Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Review

I can't believe 2011 is over. The year went super fast. I still remember how I spend my last new year. It was just like yesterday. Although I feel last year was short, there are SO MANY memorable moments. 2011 was one of the special years in my life. I hope it was for you, too. I'd like to remember it. I am looking forward for more funs, excitements, improvements, and successes in 2012. 

1. Visited New York City and Boston

It was my first time traveling to East Side of America. Both places were AMAZING!! They are very different compared to Portland Oregon. The building structures were filled history; street views were very unique; food was delicious with big portion; people looked very smart; everything was expensive. Thanks Jiajia for traveling with me. I am glad that I met Yang Jing and Yanzi. Also thanks Conrad for giving us tour when we visited BU. The trip was very short because it was only a week. There are many places I want to visit and visit again in both places. I will definitely come back!! I hope that will be very soon.

2. Graduated from College


Graduation was the most exciting moment in 2011. It was the main highlight of this year. I will never forget that moment. When I started college four years ago, I thought the graduation was far away in the future, but it was not. Four years of college was splendid. I grew up a lot from gaining knowledge, meeting people, and developing myself. Throughout the four years, I learned more about myself and the real world. I'd like to thank Portland State University for giving me the opportunity for better education and self-improvement. Now, I miss college already.

3. Reconnected with High School Friends and Made More College Friends


It was nice to be connect again with friends from high school. When I was in high school, I did not know how to speak English, so I was sad that my communication with them was limited. Reunions gave me a second chance. It was funny that I got know more people from high school after I graduated. I am also happy that I made more friends in college. Friends made my college life more joyful. Thank you very much, my friends. I feel lucky to have you all. I used to be very shy, but I have changed because you gave me confidence.

4. Became Addicted to Baking, Blogging, and Fashion

I was inspired by all the food and fashion bloggers around the world. I loved getting recipes and fashion tips from them. My inspiration from those bloggers was also the reason of I started this blog. I hope I can inspire other people, too. Blogging was fun. Additionally, it helped practice my writing.

I baked a lot of different kinds of treats for the past year. Followings are some of my family's favorites.



Following outfits are some of my favorite tops, dresses, jeans, scarfs, and sweaters I wore for the past year.

Besides all of the great moments, 2011 was also a tough year. However, I worked hard to accomplish as best as I can. I believe difficult times would go as the year ends, and only the good times will stay with me forever. It's time to move on.

Lastly, I'd like to thank my mother for being my wonderful baking assistant, blog reader, and fashion reference. 

Happy New Year!!

 2012 will be awesome!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Week Recap: Cleaning, Shopping, Baking, Birthday Celebrating

Sorry, there was no post last week. I was very busy. I will have TWO posts for this week. SO many things happened for the past week (I called it Christmas Week). There are a lot to share. 

First, I hope you all had a great Christmas. I can't believe 2011 is almost over. This year went WAY TOO fast. I hope you are enjoying this last a few moments of 2011.

Last week was a CRAZY week.

Monday: I cleaned my room. It was a hard work. I also made a BIG mess before it came a neat space. I rearranged my desk, so it became more study friendly. I also found a lot of things from elementary school, middle school and high school.

I found some books my classmates and I made in elementary school and middle school. I also found year book pictures, student IDs, homecoming tickets etc. from high school. They bring back a lot of memories.

On the other hand, I also threw away a lot of things. Isn't it fun to throw away a lot of unnecessary stuff?

Tuesday: I went to Christmas shopping with my mother. Shopping was long and tiring, but it was fun. Both of us got some new clothes.

I brought new jeans, scarf, and sweater. I like the fact that my scarf is red and my sweater is green. They go well together, and they really show the Christmas Spirit.

My mother brought a new red sweater. Both of us wanted something red for Christmas. Also next year will be dragon year, and my mom was born in the year of dragon. It is part of Chinese tradition, people tend to wear a lot red when it is their animal year.

Wednesday: I made the handcrafted Christmas gift for my mother. I am glad that she liked it. She did not let me photograph it.

Thursday: I rearranged my computer. I organized pictures, documents and recipes. I can't believe I have so many pictures I have!! The documents and recipes are more in order now, so I can find things easily. I have not finished cleaning the computer yet, so I have to finish it this week.

Friday: I wrote some Christmas Cards for my friends.

Saturday (Christmas Eve): We celebrated my mother's birthday that day. Before we head out, we took some photos with the tree.

Of course we wore the new clothes we brought.

We went to Tom's Pancake House for lunch. It serves the BEST pancakes ever. It is a cute diner, and everything is made from scratch. After lunch, we went to Washington Park; I am glad that it was a great weather. The temperature was very good for December. We enjoyed the sunshine.  We also watched movie"Descendants" it was a great movie. I hope you will watch it, too. For dinner, we went to Olive Garden my mother's favorite place to eat.

The drinks were great!!

My mom had a free dessert with a cute candle from the restaurant. I forgot the name of the dessert, but it was yummy. It was made from strawberry and white chocolate.

Sunday (Christmas Day): I baked cakes and cookies. It was a LONG baking day. I admit that I was tired, but I enjoyed. I made sugar cookies and my mother's birthday cake.

These are some traditional sugar cookies I have been making them for years.

I got some new cookie cutters this year. I like them because it let me write message on the cookies. However, the cookie cutters are hard to use. It will make my life easier if those letters are easy to put in and get out.
My mother's birthday cake!! I made it from scratch. We used buy cakes from stores, but my mother did not like the cakes because they were either too big or too sweet. If I bake at home, I can control the sweetness and size. I have been making my mother's birthday cakes for several years. I think this year was the BEST.

I am glad that she liked it. The sweetness and size was just what she wanted.

For this week, I have to continue organize my computer, update linked-in and blog, and hang out with some of my friends. I hope this week would not crazy as last week. Remember 12 Days of Christmas? It was a to do list for winter break. Several items from the list are done, and I am still trying to finish them up. I guess most of the fun parts are done now, it is time to get into the not fun parts.

What did you do for Christmas?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

12 Days of Christmas = 12 Must To Do Lists

My winter break is finally here!! I am ready to celebrate all the holidays: Christmas, New Year and Mother's Birthday (yes, that is holiday as well). There are A LOT to do over a couple of weeks. This will help me fight with the coldness in the winter. I made a list, so I can keep track easily. For this list, there are fun stuff and not fun stuff. I will start from fun stuff.

Fun Stuff
1. Going to Shopping: Yeah!! This is going to be very fun. Shopping is fun anytime. I like to walk around the mall and look for what is on sale even I am not actually going to buy anything. I usually find something I want easily when I am not looking for anything particular, strange...

2. Christmas Cooking and Baking: I am VERY EXCITED for this. There are so many sweets I want to bake. Pies, cakes, cookies....and so on.....yum. I know I do not want to gain weight, but in this time of the year, I do NOT mind. Spending time in the kitchen is THE BEST way to conquer the coldness.

3. Hanging out with Friends: I miss my friends SO much. I want to see them so badly. We all had a tough year and are getting better. It is time to celebrate and have fun. It is time to be proud of ourselves for what we accomplished over the year. Call me, message me, text me, whatever if you want to hang out.

4. Making hand crafted gift for my Mother: This is part of my winter break tradition. I have been doing it since I was in 4th or 5th grade. My mother's birthday is on Christmas day, and I always make her hand made gift. I also like to make other decorations using my own hands.

5. Watching Christmas Movies and Other New/Old Movies: Movies are fun to watch, especially during holidays with family and friends. There are a lot of great Christmas movies and other movies. There are SO MANY ones I want to watch. I will be watching movies everyday and as many as I can.

6. Playing, Singing, and Listening Christmas Music: I love music as much as movies. I listen to Christmas songs from radio. I like to listen to the music when I exercise. I do not do music professionally, but I can play piano and sing. I do it for fun. Music adds more holiday spirit.

Can Be Fun or Not Fun Stuff
7. Organizing My Computer: Oh, there are SO MUCH stuff to organize. My computer is very unorganized, so I have to organized ASAP. My documents, pictures, recipes, name it... My work will be much easier when my computer is organized.

8. Editing My Blog and Linked In Site: Several posts ago, I wrote that I will be changing from facebook to Linked In and Blog, but both of them are still DEVELOPING. I promise that after the new year, my blog will look much better, and Linked In site will be more professional.

9. Watching all the Episodes From "OMG Meiyu": OMG Meiyu is an English learning series. It is hosted by a American girl who can speak Chinese well. She uses Chinese to teach Chinese people how to use English properly. Even though it is a study related series, it is still fun to watch.

10. Cleaning My Room: Yep, I have to do it. It is going to be A LOT of work. Not only I have to make it clean and neat, but also I have to make it organized. There are things to throw away or put away. I do this every end of the year. Although it's going to be a hard work, I know I will like my room better when it's finished.

Not Fun Stuff
11. Studying for Tax and Become Certified Volunteer: I will be a tax volunteer at Cash Oregon (a non-profit organization where provides free tax service to low income people) this upcoming tax season. I have to PASS the test and get CERTIFIED in order to become a tax preparer.

12. Writing Graduate School Essays: Yikes....I am not good at writing.......But if I want to go to a graduate school, I'd better start doing it SOON. I waited enough. I'd better write excellent, strong, interesting and attractive essays, so I will have higher chance to get admitted.

It is good that I have 6 fun stuff, 4 can be fun stuff, and only 2 not fun stuff. That means I have more fun stuff, so this is going to be great. You know what, after I made this 12 must-to-do-list, I realized I have 12 MORE LISTS to make: shopping list, movie list, baking list, song list, places to organize list, craft list, study list, graduate school list, etc...

I hope it will snow. What is your Christmas to do list?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas is COMING!! Decorations!!

It is SO COLD everyday. I feel getting out of bed is a hard work in the morning. But on the bright side, holiday is coming.  Who is excited? ME!! I am always excited for any celebration. I believe it is the MOST wonderful time of the year. If the year was good, it is the time to celebrate, if the year was bad, it is time to let it go. I hope whoever reads this post will do the same thing and believe in the same way. This post is about Christmas Decoration.

Little inside story: My family almost decided not going decorate our house this year, but I strongly insisted we WILL decorate the house. I decided that in the future, no matter how hard the year was I will always not going to forget to decorate the house and celebrate Christmas. So my mom and I got out the Christmas decorations.

This is the tree. I LOVE decorating the Christmas tree. This year I did all the decoration by MYSELF (usually I let my mom help me.) We had this tree since 2002, so it has been quite a while. This tree has been watching me growing up. When I was little, I always dreamed about having a big Christmas Tree in the house. After we came to America in 2002, it finally came true.

This small tree is we used have before we bought the big one. We wanted the big one, but it could not fit into the small apartment we lived in Japan. I should not say we used have because we still have it and using it. I should say, we used only have the small one, and we were satisfied for it.

Should I say, this is the 3rd tree? This tree was a quilting made by my MOTHER. She is so TALENTED!!

Oh, I just LOVE lights on holidays. Don't you like them? It gives me holiday spirit.

Other decorations in the house.

My mother is genius. It is her idea to have little decoration on the doors and cabinets. It makes the house in the holiday mood. Thanks mom.

I'd like to add more decoration in and outside of my home. I will buy some and probably make some as well. I am excited for shopping for gifts and decorations. Starting to feel like Christmas!!