A New Addition to the Family


Yep, I am going to completely blame this un-intentional hiatus on the fact that in the past few months we’ve not only fostered and re-habilitated a tortie from the streets of Baltimore but adopted another cat of our own.

After losing Leopold, we were paired with a skittish declawed tortiseshell named Cindy Lou Who. We taught her to trust humans again and she regained her confidence; in return she helped our hearts heal and filled some of the emptiness losing Leo left. After 3 months we met with a family that was interested in adopting her and the next day she went to her forever home. On the day we transferred CiCi (as we affectionately called her) to her new family, we picked up Rémy (formerly Patrick) from the cat shelter. In truth, we had been courting him and visited him several times in the weeks leading up to his formal adoption.

As you can see, Rémy loves being the center of attention, which can make being on the computer difficult at times (he’s still learning what “Work from Home” means). As he continues to settle in and gets into his routines, I’ll return back to mine ^_^

Remembering Leopold


Leopold passed away this morning.

He chose us at a local pet shelter and we fell in love immediately. Over my birthday dinner we decided we would adopt him permanently. He was our first pet and he was in our lives a little over 5 years.

Through the few short years we had with him he touched everyone’s heart. He was the sweetest boy that would want to be around you no matter what room you were in. He loved head butts, chin scratches, and ear rubbings. He would do almost anything for some lunch meat and would love to watch us in the kitchen while on the dining room table. He loved exploring his kingdom, whether inspecting the hallway, patrolling for unsanctioned closed doors, running throughout the place and growling, or finding new spots to sleep and claim his own.

I am glad he is no longer in pain but I will miss his morning wake-up cuddles, his meows hurrying us to feed him, and relaxing with him on the balcony and watching the world go by. Thank you for letting us adopt you Leopold. There will be a hole in our hearts and home forever.

Green Velvet Graduation Cupcakes


Graduating college is a big deal! It’s tradition for me to make cupcakes or cookies for my sister’s graduation (high school, associates degree, undergraduate, and soon to be graduate!). Her schools colors are green and yellow so I opted for a “green velvet” cake and my tried and true cream cheese frosting.

Velvet cakes, I’ve found, are actually a pretty good crowd pleaser. It’s not a vanilla cake, and not quite chocolate. And these were even more awesome because I made some edible graduation caps to go on top. I was inspired by this post and used colored candy melts with my brownie bite pan and candy cup mold. And yes, I sorted out all the green colored mini M&Ms and cut the green out of strips of rainbow sour belt, but I was determined to have a super cute graduation cap and tassle!

The cupcakes were a hit and we surprised my sister at an end of the year Girl Scout event with a mini party in our hotel room.

Char Siu Chow Fun 叉燒河粉

Today is the Lunar New Year and marks the beginning of the year of the Horse (my mother and sister are both horses!).

Every year my family gathers at my paternal Grandmother’s house to eat a delicious new year’s feast. The new year menu always kicks off with multiple roast ducks, chop suey-style vegetables, rice, sin choy,  roast pork, duck liver potato stuffing, chow fun, all followed by guava chiffon pie. This year my grandmother was thinking about not making chow fun since the noodles are hard to procure where she lives. The thought of a new year celebration without chow fun kicked my butt into gear and I set about testing some chow fun recipes.


This recipe is a result of a few different recipes that I tried out, including Viet World KitchenHawaii’s Best Local Dishes by Jean Watanabe HeeClara Tom’s Old Fashioned Method of Cantonese Chinese Cooking, and 50th Anniversary Best of Our Favorite Recipes 1946-1996 (Maui Cookbook). With, of course, some suggestions from my dad.

I found the noodles in the refrigerated section of my local Chinese supermarket, Great Wall. The noodles I prefer are made by China Boy in Washington, DC. Usually the noodles are steamed or baked for a little to help loosen them up, but I found I didn’t need to do this and it was quite easy to separate them when I got the hang of it.

I am the most happy with the version pictured above. Since I made so many versions during recipe testing, I’m hesitant to provide exact measurements on the sauce. It’s really up to you and your preference on spiciness, saltiness, and oil content. This is a lot less greasy than when I order it out in restaurants, which means it’s easier to enjoy a larger portion.

Changes in 2014 & Giveaways!

20142014 has been a busy year already and it is only going to get busier!

This year we are already have on the plate:

  • January – Getting our first mortgage & becoming homeowners
  • February – Moving in to our first home!
  • September – Celebrating our 10-year anniversary & getting married
  • October – Honeymoon to West Coast & Hawai’i
In addition to those items, I’d like to add a couple more to the list. Instead of making specific New Year’s resolutions, I’d like to make a change in lifestyle with the mantra “Active & Aware“. To me, this means:
  • Be aware of what is in my diet. Decrease meat intake and consume less processed foods. This will be a lot easier since I got a NINJA prep/blender for Christmas!
  • Actively “vote with my wallet”. Support local businesses more and be aware of what I’m spending money on. Quality over quantity. This applies to food, drink, clothes, and furniture.
  • Be aware of what I have in my life. Emotionally & Physically. Keep existing relationships active & appreciated (I’m horrible at keeping in touch with friends & relatives!). De-clutter. If I have something, use it. If I’m not going to use it, get rid of it.

To celebrate the new year, I’m having a double giveaway! I’ll give 1 prize to Facebook followers and 1 prize to blog comments.

Prize – Tea Lover


Lots of different types of tea in loose leaf form or bags. If you prefer tea bags, a pack of empty tea bags are included as well. Teas include: Stash, Harney & Sons, Trader Joe’s, Twinnings, Numi, DavidsTea, and local company Spice & Tea Exchange.

Prize – Milk Chocolate Stash


Godiva treats including milk chocolate covered pretzels, cocoa, graham crackers, and caramels.

Enter the giveaway below:
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