Sunday, March 24, 2019

Awesome Girls Day at the Museum!

Yesterday my girl Katie and I spent the morning at the #WiredToWear exhibit, a new Museum of Science & Industry exhibit that showcases inventions that transform the way we live. To kick off the exhibit Morning, Makers! breakfast speaker is Katie’s friend, Jordan Reeves. I will be writing about the whole exhibit at Chicagonista.com, so check over there if you'd like to learn more about the Wired To Wear exhibit.

Jordan is a Missouri native 13 year-old-girl who built a prosthetic arm that shoots glitter. We’re so proud to know her! I happen to love her mama, Jen, too. We’ve been getting together since our girls were little and encouraged Katie and Jordan to write and even became penpals.

Jordan and her mom founded an organization called Born Just Right, a non-profit foundation that develops creative solutions for kids with disabilities.

Check out the last pictures below when Katie and Jordan were hanging out in 2013 at the same museum! They were so little then!





Sunday, March 17, 2019

Blogging gives my family JOY!

This showed up on my Facebook Memories from 2012.

I couldn't remember where I took this picture and had to ask my son. This is one reason that I blog. Seeing and reminiscing on days passed brings my family and me a lot of happiness. I can't begin to tell you how much we've scanned through this blog to find specific memories! I honestly wished I wrote more, and there were definitely missed opportunities. Now that they are getting bigger, I suddenly feel like I'm out of time.

Matthew was about 8 years old here. He told me that he was showing off his acrobatic skills to the little-little kids. I couldn't help but chuckle that my now almost 15-year-old was giddily telling me this story. I remember spending so much time at the Navy Pier Chicago for the Chicago Children's Museum when my kids were little. We purchased a membership and were there at least once a week.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Facebook Seriously Rocks!

Some of you who follow me on my personal Facebook page may remember when I shared this friendly stranger story. Back in 2017 when I was Dartmouth College touring with my son, we sat near this young lady dining by herself at a restaurant who overheard a little bit about my son’s concerns and she helped and gave some light to it all.

 Then --- she surprised us with her kindness leaving us a note saying that the meal was on her! 😲What?! We didn’t know all this until we asked for our check and she’s been long gone already. (check my original Facebook story below) and of course, I had to find her in Social Media to connect!

Anyway, we kept in touch since and she’s graduating from the East Coast this May with a Chemistry major, and moving here to the Midwest for her Bio-Chemical Engineering Ph.D. and now in Chicago and so we invited her to meet me and my son for Dimsum! I enjoyed learning more about her and her family, and although I’m lost when my son and her starts talking excitedly about Science stuff and gabbing on some editing of DNA Gene CRISPR or something like that, I managed to throw in my new found love in cooking.πŸ˜‚ Uhmm...yea. My mama talk may be a bit boring, but I think I managed to not look so dumb. Haha



Here's the Original Facebook Post!

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Missing My Babies As Babies




This photo was from 10 years ago!

Back in the day when all my three kiddos were in the same elementary school and dinner out straight from school pick-ups were always something to look forward to.

I miss those days so much. Sigh.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Annual Chinese New Year Event

This past Saturday Katie and I attended the annual Lunar New Year Benefit for their school. There's always so much excitement preparing for this event, and it's also the night that all my three children enjoy going to every single year during their grade school days.

Sadly, Katie is the only one left in that school so all the excitement is just focused on the baby of this household. Lucky her!Haha. I often reminisce those happy (and stressful) times when I had to get them all ready for this exciting night. It's the evening when all the kids get to enjoy running around with their friends performing traditional Chinese dances and class songs, and the night end with all the kids and some parents on the dance floor!

Katie sure had fun. Watching her celebrate Chinese New Year with girls she's been classmates with since they were three years old is bittersweet. They are all growing into beautiful and smart ladies, and in just two short years, they will all be going separate high schools. My boys went through a bit of that sadness but seeing them develop friends in high school and college; I am excited to see them all grow! I wish time would slow down a bit. Sigh.






Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Popcorn Bundt Cake - A Sweet Surprise Popped Up!

I just recently received a surprise from my friend Maria Bailey, and it's one of her Popped Passion Popcorn Bundt Cake! It was truly a delightful surprise complete with a handwritten note mentioning the hours we spent gabbing by the pool until 2 am in the morning. Just us being mommies talking about life at home and work. I, too, miss getting the chance to soak up that all-nighter chats with her. I should also mention that we were at Turks and Caicos lapping up that gorgeous weather and grateful for the friendship.

Look how crazy I look on this video capture!
Back to the surprise - First off, opening a beautifully wrapped package made me feel like a kid in a candy store. I was so giddy opening it, and it didn't help that my daughter was hurrying me along and you know that I still have to take pictures and hoped to capture it all on a video.

(Oh, yeah, I made an unboxing video, but I couldn't even finish through watching myself. I taped that late in the evening when I just came back from a full day of running around outside. So, I'm sorry, but I had to chuck editing the video.)

Receiving this Popcorn Cake was like opening a surprise box of confetti, rainbows, and balloons, but ALL OF THAT --- is INSIDE the cake!

Ok, I have to admit - being a Chicagoan, and a big Garrett's Popcorn fan makes all other popcorn companies seem subpar in my eyes, but WAIT TIL YOU TRY THIS! I seriously couldn't stop snacking on my Popcorn Cake! It was a perfect marriage of sweet, salty, buttery, chewy, and crunch that makes it so addicting.

You guys -- the next time you want to celebrate and give that special someone a gift, consider giving them a Popped Passion Popcorn Cake! You can even customize it to their favorite candies, sprinkles, and drizzles!

To you, Maria ---- Thank You! My Popped Passion cake reminded me of all the sweet things and opportunities you've given to so many. Your kindness and thoughtfulness is the icing to all the cakes you are sending out there, and I wish you all the success in this new venture!



Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Katie's Birthday Surprise - A Day With Her Bestie!

My girl, Katie, turned 12 yesterday and I surprised her with a full day with her bestie, Aliyah. I've gathered these two girls together on Katie's birthdays since they were in first grade, so to have Aliyah help me surprise Katie was pretty special. Thanks to Aliyah and her mom, Rica. I planned for lunch, movie, games, cupcakes, and some sightseeing. All the things Katie love and enjoy.

Our first stop was in Chicago's Chinatown Square. I was planning on Dimsum, but my girl would much rather have a real "lunch lunch" as she calls it. That means rice, with meat and veggies. She's obviously my girl! Haha So, off we went to Chi Cafe. She ordered her usual of Beef Chow Mein, Salt & Pepper Porkchop, some Ong Choy veggies, and more. I had a little mishap in realizing that I left my wallet at home. Yes, this was when I was about to pay. I called my husband, and he came to the rescue! Thank goodness!

After lunch, she requested for Bingo Tea and had her fave Jin Feng Black Tea with Salted Foam. After killing some time, we then went to the Roosevelt Collection Showplace Icon Theatre to watch the new movie, Alita (movie trailer). Both girls loved the movie so much!

After the movie, we then headed to the River East area for Molly's Cupcakes for her fave Red Velvet! There they played games for two hours. TWO! I loved hearing them giggle and just enjoy each other's company.
Before heading home, we snapped photos along the riverwalk and then it was time to take Aliyah home. The day turned out to be as perfect as the day she was born.








Monday, February 04, 2019

Piggy Bao for My Piggy Girl! πŸ½πŸ·πŸ–


 12 years ago in 2007, I was way over a week overdue with my third child, Katie. I begged to be induced, but my water burst the eve of Chinese New Year, and she was born on the year of the Pig! The Year of the Pig occurs every 12 years on the zodiac calendar. But she wasn’t just another Pig —she was born at the Year of The Golden Pig! A cycle that only happens every 60 years. 2007 was an auspicious year saying that a child born in that year will experience a prosperous and healthy life.

By the way, I made that Bao, and it’s my first time making it. How was I successful on my first try? Well, I had Piggy girl for good luck! πŸ˜‰

Happy New Year to all that celebrates Lunar New Year | Chinese New Year!



Me assembling the piggy face

All ready for steaming

Fresh off the steamer! It's Bao time!





Tuesday, January 29, 2019

RECIPE: Youtiao (Chinese Cruller)

We're in the middle of a historic low temperature here in Chicago with windchills about to hit -55F, and since the whole family is caved in inside the house, I thought it's the perfect time to make a pot of jook and of course, making Youtiao will complete a satisfying Chinese breakfast!

After a couple of hits and misses in making the Youtiao, here's the recipe that worked the best for me. I hope it will work for you as well!

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YOUTIAO (Chinese Cruller)


INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/3 cup water

INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Mix flour, egg, salt, baking powder, milk, butter, and water in a dough mixer. Mix with a dough hook for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Shape it into a 6x4 inches flattened rectangle. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Take out dough from the refrigerator and let it sit for at least 2 hours before constructing your cruller.
  4. Construct the cruller (see video provided below)
  5. Fry in a 400F oil
  6. When the color turns into golden brown, then it’s done! ENJOY!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Tonight’s Dinner Creation was Japanese Katsu Curry!

For the past year now I’ve been learning how to cook and bake. I mostly focus on #AsianFood. So far it’s been fun and exciting. All thanks to YouTube and Pinterest!

Sadly, my poor family has been subjected to test a lot of failed recipes, but I think they also get as excited about what I’m thinking of making next. I now have a bucket list (or maybe #woklist πŸ˜†) of dishes I would love to learn and make.
I’ll be sharing more of those pics/vids along the way.