Category Archives: Celebrations

Wonton in a Million's 2021 Lunar New Year Advent Calendar

Lunar New Year Advent Calendar: Day 2

In today’s note, “Little Year” falls on February 4th this year, and officially kicks off the Spring Festival season. There are two main activities taking place: honoring the kitchen god, and preparing your home.

First, you need to tidy your home and declutter it of items you no longer need. Cleaning now is intended so that you do not have to clean in the first days of the new year (Feb. 12th), to not “sweep away” your good luck.

After you have tidied your home, you will want to decorate with symbols to usher in blessings for you and your family. (Also, apologies… as we go, I’ll be taking some phrases directly from the note card and paraphrasing others. All my info I got from Cynthia, so she gets all credit. 🙂 )

For our Day 2 gift, we received some posters to help decorate our homes. The Fortune poster is supposed to be hung upside-down because the word for upside-down in Chinese sounds like “arrival,” so it signifies that Fortune is on its way to you! I put mine on my front door, so Fortune can come right in like a favorite guest. 🙂

Fortune

The other poster says “Year of the Ox.” I put this one in the dining area, so it can be seen from the kitchen and the living room (and the office, if you leave the door open).

Year of the Ox
Wonton in a Million's 2021 Lunar New Year Advent Calendar

Lunar New Year Advent Calendar: Day 1

After some friends shared that one of their favorite winter celebrations was Lunar New Year, I was intrigued to find out more about this holiday. As it turns out, Wonton in a Million was selling her Lunar New Year Advent Calendars (for the second year) and mentioned that she learned a lot about her own culture while she was putting them together.

So I snagged one of the last kits available and will be sharing my journey here. 🙂

Advent Calendar Intro

The Advent Calendar comes with 15 presents and Cynthia has labeled them with the day that you are to open them. Most of the gifts will be planner-related, since that’s the typical demographic for Wonton in a Million. There are little cards inside explaining something about that day’s gift.

Day 1 was marked to be opened any day (as soon as you got the kit in the mail, if you wanted!), since it contained a lot of items that could be used to decorate your planner, and – in general – planners like to pre-plan!

Day 1

I opened my Day 1 as soon as the box arrived, but since I didn’t want to spoil anyone, I waited until now to post (Day 2 is marked for Feb 4th, so I figure the latest for Day 1 would be Feb 3rd). my intention is to post the morning after the day, so I don’t ruin it for others. E.g. I technically will open Day 2 (Feb. 4) today, but I’ll set the post for tomorrow morning.

The notes for Day 1 let me know that the Lunar New Year is celebrate by over one-fourth of the world’s population! It’s considered to be good luck to decorate your home (and planner!) in advance of the New Year (officially February 12th this year). This year is the Year of the Ox, according to the Chinese Zodiac.

Advent gifts
All of my Advent gifts, lined up by day and waiting to be opened!

Cynthia included a game to play with friends/family: a Dimsum bingo! To play, you order a dimsum feast and invite people to eat with you. The first person to eat all the items in a row to make a bingo wins! (Or really, you all win, because Yum!)

See you tomorrow!

Happy Birthday to Me! {Part 2}

Balloons_by_Cajun497

Birthday Evening
After work, I headed over to Pizza Papalis. The Church was throwing a fundraiser for the teen program, BASIC, and Lindsay’s birthday present to me was to buy me dinner! 🙂 By the time I arrived, they had a table and delicious garlic cheesy bread was already served. We also had awesome deep-dish pizza (spinach, chicken, feta and olives), and a deep-dish brownie sundae! Yum!

I also got to spend time with Gabby (my Squishie) and opened more presents! Gabby got me a gift card to Starbucks (so that I’ll have energy for chasing her around) and Lindsay got me some much needed lotion, lip gloss and bath gel — all in tropical scents (reminiscent of our trip to Jamaica and in defiance of the stupid cold weather).

I didn’t get home until late, but I went to bed feeling happy and loved. 🙂

Happy Birthday to Me!

I *love* birthdays! Especially my own!

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It’s not the presents and stuff you get, but the celebration of a person. People really are the most important things on this earth. Each one of us is precious and meant to be loved.

Birthday Morning
My day has been blessed so far! I got up extra early and headed to church. I didn’t arrive in time for Mass, but I was able to catch my priest/friend and give him some cookies that my mom and I baked over the weekend. As a birthday present. Hey, it’s *my* birthday. I can give out presents if I want to! [A little later, but the same friend for story-continuity, I told him that I was praying for him that God would grant him joy and wisdom today, and said, “and since today’s my birthday, I get what I ask for, right?” He said, “Yup.” Which just means that I’ll have to intentionally pray for bunches of people and needs today, if my prayers (might) be more efficacious.

I spent some time in Adoration before the Lord exposed in the Eucharist, praying for friends and family and needs that I am aware of. I asked Him how He wanted me to spend my day and thanked Him for all the blessings that He gives me. I didn’t have a specified time that I was going to stay, and I didn’t even bring a watch or my cell phone with me, but I left when I heard Him say to me, “Now, go forth and do good works!”

Okay! I was filled with happiness and decided that today would be about spreading joy and love to those around me, however I could do that.

Next, I went to Starbucks to pick up a Gingerbread Latte, one of my holiday favorites. As I was walking out, thinking of my next stop, I thought that it would be nice to bring a Starbucks to a friend of mine who lived (relatively) close by. I didn’t want to pick it up right away because I didn’t want it to get cold.

I checked to see what hours IKEA had, as I had been wanting to pick up some flatware for the office. But, alas, they didn’t open until 10 am, and I wouldn’t be able to make it there and be to work on time. Scratch that plan.

Since it’s my birthday, it also means that I needed to renew the tabs on my plates for my car. The Secretary of State didn’t open until 9 am, but they have a 24/7 kiosk available in the vestibule at the SOS office in Canton, and I was able to get this crossed off my list. The little sticker didn’t adhere very well, so although I pressed it as firmly as I could, I expect it’s going to fall off shortly. Nertz.

Now for the second stop to the second Starbucks of the day! It hadn’t been an hour yet since my other Starbucks trip and I’d only taken like 2 sips from my cup so far. Oh, well! 🙂 This Starbucks had a drive-through, so it was pretty quick.

I managed to find Amy’s house without too much trouble. As I grabbed her Christmas card and Pumpkin Spice Latte (I know she likes those, and wasn’t sure about the other drinks, so…. Go with what you know, right?) and walked up to her doorstop, I was hoping that someone would be home. After all, I didn’t check. It was all spur-of-the-moment.

Luckily, Katie was home and answered the door. Amy wasn’t available then, but I told Katie that I was out delivering presents for my birthday and wished her (the whole family, really) a Merry Christmas, as I probably wouldn’t be out to their house again in person before then.

I sat in my car for a moment, thinking of what other randoms acts of joy and love I could do. I had about an hour and a half until I had to be at work….

I did have a RedBox movie to return, so I decided to do that. On the way there, I thought that I’d pick up something for my co-workers, to celebrate. So, I stopped at Busch’s and picked up some cheesecake (variety of flavors) and a box of gluten-free cookies for my one co-worker who has an allergy.

After filling up the car’s gas tank, I headed to work early. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a parking spot by the building and had to walk over with all my goodies, but that’s okay. It’s an awesome day so far!

Birthday Afternoon
Still doing good. My gluten-free cookies were tested and deemed yummy. No one’s tried the cheesecake… yet…. There’s a fundraiser for our church youth ministry tonight at Pizza Papalis and Lindsay’s going to treat me to some pizza! YUM! I can’t wait. And work is fun. 🙂 OH! And I have plotted with someone for something which makes me grin with glee. Bwahahahaha!

I will finish my birthday tale in the next post….

‘Til then, have a fantastic day! 🙂

Makenzie’s 1st Birthday!

I wasn’t feeling very well on Sunday, but knew that I should be there for my cousin’s daughter’s first birthday. It’s kind of odd that most of my family doesn’t know what is going on with me, but what do you do about that? I don’t think they’d understand if I wasn’t able to make it, so I dragged myself off the couch and headed over, knowing that it would have to be a short visit. Hopefully, they are okay with that.

Kenzie is such a cute little girl, and very well-behaved, at least as far as I can tell from the times I’ve been around her. 🙂 But instead of me talking all this time, why don’t I show you….

Having late lunch/early dinner:
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I just love her little pigtails!

Her heap o’ presents:
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Pink flower cookies:
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Laughing, like any girl should at her birthday party:
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She had a very fun candy cake. The lollipop theme carried over from Michelle’s baby shower.
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Playing with a balloon:
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Lisa’s son, Leo. At one point, Kenzie and Leo were sitting next to each other and she gave him a kiss. It was very cute, and thankfully, Aunt Anna caught it on video. 🙂
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Close-up of the brightly colored gifts. I really liked this wrapping paper.
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She was having a lot of fun on one of her new scooter toys:
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Here’s a quick video of her on her toy:

Sometimes, depending on how you photograph her, she looks like her Grandma Marilyn. 🙂 Her mom had one of these monthly photo frames on the table I was sitting at, and you could especially see this in the 9 month old photo.

I had to leave before the presents were opened, but I hope she had a great birthday and got lots of fun presents! 🙂 Love you, little girl!

Happy Birthday, Justin!

Today is my friend and co-worker Justin’s birthday. It’s also Go Live day at work, with the implementation of ASAP (for the ED) and EpicCare Ambulatory in a few areas. So, we have been trying to plan on doing something for him, as he has to work a very long day today.

I had asked him last week what flavor cake he wanted and he had said that he would prefer either vanilla or funfetti. So, of course, I had to get the funfetti! 🙂 When I was picking out a frosting, my initial idea was to just get a vanilla; however, they had a new thing at the grocery where you pick up a container of vanilla (or “white”) frosting and can add a flavor pack of your choice. They had a blue one (BOY COLOR!) with a cotton candy flavor, so I picked that one. I also got multi-colored non-pareils and some birthday candles.

Here are some pictures of how the baking process went:

Funfetti mix:
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I chose to use only egg whites, instead of the whole egg, so that the funfetti colors might “pop” more. I thought that if I used the yolks, the cake might be more of a yellow color. I don’t bake, but this was my thought. 🙂

Frosting, just after adding the cotton candy flavoring:
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Frosting after mixing:
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Baked cakes! I made two cakes, so that we could drop one off at UHS — where Justin was deployed — and still be able to have some back at the office.
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Frosted cakes:
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Cakes with frosting and colored candies:
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Finished cake, complete with candles.
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Carolyn got him a huge tub of Dubble Bubble, and changed the number on the tub so that it reads 380 376 pieces!
Dubble Bubble

The delivery of his cake to the UHS Command Center:
Cake!

We got him two balloons (Happy Face and Spiderman), a pen with his name on it, and a sign saying Justin Pl.
Spiderman BalloonHappy Face Balloon

And, finally, video coverage of our surprising him with his birthday goodies!

Lindsay’s Bridal Shower

Even though we are already at the Bridal Shower part of this engagement, I still can’t believe that it’s almost time for the wedding!!! 🙂

So expect a little (more) craziness from me when the date looms ever closer and I realize all that I have not yet done to get ready…

Oddly, I didn’t take very many photos at the shower. I blame it on the fact that I wasn’t sitting by the presents, I was facing the wrong way, I had another table of people between me and the engaged couple, I had had a really disturbing run-in with a neighbor on the way to the shower, Pam had gotten a brand-new camera and was taking tons of shots, and …

I’m not sure. I must have been sick, right?

Here’s Pammy and part of my table:
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This is the pretty cake that Pam made:
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It was yummy, too!

The cake table had various artifacts on it:
Little Mermaid and Prince Erwin [Eric]
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Green Lantern and Really-Pissed-Off Dietitian:
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As well as a collection of Little Lindsay statues, which were so cute!
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And, since this *is* Lindsay’s shower, we had to have something on fire!
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It was a lovely shower. A really lovely shower. But…

I can’t wait until the wedding!!! 🙂