7 highlights from 2016

The end of a year is far more than an arbitrary date on the calendar. It offers us an opportunity to reflect fondly on and bid farewell to the past, while confidently looking forward to the future. We can all agree that 2016 has been quite an eventful year; for me, it was monumental in so many ways, from getting married in March to moving to Norway in August. Here were my favourite moments of this year:

1. Getting married to the love of my life

Photos by A. Yu.

Engagement ring

Wedding photo at California State Capitol in Sacramento

After the ring exchange ceremony at the Sacramento County Clerk / Recorder's Office

Cutting the cake at the wedding reception, hosted at Il Fornaio Sacramento

2. Going on a road trip along the west coast on our honeymoon (and OCON!)

John Galt Way, Arbuckle, CA

The fountain in front of Hyatt Regency Bellevue

Frank Lloyd Wright's Gordon House

3. The launch of Reason For Beauty

Homepage of Reason For Beauty

4. Going on a road trip to Los Angeles with my besties

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Donald Trump star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Looking out at the Los Angeles skyline at Getty Museum

5. Walking the catwalk at the San Francisco Charity Fashion Show

Photos by Marco Acedevo Garcia.

TRX Training

Ellie Mei

Herbert Victoria

Herbert Victoria

6. Moving to Barcode, Oslo, Norway

7. Celebrating my second Christmas in Norway

How was your 2016? Let me know in the comments below! Have a wonderful new year’s eve and see you in 2017 😉

XOXO HONG PHUC

The most wonderful time of the year

What a wonderful week it has been! On Monday, the second day of Christmas, we had a delicious dinner at Eirik’s grandparents’. The night was filled with laughter and everyone left with full bellies.

Aunt Lena had very festive decorations for Christmas when we came to visit her for lunch on Wednesday. Uncle Morten’s roast beef was truly delightful 🙂

We are now home and are glad for a few days of rest before the year’s big finale. Do you have any plans for new year’s eve? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO HONG PHUC

Yule in winterland

God jul (merry Christmas) from Norway! 🙂 Here, Christmas marks the darkest day of the year and the beginning of the return of the sun. This occasion is celebrated over several days, beginning with Lillejulaften (little Christmas) on the 23rd to 1. and 2. juledagen (first and second days of Christmas) on the 26th, then to romjulen, the period between Christmas and new year. Here is a little peek at our week:

On the 22nd, we gathered to eat risgrøt, Norwegian rice pudding traditionally consumed at Christmas. Typically, whoever finds an almond in his bowl wins a marzipan pig. Our family has taken this one step further by having an annual Grøtkrig (rice pudding war), a much more thrilling game involving homemade Grøtkrig cards, dramatic trades, and as many as forty almonds.

Risgrøt

Eirik and I hosted our family for Lillejulaften with a 5-course dinner and little presents for everyone under the tree. What do you think of our new chandelier? 😉

On Christmas eve (24th), most families in Norway have pinnekjøtt or ribbe for dinner. Our family prefers the latter, so we have a different family dinner with pinnekjøtt before Christmas. While we ate, our loyal dog guarded the presents. She was very anxious to open them!

Ribbe

After dinner, we gathered in the living room to drink coffee, eat dessert, and open presents. As you can see, there were cakes, ice cream, marzipan balls, cookies, and chocolates – a whole meal consisting of little sweet treats.

Hope you all have a lovely holiday season and a fantastic new year! 🙂

XOXO HONG PHUC