All Hail the Rice Queen!

Posted by Suburbanette on January 16th, 2014

When Rob and I first moved in together, his mother purchased a rice dispenser for us. For those not in the know, it is a big giant container that stores rice, you press a button, pull a lever, and then jackpot….CARB CITY!

I freaking love my rice dispenser. I am not ashamed to admit it, I fit the stereotype…rice is my favorite meal.

Both of my parents were born in third world countries so meals were usually supplemented with a huge serving of rice because well we’re Asian duh….and two it is a cheap filler. A little bit of meat and veggies and a huge vat of rice was the most cost effective way to feed your family.

Also, I’m kind of weird but eating anything without rice is just *TOO*MUCH*FLAVOR*. Rice is the perfect canvas for any type of food.

I’m older now and am smart enough to know that white rice is basically empty calories. At home I am able to eat healthy pretty easily: no processed foods, little sugar, no caffeine, no soda, low dairy, lots of organic veggies and lean meat. I like eating healthy so this is not really a big deal. The thing is…I eat a lot of rice. Rice is my nicotine. I’m addicted and I can’t stop.

Today was a blessing in disguise. I reached for my rice dispenser and only two grains came out. It is empty.

There is no time to stop and cry. I have to move on. And so starts the journey!

 

 

These Are My Confessions

Posted by Suburbanette on January 15th, 2014

This is something I’ve known for a long time but simply have not had the guts to say out loud.

I am overweight.

I feel like it is hard to be an overweight girl, but I feel like there is more pressure to be an overweight Asian-American girl. Not only are we supposed to be good at math and piano, but we should all strive to be the perfect size 00 (based on my experience with others, size zero is fine and dandy but size 00 is perfection…and if you are too thin to donate blood than well, pat yourself on the back sister). I wrote that and realized that was written with a lot of snark.*

I am snarky because deep down inside it really hurts when people tell me things such as: “Your friend looks Spanish senorita because she is small, but you look like a big happy Hawaiian,” or “You look like a Samoan girl,” or “Yeah you were a lot skinnier in college, what happened?”. You would think that all of these things were said by Regina George and her army of skanks but unfortunately these were all said by people who are close to me.

As three tears roll down my cheek as I write this (Think the sad Native American chief commercial), I find it hurtful to think that when my friends think of me all they can see is:

Also on another note, when did Samoans get such a bad rap sheet? Last year Manti Te’o story should prove that Samoan girls (even made up girlfriends) are actually very beautiful. The girl posted above is also very beautiful, she was actually a silent screen actress and model. I do not want other people’s expectations about beauty to make me feel bad about myself. I just want to be happy, healthy and feel good about myself.

But back to the original story, I’ve been denying it and denying it but I’m still not happy. So I have decided to take the first step to weight loss which is admitting to myself that something needs to change.

There are two ultra positive people in my life that I would like to thank for helping me realize this. One, my husband Robert who loves me whether I am fat, skinny, angry, sad, happy, have hair or no hair (let’s not forget my cancer diagnosis from almost ten years ago). When I met him, he was a Division I athlete who ran several miles a day. He got stuck into the endless cycle of mindless eating, and dying in front of a computer, in a florescent lit office building. Last year he realized he did not want to live this way anymore and has went on to lose over sixty pounds. We were both schlubs (I just continued the lifestyle) so knowing that he can do it and has my back makes me feel more confident in what I can do.

Two is my coworker and twinsie Gretchen, whose recent blog post admission makes it easier for me to admit the same things to myself. Together with several of our co-workers we are trying to get fit, healthy and happy together.

I lost quite a bit of weight (well I think I did, based on the way my clothes fit) when I started eating clean over a year ago and blogged about it on a weekly basis (It helps hold me accountable) so look for a bunch of blog posts soon.

Here’s to new beginnings!

 

 

Looking Forward to 2014

Posted by Suburbanette on January 8th, 2014

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In 2014, I resolve to:
* Live in the moment and enjoy the simple things in life
* Keep my succulents alive
* Find one new friend
* Finish my craft projects: embroidery, calligraphy, sewing, stamping
* Start a small family business
* Put shelves up in my kitchen

New Year, New Deodorant

Posted by Suburbanette on January 2nd, 2014

This is kind of embarrassing to admit to the interwebs but I’ve always been a clinical strength deodorant kind of girl. I am aware of the health risks associated with anti-antiperspirants and deodorants but I’d much rather have breast cancer and lots of friends than be that weird stinky kid that everyone ignores (PS: This is coming from a girl who already has had cancer, so I can say that).

I’ve tried all types of natural deodorants and all of them left me smelling like a gym mat in the men’s wrestling room, but I am proud to say that I have finally found a contender that is awesome enough to bring me out of Suburbanette retirement.

I introduce to you Truly’s Natural Deodorant! Made with organic coconut oil, powdered sugar,  baking soda and beeswax it is not harmful to your body’s natural chemistry, is non-staining, fragrance free and does not show up white on your clothing. Oh and the cost? Only a cool, $7.95. It’s pretty much too good to be true! I have worn this through several awkward holiday dinners, Kazaxe and yoga class and have went home smelling as fresh as a bee who found herself in a sugar and coconut oil factory.

The only thing you have to remember is that this is a deodorant NOT an anti-antiperspirant so if you are an excessive sweat monster, this might not be your Holy Grail (although sweating is your body’s way of releasing toxins and cooling your body so perhaps you should try it anyways).

*I was not paid to write this post. All thoughts are my own*

There Goes Halloween

Posted by Suburbanette on November 4th, 2013

I present to you, Rob and I’s first couple costume as a married unit:

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This photo was taken by the fabulous David Dang, at Yelp’s Twilight Rendezvous at Eden last week.

My actual Halloween was spent at my parent’s house, helping my little brothers,Kevin and Kristopher cull through their interesting candy collection.

Kassie dressed up as Sleeping Beauty. This is a real conversation between her and my sister:

Kristina: Excuse me, do you know where my niece Kassie is?Kassie: It’s me Kristina! I’m Kassie!
Kristina: Oh no? Really, because all I see is Sleeping Beauty!
Kassie: No, really Kristina! It’s me! I’m Kassie! I’m BROWN!!!!

Baked Potato and Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Posted by Suburbanette on October 9th, 2013

A few days before the wedding, I came across a killer deal for a Vitamix at Costco that I could not resist. My life savings was already down the crapper so I figured why not dig myself a bigger hole and purchase myself a super high powered blender while I was at it?

While a lot of people use their Vitamix to create green smoothies, I mostly use mine to create hot vegetable soup. All you have to do is throw in some celery, tomato, spinach, onion, peppers, or whatever type of vegetable you have lying around and you have a nutritious, hot soup in a few minutes! This soup has been a complete saving grace on busy work days or nights I am too lazy to cook.

This week, I decided to kick up my Vitamix game a notch and start experimenting with recipes in their “Intermediate” level. The following recipe is something I developed after I could not decide what I wanted more for dinner: a loaded baked potato soup or a broccoli cheddar soup.

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[Steam a handful of red baby potatoes and half a bag of broccoli florets and cube] [Split potatoes and broccoli florets into two portions] [Saute half an onion in pan] [Add 2 and a half cups of milk, onion,  some shredded cheddar, a teaspoon of Better than Bouillon chicken flavored, and half of the broccoli and potato mixture into Vitamix and blend on the hot soup setting] [When the cycle has completed pour soup in a bowl and top with chopped broccoli and potatoes to give it a chunky texture. Sprinkle some cheddar on top for good luck.] [Enjoy!]

***DISCLAIMER***
Yes, this has dairy and yes, I am aware that dairy can cause stomach and skin issues as well as cancer. If it makes it better, I used organic milk but vegans could try using this with a cashew cream instead. I am also aware that Better than Bouillon is not exactly better than bouillon. Potatoes are also not the healthiest vegetable in the world. However, if you compare this to the calorie, preservative and sodium laden soup that they sell at Panera this is a wonderful alternative.

As for taste? Yes, it is green. The hubster was entirely leery when I first served this to him but after one bite his frown turned upside down and he slurped the whole thing up!

 

 

Going to the Chapel of Love

Posted by Suburbanette on September 26th, 2013

Robert and I attended our first wedding as a married couple this weekend. Before the bride made it down the aisle, it was all water works on my end. I’ve been a guest to about a bazillion weddings but once you are married the feelings you have are completely different. Everything to the emotions that you feel walking down the aisle, seeing your husband for the first time, and speaking sacred vows..weddings take over a whole new meaning!

With that being said here are a few of our favorite wedding ceremony highlights and a few fun facts.
* The church we got married in held it’s first mass in 1895 and was where President John F. Kennedy’s funeral took place.
* Rob and I got married in a traditional Filipino/Spanish Catholic style wedding. In pictures 10 and 11 you will see examples of the cord and veil ceremony which symbolizes clothing the couple as one and everlasting fidelity.
* My wedding is the first wedding I did not cry at (ok…for the first thirty minutes). To stop myself from crying when walking down the aisle, I sang the chorus to “What What in the Butt” the entire time.
* This church surprisingly did not have any issues about strapless dresses but I felt uncomfortable baring my arms so I was able to get the off the shoulder top custom made for my dress.
* Kassie was one of three flower girls. While walking down the aisle, she stopped and blew a kiss to her daddy! What a princess.

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Baked French Honey Lemon Chicken

Posted by Suburbanette on September 19th, 2013

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Next month I will be shipping out to the City of Lights for a whirlwind European weekend with my three best friends. I can’t wait, my passport expires next year and I am determined to get a few more stamps on it to mark my last year in my twenties.

To psyche myself out, I have been pouring over French cookbooks, television shows and movies. Rob found a recipe for Baked Honey Lemon Chicken in La Tartine Gourmand that he had wanted to try out and it was so good that we are officially adding it to our official dinner repertoire. Also, is it just me or does plating everything on my painted dinnerware make everything look all the more French? Ooh la la!

Here is their basic recipe with my changes:
[Marinate chicken thighs and legs in a mixture of fresh chopped oregano, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of honey, juice of one lemon, salt, pepper, and three cloves of garlic for one hour or more] [Place chicken in baking dish with marinade along with an extra 1/4 cup of water and sliced tomatoes] [Bake in 375 degree oven in a covered dish for 30 minutes] [Crisp skin up by uncovering dish and continue baking for another 20 minutes.] [Serve with green beans, white rice or crusty bread to sop up all the juices].

Shake, Shake, Shake! Shake Your Beefy!

Posted by Suburbanette on September 18th, 2013

Bo Luc Lac (otherwise known as it’s more popular name Shaky Beef) is one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes of all time. The watercress is crispy and peppery and paired with when paired with pickled red onions, fresh tomatoes and a black pepper vinaigrette dressing, it is divine. I also love how the beef slightly warms the greens and dresses the salad with its juices. Add a cup of white rice to that joint and enter heaven!

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Here is the recipe that I learned from my father. I apologize, I don’t have exact measurements but quite honestly you only need a few shakes of each and it turns out perfect EVERY TIME.

[Cut sirloin or other favorite beef part into cubes*] [Marinate in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, fish sauce, sugar, and cracked black pepper for 30 minutes to an hour] [Cook until medium rare in hot pan of oil and garlic] [Serve on a bed of crisp watercress, red tomatoes, and pickled red onions dressed with vinaigrette made with sugar, black pepper, and white vinegar] [Dip with lime and black pepper sauce]

*Can also be made with shrimp.

Memoirs of a Geisha

Posted by Suburbanette on September 17th, 2013

I recently found my sophomore year college journal which covered everything from my infatuations at the time, hopes and dreams for the future and an entry about all my insecurities the number one listed as ‘Being Asian.”

How I cry for my 19 year old self!

As a child, I was extremely vivacious, talkative and very confident in my world that consisted of my attentive grandparents, doting father and mother, and younger sister who looked up to me. I was in kindergarten when I first realized I was different from everyone around me.

I was five years old and one out of two non-white students in my class at St. Timothy’s, a private Catholic school in Chantilly, Va. My teacher, Mrs. Collins had left the room (this was back in the early 90′s when it was cool to do things like this) for a few moments to grab some paperwork from the office. Almost immediately, a brown haired girl named Sarah walked over to me (in my memory it was more like loomed toward me) to ask me the following questions: “Why are your eyes so slanted? Why are you so short? Why is your nose so flat?” Then she reached over and honked on my nose like I was a Muppet. I was humiliated and the worse part was I had no answer for these questions.

To make matters worse, my teacher Mrs. Collins had pulled me aside to tell me that my name was not Kimberly, it was Kim because in AMERICA people use nicknames.

Pretty much ever since then I’ve been really worried about being accepted in American society with small glimpses of hope in my future from role models such as Claudia Kishi from the Baby Sitters Club and pro ice skater Kristy Yamagutchi. But honestly, all I wanted to be was Kelly Kapowski from Saved by the Bell.

You would think that as I got older, I would have gotten more comfortable with myself but not really. My so called “best friend” in college would constantly make fun of me for smelling like rice/eating dog/ and whatever stupid joke he could throw at me at the time. My boyfriend in college would constantly joke we could never be together because Asian food gave him gas.

I can only say that now as an almost thirty year old adult that I am finally comfortable in my own skin and it is all thanks to my wonderful family and husband. I am proud of my family for working hard to turn nothing into something and never giving up. We are alarmingly close but we always know that we can turn to each other when we are in need. My husband is also Asian and completely comfortable in his own skin. His everyday of confidence in his own life gives me confidence in mine.

I recent read a list compiling all of the racist comments about the new Miss America who is of Indian descent. It brought up a lot of old memories but instead of embarrassment of being a minority, I felt embarassed for the posters for their ignorance.

I am so proud to see how the DMV area has grown so much in the past decade. My little brothers have grown up in a completely blended community and have not been taught the difference to see the difference between black and white…or red..or yellow..or nice caramel brown either. Hopefully the rest of America will catch up soon.

 

 

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