Tuesday, September 11, 2012


For the past three years we have been seeing a fertility doctor.  It has been so hard.  I have seen most of my friends get pregnant and now some of them are getting pregnant again.  Today has been extra hard.  Currently we are in the middle of another IVF cycle and this morning I went to the doctor and my poor eggs are pathetically small and there are only two precious ones.

We have never completed a full IVF cycle before, though we have started four times already and spent numerous amount of money, time and energy.  Before the IVFs we have completed four IUI cycles and all of them have been negative. My husband has been super supportive, but I am exhausted with the roller coaster of emotions and shots and doctor visits.  The doctor visits, which occurs two to three times a week, consist of blood works and transvaginal ultrasounds, which are all uncomfortable for me, because the transvaginal ultrasounds are just invasive and sometimes painful, and my veins are small, deep and they move around.  Most of the time the nurse have to call another nurse to help out and they usually have to take blood from my hand.  (Also I want to note that I drink lots of water before I go to bed and all morning so I am super hydrated. Nothing helps. My veins are just uncooperative and dislike needles, I guess).

I think this will be our last time to do this, if this doesn't pan out.  I talked to my doctor a little bit ago and she said we'll ride this one and try to complete this cycle, since we have never been able to before. On a positive note, she said my estrogen level has increased quite a bit so my two little eggs look very promising.  I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed and hopefully we will a happy outcome.

My husband and I have talked about adoptions and other alternatives.  We talked about how much does having kids matter to us and how far are we willing to go, but I think we want a break and not think about this for awhile. It's been really hard for me, hormones are horrible.  I'm usually a very positive person but today I feel really low.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Eating and Drinking in Napa

I feel ever so lucky to know amazing crazy foodie people that knows all sort of places to go and eat. I'm trying desperately to convince my husband that we need to make a road trip down to Napa before we start having kids. I'm hoping to make it happen in two weeks. Wish me luck.

In hoping that we will go to Napa, I have asked multiple friends about Napa, Yountville, and Sonoma.  One of my friends who has been there multiple of times gave me a four page report of winery, restaurants and things to do there. I love my foodie friends!

I spent most of yesterday online researching more about each winery and places to stay.  I wish we had a whole week to drive down to Napa and back but unfortunately we only have a few days. We are hoping to leave Seattle on Saturday morning - spend the day in Portland and then Sunday early morning drive down to Napa, then spend Monday and Tuesday in Napa and then drive home on Wednesday.

Okay here we go for some Napa recommendations

Tips my friends gave me:

Plan ahead and map out the wineries, Napa is quite big and there is a lot of driving involve
Check the tasting fees, they can really add up. Certain places will let you do one tasting fee for two people
Call ahead to see if you need an appointment
It’s going to be warm at this time of the year, don’t "cook" your wine in the car
Buying wine at the winery is cool because it’s direct but it tends to be the most expensive way to buy it.  The rub is that some wines are only available at the winery.
They have biking tours available $139 about 3 - 4 wineries

Wineries That Built Napa

1429 Tubbs Lane, Calistoga, CA        
Tasting Room Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily           
(August 23 - Closing at 3:00 for a private event)
  • Love the estate cab, one of our favorites, very casual atmosphere
  • Won the famous 1976 Paris tasting (Judgment of Paris) that put Napa on the map
  • Tasting price: $20 per person, no reservation required
  • Vineyard Tour: $30 per person, no reservation required, available on Mon or Wed at 10:30 am

Highway 29, Oakville, CA 94562
Tasting Room Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m daily

  • Think Chateau Ste Michelle of Napa, high volume producer.  Wines are ok, very nice estate, touristy, lots of tradition
  • Tasting price vary depending on which tour you go on: ~ $25, no reservation needed but can make a reservation online.  Spaced is limited so they do recommend making reservation in advance

915 Oakville Crossroad, Oakville, CA 94562
Tasting Room Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9am – 5pm, Sunday, 11am – 5pm 

  • One of the most popular higher end wines right now.  The tasting room isn’t much to write about.  Go because you want to say you drank Silver Oak.
  • The Silver Tour and Taste:   available Mon – Sat, 10am and 1pm; Sun. 11am and 1pm.  1 hour, $20 per person.  Reservation required.

6150 Silverado Trail
Napa, CA 94558
Tasting Tour Times: 10:00 AM and 2:30 PM daily.

  • Another winner in the Paris tasting, the Stag’s leap appellation in Napa is one of the more famous ones, a little bolder, more stone/mineral .
  • 90 minute tour, $55 per person, reservation needed - call to reserve space

Wineries with a View

1111 Dunaweal Lane Calistoga, CA 94515 
Tasting Hours: Monday to Friday 10:30 - 4:30 pm, Sat, Sun 10 am to 5 pm
  • Take a tram up to the top of the hill overlooking Napa, beautiful.  Our friends got engaged there.  They said the wines are okay, but the views and overall experience is quite good
  • Book your tram online (Book through Vino Visit and we will automatically apply a $5 discount. Your tickets will be held for you at Will Call in our Wine Shop at the lower tram station. 
  • Tasting Admission: $25 (Visitor fee includes aerial tram, self-guided tour, complimentary tasting of five wines and a souvenir wine glass)
  • Reserve Wine Tasting Upgrade: $30, Includes additional tasting of a selected Reserve Wine, plus all of the General Admission features.
  • Sterling Silver VIP Experience: $35, Customized tasting of Single-Vineyard and Limited Release Wines.
  • Sterling Gold VIP Experience: $40, A three-wine flight of our "Best of the Best" Reserve wines!

Tour and tasting available at 10 am
Appointment required via reservations@pridewines.com or call 707.963.4949

  • $15 per person
  • Beautiful and really good wine for the price.  It is higher end but not crazy expensive like you’ll find a lot of wineries are.
1120 Deer Park Road, Deer Park, CA 94576
(About 10 minutes from St. Helena)
Hours: 10 am to 4:30 pm daily

  • Need an appointment, this is a cult wine, smaller, family run, absolutely stunning views.  We sat outside for our tasting and loved it.  Finesse, elegant.
  • Tasting Experiences:  Our standard "Portfolio Tasting" includes a flight of 4-5 current release wines from our VIADER estate and DARE by Viader selections for $45/person.
  • Our "Reserve Library Tasting" (minimum 4ppl) features current releases with a Library selection of our highly coveted VIADER proprietary cabernet blend, and our "V" petit verdot blend for $60/person.  Cheese pairing included.
  • RE lines, information about the history of the winery and each of the wines. Walk-through tours of VIADER's winery and underground caves are available daily at 10:00am.

200 Taplin Road, St. Helena, CA 94574
(800) 707-5789

  • Monday through Friday beginning at 10:00 a.m. with the last tasting beginning at 3:30 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, tastings begin at 10:00 a.m. with the last tasting beginning at 2:30 p.m. There are two Terrace Tasting options, $30 and $60; both include our flagship wine, Insignia.
  • Reservation required:   Email Luba Rusyn, Guest Services Manager lrusyn@jpvwines.com or call 707.967.3720
  • Another “Say you drank” wine.  In this case it’s insignia which we liked but found overpriced.  The price has come down but I think it’s still close to $200.  They have lower end wines to try as well.  Beautiful grounds so worth a stop.

4070 Spring Mountain Road - St. Helena, CA, 94574
Tours: 10 - 4 daily

  • Make reservations online
  • $40 per person
  • Small, new family owned winery.  Tasting room is just a counter in their barrel room but wow, what a view.  It’s on the same hill as Pride, all of the wineries on that hill, Deer something have great views.

Great Experience

1000 Lodi Lane, St. Helena, California 94574
(888) 354-8885
Hours: 10 to 4 daily
  • Duckhorn and Paraduxx are a part of the same company and have a great experience where you sit outside at a nice table in a garden and get served.  We loved it at both places.  
  • Duckhorn has fantastic merlot, Paraduxx wines were just ok to us, they were Zin blends and we’re not into Zin that much.  Both are worth a stop that is more along the lines of hanging out and enjoying the company than purely wine tasting.
  • Portfolio Tasting $30, reservation required and available online
  • Directions:  From San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge:    From San Francisco, cross the Golden Gate Bridge, and take Highway 101 North. Take the Napa-Vallejo exit (south of Novato). Follow Highway 37 toward Vallejo, and exit on 121 heading north toward Sonoma. At the intersection of 116 and 12/121 (Schellville) bear right toward Napa. At the intersection of Highway 29 and 12/121, turn left and go north on 29...
1350 Acacia Drive, Oakville, CA 94562
(707) 944-2861
Hours: 10 to 3 daily

  • High end wineries, very good overall experience, you get a tour of a fancy facility and sit down and have a tasting of a few vintages.  It’s expensive but these are a couple of the premier Napa wineries.  I’d say Chateau Montelena wine is just as good but without the pomp… that said, we went to these for the pomp.
  • Reservations required, $50 with cheese pairing
1601 Silverado Trail, St. Helena, CA 94574
Hours: 10 to 4 daily

  • Reservations required, $65 per person

Really Good Wine

1991 St. Helena Hwy, Rutherford, CA 94573
Hours: 10 – 5 daily

  • The Rubicon estate cab is fantastic, also expensive.  We love the Cask as well which is more reasonably priced at around $70.  This is owned by the Coppola family – yes that movie making Coppola family so it’s neat seeing some of the memorabilia they have and they have beautiful grounds.  Tasting room is pretty simple, just go to the bar.
  • Call and make reservation
  • Price vary per tour
  • This is a link to a great article on how Francis Ford Coppola restored Inglenook Winery
8210 St. Helena Highway, Oakville, CA 94562
Hours: 10 – 5 daily

  • $10 Main tasting fee
  • $20 Reserve tasting fee
  • No reservation required
6154 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558
Hours: Mon to Fri, @ 10 & 2 pm, arrive 10 min early

  • Higher end, guided tour then sit down tasting, good experience, we recommend, similar to Far Niente & Quintessa.  Very good wine.
  • Shafer is located at 6154 Silverado Trail, on the east side of the Silverado Trail, about seven miles north of Napa and 3/4 of a mile south of the Yountville Cross Road. Distance from San Francisco to Napa is approximately 50 miles.
  • VISITS ARE BY PRIOR APPOINTMENT ONLY. For fastest response time, request a visit using the link to our online form.  At the time of reservation we charge your credit card the tasting fee of $45 per person. If you need to cancel your visit and would like to receive a refund, please give us at least 48 hours notice.

987 St. Helena Highway, St. Helena, CA 94574
Hours: 10 to 5 daily

  • All about the wine, Cathy Corison leads the female wine making contingent in Napa.  The experience is pretty low key and there isn’t much view but they give you a lot of tastes of some very good wine.
  • Reservation required, prices vary depending on tour

1183 Dunaweal Lane, Calistoga, CA 94515
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
We are closed on some holidays.

  • Tasting fee is $10 per person.
  • Owned by Silver Oak now, very good merlot but that’s about all they taste and it’s very simple.
  • Appointments by calling or email Tours@twomey.com


The following wineries are all about the Disneyland meets vegas type winery they have.  We didn’t especially like any of the wines but you should go to one to see just how commercial some of the wineries have gotten.  Pretty cool places to take pictures too.  

  • Clos Pegase:  1060 Dunaweal Lane, Calistoga, CA 94515      Phone: 707.942.4981   Hours: 10:30am-5:00pm, daily
  • Darioush4240 Silverado Trail, Napa, California 94558, USA  Phone: 707.257.2345 Hours: 10:30am-5:00pm, daily
  • Peju8466 St. Helena Highway (Highway 29), Rutherford, CA 94573, Phone: 800.446.7358 Hours 10 - 6 daily
  • Castello di Amorosa Winery: 4045 North Saint Helena Highway, Calistoga, CA 94515, 707.967.6272, Hr: 9 - 6 daily

Avoid:  I won't even bother writing any info on these wineries. Visit at your own risk. You have been warn.

  • V Sattui
  • Merryvale
  • Grgich Hills

Sonoma:   If you have time, you should really consider Sonoma, it’s way less developed than Napa, very picturesque, and will offer better wine value.  The following places we absolutely loved.

  • Stonestreet:  7111 Highway 128, Healdsburg, CA 95448, phone: 800-355-8008, hours: 11 to 4:30 p.m
  • Chateau St Jean:  8555 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood, CA 95452, Phone: (707) 833-4134; 10 to 5 daily
  • Jordan1474 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg, California 95448-9003, 800.654.1213; Mon - Sat 11am
  • Ferrari Carano8761 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448, phone: 707.433.6700, 10 - 5 daily


  • We heard Bottega Ristorante is really good, we’d probably go there next time – Chef Michael Chiarello, celebrity chef.  It’s in Yountville where all the Thomas Keller restaurants are including the French Laundry.
  • We didn’t like Bouchon but you may still want to go.  
  • Heard Mustards is good too, it’s by Cindy Pawlcyn, same chef/owner as Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen, she’s a celebrity chef.
  • Didn’t like the Culinary Institute’s Greystone restaurant although it was neat to go to the Culinary Institute of America.
  • Tyler Florence has a restaurant in Napa, Rotisserie & Wine
  • Cole’s Chop House is supposed to be really good if you are in for steak.

Places to Stay:

If you have anything else to add this list, please let me know. Any advice, recommendations, or tips would be greatly appreciated!


      Friday, July 22, 2011

      Jaden's 1st Birthday

      My friends, Jim and Yeni, have the most adorable and chubby child, Jaden.  He's a total sweetheart because the first sound that came out of his mouth after I asked him how was my cooking? Jaden at nine months old with his mouth full and a big happy grin said "MMMMM -MMMMMM".  Right there and then I knew he belonged in my foodie circle.

      Jaden is celebrating his first birthday tomorrow and his mother asked me to make some traditional Korean items for his dol, doljanchi or tol, toljiabee, where his mother will put several different objects and he will choose one of these items up, and supposedly it will predict the child's future profession in life:

      a large spool of thread = long life
      book & pencil = good scholar
      computer mouse = computer programmer aka Microsoft, because his father works there
      stethoscope = doctor
      gravel = lawyer/judge

      I had a lot of help from my friend Evelyn who I sew with every Friday, and we were able to construct everything in one day. Jaden's birthday theme color is blue and yellow, thus all the toys were made with blue and yellow felt. We even had some blue and yellow polka dot felt that we incorporate into the plush toys.

      Luckily it was one of those rare warm and sunny days in Seattle and I was able to shoot these photos.

      Here is spool and thread with a lucky knot and his initial, J

      His little book

      Stethoscope, my friend Chara, came up with this great way to make the stethoscope more obvious.  She said to embroider "Dr. J" on it and now it looks more doctorly, don't you think?

      With the gravel, I kept it simple and ended up embroidering the polka dots to give it more texture. 

      Pencil with "No. 1" to celebrate his first birthday

      Here's his pencil and book with the first page having the number one to celebrate his first birthday. I think next year I will make a number "2" page to add to his book and so forth, and hopefully he will have a cute number book where he can learn his numbers later on.

      and finally the computer mouse with his initial, J
      surprisingly I ended up liking this photo the best, because the mouse looks like a cute little fat mouse's butt, tee hee

      I'm pretty sure whatever Jaden will choose tomorrow, he will have a successful career because he's such a cute, smart kid!

      Wednesday, July 20, 2011

      Pretty Pillows

      I'm slowly phasing out pastel colors into more bold colors in my living room.  Currently it's more light teal, yellow and pink and now I'm adding more blacks, deeper teal, red and gold and hopefully purple into the mix.  Here are some pillows that I made yesterday with My folklore by Lecien.

      I love the little details on this fabric. So many wonderful and cute details to look at!  Here's a close up of the little horses, birds and flowers

      Thursday, July 14, 2011

      Combining Sewing + Cooking

      And this is what you get :)

      Tonight I spent the evening baking some cookies and packaging them into some glassine bags.  I then made some cute labels with the name of the cookies on the back and sealed the bag up by sewing some zig zag line with the tag on it.  I'm really happy with how they turned out.

      these were the cookies that I made:

      Oatmeal cookies with buttered pecans + dried blueberries
      Espresso Chocolate Apricot cookies

      These cookies are going to a Garage + Bake Sale Fundraiser to benefit Susan G Komen 3 Day for the Cure this weekend.  I hope they raise a lot of money and people will enjoy these little treats.

      I especially love how I was able to combine my two love of sewing and cooking to create these fun bags.  I really enjoyed how the colored threads made the bags look fun and festive!  

      Wednesday, June 22, 2011

      Sunny Happy Yellow

      My love affair with the color yellow has gone a long way, ever since I was very young. I have always been attracted to this color, specifically PANTONE® 14-0848, and like all affairs you fall in and out of love.  For awhile it was pink, then orange, then green, then I had a very quick affair with purple, and fortunately I am back in love with yellow.  When I look at it it just make me super happy and always put a smile on face, so I'm putting more happy yellow in my life.  Starting with this lawn chair.  

      I bought this chair for $1 at a church rummage sale a couple of months ago on a trip down to Portland with some friends.  While down there, we stopped by  Fabric Depot and I found this incredible happy summery linen fabric to cover it! The following week, with the help of my friend, Chara, on a non-rainy day in Seattle, we sprayed and sprayed it and prayed it would not rain, and luckily it held out.  Then I had to wait until it dried and I kind of forgot about it until yesterday when I pulled it out and said I have a fun fabric that needs you.  I dusted off my sewing machine and made a top and bottom cover.  Now if only the weather would warm up and the sun would come out.  

      Tuesday, May 17, 2011

      Sweet Innocence

      My love for Jen Corace goes way back and it all started with Tiny Showcase.  I probably have a seven or so prints plus a book illustrated and signed by her.  They all are just so beautiful and lovely.  Here is her latest called Anesthesia.  You should hop over to Tiny Showcase quick where they are selling only one hundred prints. I just brought mine and they are selling fast!  So hurry!

      "Anesthesia" by Jen Corace