Third week of 2018

How did everyone’s week go? I ought to post my weekly update on Mondays! We had a pretty ordinary week where we spent most of our time indoors. It’s so easy to come up with excuses. I only went outside for a brisk walk around the neighborhood on Friday when it was 57°F (14°C). My silly dog wouldn’t even walk past our driveway which made me sad because we really need to exercise more.

I can also tell you that it’s incredibly hard to do a lot when my husband works the afternoon shift (4pm-12am). It always feels like no one can comprehend how difficult it is for us to hang out with people of normal schedules. His usual sleeping hours are 8am to 3pm. That leaves us with only a few hours in the weekend to run errands and meet up with people. Why are there not more people like Mariah Carey who prefers linner (late dinner) over bunch? Everyone is pretty much in zombie mode by 10pm, and that’s kind of our prime time. I also really hope we would start cycling in the wee hours of the morning in Spring just to get some exercise in daylight because it keeps me from getting too cranky.

Homemade Torta

Food wise, Larry made Torta (which is a Mexican Sandwhich that we love) since there were some sirloin steaks that were marked down at Walmart. Here’s his recipe.

Larry’s Homemade Torta


  • Italian Bread
  • Steak (Any cut that you prefer. We like ribeye, but we usually get whatever is on sale)
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Avocado
  • Mayonnaise
  • Shredded Cheese (Optional)
  • Spices (Paprika, Cumin*, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Onion Powder)


  1. Marinate steak with spices for at least an hour.
  2. Grill steak to your preference. (I like it medium well. Larry likes him medium cooked.)
  3. Let steak rest for at least 5 minutes after it is cooked. Cut into small pieces.
  4. Add a light coat of Mayonnaise on Italian bread and brown it on a skillet.
  5. Add tomato, lettuce, avocado, steak and cheese to the Italian bread.

*Tip: Go easy on the cumin.

Homemade Meatballs

We also had success making meatballs last week. We made them with Italian sausage, ground turkey, ground beef, crackers and an egg. It is awesome how they taste so much better when you add different kinds of meat in it. I had enough leftovers that I made a meatball soup a few days later with potatoes, carrots and celery.

As for shopping, I scored two Magnolia Hearth & Hand stoneware dessert bowls for $1.18 each (from $3.99) thanks to someone who posted it on Instagram. I can’t remember exactly who, but they said to scan the prices to check if they are on clearance. Same thing for the hammock. posted them on clearance at $14.98 (down from $49.99), so I tried to see if it’s lower than the price tag and it was. I felt like I was more ahead of the Target employees at pricing their products which was pretty funny.

I also dragged Larry and his nephews all the way to Atwoods because I wanted to get some seed potatoes early. Didn’t find them, but got some seed onions and some Burpee seeds that are 40% off instead. Also got a pink camo seat that you can attach to five-gallon buckets for $5.94 that was down from $9.99.


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.

What’s your New Year’s Resolution?


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.

What is home?


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.

13 Impossible to Answer “Would You Rather” Questions

Saw these questions on, and I decided to do them too since it looks fun. Haha I don’t think I will have any problem answering most of them.

Question: Pick the year you die OR Pick the way you die
I will pick the way I die! I would like to die in my sleep painlessly.

Question: Have a sport stadium named after you OR Have a university named after you
Haha I’m going to bet it is a guy who came up with these questions. Anyway I think I would go with the sports stadium. I think it would feel weird to have people graduate from a university that is named after me.

Question: Have free Apple products forever or Have free wifi wherever you go
I will go with free Apple products because it means I will always have the latest products! From an iphone to an imac to apple tv. Haha and infinite apple storage. My main issue with Apple products is price, so this eliminates it. My husband won’t be able to say “You can get something better on a pc for the same price.”

Question: Fulfill your biggest wish OR Resolve your biggest regret
I will go with resolve my biggest regret which is to make sure my dad has seen the doctor earlier when he first started having stomach problems. Gosh, I admire people with no regrets!

Question: Have your own private island OR Have your own private jet
Private island! Because I don’t think either me or my husband is ever going to take flying license. A pilot just sounds too expensive to hire.

Question: Be able to read minds OR Be able to travel at light speed
I would rather travel at light speed. I would be able to travel every where! It would be too frustrating for me to read minds because there are many things I rather not know.

Question: Have $1 million in Amazon gift cards OR Have $100,000 in real money
I will go with $1 million in Amazon gift cards because I can resell everything I buy off Amazon, and Amazon sells practically everything anyway.

Question: Be best friends forever with your favorite celebrity OR Date your celebrity crush for only 2 years
Give me a best friend forever any time! Is Zoella considered a celebrity?

Question: Have free gas for 25 years OR Have your dream car
I will go with a 2017 Nissan GT-R NISMO in pearl white please. That’s $177,685 which is over $7,000 every year for 25 years. I’m guessing the person who created this questionnaire has a more realistic dream car than me. If you are wondering, I have a few more dream cars that are around that price range too.. even though I hate driving. I’m a walking contradiction.

Question: Be a ninja OR Be a pirate
Ninja for sure! I want to be fit and agile, so I can defend myself.

Question: Continue on with your life OR Restart your life
I would prefer to continue on with my life. Don’t think I want to study again and what if I never get to meet my husband if I restart my life!

Question: Live the life of fame and wealth OR Live in Harry Potter’s world
Can I just say that I’m guessing the person who created this questionnaire is a boy aged between 14 to 18 years old? I feel like I’m way too practical and superficial than the person who created this. I would go with the life of fame and wealth because I’m not a big fan of Harry Potter or sci-fi or fantasy. I sound so old and boring.

Question: Have the ability to read minds OR Have the ability to see the future
This is so tough! I can’t decide… I guess ability to see the future because I don’t want to read minds. I think I will be too affected by everyone if I can read their minds.


Regroup & refocus

Inspired by the article Successful Women Do These 7 Things Every September—Do You?

1. Build a vision board for the coming year.

Garden images are taken off Facebook. Please let me know if you want me to credit your image. Sorry for not noting it down.2. Set new goals for the end of the year

  • Be more active and consume lesser sugar.
  • Cook new dishes every month. (At least 1 or 2)
  • Blog consistently. (At least 3 posts every week)

3. Write down your new goals, and create a road map

  • Be more active > Cycle + Yoga + Just Dance on the Wii U at least once a week for each activity
  • Blog consistently > Topics I need to work on my blog: House/Decor, Cooking, Gardening

4. Book your holiday travel

We are not successful enough do not have the budget to really plan a vacation a year/few months in advance. However, my mum and brother are visiting in November so we may make an impromptu trip somewhere.

5. See all your doctors

It’s time for me to see a dentist for a routine checkup! It’s been long overdue.

6. Evaluate your finances

We need to save a lot more although earning more would be a better option. I can’t really control when I will find a job, or when Larry will get a pay raise that he deserves. What we can control is the number of times we eat out. It’s one of our bigger expenses that we can work on.

7. Reconnect with your professional network

Wow, this is tough. I need to build new contacts here in the US since my professional network is mainly in Singapore. I am still quite undecided about my career. Should I keep broadening my options and not stop applying for jobs? Or should I just live a simpler life and be contended with what I have? That’s my daily struggle. I can’t decide what I truly want to do and work toward it.

*Image credits*   Top left garden image is from Janie Hammock.
Top right garden image is from