Christmas is done with! I hope everyone's holidays were merry and bright! I got most of my shopping done last Thursday. In the morning, Anna and I went to yoga and Jamba Juice. For the remainder of the day, we watched Glee and wrapped presents and then my mom and I went to Torrance to deliver them. We visited with my cousins for a little while until we headed to Marukai to get kamoboku, sweet potatoes and ramen for my grandma. I also found a present for Jeremy! On the way home, downtown was all lit up and festive so I had to snap a picture.
When I got home, I ate dinner and changed to go to 2 holiday parties with Lena. The first one was in the Hollywood Hills at my friend, Sydney's. We talked outside on her adorable patio, catching up and drinking wine. The second stop was Sam and Jeff's Mexican Christmas party. I was too freezing to get in the spirit of Navidad but I put on a Day of the Dead tattoo (an armadillo). I completely froze due to the fact that we were sitting outside in the gazebo with only a tiny little space heater to keep us (mostly Anna's hands) warm. I got home and went to bed, but since I was cold inside and out, couldn't sleep restfully and spent the night in a ball.
On the 23rd, our family friends had their annual holiday/birthday extravaganza! I wore my Alexa Chung leopard boots and got many compliments on them. I hung out with my sister and my friend Grant, who goes to school in Maine. We basically grew up together so it was especially funny to think about how we used to run around this party but have gravitated towards sitting on the couch drinking wine and beer.
On Christmas Eve, we loaded up my mom's BMW 3.25 to drive 3 hours to Santa Maria. Unfortunately her car is too tiny to hold all of our stuff comfortably, so I complained until we switched to my dad's Suburban. Much better! I arrived at my grandparent's hungry and needing to pee (drinking coffee and ginger tea wasn't such a good idea). My uncle came over for dinner, we did a puzzle and finished the wrapping of the gifts.
On Christmas morning, I woke up, showered (in case of photographs), and ate my weight in fruit before we opened presents. I got money, a blanket, a fox scarf, a Hello Kitty iPhone case, Jack Purcell Converse, Missoni for Target flats (too big :( so I don't know if I can keep them), Sees Candy mints and lollipops, Chan Luu bracelets and a butterfly scarf. My sister liked her gloves and my parents liked the dressing maker, mustard, and fig jam. My cousins from San Diego came over for dinner and we talked about school and music festivals.
Boxing Day/1st day of Kwanzaa was spent going to the mall to buy an on sale calendar. I picked out an Ugly Doll one and my sister got Marilyn Monroe. Anna worked on college apps for the next couple of days and finally submitted them on Tuesday. During one of her breaks, my dad got her a Thai iced tea boba while my mom and I went to CVS.
The second puzzle that we worked on was 2 500 piece puzzles in one box. Both of cats and both were ill represented by the pictures on the box.
It was so intense and we didn't finish it until late Tuesday night.
We printed accurate pictures and separated them into bags for easier puzzle making next time.
On Wednesday my family got up and drove over to Arroyo Grande to make mochi. Many people think that mochi is the same thing as mochi ice cream but that is actually incorrect. Mochi is the chewy, sticky, rice covering the ice cream. It's not sweet like the ones at yogurt places, it just tastes like rice. In the Japanese culture, it's made to be eaten on New Years and I believe it's said to bring good luck. While many people simply put the rice into a machine, we make it the old fashioned way with mallets and sticks.
You can't really see it but there's a stone bowl in the middle of the people filled with the rice and they're mushing it with the sticks. It's very tiring but is excellent for working the arms. I had to do it twice but it was fun. The farm was filled with many many hapa boys in their 20s (hapa is Asian and white btw) which my cousin, Emma was excited by. Also they're all really buff and countryish which is just so adorable. Thankfully, I didn't have to use the mallet (I've done it once and was put to shame by my lack of strength) but I made the actual mochi balls so hopefully I've got good luck for the new year!
These are some big ones for the snowmen looking towers everyone makes.
I helped make this batch!
There was a huuuge bbq afterwards and I got all this yummy food (salads and a steak sandwich). We sat with my cousins from Idaho, who I see about once a year but are always fun to hang out with. Also, my cousin Grant looks like Mike Chang from Glee. He hates it but it's totally true.
We went out to Japanese food for dinner with my Torrance cousins. I got miso soup, wakame sunomono, and spicy tuna rolls. We came home around 7ish, watched some Family Guy and went to sleep around 10, which is early for us.
I woke up this morning at like 6:15, ate a tangerine and banana and left to come home around 7. Upon coming home, I ate a bowl of cereal, downed some coffee and opened presents from our neighbors and Hawaii.
Lena turned 21 today! To celebrate, we went to Aroma and got a salad, Diet Coke and iced tea. Because the weather was 75 DEGREES WTF we walked and went shopping in Urban and later Target. We exchanged presents (I owe her uno más) and got a really cool necklace, a shirt/dress, a knitted snail ornament and salted caramel apple pie taffy from Brooklyn. And they legit taste like pie.
Ahhh New Years is just around the corner! I hope everyone has a safe and fun New Years Eve and that you've got someone to kiss at midnight!