Sew Happy : bag charms

A quick one on the crafts I did the past few months.

School bag charm for my daughter…
I would like to think this is a red squirrel, but my girl said this is a fox. Oh well…
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Totoro for my son…
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In memory of Taffy Day, the cairn terrier which I occasionally took care of when my friends were in vacation, I made this for my dear friend, M.
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A purple monkey for M as well.
(Her daughter’s zodiac animal and favorite color.)
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A forever friends bear for one of my BFF, J. ๐Ÿ™‚
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That’s all for today. ๐Ÿ™‚

Healthy living, here we come!

“If the diet is wrong, medicine is of no use.
If the diet is right, there is no need for medicine.”

After doing a lot of research, I come to realize how red meats & dairy-rich food can affect one’s health. (Think high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cancer etc) After getting the support from my dear husband and kids, we embarked on our new diet journey a few weeks ago.

Yes, we are on a no-red meats, high fiber, low dairy “modified Mediterranean” diet now! ๐Ÿ™‚ And besides this, I am also trying to add more whole grains to our diet and buying less refined/processed food.

To be frank, the change isn’t really that difficult la. Even though we love to eat out on weekends and snack on unhealthy chips occasionally, we are actually eating pretty healthy food at home most of the time. I think the most difficult part has to be the inconveniences that come with this diet change. Now, I can’t just cook what we craved or eat junk or processed food as and when we like it. And when we dine out or do our grocery shopping, we have to be very selective of what we order and what we buy.

Since I really want to make the switch as ‘painless’ and unnoticeable as possible for my family, I have to do more research, spend more time planning for our meals (again, Trello is a great tool!) and learn to read nutrition labels more carefully. Can you imagine how time consuming it is? Really ah, if it is not for the love for the family, I don’t think this lazy sahm could to do this at all.

Anyway, it has been more than 3 weeks since the switch. I’m very pleased to say that the family hasn’t complained about the missing meat dishes YET and also, we finally managed to convert to eating all brown rice yesterday!! Woohoo!

Both DH & I also noticed a change in our physical health. He has lost almost 5~8lbs of weight so far and his ‘united nation’ belly is beginning to ‘disintegrate’ and his ‘legendary’ 6-packs seems to want to make a comeback! Well, I called them ‘legendary’ is because I have never ever seen them even though I was with him for 20 years alreadyย lor. Heheee…. As for me, even though I didn’t weigh myself at all, I can see that my flabby & always bloated tummy looks a little smaller lor (*small voice*)and I feel more energized, though I still need to take a short nap after lunch. ย Hmm…. I guess ไผ‘ๆฏๆ˜ฏไธบไบ†่ตฐๆ›ด้•ฟ็š„่ทฏๅ’ฏใ€‚*grin*

Ok la… lili lolo such a long post, I think it’s time for me to take a rest and do some craft work. I will write again soon and probably start sharing with you on the healthy food I cook for my family next time. Ciao!

Happy 2014!

Bye 2013.

Looking back at my 2013, I am very thankful for my family and some close friends. Because of their love and support for me, they made me realized who are the ones that truly matter to me and who truly embraced me as who I am.

I’m also very thankful for some life lessons that I had learned through some disappointments and heartbreaks.

I’ve learned the importance of forgiving people and moving forward. Having hate in your heart, you will end up hurting yourself/your family more than the people you hate. It is so important to let go of the resentment and pain, because these will only hold you back from living a happier life. So, instead of spending your time hating people, try spend more time with the people who love you & you love.

Another important lesson that I’ve learned is that we all need to be mindful of who we are spending our time with; limit your time with negative people, and don’t allow yourself to be that negative person too.

It took me a long while to understand why I was so unhappy the past year. And like those times when I questioned myself why did I belittle my children or not being a positive & supportive friend to my friends, when these clearly made me feel unhappy, guilty and angry with myself. Well, as it turns out, that is the consequences of having negative people too close to my life. I mean I can always tell who are the negative people in my social circle and I never really have a problem with them. But because I’m such an emotional sponge, I tend to let myself take on their emotions and because of that… their negative vibes slowly affected me and then turned me into a negative person too. Anyway, don’t worry about me, if I can talk about it here, it just means that I’ve moved on and on the path of getting better already. ๐Ÿ™‚ So you see, having bad experiences actually isn’t all that bad. They actually helped me to learn more about myself, my own issues and weaknesses.

Before ending this post, I would like to wish all of you a very Happy and Blessed 2014!! Be good and stay positive!

I’m looking forward to a calmer, healthier, happier 2014!

PS: If you thought that I was going to write about my new year resolutions, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I just find that making new year resolutions is a waste of time. If I have something that I want to do, I will do it now. I don’t need to wait till January to make the list. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Got to go now.

the lazy sahm…

Feeling so proud and accomplished after deep cleaning (cleaned the brush, fixed a small crack, changed a new bag) the vacuum cleaner.

Admire the vacuum cleaner.
*5mins later* Put it back in the closet.

Floor vacuuming can wait.

Sew Happy : Ski Neck wrap

Technically, I mean.
The weather here in New England is still quite cold, around 30+F (<10deg C). Well… at least the snow is dwindling away and the receding snow has made it possible to see the ground again and that is a wonderful sight! I really can’t wait to start working on my vegetable garden!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Actually for the past two months, I have been feeling really depressed. The stress from everyday life has zapped away all my energy and bring negativity to our life. ๐Ÿ™ I think I need to learn how to give up control over something, try not to do it all and just focus more on myself and my well being.

For a start, I want to tackle the mess of my house. I really do think that the state of my house is a reflection of the state of my mind. Right now it looks like tornado has just landed -_-” and so I really have to kick start my spring cleaning. Of course, I have to be really careful not to make myself overly tired while doing it. As such, I’m tackling one room at a time, starting with the easiest – the piano room!

Here’s a before and after picture…

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Not too bad, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hopefully, by decluttering the house, it will help to declutter my mind too. ๐Ÿ˜›

After figuring out that I also need to find some “quiet” activity or hobby to help me to occupy and calm my “active” mind, I started sewing. My first project is a simple ski neck wrap that I made for the girl.

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She looks good with that wrap, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Because I felt quite good sewing this ski wrap, I went out to get myself a new sewing machine…

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Oops… Not sure if you can tell… I actually haven’t set the sewing machine up yet. Must find time to do it soon!

daily treasures (2): music scores

A special music sheet that the girl made for the boy so that they can play a duet together to the tune of “Got lotsa Rhythm” song. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Here’s the pix of the siblings enjoying playing the duet. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Moments like this is meant to be treasured. ๐Ÿ™‚

A random post – diet & exercise

Our summer vacation is coming to an end very soon in two weeks time. For the past few years, I have been so occupied with taking care of the children (and the man too) that I neglected myself. With the little one going to preschool for 2.5hours every weekday starting early September, I hope I will have at least a couple of hours to just spend time with myself and also taking care of myself.

First on my list is to start eating right and do some exercise to tone my body. Even though I love to laugh at myself for being ‘fat’, Iโ€™m actually not overweight. Based on the standard BMI calculation, I can be considered as very โ€œhealthyโ€ because my BMI is just 19, which is at the lower end of the normal weight range. The only problem I have now with my body is that I have a round and flabby tummy. Ok.. and thick arms too la. ๐Ÿ˜› Really out of shape.

Well, the truth is I have never had a flat tummy to begin with. Since young, even when I was told by some doctor/nurse that I was way too underweight, I always have this round tummy, which my sisters affectionately call it โ€œAfrican tummyโ€. But over the years, after going through two childbirths, this round tummy problem is getting a little too out of hand now that I think it is time for me to start doing something about it.

According to one article in a weight loss site, one can lose weight just by eating healthy and be more active physically. Though I have no concerns about my weight, but for the sake of my health, I should really cut down on my junk food intake (Arghโ€ฆ got to give up my favorite Doritos chips!) and eat well. Even though cleaning the house, working in the yard, getting grocery etc are some forms of physical activities that can help to burn the calories, I think the only way to tone my body is through exercise.

I hope by blogging this out, I will be committed to a more structured exercise routine and see some results by the end of this year.Wish me luck!
*Aja Aja Fighting*

Summer activities – Visit the Zoo

Most kids would enjoy a trip to the zoo.

Because the winter here is quite long and harsh. I find the best time to visit a zoo is no doubt during the summer. Most special and seasonal exhibits are opened from mid-June through mid September and so you will get to see more animals during this period than you normal would in other months.

Visiting a zoo can be fun and educational. The children can learn about animals, have fun watching them, and sometimes even feed and pat some animals.

Here are some things/tips you can do to make your trip to the zoo more enjoyable.

1. Most zoos will have some educational activities for the kids so check the Zoo website for daily schedules, exhibition guides, educational programs and special events prior to the trip. This will help you decide which exhibit to go and avoid wasting time upon arrival.

2. For older children, you may want to print out some zoo-related activity sheets for them to bring along, give them some papers to jot down the things they learn about the animals or even a scrapebook to draw.

Here’s what the girl did during our recent trip to the zoo. She made her own journal and drew pictures of the animals she saw at the zoo. ๐Ÿ™‚

3. Speak with a Zookeeper, whenever possible.
I find that children learn more when they get a chance to speak to someone who know best about the animals. So, do encourage your kids to ask questions and talk to the zookeeper.

4. Take some time to read the fact sheets of the animals with the children. That’s another way they can learn more about the animals.

5. Allow some play time at the playground for young children. This will make them happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

6. Bring lunch and snack from home.
You know how picky young children are. The food selection at the park cafes are usually limited and the only way you can be sure that the kids would enjoy their food, is to pack your own food. The children would love the idea of picnicking. If possible, pack some special treats for them to make the picnicking exprience even better.


My children enjoying a cup of homemade strawberry yogurt ice and fresh strawberries for snack.

7. Zoo admission fee can be quite expensive. So, check out your local library for free or discounted Zoo/Museum passes. You can save a lot by planning and reserving your pass ahead of time.

8. Lastly, but most importantly – Slow down and take your time to enjoy your time at the zoo. There’s always something happening at the zoo. It is only when you slow down that you can see and appreciate the beautiful park and the animals.

more spring beauties

These just bloom these few days. Hope to identify them soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

We almost killed these beautiful shrubs last year because DH didn’t water them AT ALL during the hot summer months!

I love these flowers, but they are invasive kind so I may have to remove them entirely this fall.

Wild black cherry tree that is growing on the curb side, just outside our front yard.

Dandelions (่’ฒๅ…ฌ่‹ฑ), a weed. Not welcome in our yard, but I love them anyway.

Spring beauties

Specially for my mom, the plant lover.
*All photos are taken from around my yard. ๐Ÿ™‚ *

Beautiful Rhododendrons flowers…
White Rhododendron
White Rhododendron

Pink Rhododendron
Pink Rhododendron

Fiery Red Rhododendron
Fiery Red Rhododendron

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Holly
Holly shrub

holly shrub

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We have abundant of Forsythia europaea…
Forsythia europaea

and the very fragrant Lilacs!
lilac flowers

lilac flowers

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Blue Stars
Beautiful Muscari ‘Blue Star’ that looks like bells.

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Ground covering plants…

Violets
Violets ground cover plants

Periwinkle
Periwinkle

Cotoneaster Streibs Findling

I totally forgotten to take pictures of our flowering apple tree and white flowers bradford pear tree. Anyway, there are a few other shrubs that are almost going to bloom and I will try to take some photos to share soon. ๐Ÿ™‚