Hip2bMom’s hair salon

Hip2bMom's hair salon

If you’re a mom, you’ll agree that moms have the world’s most unexpected job specifications, often running into uncharted territory, such as Chief Executive Hairdresser, for instance. One without proper qualifications, I might add lol.

Back in college, I used to attack my bangs every once in a while. It was the only part of my hair that needed maintenance. Since I have an aversion to hair salons, this worked out perfectly. And that’s all the ‘training’ and experience I have.

When time came for my kids to have their first haircuts, I naturally assumed it was my job. Taking them to the hair salon was never an option. It might have to do with having witnessed kids being hauled up by their parents, kicking and screaming, and pinned down to that dreaded chair so a complete stranger, armed with a deadly weapon, could attempt to snip off what little hair they had.

I couldn’t bear to think of subjecting my kids to that kind of trauma. So when it came time for my firstborn to have his first ever haircut, I took it upon myself. If I could cut my own hair, a kid’s hair should be a piece of cake and it’s not like he’s going to see the Queen, right?

Hip2bMom's hair salon

Image credit

So that’s how far back Hip to be Mom’s home hair salon goes. I designed my bathroom to be 3 times bigger than normal so I’d have enough wriggle room to turn it into a hair salon every few weeks. A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do, right? lol Don’t even get me started on the things I’ve done to child-proof the house.

And so that’s how I ended up being my children’s hairdresser from kindy through college, and all the years in between. Those early haircuts were without struggles. My kids would sit there quietly and patiently while I danced around them. Cutting boys’ hair or even layered haircut for girls isn’t hard. It just needs confidence and some juggling skills.

I probably don’t say this enough but my kids are such sweethearts about a lot of things, which is why I’ve been inspired to do things with/for them that I might otherwise have been hesitant to try. They always cheer me on and tell me I do a good job – and in this case, give me the Nike assurance: “it’s okay, Mom, hair will grow back so just do it!” – and I love them for it.

There was a spell during their teen years when I got lazy found Nick and sent them on their merry way. Of course, at the time, I didn’t know Nick. He was just some random guy who had a different hairstyle and color every other day. But I figured, well, if he had hair like a k-popper, he should be okay. Yup, I’m deep like that lol.

Nick the Pro would definitely be able to cater to a whole range of different hair styles that I couldn’t possibly offer. “Kids, you’re not babies any more. It’s time you went to a pro. Nick does a better job than me. So off you go!”

And just like that, I washed my hands off this whole hairy business. Or so I thought…

(to be continued)

All hail, the mighty kale!

All hail, the mighty kale!

And so here’s my kale story. There was too much talk about kale to ignore. Heard all about it being top spot on the super food pedestal. That was long ago. Kale, avocado, and coconut have since made way for kefir, soylent, and burrito, I hear, hohoho.

Whatever it is, not being one to jump blindly onto any old bandwagon that passes by, I was unperturbed. That’s my general reaction to the iPad, organic food, big breakfasts, any kind of trend fad that has people climbing their fork tines and leaping off their bowls. Let the world go crazy. Leave me alone. I’m staying put.

Stay put, I did, for the longest time. My eyes would pan over everything else in the produce section seeking out my usual veggie choices but skipping over the kale altogether. I tend to get comfortable with the regular veggies that I know and love, and kinda like to stick with those.

If I bought kale, I wouldn’t know what to do with it. Where life is kinda laid back without any of that city madness, I feel like there’s no need to put my brain into high gear. So I thought, nyet, I won’t bother figuring out something new. Let me plog along with my spinach, broccoli and asparagus, thanks.

Until one fine day, I noticed kale going for only 99 cents a bundle. I had no idea super food was so inexpensive. Now that’s not bad at all. Even if I mess it up and it turns out funky, it wouldn’t be such a waste. So I started peeking left and right trying to spot the biggest bundle. Guess I lucked out. Look, a whole tree!

All hail, the mighty kale!

They’re usually tied together neatly in a bundle with no protruding stems but this one was different. Even the cashier laughed and went, “What’s this?” as she puzzled over the 2 plastic bags I used to tame this tree. (By the way, this picture was taken over the open door of Mrs Dolores, our beloved dish washer who fights crime grime with a rattle and a slosh!)

Okay, so now what do I do with my kale? I tried to imagine it juiced but my brain didn’t like how it tasted. So I figured I’d just, what, stir-fry it with, what else, garlic!?? I don’t know, I’ve never fried a tree before, have you?

All hail, the mighty kale!

Well, the tree was huge and filled a big bowl so we ate half and saved the rest. And the taste? Well, if our tongues could taste colors, kale would be dark green and bitter but a bitterness with depth, quite different from the shallow bitterness of bitter gourd. It’s not hard to swallow. We like it. Even my used-to-say-no-to-veggie kids.

Paired with this shrimp and tomato dish, it’s even better. The tangy brightness of the tomatoes takes the edge off the kale’s deep bitterness and they balance each other out perfectly. 먹을 만에요. It’s actually not bad.

So yeah, we worship kale now quite religiously. It’s a regular in our grocery cart. Not because it is or was a trend but because we really like it. You knew that 😉!

Working weekend

So there we are, wildly navigating the weekend mall crowd, trying to avoid body slamming any of the ten thousand people, faces buried in cellphones, walking straight into us, or trampling on random 2-year-olds toddling out of the woodwork. I honestly have a lot of trouble with this.

So when I hear someone mention the word lunch, I practically jump for joy. It’s only temporary relief, I know, but at least I can park myself somewhere…

… and put myself to good use! What, work on a weekend, you ask?! Let me explain.

At my girl friend’s suggestion, we wind up at a restaurant that I’ve passed by a million times without stopping. The place is always crowded but as you know, I’m not in the habit of assuming long lines mean good food. Umm, not necessarily.

We walk in. I’m not sure if we’re shown to our table or if we seated ourselves. Probably seated ourselves LOL. I’m not sure. I was distracted by the overpowering smell of pork in this place. We sit down and peruse the copies of menus strewn haphazardly across each table.

There’s the usual back and forth about what’s good here and my friend names a few things I should try, fried rice among them. Oh, and dumblings. Then she grabs pencil and order form, hands them to me and says, “Let’s fill this up”, and I’m like, “Oh, they make you work before they serve you, eh? Great concept!”

Okay so the customer has to fill out an order form, then wave like a marooned sailor to catch the attention of a willing passing server to pick up the form and send it along to the kitchen. Oh that’s right, I recall entering my order into a tablet at a couple of swankier places.

As we sit anticipating the arrival of lunch, I look around and imagine the food here must be pretty out of this world. I mean, if so many people are willing to line up and work for their lunch, there must be something special about this place. Here’s the spoiler: their food is meh! 맛덦어요 종말!

The server stops by with our bowls of noodles and dumplings just long enough to plonk everything at the edge of the table, then makes a quick getaway. Oh, more work, I see!?! Gotta give those biceps a workout before lunch, y’know! Like all good customers, we distribute the bowls between us, then help ourselves to the eating utensils sprouting from a stand nearby.

I look around the room and everyone is their weekend selves, including the wait staff. people are chatting happily away and having a good time. No one seems to be complaining. Well, I shouldn’t either. I should be lucky they aren’t hustling me off to the kitchen to cook my own noodles and steam my own dumplings!

Soon we’re done eating, chatting and fighting over who’s going to pay. Somewhere in the back of my mind, a giant question mark is popping up. Is there more work waiting for us? And bam, what do you know? My friend picks up the order form, physically transports it to the cashier’s desk and proceeds to hand over her hard-earned money, service charges and all.

You mean, all this time, I’ve been fooling myself into thinking that dining at a full service restaurant means I’m paying someone to cook and serve me without me having to lift a single finger? Haha, silly me!

Tigers in the woods

Tigers in the woods

This is one of those weekends that Hip2Dad isn’t playing the El Nino Open. I say, what a great decision! Better to be enjoying a day in the comfort of home than chasing golf balls all day in this oppressive heatwave.

That said, I have to admit that at one point in my working life, I too had a golf club standing in my office. Scattered across that corner of my room were golf balls, each bearing the initials of my beloved boss, carefully carved out in permanent marker.

At random times of the work day, you could find me behind closed doors whacking the living daylights out of said golf balls✌. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe in violence any more than I believe them initials should be allowed to run amok in the workplace. But there were times when 5:00 pm was just too far away and I needed to de-stress pronto.

Speaking of which, I wonder why ‘coming home from the office to your kids’ isn’t listed anywhere as a stress reliever. For me, it wasn’t meditation or a vacation away from it all. It was my kids who kept me sane when work was a beech (oops, I’ve done it again, haven’t I? and this ain’t no Britney Spears song either!).

Back then, I did consider taking up golf. That was when Hip2bDad began telling me to stop calling golf clubs ‘golf sticks’. He introduced me to each golf club by name. Meet Dasher, Dancer and Prancer Putter, Driver and Iron! But that didn’t stop me from using a driver to putt. Duh!

And he showed me how to swing a golf club without killing anyone in the process. Good thing we never got to the real game where I had to drive the ball across the grass, I mean, green. Apparently someone drove a ball right smack into our K-friend’s head and he promptly fainted. See, it could happen even to experienced golfers. So don’t even try to imagine what I would’ve done!

Tigers in the woods

At some point, Hip2bDad began to think he saw potential Tigers in our three pre-teens. In fact, he was so sure he signed them all up for golf lessons. So began our suntanning sessions as I played doting golf mom! Soon we all began to look like roasted potatoes even as our sunblock investments went shooting through the roof.

Golf fashion quickly dominated our weekend lives. “Hey, why are you wearing that? Where’s your polo shirt?” our resident golf fashion police could be heard hollering up the stairs. “Belts please! Hey, hey, don’t forget to tuck in your shirt!” No offense but who even wears belts any more unless they’ve been living in the woods since World War 2?! You have no idea how much it pained me to see my poor kids dressed up like fusty old men with golf sticks!!

Never could understand golf fashion. Which is why it’s probably a good thing I never signed up for lessons myself. One look at Mrs K-friend in long-sleeved polo shirts and covering herself 머리부터 발끝까지 (from head to toe) in sun-protective garb and I was like, no no no, I ain’t wearing no hasmat suit!! There’s just no way!

To top it off, they even have golf fashion police patrolling the course in case you decide to get all New York Fashion Week-like. My kids got told off a few times but they just shrugged and carried on. Go kids!! Honestly, who the heck cares? It’s only a game! Or a work stress reliever, if you’re like me?

When we can’t get enough

When we can't get enough

As I was saying, I make it a point not to order at a restaurant anything that we can easily cook at home. I consider it a waste, of money mostly, when I can order something fancy that I don’t or can’t cook at home instead.

Of course, there’re those times when we do chance upon something amazingly delicious (by picky eater standards) and we really, really want to stuff ourselves silly.

Like this chicken place, for instance. The first time we eat at any restaurant, we’re always careful not to order a lot. Just in case things don’t measure up to the picky eaters’ expectations. So I ordered just two servings of chicken wings. Each serving came with 8 – wings?

When we can't get enough

Seeing these, we were like, “Man, these have got to be the smallest chicken wings ever!” Immediately they conjured up images of the Christmas turkey Mickey brought home to his family in Mickey’s Christmas CarolMickey's Christmas Carol. That was how big of a turkey he could afford on the piddly pennies Scrooge paid him. A very sad bird indeed.

When we can't get enough

“Can we even call these chicken wings? They’re so tiny they probably came from premmie chicks!” my kids howled. Okay, let’s just call them ‘winglets’ then. So that’s 16 winglets total for the 4 of us which works out to be, er, 4 mouthfuls each. Which even if you’re not a young adult with a ravenous appetite is still pretty pathetic.

Dinner just became a snack.

What’s even crazier is that these chicken wings were crazy delicious!! As in licking-our-fingers-shamelessly-in-public crazy! I hope no one saw me. That’d be really embarrassing for someone who even eats her grapes, nuts, bananas, whatever with chopsticks or fork.

We would’ve ordered more but the menu warned that they’d only start frying on order so be prepared to wait 15 minutes (or something like that, I don’t really remember). We didn’t want to wait. So I called for the check.

Another surprise! I fell off my chair when I saw the damage. 너무 삐씨요! I swear I heard my credit card groan. Still we couldn’t stay away and went back a couple more times. By then, my credit card was really starting to protest, quite loudly. Small or downsized servings + big price gets the boot.

Okay, enough is enough. It’s off to the kitchen to churn out a ton of life-sized chicken wings ourselves. There, this should be enough for a real meal. Not to mention that no one can see us licking our fingers at home.

When we can't get enough

Knowing me, there’s no stopping at just one version. These are two of the many versions that have graced our dinner table since ✌. Wait, what was that? Did I hear my credit card laughing? Ho-ho-ho! Merry Christmas!

When we can't get enough

The things we can cook with our eyes closed

The things we can cook with our eyes closed

Someone just sailed into the office and announced that he and his girlfriend had had sandwiches for lunch. “Can you believe how much I paid for two sandwiches?”, he lamented, shaking his head.

I looked over at him sadly. I could’ve told him right there. You could’ve gotten those sandwiches for free. If you’d watched your mom and learned how easy-peasy it is to slap a sandwich together.

The things we can cook with our eyes closed

Sadly you kids don’t pay attention and now you’re paying through your nose for something you could’ve done in 5 minutes flat and impressed the heck out of your girlfriend. Because she probably thinks it’s rocket science and you needed some fancy recipe to put it together.

But I held it all in. After all, there’s my girl friend, a mother of two young men, who never fails to order some variant of an egg dish whenever we eat at Chinese restaurants. Steamed eggs. Half-boiled eggs. Loaded omelet. You name it.

The things we can cook with our eyes closed

It’s always been a mystery to me. When our kids were little, yes, I could see why. We had to have some child-friendly dishes so we wouldn’t set them on fire with our grown-up spicy food or make little porcupines out of them with those pesky fish bones. But now? I consider it an insult to our college-age egg-frying experts!

Then there’s those other things me or my kids can cook at home, in our pajamas, with our eyes closed. Like those big breakfasts with the even bigger price tags.

The things we can cook with our eyes closed

Which takes, oh, 15 minutes max to assemble. 진짜 (seriously)! And if we were ordering this, we would’ve had to send the eggs back to the kitchen to have them “WELL DONE, not runny, GET THAT??”. And no one wants to start their day barking at people who can’t get that a sunnyside-up may look all bright and cheery but it’s not for everyone!

True, our food don’t always look as good, presentation-wise. I mean, good looks are great especially if you haven’t had to resort to plastic surgery to get there. But hey, there’s more important things in life than good looks.

Like the taste, for instance. When I was a kid, I would jump for joy at the very mention of eating at a restaurant. Restaurant food always meant delicious food that cost a lot of money, and that you didn’t get to eat at home. Always. I can’t say that’s true any more. Sure it’s still fogging expensive but as for the food being always delicious, well, I’d say 별로 (don’t hold your breath)!

And getting to control the ingredients, now that’s always a great way to pacify the occasional control freak in me.

And getting to make and eat a ton more than the piddly portions the restaurants serve us, now that’s a definite plus, and definitely a post for another day.

Oh, just one thing. Yes, I realize I just said fogging on a family-friendly site. Since my kids are pretty much grown (or so I’d like to think), I’m going to exercise my freedom to use some of the more refined vocabulary I picked up from my American education. Rest assured, I don’t use them in real life or in front of my kids unless someone cuts me off in traffic or can’t get my eggs done right.

Friend and flock

You know those deep, meaningful conversations you have with close friends? Don’t you just love those? Yeah, me too!

They can be quite refreshing. For one thing, you don’t have to worry about being judged because there’s no way your close friends are going to judge you, right? *ponders* 😐

Well, they know you so well you can practically say anything and know you can get away with it, right? *ponders* 😔

Yeah so, we had one of those while driving to dinner at LK.

Friend: I haven’t been to LK for quite a while because A (a mutual friend) prefers to eat at S.

Me: Yeah, but the food at S isn’t any good.

Friend: What do you mean, it’s not good??!! It’s always crowded!

Me: So?!! That doesn’t mean their food is good.

Friend: What are you saying? Why do you think it’s so popular? There are always long lines.

Me: Because people have poor taste?!!

Silence.

I was going to add:

Because people are like sheep these days. All it takes is for one person to say this is tasty, or the internet to say that is delicious, and the next thing you know the flock is rushing there regardless of whether the food is actually good or not. Peace out! 😉

Related Posts with Thumbnails