Monday, December 5, 2016

Christmas Weekend, Pho Ga, and Giveaway Winner!!!

Happy Monday Jedi's! I hope your weekend has been full of eventful memories and scrumptious eats. I know ours was filled with Christmas joy and our favorite soup, Pho! Pho Ga to be exact, which means chicken pho. My son devours that soup that you wouldn't believe, but only when it's simple. Broth, chicken, noodles, and a dash of soy sauce. No fancy add-ins. 

Im jumping ahead of myself, let me back up a little. 

This whole weekend was full of Christmassy adventures, which started really with an adorable puppy named Kilo. He's my mom's dog to be exact, which is exactly who shared the heartwarming photo with me. It's not-so-little Kilo wearing reindeer ears by the Christmas tree. Now if dogs in Christmas gear don't get you all fired up for the holiday season, I don't know what will. 

The moment I got this picture, I knew the weekend was going to be a good one...and I was right! 

There are many Christmas festivities that go on in Southern California, but one of the biggest is called "December Nights". It's a 2 day festival at Balboa Park and is "transformed" into a lit up paradise. Thousands upon thousands of people turn up for December Nights and if you don't get there in time, you'll surely be walking miles from your car to get there. Parking is an absolute nightmare, but thankfully I found a detour.

My mom and step dad decided to join us, so the entire festival was a mini family outing. My padawan was enchanted by the ornaments and decor all over the place, while I was more interested in the performances and food. Don't get me wrong, I love lights, but there's nothing like drinking a nice cup of hot cocoa while listening to carolers. Another gorgeous display was their story line of Jesus' birth. They had a mini booth for each individual important scene in the making of Jesus' life. With lifelike figures and a beautiful story, I was truly moved. 

We all dressed up in our warmest attire, as the park was absolutely frigid even before the sun set. 

With a few hours of strolling through the park and witnessing hundreds of makeshift ugly sweaters, we set off on our 10 minute walk to the car and headed home. Luckily with my trick, we didn't have to sit in any sort of traffic or deal with any wait. 

Once my mom and step dad were home, the little guy and I got home, threw on our pajamas, and whipped up another batch of hot cocoa to slurp while watching Rudolph. 

I gotta say, another one of my favorite holiday traditions is the fact that Christmas movies are consistently playing on numerous stations. From old classics to newer comedies, you just can't go wrong celebrating with your television on the couch. 

On Sunday we woke up and went to church. My padawan had his first church class - which he really loved - and even got to make a mini advent wreath. He was so incredibly proud of himself and I was really glad that he was enjoying himself. My son even showed his sweet side by giving another child his candy cane, because the little boy didn't have one. Made my heart just melt! Afterwards, we sat for our weekly Sunday mass and then set out for last minute errands. But not before we stopped to scarf down something delicious! This is where the pho comes into play.

Across the way from the Mission Valley Target, there is a quaint little restaurant called Pho Cali. While their service is a at times, not every one is acting like a grinch. I was kindly greeted by a few of the restaurants sweet employees and was quickly seated with my padawan for a mouthwatering bowl of pho ga. 

I don't know how my son has come about these taste buds, but I'm glad he enjoys what I do, otherwise these adventures would be far pricer! 

I was given a coupon to this place and with only a $7 tab, my padawan and I shared a large bowl of Chicken Pho/soup. I can't even begin to tell you how appetizing it was. The chicken was perfectly cooked, the noodles in excellent portions and the add-ins (mint leaves, sprouts, and peppers) were as fresh as can be. I do have a few other favorite spots, mostly because their chicken pieces aren't slivers like Pho Cali's were, but this more than sufficed our craving for soup on that frigid day! 

With our bellies full and errands completed, we ended the night in peace and harmony of each others company. Wrapped in blankets and snuggling in bed, we drifted off to a wonderful slumber. Which then of course brought us to the hustle and bustle of today. 

Monday's have a way of dampering any sleep you've gotten over the weekend. Such a party pooper!

As for the winner of my Winter Box Giveaway! I was able to look at every single entry, validate them, and enter them into a random drawing to see who would win! And a name has officially been chosen. The winner is....... Stephanie H.!!! (She's been tagged and notified on Instagram as well)

I would first like to say thank you to every single person that entered. I loved your stories and support throughout my journey as a blogger. It's been a very interesting experience and I have to admit, I'm fully in love with it. You guys inspire me every day and I wouldn't be here without you!

When the winner was chosen, I immediately knew who it was. She's been a huge supporter from day one and I would like to thank her - along with everyone else who reads and follows me - for the endless love that she's shown me and my blog. She's just one of the many that make this a glorious journey and I'm really proud to call her the winner of this giveaway! 

So congratulations to Stephanie and don't be bummed if you didn't win. I have more giveaways coming soon (some hosted, some by me) along with some awesome contests coming up as well! 

As always, I hope you guys had an awesome Monday and don't forget to keep on rockin'! You're beautiful Jedi's and don't you forget it!!!! Love to you all. 

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