Sunday, December 30, 2012

I see that a lot people make New Year's resolutions every year 
but I actually never make them. 
So, this year I'm breaking the rules and making 
a few resolutions for myself, 
goals that I absolutely want 
to accomplish and make it happen in 2013. 
I need to focus, be determined and give a run for my own dreams. 
A lot of times I put everything and everyone else 
before I can actually do something for myself 
and there's nothing wrong with that but 
I feel that sometimes I neglect myself. 
Hopefully, I'll achieve everything in my list this year! 

Are you making any resolutions for this year?

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas!
Remember Jesus was the biggest present
given to all of us!
Much Love,


♥ ♥ ♥

Delicious Recipes for Christmas...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Looking for more festive recipes for Christmas day? Be sure to check these great dessert recipes: eclair cake and cream cheese and pecan stuffed strawberries. And I almost forgot to say: there's no baking involved! now, that's pretty easy, wouldn't you say?

Last year, I served my family this delicious Eclair Cake and it was a hit with everyone. It's quite simple to make and effortless, it just takes a few minutes to make. Here's the recipe.

I usually make this recipe quite a few times during the year. It's simple yet delicious and if you're running out of time, this recipe can save you! Here's the recipe.

So, what are you going to make this Christmas?

Thumbprint Cookies

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I love to make cookies during the Christmas season and create little traditions for my little ones. Sophia had the pleasure of helping me in the kitchen and watched closely as I prepared the batches of thumbprint cookies. This recipe is really easy to make and kids can help by making little thumbprints in center of the cookies to be filled with strawberry preserve. Take a look:

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

3 cups flour
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon almond extract
Strawberry preserve or any flavor of your choice

In a bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg yolk and almond extract, then slowly add the milk. Start adding the flour one cup at a time until all combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Start rolling the cookie balls in your hands into smooth, make sure they are uniform size balls. Place on cookie sheet, use your thumb to press gently in the center of cookie. Fill the center with strawberry preserve. Bake cookies for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

The Pacifier Battle

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I've been battling Sophia's pacifier for a long time. 
I had tried many times without success, 
I would always give in when she started crying and pleading 
with me to please give her binkie (a.k.a. pacifier) back to her.
This week, I had the perfect opportunity and I took it. 
Sophia has the habit of biting her binkie and she made a whole in it. 
I told her that it was her last binkie and mommy needed to throw in the garbage, 
she seemed pretty ok with it until it was bed time. 

She kept asking and asking about it, and I told her that her binkie was in the garbage can. 
She went straight to the garbage can to look and said: oh, no! What am I going to do?
I told her that she would be fine and I put her to bed, 
surprisingly she didn't cry and slept the whole night! 

It was quite different the next day, she asked me a couple a times
during the day and eventually would forget since she was playing
with her toys. But came bed time again and this time - she cried a river.
At that moment I started feeling guilty and I felt sorry for making
her cry. I kept reminding myself that it was for her own good
and I needed to be strong or otherwise I would cave in like the other times.
Eventually, the crying stopped and she fell asleep.
The next day, she asked about her binkie and I told her that it was in the garbage again.
Every time she asks me about it, I give her the same answer.
She doesn't cry anymore and seems pretty ok with my answer.

I guess I've finally won The Pacifier Battle,
now I need to tackle potty training.
Wish me luck!

It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year...

Friday, December 7, 2012

It is! 
Of course, it's the most wonderful time of the year!
Can you just picture Andy Williams singing this song? 
It brings such a joy to my heart.

 I love Christmas season;
decorating the tree,
drinking hot chocolate with little marshmallows,
tapping my feet along some Christmas songs,
choosing presents for loved ones,
making gingerbread houses with the kids,
baking cookies,
watching "Elf" and "Home Alone" for weeks to come
and getting warm and cozy by my invisible fireplace (how I wish I had one).

This will be Ian's very first Christmas and I'm looking
forward in taking him to take his picture with Santa.
Sophia is now having fun with Christmas,
she loves all the decorations, every time she sees a house with lights,
she says: wow!

And here's Sophia playing under the tree!

Isn't all wonderful?

Quick Weeknight Dinner: Spaghetti with Spicy Sausage & Bell Pepper

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The pasta dish is so easy to make and it's packed with flavor. It's a perfect and quick weeknight meal for the whole family, it only takes about 10 minutes to make. Take a look:

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

1 lb. spaghetti
1 lb. spicy italian sausage, removed from casing
1 bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 water
1/2 cup grated parmesan (for serving)

In a large pot, add enough water and bring to a boil. Salt the water and add pasta, cook pasta until al dente; drain. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until completely browned. Add the bell pepper strips and let cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the 1/2 cup water and cream; simmer until reduced by half. Remove from heat; toss with pasta. Sprinkle with parmesan if you like. Serve and enjoy!

Thanksgiving Recap

Monday, November 26, 2012

Our Thanksgiving was very low key and very relaxing.
We had breakfast, watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
on TV and it was the first year that Sophia really enjoyed all the 
balloons and kept asking me to take pictures of 
everything in sight. It was really cute!

I enjoyed some family time, did some cooking and
even tried a new recipe - white chocolate crème brûlée, 
let me tell you: it was delicious!

At night, we attended the Thanksgiving service 
at our church, we do this every year. We believe it's
very important to give thanks as a family and as body 
of the church, to show gratitude for everything that 
has been given to us. And as always, we all had dinner together.

(Here's my family: my sister, parents, hubby and kids - everything that I'm thankful for!)

How was your Thanksgiving?
Please share in the comments!

I Am Thankful For...(Link Up Party)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rouge & Whimsy

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I've things that I am thankful for.
So, I'm joining Julie of Julie Ann Art, Lenora of Yellow Heart Art and
Erika of Rouge & Whimsy for a link-up party to share what I'm most thankful about this season.

(1. Getting ready for delivery. 2. Sophia meeting her little brother for the first time. 3. Our bundle of joy: Ian. 4. Sophia & I relaxing and watching TV.)
In the beginning of the year, I received a very special gift.
My second child, a boy named Ian arrived perfectly healthy
and he's our bundle of joy. Joining his big sister, Sophia and the rest of the family.

I am thankful for the sister and brother love that my children share with
one another. It's adorable to see them getting along and treat each
other with such love and kindness. I hope it lasts forever. 

I am thankful for all the wonderful memories we made 
together as a family this year. Our trips to the park, 
vacations, holidays just get better and better every year.

I am thankful for another year we got to celebrate Sophia's birthday,
loved organizing and creating the party just for her and see how happy she was.
Lots of fun!

I am thankful for all the opportunities opening up in my life 
and for the new chapters that are ready to begin.
I am thankful for God's faithfulness that never ends 
and everything comes in the right moment and in the right time - God's time.

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations."
Psalm 100:4-5

What are you thankful for this year?
Please share in the comments. 

♥ ♥ 

Pumpkin Mousse

Monday, November 19, 2012

We all love pumpkin pie! but sometimes we don't have the time to make it from scratch, so I was trying to come up with an alternative that was easy and simple but would still satisfy my taste buds. I finally found one and it's perfect for Thanksgiving dinner. Take a look:

Recipe adapted from Very Best Baking

1 box (3.4 oz.) vanilla instant pudding
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup milk
1 cup 100% pure pumpkin
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

In a bowl, add the pudding mix, cinnamon and milk. Beat everything with a hand electric mixer until well blended. Add the pumpkin and mix well. In another bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream until it forms little soft peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into pudding mixture. Serve as it is or cover and refrigerate. Enjoy!

Quick Weeknight Dinner: Tuna Cakes

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I don't mean to brag but my tuna cakes are the best thing I know how to make. They are simple to make and you don't even think that a simple can of tuna can be so delicious and tasty. Take a look:

Ingredients (makes 8 cakes):
2 cans (5 oz. each) tuna in water, drained
1 white onion, minced
1 carrot, peeled and diced really small
1 egg
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs, plus more for breading
1/4 tablespoon paprika
Salt and pepper
Oil for frying

In a bowl, add the tuna, onion, carrot, egg, bread crumbs, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix everything by hand really well until everything is well incorporated. In a shallow dish, add the bread crumbs, set aside. Start forming your tuna cakes, dip them in the bread crumbs making sure they get completely covered. Once all the cakes are formed and covered with bread crumbs, heat a couple inches of oil on medium/high. When the oil is nice and hot, gently put the cakes into the pot, let it get crispy and golden in color then flip and let it cook on other side. Place them in plate with paper towel to absorb some of extra the oil. Serve warm and enjoy!

My Favorite Past Posts...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

As my blogiversary is approaching, I took a look back at some posts and made a list with some of my favorites and if you've never seen them before here's your chance to see it first hand and if you've seen it before there's nothing wrong reading them again! Take a look:

1. In Motherhood in My Words, I tried to explain a little bit what motherhood means to me.

2. I had the pleasure of sharing Some Everyday Moments from my life, maybe I should do another post like this one soon.

3. Life is Good! Yes, it is. Love, love, love this post.

4. One Fine Day, it was a really great day. I love all the photos from this post and I was only a couple months pregnant with Ian and Sophia was just learning to walk.

5. Learn what JOY is all about with this post!

6. Who Do You Want To Be? Find out.

7. I shared Some Great News...

8. Just Being a Mom

9. I did a series of post from our Summer vacation this year but favorite is from when we visited the Norfolk Botanical Garden and you'll see why I loved so much!

10. I'll be doing another post soon about Things My Kids Do...

I hope you have fun reading them!
Many blessing and much love.

Trip to Roba Farms

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

About three weeks ago, we visited
Roba Farms. It's a place filled with
great activities for the kids.
We had fun seeing all the animals,
walking the corn maze, jumping on
the big pillow and hayrides.
All the pumpkins looked beautiful
and we bought two little ones home.
Take a look:


Peach Cake

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Trying to come up with a cake recipe can be challenging but it's so rewarding when the results are perfect. I had a couple of ripe peaches at home and decided to make something out of them. This cake became a hit at my home, it's super tasty, delicious and moist. Take a look:

Ingredients (makes one bundt cake plus 9 muffins):
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup milk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 ripe peaches, peeled and diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat sugar and eggs until thickened for about 1 minute. Add flour, milk, oil, baking powder and beat again for another minute until batter is smooth. Fold in the peaches. Pour batter into a buttered bundt baking pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cake cool. Loosen the sides of the cake from the pan with a knife, then turn into a cake stand and dust with powdered sugar. Serve and enjoy!

What I Hope My Kids Will Learn...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I worry for the kind of world that my kids will grow up in it. 
The sense of true values that it seems people have somehow just lost it, 
a place where people are constantly putting labels on you, 
from the type of body you have, 
to how many "friends" you've on Facebook 
and if you wear brand name clothes. 
You are basically judged by things you are supposed to have 
instead of what you are
I wonder how things changed so dramatically.

That's why I look up to people that truly inspires me to be better. 
People with character, people that shine through their actions, 
not just through their words alone. 
I guess you can really tell someone's character by what they do. 
I just hope I can be a good individual and example to my kids, 
so they'll learn the true values and be good honest people, 
show kindness, be humble and show love in all things to all. 

This verse from Ephesians sums everything, at least to me.

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient; bearing with one another in love."
Ephesians 4:2

What do you hope your kids will learn?

♥ ♥ ♥

Quick Weeknight Dinner: Mac 'N' Cheese with Spinach

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Here's my daughter's favorite meal, it has been quite a challenge feeding her since she became a little picky about her food. She loves this dish and surprisingly loves the spinach too! Take a look:

Ingredients (serves 4-6):
1 pound macaroni elbows or rotini
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups 1% milk or low fat milk
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 1/2 cups spinach, chopped

1. Boil a pot of water for the pasta. Add pasta and salt to the boiling pot and cook pasta until al dente. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, heat a medium pot over medium/high heat. Add butter and let it melt, add flour and whisk to create a roux. Whisk in the milk, add a pinch of salt and bring to a quick boil. Add the cheese and mix it well allowing the cheese to melt altogether. Stir in the spinach and pasta, adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve hot. Enjoy!

Soaking Up the Last Days of Summer

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Summer is almost over and Fall is creeping,
we are trying to enjoy our last days with
walks to the park and enjoying the sunshine as much
 as possible before Fall comes with a bang!

Here are the photos from our most recent trip to
the park, the kiddos had a blast. Take a look:
* All photos taken by my sister *

♥ ♥ ♥
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