Archive for the ‘General’ Category

It’s 100 here…

Today, this happened…


Okay, I will allow you a few moments to get yourself collected.  I think it’s at that point where you have to peel yourself off the leather seat in your car if you have those.  Or even feeling the heat coming off the asphalt more than coming from the sun itself.  Yikes and it’s barely May!  Why, just couple weeks back, it was actually very nice and we were getting, I would say around 80’s.

I think that only means few times, swim suit season are unto us folks.  That also means trips to the ice cream shop!  I think the little one will appreciate the latter the most!  In fact, we’ve had one not too long ago.  I think she was excited about this outing and she chose her very own concoction.  If you must know, it was raspberry sorbet with rainbow sprinkles.


I imagine we may have few more of that this summer.  We normally do not go out for ice cream like this often, but I would say this was definitely worth it for that picture.

Wellness Assessment

So, my work had yet another year of wellness assessment. This marks my fifth year of doing the assessment. My first year working there, I missed it because I had a misunderstanding that employees would pay for this assessment. I had found out after they finished all sites that my employer had offered this for free. Whoops! From that point on, I participated. One year, I missed at my site but drove almost 15 miles one way just to be able to participate.

This year was a bit different, this marks the first year that the employer offered health incentive for participating and also volunteering to a cotinine test (but must pass). Upon completing one of the two or both incentives, the rebate would be applied as a credit towards our out of pocket health insurance cost. I was all for it seeing how I participate on an annual basis anyways. Not only that, our sites have recently gone tobacco free as of July 1, 2012. I don’t smoke either so it was a no brainer to do this test. If I don’t volunteer for it, then I don’t qualify for the rebate. Again, no brainer, I just wanted to do what I could for my family to cut down the health insurance cost where possible.

The cotinine test was quite interesting. After finishing my wellness assessment, they asked if I was planning on participating and said that I was. They directed me to this lady waiting for the next person to oversee the test. It was quite simple and painless. They instructed me to open a sealed bag and outlined the process for me. I did that. It looked sorta like a wand with a flat cotton-like tip only flat. I had never done such test before so I was pretty awkward and the lady helped me through the steps, explaining what I needed to do next. As soon as I placed it where the wand needed to go in my mouth, my mouth just about shriveled up in efforts to secrete more saliva. I think that was the whole point of it, to soak that cotton-like tip. I had to hold it for 5 minutes. It was the longest 5 minutes of my life… It was just sooo… salty! At the least I thought it was…


So, yea that’s me waiting for the time to do it’s thing. I believe I was only a minute in before I felt, “Dang, this is really taking a while.” Last time I talked about the wellness assessment, I was trying to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. It was this assessment that I discovered I did just that! Yayy me! I really stuck with it! I have minimized my pop consumption, ate more fresh fruit/veggies wherever possible, and increased water consumption. Not only I got down to my pre-pregnancy weight, I went even lower. I wasn’t planning on that! I didn’t have weight goals (other than getting myself back to pre-pregnancy weight) and weighed myself obsessively. I just ate what I wanted, made sure I did my hours at the gym as part of an employee fitness section. It’s a whole lot cheaper than paying gym membership!

I decided to opt out of the gym this semester since having been bitten on my right pinky finger as part of my massive update recently.  Even snapped a shot of what my pinky had looked like after my ER visit was all said and done.  It was for good reason, we had quite the insane semester and it’s not over!  I barely had time to step out of office.  Plus with Haley starting her new preschool, I had wanted to ensure she was transitioning well.  She really is doing well there and I am comfortable to start up my gym again.  Having that hour to myself daily has been awesome!  I saw the semester schedule of pilates class and it looked like they were offering pilates still, not one but TWO times a week!  Oh man!  I missed that change!  I sure hope they will have similar offerings like that for the fall semester.

Speaking of pilates, I took Haley to her audiologist visit just last week.  As I had pulled in, somehow I had glanced over at the buildings beyond the traffic waiting for it to clear so I could make the turn.  Within those buildings, I had seen this recognizable logo of a white circle with a letter “P” on it, which was red.  No way!  Could it be?!  I needed to get Haley to the appointment, so I turned once the traffic was clear.  Did the appointment, which seems like eternity.  I explained to Haley we would make a quick detour as mama wanted to check something out.  I head over to the buildings I had spotted this logo.  Could it be?  Oh please?  Really?  It really is!!  What was it that I saw?  Pure Barre studio!  Oh joy!  I heard so many great things about it.  I parked and go in to get the class schedule.  I had the chance to talk with the co-owners, Veronica, who was really nice.  It turns out they had their grand opening just earlier that morning!

After talking with Veronica, we both agree that should I decide to pick up few classes there, I should do just fine in there as I have quite a bit of pilates background.  I really enjoy doing low-impact exercises.  I can’t quite run, not at the least comfortably.  If you know me, you’ll know what I mean.


Do you think it’s possible that Christmas will come early in July.  Oh how I would LOVE to have some classes there.  I’m happy with once or twice a week!  I’ve been going once a week for the last almost two years until I got bit leading to some challenges in being able to hold the poses.  The pressure on my right hand felt really bad only because it basically left me a hole.  Now it’s mostly filled/grown in where the bite was plus the nail growing almost all the way back (I lost almost the entire thing), it’s more comfortable again.  Wish list mental note, add pure barre to my Christmas/birthday/mother’s day/any holidays you can think of and I will be a happy lady!  Oh and of course, they have dress code requirement, which I totally get.  So throw that in, and I’m happy.

Bottom line, the wellness assessment is a great tool to keep a progress check on yourself.  It wasn’t until my second assessment that I decided to try and get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I had not gone to the gym yet or started pilates yet.  The assessment after that was really good.  No problem.  Oh no, it was fourth assessment that had me start going to the gym.  I had shown that my weight was going up, not down.  I did what I could with my eating habit (notice I did not say “diet”, I do not believe in “diet”).  I will be glad I started this assessment when I did now that my employer is offering incentives to apply towards our fiscal year health insurance out of pocket costs.  That means more money in my paycheck.  Perhaps that could translate in some pure barre?  We shall see as we have few other things that my family need to take care of first to ensure financial health.

Etsy Shop: Studio Risa

I’ve been at work for the last few months starting a new adventure.  I have decided few months ago to sell my creations I make on Etsy!  I am very excited for this new adventure.  Find me at my shop, Studio Risa.

Come check out my shop! Share with your friends!

Photo Summary

Football game

Haley having chocolate chip scones

Bundled up in a pile of blankets

Potty training

Brewing tea

Lemon scones with glaze

Being silly

Late night trip to ER

Quality time with daddy

Going cold turkey with binky

Important discussion happening…

Trip to pumpkin patch

After pumpkin patch

Spooky coffee

Halloween goodies to pass out for trick or treaters

All dressed up!

Haley’s goodies

“Hearty” chili

Potato soup

Bowl of chocolate batter scraped off…

Haley’s hair fad?

Birthday cake for Haley!

Fun trip to the vet

I’m still around!

I’m still here!  I didn’t fall off the blogging-sphere, if that’s a word.  Since my last post, there’s been a number of things that happened here.  Like what?  Well, for starters, potty training is full on force in this house.  We have one stubborn little girl, people!  It is sort of a one step forward and two steps back type of progress here.  We’ve tried just about everything!  We have our good days and our…  better days.  Sure, there are frustrating moments here and there.  I KNOW she is sorta trained at her schools.

“Schools”?  Yep!  She started at a half day preschool once she turned 3 years old.  For the past few months, we were hard at work with our IEP team to ensure a smooth transition into school environment.  This school is a total immersion of ASL as her source of learning which is great!  Unfortunately, it is only half days.  I still cannot believe she turned 3 years old only last month.  Not just that, 2012 seemed to go by in a flash!  We celebrated her birthday with a tamale making party.  I have had some of these party fall on my birthday as well and it is quite fun!

Somewhere since my last post and this one, life also happened as I am a busy working mama!  Well, we had some incident at our house that involved a certain dog that shall not be named (Cosmo), and my right pinky finger.  Simply put, it was discipline gone bad that I err…  lost majority of my nail (nearly fully regrown).  I struggled for a while with using computer at work that using my laptop at home was just out of the question while I healed.  Typing was such a chore that for about 2 months, my right ring finger did both typing for its own plus the keys for the pinky finger.  Rest assured, lots of pictures were taken during that time though I doubt I will include the aftermath of the incident that involved a trip to the ER.  Hubbs did great with Haley in the waiting room while I was being seen.

Halloween was a blast!  Haley dressed up as the Wicked Witch who kidnapped Toto.  I dressed up as Wenda.  Hubbs, dressed up, according to him, as the rugged man.  Hmm okay.  Haha!  If you must know, he WAS supposed to dress up as Waldo.  Haley scored quite the stash as we trick or treated in my parent’s neighborhood.  Thanks Mom and Dad for letting us take over your house!  WE found few houses that could probably be considered THE house to go to when trick or treating.  They were doling out full sized candy bar.  FULL!  Wow!  Among the stash was a full sized Twix that I had my eyes on.  Shamelessly, I took it and had some for myself.  In my defense, Haley had her share of variety goodies in her bag.  When we were done, we headed home to help Nana hand out treats.

I promised her I would write about this.  We had fun passing out candies and seeing all sorts of kids and their costume.  We must had been outside for couple hours, maybe more.  Our candies to pass out would get lower and lower each time we gave them out.  Then finally, just enough for one kid.  Two or three pieces.  The last few kids were just single group so we figured maybe next kid will be just solo with his or her parents.  Well, we were wrong!  Next group that came along was a group, that’s for sure.  THREE kids came.  Oops.  We announced we only had enough for one and since they came in groups and assuming they were siblings, I had intended to give it to the youngest.  To our suprise, these kids said that was okay AND gave us THEIR candies to give to other kids that came along.  Uhh what?  WOW!  I…  just…  wow!  My mom, Hubbs, and I were sitting outside seeing all this and flabbergasted at this act.

Thanksgiving came along.  Let’s put it this way, I simply ate way too much.  We had lots of fun.  Surrounded by family and friends, food of course.  Hubbs brought along his home brew and it was oh so good!   There were some football game being played in the background.  The pies, oh the pies!  Why do we find room for dessert even on a full stomach?  Do we have a second stomach that we do not know about?  I seem to always “make room” for dessert.  The weather was perfect that we ate outside in the back patio.

Along came Christmas.  Oh phew!  That was quite the fun!  My mom suggested that we spend the night there after we do our annual Christmas Eve dinner with Hubbs family.  So we did that and did human tetris with our Jeep and the dogs, their crate, gifts, overnight bag, etc.  Good times!  Haha!  After dinner, we headed over to spend the night at our parents, my mom had a special plate pulled out for Haley to set out for Santa.  This was the same plate that I used growing up doing the same thing.  We set out few cookies for Santa and had her make a wish list.  Well, more like drew it, I suppose.  Set it with the cookies.  Christmas morning, oh boy, that was priceless!  Haley usually gets up early anyways.  So we went to wake Nana and Tata up.  Haley saw the cookies were eaten and asked us if we ate them.  We said no and she was in total shock.  We had quite the lazy morning and opening the gifts.  Haley was the official gift-opener for gifts that weren’t for her.  She just likes ripping the wrapping off.  Haha.  Christmas afternoon we headed to Hubb’s parent’s house.  More gifts openings there!  Then we ate dinner with them as well.  We had brunch with my parents and dinner with them.

New Year’s eve was low key.  Usually is for us and we watched the ball drop on the TV and went to bed after that.  Surprisingly Haley stayed up.  I heard that she actually beat Nana in staying awake.  Of course, Haley is up like the early bird next morning (or technically, that same day).  She has been on weird nap schedule or the lack of naps lately.  It would appear that she is moving towards to days with no naps.  I have no concept of that, naps are normal for me so it’s pretty scary to think about days with no naps.  I do stuff during her naps!  Like kitchen, laundry, and stuff!  Shall be interesting to see how it goes at one of her school since they do nap times there.

That would sum up our last few months.  Watch for photos to come soon!  Thank you for staying through to the end of this post of events.

More Tea News

Well, more tea stuff continues…

I came home from work and found that a package was on the table and Hubbs was excited to open it.  Turns out he ordered more of the same bag of tea I made for him.  Harney and Sons Earl Grey Supreme, to be more specific.  Now that would make sense of all questions he was asking me if pre-made tea bags or loose leaves was best.  Most of my stuff are loose leaves, since one would have more control of the strength as well as blending with other flavors if desired.  He bought the pre-made tea bag only it contained loose leaves.


I didn’t actually see the website but saw that they had several tins that looked pretty cool way to display on top of the kitchen cabinet when done with them.  My mom has bunch of those displays at her house and I’ve always loved ‘em.  I’m pretty sure they’re a lot older than I am but that’s part of the charm about it.

Now I will have an excuse to get more tea stuff knowing he likes tea.  My next task?  Find a good scone recipe (or two) to go along with a good cup of tea!  Onward with the search…

Tea Surprise

My parents had gone to Boston for their vacation during the last week of August.  They went to tons of places and some involved visiting Cape Cod, Salem Witch Hunt, different breweries, and many other places I’ve forgotten by now.  Hubbs had gone to Boston before and he suggested few places too.  I hope one day to visit there as well.  I had asked for tea and chocolate from my parents.  I don’t know if Hubbs had any request.  When they brought back was pretty cool.  Haley has several shirts of the universities out there.  My parents mentioned the felt like professors walking close to the university.  I believe that brings her university shirts count to 3 or 4 shirts now.

Then there was Hubbs, he received some shirts as well on top of a pretty cool beer mug.  I might show my age a bit here but my parents had visited Cheers bar.  How cool is that?  Some pictures were shared and some funny comments exchanged.  Things like if my mom had applied for Diane’s job or what a big deal it was to sit in Norm’s chair.  My parents brought back the short mug that Norm usually would drink, that short and dimpled mug.  Anytime it’s spotted in an opened and clean set of dishes, Hubbs would swoop in and proceed to fill it with a cold beer.  That was the souvenir brought back for him and he has definitely put it to use.  I declare that we must go to Cheers in Boston to get him more of those mugs.  I think he had no argument about that.

Then there was me, I received a bag full of tea goodies.  Mostly whenever my parents went, they would pick up various tea bags here and there.  I got all different kinds:  English breakfast, roobios, Earl Grey, cinnamon spice, herbal, etc.  Coming to my title of this post, “tea surprise”, Hubbs recognized a specific brand out of all the tea bags that I sorted through and he got really excited and begged me to make him a cup of this specific Earl Grey tea.  Say what now?  Making tea for Hubbs?  I’ve been buying and drinking all sorts of tea (Earl Grey included) and he’s never asked me to do so.  Hmm, okay, so I asked what was up.  He explained that he grew up drinking that brand of tea and it was his favorite.  Ever since, he’s asked me to make him a cup of tea, usually just before bedtime.

Summer of Nail Polishes…

I would say couple months ago I wanted to paint my nails and took a while to find my stash.  Once I found ‘em, they seemed sorta old in a way where you would tilt the bottle, the flow of the polish didn’t seem as it used to be.  I decided then and there to scrap ‘em and search out for a new polish.  Particularly the ones that can dry somewhat fast now that I have a toddler in tow.  I also wanted something that wouldn’t chip as my old polishes did, even with top coating.

One day, I was at Target and decided to browse the nail polish section to see if I could find a different brand.  I came across Essie and searched for some neutral hue.  Few of my friends tried the line out and mentioned the polish lasts a while and doesn’t chip as much.  I figured to give it a shot.  I spotted a muted purple and really liked it so I went with that.  I get home and had a mild panic when I realized it wasn’t as purple as I bought it!  Except whenever I went from one room to another, the color changed a bit.  Hmm, interesting.  This was Merino Cool, described as autumn mulberry.  It has a bit of grey tinge and outside it would appear more grey/plum.  I didn’t panic as much after having given it a try and determined it was the same color that I saw at the store.

On top of that new bottle of polish, I got myself a dual clear coat that can double as base and top coat as well as a quick dry polish.  The quick polish really saves me a lot of headache with a mobile toddler.  It dries my work in no time during nap time as it is the time I do my polish change.  It really doesn’t chip as my old ones did and was really pleased.  I decide to pick myself another color!  This time I went brighter and now in the group considered as blue’s.  I wanted something that Haley could wear as well.  This time we both headed up to Target again to choose the color together.  She was immediately drawn to this turquoise color bottle.  I liked it as well and seeing how she liked it, we went ahead with that.  It was Turquoise & Caicos, and went home to make a mama/daughter session out of it.  She was over the moon to have another session (first polish I ever put on her was definitely bright ocean blue).  She was actually pretty good about stay still.  My collection thus far…


I am still contemplating my next color choice.  Perhaps something from the coral group?  We shall see!

Emmeline Apron

So that sneak peek post couple days ago?  It’s finally done!  This is Sew Liberated’s Emmeline Apron.  Never mind my awkward pose with the elbow.  I wanted to show the apron in its fullest.


I had this pattern picked out while we were out shopping at a new fabric store.  Well, after I got the pattern and wandered around the store, I spotted a quilt with a block of fabric that jumped out at me, which is the picture above.  This is Lotta Jansdotter’s Echo in Scattered Blooms Green.  I really really liked it that I ran up to the ladies at the cutting table and asked where to find the bolt.  After being directed to it, I immediately wanted to make the apron I had in my hand.  So I beelined for the table again and promptly ordered the yardage plus more for extras.  This is supposed to be reversible and the other side, I didn’t quite catch the line but it was really nice, sorta floral but not floral.  Looks sorta ivy-ish.

I would say it took me about 2 hours to cut out everything only because it was stop and go while the girl napped.  She napped unusually long that day so checked on her few times to make sure she was okay.  The pattern was one sized and only had to tape two pieces of paper together for the straps, the rest of it was directly cut from the envelope.


Because there would be bias tape, I usually would just go ahead and make the bunch while I’m at it.  The pattern only called for 2 yards and I ended up with a total close to 8 yards.  So, I will be able to get 6 more yards of use (or practice) of the tapes.  It wasn’t so bad.  Once I got some sort of system figured out to attach the pieces together, flipping the tape to make the ends look seamless went faster.  If you see dark pictures, most likely it was my night time sewing or even prepping.


The instructions was really good and actually went from the last step from making the bias tapes to attaching the halter straps only took me 5-6 hours.  I was really bummed I was so close to finishing the halter straps.  Alas, I had to clean up so I could head out to get the girl from her school.  It wasn’t until last night I finally finished.



Ta-dah!  Finished!


Close up, whoa!  Don’t you love that Echo?


Wordless Wednesday


Clockwise:  Pink toes belongs to mom, Little blue toes belongs to Haley, somewhat unfinished blue toes courtesy of Haley’s handiwork belongs to me!