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Considering my last post was on April Fool’s Day last year (and rightly so!), I don’t make promises when it comes to blogging, but I will try my best, which is why I am posting on April Fool’s Day once again. Although I am terrible at updating my blog (proof: I actually typed the majority of this post back in January when the look back was more relevant…), I do update my Instagram quite often, especially with photos of trips to Disneyland and dishes I cook/bake. 😉

So much has happened since my last post. 2013 started out slow, but it ended up picking up enormous speed! Here are some highlights from the latter half of the year:

  • I had finished my MA degree in December 2012, but in May I walked in the commencement ceremony. It was hot, it was long, but it was worth it. I finally felt like I was finished with school!
MA Graduation Day

MA Graduation Day

  • May was also the month my parents started remodeling the kitchen, a process that took over the summer.
Kitchen - Before

Kitchen – Before

  • In June, I flew to WV with my dad for his father’s 93rd birthday. I was there for his 90th and I was so happy to be there once again with him on his special day.
  • In early July, most of my family from Chicago visited. Two of my cousins participated in the Irish Dancing Nationals Competition. It was great to see them and my aunt & uncle. I just really wished my other two cousins could have made the trip with them!
  • July also meant SDCC. This was definitely my busiest Comic Con yet—I barely slept! I even camped outside of Hall H the last night with friends. It was crazy, but it was fun. Will I do that again? Undecided, haha. Here are a couple pictures from the sometime-past-2am visit from Moffat and co., as well as a few pictures I took of my friends’ wonderful Sugar Rush cosplay!
Me, my brothers sweater, and Sue Vertue

Me, my brothers life-saving sweater, and Sue Vertue

A very good Ten with Steven Moffat

A very good Ten with Steven Moffat

 

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  • More family visited after Comic Con. This time TWO families, both from overseas and both from my dad’s side of the family (a reunion of cousins!). Only one of the families stayed with us though. Let me remind you: this was all happening during the kitchen remodel. Again, it was crazy, but fun.
  • At the end of August, I started working at a second job. So, during the day, I teach English at an ESL school, classroom style, and then most evenings I teach English or tutor with one-on-one lessons. This is what had been occupying most of my time for the last seven months.
  • August was also the month when we were finally able to move back into the kitchen, and I LOVE IT. I made good use of it over the holidays and then some! Seriously, my Instagram is flooded with pictures of food I’ve made. 😉
Kitchen - After

Kitchen – After

Kitchen - After, 2

Kitchen – After, #2

  • As for the rest of the year, I celebrated the holidays in the usual fashion with family and friends and enjoyed catching up on sleep and rest during the two week break I got from work from Christmas to New Years.
Thor and Loki - First Christmas

Thor and Loki – First Christmas

  • Now, 2014 has been filled with a lot of work and a lot of baking so far. Looking forward to seeing what else it holds!

And that, in short, is what I have been up to. I don’t have any plans for 2014. I hope to go on a cruise in June and I plan on going to Comic Con again in July. My brother quit is job and is traveling around the world for 6+ months, so I also hope to join him somewhere in the world at some point. Other than these hopes, I have no plans. I’ll just let what happens happen. I hope 2014 brings good things to us all! 🙂

Yours smiling, 

Miss Mo.

P.S. My brother started blog to record all his travel adventures. You should check it out!  —>  http://boust12.wordpress.com/

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Well it has been just over a year since my last entry. A lot of things happened that prevented me from writing—computer issues (had to take it in not once, but three times, before getting it replaced altogether), working on a thesis that turned in to exams (which I passed, so I now have an MA in Asian Studies!), life—so I have been contemplating since January how I wanted to bring my blog back to life.

I decided April Fool’s Day was the best route. If I keep up with regular updates, then that is great. If I don’t, then it is all just a joke.

If I do manage to post more often, you will probably see photo’s my the newest members of my family, Thor & Loki:

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Brotherly Love

We were only going to adopt one kitten, but it would have been cruel to separate these adorable ginger brothers! I love them so much already.

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Nap Time, All the Time

I don’t really have anything else to say because I wasn’t even sure if I would post tonight (lol), so here are a few photo highlights from during my blogging absence:

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Solar Eclipse, May 20, 2012.

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Took a walk along the beach with my mom and her friend. It happened to be during the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach. August 2, 2012.

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Doctor Who Panel at Nerd HQ 2012

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I went to SD Comic Con & Nerd HQ. I especially enjoyed my experiences at Nerd HQ. I was able to ask the Doctor Who cast about Karen & the Babes, which resulted in them singing a bit of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody. A shining moment in my life as a Whovian. 😉

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Here is a fortune I received in a cookie. I really do hope it comes true!

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Curved & Parallel

…hmmmm…

Actually, you know what, this photo-sum-up is going to take too long. If I keep going, it won’t be the first by the time this gets posted, which will destroy my goal of this entry entirely… Go check out my Instagram. You can figure out what have been up to from there~: http://instagram.com/ms_random_mo

[Side note: I really need to invest in a better camera. Hopefully before SD Comic Con this summer… ^ ^]

This really did turn out to be a lazy post. I can only go up from here, right? Hopefully I will write again soon!

Yours smiling,

Miss Mo.

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“Jeepers!”

I didn’t mean to have such a long time pass between my posts, but my laptop broke and it has been in repair for the majority of the month. I finally got it back last week, so I can finally post what I had been planning to post ages ago! Therefore, this entry will revisit the end of January and my quick trip to Florida. I don’t have much to say about February aside from cooking adventures because it has been largely uneventful. I’ll post my kitchen experiments in later posts. 🙂

Also, I ‘apologize’ for the onslaught of pictures in this post–I had such a hard time narrowing them down. Hopefully so many will make up for the fact that I could not write sooner~ 😉

To begin, the flights from California to Florida were probably the worst flight experiences I have ever had, not because of the airline, people, or noise, but because of my ears. Since I was still recovering from my cold, my head was congested. This meant that my ears were still clogged, and it sounded strange when I popped them. I thought it would be okay at first because I felt fine during the take off, but it wasn’t okay.  When the first flight landed in Texas, I felt a terrible pain in my ears, and when the second flight landed in Florida, I could hardly hear anything at all. Everything, including my own voice, was muffled, and it felt as though I was going deaf. I wanted to burst out crying in fear and panic, but stayed as calm as I could. By the next morning, I was able to hear in one ear, but not the other, so when my mom and I headed to the beach with my grandparents sometime after breakfast and experimenting with ear drops in their apartment, we stopped by Walgreens to buy the medicine I needed to clear the congestion in my ears. I never want to fly after a head cold again! Thank you God for drugs and my ability to hear! ^ ^

Aside from my hearing drama, I had a fabulous time with my grandparents, but the trip was far too short! I was thinking about it while on the plane and realized that it had been almost three years since I had last seen my grandparents, far too long of a time. My mom and I only had two full days to spend with them, so we made the most of them!

On the first day, after picking up the medicine, we drove to Stuart Beach. My grandpa and I walked along the beach while my mom sat with my grandma, who can’t walk on sand anymore because of an ankle injury she got a while back. While we were walking, my grandpa collected shells to share with my grandma since she can’t see them for herself anymore. So sweet!

Stuart Beach on January 18, 2012. The yellow and purple flags were out, indicating "Caution" and "Sea Pests."

Afterwards, we went to Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center. It’s a great facility. We fed string rays, which was fun and one of the strangest feelings! The center also had a Game Fish Lagoon exhibit, where was watched the afternoon feeding. Then, we were lucky to catch one of the employees working with the sea turtles. She chatted with us about two of them, Hank and Turt, while feeding them and training them. The place also has nature trails in the surrounding land, so we walking along one of them before leaving.

Feeding Sting Rays. Ignore the crazy look in my eyes: it's the result of telling my mom to hurry up and take the photo, trying to resist looking back in the water, and Duane syndrome. ^ ^

Hank and Turt and the Race for Food

We spent the second day mostly relaxing. I say “mostly” because there was a bit of time spent helping my grandpa figure out who to set up their new internet service (only to realize there was a part that needed to be mailed to my grandparents) and looking for one of my grandma’s hearing aides (which was never found). The rest of the time my grandma showed me the antiques she’s collected over the years, telling me where and why she got them (and which ones she is planning to give to me one day! :D), while my grandpa shared some stories about the time he spent in the navy. It was all wonderful to hear learn. At night, my mom took us all out to dinner and used sneaky methods to pay the bill before my grandpa could. 😉

My mom got an iPad for Christmas that she brought with us to Florida. I then showed my grandparents how you could take photos on it. I don't think they understood seeing as I'm the only one looking at the camera...and I was taking the photo! lol

A memory my grandma wrote down to have put in the Community's weekly newsletter.

One of the coins from my grandparents' coin collection, of which I am envious!

When my grandparents moved into the retirement community, they brought with them some statues and hid a few on the property. This is one of them.

All in all, it was a wonderful trip and I really wish I could have stayed longer. Hopefully it won’t be too long before I have the chance to visit them again!

 

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading about and looking at pictures from my short trip to Florida. Be forewarned: my next few entries will most likely all be cooking oriented because that’s all I’ve really had time for in February outside of school.

 

Yours smiling,

Miss Mo.

 

P.S. The title comes from that fact that my grandma exclaimed “(Oh) Jeepers!” three to four times during my visit. I love her. 🙂

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I am very surprised that I am writing on here today. I didn’t think I would be able to write an entry this week because I literally spent the past five days in bed. I haven’t even left the house since Monday night!

I kept wondering, “What can I write besides ‘I hate being sick.” Then, as my ability to think straight and to concentrate on one thing for an extended period of time started to return to me yesterday, I remembered that I did do something of note before this cold attacked me! And what will result is a little post about the past meeting the present…sort of.

 

Last weekend, a very good friend of mine from high school informed me that she was going to be in town for a few days with a friend of hers. We don’t get to see each other often anymore, so I eagerly cleared my Sunday in anticipation for her spending the day with her and her friend. We spent a couple hours catching up and reminiscing about things that happened in high school before heading over to a local park to watch the sunset. The view is great: the part of the park where we were is on top of a hill, so it overlooks the neighboring city and from certain areas, you can get a lovely view of the ocean in the distance as well. Here are a few of the pictures that I took:

Sunset

Moon Rising

After Sunset

The last of is by far my favorite. I love the colors of the sky, especially the blue gradient, how the sparse landscape accentuates the silhouette of the tree, and the singular star that was visible at the time.

I also liked the picture because it reminded me of a Harry & the Potters poster I bought in 2006 when I saw the band perform at a local library on my birthday. (Who wouldn’t want to see Harry & the Potters, the band that started the music genre of Wizard Rock, perform at a library on his/her birthday?! I am so cool! 😀 lol)

Unfortunately, the poster is lost somewhere in my room, and I am still too sick to care to find it at the moment. Luckily, I was able to find some photos I took of it. However, they weren’t the best: the pictures were crooked; the lighting is different in each of them, so the colors don’t quite match; and I only focused on the parts of the poster where the brothers signed, so I am missing the top part of the poster (basically, the tops of the trees). But, despite these issues, I stitched the two photos together, and here is the result:

Harry & the Potters 2006 Summer Tour Poster

I probably could have done a better job, such as trying to make the colors match before stitching the two photos together, but I’m sick. Pretty good excuse if you ask me. 😉 Nevertheless, I am sure you can see why the poster reminded me of my picture at the park.

 

Well, that is all for this week. Not much, but it will do. I am sad I was unable to try a new recipe or two out this week, but I banished myself from the kitchen because I was either a) too miserable to cook and/or b) too afraid of contaminating everything I touch with my germs. No progress on the writing front either: as I mentioned before, my concentration was shot because of my cold. C’est la vie~~~

Although I am on my way back to 100% now, the chances of me updating next week are very slim because I am going to Florida with my mom to visit my grandparents.

Not sure when it will be, but…until next time!

 

Yours smiling (& sneezing & sniffling),

Miss Mo.

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New Year, New Chances?

The first week of 2012 is officially ending in about an hour (it’s 10:45pm on Saturday, January 7th now, but it will probably be past midnight and technically the start of a new week by the time I post this). I haven’t really given too much thought into resolutions because I know I will have a hard time keeping them. I always do. ^ ^ But!, I have a pretty legitimate excuse, which is two-thirds the reason why I haven’t written on here in months: I am currently researching for and writing my thesis for my MA in Asian Studies. I knew it would be time consuming, but I don’t think I realized just how time consuming it would be until I had started! (The last third is because I was in Europe for 5 weeks without reliable computer access over the summer and then I was depressed because I had to have my cat of 16 years, Coco, put down the day after my birthday, which was about 5 days after returning home from Europe… R.I.P. <3)

 

While I am not stressing out over my thesis, there are a few resolutions I hope to keep up with & a few that might just be a dream. Here they are: 

  • Write more often (creatively)
  • Cook more often (though sweets are on hold for a bit because apparently I made too many over the holidays, according to my mom). I am already doing good on this one—I have tried two new recipes this past week: eggnog pudding & a makeshift ‘Mexican’ bean salad based on what was in the refrigerator and pantry: 

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Eggnog Pudding

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Mexican Bean Salad

  • Write a blog entry a week, with the exception of being on vacation because internet access may not be guaranteed (e.g. when I go to Florida in 10 days)
  • Write a novel before my next birthday, which is about 6.5 months or so from now
  • Sing more often and maybe put some videos online, even if it’s only for family & friends
  • Figure out a way to (get money to) go to Japan to do some original research for my thesis
  • Live a healthier life (e.g. drink more water, eat smaller portions, exercise more often, etc.)

Yep. Not sure how those will go, but I will try my best!

 

To end this week one post, here are some photos of some of the sweet things I cooked in 2011 (I tried picking pictures of the savory dishes as well, but the sweets pictures were nicer & concentrating on one helped the process of narrowing down the pictures~ lol) & a photo in memoriam of Coco: 

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Mini Cheesecakes with Peanut Butter Cup Center & Chocolate Shavings

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Microwaveable Orange-Scented Sponge Cake with Chocolate & Raspberry Sauces

 

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Stained Glass Window Cookies

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Mini Cranberry & Cream Cheese Pastries

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I tried quite a few Cake-In-A-Mug/Mug Cake variations in 2011. This one is a gingerbread cake.

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For Christmas, my mom taught me how to make Bûche de Noël.

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Peppermint Meringue Kisses with a Chocolate Surprise

And finally, 

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Coco, 1995 - 2011. I was so lucky to have you in my life. I miss you & love you & think of you all the time. R.I.P. ❤

 

Hopefully 2012 will be full of great new experiences & memories! 

 

Yours smiling, 

Miss Mo.

 

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Coco & I

 

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First: Of Friends.

Recently, two very good friends of mine have celebrated their 25th, or quarter-of-a-century, birthdays.

Sometimes it feels like it wasn’t too long ago that I was passing the days in high school with them.  Now, we are working/in graduate school/still trying to figure things out.

When did the time pass by?

The most important thing, though, is that I am happy to have them in my life and glad to celebrate with them.

My friend Miss Elisa received some of the coolest presents at her party, such as this mug and pair of sunglasses:

Fancy Sunglasses & Mustache Mug

I really want a mustache mug now, but one for lefties. This one is a right-handed mug. How can I tell? If I tried to drink from it with my left hand, the mustache wouldn’t be facing outwards as it is supposed to. Where’s the fun in that?

For my friend Monika’s party, I arrived early in case she needed help setting up. This resulted in a determination to make a beautiful toothpick arrangement for the chocolate fountain. I was quite proud of the result, and told people so, which is probably why no one wanted to mess it up. Instead they just used their fingers. Oh well. ^ ^

Toothpick Arrangement

And then I moved onto organizing the cookies I brought…

Cookie Arrangement

It’s things like this that demonstrate my hostess prep skill as well as why I get so stressed before hosting an event of my own..! lol

OH!, and my friend Kristina made flaming cupcakes for the party. I’ll have to try that sometime—I’ll add it to my mental “Recipes to Test” file.

Flaming Cupcake!

I made her promise to make Panda Bread with me sometime in the near future. When that happen, I will definitely post photos of the result! 😉

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Second: Of Mothers.

Just sending out a “Happy Mother’s Day” message out there to all mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and mother figures.

I appreciate my mom for all that she has done for me and love her for it even more.

Thank you for everything. I love you. ♥

Me & My Mom, circa 2 years of age.

Yours smiling,

Miss Mo.

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A New Beginning…

I guess it is said that spring is a time for new beginnings. Today is also the beginning of a new month. So, I thought, why not start a new blog!

I’m not sure what will come out of this blog, and I will try my best to update it often, but for today I will just post a couple pictures I have taken recently to pay homage to the season.

Enjoy.

Yours smiling,

Miss Mo.

Pink Blossoms in April

Yellow Blossom in Spring

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