Sunday, July 19, 2015

Random Musings on Food, Nature, and Culture from Our One Month Stay in California

Hello! We are on an extended stay in SF Bay Area, California, and it's been more than a month since we came. While my husband is working, I take my 3.5 year old daughter (and the baby of course) to explore new places around the area. Life is a bit more hectic but we love it just the way it is. Here are some random musings of our lives these past month:


I love the weather here! Though it gets hot during the day, it is really cool at night, even though it is summer time. It feels nice to go out everyday because unlike in Singapore, we don't sweat the moment we step out of the house, the air is really fresh, and there are no mosquitoes. The grass is lush and green, even my daughter who doesn't like to get dirty asked me if she can roll down the grass field. haha..


There are plentiful of parks complete with playgrounds and water play areas, libraries with pretend-play sections and story-telling sessions, children discovery museums, children theme parks with kiddy rides, etc. They are clean and well maintained. I love meeting old (and new) friends and having playdates with them. My daughter gets to meet friends her age too.

My daughter no longer naps on most days, especially when we are out the whole day. We usually go out after breakfast and come back before dinner, and she usually crashes in the car on the way home. In this picture, she was so tired but she didn't want to sleep and asked for snacks instead. Halfway through the ride, I found her already sleeping with her mouth full of snacks, hands full of crumbs, and an open water bottle. Haha!


We bring our own grocery bags whether we shop in the farmers' markets, supermarket, or department stores. They charge a fee if we need to get plastic bags from them. It's a really good incentive to reuse plastics and reduce waste. I wonder if a law like this can be implemented in Singapore, hmm...

Farmers' Market

On weekends, we go to the farmers' market and enjoy the local organic produce. They only sell those that are in season, so everything is sweet and cheaper. A 5 kg bag of organic carrots cost $5. I couldn't believe my eyes. They also sell organic grass fed products (meat and bones) and I made the thickest, the most gelatinous beef bone broth ever, using grass fed knuckle bones and bone marrows. It is like jello. I was one happy mama. Bone broth is nourishing and detoxifying.

It's also my first time trying local raw cow's milk. Unpasteurized, unhomogenized, straight from the cow, less than 24 hours fresh from when they milked the cow. It tastes mildly sweet and light. 


We enrolled my daughter in a music class once a week. On the day of our trial class, she was being particularly difficult before going to the class and I didn't feel like going, but I was glad I did. There is something about music that soothes the soul. Maybe it was the teacher who sang wild and free. Maybe it was all the children who danced around like there is nobody watching. I thouroughly enjoyed the session and I forgot all about the hard morning I had. Music cheered me up almost instantly.


I notice how people here spend a lot of time outdoors and while they are with their family, they actually are with them: they talk to each other and they play together. My friends and I were joking how we search frantically for a phone or an iPad even as we are running to the bathroom to do number 2. We rarely see magazines in people's bathroom nowadays, I guess because people now browse on their phones instead of reading. haha.. 

Having a tendency to keep checking my phone, it's a reminder to myself to put away my phone when I am spending time with my family.

My 3.5 Year Old Daughter

Little children are so funny sometimes.

We passed by a waterfall and my daughter quickly pointed it out to me "Mommy, I see a watermelon!" No darling, it's a waterfall. She cracks me up.

The other day she asked me "Mommy, can you read me the story of the lion in the Daniel's den?" LOL!!

My daughter, the baby boy, and I were cuddling:
Me: Elin, do you love your baby brother?
Elin: Yes, I love my baby brother
Me: Can I give him to someone else?
Elin: No
Me: So you want him?
Elin: I want ham, Mommy

Me: ?!?!? (Maybe she eats too much ham here)

While in America, we had to celebrate the 4th of July. And she celebrated US Independence Day in style ;)


My baby boy is growing up so fast before my eyes and I am treasuring this precious moment when he still want and can fall asleep in my arms. 

4.5 months old

I love this picture of my children. My daughter adores and loves her little brother. She wakes up and gives him a hug first thing in the morning.


We celebrated our seventh year wedding anniversary last month. Twelve years since we knew each other, seven years of marriage, and two kids later. Thank you, Lord.


Because our time in the Bay Area is short, i.e. we know that we will have to leave on a certain date, I really want to make good use of our time here, exploring new places, trying new things and food, especially those that I can't get back home, exposing my daughter to new people, new environment, new culture, and do as much as we can before we have to leave this place.

Maybe if we know how long more (or how short) we have on earth, we would also make use of the time well. Maybe I will try to see the big picture and not worry on the small things. Maybe I will try to be happier and be more thankful instead of grumbling on something small. Maybe I will use my time more wisely and live life purposefully. Hmm.. Something I have been pondering about lately.

What are you up to these days?

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