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August 2015
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Emma’s 3rd Year Birthday Questions

Every year I ask Emma a set of birthday questions. This was the first year where she answered every single question on her own! I will probably say this a lot but this might be my favorite age. It’s so fun when your kid goes from a blob that does nothing but eat, sleep, cry and poop to a mini human being that you can have conversations with. It’s the best thing ever!

Here are her answers this year. My comments are in parentheses.

1. What is your favorite color? pink (she wants pink everything!!)
2. What is your favorite toy? Button Art (I think she just answered this because she was in the middle of playing this particular toy…I think her real answer is probably her tea set or the iPad. She actually plays with a lot of random, different toys every day)

3. What is your favorite fruit? strawberries (Still the same from year 2!)
4. What is your favorite tv show? Leapfrog Letter Factory (again, I think she answered this because she was in the middle of watching this. I think her favorite TV Show is probably Peppa Pig)
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? noodles (yup, especially ramen!)

Yes! No wait at din tai fung.

6. What is your favorite outfit? tutus
7. What is your favorite game? ballet (she is in a total ballet phase right now)

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8. What is your favorite snack? cookies
9. What is your favorite animal? camel (we have NO idea why she answered with camel but she was very emphatic about it! hehe)
10. What is your favorite song? Itsy Bitsy Spider and Do Re Mi
11. What is your favorite book? The Berenstain Bears
12. Who is your best friend? Maxie (awww…her little brother!)

I really hate this cart but the kids love it. #toobig

13. What is your favorite cereal? Peanut Butter Puffs
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? play hide and seek
15. What is your favorite drink? orange juice
16. What is your favorite holiday? Easter. This girl loves Easter!

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17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? animals
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? oranges in my snackbox
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? cake (ha!)
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? like mommy (OMG. tear. love this girl haha)

Enjoying some Italian ice after our Easter egg hunt!

Wow, Am I Really Still Paying For This Website?

YUP. Still here. It’s crazy. My husband, son, and daughter are all asleep. And I have 45 minutes to write an update on my life to catch you all (ok maybe nobody but me) on the state of my life. That should be plenty of time right?

So it’s 2015 and pretty much every other day I’m like I really need/want to make a blog post update. I need to write down my thoughts on my life. To remember everything I’m feeling and going through right now. I remember when I used to write in this here blog every.single.day. That is pretty much impossible now. But trust me, it’s a good thing.

So let’s start with what’s been keeping me so busy. As you know from my previous post…I was pregnant. And that said baby is now here. He’s actually 7 months. Holy cow! He is the sweetest little thing and I’m literally falling head over heels in love with the little booger. His name is Maxwell but we call him Max or Maxie or Maxie Poo Poo. Yeah…we really need new nicknames. I’m hoping to stop calling him that by the time he actually understands what we’re saying. Too bad I already have his big sister and his cousins calling him those names! Anyways, having kids is like the best and worst thing ever. I’m not going to go into all the mushy stuff but man…it’s like my life is so full and awesome and amazing because of these kids but at the same time it’s just so.freaking.hard! Some days I’m like…let me just have a few hours by myself please? Just a few hours where I don’t have to think about anything!! Or care about anyone!! Or make somebody food. Or change their diaper. Or fight with them about taking a nap!

But ultimately, they are literally the best and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I was reading an article about how these times are the “happiest” of your life. I totally agree. There is something magical about little kids who are super innocent and haven’t been tarnished by life. Like sometimes I just want to eat them up they are soooo sweet and adorable.


Max at the park today

Anyways, are you still with me?

The second thing keeping me busy and surprisingly is probably keeping me MORE busy than the baby is my nap-resisting toddler, Emma.


From our xmas card this year

She’s 2 now. Every day she reminds me why I have kids. I am so loving this age. It’s just so fun when you can start actually conversing with your kid. If I had to describe Emma right now I would say she is intelligent, shy, socially anxious, cautious, short tempered, thoughtful, and calm. I took her to see The Nutcracker with friends last month and she has been obsessed with ballet. She will watch ballet videos on youtube and insist on wearing tutus 24/7. Even though ballet isn’t on our list of things we wanted her to do, we ended up signing her up for a class. She’s also into Daniel Tiger, wagon rides, dessert, puzzles, washing dishes, eating with chopsticks, and feeding ducks. The hardest part about her is that she is so anti naps. She can be super tired and all she will do is throw a tantrum about not going to sleep. For the most part though, she is so completely fun and hilarious. And she is totally in love with her little brother. From the day we took Max home she has been his protector and best friend. In the car, she holds his hand (he hates car rides and is usually crying). She always runs to him in the morning and tries to get him to smile. I have this picture of her when Max was a tiny baby blob sitting in his rockNplay and she’s teaching him random stuff like “This is a pencil”. All I can do is watch their relationship grow and laugh.

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This very old picture also cracks me up. She would always randomly look for him to make sure he was ok. Always checking up on him. We always tell her what a good big sister she is. She takes it very seriously!
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To round up the family update, gotta talk about the hubs…boyrobot! This past year we celebrated FIVE years!!! The longer I am married the more grateful I am that somehow miraculously I ended up with the right person that I would want to spend the rest of my life with. I realize now when you get married, it’s really a crapshoot if you’re going to be happy or not with this person. There’s no way you’re going to foresee the things that you’ll go through, the fights you will have, and the things that will happen. Things change, people change. Even so, there are a few qualities boyrobot has that makes me know we are going to last despite all of our idiosyncrasies that may drive the other one crazy. He is not only a devoted and loyal husband, he is is also a devoted and loyal father. Someone once told me planning a wedding was a true test of your marriage. Um NO. Having kids is. It’s like everything you know about your relationship thrown out the window. You could have an awesome husband but if he’s a not so great dad…it’s game over. He is absolutely so loving and adorable with the kids that I can’t help but love him even more.


You don’t know love until you see a grown man play with his little daughter. Think ballerina dances, acting out stories with dolls, etc.

Another quality is that he has great communication skills and forces me to always talk through any problems we may have. And he is just plain fun to be around. After all of this time, I still just love being with him. If I had a free day? I would want to spend it with him.

Ok so next up….my job! I am still working at the same company but recently I switched to a different team. Still learning the ropes but the people are super nice and it’s nice to learn something different/new. If there is one sore point in my life though, it would have to be how far my job is from home.

My hobbies have really fallen to the wayside with kids. That is one thing I miss. You people without kids…you have NO idea how much free time you have. Recently, I started cooking again since I am bringing my lunch to work. And I also cook for the kids sometimes. The problem is….I am obsessed with adding vegetables to my kids foods so a lot of times I will slave in the kitchen and then Emma won’t like it because it’s too…healthy. So I am working on finding the right balance there. I’ve also started reading again. Probably my favorite book I read this past year was Still Alice (if you know anyone with Alzheimer’s it’s a must-read). Currently reading The Interestings (has sort of a Wes Anderson feel to it). I’ve also been obsessed with podcasts. Like everyone else I listened to Serial. My current faves are Radiolab, Freakonomics, Criminal, Startup, and The Moth. I pretty much stopped watching TV…is there anything good out there? I’m just waiting for Game of Thrones to come back on. I’m also embarassingly still obsessed with Candy Crush. I think once I reach the end (of the current version), I’m going to stop playing or at least take a long break from it….I’m so close!

Socially, I have never been happier. We have some really amazing people we call our close friends that live nearby. They all have kids the same age as our kids and it’s so nice having them all grow up together. It’s also been SO awesome having mommy friends who completely relate to you and who you can talk to, vent to, and ask advice from. I text almost daily with 2 girls who just crack me up and who are also some of the sweetest people you will ever meet! They truly inspire me to be a better friend. For the first time, I don’t feel like that awkward, quiet girl that would try to avoid social situations (hmmm, I guess I see where Emma gets it from hehe). I feel so lucky to have the support group we have as we go through the adventure of parenthood!

Lastly, I’ve been thinking about things I want to do differently this year. I’ve kind of been obsessed with eating healthier and living a more simple life. I’ve been trying to eat more veggies in general but I’d also like to eat more bone broth (try to make a batch every week?), eat fermented food more often (made sauerkraut for the first time!!) using my new fermenting kit, and to go on a daily walk with the kids. I’ve also decided to slowly reorganize my house. It’s so hard to keep your house clean with kids. Our house is ridiculously messy. So far I redid our shoe storage. Currently, we are tackling Emma’s room and the toy situation in our living room. We’ve made a lot of progress so far! I also want to start cleaning out my closet and donating a lot of my clothes. I think before the year ends, I am going to attempt a capsule wardrobe. Have you heard of those? It’s where you pick a certain # of clothes for each season and stick with that. Most people pick 37 items and that includes shirts, pants, shoes, dresses, etc. It sounds incredibly hard but people who have done it LOVE it. And I am so tempted to do it too! I swear my closet is stuffed to the brim with clothes that I haven’t worn in months/years. It would be so nice to just reach in my closet and know whatever I pick is something I love and fits me well. One reason that makes me hesitate in doing this is that I’m still figuring out what my body is going to look like post-baby. Hopefully not how it currently looks! ha ha. Anyways, something I have been seriously considering doing.

Ok, this took way longer than I thought. It’s way past my bedtime!! Glad I was able to share a tiny bit of my life though. Hopefully the next update will be sooner.

It’s All Just Happening So Fast

So…it’s been awhile since I last wrote. Pretty much the only thing different is well…

I’m pregnant again!!!!

and it’s going to be a boy!!!!

This pregnancy has been going surprisingly much better than with Emma. 1st trimester sucked…but 2nd trimester wasn’t too bad! I’ve only thrown up once this whole pregnancy even! So happy since I don’t know how I would have been able to take care of Emma if I was as sick and tired as last time.

Speaking of Emma, she is in such a cute stage right now. Kids really are so sweet and I feel like at this age they are just so innocent and pure. Of course, this stage can also be so trying with the terrible twos and tantrums but as with all difficult things I’ve noticed with raising kids, everything is a phase.

Tonight, Boyrobot took Emma in his arms and danced with her to Sara Bareilles’ I Choose You

Maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones but I just started BAWLING. I just kept picturing Emma’s wedding day and her father/daughter dance and how it was all just going to happen in a blink of an eye! She’s going to be a grown up and leaving us before I know it. I have to constantly remind myself to enjoy every moment…even the difficult ones.

So what else is new? Not that much. To be honest, being a mom and having kids is my life right now. And I don’t really mind because I know it’s not always going to be like this. And for all of the tough parts, there are so many awesome, fun ones. We have so much fun introducing Emma to new experiences and just teaching/guiding her through life. And hoping we are doing an ok job of it.

Well there is one new thing…I started another blog. One focused on parenting. And my experiences raising a daughter and soon to be son! You probably won’t be interested in it unless you have kids, but if you do so feel inclined…please follow my blog via bloglovin’, feedly, or like my page on Facebook. I’ve been trying to blog a few times a week and I hope I can keep it up when #2 arrives! We’ll see.

How To Get Rid Of The White Film Residue On Your Dishes

Like most Asians, I did not grow up using the dishwasher. But I’ve been slowly using it more and more ever since I graduated college and now I LOVE my dishwasher. Not only does it make washing dishes easier, it just feels more sanitary to me. But for the past year, whenever I used my dishwasher I started noticing I would sometimes get a white residue on all of my glasses/dishware. It was soooo annoying since sometimes I would have to hand wash things that were supposed to be clean from the dishwasher! I did some research and figured out it had to do with my city’s hard water. I ended up buying some Glisten dishwasher cleaner

It worked well but after a few washes the white stuff started coming back! I was starting to get really frustrated because I didn’t really want to use Glisten EVERY time I washed my dishes! It would definitely start to add up.

One day I was cleaning out my email box when I happened upon a link that I had sent myself to read later but totally forgot about. The link was filled with suggestions on how to get rid of the white residue from your dishes! One simple solution that many people recommended was to use plain old white vinegar. So I tried it out and lo and behold….IT WORKS!!! My dishes were sparkling clean. No residue, no spots. And don’t worry…no smell either!! So if you have the same problem as me, try the vinegar trick for a cheap and easy solution. You can either just pour a small amount at the bottom of your dishwasher or pour it into a small bowl/cup and set it in the top rack. Then run your dishwasher like normal.

Clean dishes make me so happy…so I had to share!!!

34

Anyone out there anymore? I remember a time when I used to blog every single day. Now, I can barely find the time to make a post once a month! There are actually a billion other things I could or should be doing, but I thought I should carve out some time to update this here blog today, my 34th birthday. I didn’t do much this year for my birthday. 34 seems so boring, so unspecial, and SO old. But I’m grateful to be turning a year older…to have another year to spend with my family and friends. Life has been really great to me. It’s not perfect of course but sometimes it’s quite spectacular.

Parenthood has been challenging as always, but I think it’s definitely starting to get easier. Emma is no longer a baby. We are experiencing some terrible two behavior but the temper tantrums are over pretty quickly. Most importantly, Emma has started walking and being more independent! She is growing so fast that sometimes it makes me sad. But most of the time I am just in awe and amazement at how she changes and learns so much almost overnight! If you are wondering why I barely blog anymore it’s because I am really soaking up my time with Emma. People always tell me how fast these years go…I can already tell! I had no idea how fun being a parent can be. Especially at the age Emma is right now. She’s so curious and every experience is so new and exciting for her. We constantly are talking about things we want to take her to or do with her. I’m trying really hard not to spoil her…but man, she’s seriously the best thing ever!!

Ok, so before this post becomes an update on Emma…I wanted to catch up on my birthday goals from last year. Wow…so sad but I did not accomplish any of them!!!! I am not sad about it though, because I did make a lot of progress on them and I had so much fun with them that I know I will finish them eventually. Here’s a little status on my 3 little goals from last year:

1. Eat 101 salads. I ended up eating probably only half of these salads. I didn’t eat all of them but it did make me eat more salads than I normally would. And overall, I am eating a lot healthier. This list was really awesome because it made me eat some combinations that I never would have thought to do and all of the recipes are actually really easy and quick to prepare!

Arugula, chopped tomatoes, lightly fried onions, white beans, lemon, and olive oil #101salads

I have about 60 salads to eat in less than 2 months...so sorry for the daily boring salad photo ha ha. This one was surprisingly delicious! Pasta mixed with peanut butter, coconut milk, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Also has tons of mint, basil, and lime juice. I ended up adding some chopped up ham and tomatoes. So good! #101salads

2. Start a Project Life book. I ended up making a Project Life album for Emma’s 1st year. I would say I’m about 70% done. I absolutely LOVE this method of scrapbooking! It really is easier than conventional scrapbooking at least to me. I am definitely going to finish this book and plan on continue documenting our lives using this method in the future.

3. Open an Etsy store. Ok, so I’m really close to doing this. I have a name and a few products! The glue is drying as we speak. I just need to take some photos of the products and then I will post it up. Can’t wait!!!

So now that I’m 34, and even though I still need to finish my goals from 33 (I promise I will!!!), I thought I would come up with new goals for this year.

1. Cook a lot of recipes from a Paleo cookbook (Well Fed). I’m not going to be so ambitious as to say I’m going to cook every recipe but I’d like to try the majority of the recipes from this cookbook as a way to get my feet wet with paleoism. You can read more about eating Paleo here. But just so you know, I can never be 100% paleo because I can never give up my cheese!

2. Sew a quilt. For some reason I’ve never been much of a quilt person or had much interest in sewing a quilt. It looks so overwhelming and hard. But I saw some recently that were so beautiful and it inspired me to sew a quilt for Emma. Something that can be passed down from generation to generation. Hopefully, I can make one that’s worthy of being passed down!

3. Go on more dates with boyrobot. I really want to make more one on one time with boyrobot. It’s so hard when you have kids but my friend Cheryl goes on movie dates with her husband at lunch time and I think we can totally do that!! (We work at the same company). So yes, date night with the hubby at least once a month!

3. Get pregnant. No we are not trying yet…but we would like to be pregnant sometime this coming year. I’m really not looking forward to being pregnant again. It was probably the worst time of my life. In fact, if I get pregnant I can pretty much throw all of these goals out the window since I usually become so tired and unmotivated I can’t get anything done for 9 months! Oh well, I am hoping this time since I know what I will be getting at the end of the 9 months it won’t be so bad??? I can only hope! But yes, I think Emma needs a little brother or sister. We have loved becoming parents and can’t wait to make our family bigger. A part of me is also scared…I have no idea how to balance having 2 kids but people do it right??? :)

So yeah…this year is going to be interesting!

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GoT Withdrawal

Any Game of Thrones fans out there? It’s the only tv show I watch so I am really missing it. Just saw this link for the 20 Funniest Twitter Reactions to ‘Game of Thrones’. Hilarious!

10 Summer Hacks

I’ve seen most of these hacks but there were a few new ones that I liked like the chip bag and the water bottle!

Easy Iced Coffee

I’ve had this iced coffee recipe by The Pioneer Woman bookmarked forever but it wasn’t until a few days ago that I finally tried it out! If you love iced coffee, you have to make it this way…It’s SO easy and seriously tasty. It’s made even easier if you have one of these


(Amazon link)

I also bought some Tim Horton’s coarse grind since I don’t have my own grinder:


(Amazon link)

You can follow Pioneer Woman’s recipe to make a super large batch that keeps up to 3 weeks in the fridge. If you are doing it my way with the Bodum basically I used 4 Cups of water and 2 ozes of ground coffee. Let it sit on the counter overnight. The next morning I portioned them out into mason jars and stick them in the fridge! When I’m ready to drink I just add ice and a tablespoon of condensed milk (my own personal choice…you can use sugar/milk etc). SO easy and it’s sooooo good! Perfect for these hot summer mornings. :)

My first batch of cold brewed...

3 Days Til Google Reader Dies & Other Updates

Sorry I haven’t been posting lately. I seriously spent most of my evenings this month trying to save all of my hundreds of saved and tagged items from Google Reader. It wasn’t until this past week that Feedly finally added tags and a browser version that I was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief that not all was lost! So yeah…if you are looking for a Google Reader alternative, Feedly is pretty decent. It will automatically port over all of your subscriptions too! Anyways…a little update on life…

1. If you’re wondering, I have still been cooking but not meal planning like before. I kind of have been cooking on the fly using up freezer and pantry ingredients. BUT I am itching to try some new recipes so I will be meal planning again and possibly posting mini reviews of the recipes I try.

2. No more updates on Emma. A few people have asked where are the updates on Emma! Well I decided I would stop doing that after she turned 1. But if you are wondering…she is just growing cuter and cuter every day! Well I am her momma so I’m biased. Her vocabulary had quite the explosion and she is saying lots of words now and seems to understand a lot of what we are saying. It’s so amazing to think of her back when she was just a blob! We are still waiting on her to walk though.

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3. We saw Kina Grannis at her annual free concert. Kina is one of our favorite youtube artists. We are so lucky that her “hometown” is near us and that she plays a free concert there every year at a nice park. This is our 2nd time going but the first time with Emma. Emma loves people watching and we happened to sit by another 1 year old. It was so cute watching them “interact”! We also got to meet and greet Kina and she signed Emma’s tambourine!!!

4. I am on a crafting kick lately. So many people I know are pregnant or just had a baby so I’ve been trying to make something handmade to go along with a gift since baby gifts always end up being so generic or off of a registry. I would post my creations here but most of them are surprises!

5. After having not read a book in AGES, my coworker lent me her favorite book to read: Into Thin Air
I wasn’t sure if I would like it since the topic didn’t really interest me. I am not big on the outdoors or physical activity in general (lol!) but I was willing to give it a try. I was blown away! Such a page turner and eye opening read. I have such respect for mountaineering now and a newfound interest in Everest in general. No…I don’t want to climb it, but I would love to see it in person one day! New promo codes and sephora coupons are available now!

Emma’s 1 Year Birthday Questions

This is a pinterest pin: 20 Questions to ask kids every year on their birthdays

Since Emma can’t talk yet, I’ll try to answer the best I can…so it *might* be a little biased…haha

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1. What is your favorite color? red (Emma always reaches for red things we noticed!)
2. What is your favorite toy? containers that rattle, lids or Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes
3. What is your favorite fruit? strawberries, pineapples, and grapes
4. What is your favorite tv show? Do Youtube music videos count?
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Butternut Squash and Pear puree or chao (rice porridge)
6. What is your favorite outfit? Blue dress with hearts on it (she could probably care less what she is wearing but we seem to put her in this outfit a lot because it’s easy to wear, soft, and comfy!)
7. What is your favorite game? peek-a-boo
8. What is your favorite snack? PUFFS
9. What is your favorite animal? indifferent
10. What is your favorite song? “Outdoors” by Jason Mraz

11. What is your favorite book? Pat The Bunny (or Goodnight Moon but I think she is liking Pat the Bunny more these days)
12. Who is your best friend? Mommy!
13. What is your favorite cereal? Cheerios (only cereal she is allowed to eat but she does love it!)
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? people watch
15. What is your favorite drink? breastmilk
16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Mommy!
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Paleo pancakes
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Breastmilk
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A software engineer (she loves the laptop!)

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