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The Ramen Bar

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Address: 101 California St., San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: (415) 684-1570
Website: http://www.michaelmina.net/restaurants/san-francisco-bay-area/ramen-bar

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On a cloudy morning, I went with a few co-workers to Michael Mina’s The Ramen Bar at 101 California.  There was a line going out of the door and seating inside and outside was full.  We ended up sitting at the actual ramen bar in front of the open kitchen.  This was great because it gave us a chance to view the production line and how the food was made.  The food came within 5 minutes of ordering/seating.  Take-out and online ordering is also available.

ramenbar04

I ordered the Chasu Miso-Butter Hokkaido which is braised pork, garlic, sweet corn, and a soy-cured egg over a rich/bold, flavorful broth.  The pork was tender, broth was flavorful, and soy-cured egg was AMAZING!  The ramen bowl was a good-sized portion.

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I also ordered a Hong Kong Milk Tea with boba from the Tea Tails menu.  “Tea Tails are brewed using the finest of LaMill Teas.  Milk Teas are steeped directly in milk for a velvety and smooth treat.”  There was a fair amount of ice (maybe too much) and a decent amount of boba.  Flavor was average.

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For dessert, I ordered the Green Tea Parfait which was white chocolate-green tea mousse, huckleberry jam, and green tea croutons.  The mousse was smooth and rich.  Since white chocolate is involved, I’m automatically a sucker for it.  The huckleberry jam was tart and pairs wonderfully with the mousse.  The croutons were surprisingly tasty and not rock-hard.

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All-in-all, the Ramen Bar was great.  The prices might not be too appealing though (maybe because the association to Michael Mina).

- Norm

Children’s Menu [n]
Changing Station [?]
Highchairs/Boosters [y]
Stroller Access [might be tight]

Other reviews of The Ramen Bar:
yelp
SFGate
Urbanspoon
bites & bourbon

Written by Joyce and Norm

October 14, 2014 at 9:05 PM

Overrated

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This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

BookCover-2DOverrated
Written by Eugene Cho
Published by David C. Cook
Reprint edition released September 1, 2014
240 pages
Book Trailer | Website | Twitter: #OverratedBook

I was trying to figure out how I was going to put into words what this book is about. Since middle school, I was bitten by the volunteering bug. I was in service clubs since 6th grade, and have done lots of service projects with those clubs and through church. I have packed shoeboxes, passed out brown bag lunches to the homeless, served meals, provided care at a battered women’s shelter, and other similar things. I was a bit afraid to start reading Overrated because what if, by the end of the book, I am going to hear God telling me to sell all my belongings and go save all the children in all the world? No, that is not what God challenges us with through Eugene Cho’s book…not specifically anyway. I think this quote from the first chapter sums it up nicely:

“However, this wasn’t just about starting something. It wasn’t just about doing something. There was more…God was challenging us not just to ‘change the world'; He was inviting us to change. You see, it’s easier to talk about wanting to change the world; to talk about the need to change this and change that; to start this movement and start that organization. But if I’m honest, we don’t always do it, and we don’t always want to think that we, ourselves, have to change in the process.” – pg. 25

God does mighty things. He can do them without us. Yes, he is all-powerful, remember? He doesn’t want us to change the world, He wants us to change. When we change, we can change the world. Cho is very authentic in his book, and even talks about his struggles with letting go of his worldly possession to serve the Lord.

ABOUT OVERRATED
We all want to change the world, but as pastor Eugene Cho found out, it takes more than just desire. It takes action. In this personal confession he encourages readers to discover a practical discipleship that begins with the recognition that changing the world starts with changing ourselves.

Many people today talk about justice, but are they living justly? They want to change the world, but are they being changed themselves? Eugene Cho shares his story, a messy, painful story of being more in love with the ideas behind the actions than counting the cost and being a world-changer in action. Because everyone loves justice and compassion, but few have taken it upon themselves to truly live it out in their own lives. Cho is still on that journey to discover what it means, and invites readers to join him.

ABOUT EUGENE CHO
Eugene is the founder and visionary of One Day’s Wages, a grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty. He is the founder and senior pastor of Quest Church, an urban, multicultural, and multigenerational church in Seattle, Washington. Eugene and his wife, Minhee, have three children.

GIVEAWAY
One lucky reader will win a copy of the book Overrated. Giveaway ends Tuesday, October 14th. (Giveaway open to US residents ONLY. If you have been a winner of one of our giveaways in the last 30 days, you are not eligible for this giveaway.)

For your chance to win, leave a comment below sharing about justice or your thoughts of this generation being overrated. For extra entries, tweet about the giveaway, share on Facebook, or leave a comment on any post on our family blog Keeping Up with the Moys. Leave separate comments to each extra entry with link to entry if possible.

- Joyce

Other reviews of Overrated:
amazon.com
goodreads
Barnes & Noble
Christianbook.com

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Written by Joyce and Norm

October 1, 2014 at 12:27 PM

The Cure for the “Perfect” Life

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This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

cureforperfectThe Cure for the “Perfect” Life: 12 Ways to Stop Trying Harder and Start Living Braver
Written by Kathi Lipp by Cheri Gregory
Published by Harvest House Publishers
Released August 1, 2014
256 pages
FREE 1st Chapter of the book
Website | Facebook | Fun Freebies | 5-Day Devotional
Proverbs 31 is giving away 10 copies. – Ends 9/22

In Kathi and Cheri’s new book, The Cure for the “Perfect” Life, they share the 4 P-Bullies that make it hard for us to live bravely: Perfectionism, People-pleasing, Performancism, and Procrastination. If I am honest (and I usually am, or at least I try to be), I will say that I have dealt with all the P-bullies…sometimes one or another, sometimes all at once, at one point in my life, and even now. Whew! There! I said it.

And here’s the thing…I know I am not alone. Especially in this digital age where we don’t just compare ourselves to others in our surrounding community, but to millions around the world, it is important for us to examine ourselves and how each of these P-bullies are keeping us from living braver. Wit1 John 4-18a by Annemarieh one click, we can see what the “perfect” home looks like, there’s a glimpse of the super-mom who does it all, and of course, there are the never-ending events that we are “asked” to help out with, or we attend anyway so we don’t let someone down. We look “around” us (at the Pinterest boards, blog posts, Instagram photos), and we think that we are not enough, that we don’t have it all together…these are all lies that the P-bullies would like us to believe….would like me to believe.

To start digging ourselves out of this “Try-Harder Living” hole that we have put ourselves in, Kathi and Cheri help us discover our “Rebel” type (Expressive, Analytic, Driver and Amiable), and they present 12 cures for the “Perfect” life. Through humor and real life stories from Kathi, Cheri, and other women, we are given Tiny Acts of Rebellion and Tips for Each Rebel Type, which will help us to combat the P-bullies.

You can get the above printable, along with other fun freebies, like A Verse A Day For Braver Living from The Cure for the Perfect Life website. I love the verses because we sometimes need those reminders that we don’t need to be perfect, and we can live out our lives for Him just as we are. Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes progress. We don’t need to be perfect, we are already fearfully and wonderfully made!

kathilippABOUT KATHI LIPP
Kathi Lipp is the author of The Husband Project, The Me Project, The Get Yourself Organized Project, 21 Ways to Connect With Your Kids, and several other books. Kathi’s articles have appeared in dozens of magazines, and she is a frequent guest on Focus on the Family radio and TV. She and her husband Roger are parents of four young adults in San Jose, California. Kathi shares her story at retreats, conferences, and women’s events across the United States. Connect with her at www.KathiLipp.com, on Facebook, on Twitter, or on Pinterest.

ABOUT CHERI GREGORYcherigregory
Cheri Gregory is a Certified Personality Trainer; contributor to multiple books, including Wired That Way and 21 Ways to Connect With Your Kids; and frequent speaker for MOPS groups, women’s retreats, parent workshops, and educational conferences. She is also a high school English teacher. Cheri has been “wife of my youth” to Daniel (her opposite personality), a pastor, for over a quarter-of-a-century; they have two college-aged kids (who are also opposites). Connect with her at www.CheriGregory.com, on Facebook, on Twitter, or on Pinterest.

You can buy the book HERE, and you can read about the time I met Kathi HERE. :)

- Joyce

Other reviews of The Cure for the “Perfect” Life:
amazon.com
goodreads
Barnes & Noble
Christianbook.com
FamilyChristian
Blogger Reviews

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Written by Joyce and Norm

September 18, 2014 at 11:02 PM

Dolphin Tale 2 (Curriculum Review)

with 2 comments

Giveaway info at the end of post.

dolphin-tale-poster-artDolphin Tale 2
Released September 12, 2014
Website | Facebook | Twitter
#DolphinTale2 #HomeschoolDay2014 #WinterHasHope

I had not watched Dolphin Tale when I was given the opportunity to review the curriculum for Dolphin Tale 2, but it just so happens that we saw a copy of Dolphin Tale at the library that same week. The girls wanted to watch it as soon as we got home since their favorite animal right now is the dolphin. Remember, we went to Sea World this summer. :)

ABOUT DOLPHIN TALE
It is a sweet story, inspired by a true story, of a boy named Sawyer who helps rescue an injured dolphin who is named Winter. Sawyer’s mom (Ashley Judd) was not too fond of him spending so much time away from school at the marine center, but realized the positive impact it was having on Sawyer as he was going through a difficult time. After Winter loses her tail, her life is in danger, but with the help of Sawyer, marine rescue doctor Clay (Harry Connick Jr.), his daughter Hazel (Cozi Zuehlsdorff), and an army doctor (Morgan Freeman) who specializes in prosthetics, Winter becomes whole again. It is a story of friendship, determination, and strength.

ABOUT DOLPHIN TALE 2
I haven’t watched Dolphin Tale 2, but I am looking forward to seeing it soon! I have read some reviews of it, and it is about Winter losing her surrogate mother, Panama. Because of USDA regulations, Winter cannot be housed alone, as dolphins have to be paired with another dolphin, so the team at Clearwater Marine Hospital are in search of finding a companion for Winter. Pro surfer Bethany Hamilton, who has been an inspiration to many after losing an arm in a shark attack, make an appearance in this film.

DOLPHIN TALE 2 CURRICULUM
I was excited when I saw there was a curriculum for this film. I was even more excited when I saw what was included in this free curriculum!!! Even if you don’t homeschool, I HIGHLY recommend checking out this resource. It is free to join Homeschool Movie Club. It is amazing, and the girls kept asking to do more of the activities.

IMG_9397Each day’s lesson has a short video and a PDF of printables.
Lesson 1: Get To Know Dolphins (anatomy and physical science)
Lesson 2: A Day In The Life Of Dolphins (reading comprehension)
Lesson 3: Dolphins In The Ocean (geography)
Lesson 4: Aquarium Life (composition and art)
Lesson 5: Dolphins and Us (vocabulary and math)

And if you are in Classical Conversations like we are (or even if you’re not), you will be thrilled to know that there is also a curriculum designed specifically for CC! It is a 77-page PDF with lessons on the following subjects: Biology, Physical Science, Geography, Language, Math, Literature, History, Art, and Bible.

GIVEAWAY
One lucky reader will win a Dolphin Tale promo pack. It includes a Dolphin Tale 2 t-shirt and sunglasses. Giveaway ends Tuesday, September 23rd. (Giveaway open to US residents ONLY. If you have been a winner of one of our giveaways in the last 30 days, you are not eligible for this giveaway.)

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For your chance to win, leave a comment below sharing about dolphins or marine life or Dolphin Tale. For extra entries, tweet about the giveaway, share on Facebook, or leave a comment on any post on our family blog Keeping Up with the Moys. Leave separate comments to each extra entry with link to entry if possible.

- Joyce

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Written by Joyce and Norm

September 12, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Treasury of Bible Stories

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Giveaway info at the end of post.
Treasury-of-Bible-StoriesTreasury of Bible Stories
Released September 1st!!
Published by David C. Cook
352 pages
Age Range: 4-8 years
Website | FB | Twitter | YouTube

ABOUT TREASURY OF BIBLE STORIES
Magnificent Tales are rhyming Bible stories with clever art and clear lessons that the whole family will enjoy. The stories and illustrations are so engaging that you won’t grow tired of reading and rereading a Magnificent Tale night after night! From “The Salty Tale of Noah and the Ark” to “The Lasting Story of the Last Supper,” the rhyming tales in this book remind us that God loves his people—in the Bible and today!

ABOUT KELLY PULLEY

Kelly Pulley has illustrated dozens of books in The Beginner’s Bible series and has authored and illustrated several other children’s books, including Ten Unusual Features of Lulu McDunn and The Cycling Wangdoos. He enjoys spending time with his four grown children and his beautiful wife, Vickie, in the Nashville area.

Melody (age 7)
What the book is about: It is the stories in the Bible. It is about God’s Word.
Like: I liked that it rhymes. I liked the pictures too.
Dislike: There isn’t anything I don’t like.
Recommend: I recommend this to everyone because everyone should read the Bible.

Emily (age 5)
What the book is about: It is about heaven and love and sharing.
Like: I like the David story.
Dislike: I didn’t like when David hit Goliath because I like everyone in the world and I don’t want anyone to get hurt, but he got hurt, and I am wondering if he is still alive.
Recommend: My family should read this book.

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Notes from Melody and Emily’s mom:
The Treasury of Bible Stories contains 20 Bible stories, and it draws you in even from the Table of Contents, with titles like Tricked by a Snake, A Silly-Sounding Plan, Daniel for Lunch, and The Good Dunking. If you have been around kids, you know that any rhyming book is just an excuse to rap. Well, it’s my excuse anyhow. :p Your kids will think you are the coolest (or the weirdest) when you bust a rhyme while reading these Bible stories to them. But I really do like the rhyming, and I think your kids will too. The illustrations are wonderful and colorful, except the eyeballs and elbows are a little odd to me. I only noticed the elbows after another reviewer mentioned it. :p While we are a bookworm family, Emily will usually only pick up a book if she is really interested in it or if it is “reading/quiet time”. Just yesterday I noticed that the girls were really quiet after dinner (this is not usual), so I looked to see what they were doing. They were reading. This is typical of Melody who would take walks, eat meals, or brush her teeth reading a book if we let her. I figured they were reading books from the library because we had gone that morning to check out new books, but Emily was actually reading the Treasury of Bible Stories. This means this book is pretty awesome!

GIVEAWAY
One lucky reader will receive a copy of Treasury of Bible Stories book. Giveaway ends Sunday, September 21st. (Giveaway open to US residents ONLY. If you have been a winner of one of our giveaways in the last 30 days, you are not eligible for this giveaway.)

For your chance to win, leave a comment below sharing about your fave Bible story or your child’s fave Bible story. For extra entries, tweet about the book, share on Facebook, or leave a comment on any post on our family blog Keeping Up with the Moys. Leave separate comments to each extra entry with link to entry if possible.

Treasury of Bible Stories one sheet

- Joyce

Other reviews of Treasury of Bible Stories:
Amazon.com

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Written by Joyce and Norm

September 11, 2014 at 10:45 AM

The Boxcar Children (DVD)

with 11 comments

Giveaway info at the end of post.

boxcarThe Boxcar Children
Released August 19th!!
Phase 4 Films
81 minutes
Dove Approved – all ages!
Books | FB | Twitter | Amazon | YouTube
#TheBoxCarChildren

ABOUT THE BOXCAR CHILDREN
Four orphaned and homeless siblings happen upon an abandoned boxcar, which with a little creativity and hard work, they gradually furnish with all the comforts of home.
Fearful that they will be sent to live with the reputedly cruel grandfather they have never met, the children keep their new home a secret – until a serious illness forces them to reveal themselves in order to save young Violet.

Featuring an all-star cast of voice actors, including Academy Award Nominee Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now), J.K. Simmons (Spiderman), Zach Gordon (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Joey King (Fargo), Mackenzie Foy (Twilight series), and Jadon Sand (LEGO: The Movie), this is the very first full-length, animated feature adaptation of Gertrude Chandler Warner’s best-selling classic!

Melody (age 7)
What the DVD is about: It was about them finding a place to sleep because they were running away from their grandfather. They thought he was mean, but he wasn’t.
Like: I like the characters. I like that it is like the book, and it was exciting too! It was all exciting!
Dislike: I don’t not like anything.
Recommend: Everyone

Emily (age 5)
What the DVD is about: The DVD is about them wanting to find a new house.
Like: I like when grandpa gave them a new house and they can share the house and be a family. I like when they made the boxcar into a house.
Dislike: I didn’t like when they all slipped on the mud.
Recommend: I recommend this to my friends Ashlyn and Jadyn because they will like when the children go and find a new house.

Notes from Melody and Emily’s mom:
If you read The Boxcar Children as a young child, you will know that you are in for a treat with this new Collector’s Edition of The Boxcar Children DVD. The movie is not an exact re-telling of the first book in the series, but gives viewers an idea of how the adventures of the Boxcar Children all started. I love the animation and the music in this DVD. From it’s original publication in 1924 to today’s latest book and now DVD, Gertrude Chandler Warner’s story of four siblings live on. Melody started reading The Boxcar Children books when she was about 4 years old, and have loved each and every book she read, even checking them out from the library multiple times and reading them over and over again. She was really excited about getting to watch the movie. I wasn’t sure Emily would understand the storyline, but she loved it too! We’re not huge movie-watchers, but the girls have watched this DVD four times in the last month, choosing it over their beloved PBS Kids shows. This Collector’s Edition is also packed with fun special features:

  • The Boxcar Children e-book preview
  • The Boxcar Children Guide to Adventure e-book preview
  • Printable Town Map
  • Official Soundtrack
  • About the Author/Museum Featurette
  • Downloadable Activity Kit
  • Stills Gallery

GIVEAWAY
One lucky reader will receive a copy of The Boxar Children DVD. Giveaway ends Thursday, August 28th. (Giveaway open to US residents ONLY. If you have been a winner of one of our giveaways in the last 30 days, you are not eligible for this giveaway.)

For your chance to win, leave a comment below with any related to The Boxcar Children (going on an adventure, siblings/family, etc.) For extra entries, tweet about the DVD or leave a comment on any post on our family blog Keeping Up with the Moys. Leave separate comments to each extra entry with link to entry if possible.

- Joyce

Other reviews of The Boxcar Children:
Amazon.com

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Written by Joyce and Norm

August 19, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

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Signed-Sealed-Delivered-MarthaGroup

Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Hallmark Channel
Airs Sundays, 8/7c
Website | FB | FB – Martha Williamson

ABOUT SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED
As many of you know, we don’t own a TV. Shocking, I know! But with technology and social media and all that Internet good stuff, we are able to still stay up-to-date with at least a few shows that are streaming online. I remember Sunday evenings when the Hallmark movies would air, and we would watch after dinner, usually with tissues in hand. I’m all for a feel-good show. The Hallmark Channel offers just that!

There is a new original series on the Hallmark Channel called “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” It is about four postal detectives who track down intended recipients of undeliverable mail. The team includes the group’s leader, Oliver O’Toole, who is a man of faith; new member, Shane McInerney, who is a technophile that add 21st century technology to the mix of old school; free-spirited Rita Haywith who is the “girl next door” with a photographic memory; and a master researcher Norman Dorman. You find yourself relating to these characters in some way, and there is a draw to help them solve their mystery of finding who the certain piece of mail was supposed to delivered to.

The episode we previewed is about a special couple with Down Syndrome who overcome challenges through finding out what the Scriptures have to say about the meaning of marriage. A letter which was written back in high school was supposed to be sent 10 years after graduation to a “future self” to see how things are going. Through tricky circumstances, the couple learn a few things, and even inspire the postal workers to think about the relationships around them. Despite obstacles, the conversations are wholesome and respectful, which I think is lacking in much of media today’s culture.

I also wanted to share that The American Bible Society has a Bible study to go with the series. You can sign up here: http://www.americanbible.org/features/signed-sealed-delivered. It is a seven-day Bible reading experience to dig deeper into the meaningful biblical themes revealed in each episode of Signed, Sealed, Delivered. It is free and only available for a limited time.

- Joyce

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Written by Joyce and Norm

May 25, 2014 at 5:16 PM

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