Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Happy Retirement Chris!

Today, we celebrated a retirement.  Chris worked for P&G for 27.5 years and a huge group of P&G'ers gathered to wish him happy retirement including our President, Marketing Director and HR Director.  Even our retired president and his wife came for the event.  Many people shared their stories via email and video of how Chris touched their lives at P&G and there were many head nods in the room.  

It must have been really hard to keep this event a surprise for Chris.  Chris wasn't a senior executive nor was he the leader of any team at P&G.  But Chris knows everything that happens in the office because, for 27.5 years, he has been our janitor.  

I'm so proud to work at a company who value people for who they are regardless of their position within the corporate hierarchy.  Chris is loved by so many because of his positive attitude and dedication to his work.  He always greets everyone with "how are you today"?  He knows everyone's name and sometimes even their kids' names.  He has been a constant in the office and the number of people who showed up to his celebration today is a testament of the memories that he leaves behind.

Chris, you will be missed.

Saturday, October 5, 2013


I recently inherited 2 teenagers.  My sister sent her two daughters (15 and 18) here to study.  Lets just say I never realized how much teenagers eat.  We are going through 8 liters of milk each week and we are putting our Costco membership to good use.  

I think the hardest part is meal planning.  I don't want them to always eat the same thing so I have to think in advance what I want to cook and plan out my weekly grocery list.  I also want to cook a combination of Chinese and Western food so when I go grocery shopping, I have to go to both a Chinese grocery and a mainstream grocery store.  

I have a google doc for meal and activity planning.  I love it because I can update it  from an app on my phone and it automatically gets saved online and my husband always has access to the most updated version too.  What would we do without technology?  

Let me know if you have any easy meal ideas!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Summer activities

It's been a busy summer.

We took a family vacation to a time share resort in Ontario back in late May.  It was the first time we took a week-long vacation with my MIL, FIL, and SIL.  Turned out pretty good.  The 7 of us got along well and everyone had a great time.  It was my friend's time-share which is the best kind of time-share to have access to.  We only had to pay $250 for a week-long stay in a 2-bedroom suite with full kitchen.  SCORE!

Then I went to an overnight business trip to NYC.  Haven't been to NYC for 5 years.  Too bad I didn't get to spend much time there.  Had an amazing dinner at ACME and stayed at St James Hotel which was really nice.

Right after my NYC trip, the 4 of us flew to Vancouver for a personal/business trip.  My best friend from HK had planned to be in Vancouver at that time and it was serendipitous that I also got to go to Vancouver for a work trip while she was there.  We haven't seen each other since I was in HK in 2011  and she now has a 1 year old son who is my god son.  So I got to meet my god son for the first time.  It was surreal going back to Vancouver after so long.  I lived in Vancouver for 5 years going to UBC but haven't been back to Vancouver for about 8 years, way before I was a mom.  Going to Vancouver with kids made me feel like a tourist in the city because now I'm looking at the city from the perspective of a parent.  We went to the Vancouver Aquarium, kids biked and played in Stanley Park, and went to various playscapes around the city to hang out with friends.  What doesn't change though, is the feeling that you get from seeing the majestic mountains each time you turn north no matter where you are.

Back in Toronto, my son started Learn to Play Softball and piano lessons, went to 2 weeks of summer camp, my husband is enjoying Wonderland's water park when the weather is warm enough, and we even took the kids to 2 nights of camping at Glen Rouge which is a safe 15 min drive from home.  It is a good experience for the kids.

We have an upcoming trip to Birch Run, Michigan for cross border shopping.  Anyone have any tips?

Thursday, May 9, 2013


I took an hour off work and went to my son's Senior Kindergarten Open House today.  I had a fantastic time.  I got to see my son in his classroom interacting with his friends and his teachers.  He was so happy and proud to introduce me to everyone.

This started last week when he brought home a notice inviting parents to come to an Open House today.  When I saw the notice, I told him that I would come.  But I had forgotten to put it into my work calendar so yesterday, I ended up having to move a bunch of meetings so that I could go to the Open House.  I'm so glad I did.

Before we even got to school, he was so excited.  I worked from home in the morning and he came into my room at about 12:30pm, "Mom, you have to bring me to school.  What time is it?"  He goes to afternoon SK which starts at 1pm which left me only 30 minutes to have lunch, get myself ready, and walk to school. I hadn't prepared any real lunch so I offered him cheese and apple slices while I had a leftover blueberry muffin, 2 fried eggs, and some cheese slices.

I inhaled my lunch and scrambled to get myself ready.  I asked him if he wanted me to pack him a granola bar for snack and he told me he already packed a fruit snack in his backpack.  I have the best kid in the world.  After another scramble to get my phone, keys, laptop and purse, we headed to school.

At school, my son went straight to get a book and we proceeded to read together.  When a kid came by, I would pause to let him introduce me.  "This is my mom.  This is Ava." or "This is my mom.  This is Lucas."

When the teacher was ready to take attendance, she asked the kids to name a shape when their names were called.  I was expecting "square" or "triangle" but the first answer was "rectangular prism".  LOL

When it was time for activity, my son wanted to draw me a card.  He told me not to look at the card because it's a surprise so he told me to play with a puzzle while he drew the card.  He started drawing and asked me, "Mom, how do you spell 'you'?"  Then he asked, "Mom, what's the first letter of 'rock'?"  I got a card that said "MOM, YOU ROCK".  :)  That was so sweet.  Definitely one of the best moments of motherhood so far.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The easiest curry ever... in the slow cooker

I made this in 5 min in the morning and let it cook in the slow cooker while I was at work. When I came home, I had delicious curry ready!

What you need:
6 potatos peeled cut into golf ball size pieces
2 onions diced
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs or breast cut into bite size pieces (can be frozen or fresh)
2 tbsp Patak's mild curry sauce
1/2 can coconut milk
White rice or naan

What you do:
1. Put everything (except for rice) in the slow cooker in the order listed on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Add 1-2 hours of cooking time if using frozen chicken.
2. Stir it once in the middle of the cooking process to ensure flavours are mixed.
3. Serve over cooked rice or naan.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Do you hide from your kids?

Just read about another mom's confession about waiting until the kids go to bed before popping popcorn so she doesn't have to share. Made me laugh because the other night, after dinner, the kids were in the living room playing, I secretly went to the kitchen and ate a dessert in a dark dining room. I didn't want to turn on the lights because I didn't want to have to share with my kids. Is that bad?

Turns out it worked because as I was eating in the dark, my daughter came looking for me but she didn't bother to check in the kitchen/dining room. She went straight upstairs assuming I was in my bedroom. As she called "Mommy? Mommy?", all I could think of was finishing my dessert as fast as I can so that I wouldn't have to share with her.

My husband eventually came into the dark kitchen and found me finishing the last bite of my dessert. I explained that I didn't want to share with the kids. He thinks I have a problem.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

What did you do for Valentine's Day?

This post is a month late but I wanted to say that I had one of the best Valentine's day celebrations this year. We took our kids out for dinner with our friends and their kids. Admittedly, it wasn't a romantic dinner but we had good food and were with great friends and had an amazing time. Romance is over-rated.

My best Valentine's day remains to be during the Vancouver Olympics where we stayed on the couch all day watching the Games and ordered a pizza for lunch and dinner. Nothing can top that!