Current Mood

Little Gods by Meng Jin
Set in China between 1989 and 2007, this character driven novel explores the complicated relationship between a mother and daughter as the daughter embarks on a quest to discover who her mother truly was after her death. I'm finding it both complex and moving.

The K2
This drama originally aired in 2016 and I passed on it despite my adoration for  Ji Chang Wook because the female lead was Yoona. Anyway my husband was piqued by the action in this which is very impressive. Chang Wook actually became the highest paid actor in a tvN drama at the time and received special training to perform all of his stunts himself. The political intrigue of this drama is riveting though it has suffered from some glaring plot holes. Yoona is so dreadful that we've had to fast forward through some of her scenes but Song Yoon Ah is such a compelling antagonist who gives an emotionally layered performance that I find myself rooting for her character when I shouldn't. Even though I love the gravitas Chang Wook brings as K2, Song Yoon Ah is the real revelation in this show and should have been the lead.

Listening to...
Chocolate OST
I finished this drama recently and it ended up being one that I enjoyed more than I expected. It was touching and the underlying message of celebrating the power of hope and kindness was uplifting and feels very necessary right now. The mouth watering cooking scenes inspired me to cook more Korean dishes again like sautéed tteokbokki (rice cakes) and jjajangmyeon (noodles in black bean sauce). The soundtrack also had some really enjoyable tracks. My favorite was Special by Yubin.

Heirloom Black Rice
We're a Chinese household so rice is a staple of our diet but white rice isn't exactly healthy. Some years ago we made the switch to a Japanese brown rice and then to sprouted brown basmati rice and now we've moved onto heirloom black rice which is more nutrient dense and lower on the glycemic index. It has a delicious nutty flavor and works well in a multitude of dishes like vegetable bibimbap pictured above. It is a little more expensive but worth it and  that's fine since we also eat a lot less rice these days.

Pukka Elderberry & Echinacea with Elderflower Tea
Pukka is one of my favorite tea brands and I'm currently loving this fruity and flavorful immunity boosting blend.

Obsessed with...
Trader Joe's Cruciferous Crunch 
I actually prefer Whole Foods to Trader Joe's but I can't get enough of this TJ's salad mix with chopped kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, green cabbage and red cabbage. My favorite way to have this is roasted (better for digestion) with lentils, chickpeas or falafel and a home made lemon tahini dressing. This is the best tahini! A creamy avocado lime dressing (made with a ripe avocado, lime juice, cilantro and cumin) works well too. I have this for lunch at least a few times a week. It also makes a really good side dish sautéed with garlic and tossed with a touch of balsamic vinegar and parmesan.

Femmue Skincare
I've been using a few products from this botanically based skincare range powered by natural floral ingredients and modern bioscience. The formulations are both elegant and efficacious. I have fallen in love with the Fine Peel Exfoliating Mask and Gypsy Rose Calming Mask. I will have a post dedicated to the brand soon.

My Makeup
I always do a clean out of my makeup at the beginning of each year and get rid anything expired or hasn't been used. I picked up this new organizer recently at Target. It has an elegant look with a small footprint and I'm proud that my entire streamlined makeup collection fits into it. It would be hypocritical for me to talk about practicing a more sustainable lifestyle while hoarding unnecessary cosmetics I'll never use.

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  1. Love this cute organizer.
    I also love Whole Foods!

  2. I'm trying to drink more tea so thanks for the heads up on the Pukka, chingu:) And OMG...your Yoona comment.....LOL:D That's good to know about Song Yoon Ah though:)

  3. I will need to watch this drama, sounds great. I love Pukka teas as well, they're so lovely. I need to switch from white rice as well, will need to do that, you reminded me, ha!! Hope you have a gorgeous new week lovely x

  4. I did another skincare clear out recently, my makeup has already been diminished so much over the course of the last year that there isn’t much left to declutter.

  5. What great selections Rowena! I love the makeup organizer!

  6. These are very nice

  7. Great for you on streamlining your beauty products! I need to do a much better job, but have all these samples so am going to try them out first. Thanks for the book and drama recommendations! "Little Gods" and "K2" is on my list!

  8. I'm a huge fan of your currently coveting and current mood posts, Rowena as I always discover something new. We love rice in our household too and right now am using Calrose rice because I was told it's healthier white rice. Now I wonder if that's true. I have never heard of heirloom black rice but will research it.

  9. I watched the K2 a while ago and have to admit I thought the same about Song Yoon Ah. She was incredible both in acting and her character too. Though I also did think Ji Chang Wook's martial arts was phenomenal too. I'll have to check out Chocolate. One thing I hate/loooove about these dramas is the delicious looking food they consume. I always get MAD cravings when I see these kind of scenes, even though I am allergic to seafood (almost everything they cook contains seafood hahahaha!)


  10. I am so curious about the book that you read- the plot seems to be very interesting

  11. I think it is wise that you switched to black rice and now I want to cook a dish with black rice as soon as possible. Thanks for the input!
    xx Rena

  12. Oh that book sounds good. I am going to bookmark this. I am reading The Buy Side, it is written by a guy who use to work as a trader on Wall Street he had a degree in journalism if that is any indication but it takes place in time that led up to the big crash. And that organizer looks great!

    Allie of

  13. Little Gods by Meng Jin sounds like my kind of book. I will look it up. K2 sounds like a fun drama to watch. The organizer sounds lovely, it is always good to use organizer for our products, makes our life so much easier on every day basis. I don't use that much make up/beauty products but I still find organizers practical.
    I actually haven't tried black rice, I wonder what it tastes like. I tried brown and integral rice but never black rice.

  14. Great post Rowena! I know I can rely on you for Korean dramas recommendations. Although lately, I'm watching more China dramas because I want to improve my Mandarin. And I love packaged salad too. I usually add an egg and avocado. Have a great week!

    xo Jo


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