Rain or Shine DIY Hopscotch

Hi friends, spring is almost here! But in some areas of the world, looks like spring is still a dream.

The girls and I found an activity that kids can enjoy any weather. Hopscotch! Emmy loves drawing in her hopscotch with chalk on our sidewalk. But time and time again would be disappointed to see it washed away by our community ground cleaners. So, we thought why not make a more permanent one.

DIY Hopscotch

What you will need:

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Yoga mat

Painter’s tape

Contact paper (we got a chevron printed one from Target’s dollar spot for $3)

Scissors

Marker

Bean Bag (I’ll post “how to” in another post)

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Using the picture above as our template, Emmy had fun helping me form the hopscotch pattern on mat. We measured the size of the squares to fit her feet. You can customize yours accordingly.

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What was a bit of challenge was writing the numbers reverse on the back of contact paper. Just have fun with it. The numbers don’t have to look perfect.

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Emmy puts our mat to the test. What’s great about using a yoga mat is its slip resistant! Plus, you can flip it over and use the other side for yoga, and roll it up when you’re all done for easy storage.

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Outdoors

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Our Royal Mutt, Bailey approves.

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Lil and I had fun trying it out too. Happy Hopscotching!

February Updates

Happy February everyone! I’m still getting over a relentless cough. For now, I’d like to share a few updates.

We celebrated Emmy’s 5th birthday over the weekend. She finally had her dream come true princess themed party at Super Franks. We had Lil’s 6th/7th birthday there and were surprised to see additional perks that Lil didn’t have then.  Aside from the standard coloring and dress up like a princess activities, they had a fashion show, storytime with Q&A game and small prizes, freeze dance, and bubble machine.

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This year, we decided to buy mini cupcakes because the kids are not big cake eaters. Using the mini cupcakes, I formed a small letter E initial. Here’s Emmy’s cake before party.

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Have Your Cake and Eat It Too (at the party)

I got the “Have your Cake and Eat It Too.” liners from Michaels a year ago. Finally put it to good use. :)

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Bailey, our royal mutt has his own instagram account. Feel free to follow him! His instagram address is “The Royal Mutt”.

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“You talking to me?!”

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Jack and The Beanstalk

Bailey keeping a close eye on our plant’s daily growing progress.

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Look how big our plant has grown! It’s much taller than the plant we’d originally seen at Safeway.

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I See Red

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Have a fabulous February!

 

 

“Two Winks” (Grow Already!)

About two weeks ago, the girls and I planted our amaryllis bulb.  The plant care card indicated that we’d see some growth in two weeks.  Emmy exclaimed, “Mommy, the plant will grow in two winks?!”.  Lil was quick to correct her little sister and said, “No silly, its two weeks.”.  Emmy insisted, “No, I heard mommy says two winks!”.  Lil challenged Emmy to see if the plant would grow if she winked. My determined four-year-old stood in front of our potted bulb and winked twice but was disappointed to see no change.  After a little explanation of the miscommunication and the idea of a countdown, Emmy’s interest was reignited.

My young gardeners visited their plant daily.  Emmy often pleading, “Grow already!”.  Almost two weeks had passed and we finally saw a little leaf peeking out of the bulb.  In just over a 5 day period, our plant has progressively grown.

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Look who else has taken interest.

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This morning, I found Bailey back at his plant watching and sniffing post.

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The girls are learning a great deal about patience (especially Emmy) and the rewards of nurturing their plant.  Look how much our plant has grown overnight.  Have a great day everyone!

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GARDENING TIP: Keep amaryllis plant’s soil moist and place plant in an area where it will get sufficient sunlight.

 

Beneath Our Feet

The girls and I love taking leisurely walks around our neighborhood whenever we can.  We enjoy looking around and finding things that we ordinarily would’ve not noticed because we were too busy walking or running over them.  Here are some we found and took pictures of.

SPROUT

After the rain, the girls were delighted to see the sun but were amused to see all sorts of mushrooms sprouting out of the ground.

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Green

We thought these growing moss on the sidewalk looked like art. Emmy thought this one resembled a mouse or porcupine.

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Lil loved this miniature looking “hedges”.

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Patch of Clover

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Emmy enjoyed running on the green, green grass.

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Flowers

Emmy found these small white blooms.

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Empty Shells

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We found an army of these sweet gum tree seedling pods.

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Last Red

Next time, we’re going to look up and see what’s up above our heads. I’ll close this post with this “above our heads” picture of one of my favorite trees, the sweet gum tree. What interesting things in nature have you seen in your neighborhood?

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The Big Apple

The new year sure has its way of prompting us to try new things, revisit past new year resolutions and make new ones. One of my resolutions is to learn new recipes and actually cook them.

For the past few years, my brother-in-law’s made his signature cinnamon apple cake and brought it to the holiday table. He usually serves a slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  It’s so good that not even a single crumb is left on any plate.

We’ve prodded him on several occasions to share his secret cake recipe but to no avail. A few days before new year’s, I opened my email inbox and saw his email. Subject line: “Cinnamon-Apple Cake Recipe”. I was ecstatic!

On new year’s eve, I put his secret recipe to work. Lil and Emmy helped me measure out the ingredients. We don’t have a mixer, so we mixed all the ingredients via wisk with Emmy providing mixer sound effects in the background.  An hour and fifteen minutes later and voila! Our very own cinnamon apple cake.

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Our royal mutt wanted a bite of that apple cake.  But no, he wasn’t having a bite of my cake and eating it too. ;) The girls did a taste test. Cake was nice and moist. It tastes like really good bread pudding with apples.  We sent my brother-in-law a picture and he replied with approval and added, “all its missing is a scoop of vanilla ice cream.”

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I shared the rest of the cake with our friends at our New Year’s Eve celebration and as expected, not a single crumb was left on the plate.

Another resolution the girls and I have been undertaking is purging old clothes, toys and books. Currently, the girls are sharing a room. With the seven year age gap between them, Lil has been wanting to redesign her side of the room and let her own style shine.

We were at Bed Bath and Beyond and spotted these NYC storage boxes in the clearance aisle. Lil loved it so much. We bought two. They were only $6 each.

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What are your New Year’s resolutions?

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Planting New Bulbs

Sometime before Christmas, we spotted this beautiful red lion amaryllis flower at the grocery store. It was $22 with vase.  We thought that was pretty expensive. So, the girls and I settled with taking a picture of it.

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After Christmas, we lucked out and found this red lion amaryllis flower kit at Target. It was on sale for $6.28 with ceramic pot.

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New Year’s Day, we decided to plant it.  Here’s what you get in kit: a soil disk, amaryllis bulb, and ceramic pot.

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Put 2 cups of lukewarm water in bowl and place soil disk on top.

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Emmy had fun watching the soil expand.

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She also had fun mixing the soil mixture

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You fill the pot 3/4 full and place the bulb on top.

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Use the remaining soil to keep bulb in place.

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The girls are excited to nurture their new plant and see it change and grow just like they saw our butterfly pal Willow grow.

Hope you are all doing well! Happy Year of the Sheep! Wishing you the best of 2015!

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My Favorite Things (2014)

In just a few days, the world will be ringing in 2015! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.  The family and I were very fortunate to celebrate the season with family and friends. Here are some of the things the family and I enjoyed doing during the holidays.

Holiday Décor

Inspired by my friend Rose’s DIY holiday star craft project, the girls and I enjoyed this easy craft plus we got to put Lil’s rainbow loom bands to use.

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The Thought Counts

I love looking for personalized gifts for family and friends. It’s pretty fun putting it together.

For the candle and glass décor lover (for my aunt), I found this wonderful handmade glass plate and matched it up with this cute owl votive candleholder.

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For the writer in the family (my sister), who loves Hemingway and Paris. I found this cute tea packet from World Market.  Also, found the notebook and pen from Michael’s craft store.

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I grew up listening to the Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas music. I was so happy to receive this tiny Chipmunk book from Emma.

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Mail

I love receiving Christmas cards in the mail. Definitely, a breath of fresh air from the usual bills and junk mail.

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Christmas Feast

Holidays are all about food, and more food.  I’m not a big cook but I try to make an effort to make something. Here’s my annual holiday offering, mini empanaditas filled with pulled pork adobo.

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For Christmas Eve we had a giant Dungeness crab, Cajun seafood and garlic noodles.

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Pre-Christmas, a good friend Maryll and daughter came to visit and we had Filipino food and made crab wontons.

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Post-Christmas, more of our friends came to visit and this time we served Burmese chicken noodle soup dish and parathas.

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Christmas Breakfast

I love lazy mornings where we can all relax and I can prepare breakfast without looking at the clock. The girls love pancakes, so I decided to make these free form pancakes. Emmy loved her snowman but noticed I forgot to put buttons on his belly. Lil loves dogs and was delighted to see this pancake pup.

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Believe

I love seeing the wonder in kids eyes when you mention Santa Claus.  Emmy made sure to leave some cookies, milk and carrots for Santa and his reindeers.  She knows that Santa is make-believe.  Emmy, “Mommy, you know, Santa is real only if you believe he is.”

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Santa’s helper, the royal mutt stands guard next to wrapped chocolate truffles for my husband to give to his co-workers. Thankfully, I didn’t have to wrap them. I found these wrapped chocolate truffle boxes from World Market.

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Family Time

With our busy schedules, it’s fun to catch up with the kids and enjoy family time. Our leisurely afternoon stroll yesterday was so much fun and relaxing.

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Creatures Big and Small

Our royal mutt, Bailey even reunited with his pal Pebbles.

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More than the food, the holiday shopping rush or gifts, what really counts the most to me is the joy of celebrating love and togetherness with family. Also, reconnecting with friends we rarely see.  Hope you all had a wonderful 2014. Here’s to looking forward to the New Year with bright eyes and hopeful hearts!

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