My Favorite Things: Napa edition

September 2nd, 2015

I was trying to decide between posting an entry for the My Favorite Things link-up (hosted by Tara this month!) and an entry about my recent trip to San Francisco and Napa. Then I realized, why not both??

One of my closest friends is getting married this month, and for her bachelorette party, she wanted something small with her 3 closest friends. The 3 of us are married already, and all 4 of us are around 30 years old, so uh… we didn’t want anything crazy! A trip to Napa sounded perfect for us.

My friend lives in San Francisco, so that’s where the 3 of us flew into. I really needed a break from work though. If you’ve been following my entries, you probably saw how I’ve been very busy and stressed the past few months. The trip was supposed to be Fri-Sun, but I flew in a day early on Thursday to spend time with my friend and tour San Francisco.

It’s been many years since I last visited San Francisco. The day I arrived, I lucked out on the weather because it was so sunny and clear. I was actually able to take a photo of the Golden Gate Bridge, unobstructed by fog!


We spent most of the day eating good food and having her show me around to places like Chinatown, Japantown, Sutro Baths, and Pier 39 where all the sea lions gather.

The next day, the other 2 girls arrived, and we took an Uber to Napa. (Getting an Uber to drive out of the city was surprisingly easy to do!) Napa is a gorgeous place – surrounded by mountains and filled with vineyards. You would think that it’s a fancy, arrogant place since it’s nice and focuses on good food and wine, but it’s actually very casual and laid back.

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Professional-related goals

August 24th, 2015

Recently, I realized that every time I make goals for the year, they relate to my health (like exercise more) or to my hobbies (like play 30 games in a year). I don’t typically make goals that better the professional side of my life, which doesn’t really make sense. That’s an area I work on improving too! Even though more than half of the year has gone by, I still wanted to set some goals relating to being a team lead, software developer, and photographer to accomplish before the year ends. Better late than never, right?

Finish a personal Ember project

A couple years ago when my work was deciding on a Javascript framework to use, we went with Backbone and Marionette. I became familiar with them after completing 2 Backbone projects, but then part-way through, we changed our mind and switched to Ember. My projects were already complete in Backbone, so it didn’t make sense to rewrite them.

When I went to a Javascript conference recently, I felt behind the times in my little world of Backbone. Everyone around me was talking about Ember or Angular or React! I was disappointed in myself for not trying any of them yet. I went home feeling inspired and set up my very first Ember project… and then Anime convention season came around, and I’ve been busy with cosplay stuff. I’m hoping that after the next con, I can get back to that Ember project (which is a secret for now), and perhaps try the other two. One thing at a time though! Ember first!

Make code reviews a regular thing

Normally I try to take a little time to look over what developers on my team have written before the feature goes out. Because I’ve been busier lately, I’ve been doing less of it or doing them too quickly. Code reviews are important, and one of the best ways to help developers improve. I need to make time for them. They should be regular and more in depth than what I’ve been doing.

Not only that, but if I’m going to code review my team more often, I should be open to it as well. This is also a goal for myself to ask others to review my code.

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Onigirazu follow-up

August 18th, 2015

It makes me happy that several people have tried to make onigirazu since my entry on it and have been enjoying the results :D I’m still making them as well! I thought it’d be helpful to have a follow-up entry on things I’ve learned since then and the fillings I’ve tried.

First, I’ve found that the rice in onigirazu has been drying out when I store them already cut in half. Onigirazu is easier to eat when it’s halved, and while it’s probably ideal to cut it right before you eat it, it’s not practical if you’re bringing it to work like I do.

So, my new solution is to cut them in half, but then wrap them back together again. Think of it like a saran wrap bandage ;) This has helped a lot in keeping the moisture in. Even though I was using sealed tupperware before, the rice still dried up if I didn’t have saran wrap around the open area.


Second, I actually think onigirazu are better the next day! I normally make a few at a time, and then bring them into work the next few days. One time, I ate an onigirazu shortly after I made it, and it was harder to eat! The seaweed was harder to bite through, and the rice was still loose. When I wait until the next day to eat them, they seem to stay together better and the seaweed is softer.

Now for the fillings I’ve tried!

Tilapia (Fish)

If you’re not sure what to do with left overs, consider putting them in an onigirazu! Sometimes I spoil my turtles with fresh, raw tilapia, and as much as they’d love to eat the full fillet, it’s way too much food for them. (I am a responsible turtle mommy after all.) I had a half fillet left over, so I seasoned it, baked it, and then put it into an onigirazu with lettuce. Simple and easy!


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