It’s Monday and it’s a long weekend

 

So we had these great plans to go up to Tahoe with friends and all four kids would take ski lessons together. But then this storm decided to stretch into Sunday and various agencies were warning against travel up to Tahoe and so we decided to cancel. We didn’t want to risk the drive (the I-80 was closed for most of Thursday night and Friday because of whiteout conditions) and realized that it probably wouldn’t be the funnest of first ski classes if it was in freezing weather (it was forecast as -15/-4C or 5/25F).

Oh well, we’ll just have to try for another weekend.

Meanwhile, in our part of the Bay Area, it’s been a very rainy week and super windy too. The elementary school is in a neighbourhood lined with towering palm trees and boy is it dangerous to live near palm trees on a very windy day. There’s always branches and leaves clattering down!

Anyway lots of baking this week – baguettes and mixed berry muffins.

 

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

 

 

Watching:

The Bodyguard. Or rather I just finished binge-watching it. I decided to give the first episode a try and it was so exciting I watched two episodes. Then the next day, another two and then the next and that was it. It was so thrilling!

Listening:

 

Eating:

Looks weird but this was a raspberry swirl pound cake in the making

Drinking:

Nespresso with milk

Cooking:

We had lunch at Buca di Beppo and they’re known for their large portions and so we have a lot of leftovers!

I was thinking of cooking taco rice

Crafting:

An Erigeneia shawl in a rectangle

Browsing:

This earthquake-proof, climbable bookshelf (My Modern Met)

Look at all these beautiful illustrations for Howl’s Moving Castle

I did not know that Yiyun Li’s latest, Where Reasons End, is about a mother’s grief, and that her own son took his life.

I always bookmark posts by Bake For Happy Kids and here’s another one – a pineapple chiffon cake!

Last week:

I read:

I posted:

#WeekendCooking Chinese New Year celebrations

#BookBeginnings #Friday56 – No Fond Return of Love by Barbara Pym

Family Trust by Kathy Wang

Library Loot (February 13 to 19)

Favourite Couples in Books #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

 

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It’s Monday and it’s everyone’s birthday!

Good Monday to you.

 

It’s the seventh day of the Lunar New Year and that means it’s 人日 (ren ri). In Chinese mythology, it was on the seventh day that human beings were created (various animals were created first, starting with chickens!) so today is considered everyone’s birthday. So happy birthday to you and you!

This weekend I must have caught the bug that’s been going around. But luckily not the full-blown version that my kids were hit with – they had fevers, runny nose, lingering cough. For me, it’s just a cough and runny nose. I’m plying myself with green tea, lemongrass tea, avoiding snacks if I can, and staying warm. I know it’s not as cold here in California as plenty of other parts of the country (and world), but it’s been a chillier February than usual.

The rest of the week was fun though. It was quite rainy and we actually had snow on our hills and mountains! I’ve only seen snow on the very top of Mission Peak twice since I’ve lived here so to see so much snow was quite exciting.

The skies cleared up for the school’s first New Year carnival. Previous years, the mandarin immersion programme kids put up performances for the school. But I guess that’s too much work for the teachers and takes away from class time (also the teachers are currently on work-to-rule) so this year there were carnival-style booths and lots of parent volunteers. I helped out with a booth that had kids use chopsticks to pick up marbles and some of the older kids were so competitive. It was a little bit crazier than I expected! But everyone had fun. And there was a lion dance after along with kungfu demonstrations.

 

 

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

No Fond Return of Love – Barbara Pym 

Loving this!

Why I Wake Early – Mary Oliver 

I’m still slowly dipping into this one!

Watching:

On Sunday morning we went to see the Lego Movie 2. I love that the kids are excited to see movies in the cinema.

Listening:

How to be a good creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals – Sy Montgomery

Eating:

We had Blaze pizza for lunch. I topped my pizza with kalamata olives, artichokes, roasted red peppers, pepperoni and bacon. Also I like to have gorgonzola and mozzarella.

Drinking:

Lots of green tea to help soothe my ticklish throat

Cooking:

Shepherd’s pie

Noodles of some sort as always!

Browsing:

It’s DWJMarch / March Magics!!

7 true stories to add to your reading list (Beth Fish Reads)

Saving this recipe to try out once I get my hands on cream – soft egg white and cream sandwich bread (Bake for Happy Kids)

These coconut mochi cake muffins sound good! (I Am A Food Blog)

I’m looking forward to reading The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo (The Illustrated Page)

Last week:

I read:

Family Trust – Kathy Wang

Fifth Chinese Daughter – Jade Snow Wong
The Magicians – Lev Grossman
Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl – Issa Rae (technically I began this last year but time ran out on the audiobook loan, so I just finished listening to it!)

I posted:

Book Beginnings/Friday 56 Family Trust

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

Library Loot (February 6 to 12)

Upcoming releases I’m on the fence about #toptentuesday

Paris Echo by Sebastian Faulks

 

 

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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! Happy Chinese New Year Eve!

 

Happy New Year Eve! Tomorrow is the first day of the Lunar New Year and since I live in the US, it’s not a public holiday, and the kids are in school. But since they go to a Mandarin immersion programme (it’s in a public school and makes up half the school population), there will be a celebration on Wednesday, with a carnival of sorts, a lion dance performance, and a class party after.

Meanwhile, I’ve been busy cleaning house, tidying up, doing lots of laundry, and putting up some New Year decorations – lots of reds and golds and lucky symbols. I don’t have any Pig Year-specific decor though.

I also made some pork floss cookies (recipe from Bake with Happy Kids). Delicious sweet-salty shredded dried pork is added into this buttery cookie mixture along with sesame seeds. So good.

Also, this wasn’t a great week health-wise. First, on Wednesday morning, the 7yo came down with a fever, cough and runny nose. So he was out of commission for two days. Then on Friday morning, the 5yo got the bug and he was home while the 7yo went to school. So this weekend was a stay-home weekend, where I got more cleaning and baking done. And the kids watched TV, read books, played video games. It was a rather rainy weekend anyway, so I guess if there was a weekend to be sick, this was it.

 

 

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

 

 

Watching:

More West Wing. And also, I got tired of hearing Octonauts and other kids shows so together we watched The Great British Bake Off. Luckily the kids are ok with watching cooking shows with me!

Listening:

Heavy by Kiese Laymon

 

Eating:

You tiao or Chinese-style dough fritters with condensed milk

Drinking:

Water

Cooking:

We always do a hotpot for reunion dinner (Chinese New Year eve, when you’re meant to return home and have a meal with your family). See my How To Hotpot post from last year for more details.

And the soup is always even tastier the next day! So we keep aside some ingredients and cook them again (this time on the stove) and serve it with noodles or rice.

Browsing:

It’s Reading Ireland Month soon on 746 Books. It sounds lots of fun!

Powell’s book buyers recommend 22 books of 2019

I’ve seen the #6degrees meme before but haven’t joined in yet. I like this month’s starting book!

Added to my TBR:

The Frangipani Tree Mystery and The Betel Nut Tree Mystery by Ovidia Yu (via TBR313)

Seventeen by Hideo Yokohama (via Dolce Bellezza)

 

Last week:

I read:


Fruit of the drunken tree – Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Likely Stories – Neil Gaiman, Mark Buckingham, Chris Blythe (Illustrator)

Shutter Vol 1: Wanderlust – Joe Keatinge, Leila del Duca

Roughneck – Jeff Lemire
Master Keaton Vol 5 – Naoki Urasawa

 

I posted:

Comics reviews: My Brother’s Husband, Roughneck

Reading notes: George; The Lowland; The Clothing of Books

Library Loot (January 30 to February 5)

10 additions to my #TBR list

 

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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 and it’s almost February!

 

 

Happy Monday you guys!

It was a super busy weekend for us and unfortunately that was also 24in48 readathon weekend. Needless to say, not all that much reading happened but hey it was still fun trying to squeeze in as much reading time as possible!

We had the usual Saturday of swim class and tennis. And we also added in a Tesla Model 3 test-drive. We’ve been thinking of getting an electric car and it was fun test driving the Tesla, especially its intriguing auto-pilot feature. So weird taking my foot off the accelerator on the highway!

Sunday saw us at a classmate’s birthday party. It was Beyblade-themed so the boys were all excited!

The five-year-old playing a VR arcade game at the friend’s house.

Also, it’s the first day of the Lunar New Year on February 5. So that means cleaning house!

Anyway, reading-wise, I read quite a few books over the weekend!

 

 

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

 

 

Watching:

I finished watching Season 3 of The Magicians and since I watch it on Netflix I have to sit on my hands and wait until they release the next season…

Meanwhile I’ve gone back to The West Wing, which I love (and often wish Jed Bartlett were the real President) but is far less cliff-hanger-y so it doesn’t make me bingewatch the way I did with The Magicians

Listening:

Heavy by Kiese Laymon

Eating:

Just had Chinese takeout for dinner – fried noodles, chicken, beef and broccoli, green beans, and sesame balls for dessert

Drinking:

Water

Cooking:

Haven’t quite figured out yet!

Browsing:

Book Covers of Note (January) – The Casual Optimist

A lovely post by The Book Snob on walking in London. While I like where I live, I do often despair that it’s not a place for walking. I do miss living in places like Singapore or Brighton where you don’t necessarily need a car to do things.

It’s Chinese New Year soon and it’ll be the Year of the Pig (or Boar, as some prefer). Here’s a really cute amigurumi pig from All About Ami 

The hottest-tipped debut novelists of 2019 – The Guardian

Last week:

I read:

Crossplay – Niki Smith
Hamilton: The Revolution – Lin-Manuel Miranda (audiobook)
T!m G!nger – Julian Hanshaw
Aru Shah and the end of time – Roshani Chokshi
Naming Monsters – Hannah Eaton
Three Trees Make a Forest – Enrico Casarosa, Ronnie Del Carmen, Tadahiro Uesugi
My Brother’s Husband Vol 1 – Gengorgoh Tagame

I posted:

 

Library Loot Jan 23 to 29

#TopTenTuesday: Books I meant to read in 2018

 

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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! What are you reading? (Jan 21)

It’s a long weekend for the kids but not the husband who’s working from home today. The kids have asked to learn to crochet! So we will see how it goes. Meanwhile the weekend was a bit of a rainy one, at least on Sunday. We did manage to go eat ramen. I had mazemen for the first time – it’s a dry kind of ramen, and this restaurant does it with ground pork, chili, garlic, green onions, seaweed. It was really tasty!

 

Currently…

Reading:

Watching:

Listening:

Eating:

Had a spinach and kale pastry for breakfast

Drinking:

Nespresso

Cooking:

Char siu pork tenderloin with rice and veg

If I can get to the Chinese supermarket this week I’ll try to get a whole fish to steam

Crafting:

Working on another Capri Circle Bag (pattern from Two of Wands). This time instead of using the tape yarn suggested (love it but don’t love working with it – also it’s not available in stores).

I finished this chevron clutch but need to look for a button

Last week:

I read:

I posted:

Crudo by Olivia Laing

Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu makes me want to know more about hockey

Best of the kids’ reads this week

Library Loot January 16 to 22

Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018

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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

We got up early to play tennis on Saturday! The husband had booked an 8am slot as there are various tournaments in the afternoon and the courts were all full at our usual timeslot.

Then they had swim class and it was a surprisingly warm day and I got to sit outside and read for a bit.

We didn’t really do much this weekend. Played more tennis on Sunday, went out to our usual Japanese restaurant for lunch. But it was a nice weekend all the same. Hope you all had a good weekend too!

Currently…

Reading:

 

Watching:

I happened to be browsing Netflix on Saturday night and discovered that Solo was available. I hadn’t been interested enough to watch it in the theatres but I didn’t mind watching it on Netflix. I thought the main actor was quite forgettable and didn’t have the charisma of Harrison Ford (Chewie had more charm 😂) but Donald Glover was awesome as Lando (maybe they should’ve just made Lando – a Star Wars movie instead). But it was quite a fun movie to watch – if only it had more Donald Glover

Listening:

I’ve got 10 days left on my audiobook loan. So I’m working on finishing it!!

Eating:

A hot dog bun from Kee Wah and a mug of milky Yorkshire Gold

 

Cooking:

Oven-roasted cauliflower with something else oven-roasted. Maybe drumsticks

Pasta of some sort

Noodles

Crafting:

Trying a chevron clutch pattern for a friend’s birthday

Last week:

I read:

The seagull – Anton Chekhov
Anne of Green Gables graphic novel – adapted by Mariah Marsden
I posted:

The Forsaken Inn by Anna Katherine Green

The Lost Garden by Li Ang

Library Loot January 9 to 15

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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 and the kids are back in school!

It’s been a great holiday season but I’m kind of glad to have our regular routine going again!

We had a nice rainy weekend. I always appreciate those little bits and drips of rain we get here – having grown up in Singapore, rain is one thing I really miss while living here in bone-dry California.

We tried out a new Taiwanese restaurant near our place. We love eating xiaolongbao and in Singapore there are branches of the famous Taiwanese restaurant Din Tai Fung everywhere. I mean it – almost every shopping mall you go to has a branch. It’s always popular and it’s always consistently good (although my mum argues that the branch in Chinatown, which I’ve not been to, is really bad). So when the Din Tai Fung opened here in Santa Clara over a year ago, we were all really excited. But because it’s the only branch in the Bay Area (LA has more!) the queues are still ridiculous, even with Yelp check-in we still waited an hour or so. But the food at DTF is pretty much flawless. The xiaolongbao is always perfect, the fried rice is seriously some of the best fried rice ever, and my kids would each devour a basket of the taro xiaolongbao if I let them.

Anyway, this little place we discovered is just ten minutes’ drive and it was good and cheap. The xiaolongbao weren’t as pretty and perfect but tasted pretty damn good, and they had red bean pancake! So we were all pleased.

 

 

I made some raisin scones and chocolate chip cookies

 

 

 

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

Poppy War – RF Kuang

 

 

Watching:

A while ago I watched the first ep of The Magicians but couldn’t get into it, but somehow this time I did. I just binge-watched the first three episodes yesterday. Does that happen to you too?

Listening:

Happy sigh.

Eating:

A slice of buttered toast and a red bean pancake. Sadly not the pancake from the restaurant, which we finished, but this was something we had bought from the supermarket, it’s decent, but as my 7yo complained, not enough red bean.

Drinking:

I had Yorkshire Gold with milk – always my first drink of the day.

Cooking:

My kids have been bugging me to make Japanese curry and the other day while on Yelp I noticed this restaurant had curry udon on their menu. And maybe that’s what I’ll try this time – curry udon!

Possibly a linguini carbonara.

Last week:

I read:

I posted:

 

Mary B by Katherine J Chen

Patina by Jason Reynolds – first read of 2019

Severance by Ling Ma

Library Loot (January 2 to 8)

Best books I read in 2018 #amonthoffaves

 

 

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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