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

 

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It’s Monday and it’s been a hazy week

View of Foster City from the bridge on Saturday morning

It’s been a strange and smoky week. The smoke is from the Camp Fire, which destroyed the town of Paradise and has, as of Sunday night, a death toll of 77, making it California’s deadliest natural disaster since Loma Prieta in 1989 which claimed 69 lives. It is terrifying to see the number of bodies found climb. Every day the newspapers report another bigger number. The number of missing is still as high as 1,300. It is heartbreaking to hear of all the lives lost. And also heartwarming to read the stories of those who rushed to help others.

Schools in our county were closed on Friday and since Tuesday the kids had been having indoor recess and all outdoor activities were canceled. The air quality index in our part of the East Bay went into the Unhealthy zone for a couple of days. And we’ve been trying to stay indoors for as much as we possibly can but it’s hard with two energetic boys!

So we’ve been eating out once in a while like dim sum on Sunday, picked up my mum from the airport on Saturday morning, played tennis (indoors) Saturday evening.

Oh and I finally finished my sweater! It’s the first sweater I’ve ever crocheted and it was kind of tricky as the pattern wasn’t as detailed as I would like and I had to redo the sleeves several times. But it’s wearable, hooray!

Currently…

Reading:

Watching:

Homecoming

West Wing

Eating:

Drinking:

Water

Cooking:

Hot pot is our usual Thanksgiving dinner choice. Although this year with my mum around maybe we will have something more traditional

Browsing:

The Master List of 2019 Reading Challenges

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2019

The Reading Women Challenge

Last week:

I read:

America Vol 1 – Gabby Rivera
America Vol 2 – Gabby Rivera
Strange Weather – Joe Hill
Saga Volume 9 – Brian K Vaughan, Fiona Staples

I posted:

Weekend Cooking: Treats from Singapore

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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 had a fun weekend with tennis, swimming class, lots of food and a classmate’s birthday party.

We tried out two new-to-us eateries – one a Korean place known for its fried chicken (The spicy version was especially good!) and the other a Japanese rice bowl (don) place where I had a really good roast beef don.

Also, persimmons are back at the farmers market! I always look forward to persimmon season!

Also the boys tried on their Halloween costumes and were all excited!

Currently…

Reading:

The Hazel Wood – Melissa Albert

Watching:

The West Wing

Listening:

I Contain Multitudes – Ed Yong

(Finally getting there! I’m at 90% now and learning about FMT or Fecal Microbiota Transplantation)

Eating:

Homemade raisin bread

Drinking:

Yorkshire Gold with milk

Last week:

I read:

Lagoon – Nnedi Okorafor
Being Jazz – Jazz Jennings
The Overstory – Richard Powers

I posted:

The Overstory by Richard Powers

#ripxiii Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien

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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

 

The in-laws left for Singapore last night and so the weekend was spent doing some more outlet shopping – because that’s what people from Singapore do when they’re in the US. And more eating. It was an especially hot weekend so I’m just glad that it started cooling down again on Sunday evening. The skies are rather hazy this morning though because of the fires further north.

Currently…

Reading:

Karen Memory – Elizabeth Bear

Watching:

The new season of Queer Eye. Also, more Terrace House, this time the season set in Hawaii. It’s so very different!

Listening:

Behemoth – Scott Westerfeld, read by Alan Cumming

Eating:

Kaya toast – toast with coconut jam

Drinking:

Yorkshire Gold

Cooking:

Tonight is all about the leftovers. But I do have to cook up the yellow cauliflower and some cabbage I had from last week. So maybe some grilled chicken and cauliflower.

Last week:

I read:

Leviathan – Scott Westerfeld
Graceling – Kristin Cashore
Shade: The Changing Girl Vol 1 – Cecil Castellucci
The Prince and the Dressmaker – Jen Wang

I posted:

Weekend Cooking: A very light banana cake

I somehow finished reading 3 books yesterday

 

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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 I’ve been reading the Stepford Wives

Made this light banana cake. And I’m writing a post about it!

Blooming Dahlias!

Pakistani food

Currently…

Reading:

Ill Will – Dan Chaon

We Need New Names – NoViolet Bulawayo

Watching:

More Terrace House!

Listening:

Eating:

Grilled cheese for breakfast. Also rainier cherries. My in-laws bought ten pounds at the farmers market!

Drinking:

Yorkshire gold with milk

Cooking:

I bought some lovely yellow cauliflower and romanesco broccoli at the farmers market so definitely will roast that.

Browsing:

The Center for Fiction’s 2018 First Novel Prize

This beautiful Seagrass Summer Cardi crochet pattern 

Added to my TBR: The Summer of Jordi Perez 

The Perfect Mother

When I Hit You

Last week:

I read:

Heartless – Marissa Meyer
Stepford Wives – Ira Levin
The Impostor Syndrome – Mishell Baker

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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 Tuesday (oops)

It’s the first official week of summer break. The elementary schools here let out last Wednesday and we had a class party in a nearby park to celebrate. Other than that we’ve been relaxing and hanging out at home.

On Saturday, we drove down to Santana Row in San Jose to have lunch at EMC Seafood, a modern Asian-fusion kind of seafood place. Their uni pasta is amazing, and even my father-in-law who usually doesn’t eat pasta enjoyed it. But the star of the show was the seafood tower, which had scallops, oysters, mussels, prawns, sashimi, uni, crab and a whole lobster.

When in Santana Row, one also has to wander into the Amazon bookstore. But one bookstore wasn’t enough for us and we also went to the Barnes and Noble in San Jose. We sadly don’t have a proper bookstore in our city now – although when we first moved there, there was a big Borders (RIP) and a B&N which apparently had a dispute with the landlord and left and is now a supermarket.

Then on Sunday, a barbecue at home.

Currently…

Reading:

Watching:

Terrace House: Opening New Doors on Netflix!

At first I was wondering, why should I watch it? It doesn’t seem very interesting, plus I was never into the kind of strangers-in-a-big-house kind of reality shows. But I love it! Nothing very much happens to be honest, but that’s somehow very refreshing. Interestingly, the six strangers still go to work or go to school, get access to phones and Internet and whatnot. They range in age from 19 to 31, one wants to be a chef, another is a pro-snowboarder, there is an aspiring model, a writer. And in between, there is commentary about the show by six people sitting in a studio. Somehow I cannot stop watching it!

Listening:

We finally finished listening to the Stephen Fry-narrated Harry Potter series. And we are now trying out Chris Colfer’s The Land of Stories series. I am also listening to Alan Cumming read Leviathan.

Eating:

Last night for dinner, laksa fried noodles.

Drinking:

Lots of water

Cooking:

Tonight, perhaps a steamed whole fish if we find a nice one at the Asian supermarket later.

Browsing:

This cute market bag crochet pattern 

Black pepper parmesan biscuits sound delicious

It’s been a while since I’ve read crime/mystery/thriller type book and The Last Place You Look sounds good

Number One Chinese Restaurant is on my TBR list so I’m glad to hear it’s a good read

Last week:

I read:

Dear Committee Members – Julie Schumacher
A Tale for the Time being – Ruth Ozeki
Annihilation – Jeff Vandermeer

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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 been a sick week

Good day to you, wherever you are!

I feel like this year hasn’t been a fantastic one health-wise. Last year was pretty good – I don’t remember being sick much but this year coughs seem to have been plaguing me.

And last week, not long after we returned from Oregon (more on that in another post), I got the chills, and a cough and cold. Then somehow that got worse with some chest pain in the middle of the night. So I finally dragged myself to a doctor, he looked me over, listened to my lungs and all that, said, “it doesn’t sound like pneumonia but I’m going to send you off for a chest x-ray just to rule it out”.

Chest x-ray done, waiting for results, trying to cough discreetly into my mask in a corner of the waiting room, he calls me in and says, “it’s pneumonia”.

So I’ve always thought pneumonia was something that affected old people especially in their dying days. Apparently not.

Also, I’m not dying or in hospital or anything, in case you were concerned!

I was given an antibiotics prescription and told to rest and take deep breaths now and then.

And I’ve just been trying to rest and recover since!

My dahlias are blooming!

Last weekend, the boys attended a friend’s mini golf birthday party, did a Home Depot workshop, and we hit the farmers market and bought a ton of fruits and vegetables.

Currently…

Reading:

Amberlough – Lara Elena Donnelly

Watching:

Lords and Ladles – a lovely Irish series about three chefs who recreate banquets from time past, including strange things like boiled turkey, Cabinet pudding, stuffed pike and more.

Listening:

No audiobook at the moment

Eating:

One of these pastries

Drinking:

Water and green tea. Also, over the weekend I made a lemon-ginger-mint-lemon thyme tea that was quite nice and apparently is good for coughs.

Last week:

I read:


Turtles All The Way Down – John Green
Paper Girls Vol 4 – Brian K Vaughan
A Girl on the Shore – Inio Asano

I posted:


#AsianLitBingo wrap-up

Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga

#AsianLitBingo – Miss Burma by Charmaine Craig

#AsianLitBingo – Don’t Let Him Know by Sandip Roy

Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T Lee #AsianLitBingo

#AsianLitBingo : After Dark by Haruki Murakami

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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