10 Reasons Why Halloween at Copenhagen’s Tivoli was a Great Decision

As we are in full swing of celebrating winter holidays, my mind is still with fall holidays. Who doesn’t love Halloween?  You can get all dressed up and get candy or go out to a party, then spend the next day nursing a hangover with some free chocolate.  I was always a fan of dressing up in homemade costumes when I was younger, that I think I’m reliving that excitement a bit with my daughter, Evie.  I get really excited about costuming, and she gets really excited about candy… although, she doesn’t really eat a lot of it (still has candy from last year), but Peabe and I get into her stash every now and then when  we need something sweet. This year, as we were going to be in Scandinavia, I was worried about how she would take the news of not dressing up, trick or treating, or getting […]

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The Importance of Cooking with Kids

Last week, I had the pleasure of baking some Filipino bread rolls, called Pandesal, with Evie’s transitional kindergarten class.  The whole experience is so important for my family and I not only to share some of our culture with her school, but also to aid in her development. I have this memory of being in the second grade and bringing a Filipino steamed pork bun to school that I tell people often.  Kid’s can be mean when they don’t understand, and I was ridiculed for bringing such a thing to lunch.  Once home, I asked my mom to pack me peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because I was so mortified to bring more Filipino food. Years later, my daughter is in school and I am making her lunches.  I am pleased to say her school encourages having various fare, encouraging families to share their culture to give students a sense […]

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What Surviving Summer Break Really Looks Like

Three months ago I wrote my blog post, Realities of Working From Home with a Child.  Summer has come and gone, and it is time to send my little Evie girl back to school.  We had adventures all summer; hikes, vacations, staycations, movies, playdates, and lots of ice cream.  Last week, as she started her new life in Transitional Kindergarten, I gladly sent her off. Mama needs some alone time. As I’m sure a lot of mothers can attest to, sometimes you just need a break.  We had some great times this summer, but I have come to the realization that this year was much harder than last summer.  She’s older and wiser, super active and lost interest in taking a nap in the day.  It’s a tough job, and it’s only going to get harder. For the first time, I find myself feeling that I don’t want her to […]

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Still Playing Catch Up With Summer Break

So I know my little hiatus put me behind with all the things I wanted to share.  I’m preparing a couple of posts that are mostly just photos as I still haven’t really caught up with everything I need to catch up with yet. There’s still a lot to share from the month of June.  Evie is still on summer break and we are still out and about doing different things together.  I definitely am starting to feel the weight of dropping work hours down for the summer, but I am also really glad to still be able to share this time with her. She has grown so much in four years and her interests are so varied.  I’m forever entertained by her curiosity and wonder, but also exhausted by her energy. I digress, there’s lots to recap in this post so let’s just dive right in: Shy girl at […]

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Can a Curious 4-Year Old Understand Space and Science?

4-Year olds are curious creatures.  They can go on for days with the question, “why”.  Evie is no different, and it has really been interesting to see what her little head can come up with sometimes.  We had never been to Oakland’s beloved Chabot Space & Science Center, but have heard nothing but great things about it.  I wasn’t sure if Evie was ready for the concepts, but now I know she has been ready and it was up to me to really give her ways to explore it. The museum came highly recommended by friends and we decided to take some time to explore it.  Of course, right off the bat, Evie was a ball of energy.  She saw all sorts of things that she wanted to touch but didn’t want to hear what it was all about.  I assume this is a common thing with her age group. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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