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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Snowflake Saturday - Frozen

Did I get a lot of attention just by using a creative title for this post?  Did you think we got snow in sunny California?  Well, I am sorry to disappoint you.  No snowflakes but definitely cold last night.  This is the reason why I thought about doing my nails with the Frozen theme.  I am guessing this was the favorite toy for a lot of the little girls and even big girls.  Last night when I checked my nail polish which had the Christmas theme, I noticed that the tips are chipped and of course my nail has grown.  Even if it was late, I still decided to change polish because I don't like having chipped nail polish.  My nail salon is open 24-7 so it was easy to get an appointment.  But before doing my nails, I needed to finish making my ham and beans soup.  Oh no, I forgot to take a photo of the soup and they are all frozen now.  Wait, I did remember to take a photo of my Frozen nail art. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Fortuitous Friday - lucky to still get gifts

Happy Boxing Day to all my family and friends in Canada.  I wish they had that here in the USA.  Although I think it would just end up to be like a big sale after a holiday.  A few years ago we celebrated it here and we opened our home to some family and friends.  It was an afternoon of just relaxing, socializing, some snacks and maybe a drink.  This year we are just taking it easy and do absolutely nothing.  The good part is that I don't have to think of making meals because we have leftovers from our Christmas dinner.  I am hoping that everyone had a wonderful time with their family and thankful of all the gifts.  On that note, here's what we received this Christmas and we are both very thankful for everything.



Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Waiting Wednesday - It's Christmas eve

Waiting, waiting and more waiting.  Who am I waiting or what am I waiting for?  The answer is simple.  I am waiting for Santa to bring my gifts.  Well, that was then.  Now, I am still waiting for the signal to open my gifts.  Since we are following Jeff's tradition, we won't open until Christmas day.  I think I like our tradition because we get to open our gifts at midnight on Christmas eve, which is tonight.  Although I have to wait until tomorrow for the rest of the gifts, I am actually allowed to open one tonight.  Now I am being a kid who can't hardly wait to get the gifts and then open it and be surprised.  So far I have opened three gifts from friends during our dinner get together/exchange gifts.  Everyone right now is on a holding pattern, waiting for the right time to open.  Here's one of my favorite Christmas song you can listen to while you wait.  
 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Marmalade Monday - I did it

At the end of each day I try to think of what I have accomplished.  Usually I would have done something that makes me feel that my day was not wasted.  If for some reason I end up with nothing, I would try and do something small and still feel good about my day.  This is one of those days.  I was watching TV and looked at the time and realized I have not done anything that counts.  Since Jeff just got back from his mom's place and brought some fresh oranges and lemons from her tree, I considered doing something with it.  A few days ago while watching the Barefoot Contessa make this orange marmalade.  I immediately looked up the recipe and sure enough I was making the exact same recipe.  There was a lot of boiling, simmering and waiting.  But finally it was ready and I did the taste test.  OMG it takes like a marmalade.  The recipe resulted in 8 small mason jars and it looks really good.  So far I have given four to my friends and maybe two more to other friends and keep two.  This was a good day.
 
 



Saturday, December 20, 2014

Scented Saturday - Soaps, sanitizers and shampoo

Scratch and sniff is the bests way to test any of the products that you would like try for the first time.  Although some of them do not have this on their product, the ones with this probably sell more.  When buying something new, I would open the bottle if I can and try and smell the scent.  Sometimes the name of the scent does not really smell what the actual scent you were hoping for.  There are some that has too much alcohol or too much of whatever ingredient that they add to preserve it.  Have you tried anything new or do you stick with the same product for several years before trying a different one?  Do you just buy what attracts you when you are at the store?  Would you buy something just because it's on sale.  I think for me, I do all of the above and still be open to try a product that was a recommendation. 
  • Bath and Body Sugar Scrub in Eucalyptus Spearment
  • L'Oreal Shampoo with Oleo Theraphy
  • Bio Silk Therapy
  • Dove Body Wash in Plum and Sakura Blossom
  • Edward Beale Moroccan gloss argan oil leave in treatment
  • Winter Cranberry Hand Sanitizer
  • Oh Lola by Marc Jacobs perfume
 Product Details


Friday, December 19, 2014

Frugal Friday - When is it a deal

When it comes to looking for great deals, I have certain stores that I like to check every now and again.  Sometimes I get very lucky in finding things that I need for myself or for someone else.  There are some stores that have that special discount on a particular day and I will make sure that I only buy something I need on that day.  Since I have all the time to browse and search for good deals,  I am able to find them without being stressed because I like to shop during the not so busy time of the day.  Yesterday was my lucky day when I decided to stop by at Kohl's.  I was not looking for anything - I was just doing my regular walking around the store - my form of exercise.  Do you want to see what I found?

The last pair - my size - only $4.99
 This will be my new evening sandals when the weather gets warmer.  Great deal, right.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tidy Thursday - Less toys to pick up

How long does it take for a mother to tidy the kids bedroom?  I would say at least an hour because that's how I remember it many years ago.  But with all the tech toys that children have, it might take only five minutes.  It would be like, "Billy, put away your Ipad or turn of your Xbox.  Maybe there's still a lot of kids who loves the other non techy toys.  Like dolls and their accessories, train sets, Lego sets, and game boards or puzzles.  I'm going back in time and recall some of the toys that my kids had.  There was that one with all the little pieces that accompanies the main figure.  Aaahh - GI Joe.  Let me see if my memory is still good.  Only my daughter is able to correct this list when she reads this post.
  • GI Joe figures and all the accessories
  • Masters of the Universe
  • Fisher Price Farm
  • My Little Pony
  • Cabbage patch kids
  • Barbie
  • Baking set
  • Little cars - diecast
  • Assorted Lego sets
As an adult who still likes to play games, I have a couple of old toys that I inherited from my kids.  My son gave me his old PS2 with a variety of games on a memory card and my daughter gave me their Wii with some of the games - my favorite is bowling.  Once a day I still play with my Nintendo DS that has many games but my favorite is Big Brain Academy and the Tiger Woods golf.  Almost forgot to mention that I play a few games on the Kindlefire before going to bed.  All of these games have their own place and it doesn't mess up any part of our home. But if I was a kid now, here's what I would want Santa to deliver (via Amazon of course as it ships in two days).

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wispy Wednesday - With or without bangs

My sister and I were talking about hairstyle last night and it got me thinking about what to do with my bangs.  While my sister is trying to find a new shorter hairstyle, I was trying to get my bangs of my face as it was a bit too long.  I can only remember a couple of times when I did not have bangs and it did not last long.  There was not a lot of style I could do.  Maybe it's because I'm just to lazy to discover new ways to wear it.  Now that it's getting to that length, it will only take maybe another couple of months to grow.  Although I am keeping my hair long, sometimes I get this image of me having short hair or no bangs, just one length. One thing for sure is that I am not ready to let the grey grow and have a short hair style. When my bangs starts poking my eyes, I will take my scissors and just start snipping away making some wispy bangs.  I am not afraid to do it because I have done it many times and love how my bangs look.  A couple of months ago, I ask Jeff to trim the ends of my hair to take off some of the split ends.  He did not hesitate and my hair looked very healthy after the trim.  Between Jeff and I, we save a lot of trips to the Hair Salon.  He doesn't even mind doing a root touch-up.  I remember when we were still living apart, we tried the L'oreal hair product to do color and highlights.  The results - a lot of compliments from my friends. Here's a couple photos of what I am considering for style and color.
Just the hairstyle not the color.
Something like this with high and low lights.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Melodious Monday - Sing Off

With all the different singing competition that I have been watching through the years, my all time favorite is the SING OFF.  It is my favorite for several reasons, it's truly all about being able to carry a tune, the ability to be creative without a musical instrument, and being able to make an old song sound so new.  Although it's a very short season, each episode is filled with amazing songs and colorful outfits.  Of course the host and the judges are also amazing and they all have extensive musical backgrounds.  When they give their critique they will go to the extent of taking the whole musical piece apart.  Their comments are from the heart and even if it is negative, it is meant to ensure that they learn from it in order to get to the next step.  If you love music, you definitely have to check this one.  It starts on Wednesday, December 17 at 9 pm on NBC.  Here's one of my favorite from one of the previous show.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Searching Sunday - Need a break

You are probably wondering why I would need a break when actually if I am retired, it would have been almost four and a half years that I have been taking a break.  Let me pause for a moment.  It must have been due to my recent health issues that it's telling me to slow down.  For some people being retired is really taking it easy and not doing much.  I have been doing all kinds of things and my week sometimes is so packed that my calendar looks like I was still working.  The weather has been one of the cause for me to stay home and not go to one of my volunteers.  Another reason is that when the local teams are playing the NFL, then I know for sure that I don't have to work.  Today was one of those days so I took advantage of it and spend time with Jeff.  We went to several different stores to do a bit of last minute Christmas shopping as well as grocery shopping.  There were some great deals but not a lot to go crazy buying stuff you don't need.  We stopped by for lunch at some Roadhouse Jack's burger place that serves some unique burgers.  I tasted the Crunchy Fritos Style. What is interesting is that they serve about 100 different kinds of beer and on Tuesday it's only $2 all day.  Our day ended with a 2.5 hours of wrapping presents.  I couldn't believe it took all that time so I suggested to Jeff to just use bags next time. 

This is what Jeff's burger look like - we forgot to take our own photo.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Festive Friday - My nails are ready

What is it that women like to do when they want to feel good?  A mani-pedi, right.  Well, that is what I did but only a pedicure.  Because I know I can do a better job doing my nail art on my finger nails, I have decided that it's not worth it. Plus, if I have to do dishes, I would hate to get it all chipped if I paid for my manicure, but if I did it, who cares, I can repair it, change color and design any time.  One time when I got a pedicure, the salon girl nipped my cuticle a little deep and of course I got a cut.  For some that might heal in a couple of days.  It took over three weeks to really heal.  This has not happened to me before but because I am diabetic I have to be so careful when getting a pedicure.  That is why I only do it maybe twice a year.  I thought I would check to see how good they can do a design on the big toe.  Well, you guess it right.  I can do better.  Check out the design on my toe.  I was hesitant to share it but you can see for yourself the mistake.  She offered to correct it but I did not want to spend any more time at the salon.  Again, they failed me. 

It's suppose to look like a red gift box with Christmas bows(not white bugs).

This is my own design, simple and festive.  I've received many compliments already.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Tactful Thursday - Think before you speak

Lately I have been seeing more and more people getting in trouble because of what they say.  One would think that if they are in limelight or public figure they know the rule about being tactful.  With all the latest technology it seems like less thought is put in to their actions.  They are all very quick to say what they want without thinking of the consequences.  If they are caught then major apologies but sometimes it might even cost their job.  It only takes seconds for the rest of the world to react and then it's over.  Most of us are not worried about this because normal day to day us, actually think before we speak because we were brought up that way.  As the saying goes "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all".  I believe I got that right.  Maybe they should have some kind of rule specially on Tuesday and Thursday - let it be declared as Tactful days.  Eventually other days will follow.  But then again in their world, if no one is being stupid, there would be nothing to talk about in the media.  I think I'll stop before I say something which might make me one of them.

 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wishful Wednesday - I just want my bounce back

Do you know what happens when Tigger loses it's bounce?  I think Tigger got stuck in a tree and couldn't come down as it doesn't jump, it can only bounce.  As for me, I think I am stuck. It has been a couple of weeks since I've had two weird episodes.  I think I am allergic to doing dishes. LOL.  Actually it all began Monday morning after doing dishes, my left ear started some sort of ringing, then I felt a little woozy.  I thought it might be best to lay down. The room started spinning and I couldn't open my eyes.  I kept them shut and every now and then I would try to open and if the object I try to focus is still spinning, back to shutting my eyes.  After about half an hour nausea came on and I am guessing you know the rest of the story.  I was very thankful that Jeff was working from home as he is able to help out. 
The second episode came Thursday night again after doing the dishes.  It's exactly the same as Monday's episode but this one lasted longer and a but more severe nausea.  By midnight I was able to get to bed to just sleep it off and hope for the best.  Friday morning we decided to see the specialist that look into my ear problem.  He ordered some blood test and an MRI. I've never had an MRI before so it was an experience.  The good news is that there's no ear problem aka negative results.  The bad news is that some of the symptoms could be what they call Meniere's disease.  If it is, which they can't confirm because there are no existing test they can do to see if you actually have it.  And if I did have it, there's actually no cure. It's too long to explain.  For now, I just need to follow some of their suggestions to make life easier, that is if I have it.  Today I just wish I have my bounce back and I am going to try my very best to get there.  My doctor suggested no caffein, less or no salt, no alcohol and no stress (what is that? I guess he doesn't know I am retired).  Thank you for stopping by. 

  

Monday, December 8, 2014

Minuscule Monday - Happy Birthday, Alysia

Today my daughter celebrates her ?th birthday.  I don't think she will have a big party but maybe just celebrate it with a few of her friends or maybe even just a nice dinner with her husband.  As the expression says "she's all grown up".  Sometimes I can't believe that she's her age because she looks so young that she still gets her ID checked.  She must have that specific genes from her mother.  Recently I had asked her to contribute to our annual Christmas newsletter.  After receiving one article, I was truly amazed on how creative she was with her writing.  It's too bad that she has stopped blogging.  Shortly after, I received another article which was even more heartwarming.  You will have to wait until you received a copy of the newsletter to know what I am talking about.  Today I would like to dedicate this post to her as this day is about her. Happy Birthday Alysia!  May your day be filled with happy times and may you many more years of happiness.  



A bouquet of roses that will last forever.

Almost forgot why I used the word minuscule.  When I was going through the toughest part of my life, she told me something using this word "minuscule", from that day on, each time I encounter something difficult or painful, I would almost hear her voice saying that same line.
Thank you Alysia,  you have truly grown up to be a caring and loving person.  Missing you.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Seeping Saturday - The roof is leaking

As much as California is needing a lot of rain, sometimes there's a disadvantage of having too much. We have been watching the updates of the weather in and around the bay area and some people are experiencing flooding.  Some areas have landslides and even a big sink hole right in the middle of a busy street.  For some of the homeowners, their first concerns would be roofs and windows.  Unfortunately we did experience a little bit of leak in our living room ceiling on Tuesday.  Luckily that day, I was only away for a couple of hours and when I returned home, I found a small puddle of water coming out of a very tiny opening on the ceiling.  First thing I did is to clean and dry the floor and then immediately place a bucket to catch the drips.  I took a photo of the leak and send it to Jeff.  When he came home that day he immediately check the attic to locate where the water was seeping from.  Because of the amount of rain for the last week, there seems to be a leak from the roof.  Unfortunately he would have to wait for the this weekend and can only repair the roof when the rain has stopped.  This is one of those handy things that he can figure out the problem and know the solution.  Unfortunately for others, they would have to call that handyman to the job.  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tasty Thursday - Healthy Chips

I can't wait to open this bag of chips so today's post will be short and sweet.  If you get a chance to taste this kind of chips, I am sure you will agree with them.  They are available at Walmart for $2.48 a bag.  We tried the first one on the right called Sweets & Beets (sweet potato and beets).  After dinner when my friend Maria was visit, we opened this particular bag and we ended up finishing it.  It actually a perfect snack with red wine.  The one on the left is made up of parsnips, taro, sweet potato, yuca and batata.  If I remember it correctly we tasted this type of chips when we tried a restaurant in Monterey, CA called Lalla Grill.  It is served as soon as they sat us down at our table.  I believe they make their own version at their kitchen, according to one of the waiter.

 


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Weft Wednesday - Garden Flags

Weft - Threads running at 90° angles to the length of woven fabrics (or the width). Also known as the cross grain. It has little to no stretch and is usually 45° from the bias. 

It's getting tougher and tougher each time I do a new post.  My daughter told me when I started blogging that I will eventually ran out of words to match with the days of the week.  I am sure that I have repeated some of the words.  But today is a first.  As defined above it's a sewing terminology, so actually it's fitting with what I am blogging today.  This past week I have been addicted to making garden flags.  It all began because I wanted to make one for my MIL for Christmas.  Of course I can't show you that particular piece, just in case she is reading my blog.  When choosing a fabric, I had to make sure that I am using the right one, that one that has little or no stretch.  So far I have made five flags and working on the sixth one.  If you remember in October, I made an orange one just before my BFF's visit.

December Flag

February Flag

Flag for ladybug collectors



The Easter Flag

 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Technical Tuesday - Who do I call?

Who do you call when you have a computer problem? Who do you call when you have a question about your phone? How about when your Kindle Fire?  Lucky for me, I always call the same guy.  He is available 24-7 and I usually don't have to wait for service.  But lately I needed to get a ticket, you know like when you are at work and you have to call the techie guy to solve your problem, he'll give you a ticket number.  The good news is that I always get #1 ticket and first priority because my techie guy is my hubby.  Last week our Wifi was acting up and after trying several ways to get it to work, I gave up and called for a ticket.  It only took about an hour and my computer was up and running.  Having an in-house IT guy is definitely a bonus.  Did I tell you that he is also a great nurse?  Yesterday morning after breakfast I experienced some dizziness accompanied by nausea.  I had to keep my eyes close as the room was spinning.  Thank goodness that Jeff was working from home so he could look after me for part of the morning.  Not sure what really happened or what caused it but I am back to normal today.  As for my photo to share for today, I found a couple more from that day at the Arboretum at UCSC.

I took this photo from the bottom up since the flower hangs like a bell.
It's amazing to see all the drops of rain on the petals of this flower.
 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Mushroom Monday - Non edible

Although I like to eat mushrooms, these ones that I found while visiting the University of California (Santa Cruz) Arboretum, are non edible.  There were several sections of the garden where you can find several types of mushroom.  What is interesting is that some of them resembles some things. Let me know if you can guess what this one reminds you of. 




Sunday, November 30, 2014

Simply Sunday - Simple but Superb

In a way I'm glad that Thanksgiving is over because I cannot look at another turkey until next year.  For whatever reason, I am not as excited anymore as I use to.  It must have been my last year's bad experience with the turkey dinner that we got from Boston Market.  Everyone did not have a problem after except me.  The good part is that I still love food and not afraid of trying new things.  When my friend Maria was visiting she was so helpful in the kitchen.  Sometimes we had eat out for lunch but breakfast and dinner is at home.  Let me show you some of the meals that I remembered to take photos.

San Francisco Chicken made by Maria.

Maria's lunch - bacon and tomato sandwich.

Mixed greens with a nice home made dressing by Maria.

Tacos al pastor on the left and Carne Asada tacos on the right.  The lunch I served on Maria's first day.


 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Succulent Saturday - Not the prickly ones

After this year of not having enough rainfall, Jeff and I are beginning to think of how we are going to change the front yard so that plants won't need a lot of water.  Once he removes those damn ivy, then we have to make sure that replace it so that ivy don't grow back.  You may recall about our visit to the a garden when my friend was visiting.  There was a particular section of just succulents and this gave us an idea of how we might be able to have something similar.  Our only problem is that there's not enough sunshine in the front of the house.  But if we can pull it off, this type of plants does not require lots of water and will be less maintenance.





Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Thursday - Happy Thanksgiving USA

A fresh 20 lb turkey, special stuffing, creamy mashed potatoes, yummy gravy, steamed veggies and fresh dinner roll.  That is our thanksgiving dinner prepared by Jeff.  This is one of those holidays that I don't get involved.  If needed, I will help with table setting and clean up.  Since our kitchen is small and there's not enough room for two cooks, I am going to step aside and let Jeff have the kitchen all to himself.  I will probably sew more items for the up coming boutique sale.  One thing for sure we won't be doing is shop at midnight nor wake up early to take advantage of the black Friday sale.  I am happy to announce that we have done our Christmas shopping early this month.  From our home to your...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wild Wednesday - Can't help but show

If it wasn't for my friend Maria who is an avid gardener and just loves flowers, exotic plants and more, I would have not seen some of these wild plants.  I know that photos won't do justice to the actual plants but I can't help but brag the ones I have taken.  Instead of writing about it which I probably will not be good at it anyway, let me just show you some of these wonderful natural beauty.










Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tackle Tuesday - So behind

Tackle as a football term or tackle as determined efforts to deal with.  Today I am doing both. I decided to watch the Patriots and Lion's game from last Sunday while doing my sewing and some housekeeping chores.  I am so behind with my blog posts, email, sewing and I haven't played golf since November 13th.  Please don't take this as me complaining, I just wanted to catch up and tackle as much as I can.  That means today I am also all over the place. Although this will be a short post. I have some photos to share to show what I have been up to.

My latest collections to wear when my team gets to the Superbowl.
My new Cranberry Portage coffee mug and Maria's new spoon rest.
The little girl's apron I made for Maria's granddaugther.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Fitting Friday - Happy Birthday Maria

It is fitting that I do this special post for my friend Maria who is celebrating her big day today.  She arrived last Sunday and we have been doing a lot of different things as part of her birthday week.  If you have been following my blog, we have been to a winery and did some wine tasting.  We spent three hours at Petroglyph making our own piece of ceramic item that we painted.  It will be ready on Saturday and we can't hardly wait to see the finished product.  She managed to prepare two dinners for us (San Francisco Chicken - so fitting) and (Cannelloni - she's Italian).  Yesterday we had our spa day at Preston Wynne and had a bit of time left to walk in their downtown area to check out special shops.  This morning was breakfast with my friend Nikki which is also fitting because Maria's BFF in Canada is also named Nikki.  There's still a few more days before she returns to freezing cold temperatures. We were able to do quick manicure last night before going to bed.  She received a lot of text messages, emails and phone calls this morning.  The sweetest one is from her mother who sang her a happy birthday which I recorded on my phone.  So, happy birthday Maria.  This is your special day and today is all about you.


*Remember to look back and appreciate what you have done in your life.  Don't waste time regretting what you haven't done.*

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tasting Tuesday - Gilroy Wine Trail

On the second day of my friend's visit, we decided to take a mini road trip and check out the Gilroy Wine Trail.  Since I am not comfortable driving all the way to Napa or Sonoma, I thought it would be great to just take her to somewhere local.  It's a shorter distance and we can still do other things during her second day.  When I did some research there were so many wineries within the Gilroy Wine Trail.  Although some of them are only open on weekends, the rest were open daily from about noon to 5 pm.  The tasting fee are very similar and I guess you really have to search hard to find that are free.  Times are tough.  We had five different wines - Pinot Noir, Lila Cuvee, Zinfandel, Cabernet Blanc, and some other mix I cannot remember.  The best part about this Winery - Clos LaChance is the view.  It is overlooking the Corde Valle GC.  Maria loved the garden, the view and of course the wine. There were two other ladies sitting at the bar doing exactly what we are doing.  We all started chatting and sharing lifes stories. We also took photos outside. It was a great day.



Almost forgot.  Happy birthday to our friends Lulu and Liliana who are celebrating their birthdays today.  We send our happy wishes and our hugs.  Our apologies to the weather they are having today.  Cold, blustery, freezing temperatures.  Maria was thankful she's here with me in sunny San Jose.