Celebrating Evie’s 4th Birthday Without Breaking the Bank

How can I incorporate my family’s love for the outdoors and a preschooler’s active and inquisitive nature into a birthday celebration without spending too much? As a kid, my parents really didn’t throw any of us birthday parties.  I mean, there were 5 of us kids, and birthday parties get expensive.  Most times, our birthdays were just celebrated at home where my mom cooked up some Filipino noodles, called pancit, and we had a homemade birthday cake.  She believed in most Filipino superstition, and eating long noodles were a sign of long life.  Unfortunately, I never learned how to cook pancit as well as mom does, so I haven’t really continued that tradition. Last year, when Evie turned 3, we decided to throw her first co-ed friends and family birthday party.  It was her first year in preschool and she was pretty close to all of her buddies, so we […]

Continue Reading

Where to Getaway for Camping, Aquarium Time, and a Sunset on the Beach

For the month of February, things were getting a little busy with Evie’s birthday preparations and the family that was coming in town to celebrate with us.  We thought about possibly postponing our usual camp weekend, but we also felt the need to get away and relax after all the events were over.  One of the greatest opportunities we have living here in California is the various options for getaway weekends.  In any direction, and in as little as an hour, we can find ourselves having an adventure. Coming from Chicago, I got used to the only getaway options being the Wisconsin Dells or Indiana Beach.  Don’t get me wrong, Illinois has its share of nature to fish and hike, but sometimes these places start looking identical.  The drawback to living in the Midwest, I guess.  California has options because of the ecological diversity here.  From mountain ranges, to deserts, to […]

Continue Reading

Last Year’s Spring Break RV Trip to Southern California #throwbackthursday

We had been talking about getting in an RV to do some traveling for a couple years now.  I think at first, it was something that we would mention in an almost joking way, like it would never really happen but it would be cool if it did.  The more we talked about it, the more it became clear that it was definitely something we wanted to do.  We would search the internet at nights just pulling up RV blogs or Tiny Home tours, just to see how people really did it.  It made total sense to us, the more space you have, the more you fill it with stuff you convince yourself that you need.  Then the more stuff you have, the more trapped you really are.  Trapped both in a consumer lifestyle, a habit of needing and wanting more, and also trapped in the sense that all those […]

Continue Reading

Adventures in the Oldest of California’s State Parks, Big Basin Redwoods

Camping and getting outdoors has been pretty important to us.  Life gets really busy, all the time, and if you don’t make the time to really disconnect and enjoy the things that really matter, it’s easy to loose days, months, and years to life’s rat race.  California offers lots of options for us when it comes to getting away, so we are fortunate.  Every month we try to get away for a short trip once, sometimes it’s not even that far.  As I mentioned, the blog went up in March, so I have some catching up to do with our camping trips. January’s adventure was almost two hours away, close to Santa Cruz, in Big Basin Redwoods State Park.  Because of El Nino, northern California was still getting hit with a lot of rain, so finding a dry campsite was a little important.  We decided to go with tent cabins, […]

Continue Reading

St. Patty’s Day Post – Featuring a Study on the Color Green

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, world! Coming from Chicago, I have a deep appreciation for this holiday.  From the Chicago River being dyed green every year, to my grade school friends all knowing how to step dance, to me being part of the Irish club in high school, to drinking green beers down in Wrigleyville in my 20’s… I have lots of memories for the occasion.  As we speak, I have the corned beef cooking in the crock pot for later.  Mmmmm…. I can’t wait. With all the fondness of the holiday, I can’t say that I am a fan of the color green.  My mind automatically goes to a Kelly green, which I think is such an obnoxious color.  (Sorry, if I offend those who really like the color, but it really is a terrible color for design)  Maybe it’s because of my ties to St. Patty’s Day and Chicago, […]

Continue Reading

Thoughts of Having a Daughter During International Women’s Month

Personally, I think my own mother was the hardest working between both my parents.  She would work 12-16 hour nursing shifts, then end up going out to home care visits on the side just to make a better life for her family.  Of course this meant that she wasn’t around regularly.  From not spending Christmas together to not going to school conferences, I was used to not having her around, a typical immigrant parent’s story.  I think this was just the beginning of seeing first hand how hard a woman’s job really is. As you grow, there are so many instances that you start to question your strength as a female in this world.  Living up to society’s unrealistic physical standards and having to deal with sexism and misogyny on a regular basis.  There are too many instances to name, but i’m trying to stay on topic.  We live in a world where […]

Continue Reading

Happy Birthday to my Dear Sister, Tessie

I have three sisters and one brother.  Naturally, after moving to California, it’s hard to keep in touch with all the things going on in their world.  We have been raised to be very close, even now my family all lives within 15 minutes of each other.  Today is my baby sister’s birthday, Jessica… better known to us as Tessie.  I do consider her my closest sister, and even had her as my maiden of honor at my wedding.  Tessie is smart, funny, and kind… she’s also a very open minded individual, so I think she ends up being the less likely sibling to judge my crazy methods.  I’m so thankful that she comes out to visit or will spend time with me when I am in town.  She is also one of my daughter’s godmothers, and we see her as a great role model for her.  I love her […]

Continue Reading

Veggie Lumpia, Why We Don’t Eat Pork Regularly, and Preschool Cooking Classes- RECIPE POST

One of the things that Evie and I love to do together is cook.  She and I put on our matching Hello Kitty aprons and spend some time making meals to share in our family and with others.  As in most families, great bonding moments, events, and special occasions are best over a shared meal.  We have been lucky to find a preschool that shares our same feelings on the topic, and not just helps the children learn over making snacks together, but also encourages meals to helps others learn in different cultures. I am Filipino American, and for those who have ever had Filipino food probably understand there’s a lot of pork used in this cuisine.  I chose to change the typical pork-based lumpia, to a healthier veggie version.  Time for a little history.  Years ago, as indigenous islanders, Filipinos ate a lot of seafood and vegetables.  Of course, there […]

Continue Reading

#eviebearadventures

I’ve gotten a lot of response from the hashtag I created for my daughter, #eviebearadventures.  Both on Instagram and Facebook, people love following this girl on all her trips and activities.  I must admit, she does a lot.  I know it’s not the conventional life for a little one, but my husband and I are not really conventional types.  She really has been so great at being adaptable and flexible to all the different things we do, another testament to how awesome my daughter is.  She has inspired more activities, more traveling, and more sharing. Because of this response, #eviebearadventures has influenced the creation of this blog.  Wanting to share in more detail and document it all for her when she is older.  Some parents write their kids emails, some take a lot of photos, and this is my own way to really share with her.  My own mother used […]

Continue Reading

Starting With Some Positive Thoughts Into The Universe

Taking the first step in moving toward a life that I don’t quite have yet, but hope to.  Maybe it’s a bit premature, but there are lots of reasons why I’ve held back.  I’m not a strong writer, I don’t really know anything about blogging and will be learning on the way.  I am always too critical to show my own work and my nature is to observe and restrained at times.  Why blog then?  This is completely the opposite of how I see myself, so why do it? On my last birthday was a rough one.  As a married mother, I struggled with the idea of another birthday.  Not because I would be another year older, but rather because of where I was in life.  I had a sort of a career, a first child, a memorable wedding… the thought of having more life experiences after that was daunting. […]

Continue Reading