Though I am a day late, I thought I would share my New Year’s Resolutions for 2012 with you all.  Without further ado…

I am resolved…

… to get into better shape by maintaining a daily pilates or yoga practice five days a week and by walking at least four days a week.

… to read the Word of God daily.  My friend Megan and I are following a combination Old Testament and New Testament plan together.  I think (rather, I know) that the accountability will be motivating and humbling.

… to read two books a week.  Since graduating, I have sadly neglected to read as much as I should, though I do still love to read.  Any suggestions are welcome. 🙂

… to post at least weekly.  This resolution is a bit undefined at the moment since I am still attempting to realize which of the many blogs I have I should focus on and how many I can reasonably maintain.  I love this blog too much to give it up entirely, so I will probably use it to post random, personal thoughts rather than have a specific purpose… at least for now.  I’ll update you on my other blog projects as they develop.

… to listen to music daily.  Somehow, I have fallen out of my old habit of listening to music all the time.  I blame a previous addiction to TV.  However, since I am no longer watching TV and rarely watching movies (combined with the fact that I love music and hate silence), I have determined to listen to music daily while I walk, work around my house, or sit in a coffee shop writing.

… to try one new recipe or cooking idea each week.  These attempts will be blogged about over at  I’m excited to see what I discover!

In contrast with previous years, I have not resolved to embark on major changes, rather just to be dedicated to what I am already working on.  If I happen to learn Italian or take more pictures, then so be it.  But for now, I’m just going to live my life with more focus and intention.


Post #55 – What do I want to eat right now?

So there may be some benefits to blogging when I eat my breakfast.  You know, like being more consistent since I do eat breakfast every day.  Also, getting my post done early so I don’t have to think about it later when friends want to hang out.  And last, but certainly not least, not having to think too terribly much about the topic, which is what happened today since the topic is what do I want to eat right now (and who would it be with)?

Though I am making a delicious breakfast consisting of a glass of milk, a cup of Espresso Roast coffee from Starbucks (brewed at home), a banana, and toast with melted peanut butter (which would only be better if it was crunchy peanut butter), that is not what I would pick if I could eat anything I wanted right now.  I would eat a cranberry orange scone with a grande nonfat latte at Starbucks with Lo.  That is what I want to eat and who I want to eat it with.  Since Lo currently lives in Portland, and I am broke and trying to eat more healthy food anyway, I will enjoy the previously mentioned breakfast.

One of my best friends Lo and I!

Since I don’t frequently get to purchase Starbucks’ cranberry orange scones, I recently decided to try my hand at making them at home.  Below is a fantastic recipe from Taste of Home.

Cranberry Orange Scones


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 10 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup cold butter
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Glaze (optional):
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • Orange Butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons orange marmalade



  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, 7 teaspoons sugar, orange peel, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the cranberries, orange juice, cream and egg. Add to flour mixture and stir until a soft dough forms.
  • On a floured surface, gently knead 6-8 times. Pat dough into an 8-in. circle. Cut into 10 wedges. Separate wedges and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with milk; sprinkle with remaining sugar.
  • Bake at 400° for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack.
  • Combine glaze ingredients if desired; drizzle over scones. Combine orange butter ingredients; serve with warm scones. Yield: 10 scones.


Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 331 calories, 17 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 65 mg cholesterol, 396 mg sodium, 43 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.



Post #50 – What would I do with a million dollars?

If I had a million dollars tax-free, what would I do with it?  Well… there are many things I would do with it, such as the following.

  1. I would pay off my husband’s and my debt.
  2. I would pay off all of my good friends’ debt.
  3. I would save enough money to live reasonably for a year so that I could write a novel and several articles.
  4. I would live in Europe for a summer or maybe even six months.
  5. I would support more GCM staff and increase the support for those I currently support.
  6. I would open a replica of The Daughter Project somewhere on the West Coast.
  7. I would move to Portland.
  8. I would go to barista school.
  9. I would replace my old, sloppy clothes.
  10. I must admit that I would buy a couple pairs of new shoes.
  11. I would also open a coffee shop.

And then, after that, I would give the rest to charities or causes that I support. Yup.  That’s what I would do.

Post #13 – What I am most looking forward to this year

2011 promises to be an exciting year for me!  At the moment, I am still living in Yueyang, China which is always full of surprises and interesting interactions.  However, I am leaving in a week or so to return to Ohio to visit my friends and family.  I am definitely looking forward to that!  I have greatly enjoyed my time in China, but seeing my friends and family again will be so refreshing and encouraging!  It would be easy to say that visiting Ohio will be what I am looking forward to most this year, but it wouldn’t be true.

Right now, I am looking forward to the endless possibilities that 2011 brings.  I am moving to Portland around March, which will be an awesome new experience.  Living in Portland will be the first time that I have lived in a bigger city.  Portland is also home to many, many coffee shops, which I love already.  In addition to enjoying city live and all that Portland has to offer, one of my best friends lives in Portland, so I am looking forward to spending lots of time with her again.

However, I am most looking forward to new experiences.  I love to travel and am most likely going to pursue moving abroad again in the fall.  I love connecting with people and moving to a new city offers me plenty of opportunities to meet all sorts of people.  I simply cannot wait to see what this year has in store!

Post #1

Today’s topic at The Daily Post is to list three countries you’d like to visit, and why you want to go.

Since I’m from the United States but currently living in China, I really do want to go back to the United States to visit my friends and family.  My visa expires February 17, so I’ll be heading back by then.  I don’t want to count this as one of my three countries though because I’m from the U.S. and there are at least three other countries I want to visit and/or live in.

Country #1 – Spain.  I want to visit (and live in) Spain.  Ever since I began learning Spanish, I’ve longed to go to a country where I can practice and improve my Spanish.  As a Spanish major, my husband spent eight months in Spain, fell in love with it, and wants to go back, which just intensifies my desire to visit Spain.  Furthermore, I’ve always wanted to live somewhere in Europe and love every aspect (that I’ve learned about) of Spanish culture.  Spain seems to be an ideal country to visit.

Country #2 – the Netherlands.  Don’t ask me why, but I’ve always wanted to visit Amsterdam and then move there.  I don’t speak Dutch or really know all that much about Amsterdam, but it just pulls on my heart to at least see it.  Incredibly, this desire has not faded at all in the past four years; if anything, it is stronger now than before.

Country #3 – England.  I read a lot of Victorian novels as a young girl, and I fell in love with England, its people, and its countryside.  Additionally, I love clocks, and London is home to Big Ben.  So I would just love to visit the country and see the country that inspired so many of the books that bring back such fond childhood memories.  I would even love to live there.

If you can’t tell by now, I love being an expat.  Adjusting to different and foreign cultures is difficult, but I love the experience.  While I am currently looking forward to my visit to the U.S. to see my family and friends and settle in Portland, OR for a little while (to recover from the shock of China and improve my health after suffering the effects of severe pollution), I am just as eagerly looking forward to moving to a foreign country within a few years.

Ka fei and kam pei

With the decision to change the name of this blog already made and executed, I still don’t know exactly what I am going to use this blog for.  I love it too much to let it die completely.  I’m debating using it as a free space to write whatever I feel like or actually focusing it.

For right now, I’ll use it to announce that I am going to write a book about my experience in China.  The working title is Ka fei and kam pei.  Which translated means “Coffee and bottoms up!”.  My book will deal with Western and Eastern interaction through my experiences.  I like it.  We’ll see what publishers think when I finish it.

That’s about it for now.  I’ll decide what to do with this blog soon.

Things to be happy about!

  1. Skyping with a best friend
  2. Lovely weather
  3. A quiet evening reading
  4. Talking in Chinese with some kids on the street
  5. A good book
  6. Blogging
  7. Emails from friends
  8. Moleskine journals
  9. Candles
  10. Being productive
  11. Dreaming
  12. The local hand-pulled noodle shop (so delicious!)
  13. Local street food