Saw these fruity rugs as a sponsored post on Instagram. Couldn’t help but check them out at shopthenovogratz.com since they look so cheery. The prices are reasonable too. The fruity rugs are on sale for $20 – $27. The door mats are $29, and I really want to get the ‘Oh Happy Day’ for our front door. I can’t wait for gardening season to start, and that door mat encompasses all my enthusiasm to grow lots of flowers.
Wow, January is coming to an end! How did your week go? Our bathtub diverter spout broke last week when Larry was giving our dog a bath. We waited till the weekend to go to Home Depot to look for a new one. Somehow they didn’t have the bigger name brands, so we ended up ordering it from Amazon instead. It was actually harder than I thought to decide on the design that we ended up getting the same thing, but we got the one that’s made of metal instead of plastic.
I don’t know if we will ever afford a bathroom of our dreams in our lifetime. Faucets alone are so expensive! A nice big tiled shower and freestanding bath tub would be so luxurious although I’m sure it requires a lot of work to keep a big bathroom & freestanding tub clean. Yep, that is how I console myself. Haha
May I now talk about food? This, my friends, is the beef nachos we have gotten two consecutive Fridays in a row because they were so good and it’s awesome to have a day off from cooking dinner. It is from El Ranchero Food Truck if you happen to live in Tulsa. I’m not a creature of habit. I would rather eat something new every day, but it may take me a while to be burnt out from these crispy nachos.
We also finally went back to our favorite Japanese place Hapa Japanese Cuisine on Saturday. I feel like I always have to explain myself when we talk about Japanese cuisine.
Everyone, please take note: sushi does not necessarily involve raw fish.
You can have sushi that does not include any raw fish. I would also sincerely urge you to try sashimi (raw thinly sliced fish/seafood) at a reputable restaurant (not run-of-the-mill buffet) at least twice before you decide you don’t like it. It took me a while to get over the mental block of eating something raw, but I’m glad I have learnt how to appreciate it because it’s so good! I have eaten sashimi countless of times in the past decade, and I’ve never fallen sick once.
Lastly, I thought I will share this Zucchini and Chicken Alfredo Pasta recipe.
- Chicken Breast
- Pasta of your choice (I went with bow tie pasta)
- Cheese (I used Shredded Italian Cheese from Aldi)
- Full cream (or whatever substitute you want to like half & half, skimmed milk, coconut milk, etc)
- Cooking oil or butter
- Garlic (Optional)
- Spices (Pepper & Salt, Garlic Powder, Basil)
- Slice chicken breast into big thin slices. Marinate with pepper & salt.
- Boil a pot of water for your pasta.
- Heat up pan and add butter or cooking oil. Add minced garlic if you want to.
- Cook chicken breast in pan.
- Place pasta in boiling water. Add a pinch of salt and cooking oil. Cook pasta according to box instructions.
- Chop up zucchini and add it to the pan once the chicken breast is nicely grilled.
- (You can cook the sauce in a different pan, but I’m lazy, so I just make the sauce in the same pan) Pour the full cream into the pan.
- Once the full cream is heated up, add in the cheese, garlic powder and basil. You should start to have a nice creamy sauce.
- Finally drain your cooked pasta. (Do not wash it, as it removes the starch.) Pour cooked pasta into your pan with the sauce.
Is it funny that I was never homesick for the past 2.5 years of moving to America until my mum and brother came to visit me? It was so comforting when we finally moved out of our tiny rental (that we shared with my husband’s cousin) and into our very own home last October. The freedom to do whatever we want is so enjoyable. We could actually invest in everything that we own like getting brand new “adult” couches. Never once did I think that it was just the two of us until my mum and brother came over to stay for a month.
I have to admit it was not easy for all of us to adjust initially. We were all trying to figure out how we can function together without interfering too much into each others’ preferences. They made me realize that it’s really not that difficult to drive around by myself, and I should walk my dog around the neighborhood as often as I can. Yes, I am quite a wimp when it comes to doing anything by myself. Even when I was living in a city that’s filled with people everywhere, I rarely ever do anything myself other than going for yoga or dance classes.
Now that they have flown back home, I see the void; the lack of company to cook, exercise and shop with! It’s everything I liked and had when I was living back in Singapore. How am I going to do everything by myself again?
I need to remind myself that there was a lot more errands to do when it was the four of us. That’s a lot more housework to do too. Secondly, I don’t have to be shopping all the time since I have the luxury of not having to work at the moment. I can actually do most of the things I like at home. There’s youtube and other subscription based websites that allows me to do yoga, barre or dance at the comfort of my own home. Maybe when I do find a job around here that I like and actually start working, I can then use the extra cash to pay for yoga classes again.
Somehow I stumbled onto Jamie Beck’s post about her year living in Provence today. There are so many things that she said about living in the city that I do not miss too.
“I learned to live a life with less noise. My days in Provence are filled mostly with cooking, cleaning, and making photographs and those are the days when I am most happy. I found freedom. Above everything I learned, I discovered true freedom. Freedom exists beyond the ability to choose where you live or what you believe. I found freedom in my art and expression. I found freedom from money. Of course, we all need money to survive but they don’t worship it here in France and it’s amazing how much your stress levels dissolve when that’s not the goal to life. I’m really into being free from plastics and logos and that has brought down the noise in my life in the best way. I loved the freedom from a culture that tells woman how we are supposed to look. I loved being free from what society tells me I should be doing like having children and a corporate job so I have health insurance. I loved the freedom from ‘stuff’. I never had to walk outside my door and be reminded of all the ‘stuff’ I don’t have that I supposedly need to in order to be valuable. The value comes from within – in my mind, in my soul and if I can create something of meaning. I wish I had more time to work on these ideas. Time, I have come to find out, is the most valuable thing we have.”
If you love photography, do check out her Instagram Stories. The way she does her photography is so intriguing, especially when she shares the whole process of how she takes her photos. Right now she’s working on large format film photography.
Here is my messy Christmas mantle this year. It’s a mishmash of new and old stuff. I think my favorite buy from Target’s Bullseye’s Playground this year are the $3 ceramic tealight candle holder houses. I wish they had more designs, but it’s also fun to collect them over the years if they continue to put out new ones. There were $1 and $3 bottlebrush trees that come in silver, gold, white and ombre pink. Many people on the Target Facebook groups love the $5 sleigh. It looks really good when you add gnomes or even the $2 fake snowballs that Target is also selling.
Am I the only one that can’t resist all the Christmas stationery, especially when they are all $1 to $3? The stamps, ink pads and sticker labels are a dollar each. The Christmas cards (16pcs) and gift wrapping tissue paper were $3. The snow globe jars are also $3, so I grabbed all three designs.
Target Reindeer garland
Target Christmas Advent Calendar Garland
Target Christmas Lights garland
Target Snowflake Garland
Last but not the least, there are many garlands and signs for $3. The designs for the garlands are a little on the kiddish side, but I had to get at least one garland. I ended up purchasing the reindeer garland to go with some decor I got from Dollar Tree and the multi-color lights garland. The Merry Christmas sign above my mantle and the Fresh Cut Christmas Trees sign (pictured below) are both $3 which is quite a steal if you ask me.
Let me know if you need the DCPI for any of the items. I’ll try to find them for you to track them down on brickseek.com.
Similar Post: The secret to get the best deals in Target
Hi everyone, sorry for taking such a long break. I’m trying to recover from my flu and sore throat after our trip to visit Las Vegas, Grand Canyon and Los Angeles early November. I can’t wait to tell you more. For now, I’m going to share how I shop for my home decor at Target.
Target has a section of good deals in the stores. It’s called Bullseye’s Playground and the items cost either $1, $3 or $5. So far, I have realized that they stock up their seasonal items about one to two months ahead of time. Halloween items were available around end August, and Christmas items have been out since 1st November.
The more I dig into the items that they release each season, the more I realize I need to up my game. Here’s my secret:
- Join the Facebook groups that posts good deals on Target. I have been pretty obsessed with Bullseye’s Playground Fanatics. Nothing beats chatting with a group of people who like the same things you do. Lots of people are really helpful and friendly too.
Track the items you like thru Brickseek
- Brickseek.com is a great site to track down the items that you want. It works for a few stores beyond Target too. What I usually do is find the DPCI of the items I want from Target and use Brickseek to find out which Target outlet still has the item. So far, it has been very accurate for me. Most people on Instagram or Facebook would tell you the DPCI number if you ask them. The numbers are usually located on the price tag of the item itself.
Let me know if you have any questions, or if you love Target as much as I do. 😉
It is crazy how it has already been a year since we moved into our first home. I thought I would share some of the things I wish I knew while we were house shopping last year.
- Get an experienced realtor
This will ensure you get your best bang for the buck. We naively went with the first realtor that called us back, and she just kept telling us to match whatever the sellers were asking for. I wish we got someone who would help us get a good deal. I mean we are paying them quite a few thousand if the deal goes through.
- Fully inspect your house before you buy it
We didn’t realize there was a cover missing on one of the electrical outlet in one of the bedrooms because there was furniture that was blocking it. Also, another piece of furniture covered a small part of the carpet is ripped off at the corner.
- Try to inspect your yard on a rainy day
We didn’t realize that most of our neighbors’ yards are higher than ours, so the rain flows through our backyard to drain at a ditch. We were too focussed on making sure our land is flat to realize about the drainage in the neighborhood.
- A good kitchen sink and faucet makes a world of difference
I cook almost every day and thus wash dishes all the time. A big sink ensures you can wash huge pots and pans easily without splashing all over. Hopefully I’m not the only one that babies my stainless steel and non-stick pans. I rarely put them in my dishwasher. 😉
- Check if you have home warranty for your first year
I don’t know how common this is but we had no idea that we had one year of home warranty until the last month before it expired. (Thanks to the spam mail to renew our home warranty.) It definitely saved us quite a bit from using our home warranty to get our dishwasher and jetted tub fixed.
- Get a good computer chair
My husband kept telling me not to get the cheap computer chair ($99 from Office Depot) but I insisted that it would be fine and we could save some money. Guess who was right after two weeks.
- Look out for good deals on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and estate sales
Just be patient and wait for the good deals for items that are alright to be second hand. So far, we have been very lucky. We have gotten a vintage dining table & four chairs for $20, a Lane recliner for less than a hundred, 7-piece outdoor cast iron dining set for around $300, vintage dresser and two side tables for $150, Breville espresso machine for $20, Zojirushi rice cooker $40 and a Weston dehydrator for $30.