Approaching the four-day weekend…

…by ending my stubborn cold! My eyes have been really watery too. I’ve been diligent in taking my cold medication just to be better in time for Christmas. I am aware there is no weekend coffee share, but I thought I’d do a quick and extemporaneous update. I gave myself 25 minutes to write this post.

Continue reading Approaching the four-day weekend…

Winding down for the year

It’s December already. For some reason, I feel excited that we are in the last month of the year. Maybe because I work at a university, I feel the mood is winding down because the term is ending. Decembers in my last job at the hospital would feel like a rush because we would scramble around looking for volunteers to help with patient services, help out with special events, decorate, etc. But since a lot of volunteers are students they’re either back home in their home state (or country) or on vacation so we’d always run short of help.

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The Long Thanksgiving weekend

How was your Thanksgiving? Ours was pretty simple. We just had it at my parents’ house. They live about 30 minutes away. I did not prepare anything fancy, I just got frozen appetizers from Trader Joe’s and I baked them when I got to my parents’ house. There were these fried goat cheese balls I wanted to make but I’ll try it another time. I don’t want my first attempt in fried cheese goat balls to be on Thanksgiving Day.

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I’m thankful for the blogging community

Happy Thanksgiving! First of all, I would like to say I am thankful for the blogging community. I’ve blogged for a long time and went on an intermittent hiatus. It was shortly after I gave birth, I decided to return to blogging. I was hoping to make blogging a regular thing. I was not sure how I would do it, but I made it happen! I spend 30 minutes a day (more if it is on the weekend) doing something blogging-related whether it’s drafting a post, looking for a photo, making comments on other blogs, and replying to comments. I feel blogging has centered me during the most challenging times of my life. Though it has been tough for me to write and share about some things, it has helped me process and express the moment for I believe it will help me grow and become more resilient. Without blogging, I think I would have been in a darker place. I am happy to have found again this creative outlet.

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This will be the year we get a Christmas tree!

Update on the San Diego home hunt

Actually, make that Orange County. My SIL and her son are moving in with her boyfriend. MIL is moving there too. BIL #2 is moving in to our house which means he’s sharing a room with BIL #1. It is what it is. We live in a 3-bedroom, 2 bath house. My husband and I bought the house back in 2015. In this market we have no plans to buy a home with more rooms.

Also, we’re still sticking with having one modest-sized TV which is in the living room. We have no plans to buy a larger TV. And we are sticking with our modest-sized refrigerator. When BIL #1 first moved in a year ago, he had the nerve to ask me to buy a bigger fridge. I told him when we remodel the kitchen, then we’ll buy a new fridge. We’ll remodel the kitchen, but it will be a while.

Continue reading This will be the year we get a Christmas tree!

Eat around the World: Food you would bring to a feast

Happy November 1st! This time of the year is my favorite time of the year food-wise. It’s a time where I go through a kitchen experiment kick from October to December. I get to experiment with different recipes I’ve been eye-balling all year around. I don’t know why I wait until the end of the year to play in the kitchen. I guess maybe I have a reason to make different dishes at the end of the year — we have Halloween, Thanksgiving with family, Thanksgiving with friends, Thanksgiving at work, tree trimming party at work, White Elephant Party, New Year’s Eve party with friends, etc. Side note: Now because I have a food series on my blog, I think I’ll get to play with food all year around.

Continue reading Eat around the World: Food you would bring to a feast

Monday Musings, 12/21

Christmas isn’t about the decorations,
It’s about compassion.
Hanukkah isn’t about the sufganiyot,
It’s about amalgamation.
Ramadan isn’t about the feast,
It’s about affection.
Diwali isn’t about the lights,
It’s about ascension.
Our world is filled with festivals,
But what do they really mean?
Celebrating them with cultural exclusivity,
Makes us not human but savage fiend.
Every festival belongs to all of humanity,
For happiness has no religious identity.

Abhijit Naskar, I Vicdansaadet Speaking: No Rest Till The World is Lifted

#WeekendCoffeeShare: There’s a long line at the luxury goods store

Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

Grab a cup of coffee and share with us!  What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans?  Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

It is a warm day in Los Angeles. The high today is 81 F/27 C– a good day for ice cream. I went to Owl’s to get an ice cream paninni — it is my first time having it. Basically it is an ice cream sandwiched between these huge sweet Hawaiian rolls. For the ice cream flavor, I chose coffee. And for the condiments (err…toppings), I chose nutella crunch, walnuts, and coconut.

My Friday morning was a great way to start off the weekend. My daughter’s diaper blew up and I dropped my water bottle and the water spilled all over the living room floor. I quickly cleaned up the spill by moving the couch, pulling up the rug to let it dry, and wiping up the floor. I also had to clean her baby bouncer since her diaper leaked. I am so glad to have the Bjorn bouncer (not sponsored) not some regular bouncer. I got the Bjorn (secondhand) because I liked the idea of her using her own body weight to bounce herself. The Bjorn is so, so, so easy to clean. All I have to do is remove the cover from the frame and throw it in the washing machine. If I had any other bouncer, it would be awful to clean. Also that day I had to drive my friend to the doctor’s office in Beverly Hills.

On the way back to the Valley from the doctor’s appointment, my friend and I couldn’t help but notice the long line at Louis Vuitton store. We were baffled to why there was such a long line as if people were shopping for groceries and toilet paper. It just seems out of touch that people are shopping at a luxury goods store considering the pandemic has resulted in many people losing their jobs (or working reduced hours) and essential workers continuing to come to work at low wages and not be guaranteed any hazard pay.

Okay…maybe they’re shopping for family for the holidays. I like the holidays for the decorations, the special events, and the gatherings. What I do not like about the holidays is the gift giving and the pressure of buying expensive gifts. I remembered many years ago, I did White Elephant with family and family friends where the gift had to be valued at $50. At 22 years old with an entry level professional job and in debt, a $50 gift is pretty expensive. I remembered that year, people were not happy with  their $50 White Elephant gifts and suggested that they wanted to up the value to $500 for the following year.

Or maybe this year has been so bad for many people a trip to a luxury goods store lift their spirits up (albeit expensive).

Five things Friday: Wash off the ramen with Matcha Beer

Five Things Friday is a post where I share five things that either made my week, what I am thinking about, or would like to share with all of you!

1. Matcha Beer

On the menu, it sounds a little weird but why not try it. I drank most of it while I was waiting for my ramen to arrive. I should have waited to drink it because it tasted even better after eating ramen.

This beer is available for a limited time at Honda-Ya in Little Tokyo Los Angeles.

2. “The Catch and Kill Podcast with Ronan Farrow

I enjoy and appreciate investigative journalism. Meet the people behind the story who finally brought down the powerful film producer, Harvey Weinstein

3. Homemade Gingersnap cookies

I am working on a recipe that requires a gingersnap cookie crust. Instead of buying gingersnap cookies from a store, I thought it would be cheaper to make it. They taste better. I hope this recipe will come together for Sunday’s family get together. Reveal to come soon.

4. Impeachment…but not expressing it on social media

It’s Impeach-mas! DJT is finally impeached and it is incredibly uplifting. But I won’t express it on social media. My social media feed has a lot of ardent DJT supporters making me sick to my stomach. In the last few years, there were many lows and they still stand by him. It is incredibly unbelievable.

5. Survived a week of celebration

This week feels like a week of nonstop eating. It’s a week out with with friends and family. Plus it’s been a week of delivering joy to the patients at the hospital. Of course they are all good, joyous things.

Five Things Friday: Baby Yoda fever is real

Five Things Friday is a post where I share five things that either made my week, what I am thinking about, or would like to share with all of you!

1. Finding our door vendor

In the beginning of November, we ordered a door from Home Depot because their turnaround time was the quickest out of all the vendors we’ve asked. We wanted our new front entry door to arrive by Thanksgiving. Then Thanksgiving past and the door never arrived. My husband followed up with Home Depot on the status of the door and it turned out Home Depot lost our door. Home Depot wanted us to reorder the door but it would arrive either late December or early January. We did not want to take our chances with Home Depot for a second time to have the order again lost in transit. So we decided to find a different vendor.

How did Home Depot lose a door in transit? I’ve heard our door was likely sold to someone else. That’s absolutely unacceptable.

After a little bit of research and going in person to visit different vendors, we have found our vendor. Plus the turnaround time with this vendor was much quicker, plus one of the components of our door was readily available.

2. Waking up at 5:30 AM

My goal for this week was to go to the gym three times which required waking up at 5:30 AM. This week I have succeeded. Let’s hope I keep this up and maybe even increase the frequency of going to the gym before work.

3. Celebrating the holidays at work all month long

I am loving the creativity!





4. Free time

Since I finished my Master’s I have more free time! I can occupy it with loads of house projects like refinishing my dining table and bookshelf.

5. Baby Yoda fever is real

People are calling my Pomeranian, Koda, “baby Yoda.” We don’t have a Disney Plus subscription, so I have not seen “The Mandalorian.”

Celebrating longer, darker nights at Descanso Gardens

Last year, we went to the Enchanted Forest in Descanso Gardens. Each year from November to early January, they transform the place into something magical — well…the credit all goes to lighting effects. It is one of my favorite things to do during the holidays. I thought this would something we would every year, but unfortunately it just did not work with our schedule.

As promised from an earlier Friday Photo post, here are some pictures! Reviewing these photo again, they’re not quite like Christmas, but more like taking advantage of longer, darker evenings.





Enchanted: Forest of Light

Last December I went to Descanso Gardens’ Enchanted: Forest of Light in La Canada. At night, the ever-changing colored lights blanket the trees and the sprinkling chandeliers make the garden magical — and not in a cheesy way. This event quickly became one of my things to so during the holiday season. I can’t wait until it re-opens next month!

Below is just one part of the garden. Because I love Enchanted so much, I am going share these photos in pieces.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Glow

Check out other blogger’s and their intepretation of this week’s challenge: