Tuesday, December 4, 2018

What our boys texted us

Collin and Aaron are generally happy and fun but when I banned them from playing video games on the weekends for a month -- weekends are the only days the boys ever do get to play video games or use devices -- they were absolutely crushed and lamented that their lives had been "ruined" by umma because she is a "meanie" and both agonized over the ban for DAYS. (Again, they are 9 and 7.)

And then when Sung did nothing to "help" (i.e. object to my tyranny/undo the video game ban), they apparently sent these lovely texts to him using my phone:

I guess we are poopy parents???

We cool with that...

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Best cushion foundation ever

If you have been a follower of all things k-beauty that has been in hyperdrive for a couple of years now, you will know what a cushion foundation is and why it can be such a game changer.

I use one, for the convenience and especially because I have very dry skin coupled with rosacea that tends to flake if I don't put on my foundation and powder correctly (i.e. pat 1,200 times to achieve subtle but glowy coverage that gives off that natural, no-makeup makeup appearance somehow - yes, this can be done and I shall do a posting on this in the near future ), and because it always takes me a lot of trial-and-errors to find the right skincare or makeup product (always! ugh), I have also experimented quite a bit with some of the more known luxury beauty brands as well as k-beauty brands. But I must say, my most favorite thus far is, surprisingly, a famous drugstore brand!

Maybelline Dream Cushion Foundation goes on just like the name-brand ones and in my opinion, offers better and smoother light-to-medium coverage (that one can layer on if needed) and is quite moist and hydrating as well, giving the skin a luminous, silky texture. (It can be as affordable as $4-5 at times so do wait for the Target or Amazon prices to go down if you're not in a rush to restock!)

A quick note and a tip for first-time users:

1) Cushion foundations are generally for those of us who have dry to normal skin only. Please do not use if your skin type is either oily or combination.

2) When putting on a cushion foundation, gently pat the (round) sponge applicator on the back of your hand to remove excess foundation to avoid the cakey look.

I hope this helps!

Monday, November 5, 2018

How to make Lego Place Card holders

Boys around the house or not, don't us parents all have an excessive, abundant amount of Lego minifigures...

This genius mom of two boys over at my favorite mommy blog "(Everything I do is) All for the Boys" just shared her uber fun and easy-to-follow DIY for dinner table place card holders made using Lego pieces!

Enlist your lovely children to make these for you and they are sure to oblige happily. :^)

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Perfect sleep positions

How nifty is this Wall Street Journal infographic on how to find the best sleep position for our trouble spots?

If you are suffering from any aches, pains, indigestion, or tend to snore, click on the graphic to see up close the position that can help cure what ails you!

Also over at the ever awesome LifeHacker.com are some tips and tricks on how to get better sleep.

You're welcome. :^)

Sunday, October 28, 2018

World's best Italian meatballs

(Photo -- and recipe below -- courtesy of the most fabulous Dinner: A Love Story)

If you've been searching all your life for the absolute best Italian meatballs, search no more! Jenny Rosenstrach and her husband Andy are here to rescue you!

(Kidding aside, many thanks to Jenny and Andy for this recipe. Get a copy of her book if you haven't already! :^)

Grandma Turano’s Meatballs Recipe

For the sauce:

1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Red pepper flakes
1 small can tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
2 15-ounce cans tomato puree (or diced tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes)
2 tablespoons oregano
Few pinches fennel seeds
Small handful thyme or basil

In a Dutch oven, saute onion and garlic and a few red pepper flakes in olive oil over medium low heat until onions are soft and just starting to turn golden. Add tomato paste and sugar and stir, mashing paste and onion mixture together, about 1-2 minutes. Fill empty tomato paste can with water and add to pot, stirring until mixed, another 1-2 minutes. Pour in tomatoes, oregano, fennel, and thyme or basil, and stir. Simmer lazily over low heat, uncovered, for as long as you want: the longer the better. If the sauce gets too thick, add a little water.

For the meatballs:

2 pounds ground beef (or, I hate to even own up to this, but we have been known, in an effort to be healthy, to use ground turkey)
1 cup Italian bread crumbs (my great grandma and my mother used Progresso; if you don’t have Italian bread crumbs, you can just add oregano and some salt to regular bread crumbs)
1 cup shredded Parm
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
Few pinches fennel seeds
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground pepper

In a large bowl, combine meat, bread crumbs, eggs, Parm, parsley, fennel, salt and pepper. Mash together with hands until thoroughly combined. Roll into balls (the size of golf balls) and set aside on a plate. In a large skillet, add a big glug of olive oil. Begin browning meatballs, in batches, over medium high heat, turning frequently. Remove when browned on all sides. When all the meatballs are browned, add to sauce, and continue cooking over low heat for at least 30 minutes. Serve over pasta, pile high with cheese.

If you're without any good, homemade sauce, there's always the Rao's, the best of the best jarred sauce, IMHO. :^)

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Fortnite is not for children, period

My boys are banned forever from playing Fortnite, regardless of how big of a deal it has become this year.

I am fully aware that Fortnite is an absolute frenzy among children these days but the cartoonish, bloodless style of the action in Fortnite does not make the violence any less problematic -- it's a rollicking game, sure, where players fight to death. Schools elsewhere have actually been issuing warnings to parents about the "negative effects" of Fortnite on children .

The issue Sung and I had with our boys was that unlike with other video games, the boys somehow would get excessively irritable or even angry(!) whenever we tried to talk to them mid-game or asked them to turn off the game.

(And it's really for kids 13 years old and older, anyway.)

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Life-changing advice for our children

If you haven't already, do check out Skye Gould's amazing website for a beautiful collection of lunchbox notes from her mom:

"...From 2003 to 2004 when I was 12, my mom, Stephanie Skylar, wrote me more than 100 advice notes. We called this project “Lunchbox Letters” and I kept them in a Sketcher’s shoebox. More than a decade later I decided to curate and share our story. This small window of time in my life was very significant. Shortly after I finished 6th grade, my family moved from a small town in Ohio to South Florida. Before this move, I was extremely shy; being a confident young woman was never something that came naturally to me. My mom wrote me these letters because she believed in the person that I was always meant to be. I am eternally grateful for these reminders," Skye writes.

Let this be an inspiration for you to connect with your kids in a similar way. As our little guys get older, Sung and I are more and more convinced that it's our duty as parents to let our kids know and constantly (consistently) remind them that everything is going to be OK, even if they don't necessarily believe us.

I mean, look at what Lisa McInness-Smith's mom and dad did for her! (Watch the amazing Ted talk below; it is SO uplifting!)

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Happy 40th birthday to my love!

Happy happy birthday to the love of my life! :^>

Can't believe we're 40! Whoot whoot!

Sung, thank you for being born and thank you for coming to pick me up at JFK exactly 11 years ago (and proposing with the most gorgeous ring that same week; no, I did NOT see it coming)! :^)

You are my bestie ever and I am so grateful that my life has you in it!

You is so handsome. You is smart. You is so patient and kind and thoughtful. You is so good with the little ones. And you is such an awesome dancer!!!

Kidding aside, I love you heaps. You make it so easy to love you more and more every day.

Friday, March 4, 2016

This has got to be the coolest thing you've seen this year

If this doesn't make your day today, I don't know what will.


Is this fabulous duo for real or what...

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Bensimon Tennis Elastique sneakers on sale for $30!

If you like Bensimon tennis shoes as much as I do, here is great news for you:

The Tennis Elastique sneakers (shown above) are on sale for $30-35 (+free shipping) right now!

This has got to be the best deal on Besimons that I've ever seen.

(And I've been buying Bensimons for almost a decade now, since 2007!)

This is another slip-on pair I had and loved. This color is also available right now in above design, make sure to pick "beige," believe it or not. :^)

Grey and Beige are $30; Navy is $35.

That's all for today. I just had to tell the world about this great sale.

Happy shopping!

(First image from Shopbop)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Delicious organic chicken nuggets with homemade look and taste

Every busy mom needs a reliable ready-made food item to just grab and go and in my years of experience with chicken-lovers, these are the best, healthiest option out there.

Bell & Evans is a true winner when it comes to breaded chicken products. They are made from all natural chicken and raised without antibiotics and are 100% whole breast meat pieces, with no extenders or fillers or preservatives.

Let's just say everyone I have served these chicken nuggets and tenders to had thought that these were totally homemade. Every. single. time. :-)

They go on these massive sales (otherwise they're 6.99-9.99 per pack) once in a while, so do wait for a sale to stock up!

(Yes, I can be a crazy lady taking pictures of a freezer section at a grocery.)

I usually just pop them in the toaster oven to serve with fruit (we like glazed mango pieces or apple slices) as the boys' afternoon snack or use them in salads.

They are totally, absolutely fool-proof and always always delightful. Two thumbs up, for sure!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Setting aside time to eat together

If you haven't been doing so already, start eating with your kids as many times a week as possible.

According to The Atlantic, a study conducted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University has found that "children who eat dinner with their parents five or more days a week have less trouble with drugs and alcohol, eat healthier, show better academic performance, and report being closer with their parents than children who eat dinner with their parents less often."

It doesn't have to be a super fancy or trendy meal each and every time. It is the quality time spent together during mealtime that matters most. According to Elizabeth David, the American culinary evangelist, enjoying basic meals with loved ones makes for the best eating, and the equation for physical and psychological well-being is easy: Eat simply and eat together.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Best hot cocoa ever

And by best I mean a healthier option that is not made of crazy artificially flavored/fake sugary, chocolatey stuff.

The Whole Foods' house brand products are not always spectacular but they certainly nailed this hot cocoa.

Thank you, Whole Foods!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Be merry this Christmas!

We are truly, truly happy for all the things that we have been blessed with this year.

(Yes, that's us the first day Target showcased their Star Wars merchandise this summer)

We are just filled with gratitude that the boys are healthy and happy.

Anything else is, really, a total bonus.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Electric toothbrushes in place of goodie bags

For Collin's birthday last year, these are what I sent along to his kindergarten class:

(The "tags" read: "Thank you for being my friend!")

Surprisingly, Collin didn't seem to mind the idea and all his classmates actually loved them.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Activities for boys?

Have you heard of this cool mommy blog entitled "All for the Boys" yet?

If not, I'm strongly nudge you to hop on over immediately to explore. ;-)

Allison, a mom of two boys, has amassed quite a collection of crafts and activities over the years, and has graciously been sharing her ideas, tips, inspirations, printables, product reviews...just the entire treasure trove on the World Wide Web. (How generous is this fabulous mom?! :-)

I can't say enough what a great f you have hands-on children who love creativity and play (OK, that would be ALL children out there ;-), this is the one blog you should be keeping track of on a daily basis.

My little guys love all things science, so you know that I was one happy woman when I first found out about Allison's blog!

That's all for today. :^)

(All images from All for the Boys)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Growing up too fast...

Collin turns 7 today.

I just can't believe it.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Best, easiest chocolate chip cookies ever

When I recently found out about this amazing food blog Pinch of Yum, I immediately knew that I had totally been missing out on some really great stuff all these years...

I mean, I did think I had found some of the best cookie recipes out there, but this one by Lindsay really tops them all.

There is no need to refrigerate the dough for hours, and I sometimes don't even use the electric mixer and the cookies come out just fine. (Insert: "Where have you been all my life?!?!?!")

Basically, this is my go-to recipe when I'm baking with the boys.

And trust me, if I can whip these amazing chewy chocolate chips up in 30 minutes, anyone can.

(Although, I have to say, my cookies kinda look nothing like Lindsay's, they come out pretty fantastic every single time!)

Now, hop on over to Pinch of Yum for the secret to best, softest chocolate chip cookies!

(First image from Pinch of Yum)

PS) Yes, I, too, do own a fancy DSLR camera but hardly use it because I'm just...totally lazy. (At least I'm honest...? ;-)

How to speed read

If you're nerdy like I am, here is a skill you can test and obtain through practice.

I'm sure you've heard this before but the key is to not read aloud in your head (yes, somehow unlearn that subvocalization!) but quickly skim through text without "going back" to what you've just read.

You're welcome. :-)

(Image taken from this good read over at lifehacker)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

We like stripes...

Like, a lot...

...Or a little too much...

(That's us in Maui, by the way... When Aaron was so small!)

(The boys got to see Disneyland at last this summer!)

(Again, this is the best RC toy we found.)

(Remember this post? ;-)

I don't know how this is so...

What do you dress your boys in?! Where do you shop?

Boys love stuffed animals, too

I never even knew we had so many!


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Best Ben & Jerry flavor for coffee drinkers

If you like coffe AND ice cream but haven't tried this yet... I dare say you're missing out.

It's also good to have on hand when you're trying to get a bunch of stuff done past midnight -- which is my life EVEY DAY -- but don't have the time to make a cup of latte... This flavor really gives you the biggest caffeine buzz!