Warby Parker Home Try-On

Posted By Jamie Wong >>> 10 Comments

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Despite the fact that my eye doc deemed my glasses prescription the same as last year, I really want a fresh new pair of frames. I headed straight for the Warby Parker site because I love my glasses and I can’t imagine getting any other brand. My favorite feature is the Warby Parker Home Try-On. If you can’t decide on which glasses you want (trust me, it’ll be hard), you can pick 5 of your favorite frames to try and they’ll deliver them to you for free. I wanted rounder/bigger frames in a fun color, please help me decide which ones I should get (leaning toward the Durand Woodland Tortoise), it’s so hard to choose just one! 

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Sol Food, San Rafael

Posted By Jamie Wong >>> 2 Comments

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During our weekend getaway to San Rafael, we had to stop at one of my favorite restaurants, Sol Food. My sister introduced us to this place a few years ago and since we rarely make it to the North Bay, it’s always such a treat. Chris and I both ordered the classic dish, Pollo al Horno, with sweet plantains, the most delicious rice, beans and a salad. The drinks are also amazing, Ponche (mango iced tea and limeade) and Te Helado (orange mango iced tea) being our favorites. And the hot sauce, oh the hot sauce! I can’t get enough of it. It’s sweet and spicy and but just mild enough that dumping it on everything doesn’t overwhelm the dish (sorry Siracha, you’ve been replaced). If you’re in Marin, I highly recommend making a stop here. It’s worth the trip!

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photos by jforjamie

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A guide to Chinese pastries

Posted By Jamie Wong >>> 1 Comments

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In the spirit of Chinese New Year, I wanted to share one of my favorite Chinese traditions, baked goods! A pink box of various freshly baked warm pastries and breads is common at any celebration. I have my favorites (Gai May Bao!) which remind me of family and happy childhood memories. My go-to Chinese bakery is on Noriega Street in San Francisco called Cafe Bakery Restaurant (next door is the restaurant, creative right?). Word to the wise, Chinese pastries should come fresh and warm from the oven, cost next to nothing (this entire box of goodies cost me $11) and you’ve only had the full experience when you’ve been yelled at by the impatient woman behind the counter who can artfully stuff a dozen pastries into a small box.

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pastries_dantatphotos by jforjamie

 

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China Camp, San Rafael

Posted By Jamie Wong >>> 5 Comments

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Chris and I took an overnight trip to San Rafael to see the one and only Bill Cosby, live in concert! We spent Sunday wandering around China Camp by the water. Despite it storming the night before, it was beautiful and serene. Surprisingly there were barely any people and the water was so calm it looked like glass. We had such a lovely day, we’ve already started looking at house listings to move to the North Bay. Oh and if you’re wondering how Bill Cosby was, he was AMAZING! Hilarious and made us laugh for three hours straight.

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photos by jforjamie

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Posted By Jamie Wong >>> 4 Comments

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Wishing you all a lovely Friday today. One of my favorite little details from our wedding were the love quote cards that we made for each place setting. I thought today would be a great day to share them! We didn’t want conventional (re: cheesy) quotes so we picked sayings from movies and songs that we love. Now you can print them out at home (formatted for letter-sized paper) and give them to your own sweethearts, just click the link below to download. Because everyone loves a good Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure quote.

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 photos by the Manchiks

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Road Trip to Big Sur

Posted By Jamie Wong >>> 4 Comments

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My sister’s 30th birthday celebration continued on in Big Sur last weekend. A few of us couldn’t commit to staying the night so we drove up for the day. She’s a regular renter of this house in Big Sur that’s colorful, eclectic and fits her personality to a tee. Us day trippers arrived at the house and then took a walk along the water to watch the sunset. It was a short trip but fun nonetheless. I definitely recommend staying over night if you’re going to Big Sur, there’s so much to see and you’re not going to want to leave the perfect scenery.

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photos by jforjamie

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Voyager, San Francisco

Posted By Jamie Wong >>> 7 Comments

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I love finding stores that have something for both Chris and I. We were walking around San Francisco’s Mission District and came across a store we could both enjoy, Voyager on Valencia Street. They have men and women’s clothing, housewares art and accessories. They even have old records (which Chris was most excited about). The back part of the shop has a built-in submarine structure designed by John McCambridge. From what I’ve learned, Voyager is a collaboration and collection of several different local shops, which I love. Valencia Street is one of my favorite streets to go shopping on in San Francisco and Voyager is a great addition.

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photos by jforjamie

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Brit + Co. Makeshop

Posted By Jamie Wong >>> 6 Comments

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The Brit + Co. Makeshop is one of the coolest creative spaces in San Francisco and it’s open to the public! Located at the Brit + Co. headquarters, is a space to make, with tons of DIY materials including 3-D and laser cut printers, paints and Brit Kits. The other side is a shop with items sourced from local designers and shops. They welcomed us into the shop during our blogger meet up and it was a perfect place to mingle and get creative. The Makeshop also holds classes like 3-D laser printing and puff pastry making so I’m grabbing some girlfriends and signing up!

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photos by chris mieuli

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Bay Area Blogger Meetup Sponsor Gifts

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Chinese New Year Traditions

Posted By Jamie Wong >>> 13 Comments

Happy Chinese New Year! There are so many traditions in Chinese culture in general, it’s hard to keep up. When I was young, I remember my mom displaying bright orange tangerines and making special Chinese cakes during the New Year but I never asked what they meant. Because this is our first Chinese New Year as a married couple, I think it’s a good idea to learn the traditions and their meanings so we can carry them on. My mom and aunt helped break down a few of the meanings.

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In Cantonese, visiting your relatives on New Years day is called bi nin. Bi means “to visit and show respect” and nin means “the year”. We start at my grandmother’s house, then visit each aunt and uncle’s house from eldest to youngest. It’s at these visits that we present gifts or offerings.

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First rule on Chinese New Year, wear red. Red is a symbol of good luck and fortune (and pretty much everything positive). Conversely don’t wear white, it symbolizes death and mourning. Lai See (red envelopes) are given by married couples to those younger than them. You can put any amount in them but the money should be new (you can order new money from the bank). When giving or receiving the lai see, hold the envelope with both hands. Cha or tea is served at the bi nin visits.

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Some things to include in your bag of offerings are fresh vegetables, specifically asparagus which symbolizes your wealth coming to you smoothly in the new year. Lettuce symbolizes growing wealth. A lot of meanings derive from the similarity the words have with each other. In Cantonese, the word lettuce sounds a lot like the word for “rising wealth”. Some other traditional items to give are canned fish, dry mushrooms and dry scallops.

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The meaning of giving apples is to wish a safe year ahead. In Cantonese, the words “tangerine” and “gold” have similar sounds so giving tangerines symbolizes wishing the person plenty of gold or wealth. Giving tangerines with the leaves still attached means you hope all their wishes come true. After receiving apples and tangerines, these can be displayed prominently in the house during the holiday.

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Candies are given to wish a sweet year ahead. These are some of the sweets I remember my mom having in the house and the panda cookies are my dad’s favorite. Of course, the types of traditional and new Chinese candies are endless. Not to mention the pastries (which needs an entirely different post).

The proper Cantonese new year greeting sounds like this: Gung Hay Fought Choy, Sun Leen Fai Lock (say the second part if you really want to impress someone). If you want to learn how to pronounce and read Cantonese, check out this amazing websiteThese are traditions celebrated by my family and may differ in other households. Photos by jforjamie.

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