13 December 2016

Christmas rolls around and it's a sweet time to give a little gift as a 'thank you' to the teachers.  As with the previous year, Z made these potholders to give out to hers.  She was very into it --picking out the colors and diligently weaving them every chance she got.  I think it's more meaningful that she creates / makes the presents herself (or buys something with money that she herself had saved up), rather than me buying the presents on her behalf and she just hands them over to her teachers.

My mom is placing orders for more and Z had also promised to make me more for our own use.  




06 December 2016

It's now December and I can still go out wearing sleeveless tops.  The temps are still in the low 20's. Somehow it doesn't feel like winter yet.  At the rate this is going, there's a big possibility that we might go through this winter without me having to pull out our winter stuff!  I haven't decided yet whether I'm thrilled about this.


Are you in seeing / feeling winter yet?


Singwa - Wed, 07 Dec 2016


30 November 2016

Broken Wings



Butterflies are such beautiful creatures... fragile and delicate, so colorful, with such pretty patterns.  It's a bit of a challenge trying to capture them on camera when they're flying about.

I'd almost stepped on this one here.  It was on the yellow strip of a stair, almost camouflaged.  Poor thing, upon closer look, it seems that it couldn't fly, because its wings were broken.  It landed on a busy part of the trail; I hope someone was able to somehow move it to a safer spot. 




22 November 2016

Whew!



The very busy (for me!) month of November is almost over: parent-teacher consultations, three different overnight camps, hikes, Team Fear and everything relating to it, school fairs, etc.    


December is rather packed, too --another school fair (Z's this time), a panto, a parent-teacher consultation, mother-in-law arriving... and then we all take off for a 3-week holiday!  So looking forward to it.

 Singwa - Wed, 23 Nov 2016

15 November 2016

Little Fishies



Z has always loved art.  She started with random doodles and scribbles, stick figures.  When she was in Year 1, she was lucky enough to have a Year 6 buddy who really encouraged her and got her very interested in drawing.  Her drawings improved quite a bit that year.  She started drawing more.  We checked out YouTube tutorials and she slowly built up a portfolio (sounds fancy!) of the different stuff she drew and painted.

This is her latest... and I LOVE it!  I've always been partial to watercolors and I just find the vibrant orange/reds against the cool blue/greens in this one so pretty.  The swish of the tails --so graceful. Definitely a framer, this one. 

Singwa - Wed, 16 Nov 2016



07 November 2016

Creature of Habit



Sunday brunch is almost always the same fare (unless we go somewhere else)... for me, at least.  After church, we always head out to the same restaurant and I always have exactly the same thing --barramundi and fennel on a bed of organic brown rice.  It's not that there isn't anything else on the menu that I like; it's just that there isn't anything on there that I like as much as this.  

J is the same way.  He always has his beef burger with fried egg.  My husband and Z are slightly more adventurous and might occasionally try the different stuff on the menu. Me and J?  We are creatures of habit.


Singwa - Wed, 09 Nov 2016


31 October 2016

White, Black, and Gray



One of my favorite 'rooms' in the house after our renovation is our bathroom.  I really like the guest bathroom, too, but this one?  I love.  We had a tub in our old bathroom, which we had removed and in its place, installed a shower space instead.  The old walls had marble tiles in a cream/yellowish hue and the old floor was black marble with tiny gold flecks. The countertop had tempered glass in a muted green. I didn't mind the glass so much, but the rest was so not us.

I knew from the get-go that I wanted white (or at least whitish) tiles and a white quartz countertop. Also on the list were wall niches for shampoo and soap and miscellaneous stuff.  But all white would be too sterile.  I needed an accent feature.  An accent wall would be too much and would potentially make our bathroom feel smaller.  Pinterest then gave me the idea of doing up the shower floor and the niches and let them be the accent pieces. I'd scoured all over for Mediterranean or Moroccan tiles in gray tones, but didn't find any that I particularly like. Luckily, our contractor was able to source some tiles and I ended up picking this one --which turned out better than what I'd originally envisioned.

When we'd first moved back in, the kids suddenly didn't need to be asked to go shower. J proclaimed that it felt like a hotel. We had to give (and still do!) Z reminders not to linger too long in there.  I look forward to my showers every day and I totally understand why Z stays in there for as long as she does. I know that a shower is a shower is a shower, but somehow showering in this bathroom now feels so much more... more.

Singwa - Wed, 02 Nov 2016


24 October 2016

We have just had a very rainy week last week.  Z's camp was postponed much to her grave disappointment. It was just as well. We had a Black Rain signal where we saw many stranded in the office or in schools until late in the evening because of road closures (owing to floods and/or landslides).  Two days after the floods, we were hit by a super typhoon (Haima), which seemed a bit anti-climactic after all the flooding drama we had.  Where we are, it didn't rain very hard, although there were definitely very strong winds.  Because it was declared a T8, classes were suspended and C didn't have to go in to work either.  Yippee!

I love it when have we don't have anything scheduled for the day, when we all just lie back and chill.


The sun is back out again this week.  On our hike this morning, the trail was slightly muddy, but not too bad.  We thought about venturing up a trail that J and his scout troop did last Saturday, but decided when we got to that point to just shelf the idea for when the weather is cooler.  Hopefully, that won't be too long now.  I love shorts and flip-flops weather, but I am looking forward to having fun with my scarves soon. 



Singwa - Wed, 26 Oct 2016






17 October 2016

On the way to a street festival this summer, I saw these flowers growing by the roadside. They totally made me stop.  They're so, so pretty, don't you think?  I feel that if fairies were real, these flowers would be in abundance in Fairyland.

Anyone know what these flowers are called? I'd love to know.

Singwa


Singwa - Wed, 19 Oct 2016




11 October 2016

I used to love pop, soft drinks, soda or whatever you call it.  Then when I was pregnant with J, I gave that up.  I had had soda again, once in a very rare while, but it was not quite the same after having given it up for so long.  I don't love it anymore; I don't even like it.  

But then, there's root beer. I'd just discovered that they sometimes carry root beer at our local supermarket. It is pop, I know. My excuse?  I don't get to have it all the time.  I indulge in one every now and then (especially on very hot days).  We even introduced root beer floats to the kids one time and they loved it.  What's not to love? I guess what makes root beer all the more special for me is that we don't readily find it here in Hong Kong, the way we could get it pretty anywhere when we were in the US and Canada.

Do you like root beer? What's your guilty indulgence?


Singwa



03 October 2016

Early



Ever since J started secondary school, he's been having to wake up much earlier, because his school bus has a much earlier pick-up time.  He'd have already left by the time Z wakes up. Surprisingly, there hasn't been any whinging or whining about this.

I prefer an early start to my day.  Even back when I was holding a corporate job, I prefer going in early when it's mostly quiet. I feel I get more things done, before the madness of the day sets in.  That said, there are days when I just feel like hugging my pillow tighter, snuggling in deeper...

Which one are you --an early riser or a night owl or both?  


Singwa


26 September 2016

Landed



I love to travel.   The thought of exploring new destinations, meeting new people, trying new food fills me with excitement.  I am so grateful that I got to visit so many places (22 countries at the last count), but no matter how much fun a trip has been, it's always great to be coming back home.  

When the plane touches down, more often than not, I find myself listing the many different things I've missed and I start thinking when and how I'll get a taste of home again. 


Do you feel the same way?


Singwa - Wed, 28 Sep 2016
Back in the land of Bruce Lee (at the Hong Kong International Airport)

19 September 2016

Serendipity



Starbucks came out with a new Teavana.  Iced shaken hibiscus tea with pomegranate pearls. I just had to try it.  Even though I had to walk all the way to the plaza to get it.  While the rest of the gang were sitting comfortably at our usual coffee place, having their usual quiche and coffee, and chatting away.  Normally, I'd stay put, but (1) I love tea more than coffee, (2) iced shaken hibiscus tea, (3) iced shaken hibiscus tea with pomegranate, and (4, the clincher!) iced shaken hibiscus tea with pomegranate pearls.  There. 




Z agreed to come along and keep me company. She had her iPod and she had her strawberry banana smoothie (from the coffee shop).  She was set.  

On the way back, we spotted these pretty purple flowers by the roadside. They were just there, so pretty against a bright, yellow wall. I just had to stop and try to get a shot.  I went for iced shaken tea and got back with the tea (so good, by the way!) and a snap of these lovely flowers.  I love it when life throws you a little something extra.

14 September 2016

I've mentioned in the past how much I enjoy playing tourist in my own backyard. Especially in a place as colorful and vibrant as Hong Kong, one is bound to come across little gems --be they in the form of quaint little shops, a tucked-away hole-in-the-wall or kooky interactions with strangers. 

My friend and I were waiting for the bus after lunch last Friday.  In the rain, along Hollywood Road.  We'd been waiting for over 20 minutes and the traffic was slow-moving.  I'd been eyeing this tiny roadside "shop" across the street. It was humble. Simple foldaway tables and chairs plunked down right on the concrete sloping street. Condiments in a small tray on the table. Chopsticks stuffed in a tall, uncovered container next to it. Very local.

During a break in the traffic and with no bus in sight, I'd decided to dart across and snap a few with my phone. I'd had to balance my umbrella, crooked against my neck and shoulder, while I tried to zoom in and focus.  I got this.  It was worth stepping in a puddle or two.


When the weather is cooler and drier, I might go back and check out the food and the little dessert kiosk beside it.  


{Also linking up with Life Thru the LensWordless Wednesday;


07 September 2016

It's been a very wet few days here.  While I generally love the rain, it does make going out a tad inconvenient.  I love it when I'm comfortably dry at home while it rains outside. The rivulets of water that slide down the window panes, the steady shower that's like a hundred rain sticks being handled in one go, the smell of damp earth after a downpour (petrichor, it's called).

I don't particularly like it when I'm out and caught in the rain, though. I don't like having to carry an umbrella. I cringe at the feel of wet legs and feet.  But sometimes I am thankful for the rain despite the many inconveniences it brings. I am thankful for the opportunity to capture this image while on the bus the other day. I found the steady thrum of the rain on the bus somehow relaxing and was just mesmerized by the sheets of rainwater on the glass. I was marveling at how commonplace things briefly become pretty. Thank you, Rain.


{Also linking up with Life Thru the LensWordless Wednesday;

30 August 2016

'Egg-in-a-Hole' Burger



My son loves burgers. He's yet to meet a burger that he doesn't like.  We saw this recipe online one time and he wanted me to make it.  It looked simple enough. We (by we, I mean I) finally made it on Sunday. 

I made some modifications to the original recipe --e.g., added minced garlic, paprika, and cumin to the  ground beef, omitted the sriracha and bacon, used provolone instead of cheddar, added guinea fowl eggs to "hold" the meat together.  The burger by itself looked pretty lonely, so I put in some colorful sides --mushrooms with caramelized onions, tomato slices on a bed of arugula, and some nectarine slices to round everything up.  

It was a bit messy biting into the burger as the yolk ran down. Josh deemed the provolone a perfect match with the burger.  The kids were not a huge fan of arugula, but polished everything off nonetheless. I'm not very keen on arugula either, but I thought it actually worked very well with the tartness of the tomatoes and mushrooms and onions.  The nectarines was a very nice "cap" to the meal --so fresh and sweet.  

Will I make this again?  Yes, especially if I want something quick and complete (protein, veggies, fruits).  Plus, I loved playing with the sides, playing with the colors.




{Also linking up with Life Thru the LensWordless Wednesday;


24 August 2016

Churrrrrosssss!



It's been years and years since I last had some churros.  In Valencia (Spain), with the richest cup of cocoa I've ever tasted.  I hadn't had any since.  We saw some in San Francisco this summer and I'd meant to get some, but didn't have time to go back to the vendor during the rest of our stay there.  So imagine my excitement to find out that I can get churros right here in Hong Kong! 


We'd had a full lunch, but decided to still get some churros anyway and I'm so glad we did.  They were just the perfect way to cap our meal.  The churros came with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, topped with toasted coconut flakes and a small bowl of caramel sauce for dipping.  Yum!


I think I might have found a recipe online that I can try to make our own.  Can't wait to attempt to make them soon. I am sure the kids will love these!

{Also linking up with Life Thru the LensWordless Wednesday;



17 August 2016

For the Love of Books



During our recent road trip to San Francisco, we stopped by Portland.  Of course, we had to visit Powell's.  In fact, we visited twice --once on the way to SF and again, on the way back!  I love books and I love bookstores, but I particularly love Powell's.  It's like a library plus --all the books you want, but all the other fun stuff, too, like book bags, socks, stationery, etc. What I really love is that on many titles, you can actually choose to get either new copies or used ones.  Their used copies are practically new, in very good condition, at a fraction of  the price of a new book. What's more, no sales tax, yay!

Needless to say, we got way too many books (but I am not complaining)! Below are just some of the books (mostly Josh's) that we lugged back with us.  I find it hard to say no when the kids want books. But when they read as much as my kids do, I really want to invest in a Kindle. Just finding it hard to make the leap from reading a book book to reading from a tablet.  Call me weird, but I love the feel of a book in my hands and I love the smell of a new book. I love seeing books lined up neatly on the shelves or even haphazardly stacked in odd corners.

Yes, I "protect" most of our books with clear contact paper
(the ones that I know will get re-read).
Curled up corners bug me big time!

{Also linking up with Life Thru the LensWordless Wednesday;

10 August 2016

Catching Up



First of all, apologies for not posting last Wednesday.  Yes, I was still suffering from jet lag, but the truth is I was so caught up in watching episodes of Suits that I'd totally forgotten!  I'm not for watching TV much and there are only a handful of shows that I really love --The West Wing, Newsroom, House, and now, Suits). 

Which TV shows do you enjoy watching?




{Also linking up with Life Thru the LensWordless Wednesday;



27 July 2016

Homebound



We've had a fun one-month summer with the cousins, but looking forward to getting back home in a couple of days.  Looking forward to preparing for school in the next couple of weeks. Uniforms to order, stationery to buy, labels to prepare...


One more Timbits run before we head back to Hong Kong...

{Also linking up with Life Thru the LensWordless Wednesday;



19 July 2016

Drool...



It's been a wonderful summer so far.  We've gone on hikes. We met up with friends; went berry-picking. Had our fill of yummy cherries.  We play. We eat. A lot.  Too much. How can one say no to these, though?


Ahi tuna with almond rice

Berry custard pie

Bacon feta pizza on flatbread

{Also linking up with Life Thru the LensWordless Wednesday;

What's been tickling your palate lately?


13 July 2016

The Grind and the Crunch



The boys did the Grouse Grind last week in 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Not to be outdone, my sister-in-law and I did the Coquitlam Crunch a couple of days ago.  Granted, it was not as steep, but it was still a great workout. Of course, we treated ourselves to bubble tea afterwards!  


{Also linking up with Life Thru the LensWordless Wednesday;

06 July 2016

Breakfast Emojis



I was making "egg-in-the-hole" bread for breakfast and had all these round pieces of bread lying around.  Z decided that she would make emojis and this is what we got... So cute, right? 


{Also linking up with Life Thru the LensWordless Wednesday;

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;


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