Friday, June 29, 2012

Barefoot & Pregnant

…in Singapore. Just kidding!! Well, kinda.

I asked my amazing friend, Christina, to be a guest blogger on Hoot Knows.  Christina has to be one of the coolest people I have ever met.  She is from Singapore yet knows how to cook more American dishes than I do (I realize this is not saying much for those who know me).  She's been known to make her own beef jerky and peach jam.  She loves American politics, majored in Journalism, and is now a speech-language pathologist in Warren, Arkansas.  I hope you enjoy her post as much as I did!!

Brooklyn and I were classmates in graduate school. And for about three months, we carpooled on Mondays to our externship sites. I always enjoyed that one-hour-plus car ride with Brooklyn. We talked about pretty much anything and she, being Brooklyn (who is never always all about herself) always asked about how things are different in Singapore vs. the U.S.A. Brooklyn asked if I would do a blog post about cultural differences, and here, as I am 20 weeks pregnant, I decided to share some pregnancy old wives' tales and customs that the Chinese in Singapore believe and/or adhere to. 

First off, understand that foods are categorized into "hot" and "cold." A pregnant woman is not supposed to eat watermelon (because it is considered "cold). It will affect the "qi" and the "yin/yang" in the body. And the baby will likely be sickly. Cold food is believed to cause miscarriages. The womb is an incubator and has to be warm to let the embryo grow (like a hen sitting on her eggs). Too cold = no baby chicks. Some also believe that eating watermelon will cause the baby's head to be bigger. Other fruits that I have been told to avoid: Watermelon, pineapple, cold drinks.
I was told not to do any sewing/cutting (especially on the bed) because my baby might have cleft palate/lip. 

Do not criticize other people (especially other babies) because your child may take on the qualities of the person whom you criticized. (example: So-and-So has bad skin = your baby will have bad skin. So-and-so is whiny = your baby will be whiny). 

Do not reach your arms high beyond your head. It will cause the umbilical cord to wrap around the baby's head. 

Pregnancy is considered a joyous experience. Hence it should never "clash" with something that is mournful (such as funerals). Therefore you will never see a pregnant woman attending funerals (unless it is a very close family member.) 

After you give birth, you are supposed to go through a period of confinement - a period of time (about a month) where the mother will take to recuperate from giving birth (because it is such a straining, exhausting, draining experience). During this time, you are NOT supposed to wash your hair, take a bath, go outside the house, be in a cold place (like using the fan or AC). This is because all these activities are considered "cold" and will affect the mother's health such as cramping and arthritis in old age. During this time, you will be eating things like liver, ginger, chicken in sesame oil, and drinking hot tea such as date tea, ginger tea because they are of a "hot" nature and will help restore the body's back to its balanced yin/yang stage. What's nice about this period of confinement is there is someone (either a family member or a hired help) who will do all the grocery shopping, cooking, chores around the house for you. 

Do not touch the baby's head - it is supposed to carry the spirit of the baby. 

These are some of the old wives' tales/superstitions that I grew up knowing and my mom and best friend have been trying to convince me to follow. When I offer logical explanations supported by scientific data and research to my mom, she will always tell me, "You are afterall a Chinese. You aren't built like the "westerners". (I must mention that mom always tell me the 11 years in the U.S.A., has made me big-built and stocky like Americans!).


Thursday, June 28, 2012


Photo Source: Unknown 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Oh, Brother

Last week my brother called my dad from Colorado (he’s working up there for a few months) and told him he was thinking about getting a motorcycle.  Please keep in mind my dad rode a motorcycle in high school- in fact, it was his only mode of transportation when he was younger.  Needless to say my dad was beyond EXCITED!!!!  Except he held it in.  He didn’t say one word while my brother was talking.   He waited until my brother hung up the phone and fiercely began researching them on the computer.  This was the day he had waited for the better half of his adult life!!

One thing you need to understand here is my dad gave up riding motorcycles once he became a father.  He recognized they were dangerous and never wanted to influence us on buying one once we were older.  But now… now that my brother was the one bringing it up, it was on like a chicken bone.

Dad's Motorcycle Drawing circa 1969
There’s only one problem with this story… my brother never mentioned getting a motorcycle after that day.  What was my dad supposed to do??  He was knee-deep in his research by now and way too excited about this possible new adventure.

Dad's Motorcycle Drawing circa 1969
I’m sure you can guess how this story endsJ Yes, my father is now the proud owner of a motorcycle.  And not just any motorcycle… a HARLEY!!!  And not just any Harley… the kind my husband wants!!!  Oh, Brother.

Dad's New Motorcycle circa 2012

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Coming to a Craft Fair Near You

Okay, maybe that title is a little misleading, but it HAS always been a big dream of mine.  I think it would be so fun to sell my very own handmade crafts at a craft show someday- in fact, it’s one of the things on my bucket list.   Growing up, I am pretty sure my mom and I hit every single arts and craft exhibit our small town had to offer.  It was something we both enjoyed and looked forward to.

Although I’ve always had a passion for crafting- I’ve never really made the time for it.  This year I decided it was time to change that.  Since I’m a hands-on kind of girl and not very good with all of those do-it-yourself tutorials, I decided to google “craft retreats.”  There were a few in California and maybe one or two up north, but nothing that really captured my attention. Then it happened!!  Melanie Massey, the writer of one of the blogs I frequently read, decided to have her very own second art retreat!!  I was ecstatic to say the least.  I immediately called my mom and told her all of the details, sent her the links to Melanie’s previous retreat, told her how much it would cost (I may have been a little off on this part at firstJ), and asked her if she would come.  She said YES!! During the MoZart Retreat we learned how to decoupage canvases, texturize canvases, use mixed-media, paint with Vasoline, and make jewelry.  You can read more about our fun weekend here

Whew!  With all of that being said, I discovered that I LOVE making jewelry.  In addition, it’s the first thing that I have ever created and actually been able to give away.  I guess you could say I’m a little sentimental in that department.  I haven’t quite wrapped my mind around how I’m going to sell it at a craft fair yet, but I have decided to start selling it online!!  I figured this would at least let me get my feet wet and learn what works and what doesn’t work.  Here’s a few sneak peeks so far…

Yay for new adventures,

p.s. The website is not up yet because it kinda takes a while to photograph all of the earrings, but I promise to keep you posted on its progress.  I hope to have it up by the end of July.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Twenty Goals in Twenty-Twelve

  1. Make six DIY crafts (one has to be a sewing project).
    1. T-shirt Scarf
    2. Bauble Necklace
    3. Flower Magnet @ School
    4. Jewelry
    5. ????
  2. Read two books- Don't judge, it's better than zero.
    1. Radical by David Platt
    2. Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore
  3. Plan a big trip (such as Chicago, New York City, or Boston).
  4. Make five new recipes.
    1. Cookie Dough Dip
    2. Chicken Divan
    3. Pioneer Woman's Pancakes
    4. Black Bean Salad
    5. Bacon Wrapped Green Beans
    6. Frozen Strawberry Salad - and one to grow on!
  5. Figure out where we want to live for at least the next three years.
  6. Start a journal- Does a blog count?
  7. Celebrate Mom's 50th Birthday!!
  8. Make a birthday calendar.
  9. Go to an art retreat.
  10. Go shopping in Birmingham.
  11. Visit the flea market in Nashville.
  12. Go skiing with my dad.
  13. Start a new tradition with my husband.
  14. Learn how to can tomatoes- Amanda?? Are you reading this??
  15. Complete Red Velvet's Art Journal E-course.
  16. Learn to use my cricut.
  17. Vote!!
  18. Pray more.
  19. Make a few Christmas gifts this year.
  20. Start exercising.
What are some of your goals for 2012? We're half-way there!! 

p.s.  I promise to slow down on blogging soon.  After not doing it for so long, I feel like the flood gates have opened and refused to be shut these past few weeks.  The words just keep coming!  But alas, all good things must come to an end, right? And I am perfectly okay with that.  It has been very nice hearing from some of you though:)

p.p.s Sorry for the awkward spacing and gaps on my blog posts- it doesn't look like that on the drafts and I don't know how to fix it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I have to admit with all of the latest news reports and headlines regarding the upcoming presidential election, the steady increase of job cuts, political scams, and overall lack of morality throughout our country, I found myself feeling extremely anxious. I guess you could say, I let it get the best of me. As I was sitting in church this morning, Mark Marshall told us to get out our bibles and turn to Luke (this part wasn’t surprising considering we have been studying Luke for eternity over a year now). The cool part was that the words throughout these verses were exactly what I needed to be reminded of this morning!!

But Jesus said, 6 “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.” 7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?” 8 He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. 9 When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”

10 Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

12 “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13 And so you will bear testimony to me.14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 Everyone will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 Stand firm, and you will win life. 

-Luke 5:6-19

With all of that being said, please understand I hope to continue to do my part as a citizen of the United States of America by educating myself on current events and the direction of this country; however, I pray to never let it take priority over what truly matters which is… my personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In addition, I pray that you too will put your Hope in Jesus. The bible tells us to “cast all [our] anxiety on Him because he cares for [us].” Then again, this is just our temporary home and for that I am thankful.

Photo Credit: The Cerulean Gallery by Denver Moore (Same Kind of Different as Me)