Sunday, January 13, 2019

Best adobo seasoning (fresh and without food coloring!)

Who knew the most popular adobo seasoning out there is full of artificial ingredients, including FD & C YELLOW No. 5 & No. 6 (what)!

Well, search no more. Frontier Co-Op is here to save the day! :-)

Here is the Frontier Co-Op Organic Adobo seasoning or here, if you want to get it in bulk. (Whole Foods also carries the brand but for some $2 more than the Vitacost price for the same exact size.)

And below is its beautifully wholesome ingredients. No funky additives and no artificial anything:

Sea Salt
Organic Garlic
Organic Onion
Organic Black Pepper
Organic Oregano
Organic Bay Leaf
Organic Turmeric

Also, FYI, this Frontier adobo seasoning contains less than almost 1/3 of sodium content of the more conventional/widely marketed G*** brand version (135 mg in Frontier vs. 350 mg in G***) per serving! How is that even possible.

You're welcome! :^)

(Speaking of adobo, this dish doesn't call for the above adobo seasoning per se but my most favorite adobo (=marinated meat) dish ever is hands down the Filipino chicken adobo and I promise you, this easy and delicious recipe will not disappoint!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

What to say when you see another mom whose "hands are full"

If you are a mom (or dad) of young children and have been feeling rather overwhelmed by it all, please do take the time to head over to Design Mom for Gabby's amazing post from a few months back and read up her insightful post as well as the reader comments. They are GOLD.

Whenever we can, Sung and I try to offer quiet (yet conspiratorial ;-) "support" in a very minuscule way by making sure other people's toddlers are not: wandering off/dashing off when the parents are not aware; tripping over stuff or falling off things; and most of all, always holding doors for solo parents with strollers but I never seem to know what words to say exactly each and every time.

Or perhaps non-verbal gestures are enough and in most instances, a genuine, sympathetic smile (in solidarity) is all that is needed?

At any rate, if you should spend any time reading blogs today, do check out Gabby's fantastic blog!

A celebrity video to make your day

Emily Blunt and John Krasinski are such an adorable couple!

(In the video, John reveals how he and Emily did research to make sure their daughters' names -- Hazel and Violet (which I think are so lovely) -- are "granny names" that "haven't been popular since 1890." Hahaha.)

Happy weekend!

Monday, December 31, 2018

All the good news from 2018

Have you seen this totally brilliant Instagram feed by the amazing Mauro Gatti yet?

The fab, award-winning Italian illustrator (who lives in LA) posts illustrations depicting good news about the environment, human rights, healthcare, and beyond -- just all the good and amazing things out there.

Talk about spreading positivity all around and making this world a brighter place!

I am pleasantly surprised by all the good, happy things that happened this past year! Aren't you?! :^)

Sunday, December 30, 2018

How to have a better conversation!

Do you want to strengthen your connections to those around us, whether around the dinner table, in the workplace or at the park or the grocery store, or via social media?

In this day and age when every conversation we have with one another has the potential to lead to conflict, are you desperately seeking and striving to become better at communicating your thoughts and intentions more effectively? Are you constantly yearning for meaningful conversations that matter? If yes, here is just the video for you to watch.

(Simply put, Celeste Headlee one of the best speakers out there, period.)

This TED talk may be the best thing you watched all weekend. :^)

Managers vs. leaders

(Photo from Tim Fargo's Twitter)

If you haven't already, hop on over to Seth Godin's famous blog for some amazing reads.

(In case you don't already know, Seth Godin is a world-famous marketing legend who is also a bestselling author, entrepreneur, and speaker who advocates for a new style of entrepreneurship and marketing based on trust, respect, compassion, and care.)

A very good post on the difference between management and leadership, right here.

Also a Harvard Business Review article elaborating on the same crucial topic (an excerpt since it's so good):

     ...By contrast, leaders focuses on creating value, saying: “I’d like you to handle A while I deal with B.” He or she generates value over and above that which the team creates, and is as much a value-creator as his or her followers are. Leading by example and leading by enabling people are the hallmarks of action-based leadership...

     ...Leadership refers to an individual’s ability to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward organizational success. Influence and inspiration separate leaders from managers, not power and control.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

A song that might make you cry today

"Kansas City," lyrics written by Bob Dylan some five decades ago, with music written by Marcus Mumford et al.

Yup, that's Johnny Depp on the guitar right there. :^>

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Collin is 10!

My baby Collin turned 10 this week and I had SUCH mixed, nervous feelings about his reaching a brand new milestone. (Who knew someone else's birthday could cause such a great perturbation in one's life!)

If you haven't already, do head over to Wonderoak and read this beautiful, tender essay by Jessica Johnston, an amazing writer and mom of four children.

An excerpt, because this was me all week, anxiously wondering about what our next years will be --   

You are growing, and I am too. 

You were my dream before the world got to share you. You were my dream before your very first breath.

Be patient with me as I unclench these fingers and loosen these hands that have held you. 

Be patient with me as I relax these arms that have carried you since the first day you breathed life. 

Be patient with me as I recognize that the time has come to do less protecting and holding and more listening and cheering.

I dreamed of you and here you are.

And still I dream.

Collin, Mommy loves you more than you will ever know.

You truly are an amazing child and I am filled with so much gratitude for you everyday. Thank you for your love and please know always that you are more than enough.

xoxo always and forever

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 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. :^)

Best adobo seasoning (fresh and without food coloring!)

Who knew the most popular adobo seasoning out there is full of artificial ingredients, including FD & C YELLOW No. 5 & No. 6 (what)!...