Christmas Chronicles

Post-Christmas healthy living bloggers be like:

2431baffde5f2ec09efaed8ef507386863cf19b1aeea1c1e0a11700c810c0cf6

[source]

And I’m still just like:

belt-already-unbuckled-thanksgiving-ecard-someecards

[source]

There’s been an endless supply of food on our vacation in Canada so far, and I can’t say I’m very stressed or upset about it at all. It’s definitely a lot more sugar and salt than I’m used to in such a short period of time, but there’s some nutrition in there. Most importantly, though, there has been a lot of fellowship and joy surrounding the meals, which is the best part!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas/weekend. Here’s what’s been going on with me and my family…

Christmas Eve breakfast was a festive affair! Davida’s green pancakes with pomegranate arils to complete the holiday look.

IMG_9545

We went to Mass on Christmas Eve since we would be traveling all day on Christmas.

IMG_9556

After Mass we ate dinner at our favorite Japanese restaurant for suuuuushiiii.

IMG_9551

note the ideal fish to rice ratio — crucial aspect

Apple pie a la mode was waiting for us at home (leftovers that we froze from Thanksgiving)!

IMG_9553

I WAS SO FULL. But superbly content.

I woke up at the fine time of 4:20 AM (lol) after going to sleep at midnight. I had a little bit of time before we were hitting the road, so I did a super quick workout just to get the blood flowing before being the car for 10 hours. Working out before traveling these days is about moving for the sake of moving, not for the sake of burning calories. It’s nice and a lot less self-imposed pressure.

Mom and I packed some quality road trip food, if I do say so myself. Exhibit A: Mom’s salmon, brown rice, and broccoli packets.

IMG_9565

When we finally arrived at my grandparents’ place, we had some good rounds of ping pong (if that doesn’t scream Chinese workout of the day, I don’t know what does).

IMG_9630

(Also, my grandma owns me in ping pong.)

Dinner was the first of many Chinese meals on our trip. It was absolutely delicious, MSG and all. The fish was super fresh too. Suuuuper fresh.

IMG_9571 IMG_9576

I apologize if any of you are squeamish, but that fish was incredible.

IMG_9579

We’re staying at my fellow fit relatives’ place currently, so of course we partook in some ninja activities upon arrival.

IMG_9583

My bro offered to take a slow motion video of me throwing knives, and I thought that would be a fantastic idea so I could scare all my best friends back at college. ‘Twas a great Christmas overall 🙂

Leftover green pancakes the next morn’!

IMG_9602

My cousin and I worked up a sweat for an hour or so playing Just Dance on her Wii. That game is no joke! Like, you need a decent amount of dance skill to be fairly good at it.

IMG_9603

And then more food with more cousins for lunch! Followed by Mah Jong (Chinese card game) and Chinese checkers. Did I mention we’re part Chinese?

10003536_10153552164156749_7947284756882638807_n IMG_9605

solid combo of leftover Christmas food and fresh sushi

At night, we all attended my great uncle and aunt’s golden anniversary celebration. 50 years of marriage, how ’bout that!? Inspirational.

IMG_9611

It ain’t no celebration without copious amounts of food in this family. Ergo, more eating.

IMG_9607

Peep the full pig on the right. We like heads on our food evidently.

IMG_9609 IMG_9610

Ermahgersh.

Also, ermahgersh at all the little ones and the ex-little ones who are now taller than me (not saying that much, because I’m so short).

IMG_9613

Yesterday morning, I woke up early-ish to get some moves and grooves in. I did a fun yet killer circuit workout that I came up with in the basement. A classic and refreshing Greek yogurt bowl was breakfast afterwards.

IMG_9618

My family went to Mass and lunch (more Chinese food!) from the late morning to the early afternoon. Then we drove over to my mom’s side of the family for the rest of the evening. They greeted us with more food hahaha. ha. ha.

IMG_9625

another great combo of Thai food and Shepherd’s pie

Surprisingly, I never felt super full or overwhelmed. I ate what I wanted, and that was that. Yes, there were more times than usual this past week when I felt stuffed, but honestly, it’s the holidays. THERE, I SAID IT. I’m using the holidays as an excuse. What are we gonna do about it?

IMG_9629

The best part was hanging out with my cousins though. We even unintentionally matched with our cousin telepathy.

IMG_9628

girls show teeth, boys do soft smiles

It was a fun evening, and now it’s late… and I’m kinda hungry again… Not even kidding.

I am beyond grateful for my family, nourishment, health, and fellowship. God is good. Joy to the World, the Lord has come!

Hope you all have a great Monday! Three more days of 2015!!!

So tell me:

Three things you did this Christmas/weekend! 

Best thing you ate over the holiday. The sushi on Christmas eve OR that super fresh fish.

In and Out of Canada

Because everyone takes a weekend road trip to Canada.

Our adventure was supposed to start on Saturday morning at 5 am after a nice early bedtime on Friday night. But of course, why start the excitement Saturday morning when you can start it Friday night?

7:30 pm

Dad: “Aghh. I left my drivers license at the security desk of the bank today… They don’t usually take my license for security, so I forgot. You’re going to have to drive all the way to Canada by yourself…”

Alison: “Ohhhh man….. Well okay. It’ll be fine.”

8:30 pm

Dad: “I need to go get my license. I’m going to need to drive around when we’re in Canada.”

Me: “You’re going into the city to pick it up now??”

Dad: “Yep. You’ll drive me down. It’s better if I have my license.”

Me: “Oooooookay. Alllllllrighty.”

WG8zw

[source]

So instead of going to bed at 9 like planned, we drove an hour down to the city, picked up his license, and then an hour back. Whatcha gonna do?

I’m glad we made that extra push to get his license though, because that made the 9 hour drive to Ontario much more doable being able to take turns.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Overnight oats in a jar is THE way to go for early morning travels. 100%.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Plus egg and cheese sandwiches.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

It’s also fun to know that I can import and order alcohol legally in Canada. *purple devil emoji*

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

{importing scotch for my aunt, and had one sip of beer at a restaurant. haha.}

My dad and I are spending just a little bit of time here in Toronto primarily to visit my grandparents, but we’ve also seen tons of other relatives.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Where there is family, there is food.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

puffy pita + fattoush chicken salad

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

dim sum

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Moroccan feast incl. harissa carrots, fish tagine, and orange creme brûlée 

Things I’ve learned this trip:

  • All my cousins are growing up so fast (I guess I am too), and I’m having a little retrospective freak out.
  • Asian elders will always comment on your physical appearance, so you just have to deal with it.
  • I know I love my breakfasts, but making breakfast for five people is nerve-wracking, especially when you’re not in your own kitchen.

But it works out well when the people (my healthy, fitness-loving relatives) love the breakfast trifecta as much as I do.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

impromptu yogurt protein pancakes + classic banana oatmeal with fruit and nut butter

  • How to throw a knife.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

But I’ll keep that on the DL. *three purple devil emojis*

Canada is where the wild things are.

Today I’m rock climbing with my cousin! I’m in ninja training, essentially. Tomorrow, Dad and I are driving all the way back to New York, unpacking, and then packing again for Washington for a wedding. Weeeeeeee!

Hope you all have an awesome week. Watch out for ninjas.

So tell me:

Have you ever left something very important behind accidentally?

What is your favorite travel food?

Do you have any ninja skills? 

Spill It Sundays #4: Holiday Traditions

Phew! Despite a frightening start to our Christmas break, we are so thankful to be safe and together back in New York right now. We’re definitely bummed that we won’t be seeing all our relatives and friends in Canada, but it’ll be good to just chill out at home. Except for the fact that it’s not chilly at all right now. It’s balmy in the 50s and 60s— I was walking outside tonight in a skirt and short sleeves!

Other pluses about being home?

  • I got to attend my dance school’s holiday party this morning, which I was planning on missing.
  • My dad and I will be able to go to the Christmas pageant at our church. Some of my religious education students will be participating!
  • I get to bake and cook!

And the plus of it being Sunday? Spill It Sundays! This week, Arman asked us to spill about our holiday traditions and celebrations. Very appropriate for the Christmas season I’d say.

The Big Man's World
What is a traditional/cultural event you and your family/friends celebrate?
One thing that we like to do throughout the year is celebrate saints’ days whenever the saint has a name that is the same as that of one of our family members (ex: Patrick, Thomas, Mary, etc.). I’m sure you’ve noticed that I come from a very Catholic family 😉 We like to send a short and sweet email wishing the person a “Happy Feast Day!”
Another tradition is watching the NYC New Year countdown on TV and clinking glasses of apple bubbly at midnight!
324627_10150566663141323_948899080_o
“Tipsy ‘Chus” (<— just made that up…the stuff isn’t even alcoholic). Taken in the 2012 New Year by my talented friend and fellow Pikachu lover, Christie
Do you have any traditions in which you partake on a consistent basis?
Whenever we go up to Toronto, we always have dim sum at least once. Naturally— we’re Chinese. And it’s Toronto. I’ve heard many times that Toronto’s Chinese food is better than China’s (shhhh).
image
This used to be me. Like, SPOT ON.
Dim-Sum-Baskets
Shrimp dumplings are on the bottom right. 
What does a typical day during this period involve?
If we’re talking about Christmas: Wake up, eat a delicious breakfast (like one of these breakfasts!), hang out with family, go to Mass, listen to Christmas songs, open presents, eat lunch (dim sum if we’re in Toronto), do some fun activities, cook/bake, eat a big dinner, and maybe watch a movie or go to a Christmas party. More or less. 
DSC_7045
391154_2195077415089_593693835_n IMG_0997
Essentially, eat and spend time with family. That’s what the holidays are all about, right?!
Most memorable event?
I’d say it’s a tie between two Christmases:
1) Christmas in 2004 (I was 8 years old) when my cousins, Ben, and I put together a Christmas show for our family that involved music performances, singing, break dancing, and…..pillow sumo wrestling. There’s a video, of course. I love that my most embarrassing moments are immortalized.
2) Christmas in 2011 when we were in Florida with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and best friends. All my favorite people in one house for my favorite time of year!
415341_348418708514626_1724041937_o 332839_319577348065429_248805599_o
Gahhh now all this talk is making me SO excited for Christmas! It also helps that I’m listening to Kelly Clarkson’s Christmas album as I type this.
Happy Sunday!
So tell me: What are some holiday traditions you and your loved ones have? What does a typical day look like when you celebrate your favorite holiday? What was your most memorable holiday?

Spill It Sunday #1: Struttin’ My Asian Stuff

Good morning and happy Sunday, everyone!

And HAPPY DECEMBER! I’m still amazed that it’s 2013, further less almost 2014. Hokey smokes. When I was in sixth grade, my class got T-shirts that said “Class of 2014,” and back then, I thought that year would never come. Now it’s around the corner and it’s exciting and freaky at the same time! But first, I’m in major anticipation of Christmas. A lot of people say we are in the Christmas season right now, but I like the sense of vigil for the actual day when our Lord came to us. However, Christmas music has been blasting in this household… 🙂

Today I’m sharing a fun post with you as part of Arman’s Spill It, Sunday link-up! Basically, bloggers answer some questions that allow readers to get to know them beyond their health and fitness lifestyles. Personally, I love reading about other people’s lives (nosy) and knowing more about the backgrounds of the bloggers I follow. So I think it would be a nice idea to give you all some more snippets of who I am too. Head on over to his blog to check out what other bloggers are spilling this Sunday!

The big man's world
What is your cultural background?
I am 100% Asian! My dad’s side is Chinese and my mom’s side is Laotian, so I’ve got a little Far East and Southeast in me. Unfortunately, I cannot speak the native languages of either those countries. My mom speaks Laotian and Thai with her friends and family (and watches Thai TV a LOT), but other than that, my parents have just spoken in English at home my entire life. I should learn Chinese from this girl! She’s got swag.
P1170370
I’m definitely very familiar with Chinese and Laotian culture though. Like, I say “Ai-ya!” a lot. That’s just one example, I promise. Also, we eat dim sum on the daily whenever we visit relatives in Toronto.
P1170519
P1170412
I am overwhelmed.
P1170341
Mom in a traditional Laotian outfit
I was born in Los Angeles, California, so I’m also super American.
IMG_1974
I’m technically Canadian too, since I have a dual citizenship! My parents met in Toronto and my brother was also born there. Why I have citizenship there? I’m not sure. But I like Canada, so I’m alright with it.
IMG_0404
My cousin
So I guess you can say I am a cocktail o’ nationalities. 🙂
What was your most memorable birthday?
My 13th. Not because I was becoming a teenager or anything, but because my sweet friends threw me a huge surprise party that almost put me to tears. Such a lucky gal I was. Just look at the invitation for the party!
DSC_6996
I don’t even go this all-out for my own parties that I plan! I even wrote a whole story about the party and how thankful I was for my friends for putting it together. *Sniff*
Who was your childhood hero?
I guess I’ll answer like Arman with my favorite fictional character. I’d have to say it was Mulan. Yeah, it’s probably because she’s Chinese. Also, she’s freakin’ awesome. I mean, risking her life to save her father’s? Saving China? C’mon. Let’s also not forget the fun songs from that movie: “Let’s get down to business…to defeat….the Huns!
mulan_costume-235x300
mulan-blu-ray-screenshot-2
FUN FACT— I met the woman, Ming Na Wen, who played the voice of Mulan because my grandma is good friends with her mother-in-law. I got to hang with her and her dog and we got her autograph on this special framed picture of a scene from the movie…This was when I was maybe 3 years old, so I barely remember. But here’s a photo of it!
DSC_6998
I’ll leave you off with that for this Sunday. I’m loving this Spill It stuff! Thanks again for hosting, Arman!
So tell me: What’s your cultural background? What was your most memorial birthday? Who was your childhood hero?