Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Tuesday thought

Lego. My son loves, he builds all sorts of things-- cars, towers, 'mission control center', space ship etc etc. We keep pieces in big bins. But some of his 'works' are like pieces of art, I find myself not wanting to dismantle them and keep them as 'art'..




Look at this log head container, you can stack one on top of the other.I feel bad I passed up on this in a HK toystore... maybe next time...


Monday, January 30, 2012

A Weekend Host.

*DIY bug belt =)
Friends from NY are visiting.. took them to my 2nd fav(#1fave -Cirkulo wink**) restaurant Antonio's..
































last friday night... the girls over  coffee..=)
and just like that........Hello Monday!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Almost Friday!


Hello Friday I see youuuuu....
image pinterest

During my HS years we took up 4 of Shakespeare's works..
year 1 : Julius Caesar
                  year2 : The Merchant of Venice
year 3 : Macbeth
year 4 : Hamlet
--its can be torture for a kid...all those speeches, scenes , soliloquies....sighhhh

but did you know........

=)
tomorrow my HS friends and I are meeting for drinks! cheers!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Last weekend!!!/Cali.dreams

The long week end that passed truly deserves 3 exclamation points!!!
We hit the beach and got back right on time for much awaited Katy Perry concert!





Monday...holiday, concert day!
I really couldn't tell who had more fun... my daughter and nieces or ME!? The kids could name each and every song in one note!
TYVM Katy--- 'you make me feel like I'm living a teenage dream'!!!!!

Oh! and Kung Hei Fat Choi, hello dragon!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy Weekend!



We will be heading out south for some sun /swim and mojitos!
Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Spotted and Hearted!

 According to 2012 fashion forecast Tangerine will be the summer color...
Lemme start from here...
Spotted and hearted =)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Last Weekend.

The weekend was activity filled....


 Bread Making...
A date night at Brasserie Cicou.. That Casoulet was delish!

Recipe: Toulouse-Style Cassoulet

  • MAKE-AHEAD

INGREDIENTS

  1. 2 fresh ham hocks
  2. 1 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  3. 6 ounces fresh pork skin with 1/4 inch of fat attached
  4. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  5. 2 pounds dried Tarbais or cannellini beans, picked over and rinsed
  6. 2 ounces salt pork, skin removed
  7. 1/3 cup duck fat (see Note)
  8. 3 small carrots, thinly sliced
  9. 2 medium onions, diced
  10. One 5-ounce piece of pancetta
  11. One 5-ounce piece of prosciutto
  12. 1 head of garlic, unpeeled, plus 4 small garlic cloves, peeled
  13. 1 large plum tomato, chopped
  14. 2 quarts plus two cups chicken broth
  15. Bouquet garni: 4 parsley sprigs, 3 small celery ribs, 2 thyme sprigs and 1 bay leaf, tied with string
  16. 6 duck confit legs (see Note)
  17. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  18. 1 pound French-style fresh pork sausages, such assaucisses de Toulouse, pricked with a fork
  19. 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
  1. Put the ham hocks, pork shoulder cubes and skin in a large dish; season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In a bowl, cover the beans with 3 inches of water and soak overnight.
  2. The next day, in a medium saucepan, cover the salt pork and the seasoned skin with water. Bring to a boil, then simmer over moderate heat until the skin is supple, about 30 minutes. Drain and cool. Refrigerate the salt pork. Cut the pork skin into 5 long pieces, roll each piece into a bundle and tie with string.
  3. Dry the ham hocks and pork shoulder cubes with a paper towel. In a very large, enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the duck fat. Add half of the pork cubes and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned all over; transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining pork cubes. Add the ham hocks to the casserole and brown them lightly. Add the carrots and onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden, about 7 minutes. Add the pancetta and brown it lightly. Add the prosciutto, the head of garlic and the tomato and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 2 quarts of the broth, the bouquet garni, pork skin bundles and the browned pork and its juices and bring to a boil. Cover the casserole and gently simmer the ragout over low heat for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Drain the beans. In a large saucepan, cover the beans with water and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Simmer the beans for 3 minutes, then drain. Add the beans to the ragout and simmer until the beans are just tender, about 2 hours. Let the ragout cool, then refrigerate overnight.
  5. Remove as much of the solidified fat as you can from the surface of the ragout; reserve 1/4 cup of the fat. Let the ragout return to room temperature. Pick out the ham hocks, pancetta and prosciutto. Cut the meats into bite-size pieces; discard the bones, skin and gristle. Pick out the pork skin bundles and the head of garlic and reserve. Discard the bouquet garni.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400°. Bring the ragout to a simmer. Cut the blanched salt pork into small pieces. Squeeze the cooked garlic cloves into a food processor. Add the salt pork and the raw garlic cloves and process to a smooth paste. Stir the paste into the ragout and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in all of the cooked and cured meats.
  7. 7. Meanwhile, arrange the duck confit legs in a baking dish and roast just until heated through, about 15 minutes. Remove the meat from the bones in large pieces. Cut the skin into strips. Discard the bones.
  8. Turn the oven down to 325°. Untie and unroll the pork skin bundles. Line the bottom of a 5- to 6-quart earthenware casserole with the pork skin, fat side down. Using a large slotted spoon, transfer half of the ragout to the earthenware casserole. Top with the duck confit in an even layer, then cover with the rest of the ragout. Add the remaining 2 cups of broth to the cooking liquid in the cast-iron casserole and season lightly with salt and pepper. Pour the liquid over the ragout and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the reserved skimmed fat. Bake the cassoulet for 1 1/2 hours.
  9. Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet. Add the sausages and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over. Let cool, then cut the sausages into 3-inch pieces.
  10. 10. Reduce the oven temperature to 275°. Gently stir in the skin that has formed on the cassoulet. Nestle in the sausages and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of reserved fat. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Bake the cassoulet for 1 hour longer, until it is richly browned on the surface. Transfer to a cloth-lined rack and let rest for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Looks complicated, its worth a shot!


A perfect Sunday swim...
Friday, oh so close to monday, monday so far from friday....=P

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday Wish.

I have this thing with unique pieces of clutch bags. My most favorite that I own is a Michael Teperson silver bag.


They have it in Black! Oh my!
last used-NYE

Then I found this--Kate Spade!

This is a must have.
Its a Titanic lust!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ring Guide

I chanced upon these nice rings in  the net... To order them on line you need your ring size....

anthoropologie


Kate Spade

Wynn Wynn Ong

Here is a printable version where you put your ring on top and determine your size!
How cool is that?!-- I think I'm a 6 (middle finger)

(excuse the bad phone photo =)
Here's the link

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy 1st Weekend/ A Before & After.

What a happy Friday! 
This came today =))

Remember this sad thing....Before..

After!
 ..quarter turn to the right,
 ..to the left..
Hello Gorgeous!
Vintage fabric I took home from Incredible India. =)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Concealer alert!

This show is keeping me up so late at night. Downton Abbey is Love. Everything is go gripping, the story, the castle, its characters, the period wardrobe... i can go on forever. Its a British TV period series. Season 2 will show in America this Jan. 2012. Catch season 1 on vid!!!



Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A sweet reunion.


Right before 2011 ended, we spent the holiday break in Hong Kong. How so timely, BFF Mia from the US flew to HK to meet her family vacationing as well. She has been living abroad for so long, i miss her to bits, it was so nice to see her and her family...
1989 me mia marissa


23yrs later/ 2010 visit


hk dec 2011


for those asking about my NYE look--
top :  Jessica
skirt : by Mich Araullo
shoes : v old-- forgot
brooch : H&M



Sunday, January 1, 2012

Day 1. 2012

NYE. Thank you 2011. Welcome 2012.



12 THINGS HAPPY PEOPLE DO DIFFERENTLY

Studies conducted by positivity psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky point to 12 things happy people do differently to increase their levels of happiness.  These are things that we can start doing today to feel the effects of more happiness in our lives.  (Check out her book The How of Happiness.)

1.        Express gratitude. – When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value.  Kinda cool right?  So basically, being grateful for the goodness that is already evident in your life will bring you a deeper sense of happiness.  And that’s without having to go out and buy anything.  It makes sense.  We’re gonna have a hard time ever being happy if we aren’t thankful for what we already have.
2.        Cultivate optimism. – Winners have the ability to manufacture their own optimism.  No matter what the situation, the successful diva is the chick who will always find a way to put an optimistic spin on it.  She knows failure only as an opportunity to grow and learn a new lesson from life.  People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times.
3.       Avoid over-thinking and social comparison. – Comparing yourself to someone else can be poisonous.  If we’re somehow ‘better’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, it gives us an unhealthy sense of superiority.  Our ego inflates – KABOOM – our inner Kanye West comes out!  If we’re ‘worse’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, we usually discredit the hard work that we’ve done and dismiss all the progress that we’ve made.  What I’ve found is that the majority of the time this type of social comparison doesn’t stem from a healthy place.  If you feel called to compare yourself to something, compare yourself to an earlier version of yourself.
4.       Practice acts of kindness. – Performing an act of kindness releases serotonin in your brain.  (Serotonin is a substance that has TREMENDOUS health benefits, including making us feel more blissful.)  Selflessly helping someone is a super powerful way to feel good inside.  What’s even cooler about this kindness kick is that not only will you feel better, but so will people watching the act of kindness.  How extraordinary is that?  Bystanders will be blessed with a release of serotonin just by watching what’s going on.  A side note is that the job of most anti-depressants is to release more serotonin.  Move over Pfizer, kindness is kicking ass and taking names.
5.       Nurture social relationships. – The happiest people on the planet are the ones who have deep, meaningful relationships.  Did you know studies show that people’s mortality rates are DOUBLED when they’re lonely?  WHOA!  There’s a warm fuzzy feeling that comes from having an active circle of good friends who you can share your experiences with.  We feel connected and a part of something more meaningful than our lonesome existence.
6.       Develop strategies for coping. – How you respond to the ‘craptastic’ moments is what shapes your character.  Sometimes crap happens – it’s inevitable.  Forrest Gump knows the deal.  It can be hard to come up with creative solutions in the moment when manure is making its way up toward the fan.  It helps to have healthy strategies for coping pre-rehearsed, on-call, and in your arsenal at your disposal.
7.       Learn to forgive. – Harboring feelings of hatred is horrible for your well-being.  You see, your mind doesn’t know the difference between past and present emotion.  When you ‘hate’ someone, and you’re continuously thinking about it, those negative emotions are eating away at your immune system.  You put yourself in a state of suckerism (technical term) and it stays with you throughout your day.
8.       Increase flow experiences. – Flow is a state in which it feels like time stands still.  It’s when you’re so focused on what you’re doing that you become one with the task.  Action and awareness are merged.  You’re not hungry, sleepy, or emotional.  You’re just completely engaged in the activity that you’re doing.  Nothing is distracting you or competing for your focus.
9.       Savor life’s joys. – Deep happiness cannot exist without slowing down to enjoy the joy.  It’s easy in a world of wild stimuli and omnipresent movement to forget to embrace life’s enjoyable experiences.  When we neglect to appreciate, we rob the moment of its magic.  It’s the simple things in life that can be the most rewarding if we remember to fully experience them.
10.    Commit to your goals. – Being wholeheartedly dedicated to doing something comes fully-equipped with an ineffable force.  Magical things start happening when we commit ourselves to doing whatever it takes to get somewhere.  When you’re fully committed to doing something, you have no choice but to do that thing.  Counter-intuitively, having no option – where you can’t change your mind – subconsciously makes humans happier because they know part of their purpose.
11.     Practice spirituality. – When we practice spirituality or religion, we recognize that life is bigger than us.  We surrender the silly idea that we are the mightiest thing ever.  It enables us to connect to the source of all creation and embrace a connectedness with everything that exists.  Some of the most accomplished people I know feel that they’re here doing work they’re “called to do.”
12.    Take care of your body. – Taking care of your body is crucial to being the happiest person you can be.  If you don’t have your physical energy in good shape, then your mental energy (your focus), your emotional energy (your feelings), and your spiritual energy (your purpose) will all be negatively affected.  Did you know that studies conducted on people who were clinically depressed showed that consistent exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft?  Not only that, but here’s the double whammy… Six months later, the people who participated in exercise were less likely to relapse because they had a higher sense of self-accomplishment and self-worth.(via H. chic)


no. 10 and 11 is always top of my list yearly...do you practice all 12? =)