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Posted on Apr 30, 2012 in Dear Diary, Food, Reviews | 11 comments

Hikaru Sushi

Hi-dee-ho there, neighborinos! Happy Monday! Or, as I usually say instead, “It’s Monday.” I hope that everyone had a great, relaxing weekend. Mine was a little more low-key than they have been lately, which was actually pretty wonderful. I spent some time with the fam, Sean got me thoroughly engrossed in an amazing video game (Heavy Rain, I know I’m late to the party), and I got to spend Sunday afternoon with FOUR doggies at the Shirlington Dog Park (Harry, Daxter, their cousin Oreo, AND his friend Casey that my sister is dogsitting!). My boys even ventured into the stream next to the park for the first time. I was very proud.

My weekend kicked off, however, with a new (to me) restaurant and some wonderful company. I met up with my Freshman year roommate, Joanna, and her twin sister Aileen (you might recognize them from my Harry Potter birthday party a couple weeks ago) for dinner at Hikaru Sushi!

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Me & Jo

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Aileen!

Since you know I am ALWAYS game to test out new sushi places (and size them up against my beloved Koi Koi, hehe), I was really excited when Aileen suggested this place. Hikaru is a cute little place located in Arlington right near the Courthouse AMC Movie Theatre.

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I think there was a little bit of a mix-up about who our server was supposed to be at first, but eventually we ordered some sake and all was right in the world, hehe.

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We also shared an order of edamame (which was a HUGE plate — great value, IMO!) to start, and Jo and I got seaweed salads as well. Nom.

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As for the sushi list itself, I had a really hard time deciding! They definitely had a lot of really interesting specialty rolls. The pricing for their specialty rolls was a little bit higher than Koi Koi, but other than that I thought that their offerings were really comparable.

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I ended up going with the Eel Cucumber roll (love me some unagi!) and the Fruity Maki roll, which had mango, apple, and avocado inside (as well as being wrapped in avocado). It was SUPER delicious! The fruity roll was really refreshing, almost like dessert sushi. Now that is something I can CERTAINLY get on board with!

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One touch that I really loved about this place is that when they brought out our check, they gave us each a little box of this Asian gum. This was hugely nostalgic for me, because I used to get this gum all the time whenever I would accompany my mom to the Asian grocery store. I would always beg for it when we got to the register, as I did with all the other crap I had thrown into the cart as we went down each ridiculously tiny aisle. Pocky sticks, strawberry koalas, these little candy discs that my sister and I called “pepperonis”, and VitaSoy boxes were my jam. (Hmm, I think I need to take a trip to Great Wall soon…)

Is there any particular food or candy that is particularly nostalgic for you? In addition to my strange (read: awesome!) Asian candy obsessions, I also have a very special place in my heart for Kinder Eggs, which remind of my elementary school days in Warsaw, Poland. I would bike down our cobblestone street to the convenience shop on the corner, spend my allowance on an egg or two, and kept a whole little collection of the toys you find inside.

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Posted on Apr 13, 2011 in Dear Diary | 25 comments

What’s Your Spring Celebration Announcement? (GIVEAWAY!)

 

This post is part of a series sponsored by Shutterfly as part of the Clever Girl Collective.

 

Birthdays always get me nostalgic. I think that turning another year older just gets those memory wheels a-turning, and I’ve found myself thinking about past birthdays a lot these past few days. I don’t have a ton of happy memories of this time last year, to be honest. I wasn’t in a particularly happy place then, so it makes sense. But it makes me a little sad now to think of what a sad state things were in then. Aside from getting Daxter around this same time last year, things weren’t really so great.

Early April 2010

A year ago, I was very overweight. I was stuck in a job that made me absolutely miserable and had little else going on in my life so I took out my anger and frustration the only way I knew how: on my body. I stuffed my stomach full of fat-laden fast foods and sugary sweets on a regular basis, channel surfed as my sole form of exercise, and was honestly pretty depressed. Things only got worse from there, too: Steve and I went through a fairly serious hiccup in our relationship over the summer, a 12-week old Daxter had a freak accident and spent 3 days in an oxygen cage at the Doggy ICU (he very nearly died), and I started withdrawing from friends and social events. Even causes for celebration, like Mothers Day and my best friend’s wedding, were not the joyous occasions they should have been. In photos I might have been smiling, but each experience was tainted by unhealthy living and my poor self-image (and frankly, poor physical image, too. I was at least 75 pounds overweight, for cryin’ out loud!)

Mother’s Day 2010

Bethany‘s Wedding, May 2010

It’s been one year since then, and it’s been even less time than that since I began this weight loss journey and took control of my health (and my life!) In this one measly little year, things have turned around completely. I feel like my life has taken a 180, and the 50 pounds I’ve dropped since then are honestly just gravy!

January 2011 – Cruise Vacation

When I try to answer the question, “What’s Your Spring Celebration Announcement?”, I realize that I can’t even identify a singular thing I’d want to announce, because there are just so many! You would all be getting about a trillion announcement cards, celebrating everything from the average third-grader I’ve lost in weight to the healthy relationships I’m in with the boyf, my family, my friends and, arguably most importantly, my self.

My 22nd birthday at Zaytina with my family last year.

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Celebrating my 23rd birthday at Founding Farmers this past Monday!

I am so happy to know that in the future when I’m looking back at photos from this year’s birthday celebration, I will be able to remember being legitimately happy. Because I am, right now, really, truly happy. And while my journey isn’t quite over yet, I feel like I already have so much to celebrate!

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I know it sounds super cheesy, but I honestly am so excited at the thought of being able to chronicle my journey in a photo book. My sister has made some really awesome photo books in the past with wedding photos, vacation photos, and one year she did one as a Mothers Day present for my mama. It has been my intention from the beginning to do the same thing with my weight loss journey once I get to the end.

This process, this lifestyle change I’m embracing, I don’t want to forget it. I don’t want to forget the low points because they were instrumental in bringing me to my current high point! Photo books are a fantastic, tangible way to see memories, progress, and change. And it’s not like I don’t have a plethora of photographic evidence of this journey to utilize, right? 🙂 The fun news for you is… that I want one of you amazing readers to be able to do the same!! Welcome to my very first giveaway EVARRRRRR!

Giveaway: Win a free 8×8″ hardbound photo book from Shutterfly!

Create your own personal hardbound celebration of something momentous happening in your life this Spring! Are you graduating this May? (Graduation Announcements) Or do you have a little Spring bun in the oven perhaps? (Not that I’m biased or anything, but April babies are the BEST!) (Birth Announcements) Or maybe you’re like me and you’ve simply gone through a lot of personal growth. Don’t shortchange yourself — that is most definitely a serious cause for celebration!!

There are three ways you can enter (do all 3 for more chances to win!):

1. Leave a comment telling me what you’re celebrating this Spring!
2. Tweet about this giveaway, then comment that you tweeted! Be sure to link my Twitter handle  and back to this post! Here’s an example you can to copy/paste: Check out this giveaway from @shrinkinggretch and enter for your chance to win a photo book from #shutterfly! http://tinyurl.com/3n2krat
3. If you have a blog, post about this giveaway to your readers, then comment with the URL. If you don’t have a blog, you can still have a third entry by sharing on Facebook. Be sure to comment and let me know you did!

You can do any one of these things, or all three if you like! I will be selecting a winner via random number generator on Friday, April 15th.

Are you a blogger, too? Click here to register for a chance at 50 free announcements!

This post is part of a series sponsored by Shutterfly. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Eeeee! This is so fun! 😀

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