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Ice cream is one of my all-time favorite sweet treats. I absolutely love ice cream, not all ice cream, but yes, ice cream. Ice cream to me is not the same as gelato, sherbe(r)t, or frozen yogurt (ugh, yuck). It’s just a delicious sweet treat that can be eaten at any time of the year, even in the wintertime. Yes, technically gelato is the same as ice cream, just more dense in flavor & texture (with less eggs & cream), but I much prefer ice cream itself over its Italian controparte. If you check my Instagram page, you’ll find numerous photo posts regarding my delicious passion for devouring ice cream.

Ice cream is such a delectable treat. It’s so easy to consume. That’s one of the main reasons why I love it so much. You can pretty much eat it however you want whenever you want. I often tell my friends that eating ice cream can somewhat save the planet, or at least reduce everyone’s carbon footprint. How, you ask? Well, think about it this way. The next time you go to an ice cream parlor, or stand, or shop, whichever…ask for a cone (waffle, sugar, plain, etc.) instead of a cup or bowl.

The cone itself acts as a conveniently portable & most importantly EDIBLE vessel, & voilà! No extra trash, except maybe a napkin or two, but no cup, spoon, or bowl in any form (paper, styrofoam, plastic). Your cone is the container for your ice cream, & once you’ve consumed it all, there’s nothing left to throw in the trash bin. Also, as a bonus, it’s much easier to walk around with an ice cream cone in one hand than having to spoon feed yourself with both hands while on the move.

There’s just something so delectable about ice cream. I just can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s so rich, creamy, flavorful, comforting to one’s soul. I could eat ice cream any time, any where. You could send me to the Arctic Circle, & I’d still enjoy my ice cream. I know most moms would tell you not to consume cold foods &/or beverages when you are sick or have a cold, but I’ve gladly enjoyed a scoop or two of ice cream while nursing a very bad cold. Now, I’m not saying ice cream is my favorite dessert or sweet treat (that’s a whole other topic by itself), but I very much enjoy the delights of ice cream.

Now that I’ve gotten that little rant out of the way, let me get to the topic at hand (no pun intended). No, I am not going to talk about which brand or flavor is best. I don’t want to get into any arguments with anyone over those subjective topics. However, since I am documenting pretty much every little detail about my life on this blog, I might as well tell you which is my favorite. It’s the coffee flavor from the Häagen Dazs brand. Yes, that is my all-time, ride-or-die favorite ice cream.

There are other craft brands & flavors that I also love dearly, but no other brand or flavor has ever ensnared my heart the way this one has. I want to say that this flavor brings back memories of my childhood, but my childhood favorite was the plain chocolate flavor from either Baskin Robins, Double Rainbow, or Dreyer’s. Yeah, I had very bland taste as a child. Luckily I’ve nearly grown out of that phase after way more than 30+ years, which is a good thing because I’ve discovered a few craft ice cream shops in my state that scoop some of my other favorite flavors.

Lately, I’ve taken to eating ice cream almost every single night after dinner. No, I am not serving myself full scoops of ice cream. That would completely devastate my never-bounced-back-after-baby-was-born waistline. I only allow myself no more than 4 or 5 spoonfuls; mostly because I want to make that pint in my freezer last longer, but also because I want to savor the ice cream. It is a special treat after all, & I don’t want to just scarf it down without any care.

Those few precious minutes after dinner, after all the leftovers have been put away & all the dishes have been washed, & I’ve got some peace & quiet alone in the kitchen, is one of my life’s many small enjoyments. I guess you could say that it’s one form of self-care, but I just call it a delightful indulgence. I’ll take my wins wherever I can get them, no matter how small.

Since we’re on the topic of ice cream, shall we also talk about other desserts featuring ice cream? Yes, I do like to eat an ice cream bar every now and again, but it’s not always my go-to choice in terms of ice cream filled treats. Sometimes I will crave an ice cream sandwich, more so the traditional rectangular shaped ice cream sandwiched between two thin-ish layers of chocolate cake-like cookies, rather than ice cream mushed betwixt two actual cookies (i.e. chocolate chip cookies). However, my most favorite of all-time ice cream treats besides a regular ol’ scoop of ice cream on a cone is the Häagen Dazs Crispy Sandwich, which apparently you can only get in Asia.

This crispy sandwich blows all other ice cream sandwiches out of the water…or should I say, freezer. From the beautiful crispy, flaky, buttery wafer cookie all the way to the ice cream itself, my mouth is utterly salivating just thinking about it. It’s a perfect bite of thin, airy, flaky cookie with just the right amount of cold ice cream. The flavors of the ice cream in this crispy sandwich are also such a heavenly delight. I’ve only ever been able to find these treats in Asia, like when I’ve gone back to China, Taiwan, & Japan. My dream is that one day these perfect crispy ice cream sandwiches will be available worldwide. For everyone to experience this delicious dessert would be amazing, but especially if this were available in the U.S, that would be a miracle. One can dream though, right?

Well, anyway, this is the end of my post. I am a little sad that I’ve run out of my favorite ice cream at home. I know I could just pop off to my nearby grocery store & get more, but I don’t want to always have it available in my freezer. That would be too great of a temptation. I would much prefer to occasionally treat myself to my favorite ice cream in order to preserve its specialness, like I am treating myself to an extra special gift. Plus, if I had my favorite ice cream all the time, my waistline would be especially angry with me. Until the next scoop, cheers all!

Today’s song of the day:

I have a love-hate relationship with bubble baths, with taking baths in general. Yes, I love to take long, hot baths; watching an entire movie while sous vide-ing myself in the murky bathwater. However, every time I draw a bath, I feel a sense of guilt for using so much precious water, especially since I live in a state that year-after-year continues to exacerbate our already extreme water shortage. That’s one of the reasons why I stopped taking baths…to conserve water, but also because once I became pregnant, my fertility doctor advised me not to soak in the bath tub as it could potentially cause issues during my pregnancy.

Nowadays, I no longer take baths not only to conserve water, but to also conserve time. I used to love taking long leisurely soaking baths, but now I don’t have the time (or the energy) to take baths. I have also lost any motivation for my once favorite self-care pastime. On top of all that, do you really think my ‘nearly a toddler’ child would even let me have five minutes to myself, let alone take a private bath? The only time I’d ever get any alone time to take a bath would be in the dead of night while everyone else in the house is sleeping, but by then, I’m also passed out asleep myself.

Okay, so I did mention bubble baths at the very start of this post. I have always envied people who were able to take bubble baths. I cannot bear to take them myself, but to those who do, I applaud you & moderately envy you. Bubble baths are good, in theory, but I myself cannot find any reason to partake & indulge in them whatsoever. It’s just not for me & I’ll explain why.

First of all, I can never seem to get it right. I follow the instructions on the bottle exactly how it says. However, I always end up with a lackluster smattering of flat bubbles floating aimlessly around my tub. I would pour nearly the entire bottle of bubble solution into the bath, & the bubbles just fizzle & foam away.

As the photo above accurately depicts my poor attempts to create a bubbly bath; this is the end result every time I try to make up a bubble bath. I follow the instructions on the bottle down to the last letter, but it never quite comes out right. Sure, I get a big mound of bubbles at the start, right as the drawing of the bath begins, but towards the finish of drawing said bath…the bubbles flatten, & all I get is a murky frothy tub of water that smells mildly soapy.

Why can’t I get thick foamy bubbles like this? What am I doing wrong? Am I destined to live out my bathing career with unfulfilled dreams of thick foamy whipped bubbles? Probably, but it’s not a big deal.

For a long time I have had this romanticized fantastical image in my head that bubble baths were sexy, or more importantly, for sexy times. I’ve built up this idea in my mind that I’d draw a hot bath filled with the most foamy frothy bubbles. Then I’d dim the lights (I have dimmable lights in my bathroom), adjust my iPad just so, & put on one of my favorite movies with my favorite steamy scenes in it. Well, then you know what happens next, right? Yep, I wake from my rosy-colored stupor only to find myself sitting in a tepid bath with filmy flat suds floating all around me, the movie only halfway through it’s main plot. My sexy bath time fantasy will never be fulfilled.

Here comes my compulsive anxiety, rearing its ugly head yet again. While I do think bubble baths are fun, if you’re anyone under the age of 10, or a magical wizard able to get the bubbles to stay afloat, I also think that bubble baths are just a whole mess of trouble…& just a plain old mess by itself. I have tried many different brands of bubble bath solution, & they always end up leaving a ring of film around my bath tub basin at the end of my bathing session. Also, the bath tub feels simultaneously sticky & slippery if you can believe it.

On top of all that, I myself, feel like my skin has a layer of film from the bubble solution. So I end up having to rinse myself off with a simple shower afterwards, which I feel is totally redundant. I mean wasn’t the whole point of the bubble bath being to bathe myself & then luxuriate in a basin full of thick rich bubbles? No! I’m all sticky & filmy from the bubble solution, & then having to think about rinsing my bath tub basin afterward… Ugh! Why am I putting more stress on myself? I thought bubble baths were supposed to be relaxing, but just thinking about cleaning up afterwards tires me out, & discourages me from wanting to take these types of baths. I’ll just stick to my regular hot baths & be happy with that.

Well, Halloween is almost upon us. I would love for my little bean to dress up in a costume, preferably a cute, non-baby-ish looking one, but I know my little bean & she will hate anything I put her in. She hates wearing hats, or headbands, or anything covering her head &/or face (i.e. sunglasses, masks). I will have to get creative & choose something relatively simple. I know Jia would much rather prefer that I not spend any money at all, but I feel like now would be a good stage in our little bean’s childhood to start making these special memories. She’s already starting to remember things & making lasting memories. This Halloween season would be a good start to having her dress up in costumes. For now, I’m going to continue prepping the final details to my little bean’s 2nd birthday party. Cheers everyone!

Today’s song of the day:

I bought concert tickets over one year ago amidst a wave of mixed thoughts & emotions. One part of me was arguing that I hadn’t been to a proper music concert in over 2 years, & I was totally itching to get back to the concert-attending circuit after such a long absence. On top of that, it was a concert for my all-time favorite rock band The Killers. I’ve already been to FOUR of the band’s concerts (not including the Brandon Flowers concert tour to promote his two solo albums). I was not going to miss such a prime opportunity to see my favorite band in action!

Of course, another part of me was extremely apprehensive about getting concert tickets without much certainty about the future or whatever COVID variant might be rearing its ugly head. I was definitely feeling scared & very worried at the time that I might unknowingly get the virus & inadvertently pass it on to my little bean, who hadn’t been vaccinated at the time (well, vaccines for children under 5 hadn’t even come out yet then). Of course I had been fully vaccinated & boosted, but one never can tell what outside forces might throw a wrench in the plans.

There was yet another part of me that didn’t want to leave my little bean at home. I was feeling a little bit of parents guilt for going out without her, especially when she is so used to our little 3-person family unit always going out together. My compulsive anxiety was gnawing at me in the back of my mind. Will grandma follow all of my instructions for feeding &/or bathing my little bean? Will she let my bean watch too much TV or YouTube videos? Will she feed her too much junk food that won’t even fill up her little tummy? (Grandma loves to eat non-nutritious, junky foods & snacks instead of eating 3 healthy square meals per day.) I almost backed out of going to the concert because of my irrational anxiety. Jian had to keep assuring me that our little bean would be okay, & that we’d have to one day let go of her so we could enjoy an adults night out once in a while.

Eventually the concert date was nearing, & by then, my little bean had been fully vaccinated. Jian & I had been eagerly talking about & planning all the concerts we wanted to attend in the future. The concert’s venue had just posted an update of their very strict COVID guidelines. I was feeling more comfortable attending this concert & having my little bean stay at home. My mom’s sister would be visiting us then, so the timing was just perfect. My little bean just absolutely adores her grand-aunt, & grandma would have an extra person help divide the babysitting duties. Things were falling in the right places to calm my anxiety & ramp up my excitement for the concert.

I hadn’t truly realized how much I missed going to live music concerts with Jian (& my friends too). During the heart of all the COVID chaos & pandemic restrictions & various lockdowns, I resigned myself to the fact that live public events like concerts would be out of the picture for a very long time. I conditioned myself to become a homebody. I used to be a lets-go-out-every-weekend kind of gal. Thinking about this concert was getting me more excited by the day.

Finally it’s time for the concert, & my friends & I are speculating on what songs the band will perform. We are all naming our favorites & hoping the band will play some cover songs as well. They’ve done this at past concerts. Every day Jian was looking at previous concert’s set lists & trying to figure out which order these songs will be performed at our concert. We knew the band would play songs from their two newly released-during-the-pandemic albums, but how many fan favorites would the band sprinkle into their performance? Let’s check out their setlist to find out.

Let me continue by describing the concert overall. The venue was fairly small, a decent attendance size…the concert was held in a basketball arena after all. The stage layout was pretty simple. I guess you can’t have elaborate stage backgrounds & props due to COVID safety, pandemic policies, & supply chain issues. There was ample room for the entire band, including the backup singers. The backdrop was minimal, but super cool. It was mostly a jumbo background screen with really cool visualizers & graphics to go with each song. There were pyrotechnic fireworks for one of the songs (I believe it was for “When You Were Young”). There were also a ton of awesome laser lights throughout the concert.

My group of friends & I sat in assigned seats, in what I guess would be called the mezzanine level of the venue. We sat more towards the side of the stage rather than facing directly towards it. Our seats were some of the best in the house. We were close enough to see the entire band on the stage clearly, but we didn’t have to push up against other hot, sweaty fans in the floor section to get remotely close to the stage. My days of squeezing my tiny little self all the way in the front row are over. I almost always get violently pushed, smushed, or nearly trampled on, all because I’m short & it’s hard for the tall people to see me in the crowd. So I’d try to claim my spot at the front to avoid being stuck behind some Paul Bunyan sized man, but then end up getting stuck said spot, not able to go anywhere…not able to go out to pee. So now, Jian & I will only go to concerts if we are able to choose our assigned seats.

The concert itself was so much fun. The crowd was extremely hyped up.(Being locked indoors for nearly 2 years will do that to ya.) The band didn’t really talk much between songs, or interact with the audience as much as they used to in previous concerts, but I wasn’t really expecting things to be the same as it was pre-pandemic. I was pleasantly surprised at how many songs I recognized (& could sing along to) from the oldies-but-goodies, to the brand new single the band just released 3 weeks ago.

Jian & I were singing & dancing our hearts out. It was a real shame that the people sitting directly in front of us & next to us seemed like they had no interest in being at the concert. They weren’t engaging at all, only politely clapping after each song; some were even sitting the entire time. I’ve only encountered concert goers like this once in my life, & it was at a New Year’s Eve concert performed by Portugal. The Man & Chicano Batman. The married couple next to us bought cocktails but didn’t drink them. They sat down for most of the concert except for the 2 songs they recognized from the radio, & the wife also fell asleep halfway through the concert…like, full on deep asleep. They even left way before the concert had finished. We had fun though. The concert rocked our socks off.

It was fun going to a live group event again with all of our closest friends. We all had a blast sharing a quick meal of delicious hamburgers & tacos, & jamming out together to our favorite songs. It was a fun night out for all the couples in the group who had wee little babes, quietly waiting for their mommies & daddies to come home. Jian & I can’t wait to go to another live concert again. A few of our favorite bands have already had concerts last year, but we were unable to attend. So many of our favorite bands are releasing tons of new & awesome music, getting back out on the tour road again. After testing our child’s limits on being away from us for the whole day, we’re pretty confident to get back to going to concerts again. Who knows which band we’ll see perform live next? Until that time comes, rock on!

Today’s song of the day:

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