Sunday, December 30, 2012

Merry Christmas Camera


After all the excitement, the hustling and bustling, singing (for some), cooking and baking, Christmas has finally come and it'll be another year until it comes around again. I am lucky to say that Christmas for me was another great one this year. I've received Christmas gifts that touched me, gifts that I knew took time and effort to make or get. Thank you thank you, thank you. :) 

On the morning of Christmas I recalled what I learned in Primary, a class where the children of my church get together to sing and learn a few weeks ago. The lady explained that we give gifts to each other on Christmas to celebrate how Christ gave us the greatest gift of all, thus being the reason for this holiday. 

It feels so nice to have time off with Chadsen, with no work or school to worry about. Despite the break we've actually been quite busy with gift finding for most of the days before Christmas, and now that Christmas is over we get to really rest. Whew! 

I have always been one who wishes to pursue her interests but never gets around to many of them.  This Christmas Chadsen granted one of my wishes. He gave me a present that opened the gate to something that I had been wanting to try but never thought would be possible for years. He got me a camera! Chadsen purchased various parts of the camera and put them into separate present boxes to surprise me on Christmas day. It meant much more than a lot to me. 

It is so much fun. There is something particular I want to photograph but let me wait to disclose what it is until I get to do it!  

Right now I'm barely learning, but hopefully the I get better and better :) Christmas day was day one with my Canon. I just feel so happy to have a camera!!! :D

Recap of Christmas day. It's really condensed. 

First stop: The Kat's home

Chadsen took this one :) How cute!

My fav dog <33 

Is that cute or cute?

My fav photo of maybe the entire day. Sorry it's blurry.
Can you tell that Puppy is the source of my joy!?
Low-yeh (is that spelled right?), my father in law said to me,
"Let's take a picture of you taking a picture of me!"
Second stop: The Taguchi's family

This is a VERY fun game. Recommend 100%
Thanks Amberie for giving it to Chadsen!

Mom's cheesecakes: bomb.
See you all very soon :) 


Monday, December 17, 2012

Santa Cream Puffs

Yesterday was a wonderful Sunday.
After being spiritually enriched from church, Chadsen & I headed over to my parent's home. We  take turns going to our parents' homes nearly every Sunday. I feel pretty lucky to be able to do that. :)

Upon arriving home, I endeavored to create something that I had envisioned for a few weeks: Santa cream puffs! They turned out much cuter than I thought they would. What a successful feeling I had after about 5 hours of strenuous, sweat-breaking, bone-breaking, tear-gushing work!! Just kidding, it was actually just 500% fun ("and I sweat 5 gallons" - Chadsen).

What was the funnest part? Having everyone take a part in creating this masterpiece :) I really do feel that Christmas is about family. I love mine, and am so grateful for them.

Behold, this is how it went :)

You can see all of the cream puffs that Chadsen recorded on this youtube video.

Mom says it's the ugliest haha! It is, unique. :)

That's my original sketch of what they would look like.
On the next day the food dye had smeared a little bit so the faces looked a little funky as you can imagine haha :O

Eight days until Christmas. More things to create & bake! :) 


Friday, December 14, 2012

What can you and I do?

This blog post doesn't have any cute pics, I promise the next one will have Christmas-y things!

So I'm assuming that most people have heard about the terrible incident that occurred at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. It is such terrible, heartbreaking news. As a counseling intern at two elementary schools, I can't even imagine my students being in a similar situation.

This is a sensitive topic. When talking about this, I don't mean to negate the anguish and pain that so many are feeling in Connecticut, especially those akin to those who died. I am writing this post especially because it is close to Christmastime. My hope to is to touch on this topic with hopes to shine a glimmer of light. Is that ok?

What the perpetrator did was in no way acceptable. As of now about 27 individuals, 20 of them children and one being his own mother, have been killed due to this decision that he made, at the school campus. CNN stated that his mother may have been the primary target. Hearing this, I feel that anger and sadness and all around the country.

Hearing about this tragedy and the other ones that we have been hearing about, I can't help but ask: "What could have been done for him to change this decision and avoid such a massacre? What did he need to be relieved from whatever was going on within him? What can we do to help prevent tragedies such as this one where numbers of innocent lives are taken by the hands of one man?"

Could a hello or a friendly smile helped him? Perhaps a visit with a relative or friend, an encouraging word from an employee, professor, college worker may have helped? Did he need to see someone such as a mental health counselor to help him through his struggles? Even a doctor? Was there somebody whom he couldn't forgive? The questions could go on and on, can't it? Whatever it was, he didn't have it, or receive it, and I wish he did.

At the moment I haven't found information in regards to what was happening to him before this incident happened. Again, what was he struggling with? This prompt leads me to the realization that everybody is struggling with something and most of us will never know what our friends, neighbors, coworkers etc are also fighting to get through. Does that mean we shouldn't try to encourage or help anyone? That's not the point. There is so much that we don't know, but the beauty is that we can do what is in our power to help the world shine brighter. I believe we can, I would like to hope.

I believe many of us will have different answers in regards to the questions that I brought up. That is the beauty of individuality. Even with this tragic event, it is still Christmastime. Knowing the possibility of these events occurring is scary, it may keep you from even leaving your house! Fear is so powerful. Fear of getting hurt, fear of failure, I believe that it keeps us from moving forward.

Sad events like this bring a dark cloud over the Christmas spirit. There is something that I would like to do to help keep the Christmas spirit shining bright, especially in these dark days. Would you like to join me by trying the solution that is on your mind? :)

I am going to try to keep the Christmas spirit by sharing love to those I can reach in my individual way, in hopes to be that little star that those in gloom seek out in the vast dark skies they see above. (corny)


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Snuggling Furries :)

Happy Tuesday! Today is the first official day off work, internship & school (not including the weekend) and I FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL... nuh nuh nununuNUH good.

In celebration here are two pictures of adorable snugglers that I found from AMS blog.

Christmas-ing starts today. :) The only thing we got down so far was the Christmas tree, which Chadsen already posted on fb so I'll hold back from displaying it here. 


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Beginnings

Last Saturday I got to start off the first day of December with a Cal Poly Christmas institute party. It was a fun little get-together. With my current lifestyle being draining, it definitely brightened my spirit :). The pics below the currently half-lit Christmas tree is something we did with whip cream, it was so much fun! 

As of today my fall quarter 2012 is done. YES. I felt literally freed when I realized it after arriving home from work today. 

Now I can start Christmas decorating, activities and baking! So far, the only Christmas-y festivities within the home are two strands of lights above our dining table, a Christmas tree, and half-lit lights. That will hopefully be changing within the next few days. Please expect more Christmas posts soon :)

This is our first Christmas tree together. It's actually our first time having a real tree too. :)
I bought it at the Christmas tree lot where my good friend Stacey works in Chino.

I can't help but just laugh when I see Mimi's face like that. 

Boba on Chadsen.
My chinchillas always brighten up my day no matter what is happening. I'm really so grateful to have them be a part of my life. Thanks to them, I don't feel very lonely when I'm home alone because they're always there either being silly, letting me pet them, or putting a smile on my face because of their immense cuteness.  

Love you chinnies :)


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Step by Step: Simply Scrumptious Banana Pancakes

Today: FOOD blog.

A few weeks ago I called my mom to get her pancake recipe, feeling hungry for pancakes. When she heard my request she reminded me that "You don't like my pancakes, Masumi" (In Japanese of course). So she decided to do what she's been doing often lately when I ask her for her recipe. That is, sending recipes of food that is similar to her food, but not exactly hers. No I don't question her about it since the recipes she sends turn out tasting awesome. :)

So she sent me a Japanese recipe for pancakes. It was the best pancakes I have ever tasted, seriously. I liked it so much that I'm hoping that somebody else will try it out! :)

Simply Scrumptious Banana Pancakes

Mlik: ~175 ml.
Flour: 90-95 grams
Sugar: 30g
Baking Powder: 1 tsp 
One medium egg
One banana
Condensed Milk: As desired

Step 1:
Thoroughly mix the sugar and egg in a bowl.

Step 2:
Add milk in the bowl, and do NOT mix thoroughly. Lightly mix it. 

Step 3:
Use this sifter to add the flour and baking powder.

Step 4:
Scoop your desired amount of pancake mix onto your pan.
After you pour it onto the pan, cut very thin slices of bananas and add them in.
*If you cut the bananas too thick, only the bananas will be cooked well when you flip the pancake over.

Step 5:
After the pancakes are cooked, drizzle condensed milk on top.
This condensed milk matches very well with the banana pancakes! :)

I tried using my bunny & bear shapes! Enjoy :)


Sunday, November 25, 2012

How Your Food can Taste Better from Within

A while back my husband had shown me a discovery that he made about how to better enjoy your food while eating. :O

He told me to try consciously exhaling while chewing my food, and then to try inhaling while still eating. It was crazy. The food tasted better while I was exhaling than while inhaling! Chadsen, being smart explained that "smelling and breathing both have a major factor in determining how good your food tastes. Exhaling seems to engage more of the taste of what you eat." Today I tried this concept again while eating the Creme Brulee from Porto's, and oh how it tasted so delicious, especially when exhaling! (Sounds freaky haha) 

I challenge you to try it, see what happens :)

I realized that I do an overload of pictures per post, so I'll try to cut write more often with less pictures. Sound alright?


Chadsen's first braised dish. Delish!
Beef Chuck: 2 regular steaks
Baby carrots: approximately 1 cup
Onions: 1/2
Salt: As desired (we put ~1/2 Tbsp)
Pepper: few shakes
Cilantro (optional topping)

Begin to braise the beef for about 1 hr.
Cut the onions into cubes
Boil the carrots & onions while the beef is cooking.
After the beef is braised, add it to the boiled vegetables in a plate.
Add salt & pepper
Add cilantro if desired.

This Thanksgiving my side of the family again celebrated by making and eating sushi! (I forgot to take pictures at the delicious Kat family Thanksgiving dinner) X(
Some food was made, some bought.

As strange as eating sushi for Thanksgiving may sound, I found out that we might be pretty close to the origins of Thanksgiving! The historian on this Youtube video stated that the pioneers actually ate a lot of seafood for their Thanksgiving haha!
Hope he's not wrong, but if so feel free to correct me plz :O

My pop & mum

Chicken Karaage

This is the Creme Brulee which had the enhancement of flavor due to exhaling while eating!
(It tasted amazing even without breathing out though :) )
Chadsen's dog.
My favorite dog. I miss him :(

Cute, no?
"Shifu is not impressed." - Chadsen

Mimi's growth is nice but spatially, it is becoming a little problem.