December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

My cute mama works in the garment industry in New York City making clothes for specialty retailers.

A couple of months ago, my mom mentioned they were making some funny-looking sweaters at her company.

She said, "I don't know what they're for but they're huge sweaters with holes for six heads."

I started laughing and said they're probably Christmas sweaters.

My mom replied, "White people are weird."

Then she promptly brought one home to giggle over and take pictures in.

Too bad my mom didn't bring home the 8-headed one.

The sweater is now making rounds with the family and is currently on a ski trip with my uncle's fam and their friends.

That sweater is more popular than me.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from my ugly sweater family to yours!

My mom and little cousin took the inaugural Chen Family Ugly Christmas Sweater picture.

December 19, 2014

The Most Important Reason to Love Winter


I love winter.

Because it means cold weather.

And, baggy clothes.

It means snow.

And, hot pink boots.

Hot chocolate:

A photo posted by yang janice (@yang.janice) on

And, long johns:

Winter also means:

I don't have to shave my legs.

And, that.

Is the most important reason of all.

To love winter.

November 18, 2014

What I Do When I Do Nothing


. . . SO

This is what my day felt like today.

Although, I didn't really do nothing all day.

I applied to jobs.

It just felt like nothing because I am so SLOW.

November 12, 2014

How Lazy People Serve Brownies

This is my friend, Erin.

She likes to bake just as much as I do.

A couple of weeks ago, Erin made some brownies.

And left them on the counter to cool before cutting them.

Her husband wanders into the kitchen, spots the cooling pan, and asks:

"Why did you only make one brownie?"

November 4, 2014

Winter vs. Summer

Daylight Saving Time just ended this past weekend and it drove home to me the differences between summer and winter.

7:30pm during the summer:

"Where's the party at? Where are we going? 
What are we doing?"

As opposed to 7:30pm in winter:

"It's not bedtime yet? How??? Why?"

Does anyone else feel like this when the seasons change?

October 31, 2014

Halloween, My Mama, and a Pumpkin

The other day, I was in the kitchen, having a deep conversation with a Japanese kabocha pumpkin.

While wielding a butcher knife.

Thinking about how good the kabocha would taste roasted.

When all of a sudden.

My mama burst into the kitchen and said, "You scare me when you hold a knife. Let me do it."

And I was like, "Okay, if you want me to not do work, I'm okay with that."

"Also, why am I scary when I hold a knife?"

My mom didn't answer me.

But I have a sneaking suspicion it has to do with how big of a klutz I am.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

October 21, 2014

How I Exercise

Since I talked about working out really hard in my last post, I thought I'd write a little something about how I actually exercise. Anyone can do it! I promise.

Some days, I will feel the sudden, overwhelming urge to run and usually will oblige myself because it happens so very (very) rarely and I need to take advantage of the surprising need to be unlazy.

When one of those days happens, this is oftentimes, what goes down:

Stumble out of bed.

Feel full of energy.

Hatch a harebrained idea:

Head to the bathroom to wash up.

Look in the mirror.

Wonder how an extinct animal came to nest on my head.

Try to fix it.

It takes awhile. I need a haircut.

Wash up and change into sweats.

Eat breakfast.
Which goes like this:

1. Hmmm, what shall I have?
2. Bacon and eggs!
3. Ohh, I made cupcakes last night.
4. This leftover pizza will go bad if I don't eat it right now. Like, RIGHT NOW.

And before I know it, I've indulged a little too much.

Look at that food belly.
And, all I want to do is:

I don't think I can run anymore.

I really am my mother's daughter.

October 10, 2014

Bruises or How I Workout Really Hard (Not)

Last night, after getting home, I changed into my red basketball shorts and noticed all these bruises on my legs.

Especially around my right knee.

My first thought was, "How did I get so many bruises without realizing it? Ohmygod, I'm dying. Am I dying? How did I not feel myself getting these bruises? Ohmygod, is it my nerves? Did I damage my nerves? I'm gonna die, aren't I?"

Then I realized I was being a hypochondriac and forced myself to calm down, and think rationally.

So my second thought was, "Wow, I must be working out really hard! Look at all this evidence. I'm such a rockstar."

Then I proceeded to press my bruises to see how much they hurt because I'm a masochist.

And, guess what? They didn't hurt. At all.

I thought it was some kind of super power or something and was feeling pretty proud.

Then I noticed that my fingers were blue too.


And I pondered that puzzle for half a second.

Until I remembered something.

I was wearing my newish jeans yesterday.


It's not that I worked out really hard, it's that I'm too cheap to buy jeans that are more than $20 and this cheapness dyed my legs blue.

I guess you really do get what you pay for.

My cheap jeans made me think I was dying.

Also, I accidentally gave myself silver hooves for feet.


I think that pretty much sums up my life.

September 23, 2014

My Favorite 4-year-old

I got to hang out with my baby cousin a couple of weekends ago.

We were at a sushi restaurant with our family during the Mid-Autumn Festival and the little munchkin and I spent the dinner playing, drawing, and acting like 4-year-olds do.

At least I did, anyway.

Self-portrait by the 4-year-old

I may be biased but I think the munchkin has a career in the arts.

Isn't that self-portrait stunning?

I know you can't tell, but trust me when I say, it's a veritable likeness!

But wait, there's more.

Here's a still life masterpiece that she painstakingly drew in 2 minutes:

Is that not the best drawing of a banana you've ever seen?

Does it not invoke in you the passionate urge to experience a banana right now?

That, my friends, is art.

But wait, there's more.

If that still life didn't bestir your little heart, then perhaps abstract pieces are more your thing:

I believe the 4-year-old was going for a Jacksonian feel with the Pollockian finger drips.

Such a talent.

But wait, there's more.

Not only is she artistically-inclined, the 4-year-old is also full of comedic gold.

Some of the stuff that comes out of her mouth makes me howl with laughter.

I'm sure her father would rather I not encourage her with my vocal expressions of having been thunderously entertained, but I can't help it.

Can you?

Aunt Cyndi: Where are your manners?
4-year-old: At home.

I'm sure if I tried that one as a kid, I wouldn't've been able to sit down for a week.

4-year-old: Can you pick me up by my feet?
Me: Why?
4-year-old: I want to see how strong I am.

4-year-old logic is the best!

4-year-old: I win and you win, but I win more.

Everyone's a winner in her world, she's just a little bit more of a winner, that's all.

And that's fine by me.

I think she wins a little more with me than any other 4-year-old too.

She's my favorite.

And, I love her so much!

September 13, 2014

Quick and Easy Three-Ingredient Frozen Yogurt

I am in love.

Do you see this lusciousness?

I could eat it for days.

And I have.

It's so, SO delicious.

And, EASY.

Only 3 ingredients: frozen fruit, Greek yogurt, and honey.

The creaminess of the Greek yogurt adds a smoothness to the blended fruit; it tastes more decadent than it actually is. If you're looking for a lighter treat than ice cream, this is for you.

Throw your choice of frozen fruit into a food processor. Make sure it's straight from the freezer and not starting to melt.

Add 1 cup of Greek yogurt:

And 1 teaspoon of honey:

Then blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Your tastebuds will rejoice.

I made this a few weekends ago for my mom. After smacking her lips, my mama said:

"Mmm. Good!"

Best endorsement ever.

Quick and Easy Three-Ingredient Frozen Yogurt
Makes 2 servings

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, full fat
  • 1 package frozen fruit, about 10 ounces
  • 1 teaspoon honey, to taste
  1. Place frozen fruit, yogurt, and honey in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Serve immediately.
  • I use plain Fage Total Classic Greek yogurt and raw honey.
  • This recipe works with a lot of different kinds of frozen fruit but I wasn't too keen on my experiment with wild blueberries because of the seeds. Strawberries, peaches, or mangoes work really well though.
  • This frozen yogurt is meant to be eaten immediately. I wouldn't recommend freezing it because lots of ice crystals will form making for a hard treat. However, if I had an ice cream maker, I would try it.

September 8, 2014

Happy 中秋節 Zhōngqiū Jié | Mid-Autumn Festival!

It's 中秋節 today and I am attempting to make mooncakes to celebrate.

Red bean paste: Done!
There are many many steps.

I hope I survive.

Have I mentioned I'm lazy?

Mooncake skin: Done! Thank goodness, now I can rest.

At least the recipe I'm using calls for lots of rest in between steps. Those directions might not be visible to you but I swear they're there!

I'm mostly making these mooncakes for my mom. She loves this pastry but I usually find them too sweet and dense for my liking. But, the other day, when I saw a mooncake recipe on Two Red Bowls, I wondered if I'd like them better if I made them myself and cut down on the sugar. The recipe looked easy enough to make so I thought I'd give it a try.

We shall see!

Happy 中秋節, everybody!

August 21, 2014

My Mei

I am watching Jessica & Krystal on Hulu right now and it's making me miss my baby sister.


The way the Jung sisters laugh and eat and goof off reminds me so much of me and my sister.

It's making me nostalgic for the days when we used to laugh hysterically together, go on eating adventures, lay in bed to girl talk, and just be silly doofuses together.

Now we live in different cities and it's harder to do that.

Why do you live so far away, 妹?

Come back to NYC!

You know you want to. What can I bribe you with?

My little sister, my 妹, Tiffany, lives in San Francisco.

Isn't she beautiful?

Tiffany is sixteen months younger than I am.

But most people think she's older than me.

I have no idea why.

Do you?

Here's my sister at the Getty Villa in L.A.

My friend was getting married in Santa Barbara and it was the perfect excuse for me to fly out to S.F.

Tiffany and I roadtripped down to L.A. together and spent a day seeing the sights around town before heading to the wedding.

We went to The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, stalked the Kogi Truck - where we ordered almost the entire menu (BEST food truck ever!) - and of course, went to the Getty Villa. It was beautiful there. I'd highly recommend this museum to people visiting L.A.

And if you happen to find a statue in the museum, why not pose next to it?

When Tiffany graduated college, my mom sent the two of us on a trip to China together.

I'll never forget this trip as long as I live. It was our first time visiting China and I'm glad I got to do it with my Mei.

We went to the Great Wall.

Where someone wanted me to catch her.

We went to Xi'an to see the Terracotta Warriors.

Where someone did some kissing.

In December 2011, my sister and I went to Vietnam to vacation with our aunt.

We landed in Hanoi.

Where someone asked the fruit lady on the side of the road if she could borrow her hat and fruit.

The fruit lady was puzzled.

We went to visit a temple, then traveled to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It was easily one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.

After spending a few days on a boat, travelling the bay, we went to see the Thanh Chuong Viet Palace.

Where someone rode a horse.

That someone later found her spirit animal.

Sisters are the best!

I hope we get to travel together more, Tiff! And, soon! I miss you.