Happy Lunar New Year & Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy New Year
I feel so happy and loved this year.
First, we had friends over the past two days to celebrate Chinese New Year with us. Needless to say, with great food and great company, it was a wonderful way to usher in the new year!

As for Valentine’s, not only did I receive a big bouquet of roses & my favorite Godiva chocolates from the man, I also received a jewelery organizer and Valentine card from the girl. Aww…

valentine's day gifts from hubz
Valentine's gift from girl

Even though Valentines doesn’t really means much to me, I still enjoy celebrating this day with my loved ones. I think it’s the thought that counts. I don’t need diamonds (hmm… DH, if you are reading this, what i meant was I don’t need small diamonds. Big Big Carats one, I likey! ๐Ÿ˜† ), romantic dinner at posh restaurant or some electronics products like iphone, 32 hd tv, camera etc. To me, Valentine’s day is just a day to have fun & show Extra love to our loved ones and to feel loved.

Hope all of you had a wonderful Valentine’s day!
xx

Haiti needs our help

Haiti needs our help! Donate!!
Photo credit : time.com

I’m sure you have either read or heard by now about the dire situation in Haiti after the massive earthquake. The people in Haiti needs our help and
Iโ€™d like to encourage everyone to help in any possible way. And to most of us, it just means make a donation.

Every single contribution, no matter how small, makes a difference.

Please give today!

Time.com has compiled a list of charity organizations sites, please click here to see how you can donate!

Can’t make cute bento? Try message in a lunch box!

While I do make simple lunch bentos for the family very often (almost every weekdays) and love looking at the pictures of cute & beautiful bento lunch/snack boxes like these amazing moms have made for their children, I find myself not ready to jump on the cute bento-making wagon yet.

To make cute & beautiful bentos, you will need to have the interest, time and a whole lot of patience, of which I have none. But since I really want to do something special for my little kindergartener, I opted for a more doable thing instead. I add lunchbox notes to her snack box. If you haven’t heard of lunchbox notes before, they are just what they are – a note in the lunch (snack) box. :)

Bento

These are some of the better looking bentos that I made for the girl recently. The boy usually has a similar but smaller bento to bring along with him on his backpack when he sends the sister to school.

When I have the time, I love to fold the note into simple origami (usually heart, flower or crane) and if I’m in the mood, I would also decorate it with some drawing. Sometimes if she is having a banana for snack, I would write simple messages or draw pictures across it, just for a change. As banana peel bruises very easily, all I have to do is to use a toothpick or a pen tip to scratch a message across the peel and the area that I marked will be dark brown by the time she has snack. It is really simple and fun. If you haven’t try it before, you should.

I started slipping notes into the gal’s snack box since the start of the kindergarten school year because the gal was a little anxious about going to this new school and I wanted to let her know that we are thinking of her while she is at school. And it worked! Now she looks forward to going to school because she wants to read her special note during her snack time. :)

In the beginning, I just wrote simple notes like “Mommy loves you”, “Have a good snack!”, “You are my sunshine!” etc. but I got bored of writing these lovey dovey messages after a week. Then I thought… since I’m spending time to write, I might as well write something motivating, educational and fun instead. So I started looking for age-appropriate jokes, riddles and fun facts to write on the notes. Occasionally, I will also slip in some Chinese words just so that she gets to learn to read them too.

To my pleasant surprise, it was an instant hit with not just the girl, but also her teachers & classmates! According to her teacher, Ms. K, the girl would share her notes with her friends and they are now looking forward to see and listen to what her note says at snack time too. :) I also heard from the girl that some children also starting to receive a few notes from their mommies too, but not on a daily basis though. I guess these children must have told their moms about the notes and their moms felt the pressure and did lunchbox notes thing too. ๐Ÿ˜› Haha…

Anyway, I must say I’m so glad that I did this lunch box notes thing. DH and I often worry about her not making new friends at school because she takes a long time to warm up to people. But it seems that with the notes becoming a conversational starter, we don’t really have to worry about her anymore. :)

I think I should also start documenting the lunchbox notes that I wrote for the girl so that when it is time for the boy to receive them, I don’t have to do the research again on what to write for him. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, do check back soon to read about our lunchbox notes! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here are some interesting lunchbox notes links:

Article – Lunch Box Love Notes for Your Child (link)
Blog on lunch box notes from The Tin Tiffin (Link)

Don’t know what to write? Maybe you can try free printable lunch notes from these sites…
Nick Jr – (Link)
Alenka’s Lunch Box Notes (Link)
Gingerbread Nook – (Link)
The Heart of Motherhood – (Link)
Lunch note Promise – (Link)

My first vintage porcelain teacups & saucers

It was a love at first sight when I saw the two sets of Japanese made pink floral tea cups and saucers at a community yard sale last month. Maybe I am getting old, I find myself attracted to things that are vintage these days. I really like the old-fashioned shape, the simple flora motif and the lovely gold trimmed ornate handle of the teacups.

Even though there are some things I don’t mind getting pre-owned like toys and books, I generally steer away from getting household stuff especially the kitchenware (i.e. dinnerware, drinkware, cookware or any-other-ware… HAHA) simply because I find it rather disgusting to use some stranger’s ware. So, it is really weird that I actually like the teacups so much that I just had to get them. And even weirder is that I am curious enough to want to find out more information about them! Hmm….

I think the sets are hand painted because both flower motifs are not exactly the same and the gold trims are not symmetrical too. I also observed that both handles are probably manually attached to the teacups because they are not of the same height. Oh… and from this informative site (link), I also found out that my teacup sets are likely to be made during the period 1921-1941. The hallmarks under each teacup, showing the red wreath with a bow at the bottom and a clover leaf inside, are the mark of “Nippon Yoko Boeki Co”.

Interesting right?
Two old teacups can make me so excited that I even bother to blog abt them! I think…
I am really getting old.

Happy Halloween!

Trick or treat, smell my feet.
Give me something good to eat.
If you donโ€™t, I wonโ€™t be sad.
Iโ€™ll just make you wish you had!

Season of Fall

It is really very beautiful in New England now. Everywhere we go, we see a mixture of all the beautiful fall colors – yellow, orange, red, purple and brown. As the leaves color changes depend so much on weather, we can never predict what we can expect to see each year and that is exactly the reason why I look forward to the fall season every year (besides the hayrides, pumpkin & apple picking and Halloween.) :)

As we had abundant of rain this summer, we have quite a spectacular fall foliage this time. Since the peak of fall foliage only lasts for a short time (generally 2-3 weeks), it would be a shame if we didn’t go leaf peeping to enjoy it while we can. These are some of the pictures we took 3 weeks ago along the way to the Lost River Gorge in White Mountains. They are beautiful, don’t you think?


The scenic White Mountains region (near Lincoln).

Actually we don’t really have to travel far to enjoy the colors of fall. We have quite a view in our own back yard too! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The girl was so awed and inspired by the beauty of the fall foliage that she even painted a picture about it!

I think this is by far the best painting that she ever painted and I am seriously considering if I should send this painting to the KidsZone Foliage Drawing Contest.

What do you think?

Of course, all good things must come to an end at some point. The weather is getting colder now and we have more rain these days. In fact, we even have two snowfalls recently, in mid October! It’s crazy…

It is getting so cold that we have to turn the heater on. I don’t know why, but whenever the heater is on, I feel depressed and even lazier. But obviously, someone else is actually looking really forward to winter…

Pretending to ski with two baby bolster.

Haha.

It is not just the cold and wet weather, it’s the yard cleaning that I dread most. Now the maple trees in our yard is almost bare and what it means is that, it is raking season again!! Bleah! At times like this, I really wish we are staying in somewhere warm, like Arizona, where it is currently about 80 degrees and garden will look more like this…


Image from here

and not like this…

But then, maybe not. I still prefer cold weather over warm weather. Especially when i know hot weather makes me highly irritable, very hot tempered and totally not cool at all. For the benefits of my family, I think i better stay put here. ๐Ÿ˜›

Let me win the SpellQuizzer!

Lian from Tips and Tricks to Effective Parenting is one of the most dedicated SAHM that I know through blogs. She is always so generous in sharing her experiences and knowledge with us and so when she personally invites me to participate in her SpellQuizzer software giveaway campaign, I have to take a look at this downloadable kids spelling software product.

Frankly speaking, I had read her post prior to her invitation a few days ago. At that time, I wasn’t keen to participate because I never got the luck to win anything from a lucky draw before and since I’m also not willing to spend my money on a software, I decided to skip checking out her detail product review that she wrote on her Family Book Store site too.

But after reading her review, I actually want to win this lucky draw now!! This is exactly the product I need now because I have just started to work with the girl on her spelling and it is really b-o-r-i-n-g! Since the software works like a game, I am pretty sure that the girl will enjoy learning spelling more if we have this software. There is another reason why I want this software… because she can work on her spelling list by herself, I can focus on doing something else with the boy. That’s killing two birds with one stone!

I want the SpellQuizzer!!

My Bento Stories – Coming to stores in Sg Soon!!

I’m still waiting patiently for my copy of Angie‘s new book “ไพฟๅฝ“ๅ‰้ข็š„ๆ•…ไบ‹”. Because I love reading her blogs (Kinigu and Obasan & Ajuma), I’m pretty sure that I will enjoy reading her book too. (That’s how good her writing is!)

According to Angie, her book will hit the bookstores in Singapore early September 09. You can either wait for the official launch or place order directly from her now. (I wouldn’t wait lor if I can get it now.:P ) If you take my obvious hint and want to order now, you will be happy to know that there is a special online promotion! Just quote “kinigu” in your subject heading when you email her your order.

By the way, I am not paid to advertise for her. I just want to show my support for our local talent. :)

Love our Mother Earth, support Earth Hour 2009

When : This Saturday, 28 March 2009
Time : 830pm (local time)
What to do : Switching off your lights for one hour, and join the world for Earth Hour.

Join us, Vote Earth!

Read more about Earth Hour here.

Notice : Blog Entries with Chinese characters are not displaying correctly

Due to the recent blog upgrade to a newer wordpress version, entries with Chinese characters (including comments) are not displaying properly. I’m still trying to find a solution to solve this issue. So, if you are interested in reading my Chinese entries, please check them out here.

CL- Homeschool
CL – Updates
CL- Tips

Thanks to the wonderful support team @ Weblogs.us, the Chinese characters display problem has been solved!!!