Taking Shao Mii for a Walk ~and The Huge Worm!

On November 2nd, 2015, (Monday) we went out for a bike ride at around 10:00 AM, and surprisingly the weather wasn’t too bad. It was nice and breezy, and the sun was only soft ^-^. The golden rice fields by our house were waving~~ at us and the blue sky and white clouds made the scene look like a painting.

Bike ride 1.jpg

~Me and Shao Mii taking in the view~

Shao Mii joined us too, he ran behind us, beside us, all over the place! It was his first time following us on a bike ride. He had come before, but he was in mommy’s bicycle basket, and he jumped out while we were riding -.- .

We had sort of lost confidence it him after that, and decided it was safer to let him follow us. Also, he had grown since then, and probably couldn’t fit in the basket anymore. So we unleashed him, and started riding. We encouraged him to follow us- although, he probably didn’t need it.😀 I was pretty impressed, since he ran/trotted the whole way very well.

There were times, that he got in the middle of the road, but he was very smart to get to the side when a car came. We stopped a few times to give him some water, but he was so distracted, that he only drank a few licks.

Later, when we reached the rest area on the bike path, we stopped and let him have a rest. We were about to go when I spotted a long worm on the floor. “AAAAH, A huge worm! Look!” I exclaimed. It was huge. Longer than my foot and really fat. It was just on the cement, like “Oh hey, I’m just a big FAT LONG worm, just hangin’ around like yeah ah hah oh yeah”.

Of course, mommy, being a “gardener”, wanted to take the worm home and put it in her compost pile. So I picked it up (with my BARE hands) and put it into a plastic bag. Luckily, Shao Mii didn’t notice it, so he didn’t eat it. (I know that sounds weird, but he DOES eat EVERYTHING!) So I put it in, all freaked out, and washed my hands right away. I have seen many worms (obviously smaller than the one I saw on Monday). I mean seriously, when I saw it, I thought it was a small snake or something.

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~The worm and my shoe~

When we got home, the worm was still in the bag. Right away, we went to one of the compost piles and I grabbed the worm and quickly dropped the slimy creature into the pile.

“OOOOOOOOOOHHHHHH EEEEHHH!!!!” I screamed. phew! That was really slimy.

Thanks for reading my little journal entry on the wonderful bike ride and the icky wormy thingie~~!!

See you next time!


Baking In Taiwan

{ Introduction }

Ever since we moved into this house in Taiwan, we’ve baked quite a lot. We make breads, muffins, steamed buns (Mantou 饅頭), and I’m sure there’s even more coming. I love to bake because it’s quite fun to mix all the ingredients and {hopefully} have a great snack in the end. [Munch, Munch, Munch..]

{ Organic 有機 Ingredients }

We like to eat, mostly organic foods as much as possible. We go to Taitong台東 [Tai-dong] (another bigger town) to buy organic whole wheat flour (全麥麵粉), brown sugar (黑糖), and other organic things we need (our town is quite small, so there’s no organic stores).

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{ Local ingredients }

For yeast (酵母), baking powder (發酵粉), and baking soda (小蘇打), we go to the local supermarkets to buy them. Sometimes, to make mantou , we buy flour (麵粉) from the local grocery store since it gives it some fluffiness, whereas, whole wheat flour can be more dense.

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2015-12-23-6409 all purpose flour

{ My Favorite Recipes }

My favorite things to bake() / steam(蒸) are, banana breads/ muffins, and Mantou (steamed buns). Although, the mantou was a bit challenging at first (like everything is), now we can just make it “No Problemo” (沒問題) ;). We make all sorts of mantou flavors, like sweet potato (地瓜), cocoa powder(巧克力粉), sesame filling (芝麻), banana (香蕉), taro (芋頭), raisins(葡萄乾), walnuts (核桃), and a lot of different other things we have around the kitchen. Banana bread (香蕉麵包) is also a super easy recipe to follow, and I already remember it by heart! And it tastes delicious (很好吃)! We like to tweak the recipes according to the things that we have available to us for example, if we have banana, we’ll make a banana mantou, or if we have walnuts – why not add that in too?-😉

{ Conclusion }

To conclude, I enjoy baking a lot! I’m very happy that we are able to bake in Taiwan, even with our cute little oven. It’s time consuming, but always really fun to bake {whatever it is!}. It’s similar to a science experiment, although, you get to eat the finished product! But, it really is like an experiment, since we work with yeast, and baking soda. The ingredients bubble up, and rise, and it’s just so cool to be there and watch it all happen!😄

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Banana Bread.


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Taro & Banana Mantou with Sesame Filling.


By Emma

23rd December 2015


A Fun Day on the East Coast of Taiwan!


On the 19th of December, 2015, my mom, my dad, my grandmother, and I, went on a daytrip around the east coast of Taiwan. We rented a car and zoomed off after breakfast.  The weather was so nice that day, we had to get out!  I, of course, brought plenty of snacks and my camera (as well as other things like, a pillow, a blanket, etc.)

First, we passed a small town called Chihshang. Then we winded through the mountain roads and went into a long tunnel. Like magic, we saw the ocean after coming out the other end. The sky was blue, and so was the water. The soft sunlight kissed my cheeks as we stepped out of the car to see the unbelievable view.

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The waves & the sky.. ~~~

Although it was sunny, I still wore my jacket since the chilly breeze still howled around us. The sun went in and out, as if it was making up its mind, but the water  remained blue and bright.

After sight seeing, we headed to a café called “Pisirian” with a beautiful view of The Sanxiantai Bridge, and the surrounding waves. The area surrounding the café is loaded with little wooden/bamboo goat sculptures. Just around the corner, there’s also a big bunny made out of  similar materials.

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The Rainbow & goat sculptures at Pisirian Café

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The bunny sculpture, just around the corner.

We ate a spectacular, and also a very inexpensive, lunch that tasted divine. We got 3 sets for the adults, and I got a fried rice. The food was traditional Amis aboriginal food, so it was very special. The sets came with fruit, red tea, fish soup, egg sushi thingies😉, and dessert.

It was 350NT each and the fried rice was 100NT only! These delicious sets had fried fish, sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves (I think..), pan fried pork, stir fried veggies, shrimps, and egg custard (which was in a cute bamboo cup).

Good deal, huh?😉 Well, be sure to visit Pisirian, the next time you are in Taiwan.

Our bellies filled, we headed to the famous bridge with 8 arches called “Sanxiantai”.  We took our time and watched the waves roll up and then go back down. It was breath-taking, and the weather was just perfect. We started up the bridge, and walked and walked and walked. I looked to the left, and I saw the blue water, the foamy waves, and the deep blue sea…

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Sanxiantai footbridge, the ocean, and the rocks.

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The view of the ocean from the Sanxiantai footbridge.

After a while, we ended up at the other side of the bridge, on another island! (well, they call it a islet). It really looked mysterious, the way that the path led into, what looked like, a dark green maze…

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The Islet on the other side of Sanxiantai footbridge.

We walked through that maze, and it was so magical. I could hear the soft sound of the waves rolling on the pebble beach; I could hear the wind singing, and I could see the sun gleaming in the cloudy, but somehow blue, sky.  The path was concrete, but I still felt like I was in touch with nature in some way. We walked on and according to the sign, we went to a cave (although it was only the back of the big rock):/ .

We kept walking, until there was a dead end. But there was a small path that lead to another area (they called it the potential hazard region.. ;)), that was also very nice. We saw a stair case in the distance which supposedly lead to the light house. The one teensy problem was: to get to those steep steps, we had to walk through a lot of rocks😞.

Even though we always worry about my grandma getting hurt and so on, she was the one who said “It’s fine! Come on!”, and then she’d walk faster than the rest of us, like WOW😄.

It was quite treacherous, but we made it. Although it was kind of cold, my back was still sweating, and I felt thirsty. We climbed up at least 300 steps, and at some points, they were steep too. But it was still worth it, the view and the breeze- that was totally worth every second of climbing.

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The view of the water from the top.

At the top, I saw the lighthouse. It was kind of small, but you know- it was the first light beacon to be built on the east coast, so what could I expect? The view was the best part: The blue water, the sun setting, the rainbow, and the slight breeze that kept me going. It was just fantastic, everything was.

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The light house.

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Do you see the rainbow?🙂

Going down was quicker, of course, and easier. It was nice to feel like I had just done something, that I had just achieved something.

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The stairs we climbed up (about 300!)XD


After the bridge, when the sun had finally set, we walked to the car. We drove to Taitung and ate at a little restaurant that serves dumplings, soup, etc.

After the meal, we drove to Tie Hua Tsun (tii-eh -hua- tsun) (the area with Taitung’s old railway station), and walked around the area. Little hot air balloon lanterns were lit up around the area. In Luye, another town, there’s a area where they launch hot air balloons. So kids made these cute lanterns that look like little hot air balloons.

 There was also a little market with stalls selling handmade things like candles, wooden cookware, and other arts and crafts. Some of the stalls had food like, cookies, yogurt, coffee, and homegrown veggies, that were for sale.

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hot air balloon lanterns in Taitung.

Since the last time we went to Taitung, the place really got a lot more active.  There was live music, and even Christmas lights too! :) We took pictures, looked around, and even bought homemade cookies to eat. We went to a nearby bookstore to look around, and then  we headed back to the car.

It started to get late, so we started for home after a long, tiring, but truly exciting, day!

Thanks for reading my little journal entry about our daytrip! I hope you enjoyed it!


My Daily Schedule

Hello guys! It’s Emma again, and today I will write about my daily schedule. My schedule has changed a lot since the summer. We got up earlier then (4:30am/5:00am), because it was hotter and it is better to bike while it is cool. Now the weather is cooler, and we sleep in a bit more.

Since I am homeschooled, not every day is exactly the same, so I’ll try my best to include as much info as possible!

So let’s start with Monday. When I have Mandarin class with my teacher, Ms. Su, I would normally get up around 7:00AM. The class starts at 10:30am and ends at 11:30am. The reason I get up pretty early is because, I have to practice and eat breakfast, and do whatever else to prepare for class.

We don’t have a set time for breakfast, but depending on when we wake up, we normally eat around 8:00am (unless we get up late~ on a day with no class). Around 9:00 am I start practicing ~ this includes reading out loud, writing Chinese characters, and LINEing with my teacher. In Taiwan a lot of people use LINE, so it’s pretty convenient to talk to my Teacher using that APP.

Around 10:15am, we leave the house on the little blue electric motorbike. My dad takes me there, and my mom stays home, since 3 people cannot fit.😄 Haha, the electric bike is quite small, and cannot stand too much weight. Anyways, my dad drops me off at Ms.Su’s house, and then we have class!

After class, we go home and have Lunch. For the rest of the day, it really is up to me, as long as the things I choose to do are related to academics (Math, Science, Chemistry, Workbook more Mandarin, Writing).  I use great app called “Math Tricks”, it is very useful to learn math. I like how it gives tips on each skill!

Anyways~~ Not every day is the same, like I said, so my schedule varies. On Wednesday’s, I have class too, so it’s about the same schedule as a Monday.

Tuesdays are really awesome. Do you know why? Well, because I have badminton class! Although, things have changed a bit.. Now badminton class isn’t really the intense training it was before. The coach is more busy, so we just pay 200NT each month for the court space. I  just go and play badminton with the other kids, it’s not necessarily a real class. I’ll probably write more about this situation in another post.

On Tuesdays (like today) I would normally get up earlier, although today I got up at 8:30am this morning. Most of the time, I get up around 6:50am or 7:00am and start my day, by eating breakfast and waking  up my parents (unless they are awake already.). This morning I made eggs with flax seed powder, salt, garlic, and Italian spices. That was yummy!

Depending on when we finish breakfast, I start my academics. Today I got a late start, I started writing around 10:00am. Where do I put my schedule, you ask?

Well, in August 2015 I started to write my schedule in a notebook. Everyday (when possible) I write the times, the things I did, and comments. Right now it’s “writing on my blog” time!😉

On Tuesdays, it’s what I call “a free day”, (means I have the whole day for academics, and only classes in the evening.) Thursday is a free day too, since I have no classes, and I have the whole day for academics. I enjoy free days, because I have the freedom to study at home all day.

At 17:00 I have Badminton, and it lasts till’ 19:00 sometimes. I can leave whenever, but most kids like to play until times up, since it is rare for them to play badminton. (playing outside is a pain because there is wind. And class is only 2 times a week.) On Fridays, I also have badminton, so the schedule is somewhat similar to Tuesdays.

I also read a lot. Right now I am reading the Oz series, and it is really fun to read. Most of the time, I try to read before bed, as well as reading during the day. I also use an app called “NewsOmatic”. It’s a spectacular news app for kids. The app includes a way to ask Russ, the editor in chief, questions!

Sometimes on Thursdays or Fridays, I dedicate the whole day to something fun, like art or crafts, or even cleaning/ organizing my room! You might wonder why I don’t do that on the weekends. (I do sometimes)

Well, on the weekends we try to do things like going to the next town, seeing my friends, and volunteering at the Book~house. We cook, bake, we make all sorts of stuff! We always eat our meals together. 99% of the time, we cook/ bake our own things.  We also work on our garden. Recently, we made our 5th compost pile, and according to Mommy, she’s “not finished”.😄

When the weather isn’t that great, I sometimes do art and crafts. I really can’t tell you what we do every weekend, because it’s never the same.😉

I want to say thank you to Ms. Susana Lee, for this awesome idea! I really loved writing this. I finished in 2 hours!😄 Thanks, everyone, for reading this! If you guys have any suggestions, please comment below and also see my post, “I need some suggestions!“.



Japan Curiosities: #5 Hello Kitty!




Hello kitty is everywhere, not just Japan. So why is Hello Kitty one of my essays for “Japan Curiosities”? Well, I’ll tell you why. That popular character was created by someone named Ikuko Shimizu in Japan! Ikuko created it for a company called “Sanrio”. Why? Well, let’s find out!

Why was she created?

Sanrio had many characters back then, but they needed another one to be created to go on a coin bag/purse. They asked Ikuko Shimizu to design/create this character. The first picture of Hello Kitty was introduced on November 1st 1974. Hello Kitty has a twin sister too! Her name is Mimmy White, and she wears a yellow bow on her right ear, whereas Hello Kitty (Kitty White is her real name) wears a red one on her left ear.


Mimmy (left) and Hello kitty (right) Source

No Mouth?

Have you noticed a strange thing about Hello Kitty? I have! : She has no mouth! But why? Well here is what Yuko Yamaguchi, Hello Kitty’s current official designer, says:

It’s so that people who look at her can project their own feelings on to her face, because she has an expressionless face. Kitty looks happy when people are happy. She looks sad when they are sad. For this psycholgical reason, we thought that’s why she doesn’t have a mouth” -Yuko Yamaguchi


Yuko Yamaguchi and Hello Kitty. Source


So there you have it! She said it herself- she’s expressionless so you can project your own feelings on to her-.

What about family?

Yes, Hello kitty does have a family. In fact, they live together in the suburbs of London! So, indeed, Kitty White (Hello Kitty) is not Japanese in her world, she is English. She has a mum (Mary White), a father (George White), a gramma (Margaret) and grandpa (Anthony), and a twin sister (Mimmy White). She also owns a cat (charmmy kitty) and a hamster (sugar). Wait!? She owns a cat!!??? I thought she was a cat! But no, we were wrong this whole time….


Hello Kitty’s Family Photo! Source

What is Hello Kitty?


Hello Kitty is a little girl in 3rd grade, and she will be in that grade forever. She weighs 3 apples and has a height of 5 apples. She isn’t a cat, although she has whiskers and her name is Kitty White. I don’t know what “Sanrio” was thinking… but one day they announced she is actually a girl, not a cat. Although they said she’s in 3rd grade, they introduced another character called “Dear Daniel”. He is Hello Kitty’s childhood friend and, according to some, boyfriend.


Dear Daniel (left) and Hello Kitty Source



Hello Kitty’s Interests

Hello Kitty enjoys baking cookies, making pancakes, playing the piano, origami, collecting tiny things, and playing tennis. She also likes to eat her mama’s homemade apple pie, and learn about foreign cultures.


Mama’s Apple Pie Source

That’s the end of the Hello Kitty post! I will post another article about Hello Kitty soon, hope you guys enjoyed this one!



Thanks for reading about Hello Kitty, it was a lot of fun researching and writing about her! If you have friends interested in Hello Kitty, please tell them about this post! I’m sure they’ll learn a lot!🙂

That’s all for today, see you next time!


Japan Curiosities: #4 Shrines and Temples

On our 5 day trip to Japan, we went to many shrines and temples. I didn’t know whch one was which since the tour guide didn’t really explain. So instead, I decided to find out, myself, what the differences between them are.

When praying in a shrine, it involves clapping and coin tossing, but on the other hand, when praying in a temple, it is very silent. Temples are centered on Budhha and they are based on Buddhism.


Pagoda (at temples) Source


Shrines, on the other hand, are based on shintoism and are centered on many gods. Shrines in Japan have tori archways at the entrance, this is a unique feature. In temples, there are pagodas instead of archways.


Tori Archway source

Not only can you tell from the features, but also from the name of it. Temples have “ji” at the end of the name whereas shrines have “jingu” (jingu means shinto shrine) at the end. However, Meiji Jingu is, in fact, a shrine, not a temple.

So next time you visit a shrine or temple in Japan, you’ll know for sure which one it is right?🙂 Great! Bye! Thanks for reading!


Japan Curiosities: #3 Ramen


On our trip to Japan (June 8th- 12th), we went to a “Ramen Museum”. Unfortunately, it was hard to get much out of it, as we were very well rushed by the tour guide. So I decided to research more about how ramen is made, as it is a very interesting (and delicious) subject.

  • The Soup
  • The Noodles
  • The Toppings

Those above are the three main elements of a heartwarming bowl of ramen. If everything is done the right way, it will be your perfect meal..


Ramen Diagram! Source

The Soup

There are two kinds of soup: thick soup, and clear soup. The thick soup is made with pork bones. They are boiled until the soup’s color is a milky white. The clear soup is made with vegetables, chicken , and onions. They are boiled too. Once the soup is made, soy sauce, miso paste, or salt is poured into the serving bowl. Then afterwards, the soup is poured in. (Then the noodles and toppings)


Thick (milky)soup with crinkly Ramen noodles. Source




Thin Soup with ramen noodles. Source


The Noodles

The noodles are made of wheat flour, water, and salt. But they also add a secret ingredient! Water with alkaline powder allows the dough to become stretchy kneadable. Watch the video at the end  to know more about the alkaline water and the history of it. Back to the noodles…

Every chef makes it there own way. There is no telling about the measurements (well.. you could find a recipe..) each chef has a in house recipe from experience. Some noodles are hand pulled, but some are made using machines.


Noodles. Source


There are two types of noodles: crinkly noodles and straight noodles. The crinkly noodles soak up flavor from the soup and they are not smooth whereas the straight ones are. The straight noodles are soothing down your throat…


Different noodle types. Source


The Toppings

There are a variety of toppings depending on what kind of dish you get. A majority consist of green onions, roasted pork, cooked bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, boiled eggs, seafood, and other types of veggies too. There are many more now, as people are finding new ways to make ramen dishes.

The Next Style

These days, many aspiring people are creating more and more crazy ramen dishes. There are many types like tuna ramen, cheese ramen, or even a ramen burger! Some people make fusion dishes (making a dish using two flavors combined) like gumbo ramen! I think that is great! I would love to try tuna ramen!!


See you next time!

Thanks for reading! I really enjoyed writing about ramen because it is a great delicious dish. Who wouldn’t want to write about something delicious? Ramen is very interesting, and it is definitely a part of Japanese culture!