Salads around the world

January’s theme will be Salads. This will be a real challenge for me because when I make salads, I think of fresh vegetables at peak seasons — usually during warmer months. Like these…

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Cookies over the past month

First of all, Happy New Year! Here are some cookies I tried over the past month. Maybe I should have posted as I go but I guess I wanted to do an overview and compare (?). I don’t recall the reason. I thought it was fun to order something I normally don’t go out of my way to order and try something new and in this case, it was cookies. Whenever I go to a cafe and bakery, I usually order a croissant or something savory. I don’t really pair my coffee with something sweet.

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Eat around the World: Cookies!

Every year in November and December, I like to occupy the oven to bake cookies all season long. Up until a few days ago, rather than placing the focus on experimenting with different types of cookie recipes, I would try cookies from different bakeries around Los Angeles.

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A Field of butterflies and tulips (PPAC #32)

I enjoy passing back this mural at work. Something about it makes me smile — maybe it’s the bright red tulips. Also, the children are away from screens (assuming they have smartphones and TVs) and are instead interacting with the world around them. It’s strangely refreshing.

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January #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge and my favorite books from 2021

I decided for this year, I won’t be borrowing any books from the library or buying any books until I finish reading the books from my bookshelf. I bought these books because they caught my eye or because I added it to my order to qualify for free shipping. I also was on a waitlist for books from the library. When it arrived, I kept extending the hold because I already had other books I was reading. Based on the books on my shelf and on my waitlist, I think I already have my to-read pile for 2022. Not borrowing anything new or buying any books will be a challenge. Since last year I read 31 books, my new goal for this year would be to read 34 books making it about a 10% increase from last year.

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Light up the world (PPAC #31)

I was walking along Glendale Boulevard and came across this painting on this large planter. I’ve seen people paint on utility boxes, walls, sidewalks, along reservoirs, and construction barriers. I learned through this Public Art challenge that the world is your canvas.

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Play hard

The Comparison game

I think one of the worst things a parent, a grandparent, or a relative could do to a child is to compare them with other children. I am thankful my parents never did that. I am also thankful my parents advised me to never compare myself to other people. I am sure I started this self-flagellation of comparing myself to others as early as elementary school…maybe even sooner? I think into my 20s it was pretty bad because I was concerned about career and life satisfaction. Now in my 30s, I am actively fighting against it.

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Lens-Artists Challenge #181 – Double Dipping

This week’s Lens-Artists challenge is to explore and try out different blog challenges. I always enjoy a good blog challenge to connect with other bloggers, go through old photos that are in my hard drive and make its way to my blog, and exercise my creative muscles. I always love a good mix of writing and photography. Here are some blog challenges I participated in:

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A Bright mural to brighten my week (PPAC #30)

I was going through my old photos and came across this mural from my 2017 Iceland trip. I guess I was drawn to a more colorful photo to brighten my week. I’ve been working from home this week due to the rise of omicron and reducing our exposure by going to the office less. Since my kid’s daycare is at my work, I have not been taking her to daycare this week so she’s with me all day. Even before having a kid, I have never been a fan of working from home.

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The Four day New Year’s weekend

Happy Weekend Coffee Share and Happy New Year! It’s been an eventful three weeks: I was sick throughout Christmas weekend (tested negative for COVID), my husband was sick as well (tested negative for COVID), BIL #2 was sick through Christmas to after New Year’s (he had COVID), and two of my coworkers had COVID and were out for 10 days. We were so so so short-staffed at my office over the last two weeks.

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Neighborhood map (PPAC #29)

I stopped one morning to pick up my White Elephant gift at a coffee shop before heading to work. I parked my car and I noticed this artistic neighborhood map. Maybe it stood out to me because it colored a gray morning.

Side note: the neighborhood is called Toluca Lake. And no, I’ve never seen the lake considering I’ve gone to this neighborhood many times to go grocery shopping and to go grab coffee and dinner. Upon my research, there is a Toluca Lake but it is a private lake with GORGEOUS waterfront homes owned by a few Hollywood celebrities. Growing up in LA, I’ve only run into one celebrity in my life. I saw him standing in line at Target getting garbage bags. I mean I’m sure I’ve come across others, but I don’t go out of my way to find them.

PPAC #29

Hourglass (PPAC #28)

This mural is quite interesting. The top half looks like a bunch of different tropical houseplants and the bottom looks like the empty half of an hourglass. I’m not sure about the interpretation…maybe the message is that bringing plants and color make life more exciting? Hopefully, it’s excitement in a good way — I’m trying in every way to avoid things that make my life complicated.

The PPAC has been a lot of fun. I’ve always enjoyed seeing public art — even the ones I just don’t “get.” It’s a fun way to explore a city, even my own. See you next year everyone!

PPAC #28

My year of Declutter

Declutter was my 2021 word of the year. How did I do? I actually did pretty well surprisingly. I’ve experienced quite a bit of challenges such as having a baby and differences in lifestyle with roommates (read: BILs). I could have given up and let entropy do the job, but I am not the type of person who sits there and does nothing. Here’s how it went over the past year:

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