It’s Monday (January 18, 2021)

It’s Martin Luther King Jr Day in the US today so the kids don’t have school. But the fourth grader has his California missions presentation on Wednesday so he’s going to have to spend some time preparing for that.

Some things from last week.

Galbi rice bowl (with kimchi fried rice), macaroni salad

Made some sourdough bread

And laksa.

Currently…

Reading:

Felix Ever After – Kacen Callender

Watching:

Westworld

Listening:

Not really listening to any audiobooks at the moment

Eating and drinking:

Sourdough toast for breakfast and tea, as usual

Cooking:

We ate mostly Singapore-style food last week, so maybe this week, I’ll make some pasta.

Last week:

I read:

Eat Joy – edited by Natalie Eve Garrett

Girl Gone Viral – Alisha Rai

The Gun – Fuminori Nakamura

Henshin – J.M. Ken Niimura

I posted:

The Gun by Fuminori Nakamura; The Stranger by Albert Camus

Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Library Loot (January 13 to 19)

Resolutions for 2021 #TopTenTuesday

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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’s Monday (January 11, 2021)

Happy Monday to you!

That was one crazy week, wasn’t it?

And I’m not talking about this past week being the first time an opossum visited my backyard.

Well, at any rate, we did some fun things like making dumplings for dinner. I forgot to buy cabbage when I bought the ground pork! So I made do with green onions and spinach instead. It worked out well!

We also picked up fresh noodles from the Asian supermarket. Boil it and mix your own sauce (I like soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, ketchup. Yes ketchup!).

We also picked up Singapore-style Hainanese chicken rice.

Currently…

Reading:

The Stranger by Albert Camus

Watching:

I finished Bridgerton and am finishing up Away. I’m disappointed to learn that they canceled Away! There were definitely some flaws with the show, but I really appreciated how they had a diverse cast and also were not afraid to have their actors speak different languages! There was Russian, Hindi, Mandarin, and Fante.

I didn’t know about the Fante language before this show. It’s mainly spoken in Ghana and I think it’s really awesome that the actor Ato Essandoh, who plays Kwesi, said Fante is the language his family speaks. They had previously created Kwesi’s character as Nigerian but changed it to Ghanaian after they learnt of Essandoh’s background. I mean, how often does that happen?

Listening:

I’m hoping to finish with this today!

Eating and drinking:

I had toast and tea for breakfast.

Cooking:

I have plans to cook bak kut teh (肉骨茶) – literally “meat bone tea”. A very comforting soup made of spices and pork ribs. And we even bought some frozen dough fritters (油条 youtiao) to go with it.

I didn’t buy enough dumpling wrappers for the amount of ground pork I had, so um, I will use the rest of the marinated pork to put into rice porridge I think.

Last week:

I read:

I posted:

Gimme Everything You Got by Iva-Marie Palmer

Earthlings by Sayaka Murata

Library Loot (January 6 to 12, 2021)

Looking forward to these 2021 reads #TopTenTuesday

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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’s Monday (January 4, 2021)

It’s the first Monday of 2021! Happy New Year!

How have the first days of 2021 been for you?

The boys are back at school this week. Virtual school that is. And it’s never easy to go back to routine after a two-week break! But we managed to get them back up early enough and ready for distance learning.

Currently…

Reading:

Good Morning, Midnight – Lily Brooks-Dalton

Watching:

Bridgerton. I love Eloise and Penelope!

Listening:

Eating and drinking:

Steel-cut oatmeal for breakfast. I made it yesterday and this was leftovers. I like mine sweetened with honey and full of raisins and cranberries.

Cooking:

Maybe some japchae this week (Korean sweet potato noodles cooked with lots of vegetables). I’ll maybe add some sliced beef too.

Last week:

I read:

I squeezed in a couple of last reads for 2020.

A Long Petal of the Sea – Isabel Allende

Pemmican Wars – Katherena Vermette

The Missing Marquess – Nancy Springer

Invisible Kingdom Vol 1 – G Willow Wilson

Lumberjanes Vol 14 – Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh

I posted:

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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’s Monday (December 28, 2020)

It’s the last “Monday” post of 2020!

If you celebrate it, how was your Christmas? We had a nice quiet one at home. The kids were thrilled with their presents.

We had a big Christmas Eve dinner.  I made ham, sweet potato casserole, oven-roasted Brussels sprouts, smashed potatoes.

I also made a Bûche de Noël.

Currently…

Reading:

Watching:

Away on Netflix

Listening: 

Eating:

I had toast and tea for breakfast

Cooking:

Maybe some scallops risotto for dinner today.

Last week:

I read:

I posted:

Reading Challenges 2021

Library Loot (December 23 to 29)

Books I Hope Santa Brings #TopTenTuesday

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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’s Monday (December 21, 2020)

Happy Winter Solstice!

We took a mini field trip to the Mission Santa Clara. If you’re in California, you may know that fourth graders do a project on the California Missions. Luckily this one is only about 20 minutes away. It’s located at Santa Clara University.

And since we were already in Santa Clara, we had to get takeout from Orenchi Ramen. They’re known for the tonkatsu broth. And their noodles are really nice and springy.

We also had Korean food last week. It was kinda to celebrate the last day of school for 2020. We have been distance learning since March! It’s been quite a feat. The whining, the constant distraction from other websites like the Epic ebooks, the forgetting to press the “Turn in” button on the google classroom document although the assignment has already been completed, the online PE lessons, the artwork and science projects, the online presentations and tests. How this will all continue when we go into 2021 with no end date in sight!

Currently…

Reading:

Watching:

Westworld

Eating:

 

One of these amazing treats that friends from Seattle sent to us! There’s peanut brittle, homemade walnut fudge, peppermint bark, pistachio biscotti, and English toffee

Last week:

I read:

A Promised Land – Barack Obama

The Forgotten Smile – Margaret Kennedy

I posted:

Favorite Book Covers #amonthoffaves

Furia by Camille Saied Méndez

Favorite Things [Holiday Edition] #amonthoffaves

My Year in Books 2020

Favorite Things [Daily Life Edition] #amonthoffaves

Library Loot (December 16 to 22, 2020)

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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’s Monday (December 14, 2020)

We spent the past few weekdays after school dropping by a few friends’ houses to have a socially-distanced visit (outdoors and with masks on) and passing out presents and homemade cookies. I wrote about the Christmas cookies I made here.

It was nice to see some friends we hadn’t seen for a while and the kids had fun playing with their classmates, even if it meant grabbing broomsticks to use as hockey sticks or just running around and playing tag.

Christmas came early! Heh, sort of.

The Staub cocotte I ordered around Black Friday finally came. It was a great price at just $99! I haven’t owned an enamelled cast iron pot before. I really like the look of this one, with its black interior.

They were all giggly about new jingle jammies.

Our usual pizza order

My kids aren’t fans of mushrooms but they did enjoy this mushroom mushroom spaghetti (baby Bella and bunashimeji). 

 

Currently…

Reading:

I’ve been mostly reading this book, as I knew there’s no chance to renew this library ebook. Also, it’s long! But rather interesting.

The Look of the Book – Peter Mendelsund, David J. Alworth

Who am I?? I am reading two nonfiction books? That never happens. But this one is really quite interesting, all about the design of book covers. Be warned though that this book has more than one title. It’s also known as The Book Cover: Art at the Edges of Literature.

Also Harrow the Ninth!! Finally…

 

Watching:

I started Westworld on HBO Max.

I’m looking forward to watching the episode(s?) that they filmed in Singapore (more about that here).

Listening:

As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner

Eating:

I had homemade sourdough toast for breakfast, with butter and a slice of brie. Also black tea with milk.

Cooking:

I promised the boys I would make bolognese. And oh boy I just realised that I haven’t taken ground beef out of the freezer yet. Oops. Off to do that now…

Last week:

I read:

I don’t think I finished any books this past week, as I have been wrapped up in reading the two nonfiction books, which are taking a while to get through….! This must be a record for me…

I posted:

Christmas cookies #WeekendCooking

Book Covers to Gaze At So I Can Pretend It’s Snowing Outside #TopTenTuesday

Library Loot (December 9 to 15, 2020)

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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’s Monday (December 7, 2020)

Let’s see, what were we up to last week?

A trip to the dentist. Which for me (and probably for you), feels like an adventure these days, as is every venture outside the house. But we’ve been to this dentist for many years, and they are very cautious and very clean (plus have a brand new place they just moved into earlier this year). But still, I make the kids change all their clothes when we get back…

The kids’ music school had their winter recital, via Zoom of course.

I don’t usually post photos of myself because I don’t usually take photos of myself but when we were out in the park, I happened to have a hat on, one I had made, and hadn’t taken a photo of. So here it is.

Also in not so good news, the Bay Area is back under stay home rules this week. We haven’t reached ICU capacity that Governor Newsom talked about yet but the counties here decided to just go ahead and start limiting things. It doesn’t really affect us that much as we are home all the time. It does mean queues will probably be back at Costco as they will have to limit the numbers. Also the county health officials seem to now frown upon social bubbles of any sort. Even outdoors. We did have intentions of meeting up with some of the kids’ friends (as we have been doing, masks on and outdoors) but now it looks like we can’t do that.

Good thing we didn’t have any plans for Christmas.

Currently…

Reading:

A Promised Land – Barack Obama

Watching:

Westworld on HBO Max. I’m very behind the rest of the world but since we recently got HBO Max (thanks to switching to AT&T Fiber!), I finally get to catch up.

Listening:

As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner

(Yes really. I’ve decided that audiobooks are the way to go with these classics. Because there’s no way I will read the, but if the production is good, like this one with multiple narrators, I am happy to listen to it.)

Eating and drinking: 

For breakfast, baguette slices and baked beans. Also, tea with milk.

Cooking:

Some kind of baked pasta – I always make a double batch so we have enough for a few days.

Last week:

I read:

Such a Fun Age – Kiley Reid

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe – Kij Johnson

Efren Divided – Ernesto Cisneros

I posted:

Library Loot (December 4 to 10, 2020)

Books I want to read again #TopTenTuesday

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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’s Monday (November 30, 2020)

It’s the last day of November! The last couple of months of the year always just fly by, don’t they?

If you’re in the US, hope you had a lovely thanksgiving weekend.

My kids will only grudgingly eat the enoki (the long thin mushrooms at the back of the photo). But I love the Bunashimeji the best.

We had our usual hot pot. One side is spicy kimchi broth (from a package) and the other is a homemade vegetable miso broth.

And I made a chocolate pie. We had purchased all our hotpot ingredients a few days before, and it doesn’t require much prep work. But I kept feeling like something was missing, and really, the answer was to make some pie.

It was also time to put up the Christmas tree!

As we buy our hotpot meats from the Japanese supermarket in San Jose (a little bit of a drive), we make the most of it by picking up some fresh sashimi (not the pre-cut kind). This salmon and the otoro were really delicious. The husband made the California rolls (he does all the rolling, I do the prep).

Currently…

Reading:

Efren Divided – Ernesto Cisneros

Watching:

The Great British Bake-Off. I’m a bit behind! So don’t spoil it for me!

Listening:

Lots of BTS. The kids have decided they love BTS so we listen to them a lot. I’m kinda liking some of their songs too, like Spring Day and Life Goes On.

Eating:

Breakfast was toasted homemade sourdough bread and tea

Cooking:

It’s back to school again so I’ll have to come up with a plan for some easy lunches and dinners… any thoughts?

Last week:

I read:

I feel like I finally finished a lot of books last week!! Hooray!

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe – Kij Johnson

Dear Girls – Ali Wong (audiobook which Wong herself narrates – really enjoyed this one, despite it being full of words not suitable for young ears)

In the Year of The Virus – Felix Cheong

The Kingdom of Back – Marie Lu

I posted:

Sourdough, finally (and Tartine Bread) #WeekendCooking

Library Loot (November 25 to December 2)

I’m thankful for…#TopTenTuesday

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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’s Monday (November 23, 2020)

Happy Monday!

The kids are on break this week. We don’t have any plans but to hang out at home, maybe hit the park, lots of reading and video game time.

If you’re in the US, what are your Thanksgiving plans?

Here’s some of what we did last week…

Some crafts done in second grade distance learning. The top one is corn. The fourth grader made a basket out of a paper plate and yarn (which I forgot to take a photo of)

The 7yo and I started working on a 500 piece puzzle that’s all about books.

Currently…

Reading:

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe – Kij Johnson

Watching:

Listening:

Still listening to Dear Girls by Ali Wong. A delight!

Eating and drinking:

I had oatmeal with raisins for breakfast. Cold mornings always make me want oatmeal.

Cooking:

Our usual Thanksgiving meal is hot pot. We didn’t grow up here and none of us (except my youngest) likes turkey anyway, plus hot pot is always a great idea for cold weather!

Last week:

I read:

My Fake Rake – Eva Leigh

I posted:

Keeping track of Best Books of 2020 links

Library Loot (November 18 to 24)

10 (ok maybe more) characters I’d name a cat after #TopTenTuesday

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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’s Monday (November 16, 2020)

Oh boy, it’s Monday. The kids are on minimum schedule this week (until 120pm), as the teachers are doing parent-teacher conferences (via zoom that is). And it’s the week before Thanksgiving break. For which we have…no plans!

Here’s some of what we did last week…

I made some red bean soup and red bean paste. Hopefully I’ll be able to get it together and make some red bean buns (an pan)

We had our favourite Indian-Pakistani food. Tandoori chicken legs, tandoori fish, four types of vegetable curry, garlic naan and plain naan.

The last Meyer lemons (my tiny tree had tiny lemons). And some last San Marzano tomatoes, although there are still a few left on the vine.

Also, I decided to break out the Christmas mugs…

Currently…

Reading:

The Golden Thread by Kassia St Clair

Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Watching:

As a family, we’ve been watching Long Way Up. And we’re down to the last episode! The kids really love it and I think it’s an interesting look into places that we’ve never been to (South and Central America). Especially since the guys occasionally stop by Unicef centres. This season is all about electric vehicles – electric motorbikes and two electric trucks. So it’s quite unlike the first two seasons. Also, the first two seasons aren’t all that little kid-friendly as the two guys sometimes use the F-word, and are seen smoking on screen. The husband was guessing that since Long Way Up is for Apple TV, maybe they had to make sure all the cursing was edited out.

Listening:

Dear Girls by Ali Wong  (listening with headphones is important if you have little kids!)

Eating: 

I had a slice of walnut bread and a mug of milky tea for breakfast

Cooking:

Oh boy I have no idea.

Last week:

I read:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Legacy Edition book one and book two

I Will Judge You By Your Bookshelf – Grant Snider

I posted:

Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake #WeekendCooking

Library Loot (November 11 to 17)

Book titles that would make great song titles #TopTenTuesday

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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