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It’s an awesome day to share the love! Here are the valentines I made this year for Mike and our moms!
Hope you have a wonderful day, and share it with those you love, whether it’s that special someone or your best friends!
2012 is almost over! I thought I would take the opportunity to look back and see what we’ve done this past year:
As we head into 2013, Derry makes a resolution to learn how to share. Which he probably won’t keep.
For our first Christmas as a married couple, we bought an adorable Precious Moments ornament to celebrate the occasion. It’s on our gorgeous tree, named Winston (pictured below).
We got Winston at the start of December, but he still looks and smells amazing.
Mike and I are blessed to have so many good friends and co-workers. We put up the cards we received on our wall decal as sort of a second Christmas tree!
Thank you to everyone who thought of us this year!
For our Christmas dinner, I made the pair of candle holders above using some lace, two mason jars, some twine and two red bells. Super easy project, considering that I planned them for one-time use (so there’s a bit of tape holding them together!)
It always surprises me how quickly the advent calendar switches over! This tree I bought from Starbucks a while back. I don’t even bother putting chocolate in it anymore because we have so much chocolate in the house already! Also, we displayed the cute snowman I got from a co-worker last year.
Even our bookshelves are decked out in holiday cheer. That’s our wedding scrapbook in the back, with the angel on top of our wedding guestbooks.
I made little 3D Christmas tree placecards for our dinner. The inspiration came from Martha Stewart’s version (here), but I just used the simple kindergarten version of 3D trees rather than her printout.
This Christmas, we had dinner for five, including myself, Mike, our moms, and a family friend. So maybe I was a bit too hungry once the food came out to take a picture of the meal. Oops! Anyway, I hope everyone is enjoying a relaxing holiday, and starting to make new years resolutions for January (and forgetting them after the first two weeks)!
Mike and I just got back yesterday from Hong Kong, so get ready for a set of posts about our trip! It was Mike’s first time there, so he got to meet the rest of my extended family, and try all the good eats the city has to offer. One of our first tourist trips was to Lantau Island. The metro system in Hong Kong (MTR) is super convenient. We got off at Tung Chung, which brought us right to the entrance for the cable cars to get to Ngong Ping (a super touristy village on Lantau Island).
We purchased tickets for the Crystal Cabin, which has a glass bottom so I could fully bask in my fear of heights. Another benefit of buying this ticket was that the lineup was almost non-existent, whereas there was a huge line for the standard cabin! Both lines moved very quickly, but it sure felt good jumping the queue.
The ticketsellers tried to upsell the guided tour package, but it was actually very easy to get around. If you go, I highly recommend seeing everything at your own pace. They said the bus lineup would take hours and that the bus trip (between Ngong Ping and Tai O) would be a half hour, but we didn’t wait any more than half an hour and the bus trip was more like 10 minutes. The bus schedule said one every half hour but they definitely had more buses running than that – then again, we did go on a holiday so maybe they just added a few.
The main attraction at Ngong Ping is the Big Buddha. It’s made of bronze, cost $60 million HKD (about $7.5 million CDN) and took 12 years to complete (erected 1993). It sits at the top of 268 steps (which, after Paris, was no big deal).
We were able to encircle the outside of the Big Buddha, but there was a separate fee to go inside. Afterward, we took the bus to Tai O, another part of Lantau Island, which was an old fishing village. We went on a boat tour to see the stilt houses – they say there are dolphins around the area too, but we didn’t see any.
I kept feeling like the boat was going to tip over, especially when we were out on the ocean waves, but the captain got us back to shore in one piece. We then walked around the village, where Mike found that his limit on eating at flies-crawling-all-over-it. We had a few bites from places where others were lining up (yay for high turnover!). We were lucky to have great weather during most of our trip. It rained once but we were mostly indoors that day, so it worked out. Anyway, Mike and I hope to go back to Hong Kong again soon.
Today marks the third year from Mike and my first date! And yes, to all those people telling me October 17th is no longer my “real” anniversary… it’s the one we’re celebrating because our wedding anniversary will be around our birthdays and that’s just way too many things to celebrate at once.
To celebrate, we had dinner at Baru Latino. I’d passed by it often and saw there was usually a good crowd there so it seemed like a good place to try. The food did not disappoint. To start, we had a plate of plantanitos, which I have never tried before. Basically, it’s deep-fried plantain (kind of like banana) slathered in cheese and guacamole goodness. Mike was worried it would be super rich and filling, but it was actually a perfect appetizer. Just enough taste without being too heavy.
I’m a sucker for duck, so naturally I ordered the chepen duck for my main dish. It was cooked almost to perfection (there was just one piece that was slightly overdone) and paired very well with passion fruit mojo, grilled pear, and cassava frits on top of cilantro rice.
Mike had the paella, complete with chorizo, chicken, mussels, prawns, scallops and halibut. It was a bit spicy for my taste, but Mike enjoyed it. The size of their mussels was very impressive! I kept thinking I actually had two in each shell. My biggest regret about going to Baru was that we were too full for dessert and didn’t get to try any! We both greatly enjoyed the food and we’ll definitely be back for more.