Thursday, March 8, 2018

In Like a Lion...

...and out like a lamb? That's the saying right? It is what's happening here in Edmonton. What a cold long winter it's been. We had a slight reprieve, only to have another dump of snow and cold snap, though it wasn't even as much as originally forecasted. But the days are getting longer, we're getting more sun, and the daily high is pretty good, even though the morning is still cold and crisp.

Hi everyone, my unintentional winter hiatus is over. So Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Valentine's Day, and Happy Chinese New Year!


I am looking forward to spring, I always do better with more sunlight. I've been feeling blah lately, and was downright anxious, cranky and moody a few weeks ago. I got over it okay, and went for acupuncture. Have I mentioned that I love my acupuncturist? So nice, I always enjoy seeing her. I'm slowly feeling better, I think I need to devote some more time to things I like to do instead of just house and kid stuff, so finally hunkering down to write is a good first step.

I have hypothyroidism, specifically from an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto's disease. I was diagnosed after I miscarried my first pregnancy, so probably close to ten years now. I was put on Synthroid medication, and all has been pretty good. But lately I've been feeling off, and I don't know if it's because of my thyroid. I just went to get my biannual bloodwork the other day, so will need to go for a check up right away.

Now I'm starting to look at my diet. For the past months, my skin has been terrible, pimple after pimple. My acne is the worst it's ever been in my life. Is it perimenopause? My thyroid? My diet? I've been taking it easy on junky food (I'm a chip eating machine), and my skin has finally settled down a bit for the first time in months. I'm trying to drink more water and eat more fruits and vegetables. I went and got some chia seeds and flax seed for the whole family. I've done some research online, and some say that gluten isn't good for Hashimoto's, so I'm going to see if I can cut back a bit, though I'm not sure if this is an all or nothing type of thing I should be doing. And yes, I will consult with my doctor before doing any major dietary changes :)

Anyways, that's it for today. I should probably go prep dinner before going to pick up the kids. Or maybe I'll just go watch Scandal on the PVR or read Ready Player One. One of the latter two first I think!

Thanks for reading!

Photo credit Bloggers of Canada

PS. Oh, coffee! I haven't had coffee! I should go do that first!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Chinese Food

Hello everyone!

I don't do a lot of Chinese cooking at home. Usually we just go back to my parents' for traditional food, and it tastes better, ha. If we do 'Chinese food' at home, it's usually stirfry, or more usually, it's noodles, congee, or various dumplings such as potstickers or wontons. (Does anyone know why woh-teep are called potstickers?)

I'm old school and usually do congee, or jook, on the stovetop, that's how my parents do it, and I just followed. We went to a friends for lunch over the summer and she made us congee for lunch in her rice cooker, and it turned out really good. So I've done it at home a few times now with my rice cooker, and am pleased with the results. So easy, and the portion size is perfect for our family. Usually with the pot, I measure too much rice, then the congee gets too thick, so I have to add water, then it gets too thick again. It's a vicious cycle and then I end up with too much congee. I like my congee smooth and not grainy, so I just whip it with a whisk and it's perfect.

(Above is actually too lumpy for me, I don't think I'd whisked it yet.)

I have a Buffalo rice cooker. I just follow the ration lines to make congee, then add stock and dried scallops for flavour (needs to be soaked overnight first). My rice cooker also has a secret 'quick' code for rice, it was mentioned in Chinese on a loose piece of paper in the box, so my parents had to translate for me. It makes no sense, it's under 'steam' for 5 min. Note the stainless steel liner, much better than a teflon coated one, my previous rice cooker was teflon and got scratched. How do you like your congee? I like it with thousand year old egg, peanuts, and long Chinese donut. Yum. Today's a dreary day, it would have been a good day for congee.

Along with congee, we usually carb it up with dumplings, woh-teep and xiao lung bao, my kids' faves (these are just store bought ones):

Yum, now I'm hungry! 

What's everyone dressing up as for Halloween? My girls will be a pirate and a cowboy, I need to finish up their costumes. I was able to put together or revamp some of their existing clothes for their costumes. I fee like dressing up when I go to their school, I'm thinking witch, or mad scientist.

Anyways, have a great day! Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Books, Books, Books

The more that you read, the more things you will know. 

The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.

-Dr. Suess

Hi Everyone! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving long weekend!

The above quote is great, I have it hanging in my girls' bedrooms. And it is a good segue because I want to talk books today. Coincidentally, last week was Read In week at the schools, and I actually went in and read to A's kindergarten class. I read What If? by Robert Pierce. It's silly and I like the retro style of it.

On Saturday, we went to West Edmonton Mall, and took the kids to Chapters since A still had a gift card from her birthday to use up. I've heard that there are events for kids at Chapters and Indigo on Saturday mornings, but we've never gone to check them out. Well, as the kids were hugging a taller-than-them dinosaur in the toy area, one of the workers came by to tell us that it was a Hatchimal event today in the kid area if we were interested. So off we went, where one worker was finishing reading a book to the children already there. The kids got a little treat bag with Hatchimal stickers and a Malala pencil, and a ticket to enter the draw for some Hatchimal prizes. Next up was a craft. Score, this was already a good event!

After their craft, the kids looked around for some books, and the crowd was waiting for the Hatchimal to emerge from its shell. While A and I were looking around, we heard a draw taking place. We came out of the stacks to see C emerge with a prize, a Hatchimal egg containing a puzzle! Yay, we never win anything. My husband gave me the remaining raffle ticket, in case we win again and people wonder why he has two tickets. I told him it's not an issue, as we clearly have two kids, plus, what are the chances of us winning the big twin Hatchimal egg. Well, during the next draw, I was watching the numbers on our ticket...and we won! A went up to collect the prize. Wowzers, seriously, we never win anything. After we finished buying books, we had lunch and then got a lotto ticket, haha. (Of course, we didn't win that one.)

Craft: DIY Hatchimal

We had Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' that night, so the girls got to hatch their Hatchimal there. It's nice that it's an egg that contains twins, so each of the girls will get one Hatchimal. 

Prizes! I was happy with a craft and free stickers!

Warming up the Hatchimal egg.

And...they're twins! They have since been named Pinkfoot and Purplefoot.

 Close up.

We didn't really join the craze of Hatchimals before, was it last year or the year before? In any case, it looks like toy companies are pushing Hatchimals as one of the it toys this year. Since C can read, she was responsible in advising herself and her sister on how to take care of the Hatchimals. I actually don't know too much about them, but I guess you have to take care and nurture them to let them grow, and they respond and play too. Kind of like Tamagotchis? (I'm too old for that craze, but one of the nieces was into those years ago.)

The gift card that A received got her a lot of books since she's still a young reader. She got two Peppa Pig books, an Amelia Bedelia, and this ballerina book below. Now, A is a rough and tumble kind of girl, but is really into princesses and ballerinas, go figure. So when she chose this book, I reluctantly said fine, shaking my head at her girliness. I didn't realize until we read the book that it is about a real life ballerina, Misty Copeland. It's a mini biography, and such an inspiring story. Misty didn't even start ballet lessons until she was thirteen, battled through family issues and physical issues, and made principal dancer at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, the first African-American to do so to boot. So I took back my reluctance of this book, and told A that I'm glad she chose this one, it was a wonderful story to read. And then I went off to Google Misty Copeland that night.

Anyways, that's it for me today, have a wonderful day. Stay warm, it's supposed to flurry here today!

Monday, September 18, 2017

C's Biking Accident

Hi Everyone!

I hope you all had a great weekend! We're in full swing for lessons, so we have piano on Thursdays, swimming on Saturdays (ugh, hopefully third time's a charm for them to pass their level), and on Sundays little A takes skating lessons. We're hoping to add skiing to the repertoire later this winter. C is resuming piano after about a year and a half hiatus, and A is taking the lessons for the first time. We've had two lessons so far and they seem to be enjoying it and they like their new teacher. A friend recommended the teacher - who comes to our house! Makes my life just a little bit easier on weekdays. I don't anticipate my girls becoming concert pianists, nor do I expect them to be, but I figure this gives them an introduction to music should they want to pursue it. My parents started me on violin lessons when I was around 9, which was great, but I felt so behind because I was just starting to learn music, while my other classmates had mostly taken piano for years and could already read music. Needless to say I only took violin for a few years. I'm hoping this will provide good background for my girls.

School is in full swing for the kiddos and they seem to be doing fine. A is enjoying her afternoon kindergarten class because she gets to play, haha. She has Montessori in the morning, so she needs to do work there. I need to pull them out of class a little bit early this afternoon because C has an appointment; I called too late to book a check up appointment with her paediatrician, This is actually the third appointment where I've had to pull her out of class. We've had two previous appointments with the dentist, because of a bad fall that C had about two weeks before school started.

C finally mastered riding two wheels this summer, and liked her little taste of independence, how she could ride ahead of her little sister and parents on walks. She is also an adrenaline junkie, as demonstrated when she goes to amusement parks. So of course she enjoys the thrill of riding her bike downhill. Near our house are paths to a couple lakes, which involves going downhill. She'd gone a few times, when one fateful afternoon, she was ahead of me and A again. I thought I better hustle to make sure she's alright, and sure enough, when I jogged to the downhill path, my poor baby was crying, and her chin was cut wide open. It was bad. I didn't want to show her how bad it was, so I just said we needed to walk home and then go to the hospital.

Poor C. She didn't want to walk and I didn't blame her, but there was nothing else we could do. Apparently there were 3 geese on the path and she swerved them and fell badly.

My parents met me at the hospital ER to pick up A and take her home with them. What a bad day at the ER, I could here patients around us who had already been there for over four hours, and they had all been sitting together for so long that they had built a rapport with each other, I thought at first that they all knew each other. Of course C is okay by the time we see the triage nurse, instead of crying in pain. She got gauze on her chin and was in good spirits. We've been to the ER in the past and had to wait for a couple hours, which is what I expected. But that day we had to wait four hours before we finally got in. I even went to get C's gauze changed about two hours in, since it had actually bled through, and took the opportunity to see the triage nurse again. But no dice, we still had to wait. In the meantime, C, told me one of her back teeth were loose, but I couldn't tell and thought she was imagining things. Then I checked the other side of the tooth and indeed, a piece was loose!

After four hours, we finally got in to see a doctor, who said was it was absolutely crazy that day. They had to put numbing cream on C to get her ready, so that involved more waiting. Then the doctor got my hopes up with dissolve-able stitches, but in the end, she couldn't find any. C is such a trooper. My baby is so brave and tough. She got seven stitches without any complaints. As soon was she was stitched up, I told her that the cut was so bad, but I didn't want to say anything before she was fixed.

So close to seven hours later in total, we finally left. One of the patients who had been in the waiting room with us the whole time (actually, he was there first) kindly asked us on our way out if C was okay. Poor guy was still there, I was too tired to ask, but he must have been waiting for tests, I believe he was there because of a blood clot.

We saw the dentist four times after the accident. First was to get checked, and x-rays revealed that C had cracked two teeth in the fall, probably from clenching as opposed to getting hit. The good news is that they were baby teeth. The bad news was the top one needed to be pulled out, and the bottom one was hopefully salvageable with some patching. So the next three appointments were to extract the top tooth, patch the bottom tooth, and then to put a spacer in the top tooth area. Phew! Thank goodness for insurance.

Kiddo is good to go now, with a battle scar to prove it. I think she might be secretly please with it. We had to go to the paediatrician to remove the stitches, and she commented that if you're going to cut up a part of your face, the chin there is the best spot since it's not too obviousl  My husband and I believe that it was actually her bell that cut her chin since it was such a clean and straight cut; she has a ladybug bell on her bike, and I pulled the remaining plastic wing off afterwards, and one edge was incredibly sharp. So note: get a bell that is round without extra potentially sharp pieces. And only last week did it occur to me that if it was the bell that cut her, it could have been so much worse--that bell could have sliced her throat just an inch or two below. Shudder.

But we survived, and the girls have a living example of how important a bike helmet is. Also, they have seen dentists and dental hygienists in action, so who knows, maybe this is the start of a career for one of them.

Happy Monday! Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Hi Everyone!

Thanks for checking in! I thought for sure I'd be posting more in the summer, but alas I was wrong. Summer passed by in the blink of an eye, I hope you had a good one. Ours was pretty good, I'm hoping to get back into writing right away and do some real posts.

September is in full swing, and today is definitely an autumn day. Both socks and ankle boots on, full length pants and a coat that zips up! The kids have been in school for a week now, and have adjusted well to the new school year, C is in third year and my baby A is in kindergarten!

Anyways, this was just a quick post to show that I'm alive and well, and to get my writing juices flowing again. My Instagram is more regularly updated in case you're interested.

Have a great night, and I'll be back soon!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Practical and Functional

Hi Everyone!

It's July already! Where did the year go? The kids are out of school, and we just celebrated Canada's 150. We went downtown with some friends and partook some festivities downtown. We started at the 104 st market, and then checked out Rogers Place for the first time and saw some multicultural shows, such as wu shu, lion dance and shumka. Then we proceeded to City Hall where it was super busy inside. We had come through the back north doors, and when we went out through the front the doors, it was crazy busy! Churchill Square was packed. Too bad fireworks are so late, it doesn't get dark in Edmonton until 11 pm, so I knew that was way too late for the kids especially if they were out and about all day. Heck, that's late even for me on a day I was out and about, haha.

Mmm, pig roast. We had lunch at 'Ono Poke and tried the yummy shaved ice cream special.

Statue came to life and Number 1 got a handshake!

I had this post partially envisioned in my head back near Father's Day. Are you easy to shop for? Are your parents easy to shop for? I think I'm pretty easy to shop for, anything amuses me, and for most ladies and women, I think that's the case. New soap or scented cream? Love it. New nail polish, jewellery or cosmetic pouch? Awesome. I love food and coffee cards. Meanwhile, my parents are the worst to shop for. My mom is so not girly, so I'd moved to functional gifts awhile back. I started with gift certificates and did that for a couple years until my mom whispered to me once that if I'd been thinking of getting them a gift cert, cash is better and easier. Fair enough, cash is king, so for birthdays I'll give them cash in a lucky red envelope. Then even the more practical gifts were given back to me, such as a clothing steamer. (Hmm, I should actually use that more often.) But the past Mother's and Father's Day, I think I did well.

For Mother's Day, I got my mom a small purple Kipling purse, and socks. First, the purse. Amongst my mom's senior citizen ladies group, it sounds like Kipling and Le Sportsac are the bags of preference. Leather and bags with heavy hardware aren't too popular any more, apparently they're too heavy. (I saw one of my friend's mom at a party and noticed she was sporting a lightweight Le Sportsac bag too, haha. Senior trends.) I don't think my mom commented on the purse to me afterwards, but the socks she liked. And these weren't just any snazzy socks. They were circulation socks. I know my mom only has a couple pair of prescription circulation socks, so I bought her another pair from the travel section from Winners, and she loved them. Hahahaha, practical gift at its best!

For Father's Day, I got my dad one of those portable battery chargers for his cellphone, and some sort of glue kit that involves UV light. He was pretty happy, especially with the battery charger, since they're going on vacation in a couple of weeks.

Speaking of vacation, we're going to Vancouver, Victoria and Sidney next week. We're so looking forward to it! Any suggestions on where to go or where to eat? The kids haven't been to British Columbia before, and it's actually been years since I've gone too. I think it may turn into a foodie trip, the kids are already looking forward to food in Richmond. I'm looking forward to just relaxing on the island, we don't anticipate it being as fast paced as previous vacations. The girls have music camp this week, and then next week we head out!

Thanks for reading, have a great day!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

There was an Old Lady...

Hi everyone!

Some days I feel like an old lady. I'll be turning 39 next month, so I know I'm not ancient by any means, but the wrinkles are coming in, the joints creak, and the white hair is here. I was at my parents' house a few months back, and watching their Chinavision shows, when an Asian brand hair dye commercial comes on. "Look how convenient that is," I commented, as I watched the hair dye be placed on a brush for spot coloring. My mom says she has a couple boxes upstairs, and I ended up taking one of them.

1. You know you're old old when you're mooching hair dye off your senior citizen mother.

And I still haven't used it because I procrastinate.

2. You know you're old when you have to look up vernacular on the Urban Dictionary. I professed my love to the current Lana Del Rey song in my last post, and when I was looking at the comments to the video on You Tube, I noticed so many people saying "I'm shipping these two!" in reference to Lana and the Weeknd. Now, because of the context, I kinda get what they're saying, but nonetheless, I went to look at trusty Urban Dictionary. (In case you don't know what shipping means, the verb form means to endorse a romantic relationship, while noun usage is short for romantic relationship, ie, 'ship.)

3. You know you're old when current vernacular that you had to look up in the Urban Dictionary, annoys you and makes no sense. Also, youngsters, what is with typing words and putting extra letters, eg "I loveeeee it!" I get if you typed looooove for emphasis, but why the extra e's? It's a silent letter! I don't get it.

3a. You know you're old when youngsters make you cranky.

4. You know you're old when you're training your 7 year old to turn on various electronics. I will turn into my mother right away when I don't know what video component goes with what source of television.

5. You know you're old when sweets hurt your teeth now. Man, I can't eat Turtles anymore, it's actually been years since I've eaten them. Plus, my gums are starting to recede.

6. You know you're old when you can't eat as much now. I was blessed with good metabolism until I was 25 and at a desk job. It's been going way downhill from there. Now I find I don't eat as much, which is a good thing, but I was disappointed when I went to a wedding a couple weekends ago, and didn't eat much of the buffet, even though I really wanted to.

7. You know you're old when you say 'tape', as in tape a tv show. Sometimes I remember to say PVR.

8. Speaking of tape, you know you're old when you're at your child's in school field trip, and a set of science cards for the magnet unit shows a VHS tape and VCR, and all the kids say, "I've seen those at my grandparents' house."

9. You know you're old when kids of legal age (that's 18 in Alberta) were born in 1999. Yikes. I was almost done university then. And actually partying like it's 1999.

10. You know you're old when 1996 doesn't seem that long ago. That was 21 years ago. I graduated high school 21 years ago, that's a whole person who can gamble in Las Vegas. Here's a side story though. The last few years I've run into random people I've gone to school with. This year, my daughter joined an after school club/lesson for STEM (science technology engineering math), which we all called Lego club since it involved Lego. Well, the person running it always seemed familiar to me, and I finally realized we went to high school together. We didn't know each other back then, which is why it wasn't obvious. One day, she asked me if I went to the same high school, as she recognized me too. She said to me that we must look pretty good still, since over 20 years later, we recognize someone from school who we didn't even hang out with back in the day! Which, you know what, is very true!

11. You know you're old when your children are becoming little independent people. C is going into grade 3 next year, I think that's the big kid division at their school! And A will be in the school system in kindergarten!

It's been a long time since I've gotten IDed. It used to annoy me, but wouldn't that be nice now. Actually, I got IDed at the Madonna concert a few years back, so that's still pretty good, right? Maybe they were just humoring us.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!