Friday, July 30, 2010

Thrift Goals

I desparately need some small furniture, a small side table or nightstand for my printer, and a small dresser for little caterpillar. I haven't been to any yardsale this summer, and didn't find anything I like during my last visit to S.Army. I will probably go again tomorrow, so really need some inspiration. Found these on my flickr favorites. Any one of them could work.

This little guy is from angorian. I just love the lines and details on the legs. It could be perfect for my printer, and I can store tons of craft supplies in the drawers. Oh, DH bought me a really really late Mother's day gift, a new laptop. He had the idea for a while, but we are those people who loves a good deal, hence this long wait. Anyway, now I have it, I am so motivated to clean up my closet office, and organize everything to make room for it. And I will finally set up the printer DH got as gift a couple of years ago. It has been in its box for all this time. Oh, I am so wishing I can find something remotely similar to this. I am literally drooling.

This side table would work too. It has the top for my printer, the shelf for a cute basket, or stack of my crafts books, and a small drawers for extra paper. This table re-do is from Nifty Thrifty Girl.

And any one of these lovely dressers or chest of drawers will work great in little caterpillar's room. We currently using two elfa shelving units as changing station. But little caterpillar is getting too big, and almost fell off it a couple of times. And the shelves has metal frame, with lots of horizontal bars my little girl can climb, and the corners are sharp. So, it's time for them to retire. I need a right size dresser to fit in that corner, so I can secure it to the wall studs. If my girl is anything like me, I have to do that.
This white one is from perpetualplum, very simple, but I like the fact there is no sharp corners on it, so I don't have to worry about my girl hitting her head on it while crawling.

This raspberry one is from swanketyswank, so gorgeous, feminine and modern. My current nightstand is sort of similar shape, but only 3 drawers, too short. I need one with 4 drawers, otherwise I would give it up for my girl in a heartbeat.

This blue one is from isfive. It's too boyish for my girl, but I like the shape, and fact it has two smaller drawer on top instead of one big one. I can still put the diapers, toys in the lower drawers, but keep the smaller items like thermometers in the smaller drawers. I probably will keep the design, change the colors, and draw some cuter animals or insects other than dinosaurs.

This white one is from fresh vintage. It's has such elegant shape, but maybe too traditional for little caterpillar's room. Most of her stuffs are simple and modern, of course, I made them, and I am no carpenter, so only can make things with most simple shape. This could be interesting for the room, maybe change my whole view and make me redo the whole room.

If I cannot find the right size dresser, a small cabinet would work too, if it's like this one from nordensved. I couldn't download it for some reason, but I totally love the color and the fact I can put all her toys inside, and close the door and the clutter will be totally gone! You just have to click the link to view it. Judging by the chair on its side, it might be a little bit too low for me. Last time I saw a piece similar to it, but has a open shelf on top, so perfect height. Didn't have more space in my car, since I bought a pair of amazing chairs (will show you later) and a footstool already, and I really didn't want to drive on highway with that thing on top of the car. And it was a little pricy. Just hope it is still there and marked down. Love the handles she used on her piece, I just might go for the same look. So simple and still charming.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Garden Updates

Even with my ignorance, my garden is doing fairly well. Not talking about my potted plants, these are annuals and perennials in my garden beds. They make me feel so calm and happy. Walking around the flowerbeds, pulling some weeds, and adding more supports to the heavy flower clusters is my serene moment, and very rare too these days. Here are some new pictures I took the other day. Just looking at them, it's almost like I can smell them, and feel the breeze.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Farewell Party

One of the girl in my lab is leaving, and she is one of our boss's favorite, so he hosted a farewell party for her at his house yesterday. It was BBQ + potluck. I brought my new favorite, the lotus root pancake. It was a big hit, and was gone almost immediately. I will share the recipe with you next time I make them. I didn't have time to take any pictures, as I was cooking it right before leaving the house.

There were 4 babies at the party, almost the same age, but all the other 3 were boys. I have noticed lately, boys tend to be very shy in front of little caterpillar. She loves babies, and always opens her arms wide trying to give them hugs, or crawls over to kiss them, or just reaches out to them. And so far, all the boys did was sitting there and be quite, letting her do whatever she wants. Some of them even had the terrified look on their face sometimes. Hopefully she will change a little bit, otherwise, we will have a serious problem on hands 15 years later. I just wish I could show you all those cute baby pictures I took, but Stubborn set a very strict rule for my blog, no personal pictures allowed, which means I cannot show you anybody's face. The babies were playing on the picnic blanket, with each other, kicking ball, bouncing on the ball, napping in their scrollers, playing with other grownups. They had so much fun, and all I can show you is this.

There were lots of laughing, eating, drinking, and playing at the party. Everyone had a great time. Since I had little caterpillar in my arms, I cannot really social with lots of people. Sitting down has one advantage, I got to take as many pictures I liked. Lots of great ones, but again, I cannot show you the faces. So, you have to imagine 20+ people having fun around these.

And this poor guy went from cute and proud To sad and crushed after lots of beating.
And here are just some of the goodies it spilled out.

And it helps to have a party entertainer walks around, socializing with your guests, and finds any food dropped on the ground. Less clean up for later.

Monday, July 26, 2010

What To Eat When The Fridge Is Almost Empty

On the weekends, we normally have brunch instead of breakfast. After a week of just milk, bread and cereal, I normally prepare some traditional Chinese breakfast, steamed buns or shumai like last weekend, or some of my special pancakes, wrapped with some thin omlet, sprinkled some finely chopped cilantro and scallion, with homemade spicy sauce. I will remember to show you some pictures next time. But what if there is only one egg left in the fridge? Well, add some flour, scallion from my garden, and some seasoning, you will get something from this
To this,
Stubborn and little caterpillar both love it so much, they almost didn't left any for me! That's not very nice, but I am happy they enjoy what I cooked. Here is the simple recipe, and you should definitely try it.

Easy Scallion Pancake (make 4 pancake, for 2 servings)
1 egg (you can put 2 if you are making more)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
a couple of scallion
five spice powder

Mix the flour, whole wheat flour, egg, finely chopped scallion together, beat the egg and add water, so the mixture is the consistency of a thick yogurt, just like your other pancake. Add salt and five spice powder to your taste.
Heat up some olive oil in a non-stick pan, pour one big soup spoon of the batter, use spatula to spread it to as thin as you want. Shake the pan, if the pancake starts to move, means that side is done. Flip it with a wide spatula, add more oil if needed. It should only take a couple minutes to cook, and slide it into a plate with paper towel to absorb extra oil. It should be golden on both side, and crispy on the edge.
Roll it up, and eat it with some rice soup. YUMMMMMY!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Garden Updates

Some pictures I took a couple of days ago. Nothing really fancy, but very lovely. And the smell in the yard is so great.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fun Sunday Afternoon At Boston Common

Last Sunday, we went to Boston Common for a play date with our friend's baby. I have been there so many times, never notice the frog pond! Guess I always stayed in the garden part, avoiding crowds. Anyway, little caterpillar and her little friend had such a great time, they both forgot to nap!

Both babies loved playing on the blankets, even the cutie on the neighbor blanket came over to join the party.

And why kids always want other's toys, or food? We gave them their cups, but they showed more interested in the other one. So, they ended up drinking water from each other's cup instead. Very cute! But Ewwww!

The Tadpole Playground nearby was great, even though there is nothing little caterpillar and her little friend could really play with, they still had a great time. The frogs were too cute to pass by, we just have to take pictures with them.

We had too much fun at the pool and the playground, almost miss the merry-go round. We made it there 10 minutes before closing, so little caterpillar went for her first ride. She didn't know what to do and was so affraid at first, but after a couple of spin, she was holding on like a pro. She liked it a lot, at the end, she even refused to come down. I can see us playing there again very soon.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Weekend Brunch

Normally we try to catch up on sleep during weekend, so we always end up having brunch, instead of breakfast. Stubborn really prefer traditional Chinese breakfast whenever we have time. So, my big stacked steamer always work hard during weekends.

These are what we had last Sat, steamed vegeterian buns with dried mushroom and Chinese greens, Shanghai style sticky rice shumai, rice soup from leftover steamed white rice, and Beijing style fermented tofu. YUMMMMMM!

Friday, July 16, 2010

ByeBye, Lily

Today is our nanny Lily's last day! We are so sad that she is leaving! She has been taking care of little caterpillar since she was 3 month old, and little caterpillar loves her dearly. She always put on the biggest smile when she sees lily in the morning. The new nanny starts on Monday, one of us will stay home for the first week to help little caterpillar during this transition time. I am sure it will be quite hard on little caterpillar, since she is old enough now to remember people. Lily also kept our home so clean, better than I did! I just hope the next nanny will be at least 80% like her. Well, lily is going back to school in NY, which is a very brave thing to do and big change for sure. We are happy for her! And wish her a bright future and safe trip!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Another Great Thing

Take a look at the picture above, you will understand why I hated that situation. Stubborn and I use different shampoo and conditioner. And even though little caterpillar has her own bathroom, we have been giving her bath in our bathtub, so there are a couple of more bottles for her, and her bathtub, little rubber duck, knee pad thing, spout cover, stool for us to sit while bath her. Now you can see where my frustration came from, and what a chaos it was in our master bathroom. Chaos no more! At least I fixed a part of the problem. Until we move little caterpillar to her own bathroom, I just have to get used to the rest.

Welcome my new helper, the shampoo dispenser! Take a look at this handsome little thing. So shiny, so clean, so organized! I am so in love with it!

I have been searching around for a 3 compartment dispenser for a while, but most of them are two compartment ones, and the only perfect one I found online was just too expensive. Then on our last trip to NH, we made an unplanned stop at local Walmart, and there it was! I couldn't believe my luck, quickly grabbed one, and couldn't wait to get back home to try it.

The installation is just so easy. Just put the double sided foam tapes on, squeeze all the silicon glue on, and stick it to the clean shower wall. You want the glue to come out through those little holes, just like this.

Now here is how our bathtub looks like after removing 3 giant bottles! See, only two bottles left in that corner, and nothing else in the tub! And once I finish those two, they won't come back, so there will be no bottle there later!

Here is a close up shot of how I organized little caterpillar's stuffs. Now, all her stuffs in that big plastic box, so they all can drain, yet not touching the bathroom floor. I could leave them in the tub to drain, but we use this automatic shower cleaner every time after shower, I don't want those chemical get on little caterpillar's stuffs, since it will go right into her mouth. I have to take them out of the tub to protect her. It's not a perfect solution, but it's working, so we are keeping it.