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Sadden to hear that the 3 popular Vloggers died from saving each other

Although I’ve only started writing my blog recently but I love to follow other bloggers and vloggers. It’s so sad for me to see that the 3 Canadian vloggers died while with a group of friends exploring Shannon Falls waterfall, doing something they love. It’s even more sad to know that Ryker Gamble and Alexey Lyakh actually jumped into the water to try to save Lyakh’s girlfriend, Megan Scraper, when she fell from atop of the waterfall into its strong current. Both my husband and I love the nature and he’s in particular have always had the adventure side in him (one time he scraped his entire lower back jumping into Lake Havasupai Falls). Hearing this does make me feel a bit scared about enjoying the outdoors but hopefully it doesn’t stop us from doing it. Now it also makes me realize that life is too short and maybe we haven’t appreciate life enough, as simple as being thankful to be breathing at this moment, and still be alive.

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Update on IKEA closets

Hi guys,

So I wrote an article about the IKEA closets the other day and wanted to give everyone an update on my closet that I just installed. The entire process was a tedious 2 1/2 days but it was well worth it. I’m very happy with the result, not to mention it only costed me under $2000 for the entire project (and that includes tax).

I’ve attached a couple pictures here:

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The good thing about these closets is that you get to design them however you’d like them to be. I need longer hanging space because I have longer dresses, but my fiance wouldn’t have the need for it, so we customized his side a little bit differently.

Notice the “centerpiece” in the middle is a row of smaller drawers, a glass drawer, and a jewelry pull-out tray. The glass drawer/shelving cost just a tad bit more than the regular wooden material but it transforms the closet into something more luxurious (a bit of an upgrade). I will be adding crystal pulls to the drawers so make sure you come back for more pictures 🙂

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Above is a picture on the right side of the closet, we tried to keep the design as symmetrical as possible minus some minor differences.

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And lastly is a picture of the remainder side of the closet. This side was strategically designed to fit our 2 hampers on the bottom but still has even functionality with the drawers, hangers, and a shelf on top.

Fashion

Designer Diaper Bag?

Today’s topic is about diaper bags. Since my soon-to-be hubby and I have already began trying for our baby (even before our wedding), I started having an obsession of looking at diaper bags, or I should say “purses that can double up as a diaper bag when the baby arrives”. Being a first-time mom, I didn’t want to have a “mommy bag (for me)” and a “baby bag (for the baby)”, the last thing I want to remember is picking up 2 bags every time I leave the house. I also didn’t want to have to sacrifice fashion when I’m being a stay-at-home mom so I wanted something “nice” A few choices that I have in mind after doing some research and read a lot of blogs, here are the contenders:

Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM with the ToteSavvy insert $1400 + $72 USD

https://us.louisvuitton.com/eng-us/products/neverfull-gm-monogram-007652#M41180

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ToteSavvy®

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Gucci Diaper Bag $1250 USD

https://www.gucci.com/us/en/pr/children/baby/newborn/gg-plus-diaper-bag-p-211131KGDIG8588?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=US%20-%20Desktop%20-%20PLA%20-%20All&utm_term=1100316444597&utm_content=All

211131_KGDIG_8588_001_072_0000_Light-GG-plus-diaper-bag

Or something else that I haven’t thought of 🙂

Please leave me comments as I’m open to hear what you have to say, talk me out of it or talk me into it, I welcome them all!

Home

IKEA Closets

Today I’m writing a blog about the IKEA closets. Just a bit of a background, David and I are moving into our new home. This is the home that we want to spend the next 15 years of our lives raising four kids so everything has to be perfect. I’ve gone to California Closets and the Container Store to get a quote and although their designs are nice, the materials that they use were either too thin/feels cheap for the amount of money that I would like to spend. Still, they were quoting me upward $10K for my new closet. And then comes IKEA!

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Our current IKEA kitchen cabinets

David has used IKEA before for our current home, everything from kitchen cabinets to bathroom vanity and we’ve been very pleased with the appealing factors (clean lines, modern, sleek design). So I decided to give it a try with our new closet. To my own disbelief in a good way, my quote came out to be $1,800 and I was adding so much more extra stuff to it (glass drawers for example) that I couldn’t with the other closet companies due to their steep prices.

IKEA also makes your life easy by allowing you to save your work on their user-friendly planning tool called “PAX planner”. You can even access this from home with your own login and make any changes as necessary.

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My 3D rendering closet design

All you need to do next is to go to a local IKEA store, they usually have most items in stock so you would just pick everything up in one day. Have fun installing!

P.S. I will post pics of the final product once we’re done installing the new closet.

Cooking

Oven-baked Catfish

I’ve never cooked before my whole life but since I’m getting married and my fiance loves the home cooked meal, I decided to venture into this scary yet fun realm that I’ve never stepped foot into.

Last night, I made one of the hardest dishes and surprisingly it wasn’t even hard at all. It’s a traditional Vietnamese oven-baked catfish that you normally see at a restaurant that specializes in it. My favorite restaurant in San Diego for this dish is called Anh Hong Bo 7 Mon which locates in Linda Vista. You can even call to order ahead of time since it takes 45 minutes to make.

Ingredients: catfish, fish sauce, honey, olive oil, black pepper, salt, ginger, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, scallion (green onion), vermicelli (optional), rice paper, peanuts, herbs (mint, perilla, lettuce, basil, cucumber, pineapple, pickled daikon) depending on what you like, and mam nem (if you’re not making it from scratch).

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First you will need to get a whole catfish from the supermarket. I recommend getting a live fish because you can taste the freshness in the fish. I bought mine yesterday at the Asian supermarket for $4.99 a pound. Mine was a small fish so it was roughly 3 lbs. You can ask them to make the fish white, clean the inside and butterfly it for you.

From here, you will make a couple small incisions on the outside of the fish, this is to allow the marinade to soak in and for the skin to not tear apart due to heat and pressure (you will notice the fish curls up inside the oven as it’s being cooked).

To make the marinade, we will need:

  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoon honey (I use raw organic honey)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced lemongrass

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine all of the above in a small mixing bowl. Take the fish and lay it on a tray with the skin facing upward, then use 1/4 tablespoon of honey to lather all over the skin of the fish (this is to make it crispy when broil). Once done, spread the marinade over the fish and allow it to soak in either overnight or at least 3 hours in the fridge.

When ready, pop the fish in the oven on a rack that sits on top of a tray. This is for the juice from the fish to drip down and not soak back into the fish, which will end up making it soggy. For my 3 lbs fish, I baked it for 40 minutes and then switched it over to “broil” and let it broil for another 3 minutes. Make sure you stand there and watch it as it could easily burn at this step.

While waiting for the fish to bake, we can make the scallion oil and the peanuts to garnish the fish when it’s done.

To make the scallion oil, we will need:

  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of chopped scallion
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced shallots
  • a pinch of salt

First, we pour the oil onto a pan and allow it to heat up on medium heat. Once it’s hot, throw all the ingredients above onto the pan and turn off the heat. You just want it to slightly cook, not burn; the hot oil will do just that.

For the peanuts, I generally just use raw peanuts and roast it on a pan (no oil). When you see the skin starts peeling, then the peanuts are ready. Remove the skin by squeezing the peanuts lightly and then crush the peanuts with a nut grinder.

Once the fish is nicely cooked and crispy, remove it from the oven and drizzle it with the scallion oil and the crushed peanuts.

I get lazy so I didn’t make the “mam nem” sauce that was supposed to go with it. I just buy it from a restaurant near my house called Pho Ban Mai. But if you would like to make it from scratch, there are a lot of recipes online for that.

Enjoy!

Cooking

Baked wild salmon and tiger shrimp in honey mustard sauce

This is another one of my fiance’s favorite. He liked it so much that I made it twice in one week!

This is a super easy recipe that I also learned online.

Ingredients: salmon filet, shrimps, olive oil, salt, black pepper, dried oregano, dried parsley, dried thyme, butter, honey, Dijon mustard, fresh dill.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle olive oil on the salmon filet, then add salt, pepper, oregano, parsley, thyme. Put it on a baking tray (no aluminium foil needed). Repeat the process with the shrimps. Also place on the same baking tray.

To make the honey mustard sauce, we will need:

  • 4 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • freshly chopped dill (I used half of the package they sell at the store)

Combine all the ingredients above in a mixing bowl and spread evenly on the salmon and shrimps. Pop the tray into the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes (you don’t want the seafood to be overcooked). Enjoy!

Fashion

Rolex

I love Rolex watches ever since I was a little girl, having heard so much about them, seen them everywhere on celebrities and really wishing if I could get my hands on one someday. Today I have received my very first grown-up watch; not one, not two, but three got delivered to my house. The fiance and I decided that for our wedding presents, we wanted something symbolic; the idea that life has different phases and even when something is started, it must end somewhere; and our love will last through the end of time.

From left to right: 31mm Two-tone Everose Gold Datejust with Diamond Markers; 40mm Black-on-Black Cosmograph Daytona; 31mm Two-tone Yellow Gold Datejust with Roman Numerals.

P.S. I’ll do a review on them when I get more familiar with the functions.