Friday, February 28, 2014

Meatless Fridays : Easy Quinoa Soup

So what exactly is a quinoa { KEEN wah }? It is a seed that can be cook like a whole grain ( like barley or rice) . Quinoa is high in fiber, has plenty of protein, vitamins and minerals. It is a healthier alternative than white rice. If you want to read more about quinoa , its benefits and history you can read it here : World's Healthiest Food ( whf.org) . There are also a lot of recipes that you can use quinoa or incorporate them too like salads and soups.

I sometimes put it with my beef stew recipe. Quinoa Kitchen Recipes offers good ans tasty recipes. Buying it organic is best. I buy mine in bulk at Costco. We do not have a Whole Foods store near us so I really do not know the price or savings that I can get. Buying it at Costco is usually cheaper than the nearest grocery store here. This quinoa soup recipe is very simple and easy. Even our two girls had them for dinner. Flavorful and perfect for cold winter nights!







Ingredients:

1 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup diced onion
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup Quinoa
1 cup fresh  chopped tomatoes
1 - 1 1/2 cup of chopped carrots
2 bay leaves
4 cups Chicken Broth ( Homemade is healthier) , can use Vegetable Broth
2 cups water
1 cup Black beans, homemade or use canned,  no salt added
1/2 cup green peas
1-2 cups chopped broccoli
1/2 cup Parsley

Directions:

In a large pot , Heat oil and Saute your onion . Add garlic tomato , cumin and basil. Let it simmer for about 2 minutes.


Add the carrots , quinoa  bay leaves,


and 2 cups of broth only. Cover and let boil.


 Add the rest of the broth , water, peas, broccoli and parsley.

Let it boil and add the black beans ( I added the black beans lastly because it was precooked and it do not want it to be mushy).

Let it simmer for about 3-5 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked and the broccoli is tender.



Simple , healthy and really good.



 

Crunchy Biscuit Chicken 
  




Thursday, February 27, 2014

DIY Baby Memory Frame Box

I am a sentimental junkie and I'm proud of it. The birth of our girls are one of those life's precious moments that I will never get tired to reminisce. It is my happy mojo. My hubby once told me , Lucy made us a family and Lily made our family complete.

Trying to choose on all of the memorable keepsakes of our newborn can be a challenging one , we can't hoard on everything since there will be a whole lot of "First" on our children's lives. This is an easy and cheap project to make for that keepsake you choose to display and protect.






As for my Memory box , We kept their :

Onesies -- the onesie that my husband bought from the hospital's gift shop right after their birth. It has milk stains on it...they wore it during their first weeks. I didn't bother to remove the stains. They are special like that. ( again ..I'm a sentimental junkie).

Lily's beanie from the hospital.

Lucy's mittens

Hospital birth cards and bracelets

Their beautiful picture at the hospital.

 Ultrasound pictures.

For this project you will need:

Shadow Box Frame

Some Scrapbook paper for the background

Glue gun to secure your materials

Embellishment to decorate your memory box, I made  flowers out of felt fabric.


It always bring a smile to my face whenever I see this,  it never fails.  How fast they grow..

 
I have these proudly displayed in our hallway.


A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for ”


Check these easy projects too!

DIY Family Signs







Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Our Interracial Marriage ..Differently Beautiful.



  When I  re launched my blog last year , my hubby suggested that I write about Interracial Marriage. My response was , I will deeply think about it. As I do not want to sound like an expert on Marriage , like any other marriage we work on our marriage every single day. During highs and lows we are in this together.

 We live in a society now that Interracial Marriage is far more accepted than let's say 50 yrs ago. It actually was against the law. However , there are still some naysayers out there. 



If you may ask ..yes we do get the stares sometimes. I do not wish to know what's on every body's mind , since we are all entitled to our own opinion. It becomes comical at times, when they would stare at us first..then the glance would shift to our girls. Most of the times with those stares , I am tempted  to say .." Aren't they just beautiful  ? " . But we would just smile at them. and we get the  " you guys have beautiful kids". ( of course in my head , I silently say..you dare not say anything wrong about our kids or you would see the mama bear in me). It is different when you have kids, you always have the "ninja mode" , to protect them from cynical comments.

Believe it or not , when we first met and started dating.. I've encountered a LOT of ridiculous questions, comments and opinions.

Lets begin shall we?

I will put this on top as this was the funniest and most ridiculous question I've got. Ever.

1. So khit , does he smell bad? because you know , foreigners are known to smell when they don't shower . They have a smell , a distinct smell.

----> REALLY?  Well newsflash my friend. Anyone , who doesn't shower and take care of themselves will stink. and you know what I smell in this -- the scent of insensitivity.

2. Marrying an American is your ticket to a good life .

----> I have heard comments and stories about this a lot too. That oftentimes ,  It is perceived that entering a  mixed marriage is a passport to end a less fortunate life. Marry for the right reason. LOVE.  not because the other person , will help your family out of poverty or earn more money.  I had this conversation with a friend when one of her relatives started dating an American. While again dating online might not all be success stories , still when I heard what her relatives had to say with the relationship I was a appalled.  .." how sure are you that this American will help you get out of this poorness , what if he is just using you ". Who's using who here? Working hard will get you out of an impoverished life.



3. That my husband had missed the boat on dating and could not just find a white girl to date and marry.

----> So I have wrote about how we met ( you can read it here : How mom met dad ). We were both not looking for a serious relationship when we met. We are both cautious to begin with because we had been "burned" and hurt by our past relationship. And when we started out as friends..I was not the only girl he was talking to. So it is not like he ran out of ladies..But just like what he always tell me..The heart wants what the heart wants. Rob wasn't out there to find him a white girl , but couldn't . .He found me because he wants a girl who will deeply love him no matter what.



4. Green card.

----> Marrying for a green card does happen and I am in no position to judge anyone who chose this path. Rob and I were not immune to this question.  I once told my hubby back in the day that if he thinks I'm in this relationship for "that".  He needs to turn his back and just stop dating me. .  I am very lucky to have a man , that I didn't have to prove my intention and vice versa. .He knows my values and stand on marriage and I know his.



5. Mixed Marriage is hard with all the differences.

----> As with the same race marriage..all marriages have differences. We love and embrace our  differences in culture and beliefs. sometimes language barrier too. He is very respectful of my culture and we both do our best to be open minded.  I remember telling him all the superstitious beliefs we have , and he told me that some he doesn't understand at all. He is respectful in a way that he let me do certain things ( example " positioning our daughters bed in our bedroom ) without laughing at me or any ridicule. Our differences are not a big deal to us , not even a major topic in our house. If I have to say it still,  we are just a normal couple and family.  



6. Why marry an American or a Filipino?

---> why not? Well, he is handsome obviously .Rob  is one of the most calm , relaxed and good person you'll ever known. and I like calm..I like peace and relaxed ..and the good hearted man in him is just a win win for me. I love his sense of humor , and I love to laugh.  He makes me happy. We got married because we love each other. We respect , trust and honor each other. We understood each other even when words are not spoken. We got married because we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. 


In love, there is no label ..there is no .." white" , " brown" or " black". 

That is why I love 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8

Truly , we can not please everybody. It is okay to be curious but it is not okay to just flat out spew hate. If someday we'll run across a person who disapproves of our marriage , I'll be glad to tell them' spend a day with us. We are just like any couple. We have differences but we are differently beautiful. If you can not look past our skin color and that "race thing" , you will never see us at our best. 



My beautiful family...





If you are new here and would like to read more about me and what's my blog about..

Read it here : About Me



I would love to connect with you! 








Wednesday, February 19, 2014

To the Momma who breastfeeds..Proud of you , But please don't rub it in.

 Before anything else, I BREASTFED our youngest daughter Lily until she was 18 mos. It wasn't easy at first..dang it hurts. A week into painstakingly non stop breastfeeding , I went to see a lactation consultant. I am determined to breastfeed her because I want all the best for her like all mothers. I don't care even if I was crying or in pain , there's got to be a way. Maybe I was breastfeeding her wrong. After seeing the doctor and lactation consultant (thanks to clogged ducts) I know now , what to do.

I refused to take antibiotics and did all the homeopathic remedies I could..( and you could imagine). Fast forward now.. yes I am really proud I gave that gift to her. I know all the breast milk benefits..the bonding..the savings it offers , the time you can save .. just that precious bonding between you and your baby. I know all of that.





Now , with our eldest. I was not able to breastfeed. She was born through emergency C section ( so much for my birth plan). She had a rough start , we call her a miracle baby. I was very blessed to be in the right hospital at the right time. Since she ingested a lot of meconium  , she didn't have a heartbeat when she came out.

Fast forward a few hours later  she had to go straight to NICU. I did not see our beautiful daughter until the 2nd day. I wanted to breastfeed. No matter what. But I couldn't. I felt helpless because of the way she was born, that was not my plan. They had to monitor her to make sure that all of her organs are working. They can't offer my milk yet and  not even a formula. We had to wait for every "passed medical test" before feeding her.

I did ALL the best I can. We made sure to inform every nurse who took care of her and will take care of her to NOT give formula when she's  finally given the green light to eat. I pumped the heck out my tatas. Every two- three hours. I've turned in bags and bags of frozen breast milk to the NICU. Going home without our first born was the most difficult one. Even then we did not falter. We still kept the breast pumping session on schedule.

Even though she stayed almost a month in the NICU, not a single bottle of formula was given to her. We did a lot of trips to the hospital to see our precious baby and to deliver that golden liquid. I also did the best I can to offer the breast. Did the nipple shield... you name it  I did the best I can. When we got home, my husband and I tried over and over again to offer the boob. She just won't take the boob. That was a whole new level of frustration and helplessness I got really sad. There are times that I would blame myself and overthink what was I doing wrong. What would other moms will think of me? That I am selfish? or that I am not mom enough.
 
I wanted that bonding everyone was talking about. I felt like a bad mom. My hubby was a great support reminding me of how strong , good and determined of a mother I am. I am her Mom. I will bond to her.

When I see and read any post or message on social media about breastfeeding. It is one thing to be proud of it and to be an advocate of it..but it is one thing to just rub it in.  Not all mothers are fortunate to have that privilege, there are a lot of circumstances and situations where a mother could not breastfeed. All mothers wants the best for their precious baby. I am an advocate of breastfeeding  and I will encourage you to keep on trying even when it hurts..keep your eye on the goal even if all you see is just a drop of milk after several minutes of painful feedings.  What I will not support is the bashing.

Let us leave the bashing to those..who beats and abuse their children or neglects their babies.

To the breastfeeding mom , kudos to you. It may not be the right choice for some mom but it is the best choice. You are amazing ! It is not easy but I promise you that it is worth it. If you breastfeed in public , because you know your baby needs it...if you know that your babies needs is much more important than the people who might be offended when you breastfeed . I admire you.

To the mom who can't breastfeed , you are amazing too! You are not powerless. You will bond to your child. You are not failing. There are a million ways to be a good mother. Don't listen to that guilt . You do what you have to do for your baby and you. Being a good and awesome mom does not stop at breastfeeding so don't beat yourself up when your situation calls for a bottle. A happy and healthy momma matters too.














Monday, February 17, 2014

Letters of Week : Bb and Cc


 ** The Letter of the Week for Preschool series  may contain affiliate links . Read full  disclosure HERE. It will also feature several links and other awesome blogs to which I will give credit for their great job .

 
To save money , local library is a good option. You can also use whatever books you may have in your home library to supplement with the lesson. 

Books to read 


Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

I Like Bugs: The Sound of B (Wonder Books Phonics Readers; Consonants)

Ben, Billy, and the Birdhouse: The Sound of B (Phonics Friends)

Bb (Alphabet Set I)

Bears on Chairs

Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You : Dr. Seuss's Book of Wonderful Noises (Bright and Early Board Books)

Where Is Baby's Belly Button? A Lift-the-Flap Book

Butterfly and the Bog Beast : A Book about Butterfly Camouflage (Magic School Bus)

 Start out by saying the letter out loud. Teaching her  the phonetic sound of the letter. Next is the tracing of both  upper case and lower case letter B.


Do a Dot Activity

Download the Letter Bb , do a dot page here for free :

Confessions of a Homeschooler ( please read her terms with printing her free printables , it is for personal use only and it can not be use for monetary purposes)


Markers and Do a Dot Markers Can be purchased here :

 

We did a Bb is for Ballerina puzzle , it also teaches number sequence.
This puzzle can be downloaded for free here : Confessions of a Homeschooler Printables 
They are for personal use only. Please read her guidelines.


Cut and Paste Activity

Using a block letter B , we cut small pieces of construction paper , and she pasted the cut outs making a collage.


And another puzzle...


We read the books , I've suggested above. When you read to them , make sure you put emphasis on the words that starts with the letter B. Also , when reading it is good to run your fingers on each word ..and sentences. You can actually let them repeat the word after you.

We ended the lesson with computer time . I used ABCmouse.com and starfall to supplement with the Bb letter of the week.

For a list of free learning online resources/ websites , see here : List of Learning Websites - free printable




Letter Cc

 Books to Read
 


Cc (Alphabet Set I)

Celine and Cedric Go to the Circus: The Sound of Soft C (Phonics Friends)

Cassie And Carl (First Sounds)


 Chelsey And Chad (First Sounds)


 Carrie's Surprise: The Sound of Hard C (Sounds of Phonics)

The Construction Crew

 The Cat in the Hat (Beginner Books(R))

 Chicken And Cat

 The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Start out again by saying the letter C out loud. Teaching her  the phonetic sound of the letter. 

We did line tracing , to practice her fine motor skills.
 

and we also did a lacing activity.


Find this C is for caterpillar magnet page here : Confessions of a Homeschooler 

It is free and for personal use only. I bought this glass rocks at the dollar store . If you prefer to use the power magnets, which any kid loves ( just put the piece of paper on top of a cookie sheet) , order or buy here :  Officeship 100 Pieces Power Magnets, 3/4 inch Diameter, Assorted Colors  






Look for different things in your house that starts with the letter C.


Though your young ones, may already knows most of it.  Print or write labels on each of the items you found , read it out to them. Make them repeat after you while running your fingers on each of the word.


We did an upper case and lower case matching ( and color matching too!)




A do a dot activity after reading the The Very Hungry Caterpillar book.


painting and art activity.


of course Jumping bean does some painting too.



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