Random Thoughts Thursday

  • Whoa, I didn’t really blog a lot in September…too much going on, too many changes, and not enough time.
  • One thing I am happy about is how much time I spent with friends – Hubby and I had a double-date night at our favorite Top Chef contestant, Brian Malarkey’s new restaurant in Del Mar, Burlap! I also had sushi with my BFF, enjoyed dinner with one of my good friends from HSBC, and partied with our old UT and MTX friends. GOOD TIMES!
  • Ella is going to be Snow White this Halloween! :)
  • Excited for my niece/goddaughter’s 3rd birthday party this Saturday.
  • Ella has been doing well at drop-offs at pre-school – it makes me so happy to see her making new friends and learning new things at her new school. I think our new routine for her is working out great.
  • I absolutely LOVE Ella’s preschool – go Childtime!
  • Excited for all the fall fun ahead: Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland and our Spooktacular Halloween Party
  • So proud of 10 year old for making Honor Choir – she even sang a song she learned to me last night.
  • Can I just say how happy it makes me when our 18 year old texts me to check up on me knowing I’m not feeling well? He very much resembles his Dad in that sense. Truly lucky to have them both.
  • Looking forward to a very lazy Sunday…no plans and Hubby isn’t working this weekend. Woohoo!
  • Can’t believe it’s almost October — I don’t know about you, but this felt like THE longest month EVER!

Me & Big Brother at JJ's Gaslamp

B, Hubby, Chef Malarkey, Me & Nina: Burlalp


Borrowed from Taste of Home Magazine

In the spirit of Fall and Halloween, I decided to do a little food inspired Q&A borrowed from the October 2011 Taste of Home magazine:

Halloween’s here! Which candy candy calls your name? Snickers, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and Peanut M&Ms!

Any food foul-ups? I have definitely had some “learning experiences” in the kitchen. And I’m a bit of a clutz too – I recently sliced my finger on the edge of a tuna can.

How do you avoid disasters? I try to be very careful, but I consider myself a multi-tasker in the kitchen. It works out for me MOST of the time. I just try not to rush when I’m in the kitchen, because taking short-cuts sometimes leads to disasters.

Do you improvise or stick to the script (recipe)? When it’s baking, I stick to the recipe. When it’s Filipino cuisine, I don’t follow a recipe – I just rely on my taste buds and adjust accordingly.

Leftovers, love ’em or leave ’em? Love ’em! :)

Any leftovers in your fridge right now? Yes – leftover phad seeyew noodles from our dinner last weekend. Can’t wait to warm that up! Nom nom nom…

Ever cook from a box? Absolutely! We always have boxed mac and cheese on hand for when Ella is craving it.

What’s your must-have gadget? A good pair of kitchen sheers – I use it for more than just opening up packages of food!

Do you have a secret ingredient? Yes, but it will remain a secret. ;)

My Little Pre-Schooler

As a Mommy, seeing your kid off on her first day of school can be bittersweet! You want nothing more than for them to thrive and be independent, but deep down inside, you want them to still need you. Yesterday was my little one’s first day at pre-school. She had a wonderful first day and I am so proud of her. The best part was when I picked her up, she ran up to me and she said “Mommy, I missed you!” :)

Ready for school...

Her CubbyReady for school...

Happy face :)

Top Five: Things to Do With My Family

1. Have Meals Together: When I was growing up, my folks were pretty casual about our meals. We didn’t really sit together around a table but it didn’t take away from how memorable those meals were — my folks are Top Chefs in my book! Fast-forward to my life today as a mother of 4, I look forward to preparing and enjoying meals with my family. It is our way to catch up on each other’s lives and be part of something together as a family. One of the most important parts of our family ritual is prayer before the meal. It makes me smile that Ella is old enough now to lead the prayer. :)

2. Go on Vacation: For a family our size (6), it’s a challenge to go on vacation…but I refuse to say that it’s impossible. After all, vacations – no matter the destination – is about being together, enjoying each other’s company and most of all relaxing. In the past, we’ve traveled to San Francisco and Los Angeles. This summer we’re taking the troops to Las Vegas.  Hubby and I are excited to show them some of our favorite LV places to eat, take them school shopping at the Fashion Show Mall, and let’s not forget the fancy pool at the resort we’re staying at — I can be there ALL day!

3. Cooking / Baking: I especially enjoy this during the Fall/Winter seasons…there is just something SO comforting about baking cookies, cakes, soups and stews with my kids. All of my kids are interested in cooking and helping out in the kitchen. Thanks to us, we jokingly labeled them ‘food critics’. :)

4. One-on-One Dates: Having four kids ranging from 3 all the way to 18, it’s important to me to have that one-on-one time with them. But I highly recommend it no matter how many kids you have! It’s a time where they get your undivided attention, they get spoiled, and you create a special memory together. For me, it’s fun to plan these dates and because they are in different stages of their lives, it’s a challenge for me to figure out what might interest them combined with I know they love.

5. Christmas Traditions: From decorating the tree, to baking, to wrapping gifts, to our traditional Secret Santa gift exchange, and our drive through Christmas Card Lane…I love all it all. Something special is truly in the air when Christmas approaches. This year will be special since all of our kids are with us this year. I am determined to make sure that the season doesn’t fly by but that we relish every day leading up to Christmas.