Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008

Warning : Boring video alert ! Beep ! Beep!


video

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I ought to

Found this video on Blossom Sundries and love it!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thank you Secret Santa!

I participated in a Secret Santa gift exchange this year with some of the ACE (Amazing Carolina Etsians) team members. On Friday, I received a parcel on the front door.

In the box was a beautiful handbound journal from UberArt.etsy.com, a pretty handmade Christmas card, a big bar of chocolate handmade soap from Barebummbath.etsy.com (Yumm!!) and my favorite chocolates-Ferrero Rocher!

Thank you, Secret Santa! Whoever you are, you nailed it!

Of parties and eggs and SpongeBob

It's the time of year for holiday parties and Santa gift exchanges.
Last night, we went to Jason's colleague's house for their holiday party. We all pitched in and brought a dish. So I made some deviled eggs. I boiled 2 dozen eggs. Broke one. (Fried that one for later) And some didn't peel well. I ate those uglier looking ones and boiled 5 more. Sliced those eggs in half and placed 36 halves on the egg tray. And ate the extras. And ate a couple more at the party.
(I hope there is nothing wrong with eating too many eggs in one day. My cholesterol level probably just hit the roof)

Party was great. We each brought an anonymous gift and did the Secret Santa/White Elephant gift exchange. You pick a number. Smallest number gets to pick a gift first. Number 2 gets to decide if he wants to steal Number 1's gift or pick a gift from under the tree, and so on. If a gift gets stolen for the 3rd time, it's frozen and nobody gets to steal it anymore.

I decided to steal someone's Panera cookies and Panera gift card. Unfortunately, someone stole it right back from me. There was one last gift under the tree which I could not pick because it was the gift we brought. So I had to steal again. We ended up going home with a hideous pineapple frilly handbag (think SpongeBob), some chocolates and a handheld game.
But it was better than that Snowman lamp that Todd got stuck with, or the apron that keeps coming back year after year... Maybe the SpongeBob handbag will show up again next year as a gift bag.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Strangely enjoyable

It's been awhile since I last went to church (I probably shouldn't be admitting this here). So I had planned to go to church yesterday. But since we got back into town at almost 1am the previous night, I had a late start and attended the later mass at 1pm at a different church. I was 15 minutes early and as I sat down, I noticed the "atmosphere" around me was a little different.
Then mass started and I realized that it was a Spanish mass.
I did not understand a single word except for an occasional "Uno, Dos, Tres". I stood when everyone stood and sat when everyone sat and enjoyed the La bamba beat that was added into conventional churchy music. I thought that was kinda cool. And one guy was doing some sort of a salsa walk as he was walking up the aisle. For a moment, I forgot that I was actually in the U.S.

I left shortly after and spent the rest of the time at their "reflection garden" outside. There was a pond and fountain and stations of the cross that were engraved in stone, a stone altar and a little area which I assume is where they sometimes hold outdoor masses. Very pretty. Very peaceful. I could have sat there for a good hour enjoying the solitude but it was too darn cold so I went home.

Monday, November 17, 2008

First Craft show experience

The day finally came! After worrying and stressing and obsessing about this day, it arrived and I had a great time. I think Jason did too. (He got a little bored in the afternoon and thankfully there was a radio that he could tune in to listen to the ballgame)

We got to know and meet Gayle and her family. She's one of our team members from the ACE team on Etsy. Our tables were just beside each other in the same room. And I enjoyed their company tremendously. Her son, Mitchell, makes cards and they were a big hit. We bought some and Jason told him that we're going to send those to Malaysia. He was so excited and it really made his day coz he could not stop telling everybody about it.

There wasn't much of a crowd. Most of the buyers were their own church members. But everyone were so very nice.
Parents-in-law came during lunch time to help relieve us so that we could grab a quick lunch.

I sold a few scrubbies and Jason did a good job with his all-purpose spice and giving out samples. We went in with zero expectations and was just hoping to have an experience and meet some wonderful people. And we did.

That night, I slept like a baby. So relieved. And so very tired.
I admire those crafters who do shows like these almost every week. Where do they get all that energy from?

Friday, November 14, 2008

List of "must haves" for a craft show

I'll be doing my very first craft show tomorrow. So I'm going to list what to bring here (so I know where to look if I were to do another craft show)

Inventory
Tablecloth
Shop Signage
Price signage
Change (dollar bills)
Apron / money holder
Business cards + holder (I'm using the EQ3 glass dish)
Tape (duct tape)
Pens, markers
Stapler
Paper bags, merchandise bags
Camera (and batteries)
Calculator
safety pins
hand sanitizer
baskets, wooden bowl, vase
boxes (to add additional layer)
table runner
Water
First aid kit
Tylenol

I am probably forgetting something.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Holiday Gift Guide

Just discovered my bath scrubbie is being featured on UpstateFancy's holiday gift guide!


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Bake Sale

Our office had our annual Pink on Purpose Fund Raiser on Friday. Everyone was encouraged to bring in a baked item. So I made some coconut almond bars.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Life as it is today

Someone sent me this today :

If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Delta Airlines one year ago, you will have $49.00 today. If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in AIG one year ago, you will have $33.00 today. If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Lehman Brothers one year ago, you will have $0.00 today. But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the aluminum cans for recycling refund, you will have received $214.00. Based on the above, the best current investment plan is to drink heavily & recycle. It is called the 401-Keg. A recent study found that the average American walks about 900 miles a year. Another study found that Americans drink, on average, 22 gallons of alcohol a year. That means that, on average, Americans get about 41 miles to the gallon! Makes you proud to be an American!

:)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Still no gas

It's been two weeks and Charlotte is still facing a gas shortage.
People are rushing for gas and turning the situation into a state of emergency.

With a quarter tank, I drove to work last Thursday with hopes of finding some gas on the way but no luck. The two stations that had gas on the way home had long lines and maybe an hour wait. My company issued an email informing us that if we cannot find gas, we are allowed to work from home.

Friday morning, Jason called me up and told me the station down the road had gas. I got there at 7am and lines had already started to form with two police cars directing traffic and standing by incase a fight broke out. By afternoon, they were out of gas again.
Even at $4.19/gallon, I was glad my car is full.

Yesterday, we saw cars circling the Shell station near Walmart because they saw a tanker parked there. People are desperate.
Some cars will even follow behind a tanker just to see where it goes to get gas.

Mayor McCrory said he had considered ordering that gasoline be rationed, but decided that would create more panic and hoarding, which industry experts say are exacerbating the problem.
We've turned into vultures. But who is to blame?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jason's debut

Here's a short extract from yesterday's concert - tunes from the fifties and Broadway.

video

Thursday, September 18, 2008

For the love of soaps

Here's my latest addiction...... handmade soaps!

I bought these myself recently from here, here and here :And Jason got me these for my birthday from here :


And I bought a whole bunch of these.. and recently ordered more from this very wonderful lady as a collaboration with my scrubbies :


Yummy yummy-licious!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Insane

On Thursday, the price of gas (petrol) was $3.65.
Yesterday, Jason called me on the way to work and told me that I better go get my car filled up.
I went out in the afternoon and there were atleast 15 cars all waiting in line at the gas station. I drove to the next one, and there were atleast 30 cars and causing traffic havoc. I waited in line. After 15 minutes, the guy who works there comes around to tell us that they were out of gas.

So I drove to two more gas stations and they were also out of gas. By now, the price of gas was already $4.29 per gallon. I finally found one station with 20 cars all waiting like vultures for gas. I was hoping that there'd still be some gas left for me when my turn came. There was.

Relieved, I went home.

Today, we saw atleast 5 stations all out of gas. And one station had gas for $5.75 ! And cars were still rushing for it!

This is a crime.

Oh, Ike, what have you done?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Where's Bernie?

I have been blogging here just to account for dates and facts to help me remember better.
And also trying to calm my nerves.

Thank you Suzie !

Remember our wonderful groomer who so graciously rescued us and a sticky cat and did not want to accept our money?

Well, I ordered a print from this lady in Canada and it came in the mail today! I'll get it framed and will give it to the wonderful groomer this week.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

When paths cross for a reason

I find out on Thursday that our two managers from China and South Africa are in town for two weeks. I was told that the manager from China has been food-challenged all week and is just dying for some good authentic Chinese food. So far, she's been getting only Americanized Chinese food here. With some encouragement from Jason, I emailed her and told her that Jason and I will be happy to take them to our favorite Chinese restaurant on Saturday.
I immediately got a happy and relieved call back from her.

So we picked them up from the hotel today and brought them to Tin Tin Buffet.

After lunch, we brought them shopping at the mall because the Johannesburg colleague wanted to buy some Nike shoes and clothes for her daughter and mom.
We then took them back to their hotel.

I've always enjoyed meeting people from different cultures. It's like getting a glimpse of a country you've never been before and also puts another place to visit on my list.

I think we may have done a good deed today because we found out they were practically stuck in the hotel with no transport of their own. The other manager who is staying at the same hotel had gone home to Atlanta for the weekend leaving these two foreigners to fend for themselves. There is practically nowhere to eat or go around the hotel if you do not have a car.
In Charlotte, you will not find a taxi or a bus easily.

They are super nice and Jason and I are super pleased to have been able to make their stay a little more pleasant.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Trouble gets into trouble again

We have been struggling to keep fruit flies out of the house this summer. They seem to like congregating around Trouble's food bowl and it's been really annoying. To him and to us. I've placed two bowls of apple cider vinegar and managed to trap a few fruit flies but the problem still persisted. We finally bought a sticky indoor fly trap and that did the trick. Bye bye fruit flies.

Then....

We came home pretty late last night and saw that the cat food bowl was upside down and across the hallway and the metal stand was flung in another direction. That's pretty unusual. Looks like something only an angry or distressed cat will do.
And then we noticed the missing sticky indoor fly trap.

Oh shucks.

So we find the cat, and true enough, that trap was stuck to his back side and tail and he was one unhappy cat. It was a struggle just pulling that thing off from him. Being a long haired cat, it was a total mess. He had like two dozen dead fruit flies stuck to his fur, and it was a total sticky mess.

We put him in the bathtub, put on our latex gloves, got a bottle of cleaning alcohol and cooking oil and a rag and tried washing the stickiness off. Did not work. We threw him in the shower, washed him off with shampoo. Did not work.

It left us with a terribly annoyed and pissed off cat.

Jason called the groomer (it was almost midnite now) and left her a message telling her we have a crisis.

This afternoon, the very nice groomer called and told us to bring Trouble in. She told me to stay and help her hold him down while she clipped his hair to get the sticky mess off.
It was tough. Trouble was hissing and he had his fangs out all the time, yelling and cursing us.

After the ordeal, the very nice groomer sent us home and did not want to accept our money.
She's an angel that groomer.

So we're home now. Trouble is not sticky anymore but he sure looks funny with a patchy haircut.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

A refreshing, positive gender image

I asked the husband the other day if he would be willing to help me make some scrubbies. He said No way. I said I'll promise not to tell anyone if he does. He said NO.

Well, I am hoping he'll change his mind after he reads this. :)

The Scrubbies are getting their 5 minutes of fame

Last week, the New York Times contacted me and wanted to feature my scrubbies in their Sunday Styles section. They were going to do a page on hostess gifts and asked if I could Fedex some scrubbies over.
Hell yeah!!!

They are featured this weekend here.

Ok, it's not a big deal. But I am still doing the happy dance!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Chocolate cake in 5 minutes

For emergency purposes :
http://www.dizzy-dee.com/recipe/chocolate-cake-in-5-minutes

I'd use the quiche dish instead of a mug. And if you have a torch, you can probably make a creme brulee.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Some fancy awkwardness

We had our office dinner party tonight at a fancy restaurant to celebrate a good fiscal year. It started with two hours of appetizers and booze at the bar and then we were ushered into a private room with assigned seats. Menu consisted of bruschetta and bread, a choice of salad, a palate cleanser (mango sorbet+ vodka), your choice of veal, chicken, salmon or an eggplant entree and your choice of a dessert (tiramisu or creme brulee).

Waiters brought out our entree in individual silver domes and told us not to peek (I had "Be our guest" from Beauty and the Beast singing in my head), and they did a little drumroll and lifted the dome.

Throughout dinner and before dinner, everyone was buying shots for everyone else. And bottles of wine were passed around. And a magician showed us some tricks.

Other diners outside in the regular dining area were dancing the shag and a band was playing some beach music.

I was, as usual, a social handicap, and I've always felt awkward in social functions and having to mingle with people I don't really know because starting some small talk is not my forte. But I did make an effort to not be a wallflower.

I survived and I was sober because I might have told a little white lie.

Now, I am ready for the weekend!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

These shoes are made for walking

Two crazy fools decided to go for a walk today. And walk they did in the hot afternoon sun. They started the route through a neighboring neighborhood, past Squirrel lake, across Highway 485, passed a busy intersection, sought refuge at a church and continued onwards towards some offices.
5.8 miles (9.3 km) later, they were rescued by the parents.
Click here for the full story.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Weekend in Sneads Ferry

Here are some photos from our July 4th weekend in Sneads Ferry at Ronald and Tammie's place.
Details of our trip is posted here.

The dock

Jason raking for clams

Ronald knee-boarding

Tammie on the tube

Tammie, Asia and Bernie

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A mountain of yarn

Good grief. What was I thinking?? The stuff I ordered arrived yesterday. I now have 160 hanks of yarn in my room + 192 that was wrongly sent = 352. 352!!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gotta love em corks

Omigod! Twice in a week? My laksa bowl trivet got selected to be in this treasury!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Treasury

Yayy!! My trivet was selected and featured in the Treasury section of Etsy!

Friday, June 20, 2008

They love our mailbox so much that...

It was a peaceful afternoon until I got a phone call from my neighbor across the street. She said "Oh good, you're working from home today! You better come outside now coz someone just ran over your mailbox!"

Again??!!! You gotta be kidding me!
This is the THIRD time someone decides to knock our mailbox down.

I go outside and I see our mailbox smashed on one side and the whole box laying lifeless on the ground and there was this truck who was trying to back out. I went up to the truck waving like a mad woman trying to stop him, at the same time trying to catch the name of the company of the truck.
The phone number was not visible.

So this big guy comes out of the truck and here's tiny me with both hands on my hips looking furious. (Don't mess with me when I am mad)
He apologized and told me he had already called his boss and that they were coming to replace it within 30 minutes.

I had doubts.

So I went online and got the phone number for this company and spoke to the manager. I did not want to give them a chance to deny so I asked "hey by any chance you have someone working in this neighborhood this afternoon?". He said "Yes" (probably thinking I was going to give him some business).
I said "Good, coz your guy just ran over my mailbox".

He said "Oh no"

I said "Oh yes he sure did"

He said "We will replace it"

I asked " When? My mailman comes in an hour. If we are not able to get our mail, that's not going to be nice"

He said he'll call me back and I got his name.

He did call me back and admitted that it was his guy who knocked the mailbox down (obviously his guy lied when he said he had already called his boss because his boss did not know of this incident before I called up)
He informed me that they had ordered a new one from the developer. He sounded nice and trustworthy enough.

In the meantime, Jason had called the police and they called me and said they were going to come by and ask some questions.
The police guy could not understand me over the phone and asked if I speak Spanish.
I told him No, I dont speak any Spanish but he brings a Spanish-speaking police officer over anyway.
They came over during lunch time and Jason was home. Good, coz I don't enjoy talking to people who have problems with my un-American accent. It gets frustrating.
So they asked questions, and called up the company who ran over the mailbox.

About 4 hours later, I saw a new mailbox sitting pretty outside.

Relieved.

All this hoohah over a mailbox! So very unnecessary, yet necessary.

I wonder if they'll allow us to build a concrete wall around our mailbox. Coz we know someone else is going to knock the mailbox down again... they just love our mailbox too much!

The trivets appeareth

I made some trivets using some plain cork coasters that I had bought a long time ago and just sitting aimless in my closet. Since I had not painted for awhile, I decided to decorate the trivets with acrylic paint and sealed it with multiple layers of mod podge and Polyurethane sealant for protection and to make it water resistant.

Lately, I've been addicted to the blue/green/brown combination. I also painted a whole bunch of clothespin in that color but it became really tedious and I got bored doing it. I'd rather stay away from monotony.

Here's what I did :
I've listed them here. And I've sold one yesterday ! :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Some good news

- My Father-in-law's surgery went well. The doctor said the surgery went as he planned and he might also have fixed the problem on his left arm.

- My long-awaited Green card arrived from Vermont !!! The husband is stuck with me for another 10 years (and vice versa)

Phew.. and Yayyy!!!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Crochet needle case

Today I made a crochet needle case for Jessey !!

I struggled with the tension setting and realized later that I did not thread the machine correctly. Duh!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Puerto Rico escapade

Day 1

We left on Friday morning and flew into San Juan. Rented a car and drove to Old San Juan about 15 minutes from the airport. Old San Juan's colonial architecture of hanging balconies and cobble stone streets makes you feel like you have gone back in time. We drove by the cathedral and museums and stopped to visit San Cristobal Fort. This castle was built in 1771 and was designed to protect the city from land invasions.
Parking spaces were limited in Old San Juan so we did not stop much but just drove around to see the sites.















After a quick lunch of arroz (rice) with pigeon peas, we proceeded to head south.
Traffic was awful getting out of San Juan. We were only moving at 10mph. But the view from the highway was awesome. Lots of mountains and valleys on one side and clear blue waters on the
other side and square houses nestled on the mountains.


Three hours later, we stopped at Ponce and bought some snacks, water, juices, tuna cans, buns, etc. We had been warned that meals in the hotel were exorbitant.

We were stuck in traffic again getting out of Ponce.

We finally arrived in Guanica about 6pm, and checked into our hotel, which was just awesome.
Realizing that our hotel is located far away from any other amenities or restaurants, we were glad we bought those cans of tuna.
Dinner was a quick treat at the Las Palmas cafe in the hotel itself because we were just too tired of being in the car all afternoon and did not want to drive all t
he way down that narrow winding road down the mountains at night. Jason had what he called the best burger he'd ever eaten.


Day 2

Today we decided we'd venture out of Guanica and head west. Armed with a map and plenty of water, we drove to San German,
Puerto Rico's oldest settlement outside San Juan. Streets were again, very narrow. Roads were hilly. Buildings were interestingly old and mostly pink or orange, with a lot of old Spanish charm. Getting out of San German was indeed tricky because the streets were mostly one way and we found ourselves on the same streets again, and again.


Then we headed to Boqueron, a small beach town. The locals love hanging out here. We had lunch at Galloway's which is built on a dock. I had a conch salad and Jason had quesadillas.
We then checked out the beach and all the little kiosks selling "pinchos" ( raw clams, oysters, shellfish). I was so tempted to try some but was afraid to, not knowing how long they have been sitting out in the sun.

After Boqueron, we headed Southwest to Cabo Rojo, in search of the famous lighthouse. We drove, and drove.. and the roads disappeared, and we were on some dirt track. But we saw some cars in front of us and felt not so lost.
Then the narrow path opened to a lovely view of the bluest lagoon I've ever seen. And the lighthouse was up on a hill on the left. We parked and hiked up a rocky trail towards the lighthouse and the view was just breathtaking. We found ourselves on a cliff, overlooking a 200 feet drop to the sea, waves splashing against the limestone cliff. Just magnificent.
For dinner, we headed out to La Parguera, which is also famous for its Bioluminescent bay to watch the dinoflagellates (by the millions) emitting flashes of light that give the water a ghostly glow whenever they are disturbed. Unfortunately, I was so ill in the restaurant that we had to leave even before ordering our food. The next few hours, I had no recollection of what happened. I just remember throwing up and having to go to the bathroom numerous times and I had an awful headache. I think I remember chanting to Jason that if I were to die here, just sprinkle my ashes into the deep blue Caribbean waters.

Day 3

The next morning, I felt much better. Which leaves me to think I had a case of sunstroke. Or it could also be food poisoning from the conch salad, though Jason says that it was 6 hours since I had eaten it, so it probably was already digested by the time I got sick.

After breakfast, we packed our backpacks and hiked the Cuevas trail in the Guanica Dry Forest reserve. True to its name, the forest was absolutely dry. Almost desert-like. Lots of Agave and cactus everywhere. At the top of the hill, the view of the sea was just awesome.

For dinner, Javier from the front desk had recommended a place in Guayanilla, a small fishing village, where the locals eat. He told us to ask for directions to the waterfront once we get into Guayanilla. We did. We had to. Because we got very lost. A nice old man at the gas station told us to follow him and he led us to the village with little restaurants on wooden stilts by the boardwalk. We looked for La Rinconada (which means little corner). It was crowded and the waiter told us we would have to wait for our food. Wait we did. After an hour or so, our food came and it was soooo good. We had the camarones tostones( fried plantain batter shaped into a bowl and filled with shrimps) and carrucho (crab) empanadillas (
very similar to 'Cornish pasties' or the Malaysian curry puffs).



Day 4

Since this was our last day here, we decided to just take it easy and enjoy the beach at the hotel and made our spa appointments.



For lunch, we drove into town for some Chinese food. The menu was all in Spanish and interestingly, the food was really good and pretty authentic.

We ate dinner at the hotel and decided it was ok to splurge a little since this was technically our anniversary. We ordered the shrimp mofongo (made from fried green plantains, seasoned with garlic, olive oil and pork cracklings, then mashed and stuffed with shrimps) and some calamari fritters.




Day 5

We checked out of our hotel real early and made the drive to San Juan. I was nervous about missing our flight because of the traffic but we got into San Juan early enough. In fact, we were too early. So we contributed some money at the casino at the airport.

There was a Puerto Rican walking band playing at the departure hall. Cute.

This trip allowed us to immerse ourselves into a totally different culture and I learnt a lot of Spanish words because everything is in Spanish, even at McDonalds.
The word "Damas" came in real handy because most toilets are locked and you have to ask for the key.
Most Gas stations only accept cash. So you need to tell the cashier (in Spanish) which pump number and the amount of gas you want ($$ in liters)
People are very friendly and generally helpful.

It was a wonderful Anniversary for us both... and a much needed vacation!


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Too many lemons in the fridge

I have atleast 12 lemons leftover from the cleanse. We bought enough for two of us plus I thought I was going to do ten days of cleanse.

So I'm trying to use them up. I know I could just squeeze them all and make a pitcher of lemonade, but nah.. tired of that lemon drink.
Yesterday, I made a baked tuna lemon penne pasta.

Today, its lemon pudding cake baked in a crockpot.
Recipe will be posted here.

I'll give some away to the neighbors and put some lemons in the basket too :)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Master Cleanse - Day Five

I had the weirdest craving today - fried garlic. I wonder what my body is trying to tell me.
My sense of smell has also gotten really sensitive and I would smell french fries a mile away.
But what I miss most is the sensation of chewing food. I am getting tired of just drinking that lemon drink ALL day.
Energy level was great today.

Today, however, will be the last day of this cleanse. I am cutting it short by 5 days because I just found out that we'll be going out to eat for Mother's Day with the family. And it's a sin to not eat at a buffet. Not to mention, agonizing to watch.
In a way, I feel relieved and happy, and I just can't wait to eat this, this, this and this. But I'm also feeling disappointed for not getting the full results of the detox. Maybe next time.

Tomorrow, I'll start to break the cleanse by drinking a glass of orange juice in the morning and clear vegetable broth for lunch/dinner. No solid foods yet. The next day, it'll be vegetable broth again, and maybe some celery & tomato juice. And one small piece of watermelon.
According to the message board, it'll take a few days for your body to adjust fully to eating normal foods, and I want to give myself a head start so that I'll be able to enjoy some food at the buffet this Sunday.

So far, I've lost 5 lbs but I'm sure I'll put it all back again (or maybe more) because I'm just dying for a bucket of KFC drumsticks!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Master Cleanse - Day Four

My energy level is the highest in the mornings, which is really rare for me because I am in no way a morning person. So I find this change quite intriguing.

This afternoon, I just started coughing for no reason for a good 30 seconds and it stopped just like that. And I had to blow the mucus out of my nose. I told myself that I'm just detoxing.

Today, I decided to test my strength and perseverance by cooking dinner for the husband. I actually miss stirring over the stove and throwing stuff into a pot. So I made some penne with shrimp + ham in sundried tomato alfredo sauce. It was hard not to try and lick the spoon or eat the crumbs off the chopping board. But I survived that ordeal. Ofcourse I made sure I drank a whole glass of that lemon drink before I started cooking.

I'm going to try and make good use of the time I spend instead of eating and thinking about food to do something useful. So I'm reading the manual for the sewing machine that just arrived. And maybe try out something new. WhoopTDoo!

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Master Cleanse - Day Three

The annoying headache finally went away this morning. Strangely, I had to go to the bathroom even before the salt water flush. (Readers, you can just skip to the next paragraph. Am noting this for personal future reference) I guess my body started its detoxification process coz what came out was mucus-like and yellow. No stools.

Salt water flush was easier today.

I wasn't hungry at all like the past two days. But I made the mistake of going too long between the lemon drink because of a one hour meeting this afternoon and felt really hungry and a little nauseous. But the lemon drink fixed that. So it's best to drink that lemon drink every 20-30 minutes so the hunger pangs won't get you.

And a spoonful of that maple syrup will really help to boost your energy level. I hope I won't get addicted to it.

Note : the lemon drink tastes better if you put it in the fridge.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Master Cleanse - Day Two

Getting up early on weekends has always been difficult. But today, I got up early and felt energized although I was woken up twice in the middle of the night with a blocked and bloody nose, which has been a norm for me for the past 2 months or so. Another reason I am doing this cleanse.

Did the Salt Water flush and stayed in the bathroom for 50 minutes!!!
I felt really hungry after that and drank my lemon drink in one long gulp. Not advisable as the tartness of the lemon tickles your throat and got me choking and snorting lemon up my nose.

While my energy level was still high, I took the opportunity to scrub the bathroom and do laundry.

Anyways, today has been tougher for me because Jason decided to quit last night and since then, I have been fighting off temptation. The house is constantly filled with tantalizing aromas of every darn thing that I am not supposed to eat. But I can only hope this will make me even stronger. Right now, I am craving for a fried egg so bad.

I havent had the need to stay close to the bathroom so that's good. Went to Walmart and stopped by to look at the Model home in our neighborhood. I'll put the floorplans under my pillow so we can dream of our dreamhouse :)

We spent the evening with the in-laws and Summer, the latest addition to the family, kept me occupied while everyone else had dinner. She's a sweetheart. I miss having a dog.

Now, I'm trying to fight off a headache so I'll call it a night. Energy level has dropped to zero.

The Chronicles of the Master Cleanse - Day 1

I had a few errands to run this morning and I was afraid the Salt Water Flush would make me be toilet-ridden. So I did all those errands first (a trip to the Post-Office, fed the neighbor's cats) and came home to prepare myself for the flush.

The Salt Water drink wasn't as bad as I thought. I've read about the horrible after-effects that could happen to you after drinking this. So I made sure I measured the salt and water correctly. And waited for my body to tell me that it's "time". It took about 15 minutes and I had to run to the toilet. And sat in there for atleast 30 minutes which felt like forever. Salt water came out. Lots of it. Next time, I'm bringing a book with me.
My tummy made weird sounds I've never heard before. Like the sound of ripping a packing tape.

Then I made the lemon drink. Love it!

I'm feeling hungry all the time. And am drinking that lemon drink constantly.
Also made one glass of peppermint tea.

Even feeding Trouble those cat treats was a challenge. I had to talk myself out of putting the cat treat in my mouth. Yes, I was that hungry.

The day seemed to go by sooo slowly. Funny how much time in our daily lives actually revolves around food. Now that we're not cooking nor eating, we have so much time in our hands.


Side note :
The husband surprised me by volunteering to do this with me. I know it's going to be a whole lot tougher on him. He said he might quit after Day 3 but it's looking like he'll quit tonight. So we'll see. But I am feeling really proud of him to even want to give this a try!

Embarking on the Master Cleanse journey

I've been thinking of doing this for some months now. But could never commit to it or find the right time to do it because there was always some thing going on. Today is the day I will say goodbye to solid food for the next 10 days. Just the thought of it makes me want to cry. Because I love food. And I love watching the Food Network.

So why, pray tell am I doing this?
For several personal reasons. It's a personal challenge. Sometimes, your body just tells you "Ok, it's time to flush out those toxins". Emotionally, mentally, physically. Toxins caused by stress of whether I will ever conceive, negativity, putting up with all that crap at work, allergies, anxiety of whether I will ever sell any of my wares on my website. (Incidently, I've sold 4 scrubbies within the last two weeks :)), frustrations, feeling grumpy for no reason and lack of exercise. It is also about renewing and soul-searching and overcoming mental blocks.

I'm going to record my progress here to keep me accountable and also for future reference incase I have this insane idea of wanting to do this again.

Basically, my day will start out with the salt water flush which is made from 1 quart (4 cups) of water with 2 teaspoons of uniodized sea salt. (Very important to get uniodized and not iodize sea salt).

Throughout the day, I will be drinking 6 - 12 8 oz glass of this lemonade drink :
8oz water
2 tbs fresh squeezed lemon juice (organic lemons if possible)
2 tbs grade B organic maple syrup
1/10 tsp cayenne pepper

And the occasional peppermint tea.

Optional : 1 glass of herbal laxative tea at night.
I've decided not to do this as I think the salt water flush in the morning is sufficient (or torture enough).

Also, try to use natural spring water if possible.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Partied all afternoon

Jason's boss hosted a party at her newly built home this afternoon. She lives way out in the country, and almost everyone got lost heading there. Saw lots of horses and cows and goats on our way.
They built the house themselves. Huge and rustic. Feels like a vacation home.


There was NC Bar-B-Que and everyone brought a dish. Loads of food, drinks and homemade ice cream. Jason wanted to bring a portable grill and we skewered some Char Siu and Satay which we had marinated for a week.

Kristy also brought a game which was quite fun. Looks easier that it actually is. The goal is to get the bean bag into the hole.
My teammate and I won the game by one point. Yayy!


Then, Barry and Todd had a jam session with the drums and guitar. Very Cool.
Funny how a laid back party can wear you out. I'm ready for bed. Tomorrow, I am embarking on an internal cleansing ritual. If I am alive after 10 days, I'll blog about it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Machine cometh

I've been desiring a sewing machine for some months now. Not that I can sew much of anything really, but it's hard to explain. It's a desire of wanting to sew something, to create something that will blow my mind. Heck, it can even be a pillow case for all I care.
There is an old antique Singer machine in a closet here. It is one solid heavy dependable dude. I've made some needle cases from it, but you know.. it is antique and has its limitations and God do I hate the word Antique! (shudder)
As I do not have a permanent space for it, I have to carry that monster out each time I use it. I was initially sewing on the floor (don't ask me how), and then thankfully, the husband got me a hobby table with wheels for Christmas so that I can move said table out whenever I want to make something, but man, that heavy machine is a beast to carry around. I'll also be standing while I sew. Not comfortable but I ain't complaining.

So the hunt for a sewing machine began a couple of months back. I've been browsing and reading reviews and trying to figure out what I want.
And at the same time, trying to talk myself out from wanting a sewing machine. But the desire turned into an itch that would not go away.

Last Saturday, I saw an ad. for a one-day sale for a Commercial Grade Singer sewing machine. I went to check it out and there was a sales person who could answer all my amateur questions and also do a demo. Nice. But I wasn't willing to pay $399. I needed time to think. And I had 3 hours to do all that thinking and go back to the store before 5pm to get the machine if I decide to.
So I jotted down the model number and went home and spent the next 2 hours on the internet researching.
I read lots of pros and cons. Some people like it, some people don't. So I have to go with my gut feeling.
I found 5 dealers on the internet. As this was a Commercial grade one, they don't list the price so I called each one of them. And lo!!!.. All of them quoted me a price much lower than $399!!!
I finally found one who was willing to throw in a free cutter and who was also willing to give me a discount on a darning foot to do free-hand embroidery. My total came out to $259. (free shipping and no tax). (Thank God for tax rebates)

Happy. (and tap dancing)

Machine is on the way and should arrive this week.

Can't wait! (More tap dancing)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Some people make me sigh

Dear Person standing infront of me at the check out counter,

If it is your first time using a credit card, please try and read the instructions on the pad instead of pressing ALL the buttons at the same time.
And if you keep pressing "NO" when the machine asks you "Is this amount correct?" then you deserve to be hit by a meteor. Because (duh!) you have to start ALL over again and the five people standing behind you will start shooting daggers into your dodo head.

Thank you!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Should I take the hose out and spray water on them?

The neighbor who lives adjacent to us have three kids who play outside all the time. ALL. the. time.
Occasionally, they'll be playing in our front yard, which I don't really care.
But when they ring our doorbell five times a day, I care.
And I don't mean just ring once and run. They go ' ding dong ding dong ding dong ding dong ding dong, ding ding ding diiiiing' NON-STOP!
I get downstairs and they run away and hide.
And they repeat the same thing... five more times.

This started on Monday.
And Wednesday.
I was not at home yesterday so I don't know if they played too.

Today, I decided I had to put a stop to this. Either I go talk to their parents or something. Ugh. But I hate confrontations.

As I was about to get mail, I saw the kids in our yard and the younger one was trying to ask the brother to do something, which I presume was to ring our doorbell. I waited till they were walking towards the house. Then I opened the door. They were startled and started to back-off.

I told them in all seriousness that they should not play or ring our doorbell ever again because nice kids don't do that.

They had a look on their face as if to say "how does she know it was us?"

Let's see if they'll do it again.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A good dose of penicillin

When one's entire body is achy, one's brains get weary and bodily sensory functions get defective. Or atleast that's how mine works when I've spent the weekend digging up dirt, shoveling, raking, putting down plastic sheeting and messing with gravel.

So what happens when my brains don't function?
I eat moldy bread.

Yuck.

Not on purpose ofcourse. I just did not SEE (sensory dysfunction) the mold on the sides of the bread.

Yuck.

Ten minutes after I've swallowed my last bite of toast, the husband says "Did you check your toast? It has mold all over the sides"

Yuck.

And I had an egg sandwich for breakfast too. Yuck.

Getting diarrhea and tummy ache is not a fun way to spend the Monday.
But penicillin comes from mold, yes?

Still.......Yuck.

Monday, April 07, 2008

claypot chicken rice


I haven't had any real meals in awhile. The husband has been under the weather lately (allergies) and wasn't up to eating anything except junk food (fast food, pizzas, biscuits, microwavable meals). Cooking a meal for one person (me) just isn't worth it. But there is only so much junk food a person can take.

So no more junk today. I made some claypot chicken rice (using our wonderful rice cooker).

Recipe posted here.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Another nail

My car has been pulling to the right for some months now. I've been meaning to send it for alignment but haven't had time to look into it. So since it was due for inspection and a service, we took it in today. We usually take our cars to this place just right next door to Jason's office because he can drop it off in the morning and collect it after work.

Turns out it wasn't the alignment that's been causing it to pull to the right. I have a nail in my tire. Last year, around this same time, I had a nail in the same tire too.
Coincidence or jinxed?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The weekend

Saturday was spent over at Jason's parents'. The guys installed and put up a utility shed in the backyard. Pretty neat. We brought two dozen donuts over. Donuts are always a good source of energy and packed with nutrition :) After a couple of donuts, the nephews were running wild. Such fun watching them.

Sunday, James called up and we met up for lunch. He was in town for a race. We met at Tin Tin Buffet and stuffed ourselves. That place is always so good.
Skipped dinner, but had room for ice cream.

Weekends are always too short!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Blowing in the wind

The weather is starting to warm up and I'm looking forward to spring. Sunshine and flowers and warm weather is much needed to drive away the doldrums.

Everyone in my department wanted to go out for lunch today. Some of us rode in my boss' car and she had the top to her convertible down. Despite what you see in movies, your hair will NOT blow in one direction in a convertible. Aside from being unattractive, hair whipping in your face can be painful.
I wonder if there's such thing as a "convertible proof" hairspray. I was also paranoid that a bird would shit on me. Nevertheless, it was a cool ride.

But the Mexican food we had for lunch... well, that wasn't so cool. It's just funny why they even bother putting pictures of each item in their menu. Every dish looked the same. Meat, beans, rice and cheese in one mushy pile.