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!

 

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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.

What is home?

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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.

2017 Christmas Haul from Target’s Bullseye’s Playground

2017 Christmas Mantle

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.

Target Bullseye's Playground Christmas Haul 2017

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.

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.

Christmas 2017 Dinning Room


Similar Post: The secret to get the best deals in Target

I’m a tea addict

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Saw this Boba Bae sweatshirt  that I really want on Instagram! Not that I can afford $40 USD + $7 shipping but a girl can dream.

Let’s talk about boba tea. Have you tried it before? It’s a Taiwanese tea-based drink that was invented in 1980s. I used to call it bubble tea but it felt like most American places call it boba? I just realize the New York Times refers it to bubble tea in their recent article that sparked some virtual outrage. Hmm now I am a little confused.

Anyway, I was surprised to see how the editor seemed unaware of the drink that has been around for a long time, especially if she lives in the East Coast. Granted, she was posting on the Entrepreneurship section instead of Food.

Now, if she lives here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, it would have been the other way around. I would think less than half of people living in this town has tried it. There are only around five places here that sell boba tea that I was actually looking into setting up a boba tea franchise.

Honestly though, it is both a blessing and a curse that I have not found a boba tea place I like here. As much as I am incredibly jealous of the wide variety of boba tea that the bigger cities get, I’m a tea addict that would spend way too much on them. I used to drink like one every day. Look at my excitement when I found my favorite boba tea place in Plano, Texas.

If you are new to boba tea, here are some of my recommendations.

  1. Try the classic flavor first.
    It is good to know how the OG tastes like, and it’s the safer choice as a first impression. That means it’s Milk Tea or a boba tea infused with black/red tea or Jasmine green tea.
  2. Go to a reputable outlet if you can.
    As with all caffeinated drinks, the quality varies. You would have better luck trying it at a well reviewed place. So far, I’ve only been to two that I like in Plano, Texas. I’m sure there are plenty more that I’m not aware of. My favorites are Gong Cha and 85°C Bakery Cafe.
  3. There will be toppings you can add in your drink.
    The boba in boba tea refers to chewy tapioca balls that are often added. You can ask for lesser boba if you are unsure, or try some jelly instead. There is also nothing wrong if you don’t add anything to your drink. I usually drink it without any because that’s added sugar that I don’t need.
  4. You are usually able to choose the sweetness level of your drink.
    That’s actually one of my favorite part of boba tea because I can choose to have it at 25, 30% sweetness. With that said, try it at at least 50% for the first time unless you always have your coffee/tea without sugar.

That’s it!

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The little things matter

House 24 Aug 2017

We bought our first house last October, and it has been a blast. We can finally do whatever we want! There will be no roommate or rental property management company drama to deal with. I can actually devote time to build up a garden.

On top of that, there are also many small things that I appreciate here in the US – things that the average American may be very used to.

  1. A bath tub
    It feels so good to be able to take a bubble bath from a tub that is solely for you. (I need to remind my husband to fix the jets! I can’t imagine how awesome it would be if they worked.) It used to be a luxury when I lived in Singapore because most of us live in apartments.
  2. A dryer
    It is such a convenient way to dry clothes. It is such a hassle to hang out clothes to dry which I think is very common in tropical countries like Singapore and maybe even Europe?
  3. A fridge with water and ice dispenser
    Again, what a convenience to have filtered water and ice at your fingertips. I have no idea why it isn’t common in Singapore. Tropical country and iced water should go hand in hand.
  4. A recliner
    These are just the most comfortable things to sit on. It feels like I am in the first class seats of an airplane every time I plonk myself on the recliner. There may be more aesthetically pleasing couches out there but nothing beats a recliner when it comes to comfort.
  5. Garbage disposal
    Getting rid of leftovers in the sink is so much easier than throwing it in the bin. I don’t have to clear my trash as often.
  6. Dishwasher
    The ability to be lazy and not have to hand wash dishes is incredible especially if you have a big family or just had a gathering at your place. Food just taste better when you use proper cutlery.

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