It’s Monday and the kids are back in school

Happy Monday! The kids are back in school this week and I couldn’t be happier (bwahahaha).

Really though, we had a lovely long Thanksgiving week. We took off for Pismo Beach on Sunday and spent three nights at the pretty Shore Cliff Hotel.

Sunrise on the last morning we were there

The first sunset we caught

I booked us a two-bedroom suite and each room had a balcony with an ocean view. It was just incredible waking up each morning to this breathtaking view. The kids had a wonderful time swimming in the pool – it was such a warm week we got to wear short sleeves and shorts!

And we took a guided tour of the Piedras Blancas light station at San Simeon. It was about a two-hour tour with some history and plenty of nature thrown in. We got to see sealions, seals, cormorants and pelicans, walk into the ground floor of the lighthouse and the grounds itself. Everyone had a good time.

Just a few minutes down the highway is the Elephant Seal Rookery and you can get a good view of the elephant seals sunning themselves on the sand.

Oh and when one is by the beach (albeit a beach with lots of sandflies) one must eat seafood, so we made sure to get to the Cracked Crab really early (yup we were there at 5!) and grab a crab boil.

On Thanksgiving Day, we had our usual hotpot. And I made an apple tart using a Smitten Kitchen recipe. It was pretty simple especially the filling – place the apple slices in pate brisee, brush with melted butter and sprinkle some sugar on top. No need to cook the apples beforehand or anything like that. I was a bit skeptical to be honest but it came out great. It wasn’t too sweet and it didn’t have that starchy texture that I don’t really like about some pie fillings. Definitely a keeper.
How was your week?  I can’t believe it’s almost December. Ok then again, we did just put up our (artificial) tree yesterday so we are already in that frame of mind!

Currently…

Reading:

Voyager – Diana Gabaldon

Listening:

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets read by Stephen Fry (listening with the kids in the car as we go to and fro from school and after school activities – first thing they say when I start the car is, “can we listen to Harry Potter?”)

Eating:

A brown sugar lime bar we made over the weekend from a Bill Granger recipe (note to self, reduce the amount of sugar next time. It was a bit too sweet for me, but tasty)

Drinking:

Yorkshire Gold with milk

Cooking:

Braised slow cooker pork

Browsing:

Last week:

I read:

Victory of Eagles – Naomi Novik
Baking with Kafka – Tom Gauld
The Book of Dust Vol One La Belle Sauvage – Philip Pullman

badgeIt’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 somehow I skipped last week

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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

I feel like I’ve been reading less these past weeks. I definitely have been blogging far and far less often than ever. I feel like I’m reading blogs far less than I used to, resorting more to Litsy, Instagram. Is it about shorter posts? Less detail?

Anyway, last week we…

ate Pakistani food

 

visited Books Inc in Mountain View

went on a hike and saw lots of deer, as well as farm animals

made blueberry Meyer lemon muffins

and pizza

and olive bread

and the 6yo discovered a new chapter book series, Dragon Masters

Currently…

Reading:

Watching:

I’m not sure why but I started watching The Walking Dead on Netflix. I watched it once and then stopped somewhere. So I’ve decided to start from the beginning.
Listening:

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, read by Stephen Fry. The kids and I have been listening to the audiobook as we drive around (school drop off, to after school activities etc). It’s been so much fun introducing Harry Potter to them!

 

 

Drinking:

Hot chocolate from a Christmas mug

 

Last week:

I read:

Squirrel Girl – Shannon Hale
Sweetbitter – Stephanie
Jane, Unlimited – Kirstin Cashore
I posted:

It’s Monday and was that a #readathon or eatathon weekend?

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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

An Ursula K Le Guin book spiral I created for the #uncannyOctober photo challenge I run on Litsy
My TBR stack for readathon. Of course I only read comics and part of an ebook!

 

Korean food for Saturday lunch

 

Homemade sushi and sashimi for Saturday dinner

 

It was readathon weekend but really it was more of an eatathon for me. I did manage to read three comics, go on a Costco run, watch Hidden Figures (again but my mum hadn’t seen it before) on Saturday.

And on Sunday, we tried out a brand new seafood restaurant in San Jose. EMC Seafood and Raw Bar had a beautiful and generous seafood tower! And the rest of the food we ordered (calamari, seafood pasta, hickory smoked salmon) was really good too.

Also in Santana Row is an Amazon bookstore. It was packed and people were actually buying books. It was interesting how all the books faced out which does mean fewer books on the shelves but also no head craning to see all the spines! I didn’t buy anything though.

Currently…

Reading:

Watching: 

 

Listening:

Eating: This bar made of freeze dried strawberries, marshmallows and cream cheese that the 4yo and I put together. Of course he refuses to eat it. But I actually kinda like it.

Drinking: Yorkshire Gold with milk

 

 

Last week:

I read:

 

I posted:

#SomethingOnSunday (October 22)

#Readathon October 21 2017

Top Ten Yummy Foods Mentioned In Books

It’s Monday and I’m eating chocolate stout cake

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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

Currently…

The 4yo is sick as of writing this on Sunday night. He’s had a fever on and off for most of the afternoon. So hopefully he will be ok when this post runs tomorrow. Meanwhile I had written up part of this post earlier today when everything was ok.

Reading:

Watching:

White Gold on Netflix

Listening:

Last week I finished listening to The Soul of An Octopus and just adored it. I am still trying to decide on a new audiobook.

Eating:

It’s Monday and I’m reading about octopuses

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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

Just a pizza and doughnuts kind of Sunday.

Currently…

Reading:

 

Watching:

Star Wars Episode IV with the kids – we weren’t sure when was a good time to introduce the show to the kids. But you know what they’ve been reading the books and they kinda know a lot of the story already, so guess it’s as good a time as ever. They loved it of course!

 

Listening:

The Soul of an Octopus – Sy Montgomery

I don’t think I had any particular fondness for octopuses before this but oh wow, this book has changed my mind about these amazing creatures!

Eating:

Maple bacon doughnut.

Drinking:

Yorkshire Gold with milk

 

Last week:

I read:

this is one of the extremely rare weeks where I don’t think I’ve finished reading anything!

I posted:

#RIPXII The Bear and the Nightingale

#SomethingOnSunday (October 8)

It’s Monday and I’m trying to get back into blogging

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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
Another Saturday hike.
We took a different trail this time, walking along a creek but the trail also led us past the backyards of many houses. It was a suburban hike!
Sunday farmers market
We always pick up a flat of strawberries (i.e. 6 of these small boxes) so I never bothered to look at the price of the other packs. 3 boxed for $8 but 1 flat (6 boxes) goes for $10! Yep we buy strawberries every single Sunday and they barely last the week as my kids devour them!

Currently…

Reading:

 

 

Watching:

The Lego movie with the kids

 

Listening:

The Soul of an Octopus- Sy Montgomery

 

Eating:

For lunch, chicken porridge

Dinner was Pakistani food.

 

 

Drinking:

Grapefruit green tea by Lupicia – it has grapefruit peel in it and is quite refreshing

 

 

 

Last week:

I read:

Heroine Complex – Sarah Kuhn
City of Small Blessings – Simon Tay
A Closed and Common Orbit – Becky Chambers
The Bear and the Nightingale – Katherine Arden

I posted:

#SomethingForSunday

#ripxii The Unquiet Dead

It’s Monday and I’m trying to read more

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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

Back to School night was last Tuesday and we learnt just how much work the first graders will have to do. My boy is in a Mandarin immersion programme so everything is taught in Mandarin, with 90 minutes of English a day. He also gets science lab and music once a week. It seemed like a lot of work but when he got down to it, most of it was quite quickly done.

I’ve been trying to figure out a good after school schedule for the kids. They do swimming on Mondays, the 6yo has piano class on Thursdays, on Fridays they hang out after school where some of their classmates’ dads are trying to start up their own basketball class. And in between, there’s homework and piano practice and I work with the older boy on some extra Math (I think the math here is too easy and we work on Singapore math textbooks). The kids have started taking tennis lessons on Sunday but I’m considering switching that to Tuesdays. And sometimes I wonder, should they try other sports? Soccer? Add in an extra swim class? Some kind of martial arts? Isn’t this time for them to try out different things and figure out what they’re interested in? Some of their classmates go for Chinese class on weekends, or attend extra Math classes, others do kungfu, ice hockey, many of them go skiing in winter. I have absolutely no interest in skiing but I always wonder, are my kids missing out because of something I’m not keen on?

Anyway, enough about all that. I’m loving how the temps are cooling down a bit here after that heatwave. I even braved turning on the oven to bake some tangzhong raisin bread (you can read my previous post on that here) and I also adapted that recipe to make a chocolate chip and sliced almond bread. I made shepherd’s pie too and a tomato soup that my 4yo kept asking me to make again and again. I usually make my tomato soup with some carrots and celery added in, although since I just picked up some lovely leeks at the farmers market, may try one with leeks instead.

Currently…

Reading:

Watching:

Gossip Girl

Eating:

I made some fresh spring rolls (summer rolls?) for dinner – crabstick, cabbage, carrots and cilantro.

Drinking:

Water

Cooking:

Tomato and leek soup?

Fried noodles

Chicken rice

Also something to use up these lovely colorful peppers!

Last week:

I read:

I posted:

#ripxii Fox Woman