Tuesday, August 19, 2014

First Day of School

Today was a big day around here--E's first day of 1st grade (all-day school--ack!) and Mimi's first day of preschool.

Today has been all over the place, emotionally. I often have trouble sleeping the night before a change in my routine and this morning I bolted wide awake at 4am, 5am, and then again at 6:10am, scared that I had missed my alarm and overslept. It was my first day driving a carpool to E's school and I was nervous about being late to pick up the other kids.

E came home from school and told me about his new class.  He said that he sat by a girl named Savannah and mentioned offhand that she called him "honey" and blew kisses at him and that they are BFLs (best friends for life).  I think E is most excited that his classroom has computers in it which he can't wait to use.  I wonder if they get to play The Oregon Trail in first grade.

Mimi has been looking forward to going to school for the past year.  She loves hanging out with other kids and has always been fairly independent so I knew she would have a fun time at preschool. As soon as we got to the classroom she went right in and started playing toys without even a backward glance.

I started to get a little bit sentimental and mopey about my babies growing up so quickly but then I went home and read a novel while I ate my lunch in blissful peace and somehow I cheered right up ;)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Two Koreas

Loved this flow-motion video of the North Korean capital.  It's fascinating but I'm still not convinced it would be a good idea to visit.  (Three Americans are being detained in North Korea right now.)


And now for something very different, here's a fun mashup of some of the top Kpop hits of 2014 so far.

Some of my favorite Kpop groups have new songs coming out in the next few months--so excited!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sequim: Olympic Game Farm

The main purpose of our trip to Sequim was to visit the Olympic Game Farm which houses retired showbiz animals.  You can drive through the farm and feed the animals (whole-wheat only!) bread. 

We all (the kids, my mom, my brother Steven, and I) had a lot of fun.  On the way home we got a much-needed car wash.  Buffalo drool is quite, um, impressive.

Previous visits: 2009 and 2012

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sequim: Lavender Farm

While we were in WA we drove up the Olympic peninsula and spent the day in Sequim, a little town nestled in a sunny microclimate which allows it to be the lavender capital of North America.

We were mainly in town to visit the Olympic Game Farm but we stopped by one of the many lavender farms to look around.

Besides the incredible smell the most remarkable thing about the farm was the sound.  Walk a few feet into the fields and you're surrounded on all sides by the loud droning of bees.  They were everywhere and made E nervous; Mimi was oblivious (as she often is).

The kids were feeling squirrely after being in the car all day, and so this is what happened when I asked my mom to take my picture with them.

After a pep talk (and a teeny bit of yelling) I got them to take a better photo with my mom.

Sequim is a great place to visit if you're in the area.  We usually do a day trip every time we visit my parents and I always look forward to it.  Check out little baby E here on a previous visit.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Carol's Beach

One of the great things about the Puget Sound area is that there are so many beaches.  They're usually rocky and muddy instead instead of sandy but are still a lot of fun for kids.

One of the the highlights of visiting Olympia is getting together with my friend Carol.  On this last visit Carol packed a picnic lunch which we took down to her neighborhood beach and let the kids run around.

There was a little stream that ran under a bridge and down to the sound.  The kids had so much fun exploring and splashing in the water.

We were the only one on the beach; it was wonderfully relaxing just to sit and chat with Carol and watch the kids play--so much so that I didn't notice the time passing and ended up with an impressive sunburn.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My Korean Perm

I've heard good things about Korean digital or setting perms but there are no salons in Salt Lake City that offer them.  So when I was up in WA I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and get one.

Uploading my consciousness to the hive mind

Crazy looking, right?  This machine is imported from Korea and uses heat and ceramic rollers to set the curls.

My mom took me to the Korean stylist she frequents. I was scared of ending up with an ajumma hair style, worries that were not assuaged when the stylist was sporting a very ajumma-ish hairstyle herself and didn't speak much English.

But I showed her photos of what I wanted and she said that a setting perm and a cut with lots of layers would give me the style I wanted.  I think she could tell I was a little nervous so she admonished me to trust her, so I did.  Don't mess with an ajumma!

I'm really happy with how it turned out.

The curls/waves are supposed to last for 6-12 months and are really low maintenance.  My stylist said if I want more pronounced curls to twist my hair into ringlets as I blow-dry it or that I could just towel-dry my hair for looser waves which is what I usually do (and what I did in the photo above).   If I feel like getting fancy I'll put my hair up in two buns overnight and in the morning I have a ton of curls.

This is the first time I've done anything major to my hair and happy (and relived!) with how it turned out.

The whole process (cut-perm-style) took about 3 hours.  I don't remember all the different steps but Karen Cheng, an Australian blogger I follow, has a good post about her experience getting a similar perm.

Home from WA

We're back from spending two weeks in Washington state.  My parents and brother Steven still live in the area where I grew up, and it's always nice to spend time with them and bask in nostalgia for a bit. We also spent a few days visiting N's brother Ken and his family which was great too.

I took too many photos and will be sorting through them and posting my favorites in the next week or so, so check back :)

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

TV: Korean Food Made Simple

Our family has started watching a new cooking show which N's mom recommended to us, Korean Food Made Simple with by Judy Joo.  N and I both grew up with Korean food and our kids love it too so we all enjoy the show.

Photo via cookingchanneltv.com

Each episode features a segment of Joo touring Korea exploring a native ingredient or dish and then cuts back to Joo cooking a few dishes in her kitchen.

Judy Joo has an interesting and impressive résumé (Bachelor's in engineering! Gordan Ramsay protégé! Legit restaurant experience! The only female Iron Chef UK!) and she's an engaging host and talented chef.

I have a few minor quibbles with Joo's tv chef persona.  Sometimes she speaks in a British accent which seems a bit affected (she moved to the UK in 2007 after being born and raised in the states)  If you grow up calling popsicles "popsicles" do you really start calling them "ice lollies" after living in the UK for 7 years?  Meh.

The other thing is that sometimes she acts really flirty, lots of little sidelong glances and suggestive smiles.  But she is the executive chef at the Playboy Club so maybe it's just part of her professional persona?  I dunno. I don't want it to seem like I don't enjoy the flirting BECAUSE I DO, it just seems a little odd.  

Korean Food Made Simple with Judy Joo airs on Cooking Channel and you can find some of the recipes here.


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