Ruth has taken the time to answer a few questions:
What does a perfectly ordinary day in your life look like?
"Oh, I love ordinary days. My kids wake me up (they're early risers) and I get them ready for school -- Elliot's in kindergarten, Shanae's in pre-nursery. We walk to school, which is just a couple of minutes away from where we live. Then it's back home to sip on my latte and off to work! I reply emails, pack orders, and ooh-and-ahh at the new items on catalogues, and work out which are best to bring in for my store. I punch in figures, do some basic accounts for my gifts distribution company Happy Things. On a good day, I try to organise my physical inventory too for Happyshop, which is challenging b'cos I recently moved, and my home-office space's halved. I also work on a couple other things, like real estate, so I spend some time making calls and researching the market for my clients. Work consumes me till about mid-afternoon, when it's time to get the home ready for the family: house-cleaning and cooking! I walk the kids home sometimes; other times my husband picks them up en route home from work. Then it's playtime, dinner, cartoons, storytime and bedtime. I like to watch TV late into the night (Mondays and Tuesdays are my current favourites: CSI, Fringe, Mentalist; House re-runs all weekday midnights). If there isn't anything riveting on TV, I usually try get some more work done before calling it a day."
What time of year most inspires you?
"Christmas! Love love it. Creatively, there seems to be more inspiration everywhere: I love reading the magazines, adoring the fancy ads and commercials, and thinking up of fun things to do and daydreaming up my next pet project. On the family front, my husband's work is winding down (he's a teacher), and we spend more time with our kids outdoors: the zoo, the park, the beach ... I love the Christmas mood everywhere, and shopping gifts for the family. I get a lot more ideas for my work and my life, and feel recharged for the new year. Pity Christmas is just one day!"
What do you think of as comfort food?
"Ah without a doubt, all of my mom's cooking! She was a working mom, but she always made sure we had great tasty meals on the weekends and on special occasions. As a kid, I loved tagging along to the trips to the market and helping her cook in the kitchen. I have vivid memories of standing in a corner with all those bags of meat and stuff, waiting for her as she zipped quickly to the last stall to get the last thing on the list. I started asking from her recipes of my favourites after I got married eight years ago -- Asian dishes like stir-fried yellow noodles, stir-fried bee-hoon (rice noodle), claypot chicken rice, braised duck, popiah (a wrap filled with turnip, shrimp and other yummy stuff) and broiled chicken wings. The day my mother passed away (she had leukemia), I couldn't grapple with the fact that she was really gone, and I turned to cooking to remember her. For the two days, I cooked and brought my favourites to the funeral palour, to share a meal with my father. I choose to honor her this way because among others, this represented her love for me, and it's a way to relive the connection I have with her."
If you could hop on a plane, without giving one thought to your budget, where would you go?
"My first thought: Nagoya. It's the fourth-biggest city in Japan. I loved my trip to visit Shinzi Katoh sensei and his wonderful team last year, and wish my trip could have been longer! I basically zipped in and out of Nagoya in a hurry, cramped in as much as I could, but just simply didn't get to explore as much as I would have liked. I'd have loved to take time to sit at one of the pretty cafes that I saw in town, and maybe ask to view the nice garden at Shinzi Katoh's office, and spend some leisure time visiting the Nagoya Castle and museums and art galleries. I'll definitely bring my new Sony baby along this time and go snapping crazy at the sights and sounds. The food's great, weather's fine, and shopping is always rewarding. Just thinking about this makes me happy."
What are five things you would like to do in the next five years?
"Raise my children to be happy and confident people, expand my distribution business, play the violin again, start sewing again, and finally send my thousands of family photographs to be developed (printed) for my album collection."
1. Visit 'The Little Happyshop', look around and choose your favourite digital design from the shop... Come back here and leave a comment along with your email address, mentioning your favourite item...
2. For an additional entry, link to this giveaway on your blog, come back here and post an additional comment with the link and your email address...
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* YOU MAY ENTER UP TO FIVE TIMES FOR FIVE CHANCES TO WIN!
In order to keep offering these fantastic giveaways, I need to get as many comments (and visits for the sponsors) as possible... Please help me spread the word so we can keep a good thing going!
The winner will be randomly chosen and posted HERE on the blog on Sunday, November 7th... Please check the blog on Saturday to see if YOU are the winner! Enjoy... Please help spread the word and a dear thank you again to Ruth of 'The Little Happyshop'!