February is my favorite month hands down. For me it’s a very celebratory month since our wedding anniversary and Mustafa’s U.S. anniversary fall within a week and a half of each other. There’s also Chinese New Year, which means plenty of good food and family time. I’m always a bit sad when it’s over because it seems to pass so fast in comparison to January.
This past month we’ve been settling into our new home in Rocklin, exploring nearby libraries to work at (Lincoln is my favorite), watching Call Me By Your Name at a local theater (so heartbreakingly beautiful), and discovering wetland walking paths in our neighborhood.
Blissing out at the Asha Bath House. We celebrated Mustafa’s four year U.S. anniversary by spending the afternoon at this bathhouse in Sacramento. If you’re in the area and looking for a space to totally bliss out, this is it. Floating in the warm communal tub while listening to classical music was the best antidote to recent work stress. For a $25 day pass, it’s definitely worth it.
Celebrating Chinese New Year with family. We drove down to San Francisco to celebrate the Lunar New Year and made a weekend out of it. On our way down we stopped in North Berkeley to get a late breakfast at the Cheeseboard Collective and admire the scenic surrounding neighborhoods. The moment we arrived in SF we made a beeline for Golden Gate Park, since the weather was beautiful (and fog-free). We wandered around The Aids Memorial Garden and afterward found a beautiful staircase overgrown with ferns that I’ve never seen before. I’ve been to this park a million times, but always manage to find something new.
Cheering on Team USA in the Winter Olympics. Ok, technically not an adventure for me, but my heart was racing just the same watching Shawn White, Chloe Kim, and Lindsay Vonn go for the gold. I’ve always been a fan of the Olympics and Pyeongchang 2018 did not disappoint.
Fighting another chest cold this season. This is the third time this winter that I’ve caught some version of a chest cold. Definitely makes me grateful for my health. On the plus side, I’ve got my cold medicine routine down pat, which includes a zinc throat spray at the onset, and a natural cough medicine that works wonder on shortening the duration of a cold.
Homemade meals. I’ve jumped onto the weekly meal prep train and to be honest I’m sad I didn’t do it earlier. It’s such a time saver and only takes a few hours on Sunday to prepare healthy meals that I can reheat in the midst of weekday madness. Chicken carnitas tacos and gluten-free ramen have been on frequent dinner rotation this month.
A home cooked anniversary dinner. The way to my heart is unsurprisingly food, and I was thrilled when Mustafa cooked a simple, but delicious dinner of grilled shrimp paired with Chardonnay. So good.
Chinese New Year feast. I was determined to cook a semi-traditional meal in honor of Lunar New Year and I was pretty pleased with the results as a rookie cook. On the menu: oven-baked black bass in soy sauce and ginger, and glass noodles with veggies. We also picked up rice cakes and sesame balls for dessert, along with roasted duck from nearby Clement Street, which was an adventure in itself with all the holiday crowds.
Oakhaus. After visiting Asha Urban Baths, we decided to trade waiting in rush hour traffic for a nearby dinner in a German sports bar in Oak Park. It turned out to be a very wise decision indeed, since our table was filled with freshly baked pretzels, savory sausages, and fragrant steins of beer. Plus, what better way to view the Opening Ceremony than this cheery bar setting?