A Ski Holiday

School was out for 2 weeks and we went on a vacation that was as long. We reckoned it would be difficult for my husband to get this kind of break back home, so we made the best out of it.

We went on a ski holiday, snaked through the Sierra Nevada into a picturesque city of bridges, crossed the barren land of the Mojave Desert and into the glittering lights of sin city

For the first week, we did nothing but eat, sleep and ski. We hardly saw the rest of Lake Tahoe, and I left the place not knowing how much it had changed from 20 years ago. I guess I was the only one who was feeling nostalgic, everyone else was focused on having fun riding down ski slopes with powder soft snow

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We woke up in the morning, cooked and ate breakfast, dressed in layers of warm clothing and were out the whole day. The cold would have been unbearable if not for the heat that we generated from physical exertion. Just putting on the boots and ski made me huff and puff, and the thin air at 8000 over feet didn’t help.

It was a hassle, especially when I haven’t mastered the skill of effortlessly cruising down the slopes. It would be perfectly understandable if the kids were whiny and fussy. But hell no, they were excited to go onto the slopes every morning

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We dropped them at ski school first thing in the morning and my husband and I had the rest of the day to ourselves. I swear, we have never had so much couple time before, not since when the kids came along. It was just a pity that I had to spend most of it trying to pick up a skill that most people would have picked up easily at half my age. It was evident, my 9 year old can now do a black slope with his instructor while I am still struggling doing snow plough on the blue slopes.

We did have long undisturbed hot lunches with a view of a frozen lake. It was a bliss. andĀ even met Santa and his gang.

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In the late afternoon, we would pick up the boys and head straight back to our rental lodge. I would be busy cooking to feed the hungry boys while they unpacked and washed up.

We spent a hundred over dollars at the supermarket on the first night we arrived. For the rest of the week, we had pan fried salmon, stir fried greens, chicken vegetable noodles, fried rice, minced meat omelette and curry chicken. Thanks to a very well equipped kitchen and spices, condiment and staples I smuggled in my bag. It almost felt like we never left home. It would have cost much more eating bleh food outside

And because the kids were so tired out from the activities in the day. They crashed in bed right after dinner. Getting them to bed had never been easier.

And after one week, I am beginning to see why skiing has to be the best activity to do during cold winter months. Because when you are having fun and your body is generating heat, it takes away the miserable coldness. And it is the kind of holiday where the kids (both big and small) have fun and doesn’t make you feel guilty for binging because after a long day of toiling in the cold, you know you deserve that extra calorie.

So bring on the cheese and chocolate !

 
 

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‘Twas The Day Before Christmas

And we are at Lake Tahoe up in the Sierra Nevada mountain range
It’s a beautiful alpine lake which my husband and I had visited some 20 years ago

This time we are back with 2 kids to ride on the powdery snowed out mountains
And I am beginning to see why this is the best thing to do during winter
We will be hanging around till Christmas

Back home, the wet and cool weather during this time always reminds me of a white Christmas
So it is kind of a dream come true because this time we are truly having a white and very cold Christmas
Yet, there is a part of me that misses the kind of Christmas we have back home

December, my favourite month of the year
Orchard Road will be lit up with beautiful christmassy lights where Christmas songs are played in every shopping malls
And it always puts me in a mood of wanting to bake something yummy and craft something pretty and dress the house up in christmassy colours and decorations

Usually my side of the family would gather for simple home cooked meal
Christmas is about spending time with our loved ones
Being in a faraway land, living in a space that is not exactly ours and only for a temporary period of time puts me in a dilemma on how much we want to do for Christmas

But I couldn’t stop once I got into the groove

We put up more decorations for the house with scraps from our ‘treasure box’
This time, I ditched the paint brush and went for the spray can

We decorated our fireplace with fallen sticks, pine cone, moss and dried fruit around our neighbourhood

And we decorated another little tree branch

I got into this baking frenzy (again) and baked a few batches of cookies
I tried to decorate the plain ones but they didn’t turn out as nice as I would want them to be

Thankfully I found these Martha Stewart cookie boxes from the craft store and fell in love with them
They were sheets of cardboard with pre-creased lines so I could easily fold them into cute little boxes for the cookies
They came with sleeves for the boxes, ribbons and labels

These, with some simple cards, turned my otherwise ordinary home baked cookies into lovely gifts

I had some ladies over at my place the other day for crafts
I baked some chicken drumsticks and put together some fruits and snacks
And we had an early Christmas celebration

Because we are traveling during Christmas
We let the boys open their Christmas presents early
We ended up with some pretty decent shots fit for e-greetings

So here’s greetings from our home to yours
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas !

 
 

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My Pig’s Intestine Christmas Wreath

The other day, I was invited to an American friend’s house for crafting
I was elated to find out that we were learning to make a burlap wreath

We spent a couple of hours in the morning chatting, snacking and weaving burlap through a ring
I figured out how to make a bow and completed my very first homemade wreath

I took a picture and proudly sent it to my mum
She replied shorty that what I had resembled a pig’s intestine

She did have a point
With its colour and the curls and waves
I thought it lacked the Christmasy look

But I couldn’t exactly figure out what was missing
I consoled myself that my mum probably never seen a burlap wreath before
I spent the next couple of days thinking of a way to make my ‘pig intestine’ wreath look less piggy

I went for a run the next morning and came home with this

I felt like a little girl gathering ‘treasure’ for her treasure trove
A friend who drove past the neighborhood saw me in action and sent me a text message
‘I saw you picking grass !’
I must have looked like that weird Asian girl doing strange things

I came back with some mosses, which could be found hanging on most trees here and some dried fruits and pine needles

I painted the dried fruits

Bundled them up using the pine needles (I almost thought I could rub some rocks and start a fire)

I coiled the mosses around the pig’s intestines
Secured everything to it and hung a few snow flakes

And had it back onto my front door
I thought it looked pretty neat

But I hesitated before sending a picture to my mom
because I needed to be prepared in case what I got was a
‘Hey ! that looks like a bird’s nest !’

And I wonder why some adults never grow past approval seeking

 

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