Thursday, January 26, 2006

i'm still alive

We are having wood floors put in the house and everything is in disarray. The computer has been unhooked and unplugged, the couches are in the dining room, my office furniture is in the living room, the dining table is in the kitchen and there are piles and piles of books all over the place.

I finally made the Martha Stewart Meyer Lemon cake this past weekend - I can't post pics yet because I can't find my card reader and the battery in my camera is dead and I can't find the charger. I can't find ANYTHING.

As soon as things are back to normal, I'll post pics of the cake and the new floors. I spent 5 hours making that cake, it turned out pretty good. The cake itself was delicious, as was the frosting but I wouldn't recommend Martha Stewart's lemon curd recipe - it was way too eggy. I prefer Alton Brown's lemon curd, his recipe uses 5 egg yolks, Martha Stewart's recipe? 16 EGG YOLKS.

By the way - I always thought Meyer lemons were some special gourmet lemon.. I went all the way to Whole Foods and spent $8.00 on them and when I tasted them I realized that they're just like those homegrown lemons people give me all the time! What a rip!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


I recently posted a picture of my baby's feet on Flickr and I saw that someone marked it as a "favorite." When I visited this person's Flickr site, I was DISGUSTED. This person obviously had a foot fetish because there were DISGUSTING pictures posted of people and feet. Some pics were harmless, others were not. What's even more gross is that they had a Flickr photo set of children and their feet. I reported them to the Flickr Admins though I don't know what they can do since technically, they're not doing anything wrong.

After that, I made all photos that had to do with my family private (friends and family can view, just send me a note and I'll add you if you're not some sick disgusting pervert). Now I know why a lot of people don't post pictures of themselves or their kids on the internet.

Be careful.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

my favorite ingredient

Whenever I go grocery shopping I always buy buttermilk. At first I only bought it because it's an ingredient in my favorite cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart (though I think this recipe was originally made by the Barefoot Contessa herself because her coconut cupcake recipe is exactly the same minus the coconut). With all the leftover buttermilk, I started looking for and testing recipes that used buttermilk and here are some of my favorites:

Also - I'm going to be making January's cake this Saturday which is a meyer lemon cake with swiss meringue lemon buttercream. It's my niece's first birthday so I have an incentive to "try" and make it look and taste good. I even bought my cake board and cake box from Michael's yesterday, just have to find meyer lemons... I feel a trip to Whole Foods coming on.

Monday, January 16, 2006


My son got his official greeting from the White House last week. I learned about this from Joyce, I wish, I had known about this with my other two kids! Since they also recognize weddings, I told my sister to mail an invitation to the White House too - I saw that you have to wait until "after" the event takes place - probably so they can make sure you actually get married before they send a greeting. (And do a little background check I bet.)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

material girl

I got around to buying the material for my bridesmaid dress and my daughter's flower girl dress. I got green and coral pink silk dupioni for our dresses, my dress will be coral with a green sash, and the top half of my daughter's dress will be green and the bottom coral. I got it from Thai Silks in Los Altos - but they also sell material on their website. The dupioni was about $13 a yard -- my only other choice was to go to Britex in San Francisco, and everyone says that they're way too expensive.

A dressmaker / seamstress is making the dresses for me -- what she charges is about the same if I bought the dresses retail but on the plus side the dress will be custom fit for me and I won't have to get it altered. I always have to get my bridesmaid dresses altered because bridal shops order the biggest size dress for your biggest measurement and in my case, that would be the bust. My seamstress says that even for "normally" proportioned women, bridal shops are notorious for doing this -- apparently this is another way of making money. Once the dresses are done I'll post pictures, she's a really good seamstress, expensive, but worth it because you can tell her work is well tailored -- her dresses don't look like homemade.

Friday, January 13, 2006

your call is important to us... NOT

Ever want to talk to a human? Here's the best cheat sheet EVER. My employer is on this list, and even I didn't know how to get to a live person on our own customer service line!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

note to self...

We saw these wrist reminders at Office Max and my husband laughed at them because he said, "Who the hell would wear those?" Answer? OUR KIDS. My work schedule is irregular - on days I'm stuck on a call or in a meeting and I can't pick up the kids on time, they would go to afterschool daycare. Usually I tell them in the morning whether or not they are going to daycare but my daughter (5 years old in Kindergarten) doesn't always remember and I hate the thought of her being the last one standing outside waiting for her me and I don't show up. That's pretty devastating.

So now I stick these wrist reminders on her that remind her whether or not she's going to daycare that day. She shows them to her teacher every morning as "FYI." Plus my daughter likes them because HELLO, it's an accessory! She actually asked for a matching necklace.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

tea party

I'm sending thank you gifts to my coworkers who covered for me while I was out on maternity leave. One of my coworkers is a tea drinker so I ordered her this ingenuiTEA set from Adagio Teas. It's a teapot that you place on top of your cup or mug then it pours the tea into your cup while filtering the loose tea leaves.

Adagio's website also has a directory of tea rooms in the US at - I LOVE going to tea, something about the dainty sandwiches and teacups. I'm even looking forward to hosting my sister's bridal shower at a tearoom next month.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


I am too lazy to get 2 cents stamps. I actually mailed a card today with 2-37 cents stamps.

The USPS website the very cute "Favorite Children's Book Animals" 39 cents stamps pictured here. I bought 5 books of them. Actually I "pre-ordered" them and I don't know when they're going to ship. The website says that these stamps have an issue date of 1/10/2006 - what does that mean??? Does it mean that the stamps are going to be available as of 1/10/2006? WHO KNOWS. I don't care. They're cute stamps anyway.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

big perm

I got my eyelashes permed yesterday. You may be thinking, "Geez, how lazy do you have to be to take an eyelash curler and squeeze?" But my sister had hers done and offered to take me (and pay) to get my lashes curled so I really didn't have anything to lose. I wish I took a "before" picture but the picture above is my "after" shot. Try to ignore the errant brow hairs that I need to pluck.

I had them done at Bliss Beauty Center in Los Altos - it took about 40 minutes from start to finish. They take these tiny perm rods that sort of look like those cylinder cotton balls that the dentist sticks in your mouth when they pull your teeth out, except that they're tiny, then they "glue" your lashes to the rod. Your eyes are closed during the whole process and after your lashes are glued to the rod, they apply the perming solution. It's just like a real perm because 10 minutes they apply the neutralizer. As you can see, there is one eyelash that didn't get permed, my lashes are super straight and super short (curse of being Asian) so that one lash probably got away.

The perm lasts about two months - but I don't think I'd get them permed again just because I don't even curl my lashes on a daily basis plus my lashes suck. I would be better off wearing fake lashes. If you have long thick lashes, this would look great on you. The perm actually curls your lashes - eyelash curlers crimp or bend your lashes more than curl.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

That thing

I have a coworker who has a thing for cows, we even call her "Moo." I met a customer who had a thing for dragonflies - her office was filled with dragonfly paraphenila. Joyce's thing is bamboo. Giao? Gnomes.

The nice thing about having a thing/theme is that when people know what your thing is they automatically think of you whenever they come across your said thing. Whenever I see a dragonfly, I immediately think of that customer I met 5 years ago (and I haven't seen her since). The other day at Borders, I saw a mini garden gnome that immediately made me think of Giao. Whenever I see bamboo plants or bamboo stationery or anything with bamboo on it, I think of Joyce.

I don't have a "thing." The only thing I can offer is pretty lame. MAGNETS AND MUGS. I buy magnets and mugs whenever I visit a new city or place - or sometimes people get magnets/mugs for me whenever they go anywhere. My magnet collection is pictured above. I actually have a lot more magnets than that but they're either broken or they got kicked under fridge and there is no way in hell that I am going to dig under the fridge to get them. The other magnets I didn't include in the picture - I'm sure you don't care about the Poison Control hotline magnet or for the magnet from the local plumber. If you visit flickr, you can see who and where these magnets came from.

Friday, January 06, 2006


Though I long to be a SAHM, I'm at WAHM. I have a traditional job (not one of those "Stay at home earning $5000 a day after you pay us $10000" type jobs) - but what I do can usually be accomplished via phone or email so that's why my company allows me and others like me to work from home. Plus, they no longer have to lease office space for us so it saves them money. When I tell people that I work from home, the first thing they say is, "You're so lucky! I wish I could work from home!"

Yes, I'm lucky to be able to work from home but it's not as fun and easy as you think. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of working from home:

  • The #1 advantage: commute time. You can wake up, roll out of bed, walk a few feet to the computer and BAM! You're at work!
  • Flexibility. Drop off the kids at school? No problem. Pick them up after school? No problem. Take a nap? No problem.
  • Getting work done. Now this depends on your work ethic, but I get a lot more work done working at home vs. in an office. Why? No one popping in your cubicle every 5 minutes.
  • Invisibility. No need to fake working because no one can see you taking a nap on the couch.


  • Some people don't understand the concept of working at home. You get phone calls from that certain someone (read, HUSBAND) who thinks he can call you during the day so you can look for a receipt, a phone number, or just some random piece of information that he left in a pair of pants sitting in the hamper. The conversation usually starts like this.... "riiiiiiiing" (this is the office line ringing mind you)... "Hey, what are you doing?" "Uh, WORKING." "Hey can you look for (insert random, unimportant issue here)? I think I left it in (my pants, the dresser, the bathroom, the car, the garage, the junk drawer, somewhere in the house)." If I actually worked in an office, I doubt I'd get calls like this.
  • NO HUMAN CONTACT. You guys who get to go out to lunch with coworkers, I envy you. I miss that. I miss the potlucks. Birthday cakes. Candy bowl. Gossiping about the office chick who dresses like a slut (wait, I didn't do that... maybe that means they were talking about me! Those no good gossiping b!%$#-es!)
  • Maintaining the illusion of working in an office without letting customers know you work from home. So picture being on the phone with a customer or on a conference call when in the background is "Diiiiiiiiiiiing-Dong!" Or the home phone ringing and the answering machine going off "We aren't home right now, but....." Or (and I don't have this problem but my other teammates do) "BARK BARK! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRUFF RUFF!"
  • You can't shut work off. Those of you who work in an office can shut your computer off and go home for the day, if something comes up, you usually say, "Eh, I'll deal with it when I get back to the office." Me? It's so easy to shoot off that email at 10 PM on a Saturday night. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten out of bed to take care of something because if I didn't, I wouldn't be able to sleep because I KNOW I can knock it off my list if I just run downstairs to the computer.
  • Flexibility. This is an advantage AND disadvantage. Why? Guess who takes the kids to their dentist appointments, doctor appointments, picks up the kids, drops off the kids... make bank deposits... etc. etc. etc.

I'm very disciplined when it comes to working at home. Contrary to what most people think, the TV is NEVER on during the day and I actually get up at 6 AM every morning to shower, dress, fix my hair and makeup before I work. And I don't take naps during the workday... anymore. HEY, I was pregnant and I took them during my lunch hour!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

La Dolce Vita

I went to Starbucks today and instead of getting my usual tall nonfat Toffee Nut Latte with whip (YES I realize that the whipped cream defeats the purpose of getting nonfat milk but realize this, I get nonfat milk to justify the whipped cream), I tried the new Cinnamon Dolce Latte and it was good! It has a brown sugar cinnamony taste which I like... and it wasn't too sweet. The Caramel Macchiato has been officially bumped from my #2 spot.

My new Starbucks roster is as follows (in order of preference):
1 - Tall nonfat Toffee Nut Latte WITH WHIP
2 - Tall nonfat Cinnamon Dolce Latte WITH WHIP
3 - Tall nonfat Caramel Macchiato
4 - Tall iced nonfat Toffee Nut Latte WITH WHIP (on hot days)
5 - Tall nonfat Chai Tea Latte

My husband's usual is a tall White Chocolate Mocha but you know I suck the whip cream out of that bad boy before I hand it over to him.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Note to self: no young, taut, attractive 20 year old females allowed

I'm looking for a nanny. Just someone to take care of my baby while I work at home - I can't work at home and take care of a baby at the same time -- trust me, I tried and it's not fair to either my baby or work because they both don't get the attention they deserve.

So I started getting emails/calls in response to the Craigslist ad I posted - my first call was from a young whippersnapper of a girl, 20 years old. Latina. I told my husband about the call, his response?

Eyes lit up, grin on face: "20 years old?!? Daaaaaaamn!!!"

Yeah. I am SO not hiring her. I may need to change my specifications to "65+ years old preferred. Sagging bosom a plus."

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Cuss Jar AKA "The Kids' College Fund"

I've been super irritable lately but I couldn't quite place the reasons why. After some deep thought, I've come to the conclusion that it's because:

1. I, like Leslie, go back to work today,
2. I too, like Shotgun Daddy, have been dealing with three kids at home on their Christmas vacation,
3. and I have IBS. Irritated B$#%@ Syndrome.

So today, a certain husband set off a BF in me. Let's just say that snapping at me to hurry up because you assume I'm "playing" on the computer when I'm really making daycare arrangements for my return to work plus IBS don't really mix. In 10 seconds my kids could've made $20 because all the derivatives of the F word came flying out my mouth plus the B, A and S words. On top of that I announced, "And I'm NOT f'ing going to put any f'ing money in the f'ing cuss jar either!"

I said that they COULD'VE made $20 but I have found a loophole. If my cussing is the result of someone else's actions - I shouldn't have to pay.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Resolution #1 Update

After day one, my kids made $14 in Cuss Jar Funds. That's in ONE DAY. They're on track to make $100 a week. It's eye opening when you realize that swear words are part of your everyday language. They got me for $5, and my husband $9. We're really honest about it and we even pony up the dough even when the kids don't hear us cuss.

New Year's Resolution #3

Make use of my cookbook collection.

Inspired by Heidi at 101 cookbooks - I'm aiming to try one new recipe a week from the many cookbooks I've accumulated. I told my family about this resolution and informed them that they WILL eat what I cook or else. There will be no running to buy a Jumbo Jack after dinner... no making late night grilled cheese sandwiches... no bowls of cereal after dinner.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year's Resolution #2

Actually BE the weight that's stated on my driver's license. It's been 10 years and 15 lbs. since I got married and had kids and was at the weight that's on my driver's license. Aah... back in my size 2 days. At one point I was actually a size 0 but I'm not naturally slim (I'm what you call "healthy") and for me to be that skinny it took a LOT of work that I just can't do today when I have three kids to take care of. A lot of work like eating nothing but salad, chicken breasts, tuna and hard boiled eggs and working out 2-3 hours a day for 7 days a week. This was also back when I was single and dating a bodybuilder so I had lots of free time to spend at the gym. Plus I'm married now so I don't have to look good anymore. haha!

I just want to look decent in a bikini. Notice I didn't say "look great" in a bikini - who's kidding who... I gave birth to THREE KIDS. The stretch marks alone disqualify any chance of "look good" much less "look great" in a bikini. And let's not forget the mere fact that my skin had to stretch out to accommodate three babies so I know there's going to be some saggage there.