Monday, September 16, 2013

Why can't I say NO?!?!

This is a question that I ask myself time and time again when I can't find time to blog, cook, clean or sleep.

Why do i say this? Well, before I dive into that conversation, let me just say how lucky I am. Really! I'm lucky that family hasn't disowned me yet and that my husband hasn't asked for a divorce.

You see, I just can't say no when asked to help out at the school. I'm not talking about the occasional lunch duty or library mom.....I'm talking about starting this school year by saying:

"Yes, I will be willing to be the PTA president."

"Oh, it's a two year commitment? No problem."

"Yes, I can definitely do the monthly newsletter for the high school."

"Yes, I can easily build a whole new website for the PTA."

"Oh and the constant contact thing? I can totally set that up and get it running for two different school districts. No problem!"

"Yes, I will be willing to do the 80+ page playbill/ad journal for the high school musical."

Piece of cake......



Really? What in the world am I smoking? Actually, I don't smoke, but seriously..... what's wrong with me? 

You would think that after spending fours years on the Education Foundation (two of which I was co-president) I would high tail it and run for the hills when approached to help the schools, but in all honesty......I actually enjoy it. 

Ugh! Yes!

I. Enjoy. It.

There, I said it. grumble....grumble....

I enjoy working 80-100 hours a week and not collect a single penny.

I enjoy having one meal a day and have it be a frozen dinner because I'm busy working on PTA stuff.

I enjoy being the only nut who is awake at 4am working on a flier because I can't find the perfect font. Can you say font freak? That's me! The end all be all of font freakism.

No, but seriously, I really do enjoy it. It all makes it worth while when I see the children benefit from something that I was a part of.

And it gives me a way to be creative.....

We had a teacher breakfast the week before the kids came back and I think they really liked it. I put together a little gift from me to them as a small token of my appreciation, with my phone number on it. (That may prove to be a mistake, but so far so good!)

We welcomed the teachers with French toast, bacon, sausages, eggs, Coffee, juice, and fresh fruit.....and of course, French Cafe Music.


Welcome set up for Teacher Breakfast.....

I got this idea from Pinterest....


The feedback I got was amazing! The teachers were so happy to get a warm breakfast and they loved the whole set up.....one teacher asked if they could have this everyday - she felt as if she were in France.

So, although I may complain and not get any sleep these next two years......it will be worth it. I love to see the smiles and know that I had a hand in it!

So, to all the PTAs, PPOs and all the other acronyms I can't think of right now....ask me to help, why not...... I'm in a giving mood and here is a little tip.....I can't say no. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

5 Things.....


I saw this little exercise on Stephanie's Life-Unexpectedly and thought that it would be fun to do. So here we go.... in no particular order

5 Things I have a passion for:


  • family
  • music
  • lyrics
  • computers/gadgets/graphics (that's the geek in me)
  • cooking

5 Things I'd like to do before I die:


  • enter a dance competition (Tango all the way!)
  • learn another language - Italian or French --- or better yet, both
  • write a book and have it published
  • see my children grow up to be happy, responsible adults
  • learn how to really code & start my own web design company

5 Things I say lot:


  • Uh-huh....
  • Did you hear what I just said?
  • Hurry up!
  • Love you honey (this is from my Baltimore days)
  • I'm tired (because it's true)

5 Books I've recently read:


  • Inferno by Dan Brown 
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth (yes...... I heart teen paranormal romance books)
  • The Host by Stephanie Meyer (better written than the Twilight series - I'm Team Edward!)
  • Defending Jacob by William Landay
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (hated the ending!)

5 Favorite Movies:


  • Under The Tuscan Sun (probably my all time favorite)
  • Dirty Dancing
  • Pretty Woman
  • Independence Day
  • Gladiator

5 Places I'd like to travel to:


  • Italy - Tuscany
  • Morocco
  • Croatia
  • Germany
  • France

5 Blogs I'll tag: Like Stephanie, I would like to open this fun little game to everyone....so let me know if you decide to partake. I would love to see some of your 5's!!!!


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Chillin in Cape May

So it's the middle of August and I'm just starting to relax. What have I been doing this whole time? Well, for some reason....during a brief moment of insanity, I agreed to be the President of PTA for my youngest daughters elementary school. 

Yup.... Sucker.

Honestly, I do enjoy it to some degree. I love working on the computer - making newsletters, finding new fonts, playing with photo images..... I actually just finished creating a brand new website for the PTA and I must say --- not too shabby.

Anyhow, here I am finally relaxing by the shore and I thought I would take this time to send out a post.

It's about 3pm right now and we've had a full day already....kite flying, shopping, arcade house, scooting, reading, eating and napping.


This is actually our fourth year vacationing in Cape May New Jersey ...and we love it. We've been coming here with my sister and her family (love my niece & nephew) and my mom & dad - its truly my favorite time of the year.


Here's my kid sister as we take a little respite at an organic coffee/ice cream shop called Bliss (cute little shop on one of the back streets of Cape May).




Where is your favorite place to vacation?

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Twist on Tabbouleh

I'm a foodie.

I absolutely love eating and trying cuisines from different parts of the world. In fact, this was one of the driving forces that brought my husband and I together - our taste buds were in sync.

Now, because I am a serious foodie.....who loves to cook and has an incurable obbession for cookbooks, I've decided to share my journey in the culinary world with you. I've already been sharing my cooking escapades on Facebook and Instagram for awhile now and it occurred to me --- why not share it on my blog.

So, here we go....open your mind and your palette....

The first recipe that I want to share with you calls for a bit of a twist on the traditional tabbouleh. Since I'm a huge fan of tabbouleh, I was immediately drawn to this recipe when I saw it.

What did I make? Quinoa Tabbouleh.

This refreshing take of a Middle Eastern classic had my mouth watering before I could get the ingredients out.

I paired it with Lemon Chicken (super moist - will share that recipe one day) and it was fantastic. The only thing I might do differently next time is to add a bit more cucumbers and cut the tomatoes up a little smaller.



Recipe: Quinoa Tabbouleh (from Bon Appetit 6/2012)

Tabbouleh (Arabic: تبولة‎ tabūlah; also tabouleh or tab(b)ouli) is a Levantine Arab salad traditionally made of bulgur, tomatoes, cucumbers, finely chopped parsley, mint, onion, and garlic and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt, although there are various other variations such as using couscous instead of bulgur. (Taken from Wikipedia)
Quinoa (/ˈknwɑː/ , Spanish: quinua, from Quechua: kinwa), a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the true grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beetroots, spinach and tumbleweeds. (Taken from Wikipedia)
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large English hothouse cucumber or 2 Persian cucumbers, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
Preparation
Bring quinoa, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. 
Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. 
Spread out quinoa on a large rimmed baking sheet; let cool. Transfer to a large bowl; mix in 1/4 cup dressing. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover remaining dressing and quinoa separately; chill. 
Add cucumber, tomatoes, herbs, and scallions to bowl with quinoa; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle remaining dressing over.

If you make this, let me know how it went....share your picture!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Three for Me

It's been awhile since I've posted a Three for Me piece, so here it goes.....

1. Sydney's Birthday - This was, of course the top of the list for my three favorite things this week. My little girl is now nine! It's her "last year in the single digits" as she put it. We spent her birthday at my parent's house in central Jersey and had a very delicious and fattening cake. Unfortunately, as a summer baby, she doesn't get that many parties, but I think this year we will try and do something special once school starts and all her friends are home. Happy Birthday Sweetie! We love you.


Happy Birthday to you....Happy Birthday to you....


2. My sister Jen - Now, my sis and I are about five years apart and we are very close. For awhile, she lived in the same town as me, but due to my brother-in-laws job, they relocated to Pennsylvania. I really miss having her near by...... Jen has always been there for me, no matter what. We laugh, goof off and try to hang out as much as possible. She and I may disagree, argue and get mad at each other (what siblings don't?), but I know that no matter what I do or say......she loves me and will always be there to support me and I feel the same towards her. By the way, Jen recently celebrated another birthday so....here's another shout-out to her: Happy Birthday Jen!!!!!


Took this at a Musikfest concert in between sets...we had a blast!


3. Aw-Shucks Roasted Corn - yes, I'm serious. This corn is on my favorite things this week. Why? Why?!!! The only thing I can say is join me at Musikfest next year and I will show you why. Hands down.....this is the best corn ever!!! I'm still dreaming about this.....yummmmmm


I took this right before I devoured it - Can I have one more please?

What are your three favorite things this week?

The Evolution of My Style

I'm not one to follow celebrities or talk about what the next trend is.....but, when it comes to fashion and clothing, I definitely have an opinion.

So, why am I even writing about this stuff? Well, I was surfing the web and decided to look up fashion blogs for 40 year olds. What did I find? A nice splattering of blogs, but nothing that spoke to me and my style....

Are you curious as to what my fashion picks would be for a mature woman who isn't dead and over the hill.....(yes, women over 40 do have a pulse and we can still turn heads.....in a good way)? Check out my Pinterest page and let me know your thoughts. 

I'm no fashion guru in any sense, but I have a pretty good sense on what looks good on me and how to pair my outfits with accessories to complete the look.

This, however, was not always the case.

Yup, I admit it, I've been around the block when it comes to fashion. I just couldn't find that perfect fit. I went from Punk to Preppy, from the Cuties look to Mommy Mode and still wasn't satisfied. It has taken me almost forty years on this planet to figure out my "style" (and still it's evolving everyday).

To put it simply, I would categorize myself as a Classic Modern Edge type of girl.

I love the boldness of the Punk era, the classic restraint of the Preppies, the freshness of the Cuties look and the comfort of the mommy attire. Put it all together and voila...... ME!

My day to day wear is pretty relaxed and simple, but whenever I get a chance to dress up and look nice....I'm jumping for joy!

Whether I'm heading to a Black Tie event or just an evening out with my friends, there are a few things that I run through my head to make sure all's good.

Here are a few things that are on my check list when it comes to dressing for an occasion.
  1. Outfit - This not only has to fit the occasion, but it has to make me smile. I will only buy an outfit if, when I put it on, it makes me smile and think - wow!
  2. Shoes - The type of footwear I choose, is of course, determined by the outfit and the occasion.... but, I usually opt for a beautiful pair of heels. Anyone who knows me, knows I love stilettos. (Once a year I will splurge and get myself a pair of classic heels that will last for seasons to come.)
  3. Jewelry - An outfit isn't quite complete without a little jewel to finish it off. This can range from a simple thin bracelet to a statement necklace.
  4. Clutch - To be honest, I usually skip this and throw everything into my husbands suit pocket, but when he isn't around, I will grab a bag/clutch/purse that compliments the overall feel and look I'm going for.
  5. Make-up - Hello! I'm forty-three....not looking as fresh as I once did. Still, I keep it simple and effortless.
  6. Perfume - Call my crazy, but I can't leave the house without my perfume on. This happened once and it drove me crazy. I also feel that it's important to have a signature scent.....it took me a whole year to find the perfect one for me.

This is my signature perfume....gotta love Vera Wang


Well, I'm off.....I need to get out of my pjs, which has recently been my daily attire....I've been stuck at home doing who knows what, but today I'm going out!


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Project 52: Childhood Games

{childhood games}




These photos are submitted for Bella's Project 52 in response to her prompt "Childhood Games".
To see more images click here.

Back in the Saddle Again.....

Yes....it's me. Not an illusion. Not some form of spam jamming your inbox, Facebook page or bloglovin feed....I'm finding my way back out of the abyss of life.

So, what could have possibly kept me away from my fledging of a blog? Well, to put it simply. Life.

yes, Life.

This four letter word has filled my world with happiness, sadness, disappointment, stress, love, hate & hope. In it's wake, I have found myself reeling from it's twists and turns, searching for a path that will sooth the turmoil within. Then, as Life will have it, I find myself elated and basking in the warmth of its glow.

One can truly go crazy trying to figure things out.

Here are some of my favorite quotes about Life that has helped me along the way. (These images are not mine. If you know who created them, please let me know so that I may credit them.)









Please share some of your favorite quotes on life. What sayings have helped you through events in your life?



Thursday, May 23, 2013

Asians Out Loud: Katherine Sui Fun Cheung

Today, I'm going to highlight one of my very favorite Asian American firsts. Her name was Katherine Sui Fun Cheung and she was the very first Asian American female pilot in the United States!


Katherine Cheung: 1st Asian American Aviatrix


Talk about amazing. In a time when race and sexism were hurdles many women could not break through, Katherine opened her wings and took flight.

Born in China in 1904, Katherine joined her father in America at the age of 17, studying music at the University of Southern California. During that time, her father had agreed to teach her how to drive, which was a rarity in the 1920's.

Luck would have it that Katherine's father brought her to an empty parking lot next to the Dycer Airfield to practice her driving skills. As she watched the airplanes land and take off from across the field, Katherine's love for aviation was born.

She was a very quick learner and after merely 12 1/2 hours of flight lessons, she took her first solo flight. By 1932, Katherine earned her pilot's license, making her a member of an elite group of aviatrix (only 1% of licensed pilots in America were women at that time).

As one can probably gathered from her determination to break society's rules, Katherine decided to continue her flight career as a Barnstorming pilot. What does that mean? It meant that during the 1930's Katherine travelled to towns across America going to fair after fair, performing dare devil stunts. She took part in acrobatic loops, barrel rolls, spiral dives and even flying her open cockpit plane upside down. How amazing. She was a true adventurer.

By 1936, Katherine was invited to join the prestigious Ninety Nines Club, which was an international group of female pilots founded by Amelia Earhart. Katherine and Amelia forged a great friendship and she was devastated when Amelia disappeared over the Pacific.


Ninety Nines Club
(Bottom 3rd from left) Amelia Earhart (Top 2nd from left) Katherine Cheung


Katherine was also very much involved with the Chinese community and was a good friend of the Hollywood actress Anna May Wong. During the war, Anna May Wong helped raise the funds to purchase a Ryan ST plane for Katherine in hopes of providing aid to the Chinese resistance against the Japanese. Unfortunately, Katherine's cousin crashed and died in the new Ryan ST while pulling a prank. Katherine never made it to China, promising her father she would never fly again.

Katherine did fly a few more times after her father passed away, but she soon settled into daily life. She has been inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame, the Museum of Flying's International Women in Aviation Pioneer Hall of Fame, the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum as well as other honors.

She once said in an interview:

There's no feeling like it in the world......being up in the air, the wind blowing, the exhilaration....that's my definition of joy. It's complete freedom. You haven't lived until you've truly felt that.

Katherine is a truly inspirational woman.....I want my children, especially my girls, to know that they too can achieve things, even when society frowns upon it.....have courage and passion to follow your dreams. You never know where it can take you.

Who inspires you?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Asians Out Loud: Dr. Sammy Lee




Dr. Sammy Lee is the first Asian American to win an Olympic gold medal for the United States.




Sammy was born on August 1, 1920 in Fresno, California and is of Korean descent. At the age of twelve, he dreamed of becoming a diver.

Unfortunately, due to racial discrimination, people of color were only allowed to use the pool one day a week (Wednesday.....the day before they drained the pool for cleaning). However, this did not keep Sammy from working toward his goal of becoming an Olympian.

His coach dug him a pit in the backyard and filled it with sand......and that is where he practiced during the week until the following Wednesday.

Despite the hurdles and racial discrimination he faced, Sammy fulfilled his dreams. He won his first gold medal in the 10 meter platform dive and then a bronze medal in the 3 meter springboard during the 1948 London Olympics. He then returned to the Olympics in 1952 and won his second gold medal in  the 10 meter platform dive, making him the first man ever to win back to back gold medal in Olympic platform diving.

After the Olympics, Sammy went on to become an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor and served in the United States Army Medical Corps during the Korean War.

Later, he coached the US diving team, mentoring future Olympians such as Greg Louganis, and he is a member of the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.

 Sammy's story is a powerful one that shows us what we can do if we only keep trying. Will power and determination will help break through barriers and set new standards for future generations.

Thank you Sammy!



Friday, May 17, 2013

Project 52: Crop It

{crop it}










The challenge was to show a before and after view of the same photo.
recipe: crop,tranquil effect, color boost

These photos are submitted for Bella's Project 52 in response to her prompt "Crop It".

This is week 4 of a year long photo challenge.
See more photos submissions here at  Crop It.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Project 52: Street Art

{street art}





This photo is submitted for Bella's Project 52 in response to her prompt "Street Art". 

This is week 3 of a new cycle and I'm excited to be joining in at the beginning. 
To see more photos submissions here at  Street Art.

Project 52: Microscopic

{microscopic}





Catching up: This photo was taken for  Bella's Project 52 in response to her prompt "Microscopic". 

This is week 2 of a new cycle and I'm excited to be joining in at the beginning. 
To see more photos submissions here at  Microscopic.

On the Home Front ~ Diving Into our Renovation

Just realized this is my 100th post. Yippee! I really appreciate your support. Thank you for your interest in A Dose of Jules and for reading my blog. You are the best.

I'm taking a quick breather to give you all a mini update with the ongoings in my world.

After the craze of posting/writing a poem a day (I must admit.....I was fried!!!), my brain refused to do anything productive in terms of posting and life around the house got a bit hectic.

The biggest thing....we started our kitchen and bathroom renovation at the end of April. Yes, after 11 years of deliberation, we decided to bite the bullet and go for it. If not now, then it's never happening... because the college tuition train will be pulling in very shortly....and it won't be leaving for a long time!

Our renovation is pretty involved.... we are fiddling with a weight bearing wall, pushing into a Florida room, moving the bathroom and bringing the laundry room upstairs. We met with a few contractors, but I didn't feel comfortable with any of them.....I was a bit suspicious because some of the quotes were off by $40,000.....that's a lot of money......so, and after much discussion, our good friend offered to do the job for us ~ Thank you JP!

Now, my husband is sleeping much better at night. That's when he gets to sleep.....we have to pay the bills....sleep is over-rated anyway. (poor guy ~ love you hon)

Before work began, I visited the cabinet maker with pictures of kitchens I liked and choose my cabinets and knobs and pulls all on one day! What did I pick? Well, I will share that with you in the next On the Home Front post.

So, with our plans already done, a reliable and honest contractor by our side, all we needed to do was to nod our heads and pouf.......let the demolition begin.

That is after we get all the rooms cleared. Demo was scheduled to begin the week after we got back from Spring break, so..... I had one week to clear out the kitchen AND the basement below.



Phew~ One week later.....not bad.....patting myself on the back! Especially since my darling husband was conveniently away on a golf trip during that time. Not cool...... no worries, I have something planned too!



Thanks for stopping by ~ Are you working on a house project? Have you gone through a kitchen or bath renovation?

Share your stories or link up your post.....I would love to see what you've done. There is more to come regarding my renovation, so make sure to stop by and see what we are doing next.

Do you have any tips or advice?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Asians Out Loud: Anna May Wong




Anna May Wong was the first Asian American Actress. Born in in Los Angeles, to second-generation Chinese parents, Anna developed a love for the movies and began acting when she was in her teens.

During the Silent Movie era, Anna was casted in Toll of the Sea (1922), one of the first movies to be made in Technicolor and in The Thief of Baghdad (1924). She soon became a fashion icon and reached international stardom.


Although she soon was know throughout the world, Anna was not happy. Unsatisfied with the roles that she received while in Hollywood, Anna decided to head to Europe. There she starred in many notable films and plays, such as Piccadilly. She also received many featured roles during the early sound era, in movies such as Shanghai Express with Marlene Dietrich.


After a disappointing rejection from MGM for the leading role in Pearl S. Bucks The Good Earth, Anna moved to Paramount and worked in several movies that portrayed Chinese Americans in a positive light.

When World War II broke out, Anna refocused her energy to helping the Chinese cause against the Japanese. She donated her money and auctioned off her Hollywood costumes in efforts to help the Chinese refugees.


After a 6 year absence from the film industry, Anna returned in 1949 with the movie Impact. In 1951, Anna May Wong was given her own television series The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong, which was the first American television show to have an Asian American lead.

Anna May Wong died in 1961 at the age of 56, while sleeping in her Santa Monica home.

She has been credited with "humanizing" Chinese Americans in the eyes of white America during times of discrimination and racism.

Way to go Anna!


Friday, May 3, 2013

Show Off Your Blog Party Hop!





It's that time again! Let's Party Hardy this weekend at The SHOW OFF Blog Party! Woop! Woop!







There's a lot to celebrate this weekend too! My 3 AWESOME co-hostees did a remarkable job hosting the party for the last 3 weeks. It's their last week, so stop on by and thank them for being wonderful hostees with us!









Let's do some SHOWING OFF! My co-hostees and I thought these bloggers did a phenomenal job working their stuff:


Let's make sure we're aware of how many kids are affected


Women Empowerment! Let's Show it off!



I LOVE Foodie Stories!!! 


Read how mom raises her child through personal experiences

Congratulations to all our featured bloggers! Please take our
button to "SHOW OFF" that you were featured at the SHOW OFF Blog
Party:



Show Of Feature Button photo
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Don't forget to win a wrap
package
to get you swimsuit ready for the summer! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Are you ready to party? Before you begin, remember these simple

rules:







  1. Link up your favorite posts. It doesn't matter which one, just
    make sure it's family friendly! 
  2. Follow your host (that's me! The Wondering
    Brain
    )
  3. Follow all 3 co-hosts: JulesBrittany, and Tiffany 
  4. Leave a comment if you'd like them to follow you
    too
  5. Visit at least 3 other bloggers 
  6. Show them your blogger love too if you'd like them to
    follow 
  7. Remember, it's not a party unless you mingle, so mingle around and make some friends! 
  8. Take our beautiful badge and proudly display it on your side
    bar to encourage others to party with us! 

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Interested in co-hosting The SHOW OFF Weekend Blog Party next
month? We have spots available for June! $4.00 to reserve your spot for a month and a discounted
rate for ad space! We won't disappoint. I promise! Please email for more
information: 







thewonderingbrain@gmail.com 



Let the party begin! 









A to Z Challenge: Is it Over?




I can't believe I was able to pull it off. As many of you may know, I decided to combine the A to Z challenge with NaPoWriMo (which required me to write a poem a day ~ even on Sunday).

Although I love writing poetry, I must admit it was a challenge to write a poem with the letter of the day in mind.....I couldn't just write anything.....it had to speak to me in some way....I had to feel it and then and only then would the words flow. Seriously, it wasn't easy thinking up a poem about something starting with C, W, Q and Z.....just to name a few.

This whole month of April, I could be found writing on the plane, in the car, in bed, on a couch in the lobby of a hotel....anywhere I could find so that I could post my poem every day.

I was often lost in thought during the day and then burning the midnight oil at night to get the words just perfect.....most nights I stayed up until 2 or 3 am! I even wrote until 4 am once.....ugh!

I didn't have much luck trying to stay ahead of the game by writing my poems ahead of time, because I was constantly playing hide and seek with my muse. I was able to get some poems done ahead of one of my trips where I wasn't going to have access to a computer, only to find out 15 minutes before I left that I had accidentally erased one of the poems! WHAT!!!!

Talk about panicking.....I lost my X post. I tried to re-write it from memory, because I didn't write it in my notebook. Fortunately, I remembered most of the words by the time I got through security and I called my daughter and had her type into my blog. It wasn't exactly how I originally wrote it, but it was close enough and the plane was taking off with or without me. Talk about stressing out.....ha!

But, I must say that I loved this challenge. I combined the two challenges and through this process, I came across many amazing blogs (there is no way to list all of them here) but I would like to highlight a few of my favorite A to Z Challengers:  Zainab of Metamorphosis, Sania of Embracing Dawn, Nick of Scattergun Scribblings, Sarah from  Simply Sarah, Dana of The Daily Dose, Julia from Writing Jewels, Sandy from Oozing Out My Ears, AJ of Words from Sonobe and Kate from Another Clean Slate.

I learned a lot about myself.....and so did my kids. By the second week, my kids were trying to help me come up with subjects for my poems that fit my so called "requirements" as they saw it.....my son said....what starts with R that is depressing and sad. ha!

Anyhow, it's been such a wonderful experience and I look forward to next year....I must say I'm a bit lost since it's been over. Kind of sad.

Thank you Arlee and everyone else who helped get this challenge rolling. I can't wait for next year.

I also want to thank all my readers for taking the time to read and comment....I hope to continue this amazing blogging journey with you all.

Are there any other writing challenges that you are participating in?

Also, which of my poems was your favorite? I would love to know. Thanks!

A: Among the Broken Glass
B: Beauty
C: Confusion
D: Death
E: Erase
F: Fate
G: Glimpse
H: Help!
I: Inspirations
J: Jupiter
K: Kryptonite
L: Loss
M: Moments
N: Nothing
O: Oblivion
P: Precipice
Q: Quiet
R: Revelation
S: Stifled
T: Tangled
U: Untethered
V: Vengeance
W: Weep
X: X Marks the Spot
Y: Yours
Z: Zoning Out

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Asians Out Loud ~ Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai

I have decided to kick off Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with a poem by the Chinese-Taiwanese American def jam poetess Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai.

Like Kelly, I'm a Chinese American....or as we sometimes call ourselves, an ABC (American Born Chinese). My parents were both born in Mainland China and then fled to Taiwan during the war. After graduating college, my parents decided to come to the United States to live the American Dream.

Throughout my childhood, I have struggled with my identity.....my ethnic background and growing up Chinese in America. I never felt that I truly fit in....not in America and sure as heck not in China or Taiwan.  I just wanted to feel like I belonged.

For most of my adolescent life I felt as if I were teetering between two colliding worlds, and it was hard for me.....the racism that I encountered and the uneasy feeling that I would never really be accepted because of the way I look weighed heavily on me. It has taken me awhile....but I have learned to embrace everything that has made me the person I am today.

I am me
I am American

Click below to here an interview with Kelly from the HBO documentary East of Main Street: Asians Aloud. Kelly shares a little bit about herself and recites a one of her poems that I feel captures the emotions/thoughts that I have felt growing up Asian in America.





Do you have a def jam poet that you enjoy?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

National Asian Pacific Heritage Month



YES! There is a month dedicated to the Asian & Pacific Islanders of America and it is celebrated during the month of May.

The Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

How many of you knew that this existed?

Back in 1978, Congress had passed a resolution to commemorate the Asian American Heritage week during the first week of May. Two factors played in the choosing of this week. First, it marked the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7th, 1843 and secondly, it marked the completion of the  transcontinental railroad by the Chinese on May 10, 1869. It was later decided in 1990, by President Bush, to expand the celebration to span the entire month of May....and so we now have the National Asian Pacific American Heritage month.

There are many festivals that will be taking place during this month all over the United States, so if you get the chance, do a little research ~ you might find one near you.

If you are in the New York area, there will be two festivals held. One on May 4th in Flushing and one on May 18th in Chinatown. You can get more information here at CAPA Online.

If you are interested and near Washington, DC, there will be a festival on May 18th, 2013. The festival will showcase a variety of things, such as art, food, performances and many other multi-cultural and interactive displays.

I have decided that during this month, I will highlight some famous and not so famous Asian Pacific Americans and give my readers some tidbits of Asian American culture. There are so many things that I never learned in history class, and I think that it's always a good thing to learn a little about the those who have contributed to the history of the United States.

I hope you join me this month.

You can also read more about APA Heritage month by visiting the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

Sunday, April 28, 2013

[poem] Eve



Image courtesy of Artsy craftsy 


Eve

Come my child into the night
knowledge gained with just one bite



Challenge Day #28 


This poem is a one in a series of poems for the month of April. I am currently involved in two writing challenges, and like a fool or a genius, you decide....... I combined the two challenges. I am attempting to write a poem a day ~ with the corresponding letter of the day. On Sunday, however, I do not need to comply with the A to Z rule and I'm free to write my poem without restrictions.  

Only 2 days left! Wow.

1. A to Z Challenge: Blog each day with the corresponding letter of the day, except on Sunday
2. NaPoWriMo: Write a poem a day


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Project 52: Conversation



{conversation}




This photo is submitted to Bella's Project 52 in response to her prompt "Conversation". 

This is week 1 of a new cycle and I'm excited to be joining in at the beginning. 
To see more photos submissions here at  Conversation.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shakespeare's Birthday






William Shakespeare's actual birthdate has been long disputed, but it is believe to fall around this time. I have always loved his work and am fascinated by his mastery of the English language. He has left us with so many amazing treasures and we still draw from his inspirations.

My favorites plays:

Midsummer Nights Dream
Much Ado About Nothing
Romeo and Juliet

My favorite sonnet:

Sonnet CXVI

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
      If this be error and upon me proved,
     I never writ, nor no man ever loved.




Here is a poem that I wrote in honor of The Bard: Fate

Also, if you like poetry, check out these amazing poets at With Real Toads; today's poem prompt was to write a piece in honor of this extraordinary man.

Do you like Shakespeare? What are some of your favorite works?


[Blog Design Tips] Reducing Right Click on Your Images

Hannah from With Real Toads asked: ...I was wondering how you went about hindering copy/paste ability from your readers? I'm Word Press so I don't know if it'll work the same? 

As bloggers, we work very hard trying to make our blogs unique and one way we do that is with the images that we take and use for our posts. What's aggravating is when all this hard work is "right clicked" away. To reduce and deter the casual viewer from simply right clicking and copying your images, here is a way to disable that feature. Please note that there are ways around this, so for the savvy user, they can still grab your image.

Unfortunately, I am currently only working on the blogger platform, but if you are a wordpress blogger, try the link below. Let me know if it works. If not, I will look for a solution.

For Wordpress, I suggest trying this plugin No Right Click Images Plugin

For Blogger users, follow the steps below.

1. Copy this code

<script language=javascript>
<!--

var message="This function is NOT allowed!";

///////////////////////////////////
function clickIE4(){
if (event.button==2){
alert(message);
return false;
}
}

function clickNS4(e){
if (document.layers||document.getElementById&&!document.all){
if (e.which==2||e.which==3){
alert(message);
return false;
}
}
}

if (document.layers){
document.captureEvents(Event.MOUSEDOWN);
document.onmousedown=clickNS4;
}
else if (document.all&&!document.getElementById){
document.onmousedown=clickIE4;
}

document.oncontextmenu=new Function("alert(message);return false")

// -->
</script>


2. Go to Layout and click on Add a Gadget




3. Choose the HTML/JavaScript option



4. Paste the code and save


You can change the message by altering the highlighted text that reads "This function is NOT allowed!"

You may also want to disable the image enlargement feature.

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions. I am eager to learn and help fellow bloggers.

Please let me know if this works for you. I did this awhile back, so I may be forgetting something.