Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ten Commandments of Marriage in English and Vietnamese

Don't we all need some humor in our life once in awhile. My best friend had forwarded this to me, so I don't know where it came from. It's for entertainment purposes only.

Our wedding photo by photographer Thai Nguyen

Commandment 1

Marriages are made in heaven. But so again are thunder and lightning.
Hôn nhân - quà tặng từ Trời
Phong ba, bão tố hỡi ơi, nối liền!

Commandment 2

If you want your wife to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say, talk in your sleep.
Còn ai nếu muốn vợ hiền
Nghe chồng giảng thuyết lời khuyên ngọt ngào
Thì đây kinh nghiệm gửi trao
"Nói trong giấc ngủ"... biết sao bây giờ?

Commandment 3

Marriage is grand -- and divorce is at least 100 grand!
Hôn nhân - nếu đáng ngàn tờ
Bạn ơi! ly dị sơ sơ triệu lần!!

Commandment 4

Married life is very frustrating. In the first year of marriage, the man speaks and the woman listens. In the second year, the woman speaks and the man listens. In the third year, they both speak and the neighbors listen.
Vợ chồng khó hiểu vô ngần
Năm đầu chồng nói vợ vâng dạ liền
Năm sau vợ nổi cơn điên
Lão chồng im miệng với niềm xót xa
Rồi từ năm đó trôi qua
Hai bên đấu khẩu tội nhà kế bên!!

Commandment 5

When a man opens the door of his car for his wife, you can be sure of one thing: Either the car is new or the wife is.
Hôm nào mưa thuận gió hiền
Thấy chồng mở cửa vợ êm ấm ngồi
Cá vui được một thua mười
Hoặc xe, hoặc vợ ... chẳng thời mới mua!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Random Ramblings

Today is one of those days that I needed to vent, so please bear with me. As I've mentioned before, my tummy has not been feeling great; so I went to this Gastro doctor for the first time last week to have it check out. While I was there I had blood drawn, I’m afraid of needles so I never look. Usually it only hurts a little, but this time it hurts like a crazy and I screamed. I went home thinking it will get better, but a day later I noticed I have a big bruise and my arm hurts more. Due to the holiday weekend I could not contact the doctor office, and my bruise keep spread bigger. I finally got a hold of the doctor on Tuesday, and he pretty much said it’s normal that blood leaked and nothing he can do about it. I told him it never happened to me before, but he didn’t sounds too helpful and it seem like it was my fault not to pressed down my arm for 5 minutes like he instructed. So now, after a week I still have bruise the size of my hand and my bicep hurts that I couldn’t move. Here are few pictures to proof that I wasn’t over exaggerated.
2 days after blood drawn
a week later
 On a lighter note, I was at my parents’ house over the weekend and found a few origami items that I did a while back. Yes, I still have stuff at my parents house after I have moved out for a 1 ½ year now. Well I didn’t really officially moved out, my parents are still boxing things up for me and each time I go visit them I would bring a box home. I made these cranes, stars and snowflakes; I’ll try to incorporate these into my decoration.

Any bad incidents that ever happened to you with doctors?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Travel Souvenirs

I love to travel and explore new places; and at the end of each trip, I like to bring home something to remind me of the place. Today I’m going to show you some of the souvenirs that I’ve been collected over the years of travel. I prefer unique souvenirs if I’ve a choice and try to stay away from commercial ones. Sometime free stuff could be great souvenirs too, I often picked up seashells and sand.

Pineapple Wood Serving Platter Set from Hawaii

Monday, May 28, 2012

Weekend Recap: Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day everyone! Hope you all take a moment to remember those who have sacrificed everything so we can celebrate today. Sorry I disappeared since Friday, I was excited to start my long weekend. Such a busy weekend, 3 birthday events from family and friends, trips to Home Depot and Merrifield Garden Center; today is just low-key kind of day.

Here are some photos from my weekend.

our friends daughter Ellie first birthday, pretty cake.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sup Duoi Bo (Oxtail with Vegetables Soup)

No travel post today, but I’m exciting to share with you a yummy and hearty recipe.

I remember my mom used to cook ox-tail soup for my siblings and me, especially whenever we feel under the weather. I finally had some time to do grocery on Tuesday and fresh beef ox-tail was on sale for $5 a pound. It seems so fresh and I didn’t want to freeze it, so I made ox-tail soup the next day. In addition, my tummy has not been feeling well for the last couple of weeks, therefore soup was perfect for dinner on a raining night like last night. I’ve always love beets, so I added beets to my recipe. I promise you that it tastes good, it adds great flavor and pretty color to your soup.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Birthday, Birthday and Birthday!

Here are some facts about me for today post.

I have:
• 1 older brother
• 3 older sisters
• Among the four of them, I have four nephews and two nieces.

Hubby has
• 1 older sister
• 3 younger sisters
• 2 younger brothers
• 2 nephews from the older sister

In March, April, May and June we attend birthday parties one after another. My niece Jaime is turning 4 this Sunday and nephew Tommy is turning 1 next Saturday. My sister asked if they could host a party at our house for Tommy, since they live in a condominium and don’t have enough space. They also nominated me to be in charge of cake, decoration and invitation. I’ve been super busy and have not had much time to work on designing an invitation, so the other day I literally spent about 30 minutes max on this invitation. Tommy likes this monkey and I like chevron, so there go my inspiration for the invitation. I designed it 4x6 and plan to have it print at Target since I don’t have enough time to send it a printing company.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Refinish a Dining Table

We received this heavy solid wood table from a family’s friend. He bought a new one and no longer wants his old dining table, we were very happy that he offered it to us. At the time, we didn’t have a dining table and were looking to purchase one. It had some wear and tear on the top surface, so I suggested to the hubby to refinish it. This project happened before we have much knowledge of furniture refinish. He bought the dark Cherry Wood stain that matched with our kitchen cabinets from Home Depot for touch up. We ended up using it to stain the dining table, and it matched perfectly since our kitchen and dining room are right next to each other.

Photo from this week

Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekend Recap

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I had another weekend filled with food events: Friday happy hour for a friend birthday; Saturday our friend L's baby girl 1st birthday party during the day, and evening crawfish cookout with another group of friends; Sunday the nephew 3rd birthday.

Saturday outfit:
turquoise lace tank - Express,
white blazer - Zara,
coral skinny pants - Marshalls
and silver flat - Ross.
we both got new haircuts, his is way too short.

Friday, May 18, 2012

What type of shower curtain rod do you have?

What type of shower curtain rod do you have, curved or straight? The answer should be curved shower curtain rod! We stayed at a hotel and they had a curved shower curtain rod, and we loved. When we moved into our house, it was the first purchase that we both agreed on without any negotiation. We got something similar to the one below, but our was from BJ's. I’ve saw it at Marshalls, Ross  and Bed Bath Beyond as well. It gives you up to 20% more room in the shower. It may not sound a lot but if you have a small bathroom, it’ll make a whole lot different. Imaging your arm and elbow won’t be rubbing against the curtain when shower, and you won’t feel confine if you’re claustrophobia, trust me on this. So if you don’t have one, please do yourself a favor and go purchase one.

Have a great weekend!

I can't wait for all of the kids' birthday events this weekend.
Shout out to my sweet  nephew, whom is turning 3 today. Happy Birthday pretty boy, we love you and can't wait to celebrate with you this weekend.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Travel Thursday: Paris, France

I feel bless to have the opportunity and be able to travel and explore around the world. However, I've not had a chance to travel much to Europe as I would like, mainly due to lack of time and finance. I've only been to Venice and Paris, and it has been a while for me to remember much details. Nevertheless, I want to share with you few pictures from the city that I “j’adore”, and hope to be able to visit again in the future. Paris to me is such a romantic, adorable, amazing architectures, and antique looking city; not to mention pastries. Some might say it’s dirty, yes in certain area it is dirty; but it’s a big tourist city what more can you expect. Even in the U.S.A, New York City and New Orleans are worse and I still love those cities as well.

One thing I don’t like about Paris is the man-made beach, where sand is loaded onto a bank of the Seine to create the "Paris Plage" along the road and river. Seine's water is not fit for swimming but people are still in their bikinis sunbath. Somehow that disturb the image of the romantic Seine River I had in my mind, however I do enjoy the concerts going on there.

Shout out to the awesome people I've met; in case you run into my blog, good time indeed.

Basilique du Sacré-Cœur

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

DIY Manicures and Pedicures

I used to help my sisters out at the nails salon, and spoiled with free manis and pedis. But now that I've moved and live about 1 hour away, I've learned to do it myself. They gave me most of the tools, except for Sally Hansen Ultimate Shield Base & Top Coat and Nail Artist Paint and Stencil Kit. I often give my friends and sister in law manis and pedis right at home.
Tools and nail polishes for DIY manis and pedis
  1. Nail Buffer
  2. Cuticle Nippers
  3. Nail File
  4. Toes Separating Sponge
  5. Sally Hansen Ultimate Shield Base & Top Coat
  6. China Glaze in Innocence
  7. Nail Artist Paint and Stencil Kit

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Weekend Recap

How was your weekend? I had a fantastic weekend filled with eating events, MH & B wedding ceremony and reception on Saturday, mother’s day events all day Sunday and managed to squeeze in a bike ride.

Saturday, it was our first time attended Lao’s wedding ceremony, something different from our Vietnamese tradition. MH & B’s ceremony took place at home, where the two family and friends gather around and pray for the newlywed couple. I definitely loved their outfits, colorful, bright, and happy. We took turn to tight these strings on their hands to wish them a long lasting life together. I wished them many children.
MH & B,  Loa's Wedding Ceremony
me and the bride MH
Mr.K and the Groom's adorable nephew

Monday, May 14, 2012

Bun Tom Nuong (Grilled Shrimp and Vegetable Kabobs Over Rice Vermicelli)

Last Thursday I tried something different for dinner; it was a big hit and can’t wait to share with you. Literally, Mr.K’s first bite reaction was a big “UMMM”. Therefore, I’m going to delay weekend recap until tomorrow and do a recipe post today. I normally would grill all the veggies, but since I was serving with rice noodle and iceberg lettuce, I cut it down and only used half. Nevertheless, if you like a lot of veggies, you can certainly use them all.

Shrimp and Vegetable Kabobs are colorful, paired with Texas jumbo raw shrimp and fresh vegetables, you can use whatever veggies you like. I served it over rice noodle, iceberg lettuce, dry onion, crushed peanut, and homemade fish sauce.

Yield: 4 servings.


18 Texas jumbo raw shrimps
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 eggplant
1/2 yellow squash
1/2 zucchini
1 small red onion
9 wooden skewers
Rice Vermicelli Oldman Que Huong Brand
Iceberg lettuce

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Brain Dump

Happy Friday!

So sorry for the lack of posts this week, I've been feeling under the weather the past few days. I've a busy week ahead filled with fun events; attending MH and B's wedding on Saturday, and mother's day celebration all day on Sunday. 

Today is my Friday off, but it seem like I've a pretty busy schedule for the day. Drop Leilani of at the grooming shop for a hair cut, I've 2 appointments in two different towns and opposite directions, and my regular house chores. But just want let you know I've a really easy yummy recipe waiting for you next week. In the meantime here is a teaser photo!

Grilled Shrimp and Vegetable Kabobs Over Rice Vermicelli

Hope you're having a fabulous Mother's weekend with your family and love ones.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Our Outdoor and Indoor Gardens

This is the first year we try out gardening. Our house has a lot of big trees, and especially the one in our back yard. I think it's as old as the house, roots are all over and we knew it won't be good for gardening. So we build a raised garden bed back in March, but the weather in East Coast has been up and down. We didn't plan anything until a few weeks ago, and yet the weather still has been crazy. I have these small wood applicator sticks in hands that I normally use for waxing, but it also come in handy for garden labels. I really want to be created on the containers, but just don't have the time yet.

Containers garden included Vietnamese Coriander (Rau Ram), Mint, Cilantro, Thai Lime tree, Thai Basil, Thai Chili, and Limnophila Aromatica (Ngo Om).
Vietnamese Coriander (Rau Ram)
Thai Lime Tree
Thai Basil

Monday, May 7, 2012

Weekend Recap

How was your weekend? Mine was awesomely fun and tired; shopping, bridal shower/bachelorette and recovery time. Our friends MH and B are getting married this up coming weekend. B had his bachelor over the weekend in Vegas with the guys; while MH had her bridal shower and local second  bachelorette. On Friday, my girlfriends and I went to the mall to get MH’s gifts and hang out since the guys left us. My bestie and I got MH 8x10-picture frame with engraved message from Things Remembered. I also scored a yellow/gray dress and a magenta clutch from Express, 2 skinny jeans and a coral dress from Forever21, and Jasmine Dragon Pearl tea from Teavana.
Message included their names
Two Hearts, One Love
Wedding Date
Yellow dress and clutch from Express,
2 skinny jean and coral dress from Forever 21

Jasmine Dragon Pearls from Teavana

Friday, May 4, 2012

Strawberry and Banana Smoothie

We love Naked Juice but it could get expensive and nothing can beat freshly made smoothie. We often buy bananas and forget to eat them, and leave there for days until it almost goes bad. I refused to trash it, so I made smoothie. It’s quick, easy and tasty. Over-ripe bananas give you a great source of sweetness, if your bananas isn’t ripe enough you might have to add sugar or more honey. Honey gives the smoothie a great flavor.

This recipe will give you two servings.



2-cups fresh strawberry
1 over-ripe banana (the really dark one that you'll toss out next day)
1/2 cup milk 2% organic milk
2 ice cubes
1-teaspoon honey

Rinse strawberry, removed stems and cut into half or quarters.

Peel and break banana into chunks.

Combine strawberry, banana, milk, ice, and honey in a blender; process until smooth. (I used the Magic Bullet)
 Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Travel Thursday: My Bachelorette in NYC

Today, I’m going to relive those single days before got hitched, we often call it a “bachelorette” party. My bridesmaids and girlfriends threw me an amazing party, included 14 girls in NYC for a 3 days weekend in August 13-15, 2010. We stayed at “Salisbury” hotel in Mid-town on 57th street, it’s an older hotel, but the suites were spacious and 2 suites can accommodated the 14 of us.

This is how my weekend started, shot for breakfast (nastiness breakfast ever)

Here are the few rules and games, let the fun begin!
custom made tank tops

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Rue La La Haul

I've been in shopping mood lately, so today I scored these on Rue La La can't wait to receive them in the mail. First item is Godinger "Leaf" 2-Tier Server, I'm going to use it to hold my jewelry. I like the gold leaf and it looks kind of artsy, I hope I'll love it in person.

I love pearl drop earrings; I have a few pairs, but they either lost or broke one. So in needed for a new pair, it's Honora Silver & Pearl Earrings.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Thit Bo Xao Tron Xa Lach ( Steak Escarole Salad)

Grew up in a Vietnamese farmer family, I have ate a lot of different veggies and loved it. Today I’m going to share with you how to make a salad dish. My sister and I used to make pretty often, while we were still living with our parents. I also like this dish with using watercress, but I’m using escarole on this recipe. I like the crunchy and a little bitterness of escarole, combined with cucumber and tomato will give you a refreshing salad. Hope you enjoy it!

For steak:

1/2 lb beef eye round steak (or steak of your choice)
1 red onion (sliced)
2 clove garlic (minced)
2 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon panda brand oyster sauce
1 stalk scallion (chopped)
1 teaspoon 3 crabs brand fish sauce
½ teaspoon Mushroom Seasoning
¼ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
¼ teaspoon black pepper

For Salad:

1 small bunch of escarole (or salad of your choice)
2 Persian cucumbers
2 boiled eggs
1 tomato
½ lemon or lime
sea salt


  • Rinse and sliced beef into slices not too thin, marinated with chopped scallion, 1 teaspoon fish sauce, ½ teaspoon mushroom seasoning, ¼ teaspoon sugar, ¼ teaspoon sriracha, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
  • Boiled the eggs, peeled and cut into wedges and set it aside.
  • Rinse escarole at least 3 times, let it dry or use a salad spinner.
  • Rinse cucumbers and tomato and sliced into slices.

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