Month: January 2014

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

yenta

According to Penelope Trunk, women should focus on getting married before building a career:  “this means that it may make sense for men to work full-speed ahead on their career in their early twenties, but women cannot afford that.  Women need to make time in their lives to search for a mate in the same systematic, focused way that women have been searching for careers in their early twenties.  And don’t tell yourself you’re waiting until you know yourself better.  Getting to know yourself is a lifelong process, and after age twenty-five, waiting to get married won’t decrease your chance of divorce.  The good news here is that a large body of research shows that you will gain more happiness by being married than by having a good job.”  Good point.  So much so that I posted the quote on my dating advice column site.

With respect to the general principle, I agree with her.  However, I know for a fact that if I had subscribed to her views when I was 25, I would not have ended up with my Mr. Perfect.

Chinese New Year

lanterns

Chinese New Year is on 1/31 and this is the Year of the Horse.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the holiday, Chinese New Year is, in many ways, a combination of Christmas/Chanukah, Rosh Hashanah, Passover, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Eve.  Gifts are exchanged, often with symbolic meanings (cakes, fruit baskets, etc.).  Similar to Jews giving children gelt (often chocolate “gold” coins) on Chanukah, the Chinese give children little red envelopes of cash on Chinese New Year.  Food, of course, takes center stage during the holiday with classics such as fish, noodles, spring rolls, dumplings, seafood, tangerines, exotic fruits, etc. (all symbolizing good luck and prosperity, of course).

In addition, there’s lots of pre-holiday prep that goes on weeks beforehand.  Growing up, I remember my mother cleaning out the entire house, cars, refrigerator, etc.–all in preparation for a “clean slate” for the upcoming year.  There would also be new clothes for every one, new haircuts, issues and conflicts resolved,  etc.–all before New Year’s Day (which would vary from year to year per the lunar calendar).

All this talk about the holiday makes me think about how I’d like to pass tradition down to my children one day as “[c]ultures grow on the vines of tradition” (Jonah Goldberg).

Illustrator Credit

citybythebay

One of the projects on my to-do list this year is to write a children’s book.  My dream would be to have the very talented Elisa Kleven be the illustrator as I am a huge fan of her work.  I discovered her through the beautifully illustrated book, The City by the Bay  (which makes a wonderful gift, by the way).

Kleven’s illustrations have been the inspiration of many of my children’s poems and short stories (hence, the accompanying illustrations).  Because of this, I hope you enjoy her drawings and paintings as much as I do.

Shoeboxed

receipts

It’s that time of year, again.  Tax season is now upon us.  And I have the lovely task of gathering, organizing, and cataloging all of our receipts from last year.  Up until this point, I’ve always done my own taxes (same with my husband).  Now that we’re married, our tax situation just got a wee bit complicated.  “No shoeboxes,” so said the accountant.  Thankfully, I have a subscription called Shoeboxed.  This app allows me to take photos of receipts via my phone and/or mail them in via pre-paid envelopes.  The program keeps track of all your receipts and allows you to export them so that you may send and/or print them out at any time.  No more paper (yay!).  With that said, don’t make the same mistake I did and procrastinate on taking the snapshots and have a build-up of receipts waiting to be scanned and/or mailed out (it defeats the purpose of having the app, doesn’t it?).  Still, I can’t image my life without Shoeboxed.  If you’re in business (sales, independent contractor, business owner, etc.), incur deductible expenses throughout the year, and/or contribute to several non-profit and/or charitable organizations, you need this.  Plus, if you sign up via the above links, you receive a 10% discount.  Every little bit helps, right?  A wise man once said, “If you count the nickels and dimes, the dollars take care of themselves.”

Ice Cream with Green Tea

tea

Breyer’s “Natural Vanilla” ice cream
Japanese matcha (powdered green tea)
Sliced and blanched almonds
(Optional:  mixed berries)
 
Two scoops of vanilla ice cream into medium to large serving bowl
Sprinkle matcha onto ice cream
Sprinkle almonds onto ice cream
(Optional:  add mixed berries)
 
Creative and healthy way to enjoy a classic!

Blueberries with Applesauce

blueberries

One jar of unsweetened apple sauce
One package of fresh blueberries
 
Pour apple sauce into medium to large serving bowl
Pour just rinsed blueberries on top of apple sauce
(Optional:  Add mint leaf and/or a few raspberries)
 
Great for entertaining or dessert for two!