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Archive for January, 2012

So, I tried my 2nd pot roast last week. It turned out great. Like the receipe’ name, it is the Perfect Pot Roast. I did add celery and increased the potatoes and carrots amounts. Sunshine couldn’t get enough of the potatoes so I know that next time I will need to add much more potatoes! Hopefully, you will have a chance to try this receipe. It is super tasty esp on a winter day and the house smells delicious.

Just finished browning my beef chuck. Ready to be baked.

Ready for eatting!

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So, I had this huge armoire in my bedroom that I hated. It didn’t match my bedroom decor and it housed a lot of junk that I needed to go through. I have toyed with the idea with selling it but thought that was a pain. Finally, I just wanted to do something about it. So, Sunshine and I started to see if there was somewhere else I could put the armoire. It was hard. We measured the cabinet. The thing was huge, tall and deep. After almost giving up due to lack of a good place to put it, I took a chance on a corner in my living room. So, at 9pm at night while Sunshine was sleeping, I moved this gigantic cabinet. It was quite a sight to see me move the cabinet by myself.

After getting the cabinet situated, I was so happy. It look great in the living room and I could use it to house Sunshine’s legos when guest  came. An added bonus that I haven’t thought over prior to the move. I’m glad I took a chance and didn’t let my fear of it not turning out well dictate what I should do.

I just love it! It fits pretty well in this corner.

Once the armoire was moved out of my room, I felt the energy in my bedroom changed. It seemed to flow. Maybe because the cabinet blocked part of a window and was out-of-place on the side of the room. The Qi in my room was now right. It may sound strange, but I definitely felt a difference in my room. When I’m in my room, I feel lighter and not stagnant.

My new corner, ready for lounging.

If you are interested in learning what positive Qi is. You can read about Feng Shui here.

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Growing up, I was expected to help with house chores. My mom believed in independence for us. We weren’t cuddled and handheld. Perhaps, this is why I have similar expectations with Sunshine. Sometimes, I feel that I’m too tough on him but at the same time, when I see him do the chores, I’m proud that my son is able to do them. To raise an independent and self-sufficient individual is something that I believe is important to his future.

To faciliate Sunshine’s independence, I created his own snack area. He can easily choose what he wants and when his friends visit, he likes inviting them to choose their snack.

Yummy drinks and snacks.

Sunshine likes drinking water so I set aside a cabinet for his bottles and cups. In the fridge, I keep a small container of milk for him to pour himself and on the counter there is a small container of water. The idea is for him to help with hand dexerity and to teach him the importance of doing things for yourself. This little area has become helpful as he is now in charge of setting the dining table. He can easily access cups along with the placemat and utensils and napkins.
 
A while back, I changed our diningware all to Corelle and our glassware to Durlex. It has been lifesaver because I don’t need to worry about the dishes and glasses breaking. The kids at his old Co-op all used Corelle for snack time and french kids use Durlex in their schools. I can attest that both brands are working for us too. It has been worth the investment. They are all glass and dishwasher safe too!

Sunshine's cabinet for all his cups, bottles, containers!

You can find them at these small containers at Bed Bath Beyond or Crate and Barrel.

This new year, Sunshine started helping me change his bedsheets. It was a nice surprise to find this pile of bedding this morning.

More laundry 🙂

 Many of friends comment on how independent Sunshine is. Maybe he is.  He does have a mom that believes in it 🙂 And, even thougn I can’t wait for him to become even more indpendent, I’m a little sad too. My baby is growing up so quickly.
 
What chores do you have your kids do? What do you do help them become independent individuals?

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A few weeks ago, a friend made us delicious spaghetti and meatballs. I decided to try them out and love them. They can feed a big crowd and are easy to freeze. You can have them with french bread or with spaghetti. I bet they would taste good as a sandwich. It is super easy to make and the best thing is you bake them not braise them. I love oven recipes.

The recipe is free from The Meatball Shop Cookbook  on their preview page. I’m so tempted to buy the cookbook since this recipe is so good. But, I’m going to hold off and see if I really need it. My friend might buy so hopefully, I can get a preview of the other recipes!

They have a restaurant in New York and it is on my list of things to see and do the next time we visit New York!

Ready to be baked!!

All ready for eating!

My cooking friend Dana wanted the receipe after we had them over this past Sunday, so it must be good! Hopefully, you get a chance to try them out!
 

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Over Christmas break, we rode our bikes to the American History Museum to check out the annual Lego Exhibit. It was pretty cool. The Bay Area Lego club members assembled these cool creations. Pretty neat. Check it out.

What a cute neighborhood!

Cool park and forest.

City corner complete with mall and superman (can you see him on top?).

Loads of trains!

What city is complete without a farm?
After looking at the display, I had a sinking feeling that I would need another room for Sunshine’s legos. This was a serious hobby that can last until he has grandkids. Many of the enthusiasts were grandpas tinkering away with their legos. I’m at a loss as how to display his legos. He’s great playing with them but when we have friends over, we have to move them to my room since many of the kids break them and it’s a pain to put them back together. It’s becoming a problem because he has so many sets now. I don’t have an option for another room! Hmm. What to do?

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Yoga anyone?

Since this past Fall, I have been going to Yoga. For years, I would tell people, I’m not into that, it’s too slow for me. I’m more of a pilates person. Well, I’m now a Yogie! I try to go 2x a week and I love it. My fav is Core Yin. Maybe, because I’m getting older but I appreciate the meditative aspect of Yoga. The deep breathing and stretching bring me a calmness that has so good for me.

So, as part of my resolutions to treat myself with kindness, I treated myself to a dvd player and a yoga dvd so I could practice at home when I have a free moment. Well, Sunshine loves practicing Yoga with me and gets me to do it after dinner/bath. Ironically, something that was for me has turned into a nice bonding time for me.

Cobra. Not bad, huh?

Downward Dog.

Which Yoga style are you? Any good dvds out there? I’m looking for a good cardio one too. Suggestions??

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So, with 2012 in full swing, I have been mulling over my new year resolutions. I have never been very good about setting and achieving them. I’m hoping this year will be different so I have been taking my time to think through them. In reality, I set goals for myself all the time but keeping them for a whole year has not been something I have really done. So, what have I got in store for myself???

Goal 1) Every 3 weeks, read a new book. I grew up reading and love picking up a good book. There is something  pleasurable about reading the thoughts others have penned. I love how it gets my brain moving and thinking. So, how did I come up with 3 weeks? Well, our public library time limit is 3 weeks 🙂

Goal 2) Bike whenever possible. So, to help achieve my goal, I had baskets installed on my bike because they gave me the flexibility to run errands with the bike. It was a hefty bill but I justified it with the fact that instead of driving, I would bike. We would save on gas, get exercise and cut down on CO2 emissions. I’m proud to say that since we had the baskets, we have gone to the groceries store 3 times, the mall, and downtown. It feels great to get exercise and be more green. This goal is in line with how I’m trying to live my life. And, appropriately, I’m reading The New Frugality by Chris Farrell, who is the economics editor of marketplace money, which talks about is not about being cheap but about being frugal. Spend your money wisely. Don’t buy just because it is on sale. Buy if you need it and it can help you be more frugal and more green.

Our first grocery run!

Goal 3) Treat myself with Kindness. Sounds strange, but I’m pretty tough on myself. I’m pretty critical and always think I could do better. It is harder to achieve since I tend to place Sunshine first. Motherhood did that to me! Well, 2012. I’m hoping this will be year that I change this. Put myself first and think is this what I want to do? If not, don’t. Do something I want everyday even it is just reading a book or listening to music. It is the simple things that go first. Bit by bit, I will learn to put myself first. I have a whole year, right??

I have a millions ideas about what I would love to do but I think those are pretty good ones to start out with. I have to admit, I have a goal for Sunshine. I want to introduce poetry to him and have it be a part of our lives. There seems something quite beautiful in poems that I’m longing for them to be a part of our lives. I didn’t grow up with this love so it isn’t something that I’m familiar with. I’m hoping  our fav librarians have an idea for me. Anyone have any good ideas for me?

Love to hear what you have planned for yourself in 2012. Happy New Year!

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