29 June 2016

Summer's Here!

An 11+-hour flight and we're finally here! 
The cousins are playing Risk in the other room.
We're sitting around the table 
munching on this and that,
catching up.

Bees buzzing about in the garden.
Tim Horton's down the block.

Life is good.

{Also linking up with Life Thru the LensWordless Wednesday;

22 June 2016

Finding Seuss

Just a couple more days to go before the school year ends. SO looking forward to that.  Still so many last-minute things to complete, though, before then.  My to-do list is long, but I've gotten a number of ticks in and that feels good.  The thing that felt really great, though, was finally finding the Dr. Seuss books that I'd kept hidden away. 

I have a couple of copies of Dr. Seuss' Oh, The Places You'll Go! --one each for J and for Z.  Every year, toward the end of the school year, I bring out these books and get their teachers to write a little message for them on the books. I have been doing this since they were in kindergarten.  The plan is to give them the book when they graduate from high school.  A little something with which to send them forth into the big, big world.

About a month ago, I started panicking because I couldn't find them. I was worried that they had gotten lost somehow during our move. I'd searched high and low, looked everywhere.  I was 99% sure that I had brought it back with us, but didn't remember where I had stashed them. I was almost resigned to the fact that I might have to just ask the teachers to write on a note paper and that I'd stick those notes in the books when (or if) I find them.

This morning, for some odd reason, I woke up really early and all I could think of were those books. I don't know why, but something made me check one of the drawers where I keep stationery. I never would have put the books there (and most certainly do not remember doing so!), but yet there they were!  What a wonderful way to start the day!

{Also linking up with Life Thru the LensWordless Wednesday;

15 June 2016

Random Stuff

J & Z had a Celebration of Learning day at school last week, where we got to spend one hour with each of them as they walked us through different 'stations' that allowed them to demonstrate to us what they've learned throughout the year.  It was so heartwarming to see the pride they took in their work. Days like those make us appreciate all the more everything that the teachers (and the support staff) do for the children.

... ... ...

On our way to check out a new (to us, anyway) mani-pedi place, my friend and I decided to grab a quick bite. We wanted somewhere quick and fast, because our appointment was in 40 minutes. We chanced upon this Vietnamese place that seemed to be what we were looking for.  Quick and fast it was. The food was not impressive; I did like the rustic feel of their decor, though.

08 June 2016


One of the things that make me look forward to summer, apart from holidaying with the family, is the watermelon season.  It somehow makes the summer heat more bearable.  Picture this:  The crunch as your teeth sink into its fleshy red "meat," its juice oozing out and maybe dribbling down the sides of your lips a little, the assault of sweet freshness as your brain registers what you just put in your mouth.  Hmmm.... *savoring* 

The watermelon, is one fruit that I can eat only in its original form. That is, anything watermelon-flavored does not interest me at all; I find those usually too sweet and too artificial-tasting .  Watermelon juice? Meh, waste of the fruit. I don't eat it off the rind, though. I cut up the watermelon into chunks, remove the rind, chill.  I can then scoop out chunks any time I need a pick-me-up on a hot, humid day (or anytime, really!).

What is your favorite fruit?

(If you think this photo looks familiar, it is because it's the same photo I'd taken five years ago!)

{Also linking up with Life Thru the LensWordless Wednesday;

01 June 2016

Rice Rhapsody

One of my all-time favorite food is risotto.  Whenever we eat out, if risotto is on the menu, you can bet that that will be what I'll order. I'm very predictable that way. I generally love all kinds of rice dishes - paella, biryani, sinangag, arroz negro, nasi lemak, etc., --but I absolutely love risotto. It's comfort food. It reminds me of the rice dish that my grandmother used to make when I was small --soft rice with minced beef, cooked in broth, garnished with chives.

What is your favorite food?

{Also linking up with Life Thru the LensWordless Wednesday;

25 May 2016


Except for Sat evenings when my husband and I go out to dinner, just us, I don't usually go out in the evenings anymore.  When meeting up with friends, I usually prefer to do lunch instead. Evenings I like to kick back and chill with the family.  I don't like missing bedtime with the kids. I love the few minutes of special one-on-one time with each child.  Those are usually the unguarded moments when they're not too old for hugs and cuddles and tickles and kisses. Those are the times when we have the most inane of conversations or the most profound ones. Sometimes I just tuck them in after prayers and I leave their rooms. Sometimes I lie next to them until they fall asleep and I listen to their breathing. Sometimes I fall asleep next to them.

Having said that, I did go out this evening for a farewell dinner for a friend who's going back to India. Her daughter and Z are best friends. It's going to be sad to see them leave, but I know we'll see each other again.  In the meantime, there's Skype, there's WhatsApp, there's Facebook.  

Not intending to stay past 9pm, I'd ended up not getting back home until almost 11pm. It was great company and we just got to chatting until the restaurant called for last orders. I had totally missed saying goodnight to the kids, but I did look in on them and gave them a kiss when I got back. J woke a bit and groggily reached out for a hug. Z was sound asleep. blankets all kicked off. 

What do you enjoy most about bedtime?

{Also linking up with Life Thru the LensWordless Wednesday;

16 May 2016

If you come to Hong Kong, you will most definitely see the many little cha chaan tengs (茶餐廳; literally, tea restaurants) in the city.  If you're adventurous enough, you might even want to go in and sample some cha chaan teng fare, or at least try a milk tea (Hong Kong style!).  I don't go to cha chaan tengs often, but some of these humble little outlets serve really good value food that people queue up for.

There is a coffee shop in Stanley that we often frequent on Sundays.  We  usually cozy up in one of their armchairs with a coffee or a chillino while we wait for the kids. Last Sunday, I'd needed to get something from one of the shops.  On the way, right behind the coffee place, I'd discovered this little gem of a cha chaan teng!  I'd never noticed it before and it was absolutely charming!  Partly alfresco, wooden benches; plastic Coke crates as tables, plenty of antique-y bric-à-brac. It has such a throwback, old Hong Kong feel.  It seems that they serve the usual cha chaan teng fare of noodles, milk tea, shumai (燒賣), etc.  I don't know if it's any good, but I'd love to check it out one of these days.

11 May 2016

My Helpful Honey

Little Miss Z is such a sweetheart.  Yeah, I just said that about my own daughter.  (Don't get me wrong; she tests me, too, but by and large, she is a sweetheart.)  She's usually game to help out in the kitchen and is keen on baking.  She is officially in charge of making our fruit smoothies.  I love how she's being such an enthusiastic little helper and actually helps in a way that makes things run more efficiently.

Here she is making chicken wings.  She wants to earn her Cook badge for Cub Scouts.  She also made us some creamy, chunky mushroom soup, too, which Josh declared "...restaurant quality, 5 stars!"

{Also linking up with Life Thru the LensWordless Wednesday;
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