Tuesday, October 3, 2017

I love quick and easy meals that are healthy and delicious at the same time.  Last night I stopped by trader joe's to pick up a few things and also got a bag of their pre-made salad and a small box of hummus.  The ones that come in a bag also have dressing, nuts and dried fruit packaged in and cost as little as $3, it's usually enough for me to eat two meals so I had half last night and half for lunch today.  To kick things up a notch I added in one soft boiled egg, a whole ripe avocado, a scoop of hummus and sprinkled with some cayenne pepper.  The result is some serious deliciousness and I think I will be making this at least couple times a week!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Hibiscus is my favorite tea for quite sometime now, I get mine from Mother's market and one box last me at least a couple of weeks if not more!  I like how it's caffeine free and if I add a slice of lemon there's a bit of tart flavor to the tea.  Someone once taught me that you don't need to use a new tea bag for every cup of tea, rather use a teapot and brew a whole pot with one tea bag.  Usually in the late afternoon or evening this is what I sip on and it's so comforting and delicious!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Something weight heavily on my mind the past few weeks.  I found two pin sized lump under Kelly's nipple and decided to take her in to get it checked out.  After taking her to two veterinarians for different opinions, both recommended surgical removal.  One vet also very firmly said she should get spayed at the same time, which to me just seemed way too aggressive to have surgical procedures at two different locations at the same time.  I eventually opted for removal of the lumps and having her teeth cleaned at the same time with the second vet.  

Leading up to the day of her surgery I was a nervous wreck.  She couldn't eat anything the night before and we had to get to the vet first thing in the morning to get prepped.  I waited an hour and half until her blood work and x rates are looked at by the vet and made sure she was ok to proceed.  Turned out she had to have one of her nipple carved out completely, and the cut was almost two inches.  When I picked her up after the surgery it really hit me hard because the large cut was so scary looking and she was totally spaced out.


After I got her home I cooked some chicken mixed with oatmeal and veggie and she was a good little eater and gobbled it all up. We just sort of watched movies and hangout on the couch without doing much.  Honestly by early evening I was pretty exhausted too.

Yesterday the lab results came out and the two tiny tumors were benign, so I just breathed a long sigh of relief.  We all got a bit shaken up this week and with both me and my pups in pretty poor shape lately, it's really got me to think about how I can maybe improve the quality of our health a bit. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Kelly and I went on a little outing together, we had breakfast at a local place, I ordered an omelet and she had a few bites of a hamburger patty and some water.

After that we went to check out a local nursery so she could smell some plants and get some walk around.  I really haven't taken Kelly anywhere for a while outside my own neighborhood so I think she had a pretty good time!  

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I love going on youtube to check out food recipes, and lately I've been hooked on this cooking channel that features a lot of old fashioned recipes.  There are so many easy and delicious meals and I've tried a few things and they all turned out pretty well.  

Monday, September 18, 2017

It's kind of embarrassing to tell the real number of years that I have not gone on a vacation, I mean vacation as in traveling to another destination, proper sight seeing, hotel etc. Mainly because I have dogs and it's just a hassle and is expensive to board them.  Fiefie got very sick once at the boarding place and he has had sensitive appetite ever since, on top of that I'm too lazy to make much of an effort for a get away so it's been pushed off indefinitely.  This past week though I've been having a stay-cation relaxing at home, suddenly I have time to make homemade meals and fix broken things around the house and have good snuggles with my pups.

This vintage pin has been sitting in my drawer for months and months because a couple of tiny rhinestones fell off.  I didn't want to be bothered until I found a tube of gorilla glue in the junk drawer and decided I'd better put the rhinestones back on the brooch before I lose them.  Couple minutes later, viola!  It's like I have a new brooch again!

Anyhow, it's so nice to just take sometime off and stop hustling everyday, I'm just enjoying doing very little and eating lots of homemade healthy food and slowly getting my energy level back.  Life can be real complicated or real simple, simpler is always better. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Bella likes to sit by the window and get a peak outside in case a bird or squirrel comes by, it's kind of dog tv for her.  The information card at the shelter said she's some kind of Havanese mix, which I looked up and apparently her specialty was being the perfect size for snuggles, she loves kisses too so that's another one of her specialties. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

I've just survived what can only be described as a living hell for the past couple of days, when all of a sudden I had a nasty break out of hives.  I've had hives a couple times before and it was not nearly as bad, but this time painful blisters covered pretty much every inch of my skin and never quite had any medical emergency before I was stupid enough to wait out a day and a night to see if things would improve.  At one point I almost passed out and on the second day nothing was improved and only gotten worse, I had to get myself to a doctor.  By the time I arrived at the hospital I was practically in tears, the sensation of having hives all over your body is kind of like being dipped into an acid bath while having a thousand mosquito biting you at the same time.  It's just so amazing that the quality of a person's life could be so quickly reduced to zero within a matter of hours.  

Luckily the medication worked, I took a handful of them and went into pretty deep sleep.  This morning I woke up realizing that all the blisters are gone, not even a trace as if nothing happened, even my face went back to normal and just a night before it was swelled up like a water mellon and I couldn't even open my eyes! 

I'm still very nervous since I haven't finish all my pills yet and I've got a week supply of medications to go, and still having no idea what the cause was, I'm hoping that it won't coming back after I stop with the medication.  Well, just a few days ago I was thinking about improving my health and fitness, so much for that!  I guess back to detox, juice cleanse or exercise or whatever it takes to be a little bit healthier.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

I found this picture of Kelly from back in 2010!  It didn't feel like a long time ago and she is still the most beautiful girl in the world! 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

If I have a bit of regret lately that would be working way too much and not properly taking care of my puppies and myself, lately I'm beginning to think it's kind of not worth it to give up so much of personal priorities just to make a meager wage to pay bills, albeit I don't really have much choice but I've decided to find a little better balance in life.

I made a quick stop at the grocery store to pick up a few items tonight, when I came back home I saw my little angel waiting by the window for me.  We've been through some really good and really tough times together and I love her so much.  

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

My pup being very cute and playful.  I bathed all of them yesterday and washed all the bedding and dog beds in the house, there really is nothing that can compare to sleeping next to freshly bathed puppies, it's kind of like cuddling with large soft cotton balls... four of them!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Another vintage pin to add to my little collection, it's sort of a belated birthday present for myself.  

Sunday, August 6, 2017

I got rid of a lot of unused flower pots in my backyard and moved several shelves out of the way to donate.  Dead plants are thrown away and outdoor tables and chairs are dusted and cleaned.  I found whole bag of unused fertilizer and bark chips in the shed and gave all the plants several deep watering.

Within a few days my poor neglected backyard seems to be coming back to life.  After the big clean out it actually became very enjoyable space rather than a messy jungle.  Today I actually sat on the bench for a good while just relaxing, somethings I haven't done for a long time.

I still have to fix two fountains, have my BBQ grill serviced since I haven't used it for years and maybe add some outdoor string lights.  I can't wait to invite some friends over for some BBQ and drinks after everything is all fixed up.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

It's a small miracle that my vanda orchid bloomed.  There's no feeling like it, now that I know I can get them to bloom, maybe I will buy another one to add to my collection!

Every once in a while I like to change things up a little bit, a friend of mine had told me that it's good practice to move furniture around a little bit to change the energy of the room, and I think there might be some truth to it.  After all, when the furniture layout of a room is changed,  the way you feel about a room is different too.  I moved my desk around to different side of the room and decided that I was just going to let it "float" in the middle of the room.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

These days right when I wake up in the morning Bobby was the first thing that jump in my mind, it brings me a lot of sadness, but like that songs goes, " you are on my mind, you're always on my mind." 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

This week was legitimately difficult for me, I had worked so much that when I finally got to bed I felt so sick and thought I was getting some bad virus infection and probably would never have the energy to get up in the morning, but I did and the sun came out so all was good that the world didn't collapse with my energy level.

Since I was away so much I really missed my doggies during the day, and crazy things happened too while I was away.  Apparently my back door somehow got open and that triggered my alarm and the police came, all the drama escaped me because, well, I just wasn't there.  I only found out because my back door was wide open and there was note from the cops in my mail box.  Since there was absolutely nothing of value in my house I didn't even bother to check, I counted the dogs and just assumed nothing was missing and went on my day.

After eating junk food all week I really felt like cooking so I picked up a ribeye steak from the store and bought a bottle of wine.  I have a pretty reliable steak recipe that I've been using for years and I'd like to share it here.

I learned this recipe in college while I was renting a room from a landlady in North Hollywood.  For about a year I was desperate to find a cheap place that's close enough to my campus so I didn't have to commute three hours a day.  Finally I saw some ad posted at the bulletin board at my music department.  Room for rent, $450 a month.  So I teared a strip of phone number off the bottom of the ad.  Turned out it was a huge Spanish house in North Hollywood owned by a Austrian lady.  She was also a piano teacher, and in her beautiful sprawling house she had a grand music room with two Steinway pianos and chandeliers.  it was a house furnished with a lot of European antique.  My room was a small bedroom in the back with my own full bath complete with antique bed and dresser and a beautiful bathroom with antique fixtures.

My landlady lived with her younger son, who at that time was in his late 20s and quite a looker and a stud.  The three of us became pretty good friends and since we were all music nerd, we had quite a bit in common.  My housemate actually taught me how to cook steak and it was one of the few recipes that he knew how to do because it helped him to "impress girls."  He certainly wasn't trying to impress me but rather thought I was more pitiful than him not having any cooking skills at all. So here are the instructions.

This recipe basically involves cooking steak with a quarter size of olive oil, or as I like to do, about two oz of butter, I also like to add cumin to the sizzling butter for add some extra kick to the flavor, season the steak with salt and pepper, and then cook on medium high heat for about five minutes on each side.  The trick is not to flip the steak except once.  The meat will stick to the pan, but once it's cooked enough it will release itself from the pan and that's when you flip it to the other side.

When the steak is done, I liked to serve with a light salad or boiled green beens and a glass of red wine, and for under 15 minutes you have a delicious dinner for very little.

I also liked to use the smallest pan that I could find, so it's the perfect size to cook for one person. There's something very comforting about preparing dinner and enjoying the wonderful sizzle and smell while cooking.  So now that the food is done, enjoy it under the candle light or a mini chandelier.  Bon Appetite!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

I have to be very budget conscious nowadays and try to eat at home as much as possible, and my pup's dinner also made it to the spending cut.  I've switched them on kibbles plus part of cooked food instead of all homemade food to keep costs down, but anyhow, still I think they are getting a good amount of fresh veggie and meat.

This recipe is what I call the "poor dog's meal,"  because it's relatively cheap and better than having a pack of sad dogs chewing dry bland kibbles while looking angrily at me.

So the easiest store with the cheapest option near me is Target, they have a produce section that often have eggs or meat on sale for very cheap, sometimes a pack of 80% lean ground beef only cost $3, and a bag of coleslaw mix is about $1.60, so for about $5 I can cook a batch of fresh meat and veggie mix meal for my pups.  I don't know what is cheaper than that, I mean a latte at Starbucks cost just as much, a medium sized one... not even a large latte, and all you get is one oz of espresso and frosted milk.

I usually cook one package of ground beef with 2/3 bag of coleslaw mix, adding a little water until the veggie is soft and meat is cooked through.  Some people feed their dog raw meat with cooked vegetable, I feed my pups cooked meat and that's just how I have it done at my house.

So I serve dinner with a mixture of kibble and the meat and veggie meal, sometimes if I'm feeling extra fancy I will add in a spoonful of whole fat organic yogurt.  After all that I will have enough left over for another batch in the morning for their breakfast.  My pups look forward to their walk and meals all day long so I try to supply as much as I can.

I've been looking at online pictures for some creative home renovation ideas.  The last time I did anything to the house was over three years ago, and I'm really looking forward to do something creative with the house again.  There is actually a large amount of work that still needs to be done.  Some of them include three bathrooms that badly needed renovation, a new kitchen, exterior paint, repairing the badly cracked drive way, and probably a complete rebuilt of the garage at the different spot of the backyard.

 The tv room in my 1923 cottage was originally a tiny bedroom.  Over time the previous owners pushed the ceilings and walls further out to make the room bigger, but the ceiling had low beams and weird layout.  And since there's no definition between the kitchen and tv room, this part of the house just looks like a huge long hallway.  This is probably the most heavily used room in my house and I'm never quite comfortable in it.  Lately I've been thinking about some renovation ideas like reconfiguring the ceiling and windows to make the look more consistently "vintage."  Or doing some kind of wall beam to make this open space a bit more defined.

Anyhow, lots of ideas and not enough time and energy to get it done, but a girl can dream right?

I really like the little round window idea.  I have a couple of half round windows from the 90s that I was never too fond of, and I would love to replace with round shaped windows or somehow tweak the framing to make it look more vintage.

The frame work of this bedroom is pretty much what I want my tv room to look like, albeit my room is not nearly as wide, but I think I can achieve that vaulted ceiling look complete with vintage chandeliers.

Anyhow, my renovation plan probably won't happen for quite sometime, but having some ideas is a good start!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Took this picture as I was walking out of late dinner at a local Italian restaurant couple nights ago.  I had just finished work late and whenever I'm tired and hungry I have no willpower to cook something healthy.  I ordered a plate of spaghetti and a glass of wine and finished my dinner just as the restaurant was closing up and all the guests were leaving.  It was very nice to step into the cool breeze of the night and the streets were sleepy and quiet.  Moments like this make everyday life feel like a bit of adventure. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

I have a small collection of antique books that I found over the years, I've read them many times but I don't think I will ever get rid of them.  I mean, you can't judge a book by its cover but this one sure is pretty! 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Summer is approaching, though I have no time to do any of the fun summer activities.  It's come to the point that life has no more stories except work, work and work.  I would love to go on a couple of road trips this year and just improve my overall quality of life and be more active and healthy, in fact, I think that will be my resolution for the second half of the year.

Friday, May 12, 2017

It's hard to believe that I literally dropped off the face of earth for about two month, but that's what happens when things get busy.  I have to admit, when I'm working a lot there really is not much interesting things to post on my blog, it's just me doing the rounds between work and home, and if time allows then I have house chores to keep up with and dogs to take care of.  It's very easy to slide into a constant state of mundane and forget to have a bit of quality in life as well.

I have a small collection of vintage custom jewelry, mostly pins from 1940s that I found at antique malls or online for a fraction of what they are worth. I've been wearing them more often lately, these vintage jewelry are the highlights I have during the day.  They came from a more opulent past, wearing them is like wearing a small piece of history, and I like to think my life has some connection to it because of these jewels.

I'm looking forward to add a bit more interest to my life and get back to some of my favorite activities like kitting and cooking, it seems that if I don't make an effort things just skip through the cracks and nothing but work happens!


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