Speak it or drink it

Speak it or drink it

So there’s been this little hooha about someone speaking Mandarin which, if you ask me, is no big deal. Hey, lots of people whose native language isn’t Mandarin speak Mandarin, many much better than him, I might add. You don’t see them in the news. This is just like the case where if a dog bites a man, it’s no big deal but if a man bites a dog, it is.

Same thing here. He speaks a splattering of Chinese, and suddenly it’s a big deal. People are all aghast and praising him to the sky (why?) and his video gets a bazillion views. Turn this around, and you have lots of people whose native language is not English, who can speak and write English, way better than his Chinese there, I might add, but no one thinks anything of it. Just sayin’.

I think anyone can master a language, any language, if they set their minds to it. In fact, Chinese is easier to learn because there are no tenses. No present continuous, no past perfect continuous, no wading through that barrage of English tenses.

There’s a joke that if you (are in the habit of sharing drinks and) ingest enough of someone’s saliva, you’ll be able to speak their mother tongue… and he has a Chinese wife? See where I’m going with this? So now you know the secret. Hmm, maybe someone should think about selling language in a bottle. Brilliant *pats self on back*.


And with that, I’m outta here, off to buy myself a few bottles of Korean at a grocery store near me. And after I get through drinking them all, my next post may or may not be in Korean :wink: . Stay tuned?


Look, ma, no carbs 2

Look, ma, no carbs

Trust us to waste no time in sniffing out a fabulous Korean buffet restaurant. How could we not know? The ad was calling out to us from the side of a public bus several times a day. All you can eat? We’re in!! We’ve been there 3 times already and still haven’t gotten tired of it yet. We were there again last Thursday with something to celebrate, Hip2bDaughter1 getting her drivers’ license, w00t w00t! She passed both her written and driving test with full marks. Can’t think of a better reason to celebrate!

So you walk into this place and wait like 3 minutes while they prepare your table and get you started off with pancake, a huge salad (not in picture) and 6 banchan (side dishes) – 3 types of kimchi: napa cabbage, radish, and cucumber (all of which I absolutely love!), and glass noodles, kongnamul (beansprouts, my favorite) and potato salad (which we barely ate). Btw, that’s me feasting my eyes on those amazing side dishes.


The buffet menu gives you lots to choose from for. You can order as much and as many times as you like for $13 per head but they do have a penalty for over-ordering and wasting food. I like that! You might’ve read my views about wasting food.

For us, this mushroom tofu soup is a must. It comes piping hot in a clay pot and its spicy gingery taste is pure heaven now that the weather is finally cooling down. a little. And as usual, we ordered lettuce wraps but not rice (to the surprise of our server who asked us several times, “you sure?”).


There’s a long list of meats to choose from. Our favorites are samgyeopsal, spicy chicken, and bulgogi which we tried this time and it didn’t disappoint. So tender and flavorful. As usual, we did multiple rounds of meat. It’s fun doing your own grilling and cutting. At some places, you just sit and watch them grill it for you which isn’t half as fun. Here after each round, the server comes to change out the grill so you get a fresh clean grill to start your next round of grilling. Brilliant!


And you grill and you eat and they refill your side dishes, and you order some more and you grill, and they refill your side dishes and… omg, it’s all one crazy circle of tasty over-indulgence. Can’t wait to go again.



Need a super-cute kiddy #Halloween #costume?

Infant/Toddler Universal Studios Lil Frankie Costume

Frankenstein is one of the most famous American monsters of all time! So set your little one’s Halloween off right with the Universal Studios Infant/Toddler Lil Frankie Costume. This costume includes a block headpiece with nut and bolt details, a brown zipped shirt, brown trousers complete with patches and shoe covers plus green jacket with patches. This is a cool, cute toddler Frankenstein costume that your child will love to wear this Halloween,

Toddler’s Batgirl Costume

She’s strong. She’s smart. She’s brave. She’s Batgirl! The Batgirl Costume for Toddlers includes a black dress with the Bat emblem on front. Also included, a cape, yellow utility belt, glovelets, boot tops and a mask. This officially licensed costume is perfect for Halloween or playtime. If your child loves superheros and likes pretending to be one, you should get this costume. She’ll have fun using her super Batgirl abilities to save the day.

Muscle Toddlers Hulk Costume

Fall in love with this miniature Hulk with the Hulk Muscle Costume for Toddlers! This costume features a jumpsuit with a green foam muscle torso and purple bottoms with jagged waist line detail. The headpiece goes over your kids eyes and has cool little tuft of Hulk hair. Your kid will look super adorable knocking anything over in this great getup. Have your boy show you how strong he is. Be warned, this costume might be cuteness overload.

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My Grandma’s mantra

Okay, so my daughters are volunteering at a food pantry packing and handing out food to the needy (which officially makes me a proud mama :wink: ). One of my daughters is doing it for class credit, and the other is helping out of her own free will. Neither is complaining even though this means giving up their beauty sleep to be out there in the early morning hours. I tagged along one week and found myself busy working the back benches, and yes, I loved it! planning to go again.

Every week, there are long lines of people who can’t afford to feed themselves and their families coming through the door. It breaks my heart to see the kids who come along with their parents to collect food. Yeah, it makes me wonder why people waste food when there are so many people who can’t even afford to put food on their tables. I don’t get it.

Recently, my daughters were stunned when they overheard a student at the cafeteria telling her friends how she loves to pile her plate high with food which she never finishes it and ends up throwing all away. Question is why take so much food when you know there’s no way you can eat it all? Apparently she just loves seeing all that food on her plate, she explained to her friends. Huh?

I know someone who, when her husband calls to say he’d be home late from work, would instruct her maid to throw away all the food that’s been saved for him. Every time I heard her say that, it made me wince. She declares that excess food from all her meals go right down the drain, they never eat leftovers. What a waste! Some leftovers are even more flavorful the next day, and there are so many ways to get creative with them you’ll never guess they were last night’s dinner.

And apparently she’s not alone. My cousins would allow their then below 10-year-old kids to order adult portions of whatever they wanted. In many cases, it’s obvious (to me, at least) that the portions are way too big for kids that age but she would tell them, “If you can’t finish, just leave it”. Question is, why not just share or get the kiddy meals in the first place? Nothing wrong with sharing, if you ask me.

When my kids were younger, they would always share. I can see where sharing can be a problem sometimes for kids with preferences. I’m lucky my kids have always been agreeable and never fought over food. Even now, we often share our orders. If it’s not enough to go round or we want more, we can always order again. That way, we don’t end up wasting food or stuffing ourselves silly. Make sense, right?

When I was growing up, my Grandma would tell me, “Don’t waste food, think of all the starving people, be grateful you get to eat all this good food”. It was her mantra which I have passed on to my kids and hopefully they will do the same. From young, my kids have been trained to lick their platters clean and not to take more than they can finish. My youngest daughter is so cute. On the rare occasion when she had food left on her plate, she would say softly, “Sorry, food, I can’t eat any more and you have to go to waste”. This kinda sums up how we feel about wasting food.

How about you? What are your views on food wastage?


K lunch

K lunch

And some days, my lunch can be as simple as this. I love this super spicy Shin ramyeon (Korean instant noodles) especially now that the weather has officially cooled down. Really? Well, it was a blazing 91 on Monday and by Tuesday, we’d dipped to 79 which still feels like 91 by the way.

Anyhoo, this ramyeon was recommended by our Korean friend. I didn’t get a chance to try it until now which, as it turned out, is brilliant because it’s much cheaper here and more authentic – see my Korean chopsticks. It’s my last resort lunch when I can’t figure out what else to eat.


And for dessert, my current addiction…



Morning entertainment

Every morning as I sit at my computer, I can hear the sounds of a marching band practising behind our house. I’ve driven by and seen the band of high school kids practising in the open area nearby. Although I do appreciate being entertained by the Live Sound of Music coming in the windows (if I have them open), it does get a little loud. The good thing though is that they only practise for a short while.


Blueberry banana smoothie

Blueberry banana smoothie

I’ve been hesitating about writing a smoothie post. Smoothie posts are a dime a dozen and both you and I have doubtless read enough to go, oh no, not another smoothie post!! Then again, I’m thinking, so what? one more smoothie post can’t hurt anyone, right?

So I’m going to go ahead and bore you anyway… with one of my favorite smoothies which I make all the time. You know me, I’m terrible at following recipes. I tend to grab ingredients left and right without measuring. So feel free to adjust the amounts to your liking.


You’ll need:

  • a frozen banana
  • a couple handfuls of blueberries
  • 3 teaspoons of chia seeds
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of Greek yogurt
  • a good splash of milk

I blended this in my new Cuisinart blender which comes with these to-go blender cups. I love how this saves me the trouble of blending in the regular jug and then pouring it into another glass. I hate washing up and the fewer transfers I make, the less I have to wash. Simple logic, right?

This Cuisinart blender set comes with 4 of these to-go blender cups with lids in addition to the regular jug and chopper cup. Another thing I love about this blender is that you don’t have to hold down the button when you blend (unlike the magic bullet which I also happen to own). By the way, I’m not being paid by Cuisinart to say nice things about their blender. Just stating my honest opinion.

And here’s my healthy, delicious smoothie. Isn’t it the most beautiful pastel lilac color?! Visually appealing much and I don’t have to tell you how amazing this tastes.