A very fruitful week

A very fruitful week

You’re no doubt wondering how far along we are with all those fruits we mindlessly bought last weekend. How much have we eaten? Are we almost done? Or is there still a big heap sitting there waiting to turn nasty? Well, it’s Saturday afternoon, exactly a week to the day we carted home more fruits than I thought we could possibly consume in this space of time. Let’s see…

The world’s best of the best grapes are all gone. You knew that. There’s no way we could’ve resisted chomping on them non-stop. In fact, someone was suggesting another trip back to that farm market this weekend!!!

We’re done with the other half of the first watermelon which means it effectively took the three of us 3 days to nibble through a whole watermelon. Hmm, not bad at all. The second one seems comfortable sitting in the fridge so I think I’ll let it sit there for a bit longer, partly to test how long it can actually last.

As for the blueberries, well, what can I say? The Oregon blueberries are enjoying an extended winter stay in the freezer. As for those from Canada, we’re halfway through. Yeah, slow-going, I know! *sigh* Why are they so freakin’ sour? *shudders*. Every morning, I dump a whole truckload into my overnight oats. See, there’s more blueberries than oats but there’s still so much left. Tsk!

A very fruitful week

How else can I finish them up quick? Brainwave! Blueberry pancakes!!! We made the batter and threw in a few blueberries hoping they’ll stain the batter blue. Wouldn’t that be an Instagram moment cool? Taking a quick peek at my babies at 5:00 in the morning here. Houston, do we have blue batter? Not a chance. Oh well! Sour and stubborn, that’s what!

A very fruitful week

The mushy black plums are long gone, slurped up in a flash in all its gooey sweetness. So good! And those bananas that were sitting tight on my counter top this whole week and which I thought were never gonna ripen are all gone now. .

We did good *burp*. Loved it. We devoured all the fruits we bought last weekend except for one whole watermelon and one box of blueberries.

Hip2bMom’s professional hair cutting shears

Hip2bMom's professional hair cutting shears

Just as I was congratulating myself on having successfully palmed off my hair cutting duties to Nick the Pro, he absconded on us. I’m really disappointed in you, Nick! I hope your hair turns algae green when you bleach it blond 😉.

Well, as I recall, there’s a piece of sweet wisdom that says – when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. So off I went and hohoho, what did I find?

My first pair of, dare I say, professional hair cutting shears! And just like that, I’m back at my old job as the family’s official hairdresser!

Hip2bMom's professional hair cutting shears

I figured if I can’t claim to be a pro, I can at least pretend to be one with these professional hair cutting shears lol! My old stainless steel pair has served me well through my kids’ growing years. But now that I have to deal with way more hair and length, I need a bigger pair that takes off more hair at one go and won’t slow me down.

My Utopia Care professional hair cutting shears arrived in a neat portable case that’s great for storage and even better for travel. The shears are just the right size, very sharp and with finger inserts for a better grip. I don’t use the inserts as I like to be able to slip the shears on and off quickly. The blades are 100% stainless steel so no worries about rusting or tarnishing.

Hip2bMom's professional hair cutting shears

So far, we’ve used these shears for 2 rounds of haircuts and we’re lovin’ every snip. I say we because Hip2bDaughter1 is now my trusted hairdresser. Yup, you heard me. My baby now styles and cuts MY hair and she does an amazing job.

Somewhere along the line, you guys are probably wondering, so why don’t you just go to another hairdresser? Well, yes, that would be the logical next step for many people. Not for me. I’m a very hands-on mom who enjoys doing stuff for/with my kids. It’s what I call seamless bonding.

Personal experience also tells me that dream haircuts don’t always turn out the way you envision them, even after forking out those big bucks. So I’d rather steer clear of any potential hairy situations and take matters into my own hands.

Thankfully my amateur haircuts are turning out okay. This week alone, the girls have had 3 random people complimenting them on their cute haircuts at school. I heard that these 3 people when told they are Mom’s home haircuts, and not pro cuts, were impressed and gave the thumbs up.

Many people here cut their own hair or for their families and are proud of it. Others applaud and encourage them. That’s the spirit. Many of us have never been to hair school but have simply learned the techniques from watching videos. All you need is a good pair of shears like my new professional hair cutting shears which gives me the precision I need to do a better job. Who would’ve thought some of the best haircuts in the world are free?

(I wasn’t paid or compensated in any way for writing this post (though it’d be nice if Utopia would send me a free pair of these amazing shears, hint hint) but it does contain affiliate links. Opinions are entirely mine. Thanks for clicking on these links.)

Let the fruit overdose begin

Let the fruit overdose begin

If ever there was a weekend when we overdid the fruit buying bit, this would’ve been it. I guess seeing so many fruits in season and so inexpensive, we just kept hoarding mindlessly and no one even noticed. This is seriously a case of too many fruits, too little time… to eat in one week?

First into our grocery cart were the bananas. Six of them, thankfully all still very green so they can wait. Then came the black plums. Six of them. They ripened on our way home, no thanks to 98 degrees. Well, to me, plums are best when they’re overripe, soft and mushy, and these were insanely sweet with a fragrance too, so I guess I’m not gonna complain.

On our way home, we passed by the farm market where we get our supply of grapes every year. And I’m not kiddin’ when I say these are the best grapes in the whole wide world. Go California! Incredibly sweet with skin so crispy they pop when you bite into them.

Let the fruit overdose begin

At our regular grocery store, we saw those watermelons waving at us and we went craa-azy and picked out 2 big ones! Goodness knows we really need this many watermelons to cool ourselves down, right? Yeah, right!

Well, this morning, I cut one in half and here’s the other half sitting in the fridge, and the other whole one waiting in the wings. Omg lol! Apparently whole watermelons can last a week on the counter top and 2-3 weeks in the fridge. Let’s hope this works out for us.

Let the fruit overdose begin

Next came the blueberries. I swear I have no idea how we ended up with 2 whole boxes – one box Canadian grown, and another from Oregon which I thought it best to freeze while we work our way through the other fruits. Blueberries will stay fresh longer if you don’t wash them till you’re ready to eat them. Between the two, the Canadian blueberries (left) are small and sour while the Oregon ones are bigger and pretty sweet!

Let the fruit overdose begin

And with that, we’re set to OD on fruits this week. Breakfast. brunch, lunch and dinner. Let’s go!

First things first

First things first

Just a hop, skip and jump, and we’re back in Hipville! The first thing I noticed when I stepped off the plane was how cool it was in LA. I think the temps must’ve been in the 70’s with a cool breeze blowing in from the Pacific. For a moment, it felt more like spring than smack in the middle of summer.

My first cup of coffee came out of desperation a Keurig coffee maker. Wide awake at 4 o’clock in the morning due to the 15-hour time difference, I could either try to go back to sleep except I’ve been lying there for an hour and clearly nothing’s happening. Or I could down a cup of freshly dripped coffee to shock the jetlag out of my system.

First things first

Along with lack of sleep always comes pangs of hunger. I swear a great deal of energy is expended by the body in trying to deal with the confusion of the internal clock. This, by the way, is a great time to catch up with all that food I’ve been missing.

First stop, Baja. I tell ya there’s much more to that grilled shrimp salad than meets the eye. Each mouthful is like music to my tastebuds. That’s how much I’ve missed Mexican food. Sorry about the glare in the photo. We were seated by the glass wall and the mid-morning sun was pouring in.

First things first

Next stop, Round Table. Notice how the toppings go all the way to the very edge of the pizza instead of stopping short, leaving a 1-inch outer ring of plain pizza dough with zero topping.

First things first

And it’s open season for fruits again. I really needed to take a break from Korean pears (inside joke lol) but ended up buying a 6-pack of apple pears (not in picture). Talk about old habits.

I also bought a huge watermelon which was so juicy and sweet we devoured half of it in just one day. Strawberries and blueberries are in season too, so plump, sweet and inexpensive. Happy days!

First things first

Dessert, to the uninitiated

Dessert, to the uninitiated

We were in the middle of dinner at home on a Thursday night when Hip2bDad broached the idea of going out for dessert. It took a while for the idea to sink in.

Usually you’d hear me say we went out for dinner, the end. A few times a year, we might have a random cake or ice cream if we happen to be out, or if there’s something to celebrate. But getting dressed after dinner and heading out for dessert just for the dessert, now that’s a new concept to us!

By now, you’re thinking, what’s wrong with these people, you don’t eat dessert?! We do. But to us, dessert = fruits. I know, I’m a bad mom. Like me, my kids were raised with ‘dessert’ being a low frequency word. They’d get cake only on their birthdays and maybe a couple times a year when there’s something to celebrate bwahaha.

Anyhoo, we jumped into our shorts, then into the car and promptly arrived at one of those new-fangled green tea dessert places I didn’t even know existed. I sat back and left dad and daughters to figure out the orders. It doesn’t matter to me because I’ll just have one or two bites here and there, and that’s it.

Well, they came back with 2 kinds of green tea ice cream cones – matcha and hojicha.

Dessert, to the uninitiated

These two cones went round the table a couple of times and everyone made funny contorted faces after each slurp. There was a huge discussion on which one tasted better or none of the above, but we couldn’t quite reach a consensus. So Hip2bDad graciously ended up gobbling both. We can always count on him!

Then like a man on a mission, he led us down the street in search of another dessert joint. Here again, I sat back and waited to see what they’d ordered. First up, this honey toast. Tis a thicker-than-thou slice of white bread slathered with salted butter, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream (which was wasted on us).

Dessert, to the uninitiated

Hip2bDaughter1’s friends had ordered this on one of their outings and she wanted us to try it. At a glance, it didn’t strike me that this was nothing more than bread with ice cream. But once the price sank in, I was like, I could bake 25 loaves of this and then some. Price-worthiness is as big a consideration as taste, but that’s just me.

Here, the overwhelming saltiness of the butter and barely-there sweetness of the ice cream gave me the shivers. We thought adding honey would balance things up but it only pushed it to a hyper-sweet-and-salty level that sent my tastebuds into spasms.

On the other hand, this peach frozen yogurt shake topped with peaches, blueberries and yes, flowers was perhaps a little too pretty to eat? drink?

Dessert, to the uninitiated

Well, eat it, drink it, we did. The aftertaste, however, could’ve been less reminiscent of cough mixture. The general consensus is that frozen yogurt is thicker and closer to the consistency of sorbet. But I guess this being a shake means it’s meant to be drinkable with a straw – maybe?

And that’s all the dessert we ordered for the 4 of us. For me, the best part of our dessert escapade is their jasmine water. Anytime a restaurant Here offers water free of charge, I say 잘 했어 (thumbs up). Water is a basic human right and diners shouldn’t be made to pay for it.

By the way, this jasmine water is delicious… and refillable so it gets a standing ovation from me.

Dessert, to the uninitiated

So that was dessert night out for the uninitiated. In the end, it was the jasmine water that won the day. For me, at least. So while this has been a really fun random food adventure for us, I doubt we’d be doing this too often. Peace out!

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)

That guitar

We passed by the music school where my kids used to go for guitar classes. I remember the teacher recommending the guitar we should buy. Those were crazy days of endless bus runs. To save myself the time and trouble of shopping around, I ended up buying a guitar from their in-house store which, as I found out later, was priced higher than at other stores. Back then, if I’d known, I’d have taken advantage of the stupid deal of the day at musiciansfriend.com.

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