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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Simple earings

Super simple to make.

Night on the town series:

Friday, May 29, 2009

Simplest bread machine recipe - butter milk bread

Introducing the ZERO failure recipe! :)

Bread machine is one of the most frequently used appliances in my house -- with two young bread lovers at home. We are pretty much making bread every other day. This one, the butter milk bread, of course is in our top choice menus :)

There are thousands of bread machine recipes out there, they all sounds alike, but we all know a small difference in the recipe often shows different results. I have been looking for the recipes that are: 1) Simple ingredient 2) Easy to follow 3) High success rate 4) Produce yummy bread

Finally, this is one of those that I found to meet my criteria – Butter milk bread! Kids just love it. I recommended this recipe to all my friends, and with no exception, everyone loved it and repeatedly making it.

¾ cup milk
2 tbsp butter
1 egg
1 ½ tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cups bread flour
1 tsp yeast

Use #5 Sweet Bread, light, 1.5lb (I have the Sunbeam bread machine).

I also tried proportional increase the amount of the ingredient to use 3 cups of bread, but turned out the loaf of bread is too “tall” for me. So I like 2 cups size.

(Don't ask me why there was a dent, must be one of my kids pressed it while the dough was rising :P)

Beautiful Boston Charles River

I know, it is a working mom blog, so relaxing and traveling is part of the busy working mom life :) Boston is a beautiful city (in the Spring, Summer and Fall), and the famous Charles River add a lot to the beauty.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Simple knitting bag

I am not an advanced knitter, so I looked for and tried easy patterns.

I made this bag last winter, just knitted one "long" piece and sewed up the sides to make a bag.

It took me 3-4 days (it was during vacation time, so each day I had good 2-3 hours on the project) to complete this project. :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Boston Duck Tour

Have you been to Boston? How do you like to take a duck tour? :)

Simple Sugar Cookie

One of my sons favorite books is "Mr. Coockie Baker".
At the end of the book, it has several cookie recipes, the nicest is that the recipe is so simple and I could make it with my kids, and they LOVE it.

The following recipe was the one I made:

  1. 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/2 cup butter
  5. 3/4 cup suger
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 3 tablespoons milk
  9. M&M candy (Optional - My son's idea)


  • Mix dry ingredient (1,2,3) together
  • Mix liquid ingrdients (4-8) together
  • Mix all together into dough
  • Put dough into fridge for 1 hour
  • Roll dough flat and cut into your favoriate shape
  • (Optional) Add M&M candy on top, slightly press to make it stick
  • Turn oven 375F degree and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown

I am not a too frequent baker, so I don't have a cookie cutter, instead I used a pizza cutter :D

We also augmented a little by adding M&M on top of each one -- My son's brilliant idea.


Monday, May 25, 2009

The Perfect Girl Friend's Gift

How many times you find yourself in this situation: You want to give a gift to your close friend (girl/femail friend) to show the friendship - could be her birthday, could be to appreciate some help she did to you, could be you just feel so good mood :) The gift you are looking for isn't necessarily expensive, but it can't be cheap?

I have some idea for you -- handmade gift, especially by yourself, is the most valuable gift to your friends!

I recently started an inexpensive hobby -- jewelry making! I just bought some new beads from Michael's, and quickly made two pairs of earings.

Add a little packaging, could look a lot more professional :) You can also buy this zipper jewelry bag from Michaels (or any craft store, it comes in a box of 175 for just 3 dollars!)
Then put them in the gift bag (I just showed how to make gift bag yesterday). Then you have a perfect gift for your girl friend -- 100% handmade to show your love.


Chinese New Year cake (Nian Ko) - kids love

I'd like to share this easy to make Chinese desert, kids all love -- Chinese New Year cake (年糕Nian Ko) . When my pre-school son had "Traveling around the world" program at school, they "travelled" to China, and the teachers were asking parents for any Chinese stuffs to educate kids. I shared this recipe and provided all the ingredients. The teachers baked the cake with the kids in the classroom as special snack! And they ALL love it.


Here is the recipe for the Chinese New Year cake (Nian Ko). Enjoy!

3 Eggs
2 cups Sugar ( -- I used less, only 1/2 cup, your own choice)
1 bag (16oz) Sweet Rice Flour ( -- You can buy from Chinese grocery store (most in chinatown :) )
1 stick (4oz) melted butter
1 can coconut milk + milk = 3 cups
2 tsp baking powder

1. Preheat oven at 350 degree.
2. Mix all ingredients until smooth.
3. Bake for 1 hour.
4. Turn off oven and leave the Nian Ko in the oven for another 1/2 hour.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

gift box and gift bag

It's memorial day long weekend. Thought about going to NYC for a weekend trip, or storyland. But a lot of friends suggested cancel any trip because of the Swing Flu -- hanging around home is best relaxing way to spend the long weekend.

So time for some crafting work. I googled several flower wallpaper images, and printed them in color. Or you can always buy a couple cardstock from your local craft store. If you really want to save some $$, colorful magazine pages will do too. :)

Gift box:

Reference this video:

Gift bag:

This gift bag is really very easy to do, you can figure it out by reverse engineering it :). Or just fold the paper like following:

About Me

I am a working mother, living in Boston area. I am from China, have been living in Boston area for 9+ years. I am currently a software development manager in a global IT company. I have two young children (5 years old boy and 3 years old girl).

All my friends think I must be crazily busy to have a full time professional job and two demanding kids at home. But, I have a lot of hobbies and activities: Cooking, knitting, crafting, jewlry making, swimming, gardening, to name a few. My friends are amazed and a lot asked me to share how I do all different things while having a professional career and raising kids.

Here you go, I decided to start a blog. I am not a super woman, whatever I can do here, you can do it too.

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