Found shutterbean.com recently, and I love looking at her thehandwritingclub Instagram. There’s just something about her art and handwriting that I’m so drawn to. Definitely inspiring me to pick up my pen and draw more often since I’m cooped up indoors during winter anyway. Have a great Sunday, everyone! ♥
12 – 19 Feb 2018
What did I do last week? I can barely remember.
The frost was so pretty on Monday morning that I ran out in the cold to take photos. I wish the quality of panorama photos on the iphone are not so bad though. May have to try other apps like Cardboard Camera. Hopefully I will find something good because stitching photos manually is too time consuming, and I don’t want to pay the monthly fees for Adobe Photoshop. This reminds me that I have yet to finish blogging about my vacation last November!! That will be in my to do list this week.
We didn’t do much for Valentine’s Day because I just don’t fancy paying for overpriced food and gifts. Take me to the Target clearance sale after Valentine’s Day instead! I think Larry’s colleagues are all very surprised and jealous that he doesn’t have to do anything. Haha, I would prefer to have lots of seeds to grow my own seasonal and perennial flowers. Actually, if I could have things my way, he would be paying for a landscaper to do up our whole yard. See, he’s actually in bigger trouble than all of them.
As for our home-cooked meal on Valentine’s Day? Good old pork chops with caramelized onions. Side of zucchini, squash and steamed white rice. Super easy and yummy. I usually just coat my pork chop with salt, pepper, cayenne and onion powder. I cannot wait to start eating my own vegetables once gardening season starts! Food just taste so much better when you grow it yourself.
Also, I don’t think I have ever had zucchini and squash until I moved to US! Can you imagine how long I have been missing out? They are such staples here.
This year’s Chinese New Year decoration. Didn’t buy anything new. Thankfully my SUPER sweet cousin @quekie sent me the high res images of what he created for CNY, so that I can print and put them around the house. ❤️❤️❤️ #blessed #chinesenewyear #happy #home #homedecor #cnydecor #cnydeco #yearofthedog #tulsa #oklahoma
I got the house decked out in some Chinese New Year decorations since it starts on 16 February. Did not organize a cookout this year because I didn’t want to stress myself out. It’s crazy difficult to cater to everyone’s taste buds since not everyone is familiar with Chinese cuisine. it was probably everyone’s first time having duck last year. I wish I know a group of people who enjoy cooking and food in general in Tulsa, Oklahoma, so we can all take turns cooking for each other every week. That would be so much fun.
Alternatively, and more realistically, I can just cook for Larry’s nephews. They wolf down almost anything I make, and they enjoy spicy food. They are an easy crowd to please but it will add up a lot of expenses to cook for three boys all the time. If only we have more spare cash!
So, my first meal for Chinese New Year is a plate of waffles with fruits at the nearby casino. It was late at night, and we ran out of groceries. That’s probably a few superstitious taboos right there, but hey, I can think of a good one! Eating something sweet to signify a new year of sweetness! 甜甜蜜蜜. Actually, here’s another one! Since the waffles and bananas are round. It also symbolizes 团团圆圆 (圆满) which means togetherness and harmony.
We also finally watched The Greatest Showman which we really enjoyed. I’m so glad that the theaters are still showing it. Definitely a lot better than the last musical film we watched Les Misérables in 2012. I was actually surprised Larry didn’t mind watching it. Apparently it reminds him of a TV series he’s watching: American Horror Story. Worked out well for both of us.
Here’s the rest of what I ate. Avocado toast because we bought way too many avocados. I think I have decided I like my avocado mashed up on my toast. Somehow it just taste better. I also prefer a scrambled egg over a hard boiled egg on my avocado toast. Scrambled eggs just bring out the taste of Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Seasoning when I put them together.
Also had Chile Rellenos from Chuy’s last weekend. I think it may be my top three favorite Tex-Mex dishes now. I just love peppers, and my super sweet gardening friends are going to give me a few poblano pepper seeds to grow this year. I love how we try to grow everything we love to eat. Larry said he wouldn’t mind making them at home too! Let’s hope I get some decent harvest later this year.
Last but not the least, we found pork shoulder on sale at Sprouts. We got a huge bone-in slab for 99 cents per pound. Cut up half of it to slow cook with onions as well as tomatoes and peppers from my garden that I have froze late last year.
I’m a big foodie. Food is always on my mind. I got into gardening because I wanted to know how hierloom vegetables taste like. The gardeners are so good at describing the taste of fruits and vegetables that you just want to grow everything just to try them. I feel like I can relate to them so well because they are so enthusiastic about what they eat. Being able to grow your own food allows you to have fruits and vegetables that are beyond what the supermarkets offer.
Since the gardening season has not started yet, the gardeners have been talking about what they cook or what they miss eating. I have been so intrigued because I always wondered about what people in America eat. It seems so diverse from person to person since everyone grew up in different states.
I always wonder what do people in America eat if they don’t cook. Do they always go for fast food, or do they just eat sandwiches and salads? How much do people spend on groceries every month? I love cooking, but not many people around us do. Adulting is so hard, and I’ve so many things that I want to find out.
And then I just read Jamie Beck’s blog post about the difference in food culture between France and United States. You see, I have never been to Europe so I have no idea how different it is. I was surprised to hear that she said the food at farmers’ markets in US are expensive. They really are, and that’s coming from her. We plebeians can’t even afford to shop at Whole Foods like she does. We had to return the brussels sprouts we bought at Sprouts recently because it was over $10 for a bag of them!
American baggage… I spent the better part of the day writing out my thoughts, feelings and experience with food as it relates to France and the United States after gaining weight on my recent journey home. I linked to what I have to say in my bio & in stories. I invite you here to have an open discussion on food and the impact our cultures have on us mentally and physically. #provenceselfportraitseries
Why is produce cheaper in France? Why is it so difficult to find healthy food options in America? Is there no demand, or people just prefer the cheapest option which unfortunately leads to processed fast food chains? Why is eating out much more expensive than it is in Singapore even though the cost of living is similar?
There is just a never-ending list of questions that I have!
5 – 11 Feb 2018
Yet another week has flown by. Chinese New Year is on 16 February, so I have been putting up some decorations for it because it has been a tradition for me when I lived in Singapore. We didn’t drive out to Oklahoma City this year to shop for more festive decorations, so I just make do with what we have.
I found this set of Chinese New Year decorations that look so cute, but they have sold out already! Not too sure why I took so long to decide.. They weren’t too expensive either. I guess it is just hitting me how difficult it is to live in a different environment. That is growing up though, isn’t it? The older we get, the more we realize things and people are different from us. I will share my favorite Chinese New Year snack once I finish baking them. It is quite a tedious thing to bake, so I hope they turn out ok. (I’m not the best baker.)
Met up with my gardening friends at White River Fish Market last Friday. It is always a blast to chat with them because they are as enthusiastic about gardening and cooking as I’m. The broiled flounder that I ordered made me realize that I probably only like my fish fried with no breading or steamed. Haha, steamed fish is something I’m sure lots of you will not comprehend unless you are Asian or has lived in Asia.
Lastly, I will end with a cute photo of my dog because I’ve been lazing around with her when I really should be doing more spring cleaning. Base on Chinese superstition, you need to get the house in tip-top conditions, so that you have “room” to bring in all the good luck for the new year. I need every
excuse reason I can find to tidy up the house which really isn’t that bad other than my desk.
TGIF everyone! The weather is so good today, so I’m feeling peppy. Am I the only person that cannot resist all the new products that Target is constantly pushing out? I am trying not to load up on seasonal home decor like Valentine’s Day and Spring, BUT there are still other things that I want.
For instance, I am going to be a little heartbroken if I don’t find these dinosaur planters ($5) at Target. I just love dinosaurs and the bright colors. It’s also a great excuse to get more succulents. The DCPI is 234-21-0390 if you want to check on Brickseek if it’s in stock.
And then I saw these signs that are only $3 from the Bullseye’s Playground too. The DCPI is 234-21-0404. I think they will look cute in our laundry closet. Yep, we don’t have a laundry room at our house, but it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try to make the closet look cute. I mean look at Emily Henderson’s old laundry closet!
Finally, Target has Buy 1 Get 1 Free on select Wii U video games. I feel like we have absolutely wasted our money buying the Wii U because we rarely use it since the games are always too expensive to buy.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Related Post: The secret to get the best deals in Target
How did everyone’s week go last week? To be very honest, I have been feeling like crap more often than not since Christmas. I don’t know why I have not recovered from all the year end hustle and bustle. I mean it is already February. Maybe the weather is affecting my mood, and I miss having my family around.
These two Instagram accounts have been reminding me that it is ok to not feel my best. There are just days where we don’t feel 100%. It’s also funny that someone in my local gardening community said this: “All any person can do is just do their best on any given day, and accept that there are going to be days when their best just isn’t good enough. That’s just part of being human.”
A great woman once said, “ self-care, at its core, is giving yourself permission to do whatever it is that you need to be ok.” She also said, in reference to self care, “stay in bed all weekend and watch tv, find the positive in a negative situation, cry when you feel like crying, accept the compliments that are given to you with an open heart, have FUN, or yes, take that bubble bath.” let’s take care of ourselves together. it’s gonna be great. i’m sure of it! #sheisme #iamher #proofofhot #thatdoesntmakeanysense #forbes.
Just shy of a year ago I checked myself in to hospital for overnight suicide watch. I was going through a really rough time in my personal life and had stopped meditating for 5 days straight in some strange form of self pity. On the 6th day I encountered a situation that severely triggered my #PTSD like never before and it sent me into a state of total terror and panic – I just couldn’t escape my mind, I was trapped in a perpetual flashback and eventually reacted by running away and driving my car to a cliff. It was there that I sat for hours trying to regain my state of mind while fighting off a series of all too real past suicidal thoughts and plans that I had not revisited in years… Not wanting to ask for help or admit defeat to those I loved, I drove to the emergency ward of the local hospital and asked for help. I remember feeling like a fraud… I was ashamed that I could still feel like this after so many years – it was one of the realest nights of my life. After being checked in and put on surveillance a nurse came to me and told me that she’d lost someone close to her from her #mentalhealth battle and as she held my hand she said “thank you for coming here, you are exactly where you need to be.” It was in that moment that I let myself just be as I was, vulnerable, raw and unashamed… the unedited me. I never intended to recall or share that night with anyone, but today is day 5 of the @mindspo #Goloveyourself challenge, where I ask everyone to share something that they would normally hide, edit or never post on social media. I am one of the happiest people I know, but that happiness comes from a contrast of so much pain which I’ve felt in the past and a decision to work tirelessly to change my story and create a new reality. I came really close that night, but looking back now it’s self love that stopped me and an awareness that this too shall pass. Please trust me, it will pass. Now… that was hard to write and even harder to share, but that night is a part of me. I am a meditation teacher and I teach best what I most need to practice myself. ❤️ Thanks for reading – Love Fox 🦊 #Mindspo
I hope I will eventually feel better, or figure out things that would make me feel better. Here are some things I hope to do in February:
- Build up my strength and stamina by doing more yoga and barre at home, so that I can actually do a full hour of class at a studio. (My fitness has sadly gone down the drain in 2017.)
- Cook and bake more new things because I enjoy it, and it’s more productive than relying on retail therapy. The holiday season is over. It is time to save up.
- Start on seeds because gardening season is just around the corner.
- Spend minimal time on video games because it isn’t making me happy.
- Organize everything because it is
oddlytherapeutic for me.
- Chill. It is ok to not do anything if that’s what I need to do to feel better.
Have a great week everyone. ❤