What about June? This June came and went by quickly, with everything and all the love. It’s our 1st anniversary! This June reminds me of how I wasn’t not calm last June all stressed out and doing last minutes stuff for the Vegas trip, and in a better place this part of my life. It also reminds me how lucky I am to have someone special as him, who is understanding and very supportive. Now to think back of last June why would I even be scared marrying this wonderful man 🙂

Visiting Galveston 2nd time was much better because of these things we did: stayed next to the beach, enjoyed listening to the waves since no swimming at the beach warning, hung out with a Tina at the Jacuzzi was great, saw Robert’s grandfather’s house, walked around the Strain and read its history, drove around checking the island, ate great seafood and of course the best was he planned everything!

If you asked me more than 1 year ago about marriage, I would suggest you NOT doing it lol, now after 1 year, we are happy where we are at and working toward our future home. This decision was good for me, maybe not for everyone and we intend to work hard at being happy with each other. I believed getting married is a hard decision but staying married and being happy with whom you are with is even harder.

So June was great and looking forward to July!keep-calm-its-our-one-year-anniversary


Its been a year to feel this kind of weather again. It seemed like summer was just here and left quickly. Just told Robert that I can deal with this cold dreadful weather if I can do snowboarding, and will bite my tongue wont complain at all …Snowboarding in Texas that would be something I’m looking forward to since I read an article about them building a sky resort here in Texas soon.

So not like the regular Christmas I have experienced in CA or Saigon, this was my first one in Texas. We had 2 beautiful days for Christmas Eve and Christmas but somehow something is not the same. We put up the tree, got more lights outside, more ornaments on the tree than last year and more gifts underneath the tree. Nikki even got her yummy Christmas gift. Still it’s not the same when you are not celebrating Christmas with your family. I have more friends here in Austin comparing to last year but my heart was divided into 2 parts: 1 big section for California and the other one was for the Saigon Christmases I knew.

On another note, this was our little family first Christmas: Robert, I and Nikki and as us being a married couple with a furry kid! We are heading to New Year Eve tomorrow with a cold freeze coming and us with no solid plan what to do on NYE and that would be okay too!. With this kind of weather beside cold, freezing wind and extra fogging on top I worry that the Austin NYE at Butler Park wont happen. Cuddling inside a blanket with a warm cozy fireplace might be our little nuclear family New Year Eve plan.

What I am looking forward in 2015?

1) Peace for the world

2) Health for my family

3) I want to SERVE, GIVE and BE THE CHANGE!

2015 I’m wishing you the best of love, luck and achieve what you want and hope for, be all you can be 🙂


Banh Mi and Pho!

Posted: September 25, 2014 in Food

Glad to find out there is new Vietnamese Banh Mi place in town opened by two Texan born brothers with their love for Southeast Asian food and guess what they are not even Vietnamese! But no worry they got some serious help, Phuong with 100 year old recipe…original owner of Banh Mi Phuong street stand in Hoi An, who was also in Anthony Bourdain “No Reservation”. Told you its serious as name dropping, and 100 year old recipe, but wait a minute …making me wonder how long Banh Mi has been in Hoi An? Or how old is Phuong? Why dont they serve Cao Lau, which is Hoi An dish? Dang banh mi is also serving Pho? That’s a northern dish just in case you dont know. Is this a smart business move for these brothers investors? By combining two favorite Vietnamese  dishes everyone know about at one stop “killing two birds with one stone?” I havent made my way to their place yet. I’m hesitate and doubtful, or just my imagined national pride is blocking my way…dont blame me yet, here is the other story why i am being like this.

Last week, my husband and I decided to try a new Pho place with an opened mind, which is called Phonatic and its good rating at Yelp. Of couse it was a disappointment! Pho broth was weak, little meat and fresh veggies, no bean sprouts, getting your own sauces, chopsticks and napkins…and of course your own drink….thought i was at McDonald or Taco Bell not my local Pho joint. Its not because I dont appreciate the self served section and not because there is no one waiting on me and I gave them bad review. I love the different setting they have even its different from what I know.

Here are my 3 things about them.

1) Its a Pho place, your signature dish is disaster. It is tasteless, got no flavor. Even as a person who doesnt love Pho as much as others, I dont appreciate Pho got no flavor, you have to use all the sauce to make it taste some flavor, as a Pho restaurant you failed! Because Pho is all about the broth, soup, flavor…all in! Nothing but too much noodles.

2) Your Bo Kho, which is beef stew tasted like Pho! This is so wrong, if I want Pho, I wouldn’t order Bo Kho…and Bo Kho is not served with steam bun but with french bread/ roll or noodles. Steam bun is more Chinese or Filipino food…not with our Bo Kho! Again nothing in the stew except too much noodles.

3) The cashier, order taker cant even pronounce the word PHO correctly. Shouldn’t this included in your employees training? Hope they know what they are selling even they cant say it correctly.

Trust me, i held back the comment about their Vietnamese spring rolls!

Okay are you ready for this? Im saving the best for last….Diana Tran, chef who combined the two best Vietnamese dishes into one, which is called Pho sandwich….I havent tried it since she is San Francisco but heard she got good review from her customer. You can read one of the review here http://www.chow.com/food-news/149290/diane-trans-pho-banh-mi-is-amazing/

and she serves her Pho Banh Mi at Muffins Muffins…sounds like a desserts place to me. Is that why they have twice layers of Mayo in their sandwich and no pate?

Muffins Muffins Pho Banh Mi
Layer in order:
French roll bottom half
Thinly sliced cucumber
Fresh basil leaves
Thinly sliced beef slathered with a mixture of hoisin and Sriracha
Thinly sliced raw red onions
Thinly sliced jalapeño
Grated pickled carrots
French roll top half

I am not sure who I feel about this, keep my mind opened to try some when I get a chance to stop by Muffins Muffins. Totally given the chef for the innovation and for demonstrating power of Vietnamese food.

Note to self “Dang Banh Mi” and “Muffins Muffins” ….