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Laundry On Sundaes

Every beginning is only a sequel, after all, and the book of events is always open halfway through.

Monthly Archives: November 2012

For our 4 year anniversary last month, Yufei and I decided to go to Half Moon Bay for a nice little weekend getaway. I had just come back from New York and really welcomed the trip. We drove down from San Francisco on Friday morning. The drive was along the coast and the view was absolutely beautiful. We stopped by the Taco Bell in Pacifica for lunch – most scenic fast food restaurant ever! We also made a stop at another beach along the highway and took some photos.

We stayed at the gorgeous Mill Rose Inn, which was just so lovely. They had a beautiful garden full of blooming roses!

After checking in and dropping off our stuff, we went out for a walk in downtown Half Moon Bay. It’s such a cute little town! We were just in time for the annual pumpkin festival that was happening that weekend. We saw California’s biggest pumpkin:

The thing was humongous! Definitely can see it being turned into Cinderella’s carriage – ha! After walking around and getting ice cream, we drove to the beach.

We hung out at the beach for a while, then went back to the inn to rest a bit and watch a DVD. The inn provides tons of DVD’s that you can borrow and play on the TV’s in the rooms. Then it was dinnertime. I made a reservation at Cetrella, a restaurant within walking distant. It was a very nice place, great ambiance, with a live piano player and singer. Food and service were both excellent as well. It was very dark in the restaurant so I couldn’t really take photos (didn’t want to be that annoying person who keeps using flash).

After dinner, we walked back to the inn, which was equally magical at night. They had all these lights on their trees in the backyard – reminds me of Christmas!

The next morning, we had breakfast in the dining room (you can also choose to have it delivered to your room). They served champagne as well as a really yummy orange banana smoothie.

For food there was a pumpkin crumble, frittata, this nutty banana toast, and watermelon.

After breakfast we checked out, put our bags in the car, and went downtown to check out the art and pumpkin festival. There sure were a lot of people flooding into this tiny town! There were booths with artists and merchants selling their goods, food stands, etc. There was also a Halloween parade, where we saw this amazing Spongebob costume:

We had to get back in the early afternoon because I had work in the evening (boo). We had a wonderful time in Half Moon Bay; the weather was gorgeous, the Mill Rose Inn was lovely, dinner was decadent, we got to visit the festival, and most importantly, we got to spend it with each other and celebrate our 4 years together!

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So I’ve decided that it’s time to start getting healthier again! I know that this sounds like an odd time to do this, right before the holidays, but hopefully it will have a preventative effect and stop me from getting fat over Christmas and New Years hahah. I also have gotten sick twice in the last couple of months so I think it’s time I strengthen my immune system too.

I already watch what I eat (at least most of the time) and I think I eat a pretty healthy and balanced diet, so not too much will change in terms of that. I did start drinking green tea everyday; not sure if it actually does me any good but it makes me feel healthy, ha! Also will start cutting back on starches a bit more and eat more fruits and veggies.

I do, however, plan to start exercising more. I’m kind of a yo-yo exerciser; I will do it diligently for a couple of weeks and then give up and then start again and stop again. The only time I’ve consistently exercised for longer than a month was when I was taking PE classes in college. But I’ve started a new fitness program that I can do right in my bedroom (this is super helpful if you’re lazy like me!). I got some weights and a mat and new workout clothes. So I’m trying really hard to keep it going this time. So far I’ve been getting my butt kicked by this new program but I feel great!

Speaking of getting healthy, I got contacted by Sue from Slimkicker. Slimkicker is a website that turns fitness into a level-up game. You can track your food and exercise and get points for doing healthy things like eating veggies or working out. You can set a reward for yourself for reaching the next level too, to get you to stay motivated. You can also join challenges, like “no snacking after dinner” and “replace soda”. Slimkicker is also coming out with a new fitness tracker next year that I will be testing and reviewing, so that’s going to be exciting!

I find that it’s really helpful just to write down what you eat everyday. And just the sheer fact that you have to write it down makes you less inclined to snack mindlessly. It’s like, “ugh, I really want a bag of chips, but I have to put it on my food log and it will push my carb intake over the limit!” So far it looks like my daily calorie intake is fine, but I eat too much carbs and sometimes sugar. Sigh.. I love my carbs though! Anyway, its great to have a site like Slimkicker to make getting healthy easier and more fun, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who’s trying to lose weight or just trying to live a healthier lifestyle!

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Just wanted to share some photos from the top of Twin Peaks. Yufei and I were lucky enough to pick two gorgeous, clear days/nights to go up there. For the day trip we took the bus to the bottom and walked up this dusty, dirty trail to the top. I like hiking but I really did not like the climb hahah. But the views at the top were worth it!

Then we decided to go again, this time at night and driving instead. The view is equally fantastic when it’s dark, with the glittering city below us.

Twin Peaks is a definite must see for anyone visiting SF! Also notice the weird weather: it was cold and windy during that day in October, but much warmer the second night in November!

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So I haven’t talked about this before, but I made a deal with Yufei that if I get into Harvard and/or UOP for dental school, he would treat me to dinner at The French Laundry. Ever since I found out about and ate at Per Se, I’ve been wanting to go to The French Laundry. And now that we live in SF, it’s a lot closer and much more of a reality. I don’t find out if I get into UOP until Dec. 3 at the earliest, and Harvard even later than that, but I already got interviews at both schools and we are really excited to eat at The French Laundry, so as soon as I received my UOP interview, Yufei booked us a reservation in early December. We wil be having dinner there on Dec. 9, which is after Dec. 3, so I better get accepted at UOP or else it’ll feel like I didn’t earn the meal.

Anyway, so I am ridiculously excited about The French Laundry, and I’m starting to think about what to wear to dinner. I’ve always wanted to try Rent the Runway, so I think I will rent a dress from there for the meal. This is where I need your help! I’ve narrowed it down to these two dresses, and I need help picking one. Both are purple lace shift dresses (have to leave room in the tummy area for 9 courses!) and I love both.

Dress 1: Nannette Lepore Rustic Plum Lace Dress

Dress 2: Trina Turk Portrait of Elegance Shift

So here’s a little poll for you to cast your vote! I’d also love to hear your comments about either/both dresses, as well as suggestions for shoes and accessories to complete the outfit, so leave your thoughts in the comments!

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So it’s been about a month since my last update about my progress on dental school applications, and there have definitely been some exciting new developments!

Last time I wrote, I had just finished my first interview at NYU and anticipating what I thought would be my second interview at UOP. Well, two things have happened since then. Near the end of October, I got a call from Harvard for an interview! Of course I was unbelievably excited about this opportunity, and I scheduled it for December 13. I know it’s after Dec. 3, when the first batch of decisions come out, but apparently Harvard does things very slowly. There was a very long supplemental questionnaire that was only sent to people who are invited for interviews. And they also needed my high school transcript. And there will be two 45-minute faculty interviews. You can already see that things are very much serious at Harvard, as expected haha. Anyway, so I filled out the questionnaire, booked my flights, arranged my stay, and since it was to be after my UOP interview, I put it to the back of my mind.

As I was preparing for my UOP interview the week before it, I received a call from UCSF. Someone had cancelled their interview appointment and a spot had opened up. For the very next day. Of course I couldn’t say no to that! I had given up hope on UCSF at that point and this was a great surprise! I’m pretty sure this was the shortest notice ever for an interview at 18 hours. Thank goodness I live close by. So I spent the night preparing for the interview that I thought would never come. What I thought would be my second interview at UOP suddenly turned into my third one.

So now I’ve interviewed at both UCSF and UOP, let me talk a little bit about both. I really enjoyed my UCSF interview. The admissions staff were super friendly and funny and made the day a lot less stressful. We sat through a couple of presentations in the morning, then went off for a tour of the campus. The facilities were awesome and I really liked the atmosphere of the place. UCSF is situated pretty high up and there are many little spots on campus with amazing views of the city. There is this room in the library that has windows on three sides, with views of the ocean on one side, the Golden Gate Bridge on another, and downtown SF on the third. Everyone on the tour started taking pictures (I only had my crappy phone camera so I won’t share the photos).

After the tour, We had lunch with some dental students, before doing our interviews. There were 2 short interviews, one with a current student and one with a faculty member, and both are to be weighted equally. Another thing that is different about the UCSF interviews is that they’re closed file, which means that neither of my interviewers had read my application. I was a little bit nervous about this, but I really didn’t need to be. I had my student interview first. My interviewer was really really nice and we just had a conversation. I even showed her my art portfolio that I brought to all my interviews but never had the chance to show anyone before this. I think she definitely liked me and hopefully rated me well. My faculty interview also went pretty well. The professor was friendly and we had a nice chat together.

After the interview, there was the dreaded writing sample. We were given 30 minutes to write a page about a quote. I think I did okay on it, who knows. After that there was a financial aid presentation (which doesn’t really affect me since as an international student, my only option is private loans) and we were done. My overall impression of UCSF was very positive. I liked the school much more than I had expected. Some things I really like about it: P/F grading, friendly environment, small class size (88), lots of opportunities for everything, great facilities, and it just seemed like a very balanced school in every way. I hope I get good news from them come Dec. 3!

My UOP interview was earlier this week. One of the good things about it was that it started much later at 10:30! It was a pretty small interview group, only around 10 people, which was nice. We sat through some presentations and then half the group went to do their interviews and the other half did the tour of the school. I had my tour first, but I would have preferred to have my interviews first so I can relax after. The tour group was only 4 people, which was great because I got to ask a lot of questions to our tour guide, a second year student. After the tour, we had lunch in the cafeteria with some current students, and then it was interview time.

There was also 2 interviews, one short student interview and one longer faculty interview. My student interview was very casual and relaxed. In fact, most of the time my interviewer talked and asked me if I had any questions about the school. It was more of an opportunity for me to learn more about the school rather than for her to learn about me, which was fine with me. Then my faculty interview was a lot more intense and serious, which I had not expected. I got some pretty difficult questions! But I think I did okay in the end and my interviewer did say that he would love to see me at UOP in July.

The exciting thing about UOP is that the school will be moving to a new building in the summer of 2014. So if I end up there, I will spend 1 year in the old building in Pacific Heights and 2 years in the new one downtown. I got to see some floor plans and artist’s renderings of the new building and it looks beautiful. It would be really nice to use the new clinics and everything. So again, hope I get good news on Dec. 3!

I started this post a couple of days ago, and believe it or not, since then there has been one more new development. This afternoon I received a large envelope from U Penn inviting me for an interview! I haven’t called yet to schedule but it will probably be in January, if I go. It makes it a little tricky since it’ll be after I hear back from NYU, UCSF, and UOP. Anyway, I feel very blessed to get an invite from Penn. That leaves only my home institution of Columbia that hasn’t sent me an invite yet… no love from the Alma Mater!

Anyway, I can’t believe it’s just over 2 weeks until I hear back from the schools I’ve interviewed at. It’s been a long process and I can’t wait for it to be over. Will keep you guys updated!

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Oh dear, I’d been putting off reviewing all the restaurants we’ve been to in SF and now there’s too many racked up! So I will just do a few of the more memorable meals here.

1. Leatherneck Steakhouse & Lounge

I made a reservation there for Yufei’s birthday back in August. Yufei loves steak and Yelp helped me find this place. It’s on the top floor of the Marines’ Club building and there were excellent views of downtown SF. Very reasonable prices for the food and service. Very classy place – they had a live piano player! There were mostly older patrons though, but I guess that was expected. Good place for a special occasion dinner.

2. Slanted Door

A modern Vietnamese restaurant. I’d been wanting to come to this place since I found out about it during my SF visit last summer (I went to their sister restaurant Out The Door last year). We were at the Ferry Building one afternoon and decided to have an early dinner there. There was a line as soon as they opened for dinner, but we got a table pretty quickly. I liked the space a lot, very modern and simple with plenty of sunlight from the windows looking out into the ocean.

We got a couple of cocktails to start, which were both pretty good. (The pink girly one is Yufei’s. It’a actually hilarious how more often than not te drinks he order end up looking girlier than mine.)

For food, we got the daikon rice cakes for appetizer. They were pretty good, nothing too special for $14 though.

I got their famous cellophane noodles with dungeness crab for my entree. It was really delicious! A really simple dish but done well.

Yufei got the stir fried chicken with cashews, walnuts, and raisons. It sounded boring but actually was very good. The chicken was nice and crispy and the nuts and raisons complemented the meat well.

Overall a good meal but really a little too expensive for what you get.

3. Zazie

A little French Bistro not too far from where we live. Yufei went there for brunch with a friend of his and said that it was really good, so we went again for brunch a few weeks ago. We sat in the back garden, which was nice (if on a nice day). Those tall umbrella things are actually heaters, which was very necessary for the cool SF summer.

We got a bottle of sparkling lemonade to share. Yufei ordered the Un, Deux, Trois: 1 buttermilk pancake, 2 eggs, and 3 strips of bacon. I got one of their many eggs benedict specials, the La Mer, which was served with dungeness crab and avocados (as you can see, I really like crab!).

My dish was really good. Eggs and crab and avocados and Hollandaise sauce sound really rich together, but it was just right and not too much. I love eggs benedicts and would love to come back and try some of their other varieties!

That’s all for now! Now I have a question for anyone who’s been to SF: are there any good, cheap Korean restaurants in the city? Like a bibimbap under $13? We’ve been to a couple but they were really pricey. Maybe I’ve just been spoiled by 4 years of Mill back in college. Anyways, if anyone knows, let me know!

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Ok fine, I actually did this last week, but I felt like sharing it today!

Polka dots done with a mechanical pencil, haha!

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