If your friend is going through a tough time

Winter 23 Dec 2017 in Oklahoma

I often wish people knew how I felt when we knew my dad had cancer. He passed away a few years ago when I was 27 years old, and it felt like none of my friends understood how it felt like. Is it one of those things that you would never comprehend until it has happened to you? It’s a situation that many of them would likely not have to deal with for at least the next 10 years.

I was devastated, and still am sad about it because he was my rock. It was honestly one of the few things that I really feared for in life, and to have it happen way sooner than I wanted it to be sucks. The loss of a parent has to be one of the hardest thing to deal with as an adult.

What I really want to tell you is that if you have a friend who has a loved one who is really ill or has passed away, do show them your support. Please stand in their shoes and do the things you want others to do for you if it was you. Be a little nicer to them because they are going through a hard time. They may get grumpy or get upset over something silly, so please bear with them.

Also, appreciate every day you have with your loved ones. Never take them for granted. Actually, we should never take our own time for granted too. Life is short and very precious, so make the most out of it.

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First week of the new year

2018 New Year Mantle

How’s everyone’s first week of 2018? It is finally a little warmer here in Oklahoma. 40, 50°F is definitely more doable for me. I think I’m going to brisk walk around the neighborhood later today. Hopefully 49°F isn’t too cold for me. Don’t think my silly dog would walk with me in this cold weather though.

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I was so happy to receive two packages from my friends recently. My friend drew me some art after I jokingly asked her for some. Gotta love them for being so sweet to me even though I’m half a globe away from them. The artwork couldn’t have been more apt for me too since I’ve an obnoxious amount of plants indoors right now. I need to figure out a better way to keep my indoor plants because it looks like quite a mess. If only we have a sunroom!

Homemade Egg Noodles Avocado Toast Shrimp & Grits at Bread and Butter Kitchen & Bakery Tulsa

I had a few fun meals last week. Made homemade egg noodles from scratch last Tuesday because I was craving for some. The recipe is so simple; it’s just flour, eggs, a few tablespoon of water and a pinch of salt. It may be time to buy a pasta maker soon, so I can try more recipes.

An avocado toast sounded great on Thursday, so I made myself some that day. Why, oh why have I not been making it more often? It really should be a weekly staple because it’s so easy to make for how good it tastes. Just some salt, pepper and cayenne pepper on the avocado, and it’s good to go.

We also went to a new place Bread and Butter Kitchen and Bakery for dinner on Saturday. Tulsa is not a big city, but there’s always new food joints popping up which I’m so thankful of. Bread and Butter Kitchen and Bakery opened in early 2017, and I have been wanting to go for quite a while. A place with good food and dessert is totally up my alley. I was feeling adventurous that day and ordered Shrimp & Grits for the first time. I am glad I tried it because it was really tasty. It will also take me a while to forget the chocolate ganache cheesecake that we ordered.

Yep, my day usually evolves around food which is why I need to exercise a lot more!

 

What’s your New Year’s Resolution?

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Is it weird that my new year’s resolution is very similar to Eva Chen’s? I was a little shocked when I saw it on my Instagram Stories feed. These are the things I really want to work on this year.

1) Start doing yoga again
Yes, yes, yes! I used to be so much fitter when I did yoga twice or thrice a week. I need to either try out the online subscription to Cody App, or find a good yoga studio near me. The sad thing is I’m not very confident driving on the highway or in crowded areas, so that rules out a lot of yoga studios for me. I have to figure something out though.

2) Reduce plastic waste (bottles, utensils, etc)
There is no excuse not to reduce, reuse and recycle. Why are there no more cartoons like Captain Planet and the Planeteers for kids these days? I always feel like I’m the only person that tries my best to recycle everything I can. Is it a hassle? Yes, it is but I feel obligated to do what I can. You won’t realize how much waste you contribute until you start sorting your waste. It is only the two of us and we accumulate a car trunk load of recyclables in a month. I recycle all mail, cardboard, milk jugs, aluminum cans and glass bottles. Do you know you can recycle your cooking oil from your deep fryer too? Anyway, back to plastic waste. There are so many things we can do. I wish restaurants would stop giving out plastic straws. I always try not to use them when I eat out, but am usually given one and I don’t think they would give it to someone else if I give it back to them. We also try our best not to order takeouts, so we won’t be using plastic food containers.

3) Try to be nicer to my parents
We should never take our loved ones for granted, and be as nice as we can to them because time is limited everyone! My dad passed away four years ago and I still miss him every day. Gosh, just saying this made me tear up. I always wonder if people around me can even comprehend how sad I was and still am since he passed away. (I was only 27). There is just this gaping hole that will never heal. I guess that’s the thing when you love so deeply.

5) for every ONE thing I bring home, purge three things to create minimalist apartment
I really want to be more minimalistic, and stop buying frivolous things. This will not be easy for me though since I love seasonal decorations. I will definitely buy more quality products, so they can last me a lifetime.

7) Start taking better care of my skin again
Our skin is so important; it’s the largest organ that we have. I need to start using sunscreen and moisturize every day, especially since I’m already 30 years old.

8) Floss
Our teeth are very important too. I need to floss more often and make sure my husband and I visit the dentist at least once a year.

Post-Christmas Target Haul 2017/2018

Following Instagram accounts and blogs that updates all the new items in Target’s clearance is the best and worst thing that I have done to myself. I feel like it has made me even more addicted to Target. Case in point? It was 4°F (-15°C) early this morning, and I dragged my husband out to two Targets near me even though I’ve already gotten some good deals the last two days.

We were so lucky to find the last few Philips Christmas LED Illuminate Starter Kits at 90% off. Our new house will finally have outdoors lights for Christmas next year! I can hardly wait. We may actually put some of the mini string lights up just to familiarize ourselves with the Philips Illuminate app.

Without further ado, I present you our loot.

Christmas Lights from Target Clearance Post Christmas 2017/2018

Philips Christmas Lights from Target Clearance Post Christmas 2017/2018

Febreeze, Soap and Glory Gift Set, Yesto Mask from Target Clearance Post Christmas 2017/2018

Items from Target Clearance Post Christmas 2017/2018

  • Washi Tape – $1
  • Starbucks Ornaments – $2.38(70% off)
  • Mini Roses Grow Kit – $3
  • Red Sports Jacket for Dogs – $2.99 (70% off)
  • Maltesers Christmas Gift Box – $1.24 (75% off)

Have a great 2018, everyone!

Christmas Lights near Tulsa

I love looking at Christmas lights. Isn’t it such a fun way to enjoy the festive season by looking at all the crazy lights homeowners put up? I wish I have the budget to do the same. For now, I’ll just be cruising around in the car when I want to look at them.

My favorite Christmas lights around my area is in the video above. It’s crazy how many lights he managed to pack on and around his house, and I feel that the effects really complement the music that is played.

8437 Forrest Glenn Rd, Claremore, OK 74019
Music is played on 94.7 FM.

There is also a house near the entrance of the same neighborhood that has great lights. I know the song in the video isn’t a Christmas song, but I still like it because I consider it a happy song. Haha I know Christmas light purists will not agree with me.

8019 Silverado Rd, Claremore, Ok  74019
Music is played on 103.9 FM

We also went to another town near us to see more Christmas lights. The three that I listed below should be the popular ones in Owasso, Oklahoma.

 

Owasso Lights
9236 N 144th E Ave Owasso, OK 74055
Music is played on 107.7 FM

The Lights at Camelot
9205 N 143rd East Ave, Owasso, OK 74055
Music is played on 88.5 FM

Lighting Up Owasso
9612 N 110th East Ave, Owasso, OK 74055
Music is played on 106.3 FM

The lights at Lighting Up Owasso is done up by an 18 year old which is pretty amazing if you ask me. I do think the whole display would look a lot better if he slowed down the pace of the lights blinking and changing color by a tad.

I hope you enjoy my videos. Pardon the silly conversations that were recorded too.

Lastly, I would like to add that I wish more people knew how to turn off their headlights when they park their car to watch the Christmas light displays. It makes the whole experience so much better for everyone including themselves.

Family trip: Part One – Las Vegas

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The main aim of our trip was to visit Grand Canyon, and since the nearest airport was in Las Vegas, we decided to spend two nights there.

Not really knowing what to expect, we booked two nights at Mandalay Bay. Our room on the 17th floor had a nice view of the strip, but it also reminded us of the unfortunate shooting that happened recently. 😥

We took an Uber down to LINQ on the first night because it was around the middle of the strip and we wanted to try sushi burritos that we can’t get here in Oklahoma. There are many food options in Vegas but we didn’t want to spend too much.

Jaburritos hit the right spot for me. I absolutely love the sashimi I got in my burrito. Larry liked his too, but he thought it was a little pricey for the portion given.

It was a very sweet surprise when we stumbled upon the cupcake ATM by Sprinkles in the same area! We had to try it right? I’ve seen it so many times on Instagram, and it was right in front of me. We got a chocolate milk cupcake to share, and it turned out to be one of the nicest cupcakes we have tried. Serendipity at its finest.

 

We spent a little while at the LINQ casino and slowly walked our way back to our hotel which was at the most south end of the Strip. The stroll down the Strip was anything but boring. The hustle and bustle as well as the interesting architecture of the hotels were quite a sight to be seen. We could also step into any casino that we passed by because the casinos were opened 24/7.

My favorite part of the casinos in Las Vegas is that they offered free drinks. We would gamble a little at every casino, and try out their drinks. Of the few ones that we have tried, I liked the drinks from LINQ the most as their alcoholic drinks are not too strong. Larry introduced Pina Colada to my mom and brother, so that was what they ordered at every casino we go. The ones at Mandalay Bay were the best because they were strong, and came with a cherry and whipped cream too.

For the second day, we were on a quest to find my mum a pair of sports shoes because she didn’t bring any even though she knew we were going to Grand Canyon! We decided to go to Las Vegas South Premium Outlets because it was a short Uber ride from our hotel. Unfortunately time flies when we were busy shopping, and we spent almost all day there.

I decided to make everyone eat Hawaiian food near the outlet mall because I’ve been craving to eat it ever since we tried some in Japan a few years back. The food at L&L Hawaiian Barbecue was actually really good considering the price and portions. I would eat this over any overpriced buffet that the Strip offers, but I’m Chinese so your mileage may vary. 😉

The spam musubi (pictured right) was something I’ve been wanting to try, and I finally tasted it! Love, love, love the simplicity of it being just spam and rice that’s wrapped up in seaweed. Just my kind of goodness.