Sunday, April 14, 2013

Ethereal dream~*

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What could be more romantic than dancing under the soft ray of morning sun and being surrounded by beautiful flowers? It must be a dream. I want to turn that vision in my head into a sweet reality and capture those precious moments.
Here goes me and my little model woke up at a crack of the dawn this past weekend, got ready and headed out to a small bluebonnet field close to our house. The setting was nothing short of perfection..lovely little flowers...soft morning light that creates some AMAZING photos in different angles (Aha..that's a secret! There were at least 4 professional photographers out there with thier fancy equipment doing photoshoots as of 8AM on Saturday - no amatuer except for moi. Feeling quite intimidated..ha)...small ponds and my precious love dancing and swirling her little tutu dress in a flower field. I had so much fun snapping pictures and couldn't wait to share these. By far this set is my most favorite in my photography journey. Thanks to the wonder work of Photoshop for adding that soft and dreamy glow.
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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Our Easter

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I am so far behind my blogging routine. Although Easter is way over, I still enjoy looking through these photos. It is the 4th Easter for a little one this year and she has more fun with the egg hunt as she grows too. An Easter basket which grandma and grandpa prepared for her was filled with some sweet treats and fun goodies. Mohter-in-law was once again amzed me with her table decorations from colorful salad plates to napkin rings to flowers. They were picture perfect.
It was another great family-get-together day, good food...great companion. What else you could ask for more?
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Peach Pie~*

This post is a request from my sweet blogger friend Kim of A Very Sweet blog. I previoulsy posted this recipe on my old blog which I closed down last year.
The burst of delicious flavors from sweet and juicy peaches and the cripness of the fresh baked pie crust plus the warm and gooey is a perfect marriage in your mouth that you don't want to miss.
This is my first attempt at making peach pie and let me tell you - it is as easy as 1-2-3. All you have to do is peel and slice peaches, use store bought pie crusts, mix the flour and sugar mixture, sprinkle with some butter, bake and voila~~~ No kidding, it is THAT easy. If you are like me, who easily get discouraged when seeing more than 5 ingredients on any recipe - this recipe is for you.
Peach Pie Recipe
[adapted from]
> 10 fresh peaches, pitted and sliced
 (I only used 6, peaches I bought were huge)
> 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
> 1 cup of white sugar
(per other commentors'recommendation, use 1/2 cup white + 1/2 cup brown sugar but I'll cut down to 2/3 cut of brown next time since it is too sweet for my liking)
> 1/4 cup of butter
(I used unsalted butter and will cut down to 2 tablesppons next time)
> 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
(used store bought)


(adapted and tweaked by moi)
* Mix flour, sugar in a small container
* Cut cold butter into small pieces               
* Place one crust in the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate. Line the shell with some sliced peaches. Sprinkle some of the flour mixture and some butter on top of the peaches, then put more peaches. Continue layering until both the peaches, flour mixtures and butter are gone.     
*Top with another pie crust and cut a few slits for the pie to vent (too lazy to make lattice).  

*Brush the top crust lightly with egg white.             
*Bake at 450 degrees F for 15 mins, then lower to 350 and bake for antoher 20-30 mins or until crust is golden (it only took 15 mins in my oven). Allow pie to cool before slicing. Best when eaten fresh (I cut it to soon because I wanted to eat it badly so it was still runny yet still delish). Per other commentors' suggestion. Let the pie set for 1-2 hours.
I literally busted my diet tonight by eating two slices of this pie. I had a hard time keeping my hands off of this delightful pie, that's for sure. Be sure to grab some peaches before the summer is over and make this. Let me know how you like it if you decide to make one.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Vdara, Las Vegas

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It took us two attempts to make it to the Sin City (here’s why) and we literally changed our mind (well, mainly mine) three times on hotel choice. I can’t even tell you how many hotel reviews I had processed through my brain onTripadvisor prior to this trip. First we were going to stay at the Wynn, then decided on Bellagio and of course that didn’t happen, so third time must be a charm! We I picked a fairly new and hip hotel in the Vegas Stripe – Vdara (opened in Dec 2009). Spot on!!!
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So what is so special about this hotel that drew us. For one, I wanted to stay at either 4 or 5 star hotel (since we used miles so it didn’t really matter). Secondly, Vdara is a casino-free/smoke-free hotel! What!!!!! Really??? Is there such thing in Vegas?!?!? YES, there is! We were quite happy with our choice. After being in Vegas for awhile, you just want to escape from hustle and bustle of Vegas gambling/party mode to an isolated location to me. OMG, every hotel lobby we visited especially on weekend was just insane!! Every place was SUPER crowded, SUPER busy and SUPER hectic to the point I had a headache from seeing huge crowd…EVERYWHERE. On the streets, in the restaurants, in the shops, in the hotels, every major attractions, in elevators, in public restrooms. Really, it is hard to find peace and quiet moment (well for a party pooper, I put myself in a wrong place like Vegas…ha.).
If you are looking for a beautiful hotel with tranquility, relaxation and peace after long day/night of gambling/partying, you can’t go wrong with this choice. If I remember correctly, the hotel has 52 floors (or 56) and their spa is supposed to be a selling point. Its location is somewhat hidden from the stripe so you will not spot heavy pedestrian traffic like most hotels where their front doors face main street. However it still is in a good location (next to Aria, The Cosmopolitan and Bellagio), you can access the stripe through the Cosmopolitan hotel if you decide to walk. The moment we walked into a lobby area, we were greeted by this sweet & sensual aroma similar to what you can experience in a high end spa (only in the lobby area). The decoration is tastefully done throughout the hotel with dark colored panels, chic, minimalist & modern design. It is easy on the eyes and simply put you at ease. There are a small cafe (OMG, the scone is freakin delicious) and a small bar on the first floor where you can sip your drink and relax. Don’t expect loud music or drunk people at this bar.
After checking in, we got to our room on the 46th floor. We stayed in a Vdara Suite: 811 square feet of space are divided between the bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen complete with fridge and cook top (but no utensils in the kitchen!!). The room was just beautiful, a huge window displays a breath taking view of Vegas. In a kitchen, there is a dining table that can seat up to 4 people. Everything just looked clean and divine. The best part, we were surprised at how comfortable the bed felt which is hard to come by at any hotel (but their pillow sucked! Way too soft for my liking) and the hotel was pretty quiet at night too.
 I don’t really have any negative thing to say about it but if I had to pick that would be 1) a stupid $25 resort fee/night (guess it seems common for many hotels there) 2) in a bathroom, a potty is NOT in a separate room so when one person is using a potty, another person can’t take a shower or apply makeup. Overall a great stay and I don’t mind staying there again next time.
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{View from Room#28 on the 46th floor}

Colors of Spring

All photos were taken at the Wynn Hotel Las Vegas. So pretty and chic, gotta like those flower balls. Wait until you see "The Buffet", it is like dining in a middle of whimsical garden. I am so obsessed with colorful flowers this Spring.
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Monday, April 1, 2013

Super Pizza

Pizza is known as an unhealthy food but it can become a fairly healthy option if you put a “good” twist to it. I love pizza but I am not fond of Pepperoni unlike my husband who loves Pepperoni to bits and pieces. Time after time, restaurants continue to disappoint me with their pizzas. They are either too greasy, too salty or too much of something (or I am just too hard to please?!!?).
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One day I walked past sauce aisle in my neighborhood grocery store and spotted a wide variety of pizza crusts ranging from thin crust to super thin crust to whole wheat crust, an idea of making a homemade pizza lightened in my head like a disco ball. I bought a few ingredients for my topping using my wild imagination as how I like my pizza to be and of course the husband bought his beloved pepperoni (what’s new, right?).
We came home and went to town with our pizza creations, with an assistance from our little one (who didn’t really help but stole cheese and pepperoni from the toppings instead). I added TONS of fresh kale (i am obsessed with kale!) and simply baked my pizza on a cookie sheet. No need to spend extra $$ on a fancy pizza dish/stone. It turned out extra crispy. Since then, buying restaurant-bought pizza was a history baby! Homemade pizza is easier than you think and much healthier yet very comforting to your soul (and palate). It can be done in 20 minutes or less. Perfect for an evening after a long day at work. Voila - you can have a guilt-free pizza! My husband looked at my pizza and said it looked disgusting with too much veggies. Hey, it is disgustinly awesome and delish!!!!