Friday, October 31, 2008

halloween chocolate

Godiva has this Halloween collection that's really cute... I received this little Halloween chocolate pouch where there are 7 solid foil-wrapped milk chocolate medallions inside. I don't eat much Godiva, but I surely love the embroidered black cat on the orange pouch!

godiva halloween chocolate

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

email from the Imperial Palace in Tokyo

We got an email from the Imperial Palace in Tokyo!

OK it's not because we are important people, but because we sent an application online for a tour at the Imperial Palace in November when we visit Tokyo. The email was sent to us so we could confirm our application and print out our approval notice for the tour.

Here's the deal: you can walk around the outside area of the Imperial Palace all you want (probably with the Imperial police eyes watching you), but if you want to go inside the Palace, you'd need to apply for entrance in advance through the Imperial Palace Visit Guide (closed from midnight to 5 am Japan time).

I heard the Imperial Palace is magnificently beautiful. I think we'll really enjoy the visit!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

autumn leaves

It seems to have been a lot warmer this fall here in Salt Lake City, and the tree leaves have just been slowly turning color.

When we visited Hogle Zee we still saw beautiful green leaves everywhere... but then I notice these beautiful red leaves:

autumn leaves
These leaves really stood out among the rest of green ones in the area.

There were also other colors on the trees:

hornet nest
I saw these pretty retro-yellow leaves and then a giant hornet nest! I snap a quick picture and ran!

Fall has definitely come.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

sunday zoo funness

This past Sunday John and I took EC to have her early birthday lunch at our favorite dim sum place in town, "Golden Dragon," and then we went to the zoo.

There were a lot of pople at the zoo... families mostly. It's interesting to see how many kids are just so happy to see the animals, and others are semi-screaming. It was the parents' fault, I think. Some parents talk to the children and the others just let the kids scream. booo.

Anyhow, I saw some of my favorite animal friends again, and here are some photos I took:

lady giraffe
This little giraffe is sitting down like a lady.

friendly goat
This friendly guy sniffed and licked John's hand.

A sloth hanging on a tree. He was shy and wouldn't show his face for the camera.

Close encounter with the rhino! He was so big!

black bears
Black bears hanging out on the log and playing.

An elephant playing with a ball, and trying to get the treats out of it.

More photos on our flickr Hogle Zoo album.

Utah's Hogle Zoo is awesome!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

registered to vote

I registered to vote yesterday! It was the last day to register to vote (15 days before election) for the big elections in November, so everyone was at the Salt Lake County Offices... the Elections Division even set up a few "drive-through" voter registration lines where people could just drive up, fill up the registeration form, and hand it in right away without stepping out of the car.

Needless to say, the drive-through lines were really busy as well. I actually printed out the form, filled it out, and went through the line to hand it in.

This is actually the first big election that I am able to participate (after becoming a citizen). I had been looking forward to it for a while. I think I'll be really excited on election day.

Friday, October 17, 2008

blue polka dot notebook cover

I was searching for a cute little notebook that I can keep my "Tokyo trip winter '08" plans and notes in, but I didn't see anything I liked, so I decided to make a notebook cover myself.

notebook cover project
I found a cheap-o notebook and a blue polka dot dish towel at the dollar store.

notebook cover
Then I cut off the excess fabric and stiched up the edges.

vinyl flap
I used two layers of vinyl to create a "flap" to go inside the front cover. I was trying to do this on the sewing machine but with no luck, so I stitched it by hand (whip stiches?).

vinyl flap
Now I have a little flap to store my ticket stabs or receipts in during the trip.

blue polka dot notebook cover
Blue polka dots. Yay!

Now I just need to transfer "trip research notes" into the notebook, and see if I'm going to cross stitch some cute little things on the cover.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

siphon bar

The siphon bar area at the caffe is almost finished!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I love Japanese television drama (or "do-ra-ma" as they call it in Japan). They are usually cool and fun to watch, plus I get to practice my Japanese listening skills, checking out various Japanese customs, food, slangs, and living styles, or even fashion, while watching them.

My favorite Japanese drama actor these days is probably Takenouchi Yutaka. He's so cute! This photo doesn't even do him justice. Uhn.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

curry and cake

It's John's birthday today!

I asked him what he would like to eat last night, and he said curry... and I remembered this wonderful little recipe where you can quickly thicken the curry by adding a Chinese "wheat flour tea" powder. I made it with that recipe and it worked! I added udon noodles to the curry and it was yummy.


I used canned carrots and potatoes in the recipe, so everything actually were actually done within half an hour (including the cook time on the udon.)

So this is my version of the recipe:

Heat up a little bit oil in the pan. Stir in half a can (regular size) of carrots and potatoes (sliced), then add half of an onion (sliced). When all the veggies seem heated, add 2-3 tablespoons of curry powder and stir well. Remove the veggies from the pan and set aside on a plate.

With the same pan (don't need to rinse), stir in sliced (or shredded) meat (I used pre-cooked chicken breast fillets... lazy me :p ) until cooked. Add water (as little as a cup, or as much as to make "curry soup.") and bring to a boil. Add cooked udon noodles, and allow everything to simmer for a few minutes.

Add 1 teaspoon salt, sugar, and a little more curry power to taste.

If you'd like a thicker curry soup for your udon noodles, then add a few tablespoons of the "wheat flour tea" powder to it... the liquid would magically thicken and the spices and nut flavors from the powder make the curry flavor more dynamic. If you don't know what this "wheat flour tea" powder is or where to get it, you can thicken the curry by sprinkling some flour and spices to it.

Sprinkle some shichimi before serving. Yumminess!

And of course I made John his favorite pumpkin cake! He got to it before I was able to take a picture of it... so here's a photo of last year's cake:

pumpkin cake

Happy Birthday, John!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

i lost my voice

My throat was feeling a little scratchy last weekend, and late Saturday night my voice was completely gone! It was a bit scary because I couldn't even caugh or clear my throat. I wonder if my vocal cord was infected or something.

I had heard that gargling with Coke would help ease the throat uncomfortable-ness... so I gave it a try. I didn't know if it worked right, but I enjoyed the tingling from Coke in my throat.

After sleeping almost throughout the whole Sunday, I was able to make some noises Monday morning... I even went and recorded parts of my radio show that night. I sounded totally weird!

My voice is still a little "thick" and scratchy today. I know it's weird to say, but I actually really like this voice somehow... I think I sound really, really, sincere when I talk.

Monday, October 06, 2008


I usually don't wear mascara because I used to smudge it too much back the days... OK I admit I like to touch around my eyes...

But then I keep seeing how people have cute eye lashes and I thought I'd give it another try.

I bought Rimmel Eye Magnifier Exact Definition based on EC's recommendation. Apparently Rimmel's mascaras are sort of like a famous Japanese brand that she loves, and it works very well.

I don't know if I'd get the "magnified eyes" look the product proclaims, but I'm going to give it a try and see if I can get cute eye lashes sometimes. ;)

Saturday, October 04, 2008


It's rainning today and I'm loving it!



Even the plants by the front windows at the caffe seem to really enjoy it.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

movie at the dentist's office

I went to my dentist's new office yesterday. The place was beautiful! (Have I been paying him too much? :p ) Everything looked new and high-tech, and the atmosphere there was just futuristic. Really cool.

And I got to watch a movie on the ceiling when he worked on my teeth! There were a few movies for me to choose from, and I watched "Baby Mama". It was not a super movie, but it was funny.

It was interseting how a funny movie worked better on me than happy gas during dental work... and my head didn't feel all fuzzy afterwards. Very nice!