SERIOUSLY?? Bacon roses for moi!

What did you get for Valentine’s day?? I was a little sad yesterday!

My dear hubby said, “Your surprise is tomorrow morning”.  I asked eagerly, ” is a HARP on the way?!”

Nope! This am, I GOT BACON ROSES!


Seriously, I was SPEECHLESS!  He asked,” why aren’t you smiling?” After I composed myself and looked at the boys I said,”THANK YOU! That is cute!  Who’s idea was it?”

You have to give it to a man that watched the youtube video on how to make bacon roses with his 2 sons and decided, ” Let’s make this for mommy!  She loves roses and bacon!” He took a bunch of pictures too because he KNOWS I will blog this!

This is how you make bacon roses!


Roll the bacon


Cut foil strips


Cover the outsie of the bacon with foil strips and baked it!


Bought artificial roses and takes the roses out!



Take toothpicks… and cut it short!


Put it into the stem!


DSC_4077 DSC_4078 DSC_4083 DSC_4085

Stick bacon roses  to the toothpicks!


You got bacon roses!


I LOVE this man! The fact that he went to walmart and got all these stuff to make bacon roses! 🙂

I asked him,” Why don’t you just by me flowers and starbucks this morning?”  Well everyone gives roses!  I want to be different!  You know it is harder to give you BACON roses than if I just go to Kroger or order online!  TRUE!  Though I am still speechless! 🙂

BACON ROSES it is for me for Valentines day 2014!  I guess a man truly loves you when he gave you BACON for valentine’s day!




Chinese Character for parental love = ache and rattan

Chinese has different characters for LOVE.  “Téng” is usually use to describe parental love means “ache” or “love dearly”. Its homophone means “RATTAN”.  Homophone is like “bat” for the animal and “bat” for baseball.

Chinese parents usually say,” Wo hen teng ni” which means I really love you dearly. The fact that the meaning says “love dearly” and ache can also means that parents LOVES their children so dearly that it hurts

teng_with numbers

What is interesting to me is the homophone for this character is “téng” for rattan! Hmmm no wonder Chinese parents often beat their kids with rattan! 🙂 I remember when I was little my maternal grandmother chased me and my cousins around her house with this rattan tool.  The tool was used to beat mattresses because she used to hang mattresses out in the sun to kill the germs 🙂


tepokan kasur

Since that was “teng” is the Chinese character for LOVE… Do we have different character to express children’s love to parents??

Sure we do…. but we don’t call it love! In Chinese children’s love to parents can be expressed in what is called “filial piety”. Children have the responsibilities to RESPECT their parents, care for them, make them proud and  carry the family honor!

Remember MULAN??  She didn’t say she went to war for her father because she loves her father… It’s to defend the family honor and of course SHE LOVES her father. That was how she expressed her love!

The character for is “xiào”.  It consists of 2 different characters.  Lao is for “old” or elderly and zi for son.  See the character is showing that the “son” is carrying the “old”

xiao_with numbers

So what about “Ai” the famous Chinese word for LOVE??  Well, that word is actually for romantic love. The first part is GRIP… to me that shows how 2 people hold hands as they walk into their marriage. GRIP to me means seriously holding on into something, taking marriage vows seriously as they walk together entering the “ROOF” representing the home…Inside or under the roof is the character for HEART! The center of it all is the LOVE from your HEART… and the foundation of it all is FRIENDSHIP! Isn’t it beautiful?

Ai with numbers



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Spending Valentine’s with kids


HAPPY FRIDAY!   I am kicking off a “Friend’s Friday” because I have been blessed with hundreds of AMAZING friends, so I am going to let you hear a little bit from them! This event is so perfect for a day like this because I have body ache and sore throat but too hyper to sleep all day!

So, I can’t think of a better person to start than BEA!  Bea and I went to the same high school in Indonesia. I remember her as friendly, sweet and smart! Now, she is a wedding planner in MN and founded BEE THE BUZZ event! (www.beethebuzzevent.com). Check out her blog here and be inspired!

So here you go, from the DESK OF BEA MULAWARMAN…

Every home activity in my book must have two components: fun and feasibility. It must be fun for everyone (i.e. no stress for the person who prepares it) and feasible – or in other words, achievable. I have a hard time spending and laboring hours on end for something that will be wreck in five minutes. Also, this does not have to be done on Valentine’s day or Valentine’s week. It could teach our kids to be loving and kind for the rest of their days and lives.

So here are my top 5 Valentine’s to dos with kids at home:

1. Valentine’s Love Messages

I find it simple and effective. Write loving messages for your kids (and don’t forget your hubby!) on your bathroom mirror with a window marker or soap on Valentine’s week. You can do this every day or every other day or maybe one for that week! Have your kids leave notes for you, their dad and each other.


{image from gwenmossblog.blogspot.com}

If you have older kids, write a real letter (yes, with pen & paper) and tell them how much you love them.


My kids were playing with washi tape the other day and this is what they came up with: a board of “I love you because …” is also easy to make and oh, so sweet!


2. (Non-candy) Valentine’s favor for school

My daughter and I did this a few years ago and it is still our favorite! Click here for tutorial on how to make it.


3. Valentine’s Reading Books

A few books in our house have been a favorite to read on Valentine’s.




Geronimo’s Valentine

pic6  Cupid Doesn’t Flip Hamburgers

pic7    Roses are pink, Your feet really stink

pic8       Valentine’s friends
4. Valentine’s Board Games

Care Bear’s Warm Feelings – The Game that Melts Cold Hearts
It is an easy game that can be enjoyed with Children under 10 years old


Tic-Tac-Toe hearts
Click here on how to create one!


{image from alphamom.com}

5. Valentine’s Cooking Lesson

If you have kids big enough to learn how to cook, I’d start them with a simple scrambled egg (with parental supervision, of course!). My daughter loves making them and my son loves to eat them! Click here for a recipe from pickledplum.com


Isn’t she amazing!

Hope you enjoyed it!  Please let me know via comment or fb what you think about Friend’s Friday!

PS: Message me if you would like to be featured on my blog. You don’t have to be a blogger!  To friends from  Zero to Hero, this is in response to challenge day 29: Creating an editorial calendar!  Message me if you would like to participate!



Diverse America is BEAUTIFUL! This is my favorite superbowl commercial!

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WOW!  What a great commercial by Coca Cola!  Having different languages in the song “AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL”  If you have not watch it… here is the commercial: 

I can’t believe the negative reactions that it received though…

So here is my 2 cents about the commercial.

I am an AMERICAN CITIZEN!  I wasn’t born in this country!  I speak English and other languages. Yes, my English is NOT perfect!  However, most of my errors are caused by what we called “language interference” (since I spoke other languages). I AM PROUD of who I am! 🙂

America is beautiful!  Truly a beautiful country that is so diverse.  I think we should be proud and celebrate this diversity in a positive way. I am grateful for the opportunities that this country has given to me and my family.  Thus said, my husband and I contributed back!  We are respected members of the community that have been sharing our “brain” in our respected work place.  I would like to think that we have been making positive impacts in our community!  At least that is what we are striving for daily!

The video is not about the language folks!  I am actually agree that immigrants should try their best to learn English.  Any immigrants in ANY country should try to learn the country’s language no matter!  Trust me! Learning the language contributes to your success and survival 🙂

Please don’t judge so soon! These people are AMERICANS!  They are real people with feelings!  They speak ENGLISH too! Here are their stories!

I know some people also have issues with the gay couple pictured in the video… My first thought on it ,” COME ON! The ad was not about CHRISTIANITY is beautiful!  It’s about America, The Beautiful!”

I am a Christian!  I believe what the Bible says!  Nothing more and nothing less!  However, to me this is NOT about my faith! I would have had a strong reaction if the ad was about Christianity because that is NOT what the Bible say… However the ad was about AMERICA in general! America is a melting pot!

I came from a country where 90% of the people are Moslems!  So did I have to do whatever they do according to their FAITH? Of course not because I am not a Moslem! I believe in Jesus.  I have aunts and uncles who chose to believe in Islam. Are they no longer my family?  Of course NOT! They are still my family! I still LOVE them! We just don’t believe the same things and we don’t live under the same faith, rules and lifestyle. What you CHOOSE to believe in regards to faith and marriage do NOT make you less or more Americans!

America is very colorful now days!  Look around you!  Listen to each of the beautiful song sang by beautiful faces of America newest generation! I posted one here… Of course the one in Mandarin 🙂 All the singers were beautiful!  Check out youtube and their stories… there were many languages!

I think it is time for people in America to STOP judging and STOP stereotyping! Look BEYOND people’s colors and appearances!  ALL of my children look Chinese!  However, they are only fluent in ENGLISH (sadly! I should have been stricter with them to learn my heritage language!) They are AMERICAN citizens!  They were born in America!  Technically they can run for the presidency someday or represent the U.S in the Olympics 🙂


To all of you Christians who is reading this blog right now… My faith is standing on solid ground!  I believe what the Bible says about marriage!  However, it is not for me to judge a person’s choice!  If I believe that GOD is Sovereign, I should also believe that my SOVEREIGN GOD can deal or change that person whom HE wants to change!   If that person is IN my circle of influence and I am given the chance to SHARE the GOSPEL with him/her, I will certainly presented the GOSPEL and it’s truth! However, until then… I CHOOSE to LOVE and set my JUDGEMENT aside for MY GOD has set an example when HE sat down and ate with those who were considered “NOT suitable” to sit on the table with him!

MARK 2:13-17

13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Let us choose to LOVE regardless of colors!



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“Zero to Hero”Day 23: Chinese New Year Decorations and Sweets

Another Snow day yesterday for us here…. It’s okay because we got extra time to prepare for the Chinese New Year and I got to catch up with the ZERO TO HERO wordpress blog challenge!

Yesterday we made a meihwa new year’s tree.  I found the meihwa/plum blossoms at JoAnn..


Strings and red envelope (Ang Pao)


Then we just hang them on the tree!


VOILA!  The Chinese New Year Tree…. Back home, you can find big tree like this BIG meihwa tree ….  They are more decorated too… But I like mine!  I like that we are teaching our kiddos the tradition!


Here is the rest of the decoration!

1. Meihwa tree:  Do you know mei hwa is PLUM BLOSSOMS! Plum blossoms is one of my favorite flower because they are very unique! These are the facts why they are so special! Do you know that  plum blossoms are winter flowers.  It usually bloom in late winter or early spring.  They are kind of similar to cherry blossoms.  In DC there are cherry blossoms tree everywhere and they usually bloom in March.They will blossom from a tree branch that seems dead, came out before the leaves!  A flower that came out of what seems a “dead bark/branch, the blossoms show courage, hope, and beauty!

2. Oranges = gold, Tangerine=luck…. So having oranges and tangerines during Chinese new year celebrations is  a must because they symbolically mean good luck and prosperity!

3. A red envelope (紅包, hóngbāo) … red is for good luck for Chinese people 🙂 This was always what I was waiting for when I was a child back home!  You will receive it ONLY after you “pai pai” or pay respect by putting your fist together and say,” Kiong hi, Kiong hi, Xin Nian Kuai Le or Gong Xi Fa Choi”  Loosely translated : Happy New Year!” Usually married working couples would give them to children and elderly.


4. Golden peanuts on the glass container to the right of the tree represents longevity. Chocolate in pretty red and gold wrapper next to it also means prosperity!

5. Tray of togetherness next to the oranges.  In the middle is kumquat candies for wealth and prosperity. Kumquat is a type of oranges.The big flat orange color candies are lotus root candies  for purity. Next are candies with watermelon seeds inside for fertility, joy and happiness. The colorful coconut ribbons  for togetherness and family unity! Next to the coconut ribbons are lotus seeds for prosperity and many kiddos!  Candied melon for good health and growth. I have to skip the one compartment because I don’t know what the flat candy is. The round white candies to the left of the orange lotus root are longans for bringing many good sons!  🙂 There are 8 trays… 8 is a lucky number for Chinese… Usually you would include 5 spice peanuts.  I don’t know how to make it but if you would like to make the peanuts, here is the recipe for five spice long life peanuts


Hope you are having fun preparing for the Chinese New Year!  It is so hard to keep the family heritage and tradition alive in our children’s lives… This was the most important celebration that I celebrate when I was home.  In America, we will try the best we can to keep it alive.  Here is another Asian’s family account to keep the tradition alive too. She has an interesting blog as well that you may enjoyed! Little Passport

Let’s celebrate the coming of the YEAR OF THE HORSE!

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Snow Day 2: Practice takes you higher

To all my teacher friends…. I have been trying to find another “race” to track practice minutes… So here is what I came up with.  Of course the kids helped yesterday  (Sunday) since it was snowing pretty bad here.

They helped with the letters


J helped me cut them after we put contact papers on…


He was the one that put them together on the wall as well!


Finally!  This is how it works for my piano students…

1. Each student has to keep log of how many minutes they practice at home (with parent’s signature)… A minimum of 10 min a day is required!

2. When they come for lesson they will show me.  They can move their monkey accordingly.

3. Once they reach the top, they can take a coconut and start a coconut pile!

4. If they don’t have at least 3 practices in a week they will GO BACK to the bottom!

5. The winner with the most coconut will be announced in the next recital (June)

6. This time all 3 kiddos want to be included in the race too… so their names are included!




Snow Day 1 = Productive day (sometimes)!

So we got snowed in yesterday and today….  So far the kiddos and I have been productive… They were somewhat motivated that it’s 7 days before Chinese New Year so we must clean the house and make it look good!

Yesterday, J asked me to teach him how to do laundry… of course I said, “YES!” He did his own laundry!


Then he taught his brother how to do his laundry!


Then S decided to help me and he organized the breakfast closet!


When Daddy came home from ballet with mei mei, we decided to start working on the “homework station” down in the basement!


By 11 pm last night we got the finished product!  Yes, it took us that long because we watched 2 movies for a break! 🙂

The labels are in post it because we need to know what will work best for us.  Any suggestion friends??  I have SO MANY PAPERS to keep up from school! 😦

We decided on this routine last night when they come home from school:

1.Put homework on their own tray on the top of the shelf.

2. Put their “take home folders” in the top box.

3. Put any projects, worksheets reading logs in the middle box

4. Put past/returned tests and homeworks in the bottom box.

Will it work?  I don’t know… we’ll have to see about that! 🙂 I will keep you posted of what works and doesn’t work…

If any of you has a suggestion for me… Please comment and let me know! What works in your home?