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We had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with yummy food and good company.  Hopefully, everyone had a great Thanksgiving as well.  But what did we do on Black Friday while everyone was fighting for that parking spot at the mall?  Our family tradition is to visit a museum.  But since the weather was so amazing this year, we decided to take a day trip to Descanso Gardens.  Situated at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, this place was the home of a wealthy publisher, Manchester Boddy.  His estate is still on the property and is open to visitors.  I love the house and enjoyed pretending that it is our house!  :-)  You can see pics of us hanging out at the house below.  Descanso Gardens is not as grand as the more famous Huntington Library, however, it does have a miniature train that goes around the park which Buzz LOVED!  We rode it twice and he still talks about riding it again when Grandpa and Grandma visit.  Enjoy the pics from our Black Friday.   The last picture is the view of Downtown LA on our drive home.











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Posted November 28, 2012


I've never been an impulse shopper.  I would spend a lot of time researching on an item, it could be a pair of shoes, a camera, or even simply a baby toy.  I read ton of reviews and I would put things into my "basket" (online or a real shopping cart) and ponder as I continue to browse the other tabs or walk through the rest of the brick and mortar store.  However, this behavior has gotten me into trouble recently.  

A few weeks ago, I locked my eyes on this blue dress from Old Navy.  It was on sale for $14.99 online!  I put it in my virtual basket and continued to browse for other things.  Because Old Navy offers free shipping for purchase over $50 I had to fill my basket with more items before I can get the free shipping.  I could always return things I don't like so I don't know why I was spending so much time looking through the website for the perfect things.  By the time I had enough merchandise to get me to $50, the dress in my size sold out!!!  I was sooooo dissappointed.  Since I lost the dress because I took too long to decide I convinced myself that I HAD to have the dress!  So I scour the web for days (ebay, amazon, etc) in hopes of finding the dress.  But nothing came up.  I moped around for days, the dress was in my thoughts constantly.  Why, why did I not buy it sooner??  Then a few days later, I browsed Old Navy's website again and amazingly the dress was available again!!  This time I immediately ordered it along with other items to get me the free shipping again.  I will simply return the other stuff I don't want but at least I have my dream dress, and it was still on sale.  

A few months ago, I saw a bunch of totes at Costco.  I walked right past them because I don't need another purse!  For weeks the totes were available at Costco and each time we were there, Mr. BAW would point them out to me and asked if I wanted one.  Each time I would tell him (and myself) I don't need another purse, even if it is for $19.99.  Then today, I bumped into a co-worker of mine carrying a very stylish and functional tote with leather handles.  I asked her if I could try carrying it and it was super comfortable!!  It was the perfect "Mommy Bag!"  It was huge and comforatble to carry and was super stylish.  I asked her where she got it from and she gave me a funny look and said, "Are you kidding me?  It's just a cheapy bag from Costco for $20!"  That's when I realized that it was the bag I had seen at Costco months ago.  So I knew that Costco no longer carry them.  Of course that's when I decided that I HAD to have that bag!  So I searched the web madly and discovered that this bag actually cost as much as $100 on most websites.  But after a few hours of searching, I finally found one on ebay for $40.  I immediately ordered it and in the end I was lucky to find one for only $20 more than the Costco price.  But I'm still kicking myself for not getting it from Costco!

In the end, I will not likely change my buying behavior because I've gotten more things cheaper from doing more research than less.  But if I do LOVE something, I should act on it faster next time. :-)  Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and happy Black Friday shopping!


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Posted November 21, 2012

I can't believe that it's going to be Thanksgiving next week!  Our month-long late summer heat wave just broke one day and within a few days we went from 90 degree temp down to the low 60's, just in time to get us into the autumn holiday season.  Last weekend, we took the kids to Yucaipa for some apple picking two hours east of Los Angeles.  Instead of going to the most popular apple farm in that area (Riley's) which we visited two years ago, we decided to visit a smaller, more intimate farm called Willowbrook Apple Farm.  This place is much smaller but full of charm!  They have two cider presses, a cozy little store, a large pig named Blossom, a giant bunny named Floppsy, and a miniature horse named Comet.  The weather was perfect, in the low 60's.  I got tons of pictures of the kids.  Buzz got to ride a tractor, pet Comet, and help make some fresh apple cider!  We all had a wonderful time despite still recovering from the flu.  Enjoy some of the pics from our apple picking adventure.
 








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Posted November 16, 2012


We had ended October with a wonderful evening of Trick or Treating with Buzz and Ahgoo.  But just one night later, I ended up catching the flu and was miserable with high fever and a sore throat.  Then the following night Ahgoo got the same thing (although I suspect that she brought home the virus from daycare)  and ended up with a fever of 103!  So I immediately took her in to see the doctor and after an hour we were able to head home when her fever came down from a dose of fast-acting fever reducer.  But when we got home from the doctor's office, I told Mr. BAW that perhaps we will skip taking Buzz to Chinese school on Saturday because we're all not feeling too well.  But Mr. BAW seemed to think that we should go anyway.  Hm...but I was too tired to suspect anything.  The next day, we got back into our normal routine and Ahgoo was better and she smiled and "talked" and was in good spirits so I felt good enough to go to Chinese school.  On the way, Mr. BAW told me that since we had a few extra minutes, he was going to get me some coffee at my favorite coffee shop, Yellow Vase, since it was on the way.  Again, I didn't suspect anything because I would never say no to coffee!!  When we got there, I asked him if we all need to get out of the car.  He told me that we do because he had a surprise treat for Buzz to take to school.  I immediately assumed that we were picking up some cupcakes for his classmates!  Why?  Because I love their chocolate cupcakes! :-)  When we went in, Mr. BAW took me to the back room and patio...I followed not suspecting anything.  Next thing I know, there must have been about 40 people yelling "SUPRISE!" to me.  It literally took me about 20 seconds before I realize that these were all people I know from various times in my life, including one of my best friend TNK from San Francisco whom I thought wasn't goint to be in town until later that evening!  Turns out that Mr. BAW and TNK had been planning a surprise 40th birthday party for me for months now!  I HAD NO CLUE!!!  I was completely shocked and seeing all the familiar faces from various parts of my life all come together for me was overwhelming, so I started to cry like a baby!  This was also my very first birthday party ever!  

One reason I was completely caught off guard is because it's actually not my birthday until December.  But Mr. BAW told me that that's why he wanted to hold it a month earlier, so I would not suspect anything.   He was right!  So as I get closer to my actual 40th birthday, I look back at my life and I can say that each decade has been extremely fullfilling.  
-1st Decade - childhood, travelled all over the Asia and came to the US.  I learned all the languages I speak today in the first decade of life.  I also decided that I wanted to be a scientist at age 6!
-2nd Decade - teenage years, probably the toughest of my life thus far.  Trapped between the old Chinese culture of my parents and the new American culture of my friends, I struggled for balance.  Somehow, I emerged stronger, taking the best of both cultures.
-3rd Decade - my most thrilling decade!  This decade was a period of extreme personal growth for me.  I earned all of my degrees by the time I turned 30.  I lived on my own, I made life-long friends, I dated, I was independent, I enjoyed life to the fullest!  I got a new career, I bought my own condo, I adopted Toby!
-4th Decade - adulthood, I have finally grown up.  I got married, got a house in the burbs, and had two kids.  These days life is about family.  Adulthood comes with great responsibilities but also tremendous joy.  I gladly traded in my SUV for a mini-van.  

So I look forward to the next decade, I suspect it will be mostly about the kids, helping them and watching them grow into confident individuals.  I look forward to many family trips, many homework and study nights, many more school pictures.  I'm sure there'll be many surprises as well!
 

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Posted November 10, 2012






































































































































































































































































































































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