April 2018 Favorites

Here’s what I’ve been up to lately:

Reading. I’ve been working on increasing my reading time. There are too many books and too little time. I try to keep the time between dinner and bed for my Kindle. As much as I admire beautiful book cover designs, the best way for me to switch between my books is on the Kindle. Plus, I get to borrow e-books quite easily online.

This one by P.D. James and this one with Sagan. Who knew a book about a lost robot would make me cheer, gasp and cry!

Eating brioche french toast. Using my favorite Nigella recipe.

Drinking milky tea with this much needed addition. I really feel the difference.

Listening to these podcasts – Ear Hustle, Table Manners, Bloom & Grow Radio.

Scrolling through planty posts on Instagram is my new favorite thing. I got my a new friendship plant (pilea peperomioides). I want a radiator plant (peperomia rosso, in particular).

What have you been loving lately?

May Favorites

Back from a work trip and glad that it’s cool and sunny here in the PNW. Wanted to share my recent favorites:

La Croix. Because fizzy.
Matcha Soy Lattes with Pacific Foods Ultra Soy. This really foams up in the milk frother.

Chicken karaage with pickles. Crispy on the outside, juicy and flavorful on the inside.
Scrambled eggs with truffle salt. I know it sounds uppity but a little truffle salt goes a long way. Especially in pop corn.

The Kitchen Sisters – I really enjoy their stories into hidden kitchens. Food around the world, what more can this girl ask for?
At Home With… – these best friends are my favorite to listen to.

The Good Wife – Julianna Margulies is just a really great actress.
Leap Year – Matthew Goode is surprisingly dreamy with facial hair.

What are some of your favorites now?

Back from traveling abroad

For those of you who follow me on social media, you probably know that I am back from a lovely trip abroad to Singapore (home!) and also Taipei (a new favorite city!). Initially our trip was only going to be for 2 weeks but as luck would have it, we were able to extend it out for over 3 weeks and we savored every second of it.

I would like to document the trip in my blog over the next couple of weeks. More for my memory-keeping but I thought that you might find some good tips or ideas of where to eat from the posts.

We had been gone from Singapore for almost exactly 7 years. The last time home, I was in such a different place. This time was such a wonderful time back, many reunions, eating good food and visiting my favorite parts of the city. It is interesting to travel back to where you spent a good part of your life and feel like you lose a little of the place every time. So many thoughts and emotions circle around whenever I go home. Over the next few posts, you will probably get a taste of this.

I hope you join me on this little recap journey.

It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed is you. – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Do not go gentle into that good night

Dylan Thomas, 1914 – 1953

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Failing and Flying

Jack Gilbert, 1925 – 2012

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It’s the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like the people who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph.

November Favorites

It’s almost mid-December. I am mostly ready for Christmas, a couple more gifts to buy and of course, stocking stuffers.

Gin & tonics with this “new to me” gin, Monkey 47. It’s so flavorful.
Pour-over coffee with Mike’s new Chemex. The coffee does taste much fuller.

Hot pot/steamboat – it’s been really chilly around here so this is really the best comfort food. Also, it’s easier to use an portable induction cooker instead of a portable gas cooker.

A Time and a Plate – I love Claire’s new food history podcast as she takes us across the world and in time.
Other food podcasts like A Splendid Table, America’s Test Kitchen
True Crime podcasts like Someone Knows Something – the stories do get a bit gut-wrenching but missing people and cold cases deserve our attention.

Gilmore Girls – A Year in the Life
Fantastic Beasts – Newt Scamander. That is all.
Pride and Prejudice – rewatching this because of Colin Firth.

More favorites for December to come.

What have you guys been up to?

May Favorites 2016

Goodbye May, Hello June!

After some unseasonably warm weather here, May cooled down considerably. Here are my favorites for May:

Loads of PG Milk Tea (one teabag, hot water and a teaspoon of condensed milk)
Also, cold brew matcha – one teaspoon of matcha powder in 16oz of cold water, shake bottle up. Perfect for the warmer weather.

I tried baking chiffon or sponge cakes this month. I made a vanilla swiss roll with a strawberry-rhubarb filling and a gula melaka chiffon cake. The flavor of the gula melaka was perfect in a sponge cake.

Borns’ Dopamine album
The Productivity Show – I just enjoy good tips on how to manage work, email and life better.
Modern Love Podcast – great essays read by talented people. My favorite episode was A Heart Outrun, read by Colin Farrell.

Star Wars (episodes 1-7), getting excited for Rogue One.
Lily Pebbles’ Every Day May videos – I particularly enjoy her vlogs and her videos that feature her arty camera work.

Long walks
Inverted meditation
Adding new plants to house/deck

Harry Potter – The Prisoner of Azkaban

What has been your favorites this past month?

Spring has sprung

I’ve been away from this blog for a couple weeks because we have been enjoying some lovely spring weather here in the PNW.

Late March, we spent a week in beautiful Maui – playing in the sun, eating delicious plate lunches and just slowing down. I unplugged from work for a whole week! It felt so good. We waited 5 years for this. We had booked our babymoon in Maui before Sagan arrived but I had that emergency surgery so we cancelled. I very much enjoyed experiencing with S.

My first quarter at work was madness. I spent so much time working, trying to meet all the crazy deadlines set out by people who have no idea how much work goes into what I do. I’m glad that I had the Maui carrot to dangle in front of me, otherwise, I might not have fared so well.

We no longer have a yard but we have a couple of outdoor containers that I’m starting to nurture and plant. The front of our house gets very sunny so I planted some succulent pots with the lavender topiary. Because I am not good with keeping smaller containers healthy (you know I used to have those big metal stock tanks), I’ve been starting to use more fertilizer. My favorite one is fish fertilizer. It’s not the most pleasant smell when applying it to the pots but once you see how happy your plants get after a dose or two, you know that it’s the best thing for them. Even my indoor plants have responded well. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to fertilize my indoor foliage. I had a tiny rubber ficus that survived the dungeon of an apartment we had to live in for a few months last year. It was doing better in the new place but after 2 doses of fish fertilizer, its leaves have grown much healthier.

I hope to plant some basil, mint and chives this year. I am considering a self-watering container to keep them healthy when it gets too hot but I may plant the herbs on the east-facing balcony. What kinds of herbs are you growing this year?

We are planning to enjoy some hiking since there are plenty of trails at our doorstep now.

What are your favorite things to do this time of the year?

March Favorites and Updates

We finally met all the deadlines at work this past week. I can breathe again.

With slightly warmer weather, I’ve been browsing the plant nurseries. We picked up some spring flowers to add to our containers. Ever since I moved away from Scarlett, I no longer have a yard to garden in.
We have several containers and I am working on refreshing them with compost and fish emulsion fertilizer.

I plan to grow a cherry or grape style tomato, some peas and sunflowers for Sagan. He is recently interested in how to plant a seed and watch it grow.

With the changing seasons, I’m looking to find a new lightweight cotton blanket for our bed. We used grey and white in our bedroom so I am considering this one.

Also loving these printed kitchen towels.

I received my Write On Campaign kit and cannot wait to start creating pieces of mail to send out every day in April.

Got my Malaysian food fix last night – Roti Jala with some lamb curry and Chili Pan Mee. Delicious.

Best part of March is coming up – we leave for Maui in 9 days! Aloha!

What was your favorite part of March so far?