Mama What’s Cookin’? “Tomato” Restaurant Edition

After five long and glorious weeks of winter break, free from school, teachers and exams, I’m now (as of today) back in a classroom. Goodbye to late night movies, Starbucks coffee outings and days where my to do list consists of <1. get dressed & brush hair 2. watch Adobe application tutorials 3. Take sisters out to dinner>. Today we started school in a brand new building and it was wonderful… well except for the fact that I had to leave my house 10 minutes earlier than usual to catch the bus (hey, 10 minutes is a lot when your talking getting ready in the morning), waiting in the frigid weather because Mom want’ed to make “certain” we didn’t miss the bus, and having my body temperature turn from freezing to boiling in a matter of precisely 2 minutes after loading the bus because of extreme overuse of bus heating capabilities. The day progressed more smoothly once I actually arrived at the new campus.

Anyway, on to what this post is actually supposed to be about:

During our winter vacation in Malaysia we adopted a small, beach side Indian/Malaysian restaurant as our very own. I don’t exactly know why but the restaurant was named, “Tomato” and its a small place nudged between two larger restaurants, although its easy to miss on a drive-by, we found that it was almost always packed with people inside. The prices were literally dirt cheap, the selection of dishes vast, and the various curries, rotti, and rices were delicious. Throughout our stay, we ate there at least four times, including once for a 2:00 am snack! The popular Malaysian drinks such as kopi (Malaysian coffee) or teh (like a milk tea) were spectacular not to mention the large variety of other drinks they provided. In remembrance of this cute restaurant, brighten your Monday by taking a friend to eat Indian food with you and talk of pleasant things!

Almanac, January 27th

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Four responses: What’s in my Bag | Jessie

In my creative bag, as I would like to call it, I have all the essentials. Most importantly, I have my macbook – crucial for any type of online creativeness, ie. blog, photo editing, graphic design. Next, my To Do List – a “must have” item to keep me on track. Then my sketch book, pencil case, and magazine folder – all self explanatory. Finally my inspiration book – like a mini sketch book, it holds all my little doodles and then provide inspiration when I’m having something like a “writers block”. Now stuff it all in my floral print Cath Kidston and I’m ready to go!

Check Out what’s in Maddie’s bag.

Memories from Last Summer in Beijing


Sean was cleaning up his flash drive and asked me if I had copied an album of pictures from last summer. I was so surprised to find this photo of us, taken at the hostel in Beijing where we stayed while site-seeing with Sean’s parents who visited from Sioux Falls, SD. I love my husband! (Thank you, Gail for such a great photo).

Four Responses: What’s in My Bag | Michael

I was going to the studio, so I have all of my studio gear-including my rubber gloves, sketchbooks, tin foil, computer, and writing utensils. We are working with concrete in the studio these days, so I am doing a lot with sculpting and mixing concrete. These are the essentials when I go to the studio. And I can’t forget my canvas bag-on which I have so lovingly bestowed a drawing of my all time favorite logo: Starbucks (the thing that keeps me going through those long studio nights). Most of the stuff in my bag today comes from Muji, a great Japanese store that sells some amazing stationary, amongst other things. Check out Rachel’s Response!

Four Response: What’s In My Bag | Maddie

Today was very unproductive for me… I basically watched movies/TV shows, ate, and used my mac. Even though I feel a bit guilty for not doing anything I wasn’t about to do work when I’m going to start school in 2 days. I’m taking advantage of any free time I’ve got before school :). Anyways I’m showing you today what’s in my bag when I’m feeling crafty or productive and I call it my Tool Box. Right now in my tool box are stickers for any time I just have to add some decoration to a drab paper, a blog scheduler (I have just started this scheduler because I decided it was a good idea to see what I have and will be posting over the weeks), a pencil case, my wallet and a finance pad for any outings, and for the two electronics my iTouch and OF COURSE my macbook (dear Mac, I don’t know what I’d do without you, I love you even though you’re slow!) Well that about sums up all the instruments used when it’s time to work. Hope you’ve enjoyed! Check out Michaels Response!

Four Responses: What’s in My Bag | Rachel

1. Believe it or not I do carry tea bags around in my bag… I’m obsessed with the hot beverage
2. Sweets are definitely my weakness, can’t leave the house without some kind of sweet morsel in my bag…
3. Lovely Vanilla Mint lip shine from Bath and Body Works/Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner
4. Lots of hair calls for lots of maintenance.
5. Music is a must
6. Desperate weather calls for desperate measures.
7. I can’t leave the house without my journal (I know so middle school girl right?), I like to carry a book with me as well just in case I find myself sitting somewhere bored out of my wits BUT its seldom that I actually pull it out to read (guilty feelings)
8. MUJI pens and pencil case- a definite must!


Check out Jessie’s response here!

Pop Icon: Head Scarves

As of late I have had a certain infatuation with head scarves — you might have seen the “style” article in our most recent Almanac. The pop icon this week, celebrating the handiness and fashion of head scarves, is pop singer Rihanna. She is rocking a polka dotted head scarf tied in a bow with red cascading curls on the Westfield Shopping Centre in London. I managed to dig out a similar polka dotted head scarf for my own representation. Though it was a challenge to volumize my long straight hair, I managed to put it up in a messy beehive doo for the picture. ~ In honor of Rihanna’s red hot hair, Rachel – who was kind enough to help me – spruced mine up with a bit of color as well!

Source:  (Rihanna’s quirky, red hairstyle)

I’m Lovin’…Winter

Winter is one of those seasons which can either drive you crazy because of the cold weather or it can make you excited. Right now winter is on the excitement side for me… I love how I can come home to a cozy couch where I can snuggle up and read a good book with a cup of hot cocoa.

1: Books: When snuggled up on the couch a good book is the perfect therapy for an exhausted mind. (Books from Ashleigh T)

2: Hot Cocoa is one of my favorite hot drinks to sip during the winter, it always helps to warm me up! (Hot Chocolate from synapse)

3: Scarves, the snuggly loop ones are my favorite! (buy it here from Etsy)

4: Boots! A winter outfit is never complete without a pair of boots. (Winter Boots from Alicia DeCosta)

5: Hand lotion is essential when it gets so dry here in this winter season of Tianjin (Twilight Woods Hand Lotion,  Japanese Cherry Blossom Hand Lotion from Bath and Body Works)