Archive for May, 2012

It’s summer taxi season. Kids are out of school, and they need you to take them to their events. You gladly chauffeur your children to and fro so they can enjoy this carefree time in their lives. The only drawback is that you still have to work.  Taking your kids to and from practice and music lessons can be a bit draining. What happens when mom or dad gets really tired and worn out? Who will pick up the slack?

The trick for this summer is to learn balance. We’re going to make sure the kiddos have fun this summer, that’s for sure.  But you don’t have to wear yourself out in the process. Here are some easy and inexpensive ways to enjoy a few quiet moments this summer.

Chinese Teapots | AJ Panda

Tea. It may be hot outside, but inside it’s nice and cool. The benefits of drinking a cup of tea in the evening are convincing.  Tea is not only relaxing, but it is calorie free. Tea can prevent heart attacks and strokes. It has lots of antioxidants. To fully enjoy tea, we recommend shopping for Chinese teapots. Authentic and beautiful, making tea out of a Chinese teapot enhances the experience and allows you to fully savor the moment of peace and quiet. We recommend drinking tea while the kids are at baseball practice or at work in the afternoon.

Mani and Pedi. This isn’t so much for dads, but moms for sure. All you need is a half hour or so to get pampered. Schedule a “me date” and let someone else take care of you for once, making your hands and feet feel pretty. The massage you get helps too.

Chocolate. You probably heard the rumor that chocolate is good for you. Well, it is. Dark chocolate has many health benefits. It makes you smarter, helps reduce strokes, increases blood flow, and so much more. So even if you’re driving the kids around, at a ball game, or at work, enjoy a piece of dark chocolate.

These are just a few small ways to relax this summer and take some much needed me time. So go on—browse AJ Panda’s Chinese teapots, schedule a mani and pedi, and grab some dark chocolate.


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Summer is here and it’s time to get out and enjoy the sun, fun water activities, quality time with family and friends, and delicious summer food. This summer, try to incorporate Chinese chopsticks in your picnic basket.  You’ll eat less and more slowly and you’ll be able to still enjoy all the scrumptious dishes you associate with summer.  Here are two summer recipe ideas with a Chinese twist.Image

Chinese Radish Salad
This salad is perfect for summer because it cools the body and it detoxes. You won’t feel guilty for indulging in this salad. Plus, it’s super easy to make. This dish is something you can eat with Chinese chopsticks.

1 bag radishes

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 1/2 tablespoons of light soy sauce

2 teaspoons of sugar

2 tablespoons of vinegar

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

Thinly peel and slice radishes into halves. Then add salt, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, and sesame oil. That’s all you have to do.

Spiced Kielbasa and Summer Fruit Kabobs (Courtesy of Good Housekeeping)Image
This delicious kabob is spicy and sweet, perfect for summer parties. The Chinese five-spice powder gives these kabobs an added kick that quickly blends with the fruit and orange marmalade.

1 package (16 ounces) light kielbasa, cut into 1-inch chunks, substitute other smoked sausage

3 apricots, pitted and cut into quarters

2 ripe plums, pitted and cut into 1-inch chunks, substitute peaches

3 tablespoons sweet orange marmalade

1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder

Prepare outdoor grill for covered direct grilling over medium heat.  Meanwhile, alternately thread kielbasa, apricots, and plums onto 4 to 6 long metal skewers. In cup, combine marmalade and five-spice powder. Place skewers on hot grill rack. Cover grill and cook 5 minutes or until kielbasa browns and fruit chars slightly, turning skewers occasionally. Uncover grill. Brush marmalade mixture all over kielbasa and fruit. Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer, turning occasionally.

These two recipes can easily be transferred to your favorite picnic spot. Pack your Chinese chopstick sets, an easy to clean tablecloth, plates, along with other essentials and you’re good to go. If you don’t have Chinese chopstick sets, AJPanda.com has you covered.  Enjoy your summer!

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If you are anywhere near AJ Panda’s hometown of St. Louis, MO, you are going to want to make plans to attend the Lantern Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden!

The annual Lantern Festival is one of China’s most ancient and cherished traditions. “Lantern Festival: Art by Day, Magic by Night” will be an international exhibition of immense, lighted works of art from China. This festival will include extravagant outdoor sets that celebrate Chinese culture through bold colors, impressive light and fascinating designs. This is an opportunity to witness an extravaganza rarely available outside of Asia.

“Lantern Festival: Art by Day, Magic by Night” will run at the Missouri Botanical Garden from May 26 through August 19th. For more information, please visit their website at http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/.

Lantern Festival - MO Botanical Garden

Lantern Festival – MO Botanical Garden

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