Monday, August 31, 2009

Turn a page

The past month went by so quickly. Turning a new leaf in HK. Started working for Shamrock catering to be their part time sales and marketing manager there. It is so nice that I finally found a company that I can work part time with freedom. It is also a flash back of what I did in the US. I was hired to roll out their boxed lunch program in HK. This is a new concept for HK, I think there are lots of potential but it is hard to get started when there is other fish to fry in the company.

Working for a small company is nice because your opinion is valuable. Your ideas really get utilized and your effort counts. However, you also get to do everything and trouble shoot is the best job description of this job. In a day, I could be do a flyer, then create a menu for client, drive to canvas an office building, sell some lunches at a school, translate a chinese menu to English, manage a kids birthday party and cold calling clients all in one day!

This is the difference between working for a large company that you have to play by the book and work within the box. I am not sure if I can do that anymore and follow the rule book and punch in at 9am sharp. To be honest, it never worked for me. I always have to challenge authority.

I really enjoy the part where I get to make important decision and see a new project that I roll out mature and become a success. Although it is risky, it is the most rewarding thing being an employee. Talking about being an employee, wow, I am liking it. Especially after being my own boss for so long, it is so nice not to worry about much at the end of your work day and just go home and chill. It might be nice to say I am the boss, but deep down, you are really an under paid and under appreciated person that hopes to make it one day. It is never enough, it is never successful enough. You are always looking for investor, you are always looking for new avenue to improve your company. It could be fun but it could also be draining. It takes every ounce out of you having your own business.

That is why I decided to sell my business before I have Cayenne. I cannot handle the pressure and do both. I might not make as much money, but at least at the end of the day, I can relax and enjoy my baby. I never thought I would find an employer that will tolerate my feeling about work, but I am glad, this seems to be working so far. We will see!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Metro Wonderland

Had been so busy with work, baby and planning parties. The latest was our boat trips yesterday, so much fun! Hong Kong is just fantastic in that regards. Lots of avenue for lots of fun. Junk trips are on of the things that is a must have in the hot summer sea in HK. I have been to lots of trips when I was a kid but this is the first time that I planned with my friends. Nice weather, nice boat, good food, wakeboard, but the most important, good company. Everyone had such a good time and so chill and cool about everything. Having a good mix of fun and relaxed people is one of the most important element when it comes to a good party. You can only do so much to please the crowd but if they are all tight and stuck up there is nothing you can do to make them happy.

Picking the right people to party with is very important. It depends on the nature of your party and what you want to accomplish you have to pick the guest you want to attend. Easy said than done! We got lucky yesterday, everyone had the same goal, to have a good time and soak up the sun and sea. No agenda, no worries, just let go.

Why is it so hard sometimes for people to let loose and just surrender for some fun and laughter? Maybe it is my personality that I don't get it. I got a long list of things to do in life that I cannot waste my time in life. Got to have fun while you can or else, life will just past you by.

Anyway, I am talking smack now. But I want to just shout out to all the new friends that I met this weekend. Had so much fun! Stay chill and keep partying!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Low Fat Banana cake with blue berries (Cayenne's Birthday Cake)

I am going to bake a cake based on Cayenne's favorite foods. Blueberries, bananas and cream. I found this recipe from and really enjoyed it. It is low in fat, not too sweet and the best part is can use all the old bananas that Cayenne cannot finish and make it into breakfast for the family. Here is the recipe for the cake

Low Fat Oatmeal Banana Bread

1 1/4cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp canola or walnut oil
1 large egg, beaten
2 medium egg white, beaten
3 large bananas, ripe
1 cup uncooked old fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 35oF. Grease and flour a loaf pan and set aside. In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients including the oats and cinnamon.

In a small bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Add oil and whole egg and mix well.

Add wet ingredients into the dry and mix well. Batter will be thick.

In a medium sized bowl, with an electric hand mixer, beat egg whites until soft peak. Fold egg whites into batter in three additions.

Pour batter into pan and bake until top of loaf is firm to touch, 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Flip out and cool on a wire rack for another 10 minutes. Slice loaf into 10 equally size slices.

In this case, I use this as my cake base and I used a 9 inch and a 6 inch round pan.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Copy Cat

15 more days and my baby Cayenne will turn one! I spent the whole day blogging and hanging out with her. She is quite the copy cat full of tricks. Blowing kisses, clapping hands, refusing things that she dislike, dancing when she hears her favorite music, and the best part, giving juicy kisses. Just when I thought I am getting bored with motherhood, there comes a curve ball. I found myself starting to talk to her and she looks at me like she understands. Instead of lets play with the ball, now I have to say lets throw the red ball. She is addicted to Cbeebies from BBC, there is a lot of positive programs, talking about friendships, dancing and learning about animals. I caught myself watching with her as well. There are actually quite a number of kids channel, Baby TV, Disney, Nic..the lists goes on. I think they are all good, but for Cayenne being so active and need constant stimulation, Cbeebies works for her. She has no interest with Baby TV, I think because their cartoons are too slow and soft for her. She likes jumpy music and also looking at kids play. I am not too sure if I like Disney yet, their theme seems to evolved around princesses and fairy tales. I am not sure if I like the dreamy part of things and teaching her about the whole princess world. Why do one want their kids to feel like a princess??? I really don't get that. Can someone explain that to me? I was never brought up as a princess, maybe that's why I don't get it.

Now that Cayenne really is registering knowledge in her brain, I have to be careful of what I teach her and what not to let her get away with. Like all of a sudden, she hates everything with straps. Car seats, high chair, strollers...O G she is one active little monkey. Other kids stay nicely in their high chair, but Caye manages to crawl out of the high chair and climbed onto the table. Not sure if that is teachable. But then, her monkey strength is what I admire about her too. She is strong at an early age. At two months, she already wants to stand. She doesn't like to sit unless we folded her legs and make her sit. She wants to walk, and now boy can she climb and crawl. On the couch, off the couch, all day long if I let her.

Before I have Cayenne, I always think, my dogs are more or like kids, they eat, wine, poop, make a mess, want to snuggle and know when they did something wrong. But with Cayenne, I now understand my responsibility just got bigger. I cannot let her see the ugly side of me, she will copy, she will learn and she will take advantage of me if I let her. She is already copying me and I just don't know it!

Art Jam wonderland

I have never heard of the concept of Art Jam until I moved back to HK. Bonart is the company that I used( highly recommended ). They bring all the things like paint, brushes, canvas, easels and all the special tools. The best part is, no clean up. So all you need to do is just to show up and paint your hearts out. The first time we had a bunch of friends at my house and I did and 7 course dinner with champagne and the second time we did it at my mom's gallery for an afternoon tea Jam session. It was truely an experience. Looking at how people paint and using different tools, people's true charactor really comes out. Family portraits, pets, daughters, smiley faces, abstract scenery, rain drops, letter Cs, favorite colors, so many different styles and thoughts. If you want to know them well, just ask them to paint with you and you will see what they care about.

I have always been scared about painting. The first time, I was really worried and scared of making the wrong moves. Is this color right, should I do this first or I should use this brush. I guess it was the unknown that caught me off guard. But then, the second time, I felt a lot more at ease. Free flow painting is always difficult, what do you really want to say, how should you say it and what people will think about it.

But with all the expression and looking at what other people painted, you really find out that art does not have a form. It is what you feel at that moment. You might not like what you painted, but others might think it is impressive. It is not like a conversation, you said something and you forget about it. When you paint on a canvas, it is perminent, unless you burn it, it will stay with you forever. It is a diary of your thoughts with colors and imaginations. Every time you paint, is different from the last, leaving you much room to desire for the next.

Painting is also risk taking. Kinda like daily lifes, should you do this first and then add this or should you jump right in to the hardest part of the painting. Do you second guess your decision? I wanted to paint flowers with long grass, but it didn't come out the way I wanted it, should I paint it all over again or how do I add something to cover up my tracks? This is all that went through my mind. Painting, is drama, is scary, is risky, is remembering, is releasing, is relaxing, is imagining, is an expression, is life!