired to make my very own batch.

i turned to trusty google, which of course turned up a plethora of recipes, and after browsing through a few – i decide on this pistachio version via culinary concoctions by peabody. why did i choose it? well, her mom said they were good. and i trust moms and food. they know what they’re talkin’ bout.

the result? mommy peabody was right. they were good.  they’re like mini sugar cookies with stuff in it. and they’re soft. soft and fluffy! they’re not quite the same as the cranberry orange cookies we found at the farmer’s market, but I’m not complaining. i’ve had four today already and i foresee several more before bed time 😦

now, the question is – what do I do with my other 36 cookies??! must.stop.eating.

cranberry orange cookies
Made about 40 cookies


orange sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp freshly grated orange peel

1 cup sugar
¾ cup butter, room temperature
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
½ cup pistachio nuts
1 tbsp freshly grated orange peel


  1. to make orange sugar: combine sugar and orange in a small bowl and set aside
  2. mix sugar, butter, and egg in a large bowl; beat at medium high until creamy
  3. reduce speed to low and add remaining ingredients; continue beating until well mixed
  4. roll dough into 1″ balls; roll balls in orange sugar and place 2 inches apart on baking sheet; flatten balls into 1-1/2″ circles with the bottom of a glass
  5. bake at 350 degress for 7-11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned (do not overbake!)

lemon berry cupcakes

maybe it was the keylime bars i made for puppy’s first birthday or maybe it was the margarita cupcakes i made for cinco de mayo, but in my mind farrah = key lime! so when she called/texted me on monday night with cupcake requests, i immediately thought of this lemon berry recipe!

plus, i love the color of the berry frosting – it was perfect for the flower theme i had in mind (farrah also reminds me of fusia colored gerber daisies)!

needless to say, the recipe was perfect for farrah.

and i think farrah thinks so too! she passed out exactly enough cupcakes for all of her guests (minus me. i believe her reasoning was, “you have some at home, right? these are mine.”) and hoarded safely packed away the rest. angela almost had hers taken away because “they were too pretty for eating” and even the instructor (farrah’s birthday party was at painting w/ a twist) who came by to take a peak didn’t deserve a cupcake offer (awkward, awkward moment).

happy birthday, farrah. thank you for liking my cuppie cakes! i heart you!

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