Friday, November 27, 2015

happy friday!

Like I've said so many other weeks, I can't decide if this one went by quickly or slowly. I think, depending on what I was doing, it was both.

I've been feeling pretty wiped lately—that tired, pre-sickness, I need a break kind of feeling—so I didn't make any concrete plans for the weekend. It was hard. Hard not to ask my friends, Are you doing anything this weekend? Hard not to buy a ticket for the school play. Hard not to say, Yah! when T asked me if I wanted to go see The Martian. Hard not to tell him that I will definitely go watch him play in the Movember ball hockey tournament.

But here I am, on Friday night, with no definite plans and I am so excited! Maybe I will go out for brunch tomorrow or maybe I'll just eat cereal. Maybe I will go grocery shopping or maybe I'll send T. Maybe I will catch up on TV or maybe I'll read a book. Maybe we'll go see a movie or maybe I'll bake muffins. The only thing I know for sure is that I am going to relax and do my best to enjoy the weekend, whatever I end up doing.

On that note, I've been trying to focus on positive things lately, so here are some of the things that made me happy this week:

+ Eating hot pot twice! Including having it delivered—pots and all!—to our apartment.

+ Coming home from work on Monday and realizing I can turn on our Christmas lights!

+ Eating my new muesli and granola for breakfast.

+ Playing with my kiddos in the snow and surprising them with hot chocolate.

+ Discovering a new place to get my nails done. Thanks, Sali!

+ A fun manicure and red toenails!

+ My David's Tea advent calendar.

+ Bundling up to survive the cold and deciding I'm going to try really hard not to hate it.

+ Thinking of Christmas gifts for friends and family.

What are your plans for the weekend? What made you happy this week?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

currently obsessed: david's tea advent calendar.

This isn't the first time I've been obsessed with a product from David's Tea, and I'm sure it won't be the last.

David's Tea Advent Calendar
My Christmas dream come true.

I have wanted one of these advent calendars for the past two years, but 1) I live in China and 2) Do you know how fast they sell out? Real fast, that's how fast. (I don't actually know how fast they sell out, but I think I remember trying to order one online last year so someone could ship it to me here and when I tried, they were sold out. Boo.)

But this year I got one! Thanks to a very kind person—hi, Grace!—who had a quick trip to Canada and asked if I wanted anything from David's Tea because pretty much everyone I work with knows I'm obsessed.

David's Tea Advent Calendar - Glitter and Gold tea

I started my countdown on November 19th because T and I are celebrating Christmas early. (We'll be in Bali for the actual holiday.) You guys, this is a beautiful advent calendar. Well worth the $40 price tag. The tea is in these little gold containers (that I totally plan on reusing!) and there's enough for 2 servings (technically more, because I brew the same tea twice).

David's Tea Glitter and Gold
Glitter and Gold—isn't it beautiful? It's delicious, too!

I don't know if they're still available, but you should check! And if not, definitely get one next year!

(This is not a sponsored post. I just like sharing the things that I'm using and loving, or rather, currently obsessed with.) 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

you are not weak.

you are not weak
you are just tired
for now.

you are not quitting
i know you
i know you
you are just resting,

- Ijeoma Umebinyuo

P.S. You should follow her on Twitter.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

a quick update.

I haven't written anything here in over a month and—not that I have to make excuses for myself—the only reasons I can think of are because I've been busy and because it's that time of year again. The time of year when it gets dark early and stays dark longer and I get a case of the blahs. I mean, don't we all?!

The good news is, while I have had the blahs, it hasn't been that bad. (Uh oh, did I just jinx myself by writing that? KNOCK ON WOOD!) There have been a few bad days and all of last week I was feeling pretty rundown and over it but I've been really trying to slow down, listen to my body, indulge in self-care. If I feel really frickin' tired, I will let myself lay down on the couch as soon as I get home and stay there for most of the night, gosh darn it! Other ways I've been taking care of myself: working out fairly regularly, experimenting with oil pulling, lighting candles, trying to enjoy the process of cooking supper.

I've also still been happily—for the most part—getting up at 5:30 in the morning, just because that is truly the only time of day that I am guaranteed to have quiet time alone. And OH MY GOD! I don't even have kids yet! I mean, Tony doesn't make that much noise, but when you spend your days with 20+ preschoolers WHO MAKE A LOT OF NOISE, even the quietest noise can be too much.

There's so much more I want to tell you, to catch you up on, if you're even interested, but I gotta go book hotels for Bali and really, I just don't have the energy, so I'm just gonna leave these photos right here and if you're lucky, there might be a few explanatory captions. xo

hot pot
I made two new friends! We call ourselves "Xiabu Buddies." Well, we called ourselves that once and it's the name of our WeChat group.

When your husband is Chinese, you get dumplings in bed. Yum.

I discovered the magic of polaroids! Thanks, Sali!

I turned 26! Maybe I'll share more about this. Maybe?

We babysat a cute baby! And Tony is half pro, half amateur haha!

Look at our beautiful plates!

Crab dinner! I can't decide if I like crab or not.

I made this broccoli

Tony's face! But mostly, yay friends and laughing!

I like this because it shows what our apartment looks like now.


Last week was all about the impromptu dates and I loved it. Another method of self-care.

Quiz Night! We won wooden ladles for coming in first last place!

(Photos #12-22 are Sali's!)

Monday, November 23, 2015


// I am obsessed with my new polka dot pants!

// Melissa and I made this pumpkin curry a couple weeks ago. Oh my god, delicious AND easy!

// "It's going to be okay."

// I am totally going to make one of these stove simmers!

// "Hey, New Teachers, It's OK To Cry In Your Car": "As they get six or seven weeks into school, they realize how tough it is to be a really good teacher," says Moir. "They need someone saying, 'You are not horrible. You are not a fraud.'"

// How to stay optimistic when everything's horrible.

// Google can predict your future! I seriously love this company.

// On my journey to adulting better, I appreciate these dinner party tips.

(Print by Marc Johns, available here)
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