Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Spiralizer

As badly as I want to try out my new sous vide, my fridge is full so I've been holding myself back from going grocery shopping. But being sick is boring! So I decided to try this out instead. Sorry kids! You can have a turn next time!

Now that my youngest is in school a few mornings a week, I've been trying to finally do all the things I've (im)patiently been waiting to do. One of the projects on my list is to eat and cook healthier foods for myself and my family. I've never been your typical "skinny Asian girl" and the main reason is probably because I've always eaten everything I've ever wanted...literally, everything. Portion control, what? Literally, the best I've ever looked, and the most confident I've ever been, was each of the three times I was pregnant, ha! And we all know that women's bodies are not the same after having kids and also with age. So began my little journey towards a healthier lifestyle and this is just one of many steps I'm taking.

I stumbled across this "spiralizer" on the Nom Nom Paleo site. As many times as I've considered getting a Vitamix, I'm usually not too into kitchen gadgets. But this was not an expensive purchase and I really knew I would use this. I love Italian and I also love noodles and pasta. I've lowered my carb intake before but missed the yummy marinara sauces, Rao's being my fave. This was my answer.

Paderno Spiral Slicer

The main reasons why I love this is:
1. added nutrition
2. low carbs & calories
3. quicker cooking time
4. fun for kids

I've been trying to get the kids more and more involved in food decision making, as well as prepping and cooking meals. Getting kids involved with the everyday really does something to their little brains. It's like magic. Suddenly, they're excited to eat new foods, they think everything tastes so good, they think I'm the best cook, and having taken part of it all builds their confidence. I'll take those things any day!

If you want to know more, this chick Ali is the spiralizer guru and goes into the details of all the benefits here.

Getting back to actually using it...
It was very easy to put together, use and clean up. It worked exactly the way I expected with no unexpected glitches.

I was planning on cooking these "noodles" in a pan with a little bit of cooking oil but having no energy, I covered the bowl and threw them in the microwave for a little under 2 minutes. I had leftover sauce and threw some spicy mango & jalapeno chicken meatballs in (Aidells, can be found at Costco) and a few minutes later had this yummy little snack. (Yes, my snacks are mini meals.)

I literally inhaled it. Part of me was expecting it to taste too "healthy" but it was so yummy! And an unexpected plus was that I could use chopsticks! I don't use forks unless there are no chopsticks around.

I was surprised that Bed Bath didn't carry this. If you have a 20% off any item promo code at Williams Sonoma, get one there. Otherwise, Amazon seems to have a better regular price. If you happen to get one there, please use my affiliate link. I get a few pennies and it's no additional cost to you.

There are lots of other veggies and recipes I'm going to try from Ali's site. Take a peek if you're curious. For me, the next step is to make this for the hubs to see his thoughts. Will let you know!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

"You're a Nice Mom"

me: M, what kind of mom am I?
M: You're a nice mom. You're a faither mom. 'Cause you have faith. You're a studying mom. 'Cause you study knitting. (LOL) You're a cooking mom. I like what you cook. You're a nice mom.

Then he tipped his head to the side to touch mine.

God knows how to send me just the right kind of love to give me a boost.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Today, Maxx learned what genetics was. One of the examples I gave him was that we had the same toes.
"Mommy, when you pass and go to heaven, I'm going to look at my toes and think about you."
I became mush.

Today, the first person to wish me a Happy Valentine's Day with hugs all day was my Ellie. No one gives me more hugs daily than my Ellie.

Nowadays, when I tell Iann that I love him, he responds with "I love you a lot." He said it all on his own. Love. And today, in the car on the way to pick up the big kids...
Iann: When I'm a grown up, I'm going to sit there. (Pointing to the driver's seat where I am.)
me: What about me?
Iann: You can sit there. (Pointing to passenger seat.) And I'm going to drive you when I'm a grown up.

And as a grand finale, the hubs left work early to pick up one of my fave foods, Taqueria, on his way home from work. We always go to the one in Jersey City but he totally surprised me this time and picked up from a New York location. Might seem small but it really is the little things.

Oh happy day.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Ellie is 3!

This post is waaaay overdue but I wanted to make sure to write my Ellie a little note when I found some time.

Dear Ellie,

This past year you've become a real little girl, no more baby Ellie. You started a 2's preschool program and are doing amazingly. You still miss me now and then but you always get over it and are that happy little camper you are. It takes literally, so little, to make you happy. I love that. Some people say you're just like me but in all honesty, I wish I was like you. You're so free spirited and you love people so easily and somehow get them to love you in the blink of an eye. You are such the determined one. You demand (I mean ask, haha) to do everything yourself...everything. You always try and if you need help, will then always ask. Then you'll try again and when you finally get it, you beam with pride and I always laugh cause in that moment, I feel like we're the same person. From getting yourself dressed and undressed by yourself to coming in and out of the car/carseat all by yourself, it all has helped me sooooo much these past few months in raising you and your brothers. You have no idea right now but one day you'll know. ;)

You know, everytime you see your oppa at school, I hear you guys cause a long lost loves. Even though it's not okay to tackle hug each other at school, I hope you two are always that close and that as Iann gets older, that you bring him into that special bond as well.

Sometimes I tell people you're like a little boy, the way you are so crazy and wild in how you play with your brother and the other boys. But you are so much a sweet little girl and the way you love clothes, accessories and PINK! I used to dread that color but now it just reminds me of you so I'm good with it too. And oh, you know what I love? I love love love that you love arts and crafts! You make the wanna-be crafter in me so happy.

More than anything, I hope you always know how special you are. And how beautiful you are on the inside, not just the outside! We need to work on that a bit, haha. God gave you this gift of sweetness. Your hugs heal and cure. You just plop yourself on people's laps or lean up against them and although I love how affectionate you are, it makes me worry about your future and boys!!

Before I go, I want to apologize for all my mistakes, the times I've hurt your feelings with my words or tone. I'm definitely far from perfect. I hope you know how much I love you and really am trying my best to mold you the way I think God wants me to. Sometimes I may go overboard, I'm learning too, so thanks for your immediate smiles.

Happy Birthday again to my special little girl.

Love you so much,
Your mommy

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Iann is 1!

My handsome little man Iann!

I can not believe you are 1 already. Time flies faster these days than they ever have. First I must thank you for being the easy baby of the family! God really knew how much I could handle and made it all doable. You are such a happy baby. You love to smile and laugh at anything and everyone. You are sensitive, yet still flexible. You eat and sleep so well. And you play so well anywhere, always taking the time to carefully observe things in depth. You make everyone love and want to have babies because of your sweet and adorable behavior. And we can't not mention how you look like me! Well, my side of the family at least. :)

Your first word was appa (daddy), then Ellie, then umma (mommy). You need to learn how to say hyung-ah (older bro) fast though, cause Maxx gets sad when you only say Ellie. haha.

You are our last baby so I love that I was able to really enjoy time with you while you were so little. Life will always be busy but please know forever that you are never last and that you have my love equally. I'll want you to be my baby forever so hope you don't get too annoyed by that and understand how much I love you and how you hold such a special place in my heart.

With deep love,

Maxx is 4!

Photos by MPark                                                                                                                                    

Dear Maxx.

Happy 4th Birthday! You're such a big boy now! You're in school now, you listen SO much better these days, and you help me so much now too!. Even though you still have the cutest cheeks, you have more of a boyish face, rather than the baby face you've had for so long. You still love to make those you love, laugh. You'll do anything to be funny, even when you're in so much trouble. You're so charming and I know you will sweep girls right off their feet! You remain so particular and your senses so keen! You keep us all on our toes with your amazing memory and knack for curiosity. Ms. Jenny, your teacher, said you're going to be an engineer. Whether or not you are, I pray you do what God's built you to do and what you love...using that engineering brain of yours. BTW, besides your favorite color still being green and your still LOVING buttery popcorn, your current favorite show right now is "How it's made" on the SCI channel. LOL.

You're my big kid so I don't always know what to do but I know I love you so much so I'm always trying my best to be the best mom for you.

And I know that you love me so much. Thank you for loving me so much Maxx.

Your biggest fan,

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ellie is 2!

Dear Ellie,

I can't believe you're two years old today! These last couple of months, you literally went from a jibber jabbering baby to a big girl who's having real conversations with whoever will look your way. You are SO stinkin' cute that I can't keep from saying it everyday to your Appa. You show your love for me, your appa, oppa and eh-gee so much through your sweet hugs, words, and silly faces. You do the goofiest things and find everything hilarious. You love to share with those around you. And you also like to make sure everything is in it's place and done the way it's "supposed" to be. You like to try new things with caution and care. The littlest things make you happy. You see life very simply and with so much joy.

You're my special girl and I know mother daughter relationships can be hard but I hope we always have a great relationship. I try my best to give you space to learn and be you and also there for you as much as I can. I hope we have a special bond as the only girls in the family. I pray you know and experience God all the days of your life and love to the fullest.

Love you so much,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ellie's Cow Party

I decided on a cow theme for Ellie's party.

She loves animals so I picked this one cause she was born in the year of the ox (cow), she loves to moo, and cause black & white is fun and easy, especially with touches of pink. And once I found this free stock photography image, I was sold. Not only was it cute, but it reminded me of school. We had a ton of these cute cow stress relievers that said "Cornell University" on them. So much cuter without.

One of my goals for this party was to spend as little as possible and I think I did pretty good. Of course what ended up happening was I had to make as much as I could with myself using whatever I found around the house. I planned everything out a few weeks before the party but I didn't start doing any of the actual prepping until really, the night before. I'll always and forever be a procrastinator.

So ever since Halloween, my kids have been big on dressing up so I naturally figured to make a simple cow costume for the kids. Thought they would enjoy dressing up. I emailed the moms to bring their kids in white, black or neutral shades. I got headbands as favors from some previous parties and glued on some cow ears. For the cow bells, I used my stash of leftover ribbons from gifts to tie 'em on. The actual bells were the only thing I bought. I cut out a ton of cow spots and just taped those on with packing tape. And lastly, I used the ribbon and whatever yarn I had to make tails. I even put them on the kids with these little clips that came from bags of coffee I buy. I was originally going to use safety pins but didn't want to risk poked kiddie butts. I even had the hubs cut out a fence from cardboard boxes so the kids could stand behind and take a pic but that was a FAIL cause only half the kids wanted to dress up and only for a short amount of time. I guess I was asking for too much.

Either way, the kids looked SO friggin' CUTE! I suck at taking pictures when I'm hosting but I got a few of Ellie.

The second activity for the kids was MOOsical Squares. (I seriously have gotten so corny after having had kids.) Used Spotify for the first time. Love it. And the older sibs were the "finalists". Great job to Miss K for beating all the boys!

The last activity was making your own strawberry or chocolate milk. (No pics of this, boo.) I had the kids decorate clear cups with farm themed stickers and they just mixed the powder or syrup into their milk. Yum. I loved choc milk when I was a kid. Went perfect with the cupcakes too.

I didn't have time to bake so the hubs picked up some regular and mini cupcakes from the local Shoprite. I thoroughly cleaned some farm animals we had and stuck them on and voila! Themed cupcakes. Ha ha ha. This was pretty ghetto but cheap and I just love mini cupcakes for kids cause all they eat really is the frosting anyways.

Huge thanks to "Cookie Emo" for her, once again, amazing cookies. Super cute designs, perfect packaging and even the layout. Sweet ending to our cute lil' party.

Decor was basic. I taped cow spots on the wall, made some flower balloons, and hung some more over the food area. I ran out of time so I didn't get to make a Happy Birthday sign. (Sorry Ellie.)

Kids all went home with their cow accessories (if they remembered) along with a white goody bag that had some farm animal stickers, tattoos and a "make your own farm" activity I made from paper, plastic animals, and a Costco cup. Again, ghetto looking but after talking to the moms, the kids seemed super excited to make their farms and that's what mattered.



Oh, forgot to mention food. I tried to think of what went with cows or a farm theme and ended up ordering KFC. With three kids, cooking was out of the question...even grilling. I now need the hubs watching at least one kid SO...we went with original, grilled and crispy chicken, mashed potatoes and coleslaw. I also got family size mac n' cheese from Wholefoods, which was pretty yum. And had some corn, grapes and clementines to add a dose of healthy to the menu.

Can you tell Ellie LOVED it all? She loved the attention, wearing the costume, she inhaled the chicken, the cake and cookies...all of it. She was smiling from the moment she came downstairs from her nap...until she went back up to bed. I think she really felt special so it made me and Gunn SO happy. Made my almost all nighter all worth it. And heck, I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy most of it.

happy birthday girl + happy friends + cost efficient = Successful party

One thing I regret...the same thing I always regret. I really need to take the time out to take some good pictures. Probably need a better camera too.
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