Friday, February 21, 2014

My Thoughts About Ashland

Last weekend, I visited Ashland. It was a short but very productive trip. I saw most of my friends and talked. I had SO MUCH FUN!! This was a birthday gift for myself, and I missed my friends a lot. Also, I needed a break from work and family. The busy tax season is coming up at work, so this trip will help me go through the crazy season. 

When I arrived, I realized, the town was just beautiful. 
Everything stayed the same.
Everyone welcomed me, and the place welcomed me.

I came to my old dorm and saw my room. 
No one live here anymore.
It is still the same hall and filled with memories. 

My friends' conversation picked up immediately. 

This shows our tight connections. 
Even we live apart, we still feel like we met, yesterday.
I feel blessed to have so many good friends in Ashland. 
The talks we had was just like the old times. 
My hall mates even had accidental reunion. 
I felt like I never left the city. 

Here is my thoughts: 

"Every time I go to Ashland, I feel everything will be OK.
Everything did get better; actually everything was perfect in Ashland. "

I decided that every time I want a break or relief for anything in life, I would come to Ashland to get away. 

This place gave me hope. 

This place was like heaven.
When I went school here, I received good grades, made good friends, met a lot of nice people, and gave me encouragement for the future. 
Everything I wanted was there. 
Ashland never let me down

Friday, February 14, 2014

Single on Valentines Day?? So What!!

Happy Valentine's Day!! OR, Happy Single Awareness Day!! I know there are singles out there who hate this day. I don't know why. I mean, even you don't have a "date", there ares still PLENTY of other ways to enjoy 2/14. 

Here are some ways celebrate or not celebrate this day.

1.  Have a Single Ladies/Guys Night Out: I believe having a this kind of night out is as much as fun as going to a date. Sometimes it is even more exciting. A formal date can be stressful. A fun night would be casual and relaxing.

2. Spend Time With Family and Friends and Give Love to Them: Valentine's Day is about all giving love. You can only give romantic love to one person; however, other love. Valentine's Day Write a Valentine's card and/or give treats and flowers to people you respect is also a great way to honor Valentine's Day. 

3. Use This Day As a Chance to Make a Move: The main problem with people stay single is that they are so afraid of make the move. Making the move is NOT that difficult. Couple valentines ago, I did ask a guy for lunch on Valentine's Day. I was nervous at first; however, I glad that he said "Yes." Even though we did not go beyond "just lunch," I still felt great I did make the move. 

4. Excuse to Eat Candies, Buy Flowers, and/or Watch Chick-Flicks Etc: All ladies can use this day to indulge yourself. This might be beneficial for single ladies. There are guys don't like candies, flowers, and/or chick-flicks etc. Girls might feel bad for those guys by pushing them to buy a flowers and candies and forcing them to watch chick-flicks. 

5. Don't Care All, Just Think Like ANY Another Day: Trust me, there ARE people who doesn't care about Valentine's AT ALL. 
To those haters: if you don't like it, just ignore it, please don't hate it. 

My Valentine's Day Plan This Year
I would treat Valentine's Day like an ordinary day. I will let my family and friends know how much I love and they mean to me. I made heart shaped cookies with chocolates and chocolate covered strawberries, then give some of them out and eat the rest to myself. 
Lastly I'd like to leave my reader with this thought: people should have nice heart to honor this day. No one should hate this day. This day is all about LOVE. It is not about compare yourself with others about whether have a date or not. It is about giving and caring. When you enjoying your date or whatever plans you have for tonight, please remember to give more love to your lover, family and friends. As long as you have love in your heart, you will be happy forever. 

Happy LOVE Day!! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

25 Bucket List

Happy Birthday to ME!! I am turning 25 today, CRAZY, right? It is hard to believe to be quarter century old. Time moves fast, so I better putting a list of things I want to do.  
Believe it or not, we all have a "bucket list" in our lives. Some of you would not call it bucket list, but everyone has at least list of a to-do list in their lives. These are mine, some of them are very silly, and some of them might take several years of accomplishment. I hope I can achieve all.  

Traveling Related:
1. Travel to Europe to see the real historic statue 

2. Visit Japan to my childhood friends

3. Climb the Great Wall of China

4. Watch a Broadway Show

5. Go to Times Square Countdown

Academic and Career Related:
6. Have my own business

7. Attend graduate school

8. Work for international firm

9. Take a class in an Ivy school for fun

Culinary Related:
11. Learn how to pipe cupcake/cake

12. Be good at shaping sweets and dim sum

13 Make noodles and paste from scratch (start with flour)

14. Make puff pastry

Sewing Related:
15. Sew my own cloth

16. Knit a doll

Entertainment Related:
17. Set a good seat in a famous singer's concert

18. Have dinner at Portland City Grill

19. Watch sun rise from mountain

20. Able to play level 10 piano song
21. Take a family portrait at a studio 

22. Write a story book

23. Run 5K, 10K, and then half marathon

24. Wear bikinis

25. Play with ceramic wheels

I am looking forward to cross out and increase my bucket list in the near future. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Basic Truffle Recipes

Since Valentine's Day is coming up, I decided to share my family's favorite truffle recipe.Valentine's Day equals chocolates and candies, right? They are the perfect Valentine Gift. We make those for gift even it is not Valentine's Day, and sometimes we just make for ourselves. This recipe is from my mother.

When it comes to chocolates, I do not eat candy bars from the snack food idle. I like to buy rich and beautiful truffle from stores such as See's Candies. Buying truffle costs a lot money; however, they can be simply made at home with very basic ingredients. After getting taught by my mother, it was easier than I expected. After I mastered truffle making, I do not have to spend extra money on store bought truffles. 
1 Cup of Semi-Sweet/Milk/Bitter Sweet Chocolate Chips (I Used Milk) 
6 TBSP of Butter
1/2 Cup of Apricot Jam or Any Jam 
2 TBSP of Apricot Brandy or Regular Brandy(optional) 

Coating: nuts, powdered sugar, cocoa etc. 

1. Melt the chocolate chips and butter slowly in a bowl over the hot water with low heat. Be careful not to burn the chocolate. 
2. After the chocolate and butter are melted, take out from the heat and cool to room temperature 
3. Add jam and brandy if you like
4. When every thing is well combined, put it in the fridge for more cooling. 
4. As soon as the chocolate got firm and became manageable, take out from the fridge. 
5. Roll it into 2 inch balls (I recommend using a small ice cream scoop to make all the balls into same size). 
5. Coat the truffle with nuts, cocoa, powder, sugar etc.
Suggested additional coating: coconuts, crush candy cane, sprinkles 

There is no better way to spend Valentine's Day making these!! 
Impress your lover and/or family for these on Valentine's Day!!