Saturday, February 28, 2009

~Momo's Flaws~

I haven't seriously trained Momo, except for the basic stuff.  He knows a bunch of tricks, he's mostly potty trained, he goes to his crate when he does something bad.  However, he's not as good as I know he can be.  And some of his flaws have been driving us nuts lately.  So, I am going to take some time to correct each one of his behavioral issues.
  1. Pooping on the floor:  I think it's how he tries to get attention or it's revenge for ignoring him.  He hasn't pooped on the floor in front of me since I considered him potty trained.  But now, if I go upstairs for a long time (he's confined to downstairs, no carpet), he starts whining.  I ignore that because I was told I shouldn't encourage undesired behaviors.  Then, he barks a couple of times and quiet.  Good right?  I come down and there's poop on the floor, 2 feet away from his Wizdogs (his bathroom).  I have crated him every single time (up to 8 hours) and he still does this!  And he knows it's bad 'cause he'll be in his crate when I come downstairs.
  2. Barking at me:  That's just not good.  A couple times a day.  He barks when he wants something.  I was told it's something I have to work on with him before I got him.  If he wants water, fine.  But, if there's food and water in the bowl and he wants stuff he's not supposed to have?  Not fine.
  3. Barking at visitors:  He should bark when someone rings the bell.  That's what dogs do.  But, he should not continue barking!
  4. Jumping on visitors:  He gets ultra-excited when there are visitors.  He will not listen to me at all until he gets used to having them around.  So, he won't sit and he'll just jump on them.  
  5. Ignoring me when we are outside:  Once we are outside, he only has eyes for everything else.  He does not listen to me at all.  Even with the door open and he's standing in front of the screen door, he is completely focused on the other side of the door.  He's obedient in the back yard though.
So....I am going to start working on him with these things.  My fiance wants me to take him to training classes, but....I feel like those are more for tricks and stuff.  And I doubt they can help me with the pooping.  That's the most important one at the moment and it's my first goal.  I am going to research and come up with a plan.

Sometimes I just want to give up!!!  But then he looks at me like this....and I am like, "Awww..."

Wish me luck!!  Let me know if you have any tips for me :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

~Super Models for a Day~

A couple of my beautiful friends were vacationing in China and played supermodels for a day. They went to a studio, got dressed up in different outfits, got makeup and hair done! They got some beautiful pictures taken.

Wing ... Just FYI....she's single ;)


It was very, very, very popular about....9 years ago in Asia, and still popular now. I have taken about 4 sets of pictures since I was 18. If only they have it here! It would be so fun. I know they have some stuff at the mall, but it's definitely not as fun or pretty.

Ok...I am going to put a couple that I did back in 2004. This is before they used digital cameras, so they are just scanned in. hehe So ancient! :) I have a few books made and a couple pictures done in poster size. Why? I don't know. It was really my mom's idea and I just had to go along :) Not going to complain though.

They also do pictures for kids. So adorable!! This is my cousin's son. Does that make him my newphew?

I think he looks like Emeril from the food channel...

I haven't really seen pictures as cute as these done in studios around here. Maybe I am not looking at the right places. Looking at these pictures make me excited about my upcoming wedding photo shoot!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

~Simple Dish for the Young at Heart~ my wonderful friend said she's going to try the steak recipe a few nights ago...I haven't heard from her since. I hope she's doing ok...

Anyway, I thought I would share an ultra easy dish with her to encourage her to cook more. This dish is very easy and quick to make, it's yummy, and it's really great for kids. My mom made this for my brother and I all the time. It has pork, carrots, peas and corn in little pieces so it's healthy and easy to eat. Also, it goes great with rice. My mom called this "baby food", but I think everyone would like this. It is one of my fiance's favorite dish that I make.

  1. Ground pork: ~1lb
  2. frozen or canned carrots, peas and corn: as much as you want. I usually do 1 to 1 ratio with the pork
  3. oyster sauce: ~ 3 tablespoon
  4. garlic: 2 cloves
That's it! Simple. Now, a tip about oyster sauce. Make sure it's not made in China :). It's a personal preference. There are a lot of horror stories about stuff made in China (I am Chinese by the way), so just in case... I personally prefer Lee Kum Kee brand, and it can be found at most asian grocery stores and some American grocery stores. You don't need to premium one, but I like it.

Step 0: Chop up the garlic
This dish can be done without garlic. I just like to put some in 'cause ... it's good for you and adds just a little bit to the flavor. Ehow has a simple article about how to peel and mince garlic. I also heard somewhere (I have tried it and it works) that you can cut off the bottom, hard part of garlic cloves, stick them in a plastic bag and swing it at the counter top. Then, just open the bag and take out the nicely peeled, possibly bruised garlic cloves. That method is highly recommended if you have to peel a lot of garlic.

Step 1: Throw in the pork
Turn on the stove to high. Wait for the pan/wok to heat up. Put some oil in there, probably a tablespoon or so. More if you don't have a non-stick pan/wok. Throw the garlic in there, and make sure it's in the oil so it's sizzling nicely. Throw the pork in after a sec or two. Chopped garlic can burn pretty quickly, so don't wait too long. Mix it around so you have nice little pieces of pork instead of a pork burger pattie.

Step 2: Throw in the veggies
When the pork is mostly cooked (mostly brown, solid color instead of pink), turn the heat to medium and throw in the veggies. Mix it around. If your veggies have been sitting in the freezer for along time, you may want to rinse it in warm water and drain it first.

Step 3: Throw in the oyster sauce
Throw in the oyster sauce and mix it up. You may add cayenne pepper, white pepper power, a little bit salt and sugar for additional kick. After you mix it, try it a lil bit. Add more oyster sauce if it's not salty enough.

Step 4: Put it in a bowl
Well...the veggies are precooked, so after a couple minutes of mixing, it's ready! Turn off your stove and put everything in a bowl. Add a spoon. I always forget and have to run back to the kitchen and get one.

O yeah, did you make rice? I forget to do that sometimes too :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

~CZ Escapade~

Ok, I love Swarovski crystals. They are so shiny and sparkly and beautiful! But, this weekend....I did a horrible thing. I...left them in their snap 'n' stack boxes and messed with their rivals: the Cubic Zirconia beads.

I have actually been obsessed with these beads for a while. My mom got me a pair of earrings made with these beads a couple of years ago. I was so in love with them. They are like little diamonds, hanging from my ears!! I didn't know what kind of beads they are and I didn't see them at any of the bead stores I shopped at. But, I finally found them in Hong Kong!!

Look! Just like diamonds!

So many different colors...I have more but was too lazy to pull them out of the bags to take pictures :)

Many shapes too! Look how thick the bead is!

After a whole weekend though, I only made 3 pairs of earrings. I had some issues with this necklace I was trying out...and another pair of earrings. I realized I need smaller jumprings so gonna get some soon.

Here's what I've got so far:

Classic...pure sparkle power

Something different...not completely sure about these...

Something simple. Love the stars!

Not sure if I should list these. I am not 100% happy with the pictures...I need to play with them more. Maybe I should just list the beads :) Supplies seem to do so well on etsy!

Friday, February 20, 2009

~Sneak Attack~

Three days per week, an Etsy shop with few or no sales is chosen as a "victim,” and at a given time multiple buyers all visit the site and buy one or more items each, resulting in a whole slew of surprise business in a very short time. It’s a great way to give a big boost to a new Etsy shop!

You can participate by shopping at the victim's shop or participate in the forum discussion. When you make a purchase, make sure to include the words "Sneak Attack" in the "message to seller". The shop owners will also be informed of what is happening so they know just what is going on. Don’t worry about being too late for the attack! If the shop names are still up there, you can still go and make a purchase!

I am honored to sponsor today's sneak attack. I have chosen HappyElephantDesigns. This shop has cute handmade cards at great prices ($2 - $5). It's just a coincidence that we both have "Happy" in our names :)

According to her profile:
Happy Elephant Designs is my passion. I started this company so that people who don’t have the time or patience to make homemade cards can still get the benefit of seeing the smiles that a homemade card can bring to a person’s face. Each card is unique in its own way because it is painstakingly handcrafted.

Here are some of her wonderful creations!

Ready? Let's attack!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

~Light Boxes~

After reading many posts in the Etsy forums and articles, I figured out the best success tip for selling online! Awesome pictures! Duh! Well, everyone knows that and there are so many articles out there about how to take pictures. This is one of my personal favorites from LiciaBeads' blog: Oooh, nice pictures.... how do you do that? Licia has beautiful pictures!

Then, my friend showed me this setup and tutorial for Swarovski crystals:

I want it sooooooo bad. But the whole kit is like $300. Just the cube (small for jewelry) is $55. So, I started my adventure for the ultimate (cheap) lightbox! There are so many tutorials out there, ones that use cardboard boxes , ones that use white boards, collapsible ones and even one that uses a cooler!

My wonderful fiance made one out of cardboard box for me. That seemed easiest and we have a lot of them lying around. I used tissue paper 'cause I couldn't find the cloth that one of the tutorial was talking about. Here's the end result and a picture taken using this light box.

I was pretty happy with it! But, of course, that didn't last long. There are a few flaws:

  • The lights weren't bright enough.
  • It's too fragile. My fault for using the tissue paper.
  • The bottom of the box is uneven so it's hard to position things.
  • My really shiny pieces reflect the brown edges of the box!

So, I started looking at other options (Sorry, baby, I know you worked hard on this). I wanted (my baby) to make the collapsible one but...that looks like a lot of work. I would rather make jewelry and he would rather play basketball. :)

One day I went to target and saw this white box. It's a little small, but I like how it has little holes at the edges. That can be good for hanging things. The box is around $12 I think. Still cheaper than my dream light box and no work involved!

Look at this. The same earrings in this light box. I didn't even realize how dark the other box was till I saw this picture!

Well, I am pretty happy with what I have for now. I think the lights are still not bright enough, so I have to do a little bit of touch ups in the pictures. It's a little small and the lights are in the way. I want higher wattage lightbulbs, but the lamps says 60W maximum to "prevent fires". Does that mean I can put 100W bulbs in as long as I am careful?

I also considered using these and shine the lights through the sides. These can also be found at Target.

The light box adventure pauses for now. I think it's time I work on other aspects of the shop like *gulp* inventory and accounting.

Ooo by the way, do you have any tips for me about my setup? Thanks!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

~New Earrings and Props~

I finally spent some quality time with my beads this weekend! Yay for long weekends! I also got new props for my pictures, so excited!

I love these weaved beads and they are so cute with these little earwires!
I love this little hippo! It's a magnifying glass! Useful for me when I am making intricate designs and just Oooo so cute!

Purple and reds are so bold together!


I love stars and these colors are so fresh together! I like this plastic thingie....I forgot what it's supposed to be used for....

I haven't listed everything in my shop yet. Going to spread it out as suggested in the Etsy forums :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

~Simple Steak Dinner~

I hope everyone had a good Valentine's Day! There's nothing better than a nice steak dinner to celebrate!

I was talking to my girl the other day and she said she is having a hard time cooking and all. I have known her for......13 years and I don't really recall eating anything she has cooked. I told her it's easy. It takes me about 30 mins to make dinner on a good day. Granted, a lot of times, the meat is already prepared (cut and marinated). So, I told her it's very easy to make steaks. Just thought I would share with everyone else since I wrote it up. It's long, I know, but I am pretending that she knows nothing about cooking. It's just safer this way :)

The short version.
  1. Gather ingredients: Steak, seasoning, toppings like onions, bell peppers, mushrooms.
  2. Heat up the pan.
  3. Put the steak in the pan when it's hot.
  4. Sear both sides for about a minute.
  5. Sprinkle seasoning on both side.
  6. Turn down to medium eat.
  7. Cook for another minute - 2 minutes each side.
  8. Take it out. Slice it a lil bit to make sure it's not undercooked.
  9. Use the remaining juice to cook the toppings. Add more seasoning and a little oil.

Step 1
Buy the steak. I think about once a month or so, a major grocery store will have 50% off sales for NY Strip or Porterhouse steak. Last week, it was ribeye at the local Safeway (aka Dominick's in Illinois). $4.77/lb. Good deal. They can be kept in the freezer for a while if wrapped correctly, so buy a bunch if it's on sale!

Step 2
Pick (and buy) your seasoning. The most basic is just black pepper and salt. Steak is good on its own. You can also get one of those "steak seasoning" in at the grocery store and it's good already. My personal secret sauce is Maggie's seasoning (I think it's German soy sauce), honey, black pepper, cayenne pepper, white pepper and garlic salt. My fiance likes Worcestershire sauce.

Step 2.5
Thaw your steak, if it was frozen. You can take it out of the freezer in the morning and put it in the fridge. I don't like to defrost with microwave 'cause usually the outside starts cooking before the inside is defrosted

Step 3
Heat up the pan. It's hot enough if you put your hand over the pan and you feel heat (probably take a minute or two on high).

Step 4
Depending on the pan, you may not need oil. The steak is going to drip out oil anyway. Be healthy and skip the oil. Put the steak in and seared both sides for about a minute each.

Step 5
Sprinkle the seasoning on both sides. I usually put enough to sparsely cover the steak on both sides. Turn heat to medium. Cook each side for a minute or two more. It really depends on the thickness of the steak and how well done you like it. You can kinda tell how done the steak it by poking it. If it feels soft, it's not that done. If it's hard....uh too late..... you probably over cooked it. I usually put honey in last because honey burns easily, about 2 tablespoonfuls or just drizzle over the steak. With the Maggie sauce, it turns into this like syrupy sauce.

Seasoning is an art. It's very objective, so try it a few times and figure out what you like. Better to go light first though.

Step 6
Take it out and slice it where it's the thickest to make sure it's cooked enough. If it's not, stick it back in the pan.

Step 7
Usually, I cut the toppings while the steak is cooking. I like to cut everything into slices. For bell peppers, sometimes I like to cut laterally 'cause it's pretty! Specially the colored bell's like flowers.

No need to clean the pan, just turn the heat a little bit higher and throw the toppings in it. Stir it around. If you don't like your onions well done, throw it in a minute after the mushrooms and peppers. You can tell they are cooked, when they are soft. For onions, they get translucent.

Pour on top of the steak and you are done!

Takes 5 minutes to make a salad too. Just wash and cut up some lettuce, and whatever you like. Or be lazy and buy the prepared bags. Get some light vinegarette to lessen the guilt of eating that huge juicy yummy steak :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

~Momo Got Shaved~

Ok...So Momo's hair has been matting lately. I spend a lot of time brushing it and balls of hair comes out all the time. And he's been shedding more. So, I thought, maybe this is what is known as "blowing his coat". But, it wasn't really that bad. He has 1 big matt on his belly and 1 on each on his front legs. I brought him to Petco and told them to give him a puppy cut. I asked if they think it's ok because of the matts and they said "yeah he'll be fine". 2 hours later..... I picked him up...he was shaved!!!

Poor baby!!! But, 1 thing is for sure. He's super fast now. He must be feeling free 'cause he was running around non-stop on his own last night! And he's been changing pattern! Here's Momo from baby to now:

A few weeks old...first time I saw momo

First time I met Momo...

About 3 months old...

About 4 months old... I think this is the perfect length for him.

About 7 months old...notice the beautiful star clip he has on :)

Last week at 10 months old... ok he's ultra shaggy!

Yesterday! Hair all gone :(

I miss the puppy days! I can't wait till his hair grows back.

By the way, Momo is a Havanese. Havenese dogs are great! They have ultra-soft hair and they don't shed! They are also hypo-allergenic. As with all small breed dogs, you can train them to potty in doors with pads like Dog Wiz or Ugodog. Such a great breed! For more information, check out Make sure you stop by there if you are even thinking about getting a puppy!
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