Recently, I tagged along with my friends to the Rilakkuma Cafe in Taipei. The food was abysmal, but the presentation was irresistible. So even though the rice was dry, the chicken hard and flavorless, everything tasted more exciting because it was molded into the face of Rilakkuma.
In the end, I was so charmed by the effect that I decided to recreate the experience at home with my favorite cartoon character…Miffy. I did a quick search online, and found a Miffy rice mold.
Happy New Year! The past few weeks have been a blur. To keep myself grounded in the midst of everything, I jotted down a few goals for 2018.
As 2017 draws to a close, instead of the usual monthly 5 things, I wanted to recap and reflect on some of the more significant moments on the blog. Blogging has fallen to the wayside a bit these past few weeks, but I will be back, with great enthusiasm in 2018.
- The year started off with a trip to Tokyo. Highlights from the trip include a journey to my beloved Traveler’s Factory and cake and coffee at Harbs.
- I discovered two new favorite places to enjoy dessert: QuelQues and Chantez.
- I tried my hand at being a minimalist. I’ve discovered that it is harder than I expected, but it’s worth the effort to be living a much more streamlined lifestyle. So far, it’s very much a work in progress. But I watch this video whenever I feel my resolve waning.
- I also started writing Monthly Roundup posts on my blog this summer, and it’s a post that I look forward to writing each month.
- Finally, for inspiration, I’m reading New York Time’s Smarter Living article on How to Make (and Keep) a New Year’s Resolution. Find the link here.
Happy New Year everyone! I’ll be back to blogging in full force in the New Year. See you in 2018!
November is home to one of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving. Now that I’m living in Taiwan, this holiday has taken on different iterations. One part that remains the same is that I still make sure to take some time to reflect on all that I am thankful for. This season, I am thankful that I have a strong support network, thankful for a career that is almost equal parts challenging and rewarding, and also thankful that I have some time to pursue my interests and hobbies, with cheerful abandon.
This month has been a particularly trying one for me and my family, and in the midst of it all, I’m trying my best to keep everything afloat. A method that has worked particularly well is to make meticulous lists of things that I have to do~ which really brings a sense of calm and order. The other method is to find a few moments everyday to do something that occupies both my mind and hands in a happy and healthy way (which really rules out sitting in front of the TV and eating potato chips!)
Early this morning, I spent a few minutes wrapping a gift for a friend’s baby, and it made me feel happy and content knowing how much she would enjoy it.
P.S.: I may have to delay my posting scheduling here for the next few weeks. But I’ll try to update when I can!
This was not a sponsored post. I paid for all items shown here with my own money, and all opinions are based on my own experiences.
This month, we were fortunate to have two holidays~ one midweek for the Mid-Autumn Harvest Moon Festival (中秋節）and the other was a four day weekend, celebrating Taiwan’s birthday. Since I am fantastically busy from now until the end of January, I made no major plans for either holiday, beyond having lunch with my family for the Mid-Harvest Moon Festival. The rest of the time was spent catching up on sleep and work, and just some general stay-cation activities.
1) I discovered this tea place during one of my meetings. The admin assistant running the show had this fabulous, eye-catching icy and refreshing drink, while the rest of us sat around the table sipping cups of lukewarm tea. Turns out, it was from the drink shop nearby, called Bao-Guo. (I normally just pass right on by on my way to meetings, because I thought it was a bread shop). Coincidentally, I was in the neighborhood during the break, so I decided to try their iced grapefruit tea (regular ice, 50% sugar). I was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s full of sliced grapefruit and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.
By this time of year, I’ve probably broken most, if not all of my new year’s resolutions. I vaguely remembered something about having better work and life balance (ha!) and exercising more (ha ha!) But for me, adopting and keeping new habits is hard, hard work. I decided this time around, instead of feeling guilty about the resolutions I didn’t keep, I’ll try to take smaller, more realistic steps, or shifts, if you will. For me, the concept of a shift still implies change, but they seem to be more gradual. One of the habit shifts that I hope to make is to have more control over my surroundings. I’ve moved houses quite a few times over the past few years, and I thought I had whittled my possessions down to a bare minimum. But lately, I’ve noticed that my space seems to feel cluttered and chaotic. So one area in my life that I really want to work on is clearing out my living spaces and making better use of what I have. It’s definitely a work in progress, and I thought it would be helpful to document the process here.
I recently read Goodbye Things: On Minimalist Living, by Fumio Sasaki. The book chronicles the author’s journey to a more minimalist lifestyle. He eliminated most of his possessions, and now lives with just the barest of necessities. He reduced his wardrobe down to three shirts, four pairs of trousers and four pairs of socks. In the process of saying goodbye to his possessions, he gained clarity of mind, and control over his living environment.
Whenever September rolls around, I’m always reminded of the opening scenes of one of my favorite movies, “You’ve Got Mail,” when Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks stroll down the streets of New York City to the background music of Dreams, by the Cranberries. Bouquets of sharpened pencils, anyone? Yes, please!
1) Speaking of bouquets of sharpened pencils, one rainy afternoon, I took stock of all my writing utensils (pens, pencils, etc) and threw out all the worn out, dried out items. Now I have good idea of what I have (a lot) and what I need to buy (not a lot)
This August just swooshed by. I finished traipsing around all the nooks and crannies of Taipei for work, wrapped up a major project and am going to enjoy a one week staycation… starting now! This is the first summer in two years that I am not changing jobs, traveling for work, traveling for pleasure, or moving. I thought I would miss the flurry of activity, especially the traveling, but it turns out I am really relishing the feeling of staying put…and staying put means I can indulge in my two favorite activities~ reading and putting things in order. 一轉眼八月也快過去了。這個月我看了好幾本好書，整理了一下家裡的小角落， 悠閒的在家裡吃了好幾次晚餐，還有幫弟弟慶生。提到慶生～我很愛送禮物，尤其是生日禮物。 但有時候真的不知道送什麼。 今年我們兩個終於想出一個很棒的方式：直接跟對方說想要什麼～ 另外一位就負債達成願望就好了。這個方式， 讓送禮物， 收禮物的人都很happy! 八月剩下的幾天， 我要讓自己放一個小假好好充電，準備好迎接忙碌的九月。
- Eslite is having a great summer sales program. I bought four books, and traded in some of my Eslite points for a some artwork by Japanese artist Noritake. I love the simple drawing, and of course the message. I’m framing it and hanging it up in my office.
2. I’ve read three of the books so far (Wonder, Big Little Lies, and Everything I Never Told You) and now I’m reading “Goodbye Things.” I was drawn to the title because I’m trying to adopt a simpler lifestyle. Some guidelines I’m trying to live by are, buying less, buying better. No hoarding. One rainy afternoon, I tackled the easiest part, my beauty supplies. I gathered all the items I have squirreled away in various corners of my apartment, and put them all into one drawer. Now that everything is one place, I can see what I have left before buying something new. I’m also keeping my empties this year, and trying to gauge how long it actually takes me to finish a product. Simplifying is a work in progress for me. It’s my inclination to have backups of everything, in case of… [insert possible disaster here] so trying to change this habit is a little unnerving. But I’m going to keep at it. Next, I’ll be taking on the two areas where the hoarding is the most severe: kitchenware and stationery. Stay tuned for updates.