Friday, December 30, 2011

hard boiled eggs

You would think that one of the easiest things to cook is a hard boiled egg. For me, it was always hit or miss when it came to boiling eggs until I came across this helpful technique from the Barefoot Contessa.

Place the eggs in a sauce pan and add enough cold water to cover.

Bring the water to a boil and immediately turn off the heat. Let the eggs sit in the pan for 15 minutes.

Remove the eggs to a bowl and allow to rest for at least 2 minutes. When the eggs are cool enough to handle, crack the eggs on each side and then roll them back and forth with your hand, breaking up the shell. Remove and discard the shell.

I just thought it would be a good idea to share this with you especially since I boil eggs on a daily basis.The Mister loves his egg salad sandwich and never tires of eating it every single day.

Do you have other tips for boiling eggs? Please do share.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

bike rides and wine tasting

My brother recently visited and spent two full weekends with us. Since he has already been here a couple of times before, we looked for new activities to do and new place to visit with him apart from the customary shopping. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there's so much more we haven't done and seen in the Twin Cities.

On his first weekend, we toured downtown Minneapolis on bicyles. I had a vision of myself wearing a dress while riding a vintage bicycle with the streamers hanging from the handlebars. But NO, I didn't wear a dress and we rode the Nice Ride rental bikes instead. I had dressed appropriately knowing that I haven't been on a bike for more than 15 years. You know,there is some truth in the saying "it's just like riding a bike". You really never forget how to do it. It did take me a while to get used to getting on and off the bike again without fumbling but I managed to get around and I actually quite enjoyed the experience. Now I understand why there are so many people who look forward to riding their bikes during the weekends.

Nice Ride Bike Station
The next Saturday, we visited the Alexis Bailly Vineyard in Hastings, MN for some wine tasting. I am no expert when it comes to wine but I would say most of their wines are on the sweet side which is why I really enjoyed all the bottles we tasted. The most memorable for me was the Bailly's Reserve Chocolate Port. It was bold, sweet and sexy all at the same time. We brought the little man with us too. He played with the resident dog while we sipped our wine. You could say we all had a great time.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

fall uniform: red and blue

My love affair with color only started early this year and now I can't imagine going back to my humdrum neutral ensembles even for the frigid season. One of my favorite combinations this fall is the classic red and blue. It's easy to pull off even if you only have a few minutes to get dressed. No need to check twice before heading out the door. 

red, white and blue
What about you? What's your go-to color combination?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

simple joys

Hello, bunnies! I realize I have been neglectful of my blog lately. Needless to say, some updating is in order.

Well, the inevitable birthday came up two weeks ago. My boys gave me the priceless gift of having a full day of ME-time which I spent getting pampered. As if that wasn't enough, mother nature also gave me the gift of a glorious summer day in October so we were able to enjoy the rest of the evening with a picnic at the park. 

birthday picnic with my two favorite people
A few days later, the Mister and I celebrated our 5th year anniversary as a married couple. Five years may not seem like a long time but if you add up all the years we've been together, it's more than half of my lifetime. He has been a part of my life for so long I couldn't even imagine how I would've turned out if I had not met him. Everyday I thank God for blessing me with a friend and a husband who continues to inspire me to be better. 
during a shcool project 17 years ago
the night we got engaged, june 2006
5 years later and still happily married
On a lighter note, the leaves have now litterally fallen and Bud was so excited just watching them being blown by the wind. We spend our afternoons playing with the leaves, kicking and squishing and throwing them up in the air. It's amazing how having a child has given me a new appreciation for such simple things.
fall in the city
 I hope all is well in your part of the world. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

would you rather be a mermaid or whale?

A friend of mine posted this on facebook and the message really hit home. 

Live, love and laugh, bunnies! 

A while back, at the entrance of a gym, there was a picture of a very thin and b...eautiful woman. The caption was "This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?"

The story goes, a woman (of clothing size unknown) answered the following way:

"Dear people, whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, seals, curious humans), they are sexually active and raise their children with great tenderness.
They entertain like crazy with dolphins and eat lots of prawns. They swim all day and travel to fantastic places like Patagonia, the Barents Sea or the coral reefs of Polynesia.
They sing incredibly well and sometimes even are on cds. They are impressive and dearly loved animals, which everyone defend and admires.

Mermaids do not exist.

But if they existed, they would line up to see a psychologist because of a problem of split personality: woman or fish?
They would have no sex life and could not bear children.
Yes, they would be lovely, but lonely and sad.
And, who wants a girl that smells like fish by his side?

Without a doubt, I'd rather be a whale.

At a time when the media tells us that only thin is beautiful, I prefer to eat ice cream with my kids, to have dinner with my husband, to eat and drink and have fun with my friends.

We women, we gain weight because we accumulate so much wisdom and knowledge that there isn't enough space in our heads, and it spreads all over our bodies.
We are not fat, we are greatly cultivated.
Every time I see my curves in the mirror, I tell myself: "How amazing am I ?! "

(The girl on the picture is French model Tara Lynn)

Friday, September 30, 2011

something to think about

Can you imagine how dull life must be without the gays' sense of humor? Have a happy weekend!

photos from here.

Monday, September 26, 2011

apple picking

It's that time of the year again. Our kitchen counter is littered with over a month's supply of apples. We already started the day with peanut butter on apple slices. I'm thinking I will be baking some apple cinnamon muffins and apple crumble in the next couple of days. Hmm, apple brown betty sounds good too. 

What are you favorite apple recipes? Please feel free to share!

Friday, September 23, 2011

fall uniform: purple pants

Today is officially the first day of fall but really temperatures have started dropping 2 weeks ago. I've already traded in my bright colored shorts for just-as-bright-colored pants. One item that I have been wearing on heavy rotation lately is a pair of purple pants. As you can see, it's been worn a lot in the past couple of days. It's really amazing how adding one new piece in your closet can make you see your clothes in a whole new light.

Have you gotten yourself a pair of colored pants yet? Would love to see how you've worn it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

i did it!

After weeks of training, the Mister and I finally ran our first half marathon race last Saturday, horray! But unlike the usual road race, we joined a trail race. I didn't realize what a trail race meant until we started running the course. I remember reading on the race information that 75% of the course would be on dirt trails and to expect challenging hills. It never occured to me that we would be racing on a forest hiking trail! What was I thinking? It felt more like an adventure race than a marathon. And when they said expect challenging hills, they were not kidding one bit. 

Running up the hills was not a problem. What was more challenging for me was running down. Who races down a steep dirt trail? Apparently, there are people who do it so I ran along with them. 

My biggest concern, when I finally realized what I got myself into, was tripping on a rock or sliding down the side of the hill. I had gotten through 2/3 of the race unscathed until I tripped on tree stump on the 11th mile and scraped my knee. The Mister was not surprised at all when he saw me at the finish line. He was already expecting it to happen on the first mile. At least, I was not the only one. There were quite a number of us with battle scars to show for .


I was a bit disappointed with my race time but at the end of the day I'm just proud of myself for doing something I have never thought of doing before. It was probably the most physically challenging activity I have ever done in my life. So much harder than the road race I was training for.  

photos c/o f/go photography

Thursday, September 8, 2011

a day at the fair

My mother-in-law arrived last weekend and we gave a her a hearty Minnesota welcome by bringing her to the State Fair. And what else is there to do in a State Fair than to eat, eat and eat. We binged on hotdog subs, corndogs, cheese curds, frozen custart and roasted corn. I also treated myself to a stick of fried Snicker bar and a cone of Sweet Martha's cookies. I was so tempted to buy a bucket of cookies but I remembered I will be running a half marathon on Saturday and didn't want to have a food coma before the race.

How was your Labor Day weekend?

Fried Snicker Bar

Sweet Martha's chocolate chip cookies

frozen custard

p.s. Last year's Texas State Fair here

Monday, September 5, 2011

plastic jars

I'm a self-confessed pack rat when it comes to empty jars and containers. Instead of throwing them in the recycling bin, my first instinct is to wash them and keep them in the cupboard just in case. The Mister would ask "just in case of what?"

Well, the plastic jars come in handy for organizing the little one's mess toys - blocks, magnets, puzzle pieces, crayons and whatnots.

Have a great week ahead, bunnies!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

welcome snack box

My mother-in-law is coming to visit and I thought this would be the perfect way to welcome her - with a snack box filled with all her favorites.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

goodbye summer

Today we celebrated the last hot day of summer with an afternoon swim at the lake. A fitting ending to three whole months filled with days in the sun, sand and water. Oh summer, we will miss you sorely!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

yogurt parfait

It only takes a couple of minutes to create this guilt-free treat. Start with a cup of plain yogurt, preferably fat free, and sweeten it with honey to your liking. Crush some fresh strawberries and add to the yogurt. Put scoop of the strawberry yogurt mixture in a cup/bowl/glass then add a layer of bittersweet chocolate chips. Put the remaining yogurt on top of the chocolate chips then chill in the freezer for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle with granola before eating. Bon Appetit!

Monday, August 29, 2011

fall looks for boys


I've never really given much thought about Bud's outfits in the past but then I stumbled upon this last weekend. Now I'm totally smitten with the idea of making him wear suspenders and cardigans for fall. Not only do the suspenders look uber cool, they're also a practical solution to keeping his pants from falling. Just in time now that he's outgrown his current pairs and will be transitioning to the bigger sized ones for fall.

I already did my research and found some reasonably priced suspenders in amazon. I 'm thinking of getting them in blue and red. As for the cardigan, I was pretty sure H&M would have some since I already got one in gray for Bud last Spring and true enough, they do.

Now, I wonder if Bud can pull off wearing red pants?

Friday, August 26, 2011

mommy musings: photo diary

Is it just me or do you also feel the need to capture your child's every milestone, laughter and crazy antic on camera? If only it's possible to immoratalize every single moment from the day of their birth. Thanks to digital photography it's so much easier to do that these days. Gone are the days when the first 3 years of your life is summarized in one measly album(yeah, I'm talking about me and my treasured collection of baby photos).

Bud is only two and we've already amassed thousands of photos of him. True, not all are great so every now and then I sort through them and choose the ones that are facebook quality, so to say. I like adding captions when I post pictures on facebook or when I send them to family back home. I feel even if a picture is already worth a thousand words, writing a couple more words just makes it more meaningful.

Before Bud's Christening we never brought him with us to social events. He only went out of the house to go to the doctor or to go to UP (University of the Philippines) for early morning walks. Only our close family and friends visited him for the first 3 months he was home from the NICU. On the 4th month we decided he was ready to meet everyone else and that's when we had him baptised. Since most of the guests would be seeing him for the first time, I thought it would be a good idea to show them how he has grown from the time he came home until his baptism.

Each table at the reception had several postcards with different photos and captions. Having printed photos of Bud seemed more personal than just having a slide show. I also wanted the guests to take their time getting to know him through the photos.

I was very pleased that all the guests wrote meaningful and lengthy messages for Bud. When he's old enough, it would be his turn to look at those photos and read the messages for him.

For my latest project, I borrowed this idea from Trisha of Playtime Break. I'm thinking of blowing this up to poster size and hang it in his room.

What about you? How do you organize your photos? Do you make scrapbooks or photobooks? Please share.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

layering for fall

With summer officially coming to a close in less than 2 weeks, I'm already putting together outfits for fall. I won't lie to you. I really enjoy playing dress up and I especially like the challange of coming up with stylish ways to use the same pieces of clothing for four different seasons.

Fall is all about layering and texture. Have a look at the first of many ensembles I have already thought of.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

toddler-approved recipe: strawberry cream cheese

You probably noticed by now how much I love strawberries. It's a pantry staple in our household and I find such pleasure in discovering different ways of incorporating it into our breakfast and snack fares. Here's another simple, healthy and yummy strawberry recipe.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Spread

2 wedges Laughing Cow Swiss Cheese

5 pcs Strawberries, hulled

Mash the strawberries and the cheese together. Spread on a piece of whole grain toast or bagel. Enjoy!

p.s. More strawberry recipes here, here and here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

books we love: the little mouse, the red ripe strawberry and the big hungry bear

It's the end of the week again, bunnies. Will you be shopping around for books this weekend? How do you choose what books to buy your kids? Do you do an advance research online or do you just browse at the bookstore? Me? I love browsing at the bookstore. I could spend hours looking at books and that's just at the children's section. Another thing I do is to borrow a ton of books from the library that way I get to test out the stories first then I buy the ones that Bud really enjoys.

I thought it would be a nice thing to share with you one of the books that we love to read over and over. Have a look and just maybe it would be something you could enjoy reading with your little one as well.

Have a great weekend!


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