Again, took advantage of no activities today. We grabbed our bikes and hiked in our backyard (local park near our house). Normally, this place was crowded with tourists or athletes. Since we got there pretty early, we were able to enjoy the view as we hiked. Though this park is so close to home, and we pass by it every day, but we would always find something new every time we come here. We biked to grab lunch and then go home.

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In the afternoon, Mr. Piggy and the boys did some spring cleaning. After clearing out old toys and emptying shelves, they even had a few games of battleship! I enjoy these kind of Sundays.

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It’s been awhile since we went to a baby shower. My sister didn’t want to have one, so we kept it low profile. Coincidentally, my sister-in-law is also expecting! I’ve asked to work on decorations and that’s right up my alley! Here I go…

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1. I cut out baby onesies on card stocks and hung them on strings (attached to the photo frame I had years ago). – $0.

2. Right next to this, I placed a frame asking guests to leave some words of wisdom for the parents, or the new baby. – $0.

3. Since I’m the type who likes to plan ahead, my boys and I have started painting the letters last week as part of the decorations (and their gifts for their new cousin). $9 (using my 50% coupon at Michael’s)

4. Behind these block letters are diaper boxes. As part of the fun, we asked guests to bring a box of diaper to be entered into a raffle. Again, planning ahead, I’ve asked those who plan to bring a box to drop off at my place instead. With this, I don’t have to get extra boxes. I wrapped them in white paper and painted the block letters (freehand). Note that I only painted the front side. Since I knew I was going to use animals to cover the top, I saved some work there. – $0.

5. Diaper cake – I made this diaper cake using diapers and baby swaddling blankets. Towers were from toilet paper rolls and paper towels. This was very fun and easy to make and attracted much attention to the table. – $16

The decoration costs less than $20 for the whole party ($6 for the flowers). The other items purchased and used were a part of the our gift to the baby which the parents can still use. This is how I like to throw parties.

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We also asked guests to bring a onesie for the baby. The mother gets to decide which one she thinks it’s the cutest!

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Food wasn’t my department at this party, since the hosts decided to order out, including dessert! But, my hands were itching to make cookies. So I did, not too many, a few just for fun. The center cookie was made by my friend, who’s a professional baker!

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Some great news to celebrate! My older niece woke me up last night to tell me her college admission to UCSC. When I woke up this morning, I thought it was a dream. Mr. Piggy reassured me it did happen. I was extremely happy for her. She came a long way, from a lost and emotional teenager to a mature and determined young lady. She buckled down the last two years and focused to get into an university. Though she has a few more she needs to hear from, this is a great kick start to get things rolling. Let’s get started with a seafood feast. Steamed fish has always been her favorite, so no celebration is happening for my niece without her favorite dish.

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Enjoying our simple yet flavorful dinner tonight with chicken steaks, broccoli and king oyster mushrooms. We discussed briefly why so many caucasians, especially kids (we noticed) don’t like broccoli. Dai Bee thinks it’s because they always eat it raw, and he agrees that raw broccoli doesn’t taste good. Or sometimes Ah Lo sees how most people puree broccoli instead of cooking it like this. My simple recipe is really garlic and salt. The boys fight for them until the very last stalk.

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It is a bit unusual with no activities on a Sunday. We took advantage of the “time off” and the beautiful weather to hike at Mt. Tam. We walked around for a good 4 miles and inhaled nature’s beauty at our reach. Of course, we put back the calories burnt swallowing that juicy hamburger. In the afternoon, I had the boys paint the letters which I will be using for a baby shower later on this week. This is a more enjoyable relaxing Sunday.

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As Chinese practice of giving birth, mothers are recommended to go through postpartum seclusion — called zuo yuezi, or, in Mandarin, sitting the month. During this month, mothers heal through food, with heavy chicken stocks, and well balanced meals of poultry, beef and pork. Knowing that one of my older sisters is going to visit my baby sister, who just had a baby, I got up early in the morning to whip up some healthy food suitable for new mothers. Here are some I made a couple of weeks ago.

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Inspired by Soule Mama:

A Friday ritual.

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember – {this moment}.

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Just updated my travels blog on our recent trip to Washington DC.

Enjoy.

Inspired by Soule Mama:

A Friday ritual.

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember – {this moment}.IMG_8424

Question posted by Dai Bee:

“If we call the wife of the President the ‘First Lady,’ how do we address the husband of the female President?”

Does anyone know? It’s a great question. Great that my son can envision the highest ranking position in the country can be potentially held by a woman shows the signs of change. I would never have saw that when growing up. I hope that one day I can live to see a woman president.

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