Skyfall, the sky is not the only thing that fell

Okay, so we decided to make a movie night of Skyfall, the latest Daniel Craig Bond movie. Actually it turned out to be 3 movie nights because we fell asleep halfway through the first 2 nights and had to finish up the rest of the movie on the third night.

When you watch a Bond movie, you come to expect certain things. I’m used to Bond being dashing, debonair and dignified. Think Pierce Brosnan. Clean shaven and immaculately dressed, he is a smooth talker and infallible superspy who flaunts high-tech gadgets, never breaks a sweat and has women dropping at his feet like flies.

Along comes a stubbled Bond with disheveled hair and not so suave who spends more time chasing or being chased and sweating it out than strutting into a room and surprising the heck out of the enemy with his fancy gadgets. And the only two women in the movie were hardly your regular slinky, sexy Bond bombshells. It’s a whole different Bond.

Then, there’s Q. Looks like he fell into the fountain of youth. How on earth did the tall and stately Q become a skinny Korean-looking dude with a bad haircut? Shocking!

And Moneypenny. Since when did Moneypenny become a field agent chasing and shooting at bad guys? I seem to remember her as the demure secretary who flirted discreetly with Bond whenever he dropped by the office.

Can you see where I’m going with this?

Sadly, even Skyfall’s movie plot had us scratching our heads. Excuse me but how did the chase for a disk containing a list of names that must never see the light of day become the villain’s witch hunt for M? Yes, M, the somewhat unlikely little old lady who is, or was, Bond’s boss? Did I fall asleep and miss something here?

After waiting 2 nights for Bond to reveal a swanky watch that can set off deadly bombs a mile away, or an unassuming pen that can launch missiles from out of nowhere, only to see him attempt to fight off an army of baddies with his father’s ancient shotgun! Heck, even his Aston Martin went up in smoke!

Where is Double O Seven as we know him? 😯

The easy way out

The easy way out

So I took the easy way out with our reunion dinner. I decided to do what any smart modern woman would do. I set the chefs at Friday’s to work so that come dinner time, I could breeze in with my brood and casually sit down for dinner with nary a hair out of place.


The reunion dinner is the last meal of the old lunar calendar. It’s typically a huge family gathering over a huge meal cooked at home. By comparison, ours is a small affair. Clearly I’m not your most traditional person when it comes to the Lunar New Year. Aside from breaking the rules by choosing a Western meal for our reunion, I find many of the traditions, like firecrackers, songs, gambling, drinking and general loudness, super annoying.

Most years, we don’t stay up past midnight but we always found ourselves jolted awake by the booms of firecrackers nearby. So this year, we planned our movie night to end just after midnight when our beloved neighbor (yes, that neighbor!) would be done firing his annual boatload of firecrackers.

For us, the lunar new year is super simple and low key. It’s the best time to stay home, do some simple cooking, catch up on movies and just hibernate in general. We do visit a couple of extended family, the one or two still worth visiting, but skip the rest. It’s best to leave the high-level b*tching and bragging to experts like The Tubby Twosome aka my estranged SIL and third aunt 😐 .

Bawling out loud

I love singing. It’s not very obvious though because I don’t usually sing in public. I think I’ve probably been to a magic sing karaoke twice in my entire life.

The first time was when a group of ladies from my line dancing group roped me in to make up the number for a promo karaoke package. I pretty much sat back and listened to the ladies taking turns to bawl their tonsils out.

Shortly after that, my cousins and their kids came to town and for lack of something better to do, we decided to take the kids there for the experience. I sing mostly in my car and some nights, I like to torture my daughters bawling out loud to my favorite 80s songs on my computer.

Happy New Year 2013

Happy New Year 2013

Tada! Here comes my New Year nail art design. Electrifying, huh?

New Year nail art

Admittedly I wasn’t in the best of moods for writing my New Year’s post last night. Blame it on that splitting headache I picked up at the mall (turn up the a/c, for goodness sake!).

It’s a wonder I even managed to pull off a home-cooked New Year’s Eve dinner. It wasn’t grand or anything. Just us gathered around the table as a family enjoying one of our favorite meals of roast chicken and potatoes. I think that’s good enough.

roast chicken

We kicked off the new year today with this scrumptious homemade lasagne and mashed potatoes. It’s huge, enough for two meals. It seems this has been on our New Year’s menu for the past few years. So I guess lasagne has unknowingly become a New Year’s tradition for us.


So now that our tummies are full, let’s look back for a moment at 2012. What really stands out is the quality time the girls and I had. I mean, it was major. The trips to the gym. The coffee breaks after our grocery runs. The often-impromptu meals out. The people-watching at the malls. The car rides everywhere. The stories from school and college. The movie nights, sometimes stretched out in bed, sometimes huddled on the floor. They were all good. Not to mention, a barrel of laughs and sarcasm.

Oh, and those afternoons spent sweating it out in the kitchen, baking 2-3 things at the same time. This was the year the girls have become ever more confident in the kitchen and it makes me proud. I love cooking and baking, and it’s natural I should hope my girls would enjoy it as much as I do. And happily, I think they do. We work so well as a team I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t open a restaurant some day making all our own favorite food 😆 .

And of course, somewhere in those never-ending Mom’s taxi rides were the long, meaningful conversations about everything under the sun. So yeah, I had me some of the most precious, most cherished parenting moments right there in my old clunker of a minivan punctuated only by me cussing at the drivers around me. So thank you, babies, for an awesome ride. Now turn off that computer and get your nose into that book – now, not 2 hours before the test!!

Okay, now on with the new year which I’m praying will be a safer and more peaceful one. Happy New Year!

The year that was

The year that was

So here we are at the end of 2012. Strange how in some ways, this year has flown and in other ways, it seems like it’s been so dragged out. Ever get that?

Well, looking back, this has been a year of eating healthier. It’s not always easy, given how crazy our schedules can get, but we do try. We’ve included previously untried or balked at food into our diet and quite unexpectedly, we’ve gained new respect for such alien stuff as eggplants and zucchinis. With the exception of quinoa, of course 😆 .

As a mom, my eyes are constantly peeled for any parenting approach that’s different than mine and I have to say, this year has been eye-opening. When I see behavior that baffles me or that I have an opinion (not judgement) about, I’m wont to throw in a post or two to see what other parents think. Like whether fairy tales are too scary for kids, or if parents should correct their kids when they misbehave in public, or pay their kids to do the chores. Am absolutely thrilled with the responses.

And of course, there were lots to see and do and learn. Lots of LOLs with my kids this year over conversations about everything and nothing. Lots of movie nights and hanging out. No New Year’s resolutions for me though. I don’t do those. ’nuff said, here’s to a brand new year of love, laughs, health, happiness and hugs, and saying it like it is. Happy New Year!


Santa Claws

Santa Claws

Confession time. I’ve never had a manicure or a pedicure. I know. Shocking. Right? I’m a complete sucker for fancy nails but I insist on doing them myself. Somehow the idea of paying someone to do something so incredibly simple and fun seems like a big waste of money to me.

The thing about doing my own nails is that I get to do them absolutely my way. It’s a boatload of creative fun and such therapy who needs spas and massages? So then, for the holidays, I decided to go crazy with Santa Claws.

Xmas nails

Oh, by the way, did I mention I have a personal Executive Manicurist by the name of Raine? She did these nails for me. She’s totally the coolest and most creative nail artist on planet Earth. Seriously! I’m not just saying that because I’m her mom.

A simple Christmas

A simple Christmas

We’re hibernating. Yup, huge home-loving types that we are (not!). Why else would we not be spending a quiet day at home during Christmas time?

Well, the real reason is that we’ve done more than our fair share of eating out and mall trawling this holiday season. Time to take a little step back – something which can be hard to do when you have fellow mall-crawlers plastered to your back and jostling you off the escalator half the time.

My philosophy is that unless you’re into contact sports, it’s best to avoid the holiday crowds altogether. So we’re sitting it out right here at home, the girls savoring the last bits of their new books and me pretending to whip up a pseudo-festive meal or two. I did say my kitchen’s closed but what the heck!

I bought 3 Portobello mushrooms the other day, all bigger than the palm of my hand. I used one for my pasta bake on Christmas Eve and I’m saving that last one for a vegetarian quesadilla I’m going to make day after tomorrow.


And I used one for our very simple Christmas chicken pot pie (I did say pseudo) accompanied by iced jasmine tea and a heap of fruits.

chicken pot pie

 So that, in a nutshell, was our Christmas. A very quiet one spent recharging our batteries.

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