Monday, February 25, 2013

Where I Am Today


Sorry for the food photo, but fear not - this will not be a recipe post. I made nutella chocolate chip cookies today. We're back home after two weeks in Singapore and we are dreadfully jetlagged. I know this is normal and it, too, shall pass, but I miss being able to tell night from day. So, to cope, I went out and bought a jar of nutella. I've been off nutella for some years now, because too much of a good thing -even nutella - can be bad. Now, though, is the perfect time to re-addict myself- nutella is not really chocolate and it's not really candy and it can be incorporated into every baked confection to make it even sweeter and sillier. The ultimate unhealthy sweet fix comfort food, in other words. 

Hence these nutella-infused chocolate chip cookies. Friends, they look better than they taste, okay? I love dark chocolate and any chocolate-flavored thing I eat has to be deeply chocolate, preferably ebony-dark. I am sad to say that nutella has the opposite effect - it makes the chocolate flavor of dark chocolate chip cookies shallower and sweeter, not chocolatey-er. Boo. Hiss. They're not bad by any stretch of the imagination; just not chocolatey. Still, it feels as if I've totally ruined a good batch of dark chocolate chip cookies by nutellaing them. I'm sure I can find someone in the house who will eat them, though. Hopefully. So no, I'm not sharing the recipe. Stick to real chocolate when you make chocolate chip cookies, friends. Leave the nutella in its IV drip and enjoy it uncompromised. 

Okay, so back to where I am today- talking about settling back into normal life after a whirlwind trip back home. I don't consider a trip to Singapore a true vacation. It's mentally exhausting, in addition to being physically so. Sure, I swim in the sunshine and eat curry but I'm constantly torn between feeling fully at home there when I actually miss my house in MN. It's a bizarre state of limbo. Then there are the wonderful friends in Singapore, some of whom I've known since I was a kid. When we hang out together so our kids can play together, I am struck by how I've known the mothers longer than the children. Here in MN, every single playdate-mom friendship is the result of our children meeting in school or church; between us, the mothers ourselves, though, there is no shared history beyond, say, the last 4 years. No complaints - I love meeting and making new friends as well as keeping old ones, but it's hard not to notice the difference. 

Shoppingwise, I didn't buy as much as in previous years - annual Singapore trips mean that I don't need to stock up quite so desperately each time. These linen fabric and trim were from a tiny independent knick-knack shop in Bras Basah Complex. 

I made my usual pilgrimage to the Textile Centre at the corner of Jalan Sultan and North Bridge Road, and bought a bunch of utility notions - white thread,

ric-rac, twill tape, spotty bias tape, buttons, various chalk markers and refills,

ribbon and velcro,

and a couple of random Japanese books.

That left book is more licensed-characterish than I'd like, but it was for Emily, and it contains Hello Kitty in various manifestations,

along with Little Twin Stars, which I adored as a child,

as well as other characters I don't recognize, but which will be fun to stitch.

The Cotton Friend pattern magazine, of which I have an earlier issue, is full of fun things to make. In this issue, I found two well-drafted outfits - this sweater on the cover

and this mandarin-collar shirt.

Other garments, sadly, were misses. I know this next one is probably a deliberate fashion style but - whoa  - it doesn't fit, period.

And this one needs help, too:

A couple of bags - backpacks

and a waist pouch/fanny pack.

And waiting for me at home in MN, were new catalogs of my favorite kid stores! These are what I read for sewing inspiration and to keep abreast of kid fashion - more accurate than reading sewing blogs for design trends, at any rate!

So quite a bit of sewing inspiration! But before I act on any of it, I must sleeeeeeeeeeeeep. I need sleep so badly. The kids have been keeping us awake at nights while their bodies adjust to MN time - they wander around the house at 3 am and attempt to hold conversations with us. Bad! Bad! Go away! Grrr! 


  1. OMG you had me at the choco chip heavenly looking cookies... my family just moved to Germany and I feel ya on the jet lag.. We're about 6 hours ahead now and every morning my daughter was waking up about 4 and coming in our bed to play with 7 dolls. Not fun!

  2. oh how I feel for you on all counts. have not actually made a trip back to the Philippines since 2009 despite contemplating it each winter, likewise only dream about baking with nuts and nut-things because my kids are allergic, and have found myself coaching en masse how to make speculoos spread. I remember Little Twin Stars!! I had a pencil set and a dresser organizer-thingy that were cherished possessions.
    Ah spring kids' fashion! I like to browse HA, H&M, Janie n Jack and Crazy 8 (for boys especially) for inspiration... leave the Hot Topic and Justice to other moms.

  3. Looks like some fun shopping finds! The cookies look yummy, too, but I agree with you on the dark chocolate.

    So you're not too jet-lagged to write a blog post... that's progress! ;) Hope you all get a better night's sleep tonight.

  4. Good luck getting over jet lag!

    I have no friends who have known me for longer than 5 years at a time (that is, five years of living in remotely the same geographical area). Sometimes it feels very lonely.

  5. The cookies look good, but I totally understand about dark chocolate!
    Can you use melatonin to get your sleep cycles back to order? Or at least drink some sour cherry juice?

  6. Ohhh, me encantan los bias tape y esta revista japonesa parece genial! Boas compras y que buenos recuerdos! Me encanta leerte! Que descanses!

  7. Can I admit that I really enjoyed Little Twin Stars, too? I wanted to have blue hair when I was a tyke...


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