One for the ant

One for the ant

Seems like I blinked, and it’s April. Where did the time go? Don’t ask me, I have no idea, I wasn’t looking! Mostly the weeks of preparing for the acocalypse have kept me crazy busy. While the grasshoppers have been singing and dancing in the fields, the ants have been hard at work scurrying back and forth with heavy loads on their backs. Don’t envy me, I’m five shades darker than before just from dashing in and out of the sun daily in near 100 degree weather (Vancouver, how I miss thee!). Okay, so now that this chronic bulk shopper is done, she’s finally getting a breather :wink: .

Well now, that’s not to say that life has been all work and no play. Hanging out with our Korean friends has been so much fun. Not to mention that I broke the record and had soju and what was that – whiskey? for the first time. I know. It’s bound to send some shockwaves through this little blog of mine. Heck, I don’t even drink, not even socially! I’m strictly an orange juice person. But our friends like to have soju over dinner and they’ve somehow managed to persuade me to try some.


Obviously I had no idea what soju would taste like. It looks like water so I figured, how bad can it be, right? And quite honestly, it isn’t bad. It’s easy to drink, not heavy or intense, and it doesn’t seize up your tongue. Drinking a little now and then is okay. I don’t advocate drinking but like I tell my kids, if the social setting calls for it, we should drink responsibly. Each time before we start dinner, our friends would insist on appointing designated drivers for each car, even though we don’t drink nearly enough to get anywhere near drunk. Gotta love them for it.

On that note, here’s my friendly little reminder to everyone, never drink and drive, be sure you have a designated driver. Like mine, he was only allowed to sip sipping iced green tea :wink: .


Music in my ears

I had a pair of headphones which I used to use at the gym. It’s great to work out to music but it’s so annoying having wires dangling over me when I’m working out. Not for me.

These days, however, I find myself wishing I had headphones to take with me on my travels. It’s nice to have something like kerly to listen to during long layovers. So I went out recently and got myself a pair from Sony which goes really nicely with my new Sony Xperia.

My biggest fear with headphones though is if I forget my volume is set to maximum, and I end up blasting my poor eardrums with deafening music. Not funny!


Hip to be Shopping – All green for St Patrick’s Day

With St Patrick’s Day just around the corner, it’s time to think green. This week, I present my hand-picked selection of green that’s guaranteed to make your St Patrick’s Day a little bit of spring and that much more special.

Pure Edith Hat in Green
Pure Edith Hat in Green

This vintage-inspired cloche is effortlessly elegant! Its unique, asymmetrical design of woven straw hearkens to the days of letter-writing in today’s modern world of texts and emoticons. A sage-green velveteen bow encircles the brim, while a burlap floral pattern cascades down the side of this hat in a stylish fashion. Whether you’re wearing a retro outfit from the roaring 20s or a modern sundress with eyelets along the hem, you can add a hint of sophistication to your ensemble with this beautiful hat.

Needlework it Out Dress in Green
Needlework it Out Dress in Green

Working your craft stand in snazzy style, you sell your handmade creations in this green dress! Intricately embroidered white flowers and swirls adorn the bodice and skirt of this vibrant button-up frock. Charmingly embellished with puff sleeves and flouncy pleats, this delightful dress is cinched to a fabulous fit with a back sash, keeping you so cozily chic!

Morning Amour Flat in Green
Morning Amour Flat in Green

The world around you is just beginning to wake – and you’re already up and at em in your bright green flats. Its refreshing to rise with the sun and enjoy the best part of your day in these apex-toed flats, complete with a button-studded decorative strap and a sweet simplicity that matches your morning!

And here’s how to enjoy FREE US shipping on all orders $50+. No coupon required.


Hip to be Shopping – Going retro this swimwear season

Like I said before, although it’s technically still winter right now, there are some places (like California) where we seem to have skipped winter altogether and gone straight on to spring. No matter if it’s cold or warm where you’re at, summer will be along sooner enough. My hand-picked selection of retro swimwear will take you to a new level of hip. So check these out sooner rather than later!

Free to Sea One-Piece Swimsuit
Free to Sea One-Piece Swimsuit

Ready, set, vacay! Make a break for the ocean sporting this nautical bathing suit by the iconic Esther Williams. The anchor-etched buttons of this retro suit will make waves among shoreline stylistas (I guarantee it!), while that bright red trim that serves as a halter tie tops off this flatteringly slim swim dress with a bold touch!

Set the Serene Swimsuit Top in Emerald
Set the Serene Swimsuit Top in Emerald

A lagoon is the perfect cool-off spot, and today you’re lounging on the shore in this patterned swimsuit. This ModCloth-exclusive halter swimwear features an emerald hue and wrapped layers of fabric on its bust. Spend the day in this bikini top and its matching bottom and feel at peace with nature.

High Tide and True One-Piece Swimsuit in Black
High Tide and True One-Piece Swimsuit in Black

Reach for this black swimsuit by Bettie Page before a day at the beach, and you’re sure to make a stylish splash. Flaunting a retro silhouette that’s enhanced by a cute collar, piping detail, and low-cut legs, this scarlet-trimmed halter offers a stunning seaside look you can count on.

Yes, you definitely need to check more retro swimwear like these at Modcloth’s Swim Collection. I promise you will be tempted by more than just one design. Happy shopping and have a great weekend :grin: !


Colorful Asparagus Stirfry

Colorful Asparagus Stirfry

I don’t remember liking asparagus when I was younger, but I sure love them now. Not only are they full of nutrients, they are also very tasty. My favorite weeknight dinner is a colorful asparagus stirfry that is so easy it takes no time at all to cook.


Here’s what you need for my quick and easy asparagus stirfry:

  • A handful of asparagus, cut into 2-3 inch lengths
  • 1 green + 1 green pepper, diced (if you have yellow pepper, throw that in for color!)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoon cooking oil (I use avocado oil)
  • 1-2 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

I heat up the avocado oil in a skillet on high heat. Give the oil a few minutes to heat up before tossing in the garlic. Some people like to add the garlic later almost as an afterthought but for me, in as far as Asian cooking goes, the garlic always goes in first to give it a chance to flavor the oil. So once the garlic becomes fragrant, I saute the diced peppers for a few minutes to let them soften.

The asparagus goes in next followed by oyster sauce. The measurements I’ve given are just an estimate. I actually just eyeball it. Mix everything together and give it a good stir. Put on the lid and let the asparagus cook through, which shouldn’t take very long, probably 5 minutes. At this point, you can season to taste. I usually finish off with a drizzle of sesame oil, and it’s ready to serve.

I’ve noticed that many recipes call for sesame seeds to be sprinkled over Asian dishes as a finishing touch. Do sesame seeds make a dish more Asian? I don’t know. What I do know is that in authentic Asian cooking, sesame seeds aren’t used that often. Of course you can add them if you like, it’s really up to you.

If you’re an asparagus lover, do give this recipe a try. I’m sure you’ll like it as much as I do. Here I’ve paired my asparagus stirfry with pan-fried salmon over rice to make a healthy and delicious weeknight dinner. Enjoy!



Bah humbug!

Glad it’s over… the Lunar New Year, I mean. I used to enjoy it but with each passing year, it’s becoming more and more of a chore. Maybe times have changed. Maybe I’ve become disillusioned. Or maybe it’s a bit of both.

The superstitions: First off, I’m not into the tradition of decorating the house with red decor and lucky plants and symbols, and eating food with auspicious names. So I don’t even bother. I’m no expert but I just can’t see how eating auspiciously named food will make you rich, or having some lucky plant in your home will bring you good luck. If this were true, everyone on Planet Earth would be a freakin’ millionaire.

Relative amnesia: I have some relatives who keep asking the same old questions every year and I keep giving them the same old answers every year. I thought amnesia only happens in soap operas. Some of my relatives are archaeologists, constantly digging for new info. And some of them are bullet trains, boasting non-stop for 3 hours straight.

Boycotting Chinese restaurants: We avoid dining at Chinese restaurants for the length of the Lunar New Year. It’s something we’ve been doing for years. For someone who doesn’t enjoy getting ripped off, paying through the nose for food that’s nothing special except that they come with auspicious names just don’t cut it for me. No thanks!

The gifting contest: It used to be that the exchange of gifts was purely symbolic. Over the years, however, gift giving has become more and more of a contest. Gifts have become ever bigger and more expensive because people are either trying to show off how rich they are, or they’re trying to get into the good graces of their rich relatives. Frankly I’ve got better things to do than compete for who brings the biggest and most expensive gifts.

Wherefore manners: In the good old days, we would greet our elders by their titles like Second Aunt or Grand Uncle. These days, you would be hard-pressed to hear your nieces and nephews (or even your adult relatives) greet you by your title. All you get these days (if they even bother to greet you at all!) is “Hello, happy new year!”. Excuse me, hello who??? As a younger person (doesn’t matter if you’re 8 or 80), you always greet someone older by their title. Good manners have definitely gone down the drain.

The animal factor: I read that the year of the goat is not a good year to have kids, and some couples were opting for C-sections to have their babies born before the new year. A bit extreme, don’t you think? Well, it seems someone’s always coming up with these kinds of predictions like oh, this is a bad year for this animal year, yada yada yada and people would actually believe them. And don’t even get me started on the feng shui nonsense. All I have to say is – be kind, be compassionate, keep your fingers off what’s not yours, eat less seafood and you’ll be just fine.

I prefer to spend my Lunar New Years across the planet. I don’t drink or gamble and I find LNY songs annoying so I’m not missing much. I find it infinitely more fun hanging out at home with my kids over some good old home-cooked food ala Thanksgiving or Christmas. So yeah!


Hip to be Shopping – Warm tops pretty enough for any kind of day

The weather’s been so unpredictable everywhere that I’m getting all spiral-eyed trying to picking out a selection this week. There was a time when winter meant coats and jackets but these days, who knows? :grin: Take the weather here in California, for example, we seem to have skipped winter (except for a few days when it was cold but even then, not cold enough to be wearing a jacket) and now spring is here in the middle of February.

So here I am, with my weekly selection of stuff I have hand-picked, stuff that I would actually wear myself… a very pretty selection, I might add, of tops warm enough for a cool day that won’t leave you shivering when the wind blows.

Petite Red Embellished Shell Top

Petite Red Embellished Shell TopPetite Red Embellished Shell Top

This red embellished top may be sleeveless but it’s perfect for wearing on its own when you take your coat off in the office. The subtle embellishments take you effortlessly from day to night for that after-work gathering on the town.

Pale Pink Soft Knitted Jumper

Pale Pink Soft Knitted JumperPale Pink Soft Knitted Jumper

I love the texture and color of this jumper. It’s a pretty color that is easy to pair with either a skirt or pants. You can wear it day or night and still look so presentable.

Coral Fringe Rib Poncho

Coral Fringe Rib PonchoCoral Fringe Rib Poncho

Just look at the color of this poncho. Sure makes a statement, doesn’t it? And that loose cowl neck gives it a casual look that’s not too casual, know what I mean? Whether it’s a quick trip to the office, or the store, this will do just fine.

Let’s face it, why stick with drab winter colors when you can bust out in these cheerful spring colors, eh? Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed my picks for this week. Wallis is offering FREE delivery on orders over $50 simply by using the code – WALLIS50 – at checkout for a limited time only, so you should definitely check these out! Have a great weekend.

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