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Ever since I have been spending 99.99% of my time cooped up inside the house with my little bean, I’ve had plenty of time to relax & truly enjoy my nesting time. I have found so much enjoyment & contentment in little random things. For one, I love giving my little bean a bath (she thoroughly enjoys it too), but I have also renewed my love of taking a super hot shower at the end of the day. Washing up & then jumping into bed while you’re still warm from the shower gives me all the happy feels. After that, it’s the little window of time between putting my little bean to bed & myself going to sleep that also gets me excited. It’s that little notch of quiet “me time” that I enjoy, playing games or internet window shopping on my tablet.

Also, with me being the overly-organized person that I am, I am so super duper overjoyed that my daughter is nearly as organized as I am. She likes to stick to her daily routine just as much as I like to build a daily routine for her. Since the day she came home, I’ve been gradually putting her on a fairly regimented routine. Of course at just a few weeks old there is no such thing as a schedule, but by the time she was one-month old, she was already sleeping in her own bassinet & only waking up a few times throughout the night to be fed & have her diaper changed. My little bean is now 5 months old & she sleeps all by herself in her own crib in her own room. Not only that, she sleeps all the way through the entire night until morning. She rarely wakes up in the middle of the night to be fed or have her diaper changed. See folks, it’s never too early to sleep train the babes. I’ve even trained my little bean to take naps at certain times throughout the day. She pretty much fell into a natural schedule where she also eats at around the same time every day. This has just made my daily schedule so much more organized…& also made my life easier (& more predictable too).

Taking my little bean on little outings, like to our socially distanced COVID-safe shopping mall every once in a while has also been fun. She’s only really fussed once or twice out of the few of times we’ve taken her to go out with us. It’s been fun taking her on these outings, training her to get used to loud noises as well as the hustle & bustle of the city. The only difficult part about taking my little bean out is when we have to pack up her diaper bag, a bottle of formula, & all of her stroller accessories. Jian & I try to adhere to the “less is more” approach, but alas my over-preparedness traits take over, & I end up packing too many little things for all the emergency scenarios I can think of just to go on a short trip to the local shopping mall. It’s also sort of fun to get lots of attention when people see us with our little bean. The other day Jian took us out to the big city to go window shopping & have a special lunch away from home, & everyone at the restaurant was so interested in getting to know our little bean. I kind of felt like a rock star mom for getting so much attention.

One other thing that I have been personally enjoying lately is quite weird & boring, but I love doing it nonetheless. I have really been enjoying brushing my tongue whenever I brush my teeth, so much so that it’s become almost like scrubbing my tongue extra clean with my toothbrush. I know this is a silly thing to get so excited about, but I do have a pet peeve about people with bad breath. I also have a slight paranoia about people thinking that my breath smells bad. So I make sure that I spend a little extra time brushing my tongue after each time I brush my teeth. It not only gives me that fresh breath & clean mouth feeling, but it also kind of makes me feel like I am massaging my tongue to prevent getting those pesky little white cold sores that pop up from time-to-time, & irritates every time my tongue rubs the inside of my mouth. I feel happy just thinking about it.

Next, it’s almost springtime & we are finally getting the winter-type weather we should have gotten during the actual winter season. The temperatures have been quite chilly, but not cold, & we’ve been getting some rain showers on-&-off in our area. As I have said numerous times before, I love rainy weather, & this time I get to share this experience with my little bean. Of course, as with all other babes, she doesn’t like it when it rains while she’s trying to sleep. The rain keeps her up at night. However, during the day, she’s a real trooper & can sleep through just about any noise. It was raining on & off all day yesterday, & I was really enjoying the soothing sounds & watching the rain drip drop off of the awning overhang in the courtyard of my house. Oh man, I wish we could have gotten more rain this past season so we could avoid a potential drought in our area, but it looks like this summer there’s going to be a whole lot less toilet flushing & shorter showers.

Well, that’s a few of the new things that I’ve really been paying attention to & loving recently. It’s truly amazing & blows my mind seeing my little bean progress & develop more every single day. I swear she is super intuitive & advanced for a babe her age. She is ultimately the light of my life, & I better finish this post before she wakes up from her nap again. Until the next nap…I mean post…cheers all!

Today’s song of the day

eat all the things wordpress banner.png

WHO: 99 Things That Bring Me Joy

WHAT: (19) Your all-time favorite meal, (20) Your go-to snacks


Finally I get to write again after going through a few days without power or mobile phone reception! Yes, I live in Northern California. Yes, I was affected by the mandatory rolling power outages, but, no, I do not live near any of the areas affected by the crazy wildfires. However, since I do live in the Bay Area, we are being affected by the wildfires with all of the smoke & haze blanketing our region from the major wildfire in the Sonoma-wine county area. This past weekend I had no cell signal, no power, but at least we had clean running water. In my city, we were supposed to experience a second rolling power outage this week, but thankfully the mandatory power outages are over. I can now get back to making lists about the foods I like to eat.

Thankfully these next two lists from the 99 Things That Bring Me Joy journal are the last food-related topics in the long line of lists. So, I have decided to squeeze them both into one blog post. Honestly, I don’t even know why I am even bothering to write about these next two food topics; they are so clichéd & redundant. However, because I like to do things in order, like not skipping pages of a book (in this case, a book of lists), I will not skip these two topics.


This next topic wants me to discuss my all-time favorite meal. How am I supposed to choose one favorite meal (of all-time)?! I know I can be real loosey-goosey on this topic & rattle off a small list of my top [Insert Numerical Quantity Here] favorite meals, but it’s difficult for me to even come up with a couple of favorites to throw into a randomized list. Now that I’ve learned to appreciate food flavors & have found a mild interest in cooking, I’ve grown to love many meals & dishes.

There is one meal that comes to mind that is the most memorable, but not exactly my all-time favorite. Whilst my dad was still around, I used to have a yearly birthday tradition of going to dinner with my parents at our favorite well known restaurant, & I would always order the same dish: Maine lobster tail with steamed vegetables & rice pilaf. I ordered this dish every single time we ate at this restaurant (birthday or not), & it became such a tradition for me that everyone in my family associated me & my love for eating lobster. The subject of eating this lobster dish pops up every year around my birthday, which makes it a very memorable & delicious meal.

Then again, I definitely have other non-bougie favorites as well. As for my basic all-time favorite meal, I would have to say it’s a sandwich. I grew up eating sandwiches for lunch when I was bringing brown bag, homemade lunches to school every day. So the sandwich has become a staple food on my overall favorites list. But what type of sandwich do I like best? A turkey, Swiss cheese & avocado sandwich is a tasty treat. I will also stuff a club sandwich into my pie hole (a.k.a. my mouth). I would partake in a warm & crispy reuben sandwich as well.

However, there are three sandwich types that are on my all-time top favorites list.

  1. Avocado & cream cheese on white bread sandwich: Yes, this sounds very fatty & creamy, but it’s also very simple & delicious AF! I can’t even begin to describe how delicious this basic 2 condiment sandwich is, but I just love the pairing of cream cheese & sliced avocados. I discovered this sandwich combo during my college days at a local delicatessen near my house. I once ate this exact sandwich combo every day for one whole week. It sounds disgusting, but it was a fantastic lunch week for me. This sandwich is both healthy (the avocado!) & unhealthy (the cream cheese!), & I don’t get to eat this that often, but when I do, I savor every single bite. I have made this sandwich at home a couple of times, but it’s just not the same as getting one from my local delicatessen.
  2. Roast beef on sourdough bread sandwich: This has to be my top sandwich combination. I will usually order this sandwich combo at whichever eating establishment sells sandwiches if it’s available. My favorite place to grab a roast beef sandwich is at the deli counter inside Whole Foods. When I’m there, I will load up my sandwich with lots of red onions, lots of mixed greens (sometimes I’ll add arugula too), a spread of garlic aioli (which is a fancy-schmancy term for garlic mayo), & extra Swiss cheese. It’s also gotta be on sliced sourdough bread. I’m from the San Francisco (adjacent) region of the Bay Area, so I have to give props to our world famous sourdough bread, & by the way, my go-to cheese in sandwiches is Swiss cheese. I prefer it over gruyere, jack, or cheddar. As you can see, I like to put things in my sandwiches that make my breath stink all day.
  3. French dip sandwich with au jus: This has got to be one of the more messier sandwiches I have ever eaten in my life, but it is totally worth it. I love the simplicity of this sandwich: lots of thinly sliced beef, a French roll, & a hearty bowl of au jus that tastes so good you’ll want to drink it like a soup. Dipping the savory sandwich in the au jus sauce is a must. For a meat lover such as myself, I thoroughly enjoy this meat extravaganza whenever I order this sandwich, but since I am also a “neat freak”, I simultaneously hate it when the dipping sauce drips all over my hands (especially when the roll gets soggy!). One of my favorite places to eat this French dip sandwich is at the world renowned Philippe The Original sandwich shop in Los Angeles, home of the original French dip sandwich recipe. I have only eaten at that shop once, but I am looking forward to eating at that shop again soon. Maybe I can try to convince Jian to take me there again when we visit Los Angeles again for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The next topic is about my go-to snacks. Recently, I have been trying to be more health conscious, so I am trying to not snack so much, especially between meals. However, I am very much like my mother in this category, & we both like to snack on little treats around the house. This is just one habit I cannot give up. It doesn’t help for the fact that my mom loves to buy tons of snack foods, & so we have a huge cupboard filled with crackers, chips/crisps, roasted nuts, a variety of Asian treats, chocolates, & lots of random cookies.

There was a time in recent years where my mom & I were addicted to snacking on roasted sunflower seeds. There was this Chinese brand of roasted sunflower seeds that we really liked & would practically stockpile during our grocery trips. Let me tell you, cracking the shells of sunflower seeds just to get to the teeny-tiny crunchy bit in the center is so mundane & repetitive, but it quickly becomes addictive, especially when you’re sitting in front of the telly with a piping hot cuppa tea or your favorite ice cold beverage.

When I was a kid, I didn’t like to eat candy or very many other junky foods. My favorite things to snack on were apple sauce & fruit strips. My favorite kind of fruit strips were called Fruit Roll-UpsFruit-by-the-Foot. My mom would buy these in bulk at the big box wholesale store, & I would pack one everyday in my lunch bag for school. Like I’ve said before, I was a very boring eater when I was a kid. Oh yeah, & I also loved eating pre-packaged fruit cups then drinking the very bad for you, nothing but high fructose corn syrup, juice in the fruit cup.

These days, with my more refined & matured pallet, I’ve outgrown these childish snacks & have upgraded to more sophisticated snacks like marcona almonds, sea salt & vinegar crisps/chips, & artisan cheeses. I will occasionally indulge in sweeter snacks like cookies (my two favorite brands at the moment are DounsemorBiscoff) & chocolate squares. However, I am trying to be more health conscious, & I am actively trying to not snack so much between meals. I used to snack on little things here & there all the time, & it just made me feel hungrier than if I were to restrict myself from filling my stomach with wasted junk calories.

I think I am doing a pretty good job at restricting myself from snacking in between meals. I am eating better & healthier during my main meals, & it has been curbing my cravings for nibbling on junk food. I have also stopped filling my kitchen pantry with random snacks & junk. It’s hard to transition to this healthier lifestyle, especially for a person like myself who has a major sweet tooth & a ravenous appetite for carb-filled foods, but once you build up a routine, then it just becomes like a natural habit to stay away from the junky snacks.

have gone back to eating fruit strips again, but I don’t buy the big box labels with the high sugar content anymore. I have learned to look at the labels & read the ingredients. I try to buy the brands that contain less sugar & more natural/organic ingredients, & even though I have gone back to buying one of my childhood favorite treats, I have noticed that I don’t reach for it as often as I used to. Those snacks are still there in my pantry cupboard, but I am not constantly reaching for it, which I take as a small sign of positive progress.

So, there you have it. I have concluded my blog posts about food. Even though I have talked so much about favorite foods & flavors & go-to snacks, I don’t feel that hungry. In fact, I am ready to move on to the next topic. Well, until next time, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

combo of flavors wordpress banner.png

WHO: 99 THINGS THAT BRING ME JOY

WHAT: A COMBINATION OF FLAVORS YOU LOVE


I have not always been a fan of food, or a foodie. I do not even consider myself to be a foodie today. I do enjoy eating good food, more so now than I did as a child, & I do post pictures of certain foods on my Instagram account. However, I do not consider myself to be a foodie or any sort of connoisseur.

When I was a child, I was probably the most pickiest eater you would have ever met. Everything I ate had to be plain & boring; a bowl of white rice, all other food on my plate had to be separate & could not touch the rice. I would eat a bologna & cheese sandwich on plain white bread with no mayo or spread of any kind. Yeah, I was that kid who would eat pasta noodles straight from the strainer, no butter, no sauce.

As I got older, I had been so inexperienced in trying new foods, plus add on that I was a little chickenshit scaredy-cat, which meant that I was still a picky eater. Well, I guess I was more of a stubborn eater, only eating the foods I was familiar with. It was a good thing my mom introduced me to eating different kinds of Chinese food dishes, so I wasn’t completely living on an island of bland & boring foods.

My parents had always tried to introduce me to new cuisines & new food experiences, but I was just too stubborn to get out of my comfort zone. I didn’t travel far from the lemon-butter-garlic-herb-blah-blah-blah flavor categories, but at least by then I was now eating pasta with actual sauces. It wasn’t until I met Jian, & that was when my culinary experience really cracked wide open like an earthquake fault line.

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Image courtesy of: Google Images & Disney Pixar

When Jian & I first met, I was trying so hard to impress him, so I made myself become more culinarily explorative. Jian loved (& still loves) to eat all kinds of foods, & I was desperately trying to win his heart & hand. Therefore, I forced myself to expand my boring food pallet, & it literally changed my life & unfortunately my waistline (no exaggeration). Whenever Jian wanted to try a new restaurant or eat a different type of cuisine, I would always go along with him, & it really opened my eyes to new tastes & flavors that I deprived myself of during those years in my early twenties when I should’ve been more explorative & imaginative in the food category.

Ratatouille Remy1.jpg

Image courtesy of: Google Images & Disney Pixar

Since having Jian in my life, I’ve gone from eating chicken nuggets & plain french fries to eating foods I can’t even pronounce with Google Translate. I used to consider myself an American-Chinese girl who grew up eating classic American comfort foods (eg. meatloaf, hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, etc.) & the limited Chinese dishes my mom knew how to cook at home (eg. scrambled egg fried rice, rice porridge, steamed ground pork with salt cured duck eggs, etc.). However, Jian changed me & my taste buds, & now I can say that I am a Chinese-American woman who loves Southern Chinese food from Jian’s hometown, & I have stepped out of my Italian-American-Bucca-di-Beppo comfort zone to try foods from so many different regions.

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Image courtesy of: Julia Kuo, Google Images & Disney Pixar

This 99 Things That Bring Me Joy journal has asked me to list a combination of flavors I love. It’s hard to pin down which flavors I love the most, but I’ll try to list a couple of flavors that pop into mind first:

  • Ice Cream on a sugar cone: There’s just no other ice cream cone for me! The plain cone tastes like cardboard, & the waffle cone is just too sweet & turns soggy/soft way too fast.
  • Black Tea with lemon: Sorry, Brits & Hong Kongers (a.k.a. Hongkies). I’m not a tea with milk/cream type of person. I like my black or red tea with lemon. If it’s in iced form, I will sometimes add sugar, but rarely.
  • Yogurt with honey: My favorite types of yogurt are Greek & French. A little dollop of honey sweetens up the plain yogurt better than fruit preserves.
  • Seafood with those oh-so-famous lemon-butter-garlic-herb flavors: As much as I am seriously allergic to shellfish, I still love to eat it (all of it except crab). All I gotta do is pop an allergy pill beforehand & no more seized up throat. I could never stay away from my beloved lobster!
  • Chicken with the Asian garlic-ginger-oil dipping sauce, or the South African peri-peri spicy sauce: Both sauces take your mouth on a permanent vacation to flavor town!

I still won’t eat french fries with ketchup, or a hamburger with whatever restaurant’s special made sauce, but I’m more adventurous in trying new foods now. Some of my current favorite dishes come all the way from France, & one of my favorite Bay Area restaurants serves parts of an animal you wouldn’t even want to think about let alone see on your plate.

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So as I end this blog post, I am reminded of these past couple of days, when I was glued to my bed in the throes of mild food poisoning. It was my own stupidity that led me to get sick from eating improperly cooked food…food that was supposed to be of the heat-in-the-microwave-&-serve variety no less! I have finally regained my appetite after two & a half days of dry heaving & tossing my salad into the porcelain mixing bowl called a toilet. It is now time for me to officially end this post, & satisfy my newly regained ravenous appetite. Until the next meal blog post, cheers!


Oh, & P.S…. I wanted to really end this post with a beautifully delicious illustration drawn by Polish artist Elżbieta Moyski on Tumblr. Please check out her Tumblr page, & show her some love!

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Today’s song of the day:

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