Thursday, December 26, 2013

This color of nail polish is called Big Apple Red, just the name itself makes me smile! I think if you like the name of a nail color, then it's pretty hard to not like the color itself. Red to me is always a color of glamour regardless of time, and sometimes it's good to add a bit of glamour to our lives, whether real or imagined!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese dish that I happen to like very much. It's the perfect late night snack, very satisfying and delicious, and even better paired with a bottle of beer, or in my case, a glass of wine. However, the recipe is very confusing for me, especially when I make my trip to the Japanese grocery store and having to find the ingredients in Japanese. Every so often an unsuspected American walk into the Japanese grocery store, saw my Asian face and started asking me what's this and what's that, only to discover that I was as lost as he or she was. One time I was at the grocery store and found this all in one package, and a light bulb came on. Since then I have been able to churn out delicious and instant Okonomiyaki in my own kitchen at the snap of a finger!

You still do need the basic ingredients, two eggs, green onion and half a cabbage cut into small pieces.

Also Okonomiyaki sauce and mayonaise.  I keep these in my fridge at all times!

Then all you need to do is follow the instructions and mix everything in a bowl. Since I don't read Japanese and I could still follow the instruction based on the pictures, it goes to say that the instructions are pretty easy to follow. If you want to get real fancy, you could also add pieces of octopus or shrimp, since I'm not fan of either, I only use the basic ingredients.

It's also helpful to have little supervisors to make sure you are following the correct steps and keep an eye over the bacon...

I then spread the mixture in a pan and lace the top with bacon. I usually flip the okonomiyaki once to make sure I get crisp bacon. Then cover the pan for about five minutes, and it's almost ready to serve.

The finishing touch is to spread the top with okonomiyaki sauce, don't ask me what's in it, all I know is that it tastes good. And a bit of mayonaise. Now, it's ready to serve with a drink and enjoy:)

One day before Christmas, I got my errands done early in the day to avoid the crazy traffic outside.  For the rest of day I'm cozying up at home with my puppies and writing my list of resolutions. It's a beautiful day today, sunny cool 70 degrees outside, yeah, suck that rest of the world! With the holidays and new year coming, I can't help but thinking that life is full of exciting new possibilities!

Friday, December 20, 2013

A year of Uggie in pictures. Always a good sport when it comes to food and setting a fine example of a good eater for all the other little doggies in the household, and always quietly plotting the ultimate demise of mommy and daddy, we love this baby!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I have a small brooch collection, and on cooler weather days, it's such a pleasure to wear them on light jackets.

Today is a long marathon day of running errands, not something I look forward to! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

It's Friday again, how did the week go by so fast? My husband and I had some delicious spicy Korean food tonight, perfect for cold weather like this. After that we had some exciting adventure buying ice cream, and that was the highlight of the night. We always say that we would go to a real movie theatre for a movie after dinner, but it almost never happens. For one there aren't a whole lot of interesting movies out there to tempt me, but the real reason is that we are usually dead tired by the time 8:30 rolled around, so we just couldn't wait to get home and get some sleep. So what is up with that? What happened to partying late into the night? Oh yeah, right, that NEVER was the case with either one of us!

Bakelite anyone?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Perhaps one of my best ebay purchases. This amazing vintage bumble bee was purchased from ebay for $13 including shipping! Love my very first bee brooch:)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

I had to buy dog food, and I just couldn't resist to at least pick up one useless item from the store. Revlon POSH 571. The color is spot on! I absolutely love it!

Also today I helped rescuing this little doggie today by offering a small donation among many many other people. He was on the euth list around mid day because he growled (um, ok), but then pulled out just in time. There was no foster willing to take him on such short notice, so he had to stay at a boarding for a while, at least he didn't go meet Carl Marx:)

Here he is, out of the hell hole for a breath of fresh air, isn't he adorable?

I've been thinking about this all day. I'm noticing that, though without a solid figure, the majority of animal rescuers are women. In Chinese there's this term coined "a woman's compassion," 妇人之仁,a rather de-humanizing term describing a much less type of compassion that belonged to women.  It was under this shadow that I grew up, so when people scorned me about feeling sorry for animal, I simply tuck my head in my shoulder and tried to change. Only recently I've starting to realize that there's no shame in feeling compassion to others' miseries. In fact the world is a much less miserable place thanks for a woman's compassion!

Friday, December 6, 2013

My brooch obsession continues... love this gold toned vintage moth! 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I don't know what hit me these days but I am really loving brooches! It doesn't seem to be the fashion of today, but since I live in an area with lots of vintage shops, it's quite easy to spot quality pieces like this 70s cat! I don't know if the pictures do it justice, but it is huge and amazing! I think I will name him Duncan, and he is my new pet! 

Coat weather has finally came to Southern California. It's kind of exciting to drag out my winter wardrobe!  I've a bit of a brooch obsession lately, and I want to put them on everything:) 

Monday, December 2, 2013

I made this fairy garden as a gift for a friend. I think this one really tops it all out of the fairy gardens that I've gifted out so far. I planted a princess elm tree ( the green small bush on the left) which is extremely slow growing and live up to 20+ years no problem, not to mention that it has the tiniest elm tree leaves of all. The middle tree is a pink Serissa, the green on the roof of the house is some kind of European import, and the tree with little bright red fruit is a small Cotoneaster. With care this fairy garden will do well for quite a long time. Now, I'm always very nervous when I gift out my fairy gardens, and I usually only give them to people with a green thumb. So, best luck to this little magical world!

As long as we are making garden talk, I might as well mention that my single white Serissa bloomed. Funny all the flowers are facing the direction of the sun, which is on the left of this little plant! It only blooms during winter time, quite odd if you ask me!

While I was at the nursery today, I found this good sized Serissa tree with this crazy root formation. I was very impressed with it! Given a few years this will be the perfect tree I've been looking for!

Here's a closer look to the flower, single bloom in pink, so pretty!

I saved the cuttings off of this tree and soaked them in water, I plan to make my own serissa trees out of these tiny twigs. This sort of things are worth more than gold to me:)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Our home construction has really put me through the wringer for the past few weeks. Stress had a way of catching up to me, so when it was time to travel to see family for Thanks Giving this year, I backed out last minute.  One of my neighbors had invited me previously, so now I took up on their offer and spent Thanks Giving at their house. Besides the delicious meal we had some fascinating conversations, something I don't get to do too much these days.

I have been feeling kind of under the weather lately, so today I just relaxed at home and did scrap booking. When we opened up our fireplace early on in the construction, we discovered a stash of old Christmas cards and memorabilia from the 40s and 50s inside, how it got there? I have no idea.  They are fascinating though, our home address was stated on all the letters and cards, and plumbing bill was $3.00 back then, for instance.

I spent a great deal of time figuring out the best way to display them. There have been quite a few things I accumulated over the past two years that I intend to put into my house history scrapbook. It was a project I wanted to start after we move back into the house, but since our home construction stressed me out just a little more than I could handle, I started my project early to help me relax. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

I picked up a small beginner's water color set today and started fiddling with it.  Something about the holidays approaching that's making me extra crafty as I've been doing quite a bit of drawing and scrap booking lately. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

This orchid I purchased earlier this year has re-bloomed. It was no small feat for me as it was misplaced when I first got it and became badly burned. I moved it to a planter shelf with a few other orchids under a huge maple tree for several months. It has been doing pretty well since, and recently bloomed a new set of fragrant flowers. Since the temperature has dropped quite a bit in the past few days, I decided that it was finally time to move all my orchids indoors. 

I really shouldn't have mess with it while the plant is in bloom, but I couldn't resist the temptation of at least freshening it up just a little bit, and that's just what I did.  I had to spend a good half hour cleaning this one up, finally cutting off the burned tips, cleaned up the leaves and sprayed them with hydrogen peroxide.  I then carefully moved some excess moss in the medium and replaced with a bit more bark without touching the roots much as I can, and called it a day.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

These days I can really feel the holidays rolling out full force through out the universe. It's on the radio, in the stores, and flooding in the air. My local craft store has already begun some decent 40% sales and loaded with holiday decors. This year I'm not big on Christmas, I spent a big chuck of my energy dealing with our disastrous home construction, so yesterday I picked up a couple of stamps on sale so I could relax a little and do some coloring. Speaking of the simple pleasures in life, something so simple and silly just makes me happy, and it really doesn't take much!

Sunday, November 17, 2013


I left most of my orchids outside for a couple of months but they did not do well. A few days ago I moved them indoors, they've improved tremendously since... only problem? They are all crowding on my very limited kitchen counter space!

When we move back to our house I will designate a space near the window for these orchids, but til then I will have to figure out a way to accommodate their lodging.


My hubby was away over the weekend for a family celebration. I had to stay behind to keep an eye on the contractors (more horror stories on that later,) and subsequently spent the weekend holed up in the bedroom reading about orchid growing tips. I'm so intrigued about all the fascinating information floating online. Over the weekend I took lots of notes, and put together a basket of "essentials" I now deem of vast importance. Hydrogen peroxide? Check. Rubbing alcohol? Check. Fungicide? Check! Spray bottle? Check. Fertilizer? Check. Scissors? Check. Spare pot? Check. Cinnamon? Check. Mayonnaise? Check. Wait, what? Yep, it's one of the things that I will need according to the world wide web, and I don't doubt for a second it's authority on that:) 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Orchid talk

I still have a whole lot to learn about orchids. Earlier this year I purchased this beautiful orchid from a show, but half a year later, it's almost dead! I saw one leave with bulb wholesomely rotted away while the other ones are still ok. When I took out the plant from the bark, much to my dismay, I discovered that the roots had completely died. Not knowing what to do, I took the orchid to my local nursery. It's pretty quiet on a Saturday afternoon near holidays, but there happened to be one employee who knows how to care for orchids. He immediately ripped off the dead leave because he said the rot will continue eating into the healthy leaves until the whole plant dies. After that I took it home, trimmed off some more dead roots with sterilized scissors, and now this is what I got.

Sad isn't it?

I decided to keep it indoors as it doesn't seem to enjoy living outdoor so much. Let's keep fingers crossed that in a few months this beauty will recover from my ignorant abuse! I am also starting to keep a note book for my orchids and plants for references. As I didn't keep notes on this one, I had no idea what variety it is and how to care for it!

* some updated info found on the American orchid society website here. I believe this variety of orchid is called Cattleyas 'Ana Ingham.'

On the up side, I found this beautiful orchid yesterday at the grocery store. It's quite a amazing orchid, and unlike the last one I actually did some research on how to properly care for it.

Hopefully when Fie Fie and I put our two heads together, we are going to keep these orchids alive!


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