A Busy Three-Day Weekend

long weekends

Ahh, another 3-day weekend just about done and dusted, as my British friend Janine would say. I love that as a teacher, I get all of these extra days off here and there throughout the school year! You can get so much done and then rest the extra day! I am a firm believer of the mental and physical health benefits of a 3-day weekend.

I don’t know why, but I feel like I’ve been a couch potato the past three days, which is weird because I definitely have NOT been a couch potato. Look at all that I’ve done:

  • Took my almost 11-year-old dog out for a one mile walk.
  • Washed, dried, and put away a total of EIGHT loads of laundry!
  • Went grocery shopping.
  • Read a few chapters in a book I just recently picked up from the library.
  • Cleaned my house.
  • Played out in the backyard with my kiddos.
  • Watched 3 DVDs, one of which I had never seen before: The Princess Bride.
  • Caught up with an old friend.
  • Attended the open house of my husband’s robotics team.
  • Wrote and published two blog posts here.
  • Meal-planned for the week.
  • Finally hung up this cute Japanese wind chime that I had bought in San Francisco a couple of months ago.
  • Donated a few of my daughter’s outgrown clothes to a local charity/thrift shop.
  • Organized various charging cables for my different devices.
  • Didn’t lose my sh*t once the past 3 days!

So as you can see, I really don’t know why I feel that I should have accomplished more. This seems like plenty! Doesn’t it?

Thanks for stopping by! ❤



It seems like I have been an emotional mess these days. Not manic depressive or anything serious like that. Just more in-tune with my emotions than usual. And no, I am not pregnant, so let’s just rule that one out right now.

I was watching the Olympics the other day, specifically the team figure skating, and I got teary eyed when Mirai Nagasu landed her triple axel. Such a cool moment! Yesterday, I was reading an online article about how an Olympic athlete from Mexico (who had only started doing the sport since last year) completed his cross country skiing event in last place. He finished that race as if he had won a medal: with so much pride, happiness, and enthusiasm, not to mention a ton of supportive fans and fellow competitors. Again I had tears.

The recent school shooting in Florida made me sad, frustrated, and appalled. How many innocent people have to die before we start seriously considering some better gun regulations here in the US?! Thoughts and prayers are wonderful, but it’s time we have change and better policies. Yes, we have a constitutional right to bear arms, but there’s got to be more the government can do to help prevent the wrong people from getting guns. As a society, we should all be finding ways to be proactive so that this doesn’t keep happening. I’m a teacher, and tragedies like this have been giving me extra worry and anxiety.

Only two chapters into the book I am currently reading, Mistaken Identity, and the tears are already flowing freely. It’s such an emotional book! It’s one I’ll have to read at home, though, so people don’t think something is wrong with me. I don’t want to be ugly-crying out in public.

My children were watching the first Cars movie the other night, and I joined them around the ending. I got emotional when Lightning McQueen helps The King to cross the finish line for his last race. And don’t even get me started on the movie Up. I cry at the beginning and I cry at the end! Thanks a lot, Disney and Pixar. I’ve seen all of these movies before, and yet they get me every time.

A subscription to AFAR magazine (a travel magazine) has just started coming to my house. I didn’t order it, but apparently I have a full year paid. I’ve asked around, and so far, no one is admitting to buying it for me. I’ve even emailed the magazine’s customer service people to inquire about it, but they haven’t replied yet. I like to travel so I am pretty happy to be receiving this mysterious gift subscription, but I’m also pretty confused!

Last night, I dreamed about my older brother. He was asking for milk to put in his coffee. I got annoyed with him because I didn’t even know he drank coffee. I woke up feeling amused and sad. He passed away almost 5 years ago. I’m glad my brain was able to conjure up such a clear image of him, including his mannerisms. And yet, the sting of his absence is still felt, and always will be.

As always, thanks for stopping by. ❤

True Confessions of My Mild Life

It’s interesting how things come together sometimes. I had mentioned a silly little confession in my banana bread post a few weeks ago, not thinking very much about it. Well, a friend of mine read it and suggested that I should write up an entire post about some of my confessions. Since I’m always trying to come up with new things to write about, I started seriously thinking about her suggestion.

So here we are. Be prepared to be unimpressed at how mild my life has been and generally is. 😉


  1. Once it gets down toward the bottom, I will eat the Nutella straight out of the jar with a spoon.
  2. When I went to Paris and saw the Eiffel Tower, there were signs all around saying not to touch it. Well, I touched it anyway.
  3. If you ever find a fortune from a fortune cookie in a library book, I may have been the one to place it there. I’ve placed fortunes in almost every book I’ve checked out from the public library for the past 3 or 4 years. It’s my way of sharing something fun with the world.
  4. Yes, I admit it. I’ve used Facebook and other social media to stalk people.
  5. One time at Disneyland, I met Matthew Perry (Chandler from FRIENDS). He was eating lunch and I had the nerve to interrupt his meal just to meet him.
  6. It may come as a surprise to some people, but I really am an introvert.
  7. For parent-teacher conferences, I intentionally play a CD with peaceful music. It’s called Zen Garden or something like that. I play it in the background to help instill a sense of peace, because these conferences can sometimes get a little heated.
  8. They’re American classics, but I’ve never read Huckleberry Finn or Tom Sawyer. I own a copy of both somewhere in my house, but I’ve just never felt like reading them. I’ve started Huckleberry Finn a couple of times, but haven’t ever continued it.
  9. I’ve had recurring dreams about tornadoes for the past maybe 30 or so years of my life.
  10. I’m obsessed with the Titanic. On two separate occasions, I’ve been to Titanic exhibits where a piece of the actual ship was encased in a clear plastic box with an opening to allow you to “touch a piece of history,” so to speak. Well I confess, both times I got to touch the Titanic, I cried.

Pretty mild, right? What about you? Have any mild confessions you’d like to share? Thanks for stopping by! ❤

Book Review: Uncommon Type

It’s been a while since I last wrote up a book review, so here we are!

I recently finished reading Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks, and I loved it! First of all, I want to be upfront in admitting that I love Tom Hanks, and so of course I might be a little biased in how much I enjoyed his book. Don’t tell my husband, but one of my celebrity crushes happens to be Tom Hanks. ❤ Tom Hanks is such a versatile actor. He’s also really handsome. Not only is he an incredible actor, apparently he can also write! Be still, my word nerd heart!


I took this photo of some gears over at the light house in Monterey, CA.

Also, let me explain that I love photographing old machinery. I’m fascinated by gears, such as the kind found in old clocks. I’m curious about the mechanical parts of old tractors. I love old typewriters. I love how they look. I love that some have told stories both literally and figuratively. Every story in Tom’s book (Can I call him Tom?) references a typewriter in some way, and there are photographs of those typewriters as well.

Old Cash Register

This is a photo I took of an old cash register.

So with that being said, here’s a super quick review of his book.

It is really difficult trying to decide which is my favorite story from his collection. So many of them are poignant or clever or heartfelt, etc. For example, “Go See Costas” has the ugly grit of reality, and it has soft spots to warm the heart. “A Month on Greene Street” is different, but cute. But I think my favorite is “These Are the Meditations of My Heart.” Something about it resonates within me. Maybe it has to do something with the fact that this blog helps my own heart’s meditations to be heard.

I’m not going to leave any criticism about the couple of stories that I didn’t really enjoy. Suffice it to say that I really didn’t like “A Junket in the City of Light.” It was not my cup of tea.

However, I’m no book expert, so what do I know? I just love typewriters, and I love to read, and I love when a book can make me laugh, cry, and ponder the universe. I’m glad to say that Uncommon Type: Some Stories did just that. It also made me crush on Tom Hanks a bit more whole lot more.

Have you read it? What did you think of it? Feel free to leave me some comments. Thanks for stopping by! ❤


My Banana Bread Recipe


These are some loaves of banana bread that I baked recently. ❤

Don’t you just love banana bread? The aroma is so soft and warm and comforting. Banana bread is semi-dense and sweet and delicious. To be honest, it seems more like a loaf cake than a bread. Tastes great with warm butter spread on a slice, but is also wonderful just as it is. Pairs well with a nice Earl Grey tea. …Are you getting hungry yet?

In my house, for some reason there’s usually one banana left from the whole bunch that doesn’t get eaten, and so I put it in my freezer when it starts getting brown (not just spotted, but truly brown). Once I have 3 or 4 of them frozen, then I take them out to thaw, drain off the excess liquid, and it’s time to bake some banana bread!

(Confession: I recently found a dozen (Yes, 12!) frozen bananas in my freezer. They had all sort of been pushed to the back and out of sight. Because of their peel, they don’t seem to ever get freezer-burn.)

It took quite a few years and attempts, but I think I’ve finally got my banana bread recipe down just right. It’s pretty simple to make in one large bowl, you don’t need a fancy mixer, and you probably have most of the ingredients already on hand. Here it is:


  • 1/2 cup softened butter (Cooking oil works, too, but butter makes everything better!)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 or 4 really ripe (all or nearly all brown) bananas, mashed well
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 and 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder (use 1/2 tsp if it’s an old container—It loses its potency over time.)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • a slight pinch of cinnamon (also optional)

For banana bread, I would use any of the three on the left. Image from Epicurious


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease bottom and sides of loaf pan with cooking oil or melted butter.
  3. Using a whisk or a fork, cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla.
  4. Stir in eggs until blended.
  5. Add bananas and milk, and beat for about 30 seconds.
  6. Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix until well blended.
  7. Pour into loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. (Insert a toothpick into the middle. If it comes out clean when you remove it, it’s done!)
  8. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Then remove bread from pan and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.

I use completely brown bananas, which are naturally very sweet. Therefore, my recipe uses a reduced amount of sugar than what you might find in other recipes. It comes out moist, a beautiful golden brown, and so delicious!

Enjoy! Thanks for stopping by! ❤

The Tooth Fairy’s First Visit

My daughter lost her first tooth a couple of months ago. She was so excited! A few of her Kindergarten friends had begun to lose a few teeth, which I thought was rather early. Apparently, this is when it begins to happen. (Yes, I googled it just to be sure.) She had been wiggling the tooth nonstop as soon as she first noticed it was loose, and she was intentionally chewing with her front teeth just to try to get it to come out. Then one morning as she was eating breakfast, there it was. You should have seen the look of pride and happiness on her face! It was like she had won the loose tooth lottery!

As for me, I actually got a little teary eyed. It was a bittersweet event. My little girl is becoming a big girl. Next thing ya know, she’ll be a teenager. And then an adult! Where has the time gone?! One day, she’s this perfect little newborn baby, happily nursing and napping the days away. Then she’s walking. Then she’s off to her first day of school. Now she’s losing teeth. She’s already lost two of her bottom front teeth, and now she has a loose top front tooth.

Needless to say, the “tooth fairy” made this first lost tooth a big deal. As she collected the precious tooth that night, she sprinkled sparkly fairy dust (glitter) all over my daughter’s bedroom, and left her a special “1st Lost Tooth” certificate and 5 bucks. The second lost tooth only earned Emily a few dollars, and I explained to her that the tooth fairy only goes all out for the first tooth a child ever loses. Emily was happy enough, and again I was so thankful that she’s such an easy-going child!

So now I guess it’s time for my husband and I to make sure we always have a few dollars handy for just-in-case. With the way Emily’s top tooth is wiggling, I think the tooth fairy will have to make another visit soon in a few days!

Thanks for stopping by! ❤



Small, Easy Changes

Image: Business 2 Community

To follow up on the post I wrote last week about resolutions and goals, I was recently reminded about how difficult it can be to get started. Nevertheless, it’s good to start, even if it’s small.

Some people take advantage of the special pricing and offers that many gyms have right now and sign up. That’s great! If you’ve decided to be more organized and have started decluttering your living space and life, keep it up!

Maybe you’re looking at your list of resolutions and you don’t know where to even begin. Don’t worry! I’m here to help you the best that I can from my little corner of the universe. Here are some easy, small changes that might just work for you. 🙂

  • If cutting back on sugar is a goal, you’d be surprised how simple it is to start. Try using pure stevia instead of sugar in your coffee or tea. A little goes a long way.
  • Maybe you’re like me and have found it hard to find time to read the Bible. So, you’ll feel better knowing that you can get some inspiration for your soul and a daily verse via the website Daily Word. You can subscribe to their emails or their booklets, but it’s not required. I like to check out their website whenever I feel the spiritual need.
  • If this is the year you want to help others, that’s awesome! One of the easiest ways you can do this is by politely requesting that your friends and family donate the money or gifts they would have given you for your birthday to a charitable cause, instead. Facebook now has this option! Just look for the Fundraisers tab on the left-hand side of the desktop version.
  • Perhaps this is the year you want to explore some of the world. If you’re a college student, the best (and perhaps safest) way you can do this is by studying abroad. Look around your campus for flyers and start researching! You might even find scholarships to help with the financing of it.
    • Okay, so this goal isn’t going to be as small or easy as some others, but it’s really worth it! I studied abroad in Portugal back when I was in college and it was truly an amazing experience! My classes were in English so I didn’t have to worry about not knowing much Portuguese, I’m still in-contact with the friends I made, I got to see so many places that I wouldn’t even have known about if I had just gone on my own, and I have tons of incredible memories!
  • Get rid of clutter around your house AND do something good by donating your unwanted clothes, shoes, and toiletries to a local homeless shelter.
  • Saving money is not easy for most of us. It’s hard to earn it and yet so easy to spend it! Having to pay late fees on credit card statements because you forgot to pay them on time is just no good. So sign up for automatic bill pay, make your life a little easier, save some of your hard earned money, and be done with it.
  • Maybe you just want to have a better attitude and outlook on life. The easiest way you can do this is by keeping track of the things in your life for which you are grateful. You could keep a gratitude journal and write down one thing every day. Or maybe start up a list on your computer. No matter how you do it, you’ll start realizing that there are just so many wonderful things in life that can make you happy!
    • I’ll admit that I haven’t kept track of mine in a while. When I did, I kept a “Jar of Memories” throughout the year. You can read my post about it here if you want to see what it’s about.

Remember to start small. As they say about running, even if you’re only jogging up and down your street, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch. You’ve got this!

Thanks for stopping by! ❤