Bawling out loud

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I love singing. It’s not very obvious though because I don’t usually sing in public. I think I’ve probably been to a magic sing karaoke twice in my entire life.

The first time was when a group of ladies from my line dancing group roped me in to make up the number for a promo karaoke package. I pretty much sat back and listened to the ladies taking turns to bawl their tonsils out.

Shortly after that, my cousins and their kids came to town and for lack of something better to do, we decided to take the kids there for the experience. I sing mostly in my car and some nights, I like to torture my daughters bawling out loud to my favorite 80s songs on my computer.

Happy New Year 2013

Happy New Year 2013
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Tada! Here comes my New Year nail art design. Electrifying, huh?

New Year nail art

Admittedly I wasn’t in the best of moods for writing my New Year’s post last night. Blame it on that splitting headache I picked up at the mall (turn up the a/c, for goodness sake!).

It’s a wonder I even managed to pull off a home-cooked New Year’s Eve dinner. It wasn’t grand or anything. Just us gathered around the table as a family enjoying one of our favorite meals of roast chicken and potatoes. I think that’s good enough.

roast chicken

We kicked off the new year today with this scrumptious homemade lasagne and mashed potatoes. It’s huge, enough for two meals. It seems this has been on our New Year’s menu for the past few years. So I guess lasagne has unknowingly become a New Year’s tradition for us.

lasagne

So now that our tummies are full, let’s look back for a moment at 2012. What really stands out is the quality time the girls and I had. I mean, it was major. The trips to the gym. The coffee breaks after our grocery runs. The often-impromptu meals out. The people-watching at the malls. The car rides everywhere. The stories from school and college. The movie nights, sometimes stretched out in bed, sometimes huddled on the floor. They were all good. Not to mention, a barrel of laughs and sarcasm.

Oh, and those afternoons spent sweating it out in the kitchen, baking 2-3 things at the same time. This was the year the girls have become ever more confident in the kitchen and it makes me proud. I love cooking and baking, and it’s natural I should hope my girls would enjoy it as much as I do. And happily, I think they do. We work so well as a team I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t open a restaurant some day making all our own favorite food 😆 .

And of course, somewhere in those never-ending Mom’s taxi rides were the long, meaningful conversations about everything under the sun. So yeah, I had me some of the most precious, most cherished parenting moments right there in my old clunker of a minivan punctuated only by me cussing at the drivers around me. So thank you, babies, for an awesome ride. Now turn off that computer and get your nose into that book – now, not 2 hours before the test!!

Okay, now on with the new year which I’m praying will be a safer and more peaceful one. Happy New Year!

The year that was

The year that was
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So here we are at the end of 2012. Strange how in some ways, this year has flown and in other ways, it seems like it’s been so dragged out. Ever get that?

Well, looking back, this has been a year of eating healthier. It’s not always easy, given how crazy our schedules can get, but we do try. We’ve included previously untried or balked at food into our diet and quite unexpectedly, we’ve gained new respect for such alien stuff as eggplants and zucchinis. With the exception of quinoa, of course 😆 .

As a mom, my eyes are constantly peeled for any parenting approach that’s different than mine and I have to say, this year has been eye-opening. When I see behavior that baffles me or that I have an opinion (not judgement) about, I’m wont to throw in a post or two to see what other parents think. Like whether fairy tales are too scary for kids, or if parents should correct their kids when they misbehave in public, or pay their kids to do the chores. Am absolutely thrilled with the responses.

And of course, there were lots to see and do and learn. Lots of LOLs with my kids this year over conversations about everything and nothing. Lots of movie nights and hanging out. No New Year’s resolutions for me though. I don’t do those. ’nuff said, here’s to a brand new year of love, laughs, health, happiness and hugs, and saying it like it is. Happy New Year!

happy-new-year

Santa Claws

Santa Claws
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Confession time. I’ve never had a manicure or a pedicure. I know. Shocking. Right? I’m a complete sucker for fancy nails but I insist on doing them myself. Somehow the idea of paying someone to do something so incredibly simple and fun seems like a big waste of money to me.

The thing about doing my own nails is that I get to do them absolutely my way. It’s a boatload of creative fun and such therapy who needs spas and massages? So then, for the holidays, I decided to go crazy with Santa Claws.

Xmas nails

Oh, by the way, did I mention I have a personal Executive Manicurist by the name of Raine? She did these nails for me. She’s totally the coolest and most creative nail artist on planet Earth. Seriously! I’m not just saying that because I’m her mom.

A simple Christmas

A simple Christmas
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We’re hibernating. Yup, huge home-loving types that we are (not!). Why else would we not be spending a quiet day at home during Christmas time?

Well, the real reason is that we’ve done more than our fair share of eating out and mall trawling this holiday season. Time to take a little step back – something which can be hard to do when you have fellow mall-crawlers plastered to your back and jostling you off the escalator half the time.

My philosophy is that unless you’re into contact sports, it’s best to avoid the holiday crowds altogether. So we’re sitting it out right here at home, the girls savoring the last bits of their new books and me pretending to whip up a pseudo-festive meal or two. I did say my kitchen’s closed but what the heck!

I bought 3 Portobello mushrooms the other day, all bigger than the palm of my hand. I used one for my pasta bake on Christmas Eve and I’m saving that last one for a vegetarian quesadilla I’m going to make day after tomorrow.

portobello

And I used one for our very simple Christmas chicken pot pie (I did say pseudo) accompanied by iced jasmine tea and a heap of fruits.

chicken pot pie

 So that, in a nutshell, was our Christmas. A very quiet one spent recharging our batteries.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
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Merry Xmas 2012

May this season be filled with good food, great memories and gifts you’ve wished for. Hug your kids and tell them you love them. Have fun, peeps, and remember not to drink/text and drive. Stay safe 😉 .

Just chillin’

Just chillin'
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We’re kicking back. Another staycation, yes. Many folks are off on travel and road trips – reason #122 to stay off the roads as much as possible in favor of hanging out at home, eating out and doing a bit of window shopping. Yup, hands off, just window shopping.

My kitchen is closed for the most part and yet, most of our shopping seems to center around groceries. Those who know me know that I’m a chronic bulk shopper who should probably be in rehab. But why? I’m not ashamed of the fact that I’m a darned good hoarder :mrgreen: .

Me and the girls set out early yesterday and made a $500 haul of groceries. No, those are not for tomorrow night’s Mayan Apocalypse party, I promise. Does anyone even believe stuff like that?!! Not us. We just enjoy a good haul, that’s all.

Now we’re basking in the satisfaction of a minivan bursting at the seams with groceries 😛 . Sure took some major logistics to fit 2 overflowing shopping carts into a 7-seater and into my fridges and store room later. Happily we now have enough tissues and toiletries, coffee and prunes to last us a whole year. That was fun!

However, my mood this past week has been dampened by news that some monster had busted his way into an elementary school and taken so many innocent lives. Unfathomable, is the word I tweeted when I first heard about this. As moms, there is just no way we can avoid wondering how something like this could happen. My thoughts and prayers are with those affected.

On a brighter note, I’m looking forward to these days of hanging out with my lovelies. Right now, I’d love a glass of ice-blended coffee. This is by far the tastiest of all the ones out there.

sfcoffee

Snowmen

Snowmen
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The only snowmen we know are those that live in the mall. Here are the guys having some fun in the ‘snow’? Looks more like rain to me. Then again, what do I know?

 

Poinsettas

Poinsettas
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For some strange reason, I love poinsettas. Must be because they’re red (what’s not to love?), bright and cheery, and a sure sign that Christmas is here (well, sooner than you can say poinsettas)!

Just a quick post here to wish everyone a safe and fruitful shopping weekend. I’m all up for it 😉 .

Great expectations

Great expectations
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So we set our alarm clocks and synchronized our watches. If your guess is that we’re embarking on a major expedition to the North Pole, you’re close.

We’re headed to a book sale, no less. A book sale that my bookworms have been eagerly awaiting… with a rare road trip thrown in for good measure – all 49 and a half minutes of it on a clear day with blue skies and pre-rush hour traffic.

We’re up at the crack of dawn. Well, we kinda missed the first alarm and snoozed till the sun was streaming in through the windows. Totally unplanned, I promise you. Okay, so maybe we need to work on our precision timing. But trust me, we’re almost there 😛 .

“I’m so excited I can almost imagine myself there already. I hope they have my book! I really hope they have my book!” I caught Hip2bDaughter2 singing to herself in front of the mirror.

Imagine you want to get your hands on a book so bad but you have to crane your neck out for like a whole year for the next sale. It’s hard, I know. I could just bite the bullet and grab the book off the shelf the moment someone expresses an interest in it. But the things you have to wait for are much more valued. That’s my biased view.

As it turned out, the drive took longer than the shopping itself. We were done and home before mid-morning. That’s how good the sale was!! They didn’t have the books my not so little bookworms wanted and we left with (what I wouldn’t even call) a haul we could easily count on one hand. A whopping 5 books!

Meantime, I’m sure my bookworms will find tons of fun stuff to read on the internet. You know, your regular everyday stuff about climate change, explorations on Mars and genetically-modified mosquitoes, to name a few 😉 .

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