Goodbye Daycare

Sashimi will be going to Kindergarten this coming schoolyear. It is with heavy heart that I am bidding adieu to the daycare that has been my stopover to work for 5 years.  The same daycare Sushi had graduated from.  I am foreseeing tears... mine! As this chapter will end, then a new one begins.

I have prepare a little something for the teachers who have taken care of my boys.

I got some cute mugs from IKEA. Filling them with some tea sachets, Lindor chocolates, Bath & Body hand lotion and sanitizer.

And what better way to use Sashimi's arts/crafts from daycare than as gift tags for the teachers who helped him make them!

On his last day I shall "leave and heave a sigh and say Goodbye!"

With tears for sure.


Everyday life: This Week

Happy birthday to my sister! I wrapper her present in a beautiful scarf.

When life throws me lemons, I use a pretty dish that leaves no room for those suckers.

Non-stop park hopping for Mr. Hotpot. That's our very own Central Park.

Sashimi puts his stickers everywhere. Now he's got tattoos.

We saw this really lovely house. The pool was screaming "buy me!"

I call it Sunshine - Gap shirt, H&M necklace, Joe Fresh drawstring skirt

Another work-in-progress

Bento - jam sandwich, peaches, grape tomatoes, carrot muffin, blueberries and veggie crisp


Fried Ice Cream

How big is the fried ice cream? The server said "softball." I'm glad my boys have played softball so I knew right away, we have to order 2 of this.
Nevermind that it is $7.95 a piece. There might be bloodshed at the restaurant if the 4 of us have to share fight over one.

See why? It's the coconut ice cream and the combination of hot, cold, crunchy and soft that makes this heavenly.

We ordered, among others, our all-time favourite Thai dish - the Red Curry chicken.

You can tell, I thought it was soup!

The kids had the Satay skewers of chicken with peanut sauce.

Sometimes I forget it is not my home. I pile the dirty dishes.

I love the interior, the decors, the ambiant music, and the sound of the waterfalls, it makes for an excellent dining experience even if the food's not the greatest. Make exception to the Fried Coconut Ice Cream and the Thai Iced Tea. I would go back for these two.

SukhoThai Restaurant
3115 Winston Churchill Blvd.


My New Toy

I wrote about Joy Mangano's Little Steamer here. What was causing the delay of my purchase was figuring out the logistics of ordering it online and having it shipped to me from USA hassle-free. On our recent shopping trip in Buffalo NY, I found the Rowenta Ultrasteam in Target at a price I shouldn't forego.

These steamers do not replace conventional ironing for sure, but it gets the job done. At least for me. I don't have to set aside my wrinkled clothes one after another for a day of ironing, which never comes.
This is what the steamer has done to the crinkled ruffles. I thought it wouldn't do the job well on this one. But it did and it's not bad!


Summer Camp Bento

Sushi goes to an Interactive Learning Adventure Camp for 7 weeks this summer. Each week they have at least 2 field trips. For the last three weeks, they have been to Medieval Times, the Toronto Zoo and Royal Ontario Museum each one for a full day. On these days I pack his bento differently. I make (or buy) something easy to munch. I let him bring really cold water. In addition, I place a frozen juice box to serve as an ice pack.

I discovered that Sushi loved the Beef Curry buns from the oriental food marts. That makes some mornings easier. I alternate that with the BBQ Pork bun. Veggies of either carrots or grape tomatoes. And fruits that are great for the warm weather, like fresh lychees. I tossed 2 choco-mallows as an extra treat, but it came back home. He said they're junk. Whatever!

I am using Sistema's Klip-It Lunch Cubes on most of his field trips.

The night before I would freeze his water bottle half-filled. Then I'll fill it up with water in the morning.

Easy peasy summer bento. Easy for him. Easy for me.


Everyday Life: This Week

I'm shaping again. Cheese. Egg. Sandwich. Anything.

Sashimi gets a haircut at home

This H&M necklace came with clustered pendants. I had them spread apart and added some more.

It's our anniversary! Have I said so?

The most books we got out from the library at one time.

Uber hot and sticky!

Nike store

Between these flags is the demarcation between US & Canada. Cross-border shopping.

Pork Belly for my Belly

I control our consumption of deli meat due to sodium nitrate. I buy the lesser evil - chicken or turkey - instead of pork. But sometimes pork bacon is hard to resist, especially if the strips of belly keep looking at you from the meat section.

Okay, I lied. I was the one who kept looking at them.
I saw this recipe from Kitchen Cow.  Easy to replicate. Just rub salt/pepper liberally to the bellies and pan fry. Do not put oil.

Oil aplenty will ooze from the fat. Drain on paper towel after cooking.

I don't normally eat this unhealthy. But heck, I live to eat. Okay, only sometimes. My dipping sauce - soysauce with lemon. Crunch!


Tall Ship Kajama

We trekked to Toronto Harbourfront last weekend to ride the Tall Ship Kajama. We got a last minute deal from Wagjag, a deal that will not be foregone, especially that Sashimi is now crazy about everything airplane and ships. And since we've always wanted to try it out but never got the chance and right timing, this was it.

The trip turned out more fruitful than what it was intended for. There was so much going while we were there - Brasilian Festival, International Marketplace, World Cafe, Canoe Ride, Kids Workshop, Art Exhibit, etc.

It's nice to sit on grass... fake. Nobody can make me sit on real grass actually =]

These kids rolling on the grass were so fun to watch Small joys can indeed make on happy.

It's nice to just sit down and not think of time. "An unhurried sense of time is in itself a form of wealth." - Bonnie Friedman

Having all 4 of us on one canoe is not the best idea, especially when it's the kids' first time to paddle. The pond is shallow but of course you don't want the canoe to flip and get you all wet. Right in the middle of it all. Mr. Hotpot was more worried his shoes will get wet. *eyes rolling*

The kids can stay in this Wave Deck forever. It is an innovation, the design of which was inspired by the shoreline of Ontario's Great Lakes.

And of course, Toronto won't be Toronto without the steep parking fees. This is actually not too bad, as it can go as high as $40 when the Yankeees are in town. Sushi couldn't have expressed it any better.

Tall Ship Kajama
Harbourfront Centre
Toronto ON


Happy 10th!

Besides 10 years of marriage, it also means most of my personal belonging are also 10 years old, if I still have them, and maybe it’s time to replace them =] Mr. Hotpot has slated our wedding anniversary weekend for a shopping trip in Buffalo NY, saying I can buy anything I want, skies the limit. Of course, he knows deep down there’s a duty free allowance for cross-border shopping which I won’t go over. Hahaha! And he knows Mrs. Hotpot too well I don’t take advantage of such perks. He can say anything, right?

Seriously, I still get surprises - each birthday, every Valentines, anniversaries, even Mothers’ Day (and Fathers’ Day, too!). But the best surprises are in the everyday, when dishes get washed because he finds me standing too long in the kitchen already, when the kids are bathed because that’s where he can help best because he doesn't cook, when he constantly invite me to eat out so I don’t have to cook and wash every meal every day. Often asking me to buy anything I want is the cherry on top of my ice cream.

I don’t even like maraschino cherry. And most times I don’t even need ice cream anymore. I am just blessed for these wonderful years. 10 years, 10 lbs heavier =[ and 10 years away from where we started out, it seems like only yesterday. We still look back at our wedding photos, videos and soundtrack with fond memories. Besides being partners and parents, we’re still friends today like we used to be more than 10 years ago.

Here's to another 10 years... and more! For those who are asking for one more baby girl, besides being 10 years older now, we're okay, we're happy with our two!


Thanks, Mom!

They made it all the way from Taipei to Toronto via New Jersey. Food picks are really the best for bento especially if you are running out of themes or ideas, they instantly make the theme.
Twirling pandas on the cheese sandwich

Vegetables on apples & cheese

Be forwarned you are going to see the pandas A LOT! Cuteness.


Wedding Playlist

This month Mr. & Mrs. Hotpot are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. It seems like only yesterday we were Getting to Know Each Other (Gerard Kenny). Today I still ask When Did You Fall (Chris Rice)? One thing for sure is How Do I Live Without You (Trisha Yearwood)?

Through the years we’ve shared and sang one too many songs even our iPod couldn’t contain. Music has defined chapters in the life we shared. We keep CD compilations, now MP3, of songs that have meaning to us, usually of movie soundtracks, a common favourite, or one that constantly played around a significant phase of our life. Music has been the thread that stitched the quilt of our years together.

Promise of Love (Martin Nievera) – for our favourite celeb couple who used the same song for their bridal march
All My Life (K-Ci & Jojo) – this was almost for the bridal march, after Miss Universe used it on their evening gown segment
Cherish the Treasure (Steve Green) – for our faith, contract signing
This is the Day (Scott Wesley Brown) – this is the day indeed, church picture taking
At the Beginning (Anastasia) – “We were strangers starting out on a journey,” grand entrance as Mr&Mrs
Love Changes Everything (bAndrew Llyod Webber) – the trumpeted intro was perfect for the parade of waiters
Love Moves in Mysterious Ways (Julia Fordham) – the title alone speaks volume, AVP of the church ceremony
Power of Two (Indigo Girls) – for when our individual set of friends multiplied by 2, AVP of couple pics with friends
Thanks To You (Tyler Collins) – to thank our families for paving the way for our paths to meet, AVP of family pictures
The Perfect Year (Sunset Boulevard) – what our first year together is going to be like
Changing and Giving Ways (Dawn Dineros) – what we’ll do at the onset of the marriage
Getting to Know Each Other (Gerald Kenny) – from the first movie we watched
Ally McBeal theme (Vonda Shepard) – for the TV show we watched in our respective homes pre-wedding
I’ll Never Fall in Love Again (My Bestfriend’s Wedding) – not for the lyrics, but for one of our all-time favourite movies
How Do I Live (Trisha Yearwood) – the first song that said we got something in common – our love for music
Your Song (Moulin Rouge) – “How wonderful life is now you’re in the world!”

This is our wedding playlist. It was played on our wedding day in different segments. Now the songs also reference snippets of our wedding.  Today we still play these songs and reminisce that special day. Even 10 years later.

This is Mr & Mrs Hotpot enjoying the program/songs in the reception.

Do you have a wedding playlist, too?