30 May 2013

Clapping Games

Did you play clapping games when you were younger?
I did.  I remember loving them…
and would play them with my friends during recess
and any chance we’d get.


I remember that there were a few variations, a few different songs.  Some only involved two players, while others would have as many as four or even six!

Now I see Zoë and her friends playing these clapping games.  They sing the songs in their cute little girl voices;  they try to go faster and faster and then giggle and laugh when they trip themselves up.  So cute!

28 May 2013

The Strangers We Meet

While waiting for my friend, I saw this couple at a brisk jog in the park.  It’s not everyday that I see a man jogging with someone riding on their shoulders.  Maybe because I was smiling at them in amazement, they smiled at me when they got nearer, which made me brave enough to call out and ask them what they were doing.  The man stopped and told me that he’s working out and needs to build up strength in his legs.


I asked them if they would mind if I take a photo of them.  They gladly posed.

They went a couple of laps around and when they came back to where I was, he was giving her a piggyback ride.  One could only guess what their relationship is.  Whatever it might be, though, they make a fascinating couple.

I love how they both were color-coordinated –he, in blue and she in red.  Their colors together kind of remind me of Superman.

24 May 2013


but oh so good!

(Recipe here)

We still have a few squares left from the first batch I made, but I am off to make another batch later today.  I shouldn’t, because I can’t stop myself from sneaking a few bars here and there throughout the day, but they are so easy to make and really, really good!

Friday Photo Journal the long road

23 May 2013

Whirly Twirly Spinny

I can do the carousel.  If I absolutely need to, I could go on the spinning teacups, the Dumbo ride that goes up and down while spinning around, but I’d rather not.   Just looking at all those cups spinning was enough to make me dizzy.  And Josh?  He spins the cup around as fast as it would let him.

How game are you to go on the ‘spinny’ rides?

Little by Little

21 May 2013

Zoë and her friends had a play date at Disneyland yesterday.  This had been planned weeks ago and the girls had been talking about it ever since they first learned about it.  They talked about what they were going to see, which rides to go on, what to wear.  At first they agreed to all wear princess outfits, but with the sweltering hot weather, the idea was nixed (although Zoë and a couple of her friends did show up in a Belle gown, they quickly changed out of it).



After we got there, the girls took over, deciding amongst themselves where to go first.  After each ride/show, they would come together and plan what to do next and then present their “decision'” to us.  They would take off by themselves.  They chatted non-stop.  It was so cute seeing them together.  Seeing that pic above, I could almost picture them as a group 8-10 years from now –taller, out on their own, still chatting away…
Josh came along, too, and he was a good sport about being the only boy amongst the girls.

17 May 2013

No-Bake Chocolate Squares

Josh came home last week with a jar filled with a couple of No-Bake Chocolate Squares that they made at school.  Those of you who know me know that I am not much of a dessert person and that I usually prefer savory over sweet.  But I’d wanted to have a bite, because Josh made them.  They were SO good!  I had to hold myself back from gobbling up the whole square (because we wanted Chris to taste them, too… and the kids had split the other one between the two of them).


Lucky for us that Josh brought back a copy of the recipe.


It was really easy to make.  I decided to use my Valrhona chocolate to make this, because after trying Valrhona for my other recipes, I am just spoiled for other brands.  I skipped the cherries and the nuts and made the squares with just biscuits and rice krispies.  So, um, not exactly something you’d serve to somebody super health-conscious… but really, you could go off that diet for a day, couldn’t you?  Because this is so good and you know that you will eat more than one square, you will just have to run those extra miles or swim those extra laps, but it will be worth it!

If it weren’t hot, I would have dipped my finger right in there!

The kids helped lick the bowl clean.  Can’t let Valrhona chocolate go to waste, can you now?

Go give this a try this weekend.  Your family will love you (more) for it!

14 May 2013

First Cut

I’ve always trimmed Zoë’s hair.  It was easy enough.  But her hair is getting a tad too long now and with the summer months coming up, we agreed to have at least two inches lopped off.   I figured now that she is 6, she is old enough to sit through a proper shampoo, cut, and styling at the salon.


She thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  Zoë said her favorite part was when they gave her a little massage on her head during the shampooing.


10 May 2013

I think this might be my favorite theme to date.  I love street photography.  I love playing tourist right in my backyard.  I am not a very shy person and have no qualms about approaching strangers and asking if I could take a picture of them.  I have nothing to lose; all they could do is say no. 

{A truck driver taking it easy while waiting for the delivery guys to come back.}
(Enjoying their bowls of noodles)Chopsticks-duo-(1)

Most of the time, though, people do say yes and those times are golden. Not only do I get to photograph them, I also get to chat with them a bit. For that very brief period, you somehow find a connection. Smiles and greetings are exchanged, little tidbits shared. I find these random connections so refreshing.

{These guys let me take their picture and then proceeded to rib each other about how ugly they look.}

Sometimes, I simply stand there in full view, eye on the viewfinder, just letting people come into range and clicking when I think I get something good in the frame.

{Crossing in front of Sogo, along Hennessy Road}



There are plenty of times, though, when I rely on my zoom lens and shoot from afar.

{The guy by the delivery truck was idly chatting on his phone.}


{A tai-chi master leading his followers.}

{Shooting the breeze…}


{Veggie stall owner checking a bunch of greens}

I like ducking into alleys and little side streets and catching whatever ‘life’ is going on there.



Most of all, though, what I love about going out to the streets with my camera is capturing people doing what they do, going about their day.

{Reading the paper while waiting for his order}

{Watching the traffic go by while finishing up a ciggy}


If you’ve never played tourist in your own town/city, I would urge you to do so.  You will see things in a new way, I promise you.   (More photos from my photo walks around Hong Kong here.)

Go on and head over to Katherine’s blog (Most People Exist) and check out her street photography and then follow her link to the next one in The Creative Project’s circle.  You will be seeing glimpses of life on the streets from different places.  Do visit us on our Facebook page and share some of your street photography, too!

07 May 2013

My 6-Year Old

{ A long overdue post }

Zoë celebrated her sixth birthday three weeks ago… It is only now that I have a chance to do a post about it.  She was SO excited about turning six.  On Mar 31st, during bedtime, she was beside herself.  I’d asked her why and she said, “Because tomorrow is April and my birthday is in April!”


In many ways, she is quite the “big girl” now.  She is more than halfway through first grade and is doing remarkably well.  She showers herself, packs her own bag.  While she still enjoys some ‘younger’ music, she loves music by Train, music from High School Musical, and music from Glee.  She bobs her head to the beat and would sing along when she listens to the music.  She loves all things sparkly and glittery.  


Zoë’s gotten a bit ornery, yes, and she’s being a bit more the pesky little sister to Josh than she was before.  With Josh, it’s like she has a sixth sense regarding which buttons to push. BUT… when she’s sweet with him, it kind of evens up the times she winds him up.


At the end of the day, though, she is still the sweet, happy little girl that she’s always been.  Quick with a smile that lights up her face and that makes you smile right back.  Quick with a pout that both amuses and exasperates me.  She has her diva moments, but thankfully, they are all short-lived. 


She still loves to snuggle and cuddle with us.  She still gives us endless kisses and big, huge, tight squeezes.  Although she is looking more “big girl” these days, she will always be my sweet baby girl.  Always.

Zoe- Little Miss Sunshine

Nothing I write here does justice to how I really feel about Zoë.  She evokes in me all sorts of mommy-feelings: love, pride, tenderness, awe, wonder, exasperation, amusement, thankfulness.   She is my everything-girl.

Super smile no W

02 May 2013

Finding Pretty

It feels so good to go out and just see.  I just came back from a photo walk with my friend and I feel great!  I so needed that.  You guys were right; I needed to go out more.

The weather was still a bit cool.  There was no sun.  BUT.  Because I was intent on finding some beauty around me, I did.


In the unlikeliest of spots.  On the ground, in a rain puddle.


Pretty yellow blooms that have fallen from a nearby tree and have landed in the puddles.

As soon as I’d come off the ground after getting low to take these shots, I was smiling big and I did not care who might have seen the goofy grin I must have had on my face.  I’d found pretty!
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