Sunday, January 22, 2012

c is for cookie

Or cookie bar?  I don't know.  All I know is, I was craving 1) chocolate chip cookies of some sort, and 2) baking something easy with ingredients I already had on hand.  Enter one of my favorite food blogs, Mel's Kitchen Cafe and her Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.  As you well know, I love Mel's blog and her recipes are always a hit around here!  (Earlier this week, I made an adaptation of her Cream of Chicken Wild Rice Soup and it was so good, maybe even better than Panera's?)  

These cookie bars were easy to make, bake, and are delicious!  (Sorry for the poor picture, I was too lazy to take out a camera so I snapped that with my phone.)  I've only had one for now... :)  I liked the simplicity of the ingredients and the ease of putting it all together - less fussy than dealing with cookies that need to be scooped, watched carefully while baking, and cookie sheets changed constantly.  As long as Matt gives his seal of approval later, then I'll know they're a winner!

It's been a nice weekend, but never long enough.  And never enough rest!  What's up with that?  Our Chinese New Year dinner with Daf and Josh last night was mighty tasty, and even Matt got in on the action.  He enjoyed some nice char siu and even poked around some chicken fried rice which was surprisingly delicious.  The rest of us had fish maw soup, spicy salt squid, beef chow fun, yang chow fried rice, and pea shoots, followed up with some boba drinks.  Deliciousness!  While we waited for our table, we even had some fun at the gift shop next door where Matt found himself a pink alpaca plush (he LOVES alpacas, what were the chances?) and Daf got a Hello Kitty steering wheel cover for Fugu.  Josh's goal is to pimp her ride for future gifts, haha.  

I like that we've all been hanging out for a night the last few weekends.  This coming weekend, I'll be taking Daf to get her xmas/early birthday/graduation gift, we'll do some filming for her senior thesis, then all of us will have dinner, we're thinking maybe Wako for chicken katsu finally.  It's nice to open Matt's eyes to new foods and he's being a good sport about it, it's slow progress but progress nevertheless. 

This morning, I woke up early to talk to my grandma and wish her a happy Chinese New was hilarious that she was so excited when she realized it was me.  Plus she cracked herself up when she forgot to wish me a happy new year until the end of the conversation, something along the lines of, 'I forgot to say it even when you remembered!'  Haha, she's so cute :)  

The week ahead looks to be pretty stressful and especially busy at work.  Somehow, a bunch of deadlines snuck up on me for February 1, what gives?  Oh well, have to just keep on moving forward and tackling each thing one at a time.  For now, there's still a full night ahead and some delicious leftovers from last night still waiting for me in the fridge - yum!

Friday, January 20, 2012

happy chinese new year!

Happy Chinese New Year!  Will you be doing something to celebrate?  We're planning to have a nice Chinese dinner with Daf and Josh - yummy!

As we enter this Year of the Dragon, I was curious to see what was in store

2012 Yearly Chinese Horoscope for Dog (from



Every 12 years the Dragon shows up and rains on your parade. But take heart: At least you have one favorable month this year, as well as two others that are not so bad. In a year like this, timing is incredibly important. Plan your big events during those three months ... and keep a low profile throughout the other nine. You'll also increase your chances of success if you simply go with the flow. In a Water year, education, networking, communication and travel are favorable, so you'll have your best chance for success if you focus on these. A conservative approach is likely to be your smartest move this year, so hold off on risk-taking, exploring new areas or making major commitments.



There's only one thing you need to remember when it comes to your career this year: Rock the boat. Last year you made some headway in your career, and now it's time to familiarize yourself with new responsibilities before placing your nose on the grindstone and making real progress. The Dragon will try to trick you into effecting sweeping changes, but with many unfavorable months this year, you're better off telling the Dragon to back off! By rising to challenging tasks this year, you can put yourself in a great position at the start of 2013.



Your home life should be fulfilling this year, mainly because you'll want to lean on your loved ones a little more than usual. This is a good development for you, though, since you'll be able to find out who your true friends are, and whether or not love will last. The Dragon favors marriages and celebrations, so there might be something big looming on the romance front. If you're single, it may feel like progress is coming slowly; just keep in mind that success always follows a period of patient waiting. Date your heart out, but know that new romances may fizzle out fast. Use your time this year to work on yourself as you try to define what you really want in a partner.



Anxiety could get the best of you when the chips are down this year. More than ever, now is an excellent time to start exercising if you've gotten out of the habit of doing so. Find a positive outlet for your stress and dive into healthy habits. Get clear about what you can give up when it comes to unhealthy eating, smoking, drinking and the like. You'll need your energy this year -- don't waste it away. Find some sort of meditation practice. It doesn't have to be religious or even spiritual; you can simply stare at the wall for ten minutes a day. Whatever you do, just give your head some space to be clear, as this will help you make better decisions.



Did you overspend over the course of the last 12 months? If so, it's time to put a lid on it. Surely you can learn to do without a few things. While you may not get ahead this year, you can certainly make wise financial decisions. You may want to consider hiring a tax accountant or someone similar to help get your financial house in order. Stay close to home and avoid offshore investments or get-rich-quick schemes -- your best approach is to simplify. Create a weekly budget and have your spouse or best friend keep you accountable. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Hmm...that's not so great (major understatement!) :/  What I think I need to do is hitch my wagon to Matt's lucky star this year and share in his fortune-filled, glorious year:


2012 Yearly Chinese Horoscope for Monkey (from



12 out of 12 favorable months this year? That's right -- it's time for the Monkey to shine! The spotlight and all the success that comes with it are yours for the taking. All you need to do is simply go for it. You can make good things happen in almost every area of your life. Since it's a Water year, travel, education, networking and communication could all turn out to be exceptional for you. Enroll in a course. Try something new. Turn your biggest dream into your reality! But beware: Sometimes the Dragon's schemes are so outlandish that crashing and burning is the likeliest outcome. Can you exercise a little restraint? Live on the edge ... but be careful about leaning too far over it.



What you set in motion last year is about to become bigger as you move into a time of positive change. You've probably been working towards success for some time now; however, big leaps will only turn into successes if you take the first step and pick up momentum from there. You'll have to be proactive about work this year. Have you been considering a big career move? That resourceful nature of yours is your best asset right now. Show a willingness to go big, but be calculating at the same time. The Dragon loves drama, so be a team player. Finally, act wisely and in the interest of your loved ones -- not just yourself.



Cheers to new beginnings! Last year you might have hit some relationship roadblocks that left you feeling stuck and frustrated. Not so this year. Expect to move full-speed ahead while preparing for a big shift in your love life. The Dragon favors celebrations, so this may be the time to start a family, get engaged or begin a lasting romance. Passion should reign supreme, but don't get too carried away. Your greatest joys will be found in day-to-day living, which, for you, could be more fulfilling and satisfying than ever this year. There will be options to explore, parties to attend and plenty of sparkle in your love life, so go for it!



High energy is virtually limitless for you this year! You should be able to feed your curiosity with all kinds of new things, and your health is no exception. You might pick up a new sport or embark on a journey of better health. Whether it's going vegetarian or switching to strictly green cleaning products, you'll want to consider becoming more conscious of holistic living. Such awareness will serve you well during this very busy year. Also, outdoor adventures will keep your spirits up and your body strong. Since it's a Water year, consider swimming or kayaking as another activity. Remind yourself that a healthy mind-body connection is essential for success in all areas.



Luck should be with you a great deal this year, but you probably love spending your money just as much as you love making it. Be careful you don't jump the gun! Instead, see how things shake out first. A little caution can go a long way this year. If you're thinking about big home improvements or personal purchases, do your homework before committing to something. It might be better to wait to see what appears down the road. If you celebrate your successes modestly, it's very likely you'll come out ahead.

Umm, yes please!  Share the wealth!!

Note:  I had originally written this post and published it, then when editing it, my computer ate the post so this is actually my second re-write :(  I don't think it bodes well for my year that the post I wrote about my bad luck this year ended up having bad luck itself!  Maybe it's just a coincidence...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

and now back to your regularly scheduled programming

Seasons greetings!  I hope you enjoyed your holiday season as much as we did.  Things have been busy but full of fun, happiness, and laughter.  All very good things.

I've been looking forward to the start of the new year for a while, if mostly just for a fresh start.  It's been hard getting back into the swing of things and honestly, I'm still working on it.

Today, I saw one of my good law school friends when he came to my office for a deposition.  There we were, me working at one firm, and him decked out in a suit working on the other side for the 'enemy' (haha) and I couldn't help but remember when not so long ago, we were just kids sitting next to each other in a law school classroom.  It's amazing how much we've all grown up and now we're real life working professionals.  Not just textbooks and mock problems anymore!

I'm not one to come up with new year's resolutions usually, but I started thinking that for this year, it would be great to have some goals to work toward.  So I've come up with an incomplete work-in-progress list:

-- Blog more.  So much to say, so much to do!

-- Cook and bake more!  I am lucky enough to own both a Cuisinart food processor and a Kitchenaid stand mixer now, so it's about time to put them to work!  And eating healthier as a result would also be great.

-- Clean/organize my apartment.  And on-going project that we've done some major work on but still need to keep going.

-- Craft more.  I have so many awesome patterns and books and things I've been wanting to make for a long time, it's about time I get to it.  The world needs more cute crafty creations, haha.

-- Practice my knitting skills.  

-- Read more.  Thanks to my new Kindle (which replaced the one I broke, ugh - thanks mom!), I have thousands of books at my fingertips and new worlds to discover.

-- Go on more adventures of the food, zoo, beach, animal, sports, and vacation variety.

-- Catch up on all the TV shows I've been behind on (looking at you, Glee, Modern Family, Criminal Minds, CSI) and discovering new shows (30 Rock, Revenge, Once Upon a Time...).  Matt and I are going to put his Apple TV to work, lemme tell you.

-- Watch more movies, even classics.  I used to watch so many movies and then I stopped, not really sure why.  But I'm taking recommendations for must-see movies, what are your favs?

-- Work on being more organized, being patient, staying stress-free and letting things go.  I am stubborn and temperamental as a bull and I'd really like to chill out in the new year, haha.

-- Learn how to make the most of my DSLR and take pictures galore.  I have this pretty nifty camera but I am a total buffoon when it comes to knowing how to use it. 

--  Work on looking/dressing nicer.  I own all these great clothes, accessories, and make-up but I never have enough time to get ready to use them all, in the morning or on weekends.

-- Get more rest.  Time always seems to slip away, especially when things are busy.

-- Always remember to appreciate and enjoy the little things in life.  Sort of cheesy but I think it's easy to forget sometimes in the hustle and bustle of every day life.

And the list goes on...

What are some of your goals for the new year?