Friday, October 02, 2009

Things I Learned in North Carolina

A team member posted this in our ACE team forum. It was so funny I had to share with you.

THINGS I LEARNED IN NORTH CAROLINA…

1) A possum is a flat animal that sleeps in the middle of the road.

2) There are 5,000 types of snakes and 4,998 of them live in NC.

3) There are 10,000 types of spiders, and all 10,000 of them live in NC.

4) If it grows, it'll s tick ya. If it crawls, it'll bite cha.

5) "Onced" and "Twiced" are words.

6) It is not a shopping cart, it's a buggy.

7) "Jaw-P?" means, "Did y'all go to the bathroom?"

8) People actually grow and eat okra.

9) "Fixinto" is one word.

10) There is no such thing as lunch. There is only dinner and then there is supper....

11) Iced tea is appropriate for all meals, and you start drinking it when you're two. We do like a little tea with our sugar.

12) Backwards and forwards means, "I know everything' about you."

13) The word "jeet" is actually a phrase meaning, "Did you eat?"

14) You don't have to wear a watch, because it doesn't matter what time it is. You work until you're done or it's too dark to see.

15) You don't PUSH buttons, you MASH em.

16) You measure distance in minutes.

17) You switch from heat to A/C in the same day.

18) All the festivals across the state are named after a fruit, vegetable, grain, insect or animal.

19) You know what a "Dawg" is.

20) You carry jumper cables in your car - for your own car.

21) You only own five spices: salt, pepper, Texas Pete, Tabasco and ketchup.

22) The local papers cover national and international news on one page, but require 6 pages for local gossip and high school football.

23) You think that the first day of deer season is a national holiday.

24) You find 100 degrees "a bit warm."

25) You know all four seasons: Almost summer, summer, still summer, and Christmas.

26) Going to Walmart is a favorite past time known as "goin' Walmartin" or "off to Wally World."

27) You describe the first cool snap (below 70 degrees) as good hog killin' weather.

28) Fried catfish is the other white meat.

29) We don't need no dang Driver's Ed.. If our mama says we can drive, we can drive, dag-nabbit.

30) If you understand these jokes then forward them to your NC friends and those who just wish they were from
The Great State Of North Carolina!!!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Soaps.... lots for soapy goodies coming my way :)

Etsy is such a wonderful community of talented artsy folks. Through Etsy, I discovered handmade soaps and became an addict.
Last week, I participated in a survey at savor.etsy.com. This morning, I checked my email and Savor told me I had won a $100 shopping spree to her fantastic shop. I was godsmacked delirious and was doing the happy dance all day! Thank YOU Savor!

Now, off to add some of her delicious looking soaps into my cart



Sunday, August 16, 2009

Happy 40th Jason!

Jason turns 40 today! Happy Birthday honey!
Since he is not able to have a normal sugar-laden birthday cake anymore (real sugar causes dumping syndrome in gastric-bypass patients), I made him a meatloaf birthday cake :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Strange creatures and mysterious hoodoos

We saw this really weird creature at the dinosaur museum - Royal Tyrrell museum in Drumheller, AB

And the Hoodoos were just amazing.
Hope these natural beauties will remain for many more years video

Canada vacation

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Canada 2009
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox scrapbook

Monday, July 27, 2009

New York, New York

Here's the photos of our recent trip to New York.
Details of the trip has been posted by hubby in his blog.



video

Friday, July 24, 2009

Table numbers

These are the table numbers that I made for Michelle's wedding. It was fun.
We are looking forward to seeing her again and to be a part of her big day and also to see some of Calgary.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Naturally Clean Kitchen

I am excited to be featured amongst other talented fellow Etsians in today's Storque article :
How-To-Tuesday : The Naturally Clean Kitchen

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Charlotte Jazz band plays in Suncity, SC

Please excuse the blurriness of the video. I took this with my regular camera.

video

Friday, May 29, 2009

Please no winning this thing!


At the Matthews Beach Fest, there was this booth selling raffle tickets for this old Mercedes. I mean, seriously ancient old. Jason had one of these (the slightly newer version) some years ago. It made him go broke.

I was looking at something else and next thing I knew, there he was buying a Raffle.


Oh Lord, please don't let him win. You Raffle people, if you're reading this.... PLEASE do NOT pick Jason's name!!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

I have a LOT of brown paper grocery bags. Each time we go to Trader Joes or Aldi, we come home with more brown paper grocery bags. We do have those tote bags that we're supposed to bring with us on our grocery trips but somehow I always forget to put them back in the car after we're done.

So today I decided to turn those brown paper grocery bags into mailing envelopes.

Happy Earth Day everyone!

Monday, April 06, 2009

SoapMaking anyone?

I do not remember when I got addicted to handmade soaps. But I have been a big fan of a few talented handmade soap sellers and spending too much money on those delicious soaps. But hey, atleast it gets used to the very last sliver, and no more SLS!

On Saturday, I attended a SoapMaking party hosted by Tracey and April of the ACE (Amazing Carolina Etsians) team.
We started off making soap balls and scented a batch with lime and coconut and another batch with lemon zest. First, we grated Pure Castile Soap, added some distilled water and rolled them with our hands.
Next we made some body scrub using sea salt, some walnut oil and sunflower oil and essential oils of your choice. No more buying expensive store bought body scrubs with unknown ingredients anymore!

And the moment I have been waiting for was next - making soap from scratch!
After measuring all the ingredients, our gurus don on their safety goggles and rubber gloves and proceeded to add Lye to water. (very important not to do it the other way around or you will cause a volcanic reaction) . Then let the Lye sit in a plastic pitcher in a ventilated area until it drops down to 110F. (it took awhile).

In the meantime, get your fats and oils ready. We used lots of Olive Oil and Coconut butter and some Castor Oil, and melted them in a Stainless Steel stock pot.

When the Lye has reached the right temperature, slowly add the lye-water mixture to the soap pot and blend the Lye and Oils together using a stick blender until "trace" has been reached.

Next, slowly pour the soap mixture into a mold. Wrap the mold in a towel and let it sit in a warm and safe place. The soap mixture will begin to get hot as the saponification process starts.


It will take about 24 hours for the soap to harden enough to take it out of the mold and slice it.
After slicing, set the soap aside to cure. The soap needs to cure for atleast 4 weeks before it is safe enough to use.

Thanks Tracey and April for being such wonderful soap gurus! And to Tracey for letting us invade your kitchen!

And here's some members of the Ace team

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

A day in Asheville - Glassblowing

Two Saturdays ago, we took a daytrip to Asheville to learn how Elise (of www.inthelightglassworks.etsy.com) makes her amazing glass creations. She gave us a tour of her studio and showed us all the work that goes into each one of her items. It was simply amazing to see how a glass ball ornament is neatly cut up and turned into beautiful glass pendants like this or this.

She was also generous enough to let us try making glass ball ornaments. I would have loved to try but I woke up that morning and was a total klutz so I figured it would be safer for everyone if I didn't.

Now if you think glassblowing is easy, it sure ain't!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Being a part of the Natural Grooming Tips

Here I am casually scrolling and browsing and almost fell off my chair when I stumbled upon my Organic Pakucho Makeup Remover pads in this Etsy Article - Handmade Weddings: Natural Grooming Tips from GreenUnion.
I have never been in The Storque before and I am just estatic!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I've been featured!


I've been featured by Fresh Peaches today!
Here is the interview:
http://suchcoolstuff.blogspot.com/2009/03/laksaware.html

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wilmington last week

Most of Jason's friends are turning 40 this year (including Jason himself).
Last week, it was Dave's 40th bash. We drove to Raleigh, and rode with Bert to Wilmington. In Bert's car were also 40 pink flamingoes, a heart, a bear, a smiley face and a cow.
You see, Bert's friend has a Flamingo Express business. They sneak up late at night, place these flamingos in your yard with a sign that may say "Honk! It's John's Birthday!" or something like that. And you wake up the next morning, look at your yard and go "Aarrgh.. these crazy people!!" or you just die laughing.

So, at 1am that night, the three of us were putting these flamingos, a heart, a bear, a smiley face and a cow in Dave's yard. We almost got busted.
We had some time in the afternoon to see the sights in Wilmington. Went downtown to see the ships, the quaint little shops and had a glass of Guinness at the Irish pub.
Then we went back to Dave's and Beka's for the party and we were the last ones to leave.
Jason always has a great time with his High School buddies.

Next morning, we went back to remove the flamingos and headed to Carolina Beach for a few minutes before driving back to Bert's place in Raleigh. Then back to Charlotte.

Monday, March 02, 2009

It's snowing in March!

Big flakes started falling down from the skies around 6.30pm last night. And by 9pm or so, we had a nice good layer of snow to play in. I think we got around 4-6 inches of white snowman material snow.
So Jason and I put on our snow gear and went out to play.

This is Jason's snowman.


And me making a snowangel

This morning, as I was taking my packages out to the mailbox, I slipped and fell on the icy road. Nothing bad. Just bruises and scratches on my knees and palm. I was mentally telling myself not to fall as I was walking down the walkway and the next second, whooosh...splat. Clumsy me.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Where is the Calm ? Part Deux

So after exactly six days since last week's incident, ServiceMasters were finally able to remove the 10 blowers, 2 dehumidifiers and the desiccant machine (the one with the hose that goes up the ceiling). We can finally hear ourselves think again. The noise from all those machines were starting to drive us crazy and making our skin look like prunes because it was so dry.


On Wednesday, the Construction manager came to reassess the restoration needed and will submit a report and breakdown cost to the Insurance company. Once the Insurance company approves the cost and receives our deductible money, they will pay ServiceMasters 50% downpayment before they can commence the restoration work.

So we hope everything will be back to normal within the next 2 -3 weeks. In the meantime, I found a plumber to install the Pressure Release Valve in the sideyard. I hope he shows up tomorrow.

And we need to schedule the tile guy to fix the two broken tiles in the bathroom.
So those are the two costs that we will bear including the deductible for the Insurance company, which works up to what we just received from Uncle Sam last week.
That totally sucks because I was hoping we would have some money from the tax refund to "play" with.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Where is the calm?

We had just come home and realized that the water pressure was suddenly very strong, causing the toilets to "sing" and it would not stop running. So we fixed that and barely 5 minutes later, I heard Jason yelling downstairs that we have an emergency.
I ran down and saw a waterfall coming from the ceiling close to where our fireplace is and soaking the carpets. And then more water gushed down on the dining table and three other spots in the living room. I just blindly grabbed all the pots from the kitchen and a couple of buckets and some old towels and placed them where the water was gushing down, whilst Jason stopped the busted pipe in the Master bathroom upstairs (actually, it was the hose-pipe that hooks up the bathroom faucet that had broke). The bathroom was flooded and it seeped right through to our bedroom soaking the carpets in there too.

We called the County Water & Sewer Dept. and the line was transferred to 911. We guessed all the piping work that they had been doing on the streets outside the neighborhood for the past couple of days caused the sudden increase in our water pressure which busted our pipes.
So anyways, there was nothing they could do to help.

Jason's parents drove over immediately (bless their hearts) and brought the heavy-duty vacuum to suck up all the water and more towels to dry up the floors. We moved furniture around and did whatever we could.

Tomorrow, we'll have to call the Insurance company and we made an appointment with the plumber to come look at the situation.

My heart is still racing and I am paranoid that the ceiling will fall in because the water is still trapped between.
But we're just so thankful that we decided to come home a little earlier tonight. If we had not, we might have lost the whole house, and Trouble might have drowned.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Finding some Malaysians at last

Last month, Jason stumbled upon the Charlotte Asian Potluck Club blog. He asked me to email them. I did and we were invited to join them for their next gathering which was held last Saturday.
We met four other Malaysian couples and another guy from Asheville who came without his wife.

The hostess, Sally and Kumar, made a fabulous spread and everyone else brought a dish or two. All Malaysian dishes. And everything tasted sooo good. It was just great seeing some Malaysian faces again and even better getting to know them all. Everyone was so friendly and easy-going and I felt right at "home". We talked about almost everything under the sun, including teh tarik, milo and the sarongs.

We were formally inducted into their group after getting the thumbs up for our Char Siu pastries. So Jason and I will be hosting the next gathering in Spring. We hope to not disappoint anyone with our culinary skills.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The big layoff week

When I got the call at 8.30 two mornings ago, I thought, Oh no.. so this is it. My company has been going through a very challenging period, so I wasn't too surprised that a bunch of us were laid off.

In a weird way, I am actually relieved. I never felt I belonged there so leaving was easy because there were no feelings of attachment.

I haven't been bored either. And I have never felt so care-free in a long time. Although frugality will play a major role from now on, I think we will be able to manage for awhile.
My only worry right now is whether I will land myself another job before I deplete my bank account.
In the meantime, I'll be watching soap operas, eating bon bons and spending more time on Laksaware. Indeed, this could be a blessing in disguise.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Welcoming in the Year of the Ox

Today is the eve of Chinese New Year. The biggest event of any Chinese New Year's Eve is the reunion dinner every family will have. So not forgetting this tradition, we had a little feast and invited the family over. We were also fortunate to have our friends, Selena and Phillip, over for the weekend.

It is also believed that the color red is commonly worn during Chinese New Year because red will scare away evil spirits and bad fortune. So here we are in red...


Here are other beliefs :

For Good luck

  • Opening windows and/or doors is considered to bring in the good luck of the new year. (It's going to be really cold tonight)
  • Switching on the lights for the night is considered good luck to 'scare away' ghosts and spirits of misfortune that may compromise the luck and fortune of the new year. (maybe the night light counts)
  • Sweets are eaten to ensure the consumer a "sweet" year. (chocolates are sweet. So that counts)
  • It is important to have the house completely clean from top to bottom before New Year's Day for good luck in the coming year. (however, cleaning the house on or after New Year's Day is frowned upon)(Hmm... I tried. But the house is never completely clean, but I can be sure I won't be cleaning tomorrow :))
  • Some believe that what happens on the first day of the new year reflects the rest of the year to come. Chinese people will often gamble at the beginning of the year, hoping to get luck and prosperity. (so I should play poker on Facebook?)
  • Wearing a new pair of slippers that is bought before the new year, because it means to step on the people who gossip about you. (Check. Yes, I am wearing one. So stop gossiping about me you people)
  • The night before the new year, bathe yourself in pomelo leaves and some say that you will be healthy for the rest of the new year. (Would showering in handmade soap that smells like pomelo work?)
Kong Hee Fatt Choy!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Spicing it up

Recently, I discovered our Barkers' Rib Rub and All-purpose spice was in a Treasury. (yayy!)

A customer requested a sugar-free version for her diabetic husband, so we made a batch with splenda instead of sugar. She was very pleased with it. She left us feedback that it works great on fish too. We also sold another sugar-free one to another buyer in Michigan. I guess we need to make more.

I still get a warm fuzzy feeling when our buyers tell us they love what we make.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

My new Toy-ota

In the U.S, the end of the year is the best time to hunt for a car because that's when most dealerships offer incentives and price breaks so that they could meet their year-end budget. We have talked about switching my car for a better one, for various little hypothetical reasons.

While I absolutely love my 2005 Hyundai Elantra because it is versatile, easy to drive, fuel efficient, great A/C, excellent visibility and the right size for little me (plus I can spot it from far away because of its' striking blue color), it does have its' cons.

1) The check-engine light has been coming on for no reason. But it goes off after a few days. We think the gas cap might be the culprit or it may just be dirty gas.
2) Car pulls to the right. Twice it was because of a nail in the tire. But after fixing that, it still does that even after sending it for alignment.
3) Not so fun to drive on road trips because of the noise factor and bumpy suspension.
4) Not practical if we were to have kids/kid.(no Child seat latch)
5) Poor crash rating.
6) Car depreciates fast.

So we went scouting. Honestly, I was hoping I would not find anything so that I can keep my blue thang and not have to put myself through listening to those vultures car salesmen.
We tried the Fords, Toyotas and Hyundais. And narrowed down our choices to the Hyundai Elantra 2008 model (yes I still love the Elantra), Hyundai Tucson, Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4 and Toyota Corolla LE (or the Altis in Malaysia). Although I would love to have a smaller car like the Toyota Matrix but I have to remind myself that I am not single anymore and the Matrix would not allow me to haul luggages, stuff from Lowes or maybe baby strollers one day.

Did more research and more sleepless nights and we were finally down to two - Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Corolla LE. We drove them again and got to keep them for 2 hours. But I still could not make up my mind. (It is not like buying a dress or a pair of shoes)
We managed to get a good price for the Toyota which put it in the same price range as the Elantra that we were looking at. We wanted something that would allow us to make the same monthly payments as our existing Hyundai.

While the Toyota drives a lot smoother and has a great pickup, it did not have all the bells and whistles of the Hyundai.(satellite station, extra compartments, pockets behind the seat, volume control on the steering wheel, blue tooth capability).

But I would like to keep this next car for the next 100 20 years or so. And the Toyota definitely holds its value better and is more fuel efficient. (can go up to 40 mpg).

So the Toyota won.

I had only 10 minutes to say goodbye to my blue thang. And I actually cried. Yes I can get sentimental.
I know I will love the Toyota (I don't even have a name for him yet. What do you call something that is gray and the color of ash? without sounding too depressing) and it will grow on me and I will get used to the gray color.



Farewell my blue thang....