home cookin’ challenge of 2020 | recipe 2

This recipe is called the Skillet Orange Chicken from the WordPress blog Joann’s Food For Thought

Skillet Orange Chicken
my version of the orange chicken with rice

This was my first time making orange chicken ever, so I was super excited to try it out. And, I’ve never eaten or cooked with orange marmalade before. What I love about trying out these new recipes is that I always learn something new.

In the post, Joann mentioned how she doesn’t quite like frying foods as it meant the hassle of cleaning and oil splattering, which I can totally relate (I recently made Korean fried chicken for the first time)! However, I think I’d still try this recipe with breaded chicken (or fried chicken) just to see how it differed in texture and taste.

Skillet Orange Chicken 2
my version of the skillet orange chicken


  • I used regular orange juice I had on hand and I don’t think it was unsweetened.
  • For vinegar, I used seasoned rice vinegar, which I think makes it taste different from Joann’s version, but I can’t be sure until I try this recipe again.
  • Did not have any green onions, so had to leave that ingredient out.

Overall, this is a recipe I’d love to use again. As I said earlier, I’d like to test out a different texture for the chicken, but also stick with regular vinegar as I think the seasoned rice vinegar made it sweeter than intended. This dish paired well with rice and the family liked the sauce!

This recipe is 2 out of 12 new recipes I’ll be trying this year.

To learn more about the home cookin’ challenge of 2020, check out my post about it here.

progress is a journey

Observations during my journey of progress:

  • It can take a looooong time to feel like the steps towards progress feels real and actual.
  • Making progress can feel and seem different in each area of focus; saving money vs. facing my fears vs. practicing good habits.
  • Sometimes progress feels like I’m going backwards and unraveling what I’ve already achieved.
  • The journey feels boundless, indefinite and unpredictable.
  • Each step of the journey is not equal nor do they hold the same meaning.
  • I feel better about myself when I’ve seen how far I’ve traveled from where I was before.
  • My journey will not look like anyone else’s, even if it’s the same goal or dream.
  • No one is going to care (or notice or know) more about my progress than me
  • Progress is a long-term (forever) commitment to myself.
  • Sometimes, progress happens and it wasn’t intentional at all.
  • The path to progress doesn’t always look how I thought it would or how I planned it to be.

recognizing me

Sometimes, I get so blinded by the light.
It overtakes the whole image of my sight,
And I become disoriented by the whole thing.

I fall to my knees because I see nothing,
Holding onto the floor—anything,
Gives me balance.

Because standing proudly for me,
Sometimes means to just be.
No lights, glamour or attention.

For me to take the lead,
The only thing I need
Is my own recognition.

listen and learn

“When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways–either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.” – The Dalai Lama

I used to read quotes a lot in high school and college. The words comforted me because I felt like I could prepare better when certain situations came up. After having had to deal with some said situations (and even ones I never fully realized until later), these words hit harder. They hit deep within me and I have found them to be continuously valuable.

Not only do I feel more understood, but I also feel like there is a path to walk on that doesn’t need to be defined yet. It’s familiar to have a structured path and follow to achieve the feeling of status or fulfillment. However, when it’s a journey that involves navigating through a multitude of emotions, challenges and revelations mostly on your own, quotes or wisdom from others sort of clarifies the perspectives or simplifies it somehow. And leads to finding the strength needed to overcome the challenges.

So, sometimes, I just want to stop talking and start learning; to hear or read the words of others who have probably gone through some variation of what I have.

“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” – The Dalai Lama

ready for summer

cherry memories

I miss summer. Every year, it feels shorter and shorter and it kinda takes forever to get to it. I want the hot sun on my arms as I walk in the bright sunshine seeing the clear blue skies above me. The birds flying in a group looking for food and the flowers that bloom so effortlessly. Farmers markets have loads of variety of delicious food to choose from and there’s more ease, it seems, with life in general. Don’t mind me, I’m just daydreaming…

so many words unsaid

happy friday—you made it to another end of the week and now we can all go play.

my menu for this weekend includes: mac & cheese, steamed broccoli, and honey & butter fried chicken wings…of course, I’ll eat more than three things this weekend, but that’s what I’m in the mood for making for now.

there are soooo many things I want to say, but can’t seem to formulate exactly how I want them to be said or heard or perceived.

since I’m having a bit of a writer’s block in front of me, below is my mood board for the weekend. enjoy yourselves.

keep your mind open and hold onto happiness as long as you can.

what is worth it?

I am not perfect,
An imperfect set,
Flaws with regret,
No filter effect,
Expectations unmet,
Falling on steps,
Making a mess,
Owning my quest,
No time for rest,
I want the best,
On every test.
I am not perfect.
It is not worth it.

Chasing a mirage can be fun at first, but then it’s never over because it’s not real.

But I am.

And I am worth it.

cute baby dog

cute baby dog

The parents of this lovable fur baby say that the black hairs at the tips of his ears are from his “younger” kid years. So cute. It fascinates me that I’ve become such an animal lover. I never grew up having furry pets due to my parents preference, affordability and their lack of desire to care for them. Despite this, little cats and dogs have carved out a space in my heart for sure.

my (rambly) thoughts on star trek: picard (2020)

Of the Star Trek series, I’ve only seen Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: The Next Generation. The former was the only series I’ve watched in its entirety. I’ve seen some episodes of the latter and I liked most of the ones I’ve seen. Therefore, the following (rambling) thoughts are from a newbie fan who doesn’t know the whole history of the characters or storylines from the various series or movies that were produced (I watched none of the movies).

Oh wait, I guess I did see some of Star Trek: Discovery, but stopped watching after the second episode, I think?


Picard’s back with a new Star Trek series—-Star Trek: Picard—-I am so excited!


One-line comment about the show: It’s already so action-packed!

What I’m excited for:

To see how the plot continues, as I do find Soji’s character fascinating and her Data connection. I was sad her twin sister was killed though and so early. And needless to say, I am happy to see Picard at all. What’s going to happen next? He’s transitioning back to the leader role, but he’s met with more than a few challenges already. Picard has also changed a lot from the last time I saw him in The Next Generation series. How will he navigate his crew in universe that’s changed so much since he was last in charge?

And one of my favorite Star Trek characters is back!

The most recent episode, Absolute Candor, left us hanging by bringing Seven of Nine on board the ship. I loved her in the Voyager series, so seeing her and Picard working together is a dream.

Should I watch older series and/or films to follow along?

Yes and no. Yes, there are a ton of references and continuity from previous storylines, so some things may not necessarily make sense at first. I also think that someone like me, who hasn’t watched a lot of Star Trek, may not realize the importance of some characters and their roles in the Star Trek universe. Nor do I understand conflicts from the past that are relevant or referred back to in the current series.

But I also don’t think I’m completely lost by all the missing details (at least I don’t think so). I think the show does a good job in dropping Easter eggs for the die-hard fans, but I also think they give enough background for us newbies to follow along and stay interested. There’s a new crew with a whole new dynamic than the others. This show is bound to make a unique impression as all the other series have.

Although I did not grow up watching Star Trek, it still feels nostalgic that is comforting to me.