A person without a smiling face should not open a shop. -Chinese proverb


My neighbor turned 100 years old! Her advice to a long life? Smiling. Actually, laughing. She says that she weathered life’s ups and downs with a dose of good humor.

Also, I was recently nominated for a blog award by Brittney (thanks!). The name of the award makes me smile: Sunshine Award. The rule is I have to answer eleven questions:

1.       What is your favorite vacation place? I really enjoyed visiting Italy when I went there. There’s great people, art, and food. What more could you ask for? Currently, though, Hawaii’s on my list of places to see again. This is due, in part, to Lori‘s great comments and posts about the island(s).

2.       What is your favorite dessert? In a nod to my answer above, I’m a sucker for a delicious tiramisu. And I really like dan tat (the dim sum egg custard) at all hours.

3.       What is your favorite season? We don’t have seasons in California, but if I had to pick one here, I’d settle for spring. That’s when there’s a nice temperature, and the flowers are bursting with color all around. If I went back to upstate New York, though (where I went to undergrad), I would choose winter. There’s something magical about watching snow falling in the glow of lamplight on a dark, still night.

4.       What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time? Reading, of course!

5.       Where would you like to live if you could choose anywhere? I really like California. I would love to explore the rest of the United States as well, particularly the South. I think the U.S. has such a great mix of scenery and cultures; I really envy friends who’ve done cross-country trips.

6.       What’s your favorite color? I’m partial to light blue and dark green, both calming colors.

7.       What’s the most exciting thing that has happened to you this year? Getting published! Second to that, having readers interact with me and compliment my book.

8.       Tell us something about yourself we might not already know? I used to own pet chickens.

9.       Do you have a pet? I have goldfish, courtesy of a stranger from the 626 Night Market.

10.   What’s your favorite kind of pet? I like ones that are soft and furry. I had a real affinity for dogs when I was a kid. Nowadays, I sometimes think about owning a hamster.

11.   What did you like doing the most when you were a kid? I liked imagining new worlds. I would strap on my backpack and put various things inside, so I could go on an adventure. Then, I would traverse couches and avoid dangerous obstacles to reach my destination.

As a recipient of the Sunshine Award, I’m supposed to refer to eleven other bloggers. Since I’ve already received this award (see sidebar), I’m going to ask the questions to my audience instead. Dear readers, feel free to answer any of the questions above or this one: What do you think is the secret to longevity?

Foodie Friday: Honey Walnut Shrimp
Foodie Friday: Tea


  1. I loved Italy! My aunt loves Hawaii, and I have a few friends here in OK who used to live there. I cannot imagine not having seasons! Though, in OK, Spring always means tornadoes and more than likely winter means an ice storm, so I could see where extreme temperatures differences weren’t favorable!

    • jenniferjchow says

      Where did you go in Italy? I went to Florence, Venice, Rome, and Siena. If I ever visit OK, remind me not to go in spring or winter…

  2. My mom is 86 and still going strong (most days) She loves music, dancing, gardening, traveling, and volunteering. I think it’s about loving others, laughing, and having interests other than the self.

    • jenniferjchow says

      That’s wonderful, Mona! Your mom sounds quite active–best wishes to her :) I love that line about having interests outside yourself.

  3. How wonderful to think of being 100 years old and still smiling. :) Love that proverb, how true.
    And I am also totally in love with tiramisu. Congrats on your award!

  4. Dan tats and tiramisu, yes to both. I’d add matcha (green tea)-flavored cream puffs from Liliha Bakery, brownies from Marukan Market down the street, and of course, panipopo at Afakasi a little ways up King Street. I live in the right neighborhood for a foodie!

    Thanks for the link to my site, Jennifer! Congratulations on your award. And anytime you want to come to Hawaii my couch is ready for you!

    Longevity? I read a study once that followed centenarians from all walks of life. It declared that the quality most commonly found was “orneriness.” This must explain the long lives of some of my ancestors! Seriously, the study explained that their “emotional center of gravity” was solidly inward. I believe my children would call this “Mom’s stubborn streak.” Humor and individuality also were in abundance.

    A hui hou!

    • jenniferjchow says

      Ooh, green tea cream puffs. I’ve only ever had those at Beard Papa’s. I need to try this panipopo out–it sounds good. Thanks for the offer of the couch, but I don’t think my whole family will be able to fit (and I know they would want to come!).

      Thanks for sharing the aging research. I’d love to live a long life, but not if I need to be ornery…

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