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Showing posts from October, 2010

Halloween Cupcakes

For Adam & Candice's Halloween party last night, I baked cupcakes that I dyed black and Dean decorated them as brains and Jack Skellington (aka The Pumpkin King). Brain cupcakes inspired by Martha Stewart Spooky Halloween Cupcakes . Chocolate Fudge cupcakes (dyed black) with cream cheese frosting Jack Skellington aka The Pumpkin King Chocolate Fudge cupcakes (dyed black) with cream cheese frosting regular and peanut butter M&Ms, chocolate syrup, and slivered almonds

Recipe: Vietnamese Beef Pho

I love Vietnamese Phở Bo . For those of you who are not familiar with this yummy goodness, it is: beef broth your choice of meats: rare beef steak, beef flank, tendon, tripe, brisket, and/or meatballs rice noodles your choice of toppings: fresh mint, basil, cilantro, bean sprouts, sliced onions and jalapeno peppers, and/or lime condiments: Sriracha and Hoisin sauce A friend was kind enough to share her recipe to me and since Hubby is not really fond of Phở (he's more of a Bánh xèo and those kind of foods type of guy), this week is the perfect time to try this recipe while Hubby is away in training. Unfortunately, she didn't give me precise measurements of the ingredients so I just had to taste and seasoned it as I go. This also requires all day cooking and the taste gets more authentic and delicious when consumed the next day---that is if it lasts that long :) Ingredients: Beef Broth: beef bones: knuckles, leg bone with marrow water (enough to fill an entire 6 qua


No one in our family used pacifiers as a baby so when my little boy needed one, I didn't know what to do. I'm not saying using a pacifier is wrong and believe when I say that because I did so much research about it after realizing there's no way I could survive breastfeeding and those first few months of Nathaniel's life if I don't finally give in to using one. I was just worried my little one will be too attached to it and for way past over infancy. I already had a plan about how to help Nathaniel stop using his pacifier when the time comes. I read on BabyCenter about several "going away" binkie parties. My favorite is tying the pacifiers to a balloon and telling our child that these are now for the other children to use. Thankfully, Nathaniel started refusing the pacifier by himself at seven months old. We went to Indiana for 2 weeks to visit family and friends and I'm guess the change in scenery and routine helped him forget

The Simple Woman's Daybook

The Simple Woman's Daybook For Today (October 26, 2010) Outside my window... Sunny 54 degrees :) It rained all weekend so it's really good to see the sun out and shining! I am thinking... besides my twice a day sweeping, I am not doing any other chores till Friday when Hubby comes home! :) I am thankful for... text messaging :) From the kitchen... homemade pumpkin bread---one of Dean's favorite breads. I wasn't fond of it until I tried this recipe. Now I love it just like he does! I am wearing... Green shirt, shorts. I am going... to the Commissary to pick up a few items but mainly to buy laundry detergent so I could wash our bedsheets, comforter, etc. I am reading... Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella I am hoping... Hubby is enjoying his time/learning a lot at his training. I am hearing... Nathaniel playing with the doggie door trying to convince Riley to come back inside. Not around the house... we put away Nathaniel's playmat for t

Recipe: Chocolate Mousse Frosting

9-inch Layered Chocolate Cake with Chocolate/Vanilla Mousse and Raspberry Filling This past Saturday, my husband's coworkers came over for a get together/cookout. It was Gordon's birthday and his father was in town from Texas. It rained all day, which made it a little difficult to grill burgers and hotdogs but everyone seemed to have had a good time. For a while now, I wanted to make a "layered" cake so I took this opportunity to try it. I really enjoyed how easy to assemble and decorate this cake and I can see myself making more of these in the future. Hubby wasn't as impressed and even though he liked the mousse filling (and he hates whipped cream!), Dean said he still prefers his cake covered and iced. I went with the easy route and chose a super fast and super easy recipe from the Taste of Home website for the Chocolate Mouse Frosting. In the future, I will definitely make this where I have to melt my own chocolate. Makes 7 cups Ingredients: 2 cups

Say Goodbye to the...

Last night, we bid goodbye to a fellow Marine Corps family and Church of Christ members. Tim and my husband Dean actually go as far as starting and graduating bootcamp together earlier last year. And because Tim's language is much shorter compare to my husband's, they are now off to their next duty station. Nancy is a very good woman. She took care of our dog when we went home to Indiana and baby-sat Nathaniel when I (rarely) worked and usually with a very last minute notice. Saying goodbye to their dog Muffin. Long time ago, I couldn't remember Muffin's name but knew that it was food related. So I asked Dean: "Is their dog's name... Biscuit?" I'm extremely sad to see such a great couple leave and it makes me wonder how many "Say Goodbye" entries I'll be writing throughout the course of our career with the Marine Corps. Be safe and maybe we'll see each other again here in three and a half years :)

Amazon: 50% off of diapers with free S&H

Amazon currently has a great deal on diapers. You will save between 15-50% off depends on if you choose to do just one or all of the following: Sign up to be an Amazon Mom for free and you will 15% off of baby products. You are just simply telling Amazon that you are a caregiver (mom, dad, grandparent, etc.). See more info here . Sign up on Amazon's Subscribe & Save for free to receive an additional 15% off and free shipping and handling. Amazon will ship your items every one, two, three, or six months and they will only bill you for each item once it is shipped. The good thing about this is you can cancel anytime. If you want, you can cancel as soon as your first item is shipped! Parents magazine has a 20% off diapers coupon for Amazon inside their November issue. We don't get this magazine but there are plenty of these codes on Ebay and that's where I purchased mine. I chose to forgo the bidding option and picked a reliable seller with a Buy-it-n

The Simple Woman's Daybook

The Simple Woman's Daybook For Today (October 19, 2010) Outside my window... Gloomy 52 degrees. But the sun is starting to peek out! I am thinking... about our friend and fellow church member in Indiana who was admitted last Sunday to the unit where I used to work because of a brain aneurysm. Being oh too familiar with her situation (after all I did work at Neuro ICU for more than two years) I know that even though she is stable at the moment, she is not completely out of the woods till at least the next 10 days and still has a relatively long recovery after that. I am thankful for... our good health. From the kitchen...  homemade cheese bread. I am wearing... Floral t-shirt and dark blue pjs. I am going... to fax a few paperwork to TriCare sometime today. We have been getting charged a co-pay on "non-traditional" appointments i.e. Nathaniel had a rash last August (as opposed to the expected well baby visits). Granted it's very little but


These are for our family and friends who refuse to get a Facebook account :P "Vamonos!" 9.10.10 Nathaniel loves Dora the Explorer. We can't stand her loud voice (borderline of yelling) and it just so happens to be the only show Nathaniel would watch. Go figure! "Here Kitty, Kitty!" 9.12.10 This reminds me of the kittens from the Human Society with the way he's reaching through his crib. (And sorry about the sound not coinciding with the video. I've tried to fix it so many times and still, no luck.) "How to Torture a Baby Part 2" 9.26.10 Nathaniel getting tickled by Daddy "Look at what I can do!" 9.29.10 Nathaniel figured out a way to use his Bumbo and still be mobile. "Naptime is for losers, Mama!" 9.30.10 Nathaniel refusing to take a nap. And I must have looked funny that day because all I had to do was look at him and he would burst out laughing. "Massive Destruction" 10.03.10 Nathan

Calla Lilies

It has definitely been a while since I've taken pictures that doesn't have my son in it and let alone play around and do some editing. And since I got canceled again at work today (surprise, surprise!) and hubby had to go to work for Combat Fitness Testing, I decided to just get up and get in touch with my artsy fartsy side before the little one wakes up. Calla Lily Leaf The flowers bloomed earlier this Spring...  ...but it seems like they're making a come back. I've seen a few bloomed flowers around our neighborhood.

Ten Months Old

Nathaniel is ten months old today! The little one loves to pull himself up and occasionally lets go and tries to take a step so he falls flat on his bottom and once on his face. He is still not crawling properly and moves around mostly by scooting with his butt. Nathaniel also has a new tooth at the bottom (now a total of eight!) and he loves table food. It also seems that he is beginning to wean himself off of nursing during the daytime because he would rather play and eat adult foods when he is hungry. Nathaniel loves to chase our dog Riley and will do anything not to nap :)  

Sears: Heroes at Home Wish Registry

I read about this two days ago and was reminded today just in time to sign up, which started this morning at 9am CST. For the past two years, Sears has been helping military servicemembers and their families during the Christmas season by providing evenly distributed donations in the form of a Sears gift card. You must be an active military member and this program is limited to the first 20,000 applicants. It took me about an hour of constantly submitting and refreshing the browser before our application was submitted---I'm assuming because of the high traffic their website is getting right now. Also, just because our application was accepted, it does not guarantee that we will be one of the selected families. But it doesn't hurt to try! We will be notified on October 27th if we're one of the lucky families. You can register here till October 15th 6pm CST. Good luck!

The Simple Woman's Daybook

The Simple Woman's Daybook For Today (October 12, 2010) Outside my window... Hot and sunny 82 degrees! I am thinking... about what to give our family for Christmas. Since I haven't worked since August, it will have to be homemade and inexpensive. But nonetheless, it will be awesome! I am thankful for... a roof over our heads. From the kitchen... a Naan dough rising. I'm cooking vegetable naan "pizza" for dinner. I am wearing... DIY I ♥ NY t-shirt with black shorts. I am going... to check on the naan after this. I am reading... House Rules by Jodi Picoult. I am hoping... Nathaniel takes a nap soon. He is starting to get cranky! I am hearing... Nathaniel playing in his jumper. Around the house... clean, folded laundry that needs to be put up. One of my favorite things... Autumn leaves, which I unfortunately haven't seen since a year ago (and two years for hubby!) Inspired by the church song scripture... "For God did no

Cakes, Cupcakes, Bread, Etc.

I have been baking quite a bit for the last few weeks. I was finally able to take the Wilton Basic Cake Decorating class last month and was hoping to continue taking the rest but there's schedule conflicts this month and we're unfortunately low on "hobby funds" at the moment. But it works out too since I want to get better at bread baking. 1: September 16, 2010. Wilton: Basic Cake Decorating Class II; 9-inch Lemon Cake with Buttercream icing 2a, 2b: September 22, 2010. Sarah's 22nd birthday cake; 9-inch Buttercake with chocolate buttercream icing; (Translation: Happy Birthday, [plus Sarah's name in Arabic]) 3a, 3b: September 23, 2010. Wilton: Basic Cake Decorating Class III; Red Velvet cupcakes with vanilla buttercream icing as assorted flower toppings. 4a, 4b: September 30, 2010. Justin's 20th birthday cake and Wilton: Basic Cake Decorating Class IV (Final); 9-inch Marble cake with vanilla buttercream icing; (Translation: Happy Birthday,

Baby Pictures

Fellow Blogger/Mama/Marine Wife had an awesome idea of posting baby pictures of her husband, herself, and their adorable baby girl. I posted an entry a long time ago about at barely three months old, we could already notice traits of Little Dean and Little Diana in our son. And now that Nathaniel is almost 10 months old, it is great to once again "compare" our little one to ourselves when we were about his age :) Dean, circa 1986 (Sorry for the poor quality---this was taken using my crappy phone camera back in July and is the only baby picture of my husband that I could find!) Diana, circa 1986 (I'm assuming this was taken in '86 since I'm already standing) Nathaniel, circa 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

The Simple Woman's Daybook For Today (October 5, 2010) Outside my window... Sunny but cold 59 degrees. I am thinking ... about what to dress Nathaniel as for Halloween. So far, we're thinking mouse because he loves cheese! I am thankful for... a four day weekend coming up! From the kitchen... Sopas for sick husband and baby boy. It's a Filipino version of Chicken Noodle Soup: chicken, hot dogs, macaroni noodles, cabbage, carrots, onions. I am wearing... St. Louis Arch t-shirt and blue-flannel pajamas I am going... to sign up for the Wilton Flower and Cake Design Class that starts this Thursday. I am (still) reading... Second Chance by Jane Green. It's pretty boring but I'm more than halfway done with the book so I'm just finishing it to see how it ends. I am hoping... this cold going on in our house goes away soon! I am hearing... Nathaniel "snore" due to a stuffy nose :( Around the house... five newly borrowed books from

Recipe: Homemade Soft Pretzels

I have been craving soft pretzels for quite a while so my husband and I baked homemade soft pretzels last Saturday. They were so delicious---just a hint of sweetness and butter, the outer crust was just slightly firm and the insides were not too doughy and remained very soft. I personally think they are better than what you buy at the mall especially when the homemade ones just came out of the oven. And even now (two days later), they are still yummy and soft. Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water (lukewarm) 1 tablespoon sugar 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 package active dry yeast 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted Vegetable oil, for pan 10 cups water 2/3 cup baking soda 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water Pretzel salt (optional) Directions: Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour an

Recipe: Elvis Presley Cookies

Our neighbors invited us a couple of days ago for a cook out this evening but unfortunately, we already had plans to go to a birthday dinner with my husband's co-workers. So I decided to bake some cookies for them to show that we appreciate the invite and wish we could come! I had helped using cookie mix from the store but I added my own little spin on it. And you will soon figure out why I named them "Elvis Presley Cookies" :) Elvis Presley Cookies Ingredients: 1 8oz Jiffy Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix 1 egg 3 tbsp of butter, melted 3/4 cup of chunky peanut butter 1 very ripe banana Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all the ingredients. Drop by spoonful on ungreased parchment paper on baking sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until lightly browned. I would have added more chocolate chips but we didn't have any on hand. But these cookies are very soft and delicious. I'm sure Elvis would have loved them :)