I can't believe that it has been forever since we went up North!
Okay, so before we begin you may be wondering where Up North is. This is a term I learned when I got here in Wisconsin. "Up North" simply means a rural area somewhere in Northern Wisconsin away from the city. Many people here go up north to take a break, relax, be in nature, camp, go fishing, make smores... well smores are optional.
We used to always go up there to chill over the weekend but last winter has been rough and we've been pretty busy since it got warm. It's already June and we're finally here! Last we were here, the leaves were starting to turn. The scene was a mix of green and fiery reds and oranges.
This time tho is completely bright. Less dramatic but more upbeat! As usual we had to leave late Friday so no night images of basically the dark LOL. Either, it's my beautiful family getaway...
But nope, didn't really accomplish much aside from taking care of Alex who had his wisdom tooth taken out yesterday. My bear isn't his best today. I did get to watch Four Sisters and a Wedding tho, which got me laughing and crying. I miss home. Hate to admit it, sometimes I miss the drama too LOL. Not so much, but funny how i can relate to local movies.
Now I just sound like a new mom trying to figure out foods for her child. On the bright side, I got may cuddles :)
The weekend's been sunny and you have no idea just how happy I actually am! See winters are long here in the Midwest and I truly miss the sun! Not the extreme heat tho, not at all.
AlexBear went out with his friends today, leaving me and the Puzz at home enjoying some good me-time. On the bright side, he dropped off some breakfast before going his way. I cherish those seldom sweet moments.
Now, I got delegated the task of taking Hans to get his nails trimmed. Now, this a first needing to bring him to Petco alone. It was fun, but the pulling and all the excitement was over the top. Can't blame him, he was super happy indeed. Getting pulled by an 80-lb extremely happy puppy can be challenging, but it was worth it. You have no idea just how much I love this baby!
I'm rarely alone, oftentimes Alex and I do things together, so this was my moment to do my stuff! Hooray!
Ah yes, sitting down and relaxing and gardening!
I've always been amazed by how much things have changed. I never would've thought five years ago that I would be shopping for plants and flowers, let alone pots and mulch. I had a different idea of what my future will be. I guess things do change. I'm pretty content the way things are.
Flowers do make me happy.
Adulting can be quite hard. I've complained about it before, and I'll complain about it again! Five months into 2019 and I've barely made updates. Quite sad, and honestly I'm quite disappointed with myself. I've also not created much of anything since last year. Well, that is very, very disappointing to say the least.
I really try my best not to make this a complaint blog, I really want to keep it fun and light. But I guess life gets to me sometimes (many times) and it's just inevitable.
I really just wish that there's more time in a day. That's all, really.
The Game Plan
Okay, so the plan is - to keep it consistent. Wow, I never really thought it would take so much dedication to do this, but I guess yes I do! Well, more of not being lazy.
I'm gonna start with a schedule and hopefully get back on track. I'm still hopeful that I can better myself in following this through!
I have waited a month for this and I'm super happy!
I was just looking through Facebook when I came across this event at the Fire Escape. It's a local art studio here in Oshkosh that does workshops and various events for kids, adults, fundraisers and more. You can also just walk in to do your own stuff by yourself, with family, or friends. I think their specialty is getting to choose your ceramic item and paint it. They will then glaze and fire it for you! They also have other stuff like wood signs and more. I have always wanted to try their ceramic projects since I basically do much of the other stuff, except this because I have no kiln (yet). It's also fun to do it with others!
I've been following K9 Odin in Instagram. One of his videos went viral overnight and I couldn't be any happier that it's one of our own. When I saw that there will be a meet and greet fundraiser event for the OPD K-9 team, I definitely has to go!!!!
Have I said I waited a whole month for this? Yes, yes I did! The art stuff, honestly, is a bonus. I love art but dogs AND art... not to mention, it's K-9 Odin (yes I make it a point that Hans' IG likes all his posts) and I get to meet him! Awesomesauce!!
The studio was actually full. Extra full! AlexBear and I chose our item to work on, and an hour later...
OMG. OMG. THEY'RE HERE!
I've always been fascinated by snow. It was one of the things that I looked forward to actually seeing in person before I came here. Of course, I was delighted when I finally moved to a Winter Wonderland of a state and well, my husband wasn't all that pleased with snow.
Snow is beautiful, it always has been. I've always been awed by each individual flake and how pretty they are. I just find them so elegant and... just so pure and beautiful! Call me so corny, whatevs lol
I wish I brought out a nicer camera, but isn't that lovely!
The feeling isn't so lovely anymore when you're on your way to work and you get stuck. Now that's pretty frustrating. And well, that's exactly what happened today. There was just too much snow our car couldn't even make it out the driveway.
Oh and we started trying really early in the morning to get out of the driveway and it was still dark. Look, there's light out already!
It's really challenging to live far away from home, let alone not in a place where there are a lot of Filipinos. The closes Phil store is in Chicago so that's roughly three hours one way. Not to mention all the traffic!
On the bright side, I'm super glad that there are a lot of Asian stores here - mostly Hmong. They carry a variety of Asian brands and some popular Filipino items. I'm really glad that they do. Now it's up to me to improvise to actually make the things that I love to eat. Obviously I'm a foodie so I crave certain things every now and then.
I was just browsing around Facebook and came across all these different meryenda foods back home. Meryenda simply means a snack between meals. No, not a light snack. I mean like a delicious and usually filling snack. So I experimented with my own!
I just wish that we had fresh langka here, but still glad I was able to find canned ones. I was also able to use Saba bananas that I got from Chicago when we went to Seafood city. I froze them so they turned out a bit too mushy. Next time I'll probably try some regular plantain bananas.
Ah Palabok... or what we call in Cavite City "luglog".
This one, I have never tried making before so it was something brand new for me to make. I cheated tho, I used a sauce mix LOL. I still added more stuff into it and seasoned it to my liking. I didn't have the tinapa or the dried shrimps so I had to improvise. I got some calamares and added that instead.
Needless to say, Hubby Bear approved!
Tikoy (Nian Gao)
Come the Chinese Lunar New Year, I was definitely craving for some tikoy.
I tried to look for it in various Asian stores, I figured it should be somewhere, but apparently not. I then looked it up online. Thanks to Google, I found the original recipe and it wasn't so hard to make at all!! It's just rice flour, some sugar, coconut milk and some flavor (I decided to add pandan on mine) and steam for like two hours!
It's a brand new year and the start of an imaginary new chapter of our lives... and also new taxes and all that!
2018 has come and gone, fall has ended and I barely acknowledged its existence. Winter is in it's on-and-off mode but hey we got a snowy, slippery and accident filled new year. Probably not the best start for some but we must not give up.
I've been sick for the last week or so, and I've been home for a while. Resting feels great! I never thought that I would actually treasure these few days of having to do nothing and be able to actually sleep. Downside is that I'm coughing really bad so it wasn't so much of a rest as I hoped it would be.
Beer Pong Time
For the first time in my three years here, we finally threw a small NYE party at home. We just had beer pong and food at the garage and spent it with a few close friends. I really wish my friends were here too, having them play beer pong with us would've been awesome. Good times!
It's been a while since AlexBear hanged out with his friends. I know he needs his him time. Every now and then he does, but it's not like how it used to be. Some people would say that's what having your own family is like, but I still want him to enjoy. Needless to say I hit the sack a lot earlier than he did and I'm really glad they were there.
Aside from my usual photography and crafting stuff, one thing I also really enjoy is cooking. For some reason, my mom really didn't like cooking but she was a really good cook! One of the reasons that she told me was that she used to cook all the time that she kinda got burned out. I guess it happens?
I'm a big foodie, so for me it's a really fun thing to do. One thing I super hate tho is having to wash dishes. I really am making it a goal that I'm getting a dishwasher! Another challenge that I face most of the time is the availability of Filipino ingredients, or Asian goods in general. Living in the Midwest, there aren't really a lot of big Asian grocery stores with a lot of variety. There are some places like in MIlwaukee or Chicago, but I don't live in those big cities so I somehow have limited quick access.
I'm still happy tho, because there is quite a large Hmong population in Wisconsin there are a lot of Hmong Asian stores in Oshkosh. Not bad, because they do sell quite a bunch of Filipino stuff!
My Filipino Spaghetti!!
I have been really craving my Filipino-style spaghetti a.k.a. sweet spaghetti (or so that's how foreigners, well, non-Filipinos) describe it. It's kinda hard to use the "term" foreigner now because I just realized that I'm the foreigner LOL.
I got several packs of the sauce from Seafood City in Chicago, and finally I'm able to make it! My recipe is a little bit more intricate than the usual, probably because I add a lot of other stuff in it. One thing about my sauce is that I love making it extra meaty. So basically it's meat, mushrooms and whole lot of good yums with some sauce.
Last Friday, AlexBear and I went to Chicago to renew my passport and (finally!) file my Report of Marriage at the Philippine Consulate. It was a dreaded trip, we weren't really looking forward to the traffic and all. Normally, the trip would take three hours - with what Google Maps considered as normal traffic.
Well, it took quite a bit more than that. We also didn't expect that it would rain. It wasn't bad, but it definitely added to the slow movement of vehicles. Now I sound like weatherman. Lol!
As we got closer to Chicago, it felt soooooo nostalgic. I don't like heavy traffic, but it sure made me homesick! I mean, big city, the smog, the traffic and the skyscrapers. The whole time I was saying, OMG I feel like I'm on my way to Manila/Makati! Especially from this view - it felt like a Cavitex trip.
When we arrived in downtown Chicago, traffic was a lot different from Oshkosh. There were hardly some lines on the road and I swear I will not drive there ever. The buildings were all beautiful tho. I won't deny that this really made me miss my days hanging out in Makati, and crashing over friends, going shopping and all. I don't really miss the busy big city life, but I still do every now and then.
Back to Chicago - I'm sure the city would be more beautiful and picturesque if it was a sunny day. So I took the best photos I could with my phone.
NOTE: Click images to enlarge.
I've always loved blogging - until life got too busy. Now let me try to keep this going :)
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