It’s Monday and the kids head back to school!


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date


It has been ages since I’ve done a proper ‘It’s Monday!’ post. What can I say except, holidays!

As we had a rather long three-week holiday in November when we returned to Singapore, our after-Christmas vacation was just a three-day two-night one in nearby Roseville, north of Sacramento.

And from Roseville, it was about an hour’s drive up to Kingvale where there was snow to play with! The kids got to touch snow for the first time and it was a delight watching them.


We were there for the tubing but there wasn’t enough snow! We had to make do with sledding. Still it was fun – and also my first time!

Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento. We also hit the California Railroad Museum.

Then warmed up with some spicy shio ramen at RyuJin Ramen House in Sacramento. Loved it.

A treat for those with a sweet tooth! We were surprised by the ‘juicy pear’ flavour that we sampled on tour. The husband promptly bought himself some. The kids loved the ‘buttered popcorn’ flavour.


In Japan, a New Year custom is the ‘Lucky Bag’ or ‘fukubukuro’ – a mystery bag of unknown contents, usually discounted. I’ve been wanting to get my hands on a Lucky Bag from Lupicia Tea for a while now, and so I grabbed a $50 bag of 15 different types of loose leaf teas. The husband also got one from J Sweets, full of different types of Japanese cookies and chocolates from Royce. Yum.

We tried Pieology for the first time (we eat regularly at Blaze, also another fast-fired pizza) and really liked it.


We like to do hotpot during winter. It’s an easy way to have dinner, just buy all the ingredients, make some stock and chop some vegetables. The thinly sliced beef from Mitsuwa supermarket is what we always buy as it is so tender and just requires a few seconds in the broth.






Delicious Foods – James Hannaham



A Manual for Cleaning Women – Lucia Berlin




The Americans Vol 1


OK so not the prosecco from this photo but I’m eating that root beer cake I made.


Tea. Did you see how many teas I have to get through now?? 😛


Leftover Christmas ham fried rice

Stirfried noodles with sliced beef and cabbage

Baked pasta


NK Jemisin’s first SF and fantasy column for the New York Times! yay!

15 2016 non-fiction releases (Book Riot)

Added to my tbr: Lucy Knisley will have a new graphic novel out (via Estella’s Revenge)

Enormous Smallness: A Story of E. E. Cummings -Matthew Burgess, illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo (via Brain Pickings)

Last week:

I read:

Our Souls at Night – Kent Haruf

The Wicked and the Divine Vol 2 –Kieren Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matthew Wilson, Clayton Cowles

I posted:

2016 Reading Challenges

2015 in books

#AMonthofFaves – Favourite book covers!


  1. It’s Monday and the kids aren’t supposed to be back at school – East Sussex schools do not start back until 5th January for some reason. We only had to turn 3 pupils away from the gates this morning though. I like your Monday posts – always great pictures of food, and everyone looks like they are having fun.


  2. So much to love in this post… sounds like you all had a wonderful trip!! Delicious Foods and A Manual for Cleaning Women have been on my radar lately. I’ll be curious to hear what you think of them.


  3. Sounds like you had a nice break. I’ll have to go looking for a recipe for root beer cake. It sounds great. I thought we weren’t going to have snow to play in but Mother Nature took care of that right after Christmas. Here is what I read last week. Happy reading!


  4. I love how parents are always excited that kids are going back to school. I don’t have children so I just think about how bad traffic is going to be when school is back in session!
    Your food pictures are making me hungry!
    Enjoy your week!


  5. First snow opportunities are always beautiful. My brother lives in a snow zone, so we visit him and the retreat to the warmer Pacific shore. I liked taking pictures of the babies in snow bags lying on giant snow drifts. When we look back at them now that the kids are teenagers I tell them I found them there and they should be glad I brought them home.

    The food pictures look delicious. Happy Monday reading.


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