Thursday, November 26, 2009


Today I'm thankful for so many things - I have a husband who loves me, a place to call home, family and friends who care about me...

I'm especially thankful that I've been learning the lesson of flexibility. Our Thanksgiving travel plans fell through at the last minute, so Seth and I were left to scrounge up a Thanksgiving meal on our own. With some trepidation and admittedly meager expectations, we decided to try out a restaurant near our house that was advertising a western Thanksgiving special - and it ended up being one of the best Thanksgiving meals we've had in China. Check out that pic - moist turkey, real mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce... even pumpkin pie for dessert! Not to mention the pumpkin soup, field greens salad, and tasty steamed veggies. Oh my, it was tummy-stuffing, heart-warming good.

Even though it was just the two of us sitting in a little restaurant in Shanghai, China, watching televised sports and listening to 80s music, it was a wonderful Thanksgiving. We're learning to make special memories no matter where we are, whether we're with loved ones or by ourselves. And I'm thankful for that opportunity.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy (Early) Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! We're heading out of town on Wednesday to spend the holiday up north. We may not get the full traditional Thanksgiving spread (Chinese hotel buffet = 1 sliver of dry turkey if you're lucky)- but at least we'll get to celebrate the season of thanks with friends. And that's what's really important, right? Not the dishes or the decorations, but being grateful for all the blessings we have. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday - eat some stuffing and green bean casserole for me!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Rockin' Out with the Guzheng

Apparently, our new upstairs neighbor plays the guzheng. Just what does this mysterious table-harp-looking instrument sound like, you ask? Well, let me show you:

Not only do we have a guzheng player up above us, but our neighbor across the hall has a daughter who plays beautiful classical piano every evening. We're literally surrounded by talented musicians - makes me think twice about showing off my rusty violin skills, that's for sure!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Can You Say YUM?

I just made the most wonderful potatoes for dinner.The December issue of Glamour has an article featuring Padma Lakshmi (the host of Top Chef), and her recipe for roasted potatoes sounded so good, I had to try it. It did not disappoint: herb-y goodness that filled my whole kitchen with the most heavenly aroma. Now, I would have liked to take my own picture of them in all their roasted glory (the pic above is from Glamour), but we just couldn't wait to dig in (and who wants to eat cold potatoes, anyway?). Seth gave this recipe a big thumbs up; definitely a keeper!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shenzhen: China's Little Paris

Okay, so not really. But this picture IS of the Eiffel Tower - in miniature form, as part of Shenzhen's Window of the World theme park. Where else can you see the Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, Sphinx of Giza, Stonehenge, Acropolis, and Statue of Liberty (not to mention about 124 other reproductions from around the world) all in one place? Sadly, we weren't able to partake and enjoy the wonders of WOW up close, but I at least got this shot of the Eiffel Tower from the shopping mall across the street. Ah, China. Such a weird and wonderful place.

Our trip was great, just what we needed. It was SO GOOD to see our friends. There's over a decade of history there, and it's been really cool that we all ended up in China. We were able to hang out, talk, see their adorable new baby, and just enjoy being with people who really KNOW us.

The weather down there was wonderful; warm and sunny without being too hot. Of course, we came home on Saturday to overcast, 50 degree weather that quickly changed into rainy, 40 degree weather - miserable! We've spent the last two days trying to figure out how the floor heating works in our apartment (the previous tenants who had it installed didn't leave any sort of manual or even contact information for the company who put it in). We finally got a repair guy out here today, who informed us that the thermostat controls in two of the rooms are broken, but his company only handles the water heater, not the thermostats or the pipes. So until we can find out what company actually installed the floor heating, we're up a creek. (Our management office wouldn't even send one of their handymen up to look at it; since they didn't install it, it's not their problem.) Sometimes all the hoops one has to jump through to get a thing done here can be frustrating; unfortunately it's just part of living overseas.

So, as a little pick-me-up (and to warm up) I made myself my homemade version of a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha: a packet of Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Sensation cocoa (from the import section of Carrefour) added to a cup of coffee with a tiny little splash of peppermint extract. I wish you all warm toes and warm hearts, wherever in the world you may be!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Awesome Giveaway!!!

Check out this awesome giveaway at My Cricut Scrapbooking! Beth is giving away a $50 Oh My Crafts gift certificate to one lucky reader! Her blog is full of great SVG files and other creative ideas for your cricut. Head on over and give her some love!

On the Road (Again)

Right now we're in the middle of packing for yet another trip. Tomorrow's destination: Shenzhen. We'll be visiting some friends of ours and seeing their new baby. It's been way too long since we've seen them, and I'm looking forward to catching up. It's going to be a great week!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Moxie Fab Tuesday Trigger

I guess the creative juices have really been flowing the past couple of days, because I was able to squeeze in another challenge. The inspiration picture for this one is:

And here's my finished card:

I am loving all of these owl-inspired challenges! I've even got two new owl stamp sets on the way for Christmas. Can't wait to break them open!

Card Supplies:
Stamps: Sassafras Lass "Oliver & Friends," PTI "Shapes by Design;" Ink: Versamark, Brilliance Graphite Black; CS: PTI, Autumn Leaves, Georgia Pacific; Accessories: Cuttlebug, Spots & Dots embossing folder, clear embossing powder, white Signo gel pen, corner rounder punch, dimensionals.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Embellish Owls Color Challenge

Isn't this just the yummiest color combo? When I saw this challenge over at Embellish Magazine, I was immediately hooked. The wheels started turning, and this is what I came up with:

I cut the owl with my Slice, then embellished it with some coral buttons and rhinestones. The wing was made by crumpling up some patterned paper till soft and pliable, then folding accordion-style and gathering at the top with a needle and embroidery floss. The legs were made from silver wire. I stamped my own background paper, added a sentiment, and voila! A perfect little card to cheer someone's day.

Card Supplies:
Stamps: PTI "Friends 'Til the End," Martha Stewart "Holiday Accent Stamps;" Ink: ColorBox Fluid Chalk "Rose Coral," ColorBox Pigment "Chestnut;" CS: PTI "Spring Moss," "Dark Chocolate," "Vintage Cream," My Mind's Eye pp; Accessories: buttons, rhinestones, scallop scissors, wire, dimensionals, Making Memories Slice / Just Chillin Teen design card.