Got my own blog host and domain!

Standard is MOVING ➡️

While waiting on my worker’s permit to return to China, I thought it was finally time to get serious about blogging. 

I am open to any suggestions or tips regarding this new blog! It’s still in the making as I need to restructure the blog and import some posts. Be patient with me.

Thank you all for reading and following this blog, I hope to see some of you at the main site!



Top 10 Things to Bring to China

Top 10 Things to Pack for China

As I am waiting for my work permit to finish processing, I am thinking about things I should bring back to China. This is my fourth time embarking on a trip to China and will be my second full year of teaching.

Top 10 Things Tyra is Bringing to China

1. Deodorant

There is only roll-on deodorants in Jinan, not much options. So I will be going to Sam’s or Costco to buy a year’s supply.

2. Bras/ underwear

Chinese bras tend to have this thick lining at the bottom that annoys me. Also, their bras are not attractive at all. I like to feel good in my underwear so I bought some here.

3. Tampons

Particularly the ones with an applicator. Ob brand tampons are not for me.

4. Facial cleaning products

So many products in a China has whitening in them. I am a proud black woman, I just want to clean my face not whiten it.

5. Makeup foundation

Chinese women do not like to be dark, so the makeup foundation options are limited. The darkest color I have found was like natural beige. This is very light for my skin.

6. Medication

It takes about 8 Chinese ibuprofen pills to equal like 1 western pill, so I’m bringing my mess, especially for cramps!

7. Hair products 

I’m fortunate to have found online vendors on taobao that sells hair, but hair products for ethnic hair is sparse and expensive in China, so I’ll be stocking up on my coconut oil, hair brushes, grease, etc.
8. Body towels

80 yuan for a body towel in Chin! Our house has ton of towels at home. I just need to steal two and take it with me…or I can purchase a microfiber one, but I’m a cheapo.

9. Sunscreen

Can you believe sunscreen in China has whitening in there! TF?! The purpose of sunscreen is to protect my skin, not to whiten it!

10. Teaching Supplies

Dollar Tree and Target have tons of useful English and Primary School materials which are more useful then the Chinese made ones.

MISC stuff I already have in China but would be useful for first-timers

Travel adapter, shoes if your size is above 9 or 10, snacks from your home country. I was going to put razors, but you find some at Miniso in China.


don’t bring any valuable clothes. It will get ruined in the washers, cause there washers on China aren’t the best. There are also no dryers…..but dry cleaning here is CHEAP!

Let me know in the comments if I’m missing anything!

I’m moving!!


Where? I’ll tell you later, but my contract is up tomorrow and I’ll be in Japan and America soon.   

Ninja Turtles Graduated! : 济南


My first class in China consisting of, sometimes adorable and sometimes crazy,   3-5 year olds have graduated on December 29th. I watched these babies grow in their English over the past 8 months and I can’t believe how talented they are. They went from just learning how to sing the ABC song to learning each letter’s pronunciation and how to spell three letter words. Their writing still of course needs work because they’re babies, but they all can write their names and the entire alphabet.

Their oral English has improved greatly. I think this new Chinese app of dubbing short English videos had a role in that. But anywho I am proud! Enjoy the pictures!

One of my kids sent this to me using her graduation gift I got her.

Damon from day 1 has been one of my best students!

This is a text convo between me and Allen’s mom about how Allen after graduation thought he wouldn’t see me anymore, so he cried. Only until his mom said he would see me in like 3 days, he was able to go to sleep. D’aaaawww.

Damon, Matilda, and I

Allen and I. He is so tall for a 5 year old!

Graduation Dinner

My diva Cecelia and I.

Graduation Dinner. Yum pizza, pasta, lol.

Sophia and I. Quiet yet really competitive!

My cuties Grace and Dora!

Wow, they are pretty still. Even though they are looking at different cameras…

They just started the M2 level yesterday! I can’t wait to see what they will accomplished ❤

A Holly Smoggy Christmas Part 2:济南


What did I do after celebrating Christmas with my kiddos? 


On Christmas Eve, my roommate and I hosted a little get-together at our place. It was originally supposed to be girls, but the boys felt left out so then we invited them. [i just wanted to lounge around in my pjs and glasses while drinking hot cocoa and watching Christmas movies. Was I mean?] I made some Oreo balls, my girl-friends came over and  made guac and salsa, cupcakes, a cheese and fruit Christmas tree, popcorn and some fruit salad with passion fruit. GAAAH such delicious food. 

We watched my favorite movie Elf using a projector and seriously just had a homey time as we laid our yoga mats and covered them with blankets and pillows!

Christmas Day we went to the Crowne Plaza for a buffet. Of course there wasn’t any Christmas-themed food there, but it was nice to be together with all our friends since we are away from home. 

And, I was happy to have scored this cute Christmas sweater on Taobao. Jingle Ladies.

On Christmas Day I heard that I had a package sent from my godmother and I couldn’t pick it up until two days later because of the weather. I was anxious and wanted to pick it up, but I waited and when I opened it I screamed!

She, She, She sent me Takis and Hot cheetos and and leggings and homemade cookies and a new pajama set and fuzzy socks and my sister made made me a card. Best gift ever. I was so happy to get a taste of home during this holiday season.

If you read down to this part, you will finally know why the heck this post is called holly smoggy Christmas. It’s because Jinan was terribly polluted during the Christmas week. The famous tall building Ludi, Greenland I think that is what it’s called, completely disappeared. It is the city’s defining landmark, similar to the University of Texas Tower in Austin. Look at the pictures. It wasn’t until after Christmas that it cleared up. This was my first time ever experiencing a gray Christmas. I’m glad we didn’t let it ruin our time though.

Look out for a blast to the past post and a special edition post about my recent New Year trip to Shanghai! My ninja turtle babies graduated last year (hehe) on December 29th. I’ll probably bombard you guys with cute photos soon.

How many of you have experienced Christmas in a different country?

A Holly Smoggy Christmas Part 1: 济南


It’s a day after Christmas and I am sitting in Starbucks excited to share with you all the shenanigans that happened. This post will be broken up into two parts. Part 1 is obviously about my kids and the school’s not-so-christmas shindig. Part 2 will be about everything else.

I threw six Christmas parties in all with each one becoming more ridiculous as we went. We played several games and even had gift exchanges. 

I was going to do First Impressions on how Chinese kids celebrated Christmas, but I think I’ll write about the kids’ reactions to their Christmas parties.

                                                                 Kids Reactions to their class Christmas parties

1. They don’t understand the stealing concept in the white elephant christmas gift exchange. Some kids forfeited their chance to steal because they thought it wasn’t right.

Cecelia and Dora from Ninja Turtles class

2. Face the cookie game is tai lanfei le (wasteful) because many tasty cookies end up on the floor and in the trash

3.  The elephant trunk game is so much fun.

4. They love singing jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the waaaayyy. Oh what fun it is to ride in a oneblahblahblahblaheigh HEEY! They can never get that”one-horse open sleigh” part right. Even my older kids after two weeks of practice could never say it.
5. Chinese 3-4 year olds think the peppermint candy canes is too spicy and has lajiao (spicy pepper). Thankfully I had the rainbow sweet one for them.

6.  Shaun and a couple more of my Zootopia babies are petrified of glitter on people’s faces. I had to convince them that I was still their teacher and not a reindeer glitter monster.
                                                                                   The Not-So-Christmas Shindig

The School’s Christmas Party was an eventful night, but there was some strange things that I couldn’t quite wrap my head around. For example.

1. The clown. I got proof!!!

2. Kids posing with Snow White, the prince, and Santa Claus on the Red Carpet. Nice trio tho.

3. Me having to dance the Cha Cha Slide with the kids on stage…I don’t understand why our center didn’t choose a more festive song….or even asked us foreigners for advice….but remember the school never listens to it wouldn’t have made a difference. There are two parts to this song where our backs is turned towards the audience for like 20 seconds…LMAO

4. Pinocchio also made an appearance. I couldn’t get a photo but ill be on the hunt for it.

5. We couldn’t join the parents while they were eating and the school only prepared half cooked chicken sandwiches for us to eat. I couldn’t eat and I was STAAAAARVVVIIINNNGGG.. 

Anyway, this is what all went down on the school side of things during our white apocalyptic Christmas. During all these Christmas parties my immune system and my lungs were fighting for their dear lives as I couldn’t walk outside for some fresh air because it was non-existent!! I’m currently writing part 2. Look forward to that. I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays! For those of you in China, what are some strange things you have seen during Christmas?

Thanksgiving in China:济南


So instead of Taobao post let’s talk about Thanksgiving in China.

Thanksgiving is my second favorite holiday! Christmas being the first, Thanksgiving being the second and Halloween the third.


Since I’m living in Jinan, a turkey dinner is much harder to find. So without stuffing, cranberry sauce, and your favorite aunt’s macaroni and cheese, how did I celebrate Thanksgiving?!

Funny story, maybe.

So, the school tells us a week before in a meeting that they are going to prepare some food for us on Thanksgiving Day since we have to work.

“Hey, guys we are going to have some food for you at 12:30 pm on Thanksgiving. We are going to prepare pizza, chicken nuggets, bread, this type of things.” – Foreign Teacher Supervisor (who is Chinese)

I can accept the thought that counts, but us foreign teachers were like what?! pizza?! I suggested they just get the Beijing Duck and some Chinese vegetables since it’s the closest to what may be a Thanksgiving Dinner in America.

Did they listen?

Nope! They never listen. They ask for suggestions, but never listen. It’s the thought that counts right?

So, on Thanksgiving day,  a couple of us teachers arrived maybe 5 minutes past 12:30 thinking that things will be all nice and set up. Yeah we were delusional.

We walked into total madness, chaos, plastic gloves and smacking! They didn’t even wait for us! So much for “it’s the thought that counts.”


Thanksgiving Chaos only in China 🙂

I literally only ate a couple of oranges and two dumplings because everything was just everywhere.

After being let down, after work us teachers went to this restaurant called Fancy for a Thanksgiving Dinner It was okay. They tried their best to give us a meal as close to Thanksgiving as possible. However I was really missing “everybody aunt’s macaroni and cheese”. I also was craving stuffing, dirty rice and dinner rolls. I didn’t get any of that but it’s whatever.


Our Turkey Dinner at Fancy

All I know is I cannot miss another Thanksgiving. If I do, I’m either eating duck or hotpot.

Look forward to my posts about Christmas parties in class, our school’s Not-So-Christmas Shindig featuring a CLOWN and New Year’s in China.

I’ll probably post all this after New Year’s. All the holidays have sucked up my time. Anyway the blog is still alive, just slow.