Friday, November 30, 2012

30 Days of blah blah blah

Guess who made 30 days of blogging?!?  ME!!

Honestly, in the beginning, I was tempted to schedule 30 different posts and just let it publish a 'new' one everyday.  I don't think I even scheduled more than a day or two out at a time.  Usually it was written during the day and scheduled to publish in the afternoon (you know, in case I had second thoughts).

It's amazing that I actually posted every day.  Ryan complained about my blogging maybe enough times to count on one hand?  I think it helped that I didn't waste too much time trying to find something to post about, although most of the topics were things on my mind for the day or just random stuff.

Oh well, I actually survived NaBloPoMo.  Maybe next year I'll link up to one of those blogs that get people to read your stuff, you know, so someone actually reads this stuff.  Or not.

On a funny note, here's a picture I got from my co-worker.  The email subject said it was a picture of me:

Silly, I'm not a stick with a baby in my mid-section!  I'm 42 inches around the waist and right on schedule (vertically 33 cm).  So there... just because some days my joints don't hurt and I don't have to waddle, and from behind I don't look pregnant, doesn't mean I'm a stick.  Plus, my hair is straight and I have bangs.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Decorations are up

Last night, after the art sesh, we went downstairs to decorate the living room.

We're hosting my friends' holiday get-together at our house this year, but there is no way that I can keep up with the our hostess friend's mad design skills. She seriously makes her house look like the interior of Pier 1!

Anyway, since this will be the last opportunity for a pink Christmas (we'll be more gender friendly next year for Everett's first Christmas), Ella and I are sticking with a pink, black, and sparkly color scheme.

If you're wondering, yes, the tv is on. We're listening to KSSK's all-day Christmas music. I love it!

Ella does a really great job hanging ornaments. For all of 2 minutes. She was more entertained with her blood orange. I'm sure if we were glueing glitter and rhinestones to a construction paper tree she would be occupied for 2 hours!

I still need to think about a wreath, I've just been so busy crafting other stuff, I haven't really had a chance to think of something yet. I better get on it, the party is in 3 weeks (oh yah, and I'm due in 6)!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New supplies

Ok, I guess we're enablers...

This Crayola gadget turns markers into Airbrush!!! She's having a blast. Pun intended, hehe.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Starving artists

My high school friends got weird college degrees. I'm talking Art History, Asian History, that kinda weird. Only one person (other than myself, and we happen to share birthdays) got a normal degree that helps you get a normal job with normal pay. The rest, well, are underemployed. Happy, sure, but still... someone has to pay the bills.

When I was told by one of them to let Ella be creative and do art, I laughed it off thinking, "Really? I don't think so!" Of course, then I end up with this kid who only wants to "draw color" in school and "paint paint" at home.

I love her masterpieces! long as she knows she better make it a financially successful career or do it only as a hobby.

Monday, November 26, 2012

So girly?

Before I had any kids, my biggest fear was that I wouldn't know how to raise them. First of all, I didn't have a "mother" that would doll up, get mani-pedis, or teach me how to shave. Second, I was a tomboy. I could throw a football better than most boys in my elementary and I was always first of the girls picked for team games.

When I had my daughter, I panicked. I don't know what to do with a girl?! I don't even have spa days with my 'girlfriends'. We watched lame tv and sat around the kitchen munching on junk food.

To at least have done it, if my daughter ever asked, I started being, "girly". Got a pedicure, gel manicure, and even got a Brazilian (wax). It was so weird for me, doing it alone. Most people getting these services were with gal pals or tweens going with their moms and getting the lite-version.

At least now that I've done it, I won't feel so embarrassed if Ella ever asks me lady-questions. Although, I will tell her a good epilator is way better than shaving.

But something tells me, she's already more girly than me.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

It's in the bag

I am excited because...

You know what that means!!! I can make bags!

I don't know why it took me so long. As I was cleaning up (still relocating the craft room to the new space in the living room), I decided to just finish it. I'm sure it could have been done better, more professionally, but whatever. I gathered the contrast sash, attached the button, tacked down the sash, and added a Velcro closure. That's it.

Holds my phone, some cash, and a pack of gum. Ideal for a night on the town without any kids! As if that would ever happen... I didn't say the clutch was practical! Sure is pretty, though :)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Family bowling

Every year, my family gets together to bowl. It's been going on for what? 40-something years? Or longer?

Back in the day, it would be on New Years Eve and followed by a large party with strands of 100,000 firecrackers, suckling pig over a fire, and lots of uncles and aunties laughing with beer breath. Now that the families have grown and have families of their own, maybe there will be a potluck following bowling or maybe a small gift exchange among families.

Now that we have Ella and one on the way, it's a little more difficult to participate. I definitely can't bowl, but at least Ella has an interest. With a little bribing she bowled 10 frames!

She'd rather play arcade games, but she did want to keep the alley shoes!

She's a 6 1/2, but the smallest they had was a 9. Paper towels are great for more than stuffing your bra... Oops, I meant drying up spills! ;)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Crazy drivers

We don't do Black Friday. We used to, back when there was CompUSA to get the really cheap electronics. Then there were cyber deals like 60% off electronics on Amazon. But now days, we actually would prefer paying regular price if it didn't mean standing in line.

If anything, we go out to check out the crowds and get our first taste of Christmas.

Today, we seemed to encounter the worst drivers ever!
1) Home Depot parking lot, a guy started backing out while I was standing by our car with the stroller. We didn't even know he was in the car and he didn't bother checking before reversing. He actually wanted to fight?! Dude, the world doesn't revolve around you.
2) Ryan was running in a crosswalk at a light where he had the right of way. A woman wanted to turn and didn't check if it was clear.
3) Nordstrom parking garage, a woman in front of us decided she wanted the stall of someone leaving. She proceeded to reverse. If you have to reverse, it's too late. Especially when there is a car behind you...and more cars behind that. Lady, you wasted two minutes, almost hit us, and there were 3 empty stalls like 50 yards away.

I don't think we're leaving the house next year.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Turkey Day!

Dry brining the turkey is THE WAY TO GO! It was delicious, juicy, and so flavorful (and the lemongrass helps too). I don't think I could eat it any other way.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

And so it begins

The turkey is dry brining in the fridge, I finished baking two dozen cupcakes for my maple bacon cupcakes. All I have left to do is take a nice, hot shower and get to bed!

Still a lot of cleaning to do, but I'm sure getting up at 5am will take care of that.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Drawing a blank

Recently, I've been seeing links for Pregnancy Brain popping up on sidebars.  Which may or may not be related to the shock I felt when I realized my search cache dictated what advertisements I see (yes, I hold a BBA in MIS, shaddup).  I haven't specifically looked up the term this time around, so it's not just a dumbfounded moment.  I've really been feeling my mental acuity is not quite as sharp as normal.

Today, I have proof.  Part of what I do includes updating a tracking system with information and soft copies of files to support such information.  This is where it gets really weird, I scanned in a document for "Tom" and labelled it, "Scott".  There is no one, has never been anyone while Ive worked here in the last five in a half years, named "Scott".

I am so beyond the point of having "Brain Farts", these are "Brain Sharts".  Instead of my brain deflating in a quiet pffffft, other stuff unintended stuff shoots out.

Monday, November 19, 2012


So the latest in blog land are bloggers complaining about bloggers admitting their lives aren't perfect and their houses aren't always clean. Well, I don't care read either of those types of posts in their entirety.

But my house is definitely NOT clean, and I'm stopping here so I can go clean it for the 42 other people that will be in it on Thursday!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Stroller canopy

We may buy the most expensive stuff, but sometimes it's worth it. When my husband (then, boyfriend) and I took his niece to the zoo, we pushed her around in her red Chicco stroller. We really did NOT like it. We're both on the taller side, but we weren't able to adjust the handlebar. We both ended that day with sore knees.

When it was time to get a stroller for Ella, we shopped around and found the Bugaboo had the best push and navigation. It was pricey for a stroller, and of course we wanted the limited edition (black frame), so it was even more expensive. What can I say? We want what we want, practical or not.

Anyway, with the second one on the way, it felt like such a waste to buy a whole new stroller (although we did end up getting the City Select stroller for its tandem capability), and I wanted to use the Bugaboo again.

The timing was amazing, I saw the tutorial on Honey & Fitz to make it yourself! I wasn't about to dish out a couple bills for a new canopy, and I love the idea of sewing it myself. It took me a few months, but I finally got around to it and finished it!

Here are some before and after shots:

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Stuffed up and cramped

Around this time of year, I typically get a sinus infection. I don't know if its the changing of the weather or the low immunity from being on the go in preparation of the upcoming holidays and parties.

I feel it coming on now -- difficult to breathe, phlegmy, wheezy, post nasal drip. Ahh and being pregnant meaning I can't just take some strong OTC decongestant and pass out til I'm better.

You know why else being pregnant sucks? Leg cramps. Not only have I had the tear-inducing calf pains in the middle of the night. When I try to flex my foot to stretch it out, I end up triggering a cramp in my shins. I just can't win. Although, I don't seem to get really bad cramps if someone helps massage my legs and feet before bed. Also, dropping hints would help if someone read my blog. ;)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Holiday cheer

I've been doing most of my Christmas shopping online, my goal is to have it done by December. It's amazing how much things have changed in 10 years. We used to have to go to the mall to buy presents and fight the crowds for ridiculous sales.

I still like going to the malls, but it's more for the people watching. Christmas shoppers are crazy folk! Admittedly, online shopping doesn't have the same "Christmassy" feel. Until now! Check out what I saw when I opened a box that came the other day:

Say what?! Red and Green packing peanuts!! Christmas is coming ya'll~

Thursday, November 15, 2012

1001 reasons

There is a local custom derived from a Japanese tradition of folding cranes to show dedication and perseverance. Usually it's done by a bride-to-be prior to the wedding to show her dedication and loyalty to her soon-to-be husband. I've seen them on long strands and hung decoratively at a wedding. More commonly, the couple will send them off to have the flat cranes arranged in the shape of something significant. The easy way is to line them up and have a stencil display the design, but I think it's more dramatic to arrange the cranes into the design. It's also more bad-A if you do it yourself!

For our wedding we folded 1001 cranes together and I arranged them to have it framed. After the reception,
The break down crew bumped it and pieces fell off. It's been 4 years, but we finally fixed it!

Since it was professionally framed, we had to cut off the backing and remove the glazier points before we could start repairs. Not to mention repeat the process to reassemble.

It took a few days to tack down every crane with E-6000 (I never knew of this awesomeness before, else I would've used it to begin with), but I admit, it was worth it.

Ryan even mounted it in our living room! Isn't it gorgeous?

After all that hard work, it's a good thing we spent $700 for museum glass ;)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How does your garden grow?

This year, Ryan and I celebrate 4 years of marriage (and 12 years of pulling our hair out, hehe), which means we've had this AeroGarden in the box for 4 years!

We got it with credit card reward points, but added the kits to our Wedding Registry. We finally had the counter space to set it up... In a few weeks, we should have some fresh herbs... that is, if it lives that long.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Whole Foods

- jokingly called Whole Paycheck, lives up to the nickname.

We're trying to eat better, and by better, I mean less takeout. Living in Hawaii means groceries are imported by barge being harvested before their prime and nutrient rich states. Local produce, not impossible to find, is costly to obtain.

Food intended for ~4 dinners, for a family of 2.5 cost $100! I'm sure on the mainland that could be the monthly bill to feed a family of 5, and maybe even stretched more with extreme couponing (no such luck here, stores put limits on savings and discounts).

Ohh the costs of living in paradise.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Holidays I don't have

Working in the private industry sucks sometimes. Like when it comes to holidays. The state and feds have a gazillion holidays like Presidents' Day, MLK Day, Kamehameha Day, and Veteran's Day, that we don't observe.

It's pretty difficult to get anything done when everyone else is out shopping, dining, and sleeping in. I do admit, traffic is AWESOME. Oh yah and observing holidays such as extra Independence Day, Day After Thanksgiving, and Additional Day for Christmas.

Oh, heh, I guess working private not sucks sometimes.

By the way, I'm not trying to rub it in. I was just getting this in writing to remind myself that there are benefits to not having awesome family fun days. :/

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The holidays are coming

My reminder to pack my labor and delivery bag popped up on Friday, so I realize there are a dozen things I should be doing instead. However, I also realize the time I have with just my daughter is getting shorter.

I love doing fun projects with her since she's such an awesome helper! Today's activity was making and decorating holiday sugar cookies!

Don't mind the McDonald's and the mess (it's laundry day). :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Toto-lly Awesome!

As an Anniversary/Birthing gift, the hubby wanted to do something really special: he got me a Toto Washlet!

It's the S300 and you can read all about it. But I'll share my thoughts.

I got to use it a couple times. Amazing! I can't wait to use this instead of the peri-bottle after I deliver. Most people think having a bidet is awkward and embarrassing, but after the sensitivities that come with pregnancy (tmi warning: hemorrhoids) and after (tmi again: perineal lacerations), the last thing I wanted to do was touch down there with abrasive tissue! The peri-bottle is great, in theory, but realistically it takes a long time to get warm water out of the faucet when you really have to go (or try using cold tap water HA!) and the bottle only holds a finite amount of water.

The downside is, it's a little pricey. Actually, Toto in general is on the high side. But they make excellent and efficient products and we've had the toilet itself for 2 years and never had to do a double flush! There are other brands of washlets at Costco and Home Depot, but I don't think it offers the same features and quality you get with Toto. We did benefit from a Holiday sale, but these can normally leave you $800 to $1200 in the hole. Admittedly with the steeper prices you get the functionality of a Washlet that will chlorinate your water and clean your toilet or even auto flush when you're done. How neat is that?!

I did not receive compensation for this, and wrote this completely on my own. Toto has no idea who I am, and probably doesn't care. I just really love my Washlet!

Friday, November 9, 2012


I used to worry that Ella would be shy or that she would be too afraid to do things on her own.

That I would have to hand hold her through life and be a helicopter-mom.

I guess I didn't have to worry so much.

She demands independence so much, she throws tantrums when she can't do things "by self".

Instead, I should've been worrying she won't need me anymore.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ear infection

After day 3 of a fever, we took Ella in to the doctor. She has an ear infection, and a prescription for antibiotics as proof.

This little one hasn't complained at all about the high fevers, congestion, or even an ear ache. Kids are so resilient...

Here she is running around the living room doing her lion dance. Where this energy comes from, I have no idea.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dealing with kids

This post has been modified to prevent any potential hard feelings.  Really, my life has enough drama in it, I don't need more because someone read my blog and decided to get mad.

I'm very confused when it comes to kids.  I mean, I watch how other kids seem to terrorize their parents or act in ways that would certainly drive me crazy and the excuse of the parent is, "You wait until you have kids." or "You wait until Ella goes through this phase." and "At this age, they don't know any better".  So okay, I have a kid.  She's currently a little diva toddler.  But she never acts in those ways (for long).  I'm not saying I'm a better parent.  Far from it actually, I know I could be better, more understanding, more supportive.  I just don't understand why some kids seem to get away with murder.

Okay, maybe not murder, but something close.

Parents need to stop making excuses for their kids.  They may not know better, but parents shouldn't let their kids go on terrorizing because of it.  I'm slowly starting to realize all those times that a parent has told me, "You wait until you have kids."  There was always a way that the behavior could have been corrected.  It annoys me.  Don't tell me how my kid is going to act because you can't control your kid.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sick kid, tired mama

It's been a while since Ella's been sick, and boy have I forgotten what it's like to care for her! One minute she's happy and huggable, the next she's scratching my arm and screaming at me, then throwing a fit and having a meltdown.

Since she had a fever, I stayed home (we're vigilant about managing her fever since we've had a scare with a febrile seizure). I ended up napping for 2 hours while she laid next to me watching Disney Junior.

Her fever is down and she's playing by herself: coloring, puzzles, and finger boarding. Hopefully the worst is over... but boy, how exhausting. With all this election stuff going on today, I would vote for someone that mandated midday nap time.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Major props

A few weeks ago, I posted a little personal post on my hubby's weight loss journey (and an awesome recipe for Beef Tofu), but at the time I didn't have any pictures (of my hubby, since obviously there is a picture of beef tofu).  Anyway, I just so happened to see a picture on my computer screen saver that made me do a double take!

Ella was a flower girl at one of my bestie's weddings this year (1/2/2012).  Being a total ham, she was in dozens of pictures, but only managed to be in one with Ryan -- she spent a lot of time making new friends so she has many pictures with random wedding guests.  Anyway, take a look:

On Halloween (10/31/2012), Ryan took Ella Trick-or-Treating at Co-op.  During the trek, he snapped a quick pic on his phone:

Big difference, no?  I knew he lost a lot, but pictures really can express more than words!  He even looks like a different person.  We used to have this running joke that Ryan looked like a family friend.  So much that even Ryan's grandmother couldn't tell them apart.  We went out one night and a stranger (friend of the family friend) started chatting with Ryan because he mistook him for the other person.  About a week ago, we went to a party with both of them present, one can't even imagine how the two could get mixed up anymore.  I mean, they're both asian, but that's where the similarities end. 

Great job daddy!  Maybe in a few months I'll have a similar success story to share about myself?  Wishful thinking...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

New spaces

Yay! Yesterday was a success! We rotated the couch 180 degrees and put the entertainment center on the opposite side of the room. By doing this we actually gained about 4 feet!

The toys do make the room more cluttered, so we have to do something about that, but it's nice having such a large open space from the living room to the dining room and unobstructed access to the door.

Makes us wonder why we've never done it before...

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Rearranging rooms

We're planning on hosting a large party at our house for Thanksgiving. Not as grandiose as the Halloween party we went to, but were looking at about 50 people? or more?

Anyway, we've had large parties in the past, but since the last party we've added more furniture to our rooms: the current setup is just not conducive to a large flow of people.

I'm not the biggest on feng shui, I just want a room to feel right and make the most sense. When I was in high school and college, I actually enjoyed rearranging my bedroom every few months. It felt different and gave me a renewed sense of space. Now, it's just not so practical--living with my husband and the toddler that crawls into our bed in the middle of the night deters my need for constant change. Plus being pregnant and unable to move heavy objects doesn't help either.

Anyway the goal for this weekend is to rearrange the living spaces downstairs to accommodate the upcoming holidays. Wish us luck!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Baked Spaghetti

On Halloween, we were invited to a party in this really great neighborhood.  I'm talking about the kind of neighborhood where every house decorates their lawn and the folks set up tables to distribute treats to the little (and not-so-little) costumed characters.

You may think, "Yah, yah, every city has a neighborhood like that."  But, no, this is on a whole different level.  There's a house that has you vote for the best pumpkin to earn your candy (or red/white wine as the not-so-little treat), another house with a fog filled haunted maze built into the garage, a few houses with projector screens playing movies or music videos. That kind of neighborhood.

So what do you bring to a party like that?  With such high expectations, you don't want to be the family that brought a bucket of chicken.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, but unless it is your family's secret blend of herbs and spices, you may want to step it up a little.

What about Baked Spaghetti?

I honestly don't like sauce mixed with my pasta.  I'm more of a carb purist and prefer that the sauce sit on the clean pasta with the option to scrape off any excess.  However, I do realize the nostalgia of a homemade baked spaghetti.

Here's the recipe, adapted from the link above, for a more potluck/party friendly version:

    1 package (16 ounces) pasta, non-spaghetti
    1 pound ground beef
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 jar Prego Garden Combo spaghetti sauce
    1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
    2 eggs
    1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    4 tablespoons butter, melted
    2 cups (16 ounces) 4% cottage cheese
    4 cups (16 ounces) part-skim mozzarella cheese, sliced

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and seasoned salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, Parmesan cheese and butter. Drain spaghetti (do not rinse); add to egg mixture and toss to coat.
Place half of the pasta mixture in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Top with half of the cottage cheese, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers.
Cover with foil.  If making ahead, place in refrigerator/freezer.  Otherwise, bake at 350° for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 20-25 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

A couple things to note about the changes I made:
  • Why non-spaghetti?  Long spaghetti can be messy and difficult to eat while standing around at a party.  Using penne, sea shells, macaroni, or fusilli makes it easier to control portions and is easier to shovel reasonable amounts into your mouth in a social setting.
  • Why Prego Garden Blend?  Chances are there will be kids there, and pasta is a safe-food.  The kids in our family love pasta.  This sauce has more than the normal amount of vegetables, you can even see the chopped veggies through the bottle!  I can't get my kid to eat a salad, but I can disguise it in the pasta.  (I also put cauliflower puree into mac and cheese, hehe I'm evil like that)
  • Don't waste time grating mozzarella.  Just slice them up and layer it on there.  When it melts, it all becomes a puddle of cheesy deliciousness and all the hard work of grating and dish washing is for naught.
  • The option to make ahead.  I made this on Tuesday night because I was worried that I wouldn't have time to do all the prep after I got home from work on Wednesday.  Thank goodness for that!  Wednesday after lunch, a truck collided with the median on the freeway and traffic was backed up for HOURS.  My usual 25 minute commute home took me over an hour and half.  Since everything was ready to go, Ryan was able to preheat and throw everything into the oven and we could leave for the party as soon as I got home!

And, it's a hit!  It's so simple to make, but it's so palette friendly that kids and adults will enjoy it.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Alright, so last year, the thought to participate in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) crossed my mind.  But that's all it did, crossed it.  I was so busy studying for the PHR Certification exam and fretting about holiday gifting that the idea of blogging every-day-for-a-whole-month was the last thing I wanted to do and would definitely be too ambitious.

This year.  I honestly didn't even think about it.  It wasn't until I sent out an email at work with a clipart of a moustache man (as a tribute to Movember) that I remembered November was also celebrated for blog posting.  No, I won't be registering my blog, but I do plan on challenging myself to have a post released everyday this month.  I won't promise there will be a post drafted everyday, but I will try to have something scheduled to pop out everyday.  Quick!  Watch as I scramble to draft 29 other posts right now!!  Kidding.  Kinda.

NaBloPoMo November 2012