Mom Cave

Mom Cave:

Defined as a place for said Mom (me) to enjoy times of rest, solitude, multi-tasking, watching movies, reading,
catching up on DVR’d shows, iPad-time, productivity, snuggling and business alike;
similar to the popular ‘Man Cave’ that we all know about…just cuter because well, it has “Mom’s touch”.

This past Christmas, the Hubby and I decided not to do our usual ‘showering of gifts’ for each other. Instead, we decided to choose one thing that we really wanted (or needed). So naturally, he requests a table cigar torch lighter. So manly, right? I threw in a “Stinky Ash Tray” that we wanted as well. I, on the other hand, wanted AND needed a new desk. My current office space consisted of…ready for this? A black wobbly folding table and about 2 feet of paperwork, junk mail, magazines sitting on top of it. Oddly enough, I was able to miraculously know where all my ‘important items’ were located on the heap of mess. But I was tired of looking at it and honestly, I would feel a burst of stress shoot through my body every time I looked that way.

Hubby took my Christmas gift to the next level by doing a whole office makeover. The ‘office makeover’ turned into a ‘space makeover’ hence my new Mom Cave. We got rid of a love seat that was taking up WAY too much space in our crowded master bedroom – amazingly enough, it freed up so much space!

I will post pictures as soon as I complete the makeover – planning to paint a couple of walls this weekend first! So excited!

What a Difference a Year Makes – Hello, 2014!

So, I took a few months hiatus to deal with some unexpected real-life surprises (not all good ones, btw) and take care of my loved ones – I needed some time to take care of myself, as well. Life challenged me the last few months of 2013 – the realization that someone was dying; dealing with the aftermath of my brother’s separation; keeping the sense of normalcy in our family during the holidays; and keeping myself focused and positive.

After several patio-sessions with my husband to vent, discuss, and hopefully reach a point of clarity, I came to this conclusion:

I will no longer give my time to those who have hurt me, ignored me,
or just haven’t invested in a relationship with me.

One may consider this harsh or heartless, and it took many hours and days of thinking this through to realize that a decision that may be so easy for others to make, was not such an easy one for me. But after reflecting over the past year and appreciating the people who bring me joy compared to the “Others”, I saw it as a simple math problem.

Me + Loved Ones = Happiness and Appreciation
Me + “Others” = Disappointment and Frustration

The simple thing to do next was to decide that it was time to let go of the hope that people will carry the same love, respect and value for relationships as I do, and to be ok with that. Not everyone is built the same way; but I know how I’m built and I know what I am able to handle. Don’t be mistaken; this does not mean I will be walking around scowl-faced and angry at the world. No, not at all. It only means that life is too short – why waste time on people who don’t care about you or those who you really wouldn’t choose to be in your life in the first place. My attention and time will go to the supporting cast; everyone else are just like props in the background. The cast of characters play a role [in your life]; the props are just there. Wish them well, let go, and move on. Onward and upward, 2014!

 

 

Phoebe’s 1st Birthday

Phoebe Kaleah

Phoebe Kaleah

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My sweet darling Phoebe turned one last month – hooray! Phoebe is the baby of our family and brings so much laughter and joy to our lives. She is always smiling, laughing, dancing and giving kisses. We celebrated her first birthday with a Sesame Street themed party in our neighborhood park.

We tried to make this party special, personalized but also easy on us. We were a week away from going on vacation and in the middle of lots of changes. Easy peasy and fun was the goal.

  • We kept the cooking to a minimum and ordered most of the food – El Pollo Loco, R&B Filipino Food, NY Giant Pizza
  • We ordered cupcakes from the neighborhood grocery store and placed Sesame Street rings on top
  • We made a special ‘Phoebe 1’ sign to go with the theme and made a great photo prop
  • We hosted the party earlier than usual (and had breakfast items to go with the earlier time)
  • We chose a park just up the street from our house
  • We had Sesame Street inspired games like “How many cookies are in the jar?” and “Cookie toss”

Happy birthday to my babydoll, Phoebe! Your loving and playful spirit brings a smile to my face every single day.
Keep laughing, learning, and dancing! Mommy loves you so much and I can’t wait to watch you grow and change.

Gratitude

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Family

I just came back from a week-long trip to Florida. Intended to be a business trip, my boss gave me the blessing to make it a personal one as well. I have over a dozen first cousins (my Dad being the oldest of 10 children) in Jacksonville, Florida; I haven’t seen most of them in over 10 years! They were kids when I last saw them and now many of them are college grads, in their career, homeowners, parents, etc. Even though I only had a few days with my cousins, we were able to build amazing memories together that make me smile or giggle when I think about them. Truly, truly grateful for these amazing people I call my cousins and my family. I miss them so much. :(

Grateful

I am grateful for my Best Friend – after over 20+ years, I feel like I can tell her anything, trust her with all my heart, and know that no matter what, she will always be there to listen and support me. I can only wish that each of my kids has that one friend who has been as special and instrumental in their lives like she has been to me. I was able to spend quality time with her – something I wish we had more time to do – and it was so therapeutic, so good for my soul. :)

The Meaning Behind “No”

When you say YES to others

saying no

On most days, I am the “YES woman” – hardly ever would you hear me say NO to anyone in my family, especially my kids, or my friends, or my co-workers. But in recent weeks, I have been feeling overextended and run down. At times, I have this FOMO thing (Fear Of Missing Out) when it comes to anything having to do with my kids. Today, my Hubby offered to take our 5 year old and her older sister to the Bridgit Mendler concert, when it was me originally. His intentions are good – he wanted me to rest after surviving the JB concert a few days prior. I have to accept these offers like they’re gifts, and know that sometimes I need to say no and take care of myself, regroup, refocus and just rest.

Fancy Eating – Day 2

Here’s what I threw together yesterday – I was trying to make use of some ingredients I had on hand, as well as some leftovers (aka carne asada – LOL).

Dish #1
Ciabatta bread with olive oil and salt
Topped with goat cheese, prosciutto, grape tomatoes, and carne asada – roasted in the oven for 30 minutes

Toasted Ciabatta

Toasted Ciabatta

Dish #2
Spaghetti pan-fried with bacon fat (oh yeah), scrambled eggs, and parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Finished with roasted zucchini slices and grape tomatoes. Served with balsamic vinegar on the side.

A Fresh Version of Pasta Carbonara ala Zucchini and Tomatoes

A Fresh Version of Pasta Carbonara ala Zucchini and Tomatoes

Fancy Eating – Day 1

Do you ever feel bored? Feel like you need a change? Need to feel inspired? Well, that was me at about 2:30pm yesterday. I was incredibly exhausted and feeling uninspired – not because I’m not surrounded by inspiration but I wasn’t tapping INTO my sources of inspiration. Enough is enough – I needed to do something different and feeling tired was not an excuse! It was beautiful San Diego weather for crying out loud – I needed to honor that somehow, so I decided to surprise my Hubby (and myself) with a nice, light and fancy dinner in our patio.

Recently on a date night, we were blown away by a brussel sprouts appetizer! Never in my wildest dreams did I think brussel sprouts would blow my mind. But they did! So I decided to challenge myself and make a copycat of that healthy, delicious appetizer. A little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, bacon fat (oh yeah) and voila after about 30 minutes of roasting! Success, I thought, and so did my Hubby :)

The next part of my fancy dinner was inspired by me craving a good crostini or bruschetta. I improvised on this one – no fig jam, so I replaced with apricot and it worked just beautifully. I also didn’t feel like buying a pot of basil leaves, so instead I bought a bag of arugula – again, beautiful and delicious!

To make dinner even fancier, I bought a bottle of red wine. Perfection. Sometimes, it’s fun to be spontaneous, even when I’m tired. ;-)

Crostinis and Brussel Sprouts

Crostinis and Brussel Sprouts

My Little Belieber

A few years ago, when Ella was only 2 (and already a huge JB fan), she had the opportunity to attend his concert. Unfortunately, she was feeling under the weather and I just didn’t think she was well enough, or even old enough, to enter into the pandemonium that is known to all as “Bieber Fever”.

I thought maybe she’ll grow out of her love for Justin Bieber, perhaps she will like a new artist…but no. She has been a loyal fan for the past 3 or so years! So I decided to make it a goal for myself to take her to a Justin Bieber concert and make this a special memory for her.

It happened last Saturday – I seriously stayed home all day to save all my energy for what we were getting ourselves into that night. From the moment she opened the surprise package with the tickets inside to the moment JB himself stepped onto the stage, she was ecstatic, and I found myself just watching the excitement on her face and really relishing that moment.

Ready for her very first concert experience

Ready for her very first concert experience

Ella and Mommy

Ella and Mommy

Her official 2013 concert tour shirt

Her official 2013 concert tour shirt

Popcorn...of course!

Popcorn…of course!

JB on stage!

JB on stage!

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