Friday 7 Quick Takes (vol 119)


This week on Totes Awesome Channel we are vlogging about something we’ve always wanted to learn or explore but haven’t.

Youtube Link


My 13 year old little from Big Brothers and Big Sisters wants to be a model when she grows up. I plan on showing her this TED Talk from model Cameron Russell.

Link to video


I didn’t know Julie had snapped this photo of me and Michelle til I saw it on my Instagram feed. We had a lovely girls’ night trying out a new Thai restaurant with Michelle and Shelley. I have been neglecting my food blog for a while. Part of it is I started to make the idea of writing a review a daunting challenge. I used to be excited about reviewing new restaurants on the blog. However, now I’m thinking about it too much and have developed a feeling of insecurity that has stunted me. Must get back at it! It’s just a blog, Linda!


I started on my Vietnamese cooking resolution. My goal is to learn ten more recipes in 2013 and last night I made two successfully! Also, it was the first time I’ve cooked with an opo squash. I didn’t even know the proper English name for it! Cooking with new ingredients always feel like an adventure to me.

opo squash soup

pork and mushroom omelet


squid ink and curry ramen

I tried squid ink (and curry) ramen this week! Squid ink and octopus ink have been on my food bucket list for years. It was delightful and tasty but because it had curry in it, I’m still not sure what squid ink taste like. I will have to try it with pasta one day if ever given the opportunity.

Basically I had a really good food week.



My dad had a letter he saved for over thirty years. A Filipino friend wrote him with longitudinal directions to use for his escape from Vietnam by boat. My dad was the organizer and he had approximately 60 people on his “fishing” boat. He had a roster of everyone on a four page document that listed full names and their family’s addresses in Vietnam (in case he had to write to them with updates on their loved ones). He only had one page of that four page document saved. I framed both pieces and they now hang on my walls. I love the lines, “I hope you all safe everyday. May God bless and guide you all always.”


This week’s moments of bliss: ♥ buying Paris airfare ♥ girls’ night with my favorite food bloggers at a new restaurant ♥ hosting taco and movie night and seeing Anita and Ashley ♥ squid ink curry ramen ♥ a really good food week ♥ these dog .gifs ♥ delicious Pirate’s Booty ♥ finally watching Django Unchained ♥ morning snooze with Bob on the couch ♥ library browsing time ♥ having way too many books on my currently reading list

Question: What is your favorite piece of home decor?